Monday night and a game under the lights at Goodison can only mean a meet up in the room of non-sense after a chippy tea and give a hundred reasons why we should win and then get down the ground to witness what unfolds under those lights that seem to inspire us.
Team as announced looked good and littered with both youth and experience. Phil Dowd was ref and from the whistle we were fast out of the blocks. Within two minutes the link up between Barkley and Lukaku was sublime and a precurser for the rest of the game and the rest of the season I hope as a deft touch from Ross put Rom through and he netted only for the flag to be raised for off side.
We didn’t have to wait long to yell ‘goal’ as just five mins in Mirallas picked up the ball on half way and set off at great pace down the right looked up and complimented the run from Lukaku with a delicious pass that the big striker hammered home off the keepers hand. Much cheering and singing took place.
The Blues were picking their moment to explode and on 17 mins a fast raid saw the ball headed away from the goal line, three mins later and a good run from Coleman resulted in a corner which was cleared but only to Coleman some 40 yards out and his powerful shot was high.
Just inside 25 mins we were at it again when a Distin header from our 18-yard line sent Mirallas away and he fed Lukaku who spotted the run of Barkley who with two deft touches shot and left the keeper rooted as the ball nestled and the crowd roared.
Some right good joined up footy was now being played at a high tempo and on 37 mins it was Utopia. Howard launched a long high one that saw the Newcastle centre backs part like the Red Sea as Lukaku burst through them side stepped the keeper and rammed the ball home to rapturous celebrations from all assembled.
The last ten mins of the half saw us lose something and we didn’t look as confident or as assured as Newcastle pressed onto us more quickly and we we lost some composure, at the same time we did break when we could and Lukaku had the ball in the net again but was ruled offside.
Half-time and 3-0 up is not to be sniffed at. Most conversation regarded Lakuku and the thought we had a right good one here — something we have lacked for years, a proper power house centre forward with a deftness of touch and an eye for goal.
Second half and Pardew made a couple of changes and right away they looked better for it and within a minute they had hit the post with us scrambling the ball away. Just as I was thinking ‘Aye – Aye’ Mirallas sped down the right caused havoc and sent a power daisy cutter across the box only for Osman to be thwarted by a deflection from the keepers hand. Just as I was thinking ‘we could have done with that to settle nerves’ Newcastle attacked and the sub Cabaye was allowed to come inside unfettered and from some 20 yards hit one that gave Howard no chance and nestled in the Park End net, the sound of silence as far as the faithful were concerned. 3-1 and I did wonder.
Newcastle looked a different team and we struggled a bit up to the 65-min mark with only a saved Barkley shot to consider. We did produce a good little spell that produced good runs, shots and crosses but no goals. The last foray in that spell saw Coleman raid well down the right and fed Lukaku with a fine ball and as the striker shot a tackle came in that ensured the effort was wide and the ‘Hat Trick’ not achieved.
Newcastle attacked and then threw on a striker, Cisse for a mid-fielder. Roberto responded by swopping Mirallas for Deulofeu. Mirallas was given a good ovation as he left.
The Blues got a free kick right in Baines territory, he set it up, we all held our breath, he ran up, shot — Missed.
Deulofeu was causing trouble with his fast twisting runs and on one occasion he whizzed one across the box that deflected out to either Barkley or McCarthy who back heeled deliciously into the path of Baines who hammered it across the keeper but wide of the far post — Drat or words to that effect.
We reached 80mins and Lukaku was blowing for tugs and Barkley seemed mentally fatigued as they faded. Anxiety was flooding down the terraces and on to the pitch and when we gave a free kick away in a dangerous position through overplaying the outpouring of breath rustled the flags. The kick hit the wall and we breathed again. 3to go and Newcastle got a second when they isolated Baines at the back post and he was beaten in the air for the ball to be headed back and scrambled into the net. 3-2 would you believe it Squeaky bum time here we come. Naismith for Barkley. Stones for Osman as we attempt to see out the 4added mins .
The clock on the big screen seems to be going slower, aach Newcastle attack raises blood pressure to high levels and is not helped as a Remy shot whistles just over the bar. Is this the Everton of the first half I am watching? Just shows how quickly things can change in footy. Naisith goes down holding his head, watches are checked, we get a free kick to relieve a bit of pressure and more time surely passes. Time up on my watch- Ref does not agree — Deulofeu raids again this time down the left and hammers a shot from an acute angle at the keeper who clears downfield — Ref's watch catches up with mine and ‘If yer know yer Istery’ is belted out in both joyful and relief mode. Game of two halves? You bet!
MotM: Lukaku for the goals; McCarthy for the promise shown.
A good three points and still the lone unbeaten club in the league and fourth in the table. I never take notice of tables until beginning of December but being fourth top is always better for confidence than fourth bottom.
From tonight's game I thought it showed Lukaku needs to be fitter to last the 90 odd mins in good form and then he really will be a beast and could cause even greater havoc in the last twenty mins of games. Some fine tuning is required for when teams press us really high. Second half tonight that ploy made us look panicky when trying to work the ball across the back line and through midfield. If we get things better as we go on then hey who knows, maybe dust can be blown off passports.
City next and a good test for certain there, even their tickets look and feel expensively produced. Still no two games are the same so we go in good spirits and wouldn’t you just love it if we could get one over on the conquerors of the mighty Man Utd.
UP THE BLUES
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755 Posted 01/10/2013 at 04:17:57
We have great link-ups all over the park now, and the prospect of watching the Barkley Lukaku Mirallas combination blossom over the coming months is truely mouth-watering.
With Lukaku the beast up and running for us now, we should fear nobody. Exciting times ahead!
774 Posted 01/10/2013 at 07:35:10
Hopefully all fit for next week and Gibson can come in for Barry.
780 Posted 01/10/2013 at 07:55:09
For those who say start him, I'd say the lad has a lot, a lot, to learn still. It's when you see that deplorable covering that you really do appreciate the amount of work the guys put in to track back.
790 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:31:34
826 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:55:06
Ok the second half was far more nervous than it should have been, agree Newcastle do deserve some of the credit, looked like they had a true bollocking at half time.
I was just pleased to get the three points, going into the game I knew that they couldnt defend as was seen during the first half but we cannot deny that they have got some serious talented attacking players and the introduction of Cabaye helped them considerably as Ben Arfa was finally let out of Seamus Colemans pocket at half time.
Our overall play was fantastic, pass, move, pace, power all the things I have wanted to see from an Everton side for many years.
We must remember that we are a work in progress not only a new manager and new playing style but we also are bringing through many young players such as Barkley, Deulofue, Lukaku(is still only 20 believe it or not)
This Everton team has so much promise in it and I am very excited by the combination of quality experience and upcoming youth.
The start has probably been better than I had hoped for, I thought it may have taken a little longer to look as good as we have done in some games but its certainly full of promise.
So even if as expected we do get beaten at City on Saturday we can hopefully take at least four points from the next two at home to Hull and away to Villa, maybe even six points which would be fantastic.
It is eye opening that Everton F.C hasnt ceased to exist with the departure of David Moyes as many fans would have had us believe.
864 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:50:32
885 Posted 01/10/2013 at 14:21:20
When you looked at the bench for our subs, who was there to really keep up the first half standard? Deulofeu looked like he needs more team attitude, a bit selfish; keen to go forward but not come back.
Two good performances were from our Ossie and McCarthy; who Monday night did a lot to change his "Wigan waste of time" reputation with many Toffees. He looked promising.
So City next. We need to do some reflection first.
890 Posted 01/10/2013 at 14:37:53
On the positive side, the first half was absolutely top class and would cause lots of problems for any other teams defence. Creativity was in evidence all over the pitch but we did need good midfielders on the bench to be able to rotate with Osman and Barry towards the end. It showed the reasons why the top clubs have bigger squads than we do, but we have unearthed some real diamonds in Barkley, Coleman and Stones. I agree that Del boy lacks defensive nous and should be coached in that particular department. If he added this asset to his game the lad will become world class.
To end I must mention Distin who must be as good a defender as anyone in the division.... France must have fantastic centre backs. He has great pace, heading ability and never gets booked!!
891 Posted 01/10/2013 at 14:44:05
IMO we are in a false position as the likes of Lukaku and Barry are likely to only be short term fixes and next season, if they are not replaced adequately, I believe we will see Martinez fall from grace and we will see a slow Everton decline. It's very unlikely we will find a striker as good as Lukaku next season and those chances will be missed once again by the likes of Jelavic and Kone or whoever else we bring in on the cheap.
The last few wins have all been very close and could easily have gone another way. It's still early days... I’m not so sure it can last – especially if we suffer a couple of injuries to a couple of key players.
924 Posted 01/10/2013 at 17:11:53
993 Posted 01/10/2013 at 22:07:19
If the loaned players stay all season and do well then we have done well too. As most managers say, the next match is all that should be looked at and we have a far better squad than the last one to get 4th spot by playing awful football and actually qualifying with a negative goal difference. This squad includes a decent bench with all the players fit and no longer looks like a crèche ! We no longer have has beens taking up bench room and stopping the youngsters having a chance.
Barkley would probably be out on loan instead of being an integral part of our first team squad.
I see lots of positives in this squad and they are playing football well worth the entrance fee to watch.
997 Posted 01/10/2013 at 22:21:05
"Nobody was saying the Everton ship was going to sink over night". Our ship has just installed some turbo boosters and is sailing off into the distance mate.
"We are in a false position". So I assume you would be more comfortable with us sitting in a more realistic position of say 10th? Happy to continue to take knives to gun fights? Jesus wept what a stupid comment!
It's not just the loan signings which are the reason we've become a much better looking side. Ross Barkley has been integral to everything that has been good about us so far this season.
And you only have to look at a certain lad named Zaha getting nowhere near the pitch while the OAP Giggs is still getting game time to realise that your hero will always favour the safety first old heads to those that are young dynamic and hugely talented.
"I’m not so sure it can last – especially if we suffer a couple of injuries to a couple of key players". We seem to have coped thus far with the loss of Pienaar and Gibson. There's a couple of key players for you.
I hate to have to bring up the dour one again, I wish we could all move on. But all the time that people like you keep bringing him up as if he is still the messiah, completely ignoring the fact that he shit on us and then insulted us, then I'm sorry, I simply can't bite my tongue.
999 Posted 01/10/2013 at 22:17:51
we had as many, prob. more good chances in the 2nd half than they had.
There is some truth in a few of your points, but I don't think your an optimist are you?
Early days yet I agree, but were going to get even better as the season progresses,
there's going to be disappointments, wouldn't be football otherwise, lets just enjoy it & who knows what may happen!
003 Posted 01/10/2013 at 23:09:14
031 Posted 02/10/2013 at 04:08:01
There is a lot of truth in what you say. The odds are ultimately stacked against us because we do not have the finanical clout. But we all know that. All we can hope for is an on the pitch miracle where we have a team that wins a lot - and then money will start to flow.
Right now we have a team that looks like it can win games and does so in a way that suggests it will keep on doing so - i.e. creating a lot of chances. Honetly what more can we reasonably ask for!
Lukaku may well be gone next season - but I see no reason to think Barry will leave. And if Lukaku goes we will need to find a replacement - but we can worry about it then. If the miracle occurs and we are in the Champions League then things will start to look radically different for us.
069 Posted 02/10/2013 at 11:03:55
Under Moyes Barkley would not have started this season the way he has, the lad has been left to do what he was meant to do and has flourished as an attacking offensive midfielder.
Moyes would either have loaned him out again or had him playing on the left or in a defensive midfield role which is not suited to Barkley certainly not at this early stage in his career anyway.
We accept Moyes did bring alot of stability here but over such a long period of time you could argue that would come natural, had it been endless relegation battles then I wouldnt have thought he would have lasted 11 years (although to be fair more trigger happy chairmen could well have fired him in the summer of 2004 and the winter of 2005 after an atrocious run of results I remember)
We are now in a new era, the Moyes era had become stale, even though we had performed admirably at times last season we all began to grow bored with the same type of team selection, the same football style and the knowing that every visit to the 'Top four' would be the same defensive attitude.
I am now looking forward to a positive new era at Everton with a team that so far looks comfortable with the changes.
We have young players who will hopefully only get better and for me the it was a change when it was most needed.
Lets hope for more good times ahead.
076 Posted 02/10/2013 at 12:06:13
For the first time in years we have a squad which keeps the ball far longer than any of our previous squads since the premiership was formed. I reckon Martinez plays without fear as he has never before been expected to do anything other than keep Wigan in the league. He was not sacked and would have been kept by Whelan for as long as he wanted the job. Davey Moyes was not sacked either and he could have stayed at Goodison as long as he wanted too but he wanted to see how he could handle a top club with lots of money to spend. So far he is still adjusting from being a Mother Hubbard to a Alan Sugar !!
I relish the new blood at Goodison which includes Martinez, I love his optimism and attitude to football. Im sure the players like him as a person and that go's a long way to gaining success. His loans have been very succinct and inspired, I cannot say the same of the loans during earlier days. I was genuinely excited at the loan of Lukaku who so far has lived up to expectation. I also reckon that Kone will be a great addition which should motivate Jelavic to regain his confidence.
All in all, I have not been this optimistic about the entertainment value of our Everton team. We have a squad of players who can compete with the best in the division and may I say Europe too should we gain entry. If Martinez is able to secure more meaningful signings during January I really will begin to think that our once great sleeping giant is waking up !!
081 Posted 02/10/2013 at 12:31:32
No, we arent there yet, but Martinez gets my vote and my support.
I believe that the way forward for the EPL is to play in a very similar way to the Latin teams.
We must keep the ball as much as possible, and pass it as accurately as possible.
For me, that style of football is far more exciting and gratifying, especially when the English add speed to their attacks.
I remember Keegans first spell at Newcastle, and I thought yes, thats the way football should be played in this country !
Fast, accurate, attractive, attacking football, and I'm sure Roberto wants exactly that. So what if you give a few goals away in the process, isn't that what football should be about?
I really don't care if we concede a few, as long as we score more than "they" do.
If you find yourself pushing a trolley around Sainsburys on a Saturday afternoon, then your team must be playing poorly, or Tony Pulis has arrived at a club near you.
I hoped (but nevertheless, didnt expect), that we would hit more than 3 in the second half on Monday, but, as others have said, Newcastle are not exactly duffers. Cabaye did very well for them, and his goal was a cracker.
I was disappointed we gave away the second, and we looked clumsy, but the scoreline flattered them!
Perhaps we need to be looking at our fitness training, as I was rather surprised that a number of our players were blowing through their arses when there was still a good half hour or so to go.
Deloufou looked terrific going forward, but I think Roberto is handling him properly at the moment. I wouldnt give him a starting berth just yet, but maybe in the FA Cup, assuming its against a non Premier League team.
We are going really well, and I am absolutely delighted. Man City will be playing their strongest team tonight, so it might mean Pellegrini will rest 1 or 2 on Saturday.
Can you see the newspapers a season or 2 from now? "Martinez undecided whether to play Barclay against Barca in Champions League opener". (Barclay picked up a knock after scoring winner in Merseyside derby).
086 Posted 02/10/2013 at 12:58:54
I agree with all your comments, and while I am very disappointed with Moyes since his move to Man Utd I don't think we should write off all the good things he did for this club .There is no doubt that we are playing a more expansive game under Martinez and his signings have given us fresh impetus.
087 Posted 02/10/2013 at 13:31:02
is he angling for a jan transfer? we could do worse his passing was exemplary and his goal sublime, he also made them tick and got the ball forward quickly. he could replace an aging Osman no worries, perhaps they would like to swap him for one of our spare strikers??
090 Posted 02/10/2013 at 13:41:54
091 Posted 02/10/2013 at 13:15:57
Moyes has always talked about Barkley's potential and what a good player he was going to develop into so I think that would suggest Moyes would be keen to get him in the team sooner rather than later. Barkley wasn’t ready last season. He has clearly worked hard in pre-season and has gained in confidence with experience. He looks bigger stronger and faster. Is that because of Martinez or was it just his natural growth as he develops from a boy into a man? This is what tends to happen with young players with a lot of potential, just look at Bale’s progress over the last couple of years .
When I talk about a couple of injuries to a couple of key players, I mean match winning players like Lukaku or Barkley or Baines. With a couple of those players missing, I think our results would be much like our first 3 or 4 games of the season.
The real Martinez signings which I will judge him on are Robles, Alcaraz, Kone and McCarthy. Have any of them improved the first team? I would argue that only McCarthy has but I think for the amount spent on him and considering we sold a better Fellaini who played in the same position, it’s the least we should expect.
We got very lucky signing Lukaku, he has been the difference this season, make no mistake, not any of his other signings or style of play or tactics. Yes, Martinez should be given credit for going after him but so did a lot of other managers including Sam Allardyce. It was more down to Mirallas and the fact that the team David Moyes built was a more attractive proposition.
096 Posted 02/10/2013 at 14:01:13
Certainly did and wondered what that was all about. I thought, maybe he's trying to retrieve things after that spat with Cahill and the ball boy. But I think you might have spotted something about a possible wish to move to us! Thought he was an arse in the ball boy situation and for other thongs (thongs? things). But he'd be a great asset for us.
099 Posted 02/10/2013 at 14:16:45
134 Posted 02/10/2013 at 16:42:21
137 Posted 02/10/2013 at 16:49:36
140 Posted 02/10/2013 at 16:58:42
We have got a very good deal and so have Chelsea as he gets a full season of first team experience and he is going to go back hungry.
I seriously doubt we will be able to keep him as the lad is going to be a world beater but lets enjoy him while we can and it's up to Martinez to spend the season on finding a suitable replacement next season in a similar mould hopefully.
I must be on my own but I thought the first 3 games we played really well, we were a whisker away from winning all 3, and of course things could have easily gone the other way. thing is this season is one of the most competitive for a long time, every team more or less improved, some dramatically, there are a lot of good sides and we do not have a devine right to beat anyone. Too many fans on here are forgetting, Man utd, City, Liverpool at home, Arsenal have all had dodgy results and have had games where we haven't played well. Spurs have had last minute goals and penalties to get there season on track, we more than anyone should be granted a little leeway with a new style of play and manager but we are unbeaten, playing some fantastic stuff and people are critiquing everything to the finest detail this early on. It's bizarre
144 Posted 02/10/2013 at 15:02:50
Can you imagine Barcelona telling Messi, "Sorry, Leo, can't play you today; your work rate is crap."
Let the boy do what he is good at...
241 Posted 03/10/2013 at 01:08:07
I'm obviously talking shite as usual. I'm not trying to criticise Martinez, I'm an Everton fan and want him to do well but I am just giving my observations and opinions.
I agree, we played really well for the first 3 games and were a whisker away from winning; it was the same story last season under a Moyes, but we didn't have a top quality goal scorer like we do in Lukaku. So answer me this: Are we winning because of great tactics from Martinez or because of Lukaku?
302 Posted 03/10/2013 at 11:41:41
The fact that we have two new strikers and Del boy in the last window shows intent and a semblance of ambition that has been lacking.
As I have said before, Moyes did a wonderful job during his time with us and he left a small squad with a strong defence. Its no coincidence that our defenders have won most of the awards given by the club over the past years. Now we have three international defenders and Distin who should have been. Our midfield has been strengthened by the acquisition of Barry and McCarthy. Im sure that Alcaraz will be a good addition when he is fully fit. Up front we have lost big Vic but gained Lukaku, Kone and Del Boy.
We now have a squad that can play football but also use the long ball too because we have a top striker who can score and hold the ball upfront. I reckon Kone will come good too when needed. I feel a bit sorry for Jelavic as his effort is 100% but he cannot play upfront alone.
458 Posted 03/10/2013 at 22:13:04
I thought they scored after he came on. I still believe, had we had Lukaku last season to finish all the chances we created, we would have finished a couple of places higher up the table.
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