Morgan Schneiderlin is fit again after missing the Swansea defeat through injury
Everton's penultimate game of the 2016-17 season sees Robles and Schneiderlin return to face Watford at Goodison Park.
Joel Robles is back in goal and Ross Barkley, who's contract situation has been a hot topic of conversation this week, starts with Morgan Schneiderlin returning to the side after injury. Mo Besic is on the bench after playing a few U-23 games to complete his rehabilitation from a long-term injury layoff.
No Tom Cleverley for the visitors — despite him agreeing to join Watford on a 5-year deal for around £8M back in March, but that doesn't take effect until 1 July, so he is technically still an Everton player on loan and therefore ineligible to play this one.
Watford got things going in the pouring rain, with a series of throw-ins. Mirallas eventually ran across the front of the Watford area but could not shape a shot and Barkley lost the ball.
Excellent movement into the Watford area and a smart exchange between Gana and Barkley saw Barkley shot but too close for Gomes to save easily enough when he should really have done a lot better. Watford went up the other end and won an early corner that was scooped away but all 11 back and so no counter-attack, and more Watford corners followed, Watford coming very close on the third as the ball pinged around in front of Robles.
Barkley won a corner, taken by Baines and cleverly fired in by Jagielka but saved well by Gomes. Okaka was allowed to run and lashed one just wide with Robles static. Another Everton corner, this one from the left, well in by Mirallas but headed away.
Holebas tried to catch out Robles with a free-kick given away by clumsy contact from Mirallas. Baines overhit another cross, deep to Gomes. Barkley set Davies off and he fired in a fabulous shot but close enough for Gomes to paw away for another corner. At the other end, Doucouré fashioned a shot at Robles.
The tempo of the game flagged considerably, a real end-of-season feel to it from two sides who had both forgotten how to score goals. Not helped by a failure on Referee Friend's part to play the advantage.
Lukaku did well to cut inside but has the ball taken off his toe and Watford went on the attack. Kabasele went down and was eventually replaced by Zuñiga. Things were enlivened by a bit of mass display of handbags after Berhami fouled Davies, who reacted a little miffed. Barkley's delivery from the free kick was really poor, not beating the first man.
Barkley played a lovely through-ball for Mirallas that won a corner but he then slipped on the wet turf trying to play in the second ball. Williams was called for climbing over Okaka, but nothing came of the free kick. Mirallas had a chance to play in Barkley but chose to overhit his pass for Lukaku instead and any chance was gone, ending a rather fruitless half of distinctly mediocre football.
A change from Ronald Koeman after the break: Valencia on for Holgate, and a switch to right back for Tom Davies, whose first ball to Valencia was brilliant, the cross less so. Some fantastic skill and sense from Davies, trapping a wet crossfield ball dead, then playing in Valencia for a cutback from the byeline that didn't come off
Far more invention and desire from Everton, which saw Davies and Valencia coupling with Lukaku, but the final crosses were too deep and no clear chances. Gomes punched across from Mirallas out to Schneiderlin who hit his earlier strike well over, but at least he too take a shot.
Nervy at the other end, when it looked like Deeney would poke home as they broke through but he drove the ball wide under pressure from Jagielka(?). Out of nothing, Barkley with space, off a great ball from Jagielka, a simple shot curling away from Gomes, fine goal!
A Watford corner followed, overhit, and Mirallas with a chance to run... but then overrun the ball. Watford tried to respond but Yanmat was offside. Mirallas got wide but a superb tackle from Mariappa.
A great move started by Barkley saw another interesting cross from Lukaku, with Mirallas then firing hard at Gomes, Lukaku going for the punched ball and being clearly tripped, but throwing his arms up a little too dramatically as he went down... no penalty, said Kevin Friend.
Barkley tried a chipped cross from a stalled position but it was too clever. Valencia overlapped but his cross only won a corner, delivered well by Baines direct to Schneiderlin on the near post but incredibly he headed inches over. At the other end, Okaka looked to pull the trigger but Schneiderlin in in an instant to deny him.
Mirallas set Lukaku off on a run but he was stopped too easily. Valencia than lashed in a fierce cross that could have created an own-goal but it spun wide off the defender for a corner. Play was halted while another little scally scampered across the hallowed Goodison turf... what is it with pitch invasions at every game now?
Watford had a spell of getting forward but with limited effect, Okaka almost getting the better of Williams, who did very well. Barkley got a great round of applause as he was replaced by Gareth Barry with 10 minutes left.
Gueye gave away a silly foul wide right that Holebas swung in but Lukaku powered it away. Kept attacking, trying to find a weakness in Everton's defence.
A final appearance of Arouna Kone, set to leave at the end of the season, who came on for a final farewell to the Goodison faithful, in place of Kevin Mirallas. Watford attacked with spirit and almost scored but for intervention by Barry, and at the other end, Valencia in with a glorious chance that he fired into the body of the advancing Gomes, when a delicate chip was called for...
More dangerous attacking from Watford, a fabulous ball in from Amrabat, defended superbly by Gareth Barry as Everton clung on into the added last 5 minutes of the season before the customary Lap of Appreciation.
Scorers: Barkley (56')
Everton: Robles, Baines; Jagielka, A Williams, Holgate (46' Valencia); Gana, Schneiderlin, Davies; Mirallas (87' Kone), Barkley (80' Barry); Lukaku.
Subs: Hewelt, Pennington, J Williams, Besic.
Watford: Gomes; Kabasele (37' Zuñiga), Prödl, Mariappa; Janmaat, Doucouré, Behrami (70' Amrabat), Capoue (81' Niang), Holebas; Okaka, Deeney.
Subs not Used: Success, Watson, Pantilimon, Eleftheriou.
Referee: Kevin Friend
Reader Comments (126)
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1 Posted 12/05/2017 at 19:19:32
2 Posted 12/05/2017 at 19:30:06
3 Posted 12/05/2017 at 19:37:01
Does anybody know if Antonee Robinson has been offered a new contract? I believe his current deal expires this summer. I really hope we keep this lad that's assuming he wants to stay.
6 Posted 12/05/2017 at 20:27:36
7 Posted 12/05/2017 at 20:28:10
8 Posted 12/05/2017 at 20:35:21
9 Posted 12/05/2017 at 20:35:45
11 Posted 12/05/2017 at 20:45:58
He looks like someone who doesn't really know why he's passing the ball, he just does it. Even worse are the spinning chipped passes today. Give your teammates a chance on a slick pitch put it on the floor.
Fitness aside, he's looking like a downgrade on Gibson for me. And he hasn't really stayed fit either.
12 Posted 12/05/2017 at 20:52:35
13 Posted 12/05/2017 at 21:04:16
14 Posted 12/05/2017 at 21:04:35
15 Posted 12/05/2017 at 21:43:08
I think you're a bit harsh there but you're entitled to your opinion.
16 Posted 12/05/2017 at 21:53:51
17 Posted 12/05/2017 at 21:54:54
I don't care if Lukaku did a swan dive, it was a penalty. A decent referee would see it as it is – not the aftermath.
18 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:05:39
Pretty dull stuff.
19 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:25:12
20 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:29:11
Ross, his goal apart, very average performance. I hope he is sold now but can't see who will buy him. He is being touted for Spurs. Not a chance he would get in their starting eleven. Chelsea? No chance... Man City? No chance.
He won't be part of a team good enough to take us into the top four.
21 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:34:08
Anyone who thinks he will be a much bigger loss than Barkley is delusional; I hope that's the last time we see him play at Goodison for Everton.
22 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:38:52
Given the choice between Mirallas's new contract or Valencia, I'd take Valencia every time. Something seems to have gone a bit awry with Lookman too.
Like I said, big changes needed but not sure if Koeman is the man who can manage it. Big unearned, unrequired contracts for Calvert-Lewin and Mirallas are a worry and a statement of stagnation.
23 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:46:26
Great goal by Barkley! I must admit, I hope he stays... but, if he's been blinded by his agent into not signing before the summer, then I hope we move right past him to build a new team from there!
24 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:49:33
If we want to break into top 4 next season we need Rom simple as! He will guarantee us 20+ goals again next season anyone who argues otherwise is plain off their rocker!
25 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:51:15
When we next gather at Goodison, there need to have been some radical changes but we all know that.
26 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:53:34
Excellent home form, and a deserved 7th. Need more goals in midfield away from home for next season.
27 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:53:48
Davies, Gana, Schneiderlin were the relative standouts for me. Defence did okay against alehouse tactics and Mirallas put a shift in without much threat. Excellent goal by Ross and Valencia did okay in the second half.
Credit to Koeman for changing things at half-time.
End of season fayre.
28 Posted 12/05/2017 at 22:56:44
I hope we can keep both Barkley and Lukaku. And if we can't, I trust we can get on from there! But, as Ronald Koeman basically said, "We will need to know" before the summer signings can be made.
29 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:00:35
Well, each to his own; I couldn't wait to get away from Goodison, on my toes as soon as the useless ref blew for the final whistle.
Mind you, if the players had put the effort in that Tom Davies and Gana showed, I might have been tempted. What a boring bland game it was, apart from a good and clever goal from Barkley.
30 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:04:59
Clicked the link but it was a crime story and not match related.
31 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:05:10
32 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:06:46
That said, my MotM was Tom Davies. I really think we have a player here. Composed and combative as ever in the first half with ability to pass incisively and get in their area he was unfazed by replacing Holgate and looked just as comfortable at the back.
Hopefully what he has is infectious to everyone else in midfield.
33 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:11:10
34 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:15:30
35 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:20:28
His change to right back was almost seamless, one ill-judged chop inside aside.
His poise is so evident too that it puts his supposed betters in the shade. His ability to let the ball run across him gives him excellent spatial awareness. Desire and tenacity to burn, and a that little bit of fire. Not bad, that scruff bag Davies!
36 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:35:17
Main thought I took from this game is that Holgate is a much more natural centre-back; I know the lad is young but his crossing and decision-making in the past couple of games has been poor. Defensively though, he has still been sound.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Jonjoe Kenny in action in the Europa League tie in late July.
37 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:40:50
38 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:44:24
39 Posted 12/05/2017 at 23:57:50
40 Posted 12/05/2017 at 00:00:11
In short, we are lacking (sufficient) brains, muscle, pace and touch to compete with the teams above us (and too often, with many of the teams below us).
Supporters will no doubt spend much of their summer looking at who we might buy or who maybe sold and will convince themselves that this/that deal will mean success/failure, but the most important thing we're missing (imo) is anything that looks like a plan or an... ethos.
And I think without that, without some real thought, without a philosophy, it'll just be more of the same (more of the same = bit of horse-trading that may or may not 'pay off').
Tonight I saw a side play it's fourth consecutive completely dull, uninspiring (frankly, clueless) game and believe it'll need more than a couple of players to make any real difference.
Up the Toffees (and Lanky, Lanky, Lanky, Lanky Lancashire).
41 Posted 13/05/2017 at 00:08:11
42 Posted 13/05/2017 at 00:16:58
I wrote "no penalty, said Kevin Friend."
That's the thing, though: ref's decision is final.
43 Posted 13/05/2017 at 01:02:20
The lad is no fullback. His positioning was poor and the winger got goal side of him twice and through on goal once. But he ain't a right back and played from right back rather than at right back.
I'd like to see Kenny have a go there in the early rounds of the Europa League and have a chance to claim the position. But no doubt Koeman will instead go with his tried and tested new signing, Cuco Martinez (free from Southampton).
44 Posted 13/05/2017 at 01:19:45
I stayed behind for the lap of appreciation, and it was worth it to see a little kid run on and the stewards running about after him in Benny Hill like fashion. Probably one of the highlights of the evening.
45 Posted 13/05/2017 at 04:15:30
He tried his balls off in a position alien to him; all I can say is he affected the game.
Maybe at half-time because his average position was further forward than any Everton player, Koeman tried to shackle him!!
46 Posted 13/05/2017 at 04:41:03
Whether Barkley stays or not, Sigurdsson and Klaassen etc. should still be targetted. Not as replacements, but as additions to Koeman for selection.
Same as all the strikers we are linked with. It is not to replace Lukaku, but to add to the options and give him some competition as he by far the best forward on our books. I just want to feel good as we approach the start of our Europa campaign.
Same with defenders. Whoever we sign, we will be building a squad. Replace the dead wood with players to compete with the current starting 11. That is what Spurs have done and Koeman is starting to target too.
It will be interesting to see who we can bring in as these players may also be targetted by teams with Champions League to offer. Steve Walsh may need to earn his wages and pluck a few diamonds if we lose out on targets. Either way, we need to move fast. COYB!
47 Posted 13/05/2017 at 06:17:33
I thought Mirallas put a good shift in besides the usual suspects Gana, Davies and Schneiderlin, but the other forwards were a waste of space.
Barkley's goal was not a great one but welcome nonetheless as, up to that point, it had 0-0 all over it.
Lots of work for Koeman and Co in the summer.
48 Posted 13/05/2017 at 06:31:51
I'm usually missing my footy by the time I get to the bottom of "Spella Lane" after the last game, but I just feel a sense of relief this time. I honestly don't know if I'll be back at least not until Mr Anti-Football has gone.
This was the third "dead rubber" on the bounce where Koeman has had the opportunity to experiment a little with adventure. He can't or won't do it.
Playing Watford gave Koeman the perfect opportunity to send the fans home with a slightly different perspective. We should have gone all out to smash them out of sight. What was the worst that could happen? But all too predictable: he takes to the field with 7 or 8 defensive players, his two insurance policies stoutly defending an already over-manned defence. Every single one of us knew he would do this... days ago.
With a centre-forward who moves like a lighthouse and eight players who barely venture over the half-way line, how can we ever hope to see fast entertaining football?
This team is almost completely bereft of flair, yet the manager is hell-bent on removing the one player capable of doing something out of the ordinary with a ball. Gordon Lee & Duncan McKenzie? Even Miserable Moyes allowed people like Baines, Pineaar, Arteta, and Osman to express themselves. This guy makes Moyes look like Ken Dodd.
This is Koeman's Everton. Those championing his charmless, clueless approach to the game will get exactly what they are asking for next season.
Yeah, we'll finish above WBA again and whilst some will be wanting to book the open-top bus again, most will leave the last game of next season feeling exactly the same way Eugene Ruane felt when leaving the last home game of this one.
49 Posted 13/05/2017 at 07:29:33
Tottenham have done better than most and, though it isn't easy to say it, Liverpool in their early purple patch were exciting. Chelsea have been efficient.
Mourinho's United remind me of us (with better players): largely dull and incoherent, built not to lose, coached to death. Pass across the back, pass back again, make a usually inept attacking foray. And so it goes on....
Super-fit players, super-organised defences and a dread of taking chances or showing "irresponsible" flair. Identikit Premier League football of which we are very much a part.
50 Posted 13/05/2017 at 07:30:23
I agree that some of the games have been boring and we need more pace and flair but Koeman has his targets and I support him 100%. Losing Seamus and Bolasie hasn't helped on that score.
Special mention for Tom Davies again.... class!
51 Posted 13/05/2017 at 07:59:01
52 Posted 13/05/2017 at 08:08:06
A poor display that brought me no happiness at all.
53 Posted 13/05/2017 at 08:28:21
"We played with 7 or 8 defensive players." Got me intrigued, that... I'm trying to work out which player you are not sure is a defensive player or not.
54 Posted 13/05/2017 at 08:39:38
All I can see in at least the past three games is a long ball lobbed forward and see what he can make of it.
Now back to Barkley. He will not improve; what you see is what you get. I don't think he can change, he doesn't have a footballing brain like Beckham or Scholes.
I personally don't think a so-called big club will want him; he is past the unpolished diamond stage now.
55 Posted 13/05/2017 at 08:40:44
Clearly you either dislike or don't rate Koeman, that's pretty evident from the majority of your 'posts' on here.
However, your views are based on a manager who has yet to complete 12 months at the club/... A bit unfair don't you think?
At least let him have the benefit of the next, and probably the most important transfer window, before you label him the 'Antichrist' of free-flowing football.
56 Posted 13/05/2017 at 08:45:00
Away from home, we have been a disaster but, with so few attacking options, it's hardly been a surprise. If we recruit the right players in the summer, especially in creative and goal-scoring positions, and still struggle to win, that will be the time to judge Ronald Koeman as our manager. He's done okay so far... but no more than that.
57 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:14:40
I'm usually in agreement with most of your posts but do you really see Barkley becoming the player we all want him to be? When will he rouse himself from the lethargic frame of mind that he is in a good proportion of the time he is on the field?
One way if he stays, is to study the way Tom Davies plays all the time, full of energy, movement and going forward for much of the game. It wouldn't do him any harm, but it might tire him out just watching Davies and that applies to the beast in sheep's clothing, Lukaku.
58 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:24:26
7th is good in my books. Which teams should we be ahead of who are above us? They all have better squads and more resources. Of course we must aspire but let's not allow those aspirations blind us to the reality and prevent us from enjoying winning.
Next season, I'm hoping for better attacking options and consequently a better away record to go along with a very good season at Goodison. A trophy would be nice too since I think, with European miles to cover, we will be hard pressed to sustain a challenge on the top 4.
59 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:26:15
I'm finding it hard to count on one hand this season when I've walked out the ground or watched on telly and thought "Fuck me, we were brilliant today", "This player or that player was class." It's one thing getting 1-0 victories but another being entertained.
Someone on another thread mentioned being envious of other teams winning trophies and playing entertaining football and that struck a chord.
I'm tired of seeing long punts from deep to a lone forward with 2 defenders on him losing possession 9 times out of 10. It's boring, it's dull, and it's outdated for any club with aspirations. Look at the teams above us (except Man Utd as they are dreadful to watch); they rarely use this route because they have ball-players who can break at speed and don't have a big lump up front whose back-to-goal play is dreadful, to say the least.
If we're going break into the top four, then, to play two holding midfielders, the four in front need to be top class which they aren't. A Number 10 has to be a top priority, has been for years now but we could go on and on where we need to strengthen. Just look at the bench last night no depth whatsoever so a big Summer ahead regardless of the Barkley & Lukaku situations.
60 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:35:52
Lukaku never gambles on crosses into the box, never gets in front of a defender, and has all the mobility of a No 11 bus. His link play is dreadful.
I know he scored 24 goals, but he is the biggest ego seen at Goodison in years and has no respect for the club or supporters.
Barkley will prosper with mobile forwards in front of him. I would love him to stay; for all the frustrations, he is an immense talent.
61 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:49:07
Finishing 7th in his first season, Koeman hasn't failed, so banish any silly thoughts that Everton is getting rid of him after one season. Ain't going to happen!
We can all name the dross that he's had to work with and has been starting to clear out through the season. How many of those playing last night would get into a top 4 or 5 team? Exactly that's what Koeman has had to work with. Sadly, while not dross, Barkley isn't living up to many people's expectations what a contrast with Tom Davies.
I'm looking forward to the transfer window; Europe; next season; the possibility of other Academy lads being used. I'll be able to make a more informed judgement on Koeman after his second season.
62 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:54:37
Otherwise, yes your right, 7th is where we belong for the time being. I predict 5th next season.
63 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:54:55
64 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:05:49
There have even been times when I've been working in town that I have even thought that if Everton were playing in Williamson Square then I would walk the long way round just to avoid it, rather than cutting through to watch the team that I love play.
The sad thing about feeling like that, was because this was actually during pre-season, when we are all normally full of anticipation of what the next season will bring.
So I take on board what Darren says, and cast my mind back to last season, when Koeman's Southampton could only muster a draw at Goodison, when they were still in the running for an outside chance of 4th but never had the inclination to go and really put a dreadful Everton side to the sword.
So the dreadful Everton have been improved because of the cautious Koeman, but it's a big summer for everyone, and unless big changes can be made, then it will only be more of the same last 15 years in my opinion...
65 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:07:09
The slow, sideways shite we've witnessed for much of this season is a throwback to Martinez at his worst, but Koeman still has Martinez & Moyes-style defenders to work with so what can we expect?
Williams was, in my opinion, a stop-gap signing to shore up a defence that was poor in Martinez's last season and in that way Koeman has succeeded with Everton having only the fifth worst defensive record in the Premier League. Only Chelsea,Spurs, Man City and Man Utd have conceded fewer.
It's the creative aspect that's worrying, plus the lack of movement up front. Interesting to see who Koeman & Walsh bring in the window.
66 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:15:16
My thoughts exactly.
I think most rational fans will be satisfied with this season. I will be surprised if we are able to build a squad capable of breaking into the top 4 next season, but I certainly expect us to become one of a recognised top 7.
As it stands, if Leicester win their games in hand, and Arsenal and Man Utd win theirs, then we will pretty much be an isolated 7th place, no closer to top 6 than bottom 13.
I want to see us right in the mix as a top 7 team who are challenging 4th to 7th.
Unless we do some mind blowing summer business, I see no reason to expect us to suddenly jump above any of the teams above us. They have better squads and will also look to strengthen. They will also be more attractive to most players.
We do need to aspire to make top 4, but we also need a dose of reality.
67 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:18:14
Andy (#60), I fully agree that if we had mobile forwards it would bring the best out of Ross. Sadly, I think he is gone though. Rom I would sell tomorrow if I had the choice. He has never been a team player and it's all about him. And I've seen black cabs turn faster.
Also has anyone seen the news that Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool are all (potentially) after Deulofeu? I honestly think he should still be given a chance. Most skilful player on the books, in my opinion.
68 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:21:08
69 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:36:01
I agree a lot with Eugene (#40). Gana and Davies were excellent but I would also add that Schneiderlin's input shouldn't be missed.
Frustratingly, there were sections of the game when we granted Watford with far too much space in mid-field, a little like we appeared to be inviting them on to us, for some crazy reason. I've tried to analyse this but I come up without much criticism of our midfielders and, moreso, I see the laziness of the likes of Lukaku not chasing back to cover. OK he didn't get much service but he does need to lift his work-rate. Give and ye shall get, sayeth the lord... (Oops, I'm not religious, but ya know what I mean, like!)
I quite like Valencia's input but why did Koeman bring on Kone? Beats me!
These days I'm watching from half a world away but I can go along with those of you who go to Goodison week in/week out and at times walk away saying, why do I do this? Well, chins up lads, next season will be better! in true Monty Python style.
In September, I'm over in Scotland for my one "bucket list" trip, which is a golf and whisky tour in Scotland. The missus is a Geordie and she has an old school reunion in Newcastle one week after John and I finish the golf. So I'm hoping there'll be a home game we can come to in between the two. It would be great to catch up for a beer with a few of the ToffeeWebbers!
Footnote: getting back to Eugene (#40): Agreed: Fail to plan Plan to fail. Strategise If it doesn't fit the strategy, don''t do it!
70 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:53:04
71 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:58:27
One player who slipped under a radar for me was Jags; I thought he put a good shift in, made some crucial tackles, and one time in the first half when we got stretched, he bust a gut chasing back and won the ball. His legs may not be as quick but he did a job last night. Well done, Jags.
72 Posted 13/05/2017 at 11:16:58
Koeman has been a success this season and let us hope he proves to be an absolute success over his three-season term in office; that would result in silverware and or a top four finish.
73 Posted 13/05/2017 at 12:58:58
As for Spurs, Arsenal, Man City? Why? He should commit soon as Ron has a huge clear out and rebuild on the go.
We desperately need a centre-half than can defend and play football, not just a plug, stopper.
74 Posted 13/05/2017 at 13:19:02
75 Posted 13/05/2017 at 13:27:08
As for Lukaku, if he goes as well I'd like him to be replaced with a top notch goal scorer like Aguero, Lacazette, Gameiro or someone of that ilk. Not some (relatively) unknown Brazilian like Sandro just because he's cheap.
Replace both players with players of equal, or better, quality then I'll be fine with that rather than get six average players.
76 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:14:37
Our biggest problem is slow build-up & lack of creativity this starts with our current central defenders as referred to by Ray @ 65. Our defensive record is better this season, but, as well as Jags played for much of last night, they are both slow & poor in the air.
As Ray said, Williams was a stop-gap, as Koeman had to do something quick in the little time he had after coming on board.
Their slowness & poor distribution coming forward makes life much more difficult for our midfield & front players Ross's dithering & poor decision-making (yes, I know it was a very good goal he got last night but his overall performance was poor again)makes matter worse all this contributes significantly to the likes of Mirallas often running across the pitch.
IMO, it was right to extend him for 3 years he's not started enough games in the last 2 seasons and with swifter & crisper forward play from the back would have been able to contribute more.
Koeman isn't perfect & like us all makes mistakes, but he has done good job this season and has talked more sense in 1 year than our previous two managers did in the whole of their time with us.
77 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:20:54
As for the first two, he's still better than most of our players at them.
78 Posted 13/05/2017 at 15:02:42
We could have gone to three at the back including Holgate last night, played Ross wide right where he was very good against Leicester, and left our engine, Davies in the middle. That lad is a future England captain imo.
Ross was again poor, and I for one won't be shedding tears if we replace him with a more aware footballer like Sigurdsson.
Watford did the same as they did at Goodison in the opening game last season, they tried to kick us off the pitch. Relegation might beckon them next season.
As for us, this is Koeman's summer to prove we do have the means, can battle with the heavyweights, and he can actually get us to play decent football, and challenge those teams like Liverpool on the pitch.
Leaving a man up front when defending corners, and playing kids like Mason and Dominic in their natural positions would be an immediate improvement on Ronny's first season for me. The jury for me is hung at the moment... Go on, Ronny, make my summer.
79 Posted 13/05/2017 at 15:48:04
One of our problems for the last two seasons has been because immobility of our two main centre-backs, causes the defensive midfielders to play further back than is ideal which in turn means there is too big a gap in front of them.
This has to be a priority to bring in one ace centre- back in the next few weeks. Overall a very good season considering where we where this time last year. We missed Bolasie more than is acknowledged this season but three or four quality signings before July and we should be fighting for a place in the top four.
80 Posted 13/05/2017 at 17:20:40
The reality is that, 30 years on, it's now or never as I can't see EFC getting close unless there's top class players coming in.
The pre-season and Europa League qualifiers are gonna test the resolve of the squad, and patience of the fans. I hope the team will get a new captain (no disrespect to Jags, who's been a good club servant) and have some genuine winners who will give blood, sweat and guts to the cause.
The gulf in psyche and game management has been lacking for years and in this area we seem light years away from the rest, ie, we loose the big games, before we step on the park.
Grateful for some decent home results this season, but away we are very poor and most games against the teams above us, City apart, our so-called best players never show.
No more excuses; we can't live in the past forever and most of us are now getting on 30 years has gone in the blink of an eye. Life's good but, if EFC could get their act together, it would be better...
Will our time come again soon? Will it be Swansea away or West Ham away, all over again next season, and the usual shambles against the RS?
81 Posted 13/05/2017 at 17:38:03
This season we have dramatically improved the home form where a 'boring' 1-0 win against an alehouse team is looked upon as the end of the world. Not that long ago, we'd have been grateful of any home win regardless how we played.
All we can do now is see what happens in the close season, who we sign and who we lose will go a long way to decide if this season was another stepping stone or another false dawn.
Make no mistake, this next couple of months is big and Koeman has to prove he can attract good players, so we will see, but at least we ain't got Martinez at the helm!!
82 Posted 13/05/2017 at 17:45:45
83 Posted 13/05/2017 at 17:53:07
Just a thought: if Arsenal win today and Liverpool lose tomorrow, both of their Champions League hopes will rest on our game at The Emirates. That'll put some of us in a quandary...
84 Posted 13/05/2017 at 17:53:24
Those players leaving. Thank you for your service. Let's get players in quickly. Get through the Europa League qualification and many games lie ahead next season. Koeman has done his job. European football is back. Up to the Board now how far they want to go next season.
85 Posted 13/05/2017 at 18:07:49
I bet we can all name about half-a-dozen games where we could've done better, eg, the last-second loss to Liverpool, last-second draw against Man Utd, crap performances away to Bournemouth, Watford, Middlesbrough, West ham Utd etc... We really could've challenged for a top 4 slot if only...
86 Posted 13/05/2017 at 18:10:39
87 Posted 13/05/2017 at 18:12:11
You're right, that would put me in a terrible quandary.
I would be torn between wanting a 5-0 or 6-0 defeat.
88 Posted 13/05/2017 at 18:39:04
If it comes to the crunch against Arsenal, I would prefer to drop 3 points than the league Champions in October missing out on a Champions League spot.
89 Posted 13/05/2017 at 19:14:07
We are a good side but at the next level to turn draws and loses requires that bit of magic. After last season. Everyone on here would have taken seventh with an excellent home record.
90 Posted 13/05/2017 at 19:32:42
Sure, if we had done better with those half dozen we'd have had more points, but we don't have the quality to improve that many performances. There is nothing on our roster that indicates we had 14 more points in us. We're simply not that good.
91 Posted 13/05/2017 at 21:06:21
92 Posted 13/05/2017 at 21:24:47
If Arsenal need all 3 points for a guarantee of 4th spot, then heh, no problem. Glad to be of assistance.
I always assume that any success they have potentially hurts us. Any young fans to generate and the continuous excuse to promote in all media can and will go their way. They are a genie in a bottle. Keep the cork well and truly in because once out, then it could be horrible. It's our footprint we need to increase not theirs.
93 Posted 13/05/2017 at 21:43:39
You know your players and it's very difficult to disagree with your points about Ross Barkley... but.
Barkley will never be like Tom Davies; that all-action style is not in his make up. He's not David Silva or Hazzard, or even a Coutinho. There isn't any point in hoping he can be.
Though I do wonder what these highly skilled players would make of playing for a Koeman side which has 8-9 players regularly playing in a straight-jacket, forbidden to get forward and support.
Barkley is a highly technical player who may not offer much going backwards, but has wonderful balance and can make a killer pass provided the movement is there. I honestly believe he can be as good for us as Dembele is for Spurs. Remember, Ross has to perform without the multiple options and decoys afforded to Dembele.
I also look at the likely alternatives; I've watched Sigurdsson quite closely since he was linked. He's very good when standing over a dead ball, but fuck me Dave, I'd fancy me and you to do him over 50 meters. It's not hard to see why Spurs off-loaded him. Never in a million years will he be the answer.
Unless Walsh has performed a miracle by unearthing another Mahrez, Ross is still far more talented than anything else we have.
A good manager would be looking to nurture Barkley's talents. He would be desperately trying to find ways to utilise that wonderful technique, improve movement, get intelligent players who will give him options. Koeman won't; he can't wait to replace him with another tackling machine
94 Posted 13/05/2017 at 21:49:16
If it came down to it (Arsenal needing to win) my team would be:
Marty from Brookside
We should go all out for it. Do our neighbours a favour like.
95 Posted 13/05/2017 at 21:55:34
Sorry, my friend: you are mental!
96 Posted 13/05/2017 at 22:10:44
97 Posted 13/05/2017 at 22:16:05
98 Posted 13/05/2017 at 22:27:37
99 Posted 13/05/2017 at 22:36:10
It certainly won't put me in a quandary. If Arsenal need to beat us to get 4th bring it on!. If they need 3 or more clear goals, I'm easy with that, too.
It's one match for us and, win or lose, we stay 7th. For the RS, it would mean Klopp fails to meet his target, their anticipated income stream has to be reassessed, they find it harder to attract players, and have to enter Big Vase, like us.
For us, it's one match; for them, it alters their whole strategy.
Why on earth should we help them stagger into the Big Cup?
100 Posted 13/05/2017 at 22:39:49
101 Posted 13/05/2017 at 23:40:33
If this was true, why would the club be offering him a mega bucks new deal that has been on the table for quite some time? Why would Koeman be saying publicly he wants him to stay?
I think the club have every right to try and sell the player if he's not going to sign and I also believe that Koeman is right to call him and his agent on it. Do you want to continue playing for Everton or not - what's wrong with that?
You can say what you want about Koeman , but he's fairly straight. Shane Long said of him when Koeman dropped him "He told me to keep working hard and my chance would come again and when it did it was up to me to stay in the side."
Every player must perform, week-in & week-out, to stay in the team especially our so-called gifted and best players. Ross has had a lot of opportunity to make himself undroppable and has failed in my opinion.
He still doesn't do enough for me on the football pitch and, if he does go, I don't think he will be a massive loss because I believe the club will replace him with a better player.
102 Posted 13/05/2017 at 23:59:26
Are only left-footers creative, intelligent players? Did something happen in '92?
If getting beat by Arsenal knocks the Dark Side back... erm... Bollocks, I'll think about it.
103 Posted 14/05/2017 at 00:11:36
Well, we all know the twosome instructed to clinch the deals... so hardly surprising; they can't even gauge the potential of the fanbase we would get at the dock site. Bob is woefully short even on that.
Moshiri is putting himself through a lot more summer embarrassment but only has himself to blame and the penny not dropping yet over the said two. They are totally holding us back from even acting like winners or professionals.
Ask Arsenal fans after David Dein left them.
104 Posted 14/05/2017 at 00:24:57
Odd selections and substitutions have been a theme, culminating in one of the worst selections I have ever seen from an Everton manager at Tottenham when we played with no width whatsoever that was a killer result when we still had much to play for. (I don't accept that we were mysteriously doomed to 7th; we doomed ourselves.)
Here's the problem which has beset us for years and years, and does so now: for so long as we are easily pleased, how likely is it despite the floods of rhetoric that anyone at the club is going to work hard to please us?
105 Posted 14/05/2017 at 00:25:53
Ideally we beat Arsenal but Liverpool lose their last two games. The RS are in trouble and Arsenal are stuck with Wenger.
106 Posted 14/05/2017 at 01:25:15
Colin (#94) I wouldn't play Bellew the lads got to much fight in him, I think someone like Amanda Holden would do a job at left back. Or maybe Tony Thomas or Allesandro Pistone?
Not sure about Stallone as a goalie either, prefer R2-D2 myself like.
107 Posted 14/05/2017 at 05:28:03
All Stallone has is Botox.
108 Posted 14/05/2017 at 07:55:09
Must have been the subbed goalscorer's fault.
109 Posted 14/05/2017 at 08:33:43
If you spent 70% of your time with a hairy-arsed centre-half or two on your heels, chasing aimless ball lobbed towards you, how would you fare? If that is going to be our style, let's find another Peter Crouch or some brick shithouse to stand there and be our outlet.
We play some devastating football when we move the ball quickly. We need to break free of the shackles... not Koeman's fault but inbred from Martinez days.
Barkley's goal, I call it a Moses goal, Watford parted like the dead sea. That was all he done in the whole game.
110 Posted 14/05/2017 at 08:45:29
111 Posted 14/05/2017 at 08:48:39
I seem to remember that other clown Lyons equaliser at Main Road more or less sealing Liverpool's title for them.
Like the Man City game the other year, I'll be praying and hoping we come unstuck at The Emirates. If it still means something.either way, BT or Sky will still saturate us with them on at least every other week. Total disgrace from Carragher, Owen, Rednapp, Souness, Fowler, Thompson and so on. Well there's the reason.
112 Posted 14/05/2017 at 09:25:05
The lad has plenty of skill and a great shot but the most important things are missing: a football brain and the ability to go box to box.
Ross will be forever consigned to the ones who should have been Everton giants but sadly will only ever be remembered as one who almost had it all.
Sign Gylfie quick-style. COYB
113 Posted 14/05/2017 at 14:01:08
Also, I can recall Koeman's Southampton team playing some very nice football. Do you actually believe that our coach intentionally plays dour shite? He will tighten the defence and then I believe the attacking options will emerge.
This will take more than one season and I expect dramatic improvement come September. Believe me, Darren, I am no happy clapper, nor am I happy with mediocrity, but... I do not expect instant success and I will be patient.
I hope to be at Goodison Park in October. If we have not improved by then, the middle-aged man rugby-tackled by a steward will be me.
114 Posted 14/05/2017 at 14:03:01
But being in Europe does allow the club to increase sponsorship and television coverage of our great club. That must be a positive.
115 Posted 14/05/2017 at 14:06:36
116 Posted 14/05/2017 at 14:10:19
Where's the difference?
117 Posted 14/05/2017 at 17:11:43
118 Posted 14/05/2017 at 17:35:45
119 Posted 14/05/2017 at 18:42:22
He is third in the league for interceptions (behind Watford's Ben Watson and Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic), despite only playing 13 games for us and only about two hours for his previous club (Man Utd) all season.
Good night, nurse.
120 Posted 14/05/2017 at 20:07:56
121 Posted 14/05/2017 at 20:18:07
122 Posted 14/05/2017 at 22:02:31
123 Posted 15/05/2017 at 03:38:34
124 Posted 15/05/2017 at 07:01:28
125 Posted 15/05/2017 at 08:30:34
126 Posted 15/05/2017 at 10:19:30
Exactly lad. Dyer's far more consistent, he never gets as high as 7 out of 10. I'm sick of these hyped up kids at Everton that always get on the ball, run at people and try to make things happen. Getting the odd 9s, 8s and 7s.
How can you accomadate players like that when you know the likes Dyer, Holgate, Barry, and Gana give you solid 5s and 6s every week? They never fuck your tactics by throwing a few 7 or 8s in. Or throwing the odd long-range goal or killer pass or beat a man.
We need to go to Spurs away on the back of good run and play with no wingers or players who can take people on so we can get a half-decent defeat to ensure 7th place.
If Lukaku wants out "take the money and run" I don't want no-one who doesn't want to be here! Besides him, every other player at Everton would rather be here than Madrid, Barca and Man Utd... including the manager.
And I'm sick of everytime he goes away on international duty talking about wanting Champions League footy. I'd rather he wanted Europa League and there is no way I'm giving up learning Flemish and I won't be stopping watching Belgian news. No,no, I'm going to continue to ignore everything he does on the pitch in a blue shirt and go out of my way to read and be offended by comments made to Belgian TV or press.
He's lazy anyway. We could find the next Marcus Bent or Andy Johnson with the money. Spread the goals as well. Gana and Schneiderlin will weigh in with loads, won't they??
We sold Lineker and won the league the following season. And that's still relevant 30 years on. And there are no other examples of teams selling their star striker and being worse off. In fact, it's a known guaranteed way of winning the league. Every big club does it.
There were no other variables affecting the 22 teams in those two seasons 85-86 and 86-87 either. Over the 88 games each of the 22 clubs played, the only factor was Lineker!
That's why when everyone makes the point that we got better after selling Lineker, I'm so impressed by their football understanding and knowledge. Even when it's the 569,000-th time I've heard it.
I sit back, listen, take notes and think this guy should be in management. I bet he knew that McCarthy got picked to allow the full backs to get forward! Because I never did. After two games when I knew the cunt was shite because he couldn't trap a bag of cement, it was relieving to hear that.
He wasn't getting in Coleman's way when the opposition winger used him as a shield to come inside the two of them as he rushed over, he was merely allowing Coleman to get forward. Because, before he signed, Coleman never crossed the half-way line.
And it was still informative to hear the same explanation three seasons later from his most ardent supporters, just in case I forgot the genius tactic. It should have felt condescending but it was that stupid and 'bandwagony' it was impossible to feel anything.
Anyway Tony (#104) is right. Being negative against Spurs away, Liverpool away, has costs us and doomed us to 7th. I don't think Lukaku, Barkley or Deulofeu are the problem... Deulofeu is better than Calvert-Lewin... fact. (I can't write 'imho' as it's a fact.)
Some are suggesting selling Lukaku and replacing his goals between three strikers, forwards or wingers. Well, if Deulofeu would have started every game with Lukaku, Mirallas and Barkley, how many would they have scored?
7th was the lowest we could have finished and with the top 6, except Chelsea being in Europe we've missed a chance to haul them in... the manager has made numerous mistakes. Whilst whipping boys up front have carried out their job effectively in the main.
127 Posted 15/05/2017 at 16:58:54
Then, when it's all down to the likes of Mirallas, Barkley, Lukaku to search for goals or create and we have an off-day, it's all their fault. I honestly believe if those 3 players just spent 90 minutes throwing slide tackles in, they would have far more respect.
128 Posted 25/05/2017 at 11:55:29
129 Posted 26/05/2017 at 12:51:43
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