Ancelotti: Europe is the target

Sunday, 9 February, 2020 200comments  |  Jump to last

Carlo Ancelotti says that his Everton side have now elevated themselves to a position where talk of European qualification is realistic.

The Blues won their sixth match in 11 since Marco Silva was dismissed in early December, moving from 18th place to seventh in the Premier League table for the time being where they sit three points off Sheffield United in fifth.

“That (Europe) is the target,” the Italian said after Everton's 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. “Since I arrived, the team has done a fantastic job. Now, we have a possibility to think about Europe.”

Ancelotti admitted that his men didn't play as well as they could against Palace in what he described as a “difficult” contest but paid tribute to Richarlison for a match-winning intervention when he raced away to restore the Blues' lead at 2-1.

“The best thing today was the result,” he said. “The performance was not so good. It was a difficult game… a lot of interruptions in the game, a lot of throw-ins [and] we were not able to keep our intensity in the game.

“But at the worst moment for us, Richarlison did a fantastic counter-attack and we won for this reason.

“It was a great victory for the fact that it's before the winter break. I think for us it's important to have a break and to prepare [for] the next games.”

Ancelotti was asked to reflect on the striking partnership between Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin who both scored on the day and are pushing each other each week to finish as Everton's top scorer this season.

“It's working well,” he agreed. “We know they have this kind of quality, that Richarlison is a fantastic player on the counter-attack and he uses that situation really well.

“Dominic flicked the ball [on] and Richarlison's counter-attack was absolutely outstanding.”

The manager also had praise for Theo Walcott, the match-winner at Watford the weekend before last and the provider of the cross from which Bernard volleyed the Toffees in front against Palace in the 18th minute.

Walcott was forced off just six minutes later with an injury but Ancelotti says that he winger has unique qualities among the squad.

“Honestly, in the squad there is no player that can replace the skills and ability of Walcott. At times in that position we have used Sidibé who has done well but he has more defensive qualities compared to Walcott.

“I hope that it will not be a serious injury but we have to see tomorrow.”

Ancelotti laughed off the incident involving Sidibé where the Frenchman failed to realise that he was standing on the touchline ready to come on for Walcott wearing only one sock.

"It's a new experience for me,” he smiled after ruefully shaking his head.”


Reader Comments (200)

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Dan Nulty
1 Posted 10/02/2020 at 07:46:28
I don't believe him but he has obviously recognised to get the best out of Theo you need to blow smoke up his arse, even if you don't mean it.
Fran Mitchell
2 Posted 10/02/2020 at 09:14:19
Since converting to 4-4-2 and with Walcott playing as an out and out winger, Carlo is right in that we have no one else, and credit to him, he is doing well (although he remains a frustrating player). There is a reason right wing is a priority, as it seems 4-4-2 is the way to go - getting the best out of out players, and most certainly Rich and DCL are turning into one of the leagues most potent strike forces.

If we can qualify for Europe, that would be huge. European football with the Don as manager.

Things are lookn' up

Liam Reilly
3 Posted 10/02/2020 at 09:39:49
Refreshing to hear a Manager say that the Target is The Europa League; regardless of the next run of fixtures.

European Football with Ancelotti in charge would be a big attraction for some top talent.

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 10/02/2020 at 10:46:09
Anyone who turns their nose up at Europa League football is talking nonsense.

The Europa League is great for blooding in some young players and mixed with three or four senior men that should be enough to get past a group.

This football club needs European football to get itself back on the map and with Carlo Ancelotti now at the helm it would be a big selling point to getting better players here.

We all crave the Champions League but I'll not turn my nose up at the Europa, it's a clear sign of progression from last season's 8th place finish also, isn't that what we all want?

Brian Harrison
5 Posted 10/02/2020 at 11:06:20
Well I don't know if we will get a Europa league qualification spot but its just nice to be in the mix competing for a place, as if anybody had suggested this in December they would have been laughed at.

Duncan and Carlo have turned the results around and they deserve all the credit for turning a possible relegation battle into a Europa league place. Carlo has said that some of the performances need to improve but he is delighted with the attitude of the players. I also think he has given Duncan a lot more responsibility than our previous managers, which seems to be having an effect. But the majority of the praise must go to Carlo, and with his track record it should come as no surprise. You never hear him taking any credit for the upturn instead heaping praise on what Duncan did and the players. We hear little snippets from the players which fill you with confidence that at long last we have the right man at the helm. Carlo telling Walcott its OK to score goals which he did at the game after those comments and had a big hand in the opener on Saturday. Walcott said it made him laugh and relaxed him, so some managers may have called him into the office and said I need more goals but Carlo much more subtle than that and got the desired result without a lecture.

I still have to pinch myself that Ancelotti is the Everton manager, and it seems to have upset a lot of non Evertonians, which lets you know we have made the right appointment. I heard one of the pundits on talksport saying Arsenal should have got Ancelotti and Everton should have got Arteta. I know many said after we appointed him he was only here to top up his pension, but first he isn't that desperate for money and if he was there were richer pickings than coming to Everton. He could easily have gone to China and earned 3 times what we are paying him. But he said recently Everton reminds him of the time he went to AC Milan an under performing team and turned them into European Champions. Now it would be a massive ask to expect him to do that here, but you know given the funds I actually think he could have us at least have us in Europe on a consistent basis.

Brent Stephens
6 Posted 10/02/2020 at 11:40:21
The Guardian's "team of the weekend" includes no fewer than 5 Everton players : Mina, Digne, Scheids, DCL and Richie!

OK, there were only three games played at the weekend. You miserable buggers.

Brian Harrison
7 Posted 10/02/2020 at 11:49:48
Brent 6

No Coleman in the Guardians team of the week, I thought he was excellent and Zaha hardly had any impact on the game at all which is most unusual. Who did they have a right back in their team.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 10/02/2020 at 12:01:12
Brian, Chris Basham was the RB in the team of the week. He must have had a stormer, given Coleman's shackling of Zaha.
Ajay Gopal
9 Posted 10/02/2020 at 12:07:37
Gomes hopefully will be back against Arsenal. Delph is back, and for all the criticism he gets here, I think he will do well with better technical players around him - for example, Gomes, a resurgent Schneiderlin, Siggy if he can also rediscover his form, Gbamin when he returns, maybe Beni if he is given an opportunity by Carlo.

It will be interesting to see who Carlo picks as his midfield 4 in the next game - Bernard did not have a great game in spite of his fabulous goal, and I think he needs to toughen up and also refs need to give him more protection, like they give David Silva and used to give Coutinho.

Ancellotti needs to pick 4 from:

Bernard, Walcott, Delph, Siggy, Schneiderlin, Gomes, Davies with Gordon and Beni on the periphery and Gbamin still to come in.

Andrew Merrick
10 Posted 10/02/2020 at 12:46:22
Ajay, I think you are right about delph, at city he had options for the next pass, city players are trained to use spaces and make themselves available. Bernard has been most effective finding little direct runs more centrally, and less so when he's out wide. Carlo is still trying options and asking questions of his players, interesting to watch, and now it seems surprising that other managers didn't do this
Carl Manning
11 Posted 10/02/2020 at 12:53:27
Gomes will be the number 1 midfielder, he will really come alive under Carlo, Carlo played In a very similar way to him.

For me there was no doubt Carlo would excel with us. I understood the trepidation Of many about him only being known for managing superstars, but this is a man who has always said, and I quote “ give me good players and I will make them world class”. That shows he knows how good he is. His man management looks second to none, and he has come to us and been hands on on the training pitch! Some of us were expecting some top class coaches to be pulled in, but it seems Carlo really wanted to take the reigns fully, which shows to me he is here and fully invested. I think we may well be the project he falls most in love with.

There's no doubt he will be backed in the summer. He will be calling the shots at our club now, and the start he's made with no change in playing personnel will only have increased his hand and standing with Moshiri.

Europa league would be an outstanding achievement for he and big Dunc, none of the teams we face in our next four games will be looking forward to it! Some of them have euro games in between also!

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 10/02/2020 at 13:04:16
Carl (11), when Gomes is good he is very good, but it seems to me that is one good game in every three, I hope André is fully match fit when he returns, maybe he will come back gradually with some minutes off the bench, and when he proves his fitness if Ancelotti can get to perform more consistently then that will fill one of the central midfield places alongside Delph and Schneiderlin in his present better form.
Carl Manning
14 Posted 10/02/2020 at 13:24:46
Dave I fully agree with what you say. My belief is that he is coming back into a superior team interms of the coaching and the way it's being set up which should allow him to fully flourish. This may not go down well with many, but I think a fully fit Andre and inform Schneiderlin would be a great partnership to get us through the rest of the season.

I think the issue with Andre may be that he is too desperate to play, the euros are coming and he will want to go as Portugal may have a great tournament. It may be hard to reign him in.

Michael Lynch
16 Posted 10/02/2020 at 14:22:03
By the sound of it, Richarlison will miss any Europa qualifiers, should we do the unthinkable (based on our performances) and qualify, and the start of the new season as Brazil have qualified for the Olympics, with the footy due to run right up to August 8th, the day of the opening games of 2020/21.

He'll be knackered too.

Peter Roberts
17 Posted 10/02/2020 at 18:59:23
Just a thought on our next 4 games: last season we picked up 7 points from 12, so well be hard pressed to better that:

Arsenal (a): lost 0-2 but given our form and their indifference under Arteta I'd back us to get a point
Utd (h): won 4-0, again I'd fancy us to turn them over on our patch, form is good and they blow hot and cold
Chelsea (a): drew 0-0 but they are also indifferent, I'd probably back another draw
Liverpool (h): drew 0-0 but unfortunately I cant see anything other than a win for them, the football gods appear to be conspiring with them this year, so I'd say a loss with an outside hope for a draw.

So were talking realistically 5-6 points unless Carlo can do something nobody since Joe Royle has done and win at Arsenal.

Jerome Shields
18 Posted 10/02/2020 at 20:10:37
Denis Richardson
19 Posted 10/02/2020 at 21:26:19
Cliche it is but one game at a time. Amazing to think we were in the relegation zone beginning of December. Had Ancelotti been manager from season start, god knows where we'd be now.

Tough run of games coming but I back us to get at least 6-7 points to keep in the hunt. Hopefully we can start with 3 points against Arsenal after the players have had a good rest and with Gomes back.

What a truly odd season. Can't remember another like it, especially as so many of the 'big' sides have fallen far short of expectations. Still find myself doing a double take when I see Arsenal sitting 10th and Man Utd 8th 25 games in.

Sheffield Utd 5th??

Dennis Stevens
20 Posted 10/02/2020 at 21:32:27
Indeed, Denis. What if we'd nabbed him from under Napoli's noses instead of appointing Silva? Better still, if he could have been appointed instead of Koeman!
Neil Bowman
21 Posted 10/02/2020 at 21:46:48
Arsenal and Man Utd are the big games for me as they're relative 6 pointers and first games out the bag. If we get to the derby having taken 7 from 9 then that should put it up em - as they say...
Hugh Jenkins
22 Posted 11/02/2020 at 08:40:00
Dennis (20) - Better late than never, as the old saying goes - LOL.
Derek Knox
23 Posted 11/02/2020 at 12:20:00
Dennis and Hugh, IF I didn't have a wooden leg, I'd probably have been a better dancer than Fred Astaire. 😋
Michael Coffey
25 Posted 11/02/2020 at 14:49:29
nice article in La Gazzetta today on Ancelotti's impact at Everton. Under the headline "The return of King Carlo", it talks about how comfortable he feels at the club and the city (including painting a rather rosy picture of the beach at Crosby) and how he has injected common sense and reduced tension in the dressing room.

Also pays tribute to Duncan's impact and the rapport he has with Carlo. Apparently they're spending the winter break together in Verbier!

Dennis Stevens
27 Posted 11/02/2020 at 16:08:11
Absotively, Hugh!

No, Derek. If Fred Astaire had a wooden leg you might be a better dancer than him, perhaps.

Jay Harris
28 Posted 11/02/2020 at 16:14:07
I think those pinning great hopes on Gomes return are forgetting how slow he is on the ball and how he gets caught in possession and gives silly needless fouls away.

Yes he is very skillful but after that injury I would expect him to be slower and more cautious in his tackling.

Brian Harrison
29 Posted 11/02/2020 at 16:36:23
Michael 25

Thanks for the update from La Gazzetta, I guess you either speak Italian or got it translated. What made you see this article or is La Gazzetta something you normally look at.

Well great to hear their impressions of how well Carlo is settling into both Everton and the City. I cant think of the last Everton manager who strolled through the City centre, mind when you have won what he has won who could possibly give you any stick. Also great to hear that he and Duncan are spending time together on the winter break. I think they make a formidable duo. Duncans enthusiasm and Carlos footballing brain. I read Stan Collymore today saying he had made a mistake and that Ancelotti was the perfect fit for Everton, I think over the years many more will have to eat humble pie regarding his appointment.

Darren Hind
30 Posted 11/02/2020 at 17:15:03
As predicted by many on TW in pre season. We're better off (three points )than we were this time last year.
We a breathing right down the necks of those chasing Europa qualification and we are a mere five points off a CL place. This is where we are now.

Qualification for Champions league would undoubtedly be seen as a huge success for Ancelotti, but what about Qualification for the Europa league ?. Would that be deemed a success ? and if qualification is deemed success, would non- qualification be seen as Failure ?

This where the lines always become blared for this club

Jerome Shields
31 Posted 11/02/2020 at 17:19:16
Gomes will take a while to settle in and he has to get use to what Ancelotti expects of him. If he is too slow or gets caught in possession he will find himself not selected.
Mike Connolly
32 Posted 11/02/2020 at 17:44:35
Brain 29
I love to see Charlie Nicholas eat humble pie and all them sky six pundits. especially the one who said Moyes would be a good fit for us. They must hate us as much as they do Pickford. COYB
Conor McCourt
33 Posted 11/02/2020 at 18:06:44
Peter @17,

I like you would definitely take a point at Arsenal, for us to win we would need our best performance of the season in my opinion.

I have watched a lot of them under Arteta and although the table doesn't show it, they have improved enormously. He has been stealing as much from the Moyes copybook as of Guardiola as they looked calamitous at the back previously.

They have played four home games under him winning two (1 in the cup), drawing one and losing one. In every game I have watched they have been the better team except for the cup game against Leeds. They will have Aubemayang back which will really help them as Lacazettes poor form this season has cost them points.

As you say we don't do well there historically and they will be a big test to see where we are at in terms of our ambitions for this season.

Mark Guglielmo
34 Posted 11/02/2020 at 21:32:05
Darren 30 - I've (over)analyzed our "competitors" for Europe from here on in, and honestly even 7th won't be that easy, assuming an already Europe-qualified squad wins both the Carabao Cup (highly likely) and the FA Cup (still too early to tell). Nearly every other team between 5th and 9th right now has a substantially easier final 12 games than we do, so we'd have to outperform by a good bit.

That being said, we play all of them, making them 6-point swing matches. We beat Arsenal, and then Man Utd, and maybe pull a draw at Chelsea? Well then, it is on!

To answer your question, though, nothing will be considered a failure for me. Making Europe will be gravy. Tasty gravy, but gravy nonetheless. You only need to travel back to December to see just how many times "relegation" was thrown around as if it was going to happen.

Jamie Sweet
35 Posted 12/02/2020 at 01:31:53
Whatever you think of Walcott, that piece of skill, burst of pace, and cross into the box were absolutely sublime. Patrick van Aanholt is still wondering where he went!

If Carlo can get him producing this sort of moment on a more regular basis, add to that the goals that he now knows he's allowed to score, and we may yet find reason to start appreciating him a little more.

And for what it's worth, I'd love to see us in Europe with Carlo at the helm. Win our next three (against three stuttering big boys so why not), and we might just be aiming higher than the Europa League!

Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 12/02/2020 at 04:46:29
I would consider the Europa League a success. But given our depth issues, I'm not sure I'd want that success this summer.
Mark Andersson
38 Posted 12/02/2020 at 05:18:10
Not like you, Mike (37), to be cautious... I think Carlo will do us proud in the Europa League and still progress in the Premier League next season. All our young players seem to be thriving under the new management team and they still have a fair few games left this season to carry on their good form.

We don't know who Carlo might be looking at with regards summer signings. Does anyone know what Carlo's track record is bringing in new players??

It's fair to say he's done a good job since arriving. Let's hope the players don't go into holiday mode in the last six weeks coz they are playing for their futures and a possible stab at Europe.

John Pierce
39 Posted 12/02/2020 at 06:59:34
For me Europe has and will always be a bare minimum for an acceptable season at Everton. It's a necessity. Qualifying implies a high league finish and the competition itself carries good money. Both elements we need to help our turnover. The club deffo need it.

Ancelotti's got to expect to be in Europe, of his 25 seasons as a coach 21 carried European qualification. If we don't what is he exactly here for, certainly not mid table mediocrity. Ancelotti deffo needs it.

As for those who might want to swerve it and build up more gradual like, well, we may never get another chance and you simply cannot timetable such a thing. We deffo need it.

Paul Tran
40 Posted 12/02/2020 at 07:36:19
Like John, I see European qualification as a minimum every season. After our poor start, we might just do it.

I'm not a believer in waiting until everything is absolutely 'in place' before progression. Sometimes you just have to go for it. I'm not convinced of this 'too many games' Europa League argument. I'd argue that the teams that struggle have stretched themselves to qualify and then found it difficult to follow it up.

At least we now have a manager who knows what he's doing. And, I hope, a manager whose ambition won't be brushed aside by a hesitant board.

Sam Hoare
41 Posted 12/02/2020 at 08:13:04
I love being in Europe. Selfishly I always just want more Everton games!

But it will be a big ask. We have a very tricky run of games coming up and though the performances have been a little better I'd say we've got lucky a few times and we'll have to raise our game to get more than a handful of points over the next 4.

Our midfield is still very ponderous and slow and I don't expect Gomes to help that, he's was very average this season before his injury.

Time to really show your talent Carlo. 7 or 8 points from the next 4 would be lovely please!

Brian Williams
42 Posted 12/02/2020 at 08:49:34
I agree with Mike @37. I think there's still an awful lot to do to turn us into a team that could handle the extra games the Europa League would throw at us (or win enough of them). I'd much rather have a free summer this year, get the recruitment right and bring in the players we undoubtedly need, have an "undisturbed" pre-season and then go for it next season.

I just think we're nowhere near good enough yet and my fear is a poor run in the Europa League could derail the best-laid plans and disrupt rather then help. Personally, I'm prepared to wait and strengthen during the summer. I just don't feel we're ready or indeed good enough, to be honest. Just my opinion.

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 12/02/2020 at 09:35:40
I agree with Mike (37) and Brian (42), we just, at the moment, haven't got the squad to compete with any degree of winning the competition, so I'd swerve it for now and have a real good go next season at getting into the top four in the Premier League, aiming to get into the money-making European Champions League, which can be possible with two or three good signings in the summer.

I realise plenty of Evertonians love Europe and the chance for them to travel to different places to watch the Blues, so I understand why they would want to us to go for the Europa League next season. I'd say to them, save your money next season and wait for the possible big one the season after next.

Paul Ward
44 Posted 12/02/2020 at 09:38:17
100% agreement with Brian #42 and Mike #37.

We have been here before: short off-season break, some internationals back late and maybe half a squad. We lose a game or two, our confidence drops, we lose focus in the league and don't recover. Then we have to start all over again.

We are also likely to be without Richarlison playing for Brazil.

Rob Dolby
45 Posted 12/02/2020 at 09:47:40
Jay @28. What your describing there is the best midfielder at the club by a country mile.

How would you rate the others that we have?

I can't believe we are in this position only a couple of months from being in the bottom 3. Europa League may be a pain but it will help us attract players and is a natural stepping stone if we are to progress.

Kevin Day
46 Posted 12/02/2020 at 11:19:42
I'm being bold here, but maybe Carlo is eyeing the Champions League spots, he's not mentioned which European competition, just “Europe”.

Who would've believed we would be talking about Europe at all 3 months ago? Who would've thought Carlo Ancellotti would be our manger 3 months ago?

So why can't we get 4th?

Jay Wood

47 Posted 12/02/2020 at 11:39:01
As I've always lobbied for, and as others in this thread have stated, European qualification should be a bare minimum for Everton every season.

I also agree with those who say you cannot cherry pick your opportunities as to when you qualify for Europe. First claim the spot then prepare accordingly.

Only qualifying for Europe when some imaginary 'perfect scenario' is in place at Everton as some suggest is:

1) no guarantee of striking a happy balance between domestic and European success that season

2) allows time to pass us by, with each season of no European qualification further disadvantaging us against our peers

Very recently in one of his pressers, Carlo clearly indicates he expects Everton to be in Europe every season. When asked about finally having some breathing space to prepare the team after his baptism of the hectic Christmas-New Year congested fixtures, he replied he is used to playing every 3 or 4 days and in fact prefers it.

I would prefer it too. It's one indicator of being a progressively successful football club.

Daniel A Johnson
48 Posted 12/02/2020 at 11:51:55
I wish Ancelotti had our easy opening round of fixtures we could be up there with Leicester and Chelsea if he was in charge.

This season was a golden opportunity squandered yet again to get in the top 4.

Silva really fucked up, didn't he???

Mike Gaynes
49 Posted 12/02/2020 at 12:13:01
Daniel A., if he hadn't, he'd still be the manager.

And we wouldn't have Carlo.

No complaints here.

Brian Harrison
50 Posted 12/02/2020 at 12:19:58
Well first I am delighted that between Duncan and Carlo it seems they have steered us clear of relegation, which looked a distinct possibility in early December. I think next season may be a tricky season for many clubs with some players being required by their countries for the Olympics and a few months later some players will be away at the AFCON.

I think apart from Niasse we don't have any other player who could possibly be in the AFCON but not sure how many will be called up for the Olympics, probably Richarlison for one. So maybe not qualifying for a Europa League spot this year might not be too bad. I think we should always have aspirations of competing for a Champions League place or a Europa spot.

But there seems to be more and more teams competing for those places than I can remember for a long while. Now maybe Sheffield might not have such a good season next year but that still leaves Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester, Wolves and Everton competing for European places.

Stephen Brown
53 Posted 12/02/2020 at 12:57:29
I just read article on the official site about what Carlo has said about the club, city etc.

He gets it!!!!

Darren Hind
54 Posted 12/02/2020 at 18:26:00
I can't believe people are offering our position in the table in December as some sort of lame-arsed excuse for not overhauling the teams immediately above us. We are breathing down their necks NOW!

I think this thread offers a snapshot in the difference between us and the crew across the park. When they "qualified" for the Champions League in 2004, they were shite. You didn't hear many of them saying "Hang on a minute, give us another season to prepare ourselves, we're not quite ready yet."

What they did, was make big fuck-off banners calling for their players to "Make them dream". They overcame their inferiority with little more than desire and a belief that they belonged. They didn't just embrace qualification, they won the fucking thing.

The claim that there are more teams competing for the places is only true because so many of the perennial qualifiers are having desperate seasons and are offering up the gift for anyone strong enough to take it.

Look at the Premier League table now. Most of the teams challenging us for these places either have far more games to play than us, or have a squad which cost a tiny fraction of ours.

We have a spent around 𧺬M building a squad, we have a manger regarded by many as the best in the business, and we are sitting on the tails of a string of struggling clubs.

Of course non-qualification would be failure.

Dave Ganley
55 Posted 13/02/2020 at 06:53:10
Totally agree, Darren #54, from where we are now, we should qualify for Europe. There is no excuse. Apart from Liverpool, there are no daunting fixtures and, to be honest, if they can't get themselves up for Liverpool at home to spoil their unbeaten record, then the team are just cheating the fans.

Every word you say is true, Darren. We have to start acting like a proper club and believe we can win every game. Go in with the attitude that we deserve to be in Europe and we will prevail; start all this nonsense about transition and 'not ready' shite and it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Demand excellence and it's more likely that we will get it; accept mediocrity and that's what we will end up with.

I'm more confident than I have been for years that we finally have the decent manager we have been craving for years to help us finally achieve some success. 4th place is definitely up for grabs this season... why not us?

Tony Hill
56 Posted 13/02/2020 at 07:22:11
Yes, we must seize the moment.
Paul Tran
57 Posted 13/02/2020 at 07:50:21
Spot-on, Darren. The door's open; time to walk through it.
Stephen Brown
58 Posted 13/02/2020 at 08:12:36
Well said, Darren!

We have to believe it can be done now!

Mike Hayes
59 Posted 13/02/2020 at 08:43:42
Europa League is a possibility and, unlike years past, we have the backing and hopefully funding from Moshiri. We had a chance in the Champions League but didn't get the financial backing to bring in more players to challenge...

Fingers crossed with Carlo we have trophies in our grasp.

Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 13/02/2020 at 09:19:05
Darren Hind and Dave Ganley, I always pay attention to your posts and hope you are correct with your two posts on this thread. But have a good look at our midfield: there is none. That will be our downfall in the next few games.

[I would love to be wrong on this and hope I am.]

Alan J Thompson
61 Posted 13/02/2020 at 09:37:36
If we don't have the squad for a crack at Europa League, then what are you suggesting, that we throw a few games so that we miss out?

I really do have to wonder.

Ray Roche
62 Posted 13/02/2020 at 09:45:27
The thing is, Dave, if we DO qualify for the Europa League, Ancelotti will have a Summer transfer window in which he and Brands can offload the players who will not figure for him, and bring in whatever HE thinks we need. He's been getting a tune out of Schneiderlin so maybe he can become the player we all thought we'd signed. You're correct, our midfield does require improving, but Ancelotti is, hopefully, the man to do it.

As Darren and Dave infer, we're not as far off the so-called top six as we may think. We had some appalling results under Marco, Sheffield United at home, 0-2, they only had two attempts at goal, Norwich 0-2 – with Ancelotti in charge, that would not have happened. I feel more confident in our future now than I have for years.

Brian Williams
63 Posted 13/02/2020 at 09:46:05
I'm generally an optimist, and have enjoyed the recent results as much as any Evertonian, but I'm trying not to get carried away as I think we'd all agree – the performances haven't been exactly inspiring.

Now I'm not bothered about that "at the moment" because it's all about winning games and amassing points, nothing else in my book. But, as Dave Abrahms alludes to, the next run of games is a tough one, and a run that will show just how far, or not, we've come.

I appreciate the points Darren makes but personally still feel we're nowhere near good enough or have the strength in depth to compete in the Europa League. I feel our resurgence is a fragile one and one that could be thrown right off course with a few poor results.

Recruitment this summer is of vital importance, as is a settled preseason (IMHO) but I think we MAY be hamstrung with available funds to go out and buy the players to turn us into a top-four team immediately. So, for me, European qualification this season could actually set us back.

Apologies if that comes across as defeatist to some but I'm taking a more pragmatic view of things this season with an eye on sustainable progress – even if that's not the "instant success" we dream of.

Alan #61,

I think you're being very unfair to Dave if that's where your comment is aimed. I don't think that's what Dave's suggesting at all, and knowing Dave he NEVER would. He may be suggesting that he feels we're not good enough yet to qualify?

Martin Mason
64 Posted 13/02/2020 at 09:49:01
I see a newspaper's attempt to get Chong from Man Utd to Everton as he's out of contract this year. Not sure but my United friends say he's really hopeless.
Derek Thomas
65 Posted 13/02/2020 at 10:16:04
12 games left, 5pts behind Chelsea.

When we were down at 14th and Chelsea were 4th... in effect way behind 3rd... it was because they were inconsistent, but they were less inconsistent than 5th and so on down to us at 14th.

That whole block of 4th to 14th were the footballing example of the first section of Newton's 1st Law – "Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion."

We are now not inconsistent, we're 2nd in the form table.

We are the second section of that law... well, Ancelotti is – "unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force."

Ancelotti is that 'External Force' – he has changed our state.

Champions League? Why not... just keep Collina the fuck away.

Ray Roche
66 Posted 13/02/2020 at 10:20:34
My problem with the Europa League, in general, is the early start for qualifying teams. Managers are moaning about the number of games they are having to play with just the three competitions in the FA Cup, Premier League and League Cup, hence the weaker sides played in both the Cup competitions.

But the most disgraceful thing is allowing the so-called bigger (and richer) clubs to parachute in once they've fucked up their chances in the Champions League. That stinks of corruption to me. They had their chance in the Champions League, failed, so why allow them another shot at glory with that stunt? Especially now that the winners get entry into the Champions League. No, it's wrong.

I can see, in years to come, some exceptional investigative journalist uncovering a web of conspiracy and corruption which has been going on for years. Don't agree? Just input ''Corruption in Italian Football'' in Google. Try the Wikipedia page for a start.

I'm sure there will be more that has remained hidden and, with the amount of money swilling around football now, and the number of ''agents'' with their nose in the trough it seems unlikely that there is NO corruption in some part of the game.

[Sorry, bit of a rant there.]

Alan J Thompson
67 Posted 13/02/2020 at 10:21:39
Brian (#63);

It wasn't aimed at anyone in particular; if we had to play in that competition next week, then I'd agree that we might not be best prepared... but it's not, it's about 5 months away.

So what might we be looking at: an understudy keeper; if Kenny returns, we could have 3 right-backs; 3 senior centre-backs; and possibly a junior coming through.

Left-back could be a problem if we have only Baines and Digne; midfield, we have Bernard, Davies, Delph, Gomes & Gbamin returning... Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson and I agree that we probably need 2 more of quality and do we count Walcott in this group or do we class him as a striker? Which leaves Calvert-Lewin, Kean and Richarlison with maybe a junior up-front.

Some may have other opinions on the quality of those players but I don't see that we might be that far away at the start of next season. However, having said all of that, we do have to qualify and we should only do that by winning the majority of our remaining games which should always be the aim.

Carl Manning
70 Posted 13/02/2020 at 10:41:43
The Europa League hasn't affected Wolves so much this season. And, to be fair to Nuño, he has played his full-strength side pretty much from the qualifying rounds!

I find it a lazy argument to say we need more time. Wolves are only in their second season in the Premier League and are holding their own in both comps. It would be just our luck to finish 4th. The Champions League place for the winner has really made teams take the Europa League seriously.

Finishing 4th doesn't guarantee Champions League if Wolves, Arsenal or Man Utd win the Europa League and don't finish top 4. You can bet your life they're going all-in to win it.

Ray Roche
71 Posted 13/02/2020 at 10:49:35

My error has been miraculously amended by the Grammar Fairy.;-)

Alan J Thompson
72 Posted 13/02/2020 at 10:51:55
Mine too, Ray, far too much flippancy bordering on jocularity!
David Donnellan
73 Posted 13/02/2020 at 11:26:54
If we do achieve European football. I think we will be in good hands to cope with it & hopefully excel.
Ancelotti is a genius in European competition, he knows what he is doing in European competition. 3 times champions league winner & this season he had qualified Napoli into the last 16 of the champions league before he was dismissed.
I for one will be excited, hopeful & optimistic if we qualify for one of the European competitions with Don Carlo at the helm.
Steve Brown
74 Posted 13/02/2020 at 11:55:45
On a more pressing topic, what the bloody hell are DCL and Tom wearing in NY?
Michael Lynch
75 Posted 13/02/2020 at 12:11:12
At the risk of appearing un-PC, Tom looks like DCL's bitch
Jay Wood

76 Posted 13/02/2020 at 12:42:41
I wondered when Tom and Dom's 'look' would seep onto TW, having already been widely circulated and commented on in other social media.

Personally, I think they both look the dog's bollocks. Give me individualism and the courage to not give a toss what the rest of the world thinks to dress as stylishly and with as much flair as they evidently do.

I like them both all the more for it, not less. Two big personalities, the pair of them.

More like them, please.

Jay Wood

77 Posted 13/02/2020 at 12:59:42
I wonder if Marcel Brands wants our academy to morph into this model?


Fran Mitchell
78 Posted 13/02/2020 at 13:04:51
Jay, on style demons DCL and Davies, I agree they look good. A nice bit of individualism and seem to be enjoying themselves and better than driving absurd cars and partying with 5k bottles of champagne. And if I could pull off the look like DCL can, I would too (damn good looking boy is he).

On the academy, I wish, but don't think a PL club can get away with it unfortunately. The struggles for a player like Gordon to get on the pitch shows as such.

Ray Roche
79 Posted 13/02/2020 at 13:45:57
Fran, why is Tom wearing his dressing gown? And why is he wearing shoes like I wore in 1965?
Jay Wood

80 Posted 13/02/2020 at 13:58:20
Ray, retrieve them from the attic, dust 'em down and polish them up, sling on yer dressing gown and strut yer stuff around Goodison on match day.

I'm sure you'll draw many an admiring glance and complimentary comment!

Derek Thomas
81 Posted 13/02/2020 at 14:08:55
Walking round New York in pyjamas, a dressing gown and purple 'kin slippers.

Edit; ...oh he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

Thomas Lennon
82 Posted 13/02/2020 at 14:23:33
Can't help thinking that this is the watershed moment Everton get once every year or two. Fifth is in sight, achievement and more respect are at our fingertips if we can just win a few vital, competitive games. European footy will change who we can sign over the summer.

We all know what usually happens next...however we don't usually have a manager that the players know will keep them winning if they believe and an assertive scot on our side.

The next few matches mean real signs of progress or...not.

It's the hope that pulls you in.

James Hughes
83 Posted 13/02/2020 at 14:23:56
Hey gents relax, do you not remember the early 80's and the new romantic look. Tom & DCL are positively reserved in comparison
Brian Harrison
84 Posted 13/02/2020 at 14:50:38
I guess neither wanted to blend into the background, but if thats what floats your boat great. I guess just a couple of young lads expressing themselves, and as long as they don't get into any trouble then thats what the winter break is there for, for them to relax away from football.
Dave Abrahams
85 Posted 13/02/2020 at 14:54:24
Brian (63), yes Brian, that's exactly what I was suggesting, that at the moment, mostly because of the poor midfield, we will not be good enough to qualify for Europe.

What a mate, I owe you a bottle of Desperado!!!

Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 13/02/2020 at 15:01:45
James (83), never mind going back to the 80's, go back even further to the 50's and early 60's, look at most photo's of fella's in The Locarno, nearly every fella had a smart whistle on together with a shirt and tie, hankie hanging out of the top pocket, even the scruffy fella's had a bit of style about them.
Mike Gaynes
87 Posted 13/02/2020 at 15:12:03
I know I'm usually in the "optimist" crowd here, and I love Darren's ferocious positivity on Europe, but at this moment I gotta agree with Dave #60 and Brian #63.

We just don't have enough good players in midfield to make a successful run in Europe right now, and I don't wanna participate for the sake of participating. I wanna win.

If we do finish that high and Gomes and Gbamin come back full speed by summer, I'll be cheering as loud as anybody when Carlo leads us back onto the Continent, but at the moment I'm simply not convinced we're ready. As Brian points out, our recent results have been way better than our quality of play.

However, it's February. May is a long way away. I could change my mind quickly if things continue to improve and the injured do come back strong.

Mike Gaynes
88 Posted 13/02/2020 at 15:21:40
From the "Ah, shit" department: Chelsea signed Ziyech.

I've wanted that guy for years. Advocated signing him from Ajax instead of Klaassen. Would have cost the same and he was twice the player even then.


Brian Williams
89 Posted 13/02/2020 at 15:40:36
Cheers Dave#85.
You know I was saying you wouldn't suggest throwing games to not qualify for the Europa.
Not that the comment was aimed at you I've since been told by the poster, which is good enough for me mate!
James Hughes
90 Posted 13/02/2020 at 15:43:54
Dave - I will take your word for it. Tom does look like he's in dressing gown though
Jamie Crowley
91 Posted 13/02/2020 at 16:01:52
Like my Mum would say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

We want Europe. It should be the goal, without question.

Steve Carse
92 Posted 13/02/2020 at 16:02:43
Mike (87), there's a difference between the strength of our midfield now and what it could well look like in time for European competition next season. And even if there wasn't I'm surprised Blues of all people would give us no chance of competing well in it -- not after our own experience of the humbling by a RS 3rd XI.
Your underlying reason for not wanting to play in the Europa League is that you only want us in competitions we could win. But we're never going to win the PL in the foreseeable future, so surely it's incumbent upon the Club to go for all other, more winnable, trophies?
There's also the longer term requirement to be more visible in the European football world. That picture is evolving quickly and however much we might disagree with it if we want a real future we've got to strive for it, and plan to be a part of it. Moshiri was doubtless alluding to this when he first took over the Club, when he stated that there was only a short amount of time left for Everton to resurrect itself. We're three years down the line now and they have been wasted years.
Dave Abrahams
93 Posted 13/02/2020 at 16:07:13
Brian (89), if it's good enough for you it's good enough for me.
Michael Lynch
94 Posted 13/02/2020 at 16:24:57
Jay @76 I like to think of myself as a bit of a man about town meself, and I am afraid Tom and DCL do indeed look like a dog's bollocks. Literally. I might offer to take them shopping next time they want a trip to New York, so they don't end up in fancy dress.
Mike Gaynes
95 Posted 13/02/2020 at 16:35:39
Steve #92, all good points. Particularly your last one.

Actually, my underlying reason for my Europa League concern is the impact it could have on our league season, which will be Ancelotti's first full season at the helm. With a summer of Carlo training and good transfer business, we could easily do a Leicester and take the Prem by storm next fall -- and yes, qualify for the CL. But with our current roster (emphasis on current), we don't have the legs for it if we're touring Turkey, Rumania and Ukraine this summer.

But as I said before, I stand ready to have my mind changed if we keep climbing, Gomes comes back better than before (I'm not as much of a fan as some here), and we can add some midfield quality in the next window.

Tony Abrahams
96 Posted 13/02/2020 at 16:51:26
Understand both sides of the argument but only a door-hinge would tell anyone to save their money, rather than going to watch Everton play in Europe!

I think we need to play in Europe to grow as a team and as a club, and waiting for the champions lge is a great thought, but all the best teams are conditioned to play at the weekend- then mid-week, whilst the rest struggle, every time they are faced with more fixtures?

Also, we have a manager now that is full of European pedigree, and maybe he's already thought that if he can get Everton into Europe, then Goodison might just come alive...Which is surely what we all want? Even the minges amongst us!

Brian Williams
97 Posted 13/02/2020 at 16:59:26
Tony, I agree Ancelotti's of European pedigree, just not sure about a number of players mate.
Mike Gaynes
98 Posted 13/02/2020 at 17:00:09
Tony... "door-hinge"??
Brian Williams
99 Posted 13/02/2020 at 17:01:09
Door hinge, or rusty hinge. Minge as in mingebag or tight arse!
Martin Nicholls
100 Posted 13/02/2020 at 17:01:11
I am all for qualifying for Europe and believe that to do so would strengthen Carlo's hand in the transfer market. Unlike Darren though, I do not believe that failure to do so would make our manager a failure - after his article predicting that Ancelloti would fail, it would however give him the opportunity to say "I told you so", not that I think he would do so!
Dave Abrahams
101 Posted 13/02/2020 at 17:07:55
Mike (98), door hinge or brass hinge is rhyming slang for minge, which means miser, which also means that he is calling his own dad a miser, a man who worked his fingers to the bone for over half a century to give him the soft easy life he's had since he was born, the tears are running down my face as I write this, well you've cooked your own goose this time, just you wait and see !!!
Martin Mason
102 Posted 13/02/2020 at 17:34:08
Love to see Everton in Europe. A great way to see all players get game time.
Mike Gaynes
104 Posted 13/02/2020 at 17:40:59
Dave #101, I just had to grab the chair to keep from falling out of it. Laughing so hard my belly hurts.

Your family dinners back in the day must have been something to see. 🤣

Paul Birmingham
105 Posted 13/02/2020 at 18:08:28
After the start to this season and being in the bottom 3, two months ago, any European qualification, would be success and I believe with Carlo and Dunc, that with some luck with injuries and big game descisions going Everton's way, it is possible.

Great chance for brilliant away days and for Everton's players to gain experience and develop their game.

Beat the Arsenal..and then the next game.

Ray Roche
106 Posted 13/02/2020 at 18:09:10
Dave, er. I think that “minge” has another meaning too.😁
Ray Roche
107 Posted 13/02/2020 at 18:09:10
Dave, er. I think that “minge” has another meaning too.😁
Darren Hind
108 Posted 13/02/2020 at 18:26:32
Dave,Brian and Mike

Of course we are weak and would struggle against better teams in the Thursday cup with this team, But

you are over estimating the quality of the opposition in both the premier league and in the Europa league. There are some very poor teams in the europa league. A favorable group and a couple of decent acquisitions in the summer, could see us go deep into the competition.

Martin Nichols.

What a lily livered post.

First of all I didnt say Ancelotti would be the failure. You made that up. I was talking about about a collective failure.
However now that you mention it I will remember you as the guy who wants a world class manager earning 11.5m who shouldnt be expected to earn his huge salary by delivering from this point - Nice little bit of apologetic, no lose, fence sitting. if he we do qualify The manager is a success, but he cant be deemed as failing if we don't.

At least I nail my colours. I want tangible success now. This a golden opportunity for an extremely experienced manager. You can spout manana and put up as many lame excuses as you want.

If you are not going to place any expectations on a world renowned manager on a sixty million pound contract . . . Why in Gods name did you want him here ?

Eddie Dunn
109 Posted 13/02/2020 at 18:30:48
On the Europa conundrum, we have a chicken and egg situation. We need to qualify in order to attract the higher quality players that we need. Meanwhile we need to trim our minge of excess growth. Only when shorn of unnecessary deadwood will be have room for new players.
Kevin Prytherch
110 Posted 13/02/2020 at 18:48:51
I reckon we could cope (barring injuries) with our current squad...

I'm sure a second XI of Stek, Kenny, Baines, Keane, Gibson, Sidibe (assuming we sign him) Gordon, Davies, Sigurdsson, Walcott and Kean could more than hold their own against the majority of teams.

Dave Abrahams
111 Posted 13/02/2020 at 19:30:40
Ray (107), I'm a practicing Catholic, never heard of it!!!
Ryan Holroyd
112 Posted 13/02/2020 at 19:44:47
We need European football for prestige, attract better players and for financial reasons.
Colin Glassar
113 Posted 13/02/2020 at 19:47:36
Kevin, our first XI got battered by a bunch of spotty faced kids. You sound bit over optimistic.
Martin Nicholls
114 Posted 13/02/2020 at 19:53:28
Darren#108 - take a chill pill!
Not sure why you feel my post is "lily livered" - if because I wouldn't regard failure to qualify for Europe this season as a failure by Ancelloti, then I'm guilty as charged.
As for your claim that I have somehow imagined that you predicted that Ancelloti would be a failure, your exact words were "him failing at Goodison is not simply a possibility; I believe it to be a certainty... a foregone conclusion" - if that's not a prediction of failure, then I'm not sure what is.
For the avoidance of doubt, I expect Ancelloti's tenure at Goodison to ultimately be judged as a success - I don't expect instant success, neither would I say that my expectation of ultimate success is a foregone conclusion.
Ray Roche
115 Posted 13/02/2020 at 20:22:09
Dave, don't tell porkies.😁
Dennis Stevens
116 Posted 13/02/2020 at 20:37:34
I think we'll be fine in Europe, just as long as we don't suffer a mingury crisis!
Gavin Johnson
117 Posted 13/02/2020 at 20:57:17
I will be disappointed if we don't get a Europa League finish this season. The Premier League's wide open.

I'm glad we now have a manager who talks up our ambitions. Had Moyes returned, the soundbites put out to supporters would have been to consolidate survival this season. Imagine the malaise of having to experience more years of that shit.

On the question of whether the squad is good enough to go through to the latter stages of the competition. Well currently, it isn't, but next season will be a completely different proposition. We will have Gbamin and Gomes back. Ancellotti will also sign his own midfielder. I think it will be the position where we spend the most money. If I picked a player to sign, it would be Lille's, Boubakary Soumare. He's only 20 but a 6ft 4in colossus and a lot of big clubs will want him. If we sign a player of that calibre, we'll have the aforementioned beside Fabian Delph and Tom Davies.

Those players (excluding Davies) will give us a strong midfield quartet playing a 4-4-2. Tom Davies needs a season-long loan playing week-in, week-out next season. If we play other formations like a 4-3-3 or Silva's 4-2-3-1, we can have more creativity in the centre of the park and then we'll have Alex Iwobi or Anthony Gordon to play further up the field.

I'm not sure where they'll end up going but I find it very hard to see Sigurdsson or Schneiderlin being with us next season. However, with whoever the central midfielder Ancelotti brings in, I think we'll have plenty of options in the centre of the park.

Carl Manning
118 Posted 13/02/2020 at 21:22:53
Whatever happens for the rest of this season I will not be judging him one iota. He has proven already that he can get a tune out of the team, but not a single player is his. He has a mixture of 3 or 4 previous managers' players who couldn't get consistent results out of them. To say he will have failed for say, finishing 8th after taking over a team in the relegation zone half-way through the season is harsh in the extreme.

I seriously cannot believe there are still people out there who doubt him or are waiting for him to fail. He is the biggest signing this club has made, including players, for a long long time.

On a lighter note. Lovely video on Facebook of Andre surprising some young fans and picking them up in his car and driving them to the game. The guy is ambassador material! An absolute credit to his family. You can see the sincerity all over his face!

Laurie Hartley
119 Posted 13/02/2020 at 21:45:05
Galvin # 117 - I remember reading a very interesting article / interview that Ancelotti did years ago about formations and tactics. I've looked everywhere but I can't find it.

He stated that 4-4-2 was the best formation for defending and 4-3-3 was the best for attacking. He also stated a week or two ago that the easiest way to score a goal was on the counter attack.

I think we are beginning to see the green shoots of that philosophy already. I reckon we will see Everton playing more and more like Leicester did the season they won the Title.

Richarlison's goal against Watford was a great example of that football. Ancelloti certainly has the forwards to play that system but he might have to find a replacement for Walcott in the summer. A right-footed winger with pace.

If I had my pick, it would be that lad from Wolves but I don't think they would part with him – Wolves are on their way back to the top also.

One last thing: Marco Silva – thank you for bringing Richarlison to Everton. What a footballer.

Brent Stephens
120 Posted 13/02/2020 at 21:45:46
Martin #114. Fair post. Not qualifying for Europe in Carlo's first year wouldn't be a failure. I'm actually surprised it's a possibility. The rest of your post is as I remember it.
Jay Wood

121 Posted 13/02/2020 at 21:59:21
Carl @ 118.

Thanks for the heads up on the Andre Gomes video. Looked it up - well worth watching:


The older brother's reaction on first getting in the car and realising the driver is Andre is brilliant! I bet he had a cracking day at school on Monday telling all his mates.

The modern day footballer is much-maligned by many, but we've got some good types at Everton.

Laurie Hartley
122 Posted 13/02/2020 at 22:11:33
Thanks for posting that, Jay – some things just make you happy, don't they. Those lads will never forget that.

Brent Stephens
123 Posted 13/02/2020 at 22:12:41
Jay, that's a cracking wee video of André. Thing is, it might all be stage-managed but the kids are genuinely surprised and he actually seems a great guy and authentic. Love the lads bursting into song.
Mike Gaynes
124 Posted 13/02/2020 at 22:23:09
Carl, that's not sincerity all over his face. That's hair.

Great video. Love the older kid's expression and the younger one saying, "See what I got on the back o' me shirt?"

Carl Manning
125 Posted 13/02/2020 at 22:31:09
Even in Barcelona he was known for all the things he did for the fans. Apparently on match days he was injured, he would work the tills in the club shop to meet and greet.

I remember hearing last season at some point he was in the Everton club shop and paid for all the things kids were buying pre game, From shirts to scalfs. A fantastic role model!

Michael Lynch
126 Posted 13/02/2020 at 23:28:01
I'm the most cynical man in the world, but Gomes seems to be a genuinely decent human being. And a top footballer.
Mike Jones
127 Posted 13/02/2020 at 00:04:00
I watched that YouTube video and I heard of the visit to a cancer stricken patient and his family to watch the Watford game. Andre Gomes is more than a footballer. I'm glad he is one of us.
Darren Hind
128 Posted 14/02/2020 at 05:00:39

I don't need you to tell me what I wrote months ago. Guess why? it was me who wrote it.

I do not want to change a word or back-track on anything I said in an article months ago... I hope that clears that one up for you?

You were thinking about penning your own piece and I told you at the time that you may need to be prepared for people referring back to it for months – the reason I told you that is because that is exactly what you were doing... You're doing it again.

We will not find out if Ancelotti is an overall success or failure this season. (You do understand that?) What I posted on this current thread is solely about the next few weeks... but then you know that, don't you?

Feel free to carry on your little campaign of referring back to the article which was written before he even got the job. But know this: I will not ever come back here and say "I told you so". I wouldn't have had to. You and the hard of thinking would have referred back to that article so often... Guess what? You will already know. You've etched it into your own minds.

Try to understand. It was an article... It was/is my honest opinion, but it was only something I put up there in a quiet period to stimulate debate. I don't give a flying flamingo if I'm wrong. In fact, I'll be delighted.

Back to the thread you have tried to sidetrack. I will ditch the collective and speak – as you seem to want me to – only of Ancelotti and what I expect from Ancelotti, this season.

I look at the situation as it is now. We are right on the heels of struggling clubs who have a busier schedule than us and who will most definitely drop points. I would consider qualification as the very minimum requirement. Not success. I don't buy the claim that non-qualification for Europe from this position can't be deemed failure. In my opinion, it most definitely would be.

I wont have the claim that Mr Ancelotti rescued us from a fate worse than death either. That nightmare had already been averted before he got here.

We were not qualifying for Europe long before Mr Ancelotti came aboard. We didn't need to pay him 㿨M to squander a golden opportunity and not qualify again.

He got a 4½-year contract, not a 4-year one. He doesn't get the first 6 months off.

For me, your post epitomises every thing wrong with this club. You're happy to set a low bar whilst paying top dollar.

Tony Abrahams
129 Posted 14/02/2020 at 07:33:26
The only thing stage-managed was that the father knew Gomes was picking them up, Brent, but the kids didn't. I saw a brilliant picture of the little fella at Watford, in his dad's arms, and someone at the club must have also seen that picture and they decided to go and surprise the kids.

The kids have just started a team and “little Sam” always makes me smile because he's a genuine little scouse-kid, which definitely shines through on that little clip, and the excitement on Ben's face is just priceless!

These little things are absolutely massive for the people involved and I think Everton and Gomes deserve great credit for this.

Danny Broderick
130 Posted 14/02/2020 at 08:27:38
My own view is that talk of qualifying for the Europa League is a bit premature. We have got ourselves back into a reasonable position, but the next 4 games are tough.

Let's see where we are after those 4 games. Looking at the league table now, there's only 8 points separating 5th place and 13th. There'll be many twists and turns yet.

Martin Nicholls
131 Posted 14/02/2020 at 09:33:12
Darren #128 – I wouldn't have thought you would need reminding but when you claimed you'd never said it and accused me of fabrication, it surely begged a response?

My post epitomizes all that is wrong with the Club? If that is so, then clearly you see very little wrong – all I said was that whilst qualifying for Europe would strengthen Carlo's hand in the transfer market, I would not judge him a failure if we did not do so this season. I suspect many others feel as I do.

Your very angry response to my posts and some of the things you attribute to me (ie, "you were thinking of penning your own piece", a suggestion that I am conducting some sort of campaign etc) suggest to me that you might well be confusing me with another poster. I don't think I've ever said I was thinking of penning an article, neither am I on any sort of campaign (I post relatively rarely!)

Martin Mason
132 Posted 14/02/2020 at 09:40:16

I hate it when I get up in the morning and see somebody having a go at "Martin". I always wonder wtf I've written maybe after a couple of glasses of wine. Anyway, glad that it wasn't me this time.

James Hughes
133 Posted 14/02/2020 at 09:44:26
Just watched that Gomes video and it is class. that man is quality. Really great to see two lads so happy as well. Cheers
Steve Brown
134 Posted 14/02/2020 at 10:41:47
Gomes comes across in the video as a properly sincere, caring and warm-hearted guy. As for the two lads, proper Evertonians born not manufactured. Their passion and excitement cheered me up when I watched it - let's bloody win something for every fan under the age of 25 who has stuck with the club through thick and thin but since us win squat.
Danny Broderick
135 Posted 14/02/2020 at 10:58:11
What a great video!
David Midgley
136 Posted 14/02/2020 at 12:16:20
If we get the opportunity for the Europa League, it should be grasped tightly with both hands. None of this let's wait and see, maybe next year.... Drivell! Get in there. I bet Carlo won't hesitate. Faint heart never won fair lady.

He's not been here for two months yet but what a difference he and Dunc have made. Lets's see what the next two months bring. Our midfield is not what it could be but let's see what can be done.

I hope Marcel and our scouts are out scouring the lower leagues both here and abroad as there are many good players who aren't high profile who could do a good job for us and blossom under our boss.

Brian #29. Torta humille.

Dave Abrahams
137 Posted 14/02/2020 at 13:43:22
Jay (121), thanks for the link, brilliant, that day will stay with those two young, well mannered boys, for a very long time. Well done to Everton FC for arranging the day and a massive thank you to Andre Gomes, who is either a very genuine and sincere man or a fantastic actor, my money is 100% on the former.
Brian Harrison
138 Posted 14/02/2020 at 14:26:07
What a guy Andre Gomes is – a fantastic gesture, and this will live with these boys forever. The video was on Twitter and somebody said this is nothing new for Andre Gomes, as when he was injured while at Barcelona he did a stint in the souvenir shop. He also paid for the merchandise that the kids bought while he was in the shop.

Don't you just love to hear these stories, especially when it's one of our players involved? I heard a player on the radio say he always felt that Everton was a very family-oriented club.

Dave Abrahams
139 Posted 14/02/2020 at 14:41:15
Sam Hammam, former chairman of Wimbledon, said at the time of the famous game which kept us up, after tremendous support from our fans: “Everton are the most parochial club in English football.”

I think he meant it as a compliment!!!

Martin Nicholls
140 Posted 14/02/2020 at 14:45:17
Martin #132 – see mine at 131! You may have spoken too soon as, based on some of the remarks made about me, I suspect there may be some confusion!

That said, I do accept that the accusations of being lily-livered, a liar ("you made it up") and being the epitome of all that's wrong with our Club were clearly directed at me in response to (what I thought was) a fairly innocuous post @100!

God help me if I ever post anything slightly controversial!

Ajay Gopal
141 Posted 14/02/2020 at 14:45:27
Brilliant gesture by Andre Gomes and the club. I hope he makes a successful return to the game against Arsenal, and he rediscovers his best form.

I can see a midfield 4 of Walcott (if he is fit after his injury), Schneiderlin, Gomes and Bernard. Carlo will probably leave out Delph, Siggy, Iwobi and Davies.

Come to think of it, when fully fit and in form, we have a pretty decent midfield, probably just lacking a midfield ‘enforcer' – is Gbamin that player?

Brent Stephens
142 Posted 14/02/2020 at 14:51:02
Martin #140. The bizarre thing about the brazen denial (“you made it up”) is that what you said is easily verifiable from the December article.
Martin Nicholls
143 Posted 14/02/2020 at 15:10:25
Very true, Brent!
Jamie Crowley
144 Posted 14/02/2020 at 15:11:27
Ajay -

I think the Club should be moving forward based upon the assumption that Gbamin will feature sporadically next season, and they shouldn't count on his return.

If he does come back fit as a fiddle, super! If not, we've planned for the worst case scenario and brought in another cog in the midfield gear.

Also, as an aside, I posted on another thread the video of Andre. What a nice fella. Just class. Those two kids were over the moon happy.

Mark Murphy
145 Posted 14/02/2020 at 15:15:08
Well I'm confused!
Who's the cunt?
Martin (N)?
Martin (M)?
Darren or Brent??
I guess pub lunch Friday has dimmed my usually sharp perception of such matters?


Brent Stephens
146 Posted 14/02/2020 at 15:33:25
Mark, I couldn't hold the tide back, so I'm a cnut.
Tom Bowers
147 Posted 14/02/2020 at 15:34:12
With so many of the top six (except Liverpool of course) falling by the wayside with inconsistent form, there is a real possibility Everton can get into Europe if they maintain the current progress.

Obviously there are on paper some tough games coming up and Everton are still not a finished article but Europe would be a bonus, especially after the first half of the season under Silva.

Quite honestly, I don't give a hoot about Europe as it tends to affect Premier League results and I would rather see Everton next season as a force to be reckoned with, the midfield being strengthened with a fit Gomes and Gbamin.

On a different note, it was nice to see Slippy G gobsmacked by Killie.

Darren Hind
148 Posted 14/02/2020 at 15:44:49
Martin Nicholls,

Perhaps if you either commented or merely gave an opinion in post 100 instead of the unprovoked attack, your lies wouldn't have been exposed.

I would have been happy to have passed off your posts as mere error, but you have persisted so I know you are telling deliberate porkies, trying to weedle out of it.

Firstly; I did not, as you falsely claim, even mention qualifying for Europe this season in the article I wrote. Ancelotti wasn't even the bleedin' manager.

The article is still up there and you, my friend, and it proves you and the midnight are telling porkies... You only referred back to the article because the bit you had made up in post 100 about post 54 could be easily refuted and it was.

These were posts from me made two months apart about two different subjects. One about Ancelotti's reign, the other about the club, as a whole, qualifying for Europe this season, and by trying to amalgamate them to justify your little dig, you have told blatant porkies.

Oh, and by the way, you may want to stop digging by claiming you didn't say you were thinking of putting up a piece once you have plucked up the nerve... because that's still up there too.

You're not the only one who can trawl back. Give an opinion by all means but, when you come on to have a go about another poster without even addressing him, you can't really complain when he responds.

Mike Gaynes
149 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:09:10

My English lessons continue.

Martin Mason
150 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:09:35
Martin @140, I'm not being judgemental although I'd down-mark Darren badly for his unnecessary rudeness and aggression. I can see nothing in your post 100 that warranted it but you really have to avoid being personal in any way – then there can be no misunderstanding.

Why don't you both just forget it and get on with life? The club is at an amazing place at the moment and we could go either way from here. Arguing among ourselves doesn't help anybody.

Brent Stephens
151 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:14:31
Mike – "porkies" are pork pies – lies.

What the December article said was "I dread getting up to the news that Ancelotti has been confirmed as the new Everton boss. Him failing at Goodison is not simply a possibility; I believe it to be a certainty... a forgone conclusion."

Martin Nicholls
152 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:15:48
Darren - the final sentence in your post 54 makes it clear that your view is that, should we not qualify for Europe from the position we are currently in ("we are breathing down their necks NOW!"), Ancelloti will have failed.

Mine at 100 linked this to your prediction in December that Ancelloti WOULD (my emphasis) fail. I am not a liar and, as others have agreed, have made nothing up. If you think otherwise, no doubt you will specify exactly what "porkies" you are referring to?

In particular, I invite you to "trawl back" and point out when and where I said I was "thinking of putting up a piece"? If you can do so, I will obviously accept that I did; if not, I will treat your insults (which incidentally I think probably contravene TW guidelines) as the ramblings of an angry and verbally aggressive man.

Tony Hill
153 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:18:24
Blimey, David Unsworth couldn't be more complimentary about Ancelotti. Sounds very promising all round. It's in the Echo but I'm afraid I don't know how to link these things.
Martin Nicholls
154 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:19:36
Martin #150 - I didn't realise I had been in any way personal (until my last post!). Thought I needed to reference the posts/articles to which I am referring.

More than happy to draw a line under this should Darren agree to do so.

Martin Mason
155 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:29:08
Martin, you said "not that I think he would do so". Some sensitive people would take that as a personal attack some definitely wouldn't.
Brent Stephens
156 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:46:57
Tony, is this it?


Darren Hind
157 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:48:30

I'm not angry at all.

I just don't appreciate somebody coming on here and making false statements and attributing them to me. I will respond.

For the record, I don't even mention Ancelotti in my last sentence of 54. I was referring to the failure as being a collective one. I cannot legislate for people claiming I said something when it is patently obvious I didn't.

You then go on to claim you were referring to an article I wrote two months ago which had nothing to do with the current situation.

I'm more than happy to leave it there, but then I didn't address you or mention you in the first place. You need to remember who started the accusations.

Jay Wood

158 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:48:40
Any South Park animation fans on here?

If so, you know that in every episode the character Kenny, who wears an orange parka coat with the hood up, ALWAYS get killed, with the other characters saying: 'Oh my God! They killed Kenny!'

Schalke has produced a beaut of a video with our Jonjoe Kenny similarly dressed against a typical South Park background under the title: 'Oh my God! They interviewed Kenny!'

Scroll down this link in the Echo to view it. It's worth it.


Something to lighten the mood of this thread.

Brent Stephens
159 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:51:34
That's good, Jay!
Tony Hill
160 Posted 14/02/2020 at 16:56:35
Yes thanks very much Brent @ 156.
Jay Wood

161 Posted 14/02/2020 at 17:17:40
Another revealing video.

Moise Kean is in Miami during this break. The following may get mixed reviews, especially the opening.

People who didn't care for DCL and Tom's New York look may want to look away now at Moise's dress sense and the bling on display.

But what interested me more was him working out in the gym, really going at it.

There have been charges by some that he looks overweight. In this video he is absolutely ripped, all muscle, no fat. Impressive.


John Pierce
162 Posted 14/02/2020 at 17:23:01
Just add to the higgledy-piggledy style of this thread. Out for some valentine's lunch with my lovely wife and we've found a place in the States that brews a pint of Mild. It's served waaay too cold, but well I never.
Dennis Stevens
163 Posted 14/02/2020 at 17:40:15
I do like a nice pint of Mild, John. Sadly, living on the South coast means I rarely get one.

Surely, Mild has to be the ultimate marketing challenge. To make Mild trendy & popular with the youths of today!

Brian Williams
164 Posted 14/02/2020 at 17:58:41
People who didn't care for DCL and Tom's New York look may want to look away now at Moise's dress sense and the bling on display.

Haha Jay! Have to say I didn't much care for the boys' look in NYC but what we have to remember is that these lads inhabit a different world from us mere mortals.

I used to take some stick for some of the things I used to wear and when I look back at old photos of the clothes I wore I looked as ridiculous (almost) as Tom and Dom look, to me, now.

Good on them!

Gavin Johnson
165 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:01:02
What's all the commotion here?! Has Darren been caught out telling lies again?! ;)
Ray Roche
166 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:17:05
Now, Now Gavin! Stop it!

Jay, Brian. Just think back to loons and then go back a bit further to the Drapes and crepe sole shoes... Moise looks positively smart.

Of course, us Mods had it bang on!

Martin Mason
167 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:21:57
Darren, why not just forget it? It's really better for us all to be friends. I'm sorry if you felt slighted but misunderstandings happen on sites like this and best to just make allowances. No loss of face because we all understand.
John Pierce
168 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:27:19
Dennis, once it warmed up, it was pretty tasty.

I have to be on the very younger end of mild drinkers. But when I went the footy with me Dad and his mates, you got what you were given!

James Hughes
169 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:28:34
Going back to our Tom and his sartorial statement in NY. I hear the dressing gown he was wearing is priced at ٠,700!

I have obviously just ordered a couple of them

John Pierce
170 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:33:03
James there's plenty of Everton Da's sat in the their armchairs right now wearing better for decades!
Steve Ferns
171 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:37:51
Moise Kean was in Miami. Niasse was also there. Were they there together or just at the same time. Hard to make out if he's in moise's gang, crew, posse, or whatever the kids call it these days.

As for Tom and Dom, I think it's brilliant to see what they're up to. They've been to fashion shows, classical musical events, museums and soaked up the local culture. Far removed from what you'd expect from your stereotypical footballer. Fair play to them. I don't care what they're wearing but they are clearly behaving themselves and aren't off drinking and whoring like footballers of yesteryear.

Steve Carse
172 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:43:32
Dennis (163), never mind the South Coast, you only rarely come across mild up north either, while IPA seems now to have replaced bitter in many establishments.

In my early teens in the late 60s, I had still to appreciate bitter. The relatively 'mellow' alternative provided by mild was my preference (cheaper by a copper or two too). Best of all was a Brown Mixed; peculiarly, and not understood widely outside of Liverpool, there was no need to state that it was mild you wanted to accompany the bottle of brown. The added attraction of ordering a Brown Mixed (or a Brown Bitter) was that you were getting more than a pint in total.

The younger generations will no doubt laugh but of course in those days beer drinkers were very sensitive to pricing and value - customers would frequently for instance buy their beer in the Bar before taking a seat in the smarter Lounge because bar prices would be a penny cheaper in the former. It was also a period when Budget increases that put another penny on prices would be the front page headline in the following day's newspapers.

Of course, should any marketing guys come up with the idea to resurrect mild it would doubtless be aimed at a totally different audience and, as part of the marketing strategy, sell at premium prices.

Darren Hind
173 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:51:04
Martin Mason,

I'm have nothing to forget. I addressed what I thought I needed to address.

I would never be bothered responding to any of the idiots who think they can settle scores from years ago. I get too much fun from ignoring them.

The posts are all still up there. Intelligent people and idiots alike can draw their own conclusions.

Tony Abrahams
174 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:09:06
It's all to play for but, unless Gomes can hit the ground running, then I think we might just be a midfielder too short!
Steve Ferns
175 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:09:35
Darren, are you saying that 6th would be failure?

That would be a remarkable recovery and with Leicester in the top 4 would mean finishing above 2 of Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal. I wouldn't consider that failure.

Steve Ferns
176 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:11:04
Tony, I think Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin and Gomes are all over 6 feet. I wouldn't call them short.

I'll get me coat.

Dave Abrahams
177 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:11:56
Steve (175), you can get a first class pint of Tetley's mild, or bitter in The Victoria Cross (Ned Kelly's) in Victoria Street. But you are right: loads of pubs don't sell it any more.
Darren Hind
178 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:19:11
Steve @182,

I have looked at the table and looked at the fixtures and my answer is yes.

We can't go on making insurmountable mountains out of straight forward tasks.

If we look this particular gift horse in the mouth, there is no hope for us. Its either do or die under the glass ceiling.

Steve Ferns
179 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:22:34
Darren, I think cracking last years big six, even if were 7th because of Leicester is progress.

I'm not that bothered about where we finish this season unless we make the Champions League. I just want to see an upward trajectory towards regular trophies and title challenges. Liverpool didn't make incremental jumps, we don't need to either. We just need to get back up there and as long as we do, well I don't care about the Premier League placing this season.

Darren Hind
180 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:33:09
Steve, you have flummoxed me. educated me. infuriated me, and you have made me think... but never before have you depressed me.

Carpe Diem.

We cannot go on swallowing the Moyes mantra. There is no glass ceiling. We as a club need to (for once in our excuse-ridden lives) seize the fucking moment!!!

Steve Ferns
181 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:40:57
Darren, I want to win the league. I don't believe there's a glass ceiling. I just believe that there is too little time left this season.

If Everton can avoid our own FFP issues, then we could find Man City in a tailspin. (Will their players and manager really stay with no Champions League football for two years?)

Arsenal and Man Utd have long term issues. Spurs aren't improving any, Mourinho is turning into the man who got sacked at Man Utd and Chelsea again. Leicester, I think are not all that. So, there's a moment next season. Why not top 4 then?

Dennis Stevens
183 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:54:45
To my mind, 5th is achievable, even though it may be a bit of a stretch. If we can get there, I'd be quite happy with whatever European competition that qualifies us for.
Brian Harrison
184 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:43:51
Great interview with David Unsworth by the Echo, he says Carlo has invited him to shadow him for 1 day a week. Unsworth said, "It will be a privelage to share a training ground with a 3-time Champions League winner".

Unsworth went on to say, "I have to say he has been brilliant from day 1, it's probably the first time I have been in awe of someone and couldn't wait to meet him, he is brilliant."

Unsworth went on to say, "His open arms and open door policy, and to us as Under-23 coaches and staff was great and he also said we can watch training everyday. I am with them 1 day a week seeing their preparation and analysis.

"He is absolutely top draw, and a top class, outstanding man first and foremost. And I am delighted as an Evertonian that he is the manager of our football club.

So Carlo has brought Duncan into the fold more than the other managers have done and now he is including Unsworth in the work he is doing. How can you possibly question the best man-manager we have had for many a decade? This is only the beginning in the journey, the players love him the coaches love him, and the fans are right behind him.

David Cash
185 Posted 15/02/2020 at 09:57:54
Dazza my old China plate.

You're right. You very clearly don't hang Failure on Ancelotti in post 54, but p given your article (which I've just read and its shite) you surely can see it was an easy mistake for Martin to make.

I know you feel Martin's post was unwarranted and spoke more about you than the subject, but your article, like others I've seen from you was deliberately controversial. Good stuff if you want to stimulate debate but you have to accept people can and will refer to it weeks, months, or even years later.

I think Martin was looking to play the man rather than the ball, but I see mischief rather than malice. I see an error rather than a lie

Post 142 was different. It has a nasty edge to it. He wasn't even part of the argument and has had time to weigh up your post 54 and is still prepared (to use his own word) to brazenly lie in order to score a point. Not sure why. But you do well not to get involved with that one.

Paul Tran
186 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:11:21
At the start of the season, I expected us to qualify for Europe.

By the time Silva was sacked, we were like a Grand National horse that had hit every fence on the first circuit. Ancelotti has put some confidence back and got us jumping in a rhythm. Now it's about what we have left.

What I'm curious about is when it gets down to the wire, as I'm sure it will. Will these players have the will to get over the line, or will they bottle it like in Martinez's first season?

The talent's there in this squad. Can Carlo give them the extra mental strength?

Dave Ganley
187 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:48:26
We have to believe. I was reading reports after the Wolves game last night and they were saying that Wolves are still in with a good chance of top 4. Why aren't we thinking the same seeing as though we are on the same points???

It's all in our hands now, we have momentum, we are starting to score goals and we play all the teams around us. As I've said before, with the exception of Liverpool, there are no daunting fixtures and we all know that a win over them is long overdue. As Paul T alludes to, it's all about the mental strength that Ancelotti can give to the team.

I agree with Darren: if not now, then when? It's all being handed to us on a plate at the moment; we, as fans just need to help the players over the line. I'm expecting Goodison Park to be a bear pit over the next few weeks.

Martin Nicholls
188 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:35:57
I'm neither lily-livered nor a liar; I am not an idiot, and don't believe (with nearly 60 years of unstinting support and over 1200 home and away games "in my locker") that I am the epitome of all that is wrong with our Club – all accusations made in this thread... But, for the record, my "spat" with Darren is over, so far as I am concerned!

I offer Darren a metaphorical shake of the hand (and maybe a pint should we ever bump into each other!)

ps: Thanks to all you guys who have no doubt been bored by our "exchanges" for not reporting either one of us to the moderators!!

Steve Brown
189 Posted 15/02/2020 at 14:00:18
Klopp took over Liverpool on 8 October 2015 and finished that first season in 8th. It took him fours years to win his breakthrough first trophy.

Ancelotti won't have failed if we don't make the Europa League this season.

Jay Wood

190 Posted 15/02/2020 at 14:17:11
Martin @ 188.

All your posts in this thread are extremely mild. Nothing to apologize for.

If you've never heard of it before, look up NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It explains a lot.

Darren Hind
191 Posted 15/02/2020 at 15:15:09

We are of similar vintage and match-going experience. I felt your post @100 was both personal and unnecessary. You could have simply given your opinion like everyone else but, for whatever reason, you chose another path. I'm afraid my response was also unnecessary and OTT.

I have known Casho for a long time and when I read his post @185, It rang true. I knew I had been too hasty to label you a liar. I do think you got things a little wrong, but I can also see why. Casho is a smart man and, having read his post, I have to agree with every word of it.

I would like to retract and apologise for saying you deliberately twisted and distorted the truth. It was an accusation which was meant to strike back, but I can see it has clearly offended you.

On a lighter note. The thread did throw up post 190. That one produced a very loud belly laugh and has made my day.

Tony Abrahams
192 Posted 15/02/2020 at 16:36:20
I have no worries about any games at Goodison Park, especially the derby, but it's away from home that Everton genuinely concern me. If we can get a result at Arsenal, that would set us up for Man Utd, and if we can beat them, then who knows?
Rob Halligan
193 Posted 15/02/2020 at 17:18:01
Steve #189. I agree 100% with you. Ancelotti won't be seen as a failure if we don't qualify for the Europa League, but I think we all, and certainly Carlo, will be mightily disappointed given the position we now find ourselves in, if we don't.

To even think we have a very good chance of Europe next season, given the position we were in back in December, is nothing short of sensational. We hit the bottom of the barrel in early December with defeats at Leicester and the humiliation at Anfield. The reason a club sacks its manager is because results and performances are shit. We could have been really deep in the brown stuff if Silva had seen December out, but thankfully the board saw sense and got rid.

None of us could have imagined for one minute that we could appoint Ancelotti, but appoint him we did. The man is a winner, he very rarely sees failure (2005 springs to mind 😱😱😱), and if he thinks we have a very good chance of Europe next season, then I believe him.

I honestly believe he will be relishing the next four games, the kind of games he thrives on and looks forward too. Anything less than eight points from these four games will be a disappointment for Carlo, so bring them on, and let's finally do the FUCKING RED SHITE!!

Paul Tran
194 Posted 15/02/2020 at 17:32:33
Tony, any side on a run like ours, especially without playing particularly well, has no need to fear any other side in this league. My only concern is whether we have the mental strength to take that next step.
Martin Nicholls
195 Posted 15/02/2020 at 18:18:35
Darren #191 – no harm done! I wouldn't mind having that pint with you at some time though! I drink in the Saddle before the game so, if you're ever in that vicinity, do call in.

As an alternative, one of John Mac's TW get-togethers would be good although I usually struggle to make those as I have my grandson with me. Whatever, all forgotten now!

Brian Williams
196 Posted 15/02/2020 at 18:24:40
Darren, you should go the Saddle if only to meet young Ted who is a fine young man and an ardent Evertonian. The Saddle's a good prematch venue as long as you get there before the "Ten pints of Guinness please, Maureen" crowd. 🤪
Conor McCourt
197 Posted 15/02/2020 at 19:43:18
I think Steve has got it spot-on in highlighting these four games as crucial to what our targets should be and I don't think it's defeatist to say that.

Under Carlo, our points tally has been nothing short of exceptional but I really feel we have benefitted from a number of factors which will be tested in these matches. The team is united since Silva's sacking, Carlo's in-game management has been a big improvement, we have been clinical while our opponents have been wasteful, and confidence is high because we are winning matches. These fixtures will be a different ball game.

The team is definitely being set up to get the best out of our current squad but I don't see the individual improvements many speak of. Our defenders and goalkeeper are still making numerous mistakes and our forwards are carrying on from being reinvigorated under Big Dunc.

It's the midfielders which show the biggest difference but I worry this is a change in attitude from the usual suspects who will soon revert to type. Hopefully, Carlo can maintain their levels until the summer so we can find them a new home.

Many Twebbers have been angry at the performances against Man City and the neighbours but have spoken about others much more favourably. From my perspective, we have been consistently average; it's just the quality of the opposition that has been different.

This is why I would be loathe to suggest we have a chance which should be grabbed as I feel that, if we play as we have done recently against this quality of player we face, we will struggle to replicate our upwards momentum. If we give Aubemayang, Abraham and Martial the chances we have given the likes of Murray and Benteke, there will be a different outcome.

I think 6 points would be a great tally from these four games (beat Utd and 3 draws) and give us an unexpected chance to qualify for the Europa League. We have made great strides in terms of mentality and unity; now we need to increase our performance levels to trouble these teams.

Mike Gaynes
198 Posted 15/02/2020 at 20:43:28
Rob #193, you say it best, my friend. Agree 100,000%.

Your contributions and many others help us all shrug off posts like #190.

Paul Tran
199 Posted 15/02/2020 at 20:54:43
We don't have to be brilliant. We don't have to be very good.
We're an average team amongst a large pack of average teams, and if we raise our game a little, we can finish 5th/6th.

It's in our hands, we don't have to be wonderful. Decent will do for now. We can strengthen in the summer and progress properly next season.

Martin Nicholls
200 Posted 15/02/2020 at 21:14:26
Brian#196 - nice one! Ill show that to Teddy tomorrow!
Steve Brown
201 Posted 16/02/2020 at 02:49:51
Mike @ 198, I was going to multiply your agreement on Rob @ 193's post x 100 but I couldn't do the maths! Rob always brings passion and perspective that I for one could learn from.

Rob @ 193, I am definitely excited about pushing for a Europa League spot and I am totally behind Carlo's (and Duncan's efforts. I still wake up sometimes and think how the hell did we manage to get him. It is definitely small-minded of me, but if I had to choose between Europa League this season or beating the shite, well

Martin Nicholls
202 Posted 15/02/2020 at 09:35:56
Type or paste your comment here. PLEASE capitalise initial letters of proper names and use proper grammar. No txt-speak; all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
David Cash
203 Posted 16/02/2020 at 09:39:20
Hehe Dazza.

Time constraints mean I only pop in here a couple of times a month. But I've seen enough to believe a lot of people would have found post 190 as amusing as you did. I suspect the poster will be the only one the irony is lost on.

Anyway. Fair play with your apology to Martin. I think It was the right thing to do.

Give the Mrs and the kids a big hugs from all of us. Have a look and see if we can squeeze the Saddle into the schedule When I'm home for the Leicester game.

And stop talking shite about Ancelotti

Joe McMahon
204 Posted 16/02/2020 at 10:03:11
For us to stand any chance, Pickford needs weekly sessions with a shrink and the whole squad needs a day session with a motivational speaker the day before the Liverpool game.
Martin Nicholls
205 Posted 16/02/2020 at 10:35:21
David (or can I call you Casho?!?)#203 - be good to meet both you and Darren in Saddle sometime. Not sure how many other TWebbers go in there - Brian W certainly does, as do up to 10 of my mates. Don't worry about getting there before the "ten pints of Guinness brigade" (us!) that Brian mentions - Maureen's got us well boxed off!
Paul Birmingham
206 Posted 16/02/2020 at 10:43:28
Martin, yes there all superb pubs down and off Dale Street, there's less and less each passing year. I like the Hole in The Wall, but there's a few on the edge.

Me and ma8, do the Old Fellas mile every couple of months.

It's an Odyssey, every time.

Any TW Beer Fest, after the end of season, I'll be up for it.

Paul Richards
207 Posted 16/02/2020 at 14:01:14
Brian @184, I was somewhat bemused by that Unsworth article, recalling that Unsworth's position at Everton had reportedly become untenable according to some on here, and all would soon be revealed, about how badly the Under-23s were being managed... or worse!

Or have I got that all wrong?

Martin Nicholls
208 Posted 16/02/2020 at 15:44:35
Paul#206 - the Saddle that Brian and I are on about is on the corner of Sessions Rd and Fountains Rd but I know the one you talk of. Love many pubs down Dale St in particular Ship and Mitre (laughingly once refered to by an insane mate of mine as the Crown and Sphincter!) and the Vernon - the Hole in the Wall is also great! Lion at top of Moorfields is also well worth a visit - great beer and superb domed skylight.
This thread certainly is going off at various tangents now! We need a game so we can all refocus!
Joe McMahon
209 Posted 16/02/2020 at 16:06:34
Bollox, Spurs late winner today won't help.
Dave Abrahams
210 Posted 16/02/2020 at 16:11:41
Paul (206), yes Dale Street was a lot livelier when Moorfields Wine Lodge was going, lots of people would head for there then spill out into the pubs on Dale Street, lots of characters in those pubs, many gone and missed.
Simon Harrison
211 Posted 16/02/2020 at 18:18:12
Laurie @119, is this the article you were referring to?


It's a decent read about his time at RM, plus there is a link at the bottom of the article, which takes you to his thoughts on switching to 4-4-2 for defensive duties.

Interesting thread this btw. Pubs, pints, outrageous fashion sense, South Park references, positivity and pessimism with a storm in a teacup too!

ToffeeWeb, what is there not to like?

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