We had heard the team and again a slew of changes; many of us wondered who would play where? At kick-off, it looked like a back three with Coleman and Baines as wingbacks but, as the game progressed, especially in the first half, it could have been anything as we were mostly at panic stations against a very ordinary Hull attack.
We started very well, though, and in the first minute Coleman and Kone did an overlap thing down the right but it failed at the last moment and the ball was cleared – and with it, our composure went too. Hull attacked and we defended as though it was Real Madrid coming at us. Within minutes, Barry brought down Jelavic and Hull had a big shout for a penalty but the ref ruled it on the edge of the box. Jelavic took the free kick but fired over.
We were looking a nervous outfit and any Hull attack had players defending more in fear than with any composure while any attack from us had the prayer beads rattling. From one of these attacking moves, Barkley was involved from start to finish and his final ball to Mirallas was fired over the bar. I thought Mirallas had more time than he thought and a chance went begging. Moments after this, in the tenth minute, Besic picked up his now usual yellow card which must reduce his effectiveness for the rest of the time he is on the pitch. What’s more annoying to us fans is that he picks them up for fouls near the half-way line,when nothing is that crucial.
Naismith was putting a lot of running in but not really getting anywhere... although he did have a run into the box and was felled; he thought he should have had a penalty but the Hull players and the ref didn’t. The Hull players thought he was cheating so, two minutes later, Meyler went right through him and was quite properly yellow carded.
We were still looking well out of sorts and defending was hard to watch as Hull were looking the more dominant side, although on the half hour Barkley had one of his surges making up some 30 yards only to be felled in the box. ‘Penalty!’ we yelled but the ref waved play on. Ross waved his arms about in disgust; I wondered if it was his reputation going before him.
When we did attack, it was at times very good until we got the final pass area where it all went wrong, a fine example of this was when Alcaraz came out of defence with the ball, made ground and then passed to where there were no players at all and the ball just went trundling to the by-line.
Just after the half-hour mark, a regulation cross came in on the diagonal where Elmohamady easily out jumped Baines and netted in the corner. The manager must wonder why no-one closed down Rosenior before he crossed. In fact, he must have noticed we were not closing down quickly enough all over the park. That goal seemed to make us ever more jittery and we seemed to be pressing high yet we did not seem to have much pace in our back three which is always a bit perturbing for the watching fans.
It came as no surprise to anyone when a ball lofted over the top saw Jelavic beat any offside trap, advance on goal and coolly lob the advancing Robles and the ball entered the net on first bounce. Fair play to Jela, he didn’t over-celebrate. On the death of the half we had a free kick in Baines territory but his effort was a little weak.
Half-time and 2-0 down. The chat was not complimentary, yet it was hard to blame anyone as we were poor as a unit and what decent build-up play we did produce always failed at the final hurdle. The need for a change at the break was unanimous.
The manager made two changes at the break, sending on Oviedo and Lukaku in place of Mirallas and Besic. I don’t know if it was through injury, tactical or just not playing well enough. From the restart, we had the first attack and Ross got into the box, twisted and turned his man on the by-line, and made himself half a yard to get a cross in but he completely missed his kick – which was quite comical – yet he recovered quickly and did get a cross in that came to nought. Shame but at least he showed effort. I noted now that, since the changes, Baines was in a midfield role and Oviedo on the left, either wing back or left back.
Baines was getting around the pitch and closing down quickly, a trait I hoped others would pick up on... but, with the exception of Naismith and Oviedo, no-one else did. We were still defending poorly which was giving Hull extra confidence as they seemed content to keep what they had and break when they could
On 50 minutes, our most exciting bit of play took place when Barkley had a power surge; although they had a man down, Everton played on and he got into their box, beat three men and hammered a shot straight at the keeper and the ball got cleared. Maybe he should have done better with a bit more composure but hell – it was a shot on target after beating three men. At times like this, you are grateful for small mercies. A goal then could have done wonders for our fragile confidence. As it was, Hull went down our end and that man Jelavic again got beyond our defence and crossed low and hard right across our goal and luckily they had no takers in position.
The half went on in this fashion of us looking better second half and, with Baines leading a bit of a charge, we did fashion openings that were allowed to close as our final ball was woeful When Hull broke from another misplaced pass, our defending looked ropey to say the least, which was not going down well with the travelling faithful.
We did put pressure on for 10 minutes or so but, apart from a knocked-down Naismith shot and forcing four corners in quick succession, we didn’t work their keeper. And so it went on – we attacked and it broke down in the final third, they attacked and we were that panicky, we made them look good. And this was borne out when, with 10 mins to go, Jelavic caused havoc by no more than going for headers whilst we were at sixes and sevens. Baines won the ball in midfield, advanced and put a good looking ball into Lukaku but he could not do much with it as it was a bit high for him.
In Hull's next attack, they were cutting through us when Alcaraz seemed to block his man and get a second yellow and misses Tuesday’s cup match. That may not be such a bad thing going on today’s game. It did seem a bit harsh though. Almost time up and another long ball sails over our defence and Abel lobbed our keeper but thankfully it went wide. Then Barkley was fouled in Baines range but he insisted on taking it himself and hit it over the bar. With the away end starting to empty, Allez – Allez O was heard.. but it was their lot singing. Is that the ultimate taunt?
The final whistle was a relief.
MotM -- Baines
Overall, an embarrassing day out —we are better than that. I can imagine the vitriol that will be all over websites, social media, pubs, clubs and the fan pages of the Echo. The manager and players will not get a smooth ride.
Many were saying that if we lose on Tuesday then Martinez will be gone, but I have to say I don’t subscribe to that as I believe the club will give him a bit of time to get players back and try to get some consistency and, most of all, confidence back which is in short supply at the moment. Being able to field a settled team for a few matches could be the key as we have seen this season what disruptions to selection can result in.
Just look at our last two matches, six changes then four changes. It’s no wonder we played like we did today and Boxing day. I am not over sure about giving him more time as the players out there today should have been able to acquit themselves much better than they did as a team rather than the shambles we witnessed.
However if no or little improvement is gained by very early March then the whole club and it’s fan-base will be jittery to a much greater pitch than it is now. Remember the last days of Walter? I don’t want to see those again but it looks like that is the path we are taking.
Even if the board give him some time I do think they need to make a statement sooner rather than later as many match going fans are near revolt and the growing rumour of player unrest is not helping. We need to know the board are taking this issue seriously. Silence should not be an option.
UP THE BLUES
Reader Comments (44)
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1 Posted 02/01/2015 at 00:49:47
The roar on TW is deafening, not many happy campers.
Our pluses were few and very small, Oviedo getting game time and Baines when he came inside.
Then there were the Ă‚not exactly minuses but you canĂ‚t call them plusesĂ‚ Robles in goal is no worse than Howard and Naismith doing the in our squad, what passes for, the Ă‚nastyĂ‚ in the Reffs face capts. job.
ItĂ‚s all turning Mike Walker-ish faster than you can say New YearĂ‚s Resolution... in fact it might be worse, you couldnĂ‚t see this lot coming back to beat Wimbledon could you??
2 Posted 02/01/2015 at 01:00:26
No cohesion, confidence or courage in midfield and wide open at the back. I donĂ‚t know what has gone wrong or how it can be fixed. We feel cursed.
3 Posted 02/01/2015 at 01:10:35
4 Posted 02/01/2015 at 01:14:21
Total respect for the great support at Hull once again, they all deserve a lot better from this poor excuse of a team.
The positional play of our back line for JelavicĂ‚s goal summed up how poor our manager is at setting us up as a team.
Confidence is a huge thing to have in football but if you do not possess the basics IE team shape, confidence will never be gained when the leader cannot/will not change his "philosophy".
BK Please read the majority of the comments on this great site & do what you need to do, otherwise our Premier League status will be doomed within the next 6 league games whilst this phoney is in charge.
I am sick as a pig along with the masses who support & care about our great club.
5 Posted 02/01/2015 at 01:13:34
Silence should not be an option, but reading tonight, I feel an undercurrent of your feelings, which leads me to that phrase that "Silence speaks a thousand words" . Maybe I have it wrong but you sound a bit resigned to accepting something the club has tried has not worked out. Sad. Would be very interested to hear how the fans who went to the game saw it and how their support for the Manager stands at this time.
Thanks Ken, as always, and best of health and well being for the New Year.
6 Posted 02/01/2015 at 01:06:31
Thank you for your great coverage of life on the road. It is hard to get a true picture of all that is going on when you are 3428 miles away and watching the game on the telly. Your reports give lots to think about but there are also so many questions at a difficult time like this...
Two days ago everyone wanted Lukaku to sit out the next game and with the injuries is it not surprising that the team had another turn over of players. Now we are complaining that there are too many changes.
Yes, there are issues, but the need to give the team a chance to get healthy and get back together is the most important thing to do. I agree with you Ken that March would be a good time to review where we are at that time.
We are now at a point where we have the FA Cup game on the 6th and then the game with City on the 10th. We then have 8 days off before the game with West Brom.
LetĂ‚s get together and behind the team.
7 Posted 02/01/2015 at 01:29:59
Silence is not an option, and I now think Bill and the board, directly or indirectly, need to acknowledge our worries. RobertoĂ‚s positivity is now actually alienating fans against him. Admit thereĂ‚s a problem and letĂ‚s all start to fight back as a complete club Ă‚â€“ players, leadership, fans and RM Ă‚â€“ and letĂ‚s stop all this spin. Forget about the FA Cup, the Baggies game is crucial Ă‚â€“ going down to the Championship is not an option for our great club!
8 Posted 02/01/2015 at 10:02:39
Looking through half a dozen dailies, no two agree on the formation yesterday. Even a seasoned observer like your goodself, found it impossible to know how the team was set out ! How do you think the players must feel ?
As far as Besic is concerned, I somehow believe he will not be of concern for much longer. A bit like Garbutt.
9 Posted 02/01/2015 at 10:55:34
Discounting the FA Cup which is second hand thrills compared to the PL, then I think it is far more critical.
As I see it (and I may be completely wrong) unless we get 4 points (minimum) from the next two PL games then I think heĂ‚ll be out.
WeĂ‚ll know soon enough.
ItĂ‚s not as if we have a hard luck story to tell that might indicate brighter times ahead.From my own seat, as well as from reading your reports, EFC have deserved little for their Ă‚effortsĂ‚. And we werenĂ‚t exactly playing the elite were we?
I fear the end is nigh for RM as a PL manager.
10 Posted 02/01/2015 at 11:17:59
After reading hundreds of different view points from "sack him now", to "give him more time", to "the players are shite", my only conclusion is we have no choice but to see what unfolds.
The irony is, if this was a court case, the evidence would be overwhelming against Roberto. But who holds the power? Judge Billy; us the supporters find the accused guilty as charged, but are overruled. Shame there is no room on the board for the KenĂ‚s of this world.
West Ham will come to the Old Lady full of confidence, so you dreamers out there who think it will all magically work out just might get dragged into our nightmare.
11 Posted 02/01/2015 at 12:03:23
As things stand, the club will have lost 15-20 million pounds of revenue next season due to the lack of Europe and prize money. Sacking Martinez may cost around 10 million+ considering the 5 year contract that was recently signed. They already need to sell 2-3 big name players before the start of next season just to balance the books.
Simply put, the club cannot afford to sack Martinez.
12 Posted 02/01/2015 at 12:08:11
But what did he expect? The fans to just accept being bored with the style, and the constant changes to the team and our formation? This problem has led to EvertonĂ‚s team having no momentum, and after yesterdayĂ‚s display, we have a real dog fight on our hands. But, for the first time since Kendall left Everton, itĂ‚s not so much the players that worry me, but the manager.
13 Posted 02/01/2015 at 12:08:55
We have not changed the game plan. Put it down to bad luck. Deplorable officials especially at Man Utd and Man City, but hey Ă‚â€“ itĂ‚s the same for other teams...
Look at Southampton Ă‚â€“ they have turned the corner after being hit with injuries and suspensions. Depends if big Sam puts any value on the FA Cup. It could be a game to start the recovery process and then start treating each game as a cup final.
I doubt we will go down but it could be a close thing. A bit of adversity builds character.
14 Posted 02/01/2015 at 12:45:14
But itĂ‚s not just at the back, this bunch are too soft and seemingly too unconcerned as to what it means to represent this great club. They are only the present custodians of the eleven field positions, which most blues fans can only dream about occupying, and if they are not up to it then they should be shipped out and replaced.
Where are the modern day Dogs of War? Not a lot of showboating and silky skills, but tons of heart and determination and a willingness to die for the club and colours???
15 Posted 02/01/2015 at 13:19:55
- Kone has a great touch but he is a yard too slow, knackered after 30 minutes and looks like a man who has been out for over a year. At 34 he isnĂ‚t going to get better
- Barry just didnĂ‚t look arsed. While the other lot recognise that a legend has come to the end of the road at 34, we give a 3 year contract to his contemporary
- Another 30 something defender in Alcaraz. Decent footballer but harried off the ball far too easily
- 4. Why take off Besic and Mirallas, 2 of the few with any running in them
- 5. HeĂ‚s made a few errors this year but I felt sorry for Jags having to plug holes for Barry and Alcaraz all over the place yesterday
- We have some good players. Baines, Coleman, Barkley, Mirallas, McCarthy etc but they look like they havenĂ‚t a clue what their role is. When did Coleman suddenly get scared of shooting or putting a ball in the box?
In conclusion, this manager has taken us down a blind alley. It is game over. His confidence trick has backfired and there is no way we can give him til March. He has to go now, as we are comfortably the worst side in the division at the moment. A settled side thatĂ‚s prepared to roll itĂ‚s sleeves up is urgently required, neither of which Roberto is prepared to give us. Thanks for the brief hope and joy but itĂ‚s goodbye as far as IĂ‚m concerned
16 Posted 02/01/2015 at 13:30:59
The league table shows that we are becoming detached from the top half of the table and ensconced in the lower half. The results and performances of late are so bad that one genuinely cannot see this squad/team actually beating anybody! The teams in the relegation places are showing obvious spirit and tenacity eg Leicester, Burnley etc. WBA have appointed a new manager with a history of demanding and getting performances from limited players and guess who they play shortly?
A team shorn of any confidence, spirit or professional pride must shudder at the thought of playing Man City/Chelsea/even the Arsenal and Man Utd who are no great shakes. Can you imagine this lot in a derby match even against another poor Liverpool team?
There is something seriously wrong behind the scenes at the club, be it the management of the team and the so-called support staff. Good lord if you want an example of the lack of "substance" at all levels at the club just listen, not only to the managerĂ‚s post match nonesense but the clap trap, vacuous pop-psychology spoken by the recently departed so-called Head of Medicinal Services and weep!
There is no doubt whatsoever that the most urgent need for the club is to exit the two cup competitions they are still in at the moment and to focus totally on preserving their Premiership status. Forget all the vacuous cliches about "good cup runs helping to build confidence" Everton simply do not have the time. They are on such a downward spiral at the moment that they need undivided attention being given to one objective and one alone.
If they then avoid relegation (and I suggest as things stand it is a big if) then the board who are overseeing the current shambles should be brought to task if they do not have a clear out from top to bottom and restore some professional standards at every level. It would also be respectful of the tremendous support base if there was to be a public apology for what has been put before them of late. While we are at it, would it not be something to behold if we had something other than cravenly sycophantic media people in the local press and radio who skirt around these issues for fear of being "excluded from the corridors" they should be investigating more forcefully on behalf of those without whom this club and others would simply cease to exist. Nothing will convince me that this is the most threatening situation we have been in since the Wimbledon trauma and I simply do not trust the present participants enough to think that they could rise to a similar challenge.
17 Posted 02/01/2015 at 15:33:20
18 Posted 02/01/2015 at 16:26:42
This to me is the biggest scandal (until I post another one) Ă‚â€“ I just cannot understand what so many times that ball does not go into the box, when the man in possession is only yards outside the box.
Problem is, though, there are normally not many bodies in the box. Now thatĂ‚s the biggest scandal.
19 Posted 02/01/2015 at 16:32:42
Old Gepetto, the carpenter, built a character. And weĂ‚re just as wooden.
20 Posted 02/01/2015 at 16:32:14
How did the majority of us fall for this football fraudster.
21 Posted 02/01/2015 at 16:55:22
23 Posted 02/01/2015 at 15:09:57
24 Posted 02/01/2015 at 18:19:40
25 Posted 02/01/2015 at 18:27:20
26 Posted 02/01/2015 at 18:32:54
27 Posted 02/01/2015 at 18:27:37
From 1991 to 2001 we were in the top 10 only once and finished the other seasons in positions 12, 13, 17, 15, 6, 15, 17, 14, 13, 16, 15.
19 games does not a trend make.
We do need to address the shortage and difficulties at the back and I would argue that there is no manager that would tell a full back not to cross a ball or shoot when they are close to goal. I believe this has to do with confidence....and currently this team is lacking that big time.
28 Posted 02/01/2015 at 19:08:13
29 Posted 02/01/2015 at 19:13:30
30 Posted 02/01/2015 at 19:28:34
We will be stuck with this inept clown, and Championship football, for years, because we can't afford to fuck him off.
Up the toffees!
31 Posted 02/01/2015 at 19:39:25
32 Posted 02/01/2015 at 19:45:38
33 Posted 02/01/2015 at 19:22:12
Financially we haven’t been in a good place since the start of the PL era and after years of languishing in and around the lower reaches of the table we have seen intermittently, European qualification and good cup runs. But mostly we have seen a level of commitment and consistency which whilst it didn’t always set the pulses racing it was acceptable for a club with our resources.
Last season we saw a glimpse of what we could move on to and how a less risk averse manager may allow us be more competitive with our bigger rivals. However, that is all it was a brief glimpse of what could be possible. Because since the back-end of last season things have eroded to such an extent that we are back to where we started in those early PL days, looking at teams below us in the table and genuinely worrying about their results.
As spectators, from the outside we can only judge on what happens or appears to be happening out on the pitch and currently it doesn’t make good viewing and it hasn’t in all honesty for probably most of Martinez’s tenure.
I’m not sure that players failing to shoot or cross has anything to do with confidence as it has been a feature of Everton’s play for much of Roberto’s tenure as has the inane passing, lack of tackling and other elements such as free-kicks and corners.
Every manager has a preferred method or style but not many are attached to a method that seems to disregard the defensive obligations of his team or shuns the idea of taking a point from a game if it helps to steady the ship. I wrote a small item very early in this campaign suggesting that Roberto was more akin to Mike Walker than any previous Everton manager, at that time I was speaking about his personality rather than his managerial ability now I think he could be worse than Walker because the Everton Walker took over wasn’t in as good a shape as the one Roberto inherited.
People with Roberto’s self-confidence can be a help or a hinderance depending on what they do or how they do it, I wonder how many people who worked in the Banking industry had the self-belief and self-confidence to back their own judgement with other people’s money, quite a few I would wager and did they pay the price for their mistakes, probably not. I like adventurous types but only as long as they realise there are times when risk-taking is dangerous to others as well as themselves and Roberto doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of safety first; that is why I wrote yesterday that his time at Goodison should be ended now.
34 Posted 02/01/2015 at 20:16:09
35 Posted 02/01/2015 at 20:42:25
The best example is OFM.
I believe had an agreement they could terminate if he never qualified for CL.
That is why they were allowed to terminate after 9 months
36 Posted 02/01/2015 at 21:06:05
Is that the case about OFM's manager at Man U?
37 Posted 02/01/2015 at 20:53:36
This I find more worrying, because we don.t have the players for all styles. What is so wrong with 4.4.2, we have tried the experiments, get back to basics. Due to changes in personel every game and formation, is it any wonder we are in this mess. A number of players are getting to the twilight of their career and such changes need younger legs, they don't have.
Play the players in their rightful position and formation they are used too. This all should have been done in pre season. Oh we did and we were shit. Results don't lie, the performances demonstrate this.
38 Posted 02/01/2015 at 22:21:07
Did he just think we could just turn up this season with basically the same squad and repeat last seasons sucess obviously so very short sighted cos we have been sussed and he doesn't have an answer.
No passion no desire no leader and we can't even do the basics but having said that only 15 points of a champions league spot so not all doom and gloom but he's got to go he's making us an embarrassment and shouldn't be allowed to get away with it .
39 Posted 02/01/2015 at 23:19:02
Anyways I was impressed with his knowledge and how he generally understood the action on the pitch better than RM. I wonder if he would be interested. Does he have any previous experience as the head man?
40 Posted 03/01/2015 at 00:41:18
He's an employee like we are. He just happens to be a football manager. If you became consistently shit at your job without calling your boss a wanker, or sleeping with his wife then they couldn't fire you but might want you to leave so they could pay you off.
Compensation would be due based on the terms of your employment contract. You can't just fire someone when you feel like it, not even in football. Unless you pay.
41 Posted 03/01/2015 at 08:04:12
Who is it that is really pulling the strings at Everton????
42 Posted 03/01/2015 at 11:36:24
43 Posted 03/01/2015 at 12:38:10
If I was a board member I would protect my investment by paying off Martinez if he shows no sign of improvement in the next month to replace him with a pragmatic manager, perhaps a caretaker for this season, and in the summer getting rid of all the dead wood, has-beens and never-weres cluttering up our payroll.
44 Posted 03/01/2015 at 16:47:18
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