Lukaku enjoying ‘options’ under Martinez with Belgium

Friday 9 December 2016  75 Comments  [Jump to last]

Romelu Lukaku has credited his former club manager with ‘freeing' him from ‘prison' since taking the reins of the Belgian national team.

Sacked as Everton boss in May, Martinez made a swift but surprising return to management when he was appointed as Marc Wilmots' successor as head coach of the Red Devils.

Questions were raised about how well Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas would fare reuniting so soon with the Catalan after the awful run of results he oversaw in the final few months of his tenure at Goodison Park. Mirallas, however, has been brought back into the Belgium fold after failing to make the squad for Euro2016 and Lukaku has hit five of his country's 21 goals in just four World Cup qualifying matches.

And Lukaku has revealed that he is revelling in a familiar formation to the one he played in at Anderlecht prior to his move to Chelsea as a teenager; one that, in contrast to his current struggles at Everton under Ronald Koeman, is affording him plenty of options in attack.

“Since he came I've only played good matches,” Lukaku told Voetbalmagazine of the contrast from his experiences at the end under Wilmots. “He has, so to speak, freed me from prison.

“I know what he expects of me, where and how to go. Today everyone knows his role with the Red Devils. A player on the ball has five, six options, especially in this 3-4-3.

"At Anderlecht we played like this at youth level. Sometimes it feels like I'm back playing as a kid, with all these options.”

It's reminiscent of the impact the striker made when he first joined Everton on loan in 2013. Then, he notched five goals in his first five Premier League appearances and followed that with a brace in the Goodison derby and has since racked up 68 goals in all competitions.

While he came to be critical of how the former Wigan boss' insistence on the Blues retaining possession through patient passing eventually came to stunt his game, Lukaku explains that Martinez was the ideal coach for him when he first arrived at Everton.

“I quickly understood that I needed a coach like him to improve. He told me, ‘I know you're strong with 70 metres of space in front of you, that no-one can stop you because you're so fast and so strong, but can you also make a difference in the final 30 metres against a congested defence?

“Can you create space for yourself? Well, I'm going to help you with this'.”

Lukaku hasn't scored in the league since the end of October but travels to Watford for tomorrow's lunchtime kick-off hoping to re-find his shooting boots.


Reader Comments (75)

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Alan Bodell
1 Posted 09/12/2016 at 18:18:43
Yeah, we all saw you coming off at Old Trafford for Rooney's testy, laughing with the chosen one when you heard Martinez was the new Belgian boss.

Just shut the fuck up and lose a bit of weight then gain some anticipation , score a few goals for us, then fuck off to your next club and irritate the shit out of them too.

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:02:36
3-4-3? Try it Ronald, it might work.
Chris Williams
3 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:07:58
Mealy mouthed prick.
Oscar Huglin
4 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:17:42
Kevin Rowlands
5 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:20:54
This fucking lad is a legend in his own mind. The sooner Koeman ships him out the better, it can't come soon enough.
Andy Crooks
6 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:34:17
Kevin, in my view, Lukaku still has room to improve. I still believe he can be a great player. Players often talk shite in interviews but coaching from Martinez and Koeman might be the answer.

I think that "shipping out", is not always the answer. It's about personality, a good mix, balance and the right chemistry. One lucky break, a young player coming through, Valencia hitting a partnership with Lukaku, something, just something to make it all click.

Alan Bodell
7 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:35:40
The lump is forgetting when we all saw him laughing with Mirallas on the bench and Mourinho in the tunnel when he heard Martinez was his next national boss while at Rooney's testy earlier this year.

I'm praying the phony bastard gets his dream move soon as.

Anthony Hughes
8 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:43:17
Having an indirect go at at Koeman's style (or lack of) football, Rom?
Kevin Rowlands
9 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:50:09
Andy, this is the same lad that downed tools, along with others I might add, didn't score a league goal for the last 15 or so matches last season, stunk the joint out in the semi, and helped get Martinez the sack. Now he's praising his coaching skills?

You couldn't fucking make it up. Like I said, get rid asap!

Patrick Murphy
10 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:51:46
Anthony (#8),

That's what I took from Rom's remarks too, depending on the context and when it was said, you would think that some reference to Big Dunc or his club boss may have warranted a positive mention.

I do believe that Rom has been, despite his goals, bad for Everton FC and we might get back to some semblance of a team when and if he joins another club. I wouldn't be surprised to see him gone by the end of January.

Bobby Thomas
11 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:02:22
Dressing room cancer, this fella.
Chris Gould
12 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:04:48
"Can you create space for yourself? Well, I'm going to help you with this."

So, he must have told you to stand still and run less than every player on the pitch... and every player in the league. Not sure that's how you create space for yourself.

If you actually did run about a bit and make space for yourself then maybe the likes of Barkley would have someone to pass to. I would love to see a mobile striker in front of Barkley. I really think it would bring the best out of the kid. Would actually love to see two mobile forwards in front of Barkley but that's probably asking too much.

Kevin Rowlands
13 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:09:28
I couldn't have put it better myself, Bobby.

I feel for Ross right now as its this gobshite that should have been benched, not Barkley, his performances on, and off the park for a while now have been awful yet he still gets a free pass from some.

I don't believe Koeman is a mug and can see through this phony; get him out of our club, Ronald!

Paul Needham
14 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:09:45
I wish Rom's legs moved as much as his mouth does, imagine the ground he would cover.

Having been a regular at the Old Lady for years, I now live out in Florida so watch the matches live from the discomfort of my arm chair. Okay, I do not get the full picture that those lucky enough to attend Goodison get, but from here I genuinely feel I put in as much of a shift as Big Rom.

He is the striker that is always just a bit late to the ball when it is flicked on. He does not seem to anticipate where the ball will go and sometimes has the first touch of a brick wall.

Yes, he can score in bursts but being a top striker means creating and setting up chances, holding the ball long enough for someone to run past him and into space. Take a look at Costa for that...

Our midfield have not contributed due to a combination of poor play and lack of help from up front. Barkley for one would improve with someone running for him. Either play two up front so one poor sod can do the running for him or get someone in who is a team player.

Rant over, back to my armchair for the next installment.

Eddie Dunn
15 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:12:20
Is that why Roberto has used him late in the game, when the match has been won?
Kevin Rowlands
16 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:15:20
Chris, and just to confirm your point about him being a lazy bastard

Ronald Koeman must get Romelu Lukaku to sprint or Everton will run into trouble
Eddie Dunn
17 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:25:38
Alan, yes I watched those two, and they were certainly not respectful of their old manager, so to hear this crap from Lukaku is preposterous.
Oliver Molloy
18 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:34:11
Lukakau and Barkley will be sold – wait and see. Perhaps not in January but more likely at the end of season.

By the way, blaming Lukaku and his lack of movement or whatever for the very obvious errors in Ross Barkley's game is silly in my opinion.

I would put money on it if we had the likes of Fabregas in there, Lukaku would score more goals.

Kevin Rowlands
19 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:40:36
I disagree Oliver, my observations have been Barkley trying desperately to do too much on his own because he knows if he lays it off to that big oaf up front it's going straight back to the opposition most of the time, hence the mistakes that he makes. Chris is spot on in his summary, imho.
Oliver Molloy
20 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:50:07

Ross Barkley is way over rated and one of his very obvious flaws is exactly what you say – trying to do too much, turning circles in the middle of the pitch – the list is endless.

You can't blame Lukaku or anyone other player because Ross can't play a simple pass or make space for himself!

Darryl Ritchie
21 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:11:12
More verbal diarrhea from the static one.
Mick Davies
22 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:22:10
Have alook at the 2013-14 season DVD and you'll see the exciting passing and movement from Barkley, Lukaku, Coleman, Baines, Mirallas, Deulofeu, Barry and McCarthy; yes, even Macca creating goals.

The catalyst for all this exciting SOS. style footie? Lukaku: he was running onto through balls, creating space, making himself available and constantly seeking the ball. What happened?

Well once he had the permanent deal, his game dropped, and every single one of the other players I mentioned have been given stick for the standards dropping. The truth is, I see Barkley, Deulofeu, Seamus, Macca etc receiving the ball and having no one to pass to up front, as Rom seems to have given up on running.

I firmly believe he now considers himself undroppable, so doesn't need to up his work rate, so his two Everton managers must share the blame here: he needs to be either taken out of the side as a possible wake up call, or given the biggest rollicking of his life, and joined by Valencia up top, who might just gee him up and get him moving again.

If we are to let him go, I can't see us getting another 20-goals-a-season striker for many years to come. I agree with most comments on here that he is a problem, but don't think he can never get back to how he was 2/3 years ago. He's still only 23 so instead of just writing him off, I hope Koeman can bring that old Rom back – that's our new manager's biggest test, and hopefully we'll see an end to guff like this:

Chelsea and Manchester United target Romelu Lukaku reveals he had offer from Premier League club to leave Everton

Ian Jones
24 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:34:59
I haven't watched Rom for Belgium but it probably helps his mindset playing with far better team mates for his national team. However, how many of his goals are scored against the better national teams?

The previous manager of Belgium also mentioned Rom was more like a lamp post in one game... so movement is perhaps something Rom switches on and off depending on his mood at any given moment.

Kevin Rowlands
25 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:53:05
Oliver, Barkley has more footballing talent in his little finger than the wrongly spelt one has in his whole body.

I admit that his form has been sketchy but I think it's very wrong that he's been made a major scapegoat and benched more than once when the 'world class' one up front has been far worse.

I still have a lot of hope for Ross, he's one of us which adds to the pressure unlike Lukaku, who couldn't give a rats arse about our club and will probably deny ever playing for us in the future.

Eddie Dunn
26 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:58:26
Lukaku is capable of so much more. He is lacking motivation . He knows he is leaving in the summer. He knows that gaining Europa League football for us, is a side issue.

The coaches must be trying to bring the best out of him but, despite the relatively poor service (which is a chicken and egg situation really), his lack of movement, versus a lack of vision or delivery, he is not finding form.

He has so much ability but he lacks desire. The man has shown a similar attitude playing for his national team. how do you motivate Romelu Lukaku?

Gordon Crawford
27 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:13:50
He is the joker in the pack that we have to get rid off. I would rather have Yakubu back and he's like a 100-years-old.
John Pierce
28 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:18:46
Lukalu is hilarious, indirectly criticising Koeman's lack of possession based football, yet failing to recall his almost mutinous confrontation with BBS when we weren't playing quickly enough to his Lordship in his 2nd year at the club.

It is, with Rom, always something or someone else's problem. Basically Wilmots didn't fancy him for the obvious reasons; technique, energy etc. So he got the hump with him, prison Rom?

Martinez has freed you from having to do more than score a goal lad, Wilmots's only crime was to ask more of you.

The sooner this fella moves on the better, he has no motivation to do more and his capacity to improve based on three years at Everton seems limited.

I can't help but cite the big nosed kopite that was Ian Rush, scorer supreme but worked his ass off for the team cause. This lad will get a big move he wants but in my estimation if it is to a competitive league then he will amount to little.

The more important element to this is how can the sale of this lazy lump fund a top drawer pair of strikers? One would suppose we will pay way over the odds for the real article, regardless of a European finish or not.

Ah... bring back Mikel Madar and Bakayoko.

Andy Crooks
29 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:20:05
It seems that some on ToffeeWb see Lukaku as a bad influence in the dressing room. Can anyone who holds that view provide any evidence other than conjecture or their own opinion?
Tony Hill
30 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:21:44
Kevin (#25), I agree with you about Ross's talent but I think Koeman has done the right thing in benching him. I believe the manager knows exactly how good Barkley is but is taking a pause in the hope that the negative loop which has affected the player for some time now can be broken.

Others on here have said that they think Ross may have to leave to fulfil himself; others again say that he is another version of Rodwell. I understand the first view much more than the second, but I have a hunch that Koeman is going to get this magnificent young Evertonian to fire.

I have have been saying similar things for 18 months or so now but I think Ross is worth the repetition.

Kevin Rowlands
31 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:25:48
Andy, yes, every international break where he is claiming and quoted that he is too good for the club and needs to join a 'big beautiful' club and play Champions League, I'm sure that goes down really well in the dressing room – especially when they witness his mediocrity week in week out.
Ian Jones
32 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:37:19
Andy. I see your point but maybe those who think he is a bad influence take that view because of the comments he comes out with or is reported to say about his current employers and his future career path.

He seems to be an intelligent man. Speaks a few languages. Studies the game so knows a few things about how football works... I just wish he would keep quiet. :)

Having said that, I don't really care about his comments. I care more about how he performs for us. I am not a huge fan but to be fair to him, if he stays until the end of the season, he will have been with us for 4 years. That does show some loyalty on his part to stay with us, especially as he has been part of a struggling team and seems to want away...

What ever happens, good luck to him.

Chris Gould
33 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:39:12
Nigel Munford (23) Haha

Lakuku... er... Lukaka...

Wait... Lukalu... fuckit... Lazytwat.

Kevin Rowlands
34 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:42:14
Agree Tony, he's a fantastic talent hopefully Koeman has a plan for him. It makes me laugh when posters slag off Ross but then tell us Lukaku is young and learning, he doesn't get the service, we don't play to his strengths, and so on.

I really hope he stays with us, it would be heartbreaking to see him go and fill his massive potential elsewhere.

Stan Schofield
35 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:46:42
I must be missing something with all this criticism of Lukaku. From most comments I've seen on TW, most of the team Koeman has been playing are lazy fuckers who don't give a shit about Everton. "They don't put a fucking shift in", or words to that effect.

So I'm wondering how Lukaku can possibly damage the atmosphere in the dressing room, when most of the players apparently don't give a flying fuck anyway.

Chris Gould
36 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:54:09
Couldn't agree more, Kevin. Barkley has everything, and has been given a dreadful time by some so called fans. Thankfully I think the majority recognise his talent and that's heartening.

People expect him to perform magic and moan when he loses the ball or runs into trouble. Many of us have been saying for a long time that it's the lack of options available to him.

hese latest stats about Rom running less than every other player in the Premier League go someway to show that. I hope we find the answer before it's too late.

Kevin Rowlands
37 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:55:06
Stan, I don't see any of the other players bigging themselves up at every opportunity they get with the press that they deserve bigger and better things, even John Stones didn't do that, btw.

Yes, a lot of them have underperformed but this lazy lump is one of the biggest culprits in that department, he deserves every criticism he is rightly getting.

Chris Gould
38 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:57:52
Stan, have you seen Rom's running stats? They're appalling. It's a shameful lack of effort, fitness or both.

The manager asks him to press, and he responds by running less than every other player in the Premier League. That's pathetic.

Patrick Murphy
39 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:01:32
Stan, if there is one position that Evertonians know and care about it is that of the centre-forward. We've all had our own favourites down the years from Dixie Dean all the way up to the present day.

We've seen some duffers and some wonderful players, but not many have been as laid back as big Rom is. His manager has been quoted saying today that Rom is fit and strong enough to do more for the team, therefore it is not his physical limitations that prevent him chasing and harrying defenders or moving about the pitch, but rather his mental attitude. Barkley is also trying his best to fulfil his manager's demands but he's also finding the transition difficult.

I think that Koeman must be a far more patient person than many of us on here, but even his patience will run out if both of those talented players are unable to deliver what he is asking of them.

Personally I think the centre-forward is the most important player on the pitch, because he sets the tone for the rest of the team. Andy Gray was fantastic at it and others even Latchford made demands on their fellow team-mates which raised the games of those around and about them. Scoring goals is a fantastic attribute but it is almost worthless if the team are not winning matches often enough.


Chris Gould
40 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:01:45
His stats are also embarrassing for Koeman and the club.
Stephen Brown
41 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:05:58
Never has there been an Everton player with such good scoring stats that I have total apathy for!

I'm not a vindictive person but I hope – if and when he does leave – the grass isn't greener!!

Kevin Rowlands
42 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:12:15
Btw, that's another fabrication and complete bullshit when posters say we would have been relegated without his goals. He never played a single minute or scored a single goal under any of our managers the last several decades and we've had some bad ones. Teams find other ways to score because they have to.
Raymond Fox
43 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:12:16
Chris, Barkley has everything!

He hasn't got a top footballers brain, that's his main problem.

For a middle of the park player he's a passenger in defence. He can't head a ball.

Jim Hardin
44 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:25:37

How many goals does he have? Hard to say it but West Brom used him better than either of our managers have. It would be truly scary what his goal tally would be playing in a 4-3-3 system with actual help in the final third and midfielders who can play a ball through.

BTW, How is Lukaku saying he has options when playing for his national team an undeserved criticism of Koeman? Even if it is a swipe at him, isn't it what most TWs have been screaming for – a system that creates goal scoring opportunities? By all means though, please continue to slag him off for his "Dutch Honesty" while lauding Koeman for telling the "truth."

Oliver Molloy
45 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:30:43
So some say it should be Lukaku to be dropped and play Barkley! He's going to score the goals then.

And also I have never ever given Barkley a dreadful time, Chris, but I do have an opinion. I have said many times that I see he has talent, I want him to do well but I also see he is limited in very basic stuff to warrant all this nonsense wrote about him.

Pundits comparing him to Gazza and Rooney need to catch themselves on – in my opinion, he's just not in the same level as those two were at his age – they were miles ahead.

Kevin Rowlands
46 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:50:20
Jim, I don't give a shit how many goals he has, he's an absolutely terrible footballer and the sooner he's out the club the better.

Posters like you continually bang on about his goals and I've even seen it posted on here and Twitter comparing him with Ronaldo and Messi because he has around the same goalscoring record as them at his age. Seriously, he's not in the same stratosphere as them when it comes to footballing ability.

If you don't believe me, Jim, look at their careers at the same age. Messi has been at Barcelona his entire career, one of the world's premier clubs and as we all know played at an unbelievable high standard throughout. Ronaldo the same at Man Utd and Real Madrid scoring plenty of goals.

Lukaku's career so far, signed for Chelsea as a teenager, couldn't make the 1st team so loaned out to West Brom where he spent most of the time on the bench but yes scored goals, then returned to Chelsea. Still couldn't make the 1st team so was loaned to us, had a decent season but then went back to Chelsea, was then deemed not good enough for them and was sold to Everton.

He has played for a mediocre Everton side for the last few seasons and whilst banging in goals has gone on large barren runs where there are no goals, terrible form and not even close to any trophies, yet we are told he is world class and in the same league as the other two mentioned? I don't think so!

Barry Jones
47 Posted 10/12/2016 at 00:26:07
His lack of movement, lack of passion and current lack of goals, is killing the team.

I have seen comments that say they don't care about his running, he is a goalscorer. This is NOT Sunday league pub football. Movement, good intelligent movement is critical for the team to perform, especially in the final third of the field.

John Pierce (#28) correctly pointed to Ian Rush, superb finisher and superb movement both offensively and defensively. Lukaku should not really be mentioned in the same breath as Rush. If his talent and effort was as big as his ego, I would keep him, but as that would be impossible for any player to match, he should leave.

Jim Jennings
49 Posted 10/12/2016 at 03:35:31
Well it wouldn't be a Lukaku ToffeeWeb article without Kevin Rowlands frothing at the mouth, infesting the thread by seeing how many different ways he can say:

"AAAAAHHHHH!!! I hate the lazy, useless fucker!!!!"

Alan J Thompson
50 Posted 10/12/2016 at 04:42:26
A scorer of some wonderful goals who has a lot of improvement to make. If Belgium could afford him that would be the best answer all round.

A couple of matches every 2 months and a tournament every 2 years would suit his energy levels while working on his control and heading ability.

David Barks
51 Posted 10/12/2016 at 04:52:33
Kevin Rowlands, the man who says Anichebe and Shane Long are superior to Lukaku. Honestly the man should have a clown face or a troll associated with every single post. "Fuck all his goals scored, I DONT LIKE HIM!!!!".
Mike Dolan
52 Posted 10/12/2016 at 05:31:36
Lukaku is as daft as a brush. A great striker on his day but what we've seen is what we are going to get with him. Much too static most of the time. I would sell him before everyone finds out. About as useless as my granddads tits.
Kevin Rowlands
53 Posted 10/12/2016 at 06:45:03
Jim, and of course as per usual, woof woof, it's nothing personal with the lad. purely business l, I don't hate him, don't dislike him, just get fed up of continuously seeing articles like this.

If he had ever given us a season like Gary Lineker did, I would be the very first to put out my hand, say thanks for the fantastic memories and good luck in the future. You do deserve better than us at the moment, his performances don't deserve that praise I'm afraid.

And btw David, I stand by every word I've posted on him. Tomorrow I would love a fit and focused Anichebe alongside Shane Long starting for us; I'm pretty sure Ross Barkley would too!

David Barks
54 Posted 10/12/2016 at 07:14:41
Grow up, Kevin. Honestly, you say you were following Everton in Europe during the '80s. That would put you around your 50s, yes? Yet every time you think you're being so witty by referring to me as "woof woof" because of my father's Cherokee last name.

Yes, my Liverpudlian mother married a Cherokee man and his family name was changed from the long form Cherokee name to what we now have, Barks, by some lawyer when they were marched across the country to a reservation in Oklahoma.

But hey, that's just what you do isn't it. Funny I can't remember you posting on here about what a poor decision it was for us to let Anichebe go. I don't remember you calling for us to sign Anichebe during the summer. But now, he's your little favorite.

Lukaku has his faults, every player does. But he's a damn better footballer than Anichebe or Long, and has proven it every single year of his young career. Every single season, Kevin.

You act as if he was the only player to leave a club like Chelsea as a youngster, yet neglect all the others who have done similar. Even Pogba was let go by Man Utd. De Bruyne let go by Chelsea. Bale was seen as a failure at Spurs for quite a while, almost shipped off. Henry failed in Italy before finding his place at Arsenal.

Lukaku, any person with any credibility would tell you there are aspects of his game which need to improve. I'm sure if someone asked him that question, he would say the exact same thing. But to suggest Anichebe or Long are superior is being absolutely disingenuous and honestly is just wind-up material from what seems to be an internet troll.

So enjoy your trolling from here on out, I'm tapping out. I don't need to have these keyboard warrior discussions with a 50-something year old who gets his kicks from making the same type of mocking jokes of a last name that I endured from 8-year-olds as a child. I wear my last name on my arm along with an Everton badge and the emblem of the Cherokee nation. So woof woof, get a laugh from it all you'd like.

Kevin Rowlands
55 Posted 10/12/2016 at 07:39:55
I think maybe you need to grow up, David, if you think that is deeply insulting and personal, just a little bit of banter. But hey I'm the one that should have a clown face attached to my posts, nothing personal about that then mate?

In the end, David, we all want the best for our club, I and I'm pretty sure you love Everton; we just disagree on certain things or players, nothing wrong with that. I don't like Lukaku as a player; you do... no problem.

Colin Glassar
56 Posted 10/12/2016 at 07:47:34
I've only read about half-a-dozen of the first posts on here and I'm saddened quite frankly by the amount of hatred and bile spewed towards one of our own players.

I know he's not everyone's cup of tea but, reading between the lines, this sounds very personal towards this young man and goes beyond football.

I suppose in this new age of social media, populism, Trump and fake news – anything, and everything, goes. Calling a young player 'a cancer' in the dressing room without knowing him, without facts, without any corroborative evidence is just not right and you need to get a fucking grip.

As for you David Barks – Great post and my deepest respect for you and your nation. We need to stand up to the haters, not only on here but in every walk of life.

Peter Gorman
57 Posted 10/12/2016 at 07:48:24
My tuppence is it is impossible to love a player who visibly couldn't care less about the club.

Without his goals, he contributes nothing – and before people go off on that, I am saying that mostly in the games in which he doesn't score he is a complete passenger.

Furthermore, I have my suspicions about his negative influence in the dressing-room; the complete lack of team morale must stem from somewhere and I wouldn't be surprised if it started with Martinez fluffing the Belgian's ego.

We made the mistake of setting ourselves up to go exclusively through Lukaku and, for that reason also I would be more than happy to see him go. A team is always the sum of more than its parts.

Kevin Rowlands
58 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:01:43
Colin, stop exaggerating and turning it into something it isn't. He's the one that gives these press conferences so sets himself up for this criticism. He should have taken Mourinho's advice on board and let his performances on the pitch do the talking; he can't help himself.
Chris Gould
59 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:20:45
Oliver (#45), I wasn't suggesting you have given Barkley a dreadful time, mate. I was simply saying that many have given Ross a dreadful time and expect too much from him.

Raymond Fox, Okay, saying he has everything may be going a bit too far, but I don't think it's his footballing brain that's the problem. I think it's the lack of options in front of him that causes him to sometimes struggle with the final ball.

I just want to see how Barkley gets on with a mobile striker in front of him who pulls defenders all over the place and creates space for others.

Kevin Rowlands
61 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:21:59
Peter, good post and spot on, you hater!
Paul Tran
62 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:23:42
He's some guy this Lukaku, isn't he? Single-handedly responsible for the teams poor morale, for Barkley's stunted development, for Mirallas & Deulofeu's inconsistency. All on the basis of a mass of confirmation bias.

And he's so rubbish we should get 㿨m and replace him with all those strikers out there, desperate to join an underachieving club with 'no midfield' and 'inconsistent wingers'.

I'd stick Valencia up with him. I'd remind our midfield there's a penalty box at the other end of the pitch that they're allowed to enter. I'd tell them to feed Lukaku. I'd tell Lukaku, "There's your options and service, run your rear end off, get me goals or you're on the bench."

There's no goals in this team because we have managers who don't buy goalscorers. The only one is Lukaku. How about buying more players who know where the goal is, rather than selling the only one we have?

Raymond Fox
63 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:38:32
Chris (#60), fair enough – we all exaggerate from time to time and I concede that the lack of movement of individuals certainly doesn't help Barkley's game.
Kevin Rowlands
64 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:43:01
How many goals has he scored in the last five weeks, Paul? How many goals did he score in the last several months of last season? Him, and admittedly others, cost Martinez his job last year yet he spouts this garbage in the press and shouldn't be criticized?

If you dare to call him out on it, you are labeled a hater? I find it quite ironic that there are certain posters on here for whatever reason bringing up Trump but are taking the exact same stance as he would when it comes to criticism – it's simply not allowed. I disagree.

Stan Schofield
65 Posted 10/12/2016 at 09:17:16
Kevin, I agree that he should keep his gob shut. Same applies to Koeman on certain matters that are not in the best interests of Everton. There's just too much talking and bullshit from players and managers.

What we should be focused on is performance on the pitch, which is fairly shite at the moment, and it looks like we need a better system, whether it's more creativity from midfield, another striker to accompany Lukaku, or whatever, and TW has a number of interesting threads and posts with suggestions that look good, although I'm no expert on football strategy.

So, although Lukaku comes out with some annoying shite, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I'd rather the system were changed to something more effective, not to accommodate individual prima donnas, but to get better results for Everton.

Kevin Rowlands
66 Posted 10/12/2016 at 09:27:10
Agreed, Stan, I really hope Koeman sticks with the same eleven that finished the game last week. I thought them last twenty minutes were the best we have played all season. As for Lukaku, I hope he bags a hat-trick and we put in a good NINETY-minute performance and a nice win of course. COYB!
Stan Schofield
67 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:15:00
Kevin, exactly; if we can do it for 20 mins, then we can do it for 90 mins. We already have the quality of player (imo), we just need a system that gives us a full 90 mins of decent play.

I really cannot understand people saying get rid of players, Lukaku or any other good player, when the ability is there for the taking.

Bobby Thomas
68 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:17:17
Andy (#29),

"It seems that some on ToffeeWeb see Lukaku as a bad influence in the dressing room. Can anyone who holds that view provide any evidence other than conjecture or their own opinion?"

Of course not. I don't work for Everton.

My opinion, which is all it is, is based on the balance of probabilities. I look at Lukaku's consistent lack of effort, his half-arsed attitude to being here, and the consistent assertion that he is merely passing through on the route to much better things.

It is, as you yourself state at #6 "about personality, a good mix, balance and the right chemistry".

Personality. Chemistry.

There is clearly a problem in the dressing room at Everton. They are mentally weak, some are half-arsed, coasting, comfortable, and need challenging. I think Lukaku, King Rom, one performance a month Rom, who we are so lucky to have, especially as if we blink we may miss him on the way to much more impressive surroundings, is quite possibly one of the problems.

He sets the tone playing up top. And his half-arsed meanderings set a flat one.

Terry Maddock
69 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:20:54
Talent without application. I quote:

Consider this: so far this season, he has been on the pitch for 1,017 minutes. Liverpool's Roberto Firmino has played 1,067 minutes.

In that time, Firmino has run 23.6 miles further than Lukaku and made 490 more high intensity sprints. The difference is colossal.

He wants to play at a Champions League club but it's the same with Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez and even Sergio Aguero.

They are all running further and harder than Lukaku.

Phil Sammon
70 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:27:35
Surely a problem for ANY player is having absolutely zero competition for your place.
Paul Tran
71 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:38:56
First things first, Kevin, I don't call people haters and I don't believe players are above criticism.

I think Lukaku is lazy and controls the ball further than I can kick it. Name me another goalscorer in this team.

I think he scores goals and moves more when there's movement in the team as a whole. Doesn't matter who we buy, if there's no movement around the team, the striker will score less.

Last week we ended with two strikers and midfielders going forward. The penalty came from a midfielder running into their box. We suddenly started creating space and chances.

The idea that Lukaku is the cause of our ills is nonsense. Midfielders with no goal threat, defenders who defend sporadically, playing a lone striker who can't hold the ball up; that's where our problems lie.

Ten games with Lukaku and Valencia up front. Two strikers creating space for each other and the following up midfielders. Try that and if Lukaku doesn't score, he's toast. I think he will.

Peter Roberts
72 Posted 10/12/2016 at 11:30:09
It seems the tide is turning on this fraud of a footballer. Maybe more and more fans will start watching his static presence when our midfield has the ball, his insulting attempts of running in a straight line which is supposed to make you believe that it's "movement".

Just quit breathing a sigh of relief when he taps one in from 8 yards and hold him accountable for numerous times he allows possession to be conceded. His team mates must bloody hate him. I seriously believe that.

Oh yeah... Martinez got him out of prison? He helped get Martinez the sack; horrible attitude, awful footballer, lazy sod... decent finisher.

Kevin Rowlands
73 Posted 10/12/2016 at 11:35:56
Paul, I never said you did, I was referring to somebody else and if anyone reads the thread they can easily see who it is.

Peter (#72), stop being a hater please, wiki wink!

Peter Roberts
74 Posted 10/12/2016 at 14:44:18
Awaits Rom's sycophants who will pity the poor lad who scores 2 and ends up on the losing side .

Hmmm, yeah... old ping pong feet was at it again today wasn't he? Pretty much set them up for the counter attack for their equaliser. Lost the ball more times than I could care to remember.

But hey... if you give him a pass and a chance that you wouldn't expect any striker to miss, he will score. That's the deal with him – half-chances need not apply... clear cut only.

Just fed up with the lot of them. Some suitcases need packing.

Barry Jones
75 Posted 10/12/2016 at 16:06:23
Well said again, Peter. Nothing has changed after taking after today, except hopefully his market value.
William Cartwright
76 Posted 10/12/2016 at 20:02:41
Terry, those statistics are absolutely embarrassing. What the shit the team managers make of it is anybody's guess, assuming they are aware of them, that is!
Jim Hardin
79 Posted 11/12/2016 at 02:54:26
Kevin Rowlands,

Idiotic response as usual. You selected Messi to compare Lukaku to? The greatest player of the modern generation. Well, it is good to see how highly you actually rate Lukaku.

See Kevin, your selection of which player sets the bar is an implicit admission (look it up since I want you to learn a new term) that you think Lukaku is better right now than the strikers unmentioned by you, namely, Giroud, Aguero, Suarez, Neymar, Costa, Muller, Icardi, Totti, Robben, Ribery, Best, Pele, and even Rooney.

By all means, continue to blame Lukaku for everything. Continue to count the games he doesn't score in and the distance he doesn't run. However, in the time he has been in the EPL how many teams with "running" strikers have been relegated? How many "running" strikers has he outscored? Maybe those strikers should have run less and scored more and they would be in the EPL still? Hmmmmmm?

Peter Roberts
80 Posted 11/12/2016 at 03:16:26
Team loses but Lukaku scores 2

In the world of Tony "I don't give a fuck about the team as long as I score" Cottee... all is good.

Mino "Send my two players I want to sell this summer on holiday together" Raiola will be able to divide his games played by an extra 2 goals when desperately begging Juventus or PSG to fund the harbour for the yacht he bought with the Pogba cash...

Maybe once we sell this fraud, the team can find some real identity... because yeah, I agree, the lad has ruined the dressing room. It's as clear as day.

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