Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur

by | 02/01/2016  116 Comments  [Jump to last]
Match Preview

Everton complete what has been a mixed festive programme with a tricky-looking home game against high-flying Tottenham Hotspur in the main Sunday match-up.

Just as he did a year ago, Roberto Martinez begins 2016 under a degree of pressure but this time, far from struggling to find solutions at the attacking end of his team, it's mostly the Toffees' defensive and goalkeeping woes that have ensured they will kick off the New Year in cut adrift in the bottom half of the table – albeit only five points off fifth position.

Having played all of last season's top eight in the first 10 games, Everton's recent nine-match stretch since October was expected to provide them the opportunity to rack up points and propel themselves into the reckoning for the top four but they managed just three wins against the current bottom three.

Starting with tomorrow's opponents, Tottenham Hotspur, Martinez's side now enter a busy part of the fixture list against a host of top sides searching for the keys to solidity at the back and a collective mentality to start grinding out wins. Under Mauricio Pochettino, the North Londoners appear to have found the blend of consistency, solidity and potency that has eluded Everton and they came into the weekend in fourth place, just four points off the top of the Premier League.

The Argentine has overseen a steady improvement in his outfit's performances since the two teams met in a goalless draw at White Hart Lane at the end of August, a game that Everton might have won were they in the same goalscoring groove as they are at the moment, and they are being mentioned as possible title contenders.

Spurs's situation is one that will nag at Evertonians who feel it could easily be the Blues in this unpredictable season but the congested nature of the top half means that the opportunity is still there if they can finally put together a run of victories in a campaign where they have so failed to win two League games in succession.

Coming into the end-of-year programme, Martinez was trumpeting the imminent return of a number of his players that he hoped would get him close to full strength to start 2016 but a setback for James McCarthy who, it would appear, was rushed back too soon to face Stoke on Monday, and an injury to Tom Cleverley in the same game means he will be forced into changes for this one.

McCarthy is definitely ruled out, with rumours suggesting he won't play again until February, while Cleverley will be a doubt with an Achilles problem and that could provide an opportunity for Muhamed Besic or Darron Gibson to make a rare start in central midfield alongside Gareth Barry.

Further back, while Joel Robles will surely get the nod as the "cup 'keeper" against Manchester City in the semi-final first leg on Wednesday, there has been nothing to suggest from the manager's comments that Tim Howard's position is under threat despite his erratic form so it will probably be as-you-were between the posts. Leighton Baines is expected to return at left back, meanwhile, after being rested against Stoke.

Most eyes might have been on the centre-back pairing, however, where it was hoped Phil Jagielka would make his long-awaited return from the knee ligament injury he sustained in October. The captain's experience and comparatively stronger defensive organisation has been missed, particularly in recent weeks but it's unlikely he will be declared fit enough to come back into the side, and Ramiro Funes Mori should continue in his stead for one more game at least.

In the attacking third, Arouna Kone and Kevin Mirallas will probably vie for one starting berth while Gerard Deulofeu and Aaron Lennon will be in the frame for the other.

With Harry Kane back in the kind of form that made him the surprise goalscoring package of last season, Erik Lamela showing the kind of consistency that has eluded Mirallas, for example, and the likes of Tom Carroll and Dele Alli probing precociously from midfield – Spurs will be without Mousa Dembele who has a groin injury – this will be a stern test for Everton's fragile back line.

If they can shore things up and take a more mature approach to what will be a difficult game, then they obviously have the firepower to make the difference at the other end. A defeat would represent a body blow to a team already short on confidence at the moment; a win would be a massive boost to morale, not only for the Capital One Cup tie but the rest of the tough month ahead.

Kick-off: 4pm
Referee: Michael Oliver
Predicted line-up: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry, Besic, Barkley, Deulofeu, Kone, Lukaku

Full details: ToffeeWeb Match Report


Reader Comments (116)

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Dave Lynch
1 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:20:38
Not looking forward to another inept defensive display.

Let's pray he's learnt his lesson... Hang on, where have I heard that before?

Mark Tanton
2 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:23:13
Not sure how to call this. I am fed up, and can't even face watching it. Can see us winning but just not sure. If Howard makes a mistake, there'll be a mutiny.
Guy Hastings
3 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:33:00
I don't rate their fullbacks so two wide men (Kone mooching about on the touchline does not a wide man make).
Tony Twist
4 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:39:28
I am sure Spurs will roll into town, we will huff and puff, Spurs will get a couple of quick goals then roll on back to the smoke with all three points and nowt will change and we will then stumble into the next match.

Prove me wrong, Blues.
Mark Daley
6 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:47:12
All very true; and if Aunty had balls...

Our only hope is that the Americans aren't put off by their due diligence and buy Uncle Bill out. They're a leap in the dark but the alternative is gradual decline...
David Hallwood
8 Posted 02/01/2016 at 16:53:01
Now, now, gents. Like everyone else, I'm totally pissed off with our inability to defend a lead or to close a game out, and just like everyone else have articulated my pissedoffedness with a few posts.

But tomorrow is another day so let's put the negativity away and get behind the blues. I'll be delighted by any type of win, but against Spurs it will be even better because of their delusional supporters who seem to think that they're a big team.

A scrappy 1-0 to bring the New Year in.

Joe Foster
9 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:04:38
A win for us tomorrow would be a shock result. I can not see it happening. That's not being negative – just being realistic.
Kunal Desai
11 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:09:17
Our master class of a manager will no doubt make changes for this one. I wouldn't be surprised if Besic, Osman, Mirallas and Lennon all start.

It won't make a jot of difference as I believe Spurs will win this with ease. He'll tell us after the game he had to rotate the side with one eye on Wednesday night.
Tony Twist
12 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:10:25
Fair enough, David, I must think positive thoughts... I must think positive thoughts.

My team would be:

Robles;
Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines;
Besic, Barry;
Deulofeu, Barkley, Mirallas;
Lukaku.

A one-nil win to the blues would be most welcome.
Ian McDowell
13 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:10:45
Spurs have been impressive this season and the reason why is they have been so solid at the back and very organised.

Still, every game is 11 v 11 so no reason why we can't beat anybody at home. Win and we are 6 points off 4th. Strange season.
Gerard Carey
14 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:15:51
A point on another thread, shouldn't Robles play tomorrow?

If he is to start against Man City during the week, surely he needs a bit of game time.
Jay Harris
16 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:30:24
I think we are ready for a major change and, with Kone showing an inability to score, I would play Baines in front of Galloway, which should give us better defensive qualities and not affect our attacking too much.

If Cleverley is unfit, it's a clear chance for Besic to come good.

It galled me to see Cech get Arsenal all 3 points today but I guess Robles will have to wait for midweek for his chance.

My favoured team:

Robles;
Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Galloway;
Cleverley (Besic), Barry;
Lennon (Deulofeu second half), Barkley, Baines;
Lukaku.

John Raftery
17 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:33:27
We need to be ready for a battle tomorrow. Spurs are the dirtiest team in the league with 247 fouls committed, that's 13 per game.
Eddie Dunn
18 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:38:15
I hope that we get a win, which would close the gap on the top 6, and with Lukaku's great form, there is a chance of us rolling them over. In reality though, they are very resilient, and with Ali they have a real gem, who isn't afraid to have a pop.

Realistically, we will do well to get a draw. The big lads Dier and Alderweireld , are dangerous from set-pieces, and with our confidence at the back shot to pieces, it is a certainty that they will score.

I have been delusional enough to get my hopes up too many times this season, only to have them crushed by our bullshit-spouting manager, and his under-rehearsed defence. His odd team selections and bafflingly late subs have reduced my optimism and leave me clutching to the hope of a draw at best, but I think Spurs will win 1-3.
Andy Meighan
19 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:39:15
I'd feel more confident if we were away to be honest our home form is atrocious. I mean look at Stoke at WBA today who struggled to create anything yet looked really dangerous against us, especially second half. Ditto Leicester who haven't scored since putting 3 past us.

So basically what I'm saying is we are so easy to score against and I really believe we will have to score 3 or 4 to win tomorrow because while Spurs are hardly prolific they won't have to work that hard to score 2 or 3 against us he can put out what side he wants. But it won't alter the deficiencies in defence or between the posts. I'll be shocked if we win, I really will.
Chris Gould
20 Posted 02/01/2016 at 17:54:42
There is little doubt that Spurs will score from a set-piece or cross. As much as people are moaning about our defensive fragility, the problems will not be resolved any time soon.

This is not the game to play more defensively. Spurs will score. We need to go all out to outscore them. I'd rather we had a right go and lost 3-4 in a thriller than lose 0-1 in a bore of a game.

Paul Merson reckons we are very close to clicking, and that when we do we'll go on a very successful run. I'm inclined to agree.

Oliver Molloy
21 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:21:26
Thank you, Lyndon.

If we don't win this, we are not many points off a relegation battle is what worries me; another draw or defeat is not good enough.

I am concerned Martinez will have his eye on Wednesday's match with Man City and could be thinking that a win on Wednesday night would be more important and beneficial to the club long term. I say this because of his comments earlier this week that Spurs are capable of winning the Premier League – what a great group of players Pochettino has assembled, how good they are as a team, and on and on... possibly true... but hang on a minute. It is not really what I want to hear from an Everton manager. Didn't we used to hear this quite a bit from our former manager, the white flag up before a ball is kicked?!?

Are Spurs a decent side? Yes, they are. Are Everton capable of beating them? Yes, we are.

A victory over Spurs will set "our group" up nicely for the semi-final match; whereas, dare I say it, another home defeat will be disaster for Everton. So a big performance is required from all concerned tomorrow at Goodison – we have to win this one.

Patrick Murphy
22 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:32:55
Oliver (17) I think you must have missed many of Roberto's pre-match thoughts as he has bigged up Stoke, Leicester, Newcastle etc and he often says how our next opponents are good at what they do, or a challenge. This is not the first occasion that he's spoken positively about the team that Everton play next.
Alan Bodell
23 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:39:34
I've been crying out for Besic to get game time but he has had so little that I'm not sure 90 mins. against a confident Spurs is what is needed.

Yes, he's had his injuries... but it's criminal that Cleverley gets the nod more than this guy. And, yes, if any other TWers want to disagree, then go for it.

Jamie Barlow
24 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:42:14
Every manager bigs up the opposition before they play. Every team is going to be "hard opposition", "tough to beat", or "very well organised".

It's straight out of the Boring Replies to Boring Questions at Boring Press Conferences book.
Dean Adams
25 Posted 02/01/2016 at 18:44:00
Patrick (#18),

My worry with Roberto is that he really is totally unable to digest the fact that Everton are one of the biggest clubs in England, hence his repeated attempts to big up the opposition, which would have been normal when he was at Wigan.

For me, it is not good enough for Everton and is the first sign of weakness that other teams repeatedly exploit, week after week.

Jon Cox
26 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:05:35
I always thought that Besic was brought in to be our Keano with an attitude of stop fucking about or I'll eat your head to our own players.

How wrong can you be.

I remember last season. A lot of us who wanted this clown out said that we'll give him till Christmas 2015.

We'' Christmas 2015 has been and gone. Are we anyway shape or form further forward? NO!

Do we look like we're going to stop shipping goals like the Titanic loved salt? NO!

Do I want this ex Wigan, UCL wannabe, Barca in his dreams out and away from the club I've loved for over 50 years?

..........

Oliver Molloy
27 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:07:23
Patrick,

Spurs will NOT win the league, even with all the goings on this year. Yes I am aware he says positive things about the opposition al lot of the time.

Respect for fellow managers is one thing; confidence in your own ability and that of the team you manage is quite another.

It's not very often you hear a manager of the top 4 to 6 teams "bigging up" Everton as you put it, certainly not as much as Martinez does – there is a reason for that. Martinez does his "bigging up" about how good Everton are / were after the match and unfortunately lately it is a hard luck story or something or someone to blame, but never him.

That needs to stop and he has to "manage" better just like he says the team have to "manage" how to control a match from a winning situation. Mirallas has to start tomorrow in my eyes.

Andy Crooks
28 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:08:13
Dean, my worry with Roberto is that we are one of the biggest clubs in England and pay him to be our coach.

Jim (#11), no matter how shit Howard is, and he is really shit in my view, Martinez will not drop him because Roberto is his own man. Yes the man who destroyed Wigan, but his own man who will not budge an inch.

If Tim Howard is the best goalkeeper at Everton then, fucking hell, I am lost for words.
Ian Brandes
29 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:19:30
Terribly worried that we will play under The Howard Handicap rules, where the obligatory howler will gift the opposition a goal.

It is time Robles got his run in the Prem, but cannot see it happening.

Squeaky bum time tomorrow, I fear.

Gary Heywood
30 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:21:15
We will end up mid table and not win anything this season. There is no pressure on Martinez. Get used to it.
Andy Walker
31 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:28:48
Gary, you think mid table, I'd take that. From day one of his appointment I've always feared he would drag us into a relegation battle. He's got the track record to do this.
Mike Gwyer
32 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:39:23
What pressure is Martinez under?

He probably earns around £3 million a year!! He would walk away with big bucks if BK got rid of him and there are no doubt other club chairmen, either here or on the continent, who would be stupid enough to listen to his "I can get you into the Champions League" bullshit...

Nah, RM is under no pressure at all; he just likes the sound of his own voice talking bullshit, bullshit and more bullshit.

Norman Jones
33 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:39:39
With two and a half years to sign and drill HIS team, Roberto must now be ready to deliver a good finish to 15/16.

We've heard all the excuses for recent failures but this is a good squad who should be well capable of getting into the top half dozen (at least) by May.

Of course it will largely depend on Romelu keeping fit and well and I am sure work will have been put into tightening up the defence (won't it ?).

I've targeted another 38 points from the 57 to be played for. I am confident three less will remain to be won by this time tomorrow.

Mike Oates
34 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:40:23
I hope I'm wrong but I can't see anything else but a Spurs win. Kane and Delli Ali will run riot, and Lukaku will come up against his Belgium teammates in Vertigonen and Addleweld (I know they are spelt incorrectly but I can't be bothered to look them up) who know how to and will stop him being a threat.

Our only hope is that Naismith starts and he winds the Spurs lads up, as he did when he came on at Spurs back in August.

Patrick Murphy
35 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:46:21
Roberto's utterances about our opponents worry me far less than Evertonians talking down our chances in any given game. Yes, the team has made schoolboy errors at times and thrown away points far too often but we have at the same time played some of the best attacking football in the Premier League bar none.

Where is it written that whoever we play are so good that we won't be able to match them on the pitch? Or, if we are playing a better team, we can't raise our game? I know, I know – we have only beaten bottom-half-of-the-table teams, we concede for fun etc... all of which is true but, when the next game kicks off, we have to hope that we will win it; otherwise, there is little point in following the Blues.
Mike Hughes
36 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:57:44
Obviously hoping for a win tomorrow.

On the subject of RM, if he had not have gotten the EFC job, where would he be managing now? He'd won the FA Cup but also got relegated.

In my opinion, we are the only 'big 7' club that would have given him a second glance. Which means he's mid-table at best and probably why we are where we are.

Rebound positivity has just kicked in. We'll win tomorrow 6-5. Neutrals from as far afield as Carlisle and Tunbridge Wells will be singing our praises.

Oliver Molloy
37 Posted 02/01/2016 at 19:57:47
Patrick,

Every single match we play, I want us to win, but whatever our manager says and does is all relevant in my opinion.

Tomorrow is a huge game for us, one that could be a launch pad to a decent run. I would like Martinez coming out and saying stuff like that, but of course if he did he invites pressure and more scrutiny to himself and his position, so just like he says we play wonderful football (and we have done) he needs to say it like it is sometimes.

Dennis Ng
38 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:00:20
Patrick, the funny thing is, on viewing that we did better in the tough stretch rather than the easy stretch should give us more confidence against spurs. Of course, we're at the stage now RM's nonsense just blows past us.

He has lost the fans and only a matter of a few horrendous games away from losing the dressing room as well. I hope we right the ship before that because things could get worse should a new owner come when we're in relegation form.
Helen Mallon
39 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:02:03
I think our team should be:

Robles
Coleman
Stones
Jagielka (if fit)
Baines
Lennon
Besic
Barry
Deulofeu
Mirallas
Lukaku

Eddie Dunn
40 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:09:33
If I was picking the side, it would be:

Robles
Coleman
Jagielka / Stones
Funes Mori
Baines
Barry
Barkley
Besic
Mirallas
Deulofeu
Lukaku

Oliver Molloy
41 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:11:44
Helen,

I would love you to right with Robles! If Jags was fit, I would drop Stones actually. Lennon, I'm not a fan in general, but he might just play out of his skin tomorrow if he gets a nod.

I think we need Barkley in there also.

Peter McHugh
42 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:16:11
Mike 37 - the fact you refer to a "big 7" which obviously doesn't exist illustrates the sad fact that we aren't a big club anymore.

As for the game, really looking forward to it. In fact looking forward to second half of season and hole we fair better. Fingers crossed we can get Jags back for Carling Cup, particularly away game and buy some good players this month.

Si Turner
43 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:22:32
Some good thoughts above.

I also think we should approach with a little bit more caution tomorrow because these are in form and have strong defenders so we cannot afford to go behind.

If we control the ball I beleive we will win however if we approach this like we have the last 3 gamea we will get beat.

Mike Hughes
44 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:24:57
Peter #38

That's why I put "big 7" in inverted commas. And this season "big 4" which is referred to in some media - doesn't exist either.

However, my point was regarding calibre of manager. The top echelons of the league (or those who aspire to it) would never / rarely countenance a manager with RM's track record and history.

Si Turner
45 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:26:32
My team would be:

Robles, Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry, Besic, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lennon, Lukaku.

COYB!

Gary Heywood
46 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:28:19
If Martinez doesn't bring in staff to correct the defence we will go on to be a repeat of Wigan. He must be aware of his weakness unless he is stubborn to the point of madness.

The priority now should be to find the staff to sort out the defence.

An immediate and obvious change should be Howard, he is finished at this level.

Martinez is in a fortunate position because EFC is currently going nowhere. He is under no pressure to win anything, all he has to do is to avoid relegation battles.


Joe Foster
47 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:36:58
9 points from the R zone and nine points from top four. This is a pivotal game as pivotal gets.
Paul Hughes
48 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:44:13
99% of Evertonians would start with Robles in goal tomorrow so how the hell can Martinez not do the right thing and drop Howard?
Christy Ring
49 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:49:38
Helen #35 So because you dislike Ross so much, you'd sacrifice his link up play with Lukaku, which is one of our best attacking options.
James Stewart
51 Posted 02/01/2016 at 20:58:58
I can only see this one going one way. They battered us at their place and we only took a point due to Howard.

Our record against them is abysmal recently probably due to Pochettino vs Martinez factor only usually ending one way. They are too well drilled, high pressing and fit for us.

The irony is though on paper we have a better team. Oh, what a good manager does for you!
Michael Penley
52 Posted 02/01/2016 at 21:16:53
Ranieri had all 3 subs done and dusted by 70 mins today. And okay, they didn't win but they didn't lose either and kept a clean sheet.

Maybe we would be able to do the same if out players weren't exhausted having to play 85 minutes before the first sub is made. I'm looking at Kone especially here.
Jon Cox
53 Posted 02/01/2016 at 21:22:10
Helen,

Good call...

Ernie Baywood
54 Posted 02/01/2016 at 21:31:43
A big few days for us. Drift through in the carefree way we've been playing and we'll be 12 points from 4th (league season over) and facing elimination from our best chance of silverware.

We know they can play. Just need to see them stand up and be counted now. Season's on the line - put your bodies on the line.

Paul Setter
55 Posted 02/01/2016 at 21:42:36
I had tickets for this and gave them away to my two Spurs mates (one of them was going anyway) as I can't bring myself to watch yet another predictable load of guff that this idiot serves up.

Everyone knows his starting 11 will be and how we will play, and Spurs will be no different. I hate going against my team but I'm really not looking forward to the future until Bullshitter Bob is gone.
Dave Pritchard
56 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:04:11
The balance of our team is not right when Kone plays on the left. For that reason I would play Mirallas in left-mid. Other option would be Baines there with Galloway left-back but maybe not the game to try that one.

Lennon against his old club with something to prove with Deulofeu on with 25 minutes to go (or vice-versa). Deulofeu is not a 90-minute player for me.
Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:14:22
As always I want Everton to win, and they have the capability to do so, but it is down to the team selection and how we approach this match. If the team remains unbalanced, as for much of the season, then forget it, we will get done.

If however he plays with the wingers from, Lennon, Deulofeu and Mirallas, any two of them to start then bringing one on as a substitute, plays Besic with Barry then we have a chance.

Remember though that Spurs have only lost two league matches and have conceded less goals than any other team in the Premier League, so it won't be easy but it can be done.

Steavey Buckley
58 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:19:08
Two of Everton's better players won't be available through injury, McCarthy and Cleverley. So if struggling West Brom can beat Stoke comfortably there is little chance of Everton beating Spurs.

A draw could be considered a success. That's how bad things are now at Goodison Park. Just have to wait 'till next season to see if things can get much better. Hope to be proven wrong though.
Ian Bennett
59 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:25:49
The loss of Jagielka, Cleverley and McCarthy is a big blow. We've lost protection to the team and legs. I'd go with the below. Lennon and Besic offer more legs, but I'd go with the below to offer better use of the ball and control of it.

Robles

Coleman
Galloway
Funes Mori
Stones

Baines
Gibson
Barry
Barkley or Mirallas
Deulofeu

Lukaku

Helen Mallon
60 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:32:28
Christy (#45),

I don't dislike Ross but I don't think he fits into the style of play we as fans want. If Ross is to play then put him next to Barry, McCarthy or Besic as a centre mid because he gives no protection to our defenders as a left sided forward and if he kone, Lukaku and Deulofeu don't help out; that's four players not defending.
Michael Winstanley
61 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:34:09
Win and we're 6 points off 4th with easy games away against Man City and Chelsea coming up...
Darryl Ritchie
62 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:40:16
To be honest, I've written off the the league this season. I expect us to finish mid-table. We'll win a few we shouldn't and lose a few we should win, end up with between 50 and 65 points. Top 4 or 5 is a bridge too far now.

It's like a weight being lifted. I will watch the remaining games and actually enjoy the experience. The cups are a different matter. I expect results there!

Against the Spurs, we will be better at he back, and lose a little going forward.

1-0 Everton.

Tom Bowers
63 Posted 02/01/2016 at 22:47:34
Got to agree that there is little happening that warrants confidence for the rest of the season.

RM seems to be winging it and hoping the offence will carry the team through but without a tighter midfield control and better concentration by the back four then things will remain the same.

Since the Bournemouth result, he has apparently done little to correct the weaknesses and they are leaking goals.

Thank God Ossie will be back against Dagenham!!!

Winston Williamson
64 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:16:35
Martinez reminds me about a video I saw. The video showed a monkey trying to get a piece of fruit from an electrified cage. Every five mins the electricity went off and the fruit was available. The monkey got a shock every time he touched the cage... but he kept on touching it, shock after shock.

Eventually, the monkey worked it out...

It's got to be frustrating for Martinez that he can set a team up to score but not defend. Sooner or later, will he stop getting shock after shock and actually work it out????

Oliver Molloy
65 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:24:08
In The Guardian, and there’s more...

With disarming frankness, Martinez accepts most of these charges.

"As Everton manager, I take responsibility; we have to be a winning team," he says.

"We should be winning games and winning titles, not just looking to compete and hope for a win. Winning is in this club’s DNA and it has been too long since we won a title. We have the talent at this club: we are not quite the finished article yet, otherwise we would be top of the league, but we have to try to win something in the next five months."


Sam Hoare
66 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:26:38
Wish the Poch was our manager. That guy seems to be able to build balanced teams and get the best out of players.

After recent poor form and diminished expectations it would be very Everton like to win tomorrow. Can't see it though.

Harold Matthews
67 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:27:28
Well they kicked us off the pitch at White Hart Lane and crippled Cleverley in the process. A big rough side with the most fouls and yellows in the PL, we're in for quite an afternoon.

Funny enough, their strikers should suit Stones more than the quick fast tricksters of Leicester and Stoke. For me, our boy has been a massive weak link. Dawdling on the ball, no urgency, passing to the opposition, hesitant in the air, losing his man and woefully slow. A strange loss of form from a normally top class player. Definitely never looked fully recovered from his bad leg injury and suffered a big dip in confidence. We need him back to his best and I'm expecting a much improved performance tomorrow. Come on Stonesie boy.

Mo Besic was probably being saved for the Cup game but injuries to McCarthy and Cleverley might see him in the starting line-up. Way off the pace and looking a bit lost in his sub role against Newcastle, he's more suited to this role than the attack minded ex United lad. Let's hope his leg holds up.

Barkley and our attackers will be tightly marked by big heavy mobsters who put the boot in and referee Oliver will need to stamp his authority early on.

As for Ross. The manager should order him to stay away from taking corners and freekicks and get his big 6'-2" frame into the box. Deulofeu is far and away the best striker of a football and his recent quick, dipping freekick for the Spanish U21s was awesome.

No excuses against this straightforward Spurs attack. They work hard but are certainly not special.

Paul Hewitt
68 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:31:08
Winston @59. Can't we have the monkey as manager.
Stephen O'Donnell
69 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:32:37
We'd better win tomorrow. Especially as them lot got beat – thank you, Andy Carroll. Eases the pain after that Stoke game. Coyb.
Dennis Ng
70 Posted 02/01/2016 at 23:58:09
Darryl (#57), a 15-point spread for a prediction? That's possibly anywhere from 4th to 13th if some crazy results happen. I would say more around 48-55 if current trend holds, anything above 55 is a good uptick.

Oliver (#60), blimey! Did he really say that? Now I have one less reason to hate him other than his ineptitude! Despite this admission, his performance over the next few weeks, whether we can overcome city like some of the pluckier teams, will be key. No trophy and mid-table finish should surely be the curtain on this failed experiment.

Kim Vivian
71 Posted 02/01/2016 at 00:05:02
Hey Mike (#32),

We ain't neutrals in Tunbridge Wells mate! Blue, we are.< Meet me for a beer on Weds night and I'll prove to you.

Stephen O'Donnell
72 Posted 03/01/2016 at 00:10:56
I would have moysie back in a heartbeat. Roberto is too nice a man. With those steely eyes, Moysie will have us winning and not conceding loads like we are doing.

Coaching staff not good enough. Dennis Lawrence as our defensive coach. This guy was a useless defender in his playing days. I rest my case.
Ernie Baywood
73 Posted 03/01/2016 at 00:33:20
Helen (#55), I think Ross fits into whatever style we play. At present it's ball retention and keeping us in the opposition half. He's doing it very well but want to see counter attacking football? Ross.

People seem keen to compare him to a past player and then point out why he fails to meet the criteria for that player. He should be judged on his own merits just as Gerrard or Cahill were.

He's in our best 11, no doubt about it for me.

James Marshall
74 Posted 03/01/2016 at 01:26:01
I don't understand the clamour to drop Howard – why? The majority of our goals are conceded because we play too high a line, and the keeper is left stranded half the time.

People seem to blame him far too easily if you ask me, and he's improved a lot on crosses and commanding his area recently. We need to play deeper and stop attacking like Wigan. We're too gung-ho and getting punished for it every game, yet you all blame the keeper.

Our problem is not Tim Howard, it's our lack of balance in attack/defence that costs us game after game and the reason for that is our kamikaze manager. Yes, we're exciting to watch, and yes we score plenty of goals, but it's at the expense of defensive cover and that's because of the 10 outfield players, not Howard.

Ian Riley
75 Posted 03/01/2016 at 01:36:37
Big game later today. Difference between finishing in the top ten or not!! How expectations change so quickly!!

Let's stop having a go at Howard. Other players have got off likely when defending. Let's work harder as a team to stop crosses and shots then Howard cannot make so many mistakes.

Strange how Tottenham make few changes and look solid all round the park. Could it be the coaching?? Lucky guess, I supose!!

Armando Canaj
76 Posted 03/01/2016 at 01:58:46
I agree, James (#66).

Hopefully we'll see that tomorrow. Enjoy the game all. No booing please. Make a placard to direct your voices...

Michael Polley
77 Posted 03/01/2016 at 04:33:39
Big game, but I fear the worst. Our defence is non-existent, and Spurs could run riot. I pray we win, but I'm filled with dread.

We need to win, and build our confidence. We've got Man City on Wednesday. COYB for Christ Sake!! Do it for the fans – please!!!!
Eric Myles
78 Posted 03/01/2016 at 04:36:59
I hope someone shows RM a video of the games against Spurs when we kept Bale quiet. Otherwise, I fear a hat-trick for Kane.
Mike Corcoran
81 Posted 03/01/2016 at 06:30:44
Kim Vivian, Tunbridge Wellls Forum was always my favourite date on the Indie tour schedule, good times around 92-95!
Kim Vivian
82 Posted 03/01/2016 at 09:04:48
And still going strong Mike. Best small venue in UK I think as voted in NME.

Totally off topic - but does anyone remember the Cabin Club in Birkenhead? Spent half my time there in the 70's. No live bands there - I think Digby's was the place for that - Deaf School (brilliant), Blockheads et al...

And Everton were very average!

Mark Robson
83 Posted 03/01/2016 at 09:24:18
Attacking wise and possession wise we are as good as anyone in the league this season, some of our first-half performances have been as good as I remember since the mid eighties. This is why I am so frustrated at our inability to defend, primarily from set-pieces where are no excuses. Sometimes you can forgive goals against when the opposition break, it happens but we need to wise up on set-pieces.

Goalkeeper is a cert, everyone is crying out for someone he commands the box and takes the ball and all. Maybe another more dominant centre half. We have our Rolls Royce but not convinced RFM or PJ are the dominant centre half to play along JS. One more attacking midfielder (proven goal scorer) to play behind/with Lukaku and we team wise we are a match if not better than anything else in this league. We won't win the league because it then becomes about your squad and financially we can't compete to add quality to the bench.

Picking up young talent is where we excel however I did expect more of Martinez with his Spanish contacts. How many Juan Mata's little creative No 10s do you see in La Liga that we hoped would be spotted and given a go with us?

I was a Martinez fan but my frustrations are the same as everyone else's but I do feel we are very close to something special (granted it could all go the other way) and sometimes you need to be careful of what you wish for.

I would give him this season and pray that defensively he turns it around and as a consequence pray that JS, RL & RB et al all see the value of staying with EFC and don't get their heads turned elsewhere. Come on blues make 2016 a good one for the best most loyal and realistic fans in the world.

Laurie Hartley
84 Posted 03/01/2016 at 10:13:41
Tough team selection for this one. With Jagielka, McCarthy and Cleverley out I would like to see the manager put out a team that is capable of meeting the physical challenge that Spurs will bring to Goodison.

One thing is for sure, we will have to score a "few" goals if we are to win it so that means Lukaku, Deulofeu, and Barkley must at least start the match. That however presents another dilemna as neither Deulofeu or Barkley can defend.

My solution to that problem would be to play Gibson and Besic either side of Barry in a midfield of three. That would give Dier and his gang something to think about.

Tell the full backs not to cross the halfway line and keep bringing Lukaku back to defend corners.

My starting 11 would be 4321

Goalkeeper
Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines
Gibson, Barry, Besic
Deulofeu, Barkley
Lukaku

I really hope we win this - I never have liked Spurs much.
One thing I don't want to see is them bullying us.

Up the Blues - Grrrrh!

Paul Smith
85 Posted 03/01/2016 at 10:29:06
I have to say Spurs are nowhere near as good as people are saying. The hyped-up media darlings are just that.

I was at the return fixture in August when Danny Rose near crippled one of ours (might have been Cleverley). He wasn't even booked for the catastrophic lunge and we were all gobsmacked.

I feel confident about this one even with our shaky defence. Big win for the blues coming up.

Mark Rimmer
87 Posted 03/01/2016 at 10:46:49
2-1 to Spurs final score, 1-1 at half time, some decent possession, nice build up play, but no real end product and defensive frailties will cost us the blah blah blah blah blah
Guy Hastings
88 Posted 03/01/2016 at 10:55:57
Hard and dirty, that's Spurs. Not afraid to leave a foot in. Dier errs on the 'abrasive' side, to be polite. They'll kick us of the park if they have a mind to but, sod's law, Besic will be the only one to get a red card.
Phil Bickerstaff
89 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:01:36
What is wrong with our defence? We have a first-team left-back England international in Bainsey; we have a first-team Argentinian centre-half in Funes Mori; we have the most sought-after young England international centre-half in Stones; we have the best right back in the country in Coleman. The problem we have is that none of them have confidence in their keeper.

Also, this second-rate manager has to go. We have one of the best squads in the Premier League.

Cast your mind back to the Stoke game. We were 3-2 up and Cleverley gets injured, what does our pratt of a manager do? Puts on a centre-forward instead of a defending midfielder in Besic. By the way, West Brom beat Stoke yesterday...

Derek Thomas
90 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:02:22
Has Jagielka kicked a ball in anger – at any level? ... No. Then he shouldn't even be on the list for consideration for the last place on the bench for a month yet.
Barry Morrison
91 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:05:16
Slightly off topic – heading to the game today with the missus. I usually go to the Winslow for a few before the game, but I don't usually have a lady in tow! Can anyone recommend somewhere a bit more 'upmarket' around the ground? Cheers folks.
Mark Andersson
92 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:07:57
Laurie, I like where you're coming from. But our manager will not adapt to your more pragmatic approach.

I feel that Martinez has already got his excuses lined up, then again a miracle may happen and we actually win the game.

Kim Vivian
93 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:11:20
I think I look of Laurie's line-up and likewise I would be hard pushed to choose a goalkeeper. For all Tim's failings, Robles doesn't actually fill me with confidence. OK as a backup but really this is a hole that needs plugging asap.

I'd like to see Mirallas get a decent run out because he may try and use this game as a bit of a shop window.

Anyway, I'm bustin' for a win today (as always of course). 6 of the guys I work with are Spurs fans – all wind-up merchants, including the boss, who I have a regular wager with, and I need to get some winnings back! But there are a couple of Arse fans too so they will be rooting for us.

I do think we will do it today (so hopefully that's not the kiss of death then).

Get in there, you Blues!!

Paul Jeronovich
94 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:11:51
Barry (#81), hard pushed for upmarket pubs, you can try 'The Brick' on County Road... only joking.

The Thomas Frost is a bit further up opposite the McDonald's on Walton Road (if it hasn't gone; it's been a while since I drank there). Slightly better!!

As for the game, I fancy Tottenham to nick it, unfortunately, 2-0.

Gary Edwards
96 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:15:22
I'm hoping that the weather will prevent this from being the drubbing it could potentially be... it's horrible here, quite heavy rain, windy & feels a lot colder than what the weatherman is reporting.

Exactly the sort of weather where you should take a pop on sight and give the elements a chance.

Cue Mirallas... he's not slow to shoot. Kone...? Don't get me started.
Trevor Peers
97 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:21:44
Great if we win, Roberto admirers will be lauding his ability, and asking what was all the fuss about.

If we lose, the pressure on him, and his job, will ratchet up another notch; we'll see if he has paid any attention to our defensive woes this afternoon.

Spurs are a decent outfit and will be hungry for the win; will the Blues though?

Steven Twine
98 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:23:38
Robles
Coleman
Funes Mori
Stones
Besic
Barry
Deulofeu
Mirallas
Naismith
Lukaku

Got to change keeper; Besic in for more energy and bite; same reason for Naismith. Also, in defensive plays,Naismith will be on Alli because Barkley will just let him go past him. Scrappy 2-1


Jon Cox
99 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:32:07
Barry, check out the Royal Oak. It's a good pub and has wall to wall Evertonians!
Eivind Nyhus
100 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:34:03
My faith was wasted at easy games we didn't win. I cannot see us winning this in any way. We score first, then Spurs score two after 80 minutes. Just wait.

I hope I'm wrong, but ffs, its' every match now. If you don't include Lukaku and at times Barkley, McCarthy, Barry, Stones and Deulofeu, we have been utter crap for a month+ now.

Harold Matthews
101 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:40:30
Stoke waited for Stones to put his foot on the ball and they were on him like a shot. Spurs are not as nippy but they'll still target him and he'll need to acquire a bit more urgency. If he does he should have a good game against more orthodox opponents.

We'll need to shape better than the away match when they were without Eriksen, Howard played a blinder, Cleverley got cut in half and we only managed two shots on target.

I well remember that game. Chadli was on their left wing and Seamus stood off him all afternoon. Let him do as he liked. I was livid. Barkley was completely shut off and the big fella up front got no service.

This time we're at home and scoring goals. How many we need to score is anyone's guess but we're due a win and the defence can only improve. Let's hope it's our day.

Norman Jones
102 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:46:33
Mark @76, Roberto has been plying his trade in the UK for so long that he is no more switched onto the Spanish scene than his fellow PL managers. I think I'm right in saying that Del Boy is his only 'discovery' in that market other than the iffy Robles whom he brought from Wigan.

Having said that, he's been prepared to give a chance to kids from the lower echelons of the British game although he seems to have a pension for defenders. Strangely.

Personally, I'm more focussed on what happens now rather than the long term future as time is running out for me and I've had enough of 'jam tomorrow'. We've got some very good players at the moment and it's time for this manager to show he is capable of deploying them to maximum effect. Starting today.

Jim Bennings
103 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:52:42
So on to another match at Goodison, the place we always seem to feel most ill at ease nowadays.

And to make matters worse, it's serial bogey team Tottenham who I can count on one hand the amount of times I can recall beating them at Goodison Park this past 20 years.

It's hard to see any real change today.

Niall McIlhone
104 Posted 03/01/2016 at 11:53:46
Steven (#87)... I agree on a change of keeper, it would give the fans a big uplift. Anyone see the Watford v City game last night? For me, Joe Hart is the difference, he made several brilliant saves and until 70 minutes or so, Watford were mainly bossing the game. City's ability in the final third showed through in the last bit, but only because Hart kept them in it and kept having a go at his defenders.

It is sad to see the demise if Tim Howard, this season and last. I contend he has been a good keeper/servant for Everton but he appears to be fearful of injury at the age he is, and he is clearly avoiding risk, such as his reluctance to barge out to collect crosses. Robles may not be the answer, but we have to try something?

Sean Kelly
105 Posted 03/01/2016 at 12:26:00
Harold, I hope you are right about the win. Hopefully we wont see the drop in concentration levels that we have seen regularly in the past few weeks.

surely someone in the team will do some bollocking. We have been too nice and gentlemanly. Sorry for the language.

Barry Morrison
106 Posted 03/01/2016 at 12:26:11
Thanks Paul and Jon.
Darren Hind
107 Posted 03/01/2016 at 12:28:23
This is not your traditional Spurs team. I've watched a bit of them this season and they are dirty bastards, not hard, just nasty. They're also very cute with quick free kicks and throw ins. We have to be switched on for 90.

I've always disliked them. Their fans are the Kopites of the south and I'm desperate for a win.

I'd play Besic and Lennon today and maybe even Naismith at some stage just to upset them.

I really don't get this "we can't/won't win" mentality... of course we can win and, if we stay focused for the 90, we will win.

Bobby Thomas
108 Posted 03/01/2016 at 12:30:13
We need a change of approach. Teams are turning up knowing we will try & dominate the ball, over commit and they are picking us off. We are so easy to break on.

On a few occasions last season when the shape went and we were shipping goals all over that Martinez went into a very boring deep shape – three defensive mid strung across midfield – and the plan seemed to be to not concede at all, the Goodison derby springs to mind. It actually appeared that, holy fuck, we had been working on shape and organisation!

At the beginning of this season we appeared to have some shape and organisation but the total lack of responsibility and discipline has kicked in, again, and we are currently a shambles.

I would much prefer it if we got some shape, sat deep & played on the counter. If we do what we've been doing lately we will get beat easy, Spurs are a talented side that are much better drilled and organised than us and we will just get had off if we do.

Gerry Quinn
109 Posted 03/01/2016 at 12:34:10
I don't know why, but I have the funniest of feelings that we will be pleasantly surprised by Everton today...

However, our Christmas Tree has been taken down and removed from the room for this match now as I need l to be able to hide behind that bloody couch!

Derek Thomas
110 Posted 03/01/2016 at 12:45:51
It's a pound to a chocolate frog that, one day, the opposition's plan will be to kick 7 kinds of shite out of Deulofeu...

I pick Spurs.
Eugene McLoughlin
111 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:01:14
I remember the earlier game at Spurs when Dier scissor-tackled Cleverly... yet fucking West Ham knobs gave out shite when McCarthy took out Payet...

You don't hear us whining to the media or any aul arse that would listen!!!! BUT thanks for yesterday, Hammers!!
Colin Hughes
112 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:03:32
Spurs are our serial bogey side: we've only registered five home wins against them in 23 Premier League games at Goodison Park.

We have injuries to key midfielders also, added to the fact they are in form whilst we are not and will likely have one eye on the semi-final on Wednesday.

I can only see one winner of this game. Remember, Everton don't do wins against the grain.
David Hallwood
113 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:05:19
I've just been listening to TalkShite and Five Dead... And I know title contenders Spurs are playing but I've no idea who they're playing cos the opponents haven't been mentioned.

To quote Keegan, I'd luv it, I'd luv it if we worked it to them... COYB

Jon Cox
114 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:34:38
Front three of Lukaku, lennon, and Deulofeu with Mirallas just off Rom's shoulder. Give 'em something to think about. COYB

ps: Screw the media!

Eddie Dunn
115 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:39:20
Darren (#94); Kopites of the South? Surely they would be Arsenal?
Jack Cross
116 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:42:02
Si Turner (#39),

Never mind caution, We should go for their jugular, attack, attack but at a higher pace than the flimsy build-up play we usually put together. Don't give them time to think. We have no problem scoring against anyone.

Teams that are in-form can be over-confident and I think that will be their down-side today. I fancy us to beat them.

But not if we start pissing around with the ball, playing triangles at the back. Spurs aren't a team that you want to invite into your own backyard. So we must go for them from the first minute.

Let's make Goodison somewhere to fear once more.

Glen Garrett
117 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:51:02
Spurs all the way, I am afraid.

As much as I'd like to see Everton win, I just don't think they have what it takes with the way Tottenham Hotspur are playing. Remember, Everton can't defend for toffee.
Helen Mallon
118 Posted 03/01/2016 at 13:59:44
My changed team:

Howard
Coleman
Stones
Funes Mori
Galloway
Baines
Lennon
Besic
Barry
Mirallas
Lukaku.

I have gone for 5-4-1 formation with Deulofeu, Kone & Barkley coming on to chase the game and Gibson Osman Naismith to close game out if winning.

Norman Jones
119 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:00:15
Contrary to the prevailing view of this thread, the bookies see Everton as favourites for a win (available at 28/17) whilst Spurs – on whom heavy betting reported – can be backed to win at 28/13.

For those who think the game will follow our usual pattern at home and end in a draw, 28/11 is available.

A very close market indeed. The Blues have my shilling as always.

Tony Abrahams
120 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:01:27
Watching Chelsea here is really making me think. They were the standout team last season, but they are way too slow, especially at the back.

Who thought Man City were good when they beat us 3-2 at Goodison the season before? Liverpool actually won 13 or 14 matches out of 15, that very same season.

This season is even madder, with everyone beating everyone, if you take Everton out the equation. Fuckin hell... if we would have got the results our performances warranted over the last six weeks, we would be thinking we could win the league ourselves.

The EPL, is very short on quality at the minute, and going forward we are a match for anyone. Sort out this defence of ours and we could have a great 2016.

Happy New Year, to every Evertonian; let's hope we are all in a happy mood tonight!!!

Helen Mallon
121 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:06:50
Cheers, Tony A, and to you.
Alexander O'Brien
122 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:29:49
Eddy Bosnar as defensive coach with Stefan Wessells as goalkeeping coach! The winning formula.
Mike Powell
123 Posted 03/01/2016 at 14:36:40
The team I am hoping for is:-

Robles
Coleman
Stones
Funes Mori
Baines
Deulofeu
Barry
Besic
Barkley
Mirallas
Lukaku

Brian Wilkinson
124 Posted 03/01/2016 at 15:02:03
I cannot fault Martinez for the players and youngsters he has brought in, refreshing to see the youngsters given a chance, in the same breath, he has a very good squad, but is clueless how to play it.

We have the right team (almost) but the wrong manager; our neighbours have the wrong team but the right manager.

I still believe, if we give Robles a chance, also bring in a keeper and a second striker, we would have a squad capable of causing damage... if only our manager could grow a pair, pick players in form, and sort out how to defend> You have the players, Bobby... ffs, go for a Plan B.

David Hallwood
125 Posted 03/01/2016 at 15:08:50
Tony (#111), Hapeee Noo Year.

I don't think there's a shortage of quality but there isn't a stand-out team, and the quality is spread around. Look at Stoke: they've got a front 3 that 3-4 seasons ago they couldn't have afforded, and of course the likes of Bojan wouldn't have given Stoke house room.

Personally, I think the EPL is all the better for it; who knows if we stop playing like an Under-11 team, we may get in the mix... oops! Positive vibes only before kick-off.

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