Everton vs Newcastle United

Monday, 20 January, 2020 97comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Gylfi Sigurdsson misses out again with a groin strain

Everton are back in action just three days after travelling to the Capital to face West Ham as Newcastle United come to town.

The Blues had to be content with a point from the London Stadium following a disappointing performance overall by an injury-hit side and Carlo Ancelotti will likely have the same XI from which choose this evening as he did on Saturday.

The Italian revealed at his press conference that neither Richarlison nor Gylfi Sigurdsson will make the match due to minor knee and groin issues while Michael Keane's neck complaint will be assessed late to see if he can be included in the team.

All three players missed the draw with the Hammers and there will be no Alex Iwobi in the squad either as he continues his recovery from a hamstring strain sustained last month.

He is expected to resume full training this week in the hope of being fit to face Watford on 1st February, while Jean-Philippe Gbamin is being brought along conservatively with an individualised training regimen that is only now starting to involve sessions with the first-team as a whole.

Richarlison in particular was missed on Saturday but Ancelotti will be hopeful that his charges can put on a better display in front of their home fans against a team that is also dealing with more than its fair share of injuries.

Jetro Willems and Paul Dummet's seasons are already thought to be over while Dwight Gayle, DeAndre Yedlin, Yoshinori Muto, Jack Colback, Ki Sung-Yeung Javi Manquillo are also ruled out. Andy Carroll, arguably the Magpies' greatest threat in the reverse fixture at the end of last year, is also a significant doubt who has just a 25% chance of starting.

Despite his selection woes, Steve Bruce steered Newcastle to a hard-fought, last-gasp win over Chelsea at St James's Park over the weekend and he has his club sitting on eight points more than they had at this stage last season. The two clubs come into the game level on 29 points, five off Manchester United in fifth place.

If Ancelotti can get more of a tune out of his players than he managed at the London Stadium, the combination of that and home advantage should be enough to see Everton past Newcastle.

The defence, with Yerry Mina and the impressive Mason Holgate in the centre, has been strong so the difference will be in midfield and up front, two areas where the Toffees struggled on Saturday.

With Morgan Schneiderlin out of favour, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph may get a reprieve and another chance to form a partnership in midfield while the fact that the game is at Goodison Park might also see Moise Kean get another start to see if he can finally break his duck.

Bernard might not be so fortunate but Ancelotti might plum for his experience over that of Anthony Gordon and use the youngster off the bench again.

Kick-off: 7:30pm, Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Referee: Simon Hooper
VAR: Anthony Taylor
Last Time: Everton 1 - 1 Newcastle United

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Holgate, Digne, Sidibé, Delph, Davies, Bernard, Kean, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (97)

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John Boon
1 Posted 20/01/2020 at 18:39:43
We may have a significant injury list, but so do Newcastle. We still need to put on a decent showing whoever plays. It will be slow progress until Ancelotti has been able to work some magic. I feel positive about him as a leader in the club.

Unfortunately, when we have five or six injuries,it tends to show that we really do not have a strong squad. I feel that the club is somewhat vague in regards to finances and what to expect in the present January window. A few clubs have already made some positive changes. Can we really afford to buy anyone?

Brian Wilkinson
2 Posted 20/01/2020 at 18:54:25
I would start with Gordon and use Moise Kean from the bench, Bernard in on the left, Sidebe on the right.
Steve Ferns
3 Posted 20/01/2020 at 18:58:08
Brian, what about a 4-4-2 double six:

Calvert-Lewin Kean
Bernard Gordon
Delph Davies
Digne Holgate Mina Sidibe

Bernard and Gordon inside rather than wide, drifting into space and allowing the fullbacks forward and the defensive midfielders providing balance.

Brian Wilkinson
4 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:08:42
Looks good that, Steve. I think I might be tempted to put Coleman in and play Sidibe further forward.

Not seen much to get me excited about Kean yet so I would prefer Calvert-Lewin and Gordon in attack.

Mike Connolly
5 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:09:33
Play the same team as Saturday we'll get beat. Newcastle are a better side than West Ham. I would give Digne a rest, think he is still playing with an injury. Unfortunately there is not a lot he can do with this squad of players.
Kim Vivian
6 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:10:23
What's a double six?
Tony Everan
7 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:11:58
I agree, we looked better with Gordon playing, he will come on for that I think too.

I would go with Steve's team above, but give Baines a run out, rest Digne. It would be good to see Carlo handing the initiative to Kean and benching Walcott for Gordon.

Steve Ferns
8 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:13:12
You have the four midfielders in a square shape rather than a line of four. So 2 central attacking midfielders and 2 defensive midfielders.

Ancelotti has used it. Bernard mostly plays here as he's not hogging the touchline like he was. Walcott not so much. But when Iwobi is fit, he will be in there too.

Conn Prosser
9 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:19:26
As long as Shelvey is not given the space he was given at their place. That means Davies or Delph standing on his toes the entire match. If he's given room to float diagonal balls in behind our right back, we'll be in trouble.

For similar reasons, I don't think we can rely on Sidibé at RB.

Coupled with Pickford's vulnerability against shots from our right side (how many goals has he let in from that angle?), it feels like that is our week spot.

Kim Vivian
10 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:26:56
Ah right - so like a sort of 4-2-2-2 then. I get that. Would Baines be a fit in front of the back 4 do you think? Or is Delph best suited?
Robert Tressell
11 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:28:12
Introducing Gordon is good for me. If he's good then he needs to play and develop. Money can be spent elsewhere.
Ryan Holroyd
12 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:49:28
I wouldn't buy anyone in January and would Save money until the summer. Buying in January doesn't tend to work out. Hopefully Gbamin and Gomes will be back shortly and we've only got 4 games in 6 week's so plenty of time to get injured players back. Let Ancelotti improve the likes of calvert-lewin, Kean, iwobi, Holgate, get gomes and Gbamin back fit. We're not going down and not getting top 4 anyway.
Mike Oates
13 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:57:04
They are coming with a better team than the one we beat 3 weeks ago. They've got Richie, Saint-Maximin and Lascelles all back. So stronger upfront and in defence, not an easy game at all. I think Coleman will have a real test on his hands with Saint-Maximin and Calvert-Lewin won't be able to bully their centre-halves as much.

If you're going to play Gordon, it must be as a No 10 or on the left of a 3 man attack, so a 4-3-3 with Davies, Delph and Schneiderlin !!!!, and front 3 of Kean, Calvert-Lewin and Gordon.

A formation of 4-2-3-1 would be Delph, Schneiderlin as the two, a forward 3 of Bernard, Gordon and Davies with Calvert-Lewin upfront, with Kean losing out.

I think he'll drop Walcott and Bernard after Saturday, but I think Baines should start instead of Digne who's totally lost his way.

Annika Herbert
14 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:09:37
They may have got some players back but they were every bit as bad as we were at the weekend. Even though they won in the end.

Even given our current injury situation, I would expect us to beat the barcodes.

Ernie Baywood
15 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:11:55
Time to give Ellis Simms a go?

He's 19, scoring goals and doesn't look like he's not physically ready.

Can't see us having a better opportunity to find out if he's worth investing more development time in.

Steve Ferns
16 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:13:24
Yes Kim, a 4-2-2-2. Baines failed at centre midfielder When he was young and had legs. He's got no chance now. Dunno how so many can slag off Martinez and yet cling to one of his more barmpot ideas. Baines was never a tough tackler and his passing was better when he had time on the ball. Maybe he could have done it 10 years ago with a lot of time and patience, at the age of 35-36, no chance.

The idea this formation has come back into vogue is the two AMCs start central but can drift wide. So in a 4-2-3-1 who picks them up? The wingers who are forwards? The fullbacks? The defensive midfielders? The DMs are the natural fit but they can lose them as they drift wide and drifting wide can create space for someone like Davies or Gomes to come forwards into. Leaving Delph to look after the opponents AMC.

The reason you need Sidibe and not Coleman is that he needs to get forwards and provide the width. It's not coming from the attacking midfield two they're trying to find space inside and drag players out of position for the fullbacks to run into.

Ancelotti is likely to use this more, but keep switching between a flat 4-4-2, a 4-2-4, a 3-4-3 and a 3-5-2 like he has done already.

It's interesting that he's doing this effectively and Silva said the players couldn't handle tactical flexibility.

Mike Gordon plays often on the right wing, he can occupy any of the positions in the 3 in a 4-2-3-1 as well as the striker. He can play anywhere. I'd try and keep him out of the middle until he finds his feet as it's harder to find space and time in there. That's going to be the hardest thing for him. They always say that they knew you'd get no time on the ball, and to expect it, but they still didn't expect it! The thing with Gordon when he is on form is he finds space and he always looks to have so much time.

I'd play him wide, but not as a winger, for now, until he gets up to speed and then say how it goes. Letting him have freedom to exploit space and to do his thing. He needs to find how he can run at defenders as he's so fast with the ball at his feet and can turn so quickly on the ball. He needs to find the time and space to do this.

Steve Ferns
17 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:15:36
Ernie, now Tosun is gone, he's better than Niasse for me. He's also, just about, the same age as Moise Kean, so why not? He's certainly in a very rich vein of form right now.
Christy Ring
18 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:16:02
I'd like to see Gordon starting, and Beni on the bench, ahead of Schneiderlin, for obvious reasons, in case Delph has another 45min's to forget. He has to play Kean with Calvert-Lewin, especially if the other choice is Niasse.
Tony Twist
19 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:29:07
I don't know what it is about Gordon but he reminds me of Barkley. Gordon should definitely play instead of Walcott. Bernard on the left, Gordon on the right (for now though he looks like a No 10), Schneiderlin on the bench at best and Simms on the bench also.

Coleman, Keane (if fit), Mina, Baines,
Gordon, Davies, Holgate, Bernard,
Kean, Calvert-Lewin.

Ray Robinson
20 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:31:58
The key to our winning tomorrow is opening up a very tight defence in an otherwise very average Newcastle team. Maybe Kean will finally get off the mark? Richarlison will be sorely missed as will Sigurdsson, on this occasion, as he is one of the few players who can score from distance. Time to bring back Bernard as someone who can unpick their defence. It won't be pretty. 1-0 to us will do.
Steve Ferns
21 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:47:40
Their defence isn't very good Ray, it's the sheer numbers they have back. They play a 5-2-3, with Shelvey and Hayden sat right on top of the defence. Joelinton is pretty much isolated up top, but with Almiron and Saint-Maximin wide. Those two are fast, very fast. They work hard and track back. They often get hold of the ball deep and drive right up the pitch and allow the midfield to move up behind them, or go instead direct for goal if they have the opportunity.

Saint-Maximin is one of the best dribblers in the whole of Europe. He came with a reputation he has only increased at Newcastle. He averages 4.2 successful dribbles a match, beaten only by Traore and Zaha. Richarlison is our best forward for dribbles and he only does 1.7.

Our right back is in for a tough game there. But I'd still go with Sidibe and try to pin him right back. He's not one to stand on the halfway line and wait for the ball, he does get pinned back because he tracks back.

Also, the forgotten Everton old boy, Christian Atsu (2014-15), will be on the Newcastle Bench. You'll remember he's also very fast, though he as pretty awful for us and we sent him back on loan to Chelsea.

Dave Williams
22 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:49:26
We need a high tempo and show them and our crowd that we are up for a fight. This demands a young spine as it is the younger players who inject the energy.

Sidibe Mina Keane Baines
Gordon Holgate Davies Bernard
Kean Calvert-Lewin
Bench: Simms, Baningime and Adeniran to come on unless Sidibe has a bad game...

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:58:45
Correct Dave, we also need lots of movement. They will have 7 sat deep behind the ball and we need to drag them out of position and around the pitch, and we need to do so early in transition and not allow them to set position in the "low block" (aka parking the bus).

If you saw the Chelsea game, that's all they did. Sat deep, frustrated Chelsea, denied them space. They waited and waited and then hit them on the break in the last minute.

They come here level on points with us. They have no illusions of finishing high up the table, they just want to stay up. Bruce will be all about the 0-0 draw. They won't even bother attacking. And this is the issue. This is where we have struggled so often this season, and for the first time under Ancelotti we will encounter this situation. Let's see how he handles it.

Ray Robinson
24 Posted 20/01/2020 at 21:00:58
Whether or not they're actually very good or just defend in numbers, Steve, the effect is pretty much the same. They're difficult to break down. In fact Bruce has them playing pretty much the same way as Benitez last season.

We're not very good at prising open massed defences. We either score early on tomorrow or we could see another attritional game like the Sheffield Utd and Norwich ones – and we know how they ended up!

We've got to be more incisive and creative but with our players, I'm not sure how we do it. I'm still convinced we'll grind out a 1-0 but it won't be easy.

Graham Hammond
25 Posted 20/01/2020 at 21:03:03
Despite the injuries, we clearly still have options on both team formation and on team selection. I will be very disappointed if Walcott starts again after his West Ham performance.
Jon Withey
26 Posted 20/01/2020 at 21:27:26
Difficult to see where the goals are going to come from as they'll keep an eye on Calvert-Lewin, maybe Kean and Gordon can come good. It's not like Delph and Davies are likely to score and Bernard isn't prolific either.
Paul Birmingham
27 Posted 20/01/2020 at 21:29:54
Dave @22 I'd go with your starting line up. Delph for me doesn't add much overall and I think Digne has lost his confidence.

A win tomorrow night is a big result and hopefully the team can start building momentum and consistency for Watford on the resurgence and also Palace whom on their day can beat any one.

Then a run of tough games starts again, Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea, and Liverpool.

Carlo will be sussing out his squad and if the players have any desire to be a part of the future, then they need to start showing it, every game, playing for their futures, but on the same basis, many won't be easy to transfer.

Now to beat the Barcodes.

Les Moorcroft
28 Posted 20/01/2020 at 21:39:05
Does anyone know if the game is on TV?
Steve Ferns
29 Posted 20/01/2020 at 22:00:00
It's not Les. Sheff Utd v Man City is match 1, and Chelsea v Arsenal is match 2. Both on BT.
Dick Fearon
31 Posted 20/01/2020 at 22:39:58
In my opinion there's far too much emphasis on football by numbers. 4-2-4, 4-2-2-2 etc and any combination in between.
Football's world wide popularity is ahead of other sports due to its unpredictability and variety of movement. In a split second one touch of the ball can alter the flow of the game.
An attacking mid or striker can find himself making desperate tackles in his own penalty area or a fullback with a goal scoring opportunity.
The RS success is based on a small core of exceptional players and physical fitness of the whole squad. Added to that is simplistic tactics.
Everton's style is more complex and error prone.
I appreciate that when picking the team CA must take into account the various players physical and technical ability's but that is as far as it should go. Which brings me to personal grizzle.
Is it really neccesary to give page after page of instruction to substitutes. One has to assume that since primary school age those subs whould have had intensive coaching in all aspects of the game.

Steve Ferns
32 Posted 20/01/2020 at 22:53:51
Carlo has spoken to the press after the televised interview, as is the norm. He said the following:

"The shape of the team is clear, 4-4-2 without the ball and I think that is the best way to defend. With the ball it changes a little bit. At this moment we are not playing vertical, we are playing a lot of balls back, instead of playing forward, that is how we can improve. We can play more vertically. We want to build up but when you have the possibility to play forward you must play forward. Quick. If you are slow at the back you have less possibility to find space in the opponent's half and that is something we have to improve.

Sometimes when you say to a player that we want possession, they think possession is the target. The target is not possession. The target is always to score goals. Our idea is to do that through possession but we want to score goals. If you see some data more possession sometimes means you have less possibility to score. There are a lot of games where the winning team has less possession."

I hope this clears up the misconception that Ancelotti wants them to fart about with it at the back.

Rob Young
33 Posted 20/01/2020 at 22:58:38
Another bore-fest looming I'm afraid.
Brian Cleveland
34 Posted 20/01/2020 at 23:14:54
Kim (6),a bit late I know but a double six is a domino
Graham Hammond
35 Posted 20/01/2020 at 23:16:39
Then why Steve do you think we are farting about with it at the back? Why also the suicide passes from the back into the Central Midfielders when surrounded by opposition players? Do you think our players are just plain thick or being told to do this?
Jamie Crowley
36 Posted 20/01/2020 at 23:24:12
Kean and DCL have to play a more straightforward game tomorrow.

At least 2-3 times they tried to pull off dummies or little flicks. I appreciate the attempt at creativity, but they need to play a more simple, direct game.

Just receive the damn ball and look for a shot. You're a striker - keep it simple. Leave the Tom-foolery for when you're valued around 70 million plus. Until then receive and shoot, make your runs, and hold it up when it's hoofed to you. That's it. Now go get 'em boys!

Brian Wilkinson
37 Posted 20/01/2020 at 23:25:55
Everton game is on Bein sport hd3 tomorrow.
Jamie Crowley
38 Posted 20/01/2020 at 23:27:12
Graham -

We have toned down, considerably, the farting around at the back, since the Man City game. It's very obvious.

The players are learning (yet!) another new system. It'll take some time.

Carlo isn't a fart around with it kinda dude.

Carl Manning
39 Posted 20/01/2020 at 23:38:07
Tomorrow I think we have to play direct and keep Newcastle under pressure. They seem apt at holding there lines as they've proven against some of the top teams they've taken points from when the games played in front of them. The key tomorrow will be to turn them, use dom for flick ons and get runners around him. It wouldn't be pretty but needs must. We got a foothold against west ham when we bypassed the midfield, I think until our centre midfield options improve, this may be a good way for us to go
Mike Gaynes
40 Posted 20/01/2020 at 23:38:09
For US viewers, the game is online -- NBC Sports Gold at 2:30 Eastern, 11:30 Pacific.

Jamie #36, I blame a lot of that miscommunication between DCL and Kean on the fact that they had played very little together, but there's no question Kean made some mistakes in judgement. I think Carlo will have told them to knock off the dummies and KISS (keep it simple, stupid).

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 20/01/2020 at 23:39:38
Graham, they're scared. Hence the shout by Carlo for them to be braver.

When I was under pressure as a player, playing left back, I'd launch it long. These days the players don't just hoof it down the pitch, they hit a sideways pass with little purpose or zip.

This is something that's been going on for a long time. It's due to the coaching since kids. They all do the pressure passing drills, these tend to reinforce keeping the ball and not keeping the ball with purpose. So under pressure they find a blue shirt but don't try to advance the ball with any real intent. Often taking all the pace off to make sure the pass is not over hit.

Someone like Tom Davies doesn't care what people might think and he handles the pressure and tries the pass anyway. That's why I love the kid. He actually takes responsibility. He has done since he was 17. If he can improve his passing to match his vision, he will be some player.

Mark Andersson
42 Posted 20/01/2020 at 00:06:23
Good on ya Steve Ferns for pointing out Tom Davis there will be a lot of negitive comments about Tom being shite but I like the kid...
Phil Malone Jnr
43 Posted 21/01/2020 at 00:10:49
This will be tricky. I think the only replacement (available), would be sidibe for Walcott. He seems to offer more going forward. I'd stick with Kean regardless of his last performance at risk of changing a shape we're obviously working on to drop him.
Graham Hammond
44 Posted 20/01/2020 at 00:21:05
Steve at 41. Your post as always brings up many points to debate or add to. From my point of view, the movement off the ball when we are in possession is simply not good enough and to me highlights the lack of desire and footballing intelligence amongst this crop of Everton players. The intensity just is not there. With more pace at the back, we could stride out with purpose, that lanky streak of piss at the RS just waltzes through the middle of the park from the back without worry or hesitation. Keane could never do this! Mason has had a really good season thus far and was overall one of our very best players against West Ham but a couple of his early passes into feet to the central midfielders on Saturday were horrible and potential suicide balls. I think our movement is abysmal and behind so much of our underperformance and ultimately poor pass choices.
Graham Hammond
45 Posted 21/01/2020 at 00:34:03
Steve at 41, Mark at 42. I also like Tom Davies! He has many limitations in his game but more importantly, he has attributes the majority of the others in the squad lack. There is a little need for improvement in his passing but I do think it is the improvement and the intensity and the intelligence of the movement of the players in front of him that needs to be addressed and worked on more urgently.
Andrew Keatley
46 Posted 21/01/2020 at 01:29:19
Steve (16) - I don't really see Baines offering us a further option as a central midfielder, but the idea of moving an ageing full-back into that defensive midfield position is precisely because they no longer have the legs to play the energetic role of full-back. The deep-lying defensive midfield role requires positional discipline and the ability to move the ball quickly, not energy and stamina. Martinez cites Lahm when he was suggesting Baines as an option there, although I think Lahm's two-footedness gave him an extra advantage.

As for your appreciation of Tom Davies' bravery, well it cuts both ways. He has repeatedly turned over possession in bad areas, and often by misplacing simple passes - leading to goals and chances for the opposition. Without the quality to execute then bravery can be reckless, and I don't see the vision you talk of - in fact he tends to telegraph a lot of his passes. In terms of players to try to emulate I wonder if Davies should be looking at the Mark Nobles of this world rather than anybody more expansive.

Am also in two minds about Kean starting the game. DCL needs someone up there with him, but I've seen so little that really recommends Kean that it feels counter-intuitive to want him to start.

Bill Gall
47 Posted 21/01/2020 at 03:06:39
Watched Newcastle playing Chelsea and even with their defensive game there was chances for Chelsea to, so Everton have to get a couple of goals to make it safe. Newcastle were the most dangerous on the break. Cant afford to have slow players in the back four.
Alan J Thompson
48 Posted 21/01/2020 at 03:22:38
Yeah, 4-2-2-2 and see if the opposition can guess who we might pass to and I remember when 4.2 dribbles a game were caused by those halftime hot pork pies. Who made a simple game complicated?
Ian Smith
49 Posted 21/01/2020 at 03:27:15
If we can put together a little run starting tonight against Newcastle and win 5 of the next 7 I can see us I n the Europs spots. What are peoples thoughts on this. We have a manager that could win that.
Jay Harris
50 Posted 21/01/2020 at 03:38:13
Our problem is without Siggy and Richy the only person who is scoring is DCL.

Kean although looking the part does not look likely to score. Walcott has lost all sense of the art of scoring. Our main hope is if Mina finally comes good off a corner.

As regards Newcastle they have won their last 3 games (somewhat undeservedly) so are gonna be no mugs.

We need a high energy fast passing game with plenty of movement. Not our particular strength at the moment but with Gordon on one flank and Bernard on the other we should at least be able to create opportunities and as long as that cheating lump called Carroll doesnt play we should be ok in defence with the only worry being St Maxim against Sidibe.

Tight game and if we can keep a clean sheet I see a 1 or 2-0 for us.

Jay Harris
51 Posted 21/01/2020 at 03:49:47
We have the manager but with all the injuries at the moment we don't have the players.

SF did a prediction that I think had us 7th or 8th but personally I think we will be 9th or 10th just based on comparing us to other teams.

Darren Hind
52 Posted 21/01/2020 at 05:46:45
I don't think anyone has said Ancelotti asks his players to fart about at the back Steve,

He has struggled as much as the players with the way the premiership has changed since his last gig at Chelsea.
He DOES want his players to play out from the back. What he hasnt reckoned with is the sheer aggression of the press the top teams over here employ these days. His teams have always played out from the back, but it is now harder to do in the EPL than it has ever been ANYWHERE.

The intensity we see in the press from the EPL's top teams now is very much Mcguinn and Mcguire - it just keeps getting higher - and you have to be able to either play through, or bypass it. In the past Ancelotti would most definitely have tried to play through it,,but now he hasnt got the players to do so. If the Leopard cant change his environment (and He is running out of time this month) He is going to have to changed his spots. You need high quality midfield players to play through the intensity of a press like Liverpools. We dot have them.

We don't have one of those players who finds time, see's the pictures, has a speed of thought which affords him composure to relax. If we had a Perlo (or two) we could do it... but I'm still haunted by the sight of Yerry Mina looking up several times as two young reds closed him down and there was not an option in site. Until or unless CA can bring in sufficient Quality to be able to play through the high press. He may as well go back to front quickly, make the opponents turn around and give our forwards the chance to cause THEM problems.

Tonight will be different. Newcastle are most definitely not City or Liverpool. They are not even Wolves. They will not press. they will sit deep and invite us to break them down.

If we can get in front early and make them come out we should win, but I suspect it will be a long long night. Cushion face will give his troops one basic instruction. Sit tight. stay in the game and see what breaks.

I'll take 1-0 right now

Robert Williams
53 Posted 21/01/2020 at 06:20:06
AJT 48 - 'Who made a simple game complicated?'

Spot on, this simple game has been/is being overly complicated. We now have self appointed gurus on TW who talk of 4-2-2-2, and all other possible formations known to man. We have had in-depth analysis of heat maps, zonal marking and anything else that happens to make a good talking point.

Keep it simple, stupid!!

David Pearl
54 Posted 21/01/2020 at 07:06:10
We had better hope DCL doesn't pick up any knocks or it's going to be a long end to the season. I'd play Walcott next to DCL up top and bring Kean on second half. I'm not sure about Delph and Davies together either, they leave a lot of holes.

I'm going with Darren and his 1-0 prediction. They will sit deep and try to exploit any dead balls they get. So we need to control the ball and our tackling.

Dick Fearon
55 Posted 21/01/2020 at 07:21:25
RW@53, I begged for KISS many times long before Klopp arrived in town and showed the world how to do it.
We had Bobby Brown shoes with his statement that keeping possession was more important than scoring goals. Then we were handicapped with that dutch family who's priority was to get out of Finch Farm and onto a golf course as quickly as possible. I won't comment about Big Sam except to say he did what he was hired for.
Then we had Marco who's plan wasn't really a plan.
Robert I am glad yourself and a growing band of others are also saying that putting the ball into the opposition net as quickly and effectively as possible should be the new mantra.
Laurie Hartley
56 Posted 21/01/2020 at 07:39:18
Tony # 19 - To look at, Anthony Gordon reminds me of Tony Kay. I hope he becomes somewhere near the same player - if he does I will be made up.
Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 21/01/2020 at 07:40:33
Post 44, says everything imo, especially when Graham, talks about the lack of desire and football intelligence in our team. I personally think it's more about desire, and I'm sure it's why the manager has told them to stop being shy, hopefully because he won't be shy in replacing the players who don't want to get on the ball and really play.

It's football, and everyone makes mistakes in football, so isn't it better to make mistakes, whilst trying to be positive?

Christopher Timmins
58 Posted 21/01/2020 at 07:48:51
Two injury hit sides, I would take your hand off for a 1 - 0 if offered it now. Hopefully, the break will allow time for our stars to return.
Jim Bennings
59 Posted 21/01/2020 at 08:05:12
I'll take three points, any way we can get it.

Newcastle under Bruce are very very well organised, the thrashing they got at Old Trafford aside, they rarely get turned over by anyone.

We need to start moving that ball about far quicker and start seeing midfielders commit themselves in and around penalty area, we just never commit enough men in our attacks, that's why we struggle scoring goals.

Dale Rose
60 Posted 21/01/2020 at 08:28:49
Robert Williams #53. Bang on the money. Don't give the ball away and put it in the net. Simple.
Richard Cusworth
61 Posted 21/01/2020 at 08:41:35
Very nervous about this game especially given our lack of options. We aren't great at breaking down a stubborn packed defence and they have some pace on the break. We need Moise Kean to step up big time tonight. I'd be over the moon with any kind of scrappy win... Just have a bad feeling about this one though. No going overboard if it doesn't work out. The squad and Carlo need the break now to get players back and get the method of play locked down better.
Martin Berry
62 Posted 21/01/2020 at 08:53:26
Newcastle are well organised in defense as analysed on MOTD when holding out against a Chelsea battering.
It will take some clever player and taking any chance that comes along, Bernard may well be the key to success.
Derek Taylor
63 Posted 21/01/2020 at 09:10:39
The game will be decided on motivation. Steve Bruce has done a superb job in infusing belief into his squad of limited ability although we are still waiting to see a real affect on our more talented squad from Ancelloti's presence.

We will need the 'Dunc Approach' tonight if we are to maintain a decent run, otherwise it could be a very disappointing mid week.

Derek Knox
64 Posted 21/01/2020 at 09:33:43
Not overly confident ahead of this one, especially after Saturday's mediocre display at WHU, although we did come back from being a goal down, which was encouraging, but they failed to push on from there.

The only saving grace is Newcastle have their own problems too with injuries to key players, not expecting a Classic by any stretch, but Newcastle have certainly improved under Steve Bruce.


Steve Ferns
66 Posted 21/01/2020 at 10:07:57

"What he hasnt reckoned with is the sheer aggression of the press the top teams over here employ these days. His teams have always played out from the back, but it is now harder to do in the EPL than it has ever been ANYWHERE"

Remind me, aren't Liverpool supposedly the best and most aggressive pressers in the Premier League and European Football? Didn't Carlo beat them twice with Napoli recently?

Newcastle won't press, because Joelinton is frequently accused of being "lazy" by Newcastle fans. However, Almiron and Saint-Maximin have made a habit of stealing the ball, or putting pressure on in midfield. Both are very fast. Both are very capable of leading a one man charge on an opposition defence with their pace and dribbling ability. So, we need to be careful not to get caught on the counter.

Who wouldn't take 1-0 before every game? It'd be extremely arrogant of Everton not to. We lost to the three promoted sides, afterall.

Jay, it was 8th. And it wouldn't take much for us to fall to 10th. we're in a tight group that goes right up to 6th.

Robert Williams, no one has appointed themselves a guru. Just because you want to keep it simple doesn't mean others have to. If you don't want to partake in discussion of tactics, statistics or anything else, scroll on. And for the record, I've yet to see any analysis of heatmaps. But if they are an analysis of a "good talking point" then what's your problem? No need for the snide comments all the time.

Tony Everan
67 Posted 21/01/2020 at 10:20:46
Steve Bruce liked scoring from a corner, he will be encouraging Carroll and Lascalles in particular to make the most of set pieces tonight.

They will have watched Diop score from a set piece against us on Saturday and they will see this as still our weakest link.

We need to watch and marshal their danger men from all corners and free kicks or we will pay the price. Lascalles is a menace from them and needs to be 'taken out' and 'fouled' to within an inch of the law to prevent him scoring. Make a note Carlo. No putting Coleman or Bernard on him to mark!

At the other end without Richie, I am looking to Bernard to be the catalyst tonight. Newcastle pack the defence and Bernard can expose them all night if he plays to his best. He has to take responsibility tonight as a senior man who needs to produce the goods.

If Kean starts I want to see more from him, more confidence and I want to see him taking on and committing the static Newcastle defenders. I want to see him on the front foot, not back to goal. Make defenders foul him and risk a penalty if they dare, commit them at every opportunity and they will make mistakes.

Everton 2 Newcastle 0

Steve Ferns
68 Posted 21/01/2020 at 10:39:21
Tony, I think Andy Carroll might be out, he certainly missed the Chelsea game with injury. It was reported as a "knock" so he might be back. I thought he looked quite threatening against us, and he's yet to score, and you know how that always goes for ex-RS like him playing against us.

I hope you're right about Bernard. He's been blowing hot and cold, and hopefully he can switch it on tonight.

As for Kean, if he doesn't play, who does? Niasse? Walcott? Simms? I think Carlo has made it pretty clear he wants to employ two strikers. I'm still hopeful for Kean, tonight's the night.

Colin Malone
69 Posted 21/01/2020 at 11:48:14
Me thinks Carlo has sussed out Gylfi and Walcott. Don't be surprised if you don't see them in a blue shirt again.
Jay Wood

70 Posted 21/01/2020 at 12:35:09
Possibly our best 90 minutes under Carlo to date was the reverse fixture a little over 3 weeks ago.

That day, we comfortably dealt with whatever Newcastle attempted, be it packed defence, high press or lump it high and long. The latter caused us the most discomfort as they played off Andy Carrol. Their equalising goal resulted from a mismatch on the far post between him and Siggy, but for the most part we mopped up his knock downs.

I believe Carrol is unlikely to play tonight, so that takes away the element that most troubled us last time out. Our starting XI will not be vastly different from that day, albeit with two key players missing, Siggy and Richie.

The defence was Sidibe, Kean, Holgate and Baines (who had an excellent game). Midfield and forwards (Carlo went with a very attacking, flexible line up) was Siggy, Davies, Walcott, Kean, Richie and Dom.

Their home record gives the impression that they are good defensively, but actually, on the road, they have the league's joint second most porous defence (with us, I'm sad to say) conceding 22 - two goals a game. Only Villa with 24 away goals are worse.

It's a very quaint and jingoistic notion that Carlo's desire to play out from the back isn't working because the intensity of the high press in the English PL is something he will not have experienced in the 8 years since he left Chelsea.

Whoever thinks that needs to look beyond the Isle of Albion and take the blinkers off. He most certainly would have encountered many a high energy and high pressing team in the various continental leagues and European competitions he has managed in since last washing up on these shores.

The players we have on the books NOW have the ability to pass, receive, control and transition the ball forward quicker than they are. That they don't do it consistently or well enough at the moment is the conundrum Carlo has to resolve.

He described in detail just yesterday what the current failing is and what he wants them to improve on.

In his video interview he also spoke a great truism with great simplicity. In answer to the question how can you improve the team, he said with a laugh:

"Play better football. It's that simple!"

The high press on our midfield and back lines will not be the problem tonight. It will be finding a way to break down, and get in behind and beyond their packed lines. They will come and do a Burnley who came to Goodison not to win, but to steal a result.

Dave Abrahams
71 Posted 21/01/2020 at 12:37:22
I think the difference in the teams tonight could be Richie, Newcastle's Richie will be playing, I think, a better than average midfielder who can put his foot on the ball, take a man on and look for his teammates and find them, better than any current midfielder we will have playing.

Everton's ‘Richie' will not be playing and this will leave us short up front, I think this will be another dull game that could end in a draw but hoping we can pull off a vital win, any way we can until this squad is sorted out.

Mike Corcoran
72 Posted 21/01/2020 at 13:01:05
3 4 2 1 tonight for me
Coleman Mina Holgate
Sid Davies Delph Baines
Bernard Gordon
Brian Harrison
73 Posted 21/01/2020 at 13:01:43
I think Newcastle will play like they have on most of their away trips, they will play 5 at the back and try to hit us on the break, and make the most of dead ball situations. Will we be good enough to break them down, well we have struggled all season when teams come here and shut up shop, and with Richarlison missing the task will be even harder.

I think under our last 3 managers Koeman, Allardyce and Silva we don't look like a team that has many goals in them. Last season the goals mainly came from Richarlison and Sigurdsson, this year its Richarlison again and DCL instead of Sigurdsson. Mind its not difficult to understand why the last 3 managers teams havent scored a lot of goals, its simply if you buy players who havent got great goalscoring records then don't expect them to come here and change that round. We have Walcott, Iwobi, Bernard as front 3 players who just don't score anywhere near enough goals. Then we have Delph, Gomes, Schneiderlin, Davies, who again score very few goals, added to the fact that Sigurdsson this season is having a very poor season.

James Lauwervine
74 Posted 21/01/2020 at 13:22:58
I fancy us tonight, despite our dubious form over the last four games. I'm going for 3-1 with the crowd roaring us on. Under the lights at Goodison is something I remember very fondly but haven't experienced for far too long. I'll be hoping for a decent stream online and cheering the boys on from 200 miles away, with a bottle of vino by my side. Have a good night those of you lucky enough to be there.
Eddie Dunn
75 Posted 21/01/2020 at 14:01:58
Conn Prosser @9 an interesting observation, which must have been picked-up by our opponents, as everything is scrutinised these days. Pickford made a few good saves at West Ham but he has been beaten at his left hand post in recent games. I wonder if any of our stat people could tell us where he does concede most of his goals?
Kris Boner
76 Posted 21/01/2020 at 14:15:00
Don't make me watch all of our goals conceded again. Don't make me do it. Please doctor.
Robert Williams
77 Posted 21/01/2020 at 14:29:39
Oh hello Steve at 66. I seem to have captured your attention, at last.
There is an old saying 'if the cap fits wear it' as simple as that. If on the other hand you believe that the majority of TWs prefer in depth analysis, intricate game plans , hypothetical situations on and off the pitch - in FF, Portugal and wherever boosts your ego, then keep showing your prowess. Others, like myself may be of sterner stuff and watch football/Everton for the 'old' values we hold dear, a bit of blood sweat and tears. If that is too simple an explanation of my 'snide' remarks there is no need for you to comment further - that is if you can stop yourself bursting a gut to put something/anything in writing. Enjoy the match sonny!! KISS.
Robert Williams
78 Posted 21/01/2020 at 14:33:03
Steve F 66 - Forgot to ask, when can we expect your heat map analysis then? You seem to have covered everything else!!
George Cumiskey
79 Posted 21/01/2020 at 14:37:45
Robert Williams well said I agree 100% with you.
John Boon
80 Posted 21/01/2020 at 14:56:51
George79 and Robert 70
Yes,yes yes Football is simplicity defined. Twenty two men or women and a ball. It only becomes complicated when those who want to make it complicated do so. Eventually those twenty two participants become confused and screw up what used to be simple.
Richard Cusworth
81 Posted 21/01/2020 at 15:04:20
Off topic... Quick question. We don't get penalties so probably irrelevant... Assuming Baines doesn't play and we get a Pen... Who takes it tonight?
Jay Harris
82 Posted 21/01/2020 at 15:17:31
Holgate for me.

That lad is as cool as ice.

Bill Gall
83 Posted 21/01/2020 at 15:24:48
John # 80 The modern age has made it complicated when you include a referee and VAR.
Bill Griffiths
84 Posted 21/01/2020 at 15:32:36
Steve(41), Mark(42), Graham(46), I am also a fan on Tom's and hope he progresses and plays many games for us.
What I see as his biggest daily is that he is very lightweight and is easily dispossessed and beaten in tackles. I think he could also do with a bit more aggression in his game.
Saying that I hope he does continue to develop here at Everton.
Darren Hind
85 Posted 21/01/2020 at 15:35:07

You deliberately miss the point. I said Ancelotti will need to change his tactics with this set of players. They are not capable of playing through a press. How many examples do you need ?
Napoli did not beat the shite twice (unless you are scraping the barrel to make your point) they did it once and they did it against a shite side who had played a different game in Italy.

I know your usual play on stats will meet with the approval of your fellow statos, but I like to use facts. Those who understand what they are watching, will have seen him try to play out against a high press twice since he got here. He was embarrassed at the Etihad and he was Humiliated at Mordor.

You do this with all managers Steve. You blind yourself to their shortcomings with explanations and stats which defy the reality of the situation.

Ancelotti will now know he is witnessing the most intensive high press he has seen in his time as manager. Its not a new tactic, but no league in the world has as many teams playing with this intensity. Not today. Not ever. The top teams here have taken it to a new level.
If he was daft. he would continue to try to play past it with this set of players. He isn't. Unlike you and your Brazilian counterpart. He will now know better. At least I'd like to think so.

I cant help laughing when people are spell bound when the manager says "we need to play better. Its that simple".

Still I guess its a step in the right direction after lying on the couch with a wounded soul unable to answer your missus pleas to eat your scran

Daniel A Johnson
86 Posted 21/01/2020 at 16:02:07
Keep posting your insights and stats Steve ferns,

Just because some on here are obviously intimidated by them doesn't mean we all are.

For what its worth Robert Williams, Steve ferns is one of the most dedicated members of toffeweb and regularly posts and contributes to discussions in a fair and honest fashion. If you prefer it old style then keep watching highlights on your black and white Tv whilst checking Ceefax in your 70s track suit.

Conor McCourt
87 Posted 21/01/2020 at 16:14:47
Brian 73- I agree with your analysis the most. How poor we have been playing out from the back or how we played in the reverse fixture are irrelevant tonight.

Their back 3 are actually very tough to break down and their midfield will screen them well. They have two poor full backs who we must get round the back of if we are to win this game.

This will be similar to the Burnley game where we will have plenty of the ball but breaking them down could be difficult. I would play 433 and have Bernard and Davies in the centre with Walcott and Gordon on either flank with Delph screening.

We need intensity early which has so far been missing under Carlo as an early goal could see a comfortable night for us. If not it could be a frustrating draw. Bernard will be key tonight I think for our bit of inspiration.

With regards to Steve Ferns there is room for all points on here. I don't always agree with him but I like TW because I can be challenged by someone with different viewpoints and skill sets. We can all have simple conversations down the pub and Steve particularly brings a lot of great debate to this forum with his work. I much prefer that than 10 posters saying the same thing.

Conor McCourt
88 Posted 21/01/2020 at 17:12:28
Jay 70- don't let those stats fool you into thinking they don't defend well. 12 of those goals came against Lei, Rs and Utd. Their last games excluding Utd were Wolves 1, Burnley 1 and Sheffield 0. They will have their best 3 CBs available tonight.

They play to frustrate and counter and once they concede they have to change game plan and come out and play which exposes them badly.

Simon Smith
89 Posted 21/01/2020 at 17:15:21
Daniel 86,

Great post. Completely agree.

Derek Knox
90 Posted 21/01/2020 at 17:16:15
Conor @ 87, good point there mate, as I have said many a time on here, it sometimes does not appear that we are all supporters of the same side on here.

Just because someone has a different opinion, doesn't, or shouldn't, make them the enemy, or suddenly become a Koppite!

I have never been a statistics aficionado, because I believe they don't represent an overall picture of what has REALLY happened in the game, and prefer my eyes to tell me what I have witnessed.

I tend to skip any posts with stats, but read the content, but I don't take umbrage against those who do, we all get frustrated from time to time, over several different issues, but please just remember we all support Everton.

Jay Wood

91 Posted 21/01/2020 at 17:23:04
Smokes and mirrors and pure fabrication, eh?

Ancelotti will not be changing his tactics from playing out from the back. This set of players has demonstrated both under Carlo and previous managers they are capable of playing through a press.

The problem has been to get them to do so to a consistently proficient level. Carlo has already repeated this in some of his pressers. That is his conundrum to resolve.

In time, the current squad will be upgraded to players better able to replicate what he wants. In the meantime, he will persist with the same with what he's got. He may tweak aspects of playing out from the back and change personnel, but he will not be binning it. Ever.

Again, we know this from his own observations on football. "I have my methods, my ways, and I will not change them."

Carlo most certainly will have met - and dealt with - high energy and high pressing teams in his time in Spain, Germany and Italy.

Anyone believing otherwise displays a colonial Johnny English-like attitude and closed mind to what is actually happening in other leagues around the globe.

Or has he not faced (or managed) the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Roma (to name just a few)?

And Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli has beaten our loveable neighbours twice in the last 15 months, having been paired with them in the group stage of the CL for two consecutive seasons.

Carlo is in the process of uncomplicating and deconstructing Everton's football. Helping them to re-learn (because at this level, players already know them) basic good habits.

That's why he uttered the reported words in yesterday's presser that "We need to play better. It's that simple".

And it is THAT simple, cutting through the hyperbole of invented claims and overloading of tactics and strategies.

Sean Callaghan
92 Posted 21/01/2020 at 17:51:05
Steve (68):

"I think Carol might be out, he certainly missed the Chelsea game with an injury"

Give it a rest with all this so-called information, will you? Some of us just want ignorant bliss and the usual suspects keep ruining it by informing us of stuff.

Darren Hind
93 Posted 21/01/2020 at 18:08:17
Ah the stats

You really are quite an empty vessel Mr Wood. You spout this drivel as if it were fact. only a fool would be fooled.

Carlo has not, as you falsely claim, seen these players demonstrate they can play through a high press. What he has seen, when he has come up against it, are players who are not only not good enough to do it. They know it and often Hide (as spotted by numerous posters)

You claim that Ancelotti has seen a high pressing game from teams (some of whom don't even employ it) but even you are not silly enough to try to argue with the fact that they come near the intensity of the top premier league teams.

You charged in again trying to claim people should not believe the evidence of their own eyes it wont wash. Everyone (else) on here has seen our players struggle against the press everyone (else ) has seen our players hide.

People who study this game will never be fooled by your childish stats or by you throwing names of teams you clearly havent seen much of into the debate. Everyone knows that this moment in time the Europeans are struggling to cope and until they can match or counter this fierce press. They will continue to suffer

Johnnie English mentality ? please, you embarrass yourself. People don't care much for your stats, They prefer facts all day long.

You really do need to Ditch the fanboy magazines. Trade stats for facts. If you look at the record books at last years four European finalist. It may help you understand the difference

Peter Roberts
94 Posted 21/01/2020 at 18:09:18
Probably kibosh it now but Kovacevic was the last player to score against us at home in the league (for Chelsea in Duncs first match in charge). I suspect that we will make the Old Lady a Fortress again and we will sneak it 1-0 or 2-0.
Jay Wood

95 Posted 21/01/2020 at 18:17:30
Titter! No stats where harmed in the making of my previous post. Indeed, they weren't even used.

I'll stick with my own considered opinion rather than submit to your imagined hyperbolic ones, ta very much Darren.

Mike Allison
96 Posted 21/01/2020 at 18:19:21
Well we'll know who to blame then Peter.
Steve Ferns
97 Posted 21/01/2020 at 18:24:01
Not sure if I'm the wounded soul, but it takes a lot more than that to put me off my scran!

By the way, feels very early to be inside the ground now, but it's only an hour to kick off.

Darren Hind
98 Posted 21/01/2020 at 18:24:29
Enjoy the game Jay And you Steve
Steve Shave
99 Posted 21/01/2020 at 18:28:53
Steve: Agree with many of the sentiments on this thread, keep up the good work bud! Your posts are always interesting, you are a staunch contributor to the site and to your credit I have not once seen you bite back at the often unnecessary criticism pointed towards you on here.

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