Everton lifted themselves into the top four, preserving their status as the top flight's only remaining unbeaten side with their third straight Premier League victory, although they were forced into a nervy finale by a Newcastle side that grew in confidence after being destroyed in the first half.

The Blues looked on course for the kind of deluge of goals that usually eluded Roberto Martinez's predecessor as they surged into a 3-0 lead on the back of a sublime first half display. Having been turned over in their own back yard by Hull City the weekend before last and then put to the sword emphatically by a rampant Everton under the Goodison lights, Alan Pardew's Magpies were potential lambs to the slaughter.

They were allowed to gradually work their way back into the game after half time, however, and though a point would have flattered them enormously, they might have grabbed it in injury time had Loic Remy's drive not flown over Tim Howard's crossbar just afew minutes after he'd made it 3-2. That would have been staggeringly rough justice on Everton who, in their best moments, were irresistible.

Martinez made a number of the expected changes to the team that lost at Fulham in the Capital One Cup last Tuesday with perhaps only Steven Pienaar missing from what would ideally be his first-choice starting XI. Nevertheless, the team that he did field he looked to have everything needed to steamroller their way to an impressive victory as they took the game by the scruff of the neck in the first half.

It was a half owned by home debutant, Romelu Lukaku who scored two and laid on the other and had the ball in the net on two other occasions before 43 minutes had elapsed. The Belgian was narrowly offside in only the second minute as he put the ball past Tim Krul but it would take only three more minutes before he was on the scoresheet for real thanks to another goal forged in Belgium.

Kevin Mirallas scampered down the right flank leaving his marker for dust, looked up and squared it invitingly for his international teammate who swept home via Krul's arm, the ball deflecting inside the far post to make it 1-0.

Barkley arrowed a shot narrowly wide from the left side of the area and the impressive James McCarthy forced a save from Krul that Leon Osman tried to chip into the far side of the goal on the rebound as the Blues turned the screw.

And they rewarded in the 25th minute when Lukaku collected a pass in the centre of the field, held it until Barkley had dissected the Barcodes' defence with a run and then put a perfectly-weighted ball through that the young midfielder controlled and then despatched past the goalkeeper.

Though 2-0 down, Newcastle began to find their feet a little after the half-hour mark, with Everton beginning to cede some of the possession they had been greedily hogging to that point but the visitors were the architects of their own destruction eight minutes before the break with some shocking defending.

Lukaku tracked Howard's long boot downfield as it bounced between Williamson and Coloccini, did enough for Krul to bottle it as the pair came together in the Newcastle box and then profited when the 'keeper missed the ball entirely, leaving the Belgian striker to neatly turn inside Coloccini's last-ditch challenge and emphatically slam his second goal into the empty net.

With his third goal in as many games for the Blues, Lukaku was clearly enjoying himself but the offside flag deprived him of a hat-trick as he finished off another lovely passing move. Still, with Hatem Ben Arfa only forcing the first real save from Howard deep into first-half stoppage time, Martinez's men went into half time on a high.

The complacency that had begun to creep in in the latter stages of the first period, however, bled noticeably into the second half as Santon was allowed to drift a shot over the bar from distance and then Yoan Gouffran raced in behind the home defence to latch onto a through-ball that he clipped over the advancing Howard and, thankfully, off the far post.

Normal service appeared to have resumed at the other end as Mirallas, who had shaken off an injury he'd sustained in the first half when he kicked the turf taking a corner, drive into the box and drove in a low cross-cum-shot that Krul palmed towards the back post. The ball squirmed agonisingly behind Osman who couldn't quite steer the loose ball home.

But a couple of minutes later, with the otherwise excellent McCarthy backing off, Cabaye, a half-time substitute, was allowed space to pick unload a superb effort from 25 yards that dipped into the top corner of Howard's goal.

It was the first goal Everton had conceded at Goodison Park since March and it briefly sparked a reaction as Barkley skipped through the Newcastle defence and forced a save from Krul and Osman shot disappointingly high and wide from 20-odd yards.

For all their manager's emphasis on retaining the ball, though, the Blues were still ceding far too much possession to the visitors but Anita's shot was, thankfully, fired straight at Howard and he was able to gather it safely shortly before the hour mark.

It was then that Everton began to reassert themselves a little and start to claw back some possession. McCarthy was putting in a good shift breaking things up in the middle and stringing passes across the centre alongside Gareth Barry who was less impressive than he had been on his debut against Chelsea but was still an important component in the engine room.

All four of the central midfielders had their lapses in concentration over the course of the game, though, that might otherwise have been punished but there were plenty of promising signs that Martinez has decent depth to cope with the rigours of a Premier League season.

The killer instinct to smash teams when they have the impetus will hopefully come. Lukaku might have provided the death blow to Newcastle with 23 minutes left but Tiote just put him off at the crucial moment and he sliced a shot wide from around the penalty spot and when Coleman was tripped by the same player on the edge of the box, Baines skied his free kick into the stands.

The introduction of Gerard Deulofeu promised to give Newcastle something else to think about in the final 18 minutes, though, and the young Spaniard delivered a few minutes after coming on for Mirallas when he danced past three players to the near post and when the ball finally broke to Baines on the left side of the box, the left back flashed an effort back across goal and just wide of the post.

Newcastle remained dangerous, though, and with 88 minutes on the clock, Remy capitalised on poor defending to set up the possibility of another grandstand finish by them at Goodison. Baines was beaten in the air to a cross from the left flank and Jagielka allowed the French striker to bundle him over as they challenged for the knockdown, Remy tucking the ball past Howard.

Fortunately, though, the Frenchman's drilled effort three minutes into injury time rocketed over the bar and Everton's grip on the three points held firm.

It is still early days in Martinez's reign but there was so much to admire in the way his team sliced Newcastle up in the first half with football that just oozed class at times. In Lukaku, Everton have a genuinely top-class striker who could, on this evidence, easily reach the 20-goal mark if he stays fit and the team keeps giving him the kind of service he received tonight. He still has elements to learn to add to his game and he still looks a little short on full match fitness and sharpness but he is a joy to have in the team.

Equally, though, with six goals conceded in the last three games, the defence is looking a little too porous for comfort and that is an area for the manager to work on lest supporters grow more uncomfortable with the reputation his Wigan teams earned for defensive generosity.

Despite the close scoreline, though, Everton were significantly better than Newcastle overall and thoroughly deserved the win. Six games unbeaten and fourth in the table is a great start to the campaign under a new manager and new methods and while handing out a battering tonight would have sent the Blues off the Etihad this coming weekend with real adrenaline in their veins, the fact that they secured the victory and leap-frogged Manuel Pellegrini's side in the process should stand them in good stead for what should be their sternest test of the campaign so far.

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Brent Stephens
775 Posted 01/10/2013 at 07:37:30
Or, Seb, the 3-2s will start to become 4-2s. Equally likely.

Impressive? Yes! That first half I almost cried over, the football from us was so brilliant.

Impressive? Yes. I give you the excitement generated by Lukaku (what anticipation now for seeing him in future games - well signed Roberto); by Barks (such a rapid development - well done Roberto); Coleman (a slightly more slowly nurtured development - well done the Scottish manager); by Mirallas (well signed by the Scottish manager); by Barry and quite possibly McCarthy (well done etc...).

And while the second half was an anti-climax, it was always going to be after that first half. And I give you second half "grit", as our man has said.

Paul Johnson
777 Posted 01/10/2013 at 07:49:53
Great result. We looked tired as a whole unit in the second half. Fitness will improve as the season moves on.

Seb, please be aware that if Newcastle had of won they would have gone above us in the table, that puts us in that cannon fodder category – don't think so.
On Saturday, we are taking an anti-tank gun (Lukaku) to a gunfight...

Derek Thomas
779 Posted 01/10/2013 at 07:33:23
For the 3rd time in as many League games The Blues have failed, narrowly, but still failed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory.

Now I'm quite prepared to this new Foreign Bloke a chance, but it has to be said that this would not have happened under the regime of OFM.

Yes he has gone but at his new club the results show quite clearly he has lost none of his magic and still has the nouse to get a club in with a shout of the coverted 7th place trophy.

I know it's only 6 games in but I for one am thoroughly sick of all this rapid passing, length of the field - Goal, long ball shite

Lukaku; what can you say, if that's the best Chelsea can give us well he can fuck off back now.

Stats; everybody seems to love quoting stats, well lets have a look at some of his...He was only Offside TWICE and if he ran a channel or was in his own 6yd box defending, well sorry I must've blinked and missed it.

Jelavic would've helped defend all night, ran his heart out up and down the channels AND been offside every other ball.

Barry and McCarthy; wtf did they do all night? One trick ponies the pair of them, all they are is the 3G's, Get it, Give it, Go...Who was doing all the pointing, Who was doing all the hand clapping encouragement? Fuckin no one that who.

Taxi for Moyes ( back )

Disengage Irony Font.

Seb you're and idiot

Kevin Tully
784 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:17:19
Something fishy about that first post......
Seb Niemand
789 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:31:58
@ Kevin 784

Nothing fishy, I am just going to take a lot of convincing that, in the long term, Martinez is going to be anything but a disaster for us. And for 45 minutes last night, I saw the presage of what I think is to come. I've never yet had a good word to say about Martinez and on the evidence of what I have seen so far, he still has a long way to go to to tease one out of me yet! :-)

Jamie Sweet
792 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:35:05
Seb could have at least tried to mask the fact he's not even an Everton fan ffs. Pathetic statement.

It took a wonder goal for Newcastle to get anywhere near us. The scoreline flattered them greatly.

Mark Palmer
794 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:39:17
Any negativity about this new era astounds me. At the very least, cautious optimism seems appropriate. If any fans are negative now, what about when times are tough - which they will be. When Bainsy goes? When Lukaku goes back? When injuries occur? When Barkley is lured away? Yes, I would have preferred a more conservative approach when 3-0 up but that would have invited more pressure. Having a constant outlet was great and, we created so much. And we won AGAIN!
Craig Fletcher
795 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:39:06
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion Seb, however bizarre that opinion may be.

Fantastic performance from the lads - yes, the second half lowered the tone a bit, but as Jamie said, Cabaye's goal was something special to get them back into the match.

There was always likely to be goals in this match, Newcastle have quality attackers, but they're a bit suspect at the back. I didn't expect them to be as porous at the back as they were, but ultimately the ball still has to go into the back of the 'ole onion bag, and we certainly did that with some style in the first half.

There's a lot for us Blues to smile about today, so lets enjoy it till Saturday.

Craig Walker
796 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:00:01
I don't know what game Seb was watching. That was the best 45 minutes I've seen at Goodison for a very long time. Quick pass and move football with players running with the ball when required and a centre forward who genuinely looked dangerous. Admittedly we dropped off in the second half but sometimes we over elaborated in our forward play as a consequence of being 3-0 up.

By my reckoning, every result this season has been better than the equivalent game last season with the excpetion of the home draw against West Brom. Last season we lost at Norwich, drew at West Ham, lost at home to Chelsea and lost away at Reading (whereas we drew at Cardiff).

I've always said that a team who retains the ball and attacks with purpose will win more than they lose.

Sure, we might not be about to win the league but I for one am excited about Everton games again and that's not something I could say very often under OFM.

Steven Scaffardi
798 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:58:28
Sometimes I simply come on to this site for the light comic relief it offers so thank you Seb (and Derek - great post)!

It certainly was a game of two halves. That first 45 was some of the best stuff I can remember us playing, and the players really look like they starting to get used to the Martinez style. And the commentator on Sky said it all last night - the second half was all about going back to the Everton of the last few seasons and showing grit and determination.

What do some people expect from this team? They we will steamroll past everyone? That teams will simply sit back and let us walk all over them. In a weekend when Man City lose to Aston Villa and Man Utd lose to West Brom, then I think certain fans need a reality check!

This is a bloody tough league, yet so far we are the only unbeaten team in the league and have a bag full of players on form. We'll lose sooner or later, but if we lose playing like last night then so be it. I'd call that progress.

I still think Europa League would be a great shout for us considering the spending power of those around us, and my only real fear after watching that game last night is a) I hope we sign Barry up at the end of the season and b) what the hell are we going to do when we send Lukaku back next year?!

But for the time being I am just going to enjoy it, and I reckon potential investors will certainly be attracted a lot more to us if we keep playing like this!


Thomas Surgenor
801 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:26:48
One can only dare to dream what the results of our first 3 games (the draws) would have been with Lukaku in the side...

Barry Rathbone
802 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:03:05

It's all a con .... unbeaten and 4th and Howard launching it for Lulu's second goal??

What about the fillosofee??

A win without fillosofee what good is that?

Craig Fletcher
803 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:24:49
And yes, Derek (779) great post, but if I'm not mistaken, and if I read between the lines, I detect some subtle sarcasm there. Apologies sire if I am out of line.
Raymond Fox
804 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:33:12
Have to echo what Barry says Seb, if you cant see that RM is the real deal I suggest you start watching Rugby or something similar!

As I said elsewhere were unbeaten, 4th, new manager getting to know the players yet, new system, new players bedding in, what more did you expect.

If we could keep the first half form up for 90 mins we'd be racing certainties to win the league!

Eric Sharp
808 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:48:17
I thought we lost the initiative in the second half and lacked the player/players or the gameplan to regain it. The first half was excellent, but surely we could have guessed that Newcastle would up the tempo in the second half and have been better set up for it. Still, 4th place and unbeaten ain't a bad start.
Ken Crowther
814 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:03:45
I was going to post a rant about that idiotic first post; but I couldn't possibly better that of Derek #779.

Seb you're a clown - been said before, in words or substance; but get used to it, it'll be said again.

Derek, I'm going to read #779 again (worthy of Eugene Rouane that!)

Paul Smith
815 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:05:58
The 1st half was a great performance and after 1st 5 mins of the 2nd half we had control again for about 20 mins. This is what worried me then our front 3 of Barkley, Lukaku and Mirallas all tired very quickly resulting in the ball coming back very quickly. In hindsight I would of changed all 3 at about 70 mins and brought fresh legs on then. For us to challenge the top 6 we need to up our fitness levels as we won't always have 3 goal leads to defend.
Derek Thomas
816 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:09:02
Craig #803; not much gets past you eh
Simon George
818 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:19:20
@Seb #770 Umm...let me get this straight...we win...comfortably...are the only unbeaten team in the top flight...are fourth in the table...umm, and you're unhappy because the manager is doing a bad job?

I'm completely missing your point.

David Graves
819 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:32:54
Thanks for the post at 779 Derek.
As the great man once said "Seb you're an idiot".
Jim Knightley
820 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:32:42
We were awful second half, but we won, and Lukaku is playing as well as we hoped. Results are more important at this stage, as we are still bedding in a new style and a new central midfield pairing. And 12 points from 18 is fantastic going, especially given our first three matches. It's nice having Defoleu to bring on as well.
Richard Tarleton
821 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:27:57
Everton aren't quite as solid at the back as they were under Moyes, who set them up not to lose as distinct from trying to win.Take Coleman for example, he's now an outstanding full back, under Moyes he was a right sided mid-fielder while Hibbert or Neville were his preferred choice right backs. I'd rather ship the odd goal and be playing the kind of football we played last night in the first half, instead of the hoofball we played last year with the preferred option being to get the ball long to Anichebe or Jelavic.

It's School of Science, Young and Vernon of my youth, Ball, Kendall and the magnificent Colin Harvey a little later, Sheedy, Steven, Bracewell and Reid in the 80s. We are back to being a football team, rather than just being hard to beat. Barkley looks an outstanding player, not a prospect, but a player. Do you think he would have been trusted to play in the key no 10 role under the old regime?

Martinez, whom I was dubious about, has won me over. He wants our team to play football and that gets my vote.

Jim Knightley
825 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:58:26
Richard..don't revise history. Coleman became our first choice right back last season. I don't say why praise of Martinez so often has to also be a critique of Moyes on these pages.
Karl Parsons
831 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:21:14
I'm gonna stick my neck out here and say that Deulofeu, Barry, Barkley, McCarthy and Mirallas is the most balanced, potent and competent midfield we have had since Reidy et al.

Yeah, it's gonna take a little time to gel but in that mix you have aggression, pace, creativity, shape, youth, experience and dogs of war when needed.

With a supporting crew of Pienaar, Osman and Naismith, how can anyone here be in the slightest bit negative?

Richard Lyons
832 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:30:04
Can anyone interpret the "telephone" gesture that Lukaku made when he scored? What did it mean? I hope it meant "Kenwright, get on the phone to Abramovich and buy me"...
Richard Tarleton
833 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:32:10
You're right, Jim , but it took Hibbert's injury for him to realise how best to use Coleman.Remember also the years he wasted Arteta out on the right when the man was obviously a central midfielder.
Phil Sammon
835 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:37:23
Seb Brady/Brody

Congratulations on the most ridiculous post of the morning.

Brent Stephens
836 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:47:30
Richard #833 You not only rewrote history - you're now rewriting your original post.

You said "Take Coleman for example, he's now an outstanding full back, under Moyes he was a right sided mid-fielder while Hibbert or Neville were his preferred choice right backs". i.e. he is now an outstanding FB but wasn't under the Scottish manager. Some history is bunk.

Brent Stephens
837 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:52:22
Richard #832 - somebody else on TW suggested it might have been a message to the Belgian coach - pick me.
Brent Stephens
839 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:53:17
Karl #831 - ok except for Del Boy, I'd suggest - absolutely atrocious at tracking back. For the moment he's nothing more than a late sub / impact player (though a very exciting one at that!).
James Martin
841 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:54:20
Can't believe we're playing so well without our former vital cogs Gibson and Pienaar. When those two used ot be injured you may as well not turn up as no result would be forthcoming without them. Hopefully they can be integrated into the team to make it even stronger.

Ridiculous anyone who claims that we allowed a relegation fodder Newcastle back into the match. Look at their players, even with that muppet in charge they'll still be around the top 10 and when it all clicks they showed how good they could be a couple of seasons ago. We absolutely demolished them but this time the ref wasn't there to save them. No one could do anything about that wonder goal and who cares about a consolation that was the luck of the bounce. If Cabaye's doesn't go in that match finishes 4 or 5-0.

Cabaye for me though shows perhaps the one ingredient this squad doesn't have since Arteta left. No matter how well you are playing a class creative midfielder can come on and change the complexion of any game. I still remember that Villa game in the cup run of 09, Arteta played in a midfield with Neville and a young Rodwell behind him, Gosling and Anichebe on the flanks, and Cahill up front by himself, despite the dross around him he singlehandedly detsroyed a bang in form Villa side including Petrov Milner Young Downing Agbonlahor. Perhaps we're moving away from an individual based midfield to one of many cogs that is perfectly balanced but for me there is no substitute for creative class in the middle of the park. Hopefully McCarthy or Gibson can step up to this role for us now that Barry has finally replaced Carsley in our midfield.

Who's missing Fellaini? No one.

Alun Jones
845 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:10:42
Speaking of Coleman I don't care about who made him FB but last night he was absolutely brilliant both defensively and going forward. To me, he was MotM, because he was equally prominent in both halves of the match.
James Lauwervine
846 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:07:18
I took the phone celebration to be a nod to the call RM put in to secure Lukaku on deadline day.
James 841, I don't think Fellaini entered my thoughts for a single moment during yesterday's game.
Roger Trenwith
847 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:13:50
With what our second string against Fulham, we dominated for half an hour, but ended up losing. With our A team last night we dominated for 45 minutes and won, just. It seems to me an ideal managerial combo would be RM for the first half, and DM for the second. That way we could all go home at half time knowing we were going to win 3-0 :)
Roger Trenwith
849 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:16:48
And, why do Sky always mike up the away fans at Goodison so it sounds like we're quieter than Arsenal?

2-2 on Saturday, I reckon. We'll probably go 2-0 up, too.


Robbie Muldoon
850 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:22:32
That performance yesterday was brilliant, Seb, you're focusing on the negatives if you're talking about that second half. That's a huge disrespect to some of the players out there who were outstanding.

All credit to this manager, it's only taken 3 months for him to improve the squad above levels Moyes was ever capable of.

Ryan Sloan
852 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:20:41
I can't believe that some of our fans have had a pop at the manager??? What planet do you live on (Moyesieland) where defenders are so deep they nearly get tangled in the goal nets and strikers become anything but strikers???

I mean, get real — when did you ever last see an Everton side be so devastating? That first half, the football was superb, and it was the best since the 80s. Sure, Newcastle where poor... but we made them look poor.

In the second half, there was bound to be a reaction; if it wasn't for that wonder strike, I think we would've added to the scoreline.

As RM said after the game, we will learn from that; we conceded two goals but no points. Arsenal and Man Utd used to gain big leads and then take the pace out of the game, obviously our players weren't used to be leading three-nil at half-time, its' a transition and it's going rather well... in fact, I fancy us to get a result at Man City,

So please for once can some of you actually enjoy watching the Blues play beautiful football!!!

Kris Hall
855 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:23:13
Not sure I agree with the "defence looking porous" statement in Lyndon's post-match synopsis. Six goals conceded in three games: one a wicked deflection, one a penalty and a 25 yard screamer. That leaves three, only a couple of which I consider down to poor defending (the 89th minute rough n’ tumble last night that lead to Remy's stabbed goal, and the shocker at Fulham when our entire defence turned off for a free kick).

On another, very positive, note, I thought we could have, should have bagged a few more second half. Deulofeu looks class and it surely won’t be long till he gets a starting berth. The way he dances around defenders to get into the box is fantastic to watch. Barkley and him together is a mouth-watering prospect.

Tony J Williams
856 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:38:10
James 841, I actually think we will miss Fellaini against Citteh... but only because Barry can't play.

We need Gibson in there but is he even fit?

Back on track, I couldn't give a fig about how we win, I just want 3 points every game and that's what we managed last night.

Denis Richardson
857 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:52:30
I have to say that that first post had me a bit confused, then realised this must be a red taking the piss - is it supposed to somehow be a joke given the word "niemand' means 'nobody' in German? Maybe not, anyway I won't waste anymore time on it, as it's just....a waste of time.

Onto more important matters, 4th and only side unbeaten after 6 games, can't really have asked for much more results wise from the new manager.

The first half was similar to Fulham, only much better due to the fact that we thumped in 3 goals and could have had more. Admittedly the barcodes defending was not even of schoolboy standard - and to think these defenders earn millions a year to play! As Fulham, Newcastle could not be as bad in the second half and came back a lot stronger. The addition of Cabaye at half time gave them a lot more class in the midfield and it was not a surprise when he scored to be honest. If I remember, McCarthy was guilty for backing off him but that was also a wonder striker none the less and Howard could do nothing. The blues were worryingly a bit rabbit in headlights in the second half but generally held their own. Was a nervy finish but their second came in the 89th minute so we didn't have to hang on that long.

All in all a great game for the neutrals and made up for Lukaku - that guy is a beast and will score 20+ this season. Just gives you so much more confidence having a genuine class striker. Also glad to see RB on the scoresheet as well and Mirallas getting an assist. We can't dominate a game for 90mins and I'll take a 3-2 win any day of the week. I wont criticise any of the players as the first half performance and the win supersedes everything else for me.

Well done RM and well done the team - just wish I could have been at GP myself.

I'm still waiting to read more (idiotic) posts about Lukaku 'only' being on loan and 'taking up' a permanent players place!

Fourth 'till the weekend for now and the sun's shining - Roberto's army marches on.....Come on Donetsk!!!

Roger Trenwith
858 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:42:42
Kris@855 - He'd have to pass it to Barkley first! I know what you mean though. Add in Lukaku and we have a forward line to instill fear in the oppos, and when can you last recall that happening?
Tony J Williams
860 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:47:45
Just imagine how better the table might have looked if Lukaku had been here since the start of the season?
Kevin Tully
862 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:47:04
Let's hope City are given a right runaround by a good Bayern side tomorrow.

The second half could possibly be wide open against City, as their mid-week game catches up with them.

It may well be the perfect time to play them, and would be great to head into the International break as the only team unbeaten in the League.

I know one thing, they won't be looking forward to playing us!!

Roger Trenwith
863 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:53:42
Q: Should we blow nearly all our transfer budget next summer on Lukaku, assuming he doesn't price himself way out of reach by banging in 40?!
Brent Stephens
866 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:04:35
Depends on the price, Roger. But I'm already in mourning that he could be gone at the end of the season. So, flying blind on fee at the moment, let's do all we can. If it blows our whole transfer budget, so be it. Of course, he might become a Jelavic before then! But I think not.
John Haldane
869 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:25:14
Mark Palmer #794 - Absolutely. "Cautious optimism" is the sensible route.

For once we have a manager who can engage positively with the media as well. First time since, erm, well, first time really.

Of course there are going to be horrible results at some stage. If, however, he can field a team that starts with a positive outlook and is properly prepared to give anyone a game, then good on the bloke.

Raymond Fox
870 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:04:10
Rodger, if Lukaku doesn't get injured & keeps up the form he showed last night we've not a snowball in hells chance of keeping him I'm afraid.

Their first goal will go very close to winning 'the goal of the season', the second was scored by a very good forward in Remy, so I don't attach any blame to either of those.

As far as fitness levels go, could be were not as fit as last year, I remember one of the players saying that all the running was done with the ball & intimated that training wasn't as hard physically as with him that shall be nameless.
Maybe its something Roberto needs to look at.

Saturday will tell us a great deal about our prospects, City's players are sure to have had a rocket up the 'ass' & we will be going into a cauldron.
RM found a way to beat them at Wembley, maybe he can do it again, being the pessimist that I am, I'll take a draw now, just hope we don't take a drubbing!
I've only seen highlights of him but that Aguero is some player, very difficult to keep quiet!

Roger Trenwith
871 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:44:12
At least RM is unlikely to turn him into a defensive midfielder!
Tony Sullivan
874 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:55:28
Seb Niemand post770
Everton are not Wigan, they will not become Wigan.

We are setting out our stall tactically, to utilise the talents of the players we have. Other teams will try to limit our opportunities as much as they can.

The Newcastle game was a good example, in the first half we were irresistable and scored three. in the second half they changed their formation and upped their game and we seemed less impressive, however we still created chances and looked as though we could score again, it was by no means a 'backs to the wall' performance.

Forget the drivel about we will become Wigan and start getting Wigan type results.

I have no idea how you reached your conclusions, particularly on last nights performance.

Matt Traynor
875 Posted 01/10/2013 at 14:09:28
Raymond #870 "Their first goal will go very close to winning 'the goal of the season', the second was scored by a very good forward in Remy, so I don't attach any blame to either of those."

The second Newcastle goal was shambolic defending, but you're suggesting that because Remy is a decent striker there's nothing to worry about?


Denis Richardson
876 Posted 01/10/2013 at 14:02:26
Roger 863 - I certainly would be inclined to do so if we could. He's only 20 and to be honest we don't need that many new players anyway - the first team is very strong as it is. Only Distin arguably needs replacing in the back 4 next year (Hibbert is only back up at the moment). Midfield we'll need to replace Ozzie and Pienaar but they still have a couple of years left, so just the striker situation is the main thing to sort out. BUT

'Only' 3 issues;

a) Do Chelsea want to sell
b) Does he want to come
c) Can we even afford him if the above are a yes

Unfortunately even if a & b are both yes, I don't see c happneing. This guy is going to be worth at least 30m+ come the end of the year if he carries on like this. If he also does well in the WC, he could be valued at 40m!

If that turns out to be the case, you can forget it - we may be able to scratch together 20m but we'll never get near 30m, nevermind 40m.

Unless we qualify for the CL........

Fran Mitchell
897 Posted 01/10/2013 at 15:08:10
What a player. One of the most improved players i've seen in a blue shirt. He keeps betting better, he has ironed out the initial creases (positioning, tackling, strength) and once he improves his distribution (which I'm sure he will) he'll be one of the best full-backs in the league.

Just hope he's tied to a long-term contract.

Colin Glassar
900 Posted 01/10/2013 at 15:22:57
I think Seb is Roundy in disguise. Martinez is such a nice guy he might give Roundy the job of Toffee Lady once he loses his job at OT.
Brent Stephens
904 Posted 01/10/2013 at 15:40:29
Fran #897 "he has ironed out the initial creases".

I immediately had a mental image of him getting his ironing board out in the changing room pre-game to give his shorts a final going-over. And Jags getting his Marigolds on to give the loo a bit of a scrub.

Raymond Fox
906 Posted 01/10/2013 at 15:41:00
Matt 875, your right in what you say about the 2nd, but I'm giving the defenders a little slack Matt, its not like were shipping goals all over the place.
Even the 'money clubs' defenders ship the odd horror goal!
Peter Leslie
916 Posted 01/10/2013 at 16:05:18
The inductance we have of keeping Lukaku depends on two things:

1. Something going very pear shaped at Chelsea, such as them having such a rotten first half of the season that Mourinho is panicked into busting the bank for a top striker in January, or them imploding to the point that Mourinho walks out

2. Lukaku loving it at Everton so much that he actively wants to stay

We have some say in the second, and should pray for the first
The first half yesterday he looked like potentially the best 9 we've had in my 30 years of watching the blues - as good as Sharp and Ferguson on their best days

Peter Leslie
917 Posted 01/10/2013 at 16:30:51
Inductance ?!? Effing autocomplete shite meant chances
John Haldane
920 Posted 01/10/2013 at 16:48:44
#916 - Peter: possibly more productive in terms of goals return. Heresy though it may be, didn't really rate Ferguson as a player.

I shall now hide until the next match and you'll never, never find me.

Sam Hoare
923 Posted 01/10/2013 at 17:01:33
Peter, the only possible way for us to keep Lukaku is if we qualify for the Champions League and Chelsea buy a world class striker (Falcao etc) in January or the Summer that means Lukaku would not be first choice. Even then I suspect the likes of Spurs and Arse would be in for him and they usually trump us in such battles.

In short, sad as it is, I just don't see him staying. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Paul Andrews
926 Posted 01/10/2013 at 17:14:59
Sam, Got it in one.

If Chelsea are falling behind in the pecking order, they will spend big in January. Lukaku may be back to square one if that happens.

Offer the £20 million surplus for him in January. [He said, laughing quietly to himself...]

Steve Brown
927 Posted 01/10/2013 at 17:06:29
I didn't agree with hiring Martinez as he was a relegated manager and we were a top 6 side... BUT he is doing a very good job so far. I think his Wigan signings were over-priced but he has balanced that with the masterly acquisitions of Barry, Lukaku, Deulofeu and the development of Barkley.

So how we can still in criticising the team after a great 45 mins last night I don't know. Sure, we let them back in the game because we didn't retain our intensity in the second half. That is part of the development process for this team.

Also, as big a challenge as it has evidently proved for OFM to emulate SAF, wasn't it equally a challenge for Martinez to replace a manager who ran this club for 11 years? So I will hopefully have the chance to continue to eat lots of humble pie in the coming months if we can keep this up.

Jimmy Page
947 Posted 01/10/2013 at 19:28:46
Chelsea would never sell Lukaku to one of their rivals for the Prem or Champions League.

Hopefully Romu would love to sign for us next season, especially if Chelsea do buy a big name striker in January. I'm sure all the Everton players are making him more than welcome at Goodison Park.

David Chait
950 Posted 01/10/2013 at 18:52:27
A team should not be allowed to make a profit on a player they have never played, pretty much.... Now that I have written that not sure I believe it.. But in Lukaku I feel that premise fits. Plus, if rumours are true, we have already paid the first 5m.. Or so our negotiations should state!
Brian Garside
957 Posted 01/10/2013 at 19:34:01
Peter 916: More of a Bob Latchford in my eyes. He has his own Duncan Mc in Barkley. Not to mention his Dave Thomas in Mirralas. Who will become his Andy King and Martin Dobson?
Derek Thomas
968 Posted 01/10/2013 at 20:48:44
We are all nearly in one accord here (eh, Seb) but what was with Lukaku's dropping deeper in the 2nd half... did he realise we were under the cosh and that was his idea of tracking back? Was he under orders or did he tire?
Joseph Bell
973 Posted 01/10/2013 at 21:04:59
Seb 770. I think we need to give it a little more time. The first half was blinding. Football that hasn’t graced Goodison since the 1980s. Ok the second half was poor, but I don’t think you are giving Newcastle enough credit. They have some decent players. I would rather watch attacking football with goals that the dower shite that was served up by Mr knife to a gun fight Moyes.
Lyndon Lloyd
978 Posted 01/10/2013 at 21:13:47
Kris: Not sure I agree with the "defence looking porous" statement in Lyndon's post-match synopsis

You're probably right there. Maybe "susceptible" (to conceding) is a better term; certainly Gouffran got in far too easily and should have scored right after half time and Remy's goal was defended sloppily.

I don't see much change there from last season, though, so I'm not sure it heralds the much-feared Martinez effect on the back line that some are expecting to take hold. After all, we conceded a number of very late goals with poor aerial coverage, including the 2-2 with Newcastle.

Vince Hindson
986 Posted 01/10/2013 at 21:41:13
Here's something i've been thinking about (but would never happen); Chelsea have a terrible first half of the season and, come January, they decide they need a top striker.

Through to Christmas, Lukaku is on fire and has scored 25 goals.

So... In January, they buy him from us!!!! For 100 squillian pounds.

Has anything like that happened before? As I understand it, he is Everton's player for the season.

Peter Laing
990 Posted 01/10/2013 at 21:55:46
Martinez evidently instills into his charges that they should play without fear, never under David Moyes did I see the players displaying such freedom, expressing their flair and talent and not worrying about the opposition. Knife to a gunfight - never under Martinez, and quite right too we are Everton aren't we ?
Keith Young
992 Posted 01/10/2013 at 22:09:35
I have been an Evertonian for a very very long time. I am worried that as I am positively hopeful for this season am I still an Evertonian??
David Hallwood
000 Posted 01/10/2013 at 22:41:27
The best squad since the premier league began. The only team unbeaten. Early days but we're 4th in the league 3pts off the top. Playing some great football. It is only ToffeeWeb that could put a negative spin on the season so far.
Kevin Tully
001 Posted 01/10/2013 at 23:16:56
After 3 League wins on the bounce, surely Señor Martinez is a shoe-in for the Manager of the Month award for September?

Let's hope he receives the award after the City game, it always puts a curse on the next League game! Maybe Hull won't present such a challenge.

Ian Hollingworth
005 Posted 01/10/2013 at 23:22:44
Keith (992) very funny but for me sums up the difference between the old and the new Everton
We have some exciting players, some new and some old but unleashed.
We are trying to play football, scoring goals and winning games. What is there not to like?
Doesn't it feel good to be a blue right now. I for one am thoroughly enjoying the ride so far.
Jim Harrison
108 Posted 02/10/2013 at 14:43:23
Seven goals scored in the last 3 league games, unbeaten in 6 games in the league. 3 points off top. A new striker who has scored 3 in 2 games. At the end of the day the only thing that count is points on the table. We can get battered in every game but win 1 nil with a deflected shot for all I care. But it is nice to watch the team bang them in style
Brian Hennessy
112 Posted 02/10/2013 at 15:14:50
Delighted with Monday's win and how we played.

Just curious though, can anyone who was at the game tell me was the crowd a bit quieter than usual, or was it just where Sky Sports had the microphone's positioned?

It certainly didn't seem to be the atmosphere that we have come to expect..

Kevin Byrne
116 Posted 02/10/2013 at 15:32:54
Distin is a Rolls-Royce... what a display!!!
Andy Crooks
207 Posted 02/10/2013 at 21:27:30
There is nothing wrong with a bit of scepticism which is why I welcome Sebs early post. I thought the same myself for a while.I am convinced ,though, that Martinez will win over all doubters.

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