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Cottee: Lukaku needs to be more selfish

by | 07/10/2014  Comments (59)  jump

Tony Cottee, a natural goal poacher, scored 99 times for Everton in 241 appearances
Everton's former record signing, Tony Cottee, believes that the current bearer of that title should be playing where he belongs for the Blues — down the centre.

Cottee broke the English transfer record in 1988 when he moved to Goodison Park from West Ham United for 2.2m and went on to score 99 goals in 241 appearances.

Now an analyst for Sky Sports, the ex-striker tells the Liverpool Echo that Lukaku, who is struggling this season with just two goals to his name so far since making his move from Chelsea permanent in a 28m deal, needs to be playing in a more central role rather than being deployed on the flanks.

You need to be in the middle and in the penalty area," he says. "I think that's where Lukaku needs to be playing.

Evertonians are fantastic supporters who know their football — and they certainly know their centre-forwards, which is why they are a bit frustrated at the moment.

They know a centre-forward needs to be in the middle of the pitch and my advice to Romelu Lukaku would be to play down the middle.

He seems to be working hard for the team — which is something I never did! — but no matter how hard you're working you've got to be in the box if you're going to score goals.

Everton have players like Steven Pienaar, Steven Naismith, Aiden McGeady and Leon Osman who can play either wide or around the penalty area. Lukaku needs to be in there where the chances are.

Cottee admits that he battled to live up to the expectation foisted on him by the size of his fee and the fact that he started his Everton career with a hat-trick on his debut, a feat that set a tone he was unable to consistently live up to.

He is encouraged by the fact that Lukaku hasn't been making an issue of the huge price the Blues paid for him even if it is playing on his mind.

I haven't see Romelu speaking about his transfer fee creating any pressure for him — which is a good thing," Cottee continues.

You can never dictate what a transfer fee is going to be. You're just a piece of meat and worth whatever somebody is willing to pay for you."

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (59)

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Tom Magill
1 Posted 07/10/2014 at 08:26:47
Very good advice from Tony.

Lukaku needs to be up the centre, I’ve thought that all along.

Jack Plant
2 Posted 07/10/2014 at 08:34:10
I couldn't agree more, I think his work rate has been great so far this season, a huge improvement on last year. However he's at his best when he's running towards the goal, not when he has his back to it.
Colin Glassar
3 Posted 07/10/2014 at 08:37:19
Lukaku plays where his manager tells him to play. I'm sure he'd prefer to be playing down the middle receiving balls whipped in from both flanks rather than playing as a winger or going deep to try and get some sort of service.

We aren't using his strengths, we aren't giving him decent service and we are playing him out of position. While this continues to happen, I won't jump on the 'Lukaku haters' bandwagon.

Gerard Carey
4 Posted 07/10/2014 at 08:46:26
Maybe Roberto will turn out like our OFM, turn very good centreforwards into bad ones!!!!
Jim Bennings
5 Posted 07/10/2014 at 08:41:34
Totally agree... although I'm sorry, Jack, I totally disagree on the workrate: I don't think Lukaku has been working anywhere near hard enough. Remember if you can Lukaku's first 5-6 games last season?That was proper bulldozer workrate; he never stopped running, hence was rewarded with something like 5 goals in 5 games. Sadly this year he has been a lot more lazy and disinterested looking.

In many ways he has a similar body language to Yakubu, the only difference is the Yak would score the tap-ins in the 6-yard box whereas Rom has hardly featured in that area so far this season.

I couldn't believe when I saw that chart on Match of the Day where Lukaku has spent most of the last two games, hardly a single touch has been in the middle of the pitch and virtually none in the penalty box.

We just can't keep blaming a lack of service. There is nothing stopping Lukaku moving central and making a beeline for the box when we are attacking but he just lacks the hunger at the moment.

I very much doubt that Martinez is instructing Lukaku to NEVER move central during the match, sure he begins deployed out wide but he is not meant to neglect the most important duties which are being a striker, the target man, the number 9.

It's all been a damp squib so far, in many ways it feels like the season hasn't even really started. Let's get this pointless International break out the way and hope that we see a totally different mentality from quite a few of them.

Matt Traynor
6 Posted 07/10/2014 at 08:57:10
Nice to see Cottee admitting he was a lazy so and so. I remember being delighted when we signed him, as he'd turned down the Gunners (when the London media were adamant he'd go to them). Hat-trick first game, winner away at Coventry in his second, and it just never really worked – he joined a team that was about to decline rapidly, and was a few years away from being packed with players like Claus Thomsen, Mitch Ward, Tony Thomas and Scott Spencer.

I remember he divided fans' opinions back then (some things never change eh?) and when we sold him, I remember the amazed reaction of some in the pub when I said he'd finished on 99 goals for us. Trouble was, most were almost "meaningless" – the fourth in a comfortable win, or a hat-trick in a Zenith Data Systems Cup game, or (towards the end) a consolation in a match we'd been given a hiding in.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 07/10/2014 at 09:10:33

How can you really score 99 "meaningless" goals for Everton Football Club? If you mean he never scored a winner at Anfield or a Cup Final then frankly he’s in pretty good company with the vast majority who have played for us. 99 goals is an achievement worth remembering more fondly.

Nobody is bashing Lukaku so much, as wanting more from him, which we are entitled to. If the manager is instructing him to play out wide then he’s going the fucking same way as Moyes undoubtedly, Moyes did it with strikers so often because he never had reliable wingers; Martinez does have so why he’s fucking around, who knows?

I can’t keep buying into this fact though that Lukaku is being marked hence why it’s Naismith shining and not the Belgian himself. Come on... do you think the likes of Suarez, Costa, and all other truly top class strikers could turn to their managers and say "He’s pinching all my goals, gaffer, coz I’m being marked"?

Fuck me.

Tony Cheek
8 Posted 07/10/2014 at 09:19:42
He doesn't need to be more selfish, he needs to learn how to trap a football!

One of his biggest faults is he anticipates to the negative. I can't remember what game it was but there was a 50/50 ball Baines went for outside the box, he won it and looked for Lukaku who was still nowhere.... Why? Because he anticipated that Baines would lose the ball. Good strikers like Ratboy (sorry) always anticipate that a situation like that is going to be dangerous! Suarez was an expert at it!... among other things!

Max Wilson
9 Posted 07/10/2014 at 09:31:34
Poor Lukaku. I feel sorry for the guy at the moment. His form is going to slip if is to be just outside the area and supplied with decent crosses and thru balls. He isn't getting these unless he's very lucky.

His new pal Eto'o should be playing with him all the time. We need our wingers back pronto, The service from midfield has been awful this season so far.

McGeady is one of the worst offenders. Overrated. Lukaku should be running at defences and making them shit themselves.

Phil McKeown
10 Posted 07/10/2014 at 09:43:25
I think Colin (#4) makes a fair point regarding the service Lukaku gets at times; however, I am far more in agreement with Jim (#6). How ineffective would Lukaku have been in a Moyes team if he has been this poor in a more expansive Martinez team (albeit not playing very well thus far)? One thing I cannot tolerate is poor workrate, especially as we have seen the flipside on occasions when Big Rom can be unplayable.

Me and my Dad sat at the 3-2 win against Swansea back in March; Rom was displaying the same kind of poor play that he is at present. We both agreed on the day that Wilfred Bony was the better all-round player and one we would prefer. Please don't think I am starting a debate that we should have signed Bony; I am elaborating that my concerns about Lukaku started at the turn of the year.

If this young man is going to fulfill anywhere near his potential then he needs to double his workrate and make things happen for himself and the team. Just look at Diego Costa as the prime example in the 6-3 game only a few weeks ago: forget the service, technical ability, finishing etc of the league's in-form striker. The man's workrate was first class.

Even the limited Denis Stracqualursi – although he once slide tackled with his face – worked his socks off for Everton and I will always love him for that. The standing ovation he got against Chelsea will always live in my memory. Pure appreciation.

Come on, Big Rom; if you are going to fulfill your undoubted potential, then you need to get the fire in the belly and start putting a shift in.

Andrew Hawes
11 Posted 07/10/2014 at 10:15:50
Think we need to look at our system in general: the defence leaking goals at an alarming rate, midfield giving us no creativity and our forwards offering no link-up play or danger in front of goal.

Whatever or however is blamed on these threads, it falls back on one man... Roberto Martinez!

The honeymoon period is now over; a decent start last season and being backed fully in the transfer market has now seen us playing like Wigan.

He needs to prove he can evolve this team in different systems and more importantly fire up individuals. Every comment about his team is "awesome, amazing, outstanding" when unfortunately we can all see they have been anything but for the whole of pre-season right up to our last game!!

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 07/10/2014 at 10:26:41
Tony, you're right, the one thing you notice about good – in fact, not 'good'... great strikers is that they NEVER stop moving, always anticipating a slip from your opponents or one of your team-mates to do as you say and win an unexpected 50-50 ball. The amount of times I witness Naismith winning a flick-on header and he's basically looking at Lukaku... you can almost see his body language saying "Where are you, Rom, look you know I'm going to win my fair share of headers, get on the end of one at least!"

We keep saying the service is shit but look at the Chelsea game? We created chance after chance.

Lukaku has done three good things this season for me. The two good well-taken goals he's scored and the set up for Naismith against Arsenal. That needs to be the level Lukaku reaches on a consistent weekly basis.

Joseph Clarke
14 Posted 07/10/2014 at 10:27:40
He is what he is. He is limited in his abilities as a centre forward / footballer. This is not cos he is young.

He has ambitions to be a world class player, which you cannot knock him for. I don't believe he will become one.

He does work hard, but I think resents having to play on the wing. The concentration levels are high in the modern game, particularly for a striker. The opportunities are usually very fleeting. He has shown ability in this area, scoring goals late in the game, for example.

He has ability to score goals. He had no control over the transfer fee, so should not be judged on this basis. He has something to offer the team, as long as he is used in the right way. He will never be in the Alan Shearer, or Roy Vernon mould of strikers, but can be an important cog in the machine.

James Martin
15 Posted 07/10/2014 at 10:51:49
I'm not disagreeing with anything said here but I don't think he's solely to blame for his form.

Countless times we've had the ball in midfield in transition and he's screaming for it upfront. When Barkley plays, Barkley beats his man and runs. Lukaku then has his favoured two-on-two and causes havoc.

In similar situations this season. Barry or McCarthy ignore the forward ball to go backwards. Or Naismith gets it in the Barkley position and drops it off backwards again. Lukaku gets frustrated, starts floating wide because the full backs seem to be the only people who pass forward in our team.

Remember that season Gibson would just get his head up and float one over the top for Jelavic? How many would Rom get if we varied our play with a quick ball now and then.

Again Everton buy strikers and don't play to their strengths.

Trevor Lynes
16 Posted 07/10/2014 at 10:42:38
We do tend to expect our centre forwards to turn into target men. But when we had Sharp and Lineker playing together, we played a totally different way. Sharp was our target man and Lineker finished the chances created.

We never play with two up front in today's game and I am sure that we would get more out of Rom if he had Eto'o or Kone playing with him.

Unfortunately our team defensively and creatively are a bit lacking so it is difficult for us to start with two up front. Our two defensive midfielders are not creative and do not chip in with goals often enough. They are both destructive rather than creative and play to stop opposing sides rather than attack them.

Actually our cleverest midfield player is still Osman and he is nowadays unable to play 90 minutes at full throttle. We need Barkley to step up to the plate and fulfil his potential. He could well be our spark to get more out of Rom and also start scoring himself.

Naismith is wholehearted and is having his best period since he joined us but he cannot do everything without support. Our biggest problem is the lack of quality in depth and injuries hurt us more than other teams who have more money to spend and more squad quality.

We are at a stage of the season I feared when I saw us not sign the number of players we needed. All we have done is replace players we lost and now the usual injury problems all teams suffer from are biting us hard.

We have had nothing from Kone so far and now with Mirallas, Barkley, Stones etc to add to the casualty list, we are looking pretty poor. The bench is always the barometer of a team's strength and ours is pretty sparse.

Chris Fisher
17 Posted 07/10/2014 at 10:58:31
Watch last season's away game against West Ham, or the home game against Newcastle first half, or home against Liverpool: he was fucking terrifying!

He is still so young and we will give him the time he needs but we really need him straight after the international break to come back as the beast we know he is — not this watered down winger.

If it is Martinez stopping him play his natural game then he needs shooting, he had one excellent game against Arsenal as a wide forward but that is not his position and not what we spent 㿈M on. Maybe he needs the dreadlocks back!!! or maybe Martinez needs to remind him just how absolutely terrifying he can be at his best.

Mark Griffiths
18 Posted 07/10/2014 at 11:04:01
I seem to remember Cottee getting some meaningful goals against the Redshite in the 4-4 draw!
Gavin Johnson
19 Posted 07/10/2014 at 10:54:34
I think that part of the problem is that Lukaku is yet to hit full fitness and has been carrying a toe injury. But on the face of it, and more significantly, he's been asked to play on the wing.

That being said, I remember as far back as early last season when Shearer was saying he was a great striker, but he needed to make more runs from the centre of the park because he tended to make his runs on goal via the channels.

Maybe Roberto's seen this and decided put him out on the wings because it's something that he does naturally. However If he's ever going to reach the level of Costa, who he keeps getting compared to unfairly IMO by many on here, he'll need to look at this.

Gavin Johnson
20 Posted 07/10/2014 at 11:15:06
Did you mean John Spencer, Matt? I remember when we signed him from QPR and reading it in the papers he'd signed the morning after my Freshers Ball at University. I think we signed John O'Kane a few weeks later and thinking they would both be good signings... ha ha. Just shows the levels of mediocrity we were used to in the intervening years after signing Cottee.
Jim Bennings
21 Posted 07/10/2014 at 11:46:10
I do remember back to last season, I remember Lukaku's first game at Goodison against Newcastle, he was the striker that night that I want him to be on a consistent basis this season. He kind of tailed off after a great start last season but came back to scoring form in the second half of the season after that month-long injury layoff.

Perhaps he is or could be better used as a substitute, at least temporarily anyway. Maybe that's the kick up the backside needed. Martinez could go with Naismith and Eto'o and promote one of Chris Long or McAleny to the first team setup and try something different.

After all we have been banging the drum about McAleny for three years. He's either going to make it soon or he's leaving the same way Vellios did.

Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 07/10/2014 at 12:01:05
I agree with a lot said previous especially about lack of movement and anticipating the next move. Most of all, lack of confidence is stopping him from being the centre-forward he can be.

He will come good but it will take time and at the moment the whole team is not performing like they were last season.

Tony J Williams
23 Posted 07/10/2014 at 12:35:22
Get him in the middle where he belongs.

Yes, he played a stormer against Arsenal last season on the right, that was a surprise tactic. Teams are wise to it now and have nullified any advantage we may have had.

Get him in the middle and boss the defenders.

Alex Bonnar
24 Posted 07/10/2014 at 12:45:07
I feel that the coaching staff are trying to broaden his game and make him into more of a Duncan Ferguson type centre forward, ie, playing with his back to goal, linking up with the wingers etc.

This is a mistake.

His strengths are running onto a ball and using his physique to burst past defenders, unleashing a really powerful, accurate strike at goal. By all means work on ball control etc. but not at the expense of current goals.

John Daley
25 Posted 07/10/2014 at 13:14:31
So, according to this thread so far, the 'lazy' Lukaku needs to be charging around like a rhino, getting in the box for every attack, pushing Naismith out the way for every cross, performing as a traditional target man, thinking only positive thought, helping out more defensively... all whilst being asked to play out wide?

As for this: "Moyes did it with strikers so often because he never had reliable wingers, Martinez does have so why he's fucking around, who knows."

Name one winger at the club who can be classed as 'consistent'? Mirallas is probably the nearest and his middle name is a toss up between hit and miss. Who else? Pienaar? Out injured more often than not these days but as likely to be infuriating as inspiring when he is on the pitch. McGeady? One or two good things a game before spending the rest of the time running about looking like he's got his pants caught round his ankles? Atsu, who was pulled off at half-time before he died of embarrassment?

Denis Richardson
26 Posted 07/10/2014 at 13:02:02
I really think Lukaku's getting a lot of unfair stick on here. He definitely started the season with an injured toe, who knows if he's even 100% fit now?

He hasn't caught fire yet but our main problem overall this season has been our defending and not goals scored – can't really blame the centre forward for that. We continually play two holding midfielders and yet still ship goals – can't even blame it on two full-backs bombing forward given Coleman's been out for a few weeks now. Whatever the tactics are, they're not working, for whatever reason. Time to try something a bit different, methinks.

The defence needs to sort itself out and, on the attacking side, we need to start properly mixing it up. Possession football is all good and well but if that's the only thing you do, very slowly, sideways and backwards, then you're not going to get anywhere.

Lukaku is big, has pace and loves to run onto passes/crosses – if we break faster and more direct every now and again, he'll have a better chance than our current super slow build-up play on the half-way line, regardless of whether he starts in the middle or out wide.

For me, we've been really poor so far because something is simply not right with the midfield or Howard. The midfield's neither protecting the defence properly nor creating enough going forward – it needs to be doing at least one of these right... otherwise, we've no chance.

Added to this is of course the diabolitcal form that Howard's in. I've been giving him the benefit of the doubt but thought I'd look up the stats. It doesn't admittedly say everything but looking at the first few league games:

Leicester 3 shots on target, 2 goals
Arsenal, 3 shots on target, 2 goals
Chelsea, 8 shots on target, 6 goals (!)
West Brom, 3 shots on target, 0 goals
Palace, 3 shots on target, 3 goals (!)
RS, 8 shots on target, 1 goal
Man Utd, 4 shots on target 2, goals

So in 7 league games, the oppos had 32 shots on target and scored 16 times – a strike rate of 50%! Now the keeper may not have had a chance for some but that is a pretty dire statistic. He seems to have played well in only 2 out of 7 league games going by saves – and a shaky keeper always means a shaky defence.

It's a tough one as Robles seems to be gash so we don't seem to have much choice. Until Timmy decides its World Cup Timmy time, we're not looking great at the back. RM needs to bring Timmy's confidence back to 'phenomenal' levels again...

John Daley
27 Posted 07/10/2014 at 13:48:17
He's not going to be banging them in for fun from the starting position he is being asked to play. It's as simple as that. He might be able to bustle up a bit of room to cut in on goal himself now and again but, mostly, his role at the moment is to occupy the attention of opposition defenders so they're pulled out of position, thereby enabling others to benefit.

Is it working enough to persist with it? Not in my opinion, but I can see why the manager is asking him to do it for the time being.

The fact the player himself is prepared to do it is a plus point for me. It's alright saying 'they play where they're told', but strikers are usually the most egotistical and selfish players in the team. If he's ready to forfeit personal glory and put a shift in where the manager asks him to, without getting a titty lip on about it and moaning about his own game suffering as a result, then should he really be coming in for all the flak when it proves to be less than effective?

Increase the pace of our passing, stop turning back with the ball and allowing every opposition defender to reassemble in front of you, hit an early ball over the top now and again for him to run on to, counter attack at pace. Easier said than done but all things that will enable Lukaku to come alive again.

Once Barkley is back then I expect Lukaku to be the biggest beneficiary of what he brings to the side, and I'll back him right now to get at least 15 goals again this season.

Andrew Ellams
28 Posted 07/10/2014 at 13:51:35
When Barkley comes back, so will last season’s Lukaku. Running towards goal is when he terrifies defenders.
Tom Bowers
29 Posted 07/10/2014 at 13:56:06
It’s easy to blame the keeper when goals are conceded and occasionally a keeper does blunder. It’s also easy to blame the main striker when the goals don’t go in at the other end, especially when big money was spent to get him. However, it’s the manager, his team selection and tactics that make the biggest contribution to what happens on the pitch.

Blaming individual players is totally unfair and whilst we all have our opinions on who the whipping boys are we surely have to admit that most of the time when things go wrong it’s not just one player we should look at. So far this season, RM has not been able to get the team to play solidly as a unit hence the flow of goals the wrong way. However, they have been able to score goals despite not playing well.

The biggest problem I have seen is the sloppy passing and silly giveaways that are breaking down the offensive forays. This in itself promotes confidence in the opposition ranks when they keep getting the ball back cheaply.

This could be that some players just don’t have the confidence to hold the ball longer or they are just not good enough. It could be a mixture of both deficiencies. One can only hope this aspect of Everton improves very soon.

Yes, Lukaku also is guilty of this sometimes but he always has a man on his back and the pass is either played too quickly or too hard and this is why he plays out wide sometimes where he may get an extra yard of space.

I believe when Barkley comes back, things will improve – especially as Besic is gradually finding his feet also.

Jason Heng
30 Posted 07/10/2014 at 14:16:06
Jelavic has 4 goals already, just saying...
Jim Bennings
31 Posted 07/10/2014 at 14:41:52
It's just a shame we have to wait nearly another two weeks before we can get back at it against Villa.

Bleeding sick of these international breaks, I am... and I bet most Premier League managers are too – none more than our own Roberto.

There are too many games in these qualifiers and too many totally pointless matches, mis-matches where there can only be one obvious outcome. It's becoming more like the Eurovision song contest rather than the European Championship football qualifiers.

Let's just hope the Everton injury jinx doesn't end up striking again during this next week.

John Daley
32 Posted 07/10/2014 at 14:45:51
On the subject of Cottee, I have to agree with Matt Traynor. He was very much a mixture of flat-track bully and flabby-backed tubby. A drastic downgrade on the strikers who immediately preceded him and a severe let down for the fee paid.

As pointed out earlier, he'd go a stretch of seven-eight games without a goal, then net a hat trick in a hammering of a lower league team in a cup that no longer exists, before going straight back to being anonymous again.

٠.3 m was a massive, massive, sum back then. A sum in retrospect the club really couldn't afford to be spending at that stage. A record British transfer fee, spent on a guy we were told was Gary Lineker Mk 2, and after the most perfect start a striker could possibly have, he never even set about repaying the faith Colin Harvey put in him.

Sure, he played in a piss poor team throughout his time at the club, but he never bust a lung in a blue shirt, ever. He sulked and complained to the press when he was dropped, and cared more about seeing his name on the scoresheet than the fact that score wasn't in Everton's favour.

Remember how everyone took to Mike Newell when he hit the ground running? He put in the effort that many had been screaming out for Cottee to show even a modicum of. Shame old Mike suffered some kind of mental block after banging in goal number nine...

Cottee also had the misfortune to sport really shit hair that looked like it belonged on some speccy gadge from Grange Hill – and he was made to wear the meffiest Everton kits ever. White and silver stripes, anyone? No? What about salmon and black?? Yellow with a big blue zigzag across the chest? Blue with white splatters all over like you just walked under a Seagull shitstorm?!?

The lad I go the game with used to wear all those kits when we were kids and his idol at the time was, indeed, Tony Cottee... or TC as he affectionately called him. Absolutely fucking loved the bones of him, he did.

Everyone has their personal favourites, I guess. Cottee was nowhere near my list of late eighties/early nighties idols.

Still, it was nice to see him make a comeback playing 'Maaaatt Daaaaammon' in 'Team America' though.

Ian McDowell
33 Posted 07/10/2014 at 14:42:29
I think the problem we have at the moment is our build-up play is often slow and we need a striker who can play with his back to goal.

Lukaku is great running at players or running playing facing the goal. Eto'o can do that job so I don't understand why he wasn't given a game on Saturday.

Another name that also springs to mind is Jelavic. Despite the goals drying up, he could play with his back to goal and always worked hard.

Ian McDowell
34 Posted 07/10/2014 at 14:53:36
Anyone heard any news on Kone? Did a Google search and last I seen was he played 55 mins in a friendly on Sept 11. Then made the bench during the Swansea debacle. Hasn't been seen since.

Jim Bennings
36 Posted 07/10/2014 at 14:57:04

He's either been abducted by aliens and they still haven't worked out if there's any point to bringing him back... or he's been having so much for at Luna Park on Coney (Kone) Island he never wants to come home.

Phil Walling
37 Posted 07/10/2014 at 15:55:48
Jim: a quick Wiki search will show up the somewhat bizarre nature of Arouna's record since his days with Saville ended some years ago. He seems to have been injured, turned up late or just been absent for months on end. His time with us is just a continuance of this story.
Jamie Barlow
39 Posted 07/10/2014 at 16:04:25
Jimmy Saville?
Kevin Tully
40 Posted 07/10/2014 at 16:05:16
Phil - "Jim: a quick Wiki search will show up the somewhat bizarre nature of Arouna's record since his days with Saville ended some years ago.

It's no wonder the lad can't get on the pitch!

James Flynn
41 Posted 07/10/2014 at 16:12:47
Let's see where Rom's played once Coleman and (especially) Barkley are back in the Side. He's obviously been placed on the flank by Roberto for his own reasons. I thought it worked against the RS. When did that flying LB of theirs get forward?

We're patched together right now and Roberto's fielding the team best he can.

Christopher Kelly
42 Posted 07/10/2014 at 16:33:39
Lukaku needs to be more athletic. All of a sudden he looks like a big, slow footed oaf. What the hell happened to him? There is no spring in his step
Jim Bennings
43 Posted 07/10/2014 at 16:35:36
I think regarding strikers full stop, everybody has their own personal preferences.

Some fans take to the workhorse type more, of recent years the likes of Marcus Bent, who would run all day and night for you but his goal return, at least at Everton was disappointing, but still you had to love the sheer work the lad put in, it was basically Marcus Bent who started the Everton Football Club fascination with the lone striker, sadly we haven't had a "iron lungs" type of lone striker since possibly Andy Johnson.

Johnson himself would run all day but started spending too much time where he could no longer hurt teams rather than his first 5 games when he was on electric form playing through the middle and taking every chance that came his way with deadly accuracy, remember the 3-0 derby?? Of course we do haha.

I never quite took to James Beattie's style, I always though Beats needed a good old fashioned winger like he had at Southampton but he never had it here.

I loved the Yak in his first year with us even though he wouldn't go chasing balls like Bent or Johnson, what a finisher Yakuku was, the thing that served Yakuku so well in that 2007/08 season was having the likes of Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar and even Fernandes in midfield.

The way we are now we do seem to lack that creativity and we lack the Marcus Bent type striker who can successfully run all day, Lukaku is never in a million years going to be able to that.

The sooner the better we either try different personnel in midfield or sign someone creative in the meantime waiting for Barkley's return, it's going to be hard going until then.

Brent Stephens
44 Posted 07/10/2014 at 16:49:37
Defenders seem to be able to cope with Lukaku through speed before muscle is ever needed against him. Now, with pace he'd be a bit more frightening.
Phil Walling
45 Posted 07/10/2014 at 16:51:48
Didn't Jimmy spend much of his time 'on the sick'?
Andy Crooks
46 Posted 07/10/2014 at 18:17:24
Jim, # 13, your reading of Naismith's body language is almost supernatural in its detail. The abuse of Lukaku is remarkable and unfair. When, as was the case with Naismith, he plays with players and in a system that suits his strengths he will score again.

He has been carrying an injury which helped to drain his confidence. He' 'll be back. When he signed I can't recall many calling it a poor signing. Sadly we have a coach who lacks supernatural powers and hindsight. He must be replaced at once by Pulis who apparently has.

Mike Chambers
48 Posted 07/10/2014 at 18:59:28
The big man needs to be up as high as possible he goes to wide or drops too deep. That's shouldn't be his job.
Harold Matthews
50 Posted 07/10/2014 at 22:44:29
After watching the game for the third time, I can only conclude that the big fella is carrying an injury which has been hushed up. Nothing to do with fitness or motivation. He was struggling within the first two minutes.
David Cornmell
51 Posted 08/10/2014 at 00:27:52
I agree with Harold (#51). The big fella looks half-crocked.

I watched his performance for the Baggies in Whiskey Nose's farewell, then highlights from the World Cup and then watched him for us against Man Utd. He hasn't suddenly forgot to play football, or is a shite signing; he is just the half-crocked record signing playing two games a week in the team that's struggling. The lad really needs a break, and come back and fresh and loving his football. Murphy's Law, our injury situation has made that impossible.

With the rumours swirling around the Distin situation, is it possible our form is due to the manager losing part of the dressing room? Is there an old guard of Moyes signings and a new guard of Martinez ones?

I say that because, injuries aside, we're really in an appalling run of form here and I'm at a total loss to explain it. Howard seems to have lost the plot. Lukaku looks miserable. Martinez needs to turn it around fast, four more weeks of this shite and he he'll be on the block. And with Moyes available, RM won't make it to Christmas.
I called it first – Moyes back by Christmas if RM can't turn it around. Don't think it can't happen.

Bobby Thomas
52 Posted 08/10/2014 at 00:58:58
Peter Beardsley went for ٟ.9 mil, Gazza for ٠.2 mil and we signed that clown Cottee for ٠.2 mil. He was a shocking one-on-one finisher, woeful from the spot, and I’d like to know how many of his 99 came in the Zenith Data Systems Cup. He was shite and he can fuck off back to West Ham and never show his face at our place again as far as I’m concerned.

Thinking about it, Colin Harvey only signed two good players: Keown and Hinchcliffe aside, the rest were terrible. Generally expensive as well. Nevin (never got it although he did get a knee injury early doors), Beagrie (played like a schoolboy), Milligan (totally out of his depth and ٟ.5 mil), McCall (solid, no more)... I could go on.

That’s probably the equivalent of 㿨/70 million today. All topped off with the aforementioned ٠.2 million flat track bully.... Jesus!

Martin Faulkner
53 Posted 08/10/2014 at 03:28:11
That would be 12, mate. His record:
League: 72
FA Cup: 4
League Cup: 11
No Mark Cups: 12
Sean Wafer
54 Posted 08/10/2014 at 09:56:31
He needs to learn how to trap a ball and pass 5 yards.

He's bloody awful.

James Marshall
55 Posted 08/10/2014 at 13:35:27
It's all very well laying into Lukaku but, to be fair, our entire team has been shit in every game. Strikers are only as good as the team they play in and I can't think of anyone who's looked good in any of our games so far.

It has a lot to do with the service he gets, and the way the 10 morons behind him are playing, and although Cottee has a point about work rate, there IS more to it than just Romelu himself. Pointing the finger at your Number 9 and saying he has to create more is bollocks – Lukaku isn't the type of player who just creates goals out of nothing, and there are very few strikers in the world who do everything on their own.

I don't remember Cottee ever making a goal himself either.

James Marshall
56 Posted 08/10/2014 at 13:42:39
Oh and once we get our first 11 out there, we'll start playing better – and I'm talking about Barkley, Coleman, Mirallas, McCarthy et al.
Drew Shortis
57 Posted 08/10/2014 at 15:22:05
I agree with Cottee. Lukaku was signed to score goals and to do that he needs to get into threatening positions. Too often I see him outside the area when balls are played in around the six-yard box. He should be busting a gut to get in there. Martinez needs to forget about playing him wide and get him focussed on finishing any chances we can create.

I don't think the transfer fee will phase Romelu. He signed for Chelsea for a huge fee and I think he is aware of how good he can be. Confidence (not arrogance) is what he needs.

Neil Pickering
58 Posted 08/10/2014 at 18:53:00
Sorry guys, but Lukaku is shite. We should never have signed him.

He did okay in some some games last year, but was poor in a number of games also. He doesn't fit into our system because, as the lone striker, he is required to hold up the ball. He blatantly can't do this; he requires the ball in front of him to be effective. He would suit an Aston Villa, or another team that plays counter attacking football, but not us.

I said it last season, said it when we signed him this season; we should have got Bony from Swansea. There was a reason why Everton had no competition for his signature in the summer, and that's because he is massively overrated by everyone except his would-be father, Roberto, who sees him as his little project. He may get him the sack.

Paul Hewitt
59 Posted 08/10/2014 at 19:16:20
I hate to say it but we completely wasted 㿈 million.
Andy Crooks
60 Posted 08/10/2014 at 19:34:42
Drew, in my view Lukaku is not a goal hanger, lurking around the six-yard box for scraps and scoring tap-ins. Frankly, that sort of player does not exist now. Fred, for Brazil in the World Cup was that sort of player, a throw back to the seventies, a player who scored goals and relied on others to do the running for him. Well the World Cup showed that those days are gone.

If Lukaku played for a good German team he’d score loads. At the moment, we seem to be attempting a Barcelona light game which will never suit him. To me, his transfer fee suggests that we need to adapt our style to suit him. In fact, I believe that, short term, we need to adapt our style to suit our defence.

In another thread, I suggested that Roberto can be pragmatic. Our injuries demand that he should be even more so.

Joe McMahon
61 Posted 08/10/2014 at 20:17:03
Bobby Thomas – For Christ's sake, how many great strikers have we had since Tony Cottee?

I've supported this club since 1977, and in my eyes he's up there, 99 goals for Everton so it doesn't matter that 12 were in the Zenith Data etc – it's still a lot of goals.

Steve Orchard
62 Posted 08/10/2014 at 22:19:58
I think Lukaku’s problem is Naismith works very hard and is frankly showing him up a bit; he has done all season long. So he’s getting played through the middle and Roberto has this idea Lukaku can cut in from either flank. Last season, he was everywhere and he cut in scoring against the Gunners. I think a spell on the bench might get his hunger back.
Phil Rodgers
63 Posted 09/10/2014 at 00:10:02
John Daley (#33), I had that salmon and black shirt, when I was probably about 12. My Redshite dad gave me some right hammer. The fact that we were absolutely abysmal didn't help matters either.

Check this bad boy out!

Michael Penley
64 Posted 09/10/2014 at 00:39:56
From what I can gather, half of us are saying he needs a break, and the other half are saying he had no pre-season (in other words, he had a break instead of training). Which is it? It can't be both.

I don't think it's either. I think he's worried about losing possession so plays it safe rather than taking risks. Possession football doesn't have to mean less risk-taking. The forwards shouldn't have to worry about keeping possession – Mirallas and Naismith aren't and that's why they score.

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