Two more points thrown away

Everton once again allowed their opponents too much time and space in the second half, and paid the price again, for the second week running, gifting Arsenal two late goals in place of a solid thumping.

Michael Kenrick 23/08/2014 140comments  |  Jump to last

Seamus Coleman makes his 100th Premier League appearance for Everton

Seamus Coleman, making his 100th Premier League appearance, and Kevin Mirallas both started after coming on as substitutes last weekend at Leicester City, with John Stones and Aiden McGeady dropping to the bench for this 5:30pm kick-off in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Roberto Martinez spurned the opportunity to blood either of his new acquisitions, in Mohamed Besic and Christian Atsu, but Romelu Lukau makes his first start at Goodison Park since becoming Everton's record 28M signing.

Everton won an early corner but it was swung outward by Baines to little effect after Pienaar went down. Good possession and forward pressure in Arsenal's half conveyed the right early message but moves did not penetrate effectively, as Everton's defence dealt well with Arsenal's first attack, playing the ball out with confidence from the back.

Pienaar went down again and Leon Osman replaced him after just 9 minutes, and the Blues took a little while to readjust, allowing Arsenal to push back a little, Coleman with a horrible giveaway straight to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who thankfully sidefooted wide. Coleman made another error on the touchline as the Blues sought to establish some attacking rhythm. McCarthy getting nailed by Sanchez and, from tyhe free-kick, Coleman made tremendous amends, a great ball from Barry to the full-back running in behind the for a fabulous close-range header Szczesny could only push further into the roof of ther Park end net!

Mirallas was getting in some great advanced positions down the channel but lacked the guile or skill to beat his man, although almost scored on one venture forward. Everton had done well to contain the arsenal backlash and steadily increase the control on the game through the half-hour mark.

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Baines was called for a late tackle, a foul yes, but probably not worthy of the yellow card Kevin Friend flashed for what was surely only his first offence. Arsenal applied some pressure, ending with Chamberlain again lashing wide. A promising break stalled with McCarthy, and Everton resorted to keep-ball in their own half in order to draw out the visitors in an impressive period of sustained possession that ended with Mirallas getting taken out by Chambers; clumsy, but no yellow card, and a nice set-piece for Everton, Mirallas almost scoring on the angle, drawing a great leap from Szczesny.

Mertesacker went in a little hard on Naismith and earned himself a yellow card. A great move started from the back then tore Arsenal apart just before the break, Lukaku rolling Metesacker, scampering forward and playing in Naismith (offside) but the goal stands! Excellent stuff from Everton.

Giroud replaced Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal after the break, as they kicked off with hopefully an unassailable deficit facing them thanks to some great attacking play by Everton in the first half. And Giroud was given a golden chance firing from a difficult angle just over Howard and the bar... Too close for comfort.

Debuchy reacted to a fair challenge by Naismith, trying to catch him with a little kick and wagging his finger, only to get an earful of Scotch Brogue from the goalscorer. Everton won a corner played short and worked in for what might have been a handball... but wasn't.

Some neat flicked triangles by Everton bamboozled the Arsenal players with Wilshere frustrated lunging in heavily on Barry to the shock of Goodison Park, and well worth a red, but Friend only booked him. Chambers was next in the book, bodychecking Naismith.

Everton backed off a little despite having the mental advantage, allowing Arsenal to run at them a little too much, and win their first corner after the hour mark, but it came to nothing, Barry almost pulling off a tremendous forward pass to Lukaku.

Everton started to concede too much space to the increasingly marauding Arsenal attack, and looking more and more nervous with each new attack, relieved momentarily in a good breakout that collapsed on an overly ambitious backheel from Lukaku and the ball was instantly up the other end, Giroud with an excellent chance that Howard saved brilliantly.

A classic epitome of a stretched game, Baines the next to pull a tremendous cutback off the Arsenal byeline but neither Osman nor Naismith could profit. End to end stuff... not good for those of a nervous temperament, as Lukaku gave way to McGeady... an add substitution instead of Atsu? For Arsenal, Campbell replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Naismith immediately played McGeady in and got a peach in return that he leathered a little too enthusiastically yards over the Gwladys Street goal. Naismith than fouled by Flamini who earned Arsenal's fourth yellow. A surge of pace from McGeady and Coleman down the Everton right almost came off as Everton benefited from the Irishman's fresher legs.

Into the final 10 minutes and Everton still needing to be alert, while looking for the opportunity to break with sharp counter-attacking moves that belied the form shown in lacklustre pre-season displays which had given many Evertonians serious heartburn. Arsenal had a fresh lease of life, and kept attacking, asking questions of Martinez and Everton, as the all-too predictable goal came for the Gunners.

The manager's belated response was to swap out Mirallas for Atsu, but it made little difference as the yellow peril surged forward again, and another winning position looked highly vulnerable with 5 mins left on the clock.

And sure enough, final minute and another gifted goal. Absolutely maddening stuff second half form both the Everton players and the Everton manager, who again have thrown away two precious Premier League points from an excellent winning position.

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka {c}, Distin, Baines [Y:30']; Barry, McCarthy; Mirallas (84' Atsu), Naismith, Pienaar (10' Osman); Lukaku (76' McGeady).
Subs: Robles, Stones, Alcaraz, Besic.

Arsenal: Szczesny; Debuchy, Mertesacker [Y:43'], Chambers [Y:57'], Monreal; Flamini [Y:77'], Oxlade-Chamberlain (74' Campbell), Wilshere [Y:53'] (74' Cazorla), Ramsey; Ozil; Sanchez (46' Giroud).
Subs: Bellerín, Koscielny, Rosicky, Martinez, .

Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 39,490.

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Reader Comments (140)

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Duncan McDine
1 Posted 23/08/2014 at 16:40:35
For me, that’s pretty much our strongest 11...

Obviously missing young Ross.

Aystein Heggelund
2 Posted 23/08/2014 at 16:43:22
Can't complain about that line-up. Getting a little more optimistic now than I was a good week ago!
Colin Williams
3 Posted 23/08/2014 at 16:37:28
Poor team selection! How can you select Jags/Distin after last week joke performance. Some old, burned out players on our side today. We’ll need lots of luck with that line up! (Hope I’m wrong)
Paul Ferry
4 Posted 23/08/2014 at 16:53:19
I can’t complain about that line-up, Aystein... well, I can:

(1) Distin after the shite performance last week;

(2) Why is Stones not playing?

(3) Why is Barry playing after the shite performance last week?

(4) Why is Besic not starting?

(5) Why is Atsu not starting and Pienaar is? Pienaar was shocking in the 2nd half last week although much better in the 1st half;

(6) Team lacks pace completely.

Tony Twist
5 Posted 23/08/2014 at 17:01:07
Pienaar I don't think is our strongest option; Astu and his pace is what we need, he can't play against Chelsea, missing most of February probably — he should be starting.
Harold Matthews
6 Posted 23/08/2014 at 16:53:21
Yeah. Apart from Ross, that's our first eleven. Wenger reckoned we bullied them last time and will have them fired up for a fight. Sounds like he's ready for a whinge.
Anthony Jones
7 Posted 23/08/2014 at 17:22:22
Very disappointing that Besic has not replaced Barry. When we were short of players the Barry deal made sense. Besic has the legs to cope with Ramsey and Ozil. Barry does not. Hoping Atsu gets half an hour at least. Lets put favouratism and negativity behind us.
Mike Keane
8 Posted 23/08/2014 at 18:25:42
Oh ye ToffeeWebbers of little faith. In Roberto we trust.
Stephen Brown
9 Posted 23/08/2014 at 18:28:15
Whatever the final result, this lad Naismith is turning into an excellent player! No 9 No 10 on the bench, impact sub. A managers dream. Good luck to him and he deserves his success!
Peter Gorman
10 Posted 23/08/2014 at 18:28:57
Love the pre-match guff we speak. Yeah, boo Barry, boooooo!
Mike Hughes
12 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:24:06
Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:24:31
Absolutely maddening, for the second week running, two precious points thrown away.

Utterly unbelievable!!!

Mike Hughes
14 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:25:54
It feels like two defeats.
Nathan Goulart
15 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:28:45
I feel sick.
Tommy Coleman
16 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:27:22
Ran out of juice again in the last 10 mins. Poor pre-season has affected our start. Annoyingly, the media will forget how we outplayed Arsenal for 80 mins and will only drool over Arsenal "Spirit".
Philip Mannering
17 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:26:49
Kind of shell-shocked... We just kept sitting back and inviting attacks, what did we think was going to happen? The only statement that sent to visitors to Goodison is, "Come and have a go!"
James Carlisle
18 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:28:17
Really, for the second week running? Throwing games away is why we won't get top 4 again.
Paul Ferry
19 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:31:34
Livid, absolutely livid. We had that in the bag, comfy.

It’s down to 2 Ds — Defence and Decisions.... And a third: Distin. Distin has to be – fourth D – dropped. Shite last week... to blame for both goals today.

But, boy oh boy, my real wrath is reserved for Martinez and his decisions this week and last week. Bringing on Osman was criminal; bringing on McGeady not Besic or Atsu was criminal; bringing on Atsu not Besic at 2-1 was criminal; not taking Osman off was criminal.

I’m sorry and my knee is not jerking, but Martinez’s decisions and subbing have left a lot to be desired these two games. In my opinion, his decisions and his defence – he picked Jags and Distin to start – have cost us 4 points.

Osman must never ever start for us or come on in the first half. We have to break up that central defence partnership. We must start Besic.


Thanks Bobby, thanks very feccking much. Talk your way out of that.

Drew Shortis
20 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:26:56
Disappointing end to a game we had controlled so well in the first half. Hopefully we will learn to keep our foot on the gas for the full 90 minutes as we can't afford to keep dropping points like this. That being said it was against a very talented Arsenal team so not a total embarrassment, just very disappointing!
Bill Gall
21 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:30:34
This was another tactical mistake from the manager — with the defence being overun, he brings on forewards.
Peter Z Jones
22 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:25:44
Great game by Steven Naismith (again) and James McCarthy. Jags and Distin are just too skittish though. Stones has to get in after that. I can't believe we seriously threw that one away. Hurts way more than Leicester because there were no fluke bounces here. Just poor awareness and a lack of authority at center back. Every cross is an ordeal because we just flail our legs at everything instead of maintaining composure and standing our ground. Someone please command the area with a bit of calm for once! Shit.
Phil Davies
23 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:25:07
Jagielka and Distin need to be dropped, Jagielka hasn't looked good since last season ended and Distin's physical attributes are the only reason he plays, as he can't defend and he dithers far too much when he has the ball. Players like Duffy and Stones need to be given a chance, we shouldn't need to score 3 to beat Leicester and we shouldn't be throwing away a 2-0 lead in the last 10 minutes of any game.
Steve Guy
24 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:31:40
Disgraceful. As soon as Rom went off they stopped worrying about our forward threat. He should have stayed on, sore toe or not. 6 points turned into 2... We need to close the game out.
Ernie Baywood
25 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:25:31
Absolutely deflating. Seemed a conscious decision to concede possession in the second half and try to hit them on the break... but we don't have the legs right now to chase the ball for 45 minutes.

Said to my son prior to the first goal that we were out on our feet. Particularly McCarthy who had previously been everywhere. And then it was just a lazy tired effort by Seamus and McCarthy against Cazorla for the first. The second was almost inevitable.

Don't disagree with the initial selection at all. Some very good performances amongst it. The weakest probably coming from the one player we have little choice but to play. I guess the Pienaar injury kind of forced Martinez's hand a bit and maybe he wanted to hold a sub in case of injury... but we were crying out for some energy in that last 20. Really should have carried on the way we were going. Giving Arsenal so much possession killed us.


Royson Reja
26 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:32:57
Exactly the same as last week. We seem to lose focus at the final 10 mins. Totally gutted. However, lots of positives (as well as negatives) from the way we played. Naismith is MotM for me.
Jamie Barlow
27 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:30:44
Why did we decide to lay the last 25 minutes in our own 18 yard box? Absolutely fuming.

Martinez and his coaches need to tell our defenders to start defending again. There's no point in teaching them how to play out from the back if they can't fuckin' defend.

Atsu instead of Besic? See the game out, Bobby, and stop fucking about.

John Audsley
28 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:31:26
4 points pissed away

I'm starting to think RM believes he is untouchable

We failed to kill a game yet again and it's going to all add up and cost us.

Unless we learn how to defend and bring another forward in we are in for a rough old season.

I just cannot understand this terrible defensive mentality RM has suddenly got. The players are not fully fit and seem utterly clueless in possession.

We will be lucky to finish top 8 playing like this... ffs.

Stephen Brown
29 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:34:12
Feels worse than a defeat! I've been trying to give Jags and Distin the benefit of the doubt but they need to be dropped but not sure Stones is ready either !
Emily Pietras
30 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:37:16
Hi, everyone. Recent EPL/Everton fan posting.

What a disappointing first two weeks. We have left four points out on the field.

David Cornmell
31 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:36:46
I just smashed my phone to smithereens...

Typical fucking Everton.

Ryan Williams
32 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:37:47
We need another striker. Simple as that. Bringing on wingers that can't hold a ball give us no relief at all. Stones has to be better than one of our centre-backs at this point. The early sub hurt us, but I have to believe Roberto will at least consider Besic later in games to give Barry some relief.
Michael Kenrick
33 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:37:20
So frustrating... all the good football, two great goals, we had them on the ropes again, just like last time....

And what do we do? I can begin to see some serious flaws in the Martinez approach, philosophy or way of doing things here.

Nathan Goulart
34 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:38:50
Just lucky that Naismith goal counted.
Richard Reeves
35 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:32:49
That just felt like all the blood had drained from my body and the most annoying thing was that, with 15 minutes to go and counting down the clock, I could see it happening — or should I say I had this feeling it was going to happen... so depressing.
Ian McPherson
36 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:41:19
Pre-season training. Wtf are we doing??
John Daley
37 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:28:07
Oh fuck off. Could see that coming a mile off. Jagielka and Distin stand up to scrutiny about as well as a sick note signed H.Shipman and McGeady must be the only sub less threatening than than the duck shaped fucker the penguin used to fire torpedoes that could be deflected by 'the noble sacrifice of the almost human porpoise' in Batman 66
Dan Colton
38 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:37:31
Lets not get too carried away. There where huge positives in that game but I think the problem has been caused by what looks from the outside as a poorly planned and structured pre-season schedule: we looked out on our feet with 10 mins to go. I don't think Martinez had much choice regarding the subs. Mirallas had ran his legs off; Lukaku and Pienaar where injured.

Going forward, I think we have to look at Stones at CB just because he helps us keep the ball so well to see games out from the central position.

Si Cooper
39 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:38:19
Wasn't a bad performance by any player overall (and plenty did nothing wrong) but lack of a central midfield replacement with 20 minutes to go was baffling. Ossie was blown and obviously not able to get up and down the pitch anymore - no surprise there - whilst being pretty ineffective in defence.

What is the deal with Besic? Played a good deal of pre-season but nothing so far in the serious stuff.

James Morgan
40 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:47:02
Apologies for swearing but I'm absolutely fucking fuming! Supposed to be challenging for top four and we throw away two points in the last ten minutes! Where's the killer instinct in this soft bunch of bastards? We got two up and pull our pants down and hand them the fucking Vaseline! The worst thing is I could see it coming. Seriously fucked off with this wimpish attitude. Throw Besic in and get nasty for fucks sake.
Dave Duggan
41 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:34:52
We don't have the mentality of a top four team that's why we drop so many points!

Jags and Distin are questionable at the best of times and it doesn't surprise me one bit that we had out best run last year while stones was at the back. Jags is a great last ditch defender but lacks composure which is what we needed after that 1st goal. You just knew that the second was coming! Like somebody else posted, Distin only gets in simply because he is bigger and faster than the others.

It's same old Everton unfortunately. Poor second half performance to throw away yet another two points.

Oh and btw not that it had anything to do with the result but Tim Howard is the worst kicker of a ball I have ever and will ever see! Truly pathetic for a professional!

Pete Ellingham
42 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:43:50
Gutted!!!!!!! The thing that I find strange is the number of people who are having a dig at the manager and our players. We are being rebuilt on a limited budget and we have players that give it their all, week-in and week-out!

Does anyone remember the crap football we put with prior to Martinez taking over? Does anyone remember the embarrassing games against Arsenal we have had to put up with in previous years? Now we are unhappy that we could only manage a draw!

Don't get me wrong – I hate the fact we have dropped points and it does feel like a loss but we have a great manager and we will be challenging for top 4 again.

Si Cooper
43 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:49:29
John, McGeady linked up well with Naismith and Coleman within minutes of coming on. The ball he played for Seamus was just the right one apart from being half a yard underhit. His job was obviously to get after anything hoofed up the field and hurry-up their defenders, which he did. The problem was further back, and Besic should have been the ideal player to throw on there.
Michael Polley
44 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:48:49
Gutted, and fucking pissed off. We just sat back again and invited them to come at us and score. I just knew if they pulled one back they get a 2nd.

The best form of defence is attack. I heard some boos at the end of the game, and rightly so. I know it's only the 2nd game of the season, but it was the 2nd half performance that justified the fans response. Shafted my Bank Hol weekend. I'm fuming at the moment. Need to kick the cat, if I had one. Not holding out much hope for next weekend !!!!

Damian Braithwaite
45 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:53:31
Before they equalised, I was on cloud nine, believing we and Martinez had finally got the substitutions and player rotation that other teams take for granted spot on. But now I see Martinez needs another striker so badly. I know Lukaku was fucked but that substitution was a game changer.
Rahul Sreekumar
46 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:59:04
Oh the heartbreak! :'(

But got to move on... it's a long season ahead!

Yair Kaye
47 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:48:01
Very disappointing. Everything went for us today – Arsenal tired from midweek in Turkey, our second goal that shouldn't have counted, and so on.

We can top the table if games end after 45 minutes – which shows we have some old legs and no strength in depth. If we don't strengthen significantly by the end of the window, we can only dream of our last season position. IMO, we'll finish 8th. To get to the league of the big boys, we need an owner with much deeper pockets .

Darren Fellows
48 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:47:35
Two-two against the Gunners!!!! Just disappoints me!!!!

Just cast your minds back three seasons ago, just remember these guys were playing us off the park for fun. Our team is moving forward faster and improving more than any other in the Premier League. For me to be an Evertonian is an exciting time plus a managerial change... think how many times that's buggered teams up.

Let's enjoy the moment; we're playing well, creating chances, and Champions League — you can keep it!! At least for two more seasons — we just wouldn't cope at the moment...

Richard Reeves
49 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:50:49
Looking at it again, how can Jagielka not jump high enough to clear that cross? Coleman does his bit in running to close down any cross only to look back and see Giroud get between Jagielka and Distin and out jump them.

I don’t put much blame on Distin because he was the wrong side of Giroud but Jagielka should’ve been able to get to that ball.

Wakey wakey, Phil, time to stop trying to be the joker of the pack along with Osman and sort your game out.

Iakovos Iasonidis
50 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:54:51
Martinez should know better and don't tell me that last year we started with 3 draws and finished 5th because with that mentality this year we won't. 4 dropped points already. Season started really bad. We badly need an attacking midfielder and a striker and I suppose we should also start to look for a central defender... but most of all we need to be focused for 90 min. We are so naive...
Jim Lloyd
51 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:41:36
I thought Naisey was outstanding, he fought for everything some greatt intelligent running and a cracking goal. Offside or not, the ref gave it and top marks to Stevie for running on to it.

I didn’t think Mirallas had a good game, he tried to many tricks which mostly didin’t come off and although he scored a cracking goal, I don’t think Seamus was up to his usual standard.

It seems to me that Ossie, was really poor today, hardly any of his passes came of, he was easily knocked off the ball and was usually left floundering when Arsenal went forward around his watch.

For the last 20 minutes Arsenal were pressing forward and it looked like several of our players were knackered.

I don’t know if it’s Martinez’s philosophy so much as you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Jagielka is extremely suspect at the back and his distribution is poor and both him and Distin are prone to make mistakes that quite often result in us giving a goal away.

I thought for the first hour we generally coped with poor clearances and soft passes but, as the game wore on, it looked a massive gap in midfield that I thought Ossie was supposed to fill but he didn’t. I’m not sure that he can, he’s been a good servant to the club but we ought not to be depending on him... even as a sub.

The trouble is in defence that we are likely to see Jagielka and Distin as the first picks. Duffy and Stones are not yet experienced enough to form a first selection defensive partnership.

It looked to me that James McCarthy was goosed with about twenty minutes to go and then their midfield had a free ride.

It was a shame really, as even though we didn’t all play well, we done Arsenal in the first half but, if we begin to panic when two goals up, then the quicker we bring Besic into the side to sub for Barry, then we’re going to continually face these last-20-minute sieges.

Frustrating? Bloody right it was... but to come away really disappointed means to me that we are progressing but we really need a couple of top quality centre backs...

Dominic Adamson
52 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:59:58
What a joke...

Same excuse as last week, we ran out of legs, well what's pre-season for, absolute joke.

Hanging on for far too long, subs didn't help. Martinez got it badly wrong today and should admit so.

We'll get battered next week if we play like that again in the second half.

James Stewart
53 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:03:04
Wrong subs again from Martinez. Points dropped rather than gained. Besic should have come on when it was clear our legs had gone. Instead he through on McGeady and Atsu which were both strange decisions.

Poor tactics and that is down to RM.

Peter Z Jones
54 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:03:34
Darren 48. I totally think all will be well long term but fuck that was infuriating. The word incandescent comes to mind.
Keith Glazzard
55 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:01:37
If Besic is half the player he looks we needed him at 60 minutes. Probably for Osman. In any case, we need more cover in midfield.
Si Cooper
56 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:03:19
Darren, do you honestly not believe that game should have been won today?

Being disappointed is a sign of how far we have come; to now be satisfied with less than we could get is a betrayal of the effort that has been put in.

The manager has a big input and I think his main substitution should have been made with 20 minutes to go in an effort to improve our influence in the middle of the park.

If Buzz and Jags could be said to be solely to blame for either goal then I could understand why people are calling for Stones and Duffy (okay, no I don't understand why Duffy could be anyone's preference). As it was, no-one can say if Stones had started those goals wouldn't have been scored. Distin is about the last of our defenders you would expect to be out-muscled by Giroud.

James Flynn
57 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:01:33
I'm the "Oh, give him one more chance" supporter.

But Osman is done. Great servant and all. No doubt of that. Hopefully the next 5-10 games will see him eased out.

Bill Gall
58 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:55:04
Sorry we were lucky to get a draw. Any team that sits back and allow Arsenal to control possession cant be suprised that they score. The manager is going to say that Everton should have won but he was the one who made the subtitutions that allowed Arsenal more freedom in the middle of the park and in my mind the Arsenal manager read the game a whole lot better than the Everton manager.

Nearly all supporters writing about Osman will state that he is a good player but for only 50min at the most yet he left him on for practily the full game.We all complained about pre-season games yet Besic plays in the majority of them gets praised by the manager and only sits on the bench.

I hope that Mr Martinez starts to get a ruthless streak in him and starts to play players on their present performances and not their past..with 4 pts dropped and the present team struggling to play for 90+ min something has to change.

Mike Green
59 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:57:47
Silly boys. Still unable to take advantage and kill teams off.

On the upside, for the second season running we've showed we can more than live with a good Arsenal side which beats getting spanked by them year on year. Probably a fair but ultimately very disappointing result from what was, bar a couple of sloppy goals, a solid performance.

As for Naismith, he might not be a pin-up star but he gives everything and comes up with the goods more often than he should, unlike Mirallas who is nowhere near as good as he looks.

If we are going to put teams to bed, Mirallas needs to step up and contribute but he continues to deliver far less than he promises, unlike Naismith who is the polar opposite.

Derek Knox
60 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:11:13
I accept that Pienaar picked up an injury, but why oh why did he bring Ossie on, why not Besic or Atsu?

I have said on many occasions that we need defenders before the window closes. It's no use scoring goals through hard graft and guile at one end, if you are going to easily concede them at the other.

Kristian Boyce
61 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:55:09
All of Martinez's Wigan faults have snuck in over pre-season. Defending has become suspect, can't finish off teams, and we've become a shambles trying to hold a lead.

A quickly thrown together pre-season hasn't prepared the players for fitness or tactics. Hopefully another few weeks training will remedy some of these issues; if not, we could be in for a long season.

Tony Twist
63 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:04:43
Embarassing Everton, only we could snatch a draw from a 2-0 lead. But this is Martinez all over. He is like Moyes but they are opposite ends of the spectrum, we need someone in the middle who has the managerial ability to produce teams that can play attacking football when required but competent enough to shut up shop when it's necessary. He has had over a year now and I don't think he is even looking for a defensive solution to this team. This is relegation form considering pre-season as well. Not being ready at the start of the season is unforgivable, they aren't fit enough. Keep the rest of the money in the bank Kenwright, Martinez has had enough, it's time for him to sink or swim.
Barry Stevens
64 Posted 23/08/2014 at 19:57:09
Were all disappointed with the last ten minutes but let's not take away before that it was a good performance. We weren't out there against a bunch of mugs. We were playing one of the favourites for the league. I think in the end the couple of extra competitive games they've played made the differnce.

Right now, everyone is focused on how leggy we look, but will we be complaining towards the end of season if we look stronger in the run in? Our manager and backroom staff are renowned for their expertise in fitness levels and programmes, so let's give them the benefit of doubt.

Long-term, this match will hurt Arsenal more than it hurt us. The extra effort they gave will bear fruit on Wednesday in Champions League. Giroud has already been ruled out since the game with possible long term injury.

I am an optimist and I make no apologies for that, so I will take the positives. We are unbeaten and haven't been behind so far this season. We've scored four good goals and have been unlucky with three of those conceded. Both Leicester ricochets and Ramsey's cross today staying in. We are going to be playing 60-odd games this season, so I'm not going to lose faith after two in our manager or team.

Gavin Johnson
65 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:04:57
Very frustrating!! The first goal conceded was very sloppy... Jags and Distin switching off. I thought they'd played very well up until that point. Their player who put the ball in was also given acres of space.

I agree with some other ToffeeWebbers that the substitutions were unusual. The main one for me being Mirallas for Atsu... At that stage of the game we had little upfront outlet once Lukaku went off. I felt the obvious one would have been to take Osman off and consolidate the play in midfield and hold the goal lead for the last 5 minutes or so with the introduction of Besic.

Didn't Bobby want to hurt Osman's feelings by subbing a sub? That was the only explanation I could think of for that decision.

It feels a little like a defeat but if we can get something from the Chelsea game and bring in a striker before transfer deadline. We'll be more or less where we were last season but having played a higher level of opposition in Arsenal and Chelsea. So I'll be happy enough with that.

Tony Hill
66 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:15:08
A deeply irritating capitulation in the last 25 minutes and like everyone I'm furious. But we were comfortable for most of the game against one of the anointed, and we must take a deep breath and look to Chelsea. There are concerns, particularly about fitness, but we need to play the long fame. This has the makings of a very good side indeed.

Martinez will make errors, some very bad errors, along the way but he has the class and the calmness which have historically set us apart from the vulgarians and we must show our own patience as fans. He is constructing a proper team and I am afraid we are going to have to endure more days like this in the process.

Not bring lofty here, I stress, having embarrassed myself by nearly shattering a window when they equalised and having embarrassed my 11-year-old son with atrocious language in front of his mates. We are on the right track and we have two more points than after the first two games in August 84.

Michael Reid
67 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:23:05
So frustrated. 60 good minutes and then they go and take the last 30 off. The first Arsenal goal was frustrating as from the throw in Everton looked so slow/static that I actually thought the whistle had gone. The second seemed like a foregone conclusion. They all seemed so tired after 75 minutes and by the time the goal came almost everyone seemed spent.

There were some plusses in that Barry showed some great passing and at times they had decent ball movement. Naismith had another decent showing as well.

Distan had another shocker and Jags seemed off the pace again as well. Defensively it was very Wigan-esque at times. Stones definitely deserves a run-out next game. Also, Lakaku, except for his set-up of the second goal had a second sluggish game.

Four points dropped so far. Just trying to convince myself its okay since we only had 2 points this time last season.

Charles Brewer
68 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:19:18
Both Arsenal goals were the result of shambolic defending. We'd have done better with Hibbert out there.

For me the worst performer was Tim Howard. Instead of cutting out either cross (which should have been easy) he stood off and waited for defenders to beat the attackers, and in both cases that was difficult.

Mark Pierpoint
69 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:30:05
Livid. Two observations from where I was watching.

1) fitness. Martinez and his philosophy has benefitted the club. There will be countless better days than this. Nevertheless the failure to do the basics, namely prepare players to be at a peak level of fitness for ninety minutes is not good enough. It is like me as a planning the best meal but forgetting to turn the oven on....

2) set pieces. I am fed up of not threatening. It may be untidy and not pretty but to disregard it is baffling

Brent Stephens
70 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:32:02
Sorry, Roberto, but you fucked up BIG time today. You can take the credit for the two goal lead. But 2 up, and under the cosh for a long time in the second half, Barry and McCarthy needed help in protecting a very dodgy defence. It HAD TO BE BESIC for Osman! It Just HAD to be.

Moyes too defensive when we needed to attack. Roberto too cavalier when we need to bolster our defending.

I am so fucking mad at that.

Mark Harris
71 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:02:46
What is going on? First post, born a blue in 1960, first game 1963, first game on my own 1971, so bleedin puzzled about this season so far and don’t give me the crap about pre season fitness unless we are the only team involved in World Cup etc etc.

Are we blaming pre season for throwing away four points for our poor showing in second half of first two games? Each time it has been a different team attitude wise that has come out for the second half and thrown the game away. It’s not been the subs to blame, it’s almost a different attitude that has caused our blues to sit back and invite them to attack. Why?

We had them going, we were in the ascendency, then we sit back and say "Come at us, see if you can score." and lo and behold they do.

I am not going to be clever and say that we should have had so and so come on in the 63 minute and that would have been it, I despair over the attitude.

Where is the fight? The fact that we are Everton, the fact that we are Scouse and proud, the fact that we don’t just roll over because its Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea etc. If we were beaten by a better team football wise so be it but to ’drop’ points against a more expensive less capable team really grates.

Mark Pierpoint
72 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:35:39
Agree Brent. Mirallas was spent though. For me it should have been Besic for him not Atsu.
Trevor Thompson
73 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:34:38
I try not to bash Osman but it was like playing with 10 men once he came on. Besides that to concede 2 goals like that is terrible. I'd rather be played off the park by the opposition at least I can say they were the better side. I think we should just start 2-0 down and see if we can get a result from that. Reverse pyschology.
Nick Entwistle
74 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:30:04
This morning I saw some of the Leicester team out for a coffee and thought it was a bad omen.

Flying fuck balls.

Brent Stephens
75 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:36:30
I had no problem with Osman coming on so early to replace an injured Peanuts. And I defend Osman from unwarranted crit. But for too long in that second half the game was bypassing Osman. I just don't take this line that you never sub a sub. Why? Is there some rule against it? Is it a matter of principle? Well fuck that principle - there's a bigger one which is shore up the defensive side when under the cosh for so long and when 2 up. Besic would have shored us up defensively AND help form a springboard for attack (the let out we needed as well) - the lad has quick feet and can hit a long, accurate pass.

Sorry but I'm just going to go on about this.

Steven Higgott
76 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:05:32
Martinez needs to look at his pre-season last year was good because he had the team together. This one was mish-mash and telling the player, "Oh have a rest we’ll be okay... come back when your ready..." What do these players get played millions for? Okay, they may only play football for 20 years if they’re lucky but they are set for life.

If we the fans took more time off, we would be sacked. I can’t believe we could not see that game out cos our players were fatigued – they should be fresh up for the fight.

It was the first home game. We were the better team and I know the team will recover from this but Chelsea next and, if we lose to them then I feel that recovery time will take a lot longer as the so called smaller teams will say just stay in the game and later well score the goals.

Tahir Abdullah
77 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:38:16
Michael @ 33 & Dominic @ 52, you sum it up nicely.....
Peter Jones
78 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:37:24
Jagjelka especially, and Distin to a lesser extent, played pretty well up until last 15 - 10 mins where they basically got overwhelmed by the constant Arsenal pressure,

The constant Arsenal pressure was down to McCarthy and Barry losing control of the midfield in the second half (as they did last week).

Martinez should have acted to reassert control early in second half.

Some players Martinez will never replace. They include McCarthy, Barry, Jagjelka, Baines and Coleman. This is not necessarily right.

Everton are the unfittest I have seen for many a long year, a lot more unfit than they ever were under Moyes or whoever was in charge of their fitness. This is Martinez' fault and he needs to sort it now.

Jim Bennings
79 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:35:36
Finally people are starting to notice what I noticed three years ago.

Jagielka and Distin are not commanding enough, the amount of headers we concede and have conceded this last few years is nothing short of alarming.

Arsenal were shite today let's be honest, Howard hardly had a save to make yet as soon as we come under a slight bit of late pressure the defence just like last weekend, cracks.

We cannot deal with crosses into the box, all second half I found myself shouting, bawling "stop the crosses" yet what happens?
Two from the same side in the last six minutes, absolutely gutted to have thrown that away, almost as gutted as when Palace done us at Goodison in April to end our top four hopes.

That's now THREE AT home to Palace, THREE AT home to City and another few today, not to mention last weekend against a limited Leicester side.

We don't have a defender who actually goes to meet the ball from crosses, corners etc that's why it's so disappointing that the same problems that held us back last season will undo all of our good play again this season.

Failure to stamp out such schoolboy errors will mean no improvement this time around.

Liverpool knew lest season that their defence needed strengthening, and have acted.

We need to do the same.

Ross Hutchinson
80 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:37:32
While I do agree it was 3 points thrown away today, it is only the 2nd game of the season and our 1st at home. It was also against a very good Arsenal team( whom, I might add we made look very ordinary at times). This is the very start of the season and teething problems always occur at this point of the season, due to fitness and sharpness. I think we're going to be ok and build on this and come back stronger.
Gerry McGuirk
81 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:35:17
Watched game with my 7 year old....both gutted. Even losing his first tooth today hasn't made up for it! Serious rethink needed for next week..... how can we look so jaded in the last 10 minutes only two games into the season? New legs needed especially in defence....sorry Sylain and Antolin! Actually bringing the gap toothed one to the Chelsea game. His first visit, my first for a long time. I don't think I can expect Andy Gray to score the winner this time...although we could do with some of his passion and guts! Any ideas on where to go before and after for big game atmosphere (with a 7 year old) and where to buy club colours? Very sketchy on Liverpool geography. Hopefully Roberto will apply a good old fashioned boot up the arse which the players can pass on to Chelski!
Brent Stephens
82 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:44:39
Mark, I would have taken Besic for Mirallas instead. Anything to shore up the defensive side. I feel so effing sorry for Barry and McCarthy. Take a bow lads, and Nais - that lad never stops, and a well-deserved goal.
Christopher Kelly
83 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:35:46
RM will be like Moyes. Keep us believing and the team in the top half and will never ever get fired so all we can hope for is that he learns.... He seems such a smart guy this seems impossible. Kone’ would’ve killed this off up top. I’m proud of our lot but baffled by Martinezs inability to learn from past mistakes.... All I can say is the season is 2 games in... We need another 5 to have any idea how good this team really is
Paul Thompson
84 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:44:22
Yet another one half display and yet another failure by Martinez to address the emergent problem. As with last week, we needed to get a grip in midfield by 70 minutes with some fresh legs and thinking. Again, nothing or nothing useful. It was crying out for Besic. Bringing Giroud on also made a major difference and he/we didn't respond adequately. So frustrating.
Mike Oates
85 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:37:28
Today demonstrated to me two things, one that we are perfectly able to match the top teams , we have the game plan to plan our way through a game , create and score goals, and that in Naismith we have a good replacement for Barkley. The second is that we are woefully short in fitness. The pre-season was a joke, we learnt nothing that we already knew that Garbutt is the only youngster ready to step, and the rest are a season away. Too many players a me back to late and didn't get to a level of fitness to last the 90 mins in the PL. Too few pre-season games . The fitness will undoubtedly come, but by then I suspect we will have suffered a poor start. I can't see us giving Chelsea a game next week. We can see already that our " minuscule squad " will suffer even more . We had already lost Kone, Oviedo, Barkley and after today Pienaar and maybe even Lukaku for a short period.
Other PL teams will also get another League Cup this week to bolster their fitness, we don't . I can't see us being fit until mid September by which time we'll be languishing in about 10th place.y
Si Cooper
86 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:39:49
Tony (63) - that is a ridiculous summation of what Martinez has done overall. He has built a team around two industrious and capable defensive midfielders specifically to liberate our full-backs more without leaving the central defenders without help. He has undoubtedly considered the defensive side of things whilst trying to be more capable of attacking at the same time.

The error of judgement most of us have seen today was the wrong substitution at the wrong time. Romelu Lukaku is supposed to have some sort of injury from before the game, so it was probably necessary for him to come off. It may have been a gamble not to have any subs left with 15-20 minutes to go, but I think it is one he should have taken.

Michael (67) - you obviously missed all the times he provided an outlet and often passed it on to a team-mate. Not impressed with him getting into the box when Barry lofted the ball in? Had the ball been a little less lofted he would have been the one heading for goal. Guess those things don't count.

John Pickles
87 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:31:28
At the new School of Science today Roberto gets a D-. Everton getting overrun in the last 20 minutes and his input was inexcusable.

Osman is good for 60 mins nowadays, tops. I think I saw him touch the ball once in the last half hour, he couldn't have been more out the game if he had been sitting next to me watching it.

We needed to bring on someone to stem the tide of Arsenal attacks and shut up shop. We have Besic and Stones on the bench and what do we get, McGeady and Atsu. Seamus is just back from injury and tired, needs some help, what does he get? The two least most defensive players in the squad!

We have learnt nothing from Leicester. The ability to 'Park The Bus' is something Champion's League teams take for granted, we need to learn it quickly or we are not going to trouble the top 4.

Fitness levels looked poor today, much worse than Arsenal and they played mid-week.

On a plus note, Naismith was awesome today.

Denis Richardson
88 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:42:05
Gutted (again)! We just don't know how to close out games and always shit ourselves if we have a lead to defend in the second half.

With half an hour to go I lost count of how many times the defence hoofed the ball upfield instead of keeping possession. Sitting so deep and constantly giving the ball back to the oppo, it was just a matter of time before they scored and you always knew that if they got one they'd get another. Had there been another 5 mins we would have lost.

Jags and Distin have been great in the past but we have to drop one of them and get Stones in. We need a CB with composure who can keep posession instead of lumping it up the pitch. I'd probably drop Jags but given RM made him captain, it will likely be Distin (if any of them are dropped).

Disappointed but not surprised with the defending in the last half an hour. Besic should have come in to give fresh legs in the middle in the final 15 mins.

4 points dropped already and looking like max 3 points from the first 3 games. Thats relegation form not top 4!

Andy Crooks
89 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:51:59
The defence needs rebuilt. For all his many qualities I have never seen Roberto as a man who builds from the back. The older Jagielka and Distin get, the more Wigan like we look.
Stephen Brown
90 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:53:24
I love the way that modern footballers are encouraged to play from the back but call me old fashion a defenders no 1 role is to do the basics of defending - this team could do with a Dave Watson type centre half - jags is totally out of form and shouldn't be beyond dropping! Stones is a good ball playing defender but there are mistakes galore in him ! I never thought I'd be calling to give Duffy an extended chance just two games into the season as he's big strong and DEFENDS
John Keating
91 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:54:57
How are we so knackered after 70 mins? Are we the only team in the Premier League that can't last 90 mins? Seems so...

Absolutely shocking result, even worse than last week. This team reminds me of Martinez's Wigan – good going forward and absolute shite defensively. I could possibly understand Arsenal getting the goals if they'd packed our penalty area but on both occasions we had more than enough bodies in the area while they only had one.

We really need to sort it out fast or all the good work of last season will be worth nothing.

Christopher Kelly
92 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:57:27
Fitness is embarrassing. That should NEVER EVER be an issue. It’s something we can control. You can’t help if a team is just better but running out of gas is the most unacceptable thing. Team In the premiership can do. Martinez mr. Positive again. Hope he can be real, real soon.
Mike Hughes
93 Posted 23/08/2014 at 21:02:33
It's a night in for me. I'm officially sulking.

Can't believe I'm watching Film 4's Frightfest season in an attempt to lighten up.

Dave Williams
94 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:47:40
Jags has never been the same since his bad injury in 2009. Distin has never been a player who attacks the ball and Alcaraz is too injury prone. Stones apart I don’t know the answer as I haven’t seen enough of Duffy or Browning to advance their case but we can’t play two kids together in central defence.

All very disappointing and not using Besic is very strange. Have to echo Brent – what a smashing player Naismith has become for us – well done lad!

Andy Finigan
95 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:38:33
Two weeks running and my language is getting worse with minutes to go. But both me and the wife knew what was coming. We had done so well and the first half Arsenal just didn't know what to do to make anything happen.

I think our manager got the tactics spot on for 45 mins but, for two games running, when the midfield needed bolstering, nothing happened. To make matters worse, he has been too slow and waited for the horse to bolt. 30 mins left and we looked seriously in need of changes.

If the central defenders are a liability then maybe more help in midfield is a must when our backs are against the wall.

Someone was asking on another thread why Kevin Mirallas doesn't score as many goals as he should and I guess you saw why today. I hope bobby learns quickly.

Bill Griffiths
96 Posted 23/08/2014 at 21:02:30
There's a right load of garbage spouted on this site especially regarding Jags and Distin. On the whole, they had good games.

To blame Jags for the 2nd goal is ridiculous, it was unlucky in that the mishit cross went straight to their player and the cross put in was perfect. As Glen Hoddle said, you can't be in the right place every time and if the cross is perfect there's nothing you can do about it.

What does worry me is Roberto's comments that we aren't fully fit yet. Isn't that what pre-season is all about? — ie, bringing the players up to fitness when the league starts.

Anyway I'm not to worried as there were some promising signs today and, if we beat Chelsea next week, I think it will be a decent start to the season.

Dick Brady
97 Posted 23/08/2014 at 21:22:53
Poor substandard preseason = unfit out of form players.
Tony Hill
98 Posted 23/08/2014 at 21:13:38
What we do lack at the moment, and have lacked for a while, is steel and the right sort of nastiness; I agree with those who are looking to Besic to supply those qualities. I suspect RM is biding his time and we can look forward to great things from that young man, but it is puzzling he wasn't brought on today.

I also agree with those who point to Jags as an ongoing problem; he just doesn't have the mental hardness and confidence that a successful Premier League captain must have. I wonder about Besic playing in defence for the shortish term, he must be a better option. That's the missing ingredient though: self-belief, and it's the hardest thing of all to create.

RM will in the end be judged on that. I believe he is a less pleasant and more ruthless man than he appears, and will deliver.

Raymond Fox
100 Posted 23/08/2014 at 20:42:37
A game lasts 90 mins; we gave it our all in the first 60 mins. Are you not going to give them any credit for going 2 up?

Look at the quality of players Wenger could put on as subs. They were always going to up the tempo, they had nothing to lose but to press for all they were worth.

Of course its disappointing to draw after being 2-0 in front for most of the game. Pienaar had to be subbed early, turns out Lukaku was injured, Barkley's crocked.

All the players gave their all, we were getting the better of it when Baines and Coleman were getting forward and Naismith was doing the running of 2 men, his own + Lukaku's. But, as soon as the full backs tired, the game turned in their favour.

What Martinez is short of is about £40m so he can replace some of our ageing players: that's the problem. We have 3 or 4 in the squad that are fast approaching the end of their careers and can't be trusted to see out 90 mins.

We just haven't the strength in depth that 'the money clubs' can afford, it's a serious disadvantage so which way you look at it.

Come on, a draw at Leicester and a draw today against a top club like Arsenal isn't a crisis, we're battling against the odds and always will be unless more serious money can be spent.

Andrew Rimmer
101 Posted 23/08/2014 at 21:34:31
Welcome to Wigan folks. Why try to defend a lead for a whole half against a piss poor Arsenal team?

Utterly shocking. Barkley (Mr wrong decision) is not the answer. And neither is £28 million on a piss poor "striker" .

Martinez sounds good, even better than Moyes, but sounding good is not the answer, results are.

Dave Abrahams
102 Posted 23/08/2014 at 21:35:14
Jim Lloyd (51) I saw the same game as you. Mirallas is a lightweight luxury who will get you off your seat six or seven times a season but mostly flatters to deceive.

They will get better but very frustrating at the moment.

Gerard Morgan
103 Posted 23/08/2014 at 22:06:17
Two things wrong again: Tim Howard x 2.
John Raftery
104 Posted 23/08/2014 at 22:14:24
Unsurprisingly some tripe is being uttered on this thread. Two draws and people are calling us the new Wigan. To describe Arsenal as 'piss poor' is frankly ridiculous. Their squad is stacked with top class players who will yet again earn a top four placing.

For long periods in the first half we made them look ordinary but we ran out of steam. This is not the first Everton team to suffer second half lapses. Nor is it the first Everton team to experience a slow start to the season. A scoreline from August 2009, EFC 1 Arsenal 6, helps to put tonight's result in its true perspective. We are two games into the new season and unbeaten.

Tony Twist
105 Posted 23/08/2014 at 22:29:07
Besic may be the answer but he needs to be clever and not get a reputation. We need a player who is a little bit nasty but one that gets away with it most of the time not one that ends up being the centre of attention for referees. I like what I've seen of him especially his passing, changing defence into attack which I think will suit Lukaku. Martinez has bought this lad with the family fortune but I don't think he suits Martinez's style of play.

IMO Lukaku suits a quick ball up to him in such a way that he can muscle his way past the last defender for one on one with the goalkeeper or to set up a fellow attacker like he did against USA in the World Cup. That is not Martinez's let's keep ball football. Let's hope Martinez can become more flexible and introduce more incisive play or Lukaku's impact on games will be less significant.

Paul Columb
106 Posted 23/08/2014 at 22:30:51
Poor. I'll be very surprised, or pissed off to see Distin and jags at the center next week, to see Osman used prior to the first half or to see us almost systematically invite the opposition to have a go and score. I disappeared into the kitchen for the last 6 mins of the game as I knew what was coming and couldn't face witnessing it.
Ian McDowell
107 Posted 23/08/2014 at 22:40:32
One thing from today's game. Jack Wilshire is a cunt and everything wrong with England. Unlucky Blues – a bit more belief is needed!
Kieran Kinsella
108 Posted 23/08/2014 at 22:46:14
Truth is, we need Moyes back. His team is as good as it gets with BK in charge. Nothing but 5th best will do.
Dick Fearon
109 Posted 23/08/2014 at 22:39:28
With less than 15 mins to go, a desperate Gunners were piling on the pressure. Many of our defenders were clearly on their last legs when Roberto defied logic by bringing on two outright attackers.

Had it been successful, he would have been hailed as a genius. Instead, it failed miserably and should rightfully be described as an act of football lunacy.

I used to wonder how was it that Wigan, one of the best football playing sides in the PL, was relegated. Last night's debacle provided a clue.

Bill Gall
110 Posted 23/08/2014 at 22:54:48
After Mr Martinez's comments about not being at the level of fitness required, maybe the people who criticized the supporters who commented about the lack of effort in the pre-season will now realise that the point they tried to make about the lack of fitness shown during these games was a genuine concern and not the results.
Graham Mockford
111 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:03:53
Typical TW reaction. After two games we are all doomed. Get rid of player X get rid of player Y. It’s never nice to concede a two-goal lead at home but get some fucking perspective.

My take for what it’s worth is the squad is not yet at 100% fitness. Before the doom mongers start berating the manager for this, I actually believe it to be deliberate. On the back of a summer World Cup and a season that will include European games, they are not yet peaking. That’s the downside of a smaller squad where you haven’t got two players for every position.

Now the old school will say they only play a game or two every week, players used to play 60+ games a year. Well the game has moved on.

There was enough of encouragement both last week and this to suggest we are going to be just as formidable this year as last.

Keep your nerve, the outlook is positive.

Anthony Jones
112 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:19:25
Graham, 111:

Apologies as your post is one of many today, but I must take umbridge with your condescending and self righteous post. This website acts as a forum for fans to air their views. Many of the critical posts make valid observations about player selection, tactics, and fitness that should be borne in mind when assessing how well we have done versus our potential come the end of the season. It is very early days but us fans should hold Everton managers, players, and directors to account. Nobody else will.

Rob Halligan
113 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:25:41
Loyalty should play no part in football, yet it seems RM is determined to either start Osman or give him as much playing time as possible. For me Ossie has had his day. I can’t remember any worth while contribution from him all game, except one good pass down the left for Mirallas in the first half. For me he should have been subbed towards the end for possibly Besic, to shut up shop in midfield and stop arsenals midfield pushing forward. I feel we just gave them too much time and space in the latter stages, culminating in conceding two poor goals.
Spragg Johnson
114 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:33:29
Martinez called our pre-season "perfect". It's obviously not when you concede late goals in successive games.

I'm not sure if it's physical or mental fitness that's the problem. Chelsea could overrun us if we continue to be flag in the second half. Like everyone else, I couldn't understand why Besic wasn't bought on to make a midfield wall with McCarthy and Barry as soon as it went 2-1. Sort it out Bobby.

Graham Mockford
115 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:34:03

Now you’ve taken your umbridge (sic) enjoy it. As you say it is a forum for expressing opinions. I’ve expressed mine, I don’t see you expressing very much except criticising my post.

And if you truly believe the manager, players and directors are held to account on TW you are truly deluded. Stop knee jerking and give it a month, believe me you will feel a lot better.

Anthony Jones
116 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:42:23
Graham: Please refer to your first paragraph and then read my post again. Or don't.
Chern Lee
117 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:43:04
Once Ramsey scored, it was just a matter of minutes before they equalised. We were hanging on from the 75th minute onwards. As most have mentioned above, Besic should have replaced Osman to shore up the midfield – it was pretty obvious gaps were appearing everywhere.

Also, I'm sorry to say it, but Jags is past it.

Paul Smith
118 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:40:26
The reason we didn't get 3 points today was the players aren't fit enough and we died a death after about an hour. The two players who stood out for me were McCarthy and Naismith who both ran themselves into the ground and were top quality.

The 2nd goal apart, Lukaku was very poor again and if Mirallas was braver he would surely of scored. The other thing is, don't get me started on McGeady and he surely is not good enough for us and should be shipped off anywhere where they will pay a fee.

Graham Mockford
119 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:51:13

Sorry you’ve lost me. I’ve read it a few times, I don’t see the point you are making.

Do you have an opinion on my post or are you just upset I don’t agree with all the negativity that abounds?

Chris Leyland
120 Posted 24/08/2014 at 00:15:05
Graham Mockford, quite how the 'outlook is positive' is beyond me. We simply can not defend properly and we have nothing upfront beyond Lukaku. Not a positive outlook for me and many others.

It's ok you coming on here and telling us to 'keep our nerve' but it is just a pity that Martinez and his players can't do exactly that from winning positions.

A below average, newly-promoted team managed to come back against us twice last week, thanks to our panicky, comedy defending... and a mediocre Arsenal clawed back a 2-goal deficit thanks to our inability to deal with crosses.

And as for Martinez's substitutions in both games, they have been quite frankly clueless and bereft of any tactical sense whatsoever. In both games it was clear that we were being overrun in midfield as the game drew to a close yet, despite signing Besic, Roberto refuses to bring him on in either game and instead brings on wingers.

For me we are regressing not progressing. You may be happy with the way things have gone but I'm certainly not.

Derek Thomas
121 Posted 23/08/2014 at 23:42:30

Isn't it true to say; that most of us were expecting a 2 to 3 year transition period and that taken as a whole, we would have settled in advance for last season?

So 14 or so months into a 30-36 month task, we maybe getting part of that transition we only partially got last season.

And that Roberto is making mistakes (who doesn't) and he isn't the best funded Manager in the game (no change there then)

The fact is, well to my mind, that Jags and Distin have been iffy for about 3 seasons and It is only OFM's more defensive mind set (and it's inherited remnants) that have been hiding the fact, this plus time and Injury are now leaving them increasingly exposed. Unless one or hopefully two step up or otherwise materialize, these defensive lapses will not go away cheaply or quickly.

Now I am not advocating, given I still have my MOB uniform all pressed and clean in the back of the wardrobe, a return to KITAP1, all I ever thought we needed, to get the best out of Moyes's self proclaimed best squad for 20+ years, was a slight change in emphasis from playing not to lose... you've got your best squad, well let them play a bit ffs

We have a dodgy pair of CBs, so give em a bit more help... you may want to play it out from the back, but sometimes you have to defend from the front...

Yeah, I know Pienaar got injured and Lukaku was not 100%... for whatever reason we did it, last week and this. If there is one team you don't give up space and the ball against it is Arsenal, who for all their failings north of the Watford Gap WILL pas you to death... but only if you let them.

Subs Bobby, Subs, Besic Bobby, Besic, what's he got to do to get on and have a go? Stop being 'kin naive bordering on inflexible, I can't be arsed with Inflexible, I had 11 years of that with the last one.

There I am ranting on like any other knee-jerk wallah when my point was transition, but that's what happens when you support Everton, it really does your crust in to see how near we are, yet still manage to snatch another draw from the teeth of victory.

It's the hope that kills you... but if you can't take a joke then you shouldn't've joined.

Peter Bell
122 Posted 24/08/2014 at 01:00:32
Sorry to say it, but I don't think that RM has the ruthless streak required to be a manager, too much sentiment. How can you give a right back a two-year contract and he does not make the bench today?
Zahir Jaffer
123 Posted 24/08/2014 at 01:57:16
Can I get Graeme Jones's number? I don't know if they were trying to lose the game on the field or if they stopped giving a fuck about the match.

Like many of you, I saw that goal coming the second Giroud had his first touch. We're utterly abysmal in thee air, but at least we can outpass them right?

Fuck no!! We stopped playing football at the 60th minute, and it's not because we ran out of gas, it's because we don't have a leader within our ranks! <>P>What exactly does Jags bring into our team? Forget about Ossie, we all know it's his last season... Oh wait, no, I said that least season. Ossie and Pienaar, both, can't last a full game, let alone a whole half, without making us look feeble.

Tim Howard, evidently, had no control of his defenders. He needs to be more vocal and demanding. Scratch that, he needs to fucking grow a pair and stop camping inside his goal-line. If he had any anticipation whatsoever, he would have been able to come out and collect both those crosses. What does he do instead? Hide behind his impotent defenders.

Lukaku, in the first half, passed back to our defenders every single time he got the ball at his feet (except for that goal which was offside). 2nd half, he was gagging for oxygen, and he was the only player who didn't come back and defend. Didn't do much with the ball in the 2nd half either as he was too busy gasping for air. The goal Coleman scored would have been his if he had shown a little more determination.

Barry was instrumental in everything we did in the first half, did he change his boots at half-time? McCarthy and Baines put in a good 90-minute shift. Mirallas was crap, missed a 1 v 1, had no confidence in him at all.

Going back to what I said earlier, we don't have a leader in our starting XI. Having one of our worst performers as captain just dampens the situation. We need someone who gets the best out of our players on that pitch, someone who leads by example, someone who's vocal and confident, someone who yells at our players for getting lazy or complacent, like what Coleman did to Lukaku when he didn't track back. Is Ron Vlaar for sale??!!

This paragraph is dedicated to Naismith, as he was the only player with that gung ho attitude who wanted those 3 points. He may not be the quickest or the most skilled, but he's got that drive that most of our other players are lacking!

There was a whole discussion about 110% and 100% this past week. Some of our players didn't even give that 60% while Naismith gave that 110%, in the sense that he over-achieved for his standards. Two games running now, and he has hit the deck hard. Hats off to you, lad, you keep leaving me awe-struck by your performances compared to your comrades.

Oh Martinez, Martinez, Martinez... where do I begin? Your shrewdness is vanishing all so quickly. Were you not watching the Leicester game last week? Is that why it took you forever to make subs in today's game and that game? You were completely ignorant to the fact that you thought you could sit back and protect a lead by bringing on not-so-effective subs.

Yes, I like the philosophy of football that you've brought and that's why we're better at chasing games. The defending, however, is just dreadful. This season, It seems like you shit your pants every time you have to hold on to a lead. It's not even the defending that's unbearable, it's the fact that our whole team (except for one or two) just switches off when we have a "protectable lead".

One last thing, if you're going to park the bus for 45 minutes, at least know how to do it right. If you can't, and we all have figured out that you really cant, don't sit back and beg for them to score on us. Change your captain too, a leader leads the team, and Jagielka doesn't fit that title. Get someone who has authority of himself and others, Jagielka lacks both.

Ant Dwyer
124 Posted 24/08/2014 at 01:47:23
For me, Roberto is at fault for our inability to see out the first two games of the season and have 6 points on the board. Do not get me wrong: I do like and rate Martinez but it’s hard to defend him when making these errors.

Firstly, last week, Roberto left his subs too late which give our opponents the hope they could turn a defeat into a draw as we were clearly tiring. Now, this week, Roberto got his subs completely wrong. Seamus was being left to deal with two or even three Arsenal players all 2nd half and decided to bring on the Premier League’s laziest player in front of him. Instead of bringing on McGeady, we should have brought on Stones at right-back and left Seamus in front of him as a right midfielder.

Also, instead of Atsu (who didn’t touch the ball) we should have brought on Besic to see out the game. This is so frustrating as Roberto had clearly won the tactical battle hands down before giving it away.

We can look at individual faults leading to the goals but, for me, Roberto clearly made the wrong choices in the last 15 mins.

Also, I do not like to slate our players but can anybody tell me why McGeady is so lazy and lacks the simplest ability that can be asked of a pro footballer of passing a few yards to a team mate? He has had a decent pre-season and no international commitments; it’s becoming clear he does not have what it takes to cut the mustard in this league.

Harold Matthews
125 Posted 24/08/2014 at 04:08:37
Two of the most pathetic attempts to defend I have ever seen. Do we have a specialist defensive coach? Villa brought in Roy Keane and they now have two clean sheets and a tough attitude.

Michael Penley
126 Posted 24/08/2014 at 05:30:07
Dwyer #125 - I agree with Stones; however, I would have added him as a CB and told Coleman and Baines to push out wider (wing-backs). We were much too focused in staying tight and compressed in the 18-yard box and this meant we were scared to close down players. I don't think it was tiredness although that played a part – it was fear.
Eric Myles
127 Posted 24/08/2014 at 05:46:37
Why when we had 2 defenders, Coleman and McCarthy, facing Corzola, wasn't one of them making an attempt to tackle him instead of both backing off and watching him play a low cross?
Tahir Abdullah
128 Posted 24/08/2014 at 05:48:47
Anthony @112 & Chris @120 how dare you? Do you not know that Mockford is (self appointed) TW royalty... his posts never have to based on fact (lol) because if Graham says it, it has to be right (btw that 1st paragraph @111 could have been omitted as it says nothing, but send the message that the "lesser" views on here should not be on here in the first place).

I agree fully with both of you, these high priests views (aka get some fucking perspective; keep the faith) does nothing but aggravate the frustration of many on here who had to witness that last 30 minutes yesterday.

Many are pissed for sure, I say let them express that frustration on this wonderful site which is TW.

ps: Zahir, nice post....

Paul Tran
129 Posted 24/08/2014 at 08:17:53
We didn't park the bus yesterday. We were knackered.

For the second game in a row, we wilted after the hour and Martinez didn't notice or act until they had gathered momentum.

Watching Everton is like watching Andy Murray a few years ago; sublime, all-conquering followed by an alarming lack of energy.

Martinez got the tactics spot-on yesterday. His tactical skill was nullified by his team's lack of fitness and preparation.

I hope someone at the club kicks his arse next summer and makes sure the pre-season doesn't start with the first league game.

We'll be fine when we're fit, but whenever that is, it'll be late.

Graham Mockford
130 Posted 24/08/2014 at 08:37:19

I would normally make it a point of principle not to reply to any post containing ’lol’ but given you want to make it personal.

I certainly would not wish to stifle debate. You or anyone who wants to think the wheels are falling off after two draws are completely entitled to vent frustration. In the same way, I can say there is a huge over-reaction going on. If you find that aggravating, well so be it.

I am disappointed we dropped four points as much as anyone, but my view (not based on anything other than observation and gut feel) is that the team are still not fully at peak fitness but that Roberto is playing the longer game. I may be wrong, I’m no high priest... although I was head altar boy for a while.

Chad Schofield
131 Posted 24/08/2014 at 08:41:50
I hate seeing Lukaku out wide, but Naismith was superb.

Besic for Pienaar... easily could have backfired had Besic been sent off. Osman was the right call really at that time in the match, but ultimately would come back and bite us.

Besic needs an opportunity to show what he can do... Mirallas for me looked off the pace.

Coleman looked rusty first half but scored an excellent goal. Distin and Jags made all the right moves for 80 minutes and we looked sure to get 3 points before then.

Would changing shape at 80 mins have been better, shoring things up with Besic or adding Stones instead of Atsu? Perhaps... but we'd have not had the outlet shown by Lukaku and then McGeady. It had worked, but then think back to the frustration of Moyes's 'job done' with a goal advantage at 80 minutes.

Very, very disappointed but I don't think it's the fault of individual players. We perhaps could look at not going toe-to-toe all the way when we could tie things up, slow it down and do all the things Naismith did in the second half... he was excellent (other than the blazing over).

Teddy Draper
132 Posted 24/08/2014 at 08:59:20
You may or may not agree with this but it is my opinion and, after 67 years a very true blue I think I am entitled to it. We are leaking goals and have been from the latter part of last season.

Solution: get a new defence! Distin, Jags, and Baines are all rubbish (Baines proved it at the World Cup).

Just one more very small point: Why have a proven goalscorer and NOT pass the ball to him? Finally, Lukaku should be in the centre most of the game. Arsenal had Giroud in the box seven or eight times – he scored!!!! Do you get it, Bobby? Centre Forward in the CENTER.

Tony J Williams
133 Posted 24/08/2014 at 09:33:40
Chad it was the same formation as last season where we battered them. I doubt you will see Lukaku out there again. Unfortunately this season we were knackered after 60 mins.

Mirallas is a shithouse, pure and simple.

Ossie was the right call at the time, as I imagine the way the ref was acting, Martinez would have been worried about a red card for Besic.

Si Mar
134 Posted 24/08/2014 at 10:30:57
If the game had of lasted another 5 minutes we would have lost, I thought we were very poor second half and, although we scored 2 goals, not that great in the first half.

Where was all this 'possession' football?? We couldn't keep hold of it!!!

Zahir Jaffer
135 Posted 24/08/2014 at 12:46:02
Just wanted to add that if we had Gibson fit, he would have closed the game out.

Thanks, Tahir.

Peter Gorman
136 Posted 24/08/2014 at 13:33:02

Mirallas a shithouse? Please explain as I fail to see how that is either pure or simple.

Dan Parker
137 Posted 24/08/2014 at 14:23:23
I'm still mad about it. A lot of experienced lads there should be able to see games out at this level.
Colin Williams
138 Posted 24/08/2014 at 14:17:19
Zahir, spot on! Great post! Everything you said was on the "MONEY" and with great passion.

We need leaders on and off the pitch. I wish Robbie could take some of the passion used by TW blues, and feed it into himself! and some of our "so-called" better players.

Difficult to take! People who stay on the fence about the result (the way we just bottled the last 30 mins) – you could have never played the game!

Paul Kennedy
139 Posted 24/08/2014 at 15:26:01
Okay, we got the skill; who is going to give us the stamina for 120 mins allowing for extra time???
Dominic Adamson
140 Posted 24/08/2014 at 23:05:11
As a fan, I was so gutted about Saturday’s result. It can make me sulk for the rest of the weekend. I always think why do I care so much... especially when I see players, straight after the ref's blown, joking around, it does piss me off.

But than I see Coleman, Baines and Naismith, these boys really put their all in, 110% and are completely gutted. As a supporter, we should be proud. All the players that have signed long term contracts have done so because they love the club and what it stands for. We may have had a couple of rusty games but how many clubs have a more united front with fans, players and staff in it together? None.

We are Everton FC and we are the best football club the world has ever seen! Just remember who does Rooney's son support?

Tahir Abdullah
141 Posted 25/08/2014 at 05:52:15
Graham @131, a disappointing reply, frankly (I would never do personal...). I could also say "Sorry you've lost me. I've read it a few times, I don't see the point you are making."

Also you forgot to have a go at Chris @120; and for the record the reactions that I refer to are not kneejerk actually; systemic and all between the lines mate.

Paul Andrews
143 Posted 25/08/2014 at 09:56:56
A marked improvement from the Leicester game. The improvement will continue as the lads get fitter. No need to press the panic button just yet.

Looking at Man Utd yesterday, if they are favourites for the 4th position, we should be encouraged. Us, Spurs and our neighbours for the battle for 4th.

Steve Alderson
144 Posted 25/08/2014 at 20:02:02
Emily 30.

Welcome aboard. Please don't feel like you've been ignored. You just picked a bad time to say hello. Hopefully the mood will improve from now on.

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