Everton 0 - 1 Stoke City

Everton faced one of the more important matches of Roberto Martinez's reign as they took on Stoke City in freezing rain before a packed Boxing Day crowd, needing to produce a performance and a result that would re-establish their diminishing top-four credentials. Kevin Mirallas, James McCarthy and John Stones all returned, with Distin dropped to the bench, but no sign of Besic.

Everton started with some much-wanted spirit in the Boxing Day bear-pit that was a Goodison Park, looking for a big reaction from the home side to the dismal loss at Southampton last weekend. Mirallas tried to play for a penalty after Lee Mason had waved play on when Mirallas had his shirt pulled, but no yellow card for the Stoke perpetrator.

The game was stopped for a few minutes as Lukaku and Shawcross suffered a nasty clash of heads. Somehow, Stoke squandered a glorious chance after Stones was taken out with an awful sliding tackle where Whelan was deemed to be fair and he got the ball forward for a two-on-one, pushing it a little too wide to Diouf with Jagielka in well to block what looked to be a certain goal. Stones needed treatment on his just-healed ankle, but thankfully was soon up and playing again as Stoke pressed and could have scored with a header. Barkley was next in the wars, with a bloody nose requiring treatment.

A long session of pissing about at the back ended when Whelan again left his foot in on Jagielka and got only a talking to from Lee Mason. Stoke pressed again, with Jagielka crashing into a few players on a high ball and going down awkwardly for yet another session of injury treatment. Diouf almost got behind the Blue line but was called offside, and Everton from the free-kick went up to win their first corner that was cleared away. Lukaku looked to release Mirallas but the Belgian failed to put in a decent cross from the opportunity.

Next it was a Stoke player down and needing treatment after going in on Barry but it was Naismith who picked up the first yellow card for taking out Bojan. Naismith was then pulled back, getting a free-kick that saw a great shot from Mirallas deflected just wide. From the corner, Barry missed a complete sitter at the far post, choosing to put the ball back in the melee with the goal gapping.

Walters should have walked for a blatant pull back on Baines as the last man, but Mason only gave a yellow and then awarded a soft penalty for minimal contact by McCarthy on Bojan, who converted with ease into the corner of the goal to underline a stunning series of injustices. McCarthy was utterly incensed, convinced Bojan had dived, and there was more afters as he continued to make his point to the cheating Stoke player.

With TEN added minutes of injury time, Everton won a corner when Begovic fumbled the ball out over the byeline, and Naismith saw his header cleared off the line. It was helter-skelter stuff, Coleman bizarrely stuttering and playing an awful ball across the area, Barry finally firing in but with no real threat.

Stoke then played the possession game, winning a corner in the process as Everton seemed exhausted, Stoke putting together a few worthwhile attacks. It had been a horrible half of anti-football, refereed poorly by Lee Mason, and certainly not what the freezing Boxing Day crowd wanted to see, with Everton players fearful of turning, playing a forward ball, or taking a shot until Naismith set up Mirallas with just Begovic to beat but he scuffed his shot into the side netting to underline the dire state of proceedings, Howard hobbling off, also injured.

When the game finally resumed, it was with Robles in goal and Alcaraz on for Jagielka, the physical scrap in the freezing rain continuing as Stoke set out to frustrate Everton's possession game.

Stones did very well to deny Diouf but looked to have perhaps reinjured his weak(?) ankle as he hobbled around. Everton won their 6th corner, that almost got through to Naismith. A repeat corner was deeper but Alcaraz could only head over. Lukaku then fired straight at Begovic, and later Baines was also denied by the Stoke 'keeper.

Stoke were containing Everton and thwarting their passing game with close marking. Martinez made his final substitution for the last 20 minutes, Eto'o on for McCarthy. But Eto'o's initial touches were poor, leading to Adams going in on Barkley, but only getting a belated finger-wag from Mason. Things were just not working for Everton, as they tried to penetrate the thick wall of red&white stripped shirts, but lost possession too easily whenever they tried to break through.

Barry caught N'Zonzi to earn his 100th yellow card in Premier League football. Eto'o fed Lukaku who turned and ran on to shoot, but an easy gather for Begovic. Another corner was all too easily neutralized.

Eto'o did brilliantly to feed Naismith but Peters was all over him and he could not pull the trigger. Adam was yellow carded for a poor challenge on Mirallas that left him writhing on the ground. Adam later kicked the ball away, blatant time-wasting, ignored by Mason.

The Everton players had huffed and puffed in the difficult conditions but could not find a path to goal, resorting to less elegant football at times in desperation to get something out of the game, but it never looked like happening, as another players promise — to "put things right at Goodison" — sounded increasingly worthless. To add insult, Stoke went above Everton with this win, while the heat will be turned up to inferno level on Roberto Martinez.

Everton: Howard (46' Robles), Baines, Jagielka (46' Alcaraz), Stones, Coleman, Barry [Y:78'], McCarthy (69' Eto'o), Mirallas, Naismith [Y:28'], Barkley, Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Distin, Alcaraz, McGeady, Kone.

Stoke City: Begovic, Cameron [Y:83''], Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters [Y:35'], Bojan (69' Adam [Y:90']), Arnautovic (76' Assaidi), Diouf (92' Crouch).
Subs not Used: Huth, Palacios, Wilson, Butland.

Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 39,166

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Reader Comments (206)

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Graham Morris
1 Posted 26/12/2014 at 14:20:50
No Besic, not even on the bench!!

Probably dropped for being too aggressive and showing too much desire. Barry had better perform today...

Rahul Sreekumar
2 Posted 26/12/2014 at 14:30:00
No Besic Bulldog!

WhoÂ’s gonna charge at them Stoke guys now?

Eddie Dunn
3 Posted 26/12/2014 at 14:33:27
One winger, so who will play out wide, Naismith, Barkley or Lukaku?!
Sam Greenwood
4 Posted 26/12/2014 at 14:40:45
Best looking line-up IÂ’ve seen in quite some time, with the exception of Barry starting, and no Besic on the bench.
Faisal Bhayat
5 Posted 26/12/2014 at 14:42:05
No Besic!! Get a grip, Martinez!!!
Brian Hennessy
6 Posted 26/12/2014 at 14:44:24
RM seems to have learned nothing,

Barry, McCarthy our two DM obviously with Mirallas on one wing and Lukaku up top, thats all fine but either Naismith or Barkley out wide again, worrying...

Minik Hansen
7 Posted 26/12/2014 at 14:54:00
LetÂ’s just see how it goes, canÂ’t be worse than the last line-up, and hopefully with some substitutions late on.
Raymond Fox
8 Posted 26/12/2014 at 14:53:36
Presumably BesicÂ’s injured or ill, or could be RM thought he would get sent off because Stoke will make it one Â’scappyÂ’ match.
Brian Hennessy
9 Posted 26/12/2014 at 14:58:18
Just noticed too that having played for weeks with no central defenders on the bench, today we have two in Distin and Alcaraz.

Wonder whats the story with Besic missing?

Steven Telford
10 Posted 26/12/2014 at 15:38:33
The REF if a Fucking Disgrace!!!!!!!!
Len Hawkins
11 Posted 26/12/2014 at 15:54:04
Will Bullshit Bill tell Rubberto this is Mierdo sort it or Cabrear?
Peter Jansson
12 Posted 26/12/2014 at 15:54:26
Ohh my godm... so frustrating this is. I am about to throw out my computer here. Not only is EvertonÂ’s game going too slow as usual... also this crap referee on top of that.

It is totally clear that Everton do have only one way to play... they do not learn anything. Come on for f sake.. Play the ball more quickly forward, play less passes backwards, and put more players quicker up front!!

Steven Telford
13 Posted 26/12/2014 at 15:55:26
Every time we have a good break, rather than ride the crest of the wave we slow it down and the box gets so densely pack it ends up scrappy... almost every time.

What the point of distributing to the wings when our 8/10 of our crosses are shit?

If what happened to Bojangles warranted a penalty, then surely we should have had one for what happened to Mirallas in the opening minute.

Mirallas should have tucked that one away, and (given who would replace him) itÂ’s a concern to see Howard limping off at half time.

Timothy Sebastian
14 Posted 26/12/2014 at 15:57:56
Poor freekick by Mirallas, Stoke break out and McCarthy gives away the penalty. What happened to Baines taking freekicks?
Peter Jansson
15 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:02:43
What happened to the players digging in the dirt to work their fucking butts off?
Jim Knightley
16 Posted 26/12/2014 at 15:56:59
I thought the 20 or so minutes after the obvious red card were massively encouraging. It suggested that the injustice of it motivated us, and illustrates the need to get our spirit back.

Barkley has been awful, and we have the winger problem again. Mirallas should have scored, but is always dangerous, and is a level above the other attacking midfielders at the club. It is incredibly worrying that Stoke can break on us, and look so dangerous, especially when we have two deep lying midfielders on. It might be because the crowd are on the players back, but that is a bit problem. We either have to be very solid at the back or scoring lots of goals: we canÂ’t be neither. I think being solid at the back, playing with 2 dms, and giving the ball to the attacking players quickly makes sense. We need to use the pace and power we have, and not move the ball so slowly - it is partly tactics, and partly because the confidence isnÂ’t there.

Mike Childs
17 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:04:48
If he makes no subs at halftime he should be shot. Kone and EtoÂ’o for Lukaku and Naisy and go 4-4-2 for a real change of plan.
Jay Harris
18 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:06:06
I think weÂ’re playing much better today but it is still very frustrating at times especially when the roughhouse tactics of Stoke get them off with a yellow for what would have been a goal and then get a pen for going down easy.
Nick Entwistle
19 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:09:29
Fell asleep for all the important bits... so for me its still 0-0.
Terry McLavey
20 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:08:04
Why wonÂ’t anyone have a dig! Passing to someone else to avoid responsibility... classic symptoms of a team lacking in confidence. If you think nothing is wrong, Roberto, you are a Nob!
Daniel Joseph
21 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:26:10
IÂ’m waiting for Kone to come on and we will be fully re-branded...

FFS!

David Harrison
22 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:27:11
Like taking candy from a baby...
Alex Winstanley
23 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:33:11
This does not look good... ! We are in serious trouble now. Even if we get a point that wont be good enough!
Peter Jansson
24 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:43:37
With this useless football, I do not see Europa League next year... more likely relegation.
Trevor Lynes
25 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:44:49
Instead of bringing EtÂ’oo on Kone should be brought on.

God knows why we signed Kone as now he is fit and we still do not see him play. He must be used at sometime otherwise it is ridiculous. The lad played well in the two games I saw him play and he is a striker.

Mark Andersson
26 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:50:38
He has to go; it ainÂ’t going to get better no matter how much we hope.
Jamie Barlow
27 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:52:16
Get to 40 points as quick as possible by any means possible. Fuck all this pass, pass, pass, pazzzzzzzzzzzzz bullshit.

Bobby, you havenÂ’t got a fuckin clue.

Players, you havenÂ’t got a fuckin clue either.

IÂ’ve never watched a more boring disinterested set of twats in my life. Merry fuckin Christmas.

David Harrison
28 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:54:48
Roberto will feel much more at home now weÂ’re firmly entrenched in the bottom half. DonÂ’t worry though weÂ’ll be able to play our way out of it!
Ian Tunstead
29 Posted 26/12/2014 at 16:55:18
Martinez doesnÂ’t have a bloody clue... no idea whatsoever.

He has to go... no balance to the side, tactically inept.

John Audsley
30 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:04:21
IÂ’m not surprised by this result, IÂ’ve completely lost faith in RM and his fucking philosophy — it can fuck off to hell.

The players simply are not playing for him and are not fit enough either. We should have had a blood and thunder performance after the Southampton disgrace but we got a team of shy, quiet wankers instead.

Pathetic.

Mike Powell
31 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:04:08
Martinez out now before itÂ’s too late and he gets us relegated.
David Harrison
32 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:06:13
Phenomenal performance, though. Groundhog Day again
Nick Entwistle
33 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:04:22
"Everton have problems, they have big problems. Stoke felt the unease at Goodison when they came out here this afternoon. Everton fans were singing about opening up a new school of science last season, and not now."

More or less what the commentator said at final whistle. Bang on the money.

Peter Jansson
34 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:02:43
Seriously, they need to do a lot of changes now. Say what you want but Naysmith is not good enough. If on the Pitch he should be on top, not behind the striker. Barry is not either good enough. Martinez got to tell Coleman to put the ball into the Box, rather than try to dribble all the time. Martinez also needs to tell the players to be in the Box, and I mean more players than just Lukaku, so when having the ball on the flanks they have someone to aim at.

I have seen enough. Everton make it too simple for the opponents as they keep on playing the same shite game after game. That is why they lose. If Martinez can not change this game the next 5 matches, I am not behind him anymore... then sack him.

Ricci Green
37 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:06:52
WeÂ’re in an official relegation fight, next up is Newcastle and I canÂ’t see us getting fuck all from that result.

ItÂ’s so frustrating to watch this shower of shite, I canÂ’t see us improving any time soon and bobby has ready stated that there wonÂ’t be any new arrivals in January. ItÂ’s looking really bleak and were heading back to the mike walker days here am afraid.

Tony Hill
38 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:10:41
We are very fortunate that there is some awful shite in the PL, even worse than us.

If we lose against Newcastle and Hull then I fear RM is in serious trouble. After that we have Man City. Barry was terrible, likewise Coleman and Lukaku. Bad times, worrying times.

Phil Smith
39 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:13:43
Nice one, Mason, give them the fecking 3 points why donÂ’t ya! Twat!!! Should have had 2 players sent off there and that was another soft, soft penalty against us. Not getting the big decisions again.

Fecked off to the extreme...

Nicky Styles
40 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:16:29
Lots of people calling for RM head. IÂ’d gladly have Moyes back if results continue.
Brian Hennessy
41 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:08:44
That was an utterly terrible performance, not helped by RM team selection, as I said before the game playing Lukaku Naismith, Barkley together with no width apart from Mirallas.

His one remaining substitution he takes off McCarthy and brings on EtoÂ’o sums up for me that this manager hasnÂ’t a clue.

Coleman and Baines were terrible again as was Lukaku but for me Barry was the worst player on the pitch with his aimless passing, he should have been sent off too for that tackle he was booked for.

Depressing stuff, I said last week we have 5 or 6 players that need a kick in the arse and be dropped, Bobby doesnÂ’t have the balls to do it

Jamie Barlow
42 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:16:13
3 teams in the Prem worse than us at the moment?

I hope youÂ’re right Tony.

David Harrison
43 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:15:58
You canÂ’t dodge a bullet forever, Tony, as Martinez knows only too well after flirting with relegation for so long at Wigan before the barrel was loaded. How depressing to be relying on the likes of WBA & Leicester being worse than us
Mike Hughes
44 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:14:02
Have yourself a merry little Christmas .....?
More like, In the Bleak Midwinter.

Plan B appears to be bury head in the sand.
That difficult second season is here Roberto.

Phenomenal it ainÂ’t.

Jay Harris
46 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:13:21
Th most worrying thing is the number of injuries we have picked up.

Be surprised if Howard, Stones, Jagielka, Mirallas and McCarthy make the Newcastle game and why wasnÂ’t Besic at least on the bench today.

We are becoming Wigan very quickly.

Daniel Joseph
47 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:15:33
62% Possession - how much of that is side to side and back again amongst the back 4?
In desperate need of a Plan A not B.
Woeful
Nick Entwistle
48 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:19:03
Brian, I can understand the lack of width opposing the Mirallas flank, a winger is going to send crosses in which Stoke ate up all day long (some nice footballerÂ’s tense).

Those attackers in the middle tried to force the ball through the middle, but hereÂ’s the thing... every team knows that if you sit back Lukaku will go missing - Every - Fucking - Time.

Roman Sidey
49 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:08:38
Yeah that was not good.

I have changed to Australian time and slept through the alarm I set so missed most of the match. Saw the final 10 minutes and that was enough. Here we have players not playing for the manager. 0-1 down with five to go, and there was no urgency. It was like they only needed a narrow loss to progress from a knock-out tie or something.

DidnÂ’t see JagsÂ’ injury, but by god I hope he gets a few games out and someone with a bit of heart gets the armband. I saw more hassle towards the ref in those final minutes than I have in years watching Everton.

Finally, can someone tell me how, on the field or off, someone hasnÂ’t put a sharp object through Charlie AdamÂ’s face? He is one of the most dispicable human beings I have seen in the Premier League era.

Anto Byrne
50 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:03:30
There is something definitely amiss here, We concede soft penalties at City and now at home to Stoke. ThatÂ’s at least the second time we have been put clear and had the last defender drags the man down (professional foul) and it not get punished appropriately. Since when has kicking the ball away not been rewarded with a yellow?

In my mind Besic was the man for this game his aggressive tackling perfect for Stoke. Now Barry gets his ton of yellows the most by any player in the history of the league and premiership. The game was a pile of shit with two shit sides now in a real relegation dogfight.

With Newcastle and Hull away we could be firmly entrenched in the bottom six. Burnley QPR look doomed and the way we played today I think we are Doomed. What happened to Howard break a finger nail or something?

Nick Entwistle
55 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:29:37
Yeah I read that and thought it hilarious. Over the top youtube ranting at its finest. WouldnÂ’t surprise me if it were deleted though... then again after one loss I said something horrendous about ArtetaÂ’s missus. Free speech, reflecting the emotions. It does have its place even if we sometimes donÂ’t like it.
Tom Cuffe
56 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:30:00
Do the honourable thing Bobby, and step down.
Tony J Williams
57 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:32:07
ThatÂ’s it, IÂ’m done. No more....
Mike Oates
58 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:21:22
Not getting the decisions, last man Walters should have been sent off, soft penalty but could have gone either way but we are way off form. Poor confidence, even Naismith today didnÂ’t get one flick, pass right at all today and was too slow to react to the late chance. Mirallas normally should have buried that first half chance, as should have Barry from corner and Coleman when put through, but its just not going for anyone.

Problems we are faced with is how the hell do we bring Baines and Coleman into the game, they get the ball late, marked and facing brick walls. Lukaku must be joined by someone else up top, someone who stays in box, holds up play and is available for crosses or available to help Baines and Coleman get in game. Lukaku comes too deep, and if and when we get round the back thereÂ’s no one at all in box.

Barkley is a luxury who will glitter about one in five games but again played too far up or out wide, his best position is deeper but you have to realise he useless at defending. Stones will give the ball away, he just will, his style is one of taking risks and as in pre-season he will give chances to the opposition.

Our counter attacking has just evaporated, one good chance from about 6 opportunities today, the other 5 just get caught up in poor decisions.

Lastly Eto is really a waste of space, he comes on, wants to dictate the play and he just cant, and we are about to witness whether Robles will ever be a Premiership goalie. We all need to pray.

Bill Gall
59 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:27:12
Do not start commenting on the ref even though yes he had a bad game. Everton under Martinez is incapable of beating the team in front of them regardless of who the ref is and under the stubborn attitude of Martinez our only hope is we are able to beat the teams worst than us and that number is diminishing rapidly.

I said after the Southampton game that the next game was a turning point of both Martinez being able to turn things around and if not if BK had any backbone .Martinez failed and I am not going to hold my breath on BK.

Andy Crooks
60 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:37:34
Just another poor show from an uninspiring inept coach. This man really has it in him to get a decent squad relegated.

I have absolutely no more faith in him. I knew our last coach, however poor the football, would keep us safe. I believed after serious initial doubts that we had the right man. Not any more. He may well turn it round ; frankly, though, I donÂ’ t want a coach who, with a good squad, finds himself needing to turn it round at Christmas.

The first half of the season was abysmal. The chairman must do what is necessary now.

John Zapa
61 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:45:34
The club canÂ’t afford to sack Martinez and pay him off. This rubbish will carry on for the rest of the season and into the championship if it were not for there being 3-4 even worse teams in the league.
Brian Hennessy
62 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:40:34
Nick@49, I see what you mean about Stoke dealing with crosses but having some wingers doesnÂ’t always have to end with crossing the ball.

Problem is, every time Baines picked up the ball he had nobody down the line to link up with so he had to play the ball back inside time and time again.

I agree full with you on Lukaku it bugs the hell out of me that a guy his size cannot head the ball or hold it up.

Garbutt should be brought in on left side of midfield for our next game, at least he can cross the ball and take a corner, Kone on and drop Lukaku.

Bench Barry too if we have anyone fit who can play there

Alan Clarke
63 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:51:01
If Moyes was the problem, Martinez is not the answer. At Everton, the least we should expect is some fight in the team. We have nothing now. This is as bad as anything we saw under Walker and Smith. I canÂ’t believe anyone is still supporting the thin Spanish waiter. That can only be blind faith? Things wonÂ’t get better because Martinez lacks the mental capacity to change it.
Tahir Abdullah
65 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:54:52
CanÂ’t change?

WonÂ’t change?

Must change!!!

Tom Bowers
66 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:49:11
It was hardly a surprise they had another bad result today after the recent poor run of form. Sadly the writing was on the wall after that very first game at Leicester when they couldnÂ’t hold on and Leicester have proved to be a very poor side since. Yes itÂ’s easy to say in hindsight but many games since the opening day have shown the team to be inadequate.

Martinez, after some good results last season, appears to have fallen flat on his face this season and many times he looks like a deer in the headlights on the sideline. Being beaten by a weakened Saints side without scoring and then by Stoke without scoring is an indicator where the main problem is.

Most fans have hit on the problems today and now we have to wait to see what BK does to arrest the problem before we end up in the bottom three.

Zaid Omar
67 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:54:13
I canÂ’t see where the next win will come from... Even at the end of the game today, you got the feeling that our players were waiting for the final whistle. The team look clueless at the moment.
Tony Hill
68 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:27:09
The rumours of discontent in the dressing room look likely to be true. There is a vacancy at the centre of our play which is not I think simply down to lack of confidence. Coleman, for example, looks like a man who is entirely without faith in the team.

The obvious danger is that we get sucked into a vortex and I share the concern that we have no characters, apart from Besic and maybe McCarthy, who could get us out of it. If Jagielka is injured then that may present an opportunity, long overdue, to get a serious captain. I have suggested Macca or, against current form, Coleman.

The other need is to get in a winger and a striker, even if they are shorter term options, in January. Buy or loan it matters not but this has become a stagnant squad and we are conspicuously lacking in pace up front. RM says he wonÂ’t add anyone but he has no choice on this evidence.

Other obvious route is to bring in Garbutt and play Baines ahead of him, as so many have said.

I am a consistent supporter of this manager but we are all bound to recognise that what is happening, and has been happening for a while, is simply not to the standard demanded.

.

Colin Glassar
69 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:53:03
He wonÂ’t be sacked so forget that. A few times OFM was in trouble and BK didnÂ’t sack him, so he wonÂ’t sack this one either.
David Barks
70 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:48:15
This team cannot even manage to get shots on goal. The style of play, the style this manager has put in place, has completely killed the strengths of our best players.

Baines and Coleman were marauding full back who were always getting in behind the defense and either putting in quality balls or getting shots away. Now? The play is static, players donÂ’t make runs behind the defense because the tactics are to just make the safe pass and play it backward when pressured. Every single match, this is what happens.

And the amount of space between the players when in possession, itÂ’s a joke. TheyÂ’re never within 20 yards of each other, so the passes have to cover too much ground and the defense is never under pressure. They can just step in front of the long passes and intercept.

And itÂ’s no coincidence that the only time we did have a chance to score was when we played a direct ball over the top and the players all just ran at the defense. It wasnÂ’t slow passing from the back. It was Howard sending it over the top and catching the defenders on the break. ItÂ’s really not a complicated game. You attack the defense, thatÂ’s literally where the saying "on the back foot" comes from, the defenders are running backwards and having to react to the attacking players.

This manager does not have any other ideas, this is it. Last season the players still played with the defensive solidity that was instilled under Moyes. ThatÂ’s what our success was based off of last season, we didnÂ’t concede goals. This manager has completely killed that side of our game now and he has no clue when it comes to attacking football in the English game. He has got to go.

Amit Vithlani
71 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:46:17
Gambling on winning the Europa League cannot justify a poor Premier League campaign. Defeat today has marked the boundary of our realistic achievement this season – mid-table at best; at worst, staving off relegation.

Most concerning is the absence of team spirit from the squad. When was the last time we came from behind to win? The players totally lack self-belief. There is a distinct whiff of lethargy and an absence of passion. Horrible sense of foreboding.

John Gee
72 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:43:04
Lee Mason should be investigated and sacked. He canÂ’t referee a game. Stoke should have had two players (at least) sent off. He missed handballs, shoves, kicks and jostling all game. Every time he gets a game in the PL the fans are talking about how bad he is. Clown of the highest order. Or bent.

As for the performance... I think we showed a (little) bit more urgency and intent but it still wasnÂ’t good enough. The result is more important than the performance and, today, Martinez showed he doesnÂ’t know how to get it. Two games left Bobby, then you can go on an extended holiday at our expense.

BTW, our best midfielder today was Baines when he came into the middle at various times. ItÂ’s been kicked around now ever since Lahm made the switch. I think itÂ’s time we tried him in place of Barry.

Martinez out... itÂ’s time we get a true blue in charge.

Mike Childs
73 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:50:32
Very upset with the halftime subs. Joel had to come on but, trailing by a goal and needing an offensive threat, he brings on Alcaraz. He should have pushed Barry to the back line and then been able to bring on two offensive threats, one who should have been Kone.

I swear heÂ’s afraid to have Kone come on and overshadow Lukaku.

Michael Evans
75 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:50:58
Keep the faith?

Anyone else questioning how much more of this shite you want to take?

Millionaire players and Manager going home to their luxury mansions whilst we vent our despair and anxiety.

IÂ’ve Â’kept the faithÂ’ for 40 years and IÂ’m sure many of you have many more than that under your belt.

IÂ’m beginning to question if we are just mugs?

Martin Kulkarni
76 Posted 26/12/2014 at 17:50:47
John Zapa.
Which 3-4 teams are worse than us? Leicester were unlucky today, Hull won at Sunderland, and we have already lost at home to Palace.

Colin Glassar suggested earlier today that we needed all of the teams below us to win so we could make up ground on those above us. When I suggested the opposite to keep the gap between us and those teams below us, he rather patronisingly suggested that I "look on the bright side". Well guess who got lucky today that they all did lose otherwise we would be closer to the bottom teams right now.

The problem is, those Â’lesserÂ’ teams arenÂ’t all going to lose all of the time. How many are we going to win?

If we donÂ’t change the manager soon, and hire someone who knows what they are doing, we are going down. This idiot has lost the players. They donÂ’t believe in him and we getting shafted by officials in the process especially in not protecting players from thugs masquerading as footballers.

Get someone in to get these players at it and maybe, just maybe we will survive.

Robby Graham
78 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:02:00
It really is crazy how unfit and out of sorts the players look. At least under Moyes you new the players were fit and we could out last anyteam, but know we look fucked after 60 mins, I would really love to know what goes on in training I really would .
Alan Clarke
79 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:11:43
Tony Hill 69, what are the rumours of unrest?
Tony Hill
83 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:17:02
Alan 81, Others today have said that Oviedo rowed with the manager having been told he was 3rd choice left back and will be sold, further that Jagielka has had a blazing argument with coaching staff. Hope none of itÂ’s true, but it looks to me as though something is badly wrong beyond just confidence and form.
James Stewart
84 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:20:34
Martinez OUT!

He will hide behind some poor ref decisions but, even if they had gone down to 10 men, it still would have been the same result.

Abysmal to watch and we are now in a drastically worse state than when Moyes left us. Martinez is just tactically inept and I see no hope of improvement under him. HeÂ’s got to go.

Alan Clarke
85 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:28:57
Tony 85, itÂ’d at least explain a few things. More of the senior players need to speak up to the manager and coaches and tell then it isnÂ’t working. Martinez isnÂ’t in a position to buy 11 new players so he either starts playing a system that suits the players we have or fucks off.
Damian Braithwaite
87 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:30:34
This year is a complete right off now, poor tactics, poor fitness, poor training, poor corners, poor substitutions with a stubborn unwillingness to mix it up. Think the camp will be split now, defo think heÂ’s losing the players faith
Martin Mason
88 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:02:26
Is it possible that the players are being asked to play a system that they arenÂ’t easy with or that theyÂ’re convinced just doesnÂ’t work? IÂ’ve been lucky not to be able to see the last two awful results live but what has happened to Baines and Coleman attacking deep and wide?

At worst we could be in real trouble in a couple of weeks or at best have a season that is over.

It seemed so positive after last season but itÂ’s crashed badly. Injuries yes but I think the loss of Pienaar, Distin and Barry as an effective force due to advancing years and not having the tragically underrated Osman to plug the gaps has been a blow but perhaps one not so difficult to have foreseen?

The Lukaku gambit would seem to have failed , heÂ’s not the type of player who can make us play well only one who would flourish if we could play well?

It looks to me as the building we did over the last 3 transfer windows and from the Academy has failed and that we need to do it again with a lot less money available. Either that or we have to have a manager with the flexibility to resolve things or a new manager. The new manager is the last thing we should do now and in many ways I support Bill Jong Il in his loyalty.

Are we in crisis? Not yet for me but when the rot sets in it can drag down good clubs very quickly and RM needs to act very quickly and he needs to think out of his comfortable box. His tip tap doesnÂ’t work and sides know that by forcing up on us we canÂ’t play. We donÂ’t do 4-4-2 or 3 at the back but we do 4-5-1 well with one holding midfielder like Carsley not 2 as we insist on playing now.

I watched Chelski stroll it against a WHU side that played very hard at lunch time and guess what, Chelski donÂ’t do tip, tap unless the backward ball is the best or thereÂ’s nothing else on; they are beautifully direct. Mind you position for position they have some of the best in the world like Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Hazard, Oscar, Diega Costa, Matic (what a player), Ces Fabregas, a rejuvenated John Terry and a great shape. I think the League is already gone to them good as City are and I think the concept of Everton getting to dine at the same table, as in top 4 are pure fantasy now and forever unless we find a great Sheiker. WeÂ’re next division down..

Pullis, Royle, Keane, Aldridge as our next manager? Pass me the revolver.

Mike Green
90 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:37:16
Just back from match.

Vanity football with no real use of the ball that could punish a team who couldÂ’ve taken a nap for most of the second half. No movement, quick passing, pace, width or attacking with intent. Set pieces a waste of time again (corners feel like a goal kick to the opposition). No change of tactics to make things happen. No one leading us to victory. A group of individuals.

After IÂ’ve seen enough to know we should cut our losses now.

Martinez Out.

Sam Hoare
91 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:38:06
Something has gone very wrong. IÂ’m genuinely not sure whether I want Martinez to stay or go. Irrelevant of what I want IÂ’m pretty sure he will be staying for rest of this season at least. Unless we fall into the bottom 3 which suddenly doesnÂ’t seem quite so implausible. Kenwright has shown loyalty to the manager in the past and that should be commended I think.

My concern is whether Martinez has the ability to turn this around and regain the faith of the players and fans. There has just been so little in our performances that inspire faith. Flimsy at the back, uninspired up front and worst of all so little heart and guts from the players.

What has happened?

michael allanson
93 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:05:11
IÂ’ve had it with RM now. IÂ’ve just watched Stoke out-pass us and out-think us with ease. I expected a reaction as promised after Southampton. With McCarthy back, I thought weÂ’d have more energy and drive; what we got was shapeless and aimless once more. Martinez simply seems to have no idea.

In times past, when this type of form surfaced, the sensible thing to do is circle the wagons, go back to basics, and become hard to beat. Pig-headed Martinez will probably just throw in more attacking midfielders to demonstrate how heÂ’ll be sticking to his principles. Well, Bobbie you stuck to those principles at Wigan and they played Leeds in the Championship today.

I want action because IÂ’m afraid weÂ’re all style over substance; we may not go down this season but the Martinez style will do so next season. If the Hull, Newcastle and West Ham games pan out how we all expect, then IÂ’m afraid it should be Adios, Bobbie...

Andy Crooks
94 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:40:38
I have been concerned since the home game against Wolfsburg when we were poor but lucky. Under Smith and the last coach the dross we experienced could be excused in some measure by financial constraints. There is no excuse for what has been served up this season.

Since the end of last season Marinez in every aspect of his management has looked unfit to manage this club. This is, of course looking with hindsight because I have defended him on the evidence of his first season. Last week was the worst performance by a coach I have ever seen at any level in my life. There are no excuses for his continued insipid ineptitude. A club with any kind of ambition would be rid of him.

Martin Mason
95 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:50:28
Could this see a Blue Union comeback? Oh dear, it all looked so brilliant last year.

If they do go for a new manager IÂ’d hope that theyÂ’d promote from within rather than bring in yet another new broom. Perhaps Jags as player Coach?

My current feeling is that RM is a snake oil salesman but itÂ’s been a bad day.

Damian Braithwaite
96 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:52:49
IÂ’m only guessing here but to me the players look divided, theyÂ’re not buying into his philosophy and donÂ’t look convincing when on the pitch, we need leaders out there. Fuck the style of play and battle like you know what it means to wear Evertons jersey. Martinez needs to have a chat with joe Doyle me thinks.
Colin Malone
97 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:57:46
Back to a 4 5 1 with one holding midfielder.
We are missing Ossie.
Darren Hind
98 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:01:54
Martinez on the penalty - "You could see what the striker was after"

What a fucking pity Martinez wasnt around in the summer to "see what he was after" - A move to the prem.

Bojan has already won several games for Stoke, he cost less than 2m and Mark Hughes was able to sign him because he was totally focused on Stoke this summer

Damian Braithwaite
99 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:14:04
El Perron de la guerra
The dogs of war
Guy Hastings
100 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:09:49
At least weÂ’ll have the experience of this seasonÂ’s extra Europa games to take into consideration when planning for the 46 that await us at the start of next season.
Dave Abrahams
101 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:09:11
Martin Mason(97).

Jags as player -coach, could you explain why?.

Charles Barrow
103 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:15:20
Think too many people are pushing the panic button. Yes the football and and results are not acceptable but its still December. Martinez has to earn his enormous salary now. I can only hope he is seriously worried and going to try new combinations in the new year.

If he doesnÂ’t then he s too stubborn to be a decent coach.

But letÂ’s give him a bit more time for the penny to drop.

Mike Childs
104 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:18:25
Yes, we missed on Bojan... but how did we miss out on Aloyze Perez of Newcastle who came from the second division of the Spanish league?
Daniel A Johnson
105 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:23:09
What amazes me is that prior to the season we were all licking our lips at the prospect of challenging for 4th. Here we are Boxing Day bottom half of the league 3 points above WBA and 6 off the bottom 3 and people are saying we are pressing the panic button!

If this was any other team from the supposed top 6, there would be nuclear fall out, but hey weÂ’re plucky little Everton – happy to be here – after all, there is always next season... right?

WeÂ’re Everton: No pressure, no expectation, no belief, no respect!

Darren Hind
106 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:24:37
Mike Childs

DonÂ’t start making a list of the gems Martinez missed this summer, youÂ’ll only depress yourself.

Steve Carse
107 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:22:30
Charles (105), if it takes so long for Â’the penny to dropÂ’ then the manager concerned has no place in charge of a PL side, or any side for that matter. I think he is stubborn. But worse than that, heÂ’s clueless.

Will BK act? Well, I donÂ’t think heÂ’s anywhere near as into RM as he was Moyes. Furthermore, heÂ’ll be under pressure from his unofficial backers (Green etc) to make sure their hopes of a financial return from moving to a new ground and then selling up are not flushed down the pan through relegation. I reckon that defeats in all of the next 3 PL games will see Martinez out the door.

Ron Sear
108 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:25:32
Why, oh bloody why did we buy away tickets for the Hull game? I now know how somebody who has been defrauded out of their life savings by a con artist must feel. Utterly humiliated and sick that they didnÂ’t spot what was really happening with the weasel words.and faked reassurance.
Joe Foster
109 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:27:54
The penneys dropped and rolled down the drain. Fuck new year combinations. Some one at the club needs to get a grip and sort this shambles
Kevin Dale
110 Posted 26/12/2014 at 18:58:46
Preseason set the agenda for this season - it was a shambles! I think we have the best squad of players for many a year, but with this style of play heÂ’s insisting we stick with does not bring out the best of our team or suits the premiership (I think Wigan proved that!), its been figured out! plus the absence of any plan B means we are a very predictable team!

My only worry; how far do we let him persist with this un-entertaining passing style of play, will it be at the expense of our status at at this level, I really hope not!

Joe Foster
111 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:33:34
I donÂ’t care if itÂ’s the kit man some one needs to shake some life into these buggers
Jay Harris
112 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:31:39
Thought we played quite well first half but then a combination of lack of fitness and the managers "motivational" half time team talk ensured we were insipid second half.

What the hell was he thinking bringing ETO on again to have ETo Nais Luk Mirallas and Barkley all in the same space.

He needs to go asap.

Allan Board
114 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:01:17
Lots of anger and frustration which is very understandable. Just took a look at the table from one year ago,after loss to Sunderland. 13 more points,4 more wins and 5 fewer losses. We also had Irvine and Stubbs on the coaching staff, knew virtually all the players for many years and were perhaps the "ones" who players confided in. It was a big mistake to let Irvine go the 1st time(to Preston)and the team lost some of its togetherness and suffered accordingly. To let him go again was just stupid and here we go again. Martinez needs to realise and understand quickly that for all his philosophies and flannel,players need an outlet to dump there moans. Irvine being that outlet and being a top coach too. Like Colin Harvey with Kendall,Phelan with Ferguson. These guys are great coaches who see the best and worst of players on a daily basis and drop vital hints in managers ears,especially when things are not quite right.

Best bit is the players trust these coaches so its a win win situation. Martinez has rubbish coaches who just agree with him all the time,even when they know its wrong too!
Walker nearly relegated Everton operating the same way so perhaps we wont be so lucky this time round . Me? Id let Martinez go and invite Stubbs and Irvine back to run things. But perhaps because im worried ,im now desperate?

Andy Crooks
115 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:32:52
Charles # 105, why has Marinez to earn his enormous salary NOW? Why not since last April? This is not pushing the panic button , it is about ending the misery of a man utterly out of his depth. Turning the season round would only be getting out of a mess created by his abject performance.

I have never in forty five years supporting Everton had less faith in a coach. I am happy to admit to being blinded by the snake oil charm but he must go.

Mike Childs
116 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:31:04
Touché Darren. What is worst we appear to have enough talent on board but a lack of guile on how to use that talent.

I blame BK for the lack of talent available because to me he obviously refuse to spend a quid till he had Lukaku signed. Where Chelsea played us like a fine tuned fiddle. WeÂ’re so hell bend on making him a complete striker we donÂ’t play to his strengths instead letÂ’s use this year to teach. Same with Ross lets play him out of positIon to make an all around player out of him.

Still thought without a doubt the 4-2-3-1 formation that must not be changed whatsoever is the worst.

Paul Dark
117 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:42:15
Kenwright must now speak to Martinez and tell him what is required.

The performances are as bad as the results.

It is unacceptable.

COYB!

Eddie Dunn
118 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:28:01
The result was a shame, the ref terrible as he always is, and Stoke were...well Stoke!
Better teams than us have come up short in the face of their lines of tanks.
I thought that we battled well, and just lacked a cool head when we had the odd chance.

It was nothing like the Southampton affair, but not worthy of some of the over-reaction on here.

We didnÂ’t get the rub of the green, but on the positive side, we didnÂ’t miss Jags or Howard!

Also, why does Mirallas act like he has been tasered every time he gets fouled.
The refs all watch Match of the Day, and will be even less likely to give him free kicks. I thought he must have diddled himself , with his reaction.

Baines moved into the middle at times and we suddenly looked much better. Time for Garbut at left back, and Baines in the middle.

Barkley was a spectator, time for him to have a rest. Kone has to start at Newcastle, with Rom on the bench. Good job Nais is banned, he was useless wide right, and is only effective at ten, behind the striker.

Ken Williams
119 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:40:00
Posted on the official site, my thoughts on the way the season is going so far, strangely it was never shown....canÂ’t even critisise the the team.
Dave Abrahams
120 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:46:42
Eddie Dunne(120).sensible letter, I agree with most of it.

When Mirrallis is good he is very good, but when he is bad he is very bad, today he was the latter. When you are having a bad run like we are now, you never get the rub of the green and the ball will not run for you, the big decisions will go against you, like today.

As Eddie said we were not great but not as bad as most are saying on here.

Nick Armitage
121 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:27:56
We have been here numerous times with OFM, I just canÂ’t understand why the club canÂ’t put a decent season together. Martinez needs to take his stubborn head out of the clouds quickly. We are badly missing Pienaar and Osman and BarryÂ’s legs have gone after his exploits of last season. Pienaar has been or main man for years, his quick passing raises the tempo and his defensive cover makes us very hard to beat. He is criminally underrated and without him we have no incisive edge or tempo and Baines is half the player without him. Whelan said that Martinez would take Everton places where they could never dream of, how quickly those dreams have turned to nightmares. Something is really wrong there and currently we donÂ’t have a Phil Neville or Tim Cahill to dig in and grind out a result or two.
Bobby Thomas
122 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:58:08
Blatantly have the look of a side heading for big trouble.
Martin Mason
123 Posted 26/12/2014 at 19:55:25
Dave 103

The only success weÂ’ve had since 1970 was when when we appointed a player coach in Howard Kendal who blossomed into a great manager. It was a bit tongue in cheek but paying millions for a manager who accomplishes nothing is common, is it really that difficult?

Paul Smith
125 Posted 26/12/2014 at 20:16:06
There is a milaize throughout the team and more worryingly for me, throughout the crowd at the olÂ’ lady. Hardly surprising the shit theyÂ’re being served up.
Raymond Fox
126 Posted 26/12/2014 at 20:19:28
Paul, Martinez doesnÂ’t get to go on the field, the players are not proving good enough this season, nothings stopping them producing passes and moves to score, their just not doing it.
Dave Abrahams
127 Posted 26/12/2014 at 20:28:03
Martin Mason. Maybe a lot on here are right, maybe not and the concept of bringing in a new manager / coach will change things round

I just canÂ’t see Jagielka as that person, he doesnÂ’t inspire as a captain never mind a coach.

Mark Taylor
129 Posted 26/12/2014 at 20:21:10
I havenÂ’t entirely lost faith with Martinez but then that is mainly because I did not treat him as the messiah when he came in, so my expecations were not inflated, and had due respect for MoyesÂ’s achievements at the club, certainly in terms of league position. But nor do I think last year was entirely MoyesÂ’s legacy, a lot of our success can be attributed to Martinez. He did many things right. But this game moves on and you have to move with it.

WeÂ’ve analysed this to death on here but I think there are a number of problem areas

- Each year, no matter how well youÂ’ve done, you need to refresh the squad. We promised to do so, with the extra EL demands, but in truth didnÂ’t. We had no meaningful increase in senior players, Besic aside (arguably- because he hasnÂ’t played very much). We should have shipped a few out and shipped a few in. No more than that, but I think squads do need invigorating.

- We keep playing players out of position, partly because….

- We are woefully inadequate out wide, now we know that Pienaar is past it, Atsu is not Delboy and McGeady is as inconsistent here as he was at Celtic and Spartak.

- Possession does not equal goals. I hope after today, the penny finally drops with Martinez. I would ask him to instead consider just how many goals are scored after more than 20 passes. Or even more than 10.

- Plan B or C would come in useful, preferably in a controlled fashion responding to whatÂ’s happening on the pitch, rather than an act of desperation on the part of the players.

- Practise set pieces. ThatÂ’s a good way of scoring. This wonÂ’t spoil the pretty football that won the set piece in the first place.

- We seem to have a problem with conditioning. We get lots of injuries, poor recoveries. I wonder if this is also connected with the appalling pre season.

- Never let it be said I told you so but it is perhaps not wise to spunk the next 2 years transfer budget on a player that the best manager in the game has unequivocally deemed to be not good enough, having had a good hard look, and who got relegated to third choice striker for Belgium, behind a guy who Liverpool donÂ’t think is even ready to play PL.

IÂ’m sure others can add the ones IÂ’ve missed. Having said all that, I donÂ’t think now is the time to sack Martinez. I think he has earned the right to try and fix things but he does need to see that there is much to be fixed and that we do need to refresh in January.

Mind you, boys pen Billy needs to understand that too, otherwise, heÂ’ll lose his train set….

Charles Barrow
130 Posted 26/12/2014 at 20:14:25
I think the problem is that Martinez believed all the hype from last season and when he pissed off to the World Cup as the resident expert for some channel it just massaged his ego. By all accounts he under prepared for this season and the chickens are truly coming home to roost.

I believe he realises, a little late, to put it mildly, that heÂ’s mucked up big time this season. I want him to succeed but if we are still languishing towards the bottom half of the table come April then ye he,ll have to go.

But he could turn it round. Look at west ham and to a lesser extent newcastle. What Martinez has to do is play everyone in their natural position and play only those in form no matter their reputations. If he does that we can climb up the table.

Mike Childs
131 Posted 26/12/2014 at 20:36:27
Eddie Dunne canÂ’t argue with your opinion itÂ’s spot on.

Sorry Nick Armitage but the Pienaar of three years ago I could agree with you but the last 2 plus year his best and most often used offensive play is to dive.

It isnÂ’t the lack of Pienaar causing damage to BainesÂ’s game itÂ’s the fact that he hasnÂ’t had a proper rest is in three years. He plays every game for us as well as every England friendly or WC qualifier same for JagÂ’s both need a rest.

Russell Green
132 Posted 26/12/2014 at 21:05:56
Roberto has 2 games too show what he has got. This season has been a massive non-starter and anti-climax where we believed after the summer we would be challenging the top 4 after spending are biggest outlay ever. We are Everton, for ChristÂ’s sake, we need to be moving forward... So, so frustrating!!!!!
Ste Traverse
133 Posted 26/12/2014 at 21:13:35
No change in the formation or tactics and the same result. Roberto isnÂ’t learning, is he?

That said, after our fast-paced start in the first couple of minutes, I thought something had changed, then we soon slipped back into the slow, boring approach which has long been sussed out.

The ref was a joke. But it wasnÂ’t his fault we AGAIN created next to nothing.

Mirror image of last Boxing Day with a home defeat to a side in red and white stripes decided by a first half penalty. Although, that day, Sunderland were well and truely hammered and were lucky not have been beaten by a large score. Unlike our feeble Â’effortsÂ’ today.

Martinez is surely skating on thin ice right now. Though I doubt that clown Kenwright will even consider pulling the trigger.

Clive Lewis
134 Posted 26/12/2014 at 21:20:14
Not sure I would put money on us staying up if we were 6 points off relegation near the end of the season. WhatÂ’s all the panic? I thought it might be better next season, depending on what division we are in.

We are Everton remember Nil Satis and all that. If I was BK I wouldnÂ’t be taking risks. Martinez will take us down!

Eddie Dunn
135 Posted 26/12/2014 at 21:30:17
I think that weÂ’ve all seen this sort of game before under Moyes; it is just more frustrating now, after last season. All our hopes were up and, even though I personally wasnÂ’t overly excited with the MartinezÂ’s appointment, I was caught up in last seasonÂ’s great effort.

The squad we have is full of talent and this is why I think we are all so at a loss. It can only be down to the management as many of the old guard are reliable pros who play with pride.

Mistakes we can put up with, and loss of form happens to even the best, but it is something more worrying that is sparking such despondency especially after we had so many high hopes.

Dick Fearon
136 Posted 26/12/2014 at 21:39:11
Martinez philosophy that possession is the name of the game has yet again been proved wrong.

As in most games this year we had massively more possession yet lost .

Neil Gribbin
137 Posted 26/12/2014 at 21:46:01
Adios Roberto
Brent Stephens
138 Posted 26/12/2014 at 22:25:12
Roberto has much to answer for in terms of where he is playing some of the lads, and in terms of tactics. But FFS Ross Barkley is one lazy player - the number of times again today he just couldnÂ’t be arsed to pick up a man as they came at us.

And no wonder we canÂ’t / donÂ’t get it out quick from the back when we have 3, even 4, layers up front totally static, as happened far too often today.

Stew Marsland
139 Posted 26/12/2014 at 22:17:34
In 45 years of watching the blues this was one of one of the worst incompetent performances I have ever seen.This charlartan Martinez has to go,he has clearly totally lost the ability to motivate the team.Believe me I do not post unless I feel very strongly but it is becoming desperate.Pissin down,freezin,fuckin traffic,wots the fuckin point?
Gerry McGuirk
140 Posted 26/12/2014 at 22:38:06
Anyone know if Carsley or Graveson are available in the transfer window? Heck, IÂ’d even enquire after Barry Horne.....anyone who hasnÂ’t forgotten what it is like to show some guts on the pitch and what a privilege it is to put on the blue jersey. IÂ’d be the last to complain if the team had given its best.....but cÂ’mon lads can ANY of you honestly claim that in the last few months? Christ, I hope not! At this stage itÂ’s simple....players AND coach.... shape up ( nothing less than 100% will do) or ship out 😳
Mike Jones
141 Posted 26/12/2014 at 23:03:30
9th on Match of the Day
Dave Lynch
143 Posted 26/12/2014 at 23:08:20
Mark Taylot@131.

Tell us something we donÂ’t know! Every one of your points has been done to death on here over the past month or so and as Pink Floyd wrote " The Song Remains The Same".

Bottom line is this, the manager has shown he is lacking in tactical awareness and football acumen. He tells people he watches the game 24/7 and has been described as a "Student of the game".

Well heÂ’s just pissed his whole student grant up the wall in one night as far as IÂ’m concerned and the inept performances are down to him and him alone.

Not only does he bring his redundant football philosophy (which got his last team relegated) with him, he also expects us to believe and swallow the bullshit that follows the aftermath.

That today was pathetic.

Dave Lynch
144 Posted 26/12/2014 at 23:30:38
Forgot to add.

Get rid of the useless twat as soon as we reach safety.

Raymond Fox
145 Posted 26/12/2014 at 23:17:57
We have not won anything for 19yrs, so thereÂ’s no difference there.
To keep blaming managers whoever they my be is a cop out, what about the inadequacy of the club to supply the managers with good enough players.
OFM was lauded by the media, Ferguson, some on here and the profs in the game as some kind of genius.
Let me see what did he win in 11 seasons, oh I remember, nowt.

In the present football set up, we along with 14 or 15 other clubs have no chance in the League apart from being honourable losers.

Change the manager if you must but it will make sod all difference.

Mark Boulle
146 Posted 26/12/2014 at 23:26:14
I have nothing further to add to the comments above, save that I was really looking forward to my Boxing Day edition of MoTD and watching what surely had to be an improved Everton performance and victory. Not bothering now, just going to bed instead. Serious dampener on the day and Christmas in general.
Christopher Kelly
147 Posted 26/12/2014 at 23:42:14
Everton problems in order:

1) Board who doesnÂ’t care about trophies but making money, by hook or by crook. End of.
2) old school fans who will always be there and never question those on top. Happy to lose for 19 years and keep filling the stadium
3) old stadium that holds the team back
4) no assets to sell or lease anymore.
5) weak players who choke. Years of losing have left this once proud franchise a shadow of itself and the losing "stink" is everywhere now. A second tier club.
6) clueless manager that the Board can hype up as being the best in the land. Clueless, dead-ass lap dog fans eat it up and accept mid table.

To make anything happen, #2 needs fixing immediately. All I see is misty eyed old fans who want to watch videos of the 80Â’s all the time and talk about their history (completely ignoring the present and future). Nothing happens without #2.

Christopher Kelly
148 Posted 27/12/2014 at 00:03:36
Oh, and NBC kept cutting back to kenwright on the bench. That man doesnÂ’t give two shits we just lost. His face said it all so donÂ’t fool yourselves or try to convince me otherwise
David Edwards
149 Posted 27/12/2014 at 00:00:32
Dave@145 - it was Zep rather than than Floyd, but I share your Â’Song Remains the SameÂ’ feeling. Can I add Â’Trampled UnderfootÂ’, Â’Sick AgainÂ’ and Â’In My Time of DyingÂ’, but I think we might be waiting a while for Roberto and Bill to sing Â’NobodyÂ’s Fault But MineÂ’ - he he!
Joe Clitherow
151 Posted 27/12/2014 at 00:02:05
Christopher Kelly that really is a disgraceful comment to blame loyal fans for turning up. I attend games not because I am happy just to be there but because I am a supporter, maybe you should try it. What exactly are you suggesting season ticket holders who commit financially at the start of the season should do as opposed to fair weather fans who can vote with their feet? l also know by the way when I am watching shite and IÂ’m not backward in saying so. I canÂ’t voice my discontent to the attending management from behind a computer screen because however disgruntled we are on here I think a booing crowd hits home a thousand times more than a keyboard warrior. If your point is that there are sections of fans who just turn up and are complacent then that is a different perspective but I have to say you are misguided in your belief, because I have never seen them at the game. The Goodison crowd know their football and there is a lot more discontent in the last few weeks than I have seen in a long long time.

Shocking comment in my opinion

Christopher Kelly
152 Posted 27/12/2014 at 00:20:09
Good! Be shocked. Kenwright is glad to take your money every season and not invest in moving the team forwards.

I pray the BooÂ’s help bc we havenÂ’t won shit in 19 years of you showing up having a giddy good time with your pals.

We are losing fans by the handful each and every game. All of the new fans that came bc of Howard are now questioning if they made the right choice. ItÂ’s not disgraceful, itÂ’s reality. Wake up! Hate that thereÂ’s booing but hopefully something will change.

Steve Carse
153 Posted 27/12/2014 at 00:12:59
We still only need a point a game to survive the season. 6 pts might only be 2 wins away for those behind us, but acquiring 6 pts at the very bottom end of the table is typically 5 or 6 games worth of effort. Lets forget about achieving anything decent league position wise and just hope that none of the current bottom 4 or 5 string together 3 wins on the bounce.

This said, I can see absolutely no reason for keeping Martinez in post. He is showing no signs of getting things right. WeÂ’re this seasonÂ’s Norwich City and Martinez should be made this seasonÂ’s Houghton -- but somewhat earlier than when he got the chop

Joe Clitherow
154 Posted 27/12/2014 at 00:26:50
The fact that you criticise fans whilst watching on NBC and threaten that Everton will lose the "new fans that came bc of Howard" and "are now questioning if they made the right choice." had me quaking in my boots (no not really - irony is not the strongest point West of Ireland is it?). HereÂ’s a saying you can add to your list: Evertonians donÂ’t choose, we are chosen.

Seriously lad, what do you think the chances are you could teach me anything about football you Muppet? IÂ’ve seen it all before, way before you and your ilk joined with Tim Howard and way before the 19 years you quote without I would guess understanding anything about, well, anything. Far worse than this has happened in that time, but you wouldnÂ’t know anything about that would you?

IÂ’ve got more news for you: the handful of fans you say Everton are losing every game really arenÂ’t fans at all.

See ya. Close the door behind you.

Clown

Mike Jones
155 Posted 27/12/2014 at 00:38:32
Christopher Kelly #154 ...are you saying Â’new fansÂ’ may disappear now because it isnÂ’t what they thought it would be supporting Everton (whatever that is)...including you? In that case, they arenÂ’t fans and wont be missed. Everton isnÂ’t a loyalty card franchise
Laurie Hartley
156 Posted 27/12/2014 at 00:07:02
Christopher,

I am a #2 so let me address your points one by one:

1. Most boards are only interested in making money thatÂ’s their job - but thy did give our manager the nod to spend $28m on a new striker.

2. As stated above, I am what you would call an old school fan – I watch videos of the games I saw in the sixties. I am totally cheesed of about what is going on at the moment and, like many of my fellow "old school fans", have aired our discontent on ToffeeWeb in various posts.

3. Football is played on the pitch – not in the stands (oops... nearly said "terraces").

4. We have got plenty of assets to sell – Coleman, Barkley, McCarthy, Stones – but, without them, there is no future.

5. Weak players who choke – perhaps maybe one or two – itÂ’s the managerÂ’s job to weed them out. Second Tier club – definition: any club not in the Sky 4.

6. Clueless manager – many would agree. "Clueless dead-ass lapdog fans eat it up and accept mid-table"? YouÂ’re talking shite – read the Southampton thread.

I am a misty-eyed old fan – what the fuck does STAT mean? – And is he allowed to use capitals on here, Michael.

These old school fans you are slagging off at are the life-blood of the club (fuck this "franchise" shite). Without that link with the past, the club will die. We have seen our great football club in its pomp and we want to see it again. That is why so many of us are so wound up about what is going on here at the moment.

In other words, Christopher, I think your post is – by and large – a load of old cobblers.

Kieran Riding
158 Posted 27/12/2014 at 01:11:15
Lol at being called a Franchise by the way !

No fire in the bellies of our players, and do you know what ? ItÂ’s the players who are playing shite right now, IÂ’d love to join In the blame game and get onto Robertos case, but those on the pitch are far too comfortable.

Mike Jones
159 Posted 27/12/2014 at 01:13:20
Laurie #158...I used the word Â’franchiseÂ’ to emphasise my point that we are not that
Christopher Kelly
160 Posted 27/12/2014 at 01:05:51
IÂ’m not a "new" fan and have seen us lift a trophy. That was a remarkable day. I didnÂ’t realize that would be the last one IÂ’d see in 20 years. Apparently not too many other people care because season ticket holders line up and pay to watch the Board suck the money out of your pocket and suck the life out of the team... All while being totally fine finishing back in the pack.

Look, IÂ’m not sure boycotting matches is the right answer. ItÂ’s been bandied about for years. It may well be wrong. But to do the same thing every year and expect a different result is insane; so, at the very least, youÂ’re insane. Maybe booing or not showing up will change things. IMO, people that boo are still paying and we have a proven track record that nothing will change that way.

I see new fans completely mystified that Howard is not nearly as good as they thought and frankly, theyÂ’re not that interested in supporting a mid-table club every season. They think itÂ’s boring. And before you dismiss them as fake fans (which they may actually be). Bill Kenwright needs them a lot more than he needs you, Joe. And he and the league know that all too much.

Christopher Kelly
161 Posted 27/12/2014 at 01:22:26
And yes, Joe – if you sign up year after year for this, not questioning anything, just fondly remembering the good old days with your mates – I could teach you about football and ambition.

Loser all the way around.

Tony Marsh
162 Posted 27/12/2014 at 01:13:15
What a terrible mess we are in. When you put out a side every week that is a hundred years older than your opponents, it spells trouble.

Last season, we shocked teams who played us as they set up for the old Moyes long-ball game. We baffled them. Moyes did the same in 2004 when we went 4-5-1 and caught everyone out for a few months.

Once you get sussed and you cannot change things around, you are dead meat in this League. Old players and shrewd opposition managers are killing us. ItÂ’s now beyond a joke. Liverpool have struggled this season because Ken Dodd signed for Barcelona... whatÂ’s our excuse???

The Europa League curse is one thing but keeping faith in Barry, Howard, Distin, Pienaar, Osman, Hibbert etc is an insult to us all. Naismith is younger but he has to be the most inept talentless footballer to ever pull on a blue shirt... SPL average at best. He gets away with it because, now and then, he slots a decent goal. Awful footballer.

Martinez – well, I am losing faith in him by the day. Although I must say, all we added to the squad this season was Besic and 90-year-old EtoÂ’o, Blue Bill is still smiling... WHY???

EFC is still locked into the most ludicrous kit deal ever. Chang still pay us two bob a week sponsorship money. The worst deal ever for a club that is a regular top 6 team? Goodison Park is now such a shithole, untouched for years, that away fans think they have been transported back to the 1960s... WeÂ’ve still got sausage rolls warming up on the tea urn in the Bullens Road.

We as fans take too much of this shit on the chin and nothing ever changes. Those twats across the park go on marches and get owners removed; we fans cantÂ’ even ship out 40-year-old players... WHY?

ItÂ’s now a crisis and the players who are all to blame as much as El Bob are all starting to give up. We are beaten before we start. MoyesÂ’s teams did this but usually against the big boys. All hands beat us now. If youÂ’re on a bad run, play Everton. I give up, I really do.

Joe Clitherow
165 Posted 27/12/2014 at 01:31:49
YouÂ’re a complete fantasist Kelly. Plus you are projecting stuff onto me that belongs in your fantasies (look that 3 syllable P word up as well and see what it means or better still ask your English teacher). Have a look at some other posts of mine and then ask whether or not I am not questioning anything. Then I can ask you a few things and you can reply. By the way, how did you come to watch us lift a trophy 19 years ago? We werenÂ’t much good the previous year so forgive me if I am ever so sceptical that we fitted the criteria of a team for you and your chums to latch onto. Do you even know the score and the scorer without Google? (As an aside when FSF were trying to take over Everton and Samuelson claimed to be a lifelong Evertonian someone asked him who scored the winner in the 1966 FAC final and his answer was that he was a student in Munich in 1966!)

However...

Firstly in the 19 years you *claim* to have watched my team, what exactly has your contribution been to change things (you loser :)). Because we havenÂ’t been mid table for much of that, we escaped relegation on the last day (it was 1998, you can Google it now) and I was there contributing my support in my own small way as part of the collective. That day the people you seem to want to slag off were massive, as they were in 1994. Guess what, I was there then too.

Secondly, and continuing point 1, what exactly is the contribution you will make to see out your plan of ousting BK? You canÂ’t really boycott the games if you donÂ’t go in the first place can you? HavenÂ’t really thought that one through have you Chris? Just urging fans to...what exactly on here? Are you a programme from the same guy who wrote the Jimmy Sorheim regurgitative algorithm?

Thirdly, "I see new fans completely mystified that Howard is not nearly as good as they thought and frankly, theyÂ’re not that interested in supporting a mid table club every season" - youÂ’re right, I doff my cap to these knowledgeable historians of EFC and why didnÂ’t I think of that? (thereÂ’s that Irony thingy again)

...

Fifthly (there was a Fourthly but I spent quite a lot of time laughing at the quote from you that I reposted so I moved on - and that was laughing AT you, not WITH you, be in no doubt), as I dismiss your fake fans ("which they might be" FFS!!!! I really couldnÂ’t make this stuff up!!!) Why does BK need them more than me when IÂ’m such a sucker who keeps giving him my money and they donÂ’t? Again, you didnÂ’t think that one through completely did you? There there, that pain in your forehead will stop if you stop trying to work these things out (that is sarcasm by the way. ItÂ’s a bit like irony but generally reserved for twats)

Lastly, IÂ’m a shareholder too. That means I can go along to meetings with other people who probably mostly, no actually I would say probably all know that Howard is not as good as some people thought he might have been when they first saw him in the summer. Cos err, they didnÂ’t just see him for the first time in the summer. Their heads probably donÂ’t hurt trying to work out why either. I can go along to meetings and ask nasty questions now about performance - err mostly because Bill lets me go (but come to think of it he may soon change his mind again).

Where and what exactly is the contribution of you and your "fake fan" chums (honestly, I ask you??!!) on any level whatsoever? Beyond coming on here and spouting shite about proper Evertonians I mean? Why does it matter? Why am I even asking you? Apart from the fact youÂ’ve cheered me up quite a bit laughing after being a bit grumpy on my way home earlier.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
166 Posted 27/12/2014 at 06:12:54
Okay, no thanks to Chris Kelly here for comments that go way beyond anything reasonable. Having a go at fellow Evertonians for being steadfast is inexcusable.

Sorry but we don't tolerate any of this dick-waving "I'm a better fan than you" crap, or calling people 'losers', so you've done well earning moderation for that.

And "stat" is apparently short for statim, Latin for "immediately". Not many people know that!

Steve Brown
167 Posted 27/12/2014 at 07:06:11
Think Christopher #163 is just upset that we lost the soccerball game yesterday.
Pete Edwards
168 Posted 27/12/2014 at 08:17:57
Some of you have short memories, saying it's like going back to the Walker and Smith days!! Get a grip, close your eyes and actually think back to then.
Patrick Murphy
169 Posted 27/12/2014 at 08:36:51
Pete,

It is worse than the Walker / Smith days – not in terms of the performances, perhaps... but, due to the fact that we have enough 'good' players to expect a lot more than is being served up.

The worst aspect of yesterday was that most in the crowd seemed to accept what was an almost inevitable outcome; when fans who are among the most passionate in the country largely sit and watch in abject apathy, there is something utterly wrong. I'm not blaming the fans for that as I am one of them and it is almost impossible to get behind something that lacks so much.

There are rumours of unrest among the players, and rumours that certain players won't be here come the end of January, but, whether that is true or not. As a supporter for longer than I care to remember, this is a very worrying time for me as the 'team' don't seem to care about what is happening out on the pitch and it is the players who set the tone. I really can't remember another Everton side with so much ability so lacking in belief; we look like 11 individuals who turn up on match day and then go home and await the next fixture.

It is likely that our next victory may have to wait until we play WBA at Goodison in January. That I can predict that with a certain amount of confidence does take me back to the Smith / Walker days.

Helen Mallon
170 Posted 27/12/2014 at 09:03:46
Christopher Kelly, we sign up to watch our team not to put money into the Board’s pockets – that’s just a by product. If (and God forbid) we were relegated, then I and thousands of others would still pay to watch the team.

Oh and Tony Marsh – I seem to recall that with Hilbert & Osman in the team we have not lost, so maybe going back to basics won’t be a bad thing.

Bob Parrington
171 Posted 27/12/2014 at 09:20:35
Michael #168. Well done for stepping in. I've been a true blue since 1953 but I do know what makes a team tick and a club successful. Not ready to give up and lie down yet, mate.

We started well today and had a semi decent referee who had a crap day. Get over it and get on with working out how to win with what we have. It's like the players went in to "Oh, pity me" mode.

Onwards and upwards!

Andy Walker
172 Posted 27/12/2014 at 09:49:32
Maybe we will win the Europa League and get relegated. Sound familiar?
Brent Stephens
173 Posted 27/12/2014 at 11:14:07
I posted at the start of last season that so much love for Roberto might end in grief (not because I knew he was no good; but because I didn't know if he was any good, although winning a few games in a cup competition tells me less than than failing over the hard grind of 38 games in a season all against teams in your own league).

The degree of dissatisfaction now is, I think, positively correlated with the level of expectation at the start of last season (couple with some very decent results for part of the season).

I've written off this and next season (as that will be another transition season with a new manager - I'll still buy my season ticket, Chris). Sit back and watch it all unfold. Enjoy the few games we do win. Rejoice at avoiding relegation. And just pray that "ma main man" might just have a damascene conversion.

A happy new year to one and all.

Andrew Rimmer
174 Posted 27/12/2014 at 11:22:33
I'm a better supporter than you, ner ner.
There are better things to do in life than waste hours of a day misguidedly watching very poor football. Only masochists do that.
Rob Halligan
175 Posted 27/12/2014 at 11:57:37
Christopher Kelly #149 ’re: your point No:2. Old school fans who always turn up and never question those at the top. Happy to lose after 19 years and keep filling the stadium.

In the last 20 years I have missed 1 home game, and the last 14-15 years about 5 or 6 away games. Do you think I enjoy watching us lose? Do you think I have been paying all that money for nothing? I do it because I love our football club. I’ve come home almost in tears after losing some games. I’ve nearly landed meself in trouble at away games because I want to vent my anger on opposition fans. I’ve spent days in a sulky mood after some defeats. And to say I don’t question those at the top is laughable. If things aren’t going right then I want to see changes.I’m also not happy to lose after 19 years. In fact after every defeat I’m fuming. As are all my mates that I go the match with, along with thousands of others who go to every game, home and away.

So why don’t you just fuck off you twat!! You have got absolutely no right to question peoples integrity as you did in your point #2

I’m guessing you live in USA so go and watch your Mickey mouse MLS or maybe your shit American football instead.

Mark Wilson
176 Posted 27/12/2014 at 13:32:03
I'm thinking Mr Christopher Kelly may have just learnt that life long blues don't take too kindly to essentially being described as a key reason for pathetic football. There is though a certain irony in the response to those idiotic comments when you think back to the way many were described as useless-get-what-you-deserve-fans because we wouldn't march behind clowns or spit at Kenwright in the Street etc. I feel sure that at the time Blues were being blamed by blues for the clubs downfall because second-rate was good enough. All of which incidentally was a huge shame when some hugely aware and perceptive voices amongst, say, the Blue Union were putting forward well thought through financial and structural arguments that few read let alone seemed willing to consider.

We are again fast approaching the time when "balance" is about to disappear out of the stadium. But despite being a dull champion of that balanced argument I read these recent threads after failures like this and Southampton and find myself really starting to think that this is one of those times when being patient might cost the club it's place in the top flight for the first time in my life.

I genuinely admire the man that is Martinez. I love his basic approach which is to entertain. I love the respect he has for the people who matter at our club....us. I think his family man nature is reflected in his deep understanding of the nature of a community and the various things that make it tick. I found Moyes football in the latter years to be the worst I've ever seen and had to endure because like many here, unlike Mr Kelly, I will turn up regardless because its in my DNA and second only now to family. I thought Martinez looked like the real deal, and I thought his structural approach would see us develop top to bottom in every aspect of what makes a club successful.

What then has happened after season one ? Surely so many voices on the terraces can't be wrong. He seems to have totally lost his way. He's constantly changing shape and tactics. He's started to favour certain players when they are so obviously struggling. I thought he'd be the guy to drop a big name but then I have watched as one of my heroes, Leighton Baines, has put in a season of mostly disapointing performances and Garbutt hasn't been given a chance yet. I've watched the cringeworthy post match interviews as the guy defends the utterley indefensible. Southampton and Stoke are low points but there feels like worse to come.

So Mr Kelly here's something to infuriate you. I'm feeling desperate at the way a season of great promise has collapsed and I'm not sure what the hell is going on. But im simply praying and hoping for better whilst paying my money over and admiring the best away support in the country. It's only a few years since I was one of them and spent thirty years of often gut wrenching away days in support of the club. And there it is as you should have sensed from reading this thread. Yes there are some ironies in the reaction to your post but in truth you have totally, and it seems quite deliberately, misunderstood what it is to be an Evertonian and as Michael says, that's just unforgivable.

Colin Malone
177 Posted 27/12/2014 at 14:18:08
Still say, get back to a 4-5-1 formation until we have the players to adapt to this continental style, which Martinez believes in. Time for the Dogs of War to come out. Have a word with big Joe, Roberto.

I cannot see any other way out of this mess, we have to roll our sleeves up and fight.

Colin Metcalfe
178 Posted 27/12/2014 at 14:41:10
I see Neil Warnock was released by Crystal Palace today and no doubt there will be more heads to roll over the next few months as nervous owners get twitchy about their Premier League survival.

And so what of our own situation? Well, we have 21 points in the bag but the next 2 games are vital and we simply must get something away to Newcastle and Hull respectively; however, it's a big ask as the current squad appears to be lacking confidence and spirit!!

I think two more defeats will definitely sound alarm bells and BK will have to make some serious decisions; unfortunately, tika taka football doesn't get you out of relegation fights.

On paper, we have one of the best squads in recent memory; however, something is clearly not right at the club and RM has to be held responsible. I will be very interested to see if the team tomorrow will show the desire and hunger to scrap for every ball because surely the players must be looking at the table and thinking we are in deep shit!

Our form at Newcastle isn't too bad over the last few seasons so fingers crossed... a point tomorrow and a win at Hull might just save RM. Make no mistake, anything less and we will be fighting for our Premier League survival. GSOB! (God save our Blues)

Colin Metcalfe
179 Posted 27/12/2014 at 15:13:33
Mike 11, with reference to Baines and Coleman. Do you think that the problem could be that they very rarely have anyone out wide, up ahead of them?

I honestly could not believe how isolated they both were in possession at times yesterday. At least if we played them as wing backs, we would have two strikers on the pitch for them to hit. Because at the minute they haven't even got anyone to play a one-two with, never mind going round the outside on an overlap!

John Voigt
180 Posted 27/12/2014 at 16:22:04
I've been a supporter of Martinez, but it's hard to figure out what his current thinking is. Rolling out the same narrow 4-2-3-1 and instructing players to play slowly out of the back and value possession over quick direct play isn't producing any results of note.

A crisis should be avoided by doing things to energize the squad, but that may not be the case if stubborn Roberto keeps up the narrow 4-2-3-1 with a slow buildup.

A note is Diego Costa couldn't score if he were in the Blues lineup.

Andy Crooks
181 Posted 27/12/2014 at 17:32:53
I did not think I would be agreeing with Tony Marsh quite so soon but what he says is spot on. Also, I think Martinez needed sacking more than Warnock. The palace chairman is more ambitious this ours.
Andy Crooks
182 Posted 27/12/2014 at 17:40:58
Christopher, I have, like you, said angry stuff in the heat of the moment but criticising supporters for, well, supporting the team is ill-judged. I can sort of see what you mean, but sadly, we, even if the players can, can't just stop.
Tony Sullivan
183 Posted 27/12/2014 at 17:52:39
Michael Evans (77) just read your comment and I agree with your sentiments, particularly regarding millionaire players etc. I believe the Premiership era has been a disaster for the game, money has diminished and distorted the competition.
We as a club are major loses for a whole host of reasons that have been well rehearsed on here over the years,
Having been watching since 1952 and still believing we can turn things around, yes it is the true fans who are the mugs.
We are the only ones who really believe.
Sacking the current manager will not provide answers.
Jay Harris
184 Posted 27/12/2014 at 17:38:01
I would like to make a plea for all Evertonians not to get divisive with each other.

We all have opinions and beliefs and this is a great site for airing them but FFS lads lets have some Xmas spirit.

For what its worth I normally lay the blame at BK's door but I am firmly in the camp that says when the whole team are not doing it it lies firmly at the feet of the manager.

The problem with Coleman and Baines IMO is lack of motivation and confidence brought about by poor preseason preparations and poor team selection.

If we had more strength in MF rather than 4 centre forwards there would be better link up play to get the full backs up the pitch and drop in to cover them while they run riot.

We really only need Lukaku or Naismith up front and let the tika taka happen in MF and in the opponents half rather than CB' playing it backwards and forwards to each other till everyone falls asleep.

Kunal Desai
185 Posted 27/12/2014 at 18:24:25
Christopher Kelly - tut tut tut. We are currently going through a real stern time under our manager of 18 months. Attacking the Everton family on here/not on here is outrageous. Right now the managers, players and supporters have to pull together as one, not cause further divides.
Colin Glassar
186 Posted 27/12/2014 at 18:54:06
Civil war on TW? Christopher, you have stirred up a veritable hornets (wasps in blighty) nest on here mate (buddy). A word of advice, whatever your opinions are don't ever question our loyalty to the club.
I don't know what the level of loyalty is across the pond to your 'franchises' but over here it is probably different (as you can see by the attendances in the lower leagues) and we basically support our teams from cradle to grave no matter what.
We've seen far worse than this but it will get better and then it will go bad again. It's part and parcel of being a fan of a football (soccer) team in this country unless you are loaded like city or Chelsea.
Mark Taylor
187 Posted 27/12/2014 at 20:05:39
Chrisptopher Kelly is correct in saying that our board lack ambition. We had a massive chance in January this year to break the glass ceiling, but BK bottled it as you'd expect. There are also huge structural problems holding us back.

However like everyone else, I don't agree it is just a case of loyal fans turning up uncomplaining. We do complain but we do also turn up. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. There is discontent right now and that will influence decision-making, like it does at every club. It helped Johnson out the door, for a start.

But at the same time, I do not want to see us descend into the destructive divisiveness I see at Rangers, for example. That can kill a football club and there is plenty of life still in ours.

Will Firstbrook
188 Posted 27/12/2014 at 20:01:46
I deliberately stayed off of TW for the past 12hrs or so as I expected some fallout from yesterday's match. Looks to be the case, in spades. We are all suffering from the team's current form. However, as bad as things may be, it certainly doesn't excuse some of the crap that is being spewed recently. Questioning the commitment of fellow supporters is out of order and deserving of a seat on the bench.

We're all hurting at the moment. Turning on one another is Kopite behaviour of the highest order. We are all better than that wherever in the world each of us may reside. For better and worse, we get behind the team and stick it out together.

Dave Lynch
189 Posted 27/12/2014 at 20:36:19
Christopher Kelly.

I take what you said about our fans as very personal.

That may be acceptable in the USA (maybe it's not) but it's a big fuck-off, no-no over here pal. I was sat in that ground, balls freezing, with my two boys, and I don't need a knobhead like you labelling me as a mug for doing so.

Please don't ever call us a franchise again either, why don't you start your own mini-league and call the winners World Champions? Works for baseball, I believe.

You can then follow success for the rest of your life and won't have to put up with losing. Welcome to the real world of sport, buddy.

Paul Ferry
190 Posted 27/12/2014 at 21:17:56
Can I just put in a word here for born-in-the-land-of-the-free-blues who are scholars of the game and would never ever sink to the levels displayed by their fellow countryman above with respect to the fantastic support we have home and away.

There is a certain if not explicitly stated USA - MLS - soccer - franchise broad brush at work in some posts above and the likes of Mike Gaynes, Jamie Crowley, Tim Greely. Paul Coumb, and many others I have failed to mention are valuable members of this wonderful Everton thing, not to mention Brit-blues-in-exile like our excellent editors who arguably do more good for Everton than anyone in the board room.

Dave Lynch - 193 - what he said is not Â’acceptable in the USAÂ’.

There are interesting questions to ask about the differences between being a supporter on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps one of the most obvious is the relative absence or sprinkling of away fans at games - with exceptions, Chicago Cubs, more Â’localÂ’ games and rivalries. But thereÂ’s a time and place for that discussion and this is not it in my opinion.

GO EVERTON! WEÂ’RE AN AWESOME FRANCHISE!
(Have you tried singing Grand Old Team to the tune of Rock and Roll Part 1 and 2 by Gary Glitter?)

Rob Halligan
191 Posted 27/12/2014 at 21:26:57
Actually, reading Kelly's post again, and his point #6 is well and truly bang out of order. Who the fuck are you to call us clueless dead-ass lap dog (whatever that is) fans? I'd be very careful what you post in future mate, that's if you have the balls to post again.
Raymond Fox
192 Posted 27/12/2014 at 20:37:53
I'm afraid to say the Premier League has basically become a money race. Unfortunately for us, we – along with the 13 other clubs making up the numbers in the League – are left to fight to become honourable also-rans. That's not new; it's been this way since 1992-93 and before that, in the old Football League Division 1.

I'm sure we all know that's the case, but turn up each season with more hope than expectancy and wishing for a minor miracle! That's the way I feel anyway; we are Everton supporters, it's in our blood, but how good would it be if we were starting a season on equal terms with the other 19 clubs? A pipe-dream, I know... but the Premier League in its present form is a competition for 6 teams.

I see Man Utd are interested in Bale for 𧴰 million, Arsenal are looking to buy Cavani, Chelsea are going to buy Asamoah for 㿄 million as a utility player.... How much will we be spending, do you think?

We are crying out for a classy midfielder who can be a link between the defence and attack; the problem is... he won't come cheap.

Raymond Fox
193 Posted 27/12/2014 at 22:11:54
I don't know why #39 keeps happening in my posts, anybody know?

Apologies anyway.

Kevin Tully
194 Posted 27/12/2014 at 22:29:58
Whilst it’s easy to put 100% of the blame squarely on the shoulders of the manager, surely the players need to accept some responsibility here?

I know this style of play doesn’t suit some of them but, at the end of the day, when you have six or seven players in the opposition half, you aren’t thinking about the manager’s instructions. The play should become fluid, and any goals come individual skill, good movement off the ball, and intelligent passes. If Lukaku, Barkley and Mirallas find themselves with space, they need to exploit it, there is no instruction from the manager not to go into that space, FFS!

It’s down to the manger to fix it but, whatever our playing style, this squad should sweat blood for the shirt. They are fucking paid enough.

Don’t get me wrong, Martinez needs to take whatever blame is coming his way, but so do the players, they seem to be getting a free ride from most on here.

Dave Lynch
195 Posted 27/12/2014 at 22:31:10
Thanks for that Paul @ 194.

I know you, the editors, the other lads mentioned (as well as those you haven't) are either exiled blues or for want of a better description, in it for the good the bad and the ugly.

The other fella wound me up good and proper, so no hard feelings to other USA blues.

Please excuse the diction and phrasing as this is my first real proper day off over the holiday and I'm making up for lost drinking time. NSNO.

Colin Glassar
196 Posted 27/12/2014 at 22:52:22
Paul Ferry, you're right. There are a good bunch of yanks on here who stick with us through thick and thin. This one is just thick.
Kevin Tully
197 Posted 27/12/2014 at 22:54:56
Anyway, to try and lighten the mood, I would like to nominate this for post of the year (from the live forum, during the World Cup) "Look, it’s unfair to compare Paul Ferry to Hitler." And yes, it was a serious comment.
Tom Bowers
198 Posted 27/12/2014 at 22:50:27
I cannot see how everyone pulling together can possibly improve the Everton results unless it is within the management, coaching staff and players. We the fans can only help maybe at the games by not jeering or booing etc. Unfortunately, at the away games with the Everton contingent being minimal, it is up to the players to do the job.

When the team is lacking confidence, a positive attitude that is not down to the fans but the manager and coaches. Seeing Coleman and Baines playing way below par is sad as they can do a lot better as we all know and was the big plus of last season.

God only knows what has gone wrong this season; watching them struggle against mediocrity like Stoke has been a new low in a run of games since they did so well in Germany. Newcastle could be a good place to start a recovery.

Mark Frere
199 Posted 27/12/2014 at 23:03:02
Yes Kevin, Hitler was a much nicer bloke than Paul Ferry in my opinion... but that is just my opinion of course. ToffeeWeb is all about opinions.
Colin Glassar
200 Posted 27/12/2014 at 23:08:36
Mark Taylor, we all accept his criticism of the board. What most of us can't accept is his condescending and patronising criticism of the poor buggers who spend their hard earned cash supporting their team home and away.

This season is proving harder to take due to the undoubted ability in the team. I don't accept this bullshit that our squad is average or old. This is a very good squad with an excellent starting XI. The fans go to games expecting to be served a feast so it's not their fault when they get a bag of soggy chips instead.

Laurie Hartley
201 Posted 27/12/2014 at 23:03:54
Paul at #194 - a very fair and sensible comment regarding our American Evertonians. It would be very easy for them to pick a Sky 4 team but they have chosen Everton – or Everton has chosen them.

Although I paid out on Christopher, he is still an Evertonian. I think he made a mistake – but I think we should let it go now – I have.

I won't be at Newcastle – I'm 12,000 miles away – but I hope our great away support get right behind the team as they always do. The club really needs that right now and they can make a difference. Show the team and the rest of the Premier League what this club is made of.

Go mad, fellas – the players will respond.

Up the Blues.

Paul Ferry
202 Posted 28/12/2014 at 02:36:33
Ha Ha Kev Tully - 201 - I know you love that and without knowing anything else about it it has to be one of the top ten of the year!

Love your humour mate!

Mark Frere - 203 - however is not a part of that culture. His comment tells you all you need to know about him, sadly.

Mark Taylor
204 Posted 28/12/2014 at 11:16:32
Colin, I agree with you and said as much in my post. Moreover, I think boards do in the end take fans' feedback into account, or at least have to do so eventually. When the fans turn against the manager, as they appear to have done at Palace, the board often pull the trigger. Of course, genius boards don't but then are proved right (Ferguson and Man U)

I also agree that on paper, it's a decent squad and certainly should be better placed than it is right now. However it has undeniably got a lot of older players who are simultaneously close to their use by date and replacing them all at the same time won't be easy with our budget.

Mark Frere
205 Posted 28/12/2014 at 13:37:15
Paul & Kevin

Sorry about my post, I was posting when pissed last night. I think it was my attempt at humour in my drunken state... sorry chaps.

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