Steven Naismith missed the trip to Germany with a hamstring injury
Wolfsburg 0 - 2 Everton
Everton won their Europa League group after a brilliant victory in what was, on paper, their most difficult assignment yet against Wolfsburg. Roberto Martinez made changes to the team that started against West Ham, with Samuel Eto'o replacing Steven Naismith, Muhamed Besic coming in for Leon Osman, Luke Garbutt starting at left back and Tony Hibbert switching to right back. Aiden McGeady plays instead of Ross Barkley.
Wolsburg kicked off and showed their intent with a lively attack down the Everton right, and a viscous cross played right through the danger area. Their next attack, Perisic got beyond Hibbert but badly mistimed his header. The Blues, playing in their white second strip, were having trouble retaining possession once they got the ball and ventured forward into the home side's half of the pitch.
After a poor 10 minutes, Everton strung together their first attack, McGeady playing in Lukaku but a dreadful first touch let him down. The ball did come to Eto'o on the left but Lukaku had already strayed offside when Eto'o picked out a perfect pass fro him that bounced through harmlessly. Peresic had a good ball to chase but Howard covered him. Great work from McGeady won Everton's first corner that Garbutt delivered in brilliantly to the far post where Distin misjudged the curl and heads it onto the bar off the ground.
The play was immediately up the other end where De Bruyne won a corner from which a tremendous shot was palmed away by Howard, a great reaction save. McCarthy went down with a knee problem but was back on quickly as Wolfsburg attacked with pace and verve.
Everton were very lucky to have a clearly legal goal against them disallowed when Peresic, who was onside, clipped the ball past Howard after a corner won off a slight deflection from another De Bruyne shot. Everton were looking very ragged at the back although Garbutt was looking pretty mature and sensible in his play. A massive warning to the away team, as if one was needed...
McGeady clipped Bendtner's toe, giving away a free kick some way out that Naldo wellied hard over the bar. Everton had been unable to settle into much a rhythm, with possession play breaking down under stern pressing and tight marking from Wolfsburg. Some good Everton play down the left, starting from Distin, again came to nothing as the ball was surrendered cheaply, allowing Wolfsburg to attack again. McCarthy went down again, only to hobble off clutching his hamstring, Osman replacing him.
Mirallas cut inside and fired off an excellent shot that forced a save from Benaglio. But the corner would not fall to a white shirt and the pressure on Everton's defense resumed, Peresic again causing concern with another cross whipped in. Vieirinha was next to run in and fire at Howard before Bendtner from the other side tried to curl one around Howard.
Jagielka had to make a tremendous block to stop an excellent goalbound shot from De Bruyne and from the corner, a quick clearance by Osman found Mirallas who flicked it on for Lukaku to rampage forward. After another woeful first touch, the Big Man galloped away and fired superbly past Benaglio to give Everton a somewhat undeserved but very welcome half-time lead. Gustavo was booked for tripping Mirallas after Eto'o got sandwiched.
After the break, Besic fouled with his studs showing and was lucky not to be carded, De Bruyne again firing hard but high from the layback. De Bruyne then had another shot blocked by Jagielka. Going forward, Eto'o seemed off his game, sadly, with too many passes going to opposition players, while Hunt was next to warm Howard's gloves. Then a beaautiful intelligent flick by Eto'o did come off and it looked like him and Lukaku could break but the Big Man again struggled to make progress.
Bendter did score from a corner flicked on but the flick on found him offside as he powered the ball behind Howard from close range. Peresic was carded for insisting it was also wrongly disallowed. Finally a better spell from Everton saw them move forward, great work from Besic, and Eto'o winning a corner but the ref allowing a scrum to go unpunished, The ball came to Lukaku who did well to cut along the byeline and shoot, the ball falling nicely for McGeady with an open goal and the thoroughly disappointing Irishman somehow contrive to miss the goal altogether with his chip. /p>
Mirallas got forward on a good ball from McGeady but was called offside as he shot straight at Benaglio, while Howard again had to be alert to push another shot from Peresic away for a corner, Naldo firing over from the follow-up. Everton were having to soak up a lot of pressure at times, but it was a good test for the patched-up defence, with Garbutt putting in a god solid competent display at left back.
Ross Barkley came on fro Samuel Eto'o to play out the last 20 mins. Besic finally saw yellow for a foul on De Bruyne. A tremendous shot from Schaeffer was watched all the way by Howard who wanted to keep a clean sheet, putting Everton back on the attack, Lukaku holding the ball well and turning superbly around the half-way line before picking out a brilliant pass to Mirallas, who was faultless in his execution, carrying the ball forward and firing low into the corner of the net, another superb European goal and a very welcome sight for Kevin Mirallas.
Atsu replaced Mirallas for the final 10 mins, while the largely one-way traffic on Everton's goal continued for most of the time, but with nothing to show for it as Everton's defence repelled all comers. At times, it looked nervy and panicky with last-ditch blocks, diving defensive headers, wild hacks, fractional deflections onto the post, as Howard's goal lived something of a charmed life at time.
Everton did get forward, Barkley trying to beat everyone and then getting in a beautiful strike but it was ruled offside. The last minutes saw some of the best Everton action in the Wolfsburg area, McGeady almost getting in a shot.
An absolutely superb result from a very professional performance by a hanged side with a slew of injuries, Roberto Martinez pulling off something akin to a small miracle in Wolfsburg.
VfL Wolfsburg: Benaglio, Schafer, Knoche, Naldo, Vieirinha, Malanda (64' Caliguri), Luiz Gustavo, Perisic, Hunt, De Bruyne, Bendtner.
Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Garbutt; Besic, McCarthy (31' Osman); McGeady, Mirallas (73' Barkley), Eto'o (82' Atsu); Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, Coleman, Browning, Barkley, Kone, Atsu.
[Unavailable: Naismith, Baines, Alcaraz, Stones, Oviedo, Gibson, Barry, Pienaar.]
Reader Comments (146)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 27/11/2014 at 17:07:41
2 Posted 27/11/2014 at 17:10:58
3 Posted 27/11/2014 at 17:13:00
4 Posted 27/11/2014 at 17:13:23
5 Posted 27/11/2014 at 17:20:55
Put a cheeky fiver on 3-3, but I'll take a scrappy 1-0.
6 Posted 27/11/2014 at 17:33:10
7 Posted 27/11/2014 at 17:39:48
8 Posted 27/11/2014 at 17:48:23
Some of the comments re Kone are well out of order.
9 Posted 27/11/2014 at 17:49:31
10 Posted 27/11/2014 at 18:17:57
Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Yanks. Let's take today to be grateful that we support the blue half of Merseyside.
11 Posted 27/11/2014 at 18:43:45
12 Posted 27/11/2014 at 18:48:53
13 Posted 27/11/2014 at 18:49:06
Stick to your guns, Kevin.
14 Posted 27/11/2014 at 18:54:09
Great finish from Lukaku after an absolutely comic first touch. What is it with this guy?
15 Posted 27/11/2014 at 18:56:37
16 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:02:46
17 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:28:35
18 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:36:38
19 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:50:13
20 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:53:31
21 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:54:52
And for me, Peresic is the best player I've seen play against us all season, bar none Â– get him signed in January please.
22 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:57:28
23 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:56:43
Says it all really
24 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:59:35
25 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:56:42
We got a bit lucky with their 'offside' goal but, all-in-all I thought it was very similar to the home game. For all of their bluster, their forwards couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo. Hibbert and Garbutt both had outstanding games and I think we deserved the win in the end.
That first goal was just classic Lukaku. Give him the ball when he's running at the goal and more often than not he'll score. Particularly if his first touch is good (and sometimes when it's appalling!).
26 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:58:02
27 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:59:10
I am very proud of all our players.The Spurs manager is saying in the Independent that his team should play on Monday after Europe... so sad as we will beat them on Sunday.
28 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:01:34
29 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:56:05
30 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:58:58
31 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:00:42
32 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:00:18
33 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:58:03
It is also very good to see three of the most criticised players Howard, Jags (at least early in the season) and Lukaku play so well. Jagielka is a great defender, and was clearly suffering from the post-world Cup fall out. Lukaku can control a ball, and can learn to do it better (Despite the idiocy of some on here, who believe player touch cannot be improved for no particular reason and exaggerate Lukaku's failings in that respect). As I've said before, and will say again: When Lukaku gets more confidence, his touch and control will improve. He showed today at points how good he is, and can be.
A match away to Wolfsburg, given their form, is about as tough a game as we can get in the Europa League at the moment. Some equally good/slightly better teams might come into the competition from the CL, but we can take this result with us whoever we play in the later stages. They did us proud today, and hopefully the team can do it again on Sunday against an out-of-form and out-of-sorts Spurs.
34 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:02:45
35 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:03:25
36 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:04:41
Note that there is a 24% chance that my stats are bollocks.
37 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:03:33
39 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:08:10
40 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:06:49
The difference tonight was unbelievable,very aware and a sold performance.
Good distribution as well
41 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:04:59
Both legs are played one week after the other, and sandwiched in between we have all homes games against Leicester, Newcastle, Burnley, Sunderland. We're going to Poland, guys, come May.
42 Posted 27/11/2014 at 19:56:28
I have to admit, player loyalist as I am, I did question awarding Tony Hibbert a new contract Â– especially as he hadn't played in about 12 months. Wrong wrong wrong, he's just done in the last few weeks what he has always done Â– no-nonsense defending. An absolute credit of a footballer.
Lukaku maybe starting to prove some of the early naysayers wrong. Yes, there's parts of his game that need to improve but he's still a kid, he scores goals and he has a great attitude.
Finally it's quite interesting to see Everton's shape without both Barry and McCarthy. It changes from 4-2-3-1 to more of a diamond formation which seems to give us more attacking options.
Finally and I have to say it and I would've got abuse a month ago: based on current form, it has to be Osman ahead of Barkley at the moment.
43 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:07:31
McGeady I feel sorry for. You could see what he was trying to do with the goal he missed. Play it first time before the keeper and defender got back to cover. I think he is a player who does more work on the pitch than he is given credit for. As a winger, if he doesn't produce flair every game, he gets slated.
44 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:10:18
Well played counter football in the 2nd half. Gorgeous play by Lukaku to control and thread the needle. What a great Thanksgiving it will be.
45 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:10:16
46 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:09:31
Besic and Garbutt played superbly considering they have hardly played this season. McGeady's miss was poor but he put a shift in and glad Kone got on the bench, I really hope he can get fit/stay fit and score a few goals.
To a man the team was superb and Lukaku lead the line brilliantly, the best I've seen him play in months.
The injuries are mounting up but Garbutt looked excellent and took a mean corner.
We can win at Spurs on Sunday and hopefully the league will start to take shape.
0-2 at Wolfsburg is a top class result!
47 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:06:49
It seems if you miss a sitter youÂve had a stinker if you score a goal youÂre a hero, itÂs not always the case.
48 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:13:35
The team that the manager can't organise defensively keeps another clean sheet ( against a side who have scored in their last 24 home games)
And the miserably negative posters are all quiet.
"It's a beautiful day"
49 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:14:17
Garbutt, Hibbo and Jags where awsome. Hibbo is playing 10 years younger than his age whereas McGeady and Barks where woeful.
Let's hope we are fresh for Sunday as we need a win against the spuds.
50 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:15:48
51 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:17:00
52 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:17:28
Both Garbutt and Besic showed that they were ready today. The dead rubber game against Krasnador (wrong spelling I know) will hopefully give Browning and Kone a chance to shine. I'm unsure if it will come too early for Oviedo but hopefully he will be there.
53 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:22:06
54 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:25:03
55 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:18:51
Cannot pick out any player who had a bad game (including McGeady's miss!). Was just a great counter attacking performance away from home. Solid debut for Garbutt and Besic put in a good shift.
A great evening to be an Evertonianand we now have a dead rubber where we can rest players and give the fringe a run out. Job done.
McCarthy likely out for Sunday so looks like Besic and Ossie in the middle for Spurs....
56 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:27:58
To get an away win against a team 2nd in the Bundesliga and not concede requires a lot of sweat and tonight everyone worked their nuts off.
Yes we rode our luck at times and they could have had a couple, but we could have easily had a couple more.
The knock-out is going to be exciting.
Hope we play our under 21s against the Russians.
Up the Toffees!
(ps: and if Baines is still goosed, I hope Garbutt is on the left on Sunday)
57 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:27:21
59 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:26:58
Some just like to vent, it must be a fucking miserable existence but it beats kicking the cat. We had a cat when I was a kid and I'm sure it used to watch the scores on Grandstand and if we got beat it would hide before my old feller got home.
60 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:30:41
61 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:33:41
63 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:28:22
64 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:37:46
Talk about hard to please!
65 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:27:29
I don't understand the stick McGeady is getting Â– besides that miss he had a good game. In fact, how can anyone moan about that performance? Every single player ran themselves into the ground. I'm proud of them today.
66 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:36:57
67 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:40:18
Practically the perfect away performance - ride your luck, defend well, keep possession when you can - and take your chance (oops, sorry Aidan).delete
Hard to pick out anyone below "good" standard tonight.
Very impressed with Garbutt, Osman and Besic looked pretty composed at DM, Mirallas was fabulous again - oh, how we've missed him, Howard made a good save when one was needed, the CBs were cool and calm, McGeady worked the defenders and was maybe a little unlucky with his miss, Hibbert was solid as ever defensively and showed more signs of growing confidence in attack, Eto'o's close control was great as ever and Lukaku showed strength and substance in making one and scoring one.
Have I missed anyone?
Oh yes, Roberto, whose team and tactics made it happen, with no McCarthy, Stones, Barkley (til late on) Coleman or Barry.
How great is it to have an attack which looks capable of making things happen in Europe - can you imagine how it would've gone under OFM.
Three wins and two draws - brilliant return.
68 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:48:12
69 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:47:48
71 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:42:07
We rode our luck at times, but how many people said after the second half at Goodison that Wolfsburg would be too good for us at their place?
It might be boring at times, all this 'conserving energy', "because, letÂs face it, itÂs what we tried to do once Baines scored the penalty" but if it keeps us fresher after Xmas then we could be in for a very good season. ItÂs also good news that we can now give a few of the kids a game in our final group match as well.
72 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:59:13
Only time Mirallis got a decent ball he scores. I still think Wolfsburg got too much space and time in and around our box. The defending was effective but last-ditch blocking. Very patient and counter-attacking footie though, well done.
73 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:29:05
75 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:38:00
I think after such a quality performance against a top team who will probably be Champions League next year from a top league, lads should lay off McGeady, yes he's infuriating but if that's the first thing off your lips after watching that then what's the point?
76 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:48:07
Either you got a three month stretch or you've been in dispute with TalkTalk.
77 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:38:20
Anyway, we will play either a Europa League Runner Up or one of the 4 worst Champions League rejects
So our list at the moment of runners up are
Sparta Prague (CZ)
Wolfsburg (D) - I assume we can even as it does not say it can't be teams from the same group, only not same country
and from the Champions League
Athletico Bilbao (E)
(can't play Liverpool - same country)
I can see a few we would like here. And a few we really would fancy our chances against
78 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:49:48
Solid Hibbert (well done again, "lad"), supported by a lot of tracking back from McGeady that most posters probably recognise but some aren't seeing.
79 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:58:15
We can win this trophy.
80 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:59:07
I had a go at predicting the 4 worst Champions League dropouts and got the same as you except for Anderlecht instead of Bilbao. I think Bilbao are at home to the bottom team whereas Anderlecht have Dortmund away.
Great shout from Paul (75) about Ossie there. For both goals it was his controlled pass out of defence instead of just hoofing it that started the moves.
I am a Lukaku doubter up to now but tonight there were definite signs of a true Everton No 9. Hope he continues the improvement at The Lane on Sunday!
81 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:14:16
Bad miss yes, but some great work, 100% effort and the way he closed their defender down with that sliding tackle in the first half was exemplary.
82 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:52:48
I knew Wolfsburg were a better team than the score at Goodsison reflected and expected them to come right at Everton which they did.
However, after a mix of some early Howard heroics and a bad linesman's call, Everton were able to compose and show some good moves on the break with McGeady and Mirallas who took some time to settle. The passing got better and Besic also settled down to really impact the game especially when Macca went off.
As Wolfsburg got more desperate Everton could have scored more in a wide open game. Now the RM can afford to blood some more youngsters in the last game against Krasnodar especially the excellent Garbutt who was so cool under pressure.
ItÂs getting harder to accept the injury list that is building up especially with the Spurs game coming up but Spurs were very poor today and hopefully the Everton stand-ins will stand out on Sunday.
83 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:58:43
Good to see so much positivity on here too. The blues are on the up no doubt thanks to the manager and our much maligned chairman.
84 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:33:53
85 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:33:55
So to Sunday.... Ossie and Bez were ace in the middle but will Bainesy get his nod there soon?
86 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:06:08
I was beginning to think I'd watched a different game with some of the comments on here.
87 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:51:38
Also glad to see Mirallas get a goal to help his confidence.
McGeady worked his ass off too, even if he does give it away a lot when no need to.
Anyone know is Bainesy out for Sunday or longer?
88 Posted 28/11/2014 at 00:45:13
89 Posted 28/11/2014 at 00:59:08
That slide tackle he made and popping up after the tackle in the first half was SUBLIME.
He ran his socks off tracking back. When he lost possession I remember at least two times it was down to him attempting to use his heavenly technical skill to baffle a defender, and it didn't come off. If our players give up the ball while taking someone on? OK, I'm fine with that.
Why people are having a go at him is baffling to me. I have to wonder out loud if it might be down to the fact that he's worn green hoops in the past and some frankly just don't appreciate players of that background.
An absolutely fantastic result and solid performance. Bitching after that makes me question a person's state of mind and objectivity.
Well done Everton, Bobby, the boys... and well done Aiden McGeady. You weren't our best player on the day, but your effort and determination are a credit to Everton Football Club.
90 Posted 28/11/2014 at 01:09:32
91 Posted 28/11/2014 at 01:36:08
Hopefully it is just a crisis of confidence and he will get back to what he does best sooner rather than later. If he doesn't, based on tonight's performance, he doesn't deserve to be in the side. But his performance was the only blot on a very good team display where everybody gave their all, including McGeady.
Perhaps he will get the opportunity to show us all what he can do if we happen to draw Celtic in the next round Â– I just have a funny feeling that is who we will get in the last 32.
92 Posted 28/11/2014 at 02:51:20
The key difference was here for all to see tonight. Ossie and Besic are better players with the ball, but will risk possession trying to be creative. Barry and McCarthy are fantastic when we don't have the ball but would rather keep possession with more conservative sideways passing, they hardly ever venture into enemy territory.
When McCarthy was on we were pedestrian and although our football improved when Ossie came on we were a bit more open at the back. There is a role for all of them in our squad. We have a great and varied group of players which IMO is easily good enough to win this thing and qualify for the Champions League.
I'm still a little unsure about the manager though; he still doesn't seem to know what to do with them, most of the improvements seem to me to come about through enforced changes.
Yeah, we rode our luck, but that's cup football... it's also entertainment.
93 Posted 28/11/2014 at 03:50:13
I won't mention everyone, but Besic, for me, did okay. Not as good as some of the comments, but not bad either. He's still learning how to play for us.
I will mention Lukaku. With his back to goal, receiving a pass, all of his well commented about weaknesses are shown up. His strengths are power and speed, and of course, a sweet left foot. All his strengths show when he receives a pass as he is running towards goal. As he showed tonight. If we can play that killer pass to him while he is at full speed, I think he will score every time! Play to his strengths, Roberto.
94 Posted 28/11/2014 at 05:53:20
Are you suggesting Martinez didn't know what to do with them tonight? That, in my opinion, is way off the mark.
I know you don't like Martinez but you have to give him credit for his tactics last night. The headline on another thread on TW tells you all you need to know.
95 Posted 28/11/2014 at 05:58:06
96 Posted 28/11/2014 at 06:57:29
Now, if you want to believe that Robbie whispered to Ossie as he was getting ready, "Listen, Leon lad, get out there and abandon all my philosophies. Stop all this mindless fucking about at the back and tell the others to play their natural game; tell the boys to get it foward earlier." Â— I'm cool with that.
You credit the manager and I credit the players; we're all happy.
97 Posted 28/11/2014 at 07:48:05
98 Posted 28/11/2014 at 08:00:01
RM is fantastic for EFC. Full stop!
99 Posted 28/11/2014 at 07:56:14
I like him and want to do well but he's never done anything consistently to warrant a place in the team, reflected by the manager's decision to switch him in and out of the side.
Other than that, a very enjoyable performance and so good to have Kevin back in the side. He brings Lukaku to life.
100 Posted 28/11/2014 at 08:14:16
"He tends to start the oppositions attacks more often than ours through lazy ball retention, stupid decision making and sloppy passing... but attacking-wise, very poor."
And then you say "I like him"!
Christ on a bike, how bad does he have to be before you turn against him? ;-)
101 Posted 28/11/2014 at 08:37:29
You, and the rest of the detractors, must be a joy to watch an Everton game with... eg, "How the fuck are we beating this lot 3-0? We are fucking shite and we are still winning!!"
102 Posted 28/11/2014 at 08:51:12
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want all Everton players to do well. He is infuriating but I do like that he wants to try things and every now again, his skills when they come off are good to watch. Just far too few times when they do come, that's all.
103 Posted 28/11/2014 at 09:02:27
104 Posted 28/11/2014 at 09:06:32
105 Posted 28/11/2014 at 09:16:54
He's a great player but that wasn't his best performance.
106 Posted 28/11/2014 at 09:46:02
Lukaku is going to be immense. Why did Jose let him go? Imagine having Drogba advising Lukaku at this stage passing on all that experience. We'll just Big Dunkify him instead.
108 Posted 28/11/2014 at 10:43:44
Everton did pay a large fee for his signature. Paying a large fee for a 21-year-old player who already has a track record of scoring 15+ goals a season is a no-brainer to me. Here's a list of the current top 10 Premier League scorers and their age. All I can say is: How many goals will Lukaku be scoring when he's 24-29 years old Â— like most players on this list? (The only other young player in the top ten is Berahino):
109 Posted 28/11/2014 at 11:22:06
Tricky players like McGeady and Eto'o are always going to give the ball away. It's all about how hard they fight to win the ball back and McGeady never stopped last night. Fair play to him for not going missing when things weren't working out. It would be nice to see the same sort of commitment to winning the ball back from Ross every now and again.
I also think Hibbo deserves a mention. A lot of people were up in arms about his new contract but I think he's still got a big part to play in this squad. Top class since he's come back into the team.
110 Posted 28/11/2014 at 11:35:24
111 Posted 28/11/2014 at 11:57:49
112 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:12:59
Fair enough, most things he tried didn’t pay off and his miss was woeful but that happens and the point is he tried!
I thought Everton fans, perhaps more than any others, recognised effort and hard work. To miss chances or to score them, has one thing in common, you’ve got to be in the right place and he was.
115 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:26:42
The way he angled his body to open up his foot to place it in the top corner was quick thinking and good, pity it turned into a howler and not a peach of a goal.
Great result against a team that will normally be in the Champions League. I thought we would struggle but like always, when the chips are down with injuries, we come together and play as a unit.
116 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:25:26
Making mistakes in any sport is inevitable Â– it’s how you respond. Working hard when you haven’t got the ball is key to any successful team.
117 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:47:03
However, if you watched the game again, you'd notice that, on at least three occasions, he did something stupid with the ball and sent them on the attack when we were in fantastic positions. It wasn't that he was even trying hard skills or trying to retain the ball when under pressure, they were just brain-dead decisions or utterly pathetic attempts at finding a team-mate.
118 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:54:42
I just canÂt understand the criticism he gets though, if it were Mirallas (who I love) heÂd get of scot-free (really hope that phrase isnÂt racist).
I genuinely think McGeady has bought in to the Everton spirit Â– no other manager has got him to track back.
119 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:58:21
120 Posted 28/11/2014 at 13:15:46
IÂd agree but I think that "brain-dead" decisions are often a sign of the pressure (and yes, theyÂre paid to take it) a footballer who knows that fans arenÂt on his side is struggling against.
LD is still worshiped here and I donÂt remember him doing x10 better
121 Posted 28/11/2014 at 14:11:52
He slightly marred an otherwise excellent performance. Rom is coming good (of course), Kev is a threat (and in many ways the player some on here describe McGeady to be), the defence were excellent (Jags coming back to his very best and Distin even getting much stronger again).
Garbutt was very confident, accomplished indeed. Ross needs to play a bit in his correct position Â– he really is out of sorts, but he'll be back. Sam didn't have a great game and Osman was less effective than against WHU Â– but just about OK.
I really like Besic, but he needs to cut out the petulance Â– too many yellows and gratuitous ones at that. But he is a very good player, possibly a very very good, even world-class player in the making. We shall see.
Three points against Spurs would end an incredible week.
122 Posted 28/11/2014 at 14:10:39
123 Posted 28/11/2014 at 14:18:46
Rom will be immense, really immense for us, I predict.
124 Posted 28/11/2014 at 14:44:16
125 Posted 28/11/2014 at 14:34:57
Poor McGeady, I can't wait for things to go right for him, he is obviously quite a talent but had a bit of a 'mare. Credit to him, he worked incredibly hard for the team on the defensive side of the game. Think we should also mention Distin who has obviously come back into form, Jagielka, who is really playing well, and the newcomers Besic, outstanding, and Garbutt, who silenced any doubts about his ability. That result represents a huge step forward in the progress of the team and I hope we draw the confidence we deserve from it and stuff Spurs on Sunday.
126 Posted 28/11/2014 at 14:47:31
㿨k a week and all you have to do is pick eleven names and tell them to sort it out themselves how to play.
127 Posted 28/11/2014 at 15:13:51
The job of a manager is to build a team. The team was already built before Martinez arrived. AllÂs we really needed was a top striker. Fortunately for Martinez the money was there to buy a top striker.
128 Posted 28/11/2014 at 14:32:44
129 Posted 28/11/2014 at 15:50:50
130 Posted 28/11/2014 at 15:51:59
Oh sorry, that was the other team. We defended well, counter-attacked well and picked them off.
It's a lot easier to play fast, direct football when the other team charges forward like headless chickens and gives us space.
I'm not getting too carried away. A good performance, but Wolfsburg didn't look anything special to me; plenty of effort and energy suggesting a hive of activity, but a lack of cutting edge up front.
Once again, the team that can't defend kept a clean sheet, the team that doesn't create anything scored twice.
Still, my first trip to The Old Lady for a few years beckons on Wednesday. No doubt Hull will put 10 big meat-heads behind the ball and we'll struggle. At least it'll give Darren the chance to go on about tickeeeeee-tackiiiiiii. Or fix his keyboard.
131 Posted 28/11/2014 at 16:43:28
What it means for the midfield is that, instead of playing it to him straight away, they need to hold the ball, look for the pass, give him a chance to start his run, then give. We're just playing it too soon to him at the moment. It's a small tweak, but it will be a really effective one.
132 Posted 28/11/2014 at 16:55:21
133 Posted 28/11/2014 at 17:02:08
I was pleased as punch for Rom, as I think his confidence has been low since joining us permanently. Possibly the injury he had but there's no doubt now that he's becoming a fine centre forward again. Considering he's only 21, I think we'll see him just get better and better. Especially if we play to his strengths and give him the ball when he can run at the opposition goal.
I was really impressed with Garbutt. To come in when we're playing a top class, passing team and look so mature, really bodes well for the future. Besic was the same, he looked unflappable and brought the ball out of defence in excellent fashion.
What did I make of McGeady? I didn't really want to pick him out but a lot's been said about him.
First of all, Jamie, I don't see any reason to think that because he played for Celtic, he has come in for critcism for any reason other than footballing ones. When I was watching the game last night, I ended up screaming at him at times for giving the ball away so easily and also missing that sitter but I also applauded him for the fine work he did. But that is the frustration that goes on during the match.
My view of the lad, is that he also sweated blood for the team, never gave up, did some great work and some awful work. My view is that he will improve, as he hasn't had a lot of time yet to get over his experience in Russia. He can be a real asset to our team. I think he is just lacking in confidence at the moment. Certainly, getting on his back won't help him.
So everyone put in a fantastic shift last night. including the twelfth man Â– the fantastic Blues Supporters, they were brilliant.
134 Posted 28/11/2014 at 17:25:06
Rom for the second goal received the ball with back to goal and held off a very strong pair of challenges, from two defenders, turned both defenders and played a technically very good reverse ball at pace so well timed for Kevin to run onto...
Rom plays very well with his back to goal and has had several chances, set-ups and assists in the last three to five games. I particularly loved the one to release Baines and then on for Coleman... remember when he held off the player, put his foot on top of the ball and swivelled, paused to draw the defence and slipped the ball through... great link-up and target play with his back to goal...
Watching him last night was wonderful, his concentration and awareness, his power, holding off several defenders whilst playing on his own up front was a key part of the win. He was ruthless with his goal Â– even after defenders were throwing themselves at him.
A joy to watch and behold: a monster centre-forward growing up in-front of our eyes... great time to be a blue!
135 Posted 28/11/2014 at 18:07:47
In my opinion Romelu will develop into a top class centre forward. He is a one-in-two striker now so, when he learns to use his strength more and gets more experience, what his goal return could be is massive.
Unfortunately he is not, at the moment a back-to-goal striker. His attributes are his pace and his strength. Ideally he would benefit more from balls delivered earlier into the channels, and balls delivered on counter attacks from wide areas.
136 Posted 28/11/2014 at 18:34:53
I once watched a very awkward looking lad play for Marseilles a few years ago in the CL and thought to myself, he's got potential to be great (even though the commentators were almost laughing at him for his poor first touch and bad decision-making). Yes, you guessed it, it was Didier Droghba.
137 Posted 28/11/2014 at 19:48:36
My only wish now is for Barkley to kick-start his season, and get back to where he was mid-season last year, terrorising opposition defences and forging a great partnership with Lukaku. If he can reach that level again, I reckon we'll be the only team to beat Chelsea!!!
138 Posted 28/11/2014 at 20:19:15
If we can stay in contention until January, I think we've got a great shot at the 3-4th places as we will have almost everyone back from injury.
139 Posted 28/11/2014 at 19:34:02
If I belong to a particular group it is one that only exists in your own head. You don't see me criticising the players before, during, or after the match, I often complain about the tactics they are being asked to endure but am constantly bigging them up, saying that I believe they are good enough to break into top four. It's the manager I am not convinced about.
Your post is up there with your others where you repeatedly complain about the imaginary "haters" you think are lurking in the background on TW. I doubt there are many Evertonians who actually hate any of the players or the manager. I have praised the manager after virtually every game in this competition but, for the reasons I clearly stated, I am reserving all my praise for the players.
The manager clearly set up as usual to play two defensive midfield players and his plans where scuppered when McCarthy was forced to withdraw. That Ossie and Besic didn't play the endless sideways passing Â– and provided a far greater attacking threat than Macca and Barry ever do Â– was a lucky break rather than the "plan".
I could have posted something really profound like "RM is fantastic for EFC, full stop" and although it would have suited you it would have embarrassed me.
I did not criticise Martinez about last night's game Â– I just chose to give credit where I thought it belonged, with the players who changed the game after the manager's plan was showing very definite signs of unraveling.
Anyone who didn't see a more positive approach once Osman replaced McCarthy was watching a different game from me but, as I said earlier, I'm cool with that... I just don't like people trying to browbeat me into denying what I saw or the way I saw it.
140 Posted 28/11/2014 at 20:27:22
You may be in luck. We may well start that game with Ossie and Besic in front of the back four Â– they can't / won't do the endless sideways stuff. If this talented group of players actually attacks with real purpose, you may be in for a treat.
Enjoy your return.
141 Posted 28/11/2014 at 20:55:51
I don't think anyone sets out to pass it aimlessly; we do need some players to use pace and drive, like Oviedo at Old Trafford and Besic & Mirallas last night.
The main thing is that we're getting that consistency and solidity back; hopefully the pace and fun will now increase......
142 Posted 29/11/2014 at 06:23:32
Is there the slightest possibility that Roberto took into account the very high pressing game that Wolfsburg played and adapted his tactics when Ossie came on? By playing the pass straighter, earlier and a little longer?
That way you eliminate 3 or sometimes 4 of the oppositions players. It's a basic tactic to anyone who understands football.
143 Posted 29/11/2014 at 07:14:41
144 Posted 29/11/2014 at 18:51:20
Paul, of course its possible Â– eye of the beholder and all that.
Senior players have been calling it as they see it since time began. A good manager will trust them to do it.
Where you lavish your praise isn't important; we won.
145 Posted 29/11/2014 at 19:14:37
Let's agree it was a joint venture between manager and team.
146 Posted 29/11/2014 at 19:45:33
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.