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
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995 Posted 30/03/2014 at 13:50:04
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.
996 Posted 30/03/2014 at 13:55:51
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?
997 Posted 30/03/2014 at 13:58:38
998 Posted 30/03/2014 at 13:59:11
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!!
999 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:03:10
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?
000 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:08:57
001 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:07:30
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.
002 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:12:46
003 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:12:23
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
004 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:16:46
005 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:17:18
006 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:18:03
And why don't we press them in our own half? — it's pathetic.
007 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:19:20
008 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:29:14
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.
We have to start moving the ball about a whole lot quicker
010 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:31:36
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.
011 Posted 30/03/2014 at 14:34:48
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.
What a goal Stockdale lad.
Now come on Blues sort it these out
013 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:03:26
014 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:16:30
015 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:19:17
Unstylish but damn useful.
016 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:25:30
017 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:23:54
018 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:23:19
019 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:28:57
021 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:30:24
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.
022 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:31:25
023 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:30:42
I have no doubt this kid Stones will be one of the best signings Everton have made this decade
024 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:25:16
025 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:36:54
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.
027 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:35:41
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.
028 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:34:17
And what about Stones? Truly magnificent.
Even I’m beginning to think we can challenge ’the big boys’!
Well done, Roberto!
029 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:37:36
030 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:39:38
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?
031 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:41:16
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
032 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:44:08
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.
033 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:38:13
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!!
034 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:40:16
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.
036 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:53:24
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.
037 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:49:58
038 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:52:15
039 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:52:02
040 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:54:14
Another good result. Keep the pressure on Toffeess!
041 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:53:18
One more shot at proving that we don’t always bottle it when it matters the most.
042 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:53:07
043 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:51:04
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......
045 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:49:49
046 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:00:03
047 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:01:35
048 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:58:46
049 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:04:48
050 Posted 30/03/2014 at 15:59:20
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!
051 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:07:55
052 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:08:32
053 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:10:41
054 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:10:10
055 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:05:49
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.
056 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:09:27
But that’s pretty ludicrous.
057 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:13:12
058 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:09:36
059 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:18:27
060 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:18:39
061 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:23:11
063 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:27:06
064 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:25:33
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?
065 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:29:27
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!
066 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:36:06
067 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:37:15
068 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:43:24
Right, off to Spain now, see you for the Arsenal game.
069 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:39:17
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.
071 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:49:27
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".
072 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:49:46
073 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:52:25
074 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:47:21
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?
075 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:38:38
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.
077 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:57:51
078 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:49:31
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!!
079 Posted 30/03/2014 at 16:59:23
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.
081 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:08:57
082 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:07:26
083 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:25:42
084 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:15:58
Loved every minute of it — apart from the first 47 mins.
085 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:20:16
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.
086 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:19:19
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.
087 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:30:28
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!!
089 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:41:50
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!
090 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:38:28
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!
091 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:35:45
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)?
093 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:56:17
094 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:00:26
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.
095 Posted 30/03/2014 at 17:54:50
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.
096 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:16:12
NBC also showed a photo of Bainesy after the game... alone outside Craven Cottage... buying an ice cream from a truck. Regular fella.
097 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:13:39
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.
098 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:10:05
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.
104 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:40:39
105 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:37:42
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!
109 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:33:45
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.
112 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:31:46
Why does Coleman, when he gets the ball, now for some reason, 9 times out of 10, turn around & play the ball backwards?
113 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:04:27
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!
114 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:20:08
115 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:19:48
118 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:27:17
Bound to get some jarg Russian outfit that has already started their season if we get through..
119 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:27:33
120 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:28:19
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.
121 Posted 30/03/2014 at 18:35:33
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.
122 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:34:05
Andy Carroll !!
124 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:37:24
(Mind you, the rs are that spawny Carroll will probably put one into his own net in the last minute of injury time.)
125 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:44:24
126 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:38:10
127 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:45:53
I'm saving me fiver.
128 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:33:04
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.
129 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:43:29
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.
130 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:43:08
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.
135 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:59:18
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.
137 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:07:21
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.
140 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:09:27
In the words of Kevin Keegan, "I'd love it if we beat them, love it!"
141 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:58:25
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.
144 Posted 30/03/2014 at 19:49:11
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.
146 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:16:46
157 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:34:15
172 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:11:00
173 Posted 30/03/2014 at 20:57:08
179 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:29:10
182 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:39:20
I’d work bloody hard as well if I was on a million quid a month, even if I had a LFC shirt on.
183 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:33:42
187 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:50:28
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..
188 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:00:14
189 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:01:53
190 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:02:16
191 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:04:48
I'm watching the 'Ultimate action movies' on C5.
I'll be fuming if Indiana Jones isn't in the top 5 here..
192 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:07:27
193 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:11:18
194 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:12:30
196 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:13:23
197 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:15:48
198 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:17:52
199 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:19:46
201 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:35:33
I'm enjoying it while avoiding watching the RSs and waiting for the MIGHTY INCREDIBLE PHENOMENAL BLUES to come on.
203 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:41:20
204 Posted 30/03/2014 at 22:42:01
Arrogant, up-himself mediocrity.
212 Posted 30/03/2014 at 23:06:20
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.
214 Posted 30/03/2014 at 21:41:11
216 Posted 30/03/2014 at 23:48:13
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.
225 Posted 31/03/2014 at 00:49:15
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.
231 Posted 31/03/2014 at 01:50:19
260 Posted 31/03/2014 at 08:30:28
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.
274 Posted 31/03/2014 at 09:57:22
292 Posted 31/03/2014 at 12:14:36
295 Posted 31/03/2014 at 12:43:16
303 Posted 31/03/2014 at 13:56:43
Maybe next week they could add in Hansen to really top it off.
305 Posted 31/03/2014 at 14:33:21
310 Posted 31/03/2014 at 15:04:38
313 Posted 31/03/2014 at 14:51:10
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.
314 Posted 31/03/2014 at 15:13:08
317 Posted 31/03/2014 at 15:17:08
319 Posted 31/03/2014 at 15:19:04
377 Posted 31/03/2014 at 20:30:47
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........
378 Posted 31/03/2014 at 20:44:50
384 Posted 31/03/2014 at 20:53:06
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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