Roberto Martinez honoured the players that secured the club's fourth Premier League win on the bounce with that superb 3-0 victory at Newcastle on Tuesday evening, by selecting the same starting line-up for today's early kick-off at Craven Cottage.

Everton started with some attacking intent when Osman played Lukaku into the area, and Heitinga did well to force an early corner, repeated by Deulofeu. But they allowed Fulham to attack, Holtby shooting high and wide, then Kasami firing across Howard's goal. There was some disconcerting contrast in the speed at which attacks were developed by each side, Everton laboured... Fulham surprisingly speedy.

Longer forward balls were employed by Everton but they lacked accuracy. Riise forced a corner for Fulham, taken well by Holtby and some good blocking by McCarthy for another Fulham corner headed on by Hangeland and almost headed in by Kasami.

Deulofeu got some better ball and tried a couple of neat low crosses but then overcooked the stepovers after Lukaku failed to anticipate a great one-two with Coleman. Everton's passing was a little out of sorts, Distin needlessly floating a forward ball out of play, Osman easily dispossessed, Baines forced to hoof. Meanwhile, Fulham were getting some quality balls behind the Everton defence, Richardson forcing a good save by Howard as the game opened up.

Deulofeu again got to the bye-line with a great dribbling run, forcing a save at the other end and then more chaos in the Fulham area but the ball would not reach Lukaku as things went from end to end. Then, Everton statuesque as Holtby forced a one-handed save from Howard. Sidwell then bamboozled Barry and played a great ball forward but Howard was alert to it.

Everton were rattled by the unexpected fervour of play from their hosts, young Dembélé keen to make an impression while Coleman was getting booked for holding Richardson back. Lukaku and Barkley were seeing very little of the ball, while Fulham were happily lashing wild shots mostly off target of the Everton goal. Deulofeu released again, another long run, but again, no end-product, Fulham getting back in disciplined fashion each time. Barkley did finally get a shot in on Stockdale.

Kasamai was especially determined in picking Barry's pocket and powering in on Howard for another Fulham chance. Everton's defence was tested repeatedly in a difficult first half as they could not get control of the game against a hugely motivated Fulham side. Deulofeu delivered a fantastic ball in that Barkley and Lukaku could only watch flash across the Fulham area.

No pressing by Everton, who kept backing off, inviting Holtby to swing a beauty over to Dembélé at the far post, his header thankfully straight at Howard, to end a rather disjointed half for the visitors, while Fulham will be hugely disappointed their spirited play had not produced a goal.

Martinez was forced to make a surprising change at the break, Naismith on for Barkley, who suffered from a heavy challenge, and he combined well with Lukaku missing his low cross that forced an early Everton corner. But Naismith's touch was poor, although Deulofeu was winning corners and from one, Naismith fired through a crowd to score, although Kvist defected it past the post only for the recovering Stockdale to kick into his own net.

Naismith and Deulofeu combined well down the Everton right, the Spaniard centreing a peach for Lukaku at the near post but the big man was a yard behind it, Naismith then played a beautiful pass for Baines who put in a peach of a chipped cross set perfectly for Lukaku at the far post but the big man was yet again a yard behind it. Another sweeping attack by Everton, a great cross in from Deulofeu to Lukaku who was a yard underneath it.

Deulofeu again went on another crazy run, but could do nothing with it at the end, as Felix Magath decided to change things up for one final push, while Lukaku tried to power his way in, lost it, but then got a chance and saw Stockdale stick out a leg to deny him the goal.

Everton looked to have stabilized the game, until Heitinga wrestled Naismith to the ground to set the Fulham play that would end in an absolutely superb shot from Dejagah that flashed past Howard at the near post, an unstoppable shot, that meant Everton had to do it all over again.

Everton were in a real tussle now, as both sides attacked with determination and there was incident at each end, Howard saving point-blank from Heitinga's header right on the line, and then stopping a drive from Kasami. At the other end, McCarthy tried an acrobatic shot that fizzed across goal as the very even game.

McGeady almost his first touch on as sub, chested down a Howard clearance and swept the ball up to Mirallas who finally delivered a superb finish under pressure, squeezing his shot between Stockdale and the post, Fantastic stuff in a tremendous second of of all-action attaching football.

A terrific play by Everton saw McGeady work it to Lukaku, who fought off a defender to play in Naismith, and he seemed certain to score, but he could not beat Stockdale. Everton's passing was still letting them down at times but they kept playing the ball forward, looking for that third goal.... and it finally came, through tremendous fight and determination, the ball finally reaching Naismith to prod it past Stockdale this time, and send the 6,000 Everton fans behind the goal into raptures.

In the end, it was an excellent second half of football with Everton playing the way they should have in the first half, and producing a very fine victory that hopefully keeps the pressure up on Arsenal. Five wins in a row for the first time in 11½ years.

Scorers: Dejagah (71'); Stockdale (og:50'), Mirallas (79'), Naismith (87').

Fulham: Stockdale, Riether Y:23', Hangeland, Heitinga, Riise, Kvist (64' Woodrow), Sidwell, Kasami, Holtby, Richardson (64' Dejagah), Dembele (81' Roberts).
Subs not Used: Stekelenburg, Diarra, Kacaniklic, Bent.

Everton: Howard; Coleman Y:31', Stones, Distin, Baines; Barry, McCarthy; Deulofeu (68' Mirallas), Osman (77' McGeady), Barkley (46' Naismith), Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Garbutt, Alcaraz, Browning.

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 25,454

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Jim Bennings
995 Posted 30/03/2014 at 13:50:04
What's happened to our passing so far today?

I know it was always going to be hard to match Tuesday's performance but at the minute we have been terrible and your almost just waiting for a Fulham goal before we actually wake up.

We always seem to struggle against these relegation outfits, its not a one off but more a regular theme and this is going the same way.

Jim Bennings
996 Posted 30/03/2014 at 13:55:51
Shit is Barkley ok??

These are working their socks off at the minute.

Sometimes you wish one of Barry or McCarthy would just make a late run into that area to help Lukaku out at times, they are always way too deep.

Barkley is going off here limping bad, typical Everton, when we have a bad day we always do it in style don't we?

Trevor Lynes
997 Posted 30/03/2014 at 13:58:38
No Jagielka in the squad ????
Jim Bennings
998 Posted 30/03/2014 at 13:59:11
Come on Blues this is really poor, we are letting Fulham dictate the pace of the game way way too much.

Its just a matter of hoping they don't get a break and go 1-0 up because we don't look like we have goals in us today.

Lukaku has had no support whatsoever here, only Deulofeu has put one or two decent balls in, why are there no midfielders willing to try and get in the box and take a risk??

IT HAS TO BE BETTER!!

Ralph Basnett
999 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:03:10
Why are we always crap against the dross of the league and play well against the big clubs?

Why is their more dross than big clubs?

Why are we always the undercard to the shite?

Why is this game so boring that I find myself on toffeeweb.com rather than watching?

Why is Holtby controlling the midfield?

Why will we give Barry a new contract when the likes of Holtby may be available?

Why is Osman starting again?

Peter Jamieson
000 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:08:57
Get Deulofeu off, he's having a fuckin' 'mare.
Jim Bennings
001 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:07:30
Coming up to HT.

Martinez has to really get stuck in to us during the break because we have been shocking here against a team that has shipped 70 goals so far this season.

If Tuesday night was Everton at their best then today I am afraid has been Everton at our worst and a rapid return to our disappointing away form.

Worries me why when we have 5 midfielders there we have not seen more of the ball and why we have looked so sloppy.

Ralph Basnett
002 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:12:46
Jim 001, we don't have 5 midfielders we have 6 defenders, that is why they are dominating the midfield and our defenders are falling over each other!!!!!!!!
Jim Bennings
003 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:12:23
Peter

He has been frustrating but so far he has been the only one who has put a decent ball into the box.

McCarthy and Barry never take a risk and try to get a goal and Osman has been poor whilst Barkley has had one of those games when you think all the calls for a certain World Cup place are too soon and premature, Ross has to do it consistently at Everton first and he doesnt do that enough at the moment.

Lukaku needs some support

Ralph Basnett
004 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:16:46
Champions League? We're having a laugh!!!!!!!!
Peter Jamieson
005 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:17:18
We've got plenty of attacking midfielders on the bench. I'd like to see Mirralas or Naismith on if this carries on the same way after the break
Jermaine Jennings
006 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:18:03
That was dire every time this team is built up, they capitulate... Martinez really needs to evolve his tactics.

And why don't we press them in our own half? — it's pathetic.

Oliver Molloy
007 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:19:20
Do our players on the pitch in that first half really want Champions League football? If they do, then they have 45 mins to prove it —Simple!
Jim Bennings
008 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:29:14
The disappointing thing about Everton is every time we have expectations after some good results we always seem to put in an absoloute shocker of a display.

I know Fulham are fighting for their lives but lets face it they have conceded 70 goals and so far we have not even looked like testing their defence..

Barkley off at HT.. Lets hope thats not some kind of bone break.

Naismith on..

We have to start moving the ball about a whole lot quicker

Trevor Lynes
010 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:31:36
Fulham are much better and they have more desire so far. We are playing like strangers and there is no cohesion at all. We have been over hyped and some players are not putting a shift in at all.

Fulham are so poor and yet they have missed so many chances to take the lead. There has been no pressure at all on Heitinga or Stockdale. I really thought that we would expose the lack of pace in the middle of the Fulham defence but we are sluggish to say the least.

No one is working back to receive the ball out of defence and we must make changes at half time otherwise we are likely to lose never mind win. Sometimes I cannot watch them on TV in away games as they put the wind up me.

Jim Bennings
011 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:34:48
Does anybody else think Holtby has looked really energetic here?

I would definetly have the lad in my midfield I tell you that.

Barry has been great but cant last forever and likewise I love McCarthy but he never looks to get himself in a scoring position.

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

What a goal Stockdale lad.

Now come on Blues sort it these out

Alan McGuffog
013 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:03:26
Doesn’t matter who the coach is, until we develop some mental toughness — ie, win when we are capable of winning — we shall remain a small club.
Alan McGuffog
014 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:16:30
Never in any doubt.
Jim Bennings
015 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:19:17
Naismith again eh lads??

Unstylish but damn useful.

Alex Trevalyn
016 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:25:30
Great subs..Well done COYB
Anthony Jones
017 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:23:54
Osman slow, gave the ball away repeatedly, looked tired. He nearly finally blew our season out of the water today. Mirallas or Mcgeady need to start against Arsenal.
Peter Bell
018 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:23:19
A man comes down from Kilmarnock as a striker, is continually brought off the bench to play wide right midfield, and on this website got continually called the worst player to ever wear an Everton shirt. I got slated for posting 50 worse players, eg, Milligan, Rehn, Biley, Angell etc... and said all his critics had never been watching Everton for very long. To all the Naismith critics, hang your heads in shame... he isn’t even in the worst 200.
James Bourne
019 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:28:57
Maybe the half time whingebags should keep it zipped till the end in future.
Patrick Murphy
021 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:30:24
Great 3 points and we had that bit of luck when we needed it. I honestly thought when they equalised we were going to throw it all away but well done lads.

Jim Bennings are you aware of the live forum? - you can post to your hearts content on there during the match and people will reply to your views and exclamations.

Darryl Ritchie
022 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:31:25
Hey Phil, the tinker man tinkered pretty good, eh?
Brian Hennessy
023 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:30:42
Naismith was brilliant when he came on, changed the game, McGeady too did really well but I have to say John Stones was OUTSTANDING today. His use of the ball and his defending was top class.

I have no doubt this kid Stones will be one of the best signings Everton have made this decade

Anto Byrne
024 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:25:16
Right lads just contain them in the first half and keep it 0-0. Well done boys not pretty but effective. Okay now we go for it in the second half and Naisy you’re on for Barkers who has a knock. Terrific second half boys and Stonesy — who do you think you are, Franz Beckenbaur?
Paul Ferry
025 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:36:54
And those people saying what 48 hours ago that 4th was not on!

MotM-1 — 6,000 Everton fans in the Putney End and the other hundreds in the stands on the sides;

MotM-2 — John Stones. Poised. Classy. Top-drawer distribution and to cap it all strong at the back.

MotM-3 — Bobby Martinez, whose savvy nous turned it round in the 2nd 45 – my word, an enforced half-time sub when did that last happen?

Man of the Second Half! — the Loch Nais Monster, whose touch is excellent and is always trying to release the ball as quickly as possible. (All three subs had big impacts – with McGeady we look so much better with forward options on the right.)

A reason not to be as cheerful as the above suggests. Not just the horror show first 45 but – Stones apart – how poor we looked at the back. Was anyone else driven total nuts by the passing across the back and Howard not hoofing which several times led to losing possession in the first third? And I’m sorry, Mocky, but Ossie was looking poorer with each passing 10 minutes. Not gonna knock the gaffer because he got each sub right except that Ossie probably should’ve come off earlier. His passing was woeful – compared, for instance, with that Loch Nais’s astonishing defence-slicing pass.

Deulofeu looked dangerous even in the first half and it would be an absolute treat to have him next season but I thought that we looked more of a threat once all the subs had been made. That, however, was in large part due to beefing up the right. Before McGeady came on, we looked weak on the right compared to the tricks and pace on the right.

We will beat Arsenal next week. This time next week, we will be one point behind them with a game in hand and a better goal difference and all the momentum of an express train with six on the bounce.

Bobby, manager of the month without a shadow of doubt.

COYB

Ernie Baywood
027 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:35:41
I think we had good reason to whinge at half-time. At the moment, we seem to be playing in 3rd gear and winning games with moments of quality. That’s only a half-complaint — I’m happy we’ve got the quality! Today’s game reminded me of top teams coming to Goodison in years past — us playing well and losing. It’s not unfair: quality players win matches.

Waiting for us to really hit form. We can beat anyone in style on our day, and there are some crackers coming up at Goodison.

Phil Walling
028 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:34:17
He didn’t half, Darryl! Inspired substitutions – all of them – and whilst Lukaku stunk the place out, they had to be.

And what about Stones? Truly magnificent.

Even I’m beginning to think we can challenge ’the big boys’!

Well done, Roberto!

Steven Pendleton
029 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:37:36
Darryl Ritchie 022, great call. Phil are we still good for seventhish?
Julian Wait
030 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:39:38
Re: Stones...

Stones has looked exposed over the top, at CH, in more open games recently, but the compactness of the pitch at Fulham made that less of an issue today. One or both of McCarthy and Barry have looked tired in multiple games since the New Year. Barry is on a suspension for another yellow.

If Jags is fit, and *if* needed, we could push Stones forward into midfield next to McCarthy or Barry i.e. suspension (Barry) or tiredness or whatever. Better than any other makeshift option we have in the middle perhaps?

Neil Mulhearn
031 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:41:16
60 points in March and a good shout for the CL, turning out to be a great season...

It’s going to be hard over the next few games, but at least we go into April with a chance of progressing the club, and it’s in our own hands. I wasn’t sure Bobby was the right choice, but I’m loving being proved wrong

Daniel A Johnson
032 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:44:08
Easy to see when played in the correct position how useful Naismith can be.

Also easy to see how the cult of Nikica Jelavic was born, he had Naismith behind supplying the bullets. His movement was awesome today, reminds me of a Scottish Paul Scholes.

Matt Muzi
033 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:38:13
Great victory today, inspired substitutions, Naisey’s best game for us I thought, very positive play from him and some brilliant passes and movement.

Agree with Brian@23 Stones was brilliant today, I have high hopes for him, reminds me of Adams the way he moves and passes the ball.

Onwards and upwards!!

Wayne Smyth
034 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:40:16
Brian, couldn’t agree more about Stones. One of the best performances I’ve seen by a central defender in a while and he’s generally has done well in all the games he’s played. I really love the way he brings the ball out and never panics.

People shouldn’t underestimate how much that ability is worth. If you don’t panic, you don’t give the ball away, everyone remains calm and can play football. The opposition is demoralised.

Distin, while a good defender, practically invites the opposition to work hard and pressure us because he is not comfortable on the ball.

Also, teams like Fulham can be very dangerous when facing relegation; as Chelsea found out yesterday. They worked really hard today and made it difficult. Howard kept us in it several times, but I think we had superior finishing and forward play and took most of the chances that came our way.

Main thing I wasn’t happy with was the first half where there appeared to be a lack of effort on our part. Team looked like they had nothing to play for and that is one sure way to lose a game.

Mark Frere
036 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:53:24
Excellent win. Lets be honest, we were dreadful first half and rode our luck but second half we showed what we are all about. So many great individual performances out there today. Young Stones was terrific and is reaping the rewards for the faith Bobby has shown in him, some of his long range passes from the back were outstanding.

Deulofeu was a constant menace throughout the game - he’s still very raw and has the tendency to over-do things at times and not pick the right pass but he was very threatening and put in some delicious crosses. I only wish our players would gamble and attack his crosses a bit more.

Naismith deserves a big pat on the back for today’s display. His abismal performances stuck out on the right wing are becoming a distant memory - he’s so much more effective more central. Although not blessed with the most technical ability in the world - he has proved he can be very effective and certainly has a eye for a goal.

McCarthy worked his socks off as usual and made some crucial tackles. A player with his energy and drive should never be under-valued.

Fantastic run we are on and makes top 4 a realistic reality. Bring on Arsenal. COYB.

Andy Osborne
037 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:49:58
RM played the same team that started against Newcastle, we held our own but didn’t do anything special in the first half. He saw that and made changes in the second half, all the subs had a hand in the goals and we won 3-1. Well done Roberto. One of your best games as a manager this year.
Julian Wait
038 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:52:15
As for Howard, he has (rightly at times) taken stick in recent seasons for mistakes, not coming off his line and even being beaten easily from distance, but he’s in the form of his life right now and you have to give him credit for that. My US friends over here are loving it and it gives them some hope ahead of Brazil, of at least being competitive. Put it this way, I would take Howard over any English keeper right now for Brazil ...
Shahul Hameed
039 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:52:02
Great result today. Game-changing substitutes. Glad Naismith got the appraisal today.
Tommy Coleman
040 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:54:14
Some fools do like to rush in.

Another good result. Keep the pressure on Toffeess!

Paul Olsen
041 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:53:18
Next up, our cup-final.

One more shot at proving that we don’t always bottle it when it matters the most.

COYB!

Phil Roberts
042 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:53:07
Stones was brilliant. Great spot by RM to sign him.
Paul Tran
043 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:51:04
Shall we have a whip-round for Phil? Looks like we’ll finish higher than 7th.

Presumably Martinez smiled at them sweetly at half-time and we came out and performed?

Stones had a great game today. I’ve said it before, if you play kids, you have to be prepared for the odd stinker. He won’t learn how to be a Premier League player on loan in the Championship.

Naismith is benefitting both from being played in his proper position and from the better quality play around him.

Lukaku was poor today.

Martinez has learned quickly from his mistakes in bringing injured players back too early. We now have the opportunity to bring on fresh legs and ideas when the other team is getting tired.

No plan B? Definite relegation? Fear for our future? Not me......

Paul Thompson
045 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:49:49
Another game of two halves. We just haven’t got the overall quality to dominate a whole game. But we have enough resilience and quality in parts to keep on winning. It’s not just the positive substitutions from RM, it’s that bit of rotation and horses for courses. Naismith was a revelation today. Is there a better player on our books for intelligent movement? McGeady also looked very good when he came on. Some praise should be put Howard’s way as well. Has really saved our bacon at times on this run-in.
Phil Walling
046 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:00:03
Phil Roberts. He didn’t - Moyes did !
Joseph Foster
047 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:01:35
Ha ha fuckin loved it
Mark Frere
048 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:58:46
I don’t agree with the people who thought Lukaku was poor today. He showed some great footwork at times and had a shot superbly saved by Stockdale. I really don’t know what game some people were watching!
Phil Walling
049 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:04:48
Mark, Romelo had one of his all too frequent ’lazy’ games where he’s a yard off the pace and gets in the way of more assertive attackers. Can only be because he thinks his ball skills are better than they are. He should concentrate on what he does best. Scoring goals!
Drew Shortis
050 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:59:20
Great second half display. Showed some real tenacity. The subs were exactly right and young Stones had another great game. Really positive outlook for the future with European football looking increasingly likely, youngsters coming through and Martinez will having money to spend. We can also expect Oviedo, Gibson and Kone back in the side next term.

I have been looking ours and Arsenal’s remaining fixtures and I think Champions League is just out of reach, even if we beat the Gooners on Sunday. We still have Man Utd and Man City to come to Goodison plus tough away games at sides fighting for survival. Other than their visit to Goodison, Arsenal have five very winnable games and in my predictions they will finish on 79 points to our 76. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but I’m not going to get carried away. 5th place and Europa will still be a magnificent achievement for Roberto’s first campaign!

Joseph Foster
051 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:07:55
Never in doubt for me, that win.
Jack Wilkinson
052 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:08:32
Lukaku unfortunately isn’t great at picking passes and he often dribbles too long but if you give him a chance in the box he will generally score it. He was unlucky with a half-chance today but I think people are too harsh on him. Hope we keep him next season.
Jack Wilkinson
053 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:10:41
Naismith though, best free transfer ever?
Brian Waring
054 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:10:10
We started to play football and raised our game a couple of gears, we then made Fulham look the shite team they really are.
Peter Bell
055 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:05:49
Where have all the Naismith critics disappeared to? I could see a player in there, it was the manager who was the problem. RM has played this lad in his rightful position and we are now seeing what he is capable of doing.

I watched this guy playing up in Scotland, and was screaming for OFM to play him in his best position. Worst player to ever wear a blue shirt? My Arse.

Paul Mackie
056 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:09:27
Phil W - Whilst Moyes may have signed Stones, Martinez also tried to sign him for Wigan. If I was conspiracy theorist I’d say that Moyes maybe even signed him for Everton at RMs request since he knew he was leaving for the Man Utd job.

But that’s pretty ludicrous.

Brian Waring
057 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:13:12
Phil, Martinez may not have signed him for us, but he could see what Stones had, because he tried to sign him for Wigan, but Stones decided to join us.
Mark Frere
058 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:09:36
Don’t agree Phil, what about the chance he set-up for Naismith. He can’t set the world on fire every game; I actually thought he made some good contributions today.
David Greenwood
059 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:18:27
Quite right Peter, 055. Played in his right position, free from injury and clearly happy at his work with a manager who trusts him.
Lee Simpson
060 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:18:39
Great headline. Naismith was superb today. Made up for him as he has taken a lot of abuse in the past. That’s not the first game he has won for us this season and it wont be the last.
Jamie Tulacz
061 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:23:11
Brian — exactly, and would Moyes have actually played Stones even with all the injuries at centre-back, given his lack of trust in youth?
Jack Wilkinson
063 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:27:06
Moyes may have signed Stones but had he still been in charge today it would have been Heitinga playing CB
Phil Roberts
064 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:25:33
Michael Kenrick – don’t believe all the rubbish you read on the BBC.

It is not 12 years and the pre-Moyes era since we won 5 on the bounce - for the pedants, it is 11½ and it was post OFMs arrival and it ended up as 6 on the bounce – the year of the magnificent 7th.

Do we remember those days when 7th was a magnificent achievement?

Phil Walling
065 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:29:27
Have to agree about Stones. I’ve always thought both Moyes and Roberto knew who they’d be managing this season as long ago as Xmas 2012.

One thing is for certain, Stones would never have got the chances he’s been given had Moyes remained our manager and would probably have been shipped back to Barnsley on loan by now!

As for Naismith, I’ve been wrong about a player before. I didn’t think Rodney Belfitt was up to it!

Peter Bell
066 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:36:06
I think a learning point from today is, Oviedo baby at left back and Leighton at left mid. Thought, today Bainesy was woeful defensively but great again going forward.
Phil Walling
067 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:37:15
Hey, Phil, don’t get cocky - it still might be. Though not if Spurs play like they are doing against The Shite!
Ray Roche
068 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:43:24
Phil, Moyes DID know that he was United bound December 2012. You’re right about Bellend, too.

Right, off to Spain now, see you for the Arsenal game.

Peter Bell
069 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:39:17
Phil Walling, how could you and all the other Naismith critics not see the lad was being played out of position for the last ten minutes of every game by OFM? Every man and his dog knew the position he played when up in Scotland, and it wasn’t wide right for the last ten minutes.

All these people jumping on the Naismith bandwagon now, hang tour heads in shame. I have watched some shit players in my time as an Evertonian and those who said he was the worst ever, could only be aged 10 or under.

Michael Kenrick
071 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:49:27
Okay, Peter Bell, that’s enough now, please. You’ve made your point but your ’told you so’ crowing is becoming obnoxious.

Naismith has had plenty of games where his performance was underwhelming, to the say the least. Great that the lad played so well today and produced the goods... although notably NOT as a first-choice — even under Roberto Martinez.

And Phil (#064) "12 years" is hardly ’rubbish’ — it’s just less accurate than "11½ years". But it happened last in 2002; now it’s 2014. Do the (simple) maths and you come up with "12 years".

Phil Walling
072 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:49:46
Peter, I’ve always insisted Bernie the Bolt was the worst I’ve seen in an Everton shirt in my 52 seasons of watching!
Kieran Kinsella
073 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:52:25
I know we won six in a row in Moyes’s first full season. I vividly remember zany ecstatic Radzinski being interviewed about the run after the WBA game
Jim Knightley
074 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:47:21
We were awful first half... but did much better during the second. Naismith changed the game, and simultaneously demonstrated the possibilities of an on-form attacking central midfielder. Sometimes that’s Barkley, and sometimes it isn’t, and I think we have a real chance of improving the team with the right player in the whole, although any purchase would obviously impact on Barkley’s development.

We did not play well again today in general... but if we win it does not matter. We are seeing the benefits of impact substitutions, a liberty denied to us by financial restrictions for so long. Mirallas, McGeady and Naismith especially all made an impact, and gave Fulham something else to think about.

We must be better against Arsenal though, and get the first goal. I will reiterate that I do not think we will get 4th... but will keep dreaming, and hope that the reality becomes more and more tangible with each passing game. The Arsenal game is massive next week... it is our season definer. With the fixtures they have to come (and we have), we must win it I think.

Well done Martinez. It is fantastic to still in the race for Champions League going into April. How much more fantastic if we can still be in the race going into May?

Terry Davies
075 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:38:38
Love it! Knew we needed subs second half but surprised at what Robbie did: thought, "what the hell?". Surprised Osman stayed on as long as he did – and I’m not an Osman knocker – but am beginning to think RM knows more about all this than I... strange but brilliant.

Stones was awesome and given that RM said last week that Jagielka is "100% fit" he’s keeping out of the team our captain and current England centre-half. As for Naismith, I agree with many comments earlier that he was bought as a central player and used on the wing – something Moyes got totally wrong.

Jim Knightley
077 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:57:51
And Phil... why does an Everton victory have to turn into a Moyes critique? Moyes brought Stones to the club, just as he brought Coleman and Oviedo too. He deserves credit for that, and I’m glad to see that we are deriving the benefits now.
Ben Jones
078 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:49:31
That pass from Naismith to Baines was phenomenal, didn’t know he had that in him!!

Thought we were lucky to win today, a better attacking force would have beaten us 5-2!! But we showed the class and the subs were great. Good sign as well still winning games when not playing well.

That Arsenal game is going to be a good one, can’t wait!!

Wayne Smyth
079 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:59:23
Jim, "financial restrictions"?

Only the restrictions imposed by OFM. Roberto by comparison has decided to:

a) Sell deadwood.
b) Use youth
c) bring in loans and cheap transfers like McGeady

Our turnover has not changed relative to our peers; if anything we’re facing more teams with vastly higher wealth each season and we’ve made a profit in transfer dealings in both Martinez’s transfer windows.

But I would agree with you that we now have vastly higher quality from the bench when needed. The kind of quality to change games... and we still have half a team out injured.

Michael Kenrick
081 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:08:57
That pass by Naismith was excellent, Ben. I think in my report I conflated it with McGeady’s splendid pass right to Mirallas’s feet after his Fellaini-esque chest-down. Everything was happening so fast in that second half... I think I need to watch it again.
Harold Matthews
082 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:07:26
Wayne. Your Martinez abc is spot on. It’s the way he likes to work.
Mike Powell
083 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:25:42
That was nerve-racking but it is another 3 points. We were awful today; against a better team, we would off been hammered. How bad was Deulofeu today? Naismith and McGeady changed the game. We have been lucky in the last few games besides the Newcastle game... we carry on like that, we are going to get tonked by someone.
Paul Kelly
084 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:15:58
Rode our luck, turned out fine in the end. Never thought I’d see a game were Naismith was a fucking revelation, but I just have. Unbelievable, few more of them and Ii’ll be turned. Right position? Right manager? Just may make all the difference. Good rotation/subs and it paid in dividends.

Loved every minute of it — apart from the first 47 mins.

COYB

Gavin Fennessy
085 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:20:16
I have been looking at the remaining fixtures for Arsenal and ourselves and my hard-headed evaluation is that we will probably end up 2-4 points short of Arsenal. Crucial that we take all 3 points next week as even my most optimistic match result predictions have us falling short if we fail to beat Arsenal! If we do beat the Gooners it will go down to the wire and maybe GD will decide 4th!

It is great to be in with a shout at this stage of the season as it did feel it was drifting away from us in January and February. When you think of the points we left behind this season, we could have been so easily in the shake-up. That is a serious achievement when you look at the resources and depth of our squad against those around us in the League.

Sure we do look toothless at times (first half today) but we are picking up results and using our squad so so much better than in previous seasons. Epitomised by a great substitute performance (and attitude) from Naismith today.

Ian Glassey
086 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:19:19
Roberto said things would be good in the last 10 games, and he has got it spot on up to now. Very big game coming up on Sunday, play the team that finished and lets go for it.

I think this is the last place Wenger will want to be on Sunday, its in there hands and they can lose it COYB. And a word on Stones — that lad is going to be one of the best centre-backs we have ever had.

Andrew Hawes
087 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:30:28
Yes, was thinking that today, Wayne. Normally we are out on our feet at this stage of the season. But we now have a freshness in the side that we haven't had before. Players like Mirallas, McGeady on the bench and Jagielka, Pienaar to return.

Add Kone and Gibson next season and we have a very healthy looking squad. It's now or never for Champions Leauge in my opinion, though. We have momentum and we have to go for it!!

Kieran Riding
089 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:41:50
Gavin #085.
I've done the same thing looking at the fixtures.

I worked out that a last minute Yobo header for Norwich against a Arsenal in the final game got us into the Champions League though!

Paul Tran
090 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:38:28
With the goal difference, we are effectively 5 points ahead of Spurs with a game in hand. With 'ordinary guy'/arsehole Sherwood's meltdown looking inevitable, will Man Utd be our main rivals for 5th place?

If we win our games, we finish 4th, though I'm expecting a few ups and downs between now and May. If Chelsea win the Champions League, will we qualify by finishing 5th?

Next Sunday should be interesting. We know Arsenal are capable of bottling big games – this is our chance to shine on the big day!

Sam Hoare
091 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:35:45
We will certainly have to play a lot better to get 3 points against Arsenal but you can only beat what is in front of you.

Stones's ability to bring the ball out of defense is exciting though his positioning and anticipation need improvement. McCarthy was everywhere and McGeady again looked effective in his cameo. Naismith making the naysayers look nonsensical.

Huge game next weekend and some interesting selection questions for RM. Stones or Jags? Mirallas or Del Boy? Osman or Naismith in the hole (if Ross in injured)?

Wayne Smyth
093 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:56:17
Sam, I'd put McGeady, Deulofeu and Mirallas behind Lukaku with Deulofeu in the middle where he can cause some serious damage. Give Ross a rest and go with the usual suspects everywhere else.

Shane Corcoran
094 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:00:26
The one good thing about Liverpool's win today (the only one) is I remember the Spurs fans giving Naismith a lot of shit when he came on at WHL. I hope they enjoy his performance on MotD tonight.

As for the game, I thought Distin had a 'mare in the first half. Agree that Naismith changed the game, as did the other two subs to a lesser extent.

I'm finding Everton's games as the definition of the term fine lines in football. At 1-1 we could have conceded very easily but, not for the first time, things swung in our favour and it looks comfortable. It's all very exciting and great when we win but it'd have been nice to have put Fulham away at 0-1. I thought there was a little bit of complacency.

I still think Arsenal are favourites for 4th but what a climax we've unexpectedly ended up with.

Jim Knightley
095 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:54:50
Wayne... Part of the reason we have such a good squad now, despite our financial restrictions, is because of the players Moyes brought in. As stated before, Moyes brought in Coleman (£60,000), Stones (up to £3mil), Oviedo (£2mil-ish) (I mentioned these purely because of a previous reference to the younger players doing well at the club), not to mention a string of other players below value.

I'm not quite sure how me making a comment about financial restrictions limiting this club has turned into a critique of Moyes again? It seems poignant to state, in spite of this Martinez love fest (which I partly prescribe too), that only McCarthy of the permanent signings have really impressed. Martinez has used the loan market superbly, better than Moyes, but Moyes also brought some players to this club on loan (Arteta and Pienaar for instance).

Again... we cannot we celebrate the win without referring to Moyes? It would take the utmost stupidity to ignore the effects of Moyes on this Everton team, who whether you like the man or not, transformed us from a bottom 7 team to a top 7 team without a transfer budget. His defensive legacy in particular is evident, and he has laid foundations which Martinez is building on, and can hopefully continue to build upon.

I'm glad we have Martinez... because he inspires a positivity in stark contrast to the dour Moyes. I like the football better in general, and respect his willingness to give the younger players a chance. I also think we have more chance of winning a competition under Martinez. But I still respect Moyes for what he did at this club (not after he has left it), and I really do not understand why he is continually brought up in these forums everytime we win.

Mike Gaynes
096 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:16:12
NBC just pointed out that this makes nine goals this season for Roberto's second-half subs... second only to Chelsea. If you count overall impact, Martinez has to be the sub-master.

NBC also showed a photo of Bainesy after the game... alone outside Craven Cottage... buying an ice cream from a truck. Regular fella.

Trevor Lynes
097 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:13:39
The subs made all the difference and our first half was absolutely dire. If we do not up our game against Arsenal we will suffer.

Luckily Fulham were poor in front of goal in the first half otherwise we would have been behind at the break.

Our defence were pumping high balls to Lukaku who could not compete against Hangelande in the air. If all their centre back had to do was head the ball they would not be in trouble.

The 2nd half was played at a much higher tempo and the passing improved to the extent that Fulham looked a poor side.

We can decide the championship if we get past Arsenal and get points against the better sides in the league.

I know that by us having a great run in will be helpful to Liverpool, but we want championship football next season and that’s what I hope for.

This board will have to spend money on decent players if we make European qualification which will make us a far better team.
I want to see a conveyor belt of continued success not just a one season piece of excitement.

Wayne Smyth
098 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:10:05
Jim, I'm not one of the ones who give Moyes no credit; among many superb things he did, he did indeed sign some fantastic players who were great value and he also inherited Barkley from our academy.

Unfortunately he chose not to give those players much of an opportunity, and would play poor quality loanee's, players out of position, or out of form pro's, ahead of youngsters, in most instances. He would refuse to get rid of players unless absolutely forced into a corner. £8M turned down for Saha, particularly stands out as a bad decision. All of these decisions have an impact on our ability to have a strong and deep squad.

Its because of this that I take exception to your comment about the fact that we were denied a strong bench by financial restrictions. Those restrictions did exist, and still exist, but Martinez has simply made better use of what resources we have, including our young players, the loan market, a willingness to sell players and therefore we no longer have a weak squad.

So, in answer to your question, I'm more than happy to celebrate today's win without mentioning Moyes, but not happy to accept the idea that somehow a club of our financial means is unable to field a strong team and bench. If you don't have the finances to go out and spend £50M you simply need to be more flexible and make compromises.

P.S, I think McGeady looks to be a top quality signing; probably more so than McCarthy, given McCarthy's considerable fee.

Colin Glassar
104 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:40:39
I’ve just got home, after spending the afternoon with the missus and a bunch of other females for Mothers Day, and still haven’t seen the game. It’s always nice to watch the Blues knowing the score, so I will put my feet up and enjoy the recorded match.
Chris Sillett
105 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:37:42
I admit, when I saw Naismith had replaced Barkley, I had a sigh and a grumble... but I really have to stop doubting Naismith's ability as he's a far better footballer than he gets credit for. He was excellent today and totally changed the game for us.

Well done to Roberto once again for his match-inning substitutions! McGeady and Mirallas were both excellent but my MotM was John Stones – everything he did oozed class... and he's only going to get better with experience!

Mark Dunford
109 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:33:45
I thought Howard was our MotM today. His saves throughout the game laid the foundations for what was ultimately an impressive win. The subs all made a difference and each one contributed significantly. It wasn't too surprising that an ageing Fulham team tired.

Stones looks like a tremendous prospect and I wonder how anyone could justify dropping him in favour of Jagielka. I've a lot of time for Jags who has played really for a long time but Stones is simply looking too good to leave out on the basis of today, Tuesday and the previous few games. Heaven knows what this means for England and the World Cup.

One version of the spine of Everton's current side – Stones, Barkley, McCarthy and Lukaku – is very young and bodes well for the future. I hope Lukaku stays but somehow see him drifting abroad when he finally leaves Chelski.

We really need to beat Arsenal next week and hope they slip up in the games against the relegation teams. We have a tricky set of fixtures ahead.

Jeff Beaumont
112 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:31:46
Question:

Why does Coleman, when he gets the ball, now for some reason, 9 times out of 10, turn around & play the ball backwards?

Patrick Murphy
113 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:04:27
Jeff, I was constantly screaming at him throughout the match and it wasn’t until KM came on that he started moving forwards; perhaps he doesn’t trust Del Boy to cover him – not that KM does that too well either.

We mustn’t forget that Craven Cottage has not been kind to Everton down the years and I think that is only our third victory there in nearly 50 years so it was always going to be tough.

I don’t really care how we win at this stage of the season just as long as we do. Come On You Blues!

Ian Bennett
114 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:20:08
John Stones is going to be class. So wish we could keep this side together...
Ray Said
115 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:19:48
Is 4th a CL place or a place in the qualifiers?
Kieran Riding
118 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:27:17
Ray.. Qualifiers I believe..

Bound to get some jarg Russian outfit that has already started their season if we get through..

Frank Crewe
119 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:27:33
Qualifiers. We'll have to get past someone to get into the actual group stage. Hopefully we'll have better luck, not to mention a better referee, than we had last time.
Mike Hughes
120 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:28:19
Ray #115 - it's a place in the qualifiers I think.

Anyway, Paddy Power have us at 3/1 to finish in the top 4 while the Arse are 2/7.
Next week's game is a "must win".
I hope Barkley's OK - didn't he limp off at some point?

Also, I desperately hope the Hammers get a result next week as my cursing and swearing is starting to upset the neighbours. Spurs basically bent over and dropped their shorts at Anfield today.

Stuart O'Malley
121 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:35:33
If Stones gets the nod for the Arsenal game, and continues to impress for the rest of the season, keeping Jags out of the side, will R Hodgson have to take young John to Brazil?

I find the hyperbole by the media & "pundits" over any decent young English player to emerge quite amusing but, after Stones's performance today, they should be going nuts over this lad.

I think he showed some real promise today with a performance I can only describe as old-school, high-quality, sweeper style you just don't really see any more.

Okay, Fulham are not the best opposition, but that was a great game by a lad with a limitless future.

And I thought McCarthy was immense today; his lung must be absolutely on fire after he plays.. Never stops.

Kieran Riding
122 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:34:05
Mike Hughes..
Andy Carroll !!

It's on.

Mike Hughes
124 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:37:24
Kieran – good shout. That would be sweet. Might have a fiver on that.

(Mind you, the rs are that spawny Carroll will probably put one into his own net in the last minute of injury time.)

Kieran Riding
125 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:44:24
No Mike... If anyone will slot an OG it will be that gobshite Nolan. He'd even run off doing that frigging funky chicken dance.
Neil Pickering
126 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:38:10
I'm not worried about the Arsenal game, it's Southampton and Hull away, and Man City at home that worry me. We are having a great season, but no way will we get top 4. Have you seen Arsenal's remaining fixtures compared to ours?
Mike Hughes
127 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:45:53
... forgot about him.
I'm saving me fiver.
Amit Vithlani
128 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:33:04
Delighted with the win as it sets up next week's clash beautifully.

All the pressure next week is on the Arse. If they screw up CL qualification it could be curtains for Wenger. They have to win, and as the underdogs no one will be expecting much from us. This seems to be confirmed by the bookies odds.

We need a hostile atmosphere at the Old Lady, and for once RM needs to charge up the players for a blood and thunder approach.

We also owe them for the FA cup mauling. Looking forward to the game and the undoubted tension the Gooners will be feeling.

Jamie Barlow
129 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:43:29
Stones looked the best of a bad bunch of defenders today but I wouldn't say he had a good game. I'll give him credit for looking the most comfortable bringing the ball out from the back but the defending by all our defenders was abysmal. Especially Baines and Barry who I thought had his worst game in an Everton shirt. Maybe cautious about one more booking.

It was an awful first half with the players strolling about not looking interested again. 2nd half and the Naismith factor gave us a lot more movement up front and we played much better. Good use of our subs. 3 more goals and 3 more points. Bring on the Arse.

Wayne Smyth
130 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:43:08
Talking of quality young defenders, did anyone notice Crystal Palaces no 2? Joel Ward I think his name is. Only saw a bit of the Chelsea game, but he looked absolute quality, and I think he was played out of position at left back, when he is naturally a centre half apparently.

From the stats I've seen of his(i.e. % tackles/headers won, interceptions etc), he looks a very bright prospect. If Palace go down, I suspect he'll get snapped up by another Premier League club.

Patrick Murphy
135 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:59:18
John Stones is an excellent player and no matter how those around him played he stood as out as a very very good footballer. How come we concentrate on the negatives even when we got a tremendous win away from home for the second time in six days?

I must admit that Naismith has surprised me and he had a very good game as did McGeady. Arsenal won’t be the open side that went to Chelsea - thanks to Paul Scholes birds of a feather stick together don’t they. If I was the manager I’d start with two up front for the Arsenal match with McGeady and Mirralas on the flanks but tell the full-backs to hold off going forward but I’m sure Roberto has a plan.

Kieran Riding
137 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:07:21
It was noted as soon as Stones joined we'd make him into a centre half.

Everton and England Captain was what I heard.

That penno pre season summed the lad up for me.. If he makes a mistake in the next few weeks, don't get on his case.

He's superb. Bobby even tried to sign him at Wigan. And he's ours.

Gregg Sergeant
140 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:09:27
Wonder when sour-faced Wenger will start trying to influence the game... "Everton play a physical game, we don't get protection from refs" etc... We owed them big time.

In the words of Kevin Keegan, "I'd love it if we beat them, love it!"

Christopher Kelly
141 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:58:25
Wow what an escape!!

Ian, I don't want to keep this side together. I want to improve!

Great performances in the second half and some horrid ones. I thought Barry looked totally gassed. He for sure is not a week-in, week-out player anymore. When we were up 1-0, I was really hoping that Barry and McCarthy would step up and protect the defense. Neither did and McCarthy looked like a baby giraffe learning to walk on ice for their goal... lol.

I was more impressed with Naismith's pass than his goals. Wow, I never in a million years thought he could've hit that pass. I actually was happy when he came on because I felt like that was the type of game he could really shine in.

After Tottenham's capitulation today, I think the players can relax and feel confident in a European place for next season. Maybe then we won't shit the bed against Arsenal.

Brian Harrison
144 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:49:11
Well what a turnaround, first half was as bad as we have played for a long while we seemed to lack a bit of belief. Coleman who has been a threat all season for some reason today in the first half turned back to goal everytime he got the ball, and Baines had one of his poorest first halves.

To be honest, I was delighted to see RM bring on Naismith for Barkley, he is the one player who will make runs behind the opposition and this made a major difference. Too many of our players seem reluctant to run into the box, but Naismith plays like a centre forward and his runs create space for Lukaku and Mirallas.

There is no coincidence that every time we start with a slow tempo passing game we get ourselves in trouble, yet as soon as we move the ball forward at pace we look a different side completely. I still think 4th is a big ask, but it's nice still to be in the mix going into April.

Jackie Barry
146 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:16:46
Baines was woeful at times today and needs to pull his finger out. Maybe his thoughts are on the World Cup... well, based on this, I would be telling him that his place is far from assured. Oviedo showed us how it should be done before he got injured.
Christopher Kelly
157 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:34:15
Jackie, Baines had Osman in front of him. Osman played another shockingly bad and ineffective game. He couldn't go forwards like he did a few years ago with Pienaar because the quality isn't there.
Sam Fitzsimmons
172 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:11:00
For those old enough to remember, there are echoes of Bobby Moore and Beckenbauer in Stones. Besides being solid in defence, he's got good composure on the ball, he can change defence into attack by striding with the ball out of defence and picking out a pass. You can forgive his occasional lapse in defence because of his youth and, to be honest this season, Jags has had his fair share of lapses.
David Holroyd
173 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:57:08
What a bargain John Stones is going to be. First half, he and the team didn't get going, but in the second half he started to bring the ball out of defence. Looks comfy with the ball going forward – something Jags and Distin do not. We did not play that good today but three points in the bag. Stones, Barkley, Deulofeu and Lukaku – all 20 or under.
Mark Palmer
179 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:29:10
Yes, subs made the difference. When Ross and Delboy are in that form, they are a bit of a luxury - especially Delboy. And Lukaku's workrate is poor compared to (dare I say?) Suarez. If Romelu and Delboy actually worked their bollocks off, they'd be better team players. The amount of times play breaks down because of poor decisions and ball retention is too high – and they look too lazy at times. I know RM does not like stifling creativity but FFS works needs to be done if we want to beat Arsenal.
Patrick Murphy
182 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:39:20
Mark the first-half was indeed horrible to watch but to give them a slight excuse this was the third game in a little over a week and the second away from home. It shouldn’t have affected them as it did but I wonder if they missed that extra hour as they all looked as if they had just climbed out of bed in the first-half. Next week, they won’t be allowed to mess about they’ll be up and at it from the get go.

I’d work bloody hard as well if I was on a million quid a month, even if I had a LFC shirt on.

Jackie Barry
183 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:33:42
Christopher, I know that not having Pienaar may affect him going forward, but I am on about his defensive displays.
Kevin Tully
187 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:50:28
Total apologies my Blue brethren if I'm repeating or talking the the old bollox – I am quite adept at speed reading a thread and seeing the same Old Mother Hubbards talking Dennis Stracqualursi.

Have you ever seen a manager realise things are boollocks and have the centre-half play left wing? (Not that it happened like.)

He's a fooking master of the dark arts, and those who don't want to acknowledge the dark span oars (see, that was spelt as Spaniard, as per The Gladiator) and dark arts don't realise we have the next God of Blue.

Take him, love him, we shall conquer..

Phil Sammon
188 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:00:14
Having a few drinks tonight Kevin?
Dennis Ng
189 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:01:53
Phil, I can only understand him after a few drinks. Celebrate while we can, a tough test next weekend! COYB!
Kevin Tully
190 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:02:16
Ha - Philp, I'm just happy that my blue brothers are suddenly believing!
Kieran Riding
191 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:04:48
Is right Kevin.
I'm watching the 'Ultimate action movies' on C5.
I'll be fuming if Indiana Jones isn't in the top 5 here..
Kevin Tully
192 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:07:27
Roberto is a very handsome man. That is all.
Kevin Tully
193 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:11:18
I'm just seeing of I can can a full house of 5 posts on the home page ...
Kevin Tully
194 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:12:30
Michael & Lyndon, sitting in a tree.....
Kevin Tully
196 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:13:23
Allez allez ale zzz ohhhh.
Kevin Tully
197 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:15:48
Mark Frere - do you often ruin people's dreams?
Phil Sammon
198 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:17:52
Haha! Enjoy your evening, Kevin. I'm waiting for MotD and enjoying a Banana Bread Beer. Pardon my French folks, but it's fucking lovely.
Kevin Tully
199 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:19:46
Fere's a dreamsquasher Phil - don't go near him.
Mike Hughes
201 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:35:33
Phil #198 – Banana Bread Beer – sounds disgusting. I'm currently drinking the finest beer in the world IMHO – Marston's Extra Strong Pale Ale. Made in Heaven – by God Himself.

I'm enjoying it while avoiding watching the RSs and waiting for the MIGHTY INCREDIBLE PHENOMENAL BLUES to come on.

Colin Glassar
203 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:41:20
Last season Ossie, Del boy and Barkley would’ve been replaced by Nev, Heitinga and Hibbo. That’s the difference this season.
Mike Hughes
204 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:42:01
Has Tim Sherwood found his inner Alan Pardew?
Arrogant, up-himself mediocrity.

Jim Knightley
212 Posted 30/03/2014 at 23:06:20
I don't think one assist in 9 Prem appearances gives much indication of that personally, Wayne... although I think he looks dangerous, and can hopefully be a good attacking supplement for years to come.

I also don't buy the keeping hold of players line. We sold plenty of players for good value... the big profits on multiple players are evidence of that (Rodwell, AJ, Arteta, McFadden, Lescott etc... some sold willingly, some not). I don't see that one example involving Saha, made with retrospect and which as far as I knew was never confirmed by the club, as amounting to anything tbh.

But the intricacies are irrelevant... my point is simple: a big reason why we have the squad we do, was because of the work Moyes did in his final seasons at the club. Naismith, who came on and made so much of an impact, was signed by him. Coleman who has made such an impact this season, was signed by Moyes for a tuppence, and developed as a top right back during the final six months of Moyes's tenure. I could make similar points about an array of other current players.

Now, the argument about Moyes not being a great developer of youth is a good one... but who knows how Stones and Oviedo would have done under him this season? Stones has played so much recently in part because of necessity... and given the opportunity he has done well at times, and less so at others (his positioning concerns me in a massive way... he has been very good the last two matches, but I think he has significant flaws which need ironing out).

If Moyes was the manager, we would say Stones is playing out of necessity... with Martinez, it is because he is bringing the youth through. Personally, I think Martinez will be far better than Moyes when it comes to developing youth, but Moyes brought these players to the club.

As I said, a major reason why we have such a good squad now, despite severe limitations, is because of Moyes. I would not swap Martinez for Moyes for good money... but still respect what he did for us. And I think the constant Moyes-bashing, at least as it relates to his tenure with us (his conduct during the summer was near repugnant), is unwarranted.

I would like to see us celebrate Martinez rather than persistently critique Moyes. He acted like an arsehole during the summer, but he gave us £27.5million for a player who would not work in the system we play (who was worth £20mil max), and helped turn the club around in the 11 years he was here.

I would love to see Martinez get the opportunity to build on that, and bring the trophies Moyes couldn't. But, if the financial restrictions remain, that will not happen properly. The squad is strong now... but let's see what it is like in 5 years, if we are continually hamstrung by the board when the likes of Baines, Jags and Distin need replacing.

Peter Warren
214 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:41:11
14 points ahead of Newcastle with a game on hand (ha ha ha... not sure why they do my head in not why I take such pleasure of us being far better than them?).
Patrick Murphy
216 Posted 30/03/2014 at 23:48:13
Peter couldn’t agree more I used to like them when I was a lot younger but the Premier League era has somehow turned them into Trophyl-less Kopites. If you can get on Grand Old Team and find the preview for the game last Tuesday it just about says what I feel about them and in parts it is very very funny.

Jim I agree with most of what you say and must admit that the constant references to DM are irritating very nearly as irritating as the constant references to our neighbours and their prolific strike-force.

But it is hard for many to avoid the DM references when idiots like David James in his on-line blog in the Guardian refer to Everton as they do - if you haven’t read it then I suggest that you do. If Roberto can get it enlarged and posted on the walls of the training ground it might be enough to inspire the lads for the remaining fixtures.

Jim Knightley
225 Posted 31/03/2014 at 00:49:15
I know Patrick, David James is a joke. Didn't he claim we would come sixteenth this season? he is a troll, stuck in this twisted mentality which even post-playing days means ex-lpool players/personnel must attack Everton, in spite of their massively superior resources. It's also generally indicative of a failure to recognise this club in the media.

I remember there was a show looking at the Champions League contenders a few months ago... I think it was on BT Sport, and Everton were completely neglected, despite a higher league position than some of those considered. We have proven them wrong this season, and hopefully will continue to prove them wrong under Martinez.

Is there a better team, per money spent, in this league? It makes me proud, whatever happens this season, to see the expensively assembled squads of Spurs and United floundering beneath us in the table.

Harold Matthews
231 Posted 31/03/2014 at 01:50:19
David James Hmm. 20 years ago I was enjoying a smoke at Euston Station when he tapped me on the shoulder and asked for a light. Maybe he couldn't afford a box of matches. Anyway, I wasn't going to refuse. He towered over me like a big yeti.
Eddie Dunn
260 Posted 31/03/2014 at 08:30:28
David James is a total arse. A mate of mine went to meet him at his Wirral home on business, and was kept waiting for a half-hour.

When the goalkeeper entered the kitchen, he announced that the reason he was late was that he "had been busy shooting sparrows", with his air rifle.

David Waugh
274 Posted 31/03/2014 at 09:57:22
And... another goal from a corner.
Jim Harrison
292 Posted 31/03/2014 at 12:14:36
I have too say, adding fuel to the flames, I agree with Jim Knightley regarding the last manager. Firstly, we should discuss him less, as he no longer affects the fortunes of our team. Secondly, we should display some degree of intelligence when we do enter this domain and not judge his actions and achievements on the basis that he turned out to be an arrogant twat.
Colin Glassar
295 Posted 31/03/2014 at 12:43:16
With Stonesy playing out of his skin, where does that leave Jags?
Brian Hennessy
303 Posted 31/03/2014 at 13:56:43
Great to see such a well balanced panel on motd last night, Lauenson, Owen and co.

Maybe next week they could add in Hansen to really top it off.

James Marshall
305 Posted 31/03/2014 at 14:33:21
I have a great photo of Bainsey buying an ice cream after the game yesterday. How do I post it here?
Patrick Murphy
310 Posted 31/03/2014 at 15:04:38
James I posted a link to a photo of Baines on another match report thread "Everton find another gear " post #217.
Conn Prosser
313 Posted 31/03/2014 at 14:51:10
Funny thing about the continual leak of Moyes-related commentary on ToffeeWeb is, I think the chief instigator is Mr. Martinez himself. There's always going to be mention of which players Moyes wouldn't have played or what the result would have been under Moyes, particularly in match forums. But a lot of the comments come on the back of Martinez press releases, and there are always respectfully veiled criticisms of 'how it used to be done', 'in the past' or 'other managers'. It started as soon as he joined Everton and if you look not too closely it's there for all to see. Most recently it was about infrastructure investment and panic buying in January. Martinez regularly talks about our attacking style against the bigger teams, young player development and allowing the players to express themselves. All polar opposite to Moyes and subtly highlighted for us to pore over.

I think Martinez implicitly understands what Everton fans want and he spoon-feeds us with masterfully executed PR.

I like him.

Great win too. We'll probably sell Mirallas for 14mil in the summer.

James Marshall
314 Posted 31/03/2014 at 15:13:08
OK Patrick, thanks. My photo was a personal one though. Nevermind.
Patrick Murphy
317 Posted 31/03/2014 at 15:17:08
James I don’t know but perhaps if you e-mailed the photo to MK he could somehow display it on the site.
Patrick Murphy
319 Posted 31/03/2014 at 15:19:04
Brian #303 I read somewhere recently that Hansen can choose which Saturdays he wants to appear on Motd as it is his last season in the job. He also earns circa £50k per week - not bad eh!
Brian Hennessy
377 Posted 31/03/2014 at 20:30:47
Patrick#319 Yes I think Hansen's contract is called a Saha, appear for an odd Saturday while picking up a weekly wage more than most earn in a year.

Hopefully Lawerson will do likewise and retire too, at least you guys in England only have to listen to him now and then, us poor souls in Ireland have him on radio and TV here every time I turn it on.

We must have done something really bad in a past life to deserve this........

Patrick Murphy
378 Posted 31/03/2014 at 20:44:50
Brian I prefer to think that we’ll have a whale of a time in the next one rather than being punished for something from a previous one.
Brian Hennessy
384 Posted 31/03/2014 at 20:53:06
I hope you are right Patrick.

At least being Irish we don't have to worry about buying 90 pound world cup shirts for the kids.

All this talk of "Cooling Technology" in the Nike shirt brings back memories of Steve Staunton as red as a strawberry wearing that white hat in USA 94.

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