Eto'o and Osman face late fitness testsRoberto Martinez says that Romelu Lukaku will be in the squad for the trip to the Hawthorns this weekend when Everton take on West Bromwich Albion, with his toe injury now less of a concern.
The Belgian missed his country's friendly against Australia but his club manager believes he will be fit to play after struggling with the injury against Arsenal and Chelsea.
New signing Samuel Eto'o is a slight doubts, however, after picking up minor groin strain against his former club, Chelsea, and will undergo a late fitness test. So, too, will Leon Osman who picked up a knock in the behind-closed-doors friendly with Stoke City last week.
There was good news in that all of the international players returned from duty unscathed and the manager also indicated that Arouna Kone is "very close" to being ready to make his comeback after a year on the sidelines with a severe knee injury.
Bryan Oviedo who, like Kone, also played in the Stoke friendly, is edging closer to full fitness while Ross Barkley is making good progress with his own knee injury. Martinez says that the young midfielder is about halfway through his rehabilitation.
Reader Comments (84)
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1 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:07:53
2 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:21:15
3 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:27:44
3 points please; 3 points and a clean sheet is even better; 3 points, clean sheet and a Lukaku hat-trick.... well that would be perfect.
Me, a sneaky feeling for us 2-1. Nessie to bag the winner.
4 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:37:53
I just hope we can get some positives from Saturday, and preferably three points. I like Alan Irvine, but unfortunately sentiment ends there.
5 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:41:36
Our 4th game; we really need to finally get a win Â– 1-0 or 5-4 doesn't matter, just bring home the 3 points and get the season started.
Also, good to hear that Oviedo and Kone will be available again soon, just in time for the European matches when we'll need a few more bodies to give players a rest.
6 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:54:13
7 Posted 11/09/2014 at 16:40:25
- Gibson, just starting to look the part and becoming a first team regular, knackers his knee and is out for a whole season.
- Kone, just signed does his knee in and out for the season.
- Barkley, just getting ready to start what should be a breakout season, does his knee before the first game and out for who knows how long.
- Alcaraz, just signed then can't play for months with some mysterious ailment called 'muscle fatigue'.
- Oviedo, just starting to break into the first team and really looking the part then breaks his leg and gone for the season and longer.
- Traore, plays half a game, scores, then does his hammy and we never see him again; and now...
- Eto'o, again comes on as sub, scores, looks good and now were hearing he's out and if you believe some reports on Twitter etc will be out for a while with a knackered hammy.
8 Posted 11/09/2014 at 17:06:32
9 Posted 11/09/2014 at 17:20:23
"We don't half seem to get some bad luck with injuries and the timing of them"
The worst ever was losing big Nev to a broken ankle on a dodgy pitch in a friendly for Wales, cost us the double that did in '86.
10 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:04:26
With Lukaku fit we should be able to put out a pretty good team.
Predictable but I'd probably go:
Coleman Jagielka Distin Baines
Mirallas Naismith McGeady
Big question is maybe whether Stones comes in for Jagielka or Distin but I think perhaps they deserve one more chance to show they are better than they have been for the first three matches. I hope Atsu get's some time possibly in the hole as I think he's got the talent to cause real problems with his pace and movement.
11 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:22:03
12 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:31:16
13 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:33:23
I'm also worryingly confident about Saturday but this is a tough game. WBA are always a lot better team than they they look on paper.
They took points off everyone in the top 8 last season, apart from CMan ity who sneaked a win at The Hawthorns.
To state the bloody obvious, we really need the win with the fixtures coming up.
Bit nervous but I can't wait for Saturday.
14 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:57:30
Why do people always get more excited by the hype surrounding newcomers than the shifts some of the regulars put in. Even Osman?
15 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:04:34
16 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:23:47
17 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:39:32
18 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:17:14
Just what I was thinking, mate, we seem to go one step forward and two back as far as injuries are concerned. It begs the question: Is it bad luck or is there something more?
Every team gets its share of injuries but it's beginning to sound like there's more to it than that. Going back in time, a certain Scottish manager spent a lot of his time researching training methods and treatments to ensure that he could play his best team as often as possible. This resulted in a relatively small squad being able to play a 60-game season with as few injuries as possible.
I believe the manager has put together an exciting squad, it will be a shame if we have to keep chopping and changing because of injuries that could be avoided.
19 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:48:26
A local lad who has played 350 games for the club, always conducted himself well, and represented England? I think you must be having a bad day!
20 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:01:11
21 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:53:18
There's no easy away games, but you have to believe we are favs to beat West Brom.
22 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:05:27
23 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:17:00
Maybe the loyalty shown by the club to a decent servant like Osman is what encourages boys like Baines, Barkley and Coleman to commit themselves to the club.
Osman was never a world beater but he’s a decent little player and a joy to watch at times.
You are a non-entity, Osman is not.
24 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:26:01
25 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:19:03
WeÂve shipped 10 goals in 3 games and shouldÂve been 11 only for a Leicester player (name escapes me) to blaze one when clean through. Also, apart from an Anichebe late winner a couple of seasons back, our record at The Hawthorns isnÂt too clever. That said, weÂve looked good going forward and look like weÂve got goals in us. 6-all then!
26 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:49:01
We will score more though!
27 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:49:44
28 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:14:31
29 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:20:50
Osman is clearly not first choice for Everton at present, and would be very, very unlikely to start on Saturday if he was 100% fit.
Why does the possibility that he’s a doubt for this game make you more hopeful? Does his presence on the bench have an adverse effect on those on the pitch?
I don’t know. I honestly can’t get my head round this one.
30 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:19:37
Against Arsenal was a prime example: they went 2 up then, when it got to 70 minutes, played very negatively, which ultimately cost them all 3 points. I don’t think our players believed that they could score 4 or 5 and were quite happy to try and hang on for a win.
So time to go out and believe... show the likes of West Brom that they are playing a class side and be looking to keep on looking for goals right up to the last minute.
31 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:39:33
Naismith and McGeady have been progressing slowly and, without giving the kiss of death, will spark the Blues to better things over the coming weeks. I think RM will have tactically changed things to stop the defensive lapses so that teams like Albion get killed off when they are behind.
Whilst Osman can still contribute, he is no longer good enough to start.
32 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:57:56
33 Posted 11/09/2014 at 22:11:30
34 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:36:03
I have never understood how he was able to progress through the ranks as a midfielder. First priority for that role is a good engine and Leon does not tick that box. Next would be strength and tenacity in the tackle, no ticks for him in those boxes. Speed over the ground would be an asset, as would power of shot; sorry, no ticks for those as well.
Because of their ability to inspire, create, or contribute simply by their commanding presence, some players can overcome some technical deficiencies... but Leon is certainly not one of them. All too often, he completely disappears from the action.
An all too rare exhibition of fancy footwork blinded Moyes and now it seems Roberto is similarly afflicted. The time surely has come to offer half-a-dozen hopefuls an opportunity rather than cling to a well-tried and, far too often failed, never quite has-been.
35 Posted 11/09/2014 at 22:59:57
36 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:15:07
37 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:15:28
38 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:23:36
Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
Mirallas Naismith Atsu
39 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:55:32
Will people please just leave the lad alone? He’s been an incredible player for us over a decade. He’s played with injuries on numerous occasions, accepted being out of position in the Moyes era and usually scores half a dozen goals per season. His ball retention is probably better than most in the squad.
Yes, he’s not the player he once was perhaps between 2005 and 2010 but he is still a very reliable member of the squad. He’s an Evertonian to boot. Leave him be!
It amazes me that some idolise Duncan Ferguson who was injured or suspended for most of his career as a striker and Tim Cahill when Osman is not far behind them in terms of goals and I would be prepared to bet way ahead in assists.
It also makes me laugh that people said he was a Moyes favourite but Martinez continues to use him where he can.
40 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:18:16
I do not see the relevance in criticising Osman in this manner, like Christopher, because he will not be in the first team picture when people are fit Â– and when they are not, he is a decent enough squad choice.
Osman is an interesting case: He was often played out of position for a long time under Moyes, in a way in which Naismith was for a season. He was constantly berated, even when not performing badly. He never moaned about spending his best years in inconsistent positions, and remained loyal to this club.
But, a good attitude means nothing when the player is an easy target for criticism. IÂm not OsmanÂs biggest fan, and I do not want him in our first team, but IÂm glad he is on our bench. He has been here a very long time, and gave his best for this club.
41 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:26:14
Oh!! He is a local lad who has played over 300 games! Must be good enough then! Not...
42 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:45:51
I don’t think anyone here is calling for him to be included in the first team every week, but some of the stick thrown his way on here is beyond ridiculous.
Also, he’s better than Tom Cleverley and more proven than Besic at this point (although I am a big fan of his).
43 Posted 12/09/2014 at 00:04:47
3-4 weeks I believe for Ross, but I wouldn’t expect us to rush at all.
(I’d bet anyone a pint of Chang TW crashes on Monday though!)
44 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:55:03
I hope Martinez has the foresight to have a strong attacking presence on the bench so that, when the opposition gets tired, we can swap the likes of Lukaku and Barkley with Kone and Eto’o. Wins are vital from now on: it doesn’t get any easier than West Brom, if we struggle against them then it’s a relegation battle of a season rather than matching or improving upon last season.
45 Posted 12/09/2014 at 00:09:24
We are aspiring to get in to the Champions League, are we not?
Can you tell me which of the other teams in the group of seven (Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United and Spurs) would have him in their squad? I say none of them.
If none of them would, and we are competing with them,... Why would we???
Good servant, yes; nice lad, yes; Champions League player?? Not in my book...
Sorry, Leon Â– time to move on.
46 Posted 12/09/2014 at 00:32:40
I really hope that Rom isn’t being rushed back.
I fear McGeady will start.
47 Posted 12/09/2014 at 00:47:28
Tough game and had to laugh at the prediction of Lescott and Anichebe scoring, because it’s true. Everton is the team to break your duck Â– a million examples that I don’t have to post.
Fingers crossed for the weekend.
49 Posted 12/09/2014 at 03:08:46
Oh!! He is a local lad who has played over 300 games! Must be good enough then! Not..."
Eric... are you even reading the posts? Or arguing against an argument which is not being made?
Let me simplify for you: Some of us are responding to the unnecessary criticism levelled at Osman Â– in an article about Lukaku being fit, Osman is for no particular reason, being criticised, even though he is no longer a first team player.
Next, Sinclair (Championship material) is in the Man City squad, as is Boyata. Liverpool still have Kolo Toure, who was losing it four years ago. Man Utd? Really? The same Man Utd with Anderson in the squad? The same Man Utd who won the league with an almost 40-year-old Giggs.
Osman is a good enough squad player for us, and I expect he brings something to the dressing room. IÂd also resist comparisons with teams with bigger means than us, despite their status as our ÂcompetitorsÂ (especially when some of the aforementioned are not). Comparing the squads of Everton with Man City or Chelski is as redundant as comparing EvertonÂs squad with West BromÂs. Newcastle and Southampton are also more realistic competitors for us than Chelski and Man City. IÂd levy that they will finish closer to us in terms of points than the league favourites.
IÂd bet that many of the youngsters being roundly praised on here despite offering nothing at Premier League level yet will do a lot less for us than Leon Osman. IÂd argue that he is our third choice AMC, and fourth/fifth choice wide player. He is hardly troubling the first team, so whatÂs the problem?
He could be invaluable for us in Europe, and IÂm glad he is still with us. There were a few games last season where he performed better than Barkley from his position, and he still has something to offer. He should not be a regular first teamer for us, and he is not. He is nowhere near as shit as being made out by some on these forums.
50 Posted 12/09/2014 at 03:46:58
Some of the crap Osman gets given on this website is just obnoxious.
51 Posted 12/09/2014 at 03:54:42
The new boys will only need to have a few bad games to become the new whipping boys.
If ya know your history, true Everton fans support the players who give their all when selected, they appreciate the professionals who respect both club and fans, and Leon Osman is blue through and through.
52 Posted 12/09/2014 at 06:03:58
53 Posted 12/09/2014 at 06:16:48
54 Posted 12/09/2014 at 06:27:11
As an athlete, age is a terrible reality. You know what has to be done, but your old body just isnÂt up to it anymore.(been there, done that ).
If you are an athlete in any sport and you are described as a " dedicated servant of the club "; hangÂem up! YouÂre finished! I donÂt think OssieÂs quite there yet, but he, and a few others are close.
55 Posted 12/09/2014 at 08:11:38
Also, what’s the significance of Monday? I must be slow today.
56 Posted 12/09/2014 at 09:34:19
"spouting their uninformed football knowledge"
Do you actually watch football??
Try and answer my question from before: Which of our closest rivals do you think would have him in their squad Â–not starting XI?
If you want to win things, you have to have the best players; Leon always thought he was faster and stronger than he was. Had good ball control but never used it enough because he got muscled off the ball to easily.
You sentimental types need to get real if we are to challenge for silverware this year.
57 Posted 12/09/2014 at 09:44:50
Jesus you are deluded.
58 Posted 12/09/2014 at 09:50:29
59 Posted 12/09/2014 at 10:37:12
I must have missed the piece where Leon said that.
60 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:02:01
He would probably be in the starting 11 for most clubs in the bottom half and still has something to offer us as a squad player. I don’t particularly want him in the starting XI tomorrow but then I also think he deserves better than to be described as a useless nonentity by one of his own fans.
61 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:01:44
It beggars belief how people who claim to be football experts dismiss so lightly managers’ opinions on a player who has given me more consistent football enjoyment over ten years than any other player currently in the team. He may not be a better player than Lampard or Gerrard but he is a class above McCarthy and Everton have missed his defensive work around the edge of the area this season.
62 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:10:48
"Football is a game of opinions". Funny, I thought it was more about passing the ball to a man in the same coloured shirt and eventually putting it that net thing that hangs from a white frame. .....I think Osman "supporters" are actually Evertonians who can appreciate a talented footballer.
Eric Holland @58
"David are you saying Ossie is better than Lampard or Gerrard" is about as silly as saying "Do you think he’s better than Howard?" They are different styles of player with different talents.
63 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:22:28
He is one of those annoying little bastards who buzz around the edge of the box unnoticed with the ability to play a pass or slot one in.
His overall game may be lacking in certain areas but he is a useful little addition who scores some very important goals at times.
64 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:28:47
n. pl. nonÂ·enÂ·tiÂ·ties
1. A person regarded as being of no importance or significance.
3. Something that does not exist or that exists only in the imagination.
1. Leon established himself as a first team regular for 10 years at the best club in the best sport. He is known and appreciated by the majority of British football fans, and many further afield.
2. He exists.
3. I didn’t imagine him banging in 41 goals for Everton. He does exist.
Let’s just all agree that he is far from being a nonentity and concentrate on getting behind the 11-14 boys who will be carrying our hopes and prayers towards a common goal this weekend.
65 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:06:45
Funny Ray; has anyone told little Leon this?
If only I were a true Evertonian like you. Anyone who doesn’t rate Osman simply cannot possibly know a jot about the game hey, Ray? Fair enough, you sit at the top table with the real fans.
66 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:57:50
Sorry about hijacking this Attack/Defend Osman thread, just though I would try and get back on track.
My tuppence worth is that he is one of our more skillful players but needs a good pan of scouse down him to hold off those thuggish brutes who keep pushing him over.
67 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:11:05
68 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:13:18
69 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:13:53
Mark, I got to a point a couple of years ago where I was perplexed by the crit Leon got on here Â– "always giving the ball away" etc, as it hadn’t been my gut feel in games. So, out of curiosity, I started watching recordings of games a bit more closely.
Surprise, surprise: I counted a few times Leon gave the ball away, getting lots of crit but other players getting no crit when they’d given the ball away at least as often. Selective perception? Selective criticism? I don’t know what.
70 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:18:43
Actually Brent, there was that time at the Everton Xmas party, circa 2009, when the half-cut, cocky Osman strutted over to take his turn on the Karaoke, and could only sing one solitary line from a Kanye West track. Over and over and over again. On a loop.
’I’m.....HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER!’.
Probably would’ve kept it up all night if Steve Round (always the life and soul at such events) hadn’t shot him down by shouting "Shame your not fucking taller though, eh, Ossie!".
71 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:18:55
It certainly is when it happens but, following up on my previous post, when that doesn’t happen he still gets panned, and when other "favourite" players go missing Â– ah, well just gloss over that.
72 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:21:03
73 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:50:56
Yep it could be seen as being apt to some but what about when Barkley goes missing, McCarthy against Arsenal & Chelsea, Mirallas when he can’t be arsed to get into the game (which is very often) when Pienaar once again falls over/misplaces a 5 yard pass, Baines underhits yet another corner?
Should we call all of these crowd favourites non-entities in these matches?
74 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:51:11
Yes, Mark, if only, eh? Up here on the Top Table itÂs great. If we strain our eyes a bit we can see the likes of you coming out from under your stone to throw brick(bat)s at loyal servants like Osman. You should appreciate real players. Shame.... I canÂt think of another club that habitually slags off itÂs own homegrown players the way some Blues fans do. ItÂs not a recent thing, itÂs been happening for decades.
76 Posted 12/09/2014 at 13:44:36
77 Posted 12/09/2014 at 14:39:35
78 Posted 12/09/2014 at 13:30:17
You have to set up your gameplan to at least match if not better your opponents, exploit their weaknesses. I have little doubt Anichebe would be up to giving our centre halves a torrid time for self satisfaction but likewise the West Brom defence can be equally exploited by direct strong football; a close one to call.
80 Posted 12/09/2014 at 17:15:21
OFM and Martinez have constantly picked Ossie when fit (or not) but still a knowledgeable bunch on ToffeeWeb know he is a waste of time.
DidnÂt he feature in every league game last season? Our most successful season so far. WeÂd have pissed the league if that waster didnÂt play!!
81 Posted 12/09/2014 at 18:08:01
Am I the only one on here who still rates Ossie highly? Then I do always seem to be in a minority.
82 Posted 12/09/2014 at 18:20:29
I must admit that I havenÂt been on a Man Utd blog and seen Cleverly take stick but it wouldnÂt surprise me one bit. Blogs and sites like TW can be interesting and good fun but also quite cruel.
Eric, Osman better than Howard? Man, youÂre cruel...
86 Posted 12/09/2014 at 18:31:19
Both get (or got) far too much stick on here. I hope McGeady carries on his scoring streak because heÂs close to being the next boo boy.
88 Posted 12/09/2014 at 18:42:27
ThereÂs a way to be critical, thereÂs no need to obnoxious as well (canÂt say that about your criticism, Phil; persistent, yes, but not obnoxious).
WhatÂs the saying: do unto others...
90 Posted 12/09/2014 at 19:16:28
I believe, you could say the same about Howard, Distin even Jags; hope IÂm wrong, but I doubt it!
I also believe Robbie knowÂs this, just waiting his time to correct things. Hope heÂs not too late.
91 Posted 12/09/2014 at 21:27:37
Yes, not the best weÂve had... but, by god, never ever has he hid. When heÂs wheeled out on the pitch at half-time in years to come, the applause will be deafening. Just hope IÂm around to see it. Oh, if he is fit tomorrow, I hope he gets on and bags the winner.
92 Posted 12/09/2014 at 23:13:56
But letÂs not tempt fate!!
LetÂs just hope our defense turns up for tomorrows game.
Another high scoring game 4-1 to the mighty blues.
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