Liverpool 1 - 1 Everton
Seamus Coleman: missed out after failing a fitness test
A moment of brilliance from captain Phil Jagielka salvaged a point for Everton as his 25-yard thunderbolt cancelled out Steven Gerrard's free kick in stoppage time.
The Toffees had been chasing the game in vain since the reds' skipper had curled home a free kick in the 64th minute another defeat was looming when Jagielka latched onto Dejan Lovren's headed clearance and smashed a first-time shot into the top corner.
The match had kicked off in typically frenetic fashion for a Merseyside derby, Gareth Barry picking up a booking in the first minute that left him walking a tightrope for the remainder of the match, and both sides seeing decent penalty claims turned down by referee Martin Atkinson.
Everton rode their luck at one end in the first half with Adam Lallana planting a free header too close to Tim Howard allowing the American to make a good one-handed save and Mario Balotelli mis-timing his jump when totally unmarked in the centre.
Despite those lapses, Everton were markedly more organised at the back than was the case in this fixture back in January but they were disappointing going forward, especially after their luck ran out at the other end of the field where their most potent threat, Kevin Mirallas, was stretchered away with less than half an hour gone with what bore all the hallmarks of another serious hamstring tear.
With Liverpool largely restricted to long-range efforts from Balotelli, it was sloppiness in possession that threatened to undo Everton but Howard saved Barry's blushes with a save from Raheem Sterling that kept things goalless going into the half-time interval.
The intensity of the occasion largely dissipated in the second half but when Balotelli made a show of being tripped by Baines' trailing leg in a dangerous area outside the box, Gerrard was handed the opportunity he relishes with a free kick that he swept into the left side of Howard's goal via the goalkeeper's hand.
And Balotelli should have put the game beyond Everton four minutes later when Sterling picked him out from the left but his side-foot shot right in front of goal took a decisive nick off Howard's body and bounced off the crossbar and over.
Forced to have to break the retreating reds down as the clock ticked down, the Blues looked like they were going down to another derby defeat until Jagielka pulled something out of the top drawer to grab a point.
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Reader Comments (103)
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1 Posted 27/09/2014 at 17:12:17
Watched on BT, found their antics annoying, going down like sacks of shit at any opportunity. Not sure Baines touched Ballibollocks for their free kick, and certain foul on Barry on lead up.
However happy with a point!
2 Posted 27/09/2014 at 18:12:27
He looks talented and was unfased when he came on. A very good alternative to Coleman. Still early days I know.
3 Posted 27/09/2014 at 18:03:23
Some positives for me: I was shocked when I saw BesicÂs name on the sheet. I was one of the people who thought heÂd make an impetuous challenge and get sent off. If he can come away from a derby unscathed he can play in any game for me. Browning also looks like heÂs some player, fast and strong. ItÂs just a shame heÂs not left sided so he could save us a few quid on the replacement for Distin and Alcaraz. I thought Howard also redeemed himself and played a blinder for the most part.
My only grumble was not with Lukaku (I wish people would just lay off the kid, all the same old yada yada about the fee and first touch) It was that we looked a bit pedestrian in the middle of the park. We are sorely missing a creative player who can make things happen and we need Ross back sooner than later for me.
6 Posted 27/09/2014 at 18:17:32
To be honest both teams were pretty poor and will have to be better if the top four is to the target. Delighted for Jags as he has come in for a fair bit of stick but heÂs worthy Captain in my view whoÂs just had a dip in form and confidence. I hope this will prove a turning point for him and the rest of the team.
Any news on the Mirallas injury?
7 Posted 27/09/2014 at 18:34:34
Lukaku, misses more than he scores. Lazy bastard. 㿈 mil... they must have seen us coming. Jose is no fool and he had a good look at him.
Browning, looked okay but I would have liked to have seen him against a fresh side from start.
McGeady gets worse, if thatÂs possible.
And the corners... bloody hell! Abysmal.
Howard and defence were more tighter, although he made another blip with free kick. Similar to Euro match.
Overall, two shite teams playing shite football. I think that about sums it up.
8 Posted 27/09/2014 at 18:41:53
11 Posted 27/09/2014 at 18:57:40
12 Posted 27/09/2014 at 19:09:37
13 Posted 27/09/2014 at 19:19:39
Not surprised about Brenda but the RS media bias really pisses me off.
14 Posted 27/09/2014 at 19:26:29
Great so we're stuck with James McFadden Mk 2 , in Aiden McGeady.
Nothing on McGeady but he just doesn't offer nothing at this level, I keep waiting for something to happen because when he gets the ball your think "yeah he looks set to do something exciting " but sod all usually ever happens.
Made up with the point coz we were pretty shite again.
Still think this is going to be a battle for mid-table rather than top 5 this season.
Happy with the point because I feared the same old story once we let that fucking creasehead score AGAIN..
16 Posted 27/09/2014 at 19:34:19
Satisfactory performances by Besic and Browning. If only Lukaku had put away that inch perfect pass from Besic over the defence.
Defence looked somewhat better, considering we had Hibbs in there. Well done Stones.
Despite predictions, Atkinson didn't give a pen against us, although that handball was a pen.
Did anybody notice (69th minute) Sterling lash out at Nais on the sideline?
17 Posted 27/09/2014 at 19:34:51
18 Posted 27/09/2014 at 19:38:04
Stonewall penalty for us in first half which, as usual Atkinson shit out giving. The lead up to their goal was a free kick on Barry by Balotelli which again Atkinson ignored.
Tremendous goal by Jags saved the day for us. We also could have snatched a last gasp winner if it weren't for a poor free kick by Baines.
Still, can't grumble. Think it would have been an absolute travesty of injustice if we has lost.
19 Posted 27/09/2014 at 19:23:41
I would play one of them in the holding role holding with Gibson a bit more advanced. Before his injury he was crucial to our play and we barely lost a game when he played. I think McCarthy can expand his game but at the moment he and Barry just seem too similar.
I was impressed by Browning's composure in such a big game. He looks a completely different player to the gangly teen I say in Roberto's first pre-season. We have Oviedo and Garbutt to cover the left if Baines is out but nobody down the right. Stones needs to stay at centre-back and, despite his commitment to the cause, Hibbert offers no real attacking threat and looks exposed for pace in defence.
The loss of Mirallas is a big blow. If he hadn't gone off I'm sure he would have made more use of the few opportunities we had to break. His first instinct is to run at the opposition with pace. Hopefully Atsu can come in and do the same. McGeady is a bit of an enigma. The guy clearly has a reserve of flair in him but can he unleash it often enough to warrant a place?
20 Posted 27/09/2014 at 19:43:54
21 Posted 27/09/2014 at 19:55:36
Not a mention that as the away team we had double figures as attempts on goal and had the higher % of possession. It was a draw and being honest was about the right result. Neither team did enough to win, although had a ref who was not wearing red blinkers been in the middle we may have had a lot more efforts on their goal and more importantly, they would not have had that freekick.
Wow, do I hate them. Balotelli is fast becoming a real Redshite knobhead. Lallana may have been one of us, but what a little weasel he is.
23 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:09:15
24 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:06:45
Regarding Lukaku, we really do need to stop expecting 㿈m performances each and every game. I know it's easy to forget, but this lad is only 21 years of age. Half of that fee was invested in potential, and that will take a while to fulfill. Saying that, I expect him to score at least 15 this season, and that's more than most strikers in this League.
We will slowly see the back of Distin, Osman, Hibbo and Pienaar over the next 18 months, and because we don't have the cash for instant replacements, we will see some of our youth given a chance.
I think we have bright future, even if we won't see the best of our youngsters this season. Some, as always, won't be able to wait until next week though, never mind next season.
25 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:19:44
26 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:10:50
Beagrie did actually still quite a few "worldies" in to the top corner and contrary to the popular belief that he was all drag backs and step overs he did have an ok goal return at times.
I wouldn't mind if McGeady started sticking some like the Leicester goal easy but his shooting has been dreadful since then.
At the end of the day this injury to Mirallas now means one of McGeady or Atsu really have a chance to step up and start proving they are worth their salt and give Martinez something to think about.
We could really do with Pienaar coming back fit and like the Pienaar of old, linking up the Bainaar giving it one final swansong, unfortunately it's not very likely though.
We are going to miss Mirallas and the goal threat he brings us.
29 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:27:23
30 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:25:54
I’m not sure I’d go as far to say the spine of something special.
Besic and McCarthy, good players they are but they are too alike, no crrativity.
Barkley is wonderful but I have my doubts he will be an Everton player this time next year.
As for Lukaku? Well I’d just be quite happy if we saw some ٦ million performances out of him let alone 㿈 million. He just looks as though he runs in quicksand; he looks sluggish and frankly immobile too often.
At the minute, the problem with Lukaku is Martinez is wasting him playing him wide rather than down the middle, full stop. Martinez is still living off the back of Lukaku’s great display at home to Arsenal in April where he had a stormer coming in from the left.
31 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:26:29
I thought Tony Hibbert, who really couldn't' be match fit, did okay. I hope what was a fortuitous draw will be the confidence boost needed.
32 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:23:12
As for ourselves, Mirallas going down really took our ability to attack quickly away. Lukaku kinda had to be on the wing because Nais is really ineffective out there. McGeady has the speed, but I think he's still learning to read our counterattack patterns and that slows us down. Someone mentioned earlier, Ross will help us pick up the pace. Hope Mirallas isn't out too long.
33 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:35:31
34 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:29:12
But I cant help but feel disappointed. This is the worst Liverpool side in living memory without rat boy, a side on the back of a spanking at West Ham, a home defeat to Villa, and a home draw snatched against a championship side. Yet sometimes we made them look good. At no point in the match did we actually look like we wanted to go and win this.
Aside from some excellent individual performances, what concerns me is the lack of team work. It seems that when we get into possession, the players are not really sure about what the should then go and do. This might be the reason we see this short passing 'I have no idea what to do with the ball, here, you go and do something with it'. It seems such a long time ago since the Baines Pienaar duo showed us some of the finest team work and interplay in the land. However that said, we saw the first glimpses of Mo Besic, a player that is showing great potential for being a player that is brave enough to take responsibility and actually make something happen.
Some green shoots are still there, but the question is now are they going to grow quick enough to ensure that we have a successful season as we are far from being good enough to contend for 4th place up to now.
35 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:35:17
I'm happy enough with the draw. But Lukaku was playing too wide. Why does RM put him out there? He was our single target man with little or no support.
36 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:32:23
37 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:36:37
I don't know why Lukaku has to be playing wide when he is our only out-and-out striker on the pitch. Can't Martinez just go with Barry, McCarthy, in the holding role and play with McGeady one side with Atsu the other and play Lukaku straight up top with Nais just off behind him??
All this Lukaku out wide does my head in, it really does.
Perhaps even Oviedo (if and when fully fit) could occupy the left flank if McGeady or Atsu don't pull up any trees??
I would definitely like to know what the story is with Pienaar: why every injury with him seems to last so long now.
38 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:44:56
39 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:25:35
As I posted before the game, without the sewer rat and Sturridge, Sterling is their only threat, while Balotelli is just another diver who goes down every time someone breathes on him. Typically, Brenda moans his sour grapes routine after every game; both sides should have had spot kicks, and while he gutter press described BalotelliÂs miss as Âcrashing off the barÂ, it actually clipped the top of the bar from HowardÂs fingertip.
It unfortunately looks bad again for Mirallas but the good news is that Shrek got his marching orders at OT so we may have a better-than-even chance of putting one over on Man Utd.
40 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:46:22
I just fest that we will still struggle in the forthcoming games unless some kind of set formation is stumbled upon and Martinez starts using Lukaku straight down the middle.
Lukaku ain't playing well but he isn't be helped by this shit at the minute. Get him in the box, where he can do the damage he did when he first signed last year on loan, and tell McGeady to start crossing the bleeding ball EARLY not all this piss-farting around with 20 passes to Baines before we hit the first man with a cross.
42 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:54:09
The only way we are going to make any progress is by putting a good run together. We need a mini run to start with, something like 9 points from 4 games to start with and then so on and so on.
It'd be no use wasting today's good draw by losing at United then drawing at home to Villa after the next International break in three weeks.
43 Posted 27/09/2014 at 20:35:58
Mirallas is going to be a big miss but hopefully we will have Pienaar back fit & also Coleman, who is so important to us. Besic wasnÂt too bad & I thought Browning looked unfazed when he came on. The difference not having Distin in the back four as for me he causes untold panic.
Our corners are shite & I canÂt believe we did not exploit their back four & goalie with more crosses, but thatÂs not the Martinez way is it!!
I would have liked to have seen Gibson come on for Barry on the hour & also EtoÂo who did change us for the better going forward,again if EtoÂo was given 30 minutes who knows we might have won it.
Just on the coverage of the match on BT sport, what a load of biased red bastards that lot are, especially Ian Darke/Michael Owen commentating, wanking over Gerrard & how great Balotelli is & then the MotM is given to Gerrard. I know we didnÂt play great but did Gerrard have a better game than Jags or Stones? Did he fuck, I canÂt wait till that smug bastard retires.
44 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:00:29
45 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:08:21
What!?! Â— he's the big man and he ought to get on the end of his own crosses! Something wrong tactically here...
46 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:16:02
47 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:19:07
48 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:18:47
49 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:30:14
We're being let down by the set-piece situation. We can't defend them and taking them is just a piss take. If Martinez is ignoring these because he'd rather score from open play, he needs fucking.
I like the look of Browning though and Stones had another good game. Keep Stones and Jags now. Beautiful goal as well. No fucking about, Bobby.
50 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:39:30
For us to pull a draw from this game, in that manner will have done us more good than Liverpool; they will have left the ground feeling defeated and for most of them, that journey back to Norway, London and Wales etc would be a long one.
We were far from our best but we've struggled all season; really pleased to see Jags and Stones pull off a great game and I can see Stones becoming a legend. Gutted to see super Kev injured; not that he's that good but more for the drop in morale for the players.
No surprises to see Ballotelli diving all over the place like a typical cheating twat, but it's the Liverpool way and what we've all come to get used to.
Jags was my MoTM and it was great to detect the atmosphere dropout around the BT Sport / ex Red commentator Knobs when Jags scored!
51 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:22:38
All that said, I had a great day at anfield. The highlight was being the only one in the upper anfield road in a section of a couple of thosand kopites that stood up and shouted "YES" when Jags bagged that great goal. if looks could haved killed! Needless to say, some dirty kopite tried to start on the way out by staring me out and the scowling at me with the word "Ballbag"! I nicely replied that yes I have one and it kindly looks after my two balls. My six foot eight mate then told him to do one and I laughed my head off at the little prick.
I love the Derby.
Lets do those Mancs now
52 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:45:32
54 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:42:17
What a time to score... let's hope it brings back confidence into our play.
55 Posted 27/09/2014 at 22:11:43
56 Posted 27/09/2014 at 22:13:44
57 Posted 27/09/2014 at 22:23:50
58 Posted 27/09/2014 at 22:18:37
59 Posted 27/09/2014 at 21:48:26
Lukaku out muscled Moreno a good few times that game and got away with some space. On a different day with a different ref, he could have won us a pen. That wouldn't have happened with Martin shirtpull and Lovren up his face.
Gerrard was fully socked by Naissy throughout. Honestly, besides that free kick, I barely saw him in the game. Mirallas was more of a threat in his 30-min cameo (may he recover quickly) than McGeady in 60 mins. Which of course Martinez had his hand tied with that decision, we saw how dreadful Ossie can be in the second half when coming on as a sub so early.
All-in-all, Barry was complete and utter shite! Stones was magnificent, Howard did nothing impressive, that blind save cancels out that free kick, I suppose.
Besic was the only player with balls in our team, squigling through midfield, making runs towards the box, attempting those 40 yard switches or through balls. McCarthy put in his shift. Baines brought nothing offensively and was reasonable defensively, that even with no-one ever having a real go at him.
Stones and Jags were impressive today. I wouldn't say magnificent as Jags is still weary with his heading. Mario could have latched on to the few he couldn't deal with and it would have been a different story. The strike was dipped in pure class. Completely jaw dropping to say the least. Hibbo is Hibbo, good positioning and marking, ineffective going forward with his snail like pace.
We could have gone 4-2-3-1 but we couldn't risk being trampled over once more at Anfield under Martinez.
61 Posted 27/09/2014 at 22:54:19
62 Posted 27/09/2014 at 22:42:01
There's a striking photo of our very own dishy Kev Tully on the club's hospitality pages (Alex Young Suite) with his very smart lad Â– he's off to Warwick Uni this weekend.
Scroll through the pics to the one after the Golden Vision and Kev is the dishy distinguished fella in the black shirt with the shock of grey hair ordering from the menu and chatting up that rather lovely blue lady.
Kev's lad is a dead ringer for scouse crooner Peter Coyle singer with scouse band The Lotus Eaters Â– 'the first picture of you'!
63 Posted 27/09/2014 at 23:08:01
64 Posted 27/09/2014 at 22:56:16
For me it was Nais who appeared at odds with the ebb & flow of things. His body language was a bit like it was early last season when everyone was calling for his head. He wasn't that bad, just not 'on it' like he has been of late.
Thought it was weird having Hibbo up against someone of Sterling's pace, but what other options did RM have ? TB from the off ? Big shout that.
We need peanuts back, it won't give us the pace we need (Fuck knows where that has gone) , but it may help Baines to get some crosses in to Lu, providing he's not on the wing doing Seamus's job (messy) it all goes to show how short we are of proper quality in depth.
There was a move today where we almost looked like the team that was smashing all and sundry most of last season. We just couldn't get going, though; too many players lacking in confidence & being risk averse (McCarthy) playing it back, slowing it down and not taking the initiative.
Not too down-hearted though the equaliser could be the catylist we need.
Happy for Jags and our fans at Anfield.
65 Posted 27/09/2014 at 23:10:40
Well, IÂm sorry to say that wasnÂt it, because we all know what happened next. I will not get tired of watching them last couple of minutes as long as I live... Brilliant!
66 Posted 27/09/2014 at 23:27:09
67 Posted 28/09/2014 at 00:39:56
RM can talk positive all he likes but this performance overall was anything but promising. And it's now 16 years since we won there.... SIXTEEN!
68 Posted 28/09/2014 at 04:49:43
69 Posted 28/09/2014 at 07:33:19
There are times when their great leader looks more confused than they are.
We are on the road to nowhere, I fear!
70 Posted 28/09/2014 at 07:46:50
RM has been honest about the performance. Let’s see what he can do.
It took SAF three years to mould Man Utd. But with our limited resources and geriatric / kiddy squad, we should expect virtually immediate trophy success, shouldn’t we?
I know. Why don’t we set him a target of nine more games? That way we’ll be in a win / win situation: if he succeeds, we get the vicarious glory; if he fails, we get to gloat about just how right we were that the man is a BS conman...
71 Posted 28/09/2014 at 07:58:26
Defending Â– Massively improved. (Dizzy, looks like light training for you from now on)
Stones did well but still gets gets himself in situations where he's caught with the ball;
All round great, something solid to build from. A goal from set play as a result of diving cheating reds (no surprise there).
Rom's touch were massively improved and he did well in the right as the outlet. Should have either gone down screaming or pushed passed Ã la Aguero!
McGeady needs lots of work. Kevin will be a huge miss. Oviedo, Pienaar, Gibson & Barkley due back soon....
We'll have them at home... Man Utd next without Rodders Rooney.
72 Posted 28/09/2014 at 08:18:11
Our wall was in reverse. Short players on the right side of goal... The danger area! SIMPLE planning.
Kevin coming off at 30 minutes was a consequence of our disjointed play. No option but to put on McGeady, who works at 50% of mighty Kevin's effort.
73 Posted 28/09/2014 at 08:15:56
Baines should've just taken a shot in the first half when he had time and space in the box.
Lukaku should've definitely got a head on the ball in the second half.
Other than that, we struggled to create and very rarely showed a threat.
74 Posted 28/09/2014 at 08:44:11
● We got a point
● Howard played well
● Jags played well, scored & might be over his dip
● Hibbert came in and covered okay
● Browning seems strong
● Mirallas injury
● Lakaku lacked edge, kept dropping deep
● Still not firing on all cylinders like last year
Let's hope Thursday is better.
75 Posted 28/09/2014 at 08:41:27
The performances this season to be honest are simply baffling me, it's almost as though we are still in pre-season and look like a bunch of strangers.
I couldn't believe yesterday we allowed them counts to start the same way we did in January, I was going mental watching their Red twats harrying everything and seeing the likes of Besic and Barry eased off the ball. I thought "Hear we go again."
To get a point out of that, I imagine most of us are so relieved today it's indescribable.
I can rest again now until February 7 when they come to Goodison.
76 Posted 28/09/2014 at 08:50:15
What save from Ballotelli?
The ball hit him !!!!
77 Posted 28/09/2014 at 08:45:56
I'm starting to get a bit worried; with no Mirallas, I think we may need to look at a different formation as I can't have McGeady starting in any team of mine. We need to get a midfielder in the team who gets beyond the striker but I don't think we possess one.
The plus points from yesterday are we looked better defensively and Browning's cameo who looks built to possibly be a long term partner for Stones at the back.
78 Posted 28/09/2014 at 09:10:32
Anyone else think Besic might be the answer to getting up the field more quickly? He was always trying to move the ball up and make things happen Â– it didn't always come off but he looked good for the most part
79 Posted 28/09/2014 at 09:16:54
I agree Besic is quick thinking and has quick feet. His pass to Lukaku, giving an almost-free header not taken, was what we need more of. I think we'll now see much more of him.
80 Posted 28/09/2014 at 09:21:43
81 Posted 28/09/2014 at 09:19:56
I thought that Stones and Jagielka played alright and Martinez should give Browning his chance now. He looked really sharp and he read the game well; he's got the pace. What has happen to Baines? He isn't the player he was last season.
I must say that Lukaku was a good signing as I think that he plays for the team; he can score as well as play-make and he can win the ball back.
I hope that Ross Barkley hurries back as Everton are going to miss their quick-thinking amazing winger, Kevin Mirallas. Barkley can restore the sharpness that Everton are going to be missing in Mirallas.
We need back Pienaar and get that left-hand side up and running again with Baines as I think that Baines seems a little lost without him.
This is the Problem with Everton when they are missing key players Â– they don't have any real other top quality players that can fill the injury gaps. Maybe that is because we don't have the money to the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.
82 Posted 28/09/2014 at 10:42:50
83 Posted 28/09/2014 at 10:47:55
I think we really missed Mirallas (after he went off), Coleman and Barkley because, with Lukaku playing as a target man, they would be your main runners off him; without them, we looked ponderous in the final third.
84 Posted 28/09/2014 at 10:10:17
I was pleased with the pragmatic approach by Martinez. We know that a derby is like a Champions League final for them. And thus, it's not fair to read too much into our performance; suffice to say, a draw was a fair result.
● Lukaku had a disciplined display, imposing himself in that corner to counter Hibbert's lack of pace and Browning's inexperience.
● Naismith did a good job on Gerrard, but wasn't as effective offensively.
● Besic was promising with strength and discipline Â– surprising a few.
● Baines needs Pienaar.
● Browning was very impressive attitude-wise, it would be nice to see him introduced more regularly, he certainly earned it today.
● Jagielka, getting his mojo back. I poo-pooed my sons prediction that he would score.
● Stones was Man of the Match.
● I was not happy with Barry or McCarthy, but they're stuggling players in a stuggling team and probably not miles away from some good performances.
Our habitual slow-down in the final third is frustrating; I'm going off McGeady, having been a fence-sitter. He needs to cross it... fack Â– is that not easier than trying to go round the outside EVERY time?
85 Posted 28/09/2014 at 11:14:24
Gutted for Mirallas.
86 Posted 28/09/2014 at 11:48:04
The defense looked more solid although that might be down to how crap Balotelli is. I've seen more movement from a lamppost. If Sturridge had played the outcome may have been a lot different. They don't half miss ratboy.
Browning looked good when he came on and he certainly wasn't overawed. I noticed he got on to Balotelli pretty well. I hope we see more of him in the coming matches.
I think Barry needs to be benched. We cannot continue with two DM's. It severely limits our attacking options, especially if one of our fullbacks isn't playing and Barry just keeps getting booked. He was lucky not to get sent off yesterday. McCarthy is enough DM cover. Hopefully when Barkley is fit this will be done and we'll go with McCarthy, Besic, Barkley with Naismith playing off Lukaku.
Speaking of Lukaku. I hope his position out on the right yesterday was just for this specific game. He a striker and should be in the middle most of the time. Shame about Mirallas. He's been one of our brighter players so far this season. Let's hope he won't be gone for too long. In the meantime I wouldn't mind seeing Coleman playing further forward with Townsend at right back.
87 Posted 28/09/2014 at 12:50:17
On another note does anyone know when Pienaar likely to be back??
88 Posted 28/09/2014 at 13:22:42
For a team whose ethos is the passing game, how come some players are unable to pass it 10 yards and in from of the intended player? Gareth Barry was atrocious, McGeady should be in the Championship or lower, we have no pace and end up passing for passing sake and then look like slipping up at the back all the time.
I'm happy to get a point but, apart from that, the football this season has been terrible and I'm sick of Martinez spouting about how everything is 'phenomenal'... I can only hope he's telling the players that it's unacceptable, but saying it behind closed doors.
89 Posted 28/09/2014 at 13:27:11
90 Posted 28/09/2014 at 13:53:09
91 Posted 28/09/2014 at 13:47:45
92 Posted 28/09/2014 at 13:57:01
I am absolutely delighted with a draw at Mordor. The performance was poor but I don't really care that much. Whenever we play the RS, home or away, we tend not to get the rub of the green and this usually leads to dropped points. Yesterday we gained a point without playing well and having a bit of luck and for that I am grateful. The RS are clearly a bogey team for us and so a point at their gaff is no bad thing in my eyes.
The season so far has been a muddled mess, but it is still far too early to be jumping to conclusions and letting loose violently jerking knees. 10 PL games are usually a reliable indicator of where we are likely to finish the season.
I agree with those who say we lack a clear pattern of play, and that the team lacks intensity and aggression. A combination of factors, such as new additions bedding in, injuries, players off form have no doubt contributed. The manager also appears to have us defending much deeper which is creating gaps behind our full backs when they attack and putting enormous strain on our 2 DM's. The deeper defensive line seems to be to compensate for our style of not looking to close down the opposition higher up the pitch. Is this to conserve energy given the additional number of matches this season?
On the player front, Mo Besic has the makings of a very good player if he stays fit and keeps his discipline. Browning looks a real find too, whilst Stones is continuing his development superbly. Lukaku is a worry, he looks slow and lacks sharpness and Bobby is overplaying him. He needs a rest, particularly with the Mirallas injury. I would play Naismith and Kone in Russia and start with Eto'o against Man Utd. Without Mirallas, outwide we only have McGeady and Atsu and both players will need to start contributing to make up for the absence of one of our best players.
93 Posted 28/09/2014 at 15:05:53
94 Posted 28/09/2014 at 15:21:57
I just knew that twat was going to score as soon as he stepped up to take the free kick, even though it wasn't a foul in the first place. Where do they keep getting these diving cheating horrible players from? Or is that the first thing they learn them over there???
We need to play much better than that if we are going to do something this season.
95 Posted 28/09/2014 at 15:39:14
On a sidenote, just seen the game between our U21s is on kopshite TV tomorrow night. Good chance to see the the young players and how they perform.
96 Posted 28/09/2014 at 15:42:20
A point at Mordor isn't anything to crow about, but the RS always cheat their hardest against us. I doubt they put in half the effort against Villa, for example, either in terms of actual football, or efforts to con the ref.
I was actually shocked we weren't down to 10 men because every time we went near them, they were rolling around, screaming. Balotelli was the worst culprit, but they were all guilty.
It was embarrassing both for them and our league the way they would be rolling over one minute, then as soon as it was clear that the ref wasn't interested, they were back up sprinting at full speed. Makes my blood boil and I'd struggle not to break their legs for real if I was playing against those cheating twats.
So, while the ref didn't spot our pen, and neither did he give us a free-kick prior to their goal, nor did he book Balotelli for a quality dive to win the free-kick from which they scored... he didn't send any of ours off, which he could've easily done given the theatrics and cheating going on.
In terms of the team's performance, it's worth remembering that the lads are low on confidence, especially our defence; we also lost Mirallas part way through the game. We were also without Barkley, Pienaar and Coleman, three of our best players who I'm sure would've been in the first 11 and provide a lot of our attacking threat.
We conceded 1, but otherwise kept them out and we had the ability and confidence to go at them and get the equaliser, when, in seasons past, the manager would've brought on a defender to avoid an embarrassing scoreline.
If Browning had been playing from the start instead of Hibbert, I think we'd have done better. This kid may not be Coleman Mk 2, but even at this stage he's still far more competent than Hibbert, who simply does not have the mobility to deal with modern wingers and puts us in the shit every time a team attack down our right.
So, for me the positives (in no particular order) were:
1) A point away from home with 3 or 4 key players out injured and confidence low.
2) A generally solid defensive display.
3) Watching Rodgers's face when Jags fired his Exocet in right in-front of the kop in the 91st minute.
4) The performances of Stones, Besic and Browning.
5) The confidence gained by fighting back whereas in previous seasons we'd have capitulated or gone for damage limitation.
97 Posted 28/09/2014 at 16:39:20
98 Posted 28/09/2014 at 17:14:58
Yes, I know we beat WBA 2-0 but, in hindsight, similar to us against Palace, they were a result of two individual errors from Olsson and Foster.
I just don't have the same vibe this season as I did the last. Just very hopeful all my worrying and pessimism is for nothing and that we do very well this season.
99 Posted 28/09/2014 at 17:39:17
Key men missing in key positions will disrupt any team, rich ones included. Fluidity goes out of the window while the manager seeks suitable solutions. It's never easy.
100 Posted 29/09/2014 at 00:11:14
101 Posted 29/09/2014 at 01:31:04
Hopefully he can put his bad form behind him and even walk away from international duty to concentrate on his Blues career.
102 Posted 29/09/2014 at 02:25:11
If only Jags could have waited another 30 seconds and silenced them in mid chorus, now that would have been the icing on the cake.
103 Posted 29/09/2014 at 03:59:29
I can't understand the massive difference of opinion on Big Rom and McGeady. How can they both be shite and really good? Both had moments of good football and both could be frustrating; after all, it was McGeady who floated the ball back into the danger zone that led to Goal of the Season.
Rom had some good moments too although the co-commentator pointed out that he loses the ball more than any other team mate with his inaccurate passes. As he said, he needs to hold onto it a bit longer until there is another option. Still, he is young and learning his trade. We expect too much, my only gripe is if you compare Balotelli's workrate at closing down to Rom, he makes Rom look lazy and really slow.
105 Posted 29/09/2014 at 08:29:24
As for the big fella. Who knows. Right now he doesn't look a 㿈m player that's for sure but he appeared to be very restricted by orders on Saturday. "Get up on that right wing and stay there" sort of thing. Balotelli, on the other hand, had no restrictions. Martinez rates Rom and after getting the club to shell out such a fortune you can bet your life he'll be working overtime on the lad's first touch and general technical ability.
106 Posted 29/09/2014 at 09:25:24
From your posts I notice you have a lot time for McGeady and it looks highly likely that we will be seeing a lot more of him over he next couple of months. Be that good or bad for the blues, it is a great opportunity for him to show us all why he had a price tag of over 㾶M.
Agree with you about Rom, the boy did exactly what RM asked him to do and for me he will be asked to do the same thing against Man Utd. Though with Coleman back, we will probably see a different attacking outcome on the right side of the pitch than we did at Anfield. Naismith for me was limited, so hopefully RM will have a pop at sticking Eto'o up top (for longer than 10 minutes).
Biggest Saturday issue for me Â– we need to look at our distribution of the ball from the back players to the front guys... How the fuck you can have 54 percent of the game with only 8 shots at goal whilst the opposition have 26 hits at our net? This needs to be looked at!
Also, I've read that Wenger has ordered his players in to discuss their corner routines, apparently they had 15 corners with not a single attempt at goal. That's fucking hilarious, for me Wenger must have a little Wenger chuckle whenever Everton get a corner.
107 Posted 29/09/2014 at 10:40:33
I think he's more or less got his fitness back, has got used to the EPL now so once his confidence is built we should see more dividends, great addition to the squad.
109 Posted 29/09/2014 at 10:32:43
I'm not sure where you got the 㾶M figure for McGeady, however, I don't think we paid even one third of that. Maybe you mean the price the Russians paid for him?
110 Posted 29/09/2014 at 11:35:21
111 Posted 29/09/2014 at 12:37:22
Yep, you're right, I was referring to the 㾶M some Russian mob paid Celtic. If we had paid that figure for his services, I would be crying myself to sleep!!!
As I've already said, he will certainly get a few games over the next few months so let's see what happens. It's when he loses the ball that does my head in as he rarely tries to recover the ball and he's extremely slow at tracking back.....
112 Posted 29/09/2014 at 12:57:53
I must give praise to RM for the improvement in defence and, although they were only a minute away from another defeat, they were still pretty sound at the back. I am happy to see that at full back they have so much cover for the imminent future.
Certainly the Man Utd game will be another stern test defensively given the money they have splashed out on goalscorers but elsewhere they are weak and the Blues can capitalize on that, hopefully.
114 Posted 29/09/2014 at 17:42:57
He also didn't buy him to track back and tackle. His job is at the other end of the pitch where he might open things up with one piece of magic and help us score a goal. Okay, he loses possession now and then but nowhere near the number of times people stick on him.
Against Leicester, he scored a sublime goal and almost got two. The next week he only got 14 minutes. Against Chelsea, he threaded a beautifully weighted ball inside the fullback for Coleman to cross to Mirallas. He then skinned the fullback, flew inside and sent Naismith away to score. Against Palace, he floated past 3 defenders and put it on a plate for Osman who was denied by a wonder save.
On Saturday, his awareness, speed and skill enabled him to provide the cross which was headed out to Jags for his super goal.
People who call him useless are best ignored. They have no grey areas. Players are either amazing or crap. ToffeeWeb is full of them. Some are actually quite funny.
McGeady is a squad player who only starts when other experienced wingers are not available. He'll never be a star but he will do a job for the team and his boss. He's had quite a decent season and, with a little more support,he'll do even better.
115 Posted 30/09/2014 at 01:24:17
He will fare better with Osman/Barkley next to him.
116 Posted 30/09/2014 at 10:49:29
Fair play, Harold and I take your point that he is in fact a squad player. I've no ticket for Man Utd but I will watch him against Villa, who without doubt will park the bus and try to hit us on the break. Could this be McGeady's time?
117 Posted 29/11/2014 at 13:03:48
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