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Lukaku's toe injury problem

06/09/2014  Comments (74)  jump
Star may miss West Brom game

Romelu Lukaku may not be fit enough to play for Everton against West Brom next weekend due to a continuing toe injury after flying home last week to receive treatment in Brussels.

The striker didn't play in Belgium's 2-0 friendly victory over Australia on Wednesday and Roberto Martinez fears he could be without his record signing for next Saturday's trip to the Hawthorns.

We'll have to assess him on Monday and Tuesday to see how fit he is because there is a big question mark over Rom being fully fit for the weekend," Martinez said.

Lukaku has played through the problem for the past two matches and noticeably limped off against Arsenal, but not before he had laid on the Blues's second goal for Steven Naismith with a rampaging run.

Martinez is grateful that Belgium have been accommodating in letting Everton's medical staff give him the treatment he needs on the injury as he bids to get the 21 year-old fit again.

We've got a great relationship with the Belgian federation and it's been great to be able to work together. Obviously Rom has been struggling with that toe and he's done magnificently to be on the pitch and helping us on matchday.

"But this week it's been important for us to give him a specific treatment to work on that [toe] and make sure that his recovery time has been exactly what he's needed."

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (74)

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Peter Bell
1 Posted 06/09/2014 at 07:49:18
On current form, not sure this is a concern.

Not exactly finding the net, is he?

Craig Fletcher
2 Posted 06/09/2014 at 07:46:31
Lots of games coming up (seven in the space of 22 days) so, if Rom needs to miss going to the Hawthorns in order to get himself right, so be it.

Personally IÂ’d prefer him to be 100% fit for the big Â’un on 27 September.

Craig Fletcher
3 Posted 06/09/2014 at 07:52:59
Peter, IÂ’d suggest his toe problem is at least part of the reason we havenÂ’t seen the best of him yet.
Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 06/09/2014 at 07:18:58
This is the reason I would always play players who are fit enough. The kid had probably only had a month off, so surely it would have been more beneficial to give him half a game in our final pre-season game in Germany. This would have helped get rid of ring rust if it was obvious he was going to start at Leicester.

He could have played the first few games then got a rest when we introduced our new centre-forward. IÂ’m happy we signed him, but if EtoÂ’o plays and performs like he did on his debut, then Lukaku could be getting a good rest anyway, unless Martinez decides to change his system.

3-5-2, what do people think about this? They say it canÂ’t work in The EPL, even though teams have won the worldÂ’s biggest trophy by playing this way.

Sam Hoare
5 Posted 06/09/2014 at 08:34:10
Will EtoÂ’o have 90 mins in him?

Also there has been no news on Kone. HeÂ’s been out for almost a year now... not sure how much we can expect from him this season.

In short, we still look pretty light in the striking department though at least NaismithÂ’s form has been excellent.

Colin Glassar
6 Posted 06/09/2014 at 08:40:47
Sam, KoneÂ’s probably been turned into glue by now. He was sent to the knackers yard ages ago.
Kieran Fitzgerald
7 Posted 06/09/2014 at 08:39:49
I would start with Naismith and EtoÂ’o. Look to see off WBA as quickly as possibly. We can always push Mirallas up if EtoÂ’o tires and has to come off.

I see LukakuÂ’s injury as an opportunity to give EtoÂ’o game time and get his fitness up to speed. It will also give him and Naismith time to develop an understanding. LukakuÂ’s injury isnÂ’t the disaster we would have thought it to be last season.

Mick Wrende
8 Posted 06/09/2014 at 08:45:48
Oh my word, we have paid 㿈 million for a striker and now people on here are saying after 3 games that itÂ’s not a bad thing he is injured. Just stop and listen to yourselves!
John Malone
9 Posted 06/09/2014 at 08:53:08
Great comment, Colin. I had to laugh at that one!

Where is Kone? Does anyone know?

Tim Duffy
10 Posted 06/09/2014 at 09:37:29
Look, heÂ’s injured, It happens. The break and assessment will do him good. We are playing West Brom next and NiasyÂ’s form should see us through that game with a cameo from EtoÂ’o for the last 20 mins. LetÂ’s get him right for when he is needed.
Jim Bennings
11 Posted 06/09/2014 at 09:27:51
Naismith just behind EtoÂ’o doesnÂ’t sound too bad at all to me. ItÂ’s not really the attacking side of the game where we are struggling anyway, is it?

The pressing persistent worry is not whether we can actually score a goal or two at West Brom, or any other match for that matter, but whether we can keep the goals out. We could easily score twice at the Hawthorns but still draw or lose.

ItÂ’s a cert that, when we do eventually keep a clean sheet, it will be a 0-0 draw. To be honest, if someone offered me a 0-0 draw at Anfield now, I would simply snatch their entire arm off. The way we defend we havenÂ’t a cat in hellÂ’s chance at Anfield, 100% fit Lukaku or not.

Tony Waring
12 Posted 06/09/2014 at 09:37:04
Is there a shortage of foot doctors in the UK? Why the hell does he need to go to Belgium? If I had a painful toe I would opt for the shortest possible journey to a hospital/surgery rather than faffing about in airports.

Of course this could just be a question of the Belgian doctors trying to get a foot in the door of the NHS!

Harold Matthews
13 Posted 06/09/2014 at 09:34:05
Hope he recovers quickly. We need him.
Dave Pritchard
14 Posted 06/09/2014 at 09:49:02
He hasnÂ’t looked right this season and has had some stick on these pages. Obviously played all 3 games with the injury and with that in mind heÂ’s not done that badly.

If he has to miss West Brom to get fully fit then so be it. We need him fully fit with the fixture congestion. Real worry is if he is out for a while.

Thank goodness we got EtoÂ’o in who is hopefully training hard during the international break.

Jon Withey
15 Posted 06/09/2014 at 09:59:58
Hopefully we have enough to beat WBA without Lukaku – I’d rather he healed and be ready for tougher games to be honest.

We’ll miss him though, I don’t think he is appreciated enough as the battering ram that he is – he definitely makes space for others and we don’t have other players like him.

I doubt weÂ’ll get 90 out of EtoÂ’o and heÂ’s a completely different sort of player.

Aidy Dews
16 Posted 06/09/2014 at 10:04:53
Not too concerned about this news really. HeÂ’s played through the pain and tbh, itÂ’s probably showed in his performances and IÂ’d rather he just got it sorted than keep on playing and just not making any progress with it!

EtoÂ’o to me looks fit enough to play at least 60 mins in games, he looks more naturally fit than Rom and heÂ’s got through some minutes in games this season so IÂ’m sure EtoÂ’o would be okay starting. If weÂ’re without Lukaku and go with EtoÂ’o up top, we just change it after an hour and put Naismith up front and put an extra midfielder in deep or bring someone like Ossie on to play off the front man?!

But the encouraging thing is, Kone as played 2 behind closed doors games now, the most recent being yesterday, and he came through fine and actually got a goal yesterday, so who knows, he may be closer to a return than expected, then again, Martinez did say mid September to end of month him and Oviedo (who also played that game) would be back and fit!

Craig Fletcher
17 Posted 06/09/2014 at 10:15:29
Jim Bennings,

"The way we defend we havenÂ’t a cat in hellÂ’s chance at Anfield, 100% fit Lukaku or not".

Would you be happier if we just forfeit the game now?

Derek Knox
18 Posted 06/09/2014 at 10:10:45
Colin / Sam

As long as he Â’sticksÂ’ a couple in the back of the net, I donÂ’t think any of us will make any Â’bones about itÂ’.

A bit unfortunate over Rom, but like some posters have said, it would better he gets fully fit and ready for the Bigger games ahead.

I donÂ’t mean to disrespect West Brom, or any other team for that matter, there are no easy games in the Prem, and it is often when you under-estimate these sides that they more often or not, come back to haunt you.

John Crook
19 Posted 06/09/2014 at 10:20:28
Brian (17), Roberto has stated that the block of seven games in the next three weeks will be too soon for Kone and Oviedo. IÂ’m sure we will see Gibson involved in some of those matches considering he lasted 70 mins for Eire the other night.

In my opinion, we should just leave Lukaku out for the West Brom match. He needs to get his toe sorted before further damage is done.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 06/09/2014 at 10:19:49

I agree that we donÂ’t appreciate Lukaku enough, I rate him as a player, heÂ’s talented although IÂ’d have to disagree slightly.

I donÂ’t feel he uses his "battering ram" strength anything like he should. He doesnÂ’t get his body between man and ball and protect it enough for me yet, although he obviously has time and a fine tutor to improve this.

I do remember this being one of the main criticisms of Victor Anichebe during his time here, all the body strength of a rhino but didnÂ’t have the stomach for it on a consistent basis.

Rom is a better player, goalscorer than Anichebe ever will be but I just hope he does (and I think he will) do it more consistently and utilise his strengths to reach his full potential.

Craig Fletcher
24 Posted 06/09/2014 at 10:44:31
There seems to be a high prevalence of World Cup players getting early-season long-term injuries. Think Barkley for us, Giroud for Arsenal, now Sturridge. Makes me think that Roberto was on to something when he decided to carefully manage the playing time of Lukaku, Mirallas in pre-season.
Raymond Crump
25 Posted 06/09/2014 at 10:44:15
Why not try Chris Long? He might be able to do a job...
Danny Kewley
28 Posted 06/09/2014 at 10:39:42
As good a coach as RM has proved himself to be, he donÂ’t half talk some shit man! I mean all this schpeel and bollocks he comes out with about having a good relationship with the Belgian Federation!!!!

The lad (Rom) has got a sore fucking toe! Okay, so fix it, and as someone earlier rightly pointed out – Why fly to Belgium? It’s almost like Bob is getting his excuses in early! Ironic that he’s being defensive now....

Craig Fletcher
29 Posted 06/09/2014 at 11:23:13
Brian (17) amazing, but seemingly true! Arouna Kone is still alive and playing football.....
David Hallwood
31 Posted 06/09/2014 at 11:28:54
I just cannot believe the reaction of some posters to the news that Lukaku who was out of the international midweek and is going to miss the West Brom game: "heÂ’s been shit for us for 3 games" and "the ladÂ’s got a sore fucking toe".

HeÂ’s carrying an injury FFS! have any of you tried to play any type of sport nursing an injury, especially foot or feet? The fact that weÂ’re not playing WBA til next week suggests more that a sore toe.

Denis Richardson
32 Posted 06/09/2014 at 12:03:29
Still a whole week to go till the next game. Would wait and see whoÂ’s fit come Friday.

If Rom isnÂ’t 100% then no point in playing him and risking him being out for a long time. Players get injured, luckily sounds like itÂ’s not serious. EtoÂ’o, Mirallas and Naismith should be enough to see off West Brom.

Enjoy the week off.

Peter Gorman
34 Posted 06/09/2014 at 13:19:11
Come back Victor Anichebe, all is forgiven.
Tim Greeley
35 Posted 06/09/2014 at 13:28:48
Something I have often thought with Rom. If anyone followed him when he did his season with WBA, they actually used him as a high impact sub a lot and he scored a shitload of goals that way. DonÂ’t worry about 90 minutes just come in and give everything for 30 minutes.

Might be the way to go next week if, God forbid, we need it. The amount of important games coming up is kooky.

Matt Traynor
36 Posted 06/09/2014 at 14:08:42
Tim #38, I saw that. He played in 35 league games for WBA, so basically missed 1 game for whatever reason (he wasnÂ’t booked once). 20 of those games were starts, 15 as sub, and it seems often for Shane Long.

It was almost like he was guaranteed 30-45 mins a game, and so Long knackered himself out, wore out the defenders, then they unleashed Rom. TaggartÂ’s last game was at WBA, and he came on when they were 0-2 down at HT, hit a hatrick in a 5-5 draw.

For whatever reason, last season and this, Rom doesnÂ’t look to have 90 mins in him at this stage.

Joe O'Brien
37 Posted 06/09/2014 at 14:29:03
Yeah IÂ’d just swop him for EtoÂ’o, play Naisy behind him. No point in making the injury worse while trying to play on. Big games coming up IÂ’d much prefer to have Rom back fully fit for them. Even though we need these 3 points so this a big game too, IÂ’d say weÂ’ll be too much for West Brom.

ItÂ’s a total mystery with Kone. IÂ’d seriously doubt weÂ’ll see him before November. On another note was there any comeback date given for Ross? I donÂ’t think so. Is this another big secret?

Dan Brierley
38 Posted 06/09/2014 at 14:48:50
In some ways, I am relieved that he has been carrying an injury as that can explain why he has not been as explosive as we know he can be. I am looking forward to him getting some treatment and getting back to his best.

If Mirallas and Naismith can continue their form from the last game it wont be too much of a concern if Lukaku has to sit out 2-3 games, especially with EtoÂ’o there or thereabouts.

Kieran Kinsella
39 Posted 06/09/2014 at 15:09:29
We arenÂ’t going to see much of Kone, McAleny, Long, Grant etc because they arenÂ’t real. BK has been fooling us we have a large squad by getting Osman and Hibbert to don masks a la Scooby Doo. If Os or Hibb are in the squad their Scooby Doo villain alter egos canÂ’t be. Heard this from a mate whose mam polishes BKs copper replica of an Oscar.
Andy Meighan
40 Posted 06/09/2014 at 15:09:03
So Mick (#8), we paid 㿈M for him – does that make him a good player? Not in my opinion, it doesnÂ’t. He only looks good on the odd occasion or when it suits. Full of his own self-worth, in my view, when really heÂ’s not really that good.

But, having said that, if he has been playing with an injury, thatÂ’s a sad indictment on the manager because, in the 3 games so far, heÂ’s done nothing apart from create a goal for Naismith and crash a lovely header against the bar against Chelsea. HeÂ’s contributed nothing at all. And if IÂ’m honest he wonÂ’t be missed.

Jackie Barry
41 Posted 06/09/2014 at 16:44:47
Blimey he has a great scoring record, the proof is in the pudding, which is after all his job and he still gets condemned. I think he is the best striker we have had at the club for years.
Michael Kenrick
42 Posted 06/09/2014 at 16:54:59
"In the 3 games so far, heÂ’s done nothing apart from create a goal for Naismith and crash a lovely header against the bar against Chelsea. HeÂ’s contributed nothing at all."

Read that three times now – wish I hadn’t... but I’m still trying to get my head around it. What is about football that makes people say the strangest things?

Paul Ellam
43 Posted 06/09/2014 at 16:57:31
After years and years of having bad forwards who didnÂ’t score many goals I am glad we have got Lukaku, who over the last 2 seasons has been extremely prolific.

3 games does not make a season and I am willing to give him time.

Lyndon Lloyd
44 Posted 06/09/2014 at 17:04:20
Being a top-class striker is not solely about scoring goals.

In addition to creating the goal for Naismith against Arsenal and hitting the crossbar against Chelsea, it was also his floated pass to the left that led to the second goal against Leicester City.

And if you watch the second goal against Chelsea, itÂ’s LukakuÂ’s presence that drags the defenders away to create the space for NaismithÂ’s excellent run for McGeady.

And, as others have said, the poor blokeÂ’s been playing through injury and he has a great scoring record. Can we just give him some time?

Robert Collins
45 Posted 06/09/2014 at 17:03:26
Mick Wrende @ 8

Mick, itÂ’s not good heÂ’s injured and I donÂ’t think anyone thinks that.

Some of us feel the way heÂ’s playing at the moment, he just wonÂ’t be missed now heÂ’s injured.

Keeping Jelavic and saving some money doesnÂ’t look like a bad option at this point.

Lukaku will improve (no doubts) but I hope itÂ’s not too late to help us.

Zahir Jaffer
46 Posted 06/09/2014 at 17:08:09
Lukaku was definitely injured during the Chelsea game. Watched it again and he was limping throughout and it became more prominent at the 58th minute.

It wasnÂ’t a game I wanted to watch again, but I wanted to get a closer view of our players. Our CBs werenÂ’t all that bad, it was more of our wingers and forwards not tracking back and helping out. Which was a gamble by Martinez, considering we were going on the offensive to get a something out of it.

Matt Traynor
47 Posted 06/09/2014 at 17:29:33
Mike #42 "What is about football that makes people say the strangest things?"

I remember someone on these pages having a go at Tim Cahill a few years back, and said "Apart from all the goals he scores, what does he actually do for us?"

Takes me back to "All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?"

Kunal Desai
48 Posted 06/09/2014 at 17:20:26
As already mentioned, Lukaku is as yet to get on the scoresheet this season but has assisted and contributed in some form for the other forwards this season. In his absence IÂ’d rather see Mirallas behind Naismith with EtoÂ’o to come on for about 20-25 minutes.

IÂ’m far more concerned at this minute about the inability of Jagielka and Distin being able to defend for 90 minutes. I sincerely hope that RM and his staff have been working in recent days on finding a solution to this leaky defence.

Frank Crewe
49 Posted 06/09/2014 at 17:35:55
WouldnÂ’t it be great to sign players who are actually fit once in a while?
Kevin Tully
50 Posted 06/09/2014 at 17:38:21
Kunal - I am sure they will be, but Jagielka seems to be very low on confidence at the moment.

I read somewhere, that during our first three games the opposition have had 14 shots on target, with 10 of those ending up in the back of the net.

I gave seen game where a team has had that amount of shots on target and not even scored. Funny old game as they say.

Gavin Johnson
51 Posted 06/09/2014 at 17:18:39
My first though was "Thank God we managed to Get EtoÂ’o in so at least weÂ’re still competitive".

Even though I donÂ’t agree with the criticism of Lukaku. I can understand that people grumble about his first touch which can be woeful at times, but if he was better at this I honestly donÂ’t think heÂ’d be playing in an Everton shirt.

At the age of 21 hes got a better scoring record than Messi, Ronaldo and Aguero, and heÂ’s definitely got more to his game than just goal scoring. His sheer physicality means heÂ’s going to bully some defenders and itÂ’s been noted by Lyndon and a few others heÂ’s made goals for Naismith whoÂ’s been playing in the false number 9) by drawing defenders away from him. He also contributes with assists like the one for Naismith against Arsenal.

If aspects of his game (like first touch) were as good as some of the others weÂ’d be talking about a 60m striker, way out of our price range! HeÂ’s got time on his side at 21 and weÂ’ve not got the finished article yet

Michael Kenrick
52 Posted 06/09/2014 at 17:42:57
Ahh... the incomparable wisdom of Monty P, Matt. Their sheer brilliance will never be equalled.

Although Robert Collins (#45) seems to be trying (my patience) with another bizarre face-palm statement:

Keeping Jelavic and saving some money doesnÂ’t look like a bad option at this point.

What?!? In case you hadnÂ’t noticed, keeping Jelavic and saving some money is NOT an option. HeÂ’s gone! He left months and months ago! Lukaku is here. WeÂ’ve paid for him, his name is on the squad list submitted to the Premier League...

My head hurts.

John Pickles
54 Posted 06/09/2014 at 18:05:09
"But this week itÂ’s been important for us to give him a specific treatment to work on that [toe] and make sure that his recovery time has been exactly what heÂ’s needed."..............This is Everton, heÂ’s probably out for the season!
Andy Meighan
55 Posted 06/09/2014 at 18:35:15
Yes Micheal (#42) if youÂ’d have read my post properly I said apart from that what has he contributed, and in my opinion, heÂ’s contributed jack shit in the 3 games so far.

IÂ’m only going on what IÂ’ve seen and IÂ’ve seen the 3 games like I said if heÂ’s been playing with an injury it doesnÂ’t reflect well on the manager, who seemingly all but blew our transfer budget on him and has also been quoted as saying "IÂ’d have paid 𧴜 mil for him." Him and others must be seeing things IÂ’m not because I found that statement absolutely bizarre.

Like IÂ’ve said on other threads, heÂ’d do well to learn off Naismith whose work rate and finishing actually puts this big time Charlie to shame. But hey IÂ’ve always been under the impression itÂ’s a game of opinions, hey Micheal?

Peter Mills
56 Posted 06/09/2014 at 18:45:01
IÂ’m very pleased weÂ’ve got Lukaku and EtoÂ’o. And Naismith. TheyÂ’ll produce some exciting moments this season.
Michael Kenrick
57 Posted 06/09/2014 at 19:32:35
Haha, Andy... you are funny. So, coz I canÂ’t read what you said the first time, your gonna repeat it?

Maybe it will help if I spell it out: "Apart from contributing something, he contributed nothing. Nothing at all. Jack shit." ThatÂ’s what youÂ’re saying.

Just to be clear, youÂ’re going to stand by that as your "opinion", right? All I can suggest is that you read MattÂ’s post, about the Romans, then read yours... see if you canÂ’t sense a little irony in there somewhere.

We all know LukakuÂ’s been below par, and playing with an injury seems foolhardy at best... but they all do it to a certain extent. IÂ’m not arguing with that opinion. Pain-killing injections seem just ridiculous to me, and may have evidently made things worse in this case.

But I am questioning the sense of saying "Let’s ignore what he has contributed in these three games: look at everything else he hasn’t contributed that he coulda/shoulda — see: he’s contributed nothing (apart from what he has contributed, which I’m ignoring)."

Tell me, doesnÂ’t that sound just a little bit silly?

Christopher Wallace
58 Posted 06/09/2014 at 19:41:26
Michael 52

I feel your pain, I really do.

Jamie Barlow
59 Posted 06/09/2014 at 19:51:02
IÂ’ve been to Goodison twice this season - except for the Arsenal and Chelsea games.
Sam Higgins
61 Posted 06/09/2014 at 20:58:53
Keeping Angell and saving some money doesnÂ’t seem like a bad option now...
Robert Collins
62 Posted 06/09/2014 at 20:20:30
Michael Kenrick @ 52

"Keeping Jelavic and saving some money doesnÂ’t look like a bad option at this point."

Well targeted! Quite right I neglected to put JelavicÂ’s status correctly in the past, in the above statement. My apologies if I confused you.

Conn Prosser
63 Posted 06/09/2014 at 21:31:29
He did have pain-killing injections before playing didn't he? Those things should be outlawed in professional sport. Not that I'm a qualified physician but when do they ever help a player's recovery?

That said, we have seven goals from three games, thanks largely to Lukaku's contribution. I imagine there could have been a win if he was 100%. I can also imagine the frustration of fans if he didn't play any of our opening games after splashing 㿈M. Who'd be a manager?

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
64 Posted 06/09/2014 at 22:19:40
Thanks, Robert (#63). Sorry but it kinda leapt off the screen at me.
Andy Meighan
65 Posted 06/09/2014 at 22:26:06
Michael, while I donÂ’t wish to get into some of heated debate about the matter I think even you would have to admit that Lukaku has been piss poor in the 3 games this season and for 㿈M I really would like to see more buck for my bang. That said, if heÂ’s been carrying an injury, he shouldnÂ’t have been anywhere near the first team. But, like I said, thatÂ’s down to Martinez not us fans is it.

IÂ’ll be honest here and say at times last season he looked an absolute beast. But at other times he looked as if he didnÂ’t give a flying one and how frustrating is that? We all go the game thinking, "Yeah, heÂ’s only up against him, heÂ’ll tear him to bits." But he never turned up and that happened quite a few times.

I know every top striker doesnÂ’t either, by the way. But Lukaku is quite fond of bulling himself up and thatÂ’s what annoys me. HeÂ’s definitely got it in his locker but it hasnÂ’t come out enough. Yet. Oh and IÂ’m glad for once I provoked a response. Even if it was negative. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, mate.

Mark Andersson
67 Posted 06/09/2014 at 23:03:27
Always entertaining reading these posts. Didn't Gary Linker suffer most of his career with big toe issues and he done okay.
Christopher Wallace
68 Posted 07/09/2014 at 00:41:39
Messi failed to score or provide an assist in Barca's last game. I'm inclined to say that he's a poor player, but I'm not sure about the current health of his toes.

Lukaku's floated ball in Leicester game to set up goal was quality.

His assist for Naismith was well executed, albeit with a little help from the linesman.

He was desperately unlucky with the header against Chelsea, having out-jumped John Terry like he was a midget.

He took 4 Chelsea defenders out if the equation for Naismith's goal.

Not too bad for a player who is playing through the pain barrier, and who clearly is short of fitness and sharpness.

However, I'm fond of Jelavic, and I'm quite impartial to a bit of money, so I'm intrigued about this option that has been leaked in this thread...

Christopher Wallace
69 Posted 07/09/2014 at 00:52:21
Andy 56

What makes Lukaku a "big time charlie" in your opinion?

Is it because he mentioned once or twice that he was ambitious and wanted to play in champions league, before deciding that he could fulfil that ambition at Everton?

Whether we pay 㿞k or 㿞m for a striker, I want them to be ambitious, confident, selfish, arrogant... torture the opposition and constantly scream at his fellow players to give him the ball at every opportunity. Most importantly, bang the goals in against everyone and anyone, which he has done thus far in his short career.

That being said, Lukaku seems like a really good, intelligent lad. He could do with being a bit more ruthless and selfish like Diego Costa and Zlatan, and hopefully that will come with experience... he is still a kid ffs.

Si Cooper
70 Posted 07/09/2014 at 00:52:56
Some intelligent posts from the likes of Gavin Johnson, Christopher Wallace to name just two.

Sorry Andy Meighan but your opinion really doesn't sway me.

Matt Traynor (#36) hit upon an apposite point for me. The lad (yes, at 21 he is still developing physically) is being asked to do a very arduous task, i.e. lead our line for 90 minutes in most games. There is a limit to what anyone can give over the course of a match and he is pacing himself to do his job for the whole of the game (if he burns himself out in 30 minutes then he wrecks the manager's plans). That takes discipline and application and I've yet to see him do anything but accept his role and instructions unequivocally.

He is covering a decent amount of ground with unselfish runs and people are having a go at him for his lack of goals so far. If you can't appreciate what he is trying to do then you don't understand the ethos of a team sport. It would be massively different if he were spurning a load of chances or we weren't scoring goals as a team.

Why are some people so bothered about where he gets treated? Patient / doctor rapport and trust is undoubtedly a factor in working together towards a recovery. If he feels more comfortable with a professional in Belgium why deny him it?

Kieran Kinsella
71 Posted 07/09/2014 at 01:34:34
Sam Higgins, I think he works at Tesco now.
Harold Matthews
72 Posted 07/09/2014 at 01:42:42
He has tremendous presense. Defenders are always aware of him. When McGeady put Naismith through, the big fella ran to the right and three defenders momentarily went with him. It made a difference.
Michael Penley
73 Posted 07/09/2014 at 04:19:55
I noticed that too, Harold. Considering a lot of defenders will be told to stick to the big man, sometimes it's better to use him as a foil. Which I think is what we've been doing and why Naisy has been able to break through.

Then we'll have games where the opposition is smart enough to see this, so he'll need to play a different role. It's still far better than Jelavic sitting up with defenders hanging off him, getting 4-5 offsides per game.

If I read Roberto's philosophy correctly, the aim is to build in-game understanding and intelligence so players know exactly when to change things without being told.

James Hill
74 Posted 07/09/2014 at 08:01:02
Look at the stats our win rate is far better when he plays. What more do you want. Goals will come
Anto Byrne
75 Posted 07/09/2014 at 06:28:01
Give Long a shot. Of course, we have Atsu to come in and maybe make room for Gibson in a 3-2-4-1 formation.
Danny Kewley
76 Posted 07/09/2014 at 09:03:39
At the end of the day it’s a game of two halves – or, to use the cliche in a different way on this matter – an opinion of two halves!

As regards big Rom, clearly he has undoubted striker skills in his locker and I as an Evertonian will be made up when he gets over his injury. For me, though, I find a lot of his good work is undone by some sloppy first touches and poor decision-making in not sussing out where the through ball is going.

On the other hand my lad and many more reckon Rom is going to be a legend... I really hope so!

Brian Furey
78 Posted 07/09/2014 at 10:29:15
I read as far as post 41 and I moved on before I got totally depressed. A lot of lads on here need to wake up and have a look at themselves.

Yes we have made a bad start defensively but we have a much better squad already now than with Moysey. We scored 5 goals against Chelsea and Arsenal ffs! I can't recall that happening for years.

Calm down, lads, and trust in our excellent manager.

Amit Vithlani
79 Posted 07/09/2014 at 11:41:14
If the rumours on Eto'o are to be believed, we may have no out-and-out forward available for the next game (although, until it's official, I don't believe it). That said, what we now have is greater tactical flexibility available with the players at our disposal: 4-3-3 with McGeady and Mirallas flanking Nais and Barry, McCarthy and Gibson/Besic becomes a solid option.

Naismith is not at his best leading the line but his unselfish nature means we can still make 4-3-3 work.

Mirallas looked very good against Chelsea (without much of a pre-season) and will have more space to roam and become a goal threat.

The formation should also allow McGeady to focus on attacking his full back and he is beginning to show glimpses of quality. His goal vs Leicester and the 2nd goal v Chelsea stand out. Baines should get more space if Mirallas cuts in off the left. 3 centre mids should help us overcome an Achilles heel – being counter attacked. It should also provide defensive cover.

However, with no natural box-to-box midfielders, we could become quite defensive so it's not a formation I would deploy if Rom, Eto'o or Kone are fit.

Jimmy-Ã…ge Sørheim
80 Posted 07/09/2014 at 23:44:41
I second those who are worried about Lukaku.

I do think Martinez has to get real and take care of the injury once and for all, otherwise Lukaku will not be able to perform like we know he can.

Barkley had that toe injury last season and it affected him, so Martinez needs to get real.

Injecting him with painkillers is just a prolonging of that problem.

Chris Fisher
81 Posted 08/09/2014 at 10:24:13
Wow, some of you are absolute morons. Three games in and apparently Lukaku is crap!!

He was Man of the Match against Arsenal and we went to bits after he went off as we no longer had a threat up front to hold the ball up and push them back.

His movement and hold up play against Chelsea was brilliant and he has been playing with an injury. He is 21 and the majority of you are writing him off after 3 games. Fuck sake.

Peter Bell
82 Posted 08/09/2014 at 11:56:27
I wish some people would stop referring to Lukaku as a kid.

A 16-year-old Rooney is a kid
He is 21 FFS – not a kid anymore in footballing terms.

Andrew Ellams
83 Posted 08/09/2014 at 12:00:02
Peter, he definitely is. He has a long way to go before he hits peak and is still learning.
Christopher Wallace
84 Posted 08/09/2014 at 12:14:52

How many big, powerful, quality strikers in a similar mould to Lukaku were anywhere near the finished article by the age of 21? A few examples would be nice, as I can't think of any of the top of my head.

Strikers like these improve with experience, learning how to effectively use their assets, and improve their awareness on the pitch.

Drogba was still playing in the French 2nd tier when he was about 26. I do believe his the player that we would all like Lukaku to emulate.

People referring to him as 'a kid' is because he is relatively very young to be playing such a difficult role, with a lot of responsibility heaped on his young shoulders.

Dave Pritchard
85 Posted 08/09/2014 at 13:21:16
I believe Lukaku will come good again once he is fully fit. Therefore he should not play until that is the case, hopefully not too long a break.

Considering he has played 3 games with this injury, his performances have not been as bad as some are making out. Naismith has certainly benefitted from Rom's presence as I think he (Naismith) has said himself.

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