Lukaku still eyeing a top four spot

18/12/2015  47 Comments  [Jump to last]
Romelu Lukaku feels that Everton can still capitalise on the unpredictability of the Premier League this season and finish in a Champions League place.

Everton are six points off the top four coming into this weekend's intriguing clash with shock leaders Leicester and the striker knows that any team able to put together a run of wins can propel themselves into contention for the coveted European places.

"We want to do well in the League Cup and FA Cup but the Champions League spot is the main goal," Lukaku told the BBC. "It is very realistic when you see the results in the league."

"The teams that you don't expect to be up there are getting stronger so it is a really exciting time."

Lukaku goes head-to-head with the only striker who has scored more goals in the Premier League this season, Jamie Vardy. The newly-minted England international has 15 so far while the Belgian has 12, two more than he managed in all of 2014-15.

Lukaku can also match Bob Latchford, the last Blues player to score in seven consecutive league games, if he can find the next again this weekend.  


Reader Comments (47)

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Brian Porter
1 Posted 18/12/2015 at 08:55:25
Well said, Rom. Nice to hear a player talking positively about the future. However, if we are to entertain any hopes of a top-ten, let alone top-four finish, we need to retain not just our so-called 'first eleven' but also vital squad players, Naismith and Mirallas for example.

I don't for the life of me understand the enthusiasm amongst some supporters on another thread to get rid of Naisy. Okay, he's no Messi, but in some ways he reminds me of Alan 'Sniffer' Clarke, the former Leeds striker, who always appeared rather clumsy on the ball, but had a great nose for goals, especially in the box, close in to goal, very much like Naisy. How many players can quite a hat trick against Chelsea on their CV? Naismith is perfect backup in the striking department and will be needed in the coming months if we have injuries to Lukaku or Kone or Deulofeu.

I'm still not convinced by Kone. He blows hot and cold too much for my liking. Keep the squad together and we might have a chance, maybe release McGeady and replace him with a faster carthorse, and maybe we could mount at least a top-six challenge.

Just my private thoughts, folks. Happy Christmas to all Toffee Webbers!!!

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 18/12/2015 at 09:24:00
NO, NO, NO and NO!!! Please stop making predictions and promises as every time you do (anyone connected to the club that is) we either lose or draw the next game.

This all started back in the day with Captain Pip. After every poor performance he promised us a response only to lose or draw the following game.

I've said it a hundred times, shut yer traps and do the talking on the pitch. Don't they listen?

Neil Wood
3 Posted 18/12/2015 at 09:29:15
Ha.... Your right Colin but I do like the fact he wants to win things and won't settle for mid table mediocrity.

I'm predicting a 2-0 win tomorrow and a Lukaku brace.

Tim Locke
4 Posted 18/12/2015 at 09:30:11
72 is normally the target for top four; we currently have 23 points from 16 games, average of 1.4375 per game. To hit the 72 mark we need to average 2.227 points over game over the last 22. Which would mean 15 wins, 4 draws and 3 loses. If we went undefeated between now and the end of the season we would need 13 wins and 9 draws and that would only give us 71 points. The lowest number of wins two reach 72 points would be 14, plus needing to draw 7 and lose only one.

Personally I don't think we will manage 72 but we might get in because the benchmark is lower. The matches remaining with my predictions.

Leicester - draw
Newcastle - loss
Stoke - win
Tottenham - draw
Man City - draw
Chelsea - loss
Swansea - win
Newcastle - win
Stoke - win
West brom - win
Liverpool - draw
Villa - win
West Ham - win
Sunderland - win
Arsenal- draw
Man Utd - loss
Watford - draw
Southampton - win
Crystal place - loss
Bournemouth - win
Leicester - win
Norwich - win

Total points 42 so finish the season with 65.

Keith Conchie
5 Posted 18/12/2015 at 09:32:31
I think a top 4 spot is still realistic, but we need to start turning draws into wins.
Harold Matthews
6 Posted 18/12/2015 at 09:38:32
Yes, Colin, we're very good at clobbering expectations. It's a gift.
Mike Powell
7 Posted 18/12/2015 at 09:47:50
Keep it up, Rom, you're doing your job by scoring; we need the defence and the goalkeeper to do theirs.
Harold Matthews
8 Posted 18/12/2015 at 09:53:15
Tim. Tall order mate. 15 wins, 4 draws and 3 losses. Phew.
Keith Conchie
9 Posted 18/12/2015 at 09:55:54
It is a tall order but still possible the way other results are going in the league.
Sam Hoare
10 Posted 18/12/2015 at 09:56:21
It's definitely possible mainly because everyone else is so poor. Arsenal and Man City will be nailed on top 4 but I think the 2 other places are very much up for grabs.

Man Utd have looked woeful recently and are suffering from quite an injury curse. Perhaps they will buy big in January but currently they are struggling.

Leicester can surely not keep it up though I'd be delighted for them if they do.

RS are Jekyl and Hyde, hopefully to their increasing detriment. They still have a lot of mediocre players.

Spurs look decent but prone to too many draws like us. They are solid at the back though which is helpful and I think they could well be one of the gatecrashers.

And of course Everton. A month ago things were looking pretty rosy but missed opportunities against Bournemouth, Norwich and even Palace who we carved out some great chances against have really slowed momentum and frustrated us. We have real firepower and creativity in us but will get nowhere while we continue to concede soft goals. Hopefully that will be addressed though I wouldn't bet on it.

Much will rest on getting more wins over the busy Xmas period where we failed so dismally last season. A lot will rest on the manager's selections and tactics and that I fear may be the undoing of us but I hope I'm wrong....

David Connor
11 Posted 18/12/2015 at 10:05:52
Less talk.More action lads..Top 10 more likely than top 4 simply because we are so easy to score against..Ultimately its down to the players..Pull your fingers out and stop conceading soft goals and we may have a chance.Otherwise we have no chance of getting into the top 4..
Colin Glassar
12 Posted 18/12/2015 at 10:06:54
Nothing to add to that, Sam. Of course it is possible but I will only contemplate it if we go on a five-game winning streak and the teams above us drop points. It's early days, still, but until we are mathematically out of the top 4 race I will continue to hope.
David Graves
13 Posted 18/12/2015 at 10:10:08
Six points off 4th with Man Utd, Spurs and the other lot above us – it is just not going to happen.
Derek Thomas
14 Posted 18/12/2015 at 10:32:15
You're all living in a dream world; 60Pts Max, those 6 Pts lost...criminally lost, have done for us in the grand scheme of things.
Mike Powell
15 Posted 18/12/2015 at 11:17:59
I agree, Derek, we have blew our chances with all those draws. I would love us to beat Leicester, I think we will be lucky to get a draw; please prove me wrong Everton!
Steven Twine
16 Posted 18/12/2015 at 12:53:49
Just a little off this topic but a new debate should be made about the dickhead getting sacked, the reason is John Stones. If we want top 4 this season then the media circus surrounding stones isn't wanted, and with Chelsea and Jose that would have been the case.

Now that the Jose the clown has gone, hopefully that will put an end to that, or will it. Will the next man in Chelsea resurrect this pursuit of Stones? With his sacking, I think it's gone and Lukaku's dream and ours is looking a whole lot better.

Steven Twine
17 Posted 18/12/2015 at 12:59:31
Also forgot about the silly rumours of Coleman leaving for Chelsea as well. As was reported from various websites.
James Hughes
18 Posted 18/12/2015 at 13:00:43
Four wins on the bounce is what we are getting. I saw Santa the other day and said it was good to go. Mind you he did smell of sherry, must have started delivering early!!
Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 18/12/2015 at 13:10:34
Steven (#11), The dickhead and the clown (your words) was managing a team having a very poor season (maybe a lot of it down to him) but they are just eight points behind us, and some on here think we are having a good season.
Liam Reilly
20 Posted 18/12/2015 at 13:11:39
This is different from the old nonsense that Pip used to churn out, as success to him was just finishing in the top half of the league.

Things are very different now and we arguably have 3 players (can't include Del Boy because of his buy-back clause) worth £40-50 million each and a team built around them should have at least a chance of top 4.

The dark side of this is that they will inevitably walk if the club can't secure top tier European Football.

Steven Twine
21 Posted 18/12/2015 at 13:32:02
Dave (#14), I describe him as such because that's how I feel and the way he belittled our club in the pursuit of Stones. Do you remember what he was saying about us in his press conferences? Where they are and where we are isn't my post.

To reply to
"some think we are having a good season", I think we are underachieving big time. My question is, are our top 4 ambitions better now he's gone?

Sean Patton
22 Posted 18/12/2015 at 13:44:07
Will never happen with that goalkeeper, it is why we have a better chance in the cups because Robles plays instead.
Ernie Baywood
23 Posted 18/12/2015 at 14:10:13
Who thinks we're having a good season? I'm not sure those people exist.

I believe we're playing decent football that has potential but we're not ruthless enough in closing out games.

Frank Crewe
24 Posted 18/12/2015 at 14:27:59
Six points off the top four is far from insurmountable. The only problem is there are five other clubs between us and the top four who require even less points to get into it.

We can only hope those other clubs and those already in the top four drop points while we don't. Pretty unlikely given our penchant for missing chances and giving away sloppy goals.

Our best chance for success this season is the cups. Win one or both of those and hopefully it will convince our stars to stay for another season and another crack at the top four. If we don't win anything and no top four it's arrivederci Stones. Rom, Geri.

John Daley
26 Posted 18/12/2015 at 19:05:45
"We want to do well in the League Cup and FA Cup but the Champions League spot is the main goal"

That may be the players perspective but, as a supporter, I would say without hesitation that I'd take a first trophy in 20 years over scraping the chance to play in a Champions League qualifier. That would be the case even if we currently looked capable of capatalising on the erratic fortunes of others this league campaign, which we don't.

If you're in a Semi-Final of a competition, the focus and ambition should surely have narrowed to winning the damn thing rather than just 'doing well' in it?

Patrick Murphy
27 Posted 18/12/2015 at 19:23:54
Despite Everton only being six points away from the holy grail of Champions League qualification, it will take an almighty change in form and fortune for the club to achieve that aim.

The last 38 league games home and away have produced just a dozen victories, 13 draws and 13 defeats, the team have scored 50 goals and conceded 47 with a total of just 49 points put on the board in that period.

If you compare that to Leicester City's last 38 games, they have acquired 66 points and won half of their games. The top 4 over the last 38 matches would have consisted of Arsenal, Man United, Man City and Leicester City with the European League contenders being Spurs and Liverpool with Chelsea in 7th place.

It is perhaps the form at 'fortress' Goodison which is the real cause for concern as the previous 19 league games have produced just seven victories and seven draws with five defeats, the team have scored 28 times and conceded 19 goals gaining 28 points.

Given those statistics and the probability that Everton are perhaps not quite ready for playing in the Champions League, I would have to agree with John Daley, put a trophy in the cabinet and try and make a better fist of it next season. It's not impossible to achieve both, but the odds are that we won't even make Europa League via the league but a cup win would do wonders for the fans and the club and put us back into Europe.

Danny Broderick
28 Posted 18/12/2015 at 19:53:56
Colin G,

You are wondering why players talk in the press? It’s the modern world, you had better get used to it. We are all desperate for sound bites – it’s the reason why this website exists, for example!

I think it’s nice to see some player confidence. I don’t necessarily agree. The cynic in me says we will win one, lose one and draw one every 3 games – which will give us an additional 30 ish points, meaning we will be way short of the 60 points mark.

BUT! You never know. Something might just click in the 2nd half of the season. Who’s to say Mirallas won’t replace Koné and have a blinding 2nd half of the season? Coupled with Del Boy’s threat on the right, we might start taking teams apart on both flanks and snatch 4th spot!

It’s the hope that kills you! We’ll see.

Andy Walker
29 Posted 18/12/2015 at 20:04:18
If Rom is eyeing top 4 finish he must be off in th Jan transfer window to Man City.
Tony Hill
30 Posted 18/12/2015 at 20:22:37
All my reason tells me that we cannot get top 4 now and that I should agree with John that the Capital Cup is the obvious priority. And yet, pitifully, and against all evidence I start to wonder again on a Friday : what if we could string wins together over Christmas and then come through January doing the reverse of what we've done in our last 3 games i.e. get good results contrary to expectation away at City and Chelsea. And so on and so on.

I hope like that because I am not sure that a Capital Cup win would keep the side intact and that we could end up like Swansea and that it could give us false hope that RM is the messiah when he really isn't.

Oh dear. Let's just get a win against Leicester.

Doug Harris
31 Posted 18/12/2015 at 20:58:40
Old arse here, let's take it one game at a time, been there, got the t-shirt and all that crap.

This for me has been the best I have seen Everton play since the glorious days of the 80s. We are quite some way off that with our present players but are we not loving how we are playing at the moment?

Sadly we are not winning when we should be... very frustrating. Tomorrow's game could be / maybe our turning point in this season.

COYB

Ian Smitham
32 Posted 18/12/2015 at 21:06:47
Interesting, working out where we end up at the end of the season at this early stage.

I was listening to TalkSport this evening. Did you know that we have not beaten anyone in the top half of the league this season?

Darryl Ritchie
33 Posted 18/12/2015 at 21:35:43
Rom didn't just blurt it out. He was asked a specific question, which he answered.

I personally think CL a bit of a stretch, but what the hell, set your goals high, and you never know.

Raymond Fox
34 Posted 18/12/2015 at 22:19:06
What Darryl said, he was asked a direct question, what's he going to say 'we have no bleeding chance'. You can get 12/1 if you fancy top 4.

Like John says, a cup's more realistic. We can't give the top 4 up, but it's unlikely I'd say.

As far as our results are concerned, I think the results every week show that practically any team can spring a surprise and what appeared to be bad results on our part, now don't look quite so bad, if that makes any sense!

Mike Hayes
35 Posted 18/12/2015 at 23:00:52
Rom should have a word with Martinez to get it sorted. The league is as wide open as it's ever been and anyone including Everton can win it but Martinez needs to pull his finger out and select and make changes better and quicker. If the fans can see it, so should he.
Don Alexander
36 Posted 18/12/2015 at 23:42:00
Patrick Murphy at #26 says all that needs to be said about our club whilst Martinez has been in charge. Our very mediocre results sum up what for us fans is deeply disappointing, but what for Martinez is genuinely, tragically (for us) the pinnacle of his career to date.

Champions League? He's having a laugh at our expense.

Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 18/12/2015 at 23:57:24
John 25, got to agree with you on priorities. Also think that if the team get a taste of winning something, it just might keep these young players together. Getting to the Champions League would be great, but only if we are really ready for it though.
Jack Cross
41 Posted 19/12/2015 at 01:44:35
Colin 2. Well said. I'm fed up to the back teeth with these predictions. Put the performances in that's needed and we might get 4th place.

I know Lukaku is doing his bit at scoring, but they have to work as a solid unit.

CL. You joking? Let's get through the league cup first. And start winning games.

The dogs of war attitude we need. Grit and determination and some balls.

The passing attacking football is superb to watch, but we aint no Arsenal. And that's the difference between CL footy and Europa league footy and were more Europa. But I think our only chance is through a cup success. I'm sad to said. With RBs defensive weaknesses. Which he don't seem to learn from.

Andy Osborne
42 Posted 19/12/2015 at 03:23:18
This is a no win situation for Rom. If he had have answered "no way, we are a mid table side, at best", he would have been slated on here. Also, what is said in public, is very different to what is said behind closed doors. I like the fact that we have young, hungry players, who want to achieve. I just hope they can fulfill part or all of their ambitions with Everton. Over to you, RM. Give them a reason to stay.
Nitesh Kanchan
44 Posted 19/12/2015 at 08:33:24
@Neil: Lukaku never scores a double.

@Tim: 72 pts might win the title this time. 65 will secure 4th.

Kunal Desai
45 Posted 19/12/2015 at 09:03:36
I'll be surprised if Everton pick up more than 5 points during the next 3 games.

Approaching nearly the half-way point of the season and we won't even have hit the 30-point barrier. We will finish the season with around 50-55 points.

Tim Locke
46 Posted 19/12/2015 at 10:04:15
Kunal - so would I. Against Leicester, on current form, we might get a draw. Newcastle, when on TV, pick up points for fun, so I don't think we will get any joy there. I think we will win against an up-and-down Stoke side who will allow space for Deulofeu and Lukaku to work magic.

In my head, it should be 9 points against 3 teams which should be below us, now and at the end of the season. Guess that's football... sells you hope and delivers disappointment.

Alastair Donaldson
47 Posted 19/12/2015 at 12:04:11
Andy (#38). I agree with all your comments about it being great that we have such young ambitious players. They really give us blues hope.

However, you say something at the end which many say: "Over to you RM to give them a reason to stay". While I completely agree RM needs to up his game in many areas, I also believe these 'young, ambitious players' need to as well.

Lukaku of late has been scoring a goal a game for fun. But nothing to stop him scoring twice, particularly when he has so many chances. A goal a game is a good return for any striker but even then complacency could creep in.

I think RM's main deficiencies are his defensive frailties and his refusal to sort out the Howard debacle. But these ambitious young players need to tighten up as well and consistently be the success stories we're given the occasional tantalising glimpse of.

Brin Williams
48 Posted 19/12/2015 at 13:24:25
I think this Jamie Vardy thing has been a good thing for Rom. It has served to show him that he has competition and I think he has decided to step up to the plate and fight for that No 1 spot.

Great for him – even better for us! Show him who's the best today, Rom. Slam dunk them.

Raymond Fox
49 Posted 19/12/2015 at 14:28:31
Patrick Murphy (#26) says all that needs to be said about our club whilst Martinez has been in charge. Our very mediocre results sum up what for us fans is deeply disappointing, but what for Martinez is genuinely, tragically (for us) the pinnacle of his career to date. Champions League? He's having a laugh at our expense.

A bit melodramatic Don don't you think! Martinez in his first season played a blinder and we came 5th in Premier League! The second season we dropped to 11th.

I, along with plenty of ex-footballers who have played in European competitions, believe playing in Europe has a detrimental effect on League form and therefore (I would guess) would cost us 3 or 4 places. Admittedly that's guesswork but it's bound to affect the team in a negative way through tiredness and injuries.

This season, we are 3 points away from 5th place after 16 games, and would be in 5th place at least if our strikers had scored a goal or two more from a load of chances that have been created. 'If' is a big word, I know.

The defenders have let in some soft goals, there's no doubt, but with the chances the strikers have had it shouldn't have mattered.

Martinez is undoubtedly proud to be our manager, Don, but I think he is also be proud to be an FA Cup Winner.

Mike Keating
51 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:18:54
If Lukaku is still eyeing top 4, he must be going somewhere else in the January transfer window...
Anthony Dwyer
52 Posted 21/12/2015 at 02:24:35
Yes Mike (45), maybe Leicester !
Frank Crewe
53 Posted 28/12/2015 at 17:04:09
I'll bet he isn't now. He scores goal after goal only to be let down by the defense. He's flogging a dead horse at Everton.

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