Everton win first Asia Trophy game on penalties

15/07/2015  91 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton 0 - 0 Stoke City [5-4 on pens]

Phil Jagielka scored the winning penalty with a precise shot into the top corner (Lionel Ng/Getty Images)
Everton kicked off the Barclays Asia Trophy against Stoke City with a goalless draw but won the exhibition game with a perfect record from the spot in the shootout.

Phil Jagielka hammered home the winning kick after Tim Howard's excellent save from Marco van Ginkel to end a promising exercise in the Singapore heat.

The Blues looked the sharper and more prepared throughout, although it was the Potters who had arguably the better chances in the first half.

Kevin Mirallas had the first chance, cutting in from the left but seeing a tame shot saved before Peter Odemwingie fired a dummied low cross wide and Jagielka had to execute a brilliant saving tackle on Marco Arnautovic after Tony Hibbert had misjudged Stephen Ireland's punt forward.

Romelu Lukaku, who would play the full 90 minutes, had the ball in the net in first-half injury time off a wonderful through-ball by Steven Pienaar but was correctly adjudged offside.

A raft of changes for the second half saw Gerard Deulofeu, Tom Cleverley, Leon Osman and Steven Naismith introduced and all four were heavily involved as Everton stepped up their attempts to win the match.

Like Ross Barkley in the first half, the Spaniard looked purposeful and lively but it was a one-two between Naismith and Osman that nearly provided a decisive gial in the first minute after the restart. The Scots shot was tipped over the bar, however

Ireland almost netted at the other end but Tim Howard was able to block his shot near the goal line before another clever one-two involving Naismith released Deulofeu but he couldn't place a weak effort past the 'keeper.

The best chance to win it fell to a slightly rusty-looking Lukaku at the death when he seized on a loose pass in the Stoke defence but under pressure from a defender he slipped the ball the wrong side of the post.

That set up a penalty shoot-out to decide the match and Howard's excellent save to deny Marco van Ginkel proved to be the decisive moment.

Jagielka elected to take the final kick and he belted an unstoppable shot into the top corner to send the Blues into the final against Arsenal on Saturday.

Overall, there were pleasing signs from Martinez's side, not least the willingness to try one-two exchanges outside the opposition box and the desire on the parts of Mirallas, Deulofeu and Barkley to try things from deep.

And if the manager was keen to get this players accustomed to the physicality of 11v11 games in the Premier League, 90 minutes against a robust and at-times overly aggressive Stoke was a good test.

Pienaar, in particular, was kicked around for much of the first half and there were worrying moments when he had to undergo treatment on his knee but he was able to finish the first period.

The match was also notable for the performances of Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning who displayed maturity and resilience at left back and centre half respectively.

Everton: Howard; Hibbert (Stones 46'), Jagielka, Browning, Galloway; Barry (Cleverley 46'), McCarthy (Kone 80'); Pienaar (Deulofeu 46'), Barkley (Osman 46'), Mirallas (Naismith 46'); Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, Stones, Kone, Naismith, Cleverley, Deulofeu, Osman, Coleman, Garbutt, Kenny, Williams, Robinson.

Stoke City: Haugaard, Bardsley [Y:30'], Cameron, Muniesa, Teixeira, Sidwell, Shenton, Odemwingie, Ireland, Arnautovic. Joselu.
Subs: Given, Whelan, Johnson, Wilson, van Ginkel, Adam, Diouf, Walters, Crouch, Moha.

Referee: Craig Pawson

 

Reader Comments (91)

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Marlon Wilson
1 Posted 15/07/2015 at 08:47:37
For all UK Fans the Coverage of the game on Sky Sports 1 (Sky Channel 402) starts at 10am BST.
Jim Bennings
2 Posted 15/07/2015 at 08:56:35
I think it's 11am kick off over here not 10am guys!

South East Asia is I think 7 hours ahead so if it's correct that in Singapore it kicks off at 6pm then it's 11am over here.

Dave Hinchliffe
3 Posted 15/07/2015 at 09:30:10
Also live on Sky Sports 1 at 0:45am BST.
Bill Farmer
4 Posted 15/07/2015 at 09:34:36
The game will be shown live on Sky from 10:55 our time.
James Ridley
5 Posted 15/07/2015 at 09:51:08
Working from home this morning..... might just have an early 2-hour lunch to watch the mighty toffees!
James Ridley
7 Posted 15/07/2015 at 11:24:06
What have we learnt so far... Galloway and Browning look good options. Mirallas is looking sharp. Barkley not quite making the right pass and Hibbert is past it!
Greg Lambden
8 Posted 15/07/2015 at 11:37:08
Lets hope the 1st half isn't an indication of what's in-store this coming season.

Starting 11

Howard
Hibbert
Jagielka
Browning
Galloway
Barry
McCarthy
Pienaar
Mirallas
Barkley
Lakaku

We've looked very pedestrian again and created absolutely nothing. Mirallas has been the pick of our players and is trying to be positive. Lakaku's touch hasn't improved and he's looked lazy. Barkley's been wasteful at best. Galloway / Browning have not done anything wrong and don't look out of place at this level.

The most worrying aspect for me is how the game is playing out as the majority of games last season did - we have the ball and do nothing with it and the opposition hit us on the quick counter. We don't seem to have learnt. Stoke have had the 2 best chances of the game but the half finishes 0-0.

Kase Chow
9 Posted 15/07/2015 at 12:16:01
I really can't take another boring season like the last one. Complete utter dross with little/no attacking intent.

I know it's only pre-season BUT it's now that new methods, strategy and tactics should be in evidence. The fact that it might not always come off can be put down to rustiness in pre-season But little or no evidence of new style and tactics is unforgivable because when (if ever) will a new style/tactics be taught and trialled??

If Martinez plans to serve up another load of crap like last season then he should be sacked. But he won't be because the ambition of the current board is merely to remain in the EPL and watch their investment and returns grow.

Sickening.

Alex Jones
10 Posted 15/07/2015 at 12:11:08
What do you expect when this manager sticks with the axis of sterility that is Barry and Mccarthy. We are rubbish with these two dictating our midfield. Neither has the skill to push us forward and create chances but Martinez will not change it for some reason I cannot comprehend.
Greg Lambden
11 Posted 15/07/2015 at 12:15:09
2nd half 11

Howard
Browning
Jagielka
Stones
Galloway
Cleverley
McCarthy
Delufeuo
Naismith
Osman
Lakaku

Much improved 2nd half and multiple good chances created - a little worryingly we weren't able to take any. Naismith linked up better with Lakaku than Barkley had in the 1st half. Cleverley looked lively and split the Stoke defence with a few excellent through balls. Delufeou was very predicable and made the wrong choices when in really good positions.

Overall we were the better side and with players like Baines and Coleman to come back, and this only being our 2nd game of pre-season, we should be pretty satisfied.

Erik Dols
12 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:11:51
We're on our way to the first silverware in 20 years! Martinez legend! Give Tony Hibbert a new contract! Happy days!
Neil Wood
15 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:18:29
Yes Del Boy made the wrong choices. The difference is he got in to those positions, whereas no-one else had on the first half. He will continue to make wrong decisions and continue to frustrate at times.

What he WILL do is create 5 more chances than any other player every game he plays, minimum. He will learn and grow with these mistakes and his decision-making will improve.

Jamie Barlow
16 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:21:30
Erik, didn't we win silverware in Oz a few seasons ago?
Colin Glassar
17 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:26:20
Good game, good workout, good crisp passing football, at times. We looked a lot fitter than Stoke and finished the stronger. Well done Roberto and the lads.
Derek Thomas
18 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:26:31
We won a cup in (vs) Brisbane, 2010. I was there. 2-0 (Rodwell, Marvin Gaye.)
Greg Lambden
19 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:09:52
Player ratings

Howard: 7/10 – Didn't have a lot to do but made a couple of decent saves.

Browning: 6/10 – Looked solid but was caught out a couple of times.

Galloway: 6/10 – Looked good on the ball but caught out of position a few times.

Stones: 7/10 – Looked composed.

Jagielka: 8/10 – Very solid and made some great last ditch tackles in the 1st half.

McCarthy: 6/10 – Done his good without too much bother.

Barry: 5/10 – Looked unfit and struggled to keep up at times.

Cleverley: 7/10 – Looked composed with some great passing.

Osman: 6/10 – We looked better in the 2nd half with Leon in the side.

Barkley: 5/10 – Disappointing. Struggled to get into the game.

Naismith: 7/10 – Linked up well with Lukaku and should have scored.

Deulofeu: 6/10 – Lots of promise but made the wrong decisions when it good positions. Looked like he was carrying a bit of weight.

Lakaku: 6/10 – Improved in the 2nd half and should have scored. 1st touch has not improved much.

Kone: 4/10 – Didn't have much time and don't remember him doing anything.

Danny Halsall
21 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:45:02
Not seen any of the action yet but it sounded like a good run out and in the end we got a victory.

Hope we play Arsenal next, I think the more Premier League opposition that we play in the run up to the first game the better!

Colin Glassar
22 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:43:57
Greg, I thought Ross started very brightly but then seemed to drop deep and disappeared towards the end of the 1st half. The only player who really concerned me was Barry. He looked completely knackered and hopeless.
Sam Hoare
23 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:47:08
Danny, I'd be amazed if we didn't play Arsenal next.

Would like to see this team start the Arsenal game and try to catch them on the break:

Howard
Coleman Stones Jagielka Galloway
Cleverley McCarthy Barkley
Mirallas Lukaku Deulofeu

Anto Byrne
24 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:39:54
I am going to the game on Saturday arriving in Singapore from Perth around 2pm. Tickets are $45. Will be in section 103.

As for the game tonight, it was a typical thuggish Stoke with a very good keeper and some decent defenders keeping Rom quiet. He had three very good chances and Cleverley feeding him with through balls. I'm hoping Gibson can come back and play alongside him. We're still short of that playmaker. Howard looks refreshed and ready to play.

Overall it was a bit pedestrian at times but we kept the ball and played it on the floor. Now we just need to crank it up a bit each game.

Oh well... back to the cricket and the ashes.

Colin Glassar
25 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:55:45
That's a good team, Sam. Mirallas looked up for it today which was good to see.
Alex Jones
26 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:53:37
Sam, with the addition of Shaqiri for Deulofeu and Baines for Galloway, that's the team I want us to play this season. Doubt we'll get it though as not defensive enough for our manager.
Erik Dols
27 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:54:36
Jamie, Derek, I was wrong and you are right. I blame Hibbert for my mistake.

Derek, totally unrelated, I will be in Brisbane in December. Anything I really should see that's not on the standard list?

Andrew Ellams
29 Posted 15/07/2015 at 14:05:12
Alex, you are probably the first person who has ever suggested replacing Deloufeu to make the team less defensive. And Baines for Galloway is a given once Baines is back from injury.

Matthew Williams
30 Posted 15/07/2015 at 14:05:00
We're going to play the Gooners in the final. Tightly mark Wilshere and we have a chance of nicking it, but Kev and Deulofeu must start with Barry sent home ASAP!
Rahul Sreekumar
31 Posted 15/07/2015 at 14:23:46
I'm really liking Galloway so far this pre-season. Browning looked strong too. You can tell that they've been working.

New Boys: Cleverly looked decent. Deulofeu will (should) get there, needs to cut 2-3 kilos of the holiday weight.

Barry and Barkely both had off days I think.

We can see why we need Pienaar, but sadly it doesn't look like his body is going to take the punishment much longer.

Rom - again, not there yet but hopefully will be peaking in time for kick-off day.

Bill Farmer
32 Posted 15/07/2015 at 14:39:54
We can read nothing into this game apart from the fact that we looked ten times better prepared than at this stage last season.

It did occur to me that finding a role for Ross Barkley is becoming harder with each new midfielder we sign!

Ross Edwards
33 Posted 15/07/2015 at 14:40:19
I was quite pleased with the performance. I thought we were a lot sharper than Stoke (which, considering it was their first pre-season game and our 2nd, is to be expected) and in parts we played some very good football.

Deulofeu definitely needs to improve the frustrating aspects of his game. Two or three opportunities he had to break through and feed Lukaku and each time he wasted the chance, with Rom quite frustrated at him towards the end.

I admit that Cleverley was very good and showed a lot of promise, so I'm pleased to have been proven wrong so far, but it is pre-season after all.

Of course we can still improve, we have to be more clinical and we're too static, particularly Barkley who needs to start running in behind and providing an option. But so far I'm quite optimistic about the season ahead but we obviously, like all the clubs have some work still to do.

We definitely do need a replacement for Pienaar, another creative player and some RB cover. Hibbert is finished and has been for some time now.

Galloway and Browning looked impressive and Stones as cool as ever. That penalty just oozed class and composure under pressure.

Sam Hoare
34 Posted 15/07/2015 at 14:51:34
Arsenal 2-0 up now. They will be a sterner test of us defensively but will also leave more gaps for the likes of Deulofeu and Mirallas if we move the ball forward quickly.
Steve Pugh
35 Posted 15/07/2015 at 14:49:24
Isn't 4 a bit harsh on Kone? Normally a 4 means they have played badly, repeatedly lost possession etc. Kone passed the ball well enough, in the time he was on the pitch he was no worse than anyone else so really should deserve an average 6, a 5 at the worst.
Colin Williams
36 Posted 15/07/2015 at 14:48:15
Hope Robbie finally gets a pair and leaves the dead wood out of squad. These players are holding us back.... which again was obvious on today's performance!

Some very good displays by the younger generation lads. Some really poor performances by the same old players.... Game after game.... Will Robbie ever grow a pair and get rid!... Before it's to late!

Derek Thomas
37 Posted 15/07/2015 at 14:45:28
Erik; tbh, apart from the weather, Brisbane has no real sights to see, being a relatively 'new' city.There are the theme parks and the Gold Coast... think a tame Ibiza: if you like that sort of thing, Seaworld, Wet 'n' Wild, Movie World, Australia Zoo.

If you like a 'bucket and spade' holiday, then The Sunshine Coast is the place.

Mind you you can have a good night out in Fortitude Valley. Let me know nearer the time.

John Hale
38 Posted 15/07/2015 at 15:13:39
Good to see the two new boys Cleverley and Deulofeu looking sharp.

Our defence looks like it has a really strong future with Galloway, Stones, Garbutt, Browning...

It's all still a bit slow coming forward but Gerry definitely made difference with his more penetrative, direct play.

Chris Stubbs
39 Posted 15/07/2015 at 15:10:53
It was incredibly hot in Singapore today. I got exhausted even walking to the Stadium from the MRT station. During the game (and also in the next game between Singapore select and Arsenal) you could see the energy sapping away from the players. During the penalty shoot out, the players taking the penalties strolled so slowly up to the spot that I thought it would take all night to complete it.

I don't think this game nor the one on Saturday provide any indication how the coming season will progress. Conditions in Singapore are nothing like what they will be in England during a typical English autumn or winter.

Playing in these preseason tournaments in Asia are just teams fulfilling commercial commitments. Not much can be concluded from the performances.

Colin Williams
40 Posted 15/07/2015 at 15:08:10
Greg, Some strange scores given out to many of our players! Way- off in my opinion. Certain players deserved better, ( much better and worse!)

Howard: 6...very little to do.(glad really... Finished at this level.
Browning: 7.... Very close to an 8, excellent display!!
Galloway:7....again top display, tired in the second half- which can be expected.
Stones: 7....class act as always, great player!
Jags: 7.... Good display.... Very rarely let's you down.
Barry: 4.... Very poor, no legs and no leadership!
McCathy: 6.... Very little other than work hard on the defensive side of game. Needs to find/ develop other parts to his game.
Barkley: 7.... O the ball always trying to probe and create things- people who moan about this lad are way off! This lad will/ is a top player.
Pienaar: 7.... This lad is quality....if only was physically stronger on the ball. Would luv to see him play a central role.... Would be quality.
Super Kev: 7..... Excellent 1st half. Just needs consistancy within his game! One of the best games I've seen from him... Looked very dangerous!
Del-boy: 6.....makes things happen!.... But frustrating at times due to lack of quality on the ball!!! ( things will happen for this lad)
Cleverley: 7.... This lad can play! When he settles... Will be a top performer.( done ok- much better to come.
Kone:6.... Done ok when he came on. Under 10min's on pitch! Done nothing wrong.
The rest of the players were IMO..... Very poor... Would give a maximum of 4, to all of them.

Overall not a bad performance!!... Well done lads!

Neil Shanahan
42 Posted 15/07/2015 at 16:09:10
Good to see a few fans not being hasty or anything! Mostly realistic assessments of the game and then there are the few clowns who ruin it for real fans. Calling for Martinez's head after a Pre-Season game where we were average at worst. Would you get a grip? It's this sort of nonsense that keeps me away from ToffeeWeb. Becoming renowned among other fans for whinging. Shameful.
Steve Brown
43 Posted 15/07/2015 at 16:31:30
Kase Chow and Alex Jones, reread your posts and go sit in the dunce's corner. I went the game tonight and we were dominant in the second half and it was a decent performance.

As Chris Stubbs said, it was hot and humid today. Try playing football in an equatorial country then comment.

Dave Rinehart
44 Posted 15/07/2015 at 16:29:59
Well said Neil. Haters gonna hate.

Passing looked crisp, miles better than Stoke. Final third needs improving.

I'm feeling better about Cleverley after today. Delboy is still a work in progress who will make some mistakes this season.

Dick Brady
45 Posted 15/07/2015 at 16:39:57
Everton 0 - 0 Stoke. Who could have predicted that one??
Trevor Peers
46 Posted 15/07/2015 at 16:39:04
Tale of two halves, sterile, boring possession football in the 1st half, a few changes to personnel in the 2nd half and we were much more direct and looked so much better for it.

I just wish we had more firepower throughout the team but that costs zillions.
Great to see us win on pens, a real bonus.

Liam Reilly
47 Posted 15/07/2015 at 17:14:42
Thought we did well.

Dunno where this nonsense about Barkley is coming from. He was showing for the ball and had some nice touches. Wish some folk would get off the lads back. I'm sure we'll see some player if he's allowed to play with confidence.

Jim Bennings
48 Posted 15/07/2015 at 17:15:23
I still think scoring goals will remain a big problem throughout the majority of the season.

Lukaku divides opinion and will continue to do so but two things stick out for me which are

1) He still can't trap a ball and he is liable to go missing for too many games, much like last season.

2) He needs more support, he still doesn't look at all comfortable as a lone striker.

Hugh Jenkins
49 Posted 15/07/2015 at 17:11:29
I know Garbutt is supposed to be going out on loan -- but have I missed something? Is he injured? Why isn't he with this squad -- or, if he is, then why isn't he playing?
Jamie Barlow
50 Posted 15/07/2015 at 17:25:56
Why would he play if he's going out on loan?
John Raftery
51 Posted 15/07/2015 at 17:31:21
Some contributors are just regurgitating last season's script. We got the ball forward more quickly, created far more chances than Stoke and scored all our penalties. This was a decent performance against a team which finished two places above us last season.

And by the way the correct spelling of Gerard's name is DEULOFEU.

Paul Thompson
52 Posted 15/07/2015 at 17:48:16
Unless you've been out and about in Singapore, you don't realise how hot and muggy it always is. So, the fact that we looked sharper and fitter than Stoke -- a good team who had been out in Singapore for a week -- is a credit to the players and staff. Mind you Barry looked knackered from the first minute! Other than that, a good display, especially second half.

Deulofeu was exactly the same as last time out, but heavier. Still creates chances by running directly at people, still doesn't out away his chances or lay the ball off at the right time. But we knew that. Still rather have him.

The other new boy, TC did well and looked a better bet than Barkley unfortunately (who started well, then started disappearing up his own backside).

Dave Rinehart
53 Posted 15/07/2015 at 18:25:26
I have been watching the Gold Cup, and a preseason Everton looked much better than any team I have seen in the Gold Cup (including the US). I know it's CONCACAF, but some of those countries should be playing better at this stage.
Ian Glassey
54 Posted 15/07/2015 at 18:49:53
I thought Gerry was carrying a bit of holiday beef... too many burgers, I think.
Mike Powell
55 Posted 15/07/2015 at 18:57:54
I don't understand some people on here, it was very hot and humid out there today and people are moaning that the players weren't running around at full speed like to see them walking round in it never mind running.

I thought we did very well today; everyone put a shift in... 100 times better than this time last year. Looking forward to the Arsenal game; then we will see how much we have improved.

Jay Harris
56 Posted 15/07/2015 at 16:05:59
I can't comment much on the first half as streaming was so poor but the second half gave some observations.

McCarthy, Browning, Galloway and Naismith all looked lively. Jags was Jags (just as well). I thought Howard commanded the box more than usual (perhaps it's getting through to him).

Cleverley didn't do anything wrong but didn't stand out much for me.

Deulofeu and Lukaku looked out of sorts and will have to improve drastically.

No comment on Hibbo; I just wonder what is up with Coleman.

Generally tactics were what you would expect from RM. Not much punch up front and MF standing off the opposition when they have the ball. Still, a 0-0 draw with a side that's now on a par with us is not too bad!!

Roll on Arsenal.

Bill Farmer
57 Posted 15/07/2015 at 16:01:00
Cricket numbering is even more zany than that utilised in football. True, at some county clubs, players are given numbers according to the ongoing sequence of becoming 'capped'. Some never attain this status and it usually relates to 'first class' games only.

For 'limited overs' games, quite separate 'squad numbers' are allocated which, I understand, are at the personal choice of each player.

However, the relevant score card lists the players 1-11 (the order in which they expected to bat) but are not worn by the players. Thus, in last night's Sky game, we saw No 77 bowling to No 37 and even the commentators became confused!

Graham Mockford
58 Posted 15/07/2015 at 18:08:08
Colin #40

Barkley 7? Not the game I saw. This season is make or break for him following last year's stinker (and I don't think that is too much of an exaggeration).
We were a better side every game Ossie played last year and we were again today in the second half. He gives us better ball retention and quicker tempo. The fact you rated him as 4 says it all.

Peter Gorman
59 Posted 15/07/2015 at 19:33:52
Only saw the last 20 mins or so and it was non-stop pressure from us as Stoke looked ragged.

From what little I saw, Lukaku cacked up a few chances and Deulofeu lost possession a fair amount but on the plus side, Browning and Galloway didn't look out of place in the side and Cleverley seems very fit and willing. The penalties were excellent as well so that was pleasing.

Colin Malone
60 Posted 15/07/2015 at 19:30:56
We have a great captain and excellent defender in Jags, great tackle when Hibbert fucked up.

Odd to see Cleverley so deep, I would've liked him swapping with Ossie.

Lukaku has got to stay focused, give and go, instead of give and stop in tight situations.

Joe Foster
61 Posted 15/07/2015 at 19:47:08
Competitive enough game. Galloway had a good game looked comfortable. Stones's penalty was as cool as you could get. Cleverley picking out Lukaku looks like a good tactic.
Kunal Desai
62 Posted 15/07/2015 at 19:40:31
I've not seen the highlights as yet but it sounds as though this was a solid performance under extreme conditions.

Good to see Galloway and Browning integrated into the first team but we still need 2-3 players by the end of the window. Injuries and suspensions will have an impact on what is a relatively small squad participating on three fronts next season.

David King
63 Posted 15/07/2015 at 19:50:26
I thought we looked much fitter than Stoke, a good sign considering they have been there for a week. We were the far better team – we just missed a load of chances.

Promising performances from the youngsters, pretty positive so far!

Karl Jones
64 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:06:17
Galloway looked really good..Another great prospect coming through. The game should have been over before pens. Good signs so far, especially defensively.
Colin Williams
65 Posted 15/07/2015 at 19:48:19
Graham (#58)... Ossie was not involved any any way today and mostly never is anymore. He has no presence during most games. The thing is.... Ross will get stronger/ better with games; Ossie will not! You can give Ossie 20 mins game-time and you may get an average game.

And yes Ross was a 7 in my opinion! Just maybe, I see a different game to you! (In fact I see the game totally different to you!) that's the way it goes.

Hugh Jenkins
66 Posted 15/07/2015 at 19:56:40
Jamie (50), because he seems to have "disappeared of the face of the earth" since signing his new five-year contract. Where is he? Is he in the Far East, is he at Finch Farm, is he injured, is he already at Bournemouth? I'm curious.
Christy Ring
67 Posted 15/07/2015 at 19:26:50
Very impressed with Browning today, great pace and strength and will develop into a class centre-back.

Cleverley looked good and has to play in the middle with McCarthy in the coming season, Barry has to make way.

I still think we need to sign a striker to link up with Lukaku. Naismith works hard but hasn't got the skill or touch for this level.

Gerry Quinn
68 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:14:52
2009 Major League Soccer All-Star Trophy was our last silverware!
Colin Glassar
69 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:26:04
Taking into consideration the heat and humidity I thought it was a really good game. Beardsley should've been sent off as he was just kicking everyone in sight.
Dan Morris
70 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:25:24
I went to match earliest whilst in the area... seriously hot/humid here... and remember, both sets of players will be knackered from jet lag, etc -- it was never gonna be a classic!

Great to hear such good support from the fans; a mixture of the local Singapore supporters club (top group of lads, many of whom have supported the team for over 30 years without watching them live... they were so proud singing "It's a grand old team..." for real!), Blues who had travelled from back home, and other ex-pats. It should be good fun on Saturday, Arsenal had more local support but we should easily out-sing them!

Biggest disappoint for me was the lack of acknowledgement to the crowd, particularly the above mentioned set around Block 110, from the players... as soon as the last penalty went in, they were off. Guess they were told to do so by the organisers to make way for the immediately following Arsenal match. The only one who did seem to drift over to applaud us, looking very proud to be back, was Mr Deulofeu -- good lad!

Mike Corcoran
71 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:33:08
If a Number 10 isn't coming then it's got to be Pienaar and Osman for a half each. They are the only players with guile we have bar Baines.
Colin Glassar
72 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:37:19
Good to see a few locals with Everton shirts on Dan. How many blues were out there?

Mike, we are working on one (No 10) but won't know until next week at the earliest.

Brian Harrison
73 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:31:45
I am not one of RM's biggest fans, but we looked fitter than Stoke, so a big improvement on last season's fitness level at this stage. It should not have needed to go to penalties as we had much the better chances.

I thought Jags was again our best player and helped both Galloway and Browning. As someone has already mentioned, the team looked better balanced when Osman replaced Barkley at half time.

I also think that getting through to play Arsenal was important as I think the pre-season would have lost a bit of impetus if we had to play the Singapore 11. So another tough warm-up game, and I would imagine Wenger will play a lot stronger team against us than he put out today.

John Raftery
74 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:38:44
Hugh (50) He is with the squad in Singapore. I caught sight of him on the TV coverage.
Brian Keenan
75 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:45:57
Watch the two videos at this site to see the goals as Arsenal beat the Singapore Select XI, and the highlights from Everton's penalty shoot-out win over Stoke.
Harold Matthews
76 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:25:14
Decent pre-season get fit performance. The youngsters did okay but Galloway can only turn one way and Browning must learn that you can't delay things in the big League. Definitely two good lads for the future.

Most of the squad looked pretty fit. Barry will look after himself and get there in his own time. Delboy, after a not too active season with Sevilla, definitely suffered the most. All credit to him keeping on and for taking a penalty. He looked shattered and ill.

Mike Corcoran
77 Posted 15/07/2015 at 20:46:34
You always have the inside skinny, Colin! I don't think Barkley has the attributes for a No 10 but I would like to see him bang up top either with or without Lukaku. Maybe in a 4-1-3-2. Cleverley may have the guile to play centre in front of McCarthy then with 4 options including Kev and Gerry.
Jay Harris
78 Posted 15/07/2015 at 22:37:39
The way Lukaku is playing I think I would sooner have Naismith and give Rom a spell on the sidelines to show how much effort a lone striker is meant to put in.

People go on about Nais not having a good touch but OMG Rom has the touch of an elephant.

David Hallwood
79 Posted 15/07/2015 at 22:44:22
Jay(#78) OK so let's allow for the fact it's a friendly, the first one and the heat, but in the 1st half we had the usual pattern of Chuckle Bros football (to me, to you, to me, to you) in the middle of the park with no midfielder getting beyond Lukaku, leaving him isolated.

Let's hope Gerry will operate in the final 3rd, and that he's learnt to look up.

Michael Kenrick
80 Posted 15/07/2015 at 22:53:29
Hugh, Garbutt was listed as an unused sub for today's game. Doesn't explain why Martinez didn't play him, but he was limited to using only 6 of the subs he had. You know what, he's the manager. He chooses the team. That's the bottom line.
Jay Harris
81 Posted 15/07/2015 at 22:52:43
David I agree with you re the lack of support but it is clear to all that this is the RM way and if we are to play this way Rom is not the man.

His conversion in front of goal is pretty good but the rest of his play is abysmal.

I believe he has a weight problem and lugging that frame around may be telling on him.

However for a top striker his ability to head, control a ball or hold up play is very poor IMO.

Bill Gall
82 Posted 15/07/2015 at 23:13:16
I do not believe today's game was any indication of the team that will be playing the first Premier League game as it was just a squad game with a number of regular first team players missing. Considering the criticism Everton got for the lack of pre-season preparation last season, they have shown a commitment to improve this season.

As far as the game went, having a break for cold drinks after 25 mins showed how humid the conditions were, and having worked for 25 years underground in the mining industry, I am aware of how humidity drains your fitness, so expecting a 90-minute flat-out performance was never going to happen.

With Pienaar being used in the first half and Osman in the second, with both coming to the twilight of their careers, it showed how much we need a quality midfielder in this position. The young players who were brought in played quite well, with Cleverley and Deulofeu boy just showing flashes of what they may be able to contribute to the team.

Game against Arsenal may show a bit better the level of what we have to do before the season starts.

Trevor Lynes
83 Posted 15/07/2015 at 23:13:43
Apart from Lukaku and Mirallas who is going to score goals for us ? Barkley should be scoring at least ten goals a season otherwise he is not worth a place in the side. The midfielders are not scoring and I include Barkley, McCarthy, Besic and Barry in this comment.All the opposition need to do is stop Mirallas and Lukaku as we have not replaced the goals that Fellaini (another Belgian) scored when we had him. Barkley will never fulfil his supposed potential until he scores goals as he does not have the guile to be a play maker. Jags is as solid as ever and his biggest plus are his blocks and the fact that he hardly ever gets booked. He is the perfect mentor for Stones and any other young centre back we have coming through.Unfortunately we do not have an attacking midfielder amongst our coaching staff, perhaps that is why we do not produce this type of player. Osman would probably be perfect for that coaching post!
Eddie Dunn
84 Posted 15/07/2015 at 23:37:28
Cleverly is wasted playing too deep. He was really good for England playing in a more advanced role. Could he be the number 10 we are all waiting for?
Brian Wilkinson
85 Posted 15/07/2015 at 23:31:29
When we played some great football in Martinez's first season: as soon as we had awful games last season, the season before was dismissed by some. This season is about to start but the same posters are now still going on about last season.

Let's wipe the slate clean, he's had one great season and one cack one. Last season has gone, judging Everton after two pre-season games is laughable, get a grip. If it goes tits up by October, then fair enough, have a rant or go. For now though let's all get behind the team and Martinez.

Graham Mockford
86 Posted 15/07/2015 at 23:43:50
Colin (#65),

Our record last season just does not bear that out. Ossie has never been a showreel player, his value to the team in linking play, finding a pass and is underestimated by many including yourself it seems.

I've said 12 months ago I'd take the money for Ross; the silly money being talked about then is probably no longer on offer. Roberto has been very supportive of him and quite frankly he didn't merit the number of games he got last season because he was extremely poor on numerous occasions.

My issue with him is, despite his physical attributes and his occasional flashes of brilliance, he does not seem to be able to do it consistently. He seems to lack awareness at times or doesn't posses what used to be called a 'footballing brain'.

I hope he proves me wrong because I was as excited as anyone when he broke through into the team. I just see it being less and less likely as I see no progression.

I expect him to be first choice when the season starts and it's probably correct not to write a younger player off after one poor season but I think the clock is ticking for him.

Chris James
87 Posted 15/07/2015 at 23:58:05
Brian is spot on.

But its Glasstradamous's comments that intrigue me most... an exciting number 10 would set us up nicely for the season and keep momentum and good will building ahead of the season.

Michael Kenrick
88 Posted 16/07/2015 at 00:10:20
David Hallwood,

"... in the 1st half we had the usual pattern of Chuckle Bros football (to me, to you, to me, to you) in the middle of the park with no midfielder getting beyond Lukaku, leaving him isolated."

Funny... I could've sworn I saw overlapping moves, left (Galloway, Pienaar) and right (Barkley, Mirallas), getting forward to the byeline and putting in delicious crosses that, admittedly did not always have Lukaku on the business end of them. So forgive me if I treat your comment as sadly yet another example of the negativity that wants to replay the cracked record of last season rather than acknowledge what was actually happening on the field, in the first half.

Rich Short
89 Posted 16/07/2015 at 00:39:32
I went to the game yesterday. Useful workout against Premier League opposition. This is not the time to assess players' ability, but their fitness and sharpness. On that score, we were fitter and sharper than Stoke, an improvement on our last pre-season.

I have not read all the comments above but players that looked sharp included Jags (clear Man of the Match and good news after his slower start last year), Browning, Stones, Howard, McCarthy, Barkley and Mirallas. Cleverley looked neat and tidy and Deulofeu, whilst making wrong decisions, got into the right positions and was a threat.

A couple of the older players such as Barry and Hibbert were a little off the pace but that will hopefully come with one or two more games. Bring on Saturday where I suspect we'll be playing a strong Arsenal side — most of their senior players spent yesterday's match sitting near me in the dugout area. I am sure the likes of Coleman, Garbutt, McAleny and Robles will get full run-outs for us.
Ciaran Duff
90 Posted 16/07/2015 at 02:03:21
Yes, I was as excited as everyone else watching and wanted us to win. Seems like the players themselves were putting in a big effort too. However, in the cold light of day, please don't forget that THIS IS PRESEASON! So, given the 5 subs rule, I thought we (RM) got a good balance between giving players a run and being competitive.

It was great to see the new guys getting a run as well as some of the youngsters. It will be interesting to see who plays in the "final". I would expect a few others will come into the mix (eg, McAleny, Robles maybe Garbutt and Coleman).

Hugh Jenkins
91 Posted 16/07/2015 at 03:44:23
John (74) and Michael (80) - thank you for the information.

Michael - I never question the manager's right to manage, nor to choose the players he wishes to play in any specific game. However, I live in Dubai so do not have access to Sky, or BBC iPlayer et al. I only asked about Luke Garbutt because I have not seen his name mentioned anywhere since the news broke that he had signed a new 5 year contract. I know that it was being mooted that he would join Bournemouth on a season long loan, so I was wondering if he had already joined them for pre-season.

Colin Williams
92 Posted 16/07/2015 at 00:15:58
Graham#86

I respect your thoughts about Ross and Ossie concerning their positive effect within the game.... Although, when you say about Ossie's "link- up play and finding a pass".... what do you mean?...

Most players develop this pattern of play during their youth years and it carries on throughout their careers! There is nothing special about combination play and finding a pass... That's the basics of technical development and team work.

I just believe Ross is going to be very special during the next couple of years... And he's not on his own. We have the makings of a very strong team, and hopefully Robbie can find the last couple of pieces of the jigsaw to make us a formidable outfit and gatecrash the top four.

Steven Jones
93 Posted 16/07/2015 at 05:12:53
Hugh,
Garbutt is in the squad and travelled. He was an unused sub in the Stoke game. Both him and Stones were given extra little time off after the U21s tournament. A little bit like Coleman, RM was being careful with a few and pushing others.

Not heard much about the loan options as Bournemouth went out and bought a left back for decent money. Swansea was another option but that's gone quiet. I am sure something will happen in the week when we are back from Singapore.

Hugh Jenkins
94 Posted 16/07/2015 at 05:23:22
Steve (93) - Thanks for the update. I agree that the Bournemouth option now looks unlikely. It was also "suggested" that he may be off to Villa for a season long loan.

At this time of year it is all speculative – but I just didn't know where he was and wondered if he may have been injured and kept at Finch Farm along with the others.
Sam Hoare
96 Posted 16/07/2015 at 09:34:56
It's going to be very interesting to see who Martinez picks for his first team. Mainly in midfield. Lukaku is our only striker of note and the back 5 is fairly certain though any injuries will present conundrums. Who replaces Baines? Galloway, Garbutt or Oviedo if fit. And who's our next CB? Browning? Drop Barry back or give Besic a shot? Hopefully we will buy a a new CB in the next month.

In midfield though, it strikes me we have a lot of players with varying skills but of a similar overall quality. Lots of good Premier League players but no 'stars'.

I don't think there's a huge amount in it if you matched up a possible first choice midfield five against a second choice midfield:

Mirallas Cleverley Barkley McCarthy Pienaar
vs
Deulofeu Besic Osman Barry Naismith

My point is that I think we need certain players to stand up, push forward and really make themselves undroppable. None of these players disgraced themselves last season but equally I warrant none of them were close to team of the season. The likes of Deulofeu, Barkley, Mirallas and McCarthy all have it in them to progress in this way. OR we need to buy or find one or more individuals who really add that something extra to our team and can.

Our midfield needs a certain stardust to help us break down stubborn defenses like Stoke's yesterday and create more chances for our talented if sometimes lazy-looking striker.

David Hallwood
97 Posted 16/07/2015 at 09:49:36
Michael (#88),

To quote the old cliche football is a game of opinions, but my opinion of the 1st half was shared by the commentators on Sky (I think one of them was Niall Quinn) who both commented on our abundance of possession in the middle only to run out of ideas in the final third; as opposed to the more direct style of Stoke.

We mixed it up in the 2nd half and looked all the better for it. But FFS it's pre-season game designed to get everyone fit and you can read nothing into it; my comments were just that.

Graham Mockford
98 Posted 16/07/2015 at 09:40:43
Colin #92

If it was only that simple.

Ross has all the raw material. He's strong, quick and two-footed. He has already shown he is capable of moments that most players could not do (Ossie being one of them).

But football is littered with unfulfilled potential. It doesn't just happen that players mature and develop the skills to make them top players.

I watched an awful lot of Ross last year and he was on the whole poor. His possession of the ball left a lot to be desired, his decision-making was often wanting and he slowed our play down. On the reverse, when Ossie played, our win record was spectacularly better because he makes others play around him. Unfortunately time is ticking and at some stage he will need to be replaced. Don't be surprised to see Roberto give him another contract extension into 2016-17 though.

It is that lack of footballing nous that concerns me, and I'm not sure you learn that. Take John Stones, it is obvious that the lad is going to be a top player. He already looks like a Premier League player. I'm not sure you can say that about Ross.

Look, after one bad season, he deserves more time; as I said, I hope he proves me wrong. I just don't see it.

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