Three things to takeaway from Brentford 1 Everton 0

Everton (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) /

Once more Everton embarassed themselves and their long-suffering supporters as this excuse for a football team went down 1-0 at Brentford this afternoon.

A game that really had to be won with a Merseyside derby coming up next and then matches against Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester City among others, was thrown away and Everton and their fans now face a December wondering where their next point is coming from.

So, what are the things that most stood out from this latest horror show?

1. Rafa Benitez surely cannot survive this situation 

From the day he arrived this manager has been given a rotten hand to deal with and a squad of bang average players (bar a few) that he didn’t buy plus he had no money to spend in the summer.

And, as I’ve said several times before I was ready to give him a chance to see if he could overcome that difficult situation and his past baggage.

But, today was a day when he had to come through and show some determination to get a grip and make something happen to drive this team on.

He also needed to be brave and make changes in the second half, with his team a goal down but still very much in the contest, to try and arrest this catastrophic run of form.

Instead, he sat on his hands as the clock ticked on and after sending on Demarai Gray he did nothing else to try and secure at least a point from a game that was there for the taking. No Cenk Tosun, no Ellis Simms, no Lewis Dobbin, nothing.

As I said in the match report his body language is also ominous and indicates he has given up on this team and is perhaps resigned to his fate. His post-match comments also give the impression of his having watched another game!

Well, after this afternoon’s debacle he has a derby in three days time against a rampant and hugely confident Liverpool side who will be licking their lips at the prospect of piling on the misery for Evertonians.

I can hardly think about that match and how badly it’s going to go for the Blues’. These supporters simply do not deserve having to endure a potential humilation by our bitterest rivals on top of everythign else they’ve had to put up with already this season.

There was a banner unveiled at the game that made clear the views of those hardy souls who made that long journey today. It’s just the beginning.

I remember a game in the early eighties I think it was in the 1982-83 season when Liverpool won 5-0 at Goodison Park during the darkest days before the Toffees turned it around under Howard Kendall and went onto success that almost seems unreal and a mirage now. I wonder what odds you will get on the Reds matching or even beating that scoreline on Wednesday?

I never thought it could be that bad again even when we’ve had some shocking sides in the past. But, when we had those teams in the nineties say, at least some of those players showed commitment and graft and a willingness to play hard for the shirt.

This fixture was always going to be difficult and even if Everton had been in solid form and doing well this was a tough and demanding game. Now it’s nothing short of a nightmare prospect.

A heavy defeat in the derby would surely make his position almost impossible with so many fans and could be the final act in this latest chapter of failure. But, again where does the club go from here and who on earth would step into this awful situation?

Frankly changing manager won’t solve these deep-seated problems of course, but it’s the only thing that can be done now unless that board are willing to resign on mass and Farhad Moshiri gets some people in from outside who can change things. And that doesn’t seem very likely!

Whoever does come in for him – if that’s what happens – will need to have the January window to try against all the odds to bring some decent players with character into this football club. That means the time for making a change is very tight.

2. Everton are not currently equipped to survive if they get into a relegation battle

If things stay the same as indeed it looks more and more likely then this team is in for a long, hard season with a probable relegation battle ahead, and the Blues’ are simply not equipped to fight for survivial.

It’s not simply an issue of talent so much as character that is often needed and a determination to fight and compete for every point that’s on offer.

Looking at that side that played today there is no way they have that mental resiliance to find a way to win another football match never mind fight a relegation battle.

Whether or not the club do decide to sack Benitez and try someone else they have to somehow find some resolve and strength to fight. And that won’t likely happen without new players.

I remember being at the Grand Old Lady on the final day of the 1993-94 campaign and then watching again four years later as Everton survived by the skin of their teeth. But, those teams had some combatative players and a readiness to fight for the shirt. If it goes to the wire again, I simply can’t see this club surving a third time.

3. The young players must get a chance

Against Brentford Benitez had several youngsters on the bench such as Ellis Simms and Lewis Dobbin. With the team a goal down but well on top in the match surely he could have thrown one or both on to try and make a positive difference.

That didn’t happen and both remained in their places as the game slipped away from the Toffees’. I’m not sure why Benitez refused to try them, if he doesn’t think they’re any better than players like Alex Iwobi we really are in trouble.

One of the few players who showed any fight today was another young academy graduate Anthony Gordon. And while he didn’t do much he at least showed an appetite to compete. Maybe the others will also show that commitment.

Simms has just penned a new contract with Everton but it doesn’t look like he will get much of chance under the current manager while Dobbin has so far not signed his deal. If I was him I’d be thinking twice about doing so.

Whoever is in charge in December and going into the January transfer window has to consider giving more game time to these players. After all money is very tight and so there is no guarantee he will be able to bring in who he wants and so the question is what will there be to lose?