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Blues beaten handily by Celta Vigo

by | 06/08/2014  Comments (219)  jump
Everton 1 - 3 Celta Vigo
Everton were back at Prenton Park for the senior squad's fourth pre-season friendly of the summer where another important fitness run-out left a few question marks with the new Premier League season looming just 10 days away. The Blues scored early through Aiden McGeady but struggled again in the final third and were eventually beaten by a first-half hat-trick from Agudo Nolito Duran.

Everton played out a 2-2 draw with Tranmere Rovers on this ground on 22nd July and the Birkenhead club staged this evening's friendly against Spanish top-flight outfit Celta Vigo.

Roberto Martinez had ruled Seamus Coleman and Luke Garbutt out over injury concerns while Romelu Lukaku was again rested but Darron Gibson started on the bench and played the second 45 minutes alongside Muhamed Mesic. Tim Howard and Leighton Baines both played during the first half.

Everton went ahead in the 10th minute when Baines' cross eluded Naismith but fell nicely to McGeady to slot home after the Spaniards had twice come close to scoring at the other end.

Celta Vigo were level eight minutes later, though, Nolito, coincidentally linked with a move to Goodison this week, took advantage of too much space behind the fullbacks and half-volleyed past Tim Howard.

After Howard had been forced to parry away a fierce effort, Nolito doubled his account when John Stones was caught in possession and the forward chipped the goalkeeper to make it 2-1 four minutes later.

And Nolito completed his hat-trick with a little over half an hour gone when his deflected shot beat Howard.

Martinez switched things up a little at half time with Besic, Gibson, Browning, Duffy and Robles coming on in place of Howard, Barry, Hibbert, Baines and Osman. The Blues couldn't add to the scoreline, though, with Naismith going close on a couple of occasions but Martinez's team still looking a little disjointed and not fully employing the passing game that was such a feature of last season.

Typically, the manager was taking the positives from the encounter, preferring to focus on the benefits to the players' fitness rather than the result.

"It was a tough test," Martinez told evertontv. "It was one of those exercises where we got the benefit of testing different things and seeing the fitness levels of the players.

"They played as we expected; they pressed us really high up and we wanted to take advantage of that and make sure we could test them.

"We gave a couple of goals away, which is something we need to shape and polish and use as an advantage.

"All in all, I thought the tempo and physicality was really consistent through the 90 minutes and sometimes it's difficult to get that in a pre-season friendly."  

Reader Comments (219)

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Scott Bosworth
1 Posted 06/08/2014 at 18:57:06
With Lukaku thus having (at most) one pre-season match to play, will he be ready to go for the opener at Leicester?
Eric Holland
2 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:02:04
Would like to see Besic and Barclay start tonight...
Eric Holland
3 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:04:37
Terry Davies
4 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:02:07
Why are we playing at Prenton Park?

What is the latest with Kone? How bad can a hamstring injury be? Brian baby will be back before him and I've known cruciate injuries heal quicker. Besic looks a player and I'm looking forward to seeing him and does anybody know if Rom will be involved at all tonight?

Wayne Stamps
5 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:04:51
Scott, yes
Eric, Me too
Jamie Barlow
6 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:15:01
Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Distin, Stones, Barry, McCarthy, McGeady, Osman (c), Barkley, Naismith.
Chris James
7 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:15:56
Any feeds?
I don't actually mind paying the official site but in the past it's been poor quality and tedious to navigate.
Andrew Hawes
8 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:14:58
I would like to see our first 11 getting a run out soon. The clubs we face in our opening games are playing in front of 80 to 100,000 people in really challenging games.

As we are constantly told, getting the winning mentality is as important as gaining match fitness in these pre-season games. So tonight it would be nice to see a more familiar side with more intensity and a win.

Mark Tanton
9 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:23:07
IÂ’d like to see Lukaku get some football before Leicester.
Chris James
10 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:17:27
Also, why's Osman playing again?
Surely we should be starting games now with our preferred first 11?

I have no problem with Stones for Jags, I can see a case for Naismith based on form at end of last season and his finishing and I'll even buy the idea of giving McGeady another chance to prove that the last 5-10 minutes were more representative of what he'll deliver than the preceding period.

But why the hell we have Osman on the pitch when Mirallas, Pienaar, Lukaku and Besic aren't does slightly concern and confuse me.

Also, where's he playing? Wide left? In place of Barkley behind Naismith? Sorry I just don't get it.

Terry Davies
11 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:25:36
Oh God! Hope this team does not mean we have more injuries than we've been led to believe. Why no Barkley, why no Besic and does this mean Osman is pencilled in our up-coming first eleven?
Tony Doran
12 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:28:49
Any links.
Mark Tanton
13 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:29:01
It seems like many of our footballers have had no pitch time at all so far. A very odd pre-season to be honest - but then boot camp under Moyes always meant we had to wait until October for a win so IÂ’ll hold my judgement.
Sam Hoare
14 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:35:55
Who are the subs?
Terry Davies
15 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:35:40
Tony (12) Live sport.

then choose a stream. Don't choose a betting site as you will have to register. Try others and you will find one that fits.

Derek Knox
16 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:29:30
I read earlier on, but can't remember exactly where, so apologies for that ! We are, or more fittingly, Roberto has, ( allegedly ) got more than a keen eye on one of their players, and has had him watched !

Nolito, could be one to keep an eye out for, he is 27 by all accounts, and is capable of, not only being a playmaking attacker, but can get a few goals as well !

It could be journo crap but, you never know!

Sam Hoare
17 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:38:36
Why on earth is there no Mirallas and Lukaku when Courtois has been playing for Chelsea for weeks!
Mike Oates
18 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:36:41
Martinez already said Lukaku will not play in pre-season games already arranged. I suspect Mirallas won't either. So as I said yesterday I for think we are well prepared for Leicester game
Terry Davies
20 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:41:12

NFL are doing it.

Simon Smith
21 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:46:51
James Stewart
22 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:53:12
Does seem strange no Mirallas or Lukaku yet most Belgian players have been playing for their clubs for weeks as Sam points out. Hardly ideal preparation.
David Chait
23 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:50:12
Found link... wizwig.

Everton 1-up: McGeady.

Chris James
25 Posted 06/08/2014 at 19:59:20
Is there no live chat today?

McGeady looks good, Barry great and Macca and Barkley promising.

Still not sure why Osman is on the pitch mind. He's not providing anything on the left hand side and his presence there robs all width/attacking options.

Tony Draper
26 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:01:14
This link is fine.

Graham Stuart commentating.

Jeff Beaumont
27 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:01:46
Where's the Live Forum?
David Smith
28 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:03:01
Terrible turnout by the looks of it
Phill Thompson
29 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:06:15
Bizarre replay of Nolito's goal, Hibbert in shot 20 yards back trotting towards the man he should be marking. And Stones gives ball away for Nolito's 2nd. 2 - 1 Celta Vigo.
Chris Wilson
30 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:08:21
I'm sorry, but I believe I read somewhere here that we were linked to that "geezer" Nolito?
Karl Jones
31 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:07:05
Everton look a bit of a shambles here. Another cock up by Stones at Prenton Park....But we are being easily outplayed by the opposition once again... What's happened to the passing game?
Ray Roche
32 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:18:12
1-3 now. Nolito hat trick
Mike Oates
33 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:16:52
Stones, Ossie, are really off the pace, though Stones has been put into some awful positions, 3-1 down just now sign Nolito his 3rd goal, better than any one of our players.
Paul Thompson
34 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:17:23
Barkley dawdling and lost possession. Hibbert out of position. Bloody hell 1-3.
Chris James
35 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:16:55
Blimey. This isn't great is it. I watched first 15 and we'd done okay and got the goal against the run of play.

Then I put the boy to bed and now we're 3-1 down. WTF?

Zaid Omar
36 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:17:42
Hope that this pre-season is not a sign of things to come this season... It has been one of the worst pre-seasons in a long time... Given that some of the stars are absent, but this is really poor.
Ian McDowell
37 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:19:47
So what's happening here... is it 1-3?
Chris James
38 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:20:47
I must admit that if we start slowly after this limited pre-season, then we might be looking at the first argument of the honeymoon for Martinez.
Dave Southon
39 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:22:30
Hibbert, Osman, McGeady all terrible.
Mark Dunford
40 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:11:44
Amazing to see someone laying boot into Osman a few days after his deserved testimonial.
Sam Hoare
41 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:21:37
What exactly have they been doing in training? They don't look very fit but they also can't string more than a couple of passes together.

Lulling Leicester into a false sense of security?

Zaid Omar
42 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:21:35
Where is Kone???? Oviedo broke a leg in January and he is probably gonna be back quicker than Kone???!!! We seriously need some back up for Lukaku.
Chris James
43 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:23:12
Baines isn't covering himself in glory either Dave.
He appears to have learned a lot from the England camp at the World Cup... aimless long balls, Gerrard style, for a start.
Jermaine Jennings
44 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:21:06
When in attacking situations, why does the team or at least 3 players move towards the attacking play? Instead, the attacking player with the ball has to stop and pass the ball backwards as all the players are behind the play, no clever triangles. By this time, the opposition team have reorganised and got 10 men behind the ball.

This was a common trait last season which he really needs to sort out urgently: it's quite obvious.

Brian Garside
45 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:23:19
Tony Doran
46 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:25:16
Good shout about milito but his price has just trebled.
Ian McDowell
47 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:24:16
This is woeful. All the major clubs Chelsea, Arsenal, RS and Man Utd had there World Cup players back 2-3 weeks ago and have had them in training and playing very competitive friendlies, whilst we play Tranmere and Leicester in the Far East.

Hope you get it right, Roberto, for game 1.

Sam Hoare
48 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:26:55
If this is to be a foreshadow of our Europa League campaign, it hardly seems worth the effort.
Brian Waring
49 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:26:52
I know it's only a friendly and we shouldn't look too much into it, but with 10 days till Leicester we look so far off the pace it's unbelievable.
Mike Oates
50 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:25:04
We are just not fit at all, slower, going backwards, no one wants the ball – nothing going right.
Shane Corcoran
51 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:28:38
IÂ’ve only flicked over to it a few times but Hibbert seems to be out of position every time I look. Am I being harsh?
Chris James
52 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:25:56
Whilst the result obviously isn't important at this stage, what's been worrying in both the games I've seen is how flimsy our midfield has looked.

Maybe it's because we're not sharp enough, don't have the balance, I'm not sure, but something feels different. Last season we bossed possession and the problem was getting the final ball, in pre-season we've been restricted to counter-attacks and passing has been more Moyes-era.

Paul Thompson
53 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:27:56
That was shocking. We are on the training round - they are on the playing pitch. Couldn't see anyone playing well. This getting worrying.
Phil Walling
54 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:27:21
Undercooked? We aren't out of the bloody freezer yet!

But have no fear, Roberto will get it right by the Leicester game!!!

Jim Bennings
55 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:23:51
I think one of the few things that concern me is, yes it's been great to sign Lukaku, and Barry on a permanent deal but we are basically going to start the season with the same team that ended last season, no different options, no wide player/to get behind a team, no real searing pace.

People will argue that the team we had last season finished with a great win tally and points total which yes of course it did, but this is a totally new challenge facing us now. We have many more games to play and we knew last season when we were light at times that we could look a bit predictable and easy to play against.

We had that great 7 match winning run in Spring but the last few games we looked jaded again and the games against Palace and Southampton were especially poor.

There is no doubt that if we don't get off to a good start at Leicester it could prove a potentially troublesome early few months for us with games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all in the first 7 matches.

Mike Powell
56 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:28:32
The Leicester and Porto games were bad enough but this is woeful. WTF is going on?
Ray Roche
57 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:28:41
Shambles. I can see Leicester giving us a hiding. I can see anyone giving us a hiding. Crap. Utter, utter crap. No Mirallas, Pienaar, Lukaku, or Jagielka on the bench. Absolutely ridiculous, when are these guys going to get fit?
Brian Waring
58 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:31:36
Phil by the Leicester game we will be ready and see a different performance, just wish we would show at least some enthusiasm and effort tonight though.
Dave Southon
59 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:30:42
Correct Shane, Hibbert actually looks like he has never played football before. Sounds harsh but totally true.

Osman isn't being harshly laid into either as Mark Dunford might think, just because his testimonial was the other day doesn't mean you can't then play a shocker!

Peter Jones
60 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:32:23
You wouldn't watch us for pleasure at the moment. Too many backwards passes putting receiver under pressure. Too many players believing the their own hype. They all need to improve.
Peter Z Jones
61 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:34:03
Tony Hibbert. Please retire.
Ian McDowell
62 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:29:54
This team drew 1-1 with Wolves at the weekend and finished 9th last year. So how well are we prepared?
Colin Glassar
63 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:32:04
All part of Roberto's master plan no doubt. Expect Nolito to be signed by tomorrow. Is he any good?
Jack Plant
64 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:30:40
I'm a big believer that the results and even the performance don't matter in pre season; it's all about what you get out of it.......... but we do look pretty shit.
Mike Oates
65 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:30:34
I just cannot for the life of me understand why Martinez has allowed the likes of Baines, Jagielka, Howard, Lukaku, Mirallas, to come back so late – it's indefensible.
Why oh why are we playing friendlies with one forward (Naismith)? Surely to god with Kone out until September, Lukaku not available till Leicester, Martinez needed as a priority to get another striker in – and in weeks ago, getting used to team mates etc
Harold Matthews
66 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:31:48
Nice one Phil. Ha ha... True to form!
Paul Smith
67 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:35:55
Hibbo, Ossie, McGeady. Too error prone, will ultimately cost us in too many games this season.
Sam Hoare
68 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:34:09
It's only preseason. It's only preseason. It's only preseason. Trying to calm the wave of pessimism flooding over me...
Chris James
69 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:31:31
Mark 40

I'm not laying into Osman as such, I think he's been a fine servant for Everton over the years and still has a role to play as a squad member.

However that role in 14-15 as indeed in 13-14 should be primarily coming on from the bench or as cover in less important games against lower opposition.

He's just not mobile or quick enough to play 90 minutes at the top level and to be frank has been a liability in this game (not just misplaced passes but the fact he's supposed to be wide on the left without any ability to run the flanks). I thought he was a total passenger in the Porto game also and his contribution to most matches last season was similarly limited.

I'm not saying he's the only one having a bad game, but I just don't see what he's able to offer that will change the game. I'm sure he's trying hard and his commitment and nascent ability aren't in question, the fact he's starting the match (and starting in a left-midfield berth) is what I'm bemoaning.

Ray Robinson
70 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:37:08
Celta Vigo actually played last night at Burnley. Probably not entirely the same set of players but that's intensive training for you.
Harold Matthews
71 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:36:57
We'll be okay against Leicester.
Dave Southon
72 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:40:49
Details from last night's match.

Burnley 2-2 Celta Vigo: Lukas Jutkiewicz scores twice in friendly

Burnley were held to a 2-2 draw by Celta Vigo in a pre-season friendly at Turf Moor.

Lukas Jutkiewicz, who moved from Middlesbrough for ٟ.5m during the summer, grabbed both goals for the Clarets.

The 25-year-old opened the scoring after just two minutes, and put Burnley ahead again after Alex Lopez had equalised for the Spanish side.

Nolito scored soon after to level the scores with the newly-promoted team.

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier (O'Neill 84), Duff, Shackell, Mee, Wallace, Marney (Taylor 67), Jones, Arfield, Barnes (Reid 79), Jutkiewicz (Sordell 79).
Subs: Cisak, Long, Anderson, Lafferty, O'Neill, Kightly, Hewitt, Gilchrist.

Celta Vigo: Ruben - Hugo Mallo (Jonny 46), Sergi Gomez (Cabral 46), Costas (Fontas 46), Samuel (Planas 46) - Madinda (Krohn-Dehli 46), Goldar (Borja Fernandez 46), Yelko (Álex Lopez 46) - Santi Mina (Orellana 46), Larrivey (Charles 46), Jordan (Nolito 46).

Mike Corcoran
73 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:38:44
It's like watching a poor Under-11s game...
Chris Wilson
74 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:36:06
Alright, let me back away from the ledge here for a second (LOL). I understand that it is pre-season, that fitness and staying injury free is paramount. I know that we have some players just returning, some injured, and some still to return, but it is getting to that point where you see your team without certain players looking very ordinary, looking very slow, and not looking very sharp, or making good decisions at this stage.

Still time, I know, but the lack of progression concerns me. We are going to be a target for EVERYBODY. Second and third tier teams are going to see us a big scalp to be had, and the title chasers will be gunning to (as they see it) put us back in our place where they think we belong. I hope Roberto is dishing out a good David Mamet play at half-time.

Mike Oates
75 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:39:48
Celta Vigo played at weekend at Norwich and drew 2 - 2. We just aren't at the races, slow passing, no running into areas for a pass, no one supporting Naismith and criminally giving the ball away. I really don't think we have put 4 passes together.

Colin (#63), Nolito is running us ragged, Hibbert and Stones getting done well and truly.

Raymond Fox
76 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:31:25
How about giving Celta Vigo some credit, on that half we do not look good enough.

It's not new, it's been going on as long as I can remember, when British players are up against continentals, their skill levels are superior to us,

The Porto game was another example, blame fitness if you want but that's not the reason in my opinion.

Tom Evans
77 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:39:31
I think last time we played Leicester first game of the season, was as defending champs in 1985 and were beaten 3-1. Being a pessimistic sod at the best of times, pre-season performances lead me to think we are set for a similar outcome in 10 days time.
Colin Glassar
78 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:44:26
Thanks Mike 75. Has the game finished? Are we really that crap like it sounds.
Dave Southon
79 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:46:43
Robles, Gibson, Besic, Browning and Duffy all on at half time.
Sid Logan
80 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:43:37
Why is that with one game to go before the start of the season we have no Jags, no Kone (again), no Lukaku, no Mirallas? Is this sensible or caution taken to extremes?
Ian McDowell
81 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:47:53
Hardly an inspiring substitution.
Jamie Barlow
82 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:43:29
I hope so Harold.

That was bad. Nothing up front. Nothing on the left. Nothing on the right. Defence all over the place. We look unfit. Clueless. Half our teams missing.

I hope Seamus is fit for Leicester. Everything stops as soon as the ball goes to Hibbo. It's ridiculous how bad he is going forward.

I hope I'm wrong and we'll peek at the right time but it doesn't look right to me.

Ray Robinson
83 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:48:26
Sid, no stupidity. Mirallas and Lukaku are going to have one friendly to get attuned to competing at a high level again.
Andrew Hawes
84 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:42:59
Results DO count pre-season! Winning mentality, sharpness, hunger should all be evident! Otherwise we will be listening and watching the same shite we did at the start of last season.

I keep saying it, Osman can not be our playmaker again this season, his pass completion rate canÂ’t be over 50 percent?

Phil Walling
85 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:48:34
Well, at least we have another chance to admire the goalkeeping skills of Robles. Tim must have the backache!

Roberto has treated all these games as half-paced training sessions. But he must have a plan......or does he?

Harvey Miller
86 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:41:14
Too much dead wood there (Hibbo, Ossie, Naismith) and the others aren't doing enough. Stones is doing damage.

The worst set of pre-season games I can remember. Usually it shows in the real games.

Mark Dunford
87 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:34:51
Osman and Hibbert are both squad players. It would be nice to leave the whipping boys alone for a meaningless fixture. This game is really a chance for those on fringes to demonstrate their ability so they can earn a place in the lesser fixtures – early rounds in the Europa League or League Cup. My sense is that the squad is still too small but is still better than it was, though we do need some youngsters to come through to add depth.

It is worrying that Lundstram went on loan today when he could have contributed tonight – it is only a year since we had 5 players in the U20 England squad. Barkley has come through and Garbutt appears to be on the verge. We have just paid a fortune for a player who is little older than most of those from the U20 squad.

I accept that people develop at different rates but we need numbers this year and the squad has to be strengthened for this reason. I'd expect a couple more loan signings at least.

This isn't really an important fixture so don't lose perspective.

Colin Glassar
88 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:50:04
I wonder if Nolito will play for us in the 2nd half.
Mike Oates
89 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:51:48
For those not watching it, it is truly dire; they should be 6 up by now.
Tony Twist
90 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:47:28
I don't agree with all this "It's pre-season, it doesn't matter."

Losing matches matters, not winning matches matters, it's totally unprofessional. The build up to the coming season has been nothing short of abysmal.

Martinez, get your finger out and put things right or your past will come back to haunt us.

Jack Plant
91 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:56:36
Great run from Barkley to draw their defence across, Naismith really should have scored.
Mark Bruce
92 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:56:07
Pre-season friendly or not... one of the worst Everton performances I've ever seen.
Dave Southon
93 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:55:21
Mark stop going on about a meaningless fixture. We are taking a thumping which is not good for morale of both fans and players so clearly not meaningless.

Also you say Osman is just a squad player, yet a squad player who featured in every single league game last year, so clearly an important squad player.

Paul Thompson
94 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:55:52
The defence is an absolute shambles, made worse by the fact they we just can't keep the ball. Painful.
Brian Waring
95 Posted 06/08/2014 at 20:54:06
Supposedly 7 of the Celta team playing tonight played against Burnley last night.
Ian Burns
96 Posted 06/08/2014 at 22:37:47
Dear Mr. Martinez, I have been watching EFC since the late 1950s; I have been following TW for many years and in recent years I started posting. Until this last weekend when we played Porto, never once had I been critical of anything EFC in all that time.

However, I was critical of our performance against Porto as they passed us out of the game, especially in the first half and I posted my disappointment on TW as such.

I read your post-Porto game comments and wasn't convinced but, having been a great admirer of yours during your first season at our club, I was persuaded to believe what you were saying.

However, tonight you have me worried. That performance was garbage and the fact you are talking of taking positives from the game might wash with the vast majority of Evertonians but it doesn't wash with me.

You spent the summer with ESPN, enjoying the World Cup when it is now obvious you should have been preparing for a pre-season to give us the best opportunity of making the most of an excellent first season in charge of our club.

Your spin on two worrying performances no longer washes, at least with me, and I advise you to quickly get your arse into gear and start worrying about our first game against Leicester because they must be counting on 3 points already having watched your very questionable preparations to date.

I can't believe I am writing this post... these past two games may "just be friendlies" but they are serious pre-season indicators and they are indicating disaster, Mr Martinez, unless you pull finger out and realise you are the boss of the greatest club in the world and it needs your full and undivided attention.

Patrick Murphy
97 Posted 06/08/2014 at 23:16:37
I'm hoping that Roberto has his first eleven in his head and all this faffing about during this pre-season has more to do with giving those outside of the first eleven a fair go at proving they are worth a place in the side, which on the evidence we have seen so far they patently don't deserve. There is always a method in Roberto's thinking and I hope that those who have failed to step up to the plate realise that is the case. Unless of course the whole squad has forgotten how to perform in which case we are in for a really poor and difficult season.

As Ian alludes to - I prefer honesty to spin although I don't put the blame on what Roberto did in the summer re working for ESPN - but I do feel that all is not right at Goodison at the moment and unfortunately we only have the games which we watch to judge how things are going. Dig a little deeper, Mr Kenwright, and if you don't feel that money is the issue ask some pertinent questions of your manager to find out what is occurring because losing is acceptable but losing without any hint of a pattern of play and ad-hoc systems cannot in all honesty be the best way to prepare for what will be a challenging start to the upcoming campaign.

Karl Masters
98 Posted 07/08/2014 at 00:21:30
Doomed! We're doooooomed I tell ye!

Thankful I didn't watch any of that. Sounds like the Samaritans are in for a busy night though!

Steve Durham
99 Posted 07/08/2014 at 00:29:16
Typical over-reaction from some ToffeeWeb posters. Some right bellends on here at times.

Half a first team, players blatantly protecting themselves, anyone knowing football could see we were trying things... splitting midfield formation, two-touch switch passing, inside left/right running (which I assume is plan B for Seamus being unfit).

After last season, with the players we have to come in and Roberto actually knowing what he is doing, I am not worried in the slightest.

Really sick of the kneejerk negative Knobjockeys on here I really am.

Roger Domal
100 Posted 07/08/2014 at 00:35:33
How is everybody doing? Not so good, huh?

May I make a suggestion? Take a deep breath. Do you really think an unimportant friendly on a Wednesday night in August portends how the rest of the year's going to go? Seriously?

Have you any idea how long our year is going to be? And you want Lukaku, Mirallas, and others who have had 3½ weeks of rest to play in this match? You want Baines to go full tilt? Really.

Calm down. Have some perspective.

Ant Dwyer
101 Posted 07/08/2014 at 00:38:06
Some seriously scary stuff happening ATM IÂ’m afraid! We have failed to win one single friendly for starters, we look off the pace for fitness and some of our better players are nowhere to be seen!

Rom, Mirallas, Jags and Pienaar all missing/rested with only ten days to go to the big kick off. Seamus out injured, no sign of Kone and Gibson nowhere near fit either.

I must say men IÂ’m a worried fan. We need to be hitting the ground running first game of the season with 3 points against a promoted team, then weÂ’ve got to try an take 3 points from either of the two next fixtures if we want to start brightly. If not, we will have the distraction of the Europa League games creeping up quickly and it can all become a bit of a burden.

This has happened to most teams in the EPL over the recent seasons, especially the ones with the smaller squads (us!!). Not exactly what can be done in ten days but couldnÂ’t see any bright points from todayÂ’s outing.

Oh that Nolito looked good, hope Bobby can steal him.

Ernie Baywood
102 Posted 07/08/2014 at 00:48:17
Most of these players are well bedded into a system; they know how to play with each other. This is just training in a match scenario.

They would be playing this game on the back of gruelling training sessions. Come the real thing, they'll be tapering their training to suit match days.

I'm not even the slightest bit concerned. Pre-season results mean nothing.

Ant Dwyer
103 Posted 07/08/2014 at 00:52:32
Oh Ste @ 99...
I can understand some of your point but IÂ’m not too sure your entirely correct! People are sometimes a bit negative on toffee web but come on mate get back to reality , this is another defeat and another no show from some important players.
As for the Coleman back up plan, for me itÂ’s quite simple: put another right back in the right back slot!!
Patrick Murphy
104 Posted 07/08/2014 at 00:52:44
Whether people think it is an over-reaction or not, it would do well to remind some that it cost 㿀 to watch tonight's game and that is a significant amount of money to spend – so fans are entitled to see something a little more than they witnessed tonight or last Sunday.

If pre-season games are to be treated as wholly fitness exercises, then perhaps the club should play them behind closed doors and stop taking money off fans under false pretences. For non-season ticket holders, the upcoming games against Arsenal and Chelsea will cost people around 䀆, so I hope the team are at least able to play some football in those games, even if they don't manage to win them.

Tony Page
105 Posted 07/08/2014 at 00:34:51
Ian, 96, I fully agree with your post to Mr Martinez.

I think the pre-season has been a joke. Last season, we were in the USA playing against top teams; now we get second rate teams and we struggle against them.

I have no idea what Roberto has planned (if anything). But God help us if we start the season with a weakened team with the fixtures we have.

Spragg Johnson
106 Posted 07/08/2014 at 01:04:49
It's a training run with a ball chucked in as far as I'm concerned. Why anyone would pay 20 quid to watch is beyond me. The only player with anything to gain from it (other than fitness) was Nolito who a number of clubs (including us?) are monitoring ... and what do you know, the lad grabs a hattrick.

Lukaku and Mirallas will play the German crew this weekend ... followed by a week of proper training and we'll be ready for Leicester ... keep it in perspective ToffeeWebbers!!

Barry Stevens
108 Posted 07/08/2014 at 01:34:12
Steve Durham 99- spot on.
Paul Ferry
109 Posted 07/08/2014 at 01:38:42
IÂ’m sorry I am but this is quite frankly utter tosh;

Mark Dunford 40: Â’Amazing to see someone laying boot into Osman a few days after his deserved testimonial.Â’

Â’Deserved testimonialÂ’ I agree, but Jaysus he was terrible in that game and also awful in this one and too right he deserves to be criticized.

FACT: Osman will start on the 16th.

But he should not. And testimonial or no testimonial and frankly I don’t give a damn – a testimonial is about the past not the present or future – he is (1) not above criticism 96 hours later and (2) should not be in the starting 11 on the 16th.

Osman has been a great servant. He has done some wonderful things for us. There have been moments of sheer delight watching Ossie. But, note, this is all past tense, and he is not quality enough to be in a 2014-15 top-4 challenging team.

Harold Matthews
111 Posted 07/08/2014 at 00:44:09
A good competitive workout but shambolic at the back. Celta pressed high up the pitch and ripped us to pieces. Not a pretty sight. Too many touches in our own half and not sharp enough throughout. Plenty to think about and plenty to put right at Finch Farm. Valuable lessons before the big kickoff.

Good to see Gibson looking fitter than I've ever seen him. Touch wood, he could have a decent season, but unlike Barry, he is not an anchor. He sits middle of the pitch and pushes forward.

Besic again showed his quality but someone has to warn him about his lunging tackles or he'll end up with more yellows than Fellaini. Our other quality lad was Barkley who has probably improved his allround game. Something I noticed in the World Cup.

Ossie and Hibbo didn't fare too well but the display of Tylas Browning was a surprise bonus. Less overawed than last time, he looks to have a future.

Kieran Kinsella
112 Posted 07/08/2014 at 02:31:16
I wonder if we might use Gibson as an alternate to Barkley in the playmaker role rather than as an alternate to Barry or Mc. I worry about the wide boys. Mirallas has always run hot and cold, McGeady seems similar just more cold than hot. Pienaar is too slow now so maybe handy as another back up in a central role. Osman was never much good out wide and Oviedo is injured. We may end up using some if our surplus full backs as wingers if we don't get someone else in. It's weird because RM always had good wingers at Wigan. But it's a problem.
Kieran Kinsella
113 Posted 07/08/2014 at 02:37:14
Harold your remarks on Besic make me think back to Dacourt and Materazzi. Good players but both struggled to get to grips with tackling and ended up either getting carded or shying away from tackles for fear of being carded. In the end Materazzi had an on pitch nervous breakdown when Fuckerby conned the ref to send him off. Hope RM is better than WM at helping foreign players adapt.
Phil Sammon
114 Posted 07/08/2014 at 03:14:41
Ian Burns #96

If you have been watching since the 50's then you should know better than to post that sort of garbage. An embarrassingly childish reaction from a man of your age.

Ernie Baywood
115 Posted 07/08/2014 at 03:19:28
Patrick #104. We got pretty much the selections we expected and a jaded pre season performance as you might anticipate.

They weren't selling this as a massive game or one where the players would be well prepared and raring to go.

It's like a advertising a turd for 20 quid and then getting complaints that people received a turd.

James Stewart
116 Posted 07/08/2014 at 03:29:48
2nd half was much better deserved a goal or 2. Hibbert was utter garbage first half and got torn a new one by their winger. Stones had him in his pocket 2nd half though so not like he was as good as we made him look.

Besic looked quality. Browning also looks a player

Gary Edwards
117 Posted 07/08/2014 at 03:04:38
Steve 99 - everyone's entitled to their opinion, no need for the name calling, it's called "deflection" mate you need a night out at The Lisbon, that should sort you out.

There is no denying that there is growing voice of concern over our pre-season prepartion and with some justification over various forums. If we compare our pre-season preparations with that shower down the M62 and see how quickly Van Gaal has pulled them together, we look fairly pitiful and we finished ahead of them last season.

One thing for sure is that we will all be earnestly awaiting that first game of the season and be fully behind our beloved, much respected team and its manager.

Me - I've taken 150/1 to win the league., couldn't believe the odds. I'll cover it iwth some shorter odds bets for Top 4, cup etc.

Kieran Kinsella
118 Posted 07/08/2014 at 03:43:24
#114 Phil I agree #96 Ian is mad. So when we were relegated in the 50s he didn't complain? Under Gordon Lee he was happy? Not a mutter of discontent about Mike Walker? Loved Walter Smith and the Agent Johnson sell-off, thought only good thoughts about four Davies, but Sunday Bloody Sunday when we drew with Porto -- two time European champions bloody Porto -- well that changed everything. Then tonight? A defeat in a meaningless friendly at Tranmere. That was the moment the worm turned and blue nosed Ian uttered his first ever criticism of the club.
Julian Wait
119 Posted 07/08/2014 at 03:57:17
For comparisons to Man Utd, I think it's worth mentioning that they were a) in a fairly high profile competition in a "growth" market, b) playing against serious rivals of one sort (European) or another (our beloved RS) and c) playing for a place or d) playing for a transfer. In addition they e) have money to burn if anyone gets injured or isn't up to it.

We're in a totally different position. Let's discuss what's right and wrong after 6 games and be judged after 38 league games. Meaningful ones that is.

Chad Schofield
120 Posted 07/08/2014 at 04:54:16
Amazing some of the overreaction.

Yes it's a travesty to see that two-bit shower than Van Gaal has been passed in a plastic bag are winning all the pre season glory while we stare some kind of moral relegation after these two games.

I would have liked to see Lukaku out there... but I believe in Roberto and would sooner this than a blistering preseason only for a terrible start to the season good and proper which I remember a few times under Man U's previous manager.

Paul Andrews
121 Posted 07/08/2014 at 06:14:02
Not worth turning up for the start of the season then. Martinez absolutely fluked the record wins in a season, the record amount of points in a Prem season. All in his first season, by the way. He is a poor manager who has not got a clue how to prepare a team.

Calm down, lads, not ideal Sunday, or last night. The real business starts next week

David Ellis
122 Posted 07/08/2014 at 06:35:33
Has anyone tracked how pre season results/ performances correlate to a strong season? In my 45+ years of following the Blues I am pretty sure there is no correlation. Relax.
Peter Barry
123 Posted 07/08/2014 at 06:42:02
Everton's run of pre season games have produced very disappointing results and – no matter how you want to spin or excuse them – they have not been at all satisfactory.

Now it is true that many players are still missing and have only just returned from post World Cup holidays but the season starts in just over a weeks time so if they are not fit now will they be then.

Also pre season friendlies are meant to give the Manager ideas on how his team is progressing and what his League line-up will be. So far I am sure that I do not have a clue what his First Team will be but I hope HE does. If the pre season games are anything to go by, we have NO strength in depth whatsoever.

Michael Penley
124 Posted 07/08/2014 at 06:54:25
These pre-season friendly losses will have served their purpose if they finally convince Martinez that Hibbert can not play unless Coleman and Stones are both in a coma, that Ossie shouldn't be starting except in an emergency, and that the Belgians need to be involved if we want to win games.
Drew Shortis
125 Posted 07/08/2014 at 06:48:30
I remember some very good pre-season results under Moyes and then very poor starts to the season. I seem to recall we played well under Roberto this time last year and then drew our first three games!

Last season Martinez needed to come in and make an immediate positive impression if his managerial reign wasn't going to be dogged from the off by the 'he got Wigan relegated' brigade. He achieved that, but did going out to win games and impress the fans end up costing us points in the season? Impossible to tell, but it all goes to show that an impressive pre-season doesn't equal a great start to the season.

After the last campaign I'm more than willing to give Martinez the benefit of the doubt over his pre-season preparations. No doubt it is disappointing to watch our beloved team lose and be outplayed, but this is a preparatory match, the result of which gains us nothing meaningful. There is clearly a method to what he is doing, leaving out Mirallas and Lukaku. He has obviously assessed their fitness after the World Cup and deemed the rest more important than winning against Celta Vigo to appease the fans.

I would also bear in mind that we are likely to get a couple more players in before deadline day to boost the squad and our attacking options. Yes last night was disappointing, but the OTT reactions, though understandable as loyal Evertonians, are still a little short sighted.

Phil Walling
126 Posted 07/08/2014 at 06:35:33
Esteemed manager in Wigan-style bullshit mode tonight. Apparently, we have to see the positive 'advantage' of conceding two sloppy goals.

Of course, it was just a pre-season warm-up but some of us paid good money to watch that shite, so don't take us for idiots.

The crap this bloke talks upsets me more than what his team's have displayed this summer.

Kunal Desai
127 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:18:32
Fuck me! You'd think we're in the relegation zone by some of these absurd comments. Of course the pre-season games are not about experimenting, getting match fitness up to scratch, getting mistakes out the way and playing without a full supplement of players. No, of course not. Let's win all our pre-season games and start the league off in a shambles, yeah?
Rahul Sreekumar
128 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:24:53
That Mo Besic looks like a badass. He looks like he would take the fight outside the football ground & on to the streets. I anticipate him getting sent off at least once this season.

It's good though; a team needs at least one badass.

[New Blue here; just thought I'd lighten the mood a little bit.]

Matt Traynor
129 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:35:01
Phil #126, bloody hell I could only imagine the meltdown if they stuck a bloody great mural of him on the side of Goodison...


Mark Andersson
130 Posted 07/08/2014 at 06:27:50
Oh dear, depression already sitting in with some of you. What about the 500 positive posts on the signing of big Rom and weÂ’re going to win the league?

Next week will be more of the same: we win – we’re the School of Science, best team in the world; we lose – it’s all doom and gloom. Do what I have done: get a smart TV and watch crap. Haha!!!

Kieran Fitzgerald
131 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:10:59
He's given the squad players a run out and they have looked disjointed. The shock horror of it. If he doesn't play them he gets castigated for not giving them a run out. He plays them and they look rusty because they haven't played much together, he gets castigated.

For fuck sake, we have spent all summer whinging about the lack of squad depth. Martinez is trying to get the squad players fit so we can compete on all fronts cme the season proper and we're giving him stick. Would you rather see theses performances in a competitive fixture?

Jack Plant
133 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:44:42
Phil Walling 54, 85, 126: the steady slide from uncharastic optimism to your usual angry despair, give it a couple of days and we'll be back to 'seventhish is the best we can hope for...'
James Martin
134 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:35:55
Besic looked very good. Seemed to have the technique to play anywhere in midfield.

There shouldnt be so much worry. We've watched some of these players for years. You know Jags Distin Baines and Coleman will form one of the best defenses in the league. We know McCarthy Barry and Barkley are a solid midfield. We know Mirallas and Lukaku will score the goals. Stop worrying about a few games with the fringe players out.

Last season we saw a passage of 7 games in s row won with brilliant football that was then followed by being battered at home by Crystal Palace. This team can play very very badly when its not working. But when it is working, which is most of the time, theyre one of the best sides in the league.

Drew Shortis
135 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:53:27
I sympathise with the fans who turned out to support our team and paid good money for the privilege. It's got to be disappointing to watch a below par performance under such circumstances. I feel like I have lost several hours of my life watching these warm up matches on live streaming!

However, this disappointment should not be converted into knee-jerk predictions of doom and disaster. Had we played our strongest eleven with the instructions to win at all costs we may have had a happier outcome, but Martinez is clearly playing the long game here. Lukaku and Mirallas have both spent their summer hold training and playing in a World Cup and Martinez obviously feels that they are match ready but in need of rest.

As I said many a time this time last year, have a little faith in Roberto to get it right when it matters!

Matt Traynor
136 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:53:22
Jack #133 - Seventhish was the Walling Optimism. I suspect the Wailing Pessimism is much worse.

I recall last pre-season, we played OK in the ICC tourney, but still lost two and drew 1 (winning on pens.)

We lost away in Austria, the won away at Accrington and Blackburn, before winning against Real Betis in the only Goodison game. But we were absolutely gash in that game, and how Betis didn't twat us off the park only they know - oh, it was a pre-season friendly.

There is absolutely no link between pre-season friendlies and how we will start the season proper. The only real objective is to avoid un-necessary injury - and on that note, who was that goon of a ref last night? We nearly lost McCarthy for the season, and another player took out Browning - and I don't mean for a pizza.

Darryl Ritchie
137 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:24:03
It's the managers job to put as positive a spin on a less than positive performance...just as it's our job to be more objective. We have the luxury of being able to say anything we like about individual players performance during a match. Martinez has to be more diplomatic.

I've no respect for a manager that openly criticizes his players to the media. Any criticism should be internalized within the club. Anything less and you run the risk of "losing the dressing room".

With RM, I think you have to read between the lines, although I've got to admit the "giving away 2 goals", line is a bit of a head scratcher. I'm going to use the "english as a second language" excuse on that one, 'cause it don't make no sense.

Steve Cotton
138 Posted 07/08/2014 at 07:37:45
As an aside, two of their players should have been red carded. Ref was never going to do it in a month of Sundays but in both incidents we were on the up.
I thought Naismith had four good chances second half McGeady had two but both missed by miles. So we could have come out 4-3 winners with the Belgians up front.
Craig Fletcher
139 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:01:18
Thanks for speaking sense James, (134).

I very much doubt Roberto will lose any sleep over the result, and why should he.
We were changing formations throughout the game, and it was a good run-out for the likes of Browning, Duffy and Besic. Barkley got 90 minutes under his belt, which would have helped him no end, as did several other players.
As James said, we know the quality and consisteny that the likes of Baines, Jags, Distin, Barry and McCarthy bring. Barkley, Miralles and Lukaku will score goals. I
Pre-season results have not been good, granted, but that will have zero bearing on August 16. My biggest concern is that we have the numbers, but past our first playing eleven; thereÂ’s still a question mark about our depth of quality in the squad. No wonder the players seemed hesitant to go in for challenges in pre-season. Injuries to key players will be the un-doing of us.

Andrew Clare
140 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:14:53
I am confident that we will do well again this season especially if we sign two more 1st team players.
We will probably have a slow start again simply because until the 3rd or 4th match we will not play a full strength side.
Kevin Tully
141 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:16:14
Are some of you old enough to buy a drink in a pub? Ian Burns - a 'Dear Mr. Martinez' letter. Are you serious?

What's wrong with you all? It's fucking pre-season. Warm-up games. Run around a bit and get used to a higher intensity than you would on the training pitch.

Last week everyone was going berserk because a player had signed an extension to a contract, now it's lemming season when we look lethargic in a warm-up game at Tranmere's fucking hovel.

I'm off these boards until the first six games have passed. Let's hope some semblance of sanity has returned by then.

You've all gone radio rental!

Eugene Ruane
142 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:10:32
So we play a decent Spanish side in a pre-season friendly and on ToffeeWeb it’s..

“we really should have been 3 or 4 down at half-time. Okay, the players were probably tired. But this was a worrying performance”

“it’s gonna be a long season, I think”

“I was nervous, now I’m really scared.”

“I think I am being pragmatic here but I expect no more than 7th - 10th”

“We didn’t play with any level of intensity, it was a Sunday Arvo stroll on the park”

“this could have been embarrassing. Back four uncomfortable, midfield virtually non-existant in any shape, three passes and then lump up the middle that was when we did not give the ball away.”

I should add that all these opinions were expressed on TW after the Betis game last year, a week before we kicked off against Norwich to begin our most successful PL season to date.

Sorry but I do think some are overreacting and giving these pre-season games/results far too much importance.

These games are about looking at players, fitness, match-fitness and the results are meaningless.

Much better imo to look bad now and be able to fix things, rather than to stroll through pre-season beating everyone 5-0, only to discover the PL is a lot different.

Up the Toffees!

Eugene Ruane
143 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:10:32
So we play a decent Spanish side in a pre-season friendly and on ToffeeWeb it’s..

“we really should have been 3 or 4 down at half-time. Okay, the players were probably tired. But this was a worrying performance”

“it’s gonna be a long season, I think”

“I was nervous, now I’m really scared.”

“I think I am being pragmatic here but I expect no more than 7th - 10th”

“We didn’t play with any level of intensity, it was a Sunday Arvo stroll on the park”

“this could have been embarrassing. Back four uncomfortable, midfield virtually non-existant in any shape, three passes and then lump up the middle that was when we did not give the ball away.”

I should add that all these opinions were expressed on TW after the Betis game last year, a week before we kicked off against Norwich to begin our most successful PL season to date.

Sorry but I do think some are overreacting and giving these pre-season games/results far too much importance.

These games are about looking at players, fitness, match-fitness and the results are meaningless.

Much better imo to look bad now and be able to fix things, rather than to stroll through pre-season beating everyone 5-0, only to discover the PL is a lot different.

Up the Toffees!

Ross Edwards
144 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:31:58
Oh dear. I must have clicked on the wrong page here. All I can see are comments akin to the world ending in 5 minutes... Incredible overreaction on here.

If you look at every team and their friendlies since the World Cup finished, other than Man Utd, they have all struggled in some games. Chelsea lost 3-0 to Werder Bremen on Sunday, a mid-table German side, Liverpool lost to Brondby and scraped a draw with Preston.

One of the issues of a World Cup year that affects teams is tiredness.

Calm down everyone. We will be fine.Trust me. Oh, and incidentally, the world won’t end for another few thousand years yet so we’re fine there.

James Morgan
145 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:28:01
Jesus. People need to get a grip.
It's a completely meaningless friendly which is there to help bring players fitness up to standard. Roberto will know the formation and team he has in mind for Leicester. I couldn't care less if we win or lose every friendly because it has no bearing whatsoever on how we will perform in the Premier League.
Andrew Ellams
146 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:54:40
I think people are more concerned about the lack of pitch time from some of the first teamers and how the players don't look as sharp as they should 9 days before the season starts.

I guess this is tough to measure until you go up against the other sides when things get going for real, so fingers crossed, eh?

Raymond Fox
147 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:37:59
We wont be playing a continental side in the Prem. that will make a difference.
Their ball skills are superior to British players (already said so earlier in thread I know) and they make us look silly in these games.
The Porto game was another and also Real Betis last season.
Its been this way for ever and its time it changed, look at the England team in Internationals!

Roberto looked worried for the first time on the touchline, because for me the main cause of his concern was our worrying lack of ball control, bloody hell surely its the essential aspect when young players are being coached.
Besic didn't look out of place though did he.
The Prem. will be a different ball game on the whole, although 'the money clubs' will be stuffed with foreign players, I wonder why!

I think we will have a decent season almost on par with last year, but I do think we need a couple of decent foreign players so we can hold onto the ball a lot better.

Ajay Gopal
148 Posted 07/08/2014 at 09:30:10
I guess that most of the top teams will start slowly this season except maybe, Arsenal and Man City. Chelsea - because of Fabregas and Costa will need to adjust to the new system and quite a few of their stars being away in the World Cup until the final stages, will start slow. Liverpool will start slow because I don't think they have adequately replaced Suarez. Man United and Spurs have new managers with new methods - it will take them time to make their mark. I suspect that for Everton also, it will be a slow start to the season of no particular reason other than Martinez has given them an 'easy' pre-season - quite likely as a deliberate strategy to keep the players fresh ahead of a long season.
Paul Thompson
149 Posted 07/08/2014 at 08:45:39
Bit of an over-reaction to a bit of an over=reaction methinks.

It's true that there is seldom a relationship between pre-season and actual season and we should never read too much into the outcomes. However, to write them off as training park/fitness exercise that don't matter would be a mistake. The teams we have played didn't seem to treat the games in tis way - were they wrong? Other teams have been quicker and more effective in re-integrating players coming back from world cup duty. Games tell you things.

The last two teams played a similar game against us - pressed high up the pitch and disrupted our pass from the back game (which was poor anyway). Other teams will do this during the season if thy have any sense.

Squad depth - we don't have it compared to other top sides playing in European competitions. This is the same team plus Besic - no youngsters have made a definitive claim, though Browning and Garbutt look like they may do so. Other 'squad' players such as McGeady, Osman have looked weak. In the absence of Kone (any sightings?) we have no effective back up to Lukaku.

The comments on the game last night appear unduly negative in part because TW crashed just as we were beginning to improve. After a shambolic first 10 minutes of the second half we actually played much better, with Gibson, Besic and Barkley impressing. Besic was excellent in both games despite playing higher up the pitch than I presume his intended role. I will be disappointed if he doesn't start against Leicester as I think he really adds another dimension of drive and skill.

Phil Walling
150 Posted 07/08/2014 at 09:43:42
Roberto saying on SSN that he requires only one more addition - a wide player. He is obviously content with just Lukaku up front with ace marksman Naismith to turn to at 70 mins.

Oh, I forgot. Kone is waiting in the wings to return......sometime before the end of the season.

IRWT......for now.

Max Wilson
151 Posted 07/08/2014 at 09:47:14
Have faith in Roberto (actually you've no other choice). He's looking at Europe and seeing who in his squad has the speed, ball control, thinking ability etc to be in his first choice team. He will have crossed one or two off his list and so can we !
James Richard
152 Posted 07/08/2014 at 09:39:40
The thought of seeing Hibbert and McGeady on the same flank again is giving me nightmares. The joy they had in the 1st half last night down our right was frightening. I was not too concerned after previous games as I gathered it was all just building up to optimum condition for the 16th. I am slightly worried now with 9 days to at just how off the pace we look. The good thing is we can only improve, can't we?
Sam Hoare
153 Posted 07/08/2014 at 09:48:04
People keep saying that pre-season matches have no bearing on the beginning if the premiership but is that true? Surely they have some bearing and that's why we play them. Perhaps to build confidence or fitness levels or get used to trying new systems. That is why last night worried me a little; we didn't look fit, the systems did not seem to work and it certainly was not confidence building.

Of course it doesn't really matter but it does have an effect plus I never watching Everton play badly whatever the context.

On the plus side we did look better in the last 35 mins. Besic and Barkley were good though the former will pick up a red card at some point this season. I thought Mcgeady looked much better with some intelligent passes and also Duffy and Browning both looked solid.

We definitely need another 2 players in my opinion, a winger and a striker (especially given Kones absence).

Ian Burns
154 Posted 07/08/2014 at 09:58:20
For all of you who have criticised my post - 96 - I will save my apologies for after the Leicester game.
Tony J Williams
155 Posted 07/08/2014 at 10:04:40
Sam we play them to raise the players level of fitness.... that is all.

The results are meaningless because you won't see a player busting a gut to stop a poor pass from going out.

You won't press as much and you certainly won't go into a heavy tackle with no regard for the outcome.

So many little things that would be different in a competitive match means that a pre-season friendly will be just that, a friendly.

As Eugene has shown above, last season we were gash in pre-season then went on to gain our highest points tally in the Premier League era.

I feel sorry for the fans who paid to watch that, but what did they honestly expect to happen?

That's why I don't go to pre-season games. Last one I went to was the Everton v Everton one because I know it won't be a good game to view

Chris Sillett
156 Posted 07/08/2014 at 09:57:04
I didnt see the game last night but apparently we were well off the pace and Celta Vigo, who played 24 hours earlier, looked well ahead in their preperations. I am concerned we wont be at 100% for the Leicester game. This pre season has been pretty poor overall imo, the friendly games were thrown together at the last minute, signings have taken far too long to complete and the squad is still paper thin with the season only 10 days away.
Ed Fitzgerald
158 Posted 07/08/2014 at 10:13:00
I watched it last night on Everton TV and the first half was dreadful and as poor a performance as I have seen in a long time, particularly in defence. Stones performance first half was dreadful but I note he is getting off lightly compared to the usual scapegoats.

Second half was better and Besic looks a prospect if he can control himself. I think pre-season does matter in terms of getting fitness, confidence and systems sorted, last night we didn't seem to have any of these resolved. I like Martinez's positivity but he could help himself occasionally by not sugar coating everything.

Let's hope for the return of Coleman, Ovideo and Garbutt quickly or at least one for the start of the season. We looked poor in that area.

Phil Walling
159 Posted 07/08/2014 at 10:13:20
Ian Burns: There will be no need for you to apologise regardless of the outcome of the Leicester game. Football ia a game of opinions and ToffeeWeb provides us with a vehicle to air them.

There is no right or wrong, we each tell it as we see it. Some see the positives and others - like me - tend to expect the worst. A third group just buys into all the spin that emanates from the club via Manager, Chairman et al.

Whichever group we belong to, we shall all be hoping for a good start to the new season. Say 5 points from first three games ?

Dan Brierley
160 Posted 07/08/2014 at 10:11:49
I completely disagree with this assertion that pre-season games are there to raise fitness, as will anybody that has actually been part of a pre-season of any shape or form.

The fitness and stamina levels are worked on in hours and hours of intense training, covering every possible aspect of fitness that you can think of. Pre-season matches are there to obtain match fitness which is a completely different thing. What kind of fitness did Tim Howard gain from standing in goal for 90 minutes? Absolutely none, because fitness is not the purpose.

The purpose of these matches are to put players into competitive environments, to gradually build up their match sharpness, reactions to situations and decision making. It is to see how they perform so their training can be modified accordingly depending on the performance. The intention is to not put you into the full physical situation of a PL match, but to bring you closer to that level so when you do play the 1st match, you hit the ground running. The scoreline in in pre-season friendlies means absolutely nothing, but the player performances mean everything. This is why you hear players like McGeady criticising his pre-season performances, as they know they are far off the level of sharpness needed to play competitive PL games. Players themselves know when they are playing well, and equally when they play poorly. I am certain not many players will have got much confidence form last night, with exception to Besic who really looks ready and chomping at the bit. He will have to calm down a bit if anything though, as experienced players will see him as someone they can easily wind up and he will get sent off.

Andrew Hawes
161 Posted 07/08/2014 at 10:31:01
The worrying thing about last night – as was last season... and basically Roberto’s time in charge at Wigan – is the tendency to give away cheap goals. I know people will say, "It’s only pre-season" etc etc, but have we actually won a pre-season game yet?

The winning mentality is just as important as match fitness. No doubt about it, Roberto offensively is an excellent coach, but he inherited our current back four adding only Alcaraz. (Enough said?)

It doesnÂ’t matter what system, team or stage of the season youÂ’re at, we should not be shipping 3 goals in a half!! If you see the same things happening on the pitch that undid us last season, then itÂ’s fair to say theyÂ’re not being worked on during training. The intensity is not there yet. Fair enough, itÂ’s pre-season but our opening game is days away; no point having this "it will be alright on the night" attitude, when itÂ’s plain to see we are way off the pace with very little or any quality play...

Can we just click into gear at Leicester?? Most of the comments on here seem to think so; IÂ’m not so sure!

Off subject: Mirallas?? He was a sub for most of the World Cup – is there really a need to miss all of pre-season??

Jim Knightley
162 Posted 07/08/2014 at 10:56:41
Of course pre-season results matter. Do you think the players will go into the season with more confidence after winning all their pre-season matches, or losing them? Eugene, it is interesting that you relate the Betis result. What happened in our first three matches? We drew against Norwich, West Brom and Cardiff and therefore dropped points against 3 of the bottom 4 from last season. That that happened in our best prem season to date illustrates that we under-performed and suggests that we were ill prepared. I like Martinez alot, but I would not be surprised if he has a softer approach to fitness in pre-season which is reflected in the disappointing results. Celta Vigo start their season a week after us, and we have a better team than them. Losing at home is disappointing, irrespective of the relative irrelevance of pre-season.

That said, some of the criticisms re. world cup players are ill informed. Plenty of teams have given extended period of rests to players participating in the later stages of the World Cup. Arsenal will not have Ozil, Mert and Podolski back in training until after the Community shield and they will miss their first match. City's Argentinian contingent along with Kompany did not starting training till this Monday. Van Persie is missing the start of the season. We are not later or earlier in this respect than other teams. Some managers call back players earlier and some players later. Personally, I think giving a player with some injury problems in the past (Mirallas) and a 21 year old a decent level of rest after a full season with a world cup campaign is more than sensible (And a legal obligation I believe - because of the 4 week minimum holiday rule for players across a season).

Pre-season does not a great deal of relevance, but it does have some. This is our team playing, our players, and a representative level of sharpness and preparation. We are competitive team, and that competitiveness cannot be properly captured in a friendly. But, that said, we look a little off the pace at the moment. We must improve quickly or we will drop significant points in August again, just as did last season.

Tony J Williams
163 Posted 07/08/2014 at 11:11:07
I can see where you are coming from Dan but the Shite and Chelsea have just been soundly beaten by roughly the same score as us last night.

Do you think Brenda and Maureen are the slightest bit concerned about their teams come the opening day of the season?

Full match sharpness can only really come when playing competitive matches. These fellas are professionals and some if not all have been playing for a decade/decades so they will be fully aware of the difference between a friendly and a blood and guts premier game

Dave Southword
164 Posted 07/08/2014 at 11:17:35
At Paderborn I would give Besic a run out at rightback, see how he does. He looks a proper footballer who could play at a high level in a variety of roles. Hibbert just did not look at the races and I think Mo would be a better option there whilst Coleman is out.
Mike Gwyer
165 Posted 07/08/2014 at 10:29:16

Do you think that RM really gives a toss about the score line? The EPL is the most watched league on the planet because it guarantees entertainment and is contested with a probability that any one of about 6 teams could win this year's title. There are always late goals, even when EPL teams are 3 nil up they still want more goals. Tackles, I mean tackles that would see red cards in most leagues get the "play on" wave from the EPL man in black and blocks that would leave most of us in hospital go on almost unnoticed with the player returning to his feet. But all these games come with high casualties, so you need a fully, one hundred percent fit, squad.

The biggest reaction from RM last night was when McCarthy got hit late and two footed, you could feel RM's anger. For me RM wants his team fit and whatever the score line its almost irrelevant. Do you really think that Leicester will break through this Everton team with the same ease that Vigo did? Please!!!!

Paul Ferry. Your Osman post - whilst you feel sure it's a fact he will start I'm willing to bet 㾶, no fuck it, 㿀 of beer tokens that Osman will not make the first 11 against Leicester. This is not Ossie bashing, just a fact that he's not, in anyway, good enough. Is the bet on???

Dan Brierley
166 Posted 07/08/2014 at 11:23:00
You can read for yourself Tony what Mourinho thought of his side getting beat three nil by Werder Bremen:

He seems to take it pretty seriously in all honesty, rather than shrugging it off as a 'good workout'.

Phill Thompson
167 Posted 07/08/2014 at 11:22:10
This is potentially our longest season number of games wise for some time so I have no problem with some guys starting late. We have 2 "additional " midfielders in Gibson and Besic but have seen little other development in other players except Garbutt , and Stones can cover Coleman if needed .
Still need that wide player Roberto is looking for and an additional goal scorer. RM will come through but would like to see more "class in depth " than strength in depth , some of our 2nd choice players are just not good enough to make the required impact imo.
Tony J Williams
168 Posted 07/08/2014 at 11:49:35
“I am disappointed with that because we want to train and the referee didn't let us have a good session.”

This was the point that stood out the most to me Dan. He was there to train.

Jim, we drew in our first three matches because we had Jelavic and Anichebe as our forwards. Once we got a decent one in we started to win. It had absolutely nothing to do with our pre-season.

As an aside, the 2-2 draw with Norwich was a joke, two deflections caused their goals

Ed Fitzgerald
169 Posted 07/08/2014 at 12:02:07

I would have thought that it was bleeding obvious I meant match fitness rather than physical conditioning. Next time I will be more precise or pedantic depending upon your viewpoint.

Jim Knightley
170 Posted 07/08/2014 at 12:01:46
Tony, those games were not just about our striker. We looked impotent throughout the team against Cardiff and West Brom, and surprisingly defensively vulnerable against Norwich. You are talking with retrospect which ignores the circumstances of the matches.

And Tony, if that's your view, what happens when Lukaku gets injured? Is that all it takes for our team to start performing poorly against poor teams? With Lukaku we come fifth in the league, and without him we can't best bottom 4 sides? The implication is bizzare.

And Tony again... Liverpool loss to United, who are a step above Celta Vigo, and have had a good pre-season, and Mourinho was definitely upset after the 3-0 defeat (didn't he have a go at the ref?). So what you are saying simply does not hold up.

Pre-season is not a barometer of season form. Certain players dazzle in pre-season and then fall away when the football really begins (Martinez will know that in particular, as Boselli's impressive pre-season/s demonstrated). But we need to be sharp going into the season, and we need to be confident. Everyone will be a little below par because it's a world cup year, but we look shorter than our rivals at the moment. Whilst United have wins against Madrid and Liverpool to give them confidence, and Liverpool have good performances and results, and Arsenal have a thrashing of Benfica, and Spurs a thrashing of Celtic (a weak spurs team against a weaker Celtic team), what have we got so far? We have Arsenal and Chelsea in 2 out of our three 3 fixtures and we need to be ready (Liverpool and United follow before the next international break). The Arsenal game is going to be massive because our home victory against them last season was symbolic of what we achieved under Martinez. If we lose that game, which I feel that we might well do against an almost full strength Arsenal side, then it will similarly have symbolic value and be an early blow to our hopes of matching, or improving on, last season's league form.

Phil Bellis
171 Posted 07/08/2014 at 12:20:06
If pre-season results indicate how well teams will do when the real games start, get your money on Manchester Utd - they are dead certs
Could be a flaw in my premise, though

Good job teams don't get 3 PL points for winning a friendly

Tony J Williams
172 Posted 07/08/2014 at 12:41:55
Jim, vulnerable against Norwich?

A deflection set up the first and a mishit cross for their second. Both goals were flukes.

If Lukaku gets injured, we have Kone to take his place, not a Jelvaic and Anichebe. What's your point or are you suggesting that Lukaku isn't that important to our team? If not why have we just paid 㿈m for him?

We may have looked impotent because we were learning a new system. Roberto was surprised that we clicked so quickly but it still needed bedding in time.

The fact remains that pre-season means nothing in regards to the Premier League, absolutely nothing.

As I asked earlier, do you think Brenda and Maureen are shitting themselves because they got beat heavily?

Is Pardew expecting to win the league because they trounced Schalke 3-1?.....bad example!

Robert Pierpoint
173 Posted 07/08/2014 at 12:55:02
I'm concerned with the 'one more new player' comment that is on SSN. It may just be Martinez keeping his cards close to his chest but, with Europa League in mind, I think that we are crying out for another striker. Kone may be back by September, but he is going to be miles away from any type of match fitness, surely.

What if Lukaku picks up an injury, suffers a loss of form or simply needs a rest? I like Naismith, but he is not a number nine. Would love to see Traore back – I think that he could score goals at this level. Everybody wanted Lukaku and it is obvious why, but it's a gamble (as West Ham with Carroll showed) to not have any clear and reliable back up to a main striker.

Jim Knightley
175 Posted 07/08/2014 at 12:52:06
Tony...You are beyond reductive. You are taking an argument and transforming it. My point is simple: You stated that we failed to win in our first 3 games against 3 of the bottom four last season, because we had not signed Lukaku! It is an inane line of argument, not only because of our performances during the match, but because of the idea that our team's results are so heavily based upon Lukaku's performances. We were good going forward against Norwich, but poor against West Brom and Cardiff as a team. We started the season slowly. It was not just about our system: teams change systems. The World Cup was a good example of that, whilst this season will similarly be, with QPR, Hull and United (along with one or two more perhaps) likely changing to 3-5-2 formations. The reality is that we started the season below par. We had three unrepresentative results, based upon our ability pre and post-transfers in on deadline day. We failed to beat teams with less ability than us. We were implementing a new system (which was not a comment you made in your first post) but we also started slowly.

As an example of how reductive you are being: You take Newcastle's result against Schalke in order to exaggerate a point. I'm not saying that an individual result is important, but that the trend is. This is a simple example, so try to grasp it: If we were to set up a pre-season results table, Everton would be in the relegation zone (fighting with West Ham for bottom spot). Now, we can all state, with some evidence that pre-season is irrelevant. Just as we can state pre-season is relevant (Man United failed to win in 5 of their 7 pre-season games last season btw). But irrespective of the back and fourths, pre-season is an indication of how far along with are in our preparations. At the moment we are performing poorly against teams starting their league campaigns at the same time, or after, ours. We are not looking sharp enough, and we have players missing who will not be properly ready for our first match, and quite possibly, for Arsenal (by properly ready, I do not mean unable to participate, but match fit). Now, pre-season may not dictate a season, but pre-season can dictate the first three matches of a season prior to the international break. The best players in the world can stutter if they are not fully fit, and fully sharp. Will ours be ready? The results and performances at the moment do not fill me with confidence. I believe that we will suffer because of it in our first three matches, and I think we will have 4points max, and quite possibly less, heading into the international break. Feel free to quote me on this, if we start the season on fire. I would love to be wrong. But I do not think I will be. With respect to the comment re. United: I expect them to start the season well because they have good fixtures and clearly are high in confidence (an essential ingredient in football). I think they will be in the top two come the end of September. They will not come above the big two or Arsenal, but I think they will get fourth place if they can add a CB and a CM (which they surely will).

For those stating that pre-season is irrelevant (I personally think it is relevant, but not that relevant), can I pose a question: Would you rather we win the pre-season games and play well or lose and draw them without performing that well? And if you would prefer that we win them, then why?

Chris Gould
176 Posted 07/08/2014 at 12:58:33
People need to get a grip and stop questioning our manager. The players are clearly under orders to not bust a gut. It wasn't our starting 11 on the pitch, and after our poor start last season Roberto is clearly trying to keep them fresh and allow them to peak at the right time. Save your judgements for after the Leicester match. After all, many doubted we would buy Lukaku, but we did. That was our pre-season statement of intent, not the results of these matches or even our performances.
Harold Matthews
177 Posted 07/08/2014 at 11:19:05
On many occasions last season, Martinez moaned about valuable points dropped in games we should have won. The biggest culprit being our inability to put the ball in the net. Even after Lukaku arrived to brighten up our lives, we still failed to get things right in the final third of the pitch.

According to Toffee Web's most knowledgeable members, (which does not include me.), there were various reasons for this. eg. Taking too long to get the ball forward, dilly dallying on the touchline instead of getting the ball across, not getting men into the box, poor shooting, a lack of creativity, poorly hit corners, etc,etc. It certainly is a problem.

Taking too many touches is my own favourite complaint. Eight defenders in the box when we finally get there. Will it be any different this time around? I actually think it might, Especially if we can find a way to get Barkley and Besic buzzing together. The new lad is far too good for a role in the trenches further back where his reckless challenges would result in many yellows and dangerous free kicks.

Gibson is also a forward thinking player, but will he and Besic make the starting line-up? Possibly not. I think Roberto will go with the old guard. They know his system and are pretty reliable.

Phil Walling
178 Posted 07/08/2014 at 13:15:54
Jim Knightley and others: I had completely overlooked the fact that so many of our guy were playing in semis and final of the World Cup only a month ago.

They must still be shattered, the poor dears.

Sean Kelly
179 Posted 07/08/2014 at 13:22:34
Calm down, people, for god’s sake. The season hasn’t started and already the doommongers are out.

FFS, it’s preseason — this is the time when we try new ideas and get the rustiness out of the limbs and minds. We have players to come back yet (Lukaku and Mirallas) and a few out injured (Coleman, Kone and Oviedo).

If and when Roberto actually fucks it up, have a go... but where’s all the "In Roberto We Trust" gone???

Things aren’t perfect and we do need additions to the squad but this is a five-year project and we need to get behind the manager and the team.

So, to all you gloomy doomsday moaning sods, if by Xmas we are in the bottom three, have a go then. Remember one thing: We are fans looking from the outside in; we do not know what is going on behind the scenes... so let’s trust Roberto and his programme.

Andrew Hawes
180 Posted 07/08/2014 at 13:10:47
Tony #172

"If Lukaku gets injured, we have Kone to take his place." – What planet are you living on??

Christ, give me Jelavic or Anichebe anytime – at least they were capable of making it onto the pitch once a year!!

Kone hasnÂ’t had a competitive game in a year, hasnÂ’t had a proper pre-season in two years, and doesnÂ’t even get mentioned in RobertoÂ’s injury updates anymore, he is that far of a return to action. But hey, if our 㿈 million signing gets an injury, donÂ’t panic! Kone will glide onto the pitch and start knocking the goals in for fun!? – Utter nonsense!!

We need another striker in case of injury to Lukaku or itÂ’s back to a forward line of Naismith or Mirallas? At the very least, we need a fit Traore to return but to suggest were okay because we have Kone just beggars belief!!

Ray Robinson
181 Posted 07/08/2014 at 13:43:14
My biggest grouch about the pre-season (which looks as though it was cobbled together at the last moment) is not the results, which I believe are not that important, but the fact that we are banking on the final pre-season match to assemble the team that will start against Leicester. Whatever, you think about the merits of pre-season preparation, that's a little bit too much like brinksmanship, in my humble opinion. Surely Lukaku, Mirallas et al should have been playing last night?

I also agree that we need another quality striker. Lukaku may have a period where he is off his game or, heaven forbid, injured, Naismith is a good workhorse but by no means prolific and Kone may never hit the (dubious) heights again after his injury. Jelavic may have been poor towards the end of his stay with us but he certainly looked like a striker - and we've never really replaced him.

For the first time, I'm starting to question what's going on with Martinez's strategy.

Bill Gall
183 Posted 07/08/2014 at 13:26:48
The one thing that I do not understand is with just 9 days to go before the Leicester game and only 1 more pre-season game we have yet to see what we think will be the starting 11 play as a unit. Also we have a few players from the world cup who have not even played in a game since then.

Mr Martinez said that players can be fit but it takes games to get them match fit. This statement if true raises questions about the pre -season preperations; if we are going to have players that are vital to Everton are we to expect them to take a couple of games to become match fit ?.

Regarding to last nights game we still do not have a quality midfielder that can control a game.

Tony J Williams
184 Posted 07/08/2014 at 13:42:14
"You stated that we failed to win in our first 3 games against 3 of the bottom four last season, because we had not signed Lukaku!"

No, I said that we didn't have any decent forwards, not specifically Lukaku. That's why we were poor and I expanded it in regards to the new method of playing. No decent forwards means a reduced goal threat. We got one on loan and what happened? we started getting wins

"As an example of how reductive you are being: You take Newcastle's result against Schalke in order to exaggerate a point."

Well it's seems like the done thing, we are having people having fits after one defeat in pre-season with our half a team.

Here's a simple point for you to try and grasp.

It's ok for me to not arsed about the pre-season results and think it's not reflective on what happens in the season.

As, already been pointed out last years was poor yet look what happened?

"If we were to set up a pre-season results table, Everton would be in the relegation zone" - And if my Auntie had bollocks she would be my Uncle, talk about an "inane line of argument"

Pre-season doesn't get a second thought once the first games begin.

Jim Knightley
185 Posted 07/08/2014 at 13:52:36
Phil, Kompany returned to training this Monday for City: he plays for Belgium like Mirallas and Lukaku. Vermaelen and Vertonghen have not been involved in matches for Arsenal and Spurs yet: Who do they play for? Belgium. All you do is moan about Martinez in reductive and simplistic ways.
Ray Robinson
186 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:01:18
I'm sure that I saw Kompany playing for City over a week ago. Maybe I'm wrong.
Jim Knightley
187 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:01:14
Tony..question: try to answer it: Do you think we looked impotent against West Brom and Cardiff?
I'm amazed that you think lacking a striker was the reason for those performances and results.

And people are not having fits because of one pre-season game, but because of all of them. How many times do I need to make the same point? (hence the pre-season results table comment which you evidently misunderstood). We are not playing well. We are not getting wins. Pre-season may not get a second thought when the season begins, but the sharpness of players, and their ability to perform to their potential, is directly related to the pre-season matches and pre-season training.

How many points do you think we will have after the first 3 matches Tony? Do you think we look ready? I would love to have your confidence, but I think we will start this season like we did the last.

Tony J Williams
188 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:12:51
"West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster produced an inspired performance to deny Roberto Martinez a first competitive victory as Everton manager.
Foster twice frustrated Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas and also saved shots from Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Marouane Fellaini at Goodison Park."

Against Cardiff

"The visitors survived that scare and went on to dominate proceedings against the home side with some impressive possession football, but they failed to create many real attacking opportunities"

Both games we had Jelavic up front.

Won against Chelsea and then started getting wins so it coincided with Lukaku coming and us started to be comfortable with a new system. So yes lacking a decent striker was part of the limp draws, as with West Ham I would surmise that Lukaku would have probably slotted one of the many chances, the same with Cardiff in which we had 13 attempts on goal to their 3.

Finally what difference does it make how many points I think we will have after 3 games? I don't know, I hope 9.

Can't say if we look ready or not because I won't base it on a meaningless friendly but the team we had last year from the end of the window onwards did ok and we are pretty much starting with the same team so should they suddenly turn crap?

Phil Walling
189 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:13:40
Didn't need a striker in those three drawn matches, Jim ?
And there was 'simple and reductive' me thinking that we actually needed our guys to score just one more goal than the opposition to turn draws into victories.

I'd forgotten that the laws were changed last season and it's all those bloody passes that count !

Jim Knightley
190 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:22:38
I was going off this Ray, which was reported in other places as well:

Jim Knightley
191 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:30:04
Phil..there you are being reductive again. I didn't say that we didn't need a striker: I am a massive supporter of Lukaku, as multiple posts on this forum prior to his arrival illustrated and argued that we would spend 30-40mil this summer at the start of the window (and a not dissimilar claim re. big spending in the summer in January), despite numerous criticisms. My point is simple: To put down those three draws, and in particular the performances against West Brom and Cardiff, to the absence of a top striker is far too simplistic. 1) does Lukaku separate us from bottom 4 clubs? 2) Did our strikers miss a hatfull of chances in those games? 3) Did you think we played well in those matches?

I'll spell it out for you Phil: I claim that we played below par in all three August games last season, especially against West Brom and Cardiff. I do not believe the team performed, and I think that we will not at 100% going into the season. I think that Lukaku addressed a major failing in the team (whilst the other arrivals undoutedly strengthened us), but I believe that we would still have suffered with him in those games because we were not at 100%. I believe we will start this season below par, as I think that the pre-season games indicate that we are behind our rivals in terms of match fitness and sharpness. I do not think that a bad pre-season equates to a bad season, but simply that pre-season is a barometer of our pre-season preparations, and at the moment, we do not look ready.

Tony J Williams
192 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:39:21
(Dons pompous teachers hat and looks down nose)

Jim, answer me this!

Do you think it's a good bet that Lukaku would have slotted just one of the chances that fell to Steven Pienaar, Kevin Mirallas,Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Marouane Fellaini in the West Brom game?

Do you think it's a good bet that Lukaku might have scored one of the 13 chances created against Cardiff?

Just a thought!

Phil Walling
193 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:44:26
The value of competent strikers cannot be over-stated. I know of a team not a hundred miles away who would never have made top six but for the presence of such an animal !
Paul Andrews
194 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:45:14
Is there a sale on the word "reductive".

Buy one get one free?

Jim Knightley
195 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:37:48 you not see the irony in posting a comment which specifically relates to our team's failure to create chances? This is exactly my point: We looked impotent against Cardiff, and we looked impotent against West Brom. We failed to create enough chances, and to perform as we could perform. West Brom and Cardiff did not have effective defences last season, and the absence of a better striker was clearly not the only reason we failed to find the net.

Again, your last comment completely misses the point. I'm not saying that the team is suddenly crap, but that the squad does not look sharp enough. Let me repeat a comment from an earlier post: 'The best players in the world can stutter if they are not fully fit, and fully sharp'.

Why are all our rivals playing much better than us in pre-season? Why are practically every team in the league doing better than us? For me the nature of our performances are a cause for concern. These are the same players which will be starting our first Premier League match in 9 days. They will get fitter, quicker and sharper..but I think they are behind schedule.

Jim Knightley
196 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:49:51
Tony..seriously? Did you even watch the Cardiff game?! we made nothing. We were completely impotent. This was against the second worse team in the league. We were similarly impotent against West Brom. Do you even understand that I'm talking about performances?
Phil Walling
197 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:00:47
A glance at my grandson's Year 11 English Textbook reveals an example of how the word 'reductive'can be used viz;-

'He's whiney and plodding and his relentless pursuit of what he believes to be the truth is strangely REDUCTIVE; it makes him look small.'

I think you demonstrate the truth of this sentence particularly well, Jim !

Brian Waring
198 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:10:22
Off topic, what are the thoughts on the new third kit?
Phil Bellis
200 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:12:52
This whole "reductive" issue is getting rather subtractive and, in truth, borders on remissive.

Where's Eugene when you need him?

Jim Knightley
201 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:14:59
Phil...there have been several posts from you now, in a row, which haven't criticised Martinez. I'm astonished.
Jack Plant
202 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:13:25
Jim, I was at the West Brom game, we created plenty of chances, including an abolute sitter for Fellaini, our problem was the inability to take those chances. Phill and Tony are spot on, having a competent striker would have lead to an easy win. I wasn' at the Cardiff game but from the highlights and the postmatch analysis it sounded like we were pretty dominant, so again it could have easily been a win if w'd had a half decent striker.
Tony J Williams
203 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:21:02
" you not see the irony in posting a comment which specifically relates to our team's failure to create chances?"

Not really, because I listed the chances missed and suggested that had we had a competent striker that one of those many missed chances might have been slotted.

Once again you are missing the point. You are judging whether the team is "sharp enough" on a pointless friendly.

"Do you even understand" the meaning of 13 shots at goal? These are chances that may have converted if we had a competent striker on the pitch at the time.....ermm.... ermmm.....reductive

Jim Knightley
204 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:38:19 you understand what a performance is? Whether Lukaku was on the pitch or not, or would have effected the result or not, does not change our performance. Lukaku was sometimes great, and sometimes went missing. His goal record against poorer clubs was good, but not exceptional. No one has an idea whether he would have won us those games or not, but what we do know is how we played. Go and check the reports from those games on ToffeeWeb. They will say that were kept the ball well, but created little. And please stop equating shots with chances...I could shoot from 40 yards and it does not mean that it is a real chance. Lukaku, strangely enough, cannot be at the end of every chance we create. In a tight game, it will often be those arriving deeper (sometimes Lukaku, mostly not) which will be on the end of the chances.

One more time: Our performances at the start of the season were poor. Do you deny that? That's the really really simple point I'm trying to make. We played three of the bottom 4, and we collected three points. And you're trying to change that into a discussion about Lukaku? It's beyond stupid. We should have won those games with or without Lukaku, because we were, and are, demonstrably better than those teams.

James White
205 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:20:43
I realise I've decided to add my opinion at the point where the thread has reached its "Lord of the Flies" stage but I just wanted to say how I felt bad for John Stones. I'm not sure if they were deliberately trying to give him as much possession under pressure as possible for training purposes but for the second goal (I think), I saw Hibbert receive the ball, look up and having very little footballing imagination just passed it straight to Stones who had two men bearing down on him.

Not to mention the crazy long-ball pass from their end all the way to our defense from Baines. Stones didn't deal particularly well with them but can you imagine anybody having that level of trust in Jagielka to receive and deal with those kind of passes?

I also felt that McGeady looked like he was up for the game and, as the commentators mentioned, was obviously disappointed by his previous performance but was again slightly hamstrung by being supported by Hibbert.

I think where I get the most nervous with pre-season is that it can have an effect on individual's confidence rather than it being an indicator of how the team is performing or the team in general worrying about the results. I worry that both Stones and McGeady are going to start the season with unnecessary criticism that might affect their self-belief – something that in Stones, in particular, is clearly a strength we don't want to beat out of him.

Lastly, what do they feed those lads in Spain that they were apparently playing a game every other day and they seemed to occupy all areas of the pitch in large numbers? We helped them looked good in many ways but I don't think we can take away from what they were doing – I guess that's what comes from playing Barcelona twice yearly.

Martin Farrington
206 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:06:44
Its good to see all these domestics going on [as usual] post pants performance. Thankfully we're not all in a pub or the place will have erupted by now, unlike our precious team !!!

Tony J Williams
207 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:45:15
Seriously... do you understand your own point anymore?

Twisting and turning like a twisty turny thing.

I don't give a bat's nads whether or not our "performance" was up to your standard, as long as the score line shows that we won and I am of the opinion that had Lukaku been in the team for those three opening games that the results would have been different.

So the being "sharp enough" means for shite when you have a striker who can put the ball in the net whereas the usually offside Croatian or mop headed Belgium would slice it wide or forget how to swing his correct leg towards the ball.

One more time, (God! this is beyond stupid.)

Had we had a decent striker in the team for the first three games we would have probably taken more than three points, irrespective of whether you thought we were "sharp" enough or enjoyed the "performance"

Dan Brierley
208 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:42:12
Had we won all our pre-season matches 4-0, I wonder if we would be seeing the 'meaningless games' conclusion reached by some of our fellow blues? Answers on a postcard....

In spite of the generally poor nature of the game, there was some glimmers of progress. did anybody notice a slight difference to young Ross' contribution? I saw him a few times actually look up when he was bursting through with pace, and look for options. It would not be unfair to say that last season, the only time he looked up was when he was trying to put yet another 30 yarder into the back of the net. But last night, I took note where a few times he played some clever passes when he could have belted it. Really happy to see him develop that approach, as not managing a single assist is quite poor, even in your first full season as an attacking midfielder.

Its an absolute no brainer that we are going to finish more chances with Lukaku up top, but its also extremely evident that we are going to really have to crank it up with regards to how many chances we create if we want to challenge top 4. Baines had a poor season by his own standards, as did Pienaar, Osman. I would hope to see more than 1 everton player in this type of analysis by the end of this season:

Brent Stephens
209 Posted 07/08/2014 at 15:53:22
Just got back for the game, as they say! A long drive to Southport. Must buy a Seat, the type Ken Buckley writes from.

I'm as relaxed as hell (sort of). Drooling again over what Besic can offer us. Browning improved. Gibson didn't have to get a note after the game. I'm sure Roberto has an individual fitness plan for each player that will get them to the required level before / by Leicester, and that he's trying out as many young lads as possible (isn't that what we want? so we ain't necessarily going to be setting these friendlies alight).

Harold Matthews
210 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:15:47
World Cup, Pre-season, whatever,...Listening to Roberto and coach Dennis Lawrence, everything is under control and we are right on schedule. The only worries being possible injuries to key players and the hold-up in bringing in the targeted new faces.

Personally, I prefer to concentrate on Everton and try to stay well clear of all the goings on elsewhere. The opposition will be formidable, to say the least, but we more than held our own last season and the addition of Besic plus a sharp looking Gibson will make us difficult to beat. Add to these the secret attacking weapon due to land at Finch Farm very shortly and the emergence of youngsters like Tylas Browning who will keep on improving now that he realises he has every right to be there.

Atop all this, we have a Ross Barkley who has fully recovered from his broken toe. Look out Premier League. You aint seen nothin' yet. No, you aint seen nothin' yet. I have carefully studied our boy in the World Cup and pre-season and noted a significant improvement in his allround game. Now a star member of the England team with a great new Everton contract, he is ready to show the world what modern attacking football is all about, Bring it on.

Kristian Boyce
211 Posted 07/08/2014 at 14:12:28
After watching the game yesterday, and Roberto's comments about one more addidtion to the team. I think we can forget about challenging for silverware on four fronts. Going back to Roberto's comment a few weeks ago about wanting 6-7 new players, think that still rings true. We have 3 (Barry, Besic & Lukaku) of the 7, but this pre season shows that we still need 4 more bodies to bolster the team. An additional striker is a must as Naismith can't lead the line, and I'm not expecting to see Kone anytime soon. I think we need 2 attacking wingers/creative players, that can play either side or in the middle. I also think we need an experienced keeper to come in as back up. Robles is far from ready, and hardly instils confidence into the back four. There are plenty out there available and many are out of contract at the moment, so we could bring one in pretty cheaply.
Harold Matthews
212 Posted 07/08/2014 at 16:44:34
Dan. Pleased you noticed the more mature Barkley. The nil assist thing is very misleading. He put people through on numerous occasions but they failed to score....and that includes the big fella.
Matthew Williams
214 Posted 07/08/2014 at 17:12:45
Maybe we should’ve saved the 㿈 million for Nolito !?!?
Keith Glazzard
215 Posted 07/08/2014 at 16:46:47
As the dust settles on this one there are, I think, a couple of positives, Stones as the natural cover for Coleman being the main one. The other, and this has to depend on him staying injury free, is the welcome return of Gibson.

But consider this. Even without additions, assuming the back 4 takes care of itself and that Lukaku (Kone?) will play upfront, there are 5 places left between 11 players, in ab order -

Barkley; Barry; Besic; Gibson; McCarthy; McGeady; Mirallas; Naismith; Osman; Oviedo (later); Pienaar.

I wonder what RM will do? It's pretty strong bench, at least.

Dan Brierley
216 Posted 07/08/2014 at 17:21:28
Thats why I added the chance creation link Harold, as he didn't appear in that either. But I hope this season is a different story, and the last game is a taste of things to come. We have the right striker now (how wonderful is it to say that?), we just have to make sure we give him the chance he needs from day one, as this year is going to be a tough season for all the teams in the top seven.
Wayne Smyth
217 Posted 07/08/2014 at 17:30:35
Positives for me were the performances of Besic, Browning, Stones(2nd half) and Barkley(2nd half). I've just realised they are all the younger players, which is both encouraging and worrying at the same time.

The team were not really trying hard enough to win the match in the first half, and given that the result is meaningless, I think I'd prefer a 3-1 loss rather than winning 2-0 and have another 2 players in the treatment room.

It was clear that Celta Vigo worked incredibly hard chasing and harrying and were very sharp in their passing. Combine this with particularly poor showings from Osman, Hibbert and Barry and I think its not surprising we struggled. The ref didn't help our cause by being overly lenient with some of the very rash challenges that were coming in.

Seeing how comfortable Besic is on the ball and looking at some of the tricks he was successfully pulling off on the left wing, it had me fairly certain that he'd do a better job out there than Osman if we were without a proper left winger. It's quite sad that a 21 year old defensive midfielder seems to have more attacking talent and composure than most of our team.

I thought the second half performance was much better, the lads gave it a lot more effort and created numerous chances.

Browning didn't look out of place - playing out of position again? - at left back, and Stones second half performance at right back was very good and really highlighted how poor Hibbert had been up against an admittedly quality player in Nolito.

Martinez is already aware that we're in need of 1 or 2 more attacking options and I think this performance and result will have reinforced that.

Personally I have no doubts that we'll be a different side when all our better players are on the pitch at the same time and when the result actually matters.

Phil Bellis
218 Posted 07/08/2014 at 19:14:42
Yes, that Moyes sure knew how to do a pre-season, didn't he?
Strangely, though, I'm really looking forward to Roberto's second season; so are a lot of my pals who have, after bailing out 2 or 3 seasons ago, become season ticket holders again
Martin Farrington
219 Posted 07/08/2014 at 20:17:49
Talking of line ups, creative players etc has anyone got news on the David Henen saga ?
Colin Glassar
220 Posted 07/08/2014 at 20:23:53
He's quickly become the invisible man Martin. I wonder how that taxi driver feels now? Very strange indeed.
Harold Matthews
221 Posted 07/08/2014 at 20:27:25
Yes Lads. This Henen thing is a strange one, though BK was saying how some of these deals can take an awful long time. At least we know Lukaku has arrived at Finch Farm. Goodness knows where Super Kev is. Anyone seen a gold limo?
Martin Farrington
222 Posted 07/08/2014 at 20:33:14
Thanks Colin. Puzzling but somehow not surprising at all. Is it possible it wasn't him or that he's been locked in a cupboard having refused to sign ?
Chris Wilson
223 Posted 07/08/2014 at 20:44:26
"I don't give a bat's nads..."
God bless you, Tony. I'm having T-shirts and posters made immediately!
Darren Hind
224 Posted 07/08/2014 at 21:10:17
Roberto he had a dream.
To improve his football team.
He bought Lukaku to everybody's delight.
But things havent been right.
The boys have looked shite.
Caim down says Roberto
It"ll be alright on the night.

I'll get me coat

Tom Bowers
225 Posted 07/08/2014 at 21:11:22
Should we be worried? I don’t really think so after pre-season friendlies which don’t mean diddly but we certainly hope RM isn’t worried also.

How they perform in that first is what matters and one hopes that only Seamus is unavailable but very few players have stood out so far in these meaningless games except some bright moments from Besic.

Dean Adams
226 Posted 07/08/2014 at 21:29:11
First half, we looked embarrasing. Second half, with the youngsters on the pitch, we grew in confidence. Gibson looked solid, Stones looked comfortable and Barkley started to show that he has a good eye for a pass and is capable of laying off assists. Had Naisy been on form he could have scored a few. Browning grew in confidence visibly as the game progressed and as for Besic, we have a real talent there.

Roberto knows what he is doing, that is clear to see. I really think we can shock a few teams both here in the Prem and also abroad in the Europa. Winning the Europa would be my preference for the season. Silverware and qualification to the Champions league has to be the primary target, surely!!

Raymond Fox
227 Posted 07/08/2014 at 21:08:35
We need to fit Besic into our first 11, he's one of our very few players that can retain position when closely marked, he's looking a real bargain.
As far as the reckless challenges go, I'm sure the manager and others will have a word.

Browning looked quite assured, he looks like he will mature into a player.
Barkley improved as the game went on.
Duffey also looked the part when he came on.

I thought Vigo gave us a more room in the 2nd half, whether they tired or by design I don't know.
Stones is worrying me at centre half, if he's in the team I think it should be at RB. the lads very inexperienced yet and he deserves more time.

Derek Knox
228 Posted 07/08/2014 at 22:28:41
Darren # 224

Full marks for having a go !

The Poet Laureate's position is definitely NOT under threat !

So don't give up your day job ! :-)

Harold Matthews
229 Posted 08/08/2014 at 01:07:15
Darren. Have to agree with Derek.

The Poet Laureate's position is off the agenda,
Take your poem 'cross the park and give it to Brenda.

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