LOSC Lille 0 - 0 Everton
Everton maintained their unbeaten record in the Europa League with a second successive away draw, this time grinding out a goalless encounter with Lille at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Roberto Martinez made five changes from the team that beat Aston Villa at the weekend, with Muhamed Besic, Tony Hibbert, Samuel Eto'o, Steven Pienaar and Sylvain Distin coming in for James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman, Romelu Lukaku, Leon Osman and Antolin Alcaraz and it was in defence where the Blues excelled on a night of few chances.
The French side committed to a high line and pressing game early on and profited from slack passing from Everton's midfield to regularly feed Divock Origi. The Liverpool loanee was largely well-marshalled by the Blues' back line, though, and it was Idrissa Gueye who came closer than anyone to breaking the deadlock when he raked a shot off the outside of the post with 25 minutes gone.
Everton's best chance of the first half might have come from great work by Eto'o along the byline but his attempted cross was deflected away from any of the lurking blue jerseys and Aiden McGeady would have the Toffees' only shot on target before the break, a tame first-time effort from the angle.
The second half followed much the same pattern as had the first but Everton began to grow into the contest and increased their share of the ball without really threatening their hosts apart from when Eto'o despatched a free kick into the arms of Victor Enyeama.
It was the introduction of Lukaku for Steven Pienaar just past the hour mark that almost paid dividends for Martinez, though. The Belgian's impact was almost instantaneous as he collected the ball and slipped it through to McGeady in the Lille area. A defender's touch took much of the pace off the ball but the Irishman got his shot away only to be foiled by Enyeama who got enough on it to stop it sliding underneath him and into the empty net.
A couple of promising openings were wasted by the Blues as the game opened up a little more in the final quarter of an hour as McGeady failed to find Lukaku open in the middle and Hibbert hesitated in the box with a shot on in front him. The defender was excellent in his more natural surroundings in defence, though, and he made a terrific interception to keep substitute Ryan Mendes at bay before Eto'o curled a shot inches wide in the dying minutes.
The draw keeps Everton top of Group H by a point after Wolfsburg's 4-2 win in Krasnodar and on course for the knockout phase if they can win their home fixtures.
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Reader Comments (93)
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1 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:26:57
2 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:27:22
3 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:29:19
OK, it didnÂt get me overly excited but top of our group, having played away twice.
4 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:30:57
Lille did not look a great side and I am pretty confident that we can beat them at Goodison.
The pitch looked pretty poor and seemed to affect us more than them.
5 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:36:25
I do not understand why Ossie and Naismith were left at home especially with Barkley and Pienaar just coming back from injury.
Once again, I criticise RM for putting luxury forwards on at the expense of midfield where we should be winning and retaining the ball. I would have played Barry, Besic and McCarthy in this game giving Barkley free licence to roam.
6 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:40:31
7 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:32:47
On a side note, Roberto really likes to make his subs late! Would have brought Atsu on for McGeady earlier and really not sure what the point was of subbing McCarthy on for about 4 seconds - guess the last one was maybe to wind the clock down but it was hardly worth it given the game was done.
Onto Burnley and the likes of Coleman, Naismith and McCarthy will be 100% fresh and Lukaku not far behind. Will be interesting to see if Alcaraz comes back, thought he would have played today and Distin on Sunday.
8 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:47:39
9 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:43:45
I'm just glad I never forked out 𧷤 to travel to watch that cack over there. Hope there are no repercussions from yesterday.
At least we never went down 3-0 and that's about the best you can say about this boring game.
10 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:49:15
I've criticised Roberto in the past for being too idealistic in the past, I didn't see that tonight. He set up really tight and an away point is a great result.
You may accuse me of being unadventurous but unlike many Evertonians, although I loved the Bayern game at home, I was away in Munich for the 0-0. We went to not get beat, we were the better side. It was a great great performance. Probably Ratcliffe's greatest performance in a Blue shirt.
11 Posted 23/10/2014 at 20:54:34
12 Posted 23/10/2014 at 21:04:43
I don't expect us to play an open game in an away tie but I would have liked to see us play with a bit more ambition, I mean this was Lille not Real Madrid or Barcelona.
13 Posted 23/10/2014 at 21:19:30
Pienaar struggles to pass the ball any further than 5 yards Â– anything out of this range is either hit too soft or too hard... it's been driving me mad for years now. Such simple passes sometimes and I can never understand why he can't do it.
Jagielka looks like he's back on form. Barry and Besic pretty solid. Hibbert had a very good game, he even looks more comfortable on the ball now and if only he could have scored with his chance... not sure Lille could have coped with the celebrations though!
Top of the group and another clean sheet so I guess we take the positives and hopefully get a decent run on the go.
14 Posted 23/10/2014 at 21:35:33
15 Posted 23/10/2014 at 21:32:47
I fully expect a comfortable win at Burnley on Sunday. One of them games I would have been worried about under Moyes but I think we will be fine on Sunday. Yes, we have had a difficult start to the season but in most games we have performed quite well; every error has resulted in conceding a goal.
The one thing that has gone our way is that all of our rivals (top four competitors) have dropped points where you wouldn't expect them to. We have only won 2 of our first 8 games yet we are still only 4 points off the top 4.
In my opinion, there are two Champions League places up for grabs as Chelsea win win the title with ease and Man City will finish 2nd. My glass is Â¾ full!!!
16 Posted 23/10/2014 at 21:44:52
I agree with comments about McGeady and Pienaar. I keep waiting for McGeady to pull something out the bag as a lot of well respected football guys rave about him.
How noticeable is it when Coleman doesn't play though!!! Worrying if he was to ever go!
17 Posted 23/10/2014 at 21:27:21
McGeady frustrated with his wastefulness as did Barkley. However, another game under the belt for Ross is useful. I thought Barry and Besic did well and Eto'o showed touches of quality. Lukaku made a positive difference and Hibbert was assured at the back. If only he would have pulled the trigger when he had the chance. Shoot Hibbo, shoot!
18 Posted 23/10/2014 at 21:54:41
There are some down sides but they have been pointed out ad nauseum so they don't need to be repeated.
19 Posted 23/10/2014 at 22:16:45
Last time I checked with the doctor, I as not "off my rocker" but given the poor opposition tonight I think you might be if you think that was a decent performance.
Yes, a point is not the end of the world but do you think any top manager with ambitions in Europe would have set up his side to play like that?
It seems to me that Roberto in Year 2 has become very cautious and not the "Sin miedo" we saw last year.
The ball was constantly given away, putting us on the backfoot, and a better team would have beaten us handsomely.
20 Posted 23/10/2014 at 22:47:25
Here is a video of the tear gas incident. This is on Canadian internet.
21 Posted 23/10/2014 at 22:39:37
Jay (#19) Â– Lille were not ’poor opposition’ at all and I for one was hiding behind the sofa with some of their attacking play in the 1st half. They were battering us for a while and then we settled more and got into our stride. Like you, I had deep reservations about the starting eleven Â– Alcaraz should have started; Coleman too Â– but I’ll hold my hands up and give RM a light pat on the back (dead light though).
We looked more comfy as the game went on and there was only one team looking like nicking it at the end.
So, yes, a little drab and dry for my liking at times, but in hindsight Â– glorious hindsight Â– I think Bobby got it right tonight. My hunch is that most of us on here would have taken a draw early doors as they piled it on (and probably before kick off) and that is what we got!
Come on: top of the group; nice goal difference; two homes games to come. Another hunch: a draw in Germany and we end up top; two wins at home and we end up top!
A good night all round on the pitch and I hope that anyone involved in the trouble off it is okay.
22 Posted 23/10/2014 at 23:11:40
Who's the dumbass chucking his beer at the riot police?
Blue or not, that's the stupidest thing I've seen. If there's trouble and you're in a foreign country, here's a fucking brilliant idea:
Don't stir up trouble and end up hog-tied with a bunch of foreigners contemplating what's the best way to make you miserable. Sit your ass down, grab a beer, and relax. Don't throw the damn beer at RIOT POLICE stupid!
Jesus... Dude's pissing in my gene pool.
23 Posted 23/10/2014 at 23:11:46
ÂEnglish soccer fans clash with police in the French city of Lille, ahead of a Europa League match between Lille and EvertonÂ.
I saw I think one knob - brave this - picking up a can or something and lobbing it in the general direction of the French Fuzz.
And then I saw some elderly folk complaining to said Fuzz.
After this, some geezer in a retro Â84 shirt is holding a blue flare up in the air.
Some riot, that! These news rooms will do anything for anything at times.
24 Posted 23/10/2014 at 23:16:51
The lads acting stupidly (and one of his mates should pull him away from it) but does it look unprovoked to you? Maybe they're called riot police because they're damn good at starting them.
Paul (#21) Â– I agree with every word, all things considered a point away from home will do nicely.
25 Posted 23/10/2014 at 23:12:51
It reminded me of the game in Russia, where we were too negative and had to change tack and chase the game with time running out. If Lille had scored, it would have been the same scenario.
We looked so much better with Lukaku on, so why leave it so late? We were getting deeper and deeper, with no outlet. Check Wolfsburg's 4-2 win in Krasnodar. We made them look decent.
This group is far from over, but we will only progress if we play our best team. Glad I didn't pay good money to watch that dross live.
On a lighter note, good on Hibbo, Jags, Barry, Baines and Besic, our stand-out players tonight.
26 Posted 23/10/2014 at 23:41:46
Don't disagree - seems that the law is out for trouble to be sure. Not sure why but reading all the press it seems that the police were prepared for mayhem when none actually existed.
And if you're even remotely aware of that...
Don't chuck a beer at them for Chrissakes!
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
27 Posted 23/10/2014 at 23:37:10
The two biggest chances created tonight were both blown by him. A one-on-one he should have lifted over the keeper but poked weakly at his legs, and a sumptuous through ball from Barkley that McGeady only had to lay first time into Lukaku's path. He hesitated, looked up, before rolling it into no man's land, behind Lukaku and way too far in front of Eto'o who was following in.
When chances are at a premium like in the game tonight they need to be pounced on if you want to take the points.
28 Posted 23/10/2014 at 23:27:20
OK a little cheeky perhaps but canÂt a ÂperformanceÂ also include a very good defensive performance?
interesting, then, that your crop of Âstand out playersÂ were defensive players for the most part.
A very good defensive display once we weathered the early storm, I thought.
I was one of the more vocal Jags bashers in late summer and early autumn and with good reason in my view at any rate. but credit where credit is due, he has really looked liked getting back to somewhere near his best these last three games or so.
But I would prefer to see Alcaraz next to him on Sunday. IÂm not sure if Distin is becoming one of our Thursday players but his games are numbered now I think. And Burnley are not exactly blessed with pace.
Oh, and lest I forget, thumbs up to Hibbo! heÂs being nudged towards the door but after a shaky start some of his basic defensive intelligence was turning the years back - and he should have scored, first-time lad, take it first-time!
Sunday? Howard - Browning - Jags - Alcaraz - Baines - Macca - Besic - Coleman - Oveido (if fit)/Pienaar (I suppose, if not) - Ross - EtoÂo (was impressed with him tonight)
29 Posted 23/10/2014 at 23:43:59
30 Posted 23/10/2014 at 23:49:34
As soon as you get a small disturbance you get confusion, people choose between flight or fight and all hell breaks loose unless it's well policed. But - you are right, the lad needs his head read, and it probably is red all over by now.
31 Posted 24/10/2014 at 00:01:48
Pienaar and Barkley are struggling for fitness and it showed. The rest played very well in a match that was never going to be easy. Unlike many, I didn't find it boring but these no-contact Europa officials make life difficult for Premier League sides.
32 Posted 24/10/2014 at 05:02:29
That said, I couldn't get very enthusiastic anyway. I like chess, but when I want to watch chess I'll look out for Kasparov. I want to see football and that includes passion and excitement, I want to be on the edge of my seat, jumping up and down, screaming at them... and so far this season I haven't seen that.
Even against Villa, although it was an easy win... it didn't have me jumping up and down like I have in the past. Sometimes I just want us to go forward and quickly... this permanent crab football has got me tearing my hair out, when I'm not falling asleep.... I want to be excited and entertained, and that is just not happening at present...
33 Posted 24/10/2014 at 06:41:53
34 Posted 24/10/2014 at 06:40:02
I actually enjoyed watching it. Obviously I would prefer to watch a display of free flowing attacking football that results in us smashing 5 past the French but that wasn't the way the game panned out and we showed a very good performance at the other side of the game. We were no pushovers.
Good teams can grind out results and I was pleased to see the lads really put in a shift and get a well earned point. I also think it will be a good performance in terms of squad morale, going into the trenches like that and coming out with a result breeds spirit and togetherness.
Special mention to Jags who, after displaying genuinely worrying form for a while now, was a colossus at the heart of the defence.
Re team selection, I don't get all the - why didn't Lukaku start, where was Colemen etc... I thought Gibson might have started for Barry but other than that it was predictable, not sure what the fuss is about. I agree it might not have been our strongest team but it was never going to be, we have a league game on Sunday early afternoon. Anyway, the team fielded wasn't exactly shite, Bobby's right to use the squad and the players have to step up.
35 Posted 24/10/2014 at 07:49:29
36 Posted 24/10/2014 at 07:51:44
Tonight he got it spot on excels for Barkley. Barkley is too risky a proposition and he looked terrible all night.
We're in good hands hear. Ugly as sin but perfectly played.
( I'm not really understanding what RM is trying to do. Way too much space between defense in midfield when we had the ball on the counters. School kid stuff.)
39 Posted 24/10/2014 at 08:32:46
A bit of pragmatism at times never did even the best sides any harm. I’m made up if Martinez is adding this string to his bow.
40 Posted 24/10/2014 at 08:31:54
That seems a very muddled post, complete with a totally contradictory last paragraph when read with what came before it. Night on the ale perhaps?
As for Barkley's performance being 'terrible all night'? He was the only one in the side who looked likely to create anything. He certainly played better than any of the other players tasked with getting forward: Pienaar, McGeadey, or Eto'o. The ball he played to send McGeady through was class. He's also done incredibly well just to come back from injury so far ahead of schedule, so 2 games in 5 days was always going to be a big ask for him.
41 Posted 24/10/2014 at 08:37:08
42 Posted 24/10/2014 at 08:38:52
As for the local police, they are fucked if Galatasaray or Lazio come to town
43 Posted 24/10/2014 at 08:45:32
44 Posted 24/10/2014 at 08:57:10
Never suggested he was anywhere near his best or that his passing was paticularly great. Just that he offered more than the other advanced players on the night (which, admittedly, isn't saying much) and he was the only one looking to make things happen. For me, that doesn't warrant him being labelled 'terrible' or 'too risky a proposition' to play as Christopher claimed.
45 Posted 24/10/2014 at 09:14:46
But considering our stringest attacking line up would probably be Lukaku, Miralles, Naismith and a 100% fit Ross Barkley then I am starting to become a bit more confident about the season ahead
46 Posted 24/10/2014 at 09:17:38
Taking Gibson, Besic, Barry and McCarthy showed a defensive attitude IMO. Barkley and Pienaar were the only two attacking midfielders in the group and neither of them played well.
At least one of Naismith and Osman should have travelled to provide some spark if we went behind. If either had been available from the bench, I feel sure we would have scored a goal.
47 Posted 24/10/2014 at 09:25:23
It wasn't pretty but you'll get no complaints from me about last night (except for the ref, he was shite).
48 Posted 24/10/2014 at 09:45:14
They have captions league pedigree and won the French double a few years ago, so not as bad as some are making out.
They had one of the best defences in Europe last season. I though Kjaer was immense - he also done a great job against Ronaldo last week - we should seriously consider signing him.
49 Posted 24/10/2014 at 09:54:33
50 Posted 24/10/2014 at 10:20:07
51 Posted 24/10/2014 at 10:16:27
With the exception or the Bayern's or Madrid's, there are few teams that go gung ho away in Europe and with our recent European record, we've certainly no right to go to Lille and demand 3 points.
Still on course to top the group will do for me..
52 Posted 24/10/2014 at 10:21:39
53 Posted 24/10/2014 at 10:35:21
54 Posted 24/10/2014 at 10:40:27
55 Posted 24/10/2014 at 11:14:05
RM says attacking football is in his DNA but his style is about as exciting as watching the Walter Smith sides, boring and unadventurous. So please RM can we see a bit more of an attacking style, you got us to 5th last year maybe you need to remind the players that they can go out kill teams off instead of waiting till the last 10 minutes of a game.
56 Posted 24/10/2014 at 11:51:21
57 Posted 24/10/2014 at 12:18:16
58 Posted 24/10/2014 at 12:33:46
Look where Lukaku would have been through at the end, and the defender who miscontrolled the ball dived to the floor. Absolutely pathetic. Besic shouldn't have been booked either.
59 Posted 24/10/2014 at 12:40:02
I can't argue with the amount of goals that we have scored this season, it's just the style of play I sometimes find hard to like. I think we have some very talented players who are more than capable of taking the game to the opposition, but too often for me we take an age to get the ball into the opponent's half were we can really hurt them.
I think we overdo the possession game, just like Arsenal who in most games have the lions share of possession but, despite this, they lose quite a few games. So, while possession of the ball is important, it is not the be-all of winning football matches, and we seem overly preoccupied with keeping the ball instead of wanting to play a more attacking style.
60 Posted 24/10/2014 at 12:42:38
Agree with others about Hibbert unbalancing us as an attacking team. This system relies in adventurous full backs for width and Hibbert just doesn't put any fear into the opposition that he might beat a man and whip in a cross.
Worst game McGeady has had for us. I thought Atsu looked better in his cameo.
61 Posted 24/10/2014 at 13:01:42
Amen James, that dive was farcical and the Besic booking was a joke.
Both players going for the ball with their feet up but Besic beat him to it. Also the Eto'o foul was a joke too, he was pulling his foot away and what made it worse was that the defender didn't even appeal for a foul because he knew he wasn't touched.
62 Posted 24/10/2014 at 13:16:15
63 Posted 24/10/2014 at 12:56:00
I thought Hibbo played well all things considered. McCarthy was not there to help out and McGeady was being demolished by their rampaging, athletic left back, No 23 Souare, who was as fast as lightning and crossed ball after ball all night. Even Coleman would have had trouble getting forward.
64 Posted 24/10/2014 at 13:34:45
He came on for 15 minutes and didn't have time to do anything.
65 Posted 24/10/2014 at 14:06:14
66 Posted 24/10/2014 at 12:45:51
I don't know why, when we have to defend corners, we don't leave a speed merchant like McGeady up top, instead of no-one at all.
67 Posted 24/10/2014 at 15:18:01
We have scored some goals, but it's not just that. I am not being entertained. I also thought that the Chelsea game was one of our better games in terms of the football we played and entertainment value, shame we decided to start from 2 down!
Whilst not every game is going to be pretty (and effective!), I'm finding we're looking for excuses for a dreary game far too often.
68 Posted 24/10/2014 at 15:19:33
You can aim a lot of criticism at the team but to call them "boring" says more about the critic than actual events.
Lille are boring and they were able to impose that on their own turf, and the result suited us. We will beat them at home.
Most exciting Everton team in my lifetime is compared to the Walter Smith era - some people are just weird. Okay, so the team have stopped shipping goals in the last 2 games, and have ground out a draw in Russia and away to one of the tightest defences in Europe.
69 Posted 24/10/2014 at 15:28:54
The ref was awful for both teams - any hint of contact or a player going to ground resulted in a foul.
Although the game was tedious, both teams were up for a scrap and we could’ve had a far better game with a better ref.
70 Posted 24/10/2014 at 15:32:40
Have you looked at the current Premier League Table?
71 Posted 24/10/2014 at 15:45:23
James, I guess you're forgetting that RM won the FA Cup but also got relegated.
72 Posted 24/10/2014 at 15:52:21
73 Posted 24/10/2014 at 16:13:30
74 Posted 24/10/2014 at 15:53:20
I thought our defence played well. Hibbert, Distin and Jags.
We only seemed to be any threat when Lukaku came on and that didnÂt amount to much. Better control of the ball second half. But a draw was probably fair result.
The problem is we donÂt seem to be much threat up front as if were setting out for a draw. We will have to do a lot better attacking wise at home. But were on top of group and surely we can only get better.
I got a good feeling about us going far in this competition.
75 Posted 24/10/2014 at 16:12:30
Still no injury re-occurrence and he will be better for the game time.
Hopefully we have enough this weekend with a fresh Coleman and Mccarthy, Naismith and dare I say Osman plus a semi-rested Lukaku.
Wonder who will get the nod out of Distin and Alcaraz. I hope the latter as he is much better with the ball and I don't think Burnely have great pace up front...
76 Posted 24/10/2014 at 16:13:48
Hardly detracts from the point I was making though...
77 Posted 24/10/2014 at 16:22:22
Regarding your point, I think the 'boring' adjectives apply to the way we played on Thursday night Â– not the season as a whole. You have to be a real lover of technical football to not feel a little deflated that we failed to take the game to Lille when we could.
But Roberto seems to have stemmed the concession of goals against in the last two games (two clean sheets on the trot!) so maybe the dreaded 'pragmatism' (eauugh!) some have missed has been instilled to give us the more solid defensive base on which to build.
And with that, as we know only too well, comes boring football going forward. I don't really know why this should be the case, but keeping shape and being ready to defend when you inevitably lose possession must be at the core of it, I guess. This must inhibit the adventurism needed in attack to really get us off our seats.
(Although how many of us were up screaming at that instant Hibbo got the ball with a clear sight of goal?!!)
78 Posted 24/10/2014 at 16:30:46
Lille have only conceded 33 goals in their last 48 league games, so they obviously know how to defend. Simon Kjaer hardly gave Ronaldo a sniff for 95 mins last week and he was pretty impressive last night.
"RM says attacking football is in his DNA but his style is about as exciting as watching the Walter Smith sides, boring and unadventurous."
Above is the comment I took exception to. This is a general statement, not one aimed at last night’s game.
80 Posted 24/10/2014 at 16:42:50
It did look like it cut up very easily and many seemed to have difficulties controlling the ball, especially Eto'o, who we all know isn't a shite player.
Saying that, can't blame the pitch for the wayward McGeady passes, truly awful last night.
81 Posted 24/10/2014 at 18:21:04
Lillie had a corner a minute into injury time and there would have been no time to come back and weÂd have been kicking ourselves at our lack of forward endeavour.
ThereÂs an old saying in football along the lines of "dare to lose to win" and I think we were dicing with the exact opposite.
82 Posted 24/10/2014 at 18:45:39
83 Posted 24/10/2014 at 19:13:40
I disagree. Lille needed a win, a draw kept us top of the group, so it is just fine in the league format. In fact, I’d be less happy with a 0-0 away in the knockout format, for obvious reasons.
Also, being a good defensive team entails more than just repelling attacks. Keeping the ball, scrapping for everything, limiting space, controlling midfield, and much more all contribute to a solid, stingy team.
We may have made it easy but people are seriously underestimating Lille as a TEAM
85 Posted 24/10/2014 at 19:49:32
Thank God for a bit of sense!
We all know that last night's performance wasn't really what we wanted, but as they say "It takes two to Tango"
They did not, and could not lose, otherwise the only door they would be looking at was the exit!
I am happy we are still leading the group, but the next two home games, have GOT to count!
86 Posted 24/10/2014 at 20:00:37
87 Posted 24/10/2014 at 20:42:46
RM said it himself today in a post. Puzzling why'd he'd risk him.
88 Posted 24/10/2014 at 20:50:21
89 Posted 24/10/2014 at 20:56:37
I know how "scientific" football, injuries, etc has become but Barkley is a refreshing old school type... "Have boots, will play".
We all know the time he missed coming through due to a freak injury. I was pleasantly shocked how quickly he came back from the latest one and its a testament to his character (also see Naisy and what he’s overcome in his career).
Ross is a blue. Last night’s game was his first in Europe Â– I reckon last night’s game meant more to him than anyone connected with the club.
I expect Ross to start on Sunday and I believe he will play a key role in winning us the game.
90 Posted 24/10/2014 at 21:17:38
Of course I'd like to win extravagantly but we need to learn to walk before we run.
91 Posted 24/10/2014 at 22:46:57
92 Posted 25/10/2014 at 03:07:26
I as much as the rest want him out there as he's our best player and my favorite to watch. I want him to play EVERY game...
Use common sense and play him for 60 or bring him on for the last 30 whatever. 90 minutes on a shit pitch is asking for trouble. He's had his fair bit of injuries so caution is the best approach for our one and truly world class player.
I personally would've left until the the last 30 when that bit of magic could've been useful.
93 Posted 25/10/2014 at 07:23:01
I know it seems absurd but.... managers don’t always tell the truth in interviews, and for good reason.
For all you know, Ross was raring to go for the United game and Roberto made him wait until after the international break, which seems very plausible to me.
Either way, he came through the Villa game just fine. He might be off the pace and a bit sluggish at times (by his standards) but he’s just as likely (if not more so) to aggravate his injury in training as in a match.
He wanted to play, Roberto wanted him to play, the 10,000+ in Lille and the rest of us at home wanted him to play, so it was pretty much a no-brainer.
94 Posted 25/10/2014 at 09:15:39
Colin (82) has it spot on. A very good result against a decent European team with a lot more recent European experience than ourselves. Mourinho takes teams away for a draw and gets hailed as a tactical genius, Roberto does it and is criticised as being boring Â– by his own fans! Dare I say that Roberto got it spot on?
Also, Barkley needs games, we need him back 100% asap, this is another step towards that.
One downside is McGeady. I very rarely criticise Everton players and I have tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but I just don't think he is good enough for us.
95 Posted 25/10/2014 at 10:50:04
If you have seen him this season, he never tracks back but in this game both he and Pienaar were both being more disciplined than usual and were clearly carrying out a team function.
If you had read the point I was making, it was that our defenders were all getting praised and attackers all slated. My view is that our defenders were contributing to poor play going forward by hoofing long balls to our front men so squandering possession and visa versa.
t was a collective which ensured the excellent point, as Roberto was so worried by their pace, he closed down the spaces which on many occasions meant, when he did get forward, it was hard for the attackers to have a lot of options, ie, no Coleman bombing forward and Baines playing deeper than usual.
96 Posted 25/10/2014 at 12:48:07
People have got to realise that transformation takes time. Whether the manager achieves his goals is open to debate. But he's trying to make our squad stronger because he knows it's the only way we are ever going to progress. He told us that we're not ready for the Champions League and judging by the standard I think the man is correct.
The Europa League is a good place to start and I think a point away from home whilst keeping a lot of players fresh for the weekend shows the man has a plan. Six changes is too many, we know, but I'm sure it will be a lot different once we qualify for the knockout stages. Let's walk before we run and two clean sheets after our dreadful start defensively, shows progress.
97 Posted 25/10/2014 at 14:23:19
You know what, I personally don't care. A player like him needs to be protected after such a serious injury. We all want him in, me too, but the cool, calm, collected and successful managers, the best managers don't manage off of hunches, they manage off of statistics and what has proven to work. It's virtually the same in all sports.
It's too much of a risk imo to ask a player to play 5 days apart after coming back from a serious injury. It's not like this is Hibbert or Alcaraz, this is the cornerstone of our franchise for the next 10 years. Remember that. We can't mess about with this talent.
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