Romelu Lukaku had an off-day in front of goal, passing up some great chances to win the game
Everton's mixture of experience and blossoming youth across the back four turned in an impressive display to limit the Welsh side to just three genuine chances for Bafetimbi Gomis while the team as a whole stepped up their performance in the second half looking for a vital winner.
Unfortunately, Romelu Lukaku was denied by Lukas Fabianski and Ashley Williams in the first half and then spurned a trio of excellent opportunities in the second.
His strike partner, Arouna Kone, also failed to convert a tempting chance served up by Ross Barkley, while Brendan Galloway also popped up on the edge of the six-yard box but couldn't steer his shot inside the far post.
“It’s not normal to create that number of chances and not score a goal, so we are feeling deflated," the Catalan said after the match. "The performances against Southampton and Chelsea have set the standard.
“The first half was very level. We had a clear way in which we wanted to defend. We needed to be more aggressive going forward with intent and that’s why I’m pleased with the second half. We created good chances and they should have won us the game. That’s why I’m disappointed. But the overall performance was satisfying."
Despite the disappointment at letting two winnable points slip away, Martinez was pleased to see his team extend their run away from home to three consecutive clean sheets, something he openly admits is a rarity for his side.
“The clean sheet is important," he continued. "It is not easy to have three games away from home without conceding and we are not a team ‘built’ to keep a clean sheet – we are a team built to win football matches and to open teams up and create chances. It shows the balance of the side.”
Meanwhile, the manager said that he will review video of the incident that led to Kevin Mirallas being shown an automatic red card less than two minutes after he had entered the game as an injury-time substitute.
The Belgian received his marching orders for going over the ball and into Modou Barrow's ankle but Martinez doubts it would have been malicious.
“I haven’t seen it again but we’ll look to see if we have grounds to appeal," he said. “I always tell my subs to come on and give a real intensity. I thought he was more of a striker trying to defend. He didn’t have intention to hurt.”
Reader Comments (48)
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1 Posted 20/09/2015 at 00:19:52
One other disappointing aspect was Martinez's subs, he had to give Mirallas at least 10 minutes or he would have been wiser to leave him on the bench.
I can't help but feel the situation with him is personal, as it was with Distin. I'm a fan of Mirallas and he is always a threat, he needs treating with more respect.
Martinez has to decide if he wants him or not as Mirallas is clearly frustrated at being the last attacking option to be fielded.
2 Posted 20/09/2015 at 00:53:01
Lukaku should have been hauled off; we do look light up top still. I really like the work and pace on the counter Lennon brings to the table; he should be one of the first names on the team sheet for me.
That said, it wasn't all bad. Plenty of positives in our display. Browning did well against a really tricky opponent and Galloway had his best game in a blue shirt. Barkley was the best midfielder on the pitch and Stones was simply imperial. He is the best centre back in the league on current form and we are lucky to have him.
Win the next 2 games and the feeling of 2 points being dropped here will be long gone.
3 Posted 20/09/2015 at 01:30:29
Swansea are a very organised and well-drilled outfit, and considering we had two kids at full backs, I thought we did very well defensively. Stones is worth 㿞 mill all day; he was outstanding. A pity the same can't be said about the strikers, a game we should have been out of sight with the chances created. At least we are creating chances; on another day, Lukaku would and should have had a hat-trick.
I thought the Mirallas dismissal was a bit harsh, the liners opinion was final. A point at Swansea and having most of the possession isn't a bad day's work.... Barkley had a solid game, let's hope he can continue this right through the campaign. It could be a good season for the Blues.
4 Posted 20/09/2015 at 01:35:13
5 Posted 20/09/2015 at 01:46:46
"Lukaku has everything in his locker"
He has the first touch of a donkey,
6 Posted 20/09/2015 at 01:49:29
7 Posted 20/09/2015 at 02:11:13
I do not believe for a second that he has a bad touch, he is a professional footballer, it's more concentration than anything else.
It's like people used to say that Paul Scholes couldn't tackle, which wasn't true; he was just cynical and that's why he was late so many times.
8 Posted 20/09/2015 at 03:25:14
Have to disagree with you there.
The only thing Lukaku has in his locker is the knack of scoring goals and when that dries up he looks a very poor player.
His touch and ball control is really poor and his work rate is abysmal.
He is never on his toes and very rarely wins a one on one.
In addition his heading ability for a big guy is really poor. Naismith puts him to shame.
9 Posted 20/09/2015 at 05:44:28
He was easily our worst player today. Martinez needs a top striker and Lukaku is not a top striker.
Stones was brilliant today his value is going up a million every game.
Martinez almost seems disappointed that we have clean sheet. It was a good team performance and if we keep playing like that we will win more than we lose.
10 Posted 20/09/2015 at 07:14:00
He's the best striker we've had since the Yak (and will be much better in time) and some of y'all are ready to sell him off the basis of a game with some pretty poor finishing. Let's be honest -- nobody was finishing today. Naisy should've scored one had he not tripped over his own feet when it came time to pull the trigger.
As for Mirallas, yes, it would've been nice to see him on sooner than injury time. But let's not forget: this is the same petulant and pissy little punk who shanked a penalty that he snatched off the rightful taker last season and I'm entirely with RM if the manager feels that Kev has to earn his place back in the side.
The starters have performed, Kev is definitely inconsistent and has a penchant for disappearing, and you'd be hard pressed to find a Blue who would die defending Kev's status as a true team player. Kev will have to earn his time like Kone, Naisy, and Deulofeu. A straight red in injury time won't cut it.
11 Posted 20/09/2015 at 08:30:25
Wasted out on the wing. No wonder he's frustrated; I would be, watching Lukaku missing the target on so many occasions.
12 Posted 20/09/2015 at 08:54:05
We have looked at our most threatening when we have had quick movement off the ball and the pass is played first time. Lukaku was too static at times, but still had enough good service to have put the game to bed. He does seem too laconic, and really needs to sharpen up.
Late on, he found himself miss-kicking to the side of the goal, and Kone was stood 3 yards away waiting for a tap-in, but Rom opted for another wayward thrash which sent the ball bouncing wide. Kone, in the same situation would have squared it to Rom for the good of the team, but Rom wanted (like many strikers) to have a go despite the angle being so acute. I am afraid his selfish streak cost us.
As for his compatriot, Kevin has an anger problem. His frustration gets the better of him, and his reward is 3 games out. Regardless of whether the boss should give him more time on the park, he has let all of his team mates down again... more selfishness.
Generally, we are looking very composed, and that was a good result against a good team.
13 Posted 20/09/2015 at 11:32:52
Last season, it was all about how badly the team were defending, particularly in the early part of the season. This season, the defence has looked better organised but the attacking side of the game remains impotent at times and there is no other reason than a lack of hunger and desire to score a goal or a number of goals. It's more about mentality than ability, as was shown at Southampton and at home to Chelsea last week.
It might be time for RM to blood a younger inexperienced striker on the bench as, who knows... one of them may rise to the occasion and turn those frustrating goalless games into single-goal victories. After all, a single victory and two defeats is the equivalent of three goalless draws.
15 Posted 20/09/2015 at 11:41:05
The "we are not a team built to keep clean sheets" is another strange statement to make but I put that down to Robertospeak. The defence has improved tenfold compared to last season. A bit more ruthlessness up front is now required. Good performance yesterday.
16 Posted 20/09/2015 at 11:56:53
Of course, in reality, life doesn't work out like that. Bit like Keegan's approach at Newcastle.
Also needs a potent attack to score more than team concedes.
17 Posted 20/09/2015 at 12:02:51
Pace up front and natural goalscoring is what we need to get us in the Champions League, and this season could be our best opportunity.
18 Posted 20/09/2015 at 13:09:12
As for Mirallas, he only has himself to blame. If he'd have been more professional dealing with the ball deep in his own half right at the end of the game, he wouldn't have to have tried to get a ball back he should never have lost.
No criticism for Martinez from me, his strikers let him down.
19 Posted 20/09/2015 at 15:44:26
20 Posted 20/09/2015 at 15:57:02
It'll be interesting to see if he starts the Reading game.
One massive positive for the team is Barkley's form... Let's hope he keeps performing this way! Great to watch.
21 Posted 20/09/2015 at 15:58:45
Seriously though the guy really does resemble a carthorse running through clinging mud at times. His heading is useless compared with Naismith, who he actually towers over. There's just no spring in his step. Naisy would have scored if Rom hadn't stuck a square foot in the way and diverted a goalbound shot to go right into their keeper's arms. He should have left the ball alone and we'd have been in front, but he tried to grab the glory for himself and totally screwed it up.
I haven't been impressed with him at all this season. The same goes for Kone. The only striker who's shown any hunger for the ball so far is Naisy.
22 Posted 20/09/2015 at 17:11:29
Both Belgians let the team down and will blame everyone else; the sooner we get shut, the better. If they can't perform consistently then they cannot be considered world class... only in their deluded heads.
Martinez should have off-loaded Mirallas if he is not going to play him. How embarrassing to be red-carded after 2 minutes, totally unprofessional.
23 Posted 20/09/2015 at 17:53:11
Still, still young and needs to improve, especially his consistency but I can't believe the stick he gets on here at times.
24 Posted 20/09/2015 at 17:53:18
A draw yesterday was not a bad result, I'm satisfied with it but, after the amount of misses, you think that's what will stop us from seriously challenging the top 5 again.
If you want to be over-critical then we have failed to score in three matches already this season and failed to score in our final two home games at Goodison last season, so perhaps that's something we need to do better.
Lukaku? We just have to tolerate the man because we have few other options, apart from what you would generally look at as squad members like Kone, Rodriguez etc.
I personally think we need far more consistency from Lukaku, we only see him have one good game in ten really and, at £28 million, it's not nearly enough. His touch is too often mediocre, his reading of the game is poor, and his finishing too often wayward.
The challenge is there for Lukaku this season: do better than last, score more league goals, help fire us back up the table, but is he really up to it?
25 Posted 20/09/2015 at 18:04:49
I really really hope so.
26 Posted 20/09/2015 at 18:26:02
27 Posted 20/09/2015 at 18:34:20
28 Posted 20/09/2015 at 19:35:10
I agree, mate! I do despise playing Pulis's teams, the game in January was a truly horrible affair ending 0-0 against his Albion side and I'm not so sure we will have the space or freedom which we got yesterday; West Brom will try to close us out.
I am actually amazed Sky have gone for our match against them for a live screening after the last meeting, also on a Monday night in the mentioned 0-0 draw; there was also the 0-0 in Martinez's first ever league home match against West Brom so I don't know if they are expecting a classic or merely just being funny hoping for an open game.
It's just opinions, mate, he's got goals in him, Lukaku... but, hand on heart, does he really do enough on a regular basis or put himself about enough like he did so well at Southampton?
Its okay people saying he's young but John Stones is younger and he's almost phenomenal every week in an area where you must be faultless.
Lukaku doesn't seem to have moved on from the early months of his loan spell with us when he was two year's younger, he should be further down the line as a player now. Do you think he is??
It's all about opinions and personal views.
29 Posted 20/09/2015 at 19:35:25
30 Posted 20/09/2015 at 19:44:56
This time last season we would have bored everyone senseless and got beaten one-nil. Possibly having missed a penalty.
Kone, Lukaku and Naismith all should have hit the net with gifts of chances that they won't be presented with by gritty "parkbus" sides every week.
Barkley played with freedom and made more good decisions, created opportunities and most importantly he looked like HE knew what he was doing and enjoyed it. Happy players play well.
Mirallas looked unhappy.
31 Posted 20/09/2015 at 19:46:54
There's also another major worrying concern that Lukaku going back to last season has scored just 6 Premier League goals in his last 29 league outings, so are we really correct to think we have a potential 20-22 goals a season striker?
Or are we merely judging him on being a good Cup goalscorer?
Certainly his goals in the league have dried up over the last 9 months or so with the Southampton brace being more exception than the rule.
This is not being negative or pessimistic and I'm desperate to see him do better but it's plain fact in front of us.
32 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:26:25
Make of those stats what you will, but it ain't good enough for our main striker whatever way you care to look at it.
34 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:36:11
I agree with you that his Premier League record has not been as good of late but he clearly has the ability to score goals as his 40 in 86 for us and his season at West Brom demonstrate. His problem is that he has to be more consistent and show more desire and effort in all games — not just when he feels like it.
35 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:38:58
It may look like we are singling out Lukaku for specific criticism but facts are facts and last season he got the plaudits for 20 goals but only 10 were in the league and that for me was why we had a relatively poor season.
Every club needs a capable striker who, if they are to challenge the top sides, needs goals on a fairly consistent basis.
It's not Romelu Lukaku's fault that we didn't sign a more proven striker in the summer, but it's certainly now all on him to produce the goods mostly with probably limited help only from Naismith and Kone. We don't know if Rodriguez will seriously feature much and you can't expect miracles from him.
We need more consistent performance levels from Lukaku. He's 22 now, he's more or less as skillful or powerful as he's ever going to be, he needs to start learning the other sides as quickly as possibly such as reading the game and putting more of a shift in.
36 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:40:12
To be fair, the team has defended a lot better recently than it has done for probably 18 months but c'mon Roberto, no team ever worth its salt did anything of any note without having a solid defence built to keep clean sheets. Look at the Mancs in the late 90s, extremely entertaining, but they never had to rely on winning games 5-4 to win cups and titles. Whisper it quietly but you can actually win a lot by nilling the opposition and entertain to boot!!
All the great managers built great teams from the back and just because we are in the era of "the Premier League" whereby, according to the media, anything that happened before 1992 isn't worth mentioning, it still holds true that a clean sheet will give you a far better chance than conceding 4 and having to score 5.
If Roberto is really interested in our history then look back to the '80s and that grand team we had then and see how many we conceded in the pursuit of glory... not too many, I think you'll find.
37 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:44:27
This for me is why, in my opinion, we will never quite see the striker we think is there and what he's capable of. I get the feeling with Lukaku it will always be a "what could have been"...
He could be a regular 25-goal-a-season striker but he provably won't be due to that lack of devil in him.
38 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:49:08
There's a certain Championship player who's banging them in for fun. Why no Premier League club took a punt on him is beyond me. I hope we give some serious consideration to buying him in January.
39 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:50:35
Lukaku was poor but every other man I'd rate at least as good (including Naismith and Kone), some very good... and Stones; well, what do you say?
I noticed how little we faffed around with passing at the back and how much a defensive player in possession stepped forward just a yard or two before giving a forward pass, instead of turning back and passing across the line.
And really impressed with how far advanced Galloway was in 2nd half, often in their penalty area.
40 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:56:51
I believe that he will become more consistent, confident and aggressive; when he does, we will have a top player.
Also, he makes space for others and is much more than an old-fashioned goal hanger. Finally, I think we will see more from him with Deulofeu in the side.
41 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:59:10
Playing well... move on... next game!
42 Posted 20/09/2015 at 21:01:23
Rom is in many ways a take it or leave it kind of striker, he comes across as half arsed at times, it's just his personality not his fault but it shows up bad at times when the goals aren't flowing, and they haven't really flowed for a while in all truth.
Anichebe was the same, built like a small tank but he just didn't have that hunger about him that could have made him a better (not good) but better player, that could have then utilized his physical attributes.
He just didn't have that nature about him though.
43 Posted 20/09/2015 at 21:02:55
Don't let facts gert in the way of your anti-Belgian rants please. What has Rom done or said to indicate he is any of the things you have claimed? Similarly what has Mirallas done or said, and mind you, not things attributed to him?
44 Posted 20/09/2015 at 21:54:00
45 Posted 20/09/2015 at 22:09:18
Lukaku is constantly marked tightly by two defenders, and should use his weight more, which would improve his touch (back in, lad, instead of coming towards the ball at 100 mph) but this kid will get you goals.
The biggest weakness in his game is a lack of anticipation. He's also that desperate to score at the minute, that he's snatching at chances, instead of remaining composed in front of goal.
He's got loads to learn, but needs time to develop his all round game. Wouldn't mind playing Kone up front for a hour and giving Lukaku the last 30 for a few games. He might learn more getting tutored from the bench, and he will probably score more goals at the minute, if he was used as an impact player. Young players thrive on confidence, so if this happens, it might actually improve him as a player.
46 Posted 21/09/2015 at 00:59:51
This though does not mean I do not rate him. That could not be further from the truth. Rom is often guilty of looking disinterested, but it's rare he is wasteful with goal scoring opportunities, and I feel if he has a few more chances like he had against Swansea he will ultimately score goals.
He is only 22 and needs to be cut a little bit of slack, but at the same time he considers himself a big player for us so he has to step up to the plate and score in games when most others are failing.
Ross Barkley took the game to Swansea all day, plus Gerry had ago at them too when he came on, putting some wicked balls across the face of the goal.
Rom, being the main man, will know he should have scored. Naisy and Kone also missed some big opportunities but I can't help but feel the two of them are clearly a million miles away from Lukaku's level so often their missed opportunities are over looked unlike their much younger counterparts.
Rom is still young and needs backing, I for one still think he is our best bet to hit 20 goals plus since Yakubu and is a top and proven goalscorer.
I think he is his own biggest critic and will know he should be doing better with the chances he's had up to now this season.
47 Posted 21/09/2015 at 01:08:14
While true, he is still young, I've seen enough of him to see that he's not getting any better in the areas he really, really needs to.
48 Posted 21/09/2015 at 10:50:57
50 Posted 21/09/2015 at 17:54:22
51 Posted 21/09/2015 at 18:10:08
He's great on his day but lacking a rounded game and not terribly consistent.
Not a bad player by any means but the price tag doesn't help and nor does the fact that we have few juicy alternatives.
Hopefully he's a late developer but for the last year or so I've been unconvinced and I think at least we need a better alternative for days like last Saturday when he's not on top. Perhaps Kone could have a resurgence or maybe Rodriguez will step up but otherwise an Austin type consistent finisher is needed to at least put pressure on Romelu if not replace him when it's not happening.
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