From My Seat: Swansea City (H)

By Ken Buckley 20/11/2016  55 Comments  [Jump to last]
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A dull morning with rain in L4 as we muster in the room of nonsense and discuss that game at Chelsea and after much discussion we agreed on the best description we could give it was ‘They were far and away better than us on the day’ plus some scathing remarks regarding lack of fight.

Still this is another game and against a team with a new manager who hasn’t won in four previous games and his team second bottom of the league so surely three points would be nailed on and keep our place well up the table. Quickly this was countered with yes be we are Everton and we always find a way to disappoint on such occasions. It was also pointed out that after the long international break with many players away and arriving back with not much time for much game prep we are often substandard. I came in full of the joys now I was glad when the teams came in to distract me from doom and gloom.

The team was well received and many were calling in the bookies on the way up to bet on such scores as 3.4 or indeed 5-0 wins for the Blues. I have been around this block before so I walked on by. Goodison road was heaving and the queue at the Blue Dragon was long but today orderly along the footpath rather than across the road. In fact all the outlets were doing well with the Hat and Scarf stall back in position and attracting many visitors.

Into the ground in time for Z-Cars and it being a cold day many of us had our ‘Big coats ‘ on and with the Goodison seats being so narrow a row full of people were glad we did not have anyone slightly overweight as we already resembled the Michelin men.

The niceties over the game got underway and for a short time we looked lively and Barkley got on the ball and made space and fed in a forward ball to Lukaku who took it well and shot at goal but unfortunately didn’t catch it quite right and the keeper fell to his post and gathered.

Then the rot started to set in. Fair-play to Barkley he was looking to get on the ball by finding a bit of space and looking to set something up but it became noticeable that each time he got the ball, looked up and no movement which left him with two options. Play it forward anyway or go back to keep retention of the ball. Snag with that was when he chose to keep the ball and went back there were rumblings from the sell-out crowd which he didn’t deserve as well has not doing his confidence any good.

With passing back Swansea pushed on quickly and we saw things getting a bit panicky. Firstly Ashley Williams gave a corner away with an unforced error and from its partial clearance Baines deflected a shot for a second corner. Swansea picked up on this and pushed on more now and from one push we had the ‘Comic Cuts’ moment when Jags and Coleman collided the ball took on a life of its own and squirted out from between them.

One of my mates said’ Are they deaf or blind’ anyhow Baines got them out of a hole by claiming the ball and finding Bolasie who went this way and that like a man in need of a map but he eventually found Gana who dallied on the ball and lost it.

We then went into a stage where we seemed to have little knowhow and even less of a clue regarding what game plan we had received. Bolasie ran at pace twisting and turning without having much idea of what came next. We seemed to have more players standing still than finding space. Horribly it brought back memories of our debacle at the Bridge.

As a onetime target that we nearly signed Leroy Fer shot wildly over the bar I was just glad Swansea were not as clinical as Chelsea. Williams fouled a Swansea player and hurt himself giving away a kick in a dangerous position especially if you have someone like Sigurdsson and they did. The Stek made an outstanding save from the Icelanders kick.

The half wore on and the weather seemed to get colder as players variously either lost the ball or made poor passes and when it came to crossing or shooting ‘Oh dear’ Barkley was trying to knit things together but was lacking team- mates showing for the ball. He did manage to start the move that so nearly brought that so important first goal.

Leaving about four of their players for dead he moved the ball on to Bolasie who hit one at ferocious pace across goal right at Rom and from the centre of that unguarded goal the ball hit him and went over the bar. Whether Rom could have done better he alone will know but I thought it was hit far too hard at him. Great chance though.

Barkley was at it again just minutes later when he combined very well with Bolasie who had at that moment his real football head on and fed Barkley to feet whose turn took three or four defenders out of the game and just as ‘Goal’ was in our throats he mishit his shot and it merely scuttled wide. His actions showed no-one needed to tell him he had cats that up.

The half was winding down with us pressing more but sadly without much purpose. Things seemed too hurried too hit and miss even the odd corners we gained sailed into the keepers arms. ‘Swing it away from him a bit’ someone yelled - I agreed. Just when I thought we would get in all square at the break and Big Ron could get stuck into them Jags is at his party piece again. A tackle in the box felled a player and just to make sure Jags followed up. No argument a pen it was.

All I will say is Sigurdsson gave a master class in the art of penalty taking. Keeper the wrong way and the net almost off its fastenings We did create a chance just before the break when an exchange of passes at pace in the final third got in Bolasie one on one with the keeper he took the extra touch and the keeper was out narrowing the angle and the chance was gone. I only he had lifted his head and looked he would have seen Lennon had made up ground was open and just needed the square pass to tap home and one all would have done the world of good for fans and players. So half time it was with the players trooping off to a chorus of boos from some quarters.

H/T 0-1

The chat at H/T was not complimentary with some saying it was like watching the last manager’s efforts I just said I thought it was a bit early to be making those remarks. Disappointment weighs heavy on Evertonians. Yet with more poise and confidence we could have been three goals to the good and a whole different conversation.

S

econd half and from the off you could see the same patterns and mistakes but at greater pace. Some of that pace was shown by Lukaku who forced a corner which again came to nought. Scrappy midfield play was stunting the game now and no doubt Gareth Barry is a big miss. Finding a player like him who can create whilst being a shield for the back four will be no easy task. I reckon anyone as good as Barry but younger would be looking for Champions league football and cost a container full of readies. Crosses were off the mark, Shots either hurried and /or blocked.

The travelling Swans fans sang out that our ground is a library and they were right except for the fact that of all my years of following the Blues the crowd always needs the players to produce stuff that gets them going and when they do they would blow a library’s roof off. Perhaps that might be relayed to the players and if they gave us play to roar on then a rocking Goodison could rack up the points.

If I describe all the happenings of the second half it would send you to sleep or bore the pants off you as it was same old same old. We put some good stuff together and fail in the final third, we take corners that are catching practice for the keeper and from good spells of play we always look a touch vulnerable to a quick counter. Yes we are more up for it second half and operating at a better pace but it seems from my seat that we just lack that bit of class and guile to hurt a packed defence. Ross was better today but he wasn’t helped by other players dragging their players about and a mid-fielder who gets beyond our striker. We attack it’s broken up and they break at pace Baines fouls and a superb free kick is delivered into our box and the strike was close-very close.

The manager tried change on the hour mark with Deulofeu replacing Lennon who had not really shone this action was repeated some 6mins later when Mirallas replaced McCarthy…..This move did get us going with more intent and the crowd did start to get more interested but although we had the most of the attacking we were met by a determined defence willing to put bodies on the line to get the first win for their new manager which was working as there American manager was getting more vocal and animated as each of our attacks was thwarted.

Bolasie demonstrated his inconsistency with some very good dribbles leading to attacks to some atrocious crosses that put the Winslow in more danger than their goal. Deulofeu on the other hand was all blistering pace but from when he first came to us he would quickly get to the by-line and whip a dangerous low cross in but now he holds on to the ball getting to the by-line checking back then trying a dribble along the by-line and losing the ball to either a smart clearance or a corner and at no time threatening the goal. Hell it can get frustrating for the voyeur. Changes made and nothing to show for an improved performance as the Swansea lads would not give an inch as those three points were paramount to them.

Seven mins to go and we may as well lose 2-0 as 1-0 as Valencia was sent on to replace Jags. ‘Gung Ho’ was the cry but it was Swansea who tried to breach our weakened back line and Sigurdsson was put in one on one but the Stek spread himself and averted ignominy. Then on 89mins with not much hope left along with quite a lot of fans who had seen enough Bolasie goes on one of twisting turning dribbling sprees and his wild movement was akin to a Jackie Jumper but he did get a high loop on his cross and a Swansea defender was first to it but headed it back up in the air and not too far out and there was the captain of Ireland to rise and loop one into the top corner of the goal and just out of reach of a very tall goalkeeper and into the net.

Now all thoughts of libraries was forgotten as the real Goodison roar was in town. 4mins extra went up and the roar was unabated but alas that winning goal was not forthcoming. On the whistle many of those who roared the lads on now booed them off. I was pleased it was but half hearted.

MotM — Barkley for me.

It’s strange watching Everton at the moment and I think it stems from a change of manager and a few decent results early doors giving fans a hope that may just not be there at the moment.

I don’t think the players we have are particularly poor players but watching them game in game out you realise there is something missing and we have many a chat about this in the room of nonsense. My take is that Koeman knows what he wants in the methods to be used for our play but at the moment some of the players he has just not up to it at the moment and that is a reason I believe that we don’t play as a team with some players not fully understanding their own role and that of others hence the slowness of play in build-up and final third. A great example was watching Chelsea attack from back to front and then watch our efforts although painful.

Should Koeman change his methods to suit the players at his disposal or stick with his philosophy knowing it can’t come to fruition until a couple more transfer windows? I certainly don’t know but all I can do is wish the manager and the procurement team the best of luck in getting in the players the manager believes can make his way work. That is also the time that Big Ron can be judged through fans eyes until then keep the faith and hope he can at least keep us in the frame.

It’s coming to that part of the season when I first take note of league tables and epically the one in the first or second week of Dec. Whatever position we are in then I believe we will finish between two places higher or lower. Most unscientific I know but it has often worked.

Southampton next and that is a tough place for us to go plus the added spice of ex Managers. We have got a week to prepare so lets hope lessons are learned and plans and tactics understood and give it a right go.

See you soon
UP THE BLUES


Reader Comments (55)

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Jay Harris
1 Posted 21/11/2016 at 04:43:10
A very enjoyable report, Ken, which I totally agree with but the Room of Nonsense is about to become the Forum of Nonsense with some children already throwing their toys out of the pram and demanding Koeman be fired.

Good job they weren't around for Kendall Mk 1 or we would never have won the European Cup-Winners Cup, a few league titles, and a number of visits to Wembley.

David Barks
2 Posted 21/11/2016 at 04:49:21
Jay,

Who are these children filling the forum calling for Koeman to be fired?

Many of us are criticizing him, for the long run of poor results, for the poor football, for the persistence with two defensive midfielders and single isolated striker, even when at home against the team at the bottom of the league.

Many of us are saying it's ridiculous to say you can only judge after two bloody years. And many of us are saying that it's garbage to say that he needs to be able to clear out the team and have another 3 transfer windows before we can judge him.

However, I have yet to see this cry of Koeman out on this site, but I do see plenty of people like you claiming that this is happening, and that's been going on for weeks now.

Christopher Dover
3 Posted 21/11/2016 at 05:57:19
Great report as usual. Your comment that the players do not fully understand their roles is interesting as many said under our previous manager that he wanted to play a fast passing game holding onto the ball but the players were not skilled enough.

This then begs the question as to what system the present personnel can master? It is still frustrating watching Everton as they always start slow and do not respond until a goal down.

I have hope that Koeman will sort it but as time and games move on the one thing obvious to me is the outcome will mean that most of the present team players will be moved on over the next year to be replaced with players who can implement the manager's style of play.

We must keep the faith and hope and believe it will come good, but not as quick as we all hoped.

Dick Fearon
5 Posted 21/11/2016 at 08:11:12
Ken not hearing from you and Paul Traill in such a while left a hole in my favourite reports. Along with those of Michael and Lyndon, your reports are must appreciated in this part of the antipodes. By the way, where are you, Paul?

Ken, may I offer this topic to be tossed around in your Room of Nonsense:

I think we the fans are partly to blame for our current mediocre situation and does our glorious history encourage a willingness on our part to forgive second-rate performances? In that, I include board and staff as well as players.

In this brave new world, is it time to discard our dreams of long-gone days or heaven forbid are they all we have to cling to.

Many years ago, my first TW post was met with howls of complaint and abuse. The cause of that anger was a few words of praise for our near neighbours. "Never ever mention that shower of shite" was the general response. Even now in many cases the same mindset uncritically swallows whatever the club serves up.

This season, we have seen a bunch over paid actors on both sides of the touchline try yet fail to explain why they are absolute crap. It is time to take the blinkers off and take stock of what is wrong with our set-up and – dare I say – sneak a peek at our neighbours.

Whatever Klippetty Klopp does at Melwood must be vastly different to Koeman at Finch Farm... and maybe we can learn something.

Ian Jones
6 Posted 21/11/2016 at 09:09:48
I don't get to many games but was there on Saturday in the Park End.

Ken, it would be interesting to know where your seat is because your report would have echoed mine.

Even before I read the report, I was anticipating to say that there is lack of movement from everyone in the team. I would usually pick on Lukaku but on Saturday it felt most of the players were just standing around.

I felt sorry for Ross. As Ken suggests, when he got the ball, turned, looked up to see what he could do with the ball, his best option was often backwards.

Re finding a player like Barry who can create as well as defend leads me to Gibson. In my opinion he is a decent midfielder, can certainly pick out a pass and generally a team-mate. If only he could stay fit. However, if no one is prepared to run or try to create space for themselves, even Pirlo in his pomp would be limited in this Everton team.

Which brings me round to changing the team. For all his goals, I still don't believe Romelu offers enough. For me, he doesn't offer the mobility up front that we need. It may be the system we play but we have had 2 different managers using Romelu and we either don't play to his strengths or he chooses not to play in the way he is asked to.

Sounds a bit unfair on Rom, but I would drop him for a few matches and see if the team can create things without him. Might encourage him to think about what he offers the team.

I don't agree with those who say that without his goals we would have been relegated last season or even this as we no-one else seems to score on a regular basis Statistically, then possibly... but I am a firm believer in finding a method of play which allows goals to be spread around the team. Is the focus too much on finding Romelu?

Having said that, I can't offer up a replacement!!!

Lastly re the atmosphere. Being so close to the Swansea fans, I too heard their references to the ground being a library and the shhssing(!). Funny stuff from them. But, as Ken indicates, it seems to be like this at Goodison. If the team are entertaining the fans, the fans certainly get behind the team and there is no better place to be than at Goodison when the ground is rocking. Just a shame that Everton fans generally have to wait to be entertained before getting truly vocal.

As mentioned earlier, I don't get to see many games at Goodison, so I hope I don't offend the supporters who go every week...

Phil Walling
7 Posted 21/11/2016 at 09:47:33
Jam tomorrow. Again.
Ken Buckley
8 Posted 21/11/2016 at 10:28:18
Phil@ 7...

He may need to buy the bread and butter before any jam.

Eddy Grundy
9 Posted 21/11/2016 at 10:46:05
Great report, Ken.

I agree with you regarding Barkley, he along with Idrissa were our best players but the majority of players need to look at themselves more closely.

Forward movement was generally poor, if Lukaku had seen the ball as much as Jags and Williams then I would have been a lot happier.

I thought after the hammering we received from Chelsea, the players would have been up for the game from the start but they didn't put much effort into it until after the half-time team talk. If these team talks are so good, why aren't they given it before the start of the game?

I have read a report by Unsworth stating that his team where at it from start to finish – when did that last happen for the first team?

I can't wait for the transfer window, off-load the players who aren't capable of 90 minutes and bring quality players in that can perform.

One more point: I think we should be giving our Under-23s a few games; they are full of confidence and it would be a nice reward for their efforts.

Phil Walling
10 Posted 21/11/2016 at 11:11:55
Eddy, I have a terrible feeling that Unsey will get moved on before any of his graduates get a regular game!
James Watts
11 Posted 21/11/2016 at 11:32:17
Eddy (9). The only time we'll see some of the U23s in the first XI is when we have loads of injuries, or Koeman is sacked and Unsy takes over again.

Koeman doesn't trust younger players, for whatever reason. So get used to seeing dross like McCarthy, Cleverley, Mirallas, Lennon et al until at least the January window, if not for the rest of the season.

Kevin Gillen
12 Posted 21/11/2016 at 11:34:06
I'm underwhelmed with the whole experience at the moment and am considering giving up my season tickets especially as the rearranged games against Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal are all very difficult for someone to attend coming from the edge of Grimsby.

There is a collective malaise at the moment and I do think you are right, Ken, that the players are not getting what the manager wants from them. In truth we should have won this game comfortably.

How we did not score from three gilt edged chances in the first half is a mystery and our set plays are consistently rubbish. Every time Baines took a corner it did not clear the first man (usually Fer) and every time Barkley took a corner, the keeper caught it. It is boring to watch.

We don't quicken up the game when we can and we aren't aggressive enough. Also senior players fail to perform and then get selected again and again.

My partner said to me though, of the two players who came in this week, did either of them look as if they were playing for the shirt? McCarthy and Lennon were anonymous in a dismal first half and they look unhappy on the pitch.

Clearly Koeman is not interested in blooding youngsters. Have we made any progress since Moyes's tenure?

Barry Pearce
13 Posted 21/11/2016 at 11:40:22
Great report as always, Ken.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said we don't seem to play as a team.

Replacing Barry will indeed be hard. I know he's slow and whatever, but he's the best we have in midfield.

Christopher Timmins
14 Posted 21/11/2016 at 11:49:04
Great report and you are right on the manager issue as well.
Derek Thomas
15 Posted 21/11/2016 at 11:49:23
Excellent as usual Ken, especially Re movement; Back when 4Gs meant a years wages and not what you get the team news over, we had a Coach who used to say ' keep it simple lads, it's the 4Gs – Get it, Give it and Go, then Get it again'.

The trouble is we don't have a proper midfield system – or Midfield players any more.

We have Gana and Barry – but do we really need two?

We have McCarthy and Cleverley – but do we really need (these) two?

We have Gibson and Besic – one genuine long-term sick note and one potential sick note in waiting.

We have Barkley, who has all the instinctive skill of a Bowles, Marsh, etc but, up to now, none of the 'good devilment' that made them stand out.

We have Buck-she wingers, who have ended up being neither effective wingers nor midfielders.

So what is a Midfielder? Well, he's a jack of many trades and but not, in our case, master of most.

Box to box? Pretty essential. Tackling? He doesn't have to be Stuart Pierce or Chopper Harris, but has to put a leg in without doing his knee in. See and give a forward pass. Chip in with half-a-dozen League goals. Sheedy-like free kicks is a bonus. Be mentally switched on... Now how much of that apply to our lot?

There must be proper all round(ish) midfielders about... I know we're not going to get Kendall, Ball or Harvey. But we need some Proper footballers, playing in a proper midfield, to a proper system.

Jim Wilson
16 Posted 21/11/2016 at 11:50:20
I agree with Ian Jones about Lukaku. He can hit the net but there is absolutely no movement going on with him up front and his workrate is disgraceful with no closing down of opposition defenders.

We are stagnant up front with him in the team and he does not help Barkley at all. His attitude stinks and I can't wait for him to leave the club. Hopefully we can bring in someone who will get goals and work hard for the team. Rooney would be a great start.

Dick Fearon
17 Posted 21/11/2016 at 11:53:23
Barry (#13),

I agree with your bit about Barry but it doesn't say much for the rest if – at 35 and well past his peak – he is the best of our midfield.

Phil Walling
18 Posted 21/11/2016 at 12:08:13
I think we all hoped Koeman would be the real deal, sorting out the wheat from chaff and setting up a new playing system well before now as per Conte at Chelsea. Obviously not-so-talented players to work with but capable of being a little bit more effective than the worst aspects of Moyes and Martinez.

As it is, we can only look forward to the next window and hope relief is at hand. Just a pity that the table topping U23s are considered not up to it .

Jon Withey
19 Posted 21/11/2016 at 12:27:58
Thanks, Ken.

After the Chelsea result, I wasn't surprised we struggled here.

It seems increasingly clear that there are some players that he isn't going to get too much out of in the current squad.

Getting to Christmas and we don't seem to have gotten much from Cleverley, Gibson, Kone, Lennon, Deulofeu, or Valencia.

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 21/11/2016 at 12:53:34
As usual, Ken, you get to point out the teams good and (mostly) bad points. The lack of energy and movement, plus poor passing, has been there for the last two seasons and Koeman, up to now has been unable to get the players to even slightly change these poor habits, even though to most of us effort is the one thing that should be automatic.

I thought Barkley was a mixture of very good and poor, highlighted by the brilliant way he collected the ball from Bolasie's hard-hit pass and then meekly put it wide. He still goes missing and fails to put tackles in, and while agreeing that the piss-poor static play of his fellow forward play doesn't help him one bit, his own lack of movement is equally poor.

Mr Koeman has a lot of work on his hands to mould these players into a decent team. With time, he can do it... but a few of these players will be left behind and moved on.

Peter Mills
21 Posted 21/11/2016 at 16:14:32
Thanks for taking the time to report, Ken, it must be tough to motivate yourself to bother at times.
Jay Harris
22 Posted 21/11/2016 at 17:18:39
David, how can you say we've had a long run of poor results after only 12 games with the team lying joint 6th with Man Utd who have the "special one" and have spent over 𧶀m in the last 12 months.

If you look at the top 5 they have spent hundreds of millions on the squads they have.

Koeman said it would take time and our squad has also aged considerably in the last 2 years. Nobody is happy with current performances or results but FFS give the man some time to make the necessary changes.

We need to get behind the manager and the team and stop all this nonsense about him not being the right manager etc etc. Mostly perpetrated by posters who haven't got a clue about what's going on.

Paul Smith
23 Posted 21/11/2016 at 17:22:42
Thanks for taking time to write your report, Ken.

I get pissed off with being told I'm a child for wanting more from Koeman and historic links with Kendall, and the like, being used as a barometer of our current situation and to shut me down.

Just my opinion, of course, but too many of us live in the past, we've won nothing in years and, with every passing season, people come on here and tell us to be patient or shout us down for daring to want success now.

I won't be silenced: Koeman must do better... Everton must do better and I will be at St Mary's on Sunday demanding it!

David Barks
24 Posted 21/11/2016 at 17:37:07
Jay,

We have won only 1 out of the last 8 matches. I'll say that again, 1 win in 8, which includes losing to Norwich in the League Cupup, getting beat 5-0 by Chelsea, losing to Bournemouth and Burnley. If you don't think that is a long run of poor results, then I can't help you. We were just held at home by he team at the bottom of the table, where we needed a goal in the final minutes to rescue a point.

We're going into the busiest time of the season and we are not improving. We are going backward. I assume you were one of those that kept saying at the start of the season, "We're second in the table"... "We're third in the table"... "We're in the top four". Now it's "We're joint 6th" (we're not, we're 7th). So, as we continue to fail to win matches, and the games begin coming thick and fast, if we drop down to 10th, will you be telling all of us who apparently have no idea what's going on, "We're in the top 10, give him time"?

Danny Broderick
25 Posted 21/11/2016 at 18:52:57
If I was Koeman, I would have them practicing crosses all week. Our set pieces are a joke – we either hit the first man or the keeper with every one. In open play, the crosses are not much better.

Baines doesn't wrap his foot round the ball like he used to, while Coleman dinks them in, which makes them very hard to score from. As for Lennon, Deulofeu, Mirallas and Bolassie, their crosses are like their play in general. You never know what you are going to get.

Barkley and Lukaku can't play in the same team. They are both talented, but they have the same weaknesses – they are not sharp, and they have a lazy streak. They would both benefit from having a whippet to play off.

All of this leads to a lack of quality where it matters most – in the final third.

Dick Fearon
26 Posted 21/11/2016 at 19:55:19
Danny (#25),

A professional footballer who cannot cross a decent 40-yard free kick should be taken behind the stands and he himself given a damn good kicking.

Anthony Hughes
27 Posted 21/11/2016 at 20:45:58
Watching a crap Burnley side getting mullered by West Brom. How the fuck did they turn us over?
Ian McDowell
28 Posted 21/11/2016 at 20:50:31
Anthony, it's about attitude and application. West Brom have been at if from the off. We start games like a boxer just getting up from the canvas in Round 11.
Anthony Hughes
29 Posted 21/11/2016 at 20:53:38
Too true Ian. West Brom have surprisingly played some good, attacking football and look really up for it.
Mark Murphy
30 Posted 21/11/2016 at 20:55:30
I thought we looked much more threatening when Deulofeu came on and he should be told to cut out the crap, go at defenders and be given a run in the team.

He is one of the few I would like to see stay on for next season, the others being Gueye, Barkley, Coleman and errr, maybe Bolasie but I'm not sure yet...

Phil Walling
31 Posted 21/11/2016 at 21:47:04
You've always been a patient soul, Jay at 22, and, of course, Koeman should 'be given time' to impose his influence on his predecessor's team.

And you are right that logic dictates that with our still limited resources we can hardly expect to trouble the Sky Six. The next few weeks are likely to show how limited is our talent as the manager sets out his team to contain those above us.

However, what most of us mere mortals can't fathom is how this super-star player cum very average manager is going about his job. He inherited a veritable mess and seems intent on persevering with it. Roberto would have got dog's abuse for what Everton are currently dishing up but the new man 'must be given time'. Just like the last bloke, then.

Danny Broderick
32 Posted 21/11/2016 at 22:14:12
Dick (26),

Agreed!

Steavey Buckley
33 Posted 21/11/2016 at 22:41:02
Having a new manager has not really turned things around. Koeman promised a more intense pressing game, but Everton are still playing like last season as a disjointed team waiting for something of brilliance to turn up. A brilliant star shinning in the sky at Christmas time?
Ricardo Gimpardsle
34 Posted 21/11/2016 at 22:59:29
Phil Walling, you said "However, what most of us mere mortals can't fathom is how this super-star player cum very average manager is going about his job."

This very average manager who somehow got Southampton their highest league finish, after having seen the heart ripped out of the squad when Potchettino left. A team that played some great football under his management.

Huh, what do you know? Very little by the looks of it Phil!!

Gerard Carey
35 Posted 21/11/2016 at 23:05:26
Good report, Ken, but as others have said, don't I know how you can continually motivate yourself to write up reports on games. The fare on offer is very poor and as you say yourself, it's the same old same old!

With a tough set of games coming up before Christmas, on present form, we could be set to drop a few places.

Have we any players who can step up to the mark and take a game by the scruff of the neck? Doubtful I think. Oh for a Peter Reid or someone of that ilk, eh.

Dick Fearon
36 Posted 22/11/2016 at 00:31:21
Steavey B. Are you praying for a Messiah?

I thought we had a gut full of the last two.

Mick Davies
37 Posted 22/11/2016 at 00:43:35
The worries I have about Koeman are:

a) He persistently plays an ageing 'captain' even when everyone is feeling sorry for how his game has dropped; we want to remember him as a good player, but not one other Premier League manager would risk him in the back 4 this season, and playing him is only going to diminish the good memories.

b) The players all amble about the pitch, not moving away from markers when we attack, and nowhere near the opposition when they attack; our midfield and attackers may well have been coached by Anthony Gormley. There is NO movement at all, except from the player in possession, who finds he has no-one to pass to.

And c) Most managers/coaches assess their players in training, finding the best penalty takers, throw-in specialists and corner takers: if Koeman hasn't sussed out that Barkley is shite at taking corners, and we need to find a decent free kick taker, then I'm baffled as to what he does with them all week. 5 months on and they don't look any fitter or tactically better than last season, but he still picks up his obscene salary, while we all suffer.

Bill Gall
38 Posted 22/11/2016 at 01:56:37
Talking about managers wasn't Jurgen Klinsmann mentioned as a possible manager for Everton who has just been fired by the US Men's National team?
Jim Hardin
39 Posted 22/11/2016 at 03:40:13
Bill,

He was fired and it was long overdue. Although I still would have kept him on for the Director of US soccer development as he had some good ideas for the big picture for US soccer, but as a coach, he was tactically inept. Plus, five years is about the cycle for an international team manager as they tend to get stuck in a certain way and to ride the same players at the expense of new players coming in (sounds like Koeman a little).

Jay Harris
40 Posted 22/11/2016 at 05:00:40
Phil,

I have never been a patient soul especially in business and if you remember I was totally opposed to Martinez from the off and was pushing the case hard for him to be sacked just under 2 years ago.

However, football is different and here is where I see the difference: Martinez inherited the 3rd best defence in the country, a number of maturing young players, bombproof team spirit and had more to spend in one season than Moyes had in 10 years.

For me, he was totally out of his depth at this level as his pedigree had indicated.

Koeman by comparison has a pretty good pedigree especially in the Premier League but has inherited a pile of mush. An aging squad with fragile confidence, shattered team spirit and the best players now too old while other clubs have strengthened in the last 2 years.

He has only managed 12 league games and while recent results have not been great they are far from disastrous and the season can still be rescued.

I think it is fickle and far too premature to start questioning the manager at this point as we do not know his plans for the longer term which may well involve a totally different set of players which is why maybe some players cant be arsed right now.

NO ONE CAN NOR SHOULD BUILD ON SAND and short term supporter overreaction to a frustrating run of games may well ruin the long term.

Ken Buckley
41 Posted 22/11/2016 at 08:58:15
Gerard @35

I agree we could do with a Kay or Ball or Reid. But to really shake things up at the moment I would love a Tommy Gravesen in his pomp marauding around the pitch with enthusiasm that rubs off on the rest.

Phil Walling
42 Posted 22/11/2016 at 09:23:02
I respect your view, Jay, and sincerely hope it's you that's right! But I can't help but say I am disappointed with Koeman's start, both regarding his public utterings which required the owner to bail him out and the absence of any discernible tactics or style in the team's play. Some attention to set plays would be a start.

I based my 'very average manager' comment on his entire career in the job rather than his short time at Southampton. 'Mercurial' is the kindest thing I've read about it!

Andy Meighan
43 Posted 22/11/2016 at 15:29:51
So Jay (#40) – you wouldn't say the Chelsea result was disastrous? It certainly didn't make good viewing. did it? It could've been a lot more than 5, that's for sure.

Or you wouldn't say needing a last-minute equaliser at home to the 2nd worst side in the league at start of play was disastrous? Well I certainly would... and they're our two most recent results.

I've been watching football long enough to know how quickly it can turn around. But can you honestly see us winning another game quickly... because I can't. The way that team is set up, I can see a couple more results like the Chelsea one coming.

Dave Williams
44 Posted 22/11/2016 at 17:25:34
The thing that really bugs me is that we keep failing on the basics. Solid defence, mark opposing players properly, energy, work rate, team spirit, ball control and accurate passing – none of this is rocket science and is surely a basic requirement of a professional footballer.

It shouldn't need a great manager to impose these qualities on his team but we are lacking in all of them.

Our wide players are not midfielders in the way that Steven and Sheedy were but neither are they performing to a decent standard as wingers. This is where we really fall down as a team – Bolasie is okay but to me we are playing with 10 men as the other wide player whoever he is does not contribute.

Energy is required to play Ron's style and the player best suited to provide this along with Gana is Tom Davies.

I can't see us having the cash to completely revamp the team so for heavens sake give a couple of the younger players a chance rather than buy a load of ordinary foreigners who won't care about the club.

Phil Walling
45 Posted 22/11/2016 at 18:00:54
Hear, hear, Dave!
Jay Harris
46 Posted 22/11/2016 at 18:35:25
Andy,

I agree with you about the Chelsea game and about Swansea but to lay it at a manager who has been here just a few months is premature IMO. We have had tonkings before under Moyes and Multiple times under Martinez.

The league is a marathon not a sprint and although we can fault the manger on certain issues we have to give him time to get it right.

He was not around to witness the dross we suffered under Martinez and I'm sure he didn't realize how bad we had become as a club but there is no instant fix. I always saw this season as an experimental one but one where we would nevertheless improve on Martinez.

We have 3 tough games coming up so the team and manager need our support, difficult though that may be following the last 2 seasons.

Andy Meighan
47 Posted 22/11/2016 at 19:16:27
Jay. A lad in work touched on a good point today. He asked if I thought Koeman has said to half the squad: "Look you're not good enough and as soon as I can, I'm shipping yous out." And maybe just maybe they've thought "Fuck you. Why should I pull my tripe out for this club when you're getting shot of me?"

Now this may or may not be the case but it certainly makes you think because performances have dipped the last few games What does anyone else think of that? That's why I'm fearful of the next month and the games coming up.

Jay Harris
48 Posted 23/11/2016 at 15:37:11
I think there's probably an element of truth in that, Andy – although I think he might have made it a general message like "this is the standard of performance we expect and if you're not up to it I will have to get players in that are".

However, I think the main problem is the transition from cavalier football to disciplined football which is 180 degrees from what Martinez had them doing.

Peter Roberts
49 Posted 23/11/2016 at 15:59:48
If a manager tells half the team that he is planning on getting rid of them two months before the transfer window allows him to do so, then I would sack him for sheer stupidity.

Quite simply, the fella doesn't inspire the players. He doesn't want to be here really – he's in it for the money. Nothing he has done has made me think otherwise.

Ste Lewis
50 Posted 23/11/2016 at 16:36:14
"This is the standard of performance we expect and if you're not up to it, I will have to get players in that are." This is exactly what needs to be said to this lot, they've downed tools before and it's not acceptable.

At least Koeman has the balls to follow this through – good riddance to the lot of them. Peter, if the players are not inspired by Koeman, a hard-working disciplinarian – who was a better player than any them will ever be – then another reason to wave goodbye.

Paul Tran
51 Posted 23/11/2016 at 21:52:35
The big concern for me is that we started the season playing with energy and pressing well, creating space for players. We've now reverted back to poor passing and movement, hoofball and poor concentration.

Is there something going on behind the scenes, are they being over-trained, is Koeman genuinely clueless, are the players just poor?

Uninspiring, dull and unsuccessful. Must improve.

Patrick Murphy
52 Posted 23/11/2016 at 22:19:00
Paul (#51),

It really is inexplicable how many poor performances we have witnessed in the last 30 months or so. It doesn't seem to matter which system we adopt or which different players are chosen, the net result is often the same, listless, lacking in the basic skills and what seems to me at any rate a lack of heart and courage.

It can't be solely down to the manager or his tactics, so it has to be something deeper. I suspect that during Moyes's tenure, due to the lack of financial wriggle room, most of the first team squad would, give or take a few of the inexperienced players, be on similar wages.

I get the feeling that Martinez opened the door for some of his new recruits to receive greater remuneration than some of the longer serving players and that has upset the natural balance of things – however, no player former or current has expressed anything other than harmony and good spirit within the camp, but that team spirit very rarely rears its head on a match-day.

It's a puzzle and one that has to be solved soon or we could end up in the same boat as Villa.

Terry Underwood
53 Posted 23/11/2016 at 22:28:43
Dave, Goodison a library, sadly very true. The phrase "sing when you're winning" springs to mind...


Patrick Murphy
54 Posted 23/11/2016 at 22:34:13
Terry (#53),

Another cheap shot at the Goodison faithful? I really tire of the recurring theme of how fans are supposed to behave, when it's the players who are living the life of film-stars and it's the fans who pay for that privilege, even if it's not quite as important to the club due to TV revenue.

I gave up alcohol for a few months in order to afford my season ticket and now the buggers on the park are driving me to drink.

Terry Underwood
55 Posted 24/11/2016 at 12:42:48
Patrick, I do understand your point, but, it is easy to make a noise when the team is playing well. When the team is losing and not playing well is when the support is most needed.

They are not trying to play badly. Yes, it is frustrating, and I have found myself with head in hands, screaming FFS – and that's just watching TV. Sadly I am reduced, by ill health to the role of armchair fan, but I was a season ticket holder during the reign of Gordon Lee, so believe me, I know all about how frustrating our blues can be.

But hey ho, we will continue to berate our team and we will continue to love them, in equal measure Let's hope they can give us all some thing to sing about.
COYMB

Shane Corcoran
56 Posted 24/11/2016 at 13:39:24
I haven't posted or read much on the Swansea game so apologies if this was brought up elsewhere.

Hinchcliffe mentioned in commentary, and I agreed, that for the last 10 minutes or so we seemed to have a "tactic" of playing as many forwards as possible with no particular game-plan. Players getting in each others' way etc.

Did anyone at the game agree with this?

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