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Martinez: Players deserve credit

27/04/2015  Comments (50)  jump
Roberto Martinez has hailed his players for their response over the last five games which has seen Everton move back into the top half of the table.

The Blues have won four of their last five matches to secure safety from relegation and keep alive their hopes of pipping Swansea for 8th place.

The manager says that the players deserve credit for their displays in recent weeks and admits that while he and his side couldn't quite manage to balance Europe with theit domestic commitments, they have learned from the experience.

It has been a big difference after the amount of time that we had to cope with the demands of Europe and the Premier League," Martinez said in the Liverpool Echo.

By the end of January we got into the right mentality to cope with both competitions. We won both league games either side of the first Dinamo Kiev game and I thought we had got the right mentality to cope with both competitions.

"Our performance [against Manchester United] was very similar to our performance against Wolfsburg early in the season.

But we couldn't get that momentum in the league but I think now as a squad and as a team we have developed that know-how.

It's something you can not learn or prepare unless you go through that experience.

Today I hope the players get the credit they deserve because it has been a tough season and they have never broken away from their responsibility of getting points. Six games ago we had 28 points and we had to win games.  


Reader Comments (50)

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Ian Jones
1 Posted 27/04/2015 at 08:55:36
Can I be the first to say has our Manager returned!

I understood everything he says. Some credit should go to the Manager as well.

Ajay Gopal
2 Posted 27/04/2015 at 09:23:18
Definitely, Ian. He and the team have had their trial by fire, and while I wouldn’t say they have come through unscathed (or indeed whether they have finally come through or not – football is never that way), I think Everton Football Club are better for the experience. Hopefully, next season will be one where we get back in the race for the Champions League places, win a cup and finish up above the RS again.
Jim Bennings
3 Posted 27/04/2015 at 09:23:03
Can I just ask though, where has yesterdayÂ’s Everton been all season??

That was the Everton that destroyed Arsenal 3-0 last year and so many other sides like that in the same manner but this season we have waited until the end of April to see the real Everton. Had we played that way all season weÂ’d have been back in Europe or at least challenging for it.

All of our players yesterday did what I have been harping on about on here all season. They totally let the shackles off. I always said James McCarthy had more to his game than just sitting in front of our defence, heÂ’s been held back this season and itÂ’s so sad because yesterday, that was a fantastic midfielderÂ’s goal it was. He could have been playing like that all season, for whatever reason he has been pushed up to attack more lately. But why now? And not all season?

We also really need the penny to drop on two other things that are paramount to success at any level. That is the high intensity pressing and constant workrate, the tempo was brilliant yesterday and it battered United into submission. Would we have won that 3-0, or would we have even won at all, if we played the slow-paced pedestrian way we have seen all season?... In a word, No!

The other thing that pleased me so much yesterday was our corners: for once how nice was it to see our players actually run and attack the ball rather than just do a standing jump? I have said many times here that just because a corner-kick hits the near post area it doesnÂ’t mean itÂ’s a bad one, if you have players running into that near post space vacated... It was so refreshing and Roberto, thatÂ’s why you SHOULD practice more on set-pieces!!

Finally I just want to end here by saying how great it felt to finally feel like I was watching Everton FC at Goodison Park once more. After witnessing a pale imitation all season and a stadium that has been in a depressingly quiet slumber, it was just a relief as much as anything to have it back to its best.

LetÂ’s hope know though, the penny finally has dropped on what the minimum requirements are and the least the fans expect are shown on a more consistent basis next season.

Michael Penley
4 Posted 27/04/2015 at 09:45:05
It was lovely to see our players enjoying themselves. I havenÂ’t seen so many smiles in a game since over a year ago. Lennon in particular looked thrilled when I think it was Stones scored, I hope heÂ’s able to stay on. Games like these are why I love Everton.
Andrew Clare
5 Posted 27/04/2015 at 10:08:03
The lack of resources, lack of quality in depth have been the main reasons why we were unable to compete on all fronts – cups, Europe and the league. In the modern game huge sums are required in order to be top dogs.

Also Martinez persevered for too long with one style of play instead of varying his tactics. Hopefully all concerned will have learned from this experience and we will be challenging again next season.

At least three top quality signings are required in the summer window. A young clever midfielder with a footballing brain like Osman would be the first priority.

Great win yesterday. Well done to all concerned.

Paul Dark
6 Posted 27/04/2015 at 10:54:01
Great win yesterday, of course.

Martinez remains a liability, though.

Eddie Dunn
7 Posted 27/04/2015 at 11:29:56
The blueprint was the Chelsea game the week before. Not rocket science, but it worked.

We canÂ’t play on the break every week though, and it is what we do when teams park the bus that will be the acid test.

Next week at Villa it will suit us, as they will have to come out looking for the win, but Sherwood is a canny man and will have seen what we did to Man Utd.

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 27/04/2015 at 11:31:56
The lack of resources will be and always has been there but the attitude and application shown yesterday should be there on far more occasions throughout the season.

If Martinez is a clever man, he should see and he should learn that since he has been here, itÂ’s not the slow paced passing that has seen Everton flourish but the "in yer face" tempo and gusto that was on display yesterday and against the likes of Arsenal last season.

The fans can accept seeing their team have a bad spell but the minimum requirement should always be the application that was on offer yesterday.

If we had played against the likes of Hull with such passion and commitment then we would be having so many inquests over MartinezÂ’s credibility and having the doubts we have nursed throughout the majority of the season. It’s something that has to be taken on board.

John Raftery
9 Posted 27/04/2015 at 11:39:11
Injuries to key players were a big factor in our poor form in the first seven months of the season. Barkley, McCarthy, Coleman, Stones, Mirallas and Osman have all been missing for substantial parts of the season. Also Lukaku and Baines played games when less than fully fit. All these players played a big part in yesterdayÂ’s win.

Another big turning point in the season was the acquisition of Lennon whose pace has driven opposition defences back five to ten yards.

Trevor Lynes
10 Posted 27/04/2015 at 12:32:35
I fully agree, John. Our squad was not big enough to survive both Europa and domestic fixtures and also carry those injuries. I was apprehensive before the campaign due to us not bringing in more numbers to cover for injuries and sustain form during all the additional games.

Our injuries were not any more than many other sides but their squads are better able to cover the key players. To maintain our status and attempt to improve our chances next season we must bring in more players of a standard suitable for first team cover. Our young players who look good are unfortunately all defenders.

Harold Matthews
11 Posted 27/04/2015 at 13:34:03
Very true, John.
Paul Andrews
12 Posted 27/04/2015 at 13:55:46
Señor Roberto,

You deserve a lot of credit yourself. You have stood by the players and showed a positive attitude all season.

As John says above, injuries played a big part in our season; results over the last part have shown you are a manager that can move this club forward.

Brian Porter
13 Posted 27/04/2015 at 14:09:46
Nice to see us finally reproduce some of the promise we showed last season, but I will still not get carried away or forgive Martinez for his incredibly weak and inept management, displayed so consistently this season.

If he keeps us unbeaten from now to the end of the season, I might begin to change my mind, but I still feel heÂ’s not the man to lead Everton into a bright new future. His intransigence in the face of failing tactics and failure to acknowledge mistakes (his or the teamÂ’s) are still the cause of so much that has gone wrong for us this season.

Villa next, and a potential banana skin for our Â’phenomenalÂ’ manager. Villa will surely be desperate for points, at home with relegation now a real possibility for them, so they will surely come at us and could, like Man Utd yesterday, be susceptible to being hit on the break, so another fast counter-attacking strategy could work for us again, if Martinez is brave enough to stick with his winning team and tactics two games running.

The only thing I would have done differently yesterday would have been to bring Naismith on for Barkley 10 minutes sooner to give his fresh legs a good chance of catching UnitedÂ’s defence out out, maybe adding another goal to our tally, but, thatÂ’s just me nit picking. Whatever you did, Roberto, just please, please, please, keep Kone out of your starting line-up from now to seasonÂ’s end, and then get rid.

Aaron Lennon, another great game, well done lad, and letÂ’s hope Martinez makes signing this man his first priority in the close-season. For now, well done on a great result yesterday lads; now, more of the same please!!!

Neil Pickering
14 Posted 27/04/2015 at 14:33:50
Not a fan of Barkley, but he had his best game in a blue shirt yesterday. McCarthy our best player on the day by a country mile.
Christy Ring
15 Posted 27/04/2015 at 14:30:14
I thought the whole team played with high tempo and in Man UtdÂ’s faces from the very start; McCarthy must have walked on every blade of grass, superb. Also, every player was picked in his proper position which Bob seldom did this season.

I honestly think another factor why we were so off the pace was our pre-season was an absolute shambles and Bob at the World Cup was a huge factor, our training and mickey mouse matches and match fitness were no preparation for the season and we were struggling in the last quarter in a lot of games.

Terry Downes
16 Posted 27/04/2015 at 15:06:27
Jordy Clase would do Osman’s role perfectly!
Dave Ganley
17 Posted 27/04/2015 at 14:27:10
Yesterday’s win was great, something we have been waiting for... well, all season, really. However, let’s not get carried away with an isolated good result/performance against a decent team. To explain our dismal form over the previous seven months to injuries is naïve at best. Lack of fitness, lack of desire to close teams down from the front, and very poor lacklustre tactics are all major contributing factors to the poor effort for the majority of the season.

What some TWers are failing to mention is that most of the injuries we have had this season have been soft tissue injuries – hamstrings, pulled muscles etc – and these type of injuries are caused for most part by not being physically fit, over stretching in the latter parts of games, because they were not fit enough to last a game properly.

While I am pleased we have started winning games, most have occurred now the pressure is off and we have nothing but pride to play for and yesterday’s game was the first in a very long time that we controlled the game for long periods regardless of the Mancs’ possession stats. The last few games against Burnley, QPR, Southampton etc have been laboured and with better finishing from the opposition we could easily have lost those games. (To be fair, the Newcastle game we won at a canter, but master tactician Martinez decided to change a winning team/tactics after that game.) However, without wishing to start browbeating the boys, we have won 5 out of 6 and we can go into the close season with a bit more optimism than previously thought.

My hope for the next season (I accept Martinez is staying at least for the beginning of next season) is firstly, think before you open your mouth, Roberto. Even in this post, he is attempting to blame the demands of the Europa League for our poor season when the evidence just doesnÂ’t point that way. During the group phase, although we were never in top gear, we were keeping our head above water, occasionally getting decent results in the Premier League (some lucky, some not) whilst progressing in Europa League. When we finished the group stages, we went to pieces and had a disastrous December, January and February with the manager seemingly unable to stem the tide. When we finally did get a decent result, he changed the team and formation to the detriment of the team (Kiev away being the most prominent cock up) and playing players based on preference/reputation rather than current form (Howard, Barry, Alcaraz etc) although belatedly Howard and Barry have now come into some form. Hopefully Martinez will have learned from those mistakes going into next season otherwise we will suffer yet again.

Secondly, playing a balanced team always helps and also playing players in their correct position also aids a winning team. Over the last few games, this appears to be happening so hopefully again, he has learned his lesson and hopefully we will not see this round pegs in square holes anymore.

Thirdly, I hope he has stopped being pigheaded about playing this tika taka shit... it blatantly doesnÂ’t suit us and he has wasted nearly a full season persevering with this tactic, nearly landing us in the relegation mire just to try and prove his point (regardless of what people think, we were in deep trouble for a while). I donÂ’t know about anyone else but I feel cheated out of my season ticket money this season as Martinez has played this out as his pet project, intent on proving his slow, ponderous, possession-based mind-numbing football works... again, it blatantly doesnÂ’t and it’s taken until we have nothing to play for for him to realise this (WHU cup game excepted due to player intervention). It is only the game yesterday that he has finally changed his tactics to suit the opposition and look what happened!!

Fourth, play to players’ strengths. Lukaku, Baines, Coleman, Barkley have all suffered greatly with the way we have played and it’s only now (with the exception of Barkley) that those players have started to show what they can actually do when we play to their strengths.

As I have said, I consider the upturn in fortunes as something to build on in the close season as opposed to dreading the start of next season. We need to have a proper pre-season; Roberto needs to get players in early and get them fit and ready for the start of the season and also get proper competitive pre-season games to sharpen everyone up. (The World Cup was such a lame excuse as to why we were not up to speed at the beginning of the season... Chelski didnÂ’t suffer from this even though they had many more players competing than we did.)

We need to be sharp and ready for the first league game and we need to be fit enough and show enough energy to play a high tempo game that does suit us. (Yesterday was not too bad but we still gave the Mancs far too much space, possibly due to the fact we still arenÂ’t fit enough to press the opposition all over the field for a full game??)

On a final point, it’s just too easy to blame the Europa League for any kind of negative performance and results. The usual mantra – "playing on a Thursday is so unfair and we are so tired" etc etc – is just rubbish. We have the required rest as we only play the Sunday after, so we have as much rest as the Champions League teams in competition that most people so covet. Yeah, we may have to play at far flung places but they are still in Europe; it’s not like we are going half way across the world and the players have everything done for them these days... I canÂ’t imagine them being cramped up on a flight like we supporters have to endure. No, they will have the best of everything and that also means making sure they have rest and legroom to rest on supposedly "arduous flights" from far flung places like Lille, Wolfsburg and Young boys... Krasnadar and Kiev further away but not the ends of the earth.

The Europa League is just a convenient excuse when things go wrong and it’s quite scandalous some sections of support think it was a good thing we went out. Does everyone realise that it’s 20 years and counting since we won anything?? My hope for the new season is that we take every competition seriously and try to win every competition we enter. When we start saying that certain cup competitions donÂ’t matter (Carling Cup, Europa League has frequently been heard) then that ultimately impacts on a player’s mindset (maybe subconsciously but there all the same – see the Swansea Carling Cup game this season). Winning begets winning and the impact any kind of cup triumph would have on the club would be immense.

So the positive is that we are now doing well, but these are just building blocks being put in place for next season and if the manager doesnÂ’t learn the harsh lessons of this season then ultimately, the upturn of fortunes at the latter end of this season will count for nothing. Hopefully he will take on board all those harsh lessons and he will finally realise that Everton Football Club is a massive institution and it’s not an experimenting ground for a manager to doggedly try to pursue his ideals at the cost of winning / entertaining football.

Harold Matthews
18 Posted 27/04/2015 at 16:00:14
Lots of interesting points Dave. Your cock-ups are not my cock-ups. IÂ’m sticking with Martinez.
Dave Ganley
19 Posted 27/04/2015 at 16:24:48
I think, with Martinez apparently going nowhere, we all have to stick with him, Harold. I just hope we can show that MartinezÂ’s first season wasnÂ’t a flash in the pan.

By the way, Harold, I do owe you an apology from another thread for doubting your suggestion that we are playing quicker football. Yesterday proved you right so I humbly offer an apology for that as well as eating a slice of humble pie.

As I have previously alluded to, I hope that the team/manager can build on this into the new season and up the tempo a lot more and play with dynamism and elan and more importantly play attractive winning football in the process.

Trevor Peers
20 Posted 27/04/2015 at 16:15:58
Hard not to get carried away after yesterday’s great result. For me Stones stood out with an imperious display of defending and attacking, boy has he got potential. McCarthy bossed the midfield, his high-energy display probably due to him now only playing once a week, since our Euro exit as Roberto explained.

It was a performance we could’ve only dreamed about a few months ago; things could get even better if Roberto signs 2 or 3 players in the required positions in the summer: left winger, creative CM, and a striker.

Roberto may have happened on something special if, as does seem the case, he has taken on board the need to vary his tactics to suit the opposition, much the same way as Jose does at Chelsea. Time will tell, heÂ’s still learning, but IÂ’m feeling the optimism.

Denis Richardson
21 Posted 27/04/2015 at 16:57:34
Have to say I am a bit confused by the use of Europe as an excuse to explain the garbage that was played before. Our worst run happened to be in December and January, two months where, other than the dead rubber last group game at home, we had no European football at all. How does our European commitment explain that? (Nevermind the fact we were aiming to get into Europe all of last season and had the whole of the summer to prepare for it.)

Number of games doesnÂ’t count either as we flew out of the League Cup early doors and out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle.

Distances travelled is also a weak argument as half the games are at home and Lille and Wolfsburg are not much harder to get to than Southampton or Newcastle – we only had one ’far’ trip to make.

Our first European game was mid September, how does that explain snatching draws from victory against Arsenal and Leicester in the opening two games or the stuffing by Chelsea – all games played well before our EL adventure even started.

In actual fact, our league results were patchy before December but far from disastrous. They became a shambles when our EL games stopped – this Europe excuse is complete bollocks.

What IÂ’d like to know is what happened with the Distin and Eto’o situations. These blow ups coincide almost exactly with when our season started to go down the pan. Something major happened around November time, after which Distin was persona non grata and Eto’o was shipped off soon after. Does anyone have any info here? Seems to me that Europe is being used as a cover to conveniently hide what really happened.

William Cartwright
22 Posted 27/04/2015 at 17:17:56
Great to see the game on the big screen at the pub (I live in Dubai) and I was looking forward to the morning after review with BBC News Sports Extra over breakfast...

What happens? No mention of the game, just a report on Chelsea and Arsenal! I know the BBC love Liverpool and therefore by definition must hate Everton, but I never realized how deep rooted and sinister their anti-Everton bias runs. CanÂ’t something be done about this?

ItÂ’s no wonder outside the UK we are a nobody team and this seriously impacts our potential for global brand growth.

Tony Waring
23 Posted 27/04/2015 at 17:23:44
I go along with the general consensus that Barkley had a good game but on three occasions, as we were breaking into a counter-attack, he inexplicably passed the ball to an opponent when it would have been easier to pass to a team-mate in an excellent spot. Not good enough!

However, I have to say that it was a pleasure to watch the game and the commitment from the whole team. Nobody – I think – has mentioned Barry who was first class IMO.

Jamie Barlow
24 Posted 27/04/2015 at 17:24:59
I think us being able to field our best back 5 in recent months has made us pretty solid again and played a massive part in our upturn in results.

WeÂ’ve had injuries to all our best back 5 (my opinion) but only conceded 2 in the last 6 games when weÂ’ve had Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Stones and Baines playing and the Keystone Cops defending seems to have edged off. This back 5 has only played together 8 times this season, conceding 5 goals.

Mark Andersson
25 Posted 27/04/2015 at 17:44:44
Thanks, to Dave Ganley, he said everything I thought and more.

Fool if you think the game against Man Utd was down to the imposter.

I was so disgusted early in the season by the lack of commitment from the players, that I vented my anger and let slip about my cancer. These players were not playing for the manager or his tactics. They were being spoilt brats. Now that they have managed a few good results, everything is all rosey.

No, itÂ’s too little too late, the manager is inept; too much evidence against him to make me think otherwise. ItÂ’s took the workrate of Lennon to shame the other lazy prima donnas into shame to put a shift in; Baines said as much.

Yes, great result yesterday, but get some perspective, Martinez is hopeless. If IÂ’m wrong, I will be man enough to admit it, unlike Martinez.

Jamie Barlow
26 Posted 27/04/2015 at 18:26:40
I thought this tweet from a Barnsley fanzine was great too. They absolutely love Stones up there.

@WestStandBogs: Here @MerseyPolice IÂ’d like to report a serious robbery – Everton only gave us ٠.2 mil for the best young English defender in the country.

Although they should have left the Â’youngÂ’ out.

Eugene Ruane
27 Posted 27/04/2015 at 19:17:32
Did Van Gaal get it wrong or...

Link

Brin Williams
28 Posted 27/04/2015 at 19:34:05
DG 17, I thought this site was a football forum and not somewhere to hone oneÂ’s dissertation skills or practise for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

I find your 1,000+ word post just a bit long winded, and has fallen short of grabbing my attention.

There are far better way of getting the message over - see post No 27 by Mr Ruane – seven words that say it all + a link!

Glen Garrett
29 Posted 27/04/2015 at 20:09:39
Great win, great result, Everton have been showing real pride but I wish this was the Everton that we all know that they can be all season.

I felt really proud of them after yesterday’s game but sadly all has come too late: no European football next season.

Phil Walling
31 Posted 27/04/2015 at 19:58:58
Fairly predictable that half a dozen good results would see Martiniez restored to the deity!

Joe Mercer was the first to say that a manager is only as good as his last result and certainly ToffeeWeb bears witness to the truth of that statement.

Me? I will need a lot of convincing that the guy is the real deal but then, I only ever look for seventhish.

Eugene Ruane
32 Posted 27/04/2015 at 20:37:46
Phil Walling (#31) - "Fairly predictable that half a dozen good results would see Martinez restored to the deity!"

Nowhere near as predicable as you ludicrously exaggerating perfectly reasonable Â’well doneÂ’ posts on TW after a few wins.

Mind you, having seen your 436 ludicrously repetitive and screechy "HEÂ’S SHIIIITE!!!" posts over the last few months, I expect ’reasonable’ isnÂ’t something that concerns you too much.

Tony Hill
33 Posted 27/04/2015 at 21:08:15
I agree with those who credit Lennon for his massive contribution to our recent form. His defensive work is exemplary as is his pace going forward of course. He seems to have considerable mental strength.

I thought heÂ’d fail with us but heÂ’s been an excellent acquisition by Martinez.

Let us hope everything can move smoothly forward to allow us to get him permanently.

Garry Corgan
34 Posted 27/04/2015 at 21:18:06
I donÂ’t want to appear negative but I donÂ’t buy for a second that our poor league form has been due to our European adventures. To say so now glosses over the real reasons. Our worst run of the season was over Decemeber and into the new year... when the Europa league was on hiatus.
Phil Walling
35 Posted 27/04/2015 at 21:03:58
Reasonably mild for you, Ruane !
James Hughes
37 Posted 27/04/2015 at 21:16:11
Eugene, I think youÂ’ll find find Phil W has been saying Roberto is shite far longer than the last few months. At least he is consistent in his opinion and there a quite a few on here are fair-weather friends to say the least.

He is entitled to his opinion and you should know better than to ridicule them.

Paul Holmes
39 Posted 27/04/2015 at 21:27:38
Martinez needs to be reminded that it was his decision to play Alcaraz alongside Jags in Ukraine, with John Stones sitting on the bench! Maybe he does deserve a pat on the back for yesterday's win, but apart from a good display on that plastic pitch, we have been rubbish for most of the season. At around 㿨,000 a week, I expect us to be better than Stoke, Swansea and Southampton.
Eugene Ruane
40 Posted 27/04/2015 at 21:47:32
James goes to bed.

http://emilysquotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/EmilysQuotes.Com-inspirational-poem-positive-pray-god-faith-Bible-Verses-soul-caring.jpg

Dean Adams
41 Posted 27/04/2015 at 21:50:23
Garry Corgan
Absolutely. For me the change in tactics has been markedly noticable during the last 6 weeks. Less tica and more attacker!!
Dave Ganley
42 Posted 27/04/2015 at 22:16:46
Yeah, fair enough, Brin, (#28), I got bit carried away... I just wanted to be a bit productive with my comments instead of just saying "I still think Martinez is crap" and ended up long-winded.
Dave Ganley
43 Posted 27/04/2015 at 22:26:43
Besides which, a picture splitting Van Gaal’s and Moyes’s head is hardly getting my point across... If all you want to do is look at pictures and and not be constructive in a point then fine I have no problem with that... don’t read but don’t moan either, let people be.
Tom Magill
44 Posted 27/04/2015 at 22:24:46
Does anybody else feel a bit underwhelmed after the Man Utd result?They arenÂ’t world beaters now, despite 𧶀 million pumped in; theyÂ’re very average. Martinez, in my opinion, has to go after his useless tactics made this a totally wasted campaign. Our last few games have been against middle to bottom teams too. This has been my worst and scariest season in 35 years as an Evertonian.
John Daley
45 Posted 27/04/2015 at 22:49:44
zzJames @38, why did you feel the need to add that?
--------------

Â’Welcome back to Internet Bouncers From A Bygone Era. This weeks episode: the virtual Winslow.

Mere minutes after escorting infamous church bell, Mary Suggins, from the premises for offering a free thrupenny upright to Chelsea Bun Mcjin, Randolph and his elite team of virtual Victorian bouncers are on red alert once again.

A rather vexed patron of the establishment, clearly half-rats, has come foursquare to their attention after unleashing a shocking profanity from his sauce box, and then set to take his leave without even having the common decency to bid a gentlemanly Â’goodnightÂ’ to his target.

Â’Cor blimey, if heÂ’s not careful heÂ’s likely to cop a mouse Â’ereÂ’, thought Randolph. Nothing as sure to get a young squires dander up as heading straight for the door after dropping the word ’gobshite’ without following through with a token farewell. With an exaggerated twirl of his left tash curl, Randolph secretly signals the rest of his hooplehead handling squad to get ready for a bit of mutton shunter outside.

Then, suddenly, crisis averted as the clearly penitent James Hughes, gloves removed, pops his head gingerly through the gateway to gallantly bid a sporting adieu to his aghast adversary: "Meant to add goodnight, you’ve pissed me off".

With that, the humble hooplehead took his leave, flouncing into the frosty mist with his reputation as a halfway fine fellow still intact and enraged mutton shunters averted for another night.Â’

Eugene Ruane
46 Posted 27/04/2015 at 23:26:29
John, just seeing the word Â’hoopleheadÂ’ on TW has made me consider doing the entire Deadwood box-set again (for a third time). Another Everton-Deadwood link? Andy Van Der Mayde shifted roughly the same amount of bevvy in a day as Annie Oakley (although his kecks had loads more piss stains).
Brian Porter
47 Posted 28/04/2015 at 05:47:38
OK, guys, the reason we won so handsomely on Sunday... ME.

Well, as kick-off approached, I was sitting in Doncaster Minster as my granddaughter Alexis, who I signed up to ForEverton at the age of two days, was being christened. As I was in such a holy place, I decided to send a few prayers up to the real guy in charge, and basically prayed for two things, a thumping win and a clean sheet!

Coincidence? Maybe. The power of prayer? Maybe. Result, 3-0. Nice to think it helped though, and a great time was had by all at the christening, too!!!

Brin Williams
48 Posted 28/04/2015 at 08:51:01
Brian 47 - What did you call her? Roberta or Martina??
Peter Mills
49 Posted 28/04/2015 at 11:14:19
Brian - welcome to the world Alexis. A golden vision?!
Roger Helm
50 Posted 28/04/2015 at 19:57:54
OK, Martinez made errors this season (I won't detail them) but let's not forget that he is relatively young and not that experienced in football manager terms.

Hopefully he (with or without prompting from the players) has learnt from his mistakes and will be a better manager next term. The summer transfer window and pre-season will give us an idea.

Talking (off thread) about young managers, what about Bournemouth's fairytale!

Brian Porter
51 Posted 28/04/2015 at 20:21:52
Brin and Peter, she's Alexis Christina, and she is certainly a little vision. Now for the bad news... my son is a voting member of FC Barcelona and named her after Alexis Sanchez who was of course a Barca player at one time. Oh well, nobody's perfect!!
Peter Mills
52 Posted 28/04/2015 at 22:47:47
Brian, it could have been worse, she could now be named Messi! May she have a long, happy, healthy life.
Brian Porter
53 Posted 29/04/2015 at 06:14:36
Bless you, Peter, so true. Believe it or not, my son has two dogs called... you guessed it, Messi and Cesc. Trouble is he names them after players who then usually move on somewhere else. Some of the guests at the christening were laughing at his choice of names for his pets (a rabbit called Suarez?), and I gave Alexis an Everton teddy bear and told Alan it's name is Bilyaletdinov, but said he can call him Billy... hehe.

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