Onana gets first World Cup start in Belgium defeat

27/11/2022 140comments  |  Jump to last
World Cup: Day 8

Amadou Onana was named in the starting line-up for a World Cup match for the first time as Groups E and F played their second round of games but the Everton man was on the wrong end of an upset with Belgium.

Onana played just over an hour and picked up a second booking that means he will miss the Red Devils' last group game as Roberto Martinez's men lost 2-0 to Morrocco.

Belgium could have booked their place in the next round with victory but fell behind when Thibault Courtois was caught out by a Abdelhamid Sabiri free-kick that flew past him at the near post.

And the North African side wrapped things up late on when Zakaria Aboukhlal swept home Hakim Ziyech's cutback ensuring that Belgium will likely need to beat Croatia on Thursday in order to progress to the knockout phase.  

Article continues below video content

Earlier in the day, Costa Rica had kept their hopes alive by beating Germany's conquerors, Japan, by a single goal and, later, Croatia hammered the plucky Canadian's 4-1 and the Spanish and German clash ended all square when Niclas Fullkrug's thumping finish cancelled out Alvaro Morata's opener. 

10:00 Japan 0 - 1 Costa Rica – ITV1 
13:00 Belgium 0 - 2 Morocco – BBC 1
16:00 Croatia 4 -1 Canada – BBC 1
19:00 Spain 1 -1 Germany – BBC 1


Reader Comments (140)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer ()

Terry Murray
1 Posted 27/11/2022 at 08:35:25
Klasse and Valencia seem to be doing well. How come they didn't do it for Everton?
Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 27/11/2022 at 09:07:09
That debate could go on all day Terry.

I know a lot may disagree, but I always thought Klaassen got a rough deal. Different players, but in a parallel comparison with Iwobi, we never really gave him time or a chance. At least with the latter, whether through choice or necessity, we did.

I always think he was a victim of "that" shopping window when Owner, Chairman, DoF and Manager were about as joined up as I would imagine a coalition of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

Like many Everton players, whether we've bought them or brought them up from Finch Farm, they walk into a disfunctional club and must wonder what they have signed up for.

They say shit rolls downhill. The players are the first in the firing line. The manager is usually the next to get it in the neck. Meanwhile, those allegedly setting the strategy (strategic review) and plans, remain constant and largely unchallenged by the passive masses.

I'm trying to focus on the World Cup, but the mention of Klaassen triggered me. He was never given time in my opinion. Done well at Ajax before us, done well at Werder Bremen after us, back at Ajax and now putting in a decent shift in the World Cup.

Robert Tressell
4 Posted 27/11/2022 at 09:24:34
Klaassen is a good one-touch footballer in a team that plays quick passing football with plenty of movement around the pitch.

I'm not surprised it didn't work out.

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 27/11/2022 at 10:07:12
That there ref looks a tad familiar, Japan v Costa Rica.

And the Number 8 for Costa Rica: Bryan Oviedo!

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 27/11/2022 at 10:52:12
Klaassen was never going to work out at Everton because the club with it's dark age approach of still playing with a "cross it to the big number 9" mentality never leaves us.

I'd really love to see Everton play a style of football that even Brighton have adopted, pass and move, play through the middle of the park every now and again, and try a different way of attacking rather than soley down the flank.

It got me thinking and I realised that probably in the last 25 years I've only seen Everton play through the middle in one or two spells when Moyes was here and we had Arteta and company, the only other time was under Martinez when we had Barkley.

As you say, given time maybe Klaassen would have been half decent.

Jeff Armstrong
7 Posted 27/11/2022 at 11:14:46
Jim, do you think it’s anything to do with the fact that when new managers and players arrive at the club the first thing they’re taught is the history of the club, Dixie Dean,Big Joe, Bob Latchford, Graeme Sharp,etc , the tradition of the big number nine, probably images all over the halls of Goodison and Finch Farm, and they then fall into the trap of the “DNA” of the club?

Just a thought.

Alan J Thompson
8 Posted 27/11/2022 at 11:36:01
Just watching Japan v Costa Rica and some very strange things going on. The Japanese got a free kick just outside the Costa Rican penalty area and the two Jap players spoke to each other with their hands over their mouths. Now, it might be me and most of the Costa Ricans speak fluent Japanese or there is no Japanese for, "I'll step over and you hit it for the top left hand corner". And then Costa Rica bring on two subs, one 18 years old and the other 19 and apparently neither of them have been loaned out yet, absolutely amazing!
Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 27/11/2022 at 11:39:19
Jeff, our history of number 9s is something we pride ourselves on. But it's the past. It's history and we sing about it most weeks. Proudly so.

Happy to be corrected, but I don't believe we had a big number 9 in 2017. Calvert-Lewin was still developing, so that style of play wasn't going to work for a player like Klaassen. Not his thing as he plays through the middle and the lines. Also, he's not a winger. There was little, if anything, to aim for other than a Rooney. Who's legs had gone.

Even now, we're playing with wide players who cut in from their opposite side (foot) to get the shot in, rather than hit the touchline and whip one in for the non-existent big number 9 of yesteryear.

Manchester City effectively won the league last season without a recognised striker. Now they have the best in the world. Liverpool has achieved success without a number 9 in recent years.

Make history, don't dwell on the past. It's a different game.

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 27/11/2022 at 11:58:13
Well, if somehow Germany manage to beat Spain tonight, that throws this Group wide open.

All 3 teams going into the last Group match on 3 points in that scenario.

Failing that, a point could do the Germans today. Beat Costa Rica and expect Spain to do a job on Japan.

The most interesting Group.

James Flynn
11 Posted 27/11/2022 at 12:02:13
Great win Costa Rica. Coming back after being demolished by Spain.

Be some group finish if Germany wins today.

Joe McMahon
12 Posted 27/11/2022 at 13:26:23
Belgium boring everyone to death with the slow sideways and back passes possession. That's madness with the talent in their squad. No to Roberto return from me.
Tony Everan
13 Posted 27/11/2022 at 13:36:51
Joe, Id like to see a bit more forward bursts from Onana, it’s all very laid back and conservative with him. Maybe it’s his instructions to hold his position, but when he surges with the ball from midfield he can open things up. We’ve got to encourage more of it at Everton.
Joe McMahon
14 Posted 27/11/2022 at 13:39:48
Fully agree Tony, he has the physique do this also.
Stephen Colby
15 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:10:27
How's this for a side of Evertonians (past and present) playing in the 2022 World Cup





Antonee Robinson



Davy Klaasen

Bryan Oviedo

Enner Valencia


Philip Bunting
16 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:12:42
Tony, watching Onana in this match is like cutting steak with a plastic knife. Absolute safety football, demands the ball then passes it 5 yards. Can he not turn and drive forward?
Robert Tressell
17 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:13:47
Very impressed with Ziyech taking the game to Belgium. Just the sort of player we could do with to feed a new centre forward. Onana is hit and miss but very clear he has talent.

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:21:39
Philip # 16, you could say the same thing about DeBruyne. Very safe, very slow, very boring. Eden Hazard too. No drive or urgency
James Hughes
19 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:23:37
I think this Belgium game is showing exactly why Ol'Bobby Brown Shoes should not be welcomed back to Goodison.
He has quality players at his disposal but he has no idea what to do with them.
Barry Rathbone
20 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:26:20
Regarding Klassen and his improvement in a "passing" outfit we tried that under Martinez and with a good team it worked but once injuries and decent replacements were required it didn't.

The knives come out at the first downturn here Frank is the latest in a long line getting the treatment. Our fan neurosis is unparalleled. People are still blaming Martinez now

Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:28:56
I can switch the Belgium game off now that Onana has been substituted, not that there was much to watch by him when he was on the field, he might have talent but he needs bags of energy to go with it, as Bill Gall said last week he’s very good at marking space!!
Nick Page
22 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:33:54
Quit get Martinez in. He gets us
Bill Gall
23 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:34:32
And Morocco score
Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:36:43
Good delivery and whip in, but front post defender and keeper?
Rob Halligan
25 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:42:49
Sad to hear about the death of another former Everton player, Mick Meagan. He was 88 years old and had been battling an illness for some time. Mick was before my time, but it’s always sad to hear of former players passing away. RIP Mick.
Jeff Armstrong
26 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:44:05
Danny 24, typical Martinez defending.

Its a wonder Mirallas is still not in this squad , he's only 35!

Nick Page
27 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:53:08
Calm down lads, it’s only injury time.

Boom 2-0

Pete Clarke
28 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:53:08
Hard to believe Belgium have actually stuck with Martinez because this squad have got absolute quality but Bobby sets them up to maintain possession. Pretty stupid decision to play Onana because he’s done absolutely nothing for the Blues so far this season.
KDB has gone AWOL for Belguim but having said all that these Moroccans can play football. Some very skillful and clever players in their team playing the kind of football we have been starved of at Goodison for many long years.
2 nil. Kenwright calling Bobby now.
Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:53:16
Rob (25), Rob you would have loved Mick Meagan as a player and a man, unassuming and very underrated, he played first as an inside forward, then left half and finally left back without a moan, great team player who put the team and club before himself every time even when moving to Huddersfield Town in part exchange for Ray Wilson.

Goodnight, GodBless Mick, Rest in Peace, a good footballer but most of all a fine gentleman.

Nick White
31 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:54:30
Slow boring football. Concede from a set piece after an earlier warning of the same type of free kick. No urgency to get back in it. Yep, typical Martinez football! What a manager!
Steve Brown
32 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:55:14
Martinez has managed to squander Belgium’s golden generation.

He is a really poor manager.

Andrew Merrick
33 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:55:31
Phenomenal roccys...
Tony Everan
34 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:56:11
Agreed James, Roberto isn’t the answer.
Nick Page
35 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:57:21
Martinez gets us. In that we play terrible sideways football, with no pace whatsoever. Kenwright dreams
Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:57:53
What a simple move and a fantastic finish.

Belgium are the new Holland. Great individuals, can't play as a team.

Martinez. No thank you for those who suggested taking him back.

Telling the team to calm down on 90 minutes as they pass across the back line?

Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:58:18
Wow, the upsets in this tournament just keep coming, one after the other. Anybody betting the longshots in these games is getting wealthy.
Jeff Armstrong
38 Posted 27/11/2022 at 14:59:26
Martinez was sacked by Everton for being a shit manager, how he got the Belgian job is a mystery, even Lukaku and Mirallas where seen sniggering about it as the news came through during an Everton game, he has completely messed up with a golden generation, Martinez is a joke.
James Hughes
39 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:01:04
Pete you beat me to it :)
2-0 to Morocco BPB is now on the phone to 'What a Manager' offering him discount at Clark''s shoes and a return to our incredible philosphy
Soren Moyer
40 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:02:30
What a manager!
Jim Bennings
41 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:03:00
Onana looks too laid back doesn't he?
He certainly can't head a ball, another 50 pence head.

Belgium are what they always are, a team full of individuals rather than team players and once again at another major tournament they are failing.

Christopher Timmins
42 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:06:50
Sad to see the decline of such a talented group.

Nick Page
43 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:09:13
Danny O’Neill
44 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:09:54
What are the odds on an unlikely German win against Spain?
Pat Kelly
45 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:13:40
Hope he's wearing his lucky brown shoes
Paul Birmingham
46 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:15:40
Great spirit by Morocco, and a great 2nd goal..

The Belgium Team, looked like they were feeling sorry for themselves, the whole match, and now they’re in last chance saloon.

The tournament is the most open, I can recall.

Looking forward to the Spain v Germany match, hopefully it will be a good game.

Clive Rogers
47 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:15:40
Kenwright is on the phone to Martinez asking him how much has he added to the £11M that Moshiri paid him to go and does he want to buy Everton with Kenwright remaining chairman.
Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:15:45
Pat as the proud owner of brown shoes I must admit that was not phenomenal
Des Farren
49 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:17:17
Some miserable comments on here about someone who left- what?- nearly 7 years ago!
Might even call them bitter.
Nick Page
50 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:24:30
Nee nah nee nah. The thought police are out again. Get back in yer box
Pete Clarke
51 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:27:26

I would go as far to say that Spain will get a backlash from Germany. When they know what they have to do, they generally get the job done and I don’t see tika taka working against them tonight even though I hope it does.

Bayern have smashed Barca the last few times they have met and I think the German mentality and game plan will win this.

Really interesting group this one with Costa Rica winning.

Pat Kelly
52 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:28:45
Kieran, it's brown trousers he needs now
Darren Hind
53 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:29:02
Glad I'm not putting any money on these matches...
Ian Bennett
54 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:33:00
An Everton style perfomance from Belgium.
Kieran Kinsella
55 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:55:37
So Japan pulled a league cup and rested five players versus Costa Rica.
Jim Bennings
56 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:57:42
I can't get the Martinez hate.

We have been absolutely horrendous since he left, and Martinez had a limited budget to spend compared to the following managers.

It doesn't mean I want him back as Everton manager, wouldn't be a good idea no.

But the football under him yielded goals and lots of them, even with the tippy tap shite in the second season of 2014/15, by Christmas time we had still scored 27 goals, compared that to this seasons 11.

We couldn't defend because we had Tim Howard in goal who was in rapid decline and John Stones pissing about too much.

Sean Kelly
57 Posted 27/11/2022 at 15:58:31
Bobby can go to West Ham to replace Davey but that sets up Kenwright to bring back the prodigal son…

Oh, for fuck's sake!

Rob Halligan
58 Posted 27/11/2022 at 16:02:17
Quickest goal of the tournament. Canada 1-0.
Mike Gaynes
59 Posted 27/11/2022 at 16:03:46
Brilliant goal. Imagine scoring the first-ever goal for your country in a WC.
Michael Kenrick
60 Posted 27/11/2022 at 16:04:19
Brilliant goal. Play forward at pace... what a concept!
Pat Kelly
61 Posted 27/11/2022 at 16:04:50
Robert Tressell
62 Posted 27/11/2022 at 16:17:06
I think those two teams were much more evenly balanced on paper than is being made out. Hakimi, Mazraoui, Amrabat, Aguerd, Ziyech and Ey-Nesri would all probably get in that Belgian side.

The Belgian centre-backs and Witsel are well past their best, Eden Hazard is a shadow of himself and Batshuayi is a not very good centre-forward.

Mind you, I couldn't understand why Martinez didn't play Doku, De Ketalaere and Trossard. They're crying out for more pace, movement and class up front.

As for Martinez, he gave me the very best football I've ever seen Everton play. However, unless he knows where to find a new Lukaku, Deulofeu and Barkley on the cheap, I'm not interested in having him back.

Jay Harris
63 Posted 27/11/2022 at 16:40:39

He also gave us the worst football I have ever seen at Everton.

He was determined to eliminate everything that Moyes had built up and made us a laughing stock defensively with his “We don’t practice corners and free kicks because you don’t score from them.”

Well, I think Morocco just demonstrated that you actually do.

We would definitely have been relegated if he had stayed. Maybe Kenwright wants him back so he can finish the job and he can buy the club on the cheap from Moshiri.

Paul Birmingham
64 Posted 27/11/2022 at 16:41:19
Class goals in the Canada v Croatia game, and some great football in this game and the tournament the last couple of days.

Inspiring the mind for when Everton get back to the Premier League. Here’s to hoping.

Every group, bar the French going through, is going to the wire.

Paul Birmingham
65 Posted 27/11/2022 at 16:47:22
Croatia worth an outside bet, great to watch, good football, but Canada have some outstanding individual players who could turn any game with their skills.
Robert Tressell
66 Posted 27/11/2022 at 16:55:53
Jay @63, I totally agree – Martinez had to be sacked and would have taken us down.

But seriously, worst football?

That's an extremely competitive accolade with Walker, Smith, Allardyce, Silva, Koeman, Benitez and even Royle, Ancelloti, Moyes and Lampard in with a shout too.

All have served up utter dross that sucks the very soul out of you.

Mike Gaynes
67 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:02:51
Wow. Messi to Miami next summer when his PSG contract runs out. The Beckham factor right there.

Leo's performance has been flagging a bit, but no worries, Miami's manager will coach him up to peak again.

Pip Neville.

Pete Clarke
68 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:08:59
We are not only seeing some team performances but also what a good coach can do. Saudi Arabia looked great, Morocco looked class, as did Poland and now Croatia.

I was one of those who said I wouldn’t watch it but here I am enjoying football without the pressure of wanting a certain team to win.

Canada were getting a bit overwhelmed because they lost their shape but they have some real fast and skillful players. Always in with a chance when you have pace and skill up front.

Colin Glassar
69 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:17:50
Why does one of the Canadian player have a tampax stuck up his nose?
Jeff Armstrong
70 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:21:38
Time of the month, Colin.
Mike Gaynes
71 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:33:03
Interesting quote from Paul Power re Martinez:

"There's this whole perception that scoring from set pieces is almost cheating. You know, like it's not part of the beautiful game. Roberto Martinez just didn't practice set pieces. He wanted to know everything about open play: synchronization between players, how to create space through intricate movements. But if you looked at a set piece, there was no interest. This still kind of plagues soccer, from top to bottom."

Jeff Armstrong
72 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:35:30
I don’t get that attitude, Mike, it's a dereliction of duty as a coach, especially the defending of set pieces, which Martinez did not work on either.
Tony Abrahams
73 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:36:28
The irony being that, when he was in charge of Wigan, they won the cup with a headed goal scored direct from a corner in the final.
Jeff Armstrong
74 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:41:22
Correct, Tony, on the day, it was the only way Wigan where going to beat Man City, and it happened.

Martinez should have taken that as a life lesson.

Ed Prytherch
75 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:42:23
You think "too short" Jordan Pickford will send a sympathy message to "can't stay awake" Thibaud Courtois?
Jeff Armstrong
76 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:50:08
Martin “Hindsight” Keown strikes again: he would’ve taken Modric off earlier in view of his yellow card… tosser!
Tony Abrahams
77 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:51:02
It doesn’t matter who is charge of Everton, because we rarely put a man on the front post when taking a corner.

Such a small detail, but something that can be absolutely priceless if it turns a poor corner into a goal.

Barry Rathbone
78 Posted 27/11/2022 at 17:53:06
Jim Bennings @56,

The Martinez hate goes back to him being the antithesis of Moyes. When he created a challenging team from loanees and 2 players Moyes didn't trust, it killed Moyes disciples as the holy writ of excuses was ripped up before their very eyes.

In fairness, they bided their time and when injuries came and money issues meant the squad couldn't be effectively replenished with results going south they piled in. Excuses were okay for Davey but no-one else.

Their finest hour came when they dismissed Martinez's first season as a fluke based on some bullshit about the effectiveness of the Moyes defence. It was as though the much-maligned Kone and Wigan ripping them apart at Goodison Park hadn't happened.

Not having the money to adequately replace the Moyes's contingent with equivalent or better was the real issue.

Peter Neilson
79 Posted 27/11/2022 at 18:05:34
Roberto’s philosophy on open play goals v set pieces. Still don’t understand why it has to be a case of one at the complete expense of the other.


Neil Tyrrell
80 Posted 27/11/2022 at 18:08:06
Was always a tough ask drawing Belgium and Croatia in the group but sad to see Canada limp out after doing so well in qualifying. At least we scored a goal this time.
Christy Ring
81 Posted 27/11/2022 at 18:34:41
Sad to hear of the sad passing of Everton and Ireland great Mick Meagan RIP
Geoff Lambert
82 Posted 27/11/2022 at 18:55:26
Barry #78 Totally agree.
Tony Hill
83 Posted 27/11/2022 at 18:57:57
Christy @81, indeed, RIP Mick. Part of my favourite Everton side and a somewhat underrated player.
Darren Hind
84 Posted 27/11/2022 at 19:01:47
Spain have been the best team by a mile so far for me.

So is this a good time to write off a German team with the name Muller within its ranks?... Na.

The bookies must think Christmas has come early this year, I'd have lost a fortune if I was betting on results so far.

Ed Prytherch
85 Posted 27/11/2022 at 19:07:07
Mick Meagan was in the team the first time that I went to Goodison. Tommy Ring also played. A great memory.
Tony Everan
86 Posted 27/11/2022 at 20:21:02
Fantastic finish that from Morata, he’s a natural, can we sign him up?
Michael Kenrick
87 Posted 27/11/2022 at 20:21:08
Oh dear, this might be the end for Der Germans!
Mark Murphy
88 Posted 27/11/2022 at 20:28:58
Some Welsh bloke just came on for Spain!
Jeff Armstrong
89 Posted 27/11/2022 at 20:43:20
Subs change games.
Robert Tressell
90 Posted 27/11/2022 at 20:44:13
Cracking finish by Fullkrug. He's not the most elegant but he can strike a ball and win headers.
Kieran Kinsella
91 Posted 27/11/2022 at 20:55:02
Couple of brilliant tackles by Germany towards the end
Rob Halligan
92 Posted 27/11/2022 at 20:57:57
Both games will go to form in the final matches in this group. Spain will beat Japan and Germany will beat Costa Rica. Germany to qualify in second place.
Derek Thomas
93 Posted 27/11/2022 at 21:06:53
Tony Hill @ 83; underated indeed, Mick himself said that He was slower than he looked - top bloke.
Derek Thomas
94 Posted 27/11/2022 at 21:13:13
Barry @ 78; 72pts! you missed out '72pts' mate. If you're going to tell ' The Official Martinez version of the Fairy Tale' get All the key facts in.
Joe McMahon
95 Posted 27/11/2022 at 21:48:45
Derek and Barry,

A double over Man Utd lso (probably as Moyes was their manager though). My favourite was the home match v Arsenal with Lukaku running riot.

Barry Rathbone
96 Posted 27/11/2022 at 22:05:12
Derek @94,

Being by far the highest points total in our Premier League existence, I didn't want to rub salt in the wound. The cult of "kill Martinez" tip right over the edge at the mere mention. The brass neck of Martinez re-awakening ambition – how very dare he!!!

Tom Bowers
97 Posted 27/11/2022 at 22:06:00
The usual upsets not unexpected as many smaller nations (in a footballing sense) have narrowed the gap with the top Euro Nations and South Americans.

Canada and USA have shown they can play a bit and cannot be taken lightly anymore.

However, it is on defense where the top teams excel and eventually there will be no surprises in the final four.

Belgium made some poor choices in their squad picking some over-the-hill players especially on defense and got away with it against Canada but not today.

John Raftery
98 Posted 27/11/2022 at 23:01:23
Sad to learn Mick Meagan has died. He played in the first game I saw at Goodison in October 1962. He was a solid defender in the days when full backs were on the pitch first and foremost to defend. I remember he took some flack from some fans in 63/64 season. He was replaced by the great Ray Wilson who arrived from Huddersfield in the summer of ‘64 in a part exchange deal.

There are not many left from the first team I watched v Aston Villa on 13th October 1962. Only John Morrissey, I think. Looking at the eleven which played that day it was comprised of strong characters like Vernon, Gabriel, Labone, Stevens, Morrissey and Bingham. Mick Meagan may have been one of the quiet, unassuming ones but he never lacked determination on the pitch.

Don Alexander
99 Posted 27/11/2022 at 23:04:55
Condolences to those close to Mick Meagan. He was left-back in the first match I ever saw at Goodison, aged 7.

For the ensuing thirty years I appreciated footballers who played forwards, with flair way beyond the norm, allied to an ability to regularly pass and shoot with accuracy, together with an ability to tackle fairly in a no-quarter-given fashion. I called it football.

Sadly so much of all that is now deemed unfashionable if not illegal. Nowadays we have to endure whole games where shots on target are regularly less than the fingers on one hand, where cards are issued after microscopic analysis of endless replays, where "possession" is dominant to flair, enterprise, imagination and heart. They call it soccer.

Barry McNally
100 Posted 27/11/2022 at 23:27:59
Nice to see Oviedo appear at another World Cup.
Danny O’Neill
101 Posted 28/11/2022 at 06:25:23
It's turning into a wide open competition.

I said that I could see Croatia coming good. Very talented team. And very consistently over the years since independence for a nation state with a population smaller than Scotland and about the same size as Wales. But they keep producing quality players and teams.

Germany could well end up doing a Germany. Beat Costa Rica and Spain beat Japan, they're through. It's what they do in tournaments. Then crank it up in the knockout phase. That said, they're still a shadow of their former selves of recent years.

Musiala, at 19 years old, is some player. To think he spent most of his childhood growing up in south West London and could have chosen to represent England. I think there was a shout for Nigeria and Poland too.

Danny O’Neill
102 Posted 28/11/2022 at 08:46:58
I too was pleased to see Oviedo representing his nation at the World Cup.

A shame he suffered that horrific injury as he could well have still been playing for the Blues and I think he might have been a good fit for Lampard's plans.

Hypothetical thought, Mykolenko on the left of a back 3 with Oviedo as the left-wingback.

That might have worked.

Gerry Quinn
103 Posted 28/11/2022 at 08:48:03
Darren Hind
104 Posted 28/11/2022 at 08:55:40
Roberto Martinez sacked himself.

After just failing to land the cigar in his first season. He rightly identified that we needed half a dozen players to take the next step... He then promptly fucked off to moonlight as a world cup pundit at the very time he needed to be here enticing them. I still remember his surprise when our none existent "recruitment department" hadn't managed to get him the players he wanted. Cheeky bastard.

After a season of adventure and flair, he realised he was in the cushiest job in football. A lucrative number where expectation had long since been managed by his predecessor. Creativity gave way to possession obsession. Everton were back playing football in their own half. Playing where we couldn't hurt the opposition.

He took the piss by regularly telling Evertonians that their eyes were deceiving them. That we had not been as shite as they thought.

Sin Miedo? Bollocks. Ironically it was his fear of losing the cushiest job in footy which eventually cost him it... A trend which has continued among Everton managers ever since.

Mike Kehoe
105 Posted 28/11/2022 at 09:46:39
Not sure there any hatred towards Martinez just a recognition that with arguably the best squad in the world he has failed spectacularly to deliver anything. All the theories about lack of investment at Everton are surely nulled by the abject return from Belgium's golden generation, many of whom are now in decline and will probably not get another chance.

If there is any hatred I would expect it be from the Belgian fans at their FA or equivalent for trusting their hopes and dreams to a man whose tactical naïveté and inflexibility was obvious for all to see.

I expect him back in the Goodson dugout by February.

Brian Harrison
106 Posted 28/11/2022 at 09:54:24
I hope there is nobody in a position of power of thinking of re-employing the charlatan that Martinez has proved to be.

His first season was a team built on Moyes's well-drilled defence and he was lucky that Lukaku and Chelsea were looking at other options away from West Brom to continue his learning curve.But, once he had to organise a team, he was clueless and we became obsessed with possession without any penetration.

As Darren says in his post, Martinez sacked himself. Who joins a new club as manager then does a deal to swan off to be a pundit on TV for the World Cup? But we shouldn't have been surprised – it was just Martinez promoting himself.

Steve Shave
107 Posted 28/11/2022 at 10:26:41
I agree in certain respects with your comments, Brian @106, I think Martinez did benefit from inheriting a well-drilled unit from Moyes. As others have mentioned above, I don't really get the hate towards either Moyes or Martinez (Koeman yes).

The legacy from Moyes was solid, dependable and professional, he overachieved for a sustained period of time, it wasn't enough for those who continue to expect it to be the 1980s but he did a great job in my opinion with limited tools at his disposal.

Roberto built on that defensive solidity and got us playing the best football some of us have seen from Everton, unweighed down by the expectations from the past it was a pleasant surprise to me to see how well we performed and how close we pushed the top 4 in that first season.

The wheels came off after that, his managerial frailties became exposed, I suspect Lukaku was a moody influence (pure conjecture on my part with no basis other than a hunch) and multiple other factors we'll never be aware of, led to his demise.

Bobby seems like a nice guy, I bear no ill-feeling towards him but he is also not the answer. Too much of a risk. In truth, I don't know what the answer is for us, if only we knew what the problem was... Don, any thoughts? ;)

Jerome Shields
108 Posted 28/11/2022 at 10:28:51
My first impression of Belgium was that, with Kompany gone, they were weak defensively. Martinez is just getting caught out.

Actually, I thought Onana was okay but was too inexperienced to play with De Bruyne, who did not have the options round him he normally has when playing in the Premier League.

James Hughes
109 Posted 28/11/2022 at 10:30:08
Some strange comments on here. I didn't hate Martinez but he had his chance and wasn't up to the task.

Just because you've spotted the Emperor hasn't got any clothes isn't hating it's just noticing that he wouldn't practise defending or scoring from set pieces. it's calling a spade a spade rather than an industrial or agricultural implement that is used by bipeds.

Dave Lynch
110 Posted 28/11/2022 at 11:04:52
Both Martinez and Moyes took us for dickheads.

Moyes with his dour inferiority complex, feeding Bill's ego and playing down our chances at every opportunity.

Martinez with his "phenomenal" bullshitting and clueless tactical nous.

Both I fear would come back in a heartbeat; both I fear would set us back decades as neither have progressed as managers.

Dave Richman
111 Posted 28/11/2022 at 11:14:55
I don't believe that anyone hates Martinez. Don't rate him? Fair enough? See him as a bulshitting charlatan? Fine with me, but "hate"? Nah.

He didn't do himself any favours either though I'm all for bigging up your players, but describing Tom Cleverley as the "most sensational midfielder of his generation" didn't help him a great deal. That was an example of the "phenomenal" bullshitting that Dave Lynch mentions in the previous post.

Barry Rathbone
112 Posted 28/11/2022 at 11:16:48
Darren @104,

"He rightly identified that we needed half a dozen players to take the next step... He then promptly fucked off to moonlight as a world cup pundit at the very time he needed to be here enticing them."

We've never got 6 of the requisite standard in one go at any time in our history even with Mosh on board and various DOFs it didn't happen. How on earth was Martinez expected to do so with 5 quid and a bag of crisps????

Not one of your better efforts, Darren.

Danny O’Neill
113 Posted 28/11/2022 at 11:18:23
Danny repetition health warning.

Moyes was what we needed when he took over and done a fine job to a degree. I have no issue defending that. But it got to a stage that a lot of the fan base got fed up of what was being served up and he couldn't break that glass ceiling. So I'm equally comfortable criticising his record.

Now, I will give him grace for the constraints under which he operated, but he couldn't do it at Manchester United. His demeanour and modus operandi is to play down expectation. Him and Bill Kenwright were a match made in heaven. Bottle it when the expectation and potential is almost there. There lies the issue regardless of manager, but Moyes didn't help himself.

Martinez. Didn't want him. A manager who had just been relegated; forget winning a trophy. Humble pie eaten fist season before the chickens came home to roost. No ill feeling or hatred. Just a no thankyou to any suggestion of a return.

Personally, and as an one the fence person with Lampard, within reason and unless this goes south very quickly, let's try and set a plan through for once instead of changing managers and backroom staff every 12 - 18 months on average.

Prediction time. Kompany to replace Martinez as Belgium manager. Vacancy open in Lancashire for Martinez.

Lancashire, not Merseyside, where we have resided since 1974.

James Hughes
114 Posted 28/11/2022 at 12:05:33
As I said previously, some strange comments on here.

Barry, if you can't see that identifying we need players and taking ownership of recruiting then I am not sure what to say to you.

Player 1: "Yes, I would like to sign for Everton but need to talk to the manager about the plans."

Bill Kenwright: "Well, we can set up a Skype meeting as he is in Brasil as a pundit."

Player 1: "Oh, so he's committed to the club then!"

Andrew Ellams
115 Posted 28/11/2022 at 12:07:52
Once saw a journo on TV claim the issue with Martinez is that he thinks he invented football by which he meant he felt the need to over complicate everything by coaching the actual ability to go out and play out of players which was all very evident the longer he was at Everton.
Len Hawkins
116 Posted 28/11/2022 at 12:39:22
Colin #69,

Women do strange things at that time of the month.

As for Moyes or Martinez, Kenwright must be nearing the vinegar strokes as two of his loves are walking towards the exit doors.

Our most successful manager came back twice – has he not learned a lesson from that?

Darren Hind
117 Posted 28/11/2022 at 13:14:39
Barry 112

In the summer of 2014 Martinez signed eight players in about six weeks.

Barry, Byrne, Besic, Lukaku, Galloway, Atsu, Eto and Hunt. A bit of a mixed bag. Some were freebies that he was clearly chancing his arm with, but I think it would be fair to say it was a productivity six weeks.

The reason he was able to sign these players is that he was focused. He turned up for work. He was at his desk and going about his Everton business.

I understand why people have an affection for RM, but he did go AWOL.

Signing players is a bit like buying a lottery ticket. No guarantee's you'll pick a winner, but you have to be in it to win it.

BTW; I was wrong about him covering the world cup. It was the African cup

Danny O’Neill
118 Posted 28/11/2022 at 13:21:30
Len, I'm am continuously told that I do strange things.

Mainly my obsession and believing in Everton at certain times of the month.

Steve Brown
119 Posted 28/11/2022 at 13:36:10
Good first season, poor second and third season:

2013-14 - 5th Place 72 points
2014-15 - 11th Place 47 points
2015-16 - 11th Place 47 points

Definitely one who would split the fan base again.

Darren Hind
120 Posted 28/11/2022 at 13:43:10
I often accused Carlo of being here for the easy money. The £12M salary was more than he had ever earned and, for the first time in his life, he was at a club where he wasn't expected to win anything.

I will always maintain he was a bad fit, but subsequent events have made me think he may have found life in the comfort zone wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

I wouldn't include him on the list of managers whose fear of losing his job, actually cost him his job. He could have still been here now earning that money. Nobody would have dared sack him... So what was with the Zombie stuff ?

Please Santa, send us a manager who wants to play in the opponent's half this Chrimbo!

Barry Rathbone
121 Posted 28/11/2022 at 14:13:55
Darren @117,

I did say signing 6 of the "requisite standard" the list you provide contains 1 - Barry (Rom was already here albeit on loan). The others were either not good enough, semi-retired or sicknotes.

The only criticism of Martinez I see as valid was he was too young for this job. His "phenomenal" comments were that of a man wanting to keep the Baines, Osman, Jags, Pienaar, Coleman, Howard cabal onside I doubt he would fall into that trap now.

The Moyes crew weren't dreadful but weren't winners and far too comfortable with that state of affairs. They needed replacing with at least equivalents with a fresher outlook. We didn't have the money to do it, it's as simple as that.

Clive Rogers
122 Posted 28/11/2022 at 15:19:53
The Belgians are rioting about their team’s performance.
Ray Robinson
123 Posted 28/11/2022 at 15:34:17
I don't think Martinez is hated as such – merely (justifiably) derided. I was warned before he came by an insider at Wigan that he was the most disorganised of people – and boy was that prophetic!

No attention to dead ball situations, pre-season games arranged at the last moment, and ridiculous (non-existent) game management. Good first season – well, yes but even that contained some abject football – the 0-0 at Cardiff for example with an opposition team clueless but the ball passed around at the back ad nauseam for no benefit whatsoever.

The football at times in the next two seasons was as boring as anything Ancelotti and Allardyce ever served up. But worst of all, he insulted mine and everyone else's intelligence with constant drivel about how everything was phenomenal when, it's quite obvious, we only rallied at season end when the players decided to ignore him and play their own game.

Worst manager I've seen at Everton in 61 years. Even if Belgium managed to win the World Cup, I wouldn't want him back.

Joe McMahon
124 Posted 28/11/2022 at 15:43:50
Darren@120 - Welcome back, and I fully agree with your post!
Clive Rogers
125 Posted 28/11/2022 at 15:48:47
Darren, you weren't wrong. Martinez was a studio analyst for ESPN for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and also the 2012 and 2016 Euros. He's never covered the Africa Nations Cup though.
Clive Rogers
126 Posted 28/11/2022 at 15:49:59
The Belgians are revolting.
Brendan McLaughlin
127 Posted 28/11/2022 at 16:00:34
I think Martinez realised his limitations as a club manager from both his Wigan and Everton experiences and consequently opted for the partial retirement option that is international football.

He was phenomenally lucky to be offered the role as manager of a highly talented Belgian team but even with such resources at his disposal unless something totally unexpected happens... he's looking predictably likely to come up short once more.

Brian Harrison
128 Posted 28/11/2022 at 16:01:27
Darren @120,

I have always disagreed with you over Carlo, and your idea he was just here for the easy money. He bought two players, James and Allan, the other two bought on his watch were Godfrey and Doucoure and, as has been written by both players, Ancelotti knew nothing of them till he arrived at Goodison.

Because of Covid, we didn't get to see James live, but he certainly improved the team when fit to play. I criticized Carlo saying we played to defensively but football is a results business, and he knew with the group of players he inherited that was the only way to get results.

You and I can argue about style and why he left but what you can't argue against is that, in the last 100 years, only two Everton managers have a better win % than Carlos 46.3 % win rate. That was Kendall mk1 with a 54.1 % win rate and Catterick who just pipped Carlo with a win rate of 46.5.

Steve Brown
129 Posted 28/11/2022 at 16:06:35
Roberto's win ratio was 29.1% at Wigan and we hired him after he got them relegated. After his one successful season, he was awarded a new 5-year contract.

We then had to pay out the remaining 3 years of his contract when he was sacked.

Pure Everton.

Steve Brown
130 Posted 28/11/2022 at 16:19:19
As for Carlo, he was meant to just be here for the money and an easy life. Over the hill, best days behind him and playing crap football.

Winning La Liga and the Champions League immediately after leaving us with an entertaining team makes that narrative look foolish.

Reality is he knew the squad limitations and the likely summer transfer budget, therefore when Real Madrid came calling he quit. From a professional perspective, he made the right decision.

That left Everton with a dilemma, as only a manager on the downward slope or a nutcase would take the job. So Moshiri hired a nutcase manager on the downward slope.

The rest is history.

Darren Hind
131 Posted 28/11/2022 at 17:12:45
Carlo came to work for £12M a year. He was working for a boss who placed absolutely no demands on him. He was able to bring a backroom team which included his son and another relative. If that is not the very definition of Easy Street, I don't know what is.

In return, he served up football of the lowest scientific order, his teams often cowering against inexperienced managers with worse squads.

I'm not sure who said he was finished. it certainly wasn't me (I'm older than he is and wasn't going there), but he seemed to go out of his way to confirm every other criticism leveled at him.

Yes, he is doing what he does well, working with top players, but while he was here he seemed to be hell-bent on confirming every single criticism leveled at him.

He did fail to build a team. He did fail to make us challengers, and he did play football every bit as ugly as his critics claimed it was... Oh, and he did leave a team in free fall... He was always a bad fit.

His only notable signing was a player in the dying embers of his career who was never going to be part of a future team build.

Carlo did okay for Carlo, but he was a disaster for Everton in terms of the amount he and his entourage cost, how he played the game when he was here, and the position he left us in went he left.

Barry Rathbone
132 Posted 28/11/2022 at 17:33:17
"“As players we weren’t accustomed to all the upheaval that followed Moshiri’s arrival. If the club had been a bit more patient, especially with Roberto Martinez, maybe we would’ve been more settled and solid.” Phil Jagielka

Oh dear!


Danny O’Neill
133 Posted 28/11/2022 at 17:58:49
Darren, I agree with a lot of what you say on these pages, but as with any discussion, I don't mind disagreeing with you on occasion.

I'll agree with your sentiment in the comments about easy street and no demands.

Delete / insert to just about every Everton manager for decades.

Demands, ambition and expectation has to come from the top. Managers should be held accountable, but so should those who hire them.

Tony Hill
134 Posted 28/11/2022 at 18:19:37
A club and team of soft arses living off sentimentality and delusion for the best part of 50 years. Carry on.
Gary Johnson
135 Posted 28/11/2022 at 19:59:22
With the exception of Benitez, there isn't a single manager we've had who wouldn't do a better job than the current manager is. I include Sammy Lee's mate, and the arrogant ginger Dutchman in that statement.

Sure, I'd prefer us to have a set of balls and go after a Gallardo, Pochettino or Simeone… but I'd take Bobby or (even) Moyes back right now too.

Darren Hind
136 Posted 28/11/2022 at 20:16:43
Danny @133,

I have no issue with anybody disagreeing with me, but you`re not. You may as well have just copied and pasted my last paragraph in post 104.

Danny O’Neill
137 Posted 28/11/2022 at 20:42:43
We agree on more than we disagree on, Darren.

One day, we'll meet for that drink. Argue and agree.

As my younger, more sensible brother always tells me, only Evertonians can disagree on the thing they all love and agree on.

Peter Gorman
138 Posted 29/11/2022 at 08:35:15
Oh dear, Barry, quoting a player on Martinez as some kind of 'gotcha'.

Care to hear another player's musings on how he completely fluffed the derbies?

"We were still trying to outplay and outpass teams at that point. We were going to Anfield and the manager [Roberto Martínez] was more concerned with us dominating possession rather than outfighting them that night."

We lost that particular match 4-0, a feat Martinez was to equal 2 years later, deploying the same lack of nous.

I know people bang on about his overuse of the word 'phenomenal' but he did once use it to describe Aiden McGeady, hence people thinking he was utterly full of bullshit.

Danny O’Neill
139 Posted 29/11/2022 at 09:23:39
Okay. I'm documented about being nervous about the appointment of Martinez in the first place. He ultimately wasn't up to the job of a club like Everton. I don't like claiming told you so, but I had that feeling from the start despite that first season.

But on the language thing, I'll defend him. He may have lived in the UK for a long time and his English is superior to most of our Catalan and Spanish other than being able to order a beer or paella. Regardless, English is not his native language. When I speak German, I grammatically sound like a 6 year old with my mistakes and bad choice of words.

I sometimes thing we don't give enough leeway to foreign players and managers, expecting them to speak fluent Scouse.

Peter Gorman
140 Posted 29/11/2022 at 17:50:06
Danny, you are one of nature's generous souls. But the Spanish for 'phenomenal' is. 'fenomenal'.

In both languages it means remarkable/great.

In no world we live in does it refer to Aiden McGeady.

Darren Hind
141 Posted 29/11/2022 at 21:39:22
I didnt see Barry's post as a gotcha to be honest, Peter. I thought it was a skillful bit of cherry picking on his behalf

I think if we put the negative quotes about Roberto up against the positive ones, Jagielka's "maybe" would be buried pretty deeply. I also think Barry knows this.

Fair play to him. He puts up a decent case for Roberto and, if I ever find myself facing a jury, I will be tracking Barry down to represent me.

Sam Hoare
142 Posted 29/11/2022 at 22:16:31
I didn't think Ancelloti was a good fit and I didn't like his football one bit.

But he's almost definitely the best manager we've had in the last decade and his results bear that out. Getting such a high win % with such an incredibly limited set of players is impressive in its own depressing way.

However, the best manager isn't always necessarily the best choice. Ultimately he did not move us forwards. Though I wonder what would have happened if Real Madrid had not come calling? I'm not sure he would have progressed us but who knows?

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

How to get rid of these ads and support TW

© ToffeeWeb