With an increasingly lengthening injury list, had Roberto Martinez made another horrible miscalculation, going for it from the off with a very attacking line-up consisting of Naismith, Barkley, Deulofeu and Lukaku all starting?

It looked ominous when Everton gave the ball away to the home side immediately from the kick-off and, sure enough, the first Southampton foray forward saw Lambert lift in an early cross from the left past Stones and on to Antolin Alcaraz, who launched himself like a javelin to head the ball with unerring accuracy past poor Tim Howard in the Everton goal. Southampton 1 - 0 Everton, inside the first minute.

Everton set about the task of redressing the balance manfully but Lukaku was profligate in the extreme as he scooped a fine cross from Naismith high over the Saints goal. Coleman and Deulofeu were doing their best to get behind the home defence and go for crosses or shots but nothing really came off for them.

Naismith went down after a painful clash of knees and needed a lot of attention on the sidelines. While he was off the pitch, Lambert got into a good position and seemed all set to lay on the second goal for Shaw fired incredibly wide with the Everton goal gaping.

Clyne went in a little hard on Deulofeu to set up a good free-kick opportunity that looked to have been curved in perfectly for Barry, whose shirt was being well held and he could not get to the header. While at the other end, another stunning disaster, Coleman this time stooping to head Clyne's cross past Howard as he expected Stones ahead of him to clear the ball. Un-fucking-believable!

After a couple of fruitless corners, Deulofeu switched to the right and whipped in a fantastic ball, too strong for Lukaku who could not adjust his body position to head the ball down and it flew off his head and over from very close range. It was a rare cross, as the Southampton fullbacks were mostly on top and denying many real chances on Boruc's goal.

Barry had his pocket picked by Gallagher and was forced to give away a silly free-kick that fortunately came to nothing as a stunning first half came to a close.

Roberto made a change at the break, Osman coming on for Barkley, who had struggled to make a real impression in the first half. Naismith picked out Deulofeu with a great pass but the Barcelona player was wrongly penalized for offside. But the first portion of the half was poor with Everton unable to match the home side, Martinez switching out Deulofeu for McGeady.

Barry was not having the best of games and he gave away a clumsy free-kick that Lambert almost curled in, clipping the outside of the post. Everton were then wrongly denied a penalty when Osman clipped the ball past Lovren and got his heels clipped for his troubles, sending him sprawling just inside the area. A dive, said the card-wielding Oliver, to Osman's astoundment. Everton were clearly getting nothing from this game.

A much better spell of play from the Blues won a corner but McGeady swung it too far wide as Southampton continued to block all of Everton's attempts to get a sight on the home goal. A cross-cum-shot from Baines almost deceived Boruc. Lukaku was having a nightmare, whatever he tried to do.

Another odd refereeing decision in front of the Everton contingent, Lovren stopping McCarthy from getting up after they had both tussled to the ground on the bye-line. Luke Garbutt came on for his debut as a late sub for Baines, as Ward-Prowse fired off a shot that Howard saved well near the end of a very disappointing performance.

Scorers: Alcaraz (og:1'), Coleman (og:32')

Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, Wanyama, Steven Davis (90' Do Prado), Gallagher (76' Ward-Prowse), Lallana (86' Reed), Lambert.
Subs not Used: Chambers, Gazzaniga, Hooiveld, Targett.

Everton: (4-2-3-1) Howard; Coleman, Stones, Alcaraz, Baines (90' Garbutt); McCarthy, Barry Y:44'; Naismith, Barkley (46' Osman Y: 63'), Deulofeu (58' McGeady); Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Hibbert, Browning, Ledson.

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 31,313

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Reader Comments (146)

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Ralph Basnett
1 Posted 26/04/2014 at 13:24:22
Scored 2 goals and getting beat 2-0, only Everton could hand it to Arsenal like this. Not only getting beat but giving them the goalless difference, you just couldn't write this!!!!
Phil Smith
2 Posted 26/04/2014 at 13:47:16
That's the worst 45 I've seen from ANY Everton team! Shocking!!
Paul Reed
3 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:11:40
Uh, more blunders. Depressing, isn't it? Beat Arsenal, then lose to Palace. Beat United, lose to So'ton. That's not Champions League qualification football. Welcome to the Europa League, folks.

I'm a lurker here at best, what I really thought it was our season a couple of weeks ago. Now injuries and inconsistencies have exposed us for what we really are, an over-achieving team with little depth.

I suppose I should be happy, 5th place and 70+pts is about as much I should wish from Everton. I expect it will be hard to even match that next season with United about spend £150m while we spend the majority of our £25m keeping or replacing our best striker. Ho hum.

Christopher Timmins
4 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:24:43
Season over, fifth place is where we belong and certainly Bill does not deserve to be swaning around Europe with his lack of investment over the term of his Chairmanship.
Conn Prosser
5 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:24:40
Queue the chap who cautioned 'makeshift' defence. I think it was Entwhistle.
Sue Brown
6 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:11:56
This is worse than the Palace game. Caught in possession time and again, unlucky with some decisions though, I thought Deulofeu was just onside.
Michael Polley
7 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:30:17
Hit the self destruct button today. Very poor performance. No motivation. We looked tired & jaded. We certainly missed the solid presence of Distin in defence. I honestly believe if he was playing today, those og's would not of happened. I can't see Newcastle doing anything at the Emirates on Monday night to help us!!

Either way, we've had a great season. Most Premier League points in the club's history. Never out of the top 7. Champions League would've been icing on cake, but I'll take the Europa Leaque. Martinez has moved the team forward, and I look forward to the summer transfer activity.

Mark Frere
8 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:32:38
Top 4 over! Isn't it just so Everton-like to build your hopes up then kick you in the bollocks!?!? The referee was a complete fuckwit! How could he not give a penalty on Osman... Ratboy has been getting penalties all season for a lot less. McCarthy was also fouled and we shoud've got a penalty.

I'm not gonna moan about the performance — them two own goals were enough to knock the stuffing out of any team... it just had to happen twice in an all important game!

Europa Cup it is then and terrific season with much to look forward to next season. Are we all rooting for Man City at Goodison then?

Phil Rodgers
9 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:40:38
Diabolical. Totally ballsed it up.
Drew Shortis
10 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:23:50
Two ridiculous own goals, two poor refereeing decisions and a lacklustre performance in the second half. Barring a miracle that's the end of our Champions League aspirations.

Being philosophical, is it more gutting to lose here or win all three games and still miss out as Arsenal win theirs? Obviously I would rather win all three, but after the Palace game it was always going to be a big ask to qualify. The injury list hasn't helped us, That bench was looking pretty bare of match changing options.

Lukaku was off the pace again today. Should have buried Deulofeu's cross and did very little apart from that. I know he can be an lethal at times but he seems to let the game bypass him as often as he puts in a winning display. His touch is terrible and I think that with the goalscoring potential in our team we would be be better off with a centre forward who can hold the ball up and bring the attacking midfielders into play more often. If I was Martinez I don't think I would risk nearly all of my transfer budget on Romelu. £12-15m would be worth the risk, but at £20m plus and on huge wages I think we could invest our cash more wisely.

Feeling deflated, but I have to look for the positives over the whole season. Europa League football next year, our highest points total, an attractive brand of football and some outstanding performances against teams we have struggled against for years. The fact that I feel disappointed shows how much Martinez has raised expectations in his short time here!

Ross Edwards
11 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:39:09
The headline sums it up. An embarrassing self destruct mission. We were lathargic, almost totally disinterested, especially Lukaku. I wouldn't pay over £25 million to see him trot around like that every week.

I wonder if Barkley has been affected by this supposed gangster threat he had. The worst possible performance he could have put in particularly with Woy watching.

Onwards to City, but unless Pardew's travelling circus beat Arsenal, 4th is almost certainly over.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:21:09
Yet again we have shown we cannot handle pressure.

Last week when we didn't have the chance to go 4th we won comfortably yet today just as against Palace we implode and self destruct.

What have we learned today?

Ross Barkley should not go to the World Cup, it's too soon he is nowhere near ready, infact and I say this with a heavy heart but if somebody offers us crazy money such as £40 million then I would take it and do what I could to get Lallana.
I don't mean to sound to hard on Ross but face it, he is a good driving midfielder but has not got an ounce of creativity in him...we need a midfielder who can actually play a forward ball in the Arteta mould.


We keep heating how exciting he is but Sterling across the park totally eclipses him week in week out...
If he does go back to Barcelona which I very much doubt he will then we can replace him with somebody who will be more involved in matches.

McGeady looks ok but you can tell straight off there's no goals in him Slag Distin off but the defence misses him more than Jagielka even.

What a shite weekend.

Liverpool win the League and we know our chances of the best opportunity in years to see Champions League football gone.

Kevin Rowlands
14 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:40:16
What a time to produce the absolute worst performance of the season! I feel sorry for the lads that made the trip there to watch that shite. As for the Lukaku and Delboy project, I hope Martinez ends it in the summer; both are just not good enough... the next huge prospect in Spanish football? Give me a fucking break!

Max Wilson
15 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:39:02
Yep, 5th if we are lucky. An amazing stroke of bad luck — the sort of nightmare you look back on with a shiver. Lots of the lads were out of sorts afterwards. We need to remember many are still only youngsters.
Paul Mackie
16 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:45:50
Absolute dross. We don't deserve 4th on the basis of that performance. If we played like that every week we'd be lucky to get 14th.
Iain Johnston
18 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:42:42
No focus, no application and no idea... No response at one nil and no response at two nil.

They are shit scared of fourth and the Champions League with most of the team brainwashed into thinking fifth is success.

For me, it isn't the final results against Crystal Palace and Southamptons it's the manner of the defeats, they just don't want it badly enough.

Spurs will probably win today leaving us nervously looking over our shoulders.

Patrick Murphy
19 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:44:33
I hope Roberto gets to the bottom of this "Everton" problem, every Premier League team is capable of beating another Premier League team, especially on their own turf - but how often do Everton take the lead in the early stages of these fixtures?

Even at Newcastle when it turned out to be a good result, it could have gone pear-shaped prior to Everton's opener and to a lesser extent Fulham where only a last quarter of the game revival saw us take the points. It is not good enough to be awesome at home and insipid away from Goodison. Players attitudes have to improve before we can truly count ourselves as a top team. How much motivation do these players need? When a top four place or even higher is at stake...

I always feel sympathy for the travelling army of Blues fans who leave at ungodly hours of the day and arrive home many hours later but have nothing to show for all that effort, perhaps Roberto should make the team travel to these games with the supporters and they could see how much effort it takes. The least the players could do is to put on a performance, even if the result goes against us.

Mike Manchester
21 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:51:58
Even Roberto struggled to see the bright side of today's performance. I think the combination of irregular CB partnership, own goals and subsequent crowd taunts embarassed the team and crushed them psycologically. The poor ref and lino calls stopped us getting ANY momentum. Please Newcastle, please!
Nick Entwistle
22 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:55:41
That familiar feeling when you realise there will be no CL next season...

Own goals aside, we didn't score so gave up points to Arsenal.

Its difficult to think of games this season where we've lost points to teams who haven't parked the bus and done us on the counter. It's this season's failing.

Southampton played well though and... bollocks. I'm off the pub.

Kevin Hudson
23 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:50:01
We demolish Arsenal, screw-up against Palace...take the piss against Man Utd, but self-destruct today; that inconsistency is, I believe, the sign of a team in transition, and of the initial struggle to join the big-guns. Still an excellent season, and I do believe progress has been made.

Sadly the top-end of the league has gotten stronger, and will continue to do so as I reckon a big-spending Man Utd will return to contention.

Plenty to build on, and whilst the Europa League is a double-edged sword, I'm thoroughly confident in Bobby.

James Martin
24 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:56:51
Patrick it has always been Everton's problem and has continued this season. The players have weak mentalities, everything has to be perfect for them, they have to have the big players fit and at home to play well and win. As soon as there's a bit of pressure, or a bad referee, or some injuries, or we're away from home, then you can just discount any sort of performance.

We might still win like we have done away this season but how many of those wins were convincing away performances? It's the same reason we bottle big games, the same reason our record at the top sides is woeful, and the same reason we'll come fifth this season – weak weak players who aren't ready to win. They are where they are in the league because they are so talented, if they could add any sort of winning mentality, we'd be trophy winners in no time.

I'd send Lukaku, Deulofeu, and I hate to say it but Barry back as well. All three were on fire when they were earning their place; now they have it, all three are just going through the motions. Barry doesn't have the pace to play away from home and the other two are bone idle.

James Martin
25 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:03:38
You just know as well we'll return to being boss against Man City just to give them the title now that we've blown enough games not to get fourth. One of these days we'll get a bit of glory and the whole club won't know what to do with it. Another season with no trophies, no derby wins, no Champions League, and having to watch sides like Liverpool and Arsenal who we consider our peers picking up trophies. Same old same old.
Mike Keane
26 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:02:41
Subdued atmosphere here in Liverpool city centre. Never turned up (too many injuries?) and destined to stay on 69 points. Will we stick it or lick it? Off to see if we can find Mourinho in the Radisson to tell him how much it means to us for them to turn them over tomorrow.
Jon Withey
27 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:57:43
Oof, so bad it was almost funny, how are we 5th ?

Lack of squad depth certainly hasn't helped - both Mirallas and Distin missed badly and nobody to sub Lukaku or Naismith left Martinez with few options.

Dont get on Barkleys back, he's young and consistency is difficult (see Sterling some months ago, now apparently he is Ronaldo).

Why is it I'd rather Everton played a form team than one going through a bad run - we lose those games too often for it to be coincidence.

Lukaku has seemingly completely run out of steam - successful clubs need more than one top striker.

Paul Mackie
28 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:05:54
Kevin #24

You raise a good point about the signs of a team in transition. Remember the last couple of seasons when we were all laughing merrily at the Shite losing to mid-table clubs but beating the top 4 teams? Hopefully we can see a similar upturn in consistency once Roberto has had a couple of seasons and has identified a couple of 20-goal-a-season strikers.

Eugene Ruane
29 Posted 26/04/2014 at 14:54:34
Nothing much to say, we lost 2-0 and scored both the goals.

Analysis would feel like - 'Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the show?'

(I'll stick 50 nicker on Newcastle winning at Arsenal though – that is now a fucking nap.)

Patrick Murphy
30 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:08:24
On another note our record when ESPN/BT cover us live must be absolutely dreadful, anybody got the stats for it or am I just imagining it?
Phil Sammon
31 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:08:20
We were poor. Really poor. But come on, how many teams could cope without:

I'll throw Traore in the mix as well.

It's no wonder we look tired. McCarthy and Barry play 90 minutes of every game, as do Lukaku, Baines and Coleman.

I do find it hard to criticise this bunch of players, even if we do have an off day.

Thomas Newton
32 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:01:36
If those in football think we gain an unfair advantage through loan signings, they should look how bad our three performed today. Lukaku and Delefou I've come to expect inconsistent performances but Barry was awful today, very lucky not to get sent off by equally awful ref.

As for Barkley and his personal problems as an excuse, didn't that prick across the park have worse at a similar age? Didn't stop him going on to lift the CL.

I for one would not be unhappy to see him go if the right money was offered; sure, he'll have his apologists... but I'm still waiting to see him actually change a game we struggle to get anything from.

Dave Lynch
33 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:05:39

The last thing we need is the Europa joke cup. Thursday night footy with a not so big squad IMO will only hinder the development of the team.

CL would have suited us much better, less games and more time to recover, if I was Roberto and you could get away with it I'd say thanks but no thanks, you can keep the sham of a competition which is designed to put pressure on the best of the rest in squad terms and keep the cash cow equilibrium where the powers that be want it.

Give it the respect it deserves and play a gang of kids.

Guy Hastings
35 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:07:15
James 25 - agree about Del, Lukaku (unless he sprouts a functional right foot and a basic knowledge of the offside law during the summer) and Barry, who's probably good for another season but not two and certainly not on anything approaching City level wages. As for Barkley, anyone coming in at over £25m can have him - as for 'gangster threats' Ross mentioned above, it must be the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight.
Jim Bennings
36 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:10:47
Barkley is 20, young yes but he needs to start taking games by the scruff if the neck like Gerrard did at 20 Doesn't know when to pass the ball and very rarely gets his head up and his shooting is appalling.

Send Lukaku back and get Bony, a player who is more advanced than Lukaku.

Geoff Harrison
37 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:12:46
Not much to say, except please, please let us not use the bulk of our summer transfer kitty on Lukaku.

Some players dipped today who are usually better. In the end it's just a case of being better more often that you're not.

Lukaku is nowhere near consistent enough. Because of his youth and his early form, I'd like to keep him, but definitely not for silly money.

James Martin
38 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:13:11
Dave the Europa League really harmed Atletico didn't it? They've used their success there as springboard to build from. What about Mourinho's Porto the year before the Champions League success? How about when we went on that good run in 08 and ended up with our Premier League points record. Did it bother us then?

Last time I checked, the gap between Thursday and Sunday is exactly the same as Wednesday and Saturday. Yes, there are extra games but if you want to be a top club you have to learn to suck them up. Putting this bunch of losers under pressure more regularly is what we need to do.

If they can get into regular knock-out ties then maybe we won't go with our pants down to Anfield every season. They have to realise that you can't just win as long as it's 3 o'clock Saturday at Goodison Park – you need to win lunch-time kick-offs away from home at strange grounds on TV.

This club should not be passing up any opportunity for a trophy. The fans love extra games, and quite frankly this club more than most others needs to start paying its fans back a bit more for decades of nearly theres, embarassments, ridicule at the hands of local rivals, and broken promises.

Brian Hennessy
39 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:16:35
Patrick Murphy, was just thinking that myself re BT Sport.

I paid a months subscription with them to watch the Liverpool defeat, at least I didn't pay to watch this one.

Jon Withey
40 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:16:53
Spurs are in better form than us, wouldn't be amazed to see them overtake us - that Hull game might well be nerve-wracking (assuming we want Europe)...
Paul Andrews
41 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:21:36
Phil Smith,

The worst 45 minutes from ANY Everton team ever?


Joe McMahon
42 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:18:50
Be honest, guys, we can't expect CL football with -£000 spend every transfer window. The smallness and quality of our squad will always hit us, until there is a day where we have a new owner. The Champions League just isn't ready for Bullshit Bill and The Bullens Rd Experience.
James Martin
44 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:23:04
If we miss out on the Europa League now, this will be the massive sort of kick in the face that I have come to expect from Everton. We need Spurs or Man Utd just to drop some points. It's bad enough that we haven't had Europa League for the last two seasons due to the ridiculous trophy winners but if we get 69 points and still don't get Europa, well that would be classic Everton, wouldn't it?
Brian Harrison
45 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:08:06
I think sadly we have just run out of steam for the final push, we only have a small squad and injuries to key players on the run in hasn't helped. With so many young and inexperienced players it is difficult to achieve the consistency that is needed to challenge for the top places.

I don't think Barkley can play in midfield, the game just passes him by and his best position is playing off the striker, but with Naismith in good form it would have been wrong to drop Naismith.

Also, let's remember that Lukaku has played a lot more games this year than he has in the past, he made a lot of appearances for West Brom from the subs bench. Should he stay, then his first touch has to improve

Dave Williams
46 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:06:00
James - agreed! Lukaku blows hot or cold and if he isn't scoring goals he adds nothing to the team. Drew #11 has him spot-on - we need a striker who can bring others into play not one who is shit or bust all the time.

I have opined all season that Barry is too expensive for a club of our limited means, even as a free transfer.

He would doubtless be looking for a couple of million over 3 or 4 years plus £50-60k per week and we need to be gradually getting rid of the over-30s rather than signing more on permanent deals. He has served his purpose admirably as has Lukaku but we need different players for permanent deals. I like the look of Bony but Roberto will have someone lined up.

Have to say I agree too with Jim about Ross (I am in a very agreeable mood today!!). Looks great driving forward with the ball but isn't an outstanding passer or ball winner and maybe £40m would be worth more to us at this point? Not entirely sure on that one but, if the offer was made, I would be sorely tempted Yes, he is young and will become more consistent but he hasn't played well this year apart from one or two games.

We must be pragmatic and accept that Top 6 (hopefully 5th) is a great first season and the players' attitude in these games will improve as the old guard fall away, the new younger guys become more prominent and most of all if we can find an inspirational captain. I keep posting how I abhor everything about the captain across the park but he certainly is an inspirational figure there and it is something we lack at present.

Bill Gall
47 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:14:36
Looking at the last 4 teams in the Europa League, the competition is not as mutch of a joke as some people are making it out to be.

Regarding today, yes, the performance was poor... but looking at the season overall, Champions League at the start of the season was just a pipe dream but became a possibility in January that was not supported by the chairman and board when it mattered.

After January the manager and players have done a magnificent job in keeping our hopes alive but unfortunately injuries, with a small sqad and a lack of lucky breaks not going for us, Champions League qualification seems to have passed us by.

Anyone who blames the defenders for the own goals – if you have played in a game and scored an own goal, put your hand up and say you meant it.

Mark Frere
48 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:31:20
Let's just win the Europa League next season, it will be a bit of silverware we all crave and a passage into the CL.

What happens if we win the Europa League and finish 6th in the PL.....and another team finishes 5th in PL and wins the CL. Would this mean only 1st and 2nd in PL will get CL spots?

Ste Traverse
49 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:18:54
There's no point stuffing the likes of the Mancs and Arsenal only to lose to Saints and Palace. Lack of motivation?

Oh well, the Europa League it is then.

And I don't buy into this bollocks it would/could fuck our season up.

If we'd qualified for the CL we'd play Wednesday-Saturday, Europa League will be Thursday-Sunday, so by reckoning it's a 3 day gap both times, so what's the actual difference?

Ok, we may have played CL on a Tuesday night, but we'd have played the previous Saturday so that's another 3 day gap.

Steavey Buckley
51 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:04:14
It was a day when you couldn't help wondering about the Southampton's manager's instructions to his players before the match, 'cross the ball in to the box and the Everton defenders will do the rest, and they will score the goals, unintentionally.'

Yet, when Lukaku was presented with 2 chances in front of goal, he unintentionally failed to score. So the moral of the story with today's game, don't try and score intentionally, but unintentionally. And Everton through Lukaku could have scored twice.

When Everton went 2 down at the 31st minute, I felt that Roberto failed to react, by not changing things around by going for broke by bringing on McGeady and bringing off Barry (when Everton at this point did not need another central holding midfielder with McCarthy on the pitch as well) and pushing Deulofeu into a more central role, where he would have caused the Southampton lumbering central defender's more difficulties, than Everton having to rely upon Naismith at this point in the match.

The referee and his assistant compounded Everton's ill fortunes when the assistant had a stinker, when he flagged for off side, when Deulofeu was a yard on side and through on goal only to be pulled back, that would have seen the Southampton defender sent off instead of been rewarded with a free kick for the wrong off side decision.

The referee also had a stinker by not giving 2 stone wall penalties, one, when Osman was tripped in the box only to be booked for diving, and when McCarthy was dragged back, also, in the penalty area. All offenses happened in front of the referee and assistants. They should be given appointments at spec savers before they officiate any more matches.

Tahir Abdullah
52 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:32:30
Jim B@ 13 well said...
Tony Dove
53 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:31:34
Jim-13. If you think Ross is not creative you are on different planet to me!
Also to take him off at half time and replace him with Osman was a ludicrous
decision and for all his good work Martinez has made a fair number of those recently.
James Carlisle
54 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:20:28
Another abject, bottle job display when it matters most as usual. The second in as many weeks. Tbh, we had a few things going against us today, for example being on BT, playing against a team that's out of form. Seriously though if a team's been playing shite then you can guarentee they'll beat us, or if a player hasn't scored in 12 years you know they'll score past us.

Just field the reserves against City. If we fuck up our own campaign but gift the title to the shite I swear to fucking god.....

Thomas Newton
55 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:26:20
It easy to take for granted how young Lukaka is, what other top side have a 20-year-old leading the line? I think he will become a top player but in his formative stage he needs to be playing with another goalscoring forward, something we don't have or are not likely to be able to afford both.
James Martin
56 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:35:43
Tony, we were better second half than first half so you could say the subs were well timed. I just think they were the wrong ones. If you're two down you may as well take off your holding mid. Barry and McCarthy were too deep all game trying to protect the back two. As a result our lazy forward four (Naismith aside) were completely isolated. I would have dropped Barkley back with McCarthy and put Osman in the middle. Then again though Barkley in the middle was woeful against Palace.

Ultimately with that bench Martinez did the best he could. As with most losses this season it has been the players who have let Martinez down. Again I believe Martinez gave us the platform to win the game as Moyes did many times last year, but how do you tell Lukaku not to miss two headers from two yards? How do you tell your centrebacks not to be undone by every cross or high ball that comes into the box? How do you tell your wideman not to give the ball away every time he gets it? You can't account for sheer player stupidity.

Ian Bennett
57 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:42:57
Soundly beaten I think the phrase goes. I had to watch the game on mute, as those two idiots commentating were endangering the TV.

Any comeback soundly snuffed out by lethargic play, a dodgy offside and the ref incorrectly booking Osman when a stick on penalty.

Dave Lynch
58 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:39:41

You play two or three times the amount of games in the Europa.

Look at the past winners as mentioned, they are big teams who play in leagues that do not have as many games as us and have better investment than us.

I understand the away days and the memories etc but I'm trying to look at the bigger picture unless BK can come up with a bucket of Nelson Eddies to fund a good crack at it.

Dave Hall
59 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:41:36
Even apart from dinking the ball inside our own back stick, Coleman was devoid of any and all endeavor after that stomach punch. The man has been tremendous all season for us, but he could not get his head back in the game after the OG and gave us no threat down the right for 60 minutes.

Puzzling to me why Barry wasn't taken off for Osman or McGeady while we're chasing the game. Taking off two of our most creative players in Barkley and Deulofeu instead of Barry, who toyed with a second yellow multiple times in the second half, seemed the wrong decision both times.

No moaning about the ref when we stick two in our own net.

Colin Glassar
60 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:40:18
We've had a fantastic season. Injuries and tired legs/minds have caught up with us. Who'd have thought in July we'd be challenging for a CL place in late April? I thought not. Loads of people on here were predicting mid table or worst when Roberto was named manager.

We will come back better and stronger next season and, if Newcastle pull off a miracle a lot of you will be creaming yourselves once again.

I was desperate for CL next season but I'm still not counting us out until the Gooners win their next two games. Whatever happens now I'm a proud, and confident, Blue.

Trevor Thompson
62 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:44:10
James Carlisle; I've noticed that about Everton, too. It's odd but if a player hasn't scored in a decade he'll get his 1st goal against us or a team hasn't won in a long time, yep, they'll win against us. Anyway, after the Palace game, I knew we'd not make 4th unless Arsenal mess up horrifically.

A good season all in all but we need to improve next season. I think next season will be the real test as everyone will know how we play and will have adapted to us.

Dave Williams
63 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:47:40
Well said, Colin!

We can't turn up our noses IF we get Europa League as looks highly likely. (We can be 6th and get it – right?) It will help to develop players, will help to attract/retain players and give some youngsters a chance to show what they can do. It represents progress and next season there is no reason not to believe we will be better again.

Kevin Rowlands
64 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:49:41
Ian #58, lol, I absolutely agree, when I listen to Pleat, the word 'senile' comes to mind, it's mind boggling how he's in the job.

On another note, for all the hype surrounding Lukaku, Barkley and Deulofeu, for me, John Stones is a far better prospect and player than all three, he's immense.

Colin Glassar
65 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:51:00
James Carlisle, how right you are. We don't beat caretaker managers, we don't beat new managers, we don't win on BT sports, we don't win early kickoffs, we don't beat teams on terrible runs, we always concede to players who haven't scored in donkeys years, everyone breaks their duck against us. It's like some type of curse.
Matt Traynor
66 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:42:40
I'd still take Europa as if we ever do get CL, we'll be unseeded assuming we negotiate the qualifiers (unless we get automatic qualification!) and therefore we'll need whatever experience and boost to our coefficient we can get.

I'd play a blended youth/experienced team and treat the games as a chance to give bit-part players etc a run out.

Don't underestimate how important a European campaign of any description is to signing (and keeping) the likes of a Bony etc.

Today was just a clusterfuck. From McCarthy's slip in the first minute, to Osman making the ref's decision easy (he was already on his way down, but it was a penalty, and Lovren is a cunt for waving an imaginary card as he was getting up, he KNEW it was a foul. Oliver had already made his mind up).

Coleman and Alcaraz as the two goalscorers (the latter seemingly able to get onto our corners after last week's cameo), we'd have taken that before kick-off...

For fuck's sake Everton, you always do this.

Robin Gomme
67 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:54:24
The ultimate bloody irony will be if, having helped precipitate events at Old Trafford earlier in the week, a Giggs-inspired Man Utd win all their remaining games and get the last Europa spot on goal difference.

Surely we can get a point at Hull.........

Matthew Roberts
68 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:40:48
Not the best performance today but I think we can be proud of the season we have had and when looking at the teams below us (Man Utd & Tottenham) and consider the amount of money they have spent this season, I think 5th will be fine with me.

Martinez has been superb this season it's not the position that I am worried about too much but 69 points is incredibly unlucky to not be in the top 4 so, if we get 70 plus points, this will be the best season we have had since I started watching us. We do however clearly need more depth within the team and I am not convinced with Lukaku; he does not offer much including goals, so I agree we should let him go back to Chelsea and look at other cheaper targets

Keith Simmonds
69 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:56:27
We need to replace Alcaraz as back up CB. He isn’t good enough. I don’t recall much he has done well. I think Stones is sound enough, as are Jags and Distin, but we should invest. If Fulham go down, perhaps Hangeland or Wes Brown from Sunderland. They have experience and are usually reliable.
Colin Glassar
70 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:58:11
I’ve always thought 69 would be enough but if Spurs win their remaining games and we don’t then they will get 5th place.
Linda Morrison
71 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:49:52
Colin couldn’t have put it better myself. They always say you don’t know what you have till it’s gone and we missed Distin and Mirallas badly today.

I think this has been a reaction to pressure, plus changes to the defence and too many players having to play all the time as we have no others to swap them with.

The players have given their all this season, some I will agree, especially Lukaka and Deulofeu blow too hot and cold for my liking. But this season reminds me of Liverpool last season. Winning the big games and being crap against clubs they should easily win against. We had one of the smallest squads in the league at the start of the season and we all know about the terrible injuries.

Man Utd would need to win all their remaining games and Everton to not get any more points for them to overtake us and I can’t see that happening... although, to listen to the radio, you would think Giggs was "The Chosen One" and Moyes had never been there.

It’s a shame as this I think gave us our best chance of the top 4 as others will regroup for next season. But I always think things happen for a reason. Lukaka will definitely be off now to who knows where so at least we won’t be spending what transfer dosh we have on one player.

Ray Roche
72 Posted 26/04/2014 at 15:47:49
Patrick Murphy @31 and Brian Hennessy

BT Sports fixtures, doesn’t make good reading.
City A
Shite H
Stevenage FA Cup
Shite A
Chelsea A
Southampton A
City H

So, four League Defeats and one League draw and one win against Stevenage when we lost Oviedo.

Keith Simmonds
73 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:08:09
Barkley, Lukaku, Deulofeu, Mirallas... They do some good stuff at times. But all of them are just too ball-greedy. Why doesn’t Martinez address the problem? Surely he can’t be endorsing it?
Brian Williams
74 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:14:07
Anyone else think missing out on the Europa league wouldn’t be such a bad thing?

It’s Catch-22. European football the plus, but puts a strain on a small squad and Premier League results WILL suffer being the minus.

Shocking performance today though... young Gerard seemed clueless, as did Lukaku for the most part. It almost seemed like we didn’t want it.

You watch Arsenal go and get beat as well, just to make our result even worse!!

Jay Harris
75 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:12:38
When I saw Martinez’s expression before the game, I knew what to expect today. He looked absolutely petrified, and was as nervous as hell when interviewed, so it’s not just the players who freeze on the big occasions.

Even though we were utter shite today, I still feel we were denied at least a point by disgraceful officials’ decisions.

On the basis of recent performances Lukaku is not worth £2 million never mind £25 million. Mourhino is a pretty good judge of top players and you can see why he does not want Lukaku. Naismith has overshadowed him in every respect.

Just when we start to get a bit of belief back, we blow it again. So disappointing.

Sam Hoare
77 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:23:48
I want Europa league. More chances for us to watch Everton and for the club to win a trophy. Winning it may be the easiest route into CL next season as Spurs and Utd will get much better managers.

As for today.... pah.

Tahir Abdullah
78 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:23:11
Brian @75; I’m with you on skipping Europa league. If anything today’s match showed our lack of squad depth. Unless the board can find enough funds to spend on at least 3 proven, fit players across the park, we risk deterioration in EPL next season. A great season nevertheless..Europa league 2015/16 and CL 2016/17. COYB!
Matthew Roberts
79 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:26:47
A lot of people saying "it’s the hope that kills you" and they’re right... but I for am glad that we at least get hope! At least we’re not Man Utd fans.

As for the Europa League, I think we should all be wanting us to be in it; the whole point in doing well in the league is to get into these types of competitions — what’s the point in not wanting it this season just for a better chance to be in it next season?

Andy Crooks
80 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:34:49
A great post from Kevin Hudson. We must hang on for Europa league as I believe it is vital for the develop of the squad.

Also, it seems to me that Duffy is better than Alcaraz.

Harold Matthews
81 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:30:18
Naismith didn’t overshadow anyone today Jay.
Colin Malone
82 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:33:21
Did Arsene Wenger give Barry a call last night? awful.
Ross Barkley is class, so why play Naismith?, ok Naismith does not deserve to be dropped but not at the expense of Barkley playing out of position.
Colin Glassar
83 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:55:55
Stoke did us no favours today did they?
Linda Morrison
84 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:52:37
Colin no way Arsenal will take Barry he’s too old and they already have older midfielders like Arteta, but if Barry goes elsewhere so be it.

We are more than capable of getting another player to work with McCarthy who will be seen as a snip at £13 million next season.

I’ve got over the disappointment a bit now. I always think Roberto looks anxious when being interviewed prior to a match it’s all those lines on his forehead that do it. Don’t forget he’s a young manager and also still learning about our team and players.
Europa League will be ours next season and we just have to accept it. We will have missing players back and I expect Roberto to come back from Brazil with some good signings and no doubt more loans.

Mark Frere
85 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:55:46
"Also, it seems to me that Duffy is better than Alcaraz."

On what basis is Duffy better than Alcaraz, Andy? Alcaraz was excellent last week as he was in the reverse Southampton fixture in December. Alcaraz was also very good in Jags and Distin’s absence in January. He had a bit of a shocker in the Anfield Derby but apart from that he’s been very dependable.

Jamie Barlow
86 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:03:44
In terms of effort put in, I’d say Naismith overshadowed quite a few players out there today.
Colin Glassar
87 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:05:08
Apart from his OG Alcaraz was ok but let’s be honest, Alcarez is about 33 and Distin is about 50 so we need to find a new left sided CB. Bruno Martins is the answer IMO with these two kept for cup games and Europa league.
Robert Workman
88 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:06:23
I am more annoyed about the refereeing decisions than the own goals. Naismith played a perfectly weighted pass for Deulofeu to run on to. He was not offside. OK there is no certainty that he would have scored (having missed a similar chance once before this season) but, if he did score, we would have been right back in the game just after half-time.

Even without that "goal" had the penalty been awarded for the clear foul on Osman, we all know that Baines would have scored. Again it would have been a different game.

Agreed that the performance was not great, but we all know that goals change matches.

Btw Everton will be in Europa League unless Man Utd win all their remaining games and we lose all ours. Their goal difference would then be better than ours.

Tony Draper
89 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:15:30

It’s completely MY fault

Sunderland, Palace, The Mary’s

Saw EVERY single one coming a mile off, and did I do fuck all
’Corse not

So now we can throw the Prem Title to Citeh.......(well we could help.......)

Gary Russell
90 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:13:13
Mr Crooks... your support of Duffy is admirable but to suggest that "it seems to me’ he, the certain Mr Duffy is better than Alcaraz is downright ludicrous. Perhaps you have seen every game he has played for Yeovil and his performances are so amazing for this team, Yeovil... who... have been relegated. Keep it real man
Peter Cummings
92 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:10:18
When you shoot youself in the foot TWICE you deserve to be ’shot at dawn’ and so it was, the surprise was that we could have won 3-2 on pens and an offside call that wasn’t, but, as usual, we were shafted by ’official’ incompetence.

This doesn’t excuse a truly woeful performance by all concerned as the Saints themselves hardly troubled Howard, despite their overall possession.

Tommy Coleman
93 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:24:54
Dreadful at every level. I’ve never punched the couch so much.

The Players, Martinez and the Refs must have got pissed up somewhere late last night. All fucked this up today. The Players were so sloppy with the ball. Martinez should have swapped Naismith and Delboy after 20 mins, he should not have taken off Barkley either. The Linesmen and Ref made shocking decisions.

What a day to forget. Europa, here we come.

Craig Mills
94 Posted 26/04/2014 at 16:38:35
Have to agree with most on here, how poor was Lukaku today. £25M is way too much when you see that kind of performance. Also got to say I’m more than concerned about next week against City, I cannot see Stones and Alcaraz putting up much resistance when they come to Goodison. If we are not careful, we have a real chance of dropping to 7th before the season is done. Two huge games coming up, let’s not blow what’s been a fantastic season Blues......
Damian Braithwaite
95 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:29:41
James Martin well said
Andy Crooks
96 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:30:49
Mark, Alcaraz is not "very dependable", for a start how often has he been fit this season? Gary, did you see the post on this site from a Yeovil fan who praised Duffy highly for his performances and his attitude. He has been outstanding in a really poor side.

I was told to "keep it real" when I championed Seamus Coleman. In fact, some on this site suggested I was related to him. I’ll happily admit to being more wrong than right but I was right about Coleman and I’m even more convinced about Duffy. This time next year there will humble pie waiting for many doubters.

Back to today’s game; it was a tired show but we must hang on for Europa league. Roberto has raised our expectations to such an extent that fifth will seem a little disappointing. However, I really believe we are moving forward.

Patrick Murphy
98 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:40:35
I realise that it doesn’t excuse today’s performance but when you beat last years Champions Man Utd and perennial CL qualifiers Arsenal at Goodison in the manner that our team did and the media to a man decide that they will concentrate on the short-comings of the beaten sides, it must be difficult for our players to feel what they should after such performances. The media plays a very important role in maintaining the status quo and because a lot of our team are young they probably pay more attention than they ought to.
Brian Waring
99 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:51:26
"When I saw Martinez’s expression before the game, I knew what to expect today. He looked absolutely petrified, and was as nervous as hell when interviewed, so it’s not just the players who freeze on the big occasions."

Oh come on Jay.

Paul Hughes
100 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:39:07
I can’t believe that anyone is complaining about Barkley and Deulofeu being hooked. Barkley was way off the pace, and, coming off the left wing, Deulofeu couldn’t beat an egg. Their RB took the ball off him on at least a dozen times, yet the one time he switched to the right he got to the byline and put in a good cross - why didn’t he try that more often?

I’d have replaced them both after 30 mins, it was clear we were losing ground in midfield, and had no outlet out wide.

I’d also caution the sanctification of young Stones. Yes the lad clearly has class and is going to be a good ’un, but he was seriously culpable for the second goal (to go along with two cock-ups against Palace). He needs to quickly learn his "muck and bullets" defensive duties.

In the end the lack of depth of our squad has cost us, but Everton being Everton, we’ll probably stuff City next weekend.

Brian Waring
101 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:52:07
Also Jay, was this the same Martinez who ’froze on the big occasion’ when he won the FA cup?
James Martin
102 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:43:15
All I want next season is a relatively injury free campaign. We are annoyed at results like today but just think about the players missing. Mirallas and Gibson, they were probably oyr two best players last season when fit. Pienaar has often been the player we’ve missed the most when injured. Never mind two centrebacks who make up one of the league’s top defenses.

It seems to happen most seasons, our best players get ling injuries. Even when we rotate players get knocks, Baines got another one today, McCarthy has been carrying one, Naismith now too. Certain other clubs just play the same 11/13 players every game, don’t strengthen in January and don’t get any injuries. Its a good showing that we are were we are considering the injuries we’ve had. Gibson, Kone, Pienaar, Oviedo Traore - could easily have been worth 6 extra points.

Gary Russell
103 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:52:45
Andy... Duffy has played how many games in the premier? How can you compare? He has been great in the Championship... as you say... but to compare, well its hard , don’t you think. I guess you are Irish, right?
Ray Said
104 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:48:04
There is some real over reaction here. Some of the younger players were poor today but have also been brilliant at times this season-that’s what you get with young players. C Ronaldo was slated for being inconsistent in his development and was in and out of the Man Utd team, Gareth Bale was booed off the pitch at Spurs and could not find his best position so was in and out of the team. Lukaku, Deulofeu, Stones and Barclay are young lads who some are expecting to be on blob every minute of every game. Its not realistic and its not going to happen so we need to be patient and supportive and lets see how they grow.

The thinness of the squad was shown up today through unfortunate injuries to important and the board should have boosted the numbers in January-look at today’s bench.

I am disappointed we couldn’t see it through but I am not surprised. My blame is firmly on the board for not looking at the league position when the window was open and really giving it a go.
Its been a really good season with some really good footy played.

Brent Stephens
106 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:45:50
To lose one goal like that may be regarded as misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness (sorry, Oscar).

On another note, Roberto said at the start of the season that it would be January before we saw the best of Delboy. He didn’t say which January. Flatters to deceive. And he doesn’t put in a shift – again he was trying to prove the first law of thermodynamics, conserving energy over time.

Mark Frere
108 Posted 26/04/2014 at 18:07:36
Andy (97)

When I said "dependable", I meant when he’s been called upon. Yes he’s been injured a lot (I’m no disputing that fact) but you said Duffy is a better player than Alcaraz. There’s absolutely no evidence to support your claim. Duffy has been playing well at a team that has just been relegated from the Championship.

When I’ve seen Duffy play for the Under-21s, he looks to lack pace and his distribution is poorer than that of Distin and Jags. Don’t get me wrong: he looks positionally sound and is good in the air, but to say he is better than Alcaraz is a bit premature in my opinion.

I hope Duffy gets his chance in the Europa League playing alongside Stones.

Ian McPherson
109 Posted 26/04/2014 at 17:52:51
Can we have 5th without Europa League please. What a joke of a competition, it will kill us next year without a squad like Man City’s.

Today, we looked beaten after 60 seconds, do we have a sports psychologist at Everton? The Redshite do.

Paul Holden
111 Posted 26/04/2014 at 18:47:01
Just got back from St Mary’s - apart from Stones we were a fucking disgrace
Kieran Riding
112 Posted 26/04/2014 at 18:53:06
Just got in from the game also Paul..
I agree 100%.

There was no one even talking to eachother in the side... No leadership on the pitch at all.

Saints were nothing great but absolutely waltzed to an easy victory.

I’ve read on the BBC match report that Deloufeu was our most dangerous player?? Jesus Christ. He was utter gash.

Paul Smith
113 Posted 26/04/2014 at 18:55:54
Paul (112)
Touché mate, was there too. Scores everywhere else going against us as well.

Here’s for a good performance against Shiteh!

Chris Corn
114 Posted 26/04/2014 at 19:02:07
Ian at 110..The natural Evertonian pessimism makes me feel that we still need a win to keep Spurs at bay and Utd are wiping our goal difference away as we speak and still have three games left being nine points behind. So you might get your wish for no Europa after all. I’d like to say I can’t believe we have shot ourselves in the foot after working so hard to get in a good position to finish in the top four.

Only at Everton could we be upset after a run if 8 wins in 10 !!!

Martin Berry
115 Posted 26/04/2014 at 19:29:02
Shit day, shit performance... but, at the beginning of August, if any one had told me we’d be fighting for a Champions League spot at this stage of the season, I’d have have said "No fucking chance." We will finish 5th and, let’s face it, that will be a fantastic achievement.
Mark Dunford
116 Posted 26/04/2014 at 19:35:13
Just got back and agree we were awful. Alcaraz was a bag of nerves for entire first half. A lot of huff and puff but we seemed disjointed. I can’t recall seeing us conceded two softer own goals.

We played better in second half but were still poor. Some awful decisions went against us in that period – offside against Boy Wonder and two cast-iron penalty shouts. I think we should consider an appeal over the Osman booking for no other reason than to show the stupidity of the decision (I know we won’t) and someone must explain how the ref thinks holding a player down inside the box isn’t a penalty – it is beyond me and obviously McCarthy.

I don’t deny Southampton were the better side but what really galls is they didn’t force a serious save from Howard till injury time (his save was probably our best moment). We looked jaded across the field and the injuries showed the lack of depth in the squad.

I agree that we need a new centre half as cover or to replace Distin (who was badly missed today and I don’t think we’d have lost with him in the side). Moyes’s squads were characterised by versatility – players who could operate in a number of positions have left the squad so we’ve lost something. Might be worth pondering.

Yes, we’ve had a wonderful run since the cup defeat. This is what makes two strange defeats hard to take. The past fortnight or so has been – Arsenal, Man Utd, Palace and now Southampton has seen us lose to two teams we should have beaten.

Colin Malone
117 Posted 26/04/2014 at 20:21:17
Europa League? What benefits? More games, playing on a Sunday, Naaaa, rather see Roberto’s rebuilding without the hassle.
Steve Alderson
118 Posted 26/04/2014 at 19:39:46
Liverpool could win the league tomorrow, what can we do about it? Make a show of ourselves and give kopites a laugh for weeks.

5th/6th is a season to be proud of and I am but why can ’t we see it through to CL?

Mistakes, that’s why it’s what we do best and usually they cost us big time.

Everton don’t have CL mentality, nowhere near.

Jim Bennings
120 Posted 26/04/2014 at 21:41:18
How many goals has Barkley created?

How many times does he play a forward ball?

When does he put a good cross in?

Same for Deulofeu.

All hype at the minute.

There are other young players doing more than these lads on a more consistent game by game basis.

Jim Bennings
121 Posted 26/04/2014 at 21:47:22
Good season but you just think this was our one real great chance to get to the promised land of the Champions League.

Next season our rivals will all spend big and what will we do?.

Sign Traore on loan and one or two others, I feel sorry for Martinez with our boards lack of ambitions.

Guy Hastings
122 Posted 26/04/2014 at 21:33:41
What few have picked up on is what a shocking game of football it was. Southampton were as crap as we were (and that took some doing). Neither keeper had a save to make until Tim did his usual schtick in the second minute of extra time. It was lacklustre stuff, to be kind, on the field of play. Off it, the only football finance-related decision that can be guaranteed next season is that BT won’t be getting a single sous out of me.
Malcolm Joyner
123 Posted 26/04/2014 at 21:54:32
Sad to say, Everton will never break through the Top Four ceiling because we are under-resourced to maintain a meaningful challenge.

Sure, we’ll look likely to do so but it needs more than a bright-eyed manager and players playing to the peak of their capabilities in two thirds of the games. It requires INVESTMENT.

Incidentally, my old man remarked that Sandy Brown was looking down on the boys this afternoon and decided that now he had left this mortal coil, it was time for a new custodian of his infamous Own Goal Crown.

Step up Antolin and Seamus. And the crown goes to............?

Steve Carse
124 Posted 26/04/2014 at 21:50:25
Chris (115), it is irrelevant how many goals Man Utd scored today. We went into today’s fixtures with a 4-goal superior margin over Utd. Not to qualify for the EL would require us to lose our last 3 and Utd to win their last 4. Even if these games were all won or lost by just 1 goal then Man Utd’s goal difference would be better than ours (by 3 goals).
Sam Hoare
125 Posted 26/04/2014 at 22:39:13
I would take 5th at this point which is at least an improvement. There’s a decent chance we could end up 6th or even 7th as Spurs and Utd have very winnable games whilst we have two tough ones and a team likely to be deflated from missing out on CL.

I think City could well do us and it will all come down to Hull. No EL after this season and 69 or 70 points would be a real kick in the teeth!!

Dick Fearon
126 Posted 26/04/2014 at 22:28:52
There are times when Roberto should curb his basic attacking instinct and this was one of those times All thoughts of gung ho up at em’ should be temporally shelved. Horses for courses comes to mind yet I worry that Roberto has only one horse in his stable.

Most of our wins came against sides that tried to match us toe to toe. Most of our defeats were against sides that parked the bus and counter attacked. When the need arises even the great Barca resort to defensive negativity. I am concerned that all out attack will cause heartaches similar to today.

Tom Laskaris
127 Posted 26/04/2014 at 23:15:54
Why does loving you have to hurt so much, Everton?
Patrick Murphy
128 Posted 26/04/2014 at 23:22:02
Dick, I think you have a valid point and whilst it is great to have taken 24 points out of 30 it can be useful to make yourself hard to beat on occasion at least away from home – but conceding in the opening 60 seconds of the game means whatever you planned prior to the game goes out of the window and it suited Southampton down to the ground.

But we never really played with any cohesion or flair today and lacked confidence in our ability to play the game, it is something that Roberto will have to drill into his team when you have a problem it is up to the players to take responsibility and solve it. But it is our lack of real depth in the squad which is going to cost us again.

Paul Nicholls
129 Posted 26/04/2014 at 23:53:10
Shame that we have a motto which translates into ’No Bottle When Required’.
Ah well, ’Que Sera, Sera’
Dennis Stevens
130 Posted 27/04/2014 at 01:09:21
Just got home from seeing the shittest of the shittest of the shit
Derek Thomas
134 Posted 27/04/2014 at 02:51:37
LMF; those who understand need no explanation, etc etc. Somebody remarked two months ago about us needing to find our inner ’Tony Pullis’... there are more than a few who need to find their inner Hickson, Collins, Gabriel, Ball, Lyons, almost, if not all, of their inner 84-85 team (and some others too many to mention).

Snatching 5th (defeat) from the jaws of 4th (victory). Bottling it for you since Ian Storey-Moore (at least).

The Europa League – we haven’t got the squad quality or numbers for 38 games in the Prem, never mind another 10+ that will use up the odd ’rest days’ we do have.

Lukaku – on this season, what is his real (not potential, real) worth? £10M max. I fear all he will ever be is a rich man’s Big Vic / Heskey.

Back to LMF, of all the things you can coach into players, sadly skill and attitude are not on the list; yes, you can do a bit with technique, effort and experience sometimes knocks a few rough edges off, but skill and attitude are finite interior qualities and what you are given is what you got.

So on and so on ad-kneejerk-infinitum.

We’re all totally beating ourselves up over ONLY getting 5th... the first 3 drawn games coming back to bite us in the bum.

Still – If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t’ve joined.

Harold Matthews
135 Posted 27/04/2014 at 02:41:15
Paul H. Re the first goal. With Coleman being taken out of position, it was up to Stones to quickly read the danger, close down and stop the cross. Instead, he stood transfixed and viewed the action like a spectator. In case you haven’t noticed. He does not like being hit by the ball. Fire it at him and he will try to get out of the way.

He wasn’t too clever for the 2nd goal either. Brilliant on the ball maybe,.....but he is also a goal-leaking machine. Anfield, the Emirates, Palace, Southampton, to name just a few. Do me a favour. I’ve seen McCarthy almost hit him on more than one occasion. At the Emirates, after the Giroud tap-in, I thought Macca was about to commit GBH. Red faced with rage, he bent forward, screamed at Stones and probably reminded him that it was the FA Cup.

The lad is a fantastic ball player and a joy to watch. Unfortunately, his main requirement is to stop the opposition from scoring goals and, in that area, he’s not doing too well, Fingers crossed he will eventually put things right but it will need a massive improvement in his anticipation and bravery. Still only 19, there’s plenty of time for him to learn the art of Premier League defending.

Tahir Abdullah
136 Posted 27/04/2014 at 04:36:33
Jim B @121, good on you for not letting up on the addressing the elephant in the room. Both Delboy & Barks are effectively one trick ponies at the moment; both 20 years of age, but the difference is that Delboy is not nearly as hyped as Barks. Also Delboy can at least pick a pass/cross (3 assists in 9 starts vs Ross with 0 assists in 24 starts). Work to do for both, but more so for Ross looks like....
Ray Roche
138 Posted 27/04/2014 at 10:41:30
Harold Matthews @136

Harold, some good points there, I sometimes wonder if Stones could make a good defensive/ midfielder, the way he carries the ball forward and can pick a pass and he wouldn’t be found turning his back quite as much as he does. His reading of the game is exceptional for a young lad.

Andrew Clare
139 Posted 27/04/2014 at 11:00:16
I can understand how everyone feels after attending the game but games like this happen even to the best of teams. I remember West Brom away in 69-70 when we won the league. We lost that one 0-2 and we had a great team then. Wimbledon away in the ’90’s 0-0 absolutely dreadful but then we did have a poor team.

Make no mistake Southampton are a very good team with a very good manager.

We will bounce back and I am sure there are great things ahead with Roberto at the helm.I am sure now that he has had a full season to look at players he will know exactly what is required for next season.

Tim Greeley
140 Posted 27/04/2014 at 12:43:27
Gotta hope Distin is back for the last two. I’m in the pro-Europa side and all we need is one point to get there......and after watching THAT SHIT I am suddenly very nervous we wont even get that. ManUre would need to win their last 3 for this nightmare scenario ti happen but they r home for the next two and Lord Giggs is now in charge.

Also, they would never do this but, if I was involved with the Club, I’d gather video evidence of all the dogshit penalties Suarez and Sturridge have been awarded and compare them with Osman’s yesterday and send it to the FA. Along with a bag of actual dogshit.

Ciaran Duff
141 Posted 27/04/2014 at 23:33:46
Let’s face sometimes shit happens and a lot of it happened on Sat. We seemed to get our bad karma all in one game.

Sure the team were a bit off (esp. Barkley) but the ref. really didn’t help our cause. We had 3 clear penalty shouts (shirt pull on Barry from corner when he was about to head the ball, as well as the Osman and McCarthy incidents). There was also the Delboy "offside". For all of above incidents, the commentary I was listening to David Pleat (who was pretty fair I thought) agreed that ref had got all 4 decisions wrong!

Michael Brien
142 Posted 28/04/2014 at 11:52:52
Phil Smith # 3 "That’s the worst 45 I’ve seen from ANY Everton team! Shocking!! "Think yourself lucky that you weren’t around when Gordon Lee was manager then, Phil. I recall us losing 0-4 at Goodison to Ipswich in early 1980 and I seem to think that they hit the woodwork twice.

I watched the match on TV at a mates on Saturday – yes, we didn’t play well... but I think that some Evertonians are becoming like the TV pundits. I think that the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal would struggle if they had as many players out injured as we have. Poldolski is a well established German International, without checking I think that he has got around 80 caps, yet he is not a regular starter for Arsenal. I bet Roberto wishes he could have such experience coming on from the bench.

Given the number of injuries that we have had, I think Martinez has done a brilliant job keeping us in contention for a Champions League place. Yes, it looks beyond us now, but when was the last time we could talk about challenging for 4th?

I mentioned pundits – my mate was telling me the other week that Hoddle was on and was saying that we had been lucky with injuries this season!!! Sorry but I expect better from some of these experts, if he had spent half-an-hour doing some research, he would have found that the opposite was the case.

Yes, the result and the performance were not what we wanted and needed, but that shouldn’t be allowed to overshadow what has been a very good season. I don’t watch BT on a regular basis, but my mate was telling me that David James had predicted Everton to finish 17th this season, and Neville Southall was quoted as saying that Martinez as choice of manager showed a lack of ambition by the club. Perhaps James and Southall could team up as the next "Chuckle Brothers"!

Mike Berry
145 Posted 29/04/2014 at 18:29:31
At least Hoddle didn’t say we as a club had sinned in a previous life. Things happen and we scored two own goals. It ain’t bin a bad season. The trouble is that we always have to measure ourselves against that lot from Anfield!

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