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Lukaku expected to be fit for WBA

by | 11/09/2014  Comments (84)  jump
Eto'o and Osman face late fitness tests
Roberto 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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Tony J Williams
1 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:07:53
Good news.... apart from Eto'o
Danny Kewley
2 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:21:15
Great news, canÂ’t wait for Saturday!
Dominic Tonge
3 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:27:44
That's good news. I work in the Midlands and all the Baggies are talking about regarding Saturday is how to defend against us; the general opinion is that either Lukaku or Eto'o would wreak havoc against whatever backline they put out. One lad has said if we go 4-4-2 he is going home before it kicks off because it will be a cricket score. I am not so sure, but the more at RM's disposal, the better.

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.

Derek Knox
4 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:37:53
Seems ages since the last game, these International breaks are bad timing, or maybe good timing where minor injuries are concerned.

I just hope we can get some positives from Saturday, and preferably three points. I like Alan Irvine, but unfortunately sentiment ends there.

Denis Richardson
5 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:41:36
Great to get back to business again after the yawn of the international break (it was just too close to the World Cup to really care about...).

Our 4th game; we really need to finally get a win – 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.

Jack Plant
6 Posted 11/09/2014 at 15:54:13
Not enough to get himself back in my FF team I'm afraid (I expect he's gutted). Hope he can kickstart his season with a couple of goals on Saturday.
Kevin Rowlands
7 Posted 11/09/2014 at 16:40:25
We don't half seem to get some bad luck with injuries and the timing of them:
  • 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.
FFS, why us?
Ajay Gopal
8 Posted 11/09/2014 at 17:06:32
Good news about Lukaku, Oviedo and Kone. But, Barkley he says is 4 weeks into his rehab and halfway through his program, so that means at least 4 more weeks before we see him in action, more likely 6 weeks from now. So realistically, he won't be available until the end of October, by which time a quarter of the season will be done. I agree with Kevin, talk about bad luck!
Peter Bell
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.

Sam Hoare
10 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:04:26
No 'easy' games in the Premier League but we could really use a win to start the momentum if still serious about challenging for top 4.

With Lukaku fit we should be able to put out a pretty good team.

Predictable but I'd probably go:

Coleman Jagielka Distin Baines
McCarthy Barry
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.

Rob Halligan
11 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:22:03
Why the hell was Osman playing in a "behind closed doors" friendly last week? It's not as if he needs training to get fit or match fitness after being out for months. Maybe Eto'o played as well and that's how he got injured?
Mark Tanton
12 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:31:16
I am hoping Martinez will make some changes after three without a win. I'd like to see Atsu and Besic involved.
Christopher Wallace
13 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:33:23
Dominic (#3),

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.


Phil Walling
14 Posted 11/09/2014 at 18:57:30
Mark @ 12. It would be a punt to start with the two you mention. They have to get some time in as second half subs before either can be seen as ready for selection.

Why do people always get more excited by the hype surrounding newcomers than the shifts some of the regulars put in. Even Osman?

Guy Hastings
15 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:04:34
Tim and Seamus owe me big time as far as my fantasy team is going. A clean sheet plus a goal and a couple of assists from SC would go a long way towards their redemption.
Linda Morrison
16 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:23:47
Can I just say that if we can't beat WBA with our players, we are in big trouble!
Mark Tanton
17 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:39:32
Phil, don't mention Osman to me. The reason some of us like the idea of new faces is that it might finally push that useless nonentity out the door.
Geoff Evans
18 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:17:14
Kevin (7),

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.

Roger Helm
19 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:48:26
Mark (17), Osman a useless nonentity?

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!

Mark Tanton
20 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:01:11
So he's local? The club has shown far too much sentimentality with him – he should have been eased out somewhere three years ago. Yes, he's played countless times... Doesn't make him good enough.
Raymond Fox
21 Posted 11/09/2014 at 19:53:18
Don't know why I bother! What, avoid broken legs, ligament injuries, big toe whatsits!.

There's no easy away games, but you have to believe we are favs to beat West Brom.

Steve Woods
22 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:05:27
Linda @ 16 I’m with you on that comment.
Christopher Wallace
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.

Kieran Riding
24 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:26:01
I heard very positive news about Ross and his injury just now.
Andy Meighan
25 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:19:03
There seem to be people on here who seem to think itÂ’s going to be a comfortable 3 points on Saturday. IÂ’m not of them.

WeÂ’ve shipped 10 goals in 3 games and shouldÂ’ve 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 isnÂ’t too clever. That said, weÂ’ve looked good going forward and look like weÂ’ve got goals in us. 6-all then!

Kieran Riding
26 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:49:01
Andy #25, tough game is right... Lescott and Anichebe both to score is nailed on.

We will score more though!

Sean Patton
27 Posted 11/09/2014 at 20:49:44
Going off the way Eto’o sprints towards the camera on the photoshoot video on the OS, it can’t be that bad an injury.
Chris James
28 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:14:31
I know it’s poor form but the bit that makes me most hopeful about this is ’Osman a doubt’. I don’t wish injury on anyone of course and appreciate what he’s done for us in the past but Leon is past it as a Premier League starter and has been a liability this season in every game I’ve seen from pre-season onward. He’s an option for the last 15-20 mins or for slower-paced European games, maybe... but top level? No.
Christopher Wallace
29 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:20:50
Pretty stupid comment, Chris.

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.

Brian Harrison
30 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:19:37
I remember RM saying last season that we needed to be more arrogant and I think they need to adopt a more arrogant posture.

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.

Tom Bowers
31 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:39:33
West Bromwich Albion always seem to raise their game against the Blues at The Hawthorns but they are in transition and I think Everton can get a good result no matter what the starting eleven is.

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.

Paul Hewitt
32 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:57:56
If we don’t beat WBA then we are in trouble.
Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 11/09/2014 at 22:11:30
Geoff 18, how many times did this Scottish manager’s team play over 60 games in a season?
Dick Fearon
34 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:36:03
If Osman is seriously in the first team frame, my hopes for this season have taken a battering.

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.

Dave Pritchard
35 Posted 11/09/2014 at 22:59:57
Kieran (24) Come on, give us more. Was it from a bloke down the pub or from his doctor/physio?
Tom Dodds
36 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:15:07
Spot on, Dick! (#35)
Phil Sammon
37 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:15:28
It’s pathetic the way people go out of their way to bash Osman on here. He wouldn’t have started anyway and he’s useful off the bench when we need to keep possession. Change the record.
James Stewart
38 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:23:36
Some changes needed. Chelsea match was a trainwreck.

I’d go:
Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
Besic Barry
Mirallas Naismith Atsu

Andrew James
39 Posted 11/09/2014 at 21:55:32
How did an article about Lukaku become a way of bashing Osman?

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.

Jim Knightley
40 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:18:16
IÂ’d argue that Naismith is now the most legitimate threat in our squad to the Barkley position, that Mirallas is nailed-on on one side, and that Pienaar, McGeady and Atsu are more obvious candidates for the left-hand side and more likely to displace Mirallas.

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 – 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. IÂ’m not OsmanÂ’s biggest fan, and I do not want him in our first team, but IÂ’m glad he is on our bench. He has been here a very long time, and gave his best for this club.

Eric Holland
41 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:26:14
I would start any of the young kids before giving Osman a run out. Too slow, too weak, no stamina, no shot... what on earth do these people on here see in him??

Oh!! He is a local lad who has played over 300 games! Must be good enough then! Not...

Christopher Wallace
42 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:45:51
Yeah Eric, highest appearances and 4th highest scorer in the Premier League era for one of the oldest and biggest clubs in the world. He’s done alright for just being a local lad with no ability.

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).

Kieran Riding
43 Posted 12/09/2014 at 00:04:47
Dave (#36),

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!)

Tony Twist
44 Posted 11/09/2014 at 23:55:03
I’m looking forward to having Kone back to be honest and I hope the front 5 of Lukaku, Eto’o, Kone, Naismith and Barkley can work together in taking their turns in tormenting the opposition into submission.

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.

Eric Holland
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 – time to move on.

Paul Dark
46 Posted 12/09/2014 at 00:32:40
29 - so agree re Osman. He’s an utter liability.

I really hope that Rom isn’t being rushed back.

I fear McGeady will start.

Mark Andersson
47 Posted 12/09/2014 at 00:47:28
Chris (#23) & Andrew (#40). You both make sense, unlike the Osman bashers. I thought the word ’supporter’ means to encourage whoever is selected. Jeez, I hope you don’t treat your kids in the same manner.

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 – a million examples that I don’t have to post.

Fingers crossed for the weekend.

Jim Knightley
49 Posted 12/09/2014 at 03:08:46
"I would start any of the young kids before giving Osman a run out; too slow, too weak, no stamina, no shot, what on earth do these people on here see in him??
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 – 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. IÂ’d also resist comparisons with teams with bigger means than us, despite their status as our Â’competitorsÂ’ (especially when some of the aforementioned are not). Comparing the squads of Everton with Man City or Chelski is as redundant as comparing EvertonÂ’s squad with West BromÂ’s. Newcastle and Southampton are also more realistic competitors for us than Chelski and Man City. IÂ’d levy that they will finish closer to us in terms of points than the league favourites.

IÂ’d 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. IÂ’d argue that he is our third choice AMC, and fourth/fifth choice wide player. He is hardly troubling the first team, so whatÂ’s the problem?

He could be invaluable for us in Europe, and IÂ’m 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.

Craig Fletcher
50 Posted 12/09/2014 at 03:46:58
Christopher Wallace, Jim Knightley, thanks for talking sense.

Some of the crap Osman gets given on this website is just obnoxious.

Mark Andersson
51 Posted 12/09/2014 at 03:54:42
Well said Jim. Still you will not convice the Ozi bashers as they seem to get some perverse pleasure out of spouting their uninformed football knowledge.

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.

David Ellis
52 Posted 12/09/2014 at 06:03:58
Yes, well said, Jim Knightley. If Osman had played in the 70s he would have been considered a superstar. Okay, he does not have the full package, but had he been played in his best position by Moyes he would have won more England caps because, unlike Lampard and Gerrard (to name just two) he can control the ball and pass it even when given limited space.
Mark Tanton
53 Posted 12/09/2014 at 06:16:48
Why do the Osman supporters claim to be the true Evertonians and the ones who know about football? Football is a game of opinions.
Darryl Ritchie
54 Posted 12/09/2014 at 06:27:11
Ossie is not a starter! We have too many midfielders that are just plain better than he is....but...Ossie has definate place in the squad. I believe he will prove to be useful before this long season is over.

As an athlete, age is a terrible reality. You know what has to be done, but your old body just isnÂ’t 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 "; hangÂ’em up! YouÂ’re finished! I donÂ’t think OssieÂ’s quite there yet, but he, and a few others are close.

Dave Pritchard
55 Posted 12/09/2014 at 08:11:38
Kieran (44). Hope you are correct but you still haven’t told us your source. I’m not saying that I don’t believe you. I am just trying to gauge the reliability of your information.

Also, what’s the significance of Monday? I must be slow today.

Eric Holland
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 –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.

Eric Holland
57 Posted 12/09/2014 at 09:44:50
David are you saying Ossie is better than Lampard or Gerrard?

Jesus you are deluded.

Andrew Ellams
58 Posted 12/09/2014 at 09:50:29
Eric, David never said Osman is an all round better player than those two princesses, he just stated he is stronger in one area and heÂ’s absolutely right. GerrardÂ’s and LampardÂ’s close control is not as good as OsmanÂ’s.
Brent Stephens
59 Posted 12/09/2014 at 10:37:12
Eric #57 "Leon always thought he was faster and stronger than he was."

I must have missed the piece where Leon said that.

Sam Hoare
60 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:02:01
Eric, you have yet to respond to Jim’s very sensible post @50. I don’t think many in here are claiming that Ossie is a superstar and would walk into the first team at Man City or Chelsea but he’s a very experienced PL player who has scored some big goals for us. He’s got his strengths and weaknesses and is clearly popular off the field. He can be frustrating to watch but then he also has moments of top quality.

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.

Peter Jones
61 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:01:44
If you watched the England game and saw how hard top international midfielders find it to take the ball with their back to the opposition goal and spot players in space especially, if they are further up the field, then you might recognise one of Osman’s strengths.

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.

Ray Roche
62 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:10:48
Mark Tanton @54

"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.

Dave Lynch
63 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:22:28
Not an Osman fan but I do recognise what he brings to the team.

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.

Christopher Wallace
64 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:28:47

n. pl. non·en·ti·ties
1. A person regarded as being of no importance or significance.
2. Nonexistence.
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.

Mark Tanton
65 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:06:45
"Passing the ball to a man in the same coloured shirt"

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.

Tony J Williams
66 Posted 12/09/2014 at 11:57:50
So....ermm.....Lukaku then?...He’s ermmmm.... going to be ok to play then?

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.

Tony J Williams
67 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:11:05
Mark, there is a big difference with "not rating him" and calling him a non-entity.... a huge difference.
Mark Tanton
68 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:13:18
When he goes missing, when he’s invisible and it’s like playing with ten men then I think the label is apt.
Brent Stephens
69 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:13:53
Mark (#66), "passing the ball to a man in the same coloured shirt".

Mark, I got to a point a couple of years ago where I was perplexed by the crit Leon got on here – "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.

John Daley
70 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:18:43
"Leon always thought he was faster and stronger than he was." — I must have missed the piece where Leon said that.

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.


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!".

Brent Stephens
71 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:18:55
Mark: "When he goes missing, when he’s invisible and it’s like playing with ten men, then I think the label is apt."

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 – ah, well just gloss over that.

Brent Stephens
72 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:21:03
John (#71) – yes but what a feckin voice for such a small lad!
Tony J Williams
73 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:50:56
Mark 69 (cue childish giggle)

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?

Ray Roche
74 Posted 12/09/2014 at 12:51:11
Mark Tanton @66

Yes, Mark, if only, eh? Up here on the Top Table itÂ’s 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 canÂ’t think of another club that habitually slags off itÂ’s own homegrown players the way some Blues fans do. ItÂ’s not a recent thing, itÂ’s been happening for decades.

Andrew Ellams
76 Posted 12/09/2014 at 13:44:36
Ray Roche, go back to last season and see the treatment Tom Cleverly was getting on this type of forum from Man Utd fans. It happens everywhere and these online forums have just amplified it.
Andrew Hawes
77 Posted 12/09/2014 at 14:39:35
I will be having a wager on Aiden McGeady to put one away tomorrow. This lad is now super fit for the first time in years.
Gavin Ramejkis
78 Posted 12/09/2014 at 13:30:17
Leon Osman does have decent feet but in games with carthorses closing down in midfield he is more often than not made anonymous; similarly when he is pushed out onto the wing.

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.

Jamie Barlow
80 Posted 12/09/2014 at 17:15:21
ItÂ’s amazing Everton are in the Premier League with all our shit players.

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.

DidnÂ’t he feature in every league game last season? Our most successful season so far. WeÂ’d have pissed the league if that waster didnÂ’t play!!

Phil Walling
81 Posted 12/09/2014 at 18:08:01
Subtle sarcasm or sensible support, Jamie?

Am I the only one on here who still rates Ossie highly? Then I do always seem to be in a minority.

Ray Roche
82 Posted 12/09/2014 at 18:20:29
Andrew Ellams @78,

I must admit that I havenÂ’t been on a Man Utd blog and seen Cleverly take stick but it wouldnÂ’t 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, youÂ’re cruel...

Jamie Barlow
86 Posted 12/09/2014 at 18:31:19
Phil, the only players I donÂ’t like are the ones that donÂ’t give their all. I wouldnÂ’t put Ossie in this category and is probably the reason that Naismith has always been a favourite of mine.

Both get (or got) far too much stick on here. I hope McGeady carries on his scoring streak because heÂ’s close to being the next boo boy.

Raymond Fox
88 Posted 12/09/2014 at 18:42:27
I think itÂ’s likely that some players (and managers, Phil) will read some of our rantings. I could be wrong, but I know if I was a player (or manager) IÂ’d be interested what spectators were thinking from time to time!

ThereÂ’s a way to be critical, thereÂ’s no need to obnoxious as well (canÂ’t say that about your criticism, Phil; persistent, yes, but not obnoxious).

WhatÂ’s the saying: do unto others...

Colin Williams
90 Posted 12/09/2014 at 19:16:28
Eric, agree with your posts about Ossie. The guy is finished at the top level, just not good enough. (The game has moved on and Ossie been left behind.) We will not win any trophies with him playing.

I believe, you could say the same about Howard, Distin even Jags; hope IÂ’m wrong, but I doubt it!

I also believe Robbie knowÂ’s this, just waiting his time to correct things. Hope heÂ’s not too late.

Andy Meighan
91 Posted 12/09/2014 at 21:27:37
Since this has turned into an Ossie debate, IÂ’ll say one thing. Look how many turned up to his testimonial. I think that attendance in this day and age of the multimillionaire footballer speaks volumes for this particular great servant and cracking lad. Oh and great Evertonian, by the way.

Yes, not the best weÂ’ve had... but, by god, never ever has he hid. When heÂ’s wheeled out on the pitch at half-time in years to come, the applause will be deafening. Just hope IÂ’m around to see it. Oh, if he is fit tomorrow, I hope he gets on and bags the winner.

Eric Holland
92 Posted 12/09/2014 at 23:13:56
He might play better if they wheel him out tomorrow. He would be a bit quicker if Kenwright was pushing him.

But letÂ’s not tempt fate!!

LetÂ’s just hope our defense turns up for tomorrows game.

Another high scoring game 4-1 to the mighty blues.

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