A trip out to the East Midlands to take on the Foxes in the first League game of the season and it was quite a party atmosphere as the Leicester fans had the flags and banners out to welcome their heroes to the Premier League, the Blues fans were just being the Blues fans on an away day, so a cracking atmosphere was nailed on.

The team announcement arrived via cyberspace and was well-received by most. No Barkley but he was wished a speedy recovery.

The first half started with 10 minutes of scrappy play before the Blues seemed to settle and start to produce some of the joined-up stuff when Baines made a good tackle near his own box and fed McGeady who slipped to Stones who returned it to McGeady, but alas he ran into trouble, had the ball taken from him and the chance was gone. Naismith worked hard to get on the ball and slip in Lukaku but the big man’s surge was stopped in the area when he pushed the ball too far in front of him.

On the 15-minute mark, we gave away a free kick near the edge of the box and the spray was use,d which brought loud cheers. The free kick was tipped away by Howard for another corner which produced a melee in the box but, thankfully, the home team hit it wide. Already we were looking vulnerable when defending set plays and balls played down the middle and this was illustrated when Jags and Howard got in a mess from such a ball and gave the Leicester forward a sniff but Howard made a sprawling recovery.

20 minutes and we force a corner which Leicester saw out some 35 yards, only for Baines to blast it goal-ward. The ball hit a defender, rebounded to Distin who hit against the keeper and the ball fell for McGeady just inside the box. He took it on a couple of paces before wrapping his foot around the ball to put on the right amount of right hand side to curl the ball with laser accuracy into the top corner of the net for a most delightful finish which sparked celebrations that always includes clenched fists raised and jiggled in sheer delight whilst making unintelligible noises from the mouth. I am sure if this was observed from the sky it would resemble a piranha feeding frenzy.

About a minute later, joy turned to despair as we gave away a corner which was no more than regulation in delivery yet seemed to spook our defence and culminated in Distin lashing and slipping and hitting a Leicester player with the ball who duly hit it back past him and into the net.

However, we responded in good fashion; playing the good joined-up stuff at a slightly faster pace, we looked more than likely to open up a stubborn rearguard and it was a treat to watch. When Leicester did get the ball, they broke quickly and it has to be said that Stones, Jags and Distin did not look blob on at all which, in turn, affected their positioning which led to attacks becoming far more dangerous than they should have.

30 minutes was reached and it was now a right rip-roaring Premier League match to witness. End-to-end, tackle for tackle, chance for chance, chant for chant, and still goal for goal. McGeady was having a prominent spell and danced down the right and put in a cross looking for Lukaku but he was beaten to it at the expense of a corner. Baines takes, but the defence head it away as far as McCarthy who sends it back into the danger area and out for another corner. It was taken and found Pienaar who exchanged passes and then set up McGeady who’s net bound effort hit a defender.

5 minutes before the break, McGeady had another good opportunity when excellent work from Naismith, Baines and Pienaar linked in fine fashion and set up the Irishman who sadly fired over the bar. Pity because that would have been one fine goal. The Baines-Pienaar combo worked again to set up a chance for Naismith who fired just wide.

We were definitely knocking on the door when, just on the half-time mark, we scored a goal that was a joy to watch. It was all Baines and Pienaar in swift tandem which culminated in a Pienaar backheel to Baines who quickly fed Pienaar in the box and he moved the ball on to Naismith in what I thought was a fortuitous manner. But the Scot hit an unerring drive into the top corner which, after the initial ructions, a rendition of "Allez Oh" was served up at a dangerous level of decibels.

Half-time and I thought, after a nervous start, we had played well with Naismith, Baines and Pienaar the pick but, at the same time, our rearguard left room for improvement. As a fan said to me: "Just imagine Robles behind that lot." I declined to imagine. In the break, one bit of news I did not want to hear at all was when I was told Barkley likely out for 6 months. Hope his source had been on the sauce.

Second half began and no changes, 2-1 up so I thought more of the same and we would be home and dry. I should know better as footy is so unpredictable and it would turn out that the second half would be far removed from the first. Baines and Pienaar would no longer get it right, Lukaku would tire dramatically and our midfield would lose quite a bit of control. Add that to our rearguard getting no better, then to come away with a point could be called a result.

The half was scrappy from the start and Leicester seemed intent on putting it about and going for our back four by hitting the ball into our box. Instead of using our joined-up mode, we tried to match them and free kicks abounded for both sides. When we did play quick passing forward moves, we looked the part; yet, each time, a tired pass would put paid to promising moves. Where Lukaku was almost stationary, Naismith was always running, always showing... but that elusive final pass seemed hard for anyone to find.

The three-and-a-half thousand travelling faithful were roaring out chants and cheers to try to lift the lads and get the goal that would surely settle it but, from my seat, we seemed more intent in holding what we had which is in contrast to last season's ‘Martinez way’.

We continued to put effort in and that was not in question but it was without much purpose as it did not contain any craft or guile like we had seen produce two goals first half. McGeady led a break out but was floored by Konchesky which brought a raucous chant of ‘Hello, red and white shite’. From the free kick the ball came out to McCarthy who was tackled and had lengthy treatment before limping off then limping on again. Fair play to Leicester players: when McCarthy stayed down, the ref waved play on, but they put the ball out. Nice to see in such a full-blooded game.

Play resumed and a ball forward found Stones wanting and the sub was through on Howard but thankfully skied it toward the heavens, ‘Send Hibbert on’ someone shouted just as Stones lost it again whilst I wondered just how fit Coleman was as he was at least on the bench.

We may have been critical of our lads for the drop in form second half but, for all that, it was still a gripping and exciting match to watch. They poured forward and we tried to soak it up one way or the other and hit them on the break.

75 minutes reached and you could see the tiredness creeping in. McGeady was trying his jinking runs but lost the ball as he ran out of puff; Pienaar was now almost anonymous and Leicester were breaking into our box with greater regularity which led to last-ditch tackles that saw Barry and McCarthy booked... well McCarthy should have been but the ref just gave him a stern warning. From the free\-kick for the McCarthy tackle, the ball came into our box and, after a mis-control by someone, Jags went to head clear but caught the boot of a bicycle kicking player to his head. He resumed after treatment.

The fans were now calling for us to put subs on but had to wait till the 80th min when Mirallas replaced Pienaar who was out on his feet. Then, 5 mins later, McGeady made way for the returning Coleman to huge cheers from the faithful. A move to ensure we wrapped up the points, it seemed... but to my eyes it disrupted further our rearguard as no-one seemed sure of who was playing where and before they could sort out who was doing what, just a minute after Coleman had come, on we conceded a goal of sloppy proportions with poor marking and missed tackles which saw Leicester gifted a simple shot on a gaping goal and it was 2-2. That left the faithful stunned and as limp as wet lettuce for what seemed like an age.

4 minutes of injury time and we went for broke but it was all too frantic and lacking in craft as well as being too late. The final whistle and just the point to bring home.

MotM. Naismith – The one player who was consistent throughout.

Overall, a good day out to see an entertaining game and one that excited from time to time. As an Evertonian, you would wonder how we could perform so differently first half to second, as well as how quickly players tired second half, and why it took so long to get fresh legs on, and then only two used.

Still, early days yet... and, taking into account a World Cup interrupted pre-season, there were signs that the good times are not too far away. That back line is a bit worrying though and needs some work doing on it – but that’s what managers and coaches are paid for – and we have some of the best, we are told.

Tea time in L4 sees the start of our home campaign in a game that is certainly not a ‘gimmie’ but a must-see.

Be good to see if all the regulars are back in the Room of Nonsense and, if so, we will have the whole season boxed off in about three pints; whatever happens during the season, no-one ever admits to getting anything wrong pre first game...

See you there!

UP THE BLUES

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Reader Comments (34)

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Nathan Goulart
1 Posted 17/08/2014 at 02:02:15
Thanks Ken. Looking forward to your match reports this season. Always first class.
Harold Matthews
2 Posted 17/08/2014 at 01:59:24
Wonderful review as always Ken. I have to agree about work needed on the back line but do we have a defensive specialist on the coaching staff? Browning, Stones, Garbutt and Duffy seem to rely heavily on tips from senior squad members and I'm beginning to wonder if we have a coach who can take them up to the next level.
Dennis Stevens
3 Posted 17/08/2014 at 02:52:55
From My Seat ... By Ken Buckley – 6 words I've really missed reading for what seems like an eternity! Thanks for your excellent report Ken, I look forward to reading many more.
Beresford McWilliam
4 Posted 17/08/2014 at 02:51:16
Gotta say the prospect of Naismith playing in behind Lukaku had me happy when I heard of RossÂ’s injury and last nightÂ’s showing proved it could be a good few weeks without Ross!
Chris Wilson
5 Posted 17/08/2014 at 02:31:49
I always read your stuff Ken, but I have never commented. I thought this was a worthy time because, though you produced an honest, yet optimistic report, and that is very refreshing after reading the meltdown by many of my fellow Evertonians. It is understandable considering the way we faded in the second half.

I, like many, question the pre-season training regimen; why our players were already developing injuries and seem to lack match fitness and sharpness. But I take heart in how well we played in the first half as a sign of things to come.

Lukaku will get match fit over time, Mirallas will be more involved in the next few games, Coleman will be back and help balance our attack on both flanks, Pienaar and Baines looked sharp again, and Naismith was indefatigable. The backline is a bit of a worry, but I think problems can and will be ironed out.

The worry is Barkley and how bad his injury is. I just hope Osman, Pienaar, and Gibson can operate as a kind of attacking midfield by committee. I wonder if this will prompt a change in formation and/or tactics?

Steve Harrison
6 Posted 17/08/2014 at 02:37:24
IÂ’m a Leicester fan but I signed up to this because I thoroughly enjoyed your article and wanted to comment. I thought it was a very accurate account of the match and completely unbiased.

IÂ’ve actually posted on the JA606 Everton board and also found your fans to be very down to earth, proper football fans. IÂ’ve also always had a slight soft spot for you guys since you stole Gary off us so IÂ’m hoping you can break into the top four.

You looked class going forward in the first half with Baines and Pienaar causing us all sorts of problems but defensively you were very suspect. BainesÂ’s and PienaarÂ’s quality lead to a bit of a backlash for de Laet, who I thought in truth, did a pretty good job with little support from Mahrez, against two top quality players. The two finishes were sublime.

Second half went pretty much as I predicted with Everton running out of steam and our superior fitness paying dividends once again. I think this in a interesting fact, Albrighton was second fittest player at Villa but the eleventh at City. I think this speaks volumes for the shape our players are in and IÂ’m sure this will win us plenty of points throughout the season.

This has been a key factor of our success over the last couple of seasons because we just donÂ’t give up and possess the quality to punish teams, as we proved once again with a very satisfactory performance against a very good side.

We know we can perform better than that too and have Drinky (our best player), Albrighton and Vardy to come back from injury and Cambiasso coming in so I think we can be feeling pretty pleased with ourselves.

On a side note, the tackle from Konchesky was perfect and it was him that kicked the ball out of play too 😉

Good luck for the rest of the season.

Tim Greeley
7 Posted 17/08/2014 at 03:49:32
Well spoken, as always, Ken Buckley. I watched late night on DVR, and thought we were quite good in the first half. We couldÂ’ve been up by a few more in fact. Second half.... um, no thanks. Fans will have to concede we were dealing with a club back in the EPL for the first time in a decade so they were up for it and yet we really had earned the 3 points if not for some dogshit at the end.

All-in-all, great to be back following Everton!

Grip it now: Barkley is out for most of this season. That means Gibson and Besic become attackers or we need to get back into the market.

(Also.... their uniforms looked too much like our home kits... it took awhile to get acclimated.)

Derek Thomas
8 Posted 17/08/2014 at 03:56:52

Pretty much spot-on, as per usual, Ken. In no particular order, a couple of things worry me.

Barkley obviously, but I suppose we must file that under Â’shit happens / this is Everton, what do you expect?Â’

This whole post World Cup Lukaku thing. I seem to remember there was an officially mandated one-month stand down and, at aged 21, I donÂ’t see that the time since his last game (5 July 2014) is enough for him to lose all his fitness, given that he was reported before his transfer as Â’training in BelgiumÂ’ ... or was it just another of his Â’Ho-HumÂ’ days? I always fear the worst when I see him, as I did yesterday, drifting deeper and deeper, still with his back to the goal. He is like Baines: use him like he should be used to get full value.

Without going all knee-jerky, last season he did have his fair share of Â’Ho-HumÂ’ days... all IÂ’ll say is IÂ’m glad we didnÂ’t fork out 㿈M all in one go.

Jags and Distin: I remember a few seasons ago (three or four?) when Arteta had not long signed his mega deal, us getting done over at Villa, by balls played down the space between the the two of them. It might be said that OFMÂ’s all-around more, shall we say, Â’carefulÂ’ methods offered them more protection back then and they still got found out. Add to this time and injuries and the lack of a Cahill, Jelavic or even Fellaini to help clear high balls in the box... short version, they are getting found out more and more.

Subs, Bobby, subs... too little, too late, like buses, none for 80 mins then 2 in a couple of mins. Subs need time to bed in, they can even disrupt the whole team dynamic. Moyes got found out by this more than once; donÂ’t you start doing it as well!

We, the collective we, both on and off the field, will have to dig deep on a number of fronts, maybe even financially, to get things right against Arsenal, Chelsea and the rest of the games to come.

Ryan Jones
9 Posted 17/08/2014 at 05:54:14
Fantastic report as per usual Ken!

Whilst disappointed to drop two points to a late scrappy goal I think I would've taken a point before the game given that we were playing a decent, newly promoted side away from home on the opening day. Not to mention our fitness issues!

I just want to say I've been trying to fight it and I get hammered by LFC and United 'fans' when I say this but I think that Naismith is such a good little player for us... But I just can't put my finger on what he's actually good at (in the nicest possible way).

Also did anyone notice the almost mirror image of the opening day from last season against Norwich? 2-2 after a ball breaks loose to an un-intended target... Everton that! Ah well, 4 points from our next two home games and I'll be happy... COYB!

Ryan Jones
10 Posted 17/08/2014 at 06:01:35
Derek Thomas 8...

I think I remember that Villa game only too well. Wasn't that the one where Joleon Lescott equalised in the last minute only for Ashley Young to score an injury time winner from the kick after Jags got caught out massively by a ball over the top?

Either way I remember my laundry basket getting stomped like Billy Batts in Goodfellas! Haha.

Brian Hill
11 Posted 17/08/2014 at 06:36:41
Why did Howard dive in the opposite direction to the trajectory of the ball for their second goal? It was obvious from the scorer's body language where he would shoot, yet Howard presented him with an empty net. Another eminently preventable goal conceded.

Welcome back, Ken.

Craig Fletcher
12 Posted 17/08/2014 at 06:43:14
Steve (6) thanks for taking the time to post, always good to hear a balanced viewpoint from the opposition dugout.

It’s a concern re our second half.... one of our strong points last season was indeed our fitness, and our ability to dig deep and score late on in the last 15 of games. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe we scored more than any other PL side last season in the final third of the second half?

Steve Harrison
13 Posted 17/08/2014 at 11:01:15
Thanks Craig, IÂ’m glad my comments were appreciated.

Having read the rest of the views, IÂ’m finding myself completely agreeing, which is rare for two sets of fans to have the same opinion on a game.

Your lack of fitness cost you today, I donÂ’t think thereÂ’s any doubt about that but that was understandable and of course that will improve.

I could say youÂ’re very lucky that Vardy wasnÂ’t available didnÂ’t because he is rapid (as you found out in Thailand) and can finish, unlike the boy Schlupp bless him.

Vardy would have terrorised your tired defence and would have made a huge difference to our attack but thatÂ’s football and you got away with being unfit this time 😉

I have a slight confession however, on paper I didnÂ’t think you were all that much of a threat and I completely underestimated the quality of Pienaar, McGeady, Naismith and Baines in particular.

I thought we handled the rest of the team very well but those four were outstanding and I really didnÂ’t expect them to be but I was definitely wrong.

All the best in Europe this season and best of luck trying to break into the top four. Martinez is a quality manager and IÂ’ve watched a few of his interviews before and after the game and I like him a lot.

Kev Johnson
14 Posted 17/08/2014 at 11:32:06
Yeah, good to read an opposing fan's perspective (Steve @ 6). The thing is, Steve, you mentioned having three of your better players out - and having a look at one of your fan forums (Link) you're not the only one making that point - but so did we! Barkley out, Coleman and Mirallas out for 90% of the game, Lukaku playing at half fitness after missing all of our pre-season games. So it swings and roundabouts.
David Ellis
15 Posted 17/08/2014 at 12:06:41
Steve no.6 Leicester were good value for their point yesterday and had the chances to win it. However, I think you may struggle as the season wears on unless the players you are missing make a major impact, there was a bit too much ping-pong for my liking. Fitness alone isn't going to be enough, but good luck, I hope you stay up and make your home ground a fortress. Thanks for sharing your views.
Nigel Gregson
16 Posted 17/08/2014 at 12:40:42
Steve #6 : Special shout out to Mahrez for being a proper honest player and not going down with the intent to send Barry off. Barry was already on a yellow and you guys were 2-1 down and he had every incentive to milk the red following a hospital ball from McGeady, but he stayed up and the ref didn't go for the second yellow. Good luck to you guys, I hope you stay up.
Raymond Fox
17 Posted 17/08/2014 at 11:52:13
Nice one Ken, as per usual your report is accurate and fair.

Also Steve 6, good to hear/see your comments on the game, again like Ken spot on I'd say. I think you'll do okay this season, and stay up... it's a big ask though, because there's not a lot of difference in quality when the usual top 7 or 8 are excluded. I like your manager, he comes across as a steady no nonsense sort of a person.

As far as Everton's concerned I too am puzzled why in defence we are poor when the balls in the air, I'm not blaming Martinez, Jags and Distin are the two most experienced in the league by far surely they know what there doing at corners and other crosses.

No doubt the matches are reviewed and weaknesses are highlighted. Last years record in defence points to us being strong, but I get the jitters every time a cross comes over.

Mike Childs
18 Posted 17/08/2014 at 13:19:09
Great report Ken. Thanks Steve for a report from the other side of the fence. Good to read a honest appraisal from an opposite when usually with fans (especially of top 4 teams) it's either trolling or crying how the refs jobbed them.

Craig (12) you are correct about the last 15 minutes stat from last year. Hopefully from here on out we so more play like the first half not the second.

Last but not least, good luck to you Barkley you poor snake-bitten footballer. Please come back healthy, do not rush – your health is more important than the team results.

Steve Harrison
19 Posted 17/08/2014 at 12:30:34
If all players were fit, of course it could have been a very different story because there was definitely some top quality missing due to either injury or match fitness. Hopefully weÂ’ll get to play each other at full strength at Goodison.

In fairness, I think we can both be disappointed with the way we retained the ball at times because IÂ’m sure youÂ’ll be disappointed with the second half and we can definitely play better than we did. You made it very hard for us but weÂ’re better than that and IÂ’m sure weÂ’ll settle in.

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 17/08/2014 at 13:40:11
LetÂ’s see how the team do over the next few games before we start slagging off certain players.

CouldnÂ’t believe some the ultra negative comments on the live forum yesterday. Please think before acting so quickly, it was the first game of the season.

Michael Kidd
21 Posted 17/08/2014 at 18:41:26
We had the third best defensive record in the League last year. They'll sort it out. Disappointing conclusion but not the worst result – promoted teams usually accumulate quite a few points early on in the first season back in the PL.

Not the easiest start to the season – maybe Roberto should complain about a conspiracy!

Ajay Gopal
22 Posted 17/08/2014 at 18:40:43
Good report as usual, Ken, welcome back! Disappointed that we did not hold on to the 2-1, but I will take this result. We traditionally start slow, and I think Martinez has been deliberately luke-warm in his build-up. I think he wants the players to gradually reach a level of fitness and sharpness and maintain that level for the remainder of the season (of course, the Barkley injury has upset his plans, no doubt about that). Watch out for a season long loan from Barcelona/Real Madrid for a similar type of player. Deulofeu, anyone?

Steve (#6), good post, welcome to the best footy fans' website in the world! Hope you guys stuff our loveable neighbours when you meet them...:-)

Harold Matthews
23 Posted 18/08/2014 at 00:04:26
Dave. The Live Forum is the nearest thing to being at the match. An emotional madhouse with nothing spared. Few people remember their crazy outbursts.
Rob Preston
24 Posted 18/08/2014 at 01:45:02
Michael (21) we may have had the third best defensive figures but we can't rest on stats helping us. Our defence lacks some mongrel. They are rarely first to the ball in the air and they seem to lack any combative intent or to dominate the ball. This cost us dearly last year and needs to be fixed.

The defence has been caught napping umpteen times, they need to learn to concentrate for the full game. I think Jags is a bit over-rated and a lot of the miraculous last-gasp interventions he occasionally makes shouldn't have happened in the first place.

Mike Gaynes
25 Posted 18/08/2014 at 05:41:38
Ken Buckley is back in position for the new season, and that's always great news for the TWers.

Steve #6, thanks for dropping in and sharing your perspective. Welcome to the PL and best wishes to stay.

And Brian #11, all I can do is laugh. The "scorer's body language"??? Really? Not sure what's in your cookies, but they ain't chocolate chips, son.

Kieran Fitzgerald
26 Posted 18/08/2014 at 06:25:20
If Leicester had scored the equalizer after say sixty or seventy minutes, a draw wouldn't have felt as bad. I think what has me feeling so disappointed about the result was that we had played badly in the second half but had managed to hang on. We were edging towards scrapping a win which you would have taken given the performance.

I don't think we will play as badly again. I don't remember that many sluggish or tired performances last season.

Dick Fearon
27 Posted 18/08/2014 at 07:31:04
G'day Ken you bewdy, you touched on a bit of role playing confusion among our subs. Maybe Roberto contributed toward it with his directions to Seamus. At 2-1 up and 5 mins remaining it was surely best to park the bus.

When Leicester scored its second, I concede that Stones was mainly to blame for not covering his zone at the back post but where was Mirallas and more importantly where was Coleman? At that stage of the game with three points almost in the bag, our tiring defence urgently required bolstering with fresh legs. The last thing we needed was another goal.

Had we hung on to the lead for those last few minutes Roberto would have been hailed as brilliant; as it was, if his orders were to play an open game, it was a mistake on his part.

Steve Harrison
28 Posted 18/08/2014 at 08:52:01
I understand your point about conceding with longer left, conceding late always feels like a defeat.

We were obviously delighted to get a point in the end but if we had been level for the last twenty, I’m pretty sure we would have been disappointed with a draw. We would have been in a great position to go on and win it and as you’ve seen, we do have the quality to punish teams. It’s funny how the timing of goals can change our perceptions of the same result.

Thanks for your comments regarding Mahrez and Pearson. Mahrez is very exciting and has so many tricks that he ghosts past players at times. He’s still young and finding his feet but he definitely needs to help out more defensively now we’ve stepped up a league, that was very evident on Saturday. Pearson gets us playing honest football, our discipline is excellent, we don’t appeal and get in the refs faces, we just get on with it when fouled hence why Mahrez just got up. This was another huge factor towards our success last season and it’s refreshing to see in this day and age.

It was reported that Liam Moore was arrested after the game for stealing 㿈m but was later released when the police realised it was Lukaku in his pockets. Sorry couldn’t resist 😉

Peter Howard
29 Posted 18/08/2014 at 10:31:56
Steve(6):

Thanks for your balanced view of the game. I hope Leicester stay up as youÂ’re the Red ShiteÂ’s bogey team!

Col Wills
30 Posted 18/08/2014 at 11:29:44
Got to say that Roberto got it all wrong with the substitutions.

Coleman came on and didnÂ’t have a scooby where to play, Besic was the go-to man to tighten up the midfield area and Atsu should have been the sub for McGeady.

Also, If I where a Leicester fan, IÂ’d have been disappointed not to see Barry get a second yellow, but the tackle on McCarthy wasnÂ’t very nice too.

Stonesy just doesnÂ’t look much cop at right back, not his fault, but he was miles out of position for the second goal (much like the centre half he is).

I loved seeing Baines and Pienaar back to their creative best, but Stevey should be given 70 minutes max from now on.

Harold Matthews
31 Posted 19/08/2014 at 11:34:30
It was Morgan who got MotM for keeping Lukaku quiet but the fact that Moore was also busy would suggest that our lad was not getting much support.

I've knocked young Stones many times in the past but he had no chance with their 2nd goal. Jags looked beaten and the lad had to make an effort to block the striker. Coleman should have been covering him but was ball watching. As was McCarthy, who had let himself be drawn away from his normal position. Believe me, Mirallas, Baines and Barry were also not too clever before the ball got anywhere near Stones.

James Stewart
32 Posted 19/08/2014 at 12:24:40
Agree with Harold about the goals conceded. Stones canÂ’t be blamed – there was so much sloppy poor play from a lot of players he had little chance.

The subs were also the wrong choices and too late. Atsu and Besic would have had more energy and kept us on top.

Harold Matthews
33 Posted 19/08/2014 at 21:41:10
Yes James, Atsu and Besic might have livened things up but we seemed to be happy with the 2-1 lead. There is also this thing about new recruits fully understanding the football philosophy before they enter the Premier League arena. Which means that it must be a whole lot more complicated than possession football, building up from the back. Personally, I'm confused.
Jamie Crowley
34 Posted 20/08/2014 at 05:13:17
I agree with Harold and James re Stones and the second goal. He's not to blame. Harold nailed it.
Jags looked beaten and the lad had to make an effort to block the striker

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