The day started well enough. My better half’s parents in town from Germany and all attending the match. I was able to sneak off a little early, Ste joining me in the pub to take in Fulham vs Arsenal… the pub busying up… everyone in good spirits and yes, with high expectations.
There were no changes to the starting XI from that which drew at Norwich City. I was particularly excited to see Barkley after his performance and goal last week. Everyone was buzzing heading up to the ground, Z-Cars booming out as we walked through the turnstile.
Prior to kick-off, there was a lovely tribute to the late, great Dave Hickson, led by 86-year-old season ticket holder Billy Ingham who on crutches saluted all four sides of the ground amidst fantastic applause. With everyone in boisterous mood, play began with Everton attacking towards the Park End in the first half. Roger East made his Goodison Park bow as a referee.
I think Everton tried to start the game on the front foot but were pegged back by a resolute West Brom who did well to stifle the game in the opening sparrings. Steven Pienaar came closest early on with a brave diving header which was saved by Foster. At the other end, Morrison had a dip from distance which sailed a yard or so over the crossbar.
As the half wore on, it became more and more apparent that West Brom had come for the draw and were doing a good job of battling us in midfield, Youssouf Mulumbu particularly impressive for me and putting in a Man of the Match performance, though Everton did again come close to scoring when Mirallas was teed up from the edge of the box, his drive tipped over the bar by Foster. At the break, Everton definitely on top but West Brom keeping us out.
The second half continued in similar vein with Everton forcing nearly all the opportunities and West Brom working hard to keep us out. Jelavic toiled up front to no effect. Pienaar and Barkley were the pick of the midfielders. Mirallas tired as the game ticked by. Foster made some good saves from Mirallas and then a useful double save from Barkley and then Fellaini. At the other end, Shane Long perhaps should have done better with his opportunity which Howard saved. A more instinctive striker may have really punished Everton there. Morrison also had a drive from distance beaten away by Howard.
Martinez rung the changes with around 20 minutes left. Jelavic was replaced by Kone and Mirallas, who was becoming increasingly ineffective, was substituted for Naismith who continued this ineffectiveness. Victor Anichebe, who has netted a couple of times previously against West Brom, would have been a better option for me.
Still the win probably should have come and almost did when Fellaini showed instinctive chest control and stabbed the ball nicely right-footed towards the far corner, the ball coming back off the inside of the post and then cleared by a West Brom defender before Naismith or Kone could get to it. That was unlucky. We then almost struck lucky when Coleman’s deep cross beat substitute keeper Luke Daniels but came back off the face off the bar and away… I can’t remember us grabbing a break like that since Phil Neville overhit a cross on Boxing Day in 2007 which drifted in.
We trudged away a little dejected despite not losing the game. It’s very early days under Martinez and we have to give him time of course, but things seemed a lot less cohesive to me on the field and, despite nearly grabbing it late on, it’s difficult to claim we deserved to win the game. It wasn’t exactly convincing but will hopefully improve in time.
The Baines / Fellaini transfer saga can’t have helped matters this week and neither player was anywhere near their best…Fellaini in-particular playing within himself. We might just have to grin and bear this again next week at Cardiff before the window shuts. Sign off next week with a win and, whatever happens with what’s left of the window, things could look quite rosy going into the international break. Defeat or another draw and things could be very rocky with a date with Chelsea looming the other side of the break.
I think this is going to be one bumpy ride.
Player Ratings:Howard: Saved what he had to and distributed reasonably. 7
Baines: Not at his best but the effort and application was there. I think most fans would be more disappointed to lose Baines than Fellaini. 6
Distin: Seemed to struggle with his injury early on but seemed able to forget about it and put in a solid performance. He’ll be pleased with his first clean sheet of the season. 7
Jagielka: Made some decent last ditch recoveries such was the high line Everton were playing. He’s not too comfortable playing the ball out from the back the way Martinez wants. 7
Coleman: Kept going forward and nearly scored near the end on two separate occasions. Had a decent game. 7
Fellaini: I thought he was playing as if he was trying not to get injured. We’ll have to play him regardless, however, as the knives would be out on Martinez and Kenwright if he was omitted from a squad. I thought he should have been slung upfield late on as we chased the win, though he did come very close to grabbing the winner. I hope we can somehow keep him but I fully expect him to move before deadline day. You would hope a replacement is lined up behind the scenes. Will be interesting to see if Baines or he play against Stevenage on Wednesday evening. 5
Osman: Not at his best at all though the effort was there as always. 5
Pienaar: My (Everton) Man of the Match. Kept on going and probing. He will play a key role this season, one would assume. 7
Mirallas: Started well but seemed to tire and quite frankly looked a little disinterested as the game wore on. Can do and needs to perform better. 5
Barkley: Everton have missed Cahill’s fight and determination to win in games and in Barkley I think we finally have someone who has that drive. He had a good game. Finds space well and takes responsibility. Still dips at times and can be prone to giving the ball away but as we did with Coleman last season, we’ll just have to let him make his mistakes and develop as a player. Showed some great play towards the end in search of the winner and was one of Everton’s best performers on the day. We should probably start preparing now for next summers ‘derisory and insulting’ bid from that team down the East Lancs Road. 7
Jelavic: Worked hard and showed much more confidence in possession though didn’t get any chances. There was one or two stray balls in the box which a firing Jelavic may have done something with but overall it looks very much a better player than last season. 7
Kone (for Jelavic): I thought he did well. Despite Jelavic’s decent effort, I would like to see Kone given a start next weekend, particularly if he can grab a goal or two on Wednesday. 7
Naismith (for Mirallas): Didn’t really make any impact. I think Anichebe would have been a better substitute. 5
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
660 Posted 25/08/2013 at 15:30:51
664 Posted 25/08/2013 at 15:36:56
666 Posted 25/08/2013 at 15:35:16
Naismith managed to do it late on and his clever touch to Kone almost won us the match. Unfortunately, with Pienaar and Mirallis, this seldom happens. The striker is isolated and our goal threat reduced.
668 Posted 25/08/2013 at 16:13:15
Having watched the highlights last night, I am less depressed than after watching it earlier. I think we actually carved out enough chances to win the game but we were facing a) high expectations and b) a WBA side determined and organised with a point in mind.
We didn't play particularly well and we need two midfielders desperately, but it's early days. I am very disappointed (as usual) that we've been massively outspent again and that Martinez has apparently not been backed at all in the window. It is a sad fact that out starting eleven is a shadow of Tottenham's or Liverpool's - two teams we used to go head to head with for the 'best of the rest'.
669 Posted 25/08/2013 at 16:10:51
Having said that when Fella moves up for set pieces he is being manhandled better by opposing centre backs especially big guys like himself such as Olsen yesterday.
Everton need another class creative player to compliment Barklay
674 Posted 25/08/2013 at 16:26:26
I for one wanted a manager who would be fucking ruthless with our players. If you'd played like shite you wouldn't start the next game, whoever you were, Bobby M seems like a nice guy, but sadly I fear he won't last long.
All I ask is:
1. A win at Anfield!
2. We score in every game we play!
3. Win the League Cup!
tHat's it, not to much to ask for, but i'm sure none of the above we will secure this season!!!
682 Posted 25/08/2013 at 16:34:40
However, I do feel Fellaini and Baines will be sold before the window shuts, I think McCarthy and a replacement LB will be brougtht in also. I just hope Martinez has more targets lined up aswell, Diame would be good signing and so would Victor Moses.
685 Posted 25/08/2013 at 17:00:55
The game is being played at 110 mph, finger-nail biting time again!
686 Posted 25/08/2013 at 16:34:40
However, I do feel Fellaini and Baines will be sold before the window shuts, I think McCarthy and a replacement LB will be brougtht in also. I just hope Martinez has more targets lined up aswell, Diame would be good signing and so would Victor Moses.
688 Posted 25/08/2013 at 17:08:14
Let's face it, with the exception of Kone (the other three wont be regulars, I doubt), it's pretty much the same team as last season — the same team that was hard to beat but doesnt win enough games.
So far this year (2013) has seen us draw 5 games 0-0 and lose 1-0 at Sunderland in April when we looked like a team shot to bits lacking guile and ideas. Also a humiliating performance and result at home to Wigan in March, another game we failed to score in.
If we do look dodgy and have a problematic start to the season, then it will have been on the cards. The problem is that the board at Everton don't heed the warnings, they don't see that other clubs around, below and above us will improve their squads considerably.
Don't blame Martinez. He is trying to change the style, it won't be easy if he is not given the tools to expand. The blame lies in the boardroom.
690 Posted 25/08/2013 at 17:10:15
It was frustrating but I'm sure we will play worse than that and win.
696 Posted 25/08/2013 at 17:19:32
There are players available who don't or didn't play for Wigan,you know!
697 Posted 25/08/2013 at 17:27:05
Just read on another site we have had a £4mill bid knocked back for Moses.
701 Posted 25/08/2013 at 17:24:38
702 Posted 25/08/2013 at 17:35:46
728 Posted 25/08/2013 at 18:01:06
730 Posted 25/08/2013 at 18:03:24
736 Posted 25/08/2013 at 18:04:50
740 Posted 25/08/2013 at 18:13:05
743 Posted 25/08/2013 at 18:04:11
I don't think many fans are calling for us to spend over the odds on buying McCarthy, I just think its the most likely scenario if Fellaini, Baines or both are sold.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with some of these Wigan or ex-Wigan players - just because they've played for Wigan it doesn't mean they are no good. Roy Keane played for Notts Forest when they were relegated from the PL, was he a shit player? Martinez will know these players inside out and will know they have what it takes to play his philosophy of football.
£4 million for Moses is an absolute joke of an offer if true. I think we will have to double that offer to land his signature. £8 million would still be a bargain in my opinion
748 Posted 25/08/2013 at 17:51:26
What was wrong?
Well we didn't like the way we played in too many drawn and lost games from winning positions.We could look forward to this Season with £25m extra TV money plus the bonus for finishing 6th and rubbish players going including "talk the talk " Neville. Better still we knew that DM was off.
The new manager gets us three players in the right areas including the brightest young talent from Barcelona.
However, he doesn't play them! The "existing players" are being coached to
play in a different manner unaided by the acquired players!! We play two poor teams, each of whom, are more short of players through injury and suspension than we are.
Now if those two teams had been top four rather than bottom ten,of course we
could agree with RM's positive public statement.....maybe
754 Posted 25/08/2013 at 18:21:08
I don't think there is anything wrong with signing players from relegated clubs but you have to judge each case on merit. We got Jagielka from a relegated club lets not forget.
Robles was cheap and looks a good young player. Alcarez was a free so no harm done there.
However Kone and possibly McCarthy/Moses I would judge differently. We are paying a lot of money there and I don't think they represent value at the prices quoted. Kone we will have to see. It might help if RM dropped the useless Jelavic and let Kone prove his worth. McCarthy is a good player but not worth 10m. I think it is likely he will end up here though as Fellaini will leave and probably baines too.
Massively disagree on Moses though. Looks average at best to me and 4m would be too high in my opinion! Terrible scoring record and has never looked quick enough to be a winger
769 Posted 25/08/2013 at 18:48:22
McCarthy is a very good player and would love to see him on our books, but £15 million is too much considering what value can be purchased abroad.
I don't know what games you've been watching...but when ever i've seen Moses play, he looks a top talent - a cut above the likes of Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer and Mcgeady. Moses is still very young and improving, I for one would love to see him here
772 Posted 25/08/2013 at 18:58:41
774 Posted 25/08/2013 at 19:08:25
775 Posted 25/08/2013 at 19:10:36
777 Posted 25/08/2013 at 19:11:13
779 Posted 25/08/2013 at 18:14:53
The first time that I mentally noted Foster "farting around" taking a goal kick was after just 12 minutes, he did it every single time, and they did so with every free kick and throw-in.... WBA came to "God's Acre" with a mindset not to lose (and if they got lucky, sneak a goal).
Everton are a team in transition and Steve Clarke shrewdly played the percentage game yesterday, and it frustrated many in the ground. That does not mean that we failed, but it does mean that we didn't cheaply get our own way.
Howard: defensively was solid, distribution was too wayward too often.
Baines: seemed distracted, but never shirked a 50/50, the partnership with Pienaar wasn't flowing yesterday.
Jagielka: pretty solid, OK a couple of "squeakies" late on, needs to be considerably more vocal as Captain.
Distin: solid and put in a respectable shift for a senior pro carrying a knock, also rescued Jags crucially.
Coleman: my MotM, no flutters defensively and applied himself continually to find a way through WBA's stout defence. Created chances and had a few pots too.
Mirallas: started better than he finished, seemed to get fed up with WBA's dreary defensive approach, did cause Foster to bring off one or two of his best saves.
Pienaar: pretty much as for Mirallas, his first-half header was as dangerous as Mirallas's best effort, causing Foster to be at his best.
Fellaini: casually robbed WBA midfield numerous times and made it look like I could do it, created serious goal threats late on.
Barkley: it wasn't coming off for him yesterday, he tried and frequently I was thinking....."FFS he has sooooo much skill and strength", he gave it a shot but WBA's dour defence always had a man ready to block. At 19, he was very cool headed. Ross will have learned loads from playing such negative opponents. Not sure why he got booked, don't recall him being so much as troublesome, seemed harsh to me.
Jelavic: had a moment of petulance with Felli when frankly I didn't see Marouane being in any way to blame. Worked hard then went missing, wasn't really a game where I could see him popping in a couple, he just looked pissed off to me. Disturbingly passed the ball into acres of space allowing WBA an attack, then tried to blame Pienaar for "not being there". TBH, Jelly was entirely at fault, but Pienaar made not the slightest effort to respond.
Osman: Not in his best position and it showed; as a senior pro, he should be adaptable and do so to accomodate Barkley's emerging talent. I cannot tolerate Leon being pilloried, by all means criticise a player's contribution/efforts just don't criticise the bloke.
Kone: Looked interested and bustled around; despite the offside decision, he had my eyebrows raised at how he danced around/over WBA's keeper. Play stopped but it was the "tidy feet" that encouraged me.
Naismith: like many, I think I wanted Roberto to take a spin on Deulofeu, though maybe as a first outing he would prefer a less negative opponent/situation. Naismith definitely went out to try and get something to happen, not classy but deffo gave it a go.
Tactics: The possession worked, 'cos we had it. But it was like listening to a kid playing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on the violin, needs more work especially on tempo and it wasn't a complex piece. Roberto did switch stuff around and made substitutions... Just because he didn't avoid doing everything that DM would have done doesn't make that wrong...
At times the (apparent) encouragement to shoot when in range did cause some raised eyebrows (Pienaar takes a pot when Baines was entirely unmarked wide left and attacking with pace).
What did concern me was the number of "niggles" between players when they weren't happy with a teammates choice of action, I do not want to see that regularly.
Not great but could quite easily have been over by half-time but for Foster's class display. Also, Mulumbu was a complete handfull and was the king of midfield. If Foster was MotM overall then Mulumbu was the next best player in terms of contribution.
780 Posted 25/08/2013 at 19:02:44
Got to agree with you there, regarding Victor Moses, whose position in the massive Chelsea squad, must have compromised yet again, the arrival of Schurrle, Willian, possibly Samuel E'to. I would doubt, after all that has gone this past week, whether the figure of £4m has any substance, probably just paper initiated effluent agitation.
I read an article somewhere on the Internet, (don't remember the actual site) about a 'possible team still available' before the Window shuts. Moses was one of the players listed, so I would not be surprised if Roberto had a bid in for him.
783 Posted 25/08/2013 at 19:11:13
786 Posted 25/08/2013 at 19:28:16
810 Posted 25/08/2013 at 19:46:49
Once again we have a manager who been fooled by BK.
Supporters have known from last season that Osman and Naismith are not up to premier standards anymore and we required a quality midfielder.
What did this chairman do---- provide the manager with a paltry few million to purchase players from a relagated club not any better than we have.
RM can introduce as many new systems he likes but without backing from BK and his mates he is going to struggle and be critized unfairly.
RM was not my choice but I am prepared to back him and I only wish the people who matter would do the same ,so far they have not.
812 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:15:35
815 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:15:50
Martinez stated he will get us relegated? That's a new one to me. BK really didn't put much thought into this managerial appointment
817 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:20:55
819 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:22:24
823 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:32:03
824 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:27:36
825 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:35:09
829 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:36:05
831 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:42:41
832 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:41:24
834 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:40:14
He apparently wants regular football (so do we) and went on loan to Siena, he's a defensive midfielder, which we need, whether he can cut the mustard, is another thing!
835 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:49:24
According to Italian news outlet Sportsmediaset, Everton were in talks last night with Juventus about the transfer of Luca Marrone.
The outlet has suggested that a delegation travelled to the Ferraris stadium in Genoa to begin initial talks about signing the talented 23 year old midfielder.
Marrone joined Juventus as a six-year-old and worked his way up through the club ranks before breaking into the senior squad in 2009.
But Marrone has failed to establish himself as a fixture in the Juventus first team and spent the 2010/11 season on loan at Siena.
836 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:54:46
837 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:54:57
838 Posted 25/08/2013 at 20:55:43
840 Posted 25/08/2013 at 21:03:32
841 Posted 25/08/2013 at 21:06:59
842 Posted 25/08/2013 at 21:09:07
I sometimes wonder if people give out marks based solely on prejudice. I suspect the 5 has more to do with the fact that most of us suspect he'll be wearing another team's shirt in a few weeks than anything he did or didn't do on the pitch.
We do need a better centre mid, but it's Osman that mainly needs upgrading with someone more mobile and robust, not Fellaini.
843 Posted 25/08/2013 at 21:19:17
After a while of this going on Rodney had to take a throw-in close to the dug-out and the manager shouted "Any more of this Marshy and I'll pull you off at half-time"
Rodney in reply shouted "Cheers Boss at QPR I only got an orange just like the rest of the team!"
844 Posted 25/08/2013 at 21:20:43
845 Posted 25/08/2013 at 21:26:26
847 Posted 25/08/2013 at 21:28:42
850 Posted 25/08/2013 at 21:41:25
West Brom. finished 8th & Norwich 11th last season, you talk like their poor teams, not top 5 but not poor either.
We've been the best team in both matches so its hardly needs to be panic stations!
If RM wanted the safe option when he took over, he could have used what is Moyes team to play the same way as Moyes did, if we had finished lower than 6th any criticism would be justified.
851 Posted 25/08/2013 at 22:09:13
855 Posted 25/08/2013 at 22:34:56
861 Posted 25/08/2013 at 22:41:44
Juventus quoted a figure of 7 mill for him.
BK is still recovering in an oxygen tent.
864 Posted 25/08/2013 at 22:37:11
I just don't know where he fits in a midfield three. In my eyes he wanders around if he's playing holding mid and doesn't have the positional sense to pass runners off to defenders or when to go with them. He also tends to sit far too deep. If he plays next to a holding mid then the onus is on him to dictate a tempo with his passing. He can't do this as well as Gibson or even Osman can. His long passing isn't very good and its too conservative in my view in general. Our problem is not getting the ball forward quickly enough and I think Fellaini is a part of that. Countless times against WBA Barkley was showing for it in the middle but Fellaini didn't trust either his passing or Barkley's touch and so it went back around the back for another 5 minutes before eventually going through the flanks. Whenever you watch Man U Carrick hits Van Persie or Rooney straight away.
Sometimes you just look at players and you just know and it makes no sense. On the face of it Darron Gibson is slow, doesn't head, can't really tackle and never looks very fit. Yet when he plays Everton's defense and attack look better. When Gibson is out and Fellaini takes his place everything looks worse.
There's three ways to get a ball forward quickly in football, either by running with it at pace, hitting a killer pass, or interchanging at pace through the midfield. Fellaini can't do the first because he doesn't have the acceleration that a Barkley has to get away from players. He can't do the second, he's not a Pirlo or Gibson type who can just spray a 30 yard cross field ball first time. So we're left with the third which to be honest he looks uncomfortable doing. Combined with Osman its a very slow midfield with neither having the legs to break beyond anyone. How many times have you seen Fellaini 'win' the ball back before then passing it slowly to a man two yards away, sometimes the players he's disposessed is already harrying the man Fellaini's just passed to its that slow. Very rarely have I seen Fellaini nick the ball off someone and drive forward in the open space before slotting a perfect ball into someone's path. I just expect more for the 17 million or whatever we paid for him. Arteta was the school of Science for me, Fellaini is just not the same. Wish we'd got Modric instead when both were going for similar prices.
865 Posted 25/08/2013 at 22:55:39
869 Posted 25/08/2013 at 22:36:52
We, the long-suffering Everton fans, keep awaiting the Messiah and RM is the latest candidate to emerge and so it is we were expecting a lot more from the first two games.
Sometimes you get 3 points when not performing well and other times drop points when deserving of all three.
We cannot judge RM after a couple of games. After all, we kept giving Moyes second chances for 10 years.
And for those who have said RM has a Wigan mentality — did anyone ever say that Moyes had a Preston mentality?
870 Posted 25/08/2013 at 23:29:24
But what strikes me is that we are suffering the same problem under Martinez, a lack of consistency in front of goal.
Downside to Roberto is that we will concede a lot more than under the dour one so he had best get the strikers sorted ASAP.
I know you can't/shouldn't judge after a couple of games but I honestly have a nagging little voice in my head telling me this is going to be a rocky season.
I also have a feeling that the fat controller has upset Martinez already, I don't know why but I just have a funny feeling about it.
The other ginger twat is not helping either by insinuating he is still getting wanked off by the teary one over the phone.
876 Posted 26/08/2013 at 00:21:07
If you get worried just think, Jagielka, Coleman, Barkley, Mirralas, Pienaar, Deulofeu and Fellaini an Baines could stay yet. As long as Kone bangs 15 league goals, top 7 easy
882 Posted 26/08/2013 at 01:57:42
We did look a little pedestrian at times especially coming back into defend when our passing game broke down. I found myself hoping for a few long balls into Fellaini during the match rather than some of the pissing around with the ball in the middle of the park.
I do feel that the style of play can work, but we're probably missing a striker who can nick into the box with pace and an Arteta who can thread the ball through the gaps and join up the play.
006 Posted 26/08/2013 at 10:06:10
"The other ginger twat is not helping either by insinuating he is still getting wanked off by the teary one over the phone. "
Have you ever considered a career in journalism. Certainly more colourful than the efforts of the Times journos.
054 Posted 26/08/2013 at 16:38:06
But it is straight to the point and honest.
074 Posted 26/08/2013 at 17:15:34
And only my mother had the right to call me "Raymond", and then only when I was in deep shit.
082 Posted 26/08/2013 at 17:28:11
As soon as she called me that I shook with fear and still do...
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.