Anclelotti: Everything was wrong

Sunday, 8 March, 2020 85comments  |  Jump to last

Carlo Ancelotti took no positives from Everton's drubbing at Chelsea this afternoon and appeared to take some responsibility of his own for a flawed setup that got taken apart by Frank Lampard's improving team.

The Toffees were hoping to end a 26-year wait for a win at Stamford Bridge but instead served up more pain and embarrassment for their travelling fans with an utterly abject display that ended with a 4-0 defeat.

Short on options in midfield to begin with, Ancelotti deployed his twin-striker formation and persisted with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Tom Davies in midfield alongside a visibly off-the-pace André Gomes and watched as his side were overrun in the middle of the park during a chastening first half.

Everton conceded a pair of goals in each half as Chelsea, led by 18-year-old Premier League debutant Billy Gilmour and a motivated Ross Barkley, played through the visitors' defences with ease and Ancelotti conceded that while his players weren't ever in the game, his tactics might not have helped.

“What was wrong? Everything was wrong,” Ancelotti said ruefully afterwards. “From the first minute to the end, we were not in the game. We were slow, we weren't compact… it's difficult to say something because everything was wrong today.

“So we we have to be focused to try to analyse the game, what we did wrong and to look forward. We think we can compete to fight for Europe over the next season. With this type of performance we have to forget that.

“We were too slow, we lost a lot of duels in midfield. Of course, we were not in the game. Usually, we are used to playing a different game [but] today we were not good enough.

“We didn't fight. Everything was wrong today — the strategy, the attitude, the fighting spirit so we have to look forward to another game. It will be difficult but it can give us motivation because it's a derby and we'll try and do our best.

Asked how the team can bounce back, Ancelotti said that, “everyone has to take their responsibility and try to do better.”


Reader Comments (85)

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David Connor
1 Posted 08/03/2020 at 18:25:12
Let's hope we haven't wasted even more money by appointing Carlo. Getting rid of the huge amount of dross we have won't be easy. We need to lose at least 10 players from our squad, even if it means letting most of them go for free.

There will be no takers for Bernard., Sigurdsson, Walcott, Iwobi, Tosun, Sandro and Schneiderlin, given their huge wages... What a piss-poor run club we are.

Rob Sachro
2 Posted 08/03/2020 at 18:36:06
"Everything was wrong"...?? No, everything was embarrassing!! No fight, no spirit, no plan! Only chance created was Calvert-Lewin's... and he fluffed it... big time.

I've never said this before... but we got what we deserved – nothing! Which is hard to say, because we have improved but today was just... embarrassing.

Dave Williams
3 Posted 08/03/2020 at 18:36:57
So he admits we didn't fight, we weren't compact and we were too slow. The strategy, attitude and fighting spirit were wrong. All true... but why??

Surely he can see that Sigurdsson has to be dropped for starters. André needs energetic runners alongside him to give him space; is he ready yet for games like this?

Tom Davies is not quick, Bernard is too easily shrugged off the ball, Walcott is poor, Iwobi has to play in the middle and not wide left or right. Holgate and Baningime are options for centre-midfield who will get stuck in, work and fight and provide energy. Richarlison could drop back and, if we still go two up top, give Moise Kean a proper go.

The answers are at Finch Farm but quite why he was given this sort of performance is beyond me and why he couldn't sort them out at half-time is curious.

What has gone on to result in crap like today??

Rob Sachro
4 Posted 08/03/2020 at 18:39:59
And I had to sit through that with one of mates... who's a Chelsea fan... Great afternoon I had!! Thank god for beer...
Jack Convery
5 Posted 08/03/2020 at 18:40:01
Offer Matic a 2-year deal with an option of another year. Man Utd have only offered him an extra 12 months. The guy's class, just what we need in front of that defence and Carlo knows him very well.

After today, Carlo must know there is no future at Goodison for Sigurdsson, Sidibé, Keane, and Walcott. Davies is on borrowed time and so is Bernard – squad players at best.

Carlo appears to be giving lots of players enough rope to hang themselves with and they are obliging him. Only Schneiderlin benefited from today and he wasn't playing! Spot-on report as always. If only the team was as consistent.

Michael O'Malley
6 Posted 08/03/2020 at 18:43:36
He could start by binning Sigurdsson who was woeful, Sidibé was piss poor and Zouma and Rudiger had Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison in their back pocket, and I thought he should have started Walcott who at laeast has a pit of pace, while Bernard is better on left with Digne.

Gilmour looked like the one with 100 plus appearances he showed how limited Davies is and Gomes doesn't look fit enough and when are we going to keep a clean sheet we are minus 9 GD. Pathetic display.

Christy Ring
7 Posted 08/03/2020 at 18:50:50
We have no ball winner, or physical presence in midfield, and Carlo how Sigurdsson is keeping his place is a mystery to me. What does he offer? Absolutely nothing.
Damian Nolan
8 Posted 08/03/2020 at 18:52:17
David, don't forget to add Besic and Bolasie to that coterie of footballers. The dilemma will always remain this – all signings are a gamble.

To attract players to a club not offering Uefa-based football means you have to offer a series of market-busting inducements which adds up to long contracts at inflated rates. Then, when they don't perform (see the list above) you are stuck with them. It is a financial horror show.

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 08/03/2020 at 19:05:34
Where the hell were our scouts when the likes of Wolves were assembling a team with Ruben Neves, Moutinho, Jota and Coady (proper no-nonsense defender)?

We sign foreign players from abroad and they just deteriorate into nothingness like Digne (terrible defender that got away with it last season due to being good going forward) and other overpriced shit like Tosun to name just two of many.

That performance today was a disgrace to the shirt; let's not make any excuses.

In December, we worked our bollox off and beat Chelsea into submission but, ever since that game, the work ethic has been virtually nonexistent.

We've won a few matches that we'd have probably won even with Dunc in charge of, beat teams that at Goodison we should expect to beat but, every time a challenge presents itself, we just collapse like a pack of cards in a hurricane.

To be honest, I can't quite see where the positive vibes were coming from, even prior to today's drubbing. We have been poor in most games and defensively we just leak goals.

I'm not criticising Ancelotti but after three months in charge and still not realising players like Sigurdsson are completely useless and shot, that worries me slightly.

I said after that Cup humiliation at Anfield in January, if Silva had been in charge for that he'd have been hunted down.

Things really really need to change this summer. Fans don't want to hear more sound bites from Brands or Barrett-Baxendale about how the club is moving in the right direction; we want to see some clear tangible signs on the pitch.

Liam Reilly
10 Posted 08/03/2020 at 19:06:01
Roy Keane said on Sky Sports that this is the biggest job of Ancelotti's career and he'll be left scratching his head after that performance; for once, I agree with him.

The majority of these players downed tools on Koeman, Allardyce and Silva, and got them sacked and no amount of magic dust is going to turn them into winners.

This lot were beaten on the bus to Stamford Bridge and we need a Fire Sale in the summer; I'd only keep:

Pickford – because he's young and will get better

Digne & Mina – because we've already paid for them but they need to find some form

Holgate & Calvert-Lewin – but both looked today liked Sean Bean on "When Saturday Comes", possibly celebrating their new contracts too much

Kean – because I think there's a player in there

Richarlison – because, with the right service, he could be our only world class player

But Bernard is the only Brazilian I know that repels the ball; France would not have won the World Cup if Pavard had been injured. What happened to Theo Walcott; he should still be top of his game by making some adaptations.

Tom Davies tries hard but needs a loan away to take the pressure off.

We need a quick centre-half; we need pace and guile in the middle; we need a decent winger...

Biggest job... you bet it is...

James Newcombe
11 Posted 08/03/2020 at 19:16:24
We should have beaten Arsenal and the Man Utd game could have gone our way too. Maybe we should save 4-4-2 for our home games though?

We don't keep clean sheets because our erratic goalkeeper and creaking back line receive no cover from the midfield, which is why we look so vulnerable whenever any team decides to take the game to us.

Whenever I've seen Chelsea under Lampard, they swarm forward in attack and play lots of short passes around the box, sometimes overplaying if anything... Not the kind of team you want to be outnumbered by in midfield anyway.

Carlo needs a couple of years before he can be judged fairly, but we made a fair Chelsea team look almost world-class.

Ron Marr
12 Posted 08/03/2020 at 19:25:03
He's been putting lipstick on pigs for weeks. Looks like the lipstick has run out.
Don Alexander
13 Posted 08/03/2020 at 19:26:33
Getting hammered is unacceptable but, when managers fill their team with sprogs when playing against us, it should tell any respectable player we have that the whole league is taking the piss out of them.

Another comfy week at Finch Farm will no doubt sort it out though.

Yeh, right on!

Alex Winstanley
14 Posted 08/03/2020 at 19:43:55
That was as gutless a performance as I can remember. No aggression in midfield. We need a Joe Parkinson type player in midfield alongside Gomes.

Our right-back is terrible (and I mean terrible!); we have nothing on the right side of midfield (Walcott and Iwobi aren't up to the job!). Goalkeeper is questionable and we don't know what our best centre-half partnership is.

I dared to dream about Europe a couple of weeks ago, even though I knew we weren't good enough. This season is over now. We desperately need to be building for next season, look at some of the younger players and say goodbye to a number of the older overpaid ones.

I'm feeling pretty down tonight!

Brian Wilkinson
15 Posted 08/03/2020 at 20:00:23
Is it any wonder Ferguson said he didn't want the job just yet, he knew the players still had a couple of seasons left on their contracts, very shrewd by Ferguson.

Nothing will change until we get quite a few off our books.

Jay Harris
16 Posted 08/03/2020 at 20:11:21
It is no disgrace to lose at Chelsea... To not even show up and show some pride in the shirt is an absolute disgrace.

We were an absolute shambles and to blame the usual suspects is unfair because anyone who was on the pitch today should be ashamed of themselves.

I don't know what went wrong but one of the pundits got it right by saying it looked like the Everton players had a sleeping potion in their water.

We stood off, we couldn't pass, we didn't put any effort in. It is just inexplicable and unjustifiable.

Peter Laing
17 Posted 08/03/2020 at 20:42:43
I saw a report midweek that Ancelotti would like to add two or three players to the squad during the summer. After today, I think his shopping list for Brands will have quadrupled.
Gordon Adie
18 Posted 08/03/2020 at 20:52:18
I was shot down when I suggested Mikey Johnston of Celtic a couple of months back. This lad is better than Gilmour, injured at the moment, but for fuck's sake at least check him out. Two million tops he will cost. Well worth the money.
Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 08/03/2020 at 20:55:53
Even if he's only two thirds the player of Gilmour, he definitely needs checking out, Gordon!
Brent Stephens
20 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:15:10
I couldn't get a train out of Southport in time for the Lime Street train, so drove to Runcorn to catch it from there. Runcorn closed down, no trains to or from Liverpool. I raced to Warrington and just made it in time for the train from Glasgow. Delays between Watford and Euston. So a good performance was going to compensate...

And then that dross. Brian Wilkinson above has it right "Is it any wonder Ferguson said he didn't want the job just yet, he knew the players still had a couple of seasons left on their contracts, very shrewd by Ferguson. Nothing will change until we get quite a few off our books".

We hardly created a chance so you can't afford to miss the one good chance we had the way we did. Embarrassing. The back line was sloppy (the chances we gave them!). The midfield was way off the pace. Boys and old men, against men and a new boy (he looked as if he'd been around for years!).

Carlo seems to be an honest guy in taking part of the blame but he ain't got much to work with. I see there's a knife or two out for him after that display. Why am I not surprised?

Harry Wallace
21 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:18:13
Can anyone tell me what Davies offers? He is slow, gives the ball away, pushed off the ball easily, doesn't score, and never hits a long pass target. I don't get it. So many like him. We need a clear out.
Tony Everan
22 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:27:44
Midfield is not up to scratch. It's just not tough enough.

Teams will look forward to playing us with that midfield full of namby-pamby softies. Not a mean bastard, win-at-all-costs player in sight.

Midfield is too loose, too slow, too weak, not in any way a cohesive fighting unit. Poor control and poor wayward ponderous passing, some of it comes from lack of confidence, some of it is just how it is with the characters we've got.

Paul Tran on the live forum called for a Mean Hard Bastard. We need a few of them that can play just as well as we have got or better. We need some natural born winners – not the career journeymen that were on show today.

Carlo's got his work cut out, just like his predecessors did. He has got to face it down and blast a few players with some unpalatable home truths.

Most of all, he has to assemble a midfield that is a coherent compact and feared fighting unit. Until he achieves that we are going absolutely nowhere.

Until we get a mean streak going, we will be forever rolling over on our bellies like a soft toy poodle submitting to an English Bull Terrier.

Paul Birmingham
23 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:29:09
Agreed, Gordon and Tony, Billy Gilmour played like a seasoned professional this week. Chelsea looked good, but we were never at the races.

Did the players go down a casino or down Soho...? No, but why can so-called professionals put up such a shit show today?

They should be doing extra training this week, and taking lessons in football team play and what 'commitment' and 'effort' means.

Liverpool could put their kids out again and still beat this team easily. Hopefully lessons learned for the squad and management team.

Anthony A Hughes
24 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:29:36
Don't you know he's young, Harry, and can only improve. Because every young player automatically gets better. So says ToffeeWeb coaches experts.
Jim Bennings
25 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:36:05
Davies supposedly offers energy but I fail to see this energy unless he comes on a skateboard?

He's another in a long line of midfielders that is bland, no real features to his game.

I long for even a maverick, a mad bulging eyed Tommy Gravesen, a classy narky basque like Mikel Arteta, a dynamic nuisance like Tim Cahill or the gangly pain-in-the-arse of a Fellaini type player.

We didn't win anything with those players, so what chance do we have with the current crop of soulless one-dimensional crabs?

Martin Reppion
26 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:59:17
Okay, there was nothing to be pleased about on the field.

When your team's Man of the Match in a 4-0 defeat is your goalkeeper, you have been well and truly stuffed.

But I am pleased that I haven't had to listen to Bobbie Martinez trying to tell us there were positives and he is pleased. Nor did we have Fat Sam saying we didn't expect to win anyway.

I think an eye opener was needed. If we kept flattering to deceive, we could have been left thinking no surgery was needed. Carlo's eyes have been well and truly opened. I am confident that this can be the slap that was needed and we will move forward.

David Hillon
27 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:10:29
It seems to me that the boss is playing around with different combinations to see exactly the situation and, when he has seen enough, there will be a purge.

I am very confident he knows the situation and will act decisively when the time is right. Patience is called for at this time.

James Power
28 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:16:38
Anyone else think they may have all been out this week celebrating Jordan's birthday?
Michael Lynch
29 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:36:33
Chelsea were decent today. If it wasn't us being humiliated, I would have enjoyed watching them.
Christine Foster
30 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:43:42
At this point in time, Carlo does not have enough of a nucleus to build a winning team. The players he has have serious deficiencies in terms of ability, attitude or both. You can compensate for a lack of ability somewhat with the right attitude, and great skill will always trump attitude, but, without a sufficiency of either, he has no choice but to clear the decks.

I said on the Live Forum that there were only a handful (one hand) that he should keep. Personally, I would get rid of the entire back four and start again, they are individually not good enough and collectively a disgrace. I include Holgate and Digne for the simple reason the former is not good enough and the latter is a shadow of the player we bought. Baines has done a far better job and that in itself is telling.

Midfield, with the exception of Gomes, and he is not fit, is nothing short of a disgrace. Take your pick... Bernard is being made to look awful by the lack of options, Sidibe, omg... a worse player I have not seen in blue this season. Davies, headless chick...

Calvert-Lewin & Richarlison... you have to keep.

It's not just the lack of ability of the players, it's the lack of desire, winning attitude... it's all wrong and, when it's this bad, you have to rebuild; no going back.

Colin Glassar
31 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:56:13
Spot on, Martin @26. We were due a spanking with this bunch of misfiring misfits. Carlo will have to be patient as it's going to be next to impossible to ship out this pile of overpaid cow dung.

What hope have we when a weak, shrimp of a player is replaced by an even weaker shrimp like Walcott?

Jim Bennings
32 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:57:43
They would probably do us a favour playing the derby behind closed doors.

It would save Evertonians feeling obliged to turn up in blind faith for another fixture that this club just doesn't win historically.

We'll hear the chest beating this week about how we can quickly turn today's result around next Monday, but the fact is, we won't even get close to touching the surface of hurting the Shite.

We make no effort to press teams, no effort to close teams down and make too many defensive mistakes to even salvage a dour draw.

Last Everton goal scorer at Goodison Park in a Merseyside derby??

Romelu Lukaku, October 2015, pretty much says it all that.

Anthony A Hughes
33 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:59:27
Yeah and some would have you believe that Lukaku fella was crap!
Mal van Schaick
34 Posted 08/03/2020 at 23:03:45
We need a clear out. End of.
Jerome Shields
35 Posted 08/03/2020 at 23:10:26
Carlo, it's been wrong for a while. We have witnessed these kinds of performances, from players who don't give a dam, dragging other players down with them, for years. So much, so we recognise it as being typical Everton.

You need to look at the root of where it is going wrong – Finch Farm. . . and the hangers-on in the internal management. If you don't, you will have similar problems next season, as other managers before you found out.

Carlo, by the way, they will put on a performance against Liverpool, but don't be fooled: they will let you down again.

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 08/03/2020 at 23:15:54
I thought Barkley had a very good game today. He's fitting in well to their present set-up.

Anthony #33, do you remember that Lukaku goal against Chelsea at Goodison Park? Swerved past several players before scoring (scuffed goal according to some!).

Justin Doone
37 Posted 08/03/2020 at 23:23:48
Chelsea outplayed us at Goodison Park but we played simple football, stayed compact so and tried not to get dragged out of position.

Carlo wants to play differently but, like other past managers have found, we don't have the quality to play the way he wants against better teams.

It's about finding the balance. We need to be harder to beat away from home – otherwise, we will keep conceding too many goals against the split centre-backs that Duncan had stopped.

Jerome Shields
38 Posted 08/03/2020 at 23:27:31
Justin #37,

I agree that Chelsea did play well at Goodison and Everton's tactics were spot on, with motivated players implementing them.

John Davies
39 Posted 08/03/2020 at 23:52:55
Woeful. Spineless. Cowardly. Embarrassing. Disgraceful. Fraudulent. I could go on for ever.

These cheats should not be paid this week. But they will be – and they'll go home to their luxury houses and not give a shit. Not one minute of sleep will be lost tonight in any of their households whilst we supporters will be tortured by that appalling performance for days.

I'm all for Carlo being at the helm but can anyone please tell me why he gives the captain's'armband to Sigurdsson? The guy is abysmal. As are Sidibe, Keane, Davies, Bernard, Schneiderlin, Iwobi, Sandro, Bolasie, Walcott……………..

And what the fuck was that from Calvert-Lewin in the first half? The lad nearly broke his own ankle stuffing his boot into the deck.

Bloody hell, people!! European football next season? Forget it. No sleep for me tonight. Unlike those arseholes. Someone take my shoe laces and trouser belts away from me. PLEASE!

Jack Convery
40 Posted 08/03/2020 at 23:56:01
Why do I care and carry on caring – what's wrong with me?

Oh yeh, that's right ... I was born an Evertonian and therefore will always be an Evertonian. However can someone please explain why?

Derek Thomas
41 Posted 09/03/2020 at 00:43:17
No Intensity, which is just a modern word for effort. I've been writing this since Suarez and Rogers were over the park.

No midfield unit, just poorly performing individuals, in Isolated individual positions... and I've been writing this for nearly as long.

We made an average in-transition Chelsea look like the Chelsea of 15 years ago and an apprentice look like Makalele in his pomp.

Have I missed anything out?

Oh yeah, god help us next week when Liverpool regain their faltering mojo – and they will.

Who do you want to play when you need a pick-me-up, or a goal drought ending – The County Road Casuals.

Andrew Dempsey
42 Posted 09/03/2020 at 00:49:09
Utterly clueless manager.
Frank Sheppard
43 Posted 09/03/2020 at 06:30:44
Andrew, “the utterly clueless manager” was Silva and he has gone. It was a very bad performance, and a very bad result. Let's move on.
Dale Rose
44 Posted 09/03/2020 at 08:12:31
Shitty game. These things happen. Onwards and upwards.
Mark Dunford
45 Posted 09/03/2020 at 08:21:50
Carlo has given all the players in his squad a chance since he arrived, so no-one can complain too loudly at the end of the season. The two that have flourished have been rewarded with long-term contracts and hopefully Baines will stay for a further year.

Yesterday was the second fixture in London in close succession so I got to see the team again. A much-changed line-up with – bar Sigurdsson – a different midfield from the game at Arsenal. Apart from Gomes's cameo at Arsenal, I haven't really seen an effective midfield performance. Schneiderlin, Delph, Iwobi, Bernard, Walcott, Sigurdsson and (regrettably) Davies didn't cut it. Gordon's cameo excused for obvious reasons.

We miss Gueye terribly. The list is a catalogue of poor, ill-considered investment. Most have contributed a little in their time at Goodison but yesterday's game bypassed Sigurdsson and Walcott in particular. None have justified the expenditure. Delph is a near-permanent sick note and has a belief in himself and his importance that is completely mystifying to those of us who've seen him play. We need a better balanced midfield.

We need a new right-back and hopefully Kenny will return to solve this. Sidibé isn't the answer to Coleman's absence. The exposed defence left by the weakness on the right side of midfield doesn't make the right-backs or the centre-half's task easier – something exploited by Arsenal and more ruthlessly by Chelski.

We need a left-sided centre-half to complement Holgate who should shift to the right.

We need a captain. Baines captained the team against Arsenal in a meaningful way; Sigurdsson didn't against Chelsea.

We lost to a very good side yesterday – one that is far better than Arsenal who we were unlucky to lose to. It showed the distance between the elite teams and those immediately below. If it hadn't been for Pickford, the score line yesterday would have been far worse.

One other observation: Holgate consistently acknowledges the travelling support at the end of the game and this is appreciated. Not everyone does.

We finally appear to have a very good manager who seems to “get” the club, he has cherry-picked the right players to keep but he has a big task ahead.

Tony Abrahams
46 Posted 09/03/2020 at 08:23:37
It's not that easy for everyone to adapt to what you're saying, Dale, because Everton means a lot to so many people, and when they go down without any fight, it is very, very concerning.

Look at the problems Brent had yesterday just trying to get to London to see the team he follows everywhere. My own little nephew got to Lime Street yesterday morning smiling his head off, I've heard, but, with the trains up the wall, his smile didn't last very long.

They had to phone his mum and take her car but it didn't stop them turning up at Stamford Bridge. That's the calibre of the fans that follow our once great club, a club that will only return to its former glories only when it can match the commitment of its truly great support.

Eddie Dunn
47 Posted 09/03/2020 at 08:49:44
Look, it's clear as day that our problems lie in a slow midfield. Sigurdsson is a shadow of his former self; Tom Davies is not blessed with speed; Gomes is recovering from his injury, and if we had more options surely he would be brought back slowly.

On top of these obvious shortcomings, we have a coach who has regularly picked people in the wrong positions. Bernard should not play on the right and to expect him to cover the worst right-back I have ever seen in an Everton shirt is folly.

Ancelotti has to take most of the blame with his selection and tactics. He made the change after we were two goals down, but how did he think that our midfield could stifle Mount, Pedro or Barkley running between the lines?

Carlo's options are limited and it was good to see Gordon on, who looked fine. Why not get Baningime in midfield?

As for Digne, the guy has stunk the place out all season. He might have had a few assists but defensively, he makes Baines look like the security chief at Fort Knox.

Pickford is being exposed by our terrible midfield. The likes of Keane and Holgate were picked apart and Digne was caught upfield, and his fellow wingback, Sidibe, was playing in a parallel universe.

Europe is gone but, even if we qualified for the Europa League by a fairplay scheme, there won't be any fans going anyway due to the Coronavirus, so just as well we won't make it.

Dean Johnson
48 Posted 09/03/2020 at 10:14:43
So Holgate and Calvert-Lewin get new contracts and the next game they play like shite. Coincidence?

Everyone slating all the team on here apart from Holgate. As far as I am concerned, he was the worst player yesterday.

Mark Dunford
49 Posted 09/03/2020 at 10:42:07
Dean (48). We must have seen a different game.

From my perch at the top of the Shed End, it was difficult to pick the poorest Everton player (and would be unfair to do so as it fingers one while letting the others off) but – for once – the player ratings in the Liverpool Echo seem to be a good guide.

Apart from Pickford, who kept the score down as many have said, no-one had a particularly praiseworthy game – Richarlison and Holgate were the only two starters that didn't underperform to the same extent as the others – who, for various reasons, including fitness (Digne, Gomes), were largely pretty poor.

Worth noting that three of the Chelski goalscorer were over 30, yet our slightly younger 30-pluses were among the worst performers.

Franny Porter
50 Posted 09/03/2020 at 11:07:51
My derby team (4-4-1-1):



Richarlison (RM)
Baningime (unless he's injured or something got to be worth a go)
Digne (LM)



Eddie Dunn
51 Posted 09/03/2020 at 11:13:31
Christ Franny! Did you not see Sidibe yesterday?
Danny Broderick
52 Posted 09/03/2020 at 11:31:50
Ancelotti's got a free hit this season. So far, he hasn't changed much in terms of personnel or tactics since taking over from Big Dunc. In fairness he is limited with the changes he can make in midfield in particular.

You can't polish a turd - whether we play Tom Davies, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Gomes, Bernard, Walcott etc - they are all lightweight. They can all be okay when things are going their way, but we need at least 1 terrier who gives us energy and bite in midfield, especially away from home. We don't currently have one on the books apart from Gbamin, who is injured.

Next season, I feel he will have to ditch 4-4-2. We also need more energy and aggression in midfield. Let's hope we can get rid of some of our deadwood this summer and bring in players who are hungry. Our captain yesterday, Sigurdsson, touched the ball 34 times. That summed it up for me.

Franny Porter
53 Posted 09/03/2020 at 11:41:51
Eddie, I had the misfortune to be sat in the lower tier watching him, the only other option would be to move Holgate to right-back and keep Keane.

Don't know what option fills me with the most dread!

Jim Harrison
54 Posted 09/03/2020 at 12:15:22
Shite performance against a team that clicked. Pedro has one game in 5 where he looks good, happened to be this one!!

Not much Carlo can do with this midfield. Gomes has 2 games under his belt but can hardly be expected to be back to full level just yet. Any combination of the rest isn't going to cut it. It's been obvious for seasons that we need a dominant central mid.

Joe Bibb
55 Posted 09/03/2020 at 12:15:38
One of the worst Everton performances (If you can call it a performance) in the last 10 years.

Tom Davies, the new Geoff Nulty: points here, there everywhere but doesn't do a thing.

Everton Ladies would beat this team, We need to make sure the money is there in the summer to buy new players and offload this shower. Maybe playing behind closed doors because of this virus would be a blessing.

Tony Abrahams
56 Posted 09/03/2020 at 12:31:21
Danny @52, a free hit is the only thing that makes sense after watching yesterday's game, with thoughts that he's making a few suffer, before he eventually tries to get rid of them, which definitely won't be easy as we all know.

If he goes 4-4-2 at home to Liverpool, I expect another massacre, but if he changes formation then I can still see us winning next week.

I woke up yesterday thinking that Chelsea might be tired after beating Liverpool in mid-week, but I called it wrong. That game only gave Chelsea's youngsters a lot more confidence, but they were definitely helped by Ancelotti not changing our formation, so I can only hope that Carlo has an ulterior motive.

Eddie Dunn
57 Posted 09/03/2020 at 12:38:00
Franny, poor you enduring that in the flesh! We could put Davies at right-back but he lacks pace so would have to stay deep.

As we are virtually safe, is there not a kid in the Under-23s that could pop in? Sending Jonjoe Kenny out on loan is now looking a bit silly.

Dale Rose
58 Posted 09/03/2020 at 13:44:21
Tony #46.

I understand fully what your saying. It was a quick post and did appear glib.

It was an uncharacteristic performance given some of our recent performances. Good on you and your family. Like them, I love the club, and look forward to consigning that game to the nightmare section of my club memories.

Andrew Dempsey
59 Posted 09/03/2020 at 15:00:25
The intensity of our play is just going to get less and less under this manager, to the point where he has to be sacked, probably at some stage near the end of next season or, at a stretch, the one after.

It doesn't matter who the personnel is. As for right now, he's happy to amble along with Sigurdsson playing left midfield (that's Allardyce football) and doing nothing. Not only doing nothing, in truth, destroying the whole dynamic of the team.

Holgate was a revelation in midfield, in the absence of a proper tackler like Gueye. So why not move him back in there since we look so open and fragile?

I think Mina and Keane can form an ok partnership until we buy a centre back in the summer. Maybe he doesn't want to do it because then it looks like another thing he just copied from Duncan Ferguson.

At the moment it's a 442 without intensity or bite, or players in the right positions, mainly Sigurdsson, who should be on the bench.

Why are these points beyond criticism? I don't hate Ancelotti. I'm just criticising his performance so far. And from what we know of him at past clubs, he's going to have to change his personality and approach if this Everton team he's building are to become more aggressive and intense over time, and not less.

I hope he does learn from the criticism directed at him during his spells at Bayern and Napoli. I hope he is so fired up by the love Evertonians are giving him that he gives every last ounce to win us a trophy.

There's no doubt that his chilled-out vibe has had an immediate, positive effect. But, I have serious doubts. When I see him hugging and smiling with Lampard right before the kick-off, I don't see someone ruthlessly focused on winning.

I see a top bloke and a nice guy, of course, he's also someone who loves and understands football and footballers of the highest level. Is this what Everton need right now? That's the important question.

I hope (and actually am praying) that I'm wrong, and we bring in the World-Class players he needs and Carlo does the business for us.

It's the biggest challenge of his impressive career. How up for it is he? It's going to have be beyond the proverbial 110%.

Kieran Kinsella
60 Posted 09/03/2020 at 15:27:00
Andrew Dempsey @42,

The problem is, we keep going back to square one and firing managers but never improving. Talk on the forum of hiring an up-and-comer instead of Carlo as he's past it. But didn't we do that with Koeman and Silva?

Then they were called charlatans and unproven when it didn't work out. Different club, different ambitions but look at Burnley. Dyche got them promoted and immediately relegated.

Now when the same thing happened at other clubs eg. Norwich with O'Neil, or Brighton ALMOST getting relegated and sacking Hughton, or Cardiff with Warnock, QPR with Warnock.

Those clubs never made it back to the top. Burnley stuck by Dyche, he got them promoted again and this time they stuck around.

Now, I don't have a crystal ball but I suspect we'll never be successful unless we give a manager time.

Mick Conalty
61 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:01:16
Carlo, you are paid millions to get everything right. Everything wrong is not an option.
Jay Harris
62 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:11:19

I totally agree. It is nonsense to talk about Ancelotti not being the right man after 11 games just because of one game.

We were just as good if not better than Arsenal and Man Utd in our last 2 games, in fact my son made a good point in that he says the daylight robbery of Man Utd and VAR has totally knocked the stuffing out of the players.

Now I know some will say they make Millions a year but there is still a human element in every player and they are bound to be affected by the injustice of some of the decisions that have been made against us, where we could be sitting in 5th instead of 12th.

Some are saying it was the formation and the tactics but that is too generous to the players who, with the exception of Richarlison, just did not show up at all.

Andrew Dempsey
63 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:59:21
Kieran 60,

I don't really think there's any other option than to give him time. This is Moshiri's biggest move to date (stadium pending) and it has to work. He's going to give him every chance to get this right.

Whoever is in charge has got a bloody hard task to break into the Champions League. Maybe this season was the best opportunity, and you can't really blame the current Boss for it not happening.

In two years from now, if we're nowhere near realistically getting into the top four, but we're playing great entertaining football, I'd take it, and I'd give him one more season to try and get there. I think that's a reasonable amount of time, three and a half seasons – to get the players in (and out) and get us up there.

I'm not so unreasonable as to want him removed now. That's insane. So many things have to go right though, the players he brings in have to lift the whole squad. I have doubts about trying to bring World Class players in, and then hoping they gel and have the right chemistry.

As opposed to having a coach who improves the players he has, and organises a tough, hard to beat unit, which I personally believe is the way we should go.

Time will tell.

Jim Harrison
64 Posted 09/03/2020 at 17:26:19
Andrew, 59

His performance up until now? 3rd on form behind Man City and Liverpool going into Sunday's game!!

Of course not beyond criticism, but with some level or rationality. The same group of players were in the bottom 3 under the last full-time manager.

Losing away to Chelsea isn't beyond the realms of expectation. It was an awful performance by the players, pretty much all of them. But of those who really stunk is it a surprise? Players who have roundly been panned on here and are expected to be moved on or lose first-team positions.

Who cares if he gives Frank a cuddle? He also storms the pitch at full time to remonstrate with the ref in the last game. You can hardly judge him now! Who else comes in? Howe? Dyche?

We have the best-qualified manager to have ever been employed in the history of the club and he took over a team that, bar a few games under Big Dunc, had been massively underperforming. Klopp took Rodgers team to 8th in his first season, 4th second. We know where they are now.

I think he is trying players out, giving them a chance to show what they are capable of. This season is already a write-off, there is a chance to get Europa but its slim.

Have we learned anything? The midfield still needs a quality addition to play along side Gomes. Davies isn't that player, yet. If ever. We need a quality centre-back

We need another option up front. Kean isn't there yet, if ever. So pretty much exactly the same as before. Even one really quality addition in the middle could do a lot. Look at the difference the new lad has had at Man Utd.

Finally. A shit performance, but I read somewhere on here the worst in 10 years? So, 2 nil at home against Norwich? Numerous spankings at Arsenal, Koeman's team getting schooled in Europe. There are many candidates for that honour.

It was just a shit performance that rightly is getting hammered, but as an indication of what Carlo is about? That is silly.

Tony Everan
65 Posted 09/03/2020 at 18:13:58
Talking about Carlo not the right fit for the club is a bit premature. He was arguably the best manager in the world who was available, let alone capturing someone of his stature with a desire to embrace Everton.

Anyway, he hasn't even signed a player yet! And his overall impact has been good, better than expected form wise. This time next year will be more of a serious marker for progress.

Andrew Dempsey
66 Posted 09/03/2020 at 18:15:38
Jim 64,

Read #63 – I obviously expect and think we should give him time to show us what he's got. I mean, none of us have a say do we? That's what's going to happen.

I was against his appointment before it happened. When I see his team selections, it makes me doubt him even more. But, when the game kicks off, I'm fully behind him and the side.

When the final whistle blows, I go back to worrying that this was the wrong move, perhaps the biggest folly in the History of Everton.

Then I get more sensible again, and tell myself I have to trust that he's just using these 6 months to know for sure which players aren't good enough, and I hope he'll put it right next season.

James Stewart
67 Posted 09/03/2020 at 18:16:47
No shit. Everything was wrong including the batshit line-up. Sigurdsson on the left wing, pointless. Bernard on the right wing, pointless. I could go on.
Jamie Crowley
69 Posted 09/03/2020 at 19:17:08
I jut saw Pep's interview after their 2-0 loss to Man U.

I also paid very close attention to Klopp's interviews after their recent losses.

Pep and Klopp were dismissive, attitudinal, and frankly jerks after their losses. They both usually are. Spoiled, pouty asshats when things don't go their way. Happy, carefree, lovely guys when they get what they want.

Carlo in contrast, despite obviously not being happy, is an utter gentleman at just about every point.

Things might be rough right now. The weekend was awful. But I'll take Carlo and the way he represents himself and Everton every single time.

Stan Schofield
70 Posted 09/03/2020 at 19:19:54
Jamie @69: Spot-on. In addition to his exceptional record, he has style and grace, sadly lacking in the game these days.
Jim Burns
71 Posted 09/03/2020 at 19:22:04
I'm going to stick my neck out here and have my hands over my ears already – but I'm starting to wonder about Mr Ancelotti.

A manager of his undoubted class and experience would surely, at the very least, be getting a level of motivation and energy from this shower that would at least partly compensate for the fact that half of them are clearly and technically not Premier League players. Duncan did.

I hope this isn't an early indication that we've taken on a busted flush – and before anyone hits the keys too quickly – with very few exceptions, all successful managers eventually try and climb one hill too many – and ours is a fucking mountain.

Brent Stephens
72 Posted 09/03/2020 at 19:22:27
Jamie #69 "Carlo in contrast, despite obviously not being happy, is an utter gentleman at just about every point".

Absolutely, Jamie. As you say, Pep and Klopp – what a contrast.

Bobby Mallon
73 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:02:09
Let's not have all the normal shite about Ancelotti not good enough ffs. He is the right manager he is top top class and we are lucky to have him... YES, LUCKY!!!

We know we have problems, Sidibé the biggest. If Sigurdson plays, it has to be central; if Bernard plays it has to be left side, Richarlison needs to stay up top not track back, he's wasted.

We have to find a solution at right-back; if anyone has ideas, I'm all for it. Who plays there for the Under-23s? I would play this team against Liverpool:

Baines Keane Mina Digne
Gordon Holgate Gomes Richarlison
Calvert-Lewin Kean

Bobby Mallon
74 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:09:28
And out of my line up Richarlison should stay up top let Calvert-Lewin track back
Brian Wilkinson
75 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:36:48
Bobby, can I throw Jonjoe Kenny into your thoughts for next season?
Peter Mills
76 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:59:35
I was very surprised when we appointed Carlo Ancelotti. A part of me was fearful that he had managed to negotiate a fantastic pension plan for himself, just one more in the line of those who have enriched themselves and waltzed off into the sunset at the expense of our club. A bigger part of me was delighted.

So far, I think he has conducted himself, and managed the team, very well. Not faultlessly, but very well.

I believe we need Carlo. We have been chaotic for far too many years; his gravitas, sense of perspective, experience and great knowledge could be the key to managing the various influences of Kenwright, Moshiri and Usmanov. He can meet anyone within the world of football and be held in the greatest respect. And affection. Both are important.

We simply have to support this man. By all means we can question his actions, but he is getting my support. If he fails, there is surely very little hope for our future. So I will call out a performance like yesterday's as a disgrace, but these players have been producing disgraces for some time now.

The past years are going to take some unraveling. I believe we have a man who can set about the task, given the backing of the board, the players and the supporters.

Jim Harrison
77 Posted 09/03/2020 at 21:12:48
Andrew 66,

You posted 63 just before I posted 64!

And I stand by my points, well his points! With the exception of the cup game and Sunday, the team has been doing well. Yes, well. How can that be judged? Again, points!!

Only the two best teams in the league were doing better! We went to Arsenal and ran them close, a team with a wealth of attacking talent. If we had PEA or Lacazette we would be better off. We matched Utd. A team on the up with good quality now.

This week it didn't work out, very much so. But simply put, he has taken a mismatched squad and got more positive results than negative. Look at Moyes at West Ham, still right down in the weeds.

And as for comparing Big Dunc? The man himself knew it! He wasn't ready for the long haul. He got the passion up, but that wouldn't be sustainable.

At Bayern Ancelotti won the league with 70% win record, not great compared to his direct predecessors but not to be sniffed at. At Madrid 74% – better than Zidane. He has fantastic pedigree and less than half a season with a struggling squad to work with. If he were with the team from the beginning of the season and had similar results we would be well up there.

By my view, we dropped 18 points in losses that really shouldn't have happened. Gaining half of those would put us in 5th. That's how much ground we have made under him.

Losing heavily at Chelsea can happen. At this point, it is the exception, not the norm, under Carlo, to be on the losing side.

Andrew Dempsey
78 Posted 09/03/2020 at 21:49:08
Jim 77,

Yes, I agree with you. But, where we differ is that I think we are seeing the best of Ancelotti right now, and that over time his ability to get performances and results will get worse, not better. What am I basing this on? Quite a few things, actually.

More than the now well worn cliche on here, that Big Dunc's ability to keep our play at a high intensity would somehow fade. What is that based on exactly?

He was managing the team during the most congested period of the season. The teams we were playing against also looked tired. Who knows for sure that he wouldn't have been able to create another upswing in energy and commitment?

I still think that Ancelotti's appointment could eventually turn out to be a massive positive. At the moment he brings class, and a bit of pride to Evertonians, me included.

I don't know what the future holds, this is just my take on it and my own feelings. If can Ancelotti attracts better players to the club, but for whatever reason it doesn't work out, I firmly believe Ferguson is in line to take over - working with better players and, of course, learning right now from Ancelotti himself.

Jim Harrison
79 Posted 09/03/2020 at 22:12:01
Andrew 78,

I base my thoughts on Ferguson being able to maintain the level of passion and intensity on the basis that this team isn't fit enough or strong enough in depth to do so. It's not a blood and thunder squad. But, like with my thoughts regarding how results may have been had he been in longer it remains conjecture.

I just can't get my head around the level of negativity around a bad result. Yes, shocking. But if we beat either of our next opponents it will be forgotten. Again, it's an if.

But so far he has shown that a bit of experience can pay dividends. Silva didn't recover from losses like this. Carlo will get over it and move on.

Long-term, who knows? But all he needs to do is improve a handful of results. Turn losses into draws or wins in a few games. He has already done that.

Will he win the league with us? Or even get into Champions League placings? Probably not the former, and the latter is a tough ask on any manager, but Leicester have managed to get back up there again with a squad that isn't too far ahead of ours. Take Vardy out and they are struggling for goals.

Wolves too are up there with a decent squad. I would be that, so long as a couple of incoming signings are made and the injured players can get back fit he will have more successes than failures

Tony Everan
80 Posted 09/03/2020 at 22:36:54
Carlo will not be sleeping well and having nightmares about our defensive weaknesses. It all stems from a weak unbalanced lightweight pushover midfield and a nonsensical right-back.

Carlo is Italian, he played and managed throughout in teams that were drilled and fanatically defensively mean. Those Italian sides were built upon the bedrock of rock-solid defence incorporating physically strong quality players who love to defend and give no quarter.

Carlo will know what's needed and who he wants in, he will be totally unimpressed with the resolution of some of our squad when faced with a decent challenge. Heads will roll in the summer, we will take the hit, we haven't got a choice.

I don't think Carlo's the type to shy away from achieving what he has come to Everton for. He may be a quiet man externally but I think there will be a Mount Vesuvius type reaction inside. Change is coming.

Jim Harrison
81 Posted 09/03/2020 at 23:09:09
And, whilst it isn't an exoneration, this team has barely been able to turn out a balanced midfield all season. Losing Gana and his direct replacement through injury, now not even having Schneiderlin and Delph.

Gomes only just coming back in; it's not an ideal set up to be working with.

Tony Twist
82 Posted 09/03/2020 at 23:51:30
Plain and simple fact: Everton fucked up, they got a sugar daddy then lost their heads.

They had a reputation of bringing through youth and letting youth play in the first team. Instead of continuing that, they bought players like Bolasie, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Rooney, players that were totally wrong.

We should have a team now of vibrant youngsters that are full of energy, speed and power, a bit like Chelsea, but No; we were foolish. We need quality young players and leave the slow, lazy players looking enviously from the sidelines for an opportunity of a place on the bench.

Andy Crooks
83 Posted 09/03/2020 at 23:55:23
Tony, glad you switched from "they" to "we" in your final paragraph.
Alan McGuffog
84 Posted 10/03/2020 at 00:12:35
I'm sure (Christ, I hope I am) that there is a plan. Carlo came into this car crash of an excuse of a club with a mandate to sort it out (I hope). Maybe not to win the Champions League but to put things on an even keel.

It'll be a hard slog. Look at the bottom three in the Premier League. How many of our squad would those sides want, right now? Going forward will take years. The equivalent of Shankly at the other place.

To sum up... most of our team / squad are just not terribly good at footy. It will get better!

Steve Oshaugh
85 Posted 10/03/2020 at 00:25:55
Alan @ 84, a bit harsh. Not a great result but it wasn't that long ago we turned them over at Goodison. Looked like a bad day at the office to me and they had a good one. That can and does happen in footy... Liverpool got done by Watford for goodness sake.

Richarlison, Holgate, Gomes, Calvert-Lewin, Baines and Digne, Bernard, Davies.. would all make most clubs in the bottom half better. We miss Gueye badly(who wouldn't) and our replacement got a serious injury.

There was talk of pushing for top 4 a few weeks ago but that was just people getting giddy imo. We've made huge progress since December and I imagine we will end up in or around 6th, 7th, or 8th (too tight to be clear on which one) with one or both of Spurs and Arsenal below us.

Vijay Nair
86 Posted 10/03/2020 at 01:57:50
Let me preface this by saying I only saw the first half against Chelsea. It was past 1am here in Australia and the way we were playing, it didn't look like we were going to get anything out of the game. My thoughts on our squad as a whole. Apologize in advance for the lengthy post.

Goalkeeper – Pickford is a good keeper, but always has the propensity to make silly errors. The lad just doesn't fill me with a whole lot of confidence. It also doesn't help that he has no real competition for his spot. Virginia has potential but is an unknown quantity.

If the opportunity came, I would replace Pickford with Dean Henderson, who's unlikely to get a chance at Man Utd. Virginia and Lössl as the backups. Stekelenburg out when his contract ends.

Defence – Digne is off form but there is still a good player there. I would keep him with another season for Baines as experienced cover. I was initially a fan of Sidibé for his ability going forward and pinpoint crosses but, for a defender (which is his core role), he is very poor, so I wouldn't sign him. Bring back Kenny and have Coleman there as cover. Even Holgate and Keane can play there if required.

With the centre-backs we need to sign a left-footer, as none of our incumbents are comfortable in that left side of central defence. Gabriel perhaps? Pair him up with Mina and have Keane on the bench as cover. Frees up Holgate to go into a defensive midfield role.

Midfield – This brings me to our biggest problem area. Send Davies out on loan, and get rid of Delph, Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson. Gomes is our best midfielder by a mile, and Bernard I believe would be better in that No 10 role. He was clearly out of his depth in right-midfield, especially with everyone so poor around him. Gbarmin or Holgate in defensive midfield. We still need a hard-nosed enforcer that takes control in the middle of the park. Allan from Napoli perhaps?

Attack – Possibly the only area where we are not in dire need for reinforcements. Maybe just another right-winger or forward as we only have Walcott who can play there. Lozano would fit the bill. Calvert-Lewin still needs to brush up on his technique and I would definitely like to see more of Kean. Tosun etc can be flogged off for whatever we can get.

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