Everton 0 - 0 Liverpool

Derby day comes around yet again and fans with more personal rituals to perform for this match than any other gather at the same places they always do and do the things they always do. Many confess to lucky shirts or underpants; some even perform walking up- and down-stairs backwards immediately before leaving for the game. The urge to gain a win is such that these things take place and anything, just anything that aids it is considered. Winning is heaven, losing is hell and a draw is merely a cease fire until the next time.

The Room of Nonsense soon filled and, although the Chelsea game was on the big screen and television sets, no-one seemed to notice as team line-ups were discussed and I enjoyed listening to the many ways the rabid Evertonians thought we might lose. A biased red in refs clothing, after battering them for 89 mins a fluke goal does for us... but the most popular was that Gerrard would cheat to get a pen from the biased ref, score and wheel away flapping like a seagull the length of the Bullens Road. All this from usually sane people but behind it is the thought that, if you consider the nasty ways we will be beat, it wont happen. Such is superstition.

The walk up was the best for some years as all the outlets on Goodison Road were thriving and fans moving in large groups singing all the songs they knew on route to their turnstile, which prompted others going in the opposite direction to do similar. The crowd was up for it as, both pre and post Z-Cars, the din made by all four sides of the ground was deafening, leaving our players in no doubt of what was expected of them.

From the kick-off, it soon became clear that this was to be no blood and thunder derby as both sides had set up to be solid, Liverpool with their three at the back and flood midfield and Everton with a 4-3-3 that could mutate as required. This produced a game of attack and counter-attack with very little threat as the Blues had singled out Sterling and Coutinho for close attention and this tactic worked as very little goal threat was forthcoming from either.

Rogers had given a start to the youngster Ibe and it was he who had the only shot that threatened in the first half and fortunately his powerful shot hit a post and rebounded away with Robles beaten. Phew... I put it down to someones lucky underkecks that we were not behind...

That first half was full of vim and vigour that got neither team anywhere and left this scribe with little to write about. Oviedo was at left back for the injured Baines. Lucas was replaced by Joe Allen after a quarter-of-an-hour and John Stones was looking imperious. Both teams produced some decent joined-up stuff, interspersed with hoofs at the first sign of danger but end product was seemingly not on the agenda today.

The manager readied Barkley to replace Naismith but Naismith signalled frantically that he was okay and eventually the Everton bench got the message and Ross was sent back to put the cold-weather gear back on. We were having a good spell when this happened and the uncertainty seemed to affect our players' concentration. Shame really as a goal then would have been gold dust.

The half-time whistle arrived and broke up what could be called at best a tepid affair. The half time chat was mainly about how most thought we should quicken the pace and get more action in the box.

The second half began as the first ended but we were attacking the Street End and Gerrard was getting down the banks at every opportunity. We were again producing good build-up play but it always seemed to break down as soon as the final third was approached or Lukaku had yet again strayed offside. I dont know whether he is just too idle to get himself onside or the ball to him is too slow in coming but, for all our sakes, I hope they work on it with him down Finch Farm way.

Liverpool were always quick to break too but with no better luck than us that is until, for once, Sterling eluded the majestic Stones and fired a great shot that Joel blocked away at his near post.

Gerrard was pushing on, maybe wanting the goal that would make his and Skypool TV hype even more cringe-worthy but it was evident that he has chosen to leave for the States about a season later than he should have done, as his contribution was that of a spent force. Although he did try a spectacular mid-air volley that was sent high over the bar by a Naismith intervention. The half wore on with a theme of you attack; we will attack and neither will get very far. With a lot of the action taking place in the midfield, I noted that McCarthy looked fit and was making a big difference to our play in giving an intensity that has been missing whilst he has been out.

Just as I was thinking maybe a change of personnel may help our course the manager acted and replaced Mirallas with our new loanee Lennon on the hour mark. Mirallas looked less than pleased as he came off. Rogers must have more fear of Lennon than he has of Mirallas as he put an extra man back to cope with Lennon and his trade mark pacy runs, twists and turns. He seemed tidy but just a cameo role will tell us little. He did look lively though.

The game got no better until 5 mins before the end when our manager swapped Besic and Naismith both had acquitted themselves well with Barkley and Alcaraz and right away Barkley started to run at the Reds defence with some joy. Rodgers ushered another man back after Ross powered his way into their box, leaving a couple of Reds for dead, and played in Coleman at pace who hit a fierce shot that brought a good save from the Liverpool keeper in fact, that was his first meaningful save of the entire game.

Three minutes added but it looked like both teams had settled for a point and the game ended all square in limp fashion.

When looking for our man of the match, McCarthy and Besic showed well and so did Jagielka. Its crucial that they stay fit but I would nominate Stones as my MotM. He just looks the part and is as cool as a cumber under pressure. We will do well to hold on to that lad.

Overall, a bit of a damp squib of a derby that, for me, lacked that local bragging rights intensity and never really produced a tackle that could be put down as a cruncher or game changer. We did have a few handbags near the end when Besic didnt take too kindly to a tackle and retaliated which prompted a pushing and shoving session and yellow cards for Besic and Naismith along with Henderson. This insured we won the card count 4-1.

,

I wondered if Sky would leave the crowd sound up as the players left the field as Gerrard got one hell of a send-off that had nothing to do with what a great player he was. Still, all was not lost as positive spin is the order of these times... Let's say we gained another point toward safety.

Chelsea on Wednesday night at the Bridge and we will need to be a touch better than tonight but, there again, Chelsea are not on top form... so who knows? It is time we won on the rich mans soil.

UP THE BLUES

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Ajay Gopal
1 Posted 08/02/2015 at 05:51:02
From my seat in front of the television, I saw it pretty much the same way as you, Ken. I think Martinez was too cautious which is a pity because the crowd seemed up for the game. He should have brought on Barkley at least 10 minutes before he finally did.

And I didn't understand the Alcatraz for Besic switch – a classic Moyes move which would seen a lot of scorn heaped on him. I thought he should have brought on Kone for Lukaku instead with about 10 minutes to play.

Still, a 3rd clean sheet in a row in the league is not a bad thing given how we were shipping goals for fun. Baines was a big miss for us, but Oviedo filled in manfully.

Defensively, we seem to have settled down, but now it is the attacking part of our play that needs addressing quickly – 2 goals in the last 5 league games is poor.

Dick Fearon
2 Posted 08/02/2015 at 07:28:56
Ken, you put it same as I.

I beg to differ about replacing Lukaku with Kone. I would have preferred to see both on for those last few minutes.

Agree with MotM for Stones.

Phil Walling
3 Posted 08/02/2015 at 07:27:35
Perfect report and summary, Ken. All games are now about gaining the point that will safeguard this hopeless manager's future. As an attacking force we are useless but, and it's a vital but, the defensive uncertainty has been cured and that alone is a blessing.

No point in arguing over individual performances, Wiganism always relied on scratching to safety as a team!
Danny Broderick
4 Posted 08/02/2015 at 07:57:11
I thought there were quite a few positives yesterday. Robles again looked solid, he's getting better every game. Oviedo played well, so much so that we didn't miss Baines. The defence as a whole was solid, and the midfield 3 did well also.

It's obvious that, beyond that, Naismith, Mirallas and Lukaku struggled to create anything. This has been a problem since last year. I am hoping that Lennon will help in this respect.

All in all, more good than bad, and our 3rd clean sheet on the spin. Oh, and we'll never have to face Stevie G again!
David Flanagan
5 Posted 08/02/2015 at 09:00:04
My main problems are Naismith and Lukaku don't possess a first touch and neither can hold the ball up long enough to get our pedestrian midfield up the pitch. Unless this changes, we will continually struggle to create or score.

Barry looks shot and is now the biggest culprit in losing possession but he plays every minute of every game and he slows the game down to compensate.

Ian Bennett
6 Posted 08/02/2015 at 09:15:16
It was a passionless Derby, yet we still had four players booked. You can't help but think if we had of upped the tempo, the ref would have been dishing red cards like confetti. Playing against 12 men again in the Derby, it gets boring.

A solid start, but the second half we just passed over posession. We looked far better when we matched up 3 at the back and brought Barkley on, but it was at least 15 minutes to late.
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 08/02/2015 at 09:26:14
Barkley should’ve come on at half time. He opened them up a few times with pinpoint passing.
Barry Pearce
8 Posted 08/02/2015 at 10:08:32
I didn't think Oviedo had a good game. I thought he was poor.
Clive Mitchell
9 Posted 08/02/2015 at 10:01:35
As so often Ken, the best report on that match anyone will read. Just wanted to say too that your opening two paras are fantastic – perfectly capture the experience of thousands.

Superstition's a bizarre thing isn't it? Mine has got to the stage where "I'm not going to wear the lucky blue socks because that kind of superstition is ridiculous and cannot possibly affect the match – but there's no way I'm wearing the socks with red on them!"

Peter O'Connor
10 Posted 08/02/2015 at 11:01:13
Overall a rubbish game by two fairly mediocre sides and neither deserved to win.

Besic was booked after intervention from the fourth official.

Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the fourth official's only duty is to use the substitute/added time noticeboard and to ensure that managers/coaches do not go beyond the box in front of the dugout.

How come this ref took any notice of the fourth official?

Symptomatic of official's treatment of EFC this season.

Can we lodge a complaint?

Michael Polley
11 Posted 08/02/2015 at 11:07:39
Our energy levels dropped in the 2nd half. You've got to question our fitness regime.

Lukaku played too wide, and couldn't get into any dangerous goal scoring positions.

Barkley added a bit of spark to the game, but came on too late.

At least it was a clean sheet. Overall it was a poor game.

Alan Khan
12 Posted 08/02/2015 at 11:24:24
Top draw stuff as always Ken... Thank you for your reports.

I agree that Stones was imperious. Besic continues to impress and I'm hoping the manager will start with him and McCarthy in midfield at the Bridge.

Hats off to Roberto; whilst he frustrates with playing Lukaku out wide and bringing on Alcaraz when we need to go forward, he did nullify the threat from Coutinho and Sterling.

I still worry about our lack of creativity and the fact that often, we slow things downs especially on the few counter attacks that come our way. Still, a point is a point and it's another clean sheet.

Dave Williams
13 Posted 08/02/2015 at 11:48:07
Funny how Roberto has been getting dreadful stick for weeks for having no plan B and then when he applies a plan B and it works very well ie. nullifying Sterling and Coutinho not to mention Gerrard , he gets more dreadful stick!!

With our current form surely no-one expected us to play Liverpool off the park? We have started to look solid at the back and classic method is to do that first (just like HK did in 1983-4) then the midfield and attack will start to flow again.

For heavens sake give the man a chance - he looks like he is learning and progress is being made.

Brian Harrison
14 Posted 08/02/2015 at 12:03:01
I think the reason for our improved defensive displays can be put down to having our best two central defenders playing.

I also think that Jagielka has been outstanding for the past 5-6 games and is back to his pre World Cup form. He was masterful yesterday and, although Stones played well, for me he still takes too many chances in trying to play football in our own area. But he will learn and I have every confidence in him being an outstanding centre back.

So I don't think its down to RM having a Plan B – it's just that our defenders are in top form.

Mike Childs
15 Posted 08/02/2015 at 12:28:46
Always a pleasure to read your reports Ken. I had a great laugh as I hadn't worn my lucky shirt in weeks.
Tony Draper
16 Posted 08/02/2015 at 11:55:40
Ken, I really enjoy your unique "fans eye view" of the match and today I enjoyed it more than the match itself, much more.

Today was always going to be a very cagey afair and one in which we simply couldn't afford to let the game run away from us. That's now beca, use our priority lies in repairing a largely "lost and broken season" and doing so both swiftly and effectively.

Much is written currently about playing with the "Everton Style", the return to the "School of Science", and I deeply welcome that aspiration. I also revere William Ralph Dean, though I never saw him play nor ever met him.

William Ralph's view of how football should be played would shock many modern Evertonians, for he was a very strong advocate of getting the ball directly into the danger zone by the most rapid of means. Given his immense scoring record, we can ill afford to bypass his brutally simple philosophy. Billy scored goals in abundance. Only goals determine the results of football matches, Billy was a born winner and the club has only one statue to the greatest Blue of all times.

Playing pretty is encouraging, whatever the final score.

(But only for a limited amount of games).

Playing gritty is encouraging, if it generates a much needed point or three.

(But only for a limited amount of games).

Playing shitty can happen, no matter how grandiose the budget.

(But only for a limited amount of games).

The greatest Everton side(s) that I have so far watched have all played shitty, played gritty and could played pretty.

But William Ralph remains correct, football is a simple game about scoring the most goals.

I know that Roberto is a devout disciple of football, so please Roberto remember that possession is not 9/10th, because in his most memorable season Bill Dean gave possession to the opposition a record number of times......

On at least 60 occasions.

Once for each time they kicked off when he had scored.

Andrew Cunningham
17 Posted 08/02/2015 at 12:50:48
Dave Williams 14 . Well said, Dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.
Kieran Fitzgerald
19 Posted 08/02/2015 at 13:09:13
A back-to-basics approach seems to be the one being taken at present. While not playing teams off the park, that is now three clean sheets and a defensive unit that is getting its confidence back. A strong defence is the cornerstone of any good team. This is what we have been complaining about all season, yet when Martinez goes to rectify it, he's a fool.

Martinez was getting stick during the week that he would stop playing Besic now that McCarthy was back fit. Well, Besic got almost the full game and again played well.

Also, Barkley has been very poor of late and many people were asking for him to be dropped. Yesterday, he was and yet people complain that he wasn't brought on early enough.

As Andrew says, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

David Hallwood
20 Posted 08/02/2015 at 13:22:09
Great read as ever, Ken.

Tony Draper(#17) I think these days its called POMO (Positions Of Maximum Opportunity), which was the philosophy pushed by Charles Hughes. It was Influential for about 10 years – Howard Wilkinson, Wimbledon and Big Sam came out of it.

Sorry, Tony, it's had its day and is easy to defend against and to counter against. What Everton need is not launchball (in any case, Lukaku isn't a John Fashanu) but someone who can pick a pass from midfield.

Peter Mills
21 Posted 08/02/2015 at 13:42:52
We were in complete disarray after the West Brom fiasco, and most of us could not see where we could get the points needed to avoid a relegation scrap. We are not out of it yet, but 4 ugly points from two games are a great help.

The manager has, at last, shown pragmatism. I'll settle for battling to safety for the rest of the season, maybe relax a bit in the Europa League, then for a post mortem.

Frank McGregor
23 Posted 08/02/2015 at 14:02:48
Good report, Ken.

Looking ahead to the Chelsea game, I would like to see Kone and Barkley upfront in place of Lukaku and Naismith and Garbutt at left back as Oviedo did not give me a comfortable feeling, he was too easily beaten.

In comparison to the Mersyside derby, the London derby and both Arsenal and Tottenham are way ahead in football terms.

Tony Draper
24 Posted 08/02/2015 at 14:07:04
David @ #17

I'm not advocating the Watford/Sheff Wed/Wimbledon style, and if that's all that you saw, then read it again, because you appear to have "blindsided" more than 50% of the point.

Supplying Lukaku (or Kone or Yakubu or Latchford or Lineker or Lawon or Dean) crisply will reap more rewards than supplying when the opposition defence has more time to assemble.

Forwards get caught offside more often trying to anticipate an opportunity which never arrives than by "doziness". Furthermore, having become stationary in the "danger zone" strikers have no impetus when the ball finally arrives.

Have a look at Harry Kane's second goal yesterday..........

Kieran @ #

Good points well put.

I agree that resting Barkley from the "murmurs of discontent" (and some jeers and even booing from some cretins) was needed and appears effective. Ross is a "Blue Diamond in the rough" and if a bit of protection yields the completed development of him as a result then brilliant.

FAR too much "instant gratification" required by far too many people these days.

John Williams
25 Posted 08/02/2015 at 10:15:34
Good report, Ken.

On seeing the team sheet before the game, I didn't expect us to run riot but to create only one real chance was disappointing, though to be expected playing three defensive midfield players. I, like other posters, wanted to see McCarthy, Besic and Barry in games like this (maybe Arsenal and Chelsea too) as it gives us more solidity and makes us harder to beat. It does negate attacking play but needs must as safety is paramount at the moment.

In the longer term, it looks like Martinez will get at least another season. If so, then if we get a quality centre half to eventually play alongside Stones, Besic and McCarthy fulfilling their potential as the holding midfielders this would give us a great base to build from. Sadly there seems little coming up from the youth squads, either they're not ready or good enough, so, in all likelihood, we''ll have to sell to buy.

Mirallas looks like an obvious one to leave and dare I say I'd cash in on Coleman too. 㿏 million for the pair and a similar amount in the kitty would give Martinez a very decent transfer budget to rebuild.

A question then would have to be asked: "Is Martinez the man to be trusted with this sort of capital at his disposal?"

Barry McNally
26 Posted 08/02/2015 at 15:09:02
Fans over-value their club's players similar to what car owners do with their vehicles. You'd get max 㿅m for Coleman and Mirallas. If they were worth 㿏m, surely you'd keep them if they were that good!
David Hallwood
27 Posted 08/02/2015 at 14:58:46
Sorry Tony (#25) I may be missing your point but statements like "getting the ball directly into the danger zone by the most rapid of means" was the jargon of POMO, and I take your point about Kane's 2nd goal. But Kane is, while not exactly a throwback, harks back to a good old fashioned CF, which Lukakuu isn't IMO, but needs to be fed with intelligent balls from midfield where he can run at defenders.

But I do agree about Barkley; How do we solve the problem called Ross Barkley? To my mind we give it some historical perspective.

There's been lots of talk about 'the No 10' role, now all the awl arses on TW, a No 10 was an inside forward in the 2-3-5 formation (inside left to be precise), so would Barkley be an inside forward of a wing half.....mmmm debateable, but moving on to 4-3-3 there would be no debate that he would be a midfield player, and onto 4-4-2 he would be a CM all day long.

To my mind that's where he should be and RM should, in the light of some piss poor performances drop the 2 holders and put Ross in his natural position. Personally I think we should play Basic/Barkley/McCarthy as a 3, with Barry be used as a sub to see out a game, because he hasn't got the legs anymore.

There's no reason why good shouldn't come out of bad and we've got some extremely talented players and the run we're on is baffling. Let's go to Chelsea and get something from the game.

Roy Steel
28 Posted 08/02/2015 at 15:50:53
Everton are the poorest football team in the league in terms of quality; no other team surrenders possession like we do.... they don't seem able to do the basics ie control the ball and pass to a colleague, their running off the ball is non-existent.The second half was like watching small boys on a Saturday morning at the local park.

What's Garbutt done wrong? Ibe had Oviedo on toast all night and could have cost us dearly. Also Browning played really well at their place and has disappeared although Coleman wasn't the worst.

We have a 㿈M asset up front who needs to learn the offside rule? And why does he keep subbing Besic who is our future? Lastly, what has happened to the team who gave us all hope last season? Where have they gone?

Dennis Stevens
29 Posted 08/02/2015 at 16:12:23
Thanks, as always, for your excellent report, Ken. Especially on this occasion, as it's a fixture I would really rather read about later than experience at the time - unless there's a paramedic on hand!
Gareth Fieldstead
30 Posted 08/02/2015 at 16:30:20
Great report as usual. We could have a different article all together regarding fans pre match superstitions. I am frankly awful, bordering on OCD.

I was delighted with the result. Whether we accept it or not, Liverpool have been on a decent run, clearly had outplayed Chelsea over two legs in the League Cup and Sturridge was back. I feared the worst. Roberto simply has to find that balance of being difficult to beat but at least have some attacking threat. I would love to see Besic, McCarthy and Barkley, but not until after the Chelsea game! COYB!

Nick Oakley
31 Posted 08/02/2015 at 17:49:58
Agree with you completely Dave (#14). If we had gone for Martinez's normal attack with no mind to defence in the last two games, he would have been pilloried and we would have lost even more confidence with being in the middle of a relegation dog fight.

The positives – we must have a solid defence first and we are now getting it. Liverpool, I hate to say it, are through their own rough patch and are likely to do very well in the remainder of the season so I think we will see that a point gained wasn't that big a disaster.

My biggest concern is that we didn't see Garbutt even on the bench. To loose him at the end of the season will be a tragedy and send out all the wrong messages. He should have been in the line-up from the start, in my opinion.

Tony Draper
32 Posted 08/02/2015 at 18:19:10
David @ #31

Excellent last paragraph, completely and utterly agree.

Route 1 shouldn't be choice 1. But even in the highly intellectual world of chess, the Grand Masters will threaten, imply and deploy tactics, strategies or actions from every page of the book or even beyond.

By the time he departed, it was pretty evident that a very hefty portion of Evertonians were either becoming tired or even bored shitless with Davey Moyes's limited playbook and it's well known list of inadventurous outcomes. His playbook was played out, several times over by every EPL manager, and it never yielded silver.

Eventually as in any "one line approach" to probability, simply playing percentages will empty your "stake", because opponents don't enjoy losing. The odds/chances are not set nor fixed.

As I recall, when Roberto arrived, he referred to developing a "Unique and exciting" style of football befitting our great club.

As a simple generality, winning earns any manager and club the time and means to develop style, whilst losing does not.

Nathan Cross
33 Posted 08/02/2015 at 18:55:47
Great report, Ken. I had no issue with the way Martinez set the team out yesterday, he showed a little of the pragmatism that many on here have been calling for for months.

I was frustrated by his reluctance to use his substitutions, which has become a common theme this season (and an area where I thought he was very strong last season). Lukaku was ineffective throughout and looked completely shattered for the last 30 minutes. Naismith fought hard, but looked similarly gassed in the second half, and never looked 100% after falling on his head in the first half.

I would have loved to see Barkley given more time in that "false 9" role Naismith was playing yesterday, he could cause other teams a lot of headaches.

Len Hawkins
34 Posted 08/02/2015 at 19:19:01
Well I've decided before the next derby match I'm going to try putting my inside out underpants on back-to-front whilst walking backwards down stairs. I suppose I'll come round to watch the game in the Orthopaedic ward.

But nonetheless, a good report that puts the Redneck Press to shame.

Andrew Laird
35 Posted 08/02/2015 at 19:16:07
Any result against them is a bonus for me. We have looked a lot more solid defensively but boy do we lack any real attacking threat from open play because of it, perhaps this was the compromise of defensive solidity?

I am really dumbfounded as to why Martinez does not bother with set-pieces, if we add that threat to our game then we could end up winning games like yesterday and not have to rely on the 2/3rds of our struggling attacking players having to actually control the ball properly. Come on Roberto, think on!

Andrew Laird
36 Posted 08/02/2015 at 19:16:07
Any result against them is a bonus for me. We have looked a lot more solid defensively but boy do we lack any real attacking threat from open play because of it, perhaps this was the compromise of defensive solidity?

I am really dumbfounded as to why Martinez does not bother with set-pieces, if we add that threat to our game then we could end up winning games like yesterday and not have to rely on the 2/3rds of our struggling attacking players having to actually control the ball properly. Come on Roberto, think on!

David Flanagan
37 Posted 08/02/2015 at 20:05:25
Seven goals in last 10 league games is a poor return from our so-called attack-minded manager. We have far too many players who never score or even look likely too. We just don't commit when we go forward and everything is far too slow and predictable. 10 seasons in the top 7 will be a distant memory unless we change our style of play.
Mike Childs
38 Posted 08/02/2015 at 20:26:40
Roy, I think Lyndon hit on the point in his report that perhaps the fact that Garbutt is balking at signing a contract has more to do with it.
Spragg Johnson
39 Posted 08/02/2015 at 21:49:47
Hard to disagree with the consensus ...

Positives: Stones and Jagielka assured, good to have McCarthy back and Besic continues to chase and distribute effectively.

Negatives: Naismith (looked out of sorts and needed Barkley in his place sooner), Mirallas spent most of his time moaning and Lukaku caught offside a frustrating amount of times.

Best starting XI for Chelsea should be: (4-2-3-1)

Robles

Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines

McCarthy, Besic

Lennon, Barkley, Oviedo

Lukaku

Barry seems to be the new Phil Neville (manager's favourite boy) though.

Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 08/02/2015 at 22:07:18
I'd say he must be the photographer who Martinez, was talking about getting rid of Spragg.

Can't do that though until he finds out where he puts the negatives because he must really have something on the manager at the minute!

Bob Parrington
41 Posted 08/02/2015 at 22:49:02
We came (home) for a draw and got it. I wonder what would have resulted if we came (home) to win it???? :)
David Kershaw
42 Posted 09/02/2015 at 00:22:56
Can anybody tell me? Did the crowd try to applaud Gerard off and he ignored them and then get booed off???
Ant Summers
43 Posted 09/02/2015 at 08:58:52
It was a boring game, but I give you applause for your positivity.

Chelsea not playing that well... Hmmm, 7 points clear at the top, probably break 90 points this season... Final in one cup, CL last 16...

Bloody hell mate, if that's not playing well, let's hope they don't click into gear! I hold little hope for anything from the game, maybe I'm just being negative.

Dave Lynch
44 Posted 09/02/2015 at 09:01:51
On a personal level, I'm pleased with a point. One more point toward safety, which must be our main goal this season.

I've said it before: get to 40 points and fire Martinez. We will be in for season after season of this if this clown is left in charge and the decent young talent we have will be out the door.

Tony Draper
45 Posted 09/02/2015 at 09:10:12
David @47.

I can confirm that this particular supporter made no such attempt.

Sam Hoare
46 Posted 09/02/2015 at 09:12:58
Spragg, 44, I'll go along with that team except have Mirallas in for Oviedo. It's going to be a park the bus scenario against Chelsea and our best bet is the sort of breakaway goal that Mirallas specializes in. Having him, Lennon and Lukaku hanging up the pitch will give us our best shot at some rapid and dangerous counter-attacks.
Michael Penley
47 Posted 09/02/2015 at 09:26:15
It felt like we would have played better had we let them score.

To adopt a toned-down style of play at Goodison against our biggest rival is incomprehensible. Only in the last few minutes did we really look like scoring, and only one shot on target is a terrible stat.

Saying that, if Coleman had slotted the ball through to Lukaku instead of shooting, he would surely have scored.

Laurie Hartley
48 Posted 09/02/2015 at 09:21:18
Ken,

After watching the replay here in Oz, apathy had almost set in on me but you came up with a one liner that stirred me back to life - "It is time we won on the rich manÂ’s soil." I like that Ken.

As the song goes – "If you don't have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true?"

Up the Blues.

Christopher Timmins
49 Posted 09/02/2015 at 09:54:48
Ken, Back in the sixties we were the rich man! With Bill at the helm that can never be the way again.
Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 09/02/2015 at 10:30:40
That's what Chelsea will expect, Sam, after seeing the way we have just played at home, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Play them like Liverpool did, without a striker, and play, Mirallas further forward. If Baines is fit move Oviedo outside him. Lennon on the other side, with Barkley, Besic and McCarthy playing central.

Congest the middle of the pitch, frustrate them and look to break quick with players who can beat a man. Leave Lukaku on the bench to start with. It might wind him up and put a bit of fire in his belly, to come on, and really have ago, if we are still in the game.

Len Hawkins
51 Posted 09/02/2015 at 13:45:17
Chris (#55) Yes the Mersey £Millionaires, now Everton, are the Big Issue Sellers of English Football. But, in one moment of sheer panic, Bill sanctioned a 㿈M outlay over 5 years... he'll be well knackered by 2019 with the sleepless nights he must be having. I bet Jenny is sick to death of him pummelling Sir Edward Tedward every night.
Laurie Hartley
52 Posted 09/02/2015 at 19:48:42
Christopher and Len,

Quite correct, it's hard to believe we were once the club setting transfer fee records – 㿨 grand for Tony Kay and 㿊 grand for Gordon West. It was a great feeling picking up the Echo and reading those sort of headlines.

I wonder if we will ever see it again?

Andy Meighan
53 Posted 10/02/2015 at 19:04:55
Yes while it was a poor game and a negative performance from us. It looks like Martinez has learned his lesson after that awful night at the hell hole when we were slaughtered 4-0 and by rights shouldÂ’ve been more; he failed us badly that night.

But this time rightly targeted Sterling and Couthino as the danger men and got it spot on because the two of them did zilch. Yes, as the home side, we should have forced the issue more and to me should have played on that shit left back they’ve got, Sakho – one bad player him. But we never did, and the positive to take is another clean sheet.

Great report, Ken, and right about Stones. Imperious.

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