Jagielka laments two points dropped against United

Thursday 6 April 2017  79 Comments  [Jump to last]

Phil Jagielka was left ruing a lack of ball retention by Everton during Tuesday evening's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in which the Blues's stubborn resistance was broken with just seconds left to hold out.

Ronald Koeman's men were leading by the captain's 22nd-minute goal as the clock ticked into the fourth minute of stoppage time. When Luke Shaw's mis-hit shot was handled by Ashley Williams in front of his own goal; however, referee Neil Swarbrick was left with little option but to send the defender off and award Manchester United a penalty which Zlatan Ibrahimovic duly scored.

Everton had had a number of opportunities to either score a decisive second on the counter-attack or play keep-ball in the final stages of the match but were let down by poor hold-up play by strikers Romelu Lukaku and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Indeed, Williams was caught berating Lukaku for his sloppy possession by the BT Sport cameras and, while Jagielka named no names after the match, he said that as a team the Blues needed to be better.

“We knew we'd need to soak up some ourselves but unfortunately we weren't able to keep hold of the ball and see the game out," Jagielka said.

“We could have controlled the game and kept the ball a bit better towards the end.

“When you come to a place like Old Trafford you need to try to keep the ball because they've obviously got some great players who can hurt you when they've got it.

“Second half the performance was obviously good in patches in terms of defending but on the ball it's something we need to work on. It's two points dropped, it's something we need to learn from.”


Reader Comments (79)

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James Watts
1 Posted 06/04/2017 at 08:01:54
“We could have controlled the game and kept the ball a bit better towards the end"

Just add, "especially Romelu 'Champions League, my arse' Lukaku" at the end there, lad, and it would have been perfect.

Liam Reilly
2 Posted 06/04/2017 at 08:12:52
Calvert-Lewin was the biggest culprit for not retaining the ball, but the change was crying out for an experienced head and I think Koeman made a mistake by throwing the kid in.
Jim Bennings
3 Posted 06/04/2017 at 08:15:02
That's the trouble though, we never do learn. You would think learning from past mistakes is a natural progression but we never do.

In Moyes last season we were chasing the top four and had away games at Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea from April to May knowing a win in one would give us a great chance of getting 4th... Nope couldn't do it. Couldn't win any of them, usual late equaliser conceded in the draw at White Hart Lane.

Last season, we concede last minute goals at Bournemouth, do exactly a carbon copy at Chelsea, and then go one worse and lose the F.A Cup Semi Final to Man Utd with the last kick.

This season the same mistakes, similar late costly goals in vital games against Liverpool and Man Utd, with virtually the very last kick.

It's just same shit, different day.

Not having a go at Jags, he was solid at United but it's insulting to talk about learning from these painful lessons when it's apparent to every man and his dog... we just DON'T LEARN.

John Audsley
4 Posted 06/04/2017 at 08:37:39
Totally correct, Jim B.

Jags was superb on Tuesday night, I have to add.

Paul Conway
5 Posted 06/04/2017 at 09:06:03
I can't understand how some supporters are bemoaning a draw at Man Utd, with the quality they have available. We were severely ravaged with injuries to an already Limited squad.

Not counting their ' dodgy ' offside goal being disallowed and the fact that they hit the woodwork twice.

In retrospect, we were extremely unfortunate to come away with a point, thanks to Jags goa,l that someway managed to creep in. If we conceded a goal like that there would be outcry for a public hanging... Certainly on this thread anyway..

We can criticize the fact that Lukaku didn't square to Mirallas in the first half, or Barkley in the 2nd half, who were better positioned... Oh, and the substitution of Mirallas.

We cannot certainly bemoan the error by Williams, as he did it with pure defensive instinct. The lads gave their salt in this encounter and it was a titanic effort.

Some people think that since Koeman came in , he just has to add water. At this present time we are a 7th placed team and holding out quite well.

Please give the management a break, we are in transition. I am not saying that Koeman is the answer. I am simply implying that we can hold fire on him, for at least one more season.

Craig Walker
7 Posted 06/04/2017 at 09:33:28
What Jim Bennings says.

I'm sick of our players coming out in the media with empty rhetoric. Last week, our players were in the press saying they were going to put in a performance at Anfield for Seamus. Jagielka, being the club captain is the biggest culprit. Just keep your trap shut and show up on the pitch. To be fair, Jags probably came out of our last two games with the most credit.

Koeman definitely made mistakes at Old Trafford. I don't think we can have it both ways though. He tried to keep what we'd got and threw kids into the fray and it didn't work. Last season, we were too gung-ho and relied on players who were past it.

I just hope Koeman can learn from this mistake. I'm still happy with our manager on the whole.

Clive Rogers
9 Posted 06/04/2017 at 09:58:52
It was Lukaku and Barkley who were the worst culprits. The rest of the starting eleven played really well. Davies needs a rest though.
Rob Dunleavy
10 Posted 06/04/2017 at 10:11:02
I was at the game and the lads were great for 70-75 minutes and Jags had his best game at the back for a long time. The last 10-15 minutes was torture, Lukaku was knackered/lazy he didn't attempt to chase anything, win any headers simply because I think it was a mixture of exhaustion and a lack of respect for the rest of his teammates who were giving 100% as Ashley Williams let him know in the match.

Calvert-Lewin was also awful, he was supposed to be fresh legs, he didn't even chase the ball when they were playing it around at the back. Valencia should have come on for Rom after 75 minutes and we would have seen out the game / scored another on the counter.

At the end of the match every single player came over to the away fans and gave us applause, even with their disappointment at the end. Except for one. Romelu Lukaku. Instead he stood in the centre-circle talking to Pogba for about minutes and I even saw him waving to someone in the crowd at the opposite side of the stadium. Never even so much as a clap for us away fans, straight down the tunnel.

I for one wont be singing his name again in the stands. Great potential player and hes done great for us, scored lots of goals, but when he's publicly made his mind up he wants to leave, followed by not giving 100% for the shirt, complete disrespect. We should retract our contract offer in case he changes his mind, get the money and lets buy some players who want to give 100% for the club.

Scott Hamilton
11 Posted 06/04/2017 at 10:18:08
Even The Daily Mash has picked this one up: Link
Jim Bennings
12 Posted 06/04/2017 at 10:29:16
Interesting comments from Leon Osman regarding Ross Barkley not really progressing since a teenager.

I think it's something we have been saying for some time now, Barkley is 24 this year he should be taking games like Tuesday or the Merseyside derby by the scruff of the neck and relishing the occasion, but he just doesn't possess the intelligence or character to push on.

Osman had a fraction of Barkley's potential but he made up for it with having a very clever football brain plus he was quite a tough character mentally.

We have been rather clouded by the judgment of Barkley being a boyhood blue we have desperately wanted him to succeed but the reality is he's not going to get any better than what he is now and I don't care what Opta indexes are out there comparing him with Dele Alli at Spurs, I watch enough football to see that one player is massive to their respective teams productivity and one is a bystander and passenger more often than not.

It doesn't take a lot to work out which one is which.

Chris Williams
13 Posted 06/04/2017 at 10:40:00
Coutinho is 24 and runs games; Barkley is 23 and runs down blind alleys.

Clive Rogers
14 Posted 06/04/2017 at 10:43:25

Dele Alli has 19 goals and 6 assists this season. Say no more.

Jim Bennings
15 Posted 06/04/2017 at 10:48:04
Barkley has scored just THREE goals from open play in the Premier League since November 2015 .

That, for what is our only real attacking central midfielder is a major letdown.

Paul Foster
16 Posted 06/04/2017 at 10:48:19
As of March 16th, Ross Barkley had created more goalscoring chances in the Premier League this season than any other English player (64).

He's doing alright.


Karl Meighan
17 Posted 06/04/2017 at 10:58:33
I don't really see how we can learn from it; either players have a good first touch and can pass a ball or they can't. Davies and Barry apart, our players overhit passes to teammates five yards away.

I have to say the performance was good at Old Trafford and we were very unlucky not to win with the late goal almost making it feel like a defeat when most would have been happy with a point before the game.

Martin Nicholls
18 Posted 06/04/2017 at 11:02:37
Let's all (except you, Paul!) bash Ross, eh? Give the lad a break – many would acknowledge that whilst he may not be the world beater we crave, most if not all should, even grudgingly, accept that he's a decent Premier League player.

On a different note, I seem to remember Holland making a last gasp substitution in a World(?) Cup, bringing on Tim Krul for the penalty shootout because he had a great record on penalties.

My thought on Tuesday was that we should do the same with Stekelenburg – it would have delayed and disrupted things from manure's perspective but also he made those two great penalty saves at Etihad earlier in the season, suggesting he's good/lucky when facing them.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 06/04/2017 at 11:04:29
Paul (#16) with all due respect, never mind the stats, just watch Barkley when he plays. Since Christmas, he's played better than earlier in the season when, to be honest, he had many poor games.

As a fan on here pointed out last week, Ross never takes a game by the scruff of the neck, never runs a game. For a player with two good feet and power in his shots with both feet, how many shots does he have at goal, especially from distance/

He hasn't improved much since he first played and, at nearly 24 years of age, he doesn't look like he will get much better, although he will make a good living out of the game.

Shane Corcoran
20 Posted 06/04/2017 at 11:06:02
The posts from Clive, Jim and Pual, although I'm sure are accurate, prove the futility of statistics.
John Daley
21 Posted 06/04/2017 at 11:10:03
"...the reality is he's not going to get any better than what he is now.."

Strange logic using Leon Osman to lead into such a statement. The same Leon Osman who was turning out for Derby County on loan at the age of 23 and didn't become a first-team regular for Everton until the ripe old age of 24. Surely, that player must have improved somewhat over the years to secure and retain a place in a Premier League squad until he retired? If he can improve his game, why can't Barkley at the same age?

Actually, it would be more accurate to ask 'why can't Barkley continue to improve his game', as he already has, both this season and last, even if it's still some way off the 'superstar' standard some seem to expect he should be at by now (for some reason).

He had a bad derby day, as did everybody else in blue, and wasn't decisive enough against Man Utd, but immediately prior to that he was putting in consistently good performances and had people singing his praises for stepping his game up.

Craig Walker
22 Posted 06/04/2017 at 11:10:11
Jim @12. It's an interesting one with Osman.

I always thought that Osman would be looked on more favourably when he finished playing for us than when he was out on the pitch. The same people near where I sit who gave Osman endless stick now vent their anger at Ross instead. I agree with what you say though, Osman contributed more to Everton than Ross does.

At the risk of getting stick, I'd cash in on Barkley whilst his value is still high. I'm convinced that he won't ever be the player we want him to be. He consistently makes the wrong choices and has no footballing brain: holding the ball when he should release it, shooting at tight angles when there's better placed teammates, going to ground to try and get a free kick, blazing it over the bar when he could just find a corner.

It's always some other reason why he's not performing: Moyes, Martinez, the system. As much as I hate him, if you look at Gerard for the RS at the same age, he was controlling games, creating goals, making chances and driving the team forward.

Ross is anonymous too often. Maybe there's too much expected of him.

Stan Schofield
23 Posted 06/04/2017 at 11:27:11
Barkley didn't play well in the last two games, but he has otherwise been playing very well this season, much improved over last season. Assuming that Koeman has been instrumental in getting Barkley to improve (and a lot of folks on TW say that's the case), and Koeman's been here only 9 months, then it strikes me that there's every reason to believe that Barkley will keep improving under Koeman.

It's frustrating that he can't be at his best against Liverpool, and that maybe a mental problem, or trying to hard. In this respect, all we can do is hope he has more impact in these games in line with the expectation of overall continued improvement in his game.

Mike Allen
24 Posted 06/04/2017 at 11:41:15
Another Barkley debate... the lad isn't good enough to warrant all this attention. To compare him with other players is daft. Osman is right: 4 or 5 years has been a great opportunity for him to show his potential but alas it has not worked out for him. Like so many players, he should not be a regular first teamer.

I don't think he has what it takes; however, no doubt someone would pay stupid money for him... but, if he was at another club, would he be on our shopping list? While he's here, support him... but he's not the player we want him to be nor will he be (in my opinion, that is).

Jim Lloyd
25 Posted 06/04/2017 at 11:41:36
I thought we did well overall, especially being without Coleman and Schneiderlin. Mason Holgate did well until the latter stages, when the Man Utd subs attacked down the wings.

I wondered why Koeman didn't bring on Valencia for Mirallas, as my thoughts were that he'd make sure the breakaways we were looking for, were effective. Though Calvert-Lewin showed he knew where the goal was when he scored at Goodison.

Who knows though what reasons Koeman substituted with the players he did. All I'd say about it, is I don't think he just chucked them on, he made those changes as he believed they were the best options on the night.

What really took my notice was the weaknesses, rather than the strengths, of Lukaku and Barkley.

My view at the beginning of this season was Koeman would give Ross every chance to develop the aspects of his game that others have already commented on, which would make him a much more effective player (ie, develops the speed of thought and the vision doesn't show anything like regularly enough) than he is now. Up to now, my view is that Ronald will opt for a more effective all round player if he can get hold of one. I don't think Ross is going to accumulate those aspects but I hope I'm wrong.

With Lukaku, it's different because he's a very effective goalscorer... in certain situations. The usual route to his goal is to be able to run at a back line at using his strength and speed running on to a through ball. His situation's completely different than Ross's though, as he's proved he can regularly score goals and is good for 20 or so a season.

Neither have signed a new contract, so who knows what'll happen but Romelu looks to have more options available if he wants to leave. As a 20-goal-a-season man, fine but on Tuesday we could have had a certain 2nd goal, maybe a third, if he'd have passed to another player but he chose to shoot from a narrow angle instead.

I remember Rush scoring bucketloads for that lot and Suarez nearly won them the league single-handely but both of those players were showed other extremely effective aspects of their game, like first line of defence and laying on chances fore others. Neither Ross or Romelu do enough of that in my view.

I'm not aiming to pick on players who play for us, especially when we are needing to use younger players; I'm trying to analyse why lose or draw when we could win. These two lads are good against the teams below us, where maybe we get a bit more time and space, but their limitations show against the teams in the top six.

Koeman reckoned it would take two full seasons of transfer windows to get somewhere near challenging for the top 4 positions but, I think the way the league stands at the moment, it's going to be hard top break into the top six.

Ray Roche
26 Posted 06/04/2017 at 11:43:58
John Daley #21

Didn't Osman suffer a serious knee injury that kept him out for over a year when he was young. Hence the loans to Derby and Carlisle? Maybe that's why he didn't break through until he was 23-24.

Brian Harrison
27 Posted 06/04/2017 at 12:25:53
I think that Koeman has improved Barkley's general play, but he still lacks goals and that needs to improve.

But, despite the differing opinions on Barkley, Koeman has rightly said that, if he doesn't sign a new contract, he will be sold.

Don Alexander
28 Posted 06/04/2017 at 13:23:01
Jags, Williams and Holgate will long-since have learned that, when the bullets start flying, two of our team always go AWOL.

One of the two is cut endless slack as he struggles season after season to become effective in his role as goal-scoring creator whilst the other learns how to insult those doing the hard graft, putting their bodies literally on the line from start to finish, by visibly shushing the most lion-hearted of the three.

Hats off to Ashley Williams who knew bollocking Lukaku during the match was unusual but it must have been obvious to anyone with eyes that those men in defence were increasingly in despair of keeping three points.

Bollockings in the dressing room after losing points would have missed the point on Tuesday. Had Lukaku made the slightest effort to take a lead in retaining the ball and harassing their defenders when they won it off us we just might have got what we were after. I'd just love to have seen Alan Ball or Reidy deal with such a prima donna.

Winston Williamson
29 Posted 06/04/2017 at 13:29:27
Maybe there is too much expected of Barkley – yes, there is.

Were we really expecting Barkley to be some huge megastar? If he was destined for that level, realistically he'd be playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona by now.

He's a good player, not exceptional, nor a superstar, just good. He can produce moments of brilliance, but equally, moments of annoyance.

Why 'cash-in' on him? We lament not having a big enough squad to challenge for the top four, yet some advocate selling our good players. We need to buy players to compete for his and Lukaku's spot (if they stay). Show them both that they are no longer guaranteed starters.

Colin Malone
30 Posted 06/04/2017 at 13:51:18
Very harsh criticism of Ross Barkley who has been outstanding in the last couple of months. Ross gets substituted when ineffective but Lukaku doesn't???

No wonder Mirallas got stroppy when he got substituted. Ross needs forward movement – not a statue.

Jim Lloyd
32 Posted 06/04/2017 at 14:03:44
I'm not so sure it's a matter of expecting too much. I think Ross will be good for the team if we are content in staying around 7th. That isn't blaming him or expecting too much but we're aiming to be in a position to challenge for a top 4-6 place.

The Manager has said that if Ross doesn't sign, he will be sold... so be it. That will apply to quite a few of our players, we should always be looking for the best, it's just that for donkeys years we haven't been able to buy them.

Personally, I hope he stays and that he can develop but there are a number of players that we have who won't take us where we want to get and I think Ross, at this stage, is one of them, and I've got my doubts about Lukaku as well.

If Mr Koeman finds a player that will do the job that we hope Ross might do, I hope he gets him. I also hope that Ross does develop but if we want to go higher, then we need the complete player now.

Dave Ganley
34 Posted 06/04/2017 at 14:09:36
Scott Hamilton (#11) – that really made me laugh.

Jags is right, that was 2 points lost although I thought the defence played really well. Ashley Williams's handball just instinctive I thought as he sought to block the ball, it was that kind of defensive effort. Pity we didn't have that last Saturday.

As for the criticism of Ross, some is valid some not. Is he a terrible player? Of course not. Is he top drawer? No not yet. He's somewhere in between imo.

He's better than a lot of mid table midfielders, the stats say he creates lots of chances, but I'm not a big fan of stats, they don't paint the whole picture.

As others have stated, the difference between say Ross and Coutinho is stark. Ross has yet to consistently transfer good form on the big stage. That doesn't mean to say he won't but he isn't showing any inclination to boss and influence games against the better teams.

Sure he has his moments, like the goal against Man City in the cup last year, but that was fleeting. Same with Lukaku really. He has had isolated moments but really he nor Ross influence games against the better teams. They go missing and or get let down by teammates. However, they are the so called talent and you look to those players to do something inspirational, a bit like Coutinho last Saturday.

Whether either will ever be those sorts of players is debatable. I'm just not sure they will. Can shine against mediocre but goes missing against the best. Not a great endorsement of their skills.

Andrew Presly
35 Posted 06/04/2017 at 14:13:59
We could keep the ball better if players like Jags didn't always hoof it.

We bottled it yet again in a big game. Not a huge surprise. On to the next game with pressure reduced, should be better.

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 06/04/2017 at 14:29:04
Winston "Why 'cash-in' on him? We lament not having a big enough squad to challenge for the top four, yet some advocate selling our good players".

Tony Kost
37 Posted 06/04/2017 at 14:47:42
It was no coincidence that Ross had shown a decent return to form when Morgan Schneiderlin was dictating the midfield. It took a lot of pressure off the lad.

The pressure is back on him at the moment – he's not handling it well.

I like him a lot; he's well worth it – he's a blue at heart – unlike mercenary Rom!

Peter Murray
38 Posted 06/04/2017 at 14:49:19
#36, as he wants to go, surely by now you can understand this?? Other than scoring, what does he actually offer us, when playing better teams, better players & technically good players???

Who would want him playing for them now? Outside of Britain, I cannot think of anybody spending the sort of cash we would ask!!!


Brian Furey
40 Posted 06/04/2017 at 15:03:23
I think we learnt a lot about Everton over the past week with how we can't seem to raise our games in the derby like much worse Everton sides over the years including the 1999 team that won there.

We also saw how we can go to Old Trafford and not be overawed although we did ride our luck a bit with them hitting the woodwork so much.

Probably most importantly, we learnt that Rom does look like a man on his way out. You wonder how his teammate see him, even Mirallas who sets Rom up for so many goals but Rom will rarely play him through.

His attitude to a senior player was a disgrace and shows up Jags and even Koeman for not having the balls to give out to him. Then his wee chat with his flash pal Pogba at the end looked even worse and I couldn't help but think is this them both saying this is the crap I've to play with so I'm outta here.

I've always liked having Rom and contented myself that his goals are worth all the other shit that comes with having him but I think he's showing the signs of a player who wants away. I hope he does finish as top scorer and that Chelsea or a big foreign team offer us 𧴜M for him. I think he's worth a lot more than 㿨M when you consider what we got for Stones. Goals win matches.

On another note, I was delighted to hear this morning that the RS only drew at home again as l thought they'd won around 9:45 last night. It would be great if they came 5th or 6th and with Mané out for maybe the rest of the season (well done, Bainesy) they tend to not win without him.

Home to Leicester on Sunday should be a home win though; they are sitting joint top of the form table with 15 out of 18 points. They've had 4 home wins and one away win to West Ham.

I presume Williams will be suspended so you'd imagine Pennington will get another run out. At least West Brom lost this week so I don't think we'll lose 7th at the worst.

Alan J Thompson
41 Posted 06/04/2017 at 15:20:37
If Barkley isn't that good, why aren't we signing players better or just as good as him? IMO we need to sign a creative midfielder to go forward with him – look how his game seemed to improve when Davies came into the side.

Most of our defensive midfielders seem to have stopped going forward and, starting with McCarthy, it seems to have become infectious. I mean, how often do we see one getting into the opposition's penalty box from open play on a regular basis?

Nigel Johnson
43 Posted 06/04/2017 at 16:10:50
I am going to be honest: Lukaku is a good forward but is set on leaving Everton. He believes that he is the best player at the club and is started to act in this way.

I tell you this, yes he is the top goal scorer at the moment in the league but he will not end up that way when the season finishes. I would rather have Harry Kane,as I think he is an all round striker. He scores goals with both feet with his head, from inside or outside the box and works harder.

Lukaku will play great at home as he doesn't want to get on the wrong side of the crowd but in the big games away from home he can easily hide.

I have run football teams of all ages in my time. I would always encourage my strikers to be selfish but matches need to be won first. Lukaku had a great opportunity to pass the ball when we were one up and Mirallas could have made the match safe but chose to be selfish. I am wondering how many goals he would have scored had others been selfish and not pass the ball to him.

I am not suggesting that Lukaku should be sold but he must remember he is part of a club and he is not Everton Football Club. I believe that Lukaku will be sold as Farhad is a businessman, just as he bought the Royal Liver Building to make money, he will sale Lukaku.

Geoff Williams
44 Posted 06/04/2017 at 16:26:45
Neither Barkley nor Lukaku is built for the pressing game and Koeman should recognise this. Tiredness results in poor decision making of which both Barkley and Lukaku have been guilty recently.

For all his faults, Lukaku scores goals and where would we find someone with his record? Barkley has a touch few can match and used properly he will be a star.

Koeman needs to play a system which embraces the talent he has available to him.

Jay Harris
45 Posted 06/04/2017 at 16:32:53
My take on Ross is that he is one of the naturally gifted players I have seen. Tremendous physique, excellent with both feet and can pick a 30-yard pass out with precision.

I think the main problem is his mentality. He is having to be coached in the basics of the game and it is causing him confusion and a loss of confidence. I also think he is trying too hard and just needs to relax a bit.

However on a football intelligence level he will never reach the heights his undoubted skills suggest. He is definitely top 10 but not top 4.

As for Lukaku, he has occupied more media space than he deserves. He will always get goals but will always be a liability in other respects, such as losing the ball, or not bringing other players into the game and linking up play.

It is noticeable that when he decides to play we look top 4 but, when he decides to take his bat and ball home, we play with 10 men and this happens in the same game.

I for one will be glad to see the back of him and get someone in like Vardy who works for the team as well as himself.

Tony Abrahams
46 Posted 06/04/2017 at 16:35:27
Good points, Geoff, but Martinez liked his team to play in a completely opposite way and they were rarely (never really) better than above average when they both played for him.
Dermot Byrne
47 Posted 06/04/2017 at 16:46:04
Agree Jay re Rom. As for Ross. Yeah. Needs schooling to stop thinking as if still on playing field when he was the very best. He isn't now and to me, the maddening thing is, he could be.

Would drive me insane to coach him.

And as he is a Blue and prob reads this (I would)... Stay working lad. Develop your mind. Never listen to the media. And listen to Koeman. He was the best.

Eddie Dunn
48 Posted 06/04/2017 at 17:52:53
Koeman actually stated a couple of weeks ago that Ross needed to learn when to play it first time, and when to try to dribble. Barkley has improved this season, but was trying too hard in the derby match.

At Old Trafford he was working hard covering a lot of ground in the first half. His goals have dried up because the opposition often only have Lukaku and him to worry about. Mirallas has rarely been on the pitch long enough with him for some of the attention to be diverted. Lukaku is not laying off quality balls for Mirallas or Barkley to get hold of.

Ibrahimovic, on the other hand , brings people into play, with an array of passes and headers.

When Schneiderlin is back, we will see an improvement in our ball retention.

We are stretched to the limit at the moment and Williams' suspension will increase the pressure on the squad.

Clive Rogers
49 Posted 06/04/2017 at 18:26:20
Osman averaged just 4 PL goals per season.
Clive Rogers
51 Posted 06/04/2017 at 18:31:27
Shane (#20),

Surely goals scored are a useful statistic. Think I would give them a quick glance before signing a striker.

David Barks
54 Posted 06/04/2017 at 19:07:38
Vardy is the popular name on here now? Earlier in the season I remember it being Shane Long and even Victor Anichebe. Oh what brilliant footballing minds.

You guys realize that Leicester's success has been shown to have been heavily, and I mean extremely heavily, down to Kante being the midfield general, right? It wasn't Vardy holding up the ball and controlling the game. In fact, their method of play was mostly to spring the counter attack, knocking the ball over the defense for Vardy to run onto. When that wasn't the plan, it was Mahrez and Okazaki bringing the ball forward on the counter. But the one constant was always Kante being their to clean up the mess when Leicester lost the ball, which again, they often did not have.

Just look up the stats for both players.

Goals scored: Lukaku 21 to Vardy's 10
Pass Accuracy: Lukaku 65% to Vardy's 64%
Chances Created: Lukaku 39 to Vardy's 24
Avg duels won: Lukaku 46% to Vardy's 42%
Shot Accuracy: Lukaku 64% to Vardy's 52%

On average, Lukaku completes 16.5 passes per game compared to Vardy's 9.89 a game.
Aerial duels, chances created, goals scored, clearances, Lukaku leads Vardy. The only category Vardy leads in is a slight lead in tackles, with Vardy getting 0.33 successful tackles a game compared to Lukaku getting 0.13 a game.

Vardy is not some hold up the ball, bring others into play, center forward. He chases long balls and was the recipient of many brilliant balls from an in form Mahrez last season. This season, when Kante left, he struggled just like the rest of the team, which got their manager sacked. They've won a few games recently with the new manager, well so have we. Don't be a prisoner of the moment. Look at the impact Kante had when there, and the impact he's had by leaving, and how that has been taken to the eventual champions Chelsea.

Terry Farrell
55 Posted 06/04/2017 at 19:25:44
Ross is class and needs to score and shoot on target more. He will receive the ball in any situation with markers around him and mostly emerge with the ball following a piece of trickery. He played well against Man Utd and okay against LFC.

Too many people on here expect 10 out of 10 every week. Coutinhou played well against us but has been crap for theme for a month before that.

Tony Abrahams
56 Posted 06/04/2017 at 19:28:25
I'm not Vardy's biggest fan, David, but I do like the fact that he works his bollocks off for the team. Those STATS, are very interesting but they don't mention how they both compare in workrate?

How hard they work at Closing down, or chasing and harrying defenders or maybe turning a poor pass into a good one?

I like Lukaku's goals, but although he has definitely improved as a player this season, I'm still not that fussy on the rest of his game.

Gary Russell
57 Posted 06/04/2017 at 19:28:27
The latest from the BBC's neutral 'reportage' with Danny Murphy telling us Ash and Roms 'Sshhh' incident was nothing, a heat-of-the-moment affair, in his humble opinion:

"It didn't really matter who was right, and who was wrong, but I actually saw Lukaku's reaction as a positive. He cares, and wants to do well for the team.That sort of passion is part of the game and it would be more of a worry for Everton - or any prospective buyers - if he didn't show any.'


He also extrapolates on where Lukaku, the great shhoo-in for many a team, might fit. I disagree entirely, and it's hard to know whether all ex-reds are gobshites and out to undermine us.

Paul Goodchild
58 Posted 06/04/2017 at 19:29:34
I am upset at the way Mirallas has been treated by the last 2 managers. Martinez hardly played him at all last season and after what I thought was a decent start to this season he is only an occasional starter.

He must have been really fed up when Calvert-Lewin was picked ahead of him at Anfield. He must have had his confidence really dented over the last 2 to 3 years but he still gives it a good effort when he does play. He also carries a serious goal threat which not all our players do.

I know he has his critics but I think he is a quality player and I feel he has been shabbily treated and why is it he has to be substituted every game on the hour? How come every Everton fan just knew it was the wrong decision to substitute him on Tuesday but not our manager. Real shades of Martinez there.

Also a good word for Ashley Williams. He has some limitations but first and foremost he is a defender and a solid no nonsense one at that. How much more secure are we this season with Williams at the back than we were last season? Considerably so I think.

I also liked him having a go at Lukaku. He gave it everything on Tuesday and expected the same from everyone, particularly those who think they are now too big for the club.

It was unfortunate how the game finished for him with the handball but I think he will be a good positive influence on the young defenders in the squad and we could get another 2 good seasons out of him.

Christine Foster
59 Posted 06/04/2017 at 19:33:45
I want Lukaku to end up the top Premier League scorer. Its good for him and good for us.. because we will get more for him when we sell hopefully at the end of the season.

Players have to fit into a team or if they are good enough, have a team built around them.

I for one would say that's too much of a risk when a player cannot commit to a club he becomes a luxury we cannot afford. The team suffers because of the individual... he is no longer a team player. He should be sold irrespective of performance.

Barkley is a much different matter. Since his public rebukes by Koeman he has improved all of his game. The problem he has now is who he is playing with and what he is being asked to do. Against Man Utd he was playing wide, seriously bad call, he has neither the speed to get past players nor is the position the best place to get the best out of him. Bad call by Koeman asking him to do a job he is not equipped for and sacrificing his best position. No wonder he did not shine.

Secondly, he was caught with the ball on several occasions, but several times he had no options to release.. no one (Lukaku) making a run, no one following up (Gana, Davis and Barry all defending). He got crowded out waiting.

Lukaku in the same position didn't look up to release when Barkley had made runs, in space... did not bother to try to get back. His mentality was appallingly selfish, his attitude towards others lacking.

If you want the best from Barkley you need to play him central behind the front players who are sharp and mobile, not a piece of wood.

Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 06/04/2017 at 19:46:04
When Lukaku finally leaves Everton, he will be sold for more money than Mr Moshiri and his partner paid for The Liver Buildings, l find that amazing.
Colin Malone
61 Posted 06/04/2017 at 21:48:39
Rom is that static, he's got more pigeon shit on him than Dickie Lewis.
Paul Conway
62 Posted 06/04/2017 at 23:40:04
Barkley didn't get a sniff of international football, for very good reasons.

One of the reasons is the England supporters are not (all) Everton supporters and are less patient with him.

Reading some posts is like a mother defending her wayward son: blind loyalty, because he is a local lad.

The upshot is, he is simply average and Osman nailed it.

Jay Harris
63 Posted 07/04/2017 at 00:21:33

you're being a bit selective there seeing as Leicester have had a disastrous season until recently.

Last season Vardy scored 24 in 36 and what goals some of them were.

Lukaku scored 18 in 37 appearances.

I know you like Lukaku but I know which player I would rather have and I don't think he would cost £60m.

Clive Mitchell
64 Posted 07/04/2017 at 00:27:09
Say what you like about Barkley, he'll never be an Osman.
Tom Bowers
65 Posted 07/04/2017 at 01:03:10
How can anyone be compared to Osman?

Ossie just wasn't good enough except in the eyes of a proven failure of a manager – Moyes.

I can think of at least two or three games in his career when he may have gotten MotM. award and they were not matches against of the good teams.

Yes, Jags. Everton do have a problem protecting the ball and they probably cough up the ball far more often than most teams. Koeman has to resolve this before next season.

Don Alexander
66 Posted 07/04/2017 at 01:39:49
Sadly Clive, Ross has been very much like Ozzie in terms of effectiveness, in truth a bog-standard middle-of-the-table midfielder. All of us wish it wasn't so.

Okay, Ross sometimes shows sublime touch, control and passing ability, but he shows it way too infrequently to compensate for the absence of the rest of his game, unlike Ozzie, and Ozzie wasn't great either by the way.

To get into CL qualification we need better than Ozzie or what Ross Barkley has ever shown in what is now several seasons. And as for his "local-ness", and his horrendous injury as a teenager, and his alleged shyness, so what in the exacting world of professional football?

All that matters is what he does on the pitch and the reality is that it's generally unremarkable.

Even the club acknowledge that he apparently never kicked a ball until he was 10 years old, so if that's true it seems weird to me that he's now deemed a born-blue. It's also reported that when he did kick a ball he was amazingly streets ahead of his contemporaries, cue the story of him nonchalantly scoring penalties with either foot as a kid.

And okay, it's only been on social media but a former player allegedly said right from the outset of Ross's pro career that he "wasn't a footballer". Sadly Ross has constantly shown this to be the truth.

Footballers need a full deck. Even Messi, Neymar, Iniesta, Xavi and Suarez genuinely chase down defenders when Barca lose the ball, unlike our boy.

Everton need professional staff doing everything professionally with consistently effective skill. Think Gana or Schneiderlin for instance, and I trust even they're being pressured to do more offensively.

If you can't deliver in every way I think Koeman will rightly deem you're a gonner, obviously for maximum bucks though, hence his many comments extolling how fantastic Lukaku is and his continued selection of Ross.

We'll see this summer, won't we, Mr Moshiri?

Gordon Crawford
67 Posted 07/04/2017 at 02:14:18
Don he didn't kick a ball until he was 10, I seriously find that hard to believe. And even if that's in someway true, how would that stop him from being a born blue? I know of many born blues who didn't play football.

A former player allegedly said he wasn't a footballer, well how wrong was he ?Because as far as I'm aware he plays professionally for Everton every week. Just a nonsense statement whether you said it or somebody else did.

So you need to chase down players to be great footballer? Pele didn't chase down to many.

What do you mean when you say footballers need a full deck?

Sorry pal but I don't see consistent effect skill in Gana or Schneiderlin, whatever that means.

Personally I think too many people have heaped unnecessary pressure on Ross and it's just not right. He had some amazing games for us in Roberto's first season and automatically he was the next Ballack or Glen Hoddle. It's all just ridiculous. He might not be the superstar that we all hoped for, but I still think he is one very talented footballer.

People need to get off his back and stop criticising him every time he has an off game. Maybe then he will play with freedom.

Mick Davies
68 Posted 07/04/2017 at 04:52:53
Barkley was really influential and hard working in Manuel's first season: it was the new manager syndrome, and nothing to do with the Spanish Bullshiter and his tactical nouse.

Cue 2016-17 and that same 'new manager syndrome'. Equally clueless but getting results because the players have had a boost and the boss doesn't feel under any pressure.

We saw signs of Roberto's limitations in that first season but chose to ignore them as we were thinking positive (Liverpool 4-0).

We've seen the same mistakes being made by Koeman (Chelsea 5-0) but a lot on here are saying how he had improved Ross etc. Well Ross was even better in 2013-14, and as for defensive signings, Williams is to Koeman what Alcaraz was to Martinez; when we needed a younger, more mobile centre-half who could compete in the air and on the floor.

For attacking midfielders, there's Barry, McCarthy and Besic for Martinez and Gana and Schneiderlin for Koeman. Not what we needed.

As for Strikers, at least the Catalan Clown got us Lukaku. We've had 4 years of opportunities to get the right players in and we are still relying on Jagielka, Baines, Coleman and Mirallas as the main strength of the side; all of these were Moyes signings and, Lukaku apart, this season has revealed how we still haven't brought in any 'Top 4' players in years. Typical Everton

Max Murphy
69 Posted 07/04/2017 at 09:52:41
Cash in on Barkley and Lukaku. Get rid of Koeman. Now that Everton FC appears to be moving forward with regards to the new stadium, we need our "own" to be managing the club, ie, Unsworth, Dunc, etc.

The last time we won a trophy with a manger who wasn't our "own" was the 1969-70 season with Harry Catterick.

Don Alexander
70 Posted 07/04/2017 at 10:30:39
I don't see Gana or Schneiderlin as attacking midfielders in the making but I do see them as a formidable duo, usually playing deep. That said, I'd expect the pair of them to contribute a dozen or so goals between them as well, just as I'd expect our centre backs to chip in with half a dozen between them each season. The quid-pro-quo is that the attackers make a proper effort to repossess the ball from the moment they lose it.

Ross is a mystery because for all his occasional flashes of brilliance he consistently struggles to impose himself in any way that makes opponents fear him. Champions League players in his position possess much more. He's containable and doesn't need special attention, albeit he occasionally has a good game against an also-ran, like Ozzie used to.

It'd be great if it wasn't so, and as for heaping too much pressure on him. well, how many years are we going to go on hearing that? Professional football is all about pressure and how well you deal with it but if Ross has a problem it's sadly his and his alone.

And Gordon, I know Pele didn't do much tackling back but when I last saw him he was surrounded by Jairzinho, Gerson, Tostao, Everaldo, Clodoaldo, and Rivelino. With that sort of talent nobody needed to worry too much about conceding any goals because for some reason their opponents thought it wise not to venture too far over the halfway line!

Gordon Crawford
71 Posted 07/04/2017 at 11:13:18
Ross is purely a confidence player and that's his only problem. He needs to believe in his natural ability, it's truly a gift he's been giving.

In life when your confidence is high, you don't dread trying new things. But when your low in confidence you hesitate to even do the simple things.

Yes he needs to cope with pressure of being a professional footballer, that's true. But he doesn't need or didn't need the extra pressure that compares him to Glen Hoddle, Gazza, Lampard or even Ballack.

Some kids can handle that pressure like Rooney but Ross isn't one of them. But that doesn't mean we don't have a diamond in Ross Barkley; we do.

Yes, at times I've said things too about him and even heaped extra pressure on him too, but I've had a change of heart and realised that's not going to help him.

The fans and media have put too much pressure on Ross and he is struggling with it. People need to get behind him and let him feel the love.

And he has been great recently.

Stan Schofield
72 Posted 07/04/2017 at 11:23:26
Gordon, I agree.

It's notable how many threads not specifically to do with Barkley or Lukaku end up discussing Barkley and Lukaku. Perhaps that tells us how good they are on their day, despite their various detractors on TW.

In Ross's case, I want him to stay at Everton purely because he's a cracking player. He's had some excellent games this year, and been MotM in quite a few. I'm not really interested in whether he's from Liverpool or an Evertonian, or any of that stuff. I'm interested only in how good he can be for Everton.

Gordon Crawford
73 Posted 07/04/2017 at 11:43:58
Stan... you're the man! :) I totally agree with what you said.

Sometimes I've been critical of Ross and even recently I said "We should give him until the summer and see how he performs." But I was wrong. We need to sign him up long-term. #KeepRoss :)

Brent Stephens
74 Posted 07/04/2017 at 11:53:43
Mick (#68),

"Cue 2016-17 and that same 'new manager syndrome'."

Not sure, then, why the 'new manager syndrome' didn't kick in for Ross until after Xmas, when he seems to have been in better form, generally speaking.

Michael Kenrick
75 Posted 07/04/2017 at 14:18:55
"The last time we won a trophy with a manger who wasn't our 'own' was the 1969-70 season with Harry Catterick."

You might need a fact-check there... How does the song go again, Max (#69)? "And if ya know yer 'istry..."??? I heard he was a miserable bugger but he doesn't deserve such post-fact revisionism!

Jim Bennings
76 Posted 07/04/2017 at 16:02:40
Sign up players who are basically not moving the club forwards?

Makes perfect sense if we are happy to accept 7th or 8th every season.

Barkley will not move us onto the next level, he's a comfortable top 8 player nothing more. If we do eventually manage to sign a creative inventive intelligent central midfielder, it will not be to partner Barkley but to replace him, that is fact!

Koeman will not play two attacking midfielders and we need one we can rely on, an upgrade from us finishing 7th to seriously challenging 4th.

Lukaku won't be here, we already know that every season since he signed permanent he just loses interest once April arrives, daydreaming of his big move to a Champions League club.

Again, as with Barkley, we need to make sure with the millions of pound this club is now awash with and after the sale of Lukaku that we sign another 20- to 25-goal-a-season player.

Speculate to accumulate.

Paul Kossoff
77 Posted 07/04/2017 at 21:11:32
Just read Danny red shite Murphy full page article on the BBC website telling all why and where Lukaku should move, you never read him saying why a red should move, what a twat!
James Marshall
78 Posted 07/04/2017 at 21:12:04
All the top players become top players by playing at the top clubs .with all the other top players – the thing that singles them out is consistency, and consistency only comes from being surrounded by other players at your level. Ross Barkley plays for Everton, so he isn't surrounded by top players, which means he's inconsistent, despite his talent.

Like it or not, we're not one of the top clubs in World football, and therefore we don't have top players at our club, so players like Ross will always struggle to get to the very higher echelons of form on an ongoing basis.

Same can be said of Lukaku – I expect this post will upset a few people, but it's true.

Paul Kossoff
79 Posted 07/04/2017 at 21:15:17
James, we do have top players though! The real top top players are surrounded by? Top players, that's the difference with us we don't have enough of them.
James Marshall
80 Posted 07/04/2017 at 21:17:13
I guess it depends on your opinion about what constitutes a top player - you could say top top top player if you like, but they ain't at Everton. We might have one or two, but we certainly aren't a top club by any stretch of even the most ardent Evertonian imagination.

Martin Mason
81 Posted 07/04/2017 at 21:26:24

Very good opinion on Ross.

Paul Kossoff
82 Posted 07/04/2017 at 21:30:13
No we aren't James, but it's money that counts now isn't it? Man City, Chelsea, both were run of the mill till the cash came in, hopefully we will get our turn soon.
Eugene Ruane
83 Posted 07/04/2017 at 21:40:17
As soon as I saw Schneiderlin grimace and hop gingerly I put my head in my hands.

Of all our injuries (and naturally I wish them all a speedy recovery) this was the one that made me think this is REALLY going to damage us.

Admittedly we haven't seen that much of him, but certainly what I've seen is enough for me to think we really have a terrific player.

Guile, passes, defensive awareness and effort - a rare combination (specially for us).

By the way, heard Mane is out for the rest of the season.

I wish injury on no player (sendings off sure, wives leaving them, fine) but I do hope those dancing about gleefully singing about Seamus are fucking gutted and his loss sees them finish outside the Champions League spots.

James Marshall
84 Posted 07/04/2017 at 21:53:40
I agree with Eugene – Schneiderlin is the player that makes this team tick. He's a huge miss for so many reasons I can't be arsed to go into because they're so obvious.

I too had my head in my hands when he got injured.

Paul – you're right. Football goes in cycles, and hopefully our time will come again. At this point in time (and for a bloody long time) Everton are not one of the big boys.

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 07/04/2017 at 23:58:26
Eddie (#48), saying Ross's goals to have "dried up" implies they were ever lush and fertile in the first place.

172 appearances, 26 goals is not a "diamond" or a "cracking" player. He's pretty good. That's all.

Eddie Dunn
86 Posted 08/04/2017 at 00:47:06
Paul Kossoff, I also read Murphy's latest sideways dig at all things Everton. Whilst pretending to respect us, he presents various reason for Lukaku to go.

I cringe every time I hear him on telly or on the radio. I get the impression that he pretends to respect us just so he doesn't get pulled-up by an Evertonian, when he is out of his usual comfort zone of safe middle-class environments, where ordinary folk rarely appear unless slightly shell-shocked and very unlikely to want to draw attention to themselves!

He has an agenda against Everton. I know this because I have heard him numerous times on TalkShite, 5Live and the TV.

He pretends to like us in his attempt to appear gracious, but it is plainly obvious that he really hates our very bones. The man is a cunt.

James Marshall
87 Posted 08/04/2017 at 02:50:22
I just read Murphy's piece on the BBC site, and I couldn't really disagree with anything he said to be honest. Of course it feels like a dig because he's RS and we all want Lukaku to stay, but in the cold light of day... and at this point in time, I find it difficult to argue with his points.
Stan Schofield
88 Posted 08/04/2017 at 10:36:00
Strikes me that Evertonians are giving Danny Murphy too much attention. Just ignore him, or don't listen to him or read the drivel, because he's not relevant to us,

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