Di Maria and Falcao do the damage

Hibbert, Besic, Pienaar, McGeady and Naismith started for Everton who fell behind when Falcao played back Jagielka's blind clearance from Blind's good cross into Di Maria's stride and he made no mistake through a packed area. Hibbert won a penalty before the break but Baines could not beat De Gea. Baines swung in a superb second ball off Barry's return pass that Naismith headed in brilliantly to put Everton somewhat undeservedly back in the game until Falcao converted a Di Maria miskick.

Michael Kenrick 05/10/2014 249comments  |  Jump to last

Manchester United 2 - 1 Everton

Hibbert, Besic, Pienaar, McGeady and Naismith started for Everton who controlled the first few minutes until Di Maria's first real involvement immediately created a goal attempt, Howard needing to be alert to bat away a strong header on target. The next Utd attack saw Di maria feed Van Persie who blasted over, while Everton laboured in between to profit from a free-kick and did not get far beyond the half-way line.

Van Persie saw an early yellow for an overly aggressive challenge on Barry before 10 mins were up. Blind was the next home player to have a pop on the Everton goal, while Lukaku was trying to get some leverage over McNair, winning Everton's first corner, which was excellent but could not be powered in by a group of three Blue shirts that met it. Besic clipped Falcao from behind, nothing really, and saw yellow also. Falcao was next to lash a hurried shot wide of the Everton goal.

Everton put a little more pace in getting forward and pressed more after losing the ball. Di Maria tried his luck from distance, Naismith deflecting it slightly over, and Blind again fired well over as the half-hour approached. Pienaar was bamboozled by Rafael and then grabbed at him, earning a silly yellow card that led to the first goal, Falcao playing back Jagielka's blind clearance from Blind's good cross into Di Maria's stride and he made no mistake through a packed area. Jagielka and Baines had a long conversation with Kevin Friend over something but the goal was exactly what Evertonians had been worrying about.

More niggling fouls saw Blind booked for standing on Naismith's foot as Everton failed to get near the Man Utd area. Everton did win another corner, that was again well delivered but Lukaku was useless, not attacking a brilliant chance. He was more alert for Baines's follow-up but McNair beat him to it easily as Everton were visibly loosing any initiative as the half wore on.

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Lukaku finally showed a little more life, controlling the ball, on his chest, turning and firing in the vague direction of goal, Everton's first half-attempt. It carried on this uninspiring vein until Everton were gifted a penalty as the last kick of a poor first half when Shaw was judged to have clipped Hibbert but Baines could not convert, firing low for De Gea to save well, his first ever Premier League penalty that was not converted.

Everton did little to change the pattern of play into the second half, allowing the home side to take more control of the game, with little meaningful response when the Blues did win possession. Shaw beat Hibbert but Falcao's shot was going out as it clipped off Jagielka. Valencia fouled Lukaku and it set up a classic goal, Baines swung in a superb second ball off Barry's return pass that Naismith headed in brilliantly to put Everton somewhat undeservedly back in the game.

Everton suddenly looked much more lively, Naismith trying to feed Lukaku and from the corner a superb header from Jagielka was cleared off the line by Falcao with De Gea beaten. Much better from the Blues but they then allowed themselves to be ripped apart by a Di Maria miskick that Falcao turned in with ease from a suspiciously offside-looking position.

Bryan Oviedo came on in place of Steven Pienaar who started limping. Baines tried to get Lukaku moving but his forward pass this time was too strong. A better spell of attacking ended when Oviedo got too far forward, and was flagged offside. For the final 15 mins, Browning and Osman came on for Hibbert and McGeady, while Fellaini replaced Valencia.

It seemed a long while before Everton really created another chance, Browning crossing for Naismith, winning a corner that came to Osman who fired it too close to De Gea. Van Persie could not get around Stones but upset Howard who was booked for his reaction, then Osman got clear and looked to score with a determined shot that De Gea palmed away with a vital save.

Wilson clipped Baines on the corner of the penalty area, giving Baines one last chance that Barry saw blocked by Blackett and then Oviedo saw saved miraculously by De Gea. Stones needed attention after landing awkwardly, and it looked very ominous when the stretcher came out.

More added minutes for the final corner that Lukaku headed poorly as he was pushed from behind. The whistle finally blue signalling normal service resumed at Old Trafford.

Man Utd: De Gea; Rafael, McNair, Rojo, Shaw (71' Blackett); Blind [Y:31']; Valencia [Y:55'] (79' Fellaini), Di Maria; Mata; Falcao (73' Wilson [Y:93']), van Persie [Y:10'].
Subs not Used:Thorpe, Januzaj, Lindegaard, Fletcher.

Everton: Howard [Y:91'], Hibbert (78' Browning), Jagielka (c), Stones, Baines; Barry, Besic [Y:17']; Pienaar [Y:26'] (64' Oviedo), McGeady (77' Osman), Naismith; Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Alcaraz, Gibson Eto'o.

Referee: Kevin Friend

Attendance: 75,294

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Reader Comments (249)

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Jim Bennings
2 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:28:21
1-0 already.

We haven’t even tested their defence yet, we are fucking shite.

I can’t even see where our next win is coming from to be honest.

We can’t keep blaming injuries, Martinez had plenty of time and money in the summer to prepare for injuries but he fucked up and wasted the money on players that are frankly not up to the Premier League.

Relegation battle

Si Mar
3 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:29:43
What has happened to us this season? We can't keep the ball and have got no pace anywhere.
Tony Rutherford
4 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:37:03
Lukaku isn’t giving enough for me. Wouldn’t see Costa or Suarez strolling round up front. Having said that he hasn’t had much service. 38 minutes and first attempt on goal. Very disappointing.
Jim Bennings
5 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:34:42
We just can’t blame injuries on going 45 minutes without even having a shot on goal against a defence as shaky as their’s.

Martinez doesn’t know what his best 11 is anymore, and frankly he is cramming midfield with the same kind of player.

Besic and Barry offer absolutely nothing, nor would Gibson.

Why didn’t Martinez try and get No Diame??
Cheaper option than Besic, not much dearer than Barry.

We are so so depressing to watch, no pace, no precision, no crosses from the wide area’s, what does McGeady do exactly?

Jermaine Jennings
6 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:50:15
Can you believe that absolute joke!!! What a bad time to miss.
Joseph Clarke
7 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:51:36
Too many problem areas all through the team to comment on here even if I could get on.
Si Mar
8 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:53:19
Heartbreaking performance, we are shocking!
Alan Williams
9 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:53:17
Worst penalty I have ever seen crap going forward lukaku waste of money lazy wont chase and hus touch is awful
Anto Byrne
10 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:50:14
Lazy tired penalty from Baines sums up first half lack lustre performance which is becoming the norm for this side this season. And another lazy Jagielka mis-clearance. Hope it improves in the second half but honestly I think damage limitation is going to be the order of the day from this very poor performing Everton team. Ho Hum.
Jim Bennings
11 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:54:09
We are fucking shit.

No attacking threat whatsoever against a defence as shaky as United's.

Martinez got it so badly wrong in the summer.
Its ok bemoaning injuries but for fucks sake the man had a whole summer pissfarting about at the World Cup to sign the right players.

We wasted too much on Lukaku when we could have had got Welbeck AND Ba for a combined cheaper option.

What the fuck is our midfield about?

Barry and Besic offer nothing creativity wise at all nor does Gibson when he plays.

Why didn't Martinez go after Mo Diame instead of Besic or Barry?

Relegation battle ahead me thinkso, just can't really see where the next win is coming.

Mike Chambers
13 Posted 05/10/2014 at 12:59:58
Seem to be playing as a team more, but still not got that cutting edge. Barry is a waste of time.
Andy Meighan
14 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:00:13
A wet behind the ears kid playing centre half and he could be sitting on a deckchair he’s up against nothing. When I think of how much we blew on that pudding up front I could cry. I hope he proves me wrong I really do. But I just can’t see it.
Mark Fitzgerald
15 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:00:57
RM has gotta shake things up 2nd half. No attacking threat from us so far. restricted to lumping long high balls to an isolated Lukaku. Need someone in the middle to get on the ball and start creating. We persist with two DM in the middle yet we still concede goals and neither offer anything going forward. Gibson? Eto? Move Pienaar to the middle? But do something!!
James Byrne
16 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:00:49
Biggest pile of shite I've seen for years; we make teams look fucking world class. This is a broken Manu and they look great!

Attack for fuck sake!

Eddie Dunn
17 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:02:44
No imagination. Our only hope was to try to put their defence under pressure, and it took Hibbo, of all people to show the way.

Eto'o on please for McGeady, and Eto'o on for Pienaar.

Si Mar
18 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:05:49
Broken Man Utd side, they look world class compared to this totally broken Everton side!!
Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:21:55
Idiot Howard!!!! Just kick it in to touch.
Gary Carter
21 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:11:14
Martinez is hopeless, from a defensive aspect he’s totally inept and from an attacking aspect he’s totally predictable.

Our team has no discipline whatsoever, looks unfit, doesn’t close down and looks unsure of how to set up when we don’t have the ball. I can actually imagine him standing by the dressing room door as the players go out saying "attack" "attack" "defend" "attack" "defend" as each player walks past him and that being his tactical team talk !

His dealings in the transfer market, laughable, the people who didn’t like Moyes used to call him dithering Dave, well what is Roberto ? He paid about 8 million too much for lukaku, 6 million too much for McCarthy, managed to spend 2 million on a player out of contract that is 33 and give him a 3 year 8 million pound contract in Barry, 6 million on a 30 year African that was average at best for a relegated side and on the rare occasion he’s appeared for is has been as much use as a piece of wood in Kone, Robles and Alcarez, well, say no more and McGeady who I’m pretty much undecided about.

People also used to moan about Moyes not having a plan b, well not only does Roberto not have a plan b but he doesn’t seem to have a plan a either, I didn’t remember being this despondent or worries about an Everton side since the dark days of Walter smith and yet at the same time I think the core of our team is one of the best we’ve had in the premiership !!

I think kenwright has a big decision to make in the next month but he won’t have the balls to make it !

Jermaine Jennings
22 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:22:55
TIM shite howard just put the ball out..he has to go now
Anthony Jones
23 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:29:48
Football is a simple game made complicated by managers and coaches. If a player's acceleration or pace has gone they will not be able to compete at the highest level. Today we started with Hibbert, Pienaar, and Barry. Game over.
Phil Head
24 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:36:01
Brilliant, 2-1 down and we bring on a defender and the ever useless Osman. We're playing against the worst defence in the league (apart from ours of course), we've got Eto'o on the bench, for god's sake. I never thought i'd say this, but I think Martinez is possibly more negative than Moyes!
Jim Bennings
25 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:44:17
I do think it’s starting to become a bit of mythology now that Martinez is more attacking than Moyes; we are seeing no end product against what is clearly not a great Manchester United side, but then again you don’t need to be a great side to beat Everton nowadays.

Lukaku is a massive mistake, as soon as Martinez knew it was going to take £28 million to sign him he needed to walk away and look at other options.

It pisses me off the fact that we could have had Welbeck and Demba Ba for less, instead we have a useless big fucking yard dog for £28 million that can’t move and frankly doesn’t even look as good as Jelavic.

One win before the end of October is not good enough with the money we spent.

No doubt Martinez will come out with the usual phrases of phenomenonal and incredible.

So so frustrating that we didn’t turn up for the vast majority of the game, we should have fucking beat these today.

Jermaine Jennings
26 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:55:58
John Stones will be out for months now... unlucky injury.
David Cornmell
27 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:57:59
We’re in deep shit.
Steavey Buckley
28 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:57:49
A game about 2 goal keepers, one can save their team while the other can’t. Di Maria MotM? You must be joking Michael Owen, De Gea by a mile!
Jim Bennings
30 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:56:49
Martinez has got so much to answer for with how poorly this season has gone.

The decision of paying stupid money for Lukaku, the failure to address the defensive weakness that has dogged us all year and the stubborn resistance that fucking Tim Howard is like the next Neville Southall.

The man is failing this first major test dismally.

I will not accept excuses that we played well today, we didn’t we were shite when it mattered, we cannot play 90 minutes and we make endless mistakes that cost goals.

Two six pointers mow against Villa and Burnley

Ajay Gopal
31 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:57:48
Poor 1st half performance - understandable from the exertions of the long trip to Russia. We started getting back towards the end of the 1st half - you don’t not put away penalties at Old Trafford and expect to get anything out of the game.

Much better 2nd half and the last 15 minutes, we really had them against the ropes. De Gea earned his money today, and if not for him, it would have quite easily been 2-2 and that would have been a fair result.

Osman was superb when he came on, a bit strange to see Browning coming on for Hibbert, but the lad did acquit himself well.

Losing 2-1 at Man U by goals from probably two of the most expensive players in football is not the end of the world. But the Stones injury is worrying - fingers crossed that it is not something serious.

Alan Williams
32 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:59:03
Go now, Bobby. No idea... tactically poor – why no Eto’o against a poor defence? You bring on a defender and Osman!

It needs sorting now before relegation becomes a reality!

Lewis Barclay
33 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:57:32

Browning looks a player – why don’t we play Coleman infront of him for a bit? Besic is settling in but likely to get booked every game. Oviedo looks like he is getting his fitness back and I’d pick him all the time over Pienaar. Eto’o needs to start the next game ahead of Lukaku.

Stones looks like he might have really messed his ankle up and be out for a few months. We should try and buy Berahino in January and get a loan centre back.

Susong Hermawan
34 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:02:36
Haha.. This Wiganism continue! Well done Bobby...
Phil Head
35 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:58:43
I hope Martinez grows a pair, and mentions the fact that United’s 2nd goal came when we had a player on the floor injured, a passage of play which started with a United throw-in that was allowed to be taken even though we had Oviedo standing with the fourth official on the side line waiting to be allowed on.

Kevin Friend was a disgrace today, from his cowardish booking of Besic after the United players surrounded him, to his refusal to send off Blind for three bookable offences, his general refusal to book United players for continually hacking us down everytime we were about to counter them, or even his inability to realise that you can actually let the play go and book a player later on.

Tom Magill
36 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:06:33
Manchester United were there for the taking today. We didn’t want it for a lot of the match. They are very average at the minute and unfortunately we’re worse. Only up from here, I hope.
Brian Hennessy
38 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:00:13
Our back 4 all played really well.

Howard big mistake not kicking the ball into the stands which directly led to their second goal.

Barry and Besic were totally dominated in midfield until Man Utd dropped deep in the final 10 minutes at which point any midfield would have had plenty of the ball.

McGeady was very poor and left Hibbert exposed on several occasions and to Hibbert’s credit he did really well.

Pienaar was terrible and is now injured again. Naismith as ever was good and took his goal brilliantly

Lukaku had a very poor game and is a liability every time the ball is played to his feet or head for that matter, should have been taken off and Eto’o brought on.

I was livid when Osman was brought on but, in fairness, but for the Man Utd keeper, he could have scored two goals. Most worryingly Stones looked to have picked up a nasty injury.

UTD look twice the team they were last year and at the moment we look half the team we were.

David Price
39 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:09:05
Their keeper has a blinder, we miss a pen, their winner is a screwed shot that goes straight to Falco, 6 inches and he’s offside. Not the game to say we had a nightmare, but our luck ran out after two previous games of getting undeserved draws.

I don’t know where we go from here. It’s second season syndrome for Bobby. He’ll learn from things and take us on...

Ben Lawrenson
40 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:10:24
Inept performance. Slow motion movement. Pienaar was awful and obviously not fit. Lukaku looked shagged. Going to be a long hard season...
Mike Chambers
41 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:11:24
Macca just made a good point..... Everton have a lightweight squad and will struggle.

Couldn’t agree more. Long hard season ahead.

Joseph Clarke
42 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:11:55
Roberto says we are getting sharper and stronger. I like the man a lot, but I just hope he doesn’t believe this.
Anto Byrne
43 Posted 05/10/2014 at 13:57:08
So.... 6 points from 7 games is now a crisis and, to be honest, it really looks like second season syndrome for Martinez. Pienaar offered nothing, McGeady not one dangerous cross into the box. The much maligned Lukaku did well as a lone striker, his hold up play was much improved.

As ever, the accident waiting to happen (Howard) never let me down and got a booking as well. Martinez — at least give Robles a run; he can’t be any worse.

Brian Hennessy
44 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:12:45
(Phil 35) Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t Man Utd’s second goal come from Howard failing to put the ball out of play when he came out of the box?
David Cornmell
45 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:13:23
When was the last time Pienaar played ninety minutes? A serial crock.

Howard is a liability, end of.

My balls turned to water every time Tony Hibbert was asked to do something... although he did win the penalty.

There was something there for us today and we couldn’t get it. Losing games you ought to draw – like here – or drawing games you ought to win – Arsenal and the Foxes – is the mark of a team in trouble. We’re in deep deep shit.

Eddie Dunn
46 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:09:39
I know you need to build a platform when at Old Trafford, and then perhaps do a bit more attacking. Why leave it till the last 20 mins?

The positives from this game:

Besic looked better as it went on
Oviedo also got better
Stones was good
Nais was nais

The negatives;
Howard – that clearance, and why can’t he save us like De Gea did?
Lukaku – words fail me at how poor he is

Pienaar – A serial diver, who limps off every game

Martinez – Why not bring on Eto’o?

Peter Bell
47 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:15:32
I can just hear it now: "Lukaku is just a kid"!!!!

Give it a rest, I am fucking sick of hearing it

Jermaine Jennings
48 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:16:28
Brian (44), yes Pienaar was down injured at the time and Howard should have put the ball out but he never... So the second goal is on him. Another costly mistake and TH gets away with murder!!!
Joseph Clarke
49 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:16:17
Brian Hennessy 44, no — the goal came from a striker who knows his job, and because three defenders stood still.
Brent Stephens
50 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:13:21
They’ve got some great players going forward so we aint done bad conceding only 2. But FFS why can’t we get that ball into their box more quickly against a less-than-perfect defence? So bleedin slow.

And why is it only when we’re down that our play speeds up! Let’s do it from the start.

Way too bloody slow. I suppose with possession at least you have the ball – or not!

Karl Jones
51 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:18:14
Brian 44.... Exactly what he should have done... Pienaar was down and injured and Man Utd would have given us the ball back from the throw-in. Very unprofessional from Howard and shooting ourselves in the foot again. Long hard season coming and I couldn’t care less about the Europa now. Just play the kids and concentrate on staying up.
Frank Crewe
52 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:01:59
Second half we played well. But for a missed penalty and some brilliant saves from De Gea and the ever unreliable Howard not kicking the ball into row ZZ when he should have done we could have got at least a draw today.

What annoys me is the fact that RM keeps picking clapped out players like Pienaar when he has young fit players like Oviedo sitting on the bench. Maybe if Browning and Oviedo had played today we may well have got a result.

Although I still say our almost non-existent pre-season is haunting us. We started the season unfit and this has led to the hamstring injuries were picking up. Look at Baines. Plays every game yet never gets injured. Yet Mirallas and Coleman, two of our quicker player, get "rested" and pick up hamstring injuries. If you want players fit and strong, you have to play them.

Sam Hoare
53 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:22:05
I’m not totally sure it’s fair to blame TH for second goal. It’s not like he got lobbed while out of goal. It was a bad clearance but he had got back and the defence were all in position.

It was a slice of luck on their part and if anyone was to blame it was young Stones who had stepped back, broken the line and was keeping the offside Falcao onside.

Derek Knox
54 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:15:09
Is it me, or am I biased, that we improved dramatically, albeit in the second half (too late) when we substituted Hibbert, Pienaar (shadow of his former self) although I did see an improvement in McGeady before he went off?

Second half, we looked almost a different side, why doesn’t Roberto have his half-time talk before the game? :-)

Unfortunately, or fortunately with the injury to John Stones, we will have to wait two weeks to regain any momentum built up, and thankfully no more injuries at this early stage.

John Gee
55 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:17:56
Tim Howard raised his arms again against an opponent, is he trying to get himself sent off? Plus his decision-making is poor for this level of football. Last minute, 2-1 down, time to get it up the field quickly but he passes it 20 yards straight to Man Utd’s star player. He’s becoming a liability. Any chance of getting Petr Cech in January?

As for McGeady... words fail me. Lazy, wasteful, greedy. 3 times against Wolfsburg he had Eto’o in space one on one with their keeper and 3 times he ignored the former world Player of the Year.

Martinez needs to put this right quickly because another month of this shit and he’ll be picking up his P45.

Bob Parrington
56 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:23:14
Hey guys, what a load of bollocks. If the manager can’t see the sense to attack on the right as well as the left, what effing hope do we have. Shit management/coaching. Why do these guys get paid such high salaries when the have no effing common sense!!!??? Just as bad as Moyes!

Clive Lewis
57 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:25:04
It was only when Osman came we looked like getting anything. Besic played well last 20. We lost this due to midfield and no quality.
Ste Traverse
58 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:22:46
The ref was a total joke but not bringing on Eto’o against that United defence when we needed a goal says it all for me.

Bobby Blunder strikes again.

Sam Hoare
59 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:24:43
We seem to have developed a very Moyesian trait of not really playing football until a goal down. Not ideal.

Beginning to look like this foray in Europe will not be repeated next year. We look like a low mid table side at best right now. Hopefully the international break followed by some seemingly easier games with the likes of Barkley returning and maybe even Kone (?!) will help. Very much hope Stones is not crocked for too long as he has been one of the very rare bright notes.

Jack Collins
60 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:23:11
Has anyone noticed that we’ve stopped using the initial 10-15 minutes of games for the usual tiki taka, get a feel for the ball, and develop our passing tactic that we saw last season?

For me, annoyingly, long balls are slowly creeping back into our play and Jags is always at the heart of it. Every time we do play a long ball, we either lose possession directly or Lukaku’s first touch is terrible, whereby he then gives away possession.

In the last 10 mins of the game, we looked far better when we were working the ball along the ground with intricate passing and movement. Yes, we have some major players out, more notably for me Barkely who is seriously the driving force in our attacks. But surely the team we played today should be able to perform the same or are they being coached differently? I’m seriously worried about this season cause there doesn’t seem to be the emphasis required.

Tony Twist
61 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:23:57
Plain and simple, this charlie will send us down. We drift from game to game thinking, "Oh well, there’s always another game" and then, before we know it, we will be out of touch and in trouble. Well at least we will have an international break soon for Martinez to put things straight! Yeah right, not a clue about making a team defensively strong.

As someone has already said, I can’t see where the next Premier League win will come from, though we don’t need just one but need a string of wins... Christ, some people are pleased when we draw, that’s just not good enough.

Gavin Johnson
62 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:10:24
Hardly a Wigan-esque performance from the back 4 Susong (34) and not really constructive criticism either.

We should have got a point from that game, bar for bad luck, David De Gea and some dodgy decisions from the ref. I was happy with the 2nd-half performance.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s going wrong, but we haven’t been blessed with an easy fixture list in our opening games, added to that the Thursday night fixtures and terrible luck with injuries to some of our most influential players. I really hope it’s nothing serious with Stones... We’d turned the corner letting goals in for fun, but we will be well and truly fucked if we see Distin or Alcaraz partnering Jags.

The bottom line is that we’re in the bottom 3 and the buck will rest with Bobby being the easy target, and I don’t think he’s blameless with pre-season being my own criticism. I think the above factors have played a huge part, but we will turn the corner! And while I don’t hold any illusions of a Champions League place. I think we all need a bit of realism and perspective on the situation.

David Cornmell
63 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:33:52
I don’t like this "we’re better than our league position" shite either. Nobody is too good to go down, nobody has a divine right to stay in the league. We need points!!!
Lee Whitehead
64 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:32:36
What a load of Shite!!!!!
What a waste of £28 million on a fat, lazy twat.

If I hear RM tell us how proud he is of our fantastic, wonderful, brilliant, super team again, I will slit my fucking throat.

Sam Hoare
65 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:36:33
Apparently Stones has ankle ligament injury. Not sure what that means, guess it depends on how bad the damage is. Fingers crossed it’s a soft one as our defense has looked miles better IMO since he came into the middle.
Anthony Burke
66 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:25:50
Without De Gea, we would’ve got something. Shame about the international break as I think we are improving. We’ve had a tough run of fixtures; thankfully upcoming fixtures are not so difficult and, with a couple of injured players coming back, things can only get better. We need to put a decent run together... As Delia said, "Let’s be havin’ you!"


Lee Gray
67 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:38:25
Marc Sansum
68 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:37:50
Ankle ligament damage is painful. probably looking at 6-8 weeks if he hasnt broken/snapped anything...
Joseph Clarke
69 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:37:50
At least Stones’s injury isn’t "muscle fatigue"...
Andy Meighan
70 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:29:58
Awful first half but we were very unlucky not to get a point in the second half.

Let’s look at the bigger picture here, though. We were missing arguably our four best players in McCarthy, Coleman, Mirallas and Barkley; any side missing their four best players will struggle that said you can’t legislate for missing a pen and their cat making worldies. I’ll say this though: a full strength Everton would have won that today, as they are no great shakes.

Oh and I thought I was the only one who didn’t rate Lukaku but, judging by other posts, it seems like I’m not alone; he offers the team nothing. And once again was shown up by the selfless and ever willing Naismith who I thought was our best player.

I can’t fault the back four though; they coped quite well and their winner was total spawn. Let’s get all our men back playing and then judge us. Hope the news on Stones isn’t bad though...

James Byrne
71 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:34:11
Come January we need to seriously look at our Goalkeeper options and at least have another goaly who can challenge Tim. Any other keeper on planet earth would have put the ball in row ZZ. Not our Timmy......no he keeps it in play and puts everyone under further pressure.

We’ve got injuries but we had a squad there that could have got something from that game; De Gea was superb for them but we can’t start to come alive in the last 15 minutes and start creating chances.

Watching Lukaku is like watching Earl Barrett up front. Is he really that bad or am I missing something.

Jim Bennings
73 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:38:05
Ankle ligament damage usually means a very long lay off.

Season is going from bad to worse.

I am writing off the season in terms of the Premier League now, there is nothing we can achieve apart from mid table mediocrity, if we’re lucky.

January MUST be a time were we improve this fragile squad, although you sense it’s way way too late by then... It should have all been solved in the summer.

Mark Wilson
74 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:29:22
You can talk about a set up that meant we were so deep we just couldn’t get forward in the first half. You can bemoan a rare awful penalty from an otherwise improving Baines. You can ask if Besic understands that getting booked that early wrecks his game. You can also ask why has Howard no competition when he is in poorest run of form you’ve seen from an EFC keeper for a long time. You might even ask why we had such a poor pre-season, still don’t look that fit, and have a star buy playing like he’s never seen a football before.

You could ask all that and more but the question you really need to ask is this: how, when as a manager you have strongly declared that your squad must have at least seven new players (net of departures) and that same squad looked like remaining almost the smallest in the Prem, you are deduced by becoming a manager and club who buys big and then blows £28M on one player? Leaving your already fragile small squad woefully exposed to "bad luck" injuries, loss of form and a defence that screamed out for quality cover.

You really should be asking that question above all because though it’s lovely to sign an £18M player for £28M (sigh) and, yes, most of us think he’s still going to score goals this season, the bottom line is the gamble hasn’t come off, has it? Squad is just too small, not enough quality and the last seven games prove that.

Gavin Johnson
75 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:35:20
Sam, I totally agree you on that, we seem to have to go a goal down before we move up a gear. I know United were probably a bit nervy at the end but we looked dangerous in the final 20 mins or so and looked more direct and like we were going to get something.

I thought Hibbo played ok defensively but offered nothing offensively. IMO it showed just how much we need Coleman for his creativity with Barkley missing. I thought it was kinda ironic that this time it was United who had the creative fullbacks who can get forward when that was what we excelled in the fixture last season.

Susong Hermawan
76 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:49:31
Yep Gavin (62), that just my frustation.. Hoping the best result for next match... Up the Blues!
Brian Hennessy
77 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:36:42
The fact that we came more into the game in final 15 minutes was more down to Manchester United dropping off and keeping hold of what they had than us playing well.

Quite simply when United were on the front foot, Barry and Besic were useless.

Lukaku needs to be dropped for next match to give him a kick up the arse. I have never seen such a big player lose so many headers in build-up play and, when he does get his head to one, he never finds his own player.

Naismith won two headers I can remember that he had no right to win; I would like to see him and Eto’o get a game together against Villa.

On another note, is Kone injured/kidnapped/dead or what, after a brief few mentions about a fortnight ago, he has disappeared from our lives again?

Anthony Burke
78 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:48:24
We desperately needed cover in defence but we bought nobody, which amazed me. Now we will be forced to loan or even buy one in January. If not, we will be stuck with Alcaraz as cover to Jags and Distin.
James Richard
79 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:34:03
Well... I didn’t expect to be looking out for a QPR result after 7 games.
Brent Stephens
80 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:50:42
Villa game coming up and I fear for that. They played well against Man City.
Nev Renshaw
81 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:55:16
Having read some of the comments here, I don’t think we’re as bad as some say. Only for their keeper, we could’ve drawn this game (at least).

Their winning goal came from a stupid decision by Howard to try and pass the ball instead of hoofing it into Row Z. I just hope Stones is not as badly injured at it looks.

Steve Jenkins
82 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:47:50
I’ve accepted already that it just isn’t going to be our season this year. 3 significant injuries to arguably our biggest key players and its only just October.

Pienaar had a mare and looked well off the pace today (granted coming back from injury).

Barry shit out for the goal and should’ve dived towards the ball with his feet stretched out to block it instead of turning away from it like a 5-year-old girl.

I have to agree that Lukaku is very frustrating at the moment, just strolling around upfront; I get that his control is bad but lack of effort is not acceptable. He’s a finisher and should just be in the box or playing off the shoulder; clearly looking to use him to hold the ball up does not work as at least half of the time he looses possession.

He needs to be dropped until he shows more spirit, effort, aggression and fight. At the moment, he looks like he’s cruise control and could not give a shit.

The free kick for the first goal was class, and it was a good move to win the penalty. These aside, we didn’t really look threatening until the last 15 minuets with, Ovideo, Osman and Browning coming on. Browning added something down the right hand flank, likewise Ovideo linked up well with Baines.

An average performance again but we almost took something from the game.

Patrick Murphy
83 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:46:40
I always believed that we paid far too much for Lukaku and even at £15m I would not have bought him – however, due to the manager’s insistence and I suspect some clever accounting by our Chief Executive and Owner, he is now an Everton player and should be told in no uncertain terms that his performances so far this season are nothing short of appalling and especially today’s failure to track back, tackle or contribute to the team.

I don’t mean I want the lad running back into our half but surely putting some pressure on the ball some of the time wouldn’t hurt him. Naismith, although he scored, was not the same player we have seen in the opening weeks of the season and McGeady was... well, McGeady, making up the numbers, but I had little or no confidence that he would make a difference to the scoreline.

Pienaar is now a one-trick pony who has no pace, Baines is a shadow of his former self and often seems to be conflicted as to whether to bomb forward or hold back. Hibbert is a decent lad who will give his best but his best over a season won’t be good enough; the same goes for Osman. Stones and Jags look the best partnership at the heart of the defence and Howard is still the best goalkeeper.

Barry and Besic or Barry and McCarthy or Barry and Gibson or any combination thereof, at the heart of the midfield, are too slow and ponderous to trouble any Premier League defence – and I mean ’any’, and that is the area which is letting the team down in a big way. A lack of dynamism in that area will be exploited by all opponents and it’s far too easy for them to close down our attacking options as they have too much time to react when we eventually have the ball.

But the most disconcerting failure is the lack of passing ability all over the park but especially in the final third that has nothing to do with tactics and shows either a lack of ability or a slack attitude; it needs to be addressed as does the will to win the ball back. Man City showed against Villa yesterday how to dominate a match; yes, they have superior players to us or most teams but the work ethic they showed comes free of charge and it must be the minimum we expect from any Everton player at any level at the club.

Mike Powell
84 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:35:02
How can anyone be happy with that performance? We were woeful for 75 mins, we only started playing when they sat back and had the game won. De Gea made some good saves, yes, but we should’ve been eight down by then.

Why oh why are we so slow when we try to attack? I don’t want to listen to any more bullshit from Martinez trying to tell us how unlucky we were – every man and his dog can see we are woeful. I just hope we can stay in the Prem – keep playing the way we have been and we won’t be....

Colin Glassar
85 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:07:20
85mins of complete and utter dross. We proved in the last 5mins (+ET) that we can play, and compete, against the best teams but the other 85 mins we looked like a League 2 team.
Anthony Burke
86 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:04:58
Let’s not wallow in self pity for 2 weeks. We were unlucky today; on another day, we would’ve got something. We need to concentrate on Villa in 2 weeks time. We WILL turn a corner, I’m confident of a top 6 finish despite a not so great start... Have faith. COYB!!!!
Chris Leyland
87 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:07:14
Nev Renshaw # 81 - we are as bad as people say. We have 2 wins in our last 10 league games and this says it all.

I’m sick of the excuse-makers (can’t quite bring myself to say apologists) saying how unlucky we were and if X hadn’t happened it Y had gone in we’d be higher up the league. The fact is we are exactly where we deserve to be currently and, unless the manager simply develops some flexibility in his tactics and approach, we are in for a long and worrying season.

Phil Walling
88 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:45:55
Mark @74 makes a good point. Having stated we needed 7/8 additional players for the season ahead, Martinez then chose to blow the majority of his transfer budget on Lukaku. That was not Kenwright’s or Elstone’s doing as they were unlikely to over-rule the manager’s decision-making.

Apart from the availability of transfer funds, what is happening now has echoes of Moyes’s second season when we were fortunate to stay up. I just hope that this time round BB will not be so in love with his manager to let him get away with it!

Julian Wait
89 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:11:27
Just watched it. We should have snatched a point but there’s some basic stuff going on that need to get fixed.

Howard doesn’t seem to be in a good frame of mind to me, I think the stupid incident with Van Persie showed that. He’s been erratic, to say the least, this season.

I was quite impressed with Besic, Barry was OK and nearly scored, Hibbert played well defensively but doesn’t offer the threat of Coleman. Baines had a bad first half (he was way off their full back for the first goal) and Lukaku’s first touch was miserable in the first half. Once he retained the ball in the second half, he didn’t know what to do with it; however, the service to him was poor (Oviedo springs to mind).

The one thing that must change or he be dropped is Pienaar "flopping" as they say here in the US. It’s absolutely embarrassing and not what I want to see at Everton Football Club.

James Carlisle
90 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:00:01
Really awful first-half performance. Better in the second but the build up play is just way too slow. Every time we could’ve broke, we stalled as if we were waiting for someone to take charge and tell us what to do.

How Lukaku lasted the full 90 is beyond me. He’s fucking awful. He really is. He isn’t even worth £2.8 million – let alone £28M. I’d rather see Robles play up top. His touch is shocking, he sold his teammates short with every pass, he won nothing in the air, he’s too lazy to sprint and he can’t hold up the ball. Terrible signing.

For me, it really feels like last season never happened and we’ve reverted back to what we were. With Oviedo back now and Ross on his way, hopefully we’ll have that injection of youth and pace that made us just that little bit better overall.

There are some positives to take from some of the second half play though. Though Bainsey couldn’t have given him an easier save from the pen earlier, De Gea’s late saves were top class and won them the game. Good to see us actually testing a keeper.

Also, the odd few of our passing moves were nice and quick even if they were in the most part too slow. And Besic seems to be a decent player. He’s finally found his feet a bit and provided good defensive cover and seemed much more confident on the ball.

Ultimately though we needed a win today because that league position really does not look good.

Geoff Harrison
91 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:14:45
Even when we looked more threatening in the final phase of today’s game, Lukaku did very little. The money we spent has prevented a more thorough bolstering of the squad. However, I don’t remember too many negative comments when we signed him. Hindsight is wonderful.

The question now is: How does Martinez respond? Lukaku has not being doing it for quite a while. He used to look so good. Maybe we should rest him until his hair grows long again!

Tony Hill
92 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:02:43
Lukaku is the main worry. Longer term, I expect the team to pick up because we do have a good core and some very promising young players – Browning looks excellent and I am told that Galloway is a real prospect as well as several other youngsters. Oviedo was sharp I thought and we will be a different team with Coleman and Barkley.

But, and I share others concern here, there is an alarming lack of confidence and penetration in the team; Lukaku is obviously out of touch and we must hope this is a temporary problem. I am prepared to give him time because he has talent and his Premier League scoring record is undeniably strong, yet he needs to sort himself out quickly. He was awful today.

I have said before that it’s the mental side of things that is our main issue and has been for a long time – you see it in Lukaku and you could see it in Baines as he prepared for the penalty. I believe we should stay calm but I understand why some people are alarmed. I am not sure we have the equipment to dig ourselves out easily if the hole gets much deeper. I remain optimistic but RM has much to ponder.

Colin Glassar
93 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:20:29
It was painful, and sad, to see Pienaar struggling so badly. He was always one of my favourite players but it looks like father time is catching up with him plus, it looks like he’s injured himself.

If Howard had kicked that ball out, they wouldn’t have scored and we’d have gotten an undeserved draw,

Harold Matthews
94 Posted 05/10/2014 at 14:24:39
I’ve always made excuses for Lukaku but not today. He was a disgrace. No effort, no fight and owes his team-mates an apology.

Ossie, Besic and Baines produced some good stuff late on but it was all too late. De Gea was not to be beaten.

Good to have Oviedo back but young Stones is a major worry. Without so many key players, our patched up first team is probably one of the weakest in the Premier League and will struggle to get a point anywhere right now. Eventually we’ll get everyone back but it may take till February to hit peak form.

Gavin Johnson
95 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:13:11
Chris, We’ve played Man Utd, RS, Chelsea and Arsenal in our opening games. Davie Moyes wouldn’t have got better than 2 draws from that fixture list. The results against Leicester and Palace weren’t acceptable, but I can think of plenty of games when OFM teams surrendered leads against non-entity teams.

I still think the jury’s out until we’ve have a run of fixtures against the more average teams, like Villa, Newcastle and West Ham. If we can’t get anything from a run in these fixtures, I’ll totally agree with your argument.

John Daley
96 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:09:16
"It pisses me off the fact that we could have had Welbeck and Demba Ba"

We were in for Ba. It didn’t become clear that Welbeck was available for purchase until after Martinez had bought Lukaku. It was initially thought that he’d be loaned out, in which case Martinez might have made a move. Once it was clear he was actually for sale and at what price, we never had a chance of getting him. Especially with Arsenal interested.

Anyway, you are, as always, speaking with the benefit of hindsight. When we were linked with Ba, every man and his dog were taking digs at the manager. Saying Ba is shite, he’s past it, he flopped at Chelsea, what’s Martinez doing the big meff? Now, you’re pissed off we never bought him because you always knew he was the right man to lead the frontline? Total bollocks.

Same with Welbeck. When he was linked to us many (including myself) said he was overrated, possessed nothing but pace, had a piss poor goal scoring record, and resembled a black Plug from the Bash Street Kids. If ToffeeWeb had run a poll in the summer asking who you would rather Everton sign: Welbeck or Lukaku? It would’ve been a landslide in Lukaku’s favour with you exercising your right to vote for....Romelu.

You’re Jim fucking Bennings, not Jake Gyllenhaal in ’Source Code’. You can’t keep going back to some moment in time during the transfer window just gone and look for alternative players we ’should’ have signed instead because...well....they’re doing alright now...in the fucking future.

Lukaku is having a ’mare at the moment but his track record suggests he’ll come good. It’s the same record that convinced Martinez to splash out on him and the same record that had most people on here celebrating his signing like it was the second coming.

You wouldn’t have slated the manager for signing him in the summer, so why are you slating him now?

Dave Williams
97 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:18:31
The problem is selecting too many old players meaning we can’t press like we used to and have no energy or dash in our play. Kev and Ross provided this last season and it suited Rom but he hasn’t got the game to harness with a slow build-up.

Time now to ditch Pienaar, Hibbert, Barry, Osman, Distin and Howard if we can find another keeper and play the likes of Browning and Oviedo whilst maybe giving Ledson a chance. We would still have enough experience to help the younger players and put Rom on the bench with Eto’o and Naismith up front.

The older guys are fine to have on the bench but we will not be able to compete against younger and stronger teams if we have 6 or 7 30 somethings on the pitch – surely this is simple common sense?

Also to play McGeady in front of Hibbo when he is faced with Shaw and Di Maria is showing a lack of appreciation of the players involved? I am a Roberto fan but Tony deserved better protection than that!

Kristian Boyce
98 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:32:33
That damn mural looks more stupid by the day.
Peter Gorman
99 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:24:13
Anyone want to hazard a guess as to where the next win will come from?
Kevin Dale
100 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:15:22
I have said this before and I will say it again: this style of play that Martinez persists with got Wigan relegated and has got us playing football that invites the opposition onto us, which inevitably gives them the opportunity to shoot and we always end up conceding, be it through our own silly mistake or because we have invited them into our box to have a go!!

We have a really good squad of players, he just needs to change his style and revert to the high tempo, high pressing game, playing the ball around in the opposition’s half only, and stop us passing the ball around in our own half (especially the goalkeeper!)!

Today we got beat by a poor team and that’s very disappointing!!

Colin Glassar
101 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:36:26
BK’s going on Dragons Den with his new board game, ’Where’s Kone’? Based on the Where’s Wally series.
James Kirrane
104 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:36:08
Martinez is a cock. The ’team is getting stronger every game.’ This was a phenomenal performance. This is bullshit as we know.

The buck stops with Martinez. He is the guy in charge. Six points from seven games is just not good enough.

First season flash in the plan. We are going to struggle. He talked about spending £100 million on Lukaku if that is what it took. He can see a lot more potential than I can.

John Daley
105 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:33:39
"Haha.. This Wiganism continue! Well done Bobby..."

Glad you’re happy at Everton getting beat.

Gloating is unbecoming at the best of times, but when your first name sounds like an order barked out by Simon Cowell during a karaoke session at the Boyle residence, then I’d really refrain from mocking.

Gareth Fieldstead
106 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:24:11
We didn’t play well, yet we should have won. They had numerous chances yet Howard hardly had a shot to save. De Gea was Man of the Match.

Strange game. My fears were confirmed when Hibbert and McGeady both started. No Coleman or McCarthy. No Mirallas or Barkley for sometime and I worry who will provide the spark to get us up the table.

Lukaku was £14 million too much, Jose does it again! Brett Angell Mk 2... sorry, but there is no way that he is worth four times Jelavic.

I actually want Kone fit! I said at the time when there was rumours that we had approached Wigan to speak with their manager, my biggest fear was that he took them down when they had a decent enough side to stay up, it was Martinez’s sheer bloody mindedness and insistence that they had to play a certain way that they were relegated.

Chris Leyland
107 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:39:47
Gavin, I’m aware of who we’ve played from the so-called ’top teams’. In the same fixtures last season we took 9 points from those same games. This year it is 1 point.

As for our former manager and what points he would have got, I don’t give a toss about him. I’m concerned about now and the abysmal form we are showing.

Maybe Martinez started to believe in his own hype after being fawned as the Messiah and having a giant mural of his mug put up on the side of Goodison?

The fact remains that this squad looks unfit and off the pace. They also look disinterested at times. The manager organised the excuse of a pre-season and we are reaping what he sowed.

Steve Jenkins
108 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:45:22
Dave (#98),

"The problem is selecting too many old players meaning we can’t press like we used to and have no energy or dash in our play. Kev and Ross provided this last season and it suited Rom but he hasn’t got the game to harness with a slow build-up.

Time now to ditch Pienaar, Hibbert, Barry, Osman, Distin and Howard if we can find another keeper and play the likes of Browning and Oviedo whilst maybe giving Ledson a chance. We would still have enough experience to help the younger players and put Rom on the bench with Eto’o and Naismith up front.

The older guys are fine to have on the bench but we will not be able to compete against younger and stronger teams if we have six or seven 30-somethings on the pitch – surely this is simple common sense?"

Completely agree with this. I’m a Roberto fan and back him to get it right but this needs addressing and the lack of pace and constantly playing old players for "experience" and seeming to have "favourites" is the last thing I expected under Roberto and is surprising me how much he is like Moyes in that respect.

For me, it’s obvious Browning should have started today – the safety of playing a player that appears to be levels below Browning in ability due to "experience" just isn’t something I thought would be in Roberto’s make up.

Ste Traverse
109 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:47:18
The manager should have spent less time as a pundit at the World Cup and more time planning for this season. It's us that pays his wages. He lost his real focus during the summer it seems.
Wayne Smyth
110 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:21:18
The first half performance was poor; I think we were guilty of affording them far too much respect and we didn't offer enough going forward.

Lukaku didn't play great, but he was not as bad as people are making out. He hasn't had the support and service he needs. People moan about his lax passing, but others (Pienaar, Naismith & McGeady) were also guilty. It will take time, but I still think he'll turn out to be a decent signing.

Their goalkeeper was probably MotM and that says it all, a saved pen and 3 quality stops and they were holding on for their lives at the end. Having just heard Martinez's post-match statement, I'd agree with him that it was fine margins that did us.

The league table looks really bad for us at the moment, but ask yourselves how many points we usually get from Utd Away, RS Away and Chelsea and Arsenal at home. We've certainly had a tough start in terms of the fixture list.

Hopefully Stones and Pienaar will be fit soon, and the other walking wounded can also start to contribute. I think we've really missed Barkley, Coleman and Mirallas. They're all players who have pace, unpredictability and a directness which we lack at the moment. Unfortunately a club of our means can't afford to lose players of their quality.

Eric Myles
111 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:31:14
Clive #57, we lost due to having no attacking threat; too often we were hoofing the ball up to Lukaku with nobody in support and his poor control gave possession back to United.

But we looked better than we have for a while because instead of titting around with the ball in the back 4 we were actually passing it forward and looking to build momentum in midfield, until it got to our lone striker out on the left. What's wrong with playing a centre-forward in the centre and getting him into the box these days?

James Kirrane
112 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:47:39
Just one addition we need to get rid of the baldy, bearded American. His decision making is appalling. He has been to blame for numerous goals this season. His Tourette's appears to be getting worse. Should have been sent off v Chelsea. Gave a couple of goals away v Crystal Palace. Gave a goal way against Manure. Get rid soon. He is a liability.
Clive Rogers
113 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:16:33
As other people have said, our midfielders are all too similar, no matter who plays, and not creative enough in the final third. In the last few games Osman has had several really good chances, but none have hit the back of the net.

Martinez has built a small pool of players who either never play or can’t play 90 minutes; Alcaraz, Kone, Robles, Hibbert, Osman.

We needed an influx of good young players in the summer to rejuvenate our aging squad, but did the opposite. If we can’t beat Villa at home next game, the knives will really be out.

Liam Reilly
114 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:26:01
I really don't get the Lukaku bashing. He put in a shift today; just needs a couple of goals and will come good.

That was a tough fixture after Thursday's exertions; but hey, just ignore that, say we're shit and moan. A club with our backing cannot handle the absence of four key first-team football players but we're unlucky not to come away with a point.

Frank Crewe
115 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:23:29
This season has been a reality check for us and has shown just how flimsy and thin our squad really is.

People go on about last season's record points total. What isn't mentioned is that we were only playing one game a week. The "monied" clubs were having problems. Chelsea had a weak attack. Man Utd were a shadow of their usual selves with a lousy manager. Arsenal had a poor defense and not enough forwards. Because of this, it gave other clubs, such as Everton, a chance to progress and we did, although not as much as the RS. The way we faded towards the end of the season should have been a sign of things to come but was ignored.

But the fact is that, during the summer, the richer clubs have addressed their problems and spent big. We on the other hand have simply signed the players we had on loan and barely strengthened the squad at all, and it shows. We needed players in just about every area of the pitch yet almost all our cash was spent on Lukaku.

The non-existent pre-season and injuries to crucial players means we're having to pick players who we thought had been consigned to Everton's past. This combined with poor quality acquisitions such as McGeady, Alcaraz, Robles, means we have almost no cover.

Everton in now in crisis. If QPR win today, we will be in the bottom three. We can only hope that our better players such as Barkley, Mirallas, Coleman and Stones, can recover from their injuries sooner rather than later and we can try to move up the league to a less perilous position. Then hopefully in January RM can get in some decent reinforcements to see us through to the end of the season and learn from the mistakes he has made this season.

Forget about top-of-the-table finishes or winning a cup; just avoid relegation and hopefully start again next season with a proper pre-season and some quality acquisitions and unload some of the deadwood currently collecting wages and contributing nothing to the cause.

Brian Waring
116 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:56:14
Some of you lads talking about Martinez being fucked off need to take a long hard look at yourselves.
James Kirrane
117 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:58:31
Costa 9 in 9! Lukaku???
Graham Mockford
118 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:46:25
I think some of you may be missing the point by blaming individual players. Admittedly Lukaku was piss poor today but it's the system that is the problem. We are playing far too open, making it easy for sides to get at us.

I think after a first season, opposing coaches are working us out. Roberto actually said in his post match interview it was an open game as though that is something to be fucking proud about against a team with over £200m of attacking players on display away from home.

We actually created more chances today than when we won there last season, our problem is we are conceding at an alarming rate. Sure some of that has been individual error but, unless we start setting up in a way that makes us difficult to get at, I fear a long season.

It's all very well being an idealist about your footballing principles but we need a dose of pragmatism and we need it now.

Chris Leyland
119 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:54:24
Wayne "The league table looks really bad for us at the moment, but ask yourselves how many points we usually get from Utd Away, RS Away and Chelsea and Arsenal at home." — I answered this for you above, last year it was 9 points.

No point talking about 'usually get' in terms of points in these games because the wise sages of ToffeeWeb have constantly told us that our previous manager was a surrender monkey and all we had to do was go toe to toe against these teams a play without fear and we'd do much better.

Well, this worked okay last year, so, what had gone wrong this time round?

Kunal Desai
120 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:33:23
A crucial run of league fixtures coming up. Next 7 league games are:

Villa (H)
Burnley (A)
Swansea (H)
Sunderland (A)
West Ham (H)
Spurs (A)
Hull (H)

I think if we cannot get at least 12 points out of that run, then we could be in big trouble. Martinez needs to start working on a new centre-back pairing very very quickly, otherwise we won't be winning many of these. He also needs to work on Lukaku who's in a comfort zone, fire a fucking couple of rockets up his ass and give him an ultimatum: shape up or prepare for some time on the bench.

John Daley
121 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:59:30
In defence of our defence, although they have been poor and error prone so far this season, they're having to face almost constant pressure due to an unbalanced midfield lacking in almost any athleticism.

There's no real physical presence or pace in our favour right through the centre of the pitch.

Sure, Mcarthey (when fit) will scamper and close down but he's too slight to go shoulder to shoulder and, when he retrieves the ball, will only ever look to roll it to whoever is nearest without looking if there's another option ahead.

Barry has defensive nous but, when turned, moves like Metal Mickey. He is one player I thought would be given the benefit of rest during cup games this season as it was evident he was starting to creak throughout the second half of last season.

Naismith is a shining example when it comes to attitude and fight but simply does not possess the skillset to provide a link between a deep lying midfield and a lone front man.

Out wide, Mcgeadey has speed and quick feet but his decision making is, more often than not, atrocious. He is also lacking when it comes to covering when his full back is caught upfield.

It also seems the poor defensive record is playing on their mind. As soon as the ball is given away it's like a hive mentality and all they have running through their heads is 'get back, get back!!' The amount of time and free space the opposition midfield has to roam forward with the ball, before they're confronted with a static wall of blue shirts who have robotically retreated to the edge of the box is ridiculous.

Brian Hennessy
122 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:50:40
Even though I have critisized Lukaku on here for his touch today I will say this, the amount of times he is receiving the ball with his back to goal is very worrying.

I do believe he is a good finisher, but our lack of quality in midfield from Barry/Besic/McCarthy means he usually has to rely on a cross from Baines for most of his chances.

Kieran Riding
123 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:01:23
Some on here need to go and give their heads a wobble.

Coleman, Mirallas and Barkley are our attacking threat.

Any side would suffer missing that lot.

Jay Harris
124 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:56:13
The way I see it we are playing with 9 men every game.

Lukaku may as well not be on the pitch as his lack of heading ability, ball control and movement is absolutely appalling for a premier league player.

McGeady has an occasional and inconsistent decent touch but has no pace and no vision.He is obviously a championship player at best.

Added to that our MF is not showing for the ball so we have reverted to a long ball team without the benefit of Fellaini getting on the end of it.

I had my doubts when Martinez was appointed but now I am in no doubt he has to go before the club slips any further into decay.

Linda Morrison
125 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:54:26
I'm normally one to look at the positives, a bit like Roberto, I suppose... but over the last few weeks a nagging doubt is coming to me.

I don't understand what has happened in the close season to get us to this poor stuff. Rom must be thinking he's made a huge mistake as this outfit is not a patch on last season's. Has there been an invasion of the BodySnatchers we are not aware of? With a few notable exceptions, they are truly awful, the only reason we are not bottom – yet – is others are also poor. The players just do not seem to have any drive in them, they just make silly comments to the Echo. They are playing like Man Utd did for Moyes last season, as far as I can see, so something is amiss.

Many people on this site have no time for Kenwright but all the emphasis for the new stadium is based on Everton being at least in the top 6. I'll be surprised if, by the end of November, we still have the same manager, if things have not improved dramatically.

Steve Jenkins
126 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:56:56

They are all too similar – obviously Barkley being injured doesn’t help that but I was disappointed he didn’t go for Diame like lots others have stated.

Different from what we’ve got and would have added – pace, energy and dynamism. Instead went for Barry and "experience".

We badly need an injection of youth and enthusiasm - I’m not saying do away with experience altogether but its a fine balance.

Youngsters knocking on the door that from the reports I’ve seen and little I’ve seen of each of them look far more quality, pace and dynamism than the current crop of Dad’s Army we have. It’s also clear that we need a winger brought in with pace and skill.

I think we need to see the likes of Browning established as well as Ledson, Galloway, Dowling, Henen breaking through the fringes and coming through by next year.

It’s a fine balance and atm its far too much the other way – sacrificing ability for experience and it reminds all too much of Moyes era.

Karl Jones
127 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:03:21
"Played with alot of energy and intensity and gave everything we had"... Maybe it's just my view, but I saw a lethargic and slow-paced Everton until the last 10 minutes when Man Utd were running the game down which every team does nowadays.

Very worrying season so far with all the goals conceded and our £28 million striker scoring just twice and playing like that.

John Audsley
128 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:42:14
This is becoming a horrible season. The Stones injury is the worst we could have got, hope he is back before Xmas.

A real lack of leaders on the pitch and RM seemingly talking up all the positives when I saw very little to be positive about AGAIN.

I think some honesty from RM would do him and us a lot of good. What we are seeing on the pitch simply isn't good enough and a number of players need a good slap.

Barkley coming back is the only good news out of the last few days....

Come on, RM, sort this fucking mess out.

Graham Mockford
129 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:03:26

I agree to some degree but he knew that before the game. What does he do, he sets us up 4-3-3. McGeady or Naismith gave us nothing when we were defending and we had Pienaar playing a wide role.

Today was screaming out to play an extra central player to stiffen up the midfield. Either Oviedo or Osman would have been a far better starting option today and in fact it was when the two of them came on we started exerting some control.

I fear Roberto has been reading too much of his own PR.

Kevin Tully
130 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:00:35
Bill should be right on the phone to Tony Pulis, before Newcastle snap him up. Last season was a complete fluke, and it's only going to get worse. I never wanted Martinez in the first place.

If any manager thinks he can come to our club, and ask our players to play footy, passing it around like a bunch of fannies, he can fuck right off. Shawcross was great shout a few weeks ago, sell Stones to one of those fancy Southern sides.

What manager would possibly think of being at the World Cup, when all our players were....on holiday, or even worse, playing in Brazil? The cheeky twat.

Don't even get me started on all the players who score each Saturday that the Spanish tosser never had the hindsight to sign!

Patrick Murphy
131 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:53:26
For those who don't seem to be too worried about our points tally as they believe that it is mostly down to the quality of the opponents and a tough start - have a look at how many points Wigan (5pts) had after seven games in 2012-13 or indeed how many points the relegated threatened sides had at the same stage last season.

We currently have less points than Cardiff(8) , Fulham (7) or Norwich City (7) had last term and perhaps the most worrying stat is that we have conceded more goals (16) than ultimately relegated Wigan (14) had conceded at the same stage of the 12/13 campaign. Admittedly Palace and Sunderland had less points than we currently have but it is highly unusual for any team to regain good form when embroiled at the bottom of the table.

I don't believe that we will be in a relegation battle come the middle part of the season but that scenario seems more likely now than it has done for some years and anybody at the club that believes it will somehow turn around of its own accord needs to have a major rethink.

Colin Glassar
132 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:15:43
We are 17th but only 5 points off fourth place. I'm not panicking, just yet.
Kieran Riding
133 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:16:47
Kevin #131 I genuinely laughed out loud reading that. ( Wish there was a shorter way of saying that )
John Daley
134 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:10:44
Tony Pulis? C'mon mate, your handy hindsight helper needs updating. He's yesterday's news. You need the new, bang up to date version that Back to the Future Bennings has. Steve Bruce mate. That's where it's at this week. Got a good win yesterday and even Jelavic scored. Shame he's got a snout like a bag of flour booted down the fucking aisle like but, he's defo the man Bill should have employed 16 months ago.

At least until tomorrow when someone else gets a good result and he then becomes the man Bill should have employed 16 months ago.

Brian Waring
135 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:08:31
Brian #(123) spot on mate. Lukaku just isn't getting any service, he needs balls putting through that he can run onto, that's his strength. You could see it today, there was a few occasions were you could see him asking for it to be put through, but the player on the ball just turned and played the ball backwards.

The problem we have had with strikers in the past is they start off well, then they were asked to work 'harder' for the team, so become less of a threat because they end up running round like chickens without heads.

Max Wilson
136 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:21:11
Kevin Tully
137 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:21:40
I'm sure he mentioned Koeman last week JD.
Colin Glassar
138 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:19:12
KT, I think we need a triumvirate of Tony Pulis, Big Sam and OFM to rescue our season. We need to get back to basics, hoof ball and 4-4-2. None of this tikataka rubbish and all the players should have their surnames anglicised as well.
Clive Rogers
139 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:13:52
Kieran #124,
cover for those three should have been addressed in the summer but wasn’t. Besic is more defensive MF while Atsu is clearly not ready. What happened to the 6/7 new faces RM promised.
Ian McDowell
140 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:57:05
The performance wasn't too bad but we just keep on shooting ourselves in the foot. We went to Old Trafford after a difficult away game in Russia and on another day could have scored 4.

Howard was at fault for the second goal. Surely he could see Pienaar was on the ground injured and should have just put the ball out of play.

The main cause of concern is Lukaku. He looks completely out of sorts. I didn't see him sprint once today. Awful first touch and looked completely uninterested; he should've been taken off for Eto'o after 55 mins.

Lee Whitehead
141 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:58:15

Fantastic game of football!!
We had real Intensity!!
We gave it everything!!
We showed real character!!
We didn’t show our disappointment!!
The players don’t deserve this!!

Fuck me, we are in trouble if he believes this crap.

Linda Morrison
142 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:21:28
Brian spot on about Lukaku, looks like it's back to Jags and Duistin for months if Stones has done his ankle ligaments in.

What's wrong with Coleman? I thought it was a slight injury. I know that we have a lot of players out but the ones on the pitch don't seem to know what they are supposed to do at all.

If it goes on here are my thoughts for the next boss; Steve Bruce or David Moyes if all else fails. He'll at least stop the leaks and he would have a striker now!

Brian Waring
143 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:19:31
By the way, tell you what's getting boring now, all these Wigan comparisons.
Wayne Smyth
144 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:15:33
James(118) I wonder how many Lukaku would get with the rest of Chelsea's team supporting him and I wonder how many Costa would get playing in our current first 11?

Lets not forget that one is in the prime of his career and the other is just starting out.

Fucking ridiculous statement.

Andy Walker
145 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:23:59
This is the worst team we've had for 10 years, but then it's also the worst manager... (But he's a nice bloke, not got ginger hair, and not dour, which is what counts).
Ian Jones
146 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:19:33
To Kieran in response to Kevin at 131. Bizarre covers it
Kevin Tully
147 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:25:41
Linda has just outdone Jim!
Mike Hughes
148 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:07:59
Underwhelming start to the season.
Almost 20% of the season gone and 6 points on the board.
Do the maths. Big improvement needed.
It's in your hands Roberto.

On the other hand, with the exception of the top 3, it looks like the league table is from the days of 2 points for a win.
Despite our results, we're 5 points off a CL place!

That does, however, not excuse a lousy start.
Yes, injuries, but that's what a £30m summer transfer budget is there for, given it was inevitable with the extra demands of the Europa league.

I'm just frustrated that we could / should have kicked on and been in the top 3 at this point. Missed opportunity.

For once, I'm glad of the international break and, unbelievably, hoping for a West Ham win.

Clive Rogers
149 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:27:25

The head injury was slight but he’s done his hamstring apparently.

Les Fitzpatrick
150 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:21:00
As I have said before on this site, we are sleepwalking our way to relegation.

I never had much faith in him. He needs to wake up and get a grip.

Will Firstbrook
151 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:12:00
We have a worrying number of ageing crocks in our squad. None can be counted on to remain healthy or play 90 mins. That in and of itself is nothing new but knowing we were playing in Europe this season, why wasn't Roberto working his Catalan connections over the summer to land young and promising talent to supplement the squad??!

Dear me this is looking quite bleak at the moment. Unfortunately, I fear this run will continue until our injured recover or we bow out of Europe (likely both). We cannot cope on so many fronts with our current squad.

Simon Harris
152 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:18:08
Kunal #121 - next 7 league games all winnable (on paper).

Stick the youth team out for the Europa League for all I care, getting to 40 points is all that matters now.

Time to roll our sleeves up and get some points on the board.

Brian Waring
153 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:29:24
Andy (#146) — that's probably the worst post I have ever seen on here.
Robert Workman
154 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:30:35
Why, oh why, didn't Howard kick it into Row Z!
Ciarán McGlone
155 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:29:15
Those calling Lukaku Shit are being ridiculous. No creativity in midfield = little service for the big man.

Thought it was a even enough match in the end. Not the end of the world against the most expensive offensive talent in the premiership.

Good to see Oviedo back.. I'd play him through the middle while Ross is still out.

Mark Dunford
156 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:29:28
Agree with comment 99 on the mural. It really does remind me of the chosen one banner – another hostage to fortune.
Kieran Riding
157 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:31:05
Will #152 — "we have ageing crocks in the squad."

Really? The crocks are all our young talent mate... The old arses like Hibbert, Osman, Distin and Barry are all fully fit.

Steve Brown
158 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:21:15
As someone who was not keen on Martinez getting the job, I am surprised at some of the reactions on here. We could have easily got something out of the game today and played a lot better than the Derby.

Martinez could be blamed for playing Naismith as part of a midfield three in the first half, but given how we have shipped goals this season it was understandable – it just didn't work and he changed it. We were better in the second half until another farcical goal. We then created three great chances that a world class De Gea thwarted.

Our main problem at the moment is that we are missing three key players – Barkley, Mirallas and Coleman, while some other key players have suffered a real drop in form - Barry, Howard, McCarthy, Distin. All at the same time as easily our hardest starting list of fixtures for years. Sure Martinez has made some mistakes this season, but to say he should be replaced is pure nonsense.

We need confidence and that will come from wins. Hopefully the teams we have got coming up will help that along.

Marc Sansum
159 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:32:25
To quote Private Fraser (and most of ToffeeWeb)...."We're doooooomed".

We haven't played well, but then we haven't become bad overnight. I'll start panicking in probably 5 games if things haven't picked up.

Brendan Whelan
160 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:33:11
Not good enough and as always we are fed shit by RM in his post-match interview. Defensively we remain disorganized and RM set up the side today in a similar way to the negative approach against Liverpool last week, when Man Utd were there for the taking today.

Whatever happened to Sin Miedo, Roberto? I do not see us getting into any sort of relegation scrap this year, but those of us hoping for a repeat of last season's form will have to significantly readjust expectations.

Chris Sillett
161 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:30:20
I thought we were unlucky not to at least get a point today, we missed a penalty and De Gea made two or three great saves.

It was an okay performance but we still don't look fully up to speed yet. The main two concerns for me are Howard's and Lukaku's form. Both are shadows of the players they were last season.

It seems Howard makes a bad mistake in every game which leads to a goal and Lukaku has been just awful in more or less every game so far. The problem is can we drop Howard? We all know how dodgy Robles is and it looks as if even the manager doesn't trust him anymore.

Lukaku can be dropped but then serious question marks will be asked about his price tag...do we persevere with him or drop him for Eto'o? The next three games against Villa, Burnley and Swansea are all must-win for me now –otherwise, a poor start will slowly become a crisis.

Steve Brown
162 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:38:43
Kieran, 158. Two of the crocks also played well today. Hibbert has not let anyone down since he came into the team and Osman turned the game aroud.

He should be banned from playing apart from the last 20 minutes of a game.

Max Wilson
163 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:21:59
I was sick as a pig that I missed the match on BT, having to go out. I'd have been even sicker to watch it it seems. A missed penalty... We can't do that this season.

From what everyone is saying, it's the same old problems that have still not been addressed: weak midfield (McGeady especially), no supply to Lukaku.

Still RM has not played our two decent strikers together. Instead, he plays Naismith who gets on the odd good pass that they would have put away also but makes loads of cock- ups in between. Why Eto'o stayed on the bench to-day, I just don't know.

I shall need to study all the experts in the next day or so to understand why RM continues to select our most average players. We could now be facing a relegation struggle.

Phil Walling
164 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:16:45
As posted on another thread, my Wigan family members are convinced that Roberto will be back with them well before the end of the season.

The same people who told me that he would be coming to us when (note: not if ) Moyes went to Man Utd have Joe Royle doing a spell as Everton's interim manager followed by the appointment of Tony Pullis.

You heard it here first. (Prompt for Kenwright VoC...)

Eddie Dunn
165 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:30:04
Why all the cloak and dagger stuff about Coleman's injury – it isn't the the Cold War out there. We fans would like to be told the truth.

As for Stones and his ligaments, I've gone over on my ankle loads of times over the years, and I'm still playing 5- a -side twice a week, you just get up and get back on with it.

A bump on the fucking head! What! Come on Seamus, you could be playing Hurling.

Will Firstbrook
166 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:35:51
Kieran #158 - quite right. Should have read - ageing donkeys whose best years are long gone and whose weekly contribution is giving the ball away in dangerous positions then taking a yellow for chopping down the opponent as their legs are too shot to recover.

Are they performing hamstring transplants yet?!?

Kieran Riding
167 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:47:57
Will, that's much better.
Mark Griffiths
168 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:35:36
Kunal 121: the funny/ annoying thing is that ladt season I would expect us to win every one of those games!
John Daley
169 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:45:24
Words of wisdom from Wigan, Phil? Congrats. You must truly know how the Apes felt when Ceaser first said 'NO'.
Si Cooper
170 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:31:25
With Coleman, McCarthy and Mirallas missing, I wasn't expecting a sparkling display but I thought the fixture offered a good opportunity for a host of other players to really step-up. United have an array of attacking threats but are surely at the mercy of any team who are really prepared to go at their midfield and defence.

Collectively we were poor for the first half with Lukaku, McGeady and Naismith all virtual spectators. When we did have the ball in the first half no-one seemed to want to be the one to whip the ball in or have a shot. Both their goals (and a load of other chances) came from playing the ball at pace into the heart of the penalty areas and reacting to anything that fell their way, whilst we are always looking for the perfect ball at the perfect moment. I was disapointed not to hear whatever Martinez's version of "far too much fannying about in the first half" would be in his aftermatch comments rather than stretching the fact that their keeper had to make some good saves to deny us when we had woken up and were chasing the game.

Howard should have sought safety first but the second goal was yet again helped by rubbish defending and no apparent communication, with Stones yards behind his fellow defenders and all of them oblivious to Falcao running in behind him.

This is a star-studded but overall weak United side, and we should not be satisfied by nearly getting a point today, especially as that type of patchy display seems to becoming the norm for us.

Terry Downes
172 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:38:24
Dear me... there's a certain amount of fans on here who cant wait to start slagging the current management off; these are the same people who gave Moyes year after year to get things sorted.

The mentality of it baffles me; this to me is second season syndrome and at some point most teams in any league will go through tough times at some point, we have no right to be winning every game or to play well all the time.

This team in my opinion is still better than any team put together by Moyes; we just have to accept we won't be top 5 every year — and as for talking of Martinez leaving, that's a joke,

Whatever happens this season, I'd lay money on us to be up there again next season challenging for a top 4 finish.

Robert Pierpoint
173 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:46:15
Few points from the last few games:

1) Lukaku has looked totally not at the races. Although at times a little isolated, it seems as though his head has dropped at a few poor games. Given his arrogance when things are going well, this seems a surprising. Not sure where Kone is in terms of fitness, but if there was a time then it surely is now.

2) Just when things couldn't get worse, Stones picks up an injury. The lack of depth at centre half is worrying, and you have got to hope that it is simply a sprain and that he could be back in 2-3 weeks.

3) It has become abundantly clear that Barkley and Coleman are two of our three most important attacking threats, and without them we are devoid of any clear penetration or aggression in the final third.

4) For all the nice touches and retention of possession, this team is crying out for pace in that front three. Di Maria (as one would expect, given the fee) was the only real difference in this game. The amount of times that we need an out all, and there is no clear drive in that midfield is frustrating. The game against Krasnodar showed it, and it was the same again. Although his end product needs improving, a player like Nathan Redmond in January, or even a Victor Moses in the summer would give us a relatively inexpensive wide player with pace. This is what we need, because the big money will need to be spent at the back.

Patrick Murphy
174 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:48:43
Phil - How are Wigan doing at the moment? Not too well, I expect - but surely even though our start is a lot less than we would have wished for - you seem to be suggesting that there is some sort of disquiet at boardroom level which would be typical of Everton FC at a time when we need everybody pulling in the same direction.

I must admit Greg O'Keefe was a little out of character in his match report when he claimed that Everton the team were 'directionless' – a tad harsh from a person who is apt to see the good aspects of Everton regardless of the performance or result.

Paul Smith
175 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:22:51
Another frustrating performance and the manager has a lot to answer for with the flat 1st half performance. We played like this at the start of last season passing the ball around our own half with no purpose and teams seem to have worked us out. What infuriates me is Martinez has stuck rigidly to the same system just shuffling personnel. Why haven't we tried other systems to fool teams and why is our play so slow and predictable.

The manager accepted the plaudits last season so must bear the brunt of criticism for this season. He must be brave now and tell Lukaku he's dropped until at the very least his effort improves. At the moment Naismith has to start up front with Eto'o in a front two and play Barkley behind when fit and up our pace of play.

With Mirallas out and our other wing options looking very poor I would've played a 3-5-2 system just to try something different but with Stones out now that doesn't look on. These are very worrying times for me and the next month shapes our season of either a scrap to stay out of relegation or possible fight for Europe.

Nicky Styles
176 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:51:45
A lot of criticism from ToffeeWebbers has been directed at Aiden McGeady this season. Rightly or wrongly, well, that's up for debate. For me, he's become the new Osman in terms of being scapegoated.

What I find absolutely baffling however is the fact that virtually nothing is said about our €35 million turkey Lukaku. Am I the only one who thinks this is looking like the most spectacular waste of finances since LFC decided to wantonly splash a similar amount on Andy Carroll?

Not only is Lukaku a dead ringer for Emile Hesky regarding his sluggishness and seeming lack of interest or hunger, his touch is nothing short of appalling. If an Under-14s striker was as incompetent on the ball as Lukaku, he'd likely be pulled aside by the trainer. At least when Naismith was finding the going tough, he put a hundred precent in - Jelavic, too.

Kieran Riding
177 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:04:07
I hope someone gets hold of a video clip of Baines taking our last corner and what he said to the Manc in the crowd.
Lee Hind
178 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:02:41
So we have no McCarthy, no Coleman, no Barkley, no Mirallas...missed a pen and denied a point away at a team that spent £150m+ by a wonder save but our seasons over?

Some strange ways to view a game on here!!

Jay Harris
179 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:50:55
Ciaran (#156) The reason posters are calling Lukaku shit is because he is playing shit.

For a £28 million player not to be able to head the ball, trap the ball, hold the ball up, nor put himself about is shit.

To be totally overshadowed by a young rookie is shit. He had balls to run onto today but was beaten to the ball regularly by McNair.

Clive Lewis
181 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:56:53
As Gavin suggested, constructive criticism is needed. Therefore I feel that it might not actually be the players' ability, but the manager's. I feel that Bobby probably does not have much of a clue when it comes to footballing strategy and man motivation.

There's the criticism; the constructive bit is to think about replacement for a strategist with motivational skills.

Patrick Murphy
182 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:07:01
Lee - You could obviously put that spin on the match if you wanted but the game as a whole was a pretty poor advert for Everton as a team. Yes we did put a little pressure on United in the final 15 minutes but that is what you would expect from any team that is behind in a PL game. For the majority of the game United weren't stretched and hardly had to break sweat to control the game. Our equaliser was a bolt from the blue and I think our first effort on target, we didn't look as porous as in previous games but our attacking play was lacking for most of the match. At the moment we have as much fizz as a half-drunk bottle of Champagne left open for a fortnight after a wild party.

Brian Waring
183 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:15:04
So last year was a fluke by Martinez then Luke???
Ian Bennett
184 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:04:06
With a full strength side we are a match for anyone, but the squad after the first XI just isn't good enough to compete against the top 6 with Europa. Losing Coleman, Mirallas, McCarthy, and Barkley would hurt any side when the back up is long in the tooth.

Timely international break to get some of the players back. Fingers crossed that three come back for Villa, and Stones makes a quick come back too.

A dark October at the moment, so let's hope a cup run gives us something for the season. COYB.

Geoff Evans
185 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:06:17
We need clean sheets!
Clive Lewis
186 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:17:12
My theory on last year was a breath of fresh air. Martinez took over the players responded, Martinez did not change the way we played, however with time gone by he has doused our team with his own kind of ideas of keeping the ball and strategy.

The players are maybe starting to look confused and lacking in energy. In reality, how many really turn in to listen to Bobby? he does not exactly sound exiting. Realistically would he motivate you, ask yourself the question?.

Dean Adams
187 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:02:00
I would hate to go to war with some of these people on TW. So quick to complain and whine. It is so early yet, we are still in Europa League and the Premier League is a marathon. You don’t get extra points for being top half this time of year.

Granted it is not what we want or expected, but slow down with those knives. Wait till March!!!! By the end of the season, we will be pretty much where we should be.

Ian McDowell
188 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:23:16
All the negativity is because of the Palace game. Couldn't believe we didn't win that one. Had we've done, things would be a lot different. Things will improve when we get key players back and we will begin to move forwards. Roberto definitely still the man. COYB!
Andrew Ellams
189 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:22:28
Brian, last season was what it was.... but is in the past now. Look what has happened to Newcastle since the season they near!y grabbed 4th place. We have not dropped to that state, but one good season does not guarantee others will automatically follow.
Jim Knightley
190 Posted 05/10/2014 at 16:45:31
I began this season with pessimism... and did not expect much from the league early on, although the performances have been worse than I (and I expect everyone) expected. But the level of pessimism on here at times is pathetic.

Before the season began we got some inane optimism – celebrations of the Atsu signing from people who had probably see him play once or twice in international matches, an article suggesting we could take third, constant reiterations about the strength of our squad, etc etc. But now we’ve got forms of pessimism which are almost as ridiculous.

We played in Russia on Thursday... we went into this game without most of the players who could exploit United, and were crucial to a potential win at Old Trafford (especially Mirallas and Barkley, who would have run at a poor United defence; a defensively essential McCarthy, and a brilliant Coleman). Despite that, and whilst United too admittedly have injuries (although they have bigger resources, and are free from trips to Russia), we should have taken a result today.

Two brilliant saves from De Gea denied us, as well as a fantastic last-ditch block, and we missed a penalty. We were piss poor first half, although the 12 o’clock kick off wouldn’t have helped that, but we played well during the second. We have been very disappointing so far, but Arsenal, Chelski, Liverpool and United are out of the way now, and we’ve only got City and Spurs to come before the New Year.

We will get better because we are better than this, and the extent of some of the criticism on here is unjustified. We’ve been unacceptable so far, but so has the sensationalism of many on this site, and the oscillating representations which cast us as realistic challengers to the automatic CL place in August, and facing a relegation battle at the start of October.

Michael Winstanley
191 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:14:26
Howard again. He didn't even need to go for the ball so when he did it had to be Row Z all the way, two shocking decisions plus I think he should have saved their first.

What we're witnessing is our second string creative types not being good enough, it would be nice to think we'd have like-for-like replacements for Barkley, Mirallas and Coleman but let's be honest that's not going to happen.

If we get a better keeper, then we'll stop conceding.

John Daley
192 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:29:36
"My theory on last year was a breath of fresh air. Martinez took over, the players responded; Martinez did not change the way we played."

Of course he did. Say what you want about whether it is working now or not but to suggest Martinez didn't change anything, or impose his own style of play, throughout last season is just false. Either that or you didn't watch many games. It was evident right from the very first game of his first pre-season, with the back four and keeper attempting to play the ball around instead of putting their foot through it.

Mark Griffiths
193 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:34:06
A few people have said that they hope West Ham beat QPR, but to be honest I would rather QPR win because QPR are crap and going down; I would be more worried about teams like West Ham getting further ahead of us at the moment!
Colin Grierson
194 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:39:31
We had a decent second half. Besic looked good up until the final ball. We finished strongly and were unlucky not to get something from the game in the end.

I think Lukaku is suffering due to our slow build up. His strengths are not being played to. We miss Barkley and Mirallas as without them we lack a forward thrust. We are NOT in crisis. We are just not playing as well as we can.

We will get better, but why people think cos we finished 5th last season we should finish higher this season is beyond me. It doesn't work that way. I hope to see some youngsters like Browning and Stones become regulars and hope we build a team to sustain a challenge.

Top 10 this season for me but we MUST keep trying to play proper football and not succumb to chasing a victory at the cost of proper football. Patience is key to future success.

Lee Hind
195 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:34:31
Patrick - the truth (not spin) is that 3 of the 4 players I mentioned carry the bulk of our attacking threat. To go away to OT, after the money they've spent, without any of those three plus McCarthy who is the one who closes down and pressures in front of our defence and be denied in the way we were is not the catastrophe that some are making it out to be.

It wasn't a great advert for the depth of our squad but let's bear in mind that we knew our squad depth wasn't great on 31st August.

John Malone
196 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:50:55
I agree 100% with Nicky Styles's comments, Lukaku doesn't look the real deal – Darren Bent looked better!
Joseph Clarke
197 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:19:21
Lukaku is slow not only in movement, but in his reactions to situations. He can't head a ball (like most of the rest of them). His first touch is poor. and a few other things. He was never my choice.

However, he is one of ours now; we should get behind him. He has consistently in his career so far, scored goals. The most difficult skill in the game. He is likely to continue to do so.

The team, the backroom staff and the manager should play in a way that covers his limitations, and maximises his abilities. So that he can do a job for us.

Nicky Styles
198 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:04:07
Michael (#191), I understand criticism of Howard for that stinker of a decision viz-a-vis the clearance for their second goal but I doubt any keeper in the world would have stopped their first – too hard, too fast.
Nigel Gregson
199 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:00:10
Kevin Tully (#131), I think some people didn't quite get the humour in your post. You need to be less subtle... hehe.
Carl Sanderson
201 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:44:56
We have just played away at Manchester United, after having returned from Russia at 2:30 am on Friday. United had had a clear week to prepare.

We were without Mirallas, Coleman, McCarthy and Barkley. Pienaar, Oviedo and Hibbert were coming back off long lay-offs. We lost Pienaar and Stones during the match. We had a penalty saved, an effort hacked off the line, and the opposition's keeper was the Man of The Match.

All-in-all, not a bad performance, although no match this season is complete, it seems, without a T-How-ler. He should have put the ball into orbit.

Michael Pullano
202 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:12:51
The band of you that want to bash Lukaku is somewhat sad. While he has not been scoring goals he also does not have the service from what is passing for a midfield.

This is the same lad that scored a hat trick against a much better Man U squad while on loan with WBA. He scored those goals because he was fed through ball after through ball. The style RM has him playing, where he is 25 yards from goal with his back to goal does not suit his game at all. He is completed isolated and rarely gets service from this team.

Danny Welbeck and Demba Ba? You must be mad.

RM needs to change the strategy. Enough teams have figured EFC out. The 4-2-3-1 doesn't work.

Peter Laing
203 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:14:42
Bit of perspective needed, we have played Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United in the first seven games. The team has been severely disrupted by injuries to key players and there has been an alarming loss of form for others most notably Howard who has cost Everton dearly.

The second-half performance against Man United was encouraging, they were hanging on in the end and De Gea earned them the three points. Judge the team / Martinez by Christmas.

Michael Pullano
204 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:19:43
Peter #205 - Well said. Not thrilled with the lack of offense, but if the team had Coleman, Barkley and Mirallas rather than Hibbo, McGeady and Pienaar then there is a chance that we are talking about a different result.
Ged Simpson
205 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:19:41
You may be right, Peter, now I have had a post match/beer nap. But in my ears are the Yorkshire tones of Leeds and both Sheffield ’massive’ clubs. This league has no forgiveness and the thought of 14,000 of our fans singing "If you know your history" fills me with worry at Derby. To be frank, we should fucking stop singing that all together. Reminds me of our Gov singing "If you know our empire"!
Colin Glassar
206 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:28:32
Why do we always have to have 3,4,5 or more articles on the same game? I can't keep up and it's bloody confusing.
Stephen Brown
207 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:22:53
Very disappointing start to the season but now is the time to show some support and get behind the team and manager. Calling for sackings, players to be discarded is IMO a complete overreaction.

Aston Villa, Burnley, Swansea, Sunderland and West Ham coming up if we get 12 points+ there things are looking more promising! There is no reason why this can’t be achieved despite the current poor form, lack of confidence and missing key players in Barkley, Coleman, Mirallas and Stones.

I feel deflated after the great season last year and what I considered to be a decent recruitment drive in the Summer but reading some of the reaction over the last few weeks has been IMO preposterous. All teams go through similar runs including today’s opponents and the other lot! We need to keep the faith despite the fact that the current results and performances hurt!

Kevin Tully
208 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:33:15
Colin - "I can't keep up and it's bloody confusing."

Do you know, that's exactly what Hugh Hefner said when quizzed about all the blonde's around the pool at the Playboy Mansion.

Ged Simpson
209 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:31:52
And while I have a min... Lukaku has been a bloody disgrace. He needs lessons off our best player, Naismith, on how to work for his living, never mind his ability. He is young blah blah blah. So was the Man Utd player who made him look like a carthorse today.

Also Pienaar was unfit, Jags past it and no way a captain, Howard too inconsistent, and to stick to one philosophy when best players are out is plain stupid. And I am an optimist!

Ged Simpson
210 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:41:10
Stephen, I hope you are right but doubt you are. I think last season is masking the serious trouble we are in.
Paul Andrews
211 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:40:38
1) Take into consideration the teams we have played in our 7 games.

2) Take into account the injury list to our better players, and more importantly to our players with genuine pace.

Relax, stop panicking.

Ray Said
212 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:37:45
Lukaku had very little to attack today. When we had crossing opportunities often we played the ball back rather than getting a cross in. Baines played very few crosses in but he was one of the few who played a couple of good forward passes for Lukaku to run onto. Pity the midfielders could not do that as well.

When in a crossing position, just hit the cross and don't fanny it backwards. When you have a chance to play the ball ahead of the attacker then take a chance sometimes. Poor passing is slowing us down.

Mark Taylor
213 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:45:56
I think I'm with Jim (#191) on this – too much oscillation.

Too many people got too excited about RM being the Messiah. I said at the time he will do very well to beat Moyes's record which I thought was exceptional for a club of our financial strength.

I thought RM himself over-achieved last year and I was pleasantly surprised by both the results and the quality of football which at times, was as good as I've seen since the mid-80s team. But I don't think it is an incredible shock to find ourselves performing far less well, especially with the added complication of EL. While not the messiah, RM is clearly a talented manager so it is way too early to be calling for the sack. The league is barely formed at the moment and there is very little gap to top six.

I think the jury is still out on Lukaku too. That said, I was something of a lone voice last year because, while he can clearly find the back of the net, I also pointed out that his general play borders on the abysmal. I think Mourinho is a better judge of these things than Martinez and he clearly didn't fancy him at all. If we haven't been sold a pup exactly, we have massively overpaid (to the detriment of replenishments elsewhere in the squad, given our financial constraints) and are also faced with having to move to play in pretty much the only style that Lukaku seems able to fit in with, playing balls through the middle.

It's true that the injuries don't help, especially given that some seem to take way longer than first indicated – Coleman for example.

On that topic, has Kone finally left the building? His comeback seems to belong to Neverland...

Colin Glassar
214 Posted 05/10/2014 at 19:03:12
No KT, it's easy. You just go dip, dip, dip.......
Brian Harrison
215 Posted 05/10/2014 at 18:41:54
Yes, as some have said, if De Gea hadn't made a couple of excellent saves at the end, we could easily have taken a point from the game. But I think we only had two shots on target in the whole game.

Our manager likes to play a system which requires Lukaku to be able to hold the ball up, now even is most ardent supporter would suggest this is something that Lukaku is good at. So seeing the manager could watch him closely all last season, why would he think that this system would suit Lukaku. Now if he had signed Bony or Loic Remy I could understand it as both of these guys can hold the ball up. Watching Costa for Chelsea thats the way you play a target man role.

As I have said before RMs buys have more questions than answers. Howard has had some good games and some poor ones this season but RM has so little faith in Robles he wont risk him. Same can be said of Alcaraz, and McGeady is only a bench warmer at best. Eto another expensive bench warmer, and so far Atsu isn't blossoming under RM.

So for me the buck stops with the manager, for some reason the quick one touch passing that we played in the early part of last season has been replaced with slow ponderous build up play. I find it very boring and I don't see any other teams who make so many passes in their own half as we do. I would love to see what our possession stats are for being in the last third of the opponents half compared to passes made in our defensive third. And it is no point having possession if it is ineffectual as our possession is.

John Voigt
216 Posted 05/10/2014 at 15:20:27
What's most disappointing is Man United were there for the taking. Their defense is/was poor.

The time to take the game to United was the 1st 30 minutes.

Everton seemed to be OK with having the game remain scoreless. They did almost zero attacking the 1st half.

Not starting to play until you're behind is a huge worry.

So far it's a season of lost opportunities. Losing a 2-0 lead to Arsenal in the final 10 minutes. Allowing Leister City equalize and now blowing a penalty. Everton are finding a new way to drop points almost every game.

1 win through 7 Premier League games with the injury situation is more than a real worry.

Right now Everton needs some wins no matter how they come.

Linda Morrison
217 Posted 05/10/2014 at 19:26:15
I agree with John and Brian but feel I must say sorry to the team and the manager for my earlier posts but I was so upset.

No doubt we are are all in doom land but I think now after telling myself off we will finish at least in the top half and hopefully with a cup to polish.

Peter Mills
218 Posted 05/10/2014 at 19:07:31
Make no mistake, this was a poor performance. We would have been flattered to take away a point.

We were alerted to Hibbert's appearance as we got to the ground, to a few groans, but I thought he defended quite well. Stones, despite a couple of mistakes, also played well, as did Naismith in the second half. But other than that we were pretty dire.

Lukaku and McGeady were bad, Barry not much better, and Howard's decision firstly to pursue the ball and second not to belt it into the stand was plain stupid.

Aside from individual performances, tactically we were also annoying. Man Utd had 2 kids at centre back, in the first 20 minutes we should have hammered them, got them rattled. Not a hint of it.

In midfield, Blind was in yards of space throughout the first half, he coasted it. We refused to cross the ball in the first half. So many times throughout the match our players turned backwards.

It was a bad day, even our support seemed to lack a bit of belief, understandably given what we were watching. I hate being critical, and do try to take the positives, but I was worried today.

Brian Lawlor
219 Posted 05/10/2014 at 19:38:43
I'm astounded at some of the negative shite I've just read.

Today was disappointing and we were unlucky – missed pen, unbelievable saves, bad ref decision and mistake by Howard – but to be laying in to Martinez and Lukaku especially is embarrassing. Are these the same fickle idiots calling for Moyes head years before he actually left?

Get a grip. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Patrick Murphy
220 Posted 05/10/2014 at 19:42:59
Brian - I don't want wholesale changes at the club but if you read Peter Mills's post just prior to your own, perhaps that gives a more accurate description of our current ills and they are ills that cannot and should not be ignored.
Mark Griffiths
221 Posted 05/10/2014 at 19:50:29
Does anyone know if that is the first pen missed by Baines as an Everton player?
Patrick Murphy
222 Posted 05/10/2014 at 19:55:22
Mark – I believe it is the first time he has missed for Everton in the Premier League but he has missed one against Chelsea in the League Cup a few seasons ago.

Mark Griffiths
224 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:06:59
Thanks Patrick - I was wondering whether he had a 100% record before today, but I still cannot believe he missed, was it a bad pen or another great save from De Gea?
Dennis Ng
225 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:19:35
It's a decent kick, not a great one but De Gea did very well to get the block on the penalty.
Steve Guy
226 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:23:58
I agree with Brian Lawlor above. Get a grip. Last season we got the breaks and we are not getting them this season. We would have won today bar some outstanding goalkeeping. Pluses today: Oviedo back and Naismith scoring again: Hibbo getting us the penalty!

We have injuries and players struggling for form, but to call "crisis!" at the moment is bonkers. Couple of weeks to re group now and some home games to get points on the board.

Chris Leyland
227 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:37:26
It's ok everyone, Brian Lawlor and Steve Guy have assured us that everything in the garden is rosy so please no more posts where you dare criticise any players or, heaven forbid our manager.

Instead, ToffeeWeb should be a place where from now on we all insist that everything is going along just fine.

6 points from 7 games is nothing what-so-ever to worry about.
Nor is the fact that we have only kept one clean sheet all season.
Nor is the fact that we have the worst defensive record in the league.

Nor are the bizarre substitutions anything to concern ourselves with

Nor was the abysmal excuse for a pre-season anything to worry about.

Slow, ponderous build up play where it takes an age to get forward? Nope, that is all great too.

Thank god we can all relax now and enjoy our performances without any expectation that we should be winning any games.

So lay off Bobby as he is doing a marvelous job this season.

Steve Guy
228 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:46:34
Sarcasm, Chris, is the lowest form of wit. I did not say everything is rosy so please don't say that I did. I was suggesting a broader context against a background of injuries to key players and players struggling for form (eg Lukaku).

These are predominantly the same players and the same manager who got us our highest points total and a Europa League place. (We currently head our group, btw.)

I am on record at the beginning of the season as suggesting that this might be the "transition" season for Martinez and the team and it would seem that this might be the case. I was also one of those who was worried when RM was announced as our manager; however, I am much less worried about the long term future under his stewardship than I ever was under Moyes.

Jeff Armstrong
229 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:53:24
We are playing absolutely dogshit. The next 2 weeks are going to be purgatory, and if we don’t beat Villa the whole thing will get worse, 6 points from a possible 21 is relegation form anytime of the season.


Mark Fitzgerald
230 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:30:36
Poor first half showing but unlucky in the end not to get at least a share of the points with DeGea making some world class saves.

My main issue is CM. Last season Roberto introduced the system of two DMs sitting in front of the back four and letting our FBs & wingers provide the attacking threat. It worked a treat last season.

This time around, it seems that teams know what to expect and we are struggling to adapt. When the outside channels close we have no-one in the middle who can get on the ball and provide some supply for an increasingly isolated & under utilised Lukaku.

Barkley's return is badly needed. Meanwhile we need an alternative in the middle or I fear it's more of the same. Keep the faith.

Conor McCourt
231 Posted 05/10/2014 at 17:52:55
Some posts on here are just absurd with one guy comparing Roberto to Alan Pardew. You could just imagine some of these guys pulling Natalie Sawyer and she gets a bit of skin rash for a few weeks and wanting to dump her for being so ugly.

I watched the game with a few United fans who thought they were very lucky to get all three points and were sitting rather uncomfortably for most of the second half and agreed with me that the ref didn't give us much today.

I'm not saying the team or Roberto should be immune from criticism but one idiot said this is the worst team since the Walter Smith days and others talking about relegation. In three games time we will most likely be in the top half of the table.

Kieran Riding
232 Posted 05/10/2014 at 21:12:24
Conor #233
Where exactly is the rash mate?
Patrick Murphy
233 Posted 05/10/2014 at 21:13:33
Is Natalie a relation of Tom by any chance I'm obviously getting old because I have no idea who Natalie Sawyer is... and is her rash contagious? Better get Besic on her case he is up for a rash challenge.
Dave Lynch
234 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:53:54
Being one place off the bottom 3 just might indicate that all in the garden is not rosy.

I can't for the life of me see any positives at all this season and the pre season preparation was a fucking joke.

Another thing, I'm getting mighty sick of the Martinez post match reports and his positive spin on everything even when it's obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse we where fucking shite.

Bobby had better get his head round this very quickly. ''We are not fucking Wigan, we are Everton" and have higher expectations than scraping around the lower reaches and hoping for a good cup run.

Bottom half by Xmass and he can collect his cards for me.

One more point. Lukaku is the biggest waste of £28 million I've ever seen, a fucking amoeba has a better footballing brain than him.

Patrick Murphy
235 Posted 05/10/2014 at 21:17:35
Dave is that Shola, Sammy or Tommi Amoeba?

If a manager spends that much on a single player, he should ensure that the team is built to play to his strengths. If the player doesn't have any particular strengths, the manager shouldn't have splurged so much on that single player.

Wayne Smyth
236 Posted 05/10/2014 at 21:13:42
Mark, the issue is that since Coleman got injured, we have only 1 attacking fullback, and for most of that time Pienaar has been injured, which also limits Baines's effectiveness.

We've lost Barkley and Mirallas, so with all of that going on I'm surprised that people are shocked that our attacking play hasn't been to the standards we saw most of last season. Quite simply due to injury we don't have very many good attacking players who are fit and available in the midfield area.

It's really easy to blame Martinez for this, or say Lukaku is shite, but we are dropping points against teams like Man Utd on very fine margins; a ref's decision or a couple of world class saves. To me that is not relegation form or a sign that the manager has no clue, like some are saying.

Today, at their place, against a team who've spent hundreds of millions on world-class attacking talent, we edged possession and made a load of chances. How often is a Baines pen saved? Is that Martinez's fault too? People need to retain a sense of perspective.

Peter Gorman
237 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:41:25
I admire the optimism of some on here. A couple of posts above point out we lost to the mighty Man Utd after travelling from the faraway land of Russia, while conveniently forgetting;

a) We were utterly appalling in Russia
b) Man Utd are awful at the moment

Why the pessimism? Because there is honestly no end in sight. Our attack has fizzled out, our best players are injured and our defence is still throwing games away like it is going out of fashion. Pessimism is the only response to watching the dross that Everton are showing.

ps: Why is the jury still 'out' on McGeady? The jury reached a decision long ago and the verdict was 'shite'!

David Graves
238 Posted 05/10/2014 at 21:23:20
What Brian and Steve (and others) have done is suggest a bit of reasoned thinking. I mean someone has even suggested Big Joe is being lined up as interim manager ffs. But carry on with that sarcasm because really is an adult response. See what I did there?
Tony Smith
239 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:03:19
Peter Mills, you echo my sentiments exactly.

We can't even rely on solid home form to build a run from, we're shipping goals for fun at Goodison.

This squad needs to use the international break to focus on what's going wrong especially the individual errors that are costing us so dearly.

Individual errors come from tired minds and bodies, and I think the poor conditioning of our players at the start of this season has caused us real problems. RM seems to have focused on the squad hitting fitness much later in the season than normal which is either a master-stroke and we'll go on a 7-match winning streak, or pure folly and we'll be in the bottom 3 at Christmas.

Raymond Fox
241 Posted 05/10/2014 at 21:18:25
7 games we've played, 4 against the big money teams in the league and the white flag has been raised already, I thought we had good supporters.

Anyone with any intelligence looking at our first 7 fixtures should have realised that it was a very difficult start, especially when we have Europa games to play.
Injuries are killing us at the moment, look who were missing today!
We are Everton not Man City, Chelsea etc who have players in reserve who can come in and not seriously weaken it.
Lack of money means we have a squad with too many players that are past their sell-by date I'm afraid.

Oliver Molloy
242 Posted 05/10/2014 at 20:53:44
We should have taken the game to Man Utd full steam from the first minute considering the rookie centre backs in their back four... but no, we prefer to play sideways passes and backpasses and keep possession other than having a go. Once again, we end up chasing a game, and it is quite clear that opposing teams have Martinez sussed at the moment.

Lukuka had been going on all summer about wanting to play in big games and today he had his chance to show in a big stadium what he could do, but failed miserably. People can go on about the service he gets, but for me he goes missing in games. He should have been all over their centre back McNair today, but hardly won a ball against him.

He is a big man and weighs close to 15 stone, so he is never going to be running his balls off for a full game, he just would not have the energy, but he just does not do enough and his first touch is well... poor.

Defenders are well aware and are right up his arse knowing that doing so puts him under pressure to control the football. We paid £28 million for him. That is just £4 million short of what Mourinho paid for Costa and I guarantee Costa would have taken the Man Utd centre backs to the cleaners today, they would have been glad to see the back of him and there lies the problem we have with our big striker.

Lukaku needs to start to impose himself a lot more on his opponents and get a little nasty. What is Duncan Ferguson telling this guy?

McGeady does not bring enough to be in the starting 11, but I suspect and hope this is down to our current injury crisis. Pienaar is a squad player at best, and we should get rid of him in January.

Posters saying if Barkley, Coleman and Mirallas had been available, or even two of these three, we would have won this game comfortably could be right, but that fact is they were not, and we should have still had enough to have a go. Their keeper may have won the match for them but, once again, it was too little too late from our team.

I agree with those who have commented that this bad run started at the end of last season and has continued through pre-season to now. The manager needs to sort the team out quickly and stop talking complete and utter bollocks a lot of the time.

Conor McCourt
243 Posted 05/10/2014 at 21:32:01
Yes, Kieran, it's only on her nose, mate, so you're free to dive in there.

Regarding Lukaku: I agree, his performances have been piss poor and he has been so infuriating this season but I think his injury is playing on his mind. This guy averages a goal every two games since he made his senior debut for Anderlecht at a very young age. Those that keep talking about how we could have bought Wellbeck for half the price and strengthened other areas are forgetting that goals win games and come the end of this season he will have at least 15 to his name. Wellbeck hasn't hit double figures in a season yet and will be benched once Giroud is fit.

This is a wise investment as, if he stays injury free, he will bag at least 15 goals for us for the next ten seasons. Even the tight wads in the Everton finance department could see the sense in the long-term investment and they know they could easily double their money in two years time. Let's not go overboard on him too as we knew when we got him he was very raw and his hold-up-play was poor.

Kieran Riding
244 Posted 05/10/2014 at 22:03:26
Conor, it's the playing on the wing for me, with regards to Rom. As a one-off tactic, every so often, that's okay as a bit of a surprise. But to constantly have him cutting in just isn't working.

I don't agree at all with some of the "lazy" comments on here about him. What I do see, however, is a big and strong lad who should be fucking murder to play against. Duncan Ferguson is the perfect coach to bring that side out of him, and Eto'o is the perfect role model for his finishing.

Conor McCourt
245 Posted 05/10/2014 at 22:01:39
Oliver, regarding Costa, he had a clause written a few years back that he could go for that fee before he took La Liga and the Champions League by storm. His market value had he not had that clause would be around the £80 million mark and would have been much more had he been a younger age.
Tom Bowers
246 Posted 05/10/2014 at 22:10:24
Ray Fox is so right. The likes of Chelski and Manure probably have players in the reserves who earn much more money than Everton’s ’’big names’’ who start every week.

Everton, whilst competing in most games, just don’t have the top class players in numbers to be a contender. Man Utd have many players capable of scoring goals and Everton to be honest only had Lukaku and Naismith.

The same can be said of Man City and Chelski. As we have agreed before in years gone by, until they get a billionaire investor they will play second fiddle to the those teams.

Oliver Molloy
247 Posted 05/10/2014 at 22:22:11
Conor, Costa is still only 25 and I don't agree he would have cost anywhere near £80 million had the clause not been in there.

However, my point is that our £28 million striker should look at the nasty, winning-the-battle mentality that Costa brings when he steps on the pitch, same as all top players.

Colin Grierson
248 Posted 05/10/2014 at 21:46:40
Can't believe the talk of relegation and of Martinez getting his cards! Absolute fuckin madness! Seven games in!

The boring 'we're not Wigan' mantra is a lazy comment too. I'm sure Martinez is aware who he manages. I'm just glad none of you lot are our Chairman or we'd be as bad as Newcastle.

I'm not happy with our form but I think the criticism of individuals is at best harsh.

Dave Williams
249 Posted 05/10/2014 at 22:43:35
I think Rom misses Ross enormously. Defenders see Ross running at them and commit which leaves space for Rom which he is good at exploiting. Without Ross we are asking Rom to learn the traditional target man role and that is not yet his game. He reminds me of Malcolm Macdonald who was great running at defenders but hopeless with his back to goal. He has plenty of time to learn but it will take time. That said, he doesn't look like he puts as much effort in as he should.

Anyone examining the teamsheet today would have anticipated a defeat. Hibbo and McGeady on the right screamed out to be attacked by Di Maria and a clearly unfit (and elderly) Pienaar playing close the the elderly Barry on the left again showed a weakness to be exploited.

We need some of the injured back quickly but put Oviedo in now wide left midfield and then Ross when fit and that should provide some energy and speed.

Jack Cross
250 Posted 05/10/2014 at 23:16:49
This is Lukaku’s third season in the Premier League, so when is he going to get the touch and control and get his arse in gear? If I hear one more time that he is only 21, I’ll fucking scream.

As for McGeady or the untalented prick. Messi, said that McGeady was a world class player. Any idea how he came to that conclusion? Maybe it was a moment of madness.

Tony Marsh
253 Posted 06/10/2014 at 00:26:41
We were very unlucky today. We had a go at Moneybags Utd at their place and should've taken a point.

Those comparing us now to the Moyes days need shooting. We always have a go under Martinez. There is no "knife to a gunfight" or "get out of here with our lives" mentality any more.

This season, we have been so unlucky with results, injuries and the fixture list. Last season, Moyes accused the Premier League of corruption because Man Utd got a few tough early games... Look what we have had so far?

We have yet to be out-played in the League in any game. Chelsea at home could've gone either way. We are taking the game to the opposition no matter who they are.

It's funny how some fans are slaughtering Martinez now because we draw at Anfield or just get narrowly beaten at Old Trafford. Under David Moyes, we were beaten in these type of games before a ball was kicked and you lot lapped it up? Grow a pair FFS.

We got beat at Man Utd without four of our best players and some stand-in players unfit or not up to the task. Marinez isn't to blame for Baines missing a penalty or their keeper having his best display ever. We were unlucky yet again but not battered out of sight like we used to get under the Ginger one... It will turn around, don't worry about that.

Martinez has raised the bar so much & so quickly, some of you are getting greedy and blinded by reality. We haven't spent a carrot for years and we still have a go and try to play proper footy... Give Roberto a break for FFS.

Helen Mallon
254 Posted 06/10/2014 at 01:41:57
With our form in the Premier League being... well, relegation form, and our Europa League form being very good, I was thinking, would I accept winning the Europa League and securing Champions League football but being relegated? Or no trophies and Premier League football next term?

Personally I would choose the latter. To me being happy with the Champions League scenario is basically saying money is all that matters in this game now. I would be gutted if we were relegated and no matter what trophy was in the cabinet it would not make up for playing games at Brighton, Millwall, Barnsley etc.

Steve Brown
255 Posted 06/10/2014 at 06:13:43
I know it is easy – and sometimes fair – to criticise managers, but the majority of goals conceded so far have resulted from individual mistakes. Witness the farcical second goal yesterday.

The players need to take more responsibility and blame for our dodgy start.

Bob Parrington
256 Posted 06/10/2014 at 06:24:42
I'll say it again. We never do anything well when we attack only down one side. Too predictable and doesn't stretch the opposition defence. Manager's job to sort out.

Ian Jones
257 Posted 06/10/2014 at 07:31:15
I haven't read all the comments on here about Lukaku. But totally agree with Dave 251 re Lukaku not looking like putting the effort in. I assume it's his demeanour; I feel sure he will come good.
Jay Harris
258 Posted 06/10/2014 at 22:13:59
Marshy, if you think our results this season and record goals against is just down to bad luck, you have either been drinking too much of the hard stuff or paying too much attention to the missus.

Yes, we gave Chelsea a game but, just like when they played Wigan, there was only gonna be one outcome.

The whole squad is looking half-paced and one dimensional as if they lack fitness or motivation or both. Now I don't know what goes on behind closed doors but you cannot be happy with the results and performances since the end of last season.

Terry Downes
260 Posted 06/10/2014 at 22:33:43
Well said, Tony Marsh. I couldn't agree more thank god someone can see the wood for the trees.
Phil Walling
261 Posted 07/10/2014 at 09:53:51
Just like he always could when Moyes was in charge, eh? It's good to have such level-headed objective observers in our midst.
Wayne Smyth
266 Posted 07/10/2014 at 19:44:42
Phil, if you'll notice, Tony actually used some facts to back up his opinions, and I think most of those facts are fairly irrefutable....otherwise I suppose you'd have refuted them?

We did go there missing quite a few of our best players. We (well OFM anyway) used to go to OT and try to "get out of there alive". The man himself told us so. Did it make you proud when you heard him say that?

Martinez didn't use osmosis to force Baines to miss a pen; and unless you're sitting there reading this with tinfoil on your head, I think you'll agree with that.

De Gea certainly did put in a world class performance to deny us; Van Gaal told us so... and I'm not sure I can remember the last time the Man Utd goalie was MotM when we played them away.

Our attitude since Martinez arrived has generally been to go toe to toe with whoever we play, as opposed to "managing a result", and our historical results at Anfield, OT and against Chelsea and Arsenal have generally been poor, so two draws and two losses are probably about par for the course.

Anyway, I'm with Tony on this. Win or lose, I couldn't stand the previous regime's spineless attitude. We may be going through a bad patch, but at least we're giving it a go and actually trying to win.

Darren Hind
267 Posted 07/10/2014 at 20:30:22
It's amazing what passes for "fairly irrefutable" fact...

"At least we have a go"??? When???

Remind me how many points did we get at the grounds of the other teams in the top six last season?

We did not "have a go" at Anfield or Old Trafford, we only chased the games and didn't mount an attack worthy of the name at either venue until we were behind. Until then, we were absolutely gutless in both games cowering in our own half.

Lyndon described Martinez's tactics after the Derby game as Moyes-esque, he was right of course only in many ways it was worse. I don't remember Moyes having a £28 million striker trying to stop the left back getting forward.

Tony rounds off his list of "fairly irrefutable" facts by claiming we haven't spent a carrot for years... which is in fact true – if you don't count the £54 million Martinez has spunked in a year.

Moyes / Martinez – frying pan / fire!

Patrick Murphy
268 Posted 07/10/2014 at 20:58:36
Darren, will you please stop using that £54m figure to beat RM over the head with. Do the maths, fella – it is nowhere near that figure and whatever the net spend is/was, it isn't enough to keep us at the top end of the table.

As for Tony's assessment, I can understand what he means but I personally don't think he has got it right no matter what facts he uses. Football isn't always about the final result or the statistics; it is often a 'sense' of what is going on out on the pitch and my sense is that things are not quite right on or off the pitch and that is being translated into the results we have 'achieved' so far this season.

I'm just hoping that Roberto can do something to arrest the slide if not in performances then at least in terms of results – it's time to dig in and grind out a few wins. I also believe that Roberto could help himself by occasionally sitting in the Directors Box and seeing what most of us can see from a better vantage point, things he may not be able to see from the dug-out.

Steve Orchard
269 Posted 07/10/2014 at 20:59:37
I admittedly only watched the highlights but from chances alone I'd say we were pretty unlucky not to get something outta that game. Had Baines done what he usually does from the spot and Tim kicked it into Row Z, things could have been very different.

We can't get on Roberto's back this early. The corner will be turned. Hopefully!

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