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Eto'o brace eases Blues past Burnley

by | 26/10/2014  Comments (248)  jump
Burnley 1 - 3 Everton

Samuel Eto'o scored his first goals on the road in the Premier League with a fine brace at Turf Moor
Everton won at Turf Moor for the first time in 44 years as Samuel Eto'o scored two terrific goals, his first on the road in the Premier League.

Deployed in a withdrawn role behind Romelu Lukaku and Steven Naismith, the Cameroonian striker made his second successive start after playing in Lille on Thursday and he took less than four minutes to put the Blues ahead.

A sweeping passing move took the ball from one flank to the other and ended with Leighton Baines arriving on the overlap to chip a cross that Eto'o headed home emphatically via the underside of the crossbar.

It was the perfect start for an Everton side looking to dispel any notion of a post-Europe hangover from the trip to France but it was undone in the 20th minute by an awful error by Lukaku.

The Belgian handed the ball straight to Lukas Jutkiewicz and he sent Danny Ings through one-on-one with Tim Howard, the striker easily rounding the American and slotting home his first goal since February.

Lukaku atoned for the mistake nine minutes later, though. He was again involved in the build-up before collecting Steven Naismith's lay-off and clipping the ball inside the far corner at the second attempt after his initial shot had been blocked.

To their credit, Sean Dyche's team made life very difficult for Everton throughout but Jutkiewicz blazed wide and Ings couldn't capitalise on a defensive mix-up between Phil Jagielka and Gareth Barry as the visitors went into the break 2-1 up.

The lead felt a fragile one at times given Burnley's industry but Roberto Martinez's men defended more assuredly as the match wore on and that provided the platform for Eto'o to seal the win and kill off a spirited effort by the home side five minutes from time.

The 33 year-old picked up the ball in space 25 yards from goal and picked his spot with a sumptuous curling shot that gave Heaton no chance.

And he almost grabbed a deserved hat-trick in stoppage time but, having rounded the 'keeper, he rolled his shot off the post from a tight angle that rebounded agonisingly back across the face of goal and back to the grateful 'keeper.

The win, Martinez's first back-to-back victory of the campaign, moves Everton into the top half of the table and hopefully represents the establishment of some momentum as key players return from injury and the likes of Eto'o settle into the side.

Full coverage: ToffeeWeb Match Reports

Reader Comments (248)

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Zahir Jaffer
2 Posted 26/10/2014 at 13:51:41
Lukaku and Osman have been the weak links so far. Superbly-timed header by EtoÂ’o for the goal. EtoÂ’o seems twice the player Lukaku is
Si Mar
3 Posted 26/10/2014 at 13:54:30
Would you take 㾻 million for Rom?!
Jim Bennings
4 Posted 26/10/2014 at 13:51:40
Will Lukaku ever learn to hold the football up??

Stan Collymore makes the valid point on Talksport that "you can teach strikers to run with the ball but holding it up for a big string central striker it should be an absolute given" I agree 110 percent with him.

Lukaku needs to watch a few runs of Wilfried Bony in a lesson of how you be strong with your back to goal.

This is the kind of goal which Everton keep making the mistake of conceding this season.

We are 1-0 up against a side whoÂ’s confidence is shot to bits but we give them the confidence boost they need to get back in the game.

Got to gather our heads and go on to win this match otherwise itÂ’s back to the drawing board.

Phil Smith
5 Posted 26/10/2014 at 14:22:16
This reminds me of the Palace game. Cruising at one nil and then we gift them a goal out of nothing and give them a way back into the game. Thank God Lukaku got that goal because he needs to improve his first touch/layoff of the ball big time. Under no pressure and he passes straight to their forward. Shocking!!!
Mike Green
6 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:24:03
Scoreline flatters us for a performance where I felt we were pretty unconvincing. What a class act Samuel EtoÂ’o is though, fantastic to have someone of his pedigree in the squad.
Patrick Murphy
7 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:27:03
Totally agree Mike - It was a pretty tepid second period and it wasnÂ’t until Leighton decided to move us forward that we looked anything like a top team. Everton are obviously head and shoulders above the Burnley team but you would have had trouble believing that at some junctures in the game.

But as Turf Moor is one of our less favourite venues we should be happy with a win there. I just feel that this Everton team has so much more to offer than it shows us on occasion and we must go for the jugular when we are on top. Nice to see defenders and goalkeeper getting rid when the situation calls for it.

If Roberto can assemble a team with the same quality of EtoÂ’o weÂ’d all be pretty happy - but this team if it starts to believe in its ability could still do quite well but we have to start putting teams like Burnley to bed much earlier in games and we shouldnÂ’t be watching the clock with over half-an-hour of the game remaining.

Paul Mackie
8 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:35:18
Not the best performance but IÂ’m not going to grumble about the result.
Christopher Wallace
9 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:31:50

Nowhere near our best but The result hardly flatters us. We created all the chances, and really shouldÂ’ve scored more than 3.

Must do better next week though, Swansea are a far better side than what we were up against today.

Two prem wins and hard-fought away draw in Europe - and only one conceded - great week in my opinion and hopefully the start of a winning run.

Anto Byrne
10 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:31:09
Good performance given that they didnÂ’t get out of second gear for the whole game. Wonderful goals job done and can rest up for next week. Baines and EtoÂ’o both worthy of a 9.
Brian Williams
11 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:35:33
A great win but IMHO a lacklustre performance. Is that to be expected following a Europa league game, who can say?

What I will say though, and IÂ’m not an Osman hater, is that although he does the odd tidy thing when not under pressure, heÂ’s at times a liability for losing possession in dangerous areas... and his legs are shot. There was a run down the left when he was obviously running flat out, and the defender caught him without breaking sweat. An undoubtedly clever footballer but no longer up to the rigours of a full premier league game.

EtoÂ’o oozes class, and a knowledge of how, where, when, which I hope he can teach young Ross Barkley, and Lukaku for that matter.
Have to say my mums first touch is better the LukÂ’s nine times out of ten. I think he edges it when it comes to the arial threat....just!

Drew Shortis
12 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:40:28
This wonÂ’t be the first season where we started slowly and built up a head of steam heading into the festive period. Despite some disappointing results and performances we donÂ’t look in terrible shape at the moment. Barkley is back, Mirallas and Stones wonÂ’t be too far behind. The defence seems to have stiffened up. Lukaku and EtoÂ’o are both finding goalscoring form, were heading towards the European places in the league and top our Europa group.

Looking at all of our results this season only the Palace game stands out as a shocker for me. We dropped four valuable points against Leicester and Arsenal but played well. The Chelsea game was a shocker defensively but we played with a a lot of spirit and attacking flair. IÂ’m not overly fussed about dropping out of the Carling Cup as it gains a club very little.

November will be a very important month for our season. By the end of it we could well be in the top six and practically through in Europe. Keep it up lads!

Ed Fitzgerald
13 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:43:11
The scoreline did not flatter us whatsoever, we controlled the game in the second half and they rarely had a touch. I donÂ’t quite know what some people expect, we won away, scored 3 and had the vast majority of the possession after playing away in Europe on Thursday.
Mike Price
14 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:45:49
Good week for us but we need to be up for it against Swansea.

Lukaku is worrying us all I think. Has his touch always been this bad? If heÂ’s injured he needs to be rested, but he needs to lose 10lbs and maybe grow his hair back! HeÂ’s definitely carrying too much weight, he looks heavy legged and ponderous, and heÂ’s one of those players that needs to be sharp to be effective.

Thought RobertoÂ’s subs made a bit more sense today but we really need to kick on now and donÂ’t screw up at home next week.

Nev Renshaw
15 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:51:19
Only the top three teams have scored more than us. I just wished we had SouthamptonÂ’s defensive record.
Kieran Riding
16 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:53:53
Am I the only supporter who panics every single time Alcaraz is anywhere near the ball?
Jay Harris
17 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:40:32
Once again I would criticise the team selection with too many forwards and not enough graft and craft in MF.

In a game like this I would have played Besic instead of Ossie.

The back 4 frequently had to boot the ball up the pitch because no one in MF is showing for the ball apart from Barry.

Kudos to ETO real MOTM performance and still major concerns over Alcatraz who seems to view balls in the air like bombs from the Luftwaffe.

Keith Glazzard
18 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:40:04
Three goals scored by two strikers - when was the last time that happened?

Burnley made it hard for us. Arnfield should have had at least three yellow cards, a couple of others two each. Did they require the trainer on at all? All the same, we gave the ball away far too easily again.

But class showed and as is often the case we finished strongly. Naismith had a very good game and Samuel EtoÂ’o quite simply won it. More please.

Jon Withey
19 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:51:19
Happy with Alcaraz at the moment, heÂ’s actually starting to look pretty convincing and heÂ’s pretty classy on the ball.

EtoÂ’o was an incredible signing, even at his age.

ItÂ’s easy to forget how young Lukaku is - heÂ’s a raw talent for sure but I think weÂ’ll see better from him with Ross and Sam on the pitch.

I thought Baines delivery was back to itÂ’s best today too and we are lucky to have it.

Overall we still havenÂ’t hit form but 3-1 isnÂ’t bad for a stuttering performance.

Patrick Murphy
20 Posted 26/10/2014 at 15:54:36
Ed - I totally understand what you are saying and most of what you say is probably borne out by the stats etc. but, Everton obviously have a better squad/team than Burnley and the result was in some doubt until EtoÂ’o scored the third goal as Evertonians we are well aware a single goal lead is never comfortable and you are always on tenterhooks whenever the opposition are within striking distance.

A little more aggression in an attacking sense wouldnÂ’t go amiss and would help us all to enjoy the matches a little more - IÂ’m not knocking the result but I do think the Blues can do even better if they put their minds to it.

Brian Waring
21 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:02:58
Hmmmm, what was it the other week "WeÂ’re in a relegation battle.........?"
Christopher Wallace
22 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:00:42

Strange that you criticise team selection for too many attackers, and then state that you would remedy the problem by swapping a midfielder for a midfielder.

Also, the additional striker won us the game today, so thereÂ’s that as well.

Graham Mockford
23 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:01:41
Nev #15

I wouldnÂ’t worry too much about our defensive record, the first three games aside including the freakish 6-3 Chelsea game.

Since then we have conceded 7 in 6 games which is a bit more like it. I think the key to this has been the return to form of Jags who in the last three games especially has been excellent.

If we can keep this run going especially given a slightly easier run of games, we will be in and around Top 4.

Daniel Joseph
24 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:04:41
I thought EtoÂ’o looked like a 㾼 million pound player.
Just sayinÂ’
Jay Harris
25 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:08:56
I would have put Besic in place of ossie because I see Ossie as an attacking MF player who gets caught on the ball too much further up the field whereas Besic can win the ball and come from deep.

Ideally I would not have Eto Lukaku and Naismith in the same side either.

I thought we looked much better balanced with Barkley and Pienaar in place of Ossie and Lukaku.

Steve Cotton
26 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:12:02
Imagine if we had that Lille Danish centre back next to Jags... life would be a breeze.
Mike Price
27 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:14:51
Howard was terrible for the goal again. Running out way to fast, selling himself... he never bails us out and the sooner we get rid the better.
Christopher Wallace
28 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:16:40
Fair enough Jay, I agree with everything youÂ’ve said there.

I can certainly see why Martinez played a "fresh" Osman in that system today, but he just wasnÂ’t up to it.

Im not on the bandwagon of Ossie-bashers, but the team is certainly less dynamic with him involved these days. We done well to get in at h/t with a lead, and that was the time to introduce Barkley in my opinion.

Gavin Ramejkis
29 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:26:11
Happy with another three points and to lift your mood watch Naismiths follow up on EtoÂ’oÂ’s second goal, especially the boyhood RS Burnley keeperÂ’s head -
Steve Pugh
30 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:37:15
Mike Price, Howard never bails us out? Get real he regularly makes world class saves that he has no right to make. In a one on one the striker should always score, their goal was not Howards fault.

Why are none of the people slating Ossie complaining that Ross gave the ball away with both of his first 2 touches and gave it away at least 5 times in his short time on the pitch. Ossie guy was playing so well that Burnley resorted to taking him out rather than tackle him. He was involved in so much of what we did well with neat quick passing creating space for others to exploit. ItÂ’s the sort of play that is essential to the Martinez style of play

Tony J Williams
31 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:46:51
One of these days I may log on here after a win and not have to read half of the entered posts slagging off individuals.
Mike Price
33 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:46:18
Steve #31 I think most Evertonians will be pleased when we replace Howard with a decent keeper. He obviously makes some decent saves but most are expected saves and he rarely nicks us a game...he does throw them away though.

I agree about Osman and canÂ’t believe that Martinez uses him as a starter..heÂ’s useful off the bench for 20 minutes but thatÂ’s it.

Christopher Kelly
34 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:43:27
EtoÂ’o is class and we need more of those kind of players needless to say. Hopefully in the younger variety. 3 points is a great result for anyone on the road. Job done.

However there are some really worrying signs (first of which is admitting we have problems :) for Lukaku to not be able to hold up a ball is embarrassing and is compounded by the fact that he thinks heÂ’s a "complete striker."

Naismith was a ghost which was disappointing. The fact that Osman not only started but played 80 minutes makes me so mad that I just canÂ’t think about it or ill throw my phone. ItÂ’s a sad state were in as a team to rely on an already shitty player to play 80 minutes at 33 years old or what have you.

Barkley was great and just so happy to have him back! What a difference maker he is. Martinez has to figure out how to get his troops playing with more energy and silk in the final third. Something weÂ’ll need going forwards

Linda Morrison
35 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:49:07
Well said Tony (32). I donÂ’t know what some players have to do to please some people.

There are certain players, Osman, Lukaku, Hibbert and Howard who are criticised no matter what they do.

There are other players, Coleman, Barkley for instance who can do no wrong.

Players make mistakes I assume that the very windy conditions affected the run of the ball today. Lukaku is still young ande learning just like Ross they will make errors.

Come on folks the team have picked themselves up after a very shaky start. I expect to see Disitn in the defence on Saturday to deal with the threat of Swansea.

Mark Dunford
36 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:46:58
Yes, I admit to saying a couple of weeks ago that we were on the verge of a relegation battle and needed to take at least four points from the next two games to escape this fate. By winning two games, it looks like weÂ’ve now done this. Great to have played two rather poor and toothless teams after a succession of hard fixtures.

Villa were a lot poorer than predicted by everyone on the thread after Man Utd and Turf Moor is a place we have a bad record. TodayÂ’s result was especially pleasing after the rather tricky fixture on Thursday. It is also really pleasing to see Lukaku scoring despite not being in the best of form.

Jon Withey
37 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:54:22
ItÂ’s funny that we still arenÂ’t playing with wingers - IÂ’d love to get Mirallas and Deulofeu back. With those two, Baines and Coleman it gives us so much width.

3-1 away lads. The RS drew with Hull at home this weekend without a single goal.

Chris Corn
38 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:56:56
Lukaku.. 4 in his last 6 games.. Shite lad!!! Some people on here really need to look at themselves. Another comfortable win and clinical finishing and itÂ’s just moan, moan, moan.
Danny Halsall
39 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:57:55
Everybody knocking Lukaku for his lack of hold up play, but he scores again.

Need to remember he is 21, Martinez has mentioned that heÂ’s been carrying a few knocks, heÂ’s coming off the back of a World Cup and we have paid a lot of money for him which must create a bit of pressure for him. HeÂ’s still managed to score 4 league goals in 6 games.

He is a striker and his job is to score, which he is doing. IÂ’m more than happy with his contribution so far.

Gavin Johnson
40 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:53:26
Another win which will quieten the descenting moaners who lambasted Martinez after the defeat at OT. I said it give it the next 7 games and 2 games in we have 2 wins. COYB
John Voigt
41 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:45:43
IÂ’m a Yank and I follow Tim Howard closely. Today he made a bad mistake in judgement. He wasnÂ’t going to beat the Burnley player to the ball and he showed himself to quickly. Burnley have crappy finishers and Howard should have made the Burnley player beat him with a quality shot.

Also IÂ’ve been a big Lukaku supporter but today he was really poor. Add Lukaku to the list of Everton players that have made a bonehead play directly leading to a goal. Thank God he scored to make up for the error. The goal was typical Lukaku. It was from inside the box, he made the play himself and his physical skills allowed him to make a play most players canÂ’t make.

LetÂ’s not forget Martinez signed Lukaku and EtoÂ’o to deals this summer. 4 goals and an assist for Lukaku and 3 goals from EtoÂ’o is almost a goal a game and EtoÂ’o hasnÂ’t played that much.

We really missed John Stones today. Stones would have broken the Burnley pressure as heÂ’s the only Everton center back who dribbles the ball forward. With neither center back ever pushing the ball forward Everton were way to predictable in bring the ball out of their own end. If they canÂ’t vary the way they play out of the back they might as well let Howard boot it long.

Baines was really good today. His assist one the 1st goal was as big a play as there was in the game.

Trevor Lynes
42 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:55:39
I donÂ’t know how many noticed but Baines took on a new lease of life once Pienaar came on. Baines plays far more adventurously with Pienaar as his partner.

Barkley was awful when he first came on, underhitting his passes and losing possession. He improved when he got more room but his first touch was pretty poor at first. He needs more game time and I thought that overall we played lethargically.

The defence carried us for a lot of the game and only Etoo played really well in attack.His goals were top drawer and I hope that some of his class and work ethic rubs off on Lukaku. Rom should come on in leaps and bounds with Etoo showing him the ropes.

Sammy finds room and needed constant attention. I just wish we had got him five years ago :0))

Dave Duggan
43 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:59:09
Some people on here drive me mad! Lukaku can hold up a ball so it clearly isnÂ’t embarrassing! (Did he not have a lay off to EtoÂ’o for the 1st goal) Yes he gave away a really poor goal today but made up for it by putting us in front. His touch and hold up play has improve massively but heÂ’s still young and will only get better. He had some fantastic touches today and some poor ones. Lay off him for fucks sake we won 3-1!

DidnÂ’t Barkley lose it 3 times in about 2 mins after coming on? Does he need to improve his touch? What about etoÂ’o? Motm today and everyone raves about how great he is and how we need more like him. Is that the same etoÂ’o who was really really poor just 3 days ago?

Julian Wait
44 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:10:35
No complaints, away after a tough away day in Europe, we get three goals, three points, and weÂ’re climbing the table just in time.

And Chelsea just scored, so things might further improve if they can get one more.

Ray Roche
45 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:12:34
Dave, for the 1st goal Osman played it to Baines who crossed for EtoÂ’o.
Michael Penley
46 Posted 26/10/2014 at 16:58:22
Nothing wrong with being happy with a win, but itÂ’s good our fans always want us to improve - NSNO and all that. I would like to see us take on more one-on-one situations. Trying to pass our way through defences (or around them) ALL the time is far too predictable.

Coleman and Baines are exceptions, and Barkley - although not today. Once the opposition have figured out weÂ’re not going to take them on all they have to do is stay tight and sit behind the ball.

Dave Duggan
47 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:14:36
Ray And in te build up etoÂ’o played it to lukaku who layed it off again and etoÂ’o played it to osman. Is that not holding up a ball? Some people only like to critisise on here.
Ray Roche
48 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:16:54
OK, Dave, I thought you meant later in the move, the assist...and youÂ’re right, some people can only see the downside of players.
James Carlisle
49 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:15:07
No one but EtoÂ’o shone really. But 3-1 with an under par display is very encouraging. Our defence is looking nearly back up to scratch and weÂ’re starting to put our chances away.
Mark Taylor
50 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:09:53
LukakuÂ’s touch is poor, always has been. ItÂ’s why Mourinho didnÂ’t fancy him and there arenÂ’t too many better judges. HeÂ’s also surprisingly ineffective in the air for such a big lad. However he does have other attributes, namely power, a reasonable turn of pace, a decent shot in either foot and a happy knack of finding the back of the net, even with scuffs. I donÂ’t think thatÂ’s a 㿈m package but thatÂ’s what he offers, frankly he isnÂ’t suddenly going to learn better ball control at this stage of his career, so weÂ’d be better off playing to his strengths and telling him to stay in the opponents half.

Otherwise it was pretty turgid at times, but an away win is always a positive, even against probably the worst side in the division. Much of what I saw, I already know; our full backs are our most potent attacking threat, Howard is prone to headless chicken moments and canÂ’t command his 6 yard box, Ossie canÂ’t last 90 minutes, Nais runs around a lot (this time to less effect) and EtoÂ’o is still a class act. Shame we canÂ’t fuse him and Lukaku together- weÂ’d have one awesome player.

Difficult to comment on the defence since Burnley were pretty toothless, though personally I still have kittens when Jags and Alcaraz are dicking around at the back.

Paul Hewitt
51 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:26:42
Lukaku first touch and control for a big man are shocking, and donÂ’t tell me heÂ’s only young, heÂ’s 21. If he cant do them two things now he never will.
Jay Rollinson
52 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:27:53
Maybe those knocking Lukaku for failing to hold the ball up can help me out here, because that doesnÂ’t seem to be the problem for me. The problem (in my opinion) seems to be that he isnÂ’t actually trying to hold the ball up at all, instead he is continually trying to lay it off quickly with one or two touches to keep the short passing moves going but his touch just isnÂ’t up to it. He would surely be better just receiving the ball, using his strength to hold off the defender, then either playing it simple or trying to turn with it.
Ajay Gopal
53 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:33:21
"ItÂ’s not easy to compete in the Europa League and Premier League. Today it was about a lack on concentration at the start of the second half and then the head is gone. ItÂ’s hard to get the concentration." Pochettino after playing the EL game and the PL game both at home. So, in my mind Everton have done really well to draw away at Lille and winning away at Burnley. Credit to Martinez for getting his rotation policy spot on (in terms of results). 5 players were changed from the Lille game, but still managed to grind out a win. Nice... I think only Baines, Jagielka and Barry have played all the games so far (not counting the Capital Cup).
Graham Mockford
54 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:23:36
Mark Dunford " a relegation battle" really!

James Carlisle "an under par display" 3-1 away from home

John Voight (loving your work in Ray Donovan!) "Lukaku .... really poor" 4 goals in 6 games

Christopher Kelly "So mad that I just canÂ’t think about it or ill throw my phone." Great idea.

To paraphrase the great late Ian Dury, " there ainÂ’t half been some miserable bastards"

Paul Ferry
55 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:24:36
This constant gratuitous Alcaraz bashing is quite frankly getting a little silly and tiresome now. ItÂ’s a drumbeat for some and often like today has no bearing on reality.

He was one of our better players today after a shaky start.

Hint for Kieran (#16) and anyone else of that ilk: do what IÂ’m doing now - watching the game again - but this time with an open mind and tell me that Alcaraz either played poorly or is a heart-in-mouth sort of fella.

Compare him today with say Jags - who is getting better and better recently - and see how often Alcaraz got him out of trouble and how much better Alcaraz is on the ball.

But then again, why compare, they were good today against to be fair a team of nailed on relegation certainties. There are not many prem teams about whom you could say: I would not take a single one of their players.

Anyone who thinks that we did not deserve that or we are flattered by the result is nutty. Apart from a lively first quarter-of-an-hour Burnley were piss poor. Mind you that did not stop me from having a serious case of the Leicester/Arsenal heebeegeebees.

Something is good if you donÂ’t play that well and win 3-1 away in the Premiership at any gaff.

Mark Andersson
56 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:12:03
I agree with everyone on everything shite, great, what ever. 3 points is what we needed and what we got.

Shite game really but Burnley didnÂ’t break their duck, and that is apositive

Geoff Evans
57 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:39:32
For pityÂ’s sake I wish some people on here would get off RomÂ’s back, yes he fucked up today, but what was his response? He didnÂ’t hide, he didnÂ’t sulk he got on with it and put things right. The way some people have a go at the lad youÂ’d think he was an Italian with a funny, died haircut and blamed everyone else when things didnÂ’t go his way.
Mark Taylor
58 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:45:45
Yes that is true but in order to hold the ball up, you also need to be able to get it under control quickly, which is not LukakuÂ’s forte either.

We need to get him in positions where he is running at defenders and/or onto through balls, so heÂ’s facing goal, not with his back to it.

Brent Stephens
59 Posted 26/10/2014 at 17:57:41
Steve #31 "Why are none of the people slating Ossie complaining that Ross gave the ball away with both of his first 2 touches".

Ross actually gave the ball away with his first 3 touches. There again, he does look good going forward!

Keith Glazzard
60 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:15:47
Sunday evening, top half of the table, two great goals and 24 passes leading to RomÂ’s - a very good strikerÂ’s goal. Relax and enjoy.

Thought for the day - LukakuÂ’s 㿈 million was actually only half as much as we bought one and got one free.

Mark Dunford
62 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:18:53
Graham (55). Yes, if weÂ’d have taken 1 point from last two games then weÂ’d be third bottom with a negative goal difference now. WeÂ’d have played 9 games and have fewer points than games after a quarter of the season. Moreover, we were shipping goals for fun. We didnÂ’t do this and it has turned around, but it looked distinctly possible to a number of us after the Man Utd game. Very, very happy that this proved not to be the case and said this clearly in the earlier post which is clear if you made it to the end.

Kieran Riding
64 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:29:55
Phil #62.
Interesting idea about Rom learning off EtoÂ’o. When Drogba went back to Chelsea, thatÂ’s what I thought the plan would have been for Jose, Drogba to teach Rom the ways of being a right bloody handful of a centre forward.

EtoÂ’o has utter class and movement, and I buzz of the telly commentators saying heÂ’s " not as quick anymore " as I Deffo donÂ’t see it, heÂ’s got pace over a yard and thatÂ’s all what a striker needs isnÂ’t it ?

Ben Jones
65 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:25:58
I swear, work all Sunday serving hungry holiday makers roasts, didnÂ’t watch any of the game but happy that we win 3-1 on my phone.

Come on ToffeeWeb to read a decent summary of the game then the comments are ridiculous. 75% of comments are just slagging off individual players rather than the win. ItÂ’s put a real downer on ya!

Why canÂ’t we just say well done Everton for a good away win, instead of "this guy is crap, but at least we won"

Dave Abrahams
66 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:04:25
IÂ’d rather listen to the so called moaners who tell the truth, in my opinion than blue tinted glasses brigade who happy with the result no matter how the team have played.
Steve Pugh
69 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:24:19
Brent #60, he does look good going forward, and the fitter he gets the better heÂ’ll be. But I didnÂ’t notice him play Baines in so that he could cross for Etoo to score, nor did I notice him cross for Nais to put a header onto the bar. The one thing I did see them both do was go past 3 players before being brought down and losing it. Ref gave a foul on Ossie, canÂ’t remember on Ross.
Patrick Murphy
70 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:36:36
Denis - I believe that it is more than healthy for fans to entertain the idea that the style of football is also to be scrutinised no matter what the final result. Accepting the result in isolation is not the correct way to gauge the standard of the team also by its very nature football can mislead and very often does, hoping to see some improvement in various aspects of the team is a good thing - that doesnÂ’t mean we as fans wonÂ’t accept three points regardless of how they are achieved but rather that we would like to see RobertoÂ’s team firing on all cylinders at all times a tough ask, but not an invalid one, that is what Everton should be about, in my humble opinion.
Conor McCourt
71 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:00:59
I like the selective memory some have on here. When we signed EtoÂ’o out of a thread of about 100 comments only 3 of us were delighted, with others wanting Danny fucking Wellbeck. I donÂ’t think WellbeckÂ’s mum would even dare to say that even if Samuel is coming on 70, he has pedigree and class something Wellbeck will never have.

ThereÂ’s Jim Bennings on ripping the arse out of Lukaku saying he wished he was like Bony and if I remember correctly you wanted Bony and Wellbeck instead of Lukaku and EtoÂ’o. The much heralded Bony has scored 4 league goals yet Lukaku who is going through the worst time in his career has still fired in the same. I guarantee come May neither Bony or Wellbeck will see LukakuÂ’s arse in terms of goals should he stays fit.

Also today some are once again questioning Alcaraz and Jags which I find bizarre. On Thursday I could have played centre half as we had to deal with 1 centre forward with two sitting full backs and three centre midfielders who worked tirelessly to protect them. But today Burnley played with two up front yet our full backs played very offensively and our 2 sitting midfielders didnÂ’t give great protection and Ossie hardly lifted a leg. I thought our centre halves were excellent today with tough conditions and little help from the rest of the team. Only for EtoÂ’oÂ’s performance either of them would have done for me for MotM.

Great weekend for all blues with our serious challengers for a top four place all failing to pick up three points except for Arsenal. COYB

John Voigt
72 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:29:11
Graham (#55)

1st off spell my name correctly if youÂ’re going to be critical of my posts!

IÂ’ve been a big backer of Lukaku on ToffeeWeb partly because of all of the negative posts.

I wrote: "Also IÂ’ve been a big Lukaku supporter but today he was really poor. " (ThatÂ’s true).

I went to say heÂ’s scored 4 times in 9 games with an assist (also true). HeÂ’s been an asset to Everton this season, but today we didnÂ’t see him at his best.

I have no idea why you posted what you did (except to write negative dribble about other posters). It servers no purpose other than maybe making you feel better about yourself than maybe you should.

Ray Robinson
73 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:45:15
I am pleased with the win even though it wasnÂ’t a vintage performance. If people want to come on here and slag players off for the hell of it, yes thatÂ’s negative. However, Osman really was piss poor today (though I can see his positives), Lukaku clearly is uncomfortable receiving the ball with his back to goal (to see how it should be done, watch Drogba against Man Utd. On the positive side, McCarthy, Jags and Barry were great today and EtoÂ’s is sheer class. Baines improved when Pienaar came on but was generally subdued, as was Coleman. The result was great but the performance did leave a lot to be desired. ThatÂ’s just being realistic and truthful.
Kevin Tully
74 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:39:15
Fairly disgusted with EtoÂ’o, had us down for a 4-1 win @ 35/1, then he goes and misses an open goal!

I thought we set up perfectly, knowing they would tire in the last fifteen. That first goal was delicious, could watch it all day. We shouldnÂ’t underestimate the effort Burnley put in, they were playing for their P.L. lives.

Loved the pre-match words from Martinez concerning squad rotation - Â’We are a big club, and we need to have a big club mentality.Â’ Correct sir.

With all the money thatÂ’s been spent across the League this season (even Hull blew over 㿊m) there will be many Â’upsetsÂ’ in games including the usual suspects. The C.L. places have never been so wide open.

We are slowly getting back to our passing best, so the impatient children amongst us can hopefully climb out of their prams, and pick up all their toys!

Henrik Lyngsie
75 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:19:35
With EtoÂ’o playing like this Roberto got a positive selection problem. I have got the idea that possibly Baines and EtoÂ’o could form a great partnership at the left. EtoÂ’o seems to be a classy and intelligent player, and maybe he would be better suited than Osman at the left and then Barkley can be back in behind Lukaku.
Mike Childs
76 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:45:15
I thinking Jose didnÂ’t favor Lukaku not because of his touch but because he doesnÂ’t help out defensively a must for Jose plus like a spoiled child he wanted it all handed to him. He deserves praise today because he didnÂ’t hang his head and went out and scored the game winner.

I WasnÂ’t pro Eto or against him but IÂ’m now glad he is on our team. I Also hope that Barry can give us more than the 2 plus years left on his contract. He is the glue the calming influence. Baines on fire playing probably the best ball I have seen him play.

Phil Walling
77 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:46:13
Connor, you donÂ’t see us as challengers for Top Four on the basis of two wins against relegation fodder do you ? ThereÂ’s optimism and blind bloody hope.Guess which category you fit into ?
Trevor Lynes
78 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:44:58
Unfortunately a lot of fans on here think we have a divine right to win every game despite lacking funds and having injuries to key players.

They go to every game expecting us to play brilliantly and win every match.Opposition players are not taken into account and if anyone makes a mistake then God help him.To my mind I reckon most of these critics are wearing blinkers and just see negatives.

We beat Burnley away from home without playing well and that is without Mirallas, Kone, Oviedo and Stones.Not bad in my book !!

Patrick Murphy
79 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:59:50
Gareth Barry said in his interview on Sky that when Burnley equalised it was because Everton were guilty of maybe taking their foot off the gas - this is what Roberto has to address - he has to tell the players that they shouldnÂ’t be taking their foot off the gas at any stage of the game unless of course they are winning by a huge margin. If we the supporters and more importantly the players want to achieve something tangible we have to rid ourselves of this trait of becoming too comfortable too soon in matches.
Stephen Brown
80 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:53:25
Some observations from today:

EtoÂ’o oozes class and must have been some player to watch in his prime but he seems to have taken us to heart. His body language is very positive in all games so far.

Lukaku plays a bit like Anichebe but his scoring record is excellent! A striker who scores I will take that!

Barry and Jags have returned to some sort of decent form and have used their experience effectively over last few games.

Baines is a world class full back!

Alcarez is no world beater but not half as bad as some on TW like to make out!

Overall we are a decent side thatÂ’ll win a lot more games than we lose and with a bit of luck and boldness could challenge for fourth or win a cup !! ( even though every game I watch is a bit of an ordeal on the nerves!!)

Mike Childs
81 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:01:10
Going to be tough no doubt Phil. Arsenal are the luckiest team on the planet 2 more gift goals this weekend. West Ham have finally stepped in to this century. Southampton spent better than anybody and United spent more than anybody.
A lot of tough competition for those last two openings only justice is RS suck and are headed for the relegation battle.
Kevin Tully
82 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:03:01
Well Phil guess what? We started off this season at 7/1 for a top 4 finish - we are now 6/1 and 11/2 with some bookies!

So Conor, all bookmakers and even Jamie fucking Carragher think we will be challenging. ItÂ’s a shame that you do donÂ’t really - but I guess that sums up your whole attitude towards Everton these days. Or maybe you just love the attention of spouting bollocks on here every day.

Mike Iddon
83 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:04:20
In last week, 6 points, 6 goals for, 1 against plus a 0-0 away to Lille in EL to stay top of group. Usual ToffeeWeb moaners, quality entertainment.
John Malone
84 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:45:46
I canÂ’t stand Lukaku he reminds me of James Beattie a great big dope! He makes Anichebe look busy! Jelavic tidy! Razinsky good in the air!

Samuel EtoÂ’o is head and shoulders the best striker at the club and IÂ’ve no doubt when Kone is back to full fitness he will be more dangerous than Lukaku.

EtoÂ’o to start next game up top Lukaku to play super sub.

Denis Richardson
85 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:52:09
Patrick 71, am not saying people should accept the result and nothing else. However reading through these posts youÂ’d think weÂ’d lost the game! We won the game and deservedly so, no luck involved like the Wolfsburg game, where they laid siege on our goal the whole of the second half.

Example - LukakuÂ’s getting slated for not holding the ball up well enough. The guys 21 and still learning ffs. Last time I looked the main job of a striker is to score and heÂ’s bagged 4 in the last 6 games - pretty shite right? I couldnÂ’t care less if he sat on the touch line for 80 mins every game scratching his arse so long as he puts the ball in the oppos net.

Very rarely is a performance going to be perfect and I think a fair few people on here just canÂ’t seem to enjoy a win and accept there will always be things that need proving. Always need to find something to moan about. Always seems to be Â’happy with the result but xyz was shiteÂ’.

I could moan about Ossie starting the game but IÂ’m not going to as the only important thing was to get 3 points and no new injuries. We managed that and actually looked good for quite long periods of the game - away from home. Would say there is a lot more to be pleased about than not at the minute and its been a very good 7 days for the club.

Wayne Smyth
86 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:49:49
When people talk about LukakuÂ’s fee, they need to remember that in some ways we didnÂ’t buy a "㿈M striker".

We bought someone who clearly isnÂ’t at that level yet, but has the potential to be one of the best strikers in the world in 4 or 5 years.

They also need to look at his scoring record. For all the very valid criticisms that people make about his overall play, he still has a very good strike rate this year of 1 in 2, while carrying an injury. Ultimately strikers are measured on their goals.

He has also scored more league goals at his age than any other top striker I believe. More than Messi, Ronaldo, Aguero, Neymar, Rooney, Ibrahimovic, Suarez, Costa, Van Persie, Falcao, Costa and EtoÂ’o.

I think if you go back and look at some of their performances at 21, theyÂ’d be a bit rough around the edges. In short, if weÂ’re buying 21 year old players that arenÂ’t the finished goods, people need to be accepting of mistakes and that things they do arenÂ’t going to be perfect.

Aside from the fact heÂ’s banging in 1 in 2 while injured and with the pressure of a massive fee hanging over his head, a few things give me hope about LukakuÂ’s long term future.

First is that he clearly has ambition to learn, second is that he puts playing first team football and developing ahead of being at a rich club but being stuck on the bench. Finally, in EtoÂ’o he probably has one of the best teachers we could wish for. A world-class star who has been there and done it and still exudes quality in spades.

Mark Dunford
87 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:40:56
Graham (69). WeÂ’ll have to beg to differ. IÂ’ll write it clearly with no mixed metaphor. I wrote about being on the verge of relegation struggle which was simply something discussed on the forum during and after the Man Utd fixture - the fact we kept dropping points, were conceding goals and had a number of injuries to key players (Mirallas, etc) were factors people (plural) discussed in this thread. On the verge - means on the edge, the fringe or near to.

Most people look at the table after a quarter of the season to get a sense of where they are - by this stage each side should have a played a reasonable range of teams and it is easy to see where teams are headed. After the Man Utd game there was a consensus that Villa was a tricky game and Burnley was hard to predict. Some foresaw a loss to Villa and a draw at Burnley. My own post simply said we needed at least four points which meant a win and a draw. We have done better than I - and others - anticipated.

There will obviously be movement in the table between now and the end of the season but evidence suggests the mid table is tight and that there are two superior teams in Chelsea and City and two poor ones in QPR and Burnley. Some like Southampton or West Ham will probably fall away at Xmas or Easter when the fixtures pile up.

IÂ’m very happy to have won the past two games. No misery here at all. However, Ian Dury was vastly overrated and Reasons to be Cheerful was always dreadful cockney sentimentality.

Phil Walling
88 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:06:57
Experts on SS saying that the Europa Â’will do for usÂ’ as far as a Premier challenge is concerned. Personally, I donÂ’t think weÂ’ve enough quality players or the sheer numbers to put us in contention. But as somebody once said, Â’Show me a man without hope and IÂ’ll show you a man with nothingÂ’.

That must be why IÂ’m always skint !

Gavin Ramejkis
89 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:04:55
Patrick do you know the one thing I have always enjoyed as an Everton fan and itÂ’s on those utterly rarest of occasions when they give someone a proper clinical and ruthless doings and simply donÂ’t ease off, the fans would be drooling for months off the back of spanking a side by a rugby score where the opposition manager was screaming for the final whistle and unable to throw the towel in, games like that stick in the mind for a long long time, title winning sides always have an amazing goal difference and the sheer fear of an absolute dicking is enough to put certain managers into submission before a ball is kicked.
Brian Harrison
90 Posted 26/10/2014 at 18:59:15
I guess I must be the only one who thinks our approach is too negative. Yesterday I said I hoped we would start quickly and not let Burnley get a foothold in the game, and that is exactly what we did. I thought at last RM is going to let them off the hook and really take Burnley apart, but as Gareth Barry suggested they again having gone in front took their foot off the pedal. There equaliser came after we had made something like 20 passes in our own half then played the ball to Lukaku, now instead of being positive and turning with the ball he tried to play it back 20 yards to a defender. That now seems to be our mindset the players first thought is to play back or square, rather than try and play the ball forward. I donÂ’t see any of the top sides making 20-25 passes in their own half, and the disappointing thing for me is that when we do move the ball quickly forward we look a very exciting side.

I know people will point out our goals for record which is good, but we scored 3 against Villa but the performance wasnÂ’t a 3-0 performance. Today I felt if we had carried on in the same way as the first 5 minutes this game could all have been over by half time.

Ian Bennett
91 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:18:13
Thought EtoÂ’o was top class, a whisker from a deserved hat trick.

Against the bottom half he is a must. He might not be as quick as he used to be, but he has more than enough for average defenders to plunder some goals. A big positive.

Lukaku looked poor, but a goal is a goal, so letÂ’s hope h picks up at the old lady next Saturday,

Ian Bennett
92 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:23:23
And Baines looks happier. His movement and pace look better, as are his assists.
Denis Richardson
93 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:10:24
For those not happy with Lukaku, should remember that it wasnÂ’t that long ago that we had McFadden and Stracqualursi leading our line!
Peter Bell
94 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:12:44
EtoÂ’o was running about like he was the 21 year old today,
Lukaku was running about like he was the 33 year old.
Cannot understand all these people who seem to think that Lukaku work rate is going to get better as he gets older
Mark Dunford
95 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:23:07
Graham (69) Just went from writing here to look at Guardian review of the game which reads: A game bookended by his wonderfully taken goals brought a second successive win for Everton. Eight days after they were perched precariously above the relegation zone, they clambered into the top half of the table. Perhaps, you might want to post there too. There is a nice line about EtoÂ’oÂ’s elusiveness which seems to summarise his talent.
Peter Bell
96 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:26:55
Stacqualursi worked his socks off and the fans loved him for it.
Maybe Lukaku could try doing the same.
Paul Hewitt
97 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:29:53
IÂ’m sure we won today?
Stephen Brown
98 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:28:10
On Lukaku the worst ( or best) thing that can happen is he maintains his 1 goal in 2 (approx) strike rate and helps us win a trophy or he is sold on aged 24 for 30million plus!

He is a young man who will surely improve ?! HeÂ’s not playing particularly well at the moment but continues to score at a good rate! I will take that

Wayne Smyth
99 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:22:31
Phil, there is hope and there is expectation. My realistic hope is top 4. My expectation is top 7.

I think top 4 is achievable, quite simply because there are only 2 outstanding teams in the league. Look at how dodgy our start has been. People were calling for RobertoÂ’s head a few weeks ago, someone - the name escapes me - said his tactics were old-hat, ineffective, that heÂ’d been found out and needed to change his philosophy.

Now look at the league table. 1 point behind Man Utd. 2 points behind RS. 1 point ahead of Spurs. 2 points behind Arsenal who are in 5th. WeÂ’re a massive 4 points off a Champions League spot. All those teams will be talked up by the pundits as being CL material, why not us?

Even with a tricky start that has seen us face Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and the RS in the first 9 games, weÂ’re actually doing ok and weÂ’re still in contention. The RS, Arsenal, Utd and Spurs are all looking incredibly poor this season and there is no reason we canÂ’t finish ahead of them.

I would also agree with Gavin regarding the need to give a team a tonking. ItÂ’s disappointing we donÂ’t go for it when we score one, but IÂ’m hoping that will come as confidence improves.

Christopher Wallace
100 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:21:28

Not enough quality players?! What planet do you live on?

We look as good/better than Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and United. We have more quality players than West Ham and Southampton.

As ever, it will be tough to break into top 4. However, weÂ’ve shown in nearly every recent season that weÂ’re capable of going on long, unbeaten runs with plenty of wins. I reckon 4th place will finish on a lot less than our 72 points last year, so weÂ’ve got to be in with a chance.

Wayne Smyth
101 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:34:09
Peter, I agree completely regarding the comparative work rates of Lukaku and EtoÂ’o. I have a few comments though.

Firstly what makes you think his work-rate will not improve while learning from someone like EtoÂ’o who clearly has a superb attitude? Was his work-rate poor last season?

Secondly, are you aware he is carrying a toe injury and has been all season as far as I can fathom?

Denis Richardson
102 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:34:00
Peter 97 - remind me, exactly how many goals did Stracq score?

100% effort with no end product gets you no where. WeÂ’re not in the conference ffs.

ItÂ’s also very unfair to say that Lukaku doesnÂ’t try or doesnÂ’t put in a shift. Which I presume is what youÂ’re suggesting. The guyÂ’s playing AND scoring whilst injured, but I guess thatÂ’s not enough and people would rather fondly look back to stracq running around like a headless chicken, clearly out of his depth, waiting for someone to put him out of his misery.

Colin Glassar
103 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:40:05
IÂ’ve said it before and IÂ’ll say it again, after Chelsea and city thereÂ’s bugger all to worry about? Arsenal? Rs? Spurs? I think Southampton might be a bigger threat to us than that shower.
Kevin Tully
104 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:27:08
EvertonÂ’s top scorers in the League before Lukaku bagged his 15 last season reads as (from 2012/13) ; 11,9,8,13,8,15,11,10,11,9,11,6,9,12,9,11,10.....So why some want to berate a young lad who will give at least another 15 goals this season is beyond me.

Our past strikers could barely get out of single figures, yet that boy almost guarantees a goal every two games.

Graham Mockford
105 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:39:09

My point was to talk about relegation is quite obviously nonsense. The fact you can go from being perched above the relegation zone ( only the media would use such a lazy phrase) to 9th in two weeks would suggest it is still early days.


Sorry for spelling your name wrong. You were fantastic in Midnight Cowboy by the way.

Anthony Burke
106 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:40:06
I Will never be a lukaku basher he is quality and knows weÂ’re the net is he made a mistake for there goal it didnÂ’t bite us on the backside heÂ’s human not machine IÂ’d like to see etoÂ’o and lukaku being a regular fixture now letÂ’s get on a decent run and let the rest of the league know we mean business COYB!!!!
Paul Burns
107 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:30:30
People seem to be getting their knickers in a twist about criticism of the team or certain players despite the fact we won. Well, you canÂ’t fool all the people all of the time and, despite improved results, I think people have the right to still be critical because we still can and should be doing a lot better with the players we have.

At no time in the previous two games did I ever think we had any kind of control over the game; it would have been quite easy for us to throw both away and thatÂ’s not really on against two very average sides because there are far bigger challenges ahead of us if we are finally to put a trophy on the table.

Denis Richardson
108 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:49:01
IÂ’ll save you the trouble Pete as Google can be very useful.

Everton career- 20 appearances, 1 goal. Better get his agent on the line so we can get that work rate back!

Sam Hoare
109 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:38:18
My ratings for what itÂ’s worth:

Howard- 6. Not alot to do but questionable angles at times. Might have positioned himself better for their goal.

Baines- 8. Top notch. Great cross for the first and generally one of our best players with the ball.

Jagielka- 8. Back to his best almost. Mopped up alot of dangerous situations and few distribution mistakes.

Alcaraz- 7. One or two hairy moments but mostly solid. Able to often find midfielders with to-feet passes which is invaluable to our retention. Ahead of Distin for me at the moment.

Coleman- 6. Came alive at the end but was mostly very subdued/well shackled. Still getting back sharpness.

Barry- 6. Did some good things and did some bad things. Mostly solid with the ball without really ever catching the eye.

McCarthy- 6. Similar to Barry. Solid but not spectacular. A better team may have carved out more chances against us given some of the space afforded them but then he does cover alot of ground. I hope to be able to say more about him than that in the near future.

Naismith- 5. Bit harsh perhaps but thought it was his worst game for us in a while. Lost posession quite alot although his work ethic was brilliant as ever.

Osman-5. Similar to Nais he lost the ball quite alot and apart from his ball to baines for the first did not do enough for me in a team of our ambition.

Lukaku- 6. Could easily be a 5 or worse were it not for the goal. He lost the ball a number of times most noticeably of course for their goal. With his size he really should be able to hold the ball up better. So long as he is scoring all is forgiven but the other aspects of his game continue to be a concern.

EtoÂ’o- 9. Probably deserves a 10 but I believe you should never score perfection. Was a class apart and linked play beautifully while also scoring two peaches. Thought he would be tired after midweek but kept running.

Barkley- 6. Lost the ball with all 4 of his first touches! Improved a bit after that and had some good moments as he adjusted to the game.

Pienaar- 6. Tidy. Linked play well and should have been brought on earlier for Osman to my eyes.

Colin Glassar
110 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:51:14
Graham, IÂ’ve already used the midnight cowboy pun on poor John. He must be bored of it by now.
Lukaku seems to be like marmite on here. Personally IÂ’m made up with the lad and he will only get better with time.
Stephen Brown
111 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:54:36
Sam(110) I think I watched the same game as you !! Although IÂ’d give Barry a 7 !!!
Peter Bell
112 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:50:02
Denis @ 103
For the record, Strac signed in Jan until the end of the season on loan scored four goals and cost F""" all.
His goals per minutes played ratio probably is not much worse than your hero who cost 28 M
but what he does win hands down is the workrate contest
Peter Bell
113 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:59:00
Denis, I go the match, so your google figures are crap, If he only scored one goal according to google how do I remember him scoring against Chelsea, Fulham and Blackpol
Andrew Ellams
114 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:50:32
Between Premier League and Europa League we have conceded 9 in the last 9, not the horror show that is being painted really.
Sean Roberts
115 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:55:17
I donÂ’t for one moment think lukaku has turned into a bad player this season. LetÂ’s be fair the whole Everton team are not reaching the level we were last time. I donÂ’t know why or how to put it right but complaining about individual players who are sent out onto the pitch do do a job for us doesnÂ’t help anyone. LetÂ’s get behind the team and hope that we have now started our season. We have played arsenal, United, Chelsea and the shite out of our first games so we are doing ok really. Not brilliant but ok. Keep the faith boys and get behind the team !!!
Graham Mockford
116 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:54:52
Paul #108

I was at both the last two games and I beg to differ. We were the better side by some distance in both games. We scored SIX the opposition scored ONE.

Could we be better, yes we could. But is that not usually the case. By the way we achieved the same result exactly as Chelsea.

My view is we have momentum and by Christmas we will be top 4 and in the final 32 of the Europa league. Have some faith the School of Science is back.

Conor McCourt
117 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:27:19
Phil no I donÂ’t really base my opinion on two games but before the season I was really worried about even maintaining 5th considering we have Europa league football and the challenges that brings. I thought finishing in the top six may have been improvement if thatÂ’s not contradictory especially since we lost Dellboy and replaced him with Atsu who is not in the same class. In addition I thought Spurs and United would be a lot better than in the previous year due to the calibre of manager they brought.

So far I feel we have a realistic chance of top four as what could go wrong has gone wrong in terms of injuries, bad luck, sudden decline of Distin, Martinez decision to have a slow pre-season and of course the worst fixture list of any team in the league.

As you have heard me defend our team and our performances in numerous occasions it is because I can only think of Palace where we were second best and even in that game had Howard not give them two goals we may have won that game too. Usually when a team is seventeeth they are consistently being outplayed but not us despite mitigating circumstances. Yes we will have bad periods again but not when we have all those circumstances together.

If I needed any more proof I live in Belfast so have to deal with a lot of glory hunters who follow the top teams and three different guys whose opinion I would value have all told me that we were the best team their respective teams Chelsea, United and Arsenal have faced this season. So its strange for me reading ToffeeWeb as I see so many Evertonians bashing our team when we go toe-to-toe with all the big boys and their vast riches and referee/media fanclub and ludicrous, idiotic talk of relegation.

Colin Glassar
118 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:03:02
Peter, you arenÂ’t serious are you? Are you really saying you prefer Count Straqula over Lukaku? We all loved Straq for his effort but honestly, he was embarrassingly awkward at times. A nice lad but probably a conference level player or league 2 at a stretch.
Dave Lynch
119 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:06:19
Weird the way we differ in our opinions.

I honestly thought Barry was MotM, never stopped working and trying to break up play, very rarely gave the ball away cheaply either.

One thing Everton need to do and that is keep playing at tempo, after we scored the first goal it was as if we forgot their was a football match on.

That passing for passing sake still winds me up to fuck though, there appears to be no rhyme or reason to it.

Christopher Wallace
120 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:08:58

Bit harsh on Naisy - nice assist, hit the bar, close to a wonderful goal at end, and usual high work-rate - defo deserved more than 5.

Thought Barry had a very good game also, a 7 or 8 maybe. The rest seem about right.

Dave Duggan
121 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:05:33
Peter (#113),

Stracq was signed in the summer on deadline day I think, not January. We didnÂ’t see him till around January but that was because he was utter gash!

Hard worker, yes, terrible at football, definitely! Are you seriusly comparing StracqÂ’s goals to LukakuÂ’s?

We have had tireless runners in th past and guess what it doesn’t give you much to show for it at the end of the day. Goal scorers are hard to come by – just be thankful we have one, for fuck’s sake!

Kieran Riding
122 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:14:58
Lukaku has only got 4 in his last 6 games the lazy get.
id deffo be making enquiries about another loan for Straq in January, now that lad could trap a bag of cement !
Colin Glassar
124 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:16:40
Nessie and Ossie were played out of position, they are not wingers, so I find it hard to criticise them for being shite. McCarthy was also ineffective as was Seamus. Barry was my MotM.
Colin Glassar
125 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:19:26
To be fair to Straq he did make Beattie look like Christiano Ronaldo.
John Raftery
126 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:08:36
Great result at the end of a good week for the club. We are top of our Europa group, climbed to 9th in the league, used the squad to rest some key players such as McCarthy and Coleman while EtoÂ’o has shown today what a class act he is. Obviously the team is not firing on all cylinders yet but given how tough the fixture schedule has been we are in a decent position going into November.
Mohammed Horoub
127 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:13:44
Great result, not the best performance but 3 pts are in the bag. Frustration levels with Lukaku are rising. For 㿈 million you would hope a striker has the basics of playing with his back to goal! EtoÂ’o was class and deserved the hat trick to cap off his MotM performance. With regards to the Straq discussion above these are the facts:

He joined On loan In August not January (with Drenthe)
He scored 3 goals - 1 Prem, 2 FA Cup.
If Lukaku can develop 50% of StraqÂ’s work rate then he will become a Top 10 striker.
I like Martinez but he has put all his chips on #10. When he signed I thought it was a good investment but that has been downgraded now to a slightly risky gamble.

Kieran Riding
128 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:25:22
John #127
You need to moan about something please mate. It was Â’onlyÂ’ Burnley away ? Lukaku went off with an injury ? Ross has lost his focus since the Daily Star has linked him with City ?
Phil Walling
129 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:26:04
Cloud fucking cuckooland, all of yous !!!!!
Darren Hind
130 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:25:57
I think we all need to accept that playing on Thursdays will Always come at a price.

The football may not have been amazing, but a decent result against decent opposition followed by a relatively comfortable three points early on Sunday ?

Job done Robbie lad

Graham Mockford
131 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:34:04
Phil Walling

But itÂ’s a much better place than fucking Wigan!

Stephen Brown
132 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:31:52
Preferring Strac to Lukaku is a bit like wanting Earl Barrett to come in for Coleman to improve the attacking right back options!
Jamie Crowley
133 Posted 26/10/2014 at 19:50:11
Well done Everton for a good away win.

Says it all really.

There ya go Ben @66.

Colin Glassar
134 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:35:10
Calm down Phil, itÂ’s just a friendly discussion amongst Evertonians. You probably expected us to get beat so you could go on about how useless Roberto is and how his brown shoes give you a migraine. Not too worry, thereÂ’s another game soon and you can sharpen your knives just in case.
Christopher Wallace
136 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:34:33
People keep banging on about LukakuÂ’s lack of work-rate. Do you want your lone striker tracking back, chasing running the flanks, expending needless energy all over the place??

IÂ’d rather he leaves that to the other 9 players and concentrates on playing the width of the 18 yard box, few more turns and shots, and getting on the end of a few more crosses.

He still needs to sharpen up though, thatÂ’s for sure.

Even when Lukaku wasnÂ’t scoring, the team were scoring for fun. A coincidence or directly related? Not sure, but a few of those goals were as a result of Rom occupying more than one defender and taking them out of the equation.

Anyway, 20 goals please big man to ram down the throats of your critics (or ex-critics at that point).

John Raftery
137 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:39:09
Kieran # 129 I thought Marriner was awful and it took forever to exit the Stand after the final whistle. Will that do?!
Oscar Huglin
138 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:40:07
Si Mar #3: "Would you take 㾻 million for Rom?!"

No. The kid is 21 and the only players who have scored more than him in the Premier League over the last 2 years have been Suarez, Van Persie and Aguero. Two of the best players in the world (Biter and Aguero) and one world class finisher.

His first touch and hold up play is poor. Those are both things which can be improved with practice, and you can bet your bottom dollar Martinez is working on them with him at every opportunity.

Will people please get off LukakuÂ’s back and remember heÂ’s still got at LEAST a decade of his career to go. HeÂ’s scored the most league goals of ANY player by the age of 21. ThatÂ’s more than Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Henry... I could go on. HeÂ’s still a youngster, as hard as that is to believe, and he needs our support, not our over-criticism and over-expectation.

Who would you rather have... Balotelli?!

The negativity on this site never ceases to amaze me.

Robert Workman
139 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:37:43
Surprised that no one has slagged off the referee in relation to bookings. He booked most players for nothing fouls, but then when Arfield took out Barkley (?) in second half he played advantage. Was I the only one waiting for a break in play so that he could show a second yellow?
In fact the break didnÂ’t come for many minutes, by which time he had probably forgotten the incident.
One of their substitutes, Barnes (?) also committed a second bookable foul. Pleased to say that both these incidents were picked up on NBC coverage.

3 great goals today. How come some people (commentary, BBC report and someone here) thought LukakuÂ’s shot was Â’scuffedÂ’? If you watch the view from that side of the goal when the ball goes into the net, it looks like a deliberate low chipped shot and in no way scuffed.

Patrick Murphy
140 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:45:24
Somewhere in the EchoÂ’s website today it said that EvertonÂ’s final goal from EtoÂ’o was the one-hundredth scored in the 57 games since Roberto became manager 80 of them in 47 Premier League games - so despite the criticism of the team that is certainly an improvement on previous regimes although we have conceded 56 League goals in the same period which is probably more than we are used to.

Christopher Wallace
141 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:46:45
We were obviously very poor between the 1st goal and equaliser. Having re-taken the lead, the plan seemed to be to control the ball as much as possible, limit their chances and try to take one when we get the chance.

Not the most exhilarating of plans, but it proved effective. Can you imagine what this thread would be like if we went for the jugular and got caught out for another late 2-2 draw??

Kieran Riding
142 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:49:33
John, IÂ’m so glad you got a moan off you chest.
Patrick Murphy
143 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:52:10
Robert - I only noticed the foul on Barkley when they showed a replay and to my mind that was a straight red never mind a yellow and the foul on EtoÂ’o in the first half was also a naughty one but the referee didnÂ’t even give the free-kick.
Anthony Burke
144 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:48:47
IÂ’m with you chris he has the ability to bag 20 goals this season maybe 25 at a push heÂ’s a quality finisher people need to have faith
Rob Halligan
145 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:52:44
Tut tut John #1

38. Not like you to moan mate. Now coming home from krasnodar with Steve is definitely something to moan about!!!

Patrick Murphy
146 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:54:18
Christopher - thatÂ’s not really the point is it? If Everton are a better team than their opponents then it should show in the way the game is played and not by giving the initiative to a team that is miles below our level just shows that we are either not as good as I think we are or shows that us a team that doesnÂ’t know how to kill off opponents when they are clearly inferior.

I donÂ’t mean go crazy like we did in the first few games of the season but we will have to step up a couple of gears if we are to truly compete at the top end of the table. Momentum in football is everything and Everton shouldnÂ’t give it up so easily against any opponents - hopefully we will build on the last couple of games and start playing with more confidence, there is a quiet confidence there at the moment but I want swagger and style as well, being the greedy get that I am.

Jamie Barlow
147 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:47:12
Jon Withey@19, great post. Spot on. We have to remember how young Lukaku is. HeÂ’s got a lot to learn but is a great prospect. We seem to give our other young lads a lot more chances before we jump on them.

Baines was brilliant today and was my man of the match even though EtoÂ’o pinched it with his two brilliant goals. I still canÂ’t believe he plays for us. T


he lad is pure class.

Neil Wood
148 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:55:18
Well that was ١.76 wasted on my five-nil prediction; however, 3 points are all that matter.

Fixtures coming up are winnable and if we do win say the next three games, our outlook will be much brighter.

A little disjointed today and too many sloppy errors.

IÂ’m not AlcarazÂ’s biggest fan but at 2-1 today he made a few vital tackles and really shone through I thought. We are still lacking something though but canÂ’t put my finger on it.

Top 4 by Christmas and stay there... CÂ’mon!

Christopher Wallace
149 Posted 26/10/2014 at 21:05:04
Fair point Patrick, but I thought that was a pretty dominant win away from home, and we were superior for the majority of the game.

We scored 3 fantastic goals and hit the woodwork twice. They had one clear chance, which we gifted them.

WeÂ’ve seen quality displays in the past spoiled by failure to score. A comfortable, albeit sub-par, win is cause for celebration. Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Man City all failed to beat so-called inferior opponents following their Euro exploits this week. Arsenal and Everton were only Euro teams to record wins this weekend.

Mike Childs
150 Posted 26/10/2014 at 21:13:57
Way back Wayne S. Yes I have noticed the screwiness of this site. I type a reply to a different topic an hour ago and find in this topic credited to Phil W. I think. I was complementing another TW named Jeff for adopting 2 disable kids.
Mike Childs
151 Posted 26/10/2014 at 21:32:07
Also I agree that Barry deserved at the very least a 7.
Steavey Buckley
152 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:58:10
The team selection made sure Everton would struggle in midfield at different times in the match, because Everton had 3 similiar attacking midfield players in EtoÂ’o, Naismith and Osman; and with Coleman and Baines getting forward as wing backs, there was going to be untold pressure placed on McCarthy, Barry, Alcaraz and Jaigelka from Burnley, as they mounted spirited efforts to get something out of the game, especiallly, as they were in front of their own supporters. Why Martinez could not take Osman off (who was being overrun, at times) with Besic or Gibson, who are better holding midfield players, who can throw their weight about, was a mystery. And could have backfired in a swirling wind, that had no great respect for footballing ability or lack of it - the wind was a great equaliser of different abilities, at times.
Christopher Wallace
155 Posted 26/10/2014 at 21:38:36
For sure Mike. Sky mentioned before the game that Burnley averaged only 15 tackles per game.

Barry really showed them what they were missing in the Middle of the park. I wouldnÂ’t argue against him being motm, though Sammy prob just popped him and Baines to it.

Paul Gladwell
156 Posted 26/10/2014 at 21:43:13
I know his confidence looks low but 4 goals in the last month is not too bad, Lukaku isnÂ’t half getting some stick, yet many a blue still shows endless love whenever Jelavic scores for Hull, the same fella took thirteen months to score four goals.
Peter Laing
157 Posted 26/10/2014 at 21:45:36
WeÂ’ve got a winner in the team in the form of EtoÂ’o, the most decorated footballer in the history of African football and hopefully the father figure and mentor to Lukaku. EtoÂ’o has a big game temperament and with his wealth of experience both domestically and more importantly in Europe, he could become EvertonÂ’s 21st century version of Andy Gray.
Harold Matthews
158 Posted 26/10/2014 at 21:05:11
Delighted with the 3 points and EtoÂ’oÂ’s contribution. He has certainly lifted the bar. Also pleased with Bainsey, Barry and Alcaraz.

All a bit scrappy but a strong wind can do that to a game. Swerving high balls are a constant nightmare.

Great to have Coleman, McCarthy, Pienaar, Alcaraz and Barkley on the pitch. All still a bit rusty but games will bring back sharpness.

David Donnellan
159 Posted 26/10/2014 at 21:39:53
Good result, my only moan would be, that having watched the game on sky sports, the pundits of choice were them two RS twats, Souness & Carragher! WTF!! Maybe Sky will choose Reidy & Sharpy as the pundits for the shites next televised fixture!
Paul Dark
161 Posted 26/10/2014 at 22:04:01
Kieran 16: No, not at all - Alcaraz is a liability. Against better opposition he would (and I fear will) be found out.

Osman did well by his standards today. By any other standards though, he was dire.

Patrick Murphy
162 Posted 26/10/2014 at 22:05:12
David thatÂ’s the way it is on all the TV networks in the UK - they must have some RS representation as they are the best supported club in the country due to being everybodyÂ’s second team or so itÂ’s been reported. It is farcical that as well as having an over-reliance on ex-reds they also deem fit to have Alan Smith as co-commentator in most of EvertonÂ’s games. I have no axe to grind with the bloke but itÂ’s obvious that he prefers Arsenal and therefore he doesnÂ’t want the Toffees to do well. Souness I donÂ’t mind as he does portray a knowledge of the game on occasion, but even he gives in to the oft cited cliche that Everton/Spurs et al are unable to cope with European football and giving a good account of themselves in the PL, funny really as nobody seems to believe that CL football and doing reasonably well in the PL donÂ’t go together.

I wonder how much is scripted and how much is actually what the individual pundit believes - If you say something often enough it becomes the truth and obviously we as viewers are supposed to swallow the whole thing without question - I donÂ’t listen to most of the drivel - I literally donÂ’t listen and put music on in the background with the sound turned down it spoils the fun a bit as you donÂ’t get the crowd noise but it saves me going purple with frustration at some of the rubbish that most of them spout.

Jay Rollinson
163 Posted 26/10/2014 at 22:14:07
I donÂ’t see how Alcaraz deserves criticism for his performances in the past week. He was solid against Villa and again today. Misjudging one header was the only mistake he made all game. We all know heÂ’s not the quickest but he certainly looks more composed than Distin has this season.
Si Cooper
165 Posted 26/10/2014 at 21:52:25
Robert (140) - the slow mo from the other side shows he actually tops the ball into the turf and it then bounces and loops into the net.

IÂ’m not complaining though - the lad is trying and converting enough chances to keep me happy. Bad mistake for their goal but looks like he is committed to helping the team win in my opinion.

Do pros give each other shouts? A lot of balls into a man with time and space to turn and make something of it seem to get pinged back whence they came automatically. I suppose it is the percentage ball if you are not sure of whether you have been tracked or not, and these players should be able to do it without risk, but if it happens too often you would expect the attackers to start squeezing the space around the defender who has just played the ball forward.

Scrappy on occasions but generally a comfortable win today is my summary. Happy with the 3 points and think we can and will improve as key players return to match fitness.

Brent Stephens
166 Posted 26/10/2014 at 22:35:23
Good game from Alcaraz today.
Brent Stephens
167 Posted 26/10/2014 at 22:39:45
Patrick #71 totally agree. I didnÂ’t want to seem to be over-protective of you know who!
John Voigt
168 Posted 26/10/2014 at 20:33:02
Everton have the quality of a top 4 side. They made a decent run at it last year.

They can make a run at it again this year.

TodayÂ’s performance shows how quality moments win games. I assume EtoÂ’o is pleased with his switch to Everton. HeÂ’s a world class player and showed his class today.

Everton have the best pair of attacking defenders in the league with Baines and Coleman. This is pretty amazing based on EvertonÂ’s resources.

Add in a tandem of #9Â’s with Lukaku and EtoÂ’s that are better than anything Liverpool, Arsenal or Spurs have thereÂ’s a chance that Everton can finish higher than all the teams IÂ’ve mentioned (and Naismith is also scoring).

I really think the 3rd and 4th places in the league are wide open this year. Teams like Everton have players who are equal or better than the traditional top 4 sides and side like Liverpool, Man. United and Arsenal arenÂ’t better than Everton on many days.

Everton are starting to show the quality be all knew was in this side and it will be interesting with the upcoming games against sides not traditionally in the top 4 to see if Everton can make a push like they did last season and really compete for a top 4 spot.

Kase Chow
169 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:02:09
Terrific to get the 3 points after a tough European fixture
Denis Richardson
170 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:11:29
Peter 114 - I was referring to league goals but thatÂ’s besides the point. Our strike force today is miles better than is was just a couple of years a ago.

The Stracqs work rate is a bit irrelevant given he was crap at that level. If youÂ’d rather have him than Lukaku then weÂ’ll agree to disagree.

Kieran Riding
171 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:24:15
Just saw what Lawrenson has said about us and EtoÂ’o on motd2.
Utter tit.
Peter Z Jones
173 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:12:55
Feels good to win two in a row. ItÂ’ll be 5 after West Ham comes to town ;) It really is impressive how many goals weÂ’re scoring. Once some normalcy returns to our back line, and it inevitably will, nobody is going to want to play us.

The only gripe I have is the team selection. I think we won only because we had too much class for Burnley. But I thought it was strange how we played Osman and Naismith wide, where they are least effective. Osman doesnt have the pace. Naismith is a striker. Thought we established that. If weÂ’re going to play the two of them, surely we need to have some kind of winger less formation right? It would suit their skill sets better.

Atsu and McGeady really need to step up while Mirallas is out because that added width and pace eases some of the pressure and we donÂ’t have to be as intricate just to advance the ball further upfield. But all in all, good result if not the best performance.

Baines has been lights out this year. To me, heÂ’s got to be the player of the season so far. HeÂ’s contributed so much from an attacking perspective and is probably the only defensive player we have that hasnÂ’t committed an egregious error to gift away a goal to date.

Patrick Murphy
174 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:37:43
Kieran - what did Lawro say about EtoÂ’o and Everton?
Kieran Riding
175 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:41:51
Patrick " heÂ’s lost a yard of pace otherwise he would be at a top club "
Mike Childs
176 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:39:57
Peter Z. I love the confidence and I believe we can do it but just want to say this isnÂ’t your usual West Ham.
Si Cooper
177 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:44:42
Kieran - he actually said Â’, top club - no disrespect to Everton.Â’ He might be a RS but no need to make him out to be worse than he actually is.
Brian Furey
178 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:43:17
I too find Lukaku very frustrating even last year but facts are he still scores goals.
HeÂ’d be the first to admit heÂ’s has a terrible start to the season yet heÂ’s our joint top scorer.

Seeing EtoÂ’o today makes me enjoy watching Balls o telly even more. I just hope RM plays him a lot more now.
Top scorers

Patrick Murphy
179 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:47:19
Kieran - Thanks. How typical obviously nothing to do with the fact that the other crowd were supposed to be in for EtoÂ’o? I hope heÂ’s singing the same tune at the end of the season as Samuel scores the winner in a Cup Final.
Conor McCourt
181 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:26:31
Paul Dark I think your name sums up how you watched that game, perhaps with your eyes closed. IÂ’m very supportive of our players as much as possible and today was the first time ive attacked him on toffeweb but Osman was atrocious. His distribution was poor and had McGeady put in his work-rate then he would have been murdered on here, something which really surprised me given he had been crying about lack of game time so you would think heÂ’d be eager to impress.

Perhaps Alcaraz is not the long term answer and you might be right with his lack of pace against the elite teams but he was magnificent again today and I pray he stays fit as we have a great option to fight to partner Stones.

I really think Roberto may have to address the keeper situation as his main priority in January as Howard isnÂ’t up to being our number 1. He would be an excellent understudy though. At the time I thought he gifted the goal by coming off his line when he had no chance of getting it but maybe he wouldnÂ’t have saved it anyhow if he had stayed on his line. But watching it tonight again I was amazed. He had a great starting position so had he decided to come he would have easily cut it out. But then he decided to retreat four steps onto his goal line which was no problem were he to stay but then he daftly charged out which basically said here is a goal for you.

Zahir Jaffer
182 Posted 26/10/2014 at 22:57:23
This is absolutely hilarious. Half the comments are bickering about people to stop bashing out our performance. The other half are bashing out at our gritty win (with the odd exception of a few).

I, myself, am absolutely ecstatic. WeÂ’ve ground out a win, but it still hasnÂ’t made up for the times we outplayed Arsenal, Leicester and a few others, yet had nothing or only a point to show for it. Quite a fair few were going on about how theyÂ’d be happy with a win, no matter how shit we played, as long as we bagged those 3 points. Well this was one of days where it swung our way.

Lukaku played up top, didnÂ’t dilly dally on the wings and got his goal. Even though he assisted BurnleyÂ’s first and only goal, he made up with a scruffy goal. Needless to say, against top teams with a sharper defence, Lukaku may have not been able to make up for that shitter of a pass. Especially not the way he played to day.

Alcaraz had a dreadful day out today. Ossie was non existent.

I got really pumped up when I saw Barkley coming on, only to be let down. Barkley was no better than Ossie to be fair. Naismith seemed a bit confused on the wing. Each time he was out there one-on-one he was more than happy to settle for a throw in. DonÂ’t think we got more than 2 crosses from his side throughout the game. That even, I believe was ColemanÂ’s crosses/ layoffs. Coleman was average but you could still sense his presence on that right side. He broke on the counter a few times, and kept Burnley from pressing till very late. Jags was good, solid, better than the rest IÂ’ve mentioned so far. McCarthy was a bit more adventurous today, didnÂ’t work out too well, but I still liked that.

Baines and Barry caused complete havoc for Burnley from beginning to end. Barry and Baines were both orchestrating play magnificently and Burnley just couldnÂ’t deal with them.

EtoÂ’o was insanely quick today. It seemed like Barkley and Lukaku was sedated and EtoÂ’o was high on caffeine. He was the quickest player on the pitch, to every ball. Held play up, linked up play, and was immaculate with his shooting today. He was easily the difference between the two teams. That doesnÂ’t mean heÂ’s going to bring that vigour and class every week at his age. Next week our whole squad has got to raise their form, our some-one else has got to put in an exceptional performance like EtoÂ’o did today.

All in all, 3 more points in the bag, Spurs lost at home, Man Utd and Redshites drew, as well as Man City. Good weekend, great weekend in fact. More to be happy about than moan and groan about.

Kieran Riding
183 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:53:14
Si, IÂ’ve played it back and you are correct, although the Â’no disrespectÂ’ comment was added very hastily. IÂ’m not arsed either way with regards Lawrenson as heÂ’s a wrong un.

Patrick, I actually know about the transfer and how the RS were playing off EtoÂ’o to get other targets, and thatÂ’s what makes his form all the more enjoyable for me.

Patrick Murphy
184 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:57:53
Karl (181) - itÂ’s been a free-for-all as regards names attached to posts all evening, something must be awry with the server or software and Michael and Lyndon must be unaware of it.
Kieran Riding
185 Posted 27/10/2014 at 00:03:11
Oh, and just to add Si, having looked back, him saying EtoÂ’o is " officially 33 " is a bit naughty too isnÂ’t it ?
Conor McCourt
186 Posted 26/10/2014 at 23:58:23
Hope it was a good one Karl....I donÂ’t mind who mine gets attributed to as long as its not PhilÂ’s . Only teasing mate I like reading your posts as you are certainly your own man and your clearly as blue as anyone on here.
Colin Glassar
187 Posted 27/10/2014 at 00:21:52
Lawro had us down for a draw and the rs (surprise, surprise) a win. Bless his little red socks but heÂ’s a complete moron. I donÂ’t know why this dipshit gets under my skin but he does.
Mike Corcoran
188 Posted 27/10/2014 at 00:46:51
For our newbies. See them strikers, their job is to put it in the net, Job done. See that goalie, unlucky but he came off his line and tried to close it down. Small margins but thatÂ’s how it is. All our goals, and theirs, were beautiful. ThatÂ’s why we love footy. Good result on a bogey ground. I donÂ’t care how old Lawro thinks Sam is, the fella is pure class. And Leighton? Genius!
Harold Matthews
189 Posted 27/10/2014 at 00:57:44
Conor. Certain people will continue to heap abuse on certain players, even when they have performed well. McGeady wasnÂ’t playing so his weekly dose of vitriol had to be shifted elsewhere.
Peter Z Jones
190 Posted 27/10/2014 at 04:34:15
Mike 177. No it definitely isnÂ’t sir. WhatÂ’s that 6 in 6 for Sakho now? TheyÂ’re really on a roll and scoring a ton of goals as well so it should be a big challenge. But I think West Ham playing a more open game now suits us well on our own pitch. You never can be certain though. The prem is tighter than ever and this is Everton.
Peter Z Jones
191 Posted 27/10/2014 at 04:43:19
Si 166. Thank you for bringing up players never giving a shout! I donÂ’t get it either. We pass backwards wayyyyyyyyy too much in simple situations where a turn into space would begin an attack. And itÂ’s actually strange how we do it so much, the opposition actually sits on the back pass more than the potential turn, leading to us going all the way back to Howard unnecessarily.

It seems itÂ’s been drilled into them to play incredibly safe in the middle. Ironically, a loose back pass instead of an easy turn for Lukaku leads to the goal we concede. Funny game.

James Marshall
192 Posted 27/10/2014 at 08:23:39
We won 3-1 away from home, post-Europa league and some people still lay into the team. Weird. Football must be a joyless experience for a lot of you.

Personally I thought it was a good performance without really getting out of second gear, which shows what a good side we really are now weÂ’re getting players back. Coleman wasnÂ’t terribly sharp but he still gives the team much better balance. Alcaraz was steady today and made quite a few good tackles when Burnley were pressing - him and Jags held them at arms length for the most part which is all you can ask.

Macca and Barry both steady defensively as well, and Osman did the job he was there to do. EtoÂ’o is a class act in midfield as well as further up the pitch with his finishing - two great goals and almost a hat trick. His work playing deeper, linking up play and helping in midfield was fantastic last night (it was evening here in PP) and his ability & class is amazing. As Jamie said above, I still canÂ’t believe he plays for us.

Lukaku still getting stick as well - really? HeÂ’s a kid at 21 and his record is still pretty handy, 4 in 6 isnÂ’t it? He made an error, but that happens and ultimately it didnÂ’t matter. Plus he scored, and looked delighted doing it.

Nice to see Ross back, and after playing 90 in Lille it was the right decision to play him from the bench. He looked tired to me, which was understandable but all part of his rehab. Naismith had a quiet-ish game but his role in the first 11 is also invaluable in giving the team balance. When we get Mirallas back weÂ’ll be even more effective, and we have the look of a strong outfit finally coming into some form.

I can only see us climbing the league now, especially as we have some decent fixtures coming up. All very positive if you ask me.

Mark Andersson
193 Posted 27/10/2014 at 01:32:43
Just watching the game for a 2nd time. Lukaku had some decent touches but also some terrible touches too. The way ward back pass is ridiculous as there was no pressure on him whatÂ’s so ever. That said he can only improve his game.

I have always defended Leon, but he looked off the pace and was ineffective.

3 points is what matters. Some Toffees on here wIÂ’ll never be happy.

Derek Knox
194 Posted 27/10/2014 at 08:29:15
What a real classy player EtoÂ’o is, and having virtually played the full game twice in four days indicates that he has still has plenty to offer.

On a day when other players were not at their best, he kept running for the team, and apart from the width of the post was denied, what have been his hat-trick.

I am still somewhat baffled, by BobbyÂ’s team selections, use, and timing of his substitutions. I canÂ’t help feeling that against a better side than Burnley yesterday, we would have struggled to get anything. Anyway, we did, and I am truly thankful for that, but feel there is still a lot of work required to improve.

At least another bonus, was us bucking the trend, that European Thursday Night football generally results in losing.

Ray Roche
195 Posted 27/10/2014 at 08:54:26
Just an observation, until Pienaar came on, most of Baines passes were back to Jagielka or Barry. Ho looked a far better player when he had an outlet either inside of him or in front of him. Prior to PienaarÂ’s appearance he might have been playing in an England game i.e. little support.
Ernie Baywood
196 Posted 27/10/2014 at 08:43:45
Iffy first half. Completely dominant second. We had a few class acts in Baines, EtoÂ’o, Barry. Burnley lack quality and paid the price.

On the Lukaku debate, my stance remains the same as it has all season. HeÂ’s much better leading the line than dropping deep. When he drops deep he affects how we set up; he takes a man and then watches him idle away from him. And his touch and passing arenÂ’t good enough in that position.

Maybe itÂ’s Bobby giving him the opportunity to learn and develop into that complete player that he said he wants to be. If thatÂ’s not the reason them IÂ’m baffled because heÂ’s a liability every time he drops into midfield.

You can see defenders donÂ’t fancy him when heÂ’s in and around the box. They must be thrilled when he wanders off.

Sue Brown
197 Posted 27/10/2014 at 09:27:38
Ray 196 yes I agree with you, Baines definatly plays a different game when he has Pienaar playing inside for him. Likewise, I noticed last week in the Villa game how Lukaku was better with Ross back playing and feeding him.
Which begs the question, although these partnerships are great, you worry when in the case of Pienaar he canÂ’t last 90mins anymore let alone playing week in week out.
Paul Harnett
198 Posted 27/10/2014 at 10:00:05
I learned a new song yesterday. Too late to get a ticket with the Blues supporters so my Burnley mate got me a ticket near them. When EtooÂ’s second went in the Burnley fans responded with "YouÂ’re nothing Special, we lose every week!!!" Had to laugh.
Brian Hennessy
199 Posted 27/10/2014 at 10:24:41
Great result yesterday but one thing is really bugging me about us.

RM insists on having every Everton player in the 18 yard box when the oposition have a corner.

This obviously means when the ball is cleared it comes straight back at us time and time again and each corner we conceed is followed by the oposition having possesion for a long period.

I just donÂ’t see the sense in it, if we leave one or more players around the half-way line then the oposition will put one less player forward for the corner plus it gives us some chance of getting back possesion quicker.

Paul Dark
200 Posted 27/10/2014 at 11:58:30
Conor - I shanÂ’t refer to your name or make personal comments - but Alcaraz makes me nervous. I fear he might get slaughtered against better opposition. Distin his a better (much better) option, in my view. Still, he might do a Naisy and improve inordinately. We shall see as the season progresses. Of course, I hope IÂ’m wrong. Everything will flow from our defence, which needs to be solid as a rock. Our squad would look very very good if shorn of four players, in my view: McGeady, Osman, Alcaraz and Robles - with four decent replacements.

I think LawrensonÂ’s comments, even qualified, were deeply disrespectful and betray insecurity.

I agree re Baines - heÂ’s back to amazing form. I really hope Stevie P can get an injury-free run in the side and link up with him. The left looked much more solid and lively when he came on yesterday.

Poor Ossie doesnÂ’t have the legs or even the stomach for the fight anymore, I sense. He spent a lot of time yesterday walking rather disconsolately while play was going on around him.

We must learn, by the way, to capitalise on taking a lead - go in for the kill instead of sitting back and strutting.

Paul Dark
201 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:10:10
Sam - Everton legend - hahaha.

I love Sam and Rom - so very pleased we have them.

Colin Glassar
202 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:13:21
Paul, I wonÂ’t comment on all your points but in defence of Ossie when he went into the middle he started to get on the ball a lot more and began to have an influence on the game. He started on the left and was totally anonymous, as was Naismith, as he is not a winger.
I agree that Ossie is nearing the end of his career but if we are going to use him then at least use him where he can have an effect.
Tom Bowers
203 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:20:41
Whilst most of us agree Ossie has seen his best days, RM seems reluctant to leave him where his contribution may be more beneficial to the team and that is coming off the bench late in the game.

He clearly cannot go with the pace from start of a game which leaves gaps in the middle of the park that better teams than Burnley would have exploited.

I was really surprised he started yesterday ahead of Barkley and Pienaar after he played in Lille.

Hopefully common sense will prevail before the Swansea game.

Dominic Tonge
204 Posted 27/10/2014 at 11:31:27
Just a couple of points.
Firstly, Lukaku made up for a poor mistake by scoring an important goal at a good time. He is carrying a knock and has scored again. Saying at 21 his game will not change is ridiculous, at 21 Schweinsteiger was a tricky wide player who weighed 8stone wet through. If Rom scores every week then really he is doing his job.

second point we scored three away from home. We were not playing to our potential and still won.

Alcaraz did a lot better than most are giving him credit for and although lacking pace, he brought the ball out of defence by stepping out with it or finding a pass much better than Jags. The guy was caught out by a couple of balls that were made hard to read due to very strong winds. It was as travelling blues will attest to, bloody windy at turf moor.

EtoÂ’o is class, he will help Rom , but also will score goals, especially if he feels appreciated by the fans and his team mates and manager. I couldnÂ’t give a monkeyÂ’s spunk for Lawro or his slightly rascist comments: there have been and still are many players who performed well consistantly past the age of 30. Most of them without half the pedigree of EtoÂ’o. He game through Madrids acadamy, I think they may have noticed if one of the under 12s was sporting Five OÂ’clock shadow.

Osman and Naismith are not wide players. I agree they didnt have great games, but Osman played a hand in our attacking play for the goal, and he helps with the transitional play in a way that others donÂ’t.

Jim Knightley
205 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:14:55
I think the idea that a player canÂ’t learn new things at 21 is fantastic... why do players get better then? just experience, composure and physical awareness? could touch not be linked to composure? What of all the players who have improved markedly throughout their 20s? Did Di NatalieÂ’s touch not improve? Did DrogbaÂ’s not? The vast majority of players improve into their 20s, and the over-criticized Lukaku has 4 goals in 9 Premier League games, despite being off form in an off-form Everton team. If he stays fit, he will score between 15 and 20 premier league goals this season. Players learn things at different points in their career - some rely on technical ability from an early age, and some learn it later. Lukaku can, and will, get better at controlling and laying off a ball.

Given that according to some idiots on here we were/are in a relegation fight, a 3-1 victory away to Burnley after a Europa League game less than 72 hours earlier should be widely celebrated. Of course, we will be closer to first than the relegation zone, and should be aiming for Champions League football even if we canÂ’t/donÂ’t get it. This weekend, of those aiming for 3rd/4th: Spurs failed miserably at home, demonstrating in the process the problems caused by Europa League football (and a horrible transfer policy over the past 2 seasons). Arsenal were piss-poor at Sunderland, winning only because of two defensive errors. A Sturridge-less Liverpool stuttered to an underwhelming draw at home whilst United drew at home to an overly-pragmatic Chelski, but the return of Rooney and Falcao will necessitate a more attacking approach against City and other teams, and leave them consistently weak at the back. I do not think we can get CL football, but letÂ’s talk about that rather than the absurd suggestions of a relegation battle. We have some of the best young players in the division, and a world class pair of attacking full backs. We should be looking at a half full glass, not a half empty one.

Tony J Williams
206 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:31:14
Bloody Hell that was a long read.

3 points from all of that.

1 - Straq is a hero in my book, as he tried to head a ball that was on the floor. That sealed it for me

2 - Anyone talking of a relegation fight after 7 games into a 38 game season is a tit.

3 - EtoÂ’o tried his best Ronaldinho impression whne trying to hide behind a defender, which led to his chance for his hatrick. Loved it.

Good 3 points from a potential blip, as I thought the Charity Everton side may have given Burnley their first win.

Colin Glassar
207 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:48:32
Tony, re point 2. There seem(ed)s to be quite a few on here who are slowly disappearing.
Mike Allison
208 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:54:52
A quick glance suggests Alcaraz is getting some stick. He was rock solid yesterday. I was sitting in with Burnley fans and one of them was moaning that there was no way round him.
Tony Abrahams
209 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:20:42
Judging by all the comments we are a hard bunch to please, but thereÂ’s nothing wrong with that surely?

I thought Lukaku had two decent touches in the build-up to our first goal and it was more about a lack of concentration when he gifted them their goal.

My only concern, which has already been posted on this thread by others, is why we never try to blow teams away after scoring a goal.

Barry said we took our foot off the gas when we went one up and that has surely got to be questioned, as to why? Is it because the game gets to easy? Is it because our manager is a believer in conserving energy? ItÂ’s as if the game looks that comfortable that the players feel they have already won.

This, by the way, isn’t me complaining – it’s about asking questions about we’re we are at?

For the first time in a long time, I really enjoy watching my team play football, but I am at a loss for why we donÂ’t go for the jugular more often?

Jamie Barlow
210 Posted 27/10/2014 at 13:04:28
Snods gave EtoÂ’o the Man of the Match yesterday on the radio but said it was only because of his two goals. He said he would have given it to Baines otherwise, followed closely by the two centre halves. ItÂ’s quite weird how different people see the game.

Also a little weird how certain people canÂ’t post without slagging their own off. Almost as if they have an agenda.

Phil Walling
211 Posted 27/10/2014 at 13:18:24
Tony, Colin, you may well be right on point 2, but if you seriously believe after the same nine matches that we are Top Four contenders, those bovine appendages belong elsewhere.
Colin Glassar
212 Posted 27/10/2014 at 13:33:30
Phil, IÂ’ve never doubted that we are capable of making the top 4. IÂ’m not saying we will but I canÂ’t see why itÂ’s not achievable. If it wasnÂ’t for some diabolical defending (Arsenal, Leicester, Crystal Palace etc....) we could easily be on 17 points right now. Even BainseyÂ’s freak penalty miss couldÂ’ve earned us a well deserved draw at OT.

Yesterday saw possibly our worst display so far this season... but we won which is the important thing. Swansea and Sunderland next and if we win those two we could be back in the top 6 with 2/3 of the season still to go.

So Phil, IÂ’m not giving up so early into the season, IÂ’ll leave that to the chronically pessimistic crowd.

Tommy Coleman
213 Posted 27/10/2014 at 13:56:29
4 points from 4th, here we go.
Mike Gwyer
214 Posted 27/10/2014 at 13:43:33

There were lots of good points from yesterdayÂ’s game. Unfortunately, not much good banter on here though; mainly how shite Osman, Alcaraz or Lukaku were.

We are beginning to sound like that lot across the park. IÂ’ve got a brother in law who supports the RS, heÂ’s a right twat and boy can he moan. I laugh myself silly when he goes off about Brenda, Balotelli or not winning every game 10 nil. I told him yesterday that the half scarfs they were selling at the Madrid game were a good idea for all the Norwegian tourists they get at Anfield. Fucked him off again!!!!

Problem is RM picks the team, every freaking week he picks that team and we all know he will never ever listen to us!!!! He studies the opposition and picks the best 11 available to him, so like it or love it Osman gets in, Alcaraz is probably in because of issues with Stones or Distin, and Lukaku – he’s our main freeking man.

The tippy-tappy shite passing that we do... it gets on my nerves as well!!! But you know what, it seems to be working because Everton are rated as a top team. A top five team. Well, listen to the what the Burnley manager had to say post yesterdayÂ’s match.

So, at the end of the day, we scored 3, we hit the wood work twice, we passed the ball for fun and when required we stepped up a gear or two. Better still – no new injuries.

Lastly, not sure who I had the punt with regarding Atsu playing for blues again. Need the bank details for the relevant charity and IÂ’ll pay up.

Dave Pritchard
215 Posted 27/10/2014 at 14:45:02
Two league wins on the bounce and six goals means we should be happy. However, we are still nowhere near the standards of last seasonÂ’s best.

Next two home league games are against teams above us in the table. Swansea are decent and West Ham are massively improved from last season so if we win those I will feel a lot more comfortable. Two wins against moderate opposition in Villa and Burnley should not make us complacent.

Steve Brown
216 Posted 27/10/2014 at 14:55:24
I know LukakuÂ’s touch was really poor yesterday - he traps a ball further than I can kick it and his lay-offs often find the opposition more than a blue shirt. But... he is only 21 and will improve. He has scored 20 goals in 41 games for us so imagine what he can become if he keeps improving. We invested too much in the lad, but that is not his fault and he has huge potential. I reckon he will be a 㿞M player one day.
Eddie Dunn
217 Posted 27/10/2014 at 14:54:28
Will people please stop using the so-called excuse of "post Europa", to suggest that it is a big deal playing Thursday and then Sunday. It is no different than Wednesday to Saturday, so whatÂ’s the big deal?

Good result on Sunday, despite our predilection to sit back after scoring! I was so pleased to see EtoÂ’o show his class. His movement off the ball is superb, and his ability to find space in the box is uncanny. And he plays with a smile on his face.

Only one criticism, and that is Besic should have started instead of Osman. It seems that our boss loves the guy, but he is a passenger after 45 mins, and weak as a kitten to start with.

Brent Stephens
218 Posted 27/10/2014 at 15:07:41
Steve #217, good post. A goal every other game for Lukaku. If he keeps that up, getting up to 20 a season in the EPL, who can complain?!
Phil Walling
219 Posted 27/10/2014 at 14:55:20
Colin, believe me, I admire and covet your optimism but itÂ’s just because we are so prone to these cock-ups, I wont join you. WeÂ’ve got some good players but too many ordinary ones. The likes of Howard, Alcaraz, Distin, Osman, McGeady, Pienaar wouldnÂ’t get near a Top Four team or not for long, anyway. But Â’seventhishÂ’ is again on the agenda !
Jim Knightley
220 Posted 27/10/2014 at 15:11:39 many teams play Wednesday and then Saturday? Given that half the Premier CL teams play on Tuesday, and then the top four often get a Sunday match, I expect it happens around a third of the time. In contrast, it happens practically every time with the Europa League. On top of that, how often do CL teams playing on Wednesday get a 12:45 kick off on Saturday? We, on the other hand, have had a 12 oÂ’clock and 1:30 kick off following ties in Russia and France.

And Phil... there is no question of Â’may well be rightÂ’ re. the absurdity of talking about a relegation fight after 7 games. Those who were talking about it deserve to hang their heads in shame because 1) of their sheer sensationalism of it all 2) Because of the idiocy of it.

WhatÂ’s more realistic? That an Everton side who have finished 7th, 6th and 5th respectively in the last 3 seasons will be in a relegation fight? or that they will fight for a Champions League place.

I argued against an article which labelled us as in with a legitimate shot for third at the start of the season, because I thought it was unrealistic. But it is nothing compared with the mindlessness of posters who consider us as a relegation material after seven matches, especially in a post-World Cup season (the effects of which were seen across Europe, just as they are every post-World Cup season). The same goes for this insistent writing off of Lukaku after a quarter of a season. I wonder sometimes if some on here even watch football that closely..if some of here are aware of how form works, and how other teams are stuttering too. As poor as weÂ’ve been this season, we are only 1 point off a United team who have benefited from a far easier start, 2 points behind Arsenal and Liverpool, and 1 above Spurs (I would argue that our fixtures have been the hardest of the lot). Given our opening fixtures, I wonder how many Everton fans would have taken that at the start of the season? Especially after injuries to key players, and the extra pressures of Europa League football.

I said it a couple of weeks ago, and I will say it again: wait till the half way point, before making pessimistic assumptions about this team. I believe that, come Christmas, we will be in touch with the top four. I do not think we will come in the top four, but I think we will come a hell of alot closer to fourth than 18th come the end of the season. If anyone wants to bet me otherwise, IÂ’d gladly take their money. (Last season, incidentally, we finished 39 points above 18th placed Norwich and 7 away from fourth placed Arsenal).

Jamie Crowley
221 Posted 27/10/2014 at 16:27:22
Regarding Alcaraz, I thought he played incredibly solid yesterday.

When playing out from the back IÂ’m 100% comfortable when heÂ’s on the ball. I think for a CB his technical skill is superb.

Yes, heÂ’s a carthorse. Yes, I think I can beat him in a footrace. But as long as his positioning is accurate, I think he can compensate most of the time.

I really donÂ’t understand the crap heÂ’s taking now that heÂ’s healthy. IÂ’d start him ahead of Distin in the near future until he has a poor run.

Phil Walling
222 Posted 27/10/2014 at 17:05:41
Jamie, the fact that you see Alcaraz as Â’incredibly solidÂ’ merely illustrates the paucity of talent we have in this position. MartinezÂ’ failure to add to our defensive strength when he had the opportunity means that he has to Â’make doÂ’ with the likes of this guy and Distin whilst Stones is unavailable. That failure alone will ensure we Â’donÂ’t troubleÂ’ the Big Five come seasonÂ’s end.
Paul Andrews
223 Posted 27/10/2014 at 17:17:18

ThatÂ’s not fair mate. Credit where it is due, I thought Alcaraz looked pretty solid defensively apart from misjudging one ball due to the high wind.

Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal... who are the other two out of the big five?

Man U? Liverpool?

Ben Jones
224 Posted 27/10/2014 at 17:19:25

I recall two mistakes Alcaraz made in the game. Other than that, he was solid. Since he came in the team, weÂ’ve won 2 games and conceded one. HeÂ’s a far better distributer than Jagielka as well.

YouÂ’ve got your anti Wigan, anti Martinez glasses on again and itÂ’s clouding your judgement.

HeÂ’s doing the job as a cover centre back reasonably well until Stones gets back. Yes, heÂ’s not a first teamer for a team such as ourselves, but heÂ’s performing well when heÂ’s needed.

Phil Walling
225 Posted 27/10/2014 at 17:38:55
Wigan has got nothing to do with it. He does a reasonably good job for Everton. We have a reasonably good side. But not good enough to fulfil the optimism on here. In my opinion.
Paul Hughes
226 Posted 27/10/2014 at 17:26:23
Got to agree with Ben (225), while he still gives me the willies when he’s on the ball, I thought Alcaraz had a solid game. Two mistakes: a misjudgement under a swirling ball which is easily done; and getting bulldozed over by Jutkiewicz – which is more worrying.

Apart from that, he was pretty much faultless albeit against poor opposition. In particular as the match wore on he made a couple of excellent near post interceptions, and an excellent edge of the box tackle. HeÂ’s still only played a handful of games for us, two of which were fairly traumatic (RS and Southampton). Some more game time, and some more confidence will improve him.

Ray Roche
227 Posted 27/10/2014 at 17:25:46
Jim @221,

I made similar points to the one you raise regarding the unfair timing of our game at Old Trafford following the Krasnodar game, itÂ’s all down to the TV companies and their greed...I wonder if theyÂ’d expected one of their darlings, Man Utd or the RS, to play so soon after a long trek, after all, they could have allowed us to play Monday night.

However, I also maintained that footballers love an excuse to explain away a poor performance and by telling them that they are tired, well, they WILL be tired.

In yesterdayÂ’s Times, Sean Dyche was saying that Alex Ferguson told him that he should "Keep telling them (the players) how much energy theyÂ’ve got and they will eventually believe it themselves. Energy can be a psychological factor as well as a physical one" .Keep banging on about how tiring a Thursday game is and when youÂ’re playing Sunday you will be tired.

Eddie Dunn
228 Posted 27/10/2014 at 17:46:00
Jim, I take your point about many of them playing on Tuesday, and sometimes, playing on Sunday due to the Sky demands, but at least we are out of the League Cup, unlike our next opponents Swansea, who play at Liverpool on Tuesday. Playing over in Lille canÂ’t be compared to the long trek over to Krasnodar. Still, we have now got a long run of away games out of the way and hopefully will be that bit fresher over the coming weeks.

Just another point about Lukaku. The man is obviously carrying a toe problem, and for all we know, it may be a huge effort for him to play at full tilt. Perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt, and his heavy touches could be partly down to his problem. The good thing is the way he responded to his error. He upped his game, scored a goal through sheer persistance and celebrated with real passion.

So letÂ’s give him a chance, because we look a lot more dangerous when he is concerning the opposing defenders, than when he isnÂ’t there.

Brian Waring
229 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:03:11
Phil, we may not at the moment look like top 4 contenders but neither do the usual suspects for a top place, Arsenal shite, Spurs shite, Redshite shite, Man Utd shite, even Man City have looked ropey.

Chelsea in my opinion will piss the league, Southampton and West Ham are looking good at the moment but come the end of the season neither of them will be near top 4, also, weÂ’ll finish above both of them.

Mike Childs
230 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:08:26
Phil thanks for keeping me grounded. You definitely know our team. I noticed in your list of not ready for prime time players Howard was first and I absolutely agree. If we do turn it up a notch I have no doubt that you will enjoy as much as everybody else.
Wayne Smyth
231 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:10:58
Phil, in the most recent season that we finished 4th, how many of our players wouldÂ’ve got into a Â’top 4Â’ side? Sometimes the unlikely does happen.

WeÂ’re under no pressure or expectation to finish in the top 4, unlike 6 teams who are going to be in the shit because they spend like theyÂ’re top 4 and their sponsors expect it too.

This season, the RS seem likely to finish mid-table without their one world-class player and especially with Balotelli causing his usual problems. The Man Utd defence is a joke and havenÂ’t we finished ahead of Spurs on enough occasions to indicate that theyÂ’re nothing special?

Criticism of Martinez not strengthening our defence is valid, but IÂ’m fairly happy that we have better defenders than quite a few of those teams. Where weÂ’re actually relatively weak is on the flanks. I think weÂ’ve actually taken a step back in quality when we lost Deulofeu. Atsu and McGeady seem to be much less effective at the current time. At least Deulofeu occasionally got by his man and did something useful.

As an aside, how people can criticise Alcaraz for yesterdays performance is a bit bonkers. Jags was guilty of probably one of the worst lapses if I remember rightly, Coleman got skinned too and Alcaraz saved us a few times with important blocks. I actually wouldÂ’ve said he was one of our better performers.

Gavin Johnson
232 Posted 27/10/2014 at 19:00:02
Wayne, the season we finished 4th I think we had 3 players that could get into a top 4 side. Those being Cahill, Gravesen and Arteta (the latter 2 only playing half a season each) so yes, the unexpected can happen. How the hell we managed that with Marcus Bent upfront God only knows.

I think that season was down to Moyes being ahead of the game with playing 1 upfront more than anything else. Nearly every other team was still playing 4-4-2. I think Bolton may have played the same formation as us but thatÂ’s about it.

Colin Glassar
233 Posted 27/10/2014 at 19:17:56
Phil, what will make you happy? Let us know so we can try and make you feel the love Roberto exudes.
Paul Tran
234 Posted 27/10/2014 at 19:32:11
Phil, I completely agree with your list of Â’ordinaryÂ’ players. How many of them, other than Howard, could be regarded as first choices?

I spent the summer saying we need another keeper and centre back. I remember you listing our current centre backs and having a dig at my idea – what’s changed?

IÂ’m game for going for Marshall from Cardiff or a cheeky go for Cech. A few teams are looking hard for a strong, footballing centre back, do you have any ideas for one we can afford and attract?

Mike Childs
235 Posted 27/10/2014 at 19:46:04
Trust me the next GK is playing at Lodogrets Revgrad Milan Borjan market: value €1.5M. Only 26 years old today, in his 7th season, and has stepped up in leagues every year.
Mark Frere
236 Posted 27/10/2014 at 19:53:15
Gavin (233) I thought Arteta was poor in his first half season... it was only when Kilbane was axed from the side and Arteta moved out wide that we saw what a top player Arteta was.

LetÂ’s not forget about Nigel Martyn as well; he was definitely good enough to get into a top 4 side. I wish we currently had a keeper of his quality.

Phil Walling
237 Posted 27/10/2014 at 20:20:41
Maybe we should get the Prem to make their TV arrangements around Everton. Of course there wouldnÂ’t be as much money in it but the players would be less stretched. Poor dears!

Or, perhaps Everton could be allowed to play Europa on Wednesday nights?

Mike Childs
238 Posted 27/10/2014 at 20:40:56
Well given that United already are under contract to Chevrolet we need to have an agreement with Mercedes or Jaguar, Phil, to get preferential treatment.
Gavin Johnson
239 Posted 27/10/2014 at 20:41:38
I remember Arteta scoring a really clinical free kick at West Brom towards the end of that season and thinking we might have unearthed a gem.

I totally forgot about Nigel Martyn, Mark. I think itÂ’s probably because he was only with us for about a season and a half before he picked up his injury. But yes, he was magic while he was with us. A complete step-up in class from Richard Wright.

Gavin Johnson
240 Posted 27/10/2014 at 21:15:27
On the subject of goalkeepers I notice a lot of people are still really down on Howard. After the Palace game I vented some vitriol against him which I normally donÂ’t do against our players. But I still think the criticism was warranted. That being said, I think heÂ’s generally been okay since then and apart from the second goal at OT (which could be argued, he was just following MartinezÂ’s instructions a bit to closely to the letter rather than just kicking it out) he has made some great saves.

DonÂ’t get me wrong, we need another keeper.. whether that is by way of a direct replacement for Howard or another young keeper (like Jack Butland) to replace Robles. It does need addressing. However in January I think we need to prioritise getting a new centre-half like Simon Kjaer from Lille and Delboy to give us that quality down the flanks which is evidently missing since Miralles got crocked. Playing Ossie and Naisey on the Flanks takes me back to some of the worst days under Moyesy.

Mark Frere
241 Posted 27/10/2014 at 21:39:42
Gavin, I think Howard is a good shot stopper, but doesnÂ’t command his area very well; he often opts to punch the ball rather than catch it which puts us under unnecessary pressure... and he always has a mistake in him which leads to a goal conceded. I donÂ’t think heÂ’s one of the worst keepers in the league... but we could certainly do better.

Would love to see Deulofeu back here. He was frustrating at times but always had you on the edge of your seat and he scared the hell out of opposition defenses. Delboy isnÂ’t going to break into the Barca side anytime soon and I think this season wouldÂ’ve been perfect for him to get valuable playing time with all the extra games in Europa League.

Mike Childs
242 Posted 27/10/2014 at 21:58:37
Sorry, Gavin, but I disagree. Howard has hardly been tested the last two games which is all IÂ’m going to be say because IÂ’m tired of arguing the point about how inadequate he is.
Gavin Johnson
243 Posted 27/10/2014 at 22:19:05
Mike, In general IÂ’ve always felt pretty safe with him between the sticks but I do agree with Mark, in that heÂ’s always got a mistake in his locker. He reminds me a lot of David James in that respect.

I always think the problem with evaluating keepers is that they can make 10 exceptional saves in a game and then get slaughtered for 1 mistake, and then the other saves get forgotten. Which is a pretty fair assessment of Howard actually. He is up there with the best at making saves but yes, IÂ’m not going to disagree with you in that heÂ’s not up there with the elite keepers in other areas of his game. I personally just think its a situation that can be addressed in the summer with a winger and centre-half being a greater priority.

Did anyone sign that Costa Rican Keeper who played a blinder in the World Cup this summer? HeÂ’d be a good replacement. I remember big Nev raving about him and he doesnÂ’t heap praise without there being a good reason for it.

Eddie Dunn
244 Posted 27/10/2014 at 23:45:28
Gavin -good point that Moyes adopted that system before many others, with one up top. He did have some good ideas.
As for our goalie, he is frustrating in some of the errors he makes, but he is a good shot stopper. I am not completely happy with him but when we played Robles at Arse in the Cup, I was wishing so hard for the devil I knew!

I just hate all the fannying around at the back which often ends up with poor old Tim having to put his boot through it after all! Usually with a striker bearing down on him, when a minute earlier he could have picked a target up field to aim at, with plenty of time.

Sam Hoare
245 Posted 28/10/2014 at 00:20:50
Gavin, that Costa Rican keeper went to Real Madrid. Though I donÂ’t think he has dislodged Casillas.
Michael Penley
246 Posted 28/10/2014 at 01:53:04
Obviously he canÂ’t be blamed for the goal, but like the penalty he gave away a few games ago, Tim went blustering out and went down when he didnÂ’t have to. A better keeper would have shielded the ball. With Tim itÂ’s often "all or nothing".
Laurie Hartley
248 Posted 28/10/2014 at 05:40:19
On the striker debate, IÂ’d rather have Lukaku than Balotelli all day every day. (Bet you Rodgers would too!) Lawrenson is even more one eyed than I am.

We love centre forwards at Everton, donÂ’t we? If you did a study of which club has had the most top-class centre-forwards in the history of the First Division and Premier League, I would be very surprised if Everton didnÂ’t Â’t come up tops.

Jamie @158 said he couldn’t believe Samuel Eto’o is playing for us. So am I in a way – but I am really glad he is.

This lad is a footballing genius. Lawrenson reckon’s he’s lost a yard of pace – so what if he has. His positional sense, the timing of his runs, anticipation and awareness of what is going on all over the pitch means he is going to continue to score goals for us as long as he avoids injuries.

There is no doubt about his fitness and physical condition – have a look at the legs on him. Two full games in 4 days and still running at the end of the game on Sunday – I do wish he had have gotten his hat-trick.

He also looks to me like a man who believes he still has something to prove. I think it was Arfield who did a nasty piece of work on him in the first half but he saw the game out without a fuss.

Watching him come off the field and saluting the away fans with a raised fist brought a big smile to my face. As Peter said @168 – "We have a winner on our hands".

This is great for the club and great for Lukaku also. Forget about the mentor business – competition is the thing. Rom will want to be top dog and to be that he will have to get back to where he was last season. I believe he will – then watch us go.

Footnote on Pienaar – he still has plenty to offer. He picked the ball up and played Eto’o in for the third goal – another old head with a footballing brain who knows how to draw out the best of Baines.

Brent Stephens
249 Posted 28/10/2014 at 09:37:58
Somewhat off-topic but an interesting set of stats in todayÂ’s Grauniad about how Man Utd stifled ChelseaÂ’s "midfield maestros": Fabregas and Matic limited to 65 and 62 touches respectively, compared to their much better stats for touches in all previous games this season. Except, that is, against Everton when they had even fewer than against Man Utd - only 54 and 55 respectively.

An isolated set of stats but suggests Roberto did his homework on these two even better than Van Gaal. Of course, Mourinho still had a way around that in the end, but...

Anto Byrne
250 Posted 28/10/2014 at 10:16:23
We lost the game with Chelsea after five minutes of madness – a 3-0 loss or a 6-3 loss – who cares?

It was a great spectacle and we scored three fabulous goals from open play. Maybe Howard was at fault for a couple but in the last few games he has been okay. Punching is good if youÂ’re down on confidence.

He is among the top ten keepers in the Premier League and top 25 in the world... so who would we replace him with? How much would we pay?

John Voigt
251 Posted 28/10/2014 at 10:54:32
Everton are on track to score enough goals to compete for a top 4 spot.

Last season Everton finished on 72 points, but only scored 61 goals. ThatÂ’s a ton of points for the number of goals scored.

I think what Martinez did over the summer was in EvertonÂ’s best interest. He signed Lukaku whoÂ’s a proven 15+ goalscorer and then went out and got EtoÂ’o. Giving improved long term contacts to Barkley and other young Everton players who might draw interest from the big money clubs was a wise decision too.

IÂ’m in the minority when it comes to signing a new central defender. John Stones is pure class. I think Jags is a top defender. Alcaraz and Distin are OK as 3rd and 4th choice players. IÂ’d like to think that at least one of EvertonÂ’s youngster will break through this season or next season.

If Everton are going to go out and buy a player IÂ’d like it to be a winger. I also think Everton need to think about getting some players in the squad that have more of a physical presence.

Patrick Murphy
252 Posted 28/10/2014 at 11:50:46
Just had a look at last seasonÂ’s table after 9 games and only 3 or 4 teams have a better points tally than this time last year with most of the Â’biggerÂ’ clubs being 6-8 points down on their tallies from last year. As many people have cited the World Cup has had an effect and it was similar at the start of 2010-11 where the usual suspects also had relatively low points totals after 9 games.

So Everton are not alone in suffering a lower-than-expected points total at this juncture, but what it does mean is we will, as usual, have to play to our full potential to make a run for that elusive CL place.

Kevin Tully
253 Posted 28/10/2014 at 12:20:34
Patrick, I also think the added TV revenues have the given smaller clubs a fighting chance against the Sky favourites this season.

Southampton have sold well (snigger) but they have bought even better. In the process, they have still spent upwards of 㿞m. Hull City have spent over 㿊m, along with ourselves, West Ham Utd and Newcastle Utd to name a few.

Liverpool, Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal are no longer the teams they were, and as far as IÂ’m concerned, we are a match for any of these sides.

Someone mentioned the fact Bill doesnÂ’t seem to get any stick these days, but both him and the rest of the board have BT Sport to thank for injecting so much money into the Premier League coffers.

Phil Walling
254 Posted 28/10/2014 at 12:02:31
Villa being turned over by QPR last night will, perhaps, bring some perspective to the recent revision of EvertonÂ’s chances of repeating last seasonÂ’s 5th place. Make no mistake, both Villa and last SundayÂ’s opponents, Burnley, are no more than relegation fodder and, whilst it is true that you can only play whatÂ’s in front of you, too many on here have got completely carried away.

This season, we are a pretty ordinary side and although allowance can be made for injuries and low form, there appears to have been many more Â’if onlysÂ’ in these columns than in the recent past.

Installing realism in an era when the manager describes everything in superlatives is never going to be easy but letÂ’s be realistic enough to expect a few losses and crap performances amongst all those Â’incredibly fantastic, phenomenal displaysÂ’, I beg of you!

Andy Meighan
255 Posted 27/10/2014 at 22:17:36
I donÂ’t know if anyone else has pointed this out as thereÂ’s not enough hours in the day for me to read all them posts but wasnÂ’t it absolutely lovely the way that magnificent pundit Jamie (Mr Liverpool) Carragher tried to point out that EtoÂ’oÂ’s second goal was deflected not once but three times!

WhatÂ’s wrong, Carra? Are your beloved teamÂ’s strikers struggling to hit a cowÂ’s arse with a banjo? Them lot will do anything to try and take the gloss off what was a masterclass in centre-forward play...

Andrew Rimmer
256 Posted 28/10/2014 at 12:41:47
Gavin #233. That season we finished 4th we had a negative goal difference! How the hell???

Phill #255. YouÂ’re so right. Glad IÂ’m not the only one without the wool over my eyes.

Anyone else think that we are really really boring to watch?

Sam Hoare
257 Posted 28/10/2014 at 12:40:38
Phil, I was thinking something similar yesterday. So far our league wins this season have come against West Brom, Villa and Burnley. Three sides I feel are destined for the bottom 6. We will face tougher tests against Swansea and West Ham (who are a different prospect this season). If we lose or draw a couple of our next few games then our iffy start to the season will see us still lingering in the bottom half, close to the basement but if we can win a couple more then we will be right back in the top 5/6 and have truly turned it around for now.
Tom Bowers
258 Posted 28/10/2014 at 12:56:02
I think we all have to accept that Everton have a good squad, and probably better on paper than they did last season, but it is not good enough to really test the big guns of the league or even capable of having a winning run of sorts. Some other teams have improved somewhat also which will make it hard for Everton to shine every week.

The Leicester and Arsenal games gave us a hint of EvertonÂ’s weaknesses which are still there, namely the consistently strong midfield play required to dominate even teams like Palace and Burnley.

Make no mistake – Burnley had a good spell when Everton were all over the place even at 2-1 ahead. Okay, so Everton may still have won in the end but the problems are still there.

Craig Walker
259 Posted 28/10/2014 at 13:01:08
Phil #255. I agree that people are getting carried away talking of 4th again after two consecutive victories. However, people were also getting carried away with how poor we are after losing to some good sides.

If we can make Goodison a fortress again and be hard to beat away from home then weÂ’ll be there or thereabouts. I personally donÂ’t think we have the squad for 4th though. I see us finishing around 7th this season.

John Voigt
260 Posted 28/10/2014 at 13:26:59
IÂ’m not saying Everton will finish top 4 this season, but itÂ’s certainly possible.

The Premier League games have been really competitive this season through 9 games. Of the teams that finished top 7 last season only 2 of them have won over half their games. Arsenal, Man Utd, and Spurs like Everton have only won 3 times in 9 games. Liverpool have 4 wins but donÂ’t look anywhere near the team they were last season.

One thing that strikes me when I look at the current table is the number of games that have ended up as draws. Arsenal have already drawn 5 games this season and last season in 38 games they played a total of 7 draws.

This makes me think that the number of points to reach a Champions League place will take less points this year than last year (which could be a factor that works to EvertonÂ’s advantage).

I also think Everton right now have more players that could play regularly at the big money clubs than in the past. Starting at the the back, I think Baines could play for one of the big teams. Coleman too. I think Jags could play at a top club and same for John Stones. I rate Tim Howard better than Joe Hart so IÂ’ll add Howard to my list.

EtoÂ’o and Lukaku would be very welcome additions to teams like Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal right now so they make the grade. Mirallas is a top notch winger.

I havenÂ’t mentioned Barkley, but heÂ’s a top shelf player. Barry and McCarthy would see playing time at big clubs but most likely would be squad players.

IÂ’ve mentioned 11 players and havenÂ’t rated Naismith. To me he has more value at a club like Everton than the top sides where he wouldnÂ’t see the field as much.

What Everton need more than anything is to get healthy and stay healthy. A healthy Everton team is a handful for every team in the league.

Phil Walling
261 Posted 28/10/2014 at 15:25:51
My list of ’top quality’ players would certainly not include Howard and Barry – both past their best. Our midfield quality is debatable and only Barkley is a stand-out contributor who I’m confident would ’train on’ at Chelsea or Man City.

Mirallas is a luxury player who, like EtoÂ’o and Lukaku, would probably get a Â’squadÂ’ place and Naismith and McCarthy would put in a shift wherever they played.

Clearly, like Moyes before him, Roberto is tasked with Â’making silk pursesÂ’. He will probably make a prettier one but it will still resemble Â’cowÂ’s earsÂ’ around the stitching!

Gavin Johnson
262 Posted 28/10/2014 at 17:15:01
Craig #260, are you referring to yourself on how some people went OTT after a couple of defeats to the top sides. IÂ’m sure you were one of the ones calling on Roberto to get the sack.

I do agree with you that some people are going to the other extreme now. Personally I think weÂ’re more likely to be around 6th or 7th come the end of the season. I also think weÂ’ve got a better chance of Champions League football via winning the Europa League than 4th place.

Brian Furey
264 Posted 28/10/2014 at 21:20:02
Often after Gaelic football matches and other sports, fans and pundits ask the question were the winners very good or the losers just poor. More often that not itÂ’s somewhere in between.

IÂ’ve often been totally shocked reading peopleÂ’s OTT negative reaction on here and now I read OTT positive reactions. I for one am glad to see us doing well in Europe as we have a very poor record there of late if at all. For lads to be talking about playing CL or nothing us just crazy to me.

We have to learn to walk before we can run and weÂ’ve just had the hardest run of matches I can remember to start a season.

We conceded a lot in those games yet we scored a hell of a lot too with most of our best attacking players injured or off form.

WeÂ’ve three strikers all on 4 goals and Baines and Coleman back looking sharp and scoring or setting loads up. I for one am optimistic and hope we draw Celtic and RS in the next round of the Europa League. ;-)

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