West Ham United 0 - 0 Everton
Romelu Lukaku failed to score against the Hammers for the first time as an Everton player
The Blues were looking to translate their fine home form to the first of their three remaining away games but found themselves singularly unable to make inroads into a disciplined West Ham defence in what was ultimately an awful game.
Much of the talk coming into the match surrounded Romelu Lukaku's magnificent goalscoring record against the Hammers but he was unable to extend his streak to 10 matches against them. The closest he came to an effort on home goal was a hopeful long-range shot that was charged down from close range in the second half.
With the exception of Maarten Stekelenburg coming in for Joel Robles,Ronald Koeman had named an unchanged line-up from the side that had started against Burnley last Saturday and it seemed from the early exchanges as though Everton were the more likely victors.
The visitors were enjoying plenty of possession but were forced to be patient in trying to break West Ham down. For the Evertonians who made the trip down to East London, their wait for any excitement from their side would not be rewarded.
It was West Ham who had the first real chance from the first corner of the match after 10 minutes but when Stekelenburg misjudged the flight of the ball, Cheikhou Kouyaté failed to connect at the far post.
There was almost a costly mix-up at the other end when Lukaku closed Adrián down as he was dealt an awkward bouncing throw-in to deal with but the home defence managed to escape.
Apart from that, a deflected Håvard Nordtveit shot that was comfortably gathered by Stekelenburg was the only incident of note before half time.
Koeman attempted to breathe life into his curiously subdued attack with a a double change at the start of the second period. Idrissa Gueye, booked again in the first 45 minutes was withdrawn in favour of Ademola Lookman and Tom Davies, busy but unable to affect much going forward, made way for Gareth Barry.
Lookman's introduction gave the Blues an encouragingly attacking look on paper and one good run eight minutes after the interval opened up a half chance for Ross Barkley but he elected to over-elbaborate rather than shoot and it evaporated.
Lookman's impact on the overall performance was fleeting, although he did have a couple of cracks from outside the box midway through the half, one that he dragged wide and another that dipped a yard over the crossbar.
Ultimately, however, with Kevin Mirallas struggling to make an impact, Ross Barkley battling through one of his worst performances of the season, Lukaku isolated and almost completely ineffective, and Everton generally playing too narrow, it made for frustrating viewing.
In the final reckoning, it would be a day where the two defences reigned — Phil Jagielka and Mason Holgate were, arguably, the pick of the players in yellow on the day — and a tedious contest was played out mostly in midfield. The point adds another unbeaten game to Everton's record in 2017 but it does little for their hopes of displacing Arsenal or Manchester United in the top six come the end of the season.
It also underscores the paucity of genuine difference-makers on Koeman's bench, further emphasising the need for significant work in the summer transfer window to add some more quality to the ranks to sustain an assault on the top four in 2017-18.
Reader Comments (48)
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1 Posted 23/04/2017 at 07:27:39
I think this season has been okay; he's new to the job, he has introduced a couple of young players, one who seems a mainstay in the team for years to come.
Looking forward to the summer and next season if he ain't the man, he will be gone soon enough.
2 Posted 23/04/2017 at 07:44:46
3 Posted 23/04/2017 at 07:47:06
4 Posted 23/04/2017 at 07:48:53
However, Koeman has proven that he can turn around the home form where his tactics have resulted in eight wins and 29 goals in the last eight matches. I'm reasonably confident that some changes in personnel in the close season will result in us becoming much more dynamic and therefore competitive in away matches.
5 Posted 23/04/2017 at 08:10:29
The next transfer window will hopefully introduce a further 3 or 4 quality players into the ranks, but there will still be bumps in the road before we can compete with the top 4.
6 Posted 23/04/2017 at 08:20:50
Okay, we had 70% possession but tended to go backwards it reminded me of a Martinez performance looking to hold the ball without any purpose.
I was surprised when Davies and Gana were taken off as Barry and Lookman were supposed to do what?
I thought a change of formation was the way forward: 3-4-3, Holgate off for Lookman and Calvert-Lewin on for Lukaku after 70 mins, accepting Collins was having a field day, so let's see how he goes with a more mobile forward as the ponderous Lukaku was having no impact.
So 0-0 against a home side that parked the bus and content with a point to get to 40.
Hopefully Chelsea will be a different game.
7 Posted 23/04/2017 at 08:58:58
It will be a few years before we are top four, I think, but we are certainly heading in the right direction.
8 Posted 23/04/2017 at 09:17:38
The players let him down yesterday, but it was a game crying out for a fit Bolasie on the left and Coleman down the right. We had little to no options to change the game.
There will be some big changes in the summer. I just hope that the impending Lukaku circus doesn't distract us from our targets. If he's going then he needs to go early in the summer. We need to know where we stand with Rom before the window opens, and then implement a transfer strategy accordingly.
9 Posted 23/04/2017 at 09:40:46
10 Posted 23/04/2017 at 10:17:51
Agree with most posters that there's been lots of progress, but to quote the clichÃ©, it's the hope that kills you. A few weeks ago, we were looking at the table saying "If we win at Mordor, and Old Trafford, we'll be 4th." Friday, it was "If we beat a struggling West Ham, which we always do, we'll be 5th; and we didn't manage a shot on target.
Big job close season.
11 Posted 23/04/2017 at 10:20:34
One wouldn't normally expect all the players to be below par in any one game but, with Everton, when they are bad it's everyone playing poorly.
I don't know if it is team selection, a change in systems or the game plan. Maybe the match preparation is wrong but Koeman should try to identify what he is doing wrong.
12 Posted 23/04/2017 at 11:06:26
Whilst we have progressed, I'd hardly call a season with no cups very early cup exits and a 7th place league finish, 'very good'. We need more ambition than this!
The fella needs to sort our away form out, disgraceful.
13 Posted 23/04/2017 at 12:04:58
14 Posted 23/04/2017 at 12:13:06
So my guess is there might be something in the mentality of the players that makes them more timid away from home. But I'm not sure why. We did have a spell not long ago when the reverse seemed to be true. Decent away form but they froze at Goodison Park.
15 Posted 23/04/2017 at 12:33:55
Our tactics were brutal and had a lot of deadwood in the team. Koeman has got us playing some good football and got rid of a lot of rubbish. Yesterday's match was awful but, in fairness, we haven't seen anything like that since Christmas.
16 Posted 23/04/2017 at 13:38:53
The lack of aggression was very apparent, the positive, fast, forward-looking football was as absent as was the ability to pass or control the ball, though it shouldn't come as a massive surprise as our away form is not entirely inspirational.
We looked like a team that was satisfied with the Best of the Rest tag. Some ambition, eh, boys?
17 Posted 23/04/2017 at 13:39:47
Jags was MotM, if we should even declare such a thing from that overall performance, and I thought Davies was unlucky to be hooked to be honest as he seemed to be the one most likely still not very likely to make something happen. Ross's first touch and control overall seemed erratic, and (perhaps related, though not sure which was cause and which was effect?) there was a lack of movement around him, especially Lukaku and Mirallas.
Lookman seemed to be too deep and too central when he came on; I'd have dropped Barkley back a little so he could get his head up, and pushed Lookman on to make space, as "even" Lookman wasn't finding space (credit to West Ham for their defensive posture); when he came on at Palace, Lookman changed the game imho by pulling them all over the place.
To break down a team like West Ham (a decent team with some good players who've had a rough season) when they're lined up like that, we need more quality overall and more energy to go with it. We didn't have either.
I hope we start looking at some of the U23s in these last games, as I don't think we're going to reach 6th anyway, so we may as well try a few out unless we get a great result against Chelsea (possible, but I wouldn't expect it, they've got so much quality).
The last four games won't be easy either way; Chelsea still need to wrap up the title (and have wobbled a bit just recently, until the FAC SF), Swansea looked good at home yesterday against (a lifeless sound familar?) Stoke, Watford at home should be 3 points, and then if Arsenal away might will be tricky, unless it's a dead rubber anyway; we're 14 points ahead of WBA and while we're approximately level with Man Utd and Arsenal, they each have 3 games in hand.
However, Arsenal have mixed run in, with Leicester (H), Spurs (A), Man Utd (H), Southampton (A) Stoke (A) Sunderland (H) and then Everton (H). We want them to win today so they get a little distracted by the FA Cup (the only thing they can win besides "winning" top four).
Man Utd have a much tougher run in, plus the Europa League (again the only thing they can win besides "winning" top four); they have Burnley (A) Man City (A) Swansea (H) Arsenal (A) Spurs (A) Southampton (A) and finishing with Palace (H). Imho, Man Utd are playing too well for us to catch unless they get distracted
In that context, I think we should hopefully wrap up the U23 title against the RS on May 8th, and meanwhile try a few of those young men out over the coming games to see whether they can possibly step up and to give them a taste of things in the top flight.
I expect/hope Koeman will be taking it one game at a time, hoping we can get a win against Chelsea, and seeing how other results unfold in the coming weeks .
18 Posted 23/04/2017 at 13:49:44
19 Posted 23/04/2017 at 13:52:21
If you compare the home and away records, it's like a different team:
Away: P7 W1 D4 L2 5-7 GD -2 Pts 7
Home: P8 W8 D0 L0 29-6 GD +23 Pts 24
20 Posted 23/04/2017 at 13:52:50
21 Posted 23/04/2017 at 14:00:09
Still a few games left for youngsters to get more experience but I hope Koeman and Walsh already started the summer transfer plans a long time ago.
Top class creative mid, top class CB, top class striker and a new RB should be top of the wish list.
22 Posted 23/04/2017 at 14:16:55
The match yesterday gave reason why Everton should not build a stadium like the one West Ham now have, the crowd are too far away from the playing action to make any real impact.
23 Posted 23/04/2017 at 14:20:21
24 Posted 23/04/2017 at 14:23:26
Could also be a mental thing of course, but you'd hope not given how much these fellas are paid and the fact that 6th is still within reach, however improbable it probably is.
A bit disappointed myself, like everyone else; 5th seemed attainable a few weeks ago, now 6th seems unattainable after yesterday.
25 Posted 23/04/2017 at 16:38:25
"Looking forward to the summer and next season if he ain't the man, he will be gone soon enough."
Ah, that must be a new rule, then. Good to know... coz it certainly weren't the case with the last two incumbents, who rather overstayed their heartfelt welcomes.
Hence the painful irony of logic like that applied by Gordon (#5) that our progress is impaired because of how bad it got before Martinez was ditched.
I'm not saying "Get Rid of Koeman" I'm just questioning the "he will be gone soon enough" statement. I think he gets to stay as long as he wants to see out his 'project'.
26 Posted 23/04/2017 at 16:46:47
Never seen or heard of Masuaku, but that kid can play. I guess he's been injured much of the season and stuck behind Cresswell at left-back, but he was their MotM in this one and a player we should consider IMO.
27 Posted 23/04/2017 at 17:59:04
As someone earlier said there is a massive difference in class between us and the top teams. We will need at least five players of the highest quality to have any chance of challenging next season.
Our away form has been dire, as highlighted yesterday, and none of our so called 'star' players seem to perform away from home especially against the top teams. It just makes you wonder if they are as good as we think. If we got the right players in, I don't think we would miss them.
A very important summer coming up.
28 Posted 23/04/2017 at 18:02:26
29 Posted 23/04/2017 at 18:37:07
30 Posted 23/04/2017 at 18:50:38
31 Posted 23/04/2017 at 20:30:22
32 Posted 23/04/2017 at 20:32:32
I assume by your last sentence you are of the opinion that the Board, in particular Moshiri, is prepared to give Koeman as much time as he (Koeman) thinks is reasonable to allow his project to succeed?
33 Posted 23/04/2017 at 21:16:13
The spirit and hopes for the future to begin with; the joy of seeing so much success at Goodison (sorry for the travelling fans), the youngsters, the points, a top goalscorer. Are we really discussing Koeman after his first season on the back of all of this?
So what about Guardiola at Man City? Mourhino at Man Utd? (Remember he used to ridicule the Europa League?)
And the other buffoon of a manager whose team imploded farcically after being talked up to league favourites level (and he's not even in his first season).
Do we change our manager every year until we miraculously win the League?
34 Posted 23/04/2017 at 21:51:38
Kenny Williams Galloway Garbutt
Deulofeu Schneiderlin Mahrez McGeady
Feel free to rip it to shreds, my fellow Blues... at least we wouldn't be fucking boring to watch anymore. We might even win the League Cup (finally).
35 Posted 23/04/2017 at 21:55:07
Not worried about the Blues performance as they are allowed a few poor games in a season.
Koeman hasn't done anything more than was expected of him in his first season at Goodison and of course we all expect him to do more next season.
Losing Bolasie wasn't as bad as losing Seamus but, if both are back fighting fit next season, then Everton could be a bigger force against the top four and even RS.
36 Posted 23/04/2017 at 22:02:24
37 Posted 23/04/2017 at 23:35:18
We are, effectively, 7th and West Brom are 8th; we are currently 14 points clear of the 'Baggies' and an amazing 'net' 26 goals ahead of them (plus 23 as against minus 3). Nowhere else in the League is there such a chasm between two clubs.
The figures do not lie; whatever anyone thinks, the numbers show that we are at the bottom of the 'elite' group.
It is West Brom, and not Everton, who are 'the best of the rest'.
38 Posted 23/04/2017 at 23:45:05
39 Posted 23/04/2017 at 23:54:25
It's likely that neither will kick a ball in anger before January 2018 by which time half the season will be gone. Hope they make it back earlier but current prognosis doesn't look great. Also, it's not guaranteed either player will be the same when they do come back.
40 Posted 24/04/2017 at 02:10:09
Now surly he's not on the bench just in case Lukaku get's injured. He is never going to replace Lukaku but against West Ham he might have linked up with Lukaku in the last 20 minutes or even 10 minutes, just something different. If not, he should have given another Under-23 player a chance.
41 Posted 24/04/2017 at 03:22:14
42 Posted 24/04/2017 at 05:53:34
“We (beat Liverpool) by not getting involved in things that wouldn't allow us to counter-attack against the opposition or expose the opposition's weaknesses. With our limited possession, we exposed Liverpool's weaknesses time and time again and ultimately that has brought us from 1-0 down to win it. I give the players a huge amount of credit for the way they defended and how they exposed the weaknesses of Liverpool defensively which, in the end, they couldn't cope with.â€
Philippe Coutinho put Liverpool ahead with a brilliant free-kick before Benteke levelled from Yohan Cabaye's cross and capitalised on yet another set-piece lapse from Klopp's team to head home an Andros Townsend corner. The Palace manager said both visiting goals had been prepared on the training ground.
Allardyce explained: “Liverpool at home play a superb attacking style which means both full-backs will go right up the pitch. It is very similar to Arsenal which means Matip and Lovren are very exposed and, because they are very exposed in that position, if you get the right runners in behind, then they are two big men that don't like turning and going back to goal. That is exactly where Yohan Cabaye came in today. The ball over Lovren's head to Cabaye left those two centre-backs dead and then you ask your players to deliver the quality you need in the Premier League and Cabaye's ball to Benteke was outstanding. “On the corners everyone knows Liverpool are pretty weak. They conceded six off corners which we told the lads about. It's now seven off that corner that has got us the winner.â€
43 Posted 24/04/2017 at 07:04:49
44 Posted 24/04/2017 at 07:44:22
45 Posted 24/04/2017 at 08:30:31
It would be fascinating... sorta like watching a car crash in slow motion.
Remember the AC/DC song "Highway to Hell"?
It might have been written about what our left side would look like with Galloway (untried at CB), Garbutt (failed at both Fulham and Wigan) and McGeady (no comment necessary) covering that half of the pitch.
46 Posted 24/04/2017 at 23:24:27
Big Sam should have said, "We beat Liverpool by watching two game films, their away game at Burnley, and the home game versus Everton. The first was to show us how to play and the second was to reinforce how not to play."
47 Posted 24/04/2017 at 23:29:49
Congratulations, you have actually put together a balanced team. It is equally as poor in the defense as it is in the midfield and forward positions.
52 Posted 26/04/2017 at 13:39:50
Also, 4-4-2 is dead. Name one top manager playing it.
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