Blues hold on for an unconvincing win in front of the fans

Michael Kenrick 19/05/2021 338comments  |  Jump to last

Yerry Mina is fit again after shaking off his latest thigh problem
Everton 1 - 0 Wolves

In front of 6,500 fans, Everton finally ground out a win at Goodison Park, thanks to a fine header from Richarlison off a fine Sigurdsson corner. But it was the one moment of quality in another largely tedious showing where Ancelotti wanted to prove again that Everton played better without the ball, keeping a clean sheet despite conceding acres of possession to Wolves.

The fixture marks the first time that supporters will be allowed into Goodison Park since 2,000 fans watched the Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester United and the win over Arsenal in the Premier League a few days earlier back in December.

Up to 6,500 fans will be allowed in, along with Farhad Moshiri, and Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful that their presence and voices will help lift his players out of their torpor on home turf. Everton have won just once at Goodison since the turn of the year and are on course to match the worst home record in their history.

Centre-half Mina starts against Wolverhampton Wanderers after sitting out two games with an adductor problem sustained in the win at West Ham United 10 days ago.

The Colombian is joined by Ben Godfrey and Michael Keane in Everton's backline, with Lucas Digne and captain Seamus Coleman — on his 350th Everton appearance — poised to continue in the wing-back positions.

Sigurdsson came off the bench in Sunday's meeting with Sheffield United but is back here, with Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré also included in midfield. Jordan Pickford plays in goal.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is up front and supported by Richarlison, making his 100th Premier League start for the Club.

The visitors got things going on a beautiful sunny evening at Goodison Park. Sigurdsson's first contribution was one of those stupid shoulder drag-backs that usually gets an automatic yellow card. An early corner for Wolves ensued but nothing more.

The first attempt on goal was a nice cross in from Allan with pace on it that Richarlison met well enough to power it into any of the four corners the goal presented. But Rocharlison directed it straight at Ruddy instead.

Traore won a corner that was smashed back in by Gibbs-WHite, curling away from Pickford who still got across to punch it behind. Digne went the other way to win Everton's first corner, which Calvert-Lewin won at the far post but could only head sown and into Ruddy's hands.

Everton resisted some more corners and advanced to set up Richarlison with a cross=-cum-shot that wasn't accurate enough for Calvert-Lewin but was watched all the way by Ruddy. The first quarter of the game had increasingly gone Wolves way, with the socially distanced Bleus fans numbed into relative silence, groans increasing with the short back and sides passing.

Everton laboured to build an attack, but it was Wolves who came closer when a shot was deflected just over the bar. From the corner, Traore's shot was deflected even closer to the goal, as a series of Wolves corners were repulsed. But from an Everton perspective, it was just as stupefying to watch as previous games.

Coady clattered into Calvert-Lewin, setting up an opportunity for Digne to work his magic, but it failed. Digne got a better cross in the direction of Calvert-Lewin but the Everton man had gone a little too early. Richarlison got a close-range shot off from a Digne corner but the defenders had it covered.

Godfrey did well to force an early corner for Everton after the break, Sigurdsson planting it nicely on Richarlison's head, and the Brazilian finally caught it well and just looped it inside the far post, his first goal in 12 games to gove Everton ad the expectant crowd a vital lead.

Something approaching a breakaway almost bought a second, Coleman's shot getting deflected behind by Coady after some great forward running, passing and movement.

AFter Everton had been pressing, Richarlison passed it straight to Traore, who ran in with the ball but fired it at Pickford. Godfrey intercepted and responded to the crowd's desire to see more rapid forward progress, with only Calvert-Lewin advancing, the pinpoint pass to his feet turned out to be far too difficult for the Everton centre-forward to control, and a great move collapsed.

The biggest Goodison cheer (after the goal) was for a fabulous Michael Keeane sliding challenge to sweep the ball away from Traore in full flight down the wing. Even Southgate must have been impressed.

Sigurdsson won a free kick in a deep central position, and Digne rehearsed play to Keane almost came off but was snuffed out. Some better play finally got a decent ball through for Calvert-Lewin to run onto and score... if he was Harry Kane. But he's not.

Everton then had to do some defending, with Traore getting well neutralized by good work from Godfrey and Coleman working as a double act. At the other end, Sigurdsson almost scored, curling a shot just the wrong side of the post.

Traore beat both defenders this time and a Doucouré handball was amazingly not called by VAR. Semedo fouled Richarlison on a promising counter-attack, seeing yellow. Richarlison tried a breakaway down the left on his own, crossing into Calvert-Lewin but again, Everton's leading scorer could not control it and Wolves resumed their relentless attacking.

Subs were made late on, in the manager's acknowledged wise old method of 'disrupting the flow' as the Blues clung on with increasing desperation to their slender and vulnerable lead.

A win was important to achieve tonight, taking the focus off the continuing poor quality of the football under Ancelotti's frustrating management this season.

Kick-off: 6pm, Wednesday 19 May 2021 on Sky Sports Premier League

Everton: Pickford, Coleman (82' Davies), Mina, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan, Doucouré, Sigurdsson (86'Gomes), Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.
Subs: Olsen, Holgate, Delph, King, Iwobi, Nkounkou, Bernard, Gomes, Davies.Subs not Used: Olsen, Holgate, Delph, King, Iwobi, Nkounkou, Bernard

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ruddy, Boly (80' Dendoncker), Coady, Kilman, Semedo [Y:], Neves, Moutinho (80' Vitinha, Aït Nouri, Gibbs-White (67' Jose), Traore, Silva
Subs not Used:Hoever, Marcal, Rui Patricio. Saïss, Söndergaard.

Referee: Andy Madley
VAR: Graham Scott


Reader Comments (338)

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Ian Edwards
1 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:06:10
Two holding midfielders again. Looks like the same formation. Complete utter horseshit. Only a fool does the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome.

Ancelotti is a fool. A dullard. We are now 9th. Soon to be 10th. He has taken us backwards from Allardyce. Failure to sack him is negligence.

Andrew Ellams
2 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:08:00
So anybody know why the Colombian soft-arse is missing tonight?
Jonathan Tasker
3 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:10:00
Carlo forgot to name two goalkeepers.

This is going to be pure car crash TV.

Hopefully the crowd will let the manager know in no uncertain terms that this garbage isn't acceptable.

Wolves are even worse than us... I'm going with 1-0, a Sigurdsson penalty.

Neil Lawson
4 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:13:17
Positive team selection. Real injection of pace and creativity!!

Pity Location Location Location doesn't start earlier. May have to be an old Death in Paradise instead.

I will be watching but with absolutely no enthusiasm or expectation.

If that is the best Mr Ancelotti can do after recent performances and his criticism, then we are all DOOOOMED, Mr Mainwaring.

Anthony Murphy
5 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:14:11
With James, I reckon we'll get told it's an injury but more likely he's had a bust-up with a few others after the Sheffield Utd game and has been dropped.
Kevin Prytherch
6 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:24:02
3-5-2, no overlapping wingbacks, Richarlison doing not a lot up front, Calvert-Lewin dropping too deep, no passion, Sigurdsson anonymous in midfield.

Can't wait.

Hope I'm proved wrong.

Paul Hewitt
7 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:32:12
What a surprise – no James again. What a total waste of time he is. Great player once, but we need to get rid in the summer.
Michael Boardman
8 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:34:25
Players not making an effort, no sense of passion, so going to play them until they do is the only tactical logic I can think of. Can't imagine the level of passion on the bench, or outside of it, but it must be even lower Like Kevin, hope my thoughts of this "policy" backfire. Maybe hoping the fans can get something from them
Barry Rathbone
9 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:35:00
Paul 2

Totally agree. Beautiful player but an utter waste of a shirt if he plays once in a blue moon.

John Boswell
10 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:37:02
The blues need a great vocal from the stands, so come on you lucky 6500 and give it loud for the full 90 minutes plus added time 😀.
COYB.
Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:39:14
Certainly no abracadabra about that line up. Perhaps for the final "home" game I would have liked to have seen something more adventurous or at least another forward. Maybe Digne and Godfrey as full backs, King or Bernard out wide and Allan, Doucoure and Davies in the midfield and the hourly subs of Gomes, Sigurdsson and a hang on to what we've got defender unless we find ourselves that far in front.

We can dream, can't we; and have I?

Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:40:32
Brian Williams and co need to shout "ToffeeWeb" at least once so we can at least have something to amuse us
Paul Davies
13 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:44:10
Paul @ 2. When Carlo said any player that doesn't want to be here can go, maybe he was the first one to put his hand in the air!
Paul Davies
14 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:45:47
Sorry Andrew @ 2
Thomas Richards
15 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:48:48
"Only a fool does the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome"

You have been doing the same thing re team selection overvand over every game Ian.

John Hall
16 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:49:33
Is there much difference to another 5 man back line set up than what we witnessed in the last game?

Different names, same old problems I fear. Pass back and square looks to be the order of the day.

1 am my time here waiting for kick off now and hope I haven't waited up to watch another shit show.

Thankfully it's all nearly over and can rest and try to forget the absolute rubbish we have been served these past few months.

John Pickles
17 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:50:14
John Ruddy gets a rare start for Wolves, it's over 15 years since he made his only league appearance for us. He kept a clean sheet at Goodison in a1-0 win. If it's anything like last match he must be odds on for another.
Frank Sheppard
18 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:50:18
I can't remember the last time I was so disinterested in an Everton league game. Sad, boring, and disinterested.
Thomas Richards
19 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:50:38
The chaps are kicking off on the live forum.
Hilarious
Neil Lawson
20 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:51:51
We will wait tobe told the reason/excuse for James absence but many will suspect, like me, that he or his girlfriend have decided that it's not for them, and they will be returning to warmer climes pretty soon. He was Mr A's pick. Hope he can pick a little bit better if he and we are to have a future. Maybe he and James are both currently looking to get the tenants out of their flats in Madrid. 😄
Kieran Kinsella
21 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:51:59
Thomas 15

you beat me to pointing out the same thing

Brian Williams
22 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:53:06
Kieran#12.
I'll gladly shout it from my sofa mate.
After that Sheff Utd debacle I emailed the club and asked them to cancel my ticket and add the refund to the rest of my season ticket refund.
If the players can't be arsed on the money they're on then fucked if I'm giving up my time to go and watch.
I sort of regret cancelling it as I feel a bit disloyal but meh!
I wanted to see James in the flesh so it may have been a good decision as the lad has seemingly injured himself in a particularly stiff breeze.
God help the person who recommends an extension to his contract!
Geoff Williams
23 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:55:36
Subs: one goalie, one fullback, one striker and FIVE midfielders. I wonder what our 'World-class Manager' has up his sleeve should he need a change.
Brian Williams
24 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:56:33
Ian#1.
Which holding midfielder would you not have picked and who would you have played in his place?
Kieran Kinsella
25 Posted 19/05/2021 at 17:57:30
Geoff

Outside of the chosen subs who else is available? Besic? Broadhead?

Barry Rathbone
27 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:00:23
Hopefully Wolves will already be on holiday and we come out on top as per the Moyes run ins. Meaningless end of season wins are a great way of forgetting just how inconsequential we've become
Brian Williams
28 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:03:31
Just heard the James is (wait for it) fatigued!

Fucking fatigued!

Kevin Dyer
29 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:31:16
#1 Ian, for a fella who cried his arse off when abused on the live forum a few weeks back, you seem fine with insulting Ancelotti.

Hypocrite.

Tommy Coleman
30 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:47:58
Too many defensive, slow players in the team. We'll have to rely on a set-piece.
Neil Lawson
31 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:48:03
Not quite complete shite but about as near as you can get.
Disgraceful and useless.
George Cumiskey
32 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:48:54
Carlo getting out thought again and Siggy is fucking shite !
Alan J Thompson
33 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:53:53
A lot more energy being shown in an open game but the front two still not linking well and unless Mina gets on the end of a corner either 0-0 or first goal wins it.
Stefan Busby
34 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:56:07
Whats wrong with James?
Thomas Richards
35 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:56:21
A lot more effort Alan J.
Still poor though mate.
Vast majority of the players not good enough
Alan J Thompson
36 Posted 19/05/2021 at 18:59:37
Thomas(#35); Definitely something missing but wouldn't mind us having a few like Traore who seems to be worrying the hell out of Digne who's doing better than the last time against him.
Joe McMahon
37 Posted 19/05/2021 at 19:01:36
Just logged on, I can see I've missed diddly. One look at our goal difference tells us all we need to know about the dross served this season (and many before). After millions spent, including the manager and coaching staff it's absolutely shameful and embarrassing.
Kevin Dyer
38 Posted 19/05/2021 at 19:02:48
Disappointing to see James not able to make the matchday squad. Without him we have little chance of creating anything from open play, except for a cross from Digne. Thought we were bloody awful the first 35m, completely outplayed without necessarily looking in danger of conceding. A bit of a rally the last 10m, which roused the crowd. if we can play with energy and grit in the 2nd they'll get behind the players and we should get the win. The players are trying, but either lack confidence on the ball, or are leggy (Doucoure). Villa are doing us a favour so we need to capitalize. Unfortunately, we have few options to play any different as we are devoid of natural width and have only one right-back in the team, who must be getting through this game on willpower alone.

No real game-changers on the bench, but it's been that way all season. Davies should come on at some point, if he's behind Delph again then I have no idea what Carlo is thinking of. If we switch to a back 4, which we won't then give KNkounkou a shot in front of Digne.

Justin Doone
40 Posted 19/05/2021 at 19:04:13
I'm pretty sure King is due a good half an hour, a goal and to bring some quality attacking play.

He's has history critics, of which the strange 6 months deal probable doesn't help bit in sure he could remind Ric how to go past a defender of two.

Please no Delph, I would have liked to have seen Nkounkou play in a right sided midfield or wing back role.

Kevin Dyer
41 Posted 19/05/2021 at 19:06:17
Yessssss!!!!!!!
Thomas Richards
42 Posted 19/05/2021 at 19:52:47
Its a grand old team to play for
Ajay Gopal
43 Posted 19/05/2021 at 19:57:06
And Aston Villa beat Tottenham!
Brent Stephens
44 Posted 19/05/2021 at 19:58:23
That's better! Played Carlo. A few disappointed on the Live Forum!
Thomas Richards
45 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:00:33
Dinosaur upset them by winning Brent?
David Cooper
46 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:00:38
Come on Michael! Unconvincing my foot! That was as good a 1-0 home win as you are going to get! Great defensive performance and for all those Richi bashers what now?
Dale Self
47 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:00:47
I remain unconvinced. The only thing convincing to me is the metaphysical certitude of Carlo's demise. We win and you all act like it's some sort of gift from the gods.

Balderdash!!! UTFT!!!!

Stephen Brown
48 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:01:16
Cannot fault the effort from all the players!
Clearly a lack of quality, pace and football intelligence but no lack of effort!

For that we have to give credit. With Spurs losing our European hopes still flicker. Just !

David Cash
49 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:03:43
I'll take that. This is a very honest league and Wolves certainly didnt go quietly.

Let's beat City, regroup and arm Carlo with the required war chest.

Lord knows, he's going to need it

Brent Stephens
50 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:03:44
That's about it, Thomas.
Paul Smith
51 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:04:06
Nice to win but not convincing. Richie was much better and Carlo looked relieved which I think is a good thing. We will fall short of Europe but we are not good enough on merit so fair do's.
Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:06:10
David (46)Still here waiting and watching, livelier tonight and scored the winner, played some good balls, put Wolves on the attack with careless lazy passes, but seven league goals in thirty odd games and your asking where are the Charlie bashes, where we're likely to stay long term.
Jerome Shields
53 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:08:07
We played a lot better in the second half. 59 points with Tottenham and West Ham. West Ham to play West Brom later. Tottenham play Leicester City and we play Man City. The Everton players will turn into pumpkins, it's well past 12 o'clock and their bedtime this season.

James rested for the Man City match. . . just in case he turns into a fairy.

Ian Edwards
54 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:08:11
I thought I'd best say hello just in case the usual suspects say I never comment when we win. Delighted we have won. However, it was unimpressive and Ancelotti's dreadful tactics snuck a win against a team that lost 4-0 to Burnley last week.
Sam Fitzsimmons
55 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:08:36
Well done to the fans in the stadium they certainly played their part in that win. A number of players raised their game because of them including Seamus, Siggy, Richarlson and Keane.
Thomas Richards
56 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:08:44
Hello
Kevin Prytherch
57 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:09:00
Great defensive performance to hang onto a one goal lead at home to an underperforming bottom half team.

Nothing to get excited about.

The first half was beyond poor and, if we'd have lost 1-0 today this would have been seen totally different.

Thomas Richards
58 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:10:52
If it was a 8-8 draw it would have also been seen totally different.
Cant see your point there Kev
Michael Kenrick
59 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:12:16
I'm sorry for the headline, guys, but – apart from the 5 seconds it took to score the goal, which was an aberration of momentary quality in a sea of dross – all I saw was pretty much exactly the same moribund football that we played against Sheffield Utd.

But it's moments like that going in your favour that create the win. Very little else. No masterclass from Carlo Magnifico. Take both goals away and compare the remaining 94:55 of each game and they're not that much different.

Brent Stephens
60 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:13:18
" if we'd have lost 1-0 today this would have been seen totally different."

Well, of course it would!

David Cooper
61 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:14:51
Dave #52 yes need more performances like tonight. His best for quite a while and a good headed goal. Thought he showed up DCL who was playing not to get injured so he can go to the Euros!
Alan J Thompson
62 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:15:14
I've said it before and do so again, Mina and Keane are our best central pairing and before the subs to consolidate and hold the lead our midfield seemed more available to take a pass and Richarlison did some magnificent work fielding some long balls out of defence. And then there was one.
Tony Everan
63 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:18:32
Boys showed much more character tonight, Seamus and Godfrey leading the way. Great to see Richarlison have a good game . I thought in the end the endeavour deserved our narrow win.

If we'd replace James and Iwobi with Adama Traore down the right we would immediately go up a level. He's a constant threat. Wouldn't come cheap though 50m? but I'd like to see a front three, Richarlison/DCL/Traore.

Thomas Richards
64 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:19:03
Michael 59.

But its moments like that going in your favour.

Which moment?

Robert Tressell
65 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:20:33
Average club beats average club in weird season (more or less) behind closed doors.

59 points not a bad tally but there's a very good chance Arsenal and Leeds leapfrog us on the final day and we finish 11th which would be utterly nauseating.

11th for fuck's sake honestly.

Si Cooper
66 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:24:10
“the Blues clung on with increasing desperation to their slender and vulnerable lead.”
That seems a bit brutal. There are no really easy fixtures in this league with many teams showing massively fluctuating form. Wolves have had a poor season with their amount of games from last season taking it's toll on a relatively thin squad, but they do have some real attacking threat which I thought we dealt with pretty well for the most part.
This was a small plus against many minuses at home this season, but there was effort and character shown.
Well done the fans for their showing today. A's for effort across the board, Keane and Mina making the most of their abilities.
Bill Gienapp
67 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:25:40
The European picture is now very interesting, as Spurs are in an extremely tough spot, going up against a Leicester side that's going to be hellbent on not allowing Champions League qualification to slip away on the last day of the season two years running.

Unfortunately, I can envision a scenario in which Tottenham lose and we nick a draw against City, but still fail to qualify because Arsenal wins out and jumps us by a point (obviously a lot also depends on what West Ham does). Anyway, we still have a chance, and that's all you can ask for.

As for the match, it was... fine. Certainly not an emphatic win, but a deserved one - just. If we're being honest, we rarely dominant and rarely get dominated. It's usually these terse, turgid affairs in which one side produces the lone moment of quality to grab a 1-0 win. Sometimes it's us, sometimes it isn't. We're in good defensive form though, having allowed just one goal in our last four matches.

Dave Abrahams
68 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:26:45
Michael (59), that first half was a carbon copy of the Sheffield Unt. game, ten corners Wolves won, it was like a shooting in contest for most of the half, we did slightly better in the second half, but anyone who can see any semblance a tactical switch from the last poor home game please post it in.

Grateful for the win, makes me happy and calms my mood and nerves, so I think it is best to just accept that and not dwell on the performance, Mina and Pickford had good games for me.

Si Cooper
69 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:26:50
Don't agree this was anywhere near as bad as Sunday's performance.
Roger Helm
70 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:27:07
Doucouré had a mare but I thought the second half was a big improvement and the lads' commitment was a lot better. Keane and Godfrey did well and Dom and Richie worked their socks off.

What we need this summer is a proper number 10 who isn't injured all the time. We don't have enough players who can pass properly.

Will Mabon
71 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:30:00
Michael, I have to disagree some way. It was no masterclass but certainly much better in terms of application and effort. Not to say we shouldn't see that most games (and we've seen it barely at all in '21) but at least we're not sat here after a repeat of Sheffield United; can't imagine how that would be going down right now.

Improvements here and there in the team tonight. Nothing sparkling but certainly better - which probably highlights how poor it had become in recent weeks.


Alan J (Edit: and Si) - I agree re. Keane & Mina. Wolves barely got a look in aerially.

Bill Gienapp
72 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:30:47
Robert (65) - we can't actually finish worse than 10th... not that that's much better.
Si Cooper
73 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:31:45
Dave (68), so you don't subscribe to the idea that Traore can be near unplayable when he's switched on, as he was today?
Kieran Kinsella
74 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:31:47
Scotland type performance. you hit rock bottom then eke out a win based more on effort than quality against a team you should beat anyway, but somehow it feels like more of an accomplishment than it should.

Robert

11th is out of reach, 10th is the lowest we can go :) mathematically

Barry Rathbone
75 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:35:05
Watched till the 75th minute and thought we played as well as a 7th to 12th outfit can but still maintain it's delusional to think transformation can be had without wholesale change
Kieran Kinsella
76 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:35:16
Difference with Sunday is that Wolves attacked pretty well, Sheff Utd really didn't need to do anything to win. Plus most of our players actually seemed motivated tonight.
Dale Self
77 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:35:19
As we approach the end let's just be measured in the evaluation of outcomes. As it stands now we could go 6th or we could go 10th with some discussion of how likely spots along the spectrum might be realized. Any focus on one end or the other kind of misses the point. Rehashing where we could have gained three or lost three misses the point. What's the point? Fucked if I know.
Robert Tressell
78 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:37:26
Thanks chaps - heartening to hear that 11th is out of reach. In a weird way it sort of doesn't matter where we finish now. No cup, no top 4, no Europe so what does it matter? Obviously hope we give City a good hiding and I expect us to show up but yet another deeply forgetable season.
Graham Mockford
79 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:38:17
We've done better this season than last and will end up with our best points total in 8 seasons but there is obviously a glaring deficiency. We can't play on the front foot.

We've been great at soaking up pressure and beating sides on the break, we've been as poor in living memory at beating poor sides at home.

We need creative players both in midfield and up front. Four quality signings in the summer and let's see where we get. Definitely not time to panic and give up on Carlo.

Graham Mockford
80 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:39:20
Robert 78,

It ain't over til the fat lady and all that...

Thomas Richards
81 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:42:02
Traore has no end product.
Dave Abrahams
82 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:44:56
Si (73),

Yes, Traore was very good but he played for Wolves. Not one of our players stood out like he did.

Si, I am happy with the win, like I always am, but I thought we were poor and see nothing to get excited about in the performance, except for the improved effort which, let's be honest, should be there in every game, but it hasn't. Mind you, a win at Goodison should be celebrated, given the embarrassing scores from the last few months playing at home, so I'll raise a glass to that and be grateful at least, cheers.

Si Cooper
83 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:47:39
Maybe not, Thomas, but he'll win a shed load of corners and you'd be taking a risk playing a high back line / four at the back against him – that is the point I was making.
Kevin Prytherch
84 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:52:12
Thomas 58 and Brent 60,

If the scoreline would have been a 1-0 defeat, but we played the exact same way (say they scored from a corner instead of us), then the comments on here would have been along the lines of “no passion, couldn't create a chance, sat back and let them attack, sideways passing, no midfield etc”.

The performance was abysmal but some people label it as a good performance simply because of the scoreline. It wasn't a good performance, the first half was on par with the worst I've witnessed this season. We were shite, they couldn't score from a set-piece.

We shouldn't give credit for a piss poor performance just because we scored from a set-piece.

Thomas Richards
85 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:53:32
He has two goals and two assists this season, Si.

I agree on the need for pace in our buys though. We are desperate for players with pace.

Paul Birmingham
86 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:55:07
A win is a win, but the reality of the lack of a reliable solid lean mean fighting machine of a squad leaves some serious dealing to be done this close-season.

If, and against all odds, Everton get in the mix for Europe, in my view, it will help attract better players, but securing them will be a different story.

Hope eternal, let's hope Spurs and West Ham capitulate in their last two games.

If..

Paul A Smith
87 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:55:19
If Leeds win their last game and we don't beat Man City, they finish above us.

If that doesn't make the board act on getting more quality in, nothing will.

Si Cooper
88 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:58:30
Kevin, in the first half, I thought we started better than Wolves and came back into it for the last 10 minutes. They had the better of about 25 minutes.

So, not abysmal for me. Not great, but definitely better than against the Blades where I thought we did about 3 half decent things in the whole 90.

Dale Self
89 Posted 19/05/2021 at 20:58:39
When the board acts on the impetus of a single game, Everton is done as a football concept.
Fran Mitchell
90 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:00:22
We have been poor but the fact is, we just have too many players that are not at the level we expect. But more than their individual failings, collectively their faults are too similar... mainly in that they are too slow, and play too centrally, meaning there is too little movement.

Digne is often isolated out on the left and, rather thank linking and jinking, is just putting the same cross into the box hoping Calvert-Lewin can get on the end of it. He needs someone to link with; Richarlison was doing this early on but, now he's playing more centrally, Digne is more isolated.

Coleman on the right has the will, desire and etc that we want. He's just gone a season and an injury too far. The occasional decent performance, but generally not good enough. Not helped by the absolute lack of anyone else on the right... Iwobi is just awful and needs to be shipped out. Godfrey has done well when put there, he has energy and pace... but he's a centre-back.

Allan and Doucouré are both better when in the opposing half, pressing the opposition and making it difficult for them to get out of their own half. They should be charged with taking the ball forward with their energy and power. But, when playing too deep, their chasing and running leaves gaps.

They need another deep-lying midfielder, who can pass and tackle. What Schneiderlin was supposed to be. Davies isn't that, but could be a decent option as another No 8. Sigurdsson and Gomes are both too slow. And Delph doesn't deserve a mention.

So there is much to improve. A defensive midfielder, a right back, two wingers or wide attackers, add to that an alternative up front, a creative midfielder and possibly another centre-back, should one of Holgate or Mina go.

So, considering such limitations, I think we've done well despite the form falling of a cliff recently.

Sign McNeil, Aarons, Joachim Anderson, Diaby, Rafa Leao, Rabiot, and a clone of N'didi and were good to go... simples!!!

Paul Hewitt
91 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:01:13
I actually think we will beat City.
Will Mabon
92 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:02:25
Paul, I dare you to stick 50 quid on it.
Si Cooper
93 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:04:36
Thomas (68), does that mean he doesn't win corners or won't be a threat if you set up completely ignoring his strengths?

There is a reason he hasn't been head-hunted but that doesn't mean you should invite him to run through on the keeper time after time. I suspect most teams he plays against do their best to keep him playing kick-and-run on the flanks.

Eddie Dunn
94 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:10:27
I think pickford, Keane, Godfrey and DCL all tried harder because Southgate was there.
I thought we were terrible, passing was awry and Doucoure is just an athlete and I really don't know what he was trying to do. An ungainly man, clumsy, no idea about passing or position.
Why did Carlo take off Siggy just when he seemed ready to curl one in? And Holgate nearly fucked it up again. What a crap squad we have.
Richie scored...big deal! He has been one of the main reasons we have dropped so many points of late, missing so many chances and failing to pass to teammates when unmarked.
A defeat at the Champs will condemn us to 10th. There won't be a happy ending, we will lose by two goals even against their second string because our lads are now thinking about holidays and tournaments, not the Europa Conference.
Paul A Smith
95 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:12:07
I'm not really a betting man, to be honest, Will. City players might just be that bit less committed for Champions League reasons.
Dave Abrahams
96 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:13:51
I've just read they ran a lap of honour at the end of the game, that's one thing these players are very good at, the cheek!! And I bet none of them looked embarrassed.
Colin Glassar
97 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:15:25
Or broke into a sweat!
Will Mabon
98 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:15:34
We can but hope, Paul – the potential may be there for a shock if we're up for it, means little to Man City. There was a period when we had a pretty good record there.
Ian Bennett
99 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:17:14
Watching it in person, you can see the lack of pace throughout the team. Our passing and creativity is poor, and our shape is too rigid.

I can only remember Godfrey going past his man once. No-one else has any threat. None of the midfield run past the striker, it is just so predictable. We are doing well to be as high as we are on set-piece goals.

The personnel is too similar, and the tactics resemble big Sam's...

We score first; we might win. We concede first, and we lose.

Peter Dodds
100 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:19:13
A win's a win, I'll take that, and Europe is still on.

How much better Wolves were playing the ball around, keeping possession, than we were. Doucouré was the worst of a poor lot, regularly coughing up the ball if two or more of the opposition dared to breathe on him. I was beginning to compare us to Everton of the 90s, when half the balls we played were hit-and-hopes, 50/50 at best, a complete inability to hold onto the ball.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

101 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:22:50
Best highlight of the game?

Seeing and hearing supporters back in the stadium, deliciously defined on one of their corners by a bearded fellah with a baseball cap in the Gwladys Street end, simulating (at least, I HOPE it was stimulating!) the wanker gesture whilst also mouthing the word to the Wolves player.

What a glorious release (so to speak) of one year without access to a live game.

Colin Glassar
102 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:26:32
Farhad, you don't understand! We coulda had class. We could been contenders, we coulda been somebody, instead of bums, which is what we are.
Tom Harvey
103 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:26:49
If that game was our players fully motivated and 'up for it', then i'm not impressed and I can't wait for the hatchet job that should take place in the coming window.
Paul Birmingham
104 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:27:16
Until it's mathematically done; with fate acting kindly, it can be done.

They would be some decent odds, but we need Spurs, Arsenal, West Ham, and Leeds to lose and Everton to at least take a point at Man City. Massive odd and improbable.

Massive stakes... and the disaster of Sunday night has now passed; surely Everton can do a mission impossible on Sunday?

How to beat City at home? I'd start with Tom Davis in midfield, in place of Doucouré, but who knows? Play with belief like Everton haven't shown perhaps since Spurs and Liverpool away.

So it is, and let's hope for the miracle.

Phil Malone Jnr
105 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:27:50
Good win today, Not performance

We need to pull a rabbit out of the hat against Man City on the last day because, looking at the other teams' fixtures (Tottenham not including), 10th place is looking set by goal difference.

Leicester to beat Tottenham at home – Spurs 59 pts (better goal difference)
West Ham to beat Southampton at home – West Ham 62 pts (plus this West Brom final score)
Arsenal to beat Brighton at home – Arsenal 61 pts
Leeds to beat West Brom (at home again) – Leeds 59 pts (better goal difference)
Man City to beat Us

6th - West Ham - 62
7th - Arsenal - 61
8th - Spurs - 59 GD
9th - Leeds - 59 GD
10th - Everton - 59 GD

10th place – a good season for everyone? Hope Carlo's happy with his home form this season.

Colin Metcalfe
106 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:31:03
I have been closely watching other teams and how they differ from the Blues and the better teams are very much on the front foot when gaining possession, they pour forward whereas Everton are very static. It could be down to coaching or loss of confidence but the reason the ball constantly goes backwards or sideways is because there are no runners and so few options, other than a very immobile Calvert-Lewin or an erratic Richarlison.

When you have players like Allan, Doucouré and Gomes together on the field, they are not natural attacking players, so it's no surprise they inspire teams to keep their defensive positions and, when Carlo plays 3 central defenders in the hope that the wing-backs can create, it just doesn't work – there are too many defensive mentalities out there.

I do think Carlo has to take part of the blame as he does set us up too defensively; however, I do believe him when he states he doesn't have the personnel to play the attacking style he wants to play. It's going to be an interesting summer of recruitment as we definitely need at least 2 good wingers and a Mount or Maddison type player.

Tony Everan
107 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:33:12
Jay, I enjoyed the the wanking-based intimidation too. It worked; the ensuing corner was poor.

Give that man a medal, or a tissue, or an old sock.

Joe McMahon
108 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:33:16
Jay, it's been a shit year, but you've just posted the post of the year!

"... bearded fellah with a baseball cap in the Gwladys Street end, simulating (at least, I HOPE it was stimulating!) the wanker gesture..."

Si Cooper
109 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:34:51
Dave (96), that's just churlish. Surely that was more about acknowledging the supporters who apparently stayed behind in droves.

Nothing to do with the players basking in adulation. Would you really have just had them walk off without a backwards glance? Like it or not, many of those players will probably be with us next season and they need to try to re-establish that rapport with the fans any way they can.

Jay, I'm hoping one of our TWebbers will reveal himself to be the man with the mountain man facial hair and the Von Dutch top!

Pat Kelly
110 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:37:23
10th it is then. Hopefully we will waste no more money on James. There must be someone out there for that salary who would contribute more over the season and not take the piss.
Tom Harvey
111 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:38:24
I hope said bearded man will not be taken by the rest of world as truly representative of the average EFC fan.

The football played will be though!

Tony Abrahams
112 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:38:33
Si, it was Ian Edwards telling the Wolves player what he thought about Ancellotti.
Thomas Richards
113 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:40:17
Si,

I hope we sign someone who can do a bit more than win corners.

I don't rate him, you do. All's good.

Paul Swan
114 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:40:38
Just back from the game. I was astounded how badly set up the team was. We constantly carried the ball down the wings as far as the half way line but then needed to turn back due to a lack of width or movement ahead of them.

Pedestrian midfield and both Doucouré and Allan were dreadful. Godfrey and Pickford the only players who looked the part. We need a player with the directness and willingness to take a man on, like Traore tonight... but, unlike him, with more end product.

Danny O’Neill
115 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:41:20
Unfortunately I couldn't watch tonight, so I can't offer football comment or opinion on the match.

But they're doing it to me again aren't they? We go into the last day with a chance of pinching European footbal as it stands.

I love you more than you frustrate me, Everton. I don't know why, but I do.

Tom Harvey
116 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:42:36
It was the man letting the Wolves player know how he thought about himself after turning up to watch after this shitfest of a season.
Neil Copeland
117 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:46:00
Very humbling returning to Goodison Park, quite emotional at first. God knows what I will be like at the final game before we move to Bramley-Moore Dock.

Not the best of games but I still enjoyed it. Once we had scored, I didn't think the result was in any doubt. There was no lack of effort tonight and I think the supporters make a difference; our home record is 100% this season with fans in the ground. Not bad against 3 teams who finished above us last season.

There is no doubt the home support is right behind Carlo, his chant was repeated a number of times tonight.

Paul #104, absolutely – while there is hope, we are in with a chance, mate!

Jerome Shields
118 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:49:27
Paul #114,

It was noticeable on viewing that no-one was showing for the ball. There was more spectators at the game then than you expected; some were on the pitch.

Could you see the bearded guy with the baseball cap?

Si Cooper
119 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:50:04
Thomas, I don't ‘rate' Traore. I was simply responding to Dave Abraham's comments on the amount of corners they had and the general tactics employed.

If you can't accept that even a second-rank footballer like Traore will be a threat if you completely ignore what he obviously does excel at, then I'm glad you're not setting the team up.

Tony Everan
120 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:50:43
When asked about James Rodriguez, Carlo said “He was a little bit tired”.

Does anyone think Carlo will be losing patience with him? I think he will be off in the summer.

Tony Abrahams
121 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:53:54
Just been reading the story when your other team Schalke 08, were champions for 8 seconds on the BBC page, and immediately thought that you don't half know how to pick them Danny!
Kevin Dyer
122 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:57:40
Man City have lost 2 out of 3. Hard to guess what their lineup will be but surely key players will be rested. Those who play may be demotivated, knowing they won't be starting the Champions League Final. We gave them a good game for 80+ minutes a few months back so could get a result.

Traore, whilst a menace in the first half, is a big "no" for me. As Thomas says, no end product and would likely cost 㿔M. Far better options out there for a fast wide man.

Headline a bit curmudgeonly. We stunk for most of the 1st half but finished it well on top and controlled the 2nd. A one-goal lead is always fragile, particularly if you lack a scoring threat, but I never felt we were hanging on. Similar performance to many of our wins this year, which is to say we see out games well when getting in front, but it's not good football and Ancelotti knows this better than us.

Richarliosn's best game for an age; lad feeds off the crowd and their absence is likely the reason for his big dip in performance level this season. Expect a rebound next season.

Think everyone played well, after that poor half-hour or so.

Pat Kelly
123 Posted 19/05/2021 at 21:58:56
Tony #120, I doubt Carlo will admit he made a mistake with James. We may be stuck with both of them for a while yet.
Dale Self
124 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:00:19
Nice Pat. That is your manager, get stuck in there mate.
Thomas Richards
125 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:03:01
You called him near unplayable when switched on, Si.

My opinion is, with two goals and two assists this season, is he doesn't do much switching on.

Neil Copeland
126 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:03:30
Kevin #122, a good summary of the game. I thought Allan and Doucoure were poor first half but both improved markedly in the second half. Agree about Traore.

One of the highlights was Ben Godfrey challenge on the Wolves player in the first half close to the Park End on Goodison Road side. It lifted the crowd tremendously.

Paul A Smith
127 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:10:12
Tony @120, did you see James look into the Bullens Road stands out of frustration with Richarlison v Sheffield United?

I imagine a player with his vision and ability will be a "little bit tired" playing with some of these duds.

I think Mina will move if the right bid comes in too.

Jerome Shields
128 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:10:50
Michael #59,

I thought the headlune was right and you comparative assessement was unfortunately spot on. There were players not showing for the ball most of the game, a bit better after the goal. But it takes that type of goal for Everton to win now. No chance of a second.

Joe McMahon
129 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:10:53
Neil, that fact that lifted the crowd, just shows the scraps we feed on. Gunners and Hammers scored 3 tonight, Spurs' goal difference is king to ours. Everton never score more than a goal a game, if that. If we are honest, we deserve nowt. Our football is putrid.

Yes, the squad is highly lacking quality, but so far this is not Carlo Fantastico. Sam Allardyce teams have more fight, and at least they go for it.

Paul Birmingham
130 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:11:20
Win at all costs at Man City.

Who knows but Everton have regularly turned the tables before at City and if they could break the mindset and smash into City on Sunday and believe they'll soften and pulp.

But you can't play football like a honey bee looking for nice flowers. Everton, this Everton, don't know the meaning of ruthlessness. If on Sunday they all get tuned in, then there's a chance, and City will be focusing on the Champions League Final.

Will they play their second choice... Pep knows this is his chance of glory and eternity in City football history,.

Let's see.

Dave Abrahams
131 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:18:19
Si (109),

Yes, It most probably is just the way I react to laps of honour. It used to be the players ran a lap of honour when we won something, then it became an annual event for the players, then they started bringing their kids on with them!

This one was a lap of honour after winning six, yes six home games all season! The best way to have a rapport with the fans is to do your best for 90-odd minutes every game.

Si Cooper
132 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:19:37
So he's not about the quickest player in the league then, Thomas? He went past our defenders plenty of times (as he can against pretty much anyone) which is of course what ‘unplayable' refers to.

You can try to twist a simple statement of fact into a vote for player of the year if you want, but it doesn't make it true.

I thought we dealt with him by keeping him to looking for crosses most of the time, and I really don't think anyone would set up to actually allow him multiple opportunities to run in behind the defence with only the keeper to beat despite his low conversion rate. If they did, then you might find his stats were better.

Kevin Dyer
133 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:21:06
So, Europe is still a possibility, though I think we'll fall short. So that leaves addressing the big gaps in the squad for next season.

I think Moshiri will back Ancelotti. We should raise 㿞M from selling Kean to PSG, despite media rumours that we'll accept 㿒M. With a few others offloaded we should have more funds available than last Summer.

What do we need? Obviously a replacement for Coleman. I'd pass on Aarons though, as English TV money puts selling clubs in a strong position. There are equivalent players in Europe for smaller fees. Whatever, we need someone quick, energetic and who can cross a ball. Ancelotti wants to rejig central defence, allowing us to play a higher line, so a defender with pace who's comfortable on the ball will be targeted. I think one of Keane, Holgate or Mina will be sold.

I don't think we'll sign Olsen but Pickford has responded to the competition, so a competent goalkeeper, on loan or a free, will come in

Usually I dismiss media speculation but think Rabiot is one that could happen and possibly for as little as 㿀M, given Juve's problems and bloated squad. He's 25, athletic, technical, can carry the ball, pass and defend. Everything Gomes was supposed to be, and more, so it's Adiós André.

We need a right-sided wide player with pace who carries a goal threat; if he can play on the left too then even better. Diarby would be ideal but if too expensive, then Brekalo or similar would do fine.

A striker looks necessary as Richarlison needs to be shifted back to the left, but I'd be wary of someone like Toney. He'd cost a load and is 25 with no experience of playing in a major league. He could work out but could also be an expensive bust.

Outgoings would be Delph, Gomes, Iwobi, Bernard, King and one of the centre-halves.

Bill Watson
134 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:32:40
A bit of a turgid win but it didn't look quite so bad, live, as it does on TV. In the first half, we invited Wolves to come at us and Ferguson spent the half shouting and waving to them to play further up the pitch.

I lost count of the number of corners Wolves won but I'll settle for around 10, as mentioned by a few posters.

We all got a Mars Bar and a bottle of water on the way in!!!! That's me suckered in to another season ticket!

Kieran Kinsella
135 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:33:42
Dave

I understand your point but I think Si's interpretation is correct. Ideally we could win something and have a victory lap but, until then, we have the players doing a lap to acknowledge the fans and fair dues to them — the fans that is — 6,000 hardy souls played their part as motivators tonight.

Neil Copeland
136 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:38:53
Joe, those type of moments have always lifted the crowd at Goodison.

I appreciate the point you are making about goal difference but good teams sort out their defence as a priority. In the main, I think Carlo has achieved that. The next will be to make us more potent and hopefully enjoyable to watch, I think he will achieve that also. Time will tell, I suppose.

Svein-Roger Jensen
137 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:46:45
Welcome to Bottlers Park!!! Are your team relegated and have nothing to play for and have no away wins the whole season? Just come to Dr Neverton and we will gladly roll over and help you. :-(
Rob Halligan
138 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:50:15
Great being back at the Old Lady tonight. Not a classic game by any means, but a win is a win, and Wolves rarely threatened, so in my opinion, a deserved win.

The main point though, being the magnificent backing of the fans for Ancelotti. His name was bellowed out numerous times during the game, "Carlo Fantastico, Carlo Magnifico" by the true fans, not like the moaning miserable bastards on here, especially posters #1 and #3 who can fuck right off.

Carlo is here for a long time, so fucking get used to it. I could go on and on about the miserable fuckers on here, but seriously I wouldn't bother wasting my time.

Speaking to mates and other fans in the Black Horse on County Road before the match, and every single person is 100% behind Carlo. This manager will get us to where we all want to be.

Ray Roche
139 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:53:25
Careful Rob. Don't upset the Snowflake Brothers. They'll snitch on you.
Neil Copeland
140 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:53:56
Rob, spot on. That's how I saw it tonight too, the fans can see what he is trying to achieve.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

141 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:54:46
On the subject of Traore, I thought Wolves did us a favour by switching him to their left flank for most of the 2nd half.

Attacking Digne and (mostly) Sigurdsson, he was getting beyond them or drawing fouls every time. His switch to the opposite flank after the interval made things easier for us with Ben and Seamus dealing with him much more comfortably.

Curiously, only when Seamus went off, did Traore return to the right flank and again he started troubling Digne. I had a little chuckle to myself when Digne was nowhere to be seen late in the game and the Wolves man looked to be away, yet somehow the slow turning, slow reacting and zero awareness Michael Keane (as some portray him) gobbled him up and put in a tremendous sliding tackle on the touchline to completely snuff out the threat.

Compared to a similar type player to Traore, Allan Saint-Maximin at The Barcodes always impresses me more.

Rob Halligan
142 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:55:50
Couldn't give a fuck, Ray. Just hope I never come across those two face to face.
Brendan McLaughlin
143 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:55:59
Rob #138,

Excellent post... particularly when many were suggesting that Carlo was in for a rude awakening today with supporters back.

Mal van Schaick
144 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:56:24
A home win at last, and can't fault the effort. Sadly, like others, I am not convinced that the majority of this squad will achieve the owner's ambitions.

Let's see if our away form holds up at Man City, and what type of performance we put in there, given our topsy-turvy season, I wouldn't be surprised if we get a win in an entertaining game.

Brent Stephens
145 Posted 19/05/2021 at 22:59:40
Great post, Rob! All the predictions of the "miserable fuckers" (your words not mine – okay, mine as well!) were that tonight would see Goodison rebel against Carlo. Didn't happen, it seems.

Rob Halligan
146 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:02:19
Brendan, Europe is gone for me this season, even though we still have an outside chance of this new European competition. For me though, the backing of the fans for Ancelotti beats a European spot hands down all day long for me. This manager will get us where we want to be.
Brent Stephens
147 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:02:31
Rob, I think you might just have invented a general term for any miserable fuckers – "the 1 and 3s" of this world!

Ray Roche
148 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:02:49
Brent, maybe the ‘Bearded Wanker' intended his gesture for the Snowflake Brothers.

Oh, and great post Rob👍🏻

Neil Copeland
149 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:03:11
The atmosphere was very positive from the start tonight.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

150 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:04:27
Rob, what did you think of your first 'in-the-flesh' look at the likes of Godfrey, Allan and Doucoure?

I thought the two midfield men were poor overall tonight, but Godfrey put on a show. Some crunching tackles, good recoveries and a couple of barnstorming runs.

He is the sort of player who, with those sorts of plays, ignites the Goodison crowd which in turn galvanizes the team IMO.

What was your assessment of them, and Ben in particular, Rob?

Rob Halligan
151 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:05:36
Brent, they're not even worthy of a number.
Kieran Kinsella
152 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:07:11
Rob,

I had it on good authority that the “apologists” on here were out of touch with the matchday fans. Well, what do you know? Most fans in the ground and out of the grand and sensible and realistic after all.

Brent Stephens
153 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:07:25
Ray #148 – might the "bearded wanker" be our very own Rob?!
Brendan McLaughlin
154 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:08:24
Neil #149,

Not so positive from the start on the Live Forum.

Rob Halligan
155 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:11:22
Jay,

Ben Godfrey was immense, simply no other words to describe his performance tonight. Allan and Doucouré were quiet although I thought Allan did put himself about a bit, always wanting the ball and trying to get forward.

Doucouré was slack with some of his passing, but understandable given he's been out for a few weeks.

A good pre-season will see them both up their game next season.

Neil Copeland
156 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:14:25
Brendan #154, I never go on the Live Forum but, from what I hear, that doesn't surprise me.

No doubt that part of the positivity in the stadium came from people just being grateful to finally be able to get to the Old Lady again (myself included, and, as I posted earlier, I found it quite emotional). But there was also in my opinion a general good feeling about things and Carlo in particular with the chanting that has been mentioned.

You get a different feel for things at the game as opposed to watching it on the box, that difference really showed in a positive way tonight.

Ray Roche
157 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:18:03
Brent @153,

Have you been on the brave pills again?

Neil Copeland
158 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:19:55
Rob, that challenge by Godfrey early in the first half was fantastic.
Brent Stephens
159 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:20:04
Ray, my wife takes over the keyboard at times when I'm not looking, giving the impression it's my post.
Rob Halligan
160 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:21:24
Ray, I've met Brent a few times, so I know he's saying that in jest, at least he better had be!! 😁😁😁
Brent Stephens
161 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:22:51
Rob, I think by sheer coincidence that I had your seat at the pre-xmas Chelsea game. Where did you get to sit tonight?
Rob Halligan
162 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:25:59
Seat: Row M, #103, Brent. It was a boss seat, and whoever has that seat for their season ticket has a great speck!
Bill Gienapp
163 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:32:17
Svein-Roger (137) - er, are you by chance three days behind?
Brent Stephens
164 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:32:31
Seriously, Rob, your posts tonight have made me feel emotional again. About being at the game, about the power and positivity of the Goodison crowd, about being with fellow Blues again. It was a powerful feeling with just the 1,500 of us at the Chelsea game.

With so many more tonight, even better I bet!! God, I can't wait to be back at a full Goodison Park, in full voice, without the negativity from some on TW – whenever did you hear, at Goodison Park, before a game, the negativity from some on here? This isn't a real world on here.

Si Cooper
165 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:34:04
Dave (131), maybe it's what you grow up with.

It's the open-top bus parade that signifies celebrating something for me, and the last home game walk around the pitch is simply appreciation of the fans (or mutual appreciation if it has been a good season).

Lap of Honour at a Cup Final is something separate again.

Svein-Roger Jensen
166 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:35:27
We didn't expect to finish the season this way, but it sums up the year for us, winning when it's too late!

We have been an erratic and weak team, who can be beaten with enough intensity and enthusiasm. We have lost a lot of points which we shouldn't have done and been very inconsistent.

We need to be self-critical, starting with the players, but also across the entire club. We are Everton and we are obliged to try to win every game.

The feeling on this team is that it tries, but that it cannot get the job done. Today, we finally could win at home.

Brent Stephens
167 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:39:54
Svein-Roger, yes the season has thrown up too many disappointments. I agree about the need to be self-critical, across the whole club - and the need to be honest about that. Onwards and upwards!
Dale Self
168 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:43:01
Good words, Rob @138, good words indeed. And thanks, Neil, also for letting us know how that felt.
Barry Hesketh
169 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:48:50
Brent @164,

Being at the game is a very different experience to watching it on the telly (phone, laptop etc). At the stadium, you can pick up the mood of the crowd and the team.

Like Jay mentioned earlier, those couple of tackles by Keane and Godfrey would have raised the volume and the spirit of the crowd, conversely, a bad pass will annoy the fans and the player responsible will have no hiding place.

Football is meant to be a visceral experience and the advent of VAR and the way it's used has spoilt that to a degree. The viewer at home may enjoy the tension of seeing if a decision goes their way, but in the stadium, it takes away so much of the pure joy or despair, that in some ways I'd prefer an instant bad decision by the match officials than a correct call via the technology.

Seeing as the usual suspects, not including West Ham Utd and Leicester City, despite the strangest of seasons, are likely to end up in Europe, it does make me wonder why the scandalous six thought it was necessary to exacerbate the gap between them and the rest.

I would be made up if, after the end of this campaign, each of the six was docked a dozen points each, but that isn't going to happen and we'll have to make a better fist of it next season in front of what will hopefully be many more fans.

Svein-Roger Jensen
170 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:49:34
If we played like this every week, we wouldn't be so inconsistent.
Paul Birmingham
171 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:50:28
Neil @117, well in – and, while it's still mathematically possible, and probability dependent, but there's still a chance that Everton can produce their game of the century and do the mission impossible.

But there's one last game and fight, on the park, with a team with an eye on their greatest ever opportunity, and to those who are up for the fight, let's see.

“What's Our Name?"

Dale Self
172 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:50:42
I think you hit a Svein with that one, well said.
Paul Birmingham
173 Posted 19/05/2021 at 23:55:59
Svein-Roger, deffo.

The frustration and hope that kills, but hope eternal.

Rob Halligan
174 Posted 19/05/2021 at 00:00:31
Brent, I know you attend most away games, so I assume you don't get to see much of the Live Forum, or any other pre-match threads, on a matchday... but fuck me, is it like this all the time? The negativity, the moaning just goes beyond belief. Hopefully there is only one more game before we can go to all games, home and away, and thankfully avoid the Live Forum.
Stuart Sharp
176 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:13:02
Sat in the Upper Bullens tonight. I miss my seat in the Gwladys Street, but it was really good to be able to judge the shape of the game properly. And, as others have said, quite an emotional experience to be back.

My lad never stopped singing from start to finish. The crowd certainly responded to the effort of the team, even if the quality wasn't always there.

There were some very frustrating 'counter-attacks' where almost nobody got forward to support the player on the ball, but otherwise, most players put a shift in.

Richarlison was totally whacked at the final whistle. Godfrey, for me, has been the standout player of the season. He was immense again tonight. Brilliant to watch.

John Raftery
177 Posted 19/05/2021 at 00:19:00
Rob (138),

Well said. Fortunately the contributions on ToffeeWeb are not always representative of the views of the majority of fans. Some who go to every game never read anything on here. Occasionally, when I mention the site, some say they dislike the negativity while some have never heard of ToffeeWeb.

With one game to play, we are 10 points better off than we were last season. That is progress. A similar improvement next season will see the team in the Top 6.

Having made the team harder to beat away from home, Carlo will know exactly what is required to turn them into a more expansive team at home. It remains to be seen if and how he and Marcel Brands can recruit the players who can make a difference.

Paul Birmingham
178 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:26:40
Here's to the TW pre-season, all-day charity lager-ale fest, at venues to be confirmed, after careful pre-planning of the barrel capacity of the agreed venues.

Supply, demand and Covid-19, etc.

Let's up the ante for the pre-season, and get the Everton furnaces going early, for a good season, as Everton need one, regardless of this season's final position.

Hope eternal, Everton.

Svein-Roger Jensen
179 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:27:06
It may be tempting to look back and wring our hands over missed opportunities for change in the preceding decades. But I'm not interested at looking in the rearview mirror – except to learn.
Svein-Roger Jensen
180 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:30:17
There is nothing like the start of a season, before all the one-run losses, pitching breakdowns and missed opportunities. Before reality sets in.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

181 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:34:06
Rob @ 155.

Thanks for your insight. For some unknown reason (well, I do know actually!) I trust your judgement over a those of a few Looney Tunes on here.

Must have been a huge buzz for you getting to a live game again.

Chuffed for you and all the 6,500 who attended.

Barry Hesketh
182 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:35:57
According to one outlet, there were only 4.988 fans at Goodison tonight.
Svein-Roger Jensen
183 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:37:01
There have been ups and downs this year, but that's in the past, and now I'm just looking forward and focussed on the next season ahead.
Svein-Roger Jensen
184 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:40:54
Should-haves solve nothing. It's the next thing to happen that needs thinking about.
Svein-Roger Jensen
185 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:43:20
Patience is a virtue, not a vice.
Mike Gaynes
186 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:45:11
Rob #138, Glad you enjoyed the day, mate... and great summary post.
Steve Brown
187 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:45:58
Ian @ 54, you insult the manager before the game in the first post as a dullard and a fool. Then post this churlish nonsense when we won – you were delighted? I don't think so.

When you are insulted back for the relentless negativity of your posts, you squeal and claim you are bullied. You are a world-class hypocrite.

Steve Brown
188 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:49:27
Now moving on to an proper Evertonian who everyone respects – great post, Rob @ 138!

Svein-Roger Jensen
189 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:51:35
If we could improve a little each day, eventually big things occur…. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don't look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That's the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.
Jay Harris
190 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:53:51
Steve,

As soon as I see his name, I just skip his post because it's usually bullshit negativity with no basis.

Svein-Roger Jensen
191 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:54:29
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.
Svein-Roger Jensen
192 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:56:10
The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world but, if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.
Barry Hesketh
193 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:57:42
Svein @multiple,

Has someone given you the Bumper Book of Football Cliches as a present? :)

Nick Page
194 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:59:50
Barry – they weren't fiddling the gates again were they, lol.
Barry Hesketh
195 Posted 20/05/2021 at 01:04:04
Nick @194,

I imagine that they gave freebies to friends of the club and therefore they didn't count towards the attendance.

Svein-Roger Jensen
196 Posted 20/05/2021 at 01:19:52
Barry,

It's true that certain pieces of advice or nuggets of "wisdom" have officially been overused... and they weren't even that great to begin with. :-)

Jamie Crowley
197 Posted 20/05/2021 at 02:28:43
Couldn't watch closely as I had the game on the phone while driving. What I saw was okay. Seemed to me there was more effort for sure. A win is all that mattered.

So, if Spurs lose to Leicester and we win, we're into the Europa League. That would equate to Carlo achieving the team goal this season, while simultaneously having no doubt we need to improve. I'll take that.

Roll on Sunday. Hopefully Man City play a bunch of young kids and second-team calibre kids and we eek a win.

Leicester City have a lot to play for, despite the deck being stacked against them. So I can definitely see them beating Spurs. Fingers crossed.

Finally, Rob @138 -

having the fans back was brilliant. I'm very, very happy to hear they are behind Carlo. Relieved in fact. Thanks for sharing that.

Mike Gaynes
198 Posted 20/05/2021 at 02:32:16
John #177, I had the volume on my TV turned all the way up and I definitely heard cheering -- lots of it -- for Carlo from those lucky souls in Goodison. (I think I heard Rob individually.)

The sour sods on the Forum want us to believe that they speak for some sort of mass fan uprising against Carlo. They're never going to accept how lonely their dump-the-manager island really is. (Although I think the Steve Cooper advocate is starting to get the idea.)

Kieran Kinsella
199 Posted 20/05/2021 at 02:42:08
Mike,

I thought the "Steve Cooper" suggestion was part of my dream when I fell asleep at half-time. Did he really really say it?

Jamie,

We don't even need to win to get Europe. A draw would do if Spurs lose, or if we were to lose 1-0, we would also qualify as long as they lose 18-0. So many options!

Jamie Crowley
200 Posted 20/05/2021 at 02:52:19
Kieran, you're correct!

But we kind of need to assume Arsenal will win, and that gets us 8th and that new-fangled thang we call the Europa Conference League.

I was thinking Europa League – 7th or higher.

We could also finish 10th, God help us. If you think TW is "negative" just wait until that happens!

In an honest moment, I can't say I'd be overly positive if that 10th place scenario plays out.

Kieran Kinsella
201 Posted 20/05/2021 at 03:05:20
Jamie

True but I'm hoping Harry Potter does a number on Teta.

Bill Gienapp
202 Posted 20/05/2021 at 04:09:01
Mike (198) - I also noticed the Goodison faithful belting out Richarlison's song on several occasions, even though some on here would have you believe that Richarlison:

(a) Is the most overrated Brazilian International of all time;
(b) Is the Incredible Sulk;
(c) Needs to be benched (while these same folks simultaneously demand that we be more attack-minded);
(d) Should be sold this summer and good riddance.

Jamie & Kieran – unfortunately, I think the Spurs lose, we draw, Arsenal win (and vault into 7th) scenario is quite plausible.

Darren Hind
203 Posted 20/05/2021 at 04:26:29
I didn't hear Carlo's name chanted, before, during or after the game, although I am going slightly mutton. I always watch a replay of the match; I will watch this once I've had a sleep, and listen very carefully.

I do know that, even after all this time away, the crowd were getting restless before the goal. If anybody on here suggested that a crowd who had been deprived of live football for so long were going to turn on Carlo on the day they were let out of jail, I didn't see that suggestion, although I'm wide open to be proven wrong if somebody wants to put up a couple of examples.

Anyone who believes the crowd will not react angrily to the repetition of this season's shit-show is either fooling himself or doesn't know the place.

If Carlo intends to play this cowardly excuse for football next season, his first purchase when the transfer window opens should be a couple of defenders... ear defenders! The vast majority of match goers support Everton and not the manager. They certainly won't support shite.

Mark my words; Carlo has to shape up or he will soon start falling out of love with life in Crosby. He has a transfer window to bring in players who don't need a magician to get them to play a bit of footy. The overwhelming majority of match goers do not see supporting negative shite as some sort of a positive.

The clock's ticking. I hear David Copperfield has already been sounded out to replace Carlo...

Mick O'Malley
206 Posted 20/05/2021 at 06:41:22
Darren @203,

I'm with you on Carlo, I'm prepared to give him a bit more time but I'm very disappointed with Carlo and what's been on offer so far. This dull football has got to improve next season cos the Goodison faithful won't put up with this zombie shite again – especially after he brings more of his own players in.

Jerome Shields
207 Posted 20/05/2021 at 06:58:30
One thing that stuck out for me was a lack of pace by Everton all over the pitch. Carlo's tactics are being implemented in relative slow motion, stifled by a lack of movement.

Slow to get forward out of defence and bogged down by lack of movement going forward. There is defending, but the Everton defence was sitting back. Carlo in the first half expended a lot of energy signalling to get them to push up.

When the defence and midfield did get forward, more wing than midfield, they inevitably had to stop and pass back. The forwards were like statues beside their markers. Runs were non-existent. Individual player improvement is at a standstill.

The squad to me looked unfit. They are either badly trained or not applying themselves at training. Lack of ball control, out of position, hurried shots and poor pass completion are all symptoms of that. I found Sigurdsson – with his near-miss gestures for the camera irritating, having not created enough space with speed of movement prior to the shot.

This squad is far from being on the front foot. They are lethargic-looking to me.


Danny O’Neill
208 Posted 20/05/2021 at 07:38:36
Great to hear from people who were back in the stadium last night.

As I said earlier or elsewhere, I didn't get to watch last night but it sounds like from here, and talking to my brother, it was more of the same.

But they've only gone and given me a glimmer of hope we can sneak Europe. We smash Man City, Brighton do Arsenal and Leicester beat Tottenham to sneak 4th over Liverpool who fall against their former manager in his last game in charge of Crystal Palace..

Not much of an accumulator to ask for.

Phil Gardner
209 Posted 20/05/2021 at 07:49:52
10th it's more likely to be – and another golden opportunity gone, another wasted season spent following this dipshit, dysfunctional club. Sick to death of it frankly.
Jim Bennings
210 Posted 20/05/2021 at 07:49:54
Good to win at home finally but it's been a disappointing Premier League finish if we end up finishing below the likes of Arsenal, Spurs who have both been pretty awful for six months and then we've got the likes of West Ham above us too. We can't really be where Moshiri expected 5 years down the line.

From what I can see, only our defence doesn't need much tinkering; Keane and Mina is our best partnership, hands down, Godfrey should be right-back until we sign a better replacement.

We are crying out for better attacking options and I include a striker in that because, not being overly critical here, but Dom is pretty useless with anything on the floor unless he's 2 yards out, he shoots like he's wearing slippers.

I'm hoping for a much much better season from Richarlison next season and that means back to well into double figures scoring and also being more involved in our attacks.

We need a new right-midfielder with pace and I can't stress that enough. Central midfield we need a man capable of carrying the ball and a player comfortable with committing to attack in the Tim Cahill mould.

Eddie Dunn
211 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:00:43
For those above using the fact that the fans at the game, who were just happy to get in and see some football, are in some way a true barrometer of Everton fans in general – you are way off the point. This is the ground where Moyes was applauded as he left to go to United, having been scheming with Whisky nose for months.

This is the ground were applause rings out when Blue Bill's chubby chops go up on the big screen.

Using the relieved and happy demeanour of these people to back a point is clearly wrong. The only way you can do that would have been if we had a full house in for all of those home shit-shows. I somehow think the matchday crowd would have been getting just a bit pissed-off by now.

Stuart Sharp
212 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:32:32
Okay, Eddie, but equally you can't claim the fans' songs and reactions meant nothing at all.

We sang the Richarlison song a lot because he was working his arse off. The Carlo Fantastico song came out a few times because many people are happy he's our manager.

There was also some anxiety because of the endless corners Wolves were getting. And some abuse when a counter-attack ended with backwards passing.

Yes, it was only 6,500, but as always, they responded to what they were seeing... in this case, a lot of effort, even if the quality was patchy. You make it sound like we were just happy to be there.

Thomas Richards
213 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:37:33
Si 131.

I was giving an opinion on a player I don't rate. Thats all. No idea where you are coming from with the "twist a simple fact" foolishness.

To be honest your statement justifying his worth: "but he wins corners" took me back a little.

Carlo: "Marcel, find me a forward who wins corners. Not interested in his poor goalscoring record. Not interested in his poor assists record. Find me one who wins corners."

"If a team set up to allow him opportunity to run in behind the defence with only the keeper to beat you might find his stats were better." They won't and they aren't.

If it's just pace you are looking for, I believe Usain Bolt plays football.

Kevin Prytherch
214 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:42:47
For those advocating Keane and Mina as our best partnership – they are good, but only when defending deep. If we want to be on the front foot at home against inferior opposition the Keane and Mina partnership will be exposed. Did you see the ease in which Traore beat Keane?

We have 4 centre-backs, we need to use them all depending on the opposition. If we expect to defend deep then Keane and Mina work, if we want to press the opposition, Keane and Mina will not work.

Brian Williams
215 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:46:54
Eddie. You sort of make your point and unmake it in the same post. The Moyes and Kenwright reactions happened when the ground was full, or almost full, so using those incidents weakens, rather than strengthens your argument.

6,500 supporters surely represents a cross-section of the game-attending Evertonians – unless the club of course chose each one for their known happy clappiness leanings...

Yeh, that'll be it, come to think of it. 😁👏👏👏👏

Brent Stephens
216 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:48:14
Rob #174,

"Brent, I know you attend most away games, so I assume you don't get to see much of the Live Forum, or any other pre-match threads on a matchday, but fuck me, is it like this all the time? The negativity, the moaning just goes beyond belief."

Rob, I get to read the Live Forum on the way back from games, home and away. Reliving the excitement of particular moments in the game. But, boy, as you say, the negativity on there – and incredibly before the game even starts! Contrast that with actually going to the game – there might be gripes after the game, but never on the train / bus going to the game, never in the pub before the game, never around and inside the ground before the game.

Trevor Peers
217 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:49:17
It's always great to grab a win – especially after so many defeats against the poorest opposition at home. We only really got going after we scored and then we had a good 20 minutes, in what was another very poor game overall.

Carlo will be here next season and hopefully he will sign some forwards as a priority, that would be an encouraging sign.

If he signs defenders and defensive midfielders, then he will just be reinforcing his present disastrous tactics of grabbing a single goal and managing the game out in that typical negative Italian style which is so awful to watch. Moshiri should insist that he spends any money we have on players who can score goals.

Thomas Richards
218 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:53:03
Rob H.

You didn't by any chance get your vaccination yesterday? I believe one of the symptoms of a bad reaction is to imagine you can hear football fans supporting a football manager.

Relax mate, the chants for Ancelotti were imaginary.

Colin Glassar
219 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:53:22
We should've broken the bank for Zaha when we had the chance. Just look at all the money we've wasted on Iwobi, Delph (wages), Walcott, Gbamin, Iwobi, Bernard (wages) etc... an absolute fortune. The price of shortsightedness I guess.
Clive Rogers
220 Posted 20/05/2021 at 08:58:33
Colin, 219, two Iwobi's. He must be getting to you.
Christopher Timmins
221 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:01:10
From what I saw last night, we need the following:

A centre-half with pace – maybe Kurt Zouma might come back
A right- or left-sided midfielder with pace – Traore
A creative midfielder – Buendia, and
An experienced striker as competition up front – Sergio or Ings

We can never play on the front foot with Mina and Keane on the team sheet; sorry, they are just too slow and we can't play with a high line due to their lack of pace.

Brent Stephens
222 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:03:35
Kevin #214, "For those advocating Keane and Mina as our best partnership – they are good, but only when defending deep. If we want to be in the front foot at home against inferior opposition, the Keane and Mina partnership will be exposed."

Kevin, exactly my thoughts. I think we're set up normally to minimise the weaknesses in defence – by sitting back deep, with a ring of midfielders trying to protect the defence. Push out, push forward, be more expansive and the defensive frailties are exposed, as so often at home this season. Our "goals against" tally, I believe, hides those defensive deficiencies.

Unless we strengthen at the back, we'll still need to detract from our attacking side, as above. I admire many of Keane's footballing and personal qualities (ditto Mina) but we're set up to hide their weaknesses.

Martin Mason
223 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:03:39
We have an unsolvable problem in midfield which means we struggle to get the ball forward and wide quickly so the ball is always coming to Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin from behind them. We have to play 2 defensive mids because we have two slow central defenders who need to be covered. Surely it is completely irrational to expect us to play as many demand we do with structural deficiencies that prevent us from doing so?

Having said that, I ask the question of Carlo, are we really that bad that we need to be so negative in order to cover these real or perceived difficulties. The answer to that is he and the other coaches have to be given credit for knowing their business.

Brian Murray
224 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:08:25
Eddie @ post 211 Chubby chops gets applauded on the big screen.

I must be on a parallel universe. Not where I sit, not in a million years kidda.

By the way, do we (hand on heart) deserve Europe? We did that Toon double and the home defeats. I bet the rest of the Top 8 or Top 10 haven't had it in their grasp like us, then the usual Blue collapse.

Just hope and pray we get it right this summer. At least for the next generation, eh?

Stuart Sharp
225 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:10:20
Kevin 214 - overall, I agree about Keane and Mina, but I think in the short term we have looked strongest with them at the back and tend to set up accordingly. We need another Ben Godfrey or two. Mind you, Traore tends to get in behind most defences... good job he has zero end product.
David Cash
226 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:29:03
Not sure there is any need to put a nasty slant to it. People hear different things at the match all the time.

The crowds reaction was being gaged and talked about on the Live Forum last night. Nobody mentioned hearing chants for Ancelloti, but that doesnt mean Rob is imagining the Chants. If he says he heard them. He heard them. End of. No need to suggest he imagined it.

Very few managers are universally accepted. That won't bother Carlo. He's been there and done it. Champions take both praise and criticism in their stride.

Tony Abrahams
227 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:33:16
He still needs to sign another central defender imo, Kevin, and for the reasons he's already given. He's a football trainer, he's not a magician.

If Duncan was constantly shouting at the defence to push up, then surely this was to help stop Allan and Doucouré, getting overrun every time Wolves had the ball.

Andrew Ellams
228 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:37:01
Are people really advocating a move for Adama Traore after last night? He continually got the ball, ran past players and then had little or no idea what to do when he got 20-30 yards from goal. He's another creation of the media.
Tony Everan
229 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:41:04
Colin 219, loving the two Iwobi's gag! It keeps on giving.
Danny O’Neill
230 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:42:59
Well said, David (226).

Kevin (214) and Brent (222), I've been saying that for several weeks since the Koulibaly rumours started. Repetition time, but if we get the chance to do a transfer we should even if (and I accept) it is not our immediate priority.

Mina & Godfrey (my current preferred pairing) are good. But bring in genuine top drawer quality alongside the potential that is in Ben and we take our defence up a level. Both in terms of ability and in terms of up the pitch.

David Cash
231 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:43:15
Agreed.

Our midfield players are not as bad as we make out.

We just seem to give them to much ground to cover. We have to play a higher back line in order to become a more compact unit

Thomas Richards
232 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:46:14
Your buddy will let you know late,r Casho.

He's re-running the game for forensic analysis.

Rob Halligan
233 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:50:39
Andrew #228.

Adama Traore is the Forrest Gump of Premier League football. Give him the ball and he will run, and run, and run. If there were no stands behind the goal, I swear he would carry on running all the way out of the stadium!

Seriously though, as you say, he has next to no idea of what to do when he's near the goal. Well actually, he does, he will boom a cross right out of play the other side of the pitch. He may well get one good cross in every twenty attempts.

No thanks, he's not for me.

Clive Rogers
234 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:50:46
That's our future sorted: two Iwobis. Champions League here we come.
Rob Halligan
235 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:52:16
Thomas, let's hope Darren turns his volume button up to maximum, seeing as he said himself that he's “Mutton”.
Eddie Dunn
236 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:53:57
Stuart,

Regarding the Richarlison song, you say sung for his hard work... I heard that song in the first 5 minutes – I think some people just like him.

I doff my hat to those of you who went to the game – it is of course true that you get a good feel of the attitiude of most fans. The other thing to remember is also the ones who went are perhaps the happiest with the fayre recently served-up. And as for the wanker with the beard, I thought his action to the Wolves player was uncalled for, or had the lad just committed a bad foul?

As for the Live Forum, the negativity is due to the frustration of many who can't vent their spleens at the match. At least at the game, you can see the big picture, see the coach's face, see what the players are doing off the ball, and you can give your support or otherwise have a moan. I'm sure many of the keyboard tantrums would be tempered if sat at the game next to strangers.

I am all for giving the manager time to get his prefered line-up installed but I am shocked at how we have deteriorated since that great start to the season. Still, I would have settled for the win at Anfield after such a long wait, just a shame we have blinked at our opportuniies since.

Andrew Ellams
237 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:54:26
Rob, I now have a vision of Traore running across Stanley Park with everybody else trying to get the ball back off him.
Brian Williams
238 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:56:25
I watched the game on telly. I heard the Carlo Fantastico song and so did my son who has very good hearing.

He can hear my wallet opening from the next room.

Brent Stephens
239 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:56:59
Danny #230,

"I've been saying that for several weeks since the Koulibaly rumours started."

Yes, you have indeed, Danny. My thoughts aren't original. I just think views like yours are worth supporting / reinforcing.

Danny O’Neill
240 Posted 20/05/2021 at 09:58:51
Traore is a good example of being obsessed with pace and power.

He's a good impact player at best and, in fairness, that's how Wolves used him a lot previously.

Remember Tony Daley for Aston Villa? He was pacey. Not very good, but quick.

Brent Stephens
241 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:01:05
Clive #234,

"That's our future sorted, two Iwobi's. Champions league here we come."

Imagine the opposition manager to his right back – "you mark Iwobi"!
"What, both of them?!"

Brian #238,

"I heard the Carlo Fantastico song and so did my son who has very good hearing. He can hear my wallet opening from the next room."

Do moths make that much noise when disturbed?

Tony McNulty
242 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:05:56
Mark Twain once remarked that everyone complains about the weather, but no-one ever does anything about it.

The seagulls that used to hang around Crosby beach in my youth know about our home form, yet it has remained unaddressed.

Maybe Carlo feels he didn't have the tools to tackle the problem. But I do think that he will feel that by his own standards he has underperformed this season.

Brian Harrison
243 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:09:22
I think Seamus Coleman showed exactly what a captain should do, and that was lead by example. Obviously I haven't got the stats but I can't believe anyone covered as much ground as Seamus did last night.

There was a time last night in the 2nd half he had run 30 yards upfield to join the attack, the ball was lost and played to Traore in our half, Godfrey was in front of Traore but he went past Ben as if he was standing still and, at this point, Coleman was 10 yards behind Traore but he caught him on the goal line and prevented him crossing the ball, absolutely brilliant.

I have said on here for months that Keane and Mina are our best centre-back pairing and again last night both played well, especially Keane and the message to Southgate who was sitting in the stands was "How can you leave me out of the Euro squad?" His ability to keep pace with Traore on one break and then make a terrific tackle epitomised Keane's whole display.

The problem for Carlo is that whichever 6 play midfield and up front don't score or create enough. This isn't new this has been a problem for our last 4 managers and despite changes in personnel the problem is still there. Don't know if its because he is just coming back from injury but, for me, Doucouré doesn't look to be the answer to having a box-to-box midfielder, his control is poor. Gomes, Allan, Sigurdsson,Davies and Delph have little pace so struggle to link up with the attack.

Our wide players Bernard and Iwobi don't create or score and it seems the physicality of the Premier League is to much for James, he clearly has a problem and you cant build a team around a player who only plays 1 in 3 or 4 games very talented of that there is no doubt.

Richarlison had his best game for a long time last night but, unless he can get back to last season's form, then we will struggle up front. Has he just had a poor season or does he want away, I don't know but Carlo needs to sort and quickly.

Finally, Calvert-Lewin; he has improved but, for me, he is way short of being the finished article we need to lead the line. He is excellent in the air and is very good in the 6-yard box but he has very little else in his locker.

I am sure Southgate must be praying that Harry Kane stays fit for the Euros as his alternatives of Calvert-Lewin or Watkins are nowhere near the quality of Kane. Maybe he might have to ask Vardy to reconsider playing for England again.

Brian Williams
244 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:09:58
Oi Brent! ;-)
Rob Halligan
245 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:14:45
Brent, I've heard it's not moths, but white fivers that pop out of Brian's wallet!
Craig Walker
246 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:15:36
The bearded wanker was an embarrassment (talking about the fan in the Gwladys – not André Gomes). There's a lot of football fans who know their stuff and love their clubs. Then there's idiots like him who has probably never played the game and couldn't even pump a ball up.

"I'm gonna hurl abuse at an opposing player and represent my tribe." Clowns like him are why I wouldn't want to take my lad to games anymore. Most Evertonians I know are great but there's always the odd idiot like him. All clubs have them.

Dave Abrahams
247 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:17:26
I'm glad Wolves never scored from the attempts on Everton's goal last night but, if they had, then it would have been a different crowd reaction all round. It could have been they would have roared the team back into action, or maybe they (some of them) would have let them know how they felt.

I sit in The Upper Bullens and a lot of the fans are passive, or keep their thoughts to themselves, I make mine known and there is another fan further back who gives the players loads, when they deserve it, he'd have worn his larynx out this season along with mine. Some fans don't like fans like me and the other fella, don't think they like it when we go berserk when we score or applaud at good play.

Winning is everything to a lot of fans, which I understand, but I've never acknowledged that we've played well if we haven't. I remember a night game v WHU, we were winning 2-0 when their goalkeeper got sent off and they played the rest of the game with ten men, we won 2-1 and were pretty poor. Yet, at the end of the game, fans all around me were happy and cheering the team off, I was amazed that such a poor performance could be accepted with such joy, even though we won.

I wasn't there last night, but I think the win was a big reaction to the result and not the performance. If I had been, I'd have been glad with the win but up on my toes at the end and quickly out of the ground.

Andrew Ellams
248 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:21:23
Dave, in football, joy and relief can often look the same.
Tony Abrahams
249 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:27:37
"Clowns like him are why I want to take my kids the match."

Craig, especially because this lockdown has taken so much away from everyone, both young people and old.

Goodison has missed people like you, Dave... miserable bastards who only go the match to be entertained!

Stuart Sharp
250 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:28:45
Brian #243 - that recovery tackle by Keane on Traore got one of the loudest cheers of the night in the otherwise quiet Upper Bullens. Think we all shat ourselves when we saw that particular one-on-one coming, but fair play to Keane.

Eddie – maybe you are right, but the Richrlison song was quite persistent during the game. Can't imagine it would have been against Sheffield United...

I left the game very happy to have been back, and of course pleased with a hard -fought win, but disappointed how the season has turned out after the exciting start. The lack of pace is so obvious, and makes us so easy to play against sometimes, but I still wouldn't take Traore. He must drive fans mad.

Dave Abrahams
251 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:37:31
Andrew (248), possibly, and a lot of fans react differently to the same event.

Maybe I'm the odd one out... got to say though, I'm glad to be like that.

Paul A Smith
252 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:44:58
Ancelotti's face in the tunnel during half-time was a picture. The look of a man who is very fed up.
Barry Hesketh
253 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:45:29
I'd like to offer some praise to Jordan Pickford for yet again making important saves at important stages of last night's match – he gets his fair share of stick when he concedes silly goals but in the last few months, he has made at least one really good stop in most games.

If Everton don't buy a speed merchant or an effective winger in the summer, we'll see much the same style of football that we've seen so far in 2021. This current team reminds me of Joe Royle's nearly men of 1995-96, minus Kanchelskis and without the excitement.

I do hope that, in a few years' time, we don't rue the massive opportunity missed like we did when Arsenal pipped us to a European spot all those years ago.

Tony Abrahams
254 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:49:58
The lack of pace and also the lack of movement are very concerning. I thought Calvert-Lewin, was having a really poor game, because he kept coming towards the ball, instead of trying to create space by playing centrally and backing into defenders. Then we got the move of the match when Richarlison, coming deeper, spun and played a brilliantly weighted through-ball for his strike partner to run onto forcing a good near post save out of Ruddy.

The season has been a disappointment. I've asked as many questions about Ancellotti, as most people (not just saying he's a dinosaur, he's had the sack from his last three jobs and he's shite) and have queried many of his decisions and formations, but only at Goodison Park.

My biggest thoughts would need me to write at least six pages, so I will just write one thought. Maybe Ancellotti is not here just to go and win one cup; maybe the man is here because he wants to try and build something better? A question I'm aware that people might find it easy to take the piss out of!

Andrew Ellams
255 Posted 20/05/2021 at 10:54:54
Dave, I often see the negatives, even in a victory (last night, for instance) but when Sigurdsson scored that penalty at Anfield, what came out of me was much more sheer relief than joy.
Rob Halligan
256 Posted 20/05/2021 at 11:09:17
Tony # 254. What you say about Ancelotti trying to build something at the club is right.

You may remember I posted the day after the Spurs cup game, that I was speaking to his son-in-law whilst out walking the dog in a local park. His son in law told me that Carlo, his family and all his back room staff that he brought with him, all love living in Liverpool, but above all, Carlo's main aim is to get Everton to the top of the pile, and that he wants to emulate what Man City have done over the past few years.

This is obviously going to take more than the 18 months, and one transfer window, that he has been with us. They didn't realise the enormity of the club when he took over, the history, the tradition, the fan base, in fact everything just completely blew them all away.

This may well be Carlo's biggest challenge he's ever come across in football but, going by what his son-in-law was telling me, he is determined to make it succeed.

Eddie Dunn
257 Posted 20/05/2021 at 11:20:09
Brian and Stuart, that bit of defending by Keane was fantastic, he matched a real speed merchant for pace and his tackle would have cleaned-out a fucking rhino. I hope Southgate reconsiders as Maguire is no better than our lad.

When you consider that Godfrey found Traore too quick later on the other side, it really shows that Keane is surprisingly pacey.

On the wanker with the beard, I thought it was sad but I do recall being behind the goal when we played Wolves and John Richards missed a sitter... he smiled as a thousand wrists gave their verdict.

Paul A Smith
258 Posted 20/05/2021 at 11:26:13
Craig, you are on a forum calling a fan a bearded wanker because he gave an opposition player a bit of stick from a corner?

Do you stop your son reading your abuse on ToffeeWeb? Some people are so far up their own arses, they forget themselves.

Tony Abrahams
259 Posted 20/05/2021 at 11:26:16
I ask because, if it was me, Rob, I would have played every home match, with exactly the same shape that I use away from Goodison Park.

There are arguments to say Ancellotti should have done this, but I'm not sure it's his style. There are arguments about loads of things, because we all have different opinions, but one of the most decorated managers in football has stated that he actually decided to play so many games in a certain way.

I'm curious, because if this is how his team got most of their points, why would a manager move away from this?

Short-term pain, for long-term gain, is what I'm obviously hoping was behind Carlo Ancellotti's decision making!

Martin Mason
260 Posted 20/05/2021 at 11:46:24
Michael, "unconvincing" win? Certainly not, it was 1-0 and that absolutely satisfies the definition of a win. Given the home history and that Wolves are no mugs, I see it as an excellent win.
Michael Lynch
261 Posted 20/05/2021 at 11:48:26
It was nice to be back at Goodison, having a good moan, rather than doing it on the Live fForum.

Best thing about it was the free Mars bar, followed closely by Richarlison's goal. The rest was mostly forgettable – like the whole season really – but at least there was some effort and intensity.

Godfrey was the MotM and Player of the Season for me. He gets the ethos of the club, rather than the ethos of the current squad.

Graeme Beresford
262 Posted 20/05/2021 at 11:48:49
We won, which is great, another 3 points, which is great, but unfortunately the God's continue their curse.

I have said it all season, we will look back at the games at home which we should've won or competed, West Ham, Newcastle, Fulham, Burnley, Sheff United, etc it's just a shame we now go into the last game of the season against low and behold the best team in the world.

It really does make you laugh when you think about it. Everton need to win their last game and it's against City, Liverpool need to win theirs and they have got Palace at home with fans, yet again you couldn't write it. They need to win and the ref plays an extra 15 seconds allowing their goalkeeper to score a header, again you couldn't write it. It's like God is above Liverpool on match days and supports them, leaving us in misery every week.

We have blown our chances this season but we do also have to remember we have had a lot of injured players, which nobody at Sky has mentioned, and I am convinced in the summer Morishi will back Carlo and Brands will get rid of so many players freeing up important wages. Walcott, Bolasie, Besic, Holgate, maybe even Sigurdsson and Richarlison could go as neither have done well this season, although I hope Richarlison finds his form again quickly as I would love him to stay but quite frankly in his position this season he has massively underperformed.

It's not the big games, it's the games we go into were everyone thinks this should be three points. The Sheffield Utd game is a prime example. You have to wonder if all the players go into these games with the wrong mentality.

Whereas Liverpool have called them three finals and they have already played 2 exactly like that, finals. We have had three finals, Villa, Sheff and Wolves and played in none of them like finals. Poor really and very disappointing end to the season, as per usual.

Graeme Beresford
263 Posted 20/05/2021 at 11:52:16
A Tosun, Kean, Kenny, King to that list as well. Must free up half-a-million quid a week in wages.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

264 Posted 20/05/2021 at 12:01:51
As the first poster on this thread to mention the fan making the wanking gesture, two things:

1) nice to have it confirmed by others, that I didn't imagine it.

2) for those criticizing the lad, I think you need to lighten up. That's what home fans DO! That's part of the fun of being at the match. Abusing the opposition!

If some of you were offended by the bearded fan, you would have gone ballistic at one of the funniest sports photos I've ever seen.

Across a two-page spread in glorious technicolor, I once saw an outstanding photo obviously taken at Old Trafford from the opposite end of the Stretford End, during a Manchester derby.

A zoom lens foreshortened everything so the banked red-and-white masses on the Stretford End appeared very close to the action.

And the action captured was that of City player, Niall Quinn, holding his head in his hands having missed a sitter.

To a man, woman and child, the red-and-white masses all had a raised hand showing the wanker gesture, sneering, jeering, laughing.

Funny as fook! As was the isolated socially distanced fan picked out by the cameras last night.

Whoever you are, power to yer arm, lad! You gave me a good chuckle. Thank you!

Dave Abrahams
265 Posted 20/05/2021 at 12:03:48
Andrew (255), yes, I've got to confess I don't care, and never have, how we play against Liverpool as long as we win. And that penalty at Anfield this season was a double relief because Alllison had dived the right way and I thought he'd save it... in fact, I still think he is going to save it on all the replays!!
Dave Abrahams
266 Posted 20/05/2021 at 12:10:39
Jay 264), I've witnessed that sort of incident the other way round and thought it was hilarious. Nobby Styles at Anfield attacking the Liverpool goal, never drew back but went in on Tommy Lawrence 100%, laid Tommy out.

He picked himself up, looking at the Kop screaming out him with their veins sticking out of their throats... he stood and faced them and gave them the “Fuck Yis” with both hands! I loved him for it and jealous I was never in that position to do it myself!!

Craig Walker
267 Posted 20/05/2021 at 12:14:11
Paul - I'm not up my own arse, thanks. The “bearded wanker” term has been used throughout this thread.

I don't let him read my comments, or anybody else's on TW. He'd be too depressed.

Steve Brown
268 Posted 20/05/2021 at 12:37:37
Interesting stat in the Echo:

Everton have never lost at Goodison Park in the Premier League under Carlo Ancelotti with fans in attendance (6 wins, 2 draws).

Thomas Richards
269 Posted 20/05/2021 at 12:38:26
Childish thing, the mastubatory hand signals. Cringeworthy when a grown man does it.

Must say, most of them look like experts in that field...

John Kavanagh
270 Posted 20/05/2021 at 12:38:51
Traore is exactly the sort of player we don't want. Yes, he can go past players, but we need someone who can both whip in early accurate crosses and finish given the opportunity. Traore doesn't have the consistency, skill with crosses or finishing ability and would, therefore, only be a marginal improvement on Iwobi.

A far better alternative would be Pereira at West Brom. Ten goals in a struggling side, can go past players and he can whip in accurate crosses early. A big favourite with West Brom fans, but likely to be available following relegation.

He already has Premier League experience and is unlikely to succumb to 'fatigue' like some overseas show ponies. From a relegated side I know, but so was Godfrey. We should be able to outbid Villa and still get him for less than what we stupidly paid for Iwobi.

Steve Brown
271 Posted 20/05/2021 at 12:55:57
We were told that Carlo's goose would be cooked when the crowd returned to Goodison Park. Now that Rob and Stuart have confirmed that the crowd were chanting 'Carlo Fantastico', the claim is that: a) it didn't happen; b) the crowd only cheered because they were happy to be "let out of jail"; c) Everton fans will cheer anything – nice one Eddie.

It must be sobering and embarrassing to have made that big claim for months and to have your eye wiped!

Paul A Smith
272 Posted 20/05/2021 at 12:57:38
Craig, I didn't want to have a go, mate, but it's hardly crime of the century what the lad done.

Nobody will ever take a knee to stop wanker gestures. Did you see the lad before kick-off give 2 middle fingers to the camera because he realised the screen had captured him?

Commentry apologised for that and some might find that worse. My language was terrible, and still is if I lose composure, but I still do my best to never hurt people.

It's not great to see or hear abuse but this is mellow and a bit over the top on the bearded fella.

Steve Brown
273 Posted 20/05/2021 at 13:00:09
"Ancelotti wave

It wasn't just the players that hugely appreciated supporters being back inside Goodison Park.

Carlo Ancelotti was as animated as ever on the touchline as he barked regular instructions to his players during a tight and hard-fought victory.

And the Evertonians inside the stadium took an opportunity in the second half to remind their manager of how much they appreciate him, with a loud rendition of his chant breaking up a quiet period of the match.

The boss acknowledged the song with a brief little wave to the Gwladys Street from his technical area, before giving a full sign of his appreciation when the squad and staff walked around the pitch at the end of the game."

Tonight's Echo printing yet more Fake News! Shouldn't be allowed. :)

Thomas Richards
274 Posted 20/05/2021 at 13:02:37
Steve,

Wait until next season when he gets it right.

Martin Mason
275 Posted 20/05/2021 at 13:09:08
Is it not far more likely that Richarlison is playing badly because of the tactics and the way that the team is playing?

Calvert-Lewin is also playing badly, is that because of his poor partnership with Richarlison, as some would claim, or our inability to get the ball out of defence quickly and fed to them from the right areas?

Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are proven class and class is permanent. Forwards are always victims of playing in a poor side, Richarlsion and Calvert-Lewin are not hopeless, they are victims of the way Everton are playing.

They will be back and we should understand the problem and make allowances.

Kieran Kinsella
276 Posted 20/05/2021 at 13:24:45
Bill,

Didn't Arsenal creep past us and Spurs on the last day in 96 to steal the last European spot? We can't let it happen again.

Danny O’Neill
277 Posted 20/05/2021 at 13:28:30
On the bearded thing (I don't like to swear too much online!).

Let's not get too precious about it. Football is a game of emotions as much as it is a game of beauty and mistakes. People get caught up in the moment and we're all guilty.

I'm being biased here and we all have our idiots who step over the mark, but generally us Evertonians are a decent bunch. Far removed from the London fans I live amongst who seem more focussed on goading the opposition than watching their own team. Or the Copts and their staged almost choreographed bricking of opposition team coaches. We have a good balance and are mostly interested in what Everton are doing.

Massive over stereotyping there but stuff like this happens and mostly, it's just a bit of passion and competitiveness coming out in supporters. Nothing sinister.

It's like the bloke who used to stand behind me continuously shouting "Fucking shite, Everton!" throughout the match, every time there was a stray pass. And my best mate (RIP) who couldn't wait for the opportunity to point and call Sheedy a lazy bastard because he alledgedly didn't work hard enough and wasn't fast.

Sometimes, people just need to get things off their chest in the moment!

I did swear. I'm sorry.

Danny O’Neill
278 Posted 20/05/2021 at 13:32:11
I remember Villa being involved in that equation as well Kieran. Same year?
Kieran Kinsella
279 Posted 20/05/2021 at 13:42:16
Good memory, Danny, we played them the last day.
Paul A Smith
280 Posted 20/05/2021 at 13:51:56
Martin 275,

"Class"?

This is a major cause of all things wrong at Everton.

How does "class" enter one's mind? I have heard this about players nobody likes at Everton now. How many times are we going to call average players "class"?

Our strikers haven't played a 1-2 together in 3 seasons. And thats' not to say to say they have been paired for 3 years but there has been no great link-up previously and this link-up is as bad a partnership I have seen.

"Class" and players from this squad hardly go together.

Barry Hesketh
281 Posted 20/05/2021 at 13:56:02
That last day of the season in 1996 began with Villa, Arsenal, Spurs, and Everton all vying for a European spot. Villa was in 4th spot with 63 points. Arsenal and Spurs in 5th and 6th with 60 and Everton and Blackburn on 58.

Joe Parkinson got the only goal at Goodison against Villa, Blackburn beat Chelsea 3-2 at Stamford Bridge. Spurs drew at Newcastle and in the latter stages at Highbury Arsenal were trailing to Bolton.

Had Bolton hung on to their lead, Everton would have qualified for Europe in 5th place, alas it was not to be as Platt and Bergkamp scored in the last 8 minutes to win the game for Arsenal. Bruce Rioch managed Arsenal and Colin Todd managed Bolton, where Andy Todd had given Bolton the lead. Was Andy, Colin's son?

Another victory would have got Everton into the Champions League, pretty familiar territory, so near but yet so far.

Danny O’Neill
282 Posted 20/05/2021 at 14:06:03
I thought so, Kieran, and thanks for the analysis, Barry; quite sobering so here's hoping for some kind of reverse sequence on Sunday.

Randomly, I was somewhere in Bosnia that day and got the news when I phoned the wife on the welfare facility in the eventing. She supports Villa so that was an awkward conversation given I was 3 months into a 6 month stint away from home and the focus was supposed to be on how much I missed her!!!

At least Sunday I / we can watch events unfold from the comfort of the living room or pub!

Martin Mason
283 Posted 20/05/2021 at 14:38:26
Paul @280,

Class, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin do go together. Both are top internationals who have been talked about as 㿼M targets. Please don't let your apparent dislike for Everton hide your apparent weakness of judgement on two exceptional players.

Steve Carse
284 Posted 20/05/2021 at 14:52:47
That last day of '96 was even more Everton That in that we would have got a European slot anyway had it not been for the fact that Uefahad reduced the Premier League entry for the 96-97 competition by one – as part of a penalty to the Premier League arising from Spurs having disrespected the competition previously by, if I recall correctly, playing an understrength side in the qualifying round.

So, another instance of Everton being penalised by Uefa for something they had no part in.

Kim Vivian
285 Posted 20/05/2021 at 14:56:36
Very late to the party for this match. Missed the game. Caught snippets of the Live Forum, missed MotD and have not read through this thread.

What I saw on the forum it looked like we were playing abjectly for the first half, Carlo was a total wanker and most participants on the thread were sharpening up their pitchforks and priming their torches.

Second half I saw we had scored a goal (it took me ages to find out who scored) but seemingly very little celebration of the goal. The Live Forum crowd then moderated to a more general discussion and some banter, and clearly people had relaxed a bit in the main.

So - we saw it out. 3 big points and possibly heading for some sort of third class Euro thingy which frankly I am not very enamoured with - many games likely to compromise league position with very little to offer in my view. I'd rather we missed out and concentrated our efforts next term on a domestic cup and/or Champions League qualification on merit.

So how were we anyway? Who was our MotM? and who put in a performance worthy of a bid for next season? Who had their flip-flops on and who was looking for a new berth somewhere?

And how were the fans in the ground reacting?

Barry Hesketh
286 Posted 20/05/2021 at 15:02:17
Apologies for earlier – the Champions League hadn't changed format and therefore only admission to the Uefa Cup was on offer, and the Cup-Winners Cup was still going in 1996.
Duncan McDine
287 Posted 20/05/2021 at 15:07:21
Kim 285... I'll give you some of my thoughts – they might not match everyone's, but that's the joy of TW!

Dreadful first half but we didn't really look like conceding a goal. Usual story of not being able to string 2 passes together.

The second half was also poor, but we had a couple of spells where we looked more threatening. Obviously got the goal from a corner - well taken, and perhaps got lucky with a penalty shout against Doucouré. It was a game between two average teams playing dull football and we just happened to be the team that won on this occasion.

Keane was MotM for the Sky pundit and I couldn't argue, but no-one really stood out as having an excellent game. Plenty of them were below par... Doucouré possibly the most notable. In short – you didn't miss much!!

Jerome Shields
288 Posted 20/05/2021 at 15:23:48
Kevin #214,

Totally agree. One of the reasons Everton play so deep, which seemed to crack Carlo up, is as you say, both Mina and Keane like playing deep. Having to defend on the turn and compete for the ball against an attacker with pace, they hate it and often totally exposed.

A lot of Wolves pressure was caused by an unwillingness to push up and compact midfield. In the first half, Carlo was gesturing continuously to push up. Mina and Keane want the play in front of them.

Kim Vivian
289 Posted 20/05/2021 at 15:34:43
Thanks, Duncan. Bit of a Groundhog Day then.

Glad I didn't change any plans but that wasn't going to happen anyway. I was having a very nice couple of days away with friends (Chelsea man, my pal) down at West Wittering (Chichester way) so was sunning myself quayside with a pint or two of the local best, and some scran.

Down to earth on Sunday probably. Expecting an exhibition match from Man City at our expense but, if it keeps us out of third-tier Euros – that suits me.

You never know – we might even turn up!

Kieran Kinsella
291 Posted 20/05/2021 at 15:52:19
Steve Brown,

They bussed them in from Strangeways and handed out song sheets en route.

Bobby Mallon
292 Posted 20/05/2021 at 16:21:50
I think I mentioned the lad and the wanker gesture on the Live Forum. It was brilliant and it happens every game, every ground, every corner. Stop bellyaching.
Richard Parker
293 Posted 20/05/2021 at 16:23:15
I think the midfield gets a rough deal, there are rarely any options ahead of them. When we try to pass out quickly from the back we either give it away or end up going all the way back... when we try to build up, we inevitably end up hitting their defence and getting turned around.

With the current fashion of the defenders picking up the ball so deep, the forwards need to offer more of an outlet as there is so much space for the midfielders to cover. Unfortunately we don't have the quality to play that way - a big reason why James has ended up central and picking up the ball in his own half, rather than playing wide and creating in the final 3rd, as he did when we were flying early in the season.

We need pace, creativity and a top-class centre back in the summer... hopefully 3 or 4 good signings will provide the balance we sorely miss at the moment.

Danny O’Neill
297 Posted 20/05/2021 at 16:44:04
We do have midfielders who want to play forward, Richard.

I'm not saying we can't or don't need to imrprove in that department, but too often you see them look up and realise there are no options, so with the instinct to retain possession (natural), then have to come sideways and backwards.

We could punt it hopefully upfield but then you're just most likely giving possession back to the opposition.

And we do need a leading centre-back to get that defence out of our own box. That will force the midfield higher and get us into the area of the pitch we need to be in to win games more convincingly.

Richard Parker
298 Posted 20/05/2021 at 17:14:56
Danny @297,

I think we're agreeing – they're stuck in the middle of a slow defence and an attack that offer no outlet.

We need players to actually move so that the midfield have something to link up. I think that strengthening the defence and the attack will free up the midfield to play more.

Martin Mason
299 Posted 20/05/2021 at 17:23:44
Danny, it's true though that the midfield plays fairly flat and deep and it's a long way forward when we get the go signal.

When we play with depth, as we've tried at home in the diamond formation, it just hasn't worked. Some good sides solve this by having false 9s who come deep to help, like Firminho. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are having to do this but Richarlison ends up covering the full backs either Calvert-Lewinside and there's never anybody near Calvert-Lewin to pick up the many balls that he wins from deep.

Easy said but all we need is a couple of good fast wide midfielders of the Trevor Stevens model. I'm sure though that Carlo knows exactly what we need and will solve it in the summer window allowing us to win the Premier League next year. The wide left or right player could be Richarlison and then all we need is is one "winger" and a superb Number 10. Easy isn't it?

Danny O’Neill
300 Posted 20/05/2021 at 17:24:24
Oh, definitely agreeing with you Richard.
Danny O’Neill
301 Posted 20/05/2021 at 17:31:29
Martin, I dislike the diamond. I always feel that leaves a team with a gaping gap in the middle, but then that's just me and my opinion.

You're right though. Earlier in the season we pushed forward but with the players we have we left a gap between the midfield and defence.

Later in the season we've sat back deep and now there is a gap between the midfield and the forwards.

We fix that with a central defender who (alongside Godfrey) is comfortable coming out from the back and pushing the team forward. And, like you say a better quality winger.

In fantasy football world, am I allowed Sabitzer?

Paul Swan
302 Posted 20/05/2021 at 17:39:16
We desperately need width and pace. Last night, Wolves could progress up the field in the space of one pass just picking out Traore. We lack the ability to progress up the field in 10 passes. This is very easy to defend against.
Paul A Smith
303 Posted 20/05/2021 at 17:44:52
Dislike for Everton, Martin? One strange man you are.

That's what people do then? Join forums of clubs they don't like? Is that why you are here?

Any more ridiculous posts for me to laugh at??

Martin Mason
304 Posted 20/05/2021 at 17:45:35
Danny, me too, it needs specially good players that we don't have and we played it really badly. I agree with your analysis completely. I dream to see Godfrey in midfield to introduce power.
Martin Mason
305 Posted 20/05/2021 at 17:58:35
Paul, I said 'apparent'. You don't have an apparent like because of your criticism as opposed to any support whatsoever. Unfortunately, there is a tiny minority of Everton fans like you who believe that the best way of supporting the club is to pull it down with irrational negativity.

We are in a great place now and the current situation is temporary and not a bandwagon for people like you to jump on to bring the club down.

Kieran Kinsella
306 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:10:39
Martin

What baffles me about Godfrey is how he is not in the England reckoning while Keane is apparently in the mix?

I read in The Telegraph and The Guardian yesterday that Southgate feels it is "too soon for him." He is 23, he has played 28 times for Everton this season and has well over 100 career appearances.

Joe Gomez is also 23, and made his England debut 4 years ago at which point he had played just 5 Premier League games. Hudson-Odoi, career to date has played 57 times at club level, also made his England debut 2 years ago. But somehow Godfrey "isn't ready" to compete with his obviously inferior club mate for a spot.

Rob Halligan
307 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:16:36
Kieran, its the fact that those two you mentioned play for two of the So called big six teams, so Southgate is forced by the FA to pick them. The England team / squad cannot be seen to not include as many players as possible from the So called big six teams. Godfrey is a much better defender than Joe Gomez.
George McKane
308 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:24:36

Magnificent Everton Supporters. That's my first comment on my return to Goodison last night.

Emotionally it was a very special night for me. 6 months ago I thought I may not ever see Everton or The Dark House or my family and friends ever again. I mentioned watching Everton on my iPad while recovering from a serious heart infection and Sepsis, my wife and daughters having been told at one point that they had "lost" me. So to have my wife drive me to The Dark House and meet my daughter and grandson for the game was incredible.

We met up and then followed all the correct procedures at Goodison. in my opinion well organised and polite and made easy by friendly staff all the way. I quite seriously had a lump in my throat and a genuine tear from my eye when The Blues came out and were given a tremendous reception by our magnificent fans. How we/they/us have endured being Blues yet still have something wonderful inside us when we see our Team. My daughter and grandson stood and applauded like everyone.

Now onto the logic of the match (back to emotions later). It was generally a poor game. Not much different to what has been going on recently. Indecisive, slow, poor decision-making. Some individuals shone - Godfrey in particular, Keane and Allan and Richarlison for me. I have read some people mentioning Taore. A big muscle-bound pacy bit of nothing for me. Runs fast and nothing. Everton handled him well. I know we won and it is too late to mean anything after so much early-season promise but no matter how bad we are playing there is nothing to compare with going to the game, seeing Goodison, the green grass. The Blue infrastructure and roof. The players come out. Hear the crowd. Marvellous.

And then down to The Dark House. Once again to be choked with emotion. Many friends there who did not have tickets but wanted to see me after my difficult few months. Beautiful and lovely. I am not for watching the game in the comfort of your armchair with tea and biscuits. Just like Gene Kelly – "gotta dance, gotta dance, gotta dance". I have not a criticism of those who cannot go and enjoy watching from home. I enjoyed and was pleased with the opportunity to watch on my iPad from my hospital bed.

5 days after been declared "dead", I was recovering, still on life support machines" and a nurse asked me, "can I help you, George". I asked for the TV for MOTD. Blues, that's what we are. BLUES.

One of my friends came from Birmingham without a ticket to see me and give me a hug. We spent the night discussing mutual good times with Everton over many many decades. We are Evertonians. Love to see changes to The Team. Generally speaking, although not unanimous, most (a vast majority) want Ancelotti to be here next season but he certainly was not beyond criticism. But again. unanimously we all agreed to a major disappointment this season. A missed chance. But we will all be in The Dark House for the first game next season. Believing again.

I send you True Blue Cosmic Grooves All Across Mountains and Seas to each and every one of you with a firm handshake and, yes, I will say it: Love. And kindest wishes to you all, brothers and sisters. If you are in New Brighton call me. Tea and cake and biscuits always here for you all.

Thomas Richards
309 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:31:12
What a man.What a Blue

Great to hear you are recovering George.
All the best

Danny O’Neill
310 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:34:51
Beautiful words as always George. Had some tough family stuff going on myself these past months,which always puts life in perspective.

But then Everton is the one thing that is always there right?

Agree on Traore. Good assessment.

Hope you are well George

Kieran Kinsella
311 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:36:08
Rob 307

As Hoddle said "If you're good enough you're old enough. as long as you play for certain clubs."

George McKane
312 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:38:21
No worries here - - like Mc Murphy - -" a goddam wonder of modern science" - - thank you for your good wishes - -all fine and dandy - - ready and like Barkis "willin'".
George McKane
313 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:39:08
Take care Danny - we are all special.
John Burns
314 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:43:00
Wonderful words George. (308). It must have been such a special night for you.
Brian Williams
315 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:44:41
Rob#245.
Hey, I wish. Those white fivers are worth £100 now!

I may have to unpick my mattress!

Chris Williams
316 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:48:02
George

Barkis and Lowell George!

Mike Gaynes
317 Posted 20/05/2021 at 18:51:38
Lovely, George. Stay strong.
Derek Knox
318 Posted 20/05/2021 at 19:02:11
Great George, that you are still flying the Blue Flag, and managed to watch the first match with fans allowed in. You have been through a lot and come out strong. Pity it wasn't a great spectacle but three points are more than welcome to keep our faint hopes of Europa involvement flickering, now who have we got next. ? No problem! 🤷‍♂️😂
Dave Abrahams
319 Posted 20/05/2021 at 19:04:25
George (308) it's an old saying but true, You can't keep a good man down. I hope you have many more years watching Everton George, at Goodison Park and Brambly Moor Dock, and so glad you enjoyed your trip back with a win last night, best wishes.
Tony Abrahams
320 Posted 20/05/2021 at 19:19:58
Echo what everyone else is saying George, because I'm glad you're full of fight, and I'm glad you got to see Everton play at Goodison again last night. I've got a picture of you in my mind, driving across the Mersey on a jet-ski, taking the short-cut to Bramley Moore, but not to soon though mate, because I know how much you love going to Goodison Pk!
Oliver Molloy
321 Posted 20/05/2021 at 19:31:24
George McKane,
I always, ( like many on here I would think ) enjoy reading your thoughts on all things.
Painting pictures for us all in your very own unique style.
Keep on keeping on with your cosmic grooves - for you are truly a top Evertonian.
COYB.
Peter Mills
322 Posted 20/05/2021 at 19:50:00
Delighted you enjoyed your night, George. Thank you for sharing with us the emotions of being back at Goodison.
Tony McNulty
323 Posted 20/05/2021 at 21:48:46
Great stuff, George.
Eddie Dunn
324 Posted 20/05/2021 at 22:28:35
love it George- poetic and heartfelt. Best wishes!
Bill Watson
325 Posted 20/05/2021 at 00:10:42
Great to hear you're on the mend, George, and that you managed to get to last night's game.

Sometimes, going to the game full of our eternal optimism, is often better than the game itself. By a strange twist my seat was feet away from where I sat, with my sister in law, during that great 1980s period.

Hope you enjoyed your Mars bar, George, and hope you continue to improve.

Jim Harrison
326 Posted 21/05/2021 at 02:03:47
Funny, looking at league placing, last time a team finished in 7th with more than 59 points was Everton under Koeman on 61. It's a really odd year to have so many teams in that mix with one game to go, and if indeed we do end up in 10th would probably be the highest points hall to finish in that position since the Premier League was introduced?

Moyes got 4th with 61!!!

If the lads do manage to get a win against Man City and end on 62 points, it will be the highest since Bobby's first season and more than Leicester got to finish 5th last season.

Just two more wins, against teams that really shouldn't be winning at Goodison, even without fans, is the difference between a really good season and ultimately a disappointing one.

The real issue has been the same since Rom left: goals!! Calvert-Lewin had a good season by his standards, but there has not been enough from the rest of the team.

Mick O'Malley
327 Posted 21/05/2021 at 06:47:53
Calvert Lewis and Richarlison class? Gotta agree with Paul,bang average as far as I'm concerned and I couldn't care less if I ever see either off them in a blue shirt again, we all have our opinions and I'm with Paul, they do not work as a pair
Steve Shave
328 Posted 21/05/2021 at 07:14:33
Barry 253 I agree with you, I amongst many others on here have utterly lambasted Pickford this past two seasons. However, I am also capable of eating humble pie and offering credit when it is deserved. Our Jordan looked finished, he had a touch of the Joe Hart's about him and I predicted a swift demise to his career (such is the way for some goalies). In the 2nd half of this season he seems focussed, stopped the clangers and has turned into a consistent performer, making a string of fine saves along the way. Well done Pickers and thank you for your dedication to turn it around for our great club.

George McKane - wonderful post, sorry to hear of your health troubles but delighted to read about your rise from the ashes and return to the old faithful. May that game be the first of many more for you and your family at Goodison and beyond. Warm wishes.

Danny O’Neill
329 Posted 21/05/2021 at 07:32:57
Steve, have to agree with you on Pickford. In the past few weeks / months he's looked much more comfortable and assured. For me, he seems to have done what a lot of us were saying; "calm the fuck down"!! Seriously though he is calmer, which seems to helping his decision making, which is enabling him to command his box and defence better. Important aspect of a good keeper.

We all criticise players just as we do managers. It's nature and we should if they don't perform. I too have no issue being proven wrong. This season, I see great improvement in Tom Davies. Also Calvert Lewin. On Dominic, all I would say is that it's great he now realises chasing the channel and corner flags is not his job, but he looks to me like being restricted to being an in the box striker. The big difference between him and Harry Kane (to use an example) is that Kane can and will produce goals from the edge or outside of the box as well as in the box. We don't get that from Dominic. Is it something he can develop? I'm not sure.

Richarlison for me has underperformed this season but the talent is there. I'm shooting from the hip here and haven't given it much thought but there seems to be a problem in finding his position. Like Sigurdsson, put him in the right position for the right game and he'll win you games. But what is it? What is he? I don't have the answer but we seem to stick him in wide positions because he's quick. But then look how effective he is in the box and in the air. Another enigma of a player but still young enough to develop as are Davies and Calvert-Lewin.

Mick. I agree, the word "class" just like legend is overused. They're not class, just good players who still have potential to get better.

Colin Glassar
330 Posted 21/05/2021 at 07:59:15
Saint Maximum from Newcastle and Toney from Brentford would radically change our attack and give Richarlison and DCL something to think about. A new RB and a MF general and we are sorted!
Jim Harrison
331 Posted 21/05/2021 at 08:09:33
Colin 330

Stick the CB from Napoli in there too for good measure

Martin Mason
332 Posted 21/05/2021 at 09:03:54
Danny@328 I disagree about the use of the word Class when applied to DCL and Richie or any other player. The use of that word is whatever I define it to be so less controversial if I use the dictionary definition.

Class
A set or category of things having some property or attribute in common and differentiated from others by kind, type, or quality.

DCL and Rich are both established International Players in Nations who play at the highest World levels and are established players in a world class league competition (undoubtedly the best in the world for me) and hence are world class. They are class by any definition you can find. They are "not class" by any definition only opinion?

Christopher Timmins
333 Posted 21/05/2021 at 09:14:45
George # 308

It's great that you are so positive and I am certain that it will stand to you in the year's ahead. While I suspect you will be sad to say goodbye to the old lady I am sure that you are looking forward to taking your seat at BMD.

Danny O’Neill
334 Posted 21/05/2021 at 09:16:34
You're right on your assessment of what I said in terms of my interpretation of class Martin. I very much come at it from an opinion and instinct basis rather than definition.

I accept my schooling!! And that is meant lighthearted.

I think we agree in that the players mentioned are very good and playing at the highest level. And they will only get better in my opinion, especially if surrounded by better players as we and others have discussed.

Martin Mason
337 Posted 21/05/2021 at 10:02:31
Danny@342 I'm so glad that you have the class to appreciate the light heartedness of it.
Mick Conalty
339 Posted 21/05/2021 at 10:13:54
Colin, totally agree with your proposed changes to the team. Trouble is Carlo has stated in the past that he is happy with the players he has got. What he sees in Sigurdsson and Gomes... Christ knows.

Brands has also stated in the past that some of our players are the envy of the Top 6... 😄😄

Seems to me, Colin, you are pissing into the wind, sadly

Paul A Smith
340 Posted 21/05/2021 at 10:56:46
Martin, don't get your "apparent" poor standards confused with my desire to have real class in the team.
Martin Mason
341 Posted 21/05/2021 at 11:09:10
Paul @357,

A desire shared by all Evertonians – not just you. Please help me by defining what your "real class" is in a similar way to how I defined mine as applied to Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison; surely you don't just mean your opinion do you?

Justin Doone
342 Posted 21/05/2021 at 11:29:22
A win is always a good win. Not brilliant, not great but always good.

On Traore, he's like a 100m sprinter in a 400m event. Very dangerous at times but hasn't the stamina to last. He can't play 90mins, maybe he should work on his stamina and reduce the bulk, muscle weight.

For that reason alone I would rather we get Neto, a quick, clever, creative winger who can last 90mins.

From another thread I posted:

Pace is great but it's just one strength. We had Walcott, Bolasie and Niasse who all have pace and a fair bit of energy but they were pretty useless when it came to passing, crossing, shooting and general 'team play'.

How I'd love a Kanchelskis. A fairly simple player, no fancy tricks or overplay to make himself look good, he just did everything well. Direct, fast, strong, delivered passes, crosses and goals.

He was a great outlet for the midfielders and defender's to put early balls into space behind the opposition. James needs a player like that so he doesn't have to slow play down and get caught in possession.

Simms should stay at Blackpool (may soon be a championship team) or a similar league 1 team. He needs to learn playing real competitive football. He's probably learnt more in 5 months than the previous 18 playing against kids.

Kim Vivian
344 Posted 21/05/2021 at 12:20:13
Fancy this coming at you with no. 22 on his back when you've got the ball... ? Godfrey in the new kit...

https://www.enworld.org/attachments/40860-jpg.68947/

Roger Helm
345 Posted 21/05/2021 at 17:57:45
Danny 329 interesting comparison of Dom and Kane. Kane is at his peak now, whereas Dom is a lot younger. Kane is good at shooting from outside the box but Dom is better in the air. If Dom did what he did in the autumn i.e. stay nearer the goal, and if he took penalties, and if he played for a better team, I think their goal returns would be similar.

In any event, if our team doesn't improve significantly in the next twelve months, I can't see him staying here.

Danny O’Neill
346 Posted 21/05/2021 at 18:17:58
Kane reminds me more of Grahame Sharp Roger. He can do the in the box & in the air stuff but can also pull something out the bag from outside. "That" derby goal springs to mind as well as the countless headers and tap ins I witnessed him score. A complete striker if I ever saw one.

You're right though. Dominic can develop. He has improved this season in realising that he needed to improve the part of his game to be in the box to score goals. Maybe his next development step is to work on the outside the box aspect of being an all-round striker? I hope so. The lad has huge potential.

Paul A Smith
347 Posted 21/05/2021 at 18:49:53
Martin put your shovel away mate its petty now. You know quite well its a figure of speech so to speak when class is mentioned about a footballer.

To keep it realistic just think of the players labelled class over the years and what they have achieved. You'll find there isn't many Everton players in the same bracket I am afraid, but you bandy the word class whatever way you feel.

The last player I would have defined as class at Everton was Rooney because he pulled off things that most are not capable of ie chipping a keeper from 40 yards for his hat trick.

Obviously most of his class came at United and I believe only James in this squad is capable of shifting the ball with an element of class.

John McFarlane Snr
348 Posted 21/05/2021 at 19:08:38
Hi George [308] so pleased for you, and I'm looking forward to the next get-together, if it's in July I'll let you buy me a bottle of Guinness for my 83rd birthday, and with a bit of luck I'll return the compliment for your 83rd. Best wishes John.
Martin Mason
349 Posted 22/05/2021 at 09:39:19
Paul @347,

So, yes, you believe that class is whatever your biased opinion of it is? Opinion as fact, which I'm sure you will accept it certainly isn't. Surely, rather than have a purely opinionated view of what it is, then do as I do and use a clear and accepted dictionary definition of class, as I used the word and the English speaking world generally uses it.

Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are world class players and your personal opinion doesn't really change that. It's more a problem that you have rather than they have? The definition I used is easily applied to any player in an objective way which eliminates opinion completely. Isn't our language wonderful.

Justin Doone
350 Posted 22/05/2021 at 22:29:38
On the 'class' assessment, I use 'world class' only for the very best of the best. That's usually players that have played for 3 or more seasons at a top level league and / or consistently good performances at international level.

'Top class' I use for players playing at a consistently high level in a major league. The stand-out performers.

'World class' being Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe etc. Players that would improve almost any team.

Everton have no world class players because the only nominee is James who does not perform consistently and hasn't for a few seasons, mainly because of injury.

But he's certainly top class, along with Digne and Allan. That's it. We have ex-top class players that are not at the level they were: Coleman, Sigurdsson, Mina.

For me, Richarlison and Dom are just below that level due to inconsistency but, at 23, both have time and the determination to improve.

Brendan McLaughlin
351 Posted 22/05/2021 at 23:36:01
Martin #349,

You've used one dictionary definition of class which is about grading types of bannana. Class on the football field is like beauty in the eye of the beholder. We all see it differently?


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