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Lukaku: Everton is a good fit for me

by | 12/10/2014  Comments (84)  jump

Romelu Lukaku says that he feels at home at Everton and feels that his transfer from Chelsea to Goodison Park over the summer was the best move he could have made at this stage of his development.

The 28m acquisition scored 16 times for the Blues last season in all competitions but has managed just two so far in seven Premier League starts.

There is no question in his mind that he made the right decision despite a disappointing start to 2014-15.

I'm here and I'm happy," the Belgian international said in The Mirror. "I don't regret any choices I've made. Everton was the best choice I could make as a young player who wants to progress and develop."

This club is a good fit for me. They made so many efforts to get me. I feel at home here. I thought about Serie A and Juventus because they are a big club. But for me Everton was perfect.

He remains ambitious on both a personal level and for the Blues with whom he is chasing the Champions League they so nearly claimed last season.

Pressure? For me it's just about not losing my drive. My mind is always focused on football.

"At some point you have to make the decision: Do you want to be a squad member or do you want to build your career? I chose the latter and I think I am in a team now where there is that ambition to be one of those big teams.

Everton play good football, we play at the top part of the league and everyone wants to win. We want to show that last year wasn't a fluke.

Our mission is to get that Champions League slot because it was in our hands last season and we let it slip.

Quotes sourced from The Mirror


Reader Comments (84)

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Mark Tanton
1 Posted 12/10/2014 at 08:14:07
This one could get interesting... Will come back and check later!
Peter Bell
2 Posted 12/10/2014 at 08:23:09
He wants Champions League football?

So do we, that's why we paid 㿈Mill for him.

It's about time he shut up, put a half-decent shift in and scored some goals.

Gavin McGarvey
3 Posted 12/10/2014 at 08:22:21
I know a lot on here are disappointed with firstly his form so far, and secondly with the size of the transfer fee. Personally, I'm still happy we signed him. It did and still does give me a bit of hope that the club might be able to get back to the top.

When we qualified for the Champions League before, who was playing up front? Beattie? Bent? Respect to them as players but we needed someone a step up for that, a player who can hold down a place at international level. Now Lukaku may not be quite that yet, but he really does have the potential to be great at the club.

I think as time goes on this will come to be seen as a crucial signing and one that will – fingers crossed – lead to some real success. I'm really happy that he decided to sign for the club, and a bit of a compliment to RM in my opinion.

Paul Dark
4 Posted 12/10/2014 at 08:31:14
I'm also very pleased he signed for us.

He's a class act.

Michael Penley
5 Posted 12/10/2014 at 08:51:45
"We play in the top part of the league"

Does he need to be reminded that we're 17th?

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 12/10/2014 at 08:24:31
Seems like nice words but we need some action from him – not words; too often our players speak great words but there's never enough action.

Lukaku speaks about no pressure on him and making sure he doesn't lose his focus and his thoughts are always on football, yet what we've seen so far suggests that the one area of his game which has suffered this season is the focus and motivation.

It must be strange for Lukaku. He had a massive move to Chelsea at probably too young an age and failed to establish himself. He was loaned to clubs where he was allowed to show his strengths and what he could do, something which, at West Brom and last season with us, he did a fairly good job doing.

Nobody will know what Romelu is feeling inside. He probably does feel quite satisfied and content now that he has joined a club where he can play regularly and, yes, he more than likely does feel at home... but there must also be a slight feeling of deflation.

I say 'deflation' not because he joined us but it's human nature that, when things settle down after a period of unexpected circumstances, then you can switch off subconsciously.

Last year, Lukaku spoke frequently about his future being at Chelsea, about Champions League football; you knew it was almost a private war between him and Mourinho to prove eachother wrong. His performance level was a world apart from what we've witnessed this season. There was also the World Cup squad to be part of.

Now, fans will keep saying that it's due to a lack of service and whatever but does anyone seriously think Lukaku justified himself in our last two massive away days at Anfield and Old Trafford??

Forget the service, he should have been giving United's young kid Paddy McNair nightmares but instead he looked a pale imitation of a Premier League footballer.

We talk about service but lately Baines has put in a few delicious crosses and it's been Naismith and Eto'o on the end with Lukaku not even in spitting distance of them.

That's not bad service or being marked by defenders; if you're marked up then, as a centre forward, what you do is move and make runs to take your markers out of position and make sure that it's YOU that's on the end of balls into the area.

You have to laugh when you hear fans say other players are scoring because the defence is looking after Lukaku. You wouldn't hear great strikers from any era saying that or wanting to hear that, they'd be too embarrassed. What Lukaku needs to do is work harder to get into positions where HE can hurt teams.

The fans still love him and we will continue to do so but, like everything, there's only so far loyalty will go, and so far loyalty will get you.

It's down to Lukaku to regain the passion and hunger of a year ago.

Phil Walling
7 Posted 12/10/2014 at 08:56:47
Learning to control a football might be a start!
Trevor Lynes
8 Posted 12/10/2014 at 09:19:08
Rom is the same age as Stones and Browning and they are both still learning their trade. Lukaku WILL develop, I believe, into a top class centre forward in the Drogba mould.

Once he starts scoring he will attract big money from the rich clubs and we will get our money's worth out of the lad. He needs support and not brickbats.

Fans on here praised McCarthy to the rooftops and certain players can do no wrong despite this being a team game. I want Lukaku to get the right ammunition from midfield and then he will score plenty. He has all the attributes: pace, strength and team work.

At present, he is being played as a target man and that is not his real strength. I would love to see him start with Kone or Eto'o in home games when the onus is on us to attack. Naismith playing the inside forward role and poaching goals.

We should be able to defend with the back four we have plus two defensive midfielders in McCarthy, Barry and Besic to rotate. If Pienaar continues to struggle, he could be rotated with Oviedo until we get our injured players back.

Mick Wrende
9 Posted 12/10/2014 at 09:34:15
The problem really is we used all our war chest to sign him, leaving us hopelessly exposed to any injuries. To have to rely on Hibbert, Osman, Alcaraz and Robles is why we are 4th bottom and shows that spending 㿈 mill on a striker does not solve anything if you haven't got decent other players. As other fans chant – "Champions League, you're having a laugh." And we are if Hibbert is our main reserve.
James Byrne
10 Posted 12/10/2014 at 09:43:38
Despite his sometimes terrible first touch, I do think Lukaku is a fantastic prospect for our club. He's a proven goalscorer.

The key to unlocking his talent is to play to his strengths and that mainly is providing the lad with the right service and passes around the 18-yard box.

His recent positioning and our shite football will never get Lukaku scoring like he has done over recent seasons. Over to you, Bobby!

George McKane
11 Posted 12/10/2014 at 09:40:56
Let's just be happy – albeit fleetingly (maybe) – that he seems happy with Everton. Maybe we can give him a bit of slack. We seem to give some other players and managers years and years of slack and get behind them no matter what.

For me, I do not criticise young players and new players to the club. I remember Kendall's early days as both player and manager and I remember the boo boys then. I look to the older more supposedly experienced players for leadership and strength when things are not going well. (I remember well Peter Reid's toughness on and off the pitch in Kendall's' difficult days – I spoke to Reid about 4 days before the 84 Cup Final and he knew things were moving forward.)

Let's get off the backs of Lukaku, and I have read criticisms and lengthy comments of Stones and Barkley "misplacing a pass"(only them???? ) – it's pretty obvious how much we miss them both.

Me, I would have gone for the full revolution last season and got rid of about 4 or 5 of the older guys (I will leave you to make up your own list) and took the total gamble on young blood... but whatever...

I know we are all real Blues – we just get a bit desperate.

Up The Blues.

Ajay Gopal
12 Posted 12/10/2014 at 09:58:54
For me, I just wish he would grow those dreadlocks back! He was so much more clinical then.... I am serious!
Eugene Kearney
13 Posted 12/10/2014 at 10:08:45
You think it's the Samson effect, Ajay?!!!
Craig Bellew
14 Posted 12/10/2014 at 10:03:23
Jim (#6) – I couldn't have said it any better myself, spot on lad!
Eric Kobal
15 Posted 12/10/2014 at 10:37:33
Please learn how to trap a ball and pass to a blue shirt!
Peter Bell
16 Posted 12/10/2014 at 10:39:49
Besic put one right on his head in the Derby and his reaction was poor, what's all this about lack of service?
Peter Gorman
17 Posted 12/10/2014 at 11:19:29
Yeah I was also stumped by that comment; "We play at the top part of the league". When was this interview taken?
Tom Magill
18 Posted 12/10/2014 at 11:12:04
I also think he needs the dreadlocks back, Ajay; he looks like Predator with them... lol!
Conn Prosser
19 Posted 12/10/2014 at 11:29:43
I remember one of his goals early last season, West Ham away maybe. And he's hovering around, walking in fact, looking like he can't be arsed. Next thing, two quick paces and bang, goal. That's his style of play. Unfortunately, it's a frustrating style of play. If he, or the team, or worse still, both are not playing well he honestly looks woeful.

I also agree with Jim #6 that there's probably been a subconscious switch off. It needs addressing, Roberto, because if Lukaku is playing well, we can get away with the team not firing on all cylinders.

Tim Locke
21 Posted 12/10/2014 at 12:06:19
I think Jim 6 and George 11 have hit the nail on the head.

Whatever you say, he is not playing the same way he did last season; as Conn said, that goal against West Ham was from a player who wanted it. The big issue is his lack of effort; it could be perceived, but he looks lazy. But I acknowledge George's view: he is young, and I'm happy to see what happens.

We have seen glimpses of him back to his old self, but this has been 10 mins at best. I expect him to be picking the ball up and running at defences, turning defenders, get his head in where it hurts. But what seems to happen is he picks the ball up wide, lays it off and rarely is he in the middle causing damage.

The bottom line is this: it is because we have seen what he can do that we are so disappointed; sadly, our disappointment is the biggest compliment we can pay him this season.

Dan Brierley
22 Posted 12/10/2014 at 13:03:29
At this stage in his career, he is more a goal poacher than an all-round front man able to lead the line. He needs someone who is going to put balls in behind defenders and give him something to run on to, this is where he is at his best. But for some baffling reason he is playing most of his games out wide.

There is no doubt in my mind that he will come good, but I think we have overpaid by around 㾶 million to be honest.

Peter Carpenter
23 Posted 12/10/2014 at 13:31:57
Correct me if I'm wrong but I seem to remember him scoring goals for WBA from crosses hit early (McGeady please note) and running onto through balls, again hit early. He needs to play facing the goal not back to goal. Martinez, I am sure, wants to make him a better all-round forward but right now, play to his strengths.
Stephen Brown
24 Posted 12/10/2014 at 14:07:35
I think Lukaku will prove to be a successful purchase but I’m a little uneasy with some of his comments as I get the feeling he thinks he’s done us a favour coming here!! Hope I’m wrong!
Steve Jenkins
26 Posted 12/10/2014 at 12:04:36
His work rate has not been good enough this year and that is my biggest gripe against him. It’s the one thing you can’t excuse.

He’s too nonchalant - displaying a lack of enegy, enthusiasm and urgency just strolling around.

He’s talks about being the best striker in the World, well, they don’t become that with that kind of attitude.

You need to help the team out its not just about you, you have to work hard for the team and close the defenders and opposition down.

He needs to knuckle down and show the fans he cares but working hard for the team when we don’t have the ball. He’s also a beast of a lad, I want to see him being more aggressive and using his attributes to bully defenders.

In his defence - from a goalscoring perspective, he really hasn’t been helped having Barry and McCarthy in midfield.

We need to play to his strengths, he needs to either play off the shoulder or be in the box, Barkley coming back should get more out of Rom but I think we’ll see the best of him with a No:10 that could feed through balls to him around the area.

Joseph Clarke
27 Posted 12/10/2014 at 14:20:19
A 7-year-old knows how to trap a ball, and how to pass 2 yards. He does not seem to... Having said that, I hope he is a success here.

Maybe the chance to get him on the drip was the deciding factor. Martinez is a smart football man. I am sure he wasn't first choice, but the money men have the last say .

Jose said of Lukaku, "He likes to talk"... Until they do the talking on the pitch, I don't want to hear any Everton player saying anything.

Phil Walling
28 Posted 12/10/2014 at 15:28:47
I'm sure before long we shall be hearing that he is still suffering from an injured toe problem. Something he picked up in the World Cup. New Year should see him in proper shape.
Murdo Laing
29 Posted 12/10/2014 at 15:32:10
Lukaku has worked hard this season, even if, at times, he struggles a bit with his back to the defender; you can see he is trying desperately hard to do well. We have seen it with other top players, even those much more experienced than Lukaku – the harder you try, sometimes the more clumsy you look, especially the bigger lads.

I really do think all he needs is a bit of TLC from the fans to keep his confidence up, and a bit of luck – a brace against the Villa would be a nice start. We have absolute class and big experience in Eto’o, and Lukaku will be learning bucketloads from him, so a shrewd move by RM.

I think itÂ’s only a matter of time before he gets his mojo back, but also I think we are missing SeamusÂ’s raids down the right so much; I hope we can get our wide play sorted, then the goals will start coming again. COYB

Tom Bowers
30 Posted 12/10/2014 at 15:51:39
I think many fans are more critical of Lukaku this season because a) the team is not doing well and Nessie has scored 4 goals, and b) he cost 㿈M which he has nothing to do with.

My view is he does work hard in the role he has to do and much of the time against 2 defenders as Nessie plays deeper, as does Mirallas. Nobody in the team really has had an outstanding season so far and even Howard gets unfair criticism in my opinion.

If and when the injury epidemic subsides and somewhere near the RM expected starting formation comes back, I see the results getting better and if not then some criticism may be justified.

Terry Downes
31 Posted 12/10/2014 at 16:14:39
I'll give you one thing, Phil — you're always looking for the positive in things!
Joseph Clarke
32 Posted 12/10/2014 at 16:04:45
He does need maximum support from us. He is a dedicated footballer who works hard. He was never my first choice. Bony is a well better centre-forward. We donÂ’t have Bony. Lukaku is one of us. Lets go forward.

I will state this now, Martinez is a good manager, the best we could have got. A good manager gets maximum from his team, no matter their shortcomings, injuries etc. Martinez will have success with this team. COYB!

Mike Childs
33 Posted 12/10/2014 at 16:42:35
Somebody needs to take him to the woodshed.
Paul Ellam
34 Posted 12/10/2014 at 17:00:23
I for one am glad we have him. Keep the faith!
James Carlisle
35 Posted 12/10/2014 at 17:16:44
I think we're already showing that last year was very much a fluke. A big one.
Harold Matthews
36 Posted 12/10/2014 at 15:30:24
This season we've been trying to use him as a target man, playing with his back to goal and laying things off like an old-fashioned striker. This is not his game. He likes to play off a target man and names Fellaini as his ideal partner when playing for Belgium.

Where we go from here is anyone's guess but I'm beginning to think the Big Dunc way may not work. Not just yet anyway. Up front in a 4-3-3 he'll be the target man whether he likes it or not and even if he hides on the wing Jags will always find him with a long hoof.

It's a problem which will gradually be ironed out and I'm sure they're working on plenty of things behind the scenes.

Neil Pickering
37 Posted 12/10/2014 at 17:33:34
The size of Lukaku and he doesnÂ’t seem to have any aggression in him. Seriously, if he showed a bit of aggression, I doubt anyone would get near him due to his power. Big Dunc needs to get hold of him and toughen him up a bit. Imagine DuncÂ’s aggression in LukakuÂ’s body?

He needs to do shedloads more to convince me, because right now I think he is a massive mistake.

James Stewart
38 Posted 12/10/2014 at 17:38:31
He doesn’t hold the ball up at all. He needs to do a lot better than he has. Eto’o should be first pick at present — he is miles better.
Darryl Ritchie
39 Posted 12/10/2014 at 17:37:46
Rom’s a very talented player. He’s got size, speed, and desire. I think he has to be more of a presence in the games, though. With his talent, he should be terrorizing opposing CBs.

He MUST improve his ball handling skills. The other players will always be a little hesitant to pass to him, if they’re not certain he will be able to do something with it.

It’s not always fair to compare players, but, say what you want about the "nibbler". His only purpose for playing is to score. Everything (well, nearly everything) he does on the field, is to put the ball in the net. Rom needs to show some of the same intensity.

He’s young. It’s early days. He can only get better! He’ll come through for us, until he moves on to a "big" club, like Juventus.

James Martin
40 Posted 12/10/2014 at 18:09:14
To be fair, though, Everton have only played to their strikers' strengths for three short periods in recent times.

First was when Andy Johnson first arrived. We were threading through-balls into him and he was putting them away. Then we started launching long diagonals to the wings and he turned into Marcus Bent No 2.

In 2007-08, we played to Yakubu's strengths: little balls into his feet in the box and clever crosses picking him out. He rewarded us with goals before we did the same to him, aimless long balls over the top or out wide.

Then there was Jelavic. Pull back after pullback he put away for us with one touch. He was also a fan of the quick ball over the top. He scored for us. The following season, Moyes had him making decoy runs out wide to leave space for Fellaini to get on the end of Baines's floaters.

It's no secret what Lukaku thrives on. Get him one-on-one on the run with a defender and he'll burn him and smack it in the net. We've given him that ball once this year.

Do we ever go quickly with a surprise ball over the top? Or a midfielder gets his head up and slides on through? It doesn't happen... You see Lukaku making these runs but the option is never taken. So eventually he stops.

Our team was under Moyes, and remains under Roberto, set up to allow our full-backs to get into good positions. Good as they are, full-backs don't score you 50 goals between them. Mirallas and Lukaku would... except we have one stuck on the wing playing tippy tappy with Coleman and the other doing his best to hold up the play (an area he can improve on greatly) to bring his left-back into a good position.

Let them off the leash. Barry and McCarthy can't pass it over 10 yards. Let Gibson find the early runs of Lukaku partnered with Mirallas or Eto'o or Naismith. Have Barkley driving into open space with McCarthy sweeping up the loose ends. Teams would be terrified like they were against Suarez and Sturridge last season to see Lukaku hurtling into the space behind them. It makes space, it breeds mistakes, indecision in defense and creates goals. If this sort of service happened, I guarantee you Lukaku would score goals.

Having Lukaku at walking pace in a crowded box waiting for a once-in-a-lifetime eye-of-the-needle ball is a defenders dream. Their other dream is getting him out wide on the halfway line which is the other scenario we play him into.

Lukaku is not blameless in all this, of course, but he is not Suarez or Aguero who can get it 30 yards out, beat four defenders, and curl it in. He is a 㿈M counter-attacking lethal finisher so we should use him as such.

As I said above, though, for a club which supposedly adores its Number 9s, we've treated all of them after Campbell and Ferguson like garbage and have wasted a few careers in the process.

Everton have world class players up top, in attacking mid and at full-back. So we've built a system where the centre-backs and central midfielders have all the ball?

Our attacking line-up is superior to Spurs' and Liverpool's, and Lukaku is better than Welbeck and Giroud, yet when we play them, we barely threaten them and we may well finish behind all three sides.

Let Lukaku off the leash, Roberto, and see your 㿈M player and Champions League foorball before your eyes.

Phil Walling
41 Posted 12/10/2014 at 19:13:50
Couldn't agree more with everything you say, James. Odd thing is I felt England were making exactly the same mistake tonight all waiting for the eye of a needle ball and then falling over each other when it arrived.

FFS, Roberto, open your eyes... and mind!

Andy Crooks
42 Posted 12/10/2014 at 19:24:24
James Martin, a really insightful post.
Brent Stephens
43 Posted 12/10/2014 at 19:45:47
James #42 says it all.
Drew Shortis
45 Posted 12/10/2014 at 20:09:16
This season has been disappointing so far, but we can and will turn it around. I'm certain that Romelu will end up being a big success for Everton and his signing will be seen as a fantastic investment. I'm hoping that alongside the likes of Stones, Besic and Barkley he will be at the core of our team for many years to come and we will win trophies. What is needed now is a bit of faith and support to help our young start to overcome this indifferent start.
Mark Frere
46 Posted 12/10/2014 at 21:53:36
I don't entirely agree with James (42).

Firstly, Andy Johnson was a headless chicken, who carried on being an headless when he went to Fulham. He simply wasn't very good.

Secondly, Yakubu was scoring goals right up until he got the serious Achilles injury which put him out of action for a very long time. He never really was the same player after that; although Moyes never really played him regularly after his return from injury.

Thirdly, Jelavic started off very prolific in his first half season – and started his second season okay. But he clattered into the post against I think Newcastle and got injured; when he returned, he wasn't quite as sharp and his form and confidence took a big dip IMO. It wasn't as if he was not getting the chances to score... he missed sitter after sitter.

Good strikers make their own luck, they have to have the strength of character and ability to get through barren goal-scoring spells. That's often the difference between a good striker and an average striker.

John Malone
47 Posted 12/10/2014 at 21:59:52
Like Mourinho said, Lukaku likes to talk a lot.

Talk is cheap; itÂ’s time for the inconsistent young buck to step up and take responsibility and be Â’theÂ’ man.

Peter Cunliffe
49 Posted 12/10/2014 at 22:11:16
First time poster here – I've been reading TW for well over a year but it's the Lukaku enigma which has finally persuaded me to sign up and post.

James (#42) – I agree with most of what you say but I think Lukaku does have the ability to pick the ball up 30 yards out, beat a few men and curl one in, as we saw in the Arsenal home game last season.

Which brings me on to another Lukaku issue – confidence. No sooner had he scored the goal v Arsenal and he almost repeated it a few minutes later. We saw the same thing v Southampton at home – scored a goal from an all-too-rare McCarthy forward excursion (don't get me started on this one – another sore point) and within 5 minutes he'd turned a player 35 yards out, centre of pitch, surged forward, beaten another player or two and given himself a shooting opportunity.

As other posters have said, he has all the physical attributes – speed, size and strength – and he has one of the best (Eto'o) to teach him direction and timing of movement in the box, and the best (Big Dunc) to teach him how to impose himself over defenders.

Lukaku is not a target man (he says so himself) and has (as other posters have commented) definitely been missing Barkley's surging runs through the midfield this season and, latterly, Coleman's down the right.

By the end of October, I'm hoping we'll see the real Romelu Lukaku step up to the plate, his confidence built, and the goals start coming.

Steve Sweeney
50 Posted 12/10/2014 at 23:28:18
John (#42) spot on. We never play good enough balls to our Number 9s.
Conor McCourt
51 Posted 12/10/2014 at 23:28:35
I don't agree that Lukaku is missing Barkley or we are not playing to his strengths or Jim's view that he lacks motivation after his move. For me, Lukaku is one player that Roberto wasn't able to give a proper rest after the World Cup and, on top of that, he is playing with an injury, which has clearly affected his form; his confidence has begun to suffer and so he is not making the runs he did last year.

This guy has a 1-in-2 goal ratio since he played senior football at 16, he's a born finisher and can fashion goals out of nothing, not just the predator he is made out to be. Roberto is being slated for wasting all our kitty on him but goals win games and we can rely on this guy to hit 15 Premier League goals a season. So we should give him time and rejoice that we have a goalscorer like him at the club as it's been a long time since we have had one of his calibre.

Those moaning at his rawness, his hold-up play or his lack of aggression should realize that this was the package we bought and we could have found other players with those qualities who don't have the pedigree in front of goal that he does. Yes he needs to work on his game but we don't expect Barry to be a Pirlo and those comparing Naismith's work ethic to his must remember that this comes naturally to Steven as he has had to fight all his life just to be a professional footballer due to his lack of quality whereas Rom has a more effortless, languid style which can make him look lazy or that he doesn't care.

Mark Andersson
52 Posted 13/10/2014 at 04:44:51
Well I just hope Roberto reads James's post (#42) as it made sense to me.

I'll bet come the next game it will be the same shite served up because we have a manager stuck in his own beliefs that with a bit more luck it will come good. I hope I'm wrong and not only beat Villa, but beat them in style with a clean sheet.

Lukaku has certainly got the fans divided in their opinion. I think he does not do enough off the ball in closing down.

Jim Bennings
53 Posted 13/10/2014 at 08:55:17
Conor

Come on a rest after the World Cup mate??

Lukaku hardly saw that much action over there, and certainly from the matches I saw Belgium play, he hardly broke sweat, one of the reasons why Wilmots dropped him for Origi.

I bet if you offered your average man who is NOT a trained athlete, a few weeks in Brazil and all he had to do was play a smattering of football matches, we'd all grab your hand off.

The World Cup finished for Belgium a long long long time before Everton Football Club gave him any action again and tiredness should certainly NOT be an issue.

Will you still be saying that at Christmas time? In fact why not have it as an excuse all season?

Andrew Ellams
55 Posted 13/10/2014 at 09:42:06
On the contrary, Conor, I think Lukaku is suffering from too much rest after the World Cup. His pre-season consisted of 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors game against Sheffield Wednesday. Hopefully after this internatinal break, he will be up and running again – but not as our target man, as a goal poacher!
George McKane
56 Posted 13/10/2014 at 09:57:13
So it's only Lukaku and Everton... mmmm – Sterling????

I watched the England games over the last few days and I watched Wilshere – I mention him because he is an automatic choice these days, seemingly, and some Evertonians seem to pick up every tiny missed pass or chance by some of our young players (Barkley and Lukaku). I thought Wilshere was absolutely dreadful, among a few others.

Our current squad – especially the younger players – will improve I hope and move on. Let's get behind them.

Up The Blues.

Chris Fisher
57 Posted 13/10/2014 at 10:39:57
He was a great signing for us and will I have a feeling after the international break, starting with Villa we will see the Lukaku being the beast we know he can be.

Football fans are extremely fickle, Steven Naismith used to get absolutely slaughtered on these pages and was put in the same bracket as Hibbert and Osman, but now some fans are telling Lukaku to be a bit more like Naismith!!

I think one thing is clear: Martinez brought a striker for 㿈M, Martinez needs to play Lukaku as a striker, not a winger, and make him believe he is the best player in the world, then we have a world class player on our hands. At the moment we have a world class player playing like a good player.

Anthony Hughes
58 Posted 13/10/2014 at 10:59:58
The term 'world class' is bandied around too often. Lukaku is a good Premier League striker but he's a long way off being world class.
Conor McCourt
59 Posted 13/10/2014 at 10:35:56
Jim, the World Cup not only involves playing matches but most players get little rest both physically and mentally from the end of the previous season. It's common for a player's level to drop after a World Cup and players such as Sterling have already complained of fatigue yet England didn't get as far as Belgium and he had a much greater break than Lukaku did.

Lukaku has also been carrying this toe injury which hasn't had time to heal and, if I were Roberto, I would start Eto'o in the next couple of games – not only because he is the form striker but it would give Lukaku the break he so badly needs.

Jim Bennings
60 Posted 13/10/2014 at 11:27:45
Conor,

I agree with you about leaving Lukaku out and letting Eto'o and Naismith carry the can, whilst promoting one of the younger lads to the first team squad, for example Chris Long or McAleny. I do not subscribe to the theory that the toe injury is the reason for Lukaku's malaise, however.

As Lee Carsley states in his column, there are few times when a player sets foot on the pitch and is totally 100 percent with no niggles, twinges, aches or pains. Call me old fashioned but you have got to man up and get on with it.

If Lukaku's toe injury was causing him that much pain/discomfort then he wouldn't be starting, in fact he wouldn't be in the squad. If he's fit and able enough to start matches then he needs to produce more, and show more hunger and desire.

Fingers crossed the penny finally drops this weekend against Villa. Lukaku could also set an example to his below-par teammates too by working that bit extra harder, just even seeing your striker run and chase down defenders, pressing, a la Naismith. He needs to work harder.

Phil Walling
61 Posted 13/10/2014 at 11:53:17
Jose certainly saw us coming for, even in his peak level of form, 㿈M was a ridiculous price to pay for him. I've never seen 15 goals a season strikers as 'greats' although getting someone who can MAINTAIN even that level has proved difficult for Everton throughout the Premier League years.

I think Cottee managed it twice and Big Dunc usually got into double figures. Saha and Yakubu soon faded, as did Beattie and the little guy from Crystal Palace, although none of them cost more than half Rom's fee.

As has often been the case, Everton has proved a graveyard for strikers. Perhaps, just perhaps this guy can break the curse!

Tony J Williams
62 Posted 13/10/2014 at 12:34:06
Phil, I don't think you would have seen Lukaku at Goodison had it not been for us raping Man Utd to the tune of 㿇.5M.

Also it's on the never never too, ٧M here, ٣M there etc... so it's not that bad of a deal if you think we have paid 𧺬k for him (I know, I know!)

The fact remains that he is a young lad who has scored more in his first two seasons, on loan, than most other strikers out there in the league.

He is going though a crap spell and he may well have a toe injury – I know that lazy fecker Meattie was out for ages due to a toe issue and it effectively ended Lineker's career so it's not an issue to be taken lightly.

He is a good striker, probably not worth 㿈m, but we don't know until he is fit and our team actually stops twatting the ball at him at neck height and expecting him to work miracles... especially being stuck out on the wing.

Phil Walling
63 Posted 13/10/2014 at 12:57:18
Not much to disagree with there, Tony. We must all hope that he comes good.

As far as the fee is concerned, I'm sure the Prem have a rule that signings between that league's members must see at least 50% of the fee change hands at the time of transfer. Isn't that why overseas players look so much more attractive as no such clause exists internationally?

Thomas Surgenor
64 Posted 13/10/2014 at 13:42:12
I have two comments on this;

A – Lukaku seems to think he has done us a favour? However, I do think he will be a world class player and I am proud Everton showed the ambition to sign him.

B – Can we please stop mentioning Bony!! We didn't sign him and he is in worse form than Lukaku this season, AND he isn't carrying an injury nor has played as many of the top teams. Lukaku is better than Bony, both currently and in potential.

Jim Bennings
65 Posted 13/10/2014 at 13:41:16
It's right what you say about the actual fee for Lukaku being drip by drip... it's probably over 2 centuries. It also makes me start to think as well... "Did we really spend all that much money after all?"

Like has been said, and we all knew, Lukaku has come here off the back of the Fellaini, Anichebe, and Jelavic money (let's not forget the fees we got for those two).

We all thought we spent a lot of money because we saw 㿈 million on Rom but, apart from Besic, the rest were made up of Barry's wages, Eto'o and his wage, and the loan move for Atsu.

Even Hull spent 㿐 million, and it was meant to be us, not bloody Hull who were really making that push for the Champions League this season.

Peter Fearon
66 Posted 13/10/2014 at 14:44:24
Someone needs to tell him he is not a winger. He is a striker, what we used to call a centre-forward for very obvious reasons. He needs to adopt a more central forward position, and go gallivanting over to the wings as little as possible.

That having been said, he routinely gets lousy service and may be drifting wide out of frustration. I would be tempted to start both Lukaku and Eto'o and play Naismith in a more creative position either behind them or wide of them.

Michael Penley
67 Posted 13/10/2014 at 15:00:01
Could it be he's too smart to be a professional footballer? It seems he's always thinking and talking, then when he's out there he looks like he doesn't see the point. Maybe he'll realise it's just a stupid game and what's all the fuss about kicking a ball about.

The best sportsmen have always tended to have been rather thick, and you've got to be to take it so seriously and not realise how silly the whole thing is. Like Ronaldo, Beckham, the kind of person who must have perfect hair and plastic bimbo wives. Lukaku might just not be cut out for it.

Tony Graham
68 Posted 13/10/2014 at 15:12:17
I wish he and others would stop spouting and do the bizz on the pitch... we need points.
Steve Brown
69 Posted 13/10/2014 at 14:57:54
I don't think he moves out wide through choice. Rather it will be a tactical decision of Martinez. Having seen Jelavic and AJ flog their guts out working the flanks to allow Cahill or Fellaini to break in the box under Moyes, it is something I don't think works overall.
Jay Harris
70 Posted 13/10/2014 at 15:18:01
I think his touch more than anything is the worrying factor.

This season he cant control or hold the ball.

Now this may be a factor of a foot injury (According to Marc Wilmotts) which is then affecting his motivation and confidence.
I hope that he either runs it off or rests it sufficiently(whichever is more appropriate) before the Villa game in which we will need a fully firing Lukaku.

His goalscoring record speaks for itself. His attitude and application when the going gets tough doesn't.

Paul Dark
71 Posted 13/10/2014 at 15:47:21
Some good posts on here - and I agree with many (even if they contradict each other).

I think we need to get behind Lulu - he's a class act. Injuries, the frail defence, McGeady etc. haven't helped him at all. I wish - at least for some of the (home) game(s) - Martinez would play him alongside Sam.

Roger Helm
72 Posted 13/10/2014 at 17:15:44
I don't agree Michael that he is not thick enough to be a top sportsman. I think your view is coloured by the fact that most English footballers are thick, as the intelligent British youngsters either get on with their education, or do other sports like rowing or rugby or athletics.

But even then, there are exceptions like Steve Coppell, Lineker, Lampard, David James, Shaka Hislop et. And a lot of foreign players seem bright enough, or at least speak English very well. So I think IQ and football ability are probably independent variables.

I agree with those who say that no-one can be expected to be good at everything, especially at his age, and his scoring record is good enough for me. Surely, having lumped so much money on a CF, you have to structure your team and tactics to get the best out of him?

Jim Bennings
73 Posted 13/10/2014 at 18:08:06
Whatever happened to the old fashioned 4-4-2?

Playing two strikers at home to a pile of shite that you'd expect to take to the cleaners?

Bleeding even the much derided negative Walter Smith used to play Campbell paired with Jeffers and basically let the likes of Hutchison, Barmby and Collins get on with it in midfield, and to be fair, for a while, at least until we lost those three influential midfield lads it worked well.

It seems Moyes started a trend when he stumbled up on 4-5-1 with "iron lungs" Bent leading the line with that beautiful annoying little gnat Timmy Cahill seemingly always on the end of things flung into the penalty box.

The trouble is its not 2004 and we don't have "iron lungs" up front or Tim Cahill scoring with scissor kicks, and all sorts of headers (although Nais is doing a pretty good imitation job at present)

I just don't know why we always ALWAYS need two holding midfielders at home to obviously limited sides.

It doesn't always have to be like this but it seems like a almost religious obsession with Everton Football Club and whoever is manager nowadays.

Harold Matthews
74 Posted 13/10/2014 at 18:48:37
Michael. Is your post a roundabout confession that you are very crap at sport?
Darren Hind
76 Posted 13/10/2014 at 19:48:53
Jim Bennings

Moyes stumbled across 4-5-1 ?

Thirty years earlier, Harry Catterick played Wright, Labone, Hurst and Wilson, behind Husband, Ball, Harvey, Kendall and Moggsy, with big JR up top. If you're not old enough, ask somebody who is. WE WERE DAZZLING.

It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it.

Patrick Murphy
77 Posted 13/10/2014 at 20:22:04
Yeah Lukaku may be an intelligent guy far more intelligent than the average footballer, pundit or supporter, however, I can't believe that any footballer would be daft enough to believe that the game is not important, sponsors, TV, agents et al seem to have made the game too important and the players themselves reap the rewards with their huge salaries. In short Romelu will take the game very seriously as long as his bank balance grows at a rapid rate.

He's not looking too good against Bosnia at the moment.

Roger Helm
78 Posted 13/10/2014 at 21:16:56
If I were a coach my plan would be 1. get the best footballers available to me, then 2. think up a plan to get the best out each of them. A centre forward with ball control issues on the wing seems strange to me.

If you rigidly stick to one system, be it 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-3-3 or whatever, then it may not suit your player's particular skills and also it makes it easier for the opposition coaches to work out how to counter it.

Sean Kelly
79 Posted 13/10/2014 at 19:38:04
I'm getting tired of the horse shit some footballers spout. Lukaku needs to shut up and let his footballing do the talking for him. In years to come after many years of 20 goals minimum a season, he will be entitled to spout about how good he is or was. Until then, my friends, he only has potential. Potential to either succeed or fail.

I'm tired of hearing footballers saying what they will do and waiting for that glorious day. FFS, just do what you are paid to do. If the rest of us repeatedly told our employers how great we are and how we are going to break all records, they would soon get pissed off with us. They wouldn't look on us as having potential; rather they would view us as spoofers.

So over to you Rom and all you other egotistical overrated and overpaid footballers. Just shut up and let your boots or head or even your arse do the talking on the pitch where it matters to us.

Now where's that suit of armour.

Michael Penley
80 Posted 14/10/2014 at 00:10:29
Patrick – but that's the thing, Lukaku obviously doesn't care about his salary. He does care about glory, being the best, going down in history. Does that stuff even matter anymore? Not for most players. Only really to the fans.
Michael Penley
81 Posted 14/10/2014 at 00:16:30
Harold – your choice of words suggests that would be something I should be ashamed of. I can't say for sure but, if I were 'crap at sports', I probably wouldn't mind one bit.
Harold Matthews
82 Posted 14/10/2014 at 01:27:44
No Michael. The something you should be ashamed of is your choice of the word "Thick." I wonder how many great sportsmen and women flashed through your mind before you chose this unfortunate adjective.

It was only last month that a football coach stated that the difference between a good player and a great player was intelligence. During a match these guys have IQ levels which go through the roof. They not only carry a map of the pitch and the 22 participants in their heads, but they gauge wind speed and direction, calculate the strength of a pass or a shot, anticipate the movement of friend or foe, all in an instant. Without this intelligence their skills would not be sufficient.

Football is far from silly and as for not seeing the point. Well what's the point in climbing Everest, circumnavigating the globe in a little yacht, playing chess, winning Mastermind, dancing the Tango and a million other things. It's all a matter of what makes you tick. What doesn't make sense is someone who watches something he considers silly and stupid.

Michael Penley
83 Posted 14/10/2014 at 09:47:31
Come on, Harold, watching a game or two a week to relax is completely different from centering your life around it. But let's call it a day. I agree with you that it's about whatever makes you tick, and there's nothing wrong with doing what you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.
Dave Lynch
84 Posted 14/10/2014 at 10:02:49
"During a match, these guys have IQ levels that go through the roof"

One of the stupidest statements I have ever read. They happen to be good at football, which has nothing to do with IQ.

I now have a vision of Wayne Rooney doing The Times cryptic crossword at half-time...

Harold Matthews
85 Posted 14/10/2014 at 12:57:03
Dave. I said "during a match" not during the break. Stick your Crossword nerd in a Premier League game and his IQ levels for the task ahead will drop off the scale.

That's all I'm saying on the matter. I don't fancy banging my head against a brick wall.

Cheers Michael. This is ToffeeWeb. We're all Evertonians and the jousting is never too serious.

Brent Stephens
87 Posted 14/10/2014 at 13:49:40
Dave, #87, as I understand it, there are theories of general intelligence and theories of multiple / special intelligences. As opposed to a view that intelligence is some general trait, the latter refer to more specific intelligences, for example spatial intelligence, verbal intelligence, linguistic intelligence etc.

So, as per Harold's comment, it does seem to make sense that there might be a set of intelligences centred on playing football (all the skills Harold refers to). Not such a stupid idea at all, maybe. Reasoning is also a special intelligence, I believe. I don't think Harold's point implied that Rooney can do The Times crozzy.

Dave Lynch
88 Posted 14/10/2014 at 19:24:51
Brent, an IQ test is designed through problem solving and lateral thinking to establish a individual's intelligence.

Although it may be objective, it has fuck all to do with football and footballers who are mostly thick as pig shit.

Brent Stephens
89 Posted 14/10/2014 at 19:55:08
Dave, who said anything about an IQ test?! I was talking about the concept of intelligence not how you measure it.

But while you're on about measuring intelligence, which intelligence tests are you talking about? And who says they are "objective"? – there's such as thing as cultural bias in IQ tests, for example. I think key tests here are validity and reliability.

So, "an IQ test is designed through problem solving and lateral thinking". I guess you mean it is designed to test those things?? Well, surely you design the test for what you want to measure; so depending on whether you want to measure general intelligence or special intelligence (and depending which special intelligence), then you will devise different tests – not necessarily the problem solving and lateral thinking that you refer to.

You've concluded that "footballers are mostly thick" – so I'd be interested to hear what objective test you've used to draw that conclusion. Harold was apparently talking about intelligence during a match, and gave examples of the types of intelligence in that context; given their general success at the game, if they are mostly thick, where does that leave the rest of us in relation to those types of intelligence?!

ps: I'm no authority on intelligence or testing same, and have forgotten most of what I ever learned about these things, so am open to be guided by those in the know.

Dave Lynch
90 Posted 14/10/2014 at 20:31:13
Brent, that's exactly what I was getting at when I replied to Harold. He mentioned the word 'IQ' which has nothing to do with intelligence or perceived intelligence on a football field.

Football is an instinctive game and, let's be honest here, doesn't take much thinking about; if you can play the game properly, you react to situations instinctively.

Going on Harold's theory, Messi would have an IQ of a zillion compared to say Robbie Savage who would be about slug level. IQ testing is very contentious in some quarters as some see it as too academic and it does not allow for common sense, for want of a better word.

For instance, I know a lad who has an IQ of over 180 but trust me you would not let him to boil an egg as he has not an ounce of common sense in him.

What some deem as intelligence is very contentious and does not allow for variables within the spectrum of human behaviour.

Being a great footballer does not equate to intelligence IMO, they are just very good at football.

Brent Stephens
91 Posted 14/10/2014 at 21:09:14
So be it, Dave.

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