Martinez pleased with Everton's response

by | 07/12/2015  49 Comments  [Jump to last]
Roberto Martinez was left lamenting another defensive lapse but credited his players for the maturity and effectiveness of their response in this evening's draw with Crystal Palace.

Everton were searching for an elusive goal heading into the last quarter of an hour of the contest having twice been denied by the woodwork and seen Wayne Hennessey pull off a brilliant save from Tom Cleverley's equally impressive volley but fell behind when Scott Dann was allowed to plant a free header past Tim Howard.

The Blues hit back, however, and though Lukaku thumped another effort off the face of the crossbar, the Belgian finally got his reward for another good performance up front when he converted Gerard Deulofeu's ball across the face of goal with nine minutes to go.

The home side couldn't carve out a clear-cut chance to win it but the manager was satisfied overall, even if he was disappointed at the manner in which his side conceded the opener.

I thought up until the moment we conceded we were fantastic defensively, Martinez said after the match. Crystal Palace are not always good on the eye but they are very effective.

They are so good away from home because they get the ball up the pitch very, very quickly with pace and power. I thought we anticipated that and we stopped their threat.

The corner for the goal is a disappointment and I think it is more [about] concentration than anything else. We need to learn from it and get better, but our response, when Palace dropped even deeper, was fantastic. The maturity and personality we showed was very pleasing.  

Reader Comments (49)

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Anthony Dwyer
1 Posted 08/12/2015 at 00:03:54
Andy Peers
2 Posted 08/12/2015 at 01:48:32
The boys did play well today but you have to win these games to make top 4 or Europe.
Mads Kamp
3 Posted 08/12/2015 at 04:21:53
Kone feels inferior and disguises it as arrogance. Like Naismith.

Bring on Mirallas!

Mark Andersson
4 Posted 08/12/2015 at 05:11:54
Martinez could be saying that every week but defensively we are not learning.

A good all round game, Rom's first touch is getting better, but still a work in progress.

Cleverley impressed and is faster than McCarthy getting the ball forward. Barry was great again. Coleman looks like he is getting back to his old self

Unlucky with the woodwork it was just one of those games.

Darryl Ritchie
5 Posted 08/12/2015 at 05:48:45
Should've won it. Could've won it. I think we're trying to be a too intricate. Too many times we had the ball in their box, and came away without even an attempt towards the goal.

Still, we were in control for the majority of the match, and when we weren't, Stones and Funes Mori were a match for the Palace forwards. Howard has his share of critics, but he put in a good shift tonight.

The entire squad looked up for this one. The only sub was Baines in an attempt to get him a little more match fit. I can see why RM didn't make any more changes, we looked dangerous right to the final whistle. If it was me though, I would have brought Mirallas on for Kone (not that he was playing poorly), just to give the attack a different look.

Can't fault the effort. Disappointed with the result.

Liam Reilly
6 Posted 08/12/2015 at 07:33:10
No point in having a bench if we never use them. Mirallas should've been on for the last 20 mins when they were tiring.

Another set-piece conceded with a ball into the centre of the box. You could see unsettling Howard was a tactic used on their corners with Wickham standing in front of him. His confidence defending crosses is sapped, as must be the defense's.

Still, hitting the woodwork three times was dreadfully unlucky.

Ian Jones
7 Posted 08/12/2015 at 08:12:54
I think Wayne Hennessey's finger-tip save from Cleverley saved the day for Palace. I expected them to score on the break and thanks to Howard they didn't. Not a huge fan of our goalie but he didn't have a bad game. Not sure if I can be too critical of him for the goal. Dann gets a good run on to the ball and it's a powerful enough header.

However, it's many years since we have managed to defend crosses or corners into the box well enough to give us fans confidence. So am never surprised when we concede from one. Although I think someone suggested months ago that stats indicate we don't concede many.

Darren Bailey
9 Posted 08/12/2015 at 09:14:28
Martinez will never learn! Anthony (#1) – SUBSTITUTES! I agree totally; what's the point of having the likes of Lennon and Mirallas on the bench if you're not going to use them?

The game was crying out for something different as everything we were trying wasn't happening for us – so change it!

I really don't know what Kone's position is and it was evident again last night (as I said in a previous post) our left side is exposed because of it. Too many times Barkley was sitting back in the left back position, I mean, come on...

We did play well, and you can say it was "one of those games" but the manager has to see that and change something to give a little spark. Too many times it was one too many passes in their box or we didn't get the shot away.

I feel deflated after that as we've now dropped 4 points in the past two matches by not finishing off teams we should be beating.

Tony Waring
10 Posted 08/12/2015 at 09:19:41
I'm with Darryl. In the box, you must either pass at bewildering speed to confuse the defence – or invite them to commit a foul followed by a penalty – or else, you must take a shot at goal. No use faffing about unless you have Neymar, Messi and Suarez!

Likewise, I was hoping that Mirallas would come on at around the hour-mark to give us pace down both flanks and cause Palace more problems. Nevertheless, on any other day, one of those woodwork bouncers would have gone in the net!

Peter Roberts
11 Posted 08/12/2015 at 11:15:07
I expect Mirallas to be sold. Clearly Martinez has had it with him and is exacting some form of revenge (apparently for his mutiny with Eto'o).

It was interesting to see Mirallas high five the players on their way out to the pitch for the 2nd half. Clearly a deliberate act of getting seen.

Whatever has happened... enough is enough – Martinez has made his point and the players will know who is the boss. Mirallas is a game-changer and could have done a job for us last night – certainly after 60 minutes, which is Kone's limit.

Chris Corn
12 Posted 08/12/2015 at 11:21:31
Re Kone, maybe Martinez was just keeping faith with a player who has done well recently. The reason the likes of all us lot post on here and aren't professionals is because we all have our favourites and not so favourites and just go to our default position as soon as our whipping boys have a quiet couple of games.

Yes, last night was frustrating but it wasn't as if we didn't carve out chances.

John Otway
13 Posted 08/12/2015 at 11:45:15
Sorry, but I don't believe that Martinez can take us to where he wants us to be. If we want to get into the Champions League, we need a manger with the experience of having done it. He's far too tactically naïve and needs to accept that he is desperately in need of a top class defensive coach. Oh for a Ranieri.
Ian McDowell
14 Posted 08/12/2015 at 11:50:22
I thought it was a very good performance and just lacked the end product. 2 points dropped v Bournemouth, Palace and Swansea this season. Another 6 points would leave us in 5th place, 4 points off the top.

We really need to start turning draws into wins or it's going to be another season in the middle of the league.

Tahir Abdullah
15 Posted 08/12/2015 at 12:04:35
"The maturity and personality we showed was very pleasing." – RM seemingly never tires of trotting out these trite remarks...

How about using some of this "maturity & personality" in addressing the root cause of the defensive disorganization, such that the full reward of the current attractive, attacking brand of football can be realized...

Trevor Lynes
16 Posted 08/12/2015 at 13:52:18
Goal threat in the last 20 minutes was obvious. All Palace had to do was crowd Lukaku out as no one else was going to score.Bring Mirallas on FFS ! HE would have at least made a goal attempt and certainly would have occupied the 'palace defence towards the end.

Both Kone and Deulofeu looked to be flagging towards the end of the game and one or both needed to be subbed if we were to win the game.

It will be very interesting to see what develops in January.

John Keating
18 Posted 08/12/2015 at 16:58:23
Martinez spouts the same crap week after week, win, lose or draw. In my opinion, he is putting his ego ahead of the good of the Club.

He obviously will not play Mirallas even though there have been times during recent matches with players tiring, not playing well and games crying out for an injection of attacking pace.

Martinez is not bigger than the Club. The points we have thrown away this season is a disgrace and I put it down to his obstinacy on allowing things on the pitch to come to a natural conclusion without attempting to change things.

James Flynn
19 Posted 08/12/2015 at 18:42:46
I'm not sure what Roberto expects from a 32-year-old who hasn't played for two seasons. No way Kone is a 90-minute man. Is Roberto leaving him out there to prove a point?

He's come on this season and good for him and us; a talented professional Kone is. Nonetheless, every consideration has to be given to his age and whatever is left in that knee of his.

I'm as baffled as anyone regarding Mirallas. Was he given the new contract to goose up his value? Wouldn't him getting minutes, busting his ass to PROVE that value, make him more attractive to potential buyers?

Kone on, no matter what, and Kevin sitting and watching, doesn't seem to be the best thing for the Club. C'mon Roberto.

Steve Davies
20 Posted 08/12/2015 at 19:06:22
I think the core issue in defense is Tim Howard. He does not command his box and rarely comes for crosses. Martinez has declared that there is competition for places but apparently not for the goalkeeper. Sky statistics even back this up too! That is why we struggle on corners.

This side was excellent last night but alas it was more points dropped again. I do believe that Kone, Lukaku and Gerry up front is better for the team.

I think currently Galloway is a better defender than Baines, until Baines gets fitter.

Martinez priority must be to put Robles in goal, while procrastinating we are losing points....

Kim Vivian
21 Posted 08/12/2015 at 21:18:00
Does anyone really know what's going on with Kevin Mirallas? It's becoming like a bloody Agatha Christie story.
Sid Logan
22 Posted 08/12/2015 at 22:24:59
This team has great potential but, in order for it to be fulfilled, Martinez himself needs to learn two lessons – and quickly.

Our set pieces are abysmal. No imagination, no creativity and a tendency to repeat the same tactic when it isn't working. On Monday, this meant continuing to lob high balls without pace into the area where massively tall defenders knocked them back out with ease.

He needs to recognise a truth which all normal managers accept without a second thought – it is that all goals have equal value if the primary aim is to win a game. Winning comes first and a good performance, as desirable as it may be, comes behind that.

For his second lesson, Martinez needs to rethink the way he make his substitutions. Even when most of the players are doing well but it's just not happening on the pitch, he needs to realise that substitutions early enough can alter the dynamic and provide the win.

Too often, he is like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights and is reluctant to change the team he selected. It's not always about replacing a player who's not performing (although we've seen examples of that); it's about changing an approach which isn't working in order to try to win the game – and allowing enough time for substitutions to be effective. Whatever he has against Mirallas he needs to get over it!

Anthony Jones
23 Posted 08/12/2015 at 23:09:53
Agree that Mirallas is being frozen out. If he gets no chance to contribute against a deep-lying Palace at home then he is no longer considered an important player.

Incidentally, RM should have let Naismith go. We might have a big squad now but it won't be a harmonious one for long if we remain mostly fit. Where is Besic, and what about McGeady?

Christine Foster
25 Posted 09/12/2015 at 06:41:32
A frustrating night all round.

Palace clearly and correctly identified our weakness at crosses and went after us from the off at every opportunity to sling in high balls. Even with Jags back, the result would have been the same, we don't stop crosses coming in. The full backs need to challenge or be backed up.

We have attacking wide midfielders who cannot defend, we have an inexperienced pair of centre-backs who do not provide cover and do not communicate or lead, and finally we have a keeper who is a good shot-stopper but poor at collecting crosses.

Contrary to RM, I don't think we were great defensively; crosses and corners allowed put us under constant pressure.

On a couple of other points: Naismith's last appearance was a hat-trick against Chelsea, then dropped? Mirallas obviously is unhappy and is being sacrificed for the obvious relationship between Kone and Lukaku, but should have been used. Martinez has to be more ruthless with subs and change games. It's a key failing.

Michael Kenrick
26 Posted 09/12/2015 at 07:06:06

Naismith's last appearance was a hat-trick against Chelsea, then dropped?

Not exactly. Yes, Naismith scored a hat-trick against Chelsea.

He was rewarded for that tremendous achievement with a start in the next game at Swansea, played the entire 90+ minutes, but did nothing.

Martinez gave him another chance, starting the next league game at West Brom. Still nothing except a yellow card and he was subbed off after 72 mins.

Martinez is nothing if not faithful, though... Naismith got to start a third game after that, at home to Liverpool. He again ran around a bit but did nothing and was subbed off after 79 mins.

Then came Man Utd and guess what? His fourth league start in a row! Surely this time he would produce? But sadly the less said about that, the better. He was dragged off at half-time — something Martinez hardly ever does.

I think he was given plenty of opportunity to prove he could put in a real run of form. He failed and he's been on the bench for all games since, but hasn't played.

Christine Foster
27 Posted 09/12/2015 at 10:48:33
Yes, Fair douse, Michael, perhaps it felt as though he hadn't played since then.
Don Alexander
28 Posted 09/12/2015 at 10:51:55
When are Evertonians going to look at the EIGHT years Martinez has ponced about in the Premier League as a manager with two teams admittedly a smidge worse off than us financially, but both of them afflicted with the same defensive numbness as we're seeing every week he's here? It all leads one way only. Ask Wigan or Swansea.

Most of our squad know that this club is their ceiling and they'll never earn what they get here if they move. For a few that's not the case and I just dread the day ANY of them move on to work for a manager who will insist that they train to eradicate their few clear faults, to enable them to become the stars they aspire to be be... hopefully.
Mads Iversen
30 Posted 09/12/2015 at 11:33:57
I think Lukakus's improvement this season is due to Deulofeu and Kone: Both are providing assists, skills and movement. Last season, we played with Naismith, Mirallas, Lennon or McGeady up front with Lukaku, all of them who lack different basic skills of how to attack together with someone – something Deulofeu seems to have learnt since he left us a season a ago.

As much as Kone has proved us wrong so far this season, Mirallas is the better player of the two of them. And he should have been substituted against Palace. But playing Mirallas instead of Kone means Lukaku receives less balls to work with, and we all saw what happened to him last season: he didn't score enough goals, and his self-confidence dropped.

Sadly I think, Mirallas does not make Lukaku a better player, maybe the opposite.
Graham Mockford
31 Posted 09/12/2015 at 11:48:01

Let's start with a few facts just to counter your frankly quite ridiculous rant.

Martinez managed for four years with Wigan before he joined us. In that time he managed to get relegated in his final season but of course won a trophy.

He never managed Swansea in the Premier League. In his three years, he won League One in his first year and failed by a point to make the playoffs in his final season.

All of this saw him attracting bigger clubs. So not exactly 'ponced about'

'Most of our squad know that this club is their ceiling'. Well that certainly does not apply to most of our current best eleven other than I would suggest Howard, Jags and Barry who are all seasoned internationals and are probably nearing the end of their career. In fact the only player I could apply your description to is Kone and you could argue the jury is still out he is in our best eleven.

Coleman, Baines, Stones, McCarthy, Mirallas, Deulofeu and Barkley have all either been linked with 'bigger' clubs or will continue to be so.

You can't have it both ways with Martinez. Players who have obviously improved during his time here are dismissed but any faults or errors are immediately his fault.

For me, the jury is still out; one very good season and one mediocre one and yet to get close to silverware but I defy anyone to say that the squad we have at the moment is not significantly better than the one he started with. That progress means he has earned more time to deliver.

Patrick Murphy
32 Posted 09/12/2015 at 11:48:28
Why should Evertonians look to the 8 year history of our current manager? We should only be interested in what he is doing with his team in the here and now. I don't remember judging Kendall, Bingham, Lee, Walker, Smith, Royle et al on what they did with their previous clubs.

We have defensive weakness that's for sure, but I just can't buy into this characterisation of Roberto as a man who doesn't care about those weaknesses, it would be professional suicide for him to not address it, even if it doesn't happen to be his number one priority.

If Roberto truly does have a laissez-faire attitude to defending then that particular chicken will come home to roost and he will pay the price and Everton FC will appoint another manager who might take us back to the comfortable situation of grinding out clean-sheets without much thought given to the attacking side of the game.

This perfect Everton team that appears to be in everybody's imagination at the moment, the Everton side that bangs in goals for fun and rarely concedes... well, forgive me but it is at least 30 years since I saw an Everton team of that calibre.

And just to refresh people's memories, that team didn't always stop the opponents from scoring: for instance, a defeat to Chelsea (3-4) at Goodison and a draw at Watford (4-4) and victory at Watford (4-5) – and that was with a world-class goalkeeper in the team.

Those who have a dislike for Martinez will have to wait until June 2017 at least if his team produce the goods, if not they might only have until the coming summer to rid themselves of the Spanish Charlatan.

Harold Matthews
33 Posted 09/12/2015 at 12:59:05
I'll go with Christine (#22), even though she was a little bit out with Naismith. She noticed what I noticed. The midfield and defence have serious flaws which need fixing.
Denis Richardson
34 Posted 09/12/2015 at 13:05:29
Overall unlucky not to win but we don't make it easy on ourselves with the amount of goals we give away from crosses and set-pieces. If we could just start to practise these things... I'll stop dreaming as apparently this is not 'the way we should play'.

As for the season so far, well the 'tough ten' came and went. We did ok, all in all, getting 13 points, which extrapolated over the season would be 49 pts and put us around 10th.

We're now half way through the 'winnable ten' and out of the first 5 we've won 2 drawn 3 giving 9 points, which is decent but not exactly spectacular, leaving us currently .....9th.

So where does the future lie?

Remaining December schedule offers Norwich City (a), Leicester City (h), Newcastle Utd (a), Stoke City (h). None of these fixture are daunting but, then again, none of them are gimmes like Sunderland and Villa either. We barely scraped past Norwich at home on pens in the League Cup, Leicester are flying and Newcastle is a lottery, nevermind a tough Stoke side.

My view is that they are of course all winnable but we'll get around 5-7 points from these games, putting us on around 28/29 points at the halfway mark of the season. Which extrapolated would put us around.... 8th. (We have yet to beat a side that is above us in the league...)

We then have a harsh January with Spurs (a), Man City(h), Chelsea (a) back to back... not too hopeful of getting 9 points.

So, with our 'greatest team since sliced bread' not really being blown away at the minute, tbh. I'm forecasting no Champions League qualification and no Europa League qualification through the league, which just leaves us to aim to win a cup. (Unfortunately we somehow have to get past Man City over 2 legs, and then probably Corporal Klopp...), FA Cup, we'll see what the 4th round brings.

So, unless we figure out how to start turning draws into wins (we have the second most draws in the league so far with 7), we're going to lose a 'big name' or two come the summer... then what?

Every good side is built on a solid defence (Leicester being the current exception...). We conceded 50 league goals last season and finished 11th. Currently we're on course to concede 51 this season... so I'm not holding my breath for top 6, nevermind top 4.

Fingers crossed for the cups it is then...

John Daley
35 Posted 09/12/2015 at 13:16:15
"Kone feels inferior and disguises it as arrogance. Like Naismith."

How can you possibly perceive the inner workings of a man's psyche just by watching run around a football pitch? Even your fellow Mads, in his role as homo sapiens scoffing, super head shrink Hannibal Lector, would be like "Hang on a minute, zeese lines you are asking me to read, zey are horse shit".

When and in what way has Kone ever displayed arrogance in an Everton shirt? To me, he just seems like a player grateful to be given the chance to carry on playing the game after it looked for a long time that he might have to pack it all in. Whether, deep down inside, he feels inferior or not, I wouldn't have a clue but neither would you or anyone else unless he openly admitted it to them.

Raymond Fox
37 Posted 09/12/2015 at 13:51:29
Well said, Patrick.

As you say, the goals scored against us will be reviewed by the management you can bet your life on it.

While Martinez would sooner champion attacking football than a defence orientated game. I think it's far fetched to think that they do not have instructions when it's a corner etc.

All our defenders are Internationals but on crosses, apart from maybe Funes Mori, they never seem to get off the ground! They're invariably in the right positions but beating the opposition to the high balls is not a strength.

Baines poor, Coleman poor, Stones poor to average, Funes Mori okay, Barry poor, Macca poor, Howard weak and Jags not a strong point, Robles is also hesitant with crosses.

Someone mentioned Lukaku coming back to defend dead-ball situations, it sounds like a good idea to me.

Dave Richman
38 Posted 09/12/2015 at 13:55:56
Anthony Jones (21) : I am hoping, like many other Evertonians (I think!), that Martinez has forgotten about McGeady ..... don't bring him up as it might remind Bobby, and he could end up forgetting all the dross he's served up and give the waste of space a game.
Steve Jenkins
39 Posted 09/12/2015 at 13:59:59
Peter (#10),

Do tell - what was the issue between Mirallas and Eto'o?

Sam Hoare
40 Posted 09/12/2015 at 14:07:11
To be fair to Martinez, we looked on top for the majority of the second half.

Yes, a manager should change things when under the cosh (such as 2nd half vs Bournemouth) but we were looking the better team and more likely to score until the Barry set-piece.

Dennis Ng
41 Posted 09/12/2015 at 16:01:24
Well said, Patrick. There's not a lot of options the board or RM have and we're not at a dire state to warrant a change right now.

I feel he needs to hire a defensive specialist to help him on the defense and that's about it. It shows how bad your defense if when 2-3 men score against 6-8 men in the box. All good teams build from the back and holding that down should clean out some of our problems going forward. Perhaps not his top priority but we'll see.

Other than that, criticizing RM like we can just go hire anyone doesn't makes any sense. We know our constraints, board wise, and at the end of the day, the man writing the checks make the final say.

Steavey Buckley
42 Posted 09/12/2015 at 16:08:35
In three games, Everton have lost 6 points in games Everton would have won if the right substitutions were called.

Against West Ham, when Everton were drawing 1-1, it was clear that Everton needed to replace Barkley and Kone with new attacking faces.

Against Bournemouth when Everton were leading 2-0 in the 80th minute, Everton should have sealed the game with just midfielders and defenders to stifle the opposition; instead Kone was left on the left side of midfield, who conveniently gave way to their right back, who then had all the time and space in the world to rifle in a shot to make it 2-1.

Against Crystal Palace in the second half, another couple of attackers were needed to break down their stubborn defence. Instead, Baines was brought on to replace Galloway and that weakened Everton's defence that allowed Palace to make it 0-1.

Steve Roomes
43 Posted 09/12/2015 at 17:20:11
He does not seem to know how to change a game. 0-0, 20 mins to go and he brings on a fullback for a fullback? Kone needed replacing with Mirallas and maybe putting on Naismith for Cleverley. He's not the greatest but has a goal in him.

Yes, we are improving but 4 points dropped in the last 2 easy winnable games! Will he ever learn? I'm not sure. To be honest I don't care how we win – just win and give the long-suffering supporters something to cheer about.

I can't see us getting into the top four and I don't want to get into the Europa League so he has got to go for the cups and bring at least one home.
Harold Matthews
44 Posted 09/12/2015 at 17:45:46
Yes Anthony (#21). McGeady is hated by all and sundry but not by me and not by Martin O'Neill. For all his failings, this lad has the ability to come on as a late sub and change things. He's done it for Everton more than once.

He's quick, he's the only squad member to cross accurately with both feet and he can shoot.

Unfortunately for the lad, we've now stepped up a level and with Deulofeu, Lennon and Mirallas ahead of him; I'm not sure we'll see him again.

Terry White
45 Posted 09/12/2015 at 17:50:57
Quite right, Harold (#39), McGeady is an Everton player and as such deserves total respect and support by our fans. Can't see it, unfortunately. Our fans are very intolerant at best.
Anthony Dwyer
46 Posted 09/12/2015 at 19:01:45
I left the first comment on this post, I felt I summed it up in a single word: 'Substitutes'. I have given myself time to chill out a bit as I was mega frustrated on Monday night after the game. Two days later and I still feeling the same!

I've read through other comments and we all seem to see the same game as one another. Basic summary would be a good performance with no luck and a distinctive lack of killer instinct .

If the goal was not going to come from Lukaku with an assist from Deulofeu, then we would not have scored. Kone linked well early on but, as the game went to the latter stages, it was clear he wasn't going to get a goal regardless of whatever was going to happen.

Deulofeu was knackered from the 70th minute and needed someone else to try their luck at creating opportunities. Cleverley was tiring too; Barkley was too deep to really influences proceedings, substitutions were clearly needed.

Mirallas and Osman have both been granted new deals by the current management, Naisy was refused a move to Norwich for a very good price and Lennon is Roberto's very own signing, I simply cannot understand how he did not change it.

For me, I'd have taken Cleverley and Kone off and brought on any of the attack-minded subs – my preference would have been Mirallas and Naismith with Mirallas out left and Naismith up top alongside Lukaku.

The last two games have had many positives but dropping points have left us in a position we are starting to look to accustomed too. 4 points to our tally now would have went some way to dropping points to the Redshite, Swansea, Watford and Spurs and given us a great chance to kick on.

I now feel we have missed too many good opportunities to gain big points in weeks where our top 6 rivals have also faulted. I am enjoying watching us play with a bit of swagger but I'm worried that our squad will break up if we can't deliver a minimum of Europa League football.

Dick Fearon
48 Posted 09/12/2015 at 20:55:52
Anthony, 1, 43, My thoughts exactly.
Jon Cox
50 Posted 10/12/2015 at 19:17:30
Anthony, totally agree, well said.

It's this learning thing I can't get my head around.

How long has RM been doing the job? Shouldn't he know a thing or two by now.

At what point does he learn when to bring on subs to change a game.

We may be playing nice neat football but if you haven't got a bit of streetwise, nous, guile, call it what you will, then I'm afraid we'll all have to get used to the mid table mediocrity that looks like is coming our way.

If we can see it, why oh why can't he?

Raymond Fox
51 Posted 10/12/2015 at 19:41:43
I don't agree, look we made a draw, we were miles the best team playing some great football.

How many times did we hit the woodwork 4 or 5 times plus their goalies made a wonder save from Cleverly as well.

We looked dangerous right up to the final whistle, of course we all want winning games but how unlucky can you get!

It's okay saying after the event, oh he should have brought on substitutes but why change the balance when you're still bossing the game.

Kone had a shot blocked from close range right on the whistle.

John Daley
52 Posted 10/12/2015 at 20:10:27
"How many times did we hit the woodwork 4 or 5 times plus their goalies made a wonder save from Cleverley as well."

No need to over egg it. We hit the post and the bar twice. Whilst we were clearly the better team, I don't buy into the claims we were utterly dominant throughout and failed to get what we deserved. Palace created their own chances, had some near misses and were denied a definite penalty right at the end.

Seamus McCrudden
53 Posted 10/12/2015 at 20:18:45
Why can people not just say it was a great game of football between two good sides? We could have won it alright but so could Palace.

I'm optimistic we are going to get better as some of the link-up play and passing was superb.
Anthony Dwyer
54 Posted 11/12/2015 at 00:17:19
Raymond (#44);

As John (#45) points out, you have over-egged it, we hit the bar twice, once off a deflection and we hit the post.

We were dominant but at the same time Howard made the save of the game, not Hennessey, and we never looked solid any time they took a set piece.

All-in-all we were the better side but we have to wisen up if we want to challenge the big boys.

Two games where we dominated have resulted in two measly points, simply not good enough no matter how well we knocked it about.

Paul Andrews
55 Posted 11/12/2015 at 07:11:22
And so you should be, Roberto. This was a game we would have got nothing from last season. The never say die spirit was obvious to anyone who watched the game.

This team is improving in leaps and bounds, and not only ability-wise. The message the manager is instilling in the players is apparent.

We are definitely going places with this young, vibrant side playing to the Martinez philosophy.
Jon Cox
56 Posted 11/12/2015 at 09:46:33
The records will show that we dropped four points from two winnable games. It won't show how well we played or how many times we hit the woodwork. At my time of life, I'm looking for results now and I don't care how we achieve them.

I still wish we had Bilic as manager. At least the Mirallas problem would have been sorted out by now.

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