From My Seat: West Brom (A)

Ken reports from a rousing night in the Midlands as the Blues overturn West Brom's 2-0 lead to win 3-2.

Ken Buckley 29/09/2015 29comments  |  Jump to last

A trip down the M6 to meet the Baggies on a Monday night is always a bit of a stressful dash for fans but loads of advertising revenue for Sky who are the Premier League's paymaster, but we still go anyway. Time for a pint and a chat and some WBA fans reckoned they would know how to stop Lukaku and take a home win. The teams came through and I thought if they did stop Rom then they may have a point. Of our regular back five only Tim and Jags were available – granted those chosen in their place are very promising players but would the understanding be there?

Into the ground and our end soon filled with a full complement and in good voice. Bobby Madley was the ref and he got us underway and for some reason the thought entered my mind that we were playing on the highest ground in England and the way we had started you would have thought we were playing uphill such was our pedestrian buil- up play. Barry had said in the week we needed to be patient but this seemed to be taking it a bit too far. Our crowd had gone from boisterous to quiet as the half wore on.

Not a lot to report in that first half. For us Deulofeu was almost a passenger out on the right as no one would give him the ball and his waving got ever more frantic. At last Barry found him with a long arcing pass and he showed what he could do as he found Barkley in on goal with a wonderful ball but from a seemingly open goal position he seemed to sort of stutter and the ball went past him when any sort of prod toward goal would have had us in raptures. I found out later he had got his feet mixed up!

The half was going on without either keeper being unduly troubled until Howard had one smashed straight at him which he held. Their crowd offered to sing a song for us which brought nothing but apathy from the away end. Boy ,we were showing em we could do patience. The game was winding down to half time and I noted that Mori after a bit of an uncertain start was coming to terms with the game and his surroundings and looking like a good addition to the squad and that Galloway was indeed living up to his present billing, while Browning was having it a little tougher against the quicksilver Berahino and Jags was working overtime in trying to keep the unit intact with some clever help from Barry.

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Less than five minutes to the break and I wished I had kept those thoughts to myself, but it just shows what football can throw at you. Howard bowled the ball out to Mori on the left touchline who held on to it a little too long and a tackle squirted the ball out but, fortunately, to Barry who inexplicably passed direct to Morrison (he plays for them I thought) who played a good pass into the middle of our box bisecting Jags and Browning leaving Berahino in on Howard one on one. He shot and Howard seemed to get a foot to it and deflect the ball upwards but not upwards enough for it to beat the bar and we are one nil down. The language around me was ripe!

H/T and we wondered how the manager would play out the second half as now patience was starting to run thin. Someone said that was the first goal we have conceded away this season but it didnt make us feel any better.

Second half and we were expecting at least a quick and lively start, if not all guns blazing but, no, it was much the same as the first... just too slow in the build-up. Throughout the game thus far there had been plenty of neat and tidy passing but never with an intensity that looked like spooking them, even though they lost centre back Olsson to injury early first half. The crowd had a brief Everton chant and song medley to raise spirits but before ten minutes had elapsed we were two down when, from a corner, Dawson had risen unhindered near goal and headed in. Dejection abounded with many saying things that translated meant well thats our night ruined.

Watching that goal go in so easily I wondered why we dont defend corners like many other teams. Grab hold of your man and let him go as soon as the ball has passed. Refs never see any of that going on as we have seen when our lads are held and pushed to the ground. It doesnt seem to be a foul anymore. Memo to Roberto: show 'em a vid of Shawcross defending a corner at your next get-together; they could learn from a master.

You have to pay tribute to the travelling hoards here as the EVERTON-EVERTON-EVERTON chant rained down as we kicked off and I then witnessed something I had witnessed only once before and that was at our place when Chelsea scored from a kick-off without one of our players touching it. We kicked off and within seconds the ball was worked out to Deulofeu who spurned the chance to take his full back on the outside as he quickly put in a beaut of a cross that saw Rom rising and his power was too much for their sub Chester and the ball was in the back of the net. Rom went after it and he ran back to the centre circle with it and left WBA to kick off a goal less in front without touching it from our kick-off. Amazing. The delight from our lot was now building as a sense of you never know was born.

From that moment you could sense a change as Mori became more assured, Galloway was immense yet again and the crowd certainly let it be known that they wanted Deulofeu on the ball more. Although now on top we had the feeling the manager needed to change things a little and on 70 minutes he did, swapping Naismith, who had been booked, with Kone and Browning who had struggled with Gibson. OK, hands up those who said I wonder if he will last the twenty odd minutes? He did and looked good, if not match fit. To accommodate this McCarthy went right back with Gibbo in centre mid and Barkley pushed left, a regular 4-4-2... or maybe not.

It sure worked as just 4 minutes later we were level. The impressive Galloway robbed his man with a good tackle and a move was started from our goal-line that would see at last a quick move of great joined-up stuff that featured among others Gibson, Barry and Deulofeu. The ball quickly reached Lukaku with back to goal and between him and Kone a play took place that looked to me as one practiced on the training ground. Lukaku rolled his man and Kone was off into the box timed to perfection to beat the offside flag and he finished across the keeper in fine striker fashion and we are all square and the celebrations brought the street end to the Hawthorns. Now we were up for it. Now the players were up for it so between us WBA were starting to rock on their heels with the all Blues looking bigger, stronger and fitter by the minute and the excitement levels were the polar opposite to that first hour.

Coming up to ten to go and it happened. Barry again fed Deulofeu and again he didnt engage his full back but put another of those instant crosses in that he used for our opener and he got the same result. The ball was delivered toward the far post where Lukaku was lurking, he got up between his marker and the keeper and the ball somehow squirmed from them all colliding and bounced toward goal with Lukaku in hot pursuit. He was first to it and squeezed home at the opposite post. What a celebration! Lukaku gave an impressive gymnastics display and the fans gave it the perfect ten as the whole end went crazy. Players, fans and stewards all mixed up but who cared, we had taken the lead.

Now the singing started in earnest and none longer or louder than when the Goodison Choir gave them We only sing when were winning

WBA now threw caution to the wind but in truth even allowing for and extra 5 minutes added we sucked em in and broke fast. We had one scare when that Liverpool fan that didnt play for them came on very late and had one chance but hit it wide as he was tackled by Jags. From my seat I thought, if he had got it on target then Jags would have blocked.

Final whistle and you would have thought we had won the league the amount of pure unadulterated joy, relief and pride that was on show. Players came over, some threw shirts into the front rows. What a win made all the sweeter for coming back from 2-0 down. We dont do that often – '94 and '66 come to mind and those games were wildly celebrated. Just shows that the names and faces in the crowd change over the years but the passion? Never

MotM: Lukaku, but with special mention for Galloway and Deulofeu.

Plenty to celebrate and we move toward Sunday high on confidence but Derby matches are one of a kind so it's hope and prayer beads at the ready and let's cheer the lads to a result that ensures dancing on tables down L4 way. Coming out of a pub last night I saw a lad walking out with his head tilted right back staring up into the sky. I asked the lad with him if he was looking for that moon eclipse? He said no he is walking like that in case he spills any of his ale.

See you soon...

UP THE BLUES!

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Reader Comments (29)

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Peter Mills
1 Posted 29/09/2015 at 17:28:38
Thanks Ken, I've been looking forward to your report all day. I'm glad you have made plenty of reference to the first 55 minutes or so, as it was pretty poor and mustn't be skirted over. However, to dwell on it too much would do a disservice to a great comeback and the pleasure it gave to us all.
Anton Garvey
2 Posted 29/09/2015 at 18:01:42
A great comeback from the boys the back four got better the longer it went on. How we missed Stones, although Funes Mori looks a good player who will only get better.

My only concern is Barkley wants to take every thing. His corners are awful. Come on RM, sort it out.

Best of luck for Sunday. COYBB!
Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 29/09/2015 at 18:10:43
Keep them coming Ken, great as usual. I like that part were you say the crowd went from boisterous to quiet, the way Everton were playing.

The slow play does have a bad effect on the crowd's attitude, and not a good one. It turned out more than okay but the play is still not really adventuress, until we go a goal down.

Jeff Hughes
4 Posted 29/09/2015 at 18:21:46
Thanks, Ken, and I wanted to draw attention to the performance of Deulofeu. The two magnificent crosses delivered by Deulefeu reminded me of two former Blues players: Dave Thomas and Johnny Morrisey. They both focused on simply finding a yard before delivering wicked crosses for Big Bob and Big Joe respectively.

This is a skill that seems to have been diminished in recent years but I certainly hope Gerry gains confidence from his success last night and that he realises you don’t have to reach the byeline with every run. Defenders don’t like a ball delivered into the box as they scurry back.

Ged Simpson
5 Posted 29/09/2015 at 18:30:29
Great report, Ken. You manage to describe the bad bits without it being a childish rant. We could all learn from that. As for the game, well we can discuss technical bits and bobs... but why? Just enjoy!
Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 29/09/2015 at 19:06:04
"The names and faces might change over the years, but the passion? Never."

Thanks Ken, it’s the fans that make Everton, such a special club, especially the away support, which is always second to none. Passed through the ages, it’s what keeps us going, sometimes!

I remember sitting in the away end with my two young sons, when Lescott scored a last minute winner at Bolton. Watching the Evertonians going berserk was very special.

I refuse to go away from home, when it’s on live now, (Twenty's Plenty), but I still had to pay for one of my lads, who text me at half time to say "Get Lukaku off"!!

Always enjoy your reports because you translate the feelings of the fans so well. Always a pleasure, Ken, thanks.

John Raftery
7 Posted 29/09/2015 at 19:16:52
Excellent report of an excellent night. Scoring three goals against a Tony Pulis team on their own pitch is something we have not achieved since the 3-2 win at Stoke in 2008.

We probably should have scored a 4th in the closing minutes when Deulofeu broke away with three of his team mates versus one Albion defender. Gerry still has infuriating moments when he loses possession too easily but I would rather have him in the team than not.

The same obviously applies to Lukaku whose 14 goals away from home in this calendar year is a more than creditable return. His hold up play is improving all the time and I think it is time for people to recognise that. I would not swap him for any other forward in the country.

Terry Murphy
8 Posted 29/09/2015 at 20:06:27
Playing left back against Deulofeu must be a nightmare; get too close to stop the cross and he'll go around you, so you stand off to give yourself a yard and he'll whip the cross around you anyway.
Ian Bennett
10 Posted 29/09/2015 at 20:21:18
Bang on the money again Ken, just like Gerry's crossing. My favourite read after a blues match.
Tim O'Connell
11 Posted 29/09/2015 at 20:48:34
Ken, another excellent summary. Two observations of my own:

I was in the Birmingham Road end with my cousins who are all season ticket holders at the Albion. Our first goal was surreal: all the Baggie fans were all in full voice all around me including my cousins then we scored and suddenly it went absolutely silent – literally you could hear a pin drop – very eerie but I did not dare to jump up and down but I did grin and at that point knew we would back and win.

Secondly, after the match, I was in a car park blocked in and around me were Baggie fans also blocked in – we knew it was Everton fans in the cars blocking us in. We had to wait about 20 mins but instead of slagging off the Everton fans they actually said Everton fans are brilliant and would always welcome them to the Hawthorns! Certainly a good night – in the end – as long as my cousins still talk to me!

Jamie Sweet
12 Posted 29/09/2015 at 21:42:10
"Now we were up for it. Now the players were up for it, so between us WBA were starting to rock on their heels with the all Blues looking bigger, stronger and fitter by the minute and the excitement levels were the polar opposite to that first hour."

Loving your work thanks Ken, you really have a knack of capturing a moment and describing the emotional roller coaster the Blues take us on!

Aidy Dews
13 Posted 29/09/2015 at 21:45:57
Good read up. That first half we never got going and at the start of the second half we weren’t much better, it was only until they got their second that we pulled our fingers out.

I couldn’t believe we didn’t get Deulofeu into the game more first half! When we did, he put Barkley in with a great ball and did his trademark of beating his man at the touchline and flashing a cross across and inside the 6-yard box which still, no one anticipates or gets on the end of. You’d think our players would realise what Gerri is capable now when it comes to getting balls in like that. If Lukaku was more alert to those, he’d get bucket loads of goals when Deulofeu plays!

Luckily in the second half we did give him the ball and he did the damage; the boy is class and we’ve missed him.

Have to admit, even though I think he’s much improved this season, I do think Barkley is becoming way too confident in himself and looking to take everyone on, shoot all time, take every set piece even though he’s shit at em! Why he took that free kick in second half that was central and 20 plus yards out when Deulofeu was on the pitch and smashed one in from 30 yards out in midweek is beyond me?!

And then there's Rom. Yes, he got the goals and set up one and a lot of Evertonians are happy to take that and forget the rest but, besides all that, he was terrible. His touch is shocking for a pro and a lot of the time he either breaks down our attacks or slows them down due to the ball just bouncing off him.

Then there’s the laziness. Like Neville highlighted on MNF, if Lukaku comes across the pitch to where the play is building and offers an out-ball down the line to Funes Mori, maybe we wouldn’t've conceded that goal? But he doesn’t put himself about enough up there.

And if he does pull wide or short, once he as played the ball off, he doesn’t do enough to get in the box and on the end of a possible cross or cut back after the play as progressed! If he just gave that bit extra in games, moved more, and did more to get in the box, both him and us would benefit a lot more!

Special mention goes out to the ever improving Galloway. He was brilliant last night and that tackle on Berahino second half was worthy of winning the game alone! The lad reminds me a lot of Lescott; if he can turn out even half the player he was, then we’ve got a player on our hands. Well, I think we have anyway, he’s showing some real promise!

And I've seen on certain social media sites that Funes Mori was getting some stick after last night. Not sure why? Yes, he was partly to blame for their first goal by dithering on the ball but, apart from that, I thought he was steady and did well. He wanted to get tight and put a foot in, and was good in the air and also looked to play out from the back but for some Evertonians to come out and call him shit and another clueless South American CB signing after 3 games is ridiculous!

The lad will need at least a season to get to grips fully with the pace and physicality of the Premier League as the Argentine league is nothing compared! I don’t think apart from last night that he as put much of a foot wrong in the games he’s been involved in and he’s been pretty solid but to judge that he’s shite after only 3 games is stupid.

And one last note, how good is the team spirit again this season already! It looks like we’ve got that 'never say die' attitude back where we keep on going no matter how well, bad or unfortunate we have been in games. Were sticking together and mucking in and turning things around and like Bobby says, showing some character!

Games like last night, Reading & Barnsley away, we were losing last season and not even showing any fight. This time round, we're showing plenty and it's good to see.

Charles Cook
14 Posted 29/09/2015 at 22:08:55
Barkley wants to take everything or he is on set pieces?

I like his set pieces – fabulous at Swansea, maybe less so at West Brom but interestingly generally – and I think deliberately low... Similarly Deulofeu’s (maybe overly fizzed?) deliveries.

As the game wore on, and their personnel changed, so did our delivery. Not sure Rom would have bullied Olsen aerially in the same way, but they were the right crosses at that time, no doubt.


Alan Rodgers
15 Posted 29/09/2015 at 22:13:13
Once again, thanks Ken for a wonderful report. It’s just like being there!!!
Jay Harris
16 Posted 30/09/2015 at 00:57:18
I always look forward to your reports, Ken, especially on a night when the away fans had so much to celebrate.

We seem to be like Rocky, take a good beating to wake us out of our slumber.

If only we could take it to teams from the off instead of lumbering around till we go behind.

Jamie Sweet
17 Posted 30/09/2015 at 04:52:28
Aidy: "Yes, he got the goals and set up one and a lot of Evertonians are happy to take that and forget the rest but besides all that, he was terrible!"

I do get both sides of the argument for and against Big Rom's contribution to the team, but you've got to admit that when written down, this sounds a bit silly.

Yes yes, I know he has scored 42 goals in 90 games for us, a strike rate unrivalled in the Premier League era for the Blues, but other than that, what does he really bring to the table?

Ernie Baywood
18 Posted 30/09/2015 at 04:56:56
What have the Romans ever done for us?
Dave Pritchard
19 Posted 30/09/2015 at 07:10:28
I'll take two goals and an assist from any player any week irrespective of how they play, or at least as long as they don't score 3 own goals as well.
Santa Krsh
20 Posted 30/09/2015 at 07:52:18
The win was even more satisfying since I got up at midnight to watch the game in India.

With most of us talking about how isolated Deulofeu was in the first 55 minutes or so, I think he should be given a free role instead of just staying put on the right side. He is the only one apart from Mirallas who can create something out of nothing.

Yes what will happen to Barkley then... yeah, he overdoes simple things. His decision-making is awful at times and yes, he cant be dropped.

We can try a change in formation like a 4-3-2-1, with Deulofeu and Barkley roaming and changing positions behind Lukaku, with a midfield three of Barry, McCarthy & Cleverley or even Baines. (It's going to be hard to drop Galloway from left back!)

Vince Furnier
21 Posted 30/09/2015 at 08:32:39
Thanks, Ken. A great report. It's great to see Lukaku with his belief back.
Abhishek Saha
22 Posted 30/09/2015 at 08:55:20
Great report, Ken! I was keeping an eye for your match report yesterday, like many others I’m sure.
James Lauwervine
23 Posted 30/09/2015 at 09:52:56
Great stuff Ken, I enjoy your reports and even read them when we lose. It was a great comeback and very enjoyable to watch.

I agree with the point others have made about free kicks. Deulofeu deserved another chance after Reading. If someone scores a freekick they should get to take the next one, then if they miss it’s someone else the next time. Basically a winner stays on set-up.

Abhishek Saha
24 Posted 30/09/2015 at 10:47:43
Aidy, great observation on the free-kick taking. Deulofeu on target from 30 yards; yet Ross taking the opportunity from 20 yards. It’s very blatant, yet never occurred to so many of us.

There maybe a spot of logic in a West Brom keeper vs Reading keeper. But nevertheless a very valid point which Bobby needs to ponder over. COYB!

Derek Thomas
25 Posted 30/09/2015 at 11:18:35
Jamie #17; we all mostly see that. But we never know which Rom will turn up...or which Roberto and how he will set the team up for that matter.

What we can't hack is yeah sometimes it isn't Rom's day but that's no excuse for doing the worlds best or is that worst, doesn't seem to be arsed, Big Vic Impression.

Jon Withey
26 Posted 30/09/2015 at 12:31:11
Personally I like to see Barkley taking responsibility because he's improving all the time now rather than hiding.

Admittedly it would be good to see him share set-pieces with others - even if just to keep the opposition on their toes.

We have a few rough diamonds including Barkley, Deulofeu and Lukaku - they ain't half good when it comes off.

Patrick Murphy
27 Posted 30/09/2015 at 13:01:22
I’ve watched Barkley pretty closely this season and, from the vantage point of the Top Balcony, one of his problems is that he thinks a little too quickly for some of his team-mates. When he looks up, he often has to delay a pass because the likely recipient of the pass is not in the correct position, which means that Ross keeps the ball a second or so too long.

Hopefully when the team are all in tune with each other, especially the less experienced players, you will see Ross release the ball earlier.

That’s not to say that Ross is totally blameless on occasions but, in my opinion, the better quality of players he plays with, the more assured and important he will become to the team. He’s a very very talented player and perhaps due to coaching or trying to get to grips with his responsibilities, he is guilty of over-thinking on occasions and he would be better served in playing his natural game. But Ross is a huge asset to Everton FC and will prove to be so during his time at the club.

Everton at the moment are still a little too cautious in their approach but if they keep the points tally ticking over, we will see better performances from all of the players as the season unfolds. We are making progress, albeit slowly but I’m confident that we have exciting times ahead as we have a group of talented players who if given Evertonians full support could surpass our expectations.

Ian Jones
28 Posted 30/09/2015 at 13:29:10
Aidy @13 mentions the team spirit looks better this season. We heard a lot last season or rumours about certain players feeling disgruntled for various reasons. I assume they are happier this season or have left the club.

Early days in the season but winning breeds confidence and a feelgood factor. Coming back from a goal or two down in 3 of our recent away games also must help.

Even most of what Martinez has said this year makes sense. Last year he completely lost me at times.

I suppose it’s easier to sound more realistic about a match when you have not lost and so not having to defend your team or selection all the time... or subs etc.

Terence Leong
29 Posted 30/09/2015 at 13:41:10
Regarding Ross allegedly not sharing the freekicks with others, I won’t read too much into it. I don’t think one can say that because Deulofeu took a 30-yard free-kick and scored, Ross can’t take the 20-yard free-kick.

The more players we have with more experience with free-kicks, or whatever other kinds of set-pieces, the better it is for the team. It’ll give us options and keep the opposition guessing. Two seasons ago, Ross scored a 20-yard beauty of a free-kick curler against Swansea.

I'd rather have the Ross who keeps taking responsibility to try things, than one who hides behind others who can do the job.

Mike Childs
30 Posted 03/10/2015 at 13:05:39
As always, thanks Ken.

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