Roberto Martinez was left to dwell on a surprisingly poor defensive performance as Everton were beaten 6-3 by Chelsea at Goodison Park this afternoon.
The Spaniard presided over a team that boasted the third-best defensive record in the Premier League last season but, this term, his charges have shipped 10 goals in their opening three games, severely undermining their start to the 2014-15 campaign.
Goals by Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic had the Blues on the ropes before the players had even had a chance to settle into the match as Chelsea ruthlessly exposed the space afforded them in and around the Everton back line. And though they would recover to halve the deficit by half time and hit back twice more in the second half, Martinez's men were undone time again by loose defending.
"We started the game very uncharacteristically," Martinez said after the match. "It seemed we didn't have that defensive intensity, that focus that you have to have, especially against a team like Chelsea where you need to start sharply. We were chasing the game, but even when we went 2-0 down, we reacted really well.
"I thought we were very good going forward in the way we controlled the game for long spells and created chances to score three goals. I don't think many teams will score three against Chelsea this season. But the two boxes are going to dictate the scoreline and we were too soft with our defending. Every time the ball was around our 18-yard box we had a real sense of fear of it ending up in the back of the net."
The manager has two weeks now during the international break to re-assess his defensive options and work with the players in training on shoring up the back line whose record so far this season belies the experience in its ranks.
"We have conceded 10 goals in three games and that's not like us at all," Martinez added. "We have a back five that we didn't change the whole of last season when we kept 15 clean sheets but, at the moment, we are not at that level. We need to be more positive with what we're good at in defence. We have 1100+ Premier League appearances in that back five. We need to get back to basics."
Reader Comments (154)
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1 Posted 30/08/2014 at 22:14:54
Season starts against West Brom.
2 Posted 30/08/2014 at 22:19:37
Howard got nowhere near any if the goals Â– I havenÂt made my mind up on as to why but I found that disappointing.
Stones has to mature now into our 1st choice, with someone strong and no nonsense next to him: I think we have to dip into the market for this.
Besic: IÂve read on this website about how he should be starting, based on a short cameo in a pre season friendly. He chose to mark his debut for the club by trying something he hasnÂt yet earned the right to do. Not ready yet and Martinez knows this, hence why he hasnÂt featured.
Positives: plenty going forward. Naismith is becoming invaluable, heÂll never be a naturally gifted footballer but he is finding a way to hurt the opposition and his attitude and commitment is first class.
EtoÂo looked sharp, hungry and classy Â– he could be a great signing.
Rom: needs confidence. Coming off the bench to score in out next game will do him the world of good
3 Posted 30/08/2014 at 22:30:31
"I donÂt think many teams will score three against Chelsea this season."
ItÂs a bit like, "You failed the exam. But youÂre handwriting was lovely."
4 Posted 30/08/2014 at 22:40:40
But seriously, he is as, if not more annoyed with his players than we are. No manager can legislate for going 2 down in 3 minutes. The fact that his team reacted to it in a positive way says much about him and his team.
If people really think that he sends his team out in a gung-ho manner and that he is only a Ian Holloway type of manager all style and no substance then I think that is totally unfair.
IÂm not backing Martinez because he is Martinez but rather because I do think he knows the game inside out and he will be successful at Everton if he has the time, but I also worry that if we donÂt have enough points on the board by the end of October, the board may be forced into making a decision that will set this club back for years Â– if not decades.
5 Posted 30/08/2014 at 22:43:57
What worries me is the confidence of the defence will be drained; we need an ugly win against West Brom and Crystal Palace with clean sheets.... However our attacking play was the best I have ever witnessed.
IÂm still feeling confident. Once a Blue, Always a Blue.... In Martinez I trust... Sign Cleverly!!!
6 Posted 30/08/2014 at 22:36:18
Roberto also should sort out JagielkaÂs and DistinÂs pathetic performances at our attacking and defensive corners and free kicks. While dealing with that problem, he might also point out to our takers of free kicks the stupidity of lobbing high balls into the six-yard box. Particularly when the opposing keeper is over six foot tall.
7 Posted 30/08/2014 at 22:54:44
No the problem is he needs to get tough with some old favourites of Moyes team.
Roberto, nobody would shed any tears if you drop Distin and Jagielka.
We are not going to all start shouting "oh you canÂt drop those two stalwarts they have been in the team for yearÂs"
The fact is this is Moyes defence.
Martinez needs to start thinking where he wants to go with it now.
This for me is his biggest decision since heÂs been here.
You canÂt just play players on past exploits.
8 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:03:07
9 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:04:57
10 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:05:16
Vlaar would be a good shout. Stones to start.
11 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:03:06
Not everything our board does is ideal, but they certainly donÂt think with the short-sightedness one associates with the relegation-threatened sides. Besides, we will come good. We are perennial slow-starters. Hopefully things will pick-up dramatically after the break.
12 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:05:10
13 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:11:05
IÂd have any of Alderwiereld(how you spell it I donÂt know)
IÂd take Shawcross, Davies, Tomkins, Chico Flores, IÂd take any of them.
I always say what you need to do during the summer is make duet youngest the spine of your team strong.
With the cash we had we should have..
Signed a strong commanding defender..one of the above.
Tom Huddlestone from Hull..a younger option to Barry and more durable.
Wilfried Bony..a strong bulldozer who actually uses his strength and is more finished article than Lukaku
14 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:19:55
Besic is confident, which is nice... but that backheel was out of the Brazil World Cup semi-final playbook. I think Stones will be superb but this year may be tough as he has to handle the hype and Besic may come good or be another wild man like Materazzi.
15 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:15:51
Roberto has had things go his way up till now but, with the defence and general fitness issues, he now has to show us what he is made of.
The big decisions have to be made Â– old players can thrive if they are paired with younger ones but, with four of our back five either at or approaching the veteran stage, we need to get at least one younger player in there, preferably two.
I think he will sort it but he has to seize the moment as we fans can see what has to be done and dwelling on it wonÂt do much for his reputation.
16 Posted 30/08/2014 at 22:56:54
Bit of over-reaction to say the least there especially in relation to:
"If people really think that he sends his team out in a gung-ho manner"
Who suggested he sent his team out that way?
The team reacted in a gung-ho manner.
They certainly werenÂt sent out that way.
However great the pre-match planning and strategy was (the videos, the drills, the chalk board, the power points and so on) went right out the window at 3.04pm. ThatÂs football.
The way we went about it may have been cavalier but wouldnÂt any team / manager try and salvage something from a start like that whether they played football, long ball or whatever? That Âgung-hoÂ attack is being re-packaged by some on here as marvellous rather than necessary. Regardless of the style in which it was delivered, at its heart was desperation.
We lost. We got absolutely stuffed.
I really donÂt get why youÂve extrapolated a load of stuff suggesting accusations of Âall style, no substanceÂ. I like RM but I donÂt think heÂs perfect (who is?). Some people seem to get obsessed and label things pro- and anti- this and that. IÂm an Everton fan not an RM fan. I hope things come good for him and us.
I also think youÂre way off the mark suggesting the board being Âforced into a decisionÂ in October.
This is the board that stuck with DM for 11 trophy-less years. And some of the footy was like watching paint dry under DM. And in his second season we barely escaped relegation.
(I am on a downer but I think that is a more normal reaction to defeat than the near mania some people have about a ÂperformanceÂ.)
17 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:21:48
Time has caught up with Distin. Jags looks like his legs have gone. How many of the 10 Â– yes, thatÂs TEN, goals conceded so far have exposed the centre of our defence??
I donÂt think thereÂs a lot wrong with the rest of the team other than perhaps McCarthy/Barry getting back to something like last years form but my god the centre of defence is non existent!!!
Stones and Duffy anyone????
18 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:32:47
I guess IÂd rather the blues lost in this gung-ho fashion than the meek surrender we saw under Moyes all too often.
19 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:42:01
20 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:25:18
I think we can all pretty much agree too, that the horrendous mistakes in defence are not just a one-off, or indeed due to a temporary dip in confidence or form.
I was surprised in Roberto, where he has quite rightly recruited midfield and forward positions, and until now believed that the defence was adequate enough to carry another season.
Most of the team are MoyesÂs choices, but having said that we have a few diamonds in there, but also a few past the sell-by dates, and creaking gates.
Ironically this has come to light just before the window closure again, so it will be interesting to see just what happens between now and Tuesday.
ItÂs not all doom and gloom as there were some good things to take from today, despite the defeat.
21 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:30:32
IÂm a big fan and love the positivity he has brought to the club Â– but he now has to build a defence, and I donÂt know if heÂs done that successfully previously. Certainly his Wigan team was not renowned for its defensive strength.
If Martinez is to get a crack at one of the top, top jobs in world football, he needs to prove that he has the nous to identify and develop a solid defensive unit to complement his attacking players.
LetÂs hope he can and that the people saying last season went so well because Martinez was living of the remnants of Moyes’s defensive attributes are proved wrong. If he canÂt, his first season at Everton will possibly prove to be the pinnacle of his career (FA Cup win with Wigan aside).
22 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:42:29
Duffy has been sold.
Stones plus whoever has been pencilled in before midnight on Monday!
23 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:36:53
No team can remain in the premier league with such abject defending.
The ominous signs of defensive weaknesses were shown clearly in pre-season friendlies, when Everton could not defend to save their lives.
Everton have conceded something like 20 goals in all matches this season. And it could get worse, before it gets better.
There is still a couple of days before the transfer window closes to find some players who can defend properly.
24 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:47:12
25 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:44:33
Where DM had the majority of supporters onside during those bleak years and he had the ready-made excuse of not having a lot of money to spend which helped him to survive. Roberto wonÂt be afforded the same patience if the results continue to disappoint as he has had money to spend - which to my mind is up for debate. I want Roberto to succeed because that means that Everton succeed and I also happen to believe he is the right man for us long-term.
Of course I am not a purely performance only supporter but rather I believe that the more often a team plays good football the more often it will triumph. Obviously the defence is a major cause for concern and if it takes a backs to the wall game at WBA whilst sneaking a 1-0 win IÂm sure that we would all accept that but not as basis for the whole season.
29 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:02:48
30 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:56:08
Perhaps, instead of the shout to sign Vlaar and Shawcross, both of which would cost us a limb given the situation, we should be looking for good backroom staff that can help stem the situation short term and build long term. Success of the team is build both on and off the pitch.
We had improvements last season, now we need to sustain that improvements, but that canÂt happen if we canÂt fill the void left by departures in the off-season.
31 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:01:32
On the Cleverly bit but I truly believe he would be a good signing and a long term replacement for Barry. He can pass and is quicker than him which will help shield our defence a little more.
Let’s not rely on McCarthy all the time. I know I am probably the only fan who thinks Cleverly would be good. But definitely I agree we need to sort out our defence ASAP..... Jagielka’s time is over.
32 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:56:54
With respect to ÂimpatienceÂ I think itÂs more ÂalarmÂ at our lack of solidity.
I think itÂs a pure reaction to a getting absolutely stuffed at home with a common theme Â– pre-season and early season Â– of shipping a ton of goals.
You rightly point out that RM has had an uncharacteristic amount of money to spend (in Everton terms). But I hope we have some left in the pot to spend before 11 pm on Monday.
Given a tough Europa campaign and a previous season in which the bar was raised in expectation of achieving further progress, we are in danger of looking like all our eggs have gone into one expensive basket (with holes in it).
33 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:10:22
34 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:13:33
On the field, we can build around Barkley (if heÂs healthy) but off it, we have to build it around RM.
35 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:14:52
37 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:22:02
Well the lads up front did well (3) but the defence did not (6). ItÂs not hard to see how and why we lost that one!
Bobby M: "But the two boxes are going to dictate the scoreline and we were too soft with our defending. Every time the ball was around our 18-yard box we had a real sense of fear of it ending up in the back of the net."
So, I trust that you will be bollocking the defenders today, tomorrow, and the day after; thinking of making changes; thinking about a different approach if Plan A is not working; bringing in a left-sided central defender in the next 48 hours; and sitting down in a room for a long time with your defensive coaching staff, reading the riot act to them, telling them that things have to change and giving Pullis a call to offer him a short-term deal while he is in-between jobs.
38 Posted 30/08/2014 at 23:57:51
seven while conceding 12, suggests we need to adopt a more cautious approach. Against a top side like Chelsea our tactics were naÃ¯ve to say the least. We needed a more pragmatic shape with the full backs sitting deeper and Barry and McCarthy shielding the back four.
Most of the top flight teams defend with two banks of four, sometimes five. At times we are trying to defend with one bank of two. On occasions when Chelsea broke, half of our side were out of the game. No wonder we struggled in defence. Teams have found a way to exploit the gaps and will continue doing so until we tighten up.
So yes, Roberto is right; we need to get back to the basics in defence. If that means sacrificing some of the attacking play in order to get results, so be it.
39 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:20:38
We need to get organised, aggressive and back to the back 4 playing as a unit. We have plenty going forward without trying to blow teams away. We need to get shape and discipline.
This needs to get sorted fast otherwise, with the amount of games coming and aways on the back of European games, it has the potential to get messy.
Oviedo is not fully back yet and I think we lack depth all across the back 4 as, well, Alcaraz is way too slow and is the depth other than Stones, and Hibbo is the other right back.
Go and get Micah Richards sharpish.
40 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:36:39
His Twitter page still says he plays for Everton.
41 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:37:03
I went to the freindly at Tranmere and we were a mess defensively.
You do tend to say to yourself that itÂs pre-season, donÂt worry, fitness, blah blah. But it was concerning because we were all over the place. Stones played in that one and we were a shambles.
IÂm worried that the shape and organisation have gone. We were always so tight because, boring or not, Moyes worked on that defensive shape and had them drilled, big time.
We have had a short pre-season, and Martinez tends to worry about what weÂre going to DO to teams. It seems the shape, organisation & discipline have gone with the change of focus & the close season. We need to get that back and quick.
42 Posted 31/08/2014 at 00:53:17
Bobby #42 - there is definitely an urgency in getting the defence sorted. I think weÂll buy someone by Monday night.
43 Posted 31/08/2014 at 01:03:55
Good luck to him.
44 Posted 31/08/2014 at 01:31:48
I thought EtoÂo looked like a real good signing.
Besic Â– I hope heÂs got a good head on his shoulders because he made a bit of a muppet of himself.
Howard, Jags and Distin: based on todayÂs performance, they need dropping Â– if only we had quality cover for them.
Diego Costa Â– Seamus Coleman is probably laughing his tits off about you right now, over a lemonade.
45 Posted 31/08/2014 at 01:50:25
Coleman should concentrate on his game and not try winding up a world class striker, the likes of whom we can only dream about!
46 Posted 31/08/2014 at 02:11:59
Why is it pre-ordained for subs to be used up front when both DMs are legless with 30 minutes to go?
Strange thing. We shipped six goals but our reputation definitely went up a notch or two. TBH, I didn’t realise we were so good.
47 Posted 31/08/2014 at 03:13:37
I feel like Jags needs to be dropped as his form is shocking and I also think Stones is now a must as we do not want a repeat of the Barkley situation under Moyes were a full year has to be wasted.
Also, I canÂt believe for the life of me why Barry got given a 3-year deal, he will be lucky to see this season out Â– let alone two more after it!
48 Posted 31/08/2014 at 07:53:43
Chelsea are excellent. We are quite good with a couple of chaps who need to have a word with themselves. If we had more money, doubtless Roberto Martinez would have bought better class, younger defenders but, as one of the comments above notes, he addressed the areas he thought were critical and kept his fingers crossed that the defence would get by till next summer.
WeÂll end up winning more than we lose but it probably wonÂt be anything like enough for top four. (Top 17 is looking good at the moment!) Maybe the club have bigged up RM too much and maybe his comments about cash only being an accelerator havenÂt helped him either but we have to go with what weÂve got and hold on tight as the ride progresses.
Oh, and why would Stoke or Villa sell their best assets to us at this stage Â– even if we had the money?
49 Posted 31/08/2014 at 08:14:10
50 Posted 31/08/2014 at 08:09:31
It is plain to see that he is really slow and, against good, quick, technically gifted players, two old centre-halves, who need tugboats to turn, are found out. End of! Time to blood younger replacements, and put these two fine servants of the club on the bench.
Martinez seems happy to trust youth elsewhere on the park, so now he MUST give youth a chance at the back. The game is all about pace now. Surely, in training, Martinez must watch Mirallas, Naismith, and Lukaku skin our centre backs, or does he always make Pienaar and Ossie play against them!?!
51 Posted 31/08/2014 at 09:05:17
52 Posted 31/08/2014 at 09:01:10
53 Posted 31/08/2014 at 08:57:52
Average age yesterday was 29Â½. It was older than the season’s average of any of the years of OFM.
Distin 36, Howard 35, Barry 33, Jagielka 32, Pienaar 32 and he will play next match as he will recover from injury, Baines 30, Naismith & McGeady 28. Come the end of October, only Lukaku and McCarthy will be under 25.
He has only ever started 3 teenagers: Barkley and Deulofeu, who both turned 20 during last season, and Stones.
Stop believing the hype Â– it is a myth.
54 Posted 31/08/2014 at 09:12:25
55 Posted 31/08/2014 at 09:15:22
This club has come on in leaps and bounds in 12 months and we all know why. This time last month, everyone was in agreement that what was needed was a strike force. Well guess what Â– we have one, in fact we have an abundance of strikers Â– all we need now are goals from them. But the signs are there and some of the attacking play yesterday Â– according to those who saw it Â– was the best they have ever seen!! (??)
So the attention has now turned to our hapless, aged defence Â– but to compare the boss’s attitude to Wiganesque is in my opinion totally wrong. Last year we shipped few goals Â– now we are shouting out for changes. Quite rightly so but, unlike our RS neighbours, we will have to live within our means to ’complete’ our team and that will, in my opinion, take another couple of years.
Deep down, we all know that, but being Evertonians we are not prepared to put up with mediocrity and want everything now Â– nil satis. That is not going to happen; I wish it would but it won’t. Roberto is no slouch: he knows what is required and will be working 24/7 to rectify the situation. But miracles take time and money; we have the time but not the money... but I do think he is capable of miracles Â– just WAIT and see.
56 Posted 31/08/2014 at 09:29:44
Not panicking yet... but very very worried.
57 Posted 31/08/2014 at 09:18:28
Al #56 in 1958 we let in 10 in one game, so make that 56 years, but we get the point.
I went on CFCnet to see how they saw it. About 10% were not convinced on Jose at all. Though most were: a) happy for the result: b) thought we were kicking everything: c) and thus, the reff was a total homer / bottle merchant and him and his mates wouldn’t know offside if it bit them: d) their players were faultless: e) Howard was lucky to stay on...TWICE: f) they couldn’t believe how they were over run for 70-80% of the game and if we could defend they would have been in deep shit.
One guy summed all of the above up "Martinez has certainly coached the Moyes out of Everton and not, I fear, for the best."
Back to fucking basics indeed... sooner the better.
58 Posted 31/08/2014 at 09:41:59
59 Posted 31/08/2014 at 09:40:01
We can play, there’s no doubt about that. Chelsea are one of the best teams in Europe and apart from the gifts and general shoddy defending we played very well.
Someone posted earlier that Naismith isn’t a natural footballer, strange comment as I thought he was our best player yesterday and from what I’ve seen so far this season he’s improving, great finish for the second goal.
Stones and Distin to start next match please and as previously stated this is Roberto’s big challenge but will he drop Jags?
61 Posted 31/08/2014 at 10:38:17
The same defence who were poor yesterday evening have carried this club for years. Stats count for nothing as we had far more possession and shots on target than Chelsea but still lost.
Hazard absolutely buzzed past Coleman and McCarthy and generally Chelsea were yards faster. I would not however blame any individual player for a total shambles of a defensive display collectively.
62 Posted 31/08/2014 at 10:42:37
I agree with all of your excellent post... except the bit about signing Cleverley.
63 Posted 31/08/2014 at 10:35:39
Actually not correct, a certain Mr Stones was part of that back five for a fair few of those clean sheets, when a certain Mr Jagielka was injured.....
64 Posted 31/08/2014 at 10:21:49
As written before, Everton is now footballing team and should look into how to progress even further in terms of playing and controlling the game. Three of Chelsea’s goals were offside (2nd), unlucky own-goal (3rd) and bizarre mistake by Besic.
I am still much more disappointed with the way we didin’t show up for second half at Leicester and against Arsenal.
65 Posted 31/08/2014 at 11:03:16
I also feel that, apart from the previous comment, it does limit the forward distribution, without an Attacking Mid to feed both the wings and the strikers.
If Barry was a quicker player, we could probably get away with it, but there is no disputing his experience and ability to read the game. Generally speaking, neither Barry or McCarthy have assimilated last year’s partnership.
66 Posted 31/08/2014 at 11:05:02
Our players don’t look right, Billows used to work on individual fitness plans for the players & focus on certain strengths & weaknesses. O’Keefe should ask Martinez why someone who is regarded as the best in the business was allowed to leave after 5 years.
67 Posted 31/08/2014 at 11:20:42
68 Posted 31/08/2014 at 11:09:56
Roberto says "not many teams will score three against Chelsea". Very true, but not many will concede six against them either!! IÂve said in the last few weeks loyalty plays no part in football, and if jags and Distin need replacing then do it ASAP. We have about 36 hours to find a centre half if Stones is to one replacement. By selling Duffy tells me RM already has a replacement lined up.
69 Posted 31/08/2014 at 11:57:41
70 Posted 31/08/2014 at 11:50:31
As for system, it’s not working. Yes, we did have a good defensive record last season. But as other posters have noted, some of the pre-season problems have persisted. They are not playing well as a unit, the wing backs are giving too space to (counter) attackers and the midfield is not providing enough cover in front of the back four, making us vulnerable to swift attacks, particularly by top clubs such as Chelsea. We have some time to put tis right, but it’s a huge test for RM.
71 Posted 31/08/2014 at 12:05:11
As I said on another thread, if we sort out our keystone cops defending we will have a great season.
72 Posted 31/08/2014 at 12:28:58
It’s easy to rationalise it all and say, "if this or that had happened..." Our defence was a fucking joke yesterday and Martinez needs to take some hard decisions, either about personnel or tactics.
73 Posted 31/08/2014 at 12:38:55
74 Posted 31/08/2014 at 12:51:05
There was a lot of opportunity going about yesterday.
75 Posted 31/08/2014 at 12:58:37
76 Posted 31/08/2014 at 12:55:32
77 Posted 31/08/2014 at 13:01:40
You possibly misread my post. I said that nobody scores six away goals THROUGH LUCK. I stand by that.
78 Posted 31/08/2014 at 13:09:03
Stones and Alcaraz should start the next game. Alcaraz gets far too much criticism on these boards IMO; he struggled with injuries for the majority of last season and never really got the chance to get into his stride. He had some good and bad games... terrible in the Anfield Derby but was no worse than Jags and some of the other players that day. He was actually excellent playing alongside Stones in our home victory against Southampton.
Slightly off topic: I see we are linked strongly with Holtby again. Would love him here, along with Micah Richards and a long term partner for Stones... okay I’m being unrealistic; probably not enough money left in the transfer kitty for all 3 players.
79 Posted 31/08/2014 at 13:07:34
RM did it against Utd and hailed a genius, two weeks later Pulis does it against us and gets called a shit house tactician.
80 Posted 31/08/2014 at 13:15:53
81 Posted 31/08/2014 at 13:23:07
We will look back on Besic’s first touch in the Premier League and laugh in time to come up. I really like the look of this player in all senses: his confidence, his technique, his vision. He’s going to be excellent for us, probably better than McCarthy or Barry, I predict (albeit somewhat cautiously).
Still think it’s too early for Stones to be playing week in, week out. We need one, possibly two centre backs before Monday - or we could see Hibbo there! :-)
It’s a shame that some people simply can’t help betraying their lack of class: John Terry’s post-match comment calling us a ’lesser side’ confirms everything we know about this cheat, good-for-nothing and weak bully. He will never understand that we are the biggest club in England.
82 Posted 31/08/2014 at 13:25:14
There’s no excuse for Distin and Jags not dealing with balls crossed into the box though. This is the basics of being a centre back... and on this basis, Stones and Alcaraz should get the nod for the next game.
83 Posted 31/08/2014 at 13:27:46
We were out lunged for the last 25-30 minutes last week by an Arsenal side, a number of whom had travelled to and played in Turkey in mid-week(that’s at least two very long and tiring days out), whilst our boys were presumably relaxing at home watching them on tele!
That said, we had much more energy in the final quarter yesterday than against Arsenal(IMO), so maybe we are getting better. A decent break now for most of them, so let’s hope so.
84 Posted 31/08/2014 at 13:47:07
Maybe his confidence is shot again after mixing with the world’s best players at the World Cup and coming off second best.
85 Posted 31/08/2014 at 13:17:55
Lots of negatives from yesterday, understandably, but our forward play is great! I think Jags needs to be taken out of the firing line and Stones to play alongside Distin for a lengthy spell.
We could do with Oviedo back fit and healthy soon to play left back Â– I think he’s a better athlete/tackler and much pacier over 3 or 4 yards than Baines. Baines then into left midfield which means we don’t lose his undoubted class.
Stones I think will get Seamus going forward quicker as his ability with the ball is so much better than Jags. And perhaps look at playing a bit more savvy with our full-backs... like if our left backs bombed on, get our right back to sit? Opposition teams seem to have oceans to counter us!
86 Posted 31/08/2014 at 14:22:27
Would add a great bit of steal to the defence and at 6ft 3, he’s got decent height too.
Either way, Jags and Distin combo cannot be used for the whole of the season again - need to plan for the future. Distin (36) Jags(32) and Alcaraz (32) are not the future of our central defence.
87 Posted 31/08/2014 at 14:21:57
Think there was a touch of Moyes about Martinez’s selection yesterday Â– he stuck with the tried & tested because of the opposition, rather than replacing one of our centre-back duo with Stones after two very poor performances. Stones must start our next game.
As for Besic Â– people can wax lyrical here all they want. For me, his cameo last night was simply unacceptable at this level.
88 Posted 31/08/2014 at 14:36:39
Last year was a big surprise that we did so well defensively and it’s understandable that he continued with that back 5 but now is where he earns his money. Jags has looked really short on confidence and form, Distin has been OK, Howard hasn’t been at his best to me, Alcaraz is not good enough and Stones is not ready to be first choice, I think.
I think we need a new centre-back but all our top money was spent on Lukaku, presumably in the hope that the defence would carry on as last year. Let’s all hope the international break restores confidence and form and Martinez has the right coaches to instil a new spirit defensively.
89 Posted 31/08/2014 at 15:21:17
We have some excellent attacking talent. Mirallas, Naismith and Eto’o were absolute class. Lukaku and even McGeady to a certain extent also put in shifts. McGeady was hauled off after setting up a goal. Another bizarre decision from Martinez.
I am beginning to seriously worry about Martinez’s ability tactically. 3 games in a row he has failed to keep up with the game and give some players who are dead on their feet a break. His use of substitutions is literally shocking. People will point to Besic and say thats why he wasn’t on earlier but give the lad a break the game was already dead by his introduction.
Martinez also can’t seem to even organise basic defending principles. The positioning of centre-backs especially was beyond belief at this level and not for the first time this season. I was certainly no Moyes fan but he knew how to set up a defence and that looks like it has completely eroded now.
Martinez should seriously think about bringing in a defensive coach.
90 Posted 31/08/2014 at 16:15:55
91 Posted 31/08/2014 at 16:22:01
Yeah, well Nick, that Seneca bloke is deffo old school. We’ve moved on since those days.
Carl, yes, mate, Chelsea didn’t score all six goals through "luck" alone, we helped them by being as inept at the back as I can remember, and they were as you say, ruthless, but I still think luck played it’s part.
92 Posted 31/08/2014 at 16:25:04
93 Posted 31/08/2014 at 16:31:58
Chelsea had the solid central defence we are looking for, the midfield playmaker we are looking for, the goal scorer we are looking for and the organisation we are looking for.
We gave them the opportunities they were looking for and they took them.
The only comfort is that we troubled that defence, which gives me confidence that we can do some damage to most teams in this league. The big question is how many will we have to score to win games?
94 Posted 31/08/2014 at 16:39:00
95 Posted 31/08/2014 at 16:51:46
96 Posted 31/08/2014 at 17:00:19
Last season we had a miserly defence, coached by Martinez. The only time it was seriously breached was away to City, RS and Arsenal in the cup. Blow me down, Chelsea buy an excellent striker and playmaker and they cut through us too!
So this leaves us down to one or more of the following:
1. Martinez has forgotten how to organise a defence.
2. Our defence has forgotten how to defend.
3. Distin and/or Jagielka are past it/out of form/unsuitable for a blocking, non-hoofing defence.
4. Martinez has left them seriously undercooked and they are all ring-rusty.
I think its a combination of all of 3 and 4.
Like I said a couple of weeks ago, we need at least one more decent defender, who looks like he relishes the combat of stopping others scoring.....and knows what to do with a ball once he’s done it.
If Martinez is anywhere near as good as we hope he is, he’ll get us at least one of them by tomorrow night, he’ll get them to work on defending as a matter of urgency, or if he can’t, bring someone in who can. The best leaders know when to bring in specialist help (eg Ferguson). Let’s hope he acts now , or puts his his ego away and brings someone in, because our defence certainly needs something more than letting Distin and Jagielka play themselves back into form.
For once, the international break is working in our favour. Two weeks for fitness and remembering how to defend. If there are no leaders on the pitch, we need one off it and we need one coming in. Now.
97 Posted 31/08/2014 at 17:18:54
98 Posted 31/08/2014 at 17:22:22
I have seen it all now. Wow.
Players play badly in all sports. They have bad runs of form, it doesn’t mean they’re finished forever, even when they’re relatively old.
I personally think our defenders are good enough to recover from what is happening at the moment. Although, really the point is that the whole team needs to recover from what has happened.
For most of the Chelsea game we were dominant, and we were cruising to a 2-0 win against Arsenal with Jags and Distin looking very solid and comfortable. We need to keep calm and get it right, not push the panic button and chuck out the bathwater, bath, baby and all our life savings.
Any single bad result can happen, what matters is how we react to it. If we go five games unbeaten from now, pick up 11-15 points and concede very few goals, then a mad opening three minutes and crazy last 15 against Chelsea isn’t going to look so important.
Last season we smashed Arsenal 3-0 at home. Then they won their next five games and finished above us in the league. They didn’t drop their centre backs, they didn’t panic, they just regrouped and got on with it.
Sorry if it’s not as hysterical and dramatic as some of the ToffeeWeb drama queens would like, but all we need to do is regroup and get on with it.
99 Posted 31/08/2014 at 17:24:08
I remember eagerly anticipating our first game of the season against Arsenal a few years back only to get humiliated 6-1 by Arsenal! I wouldn’t say I’m not concerned by our defending, but I think its too early to say our defence has completely eroded. This is the same back five that did so well under Moyes and for Martinez last season. I think we need a new centre-back to bring some leadership but I’m not ready to write our defence off just yet.
Hopefully the international break will give us the opportunity to really focus on our new-found weakness and we will be much more solid against West Brom. I just hope there is the money available and Martinez has the will to bring someone in. It would be a shame if we didn’t make the investment to sure up our defence now that it seems we have sorted out our forward line!
100 Posted 31/08/2014 at 17:23:03
I think the defence are just too open when defending, leaving too many gaps for the ball to be played through and getting caught too easily. They need to keep that defence in line when defending. The Everton defence is just all over the place at the minute.
I’m praying that Martinez can get the defence sorted. If he can, then Watch Out, Premier League... because they all know what Everton can do when they attack.
Please get that defence sorted.
101 Posted 31/08/2014 at 17:35:52
If we want to progress, weÂll need at least one tough, dogged CB who can pass the ball. All the title winning sides have at least one. We have two defenders who will need replacing soon, plus another who is in turn very promising and over-hyped.
IÂm not convinced our current CBs are tough enough or skilful enough if we want to be more than an attractive top six side. I hope they prove me wrong.
103 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:26:49
June, July and August have been wasted months for Everton. Only one man is to blame.
104 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:44:29
Nick #99 that German CB was one Kant.
105 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:32:19
106 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:52:50
Idiotic Comment. Sack the manager in October??!! Hahah. Just such a dumb comment I really donÂt know what to say??
107 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:55:55
108 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:41:29
Could we have hired a better manager (Tunchel, Bielsa, Rangarick etc...) to take over? ThatÂs a difficult one to call. Did we get a very highly rated and ambitious manager whoÂs enthusiasm (or clap-track) has convinced the likes of Lukaku, EtoÂo and Barry to join us and the likes of Baines, Coleman and Barkley buy into his vision and sign long term contracts? Yes we did!
I disagree with you that he is a limited manager. Last season we made significant progression, both in terms of our playing style and our league position. We also had one of the leagues best defensive records. We are back in Europe and we look like a real threat going forward. OK, pre-season preparation does appear to have been inadequate and we have some pressing issues in defence, but these setbacks can and will be overcome. Lets judge Martinez at the end of the season, not after three games.
ItÂs clear that you are a glass half empty kind of guy and IÂm one of the starry eyed optimists, but donÂt you feel any hope for the future, It almost seems like you are just Trolling for the reaction or that you genuinely want to see Martinez fail so you can be proved right. I just donÂt get where you are coming from!
109 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:03:09
9 goals in 90 minutes for what 㿊 odd quid ranks as bloody good entertainmet to me. I would of course have preferred it to be Everton 6 Chelski 3 but there you go.
I reckon with games like that Goodison will be rocking to the gunnals for many more games.
Well done Roberto, well done Bill but perhaps we do need a few more to fill the yawning gaps at the back.
Bringing in the crowds to entertain them will ensure our future both home and abroad.
110 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:10:57
You are quite entiltled to think we are blessed to have this guy as manager. Some people fall in love after just one date. So be it. IÂm a little more circumspect.
Just bear in mind, other teams know how we play now and a number of managers are a lot less naÃƒÂ¯ve than this merchant.
111 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:24:34
IMO Martinez has got used to being told how wonderful he is and he has committed the cardinal sin of not giving this club his undevided attention. Does he really think he can fuck of moonlighting for a month then come back and accuse his players of lacking intensity?
Being Everton manager isnÂt easy, you have to cope with the expectations of fans of a big club, whilst working for a board with a small club mentality. You have to get back BEFORE the other managers, not weeks later.
The excuse factory have excelled themselves this week. This sort of beating is alien to our current back five, although such hammerings have featured regularly throughout the managers entire career . . . .yet it is THEY who need the bollockings.
"We lacked Intensity" ? Fuck me, theres some competetion for Evertonias Pot, Kettle and Black awards this season already
113 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:22:35
We wonÂt be top 4, but we wonÂt drop out of that top 7 either. EtoÂo is very exciting and the Europa Cup will be a ride.
ItÂll come good. Up against Alan Irvine, Anichebe and Lescott next. What could go wrong?
114 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:47:55
115 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:12:17
116 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:24:27
117 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:33:24
118 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:48:44
Drew, Phil................ Nothing.
119 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:53:27
120 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:53:16
Obviously I am a big fan of his but I admit that something has not gone quite right in pre-season as several players seem to be lacking fitness. This needs to be addressed immediately.
Regarding other teams / managers knowing how we are going to play. Surely thatÂs the case for the majority of teams in the league. Every team has their own character. What should we be doing differently? (Genuine question!)
121 Posted 31/08/2014 at 21:08:22
122 Posted 31/08/2014 at 21:33:57
Here’s hoping !
123 Posted 31/08/2014 at 21:58:05
I agree that we are a little too predictable in how we are going to line up. It was the same under Moyes with the 4-4-1-1. As Barkley is out we don’t have to stick to 4-2-3-1 every week. I would like to see us try two up front. I think playing Eto’o alongside Lukaku would allow Rom to concentrate on getting into better goalscoring positions. Its clear that he’s not yet capable of leading the line alone on a regular basis. His touch is just not good enough. Eto’o on the other hand has all the attributes to act as a focal point and bring others into the game.
I was impressed with Mirallas’ control of the ball against Chelsea. Perhaps we could try out 4-3-1-2 with Mirallas just behind Eto’o and Lukaku who could pull out wide making room for shooting opportunities for Kev. This would also allow us to put Besic or Gibson into midfield alongside Barry and McCarthy which would help out the centre-backs whilst still allowing Baines and Coleman to get forward to join the forward three. Only a subtle change, but I think it would work.
124 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:15:15
125 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:15:25
126 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:25:00
127 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:26:11
Alright mate, I was almost having a ham shank whilst reading your post, about the possible permutations of our first team squad when fully fit.
I then decided to slam in the lamb, well it is Sunday.
128 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:37:20
129 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:33:10
As I mentioned on another thread, Rolando is an anagram of Old Roan, how much of a coincidence is that?
I think by this time tomorrow night all will be less of a mystery, and Jags and Distin may still yet be splinter gatherers! :-)
130 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:32:28
Only joking Phil!! Not sure on this deal to be honest. I think Shawcross has managed to control his rash tackles in the last year or two, and to be fair, he has not been in the press for "the wrong reasons", so may not be a bad signing. SSN reporting Southampton close to agreeing deal for Alderweireld!!
131 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:43:50
132 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:46:14
133 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:50:01
We need a fucking defence that can see out pressure.
There's no way we can go a whole season with the four central defenders we have.
134 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:53:38
Alcaraz is shit to bits after a few games and Stones can't be expected or relied upon for a whole season's demands as promising as he is.
135 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:57:27
136 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:57:13
" if we stick with them we are going to concede many many more pathetic goals ".
I see this Superglue that Brent suggested, is getting out of control, but until 23:00 tomorrow we are, well erm stuck with it!
137 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:07:39
138 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:08:47
139 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:11:23
140 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:10:24
141 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:17:14
142 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:19:57
So, it's goodnight from me and it's goodnight from him.
143 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:22:21
That explains it, I haven't been to St John's since the fire, and No. it wasn't me who started it.
Rumour has it, Billy Joel knew something about it.
All this Arson about transfers is doing my head in.
144 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:33:08
The management and coaching was as much to blame as the players themselves.
145 Posted 01/09/2014 at 01:18:16
146 Posted 01/09/2014 at 01:34:35
I'm not sure what Graeme Jones, Inaki Bergara and Richard Evans add to our poor pre-season and start of the campaign but if they are only there because they worked with Martinez previously then they were collectively a part of the problems that eventually got Wigan relegated. Yes I know that Wigan won the FA Cup but sometimes that requires a little luck, a favourable draw and negating a better team while taking the few chances you may have.
I'm particularly concerned about Richard Evans - Head of Performance.
"Evans is involved in both physiotherapy and sports science, meaning he's tasked with preparing and maintaining the fitness of the Everton squad".
"This involves managing the ongoing fitness programmes for the first team squad and overseeing injured players' rehabilitation".
147 Posted 01/09/2014 at 01:35:58
Harold, James, I don't think we're at that level yet other than this last game. If we are, our record last year would not be that good. Stones (or Besic) for Jags (or Distin) might be something to think about in the short term, unless we get one of the proven names in the market.
Jim, Alcaraz was always a short term "help the team" project. I do see him coming in for a change if he's fit. He's never more than a bit part role for us.
148 Posted 01/09/2014 at 02:05:15
The world is turning on it's axis. Cleverly is demanding 70k p/w. Roy thinks he is better than Huddlestone and Shelvey. Van Gaal is selling half his squad. Howard is starting to nut the opposition. Lacina Traore has disappeared. Henen could sign within the next 48 hours. We've conceded 10 goals in 3 games and Swansea are joint top.
So there you have it. Last year Mr Moyes wore Armani suits and was manager of the biggest club in the world. This year he can be seen on TV getting a bucket of cold water poured over his head. All for a good cause but last year it wouldn't have happened......and it's the same with our great club. The six goals against were a wake up call and we have to bury the past and start anew. Our brilliant attacking play will all be in vain if we wait for our weaknesses to regain their former strength. It could be a long wait.
149 Posted 01/09/2014 at 03:34:56
150 Posted 01/09/2014 at 05:43:19
I often here managers and players being clinical in there thoughts after a defeat and often here them say " it’s done we move on to the next one". I wish some people would heed these words whether we win or lose. Football is always about the next game and future development of the squad. We had some brilliant times and players in the past but as great as it is to remember and respect them it is just memories. We should be about making positive memories for the future generation of supporters.
With this mindset we should be always be building for the future development and success. We as a club are very sentimental. We keep players for too long. We give players long contracts at an age when other clubs won’t. I know this may seem cold and harsh but Hibbert Eto’o and Barry would not get two year deals at other top clubs. Hibbert should be given a one year rolling contract at most and encouraged to take up his coaching badges. At times it feels like we are a retirement home for respected players from other clubs. In short we are too soft.
While accepting that the following players have served our club and others well in the past it doesn’t mean we should be seen as a soft touch. Jagielka Distin Barry Hibbert and Pienaar have been held onto for too long.
I won’t buy in to the futile idea of top four this year although I would love it. My wishes are for Roberto to get a pulis type defensive coach in to help out and buy younger players as replacements for our ageing squad. I would like to see hungry driven young players coming in or through our ranks to drive us forward. Too many players at our club are comfortable in their positions. This had been as a result of inadequate investment through the years by the board.
So can people please stop wallowing in what we done last year as what’s done is done. We should be demanding from Roberto and the players to build on the past achievements and not rest on our laurels.
151 Posted 01/09/2014 at 04:51:52
Martinez has his work to do now as a lot of fans are loosing faith. Let's hope he does learn his lessons from being the Wigan manager. If not we will go the same way.
I see the RS spanked Spurs. Still early days, my money is on Man City even after their slip. A funny old game is football.
152 Posted 01/09/2014 at 08:56:01
If the window closes without his bringing in a keeper and a central defender, we can only assume that his philosophical addiction to attack at any cost has taken precedence over plain common sense.
My off stated belief that he and his band of failed support staff at Wigan will eventually do for us will only be brought closer by a failure to address a glaring deficiency.
Our fate could be sealed by 11.00 pm this day.
153 Posted 01/09/2014 at 09:07:42
I agree that something has to be done and preferably before the deadline tonight, as to the identity of any additions, well that all adds to the excitement factor, but let's hope it's not a last minute knee-jerk reaction, post Saturday's debacle defending.
154 Posted 01/09/2014 at 11:49:27
155 Posted 01/09/2014 at 11:58:33
156 Posted 01/09/2014 at 11:58:33
158 Posted 02/09/2014 at 12:14:45
1. Our full-backs (Baines & Coleman) are too gung-ho, so much so that they seem to forget that their primary responsibility is to defend. I would say that Ivanovic is an absolute beast in this position - fantastic overlap play and a tiger in defence - and he is what our lads should be aspiring to be.
2. I think there is a very good player in Alcaraz - he has been unlucky with injuries. If we give him a few games and allow him to settle, he could be a great defender for us. I know many TWers don't rate him very highly, but whenever I have watched him, he has looked very competent, but lacking in match sharpness.
3. We have a massive period coming up - starting September 13th, we will play 7 matches in 23 days (one match every 4 days including Liverpool, ManU, Swansea, West Brom and Krasnodor away and Wolfsburg and Crustal Palace at home) and this will define our season. Martinez will have to use all his managerial nous to get his tactics and player rotation spot on. No way will Jagielka and Distin play all these matches. Tough choices for Martinez to make - does he fiddle around with his centre back pairing during this crucial phase and potentially be out of 2 competitions? Does he take the 'safe' option of going with Jagielka and Distin and allow more goals to be shipped? Personally, I would like to see Jagielka and Alcaraz together for the Europa games with Besic instead of Barry providing the aggression and running with his younger legs.Surely, Stones and Gibson will also play major roles during this period.
4. I was hoping that the 2 week break would give Martinez and his staff time to work with the defence especially the set-plays, crosses and the off-side trap. But with 4 important defensive players (Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Stones) away on international duty (also Garbutt and Galloway for the U-21s), there is very little that Martinez can do prepare and refocus the defense. Hopefully, RM and his staff use the time to analyse the 3 games gone by and identify the problems and take suitable remedial measures.
On another note, I don't see any updates about Barkley after the "let us wait for the swelling to subside and then assess the situation" statement which Martinez made - and that was a good 8-10 days back. Surely, the medical staff would know by now what is wrong with Barkley's foot and a possible time frame for his return? The silence on this front does not give me a good feeling ....
159 Posted 02/09/2014 at 21:39:47
If we had, it would have been short termism, rushed thinking based on a grand total of three league games.
Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that it might not backfire, and that defensive reinforcements shouldn't have been considered at an earlier date. But it's not unreasonable to point out that we had the third best goals conceded record versus only the sixth best goals scored record last season, or that we conceded only two goals more than the champions but scored forty one goals less.
That, at least, reinforces the fact that our attacking foundation was legitimately a more important focus than our defence. And, it's fair to say, while we all want the team to be continually strengthened in all positions, that seems to me to have been the general consensus here, too.
That doesn't mean that that decision might not backfire. But I don't think it's demonstrative of some totally irresponsible approach to transfer policy.
160 Posted 03/09/2014 at 00:23:21
161 Posted 03/09/2014 at 00:57:47
162 Posted 03/09/2014 at 01:44:03
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