At home for a lunchtime kick off against a Sunderland team who are third from bottom and have not won away since the turn of the year facing an Everton team who have not lost in 2015 at home and conceded little. On paper, no contest, but we are Everton and wins against the likes of Man Utd mean little when faced with teams of lesser ability and today was to be no different.

The day started well in the Room of Nonsense as Sunderland’s chances were given little talk time but the Distin story came over to many as trouble in the camp. Many were still angry at the Villa debacle, especially first half, and this conversation sort of crept back to today’s game when many wondered if indeed players had switched off knowing they were safe and no more than in holiday mode. Surely not, as league position was vital in the generation of transfer funds so surely the management team would have them up and firing with a game plan that would deliver?

So, having convinced ourselves of the latter, we had the walk up that saw Blue fans ignoring pedestrian lights and causing chaos as cars and buses cursed the offenders. Having negotiated that obstacle, the rest of the walk was pleasant as the sun came out and, as roads merged at the junction of Spellow Lane and Goodison Road, a real scrum of thousands negotiated each other and found their respective eateries and on to their allocated turnstiles. With food in hand and sun shining, 'defeat' was a word from some distant language.

Z-Cars sounded and the game began with the Blues laying down a marker by attacking well and having Sunderland on the back-foot. They seemed to have a full turnout and the visitors section was a cacophony of sound such was their determination to roar on their idols to an unlikely win and possible relegation doom. Didn’t they realise we had the same line-up that put the mighty Man Utd to the sword? What chance had they got? Well it was to turn out that the chance they had would be from our own makings.

The first half was one of mostly Everton dominance until that final third was reached where we just didn’t have the craft and guile in speed of thought and deed to dent a well-packed defence and even when lady luck showed her face it was fleeting at best and non-productive.

That first half started with Everton making the best of a scrappy spell and indeed Osman was instrumental in all the early moves yet Sunderland on the break had hearts in mouths more than once, especially when Stones misjudged one and let Sunderland get behind us but they didn’t have the player/s reading the situation. Sunderland were ready to defend in numbers and this was a problem we were finding hard to solve. Osman probably came closest when he ghosted into the box and had a curler just go wide. We then had a free kick wide left that Baines took. From the distance and angle it looked very similar to the one vs Man Utd that Stones headed home. This time Baines just overcooked it and Stones's header was all you would expect from a player on the stretch.

Our next chance of note came when a superb ball from Osman put Lukaku in one on one. Now what he had in mind I do not know but the upshot was his effort to slot past the keeper was pitiful and the big keeper parried away easily but Osman still on the move had to stretch and his effort went wide. At least we were starting to look that bit sharper without being really convincing if truth be told.

Next McCarthy put in a great ball for Coleman to get onto but his cross found Lukaku battling three defenders but his aggression got the ball free and Barkley following up made a right pigs ear of it by producing what could only be described as a mis-kick. As we went on up to the half-hour mark, it was a bit boring as we played the quick joined-up stuff well but only till where it mattered and then, time after time, good approach play petered out. Our best effort was an Osman cross that found no one in the box to do anything with it.

We were now putting some effort into our attacking and apart from the odd Sunderland foray forward we were putting moves together and getting in their box but time after time this good work was either blocked away by a massed defence or the final ball or shot was either wayward or straight at the keeper.

As the half wound down I thought we had been reasonable in the build -up but in that final third were a little lacking and in fairness to Sunderland they did not seem to be parking the bus as they had three out and out strikers and were trying to get them in at every opportunity.

H/T 0-0

During the break we were introduced to some members of the '85 season side and they were given a good reception by those not in bogs or bars. I wondered why Southall wasn’t with them as he was at the ground. Maybe there is a clue why he is not in the hall of fame. It is always nice to salute these great players from our past. I know I really enjoyed their play but, hell, it’s thirty years ago I just wish I could see the like again before meeting the maker and only the board and manager and players can help me with that one.

Second half and before it had hardly started Barkley put us in danger with a risky back-pass and he was to have a few of those. Ball retention I understand but at the risk of them becoming suicidal I don’t.

Coleman seemed to be raiding more as the half settled and from one of these he won a corner which was delivered well and Osman headed back but Sunderland got to it first and we get another corner again taken by Baines and Jags got a head on it toward Lukaku who when it seemed easier to score he fluffed his lines and headed wide. It can happen to anyone but you would think that a 28million pound layout would yield a result given those circumstances.

We were getting corners on a regular basis now and the best chance from about five corners came yet again to Lukaku and this time he missed with his head and connected with his shoulder and that was that chance gone. It was a pity he did not score as in the next meaningful attack by Sunderland they went ahead. They had been pressing and getting balls into our box which we were not clearing decisively and from one of these balls in Gomez hit a shot that deflected off Graham and then the post and into our net. Dead jammy but they all count.

McCarthy was Cattermoled, Baines curled one in that Osman headed wide with Lukaku trying to get to it. Somehow now I think most in the ground just knew that would be it. Yet another dismal display at home. The street end did try to lift spirits but the travelling Mackems were loud and proud. ‘Are you watching Newcastle’ they bellowed.

Just after the hour mark the manager took off Barry and sent on Mirallas but although an attacking move not much changed as we still laboured anywhere into the final third. It wasn’t for the lack of effort rather application was a little lacking. Coleman was raiding well and we were racking up corners, must have got to double figures yet that all important clear-cut chance was not forthcoming. We had shots, crosses and blocks but hitting the net looked beyond us today as the clock ticked down. In the next period of play the visitors got their first corner which was cleared well to Lennon but the ball was too hot for him to handle and that chance was gone.

We continued to attack and from one of these we caused a bit of havoc in their box and a hurried clearance fell to McCarthy some 20yds out and his sweetly hit shot hit the base of the post with keeper nowhere. Wouldn’t you just know it?

Baines seemed to be limping and Garbutt took his place on 75mins. It was all Everton for the next ten minutes then that ‘Pissing about at the back’ struck again when Stones dallied far too long on the ball and gave it away and Sunderland then got it into our area. Some fantastic pinball luck saw a wayward shot hit Coleman then Defoe then seem to curve and nestle passed Howard and there we were 2-0 down. This was a bit much for the faithful and many started to leave as the manager swopped a very ineffective Lennon (had he been told we can’t afford him?) for McGeady only for a wag near me to opine loudly ‘You may as well put my missus on’ which I thought a little unkind.

As 4 minutes added went up the ground emptied like water through a sieve and many of those left booed at the whistle.

M.o.t.M – Osman 1st half; Coleman 2nd half

Overall I thought the better side lost but if you don’t score you can’t win and one or two mistakes at the back and the lesser side has won. When will we ever learn? When I look through our side and note the number of very good players we have it’s hard to fathom why they can’t put adequate displays together on a more regular basis. I thought some players today were doing fine only to be let down by those just not switched on. The manager sure has work to do.

Many of us had an email from the club this week thanking us for renewing our season ticket by May 1st via a video from Dunc and manager Bob. Many more performances like this one and the Villa fiasco they won’t be thanking people via video they will be begging them to return. The atmosphere on the way back was quite vitriolic.

Still we are safe from relegation, just two trips out to come and then the long wait. We then do it all again no matter how much we have moaned previously. Us fans will never learn.

See you ‘Darn the East End’

UP THE BLUES

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Reader Comments (45)

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Andy McNabb
1 Posted 10/05/2015 at 07:43:42
Agree with every word, Ken.

Since we emigrated almost 14 years ago, I have only visited Goodison 4 times. When people ask me what I miss about Ă‚’homeĂ‚’, I always tell them – family and The Old Lady.

Well, I stood up in the lounge for the entire match last night and it really hit me why people are talking of not renewing their season tickets. At least for my Ă‚’season ticketĂ‚’ I also get access to UKTV, Fox Classics and a host of other offerings. The one channel on offer at Goodison for those of you there every fortnight must be hard to stomach.

Peter Barry
2 Posted 10/05/2015 at 07:58:37
To all those projecting that we could finish 8th well now it looks like we will be lucky to finish 11th and we have only Martinez to thank for that.
Jim Bennings
4 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:00:14
More utter dross and another embarrassing defeat to reflect on, something which we have become very accustomed to this past 10 months. It just proves that the Manchester United game was a mere blip, an exception to the rule this season.

Yet again yesterday we only start playing with any gusto when we are chasing the game already a goal down and it begs the question: "Why not start like that?" But we have had that argument time and time again so when the management never learns from mistakes you start to ask yourself why do we even bother?

Too many players have been given wrongly inflated egos from MartinezĂ‚’s OTT superlatives. Lukaku has to be the clumsiness striker I have seen since Bret Angell, not a patch on the supremely talented Louis Saha for example.

Barkley needs coaching so that he actually gets his head up from time to time rather than just running in circles like a dog chasing its own tail. Again, for all MartinezĂ‚’s hype regarding him, he has been outperformed by many midfielders this season that have been derided, such as Charlie Adam and Shelvey, even the likes of Ki at Swansea or Siguardsson have done more.

Martinez, if heĂ‚’s here in the summer (which he shouldnĂ‚’t be in all honesty), needs to start using a little more tact in public regarding this ridiculous lavish praise on players that have done little or nothing yet.

DonĂ‚’t even get me started on whether this man should be in charge next season: he shouldnĂ‚’t be, with the amount of ill-feeling around the stands at the minute, I doubt he will get patience if we start badly again.

The lap of honour in two weeks time should be interesting; we usually acknowledge the efforts of the players and manager but this time while they do their ritual walk, it will feel more like a Slap of Dishonor.

Trevor Lynes
5 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:09:27
Another very accurate report, always entertaining. Basically sums up a pretty poor season all around.

We are absolutely crying out for a Delph or Puncheon in midfield to lift the fans and propel this team forward. We only seem to find defenders in our coaching methods and I reckon it is time for a change.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:15:35
As someone close by at the match said yesterday: "Performing badly has become a stock and trade under Martinez."

I couldnĂ‚’t have put that any better myself. IĂ‚’d also add to that, under Martinez we only do "Walking football, not running football."

Steve Harris
7 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:40:05
With you around Jim, thereĂ‚’s no need for me to post anything anymore, you always sum my feelings up perfectly. The ground must've been virtually empty for the last few minutes yesterday because when I left straight after the 2nd goal, outside it seemed like everybody else had done the same!
Jim Bennings
8 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:55:13
Steve,

You are not alone at leaving at 2-0, I did also and so did the entire row in front of us.

Max Wilson
9 Posted 10/05/2015 at 09:04:34
Good article above. I drove 150 miles to watch this dissapointing spectacle. We were too slow in the first half and useless near their goal due to their excellent defending. They never left us any space to exploit all the game.

Only things to take away were Barkley playing quite well, especially after the slow Barry was taken off, and Garbutt, who slotted in well and looked as good as anyone in defence. When Mirallas came on at least the substitution was done in reasonable time.

During discussion time during the M6 and M5 slog home, we decided Lukaku is better with another striker to play off. He was often way out of the area chasing the ball.

Ian Ravello
10 Posted 10/05/2015 at 09:34:01
Well of course we lost – it was the Europa semiĂ‚’s in mid-week!

Two main thoughts from yesterdays fiasco:

1. Lukaku is a disgrace of a forward. He actually starts off many opposition attacks with his sloppy back passes.

2. Why oh why do we play with two defensive midfielders against supposed lesser teams who park the bus? It means we pass the ball around too deep and are caught out by counter attacks when the ball is lost through a wayward pass (such as by Lukaku).

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 10/05/2015 at 09:36:19
Max

ItĂ‚’s a matter of opinion but Barkley played well?? All I seen him do was hog the ball and barely pass the halfway line. He never seems to have his balance sorted; whether thatĂ‚’s due to not getting his head up enough, who k.nows.. but I think heĂ‚’s gone backwards under Martinez this season.

When you look at what Sherwood has done with Grealish, heĂ‚’s got the lad understanding the game and more aware of whatĂ‚’s around. Barkley looks totally lost, he doesnĂ‚’t know what heĂ‚’s meant to do or how to do it.

Darren Hind
12 Posted 10/05/2015 at 09:46:51
It doesn't really matter whether Lukaku is worth 㿈 million, that's what we paid for him so we have to figure out a way of getting the best out of him.

He is very powerful, but does not seem to be able to anticipate the unexpected – he's no Aguero, that's for sure.

IĂ‚’m not sure Big Dunc will be able to improve his movement as that was his own biggest weakness.

Chris Feeley
13 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:00:09
I walked out at 2-0 with the masses. The performance was devoid of heart, pace, and guile. The status quo has been truly resumed.

No matter how bad the Tottenham game is, though, I will stay until the end, if only to see whether that useless charlatan has the temerity to try and lead a lap of dishonour at full time. IĂ‚’m sure I wonĂ‚’t be the only one to make sure that my opinion on the dross heĂ‚’s presided over this season is made phenomenally clear to him.

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:04:39
ThatĂ‚’s the frustrating thing though, Darren, with Lukaku; for a powerfully built guy heĂ‚’s knocked off the ball easier than John Spencer!!

I believe the same problem exists with Lukaku is what held Anichebe back to some extent. ItĂ‚’s a lack of bravery when he comes up against rough-and-tumble defenders, he just lacks that fire in his belly; whether he doesnĂ‚’t want to get hurt or what I donĂ‚’t know, only Rom knows but he certainly doesnĂ‚’t seem to enjoy the physical battle that you see lots of centre forwards engage in.

Take the likes of Jon Walters at Stoke, Austin at QPR... limited guys talent-wise, but they seem to relish that type of battle.

Ian Bennett
15 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:21:00
Lukaku seems to have learnt nothing from Ferguson. His aerial ability and hold-up play was woeful again yesterday. Sunderland made it difficult and took their luck, but gees our finishing and creativity of clear cut chances continues to be poor.

Another striker is definitely needed in the summer, along with a centre-half and left midfielder.

Dave Ganley
16 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:18:15
Jim you have pretty much summed up my feelings on all your posts......especially Barkley and Lukaku. So much wasted talent. Several times Lukaku had the ball but was easily pushed off it and as for Barkley, as much as I like the lad, anybody who thinks heĂ‚’s a playmaker really needs to focus on watching him play then to think again. The phrase blind alleys springs to mind!!

Without wishing to dissect yet another disappointing game (anybody wishing to can just read any previous post match comments from most of the season) the worst thing for me was when Sunderland scored, I just wasnĂ‚’t that bothered.....I couldnĂ‚’t even summon up the energy to get angry with the team.....just more of a "shrugged shoulders" Oh well type thing. The team/manager have totally switched me off. Maybe a summer off will revitalise me.......ha ha I actually thought that with a straight face.

I will continue to go to the game (season ticket alredy purchased for better or most probably worse) but I fear that until Martinez is gone then I will still carry a sense of apathy around with me.

On the plus side though, I stayed till the bitter end yesterday and found that there were no queues in the car park and could drive straight off......small mercies eh!!

Eddie Dunn
17 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:30:54
Another aspect of the game was the performance of Stones. The latest wunderkid looks classy bringing the ball out and I hope he will become a good defender, but at present, he shows poor judgement, and needs to stick to the basics.

I know many say we didnĂ‚’t need two defensive midfielders yesterday, but once Barry went off, the heart of our defence seemed to open up like the Red Sea.

It makes me worried for next season, if Sunderland (who played a very conservative game) could cause us problems at the back, on every foray forward.

Kevin Dale
18 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:20:10
Thanks Ken, the way I see it, IĂ‚’m a plumber by trade so please bear with, but under this manager we sit too deep and never get enough players in the box when attacking, simples!

Agree with many post, especially the one post saying we play walking football not running! Great observation.

It will be interesting to see how this coming pre-season goes after the debacle of the last one, which in my mine set the standard for this season!!

Steve Brown
19 Posted 10/05/2015 at 11:04:55
When we signed Lukaku, I was a big fan and thought that we had signed the next Didier Drogba. Many more performances like that and I will stick to my thought during the match that I was watching Emile Heskey.
Oliver Molloy
20 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:41:49
I have always said that Martinez would start the new season as Everton manager and he would get around 10 games to convince everyone this season was a blip.

I also said I thought that he deserved 10 games on the back of his first season as manager - now I am not so sure.

When he was manager of Wigan they were always capable of a big result, we ourselves were on the end of one, however most of the time they would be leaking stupid goals and found themselves in a relegation battle.

Martinez defensively is at a loss, I mean how can he stick Alcaraz in front of a fit Distin irrespective of what happened between the two. We can all go on about luck etc,but just like Sunderland yesterday you make your own luck.

Last week against Villa place the result was not a surprise to me, I expected us to get beaten given VillaĂ‚’s disparate need to win the game.

Losing at home yesterday against a side who are plain crap, is not acceptable, possession counts for nothing if the team score and we donĂ‚’t.

Duncan Ferguson coming out with his love of the club just now, for me is no coincidence and I think is testament to the fact that Martinez is under pressure big time from within the club. The big question is can Martinez be made to change his ways, can he get the best out of the players at the club?

The constant praising of everything Everton really has taken its toll on me this season. For me, Lukaku really needs to grow a pair of balls as others have mentioned, send Lennon back, we saw yesterday why he can not get in the Spurs side, headless chicken.
If a big money offer comes in for Barkley or Coleman I would snap their hands off, same applies to Lukaku.

Stones is the only player I would like us to keep, but hey money talks as we know. I also think we will be beaten in our final two games.

Kunal Desai
21 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:54:45
The bottom line is any ambitions the club had to acheive anything in the league was put to bed by the farcical debacle and capitulation at Saint Marys in December. Effectively secured top flight football after beating Burnley 1-0. The Utd victory was a final farewell for the fans. In my opinion I do think many of our players donĂ‚’t believe in or want to play for Martinez. He needs to be sacked if these results continue at the start of next season.
Paul Kennedy
22 Posted 10/05/2015 at 11:11:58
What is scary is we are going to be walking the relegation tightrope all next season. I watched our former managerĂ‚’s team play against Barcelona (and although I was not a fan of him in his latter years at Goodison) he still played a tactical game against one of the best teams in the world and did not look as out of place as we have for a few games this season, especially our last away game at Villa.

Which draws the conclusion we are being managed by a nice totally inept clueless individual, I would love to be wishing him good luck on his next role but alas we are going to be stuck with him next season I shudder to think of the disappointments ahead!!!

Peter Mills
23 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:44:39
Jim#14, heĂ‚’s knocked off the ball easier than Frank Spencer!
Eddie Dunn
24 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:54:30
I see Cleverly scored again, and he caught the eye throughout the game. Playing with pace and awareness he helped to keep the Villa on the front foot.

Sherwood is very keen to keep him, saying "if he donĂ‚’t sign for us- then IĂ‚’m not gonna pick him for the Cup Final!"

A lot of people here were slagging him off a few weeks ago....I wonder if any are thinking differently now?

Joe Foster
25 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:59:37
I donĂ‚’t think Clevetley would even want to come to us. Look how Sherwoodhas got them motivated and look our lot who obviously do not want to play for RM.
Paul Tran
26 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:59:17
Surely not, Eddie. HeĂ‚’s an ex - Wigan player, which means heĂ‚’s rubbish, fact, end of. Buying him would mean that our certain relegation is even more certain.

Incidentally, if anyone can find me a bookie laying odds on us not to be relegated next season, please let me know. Or maybe some of the doom - filled soothsayers could meet me on Betfair to discuss?

Ray Robinson
27 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:59:10
I too have renewed for next season but, at the moment, feel so apathetic. No doubt by August IĂ‚’ll have my usual enthusiasm back but another season like this one might be a turning point. I canĂ‚’t see how Martinez is going to turn this one around unless he performs a radical overhaul like what happened at Southampton - and I have no confidence in him being the man to do it.

As an aside, I was really concerned yesterday about how easily our new great prospect, Garbutt, was turned inside out by Adam Johnson.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 10/05/2015 at 15:42:25
ItĂ‚’s early days yet but if all the people who say they will not be renewing their season ticket stay true to their word, this might have some effect on Kenwright and how he reacts. He may think itĂ‚’s better to let Bobby go, If so I think this can only benefit Everton.

A good percentage of fans now want Martinez out of the club,Kenwright hasnĂ‚’t uttered a word on the situation Everton are in, I think itĂ‚’s time for him to make some positive move and act like he cares about the club as he is supposed to be one of us, let him prove it.

Gerard Carey
29 Posted 10/05/2015 at 15:21:18
Thanks Ken, spot on as usual. One of the things we really need is a playmaker, if we could find a young Arteta!! Stones still has a lot to learn. Lukaku was very poor though. For the size of him, he should be well able to rough up the defence. But sadly he looks like a big girls blouse a lot of the time.
Mike Hayes
30 Posted 10/05/2015 at 17:08:20
I will be there at the last game against Spurs - guaranteed Martinez will lead a lap of (dis)honour, take the plaudits, and will turn a deaf ear to any disgruntled fans which I guarantee wonĂ‚’t happen as unfortunately Everton fans, like BK, donĂ‚’t have the guts to voice an opinion at the match like they do on here. See if IĂ‚’m right.
Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 10/05/2015 at 18:15:53
Sorry Ken, great report as usual, you are a glutton for punishment, going to West Ham next week!!!!!!I I hope the team have a go for you and all the other great Evertonians who will be there.

Regarding the lap of honour (hard-faced bastards) if they go round as fast as they play their football, the towel will be on by the time, anyone daft enough to stay, gets out.

Mike Childs
32 Posted 10/05/2015 at 19:06:39
Thanks as alway Ken, you are a rare breed like Lyndon and Michael.
Bill Gall
33 Posted 10/05/2015 at 16:54:09
Another good report Ken that describes the feelings of the average supporters at the game and it is not often that you see people leaving the ground so early. I can not understand why Arteta was never replaced with a younger version as it seems that the supporters have expressed that this is a position that has needed replacing since he was sold.
Dick Fearon
34 Posted 10/05/2015 at 22:39:18
Bill, 33, WasnĂ‚’t "one good game in every ten" Leon Osman supposed to be our next Arteta?
Bill Gall
35 Posted 11/05/2015 at 02:10:49
Dick #34 NO I do not think Osman was meant to replace Arteta even if he did play in that position some times. Osman was ruined when he was picked for the English squad and after that his form was never the same.

But I said I can not understand why Arteta was never replaced with a "younger " version, Osman is older than Arteta.

Peter Barry
36 Posted 11/05/2015 at 04:06:57
Osman's problem has never been lack of ability – just his powder puff ball retention, shooting and tackling skills.
Max Wilson
37 Posted 11/05/2015 at 09:13:17
Jim!

Wow, IĂ‚’m in a Toffee duel over comments about Barkley. Our JB, a blue with clearly defined prejudices challenges me. ItĂ‚’s back to back, take twenty paces, turn and chuck your Everton mints at will.

Well, IĂ‚’m pleased to say I have help. Simon Mullock, chief footie writer of the Mirror agrees with me. He awards 7 out of 10 only to three of our players, Barkley, Stones and Mirallas. Out of interest, our hardest working players were Ossie, McCarthy and Ross, all of whom covered just under 7 miles during the game.

Their hardest worker was Lee Cattermole. Oops, did I just catch you one in the eye? Sorry la! I said I took away some positive impressions of Ross and Garbutt (who was given 5 points, not bad for a subby).

Andrew Ellams
38 Posted 11/05/2015 at 09:50:36
Max,

Barkley may cover plenty of ground but his attempts to play a pass at the end of it ends up being the start of an opposition counter attack way too often. There was at least three occasions on Saturday when he tried some sort of clever backheel and possession was lost each time.

Paul Ward
39 Posted 11/05/2015 at 10:01:41
Spot on, Andrew (#38): Barkley should not be in the team. He has had more chances than most young players in the last decade and has failed. He will still have this great potential when he is 30.
Andrew Ellams
40 Posted 11/05/2015 at 10:36:32
I think heĂ‚’ll come good Paul, but it will take a better coach. See the comments above about Sherwood and Grealish
Ciaran Duff
41 Posted 11/05/2015 at 12:14:59
I thought Barkley was pretty ineffective on Saturday. He really doesnĂ‚’t seem to have much in his bag of tricks to unlock teams sitting deep. His best form seems to come when he is running at teams which is obviously better suited to counter attacking. He is not a winger either. The only option that I can see for him is playing from a deeper (DM) position where we can then maybe get more space in front of him to push forward.

We badly need a creative midfielder in the mould of Coutinho. We also need a winger like Del Boy who can get in behind teams. Apart from ColemanĂ‚’s runs, we never looked like penetrating their defence.

Barry Jones
42 Posted 11/05/2015 at 19:38:49
Nice commentary, Ken. I love the expression "Cattermoled", I chuckled for several minutes. I concur with one of your parting statements; "When I look through our side and note the number of very good players we have, itĂ‚’s hard to fathom why they canĂ‚’t put adequate displays together on a more regular basis."

I am not sure if it is that difficult to fathom out though. I feel that the majority of the players lack confidence and motivation, which all boils down to the leadership and the decisions made. For instance, would you be happy if you were Mirallas or McGeady when you are sat on the bench watching players such as Osman or Naismith playing forward in wide positions? Would you be happy if you were Osman sat on the bench watching Naismith playing in an attacking central midfield position?

Martinez has played people out of position all season and constantly tinkered with the formations and line-up. As for McGeady, who unfairly gets slaughtered on here, his demise is totally due to a lack of confidence, thanks to Martinez. Last season, a loanee, Deulofeu was preferred ahead of him. I thought that this showed poor judgment. At the time, McGeady looked promising, but he has been given very little opportunity to prove himself. As a consequence, his confidence is in the garbage.

Mourinho gets the best out of his players on a regular basis because he treats them better and inspires confidence in them. He also has a very rigid system which the players understand well and he rarely changes it. Chelsea may go off the boil once or twice in a season which is acceptable, but Everton falls more into the Forrest Gump category: "You just donĂ‚’t know what youĂ‚’re gonna get".

William Hegarty
43 Posted 12/05/2015 at 10:50:56
I travelled to the match on Saturday from Ireland. We got up at 4 am to travel with my bother (who came from the US), dad and my son (his first time) to the match.

In all my time going to Goodison Park, the display was well below standard. The only players to hold their heads high were Coleman / McCarthy and Jagielka. Lukaku needs a lesson in how to put himself about. The rest had their minds on the holidays...

And also to mention, not once did we hear a chant from the blue side of the stands. Sad situation.

Trevor Lynes
44 Posted 12/05/2015 at 11:53:30
I see that even the mighty Arsenal suffered a similar defeat to a so-called lesser side. Goals are what this game of ours is all about.

We continue to Ă‚’findĂ‚’ fine young defenders and looking at the current poll of fans’ Player of the Season so far it is Jags and Stones miles ahead of the rest of the squad. Why do our coaches only produce defenders from the stacks of youngsters who pass through our system. Where are our young replacements for Osman and Pienaar?

I really enjoy your match articles every game and I always seem to agree with your comments. But I would like to ask yourself and other fans what they think of our scouting and coaching systems? I would expect that when a coach is appointed he is given some idea of what is expected of him. Surely someone must look at our squad and be able to pinpoint the positions that need action?

Unsworth was a defender and was never a creative attacking player so why donĂ‚’t we find coaches who were? We spend all our transfer fund on buying strikers who never fully fit the bill. Without players who can beat a man and find a killer pass, our strikers will never receive the ammunition.Lukaku is now our penalty taker and has dried up otherwise. Kone was scoring at Wigan but not with us. Barkley is almost goal less apart from the odd screamer. Apart from Lukaku and Mirallas, only Naismith has outscored our defenders.

Players like Osman and Pienaar can be excused as they have both been long term injured. But what about Barry, McCarthy, Besic, Barkley and Kone? Jags, Coleman and Baines have out scored that bunch.

Without goals we cannot win and will always be a target for smash and grab defeats. We need to produce attacking midfielders and strikers from our young players.

Even Sunderland have a decent striker called Whatmore in their young side. Where are our Kanes? Shake these coaches up and get them to work on what we need.

William Hegarty
45 Posted 13/05/2015 at 10:41:16
It seems strange that Martinez has probably the best assembled squad in the last ten years at Goodison. Look at our team: 3 English international players in back four plus Coleman, now a seasoned Irish international, not to mention McCarthy and Barkley, both representing their countries, plus Lukaku and Mirallas with Belgium, and we canĂ‚’t beat Sunderland.

Next Season: we need a new keeper; sell, or pass on one of the left backs bar Baines, Kone, Gibson, Alcaraz, Distin, and buy a proper Number 10; a centre back; and get Pienaar fit with Baines.

Our main priority is too score, as outlined by many fans, and let the Old Lady sing again. Martinez should take this chance to try and test the likes of Besic, Robles, McGeady and any Under 21 worthy of a start in the last two games.

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