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.
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
Reader Comments (45)
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1 Posted 10/05/2015 at 07:43:42
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 Ă‚â€“ 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.
2 Posted 10/05/2015 at 07:58:37
4 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:00:14
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.
5 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:09:27
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.
6 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:15:35
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."
7 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:40:05
8 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:55:13
You are not alone at leaving at 2-0, I did also and so did the entire row in front of us.
9 Posted 10/05/2015 at 09:04:34
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.
10 Posted 10/05/2015 at 09:34:01
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).
11 Posted 10/05/2015 at 09:36:19
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.
12 Posted 10/05/2015 at 09:46:51
He is very powerful, but does not seem to be able to anticipate the unexpected Ă‚â€“ 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.
13 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:00:09
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.
14 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:04:39
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.
15 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:21:00
Another striker is definitely needed in the summer, along with a centre-half and left midfielder.
16 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:18:15
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!!
17 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:30:54
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.
18 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:20:10
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!!
19 Posted 10/05/2015 at 11:04:55
20 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:41:49
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.
21 Posted 10/05/2015 at 10:54:45
22 Posted 10/05/2015 at 11:11:58
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!!!
23 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:44:39
24 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:54:30
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?
25 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:59:37
26 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:59:17
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?
27 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:59:10
As an aside, I was really concerned yesterday about how easily our new great prospect, Garbutt, was turned inside out by Adam Johnson.
28 Posted 10/05/2015 at 15:42:25
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.
29 Posted 10/05/2015 at 15:21:18
30 Posted 10/05/2015 at 17:08:20
31 Posted 10/05/2015 at 18:15:53
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.
32 Posted 10/05/2015 at 19:06:39
33 Posted 10/05/2015 at 16:54:09
34 Posted 10/05/2015 at 22:39:18
35 Posted 11/05/2015 at 02:10:49
But I said I can not understand why Arteta was never replaced with a "younger " version, Osman is older than Arteta.
36 Posted 11/05/2015 at 04:06:57
37 Posted 11/05/2015 at 09:13:17
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).
38 Posted 11/05/2015 at 09:50:36
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.
39 Posted 11/05/2015 at 10:01:41
40 Posted 11/05/2015 at 10:36:32
41 Posted 11/05/2015 at 12:14:59
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.
42 Posted 11/05/2015 at 19:38:49
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".
43 Posted 12/05/2015 at 10:50:56
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.
44 Posted 12/05/2015 at 11:53:30
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.
45 Posted 13/05/2015 at 10:41:16
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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