Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 0 Everton

For this massive Sunday game at White Hart Lane, Seamus Coleman returned to the Starting XI with a very interesting bench including Barkley, McGeady, with Gerard Deulofeu returning and new towering loan signing Lacina Traore, potentially to make his debut as a sub.

The first attack came from Spurs when a great ball seemed to be played in to Dembele who was thankfully half-asleep. A nice penetrating move by Everton followed through Coleman down the right then in to Osman, who turned brilliantly and curled one superbly toward the far top corner but drifting just inches over the angle.

Distin forced Howard to concede the first corner but a tentative Everton defence cleared to Mirallas, who won Everton a corner, and they worked it around for Naismith to set up Osman for a superb volley that forced a tremendous save from Lloris. Osman almost headed home off-balance from the corner, then in the next move, it again fell to Osman but he drove it straight at Lloris. Four clear chances to score in the first seven minutes, all down to Osman!

Pienaar gave away a free-kick that Eriksen came close with, curving it over the Everton wall and Howard and the bar, onto the roof of the net. Coleman was all action, with plenty of enthusiasm as a vigorous competition developed in midfield with neither team prepared to give he other too much space or time.

Everton went for a more controlled build-up but Baines got himself offside for what would have been an excellent cross. Naismith and Pienaar ganged up on some weak play at the back by Spurs and then put together another smart move that ended with Pienaar flagged offside. Spurs got the ball but Walker drove a poor strike cross goal from distance

Mirallas tried to power his way in but his shot was deflected Baines got miles behind Walker but the cross did not find an Everton player and Everton's disciplined defence stalled the Hotspurs and Pienaar won a kick that saw Coleman work it onside and shoot low from distance, Lloris saving low at the near post.

Spurs finally threatened with Rose beating Coleman and crossing superbly for Adebayor but thankfully the big Spurs forward did not connect with an exceptional pass behind the Blues defence. Lennon looked to beat Jagielka but couldn't, some brilliant defending by the Everton captain as Spurs continued a strong spell, winning a corner that Howard punched clear. Spurs' fourth corner was headed high and wide by Dawson

Intricate build-up play saw Mirallas win a good free-kick on the left corner of the Spurs area that Baines curled in brilliantly, Distin's header but it only won a corner that Mirallas powered in in, headed away by Dawson. More build-up by Everton was too slow to take advantage, Naismith losing the ball at the end. Mirallas intercepted in midfield and went on a brilliant run that ended selfishly with a shot over when a pass to the well-placed Naismith would have been the better choice.

Pienaar won Everton's fourth corner, a weird outswinger, leading to the fifth that was curling away from goal again by Baines and Everton tried to force penetration but Spurs pushed them back. Everton looked to create more penetration with intricate passing but Rose strode in easily as Osman was statuesque and in a flash, Howard was under pressure at the other end, as a very competitive first half came to an end goalless.

Everton kicked off the second half but it was Spurs with the greater desire, winning an early corner from Eriksen that evaded everyone. Everton looked to build but Osman played the ball behind Pienaar and the Blues were under pressure again. Coleman tried to turn things but he was easily dispossessed and it was soon another corner for Spurs that Distin headed away.

Everton spent an age with triangular passing among Pienaar, Baines and Naismith on the left side of the Spurs area, just too laboured while searching for the ground ball rather than putting in a cross to the non-existent striker. Spurs then applied more pressure with a couple of corners, Adebayor coming close with a header.

Another turnover and another opportunity ofr the massively laboured Everton build-up and the inevitable lost ball leading to another Spurs attack. A slightly faster move down the right looked to be the first goal but somehow Osman and Naismith contrived to miss the chance. Martinez needed to make a change but Sherwood took the initiative, bringing on Townsend for Eriksen. Another slow, slow build-up ended with a forward pass too strong for Mirallas, while Martinez continued to watch rather than act.

Finally, as the hour-mark passed, Barkley was readied but needed more instructions as Everton won their first corner since the break, the youngster finally replacing Pienaar. A quickly taken Spurs free-kick, after Clattenburg had called the play back following advantage unfulfilled, saw Everton go behind under the softest of circumstances: a ball played up to Adebayor, and he beat Distin to lash it through Howard. Too easy, Everton sleeping.

Naismith made himself look really stupid, stepping over the ball and letting it run out of play as the Blues really needed to step it up at least three gears. Traore started some stretching moves as Naismith did it again, almost identically! A neat move looked to develop until Naismith played a crucial pass straight at a Spurs defender. McGeady joined Traore in the sideline calisthenics while, on the field, Everton's fluidity had deserted them.

Finally, Naismith was replaced by Deulofeu, and McGeady came on for Osman — both changes 20 mins too late. Everton tried to get a grip with more midfield possession but the inevitable turnover denied them again and Spurs had them under pressure rapidly, Adebayor lashing one over Howard's bar.

Barkley had started spraying long passes, some working, others, not so much... one trying to release Deulofeu well over-hit. Deulofeu won a good kick wide right that Baines sent to the back post where Barry could only head it to a Spurs defender and, in seconds, the ball was up with Adebayor,

Into the last 10 mins and Everton tried to play it through the middle, Deulofeu working the ball well, but McGeady's return pass defected easily to Lloris. Baines earned a corner he played in well, if a little lacking in the pace needed for a powerful header on goal that the non-existent Everton striker could not provide.

The minutes ticked away, and the lack of a target man meant that the slow build-up again went nowhere, Defoe replacing Lennon. Everton screamed for a penalty on Coleman that looked questionable at best, as Barkley ran illustratively right around the Spurs penalty area without going anywhere. A turnover and Defoe was off to the races, firing in and winning a late corner as Everton crumpled to a massive one-goal defeat that dealt a huge blow to their quest for 4th place Champions League qualification.

Scorers: Adebayor (65')

Totenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose, Bentaleb, Dembele, Lennon (86' Defoe), Paulinho (68' Capoue), Eriksen (59' Townsend), Adebayor.
Subs not Used: Friedel, Kaboul, Soldado, Naughton.

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Naismith (73' Deulofeu), Osman (74' McGeady) , Pienaar (64' Barkley), Mirallas.
Subs not Used: Robles, Hibbert, Stones, Traore.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg


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Mike Gwyer
816 Posted 09/02/2014 at 07:42:59
All managers will reward a team that pulls off a win when they were losing - I'm guessing RM will be no different. Obviously Coleman plays and maybe Barkley instead of Osman, but the 11 that beat Villa will probably start.

Tom Dodds
834 Posted 09/02/2014 at 11:15:43
I see the London meeja and their friends have suddenly ramped up transfer stories overnight regarding some of our key players (Barry/Coleman).....
Wouldnt have anything to do with todays game now would it ??
No marks.
Andrew Hawes
846 Posted 09/02/2014 at 12:31:47
If we can keep within 2 points of top four without actually moving into it,I will be happy for the time being. Let the media go into a frenzy over Liverpool and apply pressure Apparently there title contenders after yesterday

We just need to keep picking up points without the pressure. Believe me, Liverpool over the next few months will not keep up there current level of performance and have been very lucky with no injuries to the likes of Suarez and Gerrard. The question is, can we be in a position to pounce on any slip ups?

Jim Bennings
853 Posted 09/02/2014 at 13:39:27
Could be 4-0 already, cant help but feel these are there for the taking but we badly badly need to start being more clinical..and Distin again with that back pass jesus that fella
Jim Bennings
854 Posted 09/02/2014 at 13:58:07
Come on Blues friggin dominating in terms of chances here, same old problem though, no end product or killer extinct as usual
Jim Bennings
855 Posted 09/02/2014 at 14:02:48
How many corners have we had without scoring I wonder? Must be close to some record soon.

Jim Bennings
856 Posted 09/02/2014 at 14:05:18
Damn another effort from Mirallas.
If only we could actually finish from all the good moves we put together, gets to the point of frustration.

Naismith been quite poor really today, would like to see Traore given a run in the second half and Deulofue for Pienaar who has also been a little wasteful at times.

Peter Warren
858 Posted 09/02/2014 at 14:27:33
Why don't we do in swinging corners??????
Jim Bennings
860 Posted 09/02/2014 at 14:32:01
Think we need to start coaching our players to attack the ball when we have a corner, thats why we don't score headers anymore.

I just hope this wont be another game where our lack of cutting edge will come back to haunt us in the second half, we have seen that happen many a time with Everton over the years.

Jim Bennings
861 Posted 09/02/2014 at 14:48:32
Yet another chance gone begging, why oh why do we make sticking the ball in the old onion bag so difficult??

Barkley for Pienaar?? That has to be a fitness thing doesnt it?

Steven Telford
862 Posted 09/02/2014 at 14:47:36
Fucking back four asleep for that goal............
Jim Bennings
863 Posted 09/02/2014 at 14:50:41
FUCK OFF — how typical of Everton is that?? Cannot finish our moves off, it's bloody annoying at times it is.

This Spurs team is average to say the least and we have gifted them a goal when it never looked likely, just as at West Brom.

If you cannot score goals then you DON'T WIN GAMES!!!

Max Wilson
864 Posted 09/02/2014 at 14:56:37
Roberto! Get Naismith off and Deulofeu on, we need penetration and flair... Pronto!
Darren Robinson-Cooke
865 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:09:15
Bye bye 4th place... Why the fuck didn't he throw beanpole on???
James Morgan
866 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:20:56
Fucking shite. No cutting edge, no strikers. Parachutes on now.
David Johnson
867 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:21:14
Only our Chairman could sanction selling our only out-and-out striker... FUCK OFF, KENWRIGHT.
Mark Frere
869 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:20:25
League season over!

Our urgency after they scored was pathetic - unforgivable!

Well, it looks like all our hopes now lie with the FA Cup. Fuck the Europa Cup next season, its a waste of time and resources.

Darren Gough
870 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:24:02
Quick free kicks - fine one way and not the other.

Blatant penalty... Clattenburg strikes again.

Odd game really - perfect away performance from Spurs.... at home. Purely came down to strikers end of the day. Teams around us have them, we (currently) don't. I'm sure there will be angst and outrage on here but the performance was actually really good – we just couldn't force it today.

Kieran Kinsella
871 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:25:23
The team did the best. You can blame this one on BK as our only addition upfront was an injured bean pole. Kind of like Arsenal, we did well until the window opened and then failed to bolster the squad. This RM team is worryingly reminding me of HK II when the likes of Beagrie, Ward etc played pretty football but lacked a cutting edge. Remember how that one ended, the manager quit because the board wouldn't let him sign a striker.
James Carlisle
872 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:23:37
So wasteful which is even more painful considering how shite they were. Spurs were for the taking today.

Hate to say it but the race for 4th is over full stop now. Spurs are nowhere near good enough to challenge the shite.

Ray Roche
873 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:25:45
Barry was culpable for their goal. He turned his back on the free kick (after placing the ball for them) instead of standing in front of the ball preventing a quick free kick. For a man of his experience, that was crap. And if Traore was fit enough for the bench he should have been able to manage 15 mins; playing without a striker is the sort of thing Moyes did.
Roman Sidey
874 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:23:57
Jim Bennings, we scored from a corner in the derby once Baines went off. So I do see your point. I know Baines has a history of good dead ball play, but it has been a very long time since he has been consistent, and these days, whenever he takes a corner it is worse than conceding a goal kick. How long does it take to realise it isn't working?
Anto Byrne
875 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:20:46
Look on the bright side we got players coming back and that's probably the last we will see of Mr Naismith. All that possession and no real threat. Oh well... Crystal Palace up next and can we find a way to be a bit more clinical in front of goal? Oh for a decent centre-forward.
Max Wilson
876 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:20:44
We've lost this because of team selection. We had sufficient talent on the bench to stuff them with. Why didn't we play them? If they can come on in the match, that's it!

This game could be the watershed of our season. I see it as an an opportunity thrown away. When will we rid ourselves of the Moyes mistakes and concentrate on the wonderful talent Roberto has brought us? Wednesday night is the opportunity to show it.

Meanwhile, 3 points lost due to giving misplaced loyalty to mediocrity. Roberto has to get more ruthless from now on.

Tommy Coleman
877 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:21:48
Switched off for 1 second and they score from their first shot on goal. We could have had a pen as well.

Hate losing to teams we are better than.

Brian Burns
878 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:26:55
30 wingers on the pitch and no one wide but Naismith who should be up front in the last 20. Blatant pen and they can do want they want, we can't. 3 mins added for 6 subs and a few stoppages = Clattenburg
Tony Twist
879 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:27:12
It was obvious that we were screwed for the remaining part of the season, who in their right mind would get rid of an international striker and not bring in a ready made replacement? Martinez is blind if he didn't see this coming.

Barca may play without strikers sometime and it may work in the Spanish league but not here. He had his opportunity to get a fit striker in and he failed. He has failed us on that point.

Amit Vithlani
880 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:27:36
Mirror image of Villa game - this time we were very good in the first half and much less so in the 2nd half. The substitutions were mind boggling. Martinez must learn that Mirallas is not a central striker. Bring on Traore and if he is not fit, why name him on the bench?

Gutted at the result, but still saw some positive signs in defeat. Baines is slowly getting back to some type of form. Seamus looked solid and with match fitness will get better. McGeady showed one or two sharp glimpses of skill and pace. First half performance was good. We need to put two good halves in one game and need to play with a proper Centre Forward on the pitch at all times and I can see getting back on a winning run.


Jim Harrison
882 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:31:05
I thought the game was crying out for Traore. A big front man to shake their defence up. Naismith put in a good stint but was done by 60 mins.

Overall, it wasn't a bad performance. Put in context, Spurs spent £100 million this season, Everton matched them all bar a stupid free kick.

Paul Smith
883 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:31:30
Fuming after that.

I wait all week, really looking forward to the game... and that!

Spurs are rubbish, absolutely shocking! We need a STRIKER - arghh.

Sod it, I'm off to Uni.

Michael Upton
884 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:31:58
Disappointing defeat but some ridiculous reaction on here. No cutting edge? Garbage, how many chances created first half and either spurned, well saved or just off target?

Race for 4th over? Again too hasty. 13 games left, top 5 already all played away from home, two rubbish teams at Goodison in the next 3 games and both the RS and Spurs capable of slipping up to the likes of Villa and WBA...

All factors in our favour. It's a tough ask but FFS show a little faith.

Roman Sidey
886 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:35:52
Jim, I too noticed that the 60-minute mark seemed to be an automatic wall for Naismith as well as Osman today. Naismith had three instances down the left just before he came off that were just horrible, and the Spurs fans let him know about it too. I thought it would have been nice for him to score after their taunts, but he wasn't doing us any favours at that point.
James Martin
887 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:24:11
Blame Kenwright for selling Jelavic? Laughable. The blame for all of this is on Martinez as you all so gleefully put it on Moyes. The difference was he had money to spend this window but chose not too. Martinez fails to grasp that playing the ball forward quickly wins games, not hogging it. His whole, ’we restricted them to one shot’ line doesn’t work when your keeper is horrendous.

Now we’’ve almost guaranteed finishing behind Liverpool, something we haven’t done for two seasons, largely in part to the worst derby performance in living memory. Our away record at the top sides reads one win and one draw and that being at the candy shop that is Old Trafford. The Etihad, Anfield and WHL have yielded three less points than last season. We also beat two of those sides at home.

We need to beat Man City at home to avoid an 8 point drop on those fixtures in comparison to last season. But hey, at least we’re playing to win now, focussing on ourselves, sin miedo. I can see why Moyes kept his mouth shut now, the ability of this Everton side to continuously embarrass their manager and fans is nothing short of unbelievable.

The goals have dried up and we’’ve barely scored that many this season anyway. Remember when people moaned that Moyes’s 2-0 wins weren’t enough because we never battered anybody. Who have we battered this season? Martinez is seeing the reality of what being Everton manager is about, dealing with a squad of pathetic losers who shy away from any sort of professional achievement. New deal for the Premier League’s best left back who hasn’t turned up to one big game in his career and hasn’t hit a good cross for two seasons. Captain’s armband for the centre-back who can’t deal with diagonal high balls. £13 million for Rodwell’s crab for crab replacement.

The whole squad needs a turn around. Buy a creative midfielder in the summer for God’s sake, a new keeper, and a left back who can defend. That would be a start.

Phil Head
888 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:23:33
Well, I said it before the game and I'll say it again: Roberto's team selection is shocking. Everybody that's ever watched a football match will tell you, away from home, a team needs to be a threat on the counter-attack... so what do you need? Pace!

So let's play Naismith, Osman and Pienaar and leave Deloufeu and Traore on the bench? Great decision that, Roberto, and to finish it all off, the one time when a pacey player isn't a threat, is when you're losing 1-0 when the opposition just sits back in numbers and it's then he brings Delofeou on.

Add this to the Villa game which Roberto nearly lost us by leaving our only fit striker (Naismith) on the bench till the 70th minute and you can see a trend starting. Seriously, this friggin game we watch isn't rocket science, yet we have to sit here watching incredibly well paid guys continuously make the same mistakes over and over again.

If all this isn't bad enough, I've sat here listening to the commentary, claiming that Ozzie had played outstanding! What game were they watching? He's missed 4 chances within the first 10 minute's and then spent the rest of the game giving the ball away, yeah great game! And don't get me started on McGeady...

Ian Riley
889 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:23:09
No striker, season over — what the bloody hell is the striker on the bench for!

After Osman missing chances, it was always going to end in our mistake... never turn your back! Is it me but did we lack structure?

I am sick and tired of having 70% of possession. Goals win games and Spurs proved that.

Let's finish 8th or 9th in the league please god, no Europa League. It will kill us next season, we don't have the squad.

Spurs have spent nearly £100 million, average at best!

We have the FA Cup to focus on!

Best Wishes All!

Chris Sillett
891 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:37:40
I feel so disappointed and angry about this result. You just knew the missed chances were going to cost us, it's always Everton who are punished for not putting chances away. Grrrrr!

Also imo Martinez's substitutions were poor. He won us the game against Villa but today I think the subs contributed to the loss.

There was no real reason to make the Barkley change, I thought Pienaar was doing well enough and working hard. But then to bring two wingers on and not bring Traore on was pretty baffling.

Mirallas can't hack it upfront, he was shite against Villa (apart from his free kick!) and he was shite today. Traore would have given us someone to aim at from free kicks etc and hold the ball up but we never looked like scoring.

4th place was gone after the derby result imo but we MUST beat Palace on Wednesday to have any hope of 5th now.

David Flanagan
892 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:39:39
No cutting edge is spot on as, after the first 25 minutes, we run out of ideas. A goal down on 65 minutes and very little reaction to it. They were far too comfortable at the end and the subs were bizarre... no striker on the pitch is criminal.
Jamie Crowley
893 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:45:13
A miserable defeat that surely ends Everton’s challengege.

Couldn’t disagree more. There’s 39 points to play for yet! Thank God the Alamo wasn’t defended by TW!

Also Peter Warren TYVM for pointing out the lack of inswingers. It’s driving me crazy!

Matthew Williams
894 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:39:28
No cutting edge = no glory, 3 points & plenty of goals please on Wednesday.
Oliver Molloy
896 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:37:54
There will be a few twists and turns before the season ends to all you doom and gloom merchants!

Yes, we switched off for the free kick they scored from. But we did not deserve to lose the match and in my opinion had a big big shout for a penalty.

I thought our heads dropped a little when they scored, probably because Spurs never looked like scoring and that hurts most.

Very disappointed being beaten today, but once a blue...

Crucial we win our next match against Palace.

Bill Gall
897 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:43:27
Great comments, James. But where are Everton going to get all the money from to replace all these players? Remember there are at least 4 loan players that may need replacing.
Jim Harrison
898 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:42:12
Christ, James, can you submit a post without it being an essay? Could you lay off the hyperbole a bit? Lost one-nil in a close match to a lucky break, but in your eyes Baines needs replacing (which full back was culpable for that goal?) and a new keeper after a performance where the current one did nowt wrong?

Calm down and look at things in perspective. Pathetic losers? What the fuck are you on?!!! 4 losses so far, not the end of the world. I think you need to pull your head out of your rectum and get a grip.

Mark Tanton
899 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:43:57
It's February, it's the time of season we come unstuck – and why? Well it's not rocket science is it... We have a small and inexpensive squad and we are playing too many players purely on the basis that there are no replacements in the squad.

The summer transfer window is going to be crucial. Let's continue the rebuilding and ship out Hibbert, Osman, Naismith and Pienaar. Too many of our side were playing the game at walking pace – you cannot do that.

You don't score points on the board for the number of perfect executions of triangular play on the left – get the fucking ball in. Lukaku will probably die of old age before he sees his next through-ball or whipped-in cross.

Tom Constable
900 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:40:07
Deeply disappointing result against a mediocre team that the RS murdered recently. Showed why we needed to get a striker in the break. And all the talk of needing Johnny H to go – on a free! – in order to move was nonsense.

Most of the above comments on the button especially about the importance of getting 4th this season. This was our best chance when we all know that the RS, Man Utd and Spurs will spend serious money, come back stronger next season while we operate in the loan market.

Why do we persist with Ossie who missed enough sitters today to lose two games? I like him, but his mess up against Sunderland started the rot and we've never recovered from dropping those points.

Agree about Martinez's mistakes today – too late with his changes – and why have the beanpole on the bench and never try him??? What's he there for... changing the light bulbs?
Sorry, seriously disappointed with season fading away after so much hope....

James Martin
902 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:45:57
Why has Martinez completely abandoned any notion of set pieces or crosses? They’re a vital part of the game that we don’t do anymore. I can’t recall one team apart from Barcelona winning anything playing this way.

Wenger turned Arsenal from a title winning strong quick direct machine into an impotent aesthetic product. Man Utd and Chelsea have never played this way. Bayern Munich don’t . The modern game has evolved since Guardiola’s Barca to pace power and creativity. Three things completely lacking in our squad.

Rick Tarleton
903 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:47:49
Disappointing, but for all the pressure and possession, there were few chances created. Mirallas's greed did not help, but praise for Naismith who worked hard and won a few in the air.
Alex Winstanley
904 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:46:00
The difference today was they had a decent striker who took his one chance...!

We need Traore fit for midweek or else it will be tippy tappy and no shots on goal again!

Patrick Murphy
905 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:37:05
What a horrible weekend this has turned out to be. I think that it's probably all over bar the shouting and the FA Cup offers us our only real hope.

A draw would have been disappointing but a defeat is hard to take. You cannot keep missing chances when you are on top and dominating the game – you always tend to pay a high price when you fail to take those chances.

It's the same old story every season, regardless of personnel, manager, line-up tactics etc – we just can't turn the chances we make into goals. Mind you, it would help if the board got their finger out and helped the manager. Time for Roberto to try out a few youngsters and see if we have anything in the reserves.

Given that Champions League seems to be out of reach this season, Roberto should start to shape the team that will start next season. Forget the older players such as Ossie and the likes and blood a few kids, we might lose a few points in the process but 7th or 10th doesn't make a great deal of difference.

A bit of shooting practice wouldn't go amiss either, but that old saying that you watch Everton for the football and the other lot for goals is as true today as it has ever been – unfortunately.

Jim Harrison
906 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:50:35
Mark, Osman was unlucky not to have 3 inside 20 minutes.
Raymond Fox
907 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:32:44
We absolutely dominated the 1st half, we were all over them, their keeper made 1 or 2 great saves, but we didn't get the right player in position to take a shot though!

I thought we faded a little in the 2nd, while they found some form. But we were beaten by a sucker punch, as simple as that, schoolboy error by the defenders, not good. We played well overall but lacked the killer punch from a midfielder or a striker.

This was always going to be a tough game, we out-played them for most of the match, which surprised me.

Champions League has probably gone now, but you never know... the thing is, if we did qualify, are we in a position to do the competition justice? I don't think we are yet.

There's always next year!

Mick Davies
908 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:50:39
Martinez DID buy a striker, and at the time we also had Lukaku, so is it Roberto's fault he got injured?

Today, we were robbed by officials who allowed an offside goal and denied us a penalty. There are 13 games to go and the FA Cup, and we are playing good football. The first Spurs shot on target was a mishit that went in while we had enough chances, we just need Traore or Lukaku on the pitch.

To play both North London sides off the park on their own patch bodes well for the future. What I couldn't understand was why Naismith played so much out wide, and when Barkley came on, he was in the left back slot so often.

John Daley
910 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:34:07
Most frustrating game of the season so far but anyone who blames it on the lack of a striker is failing to see the real problem in my opinion. It wouldn't have mattered who was up front for us today as they simply don't get the right service at a swift enough speed. It's the same reason why Lukaku's earlier goal scoring form tailed off. It's not that he suddenly turned turd or can't be arsed or isn't as good as he thinks he is (as some were claiming). It's just that he stopped getting any through balls, anything to run on to or any crosses coming in. Everything was just being rolled into him when he had his back to goal and two central defenders up his arse.

In my opinion, our failure to capitalise when totally on top in a game is due to the fact that our attacking play of late grinds down to a snail's pace as soon as we get in sight of the opposition box. The amount of times players, particularly Osman and Pienaar, needlessly turn back on themselves and then lose the ball after trying to thread it through to someone on the edge of a packed penalty area is becoming a particular pet hate of mine.

I actually think Naismith made a real nuisance of himself in the first half and made some decent runs into space. The problem was he was never found or simply ignored. The most glaring example being when Mirallas made the baffling decision to try and go himself when a simple pass to the side would have seen the real shit shady through one-on-one with the keeper.

James Martin
911 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:50:50
Jim, Baines wasn’t culpable for the goal but he has been for so many this season and for wasting hundreds of attacking opportunities. It’s another example of ridiculous star struck fans just like it was with Fellaini. Oviedo was better this season, a few games, two goals, two assists clean sheets and wins.

Howard did nothing wrong? Apart from getting beaten at the near post again? What about his ridiculous display in the derby?

The same things that were unacceptable under Moyes are now suddenly untouchable and you get censored for saying then. How many times do we need to do the same thing over and over again? Our defense does not keep many clean sheets, we do not score enough set-piece goals. Our goal conceded to shot ratio is probably the highest in the league yet again. But hey let’s not drop Howard or Baines or Jagielka, can’t be their fault!

Some people are doing exactly what they accused others if, accepting mediocrity and 7th . Is a positive 7th different from a dour one then? 7th is 7th, and if anything Martinez is shielding the board more than Moyes did.

Oh and Jim I’ll write for as long as I want whenever I want. The joys of the internet .

Paul Ferry
912 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:52:58
Martin (#887) — This shite is unbelievable and clear evidence of a deranged mind deserving possibly of our sympathy rather than the appropriate contempt: Martinez is seeing the reality of what being Everton manager is about, dealing with a squad of pathetic losers who shy away from any sort of professional achievement.
Dick Brady
913 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:58:52
At the start of the season a friend of mine claimed Roberto Martinez was a manager who started well but lost it in the second half of the season.

I dismissed this because what he did with Wigan was a completely different ball game to Everton.

But sadly Roberto seems to be true to his form and has had a good first half of the season and sadly looks to be having a disappointing second half.

Eric Owen
914 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:38:39
As soon as I saw Clatterfuck was the ref, I just knew one of his calls would hurt us badly. And it did.

Don't speak to me about Naismith... and am I missing something about McCarthy other people seem to see (or do they)? For a player we paid a great deal of money for, it's rather interesting that his name doesn't appear in the above article, other than on the team sheet, or in the fan's comments.

James Martin
915 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:59:37
Paul what has this current squad ever won? When was the last game of any pressure that meant something they won? Probably the United one at home in 04-05.
Jim Knightley
916 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:49:26
Some ridiculous statements, James... stinks of sensationalism from a fan who doesn't watch other teams. Baines hasn't hit a good cross in two seasons... really? Please say that's sarcasm. McCarthy is crap too? What's your opinion on the others? how exactly are we even 6th, with so many poor players?

Everyone needs to get a grip. Today was frustrating, and removing Pienaar fucked the team up. The subs were wrong, and did not help the team. But we went to Spurs, who are in the race for top four, not struggling at the bottom, and were the better team for large periods.

It was a very frustrating outcome, and top four is going to be extremely tough now, but it's hardly the end of things is it? We are still there, and still in the FA Cup, and whilst today's result was hard to take, I'm not going to start writing bullshit about the team and the manager after an undeserved defeat away to Spurs.

Just remember, when criticising Moyes or Martinez, how little money we've had over the last 15 years. The only justifiable criticism, imo, is that levied at the board. (That said, I believe we will have a good £15-20mil to spend in the summer, probably on the top striker we need.)

Robbie Muldoon
917 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:59:55
I just want to make a point about Leon Osman. Yes, he could have had 4 within the first 20 minutes but he didn't, and this is why he is not good enough for Everton. Barkley would have taken one of them.

He was asleep for the free kick having been batted off like a fly in the run up to it, he is too weak for a central midfielder.

His passing was shite in the final third when it mattered, he tires massively, and I'm just sick of the praise he gets, when for me he is ready for the bin, has been for years, and it will be for the best when it happens. It wasn't his fault we lost today, but I can't see what people see in him.

Paul Ferry
918 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:02:34
James, even if that were 100 per cent true your choice of words is utterly wrong.
Ralph Basnett
919 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:00:11
Bottlers, all of them!!!

Always one pass too many and typically left to right across the back four, we are so predictable, the only manager to not suus us out in the whole of the premierships is Martinez!!!!

Great having all these wingers playing but who are they crossing too? And next it’s Palace, another team desperate for points!!!!!!

Linda Morrison
921 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:54:53
I think that the team knew what a win would make for them and they did not play well, apart from a few shots by Osman. But that is what happens at times.

As a previous poster said, our squad is just too small. This means that with all the injuries we have, and we have been very unlucky in that department, players are returning to the game not fully fit. This was obvious at the recent derby.

I never thought we would get the top 4 spot even with a win today. It would have left us 2 points behind Liverpool and I can not see them dropping points much in the rest of the season. Liverpool have played very well, have two excellent strikers who have not been injured and we have not.

I note on the BBC Sport today that the Express is saying that Rodwell did not come because Barry did not want to sign a contract as he wanted to keep his options open for the summer. Who knows the truth?

We have to keep faith and hope for a better display against Crystal Palace. That will not be a walkover as Pulis has them playing well...

Andy Meighan
923 Posted 09/02/2014 at 15:58:39
We dominated again in terms of possession but when does possession win you games? We've got absolutely nothing up front; after the first 10 minutes, I just knew we were not going to score. This has been the pattern in a lot of the away games this season. Some lovely intricate passing, loads of possession, but zilch quality where it really matters.

Naismith puts a shift in but just lacks the required quality to worry Premier League defenders. And let's not forget that was one poor Spurs side that, apart from the goal, I can't recall them creating a chance... but they took the one out of nothing they did get.

I'm predicting more bad news on Wednesday because Palace have vastly improved under Pulis so that'll be a really tough game.

Jamie Crowley
925 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:04:07
TY Jim Knightly. Agree 100% with your comments.

I understand the disappointment but the "4th is over" and "we played shit" comments are just off the mark.

We outplayed a good side today. We were punished by switching off for a second and the ref didn’t help matters IMO.

4th is not out of the realm of possibility yet. I can’t understand for the life of me how a 1 goal, unlucky defeat away against a good side where we were by far the better team for the majority of the game equates to the sky is falling, exit stage right reaction.

Anthony Hanlon
927 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:04:27
If the Red Shite do get 4th, imagine the scenario if Man Utd get to the Champions League final and thus denying the Dark Side a place in next season's Champions League with a victory....

I think it's gone for us now...1 point from 9 in last 3 away games, with Chelsea next away.

James Martin
928 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:03:13
Jim, why should I watch loads of other teams? Even when I do, compare Baines’s balls to Gerrard’s, Van Persie’s or Silva’s. For such a supposedly good crosser of the ball who we put into space time and time again, why has he got no assists this year? It was blamed on Jelavic first but even with Lukaku up front our output hasn’t increased. Let’s just keep doing the same thing though hey and see if we get a different result.

Like I said, Oviedo played two balls in on the ground; two goals... a goal off his right foot as well.

Baines is always overhit, hits the first man or just checks backwards. But let’s not say anything because the media like him and he’s a big name. Three seasons ago, he was the best left back in the league by a mile. He hasn’t been at that level for the past year. Looks slow, weak and unfit most games with bad hesitant distribution; he used to have a better engine than Coleman.

Brian Waring
929 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:05:46
Can't get my head round why Traore didn't play a part in the game. If it was because he wasn't fully fit, then he shouldn't have been on the bench.
Ste Traverse
931 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:08:41
I thought Kev was a bit selfish today with his shooting. The one where he blazed over after making that good run he should have played Naismith in who would have been one on one with the keeper, and there was one or two wild efforts in the second half.

Clattenburg was his usual annoying self. Letting Spurs take a quick free kick which led to the goal yet pulling us back later on when we took one and got in a good position.

I though we were unlucky today. Tottenham were nothing special considering their huge outlay on players last summer.

Sean Roberts
932 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:08:04
Let's not start pulling the team apart now for fuck's sake. If someone had told you at the start of the season we would be where we are now, we would have all taken it.

Yes, it's disappointing the way the wheels seem to be coming off but that's football and that's only our 4th league defeat of the season. We were better than Spurs today but the difference was they had a striker on the pitch who converted his only chance. We made a few chances but had no-one to convert them.

On that point, one question I do have is: If Traore wasn't fit enough to come on for 20 minutes, why was he on the bench? Or if he is not good enough to come on for 20 minutes, why have we bothered signing him for the rest of the season???

Anyway, onwards and upwards... and we will be back to winning ways this week against Palace.

Brian Waring
933 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:14:45
Ste, a few have mentioned the free kick where Clattenburgh pulls us back, the reason why he done it was because he was in the middle of booking Dembele.
Wayne Smyth
934 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:04:23
What a load of melodramatic shit from so many people whenever we drop points. I think some like to wallow in their own misery.

In case you missed it, Spurs spent a good £100M in the transfer window. They've got a very good first team with loads of quality options on the bench and today's game was hugely close. We had more shots, more possession, and the only reason they won was because Jags switched off for a few seconds allowing Adebayor one-on-one with Coleman. I actually thought Osman did okay for most of the match, especially the first half.

If Barkley, McGeady and Deulofeu caused us to up our game when Osman, Naismith and Pienaar were withdrawn, then I could accept that Roberto made a mistake with his team selection, but actually all three subs did nothing of note. Deulofeu in particular gave the ball away in bad areas a lot and we looked unable to break down their massed ranks.

We worked hard for most of the match to win the ball back and played some decent stuff going forward. Disappointing to lose, but it's not the end of the world.

Wayne Smyth
935 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:18:21
I will say the fact we kept taking out-swinging corners and free kicks annoyed the fuck out of me. Don't mind the odd one to mix it up, but doing it every time makes no sense.
John Daley
937 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:17:12
"Can't get my head round why Traore didn't play a part in the game"

I've got a feeling the pepperami stick will start against Palace on Wednesday.

Mike Corcoran
938 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:14:43
I thought we were unlucky. Played with pace and tenacity. A game of few chances, yes, but they only had one and caught us on the back foot. Some of the knee jerk reaction on here is, as usual, wildly of the mark.

Ha — Fulham have just scored, I'm glad we're not Man Utd!

Kevin Tully
939 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:17:05
We defended well (goal apart) and you couldn't ask any more of our midfield – how many times did we win the ball in the middle of the park? The effort was there today, we just lacked ideas in the final third.

It's so hard to take after results at the weekend, but we didn't deserve to lose that game, that's for sure. (Man Utd 1 down as I type...)

Naismith's first touch was very good in that first half, but a striker up against two big centre-halves he ain't. We won't get 4th now, the FA Cup becomes all-important.

John Daley
940 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:21:45
Fulham just scored with their first attack after Man Utd having had all the play thus far.

Doesn't just happen to Everton then.

Tony Twist
941 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:15:07
Fourth was a pipe-dream anyway but, as many have said, Spurs were there for the taking today and Martinez put out a team which was safety first which was disappointing. Martinez was all about attempting to win the game but his team selection was minus any sort of speed and a focal point for attack. Let's hope he reverts to all-out attack against the Swans so we can dream about a possible revenge meeting against the RS.
Mike Keating
942 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:16:39
Twattenburg strikes again:

'Free kick' taken quickly about 10 yards away from the correct spot
Stonewall Penalty (even the RS and Manc reds in the studio say so)
But why do we have 2 wingers on the pitch at the end and a 7 foot striker on the bench?
Barkley was a poor sub too.
Good news is that Fulham have just scored at OT but I have a horrible feeling that the RS will get past the Arseholes in the FA Cup and will be lying in wait for us - again!

Jim Harrison
943 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:11:49
James Martin, you are free to spout as much crap as you like using as many lines as you feel applicable... dosen't mean your are not talking shit.

In case you failed to notice, Oviedo is injured. Howard was beaten as a result of a very unfortunate passage of play. Should Coleman be shipped out for being brushed aside with his back to the ball?

You are standing on your soap box dressing opinions up as facts. Get a grip. Bad day at the office. Team expected by most to finish 7th fall into 6th closely behind 5th placed team due to a narrow one-nil away defeat. But yeah, sell one of the best left backs in the country and sack off one of the most consistent keepers in the league. After that, buy better players to replace them with the fuck all cash the club has...

And please don't try and swing this back to Moyes. I was one of his biggest fans. Now I support the current manager due to his achievements so far. In a transitional season, he has improved the overall quality of our game. Again I state, 4 losses in 26 games. hardly a fucking disaster.

Brian Waring
944 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:21:06
Agree about the free kicks and corners Wayne, the players must be able to see they're not working so why don't they try something different?

John, don't know why, but I've got this funny feeling we won't see anything of Traore either against Palace.

David Johnson
945 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:16:34
Before Christmas, James, Everton were playing better stuff than we’ve played for years. We were positive, we had momentum, we were ready to have a real go at top 4. It’s our cheap Chairman who sees any improvement as an opportunity to cash in who is to blame for the loss in momentum.

What makes you think Martinez has anything to spend? Are you basing this on our previous dealings. Don’t make me fucking laugh... It wasn’t you was it who said Martinez has a war chest for the summer the other week?

Roman Sidey
946 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:20:08
James, I actually agree with a lot you're saying, although it is a bit sensational. The current scratch in my record is also about Baines, and, realistically, if Oviedo comes back unscathed in terms of ability, the apparent "best left back in the league" has just signed a five-year deal to become the next Tony Hibbert.
Chris Leyland
947 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:12:56
Jamie — I disagree that we outplayed Spurs today. Yes, we are great at passing it sideways and I've no doubt that the possession stats will once again be in our favour but we have a complete lack of goal-scoring threat and teams let us have the ball as we are little or no threat to them.

When we do have a chance to be through on goal, too often the final ball is poor or we check back and work the ball round a bit more allowing the opposition to recover their position. With 92 minutes on the clock today, there was zero attempt to get the ball forwards and instead we were passing it square. That summed it up for me.

We had a new striker on the bench today and, as he was on the bench, I assume that he was fit enough to play some part... but we didn't use him. A strange decision in my view when we were a goal down.

Our 37 goals in 25 games simply isn't good enough for a top 4 finish when the team currently in that position have scored 26 more goals and seem able to score for fun. It pains me to say that their forward line will see them take 4th.

Andy Walker
949 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:13:59
The game changed when for some unknown reason RM decided to take off Pienaar and replace him with Barkley. This resulted in the highly effective Pienaar/Baines link up being lost, it was the best they'd played together for weeks and caused Spurs problems all afternoon.

Naismith, who had looked okay centrally, was then pushed to the wing, where he's crap, Mirallas lost the space that Naismith was creating for him with his runs and was then neutralised and Barkley had little impact as he's not fit. This single substitution ruined our set up.

As for trying to blame Osman who was without question one of our best performers...... words fail me.

This is the second major tactical fuck up by our manager in three games. Is he rolling the dice too often? I think he could be.

Jim Knightley
952 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:26:37
James... last season, didn't Baines create more chances than anyone in the entire Premier League? From left back?
Brent Stephens
953 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:13:16
Going into the game, we looked to have a strong squad for the day (first XI and bench). And we played well for much of the game – possession etc.

But we clearly lost our shape and composure with the substitutions. Hate to say it but Ross hasn’t done much for a while. And Gerard and Aiden made little impact.

I guess there is something about not using a Plan B (other than using some subs). Roberto just seems averse to trying some high balls into the box – I would have liked to have seen Traore. Or is he not good enough for 20 minutes? At least we had lots of possession!

I like Roberto as a manager but maybe he has to hold his hand up after today (and after the derby game) – OFM would have been panned for that loss, so in fairness...?

Did we have a weak squad today? As above, I don’t think so.

Was the starting XI the wrong pick? I’m not sure (though some on the Forum were calling for Osman to get off almost from the start, so on that basis maybe Roberto’s choice from the start was skewiff).

Was it poor subs and / or too late? Well they didn’t seem to add anything.

Was it a lack of a Plan B? Part of me thinks so.

I’m not disappointed with where we are this season. It was said from the start that it would be a transition season and nobody expected 4th at the start of the season. Having said that, I thought Roberto had been praised for (even said?) how quickly the players he inherited adapted to his playing philosophy.

If we finish 5th / 6th it won’t have been a lost season. There’s still a long way to go this year. And we have good chances of progressing in the Cup.

Linda Morrison
954 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:22:05
Mike, I agree, I think that the team have managed very well over the last 3-4 months considering all the long-term injuries to key personnel. I fully expect them to bounce back in the week and beat Swansea in the FA Cup.

We have to recognise that we do not have (and are unlikely to in the future) an owner/board with tons of money. We support the team, however frustrating it is at times.

I think all the rants on here are because we were so near and now it is all dropping off again.
Baines is a prime example. The number of posters who were so happy he had committed his long term future to the club and now he's crap like half the team. Get real.

Julian Wait
955 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:22:03
Gents, it's not over, but we are in a fight that we really shouldn't be. But we have had a bad run of injuries that have brought forward the expected wall of fatigue due to a small yet talented squad.

Lesson hopefully learned today is to sub BEFORE the likes of Osman, Pienaar and Naismith run themselves into the ground. I don't disagree with any or all of those three starting today, under the circumstances (i.e. McGeady having played several games already while not fit, Deulofeu coming back, Traore untried, Barkley coming back from inure too), and we played well first half but I think at least Pienaar, then Osman then Naismith should have each come off after 50, 55 and 60 minutes unless we pulled ahead. But hindsight is a wonderful thing, well at least depending on the hind that is ....

At this point, I would take the FA Cup and sixth, but would prefer 4th and the cup; I'm not convinced the Europa is worth it without winning the cup. :-)

Russ Quinlan
956 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:24:10
To me, that was worse than the humiliation against the RS. Then, we were totally crap and Coleman and Distin were out; today, we never looked in danger from them but also never really looked like scoring — and that's the problem, a fooking goalscorer!

Their one shot on target in the 90 mins was scored by a striker; we huffed and puffed but never really looked like scoring; plenty of stuff around the box but not where it matters.

I hope to god one of the central strikers injured at the moment make a difference... but probably too late for 4th now.

Brian Waring
957 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:27:22
Think Pienaar links up our forward play as well, Andy.
Paul Ferry
958 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:27:12
I agree, Andy, many forum folks were roasting Pienaar but we lost all shape once he went off. He seems to be important in ways we don't always see.
Graham Mockford
959 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:24:45

Absolute shite about Baines. People need to get a fucking grip. We were the better side, we lacked a centre-forward. The decision to let Jelavic leave without cover is baffling and cost us today.

Graham Mockford
961 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:34:16
Michael Kenrick,

Surely 'He who hesitates, loses' is the correct grammar.

Pedant alert!!

Jim Harrison
962 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:32:36
Agree about Barkley/Pienaar. I really think a striker needed to be on. As I said before, Naismith did a decent job early but later it required a battering ram. Vertongan was just too strong in the end, Kev was running his heart out, Traore could have made a difference, if only to shake up their defenders.
Dan Brierley
963 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:20:13
Same old same old... plenty of possession but lacking in any meaningful penetration. Ossie was the only creative player on the pitch today; every other player seemed to be either looking to get a shot away by themselves, or taking the easy pass. A playmaker has to be top of the shopping list as the lack of creativity is appalling for an Everton side.

Sean Roberts (932): 'If someone had told you at the start of the season we would be where we are now we would have all took it.'

I can assure you Sean, if somebody had offered me 6th place at the start of the season I would never have took it, neither would anybody with any sense of ambition. The only saving grace of the last two fruitless seasons was that we finished above the shite. This season, that also looks less and less likely so I am not sure what it is that we are suppose to be excited about?

Brian Waring
964 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:37:46
Tell you who I felt really sorry for: Naismith.

He was doing okay up front; when he got moved out wide, he fell to bits.

Paul Olsen
965 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:34:33
Not a miserable display at all in my eyes. We were the better team for 90 full minutes. They scored on their chance, a lucky break through a free-kick taken a long way from where the infringement happened. Other than that, did they create a single chance? At home that is...

After their goal, they played like a 1980s Italy, stifling any attempt to actually play football. Yep, they defended well. But, not in the style I would imagine Spurs supporters expect their team to play.

Yes, we lacked cutting edge up front, again. Naismith started well enough, but faded. Osman the same. Changes were the right ones, but they failed to give us the edge anyway. Largely due to a successful time-wasting strategy from the home team.

No need to go all crazy after this one, we’re not out of this race yet. This Spurs team will lose several games before the end of the season. As for Liverpool.... Well, let’s hope their form comes to an end rather sooner than later.

Ray Roche
967 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:23:43
Robbie Muldoon @ 917 — you're talking shite, mate, re Osman:

"Yes he could have had 4 within the first 20 minutes but he didn't, and this is why he is not good enough for Everton. Barkley would have taken one of them.

He was asleep for the free kick having been batted off like a fly in the run up to it, he is too weak for a central midfielder."

If Osman was as bad as you say he wouldn't have been in a position to have 4 attempts on goal and also hit a good shot from which Lloris made a very good save. When Barkley came on, he stunk the gaff out, contributing virtually nothing. I think Barkley will become a truly great player, but not until he stops believing his own publicity.

It was Barry who was asleep for the free kick, choosing to turn his back on the kicker instead of preventing a quick free-kick being taken.

Mike Gaynes
968 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:31:33
Andy (950), I thought at the time that subbing Pienaar was about exhaustion, not tactics... I would have been surprised to see him go 90 after the long injury layoff.

But some of the tactics after that were pretty odd... Barkley stayed well back (and invisible) for the first ten minutes he was on, and later Jags was actually forward of Barry and McCarthy. We definitely never looked organized again, and we never produced another scoring chance.

Amit Vithlani
969 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:34:36
One of the more bizarre rants on TW this season has to be the attack from James Martin on Baines. Injured for a few games, just about getting back to fitness, then playing without a settled partner in front of him. Today, he puts in a good shift and looks like his old self and gets laid into by a poster who can only be described as seriously off the mark (if not a half-wit).
Phil Walling
970 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:19:32
Looks like our season is reduced to a battle for 7th between Martinez and Moyes. Whoever could have imagined that scenario?
Brent Stephens
972 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:45:51
Ray #967 – again the voice of reason.
Mike Gaynes
973 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:46:21
Ray (967), got it right... Barry and Distin both went walkabout on the goal, turning their backs and wandering away. Barry allowed the kick and Distin kept Adebayor onside, just not paying attention. For two wise old pros, that's inexcusable.
James Stewart
974 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:45:53
The bottom line is we were beaten by a very very average Spurs side. It looked anything but two sides challenging for Champions League.

The tactics were wrong as were the subs. As soon as Sherwood drew first and brought Townsend on the game was lost. Up to that point, the game was there for the taking and RM knows it by the body language in his post-match interview.

What makes it so hard to swallow is the fact that it's the RS who are looking a real outfit and will get Champions League football.

Ian Glassey
976 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:51:16
If it is a battle for 7th, Phil, we are in front, as your mate's team are one down to the mighty Fulham..
Spencer Ramsay
977 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:52:17
Clattenberg – once a cheat, always a cheat!
Brent Stephens
979 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:54:51
Phil, I could certainly have imagined at the start of the season that we'd be looking at 7th. Did I think Moyes would be looking at that?! Don't think so.
Kevin Tully
980 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:51:33
I think it will take another 2 or 3 full games before Barkley is back up to speed, same with Deulofeu and McGeady. If these players were fully match fit, two would have started.

Does anyone actually believe we deserved to lose today?

Jim Harrison
981 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:56:30
Just seen Bobby's interview. Very classy. Refused to be drawn on the ref. Just made the point that the players shouldn't have turned off. Also made the point, they had one shot on target. Such are the margins......
Patrick Murphy
982 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:00:59
If you need cheering up, put BBC1 on now as our glorious leader (BK) is on there... enjoy?
Paul Smith
983 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:51:12
Without a doubt, Pienaar is one of our best and most important players, but by 60 mins he looked absolutely fooked.

I suggest him or Ossie start on the bench, and one make way for the other on 60 mins or when they tire. They're both integral to us, but become a liability after the hour mark!

Ray Roche
984 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:58:42
Kevin, we most certainly did not deserve to lose and you are correct, Barkley wasn't fit enough, the same with Deulofeu. For that reason, I think Martinez was wrong in bringing all three on at the same time.

Once Pienaar went off, presumably due to lack of fitness or a knock, we lost all our penetration down the left and Baines is clearly not playing quite as well as he has in the past. Three subs at once is a risky business and we lost all shape and allowed Spurs to keep control of the ball and the game.

Naismith was gash when he was moved to the left. He is NOT a winger and Martinez should know that by now. There was no-one to put their foot on the ball and hit a through pass...

John Ford
985 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:58:53
We were the better team and in particular Osman, Pienaar and Naismith were excellent in the first half. Ossie needed to go off after an hour though. Kevin should have passed to Naismith for a tap in but after great play he messed up. Bob got his subs wrong. Switching Kevin to the middle won't work

The criticism on here is over the top. The bottom line isn't just the result, that's bollocks. The tactics were right, we dicked them with our starting eleven. It was the finishing which needed attention. If we play for the rest of the season like we did for much of the game, we are still in with a chance of a cup and a Champions League place.

Callum McNab
987 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:57:52
How can we let a fit striker go and replace him with a crock? if ever we needed a striker, it was today, yet Martinez chose not to use him. if he is not fit, why put him on the bench? If Martinez didn't fancy him and blue gobshite Bill has got him so he can cash in on Jelly, then god help us come the summer.

It's getting to be a pattern now: teams are letting us play with the ball and have possession only to hit us on the break. The only thing I wish I could do is find that early bird and shove it up Kenwright's arse.

Mark Tanton
989 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:08:09
It was a very Everton-like defeat, John, and I admire your optimism but feel it's misplaced. You can dominate a team, but if you play in triangles endlesly, if you're afraid to take a chance, if you make the wrong choices, then you will be punished.

There were times in the second half when we lacked courage up front, and chose to dick about safely instead. I think I saw a tectonic plate overtake one of our attacks at one point.

Pienaar is, in my opinion, completely gone at the game.

Linda Morrison
991 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:08:38
John I'll drink to that!

I think that he took Pienaar off for the midweek game he is still not 100%. Everyone is still learning including the manager.

There was a good interview with Baines in The Guardian. He explained that every few weeks they are learning a new way of playing from the manager. He is teaching them to "think football" as opposed to just playing.

I think Barkley needs to either start or be left out; same with the other injury returns. It takes a while to warm up and it was too late today to make a real impact.

Roger Helm
992 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:04:15
It is disappointing but let's not get carried away. It was always going to be tough today – we haven't beaten Spurs for a while, they spent a shedload last summer and have been playing better since Sherwood took charge. We out-played them today, especially first half, and were only beaten by a good centre-forward play. A halfway decent ref and we would have drawn.

It's not RM's fault that both our centre-forwards are injured. I think the run-in should be good for us with our injured players coming back and the new ones bedding in. RM made a habit with Wigan of finishing strongly to escape relegation. I agree we have little chance of 4th unless Suarez gets injured (which he never does) but I think a good Cup run is on the cards. As for next season, that's down to Kenwright.

Barry Thompson
993 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:13:32
Ray (873) Spot on for me
Kieran Kinsella
996 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:30:56
You can always highlight certain moments and decisions but the great thing about the "what if" argument is that you can never be proved wrong because the "what if" world doesn't exist.

● What if Mirallas passed to Naismith?
● What if we signed a striker other than Traore?
● What if Clattenburg gave penalty?
● What if a flying saucer landed on the field and flattened Lloris just before one of Osman's shots...

I think the team did as well as they could given the players that were available and match fit. It was just very very unlucky.

The negative talk of "typical Everton" etc is crap. Last year a lot of RS fans were saying the same kind of things about Liverpool under Rodgers. A year on, with more time to implement his ideas, and they are much much better. Bad day at the office but overall we're on the right track.

Robbie Muldoon
998 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:33:17
All I'm saying about Leon Osman is he is a player who splits opinion. And my opinion is that he is a plucky little player-type, which sits well with a lot of spectators who would describe the club in the same way, plucky little Everton.
Patrick Murphy
999 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:37:49
We could always copy Fulham's approach to our matches at the rich club's that's worked out well today hasn't it? They too have only had one or two chances but have spent most of the game in their own penalty area.

Come on, Roberto... get real — this is how we should be approaching games.

James Martin
003 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:46:48
See those balls Januzaj is putting in? Low hard across the face of the goal, forcing the defender to face his own goal. These should be the type of ball Baines is putting in. Instead, it’s either floated or meekly passed to the first opposition player in front of him.
Marc Sansum
004 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:23:53
James Martin @ 991

Without trying to sound too sir, are talking out of your arse

We don't get enough clean sheets?

● We are FOURTH, yes, 4th on clean sheets this season in the Premier League.

● We are SECOND, yes, 2nd on goals against (IE 2nd lowest).

What we lack, is through balls. We effectively play 2 defensive mids. Barkley, for all his promise, doesn't actually create much, he'd rather shoot than pass through. Same with Mirallas.

Brian Williams
006 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:45:45
I wonder if anyone else noticed, in the build up to the free kick that undone us, that Clattenburg had his whistle in his mouth waiting to see if Everton gained any advantage after one of our players had been fouled. Literally seconds later, after we HAD NOT gained an advantage, he blows for a Spurs free-kick!!!

Pig sick because, even with a weakened team, we were better than them.

Personally I'd have tried Traore towards the end rather than bring on Deolefeu and McGeady. Put Mirallas out wide one side Dellboy on the other with Traore in the middle as a target man....

And Adebayor fuckin' miss hit that shot as well.

Patrick Murphy
007 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:52:48
Ooops! I spoke too soon; Bent grabbed a late equaliser for Fulham!!!!
Dave Williams
011 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:34:15
Jim Harrison, various posts – total common sense and well said!

Last season, the RS had an iffy time under a new manager imposing a new style of play. Build-up was slow and they were getting caught in possession. Hate to say it but look at them in their second season – the style of play has evolved with fast movement.

Helped by them having natural strikers, but the point I am making (I hate them with a passion!!!) is that this is our first season playing a totally different style of play and there will be blips before we get it right. Roberto will know that there are players who will have to be replaced before we get to our full potential and hopefully there is money which he has saved for the summer transfer window where more players will be available and he can get who he really wants.

To criticise anyone for selling Jelly is absurd – the guy had lost it and needed a change of scene and to get the price we did for him was too good to turn down. Our great club has to build a team piece by piece as we haven't got the cash to turn it around in less than a season. It's no good blaming this on anyone – that's the way it is and we are doing a decent job.

All that has gone wrong lately is that injuries have taken their toll as they would on anyone with the number of bad ones we have had – look at Man City since Aguerro and a couple of others have been out. Roberto knows from training every day whether they are ready for a full game – we can theorise all we like but he sees them every day and we don't.

It's not over yet – plenty of games left for others to come unstuck.

Ray Roche
012 Posted 09/02/2014 at 17:49:57
Robbie, that is clearly NOT what you were saying, you quite clearly state that Osman was asleep for the free kick: not true, that Barkley "would have taken one of them". Not by today's performance, he wouldn't.

All this plucky little Everton/Osman rubbish is just hiding behind the false belief that Osman is "shite" . Both our recent managers have played Osman regularly. They must see something that many on here do not.

Don't misjudge my comments, I'm not Osman's Dad. I just don't think he warrants the endless criticism he receives on here. He IS lightweight against the thugs of Stoke, and he no longer have the engine to compete for 90 minutes of high tempo football... but shite? No, Robbie, not shite.

Maybe if we had a proper striker for the likes of Osman or Barkley to slip a pass through to, we would see the best of these players.

I'm off now to hear the Mancs asking for Moyes head......

Tahir Abdullah
017 Posted 09/02/2014 at 16:34:24
Our last two matches we conceded in similar fashion after losing control in midfield, which saw the opposition react quickly to capitalize. This is something for sure that RM will be addressing on the training.

Disappointed because Spurs absolutely did not deserve to win this match; heartened by the constancy of the Martinez way (it will not win you every match, but is probabilistically very effective). WIP & already looking forward to Crystal Palace on Wednesday. COYB! NSNO!!!!

Brian Waring
020 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:13:03
I just read a good point someone made, the difference between us and the Shite is that they get forward as a unit looking to play someone in; we go forward as individuals (Mirallas, Barkley) trying to do it on their own.
Denis Richardson
026 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:15:46
Can people please wake up, get real, and stop over reacting. It was a shit result but there are still 13 games left in the season and we're now getting most of our (important) injured players back to fitness.

We can't win every game and we lost to a poor Spurs team away from home, that's all. Beat Palace on Wednesday and take it from there. Both Spurs and Liverpool still have some tough games left (as do we) so there's still everything to play for. The season doesn't end in February.

Oh and of course there's the small matter of the FA cup as well. Stop moaning and move on. We didn't deserve to lose that game but we didn't exactly dominate either. Overall, it was a pretty shit game and neither team deserved to win in my opinion.

Robbie Muldoon
029 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:33:31
Osman is undeserving of the protection loads on here are quick to offer him. He has his faults, too many. And that is that.
Brent Stephens
031 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:40:19
Osman deserves the protection loads on here are quick to offer him. And that is that.
Steve Jones
032 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:35:24
In reality, we are no closer to 4th than last season and have again failed to strengthen in January to push on. Our squad gets more injuries due to the fact we are not able to rotate decent quality so the same core play pretty much every game that counts if half-fit.

Martinez has done brilliantly and masked our lack of squad depth, and in reality finances, well but we are only 3 points better off than this stage last season now with 1 more defeat & a couple more wins & a few less draws.

We still have the same problem of lack of cutting edge just with more possession. We need a couple of £15-£20m strikers if we are ever to truly compete.

In the summer Barry, Lukaku, Defelou & Traore will go as we won't be able to afford to buy them (I include Barry who is on £120k a week in that) and let's be honest, there will have to a big sale just to keep us ticking over. The last two windows prove that as we sold around £40m worth of players & got an extra £20m from Sky but only signed about £20m worth & spent about £2-3m on loan fees. It just doesn't add up.

I don't believe for 1 minute that Martinez decided to wait until the summer to sign a decent striker when it could have got us 4th; money is disappearing on debt.

Patrick Murphy
036 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:44:55
Steve #032 There is very little to argue with in your post - it just shows that the league is ever so predictable when it comes down to it. I am a little nervous that Roberto will discover that BK is less than truthful when it comes to backing his managers. If Roberto was approached in the summer by another club with spending power - would he decline the offer or not? From the loyalty shown by him in the past it would seem that he would stay but if he begins to believe that he is flogging a dead horse he may have second thoughts.

But the truth of the matter is that BK is only interested in Everton staying in the top-half of the PL, he has no ambition for the club beyond that and every year that passes is a wasted one where we stay around the top 6 but cannot hope to improve upon it without proper investment and IMHO a negative spend on transfers into the club is not proper investment.

Tony Dove
037 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:54:10
Too many passes and no cutting edge. We have the ability to solve the first of these problems but not the other. Mirallas way too selfish. The real possibility of the Europa Cup is a nightmare as it would extinguish any chance of the top 4 next season.
Raymond Fox
038 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:47:52
There will be plenty twists & turns in the league yet, plenty of scratch your head results.

I thought we did brilliant in the 1st half, the passing was a delight, & when Spurs got the ball we immediately took it off them.
The idea is to score of course & we failed to do that, although Ossie had 3 or more decent chances.

In the 2nd half our intensity dropped & they came into the game, it was a very poor goal to give away.

We need find some form in front of goal quick though.

Brian Waring
039 Posted 09/02/2014 at 19:01:49
Agree Tony, whilst 4th is still on, the idea of the Europa league just doesn't appeal.
Patrick Murphy
041 Posted 09/02/2014 at 19:05:45
Are any other TW posters getting certain words highlighted in blue and a link to ""? I have adblock on and various other security measures but I can't seem to rid TW pages of this intermittent problem.
Brian Waring
043 Posted 09/02/2014 at 19:08:15
Everything fine for me Patrick.
Patrick Murphy
044 Posted 09/02/2014 at 19:10:24
Thanks Brian - I am still getting it, must be a browser problem at my end.
Noel Early
045 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:53:21
I didn't even need to log on here to know the reaction, the "blame it on Osman and Naismith" brigade are out in full force again.

Let's be honest: we didn't deserve to lose that game, a pathetic lapse in concentration by Barry in letting the free-kick be taken quickly, Distin falling asleep and playing Adebayor onside, Jagielka getting caught out by the diagonal ball, and Coleman maybe not getting round on the cover cost us a point.

We dominated a team that has spent a lot more money than us in the past couple of seasons. Yes, I understand the frustration about Martinez not buying a striker, but who would be available in January that would take us to the next level? Strikers like that don't come cheap either.

As for Naismith, I felt he led the line good in the first half, he set Osman up for our best effort that needed a world class save. Osman ran out of legs just like Pienaar did and they were both replaced by Barkley and Deulofeu who both were rubbish when they came on. I'm sure in future games these roles will be reversed and Osman will come off the bench like he did against Villa and set Lukaku up and won us a penalty against Stoke and turned the match around like last week against Villa. People seem to forget these contributions.

Mike Allison
047 Posted 09/02/2014 at 19:14:37
"Also Peter Warren TYVM for pointing out the lack of inswingers. It's driving me crazy!"

Driving me crazy too. We have too excellent set-piece takers and we're in more danger of conceding on the break than scoring from our own corners. Anyone know where to find stats of goals from corners in the Premier League?

John Quigg
050 Posted 09/02/2014 at 19:23:09
@Mike Allison. Totally agree, I actually created an account to discuss the corner issue. I can't think of any reason why Everton use outswingers other than to maintain shape. Surely however Baines's and Mirallas's positions can be covered when taking an inswinger.
Keith Young
056 Posted 09/02/2014 at 19:24:01
Well what a weekend. Nothing seemed to be going right. First Arsenal didn't deliver... then we lose through sloppy awareness. OFM cheered me up (look at the comments on Sky); at least something was going right. Arsenal HAVE to beat RS in the Cup, they have to beat Man Utd on Wednesday and Seurez has to bite off more than he can chew.

Meanwhile, we need a striker and McCarthy needs to play like Roy Keane.

Mick Davies
063 Posted 09/02/2014 at 18:29:17
Alex Ferguson took over a wealthy club, who'd just won the cup and had expensive players and a massive worldwide fan base. He was given 6 years before he actually achieved anything. Up to now, I've seen more criticism of Roberto Martinez on TW than Moyes had in his first 8 years. Some on here were expecting us to be fighting relegation, but because we're fighting for 4th spot, with a ridiculous injury crisis - plus on of the favourites to win the FA cup, they are unbelievably finding fault with a manager who is still finding his feet at the club.

Is it because they were wrong about their assessment that they have to keep up the stick? Well if they'd suffered the 1970s like a lot us did, I'm sure they would appreciate all the new boss is trying to do, and get behind him. I truly believe we're seeing a similar shift in the club to the early 80s and if a few cynics had got their way, HK would never have taken us to the great heights we scaled in our best period in this great club's history.

Christopher Kelly
066 Posted 09/02/2014 at 19:05:29
Re watching the game, we are not the better side. Again, possession doesn't mean a goddamn thing when there is no end product.

It's the little things – Naismith barging over the defender but not picking out Mirallas first time as I've seen so many players do; Mirallas trying to show boat and not playing in Naismith; Osman not able to convert yet again.

He had a decent volley but undercut it, the slice allowing the ball down. They had fewer chances but more quality chances. That's what matters.

It's not even the striker dilemma – it's the lack of directness that is killing us.

Dean Adams
068 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:16:04
Or, they got lucky Chris. Which is a more accurate assessment of how it went. Shit happens and not everything in life is fair.
Patrick Murphy
069 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:12:26
Mick, agreed... but I think it was slightly more than a few cynics who wanted rid of HK in the winter of 1983 and the attendances will testify to that. I wonder how many cynics attended Goodison in April 1985 when we played Bayern Munich?

Everton have always had a hard-core support of between 9 and 15 thousand who would watch the team anywhere and regardless of performances and results. But Everton have also had their fair share of shall we say fair-weather supporters who wilt at the first sign of things going pear-shaped and compare everything the club does to how another particular club is doing.

Christopher Kelly
070 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:15:45
Sorry, after today's result we're not catching Liverpool and that's that. And you know what? they're better than us... they deserve it.

If we fucking hate them so much, maybe we should have showed up. We had our chance but we took a shit...

Let's go for a cup run and Europa League because that's going to have to be our own personal Champions League until we start spending.

Peter Mills
078 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:11:33
Mick #063 - Well said.
Bill Gall
079 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:05:23
I cannot understand the people who are saying they do not want the Europa League next season. Are you suggesting that, even if it means the higher in the league you get the more money you receive, it is better to finish 7th or 8th rather than 5th?

No matter what position you finish, if you qualify for the Champions League or the Europa League, we will need a larger squad and that will require Mr Unreliable to provide financial aid. Believing that we will finish 4th next year is just speculating that other teams that have Chairmen who can provide money for their managers will not be better next season.

This season, there is only one team that has lost one game less than Everton so we still have a chance of a higher league place than we are presently at. To qualify for Europe will show a real sign of progress, no matter which European competition it is in. To finish 8th will show no improvement from previous years.

Michael Kenrick
082 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:33:48
Graham (#961) — seems I'm guilty (like many before me) of misquoting a line from a play by Joseph Addison (1713): "Swift and resolute action leads to success; self-doubt is a prelude to disaster."

Another source says early uses of the proverb related specifically to women. "When love once pleads admission to our hearts, the woman that deliberates is lost," wrote Addison.

A familiar saying in the twentieth century, "He who hesitates." was quoted by American novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs in 'Gods of Mars' (1912), Eugene O'Neill in 'Beyond the Horizon' (1920), and English novelist Wyndham Lewis in 'The Apes of the God' (1930). — From Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).

Key point being an increasing feeling that Roberto has been taking a little too long before acting to try and change the game. It was obvious within two minutes after the restart that Spurs had a new spring in their step... and, after five minutes, that whatever Sherwood had told them at the break was having far more influence on the game than what Roberto had put in our half-time cuppa. But it took until well past the hour mark for him to respond. With changes that proved ineffective.... but, if they'd been made earlier — crucially BEFORE Spurs' substitution — well, who knows.

Don't get me wrong: I love what he's trying to do overall, but it's this sort of indecision that loses games.

Colin Malone
083 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:41:45
Remember, its Roberto's first season in charge and for the first time since the 80s we are going to the likes of Spurs and we are all down because we never got a point.

That's progress.

Colin Glassar
086 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:53:14
Agree Colin. Most of us nowadays think we should beat Spurs at their place. Now that's progress.
Tore Fredlund
087 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:39:19
With Mick all the way! A few thoughts about today's game:

1. Martinez obviously thinking about the next games, and getting through them with more players to choose from. I think he is right. We will see Traore getting game time next week. Imagine playing Chelsea at Wembley without a fit Traore. Martinez has to get his introduction absolutely right.

2. Mirallas not playing Naismith as influential as falling asleep at their goal.

3. The next home games are vital. Winning them, and getting Barkley, Deulofeu, Traore and Lukaku fit, we could see the team peak again like they did in December.
4. It's a penalty.

Steve Cotton
089 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:46:24
With regard to the penalty, if that had been Stevie Gerrard running into the box just as Coleman did and was caught, do you think Clattenburg would have waved it away?

It wouldn't even be up for discussion, it would have been given.

That's the reason we didn't get a point in the end!!!

Well... that and our lack of a striker.

Wayne Smyth
093 Posted 09/02/2014 at 20:59:07
I read above that Spurs are an average side. They may well not have the individual brilliance of Chelsea or Manchester City, nor do they have a brilliant manager, but they do have about 15-20 really quality players that they bought with the Bale money.

Today could've gone either way and, up to their goal, I'd have said that we were the likeliest to go on and get the winner. Our players put in a real shift for the majority of the game too. Sherwood even had a little temper tantrum in the second half when we had them penned into their 18-yard area.

Fans need to have a bit of perspective and patience. I don't want Martinez to abandon his principles in search of 3 points today by chucking high balls into their box. I want him to have us being able to control matches, and get the maximum from our team in 2 or 3 years time, even at the expense of short-term results.

It will probably take a few years for the players to really understand what Martinez wants (and I'm certain he doesn't want laboured build-ups and sideways passing). It will probably take a few years for him to clear out those that can't and replace them with those that can.

Either way, I'm glad we've got a manager who has our long-term interest at heart, rather than being worried about his own reputation and damage limitation.

Robbie Muldoon
103 Posted 09/02/2014 at 22:33:54
Bill Gall: 079

What do you find hard to understand about the 'rather not' Europa League logic?

The cons:

It's SIX extra games before Christmas which are likely to disrupt the first half of the league fixtures in a negative way. Proof of the pudding this season? All three managers of the English sides have been sacked because of poor LEAGUE results... Villa Boas, Laudrup, Coyle.

We play on a Thursday night for Channel 5 or ITV4 with no financial benefit.

The squad has to travel to the back arse of Europe to places in east Russia, Slovenia and other shit holes before flying back and then travelling to Sunderland or London for a Sunday match.

It is a crippling competiton and serves the elite clubs as it diminishes the ability for clubs with top 4 ambitions like us being able to break the monopoly.

The pros
You can blag an away day to an eastern european brothel destination to your bird on the premis of watching the blues.

So Bill, I see your game you dirty get.

Ian Riley
106 Posted 09/02/2014 at 22:27:42
How can we be critical of the manager this season? He has been fighting the drop for years at Wigan. Fighting for a top four place and changing the style of football is too his credit. However, my concern is the direction of the club. At the moment it would appear the focus of the club lies in the community.

All on this forum understand the chairman's finances are not great and his love for the club is not in doubt but, come the summer, the manager will need serious finances to replace loaned players and build the squad numbers. The legacy of the board may lie in the work it does in the community and all credit to them but they must not lose focus on the pitch.

This summer will tell where the club is going under our manager. Sadly, I feel no more change and living in the shadow of the big spenders will continue. I do hope, in my lifetime supporting this great club, a billionaire will fly or ride in and let us compete for the title.

Sadly 5th, 7th, 8th in the league is the best we can hope for in the near future, as those with CL football will continue to widen the gap (rich v poor). The current top three will carry on spending and, if that team across the park get in, they will spend big to maintain their place.

Finally, we must get behind our manager; he needs time with his own players. At the moment, we lack pace in the midfield, the passing style implemented needs pace and we lack that at times going forward.

Best wishes all!

Si Cooper
110 Posted 09/02/2014 at 23:06:33
I agree the substitutions came a little late today as a few of the starters were definitely stalling at the hour mark.

I think the problem for the manager was that his bench was packed with outfield attacking players who are all somewhere short of match fitness, and that does make players more susceptible to picking up other injuries. So he waited as long as he could to see if Osman, Pienaar and Naismith could get something out of their reserves of energy but neither they nor their replacements could find a way past the massed ranks of the Spurs defence.

I thought Deulofeu and Barkley were both rusty and guilty of trying too hard, rather than simply poor, and McGeady again showed some nice touches and an appetite for teamwork.

James McCarthy was generally very good but I would still like to see him being a lot more attack minded when the opposition have gone defensive. It surely must be easier for him to lend his presence in and around the oppositions area and run back if they threaten to break than it is for Gareth Barry, and at times we need one of them to become primarily attacking for extended periods rather than fleeting moments.

Ian Tunstead
116 Posted 09/02/2014 at 23:56:46
How many times do I have to watch Osman NEARLY score, and to find good positions only for him to waste our good build-up play with his weakly attempted shots that trickle straight into the hands of the goalkeeper?

I thought we had finally realised Osman's most effective role in the squad only for Martinez to go right back to square one. It has become apparent that Osman's ideal use is to throw him on against the opposition as a substitute in the final 15-20 mins. That is when he is having is biggest impact on the team against tired legs.

Why oh why is he still starting at CM and even more infuriatingly being switched to the wings? Is it not obvious to anyone who knows anything about football that Osman is awful on the wings and his lack of pace is exposed time and again to great embarrassment.

It's just like the first few games of the season all over again; without a proper striker, we are going to struggle to score against any half-decent side unless it's from a set-piece.

We need to play Mirallas up front as Naismith is not quick enough and not direct enough and simply not good enough. He constantly runs out wide down blind alleys when there is lots of space to run into centrally which would put him through on goal.

When he did that step over and let the ball roll out of play, I was left in complete shock that a professional footballer in the Premier League was capable of such a lack of ability.

Michael Kenrick
134 Posted 10/02/2014 at 02:29:39
Can't argue with any of that critique, Ian.

I'm not an Osman fan by any means.

Naismith is a trier and I love to see him score... but that step-over — OMG indeed. Simply shocking.

Colin Glassar
136 Posted 10/02/2014 at 02:39:34
I watched the game (recorded) into the wee hours and I thought it was our best performance in a while. Far better than against Villa, rs, WBA etc... I still have big hopes for the rest of the season.
Michael Kenrick
139 Posted 10/02/2014 at 02:53:31
We're really still struggling with the injury crisis, Colin, and it has laid us low. But there was some really good play today at times. However, I can't fault a lot of the specific criticisms. As the game progressed, they became increasingly obvious — even to me!

I desperately want us to win every game, so when we do lose — which has been incredibly rare this season thanks to Roberto — it really hurts. Palace on Wednesday... no predictions from me!

Bill Gall
143 Posted 10/02/2014 at 03:16:00
Robbie (#103), I don't find anything wrong with the Europa League as a means of gaining experience in Europe. The point about finishing in 4th place and going into the Champions League is you have to play a qualifying round; loose that and you are back into the Europa League anyhow.

Everton are going to need a large squad regardless if they qualify for either competition and although I would like to see them in the Champions League, I still think if they only make it into the Europa League, it will gain them a lot of experience in Europe.

As far as me bragging about visiting brothels in Europe, as I presently live in Canada and am 73 years old, I don't think I will bother.

In case you just think I am just someone who supports Everton because I've seen them on TV or like their jerseys, I first started supporting Everton after playing at Goodison Park in 1953 and changing in the home team's dressing room.

Jimmy Byrne
158 Posted 10/02/2014 at 07:55:54
I finally got to see the game and I am gutted. Can someone tell me why we can get 65% of the ball and not turn it into goals? We continue to dominate teams but can’t turn it into enough wins.

I think Roberto has been fantastic and it’s the best football in years but no Plan B. Some games you just have to have an alternative to tika-taka and the WHL pitch was not the best for that today. We were lightweight again – all small guys (Pienaar, Osman) getting knocked off the ball too easily...

What I would give for a target man who can hold the ball up as an option when the short crisp passing is not working. I fear we have missed the top 4 bus and it’s Europa League... still, let’s hope we can keep the good cup run going.

Max Wilson
172 Posted 10/02/2014 at 09:25:57
NO PREMIER LEAGUE STRIKER! That's how we went to Spurs. Traore on the bench was a bluff — he's not ready yet, and probably won't be ready for Wednesday either.

We sold Jelly and loaned a crock. Naismith may be a Number 10, but he hardly touched the ball where it counted and his colleagues don't seem to trust him. The next 7 days could be as black as the weather.

Matt Traynor
175 Posted 10/02/2014 at 09:46:51
Max #172, West Ham also went to Tottenham with "NO PREMIER LEAGUE STRIKER!"
Paul Tran
178 Posted 10/02/2014 at 10:15:25
Ian Tunstead, nail...head! Osman is a good steady-the-ship sub for the last 30 mins when we're in front. Him and Pienaar can't last a full game, so it's folly to play both from the start.

During the window, I said we needed strikers and we got one... soon. A disappointing window. I'm all for getting rid of Jelavic as he wasn't good enough. I can only see the logic of a loan striker for a short-term push for 4th. Unless Traore turns out brilliant and we can keep him beyond the summer, I'm puzzled by this one.

Whoever ends up playing upfront, one question will define Martinez's time at Everton; How can he keep that generally excellent defence and midfield cover, while injecting pace and quick delivery into the final third?

If he solves that one, we break the ceiling. Let's see what he can do!

Brian Harrison
185 Posted 10/02/2014 at 10:34:22

You say it's folly to start Osman and Pienaar, yet it was only in the second half, when admittedly both tired, that Spurs got a look in. I don't know how short of fitness Barkley is but he started against Villa, gave the ball away for their goal, and was quite rightly taken off at half time. Then yesterday came on again, lost the ball again in midfield, and gave Defoe a chance of scoring.

As for the suggestion that Mirallas play as the main striker well against Villa, he kept drifting out to the wing and left nobody in the middle. I know he played up front for Olyimpiakos but he is definitely not the player to lead the line. Obviously Traore is not fit, even to come on for 15 minutes when were losing away, so I can't see him playing on Wednesday.

Despite all of this, we went away to a club that is fighting for 4th place and outplayed them for most of the game, so I don't think there is a lot wrong with our team.

Max Wilson
191 Posted 10/02/2014 at 11:11:18
Matt and Brian, Hiya toffee mates! It's been said so often now, so forgive me for quoting it at you and boring all the others in these discussions.


I'm so unoriginal, sorry. And to make things even worse, I have grave doubts about the quality of Lukaku — otherwise, he'd still be Mourinho's choice.

Andrew Hawes
206 Posted 10/02/2014 at 11:54:44
What has happened to Pienaar?? I know Osman gets it tough on this site but I have never seen a player age so fast in one season!! 20 minutes in and he looked completely fucked?? Can't pass the ball even sideways without giving it away and, on one of the many occasions when he fell over, I thought we were going to have to hire a crane to get him up!! One of my favourite players but his form is shocking!

Over the past few seasons, teams were doubling up at right back to oppose the threat of Baines & Pienaar with it being widely discussed that they were the best partnership in the league... I can't recall one goal that has come from their link-up play on the left — it's as if they're strangers!

Anthony Lamb
239 Posted 10/02/2014 at 13:48:55
Lots of conflicting views and assessments here in the light of the defeat at Spurs. On Wednesday evening. Arsenal play Man Utd and surely must respond to their mauling at Liverpool with a win? Spurs go to a very mercurial Newcastle who, in the light of recent performances, must surely put in a real performance at St James's Park?

Everton have a tricky game against an "upwardly moving" yet still eminently beatable Crystal Palace which they should be able to do? If results went as they very well could do, I wonder if it would change the tenor of much of the comments/analysis post Spurs? Oh and I wonder if Fulham could just have enough reserves of energy to spring a surprise against you-know-who?

All as we need is for one/some of the obscenely paid footballers at Everton to perform the essential task of football which is to put the damn' ball into the opponent's net more frequently than they do into yours!

Mike Keating
280 Posted 10/02/2014 at 17:29:58
As I posted earlier, Twattenburg was at fault for allowing the goal to stand and Richard Keys says the same;

This is the only referee I have ever complained to the FA about along with many others after THAT derby match. Maybe this is payback time!

Tommy Davis
352 Posted 10/02/2014 at 20:34:05
Wow, we really do have a lot of doom & gloom merchants on TW. Perhaps some, or even the majority, have had the proverbial knee-jerk reaction to yet another defeat (Is it really FOUR already?!?) by the Martinez Mob! We almost got the perfect start too, if only Ossie had managed to have put one of the four chances away.

One of the papers nailed it with this comment: "One of football's endearing oddities is that a side can be comprehensively outplayed both technically and tactically, yet still emerge victorious........"

I really, really, hate losing games (especially Derby matches); my insides squirm, I get depressed, become extremely moody, sulk.... the list is endless. And yes, I probably need help, but as I know a lot of Evertonians, I am far from being the only one. If there is a saving grace in all of this, I am not still living back in the 'Pool, suffering even more so, being around those lovable reds!!

Considering we have had such a lengthy injury list, I am surprised we are still in with a shout, I really am!! I honestly don't know of any other team that would have lost their key personnel and still be within touching distance?!? I also believe that, because of our well-deserved victory (for the first time in eons) at the Theatre Ov(iedo) Dreams, plus a tremendous effort at the Emmy Rats (Gooners), our ambitions have jumped up a notch or two & rightly so, IMHO... almost NSNO.

The one HUGE blip to many, was the fiasco at Anfield and, even with a depleted side, a lot of Bluenoses were expecting a win. instead, we were handed a mauling, similar to what the League leaders Arsenal strangely received too a few days ago; not sure what to make of those two games.... bad management by RM & Wenger... a fluke maybe (twice), a resurgent Red Shite, has Brenda finally sussed out teams that can play footy at Anfield?? ... I think he has, by playing like the away team and pressing the opponents very high up the pitch (not unlike Rush et al used to do, all those years ago) and also having two players that are in tremendous goalscoring form and one of THE essential things needed in today's game — PACE!! (Sorry, just threw up.)

On a side-note, the fact that the RS won the toss yet AGAIN @ home, for the umpteenth time, going back to the 60s... (Can anyone tell me how they defy the law of averages, by winning so many coin tosses, seriously.... HOW??)

What I can't fathom, is Arsenal lose a game and now their ability to win the league has diminished rapidly — according to the media. Last week, after the RS 'only' drew at WBA, the same media were debating if they could keep the 4th spot; one victory later — can the reds actually win the league?!? The media world has gone crazy — ask OFM at Cold Trafford; he will agree.... I think!?! I would like to add our wonderful club into the equation and say, let's give us a few more games to see how we do, before the really BIG knives come out (to a gunfight) to slice and dice the players, RM and any supporters that still actually back Everton Football Club.... in good AND bad times, no matter what, come hell or high water!!

It's a funny old game, as Greavsie used to say. I have to agree with him; just when you think you have sussed it... along come a very average footballing side, who thrash two very decent football teams... and suddenly, accolades and exaltations from high (Sky) are now bestowed upon them. Yet, after the same team lost to Hull City 3-1 back in December, the media came up with this beaut: "Brendan Rodgers claimed to draw inspiration from Coronation Street in a left-field eulogy to Britain's longest-running soap before kick-off. Managing a Liverpool team with all the vision and footwork of Alan Bradley as he careered into a tram on Blackpool promenade was not what he had in mind!!"............

Still a long way to go, boys & girls, no fat lady singing... yet it is very possible, we fall flat on our faces make some of our supporters happy. On the other hand, there is an outside chance we could grab that 4th spot; admittedly a long shot & it's dependent on what others do... but I would like to see when Barkley, Deulofeu, Coleman, Baines, Distin, Pienaar, Jagielka, McGeady, Lukaku, Traore & Alcaraz are all match fit (well most), maybe....... just maybe, we still have a chance. It might be too late for the above to happen, but it's still 13 League games to go.... not forgetting the FA Cup too?!?

A not so depressed Bluescouse!!

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