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McCarthy enjoying new expansive role

by | 27/04/2015  Comments (89)  jump

McCarthy celebrates his dramatic opener against Manchester United on Sunday.
(Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
James McCarthy has brushed off media speculation over his Everton future and revealed the training ground work behind his changed role in Roberto Martinez's team.

Everton's poor season has set the press vultures circling over Goodison Park recently, with McCarthy one of a handful of bankable stars being linked with possible moves away from Goodison this summer, particularly given that he is the last of Everton's core of young talent to sign a contract extension.

The 24 year-old Irishman says that he isn't aware of any genuine interest from other clubs and insists he hasn't spoken to anyone. Indeed, he is just focused on next season and helping the Blues mount another challenge for Europe and the Champions League.

I have got time on my contract here," McCarthy told The Guardian. "I am happy here. Nothing has changed from day one. I love it and I am still loving life. The media has done a few stories but I am delighted to be here and I have many years still to come.

Five wins in the last six games has lifted the gloom at Goodison and it's a run that has seen McCarthy play a a more free-range role that has allowed him to weigh in with two goals, doubling his tally from last season.

"It has been a very frustrating campaign for myself," the ex-Wigan man continued. "Each and every one of us wants to get better and hopefully we can kick on. We want to finish this season on a high and next season we need to go again. We want to be pushing for European places, Champions League places, we want to have a go again.

We have been working in training on a different style of play. The manager is letting me push on. Gareth Barry is sitting in there and I have to try to get back and help defensively but the manager wants to try to get more goals in my game. He is letting me off the leash a little.  


Reader Comments (89)

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Doug Harris
1 Posted 27/04/2015 at 23:22:05
I have said from day one, "Why hasn't McCarthy got forward more and at least tried to shoot at goal?" He did against us when playing for Wigan.

Midfield players should in my opinion be able to play as a defender or an attacker with the knowledge that fellow midfielders cover them if they bound upfield as he did against the Mancs.

We started the move from the headed clearance from our defender (Stones, I think) and we had three against two, and what a finish...

Barry Morrison
2 Posted 27/04/2015 at 23:36:17
Could this be the box-to-box midfielder weÂ’ve needed for some time?

McCarthy has won all the plaudits this season for breaking up play in the holding role, but there could be so much more to his game. I didnÂ’t hear it picked up by any of the pundits, but I thought his ball to Coleman in the build up to the goal he scored himself was sublime.

Colin Williams
3 Posted 27/04/2015 at 23:26:55
These type of "strategically changed tactics" our manager is being praised for should have happened early doors. Playing two holding midfield players in "every game" since he became the gaffer shows very poor tactical knowledge on how to change the flow & momentum when things are against us.

Is the gaffer learning? I don’t know. One thing I know for sure: the guy has consistently made so many cock-ups within the last year or so – team selection, game management, pre- & post-bollock talk, constantly contradicting himself about the players etc, especilly the younger lads. You could go on and on! (Nearly every game was bewildering!)

DonÂ’t know if I could trust him again after so much SHITE bollocks coming from his mouth during the last 12 moths... So many blues have been shocked how this guy has got away with absolute murder! I have never seen so many miserable Evertonians watching & talking about their club.

This guy has got lots to do to convince me he can change his ways. A couple of wins means feck-all about someoneÂ’s ability to manage our great club.

Trevor Peers
4 Posted 27/04/2015 at 23:54:13
Excellent as McCarthy played, I donÂ’t think that anyone would claim he is the answer to our CM creative playmaker problem.
He would certainly be a great support to such a player if Roberto decides that CM is a position were he needs to strengthen, I do hope so.

We need a player who can create and score goals; as good as McCarthy is I canÂ’t see him adding many goals per season or providing many either.

Ernie Baywood
5 Posted 28/04/2015 at 00:39:02
I donÂ’t think heÂ’s there as a creative attacking midfielder. HeÂ’s essentially playing a defensive role further up the pitch, pressing where others wonÂ’t or canÂ’t (I suspect itÂ’s canÂ’t in RossÂ’s case).

It makes us more attacking as we play further up the pitch and donÂ’t sit back and invite possession in our half.

For all the deserved criticism of Martinez, he does seem to have finally twigged that, when your back is against the wall, you come out swinging. Not sure why it took so long but belated credit where itÂ’s due.

Joe O'Brien
6 Posted 28/04/2015 at 00:38:06
Great news that heÂ’s focused on us and not getting his head turned. HeÂ’s going to be a very important player for us. I canÂ’t see a load of goals from him but he has a lot more to his game than goals. Hopefully Ross will start creating a bit more and banging a few more in.

Massive result on Sunday. I hope this season will be a big learning curve for our manager and next season weÂ’ll be back challenging for the top 4; with our current team weÂ’re more than capable of doing so. A few additions are needed tho... Getting back to James weÂ’ve got a gem of a player. COYB

Garry Corgan
7 Posted 28/04/2015 at 01:35:53
When will players learn that, whether they mean it or not, THIS is what you say when youÂ’re asked about your future! Top man, James.
Eric Myles
8 Posted 28/04/2015 at 01:48:02
So "he does seem to have finally twigged that when your back is against the wall you come out swinging"?

I would have thought that heÂ’d have already learned that from 4 years at Wigan where he had to do the same, Ernie.

Brian Porter
9 Posted 28/04/2015 at 06:05:25
The biggest lesson Martinez needs to learn from this season is that, to be a successful manager in ANY business, whether it be football, retail, finance or whatever, you have to be PROACTIVE rather than REACTIVE. In other words, lead from the front, be the man with the ideas to create strategy, to quickly find ways to correct errors and not wait until your business is going down the drain before looking for ways to bail yourself out.

He got lucky this time, with the players dredging up some good results in the last few weeks, but if he carries on with his intractable and inflexible approach to tactics and team selection next season, well, just remember, Roberto, the rest of the PL managers are on to you now, young man, and you need to show them something new in order to send our team back up towards the upper echelons of the table.

Remember Woolworths? HMV? All the other big names on our high streets, who thought their names and reputations would carry them through the bad times? They reacted too late and where are they now? Smaller businesses were proactive, looked for new ways of generating business, by internet or mail order selling, whatever, and they made it through the recession.

Roberto, look at how REAL managers fight to make their product (ie, your team in this case), successful in direct competition with their opposition. DonÂ’t wait until itÂ’s all too late; be innovative, make your team, our team, one to be feared, to do the unexpected and take other teams and their managers by surprise.

You might even find the fans getting behind you again, if they see you leading from the front, rather than being dragged along kicking and screaming into the Â’changesÂ’ department, when all is almost lost.

Jim Bennings
10 Posted 28/04/2015 at 07:50:30
We have said for the best part of a year now that McCarthy has more strings to his bow than just stopping the opposition
scoring...

The guy has all the energy to run and be a box-to-box player all day long, heÂ’s got more endurance than Barkley and itÂ’s a shame just to confine that energy to just defensive duties.

The only thing that baffles me, like with many other Blues, is why has it taken until the end of the season before we got to see the greyhound let off the leash??

Richard Lyons
11 Posted 28/04/2015 at 08:04:15
Until McCarthy started moving forward our formation has never been 4-5-1 or 4-4-2, but more like 6-3-1 or 6-2-2.

Thank heavens for our managerÂ’s fabled tactical flexibility! IÂ’m slowly beginning to look forward to next season.

As for Jimmy Mac: cometh the hour...

Ross Edwards
12 Posted 28/04/2015 at 08:30:50
ItÂ’s still the same formation, Richard. And weÂ’ve had to wait until April to see our managerÂ’s Â’fabled flexibilityÂ’.
Sam Hoare
13 Posted 28/04/2015 at 08:39:51
It's good that heÂ’s getting forward more and certainly he has the pace and energy to be joining in on counters. However, as noted above, he is not a playmaker and against teams that arenÂ’t stretched in the way Man Utd were after our early goal, I still have doubts about Barry and McCarthy as a midfield duo able to open up teams.

Having pace and movement helps and Lennon has been crucial to the recent upturn in this sense but I still think we need a more gifted deep-lying playmaker type. Gibson could be that if he were fit but that looks unlikely.

Not sure Martinez seeÂ’s this as a priority so probably we will have the same holding midfielders and continue to look uninspired at times in the middle against well-organised teams looking to defend.

Phil Walling
14 Posted 28/04/2015 at 08:51:54
The Guardian Online has James saying, "We have been working on a different style of play. The manager let me push on. Gareth Barry is sitting in there although I have to get back to help out defensively. The manager sees more goals in my game and he is letting me off the leash a little."

Well, at least Roberto is being flexible although it always took until April for him to see the light at Wigan. I wonder if he will go back to the tippy tappy at the beginning of next season.

DonÂ’t bet against it!

Ross Edwards
15 Posted 28/04/2015 at 09:22:30
Phil, it wouldnÂ’t surprise me. He hasnÂ’t learnt anything. He still has total belief in the same philosophy that got him relegated at Wigan. Surely heÂ’d have adapted much earlier if it wasnÂ’t getting results.

I guess the first 10 games of next season will tell us if he has truly Â’learntÂ’. It seems to be the definitive defence for RM being a genius again...

Tony J Williams
16 Posted 28/04/2015 at 09:27:50
I fully expect to see a new and improved contract for him this summer.

It is no coinkidink that now he is fully fit we are playing better and Barry is finding form again.

Max Wilson
17 Posted 28/04/2015 at 09:31:52
McCarthy must be worth a fortune by now. HeÂ’s been brought on by the company he has kept on the field. WhatÂ’s happened to Besic?
Andrew Ellams
18 Posted 28/04/2015 at 09:29:06
Ross, if Sunday was a one off then no he hasnÂ’t learnt anything. But what it has done is given him a bit more licence to prove that he has learnt a lesson and he can change turn things around.

Tactics like Sunday probably wouldnÂ’t work at home to Hull, Stoke or Bournemouth (really??), but he now has to prove that he can break those teams down too.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 28/04/2015 at 10:03:46
ItÂ’s not even so much just the tactics on Sunday but the fact that the entire team came out the traps like seriously hyped up angry bastards! All season, myself and other Evertonians have wanted to see this kind of tempo, gusto and passion for wearing the blue shirt at Goodison Park.
Too many times this season, we have simply sleepwalked through matches and being outfought by bollox like Hull; we lost twice to Stoke not because they outplayed us but simply showed more passion and fight.

Whatever tactics Martinez opts to go with next season, the imperative thing is that we start showing that level of commitment on a regular basis; we need to start beating teams into submission like we did to Manchester United on Sunday.

Ross Edwards
20 Posted 28/04/2015 at 10:26:41
And good on him for that Andrew. The main point is, itÂ’s too late. HeÂ’s had all season to "learn" and "adapt" and weÂ’ve had to wait until late March/April for him to do so. Why was stopping him doing it earlier? Nothing that I can think of.
Tony J Williams
21 Posted 28/04/2015 at 10:49:14
Apparently Ross, it was difficult to get the balance between Europe and the League....cough...cough...bullshit...cough
Helen Mallon
22 Posted 28/04/2015 at 10:50:26
Collin Williams and a few others – stop bloody moaning, just be thankful that the tactical changes are now in place and we are on the up.
Phil Walling
23 Posted 28/04/2015 at 11:11:28
Helen. Please donÂ’t assume that all is well in State of Everton. The season is about more than the last few matches. Any manager who takes NINE months to see whatÂ’s obvious to mere species is, if nothing else, myopic!
Andrew Ellams
24 Posted 28/04/2015 at 11:12:48
Ross, thatÂ’s the thing about screwing up, you have to screw up before you fix it. There have been mitigating circumstances this season with injuries etc. but as you have mentioned here and on other threads recently his own stubborness has done him no good. None of us can see into the future so all we can hope is that Sunday was his light bulb moment.

If IÂ’m honest, I still have my doubts but letÂ’s see.

Patrick Murphy
25 Posted 28/04/2015 at 11:18:28
As Jim says, we have waited all season for the team to show that sort of passion and commitment in the Premier League and, if we had have done, we might have been challenging for a place in Europe.

WeÂ’ll never fully know what happened behind the scenes during the campaign but it was nice to have Â’ourÂ’ Everton back on Sunday; we all know that itÂ’s there, but somehow it got lost. That is not to say that I want Everton to play in that style all of the time but I do want the same passion and mindset that was on show in every game we play. The players have to be the ones who get themselves up for the challenge in hand and weÂ’ll see in the remaining matches whether SundayÂ’s performance was a one-off or whether the players have decided to knuckle down and work their socks off for the cause.

All too often, the team has produced a performance like SundayÂ’s and the following week given a lacklustre, passionless performance if the club is to achieve anything in the coming season, they have to at the very least show that same level of commitment in all fixtures.

Amit Vithlani
26 Posted 28/04/2015 at 11:25:32
James McCarthy maybe no playmaker, but what he has shown is that he has to be one of the first names on the team sheet when fully fit. In every game, we need his aggression, energy, stamina, drive and moments of skill. He gives the side great balance, allowing us to play counter-attacking football as he has the pace to join in, and he can sit back behind an advanced playmaker with two genuine wingers if we are in an attacking and dominant mood. (I believe the attacking playmaker is the role Barkley is being groomed for).

We might not have a deeply lying playmaker but this is not a position we need to necessarily need to fill in every game. McCarthyÂ’s is.

In fact, use of the deeper playmaker could see us go back to the turgid, slow defensive passing in the early part of the season when Barry assumed the mantle. The re-introduction of a more direct style has seen us dispense with the position. Even without Gibson, a better passer than Barry, we have continued to pick up points.

Long may McCarthyÂ’s development continue, and long may we continue to enjoy the fruits of the more dynamic style of football, where the passing range is being adapted from game to game.

Jim Bennings
27 Posted 28/04/2015 at 11:27:57
Well said, Patrick.

The majority of the fans moaning and the discontent at Goodison Park this season is because we all know that these players and maybe even Martinez himself have let themselves down quite grossly for the best part of it.

We have groaned and grumbled at Goodison because we expect better, and the reason we have expected better is because the players have shown us that when they want, they CAN work hard, they can run with or without the ball and they can press and harry the opponent.

God only knows why itÂ’s taken so long but it surely ainÂ’t because of Europe or injuries, itÂ’s because we have sleepwalked throughout too many matches in a pre-season friendly mode.

Whether or not the penny has finally dropped with Martinez, his staff and his players only time will tell, but whilst you do need your best players available to get the best results, it shouldnÂ’t matter who is out there when it comes to passion and commitment, that should be a given whenever any player starts a match against every opponent.

You can have as much talent as you want but hard work breeds success.

Helen Mallon
28 Posted 28/04/2015 at 11:33:00
Phil Walling, I know that it has taken so long. I just get fed up with the negativity some posters display, no matter how well we have played. I personally donÂ’t think Martinez will go back to pass, pass, pass football; I donÂ’t think the senior players will allow it.

All he said was he has been given licence to attack more and he wants to stay and it turns into a Martinez bash session. I have moaned and groaned about the manager many a time, calling for his head after the Saints game, but he does seem to have changed and I for one like the change.

Phil Walling
30 Posted 28/04/2015 at 11:58:49
Good on you, Helen. IÂ’m glad that you are happy. Guess IÂ’ve seen too many false dawns to get carried away, is all!
Harold Matthews
31 Posted 28/04/2015 at 11:19:13
Helen. Spot on.

Funny thing is....The solid anti-Martinez people who refuse to be happy with the 3-0 win and continue to criticize him for being stubborn and inflexible are the most miserable, stubborn and inflexible bunch IÂ’ve ever come across.

Colin Malone
32 Posted 28/04/2015 at 12:10:19
I can see a lot of Roy Keane in the way Jimmy Mac plays, the only difference was Keane went forward more. If only James could improve on that part of his game. We have all seen that he can do it.
James Martin
33 Posted 28/04/2015 at 12:09:16
My issue with Martinez is heÂ’s essentially created a brilliant counter attacking team. Lukaku, Mirallas, Barkley all great on the break, McCarthy loves to press on the opposition and Barry just likes to cover space and use the ball quickly. Marshalled like we were on Sunday and we can beat anyone.

Martinez, however, only seems to do this in two home games a season against Arsenal and Man Utd. Against everyone else you see the same players trying to unlock the door when theyÂ’re just not built for that. It was the same in Europe, counter-attack end our way out the group only to try and play tiki tala away at Kiev. Stupid.

What is extra annoying is that Martinez has wins over Chelsea Man Utd and Arsenal now as well as only losing one derby. You probably only need to beat one of these teams, maybe two, to win a trophy yet we go out every year against poor sides. Would no-one back us for a win if we were in the cup final playing those tactics?

ItÂ’s back to my categorisation of managers. Roberto misses out on being great because, whilst he has it within him to make a great performance, he doesnÂ’t seem to know what it was about it that needs replicating. We could play that match again next week and heÂ’d have Ross wide with Kone and Naismith playing and be bewildered why it didnÂ’t work the same.

Such a contrast to the first season where we played the same formation and same line-up most games to good success. Sunday was probably (Mirallas included) as close as it gets to our best line up. Why has it taken a whole season just to go back to what we were doing last season?

Ross Edwards
34 Posted 28/04/2015 at 12:29:43
After 7 months of waiting Helen, but there we are. LetÂ’s enjoy RMÂ’s long overdue tactical enlightenment while it lasts.
Phil Walling
35 Posted 28/04/2015 at 12:33:58
DonÂ’t go there, James. Harold wants us all doing handstands!
Ross Edwards
36 Posted 28/04/2015 at 12:36:05
Bit harsh Harold. Those who want RM out arenÂ’t going to sit here and pretend that heÂ’s suddenly a tactical genius and weÂ’re amazing and that everything is hunky dory again.

The fact that itÂ’s taken him so long to Â’change his tacticsÂ’ exemplifies his lack of tactical awareness. I definitely think the players and the fans booing the endless ball retention against QPR have had something to do with his sudden conversion. You canÂ’t tell me that someone who has so much belief and faith in his all possession philosophy for the last 8 months would suddenly change tactics at the drop of a hat without some sort of pressure or persuasion behind the scenes.

Trevor Peers
37 Posted 28/04/2015 at 12:27:10
A lot of successful managers often find that success in the teeth of a desperate run of bad results. Adversity can focus the mind and create a formula for success, providing the manager concerned has the right character.

ThatÂ’s the question now does Roberto have that character to become a winner? Well he won the cup, doing it with the blues will be a lot tougher simply because weÂ’re not underdogs like Wigan.

Harold Matthews
38 Posted 28/04/2015 at 12:07:23
Phil.

Most of the "mere species" you refer to would say "short-sighted". Your use of the word "myopic" in your attempted clever-dick retort to a lady is, at best, "pathetic".

Come on Phil. YouÂ’re better than that. Despite being on opposite sides of the Martinez fence, I usually enjoy your posts but "myopic"?? Come on. Get real.

John Daley
39 Posted 28/04/2015 at 12:42:33
Ross: "fans booing the endless ball retention against QPR have had something to do with his sudden conversion"

ThatÂ’s not true though, is it? The boos in that game didnÂ’t have any discernible effect on the way Martinez approached following fixtures. If that was indeed his damascus moment, why then did he not change things around in the games immediately following the QPR clash? Why wait months?

Was he mulling over an audio recording of the fans discontent, like Father Karras in the Exorcist, trying to find hidden subliminal messages saying Â’get the fucker forwardÂ’?

Liam Reilly
40 Posted 28/04/2015 at 12:15:22
Well said, Harold and Helen.

There's too much doom-mongering on here. Inflexible, no Plan b, tacticless, letting the senior players make decisions – seriously; the guy is the Manager of one of the top teams in the PL and in the top 20 of turnover in the Forbes list.

If he was that clueless, do you honestly think he'd still be there. The board might be frugal but they're not idiots.

Andrew Ellams
41 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:01:22
Ross, your posts stink of a man desperate for Martinez not to turn things round.
Ross Edwards
42 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:03:31
RM is unsackable Liam, you know that. And Andrew, if you read my posts as being like that, thatÂ’s fine, I respect your right to your opinion. But theyÂ’re not.
Phil Walling
43 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:04:58
Pure tautology, Harold. Myopic = Short-sighted.
It was not Helen I suggested was afflicted but the manager she now hails as a visionary.
Tony J Williams
44 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:06:04
"Was he mulling over an audio recording of the fans discontent, like Father Karras in the Exorcist, trying to find hidden subliminal messages saying 'get the fucker forward'?"

John wins the interweb today!!

Steve King
45 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:12:06
Colin (#3),

"I have never seen so many miserable Evertonians watching & talking about their club."

Two points on that from me.....

1) Of course I don't know how old you are but I am assuming you missed Mike Walker & Walter Smith? Trust me the mood was much more grim back then! OK we didn't have Twitter or ToffeWeb to have a moan on so it was much more difficult to spread the gloom but the 30 odd thousand inside the ground every game were at their lowest ebb.

2) Maybe if people allowed themselves to celebrate a great win (the 5th in the last 6 games) and congratulated our young midfielder on developing a few new strings to his bow, then you and your mates wouldn't be quite so glum!

Ross Edwards
46 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:28:53
John, the reaction showed RM for the first time that Goodison can bite. Up to then there was hardly any dissent against him.
Phil Sammon
47 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:17:04
The performance on Sunday was a delight, but if it was up to me Martinez would still be out the door at the earliest opportunity. This season has been a shambles and even this little run we're on has seen more than its fair share of dismal performances.

People often accuse the manager's detractors of having a personal problem with the man at the helm. I'd like to admit that I do. I don't think he knows what he's doing. Win, lose or draw, he talks utter garbage and I'm sick to death of hearing it.

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:29:23
Just loved McCarthy's game on Sunday and of late. His rapid support upfield for the fast break, putting pressure on the opposition defence, is wonderful. And how the lad gets back to cover the defence is beyond me. A great engine. Well done Roberto in bringing on the lad and our game in this way.

And with Ross's rapid breaks, gobbling up yards and yards we really can catch teams on the break-out. Ross just needs to improve decision making at the end of those runs.

Andrew Ellams
49 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:53:50
Phil Sammon, not even prepared to give him a bit of a chance? I'm not 100% sold he's completely turned any corners but Sunday showed he at least knows where the corner is (no pun intended). It may sound bizarre but it's prohably easier to beat Utd or Arsenal at home playing that sort of football than it is Stoke or Hull. Now he just needs to work that one out and we'll win the leagur next year.
Ross Edwards
50 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:46:03
Some are more wiling to use 6 games as proof of how great RM is. I look at the last 28 games as my conclusive proof of how RM has been an incompetent liability for the majority of this season.

A run of 6 results doesnÂ’t mask or erase an entire season of dire football, poor results and shocking tactical errors by Martinez.

If thatÂ’s some peopleÂ’s proof of me not wanting RM to turn it around, thatÂ’s fine by them. I want him to succeed, I donÂ’t have a vendetta against him. But am I going to pretend that the last 6 games are full 100% proof that RM is definitely the right man? No. IÂ’ll judge the first 10 games of next season on whether these new found tactics will be used or not.

My point is that our run and his tactical U-turn has come far too late in what is a meaningless run in. When the pressure has been on this season, and expectation high, RM has failed miserably. Now the pressure and expectations have fallen away, the players have finally decided to step up their effort in games and get results.

Whether we can maintain this in the opening months of next season remains to be seen. Until then I refuse to join the Â’RM is great again and anyone who disagrees are moaners and donÂ’t want him to succeedÂ’ bandwagon.

Sean Kelly
51 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:50:18
Well said, Helen and Harold. Look we all know things havenÂ’t been great this season but this thread started with a young man being positive. He stated heÂ’s enjoying his role. HeÂ’s not knocking down the door for a transfer but looking forward to improving next season with us.

Philip, please take a chill pill. Have nothing good to say about our team or club? FFS what will you be moaning about in June and July? You will be like a bitch in heat waiting for the first cock-up.

Steve Brown
52 Posted 28/04/2015 at 13:58:52
Harold #31, well said. For the most part, the posters crucifying Martinez are the same individuals who 1) crucified Moyes in his last 18 months 2) eulogised Martinez for his success last season because it proved their point about Moyes.

I have also been on Live Forum when certain of the same individuals have hurled abuse of the worst kind at RM and then not even celebrated when Everton scored. I didnt even support the appointment of RM but find the vitriol aimed at him completely unbalanced.

Also the pack mentality that kicks in here when someone disagrees is now the same with RM as it was with Moyes. God forbid that Helen should disagree with the two Phils, that merits a fucking fatwa.

Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 28/04/2015 at 14:14:59
If a player has energy, then let him run. McCarthy Will make mistakes playing in this role, because he has played so long in a different way. He won't be easy to chase for 90 minutes though, so let's see how it works.

One swallow does not make a summer, even if the players all look a lot happier at the minute. Maybe the smiles are something to do with the football they are playing. Or is it results? At least the crowd seem back onside anyway

Eddie Dunn
54 Posted 28/04/2015 at 14:38:30
I have to support Ross on this matter. Delighted though I am at the win on Sunday, and our general upturn in form, it doesn't erase what has gone on before.
The proof will be in the pudding over the rest of this campaign and the first ten games of next season.
One thing to remember though, is that we have played some cracking football in Europe.
The counter attacking game seems to suit us.
It is a shame we couldn't carry it out away in Kiev.
If Martinez learns something from this season, I want it to be to keep his gob shut, both after awful performances, and when bigging-up young players.

Mark Andersson
55 Posted 28/04/2015 at 10:43:31
Thank f--- for ToffeeWeb. I came on this site last year and have been educated.

Martinez is a fool, the results lately are a direct result of the platyers pulling their weight. All summed up by Baine’s comment on Lennon.

I will not give this manager any credit, he is utter shite liar. the players had a guilty conscience after the die hard fans had had enough.

You can not tell me that the players don’t read ToffeeWeb, sure they do. It’s a ego based business. That goes for the board and the manager too.

One good win against Man U does not impress me or in fact most on here thank G-- I will always side on the reason of logic. As Phil and others have put it more eloquently, he took Wigan down he will take us down too.

Tony Hill
56 Posted 28/04/2015 at 15:09:35
What Ross says about this season is simply the truth, isn't it? We can all enjoy this run and what it may suggest about the future, but we have to perform when the pressure is on, not just when it's off. That's been the Everton way for too long.

I'm sure we all, without exception, hope it will happen next season.

Max Wilson
58 Posted 28/04/2015 at 16:34:11
Just had a look at how this thread has been developing! Phew!! Some telling points being made about RM. To me he's never seemed to know which players were'nt up to the standard. Never worked out that at this level you only have to make one or two bad selections and you've lost the game or are going to struggle. Just lately either the penny has dropped or by accident he's being getting it right. I don't think it's been a case of our better players not trying, I think they had to carry some passengers as well as do their own job. Now who has hardly played or not played lately and you'll see what I'm driving at. It was a great team that played on Sunday. (Oh, and let me add, no-one was being asked to play carrying an injury!)
Ian Jones
59 Posted 28/04/2015 at 18:12:10
Where's Colin Glassar when you need him for a comment or two.

This run in may be sort of meaningless to some teams but the teams we are playing like Man Utd and Burnley are needing points for different reasons so I don't think our games are at all meaningless. Villa and Sunderland will both be desperate for points. Tottenham also may need points for Europe as well. I have forgotten who the other opponents are and cannot be bothered to check...so apologies to the research police...

You can only beat what's put in front of you. So far we have won 5 of the last 6. That's more than some on here would have thought possible. Me included. It may not have been pretty at times but winning breeds confidence and players who are bordering on being fit suddenly become fitter and perhaps more eager to play and run that bit more. Scoring goals also helps which brings me back to the original thread.

James McCarthy.

I have been critical of players and the management throughout the seaaon. I would alao like to think the poor performances and poor results this season are not all down to Roberto Martinez. Players need to take some responsibility at times. However. If the manager just came out with a more honest appraisal of the matches and season as a whole instead of sugar coating everything or saying daft things, I imagine some posters would have cut him some slack.

He appears to have belatedly started publicly saying more of the right things so hopefully we can all move forwards towards next season. Of course it's perhaps easier to be more honest when things are going well as opposed to having defend your players, team selections tactics or seemingly lack of etc.

Just to remind everyone. The thread was about McCarthy. Decent player. !

Murdo Laing
60 Posted 28/04/2015 at 19:20:32
John (#39). As revealed in the rarely seen, but sublime Exorcist 3, it was Thomas Kintry's mother who deciphered the rantings of the possessed teenager Reagan McNeil, and established she (or the demon inside) was actually speaking English – but backwards. I have sent a pile of audio tapes to Mrs Kintry, these contain Roberto's post match analyses of the Stoke City (A), Hull City (A), and Crystal Palace (H) games. I am hoping it will pick up some mystical thread which turns out to be a demon speaking in tongues, which Roberto drowns out of his head by relentlessly saying how good we were.

Seriously, watch Exorcist 3 if you can. It scared the shit out of me – a bit like the away tie in Kiev.

Darren Hind
61 Posted 28/04/2015 at 19:20:00
John D

But it is true, The QPR game is the one most people will point to because it was on the box, but as a matchgoer you are fully aware that the crowd were clearly rejecting the shite being served up against Stoke and West Ham. If you went to Hull, you’d have seen outright hostility.

The "Mutiny" did not come from the players – it came from the fans. They were sick to death of traveling around the country to watch utter shite and they were giving "Robbie" both barrels. Anyone who was at these games knows this. It wasn’t just one game. Martinez was stubborn but the crowd were more determined than he was. They could all see he had gotten it wrong.

The players were clearly shaken by this and, as we know (because they have told us), they spoke to the manager about his tactics. BBS was friendless (with the possible exception of Colin Glassar).
His fans hated his possession obsession, his players were uncomfortable with it, every manager in the country had learned to combat it. Even the gobshite telly pundits were taking the piss.

Robbie’s boast that we would not change the way we play came back to haunt him. He quite simply caved. Our defenders stopped taking idiotic chances and – warra ya know – THEIR mistakes have stopped.

Our wins may still be ugly (Sunday aside) but we have a foundation.

How far could we have gone this season if we had a manager who was at the level of the players, somebody who would have recognised our faults before the crowd did, Somebody who didn’t need his half-witted tactics rammed down his throat before he would eventually cave.

Ian Brandes
62 Posted 28/04/2015 at 19:46:29
It is so strange when I can see myself agreeing with lots of different views – Jim, Harold, and Phil – must be because we all want the best for our club.

However, I was a great supporter of RM when he arrived. Now I am not. His test was not about Man Utd, it will be against Aston Villa, and, following their performance against Man City, we will see how he fares. Sherwood vs Martinez.

As for Sunday, I was in seventh heaven, but as the saying goes ’One swallow does not make a Summer.’

Crap season without a doubt, but it was good to be Blue on Sunday. As for Jimmy Mac, fabulous MotM performance! Please do whatever necessary to keep him.

Jon Cox
63 Posted 28/04/2015 at 18:44:10
Bilic.
Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 28/04/2015 at 20:30:30
My own view has been Europe, Darren. He chopped and changed, and now we are out he has began to play a settled side. We couldn't gain momentum, because of this but suddenly it's gone and the pressure has come off.

Tactics have been awful and it must have been horrible for the players playing at Goodison with such a restless crowd.

I never went Sunday, but when Fellaini robbed Barry and shot over the bar, this was still the same type of mistake we have been making since last August.

Nick Armitage
65 Posted 28/04/2015 at 20:44:32
I got absolutely hammered on here for saying that McCarthy was playing within himself and lacked the dynamism of a top quality midfielder.

I said he offered nothing going forwards and that either he or Martinez was curtailing his play. People said I was talking shite. Was I really?

Dave Abrahams
66 Posted 28/04/2015 at 20:54:00
Tony (64) that mistake was made because Howard gave the ball to Barry with two United players up his arse, did it three or four times in the first half, putting Everton under pressure.
Paul Tran
67 Posted 28/04/2015 at 20:46:45
There's a few issues merging here, Darren.

The overriding issues are lack of preparation and reinforcements in the summer, poor fitness management through the season, and the consistent unbalanced team. These were exacerbated by the Europa League, but were problems created by Martinez's management.

I don't believe for a moment that Martinez wants to play slow, ponderous, aimless football. I'd love to see the quotes from him that suggest this. He's spent all season trying to replace Deufoleu and seems to have finally succeeded with Lennon, hence the improvement in our forward play. We've now got a settled back four, largely down to him realising that Stones is better than Alcaraz and that the players he brought back too early now are fit. I'll include Barry here, who has suffered from being played when unfit and a lack of movement in front of him, leading to him constantly being caught in possession.

The big issue for me is that for most of the season, Martinez clearly hasn't got his ideas through to the players. Yes, the players have performed poorly, but the manager's job is to get his ideas across and he hasn't.

That's what concerns me – this squad, when fit and able, is good enough to finish top six at least. Is he going to get in the way, or is he going to strengthen the team, get/keep it fit and let them flourish?

John Daley
68 Posted 28/04/2015 at 20:46:02
Darren,

It’s true that the fans booing a few backwards passes in a game on 15th December ’definitely had something to do with’ the managers change of tactics in a game over four months later? That’s what Ross stated and that’s what I’m disputing.

Why did he play the exact same way against United at Goodison last season then? He had a premonition of the future fixture against QPR, only to promptly forgot all about it until the real thing occurred and it dragged it back up from the depths of his subconscious?

He obviously instructed the team to play a particular way against United because it worked for him against them last season, not because he’s still waking up in a cold sweat at the thought of a few screams of derision back in December.

"The players were clearly shaken by this and as we know (because they have told us)"

Where and when did any of the players state they were rattled by the reaction of the crowd?

John Daley
69 Posted 28/04/2015 at 21:06:28
Sorry Darren,

You can ignore that last question. The capital T at the beginning of 'they' threw me and I didn't read it as one sentence at first: "The players were clearly shaken by this and as we know (because they have told us). They spoke to the manager about his tactics".

Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 28/04/2015 at 21:07:02
John, make that few screams of derision into a few thousand screams of derision, and the players certainly knew what the crowd thought of them playing that way.

Why he has taken until the last ten games of the season to change to a more attacking game I don't know, maybe because he really is stubborn, but if he carries on like this the crowd will stay off his back.

Phil Roberts
71 Posted 28/04/2015 at 21:18:47
I thought it was also telling the stats at the end of MotD. One team on Sunday had 65% of the possession. The other team scored 3 goals.

Keeping the ball means nothing if you don't do anything with it.

Ross Edwards
72 Posted 28/04/2015 at 21:19:46
John, IÂ’m not saying itÂ’s THE cause. All IÂ’m saying is, crowd reaction clearly shocked him and the players too most likely. And it probably led to an inquest as we saw when Lukaku said that some players asked the manager to go more direct. I donÂ’t think that would have happened if the crowd stayed passive and not reacted.
Ross Edwards
73 Posted 28/04/2015 at 21:26:22
The fact that even after that he still persisted with the tactics sums up his stubbornness. Why has it taken him until now to change? He should have changed earlier and failure to do so is poor management.
Andy Crooks
74 Posted 28/04/2015 at 21:24:53
Liam, there's not nearly enough doom mongering on here. It's actually a wonderful phrase to say out loud... DOOM MONGERING.

Also, Andrew #41, it seems to me that Ross's posts stink of no such thing. It is possible to believe that Martinez is the wrong man to be coach and, at the same time, thoroughly enjoy a superb win and congratulate him for his part in it. It really is.

Doug Harris
75 Posted 28/04/2015 at 21:56:22
The Mancs had 17 attempts 4 on target.
We had 9 attempts scored 3 goals...

Sod this % possession. Goals win games as do clean sheets. We couldn't ask for more...!

John Daley
76 Posted 28/04/2015 at 22:04:57
Dave @70,

I don't think Martinez has changed to 'a more attacking game' at all. Nor do I think the reaction of the crowd prompted any soul searching by the manager, or led directly to a real change in tactics beyond looking for Lukaku a bit earlier now and again (y'know, so he can get more practice at mistiming his jump so badly that he looks like he's bouncing on the opposite side of the trampoline to the guy that's marking him). By the same token, I don't believe the convenient excuse that us exiting the Europa is the reason behind the recent upturn in results either.

The performances immediately preceding this weekend (despite the positive results) were still poor in the main and lacking a real cutting edge. We just look a lot more solid at the back with Howard and Jagielka finding some form and consistency, Stones being fit and costly individual errors being cut out.

A lot of defeats this season stemmed from us shooting ourselves in the foot and such mistakes being pounced on and punished. Barry was still caught lingering on the ball on Sunday like he has been on a quite a few occasions this season. The only difference this time was that Fellaini fired over. Earlier in the season when everything was going against us that would have found the top corner (or trickled over the line as Howard fell backwards in slow motion like he'd took a shotgun blast at close range). The added pace and endeavour of Lennon has helped also and a few wins on the bounce always builds confidence, the same as a string of defeats saps it.

At the weekend United simply played into the teams hands by coming to play and leaving themselves open to the counter. We're ok on those terms. It's when teams are content to just sit back and say 'break us down then' that we've looked lost for an answer. Our best displays in the Europa League all followed a similar pattern and utilised the same game plan as Sunday. It's nothing new for this Everton side to play that way. It's just not often enough that opposition teams are so accommodating as to give us that chance.

Ross Edwards
77 Posted 28/04/2015 at 22:12:37
Can you explain why itÂ’s taken Martinez so long to Â’adaptÂ’ then John because there was nothing stopping him from doing it earlier.
Dave Abrahams
78 Posted 28/04/2015 at 22:33:49
John (76) yes a lot of your points are correct, I haven't been convinced by a lot of the latest victories because there wasn't anything to get excited about; yet, on Sunday, a lot more energy was evident, commitment and desire.

There was a lot more on display to give a little ray of hope that Martinez will stop this sleepwalking football and let the team have a go and at least entertain us.

Like a lot of people on here, I'm not swayed by this one good performance, but if it continues Bobby will be given a rest from all the stick he has taken, and deserved.

Ross Edwards
79 Posted 28/04/2015 at 22:58:05
Am I being too deluded to say that next season, with no European football Â’hinderingÂ’ us, with SundayÂ’s performance showing what we are capable of, with no World Cup year to Â’disruptÂ’ any pre season plans, that Roberto has to get a top 6 finish?

I think next season his minimum requirements should be top 6 and a full crack at one of the Cups. If he fails those targets he should be sacked. ThatÂ’s what IÂ’d be telling him after seeing that performance on Sunday if I was in charge.

John Daley
80 Posted 28/04/2015 at 23:05:30
Where have I said he adapted Ross? Suddenly or otherwise? I'm saying he hasn't.

The fact he played on the counter against United isn't some miraculous new rebirth for the manager. We played exactly the same way against them last season. We played that way against Arsenal last season as well. Wolfsburg and Lyon this season. Those game plans weren't formulated on the back of groans and boos emenating from the stands. He's set up that way a few times since took over, so to suggest that such an approach has formerly been anathema to him is false.

It's just think it's an overly simplistic view to say 'we were shite because Martinez's tactics were shite. We're not as shite now because some boos made him use some not so shite tactics... because he's sensitive that way like, despite my claiming earlier that he's such a stubborn twat he'd cut off his nose to spite his face'.

I'm not trying to mount some defence of Martinez in regards to the shambles that has unfurled this season. Ok, maybe I think the players deserve their share of blame for panicking and wandering through the majority of games looking totally shellshocked like the ball had been smuggled to the ground in Jo Brands snatch and spat out all shiny and slick with a mouldy Snickers wrapper stuck to it that's so old it still says fucking 'Marathon'. Beyond that, I think he's fallen well short of the standard required and looked totally bemused as to what's gone wrong and how it can be put right.

I don't think a little run of results, at the tail end of the season after any and all expectation has long since died off, signals that he's sorted shit out either.

I just don't agree that the fact we've won a few games in a row can be traced back to a chorus of boos in mid December, or that any Premier League manager would be so weak willed and easily swayed from a philosophy he's took such great pains to pronounce the virtues of, simply because he's took a bit of stick about 'playing it around at the back'.

Patrick Murphy
81 Posted 28/04/2015 at 23:07:32
Having a settled back four/five is and has always been the key for Everton to do reasonably well in recent times, it's one area of the pitch that Everton have good players and good organisation, however, when that section of the team is disrupted or out of form we suffer badly. I said at the very beginning of the season that a centre-half should have been purchased but Roberto decided to put his faith in Alcaraz and that has come back to hurt to him. Hopefully he will have identified another player to bolster that position either from within the present staff or he will buy a new player.

As has been stated by many the other problem that we have faced is the need to break down stubborn park the bus teams who come with the aim of stifling us, at present we still struggle to build any momentum in that scenario and that is why our strategy at dead ball situations should be enhanced and worked upon, as was proved by John Stones crucial goal on Sunday. Saturday's game will see Villa on the front foot so there is good reason to play a similar style to the one with United, hopefully with a similar outcome.

Darren Hind
82 Posted 29/04/2015 at 02:39:01
It was the crowd John.

Ok it wasnt JUST the crowd that brought about the change. it was a combination of reasons, but the crowd reaction was certainly the Catalyst.

I don't believe the players would have gone to Martinez asking him to ditch his pass the time Bomb tactics if the crowd were not so openly hostile - although I do believe they would have ditched them with or without his consent.

Playing out from the back is a noble way of playing, especially in the midst of the crash bang wallop of the premiership, its the proper way of playing, but not every fucking time.

A forward needs to know that if he chases you down you may just clear your lines and he'll have expended energy for nothing, if he Knows for a fact that you will fuck about with it, He – and his team mates – will hunt you down. It seems everyone in football was onto us. Gobshites like Neville and Carragher were taking great pleasure in highlighting every error. We were'nt just sinking, we we becoming a laughing stock.Yes, the defenders were making individual errors, but by making their every move predictable, Martinez had created sitting ducks.

Thank fuck for the Goodison faithful. I firmly believe that if the old lady was full of happy clappers, we'd be still be sinking and we would still be a weekly source of fun to Beauts like Robbie fucking Savage

Jim Bennings
83 Posted 29/04/2015 at 08:32:40
Get in, Kev lad!!

Love this guy or loathe him, thereÂ’s no getting away from the talent he has and he IS undoubtedly a goal threat and match-winner.

If he stays at Everton next season, then thatÂ’s instantly a positive summer move.

Steve Ferns
84 Posted 29/04/2015 at 13:18:32
Colin Williams (#3): "I have never seen so many miserable Evertonians watching & talking about their club."

Where were you in the days of Colin Harvey, Kendall Mark II and III, Mike Walker, Joe Royle, Waldo Smith, and David Moyes?

Even as frustrating as this season has been, the darkest days of it were far better than the darkest days of any of those eras.

Sideways football with no hope? I refer you to Mike Walker and a team built around Vinny Samways.

Joe RoyleÂ’s Dogs of War was great in that we bounced back when weÂ’d almost given up hope and won a trophy, but the football was dire. Ebbrell, Horne and Parkinson in Midfield with a left back at left wing (Hinchcliffe). Highlights were usually winning a corner and hoping Big Dunc would actually do something and score one of his 10 goals a season. Dire stuff.

Kendall Mark III was terrible and we were lucky to not go down. Worst Everton team in my lifetime. Gareth Farrelly, Mark Pembridge and Scott Gemmil in midfield.

Waldo Smith with his 7 defenders on the pitch at once, Gough and Watson with a combined age of 75 playing side by side and Davie Weir playing right back. Unsworth in midfield. Steve Watson – a right back – up front. John Spencer, Mick Madar... can you remember this? Terrible football and such dark days.

Things improved dramatically under Moyes. But things were never so good, at least since Kendall Mark I, as under Roberto last season. And this season, we have not been at the races, but nethertheless, weÂ’ve been in every game and but for a bit of luck could have won all but a couple. Try saying that about any of the other eras. The disappointment this time is over the results not meeting expectations, but comments like ColinÂ’s are so ridiculous.

Andrew Ellams
85 Posted 29/04/2015 at 13:36:21
The irony of the QPR game is that they were a different team that night because he played Barkley and Besic in midfield and of course changed it again next game and we went on our worst run in donkey's years.

If you want to point out a moment that the crowd changed things than surely itÂ’s after going a goal down at home to Kiev.

Mike Childs
86 Posted 29/04/2015 at 12:09:24
I think itÂ’s pretty simple: it comes down to BarryÂ’s two-week suspension, LennonÂ’s pace and GibsonÂ’s play while it lasted.

Barry has been markedly better since coming back. LennonÂ’s pace and tracking back has brought ColemanÂ’s game up several notches; and Gibson showed them all how getting the ball forward faster pays off.

Also, the recent surge makes me believe that all of RM’s eggs were in Europa League – he probably spent the majority of his planning and practicing on it. Maybe next season he could put that effort into getting an early jump in the Premier League then the FA Cup.

Michael Kenrick
87 Posted 29/04/2015 at 16:00:26
Steve (#84), "...we've been in every game and but for a bit of luck could have won all but a couple."

I wonder how many are going to have that as their memory of this season? Certainly not me. ThatÂ’s swallowing the Â’fine marginsÂ’ pill along with a big dose of Â’weÂ’ve been unluckyÂ’... why not add in Â’refs never give us nowtÂ’?

Sorry, not buying it.

Andy Crooks
88 Posted 29/04/2015 at 16:16:24
Steve,# 84. Factor in the money Martinez has spent, the squad he inherited and the disillusionment becomes more understandable.
Andrew Ellams
89 Posted 29/04/2015 at 16:19:20
We may well have been in every game this season, but the fact that we didnÂ’t take these games by the throat and win them has been down more to our own toothless possession football than luck. We have been unfortunate with injuries but there is no excuse for having that amount of possession and creating so few chances.
Alex Jones
90 Posted 29/04/2015 at 19:58:45
I think that Martinez and McCarthy actually suffer from the same problems: both do better against the Â’top 4Â’ teams who come with their own game plan and donÂ’t seek to nullify ours. Martinez has always done well against opposition of this sort and losing against the top 4 has not been our problem this season. ItÂ’s the other 15 teams who create problems for us. He doesnÂ’t know how to beat these teams and the fact is beating the rest is far more important to a successful season than beating the top 4.

Whilst McCarthy looks good when we donÂ’t have the ball as much, when we do, he looks half the player. Again the games when we do are by far the most important as they are where the bigger number of points are won and lost.

A 3-0 win against Man Utd is great and Sunday was the first game IÂ’ve enjoyed watching in the league for a long time. But there was no tactical change, no learning from Martinez. He played the same way heÂ’s always done against them. I still want him gone as I think heÂ’s clueless.

IÂ’d also still rather we sold McCarthy as him playing well in 8 games a season is not really good enough for a 㾹M midfielder.

Colin Williams
91 Posted 29/04/2015 at 19:59:02
Steve# 84... Yes I was, and also well before that! Robbie may "learn" (or not) from his shocking management/ coaching philosophy ( that was so static and flat) over the last twelve months. I just donÂ’t get how poor his team selection and game management has been during this period.

There were times during the last 12 months when I found myself unable to listen/talk about the guy. He was so arrogant and "eulogized" about his philosophy, which at that time was a total failure (complete mess).

I still have "massive doubt" about his overall ability to manage our club. I want everything he says and does to perfectly calibrate and evoke a "growth mindset " (constant development) to all our players and staff.

I want ingrained in "Bobbie’s philosophy" –players/staff think they can cruise their way through their contract – to learn that nobody will get anywhere without hard work, by showing tremendous discipline and also by taking responsibility for their actions!! (Manager/senior staff.)


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