Lukaku: I'm ready for the Champions League

by | 26/03/2016  277 Comments  [Jump to last]
Romelu Lukaku has given his strongest hint yet that he could be ready to leave Everton so he can test himself at the top level of European football.

With the Blues struggling in the bottom half of the Premier League but Lukaku flying with 25 goals in all competitions, the inevitable speculation over his future is only gaining momentum, particularly as he is fielding questions during the international break from the media over his plans.

His father, Roger, has already indicated this weekend that he feels his son should join a club like Bayern Munich or Manchester United — "I'm not surprised that he named those two clubs. They are his favourite teams," the player quipped — rather than follow his agent Mino Raiola's preference for Italy.

Lukaku says that he will leave that side of it to his agent but admits that with his 23rd birthday looming, he is ready to play in the Champions League, something looks to be a distant prospect at Everton.

"That is the next step for me," he told Sky Sports News. "I'm 23 next summer and I think it would be nice to play in the Champions League from next season."

He spoke in a similar vein to Het Laatste Nieuws in Belgium, when asked he if could leave Everton in the summer. "Maybe, yes. You never know. I'm 23 soon and would like to play in the Champions League."

Continuing his comments to Sky, the Belgian international said: "I have an agent who is dealing with this for me at the moment. I just want to be good, help my team-mates win games and score lots of goals."

Lukaku has been linked with a return to Chelsea, particularly given Antonio Conte's impending arrival at Stamford Bridge, but the striker doesn't betray any burning desire to go back to the soon-to-be-deposed champions, not least because they won't be in the Champions Leage next season either.

"I wouldn't say [I have unfinished business at Chelsea,]" he said. "I don't think I have anything to prove against them," he said. "I moved on, they moved on.

"It was the best deal for both teams because they won the league and I became a better player so we will see what the future brings."

In the meantime, Lukaku is focused on finishing the season as strongly with Everton as he can even if, the FA Cup aside, it will be an exercise in damage-limitation over the final nine games.

He was asked whether he feels there is more room for him to grow and whether he he can get even better as a player.

"Way better," he replied. "I think at the moment I work hard and the coaches at Everton are helping me to become the player I want to be.

"At the moment things are going very well for me personally but as a team we need to perform better and hopefully we can do that in the last few games."  

Reader Comments (277)

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Nick Entwistle
1 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:18:21
Expected. If Bony can be in the Champions League Quarterfinals, then so can Rom.
Ian Robert
2 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:19:57
What are you going to do? Should get a nice sum for him.
Ian Brandes
3 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:20:09
No surprise here unless our majority shareholder can stop the exit. If not, we need a goal machine fast, or it will be curtains for us if we still have the same manager next season.

Interesting times are ahead.

Denis Richardson
4 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:21:58
Ciao and thanks for the 3 years.

Where's Niasse?

Mick Davies
6 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:29:08
With this manager in charge, I think he'll try and force a move this summer, and I fear he won't be the only one...
Michael Penley
7 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:34:02
Isn't it up to us if he goes? His contract doesn't finish this summer, so we don't have to sell. Or have I got the contract law I studied at university completely wrong?
Kev Hand
8 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:34:35
He and his father have been disrespectful to Everton speaking out in the press.

Are Man Utd as good as Everton with the potential we have? I honestly don't think so. Yes, he has scored a few goals and thanks but at least he could give us one more season.

With some investment and Bobby Brown Shoes hopefully given the bullet, we could be on the verge of something big. We're not a bad team – we just have stubborn manager who will not change his ways.

James Stewart
9 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:35:44
Lukaku will become a monster and good luck to him, just a shame when 4th was there for the taking, we had an imbecile in charge, turned a solid foundation into a laughing stock just like he did at Wigan. Stones will also be gone this summer 100% and I don't blame him.
Anthony Lewis
10 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:41:31
And so the dreaded exodus is starting... Only one person to blame if our best players leave, imo.
Don Alexander
11 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:42:02
Well lads, when Rom and whoever else departs, we can look forward to hearing what a phenomenal moment we're in, full of exciting opportunities for an incredible, young squad who should in the next 12, 10, 8, 6 games.... you know the rest.
Ian Brandes
12 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:43:28
James,

Object to the 'laughing stock' remark. Lately we have not been that good!

John Keating
13 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:45:46
James 9

Exactly.

When Lukaku goes, and possibly one or two others, there will be one phenomenal moment to look at the one person responsible.

Cannot blame the lad or anyone else who leaves. What else can they do if they see the clown responsible for our incredible moments continuing the downward moments next season.

What a complete waste of over two seasons – especially this one!

Charles Barrow
14 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:47:39
I don't begrudge him wanting to leave. You could see against Arsenal he was totally frustrated – one up front with no support. The only person to blame if he goes is... Señor Martinez ... or is it Graham Jones who calls the shots?
Sam Hoare
15 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:48:37
This season = missed opportunity.

(In the league at least... Fingers crossed in the cup!)

Steve Brown
16 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:49:40
Well, looking at the teams that Romelu Lukaku reeled off:

1) Chelsea and Man Utd wont be in the Champions League next season.

2) Athletico Madrid and Juventus cant afford £65m.

3) which leaves Bayern who are far too astute to spend that much on Rom. Plus he would get nowhere near their first team.

The only teams who could do it are PSG and Man City. We won't sell to City nor do I believe we'd sell him to any English club. So, if PSG want him with Zlatan leaving, he'll go there. If only we had a half-decent manager, he might have stayed here.

Kieran Kinsella
17 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:49:46
A bit like Nick Barmby. A couple of seasons of up-and-down form, one good year and he's outta here. I'm not that sympathetic to the Champions League dream.

In the last few years we've variously had Jags, Baines, Mirallas, Stones, etc all portrayed as doing us a favor by staying here instead of moving to Champions League teams. If they're so great, then why isn't the team better?

Reminds me of when Palace were relegated and Southgate and the entire squad joined Premier League teams for big fees. If they were all so good, why did they go down?

If you don't like it at Everton... clear off. Stop blaming him or her or anybody. That's what losers do and you should be better than that.

John Crook
18 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:52:12
Can't blame him but disappointed he's come out so soon as he (of all people) could announce his decision one day and get what he wants the next. Our already tough end to the season has just got tougher. The press interest will actually and really be phenomenal!
Brin Williams
19 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:53:09
So, if we win the FA Cup, he has his Champions League – no problem.....

Or am I missing something...?

Joe Foster
20 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:55:10
Not too many posts of the sort "if Martinez leaves the players will leave". That one allways made me laugh.
Patrick Murphy
21 Posted 26/03/2016 at 17:55:23
Brin (#19),

No Champions League place for winning the FA Cup, Europa League but not Champions League, unless I've missed something.

Ian Riley
22 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:02:58
Here we go again!! Every international break, same shit! "I want Champions League." Well, two years ago, I didn't see Champions League clubs competing with us to take you on. The only chance of him staying is if we stick the contract he signed under his nose or we sack the manager who is taking us down!

Lukaku has done his job and improved as a player. Our defending and league position is Championship qualifying more than Champions League. Lukaku knows we are going backwards under Martinez. A top manager may convince him to stay. If Martinez stays, you can't blame Lukaku and others for leaving. Money is not the issue anymore. Winning titles and Champions League football is what top players want.

Everton will move on when he goes but what message does that send to the players and fans? The past two seasons have seen us struggling to qualify for the Europa League let alone Champions League. This season was the big opportunity with the top four not at the races. Look at Leicester and Tottenham taking their chance.

The international breaks seem to bring the platform and egos to the fore. Players wishing to leave this great club. Good bye. The board need to ask why and act on it!!

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:06:20
Maybe Lukaku's dad should talk to Fellaini's dad cos he's setting Old Trafford alight isn't he after his dream move? The most disliked player at Old Trafford, so I'm told by some Mancs.
Jay Harris
24 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:06:51
Patrick's right: Europa League for the FA Cup winners... IF we win it, but players like Lukaku will have their agents lining up moves by then.

If Niasse was any good, I would drop him immediately if he is not committed to the cause.

How Martinez will dress up the disintegration of "The Golden Generation", I don't know... but I expect it will be 'phenomenal'.

Denis Richardson
25 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:19:25
Not sure why some people are surprised. Wasn't it our own manager who said he wouldn't begrudge our better players leaving for a Champions League club this summer? Seems the fans were already being prepared for the inevitable.

I think some like Lukaku and Stones were asked to give one more season to see where we would be. Unfortunately that looks like bottom half again so I'm expecting one or two of the 'stars' to be gone this summer.

I think we'll see a good 6-7 senior players leaving this summer. Most of the remaining Moyes-era players certainly.

The international break is so dull. Wonder if it's the schedule or simply I'm getting older and somehow the magic has gone. The qualifiers and friendlies are so boring.

Joe O'Brien
26 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:23:47
Didn't want to hear this news but knew it was coming. Totally agree with you, James (#9) – what a wasted opportunity. We've got an unreal team and should have been in the top 4 at least. We'll no doubt lose Stones as well, although losing Rom will hurt us a lot more.

Could have been a legend for us, couldn't blame him for moving but I'll totally blame our useless manager when he does.
Paul Holmes
27 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:27:18
No complaints from me, Lukaku has done his job third highest top scorer in Premier League and we are in 12th.

Vardy and Kane are the top goalscorers and their teams sit first and second. Without Lukaku's goals Everton would be fighting relegation under Roberto (Wigan) Martinez. With Lukaku's goals, a decent team would win the league.
William Cartwright
28 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:28:20
Interesting developments ahead. It really makes being an Evertonian a very sad, sad experience. I appreciate the 'talk yourself up in the media' shite, and in a way if he and John Stones go then it really will be a changing of the guard.

One thought that has crossed my mind, from Rom's remarks coming so soon after his wonder strike against Chelsea. It really puts into perspective exactly how badly Roberto has mismanaged Everton for the last two years. Without Rom's goal we could quite probably have lost to Chelsea. What would have been the position of Roberto then?

He has to go, he really does. No doubt about it. It just makes the next few months so bizarre. Waiting to hear Roberto's sentencing to be announced! Also wondering about his replacement, the stadium, the end-of-season run-in, the whereabouts of Niasse (and others). Roberto has contrived to make the club look a laughing stock, aided and abetted by Bill.

Brian Porter
29 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:29:52
No one to blame but our 'Phenomenal' manager if Rom, Stones or any of our players want to leave this summer. Martinez has systematically torn the heart out of our team with his inability to bring a set of talented players together to play AS A TEAM.

Any manager who publicly states that the performance is more important than the result simply has no idea what football is all about. No wonder we are now a bottom half club.

We will, I'm sure, be involved in a really thrilling, phenomenal relegation fight next season if Martinez is allowed to continue in charge while our best players leave to go to pastures new, leaving us with a massive rebuilding job. Are you watching, Mr Moshiri? "What a manager."

Peter Thistle
30 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:32:49
Who does he think he is? Lukaku has 3 years remaining on his contract. We should tell him we OWN him and he doesn't leave until we say so. Typical idiot footballer who shouts his mouth off when away on international duties. Idiot.
Ray Kiischt
31 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:35:16
Nonsense! "I want to play Champions League" is code for "Give Me more MONEY".

By the way, he is not that good! Scored a few goals for sure but look at his overall game. Can't control a ball, doesn't defend, is lazy.

The games where the opponent has a decent game plan (Arsenal), puts a defender on his heels, you could as well play with 10 men. He is a selfish sod on – and, it seems, off the field. So good luck to him if he leaves. And by the way, take Martinez with you!
Sam Hoare
32 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:41:24
Gonna be a very interesting Summer that will quite possibly define the next few years for us. A big managerial decision to make, possibly some mega-bucks to spend and likely mega-players to replace.

Broadly speaking, we could go the way of Athletic Madrid after selling Torres... Or Villa after selling Benteke...

Trevor Lynes
33 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:42:16
Most players with ambition want to win trophy's and I for one do not blame them.I never blamed Rooney for leaving us as he was in a side which was ageing and going no where.

Money is an incentive of course but they make a fortune playing for any club in the premier league.Lukaku feels he is good enough for the Champions league but that is a pudding still to be eaten.I am not sure he would command first team regular football at clubs at the very top of the game.He still needs to improve on his consistency and instinctive running off the ball but better providers than he has with us can maybe bring his full potential to the fore.I was hoping that he would stay another season since Moshiri has taken over the reins and made promises to buy better players.Maybe Lukaku is angling for a better deal to ensure he stays with us and helps us to reach champions league standards.I desperately hope he can be encouraged to stay and that Moshiri wants to build a team around him.Rom is a very special talent and whatever money we get if he is sold will not guarantee us replacing him adequately.He is head and shoulders better than any other player we have and this will be a huge test of our ambition as a club.Clubs like Man Utd and Liverpool have been unable to hang on to their star players so this will be a major test of our resolve.

Kunal Desai
34 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:43:59
The club probably needs rebuilding. Martinez has made a mockery of Stones as a defender, he's been unable to improve his game and no-one can begrudge him for moving on to somewhere better. A club where a better manager will improve his game.

Both Stones and Lukaku are gone this summer. Priority for our club is to focus on getting a decent manager in and given sufficient time to spend funds available to him.

Bill Gall
35 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:44:05
Peter, we do not own anybody – the slave trade went out years ago.

What we have is players signed on with contracts that have various clauses in them, that are known by the club, the player, and his agent who negotiates the contract. There may be release clauses in the Lukaku contract that were agreed upon in the negotiations.

I believe that quite a number of supporters thought that, with no quality midfielder brought in during the January transfer window to help the forwards, Lukaku would move on in the summer.

Good luck to the boy who I believe has proved his part of his contract with his goals. If you want to blame anybody, blame the board, who have allowed the club to sink to its present level with the squad they have.

Stu Smith
36 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:45:35
I can't blame him for wanting Champions League football. However, I'd only like us to sell to a foreign side and get at least £60m for him. Wouldn't surprise me to see Rooney return.
Phil Walling
37 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:47:59
Good job Roberto has already signed cover in Niasse.

Any news yet of how the lad is doing for Senegal?

Dan Davies
38 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:48:06
I thought with a billionaire investor, things were starting to look up. This season's been crap, and it's getting worse! I hope Mr Moshiri can put a smile on our faces sooner rather than later.

Any ideas for Lukaku's replacement?

John Hughes
39 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:50:48
Without Romelo Lukaku and the goals he has scored, EFC would be battling relegation so we need him more than he needs us. He is the man keeping Martinez in a job. Just sack Martinez – he is the one causing all the discontent in our club. Now is the time Martinez Out and all his Wigan crew! COYB.
Andy Crooks
40 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:54:42
What a man Rom would be if he just said, "I want to play in the Champions League with my team mates at Everton"? Of course he won't. My normal response to the likes of, say, Mirallas, is to say, "If you want Champions League, then fucking play better."

However, Lukaku has done his bit and our failure to get into the Champions League is down to a poor attitude from the players and, in my view, the worst coach in our history.

Colin Glassar
41 Posted 26/03/2016 at 18:54:55
Ray (#31), doesn't defend? He's a striker for Christ's sake!! Do you really want attackers to defend?
Steve Hogan
42 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:00:58
Wonder what 'Boys Pen' Bills' take is on this? After all 'What a manager' has proved once and for all that our better players can see right trough this imposter, and realise quite simply, that we ain't going nowhere under this regime, surrounded by his ex-Wigan 'yes men'.

Step up to the plate, Mr Moshiri, and start with a clean slate for next season.

Jack Mason
43 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:09:23
I think it would take a massive statement of intent by the board to convince him or Stones to stay now. Which is a shame because you need world class players or at least potential world class players to compete in the Champions League and for the Premier League, for that matter. Whoever is in charge this summer, let's hope they are replaced or supplemented.
Phil Walling
44 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:13:34
With Stones looking unlikely to be first choice in this summer's Euro competition, I can't see too many clubs pursuing an interest in the lad – particularly if the club holds out for 㿅M+.

Barkley is one of ours, gets on well with Roberto and will be happy to stay. So who are all these players who will want to follow Rom out of Everton?

Bet ya Roberto gets a raise for doubling our money on the Belgian!

Mark Rankin
45 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:15:59
Win us the FA Cup, Rom, leave a hero... and pay for a new stand at Goodison on your way out.
Andrew Presly
46 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:16:40
I'm ready for the Champions League too, Rom. Shall we try and qualify for it?

Christopher Dover
47 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:16:46
The talk of players leaving is no surprise but sad.

On a slightly different note, what is the reaction to season ticket renewal? As I said in other posts, this year is the first for many many years I have a season ticket and fully wanted, expected to renew, but with the current home form under Martinez, I really don't know what to do.

I do believe that if the manager stays plus some top players moving on, I could be one of the many watching Everton's relegation season and this is not what I want to witness.

So what is the general feeling, knowing that the majority on TW want RM out but having no say if he goes?

Neil Steele
48 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:17:30
Good riddance to the classless prat. Typical of the thick-as-pigshit modern footballer to behave in this way, so no surprises really... let's just make sure we stand strong and get absolute top dollar for him.

Far from Roberto Martinez being to 'blame', Lukaku owes him a huge debt of gratitude for providing him such a phenomenal (deliberate!) platform to showcase his goalscoring prowess.

A team that has scored 51 League goals this term (of which Lukaku has 18) is about far more than one man, and our shackles off free-flowing attacking style is surely a centre-forwards wet dream!

Furthermore, our refusal to "play to his strengths", as the backwards amongst our fan base would demand, will have undoubtedly now made him a far more attractive proposition to Champions League clubs. Last time I checked, Tony Pulis wasn't managing any of them, so I'm sure a player who plays in a team who pass the ball, and pass the ball to feet, will be more relevant than one that kicks balls into the channels and over the top, into space that simply doesn't exist at elite level.

It will be interesting to see how he gets on with a top team, as I am pretty sure that they expect their lead centre-forward to offer the team more than hiding behind the line all game and playing only for their own goals.

Lee Gorre
49 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:18:06
I have always thought he was slumming it at our club. Not bothered, do one.

He needs to realise, though, that, if he wants to step up as he sees it, he will need to turn up every week.

Ian Burns
51 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:20:55
Martinez promised Kenwright Champions League. He probably told Lukaku and Stones, "Give me one more season and I will get you into the Champions League or you can leave."

Who else has he told? Who else has had enough of this manager failing this team of promise?

One man is solely to blame for this decision and it is not Lukaku's agent.

The sad fact (and believe me it is a fact), Martinez will be here next season – at least until it dawns on those who make these decisions that he is taking this club to the edge of disaster, which will of course mean yet another season of watching others (like Leicester and Spurs) take the spoils, whilst we on TW scream at our computers for somebody to see the light!

Phil Walling
53 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:28:40
Ian, I have a sneaky feeling that without Lukaku's goals. your 'team of promise' would promise nothing but a fight against relegation.

'Fancy Dans' we may have aplenty but they win you nothing. Never have and never will.

Liam Reilly
54 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:33:05
No surprise really; he's done his job and the club are bottom half of an average league.

An exodus of talent in the Summer might just make the new guy sit up and take notice. Rebuilding will be required and he needs to decide if Martinez is the man to do it.

Phil Walling
55 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:34:06
Well spoken, Liam!
Ian Burns
56 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:34:55
Phil, yes I take your point but I believe this team is/was a team of promise with Lukaku up front with a little more help than he has been afforded under this manager.

I want this manager out so much; he has been experimenting with his philosophies with our team, they haven't worked and Lukaku wants away, no doubt along with others.

I have been watching this club for 57 years and this man is breaking my heart and Lukaku wanting to leave is the thin end of the wedge.

Clive Lewis
57 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:37:40
I cannot blame Romelu, he was promised Champions League football just like everyone was. Well, the board has a major decision to make because this will inevitably lead to relegation next season with Roberto in charge.

The reality is a gamble now on Premier League survival or get rid and start building, you never know Romelu may change his mind with a proper manager.

Man Utd will make the Champions League? ... Not sure on that.

Tony Twist
58 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:39:42
As long as we get a good sum of money for him and a good replacement then I am not bothered at all. It's more important for Everton to get rid of this hopeless manager and replace him with a class act.

In fact, I would be happy if we manage just to keep the players we have as long as Martinez is replaced. I think the players are good enough for a top six finish, the manager isn't.

Tony McNulty
60 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:42:59
Has everyone on here always done what their dad said they should do?
Mark Frere
61 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:43:16
It's not surprising really. Rom must be one of the most sought-after strikers in world football. He has an amazing goal-scoring record, especially for a lad at 22 years old.

His whole game has vastly improved this season and he has become the complete striker, with a mouth-watering goal return. I'm afraid we can't match his ambitions and it's inevitable that he (and probably Stones) will seek pastures new in the summer.

I just hope Moshiri will be as equally ambitious and sack our cretin manager. Maybe then, in the future, with a competent manager in charge, we will be able to hold on to our most valuable assets by being able to match their ambitions.

Martinez out!

ps: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang would be a good replacement for Lukaku.

Andy Walker
63 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:47:48
I have never understood why players' contracts don't include a clause forbidding them from making public statements to the affect that they want to leave their club. Lukaku is employed and paid by us, his loyalty at least publicly, should be with us. He has a very nice contract with us.

It's simply disrespectful to the fans who turn out week after week, or pay their subs to TV channels (to help pay his wages) to rub their noses in it by telling them he wants off.

In no other business would this be considered remotely acceptable. Zero class, Lukaku.

Oliver Molloy
65 Posted 26/03/2016 at 19:59:12
We could read this in many different ways, perhaps the scenarios may be...

1) I'm off because Everton will not get me into the Champions League.

2) I'm off but might stay if you give me £125 grand a week.

3) I'm off but might stay if Everton buy 4 to 6 top players that will definitely make the difference + 2 above of course.

Personally I think in the end it will be scenario 1 unless he has a terrible Euro finals. The player has definitely gotten better this season and we will at least double our money if he does leave. I just don't see him as a Real Madrid type player, so I'd be very surprised if the reported interest from was true.

Also Phil @ 44, I think you are correct in that Barkley will stay with us (for at least another season). Class is class and Stones will be sought after if the club wish to offload him or he pushes for a move. Mirallas will want to leave if it suits him of course. Then we have the deadwood – McGeady, Gibson, Pienaar, Hibbert, Osman, Kone, Niasse (who knows about him?) and a few more. Some rebuilding job on for whoever the manager is.

Mark @ 45, And maybe a deal is already done, which may affect Lukaku's form between now and the end of the season. I mean he's not going to break his balls to win us the cup if it's risking a move, if you get me.


Martin Mason
66 Posted 26/03/2016 at 20:07:33
Desperately sad but the reality is that Rom is out of our league. He'll go and we'll probably come out as winners in that the money will allow us to strengthen the team significantly but shorn of magic.

In reality, he will be irreplaceable and – rather than moan about imagined deficiencies – we should be happy to say that we were here when the big man was with us.

Tony Doran
67 Posted 26/03/2016 at 20:15:41
Can't say I blame him but very disrespectful with the timing. He wants Champions League so let's see if Leicester step in. Or would he rather go to The Mancs, Chelski or Liverpool probably as he will get more money and like I keep saying that's what it is all about. He has recently done very well but still not convinced about his work rate.
John Malone
68 Posted 26/03/2016 at 20:19:07
It's obvious to me that conversations were had last summer when Lukaku got a new agent that he wanted to play in the Champions League so Martinez said "Score us the goals to take us there... and, if we don't get there, you can leave for the right price!"

You could even see the dip in his performance's after the Stoke defeat at home when he's done everything he could to win us that game and we still lost that, he had given up on reaching the Champions League with us and he couldn't hide his disappointment!

If I was Martinez and the board, I'd do whatever was in my power to keep the lad for one more year have another crack but it's almost definitely too late and you can't deny Lukaku has given his all this season but we've been shite at the back.

I'd much rather it was Martinez leaving, not big Rom; hopefully he can win us our first trophy in donkey's years before he goes!

David Hallwood
69 Posted 26/03/2016 at 20:20:59
Agree with Steve Brown (#16) in that his options are limited because Man Utd & Chelsea are in turmoil and there's a presumption that they'll both come good, but that's all it is, a presumption. Man City, he's behind Aquero, so Arsenal's the only possibility.

Onto the continent; Bayern's got Lewandowski, Barca no chance, so that leaves Real & PSG. because like Steve, I think it's out of the price range of the Italians.

Still, like most posters, I can't say I blame him for wanting to get the fuck out of a mid-table team, and if anything it shows that, when you shop at Harrods, you get your money back with interest.

Mark Frere
70 Posted 26/03/2016 at 20:45:39
David (69) – I'm not sure Man Utd or Chelsea are in turmoil. Okay, neither will be in the Champions League next season... but let's face it, Man Utd will spend big, change manager and do whatever necessary to succeed because they have the financial means to do so.

I'm pretty sure a £200k a week contract will soften the blow of having to wait another year to play Champions League football. Same with Chelsea, they will spend big and will be back in contention for Champions League football very soon.

Andy Crooks
71 Posted 26/03/2016 at 20:48:57
Martin (#66), we are talking about Lukaku here. Now, much as I admire him and rate him, you sound as if George Best was about to leave us.
Jim Bennings
72 Posted 26/03/2016 at 20:50:36
I'm half expecting once Lukaku goes Martinez will hype up Kone again as having "a new lease of life we can all enjoy".

And no doubt we'll waste another load of cash on some no mark from a weak league.

I wouldn't trust Martinez with the money anyway.

Jim Bennings
73 Posted 26/03/2016 at 20:56:33
When all is said and done let's be honest, Lukaku has staved off a relegation battle this season with 18 goals otherwise we'd have a minus goal difference.

If, or should I say when he leaves, then we MUST sign a striker that can guarantee 20 goals at least.

Otherwise we will face a struggle from August onwards.

Mark Frere
74 Posted 26/03/2016 at 20:58:51
Jim, What gives you the impression that Martinez would waste the money signing a rubbish player from a weak league?

He's actually assembled a very good squad of players; wasn't it he who signed Lukaku? Martinez has many, many weaknesses... but his activities in the transfer market isn't one of them.

John Keating
75 Posted 26/03/2016 at 21:01:58
Jim,

More likely Kone will have "a moment in his career we can all enjoy".

Hopefully that "moment" will be in a taxi with Martinez and Elstone.

Tony Abrahams
76 Posted 26/03/2016 at 21:13:04
Fair enough Jim, but, if Lukaku does go, it will be for a massive profit on an already massive transfer fee.

I want Martinez to leave, but not because of his business in the transfer market though.

Wes Carmichael
77 Posted 26/03/2016 at 21:31:20
Good riddance then. If he doesn't wanna stay (I can't blame him under this moron of a manager) then bye bye! We will get a new, better manager in the summer and, with £60M in the bank for Lukaku, will get some decent replacements!
Derek Cowell
78 Posted 26/03/2016 at 21:33:15
It's always disappointing when a club's players are reported to have made comments like this but maybe he was just answering leading questions asked of him in an honest way... and who could honestly blame him for wanting to play at a top level, especially given the reported interest?

He will look at John Stones's case. Stones could have left last summer and maybe developed as a player. Instead he stayed here to be 'coached' by our 'defensive team', lost his place in the side and has probably seen his value drop and his England prospects nosedive. In retrospect we would have been better selling Stones to Chelsea as we won't get as much money this summer when he doesn't play in the Euros.

Personally I don't really like Lukaku as a player which I know to some sounds totally wrong. I like his goals but I know that Martinez would have us in a relegation battle without them. I give him leeway as he is only 22 and for sure he has developed BUT he is lazy, has a poor first touch and is often just not up for it.

He bottles out of every potential heading duel with centre halves. He is poor in the air... just watch him jumping for a high ball from the keeper on the halfway line with a defender challenging. He jumps half-heartedly nowhere near the ball and the defender heads it away.

In the home game v Spurs he had a great chance at the far post from, I think, a Deulofeu cross. He should have just nodded it in as I saw it but he had one eye on a collision with the far post and he completely missed it. No bottle in my book, especially for such a powerfully built man.

After saying all that though he gets my thanks for saving us this season in general and I wish him well elsewhere. I'm sure with better coaching and more support play he will become a much better player as he gets more experience because he's still young. It will be interesting to see if he's a first choice for Belgium in the Euros as that may affect his value.

We should get good money for him to improve our team and hopefully he will be up for two Wembley games and scoring some goals.

Ian Riley
79 Posted 26/03/2016 at 21:38:04
When we bought Lukaku, I thought two to three years and make a profit. A relegation battle next season is a possibility if Lukaku goes. Our goals total without Lukaku is poor. On top of that, defending as we do will lead to a big problem.

Sadly, as an Everton fan, top players will be sold. How Everton become a force again with our buy-to-sell policy is beyond me. Still, no player is bigger than the club.

Derek Davies
80 Posted 26/03/2016 at 21:52:13
I think it is time for Martinez to go but one stick he cannot be beaten with is his signings, the majority being very good, including Lukaku.
Paul Doyle
81 Posted 26/03/2016 at 22:03:32
The odds are the deal is done, anything above £50m and we should bite their hand off.

Last season, he couldn't hit a barn door so that shows how things can go. I would love us to tell Roger to "Fuck off, we're keeping him to his contract," like with Stones, but I don't think that will be happening here.

The other more likely scenario will be that he does great in the Euros, we cop for £70-80m off Real Madrid, he flops over there because he's done his bollocks in at the Euros and was fucked all next season. Moshiri the bean counter will be rubbing his hands already.

Andrew Oxton
82 Posted 26/03/2016 at 22:11:34
Don't let the door hit your unfit arse on the way out. You score goals, yes... potential world class striker? Yes. Willing to stick around when the going gets tough? I hope so, but probably not.
Lee Simpson
83 Posted 26/03/2016 at 22:34:39
Right let's get one thing straight. Regardless of our results this season Lukaku wouldn't be here if it weren't for Martinez so to blame him for Rom Leaving is just silly.
Scott Robinson
86 Posted 26/03/2016 at 22:58:48
Someone needs to remind him that he needs to ask Everton's permission to play in the Champions League. I hope these comments have been taken out of context, otherwise they are a disgrace. Sell to Real Madrid for $60m + , get a new manager in the summer and re-build.
Ste Blundell
88 Posted 26/03/2016 at 23:19:44
I'm sick to death of him talking about himself all the time, the self obsessed knobhead. He's never stopped hinting about leaving for a bigger club all the time he's been here or telling us how great he's going to be.

He'd be a squad player at Real or Barca, he can score goals but he's got the first touch of a back yard wall and all the grace of a Frank Spencer. When he's on form, running onto the ball, he can be unstoppable but, as we hardly ever play that way, we may as well let him go somewhere else and let him tell them how great he is.

Obviously we'll miss his goals but he's not irreplaceable given the fee we'd get, we should fuck him off for as much as we can get and move on.

John Davies
89 Posted 26/03/2016 at 23:24:53
Lukaku and his agent have been classless throughout in all their "mouthing off" about leaving Everton. It's been going on for months. The guy has 3 years left on his contract so, unless we get absolute top dollar, we should make him wait.

When he does go, he won't be the last unfortunately, unless the new owners get rid of the idiot Spaniard and let the players know that we have real intentions of winning trophies. The club has nowhere to go unless and until Martinez is sacked.

Eric Holland
90 Posted 26/03/2016 at 23:34:41
If we do sell him, it will be another 30 years before we get a striker who can score us 30 goals in a season, which I think Lukaku will do this season.

That includes a couple in the FA Cup Final.

Colin Hughes
91 Posted 26/03/2016 at 23:35:21
Villa sold all their best players and then went shite at home starting a couple of seasons ago and also had a billionaire owner and look at them now. It could easily happen to us as well.
Tony Farrell
92 Posted 26/03/2016 at 23:39:48
What gets me on these posts is the majority of fans on here saying "If Martinez is still here next season, we will be fighting relegation... all our top players would have left, the future looks extremely gloomy."

So why as Evertonians should we let this happen? We love our club, were born blue, why should we let one man (and his Wiganettes) take our club into obscurity? Unite as one and show our support by either protests or refusal to renew season tickets.

The board will see that we mean business, and if it hits them in the pocket, they will react. It's our club, no man is bigger than the club, so show solidarity and get this pretender and his circus out.

We are a fantastic club with the best supporters – let's not allow us to go like Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday etc.

Don Alexander
93 Posted 26/03/2016 at 23:40:10
To me, our Rom is a conundrum. "Great" forwards have at least one particularly great skill as far as I'm concerned but it seems to me that Rom's is still under the umbrella of "potential" as he approaches 23 years of age.

He's not a poacher, or a target man, or a bully, or a guy that leaves defenders trailing in his wake. He never belts one in from distance and he does absolutely zilch defensively or, at least, pressing defenders in possession of the ball.

That said, this one season in particular, he's scored a remarkable number of goals for a very average team at best.

So, will anyone invest what his contract will allow us to demand? If so, good for us. If not, good for us..............providing he winds his much vaunted, humble, religious neck in and shuts the fuck up to concentrate on developing his self-acknowledged weaknesses to his, and our, benefit.

Mike Green
94 Posted 26/03/2016 at 00:06:16
In Rom's defence, he's done his talking on the pitch this season - his work rate has improved hugely and his goals have kept us up. Unlike the likes of Mirallas who talk big but don't deliver.

Given that I've got no qualms with it, we need to match what he wants as a club and take him with us or reinvest the (£50m?) we get for him wisely.

Jay Wood
95 Posted 27/03/2016 at 00:06:20
Don @ 93.

"Great forwards have at least one particularly great skill."

So does Romelu. It's scoring goals.

Mike Green
96 Posted 27/03/2016 at 00:11:00
Don 93 - to reiterate what Jay said, he's, got many but his principle one is the most coverted....

He knows where the net is.

Eugene Ruane
99 Posted 26/03/2016 at 00:19:09
My disappointment at Rooney leaving was a lesson to me – ie: grow the fuck up and get your head round the idea that football has changed... for good.

So now, when players want to go, I think let 'em go... as long as we get the right money. And get it done fast.

Lukaku bangs in goals good-style but (like most other Premier League players) his loyalty is to himself.

I have no problem with a player who has no connection to Everton saying 'I'm off'. However I have a big problem with him talking to any media fucker before the semi-final.

If I was Moshiri, I'd say 'If I see one more quote from you until after the our FA Cup campaign, you'll be 26 before you fucking leave here – your call, Mouth!'

Les Martin
100 Posted 27/03/2016 at 00:36:00
He is off, we all know it as we have under performed. His goal tally shows that he has not. Martinez won him over, but has also managed to lose him too!
I don't like it but we all realise he will be gone. Get used to it, and let's hope the mega money gets an able replacement.

Without European football we may have to buy a young player with less initial aspirations. It's going to be the most interesting summer for decades!

David Hallwood
101 Posted 27/03/2016 at 02:32:55
Mark (#70),

I stand by Chelsea & Man Utd being in turmoil. United have spent millions and look decidedly average; IMHO, they're beginning to look like the RS circa 1991 – going through managers, desperate to find the right one to bring back the glory days. Will they, won't they turn to the special one, who of late has started to look like the bonkers one?

Next Chelsea, and yet another revolving-door managerfest. Conte MAY sort Chelsea out – and, then again, he might not. The trouble with both Chelsea & Man Utd is that they're so used to success that they're too impatient and it makes it almost impossible to build a team

Finally, the days of the Sky 4/5 being able to steamroller 12-14 teams are over. I'm not saying that they won't be in contention, but it isn't a gimme. After all, if you went into a bookies in 1990 and asked for a price on the RS not winning a title for 20 years, I wonder what price you would've been given?
-

Michael Polley
102 Posted 27/03/2016 at 02:44:14
The new owner needs to convince him to stay for one more season.That means strengthening the team around him and getting rid of Martinez
Anthony Dwyer
103 Posted 27/03/2016 at 03:01:14
No blue can blame Rom for being ambitious; hopefully we match his ambition by sacking Martinez and adding real quality.

If a top top club come calling (Madrid, Bayern, etc) then nothing can keep him at us, but if we match his ambition and a semi big club come calling, he may see us as attractive.

He starts, he scores and he's loved.

Hopefully that's enough. If not, then we can't moan, he's a class act. Bony, Benteke are options.

Christopher Kelly
104 Posted 27/03/2016 at 03:09:04
Hate to admit it but Atletico are a perfect fit for Rom. Him and Griezmann would be electric. Who knows, the money for him may add the extra pieces we need and it could be a decent bit of business.
Brian Wilkinson
106 Posted 27/03/2016 at 05:35:13
Rooney left, we bought and finished 4th in the Premier League. Rodwell, Fellaini, Lescott & Pienaar all thought the grass was greener.

We are Everton, if you want Champions League football and are not willing to stay another season, when we have invested, then good luck.

You have served us well, but Everton will still be here, long after you have hung up your boots.

Peter Larkin
107 Posted 27/03/2016 at 05:38:18
Why do people say "If it wasn't for Rom, we would go down"? The bigging up of Rom is crazy. Yes, he can score but as a footballer he is bang average. Will he start at the Euros? No! I remember a number of times this season where Rom has missed sitters and penalties to kill the game off that came back to bite us.

Like some say above, if he wants to go to a European giant, off you go, son, and enjoy the bench. This Everton team is geared solely for Rom, he won't get that at any top club.

David Barks
108 Posted 27/03/2016 at 06:16:52
Sorry, Brian, but that was selective memory of the players you chose.

Rooney chose to leave and has had overwhelming success. You mentioned Lescott, but didn't mention the trophies he won at Man City. Arteta left and has had more success than we've seen at Everton. Fellaini? Well it hasn't worked out the way he would have liked I'm sure, but he's had multiple managers and an over all poor team. I'm sure his bank account isn't hurting though.

Rodwell? Injuries ruined his career, not leaving Everton. Pienaar? He wasn't given playing time. If Lukaku leaves, it won't be some curse. He'll leave because we as supporters stand by while our manager says we're building something, despite repeated failure, which will see our talented players he loves to tout in the media leave for clubs that settle for nothing but success.

If any of your were in Lukaku's position, you would all leave as well, because you would know that's the only way you would improve. It doesn't have to be that way. But it is because we have settled for back-to-back seasons of horrible play, which sees us finishing bottom half of a league which will likely see fucking Leicester City win the whole thing.

They are employees, not supporters. And he's going to do the best thing for his career, which does not include playing for a crap manager in Martinez, who leaves him isolated up top and finishing bottom half of the league.

Brian Wilkinson
109 Posted 27/03/2016 at 07:00:29
Sorry David, my selected memory missed out Gravesen.

The point I was making is Rooney left, he won shit loads, but Everton actually finished 4th the same season he went, we bought in a few players.

Lineker banged in a shit load of goals for us; I recall us winning the league the season after he left.

Yes, players you mentioned, Arteta, Lescott, even Lukaku, throw in Barmby, all who were given faith and a second chance by Everton to resurrect their football careers, not one has shown any loyalty.

Fair enough, that's their choice, Everton deserve better, with new investment surely Lukaku could at least wait and see who we buy, if the manager is replaced.

We all know Martinez stubbornness has cost us big time, his unbelievable tactics and subs, but all that could change it if we made a statement of intent, by bringing in a top class manager.

Reports suggest we will have a transfer kitty of £150 million in the summer, surely he knows we have a decent enough squad, new additions and a new manager could get Rom his Champions League football next season.

He's hardly coming to the end of his career with one last stab at Champions League.

Darryl Ritchie
110 Posted 27/03/2016 at 08:13:33
I get the feeling that Martinez has already played the "stay one more season, because we're building something great" card. Lukaku has been a signed Everton player two years. He (and his agent/or father) started talking about leaving before the ink dried on the contract. He's always going, the only question is; when?

He chose Everton. For a striker with huge potential, and limited skills, we were the perfect choice. His only competition at the position was Kone and Naisy. He would get lots of game time to develop the skills he lacked. He's getting better, but he is by no means the finished article. Right now, he can get away with things that would see him benched on a deeper team. It seems to me that he doesn't always work as hard as he could. He has 18 goals; he should have 30.

He, and quite probably a couple others, will leave, for a very large fee.

It's not a problem. It's an opportunity. We can truly start to build something extraordinary... if only we had a manager that could make it happen. It could be Martinez, if he can get his act together, or someone else.

Hopefully someone else. Martinez is sort of a one-trick pony.

Amit Vithlani
111 Posted 27/03/2016 at 08:23:15
Depressing read. Now we know where the £150m kitty is coming from. It's the Sky money plus bumper receipts from player sales. Is Moshiri putting anything in?

I agree with those who think Lukaku could have been more tactful but, as Eugene notes, this is the age we live in.

I am not in agreement with those who denigrate his achievements and talent. He has improved an enormous amount this season and his work rate and first touch have been a lot better. He has been our Man of the Match on many occasions and his goal against Chelsea will live in my memory bank for a long time.

Dan Nulty
112 Posted 27/03/2016 at 08:37:43
I honestly can't see us starting the season with Romelu. Pogba will leave Juventus for big money and I think they will use it to get Rom.

I can see us signing Rooney but only after he breaks Sir Bobby's goalscoring record at Man Utd.

One thing is for sure, next transfer window will be extremely interesting.

For those mentioning Villa. Please note that the money wasn't reinvested, it was used to pay down Lerner's loan to the club for all O'Neill's buys.

Garry Corgan
113 Posted 27/03/2016 at 09:04:15
I don't blame him for wanting to go, and I think he's good enough to succeed in the Champions League too. BUT these sorts of comments to the media are hugely disrespectful towards Everton, who pay him an awful lot of money. I can't go around my workplace making comments that amount to us not being good enough and planning to leave. They'd sack me!

Lukaku, his father and his agent don't need to be making these comments in public. There's no need to "put him in the shop window" when he's a top-level, in-form, Premier League striker. It's grossly unnecessary.

Goodbye Mr Lukaku. Thanks for the goals, thanks for the £32m+ profit but I won't miss your attitude. Perhaps we can sign a replacement that tries in every game, rather than just once a fortnight.

Jack Cross
114 Posted 27/03/2016 at 09:22:42
It was only a couple of weeks ago that Lukaku said that he wouldn't want to leave Everton in an ugly transfer wrangle. So it's pretty straight-forward: he is still under contract, so if he pushes for a move, Everton don't allow it. Simply on those grounds.

It's not as if, if he stays, his transfer amount will reduce, is it? Who knows... Niasse might turn out to be an even better striker.

Bony, looks to be leaving Man City. Now I would like him in an Everton shirt. I'd even get Dafoe on board if possible.

What's us going after Carrick (Man Utd) all about?

Phil Walling
115 Posted 27/03/2016 at 09:23:35
Peter @ 107. How inaccurate of you to describe Lukaku as 'bang average'!

'Yes, he can score,' you admit, but as a player who is employed as a specialist striker, he's as good as anybody in the Premier League – and he's getting better.

Given the quality of all but one of the strikers we have seen here this century, he's anything but average. Perhaps it will take a season under Martinez without him to show just how much his goals are required!

Steve Pugh
116 Posted 27/03/2016 at 09:47:39
"Regardless of our results this season Lukaku wouldn't be here if it weren't for Martinez so to blame him for Rom Leaving is just silly."

Really Lee (#83)? If Martinez got him to sign with a promise of Champions League, which isn't all that far fetched, then you could almost say he was signed under false pretences. Add into that the fact that, based on the evidence so far, we are more likely to be fighting against the Championship rather than for the Champions League next season I can see exactly why people would blame Martinez for Rom wanting to leave.

Had we been top 7 right now I would be calling for the lad to give it another season and accuse him of jumping ship. But as things stand right now I cannot see us ever achieving Champions League football under Martinez and any player wanting to have that particular experience will have to leave in order to get it.

Unless of course the board see the light and sack the Spaniard.

Christopher Timmins
117 Posted 27/03/2016 at 09:59:00
Anyone who does not want to wear the Royal Blue colours should be allowed to leave. Given his age a fee in the region of £60,000,000 should not be out of the question. Add this to the £50,000,000 for Stones plus the TV money plus the expect funds from the new owner and we can surely acquire 5 or 6 top quality players, indeed that kind of a budget should tempt a top manager to the club.

The big worry is that the current manager will be the one who spends the funds!

James Newcombe
118 Posted 27/03/2016 at 10:21:36
A striker of his age and developing quality was never going to stay here for a long time. Good luck to the lad!

As far as Everton are concerned, we had better find a decent replacement, or next season could be a struggle of Wigan proportions.

Ray Roche
119 Posted 27/03/2016 at 10:23:26
Jack#114

Bony had a very good season at Swansea and then jumped ship for the money as soon as he could. Since when, he's been very average to poor with City. He is as much a mercenary as Lukaku appears to be. I don't want second rate,badge kissing players like Bony using Everton as a "stepping stone" to a so called "big club", i.e, nouveau riche outfit with plastic fans.

I'd be much happier if the likes of Lukaku would treat our club with the "respect" that they bang on about wanting for themselves and keep their mouth shut when away on International duty. We've had it with Fellaini...that went well, didn't it, his move to a club worthy of his talents....and also Mirallas. There's the door, sod off through it if we're not good enough for you.

Nick Armitage
120 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:00:24
David Hallwood (#101) – don't forget, it's more than 25 years since those gobshites were champions.
Brian Harrison
121 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:18:48
Mr Moshiri said on joining the club that his first task was to persuade our talented youngsters to stay. Seems like that hasn't had much effect on Lukaku and I think Stones will also leave.

The only way you stop highly talented players leaving is by competing for a Champions League place every season. Without Man City or Chelsea type investment, that isn't going to happen.

Worse still if Mr Moshiri listens to Kenwright and keeps Martinez as manager, because I fear that if that happens, 6 months down the line, the money will have been spent and we will again be looking for a new manager. The downside will be there would be no transfer kitty to give him if they let Martinez stay beyond this season.

My solution: offer Diego Simeone whatever he wants plus give him the Lukaku and possibly the Stones money. Then another £50 million on top... maybe that just might lure him away from a Champions League team to an average Premier League club.

Linda Morrison
122 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:18:51
Totally agree with Garry (#113), I could not have put it better myself.

Everton were the only club that agreed to meet the price, so I do not think he came as he was promised Champions League football.

He has 3 years left on his contract so there should not be an issue. I always try to see if things can lead to a positive outcome, not always easy folks with this club. However, this may shake up the new owner enough to get rid of Martinez. I just don't see any point in giving him another season, – he has had three and we are going backwards with a group of players who should be playing in Europe.

But we are only the fans – not journeymen players always looking for the next big pay rise.

Christopher Wallace
123 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:22:33
Atletico Madrid have had great success at moving great strikers on for the right price and then getting in another quality replacement - before moving them on for big money.

Torres, Aguero, Falcao, Costa Griezmann, etc.

All the while they strenthened the team (and appointed a great coach).

I'd like us to follow a similar strategy. I was delighted we forked out for Lukaku. We need top quality strikers in to succeed - they pay for themselves one way or another, and are a joy for us fans.

A poster above mentioned Aubameyang. This is the kind of player I'm talking about (when he was still in French league and relatively cheap). He cost Dortmund less than £12m, and is now one of the hottest strikers in Europe. He will most likely move to an elite club this summer for £50m+.

Kevin Johnson
124 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:22:37
Sell him for the maximum price. Do no deals or favours... especially for Chelsea or Man City.

Thanks for your service, Rom. Don't forget to close the door behind you.

We are Everton. Players come and players go...

Dave Abrahams
125 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:26:34
Good luck to the lad, it was inevitable that he would go.

I have seen much better players leave Everton: Ball and Rooney... and although you want them to stay, if they go, you just get on with it; Everton will survive.

I just hope we get a massive fee for Lukaku and the money is spent wisely.

Chris Williamson
126 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:38:28
I am so fed up with hearing this attitude from footballers. I have no problem with ambition, but it's like my right ear saying "I'm ready to be on the head of a concert pianist."

Rom – if you want (Runners Up) Champions League football – so do the rest of us and so does your team... get us there! Earn it. It's what you're paid for.

Football is a team game... if you want to live for your own personal ambitions, take up tennis.

Armando Canaj
127 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:44:37
Agree with all the comments wishing him the best of luck. There have have quite a few games where he should have worked harder for us and scored sitters which would have ensured 3 points for us in the last two seasons. Not shouldering the blame on him, but as already commented by others, he's part of a team!

He wants to go play for Man Utd? be my guest. How have they spent in the last 5 years (and the rest!) and achieved sweet fuck all...

You're a great player, I would love for you to stay, but if you're starting these rumours already, then go with all our blessing – in return for a £60 million price tag.

Kim Vivian
128 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:47:42
So then - Sunday gossip/rumours... Stones gone (Man Utd – I always thought that is were he'd head off to); Rom gone – nailed on (probably Chelsea or PSG, IMO), Carrick in, Tom Heaton in.

Just were are we headed?

I so want to wake up and read that Martinez's going/gone and/or that a new manager is being touted.

I think I might just trust Martinez with any transfer kitty but not to do anything worthwhile with his acquisitions. I'd rather he was gone and we might have an outside chance of keeping these top guys.

Leighton Cooper
129 Posted 27/03/2016 at 11:58:05
Can't blame him for wanting to leave. He has fulfilled his side of the bargain by banging in goals for 3 seasons. He is too good a player to be playing for a club languishing in the bottom half of the table, rubbing shoulders with the likes of West Brom, Watford and Bournemouth.
Armando Canaj
130 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:04:31
For those sticking the inevitable boot into Martinez and Kenwright re. the confidence of spending the profit from sales of Rom and Stones, PLEASE remember Rom was brought in by the two and Stones was given the stage to become the player that makes him worth a potential £40 million...
Vinny Garstrokes
131 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:08:52
Kim (#128),

Not sure where we are headed but the thing that has excited me this past 24 hours is the comment from Pellegrini that he wants to stay managing in the Premier League!! Go get him, Bill!!!

Brian Denton
135 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:22:51
Dave Abrahams – odd conjunction of Ball and Rooney there.

Ball wanted to stay with us.

David Hallwood
136 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:25:06
Kim (#128),

Media gossip is just that... take no notice until they come out waving the scarf. Even Lukaku's statement we don't know if it was taken out of context; ie, a journalist asking him is he ready for Champions League football and is he ambitious for it. The obvious answer is yes to both questions, and that's how the headlines are produced. As of yet, he hasn't said "I want to leave Everton at the end of the season."

But here lies the dilemma of having great players. The Le Tissiers of the world are a very rare breed, and great footballers want to win things and play against the best; NOT playing for a mid-table side with no chance of Champions League football. That's why Rooney left Everton, and that's why 50 years ago Alan Ball left Blackpool to join a top team.

You cannot blame Rooney, Lukaku, Stones et al for the piss-poor stewardship of this great club. It isn't their fault that we were unprepared for the Premier League revolution despite the fact that Everton was one of the prime movers and shakers to make it happen, and that a few short years before the inception of the Premier League, we were Football League Champions and Man Utd were a laughing stock (Michael Knighton, anyone?) and Arsenal were decidedly average.

You cannot blame the players for the club going from having one of the best grounds in the country, to being behind the likes of Stoke & Leicester in terms of ground quality.

There was a time when players had to be forced out the door at Goodison; give them something to stay for or accept that any player with any talent will be snapped up by the top teams. And remember, we used to do that when we were a top side.

Jos Rowland
137 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:36:56
The only way that we can make the board listen to the fact we have a very underachieving team and that's down to our dreadful manager is to act and show them. Booing the odd game at the final whistle when so very few fans are left in the ground anyway is simply not going to work, nor is taking to ToffeeWeb expressing our frustration hoping that a board member will see it and take note.

It's down to us now with so few home games left to make the board clear of the fans' unrest come the end of the campaign – otherwise, you can guarantee Martinez will still be the manager next season.

Now the question is: How do we make this happen??? Well every other club have achieved it over the years – we need to let the media know and the pressure mount as another bottom-half finish to the campaign is totally unacceptable!

It was the Europa League's fault last season for the poor finish; this season, it's what exactly? The home fans' fault for wanting better results... really???

James Byrne
138 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:39:06
I personally won't miss Lukaku; if we can double our money that amounts to great business. I don't think the lad is worth over £50M as he's never been the complete striker IMO.

Joe Clitherow
139 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:40:35
David (#136),

We do know, and it was not taken out of context. It was a direct interview to camera shown on Sky Sports News.

He did not explicitly say he wanted to leave Everton at the end of the season but pretty much said it by inference, saying that he wanted Champions League football next season and also talking about his next club.

Michael Williams
140 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:48:31
All this talk about Everton not being in the Champions League is the cause of Rom leaving is so wrong.

If Everton were in the Champions League and one of the top European teams in Europe came calling, he would still leave. You heard what his father said. Rom always wanted to play for a team like Man Utd or Bayern Munich. Rom has said so a million times.

Rom only signed here because Everton was the only one to meet Chelsea's asking price, paid him over £100k a week, and promised him he'd be the lead striker. That's it.

Now Rom wants to leave to fulfill his ambition/dream because he probably can. Unless teams are one of the perennial European superpowers, they will always lose players to the biggest clubs in the world. That's how this sport works.

Conor McGregor
141 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:50:14
James (#138), I have to agree with you, mate, I would get rid as well. Get £50-60 million. Let him on to Champions League. A good goal scorer but a lazy sod, it's all about himself; not a team player.

Buy Mandzuric from Juventus, and one of Rooney, Vardy, or Tevez. I think we would be better off in the long run; every season is the same: "I want out", with these money grabbing twats...

Glen Garrett
142 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:51:59
if Lukaku goes and one or two other main players in the squad, I will have money on Everton to go into the Championship end of next season if Martinez is still manager.

Everton need to keep Lukaku and the rest of the squad and build on this team, this team is good enough to get Champions League with a manager that knows what he is doing, not Martinez – all he is doing is destroying this amazing beautifull football club.

Winning the FA Cup won't cut it for Everton fans, they demand Champions League, the Premier League needs a club like Everton, Martinez out for me.

David Hallwood
143 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:53:10
Fine, Joe (#139), I didn't see the interview and if that's the case well bye bye, because for a clever man, that is obviously a statement of intent. Still I don't blame any player for wanting to further their careers.

Hope PSG come knocking: more money than sense and Rom guaranteed Champions League in a piss-poor league – match made in heaven.

Philip Yensen
144 Posted 27/03/2016 at 12:55:33
So Rom wants Champions League football, so he'll cope with the extra games, travelling and pressures. If he was playing for Barca, Madrid or the top German sides, the pressure would be greater to perform, week-in & week-out.

We have the finance now to keep him but, if he wants away, fair enough. Get top dollar for him, abroad only, if he can't see the potential of Everton (with a new manager) then his motive is purely selfish.

We can have a striker of above average ability as long as we give him the service and not the chronic 20-pass, go-nowhere football played under Martinez. Watch Leicester getting the ball forward as quickly as possible to their forwards. We are better than any team when we pass the ball quickly.

My wish is for any player who is not happy at Everton:

Firstly, because they want the bright lights of the Champions League, be open and tell the manager or Board about your feelings.

Secondly, any player not happy with team selections or playing style of the manager, have some bollocks and tell him.

Thirdly, if you don't like the club just fuck off, go through your contract for a "get out" clause.

Finally be honest with the fans; we are not vindictive with honest people, we will wish you all the good fortune in the world if you do right by us. Be up front and you'll always be welcome at Everton.

I just hope one player reads this and gets the message through to the squad. We hurt, we can't leave the club our contract is for life.

James Peter
145 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:03:12
Here's my take on it.

Moshiri has come in. He has publicly stated that he intends to keep hold of his best players .....

Lukaku single handedly gets us into the FA Cup semi final and has scored 25 goals already this season.

First opportunity he is away from the squad (making these things awkward) and possibly de-rail league form for himself and team he and his agent get together and say, now is the time.

It makes sense in a way. He might be asking Moshiri the question, am I one of your top players? What is your resolve to keep me?

Options:
- He signs a new contract and he stays
- He signs a new contract and we get an increased sell on fee
- He leaves anyway for high price

Whichever way it goes we might as well get the ball rolling. Would you sit on your 'old rate' of pay? It's ruthless but I understand it.

Colin Hughes
146 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:07:41
Well it didn't take the RedShite Daily Mirror long to jump on the "let's sell Everton's best players" bandwagon. How often do we get the back page headlines in that Anfield based journal? Especially when England have just beaten the Germans in dramatic fashion the night before.

Oh and just to appease it's red army of readers even more they put right next to the Lukaku story that the RedShite have prised Gotz from Bayern. As I have said before, thank heavens for The Sun.

Brent Stephens
147 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:23:06
James (#145) – sensible analysis. The "he's deffo gone at the end of the season" shout is only one rational possibility.
Eddie Dunn
148 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:25:54
This is to be expected, although, he hasn't done his reputation amongst Evertonians any favours talking like this so close to an important game.

I don't actually see why the Champions League is so important to these guys; unless you are at a team that can seriously have a chance of winning it (and there are probably only 4 or 5), you will end up playing fairly ordinary football at similar outposts of the known universe. Often, I have noticed players not being risked in Champions League games due to impending (more important) domestic league games.

He wants to win something. Bony left Swansea to get the big bucks at Man City, and to win things. He has won the League Cup.

It is when the players are away from the all-controlling power of Martinez that they just can't help themselves, so this is the tip of the iceberg. The boys off on international duty will all be chatting to their mates about other clubs.
Someone earlier asked if Lukaku could defend a bit better. Fair comment. England's front men last night rushed-up and harried the Germans high up. Just like Leicester.

Kane did it all game, in the middle of a crucial season for Spurs, with a lot of Europa League games under his belt too. Rom just isn't fit enough to do that. He is our best player, but he isn't perfect, and he might find, like Bony, that life can be a bit dull on the bench.

Bob Cumiskey
149 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:29:12
Unfortunately, this is the type of behaviour that the modern day football fan has to endure from so-called top players. I like Rom but I have always believed that he would leave us for pastures new at some point.

However, I take heart from Tottenham who have been through a similar situation with Modric and Bale. Look at them now under the guidance of a young and ambitious manager.

Whilst we hold all the aces due to the length of his contract, if Rom wants to leave, let's get it done early and give the funds to a new manager to rebuild.

We have been here before and will survive this setback should it happen and hopefully become stronger due to having a new manager in place.

Hannes Eerola
150 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:34:32
The people being aggrieved about Rom's announcement... think again, please. He has been the diamond in the shit. His goals have saved us from complete humiliation. The club has gone backwards, he has gone forwards. Therefore he deserves to move on.

It isn't easy to play in a team where you know you put your shift in to make the team succeed yet it doesn't due to the shortcomings of others. Especially with Martinez at the helm, another season at EFC would be a waste from his perspective.

And even if a new manager comes in, this guy has to change more things than we think. I reckon that, despite a change of manager bringing positivity, a complete turnaround next season is unlikely. And unless we make this turnaround, and compete for the Champions League next season, then frankly speaking the club doesn't deserve to demand of Romelu that he stays.

But whatever the follow-up in the story of Stones, Lukaku and Barkley, the most important thing for the club's future is that Martinez leaves asap. What a (useless, deluded, utterly terrible) manager, ey!

Kevin Tully
151 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:40:06
I have read a few posters across different threads touting Pellegrini to take over from Martinez. Here is a manager with unlimited resources struggling to make the top 4. His defence is lost without Kompamy and a lot of his signings have been a complete waste of money. Apart from that, I can't think of anyone better.
Colin Malone
152 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:41:33
Tara, lazy arse, and good riddance.

FACT: The worst player in the Premier League for being caught offside. A couple of decent performances and he's worth £40 million plus, snatch their hand off. This club has no room for mercenaries.

Oh for another blue blood Timmy Cahill.

COYBB.

Andy Meighan
153 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:48:48
As Ste (#88) said, since he joined us, he's done nothing but talk about leaving us for a (yawn) Champions League club.

I always get the impression with Lukaku that he actually thinks he's doing us a favour by playing for Everton. I've got news for him – he's not... not at all.

He's a good player – not the great player he obviously thinks he is. Poor first touch, unable to read the line at times, awful in the air, but capable of the odd moment of brilliance, a la Chelsea in the FA Cup.

£60 mil will do. Players come and players go... See you, Rom.

Don Alexander
155 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:49:52
Well I'm glad a few others view Rom as I do. Our motto is NSNO and our players should be expected to know what that means.

I hope nobody's denigrating Rom's goal scoring but there is more to it than that. Lineker's just admitted Cruyff had no time for him at Barca cos all he did was goal poach, and I know what Cruyff meant.

Over to you Rom!

Raymond Fox
156 Posted 27/03/2016 at 13:58:05
It seems odds on that Rom and Stones will leave in the summer.
We will miss Lukaku much more than we'll miss Stones in my opinion.

The only chance we have to keep this team intact is if Moshiri tells the club and therefore the players that he wants to really go for the top 4 and is willing to buy 3 or 4 £50m world class players which will bring us up to level we need to be.

Now I'm probably lapsing into the realms of fantasy now but hope springs eternal.

Phil Walling
157 Posted 27/03/2016 at 14:06:21
For all the criticism of Lukaku appearing here, I see little prospect of Roberto replacing him adequately.

One partial solution would be to cut the goals we give away by half, thus lightening the strikers' load. Not a tactic we can expect to be adopted by this manager, though!

Mike Gwyer
158 Posted 27/03/2016 at 14:08:33

Eddie Dunn.

Good post but comparing Lukaku and Bony is way off the mark. Lukaku is by far and away a better player, he has won so many games for Everton on his own that I believe he will easily step up to the mark required at any top team in Europe. Yeah, I agree at times he seems uninterested but when Lukaku is on his game he really is unplayable, for me I think any striker would get pissed off watching your own defence leak goals faster than you are scoring them.

We are probably going to lose Stones and Lukaku in the summer and if Everton do not change their manager any time soon, then I believe Barkley will look at his options at other clubs regarding what position he plays on the pitch and how that manager wants him to play because he is totally fucking lost playing for Martinez.

It is totally amazing how Martinez has got away with what he has delivered this season?? For me that is a total mystery, he should be ashamed that he has failed to deliver top 4 football with the current squad of players he has available. For me he should just fuck off to Sky, take a Saturday afternoon slot and talk his total bollox about whatever team he chooses, just leave Everton Football Club well alone.


Tom Bowers
159 Posted 27/03/2016 at 14:12:42
Changes are inevitable and we shouldn't be surprised about Rom's aspirations. He will fetch a big fee, as will Stones and maybe Barkley. Whilst we will need a good replacement for Rom (should Niasse not fill the bill) we have to get the defensive side of things sorted.

Barkley is good at times but cannot mark properly nor tackle well and Stones seems to have his head in the clouds these days.

The problem is Martinez, as most of us agree his three seasons have not moved this club ahead, and a new boss should be found.

Robbie Muldoon
160 Posted 27/03/2016 at 14:24:14
Lukaku will score over 20 goals this season. Of the current top four strikers in the league three of them play for sides in the title race. Lukaku plays for a side lying in 12th.

If a manager cannot build a side that exploits a 20-goal-a-season striker within the ranks then there is something seriously wrong. Lukaku's goals should have fired us into the Champions League THIS season.

It is a damning indictment of Martinez, and unfortunately, after three seasons, there is zero evidence to point to any improvement.

This third season is the proof of the pudding regarding Martinez. I wanted him to succeed and was excited by the contrasting style to David Moyes. I think with Moshiri's millions it would be the right time to scout for a manager with real pedigree who can marry the defensive duties of a side with a slick attacking ability.

Martinez proved there was life after Moyes. Now it's time for the club – like Lukaku – to be ruthlessly ambitious.

Patrick Murphy
161 Posted 27/03/2016 at 14:25:19
The reason isn't Champions League per se. It's all about marketing the brand, whether that be a national association, a club or a player, the Champions League provides a larger audience, more lucrative sponsorships and all that goes with it. Football is no longer a team game in its purest sense, it's a TV game show where the best can earn the most and to a certain extent it's not even about winning – it's all about profile.

What are the odds that Man Utd in their pursuit of the FA Cup get a little helping hand in the rest of the competition? Not because they are a rich club (although that helps), but because the competition requires worthy winners who sponsors can relate to and they don't want the two-bob upstarts like the other four clubs who have limited appeal to the advertisers and who don't attract huge viewing audiences.

It seems that a player should be allowed to tear up his contract if he thinks he is better than the club he signed for, whereas other players with less ability or self-worth would still be able to sit on their back-sides if they contribute little or nothing to the club for as long as their contract runs. Good game this football lark isn't it? If only I could find a similar industry for my limited skill set.

Phil Walling
162 Posted 27/03/2016 at 14:25:43
Mike @158 : Whilst I agree with the gist of your remarks, I suspect that the sale of Lukaku and Stones will make it difficult for Kenwright to let Martinez go this summer.

It would look as though the Catalan was having the team sold from under him and that would certainly be unlikely to attract a top manager to our club.

What I see us having to endure – and Moshiri suffer – is the retention of Roberto with shedloads of cash to spend. If that transpires, I fear sorry for The Conductor's richer half-owner and more so for his dreams for EFC!

Eddie Dunn
163 Posted 27/03/2016 at 14:29:34
Mike 158, Don't get me wrong, I don't think Bony is as good as Rom. However, Bony was becoming very sought-after during his big season with Swansea, and now due to much more limited opportunities, he doesn't look half the player he was.

Barkley looked electric last night. He came on and played with pace and purpose and in his short cameo, he showed that he doesn't need three touches on the ball before tapping a 4 yard pass to his side!

This manager has failed us all. Kenwright's continued support will, I fear, contribute to the scenario where we lose Rom, and probably Stones. Incidentally, I thought last night's game was fantastic. I wonder if old Woy will be so brave in the tournament?

ITV showed a bit of Ross with Kyle Walker at half time playing "Rock, paper, scissors" to decide who had to fetch the bag of balls. Barkley looked so happy, and smiley, and his football sparkled.

I hope we can keep our diamond.

John Keating
164 Posted 27/03/2016 at 14:38:06
Patrick,

It's a bit like the Moyes years when we were plucky little Everton playing above our station in life. That was put out by representatives of the Club and took on a life of it's own.

Knobhead Martinez - amongst a hundred other excuses - ignored and continues to ignore his own incompetence, and blamed the Goodison crowd for the dire performances of players and team.

Of course the media and pundits have jumped on that and now use it rather than Martinez's own deficiencies.

Dave Abrahams
165 Posted 27/03/2016 at 15:13:50
Brian (135) I mentioned Ball and Rooney because they were both top class footballers and, if we got over losing them, it would be a lot easier seeing Lukaku go.

As for Alan Ball wanting to stay, it depends on who and what you believe, Ball says he wanted to stay, at the time he went, there were strong rumours he was heavily in debt, due to gambling. It certainly didn't upset his dad, who was in raptures that his lad had doubled his wages and got a fantastic deal off Arsenal, that was in an article Ball Snr had written in the Daily Express the morning after Alan had signed for Arsenal.

Dave Ganley
167 Posted 27/03/2016 at 15:28:45
Don't blame Rom in the slightest for wanting to go to a club that can actually achieve things. In a poor team, with poor coaching and poor fitness levels, he has still managed to achieve in the last couple of seasons. Without his goals, then who knows where we would be.

There is certainly nobody currently at the club who could ably deputise for him. He has worked at his game, holds the ball up well, goes looking for the ball and also can score plenty in a team that often struggles. I don't get these people who question his work rate. He does harass the opposition, however, he cuts a frustrated figure when he turns round to find nobody helping him out.

In comparison to Barkley, he makes Rom look like a gazelle chasing and harassing. I will miss him when/if he goes, he is a quality player who can only improve tenfold if any half decent manager should get hold of him and coach him correctly.

As for Stones apparently complaining that the GP crowd are stifling the younger players, well if that is the case then he can just leave with a good riddance following him. If he and others have no backbone and are willing to blame the crowd who adore them, then I don't particularly want players of this ilk at the club.

I want players who will want to run through brick walls for the fans and give their all. Fanciful maybe but why should we settle for any less? I certainly don't want players who make up any half-arsed excuse to explain why they are playing so piss-poor.

Ray Roche
168 Posted 27/03/2016 at 15:47:57
Dave#165

Dave, I read Alan Ball's autobiography a few years back and it was apparent that he was anything but careful with his money. He did have debts and I think I'm right in saying that, when he returned to Southampton as manager, he didn't even own a house and when you consider the money he will have earned over the years, that is unbelievable. Such a waste, a man regarded as one of the greatest ever players struggling for money.

Tony Abrahams
169 Posted 27/03/2016 at 15:57:23
Dave, if you give most footballers an excuse, they will jump on it, and this is what any players who blame the crowd, are doing.

The only stifling I see at Goodison, is usually done on the pitch, which in turn agitates the crowd.

We love good football, doesn't everyone? But to try and pull the wool over our eyes, is ridiculous.

Working class scousers, are generally pragmatic, and this is the only thing we truly expect from our team, as you rightly point out.

If a manager can make his players feel it's the crowd's fault, then we have got some really weak characters in our squad right now. ITS TERRIFYING!

Barry Jones
170 Posted 27/03/2016 at 16:46:59
Players often say that they want to play Champions League football these days as a legitimate excuse for leaving. It appeases the fans by showing that the rationale is about career achievements and not cash.

In reality, though, it is usually about cash and a bigger stage to play on. If Rom joins Man Utd (if they fail to qualify) or Chelsea, then it is definitely not about Champions League. Lets wait and see...

Although he is a decent player, I do feel that he is still over-rated. We are looking in the £50 million bracket for the sale of Rom. Is he really worth that? He is not half the player Lewandowski is. Good luck to him anyway. A player's career is short and they must make the most of it.

Brian Williams
171 Posted 27/03/2016 at 16:57:12
Does anyone else think he's a bit of a cheeky fucker for going public and saying "I want to play in the Champions league next season"?

I don't care if he HAS got some sort of gentleman's agreement with Martinez, to me it shows a lack of respect to the people who fork out, week-in & week-out, and go the game.

I think the "gentleman's agreement" must be there though as doing what he's done would generally piss off his manager to such an extent that he might bench him for the semi-final, or just tell him "You're under contract, so shut it and you'll go when we're ready to sell."

Fucking travesty either way... we get the best striker we've had for years, and a shite manager to fuck it up for us.

Ray Roche
173 Posted 27/03/2016 at 17:00:38
Barry, Just think this through logically. I posted this (below) on another thread a few days but it is still relevant. Lukaku is well worth 㿞m if only for the reasoning I mention.

"With regard to the valuation of Lukaku, well, we and West Brom apparently paid a loan fee of ٣m for one season for a player still developing and no-one thought that that was ridiculous. So, if Lukaku has, say, ten years left as a top player, then the fee would, without considering rising transfer prices, a minimum of 㿞m.

In view of the fact that very average players go for high prices, Shelvey, Townsend, Afobe etc, then the fee for one of the most exciting players of his generation who scores goals and who is still improving should surely reflect that fact. A realistic valuation of OWNING Lukaku's registration and not just helping develop him via the loan system would surely be north of 㿨m?"

Raymond Fox
174 Posted 27/03/2016 at 17:08:24
I think too many on here have got their heads in the clouds. I keep hearing we should be top 4. Let's have a look at the team:

Goalkeepers – Howard is okay but dodgy on crosses. Robles again is okay, promising.

Full Backs – Baines has been average due to injury, defence not a strength. Coleman good going forward, again leaves plenty to be desired in defence.

Central Defence – Jagielka, very good when ball on the ground, not so good when it's not. Funes Mori I like, but he is far from consistent. Stones is nice to watch, but his inexperience has shown in defence.

Midfield – McCarthy, will run all day but no creativity. Barry, Man City reject, Mr Dependable but like McCarthy lacking creativity. Ross can become an exceptional player, but is inconsistent too many times as of yet. Besic, I think there is a good footballer in there but has not shone yet. Gibson, injured as usual. Cleverley, Man Utd reject, he's a good player but not top 4 material.

Forwards – Lukaku is certainly good enough for any top 4 side. Lennon, Spurs reject, but has been a standout player for us this season. Mirallas, undoubtedly talented, when he can be bothered. Deulofeu, again very talented going forward, but a liability as far as defence is concerned. Kone, okay but past his best. Niasse, too soon to judge.

Other squad players – Galloway, top player for the future. Oviedo, good player again not top 4 material. Osman and Pienaar, class players at their best, but are past their best.

Obviously its a matter of opinion how good of a team we can field, but I don't see a top 4 side there myself.

Andy Walker
175 Posted 27/03/2016 at 17:20:45
Brian 171, I totally agree and made a similar comment earlier on this thread about how disrespectful I thought Lukaku's public comments were to the fans.
Alan Bodell
176 Posted 27/03/2016 at 17:25:15
One good thing is coming out of all this is that he is in the shop window with end of season and the FA cup so he has some time to up the ante and get off his lazy arse and perform to his potential suitors.
Nicholas Ryan
177 Posted 27/03/2016 at 17:27:26
'My agent is dealing with this ....'. You also have a contract, which you signed freely, so what is the "this" your agent is dealing with?

He wouldn't be unlawfully inducing a breach of contract, would he?!

Armando Canaj
178 Posted 27/03/2016 at 17:49:37
Raymond #174 ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON. Who believes this is the best squad in the last 25 years! The papers maybe to create a story.

Totally agree with your assessment if the players, except Barry, who can, and does spot, with great execution. He also is key to the midfield position. He's the plug in the dam! As demonstrated with his absence against Arsenal...

My belief in fair fans has been restored. Thanks Ray.

Alex Moore
179 Posted 27/03/2016 at 18:23:52
Andy Walker (#175),

I couldn't agree more. That said, Lukaku does need to keep his mouth shut. It's only going to be detrimental to whatever team chemistry exists to have the other players out there coming to the realization that you think you're too good for them, and I want that FA Cup trophy!

Andy Walker
180 Posted 27/03/2016 at 18:30:28
Yea Alex, great point. He needs to deliver for us and his team mates in the semi-final.
Richard Reeves
181 Posted 27/03/2016 at 18:33:43
I remember Lukaku advising Stones to reject Chelsea's advances this season and focus on Everton. Does that mean Stones will get the golden seal of approval from the man himself if he moves on as he is indicating here?

I would prefer Lukaku to stay but I'm not too concerned if he goes to be honest. Everton will get a huge fee and one of the things Martinez does well is recruitment. I just hope whoever is brought in is not afforded the luxury of playing every week (even when out of form) in order to keep his ego maintained. That is something he is going to realize that he had here if he ends up at a club playing in the Champions League.
Tom Bowers
183 Posted 27/03/2016 at 19:09:56
Everton certainly have a bunch of under achievers and apart from a handful of wins have been a disaster this season for which Martinez must also share the blame. Thank God for Villa, Sunderland and the Barcodes otherwise I firmly believe Everton would be in the bottom three.

Martinez is a loser and has used up all his excuses for his inability to make this a solid outfit after almost three seasons. Many people sussed him out at the very beginning but I wrongly disagreed and was willing to give him time but he just doesn't have what it takes.

Gaz Lowe
184 Posted 27/03/2016 at 19:29:18
I love Rom and I love Martinez for having the ambition and persuading Kenwright to splash £28m on one of world football's bright young talents. People on here complained about Kenwright spending that much on Rom, people on here were still complaining this time last season saying he was a waste of money! Probably the same people still complaining that he can't hold the ball up and strays offside too often...

The truth is, when we signed Rom the footballing world all of a sudden looked at us in a different light. No longer having to pluck bargains from lower leagues and having the transfer kitty of a Premier League also-ran. We blues all of a sudden expected better and rightly so.

Martinez has built a great squad, something that he gets no respect for. For years under Moyes we had to play players out of position, loan players like Dennis and put up with injury prone has-beens...

This is my most exciting period as an Evertonian (sad as that might be). I personally believe that Martinez deserves more time, that's my opinion and I spend more time than I should sticking up for RM.

Jay Harris
185 Posted 27/03/2016 at 19:35:28
Rom may have scored quite a few goals for us but to say he saved us from relegation is quite ridiculous. In fact, Rom has caused quite a few of the goals against with his inability to hold the ball up, wayward passing, poor movement and lack of heading ability. He must get caught offside at least 10 times a game.

I don't want to see him gone but for me there is no way he is a –60m striker and if we can get that, I am sure we can find a better centre-forward for that sort of money.

Gary Carter
188 Posted 27/03/2016 at 19:38:01
Neil Steele,

Calling Blues fans backward for suggesting that we should play more to Roms strengths and then somehow linking that to Tony Pulis!! Incredible

Playing to Rom's strength means getting balls in behind defenders so he can turn them and run with the ball, he's fast and nearly impossible to knock off the ball! And also get forward with pace and cross the ball, turning teams on to the back foot quickly. These are not the "long ball" traits of a Pulis side!

Unfortunately, the idiot Martinez chooses to pass the ball from side to side and backwards until the opposition has got its players back and set up in their defensive shape, he and indeed his tactics are that of a complete idiot that doesn't understand the necessities of Premier League football, or he is simply to arrogant in the belief that his shit style of football actually works.

And Lukaku was doing just fine before we signed him, there is no genius in signing a striker like him for £28 million when he has just scored 20+ goals for West Brom! And if anything, Martinez owes Lukaku big time because, without his goals and ability, which are rare indeed, we will struggle like fuck under this total and utter clown.... unfortunately.

Paul Kossoff
189 Posted 27/03/2016 at 19:49:09
I don't get the "Good luck to him, I wish him all the best."

So, if Lukaku goes to Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea or Arsenal, the good luck brigade hope he scores plenty of goals that would stop us being a top six side? Maybe they would stand and applaud if he scores a hat-trick against us?

And don't give me the 'Once a Blue' scenario. The only true blues are us daft lot who support them through good and bad. I will support Everton no matter what, most players don't give a toss.

Ron Marr
190 Posted 27/03/2016 at 20:15:12
One of the match analysts said "Everton are top 4 on offense and bottom 6 on defense". It sounds simplistic, and they're basing the analysis on goals scored/conceded. Maybe it's not far from the truth.

The thing I can't get my head around is Kenwright saying "What a manager" about Marttinez. If Everton do end up with the worst home record in the club's history, then the manager's performance is in the record books and should be obvious to all, and Kenwright's credibility will be zero.

I wonder what effect Lukaku's comments will have on the other players?

Paul Kossoff
191 Posted 27/03/2016 at 20:17:11
Raymond (#174), with all due respect, but for the very nature that 'Leicester' are probably going to win the league, then why would we not expect to be a possible top four or top six team?

Surely the season Leicester have had, points to the fact the Sky five have been found out, and with the right tactics, attitude and manager a top six position is attainable?

Joe O'Brien
192 Posted 27/03/2016 at 20:20:38
Jay (187) yeah I agree he's not a £60 mil player... He's worth a lot more than that and without his goals we might not be in the bottom 3 only because the bottom 3 are so bad, but we'd be definitely only hovering above them.

With his age and ability and proven scoring record in the previous seasons, he'll be very very hard to replace.

Denis Richardson
193 Posted 27/03/2016 at 20:21:00
Jay 187 - get what you're saying but I think you're being a bit unkind to Rom.

Looking at the league goals he's scored, he scored the winner for the west Brom game and either scored or provided an assist for the equalizer in a further 5 games, so that's at least 8 points he's helped to get us. Other games we got points, there were other scorers. (Very rough and ready way of looking at things admittedly).

Take 8 points away and whilst we wouldn't be in the drop zone we'd be in 16th only 4 points clear with a horrible home record... I would not like to imagine where we'd be had we had Kone or Naismith leading the line from August.

As for the £60m valuation, he's worth whatever another club is willing to pay and the papers are quoting £65m. In the Premier League, the prices this summer will break all records as each club looks forward to £100m+ in TV money alone. Player wages are going to balloon upwards too with bang average players likely to be getting £50k-60k a week, never mind the top ones.

Just hope we can get our business done early before the silly August period starts.

Alan Bodell
194 Posted 27/03/2016 at 20:33:36
Ron (#195), don't worry with his effect on the dressing room since he's made no secret of us being a staging post in his idea of his future glory.

He's been a legend in his head since he came to us on loan and all being well he has a great back end for us and we get offers of £50m + so we can spend on a top lad that gives 100% every time regardless of the big games.

Ian Riley
195 Posted 27/03/2016 at 20:56:09
As I see it, the club need to come down hard on Rom. Fine him, ban for two games and make him give public apologies to the fans, team mates and the chairman. This is the second time his ego has come to the front.

Reberto doesn't help the situation. He must come out strong. This is Everton not Wigan. If West Bromwich Albion can keep hold of their striker, why can't we. My concern is Lukaku may think under Martinez, Champions League is beyond us.

If Lukaku goes, he goes. Let's face it, he will go someday. I would like to see a new manager with Lukaku for another season. If we fail to achieve with Lukaku next season, he goes with my blessing.

New investment and a new manager may bring new optimism to us and the players.

Colin Glassar
196 Posted 27/03/2016 at 21:09:41
I'm surprised that a lot of people are surprised that Rom has come out with this very unsurprising statement. It seems to be a Belgian thing that when they meet up for international duty they start shooting of their mouths and spouting shite.

Witzel has been going on about leaving Russia, Hazard letting it be known that he's open to a move to Madrid, Mirallas always moaning, Rom and his dad etc.... He's with us until May, at least, so I'm not fretting just yet.

Paul Tran
197 Posted 27/03/2016 at 21:17:00
I've got no issue with Rom. He's doing the business in a team that largely isn't. Mr Moshri will have to make him an offer he can't refuse, or find a new manager whose very presence might keep him here. If he wants to go, he's going to go. Let's just get a good fee for him.

I think his case is different to Barkley and Stones. I can see Rom going to a club in Europe. I wonder if the other two may end up warming the bench for an other, 'bigger' English club.

I hope we can keep all three. All good young players who will benefit from the competence and rigour a decent new manager would bring.

Of course the players are affected by the atmosphere at home games. That's clear to any observer and stating a plain fact isn't tantamount to slagging off the fans. If manager and players had the self awareness and honesty to admit they were creating this by their insipid performances, I I think we'd feel slightly less annoyed.

Ste Traverse
198 Posted 27/03/2016 at 21:36:18
Some of our fans really are hilarious. They (rightly) want Martinez out but Lukaku gets abuse off some for wanting to move on from a club whose manager he, and we, can see is taking us nowhere. Can't get my head around that one.

I can't say I blame him for wanting to leave and play Champions League football.

Raymond Fox
199 Posted 27/03/2016 at 21:44:59
It's a racing certainty the club will be asked to name a price for Lukaku, and if the inquiring club is 'big enough' in Lukaku's eyes, he will ask to leave.

We are a sleeping giant, 40,000 each home game tells us that, we would attract well over that figure if we ever became a consistent top 4 side. The crunch is how are we to bridge that gap, if as soon as one of our players attains a certain level of ability the 'rich clubs' roll up and away he goes.

The answer is realistically never; okay we may feasibly manage to get 4th if everything goes our way, but we wouldn't stay there. If we cant hold onto Lukaku, Stones and Ross after this season, I'm not kidding myself any longer, the towel going in!

The summer is a test of what ambition Moshiri and the other gang have, it's the best chance we will ever have of ever escaping the role of the 'nearly club'. As things stand, Lukaku and Stones may leave regardless of any offers the club makes, but in my eyes it's now or never.

Brian Williams
200 Posted 27/03/2016 at 22:10:52
Ste, what's hilarious about someone angling to get out of a contract he happily and freely signed not too long ago.

I personally don't blame him, and lots of others probably don't either but I still think he's a cheeky fucker for the way he's going about it.

It's about respect for the club we love as supporters, and if someone shows a lack of respect then you're gonna be angry... and in my mind he's certainly doing that by shouting his mouth of before a very very important semi final.

Sorry I don't think I'm hilarious, or others that feel the same way... just saying.

Oliver Molloy
201 Posted 27/03/2016 at 22:18:48
Raymond @ 174

I agree with you regards our squad, but would we all have thought Leicester were a top four side! They just got well organised and are reaping the benefits of 4 to 5 good players all playing really well.

Have we a better squad than them? The difference between them and us is the manager. I'm praying Leicester keep believing and win the league, they have been outstanding up to now.

Ste Traverse
202 Posted 27/03/2016 at 22:25:39
Brian #210

What about when we sign players who have a long deal at their present club yet want to come to us? Is that somehow ok and fuck whatever club they are at? Hypocrisy.

Alan Bodell
203 Posted 27/03/2016 at 22:27:08
Hopefully one thing will come out of all this talk of him and his dad/agent that he will fully commit himself in the shop window in what is left of our season.

Fuck him, I'm thinking about the amount we can squeeze from his next destination.

Raymond Fox
204 Posted 27/03/2016 at 22:43:53
Oliver, Leicester especially if they hold on, will be as rare as hens teeth in the modern era, they have been extraordinary.

The manager's done great, the players have fitted in perfectly, add to that everything has seemed to go their way with other teams results.

I'll be very surprised if rank outsiders for the title ever win the League again in our lifetime.

Good luck to them, I too hope they do it.

Alex Moore
205 Posted 27/03/2016 at 23:37:19
Rom is pissing me off right now, that said I don't have to like his attitude, he just has to be productive for us on the field. In that regard there is no question.

I wonder if we can win the FA Cup and get Europa League football, and then bring in some quality talent over the transfer window, especially on the left wing, if we can't convince him to stay.

Alex Moore
206 Posted 27/03/2016 at 23:42:00
Raymond Fox 216

I agree entirely, I'm really pulling for the Foxes. I would love to see some parity in the Premier League; hopefully this is only the beginning.

Brian Williams
207 Posted 27/03/2016 at 23:56:01
Hey, Ste, there's no need to get personal now and throw insults in there... respect please?

My beef is with his disrespect towards his present employer by hawking himself quite openly to others. There's a right way to do things and I don't believe he's doing it the right way.

I don't see that as me personally being a hypocrite.

Gordon Crawford
208 Posted 28/03/2016 at 00:14:49
i just hope the door doesn't hit him on the way out. No loyalty anymore. £70 plus million.
Jack Cross
209 Posted 28/03/2016 at 01:19:56
Ray (#119).

You're making out that Bony only started scoring when he was at Swansea. I think if you check him out before Swansea, his goal scoring was up there with the best strikers.

As for Lukaku, he only came good this season and, as someone else said, who came in for him besides us when we bought him? If he stays and continues scoring that will be fantastic.

But if he leaves, I couldn't give a fuck how his career pans out.

Jackie Barry
210 Posted 28/03/2016 at 01:39:40
Jack, Lukaku's scoring record for his career so far is pretty immense there is no doubting that. If he leaves that's his choice and I couldn't blame him either in all honesty. However, we can certainly find a decent replacement for him.
Louis Baccino
211 Posted 28/03/2016 at 08:12:15
We have to keep him at all costs. We kept Baines when Man Utd came sniffing, Stones when Chelsea did the same. £70 mill price tag. New manager and see what happens...
Ian Jones
212 Posted 28/03/2016 at 08:22:56
Although I am gradually being won over by Rom, I feel £60-70 mil is a decent return for him. Whilst we would certainly miss his goals, we may find that we may play a different game with alternative choices. At the moment the focus seems to be get the ball to Rom.

We may even find that we have alternatives in the squad and U21/U18 levels. After all, Man Utd have tried Rashford. Early days but he has started well.

Ray Roche
213 Posted 28/03/2016 at 09:18:25
Jack, I'm well aware of Bony's record prior to his Swansea move, but I don't always think that comparisons between Leagues in different countries are accurate. The fact is he's scored 6 goals in 31 appearances for Man City. Hardly in Lukaku's class.

Barkley with 8 in 28 League games from midfield gets slated on here... Even Funes Mori has scored 3 in 21 for us as a centre half.

No. Bony? Not for me.

James Hill
215 Posted 28/03/2016 at 10:28:19
For me, the also-ran league is a joke. I just want us to win the Premier League and the FA Cup. If they ever make a true Champions League, then I might turn the TV on to watch.
Steve Davies
216 Posted 28/03/2016 at 11:54:18
Lukaku has done his job this season, Martinez, Howard and the defense have failed in their responsibilities. End of.

It must be soul destroying to score that amount of goals and see us lose or draw matches due to an inept manager and kamikaze tactics.

However, he is a bit of a mercenary, a bit of a Fellaini. It is only a matter of time before he goes, we were just a stop off point for him. If we get 㿨 million, happy days.....

Take the money, hire a decent manager and move on.

Tony Abrahams
219 Posted 28/03/2016 at 12:03:24
Steve, whilst I agree with you, I also think that Martinez has put Lukaku first, instead of the team, on too many occasions this season.
Paul Smith
220 Posted 28/03/2016 at 12:56:31
Why on Earth would he want to stay put. We're dire!

The Echo are running with the idea that as Evertonians we are all fuming at his lack of loyalty. I can't blame him in the slightest.

Instead of asking why he wants out, they just blame him. The Echo has been a little more critical of the upper echelons and even RM of late, but this piece harks back to the bad old days of boardroom bias.

David Hallwood
221 Posted 28/03/2016 at 13:01:25
BTW, gents, before everyone truly gets their undergarments in a twist, didn't Mirallas say the same this time last year, and ended up signing a new contract?

Like the majority on here, I can't blame him for wanting to better himself, but to announce it when there's still 2 months of the season left... not clever.

But also to have the 4th highest goals tally in the league, and with the 3 teams with a better goals record being 1st, 2nd & 4th in the Premier League kinda points the finger where the problems with the team lies – and it's not going to be rectified anytime soon by Bobby 'My teams have leaked 403 goals in the 7 seasons I've been in the Premier League' Martinez-Can't blame him for getting out.

John Voigt
222 Posted 28/03/2016 at 13:14:53
Lukaku may leave. It's not a given fact.

Only a handful of clubs can afford the asking price. One thing I haven't seen in the postings relates to Lukaku being a "home grown player", which increases his value for Premier League clubs.

Chelsea and Man City are short on "home grown players". Man Utd have the cash.

How many clubs outside the Premier League can afford the asking price besides PSG and Real Madrid???

If (and it's a big 'IF'), a big money club wants to splash a boat-load of cash on Lukaku and he wants to leave, he'll leave, but there aren't many destinations that can pay the fee Everton will ask and get.

I hope he stays another season on an improved contract, but it's up to Lukaku and the big money clubs to make an offer that makes the situation of Lukaku leaving worth it to Everton (which isn't a given at this point in time).

When players REALLY want to leave for big money clubs and a big money offer comes to a club like Everton, the player leaves.

My gut feeling is Manchester United will splash cash and Lukaku will leave. The inflated fee for Fellaini was good for Everton so taking the cash isn't all bad as long as the funds are reinvested wisely.

Joe Green
223 Posted 28/03/2016 at 13:59:10
I've never been a fan of the idea that "he (or I) need to play Champions League football". It's now obviously an inferior league to the Premier League and this season the falling-off in quality and interest in the Champions League has been been frequently commented on by the press.

No, the Premier League is THE league that is watched and followed worldwide every week.

So what do top players (and those aspiring to be) want? Money, yes. Although Lukaku gets plenty already. Perhaps the bigger desire is to win things. Man Utd or Chelsea may not be good bets for that!

Has the upward leveling of the Premier League, eg, with Leicester, Spurs and West Ham in the top 5, created a new situation, not just for clubs to recognize, but for the players too. No longer can you wink at the "top" clubs knowing that if they grab you, you will automatically win things for turning up (or sitting on bench).

Of course, Rom may have decided that Everton will never win, or even be top 4, with Martinez as manager. Perhaps Moshiri can change that.

Mark Wilson
224 Posted 28/03/2016 at 15:58:17
Many supporters, and Evertonians in particular, amaze me at how little they seem to value their "club". Look at this thread, it's full of folk announcing their support for the highest paid player in our history shitting all over them –and not for the first time.

Look at the sympathy for the poor dear... we've failed to get qualification for the Champions League, "can't blame him" say the fans, or apparently a lot of them... can't blame him ? He's spitting at you, crapping all over your amazing loyal support for a club that deserves better than yet another pathetic show of unprofessional attitude from both the player and his pathetic father / agent.

Why should he be allowed to speak in such a way at any time – let alone in a season which has been shameful in its league outcome, but still holds a decent prospect of a trophy. When will you ever learn, Evertonians, that by expressing your sad support for actions like this, it appears that you're saying we don't count. The only thing that matters is that an incredibly well paid footballer is able to act like he owns us, the Premier League, and everything else besides.

I know the reality too well. I understand it – I really do. Players rule... but they do so only with the connivance of supporters.

Here's what, with our support, should happen next. Rom should be immediately dropped for the Man Utd game and asked to apologise, publicly, for his extreme disrespect to the club and its supporters. If he doesn't, he doesn't play. Yes we will suffer on the pitch, I guess; his goals have made a difference and arguments about his overall contribution aside, those goals do matter... And we will of course struggle to see a replacement bought who gets 25 Premier League goals a season.

But somewhere, sometime, a club needs to stand up to this player power. We did it to a degree with Stones though ironically I think many now realize he is over-hyped and needs another full season to learn and develop his game.

Of course I know it's an emotional response. Martinez has (in my view) had a very poor season, again, and frankly I'd be happy to see him go. But he won't. Bill will not sack him. Mr Moshiri will not, this year, force a dismissal, but he will I feel in January 2017 if things are still as bad at Goodison. An FA Cup win will be brilliant and Martinez deserves praise for that if it happens, but it can never disguise some dire failures this season.

Player power has become an accepted part of the game but it needs to be stopped. Rom does his thing in a sort of friendly, 'lovable misled rogue' kind of way but he does it often, and frankly, if you fall for the 'nice guy' stuff, you're just as misled. He's a calculating individual who has done well by the club and we've certainly resurrected a career that was simply going from one loan season to another. How you can accept him openly touting his services in this way is beyond me. Yes, we've been miserable this season but that doesn't justify Rom's actions.

I'm sorry, I know a hard line will to many be stupid. "Let an unhappy player leave" I hear you shout, but when will it ever end? How can a club ever be allowed to build something if players dictate like this? You cannot surely think this is any kind of future for a football club to roll over and bow to Rom and his gobby father and say, "Yes, King Rom, whatever you want, when you want it."

Meanwhile, at the lower end of the scale, I see some being scathing about Pienaar's recent statements expressing anger at not being allowed a loan move... this from a player who has been paid top dollar for two years since his return, been injured most of the time, yet now seeks to be treated on his terms only.

The difference, I guess, is that Rom is worth it seems £55m plus and Pienaar is worth £0. So it's okay to accuse Pienaar of disloyalty and disrespect but, when Rom does it even louder, the reaction is one of compassion for the hard-done-by hero who deserves to do as he pleases.

Frank Crewe
225 Posted 28/03/2016 at 16:21:14
@John Voigt and Joe Green

Some good points there. The Champions League is becoming something of a procession as the "super rich" clubs, Barça, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG stroll to the semis. It doesn't seem that long ago when the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, The Milan clubs, Juventus and various others had a reasonable chance of winning it but those days are gone and it looks like a long time before they return.

Also, given that we now have a billionaire of our own, we can resist any bids that fall short of our valuation for any of our players and hold out for what we, rather than the "rich" bidding club, thinks the player is worth. The media can complain that we are holding them back as much as they like. Everton are just as entitled to get as much as we can for our assets as any other club is.

In the event that Lukaku and Stones move on I would expect to receive a combined fee in excess of £100M for the two of them. I would then expect that cash to be added to whatever transfer funds the manager (whomever he may be, although I hope it's not Martinez) was going to get.

Colin Glassar
226 Posted 28/03/2016 at 16:30:39
I see Rom is now saying he has no problem playing for Mourinho again (presumably at Man Utd) so ok, let's put a price on his head and say we won't accept a penny under £65m (I'd ask for £75m).

If he's so desperate to go, and Mourinho is desperate to sign him, let's get the best possible deal and move on.

I've been a huge backer of the lad but if he wants to go then good luck to him but we should get back double, at least, the amount we paid for him. I just hope he doesn't come back and say he was "misinterpreted" as he's an habitual offender now.

Frank Crewe
227 Posted 28/03/2016 at 16:48:14
Actually, Colin it seems to be a habit that foreign players have developed. I remember Fellaini doing the same thing, Mirallas also.

The moment international breaks arrive, they are doing interviews with foreign rags and mags hinting how they want Champions League football.

Yet the moment they get back to the club, it's all been taken out of context and they just want to do well with Everton or whatever other "lesser club" they think they are playing for.

Colin Glassar
228 Posted 28/03/2016 at 17:03:04
I said yesterday that it might be a Belgian thing, Craig. They all seem to have motor mouths once they join up with the Belgian squad.
Michael Penley
229 Posted 28/03/2016 at 17:11:32
Must be something in those Belgian waffles or chips with mayo or whatever else they eat over there, Colin.
Steve Brown
230 Posted 28/03/2016 at 17:23:50
I was fairly sanguine about this at the weekend but it is getting on my nerves now. Point to the section of his contract where it says 3 years remaining, mention the name "John Stones" and fine him a week's wage.

We are not going to be railroaded by a transparent, coordinated campaign by Rom, his old man and his dodgy agent. We proved last summer we've acquired backbone and now have a billionaire major shareholder. We don't need anyone's money.

I have also backed him to the hilt, but he needs to reflect that one good season doesn't mean he's a top player.

It's interesting his attitude versus Kane's and Vardy's, they feel they owe their managers but Lukaku obviously doesn't feel the same.

Alan Bodell
231 Posted 28/03/2016 at 17:24:57
Colin and Michael, Benelux players are not compatible with Everton and that's a fact, Johnny Heitinga, Andy Shandy, Rolls Royce Kev, Mr Fellaini and Royston.

Loads of undoubted talent but give me a British Jagielka anytime.

Colin Glassar
232 Posted 28/03/2016 at 17:30:27
Hadn't thought of that, Alan, good point.
Martin Mason
233 Posted 28/03/2016 at 18:06:44
In any other form of employment, it would be quite normal for an employee to leave if he believed that the Company were failing to meet his expectations.

Modern contracts are almost irrelevant for top players because their value is so high that, when they insist on going on an already arranged deal, you can't stop them – only negotiate the best price you can get.

Raymond Fox
234 Posted 28/03/2016 at 18:07:02
If Mourinho becomes Man Utd manager,I don't see him wanting Lukaku.

Mourinho has such a high opinion of himself, and having Lukaku at his club would be a reminder to him and everybody else (the media especially) that he sold him cheap when he was Chelsea manager, and therefore was wrong about Rom.

The 'Special One' wont like that.

Man City have Aguero so I doubt they will bid for him, not out of the question because money is no object at City.

Arsenal are not noted for paying large transfers, but who knows... they might think it's worth doing in Rom's case.

Spurs might buy him if Kane forces a move; I don't see that happening though with the season Spurs are having.

The Spanish clubs and PSG are possibles, probably favourites I'd say, but they would want to do a player + cash deal I suppose.

All-in-all, I don't think we would be knocked down in the rush with suitors, but I think one or two of the mentioned foreign clubs will probably come up with a deal for him.

You can say what you want about Martinez, but he stuck to his guns about no top Everton players leaving the club this season; whether he can do that again in the summer is open to doubt.

That is if he is still our manager... what happens in the FA Cup and the remaining League games will determine that, I feel.

Peter McHugh
235 Posted 28/03/2016 at 18:10:57
Steve, I think you're comparing chalk and cheese. Kane is local lad and Vardy plucked from obscurity and either club may win the league.

Lukaku is a gun for hire. I would compare him to same bracket as Angel de Mario and he didn't even perform and was at a bigger club and left. I don't like it one bit but we couldn't even keep Rooney, a diehard blue and so have no chance of keeping Lukaku.

Patrick Murphy
236 Posted 28/03/2016 at 18:18:25
Peter (235) Rooney went a) Because he wanted to and b) Because the club faced financial meltdown if he stayed.

Rom has clearly decided to leave this summer and possibly a deal has already been agreed in principle, we don't know because the club hasn't made any noise about it yet!

But that is mostly down to it being a holiday period; we shall see how the club react in the coming days and that may shed some light on the situation – but I'll be very surprised if Rom is an Everton player by the time Euro 2016 starts.

Clive Rogers
237 Posted 28/03/2016 at 18:35:16
I blame Kenwright. No logic, just like blaming Kenwright.
Clive Rogers
238 Posted 28/03/2016 at 18:36:03
Or Hibbert.
Brian Williams
239 Posted 28/03/2016 at 18:36:39
Mark Wilson 224.

Hear hear!

Ray Roche
240 Posted 28/03/2016 at 18:48:59
Alan (#231),

And we missed out on an Austin (Charlie) too. (Just keeping the motoring theme going...) He might have been useful if/when Rom goes, and would have been a much cheaper alternative to Niasse.

Gavin Johnson
242 Posted 28/03/2016 at 22:09:09
This doesn't do Rom any favours. This is going to rumble on until the end of the summer now. While I don't blame him for wanting to move on, he should have kept his mouth shut (that goes for his father too) until the end of the season.

He's got 3 more years on his contract, he's 22 years old, and has a formidable goalscoring record for such a young age. We should put a £70m price on his head and it's up to the supposedly bigger clubs to put-up or shut-up!

Btw, are Man Utd even going to be playing Champions League football next season?!

Matt Woods
243 Posted 28/03/2016 at 22:25:55
Great post Mark Wilson.

Just shut the fuck up, you big knobhead. You are not the second coming you are a contracted Everton player with an FA Cup semi-final on the horizon. Be fucking professional and earn your astronomical wages until the end of the season and then send out the 'come and get me' messages.

Tit.

Colin Glassar
244 Posted 28/03/2016 at 23:09:59
Sounds like Chairman Bill, and his new BBF, are going to dig in their heels over Lukaku.
Steve Cotton
245 Posted 28/03/2016 at 23:22:30
We are never going to replace him with anyone as good so why sell? He has 3 years left so keep him for 2 and then sell him for at least £60M then before he hits his final year.

However, I would sell Stonesy this summer for £30M and replace him with a dominant beast of a centre-half and a top-table keeper… and that without using any of the new money!

Oliver Molloy
246 Posted 28/03/2016 at 23:32:55
Mark @ 224,

I was one of those who think Pinnear has a nerve asking the club for anything in PUBLIC, because we owe him nothing to be honest. The club didn't slag him off in public when he was caught drunk-driving did they.

There is a massive difference between Pinnear and Lukuka. Lukuka has always stated (from the day we signed him) that Champions League football is what he wants. I agree he could keep his mouth shut, but no-one can be surprised IF he leaves which I have always said he will do.

Nothing has happened this season on the field or even are board level for me to change my mind.


Gavin Johnson
247 Posted 28/03/2016 at 23:38:21
Colin, maybe so. It could well be like the John Stones saga from last summer. While it was draining for Everton supporters, we did hang into him and drove the price up by saying he wasn't for sale.

Tbh, I can't see us selling Rom and Stones in the same window. I think, it's a given one will be sold, but I can also see us playing hard ball with Rom (him getting a pay rise) and getting one more season from him, especially with 3 years remaining on his contract.

It's not going to stop this constant annoying media frenzy to sell our best players though. In one sense it would be easier for the supporters if the club just came out and put a silly fee on his head. We would at least be putting a line in the sand and maybe quell the daily speculation.

Barry Jones
248 Posted 29/03/2016 at 01:52:57
If he goes to United then is it really about Champions League? Champions League is the modern 'get out of jail free' card.
Don Alexander
249 Posted 29/03/2016 at 01:56:36
For some fans to give any player, even in their early 20s, a get-out card for making transfer requests as a result of their, erm, "tender" years is an insult to the rest of us. Stones made a formal one last summer. Lukaku has never stopped making informal ones.

I despise Martinez and his Wigan entourage (and Drunken Duncan) and I don't think much more highly of Blue Bill, but Mr Moshiri has some major decisions to make in the next month or two.

If he decides to be now rid of Rom and Stones, and any other player displaying such rank disloyalty, good on him. Wankers taking the pitch saying they'd rather be elsewhere can fuck off. Those two are sometimes good admittedly, but way short of great.

If they go in the summer, and it'll be early summer if at all, expect Martinez to get the boot within days if he hasn't already been sacked.

What's not to like?

Michael Long
250 Posted 29/03/2016 at 02:15:36
It just shows how thick and bone idol these modern day footballers are nowadays.

First off, Lukaku needs to realize that he is still under contract at Everton for three more years. The lack of respect he has caused is a disgrace and even though without him, God knows where would be. However he still needs to shut his mouth and realize that not only you have 3 years left on your contract, you also have a big semi-final coming up.

No player is bigger than the club. No matter how many goals he scores, he is not bigger than the club. If we were to sell him this summer, then £65 million nothing less. If no club matches that valuation this summer then he stays, simple as, whether he likes it or not. Example: Suarez at Liverpool two years ago, yet he nearly won them the title.

Dennis Wright
251 Posted 29/03/2016 at 07:22:35
So Mr Lukaku wants away to Man Utd with the weird one. To prove himself where was that again?

He's hardly proved himself where he is. Such is modern day football, overpaid prima donnas.

Phil Walling
252 Posted 29/03/2016 at 08:05:38
TS suggesting that Everton have put a £50M price on Lukaku. Seems cheap to me as I feel we should, at least, double our money on 'the want-away'.

Having said that, I think the money will be irrelevant as Martinez seeks to replace Romelo's goals in a market where the really good forwards all gravitate to the really successful clubs.

Colin Glassar
253 Posted 29/03/2016 at 08:21:58
That £50m rumour started last night Phil. I believe it was the official Man Utd mouthpiece, The Daily Mirror, who started it and has been picked up on by every Tom, Dick and Harry since.

£50m? Lukaku's right peg is worth more than that!! Honestly, if these top four loving journo fuckwits want to facilitate the sale of our best players to their clients, they'd better improve their malicious gossip.

Slap a £75m fee on his head and see if there are any biters. Time to call their bluff. Either pay up or shut up.

Steve Foster
254 Posted 29/03/2016 at 08:25:19
Rom has never kept secret his desire to grow as a striker and as a person. His desire was to be at the top level, he said from Day One.

He came to us, and let's be honest, has done everything he can to fire us to the Champions League, and where he wants to be.

Now it is clear he is not going to get where he wants right now with us, he is deciding to move on. Can you blame him?

I think he is with us just a few years too early. We have a great squad, and they are falling short at present, well short. Maybe in a season or two, with the new owner, and we presume/hope a new manager, we will be there.

For me, good luck, and onwards we go. We will miss him, but he will be one of the best strikers in the game, just not for us.

The only problem for me is the price, if Sterling is worth £50m, then Rom has to be worth at least £75m. Man City paid for potential; this lad is the real deal already.

Terry Aylward
255 Posted 29/03/2016 at 09:24:45
I said on an earlier thread that, if he wants to go then let him, and that goes for any of the others as well, but because of his total disrespect for the club, I hope that wherever he goes to he flops.

He should cast his mind back to players such as Torres, Falcao, Shevcenko – all great goalscorers who thought the grass was greener but found out very quickly and painfully that it isn't always the case

He should wake up every morning and thank God he plays for a club as great as Everton which in time is going to regain its rightful place at the top of English football.

I now want him to go and in years to come look back on it as the biggest mistake he ever made.

Tony Abrahams
256 Posted 29/03/2016 at 10:02:22
That should do it, Steve, a new contract with a £70 Million, release clause. Big Rom, from West Brom, loves himself. He should go along with that!!!
Paul Kennedy
257 Posted 29/03/2016 at 10:19:02
Funny to hear Chelsea being linked with Rom... I thought he wanted Champions League?
Peter Roberts
258 Posted 29/03/2016 at 10:45:48
And so here it is… Lukaku in another “I'm ambitious and need to play champions league blah blah blah”. Its funny – he wants the big games but on many occasions in the “big games” he does a very good job of not looking ambitious. League Cup Semi-Final, second leg, he let Otamendi bully him, wasn't interested… of course it was probably the other players and Martinez's fault.

For me, I want players who buy in to Everton. Not someone who does quarterly press interviews about who he may play for next or someone who hires a super agent one year into a 5-year deal. He will fail at a “big” club who have no tolerance of players who are prone to “can't be bothered” days. He reminds me of Anelka at the same age – someone who thinks about his next club rather than the club he's actually paid to play for. To have this come out at this stage of the season with a cup semi-final coming up is a disgrace.

Erik Dols
259 Posted 29/03/2016 at 11:36:12
I'm going to save myself the annoyance of reading all comments, I browsed past a few that contain the same old drivel.

First of all, I read the interview in Dutch. Here's the gist of it – not the Sky Sports translation.

Lukaku tells he has a good season personally, but that the team as a whole has to improve and that the league form has been appalling. When asked if he wants to make a move away from Everton (nb: nowhere is it said "this summer"), he says:

"May be, if thinks work out. I will turn 23 this summer and never played in the Champions League. I want to see how I hold myself against the best players."

When asked about his father's comments who said Rom needs to go to Man Utd or Bayern, he basically just said he knows his father thinks that way.

When the interviewer started pushing him for his own opinion, he didn't take the bait and said he obviously wants to play for a big club but is not going into specific clubs.

So, the Sky Sports quote saying that he wants to make a move to another club this summer is untrue. He didn't say that in Dutch. For some of you, this might be semantics, but for me, it is important. And I will try to explain why.

This really is a cultural thing that keeps recurring. A cultural difference. Big Rom is expected in his home country to make these kinds of remarks – saying he wants to play at the highest level – otherwise it will be perceived as a lack of ambition. It is normal for a Belgian, or Dutch, or German, bloke to think this way and be outspoken about it. Without going into too much detail, there are tons of studies done into this subject, and this is probably the biggest difference culturally between UK and "northwest mainland Europe".

Additional to that, or probably a consequence of the same thing. In the UK, often you do not quite exactly say what you mean to say. In Belgium you can take people's words far more literally. A funny example that is accurate:

Link

So read this again:

About leaving Everton: "May be, if things work out. I will turn 23 this summer and have never played in the Champions League. I want to see how I hold myself against the best players."

UK reader makes of this: "I want to leave as soon as possible and it is 100% sure I am going to leave. I feel I am too good for Everton". But all he means to say is that he doesn't know. The future will tell. And yes, that he would like to play in the Champions League. He doesn't say "next year" or "at another club".

From a certain point of view I can understand the knee-jerk reactions saying he is a disgrace and all that. But reading the actual interview and keeping in mind that it was in Dutch, for a Belgian newspaper, I think there was really nothing in it. If we don't want players saying in the press they want to play at the highest level, stop buying players from the continent. Because they will keep saying that over and over again. Because they are expected to say it... because they lack ambition if they do not say it. It doesn't mean they are dissatisfied or hate the club or want to leave as soon as possible.

It's cultural.

Having said that, it wouldn't surprise me if he left actually, with mutual consent. A young European striker scoring for fun in the Premier League, for four seasons now, is going to attract ridiculous bids. I can see someone offering 㿷M and I am not sure the club will refuse that; they might be happy to take it if we miss out on Europe.

Amit Vithlani
260 Posted 29/03/2016 at 11:43:30
John Stones handed in a transfer request not long before the end of the summer window – with little time for us to find a replacement – did that make him a disgrace?

Mirallas last season came out in the press stating an ambition to play in the Champions League, during the middle of our Europa League campaign, and dreadful run of form – did that make him a disgrace?

Lescott, Pienaar, Arteta – all left at crucial stages of the season having spoken of Champions Leaague ambitions – disgrace too?

Lukaku is not the first and will not be the last. It is the way of the modern footballer, and may also in no small part reflect the inability of our present manager to realise the potential of the squad he has at his disposal.

His timing sucks, for sure, and it would have been better had he kept his mouth shut until after our FA Cup adventure ended. But branding him a disgrace is to single him out when his actions are no worse than at least half a dozen who have gone before him.

James Hughes
261 Posted 29/03/2016 at 12:04:32
Erik #259 I love that link, it makes me laugh, it sums up perfectly the difference between what is said and what is meant. Too many years of management speak and 'buzz' words.
Daniel A Johnson
262 Posted 29/03/2016 at 12:28:26
It's alright highlighting the fact we could have close to 𧴜-150M this year to strengthen the team. But other clubs will also have close to this amount as well to improve due to the Sky money alone.

The Premier League is the most competitive it's ever been. The years of the usual clubs feasting at the Champions League table are now over. The top clubs know this, hence the meetings about breakaway super leagues etc to secure their places.

West Ham and Spurs (soon) will have new stadiums; Leicester will have Champions League money plus financial backing from Kingpower.

It's wide open and we are in serious danger of being left behind. Season on season, we are in decline with Martinez – we are the new Aston Villa in the making.

Peter Roberts
263 Posted 29/03/2016 at 12:30:14
Erik 259.... maybe its best to hear the words rather than query translation...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eiqp3P_VPOc

“That is the next step for me. I'm 23 next summer and I think it would be nice to play in the Champions League from next season”

Nothing to do with translation – he has said that he wants to play Champions League next season; using logic, that means he wants to be at another club next season...

Terry Aylward
264 Posted 29/03/2016 at 12:31:46
I saw the interview that Lukaku gave and he definitely said that he wants to play in the Champions League next season – no amount of misinterpretation can alter that.
Tony Abrahams
265 Posted 29/03/2016 at 12:45:24
Amit, you are correct mate: you can't kill a man for telling the truth. Only thing wrong is the timing, but as it's a reoccurring theme, when Everton players go off with Belgium, maybe Erik has a good point.
Jackie Barry
266 Posted 29/03/2016 at 13:02:47
Truth is, Martinez stated he was going to get us Champions League football; he has failed in three seasons. Nothing but the best is good enough?
Peter Roberts
267 Posted 29/03/2016 at 13:08:37
Tony – look at my post in #263. He gave the interview in English to an English journalist – there is nothing to be lost in translation... he wants to play for a Champions League club from next season.

Imagine the meltdown if Barkley was giving such interviews. For some reason, it's okay for Rom to be "honest" just like it's okay for him to be "lazy", aka "tired/lack of service" or balls bounce off him, aka "only 22".

As stated above in a few comments – he has never been far away from stating his desires to play for another club despite only being a relatively new player. Maybe the meltdown will happen when he hands in his transfer request. Does anyone think that he won't?

John Hughes
268 Posted 29/03/2016 at 13:22:43
Well perhaps he will change his mind now that we are rumoured to be signing Michael Carrick and a goalkeeper from Southend?
Andrew Clare
269 Posted 29/03/2016 at 13:23:18
If the team was playing well and things were going right, you wouldn't hear any of this talk. The fact is not much is going right at all and that is why there is discontent.

The team isn't being managed properly and the team isn't progressing, so naturally players will be unhappy. If there were any signs that we are going in the right direction, we would all be happy – players and fans alike.

My main worry is that Bill Kenwright is still involved. I just hope that Moshiri has got other ideas and he is going to ignore Kenwright's advice which has got us nowhere and seen the club go backwards under his Chairmanship.

Peter Roberts
270 Posted 29/03/2016 at 13:25:40
Mark Wilson (#224) – excellent post, spot on.

It's funny, isn't it – many fans sing "If you know your history"... I don't think many do. We are Everton – many seem to forget that.

Good luck where you go to next, Rom. I fear that your next club won't have an Arouna Kone as the biggest threat to your place in the team. You may need to do a bit more than jog around, slot the odd flurry of goals, and down tools for a few games...

Kevin Tully
271 Posted 29/03/2016 at 13:47:22
Personally, I've always supported the shirt, rather than individual players. I'm not really bothered if Lukaku wants out, we should easily fetch £50-60m for him.

If you don't want to be at our club earning millions, there are plenty of players all across the world who do. I actually liked the attitude of Klopp across the park; “If a player wants to go to another club then I'd always be open because I don't want to have a player in my squad who doesn't want to be in the squad."

It's quite a simple but effective way of managing in my opinion. If ANY player doesn't want to be at the club, and they are not 100% committed to the cause, then off you go, don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.

Tom Bowers
272 Posted 29/03/2016 at 13:52:57
Rom will score goals wherever he goes, regardless who is behind him in the pecking order. The lad is entitled to improve his career with a another employer just like you and I.

If I scored goals every week and then the rest of the team defended badly, wouldn't it make you want to move?

Jay Wood
273 Posted 29/03/2016 at 13:53:54
Erik Dols, thank you so much for giving us a context and translation of Rom's interview in Flemish. I for one appreciate it.

Peter Roberts, serial knocker of Rom, I've seen the Sky interview you reference and Rom speaks in his typical soft voice, head bowed for most of the exchange.

Whilst he is actually very good in interviews, being the cerebral, thinking, multi-lingual, determined and talented lad that he is, I always have a sense he doesn't actually enjoy them.

But back to the interview you reference. He does indeed utter the words to the leading question from the interview (the need to play Champions League regularly to attain the levels such as those of Cristiano Ronaldo): “That is the next step for me. I'm 23 next summer and I think it would be nice [my highlights] to play in the Champions League from next season."

Well, shoot the lad for ambition, eh? I wish Everton had more of his ilk who want to strive for the best and were single-minded enough to achieve it.

His words "it would be nice" can be interpreted as you do – he wants away to a Champions League club. It can also be interpreted as an acknowledgement that Everton, whilst not being in a position to offer him Champions League footy next season, can still hold him to the 3 years remaining on his contract.

Can we now, with the riches of our new benefactor and the TV money, recruit players (and a manager..?) to match Romelu's ambition to convince him to stay?

Be as critical as you like of Rom, Peter (as you often are), but he has ALWAYS spoken of Everton, the staff, the players and the fans in the most complimentary and grateful of tones.

Indeed, I remember one of his very first interviews on joining us when he recalled an exchange with the club captain Jags following a training session. He told Jags that the quality of the squad was as good as Chelsea's, the club he left to join us.

Jags response apparently ..? He laughed at the comparison and Lukaku repeated to him he was serious.

As I said earlier, it's a pity we don't have more of his ilk with the self-belief and hunger to achieve the very best for himself in the game.

Brent Stephens
274 Posted 29/03/2016 at 14:15:11
Jay (#273) – nice post. I have the same warm feeling about Rom as a person not just a player.
Brent Stephens
275 Posted 29/03/2016 at 14:18:30
Peter (#270), I'd say that Rom does more than "slot the odd flurry of goals"!

A young striker with his tally so far this season, when he often gets next to no service.

Peter Roberts
276 Posted 29/03/2016 at 14:19:33
Jay – maybe the issue is we do have many players of Rom's ilk – with the uncanny ability to go from being brilliant to awful without any warning. Players who one week look interested and energetic and then the next week look like someone has put ketamine in their pre-match Lucozade. Maybe that is why we are viewed as "could do much better".

You see, Jay, whether you like it or not, Rom has his critics, whether it be Alan Shearer highlighting the inconsistency of his effort levels, Thierry Henry being critical of his offsides and technical ability, or one of quite a few fans who are frustrated by a player who seems to do it when he chooses.

Now in highlighting that and comparing fan/pundit opinion when we had an Alan Ball, Colin Harvey, Andy Gray, Peter Reid, Trevor Steven, Kevin Sheedy, Dave Watson, there was no divide – not even a hint of it. All of these players were universally appreciated as being brilliant pros and players who got what it meant to play for Everton.

Unfortunately, Rom has never seen us as anything more than an audition for a "big club". You may say he doesn't like being interviewed with his humble head and soft voice – I say he knows exactly what he's doing as, for someone who doesn't like interviews, he certainly likes to drop some bombs in them. Ah but he bows his head and speaks softly... yeah, 8-year-old kids do that when they are naughty in school.

He's just another player like many who pass through Everton – only the very best will be spoken of in fond terms in years to come; he won't.

Patrick Murphy
277 Posted 29/03/2016 at 14:45:46
Jay (#273),

That reaction by Jags to Lukaku's observation is pretty telling, if it's true. Because, if the club captain reacts that way to Everton's playing squad being compared favourably to Chelsea's, then it doesn't say much for the levels of confidence among our players about themselves or its senior players.

Too many of the old guard have had a relatively easy ride in their Everton careers, getting up for the odd game, putting their bodies in the way in high-profile games but switching off when they feel like it.

Perhaps it's not the new additions to the squad that have let us down in the last two years but those who have been around Goodison Park for the last decade or so?

I remember training with a non-league team in my youth, and being naïve, I ran my heart out in a pre-season run; when I got back to the dressing room, I was berated by a senior guy, who said I was showing up some of the guys and next time I was to go at their pace if I didn't want to ostracise myself from the group – not his exact words, but you get my drift. I duly fell in with the culture at that club at the time and followed the elder statesman's advice. Unfortunately my football talent wasn't good enough to make the grade, but a life lesson was learned.

Brian Porter
278 Posted 29/03/2016 at 14:45:03
I still don't get the "Lukaku leaving" bit. He has three years left on his contract ffs. We are under no obligation to sell him. I'd be telling him he's going nowhere and if he doesn't like it, he can turn out for the reserves every week until he knuckles down to his job. If he didn't want to play for us he shouldn't have signed a nice long contract in the first place.

It's time contracts were made to mean something again or they become nothing more than useless pieces of paper, little more than a letter of intent rather than a legally binding contract.

In any other business, a contract us a legally binding agreement between two consenting parties. Why should football be any different? We are constantly being told modern football is a business so surely normal business rules should apply. Just my humble opinion.

Erik Dols
279 Posted 29/03/2016 at 15:03:08
Peter (#263): "Nothing to do with translation – he has said that he wants to play Champions League next season; using logic, that means he wants to be at another club next season..."

Two things: first, I apologize. I thought Sky once again misinterpreted an interview in another language, but it is not the case in this instance. He has said stuff in English indeed.

But secondly, you illustrate exactly what I mean with the cultural difference. You are translating 'his English' to 'your English' and saying he said he wants to be at another club next season. He hasn't said that. He said he wants to play Champions League football next season. I actually hope every team member shares that wish, or do you want the team to be happy with being 12th in the league? That you make of it that he wants to get away as soon as possible, is all for your account; he simply didn't say that.

Peter Roberts
280 Posted 29/03/2016 at 15:42:05
Erik – put simply, Lukaku saying he wants to be playing Champions League next season means he will be seeking another club. You can get 1000/1 on Everton making top 4 – so you can easily say that it is 1000/1 that Rom will not be looking to move.

Dave Abrahams
281 Posted 29/03/2016 at 15:48:44
Peter (#280), well if Martinez goes and some serious money is spent, those odds will drop dramatically, so I might have a fling on The Blues while the odds are this high.
Peter Roberts
282 Posted 29/03/2016 at 16:05:59
That isn't happening with a semi-final and potential final on the horizon.
Jay Wood
283 Posted 29/03/2016 at 16:06:32
Here you go Patrick ... it took some finding, but half way through this report is Lukaku speaking in his own words of his exchange with Jags I described.

Link

He doesn't explicitly mention Chelsea, but I'm damn sure he did when re-telling the story, possibly even on the club's official site.

I agree with you Patrick, Jag's reaction doesn't reflect well on him or his confidence and belief in the squad as a whole.

More Lukaku's with his belief, confidence and ability, please ...

PS: dunno why the embeded TW url link thingy isn't working, but here is the url to copy-paste into your browser:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/romelu-lukaku-believes-evertons-special-2973923

Erik Dols
284 Posted 29/03/2016 at 16:14:00
Peter, no. You cannot easily say that. It does not automatically mean he will be seeking another club. I know this might sound as semantics to some but it is not what he said.

There is a difference between wanting something, in theory, when asked by a reporter, and actively pursuing that, and even further: actually doing it/making it. And I actually think that this might be a "translation" issue although not one from Dutch to English, but simply from a Belgian mind to an English mind. The phrasing " I think it would be nice to..." apparently means to you that the person involved will go at lengths to reach the named goal, while to me it just is the vague expression of some ideal.

Let me put it another way: are you willing to give me 1000/1 odds on Lukaku not playing in the Champions League next season? Because I'd be more than happy to put a tenner or even more on that, at those odds.

Or let me give another example: I think it would be nice if I lost 10 pounds before the summer. I really do. But I wouldn't bet any money on me doing so...

Patrick Murphy
285 Posted 29/03/2016 at 16:20:17
Jay (283) Thanks for the link, by the way I wasn't doubting your reporting of Lukaku, more asking if Rom's version of events were true. December 2013 seems a long time ago now doesn't it?
Jay Wood
286 Posted 29/03/2016 at 16:23:55
Erik, I shared your earlier link of the confusion that results from what is implied in English and what is understood by a Dutch/Belgian with a Dutch mate – and he loved it! Spot on, he reckons.

Peter Roberts is determined to see ill in all Romelu says and does, or even ... in what he doesn't say and do. It's a forlorn exercise to convince him otherwise.

Peter Roberts
287 Posted 29/03/2016 at 16:32:56
Jay,

I have given Rom great plaudits for his brilliant games which he has had. When Rom tries, he plays well – sometimes exceptionally; when he doesn't try, he stinks the place out... That's inexcusable – and I'm not the only one who sees it like that.

Jay Wood
288 Posted 29/03/2016 at 16:50:21
Keep pedalling that myth of the lazy indifferent Rom, Peter.

It's all you've got left to hold onto from your erroneous evaluation of the very best asset we have on the playing staff at the club.

Peter Roberts
289 Posted 29/03/2016 at 17:09:27
He can be very very lazy Jay - apparently Harry Redknapp got in more distance than Rom when walking his dog.... Marc Wilmots referred to him as being static like a pole....

Would you say from what you have seen Lukaku is a hard worker? When you see what he can do (vs Southampton, Liverpool) when he puts effort in, would you say he tries his best consistently? No he doesn't.

Brian Williams
290 Posted 29/03/2016 at 17:13:09
Jay 288 and Peter 288.
You're both right. IMHO.

Jay he undoubtedly IS the very best asset we have on the playing staff at the club, having said that I've watched when he appears to be disinterested and "not up for it" at times.

When he IS up for it he's exactly as Ross Barkley said "a beast."

Paul Tran
291 Posted 29/03/2016 at 17:25:33
Thanks Erik. When I hear any non-native English speaker in interviews, I take things with a pinch of salt. When most people speak a foreign language, they often translate their words/phrases directly into English and the nuances are missed. They think their English is fine, we choose to interpret the meaning, often depending on our view of the person.

The only way we can stop any player leaving is by making ourselves more attractive than the opposition. If we can't do that and they want to leave, ultimately they will leave.

If Lukaku's going to leave, I expect us to get a big fee and I'll wish him all the best. Then I'll start wondering how we'll replace his goals.

Gavin Johnson
292 Posted 29/03/2016 at 17:26:21
Peter #287

I'm not knocking your opinion, Peter, you clearly don't fancy Rom as a player. I just find it interesting that you always bring up Lukaku's commitment on the field.

On another thread you basically said that Rom wasn't fit to lace big Duncs boots before claiming Dunc would score many more goals in this current Everton side. Dunc is a hero of mine. I'm of the age where he's a wee bit older than me and he's the last player I looked upon as an Everton hero. He was a beacon of light after having to endure the Everton side who were bottom of the league under Mike Walker.

Dunc scored some important goals and you just knew he was likely to score against Man Utd or Liverpool. Any player who regularly scores in those two fixtures alone is going into Goodison folklore. At the same time, it's well documented that Dunc didn't make the most of his talent, and that's not just down to the perpetual niggling injuries.

In lesser games, Dunc often went missing. He could only build himself up for big games. He had problems with the Scottish FA even before his run-in with Johns McStay. Early in his career, he said he wasn't arsed about playing in a friendly in the States because it was a deadwood fixture so made no effort in training.

That tells you a thousand words about the man. I'm just bringing it up because you often knock Rom's attitude and commitment so I found the comparison with Dunc astonishing. Dunc was a very good player when it mattered, but he was never prolific at any point in his career.

Brent Stephens
293 Posted 29/03/2016 at 17:36:22
Erik "He said he wants to play Champions League football next season. I actually hope every team member shares that wish".

Agreed

Jay Wood
294 Posted 29/03/2016 at 17:37:03
Peter and Brian, it depends on your perspective of where and how you want your principal goalscorer to perform on the pitch.

You're quoting of a throwaway line by Harry Redknapp at the Bournemouth cup game was not to be taken literally, Peter, or maybe to suit your purposes it is.

In that very same game, he sizzled past their full back in one memorable moment, was constantly working their back line and – guess what? – scored a goal.

I rarely miss an Everton game thanks to the blanket coverage now available globally and I can honestly say I have never, NEVER seen Lukaku being either lazy, disinterested or 'not up for it.'

I have seen him have poor games, certainly. I have seen him being less effective because he is playing through injury. I have seen him make poor runs, get caught unnecessarily offside and be too static or take up poor positions so that the ball never arrives to him.

Guess what? That can be said of any and every player who has played the game. He is already a considerable player. He has clearly progressed again this year. Nobody is more aware of his failings and weaknesses to his game than, I would wager, the player himself.

But to claim he can be lazy (even very, very, VERY lazy) and disinterested, well ... sorry boys, but I see no serial or serious evidence of it at all.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
295 Posted 29/03/2016 at 18:22:37
Jay (and others doing URL links in their posts):

ps: Dunno why the embedded TW URL link thingy isn't working...

Looks like the link is being formed just fine, except if it contains the wonderful name "everton" (all lower case). Something (spellchecker?) is catching this and changing it in the URL to "Everton" (with an initial capital letter) – and that (when part of the link text string used in your browser) is causing the link to fail.

So check for that and fix it before submitting your post, and you should hopefully find links working a little better than they have been!


Brian Williams
296 Posted 29/03/2016 at 18:53:33
Jay. Everyone is allowed their opinion but when there's a number, a fair number, saying one particular thing... then there's usually something to it.

And with all due respect, if you're watching the games on TV, then you're not able to watch him when the camera isn't.

You may well say you see no evidence of it but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

John Malone
297 Posted 29/03/2016 at 19:29:49
Lukaku is getting on my nerves... every time he goes away on international duty, he has something to say!

One good season and now he thinks he's up there with the best in the world!

Well I've got news for you, Romelu – you've got a contract to play for Everton... so we own you until we decide otherwise. So shut up and let your feet and your overpaid jumped-up agent do the talking!

Eugene Ruane
298 Posted 29/03/2016 at 19:40:43
Brian - 'Jay. Everyone is allowed their opinion but when there's a number, a fair number, saying one particular thing then there's usually something to it.'

Oooooooosshhh!!

Takes sharp intake of breath, shakes head, considers 'fair numbers' who have embraced and extolled the views of all kinds of evil despots (like Hitler, Thatcher, Stalin and Littlejohn).

Jay Wood
299 Posted 29/03/2016 at 19:45:38
Brain @ 296

Never have any problem with anyone having or offering an opinion.

Never have a problem having my own opinion challenged.

I hope others display the same equanimity when their opinions are challenged or countered in return.

I also accept the perspective of a live game is different via a TV screen and you have a wider periphery and all-encompassing view of the game if you are in the stadium. Said as much myself in previous posts.

That said, given Romelu's role in the side, when the ball is at the business end of the field where he operates the cameras invariably focus on the action he is most likey to be involved in, so I would suggest a TV viewer is not missing out or failing to see the alleged disinterested 'very, very, very lazy player' who is 'not putting a shift in.'

And Brian, even if as you claim a number of people are saying the same as you, it doesn't necessarily make it wholly or even partly true.

Jim Jennings
300 Posted 29/03/2016 at 20:35:31
Peter Roberts (#280),

If there was an award for missing the point, you'd win hands down. Try reading and actually considering what Erik is actually saying.

Peter Roberts
301 Posted 29/03/2016 at 20:46:37
Jay, maybe it's an age thing. I grew up watching Sharp, Gray, Lineker and Cottee after him. My first season, I watched Gray and Sharp. As a 10-year-old, I thought Lineker and Cottee after were better players because they scored goals.

Looking back, there was a reason we won things with Gray and Sharp. If they didn't score, they were always involved, they battered defences. Lineker was a pure goalscorer, a very good striker. Cottee relied on other players to feed him in the box. Cottee was lazy but decent at poaching.

Gray and Sharp could do everything. Not as prolific but essentially complete forwards and they won trophies and that is my point. They played for the team.

Alex Moore
302 Posted 31/03/2016 at 02:56:30
John Malone (#297),

Sing it, brother! That is entirely how I feel about it. The man signed a business contract, and unless there is some clause about Champions League, we own him until it's over. That's how I feel about it.

Now back to reality; I see him pushing his way out of here this summer (unless we can sing to his pockets with this "war chest" of Moshiri's and build around him with some fresh talent).

Shouldn't be too hard bringing in high-level talent right?

I mean great manager, great atmosphere at Goodison, great upper management, what's not to like? (Insert some dose of sarcasm.)

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