Howard's position as the Toffees' seemingly unmovable first-team goalkeeper has come under fresh scrutiny as the side continues to concede important goals and pass up points from winning positions, a situation that means they kick off 2016 in the bottom half of the table.
Martinez has again stressed the American's importance to his young defence, while also admitting that every player's position is open to examination while Everton aren't winning matches.
"Every player's position is always under scrutiny; I think we are what we are because of the competition for places that we have," Martinez said.
"But, in the same manner, I don't think it's a situation down to one individual. It would be very stupid from us just to think the solution is to blame someone. Tim Howard had an incredible moment against Newcastle, he had a great save in a key moment of the game.
"Clearly defensively we haven't been good enough of late at home and I don't think it's down to one player. But, in the same way, nobody has guaranteed their starting place just because of your name or your past.
"At the moment, we are realising that the importance of Tim Howard is to help a young team like ours to reach the best level and be as good as we can," Martinez continued.
"Everyone will be needed and we can't wait to get rid of the horrible feeling we left ourselves against Stoke at Goodison."
Reader Comments (103)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
2 Posted 02/01/2016 at 14:59:01
If RM feels that he is performing well and is important to our young defence then so be it... but, for me, it just fuels the feeling that I have always had that the manager is not the man for Everton FC.
3 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:00:27
4 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:02:38
5 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:12:42
6 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:17:15
1 - Apparently there is competition for places. So who are Kone, Howard, playing better than which earns them a start?
2 - If we are blaming an individual, Roberto, how about whoever it is who is telling the defenders what to do? Howard may put in some decent saves but is clearly over the hill, and collectively I think, we cannot be blaming him for that. He doesn't pick himself, mate.
3 - Seems to be acknowledging there is a problem...Repeat as above.
Last two sentences just using up words. Say nothing. What is Howard doing to help our young team then. Experienced for sure but must be making them nervous during games.
This month will kill or cure us this season. It's an absolute 'mare. 9 difficult matches between now and 6th Feb - 5 weeks (I am sure we will make D&R difficult somehow).
7 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:17:30
8 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:24:37
9 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:24:44
After the Newcastle game, you said we have learnt our lessons... the next game, we concede 4 goals!
10 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:24:47
11 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:30:33
What a complete load of cack; practise what you preach, you idiot.
I've had enough of this second rate buffoon. The sooner he's hounded out of the club, the better.
12 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:31:25
13 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:33:55
14 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:34:01
15 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:34:16
16 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:34:25
How does he not get asked a follow-up question to provide an example of when he last dropped an Everton player due to the performance? The only time I can think of a player being dropped was Robles and that was after a run of clean sheets.
17 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:41:00
18 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:46:03
19 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:49:31
Great point, mate.
20 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:54:59
21 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:55:03
This is exactly why Martinez's detractors get so pissed.
Just drop Howard, send a message that no-one is untouchable and if you cost us points you're getting splinters in your ass for a few games.
Martinez is still my man, but Jesus please Roberto just make a couple of obvious changes.
22 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:58:55
23 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:59:01
A manager's job is first and foremost to put out his best team always, make necessary changes when players are injured or out of form, impact subs to change the course of the game at a time when the player coming on can have a positive effect etc.
Oh, and your favourites should be droppable too, Roberto, if they continue to make mistakes.
24 Posted 02/01/2016 at 15:59:28
It goes without saying that Howard has made many great stops in his career and he deserves credit for them, but he has made several juvenile blunders costing games and points, so deserves an equal amount of flak from those who pay his wages.
No one disputes that our problems are 'collective' but they too are largely caused by the inability of the manager to depart from a mentality of dictatorship of 'What I say and do goes'.
After today's result at West Ham, we must get a positive result against Spurs to to at least keep us in touch with our beloved neighbours and a possible return to Euro competition. COYB.
25 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:03:50
What I do think will happen is that the club and Howard will draw up between them a face saving departure in the summer. Either some coaching role, or off to back to the States. In my opinion, Martinez has done massive damage with his perverse and stubborn misplaced loyalty to Howard. Same as Moyes and Osman.
26 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:06:40
It really, really is similar to the Moyes-Osman lovefest.
Anyone else notice that our shit run / lack of points Chrimbo coincided with the return of one Leighton Baines?
I said all along Galloway shouldn't have been dropped... just saying.
Tough decisions are what a manager gets paid to do. Keep the "England international" left back on the bench while Galloway is producing. Drop Howard when he's playing shite. Simple!
Someone hire me!
27 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:09:30
However, we know Tim will be playing again today and will possibly / probably be responsible for conceding a goal or two. Lukaku will score one, possibly two and we might catch a draw. However, I don't think I will be watching the game.
I have caught a bad dose of "Toffeewiganitis" and although it's not terminal a complete change of diet and a long period of recuperation is called for.
28 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:13:06
Baines played in the win against Newcastle clean sheet.
Galloway played in defeat to Stoke, Baines didn't four conceded... just saying.
29 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:16:29
Truthfully, Baines is slower than Galloway and his body is not as sprightly and forgiving as it once was. He's also been out for months too.
30 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:16:43
If nobody is guaranteed their place, why did Baines walk straight back into the team when Galloway was playing so well? Why was Cleverley dropped in favour of McCarthy who hasn't played for a while? Why persist with Kone when Mirallas is chomping at the bit (wasn't even on the bench!)?
Then we come to the elephant in the room Howard. He's finished and should have been dropped long ago. Robles may not be the answer, but give the lad a chance to prove his worth then decide.
Bobby, either practice what you preach or stop spouting shite that just infuriates the devoted blues.
31 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:16:47
I watched him from the Lower Street End against Leicester close up. He visibly does not want the ball coming into his box. He turns his head and just flaps. His error for the Stoke third magnifies that. He needs to be dropped and now!!
32 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:23:18
This manager has had Distin, Alcaraz, Jags, Stones etc and the goals against keep mounting just like they did at Wigan.
Yes Howard needs replacing but this manager has not got a clue about how to set up a team or in game management. He has been sussed out big time by any half decent manager.
Jamie, Galloway was looking jaded before Baines came back and it was he not Baines who failed to shackle Shaqiri.
33 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:23:26
Well done, Roberto, we have finally got a right-thinking strategist at the helm. I will sleep soundly in anticipation of a drubbing by Spurs.
Who cares? We are too good to go down, thanks to Villa, Sunderland and AN Other, and we will look good at Wembley, soon to become our second home.
34 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:32:32
Howard is well past his sell-by date and his poor form is affecting the whole defence.
35 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:40:48
Show some fuckin backbone man and tell things as they are! We are woefully inept in defence and the buck stops with your defensive coaches. They need to be replaced ASAP...
36 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:57:11
We have won just 10 Home games in the Premier League since the start of last season. 10 Home games in 18 months!
This season, we are conceding 1.9 goals at home per match.
Martinez is an idiot; we look okay going forward but this has got to be the worst defending I have seen in 35 years of supporting Everton.
78 goals we have shipped in the last 18 months.
I cannot believe people still blindly defend this clown.
39 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:18:19
It's all well and good him going on about collective responsibility but the defence gains immeasurable confidence if the have absolute faith in the man between the sticks. Unless Martinez himself takes his share of the 'collective responsibility ' by dropping the failing goalkeeper, he is letting himself, the team, the fans, the board who appointed him, and poor old Robles down.
It would serve Martinez right if Robles put in a transfer request based on the lack of first team opportunities but he won't of course, as long as we remain in the League Cup and he stands a chance of playing at Wembley.
But, what's the chances, if we somehow beat Man City, that Martinez puts Howard in for the final to give his favourite the chance of a winner's medal? I wouldn't put anything past this Charlatan.
40 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:26:35
Tim Howard is a conceited bighead, who won't hold up his hands when he makes yet another cock-up, who thinks he is world class, when he is only an average keeper at best.
41 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:39:20
I hate to be negative as there is so much positive about the quality of this side, but if we don't sort this quickly, this team will fall apart in the summer. How 'Everton' would that be? The current frustration in the ground is tangible and it's not a pleasant place to be right now.
Onwards and upwards, eh?
43 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:57:48
44 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:01:22
45 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:29:22
Cutting out crosses is part of the remit of your wide midfielders. This becomes rather confusing when we only play with one wide man. Teams see this weakness and overload the weak flank.
Even when Baines can get back into position, the opposition have a spare man unmarked, who would normally be picked up by the left midfielder. In past years that was Pienaar who did offer cover and of course MIrallas does his best to cover; however, when he gets back and makes a challenge, he is victimized for 12 months for kicking a player with his follow-through.
Tough job playing as a left midfielder unless you are Kone and you just don't ever make a challenge or close your man down; neither does he get defensive headers in... but Bobby just ignores it.
46 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:30:54
47 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:32:28
With almost any other manager in the football league, this could have been our season, but we have Roberto, who will satisfy our utterly shit board by, merely, not getting relegated. That, it seems, is all that is required of this bumbling ninny. What a shame.
48 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:36:53
Stones has been soft and cowardly as a central defender. Even the announcers on our games over here continue to comment on his lack of true defending skills and even wonder why he continues to back off of players, conceding space and the ball in the box.
I wonder if you all would complain if Stones was properly sent to the bench on Jagielka's return. He seems to be undroppable to most of you which I believe is what you criticize the manager for... right?
BTW, Kevin Ratcliffe blames the defense, not Howard, but his opinion is useless too?
49 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:46:18
I lost it with Martinez last season when he dropped Stones for Alcaraz and Robles for Howard. Nothing since then has made me change my mind.
50 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:46:58
Inexcusable at this level, which is why we're being ruthlessly exposed. Also, relying so heavily on one man to put the ball in the net is criminal; imagine Lukaku playing next to a Jermaine Defoe type!
51 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:52:41
Tim Howard was an okay goalkeeper who is well past his best, whose remonstrations with his defenders following yet another howler are just embarrassing.
53 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:08:16
However, if (as our manager says) Tim Howard is good in the dressing room... then FFS leave him in there!
54 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:21:36
He can be a great influence in the dressing room whether he plays or not, just as I assume players like Ossie and Hibbo are these days. It's Martinez's assertion that he "controls" the defenders in front of him, one that rings hollow to me, particularly when you see a 21-year-old John Stones admonishing him for putting him in trouble with ill-advised balls to him in dangerous areas.
55 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:26:28
Is that tongue-in-cheek? Do you mean leave him in the dressing room when the game is being played?
56 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:36:09
Presumably you are completely ignoring the biggest coward in the team who cannot wait to jump out of the way or backwards out of any impending danger, or staying on his line to let inexperienced defenders deal with any crossed balls in "his six" in case he gets clattered, even though he can use his hands or diving at an attacker's feet with his hands and chest instead of using his feet..... Now I wonder if you can guess who I am talking about, Jim?
Stones has made mistakes but will get to a level that other players could only ever dream about because he is still learning to be a centre-back with a mute liability behind him. What is your hero Tim Howard's excuse?
57 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:45:01
I'm fed up with Bob picking out individual saves that Howard made, or referring to his experience, to try and justify his selection in the team. He won't mention the mistakes he makes, and he thinks that Kone is the reason Lukaku is scoring. Total arrogance.
He won't accept criticism, and at no stage does he believe the reason we are conceding so many goals is because he's picking a team with no shape whatsoever.
58 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:45:56
59 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:46:54
60 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:51:58
We have an international back 5 that since the man with the historic record of managing clubs that ship goals like a sieve joined us has looked a shambles.
People always look for scapegoats.
Distin and Alcaraz were the last ones please don't let this joker turn all the fans against Tim Howard.
I agree and have said since before THAT World Cup that we needed a better keeper but he is not responsible for the defensive shambles we now have.
Look off the pitch for that one.
61 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:57:31
If you can't see that Barkley has been getting steadily better and better this season, making better decisions and eliminating mistakes, then I really don't know what to say. Especially when you seem to imply the woeful Kone is somehow carrying him.
Ross is finally developing despite a second-rate manager.
62 Posted 02/01/2016 at 21:00:13
Howard is being made a scapegoat when in reality the mistakes are being made long before the ball has found the back of his net.
63 Posted 02/01/2016 at 21:01:56
64 Posted 02/01/2016 at 21:12:43
Coleman and Stones, for example, are far better players than Hibbert and Distin BUT they would be killed by those two in a heading, tackling and defending contest. Unfortunately defending is their primary role.
That's the fundamental problem. We have defenders that aren't great at defending. Even Baines is better going forwards than back.
65 Posted 02/01/2016 at 21:50:49
Tim hasn't "suddenly" become a poor keeper; in my opinion, he has been poor for some time. Look at the effect that a top goalkeeper can have on an inexperienced defence and then consider flapping, panicking, remonstrating, star-jumping, hands-avoiding Tim. Imagine being our young defenders with that behind them.
Confident, reassuring, inspiring, ferocious, calm, courageous. It would be good to have a goalkeeper with even two of those attributes.
66 Posted 02/01/2016 at 21:52:42
Does that not tell you that Tim was always piss poor at crosses, and Fellaini and Distin saved his bacon?
67 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:05:53
I see the mighty Stoke didn't look so good today against an average defence. Puts into perspective just how terrible ours is.
68 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:16:12
69 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:42:52
I think he is failing us on both counts at the minute, and this is just not good enough for the most important member of staff, on the football side of our club.
Some of the attacking football that we play is excellent, but we let ourselves down badly when it comes to defending. It's criminal that we don't defend as a team, but the fact that it's obvious, the back four are not being schooled to defend as a unit, really is incredible.
One of the first things, you should be taught in any school of life, is to help your fucking mate out, but our back five play like it's every man for himself.
So I think you're correct in not blaming any individuals, Roberto, but if you don't look in the mirror soon, it will surely cost you your job.
70 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:54:03
Many on here seem to be blaming Tim for us conceding all of these goals. I think he's as good as he's always been. Whether that is/was good enough in the first place is down to the manager.
I think Moyes was aware of his weaknesses and ensured that he had the protection that he needed in front of him.
Martinez appreciates his strengths, but doesn't account for his weaknesses.
If you play Tim then you play defenders that defend and head (plus a Fellaini type player who comes back for set pieces). Tim can take care of the shot stopping very adequately.
Of course it would be nice to have a world class keeper, but you don't buy one to solve defensive deficiencies. You sort out the defence.
71 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:01:50
His shots-to-saves ratio seem to suggest otherwise...
72 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:05:41
Attacking? Very good, with very good players.
Blame Howard solely? Well, I know he's past his best and does need replacing, but if you have to play him, set the defense up to minimise his weaknesses...
We've seen Howard play as part of a solid defensive unit.
Question: Has anyone ever seen Martinez build a consistently solid defensive unit? If the answer is no (like me), then the problem is Martinez. And only Martinez...
Martinez out ASAP!
73 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:30:24
He is bang out of form and has been horrible for over a year. Statistically he was the worst goalkeeper in the league last season, with Everton ranking top for blocking shots which blows your nonsense out of the water.
74 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:35:45
Only Jack Butland and Pantilimon have made more saves in the premier league this season than Tim. If his shots-to-save ratio is as poor as you suggest, then that means our defenders are allowing a disproportionate amount of shots at our goal.
Regardless of what many think about Tim, the defence is terrible at defending. Baines, Coleman and Stones are fantastic footballers, but not great defenders.
75 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:36:19
Calling John Stones "soft and cowardly" is no more appalling than calling Martinez a "talentless, inept, fool". You're no stranger to hyperbole yourself so lay off the righteous indignation please.
Stones does let himself get bullied at times and does turn his back on shots rather than throwing his body in the way so I can understand why he used those words, even if I wouldn't have used them myself.
76 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:52:42
If he did, the boys we've got on the pitch would now how to see games out and take maximum points from winning positions. We've got experienced, international level pros who know how to play the game.
I like Martinez and his philosophy. I feel he just needs to let the lads do what they know how to do a bit more. The sooner we have Jags back, the better. When he's back in the side, all these draws will start turning into wins.
77 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:58:07
Nobody is denying he had a terrible season last season, but the stats this season suggest that the defence is at fault. Too many shots are being allowed at goal. So it doesn't really blow my nonsense out of the water. Perhaps you should consider focusing on this season's stats?
For what it's worth, I'm not saying he's a great keeper. It would be great to buy a world-class keeper, but I believe he's not the main problem.
78 Posted 03/01/2016 at 00:23:37
It's all been said, but if he says every spot is up for competition, then drops three players after a win, then he is a fucking idiot. This is the same as when Moyes used to say he was looking forward to a certain player playing and then never using him, which happened a lot.
Nobody should expect the manager to blame individuals in a presser but his true intentions should show in his team selections.
It has also been said in the past that Howard is important from a US market standpoint. I live in Canada (pretty much the same sport market) and I can tell you more people know who Lukaku is than Tim Howard, and that is because big Rom is producing.
Howard will play tomorrow. Of that, I have no doubt. I also have no doubt, injuries aside, that he will play against Man City in the league 10 days later, and that is just the saddest thing.
79 Posted 03/01/2016 at 00:26:23
The fact team shape, system and defensive organisation has been bordering on the shambolic at times doesn't mean the keeper should get of free. If anything, it's at such times that you need your keeper to be stepping up to the plate, proving his worth and helping to stem the tide, not suffering multiple Stan Laurel moments and scratching his head afterwords like he's trying to fathom what the fucks just happened.
So far this season, whenever Everton have been leading a game by one goal, Howard has failed to save even a single shot on target.
80 Posted 03/01/2016 at 02:14:06
I agree our defence is not up to scratch, but any manager who can keep selecting a keeper that is shipping in goals, week-in & week-out, is sending out the wrong message.
Any player that knows, barring suspension or the injury, he will not be dropped is not motivating them. Drop the guy, make them fight for their place, that's what Martinez needs to do, but he won't.
81 Posted 03/01/2016 at 03:16:56
I do worry about Martinez's sanity at times. The things he highlights, the decisions he makes, even just the way he constructs a sentence... He just baffles me at every turn.
83 Posted 03/01/2016 at 03:46:41
Our shabby defending has nothing to do with Tim Howard, and everything to do with our idiotic ploy of attacking like maniacs without doing anything about defending first.
Almost every goal we concede is with our defenders chasing back towards our goal, with the opposition bearing down on Howard at pace, yet people blame the keeper all the time!
I would suggest people look at the bigger picture before they lay all the blame with the last line of defence especially as our first line of defence consists of two central defenders on the halfway line, and our fullbacks up near the opposition's 18-yard line!
84 Posted 03/01/2016 at 07:21:23
Yeah TH is past it but ruthlessly exposed. Mind you, I'd love to see us back to the Moyes use of attacking set-pieces at both ends of the pitch.
85 Posted 03/01/2016 at 08:56:48
The fact is Howard has made more saves this season than every Premier League keeper apart from 2.
I'm not defending his mistakes or saying that he's a great keeper. I'm simply saying that he is being exposed by poor defending.
86 Posted 03/01/2016 at 09:39:34
87 Posted 03/01/2016 at 09:53:54
Howard had been exposed by our lack of nous all over the park. His mistakes have been fewer that those of say Galloway and Stones, who have erred regularly, with both positional mistakes and poor passes or botched tackles.
Funes Mori has also coughed up the ball to the opposition on occasion, and even Seamus, who has been good getting forward, has been caught out a few times.
The Goalkeeper's mistakes stay in the memory, and because Howard's reflexes are on the wane, and the fact that he has had a pair of inexperienced centre-backs in front of him, we have seen him exposed more than in the past.
Martinez may not want to drop him due to the effect it could have on the atmosphere at the training ground. Howard is a senior pro, in a relatively young team. He may well be an important supporter of the manager.
Also Robles, seems such a happy-go-lucky personality, and is young, so there is no pressure on Roberto to make a difficult decision.
Maybe Martinez thinks that with another inexperienced player in that defence, that more things will go wrong.
I think that Martinez will keep faith with Howard until the summer, when he will be offered the chance to leave, perhaps to the States or a coaching job (US National side?).
It could be in the minds of those that run our club, that with the interest from this American consortium, that it would be politic to keep our US hero involved for the time being, at least!
88 Posted 03/01/2016 at 09:57:01
There aren't any stats for goalies organising the defence in front of them but I sit in the Gladwys street and can tell you he doesn't communicate with his defenders.
If you think he's still as good as he was then I would question your judgement, because it seems at odds with the vast majority of supporters.
89 Posted 03/01/2016 at 10:15:39
The fact is that he has never been as exposed as he is right now. We miss a commanding centre back. The shots saved stat gives us an indication of how many shots our defence is allowing.
If you have a keeper who isn't comfortable with crosses then you need defenders that are. At the moment Tim's weaknesses are being exposed by a poor defence.
Of course I'd like to see us buy a top class keeper, but in reality it's papering over huge cracks.
I would question anyone's judgement who believes changing keeper is the answer to us conceding so many goals. This season Tim has been better than last season (admittedly not much of an accomplishment), but he is being blamed for goals that are coming from defensive errors and poor positioning.
As Martinez says, it's a collective responsibility. Himself, Tim, and all of the players included.
90 Posted 03/01/2016 at 10:32:31
However, the goalkeeper is the most important position in the team bar none. No team (possibly outside of the Brazil national team) wins anything with a suspect keeper.
And whether it was then or now is irrelevant as Tim is definitely suspect now. If you see something that absolutely needs addressing then FFS address it straight away. Then move on to the next thing that needs assessing. Don't just ignore it and say there are other problems and do nothing as that doesn't help.
I don't by the way think you are arguing this, but this is clearly how you are coming over to other posters.
91 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:08:48
He's regressed to the point where he is certifiable liability. Every informed / neutral observer that likes footie recognise that Howard is culpable for a large proportion of our current failings. Newspaper articles, TV pundits... the Echo even chose Robles as goalkeeper for their 2015 Everpool team.
I don't know if you attend the games and, if so, where you sit... but Howard has (rightfully) been receiving a lot of 'advice' from the crowd for the best part of two seasons. Last Monday's exchange with the Gwladys Street was the latest of many.
Dennis Lawrence, supposedly the defensive coach, must also be held responsible; his failings are glaringly obvious but then his credentials were questionable to begin with.
Howard to be replaced by Robles, Lawrence to be replaced by a recognised defensive coach, and / or Martinez out ... that would signal intent and the first steps in getting this season back on track.
92 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:36:27
The only time Wigan ever improved defensively was when Martinez switched to 3 centre backs, and even then I'm not sure how long this improvement lasted, although it did keep them in the premier league for a bit longer!
This system is strange, for two reasons. Firstly it really exposes our left side, and secondly it really exposes the two centre-backs. It's alright having a midfielder cover a fullback, but often a fast counter attack, will find a covering midfielder on the wrong side defensively. They might be able to see the danger, but they can do absolutely nothing to stop it.
It's defensive suicide really, and if he doesn't change it things will only get worse. Go back to two natural wide men (like your first season) or play 3 Central defenders.
Play Lennon and Miralles out wide, drop Barkley alongside Barry, and play Deulofeu central behind Lukaku. Make the back 4 play conservatively, and as a fucking unit, and get at Spurs today!!
93 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:49:17
94 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:56:36
95 Posted 03/01/2016 at 12:20:55
What we are, at the moment, is a disjointed, leaderless team that couldn't defend a bouncy castle. So if that's down to competition to places then god help us.
Also, the Tim Howard save against the Magpies was right at him and suited his star-jumping technique.
96 Posted 03/01/2016 at 12:27:02
Only if you want to be blinkered and take the evidence of last season in total isolation.
If you're talking about a players progression, regression or plateauing, then you obviously need to take into consideration what came before and compare then to the here and now. Lukaku and Barkley have both shown clear improvement this season compared to last. Tim Howard may have made marginal improvements in some areas compared to last year but he's tumbled even further toward clown school in others.
If even the local and national rags have finally twigged and are now pointing the finger at the player over his poor performances then, obviously, the problem persists.
For the past three summers I've stated Everton's top transfer priority should be recruiting a new number 1 and I'll be beating that exact same drum again this close season, irrespective of whether it's Howard or Robles who ends the season in possession of the shirt.
So, that means I don't think Robles is the long term answer, but for the time being he could provide an immediate boost and take some pressure off. Let's face it, the manager isn't suddenly going to start altering shape, strategy or formation in an effort to achieve greater solidity and he doesn't have any real options to switch up defensive personnel.
(Any potential Damascus moment is like to be misconstrued by Martinez as 'a fantastic opportunity to prove the team have entered a momentous period that will enable them to emerge from a chrysalis shell and enjoy the magnificence of their own mutated beauty in the bathroom mirror'....or something).
For one thing, Robles will at least have the crowd right behind him from the off, rather than sarcastically taking the piss or getting involved in slanging matches like they were with Howard last time out. He might not try to save every shot with a splayed foot or freak out every time an opposing forward has the cheek to stand too close to him from a corner. He might actually communicate with his defenders and dish out a bollocking when due. He might actually make a save from an opposition shot after Everton have gone in front and thereby prevent the back four panicking like fuck that the first sight of goal granted at such a pivotal point in the game is tantamount to a guaranteed goal.
97 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:15:41
Martinez is right in his assertions that it is a collective responsibility. If John Stones didn't have unbelievable potential and great ball skills then he would be getting slated for his performances. Defensively he is a liability. However, he will learn from these experiences and mature into a class act.
98 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:20:31
Excellent post, hits the nail on the head and I entirely agree.
99 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:26:43
Slightly off topic, Everton have sold the full 7,000 plus allocation for the Capital One Cup away second leg with Man City but appear to be struggling to sell out the home first leg next Wednesday... Someone please explain the logic of that to me?
100 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:30:10
101 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:48:42
102 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:52:32
If you are, you're entitled to your opinion (a popular opinion at that) but I don't agree. It would help, of course, but it won't address the real problem, which James has outlined.
103 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:01:14
Which is what we need, but of course Martinez knows better than Clough, Paisley, Revie, Kendall, Ferguson et al he has never signed a tough guy and never will.
Martinez's sides are easy to work out and play against which is why, after his first promotion with Swansea, his teams have all got gradually worse results year on year till he left. Why should things be any different with us?
104 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:04:46
That said, it IS, of course, ultimately the responsibility of one man in particular to address an obvious failing. And that man is RM. However, his own numerous public statements this season alone suggests he neither sees it as a grave issue or something to prioritize.
I also sympathize with the opinion Chris Gould is offering in this thread, which some are mistaking for a blind defence of Howard (but I don't agree completely with his claim that previous season stats are an 'irrelevance').
After the Stoke game I read people directing the blame for all 4 goals including the penalty winner to Tim (the pen because 'if he hadn't dived to his right, he would have saved it'). The other 3 goals were brilliant in differing ways.
The first, I would have been overjoyed if Everton had scored it. Three very good players, opening up our back line with speed of thought, play and passing. I wouldn't even be over-critical of our defence over that one, particularly of Stones as again some have on here. At this level, sometimes just millimetres or just putting a player slightly off balance makes the difference and Bojan contrived that in the build-up. Howard had no chance with the opener. Sometimes you have to give credit to the brilliance of the opposition and that was such an occasion.
As for the second, whether it was a deliberate worldy or a mishit cross, again, zero blame of Howard for me. Even the third goal Tim got most stick for, again Coleman allowed his man too much room to get the cross in and the delivery was top quality, like a late outswinger in cricket that tempts the batsman to edge to slips. It came in hard and mid-height and kept swinging away from Howard who couldn't get enough purchase on the ball to clear it further out than he did. You still have to give credit to the finish also, top drawer.
Howard needs replacing of that I have no doubt... and I don't believe Robles is the answer. But primarily blaming the keeper for all our defensive woes is to ignore the obvious.
How our team is set up is why we concede so many goals.
105 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:09:28
Fraser (#96), I'm saying that while Howard isn't the sole cause of our defensive malaise, it certainly would help if our keeper was much braver and commanding in our 6-yard box. You can't blame the defence collectively for Howard dropping clangers in the 6-yard box.
So while saying that Howard is solely to blame is an exaggeration, the bigger picture that James talks about in #75, certainly does include him as a source of many opposition goals.
106 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:43:41
I personally don't think he's changed a great deal but one thing he sure as hell has, namely, the personnel and organisation in front of him. It's a fucking shambles.
Your point also works both ways; results would improve considerably if we set up so that the transition between attack and defence were more balanced. It would also help if our centre-backs were more commanding, braver, attacked the ball, etc.
107 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:44:59
108 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:53:40
Not closing down, not pressing, not being able to attack or defend set-pieces, and not defending as a team from the front does not work in the Premier League, no matter how many holding midfielders you use.
He needs to go, he's clueless, not good enough for the Premier League and certainly not good enough for Everton FC!!
109 Posted 03/01/2016 at 15:30:10
Unfortunately I feel the defensive side of the team is just not up to it. COYB.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.