The last three games have been absolute torture. There was a point in the Spurs game, when Baines took a throw in to Barkley, and Ross just stabbed it out of play for an opposition throw in. I swear, I nearly chewed off my own hand off, watching them both trot away without even a backward glance.

The substitutions aren't working, the play is depressingly slow, and we don't seem to know how to pass, or make a run, as soon as we have sight of the opposition box.

Is there anything more frustrating than watching us chase a one-goal deficit, then passing it back to our goalie after being pressed in midfield? It's like a bad dream!

After last season, we all thought we would have gotten used to our new style, but no, we look worse than ever this season.

So, what's the answer? Sack the manager? Get rid of all the older players who struggle to pass a ball? (Always makes me shudder to think international footballers cannot pass a ball.) Change our passing style?

It takes a brave man to stick to his 'philosophy' of how the game should be played in this League. Every Premier League team has a £10m striker on their books these days, and you will be punished if you make a mistake. It's naive to think the manager and players don't know what the problem is, but that doesn't mean they have the answers either.

There is the easy option when things aren't going well - percentage football. Allardyce and Pardew don't seem to be doing too badly, do they? Lukaku would probably prosper playing for knock-downs, and second balls, he's built for that sort of game. There is one problem adopting that approach though; in the end, you are relying on luck and sweat. Sometimes it works... sometimes it's worse than it is now. It certainly won't work on the European stage, so, No thanks.

Or, as painful as it is now, we can keep playing as we are, hoping the speed will be introduced into our passing game, the flicks and tricks start to come off, the decisions start to go our way, and the players suddenly find an extra yard of pace. Who remembers those first three draws of last season? We are witnessing exactly the same problems now, but we all thought that phase of our development as a team had passed. Well, it seems it hasn't.

I honestly believe if we can get through these times of despair, and come through the other side, it could be the making of a 'New Everton'. We have the players for an exciting future – Barkley, Stones, Lukaku, McCarthy, Besic, Coleman etc. This manager needs to fix it, and fix it quick.

Martinez will not change his style for a more direct approach, so forget about him suddenly sending his team out to play any differently. I only hope for his sake, and ours, we click as we did last season, because I cannot bear to watch us play the way we are now.

Come on lads – make it a good Christmas for all us Evertonians, it's a bit shit just now.

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Tony Abrahams
1 Posted 08/12/2014 at 17:41:31
Remember when Everton drew at home to Coventry in front of 13,000 fans on New Years Eve 1983, Kevin.
We was playing terrible and I always remember the match report in The Daily Mirror, the next day. ItÂ’s stuck in my mind forever.
On my way to Birmingham, I shall look at George Orwells book, it said. Because surely 1984 as got to Be better for Everton.
It changes quickly for The Toffees, Kevin, and I personally wouldnÂ’t mind us carrying on playing shite until New Years Day, if we could go on and win in Warsaw!
Danny Broderick
2 Posted 08/12/2014 at 18:10:32
We are missing energy and pace. Having McCarthy & Naismith back will give us energy. IÂ’m hoping weÂ’ll get a pacy right winger in on loan in January...
Bill Gall
3 Posted 08/12/2014 at 17:46:17
There is one thing that will not happen and that is the manager will change his philosophy.

The most baffling thing about this season is the change from last season of quick movement and attacking from the wings that brought goal scoring opportunities. A number of supporters have blamed this season on the poor pre-season that may have influenced earlier games but this far into the season that should have been addressed.

The major problem at the momement is through a number of injuries to major players the manager is forced into chopping and changing players around and not finding a balanced side.

I believe that Mr Martinez does not have enough experience in the premier and he is on a learning curve with the players and at the momement he will most probably become successful but needs time. ( The problem is most people will not give him time.)One of the things he has to learn is that the bench is not just there for injuries but to change the game around from the 1st 10min to the 90th min.

We cant bring in many more players in January unless it is to stablize our league position but any players brought in have to be under 25yrs of age for the future.

We are not playing well as the last three games have shown but we are in a false position even as they say (the table does not lie.) We have to just get behind the team as mutch as possible and hope the Manager gets over his learning curve realizes the mistakes he is making rectify them and return to winning ways.

People are going to say that the Manager was in the premier with Wigan but managing a club like Wigan and managing a club like Everton is to me like managing a corner store and moving to manage a supermarket. (No disrespect meant to Wigan)

Denis Richardson
4 Posted 08/12/2014 at 18:30:43
Think youÂ’re being a bit unfair to the barcodes and West Ham Kevin, theyÂ’re actually playing pretty decent football at the minute, as much as it pains me to say it. Downing seems to be the old player from again his Â’Borough days.

Our main problem for me is that there is so little movement off the ball that the guy in possession inevitably plays it sideways or back to goal as thereÂ’s nothing to pass to up ahead. The three AMs, whoever they are, need to get into space and show for the pass rather that jog around, or as often happens, stand still.

Having Stones back will make a difference as heÂ’ll draw a man when he brings the ball forward but until then, the players need to actually move into space and want the ball.

Geoff Evans
5 Posted 08/12/2014 at 18:39:43
Put the kids out on Thursday and save players for QPR. If they come with any ambition we could be in trouble. AustinÂ’s nobodyÂ’s fool.
Kunal Desai
6 Posted 08/12/2014 at 18:47:01
As already mentioned getting three key injured players with help, but it shouldnÂ’t be a surprise that certain players are struggling to adapt to Martinez style of play. The fact of the matter is that Moyes left behind an aging squad and one which needed rebuilding in two to three seasons time in any case. The first season every player is looking to impress the new manager, the second season then comes the true test where certain players are no longer capable of integrating to the style of play required or are unable to maintain rigorous fitness levels. Personally, I think a big factor is the age of this squad and the rebuilding required - Howard, Jagielka, Distin, Pienaar, Alcaraz, Osman, Barry, EtoÂ’o, Kone, Hibbert. Kenwright has no choice but to provide sufficient funds to the manager to rebuild and replace some of these players, in particular the Â’MoyesÂ’ players next summer.
Similar to How Sir Alex left his squad for Moyes, I think Moyes has done the same to Martinez.
Phil Walling
7 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:08:46
CanÂ’t comment on Saturday as I was far away on a family celebration. It looks like it will take a big turn round from now to end of season to see Everton make anything out of this season unless Bobby can repeat his FA Cup adventure.

Reading through the comments on various threads it seems we are longing for Stones to return and Barkley to blossom. Certainly an injection of youth into the PremierÂ’s most elderly team would be most welcome.

Brian Waring
8 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:16:28
Get the service to Lukaku where he can run in on goal and things will change, because I feel sorry for him at the moment always having to play with his back to goal.
Patrick Murphy
9 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:22:39
This pain will wear off but the Sky pundits will be around to ensure we have more than enough pain. I honestly canÂ’t make my mind up about their utterances on the penalty decision on Saturday: for a little part of it I thought Carragher was defending Jags and Neville was justifying the call, but then they both appeared to swap places and Carragher was saying that Jags invited the penalty. Now I know why I very rarely have the sound on the TV when football is on it.
Tony Hill
10 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:04:32
As so often in sport, the critical element is self-belief and at the moment we patently lack it. This is remarkable given the managerÂ’s theme tune last year that we would no longer play with instinctive doubt, especially against the "big" teams. That is why we were all so delighted by the performances against Man United and Arsenal 12 months ago. It looked as though we had freed ourselves from the mental shackles we have had for so long.

I remain a Martinez supporter, though I have to say more from intuition than conviction at present. I am concerned by our league form and by the apparent lack of commitment from certain of the players. What we need, above all, is one or ideally several hard players who despise losing and will go over the edge to secure victory (I have hopes of Besic as the nasty piece of work we need). We should change the ineffectual captain – appoint McCarthy or Coleman despite his bad form – and take some risks : bring in Browning, Galloway and Garbutt.

I look at Barkley as a sign of our current malaise. He is a brilliant natural talent who is thinking too much about himself and his fame and who is paralysing himself. So it is for the team and the manager – let’s go out and play with freedom and joy. It’s what we crave and it’s our true way. If we do that, I don’t think there’s any Evertonian who will regret it or damn the team if we lose along the way.

Patrick Murphy
11 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:34:40
Brian – having just watched Neville’s analysis from Saturday, I was astounded when he pointed out that in the last minute Hibbert had the ball by the half-way line and Lukaku was one on one with a City defender, there was an opportunity for Hibbo to pump the ball towards the big guy, but Lukaku signaled to Hibbert to play it back inside, a strange idea given we were a goal behind.
Christopher Kelly
12 Posted 08/12/2014 at 20:38:52
ItÂ’s obvious we need to play faster and need quicker players to do that. (Watching Southampton play quickly and with spirit at the moment vs. United has me jealous). We ALL agree on that.

The fact we keep extending old players contracts (who have helped us win fuck all in their careers; and scientifically wonÂ’t get better) has me very worried that Bill has no intent of improving the squad through buying enterprising players, but will again, hold on to the older ones and bring in cheap, youth academy players as they get older.

This coupled with RobertoÂ’s comments on improving the team through the academy has me feel that heÂ’s in on the botched plan. One step forward, two steps back as usual.

Wayne Smyth
13 Posted 08/12/2014 at 21:40:40
Christopher, you can't blame BK for who Martinez decides to give new contracts to. Given most of the oldies are probably on a decent wedge, they're not cheap either. It's clear Martinez had about 㿏M to spend this year and he decided to blow it on a couple of players, he could've strengthened in a few areas instead, but decided not to.

Honestly, I thought Martinez was wrong to offer a new deal to Hibbert, but I think his experience is probably quite important. Infact Eto'o, Distin, Jags, Osman and Barry are all key members of the squad who are required to provide an experienced base for players like McCarthy, Barkley, Stones, Lukaku.

I would say this season, we've missed Deulofeu and Pienaar has not been performing, probably not match sharp. Last season, even though he was intermittent, at least when he did perform Deulofeu provided match winning quality, a bit of pace and genuine goal threat. Atsu looks half the player. McGeady is not good enough for a starting role.

Mirallas aside we have no decent wingers, and it is affecting our forward play and not providing Baines/Coleman any opportunity to expose the opposition. Both our wing-backs rely on overlaps, but with McGeady, Barkley, Eto'o and Osman all being forced to play winger and not doing very well it's preventing us from getting into our stride.

These are issues that I don't think Martinez will solve this season. Hopefully next season he'll be able to bring in players of the quality of Perisic or similar, who would provide a much greater attacking threat than we currently have.

Phil Walling
14 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:03:31
I am coming to believe that Moyes was a better manager of Everton than the present incumbent even though I was pleased to see him go when he did.

Roberto gave us a good first season but is proving to be 'a one-trick pony'. Most of his signings stink and his tactical acumen is decidedly limited.

I said when he came that he was on a mission to prove 'his' way was the only way to play the game but his 'philosophy' – like many before – has been sussed and found wanting.

Much suffering is in store, I fear. Brace yourselves, folks!

Peter Laing
15 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:09:19
Premier league teams have figured out how to play against Everton, the rot in terns of our obsessive compulsive disorder of possession football set in against Liverpool when we were mauled 4-0 and it could have been more.

Opposition teams are quite happy for Everton to have the ball, they put men behind the ball and counter against us. The slow ponderous approach needs to be replaced with a cutting edge although I won't judge the team or the season until Roberto has a near full strength squad to pick from. I too would love Delboy back, in a heart beat.

Harold Matthews
16 Posted 08/12/2014 at 21:52:43
Van Gaal and Ronald Koeman don't gloss over things. They are very knowledgeable and say it as it is. Wish our boss would do the same.
Nick Entwistle
17 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:26:00
I think it's fair to say many of the lesser teams have caught up with their improved squads. We had for a long time a starting XI you could compare against the best, but with age and squad building of others the gap has been closed.

It used to be we could guarantee a place among the top 7 teams, with every other team guaranteed to finish below – not the case anymore.

We got a great striker but who can easily be found wanting if a team sit back, and our next best is 57. Baines and Pienaar have had their best years and McCarthy and Barry offer nothing going forward.

We've blown the budget on one player when all the other teams who had a budget to begin with have done more with the increased TV contracts.

I'm loving West Ham at the moment, Sakho, Valencia and Carrol? Very nice.

Bill Gall
18 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:29:44
Watching the Southhampton - Man Utd game Gary Neville made the comment that Van Gaal will have to have a serious look at the training and conditioning regime he has at United that it may be contributing to all the injuries they are getting.

Wonder if Everton are having the same problem?

Peter Mills
19 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:30:35
Harold (#16), I was just about to post the same thing. Van Gaal substituted a young lad during the first half because he was making mistakes. No bullshit, he made the change because McNair had made 3 bad mistakes. He then admitted at the end that his team had not played well and were lucky to win.

Koeman was rueful, knew his team had played well but hadn't done enough. He was critical of Long for missing two chances he should have put away. Quite right.

I like Roberto, but he does talk some absolute nonsense. I wish he would stop doing so.

Jamie Crowley
20 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:22:56
Three things:

1. We need a center back who can actually play the ball out of the back. Jags and Distin can't play Roberto's system. And Roberto ain't changin his system any time soon. We are condemned to watch them ping the ball around with Howard in the Bermuda Triangle / Triangle of Hell / whatever shit thing you want to call it. Stones needs to get healthy. Alcaraz needs a run. Besic needs to move in the back. Something. One of the two CBs have to be able to pick a pass. The donk defender (Jags or Distin) can play it sideways to the guy who actually has some degree of vision and ability on a ball.

2. Seamus has to find his mojo and run at defenders again. He needs to bomb down that wing and take people on.

3. Eto'o needs to play as much as his aging body can take. He's class. That simple. He needs to be on the pitch as much as possible.

If we don't take 12 points from the 15 on offer in games from here until The New Year, we should scrap any pretenses of winning, ignore my 3 points above because it won't matter this season, and begin to heavily integrate / play the youngins like Garbutt, Browning, Besic, McCarthy, Seamus, Barkley, Lukaku, etc and play them together as much as possible and build for next season.

One more thing...

Roberto has to bench any shithouse who thinks a light jog, collect, head up, sideways or backwards pass, resume light jog... is an acceptable effort. We've lacked desire at points and it has to stop.

Patrick Murphy
21 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:37:55
I'm still not certain we would have got Lukaku if we'd had to spend the full price up front. I always believed that our lack of investment would catch up with us and it is beginning to show itself this season.

We will more than likely lose a couple of our better players in the next 12-18 months but we won't be able to replace them with the same quality. Someone was speaking about Wenger at the weekend and how he had at one time cornered the French market, but now every club in the PL and beyond are scouring the world for up and coming talent and it's getting more difficult for clubs like Everton to compete at any level.

The only way to challenge or even remain competitive in the PL is for our players to become better footballers but unfortunately it is far more difficult to improve ageing players than it is to bring on the youngsters. I said a few weeks ago that the next couple of years will make or break Everton and we have to hope that the manager whether that is Roberto or A.N.Other can provide a decent team on a relative shoestring - not an easy task, especially if many of the faithful aren't showing an appetite for it.


Brian Waring
22 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:53:03
"I am coming to believe that Moyes was a better manager of Everton than the present incumbent"

Phil, Moyes was here 11 years, Martinez is into his second season, his first season giving us our highest ever Premier League points total, in Moyes's second full season, he finished 17th, so why not just give Martinez a fair crack of the whip, hey?

Brian Waring
23 Posted 08/12/2014 at 23:02:14
By the way, we do have some real knee jerk lads of the highest order supporting us, talking to some lads and reading on other forums that Martinez should be fucked off is a joke.
Jon Withey
24 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:56:39
Investments make money. Football clubs rarely make money. What we need is a benefactor who'll write of the debt for a new stadium and give us more access to the global marketplace.

It's not going to happen though is it.

I can't shake the feeling that Martinez has run out of ideas. I watch the team and I'm not sure what I'm waiting for – McCarthy and Stones back? McGeady to suddenly become Arjen Robben?

The sad thing is, we have the best strikers we have had in ages and now the rest of the team's legs have gone.

Maybe I'm just whingeing and he needs time to build his own team. At least McCarthy, Lukaku and Eto'o have been good signings.

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 08/12/2014 at 23:25:36
Phil Walling, IÂ’d rather suffer under Martinez than have five minutes more under Moyes.

Moyes looked after himself, Martinez good, bad or indifferent, is interested in Everton.

He might, in the long run, not make a success of the job, but he is not self-serving like I think the previous manager was, in my opinion.

Jay Harris
26 Posted 09/12/2014 at 03:17:26
It doesn't matter what we thought of Moyes, he has gone and we've moved on.

The question is whether Martinez is good enough for Everton and you have to say the jury is out right now.

Yes, we have had injuries and disruption but I put a lot of that down to atrocious preseason conditioning and very poor and lazy squad building.

The question is whether Bill played his usual tricks and pissed RM off or whether RM has full responsibilty.

Either way a good manager will get us up for it again. I wish I believed RM was that man.

Eric Myles
27 Posted 09/12/2014 at 04:54:40
Geoff #5, they way our first team are playing at the moment we'd be better off putting the kids out against QPR, they might have a bit of fire in their belly. They can't do worse anyway.
Eric Myles
28 Posted 09/12/2014 at 05:02:45
Kunal #6 "Moyes left behind an aging squad"

And Martinez added 4 more over 30s to it and gave contract extensions to another 2!

That makes more than Moyes left behind.

Darren Hind
29 Posted 09/12/2014 at 05:23:44
Martinez not self-serving??? He spends more time raising his profile than Katie Price. You cant switch the telly on or pick up a paper without him putting his two-penneth.

Martinez first came to my attention when he was getting it in the neck for his hypocrisy. He had heavily criticised Swansea players for moving on, bleating that they had no loyalty, only to jump ship himself after failing to get promotion. Many Swansea fans still haven't forgiven him for that... funnily enough, they didn't need him. They got promoted anyway and, a couple of years later, he took Wigan to where he left Swansea.

Within weeks of taking Wigan down, he'd jumped ship again... Let's not start pretending he is now one of us just because he claims that he "Gets Everton" He doesn't. That's why he was so stunned when recently chased out of Goodison with boos ringing in his ears.

Moyes was / is indeed a self-serving twat, they all are, and if a better offer comes along, Robbie will be off.

The only way you"ll get loyalty and a "club before self" mentality is if you promote somebody from the Goodison crowd.

Martinez has lead us up the garden path. His "We"ll go eyeball to eyeball at the homes of the big boys" boast looked looked a little sick when he named eight defenders at the Etihad; it followed similar cowardly performances at Anfield and Old Trafford where we only crossed the halfway line after falling behind.

If he does have a "philosophy" then he doesn't understand it himself, not only are we slipping down the table, we have to be the most pug ugly team in the league to watch.

To insinuate that the only alternative to sticking to this half-witted approach to the game is to play "percentage football" is an insult to all those teams and managers above us who are serving up far better football than we are.

He needs to deliver a cup otherwise the answer is No... the pain will not have paid off.

Conor Waters
30 Posted 09/12/2014 at 07:39:25
That performance at the Emirates this time last year seems a distant memory...
Chris Williams
31 Posted 09/12/2014 at 07:56:06
There are probably a number of reasons for our current problems with many of them discussed above.
One thing that occurred to me is whether RM actually knows what his best team is. And then has he/is he able to pick it?
Something like
Howard
Coleman
Jagielka
Stones
Barnes
McCarthy
Barry
Mirallas
Naismith
Pienaar
Lukaku

Thinking back to the start of the season, Pienaar was first choice and Baines was very effective. When Stones was in the team he looked secure and brought the ball out well and is comfortable on the ball. Mirallas and Baines doesn't seem to work as a combination, and Naismith was scoring plenty.
The temptation to play Naismith Eto'o and Barklay together must be huge, but doesn't work and is a waste of talent.
If this is something like his first pick, we've been unable to play Coleman, Stones, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, Barklay, Pienaar, Lukaku at several times this season, including now.some of them are back, but like Barry, are struggling for match fitness and Mirallas being protected by early substitutions.
No wonder we struggle in these circumstances.

Phil Walling
32 Posted 09/12/2014 at 08:15:37
Thank you, Darren, for saying it for me although you might have added that Martinez was certainly 'self-serving' when he fecked off for a well paid jolly in Brazil when he should have been planning and organising a proper 'pre-season'.

I do believe that our present woes have their roots in the ensuing chaos and that his signing of Besic was made to justify the jaunt.

Sam Hoare
33 Posted 09/12/2014 at 09:10:56
I could take our very mediocre league form more easily if I felt like this was a season of transition, bedding in new players, giving the youngsters a chance or trying some dynamic new tactics. But it's really not. We are playing the same system and formation as last season. With the same players (bar Besic). With most of them being very experienced Premier League pros and very little if no opportunities afforded to youth.

Martinez's arrival promised dynamic, exciting football with new continental bargains and youth players promoted at every opportunity. Those promises look very empty right now and in fact we have a pretty old team playing some very boring and, most importantly, ineffective football.

Of course these things can turn around very quickly indeed, just look at Newcastle, but, while things continue as they do, I continue to look towards the weekends with a growing and horrible apathy as we sink into mid-table oblivion and worse.

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 09/12/2014 at 10:05:30
Jay Harris@26.

Yes, I think Moyes is best left in the past.

I think weÂ’ll have a better idea of EvertonÂ’s future after the January sales window closes. I donÂ’t think there will be any major signings and things will stay the same as they have always been under Kenwright.

Andrew Ellams
35 Posted 09/12/2014 at 11:35:22
Sam @ 33. Martinez is beginning to look like the classic example of the man who can talk the talk but not walk the walk. The type is great at blagging his way through a job interview but not so good at delivering once heÂ’s in position.
Harold Matthews
36 Posted 09/12/2014 at 10:31:47
Have to agree Sam. Whenever I look at Newcastle and see Sissoko, Ameobi, Cisse and other big, strong, skillful, pacey athletes flying about with great determination I feel as sick as a pig. According to their manager, the dire situation forced him to bring in new faces and they are all energetic and quick. Something we seem to be lacking.

Our two great fullbacks are driving me crackers. Baines runs up the wing then stops and comes back. To make matters worse, his corners are the worst in Premier League history and his free-kicks have gone to pieces. Pity there wasn't a rule where Garbutt could come on and show him how to do it. Coleman runs up the wing but will not cross the ball till he comes to a halt and tries to dribble a defender.

Of course, there is no-one in the box or Lukaku might be there with five of the opposition. Barkley will not tread over the white 18-yard line. Whenever he sees it his head goes right out the window and he tries impossible shots.

When the Barry / McCarthy duo offered maximum security with Naismith coming back to help, Coleman and Baines could get on with their job without fear. These days they are caught between two stools. The continual loss of possession in midfield leaves them stranded high on the wings when the opposition charges at our wide open centre backs. It must effect their performance.

How and when we get out of this mess is anyone's guess. The return of Kone and Oviedo will surely help, Garbutt is a decent standby but the other youngsters didn't look up to it the other night. The one-footed, lightweight Galloway showed promise, Browning was skinned all night by a young lad, McAleny looked sharp but small, Grant would not tackle and the 17-year-olds were too immature. Williams looked strong, tough and useful but I don't know much about the lad.

Roberto has a lot of thinking to do...

Derek Thomas
37 Posted 09/12/2014 at 12:10:41
Roberto's only had 18 months of the 36 or so months I have mentally given him... I hope it all doesn't end in tears.
Ernie Baywood
38 Posted 09/12/2014 at 12:27:28
Brian #8 I feel sorry for Lukaku too. But there's no simple solution to suddenly giving him the kind of service he wants. Domestic teams have us sussed in a way that Wolfsburg didn't. They're not leaving the space in behind and they're very happy to watch us knock the ball around. Why bother pushing up? Leaves Lukaku with a choice of dropping deep or backing into defenders as a hold up forward. The latter isn't his best attribute and he's a liability in the former.

If teams sit deep you have to give them a reason to rethink. That means putting them under all manner of pressure. Move the ball quickly, get bodies in the box. Make them regret inviting us forward. We don't. If we have one player in the box it's a shock. Lukaku's shot against Hart was (I think) his first touch inside the opposition penalty area. Ross doesn't go there. We have two defensive midfielders. Only really Mirallas wants to have a go and, shock, things actually happen for him.

Martinez has to earn his money here and show a willingness to adapt. He took Wigan down by refusing to compromise his principles.. despite clearly not having the players. I agree with his principles and they did win him a trophy - it can be a very effective style of play. But he needs to understand that teams have a bit more respect for Everton than they did Wigan. No-one went to Wigan looking for a draw. We'll have 10-15 teams do that this season. Half the league would settle for a draw against us at their place too.

Show teams that they can't afford to come to Goodison and defend with 8 and press our pedestrian movement with just 2. Move it quickly, at risk, to suck teams into committing players. Get players up around Rom and get the ball into the box. We have good players; greater quality than the majority in this league. Take a punt Bob.

Jay Harris
39 Posted 09/12/2014 at 16:08:30
Harold
I don't think its down to the players especially not the full backs.

IMO the team selection has too many forwards that cant or wont defend and end up running into each other combined with the consequent weakness in MF so there aren't enough bodies in the middle of the park to build up play and link with the fullbacks to get them forward.

We should be moving up the field as a unit but far too often there is no one in MF so its either hoof it up the pitch and hope that Lukaku or one of the others can hold it up or keep passing it backwards and forwards till we get fed up and give it to Howard to lump up the pitch.

Then when we lose possession there is no MF to win it back again because too many players sometimes including our full backs are too far up the pitch.

I think that's why we have seen a reluctance recently from our full backs to commit.

We appear to be playing 5-2-1-2 now instead of the 3-5-2 and 4-5-1 that was successful last season.

Ray Atherton
40 Posted 09/12/2014 at 16:11:29
Geoff 5

Austin is suspended against us on Monday night. He got two yellow cards, last game.

Tony Hill
41 Posted 09/12/2014 at 17:17:10
Jay, you are right about the way we're setting up, I noticed it against Hull in particular. But our confused formation is another symptom of our lack of confidence and what is so disappointing about us at the moment, as someone else said, is that we have become possibly the least attractive side in the division. Last season we were usually pleasing on the eye and had a real flow to our game.

I am sorry to hear Harold's verdict on the younger players, I haven't yet seen Galloway but had been told he was a class act. Difficult to see, though, how they could do worse than the ponderous, complacent dross we're currently being served and I think Roberto has to show some boldness and take some risks. Krasnodar is a free hit for those purposes.

Harold Matthews
42 Posted 09/12/2014 at 17:22:20
Jay, yes you may well be right. I was just venting a few frustrations. People lacking movement and not making themselves available has become a big problem.

It was interesting to hear how Teddy Sheringham has brought movement to West Ham.

Jay Harris
43 Posted 09/12/2014 at 17:57:36
Harold I agree about the lack of movement but think that has to do with poor fitness and conditioning preseason and the rigid formation RM has instigated after the early season shipping of goals where players are now playing Con Miedo instead of Sin Miedo.

I also think some players are still carrying knocks. It is particularly noticeable that Bainesy has stopped taking free kicks and cannot get his bootlaces into corners.

Harold Matthews
44 Posted 09/12/2014 at 18:53:37
After watching the Saints v United game last night I understood what both managers meant when they said "At this level." No room, no time to think. People closing down like men possessed, fighting tooth and nail for every ball. Errors punished by clinical finishing and an atmosphere which blew the roof off. This is the Premier League and it's tough.
Christopher Kelly
45 Posted 09/12/2014 at 19:56:16
Wayne #13, Martinez allegedly only spent 8m on Lukaku this year with 5m increments over the next 4 (that was everywhere in the news when we bought him).
We haven’t shot our wad on one guy 9Besic and Barry excluded) but there was no wad to begin with. Chelsea needed it for FFP and Kenwright needed the press for a big swoop. Martinez had barely anything to spend. I do blame him for talking out of both sides of his mouth Youth vs. experience).

Harold #16. Spot on Koeman has done far more this season with a lot less. His nature is kind like Martinez but his points are made far clearer to his team. They play beautiful football and should be proud of themselves. Martinez needs to have a look at them to see the way football should be played. Self-serving manager who is more a salesman than coach. He’s playing the lot of us for fools at the moment.

Colin Williams
46 Posted 10/12/2014 at 15:28:21
Sam (#33), great comments. Your views and thoughts of where our great club stand at this present time is (right on the money) "spot on"..... Well said!


Raymond Fox
47 Posted 10/12/2014 at 21:05:16
So the knives are out. We're 12th in the League and qualified easily in a reputed difficult group for the next stage of the Europa. Is that a disaster? Who apart 'the money no object clubs' have done well in the Premier League when in a European competition in the same season?

The top 4 regulars when they need better results, get their cheque books out and look for 1 or 2 special players à la Man Utd! They are the players that can make draws wins and defeats into draws, unfortunately we are not in that position.

Look at our team: it's full of pensioners. Why? Because we haven't the money to replace them adequately.

What surprises me, is that so many of you thought we would be pulling up trees again this season when we have the said Euro commitments as well!

Paul Ferry
48 Posted 11/12/2014 at 16:19:35
Darren, here's something that shows you have it all wrong about Reberto.

He did not spend the summer idling time away in Brazil, he was actually further north in the Land of the Free, recording and performing songs with his band Future Islands, including, breathtakingly audaciously and arrogantly, this appearance on LettermanÂ’s Late Show when he ought to have been scouting and spotting and signing players:

Deary me, Roberto... those dance moves, pal — especially at 3:07 — what were you thinking of, they’re so phenomenal!

Tommy Meehan
49 Posted 11/12/2014 at 16:27:10
That is truly horrible, Paul... HR staff on a very White Christmas bender!
Harold Matthews
50 Posted 11/12/2014 at 17:54:02
Cheers Paul. Absolutely amazing but very weird to watch.

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