Lukaku: Play to the last whistle

by | 29/11/2015  41 Comments  [Jump to last]
Romelu Lukaku has echoed the sentiments of his manager by saying that Everton must learn from yesterday's lapse at Bournemouth.

The Blues were defending a commanding 2-0 lead at Dean Court's Vitality Stadium against the struggling Cherries thanks to Lukaku's latest goal on the road and Ramiro Funes Mori's first for the club.

They were pegged back to 2-2 in the last 10 minutes, however, by Adam Smith's wonder-strike and a close-range effort from Junior Stanislas.

Ross Barkley looked to have won it in stoppage time, however, when he drilled a shot in off the goalkeeper that sparked jubilant celebrations and an encroachment of the field by some of the travelling fans.

The game was held up as police and stewards removed supporters from the pitch and when it resumed eight minutes into added time, Stanislas got on the end of Charlie Daniels' cross and powered home a header to deny the Blues a precious win.

A frustrated Lukaku said after the game that it's a lesson in concentration that the team must learn from:

“You need to be focused,” the Belgian said. “The referee didn’t blow the whistle, so you need to be focused until the last second of the game. We weren’t, they scored the goal and everybody is down.

“But like the manager said after the game, we need to learn from this. As long as the referee didn’t blow the whistle, we needed to stayed focused and try to defend the result.”  


Reader Comments (41)

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Steve Carse
1 Posted 29/11/2015 at 16:40:02
Not a question of staying focussed in the last minute. What happened after we went 3-2 up was no different from how the team had played in the previous 45.
Eugene Kearney
2 Posted 29/11/2015 at 17:11:35
Where did the focus go at half-time?

Need to be more ruthless.....

John Russell
3 Posted 29/11/2015 at 17:16:09
Martinez needs to inform the players that a game lasts 90 minutes not 45. Time and time again, I've watched them content to sit back on a lead. Very unprofessional.
Des Farren
4 Posted 29/11/2015 at 17:34:30
Arnold Palmer, in recalling he only needed a par to win the 1961 Masters, was in the middle of the fairway from his drive on the 18th hole.

He explained he went to shake the hand of a friend who offered his congratulations... the rest is history. He lost focus, and the tournament to Gary Player because he believed he had won.

Happens to us all at some stage but we learn to cope with distractions if we want to win. Beating ourselves up about it won't help.

Barry Thompson
5 Posted 29/11/2015 at 17:48:13
You could also say, Des, that yesterday's shambles is "par for the course" when you're an Everton supporter.
Frank Crewe
6 Posted 29/11/2015 at 17:59:42
As much as I was cheesed off by yesterday's result, I would point out that we are not the first team to do this. Remember a couple of seasons ago when the RS lost a 3-goal lead to Palace. Probably cost them the title as much as the Chelsea game did.

Remember when Cahill and Arteta scored twice in injury time against Man Utd to turn a 3-1 loss into a 3-3 draw.

Sides lose good leads all the time. Just have to hope the players feel the pain as much as we do. Learn from it and don't become complacent again.

Steve Harris
7 Posted 29/11/2015 at 18:21:00
Spot-on, Steve Carse, conceding late like that masked what was a lethargic and totally inept second-half display. It was obvious to everybody, except Martinez it seems, that they were going to come out and give it a right go right from the restart but we seemed oblivious to that and once again thought that the job had been done.

We should've been as equally fired up to put the game to bed.

Paul Andrews
8 Posted 29/11/2015 at 18:33:13
Frank,

I agree, it can and does happen. Negatives from yesterday are losing a two-goal lead and then not closing the game out after the third goal. Positives are us scoring three goals.

They are on a learning curve, mistakes like this will add to their game management hopefully. We know they have the ability; we need the application and the nous to go with it.

I remain confident in the manager's progress. It is a mid- to long-term journey to get a team regularly competing for top four without significant transfer funds.

Nigel Munford
9 Posted 29/11/2015 at 18:41:42
We should have pushed on after half time and added another two at least.

If it looks like we're going to be conceding a few then we need to be scoring more. That was the Keegan approach: score more than you concede and you win, simple!!

Eugene Kearney
10 Posted 29/11/2015 at 18:43:22
I know we shouldn't dwell on it....these things happen and we learn and move on as you say, Frank #6

Just a pity that the RS are in 6th position tonight - where we should be.

Ah well, a new week starts tomorrow.....

A match to win on Tuesday evening too.

Dave Ganley
11 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:14:55
But we don't learn....we did the same against Sunderland but fortunately we had time to rectify the situation. We never kill teams off and that is down to the manager. From past experience, whenever we have a lead we just sit back for most part, saving ourselves for god knows what, not playing for the full 90 minutes.

I'm sick and tired of listening to excuses as to why we fucked up and hearing "hopefully we shall learn". It's all very well citing the RS or Man Utd surrendering leads but they actually do learn and have multiple trophies to back that up. We don't learn and have won fuck all for 20 years. It's pitiful seeing people make excuses for Martinez. He fucked up and didn't know how to change it when the chips were down.

To hear the fans being criticised is also pitiful, the faithful who got up at the crack of dawn to support these pampered fuckwits, ecstatic at what they thought to be a winner after sitting through 45 minutes of woeful football only to be let down at the death and they get blamed. Shameful from people who sit in the luxury of their armchairs.

Martinez needs to take a good hard look at himself and also the character of the players. Everyone could see things needed changing and yet again he did nothing. Plan B just doesn't exist. When he does deign to make changes he does so like for like. Doesn't change a formation or way we play, just more of the same.

I don't like the style of our manager, not because I don't like him, he comes across as a very nice bloke, I just don't think he is good enough. All the frail tendencies of last season have not been rectified and we look as shaky as a pile of jelly at the back.

If we were a rubbish team then I wouldn't be so annoyed but we are not. We have the makings of a really good team but our fuckwit manager has no idea how to kill a game off and how to defend. Until he gets in some kind of defensive coach that actually knows what he is doing, then we will continually flatter to deceive and that is the sole responsibility of the manager.

Concentrate for 90 minutes, be awake to defend and be able to change a game with substitutions and not stand there like a startled rabbit in the headlights; otherwise, just fuck off and give someone a chance who actually knows what they're doing.

James Stewart
12 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:28:27
Spot-on, Rom. Lukaku was one of the few to play well and he his looking increasingly like he could play in a better side.
Andy Walker
13 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:29:48
I don't think many are overtly blaming the fans who ran on to the pitch for losing the game, that's down to the players and the manager. The reality remains though that it did provide an excuse for the ref to add more time, the team should have coped though.

The problem I had with the invasion was how embarrassing it felt. We might know how desperate we are but let's not show the rest of the football world hey and at least retain some dignity.

Are we going to invade the pitch if we beat Boro next, or score a winner in stoppage time against the might of Crystal Palace? A degree of perspective is needed. Save the pitch invasions for something genuinely special. The Leicester fans managed to stay off the pitch even after Vardy had broken the record against no less a team than Man Utd.

Andy Walker
14 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:35:40
Losing the game.... That's what it felt like!
Patrick Murphy
15 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:39:52
Ban them for life, how dare they celebrate wildly at what they thought was a last-gasp winner, how dare they besmirch the good name of Everton FC, just because they had endured a long journey and had to stand idly by when their team failed to turn up in the second-half and watch helplessly as their team conceded two goals in the last remnants of the game, only to be given the reward of a 'winning goal' which turned out to give their team a single point rather than all three.

I've never invaded the pitch in my whole match-going time, but I have gone mental on occasion when Everton have scored a goal and the opponents that we scored against didn't really enter my head. I just wanted to celebrate a winning goal, but obviously a club of our standing should be well above that. We should only go crazy when we are facing worthy opponents or a piece of silverware is on the line. To quote Ken Buckley, it seems that many believe that the "silence of the fans" is golden.

Andy Walker
16 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:45:16
Don't think they should be banned Patrick. I have gone mental at late goals, Derek Mountfield in the FA semi at Villa Park more years ago than I care to remember comes to mind. But I've always been able to stay off the pitch.
Patrick Murphy
17 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:47:06
Andy I'm sorry obviously irony doesn't always come across in the written word. I don't want any of the fans banned; I'm just curious as to why there has been such a weird reaction to them celebrating a late late goal.
Dean Adams
18 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:48:18
Then we are told that there is no atmosphere these days at Goodison. The mind boggles at the thought of fans actually being ecstatic, I mean really!! Why would anyone want to actually want to show some emotion?
Darren Hind
19 Posted 29/11/2015 at 20:13:58
Dean Adams,

Ever thought that the people who moan about the lack of atmosphere and the people who are moaning about the way our fans celebrated are two different groups?

Didn't think so...

Andy Walker
20 Posted 29/11/2015 at 20:17:39
I think many will associate pitch invasions with something really special or rare and perhaps don't believe a late goal against a likely relegation team falls into that class. Strictly speaking we all probably know that pitch invasions shouldn't happen, but I think there's a kind of unwritten rule that, in the heat of the moment, in a truly exceptional situation, they will... and that's fair enough.

Each to their own; you pays your money, I totally accept that... but I presume we wouldn't want our fans to be invading the pitch every time we scored in stoppage time, would we?

I simply hope that those fans who think pitch invasions like yesterday's are just a normal reaction to a late goal can accept that there is another view out there, that invading the pitch after a late goal at Bournemouth in an averagely important EPL game is perhaps a little OTT.

If we are creating the perception that scoring a late goal after losing a 2-goal lead is our equivalent to say scoring 2 late goals in the Champions League final to win it, then it's a sad day in my opinion.

Paul Tran
21 Posted 29/11/2015 at 20:20:59
The fact that people are willing to celebrate an injury time winner at Bournemouth is, on one hand, a bit sad, but on the other it tells me how much we all want success and how close we could be to it if the players acquired a bit of nous or the manager buys some.

I was dancing round my laptop up here in the Highlands, so I'm not having a pop at those who travelled all that way and back. Well done all!

Andy Walker
22 Posted 29/11/2015 at 20:26:32
Well said, Paul, me too!
Colin Gee
23 Posted 29/11/2015 at 20:38:40
It's not as though it's the first time Everton fans have invaded the pitch when celebrating a goal though, I can recall off the top of my head another three occasions at least: Stuart McCall's last minute equaliser at Wembley; Rooney's goal at Leeds when we beat them for the first time in 50-odd years; and also the Semi Final against Spurs at Elland Road in 1995.

Then there's those after the match is over ones, such as Norwich away when we won the League and the Wimbledon and Coventry games.

Not forgetting Eddie Kavanagh at Wembley....

Paul Tran
24 Posted 29/11/2015 at 20:45:48
Guilty as charged:

Inchy's last-minute winner at Highbury in 1984;
McCall's equalisers at Wembley in 1989.

I just hope those fans get a real reason to invade the pitch and the players keep their concentration like the professionals they say they are.

Paul Andrews
25 Posted 29/11/2015 at 21:15:44
The best fans in the Premier League. Never a ticket unsold for every away game, thousands upon thousands to every game in Europe.

Passionate fans. One of the last working class clubs in the Premier League.

Don't ever do them down for celebrating a goal.
Doug Harris
26 Posted 29/11/2015 at 21:18:00
Fair comment, Rom...

So why don't you as players, and include the manager, too take note that a whistle starts the second half and your job is to perform, earn your money and more important to us as fans play 45 minutes more than you did yesterday. Disgraceful performance, that second half, Rom... not that you were to blame solely... the fuckin whole lot of you were.

We know what the final whistle signifies, no points , one point, or as we all hope 3 points and you as players truly let the fans down Big Style.

I suggest you all as a team shut the gobs up, play for 90 minutes (or more) as the officials decide, then come looking at us with smiling faces and we can look back at you with the same.

James Lauwervine
27 Posted 29/11/2015 at 22:52:05
And best of all - Hibbo scoring in his testimonial!
Harold Matthews
28 Posted 29/11/2015 at 23:55:32
Oh here we go. I'm too old and miserable for this nostalgia stuff.
James Marshall
29 Posted 30/11/2015 at 06:41:54
Pitch invasions are brought about by one person, then the lemming mentality kicks in. They'll always happen, and I think that's fine.

Personally I thought it was kinda funny at the time when one bloke got knocked over by Barkley, then everyone else piled on. I was in a pub going mental with 4 other blues at the time and the fact it was against Bournemouth didn't enter our heads either.

An injury time winner in the context of the game, and of course you celebrate. Bournemouth deserved their equaliser anyway.

Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 30/11/2015 at 08:57:43
Andy (#13), your second paragraph, is so out of touch with what it means to be a football fan first and an Evertonian second.

If the football world doesn't know how desperate we are by now, mate, we might as well all go home. I didn't go but I know the feeling, and does it really matter who your opponents are when you score a perceived last-minute winner away from home?

The points would have taken us within touching distance of the top 4, whoever we were playing, and I know for sure the players are going to need this fanatical support tomorrow night.

I've got a horrible feeling that Martinez is going to make too many changes. I hope I'm wrong because this is a must win game for Everton tomorrow night!

Phil Bellis
31 Posted 30/11/2015 at 09:37:28
Andy Johnson in the snow vs Arsenal, Sheedy and Mountfield in the semi vs Luton – happy memories. Our younger fans have no idea what it's like to see the Blues win something and I will never chastise then for showing the passion that, despite the years and the let-downs, we all share in some measure.

My last pitch invasion: end of the Leeds semi-final at Old Trafford; I was one of the nutters who took home a piece of the penalty spot. Mind you, if you believed everyone, there were over 5,000 pieces dug up...

Peter Roberts
32 Posted 30/11/2015 at 09:51:05
It could have been worse: Rom could have suggested it was the fans' fault for invading the pitch – like Tim Howard did.
Mark Rimmer
33 Posted 30/11/2015 at 10:52:33
I totally agree, Paul @25, they're the heartbeat of the club, the fans that go to watch the blues wherever they play. Most of those fans live and breathe Everton and I'm damn proud to have such a great group of loyal supporters representing our club.

They went from despair to jubilation at what seemingly was their beloved club snatching it at the end and couldn't contain their emotions, that's the kind of passion that makes our club great, and that's the passion we want from the players.

These fans show up week-in & week-out; the players just had to show up for 20 seconds of that second half to preserve that lead, and they couldn't even do that.

Trevor Lynes
34 Posted 30/11/2015 at 12:02:15
These things do happen in football and we have won games in similar fashion.

My gripe is that pro footballers are paid big money for 100% effort for full matches and we totally switched off at half time. Bournemouth totally deserved getting something from the game and perhaps it might rub off on some of our 'supposedly' top class youngsters.

It is more important to work hard without the ball than it is when we have it. Barcelona have instilled this work ethic into players far better than any we have. To be able to earn huge salaries for playing football is a privilege and playing at top standard for 90 minutes or even more is what these guys are paid for.

Bournemouth are not a better team than we are but they were hungrier and out fought us and that is not acceptable. It insults the fans who travelled to see the game and insults the club who pay their salary.

I can take defeat by bad luck or by a side who were better on the day but never by lack of commitment. We should take every game as important as playing Liverpool.

Young players like Deulofeu, Barkley must learn that defence all over the pitch is required when needed. Barry cannot cope with pace and once McCarthy went off we lost cutting edge in midfield. Lets hope that Jagielka and Baines are back soon.

Michael Polley
35 Posted 30/11/2015 at 13:32:15
Great 1st half. Shocking 2nd half were we just sat back and conceded so much possession. The late substitution by Martinez was mind boggling. I'm totally gutted and angry by this result. I would've preferred to get beat by Accrington Stanley 6-0 than endure this again.

We've got a big game tomorrow. A full-strength team has to be fielded. Anything else would be insane. Also looks like we need to score 3 goals to guarantee a win!!!

Darren Hind
36 Posted 30/11/2015 at 19:38:46
We had made the breakthrough at Anfield.

The Rats had somewhat fortuitously put us ahead. Although there were many of us on near the corner flag that joins the Main stand to the Kop we were still seriously outnumbered. The Gobshites were giving us dogs.

The Lineker was put through by Reidy, He clips the ball past Grobelar, it took an age to reach the goal, finally the ball nestled inside the kop net... YYAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSS, we poured over the wall like like fucking madmen and joyously danced at the foot of the kop with the players, dozens, maybe hundreds of us, who knows? I just remember scanning the kop both fist raised YYAAAAAASSSSSSS.

I defy any Evertonian who claims he would have remained in his seat. I can bring the moment back any time I want just by closing my eyes.

Paul Tran
40 Posted 30/11/2015 at 20:33:39
Darren, I was in that corner with an RS mate and remember both goals. Don't remember the pitch invasion, but I was busy hurling abuse at my mate and the rest of them.

Best one was the semi-final at Highbury. I went on at the goal and the final whistle. Got separated from my mates afterwards.

Watched the Sunday highlights in my mate's parents' house; at the end of the game, they showed it kicking off with us and the Southampton fans and there was my mate on camera smacking a saint. His Mum and Dad were watching with us and turned to him in horror. He'd already run out of the house and I had to explain!

That was the day that made us as a team. We all knew we were ready to win things. What a great day that was!

Andy Walker
41 Posted 30/11/2015 at 20:44:49
Running onto the pitch doesn't make anyone a better fan more passionate fan. Are fans going to run on the pitch every time we score a last minute goal to prove they are the 'best' fans.

If we're drawn at home in the FA Cup in January against Northampton Town and score a last-minute winner will we see another pitch invasion?

As I've said many times, I haven't a problem with pitch invasions; it's the context. The many examples given above were for much bigger games that meant a lot more than Saturday's result.

Maybe that's my problem, I remember the title winning days and now seeing fans invade a pitch because they thought we were about to beat Bournemouth, was a very public and for me painful reminder of how far we have fallen.

Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 30/11/2015 at 20:58:14
It must be an age thing Andy, honestly. I have watched Manchester United fans do the same against so called lesser clubs in the last few years.

Caught up in the emotion, if the players are blaming the fans in any way, maybe they should just run back the halfway line, like they used to do in the sixties.

Darren Hind
44 Posted 01/12/2015 at 04:12:23
Andy

There are no "Highbury's" these days, we don't win at Anfield, we don't beat Mighty teams (which Leeds where) in semi finals... we hardly even get to a semi-final.

Unlike us, these lads don't know what it's like to be kings. But that brief moment on Saturday was just as much of a high for them.

You are right of course, it does show how far we have fallen. Let's hope we can give these fantastic supporters the success they deserve. Tonight would be a good time to start...

Andy Walker
45 Posted 01/12/2015 at 19:10:31
Darren, Tony Yep, probably an age thing! As you say lets hope we have something to cheer tonight, COYB.

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