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.
Reader Comments (50)
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1 Posted 08/12/2014 at 17:41:31
We was playing terrible and I always remember the match report in The Daily Mirror, the next day. ItÂs 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 wouldnÂt mind us carrying on playing shite until New Years Day, if we could go on and win in Warsaw!
2 Posted 08/12/2014 at 18:10:32
3 Posted 08/12/2014 at 17:46:17
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)
4 Posted 08/12/2014 at 18:30:43
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 thereÂs 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 heÂll draw a man when he brings the ball forward but until then, the players need to actually move into space and want the ball.
5 Posted 08/12/2014 at 18:39:43
6 Posted 08/12/2014 at 18:47:01
Similar to How Sir Alex left his squad for Moyes, I think Moyes has done the same to Martinez.
7 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:08:46
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 PremierÂs most elderly team would be most welcome.
8 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:16:28
9 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:22:39
10 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:04:32
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 Â– appoint McCarthy or Coleman despite his bad form Â– 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 Â– letÂs go out and play with freedom and joy. ItÂs what we crave and itÂs our true way. If we do that, I donÂt think thereÂs any Evertonian who will regret it or damn the team if we lose along the way.
11 Posted 08/12/2014 at 19:34:40
12 Posted 08/12/2014 at 20:38:52
The fact we keep extending old players contracts (who have helped us win fuck all in their careers; and scientifically wonÂt 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 RobertoÂs comments on improving the team through the academy has me feel that heÂs in on the botched plan. One step forward, two steps back as usual.
13 Posted 08/12/2014 at 21:40:40
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.
14 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:03:31
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' Â– like many before Â– has been sussed and found wanting.
Much suffering is in store, I fear. Brace yourselves, folks!
15 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:09:19
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.
16 Posted 08/12/2014 at 21:52:43
17 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:26:00
It used to be we could guarantee a place among the top 7 teams, with every other team guaranteed to finish below Â– 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.
18 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:29:44
Wonder if Everton are having the same problem?
19 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:30:35
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.
20 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:22:56
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.
21 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:37:55
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.
22 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:53:03
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?
23 Posted 08/12/2014 at 23:02:14
24 Posted 08/12/2014 at 22:56:39
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 Â– 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.
25 Posted 08/12/2014 at 23:25:36
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.
26 Posted 09/12/2014 at 03:17:26
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.
27 Posted 09/12/2014 at 04:54:40
28 Posted 09/12/2014 at 05:02:45
And Martinez added 4 more over 30s to it and gave contract extensions to another 2!
That makes more than Moyes left behind.
29 Posted 09/12/2014 at 05:23:44
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.
30 Posted 09/12/2014 at 07:39:25
31 Posted 09/12/2014 at 07:56:06
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?
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.
32 Posted 09/12/2014 at 08:15:37
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.
33 Posted 09/12/2014 at 09:10:56
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.
34 Posted 09/12/2014 at 10:05:30
Yes, I think Moyes is best left in the past.
I think weÂll have a better idea of EvertonÂs future after the January sales window closes. I donÂt think there will be any major signings and things will stay the same as they have always been under Kenwright.
35 Posted 09/12/2014 at 11:35:22
36 Posted 09/12/2014 at 10:31:47
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...
37 Posted 09/12/2014 at 12:10:41
38 Posted 09/12/2014 at 12:27:28
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.
39 Posted 09/12/2014 at 16:08:30
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.
40 Posted 09/12/2014 at 16:11:29
Austin is suspended against us on Monday night. He got two yellow cards, last game.
41 Posted 09/12/2014 at 17:17:10
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.
42 Posted 09/12/2014 at 17:22:20
It was interesting to hear how Teddy Sheringham has brought movement to West Ham.
43 Posted 09/12/2014 at 17:57:36
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.
44 Posted 09/12/2014 at 18:53:37
45 Posted 09/12/2014 at 19:56:16
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.
46 Posted 10/12/2014 at 15:28:21
47 Posted 10/12/2014 at 21:05:16
The top 4 regulars when they need better results, get their cheque books out and look for 1 or 2 special players Ã 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!
48 Posted 11/12/2014 at 16:19:35
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 LettermanÂs Late Show when he ought to have been scouting and spotting and signing players:
Deary me, Roberto... those dance moves, pal Â— especially at 3:07 Â— what were you thinking of, theyÂre so phenomenal!
49 Posted 11/12/2014 at 16:27:10
50 Posted 11/12/2014 at 17:54:02
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