Barkley and Lukaku have the final word

By Michael Kenrick 15/04/2017  78 Comments  [Jump to last]
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Blues Captain Phil Jagielka scores for the thrid succesive game
EVERTON 3 - 1 BURNLEY

After a torrid first half, Jagielka forced the ball in from a corner only for Robles to give up a stupid penalty. But Barkley and then Lukaku made their own emphatic statements to seal Everton's record 8th consecutive Premier League home win.

Ashley Williams displaced Matthew Pennington, returning after his one-match suspension, the only change for Everton this afternoon.

Burnley got the game started and hoofed the ball up for Robles to collect, and aerial balls were the feature of a rather scrappy start, the second Burnley free-kick wrongly winning a corner off Mark Clattenburg, who blew up immediately for pushing...

Holgate laid the ball on a plate for Lukaku who just passed the ball to Heaton when a real shot might have brought more reward. At the other end, Boyd had a free shot but the whistle had gone.

Burnley dominated the early play, however, the home side unable to keep hold of the ball or make any forward impression, Jagielka putting Robles in trouble with a poor backpass. Barkley and Davies were double-marked and dispossessed as soon as they got the ball played to them, and the closing down by Burnley when they did lose the ball was clearly making the Blues players and crowd uncomfortable.

Finally, on 14 mins, the Blues got the ball forward and stated to play a little better, Gueye firing in low after Holgate's dangerous cross was repelled. But it came to nothing and Burnley won another soft free-kick that defected behind off the wall from a corner. King headed goalward and it was Ross Barkley with superb anticipation to clear the ball right off the line after it had beaten Robles.

A fabulous cross in from Lowton somehow evaded three Burnley attackers who could each have scored with ease, and another Burnley free-kick was taken short this time, Holgate this time winning relief with a Blues free-kick.

Davies was chased by Hendrick all the way back to Robles and then tried an ambitious cross-field ball to Baines that curled slightly off-course, underling the frustrating inability the Blues had of stringing any sort of joined-up football together.

Gueye powered in a cleared Everton free-kick but that to a counter and another wrongly awarded corner for Burnley that needed defending, before Lukaku was floored by Joey Barton. Mirallas tried to jink in down the left channel but lost the ball, but Holgate fired in another cross that was defended away, and Schneiderlin was spoken to for a foul, Everton still looking horribly ragged at times.

Gueye was carded for a high foot on Ward as the scrappy play continued but Mirallas did well to win a corner off Barton. It was payed short by Baines to Barkley who was blocked/fouled but no cal and the advantage was gone.

Yet another free-kick to Burnley, this time against Davies but Robles claimed the ball and got it forward but only for a second before Volks put Jagielka under immense pressure off an inventive ball from deep by Barton and won a corner off Robles. Volkes again got free somehow but failed to beat Robles, a real letoff this one, Everton looking well rattled and in desperate need of a goal.

It almost came with Holgate's bright shot but Heaton was down quickly with Davies lurking. The Blues tried to build again down the right but Holgate's cross was overhit; however, Baines picked out Lukaku from the left but it was just too high for the big man, who could only head over.

But an Everton corner and much better pressure led to another corner from the right, this time easy pickings for Tom Heaton. Baines, Barkley then Davies tried to penetrate the left channel, all to no avail. But a much nicer move looked to have set up Gueye only for a dreadful miskick that denied any shot on Heaton.

A Barkley free-kick wide right led to another much more centrally placed that Mirallas fired into the wall; it deflected off Boyd's head toward but just over the angle, with Heaton stranded. Barkley got two bites of the cherry from the corner but could not wrap his foot around it either time.

The half came to a close, one of intense frustration, Everton only getting to grips with a problematic Burnley side in the final stages, but with few clear-cut Blues chances to speak of. Incredibly, Everton edged possession 64% to 36%.

Enner Valencia replaced Idrissa Gueye for the start of the second half. Barton fouled Barkley, right of teh Burnley area, and Williams flicked on a clever kick form Baiens for a corner, played short but defended away from a packed Area. But Valencia conjoured a snapshot, forceing a good save from Heaton then Lukakau looked to dig one out. And from the corner, Jagielka forced it over the line finally... twice!

A brilliant tacctical switch by Koeman pays off immediately... But incredibly, Vokes almost scores before Robles stupidly tackles him and brings him down, leaving Clattenberg no option. Vokes fried in from the spot, a ridiculous sequence. 1-1.

Brady played in a super cross from the left that Vokes could not quite reach but it won a corner for Burnley as they responded better to the different dynamic of the second half.

Barkley and Mirallas got free but hesitated and Mirallas scuffs his shot horribly with the goal at his mercy. At the other end, Brady put Robles under further pressure as the game was a much more open affair in the bright sunshine.

Valencia moved nicely along the 18-yard line but his shot was blocked (never a penalty despite the yelps) as it hit Brady's hand. Valencia again tried to penetrate from the right but Burnley seemed to have wised up to his movement. But it was Mirallas who got two golden chance and spurned them both (off Mee, then the post) before Holgate played in Lukaku for a trademark header but he had ventured offside.

Everton were moving the ball better and there seemed to be a lot more space but Burnley kept the Blues strikers at distance, Mirallas drilling another attempt wide.The Blues, however, scented blood and drove with determination at the Burnley defence from all angles, still with no further success. Schneiderlin and Barton challenged hard for the same ball, the Frenchman coming off worst.

But Everton finally settled matters in decisive style, first Barkley and then Lukaku firing the Blues into a commanding lead in a matter of minutes.

Ross Barkley with a shot that deflected in off Mee and was judged to have been an own goal, but earning himself a yellow card in the process for "excessive celebration"! Then Romelu Lukaku turned superbly, rolling the defender and thundered a fantastic left-foot shot in at the near post from close range, and Everton were finally in control!

Burnley got a chance to pull one back, Barton fouled on the edge of the Everton area, but Barton could not beat the Everton wall. Barkley again needed to be in the right place to nod away another goalbound Burnley effort off the line as the Blues came under a loot of late pressure.

After a horrible week for Ross Barkley off the field,Ross Barkley made his own statement on it and he was given a great ovation by another sellout Goodison crowd as Ademola Lookman came on for the three minutes of added time.

Scorers: Jagielka (47'), Mee (og:71'), Lukaku (74'); Vokes (pen:51').

Everton: Robles, Holgate, Jagielka, A Williams, Baines, Gana [Y:28'] (46' Valencia), Schneiderlin, Davies, Barkley [Y:72'] (89' Lookman), Lukaku, Mirallas.
Subs not Used: Stekelenburg, Barry, Calvert-Lewin, Pennington, Kenny.

Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Brady, Barton, Hendrick(86' Westwood), Boyd, Vokes (74' Gray), Barnes (83' Agyei).
Subs not Used: Flanagan, Defour, Tarkowski, Pope.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Attendance: 39,328


Reader Comments (78)

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Jonathon Laws
1 Posted 15/04/2017 at 16:48:24
The Nigerian hits the knockout blow! Bloody brilliant. COYB.
Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 15/04/2017 at 16:53:01
Lost my Apple TV feed for two minutes and, by the time I get it back, the Boys are 3-1 up! Missed both goals!
Chris Williams
3 Posted 15/04/2017 at 16:55:27
Up to 5th tonight.

Sky only show top 4?

Jim Harrison
4 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:00:22
Good to win, but Joel looks like he is trying too hard. As it stands, I think we need a new keeper.

Chris Williams
5 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:01:58
I think I read that Rom's goal was the 9th consecutive home game he's scored. First time since Dixie!
Gareth Clark
6 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:11:27
If we learned anything today, it is that we need a new first-choice goalkeeper!!

Robles is not good enough!

Go throw some money at Schmeichel... if we can't get him, then Pickford, Forster, Begovic or Hart.

Phil Jeffries
7 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:13:57
Let's see what the daily rags and so called 'experts' think of Barkley's celebrations! Looked pretty happy to me.
Jamie Crowley
8 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:24:53
If we learned anything today it's that we need to play for 90+ minutes!

Awful first half that bordered comedic at times but a great adjustment / answer in the second half we played very well.

We're 5th. I realize that won't last but I always thought, when Koeman was at Southampton, he kept everyone motivated for the entire season. You'd look at the table in April and see Southampton in 6th and say, "where the fuck did they come from?"

Same here at Everton. Good stuff.

Jason Wilkinson
9 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:25:47
Up to 5th with Man Utd vs Chelsea tomorrow and the comedy of errors at the Riverside Monday.

Man City, we are after you next. Top 4 not impossible if Koeman believes away from Fortress Goodison.

David Barks
10 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:27:01
Just need to keep winning. Keep the pressure on those above us and those below us with games in hand. Finish as high up the table as possible. Nice to have these matches at this time of the year be meaningful again.
Jay Harris
11 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:28:31
I think we learned a bit more than that Gareth.

We learned that Van Dijk is better than Keane.

We learned that, if we are to buy a player from Burnley, it should be Tom Heaton.

We learned that Ross appears to want to stay.

We learned that we still have some nerves amongst the squad when things arent going our way.

Jeff Armstrong
12 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:30:46
Gareth (#6), I'd add Heaton to that list, ahead of Pickford, Forster and Begovic. Robles is a decent number 2 and this season has proven that.
Eric Myles
13 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:35:04
Jay, good call on Heaton. I know Pickford is flavour of the month but Heaton has shown his worth for longer.
Mike Dolan
14 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:37:07
Last season, we loose this game.

We play so much smarter now... 3-1 is a measure of our confidence just now.

I thought Barkley and Mirallas were solid today; they have never played more consistently than they do right now. How good would this team be with a stronger central defense?

Win ugly – that's the sign of a good team. Top four next year.

Ernie Baywood
15 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:42:55
A few of the home games in this run have been described as underwhelming. That was probably the least convincing we've looked.

First half ,Burnley were all over us. They put in a huge effort and deserved at least one goal. They're a team set up to outwork the opposition and they did exactly that.

Second half, much better. Valencia made a big difference.

Any word on whether Gana was injured? Unusual substitution, even though it worked out.

Ernie Baywood
16 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:44:25
And yes I'd take Heaton. I'd still take Keane too though.
Jeff Armstrong
17 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:46:06
I thought Mirallas was pretty average today, his shooting was as weak as Jags's backpasses... in fact, Mirallas was showing Jags HOW to pass a ball to a keeper!
Jamie Crowley
18 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:46:11
Ernie, we were defo crap in the first half but credit to Burnley.

They play like that every single week. They are a well, well-drilled team that simply doesn't quit and they all play for one another.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
19 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:50:20
Chris Williams #3 BBC Football Focus showed top 6th - because we were 7th with the same number of points than Arsenal and 1 goal worse goal difference.

Not just Sky

John G Davies
20 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:50:41
Poor, lacklustre first half.

The boss makes a clever tactical change.
Bingo 3-1

Bob Hannigan
21 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:53:02
Saw the match at the Banshee in Dorchester, MA, with youngest son who was up from New York City for Easter.

Good time all around, 3 well-earned points.

The Banshee is Boston's EFC HQ.

Jay Wood
22 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:56:10
Another thoroughly entertaining game.

Burnley were feisty opponents today and it is encouraging that we went toe to toe with them to eventually earn a hard-fought victory.

This truly impressive home record Koeman is building lays a solid foundation for what we want to challenge for: not merely European qualification, but actual trophies.

The 3 goals today takes our home tally for the season – with games against Watford and Chelsea to come – to 41. That is the highest ever number of home goals scored by Everton in the PL era. Roberto's 38 in his first golden season with us is the next best.

The 13 goals conceded at home is also currently our best ever, only bettered twice under Moyes when we let in just 15 goals all season in 2004-05 and 2011-12.

As for today's game, Burnley's pressing and our sloppiness made it a challenging first half. Koeman subbing in Valencia for Gueye put us immediately on the front foot. Great to see yet another goal scored from a corner – 5 goals in the last 4 games now – and I fancy if we had held the lead for 10-15 minutes more, the eventual victory may have come easier than it did.

Robles clearly had a complete brain fade conceding the penalty that he did, but thankfully by game's end we totally merited the victory.

Baines and Holgate both got forward very well throughout the game and played well, although I didn't much care for a couple of long punts upfield to no-one by Mason. He is better than that.

Williams was solid on his return and apart from one dreadful blind back pass that could have proved costly, Jags also had another fine (scoring!) game.

Schneiderlin was often crowded out and was not his usual effective self and it was a good call by Koeman to switch out Gueye.

Tom Davies was outstanding and my MotM. This is a proper footballer. High energy, tigerish tackler, good positioning and tidy range of passes. I was particularly impressed how he adjusted to his more fixed, withdrawn and central position in the 2nd half and yet continued to be available in both defence and attack in those little pockets of space he finds.

It didn't quite happen for Kevin Mirallas today, but at least he was involved and trying. Ross, after an extremely difficult week, also put in a good performance. I doubt he will get to keep the goal, but his celebration with the crowd – even when getting booked – suggests to this poster at least, it is NOT a forgone conclusion he is gone.

Valencia helped turn the game in our favour with his introduction and as for Lukaku's goal – monster! Keane, who along with many Burnley players played well today, and who has had an excellent season, was totally, totally bossed by Romelu for his goal. Cracking goal.

This side is not far off. Take a look at the respective home and away records of the six usual suspects around us. We actually better a few of them in different categories.

The obvious shortcoming is the away record. Just get 1-2 away wins against our peers in that group of six and – together with the form we are now showing – that alone could be enough to usurp their higher position over us in the league.

This season of transformation continues to show promise.

Encouraged.

Dermot Byrne
24 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:58:46
I really feel we are close to a good team. Just heard Radio Merseyside jock saying he didn't believe Rom's situation was as clear cut as national press suggest. He may be right.
Tony Hill
25 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:01:22
We were poor overall though we improved. I saw no stand out performances. Ross came good in the second half and his ball retention is massively improved. I also thought Williams had a decent game.

We do need a new goalkeeper, I'm afraid. I'd wanted Robles to succeed but he is too fragile.

Christy Ring
26 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:04:44
Barkley's celebration after the goal convinced me he wants to stay.

I'd take Heaton, who looked very accomplished today, and Keane.

Dermot Byrne
27 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:06:48
I posted same after he scored, Christy. Agreed.
Jamie Crowley
28 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:06:57
Hope so, Dermot. I want to see Rom leading the line for us for years to come, even if he needs a rocket up his ass now and again.
Amit Vithlani
29 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:07:51
Off topic but how come Clattenburg was officiating today? I thought he had left the Premier League to take up a post in the Middle East?
Terence Tyler
31 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:16:55
Goes at the end of the season, Amit. Thank god.
Paul Mackie
32 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:25:36
Thoroughly entertaining game today. Doubly so as I broke my one gambling rule and actually bet on us today. We're unstoppable at home at the moment. I had money on us winning and Lukaku to score. That's a pretty safe bet at the moment!

We should do whatever we need to do to keep hold of Barkley and Lukaku in the Summer and bring in a world class 'keeper (plus some other upgrades). If not for our blip before Xmas, we'd be easily pushing for that top 4 place. It will be incredibly tough to replace Lukaku if he leaves.

Peter Carpenter
33 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:30:34
Clattenburg, go now. I'll pay for your ticket.
Brent Stephens
34 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:37:24
Poor first half but a deserved win in the end. No stopping Lukaku! Put the game to bed! Ross an excellent game; pleased for the lad.
Gareth Clark
35 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:37:47
Jeff (#12),

Completely agreed – Robles is a good #2... But he just doesn't convince as a first choice.

Heaton is a great option & a good leader too.

Keane will be a great addition, and Koeman will make him even better.

Chris James
36 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:41:24
Good result again today – expected but you still need to deliver. Just need to do it another 5 times now! ;-)

Seriously though, whilst I'd be happy enough with a Europa spot, I do hope we don't come to rue those subs at Old Trafford. Had we managed to hold on for another minute (which would've been more likely if we'd kept an attacking threat of Mirallas & Barkley rather than sitting further and further back), we'd only be 3 points off Man City in 4th as things stand now.

Tony Hill
37 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:42:13
Baines showed that he can still take players on and cut through at pace on a couple of occasions in the second half. Why doesn't he do it far more often?
James Doran
38 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:42:43
Jay,

I agree with everything you say except:

Jags made 2 poor blind back-passes.

I thought Schneiderlin was class throughout, again.

Whilst Davies was excellent in the 2nd half (the tactical substitution definitely benefited his performance), Barkley was my MotM – brilliant throughout!

Raymond Fox
39 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:50:43
Name me a goalkeeper that doesn't make a mistake! Don't forget that he's made some cracking saves as well, we've only conceded 37 goals in 33 games. He didn't cost millions – is that the trouble?

Nice to see Ross make a goal, I thought he had a decent game. The lad will be more inclined to stay – if he ever contemplated leaving, that is – by the support he's received from fans and the club, I should imagine.

We are on a winning run at present but I wouldn't get too carried away with it, because we need to get a lot better to break the money clubs' virtual monopoly.

Colin Glassar
40 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:51:17
Great result and I look forward to watching MotD, even though we won't be 1st or 2nd. I'm made up for Ross, he deserved that standing ovation.
Steve Ferns
41 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:56:50
I thought the team overall were just above average. Fair play to Burnley, they had a plan and they stuck to it.

I thought Barton had a good game, he was a nuisance throughout and really did his best to get Barkley into a scrap. Fortunately, Ross was having none of it and when he did get time to play he was good. That last chance for Rom was a great through ball by Ross.

Williams was very solid today. And, those poor back passes aside, Jags looked impressively back on form. I really like the guy and i'm glad he is not done yet.

Ronald made the right call at half time and had a positive effect from the side-lines.

Tom Davies was very good, but he was sloppier than usual in possession giving it away a few times. Ross was sloppier though, but what we did well, he had a hand in, and those two clearances off the line made him my Man of the Match.

I loved his passion in his celebration, even when he was booked, he was still kissing the badge and looked so pumped up. Great Ronald gave him his moment with the last second sub.

Pleased tonight, as we'd have lost this game last season when Robles gave the penalty away.

Mike Dolan
42 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:59:04
Definitely Barkley MotM.
Tony Hill
43 Posted 15/04/2017 at 19:00:02
Raymond, Robles hasn't got it. He's good one-on-one but he lacks authority and that is dangerous over the longer term.
Jeff Armstrong
44 Posted 15/04/2017 at 19:06:50
That's 2 games in a row that Joel Robles has cost us goals, lucky for him the outfield players saved his blushes. He's just not good enough.

Regarding Barkley, in the words of Delia: Damian Wilde "Where are you"?
Mick Davies
45 Posted 15/04/2017 at 19:16:24
Raymond @ 39, totally agree with you: yes, Robles made a rash decision, but that might have something to do with the chaos around him, with suicidal backpasses and an absent right back when he chased the attacker.

Burnley had 6 shots on target, and the only goal he conceded was the pen. Our great run has coincided with Joel coming into the side, but whenever he makes a mistake, it's all "get Joe Hart" or Heaton or Pickford. Do we see these goalies week-in & week-out? Don't they make mistakes?

Even De Gea has been getting stick, and the knee jerk kopites are worshipping Mignolet now, forgetting that they were screaming for him to go before they realised how bad his replacement was.

Just remember, earlier in the season, TW posts were praising Stekelenburg, until the Man Utd and Chelsea disasters

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 15/04/2017 at 19:33:16
I'd keep Robles as Number 1 unless we can sign a top class keeper for the right price. If Hart is available for less than £10m then get him.

As for Heaton, I haven't seen anything to tell me he'd be an improvement. He looks like another Ruddy, great when involved in all the action, but not the same when required to pull off just two or three saves a game.

Heaton conceded three today, and imagine that he was in goal for Everton, I'd be livid at the way Lukaku beat him. He could have done more with the other two as well, especially the first.

Whenever, I see Foster, he's dropping clangers. For Pickford, see Heaton. Hart at the right price, or someone else with great potential to challenge Robles long term.

Des Farren
47 Posted 15/04/2017 at 19:37:49
Good win and well deserved in the end.

However, the idea that we could compete next season with present back four/goalkeeper is ill-founded.

Holgate, yes... but Jagielka and Williams? Baines just won't cut it and we cannot improve to the level required with this defence.

BTW, Burnley are a poor outfit.

Colin Malone
48 Posted 15/04/2017 at 19:50:30
Made up for Ross Barkley. Gana and Schneiderlin cannot play in a successful side together. We where much better when Schneiderlin played more advanced in the second half.

Mackenzie / Murdoch. How can you make an opinion on a person you have never met? Your statements are wrong about Ross. How many world class players who have been at a club from the age of 11 have a degree? Gazza? No, Merson? No.

Your problem is the city of Liverpool, you horrible, horrible lonely, lonely men. You horrible human being.
Andrew Presly
49 Posted 15/04/2017 at 20:13:29
Kasper Schmeichel – personality, consistency and obviously knows the league so no adaptation needed, just a well deserved move to the big time!

Joel would be fine as a back-up but we need better. That was crazy for the penalty today.

Jeff Armstrong
50 Posted 15/04/2017 at 20:37:58
Andrew #49, a move to the big time????? He's a current Premier League Champion and in the quarter-final of the Champions League, are you suggesting he moves to Barcelona, Real Madrid, or Bayern?

Or high flying EFC,...

Geoff Williams
51 Posted 15/04/2017 at 20:59:27
Robles was disappointing. I more convinced than ever that any centre back pairing that doesn't include Williams is stronger than any that includes him. I think he spreads uncertainty in others and is slow to recover.

I know he made a couple of decent interceptions today but, being a £12 million player, I want much more from him.

Tony Hill
52 Posted 15/04/2017 at 21:08:03
I think Williams is a difficult one to read. We have the 5th best defence in the premier league and Williams has the third most clearances. He has been the most consistently present part of the back four.

He has certainly had bad games but I think we may be overlooking his net contribution because much of what he does looks (and is) rather ugly and messy.

Jeff Armstrong
53 Posted 15/04/2017 at 21:23:46
Tony (#52)... Welcome Ashley Williams... you are indeed a player after all.
Graham Mockford
54 Posted 15/04/2017 at 21:24:28
Geoff

I wouldn't write him off just yet. Defenders often take a while to adjust to a new side. Jags and Baines to name two.

I think he has some indifferent games but he is one of those players who affects players around him. He made a really full-blooded challenge today on the half-way line which visibly raised the teams performance.

I'm still confident he could be the bedrock of our back four for 3 or 4 years.

Dave Williams
55 Posted 15/04/2017 at 21:45:34
Agreed, Graham. Dave Watson looked awful for six months when he joined and was the bedrock for the next dozen or more years.

Give Ashley a chance with a decent younger partner beside him, then judge. He is only short term but could be useful.

Denis Richardson
56 Posted 15/04/2017 at 21:56:57
Geoff (#51) – you do realise we have the 4th best defence in the league this season so far and Williams has played in 31 out of 33 of those games. He's played more league games this season than any other defender we have. Sorry but I can't agree with your observation.

I think a lot of people don't realise what a stable influence this guy gives us at the back. Yes, he has the odd mishap (like every player) but he's certainly helped in plugging the leaky defence we use to have. The likes of Gana and now Schneiderlin have also helped, providing a much better shield in front of the back line.

The main reason for our shite finishes in the last two seasons was our crap defence and the fact we conceded 50+ goals every season. 37 goals conceded in 33 games so far is a massive improvement (especially when you consider we let in 5 at Chelsea).

Whilst £12m was a high price to pay, I'm glad we've got Williams in the side.

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 15/04/2017 at 22:11:02
I go along with most things Raymond Fox @39 said about the game. I thought we were awful in the first half versus Burnley who haven't won away all season; they looked a much better team in that first half.

Again Everton played themselves into trouble with poor passing and lack of movement. When are these two poor parts of our game going to improve?

I'm obviously happy with the result which came about with the substitution; Valencia will go back to West Ham Utd after this season but he changed the way we played today as he has done in a few games this season. I'm not saying he is great or the answer but he has most certainly been under-used... I have to wander why.

Seamus McCrudden
58 Posted 15/04/2017 at 22:17:13
Williams seems to do well as a blood and thunder type player, very committed but just doesn't look very comfortable on the ball. You cannot argue with our improved defensive record this season though.
John Pierce
59 Posted 15/04/2017 at 23:31:43
A typical home performance under Koeman, good in parts and we played in moments. Our propensity to shoot ourselves in the foot has waned dramatically and we've not been punished as much. When it came down to it, we converted when they didn't.

Had Andre Gray played for them, the chances presented to Vokes fell to him may have left us with too much to do.

We played at 40% and won, not good enough for me. I thought Schneiderlin was well off it today, went to ground for the Burnley goal, opening up the midfield.

Barkley had a mixed bag, his usual moments of instinct were pleasing, coupled with the under hit passes and turning away from goal too often.

Joel is what he is and credit to him for at least making Koeman think about his keeping options, no more than able deputy next season.

Again, Tom Davies stood out as the assured player amongst the side. The lad is very consistent, first touch and vision is top class. A little sloppy, but the best of the bunch for me.

Burnley played well, they were miles better than us for a half. Koeman's repeating error, iffy selections, he had to make a drastic change, to his credit a match winning one. But it still nags at me why he does get his selections so wrong.

Valencia worked very hard laterally, pulling players to him. Space did develop and it visibly fatigued Burnley.

Whilst not someone I'd sign, he is a template for the style of player we need, but an upgraded version.

The biggest laugh was Rom, pretending to be Anichebe, rolling his man and scoring! Not seen that very often Rom, laaa.

David Barks
60 Posted 15/04/2017 at 00:06:12
We simply must keep Barkley here, do whatever it takes to sign him. He's grown so much this season alone. He's only 23, years away from his prime.

It's not unusual to struggle to keep your better players. Happened with Gerrard nearly leaving them. Ronaldo left Man Utd. Bale left Spurs. But when you can keep them and build around them, especially when they're a local boy and grew up with the club, it's a massive thing.

I really hope to see Barkley here for the next decade and watch him lead this team. Obviously I'd love to see that happen with Lukaku for at least one more season.

We have strength and quality. We just need to keep what we have, let them grow, and add a few real quality additions. This is the closest we've been in ages to actually being contenders in this league. We expect to win every match and rightfully so.

Kevin Rowlands
61 Posted 15/04/2017 at 00:08:34
Good win, Burnley are a decent side and have one of the best home records in the league, thankfully we were at home.

I'd take Heaton as well as Keane, wish we could do a derby do over again with Schneiderlin playing, he would have made a massive difference, the lad is class.

Last thing, loved Lukaku's goal, one of the best I've seen him score. Keep it up, Rom, and don't spoil it with you know what!

Clive Mitchell
62 Posted 16/04/2017 at 00:18:46
Burnley played really well, could've led before half time, in the end it didn't fall for them today. We were better in the second half.

We have to get Ross to stay. The combination of him, Tom and Schneiderlin is fantastic. Also loved Barry coming on to play third centre half – what a player the man is.

Peter Carpenter
63 Posted 16/04/2017 at 00:21:09
Ross. What a week! Think carefully about your next move.

You'll never be more harshly judged than you are at Goodison, but you'll never be more loved either. You can go somewhere else for a quieter life but it will never be the same.

You can create your own story here, you've started already; the goal at St James Park, the chipped penalty against the same team at Goodison, the celebration before scoring against Bournemouth, today's Gwladys Street love-in.

Get the contract signed, you knobhead!

Harvey Miller
64 Posted 16/04/2017 at 01:08:58
Great game and win today. Still, Robles did not do himself any favours.

To move against the poor lone attacker like he did when the attacker is moving away from your goal is nothing short of stupidity. It shows that he does not have the vision or the brain to be a great goalkeeper like Buffon never mind Southall.

James Flynn
65 Posted 15/04/2017 at 01:44:20
Robles has earned another season.

He's improved dramatically under proper coaching. Let's keep in mind the "coaching staff" he suffered under his first 4 seasons in the big leagues. Same one poor Stones spent 3 seasons "developing" under.

Yes, God knows what he was thinking on that play. Dumb as dumb could be.

But his command of the box is orders of magnitude above the "Just punch it", clueless keeper he was.

And if we're touting keepers to replace Joel, fair enough. But for God's sake stop calling for Joe "Accident Waiting to Happen" Hart. He's shit.

Jay Harris
68 Posted 16/04/2017 at 03:41:31
Think you made your point James.

I think we should judge Robles at the end of the season but any more faux parts and he needs replacing IMO.

You wont get top 4 with nervous players or those that make surrounding players nervous.

Same with Jags I'm afraid. He is outstanding in many ways but has too many mistakes in him.

Im a Tom Davies fan but thought he looked a bit jaded the last 2 games.

We should only have one defensive MF player at home.

William Cartwright
69 Posted 16/04/2017 at 04:46:45
I thought Jagielka's tongue in cheek comment last week was a good one: "If we get to sixth they (the media) will refocus on the top five!"

Nearly amazingly accurate Jags; we have got to fifth and the BBC decide to remove the top six and even the bottom six tables! How coincidentally isolated / ignored do you have to be before a formal complaint of anti-Everton bias is made official?

Plato Stavrinos
70 Posted 16/04/2017 at 07:14:56
Excuse my ignorance but why was Williams only suspended for one game after the red card against Man Utd?
Michael Ward
71 Posted 16/04/2017 at 07:41:55
Plato, the ban for a red card is 1 game. In a lot of cases this is extended to 3 games because the red card was for serious foul play (eg, a horror tackle).
Paul Ward
72 Posted 16/04/2017 at 08:21:34
Apart from Barkley's good all-round game. He surprised me with his defensive qualities. His first half header off the line was at a crucial time when Burnley may have taken control of the game. He is slowly converting us detractors.
Dave Ganley
73 Posted 16/04/2017 at 09:52:02
Well we tried hard to give away a goal in the first half but it subsequently turned into a routine win. I can quite get used to routine wins. 8 wins on the bounce at home will do me after the travails of last season.

Schneiderlin impresses me everytime he plays but if there was a criticism for the team yesterday was that collectively we still have problems against teams who are aggressive and put themselves about. Burnley bullied us for periods of the game and we didn't react all that well. We managed to turn it around okay in the end but as a team we need to show a stronger mental attitude against teams who want to be physical.

As for Robles, has made some decent saves in the past few games but there's always a mistake in there. Decent enough keeper but I don't think he's the man to take us into the top 4. That position for me still needs addressing in the summer.

In the meantime, another match at Goodison Park, another win. We are definitely going in the right direction. Vast improvement on the last 2 seasons but we still need strengthening in the summer. We are still in dire need of that extra bit of quality in the creative department as well as defence and goalkeeper but there's still every chance we could finish in the top 6 this season.

Onwards and upwards.

Dave Ganley
74 Posted 16/04/2017 at 11:15:17
By the way, nice touch by TWers for the messages for Mike Gaynes at the game yesterday, hope you had another good day, Mike.
David Ellis
75 Posted 16/04/2017 at 14:36:55
Burnley did well for half-an-hour – it was hardly proper football but was almost effective. But by the end of the first half we were well on top, and had shown we were well able to stand up to the physical challenge.

However, when we are aggressively pressed, I hate hit when our centre backs are the ones forced to play the ball out – they just aren't very good at it. To get the ball back all opposing teams have to do is mark everyone apart from Jags and Williams and wait for them to hoof it away.

We managed to solve this problem in the second half – perhaps by having the movement of Davies a bit deeper, and the movement of Valencia higher up the pitch.

I also don't think that Holgate's crossing is quite up to standard yet (although otherwise he had a solid game). He's really a centre-back. I would like to see Kenny or one of the young wingbacks playing in their natural position coming through.

I was apoplectic with Robles for the penalty... but he made a couple of excellent saves and I am sure he knows it was poor judgement. I'd keep him over Hart. But ideally we would get a better keeper in.

Roger Helm
76 Posted 16/04/2017 at 17:45:01
A good win against a well organised Burnley. Their lack of any attacking ability I suppose explains their poor away record. They are over-achieving just by being in the division.

We are apparently the best home team in Europe at the moment. We need to get stronger away from home.

Barry Jones
77 Posted 16/04/2017 at 18:26:31
A solid performance. Koeman realised at half time that two defensive misfielders was overkill against a team like Burnley and he wanted to take the game to them. It was a good decision to switch Valencia for Gana and the nature of the game changed instantly.

I think that Williams gets unfair criticism. He has his scary moments but overall he has been very solid. Lukaku's goal was a gem and he put in another excellent shift. I love it when he plays like this with a bit of fire in his belly. His game has become more complete under Koeman and its obvious big clubs will be interested in the summer.

John Pierce
78 Posted 16/04/2017 at 18:51:14
Roger,

Still a reasonably sized question mark over Koeman's head. Too pragmatic for my taste, the point about him having to change a defensive midfielder out is the very much the point. Why? Often he accommodates teams too much, especially away from home.

When we are only just off being a candidate for a top four spot, has cautious Koeman perhaps cost us here?

I'll be disappointed if we don't get 6th.

Stephen Brown
79 Posted 16/04/2017 at 18:58:00
I'm in the pro Williams camp too! His distribution is suspect but after the previous two seasons we were desperate for a defender who defends. I think our defence record proves that's what we've got!

Granted he's had dodgy moments but I'm more confident with him in the defence than I was with the 'world beater' Stones!

He's what we needed at the time and will be replaced with better as we progress!

Paul Tran
80 Posted 16/04/2017 at 20:40:24
It's a problem with all the central defenders and Robles, Stephen. They see the obvious ball, they wait, look around, give the opposition the chance to press, then make the pass anyway. If they just make the pass, we could attack quicker.
Andy Crooks
81 Posted 16/04/2017 at 23:15:06
A really good thread to read. I am a "glass half-empty" bloke but it is good to read positive stuff.

Excellent posts from Raymond Fox and James Flynn regarding Robles. I really believe he will become a great goal keeper. I like his attitude a lot.

Robert Workman
82 Posted 18/04/2017 at 09:04:20
Michael (#2), I had the opposite experience. I also suffered from erratic streaming, but mine came back just as second goal was scored. It then went again, only to return seconds before 3rd goal!

Last week it went down at 1-2 and, when it returned it was 2-2! Happy days.

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