I was expecting a flurry of players arriving before and after the World Cup; I suppose like every other Evertonian on the planet, I came to realise that it wasn’t until the Lukaku situation was resolved would we see the incoming of other players particularly a couple more forwards, as Roberto said in June we need seven new additions to the first-team squad.
Well, we signed Barry, Besic, finally Lukaku and now hopefully Atsu on a loan. So one new player to last years squad – Besic. OK... did Roberto mean seven players after losing our loanees from last year? So four new players... and you could possibly add Garbutt to that, and maybe, after today, Chris Long.
Now I’ve reached a point where I’m trying to convince myself all is well...but – after five senior friendlies, no wins and four defeats – there is no sign of the fitness, readiness, sharpness, style or shape we will need. The team are playing as though last season didn’t actually happen... playing like Wigan did 2 years ago, giving goals away left, right and centre and never ever looking like we would score more than one a game.
The boss making positives out of utter garbage... "Yes, just as we planned, we went in ready to lose four games; we went on knowing that our “top” players weren’t playing or weren’t at the races, as we gave them an extra two weeks off."
Oh, by the way, Roberto, the winners of the World Cup – Germany (alias Bayern Munich) have had their players back and actually playing in friendlies... but, hey ho, our lads will be peaking in November when we're 12th in the league.
Hopefully I’m way off the mark but no-one can convince me we are ready for Leicester, and we are miles away from being ready for the Arsenal and Chelsea games to follow. I’m seeking Roberto’s psychologist as I need to find some positives.
Reader Comments (100)
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1 Posted 09/08/2014 at 18:25:06
"Towards the end of last season I said we needed six more players, but it wasn't six new players, it was six players," said Martinez.If you can get past the comment about Hibbert, he is now more or less in line with where he started. Garbutt, Duffy and maybe McAleny at a stretch could potentially be senior squad members now, which adds two or three and Atsu will add another one, medical allowing.
"We have added Barry, Lukaku and Besic and we also have Tony Hibbert who re-signed.
"We still need one or two, depending on how quickly Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo recover from their injuries."
Personally, I still don't think it's enough. We need decent cover at right back and another striker for if/when Lukaku isn't available. We struggled without him and as important as Steven Naismith has been in weighing in with important goals, he isn't capable of reliably leading the line in a team with top-four ambitions, in my opinion.
2 Posted 09/08/2014 at 18:26:00
3 Posted 09/08/2014 at 18:34:37
4 Posted 09/08/2014 at 18:32:24
It isnÂt the lack of numbers or additions to the squad that has me worried it is the abject displays of those who have been at the club for a number of years which has my attention and their lack of drive.
Although that has been a factor for many seasonÂs and I have been as bemused as the next fan as to why it happens so often and usually against less glamorous opponents. LetÂs wait and see what next Saturday brings although IÂm a little less optimistic than I was the day that Romelu signed we should be in for a decent season but itÂs the managers job to get the right results and he will have to somehow transform a side who appear to have lost their Mo-Jo into a side that demolished Arsenal and Man U last season very very quickly.
5 Posted 09/08/2014 at 18:37:43
I donÂt know what people expectations are. I believe we have the nucleus of a good side (first eleven) but the strength in depth is still a worry - Osman and Pienaar are no game changers from the bench and Alcaraz doesnÂt instill any confidence in a backline.
5th or probably 6th is where we will finish but to finish 4th Bill is going to have to cough up alot more than the 㿈 million paid for Lukaku and we donÂt have those sort of funds.
6 Posted 09/08/2014 at 19:03:41
7 Posted 09/08/2014 at 18:44:32
Similarly, I did expect Barry to sign up permanently (because that really did seem to be the original plan).
So, with Rom & Gareth secured, I scored that as one added.
Besic was a bolt from the blue, but that would make two for me thus far.
I wouldn't discriminate between signings or season long loans. Therefore, being generous, should Lacina Traore join us on a repeat loan that would bring the tally to three.
Hennen (if he does join), well I'm not sure if he's first team or U21, so score is still three, whether he joins or not.
Galloway seems clearly to be U21. Score still three.
Atsu, when confirmed, would make four.
So as things stand, I would like Atsu +2 to make up the six.
Browning (possibly enforced by the Coleman hamstring concern), McAleny, Garbutt & Duffy have not been first team regulars last season, not even as "walk on, non-speaking players". So if they were formally "promoted from within", then OK the numbers do add up overall.
A player promoted within our system is not necessarily a "cheap alternative/cop out" if the player genuinely is an addition.
However, before the door closes, I would really like to see two more new faces added who are able to contribute to the four challenges for the forthcoming season. And I don't care if they are "test drives" or permanent (TBH the more expensive they would be, then the keener I'd be we took a "test drive").
8 Posted 09/08/2014 at 19:04:45
28 April Â— "It's not about improving the squad, it's about increasing. When you are playing in Europe, you need six or seven NEW players, that's the reality and we will do that. I get excited about bringing NEW players in. You need fresh blood."
9 August Â— "Towards the end of last season, I said we needed six more players, but it wasn't six new players, it was six players."
Just get the boys ready, Robbie lad, and everybody will love you.
9 Posted 09/08/2014 at 19:14:14
Sorry, you're right: we drew against Porto but in my negative thoughts today all I could think of was a drubbing from Porto, Celta Vigo and the German outfit today, can't even or don't want to remember their name.
10 Posted 09/08/2014 at 18:44:25
Its a pity we don't have a couple more in the side like Besic, he's looking way, way better, than a ٢m player, he will have to clean up his tackling though or he will be missing a fair chunk of the season.
There's not enough movement in the middle of the field for me when our defenders have the ball, consequently were playing in our half backwards and sideways unable to see a player free to pass it forwards.
If we cant buy a quality creative midfielder I'd be inclined to give that role to Besic, I know we have Gibson but will he stay fit for any length of time!
Ross looked lost today, the lad needs to try and be more inventive with his passing and take a lot more chances.
We've had 1/2 our side missing in these friendlies, but I did expect to see a bit more fluency and creativity from the players on the field.
Jesus, I'm beginning to sound like Phil W.
11 Posted 09/08/2014 at 19:25:09
What are we expecting from him?
Genuinely interested in people's expectations.
12 Posted 09/08/2014 at 19:26:09
They tell me it used to be like this at Wigan. Roberto said so much, he contradicted himself and/or forgot what he'd said previously.
It just amazes me that so many hang on his every world, treating it all as 'gospel'. Martinez is a football manager not a religion.
Last season he gave us a side - and football - to be proud of and I'm hoping he will repeat the dose this time. If he 'cuts the crap' it will be an added bonus.
13 Posted 09/08/2014 at 19:55:54
14 Posted 09/08/2014 at 20:00:21
15 Posted 09/08/2014 at 19:58:27
Have to say that I support EFC, who currently are managed by RM. He aint perfect, wasnt my first choice, however, I have to say he exceeded my expectations last season. To add to that I believe the signing of Lukaku will see us being more positive this season(injuries not withstanding) and possibly winning something. If you cant get enthused by RM and his happy ramblings, then I suggest you don't listen. Wouldnt want you having an episode or something sinister happening as you do add a dimension that makes me smile.
16 Posted 09/08/2014 at 20:02:35
I was under the impression that he'd be ready for the season opener when the World Cup ended so I wasn't worried initially. But now, it's kind of irking me more and more with each terrible Steven Naismith touch.
Hibbert's gotta go. Either promote Browning to backup right back or sign a cheap one to fill the numbers. Everywhere else looks pretty strong numbers-wise.
17 Posted 09/08/2014 at 19:36:50
From a transfer perspective I don't think things are actually too far off course really, we needed 6 or more players and so far we've got class first team acts in Barry, Lukaku and Besic plus hopefully Atsu then a couple of the youth team contingent of Garbutt, McAlney, Duffy, Browning and Long drafted into first team squad. We've also tied up the young stars to contracts and not lost anyone we'd not want to.
Granted, we need another striker admittedly, but we have time in the window and loan spaces available for that.
What does seem worryingly off course is the apparent readiness of the players, the depth of quality in the side and our general playing style and spirit. As has been mentioned elsewhere, it really does feel as if the last 12 months of passing play and top 4 challenging quality hasn't happened and we're faced with the unknown managerial quantity whose methods and tactics the team don't fully understand.
I couldn't give a rats arse if we won the games 8-0 or lost by the same margin, what I do care about is the fact that in the last 3 games the team played as if they'd not met one other before, couldn't seem to keep the football in their possession for more than 2 or 3 passes and defended exceptionally poorly. Basically this was sub-Moyes football we were watching, with all the hallmarks of the direct, sporadic attacks but none of the defensive nous.
You can argue about fitness as the main priority, but I don't buy that really, certainly not with these later games - training is for fitness, the matches are to get the team playing together and back into the tactical shape and combinations of the season ahead.
Everton don't have the cash and star power to compete with the rest of the top 4-6, but we've battled against this with team spirit and togetherness plus adherence to the team tactics (be it Moyes dogged 10-man defending, or Robbie's total possession game), there's been very little evidence of any of these elements in the games I've watched.
The alarming lack of quality (and the accelerating speed of descent) of our second string squad players is another area that's cause for concern. Osman is quite literally a pointless presence on the pitch (and we'll likely remain pointless if he gets much game time early on), Hibbert despite being a solid pro and a real grafter just flat out isn't good enough for us these days (I'd rather have Stones on the right) and to an admittedly lesser degree Alcaraz and McGeady have both looked out of their depth. The first 11 aren't immune to this either, with Pienaar looking ineffectual and even the all-conquering Baines seems to have been delivering his England form rather than what we've seen for the last few years.
Perhaps some of this is down to not being up to speed yet, and that harks on to my preparedness point. Overall it feels like somehow the impending Premier league kick-off is coming as a bit of a shock, as if the date had been brought forward or something.
Whilst Seamus's absence is unfortunate and Oviedo's understandable, the continuing absence of Kone is seriously disturbing. The guy's been out for almost a year now and was supposed to be not far off coming back in at the end of last season, that there's not even a date for return is just a joke (at least Whelan's laughing I guess).
Likewise, the fact that Mirallas and Lukaku haven't kicked a pre-season ball in anger is frankly verging on poor management in my view. This whole schtick about World Cup players being burnt out is just nonsense, I think Kev and Rom played less than 180 minutes of football each in Brazil and Belgium bowed out early, neither of them was injured and they'd both had time off with injuries during a season in which we didn't have prolonged cup or European campaigns.
Generally, I don't feel like we're ready for Leicester at all and I think they'll be coming at us hard from the first minute. I must admit also that a small part of me is just beginning to wonder how much last season's performance levels were raised by the adversity and the effective lowered expectations on Martinez and team post Moyes.
So maybe on that note there is some logic to the pre-season performances, if the idea is to take some pressure and expectation of the players then it's job done. I for one am thinking that based on what I've seen so far I'm not worrying about CL or how we'll do in Europe (against better teams than the last 2 we've played), I'll take 8th and a few kind draws in the Carling cup.
18 Posted 09/08/2014 at 20:20:11
19 Posted 09/08/2014 at 20:22:18
As it is, our squad consists of many players past their best, plus a few young players that are lacking Premier League experience at this time.
Two or three 㿊m-㿔m players could get us out of many a hole this season.
20 Posted 09/08/2014 at 20:32:21
21 Posted 09/08/2014 at 20:33:18
Desperately in need of more depth and quality especially in attack.
23 Posted 09/08/2014 at 21:03:23
24 Posted 09/08/2014 at 19:48:46
Including Hibbert, and I agree with Lyndon that I'd have targeted an attacking full-back to compete with and cover for Coleman; we basically have two players for every position, plus a little bit more. Assuming we get two more in, Traore (or equivalent) and Atsu, I'll be very happy with the state of the squad. Any more and we'd risk having unhappy, none-playing squad members hanging round sucking up wages and pissing people off.
Two more quality, first team attackers by 1 September and this will be an excellent transfer window.
25 Posted 09/08/2014 at 21:35:12
From what I recall, the surgery he underwent was to reconstruct / repair the meniscus in his knee which isn't, I would imagine, a minor issue.
He is back in training with the first team so we'll have to see how things go but, personally Â– and I base this on nothing more than a feeling I get Â– I'm not sure how much we'll be able to rely on either Arouna or Darron Gibson this season.
26 Posted 09/08/2014 at 21:45:27
I have said it before to improve as a team you have to add players who are better than you had before. As we have so far signed last year loan players and extended contracts of existing players we have not yet added more quality. This worries me with extra games due to Europa.
Let's hope Roberto has it covered and Billy boy is not the problem behind the scenes!
27 Posted 09/08/2014 at 21:51:37
The best intentions and all that but he also needs to learn to keep his trap shut.
He played this one wrong and is now trying to save face.
Other than Besic there is no-one new. And Atsu will be a straight swap for Geri.
With the extra Europa League games, this could come back to bite us on the ass.
6-7 players........yeah right.
28 Posted 09/08/2014 at 21:59:09
Surely the central issue is the pre-season performance of our core players from last season. I mean, if they're going to carry on playing like that then we need 11 new players! If they can remember how to play, individually and as a team, then we should be on approximately the same level as last season - with new additions hopefully taking us forward - but they are a million miles away from doing that. I am utterly baffled by our showings so far. It's what those who didn't fancy RM feared would happen last season.
Our limp-lettuce showings so far do not necessarily prove the need for a bunch of new signings. The players already at the club just need to get their fingers out and start playing like they mean it. That's not as easy as it sounds, granted, but it's what Mr Martinez is paid for.
29 Posted 09/08/2014 at 22:15:30
We lost some pre-season friendlies, get over it. It's not even like the transfer window is over yet, the squad looks better than ever. I also look at the Europa League like a great thing for the club rather than the hindrance that everyone seems to talk about it. For the moment I trust everything he does.
30 Posted 09/08/2014 at 22:26:43
32 Posted 09/08/2014 at 21:56:53
Based on that I can only conclude we are in for a tough opening few games.
Arising from comments of those who either saw in the flesh or via TV were a couple of things that has me concerned.
Top of that list has to be Osman and Hibbert holding down places that should be used to provide future players with vital experience.
Based on past personal observation I doubt either would hold down a place in any team with Champions league aspirations.
My views on Kone have already attracted criticism from fellow Twebbers yet here goes again.
When first signed he was not fully match fit this was compounded by his observance of Ramadan which as stated by Roberto hampered his pre season preparation.
His injury may been caused at least in part by his lack of a proper pre season.
By all accounts even should he remain injury free it could be two years before we see him in action and he is not getting any younger.
33 Posted 09/08/2014 at 22:37:00
34 Posted 09/08/2014 at 22:38:48
Seems like it's a bit early for the Dad's Army routine to me ...
35 Posted 09/08/2014 at 22:27:02
36 Posted 09/08/2014 at 22:42:14
RM is trying to take the long view, ensuring the players don't burn out prematurely - especially given the fact that we'll have extra Europa League games this year. We'll only know if it's worked as the season unfolds.
RM is no fool, so I imagine there is method in his apparent madness.
37 Posted 09/08/2014 at 22:47:01
Oh well, best to reserve judgement until next week. C.O.Y.B
38 Posted 09/08/2014 at 22:44:12
I believe a good start particularly against Leicester, then Arsenal and Chelsea at home would do us wonders and really make a statement, so to go into first game with the likes of Baines, Jagielka, Howard, Mirallas and Lukaku not match fit is criminal.
I think the whole preseason has been badly planned, if planned is a word you can actually use. No decent your, a daft game in Thailand, a home match, but at Tranmere as Celta Vigo were spending a week in a England and a game against a German team just promoted, to be used as a Europa Cup "trial game" as Martinez has just stated. How the hell was this put together
39 Posted 09/08/2014 at 22:57:04
I can see what you're saying and that is obviously what RM is doing. But would giving Mirallas and Lukaku a 45 minute run out today have jeopardised their seasons, or given them burn out in March? Hazard has figured in Chelsea's last 3 games.
What RM is doing is a gamble, and it has added pressure to the first few games, because if results don't go our way, he will have left himself wide open to the accusation that we were not ready for the season.
We've all played football. It doesn't matter how many training sessions you take part in, nothing can prepare you like games. I'll be very surprised if we now hit the ground running at Leicester next week...
40 Posted 09/08/2014 at 23:31:31
41 Posted 09/08/2014 at 23:37:36
It is obvious that all club employees are given instructions not to make the Chairman and the Board look bad. On the commentary for the game today Graham Stuart thanked them for our new recruits in such a way to make it seem like they had dipped into their own pockets rather than simply releasing a decent amount of available funds.
42 Posted 10/08/2014 at 00:21:04
At least he didn't stretch credulity by counting Barkley and Stones too.
43 Posted 10/08/2014 at 07:22:14
Hopefully two or three of the youngsters will take their chance this season and the rest of the lads have been saving it all for Next Saturday. And please don’t bring up that other fella, he’s long gone now, it’s boring. COYB
44 Posted 10/08/2014 at 07:48:47
be ready for the start regardless of what RM says . Thats not an opinion thats fact you have all seen it . Whats left is Blind
faith I am, luckily not blind,. and this is not doom mongering. I don't know what the answer is but I am praying with my eyes open there is one. COYB
45 Posted 10/08/2014 at 08:05:14
46 Posted 10/08/2014 at 08:52:28
"If we get in Europe, I think that makes a difference of six players. I always found you can work on a squad of 21 players in the league and for domestic competitions. You need around 27 players plus keepers for Europe. It doesn’t have to be 27 senior players, it can be young players too, but 27."
47 Posted 10/08/2014 at 09:01:47
Or the Brenda 'shot gun' approach preferring to scatter the targets in the hope of hitting something useful?
The first is much more economical and usually provides better results - but there is usually a lot of stalking and patience involved.
48 Posted 10/08/2014 at 09:52:57
49 Posted 10/08/2014 at 09:59:09
On the topic of the players' preparedness for action, a Wigan insider told me last night that, unless he's changed his approach, Roberto will be taking most cognisance of the stats on individual players provided by his sports scientists. These figures provide the basis for determining what aspect of training needs attention and he will not deviate from that plan regardless of demands by a player (and others) for inclusion.
Expect to see Rom and Kevin on the bench Â– at best!
50 Posted 10/08/2014 at 10:17:41
I think (though am not inclined myself) they make a lot of the data-set open via the web for anyone to use. I also heard from someone that they compile this data for the entire league Â– as a tool for preparing for forthcoming opponents. I suggested it could be used for scouting players as well, and would not be surprised if similar data was now being collated for all the major leagues.
Two things amaze me in all of this. The level of use of technology, and how managers need to adapt and refresh their approach; and that Harry Redknapp is still gainfully employed.
51 Posted 10/08/2014 at 10:18:58
There are still 3 weeks of the transfer window left. Last year we made season defining signings with about 3 minutes of the window left. So I expect more signings albeit probably loan players. For once I am not going to get on the Dear Leader's case; spending / committing 㿈m on one player is a fair enough statement of intent, but there is (in theory) plenty of the Sky dosh left. Giving BK the benefit of the doubt there may actually be funds needed to secure the new stadium (announcement due August remember ?!), so maybe all the money won't be seen in new permanent players, but I would expect to see more loanees in the coming weeks.
I also think there is a genuine commitment to giving the young players plenty of playing time this season (League Cup ?) which would eke out the playing time of senior players in other competitions.
All in all I think this will be the transition season we expected last season to be. I would like a cup run to end in a trophy, but think the usual suspects will win out. We will do well to finish top six. Europe is uncharted waters for both many of the players and manager and and we will do well to get to the knock-out stage.
52 Posted 10/08/2014 at 10:39:57
We have spent ٢M on Besic and ٣M a year for at least 5 years on Lukaku (١ million of the 㿈M is related to performance of Rom and or EFC) so it's hardly throwing the money around, is it? I feel Martinez is frustrated by BK and his inability to provide the investment to allow us to 'push on'.
53 Posted 10/08/2014 at 11:00:00
I'm all for setting our sights high but be realistic for gawd's sake. This side will do well to make the average of the past 12 years. And we all know what that is!
54 Posted 10/08/2014 at 10:51:40
Confidence is a major factor in every aspiring top teams make up and winning pre-season games gives that confidence and winning mentality. Players can get just as used to losing as winning. Heads go down as soon as goals are conceded and twice so far we have been pegged back when ahead.
Keeping clean sheets is imperative and our defence has been our mainstay over the past 10 years or so. We are conceding too many goals and that is at least the Number One most important concern that every supporter must have.
I am really concerned about Kone, Gibson and Oviedo returning asap fully fit as they are members of our first team squad and, until they are showing signs of returning, we are three down before a ball has been kicked.
Similarly I cannot understand the tardiness of Lukaku and Mirallas returning to full action. Both have had long periods away from football as neither figured that much for Belgium during the World Cup. Both must have been fit whilst they were in Rio so what is the problem? As has been pointed out, the German players are already up and running and they played throughout the competition in Brazil.
Something is being kept from the fans. Perhaps both of the Belgians are injured or something?? We still do not know if Coleman and Garbutt are back in training and ready to perform. If Lukaku and Mirallas are not at least on the bench at Leicester, then I would like to know how they are earning their salaries.
55 Posted 10/08/2014 at 11:01:33
I am as depressed as anyone about our poor showing but the addition of Lukaku, Mirallas and Atsu to the front line will hopefully change everything as their qualities will bring out the best in others.
How would RS have fared last season if they had played without Sterling, Suarez and Sturridge at the same time? Â– I bet their midfield would have suffered, and their defence without a good front line to play with.
Our opposition pre-season must have looked at the sides we have put out and really fancied their chances as at no stage have we come close to a full strength side. No defender is going to fret at facing Naismith or Long without heavyweight support but put Lukaku alongside them and those two players will carry far more threat.
That said, I do agree that Hibbert, Pienaar and Alcaraz are looking too old and Ossie is coming into that category but Roberto has changed the age-group of the squad a lot already and this time next year may be the time when those players cease to be part of the squad.
I think itÂs a bit unfair to castigate BK at this point having shelled out 㿈m on Lukaku. I went to see Exeter v Portsmouth yesterday and it is heart-breaking to talk to Portsmouth staff about how things have gone wrong for them since their Premier League days only five or six years ago. They are starting to rebuild but we cannot risk paying money outside of our budget in the hope that it will land us in the Champions League.
56 Posted 10/08/2014 at 11:14:23
As for pre-season, I haven't seen any of the games but, by all accounts, we never had our true starting XI out there together and we were constantly changing the formations. So I'm hopping that the bad form can be attributed to these two factors Â– not the players forgetting everything we learnt last year.
57 Posted 10/08/2014 at 11:40:10
Ed, it's still 㿈M which has to be accounted for. I was trying for once to give the Dear Leader the benefit of the doubt but I my instinct is that BK has indeed snapped the purse shut.
Mike, have you not read recently that the happiest people are those with a healthy balance of pessimism and optimism ? :-)
58 Posted 10/08/2014 at 12:30:46
So what has pre-season been about. Quite honestly who can tell? Has Roberto simply being throwing players in to the mix and assessing them as individuals using his beloved Performance Analysis stats to determine who is ready for a starting place against Leicester? Weird but possible. Although his reference to being able to look at partnerships Â– god knows what he’s learned in this respect Â– means it’s more than looking at individuals.
I’m posting this 10 minutes in to the Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund in the hope that Liverpool will look even less prepared than we look - but I somehow doubt it! And just to prove the point they’re now 2! Shit!
Clearly many of us are worried and with good cause but we really won’t know how justified those concerns are until the Leicester game next Saturday. From how the teamsÃ¢Â€Â™s looking right now I’m hoping for what would be a minor miracle. A demonstration that all our worries were unfounded and Roberto was on top of it all along! The sooner next Saturday comes the better! Let’s hope it will be worth waiting for!
59 Posted 10/08/2014 at 12:48:54
60 Posted 10/08/2014 at 12:59:22
61 Posted 10/08/2014 at 13:17:37
Finally, for the group stages of the Europa League, IÂd be more than happy fielding a team like this:
Hibbert, Duffy, Browning, Garbutt;
Naismith, Osman, Oviedo,
62 Posted 10/08/2014 at 14:38:19
We seem to be so sluggish at the moment with very few players on their game. Hibbert, Stones, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, have all looked so poor , technically, physically, mentally. I just can't understand it at all, I really do believe this preseason has been poorly planned, both in terms of clubs played, player programmes, individually and team wise.
63 Posted 10/08/2014 at 13:59:53
The World Cup may have come at an unfortunate time for both he and Everton although he has sought to justify his summer 'foreigner' by the signing of Besic. But wherever he had been in June/July, I don't think he could have expected to prize more from the transfer kitty than has been the case so far.
My discomfort with preparations has come more from the ongoing 'holiday' atmosphere surrounding the involvement (or non-involvement !) of our WC contingent which seems to have pervaded the psyche of their team mates although the revolving door nature of players' involvement in these farces has added to the general chaos on view.
But however the season opens for us, I have made a vow NEVER again to subscribe to the OS streaming of these farcical friendlies if for no other reason than to save TWers the punishment of suffering my ire !
64 Posted 10/08/2014 at 14:50:38
We have excellent young players who have had a full summer with the first team and have done well. Leicester won’t be easy and of course they will be up for it but it would be foolish to write off a team as good as ours with the players at our disposal. The aim of pre-season is not to bury teams 8-0 and learn sweet FA about your squad. Relax.
65 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:00:19
66 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:06:46
I think if we start well in the league we need to field fringe players in Europe. If we get off to a stinker in the first few games then maybe take the Europa with all seriousness.
67 Posted 10/08/2014 at 14:25:44
I hope its not deja vu.
To my reckoning in the last 12 months we have lost Mucha, Big Vic, Jelavic, Fellaini, Deulofeu, Vellios and Gueye and previously Rodwell and Arteta.
They have been replaced by McCarthy, Robles, Kone, Besic and McGeady.
My view is that, with the extra Sky money, we should have had a cash pile of between 㿏 and 㿞 million before this year's windfall.
We have spent up front ٧.5M on Lukaku, ٠.5M on Besic and ٟM on Gareth Barry, together with about ٣M a year projected increase in wages less the wages saved on the departees.
So, if Scrooge has pulled the plug on transfers, I am seriously worried about the effect on the manager and squad Â– and let me add that I totally disagree with all those posters saying we don't have the clout to compete with the big boys.
That record is seriously old now and needs to stop being played.
68 Posted 10/08/2014 at 14:58:37
I do not feel "punished" by your views about our pre-season. Your views, although very different to mine are as valid as any. I find it difficult to read posts that clearly state things that are false and that totally twist the facts, but your posts always fall short of being "torturous" (not that TW is like a prison!!).
What gets my goat is when people deliberately change the facts to fit their agenda. That is what I expect from the redshite of course!!
69 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:27:30
70 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:36:06
Are you sure that's not Graeme Jones you're thinking of?
71 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:16:15
Kendall and Catterick were given plenty of stick for team selection, tactics etc.in HK's case he would have been thrown out of the club before he achieved any success if the majority of the supporters had have had their way.
The criticism may well have been ignored in the majority of cases as the said managers had an inner belief that they were right and that the masses were wrong which says al lot about the personalities of those two managers.
Whether Roberto is to be proved right or wrong in the long-term will be seen in the fullness of time, but whatever happens fans will always give their views and offer criticism valid or otherwise and why not? it's all part of the game.
The supporters of Everton are in the main fair-minded but that doesn't mean they can be taken for fools, however, as they always want what is best for the club they can sometimes sound the alarm bells prematurely - mostly because of bitter experience and how soon the two best teams in our history disintegrated and the club fell upon difficult times on the pitch even before we had the time to appreciate how good both the 1970 and 1985 teams had been.
We can only hope that Roberto does in fact know what he is doing but if he does have it wrong he will be duly criticised and it is up to him to address that in whatever way he sees fit.
Rarely are there any mitigating circumstances that prevent a manager from being criticised and it is how they and their teams react to it that sorts out the winners from the losers.
72 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:25:47
However, none of this angst would have arisen had we the team showed an element of progression/improvement during pre-season rather than the opposite!
After watching Liverpool beat Dortmund today, there is no doubt in my mind that the concern being shown by many of us is not misplaced!
73 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:50:23
74 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:57:30
But there might also be a case of tweaking tactical approaches which he wants to try out? I don't know, I'm not a tactician.
75 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:14:33
If RM decides to play any of the new or young players, he will undoubtedly only put one in at a time, so as not to create imbalance to his team. The point of having a squad will be to rotate and this will be done after meticulous detail has been analysed and then re-analysed.
Don't be fooled into thinking that RM is a part-time amateur like all of us on this site. He is very much the model professional.
76 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:17:30
I think most of us are on board with what you say... and we are prepared to wait and see. However, what some people are saying (and I think they are correct) is that, if things do go wrong, then it squarely sits with the structure and the approach of pre-season.
Like you say, let's sit back and hope it is some part of a Martinez masterplan... a masterplan that kicks in on Game 1 and not Game 6 of a 38 game season. I think we would consider ourselves shortchanged if Martinez's South American sojourn heralded his pre-season running into late September/October.
77 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:14:04
Those players all need to be up to speed. You can only get match fit by playing matches, right?
78 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:55:02
I agree a succession of defeats and sloppy performances isn't ideal from a mental standpoint - but I still think the fans are far more hung up on these results than the players are. It's been a real scattergun approach to try and get several players more than a few minutes on the pitch, so while I'm not as confident as I would have been had we won 3 or 4, I'll reserve my wrath for when it actually matters - against Leicester.
79 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:32:49
Absoutely, after all he is the manager and will carry the can IF after 6-10 games we are struggling. Deep down. I can’t see that happening. I would however be very surprised if we get through the first 6 games unbeaten. It is a tough start with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool to play. So lets not call for anyone’s head should we come unstuck as many will against the afore mentioned teams.
80 Posted 10/08/2014 at 23:13:19
The manager comes in at the start of last season makes a completely fresh start, changes our playing style, introduces 2 of the country's brightest young players to regular 1st team football, achieves a record number of pts in the PL for Everton, and we are in the running for a CL place up to the last few games.
Wins over everyone at the club + the media, also made a season changing transfer window with the loans of Lukaku, Barry and Del Boy.
This year he's secured on long contracts, Baines, Barkley, Stones, Barry, Coleman, bought Lukaku and made what looks like an inspired signing of Besic for a measly ٢m.
Now because the friendly results have been poor playing with disjointed line ups full of young inexperienced players/ all changed at half time etc, some of you are wanting to give him is P 45 because he obviously doesn't have a clue what he's doing! Give over.
Make no mistake we have a very difficult start to the league season, much harder than last year, there's Arsenal, Chelsea, Utd and rs. in the 1st 7 games, so the chances are we wont get off to a flying start.
Hate to think what it will be like on here if/when we lose some of these games!
81 Posted 11/08/2014 at 01:19:43
These players on our pay role coming back not ready for the start of the season is just bizarre compared to all the other big clubs.
Praying that they shoot out of the blocks on Saturday or our league campaign could be severely damage by the end of this month.
82 Posted 11/08/2014 at 08:47:07
83 Posted 11/08/2014 at 09:31:42
I'm a big Martinez fan but never would have thought he'd have re-signed him. It's odd too, that most people are already advocating Browning or Stones as Coleman's replacement rather than a specialist right back that's just signed a 2 year contract.
84 Posted 11/08/2014 at 09:49:09
Possibly Browning is or will be better than Hibbert and certainly Stones is more creative - but the latter also covers centre-back and to me, Hibbert at the very least can be relied on as cover.
85 Posted 11/08/2014 at 09:53:11
86 Posted 11/08/2014 at 10:04:53
At times I have felt that I am the only one who thinks he's any good, apart from the two M's of course. Eventually the predictors will be right as age conquers all but not this season. As long as he doesn't play on the wing!
87 Posted 11/08/2014 at 10:23:41
Those who enjoy a physical confrontation (between teams) or expect powerful runs will always despair of Osman, because he's not one to make rugged challenges and doesn't have a Barkley physique to surge past somebody. But like you, I like him - in the right position he keeps things ticking over and the possession game we play now suits him.
And he's scored goals for us ten years running.
88 Posted 11/08/2014 at 10:44:59
Arsenal's 3 Germans weren't even due back for training till the Monday after the Charity Shield. Neither was Kompany, Zabaleta, Demichelis, etc for City.
Maybe he has a plan? Maybe they're so important to us that he needs to get them fully fit before playing so that they wont break down for half the season? He's a trained physio so I think he will have his own ideas about fitness etc!
Let him manage!
89 Posted 11/08/2014 at 10:04:27
90 Posted 11/08/2014 at 11:21:45
The voice of reason.
91 Posted 11/08/2014 at 11:19:50
I think it was because Cahill swapped positions with Mario and stopped Chelsea getting out. If Saha would have scored that header we might have won the cup, because we was a lot more organised as a team at that point in the game.
92 Posted 11/08/2014 at 11:42:56
I picked this up from the excellent Executioner's Bong. There's a few new blogs at the moment, all highly recommended. Here's the Europa League one: Link
93 Posted 11/08/2014 at 11:52:17
94 Posted 11/08/2014 at 11:20:21
Essentially your comments re Osman and being the only one to support him are crap. I have seen a fair number of posters on this site who regularly state that Ossie has class if played in his best position. Me for one. I agree lots knock him, but please stop the silly exagerating. It does not enhance your stance and devalues a valid point.
95 Posted 11/08/2014 at 11:54:01
I've been siding with Martinez as usual but along with most fans on here I have been very disappointed with the quality of our play more than anything; it wasn't just a fitness thing Â– it was the lack of basic skill that was missing and, for a good percentage of the playing time, we were embarrassingly poor.
96 Posted 11/08/2014 at 12:23:01
Hibbert was unfairly booked within the first 15 minutes, was rushed back from injury and had no cover from an also injured Osman. Sick and tired of posters trying to use one game as proof against Hibbert.
In regards to Lukaku not being fit, wasn't he training with Anderlecht before coming back to us? He was clearly keeping his own fitness levels up.
Not too sure about Mirallas though, to be fair I have always thought he was a lazy player who doesn't get himself involved in games, he waits for it to come to him.
97 Posted 11/08/2014 at 13:57:11
If I read him correctly Peter said he felt as though he was the only one supporting Osman. I, for one, know how the lad feels: I came in for barrage of abuse from a right gang of empty-heads for backing my favourite player. Not that I gave a toss, but it taught me that, just because a lot of people disagree with me, they aren't necessarily right. As my late father used to say, always be wary of a consensus.
98 Posted 11/08/2014 at 14:15:35
99 Posted 11/08/2014 at 14:27:03
We'll agree to disagree on this point then
100 Posted 13/08/2014 at 13:37:41
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