Everton squeeze past Reading into the fourth round

22/09/2015  140 Comments  [Jump to last]
Reading 1 - 2 Everton
Everton dug themselves out of another hole in the Capital One Cup, coming back from a half-time deficit against Reading thanks to Ross Barkley's volley and Gerard Deulofeu's long-range free kick.

The Blues were trailing 1-0 to Nick Blackman's first-half strike with more than an hour of the contest gone and little sign at that point of the kind of fightback that carried them past Barnsley in the previous round.

Barkley smashed home the equaliser in the 62nd minute, however, and then drew the free kick from Michael Hector from which Deulofeu scored via the hands of Ali Al Habsi to give Everton a lead they didn't relinquish.

Playing in an unorthodox line-up with a three-man back line, Aaron Lennon as an unconvincing wingback and Deulofeu seemingly in a floating role ahead of Leon Osman and James McCarthy in midfield, Everton started brightly and created a chance for Arouna Kone after 10 minutes that the Ivorian scuffed weakly wide.

That early momentum subsided, however, as the Blues' performance went a little flat and their Championship hosts came into the contest more as the first half wore on. Joel Robles had to make an excellent one-handed save to push Blackman's fierce 18-yard shot over the bar before the in-form Reading striker was almost put in by an incisive move but his shot was charged down at the last second. Another hammered shot goalwards saw the Spanish 'keeper fist the ball awkwardly away 10 minutes before the break.

The Royals took the lead a minute later, though, when Ola John whipped a cross in from the left that Blackman swept home as Funes Mori tried to hook it away at the back post and the ball flew into the roof of the net.

Everton responded with a corner that fell to Lukaku but his shot from close range was blocked behind and appeals for a penalty on Deulofeu were waved away a few minutes later as he went down in the box between two defenders.

Kone was withdrawn at half time by Martinez and the Blues were forced into another change almost immediately when John Stones was taken off with an injury to be replaced by Galloway.

Thanks to Barry's more assertive presence in the middle, Everton began to look far more authoritative but too many hopeful passes towards the subdued Lukaku and the mercurial Deulofeu meant that they were lacking potency going forward.

John fired over as Reading looked to extend their lead while Barkey popped up in the opposition box but couldn't beat his marker with a centre looking for Lukaku near the six-yard box.

Everton maintained the possession, though, and when a Deulofeu corner was cleared to Barkley, the 21-year-old smashed a left-footed volley past Al-Habsi to level the tie in the 62nd minute.

10 minutes later it was 2-1 when Barkley was flattened in full flight by Michael Hector and Deulofeu powered a free kick from 30 yards that Al-Habsi could only push into his side-netting.

The ex-Wigan goalkeeper atoned somewhat a few minutes later when Lukaku was put through in the clear by Deulofeu's clever pass and he came out quickly to intercept before the Belgian could take it around him.

Reading rallied as the game entered the final 10 minutes and they had Robles scrambling to his left post as a deflected shot from Tshibola dribbled wide and back-to-back corners were dealt with by the Toffees' defence.

Substitute Danny Williams tried his luck from outside the box with an injury-time effort that comfortably cleared Robles's bar.

Ultimately, while it was an underwhelming display by the Blues, they had enough quality in Barkley and Deulofeu to get the job done and secure passage to the fourth round after three successive exits at this stage of the competition.

The Spaniard was the difference-maker off the bench against Barnsley in the previous round and though not everything worked for him here at the Madjeski Stadium, he and Barkley always looked the most likely to turn the tide in Everton's favour.

In terms of impact off the bench this time, much credit should be given to Barry who transformed what was a fairly directionless performance into a far more cohesive showing in midfield.

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Reader Comments (140)

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Al Reddish
1 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:13:45
Three at the back then!
Timothy Sebastian
2 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:14:06
Looks like a pretty unbalanced formation. Hope it works.
Derek Williams
3 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:16:40
We're looking to win 7-5!
Scott Bosworth
4 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:17:09
Was going to say the same thing, Derek. This could be a high-scoring affair indeed.
Jay Harris
5 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:20:30
I would have thought Naismith and Browning may have got a run out but let's see how the game pans out.
Adam Oakensworth
6 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:23:30
Does that mean Gerry and Lennon playing wing back?
Jim Bennings
7 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:24:50
What type of formation is this we are going to play tonight?

One things from sure I can see Reading getting quite a few chances tonight, could be another 5-3.

Michael Mulholland
8 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:34:47
Evening all; looking for a 3-1 victory...
Bob McEvoy
10 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:36:49
I can remember we played Norwich at home January 2014. Coasting, 2-0 up, 20 minutes to go, Martinez makes a couple of subs and he goes 3 at the back with Coleman and Baines as wing backs.

We were all over the place and went from complete control to panic stations and just about got home 2-0. To the best of my knowledge, he hasn't tried it since!!!

John Graham
11 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:45:21
Can't understand why you would change the shape of the team. Think he's trying to be a bit too clever. Let's hope it doesn't bite him in the backside.
Winston Williamson
12 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:46:04
Lennon and Deulofeu as wing backs... should be interesting!!
Iain Love
13 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:53:16
Playing away changing 5 players and using a new system seems a tad foolish against a form team.
Andrew Ellams
14 Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:54:00
Looks like a pretty balanced 3-5-2

Robles
Stones Jagielka Funes Mori
Lennon McCarthy Barkley Osman Deulofeu
Kone Lukaku

Gary Carter
15 Posted 22/09/2015 at 20:02:19
Looks very unbalanced to me and a little like Roberto is starting to believe his own hype again and be a bit too clever!
Alex Jones
16 Posted 22/09/2015 at 20:05:27
Really, who are the wingbacks in your formation then? Osman and Deulofeu?
Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 22/09/2015 at 20:18:25
Hull City on New Years Day Bob 7.
John Graham
18 Posted 22/09/2015 at 20:41:50
Look like his backside is getting a good bite. Clever clogs.
Timothy Sebastian
19 Posted 22/09/2015 at 20:42:15
One-nil down just before halftime. Looks like another nail bitter in store for us today...
David Harrison
20 Posted 22/09/2015 at 20:45:18
And what a pathetic showing that was Tony
John Malone
21 Posted 22/09/2015 at 20:55:11
Lukaku's a disgrace turns up when he wants, his attitude and application to his role in the team is shocking as it was at the weekend. If that was any other trade he'd be getting a warning!

There is a lot more to being a striker than the odd goal!

Eivind Nyhus
22 Posted 22/09/2015 at 21:02:18
Our formation is crazy. This does not seem to work. I wonder if RM subs Osman and throws Galloway or Browning in.
Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 22/09/2015 at 21:05:06
David to play a different system isn't such a bad thing, but to play it with the wrong personel is just plain stupid.
David Harrison
24 Posted 22/09/2015 at 21:23:04
Definitely the lowest point of last season for me. As far as tonight goes, if we don't pull this one round, I wonder why we bother entering or why we bothered trying to pull it back at Barnsley. It seems clear that we just don't have an appetite for this competion, as baffling as that seems.
David Harrison
25 Posted 22/09/2015 at 21:25:14
Spoke too soon. Now go on and win it!
John Graham
26 Posted 22/09/2015 at 21:26:30
I think to play a different formation is stupid. Most teams use the same formation with different options.

Roberto likes square pegs in round holes. Let's hope Barkley's goal gives us a boost.
Bob Hannigan
27 Posted 22/09/2015 at 21:28:49
John (#15), they should tell him he is in Europe!
Stephen Brown
28 Posted 22/09/2015 at 21:55:03
Got a funny feeling we might win this cup!
Peter Laing
29 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:02:08
Hopefully Gerard can now get a good run in the team, the boy needs a good half a dozen games to get up to match fitness and show us what he can do.
Jay Harris
30 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:02:40
I thought the team selection and balance was a joke but we always looked comfortable despite pissing about at the back again and no movement up front.

With a Chelsea/Southampton performance, we would have won this in a canter but RM insists on sailing close to the wind. Luckily tonight it did not bite him in the arse.

Trevor Peers
31 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:03:43
Great to win, why the bizarre tactics at the start? Made no sense at all, and lucky to get away with it.

Roberto may just have the luck of the devil in this cup and it's about time we won it!!!

Paul Smith
32 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:04:21
Lukaku has to be dropped for the West Brom game just to show him that his performances are not good enough and he needs to up his game if he wants to play.
Dave Southword
33 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:04:24
We're through. Martinez got to, erm, try some things. It's all good.

Deulofeu should do his best to stay on his feet over the next few weeks because he doesn't want to gain a diving reputation (fairly, or perceived) which is easily earned but hard to shift. Ask Andy Johnson.

Peter Cummings
34 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:07:40
Why does RM continue to play Lukaku? Another absolute stinkbomb from him, with most of the others joining him.

A very poor all round display but a win is a win we suppose.
Tony Draper
35 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:09:18
Through to the next round, job done.

Advantage is that we managed some pitch time for our squad.

Mike Allison
36 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:10:38
Can anyone explain where people actually played?

The Sky app lined us up 3-5-2 with Deulofeu at left wing back. If this is correct then the other ten make sense. But Deulofeu at left wing back doesn't make sense.

Also, how did the substitutions affect the formation?

John Raftery
37 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:25:59
It was not 3-5-2. Lennon played at right back, Ossie in the main played wide left in a 4-4-2 formation. It did not work until Gareth Barry came on at half-time in place of Kone and we finally got hold of midfield.
Peter Gorman
38 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:33:40
Good to win but Martinez really is a piss-artist of the first degree.
Mike Allison
39 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:33:56
So Funes Mori was left back in a back four?
Clive Mitchell
40 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:35:27
Like John 29 said. And Barkley was magnificent. Deulofeu has got bags of impact in him. And there was nothing lazy, lumpen or poor attitudinally about Romelu's hairstyle.
John Raftery
41 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:36:34
Mike 31 He was until Stones went off.
Jamie Crowley
42 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:38:01
I saw a 3-5-2 first half - and it was definably "fluid" with people all over the pitch and DelBoy actually switching sides at one point.

Didn't work, Bobby made adjustments, and we played definably better second half.

Barry was immense it should be said as well.

Clive Mitchell
43 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:40:29
Jamie, every time I looked Lennon was right back in a back four until Stones went off.
Jamie Crowley
44 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:44:33
Clive - every time I looked, on a very, very dodgy stream mind you, Lennon was up the pitch with a spread out back 3 and Osman and McCarthy covering for him out of position...

Lennon was back occasionally but no way in a solid, consistent RB position and it wasn't a case of a RB "bombing forward" either.

You're probably right. The stream was shit but that's honestly what I saw.

Jamie Crowley
45 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:47:02
Put it this way Clive – we were SO disorganized and all over the place, a la chickens with heads cut off, no one on the live forum could figure out the formation!

That change at half-time was needed.

Colin Malone
46 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:47:31
I,ve watched Brett Angel, I,ve watched Rod Bellfit. That Lukaku performance was on par with the both of them. Fucking awful. Steve Clarke He,s former manager at WestBrom had him sussed. Stand up and be counted like the rest of the team Rom. Dell boy class.
Callum Lapsley
47 Posted 22/09/2015 at 22:53:59
I thought Lennon was playing behind Deulofeu for the last 20 mins, winger protecting his winger. Definitely a strange tactic and probably used to give players game time and for Roberto to figure out what to do with all his wingers! Aha - use them as full bombing fullbacks!
Paul Thompson
48 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:06:19
I suppose it's always worth trying a different formation, but it didn't work. My stream was literally dark and sometimes dodgy, but through the gloom, Lukaku and Kone made me gloomier; Barkley, Deulofeu and Barry brought light relief.
Eugene Ruane
49 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:07:33
Anyone who can explain the 'logic' behind that formation, I'd be genuinely curious (imo, ludicrous).

Deulofeu looked interested, deserved his goal.

I lost count of the amount of times Lennon gave possession away (he worryingly looked like a senior pro who had just signed a contract).

Lukaku played like a complete fucking puddin' and must apply himself better than that and show more smarts.

Anyway, we're in the hat. (I hope Stones is okay.)

Andrew Bentley
50 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:12:29
Just got back from the game and glad we got through but we made hard work of it. Should have been comfortable. Why we were playing a 4-4-2 with Lennon right back god only knows.

Positives to take from the game:

Barkley looked a class above everyone else;
I thought Galloway was great when he came on, first time I've seen him live;
Deulofeu took his goal well and put some great balls into the box. Still blows too hot and cold for me and some of his passes were lazy when he could have put Rom through quicker.

On that note, Lukaku was poor tonight. I'd have taken him off and left Kone on. He could do with a full 90 mins.

Anyway we won, which I am so grateful for as took my two young lads for their first ever live match tonight. Thank you, footballing gods!

Peter Mills
51 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:14:27
I thought the goalkeepers were at fault for all 3 goals.

Do they have anything in common?

Ian Williams
52 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:21:37
Just back from the game. Rom, disinterested; Del Boy decent but inconsistent; Osman was tragic; Funes Mori looks decent; Jags and Stones solid but not spectacular; Robles.... OMG why he punches everything is worrying.

Barkley, McCarthy, outstanding; Barry changed the game when he came on and Kone... well he was Kone!!

Average game, scraped though, who cares? We're in the hat. COYB!
Trevor Peers
53 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:24:55
Not sensible to think of Kone playing up front as he never scores. Doesn't take a genius to work out we needed an extra striker and a left winger in the window, and 2 less right wingers, probably Mirallas and McGeady, it leaves the squad unbalanced.

Somehow Roberto didn't see it that way and we're stuck with a toothless attack until January. Lukaku needs a rest, his confidence is shot, but we have no real cover, so he has to play through his nightmare.

Jamie Crowley
54 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:25:23
Eugene -

Sticking with my 3-5-2 guns, I thought the formation was worth a punt.

3 solid defenders in the back, and with Coleman and Galloway out / rested, bring in 2 speedy wing backs to cause havoc out wide and stretch the field east-west [apologies for that horrific American term, east-west. next time I'll say something about a quarterback, while I play country-western music, promise].

Didn't work. But the idea? Not the worst surely?

Ben Jones
55 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:30:52
Don't know where you all saw the 3-5-2 formation from?

Funes Mori was constantly near the throw-in line, he made a few runs forward from left back. Lennon was right back, and for the majority of the game, Deulofeu was ahead of him. So how can we say he was left wing back??

Robles played well. Defence a bit iffy apart, although Funes Mori had an excellent second half. Barkley and Deulofeu class above anyone else. Barry made a huge difference when he came on.

Kone and Lukaku both very poor, surprised Naismith didn't come on. But overall, a good game and a good win. I'll take it definitely.

Anthony Dwyer
56 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:47:01
I couldn't get a decent stream so eventually gave up so my thoughts are simply based on the team selection.

It was clear we only had 3 defenders on the park, and it's clear that they were all centre backs. Add to that the fact Lennon is an attacking player and it brings me to the conclusion we played a back 3.

If the above is true, I can't understand people's concerns as in my eyes it's good to see the manager try something different at time to time. It is also refreshing to see he can change it when it's not going right too.

I'm Martinez biggest critic as I never wanted him in the first place and wanted to eat my season ticket last year. That said I have to give him credit for this seasons performance so far.

I think we have done well against teams who have to have ago either because they are the home team or because they are a big team. The biggest struggle we have had this season was the Watford game at home.

The 3 at the back may well have been an experiment for future games were teams turn up at goodison to go home with a point. Again, this clearly did not work but it is good to see a manager take the opportunity to see how our lads react to certain formations.

Well done to the boys for getting us through anyways, we are further now than we get most years in this competition. Let's see what's next up.

Colin Williams
57 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:50:29
Did Ossie play tonight?...no surprise that then, shocking!

Where were all those penetrating passes from our fleet footed genius? This is the guy who makes us control the game with his football brain and super touch. The player who creates so much with his vision and open's so many door's with his control of the game!....

Yea RIGHT!... He's finished!

Andrew Humphrey
58 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:51:49
Lennon was definitely playing RB and was a bit at fault for their goal, unsurprisingly.

I thought Funes Mori did really well as a CB in the second half, justifying his price tag and looking very comfortable alongside Jags.

Galloway was superb as well and added an attacking threat we had been missing, apart from Gerry who was are most dangerous player (though lucky not to get booked for a dive).

All-in-all, a decent performance against a good Reading team. I wouldn't be surprised to see them in our league next season.

Karl Parsons
59 Posted 22/09/2015 at 23:52:32
First things first 4,500 blues on a Tuesday night 200 miles away is astonishing but we had little to shout about in a very disjointed first half. Barry glued things together second half and Deulofeu was my MotM.

I felt sorry for Rom; he ran the line without any real service, but you can see he needs a goal to settle himself down. What did piss me off about him is he walked off without acknowledging us.

Ross took his goal really well and at the end of the game gave his shirt to a young lad near me. Class. Martinez got it very wrong but we got away with it when you think our only two shots on target went in.

Hopefully a home draw, as we are sure due one.

Mike Dolan
60 Posted 22/09/2015 at 00:14:20
It cracks me up that nearly everyone seems more worried about which formation we played and neglects the one salient fact and that is.... we won.

These types of games are always scrappy and I thought, under the circumstances, it was a decent performance. Gerri and Barks were a cut above the defense was solid although Joel was very indecisive for their goal. Lukaku was awful he needs to be sat down for a game or two.

This was an easy game for an embarrassing loss but it's a win and in the end we won going away.

Andy Crooks
61 Posted 23/09/2015 at 00:21:26
Jamie, the idea is definitely not the worst. However, it would take a number of games for it to bed in, so why do it unless it is going to be the future? I hope it is part of plan by the coach to mix things up, be quirky and unpredictable.

That may well be good but I suspect our squad are more traditional in outlook and like to do familiar stuff. Lennon wasn't doing familiar stuff.

Brian Porter
62 Posted 23/09/2015 at 00:46:46
Lukaku and Kone are an embarrassment at present and should both be dropped. Kone will never score as long as he's got a you know what in his you know where, and Lukaku needs a kick up the backside to wake him up.

I was longing for Naisy to replace Rom for the last 15 minutes to get in their defence's faces and break up their play out of defence, but Roberto is determined to stick with square-footed Rom no matter what.

Well done, Ross and Del Boy, that was a well deserved goal, and hope RM gives him a rum in the team now. He's definitely matured since his loan season.

Andrew James
63 Posted 23/09/2015 at 00:49:45
Bloody hell, I was there and didn't know it was Aaron Lennon at right back although in the last 10 minutes I was thinking "our right back is handy".

Thought Barkley started brilliantly, then struggled with the malaise that was our Laurel & Hardy front pair. Gerard deserved a goal for his effort. Like the fact he can do them from set pieces.

Kone is okay but I can't really understand why we bought him. We might as well have retained Big Vic. Lukaku is incredible. I cannot believe how little he runs, fails to read a pass, fails to know where to knock the ball to win a race with a defender, dominate headers....

Lukaku will score 20 goals this season but the amount of chances we create he should be knocking out 30. Osman, Barkley and Gerard put him in tonight and he failed everytime.

All that said, we won, we experimented and we have some tremendous players on our books like Gerard and Ross.

Mark Melton
64 Posted 23/09/2015 at 00:55:59
I thought their big centre half had a superb game against Lukaku. Anyone know who he is?
John Raftery
65 Posted 23/09/2015 at 01:41:37
Mark (#56): His name is Michael Hector.
Paul Ferry
66 Posted 23/09/2015 at 02:49:40
Why go on and on about starting formation this and starting tactics that?

At best that is only relevant for the first '45 and I am in 100 per cent agreement with Jamie (Crowley): it was worth a try. I have in mind the still (unbelievably) Martinez attack-line that recycles 'inflexible', 'stubborn', 'no Plan B' (I think that was Plan G tonight) ...........

How about something along these lines?

It was a tough draw. Reading away Tuesday night: dicey. I would not have been surprised if we lost the game. But we won it. And we won it quite simply because the manager changed things at half-time. He set us up and watched for 45 minutes and decided that he had made a mistake and like all top managers he changed things.

Bringing on Barry was as it turned out one of his most intelligent subs in his time here. Barry was super tonight and bossed the midfield. Martinez chose not to start with Barry - and why not,. hardly the worst of calls? - but he changed his mind on the basis of what he saw in the first half.

Full marks to 'stubborn' and 'inflexible' and 'one plan' Martinez for me!

I just look at Barkley with utter pride right now - but then I always have done and have never said a bad word - and marvel at what he is becoming and will be. The 'assaults' on Lukaku on the Live Forum tonight were on the one hand understandable - as he had a stinker - but on the other myopic: he will score 20 plus goals for us this season and will on his own in a flash change the course of a handful of games to come over the next eight months.

Barkley last season, Lukaku so far this one, and, like our Wavertree gold, our Belgo will turn it round.

It has been a very good start to the season given the first nine game challenge. We are in the LC 4th round for the first time in a few years and top six with that starting nine games: the vast majority on here would have bitten a hand off for that. And remember the 'he will be gone after nine' group who seem strangely silent these days (there was one who said after one)!

A squad with real depth now; a young edge to the squad who bleed promise (especially in defence - but GD, RB, RL?); a manager who is evidently not 'stubborn' or 'inflexible': in a nutshell, a boss time to be blue!

Jamie Sweet
67 Posted 23/09/2015 at 03:02:18
Mark - Michael Hector is one of the 500 young players Chelsea have on their books purely to stop anyone else owning them, then shipped out on loan (usually to Vitesse Arnhem, but sometimes to Championship clubs like Reading, once Vitesse are full).
Matthew Salem
68 Posted 23/09/2015 at 06:24:35
I don't for the life of me understand the whole Rom-bashing. How many chances did he miss tonight? One, when Al Habsi paid attention and intercepted Deulofeu's pass to Rom? He is soooooo shite and misses so many chances?

Aside from the Swansea game, where he cost us two points, his conversion rate is decent. Would we rather have Kane upfront right now who has scored fuck all in goals? Or Rooney? Or Giroud?

Rom isn't playing well right now. No doubt. But Stones, who can do no wrong because he is "just a lad", was poor against Watford and Barnsley. Lukaku is about the same age, but he now has suddenly turned to shite, is lazy, bla bla. I wish he had scored tonight just to shut you lot up.

Naismith also shite, let's not forget...

Mark Andersson
69 Posted 23/09/2015 at 06:44:03
Jamie Sweet, is that really true about Chelsea? Seems staggering how they could have a monopoly. Good job we got Stones when we did then.

Good start to the season; let's hope Brenda doesn't like his job with that lot from across the park. For once I think we will get the better of them. Shit, I shouldn't have said that out loud.

Steve Jenkins
70 Posted 23/09/2015 at 07:09:04
Not the best performance but Reading to be fair to them made it difficult.

A result was the all important thing here. Well-taken goal from Barkley. Deulofeu had a very good game, he was a constant threat and noticeably tracking back supporting Aaron.

Tonight that missing No 10 linking the midfield to the striker(s) felt all too prominent. There was a disconnect between the two and way too much space.

Great to be through to the next round, seems a life-time since we were in this cup.

A nice fairly easy home draw would be great to take us into the quarters.

Steve Jenkins
71 Posted 23/09/2015 at 07:15:01
Paul (#65),

Good post, sir; also, I thought Funes Mori showed further encouraging signs.

Peter Roberts
72 Posted 23/09/2015 at 07:16:48
Matt, Rom hasn't just suddenly turned shite, he always plays to this level - he's a very poor footballer who relies on the occasional brace and goals to make the stats work for him.

His lack of goals (6 in last 28) has bought him under the microscope and his fanboys are scrambling round looking for excuses for him... 21, lack of service, broken toe, split with girlfriend, playing for Belgium, wrong style of play, I've heard them all and it's a bit tiring. He has a good game -gives an interview explaining that he is wearing size 14.5 instead of 14 and he looks forward to proving how great he is and he just puts in another 5 games of craps till he realizes he's getting slated.

The lad does not care for the shirt. It's his own ego he cares about. Drop him and he responds with "I'll show you"... Errr that's what you are paid £75k a week for Rom, I can honestly say I have seen him have 7 games in total where I have thought "his application was spot on there" .

I really don't think we can carry this lad for all that his 1 good game in 5 gives us.

Jim Bennings
74 Posted 23/09/2015 at 08:19:30
Thank God we scraped through that, mainly thanks to Barkley and Gerry, plus the introduction of Barry steadied nerves slightly.

As for the two strikers? The least said the better about them. I can't believe we were happy to give Lukaku the responsibility of taking us through the season with only mediocre back-up in Kone and a relatively unknown Uruguayan lad.

Lukaku, I'm sick of making excuses for his total no-shows, he's 22 not 18 and last night it was a complete waste of time the fella being out there. For a supposed goalscorer, I've rarely seen a man attack the ball with so little hunger or desire. Imagine Alan Shearer playing in a team with wingers?..Or Graeme Sharpe.

Lukaku just lacks so much mobility it's unbelievable at times.

Barkley has really stepped up this season, you got the feeling he was genuinely hurt by his own form last season and has made sure he has taken responsibility for it rather then blame others, what a shame the penny hasn't dropped with Rom yet!

Anyway next round beckons, let's hope we step it up and get a favourable home draw.

Callum Lapsley
75 Posted 23/09/2015 at 08:28:20
Paul (#65)

My sentiments too, a lot to be excited about so far!!

Trevor Peers
76 Posted 23/09/2015 at 08:36:40
Mathew (#67) You're right, of course, Rom is having a crisis in confidence that all strikers go through. Best to support the lad as he definitely represents our best chance of scoring goals amongst the current players in the squad.

The thought of playing Kone as a lone striker isn't an option; his goal return is zero. Naismith missed a couple of sitters at Swansea as well and only operates best in 4-4-2 system, something Roberto rarely uses.

Jim Bennings
77 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:09:46
"confidence is shot"?

Really?

I would have thought the Southampton game would have been the massive boost and set the tone for a great run of form from Rom?

Why exactly is he low on confidence?

Strikers can hit a barren spell, as fans we accept that, but we appreciate seeing a guy wanting to bust a gut to get himself out of that barren spell and put in a real hard shift.

I'm not saying Lukaku needs to start throwing himself into crazy challenges like an extra from Halloween or behave like the gutter snipe that Diego Costa is, but the very least he can do is make defences know he's about by looking at least half-interested.

I remember last season at Old Trafford, Man Utd had a complete rookie kid Paddy McNair in defence, we were just desperate for Lukaku to give him a real hard time but he ambled through that match like a lost poet in the Alps.

At 22, he really needs to start learning faster; at £28 million I want him to become swashbuckling, a matchwinning striker and I hope so much he does, but hand on heart, has his touch, his reading of the game, his overall contribution improved at all in 2 years??

Thomas Surgenor
78 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:19:59
Lukaku will come good again, he has talent.

The only thing that annoys me about him is it never seems to be his fault. I'm getting sick of him staring at the ground with his two arms stretched out pointing at some spot 3 yards infront of him. (Watch him for 10 mins and you'll see the gesture I'm on about.)

Did anyone else notice Gerry screaming at him last night for not playing a pass. Well played, Gerry – a fancy Dan who seems to care and play with passion! High hopes!

Ray Roche
79 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:32:28
Lukaku is getting a bit of a slating on here, and deservedly so. He stunk the gaff out. OK, everyone is entitled to a bad game now and then, but no one is entitled to jog around the pitch, showing absolutely no desire to put the effort in.

Look at it this way. If Leandro Rodriguez had been picked and had turned in a performance as dire as Lukaku did, these threads would have been full of people declaring that he is not a Premier League player, has no touch, no desire, is more suited to the lower leagues, waste of money etc., etc. But, be honest, if he had come on last night he could not have done any worse than Lukaku.

Some are saying that Lukaku will bag 20 goals this season. I will be astonished if he scores 20 league goals this season if that is his level of performance.

I don't have a downer on him, I desperately want him to do well,to be the player we think can be on the strength of the occasional game, but he has to start doing it on the pitch and not in the Belgian press.

Sharabi Singh
80 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:38:48
How shite was Lukaku again and what was with that formation? Change the players around but keep the formation regular, Roberto. Lennon getting game time at right back is pointless. We only just managed to get through; a decent side would have finished our cup run yesterday.
Dan Hollingworth
81 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:47:58
Absolutely tragic the comments on here, slating a player who has 55 goals in all competitions for Everton in 89 games. That's a pretty good return in today's game.

Yes, he can be lazy and frustrating at times, and at 22 that excuse "he is still young and learning" will not really wash any more. But the man does score goals.

All strikers hit a bit of a bad spell from time to time. Yet you have games like Southampton where he will just bully your back line. Defences set up to mark him out the game now, when he first came in that 2013-14 season he was still relatively unknown and had more joy but now he is targeted.

Also, I think this diamond formation thing we are playing now means he has to change the way he plays. I would love to see a Premier League game with two natural wingers (one of them being Geri) and just feeding him all game.

He does have parts of his game to work on, but finishing is not one of them, give him the ball in the right areas. It shouldn't be an issue that his touch is bad when he is on the half-way line. For me he shouldn't be on the half-way line.

He just needs a goal and watch him come to life again, you all won't be complaining when he slots his second against them lot from across the way at the Street End in 11 days time.

Tony J Williams
82 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:50:43
A win is a win and no-one talks about/really remembers the 1-0 wins against Derby and Bristol in 95, all I remember is Rideout defying gravity and remaining in the air to nod in and Duncan's Blue nose.
Michael Polley
83 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:51:43
Strange formation, and it didn't work. If it's not broke don't try to fix it!! Glad we scrapped through.

Lukaku needs to get his head out of his arse, and start putting the ball back in the net.

Christy Ring
84 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:52:06
I believe the biggest regret is not signing Austin in the transfer window. Kone has been given so much game time by Martinez, it's embarrassing; he's not good enough. Lukaku has no-one to challenge him, even when he's playing shite.
Ray Roche
85 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:52:19
Dan, it's not so much his goals return, although I'm surprised it's 55 in 89 to be honest, it's his attitude and air of "can't be arsed" that gets people riled.


Look at him. Would you like to fight him for your wages every week? Doubt it. So why not use his physical attributes to "bully" teams every game and not one in five?

John Daley
86 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:54:20
"I'm surprised it's 55 in 89 to be honest"

He hasn't scored 55 goals for Everton at all. More like 40.

Dan Hollingworth
87 Posted 23/09/2015 at 09:56:54
It's 41, the site I got my info from had his West Brom Loan spell under our loan spell. It's still 41 in 88. Almost 1 in 2. Still not a bad return.
Ray Roche
88 Posted 23/09/2015 at 10:00:38
Thank you, John, for the accurate info.
Dan, you're sacked. Clear your desk and go.
Gary Mortimer
89 Posted 23/09/2015 at 10:23:41
In my opinion, Romelu just hasn't got the mental strength to be as good as he thinks he is.

On a good day, he is very good, but on every other day he stinks the place out – there are no shades of grey, nothing in between.

Last night was the 3rd game in a row where he has been very poor in respect of effort and attitude. There was one instance in the first half where we broke in numbers with Lukaku entering the box with his give it to me gesture (see Thomas @75). Two Everton players (I think it was McCarthy and Barkley) went past Lukaku into the 6-yard box, but the ball did not get through to any of them and was cleared.

The camera followed the ball to where it was contested for about 30 seconds before it was played forward by Jags – not surprisingly, Lukaku could not go for the pass because he was strolling back towards the half-way line about 10 yards behind the Reading defenders.

McCarthy and Barkley were back on the half-way line having chased back to get into position. Rom was not just slow coming back, he had made no effort whatsoever to get back. The ball hadn't been played to him earlier, so he was sulking.

For those who say we do not play to his strengths need to ask themselves: What are his strengths? The last few games he's been played in on goal with a nice weighted ball and he's managed to fluff the lot – either a weak shot straight at the keeper or blazed into Row Z. Considering that he's such a big strong lad, he is poor in the air – how many headed goals has he scored? (A handful?)

We'd all love him to be bashing them in from all angles, but he just doesn't appear to put the effort in to get in those positions.

I do not think that we can put it down to confidence; he should be demanding the ball at all times in order to get an opportunity. Last year, Ross looked to be trying too hard to make things happen – too many overly ambitious passes or mazey dribbles. I doubt anyone could ever accuse Rom of trying too hard.

If we hadn't almost doubled our transfer record to buy him, he would probably get more slack, but he needs to show more for the team and for the fans. The fans will always support players who give 100% effort all the time, but lack of effort and also lack of end product is a sure fire way of attracting criticism.

Jim Bennings
90 Posted 23/09/2015 at 10:35:24
Christy,

We were continually told during the summer we didn't need another "main striker" because we have Lukaku, I challenged people on this but was continually shot down.

Are we really well off for striking options? The mere fact we are talking about the lad Rodriguez, who we know nothing at all about other than a few goals at U-21 standard suggests we are not well off striker wise.

Naismith is a useful player but he's more in the Cahill or Nick Barmby role than as a striker. It leaves us with Kone, who tries but just doesn't look like he has many goals in him.

Lukaku has no threat to his place. He doesn't need to fear being dropped for long because the options are not top drawer to replace him.

Charlie Austin has one year left on his contract down at QPR, I'd suggest a cheeky bid of ٦ million in January just to test any resolve that QPR have; they know they'll end up losing him but we could risk waiting and waiting and then you'll get Spurs or someone taking him for free.

Matthew Salem
91 Posted 23/09/2015 at 10:39:03
Peter @ #71,

Mate, it's not like I don't share your frustration with his current form and some past games, but that he is "a very poor footballer" who "makes the stats for him" is really totally off the mark. You are entitled to your opinion, however.

He scored 17 goals for West Brom in the League, then 15 for us (plus goals in domestic and European cups). Some of them were indeed braces, but that is still a pretty good return rate, you don't think so? I do. And I'm not even counting his assists.

Belgium has somewhat of a golden generation in term of gifted footballers at the moment, so if he is really so very poor, why do they bother playing him in their first team over and over? If Lukaku was English, he'd walk into the national team.

I don't know him personally, but he seems very humble in interviews and highly intelligent. He speaks 6 languages, has insisted on concluding his education and has often done social work in Brussels, so he seems to me like a very aware and level human being. I of course don't know that for sure.

I have no problem admitting that with Jagielka and Deulofeu, Lukaku is amongst my favourite Everton players, but I concede that he has been very poor as of late. So no excuses.

If I were Roberto, I'd drop him for the West Brom match and not involve him at all unless we are chasing the game. I'd make it clear to him in training that he needs to have a hard look at himself and earn his place back, including for the derby.

In my utopia, a frustrated and somewhat angry Lukaku will come on in the second 45 mins and tear the Shite a new one, a la Naismith. You may say, I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...


Matthew Salem
92 Posted 23/09/2015 at 10:45:46
I made an error in the above post. We were not in Europe when he was here on loan, so 15 goals plus domestic cup goals.
Dave Abrahams
93 Posted 23/09/2015 at 11:13:27
Mathew ' (87) Lukaku could score 50 goals a season and I'd be delighted, but he would still remain a very poor footballer, and a very, very lazy one at that. There is absolutely no excuse for lack of effort.
Victor Jones
94 Posted 23/09/2015 at 11:18:24
I have been saying that Lukaku should have been taken out of the firing line for the next two games (Reading and WBA) and brought back recharged for the derby... but Martinez knows best.

Did last night do Lukaku any good? Was it the "system" that had players struggling? Can Lukaku play through this little blip? And it is a blip.

I agree with everyone who says we need options in attack. With a little push and guile, we could land Charlie Austin. Why not?

It is just as well that when we play, at least half the team decide to turn up. We are getting results with about 6 players deciding to play. And the rest going walkabout. God help teams when everyone starts playing. And god help us if the good half stop playing.

I hope that Martinez does not start tinkering with systems. A plain old 4-4-2 seems to work for Everton. A solid back four. Two holding midfielders. Two other midfielders. Barkley and Naismith . And two forwards. And for now that has to be Kone and an out-of-form Lukaku. The wingers are a luxury on the bench. We have played well, going narrow. Let's now take this League Cup serious. It is winnable.

TBH, I like our squad this season. I like about 16 of our players. But we cannot accommodate everyone. Who would be a manager?

Trevor Peers
95 Posted 23/09/2015 at 11:47:42
Austin would provide welcome cover, maybe the price will be right in January. We could also offload a few of our right wingers and buy a left winger, and get a better balanced squad.

Hopefully Roberto is thinking along these lines but who knows.

Peter Roberts
96 Posted 23/09/2015 at 11:48:02
The only thing that gives me hope is that more Evertonians are wising up to the lad... a year ago such criticisms will have been met with outrage.

Some players just can not get up for a game, everything is an effort until something generates adrenaline.

This is not Rom's hobby – this is his highly paid job. Someone needs to get him though sports psychology or hypnotherapy. Ronnie O'Sullivan suffered from bouts of "I really can't be bothered" and actually won games whilst thinking of his holiday away or his 10-mile run that he can't wait to do. The reason he could do this was he is a "GENIUS" – the most naturally gifted player who, if he applied himself like a Hendry or Ebdon, would have won 15 world titles by now.

Rom isn't a genius, he isn't naturally gifted with anything other than a big hulking physique, reasonable pace and a heavy left foot. In short, unless he gets himself in a place where he applies himself properly, he will continue to insult those who pay his wages.

But those who keep hoping for "THE BEAST" – what you are actually hoping for is him to actually be bothered – nothing more, nothing less. He may actually have had a reasonable touch if he was "bothered" to work on it – bit late now though.

Paul Cherrington
98 Posted 23/09/2015 at 12:00:59
I posted after the Swansea game, as did others, about Rom's "can't be arsed" attitude and lack of effort. Last night again highlighted this aspect of his game once more.

How long till he gets a kick up the backside from the manager and is told to start putting the graft in or else? I can't imagine turning up at my workplace with his attitude and getting away with it for too long...

Jim Bennings
99 Posted 23/09/2015 at 12:02:55
Very good assessment, Peter. Unlike Ronnie O'Sullivan, Rom is not the most gifted at his sport and can't be allowed to follow in O'Sullivan's path and mentality.

Lukaku regularly states his desire to play once more for "a big team in the Champions League". I've nothing against that ambition if you actually do more to back up such a statement with performance levels that demand a Champions League club becomes interested in you, much like John Stones who seems to be getting better on a weekly basis.

It strikes me mental strength is a major factor in footballing and I'm concerned by Rom at times regarding this.

Eddie Dunn
100 Posted 23/09/2015 at 12:04:24
Rom's problem is attitude. He is capable of going on a good run and banging them in for fun, but at the moment he seems to be half-asleep. Last season, Martinez eventually dropped him, and it shook him up and he played better.

Bench him, get him angry (not so angry that he comes on and stamps on somebody!) and then unleash the old beast.

Pete Edwards
105 Posted 23/09/2015 at 12:48:10
One thing I don't understand with Lukaku recently is that he has been collecting the ball laying it wide then standing still instead of breaking his balls to get in the box! Very strange.

I'm sure it'll click again soon for him and he will score 20+ this season as he is a top striker, in my opinion.

Brian Harrison
106 Posted 23/09/2015 at 12:49:39
Even his most ardent fans admit that he isn't playing well, yet Lukaku seems to bullet proof when it comes to RM selecting his team. Now sticking by a player who is having a sticky spell is admirable, but surely the least a player can do to justify the managers faith is to put a shift in.

I would also suggest that even his sternest critics want to be proved wrong, and want him to be successful. My concern is that his game hasn't improved one jot since he has come to Everton. His faults are well documented on here. Now although I am not RM's biggest fan, I can't believe that he hasn't tried to improve his faults.

I believe the majority of fans are desperate to see Lukaku turn things around, but I worry that their patience won't last much longer, and if the crowd turn on him, I don't believe he has the strength of character to overcome it.

Tony J Williams
107 Posted 23/09/2015 at 12:51:06
Colin 56, if you are going to have a go at Ossie, probably best to do it in a game we got beat and hadn't changed the formation and personnel drastically. Also probably best to do it after he has actually had some play time under his belt too.

David Hallwood
110 Posted 23/09/2015 at 13:01:08
Class and form gents class and form.... was it really last season that Barkley was getting the same treatment as Rom, with the usual 'get shut in the next window' posts?

Lukaku like a lot if strikers go through sticky patches but you need to look at the long game before making a judgement. He's still only a young'un with a stack of goals, so he isn't a one season wonder. My guess that this time in May providing we keep passing the ammo he'll pass the 20+ mark.

There's a great CF in there and at times an unplayable CF. Get off his back, he'll come good.

Craig Walker
112 Posted 23/09/2015 at 13:11:35
To quote Kevin Keegan, he needs to start "using his strength and that is his strength, his strength".
Matthew Salem
113 Posted 23/09/2015 at 13:27:34
So the 4th Round draw is after Spurs vs Arse, right? Can anybody confirm is that is after 90mins or whenever that game is over?
Ray Roche
114 Posted 23/09/2015 at 13:30:15
David#102

David, I said earlier that people can have an off day regarding form, but you can't have an off day regarding effort. Lukaku is short of both right now. There is nothing to stop him running his chunks off and tackling defenders etc. instead of the "always me" attitude of the clown who used to play across the park.

Duncan McDine
115 Posted 23/09/2015 at 13:37:12
I haven't read every post, but I can confirm 100% that it was the same formation as usual 4-2-3-1. Funes Mori and Lennon the full backs in first half, then Funes Mori shuffled alongside Jags at CB after Stones came off (Galloway LB). Lennon played RB the whole game and after a dodgy start, he did okay later in the game.

Barkley was MotM by a country mile, but good shifts from Deulofeu and McCarthy. Barry was awesome when he came on, and Galloway did well too.

Lukaku – awful, Kone – poor, and Ossie – past it.
Eddie Dunn
119 Posted 23/09/2015 at 14:09:46
Lukaku's dip in performance has been underlined by the sharp rise in performance levels from virtually everyone else. Howard, Barry, Naismith and Kone have all applied themselves and are playing better. Barkley has also gone up a gear, and Galloway has burst out of the blocks. We are creating more chances and it is frustrating that Rom hasn't been putting them away. There has also been occasions when Rom could have set-up others in better positions but has opted to go it alone.

Kone, on the other hand, a player in need of goals himself, is unselfish and looks to play-in his colleagues in the hope that the team will benefit. It is a team game and it doesn't matter who scores, as long as someone does. We don't need pointing, and sulking, we don't need ego, it is the collective good that matters. Teams full of "individuals" win nothing.

Imagine if we have a good season, and finish in 5th, just outside the Champions League, and Rom nets 20 league goals. The following season he would not be playing for us, he would have proved himself and be off to a CL team. This is why he wants to take the pens, and free-kicks.

Rom is playing for Rom. Naismith and Kone are playing for the team.

David Hallwood
120 Posted 23/09/2015 at 14:14:08
Slightly off the subject. can anyone point me to the highlights, because they wasn't shown on TV
Patrick Murphy
121 Posted 23/09/2015 at 14:17:37
David, highlights from all ties played this week are to be shown on C5 at 11:00pm tonight, don't blink though you might miss the Blues.
Steve Brown
122 Posted 23/09/2015 at 15:22:18
Eddie, a bit harsh that, mate. Forward's need confidence from goals, so if Rom gets that from free kicks and pens then I'm alright with that.
Keith Glazzard
123 Posted 23/09/2015 at 15:46:54
Highlights - ETV on the official site have a very good free service, all you have to do is register. As it's a midweek cup game I don't think they come up until 24 hours after the match, but all league games are available from midnight the same day.

The game? Deulofeu learned a lot I hope. Martinez too, bringing Barry on at half time to give us our best shape. Aaron Lennon must have been wondering what the hell was going on but did well in his new "position"? Robles looked reliable, as did Ramiro Funes Mori and Galloway is developing into a gem. Ross's good season continues, so plenty of pluses from what could have been a very bad night.

Man of the (half) Match: Barry. Back to form.

Matthew Salem
124 Posted 23/09/2015 at 16:23:58
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DjLlgUq1yXg

Here you go, David. 2 mins of "high-lights". Trust me, mate. This is all you need. You're better off watching paint dry than watching an extended version of the highlights.

Colin Williams
125 Posted 23/09/2015 at 16:49:07
Tony (#101). Please stop making excuses for the lad, that just makes it sound worse! Believe me, people have stinkers in winning teams all the time.

Also, you say... Changing formation and personnel effected his performance! (surely you're joking about that) I can't believe you think that... How many professional games has he played?

Lastly you say... Not enough playing time under his belt!...being selected by Robbie means he is fit to play 90 mins!....(eg, Geri and Lennon) Very lame excuses- the games will pass him by now... not up to the rigours of the game anymore, it's too quick, physical and mentally demanding for the lad.

I hope Ossie stay's on next year In some coaching capacity, if there is a place for him – but please stop making up ridiculous excuses for the lad.

Steven Jones
126 Posted 23/09/2015 at 17:06:33
I went last night and thought Rom worked his balls off.

Touch was intermittent but not as bad as some say in here.

The long ball to him was a lot more evident last night than last season. It just did not work as in the Championship they are used to it and train for it.

He kept running the channels and stretching their defence. He drew many fouls and was unlucky once or twice. It was a low key game to get up for but he put in more effort than say Kone or Osman on the night.

In fact no one apart from McCarthy put more effort in.

He will come good ....

Anthony Flack
127 Posted 23/09/2015 at 17:18:53
Steven (#113) – I was also at the game, just behind the goal. I am also not a Lukaku "basher" – I think he is good!

However, last night, I did think that he only worked occasionally, ie, it is as if a light suddenly comes on and he legs it around a bit, drawing fouls and nearly getting in.

For the other 75 minutes, he looked languid and at times disinterested – to be honest, I do not care how he looks, if he bangs them in.

At the same time, I do not think he really worked hard at all, not to close down their defenders, and I think it was the taller one (Cooper) had him under control quite comfortably.

Vince Furnier
128 Posted 23/09/2015 at 17:35:46
Lukaku knew he was poor last night. He was the first off the pitch at the end – and throughout that lonely and long walk, he looked thoroughly dejected whilst the rest of the team gathered together to celebrate. There is something wrong with his mental state presently.
James Marshall
129 Posted 23/09/2015 at 18:11:07
In our last two games we've had about 30 shots at goal in total, with a total of 4 on target.

Therein lies our problem. Lukaku is still only 22 remember, and he has the burden of scoring our goals so people need to get off his back.

Strikers often score goals in spells, and the kid will come good again.

Knock him all you like, but you'll be cheering again when he scores and then go back to slating him when he doesn't. Nature of the beast.

David Hallwood
130 Posted 23/09/2015 at 18:14:52
Cheers gents. Great goal by Ross, BTW.
James Stewart
132 Posted 23/09/2015 at 19:07:41
Banana skin avoided as that shambles could have cost us. Two moments of individual brilliance from the goalscorers masked what was a poor display.

Tactics bordering on the Walter Smith with Lennon at RB. Funes Mori is also no LB. Looked atrocious there but solid when he switched to CB.

Kone holds the ball up well but doesn't offer anything else. Lukaku had a night to forget. I could go on but the problem was Martinez tinkering too much.

If Man City can play full strength, then there should be no reason why we can't. Hopefully a lesson learned.

Christopher Timmins
133 Posted 23/09/2015 at 19:23:12
Folks, How did Robles do last night?
Terry White
134 Posted 23/09/2015 at 19:24:29
On a minor point I would like to commend our new man, Funes Mori, for depositing the ball into Row Z again last nght rather than take chances when we we were leading late on. Other players at the back could take note... err.. Coleman at Swansea last season.
Colin Glassar
135 Posted 23/09/2015 at 19:37:27
Spot-on, James Marshall.
Jay Harris
136 Posted 23/09/2015 at 19:43:04
Christopher, Robles was pretty average.

Competent in the main but a couple of scary moments and one occasion when he could have caught the ball but crazily punched it straight to the edge of the box.

Andy Crooks
140 Posted 23/09/2015 at 19:57:08
Graham, #95, I agree with you about Lukaku. I believe he is a fine player who will come good. I have never seen him display arrogance and I believe he has laboured in system that often does not play to his strengths. Roberto will, rightly, in my view, have patience with him.

Still, a bit of proven competition would do him good. Also, Graham, I do think your last paragraph might be a little harsh.

Andy Crooks
141 Posted 23/09/2015 at 20:05:05
I think James Beattie was a bit lazy at times. However, some players just look that way. Totti was a fantastic player but he always seemed concerned about wrecking his hair.
Tony Abrahams
144 Posted 23/09/2015 at 20:42:18
Tony J (#80). Bristol City fucking battered us, and then Jackson scored a screamer with his wrong foot, with less than 10 minutes left. We came out the ground, the roar went up, and Everton won again. Had the radio on in the car, we had drawn Norwich at home.

Bristol City is in my top twenty favourite games watching Everton; it's the first time I've ever left a game, genuinely feeling that our name was on the cup!

Remember coming home from Millwall, and Liverpool were two down at Luton, when we got on the train at Euston. By the time we were at Northampton they had won 5-3 and ended up winning the cup. I just pray the same thing happens to us after the way we turned it round at Barnsley.

Colin Gee
145 Posted 23/09/2015 at 20:58:52
Tony (#131),

I remember that Bristol City away game in 1995 well; you're right, they murdered us and we scrapped through.

Paul Rideout's dad was sat in front of us, so instead of the usual shouts of "Fuck Off, Rideout,you're shite!" every time he lost the ball as usual, it was "Ohh unlucky, Paul!"

As you say, our name was on the Cup that year. Even getting back to the car to find a Parking Ticket on it – after me and a few other lads had moved a load of cones into someones garden so we could all park up – didn't seem to matter!

Nicholas Ryan
146 Posted 23/09/2015 at 20:59:44
Is Gareth Barry, the current possessor of the 'Lee Carsley Trophy' ... ie, You don't notice how good he is, until he's not there!
Peter Mills
148 Posted 23/09/2015 at 21:40:06
Colin #134, we got back to the car that day to hear on the radio that someone, could have been Mystic Meg, had predicted that a team wearing blue was going to win the FA Cup!
Ian Bennett
149 Posted 23/09/2015 at 21:51:48
I'll defend Rom a bit. I watch from the top balcony, and I can tell you he makes runs, but the ball is often too slow or not good enough. Too often the ball goes backwards or our player checks back, instead of knocking it early. This kills movement.

Also, playing only one up top does make it really easy for two defenders to cover his short run or knocking it over the top. Kone has done a decent job on the right, but him and Naismith lack pace to get ahead of Rom which makes it easy to play against.

Against weaker sides I'd like to see us change Naismith's endeavour and Kone's strength, for the out and out pace of Deulofeu and Mirallas.

That all said, I'd have dropped him last night and vs WBA to have him chomping at the bit for the Derby.

He's a good player who scores goals, although has scruffy control and his aerial ability is poorish for his size, and makes him an easy target when the team could also be better.

Tony Abrahams
150 Posted 23/09/2015 at 22:20:00
Just like my post said earlier David. We drew Norwich at home, Let us pray. It might be called the Mickey Mouse Cup, but when you see the calibre of teams left in this competition, it does make you wonder why.
Garry Corgan
151 Posted 23/09/2015 at 22:23:51
Mickey Mouse Cup? After 20 trophyless years I'd love to see us win it regardless.
Ste Traverse
152 Posted 23/09/2015 at 22:29:49
Garry #142.

I too hate the arrogant attitude some Blues have towards the League Cup. This club has hardly been a trophy machine over the last few decades. I'd love us to win this so-called Mickey Mouse Cup and end this 20-year drought.

Andy Crooks
153 Posted 24/09/2015 at 00:38:08
I agree, Ste, this trophy could actually lead to Champions League; in fact, I believe that Premier League clubs take it more seriously than those in the lower divisions.

I want us to win every game. I believe the Reading victory was a fine result because it was a win with something learned.

Paul Cherrington
154 Posted 24/09/2015 at 09:24:41
I think there is something definitely wrong with Rom's mental state and also how he fits in with the team personally. As a poster noted above, he was first off the pitch on his own sulking about how he played while everyone else was together celebrating the win. That's not good.
James Lauwervine
155 Posted 24/09/2015 at 09:54:21
Just for amusement, here's a video my son took on his phone of the Deulofeu goal. Enjoy... Link
Tony J Williams
156 Posted 24/09/2015 at 12:31:22
Colin 112 - I was not making any excuses, just pointing out if you want to try and assassinate Ossie's performance, probably better doing it after a loss, not were we have won.

More people make take note and give a reassuring nod then.

Mike Powell
157 Posted 24/09/2015 at 19:17:22
Last season, everyone was slating Barkley and wanted him sold; this season, it's Rom... unbelievable. This is our best squad we have had in a long time, so let's get behind them.
Neil Cox
158 Posted 24/09/2015 at 23:09:21
I was at the match and thought that we looked a different team when Barry came on. To be fair, though, in the first half we looked comfortable without looking like scoring.

Deulofeu whipped in some great crosses; he just needs to sort out his falling over every time a defender gets near him. I thought we were good value for the win.

Paul Cherrington
159 Posted 25/09/2015 at 09:50:41
Great link, James @135.

Looking again though you have to say the keeper is at fault. He should be saving those but lucky for us he didn't.

Dan Hollingworth
160 Posted 29/09/2015 at 08:49:56
Ray @86

Can I have my job back please.

Told you so!

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