What I have to say is contentious. It may even be utter rubbish. But 'in my struggle to make sense of where it's all gone wrong for Everton this season, I can’t help returning to one, single primary cause – Lukaku.
To be more precise, though I am saying he’s the problem, I’m not saying it’s his fault – he didn’t buy himself for £28million; he didn’t persist in playing himself in a position he was ill-equipped to play.
The problems Everton have now can all be traced back to spending way over the odds for an average player and then (in a blind attempt to justify paying silly money), repeatedly sending him out in the wrong position, whilst hiding behind the fact that he’s very young and therefore needs time to develop.
From this primary cause, all kinds of secondary cracks began to appear, these then disguised even further that it was in fact Lukaku who ‘was’ the problem.
Even when things were going well for Everton this season, the amount of toothless possession has been remarkable. Why is that? I believe it’s because the team don’t have enough faith in Lukaku as a lone striker. Give him the ball and the attack is likely to break down.
Though now slightly improved, his hold-up play has been abysmal and his movement off the ball predictable. The other players instinctively knew it wasn’t going to work and their confidence to build attacks around him was choked. So we get the aimless sideways passing between stretched centrebacks; central midfielders caught in possession… the inevitable silly goal against, followed by even more pressure for us to score, whilst adhering to the ‘possession is king’ mantra but having no clear-cut way to hurt the opposition. Lukaku as the 6’-3” bottleneck in attack.
The many ‘individual errors’ that have led to goals against us hide the fact that it was really a lack of forward pass options that meant way too much possession has been in the Everton half. As players making those mistakes, you look bad and feel resentful because it’s not really your fault. Of course Lukaku shouldn’t be the only out-ball, but lack of faith in his hold-up play mean others are reluctant to go past him.
Even when Lukaku’s hold-up play began to improve, that merely extended the time we’ve had to watch him play out of position. Meanwhile, to fit in with this, other players were also forced to play where they were ineffective (eg, Barkley on the left or Naismith on the right). Players have tried but you can see their frustration at being made vulnerable – asked to do things they’re not really any good at. Collectively it’s ineffective, it heaps yet more pressure on and causes tensions within the camp; stops partnerships blossoming.
Martinez’s decision to try and paper over the cracks with increasingly meaningless positivity (and latterly moaning about refs) is starting to get comically desperate and deluded.
At first, I thought his persistence with Lukaku through the middle was his way of giving him some consistency in order to aid his development but, as time marches on, I’m not so sure. I increasingly think it was more to do with a blind hope that Lukaku would suddenly score a hatful and then become the kind of talismanic centre-forward you’d expect for £28million.
So, of course, it’s not really Lukaku who’s the problem – it’s Martinez and by default Kenwright (who must surely now have a word with RM).
It would be a great shame if Martinez’s positivity becomes simply a cloak for pigheaded arrogance and some self-serving experiment in football. It would also be unacceptable if he persists in trying to prove a point whilst the team’s performance and unity evaporate. (Standby for some key players moving on from the club in January...)
I would love it if Lukaku could play lone-striker but, at this stage of his development, he can’t and that’s just something Martinez should accept and move on from. Kone is already being underused because Martinez seems to be afraid he will outshine Lukaku, especially if they should ever both be allowed on the pitch at the same time (which of course they should have been when 3-1 down to Newcastle or 3-0 down to Southampton).
It’s time to solve the problem; time to stop repeating mistakes. Kone, Naismith, Mirallas and even Eto’o are options in the centre. Martinez should stop trying to pretend Lukaku is a £28million centre-forward. Put him on the right and he will cause problems for the opposition; the rest of the players will breathe a sigh of relief and Everton's fortunes will change.
If Martinez isn’t big enough to make honest selections based on ability, then crashing out of the Europa League and fighting relegation in the Premier League are very real prospects.
Lukaku on the right is the solution.
Reader Comments (97)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 30/12/2014 at 16:21:25
We know his penchant for scoring goals from central positions Â— it's just incredible how Martinez has contrived to have the team play in such a way that takes no advantage whatsoever of the big man's proven goalscoring ability.
2 Posted 30/12/2014 at 16:29:26
We should go with a 4-3-3.
Kone Lukaku and Mirallas.
Managers instructions Lukaku not to go wider than parallel to 18 yard box lines
3 Posted 30/12/2014 at 16:42:56
4 Posted 30/12/2014 at 16:42:37
If you watch the DVD of last season's campaign you will see that prior to Christmas we had Barkley playing just behind Lukaku supplemented in attack by Mirallas and Deulofeu / Oviedo with probably the best football that I have seen from an Everton side in 20 odd years.
Coupled with a serious loss of form in the defence, poor goalkeeping displays from Howard and an injury crisis that has wreaked havoc, we have all the makings of a team that has lost form at an alarming rate. We need to get back to basics and quick.
5 Posted 30/12/2014 at 16:50:10
6 Posted 30/12/2014 at 16:59:05
Lukaku's goalscoring record over the past two full seasons was surpassed only by Suarez, Van Persie and Sturridge and it bettered that of Dzeko and Rooney. He's not an "average player"; as virtually everyone (apart from the manager, it seems) has identified, he's being utterly wasted by a lack of service.
7 Posted 30/12/2014 at 16:50:28
Lukaku is not the problem and his best position must be as a centre forward. The reason he doesn't get given the ball more is that there is no space or the ball is too difficult, it's not that the other players don't trust him.
When he plays he is often crowded out, with 2 or 3 opposition players around him. Our "wingers" don't help. Barkley, McGeady, Eto'o, Mirallas and Naismith all come inside too much making it impossible for Lukaku to find any space to run into and any pass into him has to be both very precise and very precisely controlled.
We need proper wingers, who hug the touchline and a support striker who gets close enough to Lukaku to offer support without getting in the way.
We need runners from deep, like Barkley did playing alongside Besic. All of our play is generally too static. Players wait for the ball when they should be busting a gut making runs and pulling the opposition about. This is why we see so many sideways passes.
To put our current malaise down to one player is entirely wrong, but also sadly entirely predictable.
8 Posted 30/12/2014 at 16:54:37
The progress from midfield and the back has been abyssmal this season resulting in poor forward progress. It's obvious that the wing raiding of Coleman and Baines has been sussed out by many teams and consequently the opportunities for Lukaku have been very limited.
Whilst he doesn't have the skills of a Messi type player he is still a big threat when given the chances on goal.
The injuries to Mirallas have not helped and people like McGeady and Eto'o have contributed little up front in his absences. It could well be that Everton do not have the strength in depth needed to keep up a top 6 push as yet.
9 Posted 30/12/2014 at 17:00:10
Seeing as Roberto's initial purchases included Kone it would seem that he knew what type of striker he required which fitted into his preferred style of play - so why did he buy a player who is so unsuited to that style of play?. Obviously Kone's injury problems meant he had to buy somebody but could he not have gotten Bony or AN other for a similar price or did he think that a fit Kone would help Lukaku in the long-term?. It wouldn't surprise me if Lukaku was to be seen playing his football elsewhere next season, which is a great shame given his goals per game ratio.
Roberto has stated once again that he won't change his principles which is fair enough but will he change his formation? Personally I believe that the solution to the current problem is to play both Kone and Lukaku in the same team at the same time.
10 Posted 30/12/2014 at 17:24:09
11 Posted 30/12/2014 at 17:18:43
Lukaku is CLEARLY NOT the problem, sorry but I find the article to be heavily misplaced.
Our defense has been utter shite, and that is as far away from Lukaku as is physically possible on a football field.
Lukaku is a fantastic player, the best striker we have had in years, and he is getting shit service.
12 Posted 30/12/2014 at 17:29:59
13 Posted 30/12/2014 at 17:16:43
Lukaku can finish. He's not getting the chances this season which is down to how poor we are playing as a team.
Our problem is a lack of intelligence in our players, their decision making and application has been shocking this season.
On a different note Gibson, Pienaar and Osman have been huge misses this season, they know what's expected of an Everton team.
Lukaku, Eto'o, Mirallas, McGeady, Barkley, Barry, Alcaraz, Kone, McCarthy, Stones and Robles don't know what it means.
14 Posted 30/12/2014 at 17:40:41
15 Posted 30/12/2014 at 16:34:45
Agreed Lukaku is not the center forward he is continually being asked to be every week. The fallout of which is we now have a striker with shattered confidence who completely unsure of himself. We all know how effective a striker is short of confidence. Truth be told, we have a complete squad of players short of confidence at the moment, often playing of two minds.
At this stage, surely Roberto sees what we all see. Last season Lukaku was allowed to play as a marauding menace in the box. This is where he's most effective. This year he appears shackled and his natural instincts are no longer guiding him. Why this is, I'm not sure. He's not getting the service he did last season and when he does, the ball is usually to his feet with his back to goal. No good. Not sure playing him wide is the answer. He initially enjoyed some success in this position last season but then became less and less effective over time. I think most know he needs to play more direct running onto the ball. If he can't play wide, then he needs to play off of a center forward, most likely Kone. However setting up this way means changing the current formation - which is altogether another story (and problem).
Like all of you, I've been vainly trying to put my finger on where the root of the current problems lie and, more importantly, how to fix it. Each week it seems we are punished for every mistake made in our half. We've had horrible luck with injuries, players out of form, poor/ ill-timed tactical decisions, etc... the perfect storm if you will. Ultimately what will change the current malaise is winning. Only this will turn player confidence. Simple (not). For winning at this stage means both gaffer and players sacrificing performance (Bobby's favorite topic) in favour of result - doing whatever is needed to secure a positive one.
Bobby's recent observation that the players must return to a state where they enjoy playing the game once again could be a signal (admission) that he needs to release the reigns a bit and allow their natural instincts/creativity to come through. Time will tell whether that is the case. One thing is certain, status quo will lead to rot - which one could argue is already setting in. Once that takes hold, turning things around will be extremely difficult and I fear where that will lead.
At the risk of saying the obvious, Hull is huge. We will see whether the manager has the ability to adapt and whether the players have the bottle and pride to play the way they are capable. The current situation demands both to happen.
16 Posted 30/12/2014 at 17:38:56
What has happened to Barry
Baines etc etc
I'm not bothered that Howard is out until February as he has been a liability as well.
Too many players listening to and believing their own publicity and not working hard enough to maintain their from.
I did initially put all this down to injuries but the loss of form plus the managers poor tactics at times are the cause. You should never change a winning team but he does I do not understand it.
Siege mentality needed now folks. Stop being so nice and get stuck in or we will be finishing in the bottom half of the table. Everything is against us so a fight is required with some guts
I would suggest
Disitn, Stones or Hibbert
If this lot were on performance related pay they would be in the queue at the food bank
17 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:04:36
18 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:06:10
19 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:17:40
Love to see this guy doing a jigsaw, trying to put piece were they don't fit.
20 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:24:53
I'm starting to think Martinez is not too good at transfers (McCarthy aside)!!!
21 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:12:57
22 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:42:45
23 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:45:24
We could do with Martinez reading this and taking some of it on board before we play Hull - it may just be his salvation!
Personally I don't think Martinez is open to too many other options other that the pointless passing that is central to his possession football philosophy! He calls it controlling the game. However as many of us fear he appears to be in control of very little at the moment.
He's demonstrating the kind of inflexibility that get a team relegated!
24 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:54:18
25 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:55:32
Lukaku is the least of our problems and I feel sorry for him. Back to goal all game waiting for a cross that never comes. Shameful lack of organisation and tactics from a man who appears completely at sea.
Play to his Strengths and Lukaku will get you 20 goals a season. A feat no one else in our squad will ever get near.
26 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:01:55
We have to admit to ourselves there are deeper problems at the club than just the style of play. I think Martinez may possibly be losing the support of senior players. We haven’t heard a peep out of anyone regarding their support of the manager and his approach.
I think it’s over for him to be honest. How else can you explain the lack of fight?
27 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:08:55
Many of the goals we are conceding arise from us passing about at the back and losing it as the opposition press us. Most teams know exactly what we will do and they know we're not Barcelona. Many players are not comfortable with it and if there is discontent in the dressing room I'd bet good money that this is the root cause of it. Read Keown's article entitled 'long ball Louis'.
28 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:18:20
I think Roberto was a breath of fresh air for us and thew players last season after OFM, but this season has been a disaster, barring Europe, which he seems to be obsessed with.
I was surprised that he was chosen as I would have preferred a more experienced manager such as one with European experience.
29 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:18:55
If the likes of Distin, Jagielka, Howard, Baines have lost faith in the managers approach, there is probably nobody else at the club to take up his cause, and translate his ideas onto the pitch. He needed these senior players onside, to get his ideas across to rest of the squad. If he’s lost those names (which I think he has) then it’s only a matter of time.
30 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:19:42
Oh, and ffs stop moaning about the price tag. Andy Carroll has cost over 㿞m and he's scored like 30 goals in his entire career.
31 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:25:54
Basically he doesn't look like he understands the meaning of grinding out a result when the pressure's on. That the real worry!
32 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:29:35
33 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:34:24
34 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:35:25
But don't panic just yet - under Martinez I still expect us to pass at our usual pedantic pace until we lose it.
The move and Kone goal against Newcastle was a flashback to last season's performance against Arsenal at home.
35 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:35:32
Remember under OFM the constant, needless heading of the ball or the hoof downfield to no one in particular? Yes we cleared our lines but nine times out of ten the ball would just go to an opposing players and just come straight back at us.
I'm all for possession football but you need players with technique and intelligence to be able to play it.
36 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:45:23
37 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:52:03
Unfortunately, I don’t think Martinez will get the time to completely revamp this squad. I can imagine a few calls have already been made to Bill via the captain - hence the ’Martinez under Pressure’ headline in the papers recently. I think there may have already been some ’leaks’ from the club regarding his position. A loss to Hull and an early exit out of the Cup will seal his fate.
38 Posted 30/12/2014 at 20:05:28
If he has lost the dressing room it’s opposite the Winslow. Through the double doors, can’t miss it
39 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:59:49
Maybe Barkley wants out anyway - his current attitude stinks - but he has been consistently messed about and the cramming in of Eto'o, Naismith and Barkley or the confused selection of some mix of the 3 has been one of our major tactical errors.
RM has a strange reverence for the senior/ageing player (add Barry, Distin, Howard, Osman) as though they have special wisdom and magic - that may be so, but the PL player has to be able to move and react at pace throughout and we have too many who can't do that.
By all means let's use our experience in the right way, but not at the expense of our young talent and that very much includes Lukaku.
There are problems of technique with Rom but we're making them worse because we're ruining his confidence by failing to play to his strengths.
40 Posted 30/12/2014 at 20:17:57
41 Posted 30/12/2014 at 20:21:27
42 Posted 30/12/2014 at 20:09:12
He bailed from the Swans and took over Wigan, where, let's face it there was no real pressure.
It's a rugby league town foremost and without the away fans would have had around 12-15,000 fans per week.
The city of Liverpool lives for its football and as a manager you are under scrutiny every minute of the day, the pressure when things are not right must be immense, especially when you have the added pressure of the other bastards across the park.
He has fucked up royally and there is nowhere to hide, unlike Wigan where let's face it, he had no expectations to live up to.
He is like a rabbit in the headlights and doesn't know which way to run.
43 Posted 30/12/2014 at 20:46:21
44 Posted 30/12/2014 at 21:00:56
Lukaku needs the ball playing into feet in front of goal or at least into space, he looks bemused at the minute. Plus IÂd like to see a right side of Coleman/Mirallas and a left side of Baines/Oviedo. Swerve Barry for Besic and play Barkley in the no 10 or he will never find consistency.
If we had that going forward, IÂd hope the defence wouldnÂt be as exposed. Over to you, Bobby.
45 Posted 30/12/2014 at 21:04:18
I don't think Lukaku is the problem. Any player who can hold off defenders, turn, look up and play the majestic through ball he did to Mirallas vs Wolfsburg in the EL is clearly one we need in the side. His goal in that game wasn't bad either come to that!
On a different note, amidst all the never-ending injuries and general gloom, the issue I am possibly more angry about than any other at the moment is Bryan Oviedo.
Colin Glassar, our man on the inside, has alluded to a bust-up between Bryan and RM. Of course we don't know details, and of course not all players can get on with all managers all of the time. However, given how sunny and positive Bryan has always been since he arrived at Everton, throughout all the time he waited for his chance under Moyes and then last season until he got in when Bainesy was injured, I find it very hard to see him as the sort who would cause problems.
He is now fit and available, we know this as he has appeared in the U-21s a few times and played the full game vs Krasnodar.
In a time of crisis and a shortage of bodies such as now, we need talented, committed and fresh players like him on the pitch! He definitely cuts it at LB or LM, we saw that last season. He would be a breath of fresh air in the team right now, as his previous displays have shown no little skill and, above all, a serious will to win and fight for the shirt.
If I'm right about the supposed bust up and Oviedo's continued exclusion has come from RM taking against him, that I'm afraid is unforgivable and the manager's biggest mistake of all. I used to hate the way Moyes froze out players he fell out with, I thought RM above that sort of nonsense.
Oviedo should be a huge part of this club's future. If, thanks to some petty spat, we sell him whilst continuing to pay perma-crocks like Pienaar, Gibson etc, who offer us nothing, I will be absolutely furious.
46 Posted 30/12/2014 at 21:20:44
47 Posted 30/12/2014 at 20:36:25
As has been said, heÂs not getting the service he requires which is a ball he can run onto.
Having said that I must say I was fooled along with plenty more, and wanted him signed even at that price, heÂs looking one dimentional this season without a ball to run on to + his aerial threat is none existant which I find very strange.
He is not looking anywhere close to a 28 million player!
Lets get the defence out of the way, none of the back 4 are looking good in defence, Jags and Distin seem over the hill IÂm afraid, Baines and Coleman both leave a lot to be desired as defenders. Stones is still work in progress and Alcaraz is also seen his best years.
1 shining light seems to be Garbutt, hope IÂm not being premature!
We urgently need a classy playmaker in midfield not just a good one but a top quality player, Ossie and Pienaar have been good/excellent players but again have seen better days.
McCarthy and Barry are defendsive not creative, Barkley is more of your solo player, but at the moment heÂs not doing much of anything!
So after defence, midfield is a large problem because there is no go forward or cohesion.
Now where the money is coming from to fund buying 2 good central defenders and a top quality midfielder IÂm not sure but strange as it may seem I would look at selling 1 or both of our full backs!
48 Posted 30/12/2014 at 21:27:17
But one of the main problems why we never look like holding on to a lead or coming back from goals down is set pieces. We canÂt defend them or crosses in our box and I canÂt remember the last time we scored from a decent corner or free-kick that wasnÂt a direct shot.
49 Posted 30/12/2014 at 21:29:42
Martinez needs to get the balance right behind him. The 3 creative players need to create far more. We need Mirallas on the left, and we need to bring in a pacy right winger, because McGeady is not up to it. He then needs to decide who is going to play no. 10. That has to be Naismith on form. Barkley will have to make do as an impact sub.
He needs to stop trying to shoe-horn Etoo, Barkley and Naismith into the same team. The balance has been wrong all season. There is nothing out wide, no link up with the full backs, so it's no wonder Lukaku has been off form. It's a wonder he has managed to score 7 goals if you ask me.
Hopefully a better balance will protect the defence a bit better also. We have had one of the best defences in the league for the last 6 or 7 years. Those players haven't forgotten how to defend. They need protecting. The team shape is letting them down and exposing them...
50 Posted 30/12/2014 at 21:54:42
On another note, the current malaise is threatening to become a very real battle to avoid being dragged into a relegation scrap (after all even if they did manage to beat Hull this week they will not move upwards in the league, so entrenched are we becoming in the lower reaches). I think all the club's efforts should be focussed on avoiding that relegation threat and as such I do feel that the sooner we exit this Europa competition the better. In the current malaise it is pretty clear that the first decent team Everton meet will bring about that exit, so perhaps others will solve this little matter for us! We are just not capable of competing on the three fronts of league, FA cup and Europa league.
It would apper to me that in these current circumstances nothing should concentrate the minds more than focussing on the Devils we know. When the current shambles is sorted, stabilised and hopefully progress is established then perhaps our eyes could again look to further challenges which at present look way beyond our capacity and capabilities.
51 Posted 30/12/2014 at 22:03:36
As soon as there is a thread "tippy tappy shite football is the problem" we will probably be getting closer to the issue.
Martin. Have a second or even a 3rd look at the goals that Newcastle score, then tell me where Lukaku is the problem.
53 Posted 30/12/2014 at 22:43:58
54 Posted 30/12/2014 at 22:30:25
There are two issues:
1) He needs to admit to himself he made an error in signing them on long-term deals.
2) He needs to face down their reputations/egos by leaving them out.
The way Barry was destroyed by Sissoko was painful to watch, but hopefully it will be the catalyst for Martinez to take action. Maybe the slower pace of European games would be more suited to him now, as long as there is a fully fit McCarthy alongside. Eto'o, I'm sure can still have a good impact as a sub.
55 Posted 30/12/2014 at 22:48:08
Naismith is the player of the season up to now and that is just on his own drive, desire and determination. All of those qualities every player should have once they step on to the pitch not just 1 and that is the problem. You have to earn the right to play in this league Chelsea and Man City players all put a shift in.
We have too many luxury players all wanting the ball but not wanting to go and get it which puts far too much pressure on the likes of Barry McCarthy and Jags. Roberto needs to instill a work ethic into this lot before this slide gets too serious, the natives are already stirring.
56 Posted 30/12/2014 at 23:27:58
Support your local manager. At least that's what I hear.
57 Posted 30/12/2014 at 23:00:49
If he scores 20 goals a season would he be worth the 28 mill? I think he would. You have got to play to his strengths, him being direct and running onto decent service.
I think RM has got to try playing Kone up top with him in a 442 and if they gel could cause havoc for defenders. This would be my team for the must win Hull game, barring injuries:
Coleman Stones Alcaraz Garbutt
Mirallas McMarthy Besic Baines
This would give balance which we have sadly lacked. If he plays this side and we get hammered, I give up.
58 Posted 30/12/2014 at 23:28:48
But He and Lukaku are only parts of the overall problem; between them they are only part of the whole cause and effect big picture (* has mental 'earworm' to the tune of John Browns Body...we're shite, because we're shit, because we're shite, because we're shit, etc etc ).
Plenty of good teams have had poor(ish) keepers and plenty of poor teams have had very good keepers. So Howard's crap and getting, so it seems if not crapper, then no better, thus Robles will overall be no net loss or gain.
Plenty of Poor teams have had 'good' goalscorers, the likes of Cottee who would always score because the poorish team was set up in such a way as to 'feed them' ( the Yak at every club he was at for the first season, especially B'burn ) Plenty of good teams have had goalscorers that looked good, but never made the really top grade
Plenty of Poor teams have had good Central Defenders in them, who while helping to stem the tide can't do it all on their own...and who mostly get snapped up by the rich teams anyway. Many Good teams have had average Central Defenders, Bruce at Man U and sorry Mountfield nearer to home, lets face it Beckenbaur he wasn't.
Ratcliffe though WAS World class but in a Wales team with a World class keeper and Rush and Hughes ( can't bring myself to say they were World class but they were vv good. ) did nowt
why ( gets to point, hurrah ) were Wales crap, why do poor Keepers play effectively, why do the Cottee's of this world
score, why do some Strikers struggle in some big Clubs after doing well... The Mid Field.
The game is and always will be won and lost in the Mid Field...That's why Moyes played 5 because we didn't have 4 ( as it was then ) who were good enough.
That's why Ball came and and ripped the rs a new one on his own.
The Bite, Skill and Balance has to be right and complement each other. That's why Dennis Stevens was brought in, Tony Kay added ( then taken away ) Ball, Kendall Harvey, with a lot of help from Tommy Jackson and Morrissey. Reid etc do we see a pattern.
Roberto can't or won't...The Midfield need to be the ones passing it about, not the Labones nor the Ratcliffes or Mountfields.
It's come full circle Moyes ( IMO ) need to change ( not a lot ) or go, as it turned out he was pinched, he would not have gone otherwise.
Martinez needs to change ( not a lot ) or go...soon, we won't get lucky twice and have somebody pinch him.
Philosophy my arse... Football; It's a simple kids game ffs, made complicated by bullshitters, it doesn't need to be so.
Sort it Roberto and if he can't / won't and doesn't look like trying YOU better had Bill.
59 Posted 31/12/2014 at 00:32:31
The cause is the fact the players have had it drilled into them to pass the ball out or play their way out of trouble. Againt Newcastle McGeady lost the ball at least once before the mistake that lead to their second goal with poor underhit passes but never took heed of the warning, he along with Barry and Distin has been the worst culprit this season.
The real problem is that we have been sussed, teams press us high and force mistakes knowing we won't hit it long or vary our game.
60 Posted 30/12/2014 at 23:44:18
Also, all over the pitch we give the ball away, we are slow to close down and get tight, we lack a real fighting spirit and , when in possession, we don't move around quickly and offer options.
I won't mention individuals. Too many differences of opinion. Some players know what to do, some don't. Some try hard, some are bone idle. Some try to play with intelligence, some play with the brain the size of a pea. Some are quick, some are slow. Some stay alert, some lose focus. Some enjoy being on the ball, some dread it. Some will fight like tigers, some have faint hearts. Some are just beginning, some are at their peak and some are over the hill.
A real mixed bag but there's a decent team in there somewhere. It's just a matter of sorting the wheat from the chaff and organizing things in a proper manner.
For me, 100% commitment and a fighting spirit come first. No passengers are allowed. I don't care how talented they are or how highly they are rated. If they are not prepared to bust a gut for the team they don't even sit on the bench.
Only last night Van Gaal was talking about the fighting spirit which was carrying his team through. None dare shirk the issue and that's how it should be. Martinez needs to get real, get tough and get anyone out who is not prepared or not able to break sweat for the cause. All for one and one for all.
61 Posted 31/12/2014 at 02:16:28
Maybe we just have a new manager that ruins strikers, and defenders!
62 Posted 31/12/2014 at 07:52:32
Most errors lead to goals. 10
Fewest crosseas from open play..225
Conceded fewest fouls..178.
Won most amount of fouls..246.
Caught offside the most..49.
63 Posted 31/12/2014 at 08:06:50
65 Posted 31/12/2014 at 08:31:07
Those stats show we are not doing the basics...
66 Posted 31/12/2014 at 09:28:40
67 Posted 31/12/2014 at 09:25:56
Those stats show that our players are a bunch of big time pussies.
Stoke had to almost dismantle our whole team before Barry started to put it about and I can't remember when we last got given, or even deserved, a red card. Any blue player worth his salt should of put "RS" Adams into row fucking Z, he's nothing more than a dirty twat. Mind you, I think he knows that the Goodison crowd fucking hate him.
Those stats don't tell you that most teams now come to Goodison and just take the fucking piss, that most teams just wait for us to fuck up at the back and that most teams take the three points. Those stats also don't tell you that the Goodison faithful have to listen to their wonderous away fans singing how shite we are and what a morgue we play in.
Yep, it's happy days for those glorious stats.
68 Posted 31/12/2014 at 10:30:26
69 Posted 31/12/2014 at 10:49:04
What Martinex has also done is destroy the confidence and possible futures of some of the best young talent in Europe. He has turned a left back who over previous seasons has won accolades for being the best passer / assister of a ball in the whole of European footy.
He plays a system that requires the ball to be passed 900 times before we even make an attack at goal, and in the process we've increased our exposure to more hospital balls that then result in mistakes and added injuries to players.
70 Posted 31/12/2014 at 10:47:46
People say that Everton have been found out. I cannot agree with that. Other managers had many seasons playing against RobertoÂs teams. Also you canÂt tell me that every manager took a whole season to formulate a plan against us. It is incredulous to think that top managers didnÂt get onto it last season.
For me, the difference this season has been the tempo of the passing (anyone who has played will tell you that with confidence you do it automatically; lack of confidence makes you check yourself for that vital millisecond). Once we get that back, we will be okay Â– that and keeping the same 11 for a run of games would be helpful.
As for Lukaku, once the team starts playing again, he will start scoring regularly again Â– as he has proven for the last three seasons, ie, not a fluke.
71 Posted 31/12/2014 at 10:52:40
Who picks the team? IÂd say he has been the biggest problem up to date.
Harold, after the Leicester game, we played Arsenal at home, and I could not believe Wenger left Giroud on the bench. Even though we were two up, I still knew we had problems when he came on at half time. The reason being is how scared we looked at Leicester when defending any type of high ball.
This was the start of Roberto Martinez showing us a piece of what was to come this season by leaving three forwards on the pitch, instead of playing on the counter and protecting the lead. Martinez is the one who is having the shocker and I hope heÂs good enough to change. Change tactics, change desire, change tempo and change our belief.
72 Posted 31/12/2014 at 12:53:49
As a team we are failing to create space and support. Coleman and Baines have been nullified by having 2 defenders on them and there being no support from wide midfield as we are playing men out of position there who drift inside instead of combining with the full backs. The player we miss more than anyone is Pienaar - not the player he used to be but last season he and Baines were still good and if the opposition are worried about the left flank then it draws defenders over to it thus creating space on the right.
When we cause problems for other teams they canÂt press so much but this season we have been slow and ponderous which enables teams to press more and we then give away possession and goals.Howard for me has had one good season for us and that was last year - otherwise he has always been prone to silly lapses and this season has reverted to his old self.
Several players have appeared to age overnight but basically Roberto is playing people out of position which is disturbing the pattern of play and causing other players to suffer. Ross has not progressed but has to be played in the middle. Kone and Garbutt should start and get back to basics by putting square pegs in square holes before this goes TOO far!!
73 Posted 31/12/2014 at 12:57:45
People saying weÂre not playing to RomÂs strengths etc are correct but also wrong imo aswell. Yes, we donÂt give him through balls or work it wide and flash balls across the 6 yard box for him to tap in but you wonÂt go through entire games without needing to play in to him and build off of him when attacking either and this is where heÂs seriously lacking.
His first touch is so poor that it gives the defender the chance to sneak in behind and pinch the ball off of him, or he tries a first time lay off and it never goes to another blue shirt and that breaks things down, or he always passes it backwards which slows down the momentum of our play.
And his lack of movement is a problem aswell, he never gives the advancing midfielders an out ball which in turn forces them to go square or backwards and slows the game and attack right down.
When the likes of Kone or EtoÂo play up top, theyÂve got an immaculate first touch but also get there body between ball and defender and shield the ball brilliantly, something Lukaku needs to grasp and grasp quickly as heÂs going to be our main CF for a fair few years yet and itÂs what weÂre going to need from him! Also, Kone & EtoÂoÂs first instincts when they get the ball played into em is to turn and go forward and keep the momentum of the attack flowing, which Lukaku also struggles to do.
There are a lot of things he needs to improve on and he is still only young and finding his way in the game considering heÂs been round a while but over the years, IÂm sure heÂll pick up on certain things and get better.
Last season it wasnÂt as noticeable as we either had Barkley or Naismith in behind him and we could play into either and one would turn and run at defences and theyÂd either retreat which would create space informs of Rom or someone would come to tackle and Barkley would beat his man and eliminate a body out of the game which would also create spaces. And then Naismith would play like a No.10/false target man and do the holding up of the ball, or heÂd run beyond Lukaku and take defenders away from him and free up space that way but this season it hasnÂt quite happened.
Martinez now as to start looking at playing players in there preferred positions, choosing the right partnerships on the pitch to try and get the best out of the players and the team as an hole. Get back to basics like he says and stop using players like Barkley and EtoÂo out wide and keep them central.
Martinez needs to take a look back at last season and see where everything went so good for us and try and replicate that and get us into some sort of form to climb the league!
74 Posted 31/12/2014 at 15:44:53
There has been debate that Martinez cannot control players making individual errors, but I think he can have an effect. If he has instructed his players to pass it about in tight areas, the players take this on board and are scared to effectively clear the ball.
It seems to me they are scared of breaking rank. McGeady a prime example the other night, just clear your lines and get organised. But he mispays a tight pass, leaving Coleman breaking and out of position. I understand that mistakes do happen, but there is always a cause and passing out all the time does this.
75 Posted 31/12/2014 at 16:46:21
76 Posted 31/12/2014 at 17:56:15
Mike G. Cheers. Always appreciate your unique, on the spot, observations. Great stuff. Have a good one.
77 Posted 31/12/2014 at 19:55:39
Trouble is he is clearly carrying too much weight, probably about 10 lbs, and that is affecting his speed, sharpness and mobility. This is partly his fault but also the shocking preseason which is the managers responsibility.
78 Posted 31/12/2014 at 20:52:40
The team has more than enough central midfielders but no wide men and the defence suffers from a lack of strong leadership by the keeper.
79 Posted 31/12/2014 at 22:31:48
Regardless of what happens this season, I will never forgive Martinez for spunking 㿈 mil on a lad who at best is potential. That money could have bought us the finished article and probably another player in addition. For me, thatÂs his biggest crime as our manager.
80 Posted 31/12/2014 at 22:38:09
81 Posted 31/12/2014 at 23:50:56
The supporting wing backs and midfielders are just not delivering the back-up needed. Only the players not playing can escape criticism for the current woes.
82 Posted 01/01/2015 at 01:33:33
83 Posted 01/01/2015 at 02:11:07
He's never gonna be a ball player or be able to thread a pass, he's got a great eye for a goal & a great shot on him.
Most managers spunk cash on a flop once in a while (Torres) (Carol), the list is extensive. Thing is we were crying out for a big money signing, we get one and its a disaster. Gutted!
84 Posted 01/01/2015 at 02:23:50
85 Posted 01/01/2015 at 07:34:36
Even the best managers makes mistakes in the transfer market, but because we are skint that 㿈 mil is the equivalent of us buying a player for 𧴜 mil. We will never pay that for a player again, and our manager chose to spend that money on a player who we can all agree is only potential at this stage. It’s unforgivable mate, and a massive gamble. I can’t honestly think of any other club in world football that has paid that amount of money on a player who isn’t the finished article.
Lukaku does not and will never in my opinion suit our style of play under this manager. He would suit a team that plays on the break who pushes the ball in front of him into empty spaces. He isn’t technically good enough to play in a team that plays possession football, and the sooner he comes out the team the better. Eto’o and Kone are far better than him I’m afraid to say, so even at this stage I would be looking to get him out for as much as we can to recoup some money. We never will mind, and I think that is the rope that us supporters will eventually hang the manager with.
I like Martinez, but I can’t forgive him for blowing that money.
86 Posted 01/01/2015 at 09:14:04
Due to our slow build up by time the ball arrives in our attacking zone Lukaku is faced with a double line of defenders. This crowded area becomes even more densely packed with the arrival of our wing backs and attacking mids sharing an orgy of possession.
This makes it impossible to create a clear shot at goal and reduces opportunity for our lot to round the defensive walls.
With so many of our own defenders sucked forward it leaves us vulnerable to long range counter attacks.
The solution to both problems is to get the ball forward with as quick as possible and with minimum fuss.
When faced with break aways our centre backs should dispense with finesse and simply welly the ball as far from our own goal as possible.
87 Posted 01/01/2015 at 14:09:52
We paid 㿈m for his goals but are not set up to make that happen. We should set the team up to supply him with opportunities. If we score goals we can win matches. I'm fed up with the modern five in midfield system that seems to focus on neutralizing the opposition. I don't mind conceding goals as long as we score more than the opposition!
I would try out: Robles, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines,McCarthy, Barkley, Mirallas, McGeady, Kone, Lukaku.
The Barry - McCarthy DM barrier does not provide the defence with the protection it requires and lacks the creativity to drive us forward and we end up with an isolated Lukaku and no outlet when we have possession. Time to gamble a bit and really go out to win games. The current system seems like a safety first one, but that only works if it is defensively tight. As it is not we should go for goals and hope to out score the opposition making best use of our offensive options.
Just my opinion. I'm sure others can blow my argument out of the water ;0
88 Posted 01/01/2015 at 18:10:48
1. The problem is the team aren't playing with confidence, fluidity, passion or threat.
2. The reasons for this are primarily down to the team selection and the tactics and style that they aren't comfortable with and that the opposition have twigged.
3. The person solely responsible for tactics and team selection is the manager.
So where is the real problem?
89 Posted 01/01/2015 at 23:45:19
90 Posted 02/01/2015 at 09:13:58
91 Posted 02/01/2015 at 14:26:27
Stats, on TV last night Roberto's, last season at Wigan: 20, 35 goals against. At same stage at Everton, 20, 33 goals against.
Papers today are saying McCarthy possible move to Spurs, for cash injection in Jan.
92 Posted 02/01/2015 at 14:53:37
93 Posted 02/01/2015 at 15:01:39
I am not a Roberto, fan as you probably are ware. But I'm not a sack the manager fan either. There is enough time for him to get us in to a safe and respectable position and I have a feeling (don't ask me why) that it will come in the Man city game on the 10th Jan. And I will be putting a bet on it.
You have to feel sorry for Robles, I mean unfortunately for him he came in to a team were the defence is at an all time low. His confidence must me shattered and then to hear that there is talk of replacing him with a January temp, goalie. Who is coaching him at the training ground? Either he is showing a different side to his game in training or he is all we have.
94 Posted 02/01/2015 at 15:57:56
95 Posted 03/01/2015 at 14:59:50
Lakaku will score lots of goals once we get a new manager and he gets a semblance of decent service.
96 Posted 03/01/2015 at 21:53:19
The real problem is hoping that you can attack with two negative central mids in your team. McCarthy and Barry give nothing going forward.
You could say that's not their job but we can not afford two in the one midfield. Barry far too slow and bad business giving him 3-year contract.
97 Posted 03/01/2015 at 22:48:29
So, are you actually starting to doubt Martinez now?
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.