Everton can't lay a glove on a Chelsea side in full control

Michael Kenrick 08/03/2021 207comments  |  Jump to last

James Rodriguez misses another game with his continuing calf problems

Without James Rodriguez out for a third successive game with a calf injury, and Doucouré rumoured to be out for the season, Everton had nothing meaningful to offer against a dominant Chelsea side.

Tom Davies was fit to return on the bench tonight but Olsen was not one of the two gaolies on the bench again. Both players missed the wins over Southampton and West Bromwich Albion along with Seamus Coleman and Robin Olsen. No Abdoulaye Doucouré either... so the worrying rumours about a broken toe may well prove to be true.

Everton kicked off with their now-standard hoof that presented the ball to Chelsea. And they wouldn't see any possession for 2 minutes until the next hoof from a Pickford free-kick. Chelsea played it around at will until they won the first corner. A tricky work-up saw Werner sky a shot from the penalty box line.

Brief Everton possession was squandered by Allan and the one-way monotony resumed. Everton did intercept upfield only to work it all the way back to Pickford, who punted into touch! The game plan seemed to be back to Pickford if Everton gained possession, then hoof it up to Calvert-Lewin and hope for the best.

Richarlison got his first touch out wide after 12½ minutes but gave up a free kick in the attack, and Chelsea's methodical build-up resumed. Reece James went on a long run and won another corner off Godfrey, Jorginho drove through the crowd 2 yards wide.

Holgate hindered a Werner run and took an early yellow for his trouble. From the dangerous free-kick, Pickford did superbly to punch through the crowd and Jorginho could only punt behind for a goal-kick.

Finally, almost an attack by Everton after 20 minutes, and some decent movement of the ball around the Chelsea area until a stupid soft punt from Iwobi straight into the gloves of Mendy.

Everton tried to work another attack, but they were holding back too deep to profit from Richarlison's probing ball forward. Digne worked a ball in for Calvert-Lewin but Gomes jumped for it ahead of him and put him off completely.

Everton were getting some remarkable decisions in their favour, most of them while defending, but Richarlison got clipped in the dee, a wonderful chance for Digne or Sigurdsson: all Digne could do is pass it into the wall for a corner, and it the bouncing ball in the box defied any meaningful contact.

And with Everton still stretched from that attack, Chelsea went forward and got behind the Everton defence thanks to Hudson-Odoi who eAlonso, Havertz clipped a weak shot off Godfrey and into the net. So much for the stern disciplined defence.

There was almost a second but Keane this time was in the right place to block. Allan quickly got Richarlison away but he allowed Christensen to cherry-pick the ball off his boot.

An smart long ball from Christensen found Alonso in acres of space one-on-one with Pickford, who pulled off an excellent save. A wonderful piece of control and lay-off by Calvert-Lewin went largely unnoticed because Everton could not stick the ball. Good defending by Iwobi.

A much better Everton attack forced Mendy to stretch and the ball came to Gomes off Iwobi, his weak shot forcing a save from Mendy just before the break but a huge mountain to climb for Everton in the second half.

Everton kept playing it backwards at the start of the second half, and were on the back foot whenever there was a turnover, forced by an aggressive press and a high workrate from the Chelsea players that would repeatedly thwart Everton's efforts.

Chelsea won a free-kick with Digne getting booked, Alonso forcing a fingertip save by Pickford. Havertz scored again but it was called back for handball.

Davies came on for Iwobi before the hou-mark, the Blues switching to the diamond.. Richarlison got himself into a great position but his first touch allowed the ball to go too far across him and he could only slice it wide. At the other end, James fired across goal and wide.

Hudson-Odoi worked the ball well and forced a tip-over by Pickford. Havertz made another good run and Pickford brought him down for a fairly soft penalty for Jorginho to tuck away. Oh dear.

Kurt Zouma went down and needed treatment, King replacing Sigurdsson. Everton were huffing amd puffing now, Gomes seeing a lot of the ball and Everton mounting a series of attacks but nothing really coming close. On an Everton corner, Mendy was driven into the net by Godfrey.

Bernard cane on and Davies got a chance to shoot that was locked but it looked like Everton were doing a little more to compete. But it was short-lived and Chelsea resumed their vice-like grip on proceedings, Werner shrugging off Godfrey very easily but he can't eat Pickford.

Bernard went on something of a run and looked to play a forward pass but uncannily picked out the defender right in front of him. A couple of good passes and a great turn by Richarlison got the ball to Holgate who wellies his cross far too hard.

Two amazing saves by Pickford, from Werner, then Kante, stopped a third to keep the score down. Bernard had a chance to shoot from distance and what a shot! What an utterly awful shot, Bernard skying it. Davies tried to hit Alonso's Achilles, and saw yellow.

Pickford made another fine save from Mount in stoppage side Everton really hadn't laid a glove on this Chelsea side, who ran out to a very comfortable win, putting Everton's Top 4 claims into rather stark perspective.

Kick-off: 6pm, Monday 8 March 2021 on BT Sport 1

Chelsea:Mendy, Zouma, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic (80' Kante), James, Hudson-Odoi (66' Mount), Havertz (89' Pulisic), Werner.
Subs not Use: Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Silva, Chilwell, Giroud, Ziyech.

Everton:Pickford, Holgate [Y:16'], Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan, Gomes (77' Bernard), Sigurdsson (70' King), Iwobi (56' Davies [Y:90']), Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.
Subs not Used: Virginia, Tyrer, Nkounkou, John, Broadhead, Onyango.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh
VAR: Michael Oliver

Reader Comments (207)

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Michael Lynch
1 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:07:55
No Doucoure is a big blow. He hasn't been brilliant, but without him the midfield looks a bit one-paced.

To be honest, whatever our team at the moment, it never looks all that strong, with the likes of Iwobi, Gomes, Holgate and even Siggi in it. But somehow we're up there challenging for the top four. It's beyond me.

Neil Lawson
2 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:13:26
The beauty, if that be the most appropriate word, of watching Everton at the mo, is that we have no idea which team will turn up and how they will perform. On paper this isn't overly promising, but who knows ?
Nicolas Piñon
3 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:14:30
We've got no bench at all nearly so if we get something I'll be too pleased.
Our squad has too many physically fragile players sadly. At least I hope they recover for the cup tie.
Stephen Brown
4 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:18:27
I've tried to stop moaning about team selection before the game starts!

Doucoure is a big miss however!

If we win this we can really start believing!

Gary Poole
5 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:26:46
If we keep it tight at the back we always have a chance at the moment but it will be a difficult game tonight. I wouldn't write us off just now though!
Jay Wood

6 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:27:43
That's as thin an Everton sub's bench as I can recall in many a year.

Chelsea have so much depth that their starting XI is a very strong one, but I'm happy to see the likes of Rudiger, Silva, Kante, Mount and Chilwell not starting, but on their bench.

Let battle commence!

Kieran Kinsella
7 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:28:08
Wonder about Besic as they did add him to the squad in January after he failed to leave. Surely he's better than no one as a bench option?
Fran Mitchell
8 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:28:16
No Doucoure a miss, surprised to see.Gomes in place of Davies which makes me assume Davies is not fit to start.

Only 3 viable options on the bench, so hopefully the first 11 can do it.

Watch the pace of Werner and get Allan to do a job on Havertz. Watch the pace of James and Odoi out wide, so Digne will need support.

We can win this.


Joe McMahon
9 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:28:29
Mmm, sadly middle looking a bit bare. Does anyone know how many games we have started with the 3 main summer signings?

Its so frustrating as its Koemans ridiculous spending thats costing Carlo possibly 3rd place, as he can't shift em, oh and the Brands gem Delph. Anyway you never know, Newcastle got 6 points off us, let's take 6 off the Chavs!

Oliver Molloy
10 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:30:55
2 nil to us - welcome to the premier league and EVERTON F.C. Tuchel !
John Boon
11 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:32:57
Every team is affected by injuries and Everton's present injury list makes for a very challenging game. Compare benches and we can see that the comparisons are significantly in Chelsea's favor. Therefore there should be no complaints as long as every player puts in a solid effort. It is not worth taking the chance with half fit players because we still have very important games ahead.
Jay Wood

12 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:33:54
Besic, Kieran?

A deckchair in place of Besic would be a better option. The only difference being Besic collapses and folds better than a deckchair.

Martin Mason
13 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:40:54
Bloody hell, the girl punters on BT are 10 times better than their male counterparts.
Fran Mitchell
14 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:46:48
Not a big surprise Martin.

Male Pundits are generally egotistical and give analysis nothing better than the average Joe bloggs could.

But women must double down on their research, cause if they 'talk shite', they generally get hounded, mocked and worse.

When it comes to analysing less talked of teams, I always found the women generally have more to say, because they actually research. And the other male pundits, apart from one or two, just come out with the general cliches and offer nothing of interest.

Martin Mason
15 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:50:07
Didn't realise how good they were Fran
Oliver Molloy
16 Posted 08/03/2021 at 17:50:51
27 years since we won here, time to sort that out.
Alex Gray
17 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:34:50
Iwobi not tracking his man there is just criminal.
Danny Broderick
18 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:36:39
Holgate in no man's land.
James Fletcher
19 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:38:48
Terrible all-round, seemed like half the defence was playing the offside trap and the other half weren't.
Danny Broderick
20 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:39:50
Free-kick taken by Holgate on the halfway line, 35 minutes. He plays a cross-field pass backwards to Godfrey, who then passes back to Pickford when pressed. I despair.
Simon Dalzell
21 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:41:12
Holgate dereliction of duty. Rule No 1: Put the effort in. He lost his man then jogged back for the goal.
Mal van Schaick
22 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:42:54
Holgate is not a right-back.
James Fletcher
23 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:48:40
Fuck me, the guy doing the BBC text is clearly a red.
Ernie Baywood
24 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:50:34
Blaming a single lapse in defence when we're being asked to defend constantly seems harsh.

I'm still struggling to buy into the 'we don't want the ball' model. I get that we've actually had as many shots on target as them but it just feels like a matter of time before the game is over. And it's not particularly watchable.

But we've been here before and dragged something out of the game. Let's hope.

Thomas Richards
25 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:51:34
Lack of concentration twice by same player.

First time resulted in a goal.

Second time resulted in one-on-one with Pickford.

Sean O’Hanlon
26 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:54:07
A good advert for a top 4 side against a mid-table side.

We're a goal down and we win 2 free-kicks near the half-way line. What do we do? Back-pass, back-pass, then back to the goalie... twice!

Our forwards are starved of possession – hump the ball up the field. It's wasting rare opportunities to attack.

Jay Wood

27 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:56:55
For all their possession, really not a lot between these two teams.

Holgate, I'm sorry to say, being poor again. Just not switched on. Pulled out of position for the goal allowing them a huge area of space to run into. Iwobi equally culpable for not tracking Alonso who runs in front of him to receive the ball. The one and only time they got into a threatening position in our penalty area. Unfortunate for Godfrey because the shot was going nowhere.

Iwobi doing OK otherwise. Gomes so frustrating. He gets in positions to win or receive the ball but seemingly always finds a way to cough it up. We are going to get very few opportunities going forward, so Richy needs to be better in his hold up play, his running and his passing. None of which have been good enough.

Scoring first is key for this Everton team. Recovering from a losing position more challenging. It mostly has to come from those already on the pitch, because there isn't a lot on the bench to turn things around.

Tony Heron
28 Posted 08/03/2021 at 18:57:17
Holgate must think it's Rugby as he always wants to pass backwards! Really would love to see what they practise at Finch Farm as we seem incapable of stringing two passes together.
Nicolas Piñon
29 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:05:03
I would pray we have no injuries and look forward to the next match; there's little we can do tonight.
James Fletcher
30 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:12:50
We often seems to just look really lazy with our passing – like they half hit it or don't quite catch it right because they aren't concentrating.
James Fletcher
31 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:25:46
Probably worth giving a youngster or two a run out now, the first teamers haven't exactly been stellar.
James Fletcher
32 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:34:00
I'd rather be seeing King start ahead of Iwobi from now on.
James Fletcher
33 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:44:47
Pickford really earning it tonight.
Alex Gray
34 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:50:10
Doucouré breaking his leg in this crucial period will destroy this season sadly. No legs in midfield nobody to carry the ball. Typical.
Roman Sidey
35 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:52:02
I think I'm done watching Holgate now.
George Cumiskey
36 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:53:33
Absolutely awful. No fight whatsoever Chelsea didn't have to break sweat!
Neil Lawson
37 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:54:56
2nd best throughout. Well beaten but not the worst performance.

Well done, Pickford. Looking confident and difficult to criticise for the penalty.

Desperate for a right-back.

Craig Walker
38 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:58:03
Can't stand seeing our players laughing and joking with the opposition after a poor performance.

Gomes, Iwobi, Digne and Holgate were very poor tonight.

At least it's a difficult game out of the way. Chelsea were better than us all round tonight. Bad day at the office. I'd like to see King given some game time. At least he looks like he tries.

George Cumiskey
39 Posted 08/03/2021 at 19:59:12
Just a right-back? And a midfielder and another forward...
Danny Broderick
40 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:00:11
I hate to say it but there was a gulf in class between us and them tonight. It was clear watching that that we are not good enough for the top 4. Our only hope is that Leicester drop out of the top 4, because I can see the top 3 being made up of the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea.

Yet again, when last year's midfield plays – Gomes, Bernard, Iwobi, Sigurdsson – we look a million miles from where we need to be. So no suprise we didn't get a result with the team we put out. Without Doucoure, Rodriguez and even Coleman, we are severely lacking...

Barry Rathbone
41 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:00:47
Not going to get into our boys. Chelsea were fabulous, as expected from an outfit with 18 years of buying top players and managers behind them.

On a positive note, they appear to have the tools to twat Liverpool if their paths cross in the Champions League.

Danny Baily
42 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:00:52
Second best tonight but that's fair enough. Next few games in the league are winnable.

If we're to win a game against the odds, then I'd take the quarter-final over tonight.

Ernie Baywood
43 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:01:36
Hard work but no bravery.

I'm sure people will blame defensive mistakes – Sky and Match of the Day's 'analysis' has conditioned us to think that way.

But that loss was part of a broader issue with our approach. We didn't have a go. No-one took a forward touch and tried to do something with the ball. We were happy to just be competitive. In that mode, eventually something goes wrong. Deflection, own goal, penalty. It's not bad luck, it's the percentages playing out.

Thomas Richards
44 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:04:24
Good side are Chelsea. I reckon they will finish 2nd.

A little way to go before we can match the quality of the Chelsea squad.

MotM: Pickford

Jay Wood

45 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:08:41
No question. The best team won.

We did get better in the second half, but both full-backs were well off it today in their defensive work, passing and crossing. Gomes was another one poor in almost everything he did. Iwobi similar.

I'm sure some will get into Pickford, but other than conceding the pen he had another fine game.

Splitting Dom and Richy has possibly helped the Brazilian more, but not tonight. Again, another whose first touch, passing and protecting the ball was 'off'. Dom I think has been blunted by not ploughing a furrow straight down the middle from which he got so many rewards earlier in the season.

Tom and Allan worked well together when Tom joined the fraywhich is good news, presuming Doucoure is potentially out for the rest of the season. King OK. Bernard the usual mixed bag. Glides beautifully past players in midfield then hits an awful pass.

The bench well and truly exposed tonight and how much work there is still to do to have a truly competitive squad.

Learn. Reset. Go again at the weekend v Burnley.

Fran Mitchell
46 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:09:25
Best team won, simple really. Tuchel targeted the right hand side and it paid off, Hudson-Odoi was the best player on the pitch.

We did well to limit them. Pickford was excellent and unfortunate with the penalty.

When we did get forward, our final ball just wasn't good enough. Digne I felt may have been rushed back, as he isn't quite at the standards he has set. Midfield missed Doucouré's energy. And without James, we're devoid of that magic necessary in games against teams like this.

Our squad is absolutely stretched to bare bones, as evidenced by the bench. Chelsea had about 𧶀+ million in players on the bench alone.

Tuchel is an excellent manager and will get Chelsea challenging for the title next season, they are in magnificent form and 2-0 is not a great shame.

Still much to play for, but we need James back. We were better with Davies on the pitch too, so hopefully he'll be fit for the run-in.

Mike Doyle
47 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:09:27
Thomas #44,

Chelsea are a good side – and, unlike us, have great squad depth to select from. I expect them to finish top 3.

Good to see that the team kept going until the end. Didn't see any heads going down. Godfrey looked totally pissed off at the end – which was also good to see.

Dave Lynch
48 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:11:18
Yep... gulf in class was obvious for all to see.

Tried to contain them but fell on our arse, away run was bound to come to an end sooner or later.

Could be worse though... we could be Liverpool.

Kevin Prytherch
49 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:11:49
We got beat by one of the two form teams in the league via a deflected goal and a penalty.

Maybe a bit of perspective is needed???

Fran Mitchell
50 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:12:30
Holgate is never a right back, and Iwobi is never a right winger. But it is what we have at the moment. But is not fair to slaughter them, it isn't their position.

Iwobi is useful as a sub. His should play central-midfield in a midfield of 3. Our current system and players don't allow for that.

Brent Stephens
51 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:13:53
Chelsea are on a good run. No shame in tonight. Look at the difference in starting lineups – not to mention a vast difference in benches.

We're picking up points at a decent rate. Onwards and upwards.

Colin Glassar
52 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:15:47
With a midfield of Iwobi, Gomes and Sigurdsson all starting, we never really had a chance of winning this game. Replace those three with decent players and who knows what we could achieve?
Derek Knox
53 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:16:30
Tonight's match was like Doucoure's Lamborghini! We had it snatched away by an unfortunate but avoidable incident, and a penalty!

I didn't think we played that badly but luck was not with us, and they had better class in many areas. Just got to put it behind us now, and prepare for Burnley hoping to get another 3 points.

Holgate needs dropping along with Gomes, but do we have an alternative if Seamus is not fit?

Paul Birmingham
54 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:16:48
Two poxy goals, both avoidable, but the gulf in class and squad strength shows how far Everton have to go.

I still think Chelsea, have a very soft centre but today Everton were absent and didn't get stuck in. No complaints from me.

No support and belief from the flanks, tonight, but it's showing the gulf in world class descision making players.

Too many side and back passes, and too slow going forward, tonight, no dynamic to stretch Chelsea.

Gutted... but now for Burnley, a must-win, and Dyche will be up for it.

Bogdan Kotarlic
55 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:17:34
We didn`t play well, Chelsea were a much better team and they deserved to win.

Our best player was Pickford and it is a sad thing for a team when you lose 2-0 and your best man is a goalkeeper. No other player played a good match, they were all below average.

Everton created only one chance, early in the second half and Richarlison missed it. The score at that time was 1-0 and if the Brazilian had scored maybe we could have earned a point at the end or maybe even win, who knows. But, to be honest, Chelsea were a much better side and the final score shows it, unfortunately.

I was hoping for a victory before this match, that would have given us a massive boost for the rest of the season. But, this way, we must play very well in the next few months and maybe we could finish in the top four in the end.

Our next match is against Burnley, a very tough opponent, and we must raise our game if we want to win.
Roger Helm
56 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:18:01
No complaints as Chelsea so much better, a lot quicker in all ways. Difficult to attack when you never get possession.

Carlo's recruitment has been good so far but the next buys need to be a fast strong right-back/ right-wingback and an upgrade for Gomes in midfield.

Paul Birmingham
57 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:22:18
Well in, Barry, let's hope so.
Brent Stephens
58 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:23:01
Chelsea are on a good run. No shame in tonight. Look at the difference in starting lineups – not to mention a vast difference in benches. We're picking up points at a decent rate. Onwards and upwards.

I like the way we no longer just collapse but keep grinding it out.

Dave Williams
59 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:24:55
Chelsea were better at the basics of pass, control, move – simple short passes to keep possession, which is surely a skill which can be acquired on the training ground?

That said, we lost to a very lucky deflection and a rather unnecessary penalty, though Pickford otherwise had a blindingly good game. Allan was excellent and we were much better when Davies came on. Gomes was okay but we were never going to match Chelsea with him and Sigurdsson starting the match. Doucouré was a big miss, as was James, who might just have created something.

Richarlison was hopeless with his touch and control and should have scored. Everyone tried hard but we all know that we need three class players especially a midfield creator who can retain possession and move opponents around to create space.

Three points out of six against Chelsea: it's not this game that will prevent us from qualifying for Europe. Win the next three very winnable games and let's see where we stand.

David Connor
60 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:26:32
Result not unexpected, to be honest. Their bench would stroll into our first team easily.

One thing that this outing showed us all is the midfield is woeful and that's being kind. Iwobi, Bernard, Sigurdsson and Gomes need shipping out in the summer, they just ain't good enough.

If Moshiri wants to push us on and get us sitting at the top table of the Premier League and Europe, he will have to take a huge hit on them players and splash out a shitload of cash to improve our midfield because we all know it is absolute shite.

Mike Connolly
61 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:32:29
I think we played how we have the previous games but Chelsea knew how to break us down convincingly. But for Pickford, the scoreline would have been a lot greater.

The previous games have only papered over the cracks. To the extent of us convincing ourselves that we should have beaten Newcastle, Leeds and Fulham.

Chelsea have just shown us what an ordinary team we are. Too many back and sideways passes is a sign of players unwilling to go past a player. This is due to no pace in the team.

10th is probably where we will finish. I'd discount the cup if the last games are anything to go on. Big money needed next season.

Brian Williams
62 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:34:19
Their starting eleven is much better than ours and they have no "obvious" weak links where we had at least two, certainly on first-half performance.

When you play the teams near the top you can't carry under-performing players and we're having to.

Having said that they go ahead with a stuffy own goal (the shot was going wide) and a penalty. Disappointed but expected it to be honest.

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:35:20
You need your better players to play well in these type of games, but Richarlison, never done enough tonight, and wasted some of our better possession, and definitely should have done better with the chance that Sigurdson gave him.

Chelsea are good, but they still had to work for it imo, even though Everton never done enough, and are definitely a few players down when it comes to speed, desire and quality, but this just shows you how good a job the pragmatic Ancelotti has done so far, although I do hope he starts with the team that finished tonight, on Saturday.

Steavey Buckley
64 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:36:18
The Everton lineup has a midfield that has no real attacking threat. None of them really can shoot outside the box. Calvert-Lewin never had one ball given to him all evening for to him to even have half a chance.

Everton don't employ wingers. Iwobi is not a winger but another midfield player forced out wide on the right because there is no-one else to play there. Josh King trots out to replace Iwobi but is also not a winger.

Everton are at their best when defending in strength and hitting the opposition on a counter-attack or scoring from a corner or free-kick.

Stephen Brown
65 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:37:25
Next 3 games in the league will define our season I think! 9 points please.
Colin Glassar
66 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:39:57
Must-win game now against Burnley if we are to stay in the hunt. I just hope James is back as he's only one of a few with a football brain, and skill to match.
Jason Li
67 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:41:40
Chelsea look like a team that can go to the semi's in the Champions League, maybe to the final of the FA Cup too... so not a worry this result.

All our other games are winnable, even Man City last day of the season, the day before summer holidays for the City players.

All to play for as long as the Vardy miracle at Leicester maintains his beginnings of a marginal decline as a goal machine and we keep our best 5 or 6 players fit.

Next season if Sigurdsson or Gomes are swapped out, I'd like someone like Ruben Neves as he's a good midfielder and can score from 25 yards out so another threat when we can't get in the box in games like these.

Ian Riley
68 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:42:06
Work harder!!!!

Playing a form team this evening but we made it a lot easier than it should have been. Had a good run but we have not played that well. Let's go again Sunday.

Bobby Mallon
69 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:42:18
Mike Connelly @61,

Who is going to finish above us that put us in 10th, please tell?

Derek Taylor
70 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:43:16
Colin @ 52;

None of the trio you mention (add Bernard) are up to the task although Carlo is obsessed with them. Possibly because he believes we shall never get the money back for them!

Seventh is all we can hope for and Moyes, Martinez and Koeman got us that, the first two on about a tenth of the money in transfer fees!

Kenny Smith
71 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:44:53
Not the best performance but to get beaten by an own goal and a penalty away to a very good Chelsea side is no shame.

It's games like this were our lack of quality in certain positions is glaring. Holgate hardly played the ball forwards, Gomes is too lightweight and offers little, Iwobi just isn't good enough and we are crying out for a mobile clinical center-forward.

That's probably top 4 gone now unless Leicester capitulate. We'd of all settled for Europa League before a ball was kicked. We are definitely moving in the right direction.

Brent Stephens
72 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:45:47
Ian, I thought that again we worked hard. I can't really say I thought anybody didn't put a shift in tonight.

Godfrey my man again. Captain-in-Waiting. Not perfect but who is?

Robert Tressell
73 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:46:02
Frustrating because we could have gone 4th. But with such a patched up team we had to sneak a goal first and then hold out. Wasn't to be.

Chelsea are really good now. They have an outstanding squad and a proper manager now. Pretty much everyone on their bench would get in our first 11 (or be about as good). Our bench was pretty hopeless.

4th place is probably not up for grabs (and never really was). But no reason to get downhearted about our chance of 6th. We're generally hard to beat and often find a way to win.

Paul Birmingham
74 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:46:39
Move on, and get ready for the next massive game.

This burst mode finish is key now, as all the clubs in competition with Everton, are in the same boat.

Spurs at home, they are getting their mojo back, is another massive game, soon, as they are breathing down Everton's necks.

But despatch Burnley, and beat them well will help the healing process from tonight's game, and the to the next game.

Pat Kelly
75 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:47:56
The Europa League will destroy us next season. That's if we make it. We have enough trouble trying to find a decent fit 11 once a week as it is.
John Keating
76 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:51:09
At least Ancelotti was honest and spot on with his after match interview
Our ball retention and passing is, and has been atrocious most of the season
We put ourselves under pressure more than the opposition make us do
Against the better teams we gave to make more of the small possession we get
I think that was Godfreys poorest game for us though apart from Pickford I don't think anyone got a plus tonight
Will Mabon
77 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:51:24
Have to agree with that, Pat. I like the thought but we are simply not equipped currently.
Mark Dunford
78 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:51:57
Beaten by a very good side that is in form by a penalty and a deflection. Pickford made some great saves, kept the score down and it is good to see this recognised. Missed Doucoure badly and I think Davies is best replacement for him - he has more energy than the others. Those dropped points against Newcastle really haunt us
Michael Stancis
79 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:52:29
Beaten by the better side no doubt about it. Their squad is far too much of quality. And in my opinion its theirs to lose now.

As for us I didn't think we were bad but my god we were so slow. Andre Gomes for me stunk the place out. Not good enough at all. Slow and a incapable player. However Holgate, Iwobi and Digne were poor also tonight. Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Calvert Lewin chasing shadows. Pickford our best player.

By any means this is not an overreaction but my god tonight was a reality check in a way. We need a better squad. Can't progress when you have players like Gomes, Bernard, Holgate and Iwobi in the squad. Their bench would all make our starting eleven and would be in top 4 right now. We were always gonna get beat tonight.

In the meantime we have to win on Saturday. No excuses whatsoever. We're all going on about this game in hand but it has to be one game at a time. Not focusing on that extra game we have. We're still in a strong position and we can't afford to piss about against these teams now. Don't fuck it up blues.

Joe McMahon
80 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:53:42
Pat @75 fully agree. And yes Spurs will overtake us, they have 3 main scorers with Bale. Burnley won't be easy as 1-0s against Southampton and West Brom has shown in the last few days.

Slow steps,m I'm afraid; however, in the summer, we need a quality right back, and somehow a lot more goals from midfield and strikers. For fuck's sake, even a David Moyes team has a better goal difference.

Tony Abrahams
81 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:54:13
Derek @70,

I'd say that, out of the three managers you mentioned coming 7th, that only Moyes overachieved, the one year he got us to 4th. If Ancellotti keeps us 5th, I'd say he will have also overachieved, even if it hasn't been pretty.

Once a week, Pat... when was the last time we played once a week? Once a week starts now, so don't write Everton off just yet!

Terry Farrell
82 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:56:07
Once I saw that Davies and Doucouré were not in the starting 11, it was an uphill struggle. Iwobi let Alonso go for the first goal with either a lack of awareness or lack of discipline. Criminal, that was.
Paul A Smith
83 Posted 08/03/2021 at 20:58:45
We were never really in the game. Gomes was shocking again and we can't carry players in games like this.

Richarlison lacked any kind of composure and was frustrating almost every time he went near the ball.

The game was always going to be a tough one but even tougher with players not up to scratch on the pitch. We can still improve this season.

There is still many points to play for and I don't see Leicester as a cert for 4th.

Derek Taylor
84 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:00:18
Totally agree, Tony. But will we get 5th? I very much doubt it?
Joe McMahon
85 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:01:28
Paul, you also have to hope Kane, Son and Bale stop scoring. It's a big hope.
Alex Winstanley
86 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:03:55
At the beginning of this season, if we had been offered an FA Cup Quarter-final and a point off the top 4 (if we win our game in hand) by mid-March, I'm sure we would have taken it.

We have made great strides under Carlo. The next step isn't as far away as it was last time we played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Finish the season as strongly as we can, then a really important summer in the transfer window. Carlo and Brands know what needs doing. I'm more optimistic about the future than ever!

Robert Tressell
87 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:07:23
This summer we're very likely to recruit enough quality and numbers to have a decent crack at the Europa League. It's a cup any English team should play to win. 2 or 3 quality attacking players plus a right-back makes a huge difference – with Nkounkou and a few others being a year older.

I'll be disappointed if we don't make it.

Mike Connolly
88 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:07:58
Bobby @69,

Spurs, West Ham, Aston Villa, Liverpool are the teams above us now. Looking at it again... 9th place.

Brian Wilkinson
89 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:08:18
As someone else has touched on, Chelsea have been buying top class talent for years, have god knows how many players out on loan, can field a second string of talent.

We are going through trying to rebuild, cannot fault Carlo for what he has been left with, and holding him back with ffp close to meltdown at our club.

After saying that some have commented on a penalty and an own goal, there are fine margins, from our own corner the ball just would not fall kindly, around three times it pinged in their area, as in previous games, we just do not seem to get a favourable bounce. In our opponents penalty area, either the ball will not come down quick enough, or it falls just behind a player, straight from that, they go down our end and get some fortune, with the deflection, poor tracking back and marking did not help, but that is the fine margin, from getting some luck to go a goal up, to going a goal down within a minute.

On the positive side, Pickford has really stepped up to the mark, since getting back in the team, Godfrey is looking a shrewd signing, along with Allan and Doucouré.

Be interesting to see what happens in the summer, but we need strength in depth, weed out the weak links and bring in better quality.

Bobby Mallon
90 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:08:39
We just don't have players who can take people on. I want to see 2 or 3 players bought who can take a player on, play a one-two, have a shot.
Dave Abrahams
91 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:10:53
The squad is not strong enough, everyone knows that. The midfield is not good enough or fast enough, everyone also knows that. The team was further weakened by injuries so, in reality, it was hard to expect anything tonight against a team in form.

With better players all over the pitch and even much better players on the bench, then when you weigh the actual match up and see the very poor performances from Holgate, Digne, Gomes, Iwobi and Richarlison, half the team nearly, then it was amazing we only lost by two goals. In fact, it was due, a lot, to Pickford that the score wasn't at least doubled.

We can play better than this, and we will when our better players are fit, but we have hardly ever had a fully fit eleven since the start of the season and it's obvious there isn't a lot of strength in reserve. We have eleven games left, we haven't got the strength to finish in 4th, maybe we should concentrate on getting a fit eleven players plus two more for the remaining FA Cup games and give us something to shout about.

I certainly won't be shouting about the Europa League, you can keep it for me, it will do more damage to the team, next season, than any good it will do.

Tony Abrahams
92 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:12:22
Probably not, Derek, but I didn't expect us to be 5th now though, either, mate. I liked some of what I saw tonight, and it had nothing to do with our ability because we were streets behind Chelsea at times tonight. We have now definitely got some good players with a lot of spirit, so let's see what happens now we start just playing one match a week for a while...

I said it before, but for games like Burnley, I'd definitely start the team that finished tonight. Maybe that might be too attack-minded for Ancelotti at the minute, although I'm pretty sure it might just suit us. Who knows?

John Boon
93 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:12:33
I indicated prior to the game that this was a very difficult challenge against a team loaded with talent, a strong bench, and a new and enthusiastic manager. Considering the team we put out, it was predictable that we would be out-classed. Once more, I am not surprised but very disappointed that we have so many unfair criticisms.

Players only rarely play significantly above their ability level. We just don't have enough players on the team that can get anywhere near the talents of the Chelsea team. We may by next season but not now. We did not lose because of lack of effort. With a bit of luck, we may have got a draw.

Having said that I think there are some changes that can be made with the players we have. Holgate at his best is an average centre-back and a poor right-back. Surely someone can take his place. We have to find a place for King. Preferably he can actually start a game. Davies is improving and will need to play. Bernard, Gomes and Sigurdsson cannot all be on the field at the same time. I just hope our injured players can soon return.

I still think we have a very capable manager who has to deal with who he has on the roster. We are generally doing well and he needs fans backing. Beating the RS at Anfield keeps me happy for at least the rest of the season. We MUST finish above them.

Bobby Mallon
94 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:12:38

West Ham are already above us. Why are Liverpool and Aston Villa going to leapfrog us they are no better than us. Spurs yes with that strike force they should be above us come end of season. Let's see, eh...

Mark Murphy
95 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:13:12
Pickford - Digne - Godfrey - Keane - Allan - Richarlison - Calvert-Lewin... Build the team around them; the rest are just meh (with the obvious exception of a fully fit James).

We're doing well this season but even Chelsea's bench players would walk into our first eleven. We expect too much from players who are half-decent but, because they wear blue shirts, we think they are better than they actually are.

Jack Ledwidge
96 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:14:33
We are where we are and we'd have bitten our hand off at the start of the season to be mixing it in the top 5/6. There will be re-enforcements coming, that there is no doubt.

We all know who isn't good enough and some of these will be good squad players and others moved on. Richarlison is an interesting figure. He's decent and enjoys quality players like those who wear the yellow of Brazil. I believe that, with quality midfield arrivals we will see a more potent attacking force in him.

It will be an interesting summer with less money around. I think this will suit us. If we snatch a European spot whatever the league, it will be a successful season and good launchpad.

Kieran Kinsella
97 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:14:54
Dave Abrahams @91,

Sevilla have made a nice little niche winning the Europa League every year. It seems they can't quite compete with the top Spanish clubs so they'll finish 6th - 11th but put all their eggs into the Europa League with a trophy, and (brief) participation in the Champions League each season (before they get knocked out, drop down and win the Europa League again). It's not a bad gig really if you can get it.

Michael Lynch
98 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:15:32
Mark @95,

Exactly my thoughts.

Paul Birmingham
99 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:18:32
It's part of the long-term transition, and in defeat we accept the key improvements needed in the squad. But there's still a long way to go, and focus on Everton.

To play any game and not shoot on goal is criminal and today I think Everton gave too much respect and twigged too late that Chelsea weren't fantastic, but Everton made them look good.

But to beat Burnley now is the objective. Massive game, and feck the rest, Everton is what counts.

Mike Connolly
100 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:21:34
Bobby, when I last looked, West Ham were below us. And I think the other teams have better all-round players than us.
Tony Everan
101 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:23:12
Chelsea too strong, too good a squad. Doucouré out and Tom Davies not quite ready felt like the nails had been banged into the coffin before this match had started.

We need to put this game behind us and move on.

Against Burnley we will need to be better than this though. I would like to see Doucouré, Allan and Davies start in midfield to give us a chance of getting a grip on a game. I am hoping that Doucouré not too badly injured.

Richard Nelson
102 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:24:36
"Rabbits caught in the headlights"... we just couldn't cope with Chelsea's movement and desire!
Dave Abrahams
103 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:25:31
Kieran (97), yes a good point. I think you might agree though Kieran that the Seville squad was a whole lot better than the present Everton squad, and in relation to the Europa League I'm talking about skipping one season in going for it and concentrating next season on going for the top four and the Champions League and the real money.
Thomas Richards
104 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:31:47

I hope Liverpool pip us to a Europa League spot.

Peter Dodds
105 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:32:45
So much work to do before we can realistically compete for the Top 4. Carlo has been pragmatic and somehow managed to cover up the cracks and eke out results, but it's when we play the likes of Chelsea that we see the gulf between us. Our strategy seemed to be just lump the ball up top, Wimbledon-style, because we sure struggle to retain the ball under any kind of pressure.

How will we compete with the likes of Chelsea? It won't take just one or two transfer windows, let's be sensible. Our squad is so thin it's astonishing we're even contemplating European football of some sort.

Well, let's try and get three points against Burnley and Palace and hang around 4th, 5th, 6th place but let's not kid ourselves; it'll take a multi-year effort to build a team that can thrill us with quality, fast, comfortable-in-possession football.

Jerome Shields
106 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:33:46
The big let down was Everton's final ball, which was poor most of the game. Poor first touches around the opposition penalty area did not help either.

Actually, I thought the midfield played well and the defence was good except for the first goa, which on looking at it again was more a breakdown in organisation, rather than a Holgate error.

Pickford was good throughout the game. Davies and King were good as subs, Bernard was poor.

Tommy Carter
107 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:40:35
Unfortunately we came up against a better squad of players. We are limited in creativity.

I can take this defeat though as long as we go and beat Burnley, Palace and Brighton. Games we should be winning.

Old Moyes is doing just that over at West Ham. They're bringing out results against teams with inferior squads to theirs. And it's working. He won't go and win knife to gunfight games though because ultimately he'll lack the ambition and belief to do so.

But as long as they keep getting results and teams around them slip up, he may well stumble his way into a top 4 spot. Much like we did in 2005 with a minus goal difference.

Barry Rathbone
108 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:44:37
I thought near the end when Tom Davies got caught in possession and they nearly got a 3rd illuminated the difference in player quality.

The Chelsea lad cleverly nicked the ball – he didn't dive in – and remained on his feet in control of the ball to provide a killer pass for his striker. I think Pickford made a great save to stop a certain goal.

They had moments of superior craft like this throughout the game and sometimes you just have to salute a better side.

Rob Hooton
109 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:53:06
The better team won, I can live with that and move on.

I thought Richarlison had a bad game and just couldn't get his first touch right, but he worked hard and you can't knock him as sometimes it just isn't your night.

We just didn't trouble them or get the bounce of the ball. Onwards and upwards.

Colin Glassar
110 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:56:58
Barry, we all like Tom, he's one of us, but despite his big heart he's a very limited player. He neither has the ability or nouse to be a regular top 4 player. He's too weak and to slow to compete against the best. A useful squad player at best.

As for Iwobi and Gomes, the former is just an empty shirt and the latter is too slow in mind and body. Gomes might do well in a slower European league. Iwobi, well the least said the better.

Paul Birmingham
111 Posted 08/03/2021 at 21:58:10
Bouncebackability... Yes, this Everton squad can beat Burnley, but stop over-respecting the likes of Chelsea.

They are a good team, and no complaints, tonight, from me, but to stand a chance of winning a game, a team must compete.

High energy and nous and aggression.

The blend, I'm sure Everton will find with, Carlo and Marcel, scout network.

Dave Abrahams
112 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:00:45
Now Carlo is saying Doucouré got injured in the WBA game, and he will be out for some games, doesn't know to be honest. Carlo's words. How the injury happened, it's being assessed...

Hasn't anyone told you, Carlo? Didn't you ask? At least you know it is a foot injury, well that's a start anyway, was it the left or right foot? Or don't you know? Detective Cloussou has got nothing on you, Carlo.

Bill Watson
113 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:13:50
This game really demonstrated how threadbare we are in midfield. I'm not sure exactly what the point of Iwobi is and Gomes is constantly caught in possession and is prone to giving away cheap free-kicks in trying to get the ball back.

Davies was a vast improvement when he came on but Bernard failed to make any impact, whatsoever. Pickford is starting to look quite solid.

Much work to do in the next transfer window.

John Raftery
114 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:21:21
We need to carry a bigger squad to compete in the Europa League. If we don't qualify for the Europa League we cannot justify carrying a bigger squad.

Tonight all fourteen of our available experienced players were deployed at some stage. Whereas Tuchel was able to freshen up his team with five changes and still have a bench replete with quality Ancelotti was faced with filling out the substitutes list with two keepers and four novices.

Our front two have been required to play every game. Unlike their counterparts with the top teams they don't get the chance to rest up for the final half-hour or twenty minutes. Little wonder they are beginning to look jaded. We have few goals from elsewhere in the team other than at set plays.

If Doucouré is out for a lengthy spell and James continues to be as prone to calf strains as he has been so far we face an awkward run-in. In the circumstances a Europa League place would be a major achievement.

Si Cooper
115 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:22:14
Bill, that summing up of Gomes didn't reflect his play tonight. I thought he did all right on both counts. Of course needs to do that consistently and weigh in more with the creativity on top to be a ‘keeper'.

We needed to be faultless to get something from tonight's game. We weren't so we didn't.

Someone posted on Live forum something like ٟ billion spent well versus 𧷤 mill spent poorly. Of course it is possible to squander even a billion but realistically that extra spending power means you don't have to gamble so much on unproven youngsters, old pros or players whose careers stalled amongst the Galacticos.

Kunal Desai
116 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:27:49
This game was essentially a free hit. You only have to look at the contrast in squad depth. We've got kids on your bench.

I think the first step should be getting to that 60-point mark. That's progress in itself compared to the previous five seasons. That maybe will be enough to get 7th.

Summer is key. 3 or 4 players to excel us to that next level and challenge for Champions League. All-in-all, we're heading in the right direction.

David Hallwood
117 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:31:41
Agree with just about all the comments, especially squad size, which is all the more relevant when we've only been able to field our best 11 once or twice.

The backup players just don't cut it, obviously Carlo knows that and it will take time to get a group of players that can go toe to toe with the usual suspects.

Danny O’Neill
118 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:33:04
I'm not sure we done a lot wrong there tonight. Sometimes you just have to respect that you were beaten by a better team.

Chelsea have some great players and now have a manager who has organised them in a way their previous one couldn't. Apparent to me tonight that they are probably the second best team in the league behind City.

We have a great manager who doesn't have as good players at his disposal right now, certainly ones that collectively are not at top 2 or 3 level.

The effort was there tonight, we were simply outplayed by a better team in my opinion. I will slate for lack of effort, I can't tonight.

Still a lot to play for, still in the mix.

Tom Bowers
119 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:44:31
Our time can't be far away. We have some really classy players and some youngsters with great potential.

I would hope that Carlo has pencilled in the names of those he doesn't want to be bothered with next season. We have a few of those who are just not good enough to help separate us from the also-rans.

We have had some great results this season without really being impressive and that can't be a bad thing but sometimes they have played like dogs and got what they deserved.

Would have been nice to have had James and Doucouré to call upon today but it wasn't to be and as soon as I saw Iwobi's name in the starting eleven, I had a sinking feeling.

Bring on Burnley!

Nicholas Ryan
120 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:52:30
This game simply confirmed what we already knew; we are not yet, quite good enough for the Champions League. But think back 2 years, to when we were in the bottom 3.

From relegation dogfight, to flirting with the Champions League is significant progress. I for one, think we can bridge the Championships League 'gap', but it will take time, effort and Carlo Ancelotti.

Christy Ring
121 Posted 08/03/2021 at 22:57:10
Guys what's the "real story" regarding Doucouré? So much speculation, Carlo was completely bluffing with his injury update, if he was injured against West Brom, which was four days ago, he would have been assessed before now.

Disappointed tonight but with the players we were missing in a small squad, and playing Iwobi, Gomes and Sigurdsson together, we were going to be completely overrun in midfield.

Let's be honest, looking at Chelsea's bench and our bench, that tells the massive difference in the gulf, class and quality of the two squads. If Gbamin doesn't make it back before the end of the season, we have to cut our losses, as for Delph, bye-bye.

Danny O’Neill
122 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:02:35
Christy, I've gloated when I've backed a player, acknowledged when one I've been critical of comes good or improved against my so-called wisdom.

But, if there is a player I would gladly never see play for us again, it is Delph.

Colin Glassar
123 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:06:06
Carlo is as clear as water in his post-match interview when comparing the quality of both teams.

I'm actually quite excited by the next transfer window if we can get in the likes of Aarons, Rabiot and Vasquez. These players would give us better balance and more ability in midfield.

Paul Birmingham
124 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:09:31
Plenty of old nuts cracking heads tonight, and we all feel the pain.

For me it's a miracle well. What comes, through the academies, and the scouting systems at Finch Farm, is to be proven.

But Everton FC, is improving and is on the right path, and in we have a good management team, and good foundations are being built to progress, to regular Champions League.

Mark Wilson
125 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:11:00
Chelsea have a very decent squad no doubt. But frankly it doesn't take much to beat a team who are beaten before they get off the coach. Yes, we had injuries, yes the squad quality is not good enough. Yes we are short up top and maybe Calvert-Lewin is finding the lack of service so frustrating that's it's impacting his confidence a bit. But really? This was the best we can do? Keep the score down thanks to Pickford and then seem not too bothered by a weak capitulation.

At the end look at the body language? So many were smiling and slapping the backs of the Chelsea players, few seemed angry at watching a chance to make that leap into a top four place go by almost without a care.

Apparently, it's okay because they are Chelsea you know. For fuck's sake, what's the bloody point? I'd rather we went down six but at least kicked off with a setup that said we may lose but, boy, we are going to come at you. Instead it was more of this let's hold 0-0 and you never know we might get one, which is much what we did against some relegation fighters and a team in crisis.

I know all about the rational arguments, about the fact they could bring Kante on etc etc. I appreciate Carlo has little to work with squad wise. And yes I still understand he's a world class manager but do you really think that's the best we could do?

Why not play an inform Davies alongside Allan? Neither may be totally match-fit but they would get stuck in and offer so much more than Gomes who I'm afraid is a shadow of the player he was before that git Son had his say. Why not start with King in the Iwobi position wide right? It surely offered more chance of pace and some service to Calvert-Lewin and, a sliver of a goal threat?

We wouldn't have been quite so compact or diamond-shaped but, instead of barely two shots at goal, maybe we could have offered us helpless watchers a bit of hope that we really didn't turn up beaten before a ball was kicked.

I know I'm angry and frustrated but this is about mindset and I do think that Carlo, great guy that he is, can sometimes get it wrong, as I think he did vs Fulham and Newcastle. And yes, I know he's got it right a lot this season. But tonight is just part of our DNA and I'd hoped that Carlo, Duncan and Davide might be able to work it out of us.

We aren't as good as Chelsea, deserved to be beaten and realistically we are back in the bottom of the rollercoaster in terms of Europe but, even without the quality of others, please don't tell me we have to be so bloody fearful of every team in the league bar Liverpool and frankly everyone beats them.

Danny O’Neill
126 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:13:51
Dave Abrahams @91; very balanced assessment. We were done by a better team even though most of our players done their best. I like the attitude; we didn't roll over and die.

And you are right, Pickford, who many of us have rightfully slated on here, kept us respectful. He spared Tom Davies blushes at the end with that double save.

In general we are much improved with a thin squad.

My one disagreement with you. I'll take Europa for next season. I do love a European tour. We didn't know we were going to win the league in 1985 but we enjoyed Europe and Rotterdam en-route!!

Danny O’Neill
127 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:22:56
Mark Wilson, genuinely, have you ever played football? It is common for players to shake hands and respect each other at the end of a match. It's called sportsmanship. It has always been the case and is taught from a very young age on the training ground.

Look at Rugby for other sports. The losing side routinely gives a wall of honour to the victors.

I really don't know where this "must sulk and not shake hands" mentality has come from. At the end of 90 minutes, you acknowledge your opponent, be that in victory, defeat, or in a draw.

Steve Carse
128 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:23:29
Of course there was a gap in the quality of the two sides tonight. But this must have been Chelsea's easiest win under Tuchel. We were little short of pathetic both individually (Pickford, Godfrey and Davies aside) and collectively, and played with no obvious game plan other than to chase the ball (if you can label the pace at which Gomes and Sigurdsson move as 'chasing').

The team looked like it was waiting for the inevitable even before we went a goal down. Fortunately, although Chelsea may have moved the ball around well, they lacked invention and incision so thankfully the final scoreline looked creditable.

Joe McMahon
129 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:26:02
Danny @126, we had just won the FA Cup and were unlucky in the League Cup, so we were going places.

Football in 1985 was a lot different, there is so much more competition for top places now than there was 10 years ago, nevermind 36 years ago.

This squad cannot cope with additional Europa League games, even with 3 extra players. Also, many teams will be getting stronger in the summer.

Carlo is improving our position no doubt, but if you look at our goal difference compared to the teams we realistically want to take on, it shows we are nowhere near ready.

Don Alexander
130 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:30:53
Dave Abrahams's take on the Europa League is my take too. It's okay as a consolation prize for teams with Champions League sized squads but, for teams like us, with small squads comprising barely half-a-dozen top-notch players, it's a curse.

The poor quality of our passing frustrates me. The ease with which we cough up possession to any team that properly presses, unlike us most of the time, frustrates me more but the regularity we display in squandering a chance to get a free-kick into the opposition's box, 2-0 down at the time as we were tonight, in favour of playing it back to Jordan to optimistically punt just over the halfway line really does my head in.

We usually have Calvert-Lewin, Keane, Mina, Godfrey and Holgate as tall powerful players in their area, with Richarlison too. But we ignore them, preferring them to have to scurry back to defensive duties as our ineptitude in retaining the ball regularly leads to Jordan having to launch it. It's pathetic.

Do they practice this at Finch Farm? And, if so, why?

Oliver Molloy
131 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:31:37
“I think it's an injury which is quite important but I don't know for how long.”

Testicle injury it is then.

Danny O’Neill
132 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:37:01
That is a very fair and very accurate assessment, Joe. I don't disagree.

But (there's always a 'but', right?!) why can we not be one of those teams that gets stronger in the summer as well? And wouldn't European football help with that and make that squad stronger?

I just look at how clubs have built / rebuilt their brand over the past decades. Without referring back to the 80s, Chelsea in the 90s, Even Liverpool in the 2000s; win Europa / UEFA to put or keep yourself on the map and it doesn't always start with Champions League.

I personally would rather Europa than nothing. And with the attraction of any form of European football we attract a better calibre of player in the summer?

Kieran Kinsella
133 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:39:03

The paradox is though that, if you don't get Europe, you lose your better players as they want Europe. It happened during the Heysel ban, it happened under Moyes, it happened under Koeman. You try and add 3 or 4 players but it's like sticking your finger in a dyke 'cause, next thing you know, James, Godfrey and Richarlison will be off – just like players of old.

Paul Birmingham
134 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:44:59
Plenty of old nuts cracking heads tonight, and we all feel the pain.

For me it's a miracle well. What comes, through the academies, and the scouting systems at Finch Farm, is to be proven.

But Everton FC is improving and is on the right path and in we have a good management team, and good foundations are being built to progress to regular Champions League.

In context, Everton tonight were out played in every position, except goalkeeper.

The facts are what the game states this night, but the next game, v Burnley, now is the must-win game for Everton.

Martin Berry
135 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:50:52
The positives are that we are improving, the manager, the fans and the media know that we are slowly moving in the right direction. Take Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea out of the Premier League and we are in the mix.

The good news is that Carlo knows where we are as a team, he is under no illusions, he knows he needs 2/3 players in the summer to help Everton's "problem" areas, his quote not mine, so with that stated, I am very happy to see what transpires in the summer transfer window.

We are venturing into exciting times, we just need a little more patience.

Steve Carse
136 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:53:36
Kieran, precisely.

The Champions League might be a step too far for next season, though only because we'd have to be playing our best XI every fixture whereas the lesser standing of the Europa League gives some scope for trying out other squad members, providing breathers for the more established players.

Nevertheless, Champions League qualification must be the target, not least because we're probably witnessing the final years of the supremacy of the Premier League given the now virtually accepted expansion of the Champions League from 2024, a process that will only gather strength from there on in. We will need to raise profile and performance levels beyond anything we've witnessed over the last 34 years if we are to maximise our chances of being a participant from the outset.

Mike Price
137 Posted 08/03/2021 at 23:58:31
The Europa League is a way to keep upcoming teams in their place; it weakens them in the league and perpetuates the ‘elite' in the Champions League. It would be a disaster for us if we make it.

Ancellotti is very likeable but not sure he's a good fit for where we are. We've been unusually lucky in lots of games this season and our league position is flattering. The football is turgid and we never hammer any team, from any league, in any situation.

A lot more squad pruning is needed, with pace, power and skill required when spending our next tranche of multi millions.

Brian Wilkinson
138 Posted 09/03/2021 at 00:16:50
Christy @121, they are not sure if Doucouré's ankle is fractured. He has been ruled out of the game Saturday, and the cup game next week. If fractured, they are saying he could be out for up to 8 weeks.
Brian Wilkinson
140 Posted 09/03/2021 at 00:23:31
When you think we had our right and left-back out injured for months, Allan, Rodriguez, Delph, Calvert-Lewin for a couple of games, now Doucouré among others... Yet those moaning shower across the Park are moaning like hell, because for the first time in a very very long time, one of their players has picked up a long-term injury.

Never hear Carlo using it as an excuse, he just gets on with the job.

Mark Wilson
141 Posted 09/03/2021 at 00:31:26
Danny #127 ! Now that cheered me up a bit !! “Have you ever played football Mark” !! Well obvs not as the no legged one armed frustrated bluenose in a powerchair thing tends to get in the way. But actually I don't need to have played the beautiful and at times horrible game to understand that you get a sense when defeat isn't hurting enough and tonight that's how it seemed to me at the end. Oh and please don't lecture me about respect and sportsmanship. That's got nothing to do with the point I was making, which wasn't that I expected them not shake hands but spit in Chelsea players faces etc. It's a lot more subtle than that and fans know when players feel that pain of a bad defeat they can see it in their faces, there's no joking around, no backslapping and somehow you can see they know what a mess it's been and how they have let us down and themselves.

This thread is full of the pragmatic, the carefully set out balanced argument of squad strength and the inevitable “Burnley is a must win game”. None of its really wrong. I get it. But all these bits of eminently sensible analysis just boil down to one thing for me. We setup negatively to avoid a shellacking apparently and I think that's crazy when a top four place is the prize that might be available and when all said and fine Chelsea are not Barca or even Man City. They are beatable as we know ourselves so whatever the injury situation tonight was a night to at least have a go and we didn't, not even close, no “gloves” in sight. Meanwhile West Ham move above us in the hunt for CL qualification. Think on that for a min, WHU for pity's sake,

Derek Thomas
142 Posted 09/03/2021 at 00:54:24
A (Stamford) Bridge too far for a depleted Everton...I got up in the middle of the njght to watch and went back to bed when the 2nd went in, the result was never in doubt after that...only the amount.

If we're honest about it, we're struggling for a bit of form. We maybe good enough to play poorly...or even play well - on a 1 off and beat a poor rs team...and we can play poorly and beat some teams, but, at the moment we haven't got the depth to play poorly and beat top, on form teams.

One game at a time, with Burnley next up...sufficient unto the day etc etc.

Off Topic Alert; If Pep doesn't win it, Ancelotti must be up there for manager of the Season...along with Moyes and Parker, they've all done well in the silk purse / pigs ear category.

Bill Gall
143 Posted 09/03/2021 at 01:04:11
Well I sat and watched the game over again, mostly to see if this expensive Chelsea side were that superior. There is no doubt on paper and the money spent on players plus a new manager they should have been way to good for an Everton side. Well with the players picked and the players on the bench it was certainly the set up we would like. so how did they do.?

First half there was 2 shots on Everton"s goal. 1 an own goal by Godfrey that was going wide in the31st min, the second shot on goal was at 40min that Pickford saved. So that was 2 shots in 45min on goal.

The second half there were 4 shots on goal. The first was the 2nd goal from the penalty in the 65th min.The next 2 shots were in the 85 min when Davies lost the ball in a tackle and Pickford made a double save. The last shot was in the 93min that Pickford saved.

The point is although Chelsea have the better priced players, it would have only taken a couple of better midfielders than we had and more help on the right side at full back and wide player for future games to get to this level.There were also a couple of our own players today that played below their own standards, but overall it was definitely not as poor a performance from the Everton team that a number of people made it out to be.

We seem to be on the right track with the management team we have and 4th place may be taken by the usual suspects, but I think we may see improvement over the next few weeks.

Alan J Thompson
144 Posted 09/03/2021 at 01:10:43
Chelsea 2 Dustbins 0.

An awful performance, or complete lack of one.
Digne was awful; Holgate, a waste of space; Midfield, non -existent until a substitution was made; Richarlison, a Brazilian with no idea in a one-on-one with a defender; Calvert-Lewin, no service but nowhere to be found and why do we persist on Iwobi hugging the right touchline? If we are going to play Richarlison wide on one side then bring Iwobi in to play off Calvert-Lewin.

MotM, for us? Just a joke of an idea but until substitutions and the penalty it was probably Pickford on the basis that he seemed to have touched the ball as much if not more than anyone else.

Tom Davies was the only player to come out of this debacle with any credit.

Top 8 again this season, if we are lucky!

Simon Dalzell
145 Posted 09/03/2021 at 01:20:42
We simply cannot employ the same tactics holding on to a one goal lead at home to the Southamptons, as a Chelsea away. king should have started to give us some threat, or at least something more ambitious. The odd time DCL wlns one of our hoofs, there's no one there. It was kind of inevitable what would happen. Just give it a go, be positive, but no, we never do..The match was lost before the start. We have made progress, but Carlo infuriates me with negative selections and tactics. For the first time in 50 years I chose to miss the last 15 mins. Praise when due, but tonight was abject surrender.
Phil Smith
146 Posted 09/03/2021 at 02:50:25
On another day we might have drawn that. No shame in losing to an OG and a pen against that team. Richy was hopeless and Digne put in his worst performance for us there. Horrible. Holgate is no right back. Looked so much better when Tom came on. Badly missed James there. Why King isn't starting is beyond me. Always looks like he might make something happen. Next.
Paul Jones
147 Posted 09/03/2021 at 03:28:26
Tonight was a game of football chess were the team with the bigger more expensive squad won. Given we had one chance made two defensive errors the game was lost. My criticism wold be why try and match up with a team with better resources with the same game plan.
I would hope in the FA Cup if we want to progress that we could be more innovative otherwise the same result is inevitable.
Brian Murray
148 Posted 09/03/2021 at 04:37:52
Carlos tactical know how is not in question and has served him well for decades. All of a sudden just because we want to he's not going to go at teams no matter what level they are or go for the second goal if we go in front. Maybe when he gets the wide player and full back he needs it will be a lot more easier on the eye but forget any smooth school of science play until he does. More often than not it will come off but not tonight and especially in a one off cup game we somehow have to have a go v City.
Billy Dawber
149 Posted 09/03/2021 at 05:18:00
Sorry to say this but anyone who thinks this team is good enough to finish 4th or qualify for Europe needs their heads feeling. How Iwobi calls himself a footballer i'll never know. I've seen men with wooden legs play better. He is shit to say the least. We need at least 6 players before we even contemplate 4th spot / Europe in my opinion. This team is so frustrating to watch, we can't even string 2 passes together sometimes and yet other times we look really good until Iwobi gets it then it's like a circus. I've never seen a footballer run the way he does, flat footed with both feet pointing outwards just like a clown. Chelsea are good to watch just like City, we have a long way to go to match these 2 teams. I for one don't want us to finish 4th for the simple reason, I couldn't bear us getting knocked out of Europe even before the knockout stages and making a holy show of ourselves yet again. Let's build a team first that can compete in all positions and even win a domestic cup before dreaming of 4th or Europe. NSNO.
Paul A Smith
150 Posted 09/03/2021 at 06:23:04
I think i'd rather finish 4th or 10th than in Europa spots. I can't stand what that competition does to your season.

Thursday Sunday games and the sunday game is usually depressing. The squad needs to be massive and have a good deal of quality that remains fit for most of the season.

We have to hope Leicester slip up because Chelsea won't now.

Danny O’Neill
151 Posted 09/03/2021 at 06:55:55
For now Mark. West Ham move above us for now.

Season ends in May.

I do get your point and no lecture meant. I too was hurting from defeat, but it is normal to shake hands and exchange at the end of match always has been. We just see it more now. I would also add that there is more of this now as these elite players increasingly live in their own media enforced bubble.

You're right though No-one; player or supporter alike, enjoys losing. But, as long as you come off the pitch knowing you tried and the other team were simply better on the night / day, then sometimes that's just football. Chelsea were the better team last night but Everton were not awful.

Jim Bennings
152 Posted 09/03/2021 at 06:57:21
4th was always a big ask.
They've produced a big season with a limited squad, last night along with games like Fulham, Newcastle at home showed us what we are lacking.

Another big transfer window needed in summer to add more dynamic attacking players.

Squad is small and pretty much made up of players with no real future here or young players with no experience.
When you think we were pinning our hopes on Anthony Gordon before Christmas, fella has gone to Preston and done absolutely nothing, it's shows us what we are going to be needing in summer.

Justin Doone
153 Posted 09/03/2021 at 07:40:31
Disappointing result and performance. Maybe not a surprise but still disappointingly blunt especially in attack. Very little link up play, which is normal, but also very few crosses or decent forward balls. King the only likely player to create for himself. Ric can no longer go past a defender. Hazard please!

Pickford some very good saves but erratic kicking and needless penalty which made the game comfortable for Chelsea. I'm still more comfortable with Olsen in net. I'm not saying it would have changed this result but he's just more consistent. Could do nothing about the unlucky deflection.

Our midfield failed to create much and failed to close Chelsea down. It was as poor as against West Brom but without a goal. When they played keep ball it was embarrassing, we played like school kids, individuals chasing a ball and not man on man.

We had very few players willing to play a quick forward ball into space and the few times we attempted too the passing was poor. Gomes, the passer became Gomes the passenger. We need a top class midfield creater to link play with James and forwards.

We move on and hope we improve before spurs and liverpool find a run of form and pass us for a top 6 finish. Whilst I understand the moaning about getting embarrassed in Europe, whats the point of playing if our own fans don't want to finish top 6.. silly comments, its how we grow as a club, earn more money and attract better players.

John Raftery
154 Posted 09/03/2021 at 07:55:34
Jim (152) I have a friend who follows Preston. His words on seeing Gordon play for his team were ‘Man of the Match! What a prospect!' Whether or not he will ever make it in the Premier League is certainly debatable but it is not true to say he has done ‘absolutely nothing' at Preston.
Kim Vivian
155 Posted 09/03/2021 at 07:58:03
Bill (@143) seems pretty much to have watched the same game I did.

I said on the LF we were beaten by a lucky (for Chelsea) own goal and a penalty. No Chelsea player managed to score from open play, and I saw a defence which pretty much did it's job again. That shot/cross which deflected on to Godfreys knee could easily have gone behind for a corner or missed him altogether and gone beyond the far post for a goal kick. I have not rerun the penalty incident so I'm unsure if the ball and attacking player were heading away from goal, or if he was on his way around Pickford but again - one of those 50-50 situations that could easily have gone either way.

We were outplayed and indeed some of our players seemed below par but Chelsea simply stifled them. I do not think that as a collective they just happened to be off form on the night. You can only play as well as you are allowed to play and in this context Chelsea did their job. So despite the fact that we were, as we all saw, soundly outplayed this was not a performance to be ashamed of.

What it did emphasise for me is the lack of depth in the squad but we all know about that. We continue in the right direction and Burnley on Saturday will be a more accurate litmus test. I, for one will be hoping for an emphatic bounce back and well deserved win. Lose or draw and all the old mental fragility chestnuts will be back in the fire.

Andrew Ellams
156 Posted 09/03/2021 at 08:05:00
There was way too much forelock tugging on the live forum last night on how amazing Chelsea are and almost how lucky we are to even be allowed to share the same oxygen, never mind compete.

That sort of mindset just leads to more years of Moyes style plucky Everton might just break through that glass ceiling with a little bit of luck. Meanwhile Leicester and West Ham attack the top four looking like proper teams.

Peter Warren
157 Posted 09/03/2021 at 08:06:23
Thought we played very similar to last 10 games - that's how we play presently.
Dan Nulty
158 Posted 09/03/2021 at 08:21:43
We really need to beat Burnley on Saturday otherwise we will end up in 8th or 9th and feeling a lot less positive going into next season. Doucoure is a massive loss due to his work rate alone.
Joe McMahon
159 Posted 09/03/2021 at 08:30:01
Mark @ 141, what WHU have done is win the games us Evertonians think are easy, such as Leeds at home. 45 years of Everton has made me realise, that these supposedly winnable games coming up are as Winnable as no points off Newcastle and losing at home to Fulham.
Mark Murphy
160 Posted 09/03/2021 at 08:55:57
I'm a realist and accept that we need more quality in to match Chelsea toe to toe BUT when we are 1-0 down what is the point of turning backwards and retaining possession, especially from free kicks? I couldn't see if it was due to lack of movement up front but the back four seemed to have a little personal game going on at times when we really should be going forward. Holgate was the main culprit last night but Digne, Gomes and Siggy all look to play the safe ball whenever they can.
On saying that Keane, Godfrey and Pickford played well and Allan is a great buy. Build the team around that spine with more support for Dom up front and service from the wings.
Mark Wilson
161 Posted 09/03/2021 at 09:13:29
Andrew 156 exactly what my ranting was saying but way better done !

There's been a lot of spot on analysis in this thread and frankly a lot of it is repetitive from much of the season apart from that gold star start to the season.

But I remain convinced that we are in danger of being overwhelmed by fear of the opposition which is in part the product of Carlo's pragmatism. Here's the thing, I can see the players starting to react the same way ? So much about our new “style” is based on soaking up pressure and counter attack we've forgotten what it's like to add pressure ourselves. I accept some of this is about the lack of depth in the squad. But everyone knows how we are going to play now. We concede not just ground but confidence and positive feeling about our ability to win games and opposing teams all get that and it's showing.

We need to win the next three but tbh I can't see it unless we have a change of approach for these so called”winnable” matches? I'm hoping for King on the right with DCL centre and Richarlison left with a hopefully fit Rodriguez behind the front 3 in a ten position, Allan and Davies in front of a back four of Digne Godfrey Keane and hopefully a fit again Coleman. Pickford as he's looking much more confident. It's an attacking line up when one is needed most but somehow sometime we do just have to go at a team and accept that we have to try and score more than they do ! Simplistic yes, but we have to stop looking scared and beaten before we get off the bloody bus.

Danny O’Neill
162 Posted 09/03/2021 at 09:38:16
I am an advocate of European football of either flavour. The fact we are talking about 4th shows our improvement.

I do not think Europa would be a disaster. We will not be going into next season, Europa or not, with this squad as is. We will not compete a Premier League campaign or Europa League / Champions League with this set of players.

The squad will be invested in. However, whether we qualify for Europe or not (either version) will dictate the types of investment and the calibre of player we attract.

In my opinion of course.

Richard Mason
163 Posted 09/03/2021 at 09:44:05
For some reason I wasn't as angry or surprised at result last night, I was genuinely expecting it. Look at the bench alone of Chelsea, every player on it would be starting in a Everton team

2 sweaty goals cost us, I felt Everton battled hard. I would definitely like to see a 433 next match with king DCL and Richie up top. Just a pity the Duke is missing

Andy Crooks
164 Posted 09/03/2021 at 09:47:03
I totally understand the point made by Dave and others about the downside of Europa League. However, I believe that if we are holding out for Champions League then there will never be another floodlit European match at Goodison Park.
I would happily be in the position Rangers are in the Europa league right now.

Justin Doone
165 Posted 09/03/2021 at 09:55:39
FF is a mystery. I do wonder what and how they are asked to play in training because we always play too many backwards passes, take to many touches and instead of playing a quick pass or instant cross wait to get closed down and limit our own options.

This is highlighted with free kicks. Every free kick should be played forward. If they have a player blocking the forward route do the following.
Shout and complain at the referee, pace out 10 yards, shout and complain at the referee again. Push the player to the ground or blast the ball as hard as possible at his head or balls.

Childish yes, time wasting yes, winds up the opposition yes! If we have this mentality of doing it to disrupt the opposition then we start to win a few small battles. It's all about fine margins and the detail.

More importantly we are in the right, we get to play a ball forwards to our attacking players who just so happen to be very good in the air.

Paying it backwards defeats the purpose of gaining an advantage from a free kick. It's our ball, we decide what and where to play it.
Playing backwards to our own defender or keeper who get closed down and then.. you guessed it, pump the ball upfield under pressure. Surely we can plan a better forward ball from a free kick.

If chasing the game in the 90th minute.. that's the mentality needed. Take advantage of the situation.

Sorry.. rant over.

John Kavanagh
166 Posted 09/03/2021 at 10:09:28
Last night showed how much ground we need to make up in terms of squad strength, even to be competitive let alone lift a trophy. Delph needs to have his contract terminated asap and I'm afraid if there's no return to the squad by Gbamin before the season ends, he will need to go too.

I just hope there is some club somewhere that's daft enough to take on Iwobi. There's no aspect of his game that is even competent. Some second/third tier outfit in Europe will maybe take on Bernard and possibly Gomez.

Hopefully, Carlo and Brands will be able to use the money we get for Kean to get two more players with the hunger, speed and commitment of Godfrey; one at right back and one in midfield. A genuine wide player who can cross the ball is essential; otherwise DCL and Richarlison are wasted and left to feed on scaps.

If a few of the youngsters also make progress, we should then have a squad capable of competing over the whole season and carrying a luxury player like James who will only ever be available for half of it at best.

Dave Williams
167 Posted 09/03/2021 at 10:11:31
A penalty and an own goal. We beat them at home, they beat us at their place. As Carlo says not a tragedy. We must and will get better and the next three games are vital.
Dave Abrahams
168 Posted 09/03/2021 at 10:21:37
Kieran (133),regarding the Heysal ban, the players who left after that did so because they knew every English club was out of Europe for the next five years, that was the main reason they left and they didn't go to other English teams, did they?

Anyway Kieran that's just my take on the Europa league, I respect your take on it and of course the many who love to travel to these games, what will be will be.

Mike Doyle
169 Posted 09/03/2021 at 10:29:04
Like other posters I'd like to see King start. I wonder if the reason he hasn't is that he is seen as the only realistic replacement for DCL / Richy should either become available.
Also agree that most of Chelsea's bench would be starters for us - they have a very impressive squad and an excellent manager.
Jason Li
170 Posted 09/03/2021 at 10:41:11
I see Chelsea getting 3rd.

4th is well up for grabs. We will know at final whistle of the last game when Leicester have got through their final few games.

The Doucoure one is the only big long-term injury really for us currently, so we've got enough of our top 5 or 6 players to keep going.

Spurs still got Europa, League Cup and Premier League so fragile Kane and Bale won't be playing every game at 31 years old. Plus Spurs vs Leicester is last game of the season.

We have Man City on the final day, so hopefully they're wanting to stay injury free for their summer holidays swimming in the sea in Ibiza etc.

Christy Ring
171 Posted 09/03/2021 at 11:24:03
Brian#138 Thanks for clearing up Docoure's injury.
Martin Mason
172 Posted 09/03/2021 at 11:34:21
To be fair it wasn't our best team by a long way so it was hopefully a great learning experience.
Steve Brown
173 Posted 09/03/2021 at 11:45:54
When I saw the bench, I thought I was reading the class roster for the first day back at school. The additional 80 million that Chelsea spent last summer was clear to see in the quality and depth of their squad.

We set up tactically in the same way as the Liverpool game, however conceding an own goal put paid to that. Given the substitutes, there wasn't really a plan B this time and we look really thin at the moment without Doucoure, James, Coleman and Davies only fit for bench.

Game done, move on.

Sukhdev Sohal
174 Posted 09/03/2021 at 11:47:34
As I've said before, Iwobi was a horrific signing. Holgate doesn't seem to know how to defend or track his man too, and that's what he's supposed to be good at. Not sure whether he's good enough. We definitely need a RB like Aarons and a RM like ASM in the summer.
Tom Bowers
175 Posted 09/03/2021 at 12:42:04
Have to agree Iwobi commits too many errors and is a poor signing.

Holgate after a good start cannot be trusted, much like Stones before he left.

I do hope Carlo has some good names pencilled in for next season as this squad just isn't good enough yet.

Colin Malone
176 Posted 09/03/2021 at 13:12:11
Too many square pegs in round holes. Three number tens in the same team ain't going to work, hence why we cannot keep the ball in midfield. Gomes and Iwobi have been getting criticism, but in there defence, both are number tens. I would give Iwobi a chance, he is capable of running at defences as a number ten should.
Mike Oates
177 Posted 09/03/2021 at 13:27:59
Interesting articles in some press today re Ancelotti truthfulness about injuries. Sounds as both Rodriquez and Doucoure could be 2 months out. Rodriguez's position complicated by screwing up merchandisers and promoters who will tail away if he continues to spend months on the sidelines as he's done everywhere else.

I'm beginning to think we've bought a dud here, yes a quality dud, but one who'll only play in 12 matches a year. His record at Bayern was awful, 80% of which was down to his fragile calves !

Other good point is Tuchel declaration he sort to put pressure on Everton midfield by playing quick midfielders, both in pace and in speed of passing. Something we've seen all season, teams which pressurise us and move the ball quickly have controlled the matches. We've been fortunate to win quite a few games, relying on deep defence and grabbing a goal on counter attack or set piece.

We were certainly put in our place last night.

Derek Wadeson
178 Posted 09/03/2021 at 13:34:29
Last five games form table
City 12 points
United 9 points
Leicester 10 points
Chelsea 11 points
West Ham 10 points
Everton 9 points
Spurs 9 points
Liverpool 3 points
Villa 5 points
Arsenal 7 points

Top six for Everton is still possible and our next four games league and FA Cup will have a big say

Kieran Kinsella
179 Posted 09/03/2021 at 13:40:24

James is becoming a bit like Whiteside or Eto'o. A novelty item who has moments of magic but you can't build momentum if it's stop start. Given his age I doubt his injuries will lessen. It's frustrating but as of now he's the only creative player we have.

Andrew Ellams
180 Posted 09/03/2021 at 13:52:27
I wouldn't be upset if James was shipped out in the summer and we reinvested into somebody younger and quicker.

Could the Ancelotti pulling power attract either Kingsley Coman or Leon Bailey to Everton?

Rob Halligan
181 Posted 09/03/2021 at 13:54:10
Derek # 178. Be careful mate. You'll be shot down on here for being optimistic posting something like that.
Justin Doone
182 Posted 09/03/2021 at 13:58:01
I get frustrated with player's when defending and they dive in needlessly or predict movement one way only to have no way of gutting backing at them. Silly yellow cards and Holgate is becoming a master collector.

Stay on your feet and stay goal side!
Digne, Holgate, Gomes, Iwobi, Allan all guilty of this on more than one occasion. Digne and Holgate as defenders need to do much better defending.

As for the midfield tactics it's obvious. We struggle to get near or contain half the Premier league in terms of midfield passing and moving. City and Leicester granted are good teams. But we have lost the midfield battle against Fulham, Newcastle, West Brom etc.

Carlo knows we can't compete so we need to be more defensive. That's how average many of our players are. Luckily we have been fairly solid or scored in several games to pick up points.

Doucoure is a big loss to how we have been playing, (his strength and energy), but he's also a poor passer of the ball with an often suspect first touch. He brings a few thing's to the table but for everyone that vents against some players for a few poor passes or lack of ability I'm pleasently surprised how positively Doucoure is talked about. He's not good enough for a top team either but a player that's somehow vital for us.

Bill Gall
183 Posted 09/03/2021 at 14:44:22
Kim # 155
If you run the penalty shots over, Chelsea had the ball in their own half passing it around and 1 of the Chelsea players about 2 yards inside their own half passed the ball into an area between Keane and Godfrey for Havertz to run onto, just outside the Everton penalty area to the left side, Havertz was ahead of Godfrey and Pickford decided to come out to try and win the ball and did get a touch with his hand but his momentum took the Chelsea player out. As you say there was a 50/50 chance of him succeeding in getting the ball as in allowing a run at the goal and relying on Godfrey catching him over the next 5/6yards or giving Havartz the chance of beating Pickford coming just of his line to the right hand side of his goal.
Did he make the right decision I don't know but it had to be made as soon as Havertz, "who was definitely not the slowest player on the pitch " received the ball while he was already moving.
Brian Wilkinson
184 Posted 09/03/2021 at 14:47:38
Problem with our midfield Justin is as soon as an opposing player moves within a yard of our players, they turn and play the ball backwards, with the exception of Digne and Richarlison, not one other player is prepared to go past a player, the ball gets passed backwards, then often resorts to either a centre back, or goalkeeper hoofing it towards Calvert Lewin.

For all those who say Coleman is finished, we seem to do better when he is in the team, he will run and more often than not take the ball, compose himself, then look for a ball into the area on the ground, for someone to get a shot in.

Iwobi and Holgate get into a good crossing area, then just hit it first time, no control or looking for a target, just a hopeful hit and hope.

We have seen first hand the difference to Davies play, why not get someone to work on our crossing, when you have someone like Calvert- Lewin and Richarlison in the box, both great headers of the ball, a bit of work on our crossing from the right side of midfield is a must.

We have no option of Iwobi playing on the right, either starting, or coming on as a sub, he cannot tackle a player, but he can get into good positions, then blows it with a weak pass or cross, if he can at least get his crosses and passes worked on, he could be the difference to us creating more chances this season.

Teams know our strength is the left side for attacking,until we can get a right sided player in, then we need to work on that right side, cannot rely on James, in one week out the next 4, so either work on Iwobi, or play King on the right.

Justin Doone
185 Posted 09/03/2021 at 16:58:23
I still rate Coleman but his final ball is and always was disappointing. Could Iwobi be converted to a right wing back?

JJK is a good crosser of the ball from open play but at best he's on a par with them. IMO defence isn't a positional priority.

Holgate and Godfrey provide a more solid defence but as we lack pace and creativity going forward an attacking midfielder and winger are priority. King needs to be given an opportunity but I don't think he work's hard enough defensively for Carlo. Until we get the attacking players we should be crossing more often with Dom and Ric in attack.

Like others have said, we don't have players with the ability to go around or through teams. We need to mix play up and give forwards a chance to put pressure on opposition more often.

Our defence defend a lot. Play it simple, give the ball quickly to a man in space and if in a good position whip a cross in to the penalty spot.

Stop playing backwards!

Justin Doone
186 Posted 09/03/2021 at 17:09:35
Lastly, on the penalty, if there's a player generally covering and it's a sprint to the ball, on the angle away from goal, then let the defenders defend.

It would have to be one brilliant piece of skill or shot to beat a defender and keeper from that angle at that speed.

Split second decisions I know but it was keeper error and he didn't get anything on the ball. Not his worst mistake this season but still a mistake.

I'm not blaming Pickford for the defeat but this is where he needs to learn. In the same situation would he stay or rush?

I'd predict he'd rush and make the same mistake ie not learning from his first mistake.

He made some great saves too. That's Pickford. Take the good and bad together or take someone else.

Colin Glassar
187 Posted 09/03/2021 at 17:10:22
Justin, Iwobi's best position would be as far away as possible from Goodison Park as is humanly, and geographically, sustainable.
Brian Wilkinson
189 Posted 09/03/2021 at 17:36:38
How about left back Colin, as in left back on the team bus.
Dale Self
190 Posted 09/03/2021 at 18:13:26
As a Dirty F'ing Happie [trademark pending] I'll put in my take. We did not give up much in the first 30 and looked like we could maybe get the game we wanted in the 2nd half but the OG blew that up. That eleven was not a climb back in it setup. You could view it as us simply not being good enough for Europe or being at a disadvantage with a smaller squad played to its physical limits.

Obviously as a DFH I'm taking the latter on that but it is an open question. For the squad we have we've done very well to be in position to compete for CL but it looks unlikely we've got the moves left to get a chance down the stretch. Don't get me wrong, we're in it but well it's gonna take a bit of luck.

Graham Mockford
191 Posted 09/03/2021 at 18:30:26
The game pretty much panned out as expected. They had too much for is in midfield which meant our front three fed on scraps all night. We were pretty solid except down our right side.

Confirmed my opinion that we are still four to five top players away from a side like Chelsea. A right back, a ball playing midfielder, and a couple who can play across the front three as a minimum.

Some sympathy for Holgate as he is not a right back but that being said the way others are playing he's only going to be a back up CB. Pickford has been excellent since his return and was clearly he was our best player last night. Sure he made a mistake for the penalty but those type of things happen when a keeper is trying to be decisive and go for the ball.

Chelsea will finish second, I have no doubt so last nights result is not a complete disaster. But 24 points from 11 games which I think is a minimum is a big ask.

Thomas Richards
192 Posted 09/03/2021 at 18:36:37
We have a long way to go before we get a squad as good as Chelseas Graham.

Four or possibly five of last nights players inc subs will not be in the starting line up for the first game of next season.

I owe you an apology Graham.
I jumped in two footed last week in a reply to you.
Nothing naughty intended but nonetheless it was a silly post from me.

Dave Abrahams
193 Posted 09/03/2021 at 19:10:37
Brian (184), Brian, how often does Richarlison go past a player on the outside, he hasn't got the pace to do it, he ran into trouble more often than not last night, as he does in many games, the last few games he has done very well with the goals he has scored, has he really played any better than he has all season?I'm not counting the Derby game when he and the rest of the squad lifted their game. He still has the same problems he has always had, doesn't read the game well, passes when he should be shooting, shooting when he should be passing, gives the ball up far too easily, not just last night, fans say he is one of our better players, doubt very much if he has this season, in fact in all the seasons he has been in England he has lacked consistency. I still think he is very over rated.
Mike Connolly
194 Posted 09/03/2021 at 19:23:27
Winnable Games: Burnley, Palace and Brighton we'll be lucky to get three points from these games. Cant really see were the goals will come from when we continually pass sideways or backwards. Agree with mark 125. laughing and joking after the game just makes you feel worse after watching the shite they have just served up. Surely a quick fist bump should be enough
John Boon
195 Posted 09/03/2021 at 20:11:30
As any true "Blue" I am disappointed whenever we lose. However we just do not have required amount of top class players to really compete at the highest level. This is a fact not an opinion, but one that seems to be accepted by most logical Evertonians. This point of view will change when we have the players and a system to make every game winnable. With Ancelotti in charge I am hopeful that this can happen over the next few seasons

Realistically I know that there are many Toffees who show total frustration at each losing result. Actually this is fully understandable for the many supporters who have never seen us win anything. I have been lucky enough to have witnessed The Everton teams of the sixties and the late eighties. Success does help fans to accept leaner times BUT on a general and historical level Evertonians have had it pretty good.

Since 1888 Everton have scored more top level points than any team in the Football league. Also we have only spent four years below the highest level. That is a record that supporters of any team would love to have.
Success is always fleeting but on a general level we are TOPS. Yes TOPS. and we can do it again.

Phil Bickerstaff
196 Posted 09/03/2021 at 20:22:48
So Leicester and West Ham have lots of experience in their squad
Bobby Mallon
197 Posted 09/03/2021 at 20:35:50
Dave Abrahams 193 I fully agree with everything you have said about Richalison. I think his best game was against Liverpool when he played on his own up front. He's not quick or skilful enough to take players on. I think he's good as a striker up top in the DCL position
Derek Knox
198 Posted 09/03/2021 at 21:01:38
Dave A, & Bobby, a tad unfair on Richarlison methinks, okay yes he has had off-days, who hasn't in our current squad? Some are off all the time (?) but when you consider he is still fairly young, and I think will get better, possibly with better players around him. He has saved us on many an occasion.

Whatever Carlo and his backroom boys have done to Michael Keane, Tom Davies and Pickford is working well. Maybe there is still hope for Gomes, Holgate and Iwobi. I have criticised, as we all have, the first three, but recently they haven't put a foot wrong.

Dave Abrahams
199 Posted 09/03/2021 at 21:16:57
Derek (198),Derek, you like me watch the Blues every game you can, we've certainly seen more of them this season, or I have, because of the pandemic, although actually you see more when you go to the game, either way Derek, until Richie started scoring those valuable goals his input, to me, was very little, he has wasted much more than he has provided to the team and in the time he has been here he never impresses me as a really good player, he has his moments but is far too inconsistent to be classed as a top player, but one man's meat is another man's poison, I'm a vegetarian where Richie is concerned.

On a personal note Derek, nice to see you back on Toffeeeweb and I hope you a clean bill of health soon, I think you have had a hard time with that in the last twelve months and this virus has done nobody much good, best wishes Derek.

Jamie Crowley
200 Posted 09/03/2021 at 21:30:02
I wasn't sure where to put this post?

I recently saw a report that Everton are after Rabiot from Juve, and there seems to be some legitimacy to this report as the player wants to reunite with Carlo?

Is this kid the creative, "Mikel-esque" midfielder we need to round the proverbial corner?

I know very little about the other leagues in Europe, and just don't know about this guy. I see he's 6'2" (nice) and is supposedly fairly creative? Anyone have any reports on this dude?

After watching our midfield last night, I was happy to read this rumor and hoped there might be some legitimacy to this rumor. Anyone?

We need a pacy, unlocking, creative midfielder worse than anything else right now - far worse than a RB in my opinion.

Bobby Mallon
201 Posted 09/03/2021 at 21:33:54
Hi Derek, if you ( or any Evertonian) could pick between Richy & Rashford who would you pick?
Kieran Kinsella
202 Posted 09/03/2021 at 21:34:07

Mike Gaynes will be DELIGHTED to hear this news. He has spoken about this link several times.

Bobby Mallon
203 Posted 09/03/2021 at 21:34:56
They are both classed as left wingers, both internationals both 23.
Peter Warren
204 Posted 09/03/2021 at 21:37:07
Holgate is a centre back playing right back. Unsurprisingly he ain't that good at right back. He's always looked good at centre back so I wouldn't be writing him off.

Iwobi - I just don't get it. He can't cross. He doesn't slip balls through. He meanders and his shooting is woeful. I don't dislike him I just think he's awful.

Jamie Crowley
205 Posted 09/03/2021 at 21:39:19
Kieran -

That's good! Mike and I usually see eye-to-eye with players.

Sans Tom Davies, but Mike was clearly wrong about him. 😜

I really hope this guy is the key to the midfield we need, and we get him. I keep thinking to myself - can you imagine a 25 year old Mikel Arteta surrounded with Allen and Doucoure? It would be like watching a symphony and practically bring tears to your eyes.

Derek Knox
206 Posted 10/03/2021 at 00:49:50
Thanks Dave for your kind words, it is appreciated, and Bobby @201, Rashford or Richarlison?

Well not too hard really, Rashford would obviously get the nod, but if he wasn't performing, I would bring Richarlison on for the second half. :-)

Love that Rashford, both as a player and a person, but he does seem committed to Man Utd, having grown up in and around Manchester. Like having one of of ours home-grown although I don't think we have any that fit that category at the moment, close, but no cigar. We did do once! Now where did he go?

Tony Waring
207 Posted 10/03/2021 at 17:06:13
Jamie (200) - did you see Rabiot put in the cross for Juve's goal last night against Porto? Looks like the real deal, a player with pace and skill. We could certainly do with him at GP.
Danny O’Neill
208 Posted 10/03/2021 at 18:55:45
Apologies, took a break for a day. Well busy actually.

I think we had the Holgate debate a few games ago. He's not a full back so harsh to judge him on playing there when he's covering.

I made the point Thomas with regards to the do / don't want Europa discussion. We wouldn't be facing a Europa campaign with the same squad. We won't be facing next year's Premier League campaign with the same squad.

Regardless of what we do or don't qualify for, in the summer we hit the next phase of rebuilding.

David Price
209 Posted 13/03/2021 at 07:55:05
So would we have been happy with this 2 years ago?? Of course we would! We have a fantastic manager, a few very good players and the possibility of European football.

This will take time but, with the huge strides we have made with Carlo, I'm seeing light at the end of a very long tunnel. The red side of the city are beginning to see what Everton have planned since the new owners came in. I for one am excited to be an Evertonian for the first time in decades.

COYB – another 3 points today and we're bang on course.

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