Everton 1 - 0 Burnley

A lovely sunny day in L4 saw us gather in the Room of Nonsense, soon to be joined by a few Burnley fans. The teams were transmitted to screens that have become part of the human torso and many found the absence of Pienaar baffling until others delved deeper into cyberspace and found that Everton had declared both he and Osman as not 100% fit. Lukaku was on the bench though. The pub was heaving, reflecting yet another sellout at Goodison, and so the theme continued on the walk-up with dozens enjoying a pint on the pavement, the Fat Van, Fan Zone, Blue Dragon and every other outlet thriving. Still no bacon for the treat of a ‘Bacon Batch’ – Shame on them.

Z-Cars rang out and the players were loudly welcomed into the arena and each name cheered loudly as it was read out. Did Lennon get the loudest? Well, the way the game started, perhaps he deserved it as his pace and direct running were eye-catching and, within 10 minutes, he made another dart that saw him felled. The ref ruled inside the box and pointed to the spot. The sight of Barkley grabbing the ball and carefully spotting it up had fans caught in that ‘What the hell’s going on?’ moment. Baines, who has scored 13 out of 14 pens, yet again usurped... or was he? We will probably never know if anyone was designated penalty taker or do they just make it up as they go along? If the latter is the case, then indiscipline rules and that is not good.

With a section of fans calling out Baines's name, up stepped Barkley and the keeper made a good save blocking the ball for a defender to clear. Hard luck, Ross, but the fans would love to know who our nominated penalty taker actually is as this trend of a player grabbing the ball, refusing all attempts at mediation, is growing both tiresome and stupid. Still 0-0 and off we go again. We regain our momentum and push on. Lennon still looking lively and he and others were responding well to the promptings of Barry who was dictating things midfield. From a Barry intervention and some decent play Baines raided toward edge of box and hit a corker that the keeper did well to stop.

Lennon cut in from the right and exchanged passes and fired narrowly wide, I think he saw the tackle coming and bottled his shot just enough to ensure it was not a full laces strike. We then kept pushing but time after time our final pass or control let us down and it was becoming frustrating to watch. The Burnley fans who had filled the away section were giving it a raucous ‘Come on Burnley’ but there tendency to go direct to our penalty area was being well dealt with by the combative Jagielka and the imperious Stones.

Thirty minutes on the clock and yet another Barry-inspired move saw the ball reach Lennon wide right. He cut in and fed Kone who spotted the overlapping McCarthy who dashed to the by-line and fired across goal to find Mirallas making up ground at speed, the Belgian almost fluffed his lines but at the second attempt fired home. Goodison came to life at last as we celebrated and many thought the floodgates would open...

Well, you know that footy saying that you are most vulnerable just after you score? It almost – almost came true as, minutes later, when the much hyped Ings fed a ball across for a midfielder to smash his shot just over the bar — close that. The danger was not passed as it took a superb last-minute tackle from the impressive Barry to thwart a Burnley man. Still, it wasn’t over as another fierce shot was well blocked by Stones but the expected serious cries for handball from the desperate Burnley players were waved away by our ref Mr Jones.

Now listen to this: We broke at great pace from the counter and Kone spearheaded the fastest break we have seen all season from the Blues. Sad to report, our man merely lobbed the ball into the keeper’s arms and that chance went begging. But not all doom and gloom as that speedy break was just like the big boys do!

With the clock ticking down, it seemed as though we were prepared to see it out and regroup 1-0 to the good and with many leaving for bogs and bars as the Burnley man Barnes took down Coleman that the ref deemed to be worthy of a yellow and, considering that the miscreant had gained a yellow earlier for bringing down McCarthy, then the Ref produced red. I have no doubt his manager would not have been too pleased at such doings.

Half-time and it has to be said that, although grateful to being in the lead, that half had been less than an ‘edge of the seat’ affair. The big talking point though centred on our shenanigans re penalty procedure. From the stands, it seems most unprofessional.

The Everton U7s were presented with a trophy they had won. I thought how great it would be for the seniors to emulate them soon...

Second half against a poor team down to ten men – well, it should do the goal difference some good. Not with us, though, as the players played it in such a way, it became boring and at times a bit hairy as just one goal to the good then just one mistake could change everything – and our record with unforced errors leading to goals is up there with the best of them.

So let’s look at what gave us something to cheer or rather ooh and aah about. Kone hit one from a Baines cross that the keeper did well to save, Lennon fed McCarthy in the box with a clear sight of goal but he fired just wide when better should be expected.

We then had a spell of nothing much at all and considering Burnley’s position, that was odd. We got back to ‘ooh and aah' as Baines hit a scorcher from just inside the box that the keeper blocked with his body and then had to be alert to thwart a Lennon shot that deflected.

The hour mark was reached after Mirallas miss-controlled a Jags pass and the keeper got to his second prodded attempt and after the Belgian had gone in hard and high on a Burnley player and was booked he was hooked for his countryman Lukaku to re-join the fray after his injury. With Barry running the show from midfield whether it be going forward or defending we looked much the better side but we could just not put the move together that would unlock their defence.

McCarthy did fizz a shot just wide and then, with just five mins to go, Burnley put in a cross that found Ings unmarked but, luckily for us and his supposed marker, he headed high and handsome. Final whistle and the points are ours. This pleased me a little as it now looks that not only are we safe but my unscientific method of prediction that we would finish between 8th and 12th looks to be on.

MotM – Barry for me. Lennon and Stones were a plus. Jags solid.

Man Utd next and as many were opining coming out, "God help us on that form". Yet football isn’t like that and each game offers something different plus players' form seems to fluctuate depending on the opposition, so who knows? It was good to see both Mirallas and Lennon on the same pitch even though Mirallas seemed to spend a lot of the time infield, he got a goal though, and that is the name of the game, but Baines really looks a bit lost without anyone operating in front of him. All-in-all, a nice day out, three points but in truth there was more entertainment in the fan zone than on the pitch.

See you next week for Sunday lunch L4 style. Let's hope we roast Man Utd.

UP THE BLUES

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Reader Comments (65)

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Tim Michael
1 Posted 19/04/2015 at 07:00:01
Martinez post match comments the pen kick taker is decided on who feels in the right mood to take it. In other words a shambles and it could have cost us again today. If Rom is first man as Martinez is saying then fine but if he’s not on the pitch it should be Baines. If it he’s not on the pitch then it’s Barry coz he’s always on the pitch!! It’s almost like he says to the players do u feel like playing this week? How much of this right mood rubbish is running through other aspects of the running of team?
Tim Michael
2 Posted 19/04/2015 at 07:13:55
Also what’s all this rubbish about Burnley being a dangerous side with 10 men? They’re bottom of the league with 11 men!! I cringe every time the Martinez post match comments come out. Barkley taking control of defining moment when he took the pen. Where does all this spin come from??? It’s getting beyond a joke now
Mark Andersson
3 Posted 19/04/2015 at 07:44:23
Haha, Tim, your "Barry always on the pitch" comment made me laugh.

Thanks again, Ken, for a match report that no doubt is a true reflection of the game before I watch it.

As for our manager, he really does leave himself wide open for criticism with his post-match comments. "Win ugly at all costs", I heard lots of fans say a few weeks back. Well be careful what you wish for. You can not really expect the team to start playing brilliant football when all season they have failed so successfully.

So onto the Man Utd game, play good and get beat, or play crap and sneak a win or draw. You really canÂ’t bet on anything this team dose.

Only one thing is certain, that is Martinez will say something stupid before and after the game.

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 19/04/2015 at 08:13:15
To be honest IÂ’m past really caring that much now.

We won, a win is a win but you just know before even going to the natch these dayÂ’s that there is never going to be any entertainment watching us.

IÂ’m actually jealous when I watch other clubs on the highlights and their stadiums are rocking, great atmosphere, their team is playing with tempo, verve and passion.

I canÂ’t remember a single home game all season, apart from maybe the Arsenal game, where Goodison has been at its best, even the derby match was subdued and IÂ’m sorry but itÂ’s a result if watching a pre-season style of play, week-in & week-out...

Only Lennon seems capable of playing the game with any kind of pace and drive and even he slowed down in the second half when he got the impression he was the only one who was actually playing with tempo, he tailed off after he teed up McCarthy on a plate only for Macca to miss a sitter.

Lennon has been here for two months yet heÂ’s been arguably one of our best players and bright spots this season, itÂ’s a sad sorry reflection on the rest of the players.

I will simply say that it has to improve entertainment wise next season, you can take and accept these scrappy wins now at the end of an atrocious season, but I really donÂ’t think I could sit through another entire season playing the way we have been.

Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 19/04/2015 at 08:28:20
I think your report summed the game up pretty well as it was, I thought Baines was poor, especially his passing, but you are right to say he misses having someone reliable in front of him.

Another poor boring game, in my opinion, how much longer are we to suffer this kind of football? IÂ’m not convinced in any way, despite this run of points winning, that Martinez should stay, itÂ’s just as bad as itÂ’s been all season and heÂ’s not the man for Everton.

Trevor Lynes
6 Posted 19/04/2015 at 08:21:11
Baines is definitely the cleanest striker of a ball on our books so why is he not automatically taking all the penalties and most of the free kicks around the box? He has scored 14 of 15 whilst others have needlessly struggled.

IMO he is letting others take the penalties because our manager is not laying down the law. We as fans need to know why Baines is not the nominated penalty taker if he has proved to be the best around. It seems crazy IMO and if others are missed then there will be an uproar from the fans.

Baines really misses Pienaar as that particular player gives him the confidence to bomb forward. Those two have been our best attacking outlet and with this threat nullified we are almost impotent. Surely another player should be coached to play the Pienaar role as this missing cog shows a lack of recognising the team requirements.Anyway, once again a very good, unbiased report and I just hope that the question on every fans lips regarding Penalties is answered. Let's just hope we raise our game for Man Utd and give the fans a rousing finish to the season (we deserve it).

Tahir Abdullah
7 Posted 19/04/2015 at 09:04:08
Wordsmith Ken "...screens that have become part of the human torso...". A great report as usual; 3 points in the bag and safe in mid table, despite another disjointed team effort.
Dave Horne
8 Posted 19/04/2015 at 09:13:09
Dave (#5),

IÂ’m not saying it was a great game but I would doubt you go to every match? I thought it was one of our more acceptable performances this season and, far from being poor, I thought Baines had a pretty good game.

Perhaps the sunshine influenced my judgement.

Peter Mills
9 Posted 19/04/2015 at 09:46:34
John Stones made some tremendous tackles.
Sid Logan
10 Posted 19/04/2015 at 10:14:17
Jim (#4),
IÂ’m afraid weÂ’re all going to have to sit through this same boring lack-of-ideas play next season.

Playing a 10-man bottom-of-the-league team at home... but you wouldnÂ’t know it. At times, we looked like the team with 10 men.

What annoys me most is having to buy a season ticket (to date, IÂ’ve deliberately held off) under these conditions. The Manager canÂ’t even make the right call on a penalty taker – and forget the "Baines may have lost confidence" debate!

Next season quite simply will be a wasted season. We will have to wait until it dawns on everyone that we need a new manager and a new philosophy. Football at Everton means you have to be failing catastrophically before a change ensues and we may not reach that stage for some considerable time – God help us!

Steve Cotton
11 Posted 19/04/2015 at 10:41:39
Perhaps we donÂ’t practise penalty kicks in training!

The same way we donÂ’t practise corners or free kicks.

I thought Barry was outstanding today yet Paul Merson gave him a low score, just goes to show that the pundits donÂ’t actually watch the games.

Also, perhaps Mirallas was lucky not to see red and perhaps another ref would have given them a pen for the Stones handball; however, they are the bottom team with 10 men and they made us look to be idealess in breaking them down until Baines finally started going forward.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 19/04/2015 at 10:51:44
Sid

I am sad to say that I think you're probably going to be right. I know Martinez will be Everton manager at the start of next season but, if we have a bad start, and I mean by bad start, going into the end of September, struggling for performances or win, the man needs relieving of his duties without hesitation.

We simply canÂ’t allow another season to fester like the current one of malaise.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:07:53
Again the last few matches has highlighted our concerns over the lack of fitness under this current regime.

We cannot get through 90 minutes of football, the second half yesterday and at Swansea backing up what we knew already regarding this.

Martinez and his staff have totally neglected the physical fitness side of things and itÂ’s showing more now after he has had a proper full pre-season. Moyes may have been many things but his teamÂ’s were usually always physically in brilliant condition.

When do we ever bombard a team these days late in the game? They canÂ’t because they are totally fucked and knackered by the hour mark.

Kelvin Thomas
14 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:15:21
1-0 win that could easily have been 3-0 against a team fighting for their lives. What else do people expect? Free flowing football and a 6-0 victory?
Jim Bennings
15 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:22:31
No Kelvin,

But we have witnessed utter dross and played the entire season like we have just been on one big long pre-season tour on a tropical beach. The pace is so slow and pedestrian, saved only recently by the admirable Aaron Lennon (maybe because he hasnÂ’t yet been "slow-coached" by Martinez).

The wins we have had are against teams in low quality; next week and away at Villa Park you will see the results revert to mediocre once more. Anyone who can be pleased with this season clearly has not watched much football.

Kelvin Thomas
16 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:37:07
It's been so poor this season, IÂ’ve all but lost interest in football. Still, beating Burnley yesterday, not playing well etc isnÂ’t that bad. Man Utd have done it all season.
Bob Skelton
17 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:46:31
I have a huge issue with Martinez. I presume that his job title is Football Manager. In my view, that means that he is responsible for picking the team and defining our tactics. He is responsible for the group. One of those responsibilities is to nominate who does what in various situations, including penalty taking.

He is not doing this so he is not fulfilling his job spec. He is not running a cooperative but a sporting business. I will tell my boss on Monday that I felt like doing someone elseÂ’s job for a change, see where that gets me!!

Come on, Mr Martinez – do your job and stop giving meaningless, self-delusional interviews. You are looking like a dithering charlatan. This great club deserves a lot more than you are providing. 1-0 victories against a 10-man bottom team isnÂ’t what we need.

Phil Brown
18 Posted 19/04/2015 at 12:15:14
HavenÂ’t been onto this misery-fest for a while so thought it time to put my oar in.

Perhaps Martinez does know what heÂ’s doing and gave the job to Ross in order to boost his gradually increasing confidence and get our main asset back to his very best? Good management in my book unfortunately squandered by Ross not scoring but we are gradually getting back to our best.

Important summer for Roberto to get the three players he thinks he needs to move us on to the way he wants us to play – Lennon; Cleverley; and a left-footed centre-back.

Midfield next year will be McCarthy (Besic), Cleverley (Gibson) and Barkley (Osman / Naismith).

I also hope that he sends Garbutt, Galloway, Pennington and Browning out on loan for a season in the Championship to get them ready for a place in the squad and some game time the following season.

Paul Hughes
19 Posted 19/04/2015 at 12:42:58
There is something rotten in the state of Everton, in my view. Why is an experienced international now seemingly scared to take penalties? BainesÂ’s confidence seems to be inexplicably shot for all dead-ball situations – the footballing equivalent of the yips.

MirallasÂ’s head is all over the place as well, how else do you explain the X-certificate challenge on Boyd and his "chattering" goal celebration.

People are out on the park who just should not be there, and a lack of on and off-field leadership is letting it happen.

Jon Withey
20 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:02:26
We did win, didnÂ’t we?

Some credit to Martinez for turning things around under all sorts of pressure.

The Manchester United game should be interesting – first real test in a while...

Paul Smith
21 Posted 19/04/2015 at 12:58:51
Thanks for your report, Ken – always a staunch contributor.

Glad weÂ’ve avoided the dreaded relegation battle and the season will fade away into the memory. YesterdayÂ’s game was a welcome addition to our recent good run.

I still have my doubts about RM; not sure I want to see him spending our dosh in the summer... although it looks likely itÂ’ll happen.

David Hallwood
22 Posted 19/04/2015 at 12:46:25
Great report, as ever, Ken, but sadly like most people I’m experiencing this weird feeling of not giving a flying one about Everton’s results; Ü especially since I sat through the dross of the ’90s and most of the '00s.

In fact, football this season has been piss-poor, with the special one giving a Moyes-with-a-few-bob anti-football impersonation, the two MancÂ’s playing the worst football IÂ’ve ever seen from them in the EPL era. Arsenal a pale shadow of the Bergkamp/Henry era... I could go on (and on).

Next weekÂ’s game should be a litmus test as to whether we have turned this elusive corner that weÂ’ve been searching for since September.

Back to the game: a 1-0 is and always be a win, with a clean sheet thrown in as a bonus. Excited?.... Nah.

Harold Matthews
23 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:18:48
Cheers, Ken. I enjoyed your report but donÂ’t know how you got the idea that Baines looked lost. Barry Horne thought he was our star man in the second half.
Trevor Peers
24 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:02:05
The fact that we're safe is all that matters for this season. Roberto must use the remaining games to build up confidence for next season; to be fair, he is motivating the team enough to put in a decent level of performance.

However, there are deficiencies in the squad which he urgently needs to address in the summer: Kone isnÂ’t good enough so a new striker is required; a creative CM is a top priority and has been since Arteta left the club. ItÂ’s crucial that Roberto sorts out two top class performers in those positions. If he does, I think we can have a much better season.

ThereÂ’s no chance of Roberto leaving so we have no option but to get behind him for the new season and hope heÂ’s learned his lessons from this season; not being in Europe should help us as well.

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:26:13
Harold just because Barry Horne thought Baines had a good game doesnÂ’t make true, he has an opinion the same as the rest of us,Harold IÂ’d value your opinion over most footballers, I like Baines but the number of misplaced passes he made, especially in the second half was terrible.

I know you always watch replays of EvertonÂ’s games, just have a look at it again, youÂ’ll see what I mean.

Tom Bowers
26 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:05:35
Despite Martinez, Everton are having a good run and, except for the crazy Coleman penalty last week, may have had 5 wins on the trot. However, it does not disguise the fact that they are still a sputtering squad who are out of sorts and have been all season.

BK is now between a rock and a hard place as to what to do with RM for next season. Not much to play for this season except maybe a good showing against Man Utd next week, but maybe a chance to play some of the benchwarmers in the remaining games.

I believe RM has been an utter failure this season and can only guess that the last season was just a reaction by the team to a new man coming in rather than any great achievement by RM himself. One has to ask: Is he finally turning things around, judging by results of late, or has he just gotten lucky when the league position got desperate?

The return of Stones and the liveliness of Lennon has been a factor but generally they have, as a team still been quite poor. He doesnÂ’t inspire confidence in me for next season and I suppose BK will see how things go for the first couple of months before getting to the end of his tether, if he has one.

Jay Harris
27 Posted 19/04/2015 at 16:40:27
I thought Baines had a good game. He tested their keeper more than any other player and was sound defensively.

He hasn't had a great season by his standards... but who has under this buffoon??

Brian Abbott
29 Posted 19/04/2015 at 20:35:00
Watched the game on a fairly ropey stream. I can't believe the comments about Baines. In the second half, he brought the team to life and was involved in good moves that could and should have resulted in at least 3 more goals.

IÂ’ve said before that some on here havenÂ’t played the game in anger and make ignorant comments when they are off their faces.
Have a nice day

Brian Abbott
30 Posted 19/04/2015 at 20:40:04
ps: Thanks for the report Ken. Affable as always.
Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:04:47
Brian, watching the game on a fairly ropey stream is a lot different to seeing from inside the ground where you can see the full pitch. It makes a huge difference. It doesnÂ’t mean Baines didnÂ’t have a good game, but youmight have seen it differently from inside the ground.
Sid Logan
32 Posted 19/04/2015 at 20:55:05
Some of the comments on here from people who think that because we win 1-0 at home to a 10 man bottom of the table team we should be expressing our sheer joy and maybe gratitude that we have a manager of MartinezÂ’s ability sound like theyÂ’re emailing from Stupidville, Ohio. These comments are addressed to them.

We are, of course, all happy that we got 3 points and massively relieved that our chances of being relegated have disappeared. But to expect all those who watched the game and what was a fairly uninspired performance to be shouting from the rooftops demonstrates a detachment from reality.

The comments from supporters after a game have to be seen in the light of performances weÂ’ve witnessed all season and the degree to which weÂ’ve improved since the days when we couldnÂ’t get a win to save our lives.

The answer to the latter point is: not very much. That doesnÂ’t mean we donÂ’t recognise players who have worked hard to try to turn things around and those players who perform every week and, for example, someone like Gareth Barry who was particularly good on Saturday.

Those of us are complaining after SaturdayÂ’s game are looking for signs that there may be hope for next season from seeing improvements in, for example, our tactics, fitness levels, creativity in set pieces and innovative ways to break down a 10 man team determined not to lose etc etc.

The problem is that those who went to the game didnÂ’t exactly see that much to be hopeful about. So please whoever you are, the next time you decide to have a go at those who are not feeling as exhilarated as you obviously are by another 1-goal win, try making the effort to go to every game and then, after each one, come on TW and let us knowhow wonderful you feel!

Sid Logan
33 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:34:40
ps, Ken, thanks for another good match summary and comment – and likewise to Lyndon and Michael.
Peter McHugh
34 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:43:29
The loan signing of Lennon has been fantastic. WeÂ’re not too far off being a good side. We lack leaders and some creativity. A little spark is all we need

I think 3 players like Martinez said is not too far off the money. My concern is can he identify the players and get them.

Brian Abbott
35 Posted 19/04/2015 at 22:09:16
Dave (#31), I take your point and good on you for being there, but TV showed me that Baines had a really good second half and combined with numerous team mates on numerous occasions to create good chances. If Kone was really a footballer, he would have had a hat-trick.
Patrick Murphy
36 Posted 19/04/2015 at 22:48:48
Just watching motd2 and they said that if Newcastle finish fourteenth then they are likely to receive 𧴥m from the new TV deal - I hadnÂ’t realised that the figures would be anywhere near this amount, Everton should receive a little bit more if we end up where we are now.
Dave White
37 Posted 19/04/2015 at 23:44:49
At least weÂ’re playing crap and winning, which is better than crap and losing. I still canÂ’t figure out how we are hollow shell of last yearÂ’s team though. MirallasÂ’ challenge was one of the worst IÂ’ve seen in a long time, he should be seriously punished for that.
Patrick Murphy
38 Posted 19/04/2015 at 23:53:45
Dave - It was a bad challenge but I donÂ’t think he can be punished further as he was booked, but the manager should have a good long word with him about it.
Steavey Buckley
39 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:48:53
The match yesterday was quite awful. Is it too much to ask Everton players to pass to each on a regular basis instead of finding the opposition?
David Ellis
40 Posted 20/04/2015 at 03:43:08
This thread is far too negative. I watched the game on TV - and on TV it came across pretty well. OK we should have scored 3 or 4, but we did make enough clear chances to do so; and OK it was against 10 men who needed the win - but we can only play against whatÂ’s in front of us.

However if you compare this to the 1-0 win over Palace a few weeks ago its quite a transformation. Confidence is coming back; the team is mixing it around with tikka tacka and quick breaks (and most of the scoring chances came from the latter). BarryÂ’s form has come back. Lennon gives us something extra. The defence looked solid (with only two clear chances given away).

I do miss the cleverness of Pienaar/Osman around Baines. As Barry Horne said on the commentary Kone and Barkley kept turning inside for a shot too soon in the move rather than playing it around in triangles to get a clearer opportunity. Also Baines only moved forward once Burnley were down to 10 men and then became a real threat. He has great composure.

So I am fairly upbeat - it was clear which team was mid table and which was at the bottom. Something that was not always obvious a few weeks ago. Hopefully Martinez has managed his way through his first slump by changind things up a bit (which he clearly has) and we can get back to last seasonÂ’s form next season.

Jim Bennings
41 Posted 20/04/2015 at 09:40:20
He hasnÂ’t managed his way through anything, heÂ’s got lucky scraping a few defensive minded wins against poor opponents.

It will be back to normal next week and probably at Villa Park too simply because they are needing points and at home too.

More of the same dross snail-paced passing next season.

Mark Andersson
42 Posted 20/04/2015 at 13:03:25
When I first came on to TW I was astounded by the general Â’glass half-emptyÂ’ attitude. However, over time, reading every post, I realised that there is a good balanced view of most subjects.

IÂ’m without doubt on the side of sacking Martinez, based on what I have seen, but also based on the opinions of long-term educated Everton fans.

Martinez will still be here come September and I hope he can prove me wrong. Sadly I donÂ’t think he will.

Oh and just for the record I really do detest the expression, Â’in my opinionÂ’ or abbreviations of it; it is tedious. The very fact you post anything is proof itÂ’s your opinion, so donÂ’t apologise for it!

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 20/04/2015 at 14:04:59
Brian (35) I wasnÂ’t having a go at you for not being at the match, you could have a variety of reasons for not being there, each to his own. The point I was making you do not always see the full picture on TV, but if you were happy with Baines, fair enough, I saw him put the ball out of play three or four times under no pressure trying to find a team mate with a pass, very sloppy.
Steve Cotton
44 Posted 20/04/2015 at 19:02:43
As a side issue does anyone know why LiverpoolÂ’s first goal in the semi final against Aston Villa was accredited to Coutinho?

His shot was heading towards the corner flag so it must be an own goal! DidnÂ’t Steven Naismith have one chalked off for a similar deflection in December?

Or does the panel only assess Premier league games?

Tony Hill
45 Posted 20/04/2015 at 19:05:42
The game was a riot of excitement compared with our home game v WBA, now officially the most boring game of the season according to the Echo. I was there. ItÂ’s true, though I suppose KevÂ’s penalty and the half time Rocky stuff should get some credit.
Trevor Lynes
46 Posted 20/04/2015 at 20:29:06
The big plus for me is the excellence of the defence. Jagielka and Stones must be amongst the best two in the league. Distin and Jags were equally good and once again it seems that the defence is carrying the team.Baines quite obviously looks unhappy without Pienaar playing in front of him. That pair were our most potent attacking outlet when both were fully fit.

Apart from the Belgians though we are really goal shy and I hope that a few other midfielders chip in before this season ends. A great start would be against Man Utd. WouldnÂ’t it be nice to see Barkley nab a wonder goal and Leighton hit a 30-yard free kick past De Gea. That would really get the crowd up for the rest of the season.

I reckon we will finish with 50 plus points.

James Marshall
47 Posted 20/04/2015 at 23:58:29
We had 21 shot on goal, they had about 8. Not bad stats.

OK we only scored one, and the penalty thing is a shambles than needs fixing, but apart from that it was a good result against a battling Burnley. Just because theyÂ’re bottom doesnÂ’t mean shit in this league - they beat some good teams this season and have given everyone a run for their money. Even moreso latterly.

I think a lot of Evertonians still live in the past, and think we have some of right to be the best because Â’We are EvertonÂ’ and all that bollocks. Sorry, but thatÂ’s just not reality. WeÂ’re a second-tier team, with third-tier finances and itÂ’s about time a lot of people started to realise that.

We have no divine right to anything, and there are plenty of teams with a rich history in this country that donÂ’t win bloody anything these days either. ItÂ’s not just us and it isnÂ’t 1985 anymore.

Patrick Murphy
48 Posted 21/04/2015 at 00:04:55
It certainly isnÂ’t 1985 any more thatÂ’s for sure. The reason that EvertonÂ’s past is brought up so often is because there has been precious little on offer to get excited about. Even the most hyper-critical supporter will admit that Everton winning the title or even getting into the top 4 is asking too much for a club with our resources, but that doesnÂ’t mean we have to lower our standards.

What many are asking for and I donÂ’t think that itÂ’s too much to ask is to watch a team go about itÂ’s business in a professional and organised way and with the desire and commitment that we crave. Most of this season has been played out as if it were a rehearsal for the real thing, we donÂ’t pay our money to watch half-hearted performances with sporadic forays into the opponents penalty area. There were signs of a more balanced approach on Saturday and weÂ’ll see if that can be repeated on Sunday against United, then confidence will return to the supporters that we are heading in the right direction.

Jay Harris
49 Posted 21/04/2015 at 00:08:28
James,
your attitude is one of the reasons why we are currently second rate.

You are talking about the 20th richest club in the world, still the fourth most successful team in the Premier League with more titles than Man City, Spurs and Chelsea put together with some of the greatest footballers to have lived gracing Goodison.

We should not be putting up with the Kenwright/Martinez bullshit.

At a time when the Premier League is awash with money, we are always scraping the barrel while our accredited Chairman cannot explain why unexplained operating costs rose from ٟ million to over 㿀 million during his watch and the club's debts rose by 㿀 million during his first year of office, a strangely coincidental amount given that it cost 㿀 million to buy JohnsonÂ’s shares.

With the greatest respect, it is supporters who are prepared to put up with this crap that keep us planted in this mode.

We were one of the so called "Super 5" who led the charge to the Premier League when we were level-pegging on titles with Manchester United. 25 years later, we are considered "plucky" little Everton and a lot of fans still put up with this nonsense.

Andy Crooks
50 Posted 21/04/2015 at 00:36:01
Phil Brown (#18), an interesting post and one which seems to have escaped the response it deserves. I think you are astute in predicting the targets for Martinez. Sadly, I think it is just about what we will get.

Lennon will do fine, a left-footed centre-back would be good too. That, in my view, bar selling will be the budget gone.

So we will be left with Cleverly for free. Not as bad as some think but it will make for an uninspiring summer. I would settle for your predictions with Austin on top. He is a good striker who would suit us well.

Ross Edwards
51 Posted 21/04/2015 at 00:48:49
DoesnÂ’t mean we have to accept mediocrity, James, just because "itÂ’s not 1985 anymoreÂ’" We wonÂ’t win anything until this mentality of "plucky Everton doing well on a budget" bullshit is eradicated. It seeps throughout the club from the board right down to the fans.

Our chairman accepts 2nd best, our manager is happy with 2nd rate performances every week and so seemingly, are the fans.

We deserve better than the performances and football weÂ’re getting, and we certainly deserve better than this board.

If Martinez was in charge of Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool or City right now and presided over a similar decline heÂ’d have been sacked months ago. Instead our bungling chairman has essentially made him unsackable with that 5-year contract added to the original contract he signed.

ItÂ’s actually amazing that some fans, (not you specifically James) would be happy if we got 10th and be prepared to declare how this was merely a blip and that RM is still the man for the job, Â’they hopeÂ’, Â’he could still come goodÂ’.

Notice that no one can provide a clear case for keeping him for another season despite the mounting evidence against him that this season has provided, other than saying that this is a fluke season and that RM Â’will come goodÂ’, Â’Kenwright gave Moyes time so Martinez deserves it tooÂ’, Â’Moyes did badly in his 2nd season, look what happenedÂ’ Â’The Europa distracted us, now weÂ’re not in it weÂ’ll do betterÂ’.

Just because he is almost certain to get another season it doesnÂ’t mean that we have to accept it. Or this total lack of success. IÂ’m 20 in November. IÂ’ve never seen us win anything, IÂ’ve seen 1 win at Anfield, 1 win at Old Trafford, no wins at Highbury or the Emirates, or Stamford Bridge.

ThatÂ’s probably why IÂ’m more demanding and impatient than the vast majority of you on here. I just want to see us be successful again, challenging. IÂ’m unlikely to ever see us win the league in my lifetime. How depressing is that?

Most of you have watched and enjoyed us winning trophies and enjoy success over several decades. I havenÂ’t and am unlikely to unless the mentality changes at this club because until then we are going nowhere.

David Ellis
52 Posted 21/04/2015 at 02:29:03
Ross- so sacking the manager at the first hint of trouble is the best way to run a football club????? No evidence for this view whatsoever for a club like Everton. The one thing Kenwright has got right is his loyalty to managers, and avoiding the knee-jerking short term hysteria of a section of our support (and 70% of ToffeeWeb).

IÂ’m not saying that Martinez will win us a trophy, but we will more likely do better in the longer term if we stick with him than rolling the dice on another "messiah" and start the building process all over again.

Jay Harris
53 Posted 21/04/2015 at 05:21:55
David, there is definitely no evidence that Martinez will do better in the long term either. In fact, apart from last season his management record in the Premier League is dire.

He has been outperformed by every other manager at Wigan and Swansea only moved up the league after he left so there is evidence that he is not up to the job of managing a club like EFC.

If, after what you have seen this season, you still want to back this manager, you must live in a totally different world than me. Any club with ambition for the top six would have sacked him at Xmas.

Patrick Murphy
54 Posted 21/04/2015 at 07:38:55
Everything will be fine as Jags has said that we will target the League Cup next season; hopefully that is not the only thing on the agenda.
Ross Edwards
55 Posted 21/04/2015 at 08:35:38
Can someone actually provide a case for keeping RM based on this season alone? Other than "he did well last season and could do so again" or "Kenwright is loyal to managers so Roberto deserves another go."

Even if we were relegated, Bill wouldnÂ’t sack him.

In any top league in Europe if Martinez took a team from 5th to lower mid table in a year, less than 6 points from the relegation zone like we were, they would have sacked him by now.

Here? No, itÂ’s knee jerk. "DonÂ’t sack him yet, heÂ’ll come good, donÂ’t worry."

Ross Edwards
56 Posted 21/04/2015 at 08:43:52
ItÂ’s not good enough. Results and performances havenÂ’t been good enough and for a club challenging for European football, the decline from last season is unacceptable and is a sackable offence.
Joe Foster
57 Posted 21/04/2015 at 09:02:59
ThatÂ’s the thing: nobody has provided or strongly argued the case for RM. The only arguments his supporters have are excuses to why it’s not working and a weird almost zealot-like belief that next season we will see some sort of managerial master class.

Again, I will state we all wanted him to succeed but there is no evidence from his prior managerial positions to his current post that would make me believe he is the right man.

Nigel Gregson
58 Posted 21/04/2015 at 09:17:12
Joe Foster – who is the Â’right manÂ’ and what is expectation for the Â’right manÂ’ to achieve? If the haters define this clearly, then perhaps it might be easier to argue a pro-Martinez case. At the moment, it’s damned if he does and damned if he doesnÂ’t and any manager is a good manager as long as it’s not Roberto.
Tony Hill
59 Posted 21/04/2015 at 09:18:37
I donÂ’t see why we should settle for second best. After we beat Arsenal last year, we were in the driving seat and blew it because we lost our nerve against Palace and Southampton and because, in our heart of hearts, we didnÂ’t think we could do it or that we belonged in the top 4. That is the attitude that we have to shake off: the shrugging acceptance of mediocrity when the pressure is on.
Patrick Murphy
60 Posted 21/04/2015 at 09:33:07
Nigel - There has been plenty of evidence produced to question whether Roberto will ultimately succeed at Goodison and most of it has been pretty damning; even so, most fans – even his detractors – are willing / resigned to him being in charge at least for the opening part of the 2015-16 season.

However, trying to produce valid arguments to support Roberto is becoming ever more difficult, even for his most ardent supporters. Mostly those positives arise from what he did in his first six months in the job, but was that down to him or the legacy of the previous manager? – we canÂ’t be sure.

As for what do we expect from ANY Everton manager, well some will want the team to be playing exciting football and accept the odd defeat, while some will want to win every game regardless of the style. I suspect that most will want the team to produce vibrant, committed and competitive performances that produce enough positive results to have us as near to the top six as is possible.

Joe Foster
61 Posted 21/04/2015 at 09:35:14
Nigel, I think the case against probably has thousands of posts on TW. A lot of these posts go into great detail on why he is not the right man.

It is not a case of heÂ’s damned if he does and damned if he doesnÂ’t. If he did then we would be chanting his name from the terraces. I donÂ’t "hate" him – IÂ’m just disappointed it is not working out like we all wanted it to.

There is always a case to give a manager more time which is what we do. Sometimes though you have to see something is wrong... very wrong... and cut your loses before it is too late.

Nigel Gregson
62 Posted 21/04/2015 at 09:44:54
Patrick - so to summarise, your expectation is a top six finish along with stylish football. Martinez delivered top 5 last year, playing a different and attractive style to the prior. That is strong evidence.

But of course you along with all anti-Martinez folks dismiss this evidence, since only evidence that supports the point of view will be considered. THAT is the reason that there isnÂ’t any point wasting energy to have rational / objective debate about this.

Joe – there are thousands of posts, that regurgitate the same reasons and number of posts donÂ’t make those arguments any stronger (or weaker). Perhaps if you could point to one or two that make objective, well argued points about why Martinez is not the right man (rather than the feet-stamping rants that I read regularly), IÂ’ll create a longer post supporting him.

Ross Edwards
63 Posted 21/04/2015 at 10:19:09
After last season, Nigel, I was absolutely in love (in a strictly footballing sense of course) with the man. I thought he was great, taking the shackles off a team clamped by the Plucky Everton brigade. I thought he could do no wrong, every tactical change he made was spot on, every sub worked, I admired his positivity etc.

Even until early December, when the bad results started, I was in your position: give him time, itÂ’s a small bump, weÂ’ll be fine etc. Then after Southampton, and the crap he came out with after that, I had doubts, then we got beaten comfortably by Hull, went out of the cup, watching him make the same mistakes until I was finally convinced that he had to go.

As performances got worse, where we looked not even a mere shadow of last season, my faith in RM waned and waned. I donÂ’t hate the man, I think heÂ’s a really nice guy and a very articulate pundit, but after the decline weÂ’ve had, from getting European football and 5th last season to looking nervously over our shoulder for 2 months, only 10 wins all season, the tactical mistakes heÂ’s made, and still making, based on this season alone I donÂ’t think he deserves another season.

Ross Edwards
64 Posted 21/04/2015 at 10:28:26
As for the good results over the last 5 games, too little too late quite frankly. If heÂ’d have altered his approach 3 months ago as he should have, rather than waiting until late March/early April to put a run of successive wins together, weÂ’d probably be firmly inside the top half now.
Patrick Murphy
65 Posted 21/04/2015 at 10:16:49
Nigel - In any walk of life, time is the biggest factor in judging somebodyÂ’s true ability.

The beginning of MartinezÂ’s tenure appeared to be exciting and wonderful; his team often but not always produced some very good football and fine victories. However, not every match was a joy to watch. In January 2014, cracks began to appear, which I and a few others ignored as being a blip due to loss of form or injuries to key players.

Another good run of results followed but at Arsenal in the FA Cup we were once again subjected to a poor performance and exited at the Quarter-Final stage when a trophy was their for the taking.

Another rally and good performances put us in poll position to achieve fourth place, but the Palace defeat aided and abetted by some questionable decisions by the manager blew our chances of taking that fourth spot.

Since then up until the last month or so, the team has appeared to be disorganised, lacklustre, lacking shape and failing to win many football matches. Aside from the European games, the majority of the season has been forgettable and one that has produced little excitement or moments of joy.

If that isnÂ’t enough evidence to suggest that Roberto may not be the right man to lead Everton, I wonder what heÂ’ll have to do in order to be questioned by his advocates? I would like Roberto to succeed, as would many, but I canÂ’t ignore the evidence of my own eyes and twelve months of being underwhelmed is enough time for me to think that he may not be the right manager for Everton, but only time will tell whether IÂ’m correct or not.

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