Lukaku likely to sit out against Gibraltar

Saturday 8 October 2016  95 Comments  [Jump to last]
Romelu Lukaku is an early fitness doubt for Everton's clash with Manchester City next weekend with what he suggests is a minor thigh strain.

The striker came off in the 82nd minute of Belgium's 4-0 hammering of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Brussels after scoring the fourth goal in spectacular fashion but he told reporters after the game that he felt a twinge that will probably see him miss Monday's World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar.

"I felt something but we will see," Lukaku is quoted as saying by MailOnline, who report that he will undergo further scans today to assess the extent of any damage.  


Reader Comments (95)

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Laura Round
1 Posted 08/10/2016 at 15:39:50
So Rom's a doubt for Man City.. 😱
Mark Morrissey
2 Posted 08/10/2016 at 17:41:02
I hope he's just being precautious.
Alan Bodell
3 Posted 08/10/2016 at 17:49:58
It's probably just a muscle jaw problem, seems to get these every time he plays for Belgium.
Tony Hill
4 Posted 08/10/2016 at 17:54:24
I have no idea who we'd play now instead of him. I'm afraid I have written off Kone or Valencia. I'd be inclined to give Mirallas a go and adapt our systems accordingly but, my word, we're weak up front.

I know we've debated this ad nauseam but the absence of back up for Lukaku is going to be a constant source of anxiety until January (at the earliest).

All of that said, I expect Rom to be fit for next week.

Patrick Murphy
5 Posted 08/10/2016 at 17:56:35
Get that kid in who scored twice for England last night against Germany, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, he couldn't be any worse than Kone, Niasse et al.
Darren Hind
6 Posted 08/10/2016 at 18:04:26
I said that to my lad this afternoon, Patrick.

The lad's banging them in, let's make him Lukaku's understudy for a few games, see how he gets on.

Jay Wood
7 Posted 08/10/2016 at 18:05:44
That's the spirit, Alan!

Never give an inch!

8 goals in 6 and counting ...

Steve Woods
8 Posted 08/10/2016 at 18:15:34
Tony Hill @ 3. Absolutely spot on a burning issue in the next two windows.
Mick Davies
10 Posted 08/10/2016 at 19:09:44
Calvert-Lewin if Rom can't make it: he looks a natural and if you're good enough, you're old enough: remember the name?
Craig Fletcher
11 Posted 08/10/2016 at 19:52:03
Agree entirely with the above if Lukaku can't make it for Man City. Calvert-Lewin's confidence must be sky-high and strikers thrive on confidence, so give the kid a chance.

If we play Kone, what do we honestly expect from him that we haven't seen before? Let's give Stones and company something else to think about.

Alan Bodell
12 Posted 08/10/2016 at 20:50:18
Yeah right, Jay, and I guess the 3 he got at Sunderland were stunners as well? My granny would have netted them, so you keep seeing what I don't see.

Roll on the next transfer window when hopefully we can sign a striker without the massive mouth and this gobshite can fuck off to where he thinks befits his status, which is way beyond us.

Stan Schofield
13 Posted 08/10/2016 at 21:23:54
Alan @12: What an absolute load of shite. Lukaku is an Everton player, for fuck's sake.
Jim Hardin
14 Posted 08/10/2016 at 21:39:38
Alan,

Send RK video so your Granny can play for us seeing as how she is so good and all, right? What position does your Grandpa play so we can see if he would be helpful to the squad also?

Joe Hurst
15 Posted 08/10/2016 at 21:56:05
The wing, I'm guessing. Or, if not the wing, then at least the stairs – thanks to Stannah.

I saw this article and thought: "Oh, here we go, TW posters having a dig at Lukaku again...", but then realised that the article was "Lukaku likely to sit out" rather than "Lukaku likely to shit out".

Jay Wood
16 Posted 08/10/2016 at 22:42:49
That's the spirit, Alan!

Continue to denigrate and discount all Rom's goals on your own invented criteria ... weak opposition ... goals a panto Long John Silver could score ... the neighbour's dog crapped on your lawn ...

I do giggle how you and your fellow chuckle brother Peter Roberts post almost exclusively on TW, only to deride Lukaku.

"Whatever gets you through the night," as some other scouser once sang ...

Andy Crooks
18 Posted 08/10/2016 at 23:23:24
Alan (#12), so who will score for us?
Eddie Dunn
19 Posted 09/10/2016 at 00:29:58
I hope this is just a precaution. I often have difficulty walking after sitting here on the laptop for half an hour... everything loosens-up again after a cup of tea... he will be fine!
Paul Conway
20 Posted 09/10/2016 at 09:43:31
If Lukaku fails to make it for the Man City game, I am 100% certain that, if we stuck Funes Mori, or Famous Seamus up front, they could do no worse, or even better than the Sunday Pub players like Kone, Valencia, & Co.

They would be a lot more effective than the kitchen sink!

Dave Ganley
21 Posted 09/10/2016 at 10:32:34
Hope this is just a precaution. It would be a disaster if Rom isn't fit. We just don't have any alternatives. The fact that we are suggesting Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the next best in line (which he is by the way) just shows how barren we are in that area. I would rather have an unknown kid in than either Kone or Niasse.

Hopefully Rom will be fit and ready to take on Man City. Regardless of what people think of his comments, he is a quality player who will get better under Koeman and he is our player. To suggest that he should bugger off is nonsense. Who are we going to get who is better?

What we really need is a playmaker around him, players who will create chances for him, then we shall see a proper goals tally from him. We just don't have anybody remotely in that category. Ross has been shoehorned into that position which in my opinion, just doesn't suit him. He only has a fraction of the goals & assists that he should have done.

We need to add to Rom – not replace him.

Paul Tran
22 Posted 09/10/2016 at 11:18:02
A lot about Lukaku and his mouth (how dare a player have ambition), but I'd love us to find another striker who knows where the goal is. I'm still looking for the list in The Sunday Times for 'top goalscorer of goals my nan could have scored against poor opposition.' Please let me know when someone finds it.

Why not give Dominic a go, at least on the bench?

Peter Roberts
23 Posted 09/10/2016 at 13:46:08
Deary me, Jay Wood, what are you going to do when the big lump finally gets his move to whichever team has to put up with his big trap?

Personally I look forward to the day we can have a striker "who wants to play for Everton" – who can also trap a bag of cement and doesn't have to be called Dennis Stracq.

Did anyone praise Rooney for being ambitious when he left Everton? (Despite never talking to the press saying he wanted to move).

Jay, I'm sorry if some Everton fans can't join in with your excessive fanboy support of a player who doesn't give a toss about Everton. The fans who may point out patterns in his play and goalscoring that unveils a player far from this "beast" that is spoken about. Maybe we irritate the crap out of you by stating that he can't control a ball, that many games he is found jogging round in an offside position, moaning, sulking... doing impressions of a player who is devastated that his lack of anticipation has allowed a cross to go unconverted.

Maybe we lack the ability to have our memories erased when he has one of his games where he can look a player. Please forgive us for harping on about the other 7 out of 10 games where he doesn't bother turning up. It must really get on your nerves that we don't join in with your over-indulging of a player who can't wait to leave the club.

I'd love to just look at his 18 Premier League goals and think "he's one of the best" but unfortunately we have seen many average strikers get in amongst that total.

I'd love to just think of his Chelsea goal and think "he earned us a trip to Wembley". But then, just like he did in the Euros, he fluffs his lines spectacularly in the big games with an atrocious display of big-game bottling in the semi-final.

Still, you should be happy with his semi-final and Euros – it meant no-one came in for him so he can continue sitting on his 㿷k a week till someone decides to gamble on him.

Tom Bowers
24 Posted 09/10/2016 at 14:19:16
Being a democratic country, everybody can speak what they feel and Rom. has his detractors no matter what. If he scored in every other game some people will relish the opportunity to dis him during the other games in which he didn't score.

Howard and Osman also had many detractors over the years and, even if Everton had won a title, I am sure the detractors would still find plenty to moan about. God knows I do too.

At the moment Everton have no one else who has proven to be better and so they have to hope he continues to score goals at least until January as nothing else will change.

Everton have some decent youngsters but I don't think Big K is quite ready to start chopping and changing just yet. Obviously the players with the big pay packets will get priority selection.

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 09/10/2016 at 14:25:41
For the moment, Rom is all we have as a decently-scoring forward. So until we find somebody better, we'll all just have to settle for his aprrox goal every two games (however scored, whoever scored against). He isn't reading ToffeeWeb.
Brent Stephens
26 Posted 09/10/2016 at 14:28:12
Tom (#24), "If he scored in every other game..."

On average, that's pretty much what he does, and still...

Jack Convery
27 Posted 09/10/2016 at 15:22:42
Funes Mori says he needs to play – put him up front. He's good in the air and knows how to create space for a forward. Another solution is play Valencia or Kone – actually best not, we wouldn't want to give Stones the day off.
Paul Thompson
28 Posted 09/10/2016 at 16:09:17
If Rom isn't fit, I expect Koeman will start with Kone or Valencia. I'm all for giving Calvert-Lewin a go, but Man City away might not be the ideal place to start! Definitely on the bench though – I think the lad's got something.
Stan Schofield
29 Posted 09/10/2016 at 16:15:06
Peter @23: Calling Lukaku a gobshite and repeating a desire to be rid of him is not particularly irritating, it's just futile. If he stays, I'll take it as a reflection of us being on the up for a change, whereas if he goes I'll take it as a reflection of continuing mediocrity.

He certainly needs quality around him, as do most if not all strikers, and if it's not there he'll no doubt move on sooner rather than later. Then you can be happy with an Evertonian striker who you don't see as a gobshite, but who might be fucking useless at scoring goals.

Victor Jones
30 Posted 09/10/2016 at 16:17:55
I don't think that Calvert-Lewin is ready to be thrown in against Man City. He would be crucified on here should he play and have a bad game. But he could make the bench.

We could play Mirallas up top. Or how about Barkley. And the shout for Funes Mori could just work. If nothing else Funes Mori could baffle Stones and maybe our misfiring Barkley and Mirallas could take advantage.

Victor Jones
31 Posted 09/10/2016 at 16:25:56
How does Lukaku score every other game when he went 0 in 13 games?

Also, check out some of his barren spells in 2014 and 2015...

Winston Williamson
32 Posted 09/10/2016 at 16:39:01
Ahh the old Lukaku chestnut. Definitely international break time.

Is Lukaku a good player? Yes.

Should we sell good players who score goals? I personally don't see the logic in it, unless he's a detrimental influence in the changing room.

The problem is we don't have enough other quality players. If we sign another striker who scores regularly and we have more quality in midfield, the whole Lukaku issue becomes moot.

Keep him but buy more quality so he has no option but to know he's not the best at the club.

Rob Halligan
33 Posted 09/10/2016 at 16:59:06
Victor Jones (#31): How does Lukaku score every other game when he went 0 in 13 games?

It's an average, mate. Last season, he scored 16 league goals in the first 20 league games. Doesn't mean he is going to score in 4 out of every 5 games.

Every striker goes through good spells and goes through barren spells.

Without checking the facts, I'd say has scored about 65 goals now in about 125 - 130 appearances, which works out at, would you believe, 1 in every 2 games. Pretty good record for any striker, I'd say.

Jay Wood
34 Posted 09/10/2016 at 17:30:34
Peter @ 23

"Deary me, Jay Wood, what are you going to do when the big lump finally gets his move to whichever team has to put up with his big trap?"

Ehrm... do what I've always done for more than 50 years – continue to support Everton and our players.

More to the point, what will YOU do without your go-to-guy no longer at the club for you to vent on?

Joe Clitherow
35 Posted 09/10/2016 at 18:08:15
"I look forward to the day we can have a striker "who wants to play for Everton" "

Don't hold your breath mate. You're in à fantasy world, set around 1957.

Peter Roberts
36 Posted 09/10/2016 at 18:52:31
Jay, I've been lucky enough to support Everton for 33 years... so in that time I've become more than aware of understanding what makes a good player equally important a player that understands the fabric of the club and respects its tradition.

I've seen enough spin surrounding this lad to last me a lifetime:

"Goals scored by 22nd birthday" – aka using his 33 goals scored at the top team in a garbage league... so garbage that an overgrown 16-year-old can score for fun.

"Goals every other game" – aka add up all his goals including ones in cup games where he's interested against dross – then divide by total games played and hope that it gives an average that looks like it can cover up the fact that he's notorious for going on spells where he can't be arsed and does the score.

"People forget he's only (choose applicable age)" – this tries to give the impression that he's only played a handful of games and any flaws will be ironed out in good time, when the reality is he's actually played more top flight games than the average 28-year-old yet he still can't control a football adequately to allow hid team mates to trust him.

"He's a beast" – yes, if he was standing with a tuxedo on and asked you for ID you would do as you are asked . the reality is he's often owned by 5ft-10in defenders who let him know they're there.

"He's ambitious what's wrong in wanting to play at a higher level" – aka I'm prepared to apply a different judgement on Lukaku than Rooney, Lescott etc.

"One his day he's unplayable" – aka once in a blue moon he may consider having a go.


Paul Kossoff
37 Posted 09/10/2016 at 19:57:08
What we all feared, an injury to our 'only' striker of note. The other three... what shall I call them? Useless, rejects, underachievers, wouldn't get in most of the teams in the Premier League....

Hopefully if Lukaku is injured Koeman has a Plan B to counter Kenwright's cheap and dodgy dealings re strikers.

Put Ross, Kev or Yan in the middle, anything but starting with Kone or the other two.

Brent Stephens
39 Posted 09/10/2016 at 20:48:23
"I've become more than aware of understanding what makes a good player; equally important a player that understands the fabric of the club and respects its tradition."

I would hardly say understanding the fabric of the club and respecting its tradition rank as importantly as being a good player.

There can't be many of our current and past players who meet that "requirement" about understanding and respect. And the players who do match up in that way (the Osmans and Hibberts of this world) are often treated worst by fans. So much for respect.

Just do the job on the pitch. Score the goals against all clubs, in all competitions, including the likes of City, Chelsea, West Ham etc in cup competitions.

Tony Foxwell
40 Posted 09/10/2016 at 23:06:02
This is why international football should not be played during the season. Absolute piss-take. Jags and Rom could both be missing against Man City. Rom should come home and be assessed by a real medical team as we all know how inept Magoo and his lack of medical team are with injuries.
Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 10/10/2016 at 14:59:11
If Lukaku isn't fit, why don't we just play the lad we have got in on loan, Valencia? I imagine he is getting a good wage... he might just surprise some of us, at least give him a chance.

I also think it is a good shout to put Calvert-Lewin on the bench; we are now allowed seven to sit on the bench... Why not give two of the young lads the experience to be with the seniors each week?Who knows, we might be three up with 20 minutes to go in one game, just throw the youngsters on then.

Rob Halligan
50 Posted 10/10/2016 at 15:22:46
Good shout, Dave (#49). Most people seem to think we are going to lose on Saturday anyway (not me, by the way) so why not play Valencia, and while we're at it, play Calvert-Lewin as well. He might just run around all day, closing their dodgy goalie down and creating one or two goals for himself!!

Also, Stones won't know what the hell to do!!

Michael Kenrick
51 Posted 10/10/2016 at 16:28:14
I don't know if anyone else caught the Ecuador - Chile game on Friday of last week? You know... the one with the wacky Keystone Cops video.

Well, what I saw of Enner Valencia on the field was sadly on the level of that farce. Okay, he (somewhat inadvertently) set up one goal but he must have had three glorious opportunities to score himself against a surprisingly poor Chile side — ominously up against Man City's Bravo in goal. (Maybe they were also struggling in the thin Quito air?)

Darren Hind
52 Posted 10/10/2016 at 19:34:40
Peter,

You're wasting your time. They are completely blind to the fella's shortcomings. That they will hold up Lukaku's goals against weakened and lower league teams in cup games as some sort of achievement says it all. They will overlook the fact that his misses in the latter stages have rendered these goals absolutely meaningless. It's all about the stats, don't you know?

A Premier League marksman should be judged by his Premier League record and if there is another player who has missed more sitters in the Premier League, I haven't seen him.

Lukaku has scored 48 Premier League goals in 110 games... nowhere near 1 in 2.

Harry Kane has scored 51 in 88 Premier League games for Spurs. He's braver than Lukaku, better in the air, more of a team player, has a better first touch and misses nowhere near as many chances. He has never once disrespected Spurs they way Lukaku has regularly disrespected our club. That's why one of them is loved and the other one err... isn't.

Lukaku can be decent on his day, no question about that, but top-draw? Only if you have never seen what a top-draw striker looks like.

Peter Roberts
53 Posted 11/10/2016 at 10:35:46
No Darren – we are just "haters". We should be grateful to have a player who has averaged 14 Premier League goals in each of his 3 seasons here... despite the fact that many other clubs have had these types of players as a regular fixture, that doesn't matter.

The fact that fans of a club like Arsenal can slate a player like Giroud who averages a better Premier League rate of return in less game-time means nothing to them. We have our "trophy striker" after years of watching dross cheap-end strikers.

The fact is our general play is centred on making him look good – it's also true that his general play makes us look bad. For every goal he scores, there are at least 10 occasions where he has given the ball away cheaply, miscontrolled it etc – but there isn't big glossy tables showing this.

Paul Kelly
54 Posted 11/10/2016 at 10:56:58
Well, after watching the Man City - Man Utd game, Bravo's definitely got a mistake in him, chase him down all day and hopefully he'll fuck up.
Laurie Hartley
55 Posted 11/10/2016 at 11:46:45
If Lukaku can't start and it was up to me (chuckles), I would play Ross Barkley as a "number 9" with Bolasie and Mirallas either side of him.
Stan Schofield
56 Posted 11/10/2016 at 17:36:39
Darren @52 & Peter @53: Looks to me that you're each trying to convince the other that Lukaku is shite. But it won't work, because he scores too many goals. You seem to be manipulating facts to construct what is ultimately a fundamentally flawed argument, one that simply stirs a pot of unconvincing piffle (haven't used that word for a long time, a true testament to the futility of your false reasoning). As the old saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and (in your case) stirtistics, that uniquely TWesque process of pseudo-reasoning that stirs things up rather than makes a convincing argument.
Martin Mason
57 Posted 11/10/2016 at 18:43:09
Lukaku is an International standard striker who could score 30-40 goals a season in a top side. The concept that he is shite is infantile lunacy, have a look at how we perform without him, it's like playing with 10 men and any replacement looks ridiculously poor. He is a phenomenal striker but not necessarily on his own, on his day he is unplayable by any defence and the reason he is limited is because top level coaches are typically as thick as pig shit and have no idea how to fit in a diamond like Rom. When I watch him I see a Rolls Royce, silky smooth with massive strength in a side whose players and manager don't know how to play to his massive strengths.

I have a word for those who'd denigrate our players like Ross and Rom but I'd get banned for using it.

Brent Stephens
58 Posted 11/10/2016 at 19:03:38
Do those "110" Premier League games that Rom has featured in for us include games in which he came on as sub, by any chance? Just asking.

Darren Hind
59 Posted 11/10/2016 at 19:30:11
Stan,

Which bit of "Lukaku can be decent on his day, no question about that" reads "Lukaku is shite" in your delusional world?

And which statistic did I get wrong? If the Kane stats are wrong, have the moral courage to say so, so we can blow your argument away? Likewise with Lukaku's Premier League stats. Go ahead... say they are wrong.

The strawman argument you tried to put up may have rattled Mason's cage, but only enough for him to embarrass himself by plumbing new depths of hypocrisy. It would appear in his world, that those who offer legitimate criticism of a player have a "name"... but it's okay for him to wish defeat on our team because he doesn't like the manager. Funny.

And what about this little gem: "The reason he is limited is because top level coaches are typically as thick as pig shit" – is that the dumbest thing ever posted on this site? ... On any site??? Every top coach in the world must be as thick as pig shit, because Lukaku has had his arse in the shop window all summer and not one of them batted a fucking eyelid.

I'm racking my brains to understand why these fraudsters get contracts worth tens of millions while a visionary like Mason gets about 3% of fuck all. Where's the justice?

Paul Tran
60 Posted 11/10/2016 at 19:32:34
Good comparison with Kane, Darren. I completely agree with you on that one. And he had a stinker in the semi.

I've never said Lukaku is a world class striker. If he was, he wouldn't be here. Have you got the stats for how many chances all strikers miss? Or are we working on the basis that his goals are meaningless and his misses are meaningful?

He scores goals. More than most strikers in the Premier League. That's not good enough for you, or the clubs above us, but we clearly tried and failed to buy a decent striker last summer, which says to me there aren't many better out there who are willing to come to us.

I'd like nothing better than for us to buy two strikers better than Lukaku. Thing is I like breathing too much to hold it as long as I'd need to.

Please, let's see some stats for Premier League goals over the last three seasons and see how he figures. And if anyone has missed chance stats for all strikers, let's have a meaningful comparison.

Darren Hind
61 Posted 11/10/2016 at 20:41:46
"I never said Lukaku was world class striker" ... I sincerely hope not, Paul.

Actually you kinda expose the black-and-white nature of these threads. Say he isn't top draw and the fan boys will get hysterical and accuse you of calling him shite. There are many levels between world class and shite and Lukaku will be above half way

You a right in saying he is the best we can do at the moment but that doesn't mean we should be falling over ourselves with gratitude because he is here, or turning a blind eye to his missed sitters and lack of effort.... and I'm not sure who you were talking about when you said we tried and failed to sign a decent striker last summer.

Paul Tran
62 Posted 11/10/2016 at 21:03:35
Darren, I'm taking about Koeman/the club. I'm sure they were looking for a striker. Perez looked interesting till Arsenal pitched in. Otherwise, it was speculative foreign strikers. The decent ones didn't want us and we were unable/unwilling to get anyone even half decent.

I think we're going to have to unearth one from somewhere... and get Lukaku fired up before every game.

Regarding stats, all I'm saying is get some genuine comparisons and we know where we are. Selective stats get on my nerves, just confirmation bias for the zealots on both sides.

Brent Stephens
63 Posted 11/10/2016 at 21:15:27
Darren, did you track down whether those 110 games included Rom coming on as a sub? The Everton website shows 101 (8) - I suspect the 8 are the games he came on as sub. I think I've used the wiki stats myself before so might also have fallen into that one.
Stan Schofield
64 Posted 11/10/2016 at 21:17:17
Darren @59: Kane is good, but Lukaku is more Able than Kane.
Tony Kost
65 Posted 11/10/2016 at 23:47:23
Stan @64

Kane more able than Lukaku? – I don't Adam and Eve it!

Darren Hind
66 Posted 12/10/2016 at 03:39:52
Paul,

I don't think we tried very hard to sign a striker; I think you have made that up to strengthen your argument.

Regarding stats, I think the bias is all on the side of those trying to make Lukaku out to be better than he is. I laughed out loud when somebody tried to take Lukaku's appearances as a substitute out of the equation... yet they want to leave the goals he scored on the 11 occasions he appeared from the bench in it. Are they really that stupid?

I don't think confining stats to the premiership is being selective. its the only real way of judging a striker against his peers. same opposition where every goal counts. History is littered with strikers whose goals against lesser opposition in domestic cups have made them look better than what they are. A bagful of goals in the early stages of a cup competition are rendered absolutely meaningless if you don't go on to win the trophy. (If you think you can offer an alternative argument, I'm all ears.)

Aguero and Vardy are miles ahead of lukaku and despite Stans finger in the ears lalala approach, Kane literally murders him on all fronts. All three players work tirelessly and their workrate and hunger often make aimless forward look like slide rule passes. They often score goals out of nothing – you can count on one hand the number of times our boy does that.

Look Paul. I genuinely hope you win your bet, It will mean we as a team will be more successful – it will also mean you have to get the ale in.

Anyway, I'm taking a leaf out of Mockers book here, I'm going to try to give these Lukaku debates a wide berth. When people want to treat him differently to every other player and leave out his substitute appearances (whilst accepting the goals) you have to concede that reasoned debate has given way to mindless desperation. We've got better EFC related issues to discuss.

Peter Roberts
67 Posted 12/10/2016 at 09:50:28
How many top strikers go 13 consecutive games without scoring a goal?

How many top strikers miss a penalty and 4 one-on-one opportunities in an FA Cup semi-final?

How many top strikers "don't like heading a ball cos they banged their head when they were a kid"

How many top strikers have the touch of an elephant?

How many top strikers stroll around moaning – and when things aren't going well, blame the "style of play"?

No – top strikers don't do that... so all the Romelu fanboys can continue spinning stats like "goals scored by the age of 21" etc, they can continue to compare him to an era of Everton strikers where 90% would struggle to get in another top-half-of-the-table side. But I will not be kidded.

I'll continue to watch the lad with my eyes wide open. Try it – don't just look for him to convert a chance that falls to him in the box that most half-decent finishers would score. Watch him "play" – watch the number of times play breaks down because of his lack of technique... and "watch" what unfold afterwards.

You will be quite shocked to see what happens a lot of the time when Lukaku loses the ball. You see – the team are centred around the lad, they commit forward. They play a ball to him and expect him to look after it – he loses it. The other team counter and we are exposed. More often than not, it takes a good tackle from a defensive midfielder or defender to win possession back – that's if we do.

But it's okay... you can choose to ignore all that and just focus on his average of 14 Premier League goals a season. I'll continue to watch the likes of Kane, Vardy, Aguero, Suarez & Deeney press from the front – offer their team mates a "non-offside" option, and look after the ball whilst the team are able to advance up the field. Oh yeah... and they score goals too.

Brent Stephens
68 Posted 12/10/2016 at 10:17:12
"I laughed out loud when somebody tried to take Lukaku's appearances as a substitute out of the equation... yet they want to leave the goals he scored on the 11 occasions he appeared from the bench in it. Are they really that stupid?"

I didn't say in #58 that we should take out of the equation any games when Rom came on as a sub while leaving in any goals he scored in those games (that would be dishonest). Or "are you really that stupid".

Stan Schofield
69 Posted 12/10/2016 at 10:20:04
Peter @67: The figures you focus on, such as the absence of goals in 13 games, is an example of your manipulating facts to suit your argument, as opposed to looking at the situation more objectively.

For example, the absence of goals in 13 games must be accompanied by the 'statistical confounding factor' of the background of management issues last season affecting the entire team. Without taking taking account of such confounding factors, your use of figures is simply pseudo-statistical analysis, or as I said earlier, stirtistics. A kind of numerical shit raking.

All-in-all, such anti-Lukaku rants just look like a party political broadcast on behalf of the Romexit campaign.

John Daley
70 Posted 12/10/2016 at 11:44:44
"...the absence of goals in 13 games must be accompanied by the 'statistical confounding factor' of the background of management issues last season affecting the entire team. Without taking taking account of such confounding factors, your use of figures is simply pseudo-statistical analysis, or as I said earlier, stirtistics."

If you simply must factor in any chaos at the club and how that might have impinged on his usually 'imperious' goal scoring form, then surely you have to take into account what was going on around him when things were going swimmingly as well?

Who were amongst the opposition when on a hot streak? How was the form of his teammates during that same period? And might any player in particular have swung the 'feast or fucking famine' balance in his favour (eg, Deulofeu at the start of last season)?

Was he being heavily linked with a move to a club his arl fella considers absolutely massive when he cranked his 'more effort' mojo up to maximum and could it have been a conscious decision to do so? Was he getting his hole more than usual or was he having to whack lippy and fake eyelashes on his wank hand when the goals were flowing?

As for "stirtistics"? Shit name, but I won't let that stop me from having a go:

Lukaku actually enjoyed his most successful last 6 months to a Premier League season in an Everton shirt last time out.

From the 1st of December to the last game in May, he got his name on the score sheet a whopping eight times in the league. During the same time period the season before, he only managed five (two of which were pens). In his first season, seven league goals notched in that same six-month period.

If his dodgy form during the second half of last season was due to upheaval at the club, what the hell was going on behind closed doors the previous two years when he was similarly shite throughout the same period?

Stan Schofield
71 Posted 12/10/2016 at 11:53:56
John @ 70: I agree, stirtistics is a really shit name, but it's the best I could come up with to describe the shit stirring that goes on on TW.

If we want to fuck about with numbers, I'm content with the (I seem to recall) 65 goals in about 130 or so games, which is aboit 1 goal every two games. That'll do for me, don't need any pseudo-statistical bullshit.

John Daley
72 Posted 12/10/2016 at 13:58:27
Stan,

Obviously, my 'Rom is regularly a dud from December on' bit wasn't a serious attempt at putting forward a case that Lukaku turns to crap as soon as he claps eyes on an advent calender, but rather just some cobbled together shite that could fit within your definition of "stirtistics": hand plucked time period to suit, the recognition of certain goals but the rejection of others, all selectively pieced together to back up a claim clearly brimming with bollocks (ie, the second half of last season was actually Lukaku's best ever in an Everton shirt).

Something entirely different to a simple statement of fact that he went 13 games without scoring. There's no manipulation there, no fudging of figures and no attempt to portray a barren spell as anything more than it was: a lengthy run of consecutive games in which Lukaku failed to score a single goal. There's no 'confounding factor' that could explain away, conceal or cast doubt on the fact he was crap throughout that period and played like he couldn't even be arsed.

Stan Schofield
73 Posted 12/10/2016 at 14:25:53
John @72: Yes, as you say, no goals in 13 games, and an appearance of couldn't be arsed. Wouldn't argue with that.

My point is dead simple: It seems that some folks just don't like Lukaku, and will go to great strains, including analysing numbers and citing certain 'lucky' goals, to support a case to get rid. TW is full of this. But no case is really made. Because the facts like you've cited look simply like cherry-picking to criticise Lukaku.

But, at the end of the day, whether it's skill or luck or combination of both, the guy scores lots of goals for Everton. Not a common ability. And not changed one iota by folks (and I'm not necessarily including yourself, because I haven't read all your posts) calling him a gobshite, a lazy bastard, a lump who can't trap a bag of cement, etc.

Darren Hind
74 Posted 12/10/2016 at 16:04:16

Stan,

I wonder if you count the goal stolen from Bolasie as "lucky" – is he not lucky that so many are prepared to believe his claim that he actually got a touch? ... I mean, nobody saw it!

Stan Schofield
76 Posted 12/10/2016 at 16:38:33
Darren @74: It looked to me like Bolasie's strike would have gone in anyway if Lukaku hadn't been there. He didn't look like he touched it, and on that basis you could give it to Bolasie.

But quite honestly I can't think of many, if any, other goals attributed to Lukaku that would elicit a similar conclusion to that one. Surely a point here is about being in the 'right place at the right time', that old football phrase applied to quality strikers. Lukaku seems to have that knack of being in the right place at the right time.

You could attempt to examine each goal and explain away its significance in a way analogous to looking at the Bolasie strike, but I would very much doubt that this would, when applied to each of the goals he's scored for us, in many instances lead to a conclusion that his presence (place and time) was not significant for the goal. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't bet my shirt on it.

Mike Gwyer
78 Posted 12/10/2016 at 17:51:05
For fuck's sake, Darren, the boy is only 23. It is quite unbelievable that you are putting so much negativity on someone so young.

The boy was born to score goals and yes, he plays for Everton Football Club.

Ray Roche
79 Posted 12/10/2016 at 18:02:09
I haven't read every post but just a couple of points...

Mike (#78). Only 23? He's a man at that age, not a boy. Have a look through any broadsheet newspaper to see what other 23-year-olds are doing, suffering, and contending with. Don't want to row, Mike, but 23 is no longer a kid.

Patrick Murphy
80 Posted 12/10/2016 at 18:02:56
Given Rom's goal return at Everton, many outsiders would be astounded to realise that he hasn't got a god-like status at Goodison. Therein lies the issue and it's not just for those posting on TW, it's for a large percentage of Evertonians. Rom just hasn't been taken to the bosom of many many Everton supporters.

Whether this was due to him only coming on loan initially – but lesser talents have had bigger welcomes, so that can't be it; or it may be due to his many words indicating that he wanted to leave for a bigger club, quite soon after signing his contract.

Rom should and could be a Goodison legend but, for some unfathomable reason, I can't see it ever happening. I'm still not sure if it's our fault as supporters for being too mean and cynical towards the player and the team in general or whether it is Rom's fault for not embracing all things Everton, as the likes of Tim Cahill and Andy Gray did during their time as Everton players.

It's a crying shame because for years we have wanted and needed a regular goalscorer and a hero; it would seem that Rom has got the first part in his locker but won't achieve the second part at Everton.

Peter Roberts
84 Posted 12/10/2016 at 18:26:34
Question is he still only 23? Because I recall not too long ago people saying it wasn't a problem that he had a few glaring weaknesses as he was still only 20!!!

Ah yep... 3 years down the line we are still talking about those very same weaknesses. Are we to believe that they will be addressed in this next year? Will he suddenly start controlling a football, make precision-timed runs that don't see him the most offside person in the league... will he start working hard???

Somehow, I don't think so.

Lukaku came to Everton like someone comes to your house party and keeps their coat on... sat there looking at their watch...

Just do me a favour and get gone.

Stan Schofield
85 Posted 12/10/2016 at 18:32:52
Peter @84: Even if said weaknesses are not addressed, he'll no doubt keep scoring goals at a rate that not many can match. So Rom, just do me a favour and stay, because I like Everton scoring lots of goals.
Paul Tran
88 Posted 12/10/2016 at 18:50:43
Darren, if I win my bet, name the pub and I'll get down there and get the ale in!

He scores goals. I'll leave this one alone from now as well.

Peter Roberts
90 Posted 12/10/2016 at 19:48:52
I like Everton scoring goals too, Stan; that's why I want Lukaku gone.

We are set up to provide him goals at the expense of other elements of play. Does that make Everton score more goals? No.

Despite Martinez's gung-ho approach and Lukaku's supposedly superior "born to score" talent, we averaged just 2 Premier League goals more in Rom's 3 seasons than we did in Moyes's drab final 4 seasons.

Says a lot... doesn't it Mr Goalscorer really doesn't make that much of a difference, does he?

Give me a striker who offers more than just glorified personal stats and instead give me a striker that benefits the team.

Ian McDowell
91 Posted 12/10/2016 at 19:57:06
Of course we are setup to provide goals for our striker – or what's the point in playing one??? Why don't we sign a 12-goal-a-season Andy Johnson? Because he runs around a lot and chases balls kicked to the corner flag.
Stan Schofield
92 Posted 12/10/2016 at 19:59:37
Peter, I can't argue with your numbers per se, but, bringing in the dreaded 'statistical confounding factor' that Martinez was sacked whereas Moyes wasn't, you're not comparing like with like in terms of overall performance of the team.
Peter Roberts
93 Posted 12/10/2016 at 21:16:57
The only reason Martinez was sacked Stan is because, if Moshiri left it to Bill, Roberto would still be here picking up his wages like the manager before him. Agree or disagree?

It just seems you don't like the stats that suggest Lukaku doesn't equal goals for Everton.

Peter Roberts
94 Posted 12/10/2016 at 21:23:24
Ian, you mean why don't we sign a ٤m Andy Johnson who was played out wide by a manager who liked to play strikers out wide?

Maybe because we are now able to sign players that cost in excess of 㿅m... Thing is... I'm a bit funny – I like players that cost a shed load of money to be worth it. I like them to commit to the team, to be able to control a football.

Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 12/10/2016 at 21:37:38
A shuddering thought, Peter, especially considering we were told by many, to be careful what we wish for.
Stan Schofield
96 Posted 12/10/2016 at 22:08:12
Peter, so far as I can see, Martinez was sacked because he was crap.

I neither like nor dislike your argument, I'm just looking at it as objectively as I can. You have to be very careful in taking facts – in this case, data – and interpreting them. Your analysis isn't a good one, so far as I can see, because your interpretation of facts is not convincing. It is perhaps distorted by an apparent dislike of Lukaku.

I also like players to control a football (School of Science, brought up seeing Colin Harvey, and all that), but I also like to see strikers scoring goals. Lukaku is a striker, and scores goals in abundance. Objectively, I have no reason to wish him to leave Everton. Simple as that.

Peter Roberts
97 Posted 12/10/2016 at 22:19:45
Interesting that Martinez was sacked for being crap whereas his predecessor never won 1 game away from home vs the traditional top 4 in his 11 years here – the same man who bottled nearly every major cup game he had.

Rest assured, Stan, Martinez was sacked because we have a new majority shareholder who doesn't suffer mediocrity.

The fact is, under both managers where Everton failed to win a trophy – Lukaku's impact in overall goals scored in negligible. I'd go as far to say he's been accountable for a fair few scored against us too.

Joe Clitherow
98 Posted 12/10/2016 at 22:35:33
So Martinez winning a single solitary game away against those teams atones for everything else he failed at, does it, Peter?

Martinez was dismantling the club towards inevitable relegation and was taking us down the league as well as having been backed to the hilt with funds as well. His predecessor, whilst failing ultimately in the way you describe, showed progress in the way the team he inherited improved over time. Whereas Martinez was a disaster who was sacked, as Stan says, because was crap. Full Stop.

You may also assert that "I'd go as far to say he's been accountable for a fair few scored against us too", but I'd go so far as to say that you're talking complete crap until you back that up with something tangible, at which time I may then agree or disagree with you on the balance of probability of any evidence you present.

Brent Stephens
99 Posted 12/10/2016 at 22:45:30
Furthermore, Peter says "Lukaku's impact in overall goals scored [is] negligible".

Leading scorer equals negligible impact?! By "negligible" you actually mean "Let's ignore it"! Bizarre in the extreme!

Stan Schofield
100 Posted 12/10/2016 at 22:53:45
Peter, you've said it yourself there, that Martinez was sacked because he was crap. If Moshiri sacked Martinez because, as you say, he doesn't tolerate mediocrity, then he sacked him because he was crap. Because, surely, for an Evertonian particularly, mediocrity equates to crap.
Peter Roberts
101 Posted 12/10/2016 at 23:46:29
Yes, Stan... you are saying that Lukaku scored all these goal despite a bad manager? A manager who gave us our best points finish in the Premier League... but yes, I'll go with the fact that he was crap – gung-ho included.

The reality is (pay attention, Brent!): Everton (the team)... not Romelu FC – have only averaged 2 goals more Premier Leagie goals per season in Lukaku's time here than we did in Moyes's "tired" last 4 seasons.

I make the case that, whilst you fanboys get awfully giddy about Rom, the reality is that the impact on total team goals scored isn't a great deal.

But hey! What does that matter??? We have the kudos of someone who scores goals at the rate of Olivier Giroud.

Brent Stephens
102 Posted 12/10/2016 at 23:51:44
"The reality is that the impact on total team goals scored isn't a great deal."

Fecking crazy. Top scorer and his impact on "total team goals scored isn't a great deal". Do you really think before you post, Peter? Darren Hind must be pissing himself.

Stan Schofield
103 Posted 12/10/2016 at 00:03:06
Peter, all I did @100 was point out that you yourself had ultimately effectively said that Martinez was sacked because he was crap, in contradiction to your earlier statement disagreeing with my statement that he was sacked because he was crap.

It's quite simple logic really. But from your @101, I could get the impression that you're in training for the World Non-Sequitor Championships.

Peter Roberts
104 Posted 13/10/2016 at 10:05:26
Let's get it straight about the Martinez - Moyes comparisons... The argument is that we would have scored more goals under Moyes as he was a better manager?

The point was that Martinez's style was that of having a go for the full 90 minutes of a game – vs Moyes's safety "circle the wagons" approach.

Again, for those of you who are watching in black and white: "Does Lukaku equal more goals for Everton?" ... NO! The stats support that, despite having a so-called goal machine, the difference in average goals scored in his time here vs his preceding years is pretty much the same. There is no doctoring of those stats – nothing that makes them misleading other than some of you now trying to make out that under Moyes we were an adventurous attacking team and under Martinez we were abysmal and never provided the striker with opportunities... oh, the irony, eh?

If you all manage to stop looking at Boy Wonder's goals stats, and actually focus on the team he plays for, you may actually identify with the fact that his inclusion in the team is only beneficial in the fact that he is a "Johnny on the spot" striker with absolutely no desire to do any of the less glamourous stuff that may actually help his teammates out.

Part of me feels cruel for saying it like this – it's like when I was 12 and people told me that Tony Cottee wasn't a good player, and I wanted to have a top striker at our club; it took a few years before the likes of Graham Sharp highlighted why. Then you look at his stats and see that almost half his Everton goals came in cup games.

Trust me – when we get in a striker that can do a bit of everything, rather than just be there to wait for his teammates to serve him, you will see an uplift in "team" performance. The ball retention will be better, there will be a harmonious work ethic, there will be player pressing in uniform...

It may mean that you can't boast about having a striker at the top end of the top goalscorer table but you may just need to look at the league table instead for satisfaction.

It's Everton FC – not Romelu FC, after all.

Peter Roberts
105 Posted 13/10/2016 at 10:20:55
Brent - the fact that I now need to repeat this for a third time shows me how hypnotised you are by Lukaku.

Statement:- "Lukaku does not mean more goals for EVERTON"

Fact to support this:- "Everton's average goals scored per season in Lukaku's time at the club is only 2 goals more than the average of the seasons preceding his arrival."

How can I put this another way?

Okay... in 1985, when we won the league, we had 5 players achieve double figures in the league – Sharp was top scorer with 21. We had strikers who played as part of a "team". The next year we didn't win the league – we were runners up – we had Lineker who scored 30 goals and only 2 more scored double figures.

1987 – Champions... guess how many goals our top scorer notched? 14.

Am I making sense yet?

All depends on what you get your kicks from; I like seeing Everton do well. Not bothered who scores the goals. Having "team players" – not just goalscorers – is key to success... Lukaku isn't a team player.

Chris Gould
106 Posted 13/10/2016 at 10:53:43
Peter, in this Everton team, Lukaku does mean more goals.
Right now, that's all that is relevant.
Peter Roberts
107 Posted 13/10/2016 at 11:13:59
You will have to explain how that is, Chris. Are you saying that he puts a shift in? That he is a reliable recipient of the ball who can be trusted to look after it and not lose it? Are you saying that he presses and helps defend from the front?

Because, for me – aside from being the person who finishes moves – he offers very little else.

It's ironic – listen to the groans and stick Barkley gets when he loses the ball due to an unsuccessful dribble or a through-ball gets cut out... yet we have a striker who actually struggles to control the ball and it's okay cos he gets some goals?

I'm bewildered, I truly am. Let alone the fact that the lad thinks he's too good for us and has spent more time disrespecting us than he ever has stating his appreciation for us...

Chris Gould
108 Posted 13/10/2016 at 13:03:53
I'm not saying any of that, Peter. I'm simply saying that we have very little goal threat elsewhere. Coleman seems to be the next best threat at the moment, which is a bit worrying.

Like him or not, right now we need him fit and playing. With the current squad, who would you play up front instead of Lukaku?

Stan Schofield
109 Posted 13/10/2016 at 13:36:31
Peter, your argument @105, about winning the league in 85, is a good one. Yes, it's great to have several players getting double figures, rather than relying on a single scorer, the latter presenting problems if he gets injured. But at present we don't have several players who look likely to get double figures, there's only Lukaku who looks likely to achieve that, with a tally in the 20s.

So we're reliant on him. It would be nice if we weren't so reliant, but we are. The future might be different, but that's where we are now. So I can't see the point of criticising him to the point of wanting to get rid of him. Surely Koeman's job is to improve and exploit him to maximum effect, and get an improved team performance (with new signings where we can) so we're less reliant on him.

Peter Roberts
110 Posted 13/10/2016 at 21:32:05
We aren't "reliant" on him. He is reliant on play being centred around him of which he gets the plaudits. Big difference.

I hate to use this example: Look at Suarez in his last season at Liverpool. Did he rely on being fed? No. He actually contributed to the team ethos more so than just scoring goals.

Martin Mason
111 Posted 13/10/2016 at 21:53:33
Peter, they aren't mutually exclusive and we are definitely clueless without him.
Chris Gould
112 Posted 13/10/2016 at 22:03:19
Peter, he isn't half as good as Suarez, but he's the best we have and we are reliant on him.

What would your team and formation be with him not in it?

Stan Schofield
113 Posted 13/10/2016 at 22:22:10
Peter, of course we're reliant on him. We're reliant on every player in the team. We just need to alter the degree of reliance by, as per what you've said, having other significant goal scorers. To say we're not reliant on a player is just ridiculous.
Peter Roberts
114 Posted 14/10/2016 at 12:50:14
The way we are reliant on Rom is not different to the way we are reliant Stek in goal – he is the best we have got because, aside from our 㾹.5m panic buy, we are reliant on a player whose cartilage is about as strong as 50-year-old rubber band.

Does it mean Stek is one of the best around? – not really. Just that we haven't invested in the position properly.

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