No way past 10-man Swansea

Everton started with Samuel Eto'o leading the attack with Aiden McGeady supporting Barkley and Naismith. They had been very dominant in the first half, playing possibly their best joined-up football so far this season, with much more zest and forward possession (71%) but nothing to show for it at the break. Swansea threatened in the second half until Shelvey got a second yellow but the Blues failed to lay siege and Swansea stuck it out for a point.

Michael Kenrick 01/11/2014 199comments  |  Jump to last

Everton 0 - 0 Swansea City

Everton started with Samuel Eto'o leading the attack, Aiden McGeady supporting Barkley and Naismith against Swansea City at Goodison Park this afternoon. Romelu Lukaku suffered a recurrence of his toe problem in the win over Burnley and starts this game on the Everton subs bench: no Distin.

The game began with a lively Everton attack down the right that ended with a half-chance for Eto'o. But Bony was soon running at the Everton goal, firing over. Bony beat the offside trap, with Baines playing him onside and Howard needing to make a desperate save with his foot, as both teams were playing open football through the middle. Barkley looked a little tentative but won the first corner.

McGeady was well involved and had a good poke with a low shot that Fabianski had to get down and save. Eto'o was granted a little space and he advanced, drawing the foul from Ki. Baines took the free-kick which curled away from the near post. McGeady was played in again by Barkley but took a fraction too long to make his cross, and when the ball finally fell to Barry, he shot hurriedly at Fabianski.

Swansea had read the counter-attack script well and were quick to press Everton, who were doing just about enough to snuff out the dangers, and in turn were moving the ball through midfield a lot faster and with a lot more intent, minimizing the sideways and backwards passing that has become such a frustrating aspect of Everton's possession game.

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McGeady got another great cross in but Eto'o couldn't get a clean attack on the ball as Everton pressed for the opening goal in a good competitive game, as Shelvey took out Barkley, then kicked the ball away and picked up a very silly yellow card. Maybe he was annoyed with an earlier decision that could have seen Alcaraz called for a penalty on a fairly clear handball that deflected his low shot into Howard's hands,

Barry and Williams got into a shouting match over a penalty claim as Alcaraz needed treatment for a shoulder injury and Tony Hibbert prepared to come on for him but Martinez had a rethink and decided Besic would be the better option. Baines put in a good free-kick that Jagielka tried to glance home but got too much of it. McCarthy then went down heavily under a challenge from Bony, who was booked for his robustness.

The challenges were getting a little spicy, Barry the next to be booked for a late scythe on Sigurdsson. Besic assisted McGeady on the right wing, Everton winning a couple of corners that Barkley took, the second of which should have been converted but neither Eto'o nor Naismith in the goal area could wrap their foot around it. Baines was then cut down but strangely referee Friend decided no free-kick, to the annoyance of the crowd as Swansea clung on, just about keeping Everton at bay.

Baines returned to corner duty, but the result was another defensive headed clearance. Eto'o tried to dribble his way through more directly. Everton had been very dominant, playing possibly their best joined-up football so far this season, with much more zest and forward possession (71%) but nothing to show for it at the break.

Less than 3 minutes into the second half and Martinez had Lukaku warming up as the second started at a quieter pace until Bony fouled Barkley, not called by Kevin Friend. Shelvey found good space as Bony turned Jagielka but thankfully raked his shot wide as the Blues defence looked rather vulnerable.

Williams fouled Coleman for another excellent set-piece opportunity outside the Swansea area, but Baines got under it too much. But Everton were struggling to click with the same tempo of the first half and it was Monk who made the first change, protecting the overly aggressive Bony, with Gomis. coming on.

Despite some great football, Everton had failed in the first hour to really threaten the Swansea goal. And the turnovers were becoming more worrying as the game progressed, Swansea pushing forward with increasing confidence as Martinez continued to sit on his hands. Naismith got a chance to advance but McGeady's curled shot was off target. Friend got the bird for failing to play the advantage for Besic, fouled by Sigurdsson. Finally, Martinez replaced Naismith and McGeady with Pienaar and Lukaku after the pair had stood waiting on the sideline for 5 minutes.

But the strange pattern of the second half continued, with Swansea still dictating the pace and direction of the play. Everton got the ball but failed time and again to do anything meaningful with it as the crowd became increasingly frustrated. Finally, something to shout about as Shelvey cynically blocked McCarthy, getting a well deserved second yellow card for the ex-Liverpool man, much to the delight of the Goodison crowd. But Eto'o wasted the set-piece, straight into the wall. Baines curled in a great free-kick from wide right but the ball just would not fall for a Blue strike.

Everton with the man advantage finally started to turn the screw, but the surprisingly resilient Swansea defence continued to thwart the Blues, Gomis getting chopped by Besic. Montero was replaced by Dyer going into the final 10 mins as McCarthy fouled Taylor. Ki Sung Yung fired in a fearsome kick that could have gone anywhere.

Pienaar and Lukaku struggled to really get into the game, as the Blues continued to bang their heads against the brick wall that was the resolute Swansea defence, despite the visitors being a man down. McCarthy made a good run down the left, winning a corner but Baines fired it in far too low, a very poor corner when much better quality was needed. Baines and Pienaar looked to combine old-style but Baines could not pull back the final ball to a man in Blue.

Baines whipped in an excellent ball that seemed destined for Lukaku to convert but a defender intervened just ahead of him as Everton piled on the pressure and the clock ticked away. But Swansea pushed Barkley way out to the corner flag as 4 minutes of added time was called.

The ball almost fell for Pienaar but he screwed the shot wide under pressure. Baines fired one in low and Lukaku blocked it away rather than deflecting it in. Besic saw his customary yellow card for a feet-up tackle on Dyer as the final seconds played out. The last move of the game saw Eto'o lash in a brilliant cross, on a plate for Lukaku, but the big man could not reach the ball as it fizzed enticingly across the goalmouth... and he was offside anyway!

A very disappointing scoreless draw as Swansea held on with all-too-effective determination and Everton kept a precious clean sheet but failed to score in the Premier League for the first time this season.

Everton: Howard; Baines, Jagielka (c), Alcaraz (32' Besic [Y:93']), Coleman; Barry [Y:38'], McCarthy; McGeady (68' Lukaku), Barkley, Naismith (68' Pienaar) Eto'o.
Subs not Used: Robles, Hibbert, Atsu, Osman.

Swansea City: Fabianski, Taylor, Fernandez, Williams (c) [Y: 54'], Rangel, Shelvey [Y:24';YR:72'], Ki, Sigurdsson [Y: 66'] (75' Carroll), Montero (79' Dyer), Routledge , Bony [Y:34'] (61' Gomis).
Subs not Used: Tremmel, Bartley, Emnes, Shephard.

Kick off: 3pm GMT
Referee: Kevin Friend

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Reader Comments (199)

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Barry McNally
1 Posted 01/11/2014 at 14:07:23
Strong bench, I hope they're not needed though.
Phill Thompson
3 Posted 01/11/2014 at 14:19:28
Maybe too strong a bench! It would be good to see Garbutt and/or Browning as defence cover instead of Hibbo.
Stephen Brown
4 Posted 01/11/2014 at 14:46:48
Lacking a bit of width especially if Swansea wingers nullify our full backs! Hope I’m wrong!
Jay Harris
5 Posted 01/11/2014 at 14:50:05
let our full backs nullify their wingers.
Stephen Brown
6 Posted 01/11/2014 at 14:57:28
Hope so Jay but need to be wary as they are both quick !
Max Wilson
8 Posted 01/11/2014 at 15:51:50
Half time: they are far too comfortable with our midfield: McGeady and Naismith off, Hibbo and Luke on, Besic and Barry forward.
Jay Harris
9 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:02:05
Thought we missed Barry’s driving force and passing after he dropped into the back 4.

A frustrating result especially for the period when they were down to 10 men.

Bob Heyward
10 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:05:08
Sell McGeady at Christmas. He is useless. Maybe throw in Kone on the deal.

And why are we playing two number tens in Naismith and Eto’o? They can’t be effective with Rom. Ludicrous. Sort it, Martinez.

Conor McCourt
11 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:04:48
Bad result after a great first half. Roberto didn’t have the balls on this occasion to make the right sub by taking the woeful Barkley off and putting Eto’o in the hole.

Instead, when they went to 10 men, we had Samuel looking lost on the right wing and Monk made two great tactical changes ensuring two strong banks of 4 which were difficult to break down. McGeady was the key to us winning that match and he took him off.

Anto Byrne
12 Posted 01/11/2014 at 16:58:17
I was impressed with Besic, some lovely cross-park passes. Set pieces awful, corners and dangerous free kicks wasted. When teams come to defend for 90 minutes we need to be more productive from set pieces. We had at least 3 free kicks that sailed aimlessly over the bar. Feels like a loss.
Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:13:04
I still don’t know why we need three holding midfielders, especially at Goodison; we lacked a little craft where it mattered today and Swansea probably deserved a point.
Michael Polley
14 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:15:08
Disappointing and frustrating. 2 points dropped. All the possession but not clinical enough even against ten men for the last 20 mins.
Kieran Riding
15 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:17:32
Are we allowed to say Ross was poor?
Peter Jones
16 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:17:58
Game was crying out for Osman. Or a similar player. I hope Martinez realises that, unless we get younger players to do the job Osman and Pienaar do for us, we are going nowhere.
Kevin Rowlands
17 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:19:39
Lee #7, what the hell are you on about mate? McGeady was our best player today.

Couple of other things, for someone with the talent that Leighton Baines has, why the fuck can’t this lad take a decent corner? Woeful... Also, does anyone think that we’d be able to sell Lukaku for £28 million at this point?

Tony Hill
18 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:23:43
Yes, disappointing... but Swansea were solid and it was one of those days. Barkley was indeed poor but he was always going to struggle for a while after the adrenalin rush first game against Villa and he will not be in full form till later this month. We are still well enough positioned.
Eric Holland
19 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:36:49
"McGeady was our best player today."
That’s why we where so shite then.
Jeff Armstrong
20 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:34:46
Martinez lacks tactical nous, left, right and centre. He was out-thought on every level by Gary Monk today. No bottle when Barkley needed subbing, took off a slightly improving McGeady and then left Eto’o stranded on the right wing.

When McCarthy has licence to drive forward, he looks a better player; sadly this is few and far between. So instead we have 3 holders and no drive, against 10 men, at home... and still 11 back for corners!

Sam Hoare
21 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:40:07
A lot of the lack of cutting edge in the second half was due to Ross, I’m afraid. He was playing in the pivotal hole role and just did very little. Creating no chances and getting very few shots off. Partly due to a very organised Swansea.

I think Roberto should have put Eto’o there instead of Ross.

To be honest, I think McGeady should have stayed on instead of Ross. He was having a good game and looked one of the more likely to make something happen.

Ross Barkley will have much better days. Still needs to get match sharp, I imagine.

All-in-all, very frustrating... but we did play better. Just very difficult to beat a well organised 10 men behind the ball.

Jamie Barlow
22 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:37:53
I was going to say that Martinez is a big fuckin let down where dead balls are concerned but if we haven’t got one player on that pitch that can take a corner or free kick without hitting the first man then they should just give it up. I mean they’re not paid thousands of pounds every week are they? They have to be taught that incredibly hard thing of getting the ball higher in the air by our coaches. Useless.

Anyone have any idea why it took 10 minutes to get Pienaar and Lukaku on or was it my shit link that made it seem so long?

What an annoying game.

Jeff Armstrong
23 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:43:52
Bony was class today, maybe Lukaku was left out to study proper centre-forward hold-up play, or maybe our manager thought he was being clever by dismantling a decent forward duo who both scored last week!
James Stewart
24 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:45:39
Naismith was terrible; he should have been hooked earlier on. Eto’o is more suited to second-striker role than leading the line.

Easy to judge from the TV feed but tactics were ropey today.

Bill Gall
25 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:35:11
What a powerful midfielder Barkley is but at this time of his career although destined to become one of the premier stars in the future he is not a creative midfielder that Everton has been crying out for.

Evertons midfield is made up of defensive midfielders and hard workers but nobody to open up parked bus defenses.We insist on using the full backs to get up field quickly and cross the ball but as today showed when the defence of Swansea cleared everything that came over either on the ground or in the air we seemed to have no plan (B).

Gary Creaney
26 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:45:47
I don’t know if we’re cursed or just bottlers but every time there is a decent prize at stake by gaining 3 points we never capitalise. The chance to jump 3 places above Swansea, United and RS into the mighty 6th spot was the hurdle that proved too much this time round. Rank result.
Tony J Williams
27 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:54:42
Are you having a fucking laugh Jeff... He was shite and should have been sent off.

Just typical. A chance to go above the Redshite and we blow it.

Keith Glazzard
28 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:46:09
I think if I ever read ’and against 10 men’ again I’ll scream.

Yes, early in the first half perhaps, but what will a team that loses a player do? Play without a goalkeeper, for example? The defence is rebuilt, possibly reinforced and their attack will mainly be breakaways. So do we send a defender forward?

But we were toothless today. They fouled and parked the bus, and we need to do better against such tactics. We looked clueless too often. And I agree with those that have said that McGeady looked the likeliest to get through them - plus Seamus, who wasn’t used enough.

Trevor Lynes
29 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:47:23
FFS, look at Swansea’s defensive record before you castigate players who are trying their best. Chelsea have just struggled to beat QPR, so what do you make of that? We do not have a divine right to win and if fans cannot understand that then they should. The team we had out unfortunately did not have a centre back on the bench but every position cannot be catered for.

My only observation is that not enough goals are coming from midfield. Barkley and McCarthy are very good young players but they should score more than they do. Eto’o incidentally is very comfortable playing wide right and how else were we to replace McGeady? Most of our threat came down that flank and it made sense to use Etoo there.

Unfortunately the injury to Alcaraz upset our line-up as Barry had to move there. It meant that we only had two subs to come on after Besic. Perhaps Atsu would have come on if Alcaraz had not picked up his injury. I can just imagine the howls if Hibbo had come on instead of Besic!!

Swansea defended really well so give them some credit.

Kieran Riding
30 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:01:59
Can we all agree that Gareth Barry is a top footballer by the way!
On his customary early yellow card, and to slot into centre half and not look out of place shows class.
Tony Hill
31 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:05:11
Kieran, spot on about Barry who has shown proper form after a wobbly start to the season. We do need to acknowledge that Swansea are a good side and played well defensively. Irritating for us but not uncommon in the Premier League. We do lack some pace and guile but Barkley will get much stronger and I think Besic could yet be a very important player for us this season if he’s given a run.

I think we are going to come into our own, injuries permitting, from December onwards - the table is odd at the moment and Chelsea apart no-one is ripping it up. Southampton are going superbly but they won’t last. We are one of those clubs 4 points off the main prize, that’s good enough for me given the erratic form we’ve shown so far.

Jeff Armstrong
32 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:11:40
Tony not sure what your "feed" was like, but "at" Goodison today Bony was by far the best forward on show.
Kunal Desai
33 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:08:22
Don’t think we did enough to merit a win, Fabianski didn’t really have noteworthy save to make throughout the game. This is the sort of game where would do with some creativity in midfield, someone to unlock that stubborn defence and pick that killer pass.

Anyway credit to Swansea, it was just one of those games. We don’t have any devine right to win matches, and those sides that have come up from the Championship in recent years have now equipped and settled themselves very well in the Premier League, the likes of Swansea and Hull have been steadied themselves in this league, bought well and are capable of going to bigger grounds and picking up results.

Aside from Chelsea, who will probably win the league with ease, and Burnley, who are certain to go down, the rest of the league is unpredictable.

Ben Lawrenson
34 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:21:40
Thought we controlled the game but key players were below par. Our dead balls are atrocious. 3 decent free kicks and never troubled the keeper. Baines hit the first man with every corner. We never troubled their keeper. Thought Besic was decent.
Colin Glassar
35 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:25:39
I only followed the game on TW live forum. It didn’t sound like we were too bad but that we were toothless up front.

On another note, is it just me or are we under some type of RS curse? Every time we have a chance to overtake them, we either lose or draw!!! I often wonder if that "shadow" they talk of is in fact real.

Steve Barr
36 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:27:48
Can’t blame teams for "parking the bus". It’s up to us to have the nous, and more importantly, the guile to open up defensive teams like Swansea.

As some others have posted, we have plenty of defensive/hard working midfielders but not a single class act with the skill and vision needed.

Getting in such a midfielder should be our main goal for this coming transfer window. We have a pretty good squad now, the acquisition of such a player will make all the difference.


Stephen Brown
37 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:28:19
Very frustrating but credit to Swansea’s defence! I said before the game we lack width and I still believe this trying to squeeze in Eto’o Naismith and Barkley doesn’t seem to be working. We are badly missing Mirallas and a top notch left winger is a must assuming Pienaar is now only really worth a squad place. McGeady was okay today but overall I’m a bit disappointed considering he was a £10 million pound player not so long ago! Beat Sunderland and West Ham and it’s a good run of results!!!
Kevin Rowlands
38 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:29:26
I understand that for whatever reason some people like to have their whipping boys but for a couple of posters on here to suggest that McGeady was shite is just plain ridiculous, he had a decent game.

Have to agree as well with some on here, Bony is a handful, I wish we had signed him in the summer and probably saved ourselves about 6/8 million to boot, not sure about anyone else but I’m starting to get a horrible feeling that Chelsea and Mourinho mugged us off big style this past summer, hope I’m proved wrong in the long term.

Paul Andrews
39 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:07:01
Another clean sheet.
Sam Hoare
40 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:34:35
Considering how much possession and territory we had, 3 shots on target is pretty atrocious. Too often we were over complicated when actually there was a chance to take shot. Barkley being a prime candidate for always wanting to beat one man too many!
Will Firstbrook
41 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:15:20
Nice link-up play (especially in the first half) offset by a complete lack of creativity in the final third.

A few observations from today:

1) Naismith and Eto’o should not play in the middle together. Neither really equipped to play the centre forward position. Both most effective playing the false #9 (though neither is particularly effective dropping off wide when required). The two of them were clearly out of sync today often running into the same space.

2) We still have a few in the squad not able to play a full 90 min (in some cases, barely making it through 45!). Granted this is to be expected for those coming back from injury.

3) We are in desperate need of pace and creativity out wide. While I thought McGeady had a good game today and probably didn’t deserve to come off (on balance of his play), his usual inconsistency and the absence of Mirallas really exposes how weak we are in those areas. As the Swans had effectively locked down the middle, we were in desperate need of that additional quality and pace out wide to unlock them (and other teams who park the bus).

4) The forced substitution of Alcaraz seemed to really upset the team balance. I assume this had more to do with the fact we ended up playing with three holding midfielders as a result.

Not the worst day at the office but frustrating nonetheless. Feels more like an opportunity lost.

Robert Workman
42 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:31:09
Bad result. Negative oposition. Bad referee. Terrible Internet steam. Good South African pinotage - yes, I need something to try to make sense of it all!

I mean my first game back at Goodison since April 2008 was Villa (I live in Vienna). OK "that means nothing to me (you)".

Given a choice I would have chosen Swansea over Villa any day of the week, but what did we get today – a supposed good footballing team in the Martinez mould, that just parked the bus!

At least the hated Villa tried to go forward and score. Swansea should refund the entrance fee for that woeful performance.

Brent Stephens
43 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:27:24
A well-organised and robust, Swansea. Bony very impressive - why was he taken off?!

Our defence were never over-run but for all our apparent possession and territory, we again couldn’t break them down. McGeady had a good game - was surprised he was taken off. McCarthy strong defensively (but would love to see more of the few strong surges forward he did make). Eto’o comfortable in all he does (Lukaku, in contrast...). Besic very busy, comfortable in possession, can pass, and always looking to get it forward if at all possible (just tone the teackles down a wee). Nais not his usual standard this time. And Barks disappointed.

Those damn corners are a joke, that’s all I can say. I just don’t know why.

Kieran Riding
44 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:43:28
Kevin Rowlands #38

The Redshite were all over Bony in the summer, I’m soooo glad they didn’t get lucky with him and signed that show pony Mario instead.

Colin Glassar
45 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:41:37
First time I’ve seen Roberto subdued in a post match interview.
Being the eternal optimist, we are STILL only 4 points off 4th place.
Jeff Armstrong
46 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:41:54
Robert , "terrible internet stream" – nuff said mate, Swansea where good today, didn’t outplay us, but certainly out-thought us.
Will Firstbrook
47 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:48:02
Forgot one final observation – our set pieces have been shocking this season. WTF?!?!

Sadly, in a match like today’s, effective deadball approach/execution could have been the difference.


Graham Mockford
48 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:42:57
Never saw the game, stuck in a hotel in Namibia. However, I was surprised at the line-up.

Given they have had a full week, I don’t understand how we set up. Surely Eto’o is not a lone striker at this stage of his career? To me, it was a decision between him and Barkley for the No 10 role behind Lukaku.

Also, I’m afraid McGeady is not good enough. Whenever he plays, we are more open to the counter attack and he stifles our full backs who are both better wingers than him.

It won’t be popular with many but Ossie gives you much more than McGeady as he keeps the pace of play up and, because he plays more narrow, our full backs – who, let’s face it, are our most creative force – have license to get forward more. The same can be said for Pienaar.

Peter Cummings
49 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:29:37
Very disappointing result which could have seen us ’up there’ had we won... but, until we find a way through brick wall defending, all the nice play and dominance counts for nothing.

Martinez still hasn’t addressed our passing and constant loss of possession despite him recognising that this is a problem, The fact is that, had ref Friend given the blatant handball by Alcaraz in the area, we could well have lost; how he missed it is a mystery.

Swansea were well organised and were determined to avenge their last-minute League Cup exit by putting up the shutters and, even when they went to 10 men, I had the feeling that we wouldn’t break them down. The facts speak for themselves: NO direct shots on goal from us all game in spite of almost total dominance.

Paul Ferry
50 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:49:55
Jeff’ Armstrong - that’s twice now where you have had a dig at people who watched the match on a stream. To quote: ’" ’"terrible internet stream" nuff said mate’.

Do you somehow think that you have a superior opinion and position because you were actually at the game? Does this in your view give you the right to condescend to people who watched the match on stream?

Do you understand that there are Evertonians – including the two ToffeeWeb editors – who live a very long way away from Liverpool and they would have to get on one of those plane things to be at the game (and some of us do do that from time to time)?

Andy Meighan
51 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:41:18
94 minutes of football and I can’t remember their keeper having a save to make. A piss poor performance and and it made a mockery of these so-called pundits who make out that the Spaniard sends out attacking teams.

When Alcaraz got injured, he sends on another defensive midfielder. Given the Paraguayan’s injury record and ability to break down at the slightest challenge, why wasn’t Distin on the bench? Or is it true he’s fallen out with him? I’d love to know...

And when the odious Shelvey got sent off, it was us who actually looked like we had 10 men, all this passing for passing’s sake is getting rather tedious now. We string 20 passes across the midfield in our own half to go nowhere. It’s so pedestrian, it’s untrue.

I’m sorry but I can’t take nothing from that today – it was like watching paint dry and I wasn’t the only one saying that either. I’ve already even this early on wrote this season off: out the League Cup, we won’t trouble the top 6, and if we meet anyone half decent in the FA Cup, we’re history.

Depressed tonight? You bet I am.

Mike Corcoran
52 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:45:22
At least Besic showed how Boss he is... I really enjoyed his performance. Barkley should have been hooked early in the second to allow Sam behind Rom. Mind you, Rom didn’t really turn up
Jeff Armstrong
53 Posted 01/11/2014 at 18:58:52
Sorry, Graham, but your first line negates the rest of your post, as it is about TODAY’S game.
Paul Smith
54 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:00:52
I thought The Swans were well organised without the ball and dangerous on the counter. The first half was the best I’ve seen us all season, however, couldn’t make it count, even with them down to ten. Onwards & upwards.
Graham Mockford
55 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:04:34
No Jeff it’s doesn’t, I was making a general point about what I believe to be the relative strengths of our squad in the context of today’s result.

Based as it happens on seeing us live seven times this season.

Bob Skelton
56 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:00:28
11 corners... didn’t threaten on any of them. Baines’s delivery is rank, he either hit the first man or gave the goalie catching practice.

Martinez loves passing but he has forgotten that the winner is the one who scores the most goals not has the most passes.

We are now toothless from set pieces. We were having a discussion about when was the last time we scored a header.... Lukaku against Liverpool? Seems a long time ago.

We are too predictable and quite easy to defend against. Good stats pity about the points total

Kieran Riding
57 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:11:07
Graham, Jeff’s a well bigger bloo than you mate. He’s been the game and everything.
Will Firstbrook
58 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:00:54
As the Pinot takes hold of me .... was anyone else surprised by the Swans’ approach to this match? I would never lump them into the same category with the likes of Stoke but they surprisingly (imo) took a very negative approach to this match even though they freely really ran at us in the Cup tie earlier in the year (granted not against our best 11).

While I suspect Roberto had an eye on the upcoming Euro match when setting the team up, but I think he was anticipating a more attacking opposition. Not taking away from the fact our boys really dictated the play today (especially in the first half) but it almost seemed as if they were happy to allow them to do so.

Admittedly, could be the wine talking.

Michael Kenrick
59 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:15:02
Sorry, Peter @49: NO direct shots on goal from us all game — I’m not having that. Why do fans come on and say these things on here? What was that from McGeady? From Barry? Even Eto’o’s free-kick was on goal... just unfortunately straight at the bloody wall.

I can’t understand how fans can forget such events in the game, or come on here and make deliberately false statements. Which one is it? Not that either are excusable, in my humble opinion.

Kieran Riding
60 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:20:01
Will (#58),

Swansea gave RS a right tough game midweek mate in the cup. They actually had the bigger excuses today, and I’m sure they are made up with a point.

Andy Walker
61 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:17:38
70% possession yet their keeper never had to make a save. Eto’o our striker playing in midfield, not a surprise that we had no threat on their goal.

Maybe that’s Matinez’s defensive plan, keep the ball for most of the match by passing it around endlessly at the back and in midfield so they can’t have it. Such negative tactics could possibly be justified away from Goodison, but not at home.

Absolutely toothless shite.

Will Firstbrook
62 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:23:37
Kieran – true mate. No doubt they are more happy with this result than we are. Very possible they were carrying a few today running near empty. That is the only reasonable explanation for the Bony substitution, for me.
Ciarán McGlone
63 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:26:16
I thought it was a very entertaining game. both teams generally played well. Most impressed with Besic.

Barkley kept getting forced out wide which doesn’t help his game. I thought Barry was poor... one of those defensive midfielders needs dropped, and for me it’s Barry.

Decent point... Should’ve been more but at least it wasn’t less.

Roger Helm
64 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:22:27
I think Bony was taken off because he was on a yellow and Monk did not want to risk a three match ban, him being their best player.

To be fair, anyone could have been subbed. No one played well and nothing came off. Naismith unusually played poorly, Ross was awful, all McGready did was block Coleman getting up the wing, defenders crashing into each other and falling over, Alcarez injured again (not the most robust defender in the EPL, is he), even the subs didn’t contribute.

Time to give the youngsters a go on Thursday, I think.

Andy Walker
65 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:25:48
Michael, didn’t know you were such a stickler for factual accuracy. I look forward to you applying this across the board in future. Yes there may have been the odd shot (I missed the first 10 mins) but overall it’s pretty clear that we were as dynamic in front of goal as a wet fart.
Andy Walker
66 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:32:04
One positive was Besic, looks decent prospect on that performance.
Kieran Riding
67 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:35:28
Andy, and what did we pay for him?

I reckon Besic’s ’actual’ value negates the loss we will suffer from Kone.

James Stewart
68 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:32:47
Swansea were poor. I expected a decent game from them but it was Sunday League tactics. Time-wasting, slowing the game at every opportunity. Persistent fouling which spoiled the game for me. It should have been stamped out early on by the ref.

They were the away side though and it was down to us to break them down which for the 2nd time this season we couldn’t score against them. Monk seems to have Martinez’s number.

Michael Kenrick
69 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:35:33
You would say that, Andy (#65), as you’re another prime offender:

70% possession yet their keeper never had to make a save. — Two ’facts’ in your opening line, both wrong.

I agree that we were poor in front of goal; however, we did have some shots on goal and their keeper did have to make some saves. Admitting the simple facts does not in any way change the general conclusion that we were poor in front of goal.

I’m not sure why you think it’s necessary to twist the truth? Why say something that is patently incorrect? Doesn’t that cast doubt on everything else you are saying?

Martin Mason
70 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:39:59
The problem is that when we say we’re not as good as we were last year we have to remember how much has changed since last year and you have to progress now just to stand still. Everybody bought new players and new tactics are ever more developed to make it harder for the other team to play. Midfield now isn’t beautiful game theory but absolute chaos theory and ugly players are the kings in negatively breaking down play rather than contributing to pretty play. To look good now costs a billion, to perform well costs much less but at the price of aesthetics.

Chelsea, City and to a lesser extent Arsenal can play nice ball care of wonderful players like Costa, Aguero and Sanchez but sides like us and West Ham are not in that league now although we can beat them on our day as WHU beat Citeh last week. Southampton perhaps turns the theory on its head but do they have the resources to keep it up.

RM is doing some really strange things now but I hope it is to try to keep Everton in at least the place we were last year. Have faith everybody.

Dave Abrahams
71 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:34:09
It was like watching a chess match... absolutely bleeding boring.
Patrick Murphy
72 Posted 01/11/2014 at 19:51:03
Martin (#70),

I agree that the ’destroyers’ are back in fashion and ’taking one for the team’ seems to be the way most PL teams play the game nowadays. I was thinking that the last time the PL was so tight was back in its formative year (1993) when just 10 points separated the third from bottom team and the sixth placed team.

The TV money and curb on wages has along with the effects of the World Cup has seen a much more competitive league than we have been used to. Take Pardew at Newcastle, nobody gave him a prayer to keep his job and few thought that the ’Magpies’ could recover... but there they are – level on points with Everton.

Every point will have to be earned this season and those that believe that Everton just have to turn up to win games will have to have a re-think; it’s not so much fun to watch but it means that every point is a point won and there’s little to gain by crying over lost points.

Martin Mason
73 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:08:26
Very good description, Patrick. I agree about the "Points won" philosophy.
Dave Lynch
74 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:19:42
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

The reason Wigan got relegated was because they had no goal threat, possession in spades is all well and fine but it has to have an end product.

Happy with the clean sheet otherwise.

Peter Cummings
75 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:05:55
Mike, OK ,according to the BBC stats report we had 3 shots on target and how you can compare a freekick by Eto’o which ’hit the wall’ as a shot on goal puzzles me, the header by Jags that hit the deck and hoofed away for a corner was just that, a header not a shot.

My definition of a goalbound shot is one that the keeper has to save and if memory serves I didn’t see anything like that today, so to accuse me of ’falsehoods’ is. I think a bit rich. But then again we are all entitled to our differing views, aren’t we??

Andy Crooks
76 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:22:03
Excellent post, Marin Mason, sometimes we, and myself in particular, look at Everton as an evolving team in an unchanging environment.
Jim Bennings
77 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:24:41
Just a disappointing day in all honesty. The match, much like the season itself thus far, just never got going. We are going to see a lot more games like today, especially at Goodison where the opposition is stifling us and basically saying "you break us down".

Frankly today we just weren’t up to it. Coleman and Barkley don’t look anywhere near match sharp yet, Barkley went on some promising runs but too often nothing is at the end of them.

Its games like today where you need a little technician, a new Arteta, the lad that Southampton have would have been ideal, Dusan Tadic.

Our home form since April is now looking very very poor and fortress Goodison is no more. Until we get this place back to what it was like about 12 months ago then the season will continue to completely frustrate and your looking at no more than a top 10 finish at best.

Jim Bennings
78 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:34:12
ps: Will Martinez, Jones or Big Dunc start bloody well encouraging the players to SHOOT when the opportunity arises, rather than trying to walk the ball in every time?

The amount of times I found myself screaming at them to just give it a crack today was unreal.

Kevin Rowlands
79 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:35:54
Dave #74, you do realize that only Chelsea and Southampton have scored more goals than us this season and they are 1st and 2nd.

Also, don’t you think the Wigan comparison is a little stale at this point?

Michael Kenrick
80 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:27:07

Even if we go with your questionable definition, maybe it will help if I quote a couple of lines from the match summary up top:

McGeady was well involved and had a good poke with a low shot that Fabianski had to get down and save. — a shot on goal that Fabianski had to drop down on to push around the post. Do you honestly not remember that?

"...and when the ball finally fell to Barry, he shot hurriedly at Fabianski. — a shot on goal that Fabianski had to save. Do you honestly not remember that?

Baines fired one in low and Lukaku blocked it away rather than deflecting it in. — I bet that was a shot on goal as well, but it did not reach the keeper.

As for your ridiculous definition — what do you call it when a player fires at an empty net? Surely that’s goalbound, whether the keeper is there to save it or not?

’Goalbound’ means bound for the goal. Simples. Differing views are fine, but if it means you are not seeing things that happened in the game, and they are visible in plain sight or on the video, then I think there’s a problem.

Brent Stephens
81 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:41:37
We seem to be arguing about whether we had no shots on goal or just a few. I think the point is really that we didn’t do very well in that department.
Brian Harrison
82 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:25:29
As the games roll by, I get more and more puzzled by RM’s style and game play. Today in the first half we were good up to their 18-yard box, but carried very little threat in front of goal.

Problem seems to me that, when we get to the edge of the box, most of our forwards want to run out of the box instead of into it, so we usually end up with either 1 or 2 players in the box.

We never got going in the second half at all, but I found the substitutions strange, now I am not a fan of McGeady but he had been up to being substituted our best player, then they have Shelvey sent off unfairly in my book. I think McCarthy fell into Shelvey with the ref under pressure for not sending off Bony and the ref bottled it and sent him off.

Now surely playing against 10 men the space is all out wide and he takes off our winger who was having a very good game, then compounds that by playing Eto’o wide. He also takes off Naismith but leaves Barkley on who was terrible today, another poor decision.

Finally, with 10 minutes to go Swansea won a corner and we had all our 11 players in the box. People have commented how quiet at times Goodison has been this season well maybe the brand of football they are seeing doesn’t excite them.

Steavey Buckley
83 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:37:36
I do believe by not starting with Lukaku from the start of the match upfront, to give the rest of the attack someone to aim for, especially, as Lukaku’s favourite player was playing from the start, Barkely, with hindsight, meant that Everton created no worthwhile efforts on goal. And deserved just to draw, 0-0 with Swansea, who would have had a claim for a stonewall penalty if the Swansea winger had not stayed on his feet, when fouled by Coleman in the penalty area. Who, in all intent and purposes, was following the directions of Monk, his manager, not to cheat. How refreshing.
Eric Holland
84 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:46:52
OK let’s say worthwhile shots on goal!! Attempts where piss poor today,But if you are happy with that??? Hey-ho it takes all sorts.
Kieran Riding
85 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:53:51
How many shots on goal did Barca just have ? Christ, they must have hit the bar 5 times and still lost at home.

Sometimes shit just happens.

Tony Twist
86 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:51:35
Are we not surprised, we are an average team. We haven’t really moved forward from last year, with a striker (Lukaku), I think that doesn’t suit our style of play. £28M, an investment I suppose but through the years Everton have been guilty of this, buying reasonable players and then playing them in an unfamiliar role or within a team with a playing style that doesn’t get the best out of these players.

Play periods of a game providing direct quick passes through to Lukaku on the shoulder of the last defender and I think he will do well. I just think Bony is a better all round player and possibly suits our style of play more. Martinez needs to get the most out of the players he has not stick to his maximum possession game plan.

Very poor today, really did hope for better.

Ken Finch
87 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:03:36
There are ’West Lothian’ questions that apply to Everton this season in that what has happened to our threat from free kicks and when are we going to take good corners? Both have been absent for weeks!
Brian Harrison
88 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:03:12

I think you are confusing a team who hit the bar 5 times to a team despite having the lions share of possession created very little. Yes you can be unlucky by hitting the bar 5 times and not winning but we weren’t unlucky just had very few attempts on goal.

Anthony Hughes
89 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:51:18
A lot of passing for passing’s sake today. It’s starting to get boring now and I find myself screaming at them to move the ball forward quicker. It’s easy for our opponents to have the time to get themselves set up and thus difficult to breakdown.

The team selections and substitutions are also quite baffling at times. The setup of personnel today was all wrong. Lukaku is best with Barkley playing in tandem with him and what did we have today? No Lukaku and Barkley out wide a lot, admittedly Barkley was poor today.

Naismith was poor today and I don’t think him and Barkley can play in the same team as they both are best suited to the "hole".

McGeady was decent today and shouldn’t have been taken. He was the only one to put any decent crosses into the box.

On the whole, a frustrating game.

Peter Morris
90 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:04:28
I think we saw today that Gareth Barry is the best centre back on the staff!
Dave Hall
91 Posted 01/11/2014 at 20:54:46
If I hear another national announcer talk about how surprising it is when Baines muffs a corner, my head’ll explode. His corners have been absolute rubbish and far too often hits the first man for an easy clearance.

We had 3-4 fantastic set piece opportunities, all off target or bungled into the wall, and that was the difference. As I team I thought we played well today against a determined side. 2 points dropped, yes, but not worthy of some of the hysteria on here lads.

Jeff Armstrong
92 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:09:07
Offensive post removed by moderator
Paul Burns
93 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:10:02
Desperately need an attacking midfielder next window, the squad is unbalanced and badly creativity approaching the box.
Peter Gorman
94 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:14:09
Jeff Armstrong, why are you so obsessed with who was or was not at the game today (I get it, you were there)? Are you a school monitor or something?
Kieran Riding
95 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:20:17
Is right Jeff (#92), Give us lads pelters as some Blues couldn’t be at Goodison today. Your opinion counts twice as much as ours as you were there, watching it "live"?

Where did you sit? Did you queue up for a slash at half time?
I’ve obviously never watched a game live at Goodison so every little snippet will help me with any future comments to stop other match going bloos calling me out as a "Knob".

Ian Bennett
96 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:27:54
We played too slowly and I think the side didn’t have quite the right balance up top. Ross and Naismith were not at their best for me.

We looked comfortable and I thought it was a bit of a shame Eto’o got stuck out wide right, rather than push Coleman there and drop Besic back a bit.

Karl Masters
97 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:42:47
Simple fact is that we only had three attempts on target and all by the half hour mark. So nothing on target after that in an hour – at home – against moderate opposition!

Too much pussyfooting around and pretty passing where it doesn’t matter. And Swansea, which is the cradle of this ’sophisticated’ football supposedly, came up with ZERO shots on target in the whole match.

It’s like the Emperor’s new clothes some of this. Rubbish to watch.

Tony Abrahams
98 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:23:25
Can’t understand why we don’t put an attacker front post when we have corners. Put a man there and at least seven corners would have been flicked on today.

You should always put a forward in this position so that every time you take a shite corner, instead of it being constantly cleared by the first defender, it might get flicked on into the danger area. Wigan won the cup by scoring direct from a corner, Roberto, so surely you should be aware of how dangerous these set pieces can be?

Couldn’t believe we never pushed Eto’o up alongside Lukaku when they went down to ten men, because there was absolutely no space in behind. We gotta mix it up a bit in this league, Boss, because although we had the advantage we never once tried to lay siege at the Swansea goal.

Mike Childs
99 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:17:39
Today was the first time this year that Naisy offered us nothing. Barkley looked like he needed more playing time to get his edge on.

Even still the worst sins of the game were committed by ref Friend who denied two advantages. Jimmy Mac was immense and I like the rethink. Bony should have been out long before Shelvy.

Banies should allow Barkley to take those free kicks that are in scoring range to help Ross’s confidence and our output.

Anthony Hughes
100 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:52:26
I agree Karl there’s far too much pussyfooting around but the passing wasn’t pretty, it was far too much to me to you chuckle brothers style around the halfway line. Needs to be quicker and more penetrating. Swansea just sat back and left us to it, incredibly boring to watch.
Ernie Baywood
101 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:57:16
Let’s be fair. We dominated the game and another day would have got something.

If I had one criticism to make it would be that moving Barry to defence shows a lack of understanding about how important he is in starting our attacks and dictating our tempo. He’s the one who does what McCarthy should be doing with his greater pace.

Anthony Hughes
102 Posted 01/11/2014 at 22:00:46
And what the fuck are we doing bringing everyone back to defend a corner against 10 men? I really want you to succeed, Roberto, but at the minute you’re baffling me. Record signing on the bench at home? Where’s this attacking adventurous coach gone?
Karl Masters
104 Posted 01/11/2014 at 22:04:51
There was a point last week at Burnley when the defenders had the ball and Burnley didn’t challenge. Not one of them seemed to know what to do with it. So they just passed it around amongst three of them, looking so awkward it was cringeworthy. It was like watching King Kong trying to find the G spot!

If this is a work in progress, we have a lot of work still to do!

Bill Gall
105 Posted 01/11/2014 at 21:33:08
Despite a higher percentage of possession, the Swansea goalkeeper did not have a really difficult afternoon today.

Reading some of the comments on TW, some positive some negative, with ten games played, I was just reflecting where we are at this stage.

The positive is we are doing well in the Europa League and in the league although not doing to bad we are not as high as a lot of supporters thought we may be at the start of the season.

The negative is the number of draws when in a winning position, poor defensive laps that have taken to long to rectify and injuries to essential players. Everton have only got 13 pts from a possible 30 and that is less than 50% possible that only for the unexpected results in the middle part of the league is not going to bring us in the top 10 never mind the top 4.

To highlite this we now have the same number of points as a club that less than a fortnight ago was described as the poorest premier team in the league with a manager who was ready to be fired anyday. Any supporter who is saying it is ok Bobby will turn it around soon better realise that there are no easy games in this league and to move up the league you either have to beat the teams above you or when you win hope they loose .

Karl Masters
106 Posted 01/11/2014 at 22:10:21
You are right about the corners Anthony. I noticed it in Lille, which was another unadventurous performance.

It’s one thing shoring up the defence, and we needed to do that, but when we come up against an organised defence we just seem to run out of ideas.

Karl Masters
107 Posted 01/11/2014 at 22:16:10
We had six points more than this after 10 games last season, Bill. That’s over 30% down....
Doug Harris
109 Posted 01/11/2014 at 22:14:17
You know what, I sometimes think am I watching a different team of players that some comment about on here. Barkley has been injured and is finding his feet again give the lad a chance. Swansea have in my eyes been a top team so far this season ... it’s a long season though.

Give credit where it’s due, they came and done their job. We should have been better against their 10 men but Monk took two men off, put two men on (fresh pair of legs if ya like) and contained us. They got their point; we dropped 2 points. End of.

Gavin Ramejkis
110 Posted 01/11/2014 at 22:20:25
A poor and predictable game to watch. Barkley on the wing instead of Pienaar was a waste of time, Naismith had a poor game and should have been subbed sooner, McGeady only winger on the pitch at the time and having a decent game by his standards but gets subbed. Lots of fannying about passing with little end result trying to walk it into the net when someone with the cojones to just put their laces through it for a change, Fabianski must have OCD the amount of times he wanted to touch the ball even when it was our free kick or throw or corner kick.

I’d like to suggest when Everton get a corner from no on that every single Everton player just goes back to their own half and Baines just kicks it straight behind for the inevitable goal kick that his repeated cant beat the first bleeding man garbage invariably happens, or how about when you see Bony winning the ball from our numerous corners on most occasions stood in front of the near post how about you stand a player with him to challenge for it???

I actually felt sorry for Eto’o who won a few corners today as he doesn’t seem yet to have realised no matter how many we have they are a complete shambles and waste of time.

Alex Rowe
112 Posted 01/11/2014 at 22:27:36
Frustrating 2nd half after playing quite well in the first. We lacked that bit of quality in the final ball all game and can’t remember a clear chance. Don’t understand why Martinez waited so long to make the subs in the 2nd when we clearly needed to change things and would have liked Eto’o in the hole when he did as he was excellent there last game.

Lastly, I can’t understand people who have said that McGready what a good game and even our best player. Yes, he played less shit than usual but still had no end product and frustratingly gave the ball away too much. Maybe he has set the bar that low that he looked good by comparison.

Jim Bennings
113 Posted 01/11/2014 at 22:50:04
Just watched Southampton on the highlights and what can I say?...

How well are they playing this season?

They seem to have excellent players all over the pitch.

Clyne at full back looks the part and there scouting was spot on getting Pelle and Tadic, fair enough they overpaid on Shane Long but Victor Wanyama looks a real snip.

I guess it’s a breath of fresh air and great for the Premier League.

Brent Stephens
114 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:16:11
Alex #112 – please tell us the number of times McGeady gave it away today.

Ken Finch #87 "What has happened to our threat from free kicks and when are we going to take good corners? Both have been absent for weeks!"
I agree, Ken – in fact Baines had a cross-success rate of something like 18% all last season.

Kevin Rowlands
115 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:27:42
Just to end a frustrating day, one of the lads who runs Toffee TV has just tweeted that Coleman was injured today and left the ground in flipflops clearly limping, great, just fucking great.
Brent Stephens
116 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:30:54
Kevin, we noticed Coleman pulled up sharply in an advanced position in the second half but then seemed to carry on okay after a short while. Doesn’t sound good. Poo.
Dave Duggan
117 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:01:59
Square pegs round holes again! Barkley Eto’o and Naismith are better players in the hole so to have them all start is a waste of time, it just upsets the balance of the team!

Not arsed but, when Lukaku doesn’t start, we lack something IMO. His presence alone occupies defenders whether he is playing well or not and it makes space for other players. He had about five mins on the pitch today before they went to 10 and literally parked the bus! As much as they defended well today, it was easy for them.

Don’t get why in games like this Atsu isn’t used and McGeady is taken off. Pace opens teams up yet we bring Pienaar on? He’s good on the ball and has good link-up play but he never creates a chance with a through ball that cuts through rigid defences so why him?

We seriously need to buy a right winger who is similar to Mirallas. For me it’s the priority. I loved Ben Arfa a season or two ago but don’t think he has done a great deal at Hull yet so maybe not him but someone of that ilk. There must be someone out there for the money we supposedly have left (£8million)?

Michael Penley
118 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:42:03
We still need to be more direct. Last week Eto’o scored a goal outside the area with ease, behind a line of defenders. But our usual approach is to try and pass our way around that. It’s like Martinez told them never to take the easy path.

Our most direct player was probably McGeady. I can’t decipher the hatred for him, and don’t know why he was taken off so early. He was making things happen and we were much poorer when he came off. This was not the game to use Pienaar – far too sluggish.

Brent Stephens
119 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:48:03
Roberto interview – he’s disappointed "we couldn’t break them down when normally we can do that with ease"!

I don’t think so! Do we normally break down the opposition with ease?

Patrick Murphy
120 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:19:59
Bill - you say "Everton have only got 13 pts from a possible 30 and that is less than 50% possible that only for the unexpected results in the middle part of the league is not going to bring us in the top 10 never mind the top 4" I’m not arguing with your mathematics but I would like you to tell me where Everton are doing worse in relation to the other 19 clubs in the division.

Comparing last season’s points at the same juncture paints a picture that nearly every club is down on its points total. The figures in brackets show this season’s totals with those games that have to be played tomorrow and Monday I have given each team maximum points which obviously isn’t possible but just shows how radically different this season so far has been to previous ones.

ARSENAL 10 8 1 1 22 9 25 (17)
CHELSEA 10 6 2 2 16 8 20 (26)
LIVERPOOL 10 6 2 2 17 10 20 (14)
SPURS 10 6 2 2 9 5 20 (14)*
MAN CITY 10 6 1 3 28 11 19 (20)*
Saints 10 5 4 1 11 4 19 (22)
EVERTON 10 5 4 1 14 10 19 (13)
MAN United 10 5 2 3 17 13 17 (20)*
NEWCASTLE 10 4 2 4 14 16 14 (13)
HULL CITY 10 4 2 4 8 10 14 (11)
WEST BROM 10 3 4 3 10 10 13 (13)
CARDIFF 10 3 3 4 9 13 12 (09)
SWANSEA 10 3 2 5 12 12 11 (15)
ASTON VILLA 10 3 2 5 9 12 11 (13)*
WEST HAM 10 2 4 4 8 8 10 (17)
FULHAM 10 3 1 6 10 15 10 (07)
STOKE CITY 10 2 3 5 7 11 9 (12)
NORWICH 10 2 2 6 6 20 8 (04)
SUND’ND 10 1 1 8 7 22 4 (11)*
C PALACE 10 1 0 9 6 21 3 (12)*

David Hallwood
121 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:39:41
Two quick points:

a) We don’t score enough goals from midfield, and haven’t for some time;

b) Ross, Nais & Eto’o all look at their best as a No 10 and obviously 3 into 1 doesn’t go. c)Losing Mirallas is costing us dear...

Oh, that’s 3 points.

Harold Matthews
122 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:29:47
Decent effort but one or two lads up front not on the same wavelength. One or two lads up front hogging the ball and slowing things down. One or two lads refusing to shoot.
Bill Gall
123 Posted 02/11/2014 at 00:21:22
Sorry, Patrick, I am not interested in how other clubs are doing only how Everton perform. Another point I made about climbing up the league is by beating the teams above you and at this stage of the season although we have not played them all we still have not taken 3 pts from teams above us.
Conor McCourt
124 Posted 01/11/2014 at 23:54:11
I think now a lot of our fans are beginning to realize the true value of what Mirallas and Delboy brought to the team last year. Kevin carried the team for about 2 months during a period when weren’t playing well but I was still reading so many derogatory comments on here about how frustrating, selfish and flash he was, and clearly he didn’t get the credit he deserves.

For example I know Barkley has great potential and is our great hope but if you look at how many great games he has had for us his value to the team is greatly overstated on these pages. I don’t mean this to knock the lad but our fan base and the media have exaggerated his actual contribution due to his unique and obvious talents. I am a huge fan but we are judging more-so on potential than assists and goals.

I hope also that those who seen Delboy as a show-pony and were annoyed at times with his final ball can now see what he would bring to the team. His pace meant that defenders would drop deeper which allowed space between the lines but because he was so skillful that even defending deep was not a solution as he would produce either one cross or a goal, that bit of magic, even if he wasn’t playing so well.

Had we had either wide-man on the pitch today we would have in all likelihood collected the 3 points in a tight game like that where one bit of magic would prove crucial. Lets hope we will see him in blue again.

Patrick Murphy
125 Posted 02/11/2014 at 01:00:18
Bill, I too am only interested in how Everton are playing and the results that they get but we can’t judge our lack of points unless we put it in the context of the whole league.

I thought today’s performance was decent for the most part but the usual problems beset us as has been the case for a number of years – we defend well but struggle up front or conversely we put the ball in the net but struggle to keep them out at the other end. Roberto did admit that we were pedestrian at times today and it’s his job to try and sort that out.

Bill Gall
126 Posted 02/11/2014 at 02:28:57
Patrick, I believe we are both on the same page with slight differences of opinion but I agree that we have had the same problem for years and that is the lack of a quality midfielder that can open up the teams that choose to defend and try to score on breakaways. This seems to be a problem that only supporters think needs addressing.
Tony J Williams
127 Posted 02/11/2014 at 02:46:42
Just thought I would add that I was actually at the game Jeff..... no "feed" needed.
Stephen Karnes
128 Posted 02/11/2014 at 03:24:52
Swansea played very deep and tried to hit us on the counter, which we handled. They defended well and were able to frustrate our passing game by flooding the midfield through the center of the pitch. It worked well for them as we didn’t look a threat on the wings at all.

McGeady was better, but I agree with others that he’s set the bar for himself so low that it doesn’t take much to for him to look effective.

Naismith needs to shoot more and lay off less. Too many times last night he got the ball in a good position but looked for a clever pass rather than to make room for himself for a shot.

Mark Tanton
129 Posted 02/11/2014 at 06:10:21
I’ll never understand changing the lineup after a good away win. Still only four points off 4th but a sense of missed opportunity.
Lee Wareham
130 Posted 02/11/2014 at 06:56:49
Is anybody else having trouble getting on the offical website or is it just me cause I live in Dublin??? The screen is just white and I can’t get to the match highlights.
Derek Thomas
131 Posted 02/11/2014 at 06:34:51

It’s taken Swansea a year or two to learn their lesson about us. Even when OFM was here, they tried to play football against us and got hammered, now they don’t bother... even more so away from home, why should they?

Not many, if any, really like to come here, even the likes of Chelsea and Man City. Only they (and maybe Arsenal) will try to play anything like their real game.

With all due respect to the other makeweights in the Prem (I don’t include us and I do include the RS) only Southampton and maybe West Ham with the wind behind them, down hill, on a good day, seem to be playing Roberto’s ’Without Fear’ game...

I’m not quite sure what game Roberto is trying to play at the moment, I don’t think he is either, I think he’s seeing that there is a bit more to making real sustainable progress on a not too mega budget than first met his eye.

Jeff Hughes
132 Posted 02/11/2014 at 07:03:44
"Despite some great football, Everton had failed in the first hour to really threaten the Swansea goal." A complete non-sequitur if ever I heard one. We had 70% possession first half and we didn’t even test the keeper?

Don’t mistake control and possession for great football. We won the ball really well but did Jack Shit with it.

Martinez has also wound me up with another of his bewildering comments post match - "Two teams with an incredible footballing philosophy". What does that mean? WTF does that mean? It means: 0-0!

Darren Hind
133 Posted 02/11/2014 at 07:18:01
"Robert’s ’without fear’ football", Derek?

We were playing against 10 men and we were still bringing everyone back for corners.

Roberto inherited the two most attacking full backs in the league, but what has he added in terms of supplying his forwards with ammo? Barry, Besic and McCarthy? When was the last time you saw ANY of them burst into the opposition box, create a chance or, heaven forbid, actually score? These three don’t seem to have an attacking idea between them... and who pays £28 million for a striker and consistently plays him on the wing?

We have some supremely talented players yet two or three long-range efforts was the best we could muster against a mid-table Swansea reduced to 10 men. That’s what happens when players don’t risk possession by breaking ranks and getting into the opposition box.

Let’s not start confusing possession obsession with ’no fear’ attacking football. ’Sin miedo’ was just another Bobbyism.

BTW: Shelvey missed the best chance of the game and they were denied an obvious penalty. This could very easily have been even worse.

Mike Green
134 Posted 02/11/2014 at 07:59:11
My only insights into the game are TW, radio reports and MotD but, as disappointed as I was yesterday by us typically not capitalising on others mistakes, I think there are positives to be taken out of yesterday’s game.

We probably should be flattered that they came and parked the bus. On another day, we might have got that chance to unlock them and pushed on to win the game comfortably. We kept a clean sheet again and they were denied a perfectly good penalty so probably feel they could’ve gone home with all three points.

I was criticised by some last week for saying the 3-1 scoreline flattered us after an unconvincing performance and today we probably got what we deserved. We don’t have enough joined-up thinking going forward (partly due to having to patch teams together this season due to injury so there’s been no consistency), and in my opinion look like a group of individuals hoping to string something together rather than a clear plan of attack.

We aren’t aggressive enough, rarely hit teams at pace on the break, don’t take enough shots or contribute enough goals from midfield or corners and this is why we rarely thump teams like a team with our quality should.

It’s more a case of ’keep the ball long enough and something’ll turn up’, and yesterday it didn’t and we got what we deserved. A point.

Paul Andrews
135 Posted 02/11/2014 at 08:24:58
If you have two of the most attacking full backs in football, and the manager encourages them to both attack at the same time (can anyone think of a goal scored by any team in the Prem this or last season where one full back crosses for the other full back to score? We have seen that several times), it is pretty obvious that you will need to play two deep lying midfield players to cover the full-backs’ runs.
Jim Bennings
136 Posted 02/11/2014 at 08:25:17
At times I have to question this "We play without fear" motto. I’m not sure there is a great deal to back this up, especially this season.

The thing that winds me up is how lethargic and slowly we move the ball about. Yesterday, in the second half, when we needed to up the tempo against 10 men, we just couldn’t do it.

Last season, there was a valid claim that we played without fear and our confidence was sky high just before Christmas, after the win at Old Trafford, but, since the Spring, we look jaded badly.

At the end of last season, we lost at home to Palace in and at Southampton in ridiculous fashion, and this season it just hasn’t got off the ground. Our play is too often sluggish and too often predictable.

Yesterday, we have Eto’o ending the game so far wide he could have been on the Bullens Road. What’s that all about??

Mark Boulle
137 Posted 02/11/2014 at 08:35:27
Hope to God the rumours about Coleman aren’t true. I bet Roberto is wishing he hadn’t given that interview about being happy with our defensive depth!

What is it with our accursed bad luck with injuries? Now Alcaraz is out for a lengthy spell, just as he was finally beginning to look like he has something to offer. And, as with Stones, it’s not his body breaking down, just freakish misfortune landing badly from an aerial challenge. The type of challenge that, say, Steven Gerrard, makes numerous times in a game without ever getting hurt! So bloody frustrating!

Possible overreaction to a goalless draw I think though. There is a tendency to assume that games against ’the likes’ of Swansea at home are a guaranteed 3 points. They’re a good side, we were a bit below par, our record forward signing is, maddeningly, still not at peak fitness – these results can happen. At least the Redshite are, well, shite this season.

Derek Thomas
138 Posted 02/11/2014 at 08:40:06

I said ONLY Southampton and (maybe) West Ham were playing Roberto’s ’without fear’ football and I also said I don’t know what Roberto is playing and neither does He — or at least I thought I did.

If you snapped Roberto’s little stick of EFC rock in half, it would have ’2nd season syndrome’ running through the middle... not ’without fear’ — any clearer??

Lee Wareham
139 Posted 02/11/2014 at 08:56:45
We need to get back to playing like we want to win. Roberto needs to grow a pair of balls: if Lukaku isn’t fit, drop him till he is. And now with Alcaraz out don’t put Distin in, he is at the end of his usefulness. Try Browning or Galloway... show some balls and you might find a gem.
Tony Abrahams
140 Posted 02/11/2014 at 09:18:51
It’s impossible to play without fear, when possession is 9/10th’s of the law. It’s the continental way of playing and like every form of life, it won’t be to everyone’s taste.

Keep playing, keep playing is the mantra, because a chance will come in the end.

Us Scousers prefer a bit more of an "up it and at them" approach at times and I also think the English game requires this. If not, you have got to attack at speed and I don’t think we did either in the second half yesterday.

Eto’o should have never went on the wing yesterday and I wonder if he’s going to be too strong for the manager. Scored two last week so he goes on the wing when they go down to ten men?

Jim Bennings
141 Posted 02/11/2014 at 09:35:38
There are quite possibly at least five or six players currently at Everton who won’t and perhaps shouldn’t be here this time next year: Perennial injury victims Darron Gibson, Antolin Alcaraz and Arouna Kone.

True, it’s far from their fault but the fact is they are contributing nothing to Everton Football Club in terms of winning football matches so we need to offload somehow next summer.

Also, time appears up for Distin; certainly by next year he will be gone. Osman will be another year older and arguably have even less influence (he hasn’t had much this season thus far).

I also have my doubts about Pienaar in the long duration of things.... All-in-all you’re looking at a summer of much change in 2015.

Phil Walling
142 Posted 02/11/2014 at 09:30:46
Confirmation that this season’s team is no more than ordinary. Well able to beat teams in the lower reaches but struggling to find a way past top-half competition.

I think we have seen enough of Martinez to see that he is far from a tactical genius although adept at getting his players to play attractive football – perhaps too much of it!

One thing he is not an expert on is getting individual players to perform consistently. From goalkeeper to whoever occupies the loan striker role, we have seen performances ranging from excellence to rank shite – it’s as though they take it in turns to have the day off! This term, we cannot even rely on Bainsey to deliver a good set piece and you can never know which Barkley or McGeady will turn up!

The season won’t be a disaster, we shall finish second quartile and have knock-out interest well into New Year but more than that? I think not.

Jack Cross
143 Posted 02/11/2014 at 09:46:16
I was really impressed with Bony, but then I’ve always rated him very highly. He has the touch and control that Lukaku doesn’t. Bony contributes so much to the game in my opinion, he is an all round striker.

I don’t think people give Swansea the credit that they deserve, they’re a very well organised team.

But as you say, Jim (141), we don’t seem to have the fear factor this season. We had the majority of the play in the first half but it led on to nothing. Like as if a draw was acceptable.

How Alcaraz escaped that penalty claim is beyond me. And he’s injured once again. We need getting shut of him, Kone and Gibson like you say, just wages down the drain.

We always seem to fall flat when the Redshite get beat. But we’re used to them letting us down. So nothing new there.

John Voigt
144 Posted 02/11/2014 at 09:12:41
Expectations for this season are understandably high. The bar was raised last season. Through the first 9 fixtures, only Everton and Chelsea scored in every Premier League game.

Has anyone else reflected on the fact that Everton have not won a game this season by a one goal margin? Not a single 1-0 scoreline, or 2-1 result. These are the result that keep the momentum high. Chelsea are top of the table and when you look at their last 3 fixtures you see two 2-1 scoreline against bottom half teams and a 1-1 draw with United (my point is these are exactly the type of results Everton aren’t having this season).

Comparisons are always going to be made. Southampton have played way above expectations this season and looking at their results through 10 games you’ll find 4 games that ended with a 1-0 scoreline (the teams they beat 1-0 were Hull, Spurs, Stoke and Swansea). That’s 12 points from 4 goals scored.

Everton on the other hand have squandered chances by giving up a goal in the 86th minute to Leicester, giving up 2 late goals to Arsenal, and not being able to break down a 10-man Swansea team yesterday.

Everton have scored 3 goals in 3 games, 2 goals in 4 games, 1 goal in 2 games and yesterday failed to score. When you score 2+ goals in 7 of your 10 Premier League games, you should be able to pick up more than 3 wins.

At the beginning of the season, a leaky defense cost Everton points and lately they have shored up the defensive side but aren’t scoring as much as they did at the start of the season (they can’t seem to get the balance right).

So yes, it’s frustration. Between a side that can’t shake the injury bug and can’t finish off games, you have mediocrity.

Derek Thomas
145 Posted 02/11/2014 at 11:06:14
Phil; not earlybird / provisionally booked you flight and hotel in Warsaw, via a long weekend in London then I take it.
Brian Waring
146 Posted 02/11/2014 at 11:24:51
Dave (#74)

"The reason Wigan got relegated was because they had no goal threat; possession in spades is all well and fine but it has to have an end product."

Dave we were 6th highest goals scorers last season, and only Chelsea and Southampton have scored more than us up to now this season.

Brian Waring
147 Posted 02/11/2014 at 11:46:47
Swansea came and parked the bus for nearly the entire game, we couldn’t break them down, even the top teams have the same problem. I remember under Moyes when we parked the bus against certain teams and they weren’t able to break us down.

Also, some saying that Gary Monk ’out-thought’ Martinez is a joke; all he did was have everyone playing deep behind the ball (parking the bus) and hoped to catch us on the break – hardly fucking tactical genius.

Kieran Fitzgerald
148 Posted 02/11/2014 at 12:02:45
Get the defence right and then build on it. That is what carried us so far last season. Recent results have shown that Martinez is going back to that philosophy. There are goals in this squad. We will see more goals in coming games.
Colin Malone
149 Posted 02/11/2014 at 12:03:20
Our corner kicks are woeful. We need a different approach instead of launching the ball, when we all know we have not got players tall enough to win the ball in the box. Any stats anyone?
Mark Frere
150 Posted 02/11/2014 at 12:16:44
I think we can expect more of the same from Lille on Thursday. They aren’t an attacking team in the slightest and will come and park the bus.

The thing that disappointed me the most yesterday was that we were so slow to take a shot at goal. It was as if we were trying to score the perfect goal. Baines was the only one to put his laces through the ball on one occasion. The shot looked goal-bound but unfortunately it hit Lukaku and went wide.

We should have tried this more often because the ball can always take a deflection off a defender and go in or the goalkeeper can parry into the path of a attacker, or the ball can whistle into the top corner like Jags goal against RS. Too much fannying about around the box yesterday for my liking.

Hopefully, we can find a little more cutting edge on Thursday because we will be facing a very stubborn defence.

Brent Stephens
151 Posted 02/11/2014 at 12:39:06
Mark #150 "The thing that disappointed me the most yesterday was that we were so slow to take a shot at goal. It was as if we were trying to score the perfect goal... Too much fannying about around the box yesterday for my liking."

That was my gut feel. Interestingly, Observer today has stats saying so far this season we are joint top in terms of the number of goals from outside the box (4, = WHU). But it still feels as if Roberto prefers a fanny.

Harold Matthews
152 Posted 02/11/2014 at 10:30:38
We tried hard but right now we don’t have the game to carve open a packed, well organised defence. Of course, our slow sideways approach gives them time to organise so, in a way, our tactics are our worst enemy.

Playing without fear has gone out of the window. From goalkeeper to striker we are scared of losing possession. Baines and Coleman seem to think that an early cross will result in them being struck down by lightning. People are terrified of shooting in case they are castigated by team-mates for not passing. Midfielders are so frightened of a counter attack they never join the attack and get into the box.

Barkley and McGeady have no fear but they operate on different wavelengths and it shows. Like the absent Mirallas, given half a chance, they will try to shoot. In and around the box.Team-mates don’t exist. I say "around the box" because Ross rarely gets in it.

Eto’o is Eto’o. A football brain from another planet trying to link up with mere mortals. Unfortunately, according to all the reports, neither he nor Lukaku like to be the target man, so where does that leave us? I thought the big fella was bought for that very purpose but it seems he prefers to play off someone like Fellaini who can get his head on things and provide opportunities. Not an ideal scenario but one that will have to be sorted.

n bbbb

Lee Wareham
153 Posted 02/11/2014 at 12:46:46
I can understand two holding midfielders away from home but why against teams that come to Goodison just to park the bus?

Come on, Roberto, as much as I like you, get some balls and your tactics right just once this season. You’re not the same manager as last season; I now understand second season syndrome.

Mark Frere
154 Posted 02/11/2014 at 12:55:46
I was talking mainly about yesterday’s game, Brent... although, I do think we over pass the ball at times. On the whole though, we ain’t done bad at scoring goals this season. It’s usually been individual errors or bad defending that’s been our undoing.

I was just making the point that Lille are a very defensive outfit and should be equally as hard to break down as Swansea.

Kieran Fitzgerald
155 Posted 02/11/2014 at 12:59:17
You get the impression that Martinez tinkered with a winning formula over the summer when he shouldn’t have. We should have started where we left off from the end of last season but obviously didn’t. It’s only now that the defensive solidity we had is coming back to us.

You would wonder if the new found cautiousness is part of that changing back to what worked. The players appear cautious, Martinez’s tactics and subs seem cautious.

We have still seen glimpses though this season of what this squad is capable of. Maybe when we are solid again defensively we can let loose a little more.

Brian Waring
156 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:00:18
My lad made a good point after yesterday (IMO), he was saying that he felt Martinez tried to shoehorn both Barkley and Naismith into the starting 11, and it made us look unbalanced because it pushed Barkley wider left, and it made him less effective than when he’s playing behind the striker.
Colin Glassar
157 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:02:29
Spot on, Harold. As others have previously stated, we need a playmaker. Someone who can split a tightly packed defence with a killer ball. Ossie and Pienaar can play that role but they’re both getting on and can’t play the 90 mins. I hope Roberto uses his pennies wisely in January and gets us that player.
Brian Waring
158 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:11:05
Problem is for Lille though, Mark, they need to come and beat us to have any chance of progressing out of the group, this should open the game up for us to do the bizz.
Kevin Tully
159 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:12:45
Just one of those games, yesterday. Unfortunately, the Alcaraz injury leaves us very short at centre-half, but I think Besic can play that position?

Swansea set out for a point, and they showed very little attacking intent. I still think we are only just getting into our stride, and four points off that coveted 4th spot after a poor start is not a disaster.

Let’s hope we can beat Lille on Thursday, which would see us more or less qualify for the knock-out phase of that competition.

I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing we haven’t played to our full capability yet, but serious injuries are becoming a hindrance.

One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a yo-yo season for many of the bigger teams this season, so let’s hope we can soon put a winning run together.

Mark Frere
160 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:20:44
Not necessarily, Brian, the group is very close and Lille were very cautious at home, so I think they will come to the Old Lady and keep it very tight and try to nick a goal on the counter-attack. It’s the way they play.
Bill Gall
161 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:10:17
Darren #133, your comment on a mid-table Swansea with only 10 men makes it sound like they are supposed to be inferior to Everton yet they are above us in the league and the 2 games we have played against them we have only scored 1 goal.
Brian Waring
162 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:27:38
Yeah Bill, but don’t you know, we should be spanking teams like Swansea 5-, 6-, 7-nil.
Brent Stephens
163 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:29:00
Mark #154, I was actually agreeing with you, mate.
Brian Waring
164 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:30:20
Got me thinking there Mark with how you see Lille playing, if Martinez looks at the game thinking he would be happy with a point, and he sets up to counter attack Lille, we’re in for a turd of a game.
Phil Walling
165 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:33:38
Brian, you know that is nonsense. What exactly gives Everton the right to ’expect to beat teams like Swansea 5-, 6-, 7-nil’?

’Because we are Everton’, I hear you say. And so we are. But this season Everton is a mid-table side who have lost once and drawn against Swansea and have also failed to beat ’teams like them’.

Let’s deal with realities, please, not misconceptions of God-given right to beat any team 5-, 6-,7-Nil!

Bill Gall
166 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:53:33
Brian, when was the last time that Everton were beating mid and bottom Premier League teams 5-, 6-,7-nil
Sam Hoare
167 Posted 02/11/2014 at 14:06:58
Is Brian not being sarcastic?
Colin Glassar
168 Posted 02/11/2014 at 14:05:12
We don’t do 5-, 6-, 7-nils. We’ve got too much class for that type of result.
Paul Hewitt
169 Posted 02/11/2014 at 14:12:39
Not a great result but a clean sheet and Swansea came for a point. Back to normal on Thursday when we batter Lille.
Tony Hill
170 Posted 02/11/2014 at 13:53:00
If Coleman is out then I look forward to seeing Browning. I am also very much looking forward to seeing Galloway come on – a thoroughly class act.

As Harold says, we have a fine core of players, we have stuttered this season but I would rather stutter now than in March. We need to think longer term and I think that’s exactly what Martinez is doing, both this season and generally.

Brian Waring
171 Posted 02/11/2014 at 14:20:16
Thanks, Sam, at least you got it.
Kevin Tully
172 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:25:40
After Man Utd getting beat, we have climbed to a dizzying 8th place!
Paul Hewitt
173 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:31:52
We should be higher really, Kevin.... silly dropped points at the start of the season.
Colin Glassar
174 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:33:09
Sky will start to panic now as their brand team are struggling for a second season in a row. Man Utd and the RS dominate the Asian markets and if they are poor then Sky’s TV share might start to suffer.

Apart from Chelsea everyone else has been shite this season (including us) so the top 4-6 is still wide open.

Paul Andrews
175 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:37:31
Not to worry, Kevin,

The potential champions are only a point above us having spent over £100 million.

Patrick Murphy
176 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:38:17
You’re absolutely correct, Colin, and judging by the referee’s performance he was never going to give a penalty to Man City.

I also thought that Smalling deserved a straight red and for the second game in a row the ref helped Man Utd to stay in the game although City took their foot off the gas after they took the lead.

Paul Tran
177 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:31:16
Brian, I think your lad got it spot on. Too many players trying to do the same thing yesterday. I’ve got my doubts about Lukaku, but everyone rates him more highly than I do - whenever he plays, he worries defenders and makes space for others. We didn’t have this yesterday.

I’d consider keeping Barry at centre back. He looked assured there and is superb at reading the game. That may also force Martinez to stick Eto’o behind Lukaku as the playmaker we’re looking for.

Darren, I completely agree with you re ’sin miedo’, though I think that was made up by some misguided people rather than Martinez himself. I think Martinez is a pretty cautious coach who wants to base things on a sound defence and possession, then push on for the win. This season he hasn’t used the players as well as he did last season, particularly some of his baffling substitutions. The attacking players he has brought in haven’t been up to scratch so far.

Very disappointing yesterday. Teams will come to Goodison to park the bus, we’ll have to deal with it. We defended well, but were short of ideas and lacked conviction going forward.

Must do better........

Colin Glassar
178 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:42:20
Refereeing has gone downhill, IMO, since the Premier League started, Patrick. The likes of Dowd, Clatterberk, Uriah Wotsisname, Friend, the ’two yellow card’ idiot etc... Way too cozy with the big team players as far as I’m concerned.
Today’s ref, Friend(?), was shocking as he denied three blatant penalties for Man City. I know City and Chelsea are rich but they’ve never really been accepted into the aristocratic club (Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs to a lesser degree), so I find some satisfaction when they beat the three old hags.
Paul Andrews
179 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:48:29
That’s Man Utd now below us in 9th.

Interesting to watch Spurs now, did I just hear the commentator say Soldado is their top scorer with 2 goals?

Patrick Murphy
180 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:50:04

Friend did our game yesterday and it was Michael Oliver in charge of the Manchester derby. But like you I also think the referees are over-protective of certain clubs and I also adhere to your belief that there is an accepted cartel in the Premier League and that Man City and Chelsea aren’t part of that gang despite their wealth.

Colin Glassar
181 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:57:27
I always mix those two up, Patrick. Both are useless IMO. I hope Villa can get a result today against Spurs as that will keep us in an eighth-ish (Wallingspeak) position and still on the coattails of the current top 4.
Henrik Lyngsie
182 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:58:48
Paul, 177, agree on playing Barry in central defence in this type of games. And we should try to move Barkley further back playing central/defensive midfield next to McCarthy. We need a little bit more creativity in the central midfield. I know we tried that last year against Crystal Palace and we were not successful (actually a bloody disaster), but not due to Barkley playing further back.

I think McCarthy-Besic offers too little going forward. I know the idea is to have two defensive and the allow Coleman and Baines to attack more freely, but against a defensive side at Goodison I would be a little bit more adventurous. That should allow either Eto’o or Naismith to play just behind Lukaku.

Darren Hind
183 Posted 02/11/2014 at 15:59:59
Bill (#161) – "your comment on mid-table Swansea with only 10 men makes it sound like they are meant to be inferior to Everton."

Yes, mate you read me right, that’s exactly what I was saying... especially when they were down to ten men.

Brian (#162) – Your sarcasm masks nothing. Nobody was expecting 5, 6, or 7 goals – one would have done. Are we so desperate to make excuses that it now becomes unrealistic to expect that we can get close enough to see the whites of the goalie’s eyes once or twice? – WE WERE AT HOME, FFS!

Parked the bus? I feel embarrassed even hearing the claim. Shelvey missed the game’s best chance, Howard saved from Bony and they are robbed of a nailed on penalty... Good job they didn’t come at us.

Brian Waring
184 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:16:26
Henrik, the problem playing Barkley central midfield is that he fucks about too much when he has the ball, so would have us on the back foot too much for my liking because of losing possession too easily.
Brian Waring
185 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:22:56
Darren, yeah parked the bus. Swansea only had 33% possession,this from a team who virtually dominate the possession stats against teams. Also, they had no shots on target, they couldn’t even must a corner in 90 mins.

You say they could have had a pen, but they should have been down to 9 men because how the fuck Bony never got a red is beyond me, all he wanted to do was kick fuck out of us.

Brian Waring
186 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:30:40
Darren, I didn’t realise Bony had a shot saved, I was going on the BBC stats and they have them with no shots on target.
Paul Andrews
187 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:30:48
A smaller club came to a bigger club and changed their normal style of play.

"Parking the bus" is simply a term.

Darren Hind
188 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:36:18
What do you mean, you didn’t realise they had a shot on target?

Alcaraz made the best save of the match.

Paul Tran
189 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:34:21
Brian, they did park the bus, but we just have to shut up and deal with it. We didn’t. We didn’t look like we were going to score in a month of Sundays. There were plenty of games like this last season, where a bit of magic made the difference.

Instead of blaming Swansea for defending well, let’s look at the idea of bringing on the clapped-out Pienaar and shunting Eto’o on the wing, just a week after he looked like the playmaker we’re looking for.....

Ian Bennett
190 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:40:27
The ’better’ refs just don’t make decisions. Howard Webb was a classic example, he used to give nothing. Michael Oliver should be dropped to the Championship for that performance at Man City. How many pens did he miss?

Kevin Friend is just as woeful. He missed a penalty, he never dealt with Bony, and the amount of times he blew up spoiling an advantage was pure amateurish.

Christopher Kelly
191 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:43:04
Same old Everton. Always choking.

Blah blah blah. Same shit. Different season.

I’m more excited about the Europa League this season anyways. That’s our chance to get into the Champions League.

Brian Waring
192 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:49:55
Paul, I agree, I was baffled with Eto’o starting up front on his own, when last week playing behind Lukaku he was sublime. I was also surprised when McGeady was taken off because he was causing them a few problems.

Christopher Kelly
193 Posted 02/11/2014 at 16:58:30
Watching a taped version of Man Utd vs Man City. I agree with Colin, these refs are way too comfortable with the players. Oliver looks totally in the FA’s pocket which means Man Utd get the decisions. Still not enough but disgusting none the less.
Michael Kenrick
194 Posted 02/11/2014 at 17:13:27
It’s hard to tell with that early shot from Bony. I was convinced Howard had saved it but replays did not make it clear to me.

I was sure he had it on target... Maybe I should take another look!

Brian Waring
195 Posted 02/11/2014 at 17:28:30
Just watching Shkodran Mustafi bang 2 in for Valencia, really solid.
Paul Dark
196 Posted 02/11/2014 at 18:01:20
The clean sheet was the highlight. Otherwise, it was a disappointing day with some odd team selections and actions from RM – not least of all, the preparation of Hibbo before bringing Besic on. There are times I wonder about RM, pleased as I am to have him. Maybe I missed something there (I was in the Main Stand).

GP was quiet, too.

I thought the same players looked good and bad.

Bainesy had a poor game by his standards.

Jags looks back in the groove; it’s a huge relief. Possibly MotM – him or Besic.

I’m sorry to see Alcaraz injured but not sorry to see him miss games. I would like to see Besic, even Distin, in that role – the former given RM’s reluctance to break up Barry and McCarthy (who, by the way, don’t protect the back four enough given how deep they play). I wasn’t impressed with Alcaraz yesterday, and I’m not generally. He gave away a penalty that wasn’t given and he’s composed on the ball and terrified of anyone running at him or competing with him. I think he’s a big problem waiting to happen.

McCarthy needs to impose himself on a game, and both he and Barry need to pass better and forward and slightly more quickly (the whole team does, in my view).

Besic was again very good, not quite excellent; he should start most games for us.

Ross was off-colour; I wonder if he’s had a bit of a barney with Bainesy. They don’t play well together often and seem tetchy with each other. Weird that one, two of our best players, too.

McGeady – as others have said, he has set the bar so low (subterranean) that the slightest of improvements leads to him being our best player. He was slightly more lively and slightly less appalling yesterday, I concede, but he is a poor player... very poor. He should never feature for us again in a any competitive match... in my humble.

Naismith – second bad game on the trot. He shouldn’t be an automatic choice, excellent as he has been for us this past year, even longer.

Eto’o and Lukaku – not quite there today. Neither Ross nor Nace really linked up play for them, and often they come out of position, way out of position (even before Sam went out to the right wing). Why don’t we rest Rom and get his toe sorted? Another baffler.

Coleman – kind of quiet again. I reckon he doesn’t enjoy playing with the hapless and useless McGeady. Wouldn’t blame him.

I think RM is to blame for some of the lost points this season, but I’m not condemning him. Playing the right players in the wrong positions seems an odd ploy to me.

He should listen to me, and I’ll tell him the right team to pick every time... :-)

Patrick Murphy
197 Posted 02/11/2014 at 18:26:24
Imagine the headlines in the newspapers Paul. "Dark days at Goodison" after you have led the club to the treble and unbeaten in all competitions. "Dark in the dark over recent transfer speculation" as you try to play down stories about Messi and Ronaldo arriving at Goodison.
Paul Dark
198 Posted 02/11/2014 at 18:34:25
They’d have a field day, mate.

I tell you what, joking aside: I’d give every last drop for the club.

Patrick Murphy
199 Posted 02/11/2014 at 18:34:23
Just one more Paul (sorry mate) but after you have retired and Everton have returned to the usual state of affairs another one could read "Evertonians dream of a return to the Dark Age"
Colin Glassar
200 Posted 02/11/2014 at 18:49:14
I heard we are being linked to Vela again in January.
Kieran Riding
202 Posted 02/11/2014 at 20:08:58
Colin #200
I’ve seen that in the echo too. Mmm? I’ll ask about.

As for Eto’o and the report of the Liverpool thing, that’s true, and I posted it here, and even mentioned it recently. They were all over Falcao as well, by the way, before Ballotelli, if they want to dig a bit deeper and get a proper story!

The real pisser for our RS inbred cousins will be Bony. That deal looked fucking nailed on, and I actually lost a few bob on that along with plenty of others.

Phil Walling
203 Posted 02/11/2014 at 19:49:54
Nearly 70% of possession and about three decent shots on goal. Roberto was ’disappointed’ that his old team set out their store for a point, having apparently abandoned all he taught them.

Paul @ 196 explains why it happened and is even prepared to invite aprobrium by suggesting that our manager is less than perfect. Progress indeed.

Truth is, we are a decent mid-table side but short on consistency. From both players and manager.

Aman Kanji
206 Posted 02/11/2014 at 21:41:12
Mr ’Fantastic’ bottled it yesterday. Ross was poor, as he was against Burnley. Gave the ball away so many times with poor touches all over the park. At Burnley, he gave the ball away twice within 30 seconds.

We needed to start Pienaar, even worse was leaving Ross on, he should have been subbed at 70 mins for Osman and left McGeady on. Strange! McGeady was great, the best threat. Strange team and subs again...

Roberto is losing is shine! I suspect he’s starting to believe his own (and the papers’) hype of his quality, as is Ross.

Come on, Blues, get it together. Put it tight against Lille + Sunderland + Hammers + Spurs.

Mark Andersson
207 Posted 04/11/2014 at 13:36:41
Paul Dark, did you use to write for Monty Python.

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