Everton 4 - 1 VfL WolfsburgEverton are off to a flying start in the Europa League thanks to a 4-1 win over Wolfsburg under the lights at Goodison Park.
Two goals in each half had the Blues 4-0 up heading into stoppage time where an excellent free kick by Ricardo Rodriquez spoiled what would have been a well-earned clean sheet for Tim Howard.
The emphatic nature of the scoreline masked some impressive work by Everton's rearguard, with John Stones putting in another imperious performance, Howard making a number of saves and the visitors seeing a number of efforts deflected away to safety.
Roberto Martinez named an unchanged team from that which beat West Brom last weekend and, after some early sparring his side went ahead with a quarter of an hour gone when Steven Naismith forced the ball in off Rodriguez.
Everton then doubled their lead in first-half injury time when Seamus Coleman stooped to head home Leighton Baines' cross.
Wolfsburg, had looked difficult to break down in the early going and threatened going forward but their hopes of forcing a way back into the match were effectively ended at the start of the second half.
Aiden McGeady was felled just outside the penalty area but the referee pointed to the spot and Baines fired home the resulting kick to make it 3-0.
Wolfsburg then tried to rally and feed off some increasing sloppiness from the home side but they found the Blues' back line in stubborn mood. Howard made a number of saves and fisted the ball clear on further occasions to keep the Germans at bay before Kevin Mirallas raced onto Samuel Eto'o's lay off to slot past the stranded goalkeeper.
Rodriguez grabbed a consolation goal after substitute Darron Gibson's foul but it was a hugely satisfying night for the Blues who lead Group H following Lille's home draw with Krasnodar.
Full coverage: ToffeeWeb Match Reports
Reader Comments (118)
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1 Posted 19/09/2014 at 00:28:12
I think our second goal showed us what we expect from our men: Mirallas shoots, the keeper spills and Baines is there to play the ball across the box to our opposite full back Seamus to knock in. Great to watch but I canÂt help but think maybe if the keeper fails to parry but instead catches, where would that leave us with our two full backs inside the oppositionÂs box? Food for thought, maybe!!!
Again, IÂm not having a go as IÂm a big fan of RobertoÂs attacking ways but I do think we may struggle to keep clean sheets if we do not widen up soon. All-in-all a big performance on a massive stage for our boys.
IÂd also like to stress how big a contribution Kevin Mirallas seems to be putting in week-in & week-out nowadays... maybe McGeady needs to take note. Massive performance from Stones too.
2 Posted 19/09/2014 at 00:39:51
3 Posted 19/09/2014 at 00:31:28
If we shifted the stadium and pitch towards the park (building over the car park at the Park End) and had a walk up from Stanley Park which straddled the road (a bit like Wembley) it could be stunning.
ps: Eto’o has magic in his boots Â– I really hope Lukaku learns a lot from this guy as he has so much to give
4 Posted 19/09/2014 at 00:58:29
5 Posted 19/09/2014 at 00:57:54
6 Posted 19/09/2014 at 01:01:28
Howard made some excellent saves but overall cannot complain too much after a 4-1 victory.
Same again Sunday will do for me.
7 Posted 19/09/2014 at 01:32:06
8 Posted 19/09/2014 at 01:29:19
Does any one have a link to the goals. Would appreciate it.
9 Posted 19/09/2014 at 01:47:55
10 Posted 19/09/2014 at 01:58:46
Stones for me is making a big difference to our defense. He obviously has a lot to learn and on occasions will make mistakes but he is cool-headed, has good positional sense, and when he gets the ball he doesn’t just hoof it but either runs with it or passes it to a colleague.
Against a pretty good side, we played very well as a team and, yes, Howard did save us a few times, but that is what he is supposed to do after all.
11 Posted 19/09/2014 at 02:10:57
12 Posted 19/09/2014 at 02:40:02
EtoÂo Â– showed his class again tonight and showed again why heÂs going to be a top signing for us.
13 Posted 19/09/2014 at 02:04:49
Howard and the lads at the back were pretty solid but I couldn’t understand why we suddenly went ragged after the third goal. It was though they had stepped up a gear. Very strange business.
Our attack is lethal when we are fresh, bright and brisk. Once we slow down just a touch the opposition take over the midfield and we drop too deep. Maybe we’re not pacing ourselves properly. I don’t really know. We’re certainly a force to be reckoned with right now but I expect a lot of improvement around January/February when the new faces are bedded in.
Great win tonight. Beating a German side 4-1 is no mean feat and the whole of Europe will have been impressed.
14 Posted 19/09/2014 at 03:29:28
15 Posted 19/09/2014 at 03:36:02
Why did The Daily Mail give Kevin Marallis such a poor star rating? I hate that biased everything red shite.
16 Posted 19/09/2014 at 04:37:00
Some good attacking football in the 1st half and a dogged defensive display in the 2nd. My MotM (watching on TV here) was Tim Howard followed closely by Stones, Mirallas and McCarthy.
In fact, I though everyone without played well for us Â– Baines, Naismith, Coleman, McGeady Â– Barry was brilliant at times. Only Lukaku was slightly below par except for the well taken free kick in the 1st half. Eto’o was brilliant in his brief appearance and seems to be enjoying playing for us.
17 Posted 19/09/2014 at 05:15:52
4-1 flattered us, they had loads of shots and Howard was equal to it all (last gasp free-kick aside which was an absolute peach). Winning 4-1 and the goalkeeper a candidate for MotM? Says it all really.
A slightly strange game for me... after going 3 up, Wolfsburg started to play and put us under pressure and I felt a few squirmy moments... We are giving away cheap possession far too often, which of course is part of trying to play it around at the back...
But sometimes it just seemed that we were looking for a difficult backward pass when there was an easy forward pass on, it was almost excessive and had me shouting and pointing at the free man... and do you know what... the buggers never listened me!
But finally great day, just what the doctor ordered and what I’ve been waiting for since it became mathematically confirmed we would be in Europe towards the end of last season!
18 Posted 19/09/2014 at 05:20:49
Our defence played outstandingly, theirs didnÂt. 4-1 scoreline fully deserved.
Dual MotM... Howard and Mirallas, with McCarthy and Baines not far behind.
Stones is an adequate right back, but heÂs at home in a CB. He oozes confidence there... no panic! Naisy was full of running, but I think he wanted it too much, if thatÂs possible. Lucky not to get sent off. McGeady, at times, scares the hell out left backs... other times, not so much.
I really like the size and makeup of our squad. A lot of quality that we havenÂt had for a while. If we stay healthy, weÂll stir things up.
Bring on Palace!
19 Posted 19/09/2014 at 06:11:41
Howard mom by a mile, but plenty of players had a good game last night. The result was amazing, against a strong side that clearly had many qualities. Flattering yeah, but great performance. McCarthy won heaps, running everywhere. Naismith at his battling best, Baines/Coleman both efficient when attacking, Mirallas looking dangerous.
20 Posted 19/09/2014 at 06:28:54
Eto’o looks like a great signing Â– can do a to of damage in 20 minutes.
Lukaku tries to do too much when he receives the ball and usually messes it up. However, he was there for link up play and made a nuisance of himself.
Amazing to see Coleman and Baines descending on each of the opposition’s goalposts Â– talk about pincer movements!
21 Posted 19/09/2014 at 06:42:47
Was Howard past it?
Was our defence over the hill?
Were some of our new players over rated?
Was Eto’o a great buy?
The answers were there to see. Confidence restored all round.
Man of the Match? Equal between McCarthy and Howard in my view.
22 Posted 19/09/2014 at 07:03:12
What was the official attendance?
23 Posted 19/09/2014 at 07:17:49
Most impressive was the energy and team spirit of all the players. Even some of our ’greedy’ players were looking to pass to people in better positions instead of going for glory themselves. Yes, a 3-goal margin flattered us a bit but there will be games when we don’t get what the performance deserves so just enjoy it.
24 Posted 19/09/2014 at 07:29:41
If Spurs are favourites, then we can win this competition although one of the CL dropouts just may throw a spanner into the works...
25 Posted 19/09/2014 at 07:32:14
McCarthy had a reassuring game in the middle, but I can’t help but think he has at least another gear to go up. I don’t think we’ll see that when he plays with Barry or Gibson, but if he had a quicker partner, then I think the insurance shackles might come off.
Everyone else pretty well. Lukaku’s first touch and link play is still work in progress, and he has to look at that cultured number 5. He had me drooling.
26 Posted 19/09/2014 at 07:24:48
Personally, had Tim not pulled off another heroic goalkeeping performance, I was so enthused with the performance of John Stones, that he could have been my contender for MoM, but equally McCarthy (second half) was Johnny on the Spot.
Overall, I was so pleased at the result and hope it sets us up for the gruelling few games coming up, and that equally it doesn’t make us over-confident, and take our foot off the gas. We have to retain that ruthless streak and keep going for victory at even three goals up, or whatever it may be, there was evidence last night, that any ’easing off’ resulted in the opposition spotting an opportunity to retalliate, and but for Tim’s heroics, as Ajay alluded to, the score could have been very different.
The new mission is, win the next three games, especially the one a week on Saturday, I can’t just remember who that is at this moment in time. :-)
27 Posted 19/09/2014 at 07:45:10
28 Posted 19/09/2014 at 07:48:00
Paul @19. I also spotted the ’clearances’ Stones made if you are talking about the 2-3 times he sort of stretched his leg out and the ball went a few feet in front of him.
Good victory. Eto’o will surely help Lukaku play. We have to remember the difference in experience and that they are different types of player.
Eto’o has the vision to see a move happening As long as Everton players also see it as well it will be a good season. 4th goal from Mirallas an example.
I also liked Gibson’s brief appearance, driving forward and having a decent shot. But can you imagine what Chelsea would have been like with Eto’o and Costa in the same team.
29 Posted 19/09/2014 at 07:37:27
McCarthy was much better today. I think Lukaku’s involvement so far this season is being underrated. He’s working really hard and drawing defenders, allowing Naismith in particular to thrive through the middle. And I don’t know what people are seeing with his technique. I’ve seen far less loose touches per game than last season.
Eto’o was fantastic from the moment he came on. Mirallas was very classy and consistent. Stones had a few shaky moments, but he’s just so calm that I can’t see how he isn’t first choice the rest of the year. He’s our best center back. Simple as that.
I’m really interested to see how much we rotate for Palace, as we should be looking to exact some serious revenge for last season! Anyways, a great game and return to Europe. Very proud after that display.
30 Posted 19/09/2014 at 07:34:33
But, I’m not sure how we can allow an average Bundesliga team overrun us in midfield to have 25 shots on goal? Was it Roberto’s tactic to give the defence a stern test ? If so it worked. Thanks to an excellent Howard.
But, in all honesty, that will not work all the time... not with the oldest CB partnership in the PL Â– not in a season with 2 games per week or more, and still a small squad... We need to close down in midfield, not 10/15 yards behind that.
It worked out this time and some cool finishing, but Wolfsburg had too many chances Â– even the German TV was asking how that’s possible that they get double the amount of shots in as they do in the Bundesliga.... I’m happy, but concerned.
31 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:04:02
32 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:05:59
33 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:12:25
34 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:08:57
35 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:17:02
Howard, Stones, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, McGeady
Eto’o was brilliant, Naismith was outstanding, but Baines and Coleman only played really well and scored. Lukaku didn’t do anything wrong...
Gentlemen, I think we have a team.
36 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:12:03
EtoÂo in his cameo actually did more than Lukaku all game. if he was a kid whoÂd come through the ranks, IÂd say "Yeah, well, heÂs still learning." But heÂs not Â– heÂs an established Premier League player and international.
LetÂs not forget, we almost doubled our transfer record to get him and he actually looks like heÂs gone backwards. He might score a few goals but youÂll never convince me heÂs a good footballer.
As someone sitting by me last night said, "You donÂt get much for your 㿈 million these days, do you?" Â– so itÂs not just me!
As for the game itself, it was a strange one; they had a lot of the ball and created some decent chances but didnÂt take them, whereas we didnÂt really create many but took ours when they came.
But itÂs no coincidence that, since Stones got back in the centre of defence, he has looked more assured. One quality player... Now thereÂs one kid IÂd have happily paid 𧴜M for, hey, Roberto?
37 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:16:52
I thoroughly enjoyed that and I wonder did all the people who were so negative about Europe before that actually find they enjoyed it?
4-1 flattered us, Wolfsburg could easily have scored 4 themselves and to be fair at the very least deserved their late goal.
Man of the Match for me was Mirallas, the penny seems to have finally dropped with Kev about the work-rate now and he has started reaping rewards more often.
We defended quite well.
I am amazed people actually say they were sceptical about Samuel Eto’o... How can people even argue with that fella’s record and what he’s done in his career? He is World Class, that’s a line too often used but in Eto’o’s case it is purely valid.
I am slightly worried about Lukaku. I don’t know if it’s still a case that he’s troubled by injury and lack of fitness so yes let’s be patient but at the minute he just lacks the basics and lacks any kind of real mobility and motivation. He needs our time and support but sooner or later we need to start seeing better performance levels from him.
I am also slightly concerned by McGeady but I know it’s basically what you see is what you get with him now. He has trickery but he continues to frustrate; that said, he does offer a variety on the wings at times, similar to Lukaku in that we need to start seeing things more consistently.
All-in-all, a great night though.
39 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:41:50
Eto’o, sadly no longer world class, at age 102, simply Class, stands out above the rest.
40 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:49:11
Take Sunday’s game, usually be thinking ’can’t really be arsed going’ but now, you know we are going to be treated to goals, and every game seems to be exciting.
41 Posted 19/09/2014 at 08:46:58
This season Werder Bremen have not won yet and they are a long way off their top form from last year. Why would you call this arrogance or ignorance? This is exactly what they are saying themselves this morning. Sure they won the BL a while back, backed by Volkswagen Â– but Leeds and Blackburn won the PL too... it’s history.
42 Posted 19/09/2014 at 09:02:43
43 Posted 19/09/2014 at 09:03:32
Yes, we did get lucky with the pen decision, but how many times have decisions like that gone against us? And at 3-0 I can completely understand the team sitting back and inviting pressure, with only 3 days till our next game and with what looks like a bunch of plays that are hungry to play every game.
Stones or Howard for MotM for me, it almost looks as if Howard has gone up a level I never thought he had, and Stones is looking more confident every game, I think he should be our first choice CB over both Jags and Distin.
Great win but can easily be spoiled by dropping points on Sunday, so enjoy it lads but let’s stay focused on what will hopefully be a long and successful season.
44 Posted 19/09/2014 at 09:19:07
45 Posted 19/09/2014 at 09:18:02
Felix Magath did well with Wolfsburg 1st time round, left for Schalke messed them up even more, returned to Wolfsburg sold over half the team and bought 8 new players in the Jan. window... didn’t work out.
Everton on the other hand exist for well over 15 years, have a tradition of quality and of course our winning Motto... Add to that a decent quality squad, who work hard, a decent manager and you have a very good chance to do well in Europe.
But again, we need to beef up in midfield and not allow teams to run at us like that. Yes McCarthy did some great work, but it was putting out fires at the last minute, heroic stuff Â– but that does not mean that we controlled the game. All in all a good night of learning and very good result.
46 Posted 19/09/2014 at 09:37:28
47 Posted 19/09/2014 at 09:39:01
48 Posted 19/09/2014 at 09:47:05
Sky did not invent football, and football did not begin in 1992. There was no football Year Zero and the game has a much longer, more illustrious and, frankly, better, history pre- Premier League.
That Kevin was one year out is hardly relevant, his point stands.
ps: Great performance and as Jim has said, great team display too. I can be as negative as the next blue but last night’s match was one to celebrate.
49 Posted 19/09/2014 at 09:45:45
50 Posted 19/09/2014 at 09:55:25
Lukaku was more Heskey than Drogba and you could see an immediate difference when Eto’o came on and held the ball up better with his first touch than Lukaku did all night. Lukaku has a lot of learning to do.
51 Posted 19/09/2014 at 10:52:09
Been browsing ToffeeWeb for ages, never felt the need to post before. Until last night! I’m currently ’in-between jobs’, and have just finished enjoying that glorious first smoke of the day.
All I can is that last night reminded me of Bayern, April ’85. Are McCarthy and Barry the new Reid and Bracewell? As for our forward play, well, I could go on....
I trust blues everywhere are enjoying the day!
52 Posted 19/09/2014 at 11:33:03
Love watching Mirallas when he’s on fire. Even though he’s a good player, he must have felt the goose bumps after his goal when Eto’o, the provider came bounding up to him, grinning ear-to-ear for the congrats. I did.
A huge performance in every position against very good opposition. I expect there will be some rested players on Sunday. Just hope the work ethic spreads from team to squad. Cracking result.
53 Posted 19/09/2014 at 12:08:38
They werenÂt and we won 4-1, enjoy.
You adapt to different teams so this plan clearly worked.
54 Posted 19/09/2014 at 12:18:42
55 Posted 19/09/2014 at 12:20:34
I just had a look at the Wolfsburg website and it is full of praise for Everton and no complaining about the penalty call or poor refereeing. Maybe us English should take a leaf out of their book Â– they congratulate Everton an concede they were beaten fair and square.
Well thatÂs my first post Â– hopefully first of many!
56 Posted 19/09/2014 at 12:29:29
57 Posted 19/09/2014 at 12:33:24
58 Posted 19/09/2014 at 12:51:59
Urrmmmmm... I thought that was his job or role in the team. Or am I missing something here?
59 Posted 19/09/2014 at 13:02:19
I can’t say I agree with all the Stones comments myself; I thought he did well enough defensively, cool on the ball but his passing scares the hell out of me. He passes to the opposition too much for me and when he comes out with the ball he rarely passes forward. Still he’s only young and will only get better.
60 Posted 19/09/2014 at 12:56:53
Eto’o also showed his quality with his through balls.... he’s still got it!
61 Posted 19/09/2014 at 13:05:41
No matter what mistakes the defence make he never seems to berate them the way many other goalkeepers do.
He just encourages them and prepares for the next attack.
I think he is excellent and a personification of the excellent team spirit we have.
62 Posted 19/09/2014 at 13:04:59
63 Posted 19/09/2014 at 13:09:43
A couple more wins before the derby is just the tonic. Go into that game with a huge confidence lift, and we can at last do ourselves justice at that rat-hole.
64 Posted 19/09/2014 at 13:11:43
Nope, Italian clubs most of the time just send their second or third team.
In Holland, the coverage of the competition is just a fraction the attention the CL gets. PSV, who have a 35k-capacity stadium that sells out every singe home match in the league, who have a waiting list for season tickets and who are looking into expanding to 50k or building a brand new stadium with that capacity (sounds familiar??) only drew 17,000 spectators for their match yesterday evening, despite single match tickets being as cheap as Â€15 for most stands (about half the price of the cheapest league ticket).
It depends a bit from the specific country and club, but I have the impression that it’s pretty standard that nobody gives a shit about the Europa League in the first stages.
65 Posted 19/09/2014 at 13:26:10
66 Posted 19/09/2014 at 13:22:34
To be asked to play a billion more games a season, all on Thursday nights, then turn out the following Sunday, is a ball breaker and gruelling for so little back in return. The reason English clubs and fans donÂt take the Europa seriously is all to do with the lack of Wonga on offer of and the ridiculous situation of allowing Champions League flops to drop in at the knockout stage. What a joke.
I myself see the Europa League as a massive distraction to our Premier League campaign. I think there is a chance of a top-four push again this season with Liverpool slipping out due to the departure of Ratboy. The Europa League will test and drain our small squad and we will end up up dropping down the Premier League and not winning the Europa League either.
The Premier League is our bread and butter Â— its what pays the bills. We should send out the crocks and the kids in Europa League matches. Save our best for the domestic challenge. 17 extra games to reach the final in Poland... No, thank you.
67 Posted 19/09/2014 at 13:38:31
68 Posted 19/09/2014 at 13:47:03
For us this year I think it’s a good learning curve Â– even though it will stretch us.
69 Posted 19/09/2014 at 14:24:00
Does anybody know if that ticket is for the play-off or if it’s a ticket directly to the group stages of the CL?
70 Posted 19/09/2014 at 14:41:03
It gets you into the play offs, but I’m not sure at what round.
71 Posted 19/09/2014 at 15:18:28
It doesn’t make sense we scored 4 ergo we were the better team. It is no good just looking at statistics; yes, they had more shots than we did but many of them ended up in Row Z.
I was impressed with the efficient way we went about our task and El Bob got it right with his approach. I do not think we can say that we were over run in the first 15 minutes; I actually think it was a case of defending deep, let them come on to us, see what they have got, and then go for it. We were not as naive as we have been in the past, there was no gung-ho approach Â– just a solid efficient performance.
Finally, I agree, Eto’o is superb but let’s not get carried away: he has only made two cameo appearances. I have to say though (finally finally) it makes you proud when you see Everton 3 Wolfsburg 0 and Eto’o as our sub...
72 Posted 19/09/2014 at 15:34:51
Errr IÂll get my coat
73 Posted 19/09/2014 at 16:23:52
I am a big fan of EtoÂo, and am gutted no one has managed to come up with a "Cornetto" chant...... I mean he played at Barca, and in Itaaaaallllllyyy!!!! Also if you think about it: His skills, his goals... supreme!
Samuel EtoÂo, he makes me cream!
Anyway.... regarding the Europa League, I agree that it gets sneered at, but I think that teams with the profile of Wolfsburg and Lille make it worthwhile. There is a huge difference between having to go to Lille (or a team with such pedigree) and get a result, or lining up against quality players Â– for instance, Olic and Luis Gustavo are good experiences for our players, as well as actually being a good spectacle.
If we go on and win it, and qualify for the Champions league , not a lot of sneering will be done -well, other than by the obligatory sour reds. Oh and probably the Mirror - they just hate us in totalis.
76 Posted 19/09/2014 at 18:41:32
In my opinion, Coleman and McGeady donÂt go together, the latter not good enough.
77 Posted 19/09/2014 at 19:24:59
IÂll put it out there now IÂm not yet convinced by Martinez, his Plan A only tactics, his ignorance to the oppositionÂs weapons and his super nice guy approach doesnÂt give the impression he has what it takes to be a winner. How often does the nice guy finish on top?
For me, the managerÂs personality is reflected in his team and in my opinion we lack fire, grit and tempo. Everything we do is slow, calm and controlled just how Roberto comes across.
IÂm not saying I havenÂt been impressed by everything else he has brought to the club but there is definitely something lacking with regards to when we havenÂt got the ball.
78 Posted 19/09/2014 at 23:13:38
79 Posted 20/09/2014 at 00:33:01
As for John Malone, I think you have a valid point but I still think Everton are in better hands now. Who knows maybe itÂs time for the man with the white hat to finally kill off the bad guys. Then again the whole game is corrupted. The media love-in with any team in the DevilÂs colour, red.
I, like most, would be happy if we had the same result and performance of last night against the Redshite in a few weeks.
80 Posted 20/09/2014 at 02:02:27
I for one hope this all out effort to win continues even if we suffer a few places in the EPL. IÂd gladly settle for an 8 the to 10 the place finish in the league to win this competition.
After all, when slugs like Man Utd can spend a quarter of a billion dollars in one window to fight for a CL spot, it kinda makes the league a rigged outcome.
81 Posted 20/09/2014 at 03:19:24
ItÂs booking up fast.
83 Posted 20/09/2014 at 07:05:18
If you have an attack oriented strategy, itÂs common sense that you will give the opposition more chances then playing a defensive game. When we went in front Wolfsburg have to go on the attack donÂt they, thatÂs partly the reason that we scored 4!
Our results over the 2 seasons donÂt reflect your concerns, and saying that Roberto wants to play a different way to the Moyes era, players have adapted remarkably well, they are no doubt still learning.
As far as the number of shots from Wolfsburg, Howard did make 3 and 4 excellent saves, thatÂs why heÂs a Premier League goalkeeper, most of them though were easy saves or off target.
Also, you say that Martinez being Mr Nice Guy will not be successful; heÂs not afraid to keep Besic and Atsu waiting on the bench, also a couple of his ex-players said when asked about Martinez in the dressing room, have described him as nothing like his public face; he doesnÂt give hairdryers but theyÂre left in no doubt what he thinks when their at fault.
Another point, John, is Roberto is limited by our spending budget when you compare us with the other top 7 clubs. In the end, heÂs only as good as his players.
86 Posted 20/09/2014 at 09:17:45
I have to disagree with you that we "lack fire, grit and tempo". We felt our way into the game over the first 15 minutes, not taking any risks and keeping possession. After that we picked up the tempo considerably and only slowed again once we were three-nil up, by which time I think a lot of the guys had expended considerable energy.
After BainesÂs penalty we went over to a counter-attacking game and Wolfsburg had a few good opportunities, but most of their shooting was from long range. Howard made some fine saves and Jags and McCarthy made some good blocks. As Wolfsburg pushed men forward there was always the potential to nick on on the break which we did with Mirallas. I would probably have brought on Atsu for McGeady at that point.
It must be remembered that Wolfsburg are a top outfit in the Bundesliga full of international talent. The fact we made them appear a bit of a pushover for the first three goals kind of makes it look like we dropped our standards when they came back into the game. In reality, they are top professionals and would have been determined to put some respectability into the scoreline.
We are going to have to learn in Europe but this first result has put us in a very strong position to qualify and perhaps blood a few younger players if we qualify with a few games to spare. IÂm enjoying the success for now, not looking for portents of doom!
87 Posted 20/09/2014 at 08:56:51
Unlike our dour but fiery former manager, Martinez did indeed win something in 2013. IÂll leave you to research what that mightÂve been, but it was some kind of silvery cup-shaped thing.
I donÂt think there is any evidence that he is ignorant of the oppositionÂs weapons, either. ItÂs certainly clear that he puts an emphasis on what we can do to hurt the opposition, and I prefer that approach.
Do you think SAF sent out his Utd team primarily to stop the opposition, or blow them away? From Rio Ferdinands biography, we have our answer.
When Moyes went there and started to emphasise the oppositions threats to a greater extent, the Utd players started to worry about the opposition and doubt themselves and finished in Moyes favourite 7th place as a result.
Under Martinez, we adjust to the oppositions weaknesses, clearly shown by his successful switching of Lukaku to the right flank against Arsenal last season to get at their left back, resulting in us playing them off the park. No plan B my arse.
IÂll grant you the performance against Wolfsburg was not perfect and we did indeed get a few bits of luck, but to say our play is slow makes me wonder quite how we managed to score 4 against such quality opposition.
I mustÂve misread the speed of our break for the 4th goal and IÂve no idea how slow their right back mustÂve been to let the slow and predictable leighton baines right into their penalty area, to cross for the equally slow Coleman, who was probably under instruction from Martinez to pass it sideways slowly near our penalty area, and probably got scalded afterwards for doing something that was a bit too quick.
So, I think youÂre well within your rights to doubt Martinez, but judging by the strength of your argument, I think youÂd find reason to doubt anyone.
I could sit here and list 5 or 10 things IÂm not happy with about Martinez and the way we sometimes play, but we need to remember weÂre not Real Madrid, we donÂt have their players, cash or ability to attract proven world-class managers.
So, given that I canÂt see any alternative manager who would be prepared to manage us and who would do better with our resources, IÂll keep my trap shut.
88 Posted 20/09/2014 at 10:27:17
On another note, I really do hope Lukaku learns off EtoÂo and sharpens up Â– some of his link-up play and first touches are woeful. HeÂs got all the assets to be one of the best, he just needs to improve his mental focus all round... he looks ÂdopeyÂ at times. Hopefully itÂs just a youth thing and heÂll learn his trade as one of the best.
89 Posted 20/09/2014 at 13:22:46
Oh yes and we need a decent keeper, TimÂs saves were as usual more style than substance (he made routine saves look difficult). Also someone needs to tell him that he is allowed to catch the ball.
91 Posted 20/09/2014 at 16:16:51
We used to give the opposition the ball so much it ended up in our net more often than under Martinez's possession based system.
This season we've conceded too many early on, but Chelsea and Arsenal are two top quality sides who will score a hat-full against most teams.
Watching Arsenal beating Villa away 0-3 after 60 minutes just now, you wonder if an unlucky 2-2 draw was quite the awful result that many made it out to be.
93 Posted 20/09/2014 at 18:02:03
Let's hope we are bold enough to attack them next week, still got to be clever though and make sure we don't give that twat Sterling any space, clearly by a country mile their best player since Suarez left.
94 Posted 20/09/2014 at 18:23:26
Hope your'e not feeling sorry for our neighbours across the park.
Personally, I am hoping West Ham continue or even up the tempo second half and stuff the RS where they belong, below us.
95 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:24:38
96 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:24:25
97 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:24:15
I'm not in the slightest looking forward to next week.
98 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:25:44
99 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:27:06
100 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:30:59
101 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:37:34
I'd love us to batter them but I'll take a draw tbh. Let's beat Palace first.
102 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:47:35
103 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:45:24
104 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:49:45
105 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:46:03
Martinez would do just as well to give them all ear plugs as the teams walk out in the tunnel so our lads don't start thinking "oh shit" as soon as the atmosphere cranks up decibels.
I keep saying it, it is high time we left our mark at Anfield; it's been way too long... I mean, in the last 15 years, how many goals have we even scored there?
It's time for a new Blue hero, methinks.
106 Posted 20/09/2014 at 19:52:23
Hopefully the players' confidence grew seeing the RS go down at West Ham.
107 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:00:01
108 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:04:11
Even Distin and Jagielka cannot be trusted. I would go with Stones and Alcaraz. Lukaku, Naismith, Mirallas and Eto'o will be relishing the challenge, Coleman, McCarthy and Barry are fine. The rest are prone to freeze in a big game at the rat-hole. No Osman or Pienaar please Â– weak.
109 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:17:52
110 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:30:33
111 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:35:47
112 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:39:52
113 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:44:01
Kev Campbell 2000 in a 3-1 loss.
Tomasz Radzinski 2002 in a 1-1 draw.
Tim Cahill in 2005 and 2006 respectively both in defeats.
Tim Cahill stuck again 2009 in a 1-1 draw.
Distin and Beckford in a 2-2 draw way back in January 2011 were our last scorers there.
7 goals in 15 years, why is that?
We have in that time managed to score lots at Old Trafford even at Stamford Bridge but we are just never ever ourselves anymore at Anfield.
I would dearly love to see it change next week but I won't be holding my breath, I really wont.
114 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:53:30
115 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:52:55
Disgraceful record no other way of putting it especially when we had such a proud record in the '90s despite being a limited team fighting in the bottom half.
We used to score there at least every year.
Our last Kop end goal in the league was 9 years ago, unbelievable, that's always been a trait that every Everton player/legend in the making has been fucking desperate to achieve.
We need it next week.
116 Posted 20/09/2014 at 21:00:01
117 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:58:34
118 Posted 20/09/2014 at 21:03:56
119 Posted 20/09/2014 at 21:01:28
I don't see us losing this time. Brenda is a fuckin blag merchant and they've had there occasional good season. Let's just win tomorrow for now.
120 Posted 20/09/2014 at 21:05:13
121 Posted 20/09/2014 at 21:06:29
We have had one penalty at Anfield in 77 years. That was in 1988.
122 Posted 20/09/2014 at 21:15:18
123 Posted 20/09/2014 at 21:15:08
124 Posted 20/09/2014 at 21:16:49
125 Posted 21/09/2014 at 01:31:04
It’s only our defence that’s giving me reservations and particularly Jags Â– visions of Sterling doing him for pace & you just know Sturridge gets passed fit days before.
Also, as much of a Martinez fan as I am, he has to have a different mentality to win there, they’ll come out fired up all guns blazing we have to be tough to beat first like Chelsea and Villa and park two buses if that’s what it takes for large periods.
I’d love to have Lambert of Villa in charge for one match a season as he can’t seem to fail to win at Anfield and tactically has it spot on every year. I’m confident it’ll happen over the next couple of seasons but I’d take a point this year.
Let’s concentrate on tomorrow first Â– big 3 points if we can keep the momentum going tomorrow.
126 Posted 20/09/2014 at 20:33:58
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