Everton 2 - 1 Southampton
After just a short break we all assembled for ‘Lunch in L4’ a sell-out crowd and our local soon filled up with one or more fans making their debut at sampling match day ‘scouse style’ I wonder what they all made of it. One of them should be happy as not only did the Blues win but they won the card too. A text from a mate said Jags out with hammy trouble and when the team arrived he was proved right. Five changes from Boxing Day and how they might line up was well discussed.
Clattenberg was ref but when discussed the only comment was that he should not be reffing full stop after being caught favouring one team over another. All agreed and we moved on to the ground where the buzz started well before Spellow Lane and intensified the nearer to the ‘Old Lady’ you got. The fat van had run out of bacon and sausages so many had to do with chips. The Goodison Road was knee deep in the Blues and the yellow carry out food wrapper bins overflowed as we made our way to designated turnstiles. Almost 40.000 passed through.
Before kick-off we had a moment of applause for those Blues who had passed up to Blue heaven during the year of 2013. Their names displayed on the big screen, sadly there seemed to be too many of them.
The half started with us attacking the street end no doubt in an attempt to gain some help from the sun shining brightly in the eyes of their keeper and defenders. It was a low key start but it only took about 10mins for Osman to find Coleman with a decent pass and the Irishman set of at great pace down the right, cut inside his man took a few more paces and then let fly with a rocket of a shot that flew across the keeper and bulged the net. Happy Blues celebrated in good style, it was a stunning shot. He seems to be getting good at these. 3 in 4 games now.
The half meandered on with some decent football from both sides and slowly but surely the visitors were winning the midfield battle but Everton seemed prepared for this as they set up a line across the pitch just in front of the 18yd line. This seemed to work well and we thwarted anything the Saints could muster. Barkley was working well with finesse and power and had a few rounds of applause for his efforts. McCarthy was settling in to his anchor role and it was good to see Alcaraz settling in quickly in fact we were no weaker for the changes as we looked after the lead as well as attacking when we could.
Around the 20min mark Naismith went for a ball in the box and seemed to be pushed over but nothing doing from the ref.
The half wasn’t electric by any means and good chances were in short supply. Lambert brought a good save from Robles but was offside anyway. Lukaku had a powerful run down the right but just kept going and ended up being unable to pass to anyone. Shame really as Oviedo had made a good run to offer himself unmarked.
One more scare for us before the break when Lallana sort of squeezed between Osman and Distin and into the box but thankfully shot wide. Then one more chance for us as a delightful free kick from Baines was attacked by Naismith but his resultant header was shuffled away. Right on the half time whistle as Distin was seeing a ball out for a goal-kick he was barged by a Southampton player and handbags took place. Just a talking to from Clatters.
H/T and in keeping with the first half everything seemed a bit downbeat and flat from the speccys.
The second half started and within seconds the impressive Shaw raced down the left and fed a good ball into the box and but for the sliding McCarthy Lallana could have profited.
Oviedo got booked for a foul slide but it didn’t put him off as he raced down the left and looked up and fed Barkley open in front of a gaping goal but the youngster contrived to side-foot wide, what a miss, I hoped that would not come back to haunt us. Shame for the lad though as he was having a good game in his deeper midfield role.
Southampton were now in the ascendency and it was taking some sterling work from McCarthy to keep us together as well as the Distin Alcaraz partnership looking more solid as the game progressed.
We had a spell of both teams putting some good joined up stuff together but both teams promised more than they delivered. We had a scare when from a decent shot Robles let the ball squirm from his grasp causing him to produce a sprawl and smother to thwart the incoming forward.
All seemed very quiet in the ground and even the baiting from the travelling Saints fans barely caused any retaliatory action. Maybe we were just absorbed in the ground and fearful of an equaliser yet at the same time with the promptings of McCarthy and Barkley we were not looking in much danger.
In the 70th min all that changed when sub. Ramirez thumped one in from the edge of the box and it just seemed to be too fast for our keeper who just seemed to wave two hands at it as it went right through him and into the net. He couldn’t blame the sun as it had gone down!
The ground went even quieter but within minutes we were all on our feet as a delightful interplay between our sub Pienaar and the excellent McCarthy saw the latter pick out Lukaku in front of goal and he duly thumped the ball high into the net and the Goodison roar was heard once more. I bet Robles was happy to see that go in.
The points were now ours as the clock ticked out the final minutes. Still time for a half chance to them and two half chances for us. In their case Shaw fired over and in our case Lukaku fired over then had a shot saved low down. Final whistle but not any wild celebrations but many did stay to clap the players off after they had saluted the fans.
M.O.tM. --- McCarthy
Overall a good day out and a game that was played in good spirit in the main between two footballing teams. I thought the manager managed the subs well when he introduced Pienaar for Oviedo on the hour mark and the link up with Baines looked much more productive yet Oviedo had not done much wrong. The Mirallas for Osman on 70mins gave the fresh legs.
Barkley again had a good game this time as part of a mid-field two and some of his surging runs and insightful passing bodes well for the remainder of the season. Alcaraz slotted in alongside Distin well so even with five changes we showed we could more than cope. It will be interesting to see what transpires in this coming transfer window as we move into the second half of the season with a shout of a high finish. Exciting times lie ahead if we can grasp them.
All the very best for 2014
UP THE BLUES
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992 Posted 29/12/2013 at 20:53:16
The other positive was the return to goalscoring for Lukaku. He has worked tirelessly over the past few games without anything to show for it and today saw him get the goal that he deserved. Without a doubt we need to bolster the front line in the transfer window so that we don't see him burning out when the games will become even more important.
Overall, a great result against a team that played well. Fourth at the halfway point and only five points out of first. Martinez has been a revelation and the team has responded to his change in philosophy.....long may it continue!
993 Posted 29/12/2013 at 20:55:43
We scored two smashing goals, one a fine individual effort from Seamus, worthy of a Giggs or Kanchelskis in their pomp, the other a really lovely team effort featuring some great passing an movement, a super first-time flicked pass and a confident finish from a striker who you'd never know had gone several games without netting.
One slightly negative comment... I noticed today, in the first half especially, the tendency of our players to pass straight to feet when moving the ball around in midfield. While this may be ok when we're playing keep ball and not pressed too close, it can leave the receiving player a bit flat footed at times.
I'd much prefer it if the passes were aimed just in front of the target player each time, to induce them forwards (rather than back) and give the receiver a little bit of initiative/impetus if they're being closed down by an opponent. This I think is likely more comfortabe than when the ball is straight to feet. Sometimes we looked like we were playing pass the parcel with a grenade.
995 Posted 29/12/2013 at 21:11:10
005 Posted 29/12/2013 at 21:51:13
Looking forward to Stoke and I can't wait for QPR and Norwich.
008 Posted 29/12/2013 at 21:59:26
Chris, according to the staticians, Everton have won ALL 7 of the games in which Martinez has made two or more changes to his lineup.
Unchanged, the Toffees have won just once in 6 games this season.
Bit of a whizz-kid with the rotations then is our Roberto they've worked every time
033 Posted 30/12/2013 at 00:34:56
If there's a truck full of pork to be found outside, it'll be my first stop on my pilgrimage to Goodison.
045 Posted 30/12/2013 at 01:24:10
The early heroes were Bob (deadly from 2 yards) Latchford, Martin Dobson? Thomas on the wing, and Drunken McKenzie. Then we had the glory days of the mid 80s and the crushing disappointment of missing the European Cup.
There's been little to cheer since (1995 and Big Dunc's elbows aside) but now I think the sleeping giant has awoken! DM did well with the players at his disposal and his limited vision.
But Roberto has given us the audacity to believe and the joy in watching an Everton team where you can revel in the quality of the football as well as sweat over the result. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going until May.....C'mon the 'Ton!
053 Posted 30/12/2013 at 02:55:04
Osman was shaky but didn't lose the ball, thank God.
Naismith won all headers but was the only dude that seems to lose the ball in the entire game.
Joel should've saved that goal. It was a routine save if it was Tim.
070 Posted 30/12/2013 at 06:09:58
073 Posted 30/12/2013 at 06:45:15
085 Posted 30/12/2013 at 08:49:19
Encouraging that Lukaku scored, and overall he played really well, but we need another quality striker to add some competition and to give us a different option when games are not going our way.
091 Posted 30/12/2013 at 09:06:10
106 Posted 30/12/2013 at 10:41:51
How about Nigel Martyn or Neville Southall?
On a technicality I'll throw in Pat Jennings as another back up keeper
that he is behind, if you're not having that then he's not as good as the back up keeper that Jennings was once the back up keeper for.
In fact, on the basis of his calamitous handling so far I would also suggest Richard Wright, Steve Simonsen and Thomas Myhre were better.
He is better than Paul Gerrard, I'll give him that much.
109 Posted 30/12/2013 at 10:56:58
Alcaraz appeared to have that concern under wraps and it will be nice to have the option of using him along with Jags and Distin with 3 at the back when other options are limited.
Lukaku must have had a halftime hairdryer as 2nd half he was a lot better.
Overall a great result in a tricky fixture.
111 Posted 30/12/2013 at 11:04:24
Ken, I learn something about game-day culture every time I read your work.
Well MG perhaps you might learn something about MacCarthy's performance from him then - Ken's MOM - who you somewhat foolishly called sub-par or words to that effect on another thread. I suggest that you press replay on NBC and watch the match and McCarthy very very closely and you perhaps might see what we who have been watching Everton for far longer than you saw.
116 Posted 30/12/2013 at 11:14:03
What do you want him to do, do his penance all over again!?
Sorry once is more than enough for me to be honest.
117 Posted 30/12/2013 at 11:25:04
145 Posted 30/12/2013 at 13:12:34
Why is any criticism of Roberto's signings so reprehensible to his disciples? Just like any other manager, he will make bad judgements as well as good ones and we should all be entitled to express our view on the individuals concerned.
All I am saying is that on the basis of repeated mistakes Robles made in pre-season, his 'Careless Hands' display on Saturday was no surprise to me. He goes down on my list of the 'dodgy keepers' we have had over the Prem years. Love him all you will if you choose to.
148 Posted 30/12/2013 at 13:35:44
There's me thinking you were a changed man, you've been deceiving us all along!
A leopard cant change its spots!
150 Posted 30/12/2013 at 13:49:01
"Oh, he'll relegate us within 3 years, what a disaster... couldn't have been a worse appointment for our club... he'll turn us into another Wigan...a nothing manager...tippy tappy rubbish...bottom 3 by New Year.. to pick the guy who got relegated says everything that we need to know...kiss goodbye to top half finish and prepare for relegation battles...back to perennial relegation battles...Championship, here we come. GUTTED"
How nice it is to see those people proven wrong. Genuine comments by the way.
152 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:03:43
It definitely wasn't 80-20 against RM when he was appointed.
I haven't conducted a survey or trawled through past posts but at a rough guess I'd say it was more like 15-70-15 with the 70 being unsure but willing to give him a chance.
The uncertainty was due to him having just been relegated which is not unreasonable.
I was one of those 70% and am happy to be won over.
I was, however, glad to see the back of OFM.
157 Posted 30/12/2013 at 13:49:42
The McCarthy and Alcaraz signings now look good business even though we've had to pay the latter about £600k to sit on his arse for half the season! Kone has proved very poor business for the same reason. But nobody's perfect... particularly football managers, are they?
159 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:20:30
Let's not get carried away by 4th place at the halfway point, as pleasing as it is.
Is it reasonable to question some of his permanent signings, like a goalkeeper who seemingly can't catch and the striker who couldn't score? Of course it is.
161 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:29:20
Feel free to counter any of those points.
162 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:39:52
Basically in short everything Kevin said, I concur completely.
163 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:28:05
164 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:45:41
Just for balance, and despite all of the positives that you have listed, he did also prove his inability to keep Wigan in the premier league. Also, and back to the original point, there are questions that can fairly be asked about some of the permanent signings he has made as well as the long term wisdom of reliance on loan deals.
165 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:43:30
166 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:43:30
167 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:36:45
You may be a very nice person but you come across as a curmudgeonlyâ€Ž old scrote; the sort who told their kids there’s no Father Christmas
I’ve not met another Blue, match-going or otherwise, who isn’t excited by and grateful for Martinez’s approach and attitude
The sheer joy of, after all these years, looking forward to the match again
168 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:47:42
169 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:52:21
170 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:52:58
171 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:57:53
The reason why Wigan finished higher under Bruce is because most of these players were available to him, whereas Martinez had to sell them to raise funds during his 4 year tenure.
172 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:04:07
173 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:01:08
174 Posted 30/12/2013 at 14:51:08
Please don't make sycophancy of ALL things Martinez a condition of our contribution to this board.
175 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:06:04
176 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:08:32
178 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:06:31
180 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:12:08
But down they went.
181 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:13:44
Exactly what I said earlier, some people are just too eager to write off our players and the manager just because they don't like him or didn't want him or those particular players.
183 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:15:31
A club with little money, a small squad and huge injury problems like Wigan would have found it impossible to survive in the Premier League and find success in the FA Cup.
185 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:20:43
186 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:25:01
Some strange Evertonians out there.
187 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:33:03
188 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:28:38
"Their [other Wigan fans'] view is Steve Bruce left him with a mid-table Premier League side and he's turned us into relegation fodder. The Martinez defence mechanism in me quickly points out that team had Heskey, Palacios, Valencia and Cattermole sold from it and was also relegation fodder post January (a 4-0 humping at yours sticks out somewhat). Also, that the wage bill has reduced by 20% from then in a period when wages have increased 65%, if Martinez had the same wage bill last year as Bruce had then it'd be £70m not £35m. All facts – the reason Martinez has struggled is because the tide of money has continued to swing against us."
In such circumstance, Roberto played a blinder delaying the inevitable so long, this business about the Wigan relegation being avoidable is bollocks.
190 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:37:29
192 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:42:34
194 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:37:53
196 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:43:48
Ross, there are enough on here who have made a fool of themselves over the past 5 months - don't add to their number.
202 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:49:06
The best learn from their mistakes and move on to greater things.
So far, RM has not shown me any reason to doubt he has moved on from his Wigan days. If he is THAT BAD, we should be mid table, concede a boatload of goals and saying, yea, this is what we expected when we lost OFM anyway.
Like I said before in other threads, I'm afraid of next season, especially if we go into UCL this season. Where do we set a bar for next season? We need to be realistic, challenging for top 4 is our immediate target, automatic UCL berth is a thing for the next 5 years and hopefully we can win that shiny thing while most of us are still alive. How many different teams actually won that cup? We should realize our chances while they are there. Of course, if you want us to be another Leeds, you're talking to the wrong person. And supporting the wrong club.
204 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:57:14
A fool indeed if the trophy you referred to was the League one title rather than the Wigan's FA Cup win. I must stop jumping to conclusions
213 Posted 30/12/2013 at 15:52:55
Ross Edwards, nobody said Everton would be relegated in 3 years. Nobody has been proven wrong about anything as it is far too early to make any judgement. I'm sure if you told West Brom fans at the end of an impressive last season that they were going to lose Lukaku and less than half way through the next season they would lose their manager and would be 2 points off the relegation places they wouldn't have believed you.
It sounds like you cant wait to say "I told you so" but then Phil or who ever could have said "I told you so" after the Sunderland game. I think the truth is, we just have to wait until at least the end of this season before we can draw any conclusions. After all I heard after the Sunderland game we were on the same amount of points we were on at the same stage last season and that is with the added bonus of Barry Lukaku, McCarthy and the likes. So for all the praise Martinez is getting, have we really progressed as much as we are being told on this forum? Especially when we take away our loan signings next season.
You state the Man Utd result as proof he has proven himself, but we all knew he had a reputation for getting shock results against the bigger clubs but don't the results against the likes of Sunderland and Palace count as much? Those are vital points that can decide relegation for a team like Wigan or top 4 for a team like Everton.
"He plays football the right way" What is this right way? Surely the right way is the way that gets results, to either keep you in the league or get you into the top 4?
"Most importantly, he knows the game, he knows his stuff, and has silverware to show for it."
So any manager who doesn't have a trophy doesn't know the game but managers like McLeish, Di Matteo or McClaren do know the game because they have won a trophy?
219 Posted 30/12/2013 at 16:41:54
I never thought I'd see the day when the loss of Emille Heskey would be used as a reason why a team got relegated, banging them in for Wigan was he?
I do get the point, Wigan went down but he was blameless because players were sold from beneath him and the money was not made available for reinvestment in the team.
We can all be grateful that Everton isn't run that way. I fully expect that the tidy profit made on Fellaini and Anichebe in the summer will be reinvested in the playing staff during the coming weeks without the loss of any of our best players.
223 Posted 30/12/2013 at 16:52:38
226 Posted 30/12/2013 at 16:57:43
229 Posted 30/12/2013 at 16:57:11
There are way too many things to dictate success and failure of a team. While I remain cautiously optimistic with RM, I really think naysayers are missing out on the moment by chasing the negatives.
237 Posted 30/12/2013 at 17:22:45
Another first on ToffeeWeb.
239 Posted 30/12/2013 at 17:27:09
244 Posted 30/12/2013 at 17:55:37
Early signs from Joel are frankly terrible and to extrapolate from this to him becoming a stopper for a top 4 premier league team is beyond my limits.
I think we have an excellent back-up keeper at the club in Tim Howard, what we need is a better first team keeper.
246 Posted 30/12/2013 at 17:47:20
Sorry Dennis, but I am struggling to understand what point you are making. Leeds forked out a fortune to effectively 'buy' a team capable of qualifying for the Champions League / European Cup year on year with the idea that money would flood in to pay-off the initial investment. When the team couldn't do it the club suffered the consequences.
No-one is looking for Everton to follow that model. The ideal scenario would be to qualify for CL through upping team performance rather than the expenditure, and then advance some proportion of the extra revenue for squad improvement with the primary goal of once again getting CL qualification and repeating the process.
It is about climbing the ladder to success one rung at a time, clinging on for dear life at times, until the extra revenue is sufficient for a sustained attempt at the summit. There are no guarantees and it will be incredibly difficult, but the only real alternative (unless the perfect billionaire shows up) is to simply accept we are second tier and hope we can continue to tread water for ever.
252 Posted 30/12/2013 at 18:24:53
256 Posted 30/12/2013 at 18:15:15
I might have made 2-3 points within that same 1 line, so I might have lost you there.
Indeed, we're not Leeds, but the many banter on how much we should cut long serving players like Osman and Howard loose reminds me of how little patience people have at teams that are near the summit. Leeds is THE ultimate example of people in way over their heads in chasing the title.
We definitely agree on the route in which we can reach the summit, and quite realistically, that is the only stable way. Other than Arsenal, other top teams can't really survive as is without their billionaire backers. Even for AW, they are walking a tightrope based on whether they can maintain their UCL place. I'm happy that we're even in the mix given our wage bill.
As for the expectation part, your comment on treading water is superb. My main worry, back to the line "people in over their heads in chasing the title", is that people would be eager to think that we can maintain this success with some investment. RM, as much as he has wielded magic this year, is still young, managing a thin squad with a tight budget. Until that improves, I'm expecting some form of yo-yo in standings for some time.
And you're spot on again, its about some to accept that we're second tier, at least in terms of finance. I can only hope on the field success can change that sooner rather than later. Team wise, I believe that our first 11 has the ability to challenge for big things, though beyond that, it is quite thin and hard to expect much when it comes to injuries.
However much I think Howler Howard still lives, he is pretty much going to be our first choice for a while, unless we can bring in good bodies on the cheap, through no less than more of RM's midas touch. Otherwise, we'll have to hope one of those "good GK" teams to bite the dust before we can swoop in. Another tough ask.
294 Posted 30/12/2013 at 19:14:49
Not my words but that of someone who attended Wigan games, obviously you know better.
312 Posted 30/12/2013 at 19:42:45
What do the Swansea fans call him and why?
324 Posted 30/12/2013 at 20:21:50
I hope that's OK with you.
339 Posted 30/12/2013 at 20:30:16
Is that it, it only proves that your one of poor souls that can observe events & not have a fecking clue what happened!
Were in 4th place sunshine its not happened by accident, if you cant tell that RM is the real deal by now I'd stop giving your opinion.
340 Posted 30/12/2013 at 20:54:06
341 Posted 30/12/2013 at 20:59:08
426 Posted 31/12/2013 at 04:07:06
The majority view the timeline for judging him up to the present day, so at least a 9 out of 10.
A minority seem to view the appropriate timeline as some period in the future, at least one or two seasons, perhaps longer (it varies by poster). In which case of course we have to wait and see as we don't know how it will turn out.
Both are correct, but each is answering a different question.
I am with the majority.
477 Posted 31/12/2013 at 10:46:03
Howard is generally a 'safe custodian' as they used to say but prone to 'rushes of blood' - usually about four times a season. Hopefully, however, he can stay out of trouble for the rest of the season because Robles just ain't up to it. Any keeper with Premier aspirations has to do better than raise his arms and allow the ball to pass through them as the Spaniard did on Sunday.
It would be a tragedy if all Roberto's good work was sabotaged by one or other of our 'iffy' keepers.
480 Posted 31/12/2013 at 11:17:15
481 Posted 31/12/2013 at 11:13:57
I accept you are not a bundle of joy and have, like me, seen more false dawns than a false-dawn inspector.
I'm not advocating unbridled bliss and Kumbaya but, surely, you see the improvement in the team's (in fact the whole club's) demeanour and attitude? Surely?
We might even swagger a bit, if this goes on...
Lighten up, enjoy the ride, nip out for a few scoops, needle the deludes, have a nice New Year's Eve.
483 Posted 31/12/2013 at 11:44:54
489 Posted 31/12/2013 at 11:44:57
I sort of got the feeling at the start of the season that the majority on TW were of the second view. Either way, I kept posting, after some fine performances and results, that to be consistent "it's too early to judge".
There's a rational part of me that says "it's still too early to judge". We've seen all sorts of false dawns with new managers coming into other clubs.
And yet there's another rational part of me that says we're now half way through the season, in 4th place, above some other sides I don't like to name, and only 3/4/5 points off 3rd/2nd/1st; we've played some superb football, with confidence in a passing / possession game with an increasing tempo in the play; we've beaten a few of the other top sides; we've got ever-developing gems in Ross, Seamus, Macca; we've got potential gems in Stones, Antolin; the solidity of Barry, Baines, Jags; we've just seen how a weakened side can perform against no-slouch Southampton. This other rational half of me says what part of that can you argue with? Top spot we ain't going to get but a CL place is in no way pie in the sky.
I'm now shaking with anticipation before every match.
Shaking Stephens is off to Stoke tomorrow.
500 Posted 31/12/2013 at 11:43:14
Obviously the quality of your players has to have a enormous effect on whether you have a successful rein as manager.
I believe you can only judge a managers ability by what you think of him as a person/character/decision maker and in my opinion, along with all the pro's he's worked with is that he has the ability to go to the very top.
This transfer window could be a divining moment for us in so much as if the directors don't back RM and bring in 2 or 3 quality players we will have missed a glorious opportunity to get us into Europe.
If they don't go for it, I think Roberto will be off to pastures new in a year or two, where they have the same ambition as himself.
504 Posted 31/12/2013 at 12:29:30
517 Posted 31/12/2013 at 12:51:46
Roberto is made of stronger stuff than that, I suspect , and I for one - originally a doubter - will back him to succeed come what may. We ain't going to win the Prem but he will give it a go for top four!
518 Posted 31/12/2013 at 13:04:11
It's unfortunately true about spending but that's what making our position even better! The players we have are at little cost to us and performing way better than those on mega contracts. They need pay raises but so does this club. UCL and a few shinies can help.
542 Posted 31/12/2013 at 14:00:40
545 Posted 31/12/2013 at 14:06:22
Remind me, what did the Scottish manager win here in 11 years? That's right. Zero.
546 Posted 31/12/2013 at 14:04:06
btw, despite my misgivings with OFM on his negative tactics, I stood by him until he left, and only placed him on the hate list when he did the shenanigans over the summer. This is how I expect other fans to back our boss. Once he's here, support him until the time is ripe to let go.
552 Posted 31/12/2013 at 14:10:55
And with all the media references these days to BK as a model owner, is there still a case to crave for a change at the top ?
Just asking, like!
553 Posted 31/12/2013 at 14:16:58
559 Posted 31/12/2013 at 14:12:57
If we don't buy & strengthen our squad in Jan. I think I'm safe in saying we can forget CL next year.
A level playing field, the Prem is not.
561 Posted 31/12/2013 at 14:21:10
564 Posted 31/12/2013 at 14:26:56
591 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:10:25
Yet the top 6 includes Newcastle and Everton.
Maybe not all about money.
598 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:13:47
599 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:19:00
Also, if we're that deep in crap, we've been done when we're nearly relegated under OFM. I definitely beg to differ on how close we are and we still have a few tricks up our sleeves for sure.
600 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:25:04
603 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:25:11
But if we can spend £6m this season on two loans, then I think we're doing alright. The gravy train for the bank balance came in with the new Sky money, the gravy train to compete in the transfer market with those above us will need to come from a richer type of Bill.
605 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:24:24
608 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:32:28
If the debt is at ~40mill, we should be able to work it off in a few years, provided we yo-yo around european spots. We can miss a few years of Europe but we cannot contemplate a relegation dogfight ever. I think thats what OFM left us with and I'm glad RM seems to be doing well as a first show of the next step. We'll be fine.
612 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:21:35
We've shown both under Moyes and especially under Martinez, that while riches do provide a better chance of getting in the top places, it certainly doesn't preclude teams like Everton who are financially significantly less well off from gatecrashing the party. We're more than half way through the season and 5 points off top spot ffs!!
I don't buy Patricks viewpoint either that this season is our last chance. We have a popular manager who is willing to develop young talent and it sounds like he wants to revamp our long term prospects via our academy system, combined with loans and permanent transfers for the right kind of player.
What we have that many of the other big players don't have is the expectation and requirement to be up there competing at the top. Every season the RS or Utd are out of the CL positions hurts them, if we get in, its a bonus. If the RS finish 6th, the likelihood of Brenda being sacked is high, if we finish 10th Martinez knows he'll still have the 100% backing of the board. Stability is one way we can hope to compete.
Because we have about 8 teams fighting over 4 places, it does mean that every year more and more of the rich clubs become destabilized. Moyes will struggle to spend his cash on the kind of players he wants if he can't achieve CL football. Martinez has more scope to buy in and develop young players for the long term without that pressure for instant success. Provided we live within our means we can pick up any pieces when a those sides implode.
In summation, I'm not worried for our future at all. The most important signing we made in the summer, our manager, has the vision and willingness to get us competing regardless of our inability to buy top quality ready made superstars. The longer he is at the club, the better placed we'll be to compete.
I'm actually looking forward to a few years hence when Roberto has had the opportunity to get rid of deadwood like Heitinga, Naismith etc, and bring in his own signings who are able to play the kind of football he likes, and combine them with the best young players developed by our Academy.
618 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:41:35
If the big/sky/money 4 have been in place for say 12 years, that's 48 top 4 berths, with 47 taken by teams spending way ahead of the others.
We've still got a great chance though and the transfer window will be key. But Utd are closing and things could soon look overly familiar in the top 4.
620 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:37:29
Like I've said on countless occasions, it's a matter of choice. If you want a manager who says we're skint and can't compete, fair enough. It may not make a difference to what happens on the pitch (I think it does), but it may determine the general perception of the club/business. No-one dreams of playing for/buying a club 'punching above it's weight', they want a club that's going forward.
Anyway, what really matters is whether we are 'stronger at the end of the window'. Given what happened in the last window, I'm optimistic that Martinez knows what we need, even more so after his hilarious comments today! There's no £27m players to sell this time, though, unless Moyes is desperate for Baines. I'm in the Phil Walling camp here, let's judge the new players by their contribution rather than their price tag.
638 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:52:59
In points, we're slightly better off than we were last season. I think this is because we have a strengthened squad. Not just because of loan players, but because for whatever reason, more of the players are being played more often. Because on top of that, there is a method to our play which means when players are injured, the replacements know what to do. This in time will, I think, produce more consistency of performance, from which results will follow.
I couldn't give a damn what Martinez did at Wigan. We're a different club altogether. For what it's worth, if we were in the bottom half of the table, I wouldn't want Martinez and his brand of football. I'd want someone like Moyes. Thanks to Moyes, we're consistently top eight, but my view was and is that Martinez would be a better manager with better players.
Like you I don't like the childish, systematic abuse aimed at Moyes. He was a good manager with limitations that were repeatedly exposed. No need for the abuse which says more about the perpetrators than about him. He's moved on and so should we.
We're in the top four on merit. I see no reason why we can't stay there. I don't regard Martinez as a messiah or genius, he's just come in and done simple, obvious things, most of which don't cost millions of pounds.
I can understand your reservations, as we haven't won anything yet. I can't understand your apparent desperation to find something to crab a manager who has come in and done a good job......so far!
What would you regard as success at the end of his first season, Ian?
Happy New Year to all blues. For 2014, remember to look at the content before the name of the poster.
645 Posted 31/12/2013 at 15:50:54
more money gives the manager the ability to buy better players, I think that's a given.
Now the money has to be spent well but its indisputably an advantage, apart from Everton, nobodies seriously challenged the big spending clubs, & that's all credit to OFM & Roberto.
I agree with your point about Martinez developing the youth side of the club, I think he's just the man to do it.
The problem is that, fans & some of our very best players will not want to wait a few years for glory.
Our Achilles heel/s are our lack of those extra millions for new players, & the need of a new ground with a bigger capacity, which will give us a fighting chance of competing long term.
I believe Martinez will become a great manager somewhere, he has the lot for me, it would be wonderful if it could be with us!
646 Posted 31/12/2013 at 16:16:26
btw, I did think RM sucked at Wigan but that thought changed when I realized how many players he had to sell to balance the books. And he almost succeeded on the last day. Seriously, people are underestimating the jobs these people do.
672 Posted 31/12/2013 at 17:14:02
In answer to your question, I would regard top 6 as success for Roberto's first season and or a trophy.
741 Posted 31/12/2013 at 21:39:51
I think I'd be right in saying that Chelsea, City and probably the RS have spent more than Man U in the last 5 years or so, yet Utd managed to win the league last season and have previously won the league spending less than a few teams below them. The key advantage is a top class manager who believes they can and should compete regardless of the opposition(which I think we have), and stability(which we also have).
We've previously gatecrashed top 4 with Moyes and we've generally been damn close each season. I see nothing to indicate that next season is likely to be so much worse for us.
What in particular gives you cause for concern? Baines leaving? Oviedo has shown that if Baines goes its not the end of the world. We'll just have to make do with Barkley's stunning free kicks and Oviedo's surging runs and goals instead.
How about Lukaku? Admittedly a good striker, but not the world beater just yet. His hold up play and link up play is often poor and he goes through barren spells like any other player. We've coped with goals from other parts of the pitch during Lukaku's dry spells. In the past with a manager who believed we should aim for 40pts, we've managed to finish not far from 4th without Lukaku, so I'm not too concerned that he's going to leave.
Barry will probably remain as a permie signing, Deulofeu will likely be back for another season, deadwood will be shipped out and Martinez will likely have some cash to spend due to players sold or moved on. Maybe we'll see something of Kone soon too; Alcaraz is looking pretty decent as is McCarthy so I'm sure Kone will come good eventually too.
792 Posted 01/01/2014 at 05:39:48
Just for balance, and despite all of the positives that you have listed, he did also prove his inability to keep Wigan in the premier league. Also, and back to the original point, there are questions that can fairly be asked about some of the permanent signings he has made as well as the long term wisdom of reliance on loan deals."
Wigan are skint and the majority of their players are not of Premiership standard. Despite these disadvantages, RM kept them in the Premiership for years and even won a trophy. Moyes, who had a much stronger squad, won fuck all.
The jury is still out on Kone. You cannot really judge a player who is out due to injury.
We are reliant on loan deals because of our limited finances. I think it is fair to assume that RM would make more permanent signings if we had more cash to spend.
I agree that it is still early days. Although things can go tits up, I must say that for once in my 18 years as an Evertonian, I have never been more positive about the team's fortunes as I am since RM took over.
799 Posted 01/01/2014 at 08:21:19
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