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Martinez cites lack of energy for disappointing draw

by | 03/12/2014  Comments (87)  jump

Roberto Martinez said that his team "lacked energy" in the match against Hull City, a consequence, he feels, of Everton's busy schedule that has seen them play three times in a week.

The Blues were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by the struggling Tigers, with Sone Aluko cancelling out Romelu Lukaku's first-half opener and Steve Bruce's team tenaciously shutting down their hosts' attempt to win the game in the final half hour.

There were a few tired legs, Martinez said of his men, most of whom played at Wolfsburg last Thursday and again at Tottenham on Sunday.

The amount of games has been incredible. It's different to play a role where you are sitting in deep and defending you can cope with it a lot better than when you have to be expansive and use a lot of energy to break a team down.

When you look at the stats and see the opposition have just one shot on target and get something out of the game, it's frustrating. But I couldn't be happier with the character of my players, they gave everything they had.

Things seemed to be going Everton's way after a decent first half had seen them take the lead through Lukaku's emphatic finish. The second period was markedly different, however, and Martinez saw his team lose their rhythm.

I felt that we got through the lines really well [in the first half]," the Catalan said, "created a good tempo in our passing and we showed a real bravery that gave us a very good goal from open play. We had another really good opportunity after that and we showed real intent after we scored.

In the second half it was really different. Leighton Baines comes off with a bleeding nose and we became unsettled in our rhythm.

We needed a two-goal lead because you know the opposition will come back. They could get something out of very little.

The crowd were frustrated at the end — you feel you have three points in the bag and all of a sudden you have one. So that's a disappointment but the players showed character. We could have easily lost the game with the way it went.

Overall I am really disappointed because the first half performance was good enough to win the football game. I don't think my players deserved only one point after the opposition only had one shot on target.  

Reader Comments (87)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:03:54
This is not a time for lame excuses, Roberto (tiredness my arse). This is time for action and boldness.

Some of your Â’untouchablesÂ’ are not functioning as expected so quietly drop them (not all at once mind). Howard, Coleman, Baines, Barry etc... They need to feel that they are not automatic choices, that their presence in the team depends on performances and not reputations.

Use the Â’tirednessÂ’ factor as an excuse if you want to but too many players looked uninterested last night.

Paul Andrews
2 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:18:51
"Created a good tempo in our passing" — No, Roberto, we didn’t do that at all. The slow tempo was the biggest problem of the night for me.

Goodison is like a bear pit on night games usually. The lack of tempo turned it into a library last night.

Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:19:41
ThatÂ’s what you have got to start looking at, Martinez, the opposition only having one shot on target. If Hull City had been a bit bolder, they could have easily beat us last night, "especially the way our keeper is playing" but they chose to settle for a point.

ItÂ’s now December and IÂ’ve yet to see us play a 90-minute game this season, except maybe the Chelsea home game early in the season. A game which was simple really because we was two goals down after five minutes and therefore had to go for goals ourselves!

I think you did a great job last season, Boss, and you have even started to bring bigger crowds back to Goodison... BUT, IÂ’ve never heard our ground so quiet for 90 minutes and I hope you sort it out quickly before you drive those same people away again.

Andrew Ellams
4 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:36:12
Sounds like a man replacing ideas with excuses.
Jim Bennings
5 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:25:32
What then was the excuse for the quite atrocious pre-season we has in during summer?

As fans we all saw that during the summer in friendlies the team looked lame but as they were meaningless we overlooked the paucity of both result and performance levels.

Going back to last season Everton have won just THREE from the last TEN home matches and lost FOUR. Our home record was always our saving grace because seldom have we been a great away side in terms of winning that many.

Our next away games are City, Southampton and Newcastle. The way we are playing at present then we will do well to get one solitary point from them. The next home game is against a side thatÂ’s lost all of its away games... donÂ’t we just know where they will end that awful sequence, eh?

The lack of urgency not just last night but all season has been alarming for me. ItÂ’s almost as though the whole club has never recovered from blowing those games in April when the Champions League was in touching distance, even though we blew it through total self destruction.

ItÂ’s going to be a long arduous winter and frankly if we donÂ’t sort ourselves out soon your looking at a relegation battle.

ItÂ’s all well and good talking the players up but Newcastle went down in 2009 with players like Mark Viduka, Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Nicky Butt, Damien Duff, Michael Owen.

You always get one surprise and looking at us... an ageing team with too many crocked players and too many players not in top form.

IÂ’m dreading Saturday, with the way we lose the ball on the edge of our own box, the likes of Aguero, Silva, Toure are not going to pass up chances to burn us.

Peter Laing
6 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:41:16
Tiredness? Why not use the squad then and play the likes of Hibbert and Garbutt who applied themselves well against Wolfsburg when both Baines and Coleman probably had their worst game collectively and could be struggling with fatigue following their respective hamstring injuries.

Roberto has seemingly mixed it up in the European games where our form has been good but reverted to the same nucleus of players for the Premier league games with less than impressive performances and generally poor results.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:38:08
Also, as for this too many games lark, why is playing Thursday and Sunday that much different from the Champions League schedule of Wednesday and Saturday?? We canÂ’t use the Europa League as an excuse anymore, we have a dead rubber next week and then donÂ’t play again until the end of February.

Roberto brought it on himself really. Against Spurs, I said he should have stuck with Hibbert and Garbutt as they were both good and very accomplished but he bowed to big names even though Baines and Coleman have been well below par.

You can’t say it’s tiredness, what about teams in the Championship? Has anyone seen the amount of games they play? It doesn’t stop someone winning promotion does it? No, it’s not tiredness – more a lack of quality and a rigid stubborness to not bother trying an alternative way of playing now that virtually every Premier League team has sussed out how to stop the slow passing game.

We donÂ’t mix it up, we donÂ’t work on our corners, we donÂ’t throw enough men forward and we play with too many of the same kind of players.

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:51:11

I said before that Spurs game that dropping Hibbert and Garbutt after such an accomplished display at the home of one of GermanyÂ’s leading clubs would send out the wrong message.
Its not as though Baines or Coleman have played well lately.

Neither Hibbert or Garbutt have played too many games so certainly tiredness could not be used, if anything after the clean sheet and win in Wolfsburg I bet my bottom dollar both would have been itching to play at White Hart Lane.

Sam Hoare
9 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:51:13
We looked tired at the start of the season and now we are tired again? Poor conditioning for the players or an inability to rouse them by the manager? Very odd either way. Perhaps he should show a little more bravery and play some of the younger players to rest the weary ones. 3 games in less than a week and the only even slight risk he took in rotation was Garbutt vs Wolfsburg.

More points thrown away from winning position. You have to feel that we are heading very much for mid table on current form and thatÂ’s not really good enough. A good cup run or win might hide the problem but if we exit the Europa or the FA Cup before March, along with this stuttering league form, then questions will be asked.

Paul Smith
10 Posted 04/12/2014 at 09:01:25
IÂ’m starting to look to 40 points, not CL numbers. My expectations have changed, after worrying negative slow and ponderous performances. By the way, Distin scares the shit out of me; Stones could be the difference this season, not Ross.

Off to the Saints game on the 20th, where the current elongated debacle started at the end of last season; hoping for much better. COYB.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 04/12/2014 at 09:03:06
Spot on, Sam.

If players are tired but then why big up the likes of Browning, Chris Long, Garbutt, if you’re not willing to keep faith in them.

Then there is David Henen.
Conor McAleny, whatÂ’s happening with him? HeÂ’s 22 now; if heÂ’s not good enough, find someone to take him.

To me, dropping a defence, or the two full backs at least after winning in Wolfsburg with a clean sheet, is part of Martinez’s problem – he changes winning teams, that’s costly.

Denis Richardson
12 Posted 04/12/2014 at 08:50:12
Have to say IÂ’m really disappointed in this excuse for the defeat. How can we have a Â’tiredÂ’ team on the pitch after just 3 games in a week? We have a squad ffs so if certain players are not 100% then put them on the bench.

Baines, Coleman, Barry and Mirallas are not 100% match fit. We should not have started all 4 against spurs and we should not have started all 4 (again!) against Hull just 3 days later. Really really poor use of the squad from the manager. Baines and Barry should have had a rest yesterday with City up at the weekend. Hull only came to GP for a point.

I don’t understand why the likes of Hibbert, Browning, Garbutt and Atsu are not being used AT ALL. Hibbert and Garbutt showed against Wolfsburg that they would at least give you a solid defensive performance at this level. Garbutt certainly would have been able to play against a Hull side who came to GP just to avoid getting beat, well rested from Thursday. Baines should have been rested for the city game – now what? I don’t fancy throwing Garbutt into the deep end at the Etihad and Baines will now be knackered, having to play 3 games in 6 days having just come back from injury! What happened to easing the injured players back slowly?

You cannot start a league match with almost half of the outfield players not 100% match fit. You can get away with one or two, subbing them after an hour or so, but not four. That was plain to see against Spurs and we make the exact same mistake again against Hull and then are told the players were Â’tiredÂ’! WTF?

These same 4 players will now be a little match sharper BUT wonÂ’t have the energy levels to compete 100% with Man City on the weekend, having just played on Sunday and Wednesday. City no doubt with rotate a couple of players against us, as you should.

If the team is tired now then we may as well pack it in for the season given weÂ’ve got another 6 games in the next 28 days!

Very very poor from Martinez – best squad in years but we still stick to the same faces in the first XI, regardless of form or fitness.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 04/12/2014 at 09:15:24

I agree with virtually everything you said there except the best squad in years.

IÂ’m afraid IÂ’m no longer convinced we are anything but a ageing squad with players who are too slow, too one dimensional and no variety.
We have no pace and no creative midfielder (please people donÂ’t say Barkley, he is NOT creative)

Best squad for me was 2007-08

Gravesen (on loan)
Fernandez (on loan)

That to me was a better squad with more variety in it, the fact we reached the League Cup semi finals despite being in Europe (last 16 defeat to Fiorentina) our league results were very good and you genuinely believed that was a group capable of achieving more.

This squad, well yes we have some fine players, Coleman is a fine player, out of form but I donÂ’t forget his talent, McCarthy is fantastic, Lukaku-Yakubu hard to split, both biggest strengths scoring goals.

Baines and Osman are both older now.
Howard older and even more shitter.
Jags older, slower.
Distin old and not what Lescott was during that year.

We donÂ’t have a Arteta or to a lesser extent even a Manuel Fernandez on loan.

Naismith similar but not quite Cahill. ItÂ’s hard to split but for me at present itÂ’s lacking something this current crop, possibly, definitely not helped by this playing style.

Ray Roche
14 Posted 04/12/2014 at 09:27:52
If we are "tired" this early in the season maybe he should get shut of the fitness coaches. I donÂ’t want to start everyone off about Moyes but he never used tiredness as an excuse. We were always fit, as a team, and were often stronger towards the end of the season than our opponents.

But I donÂ’t want him back.

I think....

Derek Thomas
15 Posted 04/12/2014 at 09:07:04

They were not over worked in the close season. They have had the shit rotated out of them, so it isnÂ’t burn out.

Poor form maybe, it is said though that form is temporary, class is permanent... show a bit of class then, get the basics right, go back to first principles.

Passing it back and sideways may be technically possession, but in real terms itÂ’s just fannying about, stats related to the last third of the pitch is where the real action is.

Age may be a factor, sometimes the legs canÂ’t cash the cheques the brain writes.

Are they not playing the way they are told to, are they being told the wrong way to play?.

Sin Miedo?... more like Sin a fuckin clue at the moment!

Get it sorted, Roberto, the quicker the better. Your half-term report (18 months into my self-imposed 3 years grace period) is not looking too hot!

Chris Matheson
16 Posted 04/12/2014 at 09:31:49
Once again we were ponderous and slow and ponderously slow.

What bothers me is that we are not a bad team, we have great players more than capable of winning these matches. If we are disappointed in the result and disappointed with BobbyÂ’s comments then it is because we know they can do better and our ambitions are higher than a one-one at home to Hull.

It is all well and good saying that this is a tight league and a couple of wins will propel us up the table, but we arenÂ’t getting those wins.

Passing too slow and passing too short. Speed it up and as Jim says, shake it up.

Les Fitzpatrick
17 Posted 04/12/2014 at 09:11:16
I am heartily sick of this season.

My season ticket costs me an arm and a leg, and the dross served up last night is just not acceptable. We have just been crap since April, and Bobby (or should that be Â’BoobyÂ’) has to take responsibility for that. He cannot be praising the fringe players and then not having the faith to play them.

I think Martinez should leave football and go into politics or PR, he is just out of his depth in the Prem. ItÂ’s now the Europa League or nothing, I cannot see us getting 4th or anywhere meaningful in the FA Cup.

As I have said before, itÂ’s time for Kenwright to tell Booby to shape up or ship out, and that tiki taki is a busted flush.

We need a tactical rethink NOW, and please stop making excuses for inept players, like Howard, Distin and Pienaar, you must have sussed out what needs doing, time to man up and do it.

John Keating
18 Posted 04/12/2014 at 09:29:25
Martinez is on a different planet! They’ve looked off the pace since the Leicester game – even before that really.

The football we play is boring and predictable, my grandsonÂ’s team could counter the shite passing game we play. Excuses now are not acceptable. The back 4 are from OFM times but in reality, apart from Distin, who would Martinez change?

In midfield Barry, McCarthy and McGeady are his, would he get rid of Mirallas and Barkley? I doubt it.

Up front, EtoÂ’o and Lukaku are his. Some people say heÂ’ll have a clear-out... so who does he get rid of? Sorry, folks, this shite weÂ’ve witnessed from the end of last season to last night lies squarely and singly with Martinez.

There is no Plan B. Every team knows how to nullify us and does it successfully. He fucked Wigan with his "no change at any cost" approach – I just hope he doesn’t do it to us.

Ant Summers
19 Posted 04/12/2014 at 10:51:09
Stop Mollycoddling players. Â’TiredÂ’ is a lame excuse; people are paying a lot of money to watch this shite in the Premier League.

A couple of players are too old, over the hill... get rid of them. God help us on Saturday.

Lastly, stop telling Barkley how good he his; tell him to get out and prove it, and work for the team, and pass the ball.


Brian Burns
20 Posted 04/12/2014 at 11:11:11
If we are tired, RM, why did you only make two subs and keep Osman on who was fucked after 25 mins? If you don't play anyone in front of our two full backs, it negates their attacking play, you prick!
Iain Davies
21 Posted 04/12/2014 at 11:14:58

I’m sick of all the positive spin he places on abject and tactically inept performances, lame excuses right from the beginning and pre-season.

Poor substitutions last night, terrible tactics with no Plan B, the players look disinterested and nervous, no passion, no pressing or pressure, the Under-21s where the same the other night.

Time to face reality, you and your tactics have been sussed out by every Premier League team; change things now or get out!

Iain Davies
22 Posted 04/12/2014 at 11:27:07
It’s becoming a case of not bullshit Billy but bullshit Bobby!!
Trevor Lynes
23 Posted 04/12/2014 at 11:37:53
My small gripe is the fact that both Kone and Oviedo had good run out's for the Under-21s and were not on the bench. Surely they would have had the energy that was lacking.

I do not want the likes of Browning pushed into the first team as he was unimpressive in the Under-21 game against Sunderland. But surely the likes of Kone and Oviedo should have been considered and at least on the bench. Kone may well have upset the Hull defence in the 2nd half and would have provided more threat than McGeady and Pienaar. Both Kone and Oviedo scored in the Under-21 match and both showed ability.

Unfortunately, I do not see Browning ready for the first team and the only defender that came out of that game with a semblance of credit was Galloway. We seem to have lost the basic art of closing down when we do not have the ball and finding space when we have it.

I am really disappointed in Barkley who posed no threat up front and has not looked like scoring of late.

Sean Kelly
25 Posted 04/12/2014 at 12:13:43
I said last night on live forum the tide has turned. Roberto"s honeymoon period is over. If players are tired, it is because of two things. They are not fit enough and Roberto has kept the same unfit players on the pitch week-in & week-out.

Now, to be fair to Roberto, he had talked some of our young player who may get a chance but I fear he's talking out of both sides of his smiling gob. Garbutt did nothing wrong on Thursday and yet was dropped for unfit players and Browning in his derby cameo did well but hasn't been seen since. Last night, he took off Besic our only player who showed any hunger.

I fear for the Man City game, especially if Distin is in our defence. That's assuming he recovers from the dizzy spells he's suffering from after being torn several new ones.

I think Roberto needs to get the big boot out and remind these players who they are playing for and that their individual and collective effort is not good enough for this proud club. If Roberto is not willing or able to do it, then the boot should be used on him.

Steve Guy
26 Posted 04/12/2014 at 12:58:36
For those of you contemplating the return of the Moyesiah have a look at this

If nothing else it will make you smile.

Mark Wilson
27 Posted 04/12/2014 at 12:56:33
Awful stuff from Martinez after that pathetic second half. Tired? Really? Well maybe because we have looked unfit since a terrible complacent pre-season. It's a very tight league and I accept that two wins can make a huge difference and create momentum which we need but, looking at games coming up, I can't see it happening. But this is Everton so who knows...

Martinez is struggling in my view. It's a shame because I think he's a fantastic club man and has many attributes but truth is of course he just gets judged on winning games and frankly we don't do a lot of that and haven't for some time. The Europa League has been fun and we might continue to do well in it but, by then, we will be in shit up to our necks in the Premier League unless we play fit players and our shot-stopping keeper starts stopping shots. Win the next three and we are back on track, but...

Kunal Desai
28 Posted 04/12/2014 at 14:00:16
I will say it how it is and be brutally honest. We have players at this club right now who are simply NOT up to standard (shit) in no other terms. Pienaar, Gibson, Hibbert, Osman, McGeady, Distin, Kone, Alcaraz, Atsu, and Robles. That's nearly fucking full team. These wouldn't get into Spurs and Liverpool sides nevermind the other top 4. I would only include Barry as a decent substitute to have.

We have got a hell of lot of clearing out to do and rebuilding over the next season or two. None of the above players are impact substitutes from the bench, we have no game changers. If there is no money then get rid of the above players freeing up any funds and start padding out the squad with youth.

My worry with those players mentioned above is that five of the nine are Martinez players... his position may have to come into question if he starts accumulating more dross at the club.

Harold Matthews
29 Posted 04/12/2014 at 13:25:05
The way things are going, either the system goes or he goes. It requires centre backs and midfielders who never lose possession but those lads are playing for Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea.
Allan Barratt
31 Posted 04/12/2014 at 15:05:52
"We needed a two-goal lead because you know the opposition will come back. They could get something out of very little."

As we can't defend for shit now.

Allan Board
32 Posted 04/12/2014 at 13:11:48
When Martinez took over, the angst toward Moyes from fans and players alike was much in evidence. Last season, the players had a point to prove (to Moyes) and did just that and us as fans revelled in it. Nothing wrong in that. Martinez bought better ball retention to the players and allied to the intensity/work ethic of the previous regime. I thought the season was way above expectation and so close to being a great one.

Move on 6 months and clearly all is not well on the pitch. Even in the matches we win, we are far from convincing and the team seem unsure of themselves. I can only put this down to the intensity/work ethic being slowly replaced by a more controlled, possession-based game. I completely understand and advocate our players being coached to look after the ball better; however, not at the expense of us losing that bite/snap that we are used to. Some of our current players will be able to adjust to the new style, but it is painfully obvious which ones can't.

At present, a happy medium needs to be found between these styles and that's why the coaches/manager get the big bucks! Keep the ball, yes, but pass quicker with more urgency and for goodness sake be positive!

This aimless drivel in our own half is the massive problem and the coaches need to get on the training pitch and resolve it. In my eyes it should not take above 3 to 4 passes amongst the defence before the ball is secured and the team (and the ball!) are in the opposition's half and looking to be creative.

I just hope (and pray at times) that in trying to introduce a new style, the players are not confusing ball retention with playing too slowly, because in our league that's just asking for trouble.

Lack of urgency equals poor focus and poor commitment in sportsmen. Take a look at Bayern or Madrid, they keep the ball great but they are progressive with urgency. I do realise they are on a different level but you gotta start somewhere and the rudiments are the same.

As for "being tired", that's bullshit Mr Martinez and a bloody cop-out! Breed urgency in your play and the confidence will follow, along with the right mindset and that feeling of invincibility and vigour. I still think when Stones, Oviedo, Besic, Barkley, McCarthy and Coleman are all fit and regular starters, this team are good for top 4, next season. Although I reckon we need another keeper to liven Howard up!

Tim Greeley
33 Posted 04/12/2014 at 14:48:48
There is a comparison that I haven't really seen made... Newcastle. Either 3 or 4 seasons ago (Pardew's first full season in charge) the Barcodes placed 5th in the league and actually had an outside chance of CL qualification on the last day (until WE stuffed them; other results went against them too). So the following season they return to Europe after a number of seasons away and decide to really embrace Europa and go for it. Meanwhile, their EPL form suffers mightily.

They end up with a quarterfinal run in Europa and an honest to goodness relegation battle all season long, holding on for 16th place. After that craziness, Pardew starts cleaning house and signs 389 French and Dutch players and now........well who knows what they are.

Obviously Everton are a model of stability compared to Newcastle and I don't think we will come anywhere near the depths of their 2012-13 Europa season, but it has to be said that for clubs without endless resources trying to balance both competitions is difficult.
One way to combat that would be to NOT START almost THE SAME EXACT TEAM THREE DAYS APART AND EXPECT THEM NOT TO BE TIRED. WTF Bobby!!! You trot out the same aholes who completely capitulated to Spurs with only a "fresh" Osman and expect anything from this game!?!


Sam Hoare
34 Posted 04/12/2014 at 15:32:51
If games ended at half-time we would be second in the league. As it is we are 11th. We have given away so many points and are crap in the second half. I can only deduce that our team is soft or unfit. Either is unacceptable really for Everton.

Apathy, at the league at least, is approaching dangerously.

Norman Merrill
35 Posted 04/12/2014 at 15:54:03
We pass ourselves to death in our OWN half! Mind you, the way we are shaping, it's a cert we won't get out of it on Saturday.
So show some fight at the Etihad, and perform with pride that the Blue shirt deserves. COYB.
Brian Waring
36 Posted 04/12/2014 at 15:56:32
This does it for me "Believe me it's been a very tough period for us but you didn't see a single player not giving a 100 per cent today."

I used to look forward to Martinez's post match interviews because he always seemed to talk sense; now I'm cringing even before he opens his mouth.

One thing I still can't fathom out: with all the pace we have up front, why is it we take so fucking long getting the ball forward?

Brian Waring
37 Posted 04/12/2014 at 16:03:17
That could be it, Norman, we pass it about in our own half that much that, by the time we get over the half-way line, we're knackered!
Al Reddish
38 Posted 04/12/2014 at 16:08:48
I am getting pretty pissed off with the lack of urgency in the Premier League games. In the Europa League games, we go for teams from the start and force them into mistakes. In the Premier League we let teams press us and we have no answer.

Distin, Jagielka, Howard, McGeady, Osman, Hibbert, Pienaar, Barkley (who just panics and passes to the opposition), Lukaku, and even Barry, are no good under pressure. I am starting to even miss the Moyes 'Let's not let the bastards break us' attitude. (Although I fully understand his lack of attacking prowess.)

Too many players not performing and all they get is public praise from Bobby. Too many individual mistakes costing games. We supposedly have the best squad for 25 years. If that's the case then drop those not on form, including a woefully poor Barkley and Barry.

Too many muscle injuries, probably from a lack of a real pre-season workout. Another huge mistake was not buying a defender. Alcaraz is shit, Distin is shot and Stones is crocked.

Things need to start improving. 4 wins in 14 home games is just not good enough.

Tony J Williams
39 Posted 04/12/2014 at 16:19:23
Tired, my arse!

The team that narrowly lost to Fiorentina on pens played more games than these lot....and that was with a 47-year-old up front... they never complained about being tired.

Also that squad was even thinner than this one.

Patrick Murphy
40 Posted 04/12/2014 at 16:15:45
Well it should be interesting at the Etihad on Saturday evening, will we go toe to toe with Man City or will we employ the game-plan like we did at Wolfsburg?

Brian Waring
41 Posted 04/12/2014 at 16:26:41
Patrick, I think it's going to be more of the same tactics as against Spurs and Hull, the only difference being Man City have Aguero who is a one-man wrecking machine who could send us home with our tails between our legs.
Robert Workman
42 Posted 04/12/2014 at 17:38:40
Just discovered that Leonard Cohen may be an Evertonian, if the lyrics on one of his recent songs are anything to go by:-

"There's torture and there's killing,
There's all my bad reviews,
The war, the children missing
Lord, its almost like The Blues."

Colin Glassar
43 Posted 04/12/2014 at 17:55:26
I'm starting to get worried, really worried. We don't lack skill what we lack is fight. It's very worrying seeing good players let their heads drop and be outplayed by two very average teams.

ps: Barkley went on some amazing runs last night so hopefully he is getting back to his best.

Brent Stephens
44 Posted 04/12/2014 at 18:04:10
Robert #44 - just seen that Leonard Cohen wrote one called "Don't Go Home with your Hard-On"!
Sean Kelly
45 Posted 04/12/2014 at 17:56:14
I'm a long time Everton supporter. I have coached adult teams in the past. Even at a junior level or kids level, it's a simple game. If you fanny about at the back and relentlessly pass the ball sideways, it give the opposition time to regroup and get behind the ball. That is our problem; we allow other teams to regroup and get behind the ball and we don't have the players required to break teams down once we have allowed this.

Our football is boring, not effective, and we have no cutting edge. I haven't gone to Goodison this season and, on the evidence of what's being served up, I think I will keep my money in my pocket.

Some people on here were saying 7th-ish this season on current form and no sign of improvement...17th-ish is more likely. And that's me being optimistic.

Patrick Murphy
46 Posted 04/12/2014 at 18:36:05
This is the only time that an Everton player should lack energy on the hallowed Goodison turf – what a sad picture this is!

Leaving Goodison

Dick Fearon
47 Posted 04/12/2014 at 18:01:38
Martinez has previously said that Osman cannot last more than 60 minutes. After the Hull fiasco, he used the team's lack of energy as an excuse yet he kept a visibly knackered Osman on and hooked the much more effective Besic.

As our American friends would say, Go figure!

While not expecting a logical answer to that particular conundrum, another infuriating one concerns what practical benefit is gained when our two centre-backs and keeper play keep ball while the rest of the side grinds to a halt?

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 04/12/2014 at 18:48:02
Thanks Patrick, that's just made me even sadder.
Will Firstbrook
49 Posted 04/12/2014 at 19:13:45
Bobby didn't accidentally pick up Ginger's game book, did he?!?
Danny Moore
50 Posted 04/12/2014 at 19:46:06
Passing at the back with no pace is absolutely clueless; teams just sit back and intimidate us. We don't have Barcelona players for tick tack. We lack confidence, guile and penetration with a bunch of old average players.

Barkley can't shine with the players around him... Distin was embarrassing, got skinned too easily and should retire. Why on earth did he play Osman on the wing and two defensive midfielders in the middle with Atsu, Pienaar, McGeady on the bench? Why not Browning? Let's freshen things up and gamble a bit. I'm getting tired of it all myself.

Colin Grierson
51 Posted 04/12/2014 at 20:00:04
As frustrating as the current run of Premier League form is, I think it's important to stay behind the team and the manager. Booing the team off at the end of the game gains us, as fans, nothing.

Calling for RM to be sacked is nothing short of ludicrous. We need more dynamism in midfield to raise the tempo of our play. Lots of our 'stars' have not been performing to the standard we became accustomed to last season. Confidence is low and that makes a massive difference to any team.

Apart from Mirallas, we have nobody to run directly at the opposition defence and frighten them. We need someone to fill that role to commit defences and open up space for Lukaku to work in. We're predictable at the moment and I think it's cos no-one wants to risk losing the ball through expansive play. It's all very safe and ineffective, easy to defend against and boring to watch.

I think RM should be playing more of the squad in PL games but regardless I fully trust him even though his post-match bullshit winds me up. (I've stopped listening now cos it's not in my interest to hear it. I think he says what he thinks the players will respond best to.)

I am worried about Man City though... It could be embarrassing!

Danny Moore
52 Posted 04/12/2014 at 20:22:19
Let's shock everyone and beat Man City... What odds? 100/1???
Andy Walker
53 Posted 04/12/2014 at 20:30:29
As ever, a diatribe from our manager. How can you get tired standing around passing the ball around at the back for half the game? We don't exactly play a high energy pressing game like we used to.

This guy will be gone at the end of the season if there's no improvement. Don't forget, he promised Champions League. Clearly won't happen this season and can't see how we will suddenly go from average this season to top 4 next, so there's 3 years of failing to deliver. Maybe he thought he'd get 20 years to do it... even then, I'd bet against it.

He is not a manager for Everton, never has been, and never will be.

John Keating
54 Posted 04/12/2014 at 20:42:56

In my opinion, the fans have every right, if not an obligation to boo those overpaid arseholes off after serving up shit like the last two games. We are here forever — they just "pass in the night". They need a reality check.

Martinez is praising them up for the shite they produce — the fans need to at least balance this up. In fact, they should be getting it large from Manager and fans.

Unfortunately most of it is the fault of the Manager so he can't very well call it as it is, can he?

Len Hawkins
55 Posted 04/12/2014 at 20:55:04
Patrick (#48)

The most devastating thing that EVER happened to this club. Catterick must have had brain damage to sell the greatest player EVER to pull on the Royal Blue.

I think the second most devastating is the moronic ’passing it about in our own half’ tactics Martinez has brought in.

Dan Doran
56 Posted 04/12/2014 at 21:20:12
For all you guys saying we should be fit... we are. It's not about that. It's about how fit you are compared to your competition.

Hull played one less game than us and therefore had a fitness advantage. It may have only been a slight one but at the top level the margins are so tight, a slight advantage is all it takes.

With that being said, I believe Martinez should have rested a few players for the Spurs game and played for a point away from home and concentrated on max points in Europe and at home. Hindsight yea?

Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 04/12/2014 at 21:31:33
Andy Walker, I've never got tired on a footy pitch when my team have always got the ball, unless of course we are doing fuck all with it.

I think we looked tired because we lacked craft, and we don't get enough players into forward positions because of the way we are set up. This turns to a lack of belief, which is always thoroughly exhausting.

If I was the manager I would be more worried about the people who we're leaving early, when six minutes injury time had just gone up on the board. At least the fans who booed, actually stayed till the end!

Minik Hansen
59 Posted 04/12/2014 at 23:40:52
Dan, yeah they could've played for a point against Spurs, but the win was there for the taking with 'the' squad that played, as Spurs struggled against 11-man Hull, which eventually went down to ten men. So the mistake is anyway that Garbutt and Hibbo weren't used, which showed proper fight against Wolfsburg.

It was announced that Jags was fastest this season, so him being slow is not yet that actual, though playing in three games in a week takes its toll. Let us remember City are going to play an important Champions League game few days later after us! So we've got a bit of an advantage there ourselves. How did we do after ten games in which Roberto was going to assess from?

Remember Oviedo last season? I am so looking forward to have him fit, in fact, I believe he will have a role against Man City. The minutes won't harm as those particular minutes will have fresh legs in him. We need McCarthy and Coleman in full form, it can only be getting closer to that and Barry getting less gametime, so he is fresh when he is needed.

The squad has been too comfortable at times and got hit out of the blue more times than few, hopefully this last game against Hull has woken them up, with this schedule coming up they won't be too comfortable anyway!

It would be mindblowing if they show their fight at least for their goal as a team for this season, for the near future and wake up in the game against city to make their day and the upcoming games. I don't care if they lose, as long as they show some proper will this time.

Too many injuries might well be cause of too much workout in pre and during the season, who knows.

Last words: Get behind the team when they need it most! COYB.

Scott Williams
60 Posted 05/12/2014 at 00:07:03
Firstly it seems to me that Barkley is being played out of position. His best position is behind the striker. Rotate Lukaku and Eto'o. If he wants to mix it up stick them on together in a 4-4-2 and take Barkley off. And okay ossie and someone else in the middle.

If Bobby decides to send our full backs up with our wingers, striker and centre mid (which I like) get Barry, Besic, McCarthy or whoever else he sticks as a holding role to drop back and at least we'll have 3 defensive players back rather than Jags and Distin (who isn't fast anymore) being left high and dry and usually too wide as cover the full backs. The other holding player can be sat on the edge of the the centre circle as a reset man when they run out if passes.

Make runs in the box Baines and Coleman are both great at attacking and delivering a ball. All it takes is a Gary Lineker tap in to get a goal. The smallest of touches in and around the 6 yard box. All our attacking players seem to stop running once they hit the 18 yard line.

Also stick McGeady and Kev on both wide.

And I want to see more of Besic. Even though he's going to get sent off soon. I'd put money on him getting at least booked if he plays on Saturday. He needs to chill out a bit. But play him with McCarthy when he's fit.

Michael Penley
61 Posted 05/12/2014 at 01:42:17
All I'm interested in now is to know what Martinez is going to do about this lack of energy which plagued us for most of the season. Because I place most of the blame with him. Making only 2 subs, fresh youngsters on the bench, using tired old players and playing the same team twice a week and THEN making excuses for the team being tired is totally unacceptable.

If he carries on with the same old shite against Man City, I'm simply going to write off the rest of the season and do something else with my weekends, because anything is better than watching the boring 'football' we play.

Darren Hind
62 Posted 05/12/2014 at 04:37:49
"Martinez out" ... Really?

I've not been slow to criticise him, I think he took some real liberties this summer and said so... but what do you expect? There were legions telling him he was so wonderful he could do what he liked. Now they're turning on him.

The guy took his eye off the ball, he got a bit complacent and is largely responsible for our indifferent season, but I blame the people who were heaping all that adoration on him at the time, more than I blame him.

"Martinez out"? My arse. He's made a few mistakes (listening to the sycophants being the biggest) but he's a smart guy. Let's see if he can learn from them...

The crowd reaction on Wednesday could be the making of him.

Harold Matthews
63 Posted 05/12/2014 at 04:59:02
We didn't play our normal system against Wolfsburg. Hibbert and Garbutt stayed in their traditional fullback positions and the defence looked very solid.

Against Hull, when Jags made the bad pass that started the move for their equalizer, Baines was up near the halfway line and Coleman was ten yards inside the Hull half. With Jags and others also caught out of position, the defence was a wide open shambles. Fresh legs beat tired legs and Bob's your uncle.

Darryl Ritchie
64 Posted 05/12/2014 at 06:02:56
Phil Walling was right! Phil is right quite often, but the major part of his argument; the one that he’s been hammering away at for the better part of a year is bang on.

Martinez is not the messiah!

RM is the latest manager in a long list of Everton managers. Nothing more (although that’s a lot). He walked into Finch Farm with a "new" plan, a "new" philosophy, a "new" style. For us it was all new anyway. After OFM, it was a breath of fresh air.

The first season was pretty heady stuff. It was better than anyone, including RM, ever expected. We all hoped this season would be at least as successful as last, maybe even better. So far, not so much! The magic seems to have disappeared.

RM isn’t the messiah! He’s the Everton manager! And now we will see how good... or bad, of a manager he is. The "new" style has bogged down. There are a number of reasons why, but to us, they sound like excuses. Not acceptable!

He must sort it out. If not....

Paul Andrews
65 Posted 05/12/2014 at 06:53:21
Not everyone is "turning on him"

He still retains 100% confidence and backing from the vast majority of our fans. Me included.

Ant Summers
66 Posted 05/12/2014 at 07:17:17
Bottom line, Man City tomorrow will come at us, siting back with a flat back 4, waiting for the slow death wonÂ’t work. Most fans would rather see him fight fire with fire. Like the Chelsea game.

If their finishing is off-key we could come away with something. As I said, sitting back, pass pass, Howard hoofs it... City will cruise it.

Colin Glassar
67 Posted 05/12/2014 at 07:43:31
Great posts, Darren, Darryl and Paul. He must learn from his mistakes and prove himself to be the manager we all want, and expect, him to be.
Jim Bennings
68 Posted 05/12/2014 at 09:08:53
Stupid to say Martinez out, truly stupid.

He needs at least until the end of next season 2015-16.
What Roberto does need to do however is become more flexible and try a variety of plans, playing styles when things are not working.

Thomas Surgenor
69 Posted 05/12/2014 at 09:37:31
Those calling for 'Roberto Out' are insane! In my humble opinion, we have one of the best young managers in Europe.

Our problem this season is that other clubs respect and fear us more. They realise if they come at us we will rip them apart. This leads to them getting as many men behind the ball as possible to suffocate our play then try and pinch one. (KITAPO - anyone remember us playing that way?!)

It is no coincidence that our best performances (in Europe for example) are against teams who come and attack us. In some ways, we are the Arsenal of a few years ago, trying to score the perfect goal.
Roberto has two problems to negotiate;
One – As Fans, our expectations have risen.
Two – As Opponents, our reputation has risen.

Paul Smith
70 Posted 05/12/2014 at 09:33:04
I have been saying this for ages now but the Hull game was a typical Martinez performance. We pass the ball so slowly and only look happy when were going backwards. He plays the same system every game with the odd personnel change and all the teams have got wise to us.

I'm also afraid that Ross Barkley needs taking out the team as he is offering us nothing at the moment. Our full backs are not having an impact on games as they used to. I would love to see us trying different formations but more importantly we have to up the tempo of our passing as our football has become predictable and boring. I would like to see Mirallas given a run just behind the striker as he seems the only creator we have at the moment. Why can't we try a 4-3-2-1 formation or even a 3-5,2 just something different.

This is the managers first real test of his tenure and he needs to find another way of playing as this one is not working. We need to play a higher tempo game and try and win the ball back as we hardly seem to put in any tackles in at all. Times are worrying at the moment and Roberto needs to step up to the plate.

Dave Abrahams
71 Posted 05/12/2014 at 09:45:14
Davie Moyes got 11 years as manager so, for me, IÂ’ll give Martinez plenty of more time. HeÂ’s got to learn from his mistakes and hopefully he will but for one of those fans to call him a prick is way, way out of order. I hope he will reconsider that remark.
Andrew Clare
72 Posted 05/12/2014 at 09:59:27
Let's get things in perspective. We have had a great European campaign so far. We are only a few points behind the Champions League positions in the league and only 14 games have been played. All this despite having a raft of injuries to key players.

OK, we have a tough game next but I am certain that we will climb up the table again. We haven't been over run in any games – in fact we have dominated games only to lose or draw. If we are honest this is far better that the years under previous managers.

A couple more transfer windows and you will see a very strong team.

Al Reddish
73 Posted 05/12/2014 at 10:13:49
I think it highlights how important the energy and drive of Naismith. Barkley and Eto'o don't offer that.
John Keating
74 Posted 05/12/2014 at 10:28:56
Dan (#58),

Okay, so you're making excuses for the Hull game and the excuse for Leicester, Arsenal, Swansea, Palace, Sunderland.... is?????

Al Reddish
75 Posted 05/12/2014 at 10:45:55
Apparently we have Oviedo, Alcaraz and Kone fit for the City game, (though Naismith, McCarthy and Gibson are still out) so there can be no excuse for playing 'tired' players.
John Audsley
76 Posted 05/12/2014 at 10:47:26
Its funny how people can just turn up on TW and shout "MARTINEZ OUT!" It's a crazy statement but we have serious underlying problems that RM needs to address very quickly.

Teams have worked us out and we need a Plan B, the tippy tappy stuff at the back with ancient Distin and Barry is not going to work. The lack of energy in the team on Wednesday was scary and Howard was utterly pathetic in the goal. We really miss Naismith and Macca and need them back asap.

In slight defense of the players, it must be hard for Distin to play 3/4 games in 10 days. I cannot wait for Stones to replace him.

Allan Board
77 Posted 05/12/2014 at 11:07:46
It might be a good time to drop the Hull game now, guys. Annoying as it was, the result ain't gonna change and the next game is quickly upon the team. I don't do miracles, so I'm not expecting a win at Citteh but a point is on if EFC "fucking wake up" and show some URGENCY!

Robles in goal (Howard can use the day to return his beard to The Amish as its obviously been on loan to him) and a large comedy arrow by the side of the pitch pointing at City's goal for Roberto's benefit! "Goal's this Way Amigo!" COYB!

Ernie Baywood
78 Posted 05/12/2014 at 11:36:14
Am I right in thinking that we have only lost once in 10 games?

A week ago it was champagne and skittles. Now it's gone to shit after a disappointing home draw and a narrow defeat at Spurs.

I won't deny we have problems, though I wouldn't put Howard close to the top of that list.

It will be interesting to see what RM does. There's no obvious solution.

Tony J Williams
79 Posted 05/12/2014 at 11:49:43
Those "shouting" Martinez out aren't worth listening to.

He IS a good manager, he just needs to learn to be flexible and also needs to learn not to tinker to much with his team selection. His subs last year seemed to work really well, not so much this season.

I am sure we will put a run of good performances together and hopefully the crowd booing at the end will have the same effect as the boos to Moyes in the Spurs game.

Distin would not have played all of the last 3/4 games had we had another centre half that Martinez trusts and let's remember he was only back in because Alcaraz did his glass body in again.

Steve Pugh
80 Posted 05/12/2014 at 11:59:14
Maybe he does have a Plan B but he wants the team to get Plan A right first. Maybe Plan A is to move the ball quicker but the players aren't good enough. Maybe none of us really know what is going on and we should give him time to do whatever it is he's doing.

Just a thought...

Phil Walling
81 Posted 05/12/2014 at 11:57:45
Al, as though Alcaraz and Kone are going make a difference (positive, that is) against Man City.

John, ToffeeWeb exist for just that. It is a facility provided free of charge to sound off about all things Everton. Thank you, Michael and Lyndon!

Ernie, you've obviously just seen Bobby spouting more bullshit on SSN. He sure TALKS a great game! Of course, all the draws might have been wins and the defeats draws BUT any team could theoretically not lose all season and be relegated but so bloody what? That's exactly the shite he spouted at Wigan.


John Keating
82 Posted 05/12/2014 at 12:04:00

I'm not really sure who, when or for what reason the champagne has come out this season? The performances overall have been abysmal – putting it mildly.

We've had two good results against Wolfsburg but, let's be honest, had their finishing been better, we could have lost both.

Dandelion and Burdoch? Yes; Champagne? Never!

Dave Lynch
85 Posted 05/12/2014 at 13:30:26

"He IS a good manager, he just needs to learn to be flexible and also needs to learn not to tinker to much with his team selection."

Why has he not learn't these traits in his managerial career so far? It's not as if he's a greenhorn, he's managed for a good few years in the Prem already and should know what it takes to win a game of football.

Okay, he's won a trophy but the Prem is not the FA Cup and never will be, people appear to gloss over the fact that he was relegated the same season and actually got out of jail the preceding couple of seasons before that.

If he has not learn't now, he will IMO never learn...

Clive Lewis
86 Posted 05/12/2014 at 14:02:52
Good managers don't win the FA Cup and then get relegated, obviously good enough to win a cup, but not good enough for the season. There is something missing with the confidence, application and desire over the course of time, inconsistent or just a gungho approach?
Eric Myles
87 Posted 05/12/2014 at 14:31:54
Al (#77), Oviedo, Alcaraz and Kone may not be 'tired' from overplaying but they will suffer from lack of match fitness, so be in the same shape as Baines, Distin and Lukaku who they will be replacing.
Rick Tarleton
89 Posted 05/12/2014 at 15:14:28
Sorry to hark on about Barkley, but he's so talented he should be a match-winner, but you see cameos of talent and no real contribution. He's the most talented home-produced midfielder since Harvey and Brian Harris, but his role is amorphous, I still haven't a clue what Martinez wants him to do. Afew weeks ago I asked what his role was in an article and having watched the Swansea and Hull games live, I'm even more lost as to what he's supposed to be in our midfield.
I did think Besic was as good as anyone against Hull and he is beginning to look like a player who just might be capable of being a play-maker.
John Keating
90 Posted 05/12/2014 at 15:35:33
I think Martinez is doing a Lampard/Gerrard Engerlund fiasco.
He has Lukaku up top and as his 28 mill man cannot drop him
Just behind him he has Naismith, Barkley and Eto, unfortunately he can't play everyone there so is trying to get them somewhere on the pitch !
In my opinion that is why the team is unbalanced.
He's been playing Eto behind Lukaku and Barkley out wide.
No way is Barkley comfortable there and naturally starts coming inside. It means Barkley and Eto fall over each other vying for the same ball and space and more importantly leaves our full back more exposed on the counter when we lose possession.
To play Barkley in his best position we have to play Naismith out wide which is a complete waste and was proved during Moyses tenure.
Again in my opinion if Martinez plays Lukaku up top alone he has to play Naismith behind him.
If there has been just one plus this season - apart from how good McCarthy is - it is how good Naismith really is linking up midfield and attack plus his defensive attributes.
If that means putting Barkley on the bench every week then so be it
James Martin
91 Posted 05/12/2014 at 16:25:09
Rick, you are right about Barkley. I think however he has been 'protected' too much. The players in this team seem to be on a permanent development cycle but yet never deliver.

At the same age Gerrard was in the heart of the Liverpool midfield winning games for them. Barkley is over pampered. Martinez and Moyes have not trusted him to defend or play tactically so have given him a complete free role off the front. Oh and don't worry about any goals or assists Ross you're still young. It's rubbish. Fabreags was strolling round Goodison at 17 in centre mid.

Barkley and McCarthy should be our midfield two and Barkley should learn how to play both ways. He should take on the responsibility of creating, setting the tempo, making tackles and scoring goals. Like all goodbox to box midfielders do. Instead we're the only big team in the league who play two holding mids and a centre mid who plays upfront.

Barkley is the example of the wider Everton problem of players not taking the responsibility to win games onto themselves. There's too much wait amd see, leave it to someone else etc. Not enough of people taking the bull by the horns and affecting the game.

John Voigt
93 Posted 05/12/2014 at 19:53:52
Lukaku is doing his job. He seems over his toe injury and is playing much better. His goal last game was pure class. The game before he rose up on one of the few corners that beat the 1st defender and rose above everyone and had a goal bound effort stopped by a hand above the shoulders. The game before that he scored a well taken goal and got hacked down leading to the Eto'o to Osman winning goal.

Lukaku WILL score over 100 Premier League goals if he doesn't suffer a major injury. He easily could score 100+ for Everton.

Will he ever score 30+ goals? (I doubt it), but he's easily the best player Everton have had in many, many years (goal scoring wise).

Most teams won't have a player that scores 10+ goals this season. That's normal. Everton have one and I think we should appreciate that we do have one of the top ten Premier League scorers playing for our side.

Frank Crewe
94 Posted 05/12/2014 at 20:36:35
Martinez is neither a good or bad manager. He's just a manager. A pattern has been forming recently among managers who have moved to bigger clubs than the one they were managing.

Moyes to Man Utd: Disaster. He dithered over transfers because he couldn't think big and he didn't understand the expectations of the fans nor the economics of no CL. He wasn't a super manager after all.

Pochettino: Southampton to Spurs. After a single decent season with the Saints, Spurs snapped him up. Have Spurs been transformed into world beaters? It would seem not. He's just another body trapped in Spurs revolving door – like all those other miracle workers who came before. He wasn't a super manager after all.

Rodgers: Swansea to RS. Goal machine Suarez covered up their lousy defence. Now he has gone they are exposed as a bog standard PL side and a hundred million quid has been pissed up the wall. He wasn't a super manager after all.

Martinez: Wigan to Everton. He came to the Blues at a good time. The big spenders had a bit of an off season and he managed to make some headway. This season, that aberration has been corrected. He didn't strengthen properly in the summer and started the season with an unfit and ageing squad. He wasn't a super manager after all.

Van Gaal: Holland to Man Utd. Given 𧶀 million to spend and bobs your uncle, Man Utd are in the top 4. But he's not a super manager either. He just has a shedload of wonga and he spent it on top class players.

There is no such thing as the man with the plan – just the man with the cash. If you have the money, unless you're an idiot like Moyes, you should be successful. If you don't have the money, then all the tactics in the world won't help you no matter how clever you are.

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