Aaron Lennon could play after starting as a substitute on Sunday
Everton are on the road again this evening as they travel to Stoke with the pressure on Roberto Martinez's shoulders growing in the wake of a fourth successive game without a win in the Premier League.
The Blues have won just once in 13 matches on the domestic front, a run that has seen them eliminated from the FA Cup at the Third Round stage and become bogged down in the bottom half of the League table. With any realistic hope of finishing in the European places gone, the target now is to at least finish in the top half but, for now it's the threat from below rather than the extra revenue to be gained from the places above that are of most concern.
An equaliser by Jack Rodwell for Sunderland against Hull prevented Everton from starting the game at the Britannia Stadium in 15th place, but a win for Aston Villa over West Bromwich Albion and the fact that 18th-placed QPR have a game in hand means no one of a Blue persuasion will be resting easy until the team starts picking up points.
Facing Mark Hughes's side on their own patch is no one's idea of a treat when you'rte desperately in need of a victory and while Manchester City recently demolished them 4-1, you have to go back to 22nd December for the last time the Potters were beaten at the Britannia, 2-0 by Chelsea.
Since then, they've either beaten or drawn with all of the teams around Everton in the table home or away and have lost just two of their last 10 League games. They can be vulnerable against teams that really go after them, though, as City, Arsenal and Championship side Blackburn have shown over the past month.
That bodes well for an Everton team that boasts plenty of talent but which has struggled to harness it all season long. Sunday's defeat to Arsenal was the latest disappointment from a team that was so dynamic going forward last season and has been so lethal for much of their Europa League campaign.
As ever, another sold-out away end will be hoping that this is the game where everything clicks in a League game and that the Toffees can start putting more daylight between themselves and the bottom three.
With Christian Atsu ruled out as he recovers from a virus — the Ghanaian is expected back to Finch Farm on Friday — and Leighton Baines doubtful, the manager has the same pool of players from which to draw as he did at the weekend. Baines will undergo a late fitness but would be a surprise inclusion, particularly in view of how well Luke Garbutt has been performing as his deputy this season.
The 21 year-old has started the last two matches, weighing in with an assist in the Europa League second leg against Young Boys and providing some dangerous set-piece deliveries in the defeat to Arsenal at the weekend. With Bryan Oviedo facing two to three weeks out with a hamstring injury, he will likely get another chance to impress against Stoke.
Elsewhere in the side, Kevin Mirallas's disappointing outing at the Emirates will probably see Aaron Lennon given another start, while Steven Naismith could come in for Ross Barkley. While there are growing calls from supporters for Martinez to mix up his rigid 4-3-2-1, formation by trying Arouna Kone alongside Romelu Lukaku, it's more likely that James McCarthy and Gareth Barry will continue as a pair in defensive midfield and Darron Gibson, who only saw 10 minutes of action against the Gunners, will replace Muhamed Besic.
Similar to the trip to Selhurst Park at the end of January, this is one of those games where grinding out a hard-earned victory in any way possible would do wonders for the players' confidence ahead of the first Europa League game against Dynamo Kyiv.
Put simply, just win. It would lift us into 12th place and feeling a lot more secure about things.
Kick off: 7.45pm
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Last Season: Stoke City 1 - 1 Everton
Full coverage: ToffeeWeb Match Reports
Reader Comments (160)
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1 Posted 04/03/2015 at 00:57:07
2 Posted 04/03/2015 at 01:07:28
Surely for once Roberto and his merry men can muster a win. Good luck to all the travelling fans, proper supporters best in the land.
3 Posted 04/03/2015 at 01:10:11
Robles-Coleman-Garbutt-Stones-Jagielka-McCarthy-Besic-Gibson-Osman(if fit)- Naismith-Lukaku.
Should Osman not be fully fit, then I would play Naismith deeper and play Kone up front. Naismith starts because of his energy, and the fact that he poaches the odd goal. Barkley drops to the bench. But he could be dangerous when Stoke are tiring. Oviedo would be in contention also, when fit. Mirallas is not looking to interested. So he is dropped. We donÂt need passengers.
Just a bit of fun here, because it is all academic anyway. I could almost name the exact team that Martinez will field. And also his tactics. We all could.
HereÂs hoping that we catch Stoke City of guard, and that they have a bad night. And that just for once the Everton team that has been doing the business in the EL turns up. We just might get something. But its all ifs and buts with this Everton team. What team will turn up tonight. ItÂs over to you, Mr Martinez, its over to you. COYBs.
4 Posted 04/03/2015 at 01:25:38
6 Posted 04/03/2015 at 01:29:31
So at Stoke IÂd keep the three. IÂd probably also play Gibson forward of them, since you can just never trust getting anything from Barkley on any one particular day. And IÂd go with Lennon wide right. Mirallas? An egotist who flatters to deceive. Not one youÂd want alongside you in the trenches -- and thatÂs exactly where figuratively we are at the moment.
7 Posted 04/03/2015 at 01:54:15
Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Garbutt
Besic, Barry, McCarthy
Naismith, Kone and Lukaku
Admittedly not ideal but we need those players who are going to win the ball and their should be enough from the front three to cause Stoke some problems. I donÂt care how we play we need those points.
8 Posted 04/03/2015 at 02:36:20
Coleman Stones Jagielka Garbutt
McCarthy Gibson Barry
Kone Lukaku Naismith
Mirallas, Lennon, Besic to come on when legs start tiring and the game opens up.
Oh yeah, and a Âfire and brimstone,Â "donÂt bother coming back through that door if you lose" teamtalk and THAT Dave Hickson quote tattooed onto their foreheads.
9 Posted 04/03/2015 at 02:38:43
10 Posted 04/03/2015 at 02:04:33
We can win this if we donÂt dilly-dally at the back and make a big effort to play the ball forward. Strikers and midfielders must get into the box and the fullbacks must waste no time in getting the ball across. Every time Seamus stops to try to dribble the fullback I scream in frustration. When Garbutt crossed for Lukaku to slam one in I screamed with delight. Tempo-Tempo. Pace-movement-Wham.
Of course, with Martinez at the helm IÂm living in a dream. WeÂll keep possession in our own half and lose possession in the Stoke half. Even so, weÂll get a chance or two. LetÂs hope we put them away.
11 Posted 04/03/2015 at 02:37:52
If we get something at Stoke I will be over the moon, I sometimes hope our players read what us the supporters write from time to time and catch the odd post, and if so please win at Stoke lads and help put an end to the nightmares.
12 Posted 04/03/2015 at 04:28:31
Looking back at what he said after he relegated Wigan, this seems like it could be copy and pasted to the Echo after the season:
"The group of players weÂve got here are an incredible bunch. They donÂt deserve this. We donÂt deserve to be in the bottom three. You will never see a better group of players than these in the way they play and represent the club."
That was after Wigan were relegated. How similar is that to the shite this man lets fly from his mouth after every match.
Some call him positive. I think heÂs just a terrible judge of reality. His teams apparently never deserve the poor results they continuously get, yet the poor results just continue to flow. At what point, Roberto, do you not notice the fucking trend!
13 Posted 04/03/2015 at 04:58:19
14 Posted 04/03/2015 at 05:26:48
Think we have more chance of Kone and Lukaku starting in a 4-4-2 formation, Gibson as the holding midfielder, than we have of Clattenberg giving us anything.
Tough game tonight, but winnable.
15 Posted 04/03/2015 at 06:03:17
Coleman Stones Jagielka Garbutt
Mirallas McCarthy Gibson Lennon
16 Posted 04/03/2015 at 05:50:39
Granted, we have been playing a bit better, but there are still too many mistakes, dodgy tactics and players afraid to show their skill in the boring tippy-tappy possession football we're being subjected to. I don't know how, with way we've been playing, anybody could logically see us coming out on top, but as P. Barry says above, we need a win. Hell, we need a lot of wins.
Stoke score the most of their goals from set pieces and corners. Stones has got to be Crouch's shadow. He's the only one with enough height to be effective. We have to play the game in their half, for a change. Tippy-tappy is not the problem. Tippy-tappy in front of our own goal, is the problem. Giving Lukaku a little bit of support/service wouldn't hurt either.
This match is there for the taking, but I really don't have clue what will happen. We can win. We should win. Will we win? Who knows.
17 Posted 04/03/2015 at 06:43:33
I'd sit Naisy out of this one cos winning headers against the Stoke cavemen ain't gonna happen, it's gotta be pacey attacks down the width of the pitch.
Unfortunately there's no chance of any of the above, he'll play another lopsided, players out of position, 10 defenders, hold the ball approach-and we'll get beat... and I will throw a thrombo.
18 Posted 04/03/2015 at 07:07:22
19 Posted 04/03/2015 at 07:31:00
Howard ( although I'd prefer Robles)
SC JS PJ LG
AL DG JM KM
Stoke wouldn't have prepared for that and it can't be any worse than our non formation we currently use.
20 Posted 04/03/2015 at 07:34:07
We will hold the ball slowly and pass it aimlessly for the first half hour probably resulting in at best one or two corner kicks (which may aswell just be given as a goal kick to Stoke)
Then we will concede a set-piece from their first attack and the rest of the game will merely be more punchless attacking play from us and passing on the halfway line just for passing sake.
Regardless of who starts tonight, it's impossible to see anything better than a 0-0 or 1-1 draw as our goalscoring since late October has been nothing short of abysmal.
21 Posted 04/03/2015 at 07:55:07
Given Garbutt's effectiveness against Arsenal, and Lukaku's inability to head the ball or react quickly to anything, I'd be the inclined to start with Kone and Naismith, since the latter is more than willing to take a chance on a quick low ball and seems to have some understanding of the offside law.
23 Posted 04/03/2015 at 08:13:35
24 Posted 04/03/2015 at 08:14:53
25 Posted 04/03/2015 at 08:22:32
I like your thinking but I think you should put a very big IF when talking about us winning our home games.
We have been appalling at home all season and I really get the feeling now the players don't enjoy playing Goodison nowadays due to the seriously tense edgy atmosphere. It's not the away trip that visiting teams once feared anymore, sides now know that they can quickly turn the atmosphere against Everton.
We need wins as soon as possible be it home or away but it's going to be a long difficult process I think.
26 Posted 04/03/2015 at 08:27:20
And I'm rooting for a RS win tonight which is another thing I'll not be forgiving Martinez for in a hurry.
27 Posted 04/03/2015 at 08:39:24
itÂs all well and good trying to keep it tight and try and snatch 1 in the last minute but we ship goals to easy.
Once weÂre behind itÂs game over.
We have to compete and earn our points - Villa last night.
Nobody is going to give us an inch.
I set my team out in post 15 and I reckon that team could give us a chance.
29 Posted 04/03/2015 at 08:50:57
Damn, damn Martinez for dragging us down to this level.
30 Posted 04/03/2015 at 08:54:10
31 Posted 04/03/2015 at 08:55:42
32 Posted 04/03/2015 at 09:07:11
If results don't go our way today we could be 3 points off relegation with 10 games left.
33 Posted 04/03/2015 at 09:22:39
34 Posted 04/03/2015 at 09:25:42
In the nineties, we were at least aware that we had to scrap for every point; the present team and management are sleep-walking towards disaster and keep telling us they are playing well and are unlucky. We aren't unlucky Â– we're poor... and another display of sideways and backwards passing will see us even deeper in the mire.
35 Posted 04/03/2015 at 09:16:29
36 Posted 04/03/2015 at 09:35:15
Motivation indeed. Over to you Roberto.
37 Posted 04/03/2015 at 10:10:21
I agree with you but try telling that to Martinez.
If we do get dragged further into the relegation mire over the the next few weeks then I would be hugely worried that our stubborn reluctance to change could mean that nightmare scenario happens and we do go down.
If you look at Martinez's Wigan team or going back over the year's, team that try to play their way out of trouble rarely survive.
I recall Sheffield Wednesday in 2000 played some beautiful football, far better than what we are seeing from us, but the fact is they didn't have the spine defensively or the strength of character once they took the lead in games.
The myth with Everton is that they play entertaining football; we don't... in fact we don't play any kind of football, it's just like watching an open training session, sideways passing, slow movement, non-committal running or no high intensity pressing or pressure on the opposition.
Our football is mundane.
It's almost as though Martinez gets a thrill out of seeing the ball passed about aimlessly and slowly Â– he doesn't seem bothered that we rarely look like being a team that can hurt our opponent.
38 Posted 04/03/2015 at 10:14:42
39 Posted 04/03/2015 at 10:16:17
What I am saying is that we seem to be dependent on slow build up to Lukaku who is on his own being marked by 3 defenders. If we have the option of 1 midfielder who has an offensive brain having the options of 2 strikers we may have an opportunity to at least put the fucking ball in the net!
The system we play week-in & week-out that everyone wants to "tweak" has failed miserably. My point in 4-4-2 is: What have we got to lose???
40 Posted 04/03/2015 at 10:18:02
On the other side I hope that we use just one defensive midfielder, go with 4-4-2 formation, introduce ourselves as a big team, with no fear but absolute determination to win. We played once with only Besic as a defensive midfielder and Barkley in the center and result was 3-1 for Everton. It's the last time we scored 3 goals in the Premier League and it was the last game where Barkley looked like football player.
41 Posted 04/03/2015 at 08:58:01
Arguing over the future of the manager has become pointless and I read yesterday that ’Kenwright sets an example to all the knee-jerk owners by keeping faith in a manager with whom he has formed a close understanding.’
’Phenomenal’ was all I could say about that view... but to those of us who know his ’form sheet’, BK as an exemplar for anything football related is a bit rich, don’t you think?
I remain firm in the view we will not be relegated but it will not be on account of the two clowns in charge but much more to do with the players facing up to the monetary & career ramifications of the Big Drop. Three points tonight would be a good start.
42 Posted 04/03/2015 at 10:20:56
Yet, man for man, which team's players would you prefer?
43 Posted 04/03/2015 at 10:44:04
Surely the team must put in a performance worthy of the name tonight and give those long suffering folks who travel away from home something to celebrate.
44 Posted 04/03/2015 at 10:40:35
"The group of players we've got here are an incredible bunch ... in the way they play and represent the club."
I recall reading that Martinez had been genuinely surprised when Wigan were finally relegated. It is as though the idea had never occurred to him before it actually happened. That is the terrifying part of all this: a manager in denial in the late stages of a train-wreck season.
48 Posted 04/03/2015 at 10:33:37
Roberto could have a few words with Big Joe on how to get us safe at any cost, this domestic season is a write off now anyway apart from the Europa League, so lets win as many as we can in whatever way it takes. Let's face it, we've been worked out: teams know how to play against us. Then have a (better) pre-season for the 2015-16 term.
Given the choice of winning the Europa League or dropping down a division does not bear thinking about.
49 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:02:21
Well, that's that then.
50 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:05:03
Change it up, I say; play the two up front. I remember him saying we miss dearly Osman and Pienaar Â– two massive players in our squad; well, chuck them in! Astu I remember reading he was going to change us in the second half of the season; well... not on the bench he isn't Â– chuck him in!!!
Roberto Â– he proper talks too much... You're running a football team Â– not a game show! He leaves you hanging, waiting to tune in next week.
51 Posted 04/03/2015 at 10:59:20
Did anyone see the gusto and tempo that the Redshite started that match on Sunday against Man City? They didn't get home until early Friday morning yet, whereas the sloppy tired football that we are forever meant to believe exists after a Thursday's night match??
When did we last see Everton harry, press, and almost corner a team into submission? When did we last see a performance like the 2008 Fiorentina match at Goodison, tempo, raw want and desire to WIN.
We just see the same controlled slow chess like performance week-in & week-out... then, when the opposition score, it's like the players all look at eachother and go "Duh, how did that happen? We have passed the ball aimlessly for half an hour, how dare they score with the first attack they have."
I just want to see a performance that does its own talking for a change rather than the usual nonsensical interview about luck.
52 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:04:16
Playing just one striker puts a huge burden on the midfield to score and very few of them have been doing that. Mirallas has 9 for the season and Naismith and the next contributor is Osman with 2 and then McGeady and Barkley with 1 each. That is particularly poor from Barkley when you think how many matches he has played in the AMC role.
For that reason, I think our best team is something like:
Coleman Stones Jagielka Garbutt
Lennon Naismith Mirallas
Of course he will play Howard and probably Barry and possibly 3 def midfielders again which seems his new fave. Hope if that's true that Gibson will be one of the three.
53 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:10:24
54 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:30:40
55 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:32:03
56 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:38:20
Get safe in the Premier League but after that it's the Europa League all the way for me.
Once we are safe I couldn't give a shit if it's 10th or 15th where we finish.
We can't get anywhere near the top 9 this season because we don't win enough money so let's get safe as fast as possible but once we are, I'm desperate for a trophy and Champions League football.
We shouldn't be championing finishing 10th anyway and going out of both domestic cups at the first hurdle.
57 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:38:53
Hard to predict a win against anyone these days but I would go with:
Coleman Stones Jagielka Garbutt
Lennon Naismith Mirallas
Not a chance he will play that team though.
58 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:42:31
59 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:38:04
If RM claims he won't change then there is the root of the problem. He should have been given the boot after the WBA home draw. The best we can hope for now is survival.
Right now, I couldn't care less about EL. After all that slog we're effectively in the equivalent of the 5th round of the FA Cup. The PL is the priority. A scruffy, spawny win tonight would be great. (I might even listen to RM's post-match interview if that happens.)
60 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:43:59
We can then have a good look at the way the club is going: manager, players etc.and start afresh, but we will never be a top club again under Bill Kenwright, and I think most of us know that.
61 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:52:42
62 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:44:48
I'm just marking time in the hope that he shows rapid improvement next season as Bill won't sack him... well not unless we carry on where we left off.
We won't be the first, or the last to have a shite season and win a cup at the end of it.
63 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:50:10
Each time I see Kone, I think the ٣M against the Belgian lump looks much the better deal; at least he can hold a ball, win a header and not get offside 5 times a match.
64 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:57:20
65 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:03:36
Howard (because he will)
Besic and McCarthy could work either way around
66 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:14:03
I'm hoping we get something from tonight's game but looking at current form we'll either lose or draw. Since the start of the year our league record reads P8 W1 D4 L3, that is even more appalling when you add in that the 3 league games before were all defeats! So since the gimme against QPR it reads P11 W1 D4 L6. (The one win being the flukey 1-0 away to Palace!).
Since the start of the year, we've also failed to score a goal in four of the 8 league games played.
Wasn't the second half of the season supposed to be 'phenomenal' and when we'll kick on? I notice this mantra has now been changed to say the last third of the season is when it'll happen Â– I wonder what the line will be come April!
I'll take a point tonight if offered now.
67 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:07:05
It's a sorry state of affairs, in that for the first time in several years I actually want the RS to win a game.
I think that says everything about our season.
68 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:42:12
I ask you this. Why does Martinez persist with the same old misfiring players and tactics? Why is he reluctant to make changes? Why is he afraid to take players out of the firing line? And give misfiring players a rest? Supporters like myself want to see change. That's why I suggest a line-up. But its just a bit of fun. That's all.
As for tonight. Let's be positive. Martinez will go 4-4-2. He will finally come to his senses. He will play Robles, who will command his box, and play a blinder, banishing TH to the wilderness. He will play Gibson, who will surge forward, and split Stoke open with precision passing. Adams will ask to be taken off, as he just can't get in the game. He will also play Kone. Who's hold-up play will be a masterclass. Stones will dominate big Crouch, who breaks down and pleads to sign for Everton.
After five minutes, Garbutt crosses to Lukaku. Lukaku slams home the first. On 25 minutes, Gibson surges forward and lets fly with a 30 yard screamer into the top corner of the nets. On 55 minutes, Kone turns, then he turns again and slots the ball low into the net. And finally on 75 minutes, Lukaku hammers home the fourth. 4-0 to Everton. What's all this talk about relegation? Now that is real fantasy football.
Hold on folks, there is a white van pulling up outside. I need to go. Bye.
69 Posted 04/03/2015 at 11:52:36
Stoke imo are shite, like many teams in the Premier League, not as good as us but we need someone who can, as I said before ruffle feathers in the penalty area and can win a couple of headers.
We only have Naismith who can jump, but he's only 5-ft 8-in. Oh for a big Duncan Ferguson. How many headed goals have we scored under RM? It' part of a Plan B.
70 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:21:41
@63, Well that's another debate but Lukaku is the better player and he is a decade younger. Admittedly a hugely frustrating player but Kone was best summed up by my Man City supporting mate when he watched the Young Boys game with me. The jist of what he said was "I can see why he never takes Lukaku off now, Kone doesn't even strike a ball correctly, his technique is all off."
Jelavic, on the other hand, has scored more EPL goals than either so go figure.
71 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:37:43
72 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:30:23
As Martinez has no intentions of playing Kone. Or bringing any of the young strikers through, then surely a couple of forwards are needed for next season. Amongst others. It's a never-ending cycle.
73 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:43:35
Good on ya', Bill Â– keep the turnstiles turning!?!
74 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:50:47
Then we will concede a set-piece from their first attack and the rest of the game will merely be more punchless attacking play from us and passing on the halfway line just for passing sake."
This! Victor, give the man a chance????? He hasn't fucking played for years ans apparently left out of the away leg for Young Boys to avoid their pitch.....what the fuck for? So he can sit on his arse on the bench every game since... give him a chance?....Christ!
75 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:46:39
The knee-jerk reactions of Crystal Palace and West Brom have seen them rise above us in the league. It's also claimed Aston Villa their first win in a long time.
We have been shite since March last year. It shouldn't even be viewed as a knee-jerk reaction.
76 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:47:00
This season is so bloody surreal.
77 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:21:00
I trusted him! He was so believable! It was all going great and then he went on holiday to Brasil. Maybe he met someone when he was there? The atmosphere at home is terrible. The silence is deafening! Every time he talks, he acts like there is nothing wrong! Can't he see how unhappy he is making me? I should never have trusted him after what he did to that Wigan tart! Look at her now!
Just like in a marriage of that sort, he'll be off to another bird (new club) and we're left with the misbehaving kids (EFC).
Still, while were on the subject of playing away, Id like to see the following formation:
Coleman Stones Jagielka Garbutt
Lennon McCarthy Gibson Naismith
I think Nessie could cut in on his right foot like Pienaar used to do and allow space for Garbutt to run into. This would give Hughes some food for thought.
The reality will be:
Coleman Stones Jagielka Garbutt
Besic McCarthy Barry
Same old system with the same old negative result!
78 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:00:14
By the way, congrats on your new arrival which I saw on another thread. Sorry that your patience has run out with the team but you obviously still care and will hopefully be back at Goodison in the not too distant future.
79 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:06:20
And, after all, why should he? Â— Getting clubs relegated is NORMAL for him.
80 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:59:44
Coleman Stones Jagielka Garbutt
McCarthy Barry Gibson
Lennon Lukaku Naismith
We will then go one-nil down, but he will likely wait too long before making a substitution and it will be a like-for-like change as usual (probably Mirallas for Lennon).
81 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:12:36
82 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:16:09
83 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:55:38
84 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:01:17
And yet RM persists, knowing we are sliding into the relegation area and never look like drawing never mind winning. This is definitely a club too big for RM and if he cannot see where most of our problems seem to be generated then he should go now!!!
However, we will scrape a 0-0 so that he can defend Howard and have a list of stats that suggest a draw away to Stoke is a 'phenomenal' result and we will be back to GP to be embarrassed by the Barcodes....
85 Posted 04/03/2015 at 12:31:09
You just can't simply keep blaming the manager, the players just need to believe what the manager believes and everything will be okay.
I predict a resounding 6 nil-win...
Stoke City 6. The deluded 0.
86 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:18:11
He is not the only player to not get game time under Martinez. Are they all finished? And as for not going to Switzerland. He is not the first player, after a bad injury, to be spared from a synthetic pitch.
87 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:40:03
88 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:39:29
89 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:47:35
It's not his fault he is languishing on the bench, he doesn't pick himself but why is he still not fit? He was apparently fit for action in December, yet three months on he has probably played less than 90 minutes.
90 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:49:54
For me, tonight is a must-win. Can you imagine his pressers next week about looking forward to a great European night at Goodison under the lights, a great atmosphere, and everything is phenomenal, bla bla bla, when we’re staring relegation right in the fucking face after losing tonight? I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it.
92 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:10:16
Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Garbutt;
Lennon, Gibson, Osman, Atsu,
Sorted! Give our superb away support something to shout about for once, eh, Bobby???!!!
93 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:19:29
Incidentally whosever dream it is, please can they wake up as it has turned into a nightmare and I have got things to do.
94 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:18:18
95 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:05:29
A little off beam here, but I also think that Martinez let Jelavic go far too soon. And yes, he was not everyone's cup of tea, but he does pop up and score the odd goal.
I can only think that because Martinez paid big money for Lukaku, that he seems obliged to keep playing him. Who will he play up front if Lukaku (god forbid), ever got injured? We will then see just how fit Kone is.
And for the record, I like Lukaku. With proper coaching and more experience, I reckon he will be a very good player. But at his age, he cannot do everything himself. Martinez is heaping a lot of pressure on this player.
96 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:16:22
Agree with the general consensus of Basic, McCarthy, Gibson, with Naismith, Kone, Lukaku, because Naismith and Kone can put it about, with Coleman & Garbutt to provide width.
97 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:29:46
It hadn't occurred to me much before, but everything he is says/does suggests it is a win for him either way. Certainly for his resume. We didn't care he got his former side relegated, so why will the next team in hiring him? Especially with a good Europa campaign under his belt.
Something to think about anyway. COYB! 3 points vital today.
98 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:31:02
In the paper yesterday, they had an article 'race for the bottom' with the candidates, and yes we were there Â– I thought those days were long gone. Totally pissed off...
100 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:17:07
Unless Howard grows a pair tonight, we are fecked! (We really need a massive performance from this guy...) Only problem is, these type of teams scare the shite out of him, and show up his lack of ability to command his area. Also this creates massive pressure on our two centre-half players who are under so much pressure to be everywhere during these situations.
My only hope we can "maybe" stop the crosses from being delivered.... so our wide players could play a massive role tonight in stopping this obvious problem from occurring.
101 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:22:33
Here's hoping that somehow we get a win tonight. But, like everyone else, it's hoping, rather than knowing what will happen. We have been through this all before with Everton. But as someone earlier made a very good point: the team in the 1990s knew they were in trouble, and they battled their way out. Just.
I don't know about this current team. Are they up for the battle? 'Cause if they keep going the way they are... God help us.
102 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:37:53
Stoke won't be doing us any favours tonight...
103 Posted 04/03/2015 at 13:56:56
Anyone with a truly discerning eye, rather than a blue-tinted one, doesn’t need telling our performances in the PL have been mostly underwhelming, tepid and low octane. That, I believe, is the cause for many still anxiously looking over their shoulders, concerned with the games and results of the teams below us. Because pretty much everyone of those teams is showing more fight, energy and desire Â– and dare I say, awareness Â– of the plight they are in.
Some are claiming things are improving since the debacle of Xmas and the New Year. They are not. After tonight, we will have played 28 games. Let me split and contrast the current 27 games played.
In the first 13 games (I’m doing this deliberately to be generous to the second group of 14 games), our record reads:
P13 W4 D5 L4 F23 A21 Pts17 GD+2
We failed to score in just 1 game and kept 3 clean sheets in those 13 games. At that point of the season, we were still above both Spurs and Liverpool.
In the last 14 games (one game extra... and interestingly, that starts with the home draw against Hull when we took a ’winter break’ from the EL, so our participation in that is no excuse) it reads:
P14 W2 D5 L7 F10 A18 Pts11 GD-8
We failed to score in 8 and kept a clean sheet in 3 of those 14 games. 7 of our 10 goals came in just 3 games.
Before the weekend, when CP and WBA leapfrogged above us, we were in 12th. In the 15 games played against the 11 teams above us, we had won one single game Â– a fortunate 2-1 home win to the Hammers. Our away record against those same 11 teams reads:
P8 W0 D1 L7 F5 A15 Pts1 out of a possible 24
Ironically, with CP and WBA going above us, we can add 2 more away wins to the (NOW!) 13 teams above us. 7 of our remaining 11 games are against teams above us.
We have 4 games remaining against the 6 teams below us, against who we have achieved our other 3 wins this season.
Coming back as we did against YBs after losing the 1st goal in both games was ’phenomenal’. Because it is more than a year (1 February 2014, home to Villa) since we conceded the first goal in a PL match and recovered to win. Ergo, lose the first goal and the best we can hope for is a draw.
I am sure I am not alone amongst Blues worldwide who now approach every PL game with a very queasy feeling. And the data, together with the performances, is very just cause for such queasiness.
104 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:48:56
105 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:51:12
106 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:56:20
107 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:54:43
108 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:48:55
It's quite simple, win our next two against Stoke and Newcastle (who have little to play for) and we can put all this relegation talk to bed. Lose both games, or come away with a point or two, then I don't think there is any value in keeping Martinez here any longer.
At this juncture in the season, it's not about tactical acumen, or the players the manager chooses to start with. No, this is all about motivation, and the fact this team have served up uninspiring dross for the best part of the season. Surely just their professional pride, and the fact they play for Everton FC should be motivation enough?
If they don't give their all tonight, we are in serious, serious trouble. It would take some turning around, even with a new manager.
109 Posted 04/03/2015 at 14:53:19
Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines
McCarthy Barry (Undroppable) Besic
I am dropping Garbutt because Stoke will be a completely different ball game. They are too physical for any inexperienced players. No wide players for the first half, width comes from marauding runs from two fullbacks. Plenty of possession thus making Stoke players chase the ball for an hour or so and and getting them totally exhausted.
Then for the final 30-35 minutes take off Besic (no way Mr Phenomenal will sub Barry off) and Niasmith/Gibson and bring on Mirallas and Lennon and let them cause havoc down the wings against those poor tired legs.
110 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:03:54
111 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:00:06
Do they think they are too talented to go down? Do they think in the dressing room "No worries, we have Ross or Lulu, they will pull something out of the bag"?
I think we may scrape a draw tonight because we will bore the opposition by our sideways/backwards style but we desperately need points on the board, starting tonight, because Â– if we do drop into the relegation zone Â– I honestly don't see this Everton team up for the fight!
112 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:12:31
Easy on paper maybe but in reality?
We thought Hull home and away would be easy on paper or Leicester twice this season?
Did we beat West Brom at home? No
I get what your saying here but this is Everton, and NO games are easy.
113 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:15:58
it's depressing thinking that we are hoping that there are 3 worse teams than us this season and the stats above about having the lowest premier points at this stage and the same as when Walter "disappointing" Smith was turfed out.... Seriously worrying times!!!
114 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:22:14
Isn’t it just really horrible that this season has come down to us hoping teams below us lose... just absolutely pathetic.
115 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:27:29
The Echo says that, if we fail to win tonight, it will be our worst points total at this stage since 1926-27 (using 3 points for a win system). Mind you, they played 42 games then and Dixie was on board and they did finish as Champions the following season.
116 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:21:08
117 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:20:38
Lose 0-4 tonight Â– which we won't Â– and we might hear the 'vote of confidence' speech but it will take three of those on the trot before Bill admits he picked a wrong 'un.
118 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:11:43
As for Dynamo Kyiv, they are no pushover. They will be a much more stronger opposition than Young Boys whose defending was worse than some of the relegation battling teams in the PL. They have Aleksandar Dragovic, who is one of the most sought after defenders in Europe. I just checked they also have Dutch forward Jeremain Lens, Andriy Yarmolenko and Younes Belhanda, who was one of best players in French League (admittedly, it's a weak league) and was linked with many PL clubs including Arsenal. So it's not going to be an easy game by any means.
119 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:29:41
I feel at times this season we have missed Fellaini, sure he was awkward and at times frustrating but he was also a snide niggly bastard who no one enjoyed playing against.
We have no fight in the team, no desire and we start matches at 5 mph and barely hit 20 mph. We don’t stretch teams with our speed or range of passing.
I’m sure Martinez is selling our philosophy to Kenwright as something that will take time to evolve and grow after 11 yrs of the Sgt Major Moyes. Basically, Kenwright has bought into the long term vision and has to back his man through these "transitional" times.
I for one have zero time for Martinez, he may well in 2 years time turn out to be Guardiola in disguise, but right here right now with this quad of players the results this season have been nothing short of a fucking disgrace. A giant stain on our reputation and perception by our opponents. He’s set us back 9 years this season. It’s the Walter Smith era all over again but with a better set of players which is unforgivable.
120 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:39:29
Everton have 11 league games left and the Catalan says his side must "grab hold"Â of this period.
"I understand completely where we are and I'm very much conscious that this is a moment that we need to grab with both hands and face it as a football club," Martinez said.
He makes me think of the Black Knight from the Monty Python film, The Holy Grail. He's getting his arms and legs cut off while saying it's just a scratch:
This is Roberto:
121 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:28:48
I hope that, whatever luck is going we get it, because do we need something from somewhere!
Stoke will love nothing better than winding us up all over the park, and if they score early, this could turn into a nightmare.
122 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:51:00
Roberto would also do well to listen and hear what Big Joe said to the 95 team in relation to the FA Cup run and the League, the league always took priority and results in it were crucial whereas the FA Cup run was a bonus.
123 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:01:58
RM & BK have sunk any chance of seeing Kone get meaningful minutes because if he comes on gets the job done they look like idiots for signing Rom for all that coin. To play him in a 4-4-2 that this site has been banging on (I agree) about would be to admit his 4-2-3-1 system isn't working. Fat change of RM admitting he's wrong.
Victor (#66) Â– any chance you can have the driver of the van make an emergency stop at the Britannia tonight and take laughing boy and RM for treatment?
124 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:42:00
As an aside, my son received a Besic jersey from a well meaning but misguided family member and put it on at a practice. He immediately started running around the pitch aimlessly sliding into people and passing the ball sideways and backwards so I made him take it off.
125 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:00:02
126 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:59:55
I just hope that, as opposed to recently in the PL, he isn't left standing trunkless on Crosby beach with the tide having gone out.
127 Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:55:53
As for tonight, with all the gronks they have, and their threat from set pieces, Robles should start, but of course he won’t as the starfished bearded liability is our No 1, thank fuck Delap is no longer there or we’d be really in the shit then.
128 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:06:17
129 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:28:04
130 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:27:56
I have it from a very good source that Garbutt will join Liverpool on a free at the end of the season. But only two days ago Martinez was saying he's confident that Garbutt will stay before waffling on about how great the competition is for the left back berth. Not for much fucking longer Roberto because Oviedo and Garbutt are going because you've let them run their fucking contracts down.
The bloke is a complete loser who opens his mouth before he engages his brain. I want him out.
131 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:42:17
132 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:41:31
(God! I haven't swore this much in a post for a long, long time)
133 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:37:42
'Ooh err, titter ye not, the prologue'. There were some stunning women in that Up Pompeii series though which made it worth watching.
Let's hope it isn't 'It came to pass' and 'Goal Goal and thrice Goal'.
134 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:47:39
But how bad does it have to get before Martinez gets his P45?
135 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:44:19
Oh and anyone advocating that Kone should start alongside Lukaku Â– there's more chance of Bob Latchford leading the line. This stubborn twat refuses to see anything wrong in the way we're playing and I'm expecting the usual shite from him tonight.
138 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:54:59
139 Posted 04/03/2015 at 17:09:11
Possession: 36-64, shots on goal: 5-1, result: 1-0.
140 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:48:33
Especially with the players we have we could use Garbutt and Baines on the left and Coleman and Lennon on the right, Barkley as a AM and Lukaku and Kone up front and either Besic or McCarthy as DM.
Just hope we get the win tonight otherwise we may need another Wimbledon game come May.
141 Posted 04/03/2015 at 17:15:08
142 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:50:22
Your 'source' is also bollocks as players under 24 can only leave for a fee set by a tribunal, usually £1 million for each season they've been at the club.
144 Posted 04/03/2015 at 17:13:30
Not once did he infer that "he" should take any responsibility for our dismal performances, the man's an ego-maniac.
145 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:53:40
All my friends tell me we are safe and I feel the players and manager have fallen into that trap. The press have been kind to our manager and players with the run we have been on. The players need to work when they don't have the ball, they need to show what the club means to them tonight. Ten games left after tonight and I can't wait till its over! This season has been like constipation, big expectation but little substance!
146 Posted 04/03/2015 at 17:24:15
I have not had the pleasure of experiencing your insightful posts before....I also have doubts about your integrity (but last time I accused someone of being a RS I was suspended from the site).
However I cannot think of any circumstance where I would ever want Everton to lose, other than if it meant Liverpool missing out on something or getting relegated, humiliated or ruined.
As for Garbutt to the RS ha ha very funny
149 Posted 04/03/2015 at 17:21:51
Bollocks! Support your team through thick and thin or go and be a glory hunter. Chelsea's looking for supporters, you wouldn't be a racist by any chance?
150 Posted 04/03/2015 at 17:40:12
I did not get this in the TW Rumour Mill...
151 Posted 04/03/2015 at 17:43:13
152 Posted 04/03/2015 at 17:48:29
Nick is the quiet, introspective man who loves hunting because, he likes "... the trees ... the way the trees are ..." The recurring theme of "one shot", which is how Mike prefers to take down a deer.
153 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:05:33
154 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:06:37
AAAAAARRRRRRGGHHHHH!!!!! JUST END THIS SHAMBLES OF A SEASON NOW FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!!
155 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:13:17
I don't want to tempt fate Ross, as I already fear that the shot I boldly predicted may not materialise, and then fellow toffee-webbers may try to hold me to account.
156 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:23:59
Why are the Redshite kicking off at 8:00pm while the rest of us start at 7:45pm? They are not even on the telly, ffs.
157 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:24:16
158 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:29:43
The thought of finishing twelfth (if we're lucky) and having RM in charge at the start of next season sickens me. I'd rather we finished a couple of places lower and he was gone. That's all I'm saying.
Just because you don't agree with me don't label me a kopite. I have been going to the match since 1978.
159 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:36:26
160 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:41:20
No further comment needed.
161 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:39:42
I want him out but I do not want us to lose. A bit of a change from last season when I thought we always had a good chance of beating any PL opposition.
Stoke are a physically intimidating side, but we can still do it.
The players must turn up tonight for the sake of the fans.
162 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:47:18
Colin# 156 Â– I didn't realise the Redshite weren't being televised tonight. Disgrace.
163 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:54:38
164 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:54:48
165 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:49:42
Pinch of salt . . .
166 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:51:08
Gibbo and Lennon should inject perhaps a little more skill and pace so let's just hope that we can get a win. We are a better side than this Stoke side but need to prove it on the night. I really don't want to be turning up for the Newcastle game still chasing a win
167 Posted 04/03/2015 at 18:59:56
168 Posted 04/03/2015 at 19:08:58
169 Posted 04/03/2015 at 19:06:00
Just Google Barkley's goal that day. Goodison erupted, properly erupted.
There is a difference to not being distraught if a defeat meant the mortal enemy wouldn't win the league and actively wanting us to lose.
Evertonians do not want Everton to lose. Not ever.
170 Posted 04/03/2015 at 19:11:00
171 Posted 04/03/2015 at 19:24:32
172 Posted 04/03/2015 at 19:25:45
173 Posted 04/03/2015 at 20:59:32
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