Ancelotti: We were lucky but deserved the win

Thursday, 4 March, 2021 86comments  |  Jump to last

Carlo Ancelotti admitted that Everton were perhaps fortunate to come away with all three points from the Hawthorns this evening but suggested his team earned their good fortune for their work at the back.

The Blues recorded their third win in a row and their seventh win in nine away games to briefly move into fourth place in the table before Chelsea moved back above them with a win at Liverpool in the later game.

Ancelotti said that he expected a tough game from Sam Allardyce's side who are trying to pull off a miraculous escape from relegation but that the Toffees' preparations paid off.

“We were well prepared,” the Italian told Sky Sports' Geoff Shreeves. “We didn't concede a lot of opportunities until they scored at the end when they were offside. There we were lucky but sometimes you have to be lucky to win games.

“For the effort that [West Brom] put on the pitch, I think they deserved a better result but the game was in balance. It was a good game with a lot of intensity but we won because we were better defensively.”

Ancelotti's introduction of Allan and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the second half ultimately proved pivotal, with the Brazilian adding more steel in midfield and the Icelandic star providing the winner for Richarlison with a wonderful curling cross after his initial corner had been headed back to him by Mbaye Diagne.

“[I wanted] to add more solidity in midfield,” he explained regarding the two subs. “I think Allan put his tactical quality there and Sigurdsson also. They were a little bit tired from the game we played on Monday so I wanted to give them a rest but they played 30 minutes and they were really efficient.”

Ancelotti repeated a similar assessment of the game to the BBC and was also able to laugh about the incident immediately prior to the goal where he insisted that Lucas Digne stand down and allow Sigurdsson to take an in-swinging corner.

“It was [a] really hard [game], really difficult but we knew that before. The Premier League is like this — West Brom is a team that puts a lot of strength on the pitch, a lot of fight, a lot of long balls, a lot of spirit so we needed to be ready and we were ready.

“We are satisfied because we have good momentum, we've kept three consecutive clean sheets, defensively we are strong and, of course, up front we have quality on set-pieces and the counter-attack. So if we defend well, we can find a solution in the end.

“Gylfi is a fantastic deliverer of the ball and I had the fight with Digne because he wanted to take the corner but at the end it went well. With an in-swinging ball, we are dangerous.”


Post-match press conference comments

On Richarlison:

“[I]t's great to have him back because after the first part of the season when he was not [playing] like how he is now,” Ancelotti said of Richarlison during his post-match press conference. “It's very important because he's a top striker and we have a couple up front who are really dangerous and effective.

On Jordan Pickford:

“I think he is doing well because I rotated him and I took a little bit of pressure of him. He is doing well. [Robin] Olsen is injured but when he comes back, I think he can play a few games to keep Jordan fresh and good like he is in this moment.

On Josh King:

“I think he has adapted really well and now he is working with the team and new players. For sure he is going to play until the end pf the season. He's an important part of our squad — he didn't start but he has played in all the games.”

On the battle for 4th:

“We are fighting for the European places. We have worked really hard to be there and now we have to do a little bit more. We have to step up a little bit. More sacrifice is needed because the position now is good but unfortunately it is not the end of the season.

“I feel good. If I look at the table, I am really happy. There are two problems: First, I don't know how long it will be [for] and, second, unfortunately the season did not finish today. So we are pleased to be there but we know we have to fight.

“At the start of the season, no one would say after 26 games that Everton would be int he top four or top five. So this is well deserved by my team because they are working really well.

“I don't know if people are underestimating us. To finish in the top four would be a dream because it's a step in the careers of everyone. Most of these players haven't played one game in the Champions League but we are there in the fight. We are happy to be there but for the fight you need to sacrifice.”

On international travel for World Cup qualifiers:

“Honestly, I haven't thought about it. But, yes, if [the players] have to quarantine then I would prefer to keep them here. The schedule is so busy so if there is a possibility I think we have to keep them here, safe.”

 

Reader Comments (86)

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Martin Berry
1 Posted 05/03/2021 at 08:21:46
Considering how difficult the Premier League is, this was a great result from a potential banana skin. You can understand why Carlo is known as the Professor as he tactically seems to find a way, even if it's not always pretty.

I can't wait to see the team sheet for the Chelsea game, they were superb against the Dark Side. There is no doubt we will be hard to beat but, if we don't pass the ball better, then we are going to be in for a very long and hard night.

Stan Schofield
2 Posted 05/03/2021 at 09:16:39
We were most definitely not lucky, but won because we were better for the reasons Ancelotti gave. Now let’s beat Chelsea.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
3 Posted 05/03/2021 at 09:20:39
Why is ToffeeWeb showing the League table from 2nd to 8th?

Surely it should be just the top 6? ;-)

Michael Lynch
4 Posted 05/03/2021 at 09:50:55
Six pointer against Chelsea. Win that and we really could dream of a top four finish. I think we've been very lucky this season - little things have gone our way, and we've tended to play clubs at the right time. That's the way it goes though. The RS were lucky last season and look where it took them, considering how dire they look in an unlucky season. No team is as good as they look when everything is going their way, or as bad as they look when the opposite applies.
Bill Fairfield
5 Posted 05/03/2021 at 09:55:26
Carlo summary of the fight for the top four is spot on.
Mark Burton
6 Posted 05/03/2021 at 10:14:59
Klopp must look at the table now and then maybe after his stupid comment about he can't believe that Liverpool is on the same points as a small club like Everton he will see that Merseyside is blue and belongs to Carlo
Rob Halligan
7 Posted 05/03/2021 at 10:40:45
Have to disagree with Carlo’s comment about being “lucky” when they had the goal disallowed for offside.

We didn't concede a lot of opportunities until they scored at the end when they were offside. There we were lucky but sometimes you have to be lucky to win games.

I don’t think it was lucky at all. If VAR didn’t exist then the goal would have still been given offside as the linesman flagged, and nothing further would have been said. Besides, it was clearly offside, close, and a bit more than the two millimetres Allardyce is claiming it to be, but definitely offside.

Alun Jones
8 Posted 05/03/2021 at 11:05:39
Actually it’s victories like this one that all the top teams churn out in a season. Not much fluidity but we found a way to win and that’s all that matters at this stage in the season. Better we are in top gear for the Chelsea game than this WBA one.
Tony Everan
9 Posted 05/03/2021 at 11:20:28
Top 4 fight

The defence has been largely watertight. 3 clean sheets on the bouncy is fantastic work by our defenders and keeper.

Up front, Dominic is working his nuts off as usual for the team, Richarlison is finding top form.

It’s the midfield that will make or break our challenge. We need Allan, Doucoure and Tom Davies fit to provide a rock solid stable midfield with a bit of class about it. Gomes can step in but I weakens us a little.

Then we need James Rodriguez to be fully fit charged and committed to deliver. Sigurdsson to his credit has been far better of late and could even mitigate any loss of James.

If these core players are fully fit we have a great chance.

Keith Slinger
10 Posted 05/03/2021 at 11:59:30
As the old saying goes: "It's a sign of a good team when they play badly, but grind out a win"?
Neil Lawson
11 Posted 05/03/2021 at 12:17:51
Through dint of circumstances it would appear that there is a degree of unanimity as to the best team selection. The current back 5. Allan, Doucouré and Davies. James (Siggy, if James not available) and DCL and Richarlison.
If I am correct in my assumptions then little point in pre match debate !! We will have to spend the time instead, ticking off the odd item on her "to do" list that has been stuck to the fridge since the first lockdown.
ToffeeWeb without controversy ? Unheard of !!
Andrew Keatley
12 Posted 05/03/2021 at 14:57:50
Rob (7) - I think Carlo showed great humility in accepting that luck played a part in the victory. There is an element of luck in every tight offside decision, and I’d rather we had a manager who acknowledged that than someone like Allardyce who regularly shows a general lack of grace and humility. When decisions come down to a few centimetres then you must embrace the good fortune when you get it.
Jay Harris
13 Posted 05/03/2021 at 15:29:38
What a contrast between Carlo and Allardyce.

One is class the other one is crass.

Barry Rathbone
14 Posted 05/03/2021 at 16:05:27
Barry Rathbone
15 Posted 05/03/2021 at 16:05:34
What an opportunity to rebound the Sam Allardyce jibe that his lack of a foreign sounding name prevents him getting more respect.

To see Carlo start his post match interview in a Lancashire accent saying - "my name is Carl Arkwright and I LOVE mash and peas " would have been sublime

Brent Stephens
16 Posted 05/03/2021 at 16:16:27
Barry, "What an opportunity to rebound the Sam Allardyce jibe that his lack of a foreign sounding name prevents him getting more respect."

Sam always has the opportunity to change his name by deed poll. Perhaps Sama L'Ardyce (complete with matelot tee shirt, black beret, a string of onions draped over the shoulder, a Gauloises ciggy hanging out of the side of the mouth, and gallic shrug).

Merde!

Nicolas Piñon
17 Posted 05/03/2021 at 16:56:37
If we don’t get Coleman and Davies back for Monday I believe we will suffer more than we did yesterday night
Anyway, we’ll play a very good team on a high so dropping points may happen anyway. But we can’t go to Stamford bridge and start with Bernard and expect good things I think. We need a Coleman style player, with the desire and commitment he has as a captain. It’ll be a tough one for sure. Tougher than the last three. But our team is full of confidence so anything is possible If we get some player back. These three latest results are much more than we expected; I hope the players don’t think like that and they play the game of their lives. Wouldn’t be surprised if they do. Sky blue sky.
Rob Halligan
18 Posted 05/03/2021 at 18:09:33
Just been watching the press conference for the game with Chelsea on Monday. Are the squad already down in London, as the press conference took place at West Brom's ground. I think they travelled straight down to London after the game last night. Maybe another wise decision by Carlo. I know West Bromwich is not really that far in terms of coach travel, about 1.5 - 2 hours max, and the team could have been back on Merseyside by 11pm last night. Under normal circumstances, I assume today would have been a rest day for the team, train tomorrow then travel down to London on Sunday. So I guess it makes sense to travel straight down to London last night, rest day today, then two days of light training on Saturday and Sunday.
Billy Roberts
19 Posted 05/03/2021 at 18:24:23
Michael @4, Alun @8
Excellent posts, I totally agree.
As Alun says, generally successful teams will have some ugly wins, spawny draws and undeserved wins and draws..it happens every year, we just don't pay attention to the other 19 teams enough.
Let's not beat ourselves up too much about 3 wins our of 3 and no goals conceded.
Rob Hooton
20 Posted 05/03/2021 at 19:18:55
Carlo comes across so well, he is very likeable and my Chelsea mates down here still absolutely love him.
Great season so far, with our away form we can go and fight for the win at Chelsea and keep on dreaming!
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

21 Posted 05/03/2021 at 19:38:02
Personally, I think in his post-match comments Carlo was being his usual gracious self. Scratch the surface of his comments and it reveals he believes we won on merit.

Win or lose, you will always hear him being generous in his praise of not only his players and his team, but also the opposition. Something you seldom, if ever, hear from the likes of Klopp or - as was very evident last night - Allardyce.

Yes, he said perhaps WBA deserved something from a game that was intense and in the balance. BUT! We won because we were better defensively.

Contrast that to the fellah on the other side going on...and on...and on about the penalty they should have been rewarded. I honestly couldn't recall the incident he was claiming was a nailed on pen until I watched back the highlights.

I guess he must have been referring to the follow up play from Jordan's amazing save in the opening minutes when Mason came together with Diagne.

There was absolutely nobody claiming it as a pen. On the pitch or the match commentators at the time. They didn't give it a second glance.

The only time in his tenure at Everton when I have heard Carlo publicly rebuke the team (never an individual player: even last night he talked up Iwobi's woeful performance) was following the Newcastle game. A rebuke well-merited.

Every pre-match presser, every post-match interview, he only speaks favourably about each and every individual player. It must be such a fillup to hear a manager of Carlo's standing speak in praise of you.

I'm really looking forward to who he selects and how he sets us up against Chelsea on Monday.

Proper manager.

Ian Riley
22 Posted 05/03/2021 at 21:03:17
The difference was quality. Everton have been on the receiving end years gone by. That little bit of magic or great cross is the difference. On work rate west brom won but that doesn't get three points.

Against lower league opposition we don't work hard enough. It might be the wrong attitude or team selection but missing out on top four won't be due to results against Chelsea or Liverpool.

If the team really believe top four is possible they must work harder. Against west brom we gave them to much space, taking risks and relying on lady luck based on their lack of quality. The work rate is improving as the results have shown but the is more to do before dreams become reality.

Si Cooper
23 Posted 05/03/2021 at 23:15:56
Rob H (7 and 18) - not picking on you but your posts have piqued my interest.
I would say we were lucky for the offside goal simply because the attacker has put himself offside. Ben Godfrey doesn’t know he is there because Mason Holgate moved to play Diagne offside seemingly without making sure his team mate was on the same page. All Diagne had to do was give himself a bit of a cushion against being offside and he still gets exactly the same opportunity to convert. Poor play by the attacker.
You may be right that our squad moved straight on to London but how would that work for accommodation and training facilities? Surely our players and support staff would need to isolate. I’m not aware of hotel staff being safe to mix with and would presume we cannot use another clubs training facilities despite the fact that players mix on the pitch during the games.
Rob Halligan
24 Posted 05/03/2021 at 23:49:12
Si, your second paragraph tells me why we weren’t lucky................. . “I would say we were lucky for the offside goal simply because the attacker has put himself offside”.

The attacker put himself offside. How we interpret luck is a matter of opinion, but to me that’s not luck, that’s poor thinking on the forwards behalf, he should be thinking about keeping himself onside, very difficult I know to think like that in a split second. You could say, or rather Allardyce could say, they were unlucky with the disallowed goal. At the end of the day, the attacker was clearly offside, so not lucky for us, but more poor judgment by the attacker.

Regarding the squad staying down in London since Thursday night. I only say this because, to me, the Ancelotti press conference for the Chelsea game was clearly carried out in front of one of those advertising boards players and managers do interviews in front of, and the one behind Ancelotti was one used at West Brom. It has their main sponsor “Ideal Boilers” all over it, the same way we have “Cazoo”. It just seemed strange to do a press conference in front of that board. Also I think Carlo normally does his press conference with a tracksuit on, yet he was wearing his Mac for this one, the one he appeared to wear for the game last night. Of course, I might have it all wrong, and the team came back to Merseyside last night. I also totally agree with what you’re saying about self isolation, using other clubs training facilities etc.

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 05/03/2021 at 23:57:00
Poor judgment as Rob says. Worked in our favour.
Andrew Keatley
26 Posted 06/03/2021 at 00:12:55
Rob (24) - Maybe we were lucky that Diagne showed “poor judgement”?

All if this offside VAR stuff is probably going to get interesting and confusing all over again soon enough as IFAB have agreed to trial a new directive that Arsenal Wenger came up with, which proposes that “a player should be deemed onside if any part of them that can legally score a goal is in line with the second-last defender.”

Si Cooper
27 Posted 06/03/2021 at 01:55:45
Some people have a weirdly constrained definition of what is ‘luck’. Don’t know why other peoples poor decision making wouldn’t be considered lucky for us if it presented the advantage to us without us having to correct a mistake we had made.
We gifted Diagne with a comfortable zone blindside of the one defender who was initially playing him on and goalside of the other defenders. We were lucky he messed up his advantage by straying marginally offside.
Rob Halligan
28 Posted 06/03/2021 at 09:05:04
For me, luck is like the goal Wolves scored against Leeds the other week. A shot from Traore hits the woodwork, rebounds out and hits the Leeds goalie on the head and goes into the net. Now that is luck. You can’t get any luckier. I just don’t think the West Brom goal being disallowed for offside was lucky for us. Is fortunate a better word, or is fortunate the same as luck?

Ever had one of those moments when you know what you want to say, but can’t put it into words? Well this is one of those moments for me!

Stan Schofield
29 Posted 06/03/2021 at 09:55:07
Si@26: People have different ways of viewing luck, and a different view is simply that, different, not weird. Chance, luck, likelihood, probability, happenstance, all terms that invite different views. Whatever the view, luck boils down to factors beyond our control. Such factors are always there, that’s self-evident. But when someone says we were lucky to win the game against WBA, I think they are not portraying the big picture. The big picture is that, overall, WBA did not really threaten us, we were pretty much in control, playing well below what we can do, and it was a comfortable and deserved win. In this respect, the big picture, we were not lucky.
Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 06/03/2021 at 11:49:19
Stan(29), “ we were pretty much in control, playing well below what we can do, and it was comfortable and deserved win” that’s your view of the game, fair enough.

I thought WBA had has many chances as us, don’t think our defensive play is organised and under control, we are forced back because the midfield is not strong or good enough still every game give the ball away, under little pressure, and put the opposing team on the attack, of course luck has paid a part in the last two games, a great save off Pickford on one and the complete failure of Pickford and the defence to stop the goal versus WBA, the players failure to stop his toe going too far saved us, not good play, WBA deserved a point from that game, I’m glad they didn’t and I hope we keep getting the run of the ball and scoring the goals that keep us in contention for the top four will keep me happy.

But to say we are playing well, which we did in the Derby game to an extent, and luck hasn’t played a part doesn’t fit in with what I’ve been watching, but keep the same results coming. Just my own honest opinion.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

31 Posted 06/03/2021 at 11:58:34
Wot Stan said.

We haven't 'got lucky' with any of our results this season. All our wins have been fully merited on the metric of the football played and the tactics employed.

We didn't 'ride our luck' v WBA. Other than Jordan's fantastic adjustment and save to Diagne's slow looping header in the opening two minutes, the only 'saves' he was obliged to make were from powder puff shots outside the area.

We didn't get 'a stroke of luck' on their disallowed goal. Their player was caught offside stepping beyond our defensive line. VAR only confirmed the infringement already flagged in real time by the lino.

We are not winning games 'more by luck than judgement'. We are winning games because the manager and his coaching staff have drilled and schooled a solid defence over hundreds of hours on the training ground, tied in to effective counter-attacking.

I can't recall any goal this season we have 'lucked out' on. I can recall many a goal scored with sharp incisive counter-attacking, passing and clinical finishing.

We didn't score v WBA due to 'a stroke of luck'. We scored because the manager subbed in Siggy, insisted he took the corner instead of Digne which led to Richy's goal.

I repeat what I wrote earlier. Carlo's post-match comments were him being typically gracious, in victory or defeat. He expressed sympathy to WBA, but he also clearly believed on the balance of play that we fully merited the win:

'We didn't concede a lot of opportunities until they scored at the end when they were offside...the game was in balance. It was a good game with a lot of intensity but we won because we were better defensively.'

Brian Harrison
32 Posted 06/03/2021 at 12:14:48
I see the governing body have decided that they wont allow fans to hear the conversations that take place between the on field Referee and the VAR official. So its OK for Rugby fans of both codes to hear what the ref and the VAR are debating and Cricket and Tennis fans but not football fans WHY?

Watching football now we cant celebrate a goal because we have to wait to see if VAR want to look to see if there is any reason why it can be chalked off. I admit before VAR came along when we scored I always looked to the linesman to make sure he didn't have his flag raised before I celebrated. But that took a second to check the goal would stand. Also now we see some linesmen reluctant to raise the flag and wait till the VAR official confirms it was offside. So the main purpose of the linesmen is greatly diminished and now it seems he only rules on throw ins.

Seems that the people making the rules want to take all decisions or as many as they can out of the hands of the on field officials. So VAR which we were told was for clear and obvious mistakes has become nothing of the sort, its now taken over every aspect so much so that now VAR are deciding who should be sent off, rather than the on field ref. I read that the accidental hand ball by Fulham that resulted in a goal but was ruled illegal will from June not be illegal. Its no wonder nobody understands the rules of the game anymore their even making changes in mid season.

Martin Mason
33 Posted 06/03/2021 at 12:23:56
Luck is the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities. Virtually everything quoted above as indicating luck for Everton is anything but luck as they happened absolutely as the result of our own efforts. The reality of course is that there is no force of luck, it doesn't exist. Events happen purely naturally with various probabilities of occurrence.
Ian Jones
34 Posted 06/03/2021 at 12:27:51
HI Jay, whilst I generally agree with your comments about luck, I believe we were fortunate that we got a penalty in the match against Palace when Digne headed the ball against Ward. Helped win the game. Not sure how we were playing that day so it could be that without the pen we were doing enough to win anyway!
Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 06/03/2021 at 12:48:36
Jay (31), you are a good Evertonian, no doubt about, but you watch Everton through blue tinted glasses, just one goal off the top of my head where luck played a part, when Digne hit a great shot, which unluckily hit the post then very luckily hit Richarlison on the knee and into the net, he knew nothing about it.

Martin, luck happened against WBA when the team did nothing but stand still while the ball went over them and back to the West Brom player who scored, luckily he had strayed offside, the distance doesn’t matter, what matters was the defence was very poor and got away with it and the hours and hours of training at Finch Farm didn’t work,I don’t see much of effective counter attacking either, but plenty of slow, and very slow build ups, unless they are going the other way, much quicker playing the ball backwards to the over worked Pickford, I bet his thighs need a good massage every day with all that kicking.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

36 Posted 06/03/2021 at 12:56:16
Dave, that one goal off the top of your head is the best example you can come up with of a 'lucky' Everton goal? Kinda confirms what I said. How many well-crafted goals Everton has scored this season, rather than lucky scrappy ones.

If you want to talk about luck, could it not be argued that Digne was unlucky his shot didn't ricochet off the post and into the net, rather than back on to Richy who was Johnny onthe spot having made the run to try and get on the end of Digne's cross-cum-shot?

Rob Halligan
37 Posted 06/03/2021 at 13:04:17
Jay, the goal Dave refers too, against Man City, backs up what I posted earlier on about a "lucky goal". The one scored by Wolves against Leeds when a shot from Traore hit the woodwork, bounced out onto the Leeds goalie, hit his head and went back into the net. Now that's a lucky goal, you can't get much luckier. The West Brom "goal" was not lucky for us because the player who scored was offside, poor defending or not, he was simply offside!
Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 06/03/2021 at 13:13:29
Jay (36), no that was after reading your post, then seconds later describing the Everton goal, I'd already said “when Digne hit a great shot which unluckily hit the post”.

Jay we are both happy Everton are getting through these games, we see them very differently, I think you watch Everton through blue-tinted glasses, Royal Blue, to be honest and many will think “what's wrong with that” fair enough, I think we are riding our luck, what's wrong with that?

What can't be argued about is, if those two games v Southampton and West Brom had been draws, which they both could have been on the balance of play, throughout the game, then the posts on both threads of those games would have entirely different, and there would have quite a lot more posts.

Tony Abrahams
39 Posted 06/03/2021 at 13:14:02
Have you ever been late for a train and just got on because you haven't had time to buy a ticket?

Being lucky is when you get caught by a decent clippy, who believes you when you tell him your story!

Being unlucky is when you meet a jobs-worth, who goes by the rules, and doesn't want to believe what you're telling him.

Everton won, a great result, but what a boring game of football, was my own honest view of the game.

Dale Self
40 Posted 06/03/2021 at 13:22:37
This is approaching “if my aunt had a unit...” If you wish to call it 'luck' when there was no question of the flag or call, then you will get countless counter-examples in response.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

41 Posted 06/03/2021 at 13:25:34
Dave, you (and others) can keep pushing the 'what if' line as much as you like to be revisionist on Everton wins that 'were'. I'll continue to enjoy the positive results, ta very much, no matter how they come.

'On the balance of play' Everton, it could be argued on the number of chances created, have won more comfortably v Southampton. Against WBA it was again Everton who, beside our legitimate goal, had more genuine chances inside their penalty area.

I am not 'blinded', as you are trying to infer, that I only see the good in Everton. My half-time and post-match comments consistently show I take an objective, not a partisan subjective view of proceedings, when watching Everton.

Peter Warren
42 Posted 06/03/2021 at 13:35:28
There's no doubt our best results (other than Man Utd away) have been when we have been sound defensively. I don't think any of the 1-0s could be described as lucky. Pickford has had some good games, some poor games – same with Olsen.

The only game I remember when our goal has been peppered was Leeds at home and we lost that one and it was an odd game as we had many chances too.

Clearly, it would be nice to play better like we were at the outset of the season but, since our blip, Ancelotti changed to being hard to beat and that's resulted in many 3 points and whilst it may not be pretty long may it continue.

The downside is we will lose some by the odd goal if not creative. Personally, I hope, after Chelsea away, we try and be a bit more creative.

John Keating
43 Posted 06/03/2021 at 13:46:58
Brian,

The whole issue of VAR needs a serious look at. Personally, I'd bin it completely but I know it will now never happen as those in power have decided to introduce it and will not turn.

Someone will get seriously injured with VAR as it stands.

In an obvious offside decision the linesman does not raise his flag until the move is complete. What happens whilst this move continues someone gets tackled and gets a serious injury? All because the play is allowed to continue. Ridiculous!

Martin Mason
44 Posted 06/03/2021 at 14:28:18
Dave @35.

Please see my dictionary definition of 'luck' and the reality that there's actually no such thing.

In the incident vs West Brom that you quote Everton were playing within the rules trying to stop West Brom from scoring, which we did as they broke the laws. No "luck" involved at any time; the outcome was a valid outcome of random play. Even the rebound in from the goalie on the line wasn't luck, the ball rebounding off the bar was exactly what it can do and the goalie being on that spot was exactly correct.

The ball rebounding into the net was not only an event which could happen but it did. Just a low-probability happening as they sometimes do. If luck is real, what is it? A force? Some kind of spirit? A field? How did it make the ball go in off the goalie? Belief in luck is superstition, surely?

Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 06/03/2021 at 14:49:42
Jay (I’m enjoying the results as much as you, hope we both keep on enjoying them, the performances are dire to watch mostly, still get the three points, Jay keep on seeing only the good side of Everton, I’ll continue to watch both sides of the team and talk about them.

Martin, never mind the dictionary, watch the replay, Everton defenders did nothing, stood there, never tried to stop them scoring, Keane never even jumped, which might have put their player off, he was still standing there with three or four Everton defenders still standing there when the WBA player stuck it in the net, give them their due two or three of them moved into action, throwing their hands up appealing for offside, brilliant reactions coming alive like that, but that’s football, luck or no luck, hope they get the same result at Chelsea. COYB

Kevin Molloy
46 Posted 06/03/2021 at 14:54:09
He's just a class act, isn't he. I think we've watched enough managers by now to know when somebody is in charge who knows what they are doing. Last 15 games, other than Man City, we've got more points than anyone, that's whilst playing Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool. You have to fancy us now for the Champions League, cos it's not just one place up for grabs, if we win our game in hand we are two points off 2nd. Man Utd and Leicester City aren't exactly looking unstoppable are they.

What's also amazing is the feel-good factor he's generated. The buzz around the club at the moment, that' we are a team other teams need to worry about, we've not had that in a generation. Even under Moyes, good sides we've always 'known our place'. Not under this chap. These days, Guardiola releases statements saying he wants to be more like the Everton manager. What a great time to be a blue.

Andy Crooks
47 Posted 06/03/2021 at 14:54:42
Martin, luck or coincidence, fate or whatever you call it is very hard to nail with a dictionary. A fairly common greeting is "how's your luck". Now that is not an enquiry into how someone is connecting with their superstitious beliefs.

Luck and the concept of it is subjective and like humour doesn't really lend itself to analysis.

I won a bet by West Brom beating Brighton. I consider that WBA were very lucky winners and I shared that luck. If the word was replaced by, say, "fortunate" would that change things?

It is a very fine line between winning and deserving to win. I thought WBA absolutely did not deserve to beat Brighton so how did their victory come about? Lucky?

I think we just about deserved to beat WBA and if we beat Chelsea 1-0 with a similar performance I will have my view confirmed that good defending often looks frantic and that looking like we are hanging on is by choice.

Rob Halligan
48 Posted 06/03/2021 at 15:01:19
Having just watched the Burnley v Arsenal game, I think Burnley got extremely lucky at the end with regards the Arsenal penalty. The ball was deflected onto the bar by Erik Pieters and the referee awarded a penalty and a straight red card. Had VAR not been in existence, then the penalty and red card would have stood. Arsenal of course, still would have needed to score the penalty, thus denying Burnley a point. The linesman would have had no influence whatsoever on the penalty decision. So Burnley were lucky because of VAR. The ball clearly struck Pieters on the shoulder, so no penalty and red card rescinded.

The big difference with regards to the West Brom offside goal was that the linesman flagged for offside, which was confirmed by VAR, but again, if VAR didn't exist, that goal would still have been offside because of the linesman flagging.

Graham Mockford
49 Posted 06/03/2021 at 15:40:14
Martin @44,

Well, on a philosophical level, 'luck' of course does exist.

On a mathematical level, any event can be described as lucky or unlucky if it is improbable. So Traore's goal which hits the crossbar and rebounds off the keeper into the goal is definitely lucky or unlucky depending on your viewpoint.

Martin Mason
50 Posted 06/03/2021 at 15:40:40
Andy @47,

So 'luck' is purely a subjective concept? It isn't real – otherwise, we'd find it somewhere and how is it transmitted and how is it received and turned into action?

Surely superstition from an age when low-frequency events weren't thought possible without an external influence, such as God or Luck?

For me, when the idea is to win the game that luck can ever be a reason that this is achieved?

Brian Murray
51 Posted 06/03/2021 at 15:46:58
Well, that lady has been loyal and served them shower to the hilt for decades so nice to know she's spreading it about now for a change!!
Dale Self
52 Posted 06/03/2021 at 15:49:46
Luck is a conceptual device by which Everton’s results can be discounted, end of.
Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 06/03/2021 at 16:15:55
Kevin@46 has got it right. Let's talk about the spirit that is being developed in the squad by Ancelotti and Ferguson. Godfrey mentioned how good it is, how it's hopefully going to help the players through some very difficult fixtures, and this will be really needed, because every team in the Premier League, bar City, look like they are feeling the pace of these very condensed games.

If you're an Everton player, and you hear the manager say this is “my team” because they've got a tremendous will, and loads of spirit, then it should only make you feel even better about yourself.

So hopefully the players can get something at Chelsea, before we go back to mostly playing only one game a week.

Gavin McGarvey
54 Posted 06/03/2021 at 16:30:53
With so many games to go, it's too early to be talking about a top four finish. That being said, if we win our game in hand, then I think a lot of the teams around us will see us as a threat to their own ambitions, and will be both more wary and aggressive towards us.

How that will affect us is anyone's guess, but I imagine it'll be the making or breaking of us. I think we have reason to be cautiously optimistic. The players are young and hungry, and they seem to respect Ancelloti.

Also, as Coleman pointed out, they aren't caught up in the past; this club is very much about their own careers right not, and less of a stepping stone than it was in the past.

Regarding the match, one look at the table tells you how important that win was. Also regarding the luck thing, we were a bit lucky, though I think the forward who was caught offside made a small error there. You can see an Everton player run out from the back to catch him offside just before the ball is played.

As for the penalty call, those things are very frustrating when you don't get them, but he had his back to goal and didn't really have full control of the ball, they never give those. It's not on the highlights, so I'm relying on memory. I thought the main difference was Richarlison. He's a player with a bit of class about him (as does Calvert-Lewin who'll be kicking himself for not scoring in that game), and I think the frustrating thing for West Brom is that Diagne isn't quite as good as either of them.

Ian Bennett
55 Posted 06/03/2021 at 16:52:21
You make your own luck in this world. Anchelotti is a serial winner that manages games to get the job done. Football is a simple game, and he's seems to distill it into simple messages that players buy into.

What impresses me most is that he's not rigid on systems. He makes the decision to win the game. He's a sly old fox that would make it hard for a rival manager to plan for. Whilst he's able to change our team set up in game to make a real difference.

Back him in the transfer window over the next 2 windows, and we might have a team worth talking about.

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 06/03/2021 at 16:55:17
Well, I think we are all very lucky to have ToffeeWeb, where we can debate, learn, learn quite a lot in fact. Agree, disagree, go back to the past, with football and many other subjects, get in touch with other fans all over the world at a seconds notice and many happy hours, sometimes(!!), passing the time away.

The only snag is that fuckin' wordchecker! I'm sure he takes the piss out of me with some of the words he replaces mine with, or does that happen to everyone?

Anyway another win on Monday will keep us all happy, I think!!!

Stan Schofield
57 Posted 06/03/2021 at 17:02:50
My take on 'luck' is this: Suppose that one of two events can happen, A and B, with A favourable to me and B favourable to someone else. If A happens with the help of influences beyond our control, then I might say I am lucky and the other person unlucky. But if event B occurs, then it's the other way round, with me unlucky and B lucky.

That's all we mean by 'luck'. It's just a shorthand for saying something happened or didn't happen, influenced by factors beyond our control, that was or was not favourable to me.

In this respect, saying we were 'lucky' is just another way of stating that the particular event favourable to us happened. And in this sense, it conveys no information, since we already know that the event occurred. So talking about 'luck' is futile, because it gives no insights into any systematic reasons for sequences of events being favourable or unfavourable to us.

All we can currently say with any real meaning is that we're playing well enough to be where we are in the table, through a combination of the talents of the players we have and the management of Ancelotti and his assistants. Any other statements, on the quality of our football and contributions of individual players, are purely subjective and emotional based on our aims as Evertonians.

Just enjoy where we are, because we've certainly had enough experience of not enjoying where we are!

Martin Mason
58 Posted 06/03/2021 at 17:03:11
Agreed, Dave, I believe that we have a chance on Monday given our away form, far better than if we were at home. We will need to make our own luck by working hard. What a result if we can get one.

Correct, Stan. Luck is a word that can be used to describe an unlikely event which works to our favour or more likely which somebody else uses to describe the event. We're never lucky ourselves. Interesting word .

Rob Halligan
59 Posted 06/03/2021 at 17:40:43
Wish I hadn't started this bloody luck stuff off now. What the fuck is Stan on about?

I still reckon we weren't lucky with the West Brom disallowed goal though!!!

Dale Self
60 Posted 06/03/2021 at 17:42:06
Good stuff there and above Stan. The randomness and lack of known bias means it is noise basically. Kind of a weird term. Maybe one of the wordsmiths can give us the etymology.
Stan Schofield
61 Posted 06/03/2021 at 17:44:07
Ro @59: I wish to fuck I knew!

Dale @60: Exactly, it's noise. What we want is the signal, not the noise. The signal has been that we've been mediocre for too long, and now the signal is that we seem to finally be getting somewhere. We need to forget the noise.

Martin Mason
62 Posted 06/03/2021 at 17:46:48
Perfect, Dale and Stan, thank you very much. No intention of being picky but 'luck' is a word I hate seeing us accused of. Was it Gary Player who said that "The harderI work in practice, the luckier I get"? That is real luck.
Kevin Prytherch
63 Posted 06/03/2021 at 17:47:18
Thomas Jefferson: I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

That’s why Utd get lots of lucky penalties - because they spend time in the oppositions box.

That’s why we get a few pieces of luck defensively - because we obviously work hard at keeping organised.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 06/03/2021 at 17:55:56
I think I'll put this here because people are arguing about luck, and although I wouldn't normally pass on unsubstantiated gossip:

I've just had a text saying Doucouré has got an ankle problem, and was wondering if anybody else had heard such a rumour?

Brent Stephens
65 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:09:15
“Etymology”?! Where did that come from?
Dennis Stevens
66 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:12:37
Brent #65,

Apparently, the etymology of etymology itself is relatively straightforward. Etymon means "origin of a word" in Latin, and comes from the Greek word etymon, meaning "literal meaning of a word according to its origin." Greek etymon in turn comes from etymos, which means "true". :-)

Neil Copeland
67 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:14:48
My head hurts, I need to lie down in a dark room.
Neil Copeland
68 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:18:12
And tomorrow I am going to write to the Oxford English Dictionary and insist that the words “lucky” and “unlucky” be removed and banished forever because both obviously mean absolutely naff all.
Mike Gaynes
69 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:22:29
Neil #69, good luck with that.
Neil Copeland
70 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:30:04
Mike #69, noooooo!

Actually, if I include a copy of this thread, they may just agree!

Stan Schofield
71 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:34:17
Another thing on luck, Re the RS. They effectively keep saying that they’re unlucky this season. The reasons are numerous, and include empty stadia, winds, cold feet, injuries, biased VAR, and too many games. The trouble with this claim is that it’s desperate and unconvincing.

There is a systemic reason for their state this season, and I have red mates who say so. It’s because Klopp has had a Plan A which has worked up to this season. But Plan A is no longer working, and he doesn’t have a Plan B. He’s tried other plans in knee-jerk ways, but they don’t work. Only Plan A worked, but it no longer does, so they’re simply shite.

But Klopp won’t say this, and instead retreats to claim ‘bad luck’. That is never a good idea, and ultimately fools nobody.

Similarly, it’s never a good idea for us Evertonians to put any circumstances favourable to us down to luck, just as it would never have been a good idea to explain our past failures on bad luck.

There are reasons why we win games, systematic ones, and we need to recognise that and say so.

Martin Mason
72 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:37:55
Nei @68, the words exist but only if you believe in that which can't and doesn't exist. God is in the dictionary, as is the tooth fairy.

I believe that we're going to get some luck for next season with the return of Gbamin, a new player we've just bought.

John Pendleton
73 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:52:46
Stan (71) Agree it’s the system letting them down. Ask Villa who sussed it out and stuck 7 past VVD’s defence. Bad luck can be ascribed to an individual player or an incident, but not 11 players for the last quarter of the season so far.

Btw read this on Twitter:

The fella at Anfield who presses the goal noise button has been furloughed.

Is it petty to wish for one more successive home defeat so grinning blues can raise 6 fingers back to them for eternity?

Stephen Brown
74 Posted 06/03/2021 at 18:58:05
Good managers are always lucky! Funny that!

We didn't play that well but I certainly think we were worthy of the 3 points!

Looking forward to Carlo and the team hopefully banishing another dismal away record (at Stamford Bridge) on Monday like we did at Anfield! Then there are 3 winnable games and the FA Cup Quarterfield to look forward to!! The nerves will be off the scale but I'm feeling positive!

Neil Copeland
75 Posted 06/03/2021 at 19:05:57
Martin #72, thank goodness for that because I believe in the tooth fairy. Not as sure about God though.

A match-fit Gbamin ready for the Premier League would be a minor miracle, here's hoping.

Andy Crooks
76 Posted 06/03/2021 at 19:08:18
Bradford equalized in the 93rd minute to ruin my football treble. I have no idea whether they deserved to but I feel fucking unlucky!!

Charles Lindbergh, Charlies Luciano and Lord Lucan were all nick-named Lucky but they didn't have much luck.

Dont fuck with luck or you'll come unstuck!!

Neil Copeland
77 Posted 06/03/2021 at 19:10:09
Andy #76, the Titanic and all that.
Rob Halligan
78 Posted 06/03/2021 at 19:32:42
How do you feel lucky, after all it's not a solid object, unless there is some top totty called Lucky!! Bit like the saying, "I was up the crack of dawn this morning", however, dawn wasn't too pleased about it!!
Graham Mockford
79 Posted 06/03/2021 at 19:37:53
I was going to expound on modality theory of luck as described by Pritchard or maybe the control theory of Al Mele but I'm watching Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway!
Neil Copeland
80 Posted 06/03/2021 at 19:44:15
Rob #78, there again, Dawn may feel that her luck was in!
Dave Abrahams
81 Posted 06/03/2021 at 19:46:07
Graham (79),

People say there is no such thing as luck, how did Ant and Dec get so far in show business, it definitely wasn't down to talent, must have been that thing that people on say there is no such thing as.

Rob Halligan
82 Posted 06/03/2021 at 19:51:10
Neil # 80. Most definitely mate, most definitely!!
Neil Copeland
83 Posted 06/03/2021 at 19:56:14
I was going to type that last post as “they’re again” to wind Jamie C up but he’s not on this thread I don’t think.
Tony Abrahams
84 Posted 06/03/2021 at 20:04:13
Don’t fuck with luck or you will come unstuck, makes a lot of sense to me Andy, mate.

Si Cooper
85 Posted 06/03/2021 at 22:11:55
Stan (29), I said ‘weirdly constrained’ not simply weird. Big difference. It’s about where / why you draw the line.
Rob (28) that is as much ballistics and Newtonian physics as luck. Fortunate is the same as lucky, which is pretty much my point. Lots of things that are not under our direct influence can count as ‘lucky’ in my opinion.
Stan Schofield
86 Posted 07/03/2021 at 08:30:10
Si@85:

Okay, but I make the same point. They're not weirdly constrained, just differently constrained.

Re your point about Newtonian physics, a football match, like much of life, is influenced by non-linear effects that ‘Newtonian physics' doesn't encompass, including deterministic chaos. So really, again, trying to explain outcomes in terms of luck is quite pointless.

Which brings me back to the primary importance of systematic influences that affect our results, and which place a consistent signal over the noise of randomness. Such systematic influences are the signings we made this year, combined with having Ancelotti as manager, and his adaptive tactics that have catered for injuries. It's because of those systematic factors that we seem to be making progress, finally.


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