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Lukaku not 100% admits Martinez

by | 15/10/2014  Comments (89)  jump
Lingering disruption from injury and World Cup

Roberto Martinez has admitted that Romelu Lukaku has experienced a less-than-ideal start to life as a full-time Everton player, an acknowledgement of the striker's struggle for form since arriving from Chelsea in a club-record 28m deal over the summer.

The 21-year-old has battled to regain full fitness following the World Cup and a niggly toe injury that blighted his first few appearances this season but his manager is impressed by Lukaku's selfless attitude and is confident he will regain the form he showed as a loanee at Goodison Park last season.

The situation we have is that he was unable to get a full pre-season after the World Cup," Martinez exclusively told the Liverpool Echo, "and the knock he had so early in the season meant we couldn't allow him to have a proper introduction into work.

He had to get himself fit by playing games and now we're paying for that. We all need to understand that he is still doing a good job for the side and he will get to a position where he is 100% fit and he will be able to enjoy his football.

At the moment he can't enjoy it and he can't be the player that we all know he can be but that doesn't effect him too much because he's a responsible guy. He's got an incredible desire to be successful for the team."

Martinez says that the imminent return of Ross Barkley should help the Belgian international, though. The pair flourished together during the Catalan's first season in charge thanks to the England midfielder's ability to, in Martinez's words, "drive forward with the ball and open space for the strikers".

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (89)

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Kunal Desai
1 Posted 15/10/2014 at 07:08:56
Does anyone think Martinez is getting in his excuses in early of what lies ahead?
Mark Griffiths
2 Posted 15/10/2014 at 07:09:09
We really do miss Barkley and Lukaku should start banging them in (hope) when he plays, the trouble is that it will be near Christmas by the time Barkley is back to his best.
Charles Cook
3 Posted 15/10/2014 at 07:41:53
Kunal – he’s obviously talking sense in terms of the season thus far. As for what is to come and excuses, he’s backing his player to deliver, and so he should – the boy is a very good player.
James Hughes
4 Posted 15/10/2014 at 07:43:40
I am a huge Martinez fan (I wasnÂ’t at first) but I must admit getting fed up with the words Â’not quite fitÂ’ or Â’not yet 100%Â’.

I know we had beds installed at Finch Farm but I didn’t realise they were sick beds.... Is that what training consists of now? – "Have a lie down, son"!!

Ian Jones
5 Posted 15/10/2014 at 07:59:46
Easy to say but perhaps the most responsible thing would have been to rest until he was fitter or fully fit. Difficult when other injuries are around and limited other matches to play in to get match fit. Pity there is no Central League any more. It will be interesting to see how he gets on when we get the ball moving forwards a bit quicker. I would still like to see some of the younger forwards/players getting a go.
Clive Rogers
6 Posted 15/10/2014 at 09:26:06
HeÂ’ll need to be 100% if EtoÂ’o is going to be "playing away" in London nightclubs.
Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 15/10/2014 at 09:34:01
A week before the season and Martinez says it would be better to train than play a part in our final pre-season game. A week later, Lukaku plays the full 90 minutes at Leicester, even though he was dead on his feet after a hour and a fresher Mirallas was sitting on the bench.

IÂ’m all for managing players properly but this to me was a total contradiction of the ploy. If Lukaku is injured, then take the kid out of the firing line before any long-term damage is done, both on and off the pitch.

Another contradiction, Roberto, but people are beginning to question the big fellaÂ’s commitment. You say heÂ’s doing a remarkable job under the circumstances but it doesnÂ’t look like that to me, sitting in the stands.

Al Reddish
8 Posted 15/10/2014 at 09:49:45
So far, Bobby has told us that pretty much none of our players are 100% due to a variety of reasons/excuses. Maybe if they had got a decent pre-season under their belts, and some players had the same attitude as Naismith, they would be fitter and less likely to pick up all these muscle injuries.
James Stewart
9 Posted 15/10/2014 at 09:53:34
If he was or is carrying an injury, then why are we playing him! Idiotic.

Total mis-management.

Michael Penley
10 Posted 15/10/2014 at 10:00:30
I seem to recall Roberto saying something like no-one has a right to play, including the captain. So why does Naismith, when in terrific form, get taken off, for Lukaku to start every game, when the latter is out of form and is actually injured? That canÂ’t be very motivational for the players, least of all Naismith.
Phil Walling
11 Posted 15/10/2014 at 09:50:34
I can read this bloke like a book. I rehearsed that piece almost word for word on here a few days ago. BobbyÂ’s nothing if not predictable.
Thomas Surgenor
12 Posted 15/10/2014 at 10:32:54
What happens to our top scorer when Ross is back and raring to go?
Brian Waring
13 Posted 15/10/2014 at 10:53:28
"Can read this bloke like a book."

Like you, Phil every time Bobby makes a statement.

Phil Walling
14 Posted 15/10/2014 at 11:10:05
Maybe I should do the PR bits for him, Brian! Without the bullshit.
Tony J Williams
15 Posted 15/10/2014 at 11:10:56
Ouch! Brian....

Nothing we didnÂ’t really already know. Knew he was carrying a knock and was affecting his play.

Al, what part of "he was unable to get a full pre-season after the World Cup" passed you by? Hard to criticise someone for a poor pre-season schedule when he wasnÂ’t actually with us.

Funny thing is that Besic asked Bobby not to play him so he could get fit, perhaps Lukaku should have been the same?

Brent Stephens
16 Posted 15/10/2014 at 11:54:44
Phil, whose bullshit?!

Just a joke, mate!

George McKane
17 Posted 15/10/2014 at 12:03:17
PR = Bullshit. Surely we are all old and experienced enough to understand that.

What Martinez or any other manager says to and in the Press is merely Media Sound Bites or whatever they are called.

Does anyone actually think Cameron (or indeed any of the "new" Politicians) actually mean what they say in the press? "We are all in this together."

I like Martinez; I don’t think he is, or has done everything, perfect... but let’s see, shall we. Certainly much more interesting than Mr Moyes (who I found to be incredibly dull, boring and totally uninteresting) to listen to – for me anyway.

But in the end itÂ’s what I see on the actual pitch that matters.

Up The Blues.

Neil Pickering
18 Posted 15/10/2014 at 12:12:24
Stop playing him, then!

IsnÂ’t that why we bought EtoÂ’o in?

Paul Dark
19 Posted 15/10/2014 at 12:49:07
I agree: he needs to be rested and properly brought back to fitness.

RM does have some strange ways.

Anyway: letÂ’s hope Saturday marks a revival.


Denis Richardson
20 Posted 15/10/2014 at 12:43:05
Hopefully EtoÂ’o can do the business until Lukaku is 100%.

On a side note, looking at the Premier League injuries table, IÂ’m amazed by how many players are injured. WeÂ’re one of no less than 6 clubs (almost 1/3 of the league) who have 8 or more first team squad members injured!

Seems to me that it’s not just an Everton thing but something bigger – maybe this is a general hangover from the World Cup and players are indeed being asked to play too much simply to get more TV cash? Or just luck?

Just a thought.

Arsenal & Barcodes 9
Us, Man Utd, Burnley and W Ham 8
RS 7

Phil Walling
21 Posted 15/10/2014 at 13:13:33
I have to agree with your summation of MoyesÂ’s outpourings, George @17. Every thing he said was geared at covering his arse and lowering our expectations.

Be that as it may, I’ve begun to think that Roberto’s ’Super Season’ was more to do with the legacy Moyes left him than any genius on his part. The next few months will show whether the Spaniard can build further on what he inherited or whether his ’outscoring the opposition without concern for defence’ will flop – as it has done everywhere else it has been attempted.

Chris Fisher
22 Posted 15/10/2014 at 13:29:54
DonÂ’t play him until he is 100% then, you bellend!!!

Surely playing him unfit and making him look crap because of it is counter productive?!

George McKane
23 Posted 15/10/2014 at 13:40:31
Good one Phil.

I thought MartinezÂ’s first Season was a wonder compared to the previous seasons of torment for me; as you rightly say, we shall see more clearly over the next few months what Martinez is about.

Of course, I hope it all turns out well. My biggest problems with the last regime were the sheer frustration of it all, the feeling that nothing was ever going to change and that it would just go on and on and on.

You know it is interesting, going off the football point, but I know Lech Walesca reasonably well – I once invited him to Goodison but he couldn’t quite manage it... Anyway, as you know, he bravely stood against Communism and in the early days of the New Poland was voted President and both he and Solidarity were looked up as "the new world"... "the way forward" – but, after the early success and fame, Lech and indeed Solidarnosc, became somewhat left behind to the point today that most people think he is rather pathetic and a laughable figure. (And I have to say that I disagree with most of what he has to say for the past 10 years – also, I spoke to him once about/against his praise for The Dreaded Thatcher.)

Beginning the revolution and running it may be different tasks.

My goodness – I guess this sounds like a bit of waffle... but I am rather desperate, like most of us, not only to have some success, but to have it with some style and certainly to stand for something – some morals and ethics – if we believe that is possible in today’s football.

Vive La Revolution – Up The Workers and Up The Blues.

Michael Kenrick
24 Posted 15/10/2014 at 13:51:44
"He had to get himself fit by playing games and now weÂ’re paying for that."

I find that completely astounding. How does playing games with an injured toe help you to get fit?

Of course weÂ’re paying for it... it has to be the most stupid decision imaginable!

Ian McDowell
25 Posted 15/10/2014 at 14:16:10
Play Eto’o then – or maybe you should have signed another striker or kept Jelavic. Come on, Roberto.
Harold Matthews
26 Posted 15/10/2014 at 13:42:24
You canÂ’t get 100% match-fit at Finch Farm. You need minutes on the pitch. Messi would always insist on 90 minutes.

Martinez admits that weÂ’re paying for it but it has to be done. The big fella is twice the size of Naismith and Baines and doesnÂ’t have their natural sharpness and athleticism. He needs all the game time we can give him.

The controversial and varied reasons for his present state have been done to death and IÂ’m not about to repeat them. Martinez has finally come out and revealed the Lukaku fitness situation and I am pleased he has done so. HeÂ’s not telling us anything we didnÂ’t already suspect but itÂ’s good that itÂ’s now out in the open.

Funny thing is... The more anti-Martinez rubbish I read on ToffeeWeb, the more I like him.

Phil Walling
27 Posted 15/10/2014 at 14:52:17
One manÂ’s belief is anotherÂ’s Â’rubbishÂ’, Harold. I respect your views and ask only that you consider mine.
Jim Knightley
28 Posted 15/10/2014 at 15:11:56
Martinez is hardly alone... a lot of managers have pointed to tiredness and the post World Cup hangover on the performances of players and teams. Sterling was rested because of tiredness this week; Low publicly discussed the effects on his German team... and The Netherlands have been piss-poor.

I think it may be prudent to remember that Lukaku has played a lot of football in the last few seasons, that he went to the World Cup, that he started the season with an injury, and is only 21. ItÂ’s not his fault that his performances and goals turned him into one of the most sought after young strikers in the world. A bit of patience and understanding wouldnÂ’t go amiss.

He should have been protected more at the start of this season in my opinion, but could we afford to? We couldnÂ’t at the start perhaps because of our options, but I think we have been playing him a bit too much of late. He needs to get nearer 100%, and needs to get some confidence. When that happens, he will be knocking in goals as he was before. If we play to his strengths a little more too, then I think we could see him beat last seasonÂ’s goals tally.

Brent Stephens
29 Posted 15/10/2014 at 15:40:33
George #23 "You know it is interesting, going off the football point, but I know Lech Walesca reasonably well."

George, thatÂ’s interesting but one of the most off-topic posts I can remember!

I once had an aunt who posted a parcel from Beckles!

Tony J Williams
30 Posted 15/10/2014 at 15:42:03
I agree Jim, if you look around the European games many teams seems to be suffering a World Cup hang over apart from, somewhat ironically, England.

Who would imagine German, the World Cup Holders, losing to Poland and drawing with Ireland?

Andrew Ellams
31 Posted 15/10/2014 at 16:03:17
Quite often international teams see an influx of new faces after a World Cup when the next 4-yearly rotation begins and it can take a while for a new team to settle. But for players to use the same excuse every 4 years (and itÂ’s a relatively new thing since 2002, I suppose) is just crap and gives them a ready-made excuse to be lazy arses.
Linda Morrison
32 Posted 15/10/2014 at 16:07:02
Tony the England players lack of tiredness may have something to do with the fact that they were out of the ournament almost as soon as they were in it!
I was very happy that we spent all the money on Lukaku, if we hadnÂ’t he would be at Juventus now.

ItÂ’s madness to play him if he is injured so rest him Saturday if need be. IÂ’m sure Naismith will be fired up. The whole team is out of sorts at present but I think once we get a few back all will be well.

I want us to win a cup, any cup please.

Nick Entwistle
33 Posted 15/10/2014 at 16:11:46
But Tony, Germany lost over half a dozen world class players after the world cup. We got rid of Lamps and DJ Bash who couldnÂ’t do anything when it mattered.

After Italia Â’90, Robson, Shilton, Butcher stepped down, then Taylor dropped Waddle and Beardsley ffs. Tony Daley wasnÂ’t quite up to it.

My worry is for Greece. TheyÂ’ve got Ranieri in charge, trying to play football, and faltering. I love how pundits and commentators get annoyed with them at tournaments for being so defensive. I got to say theyÂ’re my favourite international team on that basis alone.

George McKane
34 Posted 15/10/2014 at 16:42:26
Hi Brent - - got carried away with the "waffle" as I said - - but adds a bit of variety to a wednesday afternoon and a TW Post.

Keep cool - - and cosmic grooves all the way.

Sam Hoare
35 Posted 15/10/2014 at 17:11:21
Something doesnÂ’t quite add up to me with these excuses. Fair enough, its Martinez taking the flak off Lukaku, but there comes a point where you have to say that heÂ’s just playing badly.
Harold Matthews
36 Posted 15/10/2014 at 16:48:44
True Phil. WeÂ’re all entitled to an opinion and your big wooden spoon can often be quite entertaining.
Phil Walling
37 Posted 15/10/2014 at 18:40:24
Fair enough, Harold, but will it be still as entertaining if things donÂ’t improve before long ? ItÂ’s ok having faith in this guyÂ’s ability to put things right and accept his string of excuses as to what is wrong but we need a sign soon that this is not a mere blip.
Wayne Smyth
38 Posted 15/10/2014 at 18:38:38
Sam, when youÂ’re playing at the top level the margins between players are probably insignificant enough so that any knock, niggle or even a doubt, ensures that a players performance is a bit shit.

For all the criticism of Martinez in this thread for playing a "not 100% fit" Lukaku, heÂ’s still scored goals and created chances and weÂ’ve missed him when heÂ’s not been playing. Those saying we shouldÂ’ve used EtoÂ’o forget that weÂ’ve played a lot of games and EtoÂ’o didnÂ’t actually arrive till late in the window.

Furthermore, a club of our means probably is forced to play players who are not quite at full fitness, especially when we have injury issues like we have. IÂ’m sure weÂ’ve been doing that quite often and regularly in our history under many managers.

ItÂ’s worth remembering that attacking players will notice these issues more than defenders or midfielders. TheyÂ’re trying to create, to beat players, to get small advantages, which is the most difficult job in football and hard enough when you are 100% fit.

Wayne Smyth
39 Posted 15/10/2014 at 18:53:59
Phil, all managers go through bad spells when results and performances arenÂ’t great.

My own view is that Martinez clearly has a long-term vision, unlike many managers, and heÂ’s prepared to blood the younger players which is also something a team of our financial (in)ability needs to do. Longer term I believe weÂ’ll be better placed than under most managers out there.

When IÂ’ve looked at the reasons why weÂ’ve lost games this season, IÂ’ve been looking at either playing teams we often lose against, or players making uncharacteristic individual mistakes, such as Howards blunders against Palace.

The day someone can show me with some coherent argument why MartinezÂ’s management is responsible for Howard being unable to catch a football, or Distin being unable to clear a crossbar with a header, then I will actually start to think that perhaps heÂ’s not the right guy for us.

Until then, and barring relegation, I think that he deserves at least 4 or 5 years to try to build a team.

Brendan Whelan
40 Posted 15/10/2014 at 19:29:11
Some common sense posted on here; rest him until he is fully fit and meanwhile let EtoÂ’o head the attack.
Lewis Barclay
41 Posted 15/10/2014 at 19:32:29
I donÂ’t really understand people moaning about MartinezÂ’s positive spin on things. I mean he canÂ’t really say:
"Yeah IÂ’m shitting it because 㿈mill is a lot of cash and the player has looked like heÂ’d struggle against The Dog and Duck team. The Champions League is a no go this year unless we win the Europa League. Still, the chairmanÂ’s a dreamer my job is probably safe."

I think heÂ’s doing a great job of not looking like he or his team is under pressure and keeping all the goings on between the group. He should be commended for that, no matter how much heÂ’s putting a spin on stuff.

Conor McCourt
42 Posted 15/10/2014 at 19:55:01
I agree with Phil that we must try to respect other Evertonians opinions as we are all blues but it is difficult with some of the things you come out with. Your concerns about Martinez defensive record at Wigan seems justified but how you can say we finished where we did last season had anything to do with Moyes is just ridiculous. Defensively we had two players in Alcaraz and Stones who didnÂ’t play under him and our whole defensive shape is based on two holding players in Barry and Mac who likewise were Martinez men. The whole ethos, style confidence and most of all pride in our history and our club was installed by this manager.

I really do try to understand the dissenters but I am 36 and last year was the best year IÂ’ve had supporting Everton playing a brand of football that IÂ’ve always dreamed of and fitting our School of Science mantra. Yes, we are having a bad spell but we have legitimate excuses and the pessimism on this site I find really strange. At least with you, Phi,l I respect the fact that you have disliked Roberto from the start but the ones who were rejoicing our manager last year, are on here killing him after eight games, are the people that really piss me off.

Get behind our manger and our team. COYB!!

Phil Walling
43 Posted 15/10/2014 at 20:49:53
Conor, I donÂ’t dislike him, at all. I just donÂ’t have the same high opinion of his managerial skills as most of you do. I shall rejoice with you and all Evertonians if I turn out to be wrong, I assure you.
Andy Walker
44 Posted 15/10/2014 at 20:50:40
Total PR bollocks from a spin doctor who would not have been out of place in BlairÂ’s bunch of crooks.

How the fuck has a great club like ours ended up with such an disingenuous twat?

Andy Walker
45 Posted 15/10/2014 at 20:54:44
ThatÂ’s disingenuous, bloody iPads!
Wayne Smyth
46 Posted 15/10/2014 at 21:09:50
Andy, what do you expect him to say?

All he said was that Lukaku wasnÂ’t fully fit because the World Cup didnÂ’t enable him to get a proper pre-season, which impacted on the quality of his performances in the first games.

Martinez really does on occasion come out with cringeworthy bollocks, such as saying heÂ’d pay 𧴜M for Lukaku, but his statement above seems entirely reasonable.

James Stewart
47 Posted 15/10/2014 at 21:42:48
@26 I don’t think anyone here is anti Martinez – we all want him to do well myself included.

That doesnÂ’t mean we should ignore his tactical failings.

Andy Walker
48 Posted 15/10/2014 at 21:50:01
Wayne, he doesnÂ’t need to say anything. HeÂ’s chosen to make this statement for no reason other than to try and cover his and maybe LukakuÂ’s arse.
Gary Carter
49 Posted 15/10/2014 at 21:44:30
So, after saying we were going to buy 6 or 7 players and not doing that, signing a striker that scored on his debut, then not playing him he has decided to come out and tell us LukakuÂ’s big toe is poorly.

His poor form might be due to that in fairness, or it might be because he gets played out wide on the right because it worked once against Arsenal, or it might be poor approach from a team that passes it around its own penalty area for 5 minutes before even thinking about going forward.

Maybe if Roberto really starts spinning he can in some way blame lukakuÂ’s big toe on the 2.3 goals a game we are conceding and thus carry on living in the world of him being blameless for everything and anything that he lives in !!

Andy Walker
50 Posted 15/10/2014 at 22:10:22
Our current manager is trying to deflect attention away from our dire start... classic defensive tactic – if only his defensive tactics on the pitch were as good.

It could be argued itÂ’s working as we now have this thread on TW. The good news is that so many are seeing through the smoke and mirrors.

Bill Gall
52 Posted 15/10/2014 at 22:31:21
Can anyone explain why we have what a number of supporters including myself believed, that we have one of the strongest squads for years and the manager knowingly plays a player who after 7 league games says he is not fit and has been carrying an injury?

Does this mean that, despite the pre-season signings, EtoÂ’o and some younger players are not as good as an injured player? If this is the case, then I can only say the manager has not only made poor signings, he has no faith in the younger forwards brought into the 1st team squad.

Brian Cleveland
53 Posted 15/10/2014 at 23:27:00
So yesterday it was an excuse for Atsu. Today itÂ’s an excuse for Lukaku... are we taking odds on tomorrowÂ’s excuse?
Alex Trevalyn
54 Posted 15/10/2014 at 23:29:57
Big Phil W signs but has a slight divisive eyebrow problem...
John Voigt
55 Posted 15/10/2014 at 23:32:00
IÂ’m a huge Martinez supporter. He instills confidence in his squads. He prepares them to play attacking football and wants to win by taking the game to the opposing side no matter who they are. To me that beats the crap out of the Moyes era where trying to scrape out a point against the top sides seemed to be the norm.

Everton have looked pretty good against the top teams this year (with Chelsea being the exception). Even in the Chelsea game the Everton lads kept fighting and score 3 times. I watched the Chelsea/Arsenal game and Arsenal hardly looked threatening (and they have a bunch of high wage earning players).

Everton blew a 2 goal lead late to Arsenal and that really hurt. I donÂ’t blame Martinez. Players should be able to kill off a game in the last 10 minutes and not concede twice. The manager doesnÂ’t have to tell the lads what that have to do, they know what they are supposed to do in that given situation.

Martinez got EtoÂ’o to sign. World class players havenÂ’t been signing for Everton in the past and getting EtoÂ’o was a feather in MartinezÂ’s cap.

Getting the young core of the team plus Baines to commit to new deals to me was better than blowing a bunch of money on a raft of new players. Spurs and Liverpool have once again shown that just buying a raft of players isnÂ’t the answer (and they spent money 3-4 times what Everton have in any given summer).

To me itÂ’s better to make a few select purchases and work to get the most out of the squad of players you already have.

Everton have a lot of really good young players. Stones has been playing regularly. Browning is making the 1st team and has gotten in some match time.

Martinez hasnÂ’t thrown these 2 into situations they canÂ’t handle. HeÂ’s brought them along in a prudent and professional manner. I think both Stones and Browning really look up to how they have been handled and work really work hard to help repay the trust Martinez has shown in them.

As far as what Martinez says in press conferences I can honestly say I donÂ’t give a shit. Look at the Wenger comments after the Chelsea game. It was all Bullshit about what happened in the technical area. Managers arenÂ’t going to really speak their minds. Would you???

With our 24/7 news media hype machine always ready to pounce, you get crappy interviews with little insight. ThatÂ’s not going to change. ToffeWeb posters (some of them) are tired of Martinez only being positive. Then he says something more frank about the Lukaku situation and more negative comments come pouring out (my point here is that anything Martinez says will be seen in a negative light by some, but not me).

Everton do need to start taking 3 points in upcoming matches. It would be welcome if they got some good breaks in their upcoming games against sides not in last yearÂ’s top 7 (right now I donÂ’t care how they start winning games, just get the job done somehow and move on to the next game).

I believe that the breaks of the game do even out in the long run and Everton should see some better results after going through a spell where theyÂ’ve played better than an average Premier League side and donÂ’t have much to show for it.

They have possession stats that are the envy of many teams and have scored 2 goals in every Premier League game except the last one where they looked like a 2nd goal would come. With a few defensive breaks, this team will be more than OK.

Nick Page
56 Posted 15/10/2014 at 23:58:20
With regards to all the ridiculous negativity on here, I just had a look at the number of "regular" posters on TW. I would estimate around 40.......out of lets say 25,000 regulars at GP. So the chance of realistically effecting anything with all the bullshit hyperbole is approx 0.16%. So keep moaning, lads/lasses. Or get behind the fucking team. FFS.

It is easily (and IÂ’ve been guilty of getting caught up in it too) the most negative, horrible, dour message board ever, in the history of this shit. In fact, any fucker reading it would probably just fuck Everton off.

In reality, Everton is not a big football club in this media driven world. We have history, as do Aston Villa for example. The shithouses across the park, for everything aimed at them, have pissed all over us (the senior club) for years. Until this football club is able to market itself along those lines, and stand up to them, then I just canÂ’t understand why everyone is so unhappy. WE DONÂ’T EVEN TRY.

Yet again, it will be very interesting to see the multitude of transactions at the corporate level, as at least two clubs in the EPL are up for sale. 24/7/365. You better fucking believe it.

Michael Winstanley
57 Posted 16/10/2014 at 00:21:44
WeÂ’re still transition, our playing style has changed, we look comfortable in our system, younger players are being added to the squad. Martinez wants two academy players every year to break into the first team squad.

Individual errors have cost us, Howard being my favoured target.

Martinez is showing faith in his players, Besic started in the derby, Browning came on and looked the part. It wouldnÂ’t surprise me if Roberto has told Lukaku not to chase too much until heÂ’s fully fit, bit like he did with Barkley last year.

Poor form and injuries may yet shatter our season but the long term foundations are being set.

Andy Crooks
58 Posted 16/10/2014 at 00:41:23
Nick # 56, thatÂ’s an interesting post. How does this site reflect support? I would guess that those with a negative few are more likely to post. I know I did in the last while of our last manager. It seems to me that there are many more posts after a bad result. This suggests to me that this site is a good indication of how views can change from game to game. Reflective, balanced articles and passionate talking points.
James Flynn
59 Posted 16/10/2014 at 01:02:24
Nick (56) - Please (and by please, I mean IÂ’m typing on bended knees begging), tell me you wrote and posted that sober.
John Voigt
60 Posted 16/10/2014 at 04:14:14
IÂ’m a Yank. IÂ’m fairly new to Premier League football. TV coverage was crap 10 years ago. Now we get all the games here in the States. I can watch every Everton game, about half I watch on an iPad or using Apple TV, I throw the iPad image up to a high def TV.

IÂ’ve stopped watching American football (it sucks). All the commercial breaks and time-outs ruined the game for me.

IÂ’m writing this because money is changing the Premier League and Everton need to do more than they are right now to stay in the top 1/3 of the league table.

The increased TV money helped fund better contracts for the important young players in the Everton squad and Baines too. The problem is all the other Premier League teams have more money available too. Lukaku was bought because thereÂ’s more money available to Everton, but he does need to pan out.

I worry that London based clubs and IÂ’ll mention West Ham will move way ahead of Everton in the next few years as far as available money is concerned. Moving into the Olympic Stadium and charging London prices means West Ham will be more at a money level closer to Spurs than Everton.

Everton even if they build a new stadium wonÂ’t have the match day revenue of West Ham.

Everton need to think "outside the box" and come up with some better revenue streams.

One thing I think Everton should do is look for some players from Japan, Korea, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Of course they have to be players than can make the 1st team squad, but having players from these regions attracts fans like me (and there are players that would cut the mustard).

Mik Diskerud is an American midfielder who could make EvertonÂ’s 1st team. He would not be expensive. He plays with his head up, is a pretty nifty passer, is 24 or 25 years old and would nor have a visa issue (One of his parents is from Norway and the other is from the USA). He scored in the USA friendly against Ecuador in the last week.

Everton had Tim Cahill and IÂ’m sure there were plenty of Aussies that tuned in to watch Everton games, just like I tune in to check on Tim Howard (and Landon Donovan when he came over on loan).

Everton need a better shirt sponsor and they also need to tour Asia and the USA each summer (which they have started doing).

If Everton donÂ’t do something out of the box to generate more revenue soon, itÂ’s going to be tough sledding in a few years.

Everton really need to capitalize on their consistent top half finishes in the Premier League quickly (and cash in on some alternative revenue streams).

If Spurs can land a shirt deal with HP then Everton need to chase other well known world wide brands that would pay a ton more than Chang (and I have no idea who or what Chang is as a corporation).

In short, Everton are a well run team that needs to be better funded. Moving to London isnÂ’t possible, but trying to land sponsorship deals from abroad (and players) needs to be a priority.

Dave Long
61 Posted 16/10/2014 at 05:08:36

I live in Japan, exiled from Liverpool. My kids wear the Everton kits everyday in school and at footy practice but their mates are just interested in Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

If Everton had bought Honda a few years back, there would have been immediate raising of the teamÂ’s profile here. We travel to the in laws in America and the Tim Howard factor should be exploited heavily: of course the team is largely unknown there.

There must be a number of Americans passing through Liverpool airports and train stations, why are we not using these opportunities to sell shirts and spread the word? A parent sporting an Arsenal tracksuit asked me where EvertonÂ’s city is just yesterday....

Brendan Whelan
62 Posted 16/10/2014 at 05:49:15
With all due respect, I have to dispute the contention that our current league position is due to "individual" errors. Such a view belongs in an archive along with the flat earth theory.

The fact is that we have the worst defensive record in EPL year to date; this is not due to consistent error by AN individual, but by several – including some in our midfield. Hence it is more likely due to the team organization on the pitch (the blunder from Howard under a high ball notwithstanding).

The advocates of the "individual error" on our poor league position to date need only look at the approach of our entire team when defending (the whole lot of them have become ball-watchers) and this, IÂ’m afraid, can only be put down to how RM is setting the team up. Couple this with the general poor physical conditioning of our first team and I genuinely fear that we are likely to be in the bottom half of the table this season (and from there, itÂ’s constant pressure to stay out of the relegation zone).

Eric Myles
63 Posted 16/10/2014 at 06:14:12
John #60 "Mik Diskerud is an American midfielder who could make EvertonÂ’s 1st team. He would not be expensive. He plays with his head up, is a pretty nifty passer, is 24 or 25 years old and would nor have a visa issue (One of his parents is from Norway and the other is from the USA)."

Unfortunately neither parental country is in the EU so he would probably need a work permit, and you know our history with getting work permits for players...

Darren Hind
64 Posted 16/10/2014 at 05:46:10
Nick (#56),

I think every matchgoer (past and present) who logs on this site will tell you that it offers a pretty accurate view of what goes on in and around the numerous pubs close to Goodison.

The angry... The funny... The frustrated... The positive and (IÂ’m afraid to have to tell you) The negative... TheyÂ’re all there, in every alehouse. No point in blaiming the site. These guys merely provide the platform.

This thread is typical of the sort of discussion you’ll find before and after every game, in every boozer... even down to the random, totally off topic "I know Lech Walesca " comment thrown in by George – not sure why George went there, but I felt like ordering a round when he did.

George McKane
65 Posted 16/10/2014 at 07:58:41
Darren, I will have a pint of Golden then... Ged Simpson said I had a good excuse a few months ago for hardly posting on one of The Live Forums – I had been busy preparing for Vincent van Gogh’s 152nd Birthday.

Cosmic grooves – George.

Andrew Ellams
66 Posted 16/10/2014 at 08:39:22
Negative, positive and frustrating pretty much describes the history of Everton Football Club.

I donÂ’t think any other club (except Spurs maybe) lifts your expectations then slaps you back down to earth at that vital moment.

Dave Lynch
67 Posted 16/10/2014 at 09:39:27
John Voigt@60.

Which site do you use to watch the blues on iPad?

I for the life of me cannot get a game on mine because it doesnÂ’t support Flashplayer.

David Graves
68 Posted 16/10/2014 at 09:32:10
I get the pub analogy; so when the nark in the corner claims last yearÂ’s success was due to the former manager and some other clown calls Martinez "an disingenuous twat" (sic) itÂ’s time for me to go and drink somewhere else.
Phil Walling
69 Posted 16/10/2014 at 09:59:14
When I bumped into the Duke of Edinburgh in our alehouse the other day, he told me never to be a name-dropper.
Al Reddish
70 Posted 16/10/2014 at 10:01:56
Tony #15. I was talking in general about our manager claiming a lot of our players arenÂ’t 100% fit. As for Lukaku and the World Cup, he didnÂ’t figure as much as some of the other players.
Matt Traynor
71 Posted 16/10/2014 at 10:18:46
A teacher at my school once got thrown out of a European match at Anfield for unfurling a banner that said "Lech Walesa Strikes Better Than Ian Rush".

True story.

Phil Walling
72 Posted 16/10/2014 at 11:30:50
Putting aside all my natural pessimism and depending on a return to form by our record signing, I confidentially predict that Everton will pick up 20 points from our next 11 games. That will be enough to see us comfortably in mid-table at the halfway mark and set us up for 50 points at the finish.

Anything better is based on pure hope and I think IÂ’ve already lost my wager on a top seven finish. You canÂ’t win Â’em all!

James Carlisle
73 Posted 16/10/2014 at 12:24:42
Lukaku isnÂ’t 100% and Atsu needs time? So many excuses....

WhatÂ’s the excuse for the underperforming centre backs, centre mids, wingers etc?

Harold Matthews
74 Posted 16/10/2014 at 12:29:42
Michael W @ 57. Excellent post... but IÂ’m not sure every player is comfortable with the new system. Not yet anyway.

A very recent Alan Irvine interview brought to mind your point about new foundations being laid. He stated that Swansea were the best team West Brom had faced this season and it was all down to their well-established philosophy. (Not sure if IÂ’m right but didnÂ’t Martinez lay the foundations before passing it on to Sousa, Rodgers, Laudrup and Monk?)

Anyway, right or wrong, itÂ’s obviously something which doesnÂ’t happen overnight. A long-term plan involving new signings and youngsters has been put into place and it may be a while before all the parts are working in perfect unison.

Great patience and understanding will be required but, in the meantime, weÂ’ll have to do what we can with what weÂ’ve got. A little bit of luck would be handy but it seems to have drifted elsewhere. Even so, with a stronger and more versatile squad than in recent years, we will fear no-one.

Understandably, most fans want success here and now and the manager and the players are no different. Early days or not, our lowly league position is not good enough and theyÂ’ll be doing their utmost to put things right. It wonÂ’t be easy against the Villa who are a renowned away outfit but IÂ’m hoping for a good performance. Their coach likes to keep the Baines / Pienaar combo quiet by hitting us down their right-hand side and it will be interesting to see if he changes things.

Paul Andrews
76 Posted 16/10/2014 at 14:55:55
Harold @ 74,

Very impressive post. As time goes by, and with more games playing this system, our football will speed up.

From little acorns......

John Voigt
77 Posted 16/10/2014 at 15:42:58
Dave Lynch (post 67).

Here in the good old USA premier league games are shown on NBC Sports Network. Games played at the same time as the game shown on the NBC Sports net cable channel are available via live streaming by downloading the NBC Sports Live Extra internet app. I downloaded this from the Apple App store for free.

What I do is either watch on my iPad using the NBC Sports net app or I use a combination of the iPad app and an Apple TV device. The Apple TV device has a feature which allows what you are watching on your iPad to be viewed on a high def large screen TV. If you have a quality high speed internet connection at home this combination works really well.

PS I don't know all the ins and outs of the British work permit laws. To me it's really piss poor that clubs can't fill the 17 over 21 inter nation spots on their teams any way they see fit.

There are Yanks playing in the Championship (who aren't regulars on the US National team). I don't know how this is allowed and a player like Juan Agudelo who was playing on the US National team was signed (I think by Stoke City) and had his work permit application denied twice. Stoke gave up and let him go.

Will Firstbrook
78 Posted 16/10/2014 at 15:26:04
Like most, I do believe Bobby has a plan and a vision of how he would like the team to play. Problem for him is, by and large, he doesn't have the personnel today to put that plan into action. We have leftovers from Ginger Balls era who are clearly uncomfortable on the ball and/or who's legs are going (or already gone) to play the style that Bobby wants. While he is to be commended for bringing in some new core pieces (and no, Alcaraz is not a core piece) and attempting to blood in some of the young lads, the team is performing as a team in transition.

Under Gollum's regime, you pretty much knew what you were going to get – boring, risk-adverse footy – the benefit of which was a guarantee of mid-table (sometimes a bit better) mediocrity year in and year out. Not so shockingly, the bulk of our squad excels playing in that mold. Along comes Bobby and his new style and BOOM – utter chaos (in relation to what we've grown accustomed to). Each week, many in the squad play like they are caught between two minds. I think that is not surprising.

What Bobby envisions will take a major overhaul of the current squad. It's going to take time for it to happen. However, as we all know, the margins for error in the EPL are incredibly small. Implementing sweeping changes (playing style, personnel, etc) without contingency funds to quickly fill in the gaps (looking at you Man Utd) to avoid catastrophe is, simply, incredibly risky. I think it's fair to say we can expect some pretty erratic results for the next while as this transformation continues. Let us pray it doesn't send us down in the process.

Bill Griffiths
79 Posted 16/10/2014 at 18:50:20
Well said, Lewis (41), the poor guy can't win really. Obviously he needs to build up players' confidence when not playing well but he can't very well go spouting off in the press how crap they are. so he has to say positive things to the press.

I will agree that he perhaps makes too many gushing statements on these matters etc. However, if he were not to make any statement, there would be posters on here knocking him for his silence, so I think he is right in making these statements and also in their positivity but perhaps he should limit the number.

Phil Walling
80 Posted 16/10/2014 at 19:25:31
Will @ 78. Quite a few of 'Ginger Balls' players were quite good. Good enough to average 7th place throughout his 11-year reign and although I have to agree it was boring at times, they played some very positive football in his later years.

Like you, I wouldn't want him back but everything you say about our future under Roberto is pure speculation that things will get better. You may be happy to suffer more of the crap – both signings and performance – we have seen this season but, if the 'deMoyesifrication' continues as you suggest, it will have to prove its efficacy in the Championship not the Premier League!

Will Firstbrook
81 Posted 16/10/2014 at 19:45:15
Phil @80. Indeed those players were (operative word here) effective under Moyes’s system. It is obvious to all that many of the old guard are getting on in years and it shows in their play. That is not a sleight against what they (and Moyes) achieved in prior years but it was evident there was an obvious ceiling.

I am by no means under any illusion that we are necessarily moving into a halcyon phase of football under Martinez. I am equally hopeful and skeptical of the direction we are going in – desperately trying to keep on eye on the bigger/long-term picture but admittedly it’s been hard of late. Considering our means, RM is operating on a knife’s edge when it comes to personnel changes and cannot afford many mistakes. Admittedly, some of his additions to date have been... questionable, at best. Imperative these mistakes are minimized.

I don’t see this next stage as a complete ’deMoyesifrication’ per se but rather an evolutionary step in pursuit of higher ambitions. Certainly no guarantees though. However, for now, I am willing to hold tight and see where this goes.

Phil Walling
82 Posted 16/10/2014 at 20:08:48
The simple fact is that were Moyes to be serving up this dross he would be getting dogs' abuse on here. As it is. this 'hero' is merely seen as 'going through a transition phase'. How fickle is that ?

As recorded elsewhere, I believe we shall improve to mid-table by New Year, so I'm not entirely pessimistic of some improvement!

Jay Rollinson
83 Posted 16/10/2014 at 20:20:58
Moyes mightÂ’ve been getting Â’dogs abuseÂ’ but not after just 2 months into his second season he wasnÂ’t. He was given time and people were prepared to understand there would be periods where results would go against him. They never started calling for his head or mocking him from the moment the team went on a bad run.
Andy Meighan
85 Posted 16/10/2014 at 20:24:03
Do you know. for years IÂ’ve heard many times about this Â’dog and duckÂ’ side. On here, in the papers, on television... now I want to know who the hell are this side? Because they must be some crack outfit. Because it looks like no-one has ever managed to defeat them.
Will Firstbrook
86 Posted 16/10/2014 at 20:18:57
Pretty sure I've never characterized Martinez as a 'hero' at any point. I am not sure anybody else here has done that either. He has his weaknesses, no doubt. However, I think most folks are willing to give him a chance. I don't see that as being fickle.

At the risk of drawing unfair comparisons, Moyes enjoyed a considerable degree of patience and understanding from the Everton faithful during his tenure (especially at the beginning). In my estimation, Martinez deserves the same consideration at this juncture of his stewardship.

Tony Doran
87 Posted 16/10/2014 at 20:27:56
This seems a case of form dictating fitness as opposed to fitness dictating form. Just excuses for a bad start to the season, hope it doesn't last. Get Eto'o in and give Lukaku some thinking time on assessing where he currently lies in the order of top strikers. Years ago you where allowed to drop players into the reserves but now it's considered to much of an insult.
John Voigt
88 Posted 16/10/2014 at 20:30:25
Will (post 81). I disagree that Martinez's signings have been questionable.

First off, he signed a 21-year-old striker who scored 32 goals in the previous two seasons. That seems wise to me. OK, Lukaku hasn't lit the world on fire through 7 Premier League games, but his track record is outstanding.

Eto'o was a great signing. Besic looks like a player who will pan out. This year's loan signing, Atsu, isn't ready for prime time, but he was worth the risk and may turn out to be a good player later in the season.

Not signing a rash of players to me is much better than splashing cash and discouraging players who have been in the Everton system for a while and are working hard for an opportunity for first team football with the Toffees.

Everton do need to preform well and gain points in their upcoming games which aren't against the big money clubs. I figure they will give it a good go, and hope they come out with points that start moving them up in the table.

Will Firstbrook
89 Posted 16/10/2014 at 20:45:00
John @88 - I believe I said some of his signings have been questionable (namely Alcaraz and Kone).

Those that you've noted all hold promise (even Lukaku @ 28M) but will take time for them to bed in properly.

John Voigt
90 Posted 16/10/2014 at 20:52:39
Will @89. Alcaraz and Kone I believe were both players Martinez had with him at Wigan. Neither were expensive signings. Martinez bought players he knew and trusted.

My opinion is Alcaraz was brought in to add depth and experience to the squad at a low cost. His deal I believe was initially for 2 years so not a lot of money was spent long term to have him in the squad.

Kone was pretty good at Wigan and got a serious knee injury. Martinez has done what he can to allow Kone to reach full fitness, but in all honesty his knee isn't responding after a long time off the field and he may never be a productive player again. My point here is Martinez bought a healthy Kone and now Everton are dealing with an injured Kone.

If you were critical of the Kone signing when he was healthy then I'd be more understanding, but I don't know if that's the case.

Will Firstbrook
91 Posted 16/10/2014 at 21:13:36
٤M for a 31-year-old striker is not good business in my books. In fact, it is very much contrary to Everton's typical transfer strategy but I guess Bill and Co decided to give Roberto a flier there. That was what I thought then and still do now.

Alcaraz has always been a very inconsistent player – brilliant in some games while at Wigan and then equally terrible in others. Even on the cheap, I would rather see the young lads blooded in at centreback. Again, another one I wouldn't have touched... but that's me.

Mike Chambers
92 Posted 18/10/2014 at 18:44:54
Kone and Alcaraz have not been given a chance. Let's wait till they get a few games under there belt.

Alcaraz had a solid game today.

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