Everton 2 - 1 Hull City

Roberto Martinez named his strongest side of those available, with Barry coming back in to take on Hull City at Goodison Park. Gibson, Pienaar and Alcaraz were ruled out through injury. Everton got the early lead when Barry appeared to clip a low shot from Mirallas that went in off the foot of the post. Hull felt hard-done by, as Davies went off after being clipped by Barry who was cautioned for fouling Aluko, the Hull player then setting up Sagbo to lash in an equalizer. Everton laboured after the break until Pienaar made his return as a substitute for Osman before the hour mark and in some fine style to put Everton ahead with his first touch, a delightful clip inside the post. Everton held on to move up to 5th.

Hull kicked off and had Everton pushed back in the early exchanges, Davies heading over from Huddlestone's early corner. But Lukaku was into action, brushing Davies aside but shooting hard at McGregorm who blocked it away for an Everrton corner that was headed wide. Then a great move eventually led to the opening goal after a corner when Osman fed the ball back in to Mirallas after Baines was barged over and Mirallas lashed a somewhat speculative grass-clipper that found it's way through the ball-watching Hull defense from outside the area, and in off the foot of McGrgeor's post as he watched in some shock, the puzzle being why he made no attempt to save it! But that was the last thing a packed Goodison crowd cared about as they erupted with glee. In slo-mo, it appeared that Barry (moving forward from a marginally offside position) may have clipped the ball and helped redirect it off the post.

Hull striker Danny Graham came off worst in what didn't appear to be even a foul by Gareth Barry, but his knee was clipped and the stretcher appeared, followed by Yanik Zagbo, sub. A free-kick was then awarded in Everton's favour, presumably given as handball when it came off Elmohamady(?)'s shoulder. Baines curled it in nicely but McGregor had it covered. Barkley then tested McGregor with a low direct shot as Everton dominated the play but a poor pass by Osman broke down a very promising attack, Faye getting a free header just over the bar off a corner that resulted from the ensuing Hull attack.

A dreadful spell of PIATB saw Distin play a horrible ball back to Howard who almost screwed it into his own net, Faye coming very close with another worrying free header off the corner. At the other end, Lukaku almost connected with a speculative Osman shot. Hull were making a real game of it, coming back at Everton, forcing Barry to accidentally foul Aluko as he came in over the ball and earned a yellow card for catching the Hull player's shin full on.

The shakey Everton defence could do nothing when Aluko powered his way to the byeline and clipped back to pick out Sagbo who lashed the ball past Howard to level the score.

Davies deliberately clipped Barkley in midfield but no yellow card and Baines wasted the free-kick. Barkley had another strike that was blocked as the youngster was able to make space for himself. It was spirited stuff, with Hull doing everything they could to stop the Blues regaining the lead.

Barkley got Everton moving forward again but Lukaku did not anticipate Baines's brilliant low cross and Jagielka's effort off the corner was blocked by the back of Lukaku's head. Elmohamady went down after a tangle with McCarthy as the half ended with 5 mins of added time. Jagielka was resorting to the long ball and losing possession each time. Aluko's shot was deflected just over Howard's bar by Distin, and Faye almost headed in the following corner, Everton looking disturbingly fragile in defence.

The pace and accuracy of passing needed to play the Martinez way was proving a challenge as Everton tried to build with steady pressure after the break. Lukaku was not getting much service as Rosenior collapsed clutching his hamstring. Barkley won a corner but Osman's centre was intercepted and Osman took action that earned him a yellow card with a professional foul. Livermore came close as Osman was replaced by Pienaar on 56 mins.

And seconds later a lovely flick off a good if slightly deflected Mirallas cross saw the South African score a very nice goal as the heavens opened.

It was helter-skelter at times as Hull sought to break up Everton's play... with a little too much success, When Hull got a couple of corners, they again won the balls in but failed to capitalize. Kone then replaced the tiring Lukaku.

Sagbo made a very dangerous challenge for a loose ball with Jagielka, as they continued to cause Everton problems but a good break looked to see Kone set up nicely for his first Everton goal, only for him to lash it at the post with McGregor beaten. He then had a second bit e of the cherry but McGregor patted his shot down and away.

Mirallas should have made more of a free-kick won by Pienaar, as Hull gave away another corner that Distin could not direct goalwards, Everton looked to play out the final minutes, Baines winning a free-kick off a classic obstruction by Elmohamady, but the intention was half-hearted with only three blue shirts in the area.

Scorers:Mirallas (8'), Pienaar (57'); Sagbo 30')

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Distin, Jagielka, Baines Y:90+4'; Barry Y:29', McCarthy; Osman Y:55' (58' Pienaar), Barkley (79' Naismith), Mirallas; Lukaku (67' Kone)
Subs not Used: Robles, Stones, Jelavic, Deulofeu.

Hull City:McGregor, Rosenior (66' Boyd), Davies, Faye, Figueroa, Elmohamady, Huddlestone Y:90+1', Livermore, Brady, Aluko, (74' Quinn), Graham (15' Sagbo). Subs not Used: Bruce, Meyler, McShane, Harper.


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Patrick Carty
185 Posted 19/10/2013 at 14:21:47
I think today's team is what most fans expected, now let us take Hull apart.
Lewis Barclay
186 Posted 19/10/2013 at 14:23:40
To start:
Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, Barkley, Osman, Lukaku.

Subs: Robles, Jelavic, Kone, Deulofeu, Naismith, Pienaar, Stones.

That's 5 attacking players on the bench! Is Oviedo injured?

Trevor Lynes
188 Posted 19/10/2013 at 14:15:12
Is Kone fit? If so he must be on the bench and come on at the hour mark when Lukaku fades, as he has of late. Strangely enough I think he stayed on throughout the last international Belgium played so he may only last for an hour at top pace. I would love to see Kone because he played very well for Wigan and helped immensely in the demolition of us at Goodison last season.

Jelavic is not a lone striker and definitely needs a partner like either Kone or Lukaku up front. When Lukaku goes back to Chelsea we will need Jelavic and Kone so I would not even consider letting Jelavic go.

James Stewart
189 Posted 19/10/2013 at 14:25:15
I don't really see the point in Jelavic on the bench either. It will be Kone , Naismith or Deulofeu who get brought on so he's wasting a spot.
Ged Simpson
190 Posted 19/10/2013 at 14:32:34
I feel sorry for Naismith.
Patrick Carty
194 Posted 19/10/2013 at 14:52:30
Come on, the Toffees — let's make a statement today.
Steven Telford
195 Posted 19/10/2013 at 15:54:46
Got to do better than that.......

Jags is looking a bit tired, Distin needs to keep his concentration and watch the accuracy on those long balls.

Lukaku needs some service. Ross is the heartbeat of the team at the moment.

We were better second half!

Mike Hughes
199 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:13:16
Still in transition mode. When things aren't clicking, the priority should be a tight defence.

IMHO the defence should be the focus of RM's attention in the next few weeks. Conceding too many and we'll get a real trouncing if this isn't addressed.

Still, a win is a win is a win and should build confidence. Unbeaten all year at GP.

Ross Edwards
200 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:13:18
We picked up the 3 points, yet we had people saying we were rubbish, etc,etc, we got the three points, Hull didn't. We took our chances, they didn't, yet we have the same old naysayers still slagging off the team.

Keep the wins coming Roberto. 4 points ahead of Man U, 3 points off the lead, yet we have people moaning like we've been beaten 3-0.

Cheer up, it could be worse, you could be a Sunderland fan.

Christopher Kelly
201 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:18:47
Average game but 3 points a necessity in games like these. Well done.

Good on you, Pienaar! First touch was the winner.

Stuart Eaton
203 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:32:59
Not pretty to watch but a well ground out 3 points secured.
Mark Knight
204 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:34:27
Agree with, Mike. If we can see it, so should he... Keep the faith. COYB.
Brian Waring
205 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:37:08
5th in the league, 1 defeat from 8 games, tidy!
Mike Oates
206 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:35:57
Totally agree in principal to Mike Hughes comments #199 . We lie 5th, playing excellent attacking football but have concede 10 !! goals already. We have to ensure that we don't end up with Wigan's problems with conceding goals.

Thoroughly enjoying the football, the pace of counter attacks. We just need that missing magic of the final pass being right (Mirallas castigated Barkley big time with about 10 mins to go when he didn't put him through onto a clear goal)

Paul Mackie
207 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:37:22
First off we won, that's the most important thing to take from this game.

Our defence at times looked appalling. We were completely asleep for their goal and got lucky with some of our passing around the back (I'm thinking particularly of Distin's horrific 'backpass' to Howard that looked more like a shot).

As for our attack, Kone needs to really buck his ideas up and we're going to be absolutely screwed if one of either Barkley or Lukaku pick up a knock.

Finally, Ross (200), criticism of the team when they've played badly (which we did) doesn't become null and void just because we got 3 points. They're still valid criticisms whether we won or not and hopefully Martinez knows what he needs to do to sort them out.

Brian Waring
209 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:44:35
Funny thing is Mike, after the first 8 games off last season we had conceded 9.
Brian Waring
210 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:46:57
Paul, Kone needs game time, he's hardly had a look in.
Stuart Eaton
211 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:46:37
At least we got away from the habit of drawing against these lower teams even with a bad performance.

Lets keep grinding out the results until January and hopefully Martinez will get a nice chunk of cash to improve the squad some more.

Yair Kaye
212 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:39:49
I don't want to spoil the party but our defence looks really shaky and slow. If we don't tighten up things, we will get punished heavily.

Last season, the 4 least-conceding defences ended up in the Champions League. We were the fifth, and finished 6th. The way for a top 4 spot goes through a strong defence – look at Southampton.

Raymond Fox
213 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:36:08
Our captain is a square peg in a round hole I'm sorry to say, been poor in too many games for us! Opposing managers are going to employ close pressing tactics on our defenders because they know we will try to play it out from the back, at the moment were not good enough in that department.

We didn't find enough space today partly because the players didn't try hard enough + the Hull players tight marked us.

Kone just needs a goal to kick him off, his general play is smart, needs playing time but will not get much because of Lukaku.

It's not a bad sign when were playing a bit iffy but still managing to win.

Jon Ferguson
215 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:57:37
Too many times in the past we have lost these types of games. It may not have been a magical performance but three points is great. I for one am very happy with how things are going under Martinez.
Harold Matthews
216 Posted 19/10/2013 at 17:49:10
Agreed Brian. Kone looks a serious player. Just a bit ring-rusty.

Their corners were a nightmare. Howard didn't command his area and we looked a shambles.

Christopher Kelly
217 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:13:45
Leave the complaining til mid week please. We know we have problems but it's really a bore if we all just complain - even after a win.
John Malone
218 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:00:33
I hope it get's better cos I can't take much more of this PIATB as Michael put's it, granted we got the win and in spells did play some decent stuff but for god's sake I don't how much I can take of this heart in the mouth pass it across the back in your own area stuff I can take.

Like I said on an earlier thread, you can only play that style successfully with certain types of players and Distin, Jagielka aren't them. They are both very good defenders but are not footballers.

It's early days under Martinez and we are winning so have to give time for the football to improve, but I can totally understand how Wigan conceded so many goals.

Paul Ferry
219 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:16:26
I think the lack of post-match activity on here is an indication of:

(1) A poor performance

(2) Relief at the knowledge that we had a lucky win

(3) A little gloating and nipping on redcafe and 606 perhaps?

(4) Real paralyzing fear at our dodgy defensive pair who make each corner a hide-behind-the-couch moment — and this cannot just be conveniently explained away by "Oh it's all down to adjusting to new formations, innit."

Sam Hoare
220 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:18:22
5 thoughts:

1. Our distribution from the back is heart-attack inducing. Perhaps Alcaraz may be the solution to that.

2. Despite the misses, Kone looked bright and fitter. He will definitely add something and get some goals this year if fit.

3. Both Ross and Kevin tend to take too many touches in the final third when quick through-balls could be on.

4. The most pleasing aspect for me was that they barely had a shot in the last 10 mins. Good game control.

5. Pienaar is far preferable to Osman in that left wing slot. Good to have him back.

Patrick Murphy
221 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:20:42
I Just wondered how many times did we smash teams by four in the last few years? How many teams in this seasons PL are smashing teams by four week in week out? Remember apart from Bayern Munich , Everton had more players on International duty than any other club in Europe, which is probably why the performance wasn't up to the very exacting standards that some require.
Paul Ferry
222 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:22:58
Oh I did want to add a big pat on the back for McCarthy today and a smiley face that Mirallas looked a little sharper and that flick by Pienaar that I could watch till the cows come home.

Less cheery: why are a significant number of our 'fit' players looking cream-crackered by minute '80, and, again, that scary defence and set-pieces in particular. Yikes!

Mark Frere
223 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:06:56
Not the most impressive performance in the world, but we are going to have to accept, we aren't going to perform like we did first half against Newcastle every game. We controlled possession today and ground out the result - always the sign of a good side when able to win when not playing that well.

I can't knock McCarthy's work-rate, but I remembered him offering a little bit more creative wise at Wigan, or was that my imagination? Still, a player with his engine are worth their weight in gold. I was just expecting a little more than sheer work rate from McCarthy when we signed him. Perhaps I'm judging him too early.

David Greenwood
224 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:28:45
Excellent win, always a good sign when you win and you don't play well. Onwards and upwards
Paul David
225 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:20:23
That game was really frustrating, a number of times we had the ball in the final third and 5 seconds later the ball was with Howard. We slowed the pace down to a crawl despite only looking dangerous on the few occasions we moved the ball about quickly.

Howard has no control over his area, Jag and Distin were very poor. McCarthy played very well but he was the only one. It's suppose to be a good sign if you win while not playing well and that's what we did today.

Jack Collins
226 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:28:33
Still no room for the likes of Deulofeu?? Given that Pienaar was out for a few weeks, I thought he might have been given more game time, especially over the likes of Naismith (despite his goal against Chelsea). For someone Martinez apparently rates quite highly, he doesn't seem to be getting a look-in at all.
Sean Kelly
227 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:22:55
Paul Ferry

You are spot on: not great performance and relief in the end but on defending corners it doesn't matter about new systems. Defending corners is basic stuff for centre halves. But they are not helped when fanny face / Dracula in disguise won't come out for crosses.

Jim Knightley
228 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:23:39
We were very poor today, but won, and that's all that matters. I still think we can take this as a transition period (At least till Christmas), where we are going to be somewhat inevitably uneven. The defensive weaknesses are alarming though. Whilst our two full backs are extremely offensive, we should not be looking so frail against a team likely to be fighting against relegation and who will score as few goals as anyone this season. We play two defensive midfielders, and we need to improve our defensive side, especially from set pieces. We are strongest in defence (Coleman, Jags, Distin and Baines are a fantastic unit) and we need to make sure we remember that. Tactics should be suited to the players at the club.

That said, Pienaar's return will help us no end. Left midfield as been an issue for us with Pienaar out (Personally I would have put Mirallas there and Deulofeu on the right). Osman was very poor today, understandly so, and credit to Martinez for making the decision when he did. Pienaar, whilst out of sorts over the past year, keeps the ball fantastically well, has great movement and works superbly with Baines. I'm sure we will be a more fluid outfit with him in the side.

Kone should also have killed the game off. He showed at Wigan that his finishing is sometimes terrible. But he looked dangerous when he came on, and when he gets a couple of goals, will be a real threat from the bench. He just needs time.

Whilst I didn't enjoy the performance today, I enjoyed the result, and the current league table. Some winnable games coming up too.

Eric Myles
229 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:25:21
Yes Ross #200, let's not look at the problems the team have and just be thankful for a win at any cost and hope for the best going forward instead of addressing the problems.
Paul Andrews
230 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:28:06
The all-out, high-energy, pressing in numbers highup the pitch game we play when the opposition has the ball inevitably means we will tire in the latter stages of the game.

It was nerve-racking at times today when we took the ball from the keeper when under pressure; when it comes right after half a season or so, it will be less so.

Interesting build up to Pienaar's goal suggests we can and are mixing it up.

Bill Gall
231 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:18:21
At the start of the season, the fans were asked for patience as the new manager's system was implemented.

The problem at the moment is in defence as it seems some of the defenders trying the tippy-tappy football move out of position leaving us vulnerable.

As good defence is the platform for a comfortable, win I think more time should be spent improving it as going over previous seasons our defence was a lot more organized.

Eric Myles
232 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:32:50
Paul (#222) — "Why are a significant number of our 'fit' players looking cream-crackered by minute 80?" — because they don't do as much fitness training as they used to do, apparently.
John Ford
233 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:30:31
Hull have been performing well and they showed up wanting to play. They deserve credit. We were the better team because despite our centre halves (and one or two others) being off their game we had enough about us and we created more than they did. We weren't great but we never stopped trying to do the right thing.

They didn't get a sniff last fifteen.

Paul Ferry
234 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:41:10
Great post John (Ford) - 233 - spot on mate.
Mark Frere
235 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:38:57
Very well put there John Ford. We kept the ball very well the last 20 minutes we didn't just invite Hull to come and attack us like we did under Moyes. The way we saw out the game today was the most impressive and pleasing aspect of today's performance.
Ray Roche
236 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:39:03
1. McCarthy was MotM for me today.

2. Barkley has to remember it's a team game and not try to do it all himself.

3. We spend too much time and place too much emphasis on pissing about at the back. The defence do not look comfortable playing tippy-tappy.

4. Kone is a black Bernie Wright.

Max Murphy
237 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:34:14
Yes it is a welcomed 3 points against a newly promoted side, but people are right to point out the worrying aspects of our game. So many misplaced passes and a very shaky defence – we looked like we would concede at every corner. My concern is, if we play like this against the better sides, we will get battered.

Our very poor GD is an indication that we just cannot put away these teams – our 3 draws could certainly have become 4 draws today. I also worry we now have no decent defensive cover for Jagielka and Distin. Jagielka looked very tired – his play is predictable, and he will be exploited in future games. As for Kone – a waste of time.

Sam Hoare
238 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:45:12
Shame that all the teams above us seem to be finding it pretty easy. We will do well to keep pace with the likes of Arsenal, City and Chelsea. Best hope I think is that RS and Spurs trip up.
John Haldane
239 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:36:22
I'd imagine the transition period will be eighteen to twenty four months rather than the few games till Christmas. So far Martinez seems to be pulling off the trick of getting reasonable results whilst changing things.

Today wasn't especially comfortable to watch. Anyone of my age will confirm that the same could be said of some matches involving the Holy Trinity. Poor performances happen. You regroup, rethink and move on.

Patrick Murphy
242 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:52:56
Am I wrong in thinking that Everton have just won their fourth league game out of five, I accept their are aspects that need to improve - but hey if we can achieve 12 points out of 15 with a side that has room for improvement it can't be all bad can it? The other good thing about today is that we bounced back from a bad result and gained a win, not to mention the attendance which according to the Echo was over 38,000.
Ged Simpson
244 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:52:05
Only one transfer window for Martinez. And just a few games to get to know the players and realise who can play his way and who can't. At present Jags and Distin have little challenge to them but I suspect that will change in January - either through youngsters or transfers.

So in light of the above - pretty good and better than I thought we would be doing at this stage. I agree with John H - transition will be 18 months or so but I remember a few folk predicting relegation after 2 games!

Paul Ferry
245 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:50:44
Yes Ray - 236 - McCarthy MotM by some distance and going back to Mark's post - 223 - I think that there is a great deal more to come as he turns up his more creative aspects that as Mark says were more evident last season.

Paul Ferry
248 Posted 19/10/2013 at 18:59:09
Remember that Ged - 'I remember a few folk predicting relegation after 2 games! (244) - and all those we will be the next Wigan coz he was the Wigan gaffer scaremongering soothsayers?

On the basis of today where a to be honest bit of hard graft squeezed out a win and then some of those crisp sunshine periods in other games I think that it's onwards and upwards in what will be a lengthy transitional time involving inevitable setbacks in which we will see where we stand in the top-7 (love what Saints are doing but like the baggies last year they will slip to 8th-10th).

Ged Simpson
249 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:06:39
Aston Villa, Spurs, Palace, Liverpool, Stoke, Utd............I can see some points there and we have a good Xmas
Jamie Barlow
253 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:12:09
"Barkley has to remember it's a team game and not try to do it all himself." Absolutely Ray. He could try and put a tackle in every now and again as well the lazy get.
Jay Wilson
254 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:13:48
We are conceding goals but it seems that in the main, teams are scoring with pretty much their only shots on target. I think Hull only had one today, Norwich only had 2 or 3... in fact the only games I can remember this season where Howard has got his shirt dirty are the Man City and Chelsea games.
Colin Glassar
260 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:09:09
Well said Paul. We weren't great today (many players looked knackered) but we ground out a win when under the former regime we would've drawn probably. We will only get better as the understanding improves as the season has been very stop start so far due to international games.
Forget the negatives, Pienaar is back. Alcaraz and Stones will give us options in defence and Kone, with more games under his belt, will be a very useful addition to the squad. Plus McCarthy looks like he's starting to settle down and is starting to boss games. All in all I'm still very optimistic about this season.
Michael Evans
261 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:42:12
We didn't play well and yet still won.

Sounds like the definition of a good team to me.

Phil Walling
262 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:07:14
Let's face it, we were poor today although I do think a lot of energy had been sapped by the efforts of so many players involved in recent Internationals.

Finishing remains a problem with Lukaku exposed as a mere mortal and Kone a clown. As for all that PAATB, you have to wonder what all this 'filosofy' nonsense will cost us over the next few months.

24 months of transition? Fucking ridiculous when we ought to be building on last year's 6th not learning to take a dozen passes before crossing the half-way line!

Jon Cox
265 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:51:22
Max 237 (it’s a bad room by the way, don’t go in it) — "if we play like this against the better sides, we will get battered." The thing is Max, as time goes on, there are less and less teams that are going to "batter us". As has already been said, it was a poor performance today but we got the three points. I wonder over the past 20 years how many times that was said of Man Utd? It was a battle today and a battle that we won. All credit to guys. Now as for future ref, I would re-establish the Baines/Pienaar partnership on the left and, on the right i’d go with Del boy and our Irish Emerald down the right.

Just behind Lukaku I’d put Kevin M. We can play Ross as and when and where.

Don’t worry about defence, we are still joint third in the table and things are looking good.

And hey, we haven’t even started yet!

Tony Marsh
267 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:56:12
Can any of you really be that critical of a home win when Roberto and his team have spent a total of 8 weeks game time together? RM has to deconstruct and rebuild and change the mindset of his squad while trying to win games. It's no picnic and I think we are doing superbly. The whole club is being transformed and it feels good.

We didn't play at full throttle today as International week took its toll but we still won with a couple of top draw goals. We are in a nice League position and the fans who welcomed Martinez to the club are enjoying their footy again. I believe we can only get better as a football team/club with RM at the helm.

Just give the guy a little time.... Martinez is a gem of a manager and we are lucky to have him. He did turn the RS down by the way!!!

Andy Crooks
268 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:01:33
Contrary to what some think, playing WELL and winning is much more indicative of a good team. I am happy at the way things are going overall but the Roberto style really doesn't suit our centre backs.

There will be setbacks along the way and I am already preparing myself for the day when a team really presses us and gets an early goal. There is a real thumping round the corner.

Jim Bennings
270 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:04:47
So many negative posts, why?

We didn't play that well overall but won against a pesky well organised side that even Man City had trouble overcoming a few months ago; this time last year we were drawing these types of games, remember a 1-1 draw with the awful QPR? The draw at home to Norwich? Away to Wigan? Loss at Reading?

At least we got the win today and we have to remember the likes of Barkley and Lukaku are nowhere near the finished article, they have both limited experience of starting and finishing Premier League matches but will over time get better.

The worst culprits today were the more experienced pros like Distin, Jagielka and the seriously spent Leon Osman.

McCarthy was outsanding and I am starting to see why we wanted him so bad, like a young Scott Parker, bites you legs and keeps the ball well, added much needed presence to our (in the past, lightweight) midfield.

The only few things I really do wish we could try to work on are winning some headers from corner kicks, in both boxes. When is the last time we scored a proper old-fashioned header from a corner? I know it's only a small fraction of the game but comes in useful if you could actually look a threat now and again from set pieces.

Good result though going into next week against one of our more bogey sides over recent years in terms of getting many wins with the exception of last seasons trip to Villa, and please Everton keep tabs on Gabby Agbonlahor, starting to become our modern day Les Ferdinand like nemesis.

Ian Tunstead
271 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:08:43
Thought Barkley has been garbage the last couple of games. Osman was awful as usual. Lukaku had a very quiet game... Nearly everyone was shit to be fair. What happened to this great football Martinez was supposed to bring?
David Cooper
275 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:10:00
Spent a frustrating 90 minutes not being able to watch the game on the friggin TSN.ca website despite all links to the match. So had to listen to the commentary on Talk Sport. Hard to comment on any of the play but to ask the question what has gone wrong our defensive set up which is leaking goals as much as my roof. Even just listening it felt as if Hull would get a goal late in the game.

From other matches it is clear that Coleman, Jags, Distinct and Bainsey are being asked to things they were never asked to do before. Personally I think that Bainsey gets caught up field way too much and does not get any cover he sets off. The return of Pienaar when he gets himself match fit may help that as often when Bainsey went to the touch line he would provide some cover. Having seen their goal on the highlights Bainsey was skinned by their player which does not happen too often.

Despite having McCarthy and Barry supposedly to be holding midfielders, I feel they both like to get forward and this one if the areas that Fellaini often did well as a sweeper in front of the back four. Also Looking at the highlights Hull looked to be a big and physical team a la Stoke of old and the new Everton ere not that big. Hull created all sorts of problems from corners where we miss Fellaini and when he played Jelly. I often thought Jelly contributed more to the team when defending at corners rather than not scoring.

But we are 5th with a 15 points from 8 matches... basically 2 points per game which will give us 76 points by May. That will do me.

Next week more frustration as Friggin TSN are showing the Villa game online... or offline as it was today.


Jim Bennings
276 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:20:49
Give the man a chance to bleedin half wit, he has been here since June with these players since July, had to basically build a team on transfer deadline day and you already want Everton Football Club to all of a sudden start playing klike a cross between Barcelona and Bayern Munich?

Trouble is with some people they are never happy, just want instant success, well without fucking stupid bottomless pits of cash to spend it aint going to happen straight away is it in terms of finishing 4th? We can and could win a cup so let's see where the FA Cup leads us to but I am not going to jump on a new manager's back after two months of relatively decent results.

Toby Smith
277 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:13:25
Firstly, John Ford has it right, Whilst we were poor first half, particularly from set pieces and Jags reverted to long diagonals into touch, we improved 2nd half, Don't really understand the negativity, it's not like we got a late a draw against 10 men! Hull are a decent side, big, powerful and well organised.

Bruce has made some good signings and they'll be comfortable. The last 20 minutes was the most relaxed I've been sat in my seat in the Park End with a one goal lead.

A smarter finish from Kone (who I thought did OK) A shot from Pienaar when one and one and a drop of the shoulder from Ross with a right foot finish from the edge of the box and we could have been comfortable.

Would you rather we backed off and hoofed it like last season's Norwich home game? Hull have lost to the 'Big 3' — Chelsea, Man City and Everton, all away. Well done to them, they had a go and brought a good following. First time in a while I've heard the announcement ' Today's game is sold out' as I walked to the turnstile (hey it's retro day). Why? Because we are trying to play football. Let's embrace it! We'd all have taken 15 points from 8 games at the start of the season. We've played the two teams that will finish first and second, The shite haven't.

67% possession means that the other team are chasing the ball. They were so tired at the end it was like they'd stopped playing. Keep the ball and tire them out. It works for me, 15 points from 8 games....what's not to like?

BTW - I was at a loose end last weekend (International break and all) so went to Fleetwood v Chesterfield, OFM was there scouting a Fleetwood player, can you imagine Roberto being there? Give thanks!

Ian Tunstead
278 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:29:43
Without Fellaini and Cahill, we are going to struggle from set pieces. We are back to the team of midget gems all over again.
Jim Bennings
279 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:30:49
For the record how many teams even above us, with the exception of Arsenal have actually played outstanding football every week?

Even Man City have had some seriously rocky patches with bollocks defending and an awful result at Cardiff, Liverpool lost at home to Southampton, Chelsea lost to us and have looked ordinary at times, United have been on a downward spiral for a few years and have been landed with a manager who isn't exactly known for attacking football or winning high profile matches.

We are in a very very competitive league this season, I cannot see anyone really running away from anyone at this stage of the season, maybe after Christmas things do tend to pan out how they finish but, at the minute, it's all about winning as many points as early as possible.

Andy Mack
280 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:21:05
Glad to get a result out of that one, fantastic goal from Pienaar, wish we had consistent, confident, no faffing, silky touch finishes like that more often, I like the new progressive passing style so far this season, but we aren't in balmy climes - we're playing in the pissing rain in the north west, every now and then we need a good old hoof forward and if the goalie is going to do it anyway, the defender may as well have done it six passes ago... mix it up and we will be ok, unless of course this is Martinez identifying personnel changes for the next window?

Howard, I'd never realised before has a great throw on him, much better and more accurate than his kicking, should utilise that more. Still, what could easily have been 1-1, 2-2, brill to be where we are early doors with such a shift in management, tactics, training, transfers, media relations.

David Greenwood
281 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:39:55
The last three posts have been bang on, well done Toby, Jim and Andy.

Each passing week I'm less and less concerned about Bainsey going to OT, that's the last place any player with any ambition will head.

Happy Saturday night to all Blues!

Brent Stephens
283 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:45:46
Can't say I came away from GP feeling ecstatic but satisfied nevertheless. 3 points and still early days.

Loved the great passages of play when we had them (and there was some great interchange stuff). And I hope they become more frequent and consistent.

First half I was surprised how much went down our left-hand side. At times Seamus and Kevin were in more space and yet Barry and McC turned away from them and went left.

Hull, I think, are a somewhat better side than some give them credit for. They pressed us hard at times. And they can actually play some goof (good!) passing football themselves. Having said that, I'd like to see us put such sides to the sword with more ruthlessness.

I'm looking forward to when our high level of possession gets turned into more chances being created in and around the box. There are many opportunities when a shot presents itself which we will, hopefully, be taking rather than playing another pass.

So, no negativity but honest appraisal.

Raymond Fox
284 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:34:54
Alcaraz is the type of ball playing central defender that can make all the difference to our distribution from the back.

We could also do with a another quality midfielder in January I'm sure RM knows that better than anyone, money shortage shouldn't be a problem!

With those changes I think we can seriously challenge for the top 4 or 5 places.

Trevor Lynes
285 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:42:16
Considering a lot of the players had been playing in internationals during the break I was quite happy with the result even though it was ground out. These guys have been having no break which Hull have had so it was little wonder that some of the players were leggy. The Premier League is much closer now and almost any team can beat any of the top teams on their day. We do not have a big enough squad with adequate top level cover to be able to rotate our players.

As I predicted, Kone needed to come on after an hour as Lukaku has done loads of travelling in the past fortnight. Its not a coincidence that the players who played in the internationals struggled. There is no centre back pairing in the league who I would swap for Jags and Distin. Man City swapped out ALL their back four today which should give every fan an idea of the difference in playing squads quality... money talks boys!!

Hull City have given every team trouble and its a great hurdle to get over successfully. We have not lost a Premier League fixture at home since 2012. I don't think that any other team in the league has equalled that particular stat. When the lads are back together and firing on all cylinders they are more than a match for anyone at Goodison. We just need to be better defensively for away games!

Paul Andrews
288 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:58:24
Ian Tunstead,

Come on lad, read your post back then look at the table.

Early days, mate, it will take half a season.

Mark Cumiskey
289 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:53:25
Really enjoyed listening to the mancs moaning about davie's "lunatic substitutions", forward off, centre half on to defend a 1 goal lead, only for it to backfire. We had 11 years of it, give me Roberto any day
Dave Lawley
290 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:21:54
I think teams now know we are gonna play out from the back and press high up the pitch from the off, putting our CBs under pressure, they CAN play the ball out from the back and they have in McCarthy and Gareth someone to confidently receive the ball, but are susceptible when put under sustained pressure.

We need to be able to go long to Lukaku for a for 15-20 mins to force the opposition to defend in their own half, this should give the CBs much more time on the ball to play how Roberto wants, we can't be one dimensional, it makes us too easy to work out. Also can we fuckin shoot when we get in and around the oppo's box pls, Jesus fuckin Christ! (I find that frustrating.)

Ryan Sloan
291 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:48:26
Seriously people need to get a grip, you can't expect 5 star performances every week and every team can have an off game but, when you still pick up the points, you're onto a winner.
James Flynn
292 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:26:25
Phil (262) - "24 months of transition? Fucking ridiculous when we ought to be building on last year's 6th not learning to take a dozen passes before crossing the half-way line!"

Yep. Good stuff.

Andy Crooks
293 Posted 19/10/2013 at 20:59:07
Raymond, you may well be right. Alcaraz has done his reputation a lot of good by, well, just not doing it any harm. By the time he gets a game it might be enhanced enough to make him the missing link that will bring it all together.

In reality, I believe Kone for Barkley will do the trick.

James Martin
296 Posted 19/10/2013 at 21:06:27
Top teams turn out these sort of wins all the itme and think nothing of it. that's how you build a good league campaign, you don't go and blow away everyone 3-0 in the ifrst half with amazing football. Just doesn't happen in the premier league. Hull are a decent team with Tottenham's old midfield and two good CBs, they're in good form and were well up for it, they played well we were just better.

We have to shake off this expectation that we're just going to smash teams left right and centre all the time. We actually did well controlling a lot of their open play attacks. We only really had problems from set pieces. Hull posed us a problem to go and get the winner after they equalised and we had the quality to do it and to shut them out. More than deserving of three points.

Our problems have been longstanding. There is a weakness in the Jagielka and Distin partnership to long balls either right down the middle or whipped in from the angle. They've always had this susceptibility, I don't know what it is but Distin just does ridiculous things at corners and Jagielka seems to be undercooking crosses and letting attacker sin behind him. We oculd have conceded loads today. That being said wedidn't look like conceding from open play so hopefully it won't take too much to fix.

On another note Pienaar has taken a lot of stick on here for those times when he hans't quite been as good as he usually is. He's still class though in everything he does. He makes the most difficult of link up play look so easy. Touch, agility, aggression, work rate - class player who improves us immensely.

Andy Crooks
299 Posted 19/10/2013 at 21:12:44
Phil Walling #262. what makes your post so annoying is the nagging doubt at the back of my mind that you just might have a point. However, Kone is not a clown and I believe he will, when fit, add a lot to the squad.

We needed a fresh start and I think we have the man to do it. Unlike others I don't think that playing poorly and winning is a lot to be happy about. I have absolutely no doubt, though, that we will play well and win more often than we have done for a long time.

Mark Frere
300 Posted 19/10/2013 at 21:21:56
Andy Crooks

Man Utd and Chelsea have won titles over this past decade grinding out results like we did today. They didn't just simply beat every team convincingly on the way to their titles, they often just found a way to win when they weren't playing that well - that's the sign of a good team.

Arsenal in the last few years are a prime example of a team who can't win when they don't play well. That's why they've failed to challenge for the PL title for the last few years.

Paul Andrews
301 Posted 19/10/2013 at 21:19:33
James Martin,

It would be difficult to sum the game up better than your post 296.
Absolutely spot on

Andy Crooks
302 Posted 19/10/2013 at 21:42:47
James, I agree totally about Pienaar. His return to the side will improve things a lot. He is an RM type player who works well.
Peter Warren
303 Posted 19/10/2013 at 21:32:06
The difficulty we have at playing from the back is the centre backs don't really want to. Oh yeah, they pretend with passes to full backs or goaly or centre mid when they drop deep enough to be third centre back. But they don't and can't play proper football.

I suspect reason why Martinez wants to fast track Stones

Gary Poole
304 Posted 19/10/2013 at 21:48:46
James – top post and a great summary of the game. Hull were good and we beat them deservedly (but not without some drama).

As you say though that is the Premier League – there are very few teams nowadays that will roll over (Sunderland apart).

Pienaar absolutely improves us and fits right in with RM's way.

Finally, despite the terrible miss, I thought that Kone looked good when he came on (footie wise, not hair!)

Colin Grierson
320 Posted 19/10/2013 at 22:10:21
McCarthy was superb today! Bruce knew that our centre halves weren't comfortable playing out of defence and so pressed high up the pitch and to be fair it nearly paid dividends for them. Give Hull credit for a disciplined performance. That said, while we seemed a bit lethargic and pedestrian, we played some lovely football in spells and should have scored more goals. When Pienaar came on we seemed to have a better shape about us. Coleman was a bit off his game for most of the game I thought and we missed his bursts forward. Overall a good, hard earned three points! COYB!
Kevin Tully
335 Posted 20/10/2013 at 00:00:45
Srangely, Pienaar may just be the perfect link-up man for our midfield.

I went off him a little towards the end of last season, but our new style may suit him down to the ground.

With McCarthy & Barry doing all the dirty work, it will give Pienaar & Barkley more space in the final third, where they are both at their most effective.

Could be a very well balanced midfield we have there.

Karl Meighan
355 Posted 20/10/2013 at 05:30:41
Although Distin and Jageilka slightly less were poor today having a goalkeeper that wont come a foot off his goal line on corners or set pieces will just make all defenders nervous and panicky and lead to goals being conceded.

I still think we deserved to win the game today despite only McCarthy and Barry being anywhere near the standards we are capable of. Lets not forget Hulls last away match saw them come from behind twice before winning the points at Newcastle and was always going to be a tricky fixture.

The positives should come from the obvious mistakes being made from goalkeeper and defenders can easily be put right as defending corners and set pieces are just basics of concentration and tracking runners and this apart I don't really remember Hull causing Howard to make a save.

Mick Davies
358 Posted 20/10/2013 at 06:16:10
I read somewhere that Hull had just gone 3 or 4 hours without conceding, and we smash 2past them and should have had more, and that's on an off day, with our older players and internationals looking jaded on a sodden pitch.

As for jags playing long passes, he's the PL's current long pass holder, and most of them just go into touch; it's a pity he can't produce his England performances for his employers.

Looking back a couple of seasons, I remember City were dire in lots of games, such as the Gibbo game at Goodison, and even against relegation fodder QPR on the final day but they managed to claim the title. We've been having some terrible games for years and getting nowhere so playing below par and winning doesn't upset me too much.

Spurs got battered at home to WHU who we beat at their own ground; we beat 11 man Newcastle but the reds couldn't beat 10, so maybe we should trust RM who has had bad luck with injuries and had our LB's head turned by our ex boss. Give Robby time - I'm sure he won't need 11 years

Paul Smith
387 Posted 20/10/2013 at 11:01:26
Thought we were poor in the 1st half and Barkley and Lukaku never got into the game. Slightly better in the 2nd half and would probably say we just about deserved the 3 points. They say it's the sign of a good team when you win and not play well. We will have to play better for the bigger tests to come though. Very glad to have Pienaar back though and hopefully that means Osman takes a break from the team now.
Al Reddish
390 Posted 20/10/2013 at 11:24:02
We were a lot better when Pienaar came on. Although his end product isn't always great, he has an attribute which is paramount in Martinez' system....ball retention. He is probably the best at our club for keeping hold of possession, and whilst I am not an Ozzie basher, I do think the time has come to use him off the subs bench as he just can't keep possession despite his quick feet and trickery. Another bonus for me was the obvious lift Pienaar's introduction gave to Baines. He was a different, more confident player in the last half hour.
McCarthy grew as the game went on and if he carries on this way £13m may prove to be shrewd business. Barry had one of his poorer games and I panic nearly as much as Jagielka himself does everytime he has time to dwell on the ball. 3pts and 5th will do me though especially as we didn't even have Gibson, Hibbert, Oviedo and Heitinga on the bench.
Mike Oates
391 Posted 20/10/2013 at 11:19:25
The team are playing excellent attacking football and hopefully that if will improve further with Pienaar back. We just need to improve our decision making within the last 3rd of the pitch.

My main worry is that by losing at Fulham in the League Cup we have actually deprived the likes of Deulofeu, Stones, Oviedo, Alcaraz getting good game time which allows to bring them into the 1st team ready to replace whoever is out. Even though Jags and Distin are going through a sticky patch would you trust Stones, Alcaraz say against Beneteke next week ? I wouldn't . The Under 21 set up is of no use to 1st team players, other than a fitness test.

James Marshall
399 Posted 20/10/2013 at 12:43:19
Seemingly everyone wants to have it every which way they can, and quite simply, you can't. We can only pick 11 players, and only have 7 subs, so some players have to miss out. We spend the next day tearing it all apart, but in reality Martinez picks the squad, and the team and who plays on the day as he see's it.

Everton won yesterday, 2-1, against a team playing very well at the moment who hadn't conceded a goal for about 3 hours, so why all the scrutiny?

All I saw (watching from my sofa with a huge bloody cast on my ankle) was a team who kept possession really well (us) against a team high on confidence. One thing I didn't like which lots of people have mentioned, is our marking at corners – we seem to have started zonal-marking, which I've never been a fan of on any level.

Distin was also pretty shocking yesterday, but apart from that, we played well enough to win the game, and with 67% of possession it does mean that the opposition have less opportunity to score – it's really hard to score goals when you don't have the ball much. Only issue is that we're ripe for the picking on the break. But then so are Barcelona.

Michael Kenrick
417 Posted 20/10/2013 at 15:16:50
James (#399), I'm glad you mentioned the marking. It seems their man-marking of us was top-drawer at times, they seemed to intercept more key passes through a combination of marking, good positioning and anticipation.

Whereas what we were doing, especially on corners, was a mystery. This zonal stuff seems like a bad idea!

Ross Edwards
434 Posted 20/10/2013 at 16:24:28
See we have the normal naysayers on yet again. Mr Entwistle, Mr Hind, Mr Walling, amazing no mention of Wigan, maybe the Wiganitis has cleared.

We are 8 games in.

It will no doubt take the players a bit longer yet to get used to the new system of play.

Yet you'd think by the negative tripe on here that we are in Sunderland's situation. We are in the top 6 for crying out loud.

Linda Morrison
444 Posted 20/10/2013 at 16:36:46
I was at the game yesterday. I wonder about the issue with Jags; I do not know if he is finding it difficult to adapt or his legs are not as quick as they were but he was poor – gave away the ball too much, stood still too much. Distin made mistakes but from my seat in Lower Bullens both he and Barry did a lot of covering for Jags.

I think the Internationals took a lot out of Jags and Baines, who looked knackered, both physically and mentally, so am hoping for an improvement next week at the Villa.

Kone just needs time on the pitch – you'll see a great striker there.

Jamie Barlow
547 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:12:09
" Barkley has to remember it's a team game and not try to do it all himself." Absolutely Ray. He could try and put a tackle in every now and again as well the lazy get.
David Ellis
567 Posted 21/10/2013 at 09:51:04
Agree with the general consensus. Good result against a decent side (who surprised me with their qualityTBH). But we did not look that special overall. However closed the game out nicely in the last 20 minutes when the Tigers looked their most tame - just when they should have been throwing the kitchen sink at us. All that seemed to happen is that they gave us more space to counter attack into, but we on the other hand held them off comfortably and starved them of the ball.

I was doing a lot of clock watching over the last 5 minutes of standard time - every time we got the ball we generally held it for two minutes. So with 4 mintues of extra time that gives Hull a maxiumum of 4 attacks in the last 9 minutes of play. This makes for much more comfortable viewing than 3 attacks a minute which we were putting up with last season at the end of tight games we were leading.

Tom Bowers
702 Posted 21/10/2013 at 17:37:41
Everton are still a work in progress. It is evident that they do have the players who can improve to a better level than when under Moyes but it will take time on the evidence of some hard fought results.

A better team would have seen off the likes of Albion, Cardiff and Norwich.

The centre of defence is a concern with both Distin and Jags somewhat lacking in co-ordination in too many games this season.

Having a couple of good tackling deep midfielders would certainly help this situation and to this end the likes of Barry and McCarthy could be a factor in the absence of Gibson and the out of favour Heitinga.

The next game is very iffy especially with Villa getting a second home game in succession and smarting from yesterday's defeat.

What are the odds of Villa losing again plus they will have Benteke back to cause the Blues problems. Everton need to be totally focused on this one from the off.
Ross Edwards
781 Posted 21/10/2013 at 23:00:29
I think the criticism of Barkley is too harsh in my view. He's 20 years old.

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