Keane struggles as England lose to Czech Republic

Friday, 11 October, 2019 204comments  |  Jump to last

Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford were on duty for England tonight in Euro 2020 qualifying but ended up on the wrong end of a 2-1 score line in Prague.

Though Pickford made some important saves, Keane endured a difficult evening at centre-half, drawing criticism for his role on both of the Czech Republic's goals after Harry Kane had put England ahead.

Gareth Southgate's team could have secured their qualification for next year's tournament and kept themselves on course to be one of the six seeded nations for the draw for the Finals.

Elsewhere, Cenk Tosun scored a 90th-minute winner for Turkey against Albania and Lucas Digne and Gylfi Sigurdsson were on opposite sides as France edged Iceland 1-0.

Digne went down off the ball at one stage after taking a blow to the head earlier in the game but was deemed able to finish the match.

Meanwhile, last night Moise Kean played 64 minutes Italy U21s' 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland in European Championship qualifying before he was sent off for pushing an opponent in a mild altercation.


Reader Comments (204)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:05:24
It's a bit has singling out Keane, once the first header is lost from the corner there will always be mayhem in the box. But the Czech attacker was anticipating things better.
Lee Brownlie
2 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:38:32
Whilst I like Pickford, for Everton and for England, calling the saves he made 'important' makes absolutely no sense, seeing as England lost the game!!!
Paul Smith
3 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:38:57
Funny. I was gonna come on and talk about Keane's poor showing and there's a thread on it. Interesting! His distribution was awful – just as it is when he dons the blue of Everton.

It could be the midfield for England were static and not showing for him, similar to Everton this season. Unlike Stones, he's unable to find a man in tight space exposing the midfield when they're not on top of their game. Fine margins and not all Keane's fault, he's a little slow and gets turned occasionally but he's handy in both boxes, if his distribution improved who knows he could be an asset.

Jerome Shields
4 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:39:41
Keane is being used as a scapegoat for a poor team performance. He is a confidence type player and I hope that he is able to move on and get back to his best for Everton.
Peter Gorman
5 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:43:00
No, Keane isn't very good. Can anyone claim he has anything like the ability of Jagielka, who struggled to become an England regular? Keane isn't good enough for that level, or possibly ours.
Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:51:38
The goals born of poor awareness, communication and lack of anticipation, by the whole England defence, including the goal keeper.

Easy to pick on Michael Keane but not all his fault, and in my view, Jordan's kick to Rose, who's not great, in the air, and he was never gonna get there, especially against a player in a better position to attack the ball.

Gonna be tough but next week is what counts, I'm not that bothered about England, Everton counts as the priority.

Body language suggests a Michael Keanes confidence is waning fast if not shredded.

Marco Silva now needs to step up and prepare for West Ham, with a clear head and focus. I want him to succeed but I don't see any conviction and belief when going onto the park, from this squad.

I'd said judge after 10 games, and I stand by that. The facts prove this season so far has been rank and the board should make decisions, based on facts.

An very important week, and hopefully the season will not be compost by the end of October.

Liam Reilly
7 Posted 12/10/2019 at 09:17:56
Three of Englands back 4 are in the wrong half of the Premier League at the moment and playing with fear, so no surprise for me.

We saw at the end of last season that there is a player in there but his confidence is shot.

Keane is getting slammed in all media, Southgate needs to take him.out of the firing line so he can concentrate on getting his confidence back at club level.

Derek Thomas
8 Posted 12/10/2019 at 09:18:05
Henderson and Rice slated for being ineffective in midfield. Keane and the defence concede goals and the forwards... a fortuitous penalty notwithstanding – can't score... sound like us!

It's the midfield In both cases.

Martin Mason
9 Posted 12/10/2019 at 09:54:19
England playing with 2 defensive midfielders showed what a sterile system it is and why Everton generally play as badly as England did last night. It leaves a massive gap between the back 4 and the creative players that stops the ball getting forward with the only option for the defenders being sideways and back.

It also leaves a massive gap for attackers to pour through. It's a sterile system that only works for teams whose tactic is parking the bus and keeping the sterile gap closed.

Danny O'Neill
10 Posted 12/10/2019 at 10:27:37
Taking the personal out of it, Michael Keane just isn't a top defender He's an okay defender who has fallen victim of being English and subsequently being over-hyped at a young stage of his career as tends to be the case with home-grown English players.

Lack of pace can be overcome providing you over-compensate with concentration, reading the game & aggression. Sadly, Keane is also deficient in those areas. I don't like to single out individual players for the sake of it and obviously there is more to a defeat than one player or one mistake; however, my early suspicions of Keane, which were masked for large parts of last season by the Zouma partnership are back to roost. The Czech equaliser almost sums up Keane's unfortunate "dozy" ball-watching unawareness of where the player he is marking has gone.

Spit the Carragher was slow but was an "in your face" gobshite who over-compensated his deficiencies with aggression & timing. Keane is also slow but is too nice, switches off routinely, watches the ball like a 10-year-old, and subsequently gets consistently found out at the top level.

Keith Gleave
11 Posted 12/10/2019 at 10:29:04
Wrong to single out Keane, the whole team were poor. The tactics were ineffectual and the constant changing of personnel doesn't help.
Alan J Thompson
12 Posted 12/10/2019 at 10:38:55
Who cares! So long as it isn't reflected in his Everton form, then it matters not.
Frank Crewe
13 Posted 12/10/2019 at 11:03:55
He was no worse than Maguire. Neither of them are particularly pacey and it shows. But the fact is the whole England side was poor. But considering that two-thirds of the side came from Everton, Man Utd and Spurs, clubs having problems in the Premier League it was hardly surprising they struggled. They are showing poor form for their clubs so why should they suddenly start playing better for their country?

Southgate should curb his obsession with young players and just pick players who are playing well for their clubs. The Czechs picked a forward who has shown some good scoring form for his club and what happens? He scored for them. Rashford, Sancho, Mount, Rice all did nothing and Abraham came on too late to make any difference to the outcome.

I've no doubt we'll beat Bulgaria and this match will be brushed under the carpet and forgotten about. But the Maguire/Keane pairing does not bode well against the better sides quick forwards.

I see the forgotten man Tosun scored again. No doubt he'll be back warming the bench again against West Ham while Calvert-Lewin will be huffing and puffing away to no great effect on the park.

Niall McIlhone
14 Posted 12/10/2019 at 12:33:36
Tosun must be wondering what he's got to do to get a start, Frank, when none of our forwards at EFC look in good goal scoring form right now? Okay, I get the argument that he may not be right at the top of the Premier League standard, but we do not play to his strengths, and unless he gets a breakthrough very soon, I expect he will leave in January for a lot less than Everton paid for him, similarly, Niasse may also leave, in his case, for a nominal fee.

As for last night, it is arrogant of the English to expect to roll them over in Prague. The Czechs are a proud football nation, they competed all over the pitch, and were determined to get a home result. Too many English players out of form, Barkley and Abraham should have started, maybe with Mings or Tomori instead of Keane.

Keane is most definitely not a bad player, but I worry about his concentration and if he is having a bad game, he has a tendency to get stuck in a rut the whole match.

Ray Smith
15 Posted 12/10/2019 at 12:58:09
Scapegoat? yes
Poor performance? yes

Henderson's back pass was the main cause resulting in a goal. Is Henderson being slated? No

Poor performance all round by England? yes

So why single Keane out? Simple he's an easy target.

Before anyone says he is having a poor season, yes he is. However, so are the rest of the toffees.

Somebody posted that he's a nice guy, and yes he is. He's not vociferous, which is to his detriment. When did he last pick up a card? Not sure I can remember.

Give him a break.

On another note, if it's true! Silva has been given 3 games to turn it around, so let's give Tosun a run of 3 games, he's not been given a fair crack. He's scored 3 for Turkey in his last 2 starts. How many has Calvert-Lewin scored? Yet gets regular starts!

I don't want to lose to West Ham, but it might be a blessing in disguise.

Steavey Buckley
16 Posted 12/10/2019 at 12:58:30
Southgate has the same mindset as Silva in having 2 defensive midfield players who can't even pass wind.
Mick Conalty
17 Posted 12/10/2019 at 13:06:51
International weekends are fine by me. Means no upsetting Premier League results and it also gives Moshiri and Kenwright a chance to meet and release a statement to us blues fans about our dire situation... I wish!!!!!
Stan Schofield
18 Posted 12/10/2019 at 13:37:40
Keane is a very good player, and he shone last season. He's currently in a spell of relatively poor form, in a poorly-performing Everton side, and in a poorly-performing England side.

It's obvious the media will give him inappropriate negative focus, but it doesn't matter because the media and England are not worth fussing about.

Rob Hooton
19 Posted 12/10/2019 at 14:04:03
Glad I watched a movie with the family instead, watched the highlights and that seemed more than enough!

Hope Keane can get his form and confidence up, still not sold on Pickford but he is still very young for a ‘keeper.

David Pearl
20 Posted 12/10/2019 at 14:10:04
The first goal England conceded, the initial set up was wrong. I hate seeing a high line, meaning the defenders are running towards the goal instead of attacking the ball away.

Second goal, Keane left his man and went across towards the ball at the near post. That's what a child would do. He should be old and experienced enough not to do that. Seems that England must be short of quality centre-backs (and goalies too).

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 12/10/2019 at 14:19:04
Peter #4,

Keane is a good player of Premier League and International level. His problems started when he had to play alongside Jagielka, who turned him into a nervous wreck. Keane has been making progress since then, though he still has nightmares, and still is in recovery.

So glad Delph didn't play, such a risk and waste of time that would have been. Southgate is just treading water, getting himself through this competition and positioning himself for a possible new contract.

The England setup know a good Manager, look at Southgate's predecessor.

Brian Wilkinson
22 Posted 12/10/2019 at 14:40:09
Keane is not fit to lace Jagielka's boots, Jerome, it was more like playing alongside Ashley Williams.
Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 12/10/2019 at 15:02:09
Jerome #21, omigod, all I can do is laugh.

"His problems started when he had to play alongside Jagielka, who turned him into a nervous wreck."

Pleeeeease elucidate. This is one theory I cannot wait to hear more about.

Dave Evans
24 Posted 12/10/2019 at 15:26:34
Martin Mason @9 nailed it.

The England defence, in the single person of Keane, get all the flack. While the non-existent central midfield is a bigger problem – for both defensive and attacking play.

Similarities last night to how we set up. Resulting in the centre of the park being effectively surrendered.

Bill Gall
25 Posted 12/10/2019 at 15:32:15
The criticism of Keane may have some justification but he was a poor player in a poor team.

The midfield was non-existent with Henderson being the main culprit. The midfielders were not moving around looking for spaces when the defenders had the ball and just passed it back when they received it.

This was supposed to be a game that gave Southgate a chance to try some of the younger players a chance that failed, and to single one player for criticism is just the usual poor journalism.

Jay Harris
26 Posted 12/10/2019 at 15:40:18
Just agreeing with other posters that Keane is being made a scapegoat for a very poor England display all round and especially in midfield.

I see Mason Mount is getting top marks so yet again the media blue boys do not get the flack they deserve... and can someone tell me what Jadon Sancho does to earn an England cap.

Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:03:04
I can't believe Keane, is anywhere near the England squad, but also can't believe that he's getting most of the flak for the English losing last night.

Agree that two defensive midfielders, does very little for creativity Martin, but when I watch England play, they have rarely played with a lot of flexibility in the middle of the park during my lifetime, especially when you compare them with other nations, and not just the big-boys either.

The English have never been able to create a system which compliments their more talented players, and that's why they are generally the most methodical team, because they usually go for this over real talent, even when they have had continental coaches, so it must be something to do with how we have been coached from a very early age imo?

Joe McMahon
28 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:20:28
I always considered Keane to be very limited for the 㿀-odd million we paid for him. We need a Sylvan Distan or a Kurt Zouma type of centre-back. That said we also need strikers and central midfielders.
John McFarlane Snr
29 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:29:30
Hi Tony [27],

If you log on to, 'In "Defence" of 4-4-2' [74], you might find something that will bring a smile to your face in these difficult times.

Danny O'Neill
30 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:42:35
We're not coached Tony and that's part of the problem. We have "dad coaches" only interested in the pursuit of their own failed dreams through their kids. Our system at youth level is more obsessed with winning the Harrow Under-12s League Cup for a quick ego boost than long term development of players.

So we end up we aggressive parents encroaching on the field of play screaming at kids to "get stuck in" and "get rid". Combined with the absolute dreadful grassroots facilities (mud-filled park pitches), it is no surprise English football has fallen from grace as the game elsewhere has raised the bar. I don't know the Dutch phrases for "get stuck in" or "get rid", but I doubt you'd hear it too often on the more organised and less parent influenced youth footballing establishments in Holland or elsewhere on the continent.

People complain about English players not being given a chance and the overload of foreign players in the Premier League. To spin that argument around, if they were good enough our clubs wouldn't look elsewhere. It's why we over-hype when someone comes along who looks half decent. Back to my previous points on Michael Keane. And I agree with the sentiment; not his fault. He just isn't top drawer and probably never will be, so let's stop expecting him to be.

Kevin Molloy
31 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:52:06
By hell, we'd better be working behind the scenes to bring in someone decent, cos there are no fall guys this season. I wouldn't advance two bob that we'll finish above Norwich or Villa or Newcastle if we hold onto Marco.
Charles Brewer
32 Posted 12/10/2019 at 17:02:38
Everton players played for France, Iceland, England, Turkey and U23 Italy. The Turk scored the winner, the Italian showed a bit of proper aggression, the England pair were a bit off the pace, but who cares. Our Brazilian internationals weren't called on but fairly regularly score or play well.

It would thus appear that they can play well with players they rarely meet, but badly when in a team where they practise together for days and months on end.

What is the difference? The only serious difference is the management of the teams they are in?

Ray Smith
33 Posted 12/10/2019 at 18:12:06
What does Tosun have to do to get a run in the team?

Anyone with less of a commitment would have been gone by now!

Give the lad a break, drop Calvert-Lewin for 3 games and let Tosun prove himself.

John G Davies
34 Posted 12/10/2019 at 19:01:42
Michael Keane has only got one fault: he can't defend.
Derek Knox
36 Posted 12/10/2019 at 19:20:45
Having read the above posts, I can't answer to all of them, but will make a general statement, which I personally believe to be true.

Why is it that players, who are not deemed good enough for Everton by Silva, are still picked by their national sides, and generally play well?

In the case of Tosun, who I have mocked myself, as not being good enough, has proved me wrong, in scoring three times in the last Internationals.

Why has Silva not noticed in his detailed training regimes, as we are led to believe, that he has talent in the squad, but repeatedly fails to employ them?

Get him as far away from the Club I have supported and loved for nearly 60 years, the man is a disgrace to football, let alone Everton.

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 12/10/2019 at 19:57:23
Agree with a lot of what you say Danny@31, but I'm on about kids who are lucky enough to play that little bit higher.

I sometimes watch academy football, and they definitely try and coach the players at this level, but it's as if someone wrote down the answers and everyone else is trying to copy them, with very little variation in the play.

Jon Withey
38 Posted 12/10/2019 at 20:01:15
Really wish England would stop picking Everton players - rarely a good thing. They either get bought or destroyed. Keane's form has suffered since he had his last game for England and had a mare. Obviously with the media types it is easier to fall out with players from our club so they pick on them routinely. England are as stale as ever.
Paul Birmingham
39 Posted 12/10/2019 at 22:09:24
Derek, @37, as always a very well pitched point. It's the cliche, but I agree and bar a miracle, I don't see any light ahead and momentum ever gathering, for Everton, this season, bar a miracle.

There's a 1000,plus analogies of Everton's, chronic and consistent decline, generally the last 35 years, bar 1995, our last trophy.

It's chronic, that we have to relate in terms of vast amounts of time, and chew the crud on moments in games, mainly a few in any season in this period, that it's clicked, and the mass per se, Great Evertonians, are happy.

What, how, and why, is now eternal, perpetual pergitory, on most of our threads, and Old Nick, takes the piss, and gets bolder, and as time honoured, gets the luck. It's mythical, the way it's gone, but as a sporting club, we in my view lost the true competitive edge 30 years ago.

The club at the top level, has got to get a winning mentality and a Spartan type attitude at FInch Farm and Goodison Park.

Why, oh, why, is this a Bibilcal type curse, or a sporting disease that is incurable?

Give me strength but the chores of facing the RS, almost daily doesn't bother me one ioweta, as beyond their club, in football terms, most bar a few know sfa, and won't ever have the grace to give credit,to the clubs that beat them.

But we live in hope eternal, and this week, is massive. Let's crank the clock back the same time the last 4 years, and it's ground hog day bar a few hours.

Surely, enough is enough, but, if survival and just taking part is deemed as being enough, then, there's no hope.

As it stands,we wait each day for the tide to come in and the same old flotsam, we see? Bar a few days a year, and each season?

With the backing, and layered support structures, surely Everton, must have some quality checks, on what's done in training at Finch Farm?

As stated often, too old now to get very narked, but daily pissed off for donkies years, with the guise of an alledgedly top run and professionally accredited sports club.

It doesn't stack up, but as in life what does?

Everton is massive but has fallen from Mount Olympus in football terms, and it seems the Gods and the owners can't be bothered any more.

Rant over, back to the ale.

Jerome Shields
40 Posted 12/10/2019 at 23:19:44

I remember watching Match of the Day some years ago and Trevor Brooking was the pundit who was doing the analysis. Everton where defeated, the team escapes me. It was the third game after two results, the mid table pattern we are all very familiar with, started in the Moyes era. This game would have progressed Everton up the table to challenge at the top, only to fall flat as per usual.

Brooking squarely put the blame on Jagsielka and provided analysis and supporting footage to show why. Brooking shows how though Jagsielka looked in position, he was actually coasting. He was watching the play, but not taking up a challenging position and did not commit to tackle. The play would move into another defenders zone, but he would not have been able to redress to remedy the situation, the opportunity missed by Jagsielka It would look as if this defender was to blame, while Jagsiekla was actually to blame, because it was in his play that the challenge should have been made.

Brooking was particularly annoyed with Jagsieklas lack of communication, lack of leadership and shirking of his responsiblities. Jagsiekla was a England regular. I intialling, not liking Brookings attitude for some time , did not take heed, but the analysis of the next two goals was equally damming. I had great difficulty getting my head round why Jagsielka would have such a attitude, in what I perceived as a crucial game to. progress.

The pressure that other players where put under as a result and how a Professional Manager such as Moyes could not see what was going on, was equally baffling. Since that I was always sceptical of Jagsiekla in defence and could see these traits in his play throughout his time with Everton, with a increased tendency to make mistakes.

Keane joined Everton and they paid the right price for a potential England regular. But Keane had played with players who done their job. When he partnered Jagsiekla it was a whole new experience. Jagsiekla was a old pro, with a repudiation, who wasn't doing his job and would drop him in it, offering no support, cover or teamwork. Playing for a struggling Everton was bad enough, but to have to try and work with Jagsielkas, Keane confidence was shot. Only when Jagsiekas finally went and Zouma came in did Keanes confidence return. Zouma was out to do the job and work with him.

Zouma went and Mina took over. Lapses of concentration, looking good with the play in front of him, and distribution that is miles away from anything he seen a Barcelona are Minas characteristics, so far, when playing for Everton, not mentioning being injured. . When he has to actually defend, especially on the turn he is found wanting. Mina did look good against Burnley, but closer analysis throws up a different story. Keane confidence is not what it was playing along with him. Keane has been here before.

Silva has, 'in his shell' Schniederlin playing as a extra Centre Back to provide support. Everton are sitting a lot deeper as a result, but still defensive errors occur and leaked goals result. Even Digne is getting pinned back, because if he commits, there is little supporting play. Add to this a error prone Pickford.

The England set up is not much better, with a defunctional midfield and complimentary organisation / tactics and the effect on Keane is similar. He is a easy scapegoat to boot. Everton has a likewise midfield.

Big Sams tongue in cheek suggestion and probably the only good thing he uttered , suggested that Everton would need to employ a Sports Psychologist , but even be knew that the causes of Everton problems where deep and it would take more than one to sort out basket case Everton.

Keanes nightmares have returned and his sub conscious and consciousness are merging, as we speak. Poor Lad.

Mike, thank you for your encouragement. I am philosophical regarding the pending unslot.

Eddie Dunn
41 Posted 12/10/2019 at 23:37:35
England have a decent goalie and good wing backs, poor centre halves, even worse defensive midfielders and a good attack. Not good enough to compete with the very best.
Keane is limited but not much worse than the over-priced Maguire.
Keane can still do a good job for us and as usual the press have a go at our lad (like Baines and Barkley before him).
Henderson and Rice are as ordinary as we are likely to see at international level but seem to escape the flak.
Joe McMahon
42 Posted 12/10/2019 at 23:39:07
Jerome, Trevor Brooking knew his stuff and was one hell of a player. I can't comment on the individual game, but I agree a good CB needs to be vocal.
John Pierce
43 Posted 12/10/2019 at 23:54:24
DK, you raise a decent point about a
Silva's use of the squad. He patently either doesn't rate some players; Tosun, Davies are good examples or doesn't feel they fit into his system.

In December of last year at the beginning of the Christmas period, he chose to play Gomes, I believe 18 games in a row, and stick by and large to a small squad of players.

It felt very short sighted as over Christmas you often need more energy rather than scintillating play to beat teams as knackered and thread-bare as yourself.

Again this season he seems hugely reluctant to use the squad and give others chance when several players have lost form completely; Sigurdsson, Keane & Coleman spring to mind. Mix in our slump, the notion he has not tried to pick a side based on energy and compactness to stop the rot is identical to the spell we had last season.

It reeks of stubbornness, pride and actually I think you could say he's misjudged several players who could come in for a game or two to feel part of the squad and give others a rest.

If you feel cynical you might say he is sending a message to the board that he has little to work with and he can do no more with the crap he has at his disposal.

But far more likely he's just not very good.

David Thomas
45 Posted 12/10/2019 at 00:02:53
Keane isn't fit to lace Jagielka's boots. If we had a 26-year-old Jagielka available, this team would be much better off.

Keane is a trier but he's just not good enough.

Mike Gaynes
46 Posted 13/10/2019 at 02:18:31
Jerome #41, thanks for the response. Never having seen or heard Brooking as a pundit, I have no idea of his credibility, but I rarely saw mistakes from Jags, and never once saw "lack of communication, lack of leadership and shirking of his responsiblities." And having seen Jags play several hundred games (albeit only two in person), I think I'd have noticed.

At any rate, I'm quite sure that Keane's often-poor performance in 2017-18 was far more connected to his playing on a massively infected foot for most of the season than being "turned into a nervous wreck" by playing next to Jagielka. Besides, Keane was never that good. I saw him utterly destroyed by Rom at Goodison in 2017. Never had a prayer against him. And his tendency to get caught flatfooted, which Rom exploited so easily, has been seen several times this season as well.

Keane is a player of great courage and nonstop effort. But no matter who he's been partnered with -- Jags, Zouma or now Mina -- he has always been our second best CB, and in my view has only average talent.

Darren Hind
47 Posted 13/10/2019 at 07:05:14
The days when attackers attacked and defenders defended are long gone. Center-halves certainly aint what they used to be. These days a center half are often judge by the standard of protection they receive from the "Guard dogs" in front to them.

for the past few seasons, Everton center backs have enjoyed the protection of one of the modern games great tackling machines. The level of protection Gana offered Keane and Zouma throughout our purple patch last season reach astonishing levels. Coincidentally, people started talking about them as "Top CH's".. They're not. Zouma has been exposed at Chelsea, just as starkly as Keane has playing for us.

Of course none of that would explain why we are still so poor defending corners. But I believe the underlying problem there is the uncertainty and lack of belief created by being exposed in open play.

I think we have another glaring issue with Mina too. For such a tall gangly figure he is surprisingly competent and confident in his duels with pacier forwards... but if there is another modern player who allows his concentration to be broken so easily I havent seen him.

Mina should be the man. The powerhouse. The one who doesnt have to prove how hard he is. He is the one in the middle who can see it all, he should be Barking out orders when we defend corners and free kicks... But if he doesnt stop taking 5 or 10 minutes out of every game in order to continue his daft arsed Running battles with opponents hell bent on winding him up, his career will be over without him (or us) ever finding out, how good he may have been.

We cant go on playing stoppers who don't stop. We have got to try something else. A defensive set-up including Holgate cant possibly be any worse than the pairing we have now.

I shake my head in disbelief when I hear people say "I don't trust Holgate"... I can only conclude they fall asleep every time the curtain goes up on the current weekly pantomime.

Brian Porter
48 Posted 13/10/2019 at 07:13:48
So Cenk Tosun scores his third goal in his last two internationals, but Silva won't even give him a look-in in our goal starved team. With his goals at international and Champions League level, might I suggest that given a run in the team, Tosun might just prove more successful than Calvert-Lewin who isn't exactly the most prolific striker in the league.

He's had his recent flurry and it will probably take a few months before we see another goal or two from him.

Tosun has to be worth a pint, but this is Silva all over. He gives a player a few minutes as a substitute (eg, Moise Kean), and if they don't produce a miraculous turn round in the game, they are instantly forgotten.

He's got a squad. It's time he used them, changed things around, surprise the opposition instead of being so predictable that they know exactly what to expect from us, and are set up to beat us before they even take to the field.

This is why I have zero faith in Silva's ability to get us out of the trough of despair his tactics and selections have landed us in this season.

Jerome Shields
49 Posted 13/10/2019 at 07:32:41
Mike #47

I agree that Keane is our second best full back and his injury did hold him back, but there was also in my opinion confidence issues and co dependency issues. When he does have confidence he played exceptionally well. I believe he now has co dependency issues with Mina unfortunately, though Mina is different than Jagsielka.

My confidence in Jagsielka never recovered from that Brooking analysis, which I found to be thorough and proven. I was careful in my own analysis of subsequent goals against and found similar instantaneous on occasions regarding Jagsielka. Up to and even in that game , I thought the same as you. I even thougt Brooking was having a go at Jagsielka on the first goal, but the subsequent analysis of the two other goals proved the point without doubtful to me. Jagsielka could look good , but under pressure went missing , due to a attitude I could never understand. .

Brooking, who I found arrogant and did not like, was a outstanding stylist midfielder at league and international. level and one of the outstanding players of his generation. As a pundit and analyst I grew to increasingly respect his opinion, which he give with integrity and knowledge, never being swayed from the truth or influenced by those around him.

Jerome Shields
50 Posted 13/10/2019 at 07:59:08

Trevor Brooking, West Ham and when you are at it Colin Bell , Man City.

Ray Smith
51 Posted 13/10/2019 at 08:21:05
Brian 49
Totally agree with your comments.

As well as Tosun add Sidibee to the list, he's been written off already. He should get his chance on Saturday, and unless he plays an absolute blinder, will be back on the bench once Coleman has served his ban.

Also give Bernard a longer run, rather than in/out/in/out!

Brian Porter
52 Posted 13/10/2019 at 08:40:02
Just noticed, in my post I said Tosun was worth a pint. I of course meant to say, worth a punt!
Jerome Shields
53 Posted 13/10/2019 at 08:56:59
Darren #48,

I agree regarding Holgate.

Martin Berry
54 Posted 13/10/2019 at 09:01:50
Keane like the rest of the England team did not play well so why he is being singled out I don't know.

Additionally, the midfield did not offer a pass out during the game to help the defenders.

As for our other players on duty, when are we going to play Tosun with another striker in a 4-4-2, or will Silva hang himself through stubborn tactics?

Brian Porter
55 Posted 13/10/2019 at 09:48:58
Agree with you Martin #55
Danny O'Neill
56 Posted 13/10/2019 at 09:53:00
That's a fair point Tony and I have no doubt the academy level coaches do their best with what they are presented with.

That's really my point, borne after years of being a frustrated youth coach; the system is not set up to deliver to the standard that other nations are able to because of their investment in grass roots versus ours. It's probably why every time we get a sniff of the next great hope (e.g. Barkley), it transpires they were actually just better than the rest hence my over-hyping comment.

I have been fortunate enough to live in Germany & Italy as well as spending time in the Netherlands. When you see their footballing setup & youth system, it's of no coincidence that since England's last successful appearance in a major tournament final in 1966, their main European competitors have enjoyed far more success:

Germany/West Germany: 3 x World Cup wins, 3 x runners up. 3 times Euro wins, 3 x runners up.

Italy: 2 x World Cup wins, 1 x runners up. 1 x Euro wins, 2 x runners up.

Holland: 1 x Euro win. 3 x World Cup runners up (not bad for a nation with a population of circa 17 million & look at some of the players they have contributed to world football).

Spain: 1 x World Cup win. 2 x Euro wins. 1 x Euro runners up.

France: 2 x World Cup wins, 1 x runners up. 2 x Euro wins, 1 x runners up.

Even now, with this team arguably better than previous, I don't see a strategy from grass roots up. The English game seems to just wait, hope & see if we stumble across a batch of players who might just hit it off once. There is nothing long-term about it.

Apologies for straying off thread, just a subject close to my heart. But, it is slightly linked as Keane is unfortunately an output of our "system"; one of those English players who is actually decent, but not as good as the hype would suggest and subsequently falls foul of expectation.

Ron Sear
57 Posted 13/10/2019 at 10:21:26
Why is everybody so critical? It was really kind of the Everton pair to give the England supporters the full Everton Fan experience.
Ray Smith
58 Posted 13/10/2019 at 10:30:06
Danny 57

I very well structured and factual summary.

What it highlights to me and I firmly believe is, that a considerable number of English supporters believe we are actually better than we are.

Quite simply we are not, and your post corroborates that.

The way the last World Cup panned our, a good England team would have won it.

Jason Lloyd
59 Posted 13/10/2019 at 10:45:05
What makes me very frustrated is Silva will not deviate from 4-2-3-1.

Why can't we try 3 centre-backs in a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1?

By doing this, we could dispense with 2 defensive midfielders which I think is the biggest cause of why we can't attack properly.

Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 13/10/2019 at 11:20:31
I'm sure It's something I could talk about in detail Danny@57, and quite a bit of what you say resonates in my own memory mate. I once went to Forest for a trial game and we played and beat a Swansea City team 5-0.

After the game a man called Alan Hill, was all over me, promising me this and promising me that, and after this said “well smile then son” I was never a miserable kid, but I had a much more serious personality when I was younger, and all's I was thinking was “how the fuck can you come to such a judgement, when the opposition were absolute pony?

I think the biggest problem with the English, is that they concentrate on winning, whilst the others concentrate on skill, and when the others get better “with the ball” they beat you, and because we have concentrated on winning since an early age, then we have nowhere left to turn?

The weather doesn't help, (ask Klopp!, Vialli, said the wind makes it really hard to train on technique in England at times) and although the kids at the academies have a better chance, I'd love to have a look at European coaching where emphasis on skill and technique, seems much more important, than winning a game of football through strength?

Phil Sammon
61 Posted 13/10/2019 at 11:28:43

Doing away with a centre-mid and playing another centre-half will not benefit our attack.

Personally, I hate 3 at the back. It's been tried and failed so many times throughout the football world.

David Pearl
62 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:18:39

I agree with what you say to an extent but l do wish Marco Silva was more obsessed with winning.

I trained with Rochdale, Stoke, Tranmere, Winnipeg Fury and Seville. Who do you think l enjoyed it more with? Oh and it wasn't the Fury. I left after 40 minutes, it was so shit. Seville was all technical, followed by a run, which is nicer in the sun than the rain.


Everton have never really played 3 at the back but it has been very successful in world football over the years. It's just not very British. Its been 4-4-2 for years until recently. I thought we looked okay in the few games we played it last season as the forwards we have seem better not hugging the touchline.

Paul Tran
63 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:29:00
I'd argue Keane is our third best centre-back, behind Mina & Holgate. And I still haven't met a Chelsea fan that rates Zouma.

If we hire a manager that knows how to set up a defence, I'd look forward to watching Mina & Holgate together.

Danny O'Neill
64 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:33:04
Agree Tony, we could probably talk to this all day as we have similar views. There is too much focus on results at youth level vice development. I appreciate wanting to win is an important aspect of any sport, but the "at all costs" approach shouldn't be applied to youth football. In my experience, this lends itself to overly preferring bigger, faster & more powerful players in order to gain physical advantage & win games. The problem with this is they aren't necessarily the best footballers.

A rather simplistic outcome is "little" Johnny who is actually technically gifted get's bored of not being picked and drifts away from football altogether aged 14. Big Dave who could simply steamroller everyone at the age of 12, so got picked every week, is no longer bigger than everyone else at the age of 17. but he was never that good as he relied on size & power rather than being developed, so gets found out.

I've said before, I'm convinced Messi would never have made it in England!! Okay, that's a tongue in cheek exaggeration!!

Joe McMahon
65 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:33:41
I don't care what formation we play as long as we score more than we concede.

Everton and winning games is a bit if a 21st century myth, legend has it - it started about 1992.

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:42:43
I only wrote about that story because of what Danny wrote about us thinking kids are actually better than they really are. That coach thought I was good, (a talent spotter, who ended up the assistant manager of Man City) but even though I was only 14 years of age, I was already aware that it was impossible to judge me properly against such limited opposition.

Silva's job should only be about winning David, it should be his obsession, but when he sat down on the bench against Bournemouth, whilst some read it as very poor man-management, (it was) I also read it as a message to Brands & Moshiri, because how can he play the game he wants to, when his central defenders (especially Keane) are so slow?

This obviously brings about its own argument, (why not play Holgate? Why persist with tactics that do not suit the personnel?) and this is why Silva's job is currently on the line.

Danny O'Neill
67 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:46:27
Sorry, I'm back. this is good discussion.

David, Phil,

I played in a very successful 3-5-2 side that dominated Army football for several years (maybe not at yours or Tony's level but a decent standard).

I think it works if you have the right players. I suppose you could say that about any system; the now much-maligned 4-2-3-1 is actually a very balanced system that effectively enables a team to consistently have 4 players in attacking positions at all times if the players are right. If I recall, it really came to prominence with that Germany team who burst on the scene in the 2010 World Cup and on to win it in 2014. It worked, because they had the right players to make that system work.

For 3-5-2 you need footballing center-backs & fit as anything wing-backs. The obvious risk is being exposed on the flanks by leaving a lot of space to be exploited on the counter. This is why the wing-backs are vital and a holding midfielder to cover the flanks or slot in for a center-back who has to go do that job.

Get it right, and at any level, it can be one of the most effective systems in my opinion.

I've always been an advocate of playing the system that suits the players you have and not trying to make the players fit a system you want to play (if that makes sense).

It's all subjective, but at the moment, I think with the players we have, we would be better trying 4-3-3.

Danny O'Neill
68 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:48:54
To support Tony's comments, I think the point we are making is too much focus on winning at youth level, not professional or senior level.

It is a contributing factor to our young players not developing as they could or should.

Tony Abrahams
69 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:56:53
Danny, that paragraph were you asked if it made sense (in brackets) makes more sense than anything written on this thread, and is the obvious reason why Everton are struggling badly right now, imo.
John McFarlane Snr
70 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:01:24
Hi Danny [57] as a youth coach, can you explain a couple of points to me, have you any idea why from goal kicks, Jordan Pickford continually aims for the touchline, quite a few fail to find the target, resulting in [the main] as an opposition throw-in. do you think that he's following Silva's instructions?, in which case Silva is to blame, or is he acting off his 'own bat' where in my opinion, Silva is to blame for allowing him to do so'

Another thing I find puzzling is the withdrawal of our front men/man to defend corner kicks, this gives us 11 men in or around the penalty area the opposition have 9, the goalkeeper and the corner kick taker, out of the picture so to speak. I have no certificates or badges but I did manage a team at the dizzy heights of a Sunday league, we had a lad who could 'catch pigeons' I had him stand on the half way line, this removed 2 of the opposition to mark him, leaving 10 of our players to mark 7 of their's, and it resulted in quite a number of goals per season.

To round off, it has long been my opinion that the nearest man to the ball should take a throw-in, introducing a possible moment of surprise, it appears [to me] that waiting for a designated throw-in taker, gives the opposition time to get organised. I would be grateful if you could give me a more knowledgeable slant on these issues.

Dick Fearon
71 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:07:28
Danny 57, Tony 61, You speak of a subject that is close to my heart, namely, junior level coaching. My experience was over 50 years of coaching at that level plus many hours on courses under the direction of ex pro internationals.

Those courses were based around manuals that concentrated almost entirely on positional play with barely a mention of individual ball skills. I have seen talented youngsters have their individualism crushed by that kind of football by numbers.

I got the impression that those manuals were written before Puskas and his magical Magyars ripped England apart in the 1950s.

Tony Abrahams
72 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:11:21
Everyone has their own favourite formation, I think I understand 4-4-2, the most easily, and wrote earlier in this thread, that it can be changed quite easily if you have got the players, but then so can any system really, I'm pretty certain about this.

It all stems back to the players and how they're used at the end of the day, but I didn't know Germany used that system in 2010 Danny, because my favourite game of that tournament was when they dismantled Argentina 4-0, (I think?) It was definitely a case of "the team v the individuals" and the Germans kept creating "2v1s" out wide, and this is something that I think is the only situation on a football pitch which is absolutely impossible to defend?

Danny O'Neill
73 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:25:01
Hey John, I'm not claiming to be any more knowledgable. We've all developed our views through our experiences of playing, coaching and supporting football in various forms at different levels. That's what is making the discussion good.

I can only imagine Pickford is being instructed. I know he's a hothead with a tendency to go into meltdown following a rush of blood to the head, but he does it too often. Smacks of Rugby type territorial percentage tactics, which as you say often only serves to return possession to the opposition.

A quick free-kick or throw-in should always be a consideration if it's on and as you say, catches the opposition unorganised. It's down to judgement of the scenario I suppose. The counter would be rushing and forcing play when options are limited and it would be better to wait until we are organised toaffect the situation better.

Tony Abrahams
74 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:27:28
I get the impression that it all centres around manuals Dick, and it most definitely does what you say.

I used to play in midfield and the coaching was mostly about letting the ball come across your body and playing out the other side. Nothing wrong with this, but sometimes your opponent might come out of position, and it was possible for you to do a bit more with the ball, but "No! – Fucking come out" would be the shout from the coach, and bit by bit, they take definitely take away your individualism, no question.

Tony Abrahams
75 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:35:43
Fullbacks taking throw-ins is written in stone John Mc, (in the professional game) but my biggest gripe is why our own players come so close to the thrower, thus actually taking up their own space, which gives them even less room in which to play in?
Danny O'Neill
76 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:45:46
I seem to remember that was the tournament they introduced the 4-2-3-1, or at least made it more well known.

Just been rummaging around the internet and stumbled across the fact that in 1887, Sheffield Wednesday & Blackburn Rovers both faced each other playing a 2-3-5 formation. Now there's attacking intent!!

Yes, the manuals. I attended my first course in the mid-90s and the FA's approach was still influenced by the Graham's (Taylor) "grafters" era. Delivered by a coach on Portsmouth's books, the emphasis was to turn the game around quickly and get the ball into the opposition half as soon as you had the opportunity to do so & reduce their ability to be anywhere near your goal.

Going back to John's point, it didn't matter if there was anyone to receive. No emphasis on play, ability or technical skill, just play the percentage game & hope to steal a goal from a set-piece. I'd say that is going to maintain the status quo or ensure survival but it's not winning mentality.

Being exiled in West London, I used to attend some Conference South games until recently and that approach was still prevalent: "pass, pass, punt" as I describe it.

Tony Abrahams
77 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:10:32
I think Liverpool play a little version of the football you describe at times Danny, but obviously with a lot more savvy, and the emphasis definitely on playing to their players strengths.
Danny O'Neill
78 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:15:12
That's a good call, Tony. They do indeed but with a bit more finesse, intent, reasoning and end product.

Nothing wrong with a more direct approach, but there's a difference between and aimless long ball and a directed long searching pass!

God I hate praising them, but if you put your football head-on, you can't deny it regardless of inherent uncomfortableness!

John Pierce
79 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:22:57
If each player has an inherent value of 2 then Mina plus Keane equals 3.4 Yet I'd reckon Mina plus Holgate would equal 4.2. Perhaps Digne plus Bernard equals 4.8, and Sigurdsson plus Calvert-Lewin is a measly 3.8?

If the manager cannot understand combinations which produce more than the sum of their parts then he has no hope of getting a team to do so and over-achieve.

Silva has not one fruitful combination in his selections. He destroyed the only one he had, Digne & Bernard, by using Iwobi in a less favorable position to shoe-horn Sigurdsson in.

This basic stuff is killing him.

John McFarlane Snr
80 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:23:07
Hi Tony [76], You're probably right, but in mine and your dad's day, it was the job of the wing-half to take a throw-in, Peter Farrell and Cyril Lello for Everton. So, very little has changed in that direction.

I still maintain that the nearest player to the ball should take the throw-in, but then again, what do I know?

Filipe Torres
81 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:29:53
Tony #73,

I believe it's possible to defend 2v-1 by simply changing it to a 2-v22 with the added player intercepting the ball on his mate's back.

But I'll admit it's not a 2-v-1 though...

John McFarlane Snr
82 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:57:51
Hi again, Danny [77], Regarding your mention of the Wednesday vs Blackburn fixture of 1887 featuring a 2-3-5 formation, this formation was the one I and 'lads' of our generation grew up with. In those days it was referred to as the W formation, 2 fullbacks, 2 wing halves, and a centre half comprising the defensive unit, with one of the wing halves assisting the forwards when the opportunity arose, the attack consisted of 2 wingers, 2 inside forwards and a centre forward, one of the inside forwards would assist the defence when necessary.

Those were the days when the inside left wore the number 10 shirt and was referred to by the position he played in, now the number 10 position can be occupied by someone wearing the number 66, I read on one thread that earlier this season Everton played with 3 number 10's. Now in the autumn of my life, I'm afraid that the modern game with its various innovations is losing its attraction, the fact that I am programmed to attend games is the reason I put myself through so much agony.

Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:59:11
You know what you see, John, and sometimes common-sense gets in the way with both footballers and the way that they are (or aren't) coached!
Mike Doyle
84 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:00:49
Danny [#65] before last year's World Cup, the Croatian coach made the point that with a population of only 4 million, their system cannot afford to discard promising players because, for example, they were physically small compared to others of their age.

He wondered whether someone like Luca Modric would have succeeded in a country with a big population- and where size/strength/pace etc are deemed more important attributes than technical skill, vision etc.

Of course Croatia knocked England out – and on Friday we watched England look (in my opinion) 2nd best to a Czech team with what seemed to be a higher quality midfield.

Doubtless the same points will be raised when England go out at the Quarter or Semi-Final stage of the next Euros.

Justin Doone
85 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:03:50
On England, the Czechs 2nd goal was Keane's fault IMO. He left his man to try and block or close down the the pass/attacker. That was not Keane's responsibility, another defender, (presume Maguire) was attempting to do that.

Leaving an unmarked player 10 yards from the centre of goal wasas made to look far too simple.

Other than bad judgement. It may be they would have scored anyway, it just w that he didn't have a bad game, just not particularly good. A standard Keane level. Biggest criticism was he repeatedly tried to deliver 60-yard passes down the right-wing that mostly failed. The lack of movement and options from the midfield and forwards was poor all game.

For me Rose was terrible. Rice and Hendo poor. Sancho neve looked like getting past his man. Kane poor but lacked service. The rest okay at best. Barkley came on and did well, his stamina issues remain.

I used to compare Everton to England. Over-rated players, a lack of team cohesion, technically not a match for the top 10, outfought by the 'lesser teams', lacked energy, creativity, leadership, conceded to many cheap easy goals and struggle to score from open play.

England improved despite IMO, a poor manager because the average player's skill level, commitment and togetherness did. Too many changes in personnel maybe starting to erode that.

England have been poor for a while but results stayed positive.

Everton have never been that lucky. But, despite our own indifferent manager, I'm hoping our players can step up.

Justin Doone
86 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:12:57
Talking Croatia. I'm more disappointed that Vlassic was so quickly discarded than Lookman leaving.

Vlassic has the brains to develop along with his skills to be a top player. How he couldn't get a game for us I don't know. Really poor management of him by Everton.

Lookman has more ability but if he or the team can't work out how to use it, it's pretty useless.

John Boon
87 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:27:33
I think tactics and specific strategies will help to improve a team. These points have been sensibly pointed out in many of the posts. However, team plans and tactics are only likely to work if the players are individually talented.

Unfortunately for Everton, and, in Keane's case, England, we just don't have outstanding centre-backs. Keane, Mina and Holgate are all very average. I also don't think Maguire is much better than any of the three mentioned. He certainly hasn't been spectacular for Man Utd or England this season.

As for Pickford, I think he is an excellent keeper in all aspects except for crosses and corners. This is proving to be the main problem for Everton as we are dreadful on set pieces and corners and we will continue to suffer until we improve in these areas.

Justin Doone
88 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:28:45
Pickfords distribution its definitely a tactic for both club and country. He has the skill to do it but it's up to him to decide when to do it.

Full backs stay very wide in order to create space when the opposition push up and close us down quickly. It passes over the pressing players putting them out of the game.

But 2 things need to be done to take advantage:

1) The pass needs to be accurate and quick. Pickfords accuracy needs to improve but high dinked floating balls give time for opposition to close them down.

2) The full-back need support and options to continue forward play.

Too often they take a touch and then play it backwards. This takes away the advantage and leaves defenders having to play the ball out.

It should be obvious floating a ball out to a static player that is being closed down will usually result in lost possession or backwards passing. Both are best avoided.

Tom Bowers
89 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:47:31
Keane is being slagged off and rightly so but quite a few other English players were crap too! I gather he isn't too popular at Goodison either but then who is these days given the poor run of form and a manager with little or no idea how to change things?

Tosun is not the answer to Everton's scoring problems and scoring against very inferior Euro teams is no benchmark. The way Everton are performing at present, they could have Aguero and Kane up-front and still have difficulty scoring.

Mike Gaynes
90 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:50:47
John #71, if I may, many coaches order goal kicks to be directed towards the touchlines if they are not confident their players will win them in the middle, which we now seldom do in the absence of Idrissa Gueye.

A goal kick that fails to be won or misses its target will, as you noted, generally go out for a throw-in. But that's relatively harmless compared to the potential consequences of a lost possession in the center. You've probably noticed that, even if Calvert-Lewin wins the initial header, the opponent is usually able to come away with the ball and immediately counterattack through our middle, which now offers feeble resistance where Gana previously dominated.

I believe that's the explanation for the change you've noted.

Bill Gall
91 Posted 13/10/2019 at 16:07:40
John #83,

Wasn't it Alf Ramsey, after tinkering around with different formations, that changed the old W-formation and came up with a slight variation using the full-backs as extra attackers?

Tony Abrahams
92 Posted 13/10/2019 at 16:13:27
Change from when Mike?
Don Alexander
93 Posted 13/10/2019 at 16:38:19
The issue of our own goal-kicks might just show what a shambles we're truly in. If Mike (#91) is right the kick-it-into-touch attitude is just abject from everyone sponging a living from us at FF.

I've today watched Japan beat Scotland in the Rugby World Cup. It was a superb exhibition of the sport. Japan have spent 240 days preparing for this, each player being paid only 𧴜 per day for the privilege. Their skill levels and fitness are mesmeric. Training and commitment has done that, on top of innate talent. I'd have thought our lot at Finch Farm would aspire to such levels if we really are professional. After all, what else do they have to do there?

Danny O'Neill
94 Posted 13/10/2019 at 17:36:54
Now you are demonstrating your superior knowledge, John! Great insight. I think many of us get wrapped up in formations.

I think what you say and today's modern obsession with formations goes to show that really the game is fluid when you actually play it regardless of formation. American Football probably takes it to extremes in terms of switching offence to defence but I suppose our game is similar. We set up in a certain formation on paper but the reality is we morph and flex during the game depending whether we are attacking or defending

Mike - great call on Croatia; a country with a population the size of Scotland (arguably slightly less). However, because they focus on technical ability & football rather than pace, power, size, "get stuck in-ness" etc, the gulf in class is huge. Again, like Holland, their contribution in terms of players provided is notably different to other so-called superior nations.

To all of you, one of the best discussions I've had and threads I've been involved with on ToffeeWeb... ironically, probably because we're talking football, not Everton!!! Roll on next week when we're back to normal. You can't live without them though right??!!

Mike Gaynes
95 Posted 13/10/2019 at 17:37:21
Last season, Tony #92, our goal kicks went almost entirely down the middle, I believe largely because of Gana's preternatural ability to get to the loose ball first and prevent counters.
Peter Mills
96 Posted 13/10/2019 at 17:50:11
Mike #90, I suspect if there was a quick player a little closer to Calvert-Lewin, let's say Richarlison, that ball down the middle might just prove a little more effective occasionally.

I wonder why that doesn't occur to our manager?

Mike Gaynes
97 Posted 13/10/2019 at 18:03:57
Pete, I stopped wondering some time ago. I just add it to the list of things that don't occur to our manager.
Peter Thistle
98 Posted 13/10/2019 at 18:48:00
The goal came from a typical Pickford hoof up-field, he is absolutely terrible at distribution and this time it cost England the game.
Andy Crooks
99 Posted 13/10/2019 at 18:49:40
Pete, that is so true. Sometimes, as was under Martinez, the coach just does not see. Obviously Silva knows more than any one of us. But, does he know more than all of us?
Tony Abrahams
100 Posted 13/10/2019 at 18:58:45
Exactly Peter, why kick the ball forward, if you don't want to win it! I thought Pickford was kicking the same way last season Mike, although I agree that Gueye was so much better at picking up the second ball, in an area where we never seem to play on the front foot anymore, for whatever reason!

I always think a goalkeeper should kick the ball out of his hands, if he's going to kick it, because it's so much easier for a defender to defend a ball coming from off the floor, rather than one that's swerving around coming out of the sky, if that makes any sense?

Paul Hewitt
101 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:05:37
Don@93. Rugby players ( Union and league) put most footballers to shame.
John McFarlane Snr
102 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:11:58
Hi Danny [94], you had me basking in my own self-glory, until I read the superb posting of John Boon, [87] and it dawned on me that he was the John you were referring to, 'Pride really does cometh before fall'.

Hi John [87], you will [I hope], have read Danny's response to a post that I believe is meant for you, I could still pretend that I was therecipient of such an excellent compliment, but I'm afraid the "George Washington' moment won the day.

Hi Bill [91], I'm not sure whose brainchild? it was to play without wingers, but I suspect that Ian Callaghan, John Connelly, and Terry Paine weren't too pleased. I suspect that it was a foreign manager, but whoever it was he helped changed English football.

Hi Peter [97], I say at every game "Put someone alongside Calvert-Lewin, the pitch is 70 yards wide, and we've as much chance of gaining possession as our opponents, and the goal is always in the middle."

John McFarlane Snr
103 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:17:48
Hi again, Peter, I appear to have relegated you from [96] to [97] let's hope that it's the only relegation you suffer this season!.
Danny O'Neill
104 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:23:10
My comments & referral were definitely meant for you John McFarlane Snr!!

I think sometimes ToffeeWeb and the edits play around with the entries so what we see as number xx can be read as someone else as number yy.

All the best John(s) and to all other fellow Evertonians.

Tony Abrahams
105 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:37:04
Don't want to sound boring Filipe, but I honestly think it's impossible to defend a 2v1 out wide mate, and always think that Germany game I mentioned against the argies, or the game were Man City, destroyed United 5-1 at O/T, are probably the best examples of this.

Silva's Everton, get into some great positions, going into the box from out-wide, but because we don't get enough men surging forward, it very rarely results in us even creating a proper chance, which is absolute sacrilege, and also a contradiction of a system that's trying to get into these areas in the first place? It's a question I'd really love to ask our manager.

Remember Stuart hitting the bar at Wembley and Rideout scoring the winner from the rebound, is not something I'm sure could be possible the way Everton play right now?

Danny O'Neill
106 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:49:40
Out wide or just in general attack Tony; it's what Liverpool and City do to good effect - the overload. Just as we coach and teach defensively to get behind the ball when play breaks down, offensive coaching is about overloading attack v defence with speed. Be that through a direct ball and quick follow up, classic wide play or decisive passing through the middle. The key in either scenario is get the ball forward and have players quickly committing to support the attack. I know I'm preaching to the converted and educated.
Tony Abrahams
107 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:11:14
I'm talking about out wide Danny, but creating a 2v1 situation anywhere is usually what good teams are about?

Barcelona were unbelievable at this, and I honestly think Chelsea would have lost by a few goals at the Nou Camp (Champions League semi-final I think) if John Terry, had not got sent off, and Ashley Cole ended up playing sweeper and gave one of the finest defensive displays I have ever seen, and Chelsea came back from two goals down.

How can 10 men defend better than 11? But because Terry lacked pace, he played deep, and Barca kept getting in behind, which started to stop with Cole's pace allowing Chelsea to suddenly begin to play a higher line.

This is why I think Silva should have started going with Holgate weeks ago, and definitely since Bournemouth scored their third goal so easily and the manager was left sitting down with a cob-on, with the look of disdain on his face.

John McFarlane Snr
108 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:26:46
Hi Danny [104], thank you for your kind remarks.

Like any other contributor to this site, I wouldn't post if I thought I was going to be ridiculed. It is however nice to be praised, if praise is the right word, and I must confess that it makes me feel good.

If you've read recent comments, Danny, you'll be aware that I'm no fan of stats etc. I have no interest in how many passes a player makes unless they are constructive, and my appreciation of football, as basic as it is, serves me well. I believe I know when a player has had a good or poor game; the stats, and formations, do nothing for me.

I understand that stats will play an important part in your footballing life as a coach, and things like false number 9s, diamond formations, expected goals, and heat maps leave me cold – pardon the unintentional pun. Steve Ferns, whom I have met and consider a nice young man, has recently mentioned PPM, whatever that may be...

My philosophy on football is: you try to put the ball into the net at one end of the pitch and keep it out at the other end; and for every winner, there's a loser – a rather simplistic outlook but it gets me through. Once again, thank you for your kind comments.

David Pearl
109 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:47:10
Danny and Mike,

I think Pickford aims towards the sides because there is more chance we retain possession there. Plus it could damage us less when we lose it. Pickford could be a top keeper but mentally l don't think he has it... as proven time and time again.

Vlassic looks okay but no superstar. He's not done much apart from score. But yes Silva did seem to get shut rather quickly... maybe he just wanted to go and it was the only option. He was awful when l watched him and in particular against Leicester first half a couple seasons ago.

We have too many confidence players and not enough that want to grab the game by the balls. Can't wait to see Gbamin settle in properly. Even though he hasnt looked great this season for his couple games Holgate needs to be given a chance. Tosun... well Silva gave all 3 strikers a chance at first but once he went to Calvert-Lewin he has stuck with him. Might've been different under Allardyce. So much more to these players with the right manager. If Silca survives these couple of months it will set us back in the long run. Anyone actually trust the club to find the right manager even if we do make a change?

David Pearl
110 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:53:41
Tony, 108.
Good point there about playing a higher line. He has Schneiderlin playing in the hole there maybe to contemplate. That would allow us to play on the front foot more, and maybe even get some men in the box. Imagine that.
Tony Abrahams
111 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:59:04
I honestly think playing Schniederlin is putting us in a very big hole, David.
Brian Wilkinson
112 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:59:18
You are right about stats, John.

Over the last couple of seasons you see it regular players two feet away from each other, play a short pass, pass back to same player, same pass again resulting in those two players having 4 touches each showing up on their stats.

Andy Crooks
113 Posted 13/10/2019 at 21:19:34
Paul @101, I disagree. I think that rugby players and supporters have indulged in some very shameful stuff. Very shameful stuff indeed. Give me namby pamby footballers and the working class folk who follow the game any time.
John McFarlane Snr
114 Posted 13/10/2019 at 21:27:47
Hi Brian [113] a couple of seasons ago we had 72% of possession against Sunderland away and got beat 3-0, and in the defeats we have suffered this season I believe we have had the lion's share of possession. I think that managers, in general, claim in their after match interviews, "We controlled the game" but possession in your own half doesn't constitute control of the game, in my opinion.
Danny O'Neill
115 Posted 13/10/2019 at 21:34:37
I think you've mistaken me John Mc Snr! We're probably more aligned than you think in our approach to the game.

I'm not a huge fan of statistics either. I just thought it relevant that given this thread originally talked to Michael Keane and the England team, it was interesting to call out possible reasons for the current state of the English team and the different paths they have taken since 1966 in comparison to some of their continental competitors.

My key point here based on the original theme was the deficiencies of Michael Keane and English players in general due to under investment in grass roots.

Neil Rogers
116 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:18:17
Keane in all honestly is a really poor player. Really slow and makes so many mistakes. It was clear that Zouma was the star in the partnership. He's not even good enough to play for Everton, let alone England.
John McFarlane Snr
117 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:22:41
Hi again Danny [116], apologies for wrongly assuming that as a youth coach, you would be part and parcel of the stats generation, I hope that my assumption caused no offence, as there was none intended.

I will nail my colours to the mast, I have no interest in the England team, other than hoping that if any Everton players are involved, they play well and return to the club injury-free.

I watched part of the game, the score was 1-1 when I said to my 'Young Lady' "You can watch Goggle Box if you want," it was in my opinion, a one-sided affair, and I think that Michael Keane has been hung out to dry, of course he had a game to forget but he wasn't alone.

I have stated on other threads on various occasions, that footballers like everyone else are human and prone to make mistakes, it's easy to sit in a TV studio or in the comfort of your home and say, "He should have done this or that".

I'll try to give an example, it's easier to say than write, but I'll do my best. A defender can be what the pundits call, 'Touch tight' and the attacker turns him inside out, the outcome being a goal conceded, the pundit or Joe Bloggs says "He was too close he should have held off." If however the defender had decided to stand off and this resulted in a goal the cry would be "He should have been touch tight." I have jokingly remarked that I have never missed a goal scoring opportunity from my seat in the Park End, when, in reality, in my Sunday League days, I have been guilty of some shockers, I guess that's what's made me more tolerant than some others.

Danny O'Neill
118 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:31:04
No offence, John. and I would caveat an ex-coach these days!

I too have no real interest in the England thing and never have done. Always been Everton for me.

I simply jumped on a thread linked to England based on an Everton player, which to me highlighted similar deficiencies we witness on a weekly basis when playing for his club, which I link back to my point about the problem with grassroots football in England.

John McFarlane Snr
119 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:39:13
Hi Danny [118] if you're in the vicinity and it's convenient for you, I would like to share a drink with you at the next ToffeeWeb get-together. nothing stronger than Diet Coke for me I'm afraid because of my various medical problems, and my age [81].
Danny O'Neill
120 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:42:11
I will gladly buy you a drink on my next pilgrimage to my spiritual home John.

Genuine best wishes & speak soon.

Dick Fearon
121 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:47:19
My interest in coaching really began with Hungary's slaughter of England in the 50s. I played in St Malachy's U14s or as my dear old mam described as the mad Malachites.

Our soccer coach named Dick O'Reilly God bless him devoted much of his unpaid time looking after the team on weekends. Training was non-existent and the sum total of his pre-match instructions were "If you get the chance, kick the ball as hard as you can and take care of that big lad who is their Centre Forward."

Puskas and Co. changed all that but not entirely. After all these years, there are thousands of players, administrators, fans and players who think a bit of the old English biffo is the way to go.

Danny O'Neill
122 Posted 13/10/2019 at 23:00:57
Good point, Dick. Don't get me wrong, I don't discount totally the benefits of what English / British attributes bring to the game. Going back to the original thread, one of my main concerns with Keane is his lack of aggression – something traditionally we brought to the game more so than our continental counterparts.

I just think over the years we've lost our way in terms of being able to balance aggression with technical ability. I hate to say it, but the Germans are probably the best in that sense.

Going back to my point, it starts at grass roots and if your kids are being (un)coached on fields of mud rather than purpose-built facilities, then you fall behind. English football has fallen behind due to lack of investment at grass roots. Other countries have moved on; we haven't, hence we import their players now because they are of a superior standard.

Jack Convery
123 Posted 13/10/2019 at 23:10:02
Keane is average. England are average with 2 very good players in Kane and Sterling.

The last time EFC had a decent central defensive pairing was Jagielka and Distin. Since Distin left, we have struggled in central defence. I have hopes for Mina and I thought Zouma looked okay last season.

I expect my centre-halves to be the hardest and nastiest bastards in the team – Keane is far too nice to be playing centre-half with top 6 pretentions.

Paul Birmingham
124 Posted 13/10/2019 at 23:33:35
Don, spot on and you hit the nail on the head. What's it all about at Finch Farm?

All teams bar the first team do reasonably well and exceed, but transition to the first team from the U23s. It's a different game.

Bring back the Central League, and get some proper purpose into developing top-flight players.

Since its demise, Everton's stature, be it coincidence or not, has plummeted.

I sense only the Gods, past and present, know any answers about the fate and fortune of EFC.

Tom Bowers
125 Posted 13/10/2019 at 23:38:35
Possession stats. mean diddly !
In the end one mistake can cost you the points.
You need to have incisive speedy attacking options so that the one mistake can be academic if you have goals in the bag.
Everton have nothing up front at the moment and look very tentative playing the ball out from the back which makes them vulnerable.
Either we don't have the right players yet or Silva just doesn't have an attacking strategy. Either way I cannot see things improving over the next few games. Silva does not inspire confidence.
Derek Thomas
126 Posted 14/10/2019 at 01:46:59
Back in the day what technical training young players had was taught to themselves...if they were good enough to playing in the street usually with a small ball, dodging kerbs, cracks in pavements, lamp posts, dog turds, bicycles, parked cars and irate neighbours.

We played anywhere, on any piece of open ground, with any number, if you had 3 you had a game. We played SPOT on any wall we could find. We played in parks, school and council playing fields...until the council sold them off - yeah that worked well. We played from breakfast until it was too dark to see - next goals the winner.

We played, usually on a Sunday afternoon when the pubs let out, (players from Everton and the pre rs would even play and no quarter would be asked or given...though you and they would only pick on somebody your own size and skill level) in massive open aged and sized,what the americans call 'pick up games', sometimes 16,17 a side on a flexible sized pitch the size of a cricket oval. With a size/age range of 11 to 50, you learned to run and dodge, when to hold it and when to get rid.

Short version;Those parks, whats left, are deserted now and there's a fair part of your problem.

John McFarlane Snr
127 Posted 14/10/2019 at 11:30:22
Hi Derek [126] 'They were the days', I learned what little skills I possessed, exactly as you describe Our pitches could be as little or as large as we wanted. I lived on Everton road as a boy, and our regular venue was where Spencer Street and Steers Street met. There was a building we called the Quadrant, it swept around in a sort of semi-circle thus enlarging the junction.

The Pudding or Beef moments, and on the occasion when you couldn't find someone to pair up with, you took up the position of 'Jackabo' [Jack o' Both sides,] this allowed you to kick whichever way you wanted, but it did cause a bit of confusion, because someone would pass the ball to you, and you would repay them by scoring against them. I'll end this post as I began it, 'They were the days'.

John Boswell
128 Posted 14/10/2019 at 11:48:17
Ahh, the good old days, yes. Most of my early training was done on my own, in the back lane, running up and down with the ball and passing to a stone wall which did not always pass back to me cleanly given that the stones were irregular. I learned how to control a poor pass and maintain momentum in my dribble.

My father taught me how to take a penalty by offering me half-a-crown if I could hit the garage door that he was defending. Half-a-crown became five bob, became ten bob (a bank note) became a pound, two pound, a fiver and then a save! Time to go in now he said.
A true blue, had to win.

Tony Abrahams
129 Posted 14/10/2019 at 12:52:05
Great thread, I've had conversations about the old central lge on T/W, and quite a few think that the under 23 lge is actually progress Paul@124.

I wouldn't argue against that, I'd have the two leagues run simultaneously, (every fortnight maybe?) and when I look at Moise Kean, I think that this is the best example I can give of the stupidity of doing away with a league, that helped players gain quite a lot of experience?

Matthew Williams
130 Posted 14/10/2019 at 13:12:37
I see Tosun scored again... I always rated him, if only Marco thought the same... sigh.
Matthew Williams
131 Posted 14/10/2019 at 13:23:05
I don't do England games, only watch the Boyo's these days on S4C. Two okay games but they seem to play like we do but with more pace. Then again, I ain't watched us Blues live since the Millwall shame... looks like I ain' t missed much though.
John Boon
132 Posted 14/10/2019 at 15:19:24
Thanks to John McFarlane and all who have concerns about strategies, tactics and team plans. All the plans in the world will not do the following:

1. Make slow players faster.
2. Make dull-thinking players creative.
3. Make erratic players less erractic.
4. Make poor maksmen into world-class scorers.
5. Make Pickford grow another four inches.
6. Make Silva's pre- and post-game comments seem sensible.
7. After games like Burnley, make Evertonians less likely to tear their hair out.

Bill Gall
133 Posted 14/10/2019 at 16:11:56
John #127,

I enjoy reading your comments as being 79 we come from the same era. I was wondering about your Sunday league experience as I ran a team in the Liverpool and District Sunday League from the late sixties to the mid-70s. I was also on the league management committee as Registration Secretary.

Brian Harrison
134 Posted 14/10/2019 at 17:22:03
Tony Abrahams

I think the old Central League was far better than the Under23 league. For a start if you werent picked for the first team you played for the reserves in the Central league. Nowadays you never see a regular first team player ever play for the Under-23 side, maybe because of the age restriction but mostly as most first team players have it in their contracts that they play for the first team and no other team.

Also the Central League had some top players playing, either recovering from injury or recovering from a lack of form. But now, this doesn't happen, so how anyone can say that the Under 23 league is better, I don't know.

This has become a league for youngsters not included in the first team, so obviously they never play against really top-class players but just against lads of their own age.

John McFarlane Snr
135 Posted 14/10/2019 at 18:24:34
Hi Bill [133],

My Sunday League experience didn't start until 1968, a year after I moved to Skelmersdale, a group of us formed a team representing Upholland Labour Club in the summer of 1967. Unfortunately, we were too late to compete in that season, [12 teams had beaten us to the punch]. I was 29 by that time and the lad who we made manager, [in his wisdom?] made me captain, he didn't last the course so I took over the reins and became Secretary/Manager.

The League had been extended to two divisions and to tell the truth we didn't pull up any trees. but they were a great set of lads, we had some hard times in that first season and on occasion we were unable to field a team, the League committee however in an effort to maintain our membership. allowed us to feature guest players and treated our fixtures as friendlies'

In 1971 with a vastly different group of players, we reached a Cup Final losing 3-0 at Skelmersdale United's ground, and finished runners up to the same team in the League. I claim no credit for assembling that team, it was a case of the goalkeeper knowing an outside right, the centre half knowing a centre forward etc.

I then became League Secretary for a couple of seasons, the League had increased to three divisions of 10 teams, but I took on a bit too much responsibility, being also Registration Secretary, referee appointment's secretary, and press officer, reporting on 15 games a week. I relinquished all posts and for a couple of years had no involvement in Sunday football at.

A new housing estate had been developed in Skem and my brother-in-law asked me if I would consider taking over as manager of a club they were about to form, I said I would think about it, half an hour later he returned and asked me if I'd made my mind up as they were holding a meeting that evening, I sat in at the meeting and when it emerged that they had no kit and no money it was a challenge I accepted. I bought a second hand kit from one of the other clubs in the League, set the subs figure they had to pay and eventually got them a headquarters In the Labour club, so it was a reformed Upholland Labour FC.

Like the first experience, good players introduced good players to the club, and we eventually won a Cup, and finished the season as runners up in the League. I never claimed that we were the best team in Skelmersdale, but I did my best to make it the best club.

Later on I managed a works team, and became Chairman of a pub team, unless you've run an amateur team, you won't be able to understand the fact that it's not just a Sunday job, the same problems present themselves. I found myself constantly mulling over team selection whilst at work, it may explain my attitude to Marco Silva and his like, their consolation is that they get well paid, and the amateur manager invariably pays.

Mark Boullé
136 Posted 14/10/2019 at 19:10:36
Surprise surprise, Keane dropped tonight but Maguire of Man Utd, who has been no great shakes either, keeps his place. As does Henderson - seriously, how on earth does he keep on playing for England...?!
Derek Taylor
137 Posted 14/10/2019 at 19:15:55
Nothing to do with Keane but in my early years of my Everton support (probably the season we were relegated ), I seem to recall us losing about a dozen games on the trot. No sacking of manager Britton, he was just told to get us back in Div One soonest if he wanted to keep his job. How our expectations have changed !
Mike Gaynes
138 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:06:40
That's for sure, PT, but Tosun, Erdogan and Can make their living in countries where it's very controversial.
Paul Tran
139 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:19:30
Strikes me that its the kind of boneheaded 'nationalism' that's very much in vogue in England, Mike. Probably a different matter in Germany.

Incidentally that's Barkley just got his second goal of England's three. Already one warning for the Bulgarian crowd's racism

Mike Gaynes
140 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:24:58
That sort of nationalism is in vogue everywhere, Paul, even in places where it was never seen before, like Sweden. But the piece of shit in the White House has been eagerly pouring gas on the fire.

I'm watching Ukraine demolish Cristiano and Portugal, but I guess I'll switch over.

Danny O'Neill
141 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:29:03
Not so sure Paul. There's been a pan-European rise in nationalism across the continent, it just doesn't get reported on too much. Remarkable that the AfD has risen to become the 3rd largest party in the German Bundestag & due to the "Grand Coalition", is technically the largest opposition party. Similarly, Le Pen's party scored similar to Macron in the 1st round of the French elections but their system of the top 2 going to a 2nd vote stopped what would, under ours, be a hung parliament with Le Pen having as much a voice as Macron. And as for Eastern Europe.

Anyway, that's the politics out the way. A stroll in the park for England tonight but this match won't finish. Second stoppage already and not even half time.

Paul Tran
142 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:31:15
Good points all round there, Danny. When/if this game gets called off, do England get the three points or is it replayed?
Danny O'Neill
143 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:45:34
Not sure. You just had me googling!

It just says final step is to abandon. Not sure if that means normal rules apply. Now, it may have changed, but didn't there used to be a time rule? If I recall, called off before 60 minutes = replay. After 60 minutes, result stands. Don't quote me, I could be out of date or inaccurate.

Noticed a load of ultras left; maybe that's got rid of it.

Paul Tran
144 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:47:35
Their captain is talking to people in the crowd, presumably to persuade them to stop the racist chants.
Peter Gorman
145 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:51:14
No politics please, just football.
Paul Tran
146 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:53:06
The game might be abandoned, Peter. I'd argue it is a relevant football and human issue.
Danny O'Neill
147 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:53:32
Mike G started it!! In fact, it was Tosun!!
Darren Hind
148 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:57:02
This is excruciating for all right thinking Bulgarians.

A couple of hundred dick heads are destroying many peoples perception of that country.

Peter Gorman
149 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:59:30
I know Paul, but pretty much every form of social media has been hijacked to spout everyone's political fancies. Can we please not just enjoy somewhere that doesn't?

I would like to think, in any case, that condemning the vile racism we've heard tonight wouldn't even be a political point.

Damn you, now I'm talking about it.

Peter Gorman
150 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:06:33
No Evertonian yet on the pitch in the France/turkey match but we've three on their benches. One to keep an eye on maybe.
Paul Tran
151 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:08:41
Quite right, Peter. England are playing better against an admittedly poor side. Pickford is actually coming for and catching crosses, Barkley has scored twice and sloppily giving the ball away and England have scored four without Kane scoring. yet!
Peter Gorman
152 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:12:14
Are you watching Paul? I'm merely listening in. Aside from his goals, how has Barkley been playing? Curious to know if his play-making has improved.
Danny O'Neill
153 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:16:53
In honesty Peter, it's hard to judge. Such an easy game against poor opposition.

I'm not an avid international football follower or England fan, and don't want to be Mr Negative / spoil the party, but this is one of those games where you really wouldn't want to get carried away.

Training match & have barely had to step out of 2nd gear.

Dan Nulty
154 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:17:51
About time the right thinking people tackled the racist ones. That would put a stop to it.

Tell you what, Mings is miles better than Keane.

Paul Tran
155 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:18:31
The usual curate's egg from Barkley, Peter. Took both his goals well, got knocked over by Sterling when he may have been through on goal. Some maddeningly sloppy passing & decision-making. And now he's going off.
Bill Gall
156 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:20:13
Hi John I guess my involvement as registration secretary was a bit more involved in Liverpool. If memory serves me correct, but doubtful ; we had a premier league 8 divisions and a junior league with either 8 or 10 teams per division. The team I helped start entered the 10th division, and we won 6 titles after that and I believe this is still a record.This was the late 60s and early 70s until we folded up in I think was 1974. Like you I bought a kit, bought the wood and made the goalposts, my wife washed the kit and I ended up as Secretary, Manager and First Aid man.

Talking about Skem you must have lived there when Skem reached the amateur cup final that they drew at Wembly and lost at Man City old ground against Bishop Auckland from up the north east. We had 1 player who played for Skem Norman Whitehead and I remember the chairman of Skem coming to our house asking permission to play him. I think his name was Gregson, he owned Crown Coachways and was a band leader at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton.

The biggest complaint I received as registration secretary was from the local postman as the registration forms at that time were on a piece of cardboard about 8 x 6. so you can imagine the weight.

Danny O'Neill
157 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:20:29
Although I will be contradicting my previous comment about it being difficult to judge given the standard, I agree Dan. Mings has looked very composed and assured.
Peter Gorman
158 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:22:46
Yeah, I'm fairly ambivalent about England too but always want the Everton boys to do well. Thanks for the updates, it sounds like Keane will be fortunate to oust Mings on this showing, albeit against a poor side.
Darren Hind
159 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:24:34
Where's the France - Turkey game on?
Alexander Murphy
160 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:25:18
Tonight Barkley has bagged two.

Despite that, every time he appears on screen all that I see is a lazy half arsed player ambling around like he's in an under 18 kickaround.

Glad we got shut. The next Glen Hoddle or Matt Le Tissier he certainly never will be. If he upped his application 100% every game then maybe. He won't.

Paul Tran
161 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:25:43
Mings has played well tonight. Generally they've looked more cohesive as a team. The early goal killed off a poor Bulgarian team.
Brian Williams
162 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:28:23
Mings has had nowt to do defensively at all. I could look good in defence against this shower tbf.
Danny O'Neill
165 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:35:52
Looks like the hoods being seemingly forced out of the ground just before half time or getting bored of themselves & the Bulgarian captain speaking to more moderate fans may have quelled the earlier issues. I didn't think this one would go the length.
David Pearl
166 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:41:58

I had a feeling they came to make a point and then left of their own volition. They were ultras not football fans. They should be known faces and not be allowed to buy a ticket in the first place.

Tom Bowers
167 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:59:39
These qualifying games are academic as so many teams are not good enough for the English 2nd. division including this woeful Bulgaria team.

Sure England did the business as we expected but the real test is the finals when the cream of the crop get together as they usually do, as in the World cup finals.

Still can't figure why Kyle walker is not favoured by this jerk Southgate.

Hugh Jenkins
168 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:18:17
I see he was dropped tonight in favour of Mings.

Maguire now seems "untouchable" due to his £80 M price tag and the fact he plays for Utd.and Tomori seems to be the "coming man", by all accounts.

Does this mean the end of the line for our man?

He certainly seems to be the favoured scapegoat whenever England have a poor, or unexpectedly poor, performance.

Ed's - can you please stop the "This site uses cookies / I accept" message appearing at three second intervals and every time I click on my mouse or move the mouse?

Mike Doyle
169 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:30:16
An easy win by a Championship-level England side against a Zingari-league Div II level Bulgaria. But that's what international football is like until you reach the last 8 of the finals - at which point England get knocked out by Croatia, Uruguay or some other country with a population the size of Old Swan.

Hugh 170] yes it probably does. Keane's problem ( aside from not being that good) is that he doesn't play for a high profile club. Had he played for Man City, Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea etc he wouldn't have been dropped tonight.
Danny O'Neill
170 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:30:58
More so with the Rugby Tom, but I wonder if now with international football, there is a need for some sort of filter system. As in the lower ranked nations play to qualify to the next stage.

I mean, what's the point in San Marino, Gibraltar, Andorra or the Faroe Islands being thrown into groups with the likes of Spain, France & the likes?

I suppose you could argue qualifiers for the sake of qualifiers, but is that not how the FA Cup works? How many rounds go on behind to scenes so to speak before what we know as the competition real (3rd round) starts?

John McFarlane Snr
171 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:48:27
Hi Bill [158] I moved to Skem in April 1967 the year that they lost the replay 3-0 against Enfield after a 0-0 draw at Wembley, if my memory serves me right Everton played Manchester City in a 1-1 draw at Goodison the same day. Their second Final in 1971, was a 4-1 victory over Dagenham, Ted Dickens 3, and Andy Windsor the goal scorers, in front of a 75,000 crowd. The attendance that day was a record for a game that wasn't an FA Cup Final or an international game. I actually had a drink out of the Cup, because it was taken to every pub or club in the town. I've lived in Skem for over 52 years and I've never seen them play

The chairman you refer to was Bill Gregson, he was as you state, a member of the band that played in the Tower Ballroom, I didn't know that he was the band leader. I'm not sure that he owned Crown Coaches, but I believe he owned The Royal Tiger, a regular haunt of Everton and Liverpool players.

Mike Doyle
172 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:50:07
So what event is most likely to happen?
1] Bulgaria get kicked out of the Euros
2] Britain leave the EU on 31st Oct
3] Silva replaced by Moyes by November
Darren Hind
173 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:53:08
Johnny Mac and Bill Gail.

Wonderful stuff guys. It takes a lot of dedication to run an amateur football team.

I remember being part of new team which was to represent the Corner House at the top of Athol street.. . What a shambles we were. We didnt even asked the managers permission.

The squad was made up of all "our gang". Dont get me wrong, we had some very decent players, but we were boys looking to play in a mans world and we didnt have an administrative brain between us.

Somehow (more by luck than judgement), we arrived for our first game having acquired brand new new balls and a brand new kit (I don't even want to think about where they came from). We even had the pitch and the referee booked correctly. we had registered for the league. what could go wrong ? We were practically professional
When we arrived for the big kick off, somebody asked where the goal post and nets where. . You could hear a pin drop.

Back then teams used to stamp the name of their team on their goal posts and secure them with pad lock and chains.
To our delight, someone managed to free up some goal post (Probably the fella who got us the balls and the kit), and up they went. When our guest complained about lack of nets we explained they'd been stolen by scallys that morning. They were sympathetic and agreed to play without them.. We couldn't wait to get tore into them.

After about 20 minutes, we were 4-0 down. it was quite literally a case of boys against men. These older guys were kicking seven kinds out of us and we were all wishing we were somewhere else.
Things were to get a whole lot worse. We could see a group of very angry, very scary, very hard looking men walking around looking for their goal post. They were checking every pitch. They eventually found them, at either end of ours.

We tried to just kinda creep away, but that wasnt happening. They were not letting it go so easily. They made us take down the goal posts and carry them over to their pitch and put them up. To top it all off, our guest, who had stood dumbfounded by all this, decided to "confiscated" our expensive new balls - by way of compensation...Our humiliation was complete. We never played again.

To this day our record reads. P 1 (nearly), Won 0. drew 0, lost 1. Goals for 0, Goals against 4.

Danny O'Neill
174 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:56:13
Mike, we said no politics, but seeing as you asked, I'll go for 2!

The other options:

1: UEFA like their FIFA masters will bottle it & decide to fine Bulgaria ٠.53 and play their next game with a restricted attendance (yawn).

3: No. Just no.

Rob Dolby
175 Posted 14/10/2019 at 23:00:36
Darren 175 what a great post pardon the pun and funny story.

I ran a kids team for a few years. You would get a great sit com out of the goings on in amateur footy.

Don Alexander
176 Posted 14/10/2019 at 23:20:51
Fantastic story Darren (#175). When I was a lad I for one season only hit the heights as a goalscorer (I think defenders were bewitched by my ability to strike in slo-mo) but in one game, as we got changed against lads at least two years older, one of their's came into our changing room and asked our sprog who was our best player? Gushing, he told him it was me.

The next 90 minutes are embedded in my mind to this day.

I'm sure they'd selected the spawn of Chopper, Norman and Tommy Smith in their defence. I still limp off the memory!

John McFarlane Snr
177 Posted 14/10/2019 at 23:42:12
Hi Darren [175], I don't suppose we looked on it as a burden, and like Bill's 'Young Lady' mine also washed the kit. In the winter months she would soak it in the bath to remove the mud, and on match days she would take it the launderette and put in the dryer, the lads were made up with that arrangement. For the first couple of seasons she received no payment, but on the occasional nights out, [players, wives/girlfriends] she received a fair share of flowers and chocolates, as we became more organised, we were able to give her a few bob.

I shudder to think how much of my own money went into keeping the club afloat, but looking back on it I still consider it to be money well spent. The camaraderie, the "We're all in it together" attitude couldn't be beaten, although the team was (quite often).

I had no tactics, I used to say, "You've told me that you can play football, now go out and show me" and my philosophy was if they score 2 and we score 3 we'll win. The highlight of the day was the after match bottle of Guinness in the pub, where we analysed the game we'd just lost 5-0, by moving glasses, and ashtrays around the table to illustrate where we were going wrong, and the following Sunday we would go out and lose 5-0 again. Happy days.

Dave Abrahams
178 Posted 14/10/2019 at 23:49:38
Darren (175), crackin' story Darren, always had it on my mind that you were from around Scotty ( Scotland Road).

I went to Wembley on a coach from The Leprechaun in 1966, lovely night in there before we set off, there was three fights on the coach before the end of The East Lancs Road, loads of more adventures before we reached London, loads of carrying on there, but it all ended well.

There was about forty eight of us on the coach, five with tickets for the game, after the game all but one honest man said they got in, don't doubt it myself, multiply that on all the coaches which went down to London that weekend and look at the crowd swaying as the match was played, must have been at least five or six thousand jibbers at that game and the same amount of jibbers the year before when Liverpool went down there.

Happy, happy days.

John McFarlane Snr
179 Posted 14/10/2019 at 00:13:10
Hi Dave [180] I travelled down by train in 66, and I'm sure that you'll know the 'fella' I'm going to write about, he was from the Scotland Road, Netherfield Road area, I believe he was known as 'Ginger Parker'. He wandered up and down on the train saying "Can you lend us ten bob?" I can't remember why he needed the money.

I often saw him at the match, with a mate of his, he would climb the steps at the Park End, and he would always say of Goodison, "This is the biggest and best 'Ale House' in the world". I don't see many characters like him at the game these days, he lived for Everton [as so many of us did].

Mike Gaynes
180 Posted 15/10/2019 at 00:30:08
Darren #175, that's a classic. I love stories like that. Thanks.

I'll share one. In high school I was a seldom-used (120 pounds) sub on a highly-rated team that went to play an undefeated school deep in Chicago's South Side ghetto. The crowd was shockingly large, hundreds of fans there to watch their boys dismantle the suburban white kids.

Within a few minutes, however, it was evident there was a gulf in class. We scored two quick goals. Some ugly undercurrents were heard from the stands.

My coach summoned me as a sub... and ordered me to go down injured near the center circle. I obliged. The coach came out to tend me and quietly instructed the other players to take it easy. So we took the foot off the gas.

It was still 2-0 in the final minutes and the anger from the stands was no longer an undercurrent. It was loud. The assistant coach slipped out to direct our bus to behind our bench. And I was summoned again. "Gaynes, go in and play right on this touchline. I'll have Cook pass you the ball. Get tackled and stay down injured. Make it look bad." Uh, OK coach.

Ball, crunch, down I went screaming. The whole team gathered around me. And then we picked up our stuff, went out through the gate, and with 2:38 on the clock (I looked), we got on the bus and went home.

Peter Gorman
181 Posted 14/10/2019 at 00:34:47
Regarding the France-Turkey match, where Tosun got on for a late cameo. The BBC report reads;

"Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante was on the bench for France despite reportedly picking up a muscle injury during the warm-up for Friday's 1-0 win over Iceland.

But fellow Premier League players Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Hugo Lloris and Aymeric Laporte were all missing through injury."

So no mention of Digne or Sidibe being on the bench then? Good old BBC.

David Pearl
182 Posted 15/10/2019 at 01:42:10
Here's a not so funny story. I was 15 and went with a local team from st helens on a minibus 6 hours to play in a trial game against a Torquay Utd junior team. One of our coaches who was a father of another boy in the team heard that my dad was jewish and took my kit off me so l couldnt play. 1985 that was. Although it does explain a bit as to why I have so much pent up anger and stress these days.
Darren Hind
183 Posted 15/10/2019 at 05:01:21
Loved that you referred to each other by your proper surnames Mike.
We seemed to have an aversion to that. It was as if proper names were out of bounds. Anyone called Murphy (half the team) would be called "spud". anyone called smith would be "Smigger". Jones would be called Bagga. Our right back's name was Andrew Hanker. He got murdered from the day he started school - I hope they were kinder to him when his family emigrated to NZ.


I was watching the 66 final a few years back with my lads and one of them kept asking "How many people are in that ground" ? There has to be twice as many as there should be" ?


Ginger Parker lived in a little street called Orry street (just behind Cookson's the jewelers. it linked Athol street and Hopwood street. He lived down the end. Quite literally 20 yards from the Corner House. I cant wait to read your piece about him.. . Hopefully I wont spoil it by giving a quick story about him.

We were on our way to Leeds one time. The driver (Well known for his knowledge of obscure country pubs) took a little detour into this quaint little village. To our utter astonishment. Ginger was there at the bar. He was obviously on his way to the game . .but how did he get there ? That in itself wouldnt have been THAT astonishing (Ginger got everywhere), but he was sober (highly unusual) and his shirt was buttoned up properly and tucked in (unheard of). Clean shaven, dazzling white shirt. He was immaculate. He looked so respectable people were reluctant to say hello in case it wasnt him. He turned around and looked at us with utter disdain and said - "The fuck are you lot looking at. Have you never seen an athlete before ?"

Fanatical Evertonian

Peter Mills
184 Posted 15/10/2019 at 06:28:04
Darren#175, perhaps unwittingly, you have hit upon exactly what our club needs - brand new balls.
Dick Fearon
185 Posted 15/10/2019 at 08:20:30
Have I told you about the time I met Archie Ledbroke and Puskas in the Abbey on Breck Road. It was a pre-night match I can't remember against who.

One of our group returning from the loo said y'know what, there is a bloke in the snug (the old Abbey had a tiny snug in those days)who looks the dead spit of Puskas. Gerraway we all laughed but I had a peep in any case.

Sure enough he was the genuine article and the bloke with him was Archie the Daily Express head sports writer who later was to die in the Munich disaster. I called the rest of the mob and we had a very pleasant chat over a few beers.

40 years on and I again a chat with Ferenc, his Aussie A league team to my little town here in West Oz. When we first, met the weather was freezing and wet this time it was 40°C but the legend was still as friendly and enthusiastic about the game.

Martin Mason
186 Posted 15/10/2019 at 09:45:02
Interesting to see the difference between Southgate and our manager. Southgate makes a mistake and plays an awful 4-5-1 formation with the wrong players. To solve it he changes the system to a wonderful 4-3-3 and changes 5 players.

Our manager plays the same awful system with the wrong players but changes nothing game after game. When I see this I see he is a muppet and needs to be replaced awful though that is.

Stephen Davies
187 Posted 15/10/2019 at 10:17:46
Dick #187
That's a very interesting story.
Shame John Moore's couldn't sign Puskas...he wanted to..and would offer him a position at Littlewoods to.

Eddie Dunn
188 Posted 15/10/2019 at 11:14:07
Martin- quite right. It is the groundhog day situation that drives me mad. There is nothing wrong with mistakes when you show that you learn from them but Silva is as obstinate as Martinez.
Brian Harrison
189 Posted 15/10/2019 at 11:57:06
Bill Gall and John Mcfarlane Snr.

You brought back memories in your posts, I used to run 2 teams one played in the CYMS league on a Saturday and the other in the Kirkby Newtown league of a Sunday not for the faint hearted that league. So I was either at training or league meetings, certainly took up most of my week. We won the CYMS league and the Peter Farrel cup in the Kirkby Newtown league.

I was only 19 and sadly I had to pack in playing because of dodgy knees, when most of the managers were in their 40s. I wrote to both Catterick and Shankly to ask about different formations. Catterick wrote back suggesting I buy Walter Winterbottoms coaching book, I was delighted he took the trouble to write back. Then a few days after Cattericks letter I got one from Shankly who invited me down to Melwood after the first team had finished training. I sadly didnt take Shanks up on his offer I think I was to scared, but I met a number of times after that and he laughed when I told him about his invite. But he really was a special guy, I remember we asked would he present a cheque for a sunshine coach which our local pub was donating, he said of course. He stayed for at least 2 hours just talking football, it was a privilege to listen to him talk. Pat Heard and Joe Mcbride who we knew well also came for the presentation. Joe said whatever you do don't buy me a pint just a glass of lemonade which we did.

After the presentation and about 8 of us sat listening to Shankly, and he turned to Joe as Pat had already left and he said Joe do you ever get pains in the back of your legs after training yes Mr Shankly sometimes I do. Well let me tell you Joe Liverpool players never get pains in their legs after training and do you know why no says Joe well its a secret son only known to Liverpool players. Then at 8.45 Shankly said to Joe well time you got off home to your bed son, and he didnt need to tell Joe twice.

Tony Abrahams
190 Posted 15/10/2019 at 12:38:44
Some great stories here, I'm intrigued to know which team you were part of Bill@158, because winning six titles, (I'm guessing this is continuous promotions?) is some achievement mate.

The Liverpool Sunday lge, has gone from having 12/13 divisions, (another record I believe?) and now I'm not even sure if they have got more than one division left, which is so sad for all the people who used to either play or watch Sunday football.

I remember being a manager and we lost a Lancashire cup quarter-final, and after having an argument with a kid I'd dropped, I got in the changing rooms after the game, and the kit was all over the place, with no-one doing anything to get it into a pile to put it back in the kit-bag.

I never said a word, just watched everyone getting dressed and getting off, and honestly would have poured petrol all over it if I had any available, and thought to myself nobody gives a fuck no more, and this probably explains why such a fantastic league, has eventually gone to the dogs.

Brian@134, I agree with the under23 league mate, but with that many players in each club nowadays, then getting rid of proper competitive reserve team football was a ridiculous move imo, and could have definitely been used to help young foreign kids like Kean, adapt to the rigours of English football?

Dave Abrahams
191 Posted 15/10/2019 at 13:00:28
It looks to me, looking in from the outside that the Sunday league teams are going little by little or even faster, five a side football, on plastic pitches, are getting more popular week by week.

Street football has disappeared completely, football played on computers, in bedrooms, is non stop, and kids are getting fatter and fatter, their legs getting slower and slower, and most of them will suffer arthritic fingers at an early age.

Just the opinion or ramblings of an old man.

Tony Abrahams
192 Posted 15/10/2019 at 13:24:40
Street football Dave, I personally think every professional club, should have a street-pitch, with NO COACHING ALLOWED- in the vicinity!
Bill Gall
193 Posted 15/10/2019 at 13:49:21
Tony# 194 I ran a team called Norgreen as we all came from Norris Green. We started in about 1968 in I think the 8th division and finished in about 1975 in the 1st Division.

Brian #193 Talking about Kirkby. I lived in Cherryfield Crescent for a few years working at Otis Elevators, even had a trial for Kirkby Town when they were starting up, and the trial was on the fields behind Cherryfield Crescent before I moved there.

Tom Bowers
194 Posted 15/10/2019 at 14:16:02
Keane is a solid player on his day but can be shaky at times.
He has a lot of competition for his England place at the moment with Gomes and Mings around but quite honestly I would prefer he not be picked and can concentrate on doing well for Everton much like Pickford.

Southgate seems to immediately select anyone who is mentioned on Sky by any of the many pundits they have but was surprised he didn't sub. Henderson (given the early yellow card) and the fact he could have given a run out to someone else much earlier for experience purposes. Henderson would miss the next match anyway.

Tony Abrahams
195 Posted 15/10/2019 at 14:39:40
I remember the Norgreen club Bill, didn't know they had such a successful football team though mate!

As a matter of a question for all the “knowledgeable old timers” on T/W, I was wondering which side/part of the city has produced the most professional footballers?

I'm sure the England squad that played in South Africa, had Carragher (Bootle), Baines (Kirkby), Gerard (Huyton), and Rooney (Liverpool), which was a fantastic achievement for Merseyside in general, even if England played shite!

Bill Gall
196 Posted 15/10/2019 at 15:05:19
Tony. We had nothing to do with the Norgreen Social Club, we started off with a group of lads that played on the field behind the barracks in Norris Green who wanted to form a team and play in a league. We asked the club would they back us but they refused, we also asked the Broadway Club and they refused, so we went on our own.

John # Thank you for the reply, I don't know were I got Bishop Aukland from, as I went to the replay at Maine road. My surprise was that the young player who played for us, Norman Whitehead played that day, as we had seen him midweek and he couldn't get his shoe on.

Memories are great but I guess the older we get the memories are faded.

Dave Abrahams
197 Posted 15/10/2019 at 15:25:05
Bill (200), I had a drink with Norman Whitehead in The Richmond, off Whitechapel, the other week, he'd a few and a few more, he was a mate of my cousin John Boyle and they played football together, not sure if John played for Norgreen.

I think Norman was only about nineteen when he played in those two amateur cup finals, and I told him that was something to be very proud of, Norman just shrugged, didn't think it was a such a big thing, but he was okay and we had a good talk in which it came across that Norman, like loads of amateur players just loved playing football and most of them wish they still could.

Bill Gall
198 Posted 15/10/2019 at 15:46:36
Dave glad to hear Norman is still going. We got him released from Everton as they would only play him in the junior A team. He turned professional with Rochdale. Anyone who new Norman was aware of his natural talents, but his biggest problems were the booze and women. I don't remember a John Boyle playing for us and Norman left us not long after playing in the Amateur Cup Final with Skem.

Dave if you happen to meet him again tell him I was asking about him. Great young footballer but like many before and after him, wasted the opportunity his talents provided.

Dave Abrahams
199 Posted 15/10/2019 at 15:56:58
Bill (202), if I see him again I will tell him you were asking about him.

I never recognised him to be honest, a mate of mine, another good former amateur, was having a some banter with him and told me who he was,I remembered his name and knew he had been a good footballer, I think he lives over the water, maybe New Brighton, he was lively and enjoyed the banter, gave as good as he got.

Paul Tran
200 Posted 15/10/2019 at 18:51:15
Really enjoying these old stories, thanks everybody. Shows that despite what we say about 'overpaid' players, you really have to apply yourself to make it as a pro.

I also wonder if the lack of a competitive reserve league is severely restricting the competitiveness of British players? No apparent lack of hunger in the South American players.

Mike Gaynes
201 Posted 15/10/2019 at 19:33:55
David #184, that sucks. I'm sorry you have to live with that memory. Try to let go of the rage if you can. It only gives another win to that bastard.

I've encountered anti-Semitism several times in my life, but never on the pitch. One season my friend and I were the only two Jews in an otherwise mostly Latino league... we played together on the backline and called ourselves the Jewish Defense League. But we never faced bigotry issues, at least overtly.

John McFarlane Snr
202 Posted 15/10/2019 at 19:42:02
Hi Bill [202] Norman went to Southport from Skem, and made 7 appearances and 1 substitute appearance, before moving to Rochdale, Rotherham United, Chester, and Grimsby Town. Quite a few other players from that Amateur Cup winning side went on to play League football. The only ones I can recall are, Micky Burns [Blackpool, Newcastle United, and Preston North End], Peter Suddaby [Blackpool, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Wimbledon], and Mickey Bermingham [Wrexham].

I know I have a programme from the 71' Final, given to me by a friend who is no longer with us, I will try to locate it and shed more light on the subject.

Hi Darren [185], I have only one 'Ginger Parker' tale to tell, it was in the 60s [pre 1967] which was the time I moved out to Skelmersdale. Everton were playing a Youth Cup game, I can't remember the opposition, and I don't know whether the event took place in the first or second half of the game, but 'Ginger' ran incessantly from immediately behind the goal, to the Bullens Road corner flag, berating the goalie and any defender within ear-shot.

We must remember that these were 17- & 18-year-old kids, and I'm pretty sure that if it was the first half, they couldn't wait for the half time whistle, following which they only had to face the Gwladys Street 'Nutters. If however, it was the second half, they must have been praying for the floodlights to fail, leading to an abandonment'.

Not only was 'Ginger' vociferous he, was the perfect example of perpetual motion. Although I never knew him he was in my opinion, the most fervent Evertonian I have ever seen my 71 years of following the 'Blues'.

Ray Atherton
203 Posted 15/10/2019 at 19:51:30
john Mac 173#

The Final at Wembley, Skem versus Enfield, April 1967. Everton
did not play at Goodison that Saturday. My local off Brunswick
Road then, a lot of the lads had hired a coach to go down to London. This was an Everton pub, but three of us went to
Bloomfield Rd, Blackpool.

John I remember that game because of Skem playing and
clashing with the Blues. On the Sunday, we said you should
have come with us the Blues beat the Tangerines 1-0.

Mentioning Ginger Parker, one of the best laughs going to
Swindon in 1963. It was a cup tie, we went by Sunniways
on Bevey Bush. The weather was very bad, snow around
the country,Ginger had his shirt open as usual. Coming home
e had the "Charra" in stitches. This was a night game, long
journey through the snowy night. Tony Kay"s debut.

Brian Harrison
204 Posted 15/10/2019 at 20:06:03
John Mcfarlane Snr

The lad who went from Skem to Wrexham was Alan Bermingham not Mickey.
I used to know quite a lot of that Skem team, Colin Bridge who usually played left back and Alan Mansley on the wing. I actually stayed in the same hotel as the team when they were at Wembley, not many got to bed before 4.00am after the final.

John McFarlane Snr
205 Posted 15/10/2019 at 20:38:36
Hi Ray [203] I think you have misread my post [171] I was referring to the replay at Maine Road, which took place on Saturday, 29 April 1967, the day Everton played Manchester City in a 1-1 draw [Alan Ball]

Everton beat Blackpool away 1-0 on Saturday 22 April [Joe Royle] you planted a seed of doubt in my mind Ray, and I was forced to consult my reference books.

Hi Brian [204] I was checking, to establish who had played League football after leaving Skem, and one of the players I thought may have done, was Mickey Worswick, and these 'tired old eyes of mine' played tricks on me. By the way Worswick never played League football.

Martin Mason
206 Posted 16/10/2019 at 18:40:33
Talking about the Internationals it was very good to see Ross Barkley play so well for England and Tom Davies strutting his stuff in midfield in the 5-1 U-21 England win last night. Both have weaknesses but both are far better than much of the dross we pick week in week out. Am I right in saying that TD is very weak in the tackle? He really was good last night though. As Roy Keane said during his criticising diatribe against Ross before the game, "Where is the creativity going to come from tonight when Barkley can't provide it." Too sweet to believe
andy mcguffog
207 Posted 16/10/2019 at 20:11:36
If I remember correctly, Norman Whitehead went to Ranworth Square, and may have been in the same year as Joe Royle. A small school, but in a period of 2 or 3 years, had a goalkeeper who won a League Championship (Kenny Mulhearn, Manchester City) in 1968, one who won it in 1970 (Royle) and the aforementioned Norman Whitehead'visit to Wembley. Steve Coppell was a bit later.
John McFarlane Snr
208 Posted 16/10/2019 at 20:48:15
Hi Andy [207] I've just checked the Premier League and Football League, players' records. They list Joe Royle's date of birth as 8th April 1949, and Norman Whitehead's as 22nd April 1948. That suggests that they weren't in the same 'school year' class, in my schooldays we would quote the teachers name to indicate what class we were in, for example when we reached what is now regarded as year 6, we would simply say that we were in Miss Ward's class, there 'endeth the lesson'.

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