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Baines looks for improvement against Hull

by | 29/12/2014  Comments (61)  jump

Leighton Baines has admitted that Everton have to improve after a run of three consecutive defeats that has ratcheted up the pressure on Roberto Martinez's faltering side.

In the absence of injured captain Phil Jagielka and a poor display by stand-in skipper Gareth Barry, Baines was a rare source of leadership by example in the disappointing reverse against Newcastle yesterday where he became the Premier League's leading defender for assists with the pass that led to Kevin Mirallas's 84th-minute goal.

He says that the players are aware of the need to work hard to arrest the slide and that the New Year's Day visit to Hull offers the ideal time to start doing that.

Obviously, we're down at the moment," the England international told the club's official website. "We're on a poor run and there is no sense in kidding ourselves.

We've got to go away and look at ourselves because, at the moment, things aren't going well but we'll keep working as hard as we can to turn things around.

[The amount of goals the team is conceding] is clearly a problem and it's something we need to improve on. We're letting sides back into games and that obviously changes the momentum in games.

It's very important to start 2015 with a win and we're looking at it as a chance to turn things around for us," Baines concludes. "We still think that if we can get back to the levels we set, next year can be a really good one for us.

Quotes sourced from

Reader Comments (61)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:26:02
Same old, same old. It used to be captain gobby aka Phil Neville who'd always come out with the "we need to improve" line. Don't tell us, we already know. Just fucking do it.
John Audsley
2 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:31:16
If that doesn't inspire the fans before Hull (a) nothing will

Tom Loughrey
3 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:32:09
Nail on the head, Colin. One of the things that bothers me most at the moment is the distinct lack of leadership being shown both on and off the pitch. Baines should be to the fore in this regard but is one of the biggest offenders if you ask me.

Right now the players just don't seem to care as much as they should do. As for Martinez, his constant 'bright side out' complex makes me want to nut him. Repeatedly.

Peter Laing
5 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:56:28
Fucking hell Colin, what do you want Baines to say ? - the white flag has been hoisted over Goodison, see you at Blackburn in August.
Paul Hewitt
6 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:59:20
Less talk more action guys. Starting Thursday.
Mike Oates
7 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:59:24
Interesting comments from Andy Gray - "too much football, too soft a team, gone from one of best defences in league to one which is now the poorest. Martinez has to learn now how to defend and its his weakness as Wigan showed, you need to defend from the front and we don't.
Patrick Murphy
8 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:01:24
Personally I think that this is not the scripted media message that we have become used to seeing from the players. Whatever you think of the message, I'm pretty sure that Leighton is one of the few players that does care about the club and its results.

"There is no sense kidding ourselves" and "the amount of goals we're conceding" tells me at least that he understands where the problem lies but have other people at the club identified that as a 'problem' that needs to be fixed?

Steavey Buckley
9 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:04:38
The odds are in favour of Hull ending their losing streak, just like Southampton and Newcastle, when they last played Everton. Everton are bound to give away a stupid goal (s). It's now in their footballing DNA.
Mick Quirke
10 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:08:07
Exactly as Patrick says. That's genuine and heartfelt from Baines. Not like that shit that Neville used to come out with.
Keith Meakin
11 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:13:52
What's happened to Coleman this season, has he got permanent concussion. Last season he won countless man of the match awards yet this season he seems unsure which side of the touch line he should be playing, constantly running the ball out of play or straight into his opponent. I know he's been plagued with injury this season but there's something poisonous in this squad this season and I think it lies with the coaching staff and management.
James Marshall
12 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:20:16
There's little point havin a pop at Bainesy - he's one of our own and he feels it too. If they're going to send anyone out to say something, it had to be him.

Imagine if they'd sent out McGeady.....

Sean Kelly
13 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:20:23
FFS who is next on the "we must do better" list the frigging tea lady or caterers. I wish they would shut their gobs and just perform with pride and passion on the pitch. I'm getting weary of the constant stream of shite coming out of them and just hoping they will put in the performances that they talk about.
Joe Clitherow
14 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:22:30
Only problem is that the chief kidder is the one picking the team. Maybe that's what Bainesy means....
James Marshall
15 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:27:05
Someone has to say something, Sean. It's part of their jobs to speak to the media which is then relayed to us.

What else is he gonna say? We're shit and we know we are?

Colin Glassar
16 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:26:21
I don't want him to say anything, to us, Peter. I want him to go into that changing room and to kick seven types of shite out some of those dickheads who aren't even bothering to put in a shift e.g. Distin, Barry, McGeady, Eto'o and yes, even Coleman and Barkley.

I'd even like him to take Roberto to one side and say, "listen lar, we need to mix it up a bit until we are out of this slump".

I honestly don't want to hear their angst or chest beating. I want to see an improvement in their displays and effort, nothing else.

Steve Carse
17 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:51:58
Colin, I'm not too sure you can claim that Barry isn't putting in a shift. I'd be surprised if he was covering less ground this season than last. The fact is last season all he had to do was collect the ball of one of the back four, look around before picking his pass and then play a relatively simple, but generally progressive, ball to an unmarked colleague. And all this was easy for him because the opposition were generally not pressing. This season he's getting pressed very quickly and, not surprisingly, he's getting caught out. He's also having to cover more ground during every game because RM is overloading his sides this season with too many players for who doing the dirty, unsexy stuff doesn't come naturally eg McGeady, Barkley, Lukaku, Mirallas, Eto'o, (and, infrequently, Atsu).

Brian Clough used to say that successful football is 80% organisation and just 20% ability. I believe our players are looking so poor and so lazy because we're simply not organised properly. Never more so was that illustrated than on Sunday when, against a poor-average Newcastle side, we were rarely organised and positioned well enough win the second balls, interrupt counter attacks at source, or generally press the opposition when not in possession.

Funny thing is, RM is fond of the word 'intensity' when describing why we are so 'phenomenal'. But is there a team anywhere in the PL that plays with any less intensity and momentum than Everton?

Colin Glassar
18 Posted 29/12/2014 at 23:14:06
You have a point with Barry, Steve. In fact, I said the other day that he's missing McCarthy big time because Macca would do all the leg work for him. He has looked a lot more isolated this season in MF compared to last where Mcarthy and, when fit, Pienaar would cover for him.

What I do criticise Barry for is that he's too bloody quiet. For a man with his experience he should be bollicking the players around him for being so inept.

Neil Wood
19 Posted 29/12/2014 at 23:25:04
The thing that struck me was against QPR at 3-0 up. I was sat right next to the bench and Roberto indicated to Eto'o and Peanuts to come on. It was cold, raining and it was v v clear that neither wanted to play as 70 minutes had gone and they both just couldn't be arsed.

Now maybe it's me being picky but I don't care if you are 15 nil up you should wear that shirt with pride be it for 90 minutes or 90 seconds.

These are idols of young boys and girls and adults alike who get paid ridiculous amounts of money that essentially we, as supporters provide. I would run and give 100% until I fell over and couldn't physically move anymore for this football club.

Sadly, Eto'o and Pienaar made their lack of motivation quite clear to the point where Roberto had to tell them three times. Imagine doing that in a normal industry...

Paul Holden
20 Posted 30/12/2014 at 00:16:22
If we don't start getting behind the team, we will go down.
Jimmy-Ã…ge Sørheim
21 Posted 30/12/2014 at 00:53:16
Well Neal, that is very telling when players start to drag their feet. Something is wrong up on RM's cloud number nine!

I too would give everything for this club, I bleed blue and all I want to see is attack, attack for 90 minutes every single game, which we as fans are not getting. Nothing but the best means just that, give it your best or go home!

Steavey Buckley
22 Posted 30/12/2014 at 01:04:33
Baines is missing Pienaar, because he was usually on the left wing to help Baines out. But who on earth helps Baines now? There have been Mirallas and Barkley on the left, but when they get the ball, cut inside and do their own thing. All great attacking moves from the wings come from partnerships.

And Baines/Pienaar have been up there with the best, including Gary Stevens and Trevor Steven. Both played for Everton and England in the same positions.

Andy Crooks
23 Posted 30/12/2014 at 01:16:46
I really do not think we have any players who are not trying. I just do not think there are consequences for poor performances. It is hard to get dropped by Martinez if you stay fit.
Dick Fearon
24 Posted 30/12/2014 at 03:29:46
Neil @ 19,
That says it all! A short sharp dose of Pulis or Keane would serve Eto'o and Peanuts right.
Harold Matthews
25 Posted 30/12/2014 at 03:55:20
Andy. Not many bust a gut and Barkley looked like he'd sooner be home playing with his iPod.
Colin Metcalfe
26 Posted 30/12/2014 at 04:26:53
Just read Alan Irvine has been sacked by West Brom! Sacking season is officially open following Warnock's departure from Crystal Palace!

And after our miserable defeat away to Hull on Thursday all I can say is...

"Mr Martinez, your time is up. Please collect your P45 on the way out!"

Paul Andrews
27 Posted 30/12/2014 at 07:32:29
I think the answer is for us to play a much higher tempo from the first whistle.
For that we need high energy players on the pitch.
In a fully fit squad no room for Barry or Distin I am afraid.





Glen Garrett
28 Posted 30/12/2014 at 08:45:51
Baines makes me laugh, he really does. HE FOR ONE NEEDS TOO IMPROVE. He has been shocking this season.

The best player Everton have in my eyes is Mirallas and he hasn’t been on top form when he has played but you can see that Mirallas is always trying to get things going when he gets the ball. The thing is, if Everton don’t win the Europa League, I think Mirallas will leave as there will not be any Champions League next season. I for one think Mirallas is a good player. Everton need to try and keep hold of him a good winger.

Personally I think he will not be at Everton next season unless they win the Europa League and secure Champions League for next season. Like I said before, while they are still in it they can still do it. The dream is still alive. Everton need a hard man player, a real team leader with big balls.
Ant Summers
30 Posted 30/12/2014 at 09:28:09
How about no one gets paid until the team/squad win 2 games on the bounce, not much to ask for from us supporters.... Then just then we might see the effort and hard work only RM is able to see.
Steve Barnes
31 Posted 30/12/2014 at 09:24:28
Paul - 27...agree..with comments

Robles - do we have to? really, is there no one else?

Coleman - 6/10 must try harder
Jags - not got a clue at the moment
Stones - getting there
Baines - no, kick the ball FORWARDS

McCarthy - if you are fit enough, you can play
Barkley - stop believing the hype and play like you can
Besic - go on son! Just don't get booked

Mirallas - Yes! let the Kevster off his leash
Lukaku - 㿈mill, really? Prove me wrong, PLEASE!
Kone - Pleasantly surprised, go on lad, show Lukaku how to do it.

Pete Edwards
32 Posted 30/12/2014 at 09:50:14
And everyone saying the players should just keep it shut and do their talking on the pitch would be the first ones to complain if no player or the manager said a word about the current form wondering if it was being ignored! Can't win with some!
Sue Brown
33 Posted 30/12/2014 at 09:50:05
I like that Baines has commented. He is a blue who I'm sure is as pissed off as the rest of us with recent results. I've said for a while now he should be captain as he is more vocal than Jags and when given that role gets in the face of refs and players as he proved against the Arse last season.
Allan Board
34 Posted 30/12/2014 at 09:49:24
If that's true concerning Alan Irvine, their loss is our gain. Or should be. The man is a good coach, not a manager, which is completely different. Our sides have always been more organised with him on the staff. And boy do we need organising! WBA problem was they couldn't score for Toffee! Swallow your pride Roberto and go get him back to help you. You have offence coaches in abundance, none of you know however, have a clue about defending!
Robert Duncombe
35 Posted 30/12/2014 at 09:57:35
Dick & Neil,

We have big Dunc for that. What had happened to him? He used to scare the living daylights out of his own team let alone the opposition when he was on the pitch. Bobby should use him like some sidekick Bond villain – not as a striker coach because, let's be honest, that isn't working. If they cannot be bothered to get off the bench or they are not playing well enough then he'll give them the Steffen Freund treatment.

Ray Roche
36 Posted 30/12/2014 at 10:17:16
Steavey Buckley @22

Steavey, I agree about the Baines / Pienaar combo, but PienaarÂ’s best days are behind him. I would give the Garbutt / Baines duo a chance. Garbutt looks the real deal and Baines can pick a pass and, I think, would grow into a midfield / left sided MF player before too long. He also appreciates the defensive responsibilities required for that position.

Coleman looks like a man waiting for his move to Old Trafford.

Neil Wood
37 Posted 30/12/2014 at 10:16:04
Paul #27.... I tend to agree with your team. I think Barry is a v good player and has been a class act in his time but sadly I believe that the modern game requires more than nouse and believe that the MCarthy's and Besic's are a better fit for the energy and snarl that we desperately need.

Besic also has a pass in him much like Barry so for me it's a no brainer. Simply trying to compete against strong, athletic players like sissoko/wanyama/toure/matic is getting too much and we seem to be very lightweight at the moment.

We just seem to lack balance and l appreciate that injuries effect this. Look at Chelsea.. They have a player like Matic who is strong, athletic, young along with the tricky players like Oscar and hazard. We have been using Barry and at one point Barkley in the Defensive Midfield role. Yes, Barkley actually played quite well their but let's be honest, he hasn't got a tackle in him and despite being a big strapping lad he's not got it in him to scrap in a midfield battle.

We have the basis of a very good side with some youth already 1st team era and some coming through. We need to look at a player such as Deulofeu coming back to give is that tricky skillful aspect. We need a good solid defender and a new keeper.

Fantasy it may be but achievable and potential to be a very effective side:


Coleman Stones Van Dijk Baines
McCarthy. Besic
Deulofeu Barkley. Mirallas

If we can't tempt Del Boy back – I have said before we should try to pull out all the stops to get him – then maybe Townsend?

Neil Wood
38 Posted 30/12/2014 at 10:34:53
I would also reconsider Fer. Every time I watch him I am impressed and in a better side I think he would excel.
Brian Harrison
39 Posted 30/12/2014 at 10:28:21
I believe that Baines being a local lad is concerned about our form, and as for him waiting for a move to Old Trafford well if he had wanted that move it was on a plate for him last season.

What I want to hear is the manager come out and tell the truth for once that he is to blame. His tactics, his selections and his transfer activity is abysmal. But all I have heard is from him is he wont change his style and the players should stick to what he is saying and not listen to the critics. I think if he buries his head in the sand any further we will quickly find ourselves in the bottom 3/4.

Phil Walling
40 Posted 30/12/2014 at 10:58:55
According to Paul Joyce of The Express, Roberto is 'going back to basics' and will focus much more on defence in preparing for coming games. The scribe suspects that our manager will take as a complement the Souness' comment 'that he's trying to play it like Barcelona' and feels it unlikely that he is about to bin his 'philosophy'.

Comfort, indeed.

Jeff Beaumont
41 Posted 30/12/2014 at 11:10:27
Now if they came out & said the following,I would start to believe their commitment - 'We have all agreed to donate 50% of our salaries to charity until the next time we win'
Aidy Dews
42 Posted 30/12/2014 at 11:14:19
Same old, same old, but Bainesy is the first to come out and say how it is. He's the first to come out and say the players need to do more and good on him. I hope the squad have had a word with each other and we start seeing more effort in games!
Phil Walling
43 Posted 30/12/2014 at 11:10:37
Allan Board @34; I think you are confused by the roles played by Alan Irvine under David Moyes. First time round, the ex-Everton winger was Assistant Manager in the role later occupied by Steve Round ('Nodding Dog'). After his first sally into management failed he returned as Head of the Academy. He was never a specialist defensive coach as Moyes did that himself.
Phil Walling
44 Posted 30/12/2014 at 11:17:37
As someone said yesterday, we have to face up to the fact that the likes of Howard, Hibbert, Distin, Barry, Osman and Pienaar are all 'over the hill' and Robles, Alcaraz and McGeady just aren't good enough.

Baines, for long recognised as an excellent full back finds himself shoring up midfield whilst our record signing constantly stinks the place out.

As for Eto'o, I don't think Roberto knows what to do with him but has to find him a spot to justify the mega wages he's being paid.

Altogether a dog's breakfast, then..... otherwise known as 'a philosophy'!

Karl Jones
45 Posted 30/12/2014 at 12:02:33
The players and manager are the same... It's fight and determination = confidence that is missing. Some of the players Martinez has signed are not players who show the fight that made the later Moyes era team one of the hardest and tightest to play against.
Kevin Tully
46 Posted 30/12/2014 at 12:31:42
Just watching SSN - some interesting stat’s if you’re into that sort of thing, we hold some unwanted records this season ;

Most errors leading to goals (10)

Fewest number off crosses from open play (225)

Conceded fewest number of fouls (178 - clearly too fecking nice)

Won the most amount of fouls (246)

Caught offside the most (49)

Clearly, we need to get stuck in!

Phil Walling
47 Posted 30/12/2014 at 12:36:21
More stats from same source. In the 19 seasons since 38 games made up the Prem season, the range of points needed to avoid relegation has remarkably spread from a mere 31 in 09-10 to a massive 43 in 02-03!

The average 'safe' total is 37 but who would gamble at this stage of the season that such a modest number would be enough?

Brian Denton
48 Posted 30/12/2014 at 13:04:12
Palace went down with 48 points once - admittedly with a couple more games in the season. That must have been a real pisser!
Brian Denton
49 Posted 30/12/2014 at 13:20:57
Phil (40) you lost me with ’of The Express’.


Paul Smith
50 Posted 30/12/2014 at 13:20:59
Interesting stat - won the most fouls. Cos' we've always got the ball.
Sam Hoare
51 Posted 30/12/2014 at 13:48:19
Won the most amount of fouls yet so rarely score from free kicks, direct or otherwise. Same for corners. So few players who attack the ball in the air. Which also accounts for our goals conceded.

Agression and desire to win the ball, in the air or otherwise, is definitely lacking severely from the this Everton team with one or two exceptions. And it galls me.

Michael Polley
52 Posted 30/12/2014 at 14:03:06
Baines as Captain, and let's all pray we turn this around. Hard to believe we have conceded 31 goals so far compared to 39 for all of last season. The back four & goalkeeping have been shocking, so many schoolboy errors. We need to shore up our defence with some buys in January. In reality we need a CB (maybe 2 in the long-term), an attacking creative midfielder, and a goalkeeper who will pressurise Howard for the 1st team spot. What are the chances ???
Paul Tran
53 Posted 30/12/2014 at 14:18:07
The main thing we need is a strong spine. New keeper, centre back, big strong midfielder.

If we have the alleged millions that miraculously flooded in the minute Moyes left, what's the problem?

Minik Hansen
54 Posted 30/12/2014 at 14:15:50
For those who ask for action instead of words from the players, we've got a job as well as fans to instead of talking to back them up climbing a hill.

Now all I remember is this quote: "The danger of an adventure is worth a thousand days of ease and comfort". At this very moment, we aren't comfortable and such is the time to handle the challenge that's been around us with guts. That goes to the players and the fans, get on, get together and you know where you wish to go, so take this one-way ticket to play catch up!

Jon Withey
55 Posted 30/12/2014 at 15:23:14
Stop bloomin passing it backwards when the defence are under pressure or dwelling on the ball outside our own box and we will concede less goals.

On Barry, I couldn't believe the number of tackles he pulled out of - people were just gliding past him.

I've no idea why Phil Walling is picking on Hibbert and Osman - they haven't even been playing in this recent dross.

Ray Roche
56 Posted 30/12/2014 at 15:26:21

Yes, true, we never do much with free kicks these days and I think the fact that we take quick, short free kicks, sometimes before we are ready, and which usually ends up with the ball back at Howard is partially responsible for THAT stat. Likewise Martinez has said that he doesn't value corner kicks, consequently we do eff all from them, either, and you can add crosses into the equation as well. Hence we have the fewest number of crosses. WTF is wrong with the man? Corners get the crowd going, they put/keep pressure on the opposition defence, defenders don't like trying to cut out crosses as they race back towards their own goal...Martinez! Wise up, for fucks sake.

John Audsley
57 Posted 30/12/2014 at 15:46:12
Age has really caught up with us this season.

Unless major investment comes in we are going to be more mid/lower table than top half. Kenwright has sold well over the years and invested nothing into the playing staff.

Unless the utterly pathetic board show Martinez some cash (he isn't going anywhere whether he should or not) you can't keep on over achieving every season.

Howard, Distin, Barry, Pienaar to name but 4 need replacing soon as possible.

Will the board help with this??

Well, by selling Coleman/Barkley or Stones they might but they haven't put a penny into EFC unless someone has left for big money.

That can't last forever and the squad is aging rapidly.

I disliked Moyes immensely towards the end but you have to admire the job he did on very little playing investment.

Alec Gaston
58 Posted 30/12/2014 at 15:55:48
Despite the last three homes games being painful, it is not just the players who have given up. I really think we need to get behind them, we all know how much confidence the crowd can give. So, whether you believe the players or manager are good enough or not, let's hear the crowd again and see the difference that makes. If there is no improvement then, maybe it is time for a change of management
Ant Summers
59 Posted 30/12/2014 at 18:58:14
December 1993 and January 1994.

December 8: Man City 1 Everton 0
December 11: Sheff Utd 0 Everton 0
December 18: Everton 0 Newcastle 2
December 27: Everton 0 Sheff Wed 2
December 29: Blackburn 2 Everton 0
January 1: Everton 0 West Ham 1
January 3: Chelsea 4 Everton 2

No goals in six games, one point from seven games - and then Mike Walker got appointed!

James Stewart
60 Posted 30/12/2014 at 19:07:11
To be fair to Baines, he was the only player who really tried last game and he did lead by example. The likes of Barry and McGeady produced truly shameful performances from supposedly experienced players.
Sean Kelly
61 Posted 30/12/2014 at 21:16:11
Maybe the improvement he is looking for is from the manager. When a player comes out and says we did train in a new system or formation because we didn't have time then that's the managers fault.

We a manager says he doesn't rate corners and they are of no consequence then maybe that explains two things. We are shite at our delivery and execution of corners. We never score from them. Secondly we can't defend them or set pieces. How many times have we conceded on corners and set pieces? FFS there may be up to a dozen corners in a game to either defend or score from and our manager doesn't rate them. What planet is he living on?

Tony Abrahams
62 Posted 30/12/2014 at 21:50:34
Neil 19, I don't think I would have wanted to go on either the way we was actually playing. The fact that Eto'o then played in the very next game at Southampton is disgraceful management, and shows a distinct lack of strong leadership.

I know the game's changed, but if you're not a disciplined manager you can never, or will never succeed.

Stu Smith
63 Posted 31/12/2014 at 14:44:59
Does anyone know if you can pay on the door tomorrow? I live near Hull but want to be in the blues end.

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