Romelu Lukaku has spoken of Everton's need to mature, sharpen their focus and stop waiting for adversity before responding with the requisite desire to push forward and score goals.
The Belgian striker hasn't been immune to criticism as Everton's abysmal run of form has stretched to 10 matches with just a solitary victory but he has nine goals for the season including two against Watford in a match the Blues allowed to slip away through awful defending.
In that respect, Lukaku has been doing his job, even if he has just endured a five-game goal drought, and while many would agree that there is more he could add to his game, few would argue with his sentiments in the wake of the 3-2 defeat at Vicarage Road regarding where Ronald Koeman's team needs to improve.
"When we work harder on the pitch we get more chances,” the striker said. “The last 10 to 15 minutes of the game we created enough chances to equalise or win the game [at Watford].
"But we didn't start the second half well. We didn't pay enough attention at set plays and lost organisation and shape after the first 30 minutes.
"It's always the same story. We always need to get a knock before we react and that needs to stop.
"We need to talk as a group — we can't continue like that. We need to show a bit more maturity and be honest with each other as well.”
Everton entertain a dauntingly in-form Arsenal side on Tuesday evening, arguably the last team the Blues would want to face when they're in the midst of such a terrible sequence of results.
In addition to a plea for support from the home faithful in what could be difficult circumstances, Lukaku called for Everton to simply work harder and not lose concentration.
"The run we're in is not good,” he continued. “It's not good for the fans and the players as well, because the manager is doing a job and if we continue like that he might put players out of the team.
"We need to work harder and be focused. We need the fans at Goodison as well and we need to get them back onside."
Regarding his own form which picked up against Watford after a goalless stretch dating back to 30th October, the 23-year-old said:
"You want to play to win. I try to do my best and score the goals so we win, but I would rather win and not score than lose and score.
"The manager is really trying to change the way we start and if you give him enough time I think he'll change it.
"He has good plans for the whole team but if we perform like that it's going to get difficult."
Reader Comments (145)
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1 Posted 12/12/2016 at 07:11:32
2 Posted 12/12/2016 at 07:30:54
The players still don't look fit, lacking sharpness and looking exhausted at the end of the last game.
3 Posted 12/12/2016 at 08:24:25
Never a truer word was said, it's just a pity he and his colleagues ignore it.
4 Posted 12/12/2016 at 08:27:44
The "need to talk as a group" comment is interesting and there may be something you can read between the lines there. I just wonder why they haven't done that already!
For once I've read something from him that's been "on the ball" despite the fact that I know , as well as everyone else, that it was obviously his turn to "speak".
6 Posted 12/12/2016 at 08:36:46
Add to the situation that Baines now can't get around the back anymore. Last season, McCarthy was our best player out injured this season, then you can see clearly that we need major surgery.
7 Posted 12/12/2016 at 08:44:28
The "Talk" reference is interesting, especially after seeing that dressing room photo in the Echo, where the players are all on their phones in the changing room.
We need our best performance of the season on Tuesday to set this ship on the right course again.
8 Posted 12/12/2016 at 08:55:36
Lukaku, like the rest of the team, has got to play for 90 minutes v not 20 or 30.
All Everton fans want action talk is just very, very cheap.
9 Posted 12/12/2016 at 08:57:00
10 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:03:43
11 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:05:56
Problem is that none of them take their comments to heart, they keep making the same mistakes week after week. Maybe when they learn from their mistakes we will give them the credit that they're learning yet deserves.
12 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:11:45
13 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:18:29
Just do it mate. It's not hard, you're with each other every day, it's not like you need to arrange an appointment to talk to your team-mates.
But it's always about what's going to happen at some unknown point in the future. How about letting us know when you've actually done something about it, instead of talking about what you need to do?
14 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:22:08
Koeman's not blameless in all of this, obviously, but I think ultimately, if the players can only be arsed when a goal down and 10 minutes to go, then there's something clearly rotten at their core.
15 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:24:14
16 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:42:51
Who can forget Phil Neville's post-match quotes after every defeat? We need to improve, we need to concentrate more, we need, we need, we need... Hollow words if you're just not good enough or can't be arsed to do it.
This squad needs to be dismantled and rebuilt. It's the poor mentality rather than lack of skill which is killing us.
17 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:43:39
At the first opportunity the Club should whisk the squad off to Dubai for some warm weather training and bonding. Nothing better than getting beaten with a good suntan. Improved contracts may help too.
18 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:46:23
Williams looked rank ordinary at the back and perhaps he is not the player we thought he may have been.
As for our midfield we had no cutting edge through the middle at all. I'm sorry, Ross Barkley has to play we have nobody else who has the ability to control and hold the ball to even look for an incisive pass.
I'm really worried about the next two games, well any match at the moment; we'd struggle to put a nonleague side away. I'm thinking a 0-3 loss to each of the Arsenal and the Red Shite will be respectable results right now!
19 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:51:57
Funes Mori and Lukaku are the two tallest outfield players in the team by some distance, yet Watford's centre-back scored directly from a cross whilst being marked (stretching the definition, it was a free header) by the statuesque Seamus Coleman, and their centre-forward scored the third whilst being marked by the marginally taller, but just as incapable, Gareth Barry.
What were you doing whilst all this was going on Rom? Ball watching, as usual. Not paying attention!
20 Posted 12/12/2016 at 09:57:40
Maybe Efforting the Effort, Trying the Hardest and, heaven forbid, winning the Derby.
Short version; less talk better results. Do something, you overpaid gang of gold Bentley shites.
21 Posted 12/12/2016 at 10:05:00
We are 9th now but could well be 14th or lower by end of the year unless we surprise the bookies and beat the form teams we have coming our way.
At the moment, it's painful to watch and the performances have in every way merited the terrible results. I cannot accept that our players are incapable of better and so I'm afraid Koeman has to take a good portion of the blame.
He needs to change whatever he is doing. Because it clearly is not working.
22 Posted 12/12/2016 at 10:06:44
"When we work harder on the pitch we get more chances,” the striker said. “The last 10 to 15 minutes of the game we created enough chances to equalise or win the game [at Watford].
Hmmm... the last 10-15 minutes you mean when Valencia came on the pitch and did the running that you should be doing?
I see he didn't identify with why we conceded the equaliser where he just gave the ball away when we were on the attack and baines was caught out of position as a result.
Just get out the club. Sick and tired of this lad. His goal return is masking a very serious issue we have with him and his inability to play football or work for the team.
23 Posted 12/12/2016 at 10:19:34
24 Posted 12/12/2016 at 10:39:22
A lot of people on TW already think they could do better than the (or indeed any) manager. Now some think they could bang in the goals too!
Yes Rom does frustrate at times, but anyone who thinks he is anywhere near the main problem at Goodison is deluded. Two chances, two goals on Saturday and without his goals over the season so far, we'd be absolutely screwed.
25 Posted 12/12/2016 at 10:47:59
I think its dawning on Koeman just how big a job this is. We need about 8 or 9 new players in more a less every position on the pitch, and at least 7 emptied out. Only when that happens can we judge this manager.
The comments he made before the Watford game were massively telling for me, when he said he wanted the team to press, which they tried to do first game of the season vs Spurs, but then he said he has realised some of them can't do it so he's abandoned it.
I think he's just playing nice till the summer, then he'll ruthlessly cull most of them. Until then he has my 100% backing. They guy will prove what a good manager he is. I'm sure of it.
26 Posted 12/12/2016 at 11:01:51
When I read that we need a player who runs more and holds the ball better, who will that player be? And God knows who will receive the passes from this perfect target man and score goals.
Lukaku rarely has anyone making runs past him so when he does receive the ball he usually has nowhere to go other than pass it back to one of the midfielders. Many of the balls launched up to him are either well over his head or too short.
When he makes a run out to the wings often the ball is not delivered. When he makes a run down the middle the pass is delayed so he gets caught offside.
I have seen Royle, Latchford, Sharp, Gray and Ferguson play for us. All of them would have struggled in this team. Lukaku is struggling as well but at least he is scoring goals from the few chances we create.
We have problems all over the park but to imply that Lukaku is the root cause of our problems seems ludicrous to me.
27 Posted 12/12/2016 at 11:21:23
It's much harder to play well when confidence is low and players are playing with fear. Even Coleman and Williams have slipped backwards in recent weeks and we are conceding more goals now than earlier in the season.
What disappoints me the most is that Koeman doesn't seem to know what to do to fix it or at least make us half-decent. People say we have to give him a chance and not judge him so quickly, which I agree with, but we have seen in the last 5 or 6 games that he's not changing things and continues with this hoof ball up to Lukaku who we know it totally isolated and is not good at holding the ball up when there is no support around him.
I really do fear our run now and in January when Gana will be out of the team. We are like a sinking ship and even the manager doesn't know how to get "us" out of this freefall.
28 Posted 12/12/2016 at 11:23:17
The trouble is we are not a solid team and the problem is starting up front where Lukaku does not close down opposition defenders and makes it easy for them to start attacks. And his attitude has wrecked team spirit.
When he is up against a good centre back his ball control goes to pot and he hides. Just look at the Chelsea game. He was a disgrace. Ship him out and bring in a goalscorer who will work hard for the team.
29 Posted 12/12/2016 at 11:34:53
He is the only player delivering anything this season despite a paucity of service and a lack of a partner meaning he has scored some goals goals that you would expect any striker to score. He hasn't done a Diego Costa and chased down a defender and made a goal out of nothing... just finishes what we can manage to muster up for him.
Lukaku rarely has anyone making runs past him so when he does receive the ball he usually has nowhere to go other than pass it back to one of the midfielders.
Quite simply his team mates DO NOT TRUST HIM. The Watford equaliser at the weekend ball played to Rom, prime attacking position just advanced of their half of the centre circle, both Baines and Coleman bomb on to support an attack. What happens next? Does Lukaku hold it up, lay it off safe and advance up the field? Nooooooo. the mouthy one decides to try and put a pass through his markers legs. Possession straight back to Watford and they go up the other end and score.
This happens so many times in a game. Have you just ignored the likes of Coleman and Barry staring at him with a look that could kill? He's a liability. Time after time on Saturday he got his pocket picked. Nothing to do with service everything to do with his diabolical inability to play football.
When he makes a run down the middle the pass is delayed so he gets caught offside.
You having a laugh? the lad strays offside that often that players can't even make passes to him. Even when he has a line in front of him lookking down it he can't stay onside. Niall Quinn was bemused by th8is alone at the weekend.
The lad is a top quality finisher no doubt. That is it... nothing else to bring to the party. In fact to keep him in the side for his finishing we have to somehow tolerate and negate his lack of footballing ability, work and all the other things you expect a decent footballer to be able to do.
People who look at his goal return as a means of appraising his ability as player and his impact of the team dynamic would you book a holiday just off average temperature stats alone? Of course you wouldn't.
30 Posted 12/12/2016 at 11:42:25
However, to say "the problem is starting up front where Lukaku does not close down opposition defenders and makes it easy for them to start attacks" is a bit simplistic, isn't it? Have all our goals conceded been down to his losing possession? Is the defence a good defence, spoilt by Lukaku losing possession? Do we have a good squad of players, spoilt by Lukaku losing possession? Do we have a manager who can currently select a sensible team (such as Macca in the number 10 position!) and motivate them from the sideline (or sat on the bench), spoilt by Lukaku losing possession?
I like the number of goals he scores. I'd like him to convert more. I wish he had more skills in the areas I've pointed to. But to suggest all of our woes are down to one man?
And "And his attitude has wrecked team spirit". You're guessing there, right? Or do you really know that?
31 Posted 12/12/2016 at 11:50:38
Most of the players that are playing at present have shown in the past that they are good players but Koeman is nowhere near getting the best out of them. Unless he changes the style of football used in the last two matches, then we are going nowhere.
33 Posted 12/12/2016 at 11:59:23
Watch the difference in how having a forward player full of running and ability to make the ball stick is having on Chelsea. Fabregas came out yesterday and said how much easier the game is with Costa's running.
Just because he bangs in a few goals and has 10 men behind him who can win the ball back does not exclude him from any criticism those 10 men are watching him and when they see him trotting around, losing the ball how do you think they feel? Especially when Gob on Legs is making such grand demands of them to work harder it really is laughable.
Some of you have been so long without the "marquee" goalscorer that you are prepared to allow him not to work for the team... absolutely amazing.
34 Posted 12/12/2016 at 12:24:34
Watford's equaliser originated with Lukaku's inability to hold the ball up, yet hardly any pundits seem to have spotted it. I sat down to MotD on Sunday morning and kept saying to my son, ‘Watch Lukaku losing it… they go straight down the other end and score." But that bit was edited out.
His hold-up play on Saturday wasn't worthy of a park player, but he and everyone else seem to think his goals absolve him. They don't.
35 Posted 12/12/2016 at 12:31:40
He's not blameless; neither is he the cause of all our problems. Why do some people have to paint it black or white?
36 Posted 12/12/2016 at 12:39:52
Their first goal, once again the half-hearted attempt by Williams to win a header and then left his man completely unmarked. It was diabolical.
Now we have big head here saying he needs to talk to his team mates, well get off your phone or take off your dickhead Beats oversized headphones and speak to them. >Whole team was shite, couldn't battle for the ball and couldn't pick their fucking noses.
I walked into the Bier Keller to finish watching the game just as the 3rd went in, walked straight back out. That's what these fuckers have done to me, I would rather face shopping in John Lewis then have a pint and watch them
37 Posted 12/12/2016 at 12:44:38
Koeman has them all running scared and they are all too nervous. They are petrified of making a mistake and so what happens next, we play like a bunch of nerve bags. Koeman has to sit them down and engender some belief and stop publicly slagging' them. It's so simple.
There is no huge issue with the team. Granted we need some fresh blood. A goalie that is not simply one of Koeman's friends would be a start, and a proper striker to partner Rom etc, but this team lack belief. Simple!
38 Posted 12/12/2016 at 12:50:34
I agree with you. It sometimes looks like a game of table tennis going on, particularly when we play the likes of Watford. I don't think any of our players have the ability to hold up balls coming toward them with their backs to goal, and invariably possession is lost until we either get the ball back or we concede.
Look at us versus the better teams in the League, who possess players who are able to take the pace off passes or clearances coming at them at pace from near and far, and to bring the ball under control quickly before they are hit. One will be on show tomorrow: Sanchez.
Man City have Aguerro and Silva. Watch how Diego Costa brings passes to him under control all of the time.These guys can kill the pace on the ball and keep it a close quarter-quickly. I think the last player we had who could do it consistently was Stephen Pienaar.
This albeit rare ability makes a huge difference, and takes a massive amount of pressure off your own defenders, who then have time to review their set ups, look around, gather their thoughts and their breath, and wait for the next wave, which is usually not 10 seconds later! With Everton, the ball is coming back at them seconds after they have moved it forward.
Lukaku, Mirallas, Lennon, Barkley, Bolasie, Deulofeu they are all equally as bad as each other. It's just that Lukaku stands out more because he is more often the target.
I regret we simply don't have that vital talent in the squad on the evidence I see.
39 Posted 12/12/2016 at 12:54:18
Williams is just as weak in his challenge and Baines does his usual trotting back into position which means Funes Mori has to move over to the winger and Williams is to slow to react to the striker.
Baines gets away scott free from all the blame for some reason, he just doesn't stop the crosses anymore the worst example was the Southampton goal when he ambles over to the winger in the first minute; he should be sprinting to the opposition, not standing off them.
40 Posted 12/12/2016 at 13:23:35
I keep swinging back and forth with Lukaku. I agree with almost everything Peter says, but he does score goals maybe the answer is two strikers, one who can win headers, play with his back to goal, run channels and bring others into play, and Lukaku to score his type of goals??
I'm actually tired of discussing whats wrong with tactics, application, managers and the lack of commitment (and ability) from players.
I was tired of Moyes too, but at least with him when we hit a patch of shitty form he went back to basics and made us hard to beat until our confidence returned we've not had that from our last or current manager. (I'm not advocating Moyes's return, by the way.)
41 Posted 12/12/2016 at 13:24:30
If you think we're bad now, I can't wait to see what these types say when they see us with Kone or Valencia leading the line.
42 Posted 12/12/2016 at 13:50:35
You forgot to add ''And leave them there''.
44 Posted 12/12/2016 at 13:53:34
Would you rather have a player who runs his heart out, then, when a chance presents itself, is too knackered to get on the end of it, or a player who ambles around but comes to life when there is a chance?
45 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:04:12
I figure Koeman has a choice. If he wants to play up to a lone front man... then drop Lukaku because he's not that player.
If you want a forward to press the defenders... then drop Lukaku because he's not that player.
Or he could just put another forward up with him. That might actually work.
He could play a different style that suits his better players. That might work.
I'm not sure why Rom cops this criticism when he's clearly being played in the wrong role. The difference in the last 20 minutes was that he had support alongside him in Valencia and a player in between the midfield and attack in Barkley. Neither were exceptional, but both were the right type of player in the right role. We started to look a bit more like a football team.
It worries me that this really isn't rocket science. If you set your team up with a huge gap between defensive midfield and attack then you'll get long balls played up to a guy who can't do the job asked of him.
Hypothetically, if we were to get spanked at home by Arsenal and then Liverpool... does Ron make it to Christmas?
46 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:16:58
In any level of sport, when you play with a luxury, it leaves you 11 vs 10. This isn't insurmountable but it is attritional.
The consistent flaws in his game are exposed further the better the defending. The fact is, over a game, Lukaku does have a massive effect on the team. If we choose to consistently play the ball up to him, it never sticks so it comes back quickly.
Initially players who might gamble to get up along side him get caught the wrong side of the ball, leaving us outnumbered in transition. Defenders are dragged out of position.
As a game wears on, those players stop gambling and we have no players to support him when miracles happen and it sticks. The team therefore plays much deeper overall. No attacking threat.
Pressing is a team game and, when one goes, the whole team goes, Lukaku is poor at pressing with a group and often goes alone when he should hold. Poor intelligence.
His negative qualities are hugely damaging to the side, his team mates clearly don't trust him. The whole effect is a wearing, draining cycle on the team which handcuffs any attacking intent we have.
The funny part is Lukaku thinks that we pushed Watford back in the last 20 minutes. It was clear to me that they sat back knowing a 2-goal lead was enough.
Lukaku is a poor professional colleague, I think it showed on the first goal, more interested in celebrating about his mate rather than his teammates, not that they were rushing in for a celley!
Even though I want Koeman out, it's unlikely our board will act. Next best thing is sell Lukaku in January and buy a team-based striker who will actually give the team a more rounded balance.
47 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:19:28
How many Premier League strikers have better stats than Lukaku??? How many play for teams like Everton where the main striker gets limited service??? How many of the strikers with better stats make more than twice the wages of Lukaku and play for the big money clubs??
Personally, I get frustrated watching Everton games because Lukaku goes stretches of games where he gets virtually no service.
I guess I'll have to wait until Lukaku gets away from Everton to see him reach his full potential. At a club where he doesn't go through stretches of games with no service, he will be hailed as one of the best strikers in the world.
Also, let's not forget Lukaku is still only 23 years old and in my opinion will get better at the things (like hold up play) that ToffeeWeb posters moan and groan about.
Finally, I hope Everton don't squander the transfer fee they get for Lukaku when he leaves after this season. Based on Bolaise going for around £30 million you don't get all that many quality players when a player like Lukaku leaves a club like Everton.
To me it's a shame that Lukaku is dissed so much on ToffeWeb. He's a world class player on a Premier League team that's not far from being in the relegation battle and not the battle for top of the league.
ps: For those that think Diego Costa is a better striker than Lukaku, please check out last season's stats. Lukaku scored 18 times and Costa scored 12.
48 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:21:20
In any language, that's "get the boot" form.
49 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:22:36
50 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:25:11
I wouldn't. We can criticise Lukaku's very obvious weaknesses, but I don't think for a second he'll suddenly turn them around. I expected nothing from him in that role against Watford, and that's what we got. His inability to play that role affected the whole team, as you point out.
So why play that way?
51 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:29:10
Rom is expected to support the team and score the goals, the game flows two ways and all players are expected to contribute with and without the ball.
The days of carrying a luxury player are done. Goal-hanging gobshites are allowed in primary school not it a Premier League club.
If the fella actually did put the effort in, worked hard at his hold-up game, the irony is he would most likely never have come to Everton and certainly would have moved on by now to a top top club.
Effort always comes first, not talent. You earn the right to play, not the other way around.
52 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:31:54
Everton needs to sort out it's underlying management problems. I don't know what the hell they are, but 55 years of supporting this club tells me they need to sort them out. I'm sick of being raised up temporarily then let down.
53 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:32:45
56 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:38:31
As it happens I would never play Rom up front on his own or with someone, I'd get rid.
He and Konman can get in a car a bugger off. Ultimately the playing squad is in decline granted. So playing a guy who affects the team so much creates so much imbalance it's maddening.
Konman could do no worse than 'dropping the dead donkey and pick a balanced team with players who play defined roles. This would offer some harmony make limited player's jobs simple and would to my mind pick up results which would allow the manager time to improve the playing side.
Lukaku is not the answer, all that glitters is not his goals.
57 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:41:15
Here's what's happening. The defenders are neither marking nor closing down crosses. The midfielders are neither shielding the back four nor supporting the attack. The 'wingers' are making no discernible impact on the game. The manager is persisting in playing a striker ill-equipped to be a lone striker as lone striker and is refusing to play the striker he bought, or play even one promising youngster.
And we criticise the lone striker for scoring twice!
58 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:41:41
The squad of players Everton have in general aren't pressing defensive players. Compare Everton players to those who play on world class pressing teams like Barcelona or Bayern Munich who instantly press when the ball is turned over and it's obvious who's a good pressing team and who isn't.
Would Lukaku be a good pressing player if he played for Barcelona or Bayern??? I don't think so and I don't think those two teams are interested in him, but my guess is other top flight teams will be interested in Lukaku. I could see Lukaku playing for PSG or Manchester United, teams with huge transfer kitties and teams that don't play the Barcelona style of pressing.
59 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:51:59
You have probably seen the photo of the players all sitting there on their phones in the dressing room! It tells a story!
60 Posted 12/12/2016 at 14:53:00
The only problem with this is we would have to go out and bring in top class attacking midfielders to prosper from our workhorse's exertions as currently there are absolutely no goals in what is a dire selection of midfielders.
Could we attract these star midfield players at the moment? I'm not too sure. I for one would like to see another striker up top with Lukaku just to give it ago. 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 just doesn't fit with the personnel we have at the moment.
62 Posted 12/12/2016 at 15:13:54
I keep praying some deluded manager somewhere just goes on his stats and puts in a bid to get him somewhere where I can enjoy watching his lack of everything because it's so painful while he's with us.
63 Posted 12/12/2016 at 15:22:43
The team spirit and work hard and play percentage balls that Moyes got us to an average of 6th place and that was replaced by Kamikaze tippy tappy; now with most of our top pros aging and not having the legs to do it our new manager wants a "pressing" game.
No matter what the players are paid no-one plays badly on purpose especially when its the whole squad.
It seems to me the players are forming into groups one that cant or wont play the way the manager wants and others that want to play it another way. The result is confusion. Do we play it long ball so Lukaku can run onto it? Do we build up play through MF and look to create chances? Do we defend as a unit or do we accept that the full backs will go up the pitch in anticipation of us keeping the ball and then get caught out because no-one is covering?
All I see is total confusion and lack of cohesion and purpose which leads to a lack of confidence. Never has the team needed more moral support from the fans to at least instil a bit less nervousness in their play for now but, as we all know, major surgery is required at the club.
64 Posted 12/12/2016 at 15:32:53
Lukaku receives criticism for not being able to match up other skills within his game to the level he scores goals.
Physically gifted, never puts himself about to score (West Ham apart, on his debut) dirty goals.
Mentally weak, rarely dominates a defence (West Ham excepted 😆).
Almost never creates an assist for a team mate.
Completely unable to flex his position to help the team, either incapable or unwilling.
Too often missing or bottles it in the bigger games. Both semi-finals last year, year as an example
Could count his goals at Anfield, Old Trafford, Emirates and Man City on one hand.
Compare those parts of his game with a footballer much less able, Tim Cahill perhaps and see how he matches up?
His goals are not our saviour, he is a streaky scorer often going 5 more games without scoring. Scoring multiple goals on games which are already won.
On the plus side, as he never puts himself about so he rarely gets injured! And oddly likes to mouth off off the field but not on it so never gets into issues with the officials!
I agree its often feels like he cops it more than most but if he was more circumspect and tried not to boost his profile to the detriment of the club perhaps he would be given more slack?
Who knows... maybe it is a scapegoat we are looking for. One thing is for sure whatever our respective paths, Rom is divergent and won't be at Everton much longer.
65 Posted 12/12/2016 at 15:36:02
It's a joke, isn't it, when players have to be told to try harder, they're in, or should be in peak physical condition, shame they have to exert themselves to train and sometimes play twice a week.
66 Posted 12/12/2016 at 15:40:36
Anyone see Costa's goal yesterday? The same costa who supposedly isn't as good as Lukaku because he never scored as many goals as him last year ... Newsflash Lukaku will never be a patch on him because he does not have the lads hunger.
Ah but last year he was rubbish in a good team. No, He was a member of a team that was in turmoil ran into the ground by a megalomaniac.
Chelsea will win the league at a canter and he will be a nominee for the PFA player of the year because he allows them to play the way they are. His team mates love him because he brings them into the game, the likes of Hazard know they can get forward and receive the ball and score goals as a result of his selfless work.
67 Posted 12/12/2016 at 15:44:23
The truth is,these players are not good enough to play for a coach as decent as Koeman they can't follow his instructions because they are not GOOD ENOUGH.
Football is played in the mind as much as with the feet.
As for Baines,the reason he looked decent for a few years was down entirely to firstly Lescott and then Distin who both played left centre back and bailed him out game after game with their pace and covering for him. He has always been rubbish at defending he should have always played in midfield because that's what he was-a left sided midfielder, NEVER a defender. Same applies to Coleman.
Just consider the often spoke "square pegs in round holes" team set up at Everton for the last 20 plus years and it's the same all over the pitch with very few exceptions.
Koeman will put the right player in the right position because he knows how to put a balanced team together all he has for now is utility players who also happen to be crap.
Kenwright is the problem and has never released funds without forcing the manager to sell our most valuable (not necessarily best) asset first.
Let's see in 12 months time when Koeman has his own players.
68 Posted 12/12/2016 at 16:00:57
I'd also echo Peter's point that it is certainly possible to find mobile strikers who score goals. I'd love us to buy at least one.
It's just becoming tiresome to read this simplistic narrative that it's all down to Lukaku. It isn't.
For me, I'd rather we look at the defenders who aren't defending, the creators who aren't creating and the second manager in a row who thinks Lukaku can play up front on his own. Then I'd start on Lukaku.
69 Posted 12/12/2016 at 16:11:31
A (sadly, much reviled...) player repeats observations made by many on this site and is torn to shreds for doing so.
More, for many within this very thread, he is the very root cause of our poor form.
Accused by many of only playing for himself and not being a team player, his very explicit comment: ""You want to play to win. I try to do my best and score the goals so we win, but I would rather win and not score than lose and score" is either ignored, or cynically questioned for its sincerity.
Yes, there are aspects of his game Lukaku can improve. That is true for ALL players at EVERY stage of their professional career.
But to continue to pick at the scab that is Lukaku for many of you, who clearly believe the problem and solution starts with him, is barking.
There are many, MANY other aspects of Everton's current play that need addressing before prioritising 'solving the Romelu question.'
Here's one. Against United, Lukaku had 1 touch of the ball in their penalty area. On Saturday against Watford he had 3 and scored from 2 of them.
Against WHU on Sunday, the 'poo had 59 touches in the WHU penalty area. FIFTY-FREAKING-NINE! What could Lukuka, the team, do with that amount of action in the opposition penalty area each week?
And more chillingly, what could the 'poo do to us next Monday if they come anywhere near matching that stat?
Romelu Lukaku, his form, his contribution, is NOT where the focus or priority should be in lifting Everton out of this slump. If anything, the focus and priority should be in feeding him more good delivery at the sharp end of the pitch. He'll do the rest.
71 Posted 12/12/2016 at 16:18:48
Currently we only have Gana who is playing with any consistency. Barry is 35 and can only do a job when other players do his running. Mirallas, Deulofeu and Barkley don't work hard enough when they haven't got the ball. Bolasie is too inconsistent. Lennon doesn't have the quality. It's going to be another long shit season.
72 Posted 12/12/2016 at 16:28:25
You are obsessed man. Only two players did their job on Saturday. Gana and Lukaku and both would be lucky to get 6/10.
The back four were woeful to a man, maybe Funes Mori could be excepted.
McCarthy didn't know what he was doing in an unfamiliar role. The two wide men were dreadful.
When so many players look off their game, one win in 10 games, we play a formation with three holding players and our most creative player has been publicly held out to dry – there's only one guy I'm blaming.
The one we pay £6m a year
74 Posted 12/12/2016 at 16:34:07
75 Posted 12/12/2016 at 16:52:48
Apart from Gana, Coleman and Funes Mori (at times), the rest of the overpayed shirkers could hardly form a decent Championship side.
It gives me nausea now, to see some of these names on our club shirts. They simply don't belong here. New chapter please.
76 Posted 12/12/2016 at 17:09:32
However, he seems to be the sacrificial lamb all the time on here for a lot of people, despite doing what a good centre forward does and score a good number of goals for a bang average team. Whether he is lazy, first touch shite, selfish – whatever, he's not the reason we're shite. Start thinking about "insert name" (other than Barry and Gueye).
77 Posted 12/12/2016 at 17:12:40
The players who need to take more of a look at themselves are the defenders. Williams has been woeful of late. He just doesn't look arsed to me and he is constantly being out jumped and out fought.
The full backs are also nowhere near their previous standards and both let crosses in far too often. Funes Mori, whilst looking like he does at least want to give it a go, does tend to go to ground far too easily in making tackles and slides in rather than staying on his feet. The wide men also contributed very little too.
I actually felt sorry for McCarthy. That was not his position. He looked better after Gana went off and he was breaking up Watford's counter attacks and patrolling the half-way line.
78 Posted 12/12/2016 at 17:27:06
He's obviously a lot better than some of us believe, a good selling point at least...
79 Posted 12/12/2016 at 17:30:57
If or when he goes, we are going to struggle to come up with a replacement that matches his scoring rate. Just now, he is 4th in the table of goalscorers in the Premier League this season; Costa has 12, Sanchez 11, Aquero 10 and he has 9.
Saying he plays for us and those above him play for the top 3 clubs in the table, that's not too bad, is it?
If we had a midfield that was of a much better quality than of now, it seems a decent bet that he would get more still.
80 Posted 12/12/2016 at 18:16:16
I personally do not feel the need to pop at posters I disagree with but you obviously do and that's okay too.
81 Posted 12/12/2016 at 18:49:48
Everyone seems to think the transfer window in January will turn things around but I have not been impressed with Koeman's dealings... So far, only Gueye has been a good solid signing. Stekelenburg and Williams both seem to be struggling, and I simply don't rate Bolasie, although I would like to see more of Valencia as we look more cohesive up front when he come on.
Just one last comment and it's Koeman's lack of foresight that we did not sign another central midfielder when we all knew Barry was finished at the end of last season. With Mo Besic getting "another" injury, he has to play Barry, who quite frankly, is a liability these days.
82 Posted 12/12/2016 at 18:50:24
"I personally do not feel the need to pop at posters I disagree with but you obviously do and that's ok too."
Oh per-lease, save us the sanctamonious grandstanding Alan.
You (and others) consistently ridicule and berate those who speak up in any sort of defence of Lukaku. You are NOT being shouted down or told to 'feck orf!' with your views on the fellah. You are simply being challenged on your views.
Typically, you have no coherent response to such challenges.
Why am I not surprised?
85 Posted 12/12/2016 at 19:07:27
I mean, he spends most of the summer telling everyone he is too good for Everton and is moving to a big club except none of them were interested. He strolls through the last three matches contributing slightly less than fuck all... but as soon as he hits the net, fatted calves everywhere are making like Frankel!!!
86 Posted 12/12/2016 at 19:26:57
I slaughter him for his lethargy, lack of skills, big mouth, awareness, anticipation..., his 2nd at Watford was only down to the defender behind him not taking 1 step out because your man had no idea how close he was to being yet again caught offside.
I'm not ridiculing anyone for their views but defending mine against people like you who feel the need to slag us off.
88 Posted 12/12/2016 at 19:47:41
Oh, and Lukaku scores a lot more goals than Firmino, which (unless I'm mistaken) is the main job of a striker. If he leaves Everton, I for one will be fucking disappointed. A surprising number of TW posts want to replace innately talented players with fucking carthorses and long-distance runners.
89 Posted 12/12/2016 at 19:50:38
90 Posted 12/12/2016 at 19:53:10
If Ron fails to get us playing by April, then I may have some reservations, but this is just Everton on the usual crappy downward curve.
91 Posted 12/12/2016 at 19:54:56
"Complete clarity is what it is about. If you don't have that you create confusion. If a player has confusion then he lacks focus. Every team in the world is now so fit that if you see teams on the field that look tired they will just be confused."
The same rugby players that were castigated are now heroes. Surely good coaching and clarity could get more out of our players?
It appears that there is growing confusion and a lack of confidence – why run if you do not know if the player will pass to you. Perhaps Ronald is trying to simplify the game plan but it ain't pretty and it isn't working yet.
92 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:02:52
I posted earlier that I didnt want to criticize individual players but I have to take you to task on Lukaku.
I, and I am sure a number of other critics, accept that he scores goals but the question is how many goals against does he cost us by his inability to hold the ball up or beat a CB to a header whereby the other team then catch us on the backfoot and breakaway to score a goal.
How many times does he fail to link up play with his teammates who try to play a 1-2 off him.
It is no coincidence for me that the collapse of form at EFC coincided with him being signed permanently and becoming "Billy big balls".
He keeps going on about belonging at a bigger club instead of helping EFC to become a bigger club.
Its no wonder team spirit evaporated with people like him in the dressing room.
93 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:04:27
"when did I ever 'ridicule or berate' people who worship every flat foot step he takes ?"
Care to check that very sentence as a ready example...?
You are clearly positioning yourself and attempting to belittle people with a contrary view to you own on Lukaku as 'blind devotees' of the player, accepting of every action he makes or word he utters.
It is clearly derogatory and the view you attach to such folk is not at all representative of their many diverse views.
For someone so ready to abrasively berate (not my man, but our man (he plays for our club, Everton, doncha know?), you yourself have a very thin skin when challenged, not 'slagged off' on your view on the lad.
95 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:10:35
The game has moved on. A big target man is a thing of the past with most progressive clubs.
Klopp has all his players working hard winning the ball, pass and moving, covering the ground, no one in particular is getting the treatment of great service, they are all playing for each other, creating chances for each other.
No-one has scored 9 goals but, as a team, they have scored more than us. That's what we need to do and we need the players to do this which definitely is not a big lazy centre forward with an even bigger ego.
Barkley's confidence has been wrecked playing with Lukaku and he needs a Rooney type player to get the best out of him which would be both of them working hard and creating good positions for each other.
97 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:26:53
In my view he needs Valencia to start along side him. We must drop the protect the back four shite, we must look like winning counts. Lukaku is doing his job by scoring goals and providing platitudes to the press.
Is it not silly to say "get rid", and expect £60 million for him. When the coach gets it together, and I think wanting him out after so few games is unfair, I hope we will see Lukaku get the service he needs. He us, at present, a luxury player, but, frankly,if he doesn't get the goals there is not another one of them you would risk ten bob on.
98 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:28:32
Also, people keep comparing Lukaku to Costa. But they seem to ignore the fact that in the latter period of Maureen's reign at Chelsea, the players, including Costa, downed tools, during which Costa was shite, scoring little. In comparison, even if we assume that Lukaku is a lazy git and has downed tools, unlike Costa he's still scoring plenty of goals.
You have to be careful when comparing players, to take account of the overall form and/or attitude of the team and/or political situation at the club, before drawing convincing conclusions about the contribution of a player. I can't see that that has been done to any substantial degree.
I get the impression that some simply dislike Lukaku, and won't be dissuaded no matter how many goals he scores.
99 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:29:42
Is that Barkley I can hear sobbing? Lukaku thinking "Ok, that Biffa Hayes on ToffeeWeb reckons I need to run a bit more or he wants me out the club, I'll get a fucking spurt on..."
100 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:44:48
Some might counter that we're not 'experts' as such, but quite honestly I've got to thinking that there may be a lot of smoke and mirrors associated with some high-profile managers raking in millions in salary.
Football is not rocket science or brain surgery, and it might prove useful if Koeman picked up a few tips from the many intelligent and well considered suggestions on this site.
102 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:52:35
103 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:57:43
As for the now 'legendary' Bob Latchford it was "get a move on fat arse" or "you feckin' lump of lard" or "that Latchford is a lazy fucker" etc .. Some things never change.
104 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:58:16
I'm sure there are a few posters who like nothing better than a good moan in any given situation but, from what I have read, most posters are attempting to be constructive in a very bleak period for the team.
105 Posted 12/12/2016 at 21:00:06
106 Posted 12/12/2016 at 21:03:44
107 Posted 12/12/2016 at 21:09:06
Actually, there's no way Ron is a TWer, because at least TWers seem interested in what they're talking about.
108 Posted 12/12/2016 at 21:12:18
As well as scoring goals, his job is also to bring more of his team mates into the game in the final third so that we can create more chances for more players by better movement and utilisation of space (as a team). He isn't doing that, but most other top strikers in the league are, especially Firmino.
Lukaku isn't even using his aggression on an individual basis as well as he could. Think how many goals he could score if he played as he should. He is under selling himself. As a 23-year-old, being 503rd out of 503 outfield players for distance run is a bit of a disgrace really. Next year, I fear he will be placed 504th out of 503.
Peter and John, you have each put together very solid and well constructed arguements illustrating some of these points.
109 Posted 12/12/2016 at 21:23:01
What's happening here is comparing Costa or Firmino, playing in well functioning sides, with a player playing is a dysfunctional side. Yes, he has a role in influencing that functionality, but that influence is surely small compared with the bigger influence of Koeman managing the side more successfully. That's all I'm saying.
The evidence suggests that if and when we start functioning (gelling) as a team, Lukaku will not simply be scoring goals but will be unplayable compared with many other strikers mentioned in comparisons with him.
110 Posted 12/12/2016 at 21:50:21
Keeper isn't keeping.
Defenders aren't defending.
Holding midfielders don't hold.
Creators aren't creating.
But that's irrelevant.
Lukaku's got plenty of flaws, but not half as many as most of his colleagues, who are doing nothing and getting a free pass because well, I just don't know.
111 Posted 12/12/2016 at 21:51:55
112 Posted 12/12/2016 at 22:08:30
113 Posted 12/12/2016 at 22:11:42
114 Posted 12/12/2016 at 22:29:44
115 Posted 12/12/2016 at 23:38:51
116 Posted 12/12/2016 at 23:41:23
117 Posted 13/12/2016 at 01:48:22
I'd have Sturridge, in our team no problem. He does get injuries but what a striker. I even rate him over Dafoe, and I rate him very highly.
As for Lukaku, isn't he there to score goals? And he does. So whats the constant gripe that some ToffeeWebbers have with him?
Remember Bob Latchford, now he was a very mobile player wasn't he? What a lazy bastard, but hey he new were the net as does Lukaku. He does his job, his record tells you that.
I know one thing for sure, there's no unrest in the dressing room.
118 Posted 13/12/2016 at 02:18:24
119 Posted 13/12/2016 at 03:04:25
What cross? From where? Chelsea works because the 4-3-3 with actual good midfielders and wingers allows the striker to wait to see where the ball is going and where the gaps are and to move to them as part of two or three triangles. This gives him the option of someone to pass to. Everton currently doesn't get enough men forward to make even a line with Lukaku, much less a triangle!
Lukaku up front has no one to flick a ball on to because they are not forward of him. So my question is why hoof the ball long to Lukaku expecting him to pull it down, control it, fight off two or three defenders, and then pass backwards to the finally arriving midfielder? wouldn't it be smarter to have the wings and mids moving the ball and then play it into or through for the striker to run onto? Where exactly did Barry's pass come from? why can't we do more of that? Lukaku showed again how unstoppable he is when he is able to run at the keeper.
I shudder to think of the team some of the experts would put out. Can see it now, the headline at season's end from the soon to be axed manager, "The boys put up a good fight each game and while we scored fuck all and were outmuscled in our own box, I must say that I am so proud that they covered every blade of grass in every stadium in the EPL. I can only add that I am looking forward to them doing it to all of the ones in the Championship next season."
121 Posted 13/12/2016 at 04:16:06
1. George Boyd
2. Christian Eriksen
3. Steven N'Zonzi,
4. Scott Arfield
5. Jake Livermore
6. Sebastian Larsson
7. Daryl Janmaat
8. David Jones
9. Jordan Henderson
10. Aaron Cresswell
11. Kieran Trippier
12. Jack Colback
13. Ahmed Elmohamady
Wow, what a team that is. So much running. Goals? Not so much. But the running, we all pay to watch them just run and run don't we?
122 Posted 13/12/2016 at 04:57:58
The likes of Dave Thomas and Ronnie Goodless skinned defenders and knew when they put the cross in, Bob Latchford would be there to meet it.
I've lost count the number of times Deulofeu has put in a decent ball, then pointed, saying "That's where you should have been instead of standing still with your hands on your hips."
123 Posted 13/12/2016 at 06:04:29
Here's a little fact, I know that might scare some, but it is a fact that the vast majority of crosses do not result in shots, let alone goals. I know, I know that must be shocking. But I promise, in every single match no matter the team, most crosses do not result in a shot. In most cases the cross is either missed by all players or is cleared by a defender.
124 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:34:30
Yes, Bolasie heads the season's table of number of crosses made (80-odd at the last count) but where do most of them end up?!
125 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:29:59
You are comparing a majority of box to box midfielders who cover on average 11 km per game with a striker who struggles to cover 9 km? try and keep this relevant... What's next – are you gonna compare Rom's distance covered to goalkeepers?
Ah... Crosses. Yes, crosses... those things that, unless landing right on top of him, he fails to convert. Those things that when a winger has the ball like Geri so many times and he zips one in to run onto we see our 6ft-4in hulk languishing yards behind as if he's dragging a parachute.
We have the most unconverted crosses in the Premier League. Our striker actually taking a chance and having the bravery to run onto a cross would be nice.
126 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:32:09
He will jump from a stationary position that's it do you ever see him sprint, jump and head it? Nope. He has zero bravery.
127 Posted 13/12/2016 at 13:16:25
128 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:31:33
The other question is, if Rom is, to use a basketball analogy, "posting up" (using his body, butt, and legs to hold off or "defensively seal" one or two bigs (defenders) who are behind him, then the aerial pass should be put right to him to head it as he already has the better position versus the defenders. Moving off of that position gives away the advantage and turns things from an 80-20 ball to a 50-50 ball or worse. So tell me why he needs to run all over creation again?
129 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:56:21
What I do know from playing football as either a 9 or a 10 is that you do not wait for the ball. How many times did you count his pocket getting picked? You know... where a ball is played to him and instead of moving and meeting the ball he stands still waiting for it to get to him giving his marker all the time in the world to nip in front of him.
The only headers that he won he was expected to win I mean Ashley Williams who had such a stinker in the air? He won 55% of his aerial balls Lukaku won 33% even little idrissa gueye won 40%, Gerry won 54% ... so what are you watching??? if you counted 4 that he won, you must have missed the 8 he lost.
130 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:06:24
Without him, we are relegation fodder. He is the only one who has shown any sort of form this season.
I for one am gonna miss the big lump when he leaves this summer! He is gonna be real hard to replace. I can't think of anyone better at his age in Europe bar maybe Dybala and we ain't getting him!
131 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:43:08
Nobody expects Lukaku to run marathons. The people who defend him against bone idle claims actually know this (and if they don't, they should not get involved in the debate). It's those often unrewarded runs to the near post, or checks and come back out to make a second run. It's those little bits of movement that make the difference.
Lukaku does not do enough. Stevie Wonder could tell you that. Claims that he scores goals and that's enough will always fall upon deaf ears. Evertonians know what he can do and they know he should be scoring more.
I don't think I would have any trouble at all marking Lukaku if I was an athletic 6ft-4in tall.. unfortunately I'm 5ft-11in with an ever expanding cocky's hut and Ashley Williams would makes me look like Brian the snail.
So I'll be in the crowd tonight with all the other fat fuckers, praying he's in the mood, or a couple of his now trademark scuffs find their way into the back of the Arsenal net.
132 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:51:29
Does the £28m we spent on him disappear and we have an empty shirt on the pitch? When he didn't play and we have Kone and Naismith, did the team stop scoring goals? I don't believe we did.
You see, Lukaku gives the impression that we will fail without him as we are set up to provide him alone and his all round game does not benefit other players in the team. When the likes of Naismith or even Kone played we were able to involve other players so much better in other words, we will score goals, it just may not be the striker who gets them.
133 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:58:25
He very rarely, if ever, gambles or tries to guess where the ball will finish in the six yard box, static on his heels, instead of being on his toes and anticipating the move.
Watch him tonight when the ball is cleared from an Everton attack, last man to be ready if the ball comes back, lumbering back, continually in an offside position.
The lad can score goals, some very good individual ones, plenty from a standing position where it is harder to miss, and one that he didn't even touch but claimed it anyway. All down to opinions, you like him; he's not my cup of tea.
One last thing regarding his goals, and without his goals we would be in deep shit; well, if Lukaku didn't play, we wouldn't play with ten men, and we would play a different way if he wasn't playing. That said, I hope we play with Valencia alongside him from the start tonight if just to watch the team play with a more attacking intent.
134 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:01:47
We've been playing more direct the last few weeks, but he's been so isolated up front by himself. What's the point of trying to win headers when there's no-one to head it to afterwards?
135 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:02:40
The footballing genius Robbie Savage pointed out the horrendous inability and desire to get in front of his marker at the Euros I believe it was actually against Wales.
He even showed 3 examples on TV De Bruyne possibly one of the best players in Europe at the moment couldn't find Lukaku. Imagine that. He can find Aguero but not Lukaku why was that?
Well, to understand you need to watch what happens with both players when the man out wide gets the ball. Aguero comes alive immediately makes a dart to alert his marker and to drag him where he wants him to go and then either checks back cuts in front and miraculously finds himself getting to the ball before his marker.
What does Lukaku do he actually points at a patch of turf approximately 6ft in front of him and stands still waiting for the ball to find him just hoping the man in front of him misses the ball... I mean why does he need to point? Its not like he's giving the wide man an instruction to play a ball for the most complex of runs is it he is more or less doing what a 10-year-old kid does.
Anyone who even disagrees with that aint worth debating with it's how he operates, basic, easy to mark, lazy, movement. This is why he can't play up front on his own and is "isolated" he isolates himself.
136 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:25:56
Right, off to the game.
137 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:33:01
There must be some conversation between Moshiri and Koeman about the merit of either keeping or selling Lukaku. It's a tricky situation. If we want to sell, we need to keep playing him and praying he scores regularly and hoping that potential buyers only pay attention to/or place value in that one statistic.
In the Premier League, I cannot see the top teams wanting to pay a huge fat fee for someone in that position who is so one dimensional. I wonder if there will be interest in the winter window, especially with the African Nations Cup looming.
138 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:36:15
139 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:53:34
Stop being so ridiculous it's not like every single ball flies over his head as an unreachable. What happens is that he almost never gambles, he makes good crosses look poor.
Like I said De Bruyne was infuriated with him at the Euros but you just keep protecting him from all relevant criticism.
The only time he converts a cross is when it meets him not when he meets the ball. Big difference.
140 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:57:34
141 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:05:05
142 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:17:57
Believes the nonsense he spouts, therefor it's "honesty".
143 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:28:55
144 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:43:12
You left for the match over two hours ago.
145 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:49:06
146 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:54:31
148 Posted 14/12/2016 at 11:39:51
What last night showed was that little Enner Valencia the much criticised, not so glamourous, less prolific goalscorer could offer more bite, presence, link up play and footballing quality than we have seen from the big lad. The fact that the team overall were far more lively helped but the contrast was significant between the two players.
It wasn't just last night though was it? The last 20 minutes against Watford "we" looked loads better, the last 20 minutes against Man Utd "we" looked loads better... both games Enner Valencia came on at around 68 minutes
The stats don't lie; Lukaku won the same % of aerial duels as his 5ft-7in equivalent 40%.
Lukaku's passing accuracy 45% the lowest by far next to Seamus Coleman who managed 61% despite having out-balls included. Valencia's passing accuracy was 75%.
Are we seeing the big picture yet? Or didn't anyone notice the times either the ball bounced off him or when he did control it he passed it to an opponent.
He's nothing more than a poacher with tremendous athletic attributes which he completely neglects. How good would he be if he did one of those barnstorming runs like he did against the full back more often? well for a start he needs to work the channels more to get that opportunity.
149 Posted 14/12/2016 at 13:23:02
How extremely sad that, having just seen a heart warming spirit lifting game, you first instinct is too start checking Lukaku's stats in order to continue your personal campaign of vitriol against an Everton player. Let me just repeat that an Everton player, the team you support.
I agree Valencia brought some energy to the side and the shape after the first 25 minutes was much improved but actually it was more about spirit and effort than tactics and shape. Valencia also played a few what used to be called 'hospital passes' and was clearly tiring after 60 mins when on a couple of occasions he allowed the full back past him.
But that would be churlish given the effort he put in which also describes your attempt to spin the narrative that somehow Lukaku played poorly. He didn't, he wasn't faultless of course, but he led the line well, especially in the second half. I wouldn't expect you to have seen that of course because you seem to have your anti-Rom specs on every game.
150 Posted 14/12/2016 at 15:05:57
The fact is we won despite Lukaku having a typical game because we had someone up there who will do the stuff that quite frankly he won't.
Yeah Valencia was shattered after 60 minutes, unsurprising really given the fact that he ran with purpose for the duration of it.
Lukaku led the line well did he? Must have been watching another game because 65% misplaced passes says otherwise unless you just consider leading the line being the "most further forward man".
Funny, maybe you looked away when one of the balls he so clearly yearns for found him out wide left on the half way line with only one man ahead of him and it bounced off his shin for a throw in it was coming from 40 yards so we can't be too harsh - at least it went out of play and not to another player.
Then maybe the similar pass that he did actually control and then instead of finding Baines who was sprinting on to collect he passed it to an arsenal player and then next phase of play resulted in them heading a crossed ball over the bar
Just a normal day at the office for the lad without the guise of a goal or 2 to deflect any real scathing criticism.
151 Posted 14/12/2016 at 15:07:08
152 Posted 14/12/2016 at 16:07:20
I think the fact you attach the adjective 'scathing' to criticism sort of sums up your attitude to Rom. Nobody is above criticism but your constant vitriolic ranting about an Everton player who has been our top scorer for every season and probably fetches £60m+ in the market is embarrassing.
I'm occupying no high ground. I thought last night's performance was very enjoyable and encouraging because, after a slow start, the players got at it, without exception from where I was sitting.
The fact your first reaction is to look up statistics to try and continue your campaign is the sad thing. You are the one normally banging on that Lukaku's goal statistics are meaningless yet you want to use pass accuracy to hammer him.
I suspect you will find that his stats in this particular instance stem from the fact he was the target for a lot of long balls pinged at him whilst occupying Arsenal's centre halves.
Did he mis-control some of them? Yes.
Could he improve his game? Yes.
Would we be a worse team currently without him? Yes.
Will I ever change your mind? No fucking chance!!!
153 Posted 14/12/2016 at 22:31:34
I don't like the lad. Simple as that. I don't like him because he sees himself as something too big for us when all I see is a lazy gobshite with more flaws to his game than most other strikers I've seen pull on a blue shirt.
The fact that you allow his lovely fluffy averages and athletic potential kid you into believing we have a class player is your watch, but I'm not going to be shouted down for calling the truth on one of the most ridiculously overrated players I have ever seen.
Can't control the ball? Look at his goal stats, gives the ball away? Look at his goal stats, allows defenders all the time in the world on the ball? Look at his goal stats. 13 games without scoring? Look at his goal stats.
It's a continuation of the nonsensical bollocks that surrounded John Stones. Many fans wanted to keep him cos he was a ball playing centre half and had a bit of kudos. The fact that he leaked goals galore meant nothing... look past that. It was great that he did a Cruyff turn in the penno area.
Lukaku will always score goals. Not consistently, not making them himself, not whilst helping the team out, but he will engineer a nice enough goal average for himself.
I love Everton... if he was a player that improves Everton then maybe I could tolerate the bullshit he brings with his overactive gob. The fact is I understand football enough to know that he costs us, carrying him in order that he may be there to finish chances we can create comes at too great a price. Modern football demands you retain possession as much as possible... he doesn't do that. He does nothing to win it back either.
154 Posted 14/12/2016 at 23:10:54
Based entirely on my own experiences of working in close-knit teams and a healthy dose of conjecture, I can't help but wonder if his inflated sense of own self-worth combined with a very real sense that even his employers agree he is too big for the club combine to make him a bit of a negative influence in the dressing room.
155 Posted 14/12/2016 at 23:13:56
"I don't like the lad. Simple as that."
There are plenty on here who acknowledge Lukaku's faults, but are also capable of recognizing his qualities and conclude, on balance, he benefits the team, rather than jeopardizes it. You and a few others take an extreme view to the point you distort or contrive data, or maliciously manipulate and put a negative spin on his every utterance, whilst attributing to him (invented) actions and characteristics you claim he has made or shown.
Now if your forensic analysis of all things Lukaku acknowledged some of the many qualities he has (in more than just my eyes) both as a player and a man, you (and others) could maybe claim greater credibility.
Equally, in this recent very poor run, if you had applied the same microscopic forensic research and analysis to any other number of players, again, you could possibly claim greater credibility. Because there have been any number of players besides Lukaku who have been equally poor, or considerable worse, than Romelu.
But you don't. You have one single constant target.
As such, as Graham commented earlier in the thread, you come across as obsessed and reactionary to boot.
Keep on keeping on. It obviously exorcises something within you.
156 Posted 14/12/2016 at 23:18:44
"More flaws to his game than most other strikers I've seen pull on a blue shirt."
I give you B Wright, Belfitt, Harper, M Walsh, M Ferguson, Biley, Madar, Max Moore, Amokachi, Bakayoko, Spencer, Angell, Barlow, Cadamateri, M Johnson, Beattie, Beckford, Vaughan, Anichebe, Stracqualursi, Bent, Jeffers, Jelavic, Eastoe, Branch, Chadwick, Kone, Niasse, McBride, Vellios, Jo.
And that's off the top of my head. Quite frankly although you won't let anyone shout you down doesn't mean your opinion is not a steaming pile of horseshit.
157 Posted 14/12/2016 at 23:18:48
Peter and plenty of others have come to conclude that on balance he jeopardizes the team rather than benefits it.
Therein lies the debate.
158 Posted 14/12/2016 at 23:23:07
And Brian McBride was the epitome of team player who 'led the line' in every conceivable way of which Lukaku appears incapable.
But those others... Spencer... Bakayoko... the horror... the horror!
159 Posted 14/12/2016 at 23:32:38
But surely Peter has provided repeated and detailed critiques of other current players' deficiencies, hasn't he? I'm sure I must have seen them somewhere. Can't quite recall where but I'm sure Peter will be able to quote chapter and verse. Over to you, Peter.
161 Posted 14/12/2016 at 23:35:03
Some of the players on the list had some qualities but seriously not one of them is in the same league as Rom.
McBride was a journeyman striker who scored 1 in 4. If leading the line means roughing centre halves up as opposed to scoring goals then maybe the great centre forwards were Hartson, Fashanu, Dunc and Hartford
In the 45 years I've watched Everton I'd only have Gray, Sharp, Latchford and Lineker (in that order) ahead of him.
162 Posted 14/12/2016 at 00:05:28
I hear what you're saying about the possible Lukaku's effect on the dressing room.
I seem to remember an ex-blue (can't remember who it was) who played with Tony Cottee when he first signed for the club. The feeling was that 'he', Cottee just cared about his own game and would be over the moon if he scored a goal on a defeat. Cottee wasn't a team player was what it amounted to.
I can see that in Lukaku. I don't think he is a grafter who cares much about the club, but at the end of the day scoring is what your striker needs to do. So for me, he's been our best striker since Lineker, who coincidentally would get some stick on TW, I'm sure.
Overall, I can forgive Rom's deficiencies in holding up the ball, passing, heading ability because he'll do the business in front of goal. But even as a fan of Lukaku, I can say the standing around waving his arms when he can only muster a canter a little infuriating at times. He does need to close down more and work harder at times, but the idea that a striker like McBride was better is ridiculous.
The solutions simple, play someone else like Valencia, as a 2nd striker who can find space for him self and take attention away from Lukaku, at least for this season before Rom's sold.