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Everton trio help England get off to winning start

by | 08/09/2014  Comments (73)  jump
Stones, Baines and Jagielka all feature in Switzerland
John Stones was selected for his second start in and England shirt as Roy Hodgson's men picked up a morale-boosting 2-0 win in Switzerland to open their Euro216 qualifying campaign.

Leighton Baines was also named in the starting XI at left back with Stones in the opposite fullback position as England eventually went ahead through a Danny Welbeck goal in the second half.

Phil Jagielka came on for the last quarter of an hour in place of the injured Phil Jones as the Swiss stepped up their attempts to salvage a draw but Welbeck sealed the points on the break with a second in injury time.

Meanwhile, Brendan Galloway helped England U19s draw 1-1 in Germany.  

Reader Comments (73)

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Joseph Hinchliff
1 Posted 08/09/2014 at 22:07:15
Pleased for the lads. Even happier to see them all come through injury free!
Andy Meighan
2 Posted 08/09/2014 at 22:05:41
I donÂ’t fancy Stones as a right back but, my god, that is an old head on young shoulders. He made it look easy tonight against, letÂ’s not forget, a decent Swiss side. When he played centre-back last season, I thought he looked as if heÂ’d been playing there for years. IÂ’ve been saying for a while now he should be in for Jagielka but I donÂ’t think Martinez will change it.

Having said that, Jags was great when he got on tonight. Like his old self. I hope itÂ’s a sign of things to come if he does stay in the side, but Stones to me looks a natural. What a snip he was.

Kevin Rowlands
3 Posted 08/09/2014 at 22:46:31
Thought the Everton lads did great, Baines is one hell of a player and Stones would be so much better at CB than Jones.

Can anyone please explain to me why Jack Wilshere is rated so highly? He couldn't even connect on a simple five-yard pass half the time; over-rated would be an understatement.

Next season for us, Stones and Galloway may be our regular CB combination, I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Tom Bowers
4 Posted 08/09/2014 at 22:49:04
Any win is a good win, especially away from home, but despite some shaky moments and great stops from Hart, the Swiss were punished on the counter to which they looked vulnerable all night.

Everton’s two full-backs played very well but the main thing is they didn’t get injured (I hope).

Wilshere and Rooney looked more like their old selves tonight and it was good to see Welbeck finding his scoring boots again.

Michael Coville
5 Posted 08/09/2014 at 22:47:20
Martinez has to play Stones more – otherwise, he will want to leave, he is a full English International and will want to continue to play for England. Sitting on the bench is not going to allow him to achieve that goal.

Martinez would be wise to do some rotating of centre-back's, giving the two older members some rest time in-between games. Jags especially and Distin to some extent have looked tired of late and could do with some rest time.

Terry Murphy
6 Posted 08/09/2014 at 22:55:16
Can anyone think of another situation where a regular England starter wasn't getting a start for Everton?
Phil Walling
7 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:03:07
Isn't it ironic that at the time most of us are condemning Everton's defence, no less than three of their number are starring for England.

Maybe, just maybe, it's our manager's tactics/ philosophy that's at fault ?

.......retires to don tin hat.

Andy Finigan
8 Posted 08/09/2014 at 22:55:41
Michael, don't worry, John Stones will get plenty of game time in cup competitions. Also, he has signed a new contract with us so he is here for some time.

As for tonight's game, I agree with you, Kevin, he looks far better in the centre where he could bring the ball out and start attacks. If only Ross Barkley was fit, he would've been a cert to play and I think England miss his services.

Jack Wilshere looked poor, but I suppose they will improve with more game time in an England shirt. All told, a win was the priority.

Jamie Barlow
9 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:07:14
I don't think Stones is the type to ask for a move because he isn't getting a game. He knows where he is and seems happy enough.

All the Everton lads did well enough tonight. Jags looked great when he came on. Baines was his normal busy self and if I was him I'd be pretty pissed at the number of times he was ignored when making good runs. Stones looked as cool as he normally does but was caught out of position a couple of times. He isn't a right back though.

I think it says more about the state of English football when England's right back is Evertons third choice centre-half.

Ciaran Duff
10 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:18:01
And you're making that judgement after 3 games are you, Phil... because last season (under the same manager), we were one of the best defences in the EPL.
Kevin Rowlands
11 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:14:54
Phil, all three are on paper saying Martinez has been a breath of fresh air and they love playing for him, in all the first three games we've played we've had some bad luck in defense, shit happens, but we have also been fantastic to watch going forward, seriously, why do you dislike Martinez so much? I don't understand it.
Kevin Tully
12 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:25:27
Phil, don't forget four of ours were playing for Ireland, and look what McGeady did for them. Did you see his second goal? That Martinez tosser has a lot to answer for...that's 7 players he's ruined right there. Oh, and Naismith for Scotland, make that 8.
Carl Sanderson
13 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:29:26
This good performance hasn't stopped various pundits, notably Danny Mills, as well as the RS cheerleaders from the Telegraph, from slaughtering Baines again. Mills reckoned the two full-backs were the weak link in the team. Just goes to show that members of the commentariat know no more than your average pub pisshead.
Trevor Lynes
14 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:32:27
I reckon Stones did okay but was caught out of position once or twice. Stones is still learning and England do not have an alternative with Johnson out injured. He was quite steady but did not come near Baines's standard. Baines must have covered more ground than any other player on the field and for my money was England's best attacking outlet.

Jags came on and was straight into the fray, making blocks and headers immediately. Milner also was better than Wilshere who has not improved since he was a youngster. The lad has decent ball control but is wayward in his distribution and lacks pace.

Raymond Fox
15 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:21:57
I agree with Jamie 9. "I think it says more about the state of English football when England's right back is Everton's third choice centre-half."

John will be a top player in a year or so, but I think he's in danger of being pushed too hard before he is truly ready. His positional play is all over the place at times.

Okay, you could argue that playing him is the only way he is going to get the experience. Yes, it is, but I would play him in our perceived easier games, and then don't expect him to be faultless!

Julian Wait
16 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:41:08
Why not Stones and Jagielka for Everton? I certainly don't think he will drop Jags and I don't think we can play Jags and Distin together any more.

I know there's the left / right thing but it seems with Barry and Baines playing leftish the worst thing, would be to nullify Baines forward threat by drawing him back. Play a true winger in front of Baines and the balance comes back, in a different guise.

Not sure I buy into the whole hacking to have a lefty in the centre thing either ...

Andrew James
17 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:45:57
Carl - totally agree... Mills was a yard dog who got to play in 2002 due to injuries. Him being critical of Baines and Stones (the former who had no cover and the latter who is a kid) is ridiculous.

Alan Green was likewise but John Murray said nothing. Nobody said anything about Sterling's inability to pass in attacking areas. I am amazed that Andy Townsend on ITV actually seems insightful in comparison!

Dennis Stevens
18 Posted 08/09/2014 at 23:53:33
HaHaHa! Danny Mills having the affront to criticise any full-back! You'd think he'd be too embarrassed to mention it for fear of comparison.
Craig Fletcher
19 Posted 09/09/2014 at 00:00:38
I thought Baines had a great match; Stones did okay, was caught out of position a couple of times, probably not surprising considering his inexperience / and that he’s much better suited to being a centre half. The fact he plays at RB for England is more an indictment of England’s lack of alternatives at RB (not having a pop at Stones – he would have been far more effective at CB than Phil Jones).

Phil Walling – I agree on the irony, however three games into the season it’s too early to make those judgment calls. If we’re still conceding an average of 3 goals a game come Christmas time I might be more inclined to agree.

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 09/09/2014 at 00:02:46
Phil Walling you do not need a tin hat – all you do is tell it as you see it.

YouÂ’ll do for me. Anyone who tells the truth can do no wrong for me.

Carry on putting your tuppence worth in. I think you do okay.

Phil Walling
21 Posted 09/09/2014 at 00:05:08
Why is everyone so sensitive over any suggestion that this season's defensive lapses MIGHT be attributable to the manager's tactics?

It wasn't an allegation, only a thought that our defenders aren't as crap as so many thought last week.

Since when was ANY manager beyond even a hint of criticism?

Si Cooper
22 Posted 09/09/2014 at 00:19:13
I don't think it is a case of being over sensitive Phil, it is just when you can see individual players making obvious mistakes it is hard to take seriously the notion that they are making these mistakes due to the instructions that the manager is giving them or the way the team is set-up.

I think a lot of people accept that there is probably more pressure on some positions than the way OFM played, but that is the price to pay for increasing your attacking options and the players handled it for the vast majority of the time last season. Some of the mistakes they have made so far this season have been particularly extreme errors of judgement. A professional footballer shouldn't be prone to regular extreme mistakes.

Jags has looked ropey at times whoever he has been playing for recently. Hopefully it is a temporary thing and he will regain his form and confidence very soon.

Andy Crooks
23 Posted 09/09/2014 at 00:40:22
Just saw Aiden's second goal. I'm glad he plays for Everton because that was special.
Phil Walling
24 Posted 09/09/2014 at 00:42:01
Si, Jags made no less than five goal-saving clearances in the short time he was on tonight. A week ago he was supposed to be finished

Of course, all he was doing was what he does best. Clearing his line. For Everton he would have pissed about "trying to find a pass"!

Kevin Rowlands
25 Posted 09/09/2014 at 00:48:34
Phil, please don't make things up, go back and look at the match reports from the first three games and lots of posters, including Martinez supporters have been very critical, tactics, substitutions etc, some of it's been great, some not so!
Si Cooper
26 Posted 09/09/2014 at 01:07:11
Sounds like he is on his way to finding his form and confidence, Phil.

Chucking himself about heroically is a particular strength of his though, so hopefully that will also help him start picking the right passes and the best time to try to play an attacker offside again.

Jason Heng
27 Posted 09/09/2014 at 02:29:06
Maybe we should rope in Hodgson to coach the defense. The England gaffer as our number 2 or 3...
Brian Cleveland
28 Posted 09/09/2014 at 05:48:37
Am I the only one then that thought Stones looked a little out of sorts? I thought he was better when he first came into our team than he is now... more confident, more arrogant... he now seems to hesitate a little more to my mind.

I also thought that today he was defending very narrow, he ended up being in the CB position rather than RB giving the man on the wing so much room and time to decide where he wanted to play it in.

Yes he's got lots of time to improve, but I feel less confident about him than I did at the end of last season... am I alone in that?

Darren Hind
29 Posted 09/09/2014 at 05:51:17
So our "crap" defenders CAN deal with free kicks and corners? They CAN work as a cohesive unit ? They can even manage to keep a clean sheet.

"In all the first three games we've played we've had some bad luck in defense"

Yeah, that 'll be it, Kevin.

Hopefully they all come back healthy and ready to carry on the good work at the Hawthorns.

Darryl Ritchie
31 Posted 09/09/2014 at 07:04:34
Just an observation. Stones can play right back, but he’s a much better as a CB. He seems to lack the pace to attack/cover out wide. If he plays the position more, he will undoubtably become more competent.

However...he will be a star at centre back!

Richard Lyons
32 Posted 09/09/2014 at 08:32:12
Brian #28 – I agree with you, Stones did not look that confident with the ball, and only ever seemed to pass backwards. He’s not a natural right back – and let’s face it, he won’t get a look in for us in that position if Coleman stays fit.

I thought Wilshere was rubbish, considering he was supposed to be the lynchpin connecting defence to midfield.

People are saying Switzerland are a hard team to beat, but, well they are only Switzerland. I think if England had played like that against Germany or Holland it would have been carnage.

Trevor Lynes
33 Posted 09/09/2014 at 08:36:57
Stones does not have the pace for fullback and Coleman will never be displaced by him. He is more assured in the centre of defence and it better suits his height and lack of real pace. I would worry about him playing right back for us!
Andrew Ellams
34 Posted 09/09/2014 at 08:40:57
John Stones is not the first centre back to do his apprenticeship at full back. It will improve his ball skills no end. However, he is probably one of the first to do that apprenticeship at international level.
Steve Cotton
35 Posted 09/09/2014 at 08:41:20
Watching the game last night, the weak link in the team was Wilshere: he gave it away 4 times in 2 minutes at one point, went running up front occasionally leaving no DM.

Also, I thought the vastly over-hyped Sterling came crashing down to earth with a poor performance. I thought Henderson did okay and Welbeck was our MotM. Jags looked completely assured when he came on and made the defence gel again.

How that Behrami, the lad with streaks, stayed on the pitch I will never know. He should have been cautioned on 3 occasions at least.

Anyway, justice done; well done, Engerland....

Jon Withey
36 Posted 09/09/2014 at 08:48:48
Baines and Jagielka played well. I thought Stones was a bit error prone and tired later on but heÂ’ll get better. It occurred to me watching him the lack of match fitness he must have.
Dave Lynch
37 Posted 09/09/2014 at 08:53:16
I remember McFadden scoring a better one for Scotland, where you glad he played for Everton?
Tommy Campbell
38 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:10:30
@ Dave (#37),

I think McGeady is similar to McFadden in some ways, both with the ability to produce something magic every now and then.

The problem with McFadden was that these moments were few and far between and his overall contribution was questionable at times. Seemed to lack a great deal of desire I felt. LetÂ’s hope McGeady can deliver with more consistency.

As for Stones, he looked stronger (physically) last night which will help his development as a CB. He’s not a RB, which is why his positioning was off at times. But RB is a tough, specialist role to play – as good as someone like Vidic, Terry etc have been over the last decade, you wouldn’t ever have seen them comfortably slot in at full back.

Dan Nulty
39 Posted 09/09/2014 at 08:49:14
Stones did okay but there were a few times when he was completely out of position as he got dragged up the field. A better side would have taken advantage. Not his fault though. Just play the lad at centre back.

Welbeck looked almost like a footballer last night. Quite impressed with Delph, particularly after getting booked so early to not get another one. I was concerned Hodgson didnÂ’t take him off but it also showed a lot of trust in him that will give him confidence.

All in all, quite a lot of positives but the defence is still not right. Cahill ballooned the ball away a few times, his passing was terrible.

Andrew Ellams
40 Posted 09/09/2014 at 10:04:34
Did anybody else hear John Terry refer to himself and his cronies as the golden generation on Sky Sports last night? Self-righteous prick.
Mick MacManus
41 Posted 09/09/2014 at 10:11:00
We may have had a great defensive record on paper last year, but I remember many games especially before Christmas, where only bad finishing by the opposition or Howard coming to the rescue, kept the goal count down. There were periods of bad defending last season and more by good fortune than anything else, we survived them without conceding. The defensive weakness was anyway there, but masked, and in the first 3 games this season at least, it has come home to roost.
Mick MacManus
42 Posted 09/09/2014 at 10:14:14
ps. I think it is a consequence of our system where we get exposed (Liverpool last year being the most obvious example). Our defensive players are individually decent. Distin never ceases to amaze me with his athleticism at his age, Baines and Jags are generally reliable, and Coleman is improving defensively all the time. Stones looks the biz. A gradual decommissioning of the older centre-halves is in our best interests though.
Phil Walling
43 Posted 09/09/2014 at 10:24:54
With all this criticism of Stones flying about, itÂ’s a good job he is only our reserve right-back! Seamus played his part in the RepublicÂ’s weekend victory so it just has to be Distin to blame for the weakness of EvertonÂ’s defence.

What has now been established is that the manager has NO responsibility for their profligacy.

Mark Wilson
44 Posted 09/09/2014 at 10:08:36
Stones is a CB not a RB and he isnÂ’t great at wing play as last night showed, but he can carry a ball out of defence when playing centrally and heÂ’s strong, confident and can pick out a pass. All in all a fine prospect who is rapidly becoming less prospect more perm starter. So why play him at RB ? Just a reflection of the paucity of talent in that position nationally I guess.

I thought Bainsey looked much more at home in a set up that allowed him to get fwd, now all we need is the "diamond" boys in midfield to pass the ball to him.

Jags did very well when he came on didnÂ’t he. But to read some of these comments here youÂ’d think some had cancelled Christmas by the reaction to criticism of our start to the season defensively. ItÂ’s not just these last three games. Towards the end of the last campaign we shipped a few goals and even when winning looked uneasy at the back, making stupid mistakes and gifting teams like Southampton three points when it really counted.

WeÂ’ve been aweful at the back so far this season and itÂ’s ok to say that, itÂ’s not dis loyal for pityÂ’s sake it is just obvious ! Does it mean last years third best defence is now crap ? I donÂ’t think so, but it does suggest Stones needs a run at CB and a brave decision needs making. It equally suggests Barry and McCarthy need to take a breath and perhaps sit a little deeper to protect against runs and stop the build up possession which often leads to crossing opportunities and frankly we havenÂ’t defended well enough in the air so.....

WeÂ’ve a couple of games coming up that in the circs are more important than otherwise might have been. Need two solid wins with clean sheets please !

Danny Kewley
45 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:30:37
There was something different about the England game last night – the players looked like they could be arsed for a change! The Everton lads all came through really well and the game time would have done them good. Jags in particular got well stuck in when he came on and looked like he’s getting his confidence back already!

Personally I donÂ’t mind John Stones playing right back for England; despite several hiccups, he came through it really well and will definitely get better.

As for Baines, he was class; he made some cracking passes with some great runs –should have received the ball a lot more though. All bodes well for the weekend and I am sure Bobby M will get us back on side again!

By the way AidenÂ’s goal the other night was a pure joy to watch!!


Tony J Williams
46 Posted 09/09/2014 at 11:06:43
I am getting fed up watching Baines making good runs forward to be ignored by the pricks in his own side.

I thought it might stop when old creasehead hung up his boots, but no! The new redshite belter, Henderson, suddenly has a blind spot for the left wing too.

The less said about the diver Stirling the better...

Tony J Williams
47 Posted 09/09/2014 at 11:10:07
And don’t start me going on that wee prick Wilshere.... look at that! He gets me so wound up I start speaking like a Scotsman – and I’m not even Scottish!
Colin Williams
48 Posted 09/09/2014 at 11:43:03
All this crap on here about "Stones canÂ’t do this, canÂ’t do that..." Stones done well. Very little was created down either wide area that our boys played. Again, StonesÂ’s positional play going forward was excellent, creating lots of space and width, stretching the oppositionÂ’s shape and causing gaps to play through. Also supporting his narrow midfield on the right side, who did very little to cover and support him.

Defending-wise, again, no problem: good team shape, great cover to his centre-half all night. Also, great recovery when danger was around. Yes, distribution could have been better! Also maybe more positive in the last third of pitch. Just remember, this young lad had to cover the right flank on his own! So he played like a wing back with very little support from that tit from the dark side.

Baines had a great game, going forward and defending. I believe he was excellent all night. Both our boys who played the 90 mins can be proud of their performances.

Murdo Laing
49 Posted 09/09/2014 at 11:35:12
Welbeck showed last night what he was capable of... he tormented the Swiss defenders with his pressing, and thatÂ’s what our forwards need to do. Roy needs to stick with the 4-3--3 setup as itÂ’s much more suited to counter attack. And really, this is the style that England with itÂ’s quick forward players must now adopt, particularly in tournament football.

The big weakness for me is in defensive midfield. ItÂ’s all very well taking pot shots at Gerrard but, in fairness, the players coming in donÂ’t have his presence, nor that of the other retiree, Lampard. We saw last night that Wilshere was not adept at receiving the ball from his defenders, and this led to Jones and Cahill having to look to their full backs, thus bringing the inevitable "to you, to me" phase into play and slowing the game.

Pete Edwards
50 Posted 09/09/2014 at 12:47:05
@42 strange comment. Howard came to the rescue.... kind of his job isnÂ’t it!! And that makes him part of the defence!
Paul Thompson
52 Posted 09/09/2014 at 13:44:55
I think that JagielkaÂ’s poor form has been down to a knock to his confidence following the World Cup. His energetic and expert performance as a sub last night will, hopefully, have done his confidence a lot of good, with the Blues the beneficiary. Baines was also very good, with Stones, as others have noted, a bit tentative.

As for England, the midfield formation didnÂ’t really work, but the team has speed to burn and always looked dangerous on the break. A win against Switzerland away from home is not to be sniffed at.

Bill Gall
55 Posted 09/09/2014 at 13:56:42
Roy Hodson should inform his midfielders that Baines does not stand still after passing the ball to them as last night he was running into great positions after passing to them but was ignored. Neither Wilshire or Henderson had good games with Delpth the only midfielder to come out of the game with any credit.
Raymond Fox
57 Posted 09/09/2014 at 13:59:42
Phil, we’ve been here many times before, it’s become tiresome, I for one don’t take your criticism seriously because it’s not so much criticism – it’s a vendetta. I include Darren in my comments, although he’s not as persistent as you.

Yes, if you play attacking football, the likelihood is you will concede more goals unless your defenders are supermen, it stands to reason. By the same token, you should increase your chances of scoring more!

What shall we do, go back to MoyesÂ’s preferred tactics? I donÂ’t think you will get much support for that scenario on here.

Brian Waring
60 Posted 09/09/2014 at 14:48:52
Going forward there is not many defenders out there better than Baines, but I always thought the defensive side of his game was suspect, last night though he looked really solid.
Al Reddish
63 Posted 09/09/2014 at 15:34:39
The BBCÂ’s take on our players...Jags - some good clearances. Baines - caught offside for the second time in an England shirt. Stones - the worst pass completion rate in the team 68%.
Charles Brewer
64 Posted 09/09/2014 at 15:34:42
IÂ’m away in Tunisia at the moment so I have seen nothing of the game. However, from what I have read, I think the best thing of all is thar Jagielka played well and confidently (albeit for a short period). Paul (52) expressed what IÂ’ve been thinking all season to date, Jagielka took a severe confidence beating in Brazil.

I have no idea why, yes, the defence failed to stop GerrardÂ’s passes to opposition attackers, Baines was usually the only England player left of the centre spot in the England half, and the cross to Suarez for the first Uruguay goal was absolute perfection. However, I think poor Phil took it all badly.

I hope that this will rekindle his confidence, and that a rotation of Distin, Jagielka and Stones will result in an impenetrable confident and dominating defence

Drew Shortis
66 Posted 09/09/2014 at 15:41:18
Phil Walling,

As Raymond Fox (57) quite correctly pointed out, with a more attacking mentality it is inevitable that the opposition will also have more opportunities themselves. Obviously we donÂ’t want to concede six at home or concede late equalizers in games we have dominated, but if the choice is grounding out dull 1-0 wins or taking more of a risk and winning 6-5, occasionally drawing 10-10 and losing the odd game 10-12 then I will take take the higher score-lines, as long as we are winning more often than not.

When I go to work on a Monday morning, I rarely brag about clean sheets, itÂ’s goals that get me going and under Martinez that is what we are going to see. If that means the occasional rout, then so be it. My focus is on the points tally at the end of the season and the enjoyment I get along the way, not having the meanest defensive record in the league, though that is also something to be proud of.

IÂ’m sure our defence will tighten up over the next few games as the Chelsea game will focus attention on this weakness. We obviously have the players capable of defending effectively, last season proved that, they just need to focus and believe in their own abilities. Hopefully this international break will give them the opportunity to regroup and come back stronger.

Regarding Martinez, I donÂ’t see him as the messiah and without his faults. The pre-season was clearly flawed and has not given us the best of starts but he will learn from his mistakes.

As for the Wigerton jibes, yes, Wigan were relegated playing pretty football but conceding too many goals, but that is Wigan. Perhaps Martinez should have been more pragmatic there and followed a the Pulis model at Stoke, survive by any means. Martinez gambled and lost, but I respect him for sticking to his principles.

We are Everton and we have the personnel and resources to rectify any deficiencies. If we are not in the top six at the end of the season, I will be truly shocked. Only time will tell, but IÂ’m still filled with confidence for the future and a couple of disappointing results arenÂ’t going to change my belief that Martinez is taking this club places (other than the Championship).

Shane Corcoran
67 Posted 09/09/2014 at 16:12:23
.........not to mention such irrelevance as Everton signing a 15-year-old from Northampton.
Keith Glazzard
68 Posted 09/09/2014 at 16:20:21
Did Stevie GBH used to tell his Â’team matesÂ’ not to pass to Baines? Since he has gone, Leighton has been brought into the game much more for England and has been used for the attacking force we know he is. He has been covered in midfield too, something that never happened in Brazil.
Phill Thompson
69 Posted 09/09/2014 at 16:29:11
So, with Brendan Galloway playing central defence for U19s, we had a complete back 4 on international duty for England. Throw in Coleman and Garbutt also on recent International duty, plus Jon-Joe Kenny and Tyias Browning and we look to have some decent backs coming through. Now letÂ’s start to resolve the striking situation...
Andrew Ellams
70 Posted 09/09/2014 at 16:47:22
Phill, what striking situation? Things appear to be going well up front so far...
Andy Finigan
73 Posted 09/09/2014 at 17:12:19
People ask why Stones is playing at right back and not in the center?

Roy has heard all the commentators and journalists lauding his talent and that he is the future, so let’s find a place for him and, hey presto, we are short of a right back – let’s put him there... that way, he is in a win-win situation. Maybe he doesn’t think he is good enough to play as a central defender yet and this is his way of accommodating John Stones into the team?

Either way, in one way I am glad he is getting the experience in the company of other good English players but I hope, if he plays half decent in that position, he doesnÂ’t get the tag of just a versatile back player with no exact role.

Paul Hughes
77 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:04:48
IÂ’ve been to Thailand and had a week of Chang and I have to say, it was pretty decent. However, the exported Chang we get over here at Goodison, I have yet to sample.
Andy Crooks
78 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:48:28
I like the job Martinez is doing but I think that Phil is perfectly entitled to raise legitimate concerns. Surely it is unfair to shout down an Evertonian for expressing an opinion?
Andy Crooks
79 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:58:55
Dave# 37, I was glad that McFadden played for Everton. He had a totally unjustified confidence about him that was somehow admirable. That great moment was always just around the corner and sadly thatÂ’Â’s where it usually remained. I liked him, though.
Darren Hind
80 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:27:49
Phil WallingÂ’s question was not only relevant it was inevitable.

Our penalty area looked like Aintree after the last race on Ladies day last week and the week before that and the week before that. Yet Three of our defenders were able to shut out a team ranked top ten in the world last night? IsnÂ’t it logical to ask why?

Lyndon Lloyd
81 Posted 09/09/2014 at 20:28:45
IÂ’m trying to keep a lid on this thread so Darren (80), some of your post has been withheld in the interests of trying to retain some civility here.

Regarding the nub of your comment, the problem here is that you canÂ’t compare apples to apples because ChelseaÂ’s team, with the likes of Diego Costa, Ramires, Hazard and Matic is not comparable to that of Switzerland who didnÂ’t qualify for the second stage at the World Cup and are only in the top 10 in the world thanks to the bizarre way in which FIFA comes up with these rankings.

My take is two-fold:

  1. ItÂ’s too soon, after just three matches, to make sweeping claims that Jagielka is done, Distin is finished and weÂ’ve turned into Wigan overnight because weÂ’ve started shipping goals
  2. Although Jagielka was guilty of a grave error for ChelseaÂ’s opening goal and there is clearly an issue with how our defence defends corners, most of our problems the weekend before last stemmed from the huge gaps left by McCarthy and Barry for the opposition to move the ball around our penalty area. There is only so much an exposed central defensive pairing can do, IMO.
Phil Walling
82 Posted 09/09/2014 at 20:54:39
And a fair and excellent point, Lyndon. But Switzerland are by no means Â’no hopersÂ’ as the current FIFA World rankings has them at 9th and England at........20th !

As far as our lads are concerned, I repeat that whilst we may continue to struggle in the short term, November will see us at full throttle. Reasons already very well chronicled.

Darren Hind
83 Posted 09/09/2014 at 21:12:33
Fair enough, Lyndon. Point taken

I think you are right about Jagielka, but if you are right about Distin too then we are in deep trouble. I so hope you are not.

I also disagree that we have started defending badly overnight, I felt we were really creaking towards the end last season (Palace, Soton, Citeh) but, it simply hasnÂ’t been addressed.

Jagielka, Distin, Baines and Barry are old pros, theyÂ’ll right the wrongs... at least in the short term.

Martinez has got a problem to address. Chelsea do have high quality players, but they didnÂ’t have to work very hard for their goals. ThatÂ’s criminal.

Martin Mason
84 Posted 09/09/2014 at 21:41:58
Kevin. Wilshere was played out of his normal position in front of the back two in a diamond formation. Actually, he stank the place out but, to be fair, he isnÂ’t a holding midfielder. HeÂ’d normally play where Sterling played last night but Sterling is the best player in the PL now by a mile and is first pick, what a player. DoesnÂ’t it just make you sick?
John Paul McGurk
85 Posted 09/09/2014 at 22:45:50
Did anybody listen to TalkSport today about how Baines would lose his place to Gibbs and Shaw when they return from injury... wtf? Also how Baines hasnÂ’t placed well since replacing Cole. I thought he placed pretty well last night...
Kevin Rowlands
86 Posted 09/09/2014 at 23:33:13
Darren, I would suggest Martinez is already addressing the problems: Stones is ready for regular first team action, Garbutt and Browning are not far behind and Galloway is supposed to be going right to the top, all four of them very young so the future looks bright.

In regards to PhilÂ’s sniping about the defence, itÂ’s not like Martinez is totally ignoring it, all you have to do is go to the official site and see him and Graeme Jones discussing it in interviews and saying that itÂ’s something they are very aware of and are working hard at fixing it.

We have not gone from the 3rd best defensive team in the EPL last season to total dogshit overnight, to think that is just plain ridiculous.

Barry Earley
91 Posted 10/09/2014 at 07:32:02
I didnÂ’ want to get involved as this was supposed to be a piece about EvertonÂ’s England contingent but has been hijacked by people striving for a return to Moyes. However, I couldnÂ’t let this gem from Darren Hind go

"This group of defenders – the one Moyes assembled and coached – has conceded 39, 40 and 40 in the premiership in the last three seasons. that is incredible consistency.
That they have conceded ten in three opening games after one pre season under Martinez speaks volumes."

Last season, not this, was the first pre-season under Martinez and we only conceded 39 goals. In the past five seasons, Moyes final four and MartinezÂ’ first season, the fewest goals conceded was under Martinez, the most goals scored was under Martinez, and the most points accumulated was guessed it....Martinez.

"Our entire system is based on us being in possession of the ball; every time we lose it, panic sets in"

We "panic" so much we break our Premier League points record. I hope we continue to "panic" and increase our "panic" levels as we will clearly win the league if we continue to do so!!! OK, a bit tongue in cheek but no more outlandish than DarrenÂ’s assertions.

I feel grubby for biting and getting involved, but such a complete rewrite of history giving Moyes credit for MartinezÂ’ record last season is just silly.

The problem with those sort of posts is that it hijacks legitimate questions about players, management, and tactics. Legitimate concerns raised are always going to be ignored, and indeed "shouted down" when those who need to condemn Martinez for not being Moyes start to post these sort of outlandish and clearly incorrect statements.

I, for one, think Martinez is a great change and breath of fresh air. But, I certainly donÂ’t think he is beyond criticism, nor do most here. ItÂ’s just that when the criticism is this ridiculous it causes polar opposite camps to form and rational debate disappears.

Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 10/09/2014 at 06:57:36
Darren, I have said on another thread that I think McCarthy, is the insurance policy, and Barry is there to get on the ball and make us play. Barry just isnÂ’t mobile enough to get up and down the pitch quick enough, so it can leave us a man down in an attacking sense.

Most teams who play with a lone striker end up isolating him at times, but I donÂ’t think there has been a lot wrong with our attack so far. Except at Leicester were we stopped trying to score a third goal until they equalised, which was criminal to me.

We are a possession based team, thank god. But I think itÂ’s a bit far fetched to say we panic when we havenÂ’t got the ball though, and I will bring up the prime example of when Mr Defensive Consistencies Manchester Utd, came to Goodison last season.

Actually donÂ’t really care that much about The Premier League this season and will gladly concede 50 Goals and finish mid table if we can just get our hands on some silverware.

It takes time to get everything right Darren, and I know Moyes, had a good defensive record, but his teams never scored that many though. Maybe when Martinez, gets it all the way he wants we might concede less, but score a lot more? Who knows because for me he is still learning his trade as a manager, and you never stop learning in this game.

In two of Moyse's first away games we conceded six at Newcastle, and three in a victory at Derby. We also conceded six, twice on the opening day of the season at Goodison.
Moyes has gone and Martinez is now in charge. Chalk and cheese. The going the game for the sake of it has gone IMO

Because at least IÂ’m now getting entertained when I go to watch my team.

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