Everton begin a three-match spell on the road with a trip to The Hawthorns on Monday night to face West Bromwich Albion, with a newly shorn Romelu Lukaku returning to his old stamping ground of last season. Distin returns to the side in place of Stones after recovering from injury while Oviedo comes in in place of Pienaar who is presumably injured.

For West Brom, under new manager Pepe Mel, and having lost Shane Long to Hull City, Anelka starts despite supposed threats from sponsors(!) and with some threat of an FA ban fro racially motivated misconduct charge hanging over him, while former Everton graduate Victor Anichebe sits out the kick-off one the on the bench.

Everton wore their second strip of yellow and blue with the traveling contingent in fine voice but the early moves were from the home side trying to press in on the Everton goal. Distin had to resort to the long ball, trying to pick out Lukaku. In the next attack, a long ball over his shoulder was scooped goalwards and would have been something if it had come off.

But West Brom were keen to accelerate the pace and get things forward when they could, a good cross ball requiring a finger-tip diversions from Howard. This led to the first Everton corner at the other end that was oddly played, Baines winning a free-kick in the other side delivered well, coming out to Oviedo, who tried a first-time volley bouncing a couple of feet wide. Good work from Lukaku saw Oviedo then turn, make space but drag the ball just wide of the WBA post.

It was lively stuff, end-to-end, Oviedo trying to release Mirallas, then Anelka getting up and lashing one well wide as each side continued to sound eachother out. A great sequence ended with McCarthy curving a first-time shot, leaning back, into Foster's arms. Lukaku gave away a free-kick at the other end that had a whole set of head-tennis going down in the Everton area.

Everton were showing signs of ramping up their passing game, some great interchanges ending with Mirallas firing in a healthy shot at Foster. Another call went Everton's way in the middle of the park, but the Blues could not make much of it. WBA were firing up plenty of long balls that carried some threat but each seemed to be confidently countered by good defencive play, Jacob showing some frustration, standing on Ovideo's ankle.

A much more penetrative move seemed ssurely a goal, ast the ball pinged across the West Brom area, Coleman's shot blocked away when a goal would have resulted fro a firmer hit shot. But again, the ball was soon back in Everton's area, Anelka threatening as both sides upped the tempo, Mirallas running in and winning a corner.

Some scrappy stuff and late WBA tackles finally saw Micheal Oliver issue the first yellow card to Yacob, who had been fouling a lot. Another quick WBA attack cause more mild chaos in te Everton area without becoming dangerous as each side seemed to be cancelling eachother out without creating all that much.

Another Everton move was not quite as smooth as earlier, but suddenly, with nothing really on, DIstin played another long ball up to Lukaku, whose header seemed to come off the defender and fall nicely into the path of Mirallas. He followed up in determined fashion, brushing aside Lugano and finishing well past Foster, just inside the post, to put the Blues ahead. It had been hard work and a long time coming, but the Blues had finally scored, and it was a well, taken goal by the young Belgian.

The Blues smelt blood, and put together some more threatening moves before the break, while all WBA could do was a poor overhit corner. Some great football when Lukaku turned on the power but Lugano fought back to catch him when Lukaku thought he saw the whites of the goalposts looming.

Victor Anichebe replaced Vydra after the break, as Everton struggled to retain possession in the early exchanges. But Coleman did get forward, and a brilliant cross was just clipped away from Lukaku's head. However, that was a rarity as the Blues failed produce much cohesive play until around 53 mins. From that Everton attack, Anelka ran wide and crossed to Anichebe in a good position but Jagielka did very well to deny him clean contact, while Ridgewell was booked for a cynical tug on Coleman.

A lively move down the left saw Mirallas fire in a cross that won a corner but nothing came of it, as WBA made a second change on the hour mark. Coleman then picked out Mirallas who tried to do the acrobatic but his connection wasn't good enough. The home side continued to have the upperhand, questions being asked about Roberto's plan to regain the momentum... McGeady perhaps?

Mirallas picked up a good ball and took off, Lugano blocking him just outside the WBA area for a sweet-looking free-kick chance hat Mirallas curled just over the angle. As the increasingly uninspired stuff continued, Everton looked to stick stuck by their slender lead... but ultimately failed, a good cross, Lugano beating Distion to head in strong at the near post, and hard past Howard. Poor poor play had given the impetus to WBA, Roberto Martinez perhaps guilty of not doing something to change the game when it was clear from the break that the home side had the initiative.... and were now level.

Time for a match-changing substitution: Stones for Coleman....?!?! the one-way traffic continued in West Brom's favour. So next it was McGeady, on for Bryan Ovideo as West Brom swung in a corner..

Finally a period of Everton play inside the West Brom half, and increased pressure on the home goal — far too long in coming. But the urgency just didn't seem to be there, with 5 mins of the game left and 2 more vital points ebbing away.

Meanwhile Brunt crossed dangerously and it was amazing how it wasn't converted. McGeady had a lucky second chance to play in Lukaku but both his touches were horrible. Naismith replaced Osman as West Brom resumed their attacks and Everton resorted to more hopeful long balls. Mirallas gave away a soft kick into the last minute, Reid, planting it in Howard's arms.

Four minutes of added time and a really poor second half from Everton to reflect upon, as Naismith tried to beat Foster to a bouncing ball. Mirallas was finally booked by Oliver. Right at the end of added time, a free-kick for Mirallas, turned in by Barry through Lukaku, on the far post, but the big man clearly offside. just about summing up a very disappointing outcome.

Scorers: Lugano (76'); Mirallas (41')

West Bromwhich Albion: Foster, Reid, Olsson, Lugano, Ridgewell Y:54', Brunt, Yacob Y:35', Morrison Y:44', Gera (60' Mulumbu), Vydra (46' Anichebe), Anelka.
Subs: Myhill, Amalfitano, Billy Jones, Sessegnon (75' Berahino).

Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard; Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Coleman (77' Stones); Barry, McCarthy; Osman (88' Naismith), Oviedo (79' McGeady), Mirallas, Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Hibbert, Heitinga, Vellios.

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 24,184

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Charles Brewer
708 Posted 20/01/2014 at 19:17:50
Since I don't have contributor rights to ToffeeWeb, I thought that this might be of interest. From tonight's London Evening Standard (20/01/2014):

"As No 2s go, Seamus could be No 1

"Gary Neville, though an extremely good right back, was not a truly great one. H is still regarded as the best of the Premier League era, which tells us something.

"I'd rate Gary Kelly, who became a Leeds regular after Howard Wilkinson's team won the last unified Football League title in 1991-92 as the second best but noea fellow Irishman is demonstrating a potential to become the most accomplished No 2 of all.

"In saying that, I'm probably condemning Seamus Coleman to a nightmare at West Brom tonight. But he's been absolutely brilliant of late, and in conjunction with Leighton Baines, is emphasizing the importance of having all round footballers in modern full-back positions. If Manchester United want him, they'd be wise not to insult Everton – as they did over Baines in the summer – with an offer for Coleman of less than £25 million. And the same goes for Arsenal, who are approaching the stage when they'll have to bid farewell to their own best right-back for a while, Bacary Sagna"

Not bad for £60k! I liked him from the start. Let's see him bury a few tonight.

Steven Telford
712 Posted 20/01/2014 at 19:52:29
BeIn sports pundit Andy Grey is predicting a draw.
Jim Bennings
713 Posted 20/01/2014 at 19:55:09
Come on you BLUES.

Got to be a win tonight lads come onnnnnnnnnnn..

Charles Brewer
715 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:03:01
A bit more 'long ball' thas usual to start
Charles Brewer
716 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:05:40
Ex Red shite Nazi doesn't seem very popular with the travelling fans!
Jimmy Sørheim
717 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:12:26
Why do Martinez not keep us updated in injuries, Pienaar got a knock in the last game but not a word has been said about his fitness before this game tonight.

Is it a knock or an injury, would be nice to know.

Jim Bennings
718 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:15:29
Pretty scrappy match so far. We havent really put two passes together yet. Decent effort from Oviedo about all we have done.

We don't seem to be bossing possession like we were a few weeks ago,

Jim Bennings
719 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:19:45
Anelka looks up for this.

Getting a bit concerned at why we don't seem to get involved enough in the first half away from home.
We look sluggish and need to start being more clinical.
Mirallas has been average again. Sooner we get Delboy back the better.

Charles Brewer
720 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:23:41
Lukaku looks ponderous tonight, but Oviedo (if he doesn't get his foot broken from the stamping) looks good.
Charles Brewer
721 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:30:04
Far too much hoofing tonight
Jim Bennings
722 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:30:02

We need more punch and to be more ruthless up front.
I have been saying the same thing for ages about away games.
Lukaku looks ponderous and Mirallas continues to make even a saint become furious.

Can see this game being one goal either way at the minute or maybe even 0-0 again.

Jim Bennings
723 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:37:37
God this is crap.

Do we ever play well at The Hawthorns??
Always seem to throw in a shite display here and this is starting to go the same way as last year, the year before and the year before that.

Charles Brewer
724 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:37:22
Jim, it's rather like watching last year all over again. We're miles away from controlling the match, and really missing the creativity of Barklay and Deloufeu
Charles Brewer
725 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:40:18
All forgiven!
Jim Bennings
726 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:39:47

If ever I dint see a goal coming from a certain player it was Mirallas just now.

Now come on Blues these are shittttteeeeeeee.

Sam Greenwood
727 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:42:28
Just created a username to complain about how much better this came would be going with Barkley controlling the ball instead of Mirallas.

Mirallas scored at the exact moment I clicked the confirmation link.

Charles Brewer
728 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:42:22
Good refereeing, advantage and a yellow afterwards.
Charles Brewer
729 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:46:05
Is Distin getting younger? He certainly looks like it!
Steven Telford
730 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:48:14
WTF is this long ball shite, very scrappy stuff.
Lucky to be 1 up.
and Lukaku needs to up his game a bit, his first touch is seriously poor.

We are seriously missing Barkley.

Tommy Coleman
731 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:49:29
That crap pitch is spoiling our game. We are still in 1st gear though. Get into 2nd gear and we'll win this 3-0.
Patrick Murphy
732 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:52:18
I totally agree Steven, that was more like last season's performance than this season. We have to step up our game in the second-half and be first to the ball and start to dictate the game - we have been dragged down to their level in the first-half. Just shows how much influence that Pienaar has on the team. At least we have the lead - but must do better second-half.
Pete Hughes
733 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:52:50
Jim, why the constant digs at Miralles? I can think of 3 or 4 players out there tonight who are more deserving of your scorn! give the lad a break!!
Kevin Rowlands
734 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:53:17
Lucky to be 1-0 up, that first half reminded me of the last 15 mins against Norwich, we really need to step it up here, if we play like this first half next week the rat and Sturridge will eat us alive(no pun intended)
Steven Telford
735 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:54:24
indeed, missing Pienaar too.

some players seem almost apathetical at times.
Where are Coleman's forward surges?
Where Bainsy's precise deliveries?

Peter Mills
736 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:56:13
Anyone know the last time we were 1-0 up at half time away? It'll be interesting to see how Roberto deals with it.
Kieran Kinsella
737 Posted 20/01/2014 at 20:57:49
Both teams seem a bit panicky and nervous. maybe slipping to 6th ahead of the Derby has shaken the players a bit as they seem more concerned with avoiding defeat rather than just going out and playing. Barry has been sloppy, Osman really poor and McCarthy hasn't featured. Coleman isn't getting forward fast enough, Distin and Baines are to ponderous and giving the ball away. Lukaku is doing a big Vic impression while Mirallas and Oviedo have been up and down. If it stays scrappy we may need Naismith just to pick up the pieces around the goal. Wonder if McGeady will get a run out?
Charles Brewer
740 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:01:43
Bloody hell, what has Anichebe been eating? He's enormous!
Tony J Williams
742 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:02:33
Fuck me, here's Anichebe......
Jim Bennings
743 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:02:15
I hate to say it but I can see these scoring, we havent looked that safe at the back. Think we will need a second goal.

I just hope we can somehow get a grip on the game in this half, even though we have the lead we need to start controlling it.

Charles Brewer
744 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:03:47
Look like Tim sold his beard to Victor.
Roman Sidey
745 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:04:53
Steven, where have Baines' precise deliveries been for the past 12 months?
Jim Bennings
746 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:07:12
Fucking just don't feel safe with Distin sometimes.
Can look either immense or woeful at times.

Does anybody think our form has dipped, or certainly performances since we replaced Oviedo with Baines?

Just a thought

Charles Brewer
747 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:07:30
This is a horrible display, just giving the ball away contatntly
Jim Bennings
748 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:11:34
Fucking why are we making Anelka look like he is in his pomp again?
That was nearly a nightmare moment.

When is that dirty twat Ridgwell, 20 pound note arse wiper going to get carded.

Roman Sidey
749 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:10:31
Jim Bennings, I agree. Oviedo was offering more offensively and defensively than Baines of late. I'm missing today's match though so can't relate my comment to today.
Jim Bennings
750 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:14:46
Yes Roman, well not much has changed with Bainesy again tonight, been average.

For me I just felt Oviedo was flying at left back when we had those great wins and Baines generally just uses his left foot.

Charles Brewer
751 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:17:19
That would have been something special!"
Jim Bennings
752 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:17:16
Come on Blues just step it up a bit more, these are seriously there for the taking now, a second goal now surely takes home the reward.
Kevin Rowlands
753 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:23:35
This game is doing my head in!
Jim Bennings
754 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:23:28
Its still all very untidy really, second half very scrappy, its just a shame we cant step it up because these wouldnt have been able to live with us.

For Christs sake Bainesy, very very sloppy that lad,

Charles Brewer
755 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:22:06
Coleman looking ever more confident.
Kieran Kinsella
756 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:26:49
Osman looks like a Fulham player: short, grey-haired, slow, ineffectual.
Jim Bennings
757 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:26:37
I know. Lets just hope we are getting our shite display out the way this week because play like this next Tuesday and we will get steamed over.
Jim Bennings
758 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:28:37
I'm not being funny but you'd have thought the TV companies would have done their homework on screening West Brom v Everton after quite a few absoloute shocking games between the two sides in recent years, this is not much better than New Years Day 2012.
Logan Shave
759 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:29:17
Our passing has been shocking tonight. Ossie's looking a bit lost out there. Reckon we should put on Naismith or McGeady for Ossie, and move Oviedo into the centre.
Steven Telford
760 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:33:17
Absolute bull shit, zero creativity, and very little real effort.
Kieran Kinsella
761 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:27:48
Been coming -- even though WBA are crap. Oviedo and Mirallas are the only players who have made any kind of effort today. The rest have been awful.
Jim Bennings
762 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:31:38

Thats been on the cards that has, typical fucking Everton shite away from home, again failed to beat another shite team which is exactly why we can forget getting that top 4.

So so dissappointing this tonight

Kevin Rowlands
763 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:35:31
Without doubt THE worst performance of the season, we'll be lucky to hang on to a point here.
Jim Bennings
764 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:35:22
Coleman hamstring gone..Me thinks this season is very quickly turning tits up. We are going to get smashed next Tuesday, why is it that every time a derby comes up we go shite and start getting a spate of injuries.

Fuckin sort it out Everton, Anichebe showing Lukaku up here, appalling.

Charles Brewer
765 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:37:24
Utter crap.
Jim Bennings
766 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:37:56
Was a vad move to drop Stones for Distin too, he has been fucking unsteady tonight, passing and decision making is bollocks.

What has happened to Lukaku?

Charles Brewer
767 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:38:26
This is like fucking Wimbledon
Steven Telford
768 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:36:38
can anyone remember a decent shot?
Jim Bennings
769 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:40:46
We cant beat shit teams its as simple as that.
This will be West Brom home and away, Sunderland at home. Cardiff and Palace away and Stoke away (we saw what the Shite did to them)
Charles Brewer
770 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:42:27
Steven, their goal was well taken
Charles Brewer
771 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:44:17
can we get Anichibe back?
Jim Bennings
772 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:45:39
What a shit game. Chance to go 4th again blown by the looks of it.
Possibly the last time we see 4th again this season now if we lose that Derby which in all likelihood will happen given the injuries we now have and our slackening performances
Charles Brewer
773 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:50:29
Worst player?

From a very bad display


Jim Bennings
774 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:49:21
This is exactly what I messaged earier today that we don't take enough chances away from home.

This game was set up for three points and basically we have NOT been anywhere near up to the challenge.

Its no good going on about the players missing, they are missing thats just what we have to deal with, its now when we are finding out how average our squad is.

Gary Creaney
775 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:53:17
Toothless, effortless, gutless. I love the way things have been going but we really don't have the balls for a top 4 finish.
Barry Gee
776 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:51:01
Not on their game tonight. I will leave it to you experts to dissect the performance.
David Cornmell
777 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:53:12
That was dross. Lucky to get a point really. Disappointing.
Steven Telford
778 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:42:13
Top 4 finish............. dream on
Charles Brewer
779 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:51:36
Absolutely shocking. No creativity, hoofball, all looked like they couldnt be bothered.
Tommy Coleman
780 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:53:00
That was old Everton bringing it's ugly head up. Hoof balls, late substitutions and Osman playing for 30 mins too long.

We blew it.

Mike Price
781 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:47:50
First time I've been annoyed at the team and the manager. I can understand an off day but leaving Osman on when he was a total waste of space? It was like we'd had a man sent off and there was no urgency whatsoever...I'm actually baffled by the whole thing.
Tony J Williams
782 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:55:54
Same old, same old a chance to go above the Devil's spawn and we blow it again
Kevin Rowlands
783 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:54:32
I'm over the moon we actually got a point because that was a point gained not two lost, we deserved fuck all from that, please Roberto, no more warm weather fucking training, and I think we are now seeing why Lukaku was loaned out, I am dreading next week after witnessing that shite.
Ross Edwards
784 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:54:31
Blown another opportunity. Abysmal 2nd half display, no heart, no passion, no commitment or effort, and Christ knows what happened to Martinez in that 2nd half.

He turned into an incarnation of Moyes there. Hoofball, hanging on for a point that we didn't deserve, no subs until the 75th minute.

Very angry, We don't have the mentality to break into that top 4.

Now Coleman's out, we need to strengthen. If we play like that against the RS, we could be looking at a cricket score.

Dave Lynch
785 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:53:39
I've come to the conclusion that we could have the best manager in the world, the best players in the world and we'd still FUCK IT UP WHEN IT BASTARDING WELL FUCKING MATTERED !!!!

Paul Ferry
786 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:56:27
Patrick Murphy
787 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:55:23
Didn't even bother watching the second-half mostly because the stream was crap and kept freezing every 10 seconds. Not good enough when you get your noses in front you have to capitalise - first-half was half-hearted can't comment on the second. But it is the same old Everton an opportunity arises and they screw it good style. I'll have to find a sound-proof room for next Tuesday can't bear to watch if we approach that game in the same way. Top 4 looks out of reach and Lakuku needs a rocket up his backside.
Tom Dodds
788 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:57:54
Fuckin Osman on till 82nd minute....Back down the snake ..No money = 7th.
Max Murphy
789 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:56:47
It was never comfortable at 0-1. I know it was a good nod down for the Mirallas goal, but Lukaku's overall play was dreadful. Osman on too long.
At least now we can return to reality and concentrate on a top 6 finish.
Steven Telford
790 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:58:42
Mirallas was the only one who seemed close to being up for it.
Björn Håll
791 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:58:08
OK result. Average play. Barry our best player. Mirallas showed good will. I hope Coleman isn't injured. Stones displayed some ability as rightback though. Anichebe the game changer.
Peter Laing
792 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:58:02
Anichebe made Jagielka look a mug tonight, as if Everton's captain doesn't know Victor's biggest strength is with his back to goal. Osman surrendered so much possession tonight it was untrue, typical blues fuck it up again when the chips are down. Kenwright needs to get his hand in his pocket pronto because Lukaku couldn't buy a goal at present.
Mike Walker
793 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:56:58
WE where crap ,,,,,we went there thinking Essy win tonight barre was not in the game the back four where half a sleep mmmmmmmmmm must be better next week
Steven Telford
794 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:01:23
Osman had no energy, and is too long in the game to be flopping over in the box like he did
Paul Smith
795 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:51:30
I've never seen a more Moyes-like performance than that! We never tried to score in the 2nd half till they did.

We have got to be more offensive when we're ahead than that. We are too negative away from home and not much has changed from last season. We may play pretty football but don't get anyone in the box. We should've replaced Osman and Oviedo with 30 minutes to go as it had one-all written all over it at that point. Poor performance all round and no attempt to try and score 2nd half.

Ray Roche
797 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:59:44
Everton have a bad case of Topfourophobia, whenever we've a chance to do something we fuck it up. I did think it was all down to Moyes but, tonight, Martinez was just the same. Late subs, Oviedo off and Osman left on though clearly knackered, utter, utter shite. Martinez is doing a great job, but I think he fucked up royally tonight.
Jon Cox
798 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:54:06
That was garbage. Ozzy yet again a passenger.

What a twat of a ref as well. Didn’t he have it in for Mirallas. Every time Kev went into any tackle the ref gave it against.

Bainsey either up your game son or bugger off. You did nothing tonight.

If this is what we’ve got to look forward to at Anfield we’ll get battered.
defo a 4/10 performance. it has to be better than this.

Wayne Smyth
799 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:59:19
Tommy(780) I have to agree; too many bad memories came flooding back watching that. Foot off the gas at 1 nil up just like old times, really sloppy half-arsed play all over the park and unfortunately nothing on the bench to change things. Pienaar, Barkley and Deulofeu missing leaves us really short of quality attacking talent. Can't really think of any of our players who played well. Perhaps Jags & Distin at a real push.

On the plus side, we deserved nothing and got a point and I'm looking forward to seeing McGeady more often. A few of his touches and movement in the very short time he was on looked real quality.

Jim Bennings
800 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:57:08
I hate to say it but the Redshite would have would have won that 4-1 tonight, thats the difference about being able to go out and spend money on great players/strikers and just loaning players who are not the finished article.

I am now seeing why Lukaku is not at Chelsea at the moment.
But where are the other options?
Jelavic has gone but I see no money being spent to rectify it.
We are waiting on the results of a medical, before Traore sings but if we are led to believe he could be out for a period with a hamstring why bother with that??

It was a very very lethargic perormance, just like at Swansea, we let them back in the game when we had control, but at Swansea we found a winner, here it would have been very rough justice on West Brom because we were worse second half than first.

Baines was poor again, why does he never add some new dimensions to his game like when Oviedo was left back? Cut inside when he gets forward and use his right foot now and again. Its predictable.
Mirallas in the main was frustrating despite the goal and Osman was as ever bollocks.
Its going to be hard for Martinez to pick a team capable of standing up to thee cauldron next week at Anfield because I think too many of our lads just look like they will go missing there again.

Kevin Rowlands
801 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:02:27
Patrick, count yourself lucky you didn't see the second half, especially if you thought the first one was bad, Lukaku should look at the game film and watch Anelka's performance, that's how you hold the ball up mate.
Patrick Murphy
802 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:03:39
Sometimes you wonder if the board at Everton are quite happy to finish in sixth or seventh - it won't cost them anything extra - but if we did qualify they would have to find extra dosh - I'm still not happy waiting for news on Barks and Baines and another cock-up next week and who knows they could be off. The FA Cup is our best chance and we can't afford to play an understrength team not that we had a full-strength team tonight.
Andy Mack
803 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:59:16
…just when we are all looking up and happy, that sort of game comes along, Every - sodding - time. Vic causing us more problems than Lukaku causing them… you just knew it, the chance to really cause a stir and we phone in a performance from the sunny beaches of the Med. The life of an Evertonian.
James Carlisle
804 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:55:38
If you only pick up 2 points in 2 games against no marks like West Brom then you don't deserve to finish in the top 4. Completely toothless. It was like watching a game from the previous regime. Constantly hoofing it up to Lukaku who did jack shit and has done jack shit for a couple of months now. Everyone of them looked like they didn't give a monkey's chuff. I don't think Baines broke a sweat and Mirrallas just grumbled all match. Apart from the goal things weren't happening for him and he got too frustrated and sloppy.

We were given a good oppurtunity tonight and as usual we threw it away. The shite certainly won't give us one next week.

However i'm not overly surprised. Why do we always play like an absolute shower in these Monday night games?

Phil Walling
805 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:00:51
The blessing of tonight's injuries is that BK will BE FORCED into making some proper signings if we are to be serious contenders. Otherwise, it's nailed on seventh.
Ian Bennett
806 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:59:42
Totally agree Osman should have come off earlier. Missed Barkley massively. Baines not at it really. Lukaku poor/service, although he was defended well - needed a big partner. No option off the bench, to free McCarthy.

2nd half of the season will see points dropped from the top as the bottom scrap for points.

Jamie Barlow
807 Posted 20/01/2014 at 21:57:12
Plenty of shite out there tonight including the managers decision to keep the same shite out there for so long. 80 minutes before an unforced sub?

The two centre halves, Coleman, Barry and Motm Mirallas can walk away knowing they gave it their all, the rest did nothing.

Neil Hutchinson
808 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:03:42
Poor, poor poor. A golden opportunity to stamp our prescence on the game but we don't have the creative bit. Really missing Barkley; Osman doing a job but not a lot else. 3 points not deserved against a West Brom who are digging in. Lukaku needs a rest, Distin looks really out of it with passing from deep. I'm not kidding myself any more ; I hope we don't get 5th!!!!
Phil Sammon
809 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:06:41
I said this every game under Moyes...but how does Osman play over 60 minutes? He looks utterly shattered. Id have kept Oviedo on, who at least had the energy to be out there.

To be fair to Martinez, looking at the bench tonight he was out of options. The squad is horribly thin at the moment.

Jim Bennings
810 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:06:15
I am starting to ask myself at times 'when is the last time I actually saw an Everton striker be powerful and strong and actually just look like number 9?'

Lukaku has so many attributes but just doesnt utilise them at all well anymore, he is beginning to seriously frustrate me now, have been willing to give him time lately but its getting no better really.

Not sure Traore is the answer but we need to do something fast to salvage the season becoming flat like last year. Next three away games.
Liverpool..Spurs..Chelsea.. Another miracle win required just like Old Trafford.

Tom R Owen
811 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:11:00
Has graham mockford got any smart ass comments after tonight's shite?
James Martin
812 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:09:48
Choked because Liverpool messed up and we had the slightest bit of pressure on us to do something meaningful. Unfortunately Martinez has the same problem Moyes did, a group of players with no winning mentality. As usual half our best players are out for the derby now. Different season same old story.
James Marshall
813 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:09:27
You can't blame Lukaku all the time when he's man marked by Lugano and constantly fouled. The balls in the air up to him are pointless.

We were shit all over the park, apart from Mirallas at least trying to play.

We lacked the ability to pass to each other for long periods, and the manager should have changed it 15 minutes before he did. You could see the goal coming a mile off - I was screaming at the fucking TV to make a change to change the pattern of the game but he did nothing. It was like watching a Moyes team second half.

Mike Allison
814 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:08:58
I'd have to put that down as comfortably our worst performance of the season. We looked so average.

The lack of squad depth caught up with us, we lacked Pienaar, Barkley and Deulofeu and it really showed. Also, the toll is beginning to tell on Barry and McCarthy having to do everything with no real respite or back-up. A third player for that position is probably a priority, assuming the injured three ahead won't be out too long.

Osman did well enough at first but needed to come off around 60-65 mins, he faded badly after that and you could see how tired he was towards the end. In fact, I actually think he basically subbed himself.

We wanted to see Mirallas given a go in the middle, but it turned us into a very basic 4-4-2 playing direct football and far too many long balls. Lukaku may be big, but he has no interest in competing for balls lumped forward from the back, and even when he did jump, he won very few headers.

I am of course aware that the goal come from a direct ball that Lukaku won, but that kind of sums us up tonight, we played like any other average Premier League side when so far this season we've set much higher standards than that.

Sean Patton
816 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:10:14
Poor performance from the players but more surprisingly from Martinez himself I thought he had been kidnapped for the second half not a murmur from him and no hint of a sub until Coleman was crocked.

Osman was hooked at least 20 minutes too late and he just stood on the sidelines and watched West Brom crank up the pressure not a trace of Sin Miedo tonight but a bad dose of Moyesophobia from the manager.

Kevin Tully
818 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:07:58
Does any player deserve more than a 5 tonight?

Fucking awful display. Where was the effort FFS! I know West Brom were pressing from the start, new manager and all, but why we decided to hoof as much is beyond me.

You know it's bad when you can't name a MOTM. Our wing play was non existent, and I have never seen so many poor first touches.

Sorry Roberto, you got this one wrong tactically, there was no cohesion to our play. It reminded me of a pre-season friendly, in effort and ideas.

Unacceptable, especially when we knew we could go into a C.L. spot. The last thing I would do is blame that display on Osman, or any other whipping boy - they were all fucking awful to a man.

Worst than any of our early season performances, at least we were getting used to a new style of play.

A full week off in the sun clearly did us no good at all - get back to running up hills in the Lake Distict!

Steve Hopkins
819 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:15:04
Had to check that we hadn't brought Moyes back in as our special guest manager,so much like one of his performances: Oviedo out of position on the right, more hoofs than at the grand national, team choking at a key moment and just for good measure chuck in that useless lump Anichebe who, in fairness to him, looked more dangerous than our isolated lump up front
Trevor Lynes
820 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:11:43
I said before the game started that our bench is woefully weak. We lost Coleman who needs to be assessed, we have lost Barkley and Pienaar which takes away much of our creativity. The bench is so weak with not one player who could change the match. We need Osman as an impact sub but now he has to play from the start. Other top sides can afford long injury lists without too much negative results. We cannot and that is patently obvious to me anyway.

To be a realistic challenger for the top four we MUST have a strong bench as at this time of every season injuries and suspensions bite hard. We are now without Gibson, Deulofeu, Barkley, Alcaraz, Kone with both Pienaar and Coleman doubtful starters. Thank God its Stevenage this week and I wonder what sort of side Roberto will put out against them. I can see Heitinger and Vellios being used God forbid, with perhaps Magueye and Hibbert playing also.

I was really apprehensive this evening and hoped for an injury free match but it was worrying to see Coleman go off.

Patrick Murphy
822 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:16:43
It's like James said our players lack the winning mentality. Yes we had many key players out, but that was a very very ordinary WBA team and we didn't look much better than them. Roberto will have to read the riot act tonight because that is just not acceptable from a team who have European ambitions. Roll on the 31st January as then we will see what the true situation is and whether or not we will have a stronger squad than before the window opened. I suspect there are one or two surprises in the offing and they may not be to our liking.

I don't mind when we give it a go and drop points but when the team puts a performance in like that it is galling regardless of what it means to us in the table. Same old Everton.

Tom R Owen
825 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:14:52
After years and years of nearly and plucky ! Kenwright it is your fault we have no money either through selling the club , upgrading the ground,or improving the commercial side of the business .
We do not have a strong enough squad to see off Black Country championship contenders - I hope you are ashamed of yourself as you sat in the directors box tonight- anyone who supports him supports an ideal of being nearly men. I want to see Everton win and compete with the best.
Steavey Buckley
826 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:10:24
One of football's great mysteries tonight was an ineffective Osman starting on the left wing and and another mystery why he was able to remain there so long until eventually substituted.

Osman appears to have an hypnotic effect on managers, passed and present, who will gladly play him for no good reason other them than seeing an Osman play so brilliantly well, when the fans don't see it.

The reason the Everton bench is so laden thin of attacking and midfield ideas they are either injured or out on loan or it's the worst time of year to consider transfer options - ask David Moyes. He is so desperate to find decent, it maybe worth having a look on ebay for any good players.

Dennis Ng
827 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:24:33
I missed the second half due to a meeting. Guess it was far worse than the first...Guess we'll see what RM says, what happens next before we can draw any conclusions whether the board, manager and team has the same aspirations as they had prior to this game. I rather they rest the entire first team for Stevenage now and make a statement out at Antsfield now.
Peter Jamieson
828 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:19:37

No need to freak out though.

Osman was on too long, McGready looked quite good from what I saw, and should have had longer.

We were guilty of not putting the game to bed, the pace was too pedestrian

Too many slack passes from Barry tonight.

Coleman was our best player, and I hope his injury is not too bad.

Oviedo was good too.

Lukaku, didn't get into the game at all.

McCarthy was steady but not inspirational

It's small things, no need for a massive inquest.

Barry Rathbone
829 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:05:43
Only watched the 1st half which we bossed at training ground pace but WBA at home with a new manager were always gonna get a half time rocket so I took the dogs out for the 2nd in fearful anticipation.

No surprise really we sorely miss Barkley lacking dynamism through the centre when he's out and Lukaku's control is becoming an issue.

Baines is still getting caught out of position as he has many times this season he needs to sort his head out that lad.

Could do better all around I'm afraid.

(btw fuck these mid season holidays to Tenerife they are trouble)

Dave Williams
830 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:08:29
Very disappointing.Agree comments re Baines who hasn't been the same player this season.We are terribly short of quality cover in centre midfield and striker but in Oviedo we have a left back who I believe is now better for this team than Baines.Id sell Baines and hopefully we would have a decent transfer kitty for a quality centre midfielder and striker.
Victor looked far superior to Lukaku which is very worrying- no way should RM be considering paying big money for Rom as he has looked awful for a couple of months now.
Let's not get too despondent though- we can't play well every week and Liverpool were very poor against Villa.We surely can't all be apathetic against them.......or can we???
Mike Keating
831 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:24:19
Ran them ragged in the first half but second half abysmal and I thought Baines was useless. Osman only taken off through injury when he should never have started and Martinez chickened out of substitutions until it was too late.
2 points given away.
Terrible performance all round.
Kieran Kinsella
832 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:28:31
Martinez is blaming pitch. Hope thats just for the press and in reality he's a)telling BK to get his wallet out and b)telling Fulham Osman is ready to retire to their OAP farm. I worry if we buy this lanky bloke that it's going to be a month before he is fit. As such we have to get through Feb and the FA Cup, Spurs and Liver before we get Barkley, Delo. Lankey bloke and a fit McGeady. By then the gap may be too big to bridge.
Gavin McGarvey
833 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:15:48
Only saw bits but it did look poor, and from what I've read here I dodged a bullet.

That being said, I'll back the team to bounce back in the Derby. That will be a different game and I'm optimistic about that as I think RM has the right attitude for it.

Agree with those who saw that as a bit of a Moyes performance. You felt the team went into their shells and started to worry about what they had to lose rather than seeing what there was to win.

Also the manager didn't seem to have much confidence in his subs, which was reminiscent of a manager struggling right now at Old Trafford. Has RM told them it's ok to hoof it? I hope not. Still, it's just one game and overall we've done ok so far, even if the team has been a bit off the pace since we lost Barkley and Deulofeu (coincidentally our two best players imo)

Frank Crewe
834 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:25:58
Let down again. That's what 9 days off and lying in the sun topping up your tan for a week does to you. Playing at a snails pace. Showed almost no effort at all. Right back to square one. Lukaku needs competition for his place because if he's playing rubbish like tonight we can't sub him . And we've got to get Barkley back ASAP. We had nobody pushing us forward in midfield.

Really though it's the time off. When you're playing well and winning games you don't want breaks you want games.

Col Crayden
835 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:21:03
That was rank... Were do I start. Firstly what was Martinez thinking with the team set-up Osman( love or hate him) never, never a wide player too many times under Moyes he was played there and always looked shite..Oviedo playing wide right- a left footed player come on. Mirallas never dropped deep to collect the ball ( ala Barkley in that position).Lukaku too static and never closed down the central defender in possession. McCarthy's worse game- very sloppy distribution. Overall lack of effort from all of them and fo think they've just had a week in the sun,,,lazy, lazy bastards.
Brian Waring
836 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:32:37
Kieran, it did look a twat of a pitch, but that is no excuse for the lack of passion, urgency in our play. We looked so lethargic it was unbelievable.
Kevin Tully
838 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:31:43
Forgot to add - that's got to be a contender for worst game shown live this season. Another reason to be upset.

I thought we would show everyone why we should be taken seriously. The R.S. won't be worrying about us next week looking at that abomination of a performance tonight.

Mike Corcoran
840 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:25:00
Might be a little late to this but Oviedo at rt mid ffs. I was hoping for a bit more mobility from the wings and the wings were obviously begging to be swapped after the first ten minutes. We should try and play every game with "new manager syndrome". Changes came far too late but there wasn't much to choose from anyway. Couple of nice touches from McGeady but he wasn't going to win the match without the sharpness required with fitness and touch that is not going to be there after a couple of months out.

Incedently, I had to fit a load of air con in a bingo hall in West Bromwich back in the 90's and every woman, to a man, looked liked like Noddy holder. And they gave them a bag of tinned shite on the way out cos they'd all spunked the housekeeping.

Brian Waring
841 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:34:23
Agree Gavin, I had to keep checking that Moyes wasn't sitting on the bench.
Peter Laing
842 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:33:26
If we play like that against the shite we will get smashed and we can kiss any aspirations of top 4 goodbye. Praying that Coleman and Barkley will be fit against the RS as the prospect of another pedestrian performance from Osman is terrifying.
Bill Gall
843 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:15:00
How long do the Everton management need to realise that since they sold Arteta we have never replaced him with any other quality midfielder. The amount of draws against the bottom half of the league can be attributed to the lack of service from midfield that consists of good holding and defensive midfielders and no one capable of opening up the opposition.

We have now been put in a position that we need coverage for a striker and have sold the only coverage we had. As the January window is allways difficult to bring in players we will most probably wait until summer unless the board and mostly B.K get their act together and bring in someone that keeps the team on track.

It is no use saying we will be ok when our injured players come back because you will still get injuries. We need a quality midfielder Osman cant last 30min never mind 90.

Brian Waring
845 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:36:37
To me it looks like that Martinez is looking to keep whatever money he has to spend till the summer, wonder after tonight he may change his mind?
Patrick Murphy
846 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:37:00
Stephen - I couldn't tell the difference and it was so frustrating as when West Brom had the ball it didn't freeze up - I had real trouble finding any streams tonight they must have put a block on them - mind you I'm not complaining if the second-half was so much worse than the first. Obviously depending on who we have available we cannot start with Osman at the other place. I would play Lukaku on Saturday in the Cup-tie and if he doesn't cut it drop him for the Derby and try Mirallas through the middle.
Kevin Rowlands
847 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:37:26
I agree with the posts questioning why was Oviedo playing right wing/midfield? he was one of our better players tonight but was being played totally out of position, btw, some tit on TPF is blaming the fact that the crowd were singing 'stuck with Moyes', like the players and the manager had fuck all to do with the piss poor performance, it was our fans?
Jermaine Jennings
848 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:34:40
That was a woeful performance. We didn't even test the keeper in the second half and why are we so shite in the final third??? No penetration and to slow with the passing... Sometimes it's embarrassing — and pundits never pick up on this: we can control games but don't shoot!!! Why was Osman playing left mid... fucking awful performance from him..

Lukaku really needs to sort himself out; he is lazy and doesn't know when to hold the ball up or when to lay it off. He always sets the opposite up and starts there attacks with his poor touches and fucks us over completely... Every bloody game!!!

I don't know if anybody ever notices but nearly all times when they attacked it came from our mistakes, this happens way too often. Teams never really expose us or play through us; it's because we give the ball away in silly positions and we put ourselves under pressure. Every second ball they won. Barry and McCarthy were so deep we could not win any second balls!!!

We always bottle it when we need to win!!!!

Fucking Tenerife or wherever they went!!! It's a pathetic idea during the season and it never works..players always come back lethargic and fucked!!

Craig Fletcher
849 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:42:22
Any info as yet on Seamus' injury?
Jim Bennings
850 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:37:24
I don't think anybody is just laying the blame on Lukaku soley but you cant deny lately he just is not doing the business at all, he looks slow, sluggish and ponderous and has lost the scoring touch.

That said I have long been a believer in TWO strikers creating more problems for a defence but Martinez, like Moyes before him, prefers one up top and for me all it does is isolate the lone striker.

It may have worked better when Cahill was at his peak but ever since then we have always looked a lightweight side up fromt.

Who is the best man to actually go up and support Lukaku?
Mirallas? Maybe but is a bit hit and miss.
Barkley? Probably the only other choice for me.

The squad is weak and injuries are kicking in big time, don't know whats wrong with Coleman but if he misses the Derby then its going to kill us completely and right now if somebody offered me a draw there I'd rip their fucking hand off.

Bill Gall
851 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:39:16
I think the time away in the sun gave the Everton players the same feeling I got when I came back from holiday (i did not want to go back to work)
Si Cooper
852 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:23:58
Was only able to start watching the game with 60 minutes on the clock. It was obvious at that point that they would score unless we bucked-up dramatically. It wasn't retreating into our shell though, it was simple lack of urgency. Pitch didn't help the passing game but had no bearing on the lack of application.

We really missed Ross Barkley picking the ball up and driving through the middle and there didn't seem to be much of an outlet on the left either. I didn't see Lukaku do much wrong in the 35 minutes I saw apart from losing possession trying to evade the close attention of two WBA players from a poorly judged Howard throw, but he hardly saw the ball at all in their half.

There appeared to be a massive divide between our defensive midfielders and the likes of Oviedo, Osman and Mirallas. McCarthy worked hard but misjudged challenges and fluffed a fair number of passes, Barry did nothing wrong but wasn't able to impose himself.

Responses to Sky team after the game were fairly reserved; can only hope the players will get more shaken up in private if they aren't already self recriminating. Has to be the last performance of that sort this season or we really can forget about top four.

Brian Wilkinson
853 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:28:56
Bag of shite, dreadful performance, no pace whatsoever tonight for long periods, we just seemed to stroll round the pitch.

We need to get a striker in and quick because at the moment there is no pressure on Lakaku .

Dan Brierley
854 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:45:31
That was the most boring match of football I remember seeing. West Brom were absolutely fucking awful, yet somehow we made them look good in the second half. I know we are short on numbers, but that is no excuse to play Oviedo and Osman out of position. Put Ossie in the middle, Oviedo on the left and Mirallas on the right. Have the balls to admit the original selection was a mistake, and fucking change it.

The only silver lining is that its still in our own hands, but the Shite and Spurs away games are now six pointers. If we lose those two games, I think any hopes of europe are over. The annoying thing about this, is we will have thrown the season away not against the teams around us fighting for europe, but against very average sides that know exactly what game we are going to play, and stifle it by playing a high line with quick closing down. Its so obvious its painful.

Jim Bennings
855 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:44:54
Agree 100%

Was a bad move to go off in search of a bit of winter sun.
Its human nature and a massive culture shock coming back from sun, sea and sangria to some freezing misty shithole in England on a Monday night and too many of our lads looked like they didnt want to be out in the cold.

Paul Niklas
856 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:38:35
Basically the set-up was a disgrace. What's even more annoying is Martinez setting up to accommodate McGeady coming on. He might have scored but Mirallas is not a striker and, in my opinion, garbage.

The Manager got it wrong tonight — simple as that.

We need all back for the derby or it's over for this season.

Every time we get the chance to prove we are contenders, we blow it — that's why the pundits never back us. Even Mouhrino in his after-match interview said we would last no more than a couple of months.

Warm weather training achieved nothing.

Draws, draws, draws — I am sick of them I would rather lose.

What a disappointment.

Colin Glassar
857 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:43:23
Very disappointing performance by some of the players e.g. Jags, Distin (looked nervous with the long ball), Oviedo (played out of position) and Ossie who is simply no longer good enough. But the lions share of the blame has to rest with Roberto.
We were tactically inept after the brom manager changed his tactics. Roberto simply didn't respond and looked like a Moyes cut- out. You all know I'm Roberto's biggest fan but he was very poor tonight, didn't make any changes until too late and was outhought by the opposing manager. A poor performance from the team but an even worse performance from bobby.
Charles Brewer
858 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:38:08
OK, if WBA had played the usual blinder which comes from a new manager, if their goalkeeper had been Man of the Match (see under RS and several others), if Lukaku had missed a string of sitters. Maybe I wouldn't mind so much.

But is wasn't like that.

It was Distin (whom I really like) back to the worst of attention deficit passes, it was hoof it anywhere defence from Baines and Jagielka, it was Howard wellying it to their back four on every occasion; it was even Coleman, whom I rate as one of the best players in the Prem. not taking people on, it was even the manager failing to notice that things weren't going right and taking a risk - Velios for Lukaku or something. Something shocking and surprising.

Barry and McCarthy had proved to be the best midfield in the Premiership - before tonight. They looked tired, old and unable to control the game. All Everton's passes looked rushed, barely in control and made under pressure and threat.

It was the worst of Moyes and Walter Smith reprised tonight. It was passes too long (OK, not too bad) or too short - which always lead to problems. It was a defence which was always chasing someone attacking on the wing, not being there first. And strangely, given earlier tactics, no-one having a bash from distance. It may not result in many goals, but it gets more than not shooting at all.

And if I were Lukaku, I'd be looking to get "injured" so my career doesn't disappear when Maurinho decides not to bother bringing me back from loan and buys some 45 year old with a better first, second and third touch.

Jonny Flynn
859 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:39:21
We looked like we were playing football on an ice rink. Sloppy passing all over the place. We played the second half like a pre-season friendly. Stones won’t let us down in the derby but we looked so laboured tonite, a derby match is just what we need to make us lift our game again. Signings needed rapidly or we’ll drift into no-man’s land again.
Jim Bennings
860 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:49:36
Put Ossie in the middle? The middle of what? The pig sty?

Osman is one of those players who whenever someone says he is 'creative' I really have to ask myself creative at what exactly?

Creative is what Arteta used to be in his first 4 seasons, play threaded through balls, forward balls, go past players, cross the ball.
When is the last time anybody saw Osman play a defence splitting foward pass?

Peter Laing
861 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:51:40
There was nothing on the bench though Colin, Mc Geady hasn't kicked a ball for over two months and it was the usual suspects who could hardly change or affect the outcome of the game. With the injuries mounting up and Jelavic gone we are seriously on the bones of our arse. We need to strengthen now because it's hard to believe that Spurs and Man United will have such a worse start to next season and once again we will be banging our heads against the glass ceiling. Two signings needed ASAP - a striker a priority.
Paul Smith
862 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:48:25
I thought we were dire tonight. Long balls hit to Lukaku all night from Distin, totally bypassing the midfield. And this the midfield that's been majestic most of the season - I can't fathom it out.

You could see their goal coming. RM usually changes it up; he waited too long this time or it was just sheer lack of options. Whatever, it wasn't good enough - no Sin Miedo tonight señor Martinez.

Barry Rathbone
863 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:45:27
Personally I worry if Lukaku is getting sussed and is he the type to flourish in a ball playing team.

When he turns and runs full pelt with the ball as he did once in the first half he's amazing but defenders touch tight always have a chance because of his poor first touch.

The interplay between Mirallas, Oviedo, Baines and Coleman is there but it needs nimble feet rather than a beast if we're going to "walk it in".

Tough call for RM because Lukaku is good but does he really fit our style?

Charles Brewer
864 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:56:50
Not 'sin miedo', 'con mierda' I'm afraid
Scott Phelps
865 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:52:13
lack luster performances all over the park tonight. baines, coleman, osman and lukaku all seemed to under perform.

baines should have been subbed on 60 mins and oviedo at left back. baines didnt seem totally match fit. need to raise our game against the redshite

Colin Glassar
866 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:56:21
You're right about the bench Peter but at the same team he could have changed Mirallas to the right and put Oviedo on the left. That would've restored some balance and might've helped Barry and McCarthy. We were just so disjointed tonight it was unbelievable.
Sam Hoare
869 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:53:08
Hmmm. Poor tonight and looked short of inspiration on and off the pitch. Need to pick things up quickly and find some much improved form with RS, spurs and Chelsea away up soon or else we will very quickly be in the familiar territory of fighting for 6th place.
Sam Hoare
870 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:53:08
Hmmm. Poor tonight and looked short of inspiration on and off the pitch. Need to pick things up quickly and find some much improved form with RS, spurs and Chelsea away up soon or else we will very quickly be in the familiar territory of fighting for 6th place.
Jim Bennings
871 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:57:49
I also think eventually we need to see a shift in who plays at the back.

There is only so long Distin can go on and I don't think he will ever be the best with the ball at his feet likewise Jagielka, plus lets face it.
Tim Howard makes many poor decisions, Sunderland when he killed Osman with that pass, today he should have used his head more too.

I want to see the ball playing centre halves of Alcaraz and Stones eventually take the mantle (hopefully sooner rather than later) and also the FA Cup winning goalkeeper Joel Robles taking over in goal.
People may say he looks iffy but as a goalkeeper coming in out the cold I am not sure how the hell you are ever likely to get match sharp.
He needs games, if he kept three clean sheets in the quarter final, semi, and final in last seasons FA Cup its clear the big games don't distress him.

Anyway stuff it, I am off to bed like a bear with a sore head.
Stevenage on Saturday

Bill Gall
872 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:52:50
Brian #845
What makes you think that B.K has given the manager any money to spend. Time after time when we have been close to breaking through the mythical glass ceiling the biggest let down has been the chairman.

Until a quality player is paraded around Goodison this month I remain sceptical. Talk is cheap action speak louder than words.

John Malone
873 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:51:55
Where is Eugene Ruane tonight? Will you now admit Lukaku has been shite since the derby, Anichebe come on tonight and put Lukaku to shame.

Martinez needs to bollock the front four and himself, we were getting at them first half and unlucky not to be in front by more, then to perform like that second half and for Martinez to sit there watching it was a joke, I'm all for positivity and having faith in players but there needs to be a time when you crack the whip and send a message to the players when they're not at it.

So disappointing not only to not get three points but to get outfought, out played and create hardly anything in that second half.

Please no more injuries!

Mike Corcoran
874 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:00:17
You know what, shit happens, especially against a team with a new manager. Lesson learned and all that. I'd prefer to see that tonight than next week a la OFM. With a bit of reflection the players might come out and tear Liverpool a new one.

And thank yer lucky stars at least we don't have to bunk up with a missus from the west brom bingo hall tonight.

Denis Richardson
875 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:48:23
Didn't play particularly well first half but somehow seemed to keep control of the game and get to half time one up with a goal out of nothing.

Very very poor second half performance and for all the people complaining about Luakau and Osman I personally had Baines down as our worst player - his performance tonight was simply unrecognisable from the player we know. Got caught out of position so often, seemed off the pace, poor touches - just a different player. New contract syndrome?

Too many of the team were off the pace today, only a handful; Oviedo, Mirallas, Coleman and McCarthy had ok games, but not great. The rest were either very average or just poor, Baines and Osman especially. I don't think Lukaku could do much with the hoof balls lumped at him and often West Brom doubled up on him.

Just don't know what happened today. The bench was weak but the first team should have put on a much better display.

Hopefully Coleman's only strained a muscle and nothing too serious but I fear he'll be out for the Derby the way he was clutching his hamstring.

Just want to put that display out of my mind and look forward to the FA cup game.

Very disappointing.

Colin Glassar
876 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:10:04
Everyone's on a downer right now Mike, but if we beat the rs all will be well in the universe.
Dennis Ng
877 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:10:43
Mike 874, like your optimism. Let's hope the boys regroup, get some used to those cold winter days again and play some good football at those rs.
Paul Smith
878 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:08:36
Official site confirms we're waiting for a work permit for the big Ivorian. Much needed reinforcements I think, after tonight's extravaganza!
Patrick Murphy
879 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:07:38
Bill #872 I mentioned the fact that we don't have a game at Goodison until the window is firmly shut and I bet that suits BK right down to the ground, also all this red-tape with the 6'8" striker reminds me of last January and the Fer fiasco - BK is a master of the dark arts and if he can keep his wallet firmly shut he will do so. If we were in a relegation battle BK would find the money if the manager insisted on it - but a sixth/seventh spot is good enough for this board as it doesn't need them to invest in the club. I still expect OFM to put in an offer for Baines and or Barks before the window shuts, I hope RM doesn't fold on that because he will only make a rod for his own back.
Barry Gee
880 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:41:22
Well, getting up at 3am to watch that was a bad move. For once I have to agree with most comments. I certainly won't be getting out of bed to watch the derby.

Lukaku needs to learn how to hold the ball up. Also why is he not putting pressure on the defenders when he has not got the ball? Looks to me like he has lost interest but then again they all did tonight.

Brent Stephens
881 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:03:55
Half a dozen not up for it today. We know who they are.

Roberto played some out of position. Poor sub timing / decisions.

Too much high ball cut out by the defence.

Really weak bench, result of injuries.

We can play great and crap. Who said we can challenge for top spot, FFS. Mindless stuff. We might be able to challenge for 4th. Set your expectations too high and you're going to be mighty disappointed.

Steavey Buckley
882 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:02:50
This season is a replay of last, too many points thrown away against mediocre to poor teams away from home; while Everton have yet to play some proper teams away with a squad of players that is so short of real talent, Osman can easily get a game.

I just hope that Everton finish in 6th place and not 5th if they can't manage at least 4th so don't have to play in footballs graveyard called the Europa league. Just ask Swansea and Newcastle how badly it effected their seasons, playing in places where Easy Jet won't fly to.

Brian Waring
883 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:11:55
Bill, I'm probably being naive, but Martinez was saying the other day he has money to spend, but it's difficult to spend it in January.

Lukaku is still only 20, and no matter what some say on here, he does normally put a shift in,I was thinking, does anyone reckon it could be a case of burnout?

Mike Corcoran
884 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:15:52
And can we start just calling them Liverpool, this red shite stuff just smacks of fear. My kids call it Voldemort syndrome.
Colin Glassar
885 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:16:36
Looks like Mata might be going to Manu for £35M. That's something we could never do so people need to keep things in perspective.
Patrick Murphy
887 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:18:10
Steavey so we don't want to win the FA Cup either doesn't that 'reward' the winners with a Europa place?
Mike Green
888 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:14:48

Lost possession far too easily, lacked real drive and determination (get well soon Ross Barkley), weren't ruthless enough in front if goal, very uninspiring all round.

Put it down to a bad day at the office, Martinez I'm sure will have plenty to say about it behind closed doors. Most disappointing of all is we've let LFC off the hook AGAIN - a long standing condition which Roberto has to find a way for us to shake off. Spurs fans and Reds will be rubbing their hands after that result tonight.

Colin Glassar
889 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:22:34
Sounds like Seamus is sound according to Greg O'keefe.
Patrick Murphy
890 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:21:20
Mike if we play at their place like we did tonight it will be a case of fear - I prefer to call them the Dark Side - not through fear just because no matter what happens to them on the downside they always get cheered up either by us or Man U or as is the case this weekend by both.
Brian Waring
891 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:23:29
My redshite mate just text me, all he said was "Shithouses"
Patrick Murphy
892 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:25:35
Brian #891 slightly harsh from your mate - but on tonight's performance very difficult to argue with.
Jimmy Sørheim
893 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:56:28
I have to say I am shocked at how poor Lukaku has become since December, he looks like he has nothing to offer.

Osman is the worst Everton player I can remember since early Moyes days.
He has to be sold or released, his wage can be spent a lot better.

Also the players we are linked with does not inspire me at all.

McGeady seems to have some ability, but his fitness is so bad it is hard to judge him just yet.

Vellios should have been given a chance here but it seems to me Martinez does not like him because he refused to go on loan.
In my view Vellios does not need a loan, he has performed before and will do again, but he needs game time.

I can not understand why Lukaku was still on the pitch in the second half.

Martinez was woeful tonight, he made very late changes just like OFM used to do and we lost 2 points.

The ultimate problem is again the lack of a goalscoring striker, and the second problem is we waste money and squad space on a weak tiny old player like Leon Osman.

Our squad is very weak, yes we have numbers but we lack quality in numbers.

RM needs to freshen up the squad with a central midfielder who can score, plus a striker that scores regulary.

I feel so cheated that we lost Negredo, right now I can not think of any striker who would be good enough and who does not cost a fortune.

We are in trouble. Ever since Sunderland we have missed that top goalscorer and our performances have dropped in quality since that game..

No doubt we need Barkley and Deuelofoe to come back asap.
God help us if they are not ready for the derby.

Mike Hughes
894 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:55:41
Trying to put a positive spin on things......still (just) a better result than drawing with Villa at home - especially given our squad depth and injuries.

No excuses tonight though.
Lukaku doing a Jelavic. Rocket up the arse.
McGeady might make a difference when fit.
Surely Vellios can't be that bad he's not considered for 20 minutes?

I hope Coleman wasn't too badly injured.

It's still in our hands. But big improvements needed - and a couple of new faces.

Mike Corcoran
895 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:27:03
Brian, maybe you haven't checked your texts since Saturday?
Steavey Buckley
896 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:23:06
If Everton don't have a squad of players this season to beat the likes of WBA, so what hope in the league next season if Everton have to play in the Europa league? Another league dreamed up by European football's administrators who have leagues full of teams very few of heard of before.
Can you imagine playing in eastern Europe on a Thursday fly back on Friday with more players injured. The Everton treatment room will appear more like an episode from 'Casualty' just before Sunday's game.
Jim Bennings
897 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:28:31

Would love to think we could go over there and 'tear them a new one'.
Sadly we have not done that since Limpar and Kanchelskis decided in November 95 that 'fuck this, Barnes, Redknapp are a bunch of nancy boys' and just went for the jugular.

Somehow I cannot see us playing like that tearing anything let alone the redshite on their own patch.

Patrick Murphy
898 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:32:47
Steavey if we manage to qualify for that tournament perhaps we should just play a very young team in those games as you say that competition is a complete farce and most of the games on TV I don't even bother to watch. It's just a complete waste of time and effort, unless you are a major club with a massive squad.
Colin Glassar
900 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:34:33
Baines is coming in for some unfair criticism IMO. If Pienaar is going to play surely Oviedo is the perfect replacement? Bainsey was left exposed time and time again. Whenever he went forward there was no one to play off and most of his forward forays came to nothing.

As for Lukaku, well he ended playing wide as he gets fuck all service down the middle except for a few hoof balls from jags and Distin. Honestly, it was like deja vu as though ginge was back in charge.

I honestly expect a vastly improved performance against the rs. How Pienaar is missed.

Brian Waring
901 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:38:53
Think I may have deserved that text of my mate after the grief I gave him after their game against Villa, hindsight hey!
Harold Matthews
903 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:11:50
Yes Jim, Bill and others. You don't go to Tenerife to train for a freezing cold night game at the Hawthorns. Physically and mentally we were way off the pace Pointless criticizing individual performances. We were badly prepared and lucky to get away with a draw.
Brian Waring
904 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:41:05
Still think we've got nothing to fear going to Anfield, and I expect us to get something there.
Steavey Buckley
907 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:36:19
Patrick, football does not work that way. The manager still felt he was compelled to play a decent team against QPR even though Everton lost Barkley a player Everton could ill afford to lose if they were going to beat WBA. That would be the same scenario next season if Everton qualify for the Europa league by finishing 5 th. Having to play players Everton could ill afford to lose in a Europa league that many don't like because of lack of financial rewards to strengthen the squad before a ball is kicked.
Brian Waring
908 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:49:29
Fuck the Europa league, it's shite and a waste of time. It's champions league or bust for me.
James Marshall
909 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:51:26
We were shit second half, we all know that.

One thing to note is that we're still only a point off 4th place.

Good night.

Patrick Murphy
911 Posted 20/01/2014 at 23:53:33
Slight difference winning the FA Cup would still represent an achievement and you can't legislate which games that players will or will not get injured in.

We can't have our cake and eat it can we? We either fail to qualify for Europe or we find a way to manage it if we do - we won't have bucketloads of money available to compete on all fronts so that is why I suggested that if we did qualify, we field a younger team to give them experience and ensure the first team regulars don't suffer unduly. We have done the same thing before in that competition, anyway lets hope RM can get the lads back on track and we have the CL to worry about.

Brendan Fox
917 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:42:02
Abject Moyesesque display given what was on offer before the match with the chance to move ahead of the shite before visting the cesspit.

It looked like a training match at times in the first 20 mins of the 2nd half with all the fannying around passing to me to you around the back four with no urgency shown in trying to break quickly and stretch a poor West Brom side and go for the kill.

Too many square pegs tonight, Oviedo looked lively and energetic but was on the wrong wing and always looked to come inside, the same to a degree with Mirallas who looked like one of the only players up for it.

Osman was a passenger and should never be a guaranteed starter injury crisis or not as he’s just not got the legs anymore. He is better utilised as a sub with 20-30mins to go where he has a better chance of having a meaningful impact on a game eg Stoke away.

Touche to Big Vic I had a funny feeling seeing him after half time when he came on that he would score just to prove a point, even though he didn’t score he had Jags & Distin back peddling every time he had the ball and changed the game for the Baggies.

The subs RM made apart from for Seamus were made far too late. Osman should have made way for McGeady and not Oviedo. Oviedo should then have been moved to the left McGeady to the right with Mirallas in the hole. This would have given West Brom a lot more to think about.

I know many on here don’t seem to rate Vellios and neither by all accounts does RM on the face of it why bother naming him as a sub if he’s not going to be used given Lukaku is the only other fit striker in the squad? Given we resorted to route one when conceding why the fuck did Martinez bring on Naismith at 5’ 10" when at 6’ 4" Vellios is the better target man for route one in the dying minutes. This would have at least given Lukaku somebody to work of as he’s never going to get that off of Mirallas.

More questions than answers from tonight. I hope to fuck we show up next week at Anfield otherwise it could undermine the good work done this season up until tonights shower!

P.S Billy get cheque book out as now is the time to try and kick on and reinvigorate the squad!

Ian Tunstead
920 Posted 21/01/2014 at 00:06:22
Osman was a disgrace tonight, not even the minimum closing down from him. At least Naismith would have ran around and won headers. It was as if everyone has been on the piss all week on their holidays.
Si Cooper
925 Posted 21/01/2014 at 00:15:33
Wouldn't call it Moyesesque Brendan, as we hardly pulled everyone back into our own half. We just couldn't get a grip of it in the centre of the park after 60 minutes.

I think the whole point of playing Oviedo on the right was to allow the respective wide players to cut in on their stronger foot, at least that is what RM spoke about after the game. Seemed to work quite well in the first half with Oviedo having a couple of decent chances and Mirallas scoring off another example. Part of that plan was that Lukaku would pull their central defence out of position, which ke certainly tried to do.

I agree that the substitutions could have been earlier and different, despite the fact that none of us would have expected too much game-changing from our bench tonight.

David Crewe
931 Posted 21/01/2014 at 00:35:11
Still on the train on the way home and reflecting on a point gained after a poor second half.

We could have should have been a couple up at half time. First time this season we had limited bench options. McGeady looks useful but is not close to being match fit. Mirallas was excellent all night- he can play down the middle and we perhaps should have decked to him rather than lumped it to luka who was completely outplayed by their centre halves.

All in Very happy with the season so far....I've been to 6 always and we've won three drawn three, pretty fair return. we have players to come back and a very big Ivorian on the way,

Reasons to be cheerful and positive - I recon we'll draw at Stevenage and get one over the RS if we have one or two back.

David Crewe
934 Posted 21/01/2014 at 00:46:37
Ian 920 – we’re you at the game?

They all worked hard, just didn’t play well. If anything Lukaku was the soft one tonight, not Leon. He looked jaded and we need a Plan B up front.

Oman filled a hole – not ideal and probably better for 30 mins in a game as per Villa away.

Steavey Buckley
936 Posted 21/01/2014 at 00:47:33
The team selection could have been more imaginative minus Osman. I have never seen such a player this season who is so easily brushed aside by the opposition as if he did not exist yet he stayed on the pitch for 85 minutes. What player was Martinez watching last night? It would have been better for the survival of Everton winning 1:0 to by bringing on Naismith a lot earlier than he did, because he at least has a fight in him.

If Everton pushed Coleman up to right side of midfield he would have been given him more opportunity to drive forward and come up with another goal as he is in good scoring form, with Stones at right back would have faced same type of an opponent as he did previously as centre half with Anelka drifting to his side of the field. Oviedo played half decent in a position Coleman had played in the past, but Oviedo would have dome much better in a position that Osman occupied but did nothing on the left side.

Team selection: could have been better with less loyalty shown to Osman.

Peter Bell
942 Posted 21/01/2014 at 02:02:28
David Crewe, Lukaku is 20 years of age, and you say he was jaded, the guy just is not good enough, or has the desire required to play for our club, just watch his lack of reaction when we score our goal,
Peter Bell
943 Posted 21/01/2014 at 02:06:40
Mourinho is a good judge of a player and I have seen enough of Lukaku to understand why he does not rate him
Si Cooper
944 Posted 21/01/2014 at 02:07:45
Peter, you don't think his lack of reaction was in some way a wish not to gloat in front of the fans who gave him such support last season?

Watch the game again and you will see, for all his faults, that Lukaku was involved in a large percentage of our best attacking play tonight as well as being asked to operate as the target man for lots of lofted balls to bypass their midfield. The lad is obviously playing to instructions, even when they don't particularly suit his particular strengths.

Tahir Abdullah
947 Posted 21/01/2014 at 02:47:45
For once this season RM was outmaneuvered by a superior tactician in Mel; this was Bêtis preseason without the Spanish verve ( ie effective and targeted). Lukaku's body language smacked of one holding back and playing WELL within himself (possibly due to his association with WBA) and with him in that frame of mind, RM could have done worse than bringing on Velios at 60 minutes. The references to our squad depth are also valid.
Ian Tunstead
955 Posted 21/01/2014 at 04:10:30
Tahir I don't think there was time for Mel to drill his players to out manoeuvre Martinez. As Anichebe said, "he just told us to press them". Hardly rocket science. There is always a honeymoon period were players put in that extra bit of effort to impress a new manager.

I think its more to do with ourselves than the tactical genius of Mel and having two of our more creative players missing. Although I think it was a massive tactical error playing a left back on the right wing. Square pegs and round holes comes to mind.

Worse still was playing Osman on the wing for most of the game and allowing him to stay on beyond the 2nd half. However, the attacking options on the bench were not the most inspiring. We need another striker and back-up attacking midfielder for Barkley.

David Ellis
960 Posted 21/01/2014 at 04:30:14
What's that noise I hear? Ah yes the sound of Everton hitting their glass ceiling again.

The lack of depth in the squad (and the injuries we have) appears to be catching up with us. We need at least one of Pienaar, Barkley or Deulofeu back sharpish - and a fit McGeady (all will come with time)... and a back up striker (which looks sorted) and a back up holding mid - no mention of this.

Dennis Ng
962 Posted 21/01/2014 at 05:01:16
David (960), agree with you. I would reserve my disappointment until the run of games against RS and Tottenham has lapsed with poor results. Panicking over one game can be very stressful to the heart.
Mike Dolan
963 Posted 21/01/2014 at 04:33:37
Everton have really missed Del-Boy since he got injured. Now they are also without Barkley and Pinnear there is no service from midfield. Oveido has looked good at full back but is only average in midfield. John Stones should be playing in every game he is class. I thought that a point would be the most you could expect under the circumstances come on guys are you just discovering that we have a very thin squad but we'll get through this. Stay positive, this is the best Everton team in years. We can only get stronger.
Steavey Buckley
965 Posted 21/01/2014 at 05:11:52
Dennis Ng: getting beat away at Spurs or Liverpool can happen, but drawing with West Brom (home and away,) Norwich away, Palace away, Cardiff away, Stoke away and losing to Sunderland at home are where the real points are lost, so far, are the games that are damaging Everton's chances of finishing at least 4th in the league. And in these games when Everton lost on average of 2 points a game; are when they played below par.
Roger Helm
985 Posted 21/01/2014 at 07:44:00
How often have we seen us take the lead against average opposition, sit back with our foot off the gas then concede a goal or even two? it looks like the players forgot in Spain everything they had learned this season. And why have Velios on the bench if he can't even get on when Lukaku's playing crap? Also, I was disappointed to see Baines' dive in the first half. How can we call Suarez a diving cheat when Neville, Barkley and now Baines are doing the exact same thing?
Ed Smith
990 Posted 21/01/2014 at 08:00:56
The bench was threadbare for the first time this season. If Stones is coming on ahead of Hibbert in a straight right back substitution then what is Hibbert doing there?

No slick passing and Distin looked like a car crash waiting to happen.

Looked like a performance we would have put in under our previous regime.

Hope we haven't shot our bolt.

David Graves
013 Posted 21/01/2014 at 09:09:09
Jimmy Sorheim says "We are in trouble". Jimmy Sorheim is a fool.
Sam Morrison
020 Posted 21/01/2014 at 09:16:16
Agreed Roger (985) Hate seeing our players collapsing like that. I think Baines anticipated contact to be fair but it's still dive.
Sam Morrison
021 Posted 21/01/2014 at 09:16:16
Agreed Roger (985) Hate seeing our players collapsing like that. I think Baines anticipated contact to be fair but it's still dive.
Roger Helm
038 Posted 21/01/2014 at 09:57:19
The Europa league would be disastrous for us – with injuries and suspensions mounting up we will be struggling in the PL, never mind trailing round European backwaters getting our thin squad thinned out even more - remember how Newcastle had their PL campaign buggered by the EL. So if we finish fifth could we say thanks but no thanks, like Man U did a few years back in the FA Cup?
Charles Brewer
040 Posted 21/01/2014 at 09:23:10
12 hours after that slo-mo car crash, I am beginning to suspect the game was lost before Everton went on the pitch.

This season, we have seen some absolutely magnificent football from Everton, in very large measure due to fast passing, quick movement, disconcerting and clever interchanges, and above all, lots of possession. Even in the really tough games (Arsenal, away - that's supposed to be difficult isn't it?), the team has stuck to the principle that when you have the ball, the other lot cannot score, and if they make a mistake, you may well be in there.

Last night, I think RM betrayed his "sin miedo" approach and thought the passing game would come apart on a bad pitch, to the instruction became "don't pass, play a percentage game". His own fear was conveyed to the players who suddenly doubted that the boss believed his own story.

Lukaku is clearly not a 'target man who can hold the ball', he may be physically like Ferguson or Anichebe, but his back-to-goal control is terrible; you might as well get Osman to out muscle Skrtel. Indeed, Lukaku's best contribution by far, and it was very good, was to nod a forward header to Mirallas.

And because the ball was almost always in the air or bouncing about, the Likes of Osman, Oviedo, even Coleman, we're being clattered before they got control or could lay it off properly. A fast ball to feet, a quick interchange would have had West Brom's goons falling all over the place.

In my view, Martinez is a huge success, but the club as a whole has a residual fear that the top slots are reserved for richer / better regarded by the media / more star studded / better accommodated (good ground), and last night RM betrayed himself, he showed fear (of the pitch / of a grim night in the land of retards / of being on TV on a Monday / of being elected Manager of the Year - yes, we remember how that always preceded a huge disappointment / or whatever).

Everton FC thrives on heroes, not stars. Who would not prefer Duncan Ferguson up front to the disgusting Suarez or any of the foul specimens that club has thrown up over the years (I'd have taken John Barnes, and probably McManaman, but few others)? Roberto needs the confidence to believe his own message, and when Lukaku is having a stinker, to put on Vellios with the instruction, "Get out there and prove me right to have waited".

"Sin miedo" is a great principle. Roberto must apply it himself. At all times!

Jim Hourigan
050 Posted 21/01/2014 at 10:39:05
For the first time I think Martinez got his selection and tactics wrong. You could see that he thought they were suspect for pace down the middle and hence Miralles playing off Lukaku. Even though he scored I didn't see the system working and our midfield was very poor as a consequence.

Barry and McCarthy did OK but every one else in the attacking sense was poor. Oviedo can play FB but has been poor as a wide midfield player and why was he on the right? Cutting in was OK but he could never go outside people because of his right foot. Osman out wide is a joke, no pace, no ability to cross and he constantly drifted into the middle and was always playing catch up when they went wide. Miralles tried to link up but Lukaku was very poor and looked like he did not want to play fully against one of his old teams. His touch was garbage and apart from the header for the goal I don't remember him winning another header.

This poor forward play meant the back 4 were always struggling for a pass. Barry showed constantly but Osman and Oviedo didn't and Miralles was too far forward. McCarthy tried, but bringing the ball out is not his forte.

Martinez should have seen the disfunctioning midfield but I think he was determined to stick with his game plan no matter what. First time he seemed so dogmatic in his approach for me and despite how bad we played we didn't lose, so for me a mild rebuke that I hope he learns from.

Anto Byrne
051 Posted 21/01/2014 at 08:49:32
Time for a win at Anfield. TV pundits have written us off already, finishing below Man Utd and Spurs. The RS getting 4th. Thing is, did we expect to be in this position end of January? Probably not... so let's enjoy it and see what happens.
Patrick Murphy
052 Posted 21/01/2014 at 10:52:40
Andy Gray, Grahame Sharp, Bob Latchford or any other of our famous strikers would struggle to score the way Everton have played and are playing, that doesn't excuse Lukaku for his lack of ball control and lack of fighting spirit. The full-back / wingers have to be told to get the crosses in more often and far quicker – it's not down to the system we are playing it is about the players forgetting about why they are out there in the first place – namely to score more goals than the opponents.

But last night regardless of how heavy the pitch was, WBA had more fight and industry than we did and that just ain't good enough. As for Gibson saying how hard they worked – well they wouldn't have had to work so hard if they had applied themselves correctly in the first-place – same syndrome as we have seen all too often in recent years – show up well in the games against the richer clubs but believe that they just have to turn up in games against the lesser lights. Injuries played a part but not as much as the poor attitude and lack of commitment by many of the players.

Colin Glassar
056 Posted 21/01/2014 at 11:10:58
Jim Hourigan, spot on. This was a massive opportunity for us to make a massive statement of intent but unfortunately the manager and players bottled it. Apart from poor tactics, team selection and lack of effort Roberto, for the first time, seemed paralysed on the sidelines and made no real effort to change things.

Like many, I think this break in Tenerife didn't help as most of them looked like they weren't focused and probably wished they were still back next to the swimming pool.

The derby now is a possible season changer; win and we are back on track for 4th. Lose, and we will be fighting for 6-7th position and all the good work so far will be lost. The only bright spot in all this is we should start seeing the likes of Pienaar, Barkley, Deulofeu, and Alcaraz all returning shortly.

Ste Keating
062 Posted 21/01/2014 at 11:27:25
Let's give West Brom a bit of credit here, lads, they played okay, passed it well, and pressed us into hitting it long (Distin). It is the worst we've played but fuckin ell we've been top drawer all season. Still never got beat so roll on next week and take 3 points off them twats!!
David Owen
079 Posted 21/01/2014 at 12:46:14
It was a poor performance on a tight ground and a very poor surface that made it difficult to get our passing game together, but it does not make us a bad team overnight. It's a blip; every team in the Premier League has them. Let's get our injured players back, add a couple of signings, there are 48 points still to play for and we are only a point behind the team that, according to their manager, are still Championship contenders!!
Ian Tunstead
089 Posted 21/01/2014 at 13:11:47
Charles Brewer, you have a fantastic imagination, I'll give you that. The game plan seemed the same to me for most of the game. Everton tried to pass it, but when the opposition want it more and you have people like Osman happy to pass it straight to them, it's all going to fall apart. As a consequence, the players started to get frustrated and started to hit it long a bit more. To be fair, it got us a goal.

We just didn't have the creativity we have had for much of the season because of injuries. You need a top striker to put the ball in the net and top creative players to supply the striker. For the first part of the season we didn't have the required quality striker and as a consequence struggled to kill off games; now we have the striker but we are missing the players who supply the ammunition and so the only option is long balls. Look what happens to Man Utd without Rooney and RVP.

It's not so much how you play but who and where you play them. However, you can have all the ability and quality in the world but, if you put in the kind of effort Osman puts in, then you are setting yourself up to get your arse spanked.

David Crewe
091 Posted 21/01/2014 at 13:32:53
Mike Dolan said it all (963)
Dermot O'Brien
103 Posted 21/01/2014 at 14:38:23
A bad performance and all of a sudden the majority on here seem to have given up. For fuck sake we are a point off fourth place and nine behind the leaders. Stop panicking and get a grip. We are Everton.
Linda Morrison
138 Posted 21/01/2014 at 16:32:41
Thanks Mike (963). My spirits have been up and down like a fiddlers elbow this season.

No team could cope with over half of their first choice missing, and for a long time.

Barkley and Deloufe will be back soon.

I think Martinez had a lesson yesterday, he tried to deal with the ground and I doubt there will be any more sunny away days with the lads.

i never thought we would make the top 4. Whatever you think of RS it will likely be them.

I'd gladly give the Europa League place to MU. it will suit Moyes down to the ground.

Come on folks let send some positive vibes to our team!

Ajay Gopal
140 Posted 21/01/2014 at 16:59:41
Look at the positive side, folks. With this week's results, we did not give up ground to the RS, we gained a point on ManU. Ok, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City & Spurs pulled away 2 points from us, but if Moyes still believes Man U are in the hunt for the title (ha.. ha..), then surely we should not giving up so easily. I have a feeling that this period (Sunderland, Stoke draw & WBA draw) is our blip of the season. We will hit our stride once again, I guarantee you that, once our better players start returning from injury plus the addition of McGeady and Traore (hopefully).
Ben Mackenzie
213 Posted 20/01/2014 at 22:37:32
Doom and gloom, goodness me. We've had a poor second half. West Brom were good, playing and trying to impress a new manager. 1 point off 4th. Best points return at this stage for ages. An away draw isn't that bad. Beat the shite and it's all back on. 5 Quality players due back from injury in the coming weeks. Rm with 40 mill in the war chest for summer spending. 2 more signings before the window closes. Cheer up blues, we can still win the league this season!!!

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