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Players acknowledge need to improve

by | 23/12/2014  Comments (60)  jump
Everton captain Phil Jagielka and forward Steven Naismith have come out in recent days to echo the importance of putting a run of good results together following the season's nadir at Southampton on Saturday.

The Blues went down 3-0 to a depleted Saints team that had lost five on the bounce, ensuring that the club will be sitting in the bottom half of the table over Christmas and prompting public comment from a couple of players.

"We're really frustrated at the moment and I'm sure it was frustrating for the fans who had to travel a hell of a long way," Jagielka said after the drubbing at the St Mary's. "I'm disappointed for them and I want to apologise to them.

"Nobody goes out there to under-perform, but unfortunately as a team we just weren't anywhere near the levels we needed to be at."

Like his manager, Roberto Maritnez, Jagielka still believes that the Blues' top-four hopes remain alive providing they can go on a run of good form. Everton are 10 points off fourth place heading into the Festive programme.

"I think most things are still achievable," he continued. "Things have been made a lot harder by not picking up as many points as we would have liked to but we just need to go on a run.

"The longer we leave it without going on a run the gaps between us and fourth and fifth will get bigger and bigger.

"But hopefully we can get on that run and close the gap between us and the top four. There's massive pressure. We've underperformed so of course there is.

Naismith, the club's most recent player to sign on to an extended contract, echoed his skipper's sentiments and says that the players are looking ahead to the Stoke clash to begin their road to redemption.

"It's definitely a feeling of disappointment at the moment," Naismith told evertontv. "[Saturday was] just one of those days. We've got very experienced players throughout the team and normally we are pretty solid at the back.

"We are normally the ones causing problems for other teams but it wasn't to be [...]"

"Fortunately for us the games are going to come thick and fast now. We've got the chance to rectify it in less than a week which is good.

"Then after that we have two more games in the space of a week so we will definitely be ready for Stoke on Boxing Day where hopefully we can change the result from Saturday and push on."  

Reader Comments (60)

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Gerry Quinn
1 Posted 23/12/2014 at 17:58:22
Nais, quote, "...and normally we are pretty solid at the back". I wish!
Tommy Keith
2 Posted 23/12/2014 at 18:17:52
I can see why the players are trying to be upbeat about things, but the fact is we were underdogs for the top four even in August, so we will be doing incredibly well to even make top six with a great second half of season.

It would be interesting to hear some of our main playersÂ’ real thoughts on the problems this season.

Frank Crewe
3 Posted 23/12/2014 at 18:15:57
"The longer we leave it without going on a run the gaps between us and fourth and fifth will get bigger and bigger."

Ya think? Alternatively the gap between fourth and fifth from bottom is getting smaller.

Steve Guy
4 Posted 23/12/2014 at 18:41:08
What if last Saturday wasnÂ’t the nadir ? By definition it means lowest point. Not sure we can say itÂ’s that until May 2015.
Colin Glassar
5 Posted 23/12/2014 at 18:57:54
The players also need to have a good long look at themselves. The back four, and Howard, have a combined prem experience of about 50+ years and yet are playing like a bunch of 15 year old Jessies.
The midfield has been constantly disrupted by injuries and suspensions this season so they can be excused to an extent. The attack has seen Nessie and Mirallas miss large parts of the season and Lukaku has had to play injured (big toe).
So in a crux, itÂ’s the defence and GK plus the managers tactics and team selections who are killing us. Tighten up the defence and we might have a chance.
Michael Evans
6 Posted 23/12/2014 at 18:59:25
Trust me, Steve, last Saturday wasnÂ’t the nadir for Everton.

40 years of supporting Everton have taught me that we are usually in the crest of a slump.

Mind-numbing banality with occasional flickers of desperate hope.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 23/12/2014 at 19:05:18
ItÂ’s fair enough Jags or any player coming out talking about the problems but what we need is to build a run of positive results.

I donÂ’t know about anyone else but IÂ’d be pretty disappointed with anything less than 7 points from these next three matches.

We have been poor this season and if we are only winning one of three matches against Stoke, Hull and Newcastle then we have got problems..we may not even win one yet, but that doesnÂ’t bear thinking about.

Stop the talk or if you must talk please ensure that results follow not just more questions than answers or more hard luck stories.

Barry Thompson
8 Posted 23/12/2014 at 19:13:07
Like his manager, Roberto Maritnez, Jagielka still believes that the BluesÂ’ top-four hopes remain alive providing they can go on a run of good form. Everton are 10 points off 4th place heading into the Festive programme.

Delusion reigns supreme.

Michael Penley
10 Posted 23/12/2014 at 19:16:17
So Martinez isnÂ’t disappointed with the performances, and our captain is? WhoÂ’s in the right? I wonder if Roberto is angry at Jags for saying weÂ’re not good enough? Oh I forgot, he doesnÂ’t get angry and any performance by the team is good enough for him. At the end of the day everyone gets paid so who cares if weÂ’re mid-table, 4th or relegated to League one?
Jim Bennings
11 Posted 23/12/2014 at 19:28:09

I donÂ’t even think itÂ’s a question of how many points behind 4th we are at present but more that plain simple truth is we are nowhere near good enough to even challenge the top 4 .

We will at best this season win 12 or 13 matches (alot will depend on how we do in the next 3 over the festive period)

Steve Guy
12 Posted 23/12/2014 at 19:39:25
ThereÂ’s a survey monkey on the Echo website asking fans for views on season do far. Have a go, I did. Will be interesting to see results in New Year........
Gavin McGarvey
13 Posted 23/12/2014 at 19:40:31
All the talk of league positions is pointless. We need to play better, the rest is just talk. To play better we need better performances from not just the players but the manager too. ThereÂ’s only so much you can put down to individual errors, the tactics havenÂ’t been quite right either. Both need to have a good look at what theyÂ’ve been doing and put it right.
Raymond Fox
14 Posted 23/12/2014 at 19:41:21
We failed by 7pts last season so for me 4th was never on with our Europa matches to play this time round, + Man U and Spurs were going to pull up trees to improve.
Its less likely now, the form were in.

Boxing Day we are going to have to score a few goals against Stoke because they will surely score with Crouch and gang banging about in our box waiting for the crosses.

Peter Toner
16 Posted 23/12/2014 at 20:12:09
I’m actually amazed at the amount of fans that are slating Martinez. I honestly think Everton can turn this season around... maybe by winning a trophy or a decent run in the league. Bar the defence, we have good strength and depth all over the pitch – we just need to find our mojo.

We played the best football IÂ’d seen in years last season when there were no expectations; hopefully the lads can turn things around and give us something to celebrate for a change!

Glen Garrett
17 Posted 23/12/2014 at 20:25:16
LetÂ’s forget about getting into the top 4 or 5, eh? I think it would be best for Martinez & the players at present to think about how they are going to keep Everton from dropping down into the bottom 3 as they are only 6 points adrift from the bottom 3.

WeÂ’ve got to get well clear away from the drop before the next Europa League games against Young Boys... we donÂ’t need the pressures of that on top.

Everton are known for being the Dogs of War in football when it really matters. They are due a good run at some point; let’s all hope they find their big steal brass balls, get it together, and bring back the performances they put in last season that got them into Europe – and that got them known as a force to be reckoned with.

Personally, I think that Everton are going to need to win the Europa League trophy to get Champions League next season. IT CAN BE DONE!!! All the while they are still in it, the dream is still alive.

Denis Richardson
18 Posted 23/12/2014 at 21:41:43
As mentioned on another thread, for us to finish 4th weÂ’d have to win something like at least 15 out of our last 21 games. Taking into account weÂ’ve managed just 5 wins from our first 17 league games (1 win in the last 5!) - thatÂ’s not even wishful thinking but downright demented!

Top 6 is currently looking like a mirage in the desert, all Everton officials and players should stop making fools of themselves and stop talking about top 4.

Time to just say Â’one game at a timeÂ’.

Andy Meighan
19 Posted 23/12/2014 at 21:55:14
I like Naismith, I really do. Lovely lad, tireless worker etc but that statement of weÂ’re normally the ones causing teams problems left me scratching my head in bewilderment because its just not true. Every game IÂ’ve seen this season I canÂ’t recall any keeper making more than 2 saves in the match.

Our style of play has been well documented on numerous occasions on other threads so lets not go down that road. They obviously canÂ’t say, yes weÂ’ve been shite, but please if theyÂ’re going to make quotes, say something sensible for GodÂ’s sake.

Colin Williams
20 Posted 23/12/2014 at 21:46:58
To the players itÂ’s just a job! These days players look to secure their future first and then think about performing for the club. The players donÂ’t feel "our " disappointment and frustration, if they did, I believe they would change their attitude within games. The supporters are always the fecking frustrated one.

Evertonians are passionate about their club! This club is part of our DNA! And I am sick to feck like many others of having so many shit days and false hopes!

Looking at our players, I feel thereÂ’s a small group that really would die for the cause. (Not enough though) Football, and footballers have changed over the years. The days of players caring about their club like the supporters do has long gone. On Saturday nights/ SundayÂ’s when our great club has fecking lost "AGAIN" all us feckers are totally deflated all weekend. Those twats just forget about it and move on to the next game.

So when Jags/ Nais come out with all the leadership bollocks! It makes my stomach turn! All it is to try and pacify
Us and they just forget about it!... And move on to next training session smiling, joking! And fecking about during the session( spoilt pricks)

The only time, I will feel they care when they show it, (body language) when stepping over the white line for our "MASSIVE" club. The only players at present, that I feel showÂ’s that desire/ passion and winning mentality is Besic/ Macka and these lads only just arrived at the club! For feckÂ’s sake, show us you care and fight for our amazing football club!( It means so much to us)

Peter Murray
21 Posted 23/12/2014 at 21:59:10
This is players being honest about poor performances.

This time last season it was plaudits from everyone (particularly Everton fans) about the breathtaking new possession/passing style and players being allowed to express themselves.

Things donÂ’t just change overnight.
Every team,over a 10 month season,will go through bad patches for whatever reason.

It is not unrealistic to be still targeting a top 4 finish.Only Chelsea and possibly Man.C.look out of reach.We are at least as good as any other team in there.3 or 4 good results on the trot will change everything.

And we can start that on Boxing Day.

John Francis
22 Posted 23/12/2014 at 23:10:46

There is only one thing worse than being considered the dirtiest team in the Premier League? Being considered the most timid. Managers assess their yellow card statistics and crave mid-table disrespectability. Too high and youÂ’re undermining your chances of victory through lack of discipline, but too low and youÂ’re letting the cynical opponents bully you.

Everton, with just 161 fouls conceded this season, have gone from Â’dogs of warÂ’ to pacifist kittens according to the figures. Liverpool are not too far behind with just 173 fouls, but for a genuine transformation look no further than Chelsea. Jose MourinhoÂ’s side has also committed just 173 violations on their way to the top of the league, and are nowhere to be seen at the top of bookings and red card table.

Jose truly has built a side of angels. Maybe heÂ’ll spend the next six months working on their cynical edge in order to protect his lead at the top of the Premier League

Says it all really.

(Opta stats from an article in the Telegraph by the way.)

Jim Bennings
23 Posted 23/12/2014 at 23:08:35

You make a great point about the passion needing to be there first and foremost.

Any team can have all the talent in the world but even sublimely talented players cannot become greats or legends with having that sheer passion for the game.

That was a point I made about whatÂ’s holding the likes of Romelu Lukaku back.
We know the man has done ability and we know he has a proven decent to good goals record but for me he is lacking in that raw burning desire to make himself the type of striker that a Diego Costa is or Wayne Rooney was at the age of 17.

You look at every great player over the years right up to today, they all have that hunger, that burning will to succeed, to put there bodies on the line.

Its a vital ingredient that is missing from this current Everton team, at least this season.

Paul Hewitt
24 Posted 23/12/2014 at 23:47:28
So thatÂ’s the manager and players that donÂ’t see how crap we are.
Paul Holden
25 Posted 24/12/2014 at 00:40:55
Pull yer fingers out, lads, we can live with losing, it’s the lack of effort that kills us – start showing some pride in the blue shirt!
Stephen o\'Donnell
26 Posted 24/12/2014 at 01:03:48
I totally agree with Colin Williams... players don’t give a toss – win, lose or draw – they still pick up their hefty wages and go off to their flashy cars and mansions...

Oh to have a team full of scouse Evertonians who would die for the shirt.

Colin Williams
27 Posted 24/12/2014 at 01:04:58
Jim,...RobbieÂ’s chilled- out attitude has been absorbed by our players. Many of our top players have lost their ability to compete this season. These over-hyped, spoon feed footballers have forgot the basic rule to winning football games.

These rules define us all in competitive sport! Been in football all my life and the one rule that always stands out to any successful team IÂ’ve been involved with!! You have to earn the right to win football games, and unfortunately this season we have failed in all aspects of this vital ingredient.

Lewis Barclay
28 Posted 24/12/2014 at 03:51:22
You're only as good as your last result. That suggests we are not a top 15 PL side, let alone a top 4.

I think Nais and Jags are very media-friendly types who get rolled out to talk this drivel. Do your talking on the field, lads.

Peter Healing
30 Posted 24/12/2014 at 04:31:16
Sounds like Phil Nevile is in the house. All talk with rallying cries each week adding up to bugger all.ItÂ’s been a rubbish season so far...
Peter Barry
31 Posted 24/12/2014 at 06:21:22
The longer it persists the clearer it becomes that something is seriously wrong at Everton now whether the problem lies with the Manager or the players is debatable. But regardless of where the blame lies unless it is resolved sooner rather than later we are in for a rough ride for the remainder of the season and it could result in the disaster of relegation.
Sean Kelly
32 Posted 24/12/2014 at 07:03:25
"Nobody goes out there to under-perform, but unfortunately as a team we just weren't anywhere near the levels we needed to be at."


Clive Lewis
35 Posted 24/12/2014 at 12:14:01
I don't buy into the idea that the players are no all of a sudden not good enough. Attitude , commitment, and strategy is all based on managerial motivations, lack of defensive coaching and a pre determined reliance on playing a certain way. Good international players don't all of a sudden become bad players. Its often an imbalance on how they are told to play and this resulting in confusion about position and strategy that causes complacency. The idea maybe for an example of being chastised for playing the long ball leading to mistakes as a single example. The problems are not within the players but managerial and coaching.
Mike Childs
36 Posted 24/12/2014 at 12:48:23
Standing Ovation for Colin Williams #20.
Jack Cross
37 Posted 24/12/2014 at 14:35:10
Well players have to open up and make ridiculous statements saying that they can still reach 4th position. What's the alternative? Saying their not going to reach 4th position. I mean that would be regarded as thinking negative, to the masses on here and they would get more slating. There only shallow words at the end of the day, but there words that we all want to hear, positivity no matter how remote the task.

From what I've been told there is no funds for January. So Roberto, had better get his thinking cap on, who his loan deals are going to be. I am at a loss, who he could bring in to fit in with his slow build up style of play. I mean he hasn't at anytime said that the football he as introduced is not working. So the odds are he will stay with it and persevere.

I said at the beginning of the season that we would finish 10th and I still feel we will. The problem is I can't see us pushing on next season under Roberto, I've never rated him and can't see that changing, especially with what I've had to endure to date but I said I'd give him 3 seasons and 3 he as.

It looks like Dafoe, is back in English football. Now he is a striker I've always loved and would love to see him in an Everton shirt.

Jack Cross
38 Posted 24/12/2014 at 16:24:09
De La fo to Villa in Jan
Jim Bennings
39 Posted 24/12/2014 at 17:03:48
Jack Cross

I'm right with you in agreement about Jermain Defoe.
Always a striker that I have rated highly and I have been amazed why more clubs including ourselves never made more effort over the last 10-12 year's to bring him in.

The only thing I imagine is that he's very much a Southern boy, never played outside the South, been at West Ham, Spurs, Pompy and Bournemouth, that is the only explaination as to why no clubs such as us, Liverpool, Man United have pursued his signature.

He's the wrong side of 30 now but I'd bet my bottom dollar he'd still do a more than good job for a Premier League club on a short term basis.

Steavey Buckley
40 Posted 24/12/2014 at 17:21:16
Those players who have played so abysmally of late against Hull, QPR and Southampton should not be on the team sheet against Stoke, whatever the outcome. The message should be made loud and clear to those players (who are getting well paid to play a game they are supposed to be passionate about) if you are not prepared to put a real effort and shift in, there should be no place for you at Everton FC.
Murdo Laing
41 Posted 24/12/2014 at 17:28:55
Yes Jack#38, agree, Defoe would be a good short term acquisition, but Jim #40 is equally right to point out he is one of those lads who never want to leave London, I think Jermaine got a nosebleed joining Pompey for his short, yet successful spell .He also had the chance to join the RS at a time when he was nowhere near starting for Spurs (2009/10?) but opted not to. It's all been said in this thread really, the passion and desire to win needs to be there , less words, more action . A good start is absolutely critical against Stoke , otherwise the fans will get restless. I also agree with the thoughts expressed about the possibility of going on a positive run, but getting creditable draws simply isn't good enough, the team need to remember how to win, an how to hold a lead.
Craig Mills
42 Posted 24/12/2014 at 17:54:07
I know a kid who's older brother is in the 1st team squad, he doesn't play regular, but this season has travelled more often than not. He told his brother he had never seen Martinez like he was after the game on Saturday, the 2 main players whom Martinez vented his anger at were Jags and Romelu.

He also tells me Jags and a member of the coaching staff had been at each other all week prior to the game and this also came to a head after the game.....

2 more bits of gossip straight from the training ground, no way will there be a contract extension offered to Distin and don't be surprised if we don't ever see Oviedo in the 1st team again....

Colin Glassar
43 Posted 24/12/2014 at 18:08:55
The first bit doesn't surprise me at all Craig. There's been a lot of tension at FF lately. You, sadly, are the second person to mention the Oviedo situation. I hope you're both wrong as I think Bryan could be a great player for us but it ain't looking too rosy.
Steve Brown
44 Posted 24/12/2014 at 18:32:11
Craig/Colin, is the problem with Bryan due to his injury or the emergence of Garbutt? Cant be his attitude as he's diamond as far as I'm concerned, unlike some of the players.
Len Hawkins
45 Posted 24/12/2014 at 18:29:08
All this bullshit about stats is all well and good but what about the "passing the ball in their own half" stats and "giving the ball away in their own half" stats surely Everton must be top.
Christopher Kelly
46 Posted 24/12/2014 at 18:43:33
I pray to God there is tension amongst the players. Finally a fucking pulse between the lot.

Frankly I’m tired of hearing talk in the press. It’s happened for years and it’s just page fillers...Nothing has been shown by these players thus far.

Stephen Brown
47 Posted 24/12/2014 at 18:58:09
Craig – that’s the most positive piece of information I’ve had for a good few weeks. I hope Roberto has let some of the players have it with both barrels.

IÂ’m trying to remain positive as two wins in a row takes us to 27 points at the half-way stage. A better 2nd half of the season could see us get 35 points and 62 points in total!! 4th? 5th? Throw in the Europa League and FA Cup and there could be a lot of Â’egg on the faceÂ’ come May!

I live in hope!! [Should have stayed off the Stella this Christmas Eve!!]

Happy Christmas, Blues.

John Keating
48 Posted 24/12/2014 at 19:02:22
spot on.
It's like watching the living dead !
Mind you its quite right the players get a bollocking but I want to know who is giving Martinez a bollocking ?
That arsehole picks and sets up the team and dictates the tactics and in my opinion is 99% the reason we are so shite this season.
Colin Glassar
49 Posted 24/12/2014 at 19:08:16
My understanding Steve is its down to the fact that he's not been given a go in the first team and he's very unhappy. That's it, I'm off. Merry Xmas.
Phil Walling
50 Posted 24/12/2014 at 19:24:28
When the clown has the temerity to say today that he wont sacrifice his bloody 'philosophy' on any account, he bears out my belief that he is a stubborn fool. He goes on to say he's 'pleased with how we have improved in some areas this season'.

The man is no longer worthy of our time and debate. I will leave him to you to dissect .

Ian Riley
51 Posted 24/12/2014 at 19:17:33
Players need to improve! How clever are they! The motivation, drive and discipline comes from the manager. He needs to let the players know this and now!
Brian Denton
52 Posted 24/12/2014 at 19:59:51
Phil, you’ve obviously latched on to ’the clown’ as being your default term for our manager. It’s just as tedious as those who always refer to ’the Ginger Moaner’ or ’dithering Dave’ when writing about the previous incumbent. It’s infantile in both cases.
Christopher Kelly
53 Posted 24/12/2014 at 20:00:40
The wiganers called him a stubborn fool when he came. They said he had one note and that he would stick to it (similar to OFM but in a different way). When you have 30,000 people begging for a change in philosophy, and only one person not in agreement, then you have to ask, is it the 30,000 people, or is it the one who’s right? For such a "student" of the game - and which premiership manager isn’t? - and that student is now flunking most exams, at some point the school will expel the student for not learning.
Brian Waring
54 Posted 24/12/2014 at 20:05:42
I heard that Oviedo took a knock in training after a tackle from Garbutt and that's why we haven't seen him.
Anthony Lamb
55 Posted 24/12/2014 at 21:05:14
Surely this clap-trap from players/ managers etc paraded out in front of some media source cannot be given breathing space by any sane observer of the game today? I believe the venue for these inane comments from Jagielka and Naismith was the Everton TV set up? Can I at least assumeI there was some "journalist" present? Did they ask any question? Did they challenge these guys with some pertinent questions as to why when they are paid obscene amounts of money for their so called efforts they continue to provide copious amounts of evidence of their incompetence both on the field and off it? "We are normally pretty solid at the back!" Is this for real? Did they show this guy a stats of the goals against column just in case he was not too familiar with things? They should be laughed out of the room and told to get back to their place of work and start mastering the arts of their so-called profession, for the benefit of the paying supporter of the club, and stop treating them as morons.
This game is being strangled at every turn by the banal utterances, the incompetence and the smug satisfactions of those "within the game" and those who feed off it, and whose lavish salaries and life style give them a sense of their importance way beyond any relationship to reality. The paucity of any incisive, challenging journalism, especially at the local level is beyond belief and makes them particularly complicit in this football establishment "merry-go-round" of the "haves". Sorry for the rant but I am heartily sick of this patronising of the "common man/woman" by people in this so-called "industry" who continue to get away with, if not murder, then vacuous unchallenged drivel. While we can often disagree with each other on this site would ALL perspectives here be invalid? Would some at least not be worthy of being addressed to club spokespersons at all levels-including manager, chairman players etc? by ANY self-respecting journalist? Then perhaps this "task" of facing an audience could then be a more demanding and onerous one and not the nonesense that passes these days for a "press conference" or this charade of Everton tv? Get back to Finch Farm gentlemen and sort it and is there any sports journalism of integrity left out there?
Brian Waring
56 Posted 24/12/2014 at 22:10:57
LetÂ’s be thankful Phil Neville isnÂ’t still here.
Craig Mills
57 Posted 24/12/2014 at 22:02:58
Colin & Steve (#44&45), sorry for the delayed reply: unfortunately the Oviedo rumour has some legs to it...

From what I hear, it’s more attitude/personality clash related – he plays/trains with the Under-21s and Martinez just doesn’t see him in the 1st team plans. Don’t be surprised if he moves on in January – he’s not a happy camper!!

Phil Walling
58 Posted 24/12/2014 at 22:13:18
Well spoken, Mr Lamb. You say it for all... or, at least, most of us who so abhor what this great game has become..... a charade for prima donnas and charlatans.

Everton, oh where is our Everton?

Raymond Fox
59 Posted 24/12/2014 at 22:30:52
It gets like a lynch mob on here when we donÂ’t get the results we want! Way over the top criticism for whatÂ’s actually happening.

We are 11th, not great, not what we hoped would be happening, but who at the start of the season thought we would be challenging top 4 again needs to get real, with our extra Europa matches and the injuries that would likely cause.

The bookies who show no bias had us to finish in 7th at the end of this season, yes were 11th and not playing well but were not 20th as youÂ’d think from reading most of the posts.

What did our previous manager win for us in 11 years? Nowt – that’s what, and he was lauded by the media and Ferguson as some kind of genius! Well Martinez could revert to playing the way that Moyes did and win exactly nowt again for another 11 years... take your pick, is that what you want?

The players managed to challenge the fancy clubs (who get 10-12pts + start each season with the favoured refs decisions IMO) last season when playing under Martinez instructions, so whoÂ’s to blame, its the players who are taking to the field to perform.

Look next door, Suarez leaves and Sturridge is out injured, they were the reason Liverpool were demolishing most teams last season, not because Rodgers was manager. If Martinez could go out and buy 𧴜M worth of players in January, I think itÂ’s a extremely good bet weÂ’d improve, because itÂ’s the lack of quality of some of the playing staff that is the real problem.

James Martin
60 Posted 24/12/2014 at 23:23:37
The problem with this sort of thing from Jagielka is that you hear it all the time. itÂ’s always Â’lets get back on track at GoodisonÂ’ Â’lets bounce back at GoodisonÂ’. When is he going to realise that you have to perform first time away from home as well rather than only turning up when you have to at home.

Then again what do you expect from the Â’captainÂ’ who reportedly laughed when Lukaku said that the squad could get top 4. Mind you the chairman also said he didnÂ’t believe Martinez when he said we could get top 4. I sometimes think the fans are the only true Â’EvertonÂ’ thing left and that the current board, manager, and players are operating entirely out of whack with what we expect and therefore get confused when discontent starts coming from the terraces.

When you think we were one of the pioneers of English football and deservedly held ourselves to ideas such as nil satis and the School of Science, the current setup is as far removed as you could imagine from what Everton should be.... and in that respect Jagielka is the perfect club captain. An overly comfortable lark-about schoolboy who is too busy joking around to achieve anything of note and is quite happy languishing in 7th and fobbing the fans off with a load of rubbish. He should have been stripped of the captaincy the moment he laughed at LukakuÂ’s prediction. I wouldnÂ’t follow him onto the pitch never mind into battle, mind you thereÂ’s barely any in the current team you would follow anywhere.

Contrast that with some of the past players in inferior teams Cahill, Ferguson, Carsley etc. Technically inferior perhaps but at least they had a bit of passion about them. Besic is perhaps the only one in the team with one shred of emotion about him, the rest just look like beige wallpaper at times when theyÂ’re playing, a team of school prefects following their wuss of a captain trying not to cause too much trouble getting busy apologising to everyone.

I hope theyÂ’re all at each otherÂ’s throats at Finch Farm because a massive scrap is long overdue at this club. ItÂ’s embarassing when you hear stories about a 37-year-old centreback whoÂ’s been first choice his entire career here getting the hump about being dropped despite the fact he was stinking the place out week after week - thatÂ’s absolutely pathetic. Can you imagine that at any other top club? Wenger doesnÂ’t indulge over 30s with more than a 1-year deal yet Distin thinks he should be automatic first choice every week.

I booed at Goodison the other night against QPR and I would do it again until something changes in this cosy Â’slaps on the backÂ’ boys club. Everton have historically been at their best when under pressure when the big characters come to the fore and bring out a bit of the old Corinthian spirit but there is none of that in this team so I would boo them again.

At least at times under Moyes in the early days I felt we were a limited team but we were giving everything, never stopping running, concentration for 90 minutes, defensive basics, set-piece basics, and physical aggression. You had characters right through the team and we overachieved no doubt about it. Towards the end of his reign these sort of completely listless apathetic performances from more talented players started to creep in...

Now, we have a situation where we have our most talented squad since the 80s without doubt but not one leader amongst them and the performances are some of the worst in my memory. That is why there is frustration, that is why people booed – and if even 1% of that discontent has permeated into the training ground and Finch Farm isn’t its usual Telly Tubby play land – then thanks be to god for that.

Harold Matthews
63 Posted 26/12/2014 at 03:24:10
Yes, the pre-Southampton Jags interview when he stared at the floor throughout said it all. Something behind the scenes is not right.
Dave Abrahams
64 Posted 26/12/2014 at 09:41:07
James Martin, the only thing wrong with the booing was it wasn't long enough or loud enough.
Raymond Fox
65 Posted 26/12/2014 at 13:05:46
I've been pro Martinez from the start and still am, it would be crazy to dismiss him at this stage.
We are 11th not 20th, its not what we hoped for and we are not clicking as a team, but he's an intelligent guy he will adapt.
The team will never be challenging for top 4 when we have Jags and Distin at the back, he's kept faith with them, but there just not up to it.
They need replacing and we also desperately need a top quality link man in the middle that can take a game by the scruff of the neck.
This + the a lack of movement from many of the forward players is why the build up is slow.
That's going to take serious money, which whoever is Everton's manager has to come to terms with, if he had a spare 㿞m-㿷m to spend next month I'm sure we would be much more fluent.
Colin Williams
66 Posted 26/12/2014 at 13:45:58 on with your assessment, well said!! Agree with everything! To many player having a easy time with Robbie. All you ever see is happy faces! ( joke) The managers more concerned about a happy camp than a winning one. ( his personality all over)
Mike Childs
67 Posted 26/12/2014 at 20:50:20
Harold at this point I know you don't want to admit it anymore than I do but it has to be the manager. When players so far out of form only need to show up to start because they're on the highest wages at the club. Then toss in when injured players just need to read an eye chart to start, then it becomes easy to know where to point the finger.

I'm one of the most guilty as I pushed to extend his contract half way through last year now all I can say is, boy, was I ever fooled.

It's not even the stubborn tactics as much as the "he who makes the highest salary must start" tactic.

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