We all arrived ‘up for the cup’, all convinced this could be our year. We chatted and discussed the move - or not - to a dockside location. We have been promised much before so a bit of apprehension can be expected.
The teams came through showing three changes. Two enforced and one tactical that saw Holgate given a runout. No cause for alarm as Leicester had made more and their star men were absent. The walk up was completed in light rain and you could tell it would not be a full house as the queues at the Goodison road eateries had lesser than usual patrons. Ah, gone are the halcyon days of cup day meaning big rosette, wooden rattle and a box to stand on.
In the ground in time for Z-Cars and also the introduction of our only signing to date, a Mr Lookman from down London way.
At kick off there was a fair sized crowd in and ready to roar us on to the next round and that’s where it started to go wrong, not at first because we started well and had a very entertaining first half with Everton being the better side but having to be wary of fast Leicester breaks. In that first half we had Lukaku putting a shift in and early doors he got clear down the right and sent a daisy cutter across goal that Barkley just failed to connect with. That was a good chance with the keeper rooted. Valencia was looking speedy and linking with the marauding Baines and between them they gained a couple of corners as well as keeping Leicester on the back foot.
Plenty of attacking from us but without any end product or even a near end product as the ball went across the box with no one near enough to capitalise plus either a poor ball in or a misplaced pass and we had managed to silence our own crowd which had the large Leicester contingent goading us with that library stuff. This thing about moves going wrong from our own doing was epitomised by a quick counter attack which had the visitors' defence caught in no–man’s land. Valencia sped goal-wards with Lukaku in close attendance and free for a clear run on goal but, alas, the Ecuador striker put far too much pace on a simple pass and the keeper came and gathered. Groans and sighs were the order.
We were on top though and Holgate and Coleman were prominent but the standard of crosses from these two left a little to be desired. Big Ron had a right rant at Holgate after the defender appeared to bottle a tackle. Leicester attacked when they could and the lad Gray was showing pace and strength and it was no surprise when he used these qualities to break quickly after Coleman and Holgate had gone too far forward together. He closed in on goal but Joel came out, got his angles right and saved at the expense of a corner which was cleared.
The half wore on with attack and counter attack but no matter which team broke the moves always seemed to peter out or suffer from too many passes. We did get caught before the break when Leicester broke two on two and Williams did a fine job in slowing the move down and then Baines executed a fine tackle to see out the danger.
Just before the half time whistle Lukaku had the chance of the half when Valencia got a cross in that had Schmeichel stretching to palm the ball away but only managed to set up Lukaku at the far post for what looked like a regulation nod home but somehow after rising well he managed to put the ball well wide. 50-pence head came to mind. Eventually it was shown on the big screen and it looked no better on there.
Most were agreed we had much the better of that half and but for our inability to score it could have been game over.
The players returned for the second half and the manager had taken off Holgate and put on Deulofeu. I wondered if it was after the spat between manager and player in first half. Deulofeu had his first run and cross and presented Lukaku with what would have been a tap in but the liner had immediately signalled offside.
The half was following the pattern of the first with us in command but having to be mindful of some quick counters. A lad called Musa was on for an injured player and he looked big, strong and pacey and from a run forced us to concede a corner from which Morgan headed goal-wards and Joel was alert and gathered.
The hour mark was reached and the game took a massive change from that minute. First Deulofeu showed his dribbling skill and electric pace when he beat his marker and then powered along the bye line and delivered a hard low cross that gave Lukaku a tap in. The relief around Goodison could be felt. Here we go, we thought; we are on top they will have to come out so we may be able to add another couple on the break.
Ha! The very opposite happened. Leicester suddenly found two extra gears and went for it with pace and power and a big slice of determination. Within two minutes they were level when that man Musa races down the left put in a cross for Gray whose effort was parried onto the post by Robles but in a flash both Musa and Gray had followed up and forced the ball over the line before Robles could knock it away.
Within a further two minutes Mirallas had stung Schmeichel’s hands with a good shot and that man Musa had marauded down field swapped passes with Drinkwater and fired home for a wonderfully worked goal made easier by some woeful defending. From 1-0 and coasting to 2-1 down and looking sorry for themselves really tells the story of the game.
Many started to leave as Leicester all of a sudden seemed to have all big strong players operating at pace whilst we were trying hard but without being able to complete a move forward. Were Deulofeu had been the player he was when he first joined us he had now reverted to the frustrating over-playing man.
The game was played out and a few boos could be heard on the whistle. It was a big disappointment to us all and on the way out the talk was of the board getting in our transfer targets quickly.
Having sat through that it is obvious we need to get a few good players in because, for whatever reason, the players we have can’t give us what we need. I heard Koeman had more or less demanded the board act and get his targets in and don’t haggle over a few million quid. I think that’s how a lot of fans feel after all the money we hear about now in the club.
However I do wonder if our manager could not have been expected to get more out of the players he inherited. I understand he has a preferred way of playing but could he not have adjusted it a little to find a way with what he has got?
I am disappointed now but we have City on Sunday so I will look forward to better times.
See you at the fat van for breakfast.
UP THE BLUES
Reader Comments (57)
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1 Posted 08/01/2017 at 07:19:30
Have no expectations and you won't be disappointed. January is also a difficult window to bring players in.
2 Posted 08/01/2017 at 07:40:05
3 Posted 08/01/2017 at 09:14:14
I think Koeman is right to demand we get some players in quickly but think he should have a look at what he is achieving with the squad; not a lot I admit, but to expect an 18-year-old lad to do the bulk of the midfield defensive work was a lot to ask of Tom Davies.
Cleverley should have been used at some point of the game and Gareth taken off after we had scored, his legs have gone, he struggled throughout the match.
No team can have THREE players in the side who pull out of fifty fifty balls, Deulofeu, Barkley and Mirallas and to add insult to their performances they all gave silly petty fouls away enabling Leicester to waste time taking the resultant free kicks.
Like you, Ken, I'll be back next week for more, it will be a long job getting Everton to where we want to be but, with Mr Moshiri running things, we will eventually get there.
Thanks for your report; as usual, spot on.
4 Posted 08/01/2017 at 10:56:44
5 Posted 08/01/2017 at 11:37:11
I feel Koeman thinks he was offered a far bigger budget than the amounts now being talked about and he's making his point. We fans tend to talk about an extra £50 million as a bagatelle, a gentleman on Radio Merseyside when I was driving home said £50 million's not enough. What is? We could have billions and pair Ronaldo and Messi up front, but it's fantasy world.
I like one quote of Ken's in particular, "However, I do wonder if our manager could not have been expected to get more out of the players he inherited. I understand he has a preferred way of playing but could he not have adjusted it a little to find a way with what he has got?"
Exactly! The art of management in any field is to get the best out of your workforce, not just long for a dream team. If Koeman spends big and it works, well and good, as long as it doesn't incur excessive debt, but if it doesn't work under this manager, do we get a new one and give him too an unlimited pot?
Moshiri's funds are finite not infinite and we need a new ground and a new business plan which are very expensive. I just wonder what Koeman was promised and what he expects.
6 Posted 08/01/2017 at 11:50:05
Rightly or wrongly Ron has decided it is his way or nothing and has persisted in playing a pressing game unsuited to all but 2 or 3 of the squad rather than adapt the style to the players. I think this is wrong but he clearly wants to reshape the squad so it can play the way he wants and he doesn't look like he will compromise.
Looks to me like we are at an important point of his tenure and it reminds me a bit of HK2 and Joe Royle where the board refused to back them in the market so they quit. Rons anger yesterday appears directed at the haggling over the fee for Schneiderlin which I can understand. His buys so far have been iffy Gana is excellent, Bolasie unfortunately injured with the jury out, Williams strangely up and down and likewise Stek.
Ron appears to be blaming his underwhelming summer window on a lack of preparation so this one is crucial. Will the board back him to the extent he wants and if they do will he then establish a system of playing which is good to watch and shows some guts and abrasiveness to really stamp some authority over other teams and as much as anything go to Anfield without fear?
7 Posted 08/01/2017 at 12:03:50
Likewise by a few others, that I believe most open-minded Evertonians feel the same way about, with what's going on at the moment.
8 Posted 08/01/2017 at 12:17:29
In the minutes after we scored, the alarm bells were ringing with our team strung out all over the pitch showing a lack of organisation, application and concentration. While the players share some of the blame for that surely the manager cannot escape culpability.
It is his job and that of his coaching team to drill into the players some simple methods for maintaining focus in a game in which they have just taken the lead. We want to hear less from the manager bemoaning the inadequacy of players and see more action to remedy some of the weaknesses.
For the longer term, I am uneasy, we will spend many millions strengthening the squad but still under deliver with a manager who thus far seems to lack the motivational skills of his counterparts in the top six.
At the moment he can to an extent hide behind the lack of ability among his players but once the Board have spent serious money on new signings the pressure will be on Koeman to deliver significant improvement on the pitch. Winning two consecutive matches seems beyond him and the team at present.
9 Posted 08/01/2017 at 12:35:49
“You have good days, bad days, ups and downs. But Everton are still a stable, sensible club.
“They always were and I think that's important with so much at stake these days. If you make too many mistakes it can be disastrous – but they have maintained a good standard. It's still a great club, it's still one of the best. Whether they can marry that with being successful against the big money people I don't know.
Talking about his criteria for picking his teams, Gordon said,
“When I used to pick the team on Friday night, I'd go to bed and know exactly how nine of them would do.
“If I knew how nine players were going to do I'd know I'd have a good chance. If I only had seven I knew about, and four I wasn't sure about, I'd be struggling.
“I'd think ‘Would I like him to marry my daughter?' or ‘If I was in a rowing boat and it was leaking would he save me?
“You'd get an answer to your question. Players like Mickey Lyons … he would dive in and save you. But I look at some of them now and they have so much money, they can do what they want.”
10 Posted 08/01/2017 at 12:47:53
Deulofeu was back to his 'first season/best' form, with a move in the offing up goes the effort, most strange.
When The Stek first played he looked the almost the real deal, people marvelled at the bargain, then the form dipped... or was it the effort and level of application that dipped.
2 cases (more, much more, by the looks) of Not can't, but won't??
11 Posted 08/01/2017 at 12:53:40
I have a lot of time for Lee and what he says about having 9 players committed in any given match echoes something very similar said to me by Billy Bingham a long time ago: that if you had 8 or 9 players of decent talent who were prepared to play for each other then you had the makings of a trophy-winning side.
I suspect the numbers in the present set up don't quite reach that threshold.
12 Posted 08/01/2017 at 13:00:10
I think the incident you refer to was more a misjudgement on Holgate's part rather than pulling out of a 50/50.
Coleman was free to his right. As Holgate and the Leicester player came together it was probably 70/30 in his favour. He gambled on being able to dink it away and free Coleman rather than going full blooded into the tackle. Unfortunately he made the wrong choice and lost the tackle.
I think his general lack of effectiveness as an attacking option was more the reason he was replaced and it was a good call.
Replacing Barkley at 2-1 was much more difficult to comprehend given that the game was passing Barry by.
13 Posted 08/01/2017 at 13:07:28
Your palpable dismay at the performance or lack of mirrors that of a growing Blues army and Koeman expressed as much himself. What concerns me is his oft stated Incomprehension of why things are amiss. He is paid handsomely to deal with such matters.
Also of concern is his complete dependence upon the incoming of very expensive signings. If those signings are not forthcoming, what then?
14 Posted 08/01/2017 at 13:08:37
Thanks also to Patrick and the link to the Gordon Lee story. He makes some good observations about sending out teams knowing what you are going to get out of 'x' number of players and how that determines what you are likely to get out of the game.
As Tony @ 11 observed, "I suspect the numbers in the present set up don't quite reach that threshold."
Never nice to have all cup interest for the season done and dusted in January.
16 Posted 08/01/2017 at 13:09:54
Derek, That incident caused quite a stir around me. My take on it was that it was not quite 50-50, Holgate would have being going for a ball that wasn't his. I think he just didn't want to sell himself by diving in.
I didn't notice Koeman's reaction, but having a half-time drink, My lads mate said he wasn't happy and didn't think we would be seeing him in the second half.
17 Posted 08/01/2017 at 13:17:12
You get paid very well ,much more than the average punter. How about putting in a full shift, I know it must be hard running around for ninety minutes kicking a ball but...
You lot make politicians look honest.
18 Posted 08/01/2017 at 13:40:17
I'm looking forward to an almost total clearout and replacements that at least look like they give a fuck.
19 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:00:38
Holgate was sacrificed to prove his point about the U23s and will likely never be seen again as he gets Moshiri to 'do a Villa'by blowing a fortune on unknowns and other clubs' failures without realising the real problem is the managers he employs.
Trouble ahead, I fear, however much is spent in the window!
20 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:10:16
For some reason, as this season has been progressing, Koeman's style of management has reminded me of Roy Keane's management career. Keane at Sunderland often berated his players as not being good enough etc etc..., same at Ipswich. Maybe a level lower than what we expect at Everton but, at some stage, Koeman has to show he can manage.
Most of his players are internationals... time for Ron to start managing. Roy Keane was a great player but a poor manager; Ron was a great player, time will tell about the other!
21 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:10:37
"Holgate was sacrificed to prove his point about the U23s and will likely never be seen again."
Out of interest Phil, do you genuinely believe some of the things you post, or do you just write them to get a reaction?
23 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:12:54
24 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:14:05
Yes, we need new players – many new players – but I would expect Koeman to be getting a little more out of the squad he inherited, and be astute enough to tweak the style to do that. On the other hand, while we all tend to agree that we've looked pretty shite all season, we are still 7th... which ain't bad considering how much we've all slagged off the team?
Whatever our feelings, I think it's pretty clear (and correct) that Koeman is going to be given at least another year and two more transfer windows before the board start assessing where we are.
25 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:20:47
For Lukaku's goal, Osman was interrupted in his assessment of how important a new ground would be. For the equalizer, he was going on about Moyes and, for the winner, his worst loss, 4-0 across the park but it wasn't his fault as he only came on as sub.
Which brings me to my point. In your report, Ken, you refer to Deulofeu as "reverting to the frustrated over-playing man". It was mentioned on radio that Leicester brought on Fuchs to double mark as Chilwell(?) was getting a roasting off Geri. Was that the case?
26 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:24:26
27 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:37:16
28 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:51:11
He had no trouble outpacing his markers; it was what he did next that infuriated. When he kept it simple, we scored. When he didn't, we lost the chance.
29 Posted 08/01/2017 at 14:56:24
30 Posted 08/01/2017 at 15:04:34
"Jay, the proof of the pudding etc etc."
So, it is your categoric belief that as long as Koeman is at the club, Holgate will never again be selected for the 1st team and similarly, the current crop of U-23 players will also never pull on the royal blue jersey for the 1st team?
Thanks for clearing that up.
Let's revisit this at the end of the season and see if you are correct on the times the likes of Holgate, Davies and Calvert-Lewin (amongst others) are selected by Koeman.
31 Posted 08/01/2017 at 15:06:27
This lot are not a team but a bunch of individuals who don't seem to care very much at all.
32 Posted 08/01/2017 at 15:09:55
It is traditional to say WTF Osman.
There is something quite reassuring about Leon getting stick on a matchday thread even after he's retired.
33 Posted 08/01/2017 at 15:54:30
When rich clubs are at home to minnows, they shouldn't be covered live on TV en masse should they? Surely the reigning champions would expect to be covered? Anyhow, good luck to the Foxes and shame on the media for ignoring them, regardless of how good or bad their form has generally been this season.
34 Posted 08/01/2017 at 16:00:25
I don't know what goes on in some Blues heads, the lad I go the game with never could admit Ossie had a good game but then he wanted us to sign Kenwyn Jones some years back and now he's on about Wilfred Zaha.
I guess that's what we Blues do, he doesn't rate Besic either and I love the guy so we do well to stay out of the A & E most weeks.
35 Posted 08/01/2017 at 16:11:30
After every game on this forum, it's either "all duck" or "no dinner".
36 Posted 08/01/2017 at 16:13:38
I think the fact that Williams is pulling heavier caravans every time we see him, Funes Mori's decision-making and distribution is still lamentable, and Jags seems to have fallen off a cliff will ensure Holgate will play again.
I'm still wondering why he was substituted yesterday; Williams knows the counter attacks are coming, but seems unable to do anything about it. Funes Mori's feet are quick enough, but his brain is miles behind.
the heart of our defence is a dream for counter-attacking teams. How can we possibly play a pressing game when we are in deep shit the minute they leave a bit of grass behind them?
37 Posted 08/01/2017 at 18:24:31
The better team won fairly easily and had at least six players who would start for us every week. Holgate's performance made it no surprise at all that he was substituted at half-time, whether or not he bottled that tackle.
We've made a big mistake with Williams and Funes Mori isn't up to it. And it's hard to think of anything positive to date that can be put down to the fact that Koeman is our manager.
39 Posted 08/01/2017 at 18:37:36
Feels to me that too many of them are simply not as good as people maybe thought or think they are themselves.
It's been said a million times and will be said another million but a big clearout is needed over this and the summer windows.
40 Posted 08/01/2017 at 19:35:43
Koeman's job is to get the best out of the present squad, not constantly moan at the the quality of the players he inherited.
41 Posted 08/01/2017 at 19:42:27
Not St Luke's... The one at Sandringham.
42 Posted 08/01/2017 at 19:44:32
We need Kenwright and Elstone out of the club and hopefully replaced by hard nosed tough businessmen preferably hand-picked by the Russian guy who pulls Moshis puppet strings.
That then needs to be followed by recruiting some players who are winners and actually give a shit. Too many words for too many years and zero action.
43 Posted 08/01/2017 at 20:20:51
44 Posted 08/01/2017 at 20:38:20
A great impression of Moyes or worse with his dull and primitive football. He must go, and now is the ideal time to bring in a bright positive manager who has half a season to get this club moving in the right direction and ready for next season.
45 Posted 08/01/2017 at 20:51:58
I thought we'd reverted to 4 at the back before shipping the 2 goals.
46 Posted 08/01/2017 at 21:43:27
Howe would be my pick, but I don't think he's the high profile manager Moshiri would go for, neither would Unsy.
47 Posted 08/01/2017 at 22:30:27
Changing formations before games and during is a disastrous tactic, that is the point.
48 Posted 08/01/2017 at 22:41:57
49 Posted 08/01/2017 at 22:50:06
50 Posted 08/01/2017 at 22:50:18
51 Posted 08/01/2017 at 22:51:41
Peter, I've seen nothing since so guess Holgate being taken off might have been a precaution.
52 Posted 08/01/2017 at 23:13:09
53 Posted 08/01/2017 at 23:54:59
54 Posted 09/01/2017 at 00:08:29
55 Posted 09/01/2017 at 00:29:44
56 Posted 09/01/2017 at 01:17:25
57 Posted 09/01/2017 at 01:43:50
Premier League Manager of the Month: September 2014, January 2015, January 2016.
58 Posted 09/01/2017 at 04:45:42
Obviously punched above his weight off the pitch.
59 Posted 09/01/2017 at 05:40:23
Koeman inherited the lazee-boy attitude inspired by Martinez. As I've said previously, only wholesale change of players will get rid of the rotten attitude.
60 Posted 09/01/2017 at 12:11:57
The Board are rubbish & nothing nowadays changes my mind on this, with or without our new muscle especially along with Coronation Street Bill, get rid please how can you possibly tolerate this obvious charlatan as a business person???
COYB - please?
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