Sunderland 1 - 1 Everton
Gareth Barry had to be stretchered off with suspected ankle ligament damage after being caught by Jordi Gomez
Everton came from behind to record a second successive Premier League draw thanks to Leighton Baines's penalty with a quarter of an hour to go.
The fullback buried a spot-kick after Seamus Coleman had been felled by Conor Whickham, cancelling out Sebastian Larsson's goal from a direct free kick 10 minutes earlier.
The Blues side featured three changes from the team that beat Lille, with Samuel Eto'o starting up front with Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley coming in for Leon Osman and Coleman returning from an ankle injury.
A neat interchange between Lukaku and Eto'o served up a great chance for the latter in the third minute but the Cameroonian fired wide while Wickham headed a couple of early chances wide for the hosts.
The Blues were rocked by another early and serious-looking injury before 10 minutes had elapsed, though, when Jordi Gomez caught Gareth Barry with a late tackle and the midfielder, who had undergone a late fitness test on his ankle before being named in the starting XI, had to be stretchered off to be replaced by Darron Gibson.
Gomez somehow avoided a second yellow card before half an hour had elapsed when he was whistled for trying to deceive referee Lee Mason into giving a penalty against Phil Jagielka. Meanwhile, Aiden McGeady flashed a shot narrowly wide and Lee Bridcutt blocked well to deny Ross Barkley at one end and Tim Howard saved from Gomez at the other after hesitation in possession from Gibson.
The second half was just five minutes old when Lukaku had a great opportunity to open the scoring when he intercepted Bridcutt's backpass but he tried to round the goalkeeper and Pantilimon smothered the ball to snuff out the chance.
And the Belgian was foiled again by the Romanian five minutes later when he tipped Lukaku's powerful drive onto the post as Everton tried to make the breakthrough.
It was the home side who scored first, though, after Gus Pouyet had introduced Will Buckley in place of Adam Johnson and the substitute's direct running prompted a clumsy foul by Baines in a dangerous area. Larsson stepped up and smashed the ball through a gaping hole in the defensive wall leaving Howard with no chance.
The Blues responded with increased tempo and got their reward when Eto'o, pulling strings now in the no.10 role, threaded a beautiful pass through the Sunderland defence for Coleman who was chopped down by Wickham near the penalty spot. Once more referee Mason failed to produce the red card, this time for the denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity, but Baines levelled things up by firing under the goalkeeper.
The big push for a winner never really materialised from Everton, though, despite largely dictating the final quarter of an hour, while James McCarthy, hobbling with an apparent upper leg muscle injury, hooked the ball off his own line in injury time as Sunderland had one last go.
The point leaves Everton 10th in the table, above Liverpool now on goal difference, but still with just three League wins from 11 games.
Full coverage: ToffeeWeb Match Reports
Reader Comments (98)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:01:31
2 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:22:25
Lukaku was dropped the last EPL game, then had a great game on Thursday.
Yes, he was rubbish today, but not sure where youÂre getting this "Roberto wonÂt drop him" nonsense.... Surely your memory reaches 8 days back?!
3 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:23:17
Luckily for us, there are only two consistent teams this year, meaning we are only four points off top four.
4 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:22:49
Barkley another game of fitness and showed signs ... Coleman more time to get fit ...
Good McGeady performance, covered Coleman quite a few times and looked to put in good crosses, getting a habit with him .....
And my own first choice centre midfield will perhaps get a run of Gibson and Besic ... I have felt for a while that combination could produce a strong title challenge in a couple of years.
Draw away against difficult opposition in a good run of their own Â– I am happy with a draw. Above LFC ...
Now to make a move on Top 4 by Christmas!
5 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:07:35
ItÂs certainly a disappointing result for a team with aspirations of getting in the top four, especially given that the elusive 4th spot looks open for the taking this season. IÂm actually more disappointed that we couldnÂt beat Swansea at home. IÂm going to try and put a positive on todayÂs result in that we got a draw away from home on the back of a Europa game (Spurs lost their game today) even though Sunderland are a team we should really be beating regardless of any mitigation surrounding playing on Thursday.
One bright point in an otherwise frustrating game was James McCarthyÂs performance today. Today was the first time IÂve really noticed him making attacking runs and itÂs an encouraging sign that he is growing in confidence on this side of his game.
6 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:35:37
Then the players, that shoulda been more than enough for an average side, donÂt shine and itÂs RobertoÂs fault all of a sudden (from certain quarters on TW).
Some decent play but no real intensity. We missed Barry big time. IÂm loathe to blame Europe, as we cruised against Lille and couldÂve kicked on.
Players must stand up and be counted. Mirallas is really being missed, and the team should be set up around Naisy, at least until we get a quality playmaker in.
7 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:15:27
Also play Besic not Gibson. Besic is young dynamic and needs games Gibson is an injury waiting to happen and another bloody safe sideway passer.
Absolutely gutted by todayÂs result. Below is a list of our 84-85 team and their total games played that season:
Big Nev 63
Trevor Steven 61
Gary Stevens 58
Pat van den Hauwe 42
Andy Gray 31
Adrian Heath 26
John Bailey 21
Kevin Richardson 18
Alan Harper 15.
Settled teams that are winning keep winning. You very really see Real Madrid change their team.
8 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:46:13
9 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:48:25
10 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:58:29
11 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:50:41
WeÂre gong to have to get used to the frustration IÂm afraid and perhaps learn to be even more controlled with the tempo of the game to break down teams who are intent on stopping us scoring. There is no magic wand or silver bullet that can help us only hard work. LukakuÂs first and even second touch cost us again today as he was clear and should have produced the winner but he touched the ball too far and had no choice other than to go around the keeper, he must learn but there is a good player that just needs developing. The wall gap trick was good play by Sunderland and schoolboy error by us which lost us the 3 points.
We were far and out the better side and the only one with class, we will come good when we can stabilize the injuries and RM can really decide on what his best team is.
12 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:09:44
13 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:07:49
Still, weÂre above the RS!!!
14 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:17:03
What was the result??
15 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:23:45
Helen, Coleman was our main threat today. I think Hibberts been great, but Coleman was our only real chance of winning (or drawing) that game.
16 Posted 09/11/2014 at 18:48:10
We just donÂt seem to take advantage of other teams around us dropping points, I thought Sunderland were shite & these type of average teams should be beaten with the squad we have.10th in a very average league (besides Chelsea).
The ref was a shithouse, to consult his linesmen when we got our pen just summed him up (why did he consult him???), it should have produced a red card.
Their goal was so poor it was laughable, if youÂre in a wall and they put two players in it, stand in front of them ffs! For me, any set-piece free-kick that goes through/over our wall usually ends up in the net anyway Âcos Howard just cannot get over quick enough.
Swansea City, Stoke City, Newcastle Utd, West Ham Utd, Southampton etc all above us in the league... I know itÂs early days but the points we have dropped already tells me we will drop many more on this showing.
I could be talking bollocks here but IÂm gutted yet again seeing us drop points to another average/shite team.
17 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:24:31
18 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:27:29
There are enough games to keep all players busy but in their positions please! Also less chopping and changing is needed let the players develop partnerships!
A couple of good results and we are back in the race for 4th due to the very unpredictable season! IÂm trying hard to be optimistic (itÂs difficult).
19 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:31:28
Seamus had a slight knock on his achillies, and for me, especially against Âa weaker teamÂ if he can play, he must play. I thought we should have beaten Lille over there, and so us spanking them at Goodison wasnÂt news to me, and leaving Seamus out didnÂt hurt us.
Ross is a bit different. He actually seems a fair bit off the pace.
20 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:43:55
21 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:44:57
Okay, they had a game on Thursday but FFS theyÂve got a week off next week. Yet another 2 pts dropped with none of the contenders (Chelsea apart) setting the place on fire.
22 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:29:04
What is glaringly obvious is that the Premier League this season is of poor quality, the top 4 is up for grabs, sadly it probably wonÂt be us because we are just another part of a poor inconsistent league.
Where are our goals from midfield?
Where is the real end product of the constant passing game?
Where is the plan B?
Now Barry is missing for a while who is going to offer something a little different?
Do we have anyone who even can offer something different other than a safety first keep it simple way?
The season just hasnÂt got going for us yet whether it will who knows. We have two games against teams who are probably going to challenge us in terms of position this season in West Ham and Spurs at the graveyard ground White Hart Lane.
The Hammers will be far from easy and itÂs just the kind of home game where we are likely to have real struggles in, they will sit deep and invite us to attempt breaking down a well organized unit. Can we do it? ... At the minute, IÂd have to say IÂm quite doubtful.
23 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:54:10
I donÂt think that RM will agree with me though.
24 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:53:50
So, Roberto, here is your best XI so stop pissing about.
Subs: Robles, Distin, Oviedo, Barkley, McGeady, Ossie, EtoÂo
Sorry if IÂve missed anyone out.
25 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:56:51
Sort it, Martinez. We had enough of this shit with Moyes so donÂt go down that route Â— Please!!!!!! And drop Lukaku!
26 Posted 09/11/2014 at 19:59:59
IÂll not mention the injuries in that line-up. IÂve been a big defender of LukakuÂs, but EtoÂo is the better option at the moment. Rom reacted in the right manner on Thurs after being dropped, so maybe a few games wonÂt hurt.
We obviously need Mirallas and Barry. I would love Stones back, but thought Distin was decent today.
WeÂre not a million miles off being the 2nd best team in the league (after Chelsea), the players just need to step up. I donÂt blame Roberto Â– heÂs replacing good players with good players... they just need to be more ruthless and on it.
The sharing out of points in the league this year means a decent run (which we usually put together at some point) will catapult is into contention. Up to the boys to go make it happen.
27 Posted 09/11/2014 at 20:15:03
I totally agree with the rest of your points. If only we could get some consistency and stop arsing around in front of goal, top 3 could be on the cards.
28 Posted 09/11/2014 at 20:26:33
I think it is more a case of players in their proper positions. DonÂt try to squeeze in all the good players in the wrong positions. No room for Ross, Nessie and EtoÂo for example
30 Posted 09/11/2014 at 20:26:32
Roberto changes personnel a lot but expects them to play the same way everytime!
31 Posted 09/11/2014 at 20:30:11
32 Posted 09/11/2014 at 20:38:25
33 Posted 09/11/2014 at 20:37:44
The manager isnÂt stupid. HeÂs putting players out there to win the game. He canÂt make the passes or take the shots for them (I know this might come as a shock to some).
He can throw a jab/straight right/fake/right hook combos in the dressing room to get these boys on their bloody game though!
34 Posted 09/11/2014 at 20:39:36
We didnÂt look too much like conceding until the free-kick, and I thought the defence did well today, especially the two central defenders.
McCarthy is so good at cleaning up and even defending deep often, but his offensive momentum is not there - perhaps it doesnÂt need to be. I do feel that Barry and he do one personÂs job in the final analysis and would I therefore play Besic there as a forward-moving force.
Mirallas and Pienaar are our best bets on the wing by far, followed by Atsu, even Coleman with Hibbo behind him (though McGeady did his best today, even put in a few tackles and made an impact of sorts in a one-dimensional way Â– he was one of our better players ...).
Rom, Sam and Nace (possibly Ross) can alternate up front (2 or 1+1). We do need a settled team, and we need to address the passing issue. Players must hold the ball and not just pass to a free player but pass with a view to a forward shape where possible. This was happening at points last season (before Christmas) Â– but not this. WeÂre playing Martinez-Moyes football this season.
First we must plug the defence Â– todayÂs back four is our best by miles, in my view. Hibbo can come in where necessary, maybe Browning and, of course, Stones (will be relieved to have him back). I do think the goals will come. If Rom is injured, please rest him; he looks so sluggish.
Unless something changes, we will be lucky to get an EL place this year Â– and we wonÂt win the EL on current form, not even close.
Just my tuppÂorth.
35 Posted 09/11/2014 at 21:03:53
36 Posted 09/11/2014 at 20:58:58
With Bainesy and Coleman attacking at every opportunity, Barry/McCarthy do closer to 4 jobs, rather than the one job you state.
Pienaar has been great for us, but IÂm not sure he still has the legs to be effective going both ways. No problems putting him in against teams like Sunderland though, and I reckon he could be decent in a free role (though Barkley, and particularly Naisy are prob better options).
Defence werenÂt bad today, and at least weÂre not leaking as much. I was hoping for an ugly 1-0 today, and not too far off.
A painfully obvious below-par still looked a few classes above Sunderland today, although a draw was fair on balance of chances.
We need a bit more grit and hard work to grind out these games where our flair is missing.
37 Posted 09/11/2014 at 21:18:09
38 Posted 09/11/2014 at 21:15:33
Interesting Â– and noted re GazBaz and Macca.
I thought Nace did well when he came on Â– always looking to go forward fast, and he gave the Sunderland defence the slip a few times. IÂd like to see him link up more (not necessarily on the wing) with Seamy whose directness and pace would complement his.
I have no doubt, by the way, that Rom is a class act, and we should encourage him. I do get the impression (and I have no idea, not being an insider) that RM, the man with a degree in physiotherapy, doesnÂt always allow players injuries to heal properly before re-introducing them to first team football Â– baffling, if so.
39 Posted 09/11/2014 at 21:46:14
They may have looked like a worldy in their last game, and then been an embarrassment in training.
WeÂve got goals in the team, especially when Kevy returns. We now know we can keep it tight. A bit of balance and a lot more bite, we can start blowing these teams away.
I was gutted not to win today. Not a bad point though...
40 Posted 09/11/2014 at 21:41:51
Sideways passes in midfield. We need creativity just behind the forwards. Ossy should have started in place or Ross. ItÂs now 3 games on the trot that heÂs been useless with moves breaking down with him. Burnley, Lille, Swansea and today. (sorry, four!)
Ross needs to fight for his place. Pienaar should NOT be dropped in his place.
41 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:01:11
42 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:06:47
What team would you have started with?
43 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:13:48
McGeady is a winger who played on the wing.
Barkely and EtoÂo slotted in when Sunderland had the ball.
EtoÂo is one of the greatest attacking player IÂve seen in my lifetime, and Ross is the young pretender - they should easily be able to interchange in order to baffle the opposition and exploit space when we have the ball.
44 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:04:59
Everton had their chance but they blew them. EtoÂo in the 3rd minute. Barkley around the 30 minute mark and a gift wrapped chance for Lukaku.
Fluff those chances and you are wind up in the situation that Everton were in today.
ItÂs not one player to blame or the manager. ItÂs up to the team to get better results in games like this.
Between the Premier League and Europa League Everton donÂt have a single game where they have won by a one goal margin in 15 games. They either win by 2+ goals or get draws in the games they get anything.
My point is to keep a really good run going you need to win some games by a 1-goal margin. Chelsea and Southampton are leading the league in a large part by having games that might have been draws turn out to be 1-goal victories which get you the 3 points you need to keep you at the top of the table.
45 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:27:42
46 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:31:09
47 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:37:59
Why change a winning team???
48 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:49:28
This keeps down the number of points teams accumulate. If this keeps up, the number of points it will take to make the top 4 will be less than last year.
Right now, Southampton have a really good chance of finishing in the top 4. I watched their game this weekend and they looked really good. With only 5 goals conceded through 11 games, they have the foundation of a winning formula. With 25 points through 11 games, they donÂt have to average 2 points a game to reach the 70-point level.
49 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:54:14
I think you get a view on a particular player and then let then colour your view of them evermore. McCarthy was excellent, IMO, today in going forward Â– he carried the ball forward with pace and directness, he was almost up on their goal line at times. A noticeable difference.
50 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:01:35
51 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:03:44
I think Mason got it right on the penalty by not sending the lad off, but has that bloke got a sense of humour as he looked really peeved when Macca knocked him over by accident.
52 Posted 09/11/2014 at 22:54:01
We were okay at West Brom, we were shocking at home to Palace, awful at Anfield but saved with seconds remaining thanks to a great goal, awful in the main against a rookie shit Man Utd team.
It improved slightly against two poor opponents in Aston Villa and Burnley but the last two have again been poor.
53 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:07:00
54 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:08:50
I thought he was meant to not miss any game time and the screw removal operation was a simple one??
55 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:13:18
I have to admit that Moses is playing better than I have ever seen from him, didnÂt really think he had it in him.
It wouldnÂt surprise me in the least if Atsu was back at Chelsea in January to be honest, and then loaned out over-seas, maybe a weaker league, Holland etc.
56 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:11:50
There has obviously been a shift in mind set since the opening weeks of the season as the wheels were threatening to come off big style after conceding so many goals... but the price we have had to pay to shore up the defence is that our attack is a little less potent Â– although we still created enough chances today, but so too did Sunderland in the first half.
Injuries have hindered us and they are continuing to do so and weÂll just have to be happy to grind out points as and when they arrive. I know you want Everton to win games in style but this is going to be a tough old season and Evertonians arenÂt the only set of fans perturbed at the lack of victories.
I thought that ThursdayÂs win would set the team up for today and they would go there with confidence but it is a ground that we rarely seem to display our best qualities even when we have won there in the past.
57 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:16:28
How bad was BainesÂs penalty today! Could have easily been a loss.
59 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:25:40
On todayÂs game, they should have had 2 straight reds and to be fair Poyet admitted it. That Gomez tackle was disgusting and cowardly.
60 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:36:05
61 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:12:30
Otherwise, it was a mediocre performance against a poor team. We suffered from having several who are not at all match fit and played that way (Coleman, Barkley, Gibson), and as usual, we often failed to some bodies in the box when in a good position. McGeady had another decent game by his standards, so maybe there is some hope there. McCarthy was excellent and EtoÂo continues to look class and makes Lukaku look like the very rough diamond he is, albeit one with a potent shot on him.
One final point, the commentator on Sky was making out that HowardÂs falling on the ball outside the area was some kind of genius moment. To me, it looked like another one of TimÂs periodic brainstorms; he had ample time to get a boot through it and I am also pretty sure that the ball was played last by a Sunderland player, so he could also have just dribbled it back into the box and fallen on it.
Frankly we have been poor this season by the standards we aspire to and the only reason we remain within 4 points of CL positions is that this looks like itÂs far from being a vintage EPL Â– you only have to look at the embarrassing recent performances in the CL for proof of that.
62 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:19:14
63 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:52:33
Definitely IÂd love Delboy back here in January, IÂd snap BarcaÂs hands off, trouble is if they want to loan him to us again, apparently they werenÂt too pleased.
What on earth goes on in Tim HowardÂs mind?
First question should be "why was he even outside his area when Jagielka had the situation under complete control???"
The man is in my opinion mentally unstable.
One Flew Over HowardÂs Nest..
64 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:20:25
I really thought we had turned a corner Thursday when we completely outplayed Lillie Â– okay, a mid-table French team, I hear you say but are Sunderland a better team? A team that got stuffed 8-0 a few weeks ago... Not for my money!
Now I am a big fan of "tika taka" football because, when itÂs played properly at a fast pace, the opposition are chasing shadows and they tire; however, what we play is slow laborious pass about in front of their 22 yard line Â– itÂs so easy to defend against!!
And when we do hit teams on the break they get across the halfway line then slow the whole thing down again, one of the worse culprits of this is Baines, he sprints past the halfway the always checks and looks for a sideways pass! I just wish he could be a bit more direct when we break...
In fact, I would like to see Oviedo as wing back and Baines ahead of him! We are badly missing Mirallas and the sooner heÂs back the better! HeÂs always looking to get a shot off and is positive in his movement.
As for our "star" 㿈M man Lukaku ... if he puts in another performance like that again, he may as well fuck off and do Panto this winter because he was woeful today.
Apart from the odd good performance, our general play has been poor this season... but, then again, apart from Chelsea and Southampton, everyone else has been unpredictable as well, with the players we have, we should be further up the league, no doubt. I just hope Bobby can turn it around.
65 Posted 10/11/2014 at 00:10:41
In short, most Premier League games are close run things at the moment, often settled by a moment of genius or an individual mistake. We manage to have cut out most of the individual mistakes that were killing us early season but donÂt seem to be getting quite enough moments of genius.
EtoÂo almost had one today early on and McGeady had a great shot that was just wide. Barkley and Lukaku had the best chances but neither could find the end product and that is what we are missing.
Lukaku I hope gets a goal or two off his backside and gets back the confidence that every striker needs. Barkley is perhaps a more complicated matter as his position in the team is not so clear and there is more competition in the AMC roles. I think Etoo looks best suited there as he showed with another sublime assist today. Perhaps EtoÂo behind Naismith with his movement would be a combination worth trying...
66 Posted 10/11/2014 at 00:05:50
Not sure how that answers my question @ 43.
Anyway, EtoÂo and Coleman came in and were undoubtedly our most effective players going forward.... so your "keep a winning team" pint is fair enough, but doesnÂt tell the story of the game.
Naisy was missed though, as was Barry.
I took exception to the square round peg hole bs that the other guy posted, without any suggestions as to how he wouldÂve improved things.
67 Posted 10/11/2014 at 00:09:40
It was also baffling why Barkley was playing wide left, when he is more useful playing down the middle, that provides Lukaku extra space to move about in. In all, Everton were dreadful in the first half with only McGeady showing any form from the sparkling win against Lille.
EtoÂo again in this match played too deep, to give Lukaku (who had a dreadful match) any real support, although he played a beautiful through ball to Coleman, who won the penalty.
68 Posted 10/11/2014 at 00:28:21
Hopefully the international break will give us a chance to rejuvenate, sort out some of our injuries, and come back stronger at the end of the month.
69 Posted 10/11/2014 at 01:18:23
On a more positive note, there is only 4 pts separating 10th spot from 4th, but losing these type of games could cost us long term.
I hope Barry makes a good recovery
70 Posted 10/11/2014 at 00:38:52
The wall. What wall? It was too far to the left of the right footed free kick taker and the big fellas and little fellas were all in the wrong place. No excuse. Coaching? What coaching?
Hope McCarthy is okay. He was limping at the end. WouldnÂt like to be without him and Barry.
A difficult game that turned into a battle. The lads up front are not getting it together. They know it. We know it. It has to be sorted. Two good chances wasted. CanÂt do that in the Premier League.
71 Posted 10/11/2014 at 01:27:12
Jags Distin and McCarthy played to there ability other than that we had far too many sub standard performances. Yes, maybe Naismith should have started but we had enough on the park to blow Sunderland out of the water.
IÂm a big fan of Lukaku but he was shocking, he seems to struggle to find a place when EtoÂo is up with him although on paper Sammy should be a perfect foil for him. Ross is still nowhere near his best, McGeady is one of the worst passes of a ball IÂve ever seen, and two holding midfielders is too much versus any Sunderland sale team. whether we are home or away.
Very very poor game all round, shocking considering ThursdayÂs performance.
72 Posted 10/11/2014 at 01:41:31
Gary Neville wrote an article recently that when he was playing, 80% of the coaching was defensive Â– positioning, body posture, how often to look at the ball when marking, defensive walls, one-on-one practice etc. But he gathers from talking to the Academies that defensive coaching isnÂt done so much now. It certainly seems that way at Everton.
73 Posted 10/11/2014 at 01:47:47
You watch Nais when he came on. Limited footballer but he passes the ball and then bombs into the box. DoesnÂt come off so he comes back out. I watched Fletcher do the same all day... always an option centrally.
Lukaku played wide Â– both sides. To the point where there is simply nothing central when the likes of EtoÂo, McGeady or Ross get the ball in a half-decent position. So we play wide again. Still nothing in the box.
WhatÂs the point of all these good attacking players if no-one wants be anywhere near the goal? Jamie Carragher could play these attacking roles if all you have to do is shuffle the thing from wing to wing all day.
Lukaku Â– donÂt go wider than the penalty area. If we get the ball wide... his only job is to be in the box ready to attack that ball if it comes in. Run!
Ross Â– did he set foot inside the penalty area all day? HeÂs an attacking midfielder! Stop being so scared of being out of position and get in there. ItÂs part of the job.
McGeady Â– at least he had a bit of a go. Instinct to skin his fullback is wasted when he gets there only to realise thereÂs no bugger in the centre. ItÂs just an elaborate bit of skill before we start shuffling it back and forth again.
OÂShea and Brown wonÂt have had many easier games than that. No-one played on them. They just held position all game.
74 Posted 10/11/2014 at 03:29:48
If you are forced to play central midfielders instead of wingers then adapt the game plan accordingly. Barkley (as is often the case) looked lost; running into brick walls and blind alleys, with little aim in the final 3rd. No wonder EtoÂo and Lukaku were at times not available for a pass from Barkley.
LukakuÂs miss aside, that poor performance was entirely down to RM. Sunderland offered absolutely nothing offensively; thank goodness Cattermole and Giaccherini were unavailable for them as well. The end result could have been much worse.
75 Posted 10/11/2014 at 04:48:33
77 Posted 10/11/2014 at 09:33:34
Their supply yesterday was crap and they were feeding on scraps. The thought of McCarthy being injured just sends me into depression. It is too much to contemplate. Do you think weÂll beat the Hammers at the moment?
78 Posted 10/11/2014 at 10:38:42
Boring, boring safety first crap.
79 Posted 10/11/2014 at 10:42:12
Howard at fault for the goal Â– crap organisation, and he was moaning at them afterwards, but it seemed to me that the taller lads were at the other end of it.
He also nearly fucked-up with Jags in the strange lying on the ball incident. That could have cost us, it wasnÂt clever, and another example of his poor judgement of late.
80 Posted 10/11/2014 at 11:07:38
As I have said, I honestly believe Howard has some kind of mental problem; either that or heÂs hyperactive because over the yearÂs thereÂs been too many incidents of manic unexplainable behavior from a so-called professional keeper.
How many times has he cost us goals with rushing out fouling players for penalties over the years? How many times has he ended up behind the line BEFORE the ball has even crossed it?
Yes, heÂs a good shot stopper now and again but his overall behavior is ridiculous.
As I state, why is he even outside of his area yesterday with regards to the "lying down " incident?
Jagielka had the situation under control, then he sees that halfwit standing behind him like some kind of lost poet rambling the Alps and a potentially dangerous situation could have arose.
Then there was the Crystal Palace penalty incident this season, the Old Trafford balls-up by bullying the ball down the pitch instead of out of touch knowing his goal was empty, because for some other manic reason heÂs by the corner flag.
Even the Gerrard free-kick at Anfield, weak wristed, he should have kept it out because it wasnÂt in the corner of the goal.
We need to get shut of the fella, how long can we keep calling him Number 1 anyway? At his age we are going to need to start looking for a REPLACEMENT Â– not just amateur back-up.
81 Posted 10/11/2014 at 10:24:36
As Colin @45 so succinctly stated, albeit in the past, that we have ÂwastedÂ points against Leicester and Arsenal from a winning position. Okay, that was not the case yesterday, but still I feel that a game that was possibly ÂwinnableÂ was made harder by reckless defending, and a lack of guile in the final third.
Couple this with injury to Barry, and then later McCarthy, for once we are thankful for the International Break. I still canÂt help feeling, and I have mentioned it before, that BobbyÂs substitutions are bewildering at times. That game was crying out for Besic to replace Barry, and Atsu to replace McGeady who (although decent against Lille) was generally a passenger yesterday.
West Ham next, who also seem to be on an upward curve, will also prove to be a testing game, and I think team selection and availability of key players will be critical, if we are to get three points.
I know itÂs painful at times but we have got to keep the faith, and hope we get back to winning more regularly.
82 Posted 10/11/2014 at 12:19:10
Tim H has TouretteÂs Syndrome
You did know that, didnÂt you??
The fact he has been a class goalkeeper for club and country is pretty amazing considering what he has had to master/deal with etc.
He does make mistakes but can be utterly brilliant at times and letÂs be honest Â– HE ISNT GOING ANYWHERE!!!
RM loves the guy and I cannot see him being replaced in the next few years. Unless he gets injured and Joel becomes the No 1...
83 Posted 10/11/2014 at 13:14:09
IÂm talking about Barkley playing on the left, Why??? To accommodate either Naismith or EtoÂo. Ross and Lukaku have a great understanding when Ross is in the number 10 position. How many times have they started in them positions this season?
84 Posted 10/11/2014 at 15:55:30
I have a high regard for McCarthy and Barry Â– but I would like to see Besic start much more than he does. I really think he could become a top world-class player. I emphasize ÂcouldÂ.
85 Posted 10/11/2014 at 16:04:00
Dont take my word for it its a statistical fact as shown by Gary Neville on Sky Sports.Those teams from the Premier League who enter the Europa suffer loss of the League form every time with no exception.
If you want the European adventure be prepared for the fallout.No good blaming managers or players it goes with the territory.
86 Posted 10/11/2014 at 16:24:33
87 Posted 10/11/2014 at 17:56:29
Why are we so slow when we attack? ItÂs pass, pass, slow, pass, pass, slow. And why take McGeady off? He was having a good game.
ItÂs incredible how Lukaku was still on the pitch.
88 Posted 10/11/2014 at 18:12:23
89 Posted 10/11/2014 at 18:25:35
Naismith, Barkley, and Osman are all players that are best used directly behind the striker rather than out wide. Regardless of what anyone's opinion on these players is, I think we can all agree on that. If we want to get two of those players on the field at the same time, we need a change of formation and go wingerless. I like McGeady, but when Baines and Coleman are causing this much havoc, they're basically wingers anyway.
If we play a 4-4-2 diamond, I think we'd really take teams apart while Mirallas is away.
Coleman Jagielka Distin Baines
Baines and Coleman bomb forward like always. Bring on McGeady and Atsu for pace out wide if you want to change the formation to something more conventional. Whatever.
I just hate seeing Ross Barkley being criminally wasted to accommodate someone less talented. It isn't an either or situation. Play them all. And play them where the hell they belong!
90 Posted 10/11/2014 at 19:12:17
I thought we’d got rid of the worst for that, Fellaini, but yesterday I was so pissed off with that pathetic challenge. Two points thrown away!
91 Posted 10/11/2014 at 20:09:36
92 Posted 10/11/2014 at 20:53:11
Seems to me that the manager has been thinking about the second half of the season before a ball had even been kicked.
First we werenÂt fit for the start, and now all this rotation and accommodation is stopping us from building up a head of steam.
I was more interested in Europe this season, but it would definitely be a chance missed if we donÂt get top 4, when you judge how bad the league is shaping this year.
93 Posted 10/11/2014 at 22:26:27
Would love to know reason why but stats don't lie!!
94 Posted 10/11/2014 at 22:21:06
We need to cut out the wingers and go 2 up front.
95 Posted 10/11/2014 at 23:47:54
Howard's antics, the non-existent wall, the stupid Baines tackle, the two missed chances, losing Barry, the non-tackling, slow-tracking Gibson knee, no togetherness up front, the big fella looking confused and little Ossie brought on for the last few minutes when all the rough stuff was going on.
In the meantime, they brought on a lanky guy called Buckley who tore us apart and seemed to know more about attacking than our lot all bunched together. What a nightmare. Let's hope we learn from it.
96 Posted 11/11/2014 at 01:58:17
97 Posted 11/11/2014 at 04:29:56
The slow build-up is causing us to face a packed defence and we don't seem sure about the players who are best equipped to deal with it. Eto'o and Coleman showed the way but a better solution would be a faster forward tempo all over the pitch.
98 Posted 11/11/2014 at 08:31:43
Unfortunately Lukaku is sadly out of form at the moment. I don't know what the answer is for him but, if it was up to me, Eto'o and Naismith would be starting every game.
Also Pienaar and McGeady would start every game on the flanks. McCarthy and Besic in midfield.
Back four picks itself at the moment. I personally am glad to see Distin back in the side.
To my simple and perhaps old-fashioned football mind to me that is square pegs in square holes.
99 Posted 11/11/2014 at 09:52:18
100 Posted 11/11/2014 at 11:58:45
101 Posted 13/11/2014 at 01:57:10
The opposite look much more threatening with the ball and it's all hands on deck throwing desperate bodies around in our penalty box. I don't know if it's injury-related or confidence issue we need to sort out Rom he's not the same player we signed. If he's injured don't play him; if it's in his head that's Bob's job.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.