icon_corner icon_start_stop icon_start_stop icon_start_stop icon_post icon_miss icon_save icon_card_red icon_save icon_start_stop icon_sub icon_card_yellow accessibility icon account-off icon account-on icon arrow-left icon arrow-right icon attack icon chevron-down icon chevron-left icon chevron-right icon chevron-up icon Combined Shape Created with Sketch. cross icon defence icon icon_disallowed_goal email icon facebook icon giphy icon google icon instagram icon linkedin icon lock icon messenger icon padlock icon Svg Vector Icons : http://www.onlinewebfonts.com/icon Panel Created with Sketch. Pattern Created with Sketch. pinterest icon Icon_PlayButton Created with Sketch. plus-thin icon plus icon Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch. search icon soundcloud icon sub-in icon sub-out icon tweet icon twitter icon icon_user__out icon_user_out vimeo icon whatsapp icon icon_start_stop youtube icon

First Team

Media View: Expert insight on Everton


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten record in the Premier League against Everton at Vitality Stadium when they host the Toffees on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The Cherries have won four and drawn two of their six encounters with the Merseysiders on home soil since first locking horns with them in the top flight in 2015/16.

Goals from Marcus Tavernier, Kieffer Moore and Jaidon Anthony earned the Cherries a 3-0 home win in the league last season, just four days after they had knocked them out of the Carabao Cup.

Since gaining revenge by registering a 3-0 win over the Cherries at Goodison Park in October, the Toffees have experienced fluctuating fortunes in the Premier League.

Sean Dyche’s team won six of their next nine games, beating West Ham (1-0), Crystal Palace (3-2), Nottingham Forest (1-0), Newcastle (3-0), Chelsea (2-0) and Burnley (2-0).

However, since triumphing against Dyche’s former club at Turf Moor in December, the Toffees have gone 11 games without a victory in the top flight and will be looking to avoid the ignominy of equalling their longest winless run in the Premier League era when they face the Cherries.

The run has seen them drop to 16th in the table, four points above the relegation zone having been deducted six – reduced from 10 following a successful appeal – for breaching profit and sustainability rules.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash, afcb.co.uk caught up with Chris Beesley who covers the fortunes of the Toffees for the Liverpool Echo.


Founded: 1878

Ground: Goodison Park

Nickname: The Toffees

Record appearances: Neville Southall – 751 games (1981-98)

Record goalscorer: Dixie Dean – 383 goals in 433 games

Manager: Sean Dyche (appointed January 2023)

Club captain: Séamus Coleman

League position: 16th

Leading goalscorer: Abdoulaye Doucouré (six in the Premier League, pictured below)

Last game: Manchester United 2 Everton 0 (Premier League)

afcb.co.uk: How would you assess their current form?

CB: They are in desperate need of a win. They have gone 11 Premier League games without a win which stretches back to before Christmas when they won 2-0 at Burnley in Sean Dyche’s return to Turf Moor.

They haven’t played overly-poorly in this period and that’s why I think it feels different to the final days under Rafa Benítez and Frank Lampard who both had disappointing runs towards the end of their respective tenures when they lost a lot of games.

They have been in games and have been unfortunate at times during that period. But they are desperately in need of a win and have gone over a quarter of a Premier League season without a victory.

afcb.co.uk: How has the points deduction impacted on the squad?

CB: It must have had an impact at first. The first game after it was a 3-0 defeat against Manchester United and it took the wind out of their sails. United went ahead early on and that was difficult.

But then they responded with four consecutive victories in December so it seemed to have galvanised the squad initially and there seemed to be an us-against-the-world mentality.

But, gradually, I think they have been worn down by it. Sean Dyche says he’s actually very proud with the way the players have dealt with everything, he calls it the ‘noise’ off the pitch.

I think it has wearied them to a great extent in terms of on-pitch performances this season.

Despite the poor run which they are currently on, they would still be well clear of relegation danger, which is a big improvement on the past couple of years.

They would be 14th without the points deduction, even though they have had the long winless run.

I think it has affected them in terms of their on-field position, what they have actually achieved and the reality of their place in the league table as it is, even with the points they got back on appeal.

afcb.co.uk: Sum up Sean Dyche’s tenure to date?

CB: A considerable improvement on the two years before he came in when they were at their lowest ebb.

I believe he was the right man for Everton and still is in very difficult circumstances. He’s got the fighting spirit back that I think Everton need, especially when the chips are down as they are now.

But they are hampered by all these off-the-field matters, which have affected his spending and what he can do to improve the squad.

In terms of summing it up, I would say that he is doing a very good job in very difficult circumstances and I would challenge anyone to suggest that anyone else could have done better.

But the period from Christmas onwards has been very difficult, in terms of results at least.

afcb.co.uk: Give us a word on Arnaut Danjuma (pictured above)? 

CB: Mercurial.

He’s injured at the moment and won’t be able to play back at Bournemouth which is disappointing because he started very promisingly and scored a few goals.

It looked like he was going to go to Everton in January last year and got as far as Crewe station before he turned around and joined Tottenham Hotspur at the 11th hour.

But once Everton got him at the second time of asking in the summer, he seemed to impress a lot of people in terms of his personality and the way he wanted to go about his Everton career.

But he has increasingly found himself on the periphery of things and was then unfortunate with the injury he sustained at the end of the 0-0 draw at Fulham at the end of January. I think it will be a while before we see him again.

He was probably disappointed with his lack of game-time before he picked up the injury.

afcb.co.uk: What’s the latest on their new stadium? 

CB: All good. It’s the one big positive thing at Everton. The financial breach is partly because of money for the stadium, which is unfortunate, but it looks spectacular.

I live on the opposite side of the Mersey in New Brighton – across the water, as we say in Merseyside parlance – and I see it every day.

Structurally, it’s the most prominent building on the Mersey waterfront.

Externally, the bowl of the stadium is now complete and the interior needs fitting out – seats, dressing rooms and things like that.

But, on the outside, it already looks like a football stadium. It looks great as part of Liverpool’s maritime waterfront, the vista across the Mersey and it’s far and away the most positive aspect of the club right now.

afcb.co.uk: Who is their rising star?

CB: Jarrad Branthwaite (pictured above).

He has been the breakthrough star of the season for Everton in what have been difficult circumstances on the pitch.

He has been a different player since he came back from a loan spell with PSV Eindhoven last season.

He was signed from his local club Carlisle United as a teenager and had a loan spell at Blackburn Rovers before he went to the Netherlands.

He looked a long way off being a Premier League regular at that stage but he has been an absolute revelation.

He came in for the third game of the season against Wolves after Michael Keane had been dropped and has only missed one game through suspension.

At 6ft 5ins, he’s a man mountain and he’s only 21. He’s comfortable with both feet, he’s assured in possession and has had established Premier League strikers bouncing off him all season.

If he carries on this trajectory and as long as Everton aren’t forced to sell him due to the financial situation, it’s not getting carried away to say he could follow Declan Rice and Jack Grealish and be another £100m English player.

afcb.co.uk: Are any key players either injured or suspended against the Cherries?

CB: There are no suspensions.

Arnaut Danjuma (ankle) is still out and it’s a fairly clean bill of health, providing everyone comes through the internationals.

Dele Alli (groin) has been out long term and won’t feature, while Idrissa Gueye (pictured above) was injured before the international break and will still be a doubt.

afcb.co.uk: How do you see this one panning out and what’s your score prediction? 

CB: I’ll be positive for Everton.

They aren’t just due a win, they are due a win at Bournemouth. They have beaten them in the FA Cup but have never won there in the Premier League.

I remember Everton’s first trip to Bournemouth in the Premier League, it was that humdinger of a 3-3 draw. Everton thought they had won it and could have ended up losing it.

I’ll stick out my neck and be really positive from an Everton point of view and say 1-0.

You can follow Chris on X (formerly Twitter) – @CBeesleyEcho

Officials: Sam Barrott (referee), Lee Betts (assistant), Nick Hopton (assistant), John Busby (fourth official), Michael Oliver (VAR).

Breaking News