Defence made to suffer by slick Arsenal finishing

18/07/2015  163 Comments  [Jump to last]
BAT Final: Arsenal 3 - 1 Everton

The new National Stadium has a capacity of 55,000
Everton took on familiar opposition in the form of Arsenal for the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore's National Stadium but a disapointingly weak starting line-up were outclassed by a markedly better side.

Roberto Martinez fielded a rather weak starting line-up in what could be the toughest game of the pre-season fixtures. The group that travelled to Singapore includes Galloway and Browning, who got good workouts against Stoke city in the first match on Wednesday, as well as less frequently seen youngsters, Ryan Ledson, Joe Williams, and Antonee Robinson. However, chances for them are likely to be limited as Martinez focuses on getting his core first-team fully fit and match-ready for the new season, which kicks off in less than a month.

The match kicked off at 8:30pm local time (1:30 pm BST) and will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 and on NBC Live Sports Extra, with audio commentary from Darren Griffiths and Ian Snodin available via the Everton website. ToffeeWeb's Live Forum will also be open during the match.

For those who have subscribed to the live TV coverage of the game, this will be available at the Everton pre-season website on tape delay from 5:30pm BST (four hours after kick-off, per Sky licensing requirements).

The team Martinez selected to start was perhaps not as strong as it could be while their opponents wee and Arsenal dominated the early play after they kicked off. But Coleman picked up the ball and ran with it, getting it out to Garbutt on the left and Everton again showed some welcome desire to get the ball forward Everton, wearing their new changed strip, had the better of the play, Deulofeu doing a great job chasing a ball down the touchline then cutting in and getting a low cross close in to Kone but he was blocked. Arsenal applied some pressure, but could not get much of a site on the Everton goal as the defence looked reasonably solid until Corzola got behind them but he was flagged offside as he shot at Robles. Everton won a free-kick wide right that was wasted by Deulofeu, sent straight to the Arsenal defence. Arsenal worked the ball back and played a good ball forward for Walcot who scored far too easily as he clipped the ball under the advancing Robles, a good finish but the defender should have closed him down better.

Stones stretched awkwardly and looked to have damaged himself but continued to play on after the drinks break and Everton lacked any drive as they dawddled around with the ball, with Arsenal looking more in control, Everton conceding possession too cheaply. They had a spell of possession with sharp passing that failed to reach the Arsenal area, as it became evident that Naismith, Deulofeu and Kone lacked the guile needed make any impression going forward against a superior Arsenal side who were threatening to add to their lead, Ramsey firing wide. Everton were under a lot of pressure, conceding corners that were at least defended away.

Everton had a free-kick on the half-way line but could only pass it sideways and backwards until Deulofeu tried to advance but lost the ball and Arsenal were quickly on the attack, requiring some great defensive work from McCarthy. But the quality of possession when Everton did recover the ball was simply not good enough.

Wilshere bundled in to Coleman and Garbutt came to curl a brilliant ball in that Naismith headed on and Cech palmed it onto the bar, Kone firing home the rebound but the flag was up and the handsome effort ruled out.

More promising passing in front of the Arsenal area again broke down as Arsenal resumed their dominant play through till the break, with a somewhat deserved lead at half-time.

Barkley and Mirallas replaced Naismith and Deulofeu at the break but the second half started with Arsenal again showing their edge as Everton needed to settle into the changed line-up. Arsenal fairly danced down the Everton right and Gibbs cut in dangerously but there was no-one there to finish off a very strong Arsenal move.

Everton looked to probe forward, but Barkley gave the ball away too easily. Garbutt took a fantastic shot that Cech did well to parry away. At the other end, Carzola fired one in low at Robles.

Arsenal made a solid looking attack that Everton seemed to have thwarted but a horrible Coleman non-clearance gave Walcott a chance and Oxlade-Chamberlain rolled the ball outside the post, a horrible piece of play by Everton.

Another searing Arsenal attack, this time down the Everton left, should have seen another Arsenal goal, and Bellerin then got forward to test Robles before the second goal they had been threatening came when Cazorla lashed a low shot too easily inside the post to make it 2-0.

Everton got a corner off a great ball from Barry but it was ultimately wasted. Jagielka lifted in a great ball for Kone to head in but zero control and the ball bounced off his head over the bar when he really should have scored.

More changes, Osman and Lukaku on for Kone and Cleverley, but the only result was a shockingly easy third goal for Arsenal, Cazorla and Ozil combing for an easy finish past Robles.

Everton were looking pretty ragged in the sapping heat, as Mikel Arteta came on for Theo Walcott at the drinks break.

Coleman won a corner that Garbutt swung in well but Cech punched it away.

Barkley finally showed his class, picking up the ball, running forward, and lashing a wonderful goal across Cech into the far top corner to give the Blues something to cheer. An excellent strike.

A Free-kick wide left taken well again by Garbutt almost saw a second goal as Barry's clipped header went straight to Cech rather than either side of him.

Arsenal relaxed a little and Everton got a bit more time on the ball but still were not getting the ball into the box anywhere near enough. Everton played out the last 5 mins with more intention and forward drive than previously but the result was never in doubt.

Everton: Robles, Coleman, Stones (83' Browning), Jagielka (82' Hibbert), Garbutt, Barry, McCarthy, Deulofeu (46' Mirallas), Naismith (46' Barkley), Cleverley (60' Osman), Kone( 60' Lukaku).
Subs: Howard, Pienaar, Galloway, McAleny, Kenny, Williams, Robinson.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs, Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere (46' Oxlade-Chamberlain), Ozil, Walcott (70' Arteta) , Giroud.
Subs: Szczesny, (75' Debuchy) Gabriel, Monreal, Flamini, (75' Coquelin) (75' Akpom) Iwobi.

 

Reader Comments (163)

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Geoff Gregson
1 Posted 18/07/2015 at 07:13:12
Like many of you guys I live too far away to get to many games. Instead I rely on using some of the streaming services to view the matches. However, most of these services require Flash in order to view the games. Flash will very soon be blocked from most browsers which may mean no more streaming access. Any IT savvy guys come up with a solution or are we stuffed?
Darren Hind
2 Posted 18/07/2015 at 07:39:24
That looks some stadium.

Anybody been?

Sharabi Singh
3 Posted 18/07/2015 at 07:48:55
Geoff. Try xbmc (kodi). download it and then download the addon NAVI. You can watch a video on YouTube of how to do it.
There's the usual movies and TV shows on it but you can also search for live sports channels. Works a treat for me.
James Marshall
4 Posted 18/07/2015 at 08:40:56
Just arrived in Singapore, I'll let you know what the stadium is like later, Darren. :)
Mike Keating
5 Posted 18/07/2015 at 08:42:15
Sharabi @ 3

I have an Android which comes loaded with Kodi and have been trying since March to upload Sportsdevil which we were advised was the best for all sports but cannot get it to run despite updates from the seller.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Nigel Jones
6 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:35:46
Try downloading the Puffin browser, It offers Flash from 6 am to 11 pm.
Bill Farmer
7 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:36:06
How heartening it is to see Everton meeting some 'real' teams in this year's pre-season build up!

Last summer's light-touch preparation must certainly have shown Martinez that what may have been okay for Wigan was not the way to prepare a team with higher ambitions.

Thus this manager has displayed his preparedness to vary his 'philosophy' and now all we can hope for is that he will not be rewarded by losing some or all of the brightest talents in this mid-summer transfer madness!

Simon Bell
8 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:47:19
Mike @ 5. Have you tried downloading the sports devil add on, putting the zip folder onto a USB stick and installing it that way?
Sharabi Singh
9 Posted 18/07/2015 at 10:19:12
Mike @ 5. Below instructions work fine on my android TV.

http://tutorial-iptv-xbmc.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/sportsdevil-or-digitele-for-xbmc-kodi.html?m=1

Dave Pritchard
10 Posted 18/07/2015 at 10:46:19
Anyone seen Antonee Robinson play for us? He went to school and played football with one of my sons at junior level. The thing I remember about him was that he was lightning fast.
Phil Sammon
11 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:00:56
They all are Dave. I grew up with James Milner. He was absolutely electric. Broke every sprit and long distance record in Leeds. He's not even 'fast' in PL terms. Scary!
Colin Glassar
12 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:07:45
With a bit of luck a filthy rich Singaporean billionaire will fall in love with us and make Billy Boy an offer he can't refuse.
Tony Draper
13 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:43:27
Colin @12

Now that would be a preseason warm-up!

Colin Glassar
15 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:51:53
Winning a trophy today (albeit a Micky Mouse one) would send out a powerful message to our young guns that they CAN win silverware and honours with Everton. This game might just turn out to be the beginning of something.
Alan McMillan
16 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:54:19
Geoff,
try mobdro on android. It's not in the store but search on the Web for mobdro.apk. It works very well - most of the time.
Bill Griffiths
18 Posted 18/07/2015 at 13:00:18
Dave, I saw Antonee Robinson play for the U21'S at Wrexham last week. He played for an hour and I thought he had a very good game and looks to have a lot of potential.
Looks like we have an abundance of talent at left back on the books.
Brent Stephens
20 Posted 18/07/2015 at 13:07:49
Bill #18 I also saw Antonee Robinson - at Burscough last week - and he looked quite useful.
Milos Milenkovic
21 Posted 18/07/2015 at 14:05:17
This is excellent opportunity to see that midfield trio of McCarthy, Barry and Cleverley should never play together. Further, more two defensive midfielders should never play at the same time.
Ralph Basnett
22 Posted 18/07/2015 at 14:14:17
Why are we playing so narrow?
Phil Rodgers
23 Posted 18/07/2015 at 14:58:36
We were an absolute shambles last season and the general consensus was that it was due to our poor pre-season. Also, our defence was the major problem and we have let two senior centre-backs leave and brought nobody in whatsoever. It's hard not to be negative.
Phil McKeown
24 Posted 18/07/2015 at 14:58:13
I am so disillusioned and despondent, we have had our arse handed to us here. I know it's only pre-season but we are woeful.

Wake up, Kenwright; wake up, Martinez: and wake up, Everton fans. I feel so let down by the club and our ostrich fan base as we head for midtable mediocrity.

Steven Higgott
26 Posted 18/07/2015 at 14:58:30
So glad we played this game it shows how bad (as if we didn't know) kone is he isn't a premiership player and we are only a bottom half of the league team. We need to buy quality players and get rid of the dead wood, McCarthy looked like he wasn't interested del boy tried but had no support cleverly just ran round worst than Naismith did in his first season, so unbalanced. We need a left sided mid with quality another, a striker and two CBs and a number 10, were not going to get it so don't be surprised if we in the bottom 3 after the first 10 games.
Clive Rogers
27 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:31:32
We're doomed I tell you doomed!
Jimmy Digney
28 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:26:46
After that inept performance, you can only wonder were this team will score goals from. No direction, one serious shot on target. We've played two games and it's already obvious last season's problems have not been addressed.

Again, where is the projected 㿒/48 million that's certain to come into the club? Lukaku looks so blatantly isolated, it's criminal Bobby lad.

Trevor Peers
30 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:32:51
Barkley's goal the only positive we can take out of that. The lack of a goal threat is the biggest concern, it can't be solved without spending money on better strikers.
Eugene Ruane
31 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:19:53
Colin (12) - 'With a bit of luck a filthy rich Singaporean billionaire will fall in love with us and make billy boy an offer he can't refuse'

Need more than 'a bit of luck' to receive the offer he couldn't refuse.

Basically that offer would have to be..

"We'll give you 𧹈M for the club and build you a dead good new ground and you get to remain chairman, spokesman and generally to still be allowed to shove your fat head into any Everton-related media opportunities and do that toe-curling misty-eyed thing that you do.'

By the way, re today's game, the way Kone shaped up for that header (that would/should have made it 2-1) was a complete fucking embarrassment - like when little kids close their eyes coz they're scared of the ball.

Chris Wilson
33 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:35:17
Well, disappointed to say the least. Unfortunately we couldn't maintain any possession, and that's the worst possible thing in hot and humid conditions. Let's wait and not pass too much judgement until we get closer to Dunc's testimonial.

We still seem to be too static offensively, but that could be down to the heat too. We definitely need that number 10. And part of our lack of possession was because of Kone's inability to the hold the ball up. I've tried to give Kone the benefit of the doubt because I know he's had the knee thing which can take about a year to fully recover, and I guess he's been fasting, which isn't good for competitive energy levels. But it's time for him to step up or step away.

Colin Glassar
37 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:49:23
I think Arsenal cheated today. They obviously didn't tell us they were going to take the game seriously. We huffed and puffed and basically fell over.
Chris Kelly
38 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:47:45
Not impressed; we never really looked like we could beat Arsenal.

I'm still not convinced that RM has the balance of the side correct: one winger and 3 centre mids protecting the back four and we let 3 goals in. 1 striker always looks isolated. I think Deulofeu offers pace and creativity but more work needs to be done linking up in the final third.

Too much passing back and forth whilst we wait until there are 8 players defend the goal, then we lose the ball 19/20 times. I would love to see more attack on the break, we look predictable and one dimensional.

Hey, I am no expert and would love to be proved wrong but I think RM struggles to outwit the opposition and get the players playing to their ability. Thoughts on a postcard.

Ross Edwards
39 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:46:26
For 75 minutes that was deja vu back to last season. After Barkley's goal we were better but the game was long gone before that.

Results in pre-season don't amount to anything but the performance was shocking. Why use the same tactics and formation continuously when both have been long worked out? It's almost like he hasn't learned anything.

In terms of fitness and quality, Arsenal were a cut above. We looked totally gone at 60 minutes.

This game showed that without a doubt we have to strengthen. 4 or 5 signings minimum are needed because it's frightening how much deadwood we have in that squad.

Hibbert, Barry, Osman, Naismith, Kone... they should not be anywhere near the first team whatsoever.

Martinez needs to adapt tactically because we've been long worked out and we're still playing the same, dull tippy-tappy dross we were subjected to last season.

Kunal Desai
40 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:50:25
Early indications show nothing has changed from last season. We weres truggling once again to create anything up front and making elementary mistakes at the back, conceding poor goals.

By the time we play Sunderland (end of October) we could be and firmly rooted in the bottom half. I'm not sure how many points we are picking up in those first 10/11 games. Even Watford at home I think we'll struggle for 3 points.

Jay Harris
41 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:41:49
I know it's too early to start Martinez bashing again but it has been painfully obvious that we lack any goal threat and stand off the opposition too much.

Martinez has proved to me that he does not have an "eye" for a quality player. The difference in class today in both team and player to player was very evident.

Every Arsenal player looked comfortable on the ball and always had team mates in support and they had goal threats all over the team whereas we were looking sideways and backwards because there were no players moving into space and wanting the ball. When we did get that aspect right the receiving player either gave it straight back or lost it.

IMO a very poor performance that defies the bold statements being made about our prospects for the near future.

Bill Farmer
42 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:48:51
I said this morning that I was glad to see us playing some 'real teams' in this year's pre-season. However, I wonder if today's exercise didn't take more out of the players than it put in. They are never going to be asked to play in that temperature at home -- so what was the point? No doubt one of the sports scientist in our midst will enlighten us.

I imagine Roberto will hold that the result was unimportant and, in the spirit of non-pessimism the Editor is fostering, I'm happy to go along with that view. All I would add is much remains to be done before the big kick-off!

Andy Crooks
43 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:59:23
It's early to be concerned but I am. The issues today weren't about fitness. I believe we have a decent squad that will be improved. I am positive about the players but my opinion of the coach remains unchanged.

We need the very best from the players encouraged by a coach with guile, innovation, supreme motivational skills and the ability to change and improvise. We'll know soon enough if we have one.

John Malone
44 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:05:03
Just highlights how badly we still need quality in the midfield!
Mike Powell
46 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:01:13
I know it was pre-season and it's all about getting fit, but Arsenal were miles better than us. Anyone who thinks Garbutt is ready for the Premier League is deluded.

That won't be are starting line-up... well, I hope not, for the start off the season. If we we don't hit the ground running, then I worry for us.

Matt Muzi
47 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:58:11
I'd like to think that would be a wake up call/warning shot over the bows, as it were, and the powers that be will realise this slow pedestrian style of passing & lack of a direct threat up front, is going to be an issue this season.

However I don't forsee any major changes, I appreciate this is only a pre-season game, but it's an indication where we are, against a team I think could mount a serious challenge for the title if they keep everyone fit.

Added to this today I have seen the same issues as last season all too evident, it concerns me somewhat.

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:06:10
Bill, it would be interesting to know how much we've earned from playing this tournament. Probably a few quid which will disappear into Bill's black hole.
Colin Glassar
49 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:12:19
Financial black hole that is.
Jason Heng
50 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:24:21
As a fan from Singapore and at the stadium, I would say the Everton fans here are mostly die-hard. But on and off the field (from the sea of red jerseys), it is plain to see we are light-miles off the rest of the pre-Premier League "big five" we were part of. Hope Kenwright was watching.
Dave Ganley
51 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:06:07
Looks like Roberto has learned nothing from last season. Slow ponderous play, that is when we actually had possession. Still persisting with two DMs, just sends out the wrong message really. No tempo to the play.

I appreciate that its early days and we haven't started the season yet but surely we should be putting down a statement of intent. Last season, as others have said, was an uninspiring shambles and unless Martinez gets his finger out and changes the style of play then all I can see is more of the same. The most frustrating thing about it is that in my opinion, we have a good squad and he repeatedly refuses to utilise the talent we have. We are so negative its untrue and the way we are being asked to play, handicaps us from the off.

Arsenal showed us how to play football with crisp incisive play at a far faster pace than us, but whether Martinez will take heed of that is doubtful. Sorry to be so negative about this but really, whilst Arsenal have good players, so do we and we should have been far more competetive than that.

My fear is that we are going to witness the same dross in the coming season as we did last on this evidence. You'd think after seeing the stands continually empty with 20 minutes to go and boos ringing out last season, something would have registered with Martinez that his style of football wasn't working and the fans weren't happy. Obviously not. I always stay till the end of the game but I couldn't blame fans for leaving early last season. FFS Martinez get it sorted!!

Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:23:16
I think it will be better to make no comments on the pre-season and wait until the league matches start in early August. I just read the Live Forum today... it didn't do much in the way of giving any confidence for the season ahead.

We really need some more players for when the season starts.

Colin Malone
53 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:19:36
If that was meant to improve our status abroad and sell more shirts and merchandise, well we have fucked up big time. They will be using Everton shirts a dish rags after that performance. Awful and embarrassing.
Bill Farmer
54 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:37:09
Far too early to be casting judgement but it does seem illogical to expect the same players adopting the same tactics to produce very different results from last season.However, I imagine Roberto learned that lesson in his last job so will re-act accordingly.

As I posted above, much remains to be done before the season proper.

Jon Cox
55 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:28:35
With Andy on this one i'm afraid. The balance that we would have if say Kev and Del boy were either side of Rom, would at least give is a threat down both flanks. Bring into play both our attacking fullbacks on the overlap we would begin to see a far more smooth and liquid strike force.

The mere fact that we have these players at RM's disposal and he doesn't even seem to contemplate using them is very worrying indeed.

The current style of play is just not Everton. RM may be a nice bloke but it seems he just doesn't know how to go about setting the team up. In other words tactically inept.

Ten games tops for me then pay him off or it could be a dire season,
again.

Dave Pritchard
56 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:42:18
Didn't look much different to last season's performances which is a worry. Only really showed any urgency after we scored. Arsenal are a very good side but that performance shows how much we need to improve.
Michael Winstanley
57 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:26:37
Watching Corzola, Ozil, Walcott and Ramsey play with Giroud showed me how big the gulf in class is with Arsenal.

Kone, Naismith, Deulofeu never looked like doing anything joined up in the first half. The rest of the team defended well and at times kept the ball without really threatening. I can see the benefit of Naismith but not of Kone.

Second half, game over half way through. The lack of creativity is poor, we like to keep possession rather than look for the forward pass. Mirallas did nothing and Garbutt was given a very seeing to by Oxlade-Chamberlain who created havoc with his pace. Arsenal could have scored more but missed a load of chances.

Today Arsenal played how I would like to see us play. We are a million miles from that in terms of personnel and tactics. We need better players, it's as simple as that but we've got no money unless we sell first and would Ozil and Corzola want to play for us?

We are where we are, hopefully Martinez will see Kone isn't up to it, Naismith can't be expected to link the play and when we wobble defensively boy do we wobble. A commanding centre half would be a great buy along with another striker, a winger and of course our specialist No 10. Ideally we'd get a new keeper too.

Jason Chew
58 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:43:03
That's our National Stadium, cost a bomb to build and heaps of problems with the pitch.

As for the filthy rich billionaire, well sorry he already bought Valencia. Everton was playing in the same 'heat' as Arsenal, and maybe I can't understand how humidity affects someone from England as I'm local, but it looked very obvious to me that the game was lost in midfield.

Granted it was a friendly, but FFS show some hunger, there's a TROPHY on offer! How many fouls did we commit? Half the Arse chances came from midfielders and defenders not putting the foot in.

Barry Jones
59 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:36:59
Chris Kelly, you may not be an expert but I think that you summed up the performance very well. The Arsenal players moved the ball and themselves much quicker than we did. They gave themselves lots of forward options. We didn't, and when a forward pass was on, we waited and waited and then played it back.

There is nothing wrong with playing two holding midfielders, but when we have possession, the back four needs to push everyone up higher. Having said that, I am unconvinced of the ability of Barry and McCarthy in the attacking third. We looked really devoid of ideas (again).

Paul Tran
60 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:38:21
I agree with you, Jay. I've got doubts about Martinez's judgement of players.

Looking at the two teams, I expected Arsenal to have more skill, quality and possession.

Again, I was disappointed with our lack of movement and inability to close down the opposition. Again, we created very few chances.

What concerns me is that a year ago, I said we needed a good keeper, centre back, playmaker and striker. I'm saying the same now.

Andy Walker
61 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:41:10
Exactly the same as last season, but that should be no surprise. The main problem, as it was all last season, was a lack of threat in possession, no real urgency. We also saw several really good positions created to put in crosses, but the chance to cross was declined. This has to be down to our inept manager's tactics.

We are miles away from the pre Martinez team and any idea of finishing in the top 6 should be buried now unless Bill wakes up and gets rid of this manager, which of course he won't do until we are again bottom 6 perhaps and the season is wasted.

The players don't look comfortable with the way they are being asked to play, the style was not effective last season and it won't be next season either. Much more directness is required in order to get the best out of the players and also the Goodison crowd when at home. We lost our 12th man for many home matches last season, and this is not a criticism of the fans, just the reality of us having to watch turgid, pointless periods of possession.

There is no point playing with a fear of losing possession, the team must go back to attacking the opposition with pace when gaining possession. But this goes back to what's now being drilled into them by the manager which is 'don't lose the ball' as opposed to 'attack and try and score'.

Brian Harrison
63 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:02:00
Looks like RM learned nothing from last season, and has set his team up to play the same way this season if this friendly is anything to go bye. We were lucky to only lose 1-3 could have easily been 5 or 6.

Even Danny Higginbottom the ex Stoke player, said Everton have been sussed.He showed stats that proved we conceded more goals than any other team last season by losing possession in our own half.

He also believes that this will be a big season for RM, I think he means continue with this style and you will get the bullet.

Sam Hoare
64 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:12:49
Think though it's preseason the results have been telling. We are a tiny bit better than Stoke and a long way off Arsenal. A season of 7th-9th awaits.
Des Farren
66 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:48:11
Some of the issues were about fitness... first game of the season for most of the team in that heat?

Arsenal did show us how to play football... they have been playing this way for years, irrespective of what players they have. It's based on possession of the ball, I believe, a philosophy with which many Evertonians, last season, disagreed.

I think this team is crying out for a talented player in midfield who makes himself available to receive the ball and who then has the intelligence to move the ball in whatever direction he sees fit. A Pirlo would do nicely; I don't care what age or pace the guy has. There must be some available with a few years left in them from whom our youngsters can learn.

Denis Richardson
67 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:16:28
Didn't see the game but people saying 'it's only preseason' should keep in mind that it's also 'only preseason' for Arsenal and it sounds like we're miles behind them already.

Fitness will come later but sad to hear that the shite tactics from last season still seem to be the order of the day.

Why can't we just go back to 2013-14 tactics? We have virtually the same players!

James Byrne
68 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:30:40
It will be interesting to know what RM thought of that display. If he comes out and say's we were fantastic in most parts then it's going to be a long season ahead.
Brent Stephens
69 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:25:06
I think we all want us to play at a greater pace but do we have anybody who can consistently hit a telling pass, with pace and precision, to open up a defence or bypass a busy midfield? Lukaku? Kone? Gerard? Mirallas? Barkley? McCarthy? Barry?

Cleverley made several attempts at telling passes today but nothing consistent.

Ossie is the best we have at that but alas his time has gone.

Bill Farmer
70 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:29:33
Sam, at least YOU are being optimistic. I suspect most of us would settle for any improvement on last season and 7th would see us back in Moyesey territory!

Forever a realist, I acknowledge we have been below that mark (modest though it is) in the vast majority of my 57 seasons of watching Everton in the top division.

Brent Stephens
71 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:42:20
...and of course Pienaar could hit a pass but he's in and out these days.
Mike Oates
73 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:51:09
It's not the centre of defence that needs protection by Barry and McCarthy, it's the full backs who struggles against good wide men. Coleman and Garbutt defensively were poor, but they got no help from Deulofeu, Cleverley, Mirallas. Time after time our full backs were isolated and faced two Arsenal players.

Barry, McCarthy and Cleverley just weren't at the races today, where were they when Arsenal dominated possession. Kone was awful, couldn't hold the ball up and Naismith 's flick one were useless, always lost the ball. We had a 15 minute period when we gave the ball away within 10 seconds of getting it due to hoofs, sloppy passing and poor movement. Deulofeu was pure dross. Coleman needs Lennon, Baines needs Pienaar, and Martinez needs to find a top No 10 and another top forward.

Our build-up play is so slow, there is no chance of getting anyone behind their defence, opposition are given so much time to form a solid two lines of defence, Lukaku makes so many runs and never ever gets a decent ball. I absolutely despair of what this season is going to bring, unless there is serious surgery. Out:- Kone, Naismith, McCarthy (at least Barry can pass the ball forward), Hibbert, and maybe even Barkley - the lad just stifles play; he gets it, juggles it, backheels it, dummies it and then loses it.

A bad bad day today; Martinez must have learnt a lot about some of his favourites .

Drew O'Neall
74 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:07:46
I would be completely happy with a centre back coming in who couldn't pass the ball ten yards if he could sort out our shambolic back line.
Bill Gall
75 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:54:26
Starting with a weaker team reminds me of the "taking a knife to a gunfight" scenario. As someone else stated, Arsenal have been playing this style for years and it does not matter who they bring in they just blend in with the team. Martinez is still trying to play the same way as last season until he realized it was not working and had to change to get out of the relegation area.

The excuse last season was the draw and defeats at the start ruined their confidence; well, we have a harder start this season so he'd better be prepared. This may just be a pre season game but he'd better take a more winning attitude to the rest .

John Graham
76 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:11:11
If Martinez fielded a weakened line up who does he think we have got waiting in the wings. Only probably Lukaku and Howard were missing from the starting line up. Think we are in for a tough season.
Tom Bowers
77 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:06:51
Whilst the Blues play some nice controlled football it is all so predictable and slow. That won't cut it in the Prem. The successful teams have players who can switch quickly from defence to attack and force the opposition on to the back foot before they can reinforce.

It wasn't too bad 2 season's ago, when Coleman in particular could get deep very quickly along with Baines, but that isn't happening now. There are just too many predictable passes in the midfield usually ending up with giving the ball away cheaply and against the Gunners that is suicidal.

Whilst RM probably recognized Arsenal superior passing game and counter-attack speed, he just does not have the personnel to deal with it and that comes down to his own choice of retained squad members. The squad still needs some new blood and some of the old blood should be discarded now.

James Stewart
80 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:10:11
I'm not sure where to start with that game. We were a complete train wreck and many will say the result is not important and its only pre-season.I agree to a certain extent. Setting the result aside and just looking at our tactical inadequacies is still quite frightening. We appear to have learnt nothing from the mistakes of last season.

We lacked any width what so ever and not only were our fullback's left to defend against 2 attackers constantly, they also had to attack alone as well. Even Mirallas appeared to be playing centrally in some kind of weird asymmetric diamond so ineffective and prominent last season.

Kone is about as much use as a third nipple and Barry was a statue due to being unable to even jog anymore. Joel looked lost at sea again with even my City mate commenting 'who is that bloody idiot in goal!?'

Garbutt was a positive despite our setup doing its best to isolate him and Barkley's goal was a peach. Perhaps there is something in his claim to be a striker because he can certainly hit them and he offers nothing in the creative no.10 role.

Somewhere buried under our bizarre tactical setup there is a decent team drying to get out and thats as positive as I can possibly be right now.

Barry Jones
81 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:21:53
In a nutshell, we need way more movement in the final third and at least one player on the ball who can see that movement and deliver the ball early.
Michael Kenrick
82 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:27:39
Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Galloway; Barry, McCarthy; Deulofeu, Barkley, Mirallas; Lukaku.

Surely, from what we've see so far, that would have been a much better starting line-up. Maybe Cleverly instead of Barry?

Dick Brady
83 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:30:37
So our contribution to the Barclays Asia Trophy consisted of scoring ONE goal, drawing 0-0 with Stoke and getting easily beaten by Arsenal.

Never saw that coming.

James Marshall
84 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:31:31
I was at the game in Singapore tonight, and albeit a friendly one thing is apparent. We simply do not do enough off the ball. We don't tackle. We don't harry the opposition or win the ball back.

When we do get it we're as ponderous as ever. Naismith tries hard but he's an awful footballer. So is Kone.

Naismith can finish but that's about it.

We lack goal threat because we're too slow. Same old predictable play.

To be fair to the manager, he was on the touchline telling them to move the ball quicker. They didn't.

I think Martinez has a good philosophy, but I question the players ability to carry it out.

Brent Stephens
86 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:48:12
James #83 "To be fair to the manager, he was on the touchline telling them to move the ball quicker. They didn't."

I also heard the commentator say that Martinez was encouraging a quicker movement of / with the ball. If he is really trying to play that game and we can't, then that's more dispiriting than if we were able to play that game but he just didn't want to.

Darren Hind
88 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:35:58
Arsenal's passing game is a bit more progressive than ours. Their players are more positive and have enough confidence in each others ability to fizz the ball around. They were crisper, sharper and they knew it.

I don't understand why Barry, McCarthy and Cleverly would all start. We surrender initiative before a ball is kicked... Where did Robbie expect the creativity to come from?

What was patently obvious is that we are still screaming out for creativity. God bless Naismith, but he just doesn't see the pass.

Anto Byrne
89 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:59:04
Hot and humid conditions, we were all sweating cobs watching the game. It was an Arsenal home game for all intents and purposes. I don't think we played as well as we can. There were glimpses.

All-in-all, it was a great day out from Perth. A playmaker required... and another striker.

James Stewart
91 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:00:09
It's not about moving the ball quicker really, though, Brent; my point was that our formation and obsession with trying to thread the eye of a needle and channel every attack down the middle is completely futile. We don't have the players for that.

We are at our best when we play with two wingers and supporting full backs. The Lennon - Coleman combination last season was one of the only few positives. Attack together and defend together; it's not rocket science. Arsenal did it and we got destroyed.

Every time Garbutt got forward, he had to turn inside because no-one made a run or overlapped. These kind of things are down to the manager and the way we are set up. It's painful to watch.

Brin Williams
92 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:09:29
Phew, glad I didn't go then!

That bad was it?

Glad to hear via James M that Roberto 'has a good philosophy' but other than telling the players to 'move the ball quicker' he does not elaborate whether there is any more to the 'philosophy' than that.

Or am I being too philosophical?

Bill Farmer
93 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:04:27
James at 83 above: As someone who struggles to come to terms with modern football, I wonder if you would be good enough to explain this magical 'philosophy' of Roberto's in which you believe but fear our players are incapable of carrying out ?

It was even referred to in Sky's pre-match discussion with Wenger. My dictionary tells me philosophy is about the search for truth about human life and I wonder just what that has to do with Everton today.

I ask this of you in an innocent and genuine desire to discover just what it is that finds our players coming up short.

James Marshall
94 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:28:43
Bill, I think his philosophy is similar to that of Barcelona. So you see my point.

Barca have quality players who work so damned hard off the ball and play a non rigid fluid formation. I think that's what the manager is trying to do.

It isn't working.

Kevin Tully
95 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:21:50
If we can all see what is desperately required, I'm sure Martinez can. The question is, what funds are available? We've spent ٢.3m so far. Surely there is another 㾸-15m in the kitty?

We can't go into the season without at least one other central defender and a creative midfielder. Still unsure about Robles and Howard is not getting any better.

All this talk about contract extensions for Osman sends a shiver down my spine. Pienaar, Osman and dear old Hibbo are all past it and we are giving them two year extensions FFS!

If we are scratching around for free signings and loans, then whose fault is that? I will save any criticism until the window closes, but we will fall massively short if we have to dip into the loan or free market to bolster an ageing squad.

David Sheen
96 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:33:51
What's wrong with giving Osman a contract extension? He can play a decent role in a game when we fail to break down teams. Because, let's face it, we have got absolutely no-one else except Pienaar who can hold the ball up and pick out a pass. Gibson can play great football passes but he never plays.

It looks to me that Martinez values the morale and atmosphere of the squad, and puts a lot of emphasis on people's characters and it looks like Hibbert, Osman & Howard are kept for them reasons mainly.

The main trouble I have with Martinez is constantly playing two defensive midfielders. We need that extra man forward and not constantly protecting the defence. Lee Carsley done it on his own, so so can Barry or McCarthy.

Michael Polley
97 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:37:36
Let's reserve judgement on pre-season games. Although I do feel we should of fielded a much stronger team.

As for Chelsea - Go fuck yourselves. Young Stones IS NOT for sale !! So do one.

Kevin Tully
98 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:39:11
I'm not an Osman hater, David. I just feel he's past it. Younger, faster players will leave him for dead in the midfield.
Trevor Peers
99 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:21:36
James your post suggests we should return to Moyes type tactics, and I agree with you.

Trying to play progressive football with the wrong quality of players which we obviously can't afford has proved to be disastrous in the past.

It took till Christmas last season for the penny to drop, hopefully this season we will start playing more direct football right from the off.

David Sheen
100 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:39:10
If we do not spend another 㿀M before the season begins, then I absolutely do not know the point.

Kenwright surely has to go if all we can muster up is ٤M and a Bosman.

I know we failed with an ٦M bid for the guy who went to West Ham. But even spending 㾺M in a transfer market means that we are going to be mediocre.

19th biggest club in Europe in terms of turnover? Then where the hell is all this money going?

We aren't saving for a football stadium so he cannot use that excuse. We have absolutely no investment.

Pete Edwards
101 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:36:55
A frustrating performance but, taking in to account that was pretty much Arsenal's first choice team and will be not far off who they start for the beginning of the season, and most of them didn't play the other day, I thought we had moments in the game (only a couple granted) but fitness should be getting there and I'm hopeful we will be ready come the start of the season.

Agree we still do need a playmaker though...

David Sheen
102 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:45:39
We need a playmaker, a central defender, and a striker. Unless Martinez plans to use Barkley in the strikers role, which I think would be a great idea.

We need someone upfront who can hold the ball up with the type of tactics that Martinez plays. Lukaku is not one for holding balls up, he is one for stretching opponents. I think Barkley could possibly do that job. Play them both upfront at Goodison.

Hopefully Kone's showing (slow, lethargic) performance was just that. But he looks like he doesn't have the legs. But isn't he only 31?

Paul Tran
103 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:39:35
James, we don't have the players to play like Barca, but surely there's no excuse for them not working like Barca.

I don't mind being outplayed by a more talented, expensively assembled team, but outworked?

Darren, you're right about the daftness of playing McCarthy, Barry and Cleverley. The thing is, he trusts those three and I've got a nagging feeling he wrongly sees Cleverley as our No 10.

Still, only three weeks to find out if he sees what we see, or keeps doing what doesn't work.

David Sheen
104 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:53:25
I'd like to see Cleverly in central midfield, just infront of McCarthy or Barry. With Barkley in front of Cleverly. And Martinez to quit playing two defensive midfielders who just protect the back four when we go forward instead of going forward themselves. Sometimes it looks like Everton have no-one upfront.
Tony Twist
105 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:43:34
Nothing surprises me with Everton anymore. Is it that the players aren't good enough or is it that the manager is blind to his own shortcomings? A bit of both really, they need to be flexible and work together to get the best solution.

Martinez has proved he is incapable of change so far; unfortunately he will be given time which means more of the same poor performances next season. Will there be enough poor teams this time around in the league to keep us in it?

Frank Crewe
106 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:27:14
We were rubbish. Arsenal's defense had nothing to do. Barry needs to be put out to grass. His playing days are well and truly over. £60,000 a week to stand around gasping and wheezing. I can do that and for a lot less..

What was it Redknapp said about Stones? "Stay put and learn". The only thing he's going to learn is how not to defend. Everytime the ball came into our area it was just flailing feet trying to hack it away and invariably hitting one of our own players and rebounding back into the area again.

I only hope that RM is seeing what to the rest of us is blindingly obvious. If we don't get some creativity into our midfield and a decent mobile striker who can add some movement to our attack it's going to be another long, long season.

Nick Page
107 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:51:54
I don't think the board want to back him tbh. They must see what we see which is absolute shite. I don't think there is any confidence in him. I wouldn't back him. He's as stubborn as a fucking mule and just doesn't get what Evertonians want to see. Sad to say it but we'll get left well behind this coming season.
Amit Vithlani
108 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:56:17
One thing is for sure - defensively a lot more work is needed. Denis Lawrence, Jones and Martinez are doing a rank job of organising the defence. No idea when to step out, disjointed line, gaps between the full backs.

David Sheen
109 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:05:43
What's strange is that we set out like a counter attacking team, but we don't do counter attacking football. We play from the back and try to keep possession. So when we go forward we are heavily exposed. But we already knew this.
Guy Hastings
110 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:16:49
Is there a more Panglossian figure in football than RM?
Martin Mason
112 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:21:05
I could be wrong but I believe that our problems aren't in the players we have but in extremely poor coaching and tactics. We were dreadful in midfield in the first half and dreadful again in the second half after making changes.

This game asks very serious questions on how we can expect the team to perform this season and the truth is that we were not in the same league as Arsenal. Good job they gave Sanchez a rest and weren't taking the game more seriously than a practice match.

I'm not negative but I think our problem is not in personnel but very much in how they are being told to play; I hope to be proven wrong but I fear the worst.

Alex Parr
113 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:02:29
Comes to something when Stones (who I think is a touch over-rated on here judging by other threads), is our most creative player with his little bursts from defence.

An out-there idea... play Stones as a deep midfielder while he fills out a bit, in place of Barry / McCarthy (by the way, Barry was the better of those two today). I think he would make a great box-to-box midfielder, he has pace, energy stamina and vision. He is not yet a top centre back and I would prefer to see him move a bit further forward at the moment, he is too error prone and gets out of position too often due to those runs, causing the defence even more disarray. We need to get in a proper commanding centre half. OR, I would see him as a marauding sweeper in between Jags and A N Other in a 3.

I'd have a stab at playing Barkley up-front alongside Big Rom.

And I think that yeah, Martinez sees Cleverley as our No 10. Sad times. Although I think if Pienaar could stay fit (big IF), then Martinez would play him there and I have to agree he could do a job. But he is needed on the left.

John Williams
115 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:51:01
Arsenal start the game with no holding players and we start with three. Throw into our line up two absolutely talentless players in the form of Kone and Naismith and you get what you deserve.

When you have two quality fullbacks scoring seven goals apiece or whatever and providing plenty of assists, then play two defensive midfielders, I get that. But, when that system is redundant, why continue with it? It certainly doesn't make us a hard team to breakdown.

The midfield is the engine room that makes the team tick! Ours is slow, ponderous and lacks guile. We desperately need a Number 10 and an attacking midfielder to maybe rotate with Barkley.

I firmly believe Martinez has to change his strategy or he is doomed... and so may we be.

James Stewart
117 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:59:36
@98. I do indeed. I wouldn't call it progressive football to be honest. If Barca attack with width but the key to their success is Messi. He can create space and take out 3 players with a drop of the shoulder. No one else has that luxury.

I predict that Martinez will be gone by January and I take no pleasure in doing so. I just don't think he is learning from his mistakes or pragmatic enough to survive. A creative No 10 is not the answer either. Sure it would be nice but we have problems fair greater.

Throwing money at it won't help either. We already have solid defenders who are proven Premier League players. We should not be easy to play against and we most certainly are for all but the promoted sides.

Christy Ring
118 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:47:06
Martinez has to change or we'll be every bit as bad as last season. He has to get rid of Barry and play one defensive midfielder (McCarthy). He's deluded if he thinks we don't need another striker. Kone and Naismith aren't good enough to be even squad players. We need a playmaker, a keeper and I'd bring back Lennon as Coleman was totally exposed, as was Garbutt on the other side. He's learned nothing from last season.

Kenwright has to put his hand in his pocket, as all we have spent is ٢.2 million. A total Disgrace.

Bill Gall
119 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:40:24
There are a number of comments on here about we just need a couple of more players. My question is: "What if we do not get them?"

We have a manager who appears too stubborn to admit that his style of play or "philosophy" is not going to change even though it failed last season after other managers used a system to nullify it.

If you do not have the players that can adapt to the system you want, and if you are aware of not having the finances to buy players who can adapt to your system, as a professional Premier League manager, why can't you play a system that your present players can adapt too, and feel comfortable playing it ?

Dave Pritchard
120 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:08:51
Alex, your call for Stones to play midfield sounds very much like what we did with Rodwell who was also supposed to be a centre-back. We all know how that ended. I agree that Stones was our most creative player, which is very worrying. I thought McCarthy in particular was totally anonymous today.
Andy Codling
121 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:23:42
Pre season or not, Too many of last seasons woeful practices were on display, can't tackle ,can't close down, two defensive midfielders but team that allows the opposition unbelievable space. Cat take corners, and seemingly can't defend. Hundreds of two yard passes backward and sideways, no creativity or imagination. We play any forwards we have with their backs to goal and expect them to perform miracles. No urgency to get up to the oppositions penalty area, utter drab site resemblant of last season.
Cant see things getting better, surely with this group of players a different manager could get the best out of them.
Andy Walker
123 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:54:21
Even if we had the best players in the world, trying to play in the style of Barca 5 years ago wouldn't cut it today, the game has moved on again. Barca now play a quicker, harrying style of football. We are miles away, aspiring at best to play a style that was outdated 3-5 years ago. Even if we could do what Martinez wants it still wouldn't be good enough. It's 'kin obvious!

Dick Fearon
124 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:42:37
Please, please, please, Roberto, do not further embarrass us with another of your splendiferous summaries of what was, from an Everton viewpoint, a painful exhibition. Outclassed in every department and sad to say with few exceptions we were nowhere near the speed of thought, physical fitness or tactically equal to the Gunners.

Some praise is due to Jags and Stones who just about held their own while the midfield and two backs were completely overrun. But it was patently obvious that Kone is not of Premier League standard.
The stadium appeared to be magnificent with a multicoloured closed roof and 55,000 capacity.... enough to make one dream of what might have been.

Raymond Fox
125 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:51:58
Every season is the same, we talk up our players, we did ok against Stoke, but play a real top 4 side and our players are simply not good enough!
How many would get into the Arsenal team, especially midfield and forwards, how many would start for Chelsea, Man City or Utd when they have finished spending, 1, 2 and that's pushing it.

Unless we can spend serious money for real class and I mean real top class players we are always going to be playing for 6th to 10th spot in the Prem. its pretty obvious isn't it.

We hope for a minor miracle at the start of each season but until we can find owners rich and willing enough to spend lots of money were stuck with the same old scenario.

Tony Byrne
126 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:25:05
Tony @ 104 & Frank @ 105

Both of your comments are spot on.

Although only a pre-season friendly & admittedly against a decent side, the performance was a template from many disastrous showings from last season. It seems RM has no plan B judging on the games against Stoke & Arsenal.

Nothing has convinced me so far that we won't struggle big time next season, I know we have the transfer window open for some time yet but do we have funds for 2-3 more decent additions? I don't know so much.

We do have a decent squad but I don't feel RM can get the best out of them,he is tactically inept IMO, 2 defensive MF again today & we looked shambolic at times, Arsenal walked through MF all afternoon & could have scored 5-6, defending was pathetic,it's as if this team have only played together on a handful of occasions.

If RM is still our manager at the end of the season I reckon we will finish between 12th - 16th, I hope to god I'm wrong.

Watching Barry & Kone today made me cringe, Kone is Championship quality at best & that "header" in the 2nd half was appalling! Barry looks like he's just finished a season never mind pre-season.

Barry Jones
127 Posted 19/07/2015 at 00:29:57
I am also not convinced about Robles. Late in the game, he spilled a pathetically weak shot back into the path of the Arsenal forwards but got away with it. This was a schoolboy error that would be costly in the league. A goalkeeper must have excellent concentration on a consistent basis. I don't see this quality in Robles.
Derek Thomas
128 Posted 19/07/2015 at 00:25:46
I watched the game yesterday at the handy time for me of 10-30pm, the Mrs D said, "If you're watching this, I'm off to bed."

So on went the live forum (subdued) and on with the game. I stuck it out until about 30-40 mins after the end then went to bed.

Opening shot; digital alarm showing 05:59am, which flips to 06:00, cue Sonny and Cher as this Bill Murray wakes to find another Groundhog Day.

That game last night was no better or worse than 50% or more from the last two seasons. And therein lies the problem. Leaving money aside, the net amount won't vary much for whoever's in charge. Which brings me to what I see as the real problem. The man in charge.

Sorry if it seems negative Lyndon, but that's the way I see it. The game is won and lost in the midfield and for me Pauxatannie Bobby has no fucking idea.

Chris Kelly
129 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:01:15
Has anyone tried football manager with our current squad and see if we can beat one of the likely top 4? Just a thought, as it seems that the feeling is that it's the formation and tactics rather than the players. Just a thought.....
Brian Wilkinson
130 Posted 19/07/2015 at 02:00:14
Had Howard played today and we lost 3-1 he would have been crucified on here.

I must be in a minority who cannot see whats great about Robles; Howard for me is still a better goalie.

I know we deffo need a top quality keeper; with Howard coming to the end of his career, a quality goalkeeper and a second striker is a must.

Brian Wilkinson
131 Posted 19/07/2015 at 02:19:54
I think Barkley and Hibbert drew the two short draws before kickoff and their forfeit was to model the long sleeve shirt.

They must have been sweating their tats off in that heat.

Peter Barry
133 Posted 19/07/2015 at 02:26:26
We have just been give a foretaste of what the next Martinez controlled season has in store for us. Oh and please no bleats about 'early days' and lets wait and see, it was 'early days' for Arsenal too and they made us look inept and pedestrian.

It's all down to Roberto's "tactics' and his stubborn and blind adherence to them even though everyone and their dog can see they do not work.

Spragg Johnson
135 Posted 19/07/2015 at 03:20:40
If nothing else, the 60 minutes given to Kone must have shown RM that he's not up to Premier League standard.

Also - Coleman's defending (especially when the ball is off the ground is weak). He has been caught out a lot at the far post with weak challenges on players attacking the ball in the air, and was at fault for goals one and three against Arsenal. McCarthy failed to put a decent challenge on Cazorla for goal two.

Very few positives no matter how much RM spins it. We know Barkley can smash a couple into the roof of the next each season... Let's just hope he can hit a few more like that. Deulofeu's pace was pleasing too. Garbutt's delivery shows promise. Stones must stay. Barry not far off Kone in the 'no longer up to it' category.

James Flynn
136 Posted 19/07/2015 at 03:22:48
Robles is gigantic and you can't teach size. He has that.

His side-to-side movement, though. He's slow-footed. Zero quickness.

Jim Hardin
137 Posted 19/07/2015 at 03:21:47
Robles is awful. I am a Howard fan and wonder how quickly the knives would have been out for him. Instead the anti-Howard experts either remain silent or choose to blame the defense, which is the real problem no matter who the keeper is.

First goal he is off his line by 12 yards but still wasn't in position to stop the ball from falling to the striker. The second goal was pathetic. Robles got caught on his heels and his feet to wide to even move. The third goal looked like Robles forgot he was the keeper and thought he was an Arsenal fan.

I am worried by the trend of former Wigan players not being up to par. First, Alcaraz, then, and still now, Kone, and currently also Robles.

It is however only one game and the preseason looks a lot better than last season. Still one goal is not enough in two games from an offensive-minded coach.

Phil Sammon
139 Posted 19/07/2015 at 04:38:17
Jim

Criticising Robles is fair game, just as is criticising Howard.

I don't think anyone is banging the drum and hailing Robles as a top keeper. However, when he came in last year he kept clean sheets and seemed to galvanise what was a desperately leaky defence.

Martinez's decision to drop him was inexplicable and set a nasty precedent for players outside the first team. Basically if you're not an established player then it doesn't matter how you perform. He even said that Howard would have to 'lose' his spot rather than Robles being able to win it. What a negative, defeatist attitude from Mr Positive.

Howard is a bang average keeper with a bad attitude. His got an arrogance unbefitting of his ability. Get rid and bring in someone who is prepared to earn the jersey, rather than seeing it as his right.

Lastly, and I do bang on about this... but the way he spoke of the fans' relegation concerns last year was a disgrace. Those words would have rankled me even coming from an Everton legend, never mind this fucking no-mark.

Add to that his 'my life's better than your life' beach photos on Twitter and you have a truly ignorant fool with absolutely zero sense of respect for us chumps who pay his exorbitant wages.

'But he's a good shot-stopper'

Matthew Svatos
140 Posted 19/07/2015 at 04:52:18
The first half was incredibly poor. No outlets outside of Gerry and a useless Kone. We were much better when Barkley, Mirallas and Lukaku came on. If we started and finished with as strong a team as possible on the field, the result would have definitely been different, but that is not the point of pre-season games. I still believe that we need a more creative presence in the middle, but a McCarthy - Cleverly axis has a much better look to it than the McCarthy - Barry one.
Harold Matthews
141 Posted 19/07/2015 at 05:03:32
For a lad who gets zero game-time, I thought Robles did okay.. I certainly don't blame him for the goals.
Vince Furnier
142 Posted 19/07/2015 at 06:50:10
Yet again I do not understand our marketing people. Going to Singapore was all about brand awareness, and the most obvious attribute of our brand is the blue jersey.
Peter McHugh
143 Posted 19/07/2015 at 07:39:32
I consider Robles an average reserve keeper at best. Cech on the other hand I believe would have saved all 3 goals, certainly the first two. Howard would have saved at least one. I think that sums up how good our goalies are...
Trevor Peers
144 Posted 19/07/2015 at 07:48:48
Phil, your hatred of Howard is illogical and a bit sad. Maybe he does need replacing but he's by far our best keeper at the club and has been a good servant who deserves a slice of respect.

Making scapegoats out of certain players masks the real problems we have, which are the tactics the manager employs.

Eddie Dunn
145 Posted 19/07/2015 at 07:58:42
Our problems haven't gone away, we all just hoped that a few weeks off and a couple of new faces would magically transform our team into something better. We need two wingers to stretch teams, and a central midfield who can push up when we attack, like Arsenal's did.

We played the best passing team in our league out there, in humid conditions, so I am not surprised at the result, but against Stoke we took an age to put a shot on target, and didn't score in open play.

We were set up to play on the counter, but when we got the chance to attack, we fumbled about like a schoolboy tackling his first bra.

No change from Everton, we are lacking a creative midfield, and can't defend and also we don't know where the goal is. It was like watching us before Lennon joined -- a lower half finish awaits.

Eddie Dunn
146 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:24:32
Vince 141, A strange decision indeed, to play in the away kit, when there would be no clash, and as you say, brand-awareness would call for our blue jersey. However, can anyone in Singapore buy our shirts in their shops?

It all seems so amateur.

Joe Foster
147 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:38:16
I don't mean to be negative but....I now feel very apprehensive about the season to come. (I had previously convinced myself that things will be better.)
Ben Dyke
148 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:30:27
Sad to say it but, to me, the longer we have Martinez in charge, who is taking us backwards, the less attractive we are becoming as a club to play for and the more likely players will want to jump ship.

The match yesterday showed no progress from last season. If you were McCarthy or Stones, it would be understandable if you started to question where Everton are headed and start to see the attraction of a better more successful club. And it hurts to write that!

I can't see us improving on last season unless we change manager. I hope I'm proved wrong!

Stephen Brown
149 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:38:58
Is it too simplistic to say play two proper wide players on the flanks and we would be a more balanced better team?! Cleverly, Naismith et al are not wingers!
Phil Sammon
150 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:47:17
Trevor 143

A 'good servant' deserving of my respect? You've got to be kidding me!

This 'good servant' earns more in a week than most do in a year. We don't owe him anything, you know. He should be thrilled to put that shirt on every week. He literally wouldn't get in any other Premier League team. He was hopeless last season and shown up by his understudy. And then criticises the fans for fretting about the very real prospect of relegation.

I'll tell you what, it's a good job some of us were fretting...because it took that to give some of the players a much needed wake up call.

James Marshall
151 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:12:57
Vince 141, I thought the same thing. Sat in the stadium last night with a handful of Singaporean Evertonians and they were all perplexed about us playing in white.

Everton really don't have a clue when it comes to marketing us as a brand.

Asians LOVE brand marketing. They really do. Mad for it they are and Everton wearing a blue jersey means everything to them yet there we are playing in bloody white!

Just wear the white away kit in a friendly back in England because nobody in Asia gives a shit about away shirts. They simply don't care. Ridiculous decision.

Jim Knightley
152 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:53:54
I don't think losing against the best passers in the Premier League in extreme weather conditions in early pre-season is a reason for pessimism. Moments like Cazorla's goal won't happen when players are sharper and fitter.

That said, the pessimism is also understandable, in view of last season. I'm with Stephen -- we need wide players out wide. These do not need to be wingers, but our team will at its best if two of Pienaar, Mirallas, Deulofeu or even Oviedo are in the wide positions. Sticking a central midfielder there simply does not work, as last season demonstrated. They will just drift in side, killing our width, whilst our right sided option will also likely drift inside. Our central midfielders are also not creative enough, unlike someone like Pienaar, who can at least orchestrate things from a wide area (or could at a younger age).

Barkley is also continuing to frustrate. His poor decision making, and his desire to run with the ball, demonstrate why he can't function in a deeper midfielder position. He cannot play out wide, so that leaves only the position behind the striker. However, his passing ability is simply too poor for that role in our team (especially because Mirallas, Deulofeu and McGeady are not passers either). Barkley takes too long, and mishits too many easy passes. He mentioned watching videos of Ozil on YouTube a few months ago I believe -- at least he realises that that is an area of his game which he needs to improve. Ozil is effortless with the ball and controls the tempo perfectly. Arsenal have those players in abundance, and we need to add a player of that type.

This is a big season for Barkley -- talk of a new number 10 is a big challenge to him and the hopes that he can realise his potential. He can't live off wondergoals, even if they demonstrate how good he might be, because he needs to play in a way that benefits the team every week, or least most weeks. He is dead this season unless we play with a higher tempo, and improve our counter attacking game, so that we can use his genuine assets. He needs to improve his passing, and can improve it. But you can't improve vision so easily, and I think his 'natural' assets do not suit a creative rule.

Martinez needs to prove himself too. Our defence under Moyes was generally very stable -- our defence under Martinez looked increasingly suspect, despite some very good defenders and a talented DM in McCarthy. The defence, along with the style, will be the biggest two challenges. With our start to the season, we won't get the opportunity to build confidence. Martinez's job could be hanging by a thread by the November (I would cut that thread), and our season rests on 1) signing another CB and a creative mid 2) Improving the defence 3) Playing at a quicker tempo 4) improving our creativity 5) Playing to the strengths of Lukaku, and to a lesser extent, Barkley.

Martinez faces alot of tests. We have some great players with great potential, but they need to prove it, and importantly, be given the chance to prove it. Last season Martinez's tactical approach robbed us of that, by playing in a way that did not suit the players. I hope that he has learned from that now, but we will only find out during August and September. A game against Arsenal in extreme conditions will not give us the answer.


Trevor Peers
153 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:16:48
Phil, Lyndon has asked us not to be repetitive and negative with our comments. Your obsession with Howard is just that, all Premier League players are on inflated wages why pick on Howard it defies logic. But carry on if it makes you happy.
Raymond Fox
155 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:10:50
I didn't get a response to my post 124, which is a common occurrence because I think many fans don't want to face the bitter truth! At least that's my opinion you may disagree.

The manager is getting it in the neck again, but we've not won anything at this club for twenty odd year now! Do you think changing the manager will make us a winning team?

When you look back at Moyes's tenure, he did a great job in the league to obtain the finishes we had, maybe we should return to that style of football. Martinez said when he took the job that he would attempt to play a possession style; well we've tried it, but it's not working yet is it. Better to have tried and failed than not tried at all and all that.

He needs a better class of player than we can afford is my conclusion, so do we return to more direct style of play, à la Moyes/Aladyce?

Bill Farmer
156 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:45:27
I think it's true to say that Martinez has always favored two defensive midfielders and only one winger. My memory is not what it was but wasn't that how he got us to fifth in 2013-14 ?

Last season it just didn't work out as players became obsessed with accurate passing -- and that's always easier done backwards or sideways. And, of course, it makes the game pedestrian. Other managers were on it like a flash.

On the back of one excellent season and another not so good, I am not ready to join the 'Bobby Out' lobby yet but if yesterday showed me anything, it was that Wenger's commitment to 'the passing game' was delivered at greater speed than our own. But then, his players are of a generally higher quality than our boys in blue. Martinez may need to change the hymn sheet.

Jim Knightley
157 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:39:13
Phil - what's the point in bringing up wages? Seriously, have you really reduced your argument to that? Imagine Howard posting beach photos - what a prick. People on my Facebook post them all the time, but he shouldn't, because he is a Premier League footballer. Shame on him for earning an amount of money typical of a top level footballer.

The nature of your argument is beyond simplistic - and it's representative of the typical exaggerated rhetoric the likes of the Mail and Talksport have normalised. A player can't just be average - they have to be terrible. They have to be so bad that they couldn't get into any other team, apart from the one they are conning a living from.

You refer to Howard as bang average - and you are right. He is an average Premier League goalkeeper. You also state that he couldn't get into any Premiership team, which is of course, bullshit, and means that you don't think he is average, but not good enough for this league. Did you watch other teams last season? Do you think Howard is a worse goalkeeper than a sluggish Guzan or Boruc? or the halpless Gomes or error prone Speroni?

Howard was poor last season, but had a very good season the year before. He was too error prone last year, and seemed to lose confidence. But guess what - Mignolet made a ton of errors, especially at the start of the season. Hart did too. As did alot of the goalies in this league, because that's what happens with goalkeepers sometimes.

And one more thing Phil - has it crossed your mind at any point that Howard's comments about relegation might have had a point to them? That it may have been one of the many comments coming from players and managers which are designed to put pressure on, to motivate, or to ease pressure? Perhaps Tim Howard, who has played at the top level and at international championship for an extended amount of time, might have had a plan beyond disrespecting the fans? Perhaps Howard even, as incredible as it might sound, attempted to ease the pressure on a team so obviously struggling with confidence?

Sometimes it's good to take a step back, and ask whether your dislike for someone is exaggerated. Sometimes it's a good idea to ask whether something is so cut and dry as it seems. Is Howard unusual because he posts beach pictures? When that's what people do, and that's especially when football fans do? Is it possible that you've constructed this narrative, whereby Howard is an arrogant prick rubbing his wealth in the faces of fans, insulting their intelligence, and directly contributing to our failures? And is it possible, rather, that Howard is an average Premier League goalkeeper who we should replace in the next year or so, who acts just like football players do?

One point to make - many of us, me included, would replace Ospina for Howard. The same Ospina who made some wonderful saves against Argentina (I watched the game and there were two wonderful saves), and who in part like Howard, has reputation with the everyday fan based around international performances. The very same Ospina who made several errors last season, and generally failed to live up to expectations for Arsenal. The same Ospina, who if he played for us, would have some good games, and make some errors, and come in for criticism on this board just like Howard as. And maybe he would post some beach pictures too.

We need to replace Howard when our budget allows, and when the right replacement comes along. Or we need to replace Howard with a backup to Robles, if Robles proves himself over the next season (I'm not convinced, but I agree with Phil and think that he earned a run in the team last season and should have stayed in for longer). But Howard in general has been a dependable goalkeeper over an extended period of time. He did not cost us alot of money, and has been an important part of a very effective and solid defensive unit constructed for very little money by Moyes. He has been our goalkeeper for 8 years, during which time many of our rivals have transferred goalkeepers in, and sold them again, without so much success. Howard however, has been a good servant, and I wouldn't be surprised if he had another good season in him before he returns to America.

George McKane
158 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:00:08
Raymond -- not sure in some ways if we need to comment on your comments... and then again, you answer ably your own comments in #154.

Football has no logic for the fans at least. It is a passion, a desire, a feeling. Admitting the obvious can hurt your dreams and your heart.

Logically, I am 66 this season and believe I will never ever see Everton win the League again. Logically, we may well have to see our better players to survive and buy lesser players. Logically I will have to admit that watching Arsenal yesterday was a joy -- quick, high tempo fast passing and movement. Logically I would stay at home and watch "the best" from around the world on Sky/BT and The Internet.

In my heart, I believe we are something great, something special, wonderful and we deserve much. I love Everton and think we are the best team (and fans) in the world capable of beating anyone and everyone. I want us to create a team and a club to be proud of in this stinking mess called modern football. If we cannot buy the greatest then buy the most spirited and those with commitment and passion. And I will support any players who play and stay with us.

In my heart I cannot hardly wait -- like a child at Christmas time -- for 8th August, to go to my football pub, The Dark House, meet my football family and friends... and then that feeling of walking into your seat on the first day -- to see around the ground and the pitch. Season tickets due in the post soon. Can hardly wait.

I am the Blanche Dubois of Evertonians -- she told Brando in Streetcar named Desire, "You live in that real world -- I live in the world of dreams" ... or something like that.

William Blake was I am sure an Evertonian in the 1700s:

Shakespeare certainly was a Blue -- why else would he say:

"We're all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on: and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

DREAM ON, BLUE BOYS, DREAM ON -- and on and on and on like the moon and the stars and the sun.

Happy days.

Jim Knightley
159 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:13:45
Raymond - we were best under Moyes when we played a mixed styled. When the likes of Pienaar and Arteta could past the football and control the tempo, but when we could also play it forward quickly. It was that mixed style which was more fundamentally a component of Martinez's first season in style, even if we did move to a more concentrated passing style. We can play a possession orientated approach without spending a lot of money, but it will require different players. Given the pace and skill that we have, I think that we have to move the ball more quickly than we have done. That does not mean long ball though, and Big Sam is not the kind of manager who will take us forward.

We also have some very good players, even if top 4 is extremely unlikely because we lack the quality of the top 4 sides. We do though have Coleman and Baines, who are better than any other full back pairing in this league save for Chelsea. We have a very good DM in McCarthy, who has performed better than City's versions in the last few seasons. Stones and Jags are very good defenders, and I'd prefer them to United's current CBs, and I think that Mirallas, Deulofeu and Lukaku are great players on their day. We don't have the money to compete, and that's unfortunate. But we do have a team which is good enough, and young enough, to challenge for trophies, and to beat the best in this league on their day. But that will only happen if we play the right tactics and buy the right players. Moyes did that very well, but failed on the big occasions. Martinez failed on both the big and small occasions last season, and failed to get the simple things right. This season he will get another go at it, and we will see if he has learned from his mistakes. If he has not, then he needs to go.

Ray Roche
160 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:28:23
George McKane

George, I think the lines from Yeats* directed at Kenwright are more accurate.

"'I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.'"

Or dance all over them,Gangnam Style more like.


That's W B Yeats, not Yard dog Yeats.....

Raymond Fox
161 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:22:53
Well said George 157 and Jim 158, I agree with both your sentiments.

I must confess though I'm getting more pessimistic about the club's ability to give us what we desire! The Premier League has become divided into three divisions with us unfortunately parked in the 2nd division.

Anyway I had better shut up with Lyndon and Michael calling for less negativity!

Paul Thompson
162 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:15:27
A good, thoughtful debate on the thread, even if the main thought is 'Groundhog Day'. And yes, it seemed like that with many of the familiar problems which I won't rehearse.

Cleverley had a decent game but is too similar to what we have to make a real difference to our ponderous build-up play and lack of creative cutting edge. If the balance of midfield is not changed before season kick off, mid table looms (at best). If we need funds for a front rank No. 10, I'd sell McCarthy (overrated IMO), Our other 'new; addition, Deulofeu, didn't do much, but the weakened team and set-up for the first half (why, FFS?) didn't give him much opportunity.

In sum, whilst Arsenal's much better players were always going to give us a torrid time in that kind of setting, we need key changes in personnel and on-field strategy to avoid the Groundhog Day scenario.

George McKane
163 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:49:53
Nice one Ray - - Raver on Mr. Yeats - - he also said
"All changed, changed utterly
A terrible beauty is born"

Raymond - - sometimes its good to let the heart rule.

Nice to debate.

Up The Blues.

Colin Malone
164 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:45:12
It was like watching the last home game against Spurs, they also ran us ragged. We are too static and square. No Plan B. Let's try one holding midfielder now and again and be a bit more adventurous.

James Marshall @150. Totally agree.

Tony Abrahams
165 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:57:11
Only saw the last fifteen minutes, lucky me, and probably got a lot more enjoyment, watching a kids footy tournament yesterday, anyway.

Worrying times, it seems, but most people would have been equally dejected when we lost 4-1 at Arsenal in the cup two years ago as well.

We actually gave them a football lesson, in the very next month at Goodison, but things seem to have changed. They have got progressively better whilst the opposite seems to have happened to us.

We need new blood, and new tactics, even if pre-season is only really about getting yourself fit for the coming season.

Colin Glassar
167 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:24:01
Terrible first half performance as we couldn't even get close to them. Second half slightly better after the changes probably due to them relaxing a bit.

What did I learn?
Robles was ok. I don't think he was at fault for any of their goals.
Coleman - very poor. He continues to give up on balls he thinks should go out of play but don't. He gives opponents far too much room to whip in crosses.
Jag/Stones - Did ok but they still need to iron out their communicating.
Garbutt - Did ok
Del - Incredibly frustrating but he'll be fine. Seems like he's too eager to impress.
McCarthy - He looked knackered from the off and Cazorla's goal was down to his wobbly legs.
Barry - Improved considerably once Macca went off. I also don't believe that we need to play both of them together all the time.
Cleverley - Wasted on the wing. When he came inside in the 2nd half he was a lot better.
Nessie - Huffs and puffs, god bless him, but has the creative skills of a dried up wart.
Kone - Embarrasing. Surely his time at Everton is up now.

Overall a very disappointing display. A bit of a quandary for the manager. Does he play his strongest XI or does he try and give most of his first team squad a run out? I'd have preferred to go for the win at all costs but it's his shout. I just hope he's learnt something from this.

Harold Matthews
168 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:54:30
James M. Wonderful point about the Blue shirts. Probably the most interesting post on the thread.
John Crawley
170 Posted 19/07/2015 at 13:22:49
Andy 122, Martinez never has and has never tried to play football the way that Guardiola played it with Barcelona. His style of play (even in theory) is not the same at all. He is not a disciple of Bielsa which Gaurdiola was, he does not press high and try to have quick transitions from defence to attack.

The main influence on his footballing philosophy was Cruyff's Barcelona who played decades ago!

Darren Hind
171 Posted 19/07/2015 at 13:08:41
It always amazes me how negative the so-called positive are. Why on earth should we even contemplate finishing as low as 10th?

Our squad of players is superior to at least 13 others in the Premier League and who's to say we shouldn't take advantage if one or two of the big boys have a disappointing season. We have done it often enough in the past.

If this is where Martinez's followers are now setting their sights, it shows they clearly don't have as much faith in him as they make out. He took over a squad of players who would challenge for CL qualification. He inherited some of the most talented young players seen for a long time at GP. Last season was abject failure, not only in terms of results but the ugliness of our football.

I have to sometimes have to re-read when Bobby's followers say "do you want to return to the Moyes style of football?" ... is that a serious question? Do we want to return to watching the dazzling stuff served up by Baines and Pienaar on one side and the pace and power of Coleman on the other? ... No thanks, I'd much rather have a re'run of the most negative possession obsession I've ever seen in my life.

Nobody is expecting a title challenge, but the rich clubs won't all have a great season, one or two of them will disappoint and we should be looking to capitalise.

Tenth? With this squad of players? It should have been a sacking offence last season. If it happens again...

Andy Crooks
172 Posted 19/07/2015 at 13:48:34
A while ago I suggested that our first priority this summer should be in paying Martinez's contract off. That is not going to happen, yet. I have already stated that I believe we have a good squad that will be added to. I think that this can be a good season if the coach can get the maximum from the squad.

Can he? This has been a better pre-season and I have been hoping for more signs that Martinez has what it takes. It will take until possibly October to know for sure and now is too soon to judge. However, yesterday did my newly found optimism no good at all. Much of what was wrong last season is still evident and worryingly the ...

Ray Robinson
173 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:14:44
Watched some of the game yesterday and it looked just like last season. Where are the goals going to come from?

If Martinez thought fit to add Eto'o to the squad at the last minute last season, how does he think we'll get by with one striker less this season? A misfiring Lukaku and a truly abject Kone do not strike me as a partnership to scare PL defences.

Okay, a creative midfielder would help but why are we operating on such a shoestring when it comes to strikers? Yes, they cost a lot but, Villa apart, who has less on their playing staff at the moment? Barkley can't score a cracker like that yesterday every week!

Andy Crooks
174 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:11:21
Sorry about that, anyway to continue, the coach seems oblivious to it. I have defended Kone, hoped he would come good, but if he is the reason that Martinez doesn't think we need a striker then worrying times are ahead.

My fear is that we will limp along hoping for improvement without looking really good or really bad. If Martinez is not the man we should know soon enough and it should be dealt with. We have players who must not be wasted. At some stage we might have to ask is this the best we can do. I say this while absolutely hoping we have the right man who will get it right.

Paul Tran
175 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:30:45
You're right Darren, we should be aiming at top six for starters, especially since this manager did it in his first season. We have a good squad which should be well ahead of those who are throwing money at unproven players.

As I've repeatedly stated, I'd have sacked him at the end of last season. Finishing that low, with the same team, playing awful football was unforgivable.

One reason why I was frustrated at the worship of Moyes was that, in my view, any half-decent manager could keep Everton in the top eight.

Martinez has luckily got another chance to prove he's at least at that level. I hope he builds on his first season's good work and abandons his nonsense of the last 15 months.

Andy Walker
176 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:36:38
John 169, we're both guessing to some extent as to what Martinez is trying to get his team to do, on the assumption the team isn't playing as he would like, which we can only hope is the case.

We can see step one i.e. retain the ball but that's about it, the players look like the don't have a clue what to do after passing it around for 5 or 6 passes other than try and repeat. Whether he's trying to play like Barca of 5 years ago or 10 years+ ago is not that relevant when he can't get the team close to either.

He's a disaterous appointment that will take us back years to the pre Moyes days. We still have some good players and if we got in a manager that could play to their strengths rather than trying to get them to play in some unfathomable style it would transform our performance.

Brian Wilkinson
177 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:46:09
Jim@136 you summed it up perfectly, what I was trying to say in an earlier post I made on this thread.

Howard gets crucified, yet when Robles lets three in, its the defences fault.

Howard is not the keeper he was, but hes still a better goalie than Robles.

Mike Keating
178 Posted 19/07/2015 at 15:49:20
Thanks Simon (8) & Sharabi (9)
Was not up and running by KO and then watched it in a pub but will try out your suggestions when I get the chance. Appreciate the advice.
Dave Abrahams
179 Posted 19/07/2015 at 16:25:31
Brian, I didn't see the game so maybe Robles did have a poor game.

Thanks to Martinez that's the first senior game he has played since he was dropped in, was it the middle of February. Give him a chance, Howard has plenty since he came back into the side.

James Marshall
180 Posted 19/07/2015 at 17:20:45
I thought Robles was alright, he wasn't at fault for any of the goals. I was sat right by the goal when they went in and to be fair our defence parted like the red (white!) sea and let them waltz in to score. The keeper was left massively exposed.

People all too often point the finger at goalkeepers, when in truth there's more often than not nothing they can do about it. Robles made some good saves, he was quick off his line to sweep up a few times and his distribution was decent.

He's a 25-year-old who's not really ever been first choice so he deserves a break from supporters. Nobody in the ground last night was blaming him for anything, I can assure you -- the fingers were all pointed at the back four and the poor cover in front of them.

The way we play, we leave our defence exposed when our full backs push up which is why Martinez plays Barry and McCarthy but it doesn't help at all. Stones, Jagielka and the keeper are time & again left to do too much in my opinion, in part due to Barry not being able to get back when McCarthy goes forward with the full backs.

Michael Winstanley
181 Posted 19/07/2015 at 18:34:49
Just re-watched it.

First 25 mins: even game, Arsenal 1-up because of a combination of no pressure on Corzola, Coleman not being tight enough to Walcott, and Robles for coming and then stopping. The main difference between the teams is usually the Arsenal player receiving the ball isn't pressed with any great intent. Whereas they are all over us once we get in their half.

They attack as a team we attack as a three or four and, when we can't find the pass, the ball comes back until we lose it. When we clear the ball, our forwards can't keep it, so we stay hemmed in at the back.

We took a breather for 10 mins after the drinks break and let them have the ball. Common tactic by Arsenal when we break at them: foul.

End of the first half and we look knackered, Kone had done nothing, Naismith wasn't as bad as I first thought but our three in the middle have given too much space to the Arsenal creatives. Ozil is a player.

Second half. First thing to say, Kone stayed on. Barkley playing up top in a three with Mirallas on the right.

Michael Winstanley
182 Posted 19/07/2015 at 19:07:38
Apologies, I didn't mean to submit that.
Martin Mason
183 Posted 19/07/2015 at 21:46:16
Whatever Moye's faults were he knew that Everton's strength was to play a fluid 4-5-1 with a wide left and right midfielder to support the full back and for the full back to support the wide midfielders going forward and one defensive midfielder was enough. We struggled a bit putting square pegs in round holes but with Pienaar and Baines on the left and say Arteta and Coleman or tony on the right we were tight defensively and good going forward too.

Against Arsenal we played a 4-3-3 game that we aren't good enough to play and our 3 midfielders were basically championship standard and all defensively minded. Arsenal ripped us apart down the wings and through the midfield when they eventually cut inside and I felt for Tom Cleverley who is a good player but with no idea what was expected of him.

With tactics like we played yesterday we could be and will eventually be relegated; we played at all times to our weaknesses and I'm afraid that the reality over Martinez is that he is a clueless chancer who shouldn't be let loose near a club like Everton. I believe that he will take us down and that the game against Arsenal wasn't just a chance result of a match designed to improve fitness but a demonstration of a top Premier League side against a relegation candidate. This isn't negativity by the way but an honest appraisal of a totally woeful performance from a group of players who were tactically clueless from kick off to final whistle.

The vultures are circling the club and performances like yesterday's only encourage clubs like West Ham and Chelsea to submit bids for our players in the belief that we are going down. Mind you, is Mirallas worth ٤- 8M? I'd say that he is worthless given his performances for Everton and good riddance to him for whatever we can get. We are deluded if we think he has any value above what WHU are offering other than the stupid fees being paid for similarly talentless players in the EPL.

Liam Reilly
184 Posted 20/07/2015 at 09:52:48
Can be soul destroying reading the negativity on this site.

It's a pre-season game that means nothing. It's not the end of the world cause we lost and it wouldn't have solved all our problems if we'd won.

It's about fitness now and he won't start with that team in August; so let's have wait until then before making judgement calls.

Ben Jones
186 Posted 20/07/2015 at 14:37:23
It's amazing cycling through these comments, and the general crux is we'll finish top 4 when we beat Swindon, and Martinez hasn't got a clue when we lose to Arsenal.

Please, a bit of perspective, it's only pre-season!!! We still have 6 weeks of the window to buy the players we need.

Bill Farmer
187 Posted 20/07/2015 at 14:46:01
But,Ben, we WOULD be top 4 if we played the likes of Swindon every week !
Ross Edwards
188 Posted 20/07/2015 at 15:03:02
Ben, let's be honest here, it's only Swindon. If we played teams like them every week, we'd walk the league and life would be wonderful. But we don't.

We struggled past Stoke, OK we won on penalties, and we got smashed by Arsenal.

Jay Harris
189 Posted 20/07/2015 at 14:54:41
Liam and Ben, I remember all the same comments last preseason.

We were constantly being reminded "it is only preseason it doesn't matter". The fact is professional pride dictates that it matters and we see the same issues that got us into trouble in the Prem last season being repeated in preseason.

A MF trio of defense minded players with not an ounce of goalscoring ability amongst them.

Standing off the opposition when they are on the ball.

Only occasionally getting into the opponents area and very rarely troubling the keeper.

Martin Mason is spot on.

Moyes, for all the criticism, knew what football was all about and dedicated an unbelievable amount of time to his job.

This fella thinks he is still at Wigan with his casual approach and reassuring bullshit.

Liam Reilly
190 Posted 20/07/2015 at 18:12:17
Jay,
I don't remember Arsenal peppering the Everton goal either.

"Only occasionally getting into the opponents area and very rarely troubling the keeper."

Semantics but...Cech made an excellent save to deny Naismith which was borderline onside but was called off when the rebound went in and Barry missed an excellent chance second half.

Last pre-season was different. The Manager wasn't with the team for the majority of it and it showed come day 1.

I'm a believer.

Max Murphy
191 Posted 20/07/2015 at 21:40:04
Absolutely spot on Jay!
David Kershaw
192 Posted 21/07/2015 at 13:16:05
Like a good few Blues, I travelled a fair distance last week to see a reasonable performance against Stoke and totally inept attempt vs Arsenal. I accept it's pre-season but the manager fields totally unbalanced teams. Unless there are few class signings, unfortunately it's going to be a great deal of the same dross we were served up last season.

ps: Two positives were the new signings, Cleverley and Deulofeu.

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