Koeman insists Baines is main penalty-taker

Tuesday 3 January 2017  193 Comments  [Jump to last]
Ronald Koeman said that it was right for Leighton Baines to take responsibility for the penalty that killed the game against Southampton yesterday.

Inconsistency with regard to who should be the Blues' penalty-taker was a bugbear in the final year of Roberto Martinez's tenure but since stepping up in the final game of last season to score from the spot against Norwich, the fullback appears to have retaken the mantle.

There appeared to be some discussion over who would take the kick in the win over the Saints, with Romelu Lukaku seemingly keen but Baines was the one to score to make it 2-0.

"Leighton is a good penalty taker," Koeman said. "He's an experienced boy who has scored penalties all his life. Of course he can miss one, that's part of football.

"Everybody likes to help Romelu be the top scorer in the Premier League but when it's still 1-0, Leighton is the first on the list.

"OK if it's 2-0 and we have one in the last minute then Lukaku can take it. But it was a really important moment to score and kill the game at the right time."

 

Reader Comments (193)

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Phil Sammon
1 Posted 03/01/2017 at 07:39:37
I'd fine Lukaku for even raising the issue again. The last thing Baines needs is his own teammates getting in his ear before he steps up to take important penalties for the TEAM.
Liam Reilly
2 Posted 03/01/2017 at 07:50:57
Fair dues to Baines for pulling rank and taking the kick. Lukaku needs to put the team first, not his quest to be the league's top scorer.

Chris Williams
3 Posted 03/01/2017 at 07:52:38
Rom seemed in a bit of a twist last night. I don't know if this was the cause or the symptom, but he wasn't involving himself in the celebrations, although the team celebrated his goal with him.

Seamus was pretty adamant that it was Leighton to take the penalty. He's not backward in coming forward, as my mother used to say.

Colin Glassar
4 Posted 03/01/2017 at 07:52:45
Rom wasn't very happy was he? He did applaud Bainsey from a distance though. I'm glad this has been sorted.
Chris Williams
5 Posted 03/01/2017 at 08:00:12
Yes, me too, Colin. Someone was indicating on one of the other threads there was a reason behind his demeanour. Don't know what this was though.
Anthony Dwyer
6 Posted 03/01/2017 at 08:58:01
Rom wanted the penalty as any good striker should...

Bainesy is our rightful taker; myself I'm glad he took it, but I don't expect Rom to be too happy about it.

He clearly had a face on, but realised how stupid he looked and tried to make amends by clapping Bainesy. Let's let this one go, nothing to see here.

Gerard Carey
7 Posted 03/01/2017 at 09:09:11
Glad its been sorted, Leighton Baines has a great record as a penalty taker.
Jim Bennings
8 Posted 03/01/2017 at 09:14:46
I've no real issue with a battle between players wanting to take penalties, I'd be far more worried if nobody wanted to step up.

A good example of Koeman's authority though is coming out to clarify this straight away.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 03/01/2017 at 09:21:59
How many fans are happy with Lukaku as a penalty taker? Going on his past attempts, he doesn't much confidence when he takes them, he tends to scuff them.

The penalty taker is sorted out, or should be, before the match, so why did Lukaku go near the ball and create the problem?

Ray Robinson
10 Posted 03/01/2017 at 09:32:30
Totally agree with Dave (#8). Lukaku quite frequently scuffs / drags the ball when he shoots – fortunately not for the third goal yesterday!

And he should go nowhere near a penalty when we've got Baines in the team. It shouldn't even be an issue as it should be decided beforehand.

His attitude yesterday was childish and smacked of the spoilt child wanting attention. It's not all about Romelu Lukaku.

Chris Williams
11 Posted 03/01/2017 at 09:33:24
Totally agree, Dave. Rom's penalty performance is patchy to say the least, whereas Leighton is pretty good at them. Leighton deferred to Lukaku for a good while, and said it is good for strikers to take penalties, whether or not at Martinez's instigation we don't know.

It should be sorted out as you say, and Baines has taken them back since the Norwich match at the end of the season, and all this season, so why he chose to make an issue I don't know.

The crowd reaction tells you all you need to know.

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 03/01/2017 at 09:35:17
Because he's a goalscorer, Dave, and this type of player, usually only think about themselves? Go and sign another goalscorer, I say, because if anyone is going to steal the limelight off Big Rom, it might just make him run more!
Brent Stephens
13 Posted 03/01/2017 at 09:42:08
Totally agree about Rom and penalties. If he's sulking because he didn't get to take the penalty, then that is so petty. Baines every time.
Laura Round
14 Posted 03/01/2017 at 09:54:30
Wembley. Enough said.
Joe Clitherow
15 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:01:13
I agree with Anthony Dwyer. I like that we have a forward who wants to score goals at every opportunity. I also like the fact that yesterday we clearly have some more structure and discipline back in the team that resulted in the team being put first rather than the confused shambles over penalties we had on more than one occasion with the last clown.

Lukaku still kept working and got his goal anyway after the penalty (and what a finish with his standing foot too). He did not down tools or sulk as some appear to be suggesting.

Koeman's comments also spot on. Nothing to see here, as has been said.

Eddie Dunn
16 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:05:51
The team comes first, and Rom needs to learn that.
Stan Schofield
17 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:10:16
Can't imagine that Lukaku is too fussed about who takes the penalties. He's got a good chance of being the top scorer in the Premier League with or without penalties.
Laura Round
18 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:18:58
Well he definitely was yesterday, Stan. The big cheer when Seamus handed Baines the ball probably didn't help.
Stan Schofield
19 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:22:22
Laura, I didn't quite realise that, wasn't at the game yesterday. I suppose he'll just have to get used to it then.
Laura Round
20 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:27:06
Yeah. Hopefully it can be avoided now Koeman has clearly stated the pecking order.

We're not in a position to be taking chances on chances so Rom will have to suck it up. I want success for him but not at the expense of us. Not when he's made it so clear many a time he'll be off asap.

Brian Williams
21 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:28:38
Lukaku was livid when the ball was taken from him. While not surprised by his reaction, I reckon he's lacking in the team ethos, which I find worrying.

Maybe just one of those days for him but I've seen signs of it before like not celebrating others goals and stuff.

Maybe he just gets more frustrated than others due to, at times, a lack of decent service, but the team isn't just the first priority – the team is EVERYTHING.

Ciarán McGlone
22 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:47:51
Happens with free kicks too. Baines should be taking them, full stop.
Anto Byrne
23 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:50:05
Baines as Captain is a masterstroke. Long may it remain so. I think Koeman has a sense of humor or its scouse that's getting in his blood. "Once touched by this club..." as the saying goes.

Looks like he wants a real crack at the FA Cup. Well, I'll drink to that.

Optimistic for 2017.

David Chait
24 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:51:05
Despite who should or shouldn't, well done to Koeman for taking on the topic head on! We suffered with penalties last season and this clarity is only good for the team (and Rom) to hear.

Didn't take Koeman long to figure out who his number one penalty taker is.

Mark Andersson
25 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:52:03
Brian Williams, Rom gets good service – it just bounces off him and back to the opposition. The lad is an egotist – not a team player.
Dennis Stevens
26 Posted 03/01/2017 at 10:55:01
Back in the day, many a striker, such as Big Bob Latchford, didn't consider penalties to be "proper" goals & so they rarely took them.
Laura Round
27 Posted 03/01/2017 at 11:04:02
Maybe the only cause for argument could be if it was the player who won the penalty. Even then, still Leighton Baines for me. Unless were 10-0 in the 89th minute.
Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 03/01/2017 at 11:07:14
Are you sure Dennis? If my memory is correct, I remember Latchford scoring and celebrating a penalty against Man Utd to bring the scoreline to 1-5 on a Boxing Day when I was just a little kid!

I know you said 'rarely' but I was actually thinking about Latchford when I was talking about goalscorers on this very same thread. They always seem to think that, if they score a goal, they have done their job. Some people go along with this... and some people don't!

Eric Myles
29 Posted 03/01/2017 at 11:11:37
Wasn't his 30th a penalty, Dennis (#26)??
Peter Roberts
30 Posted 03/01/2017 at 11:13:03
Lukaku played very well yesterday – best in a long time. Pity he has to spoil it by showing what a piss poor attitude he has. I'm all for strikers wanting goals etc... they should want to be on the end of everything – but there is a line and he crossed it.

I've long seen the qualities that suggest Seamus Coleman should be our captain. He for one does not hold back when it comes to the self-indulgent one... Coleman lets him know what he thinks.

A bit moody yesterday, was our Rom... played very well though, so maybe we need to annoy him more often?

Peter Laing
31 Posted 03/01/2017 at 11:15:48
Good on Baines and Seamus, finally a bit of leadership on the pitch being shown.
Paul Tran
32 Posted 03/01/2017 at 11:36:46
It was, Eric and there'd have been a riot if anyone else had stepped up to take it. And if the keeper had been daft enough to save it!
Ray Robinson
33 Posted 03/01/2017 at 11:44:32
Dennis, I know what you mean but Latchford only got to 30 that year with two penalties near the end of the season – one versus Ipswich, I think, and then the goal against Chelsea in the final match. If your striker is ice cool and a good striker of the ball, then fair enough (Shearer, Le Tissier, Unsworth) but the best instinctive strikers are not necessarily the best dead-ball experts. Messi, Ronaldo, Aguero are not the best penalty takers – neither were Lineker or Owen in their time.

Baines for me every time. Lukaku actually needs to work hard on his striking technique as he frequently scuffs or drags his shot – not yesterday for the third goal of course! His gob yesterday was a sight to behold and caused me to lose respect for him. He redeemed himself slightly by making sure that he was seen to be applauding Baines for scoring – but from afar – he noticeably didn't join in the celebrations.

David Price
35 Posted 03/01/2017 at 12:01:05
Put this on the match day thread lads, Romulu lost his best mate in a car crash 10/01/15, Malanda aged 20, think that was the reason for his low key attitude. Probably wanted a goal to honour him, got one in the end. Good on him.
Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 03/01/2017 at 12:19:07
That's a fair point that, David, especially with it being the start of a New Year.

I quietly criticise Romelu, quite often when watching Everton, same with Ross Barkley, but maybe the introduction of Valencia showed me why.

It's obvious they are both being played wrongly, and both look much better when they get a bit of help, and haven't got to do so much by themselves, especially when they are usually outnumbered, and therefore easily crowded out.

Brian Furey
37 Posted 03/01/2017 at 12:30:40
I only saw the highlights last night but I couldn't help but notice that Rom rarely passes to Valencia. Good strikers need to be greedy but I just thought recently he seems very greedy.

Still he's done well to score 11 goals so far with the dismal support he gets. Also, surprising he doesn't score more from corners.

Nigel Munford
38 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:05:52
Brian (#37), he'd have to take them and go direct, as there doesn't seem to be anyone in the team who can consistently deliver corners for him to score from, he was sulking though.
Lee Courtliff
39 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:11:14
I remember Tony Cottee saying in his autobiography that he didn't consider penalties to be 'proper' goals either... which may explain his patchy record from the spot?

Personally, I think it's better for Rom to show he wants to take them. It displays confidence and a desire to score as many as possible.

Ultimately, the team comes first and Baines is our best penalty taker so he must take them. Unless we are two-nil up and Rom is on a hat trick!

I much prefer a moody, selfish striker who always scores 16 plus every season over a workhorse team player like Andy Johnson who never scored more than 12 in a season for us! And 6 of those came in his first 6 games!

Roman Sidey
40 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:15:24
I think, aside from this being a lot less important than people are making it, that all involved are showing positive actions.

Rom – strikers want goals. While I agree, a pen is not the noblest way to rack up a tally, a goal is a goal is a goal is a goal.
Baines – solid pen taker (harder than people think) and stood his ground.
Coleman – should be the captain.
Koeman – set the record straight transparently, and had enough common sense to acknowledge that at 2-0 in the final minute it is less strict.

Dave Abrahams
41 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:25:40
Brian (37) if you watch Lukaku at corners, defending or attacking them he stands on his heels and hardly moves, I watched him yesterday in the first half defending two corners, flat on his heels and marking absolutely nobody, why they have him coming back is ridiculous, he should never come anywhere near the halfway line, stay forward all the time.

When he comes back looking for the ball he is an handicap and danger to Everton's defence especially when he tries to control the ball, he is more likely to put the opposition in on goal.

That's why the bench were roaring at him, the other week, to go back up front, he's more of a nuisance than a help when he comes back.

Nice goal yesterday Rom, stay up front, keep scoring and you'll get your wish to be away, sooner than later.

Steavey Buckley
42 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:32:42
Dave: I have defend Lukaku on this one, Everton's crossing and corners have been usually woeful all season. Lukaku has made a large proportion of his goal tally for the season, by first having to take on defenders and then score.
Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:49:35
Steavey (#42) I was talking about Lukaku at corners, he doesn't move when they come in.

As for scoring a large proportion of his goals by taking on defenders and then scoring goals I wouldn't agree with that, but when he does, eg, Man City and Leicester City, he looks like a top class striker, but I don't think, Steavey, that these type of goals make up a large proportion of Lukaku's goals. Then again, I could be wrong.

Graham Mockford
44 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:59:45
I'm more worried about our goal threat from midfield which is pretty abysmal, just 8 in 20 games. Consider we are playing 5 midfielders in nearly every game makes it even worse. In comparison the RS have 32!

The side is massively over-reliant on Rom for goals, a fact that won't be lost on opposing teams.

Roman Sidey
45 Posted 03/01/2017 at 14:04:39
Graham, I actually thought it would have been less than eight. Are you including Mirallas and Bolasie as midfielders? That is the only way I can see eight goals from midfield.

Either way, it is dismal and an issue that gets brought up only occasionally.

Graham Mockford
46 Posted 03/01/2017 at 14:06:19
Roman,

I was being kind; I was including everyone except Lukaku and Valencia.

Steavey Buckley
47 Posted 03/01/2017 at 14:14:57
Dave (#43),

Only Lennon in recent games has picked out Lukaku with a cross, who converted against Watford to make the score 2-3. Everton corners are usually lobbed into the penalty area for an easy take. That's if they get that far.

Being a centre-forward for Everton is a hard and frustrating role. No good crosses as a rule with corners to match.

Peter Roberts
48 Posted 03/01/2017 at 14:15:47
Steavey, he hasn't beaten men for the majority of his goals at all. 2 out of 11 that's it. His hat-trick against Sunderland were crosses and one-on-one with the keeper.

His goal against Middlesboro or was it Bolasie's? It was a tap-in if he did touch it.

His goal against palace was a free-kick.

His goal against Man City HE DID beat a man.

His goal against West Ham, a simple header.

His 2 goals against Watford – both finished a cross into the box.

His goal against Leicester – he did beat a man.

His goal against Southampton, he finished a through ball – never beat a man.

He scores goals based on service – not individuality.

Roman Sidey
49 Posted 03/01/2017 at 14:18:20
Nice one, Graham. It is a shoddy return. Imagine being a striker who plays in front of a midfielder scoring 15-20 goals a season (Lampard, Toure, Gerrard etc). The lack of burden would be immense.
Ray Roche
50 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:02:12
Ray Robinson #33

Ray, Latchford did indeed score from the spot that season but only in to help him get to the 30 goal mark.In fact, out of 241 League goals at Everton, Birmingham and Swansea, only 3 were penalties.

Steavey Buckley
51 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:11:50
Peter (48) in those games when Lukaku finished off moves, he had to beat the opposition to the ball – no tap-ins.

And I am glad you brought up the Sunderland game. If Lukaku had that kind of service all season, Lukaku would have scored 20 goals already. Reality is, Lukaku has to wait patiently for opportunities.

Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:22:17
Steavey, if any striker had the kind of service Lukaku got in the Sunderland game, they would have also scored 20 goals by now.
Graham Mockford
53 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:23:37
Steavey

You've only gone and set him off again.

All strikers thrive on service but maybe Peter Roberts can show me more than three goals in the last calendar year that a Premier League striker has scored where he received the ball 40 yards from goal and has beaten defenders and then scored. You can pick from Aguerro, Costa, Kane, Vardy if fact anyone you please.

Steavey Buckley
54 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:31:04
Dave (#52) and Graham (#53), in yesterday's match, Lukaku had 2 real chances. The first was a header that was well saved for Valencia to score from; then the goal, when he had to run on to a pass and score from an angle in the top right corner. 1 out 2 is good going.

In some matches, Lukaku does not get a real chance - maybe, a half one at best.

Mark Hughes
55 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:48:32
Baines has been taking very few free kicks as well. Why?
Stan Schofield
56 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:49:43
Peter @48: The bottom line is, he scores goals, and plenty of them. The MAIN job of a striker.

There's an old phrase, 'being in the right place at the right time', often applicable in this case. Also, his ability to take on a through-ball, glide past defenders, and score, is second to none.

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:53:23
Steavey, he was in on goal in the first half but finished with a shot that didn't unduly trouble the keeper, the header was a decent effort, Valencia was wide awake to finish it off.

The goal was well taken but Steavey there wasn't much of an angle mate, Lukaku was well inside the penalty area when he received and smacked the ball in.

Steavey you like Lukaku and think he is a great striker, which he can be, but he isn't a great footballer, if he was as good as you think he is he would be well gone from Everton, and he will go, hopefully we will get the price you think he is worth. Hope he is alert on Saturday it's our last hope of silver this season.

Peter Roberts
58 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:54:36
Steavey seriously?! You think Rom did well to score those goals because he got to the ball instead of a defender??? Ffs man what an absolute joke of a justification. I'd sooner you just held your hands up and said "fair enough".

He scores goals – yes, he does. He finishes well. He doesn't make his own goals very often, his movement is poor.

And you think he should have service like the Sunderland game as standard? Any striker in the league with quality balls like that against shocking defenders would score 3 goals.

Peter Roberts
59 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:02:11
Graham, what has 40 yards got to do with it?

How often do you see Lukaku turn a half-chance or no chance into a goal? Man City and Leicester City – that's it this season.

How often do you see him drop wide, hold it up then lay it off and get in the box to finish the cross? How often does he drop deep and play a give and go and take 2 men out the game?

Stop critiquing centre-forward play like its 12-year-old school boy stuff.

He's a penalty box operator and that is it. Stop trying to paint him as some martyr who has to fashion his own goals he simply doesn't. He relies on service – the service that got him 8 of his 11 goals.

He would score more goals if he played every game like he did yesterday, that's for sure.

David Hallwood
60 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:03:50
Tony Abrahams (#28) if it's the same game it ended up 2-6 with Macari scoring one of the best goals I've seen at the Park End. It was one of the few games I've been in the Lower Bullens, which is like watching the game through a letter box.

But onto the topic. I sometimes go onto the opposition's live forum and Baines is feared as a dead ball expert. Just like Snodgrass takes the free kicks because he's better at it than the rest of the team. The same should apply to Leighton Baines.

Best penalty taker I've seen in a blue shirt.

Stan Schofield
61 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:04:49
Dave @57: I've seen it stated many times on TW that Lukaku isn't a great or even good footballer. I believe this to be nonesense. Scoring goals is a football skill, which Lukaku has in abundance. He also, clearly, has related skills to complement his innate ability to put the ball in the onion bag.
Dave Abrahams
62 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:17:59
Stan (#61), you think it is nonsense that Lukaku isn't a good footballer?

Well, I never miss an Everton home game and I have to say some of his goals have been very good, as you say, but some of his football ability, the basics, trapping the ball, passing, awareness, movement have to be classed as comical.

As comical as Brett Angell and others I could mention... but Stan, if you think he has related skills that make him better than I have seen, well, I will have to get a new pair of glasses. Maybe you are right.

Peter Roberts
63 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:19:56
Stan, when you hear players refer to someone as a footballer it refers to their ability to get hold of the ball and move it by passing or dribbling – fundamental skills.

The "footballing" centre half isn't a centre half who scores goals... it's a centre-half who can look after the ball, control it, bring it out, distribute or dribble.

Again, another example of someone trying to make Lukaku more than what he is. Hes an athlete who is a good finisher. A good footballer? No. Gives it away far too often.

Paul Tran
64 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:20:39
I've got The Times in front of me. There's a bloke called R Lukaku, fourth top scorer. Only Costa, Ihbrahimovic and Sanchez have scored more. Look at who plays with them and compare.

Give him a decent strike partner, give him service, he'll score more goals. Or maybe the other guy would score even more, who knows.

I'd focus on bringing more players that can score rather getting rid of the one who can.

Stan Schofield
65 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:27:49
Dave, Peter, I'm not disputing that he has shortcomings, as most footballers have. I'm just saying it's nonsense to say he's not a good footballer.

He's inconsistent for sure, but again, he's not alone in that. He surely does show some of the attributes that many posts on TW imply he lacks.

For example, he CAN head a ball, he's just no Joe Royle. He can lay a ball off very well, but often he's isolated. He can put a shift in, but needs to work on this more. Room for improvement, yes; but not a good footballer, no.

Patrick Murphy
66 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:30:21
David (#60),
No mention of a penalty in this match (Boxing Day 1977), as Andy King and then Trevor Ross were our main penalty takers up until the last weeks of the season when Bob scored against Ipswich Town and Chelsea from the spot.


Everton Man Utd – six of the best

Boxing Day 1977

Steve Brown
67 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:30:44
Interesting stat from the Echo today.

Goals by the age of 23:

Lukaku – 149
Ronaldo – 110
Suárez – 107
Rooney – 100
Ibrahimović – 65

So Peter, do us all a favour for once and stop talking utter shite.

Peter Roberts
68 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:31:00
Costa, Ibrahimovic and Sanchez also bring far more to their teams than Lukaku ever has or ever will.

All those players understand that they need to work for the team rather than the team work for them. They can hold up the ball, they can pass it accurately and above all else, they don't seem to sulk when they aren't the ones getting their names on the sheet.

If you judge Lukaku on goal stats alone, then he's impressive enough. If you judge him with your eyes and remove the fanboy mentality, then he is frustrating to say the least.

Steve Brown
69 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:32:28
Yet more shite. Nobody is listening.
Steve Brown
70 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:34:21
If you judge a goalscorer by his goal stats, he's impressive enough? Haha it's almost comical.
Dave Abrahams
71 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:41:01
Paul (#64) the three players you mention are all team players and more ability than Lukaku. Lukaku plays for himself, the team comes second to him; even you Paul, must recognise that.

You have to play with a partner and put yourself second now and again, do you think Lukaku could this on a consistent basis.

Graham Mockford
72 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:52:59
Peter,

The answer of course is Lukaku. Three times since February, he has collected the ball 40 yards or more from goal and beaten a couple of defenders to score. For someone with little footballing ability, that pretty impressive.

I notice he scored yesterday with what you called his 'swinger'. Good job it went in because I wouldn't've liked to be the person it hit behind the goal. Just another example of your ridiculous one-eyed view of him.

For the record, he's a mile from being in the same league as the players mentioned. Currently, I'd have him behind Costa, Ibra and Aguerro in that order. I'd also say Kane is a better more consistent centre-forward. However, all these players play in significantly better teams. It's alright saying he's not a team player but, last time I looked, Luis Suarez wasn't getting 50-yard hoofs aimed at him by Ashley Williams.

David Barks
73 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:53:46
This would be funny if it wasn't bordering on insanity. Zlatan never sulked and always plays for the team. Holy shit, you might want to have a second look at his career.

This obsession is just getting completely sick at this point.

Craig Harrison
74 Posted 03/01/2017 at 16:54:24
Costa almost left Chelsea this summer and stopped playing last season because he spat his dummy out. Ibra sees himself far bigger than any team or team mates and treats them with disdain; it's all about him. Suarez I won't even go there.

Last game, when the ball was fed in Lukaku feet, he held it up, brought people into the game laid it off and plaid well. He's not the kind of player who will run his balls off for lost causes.

He will score goals and can be dangerous when balls are played to and through him. Ffs, if we had Messi on the team people would complain that he doesn't tackle back enough or get stuck into tackles.

Jim Wilson
75 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:02:13
Imagine taking a penalty knowing one of your team mates might want you to miss so he gets the job.

A teammate should do everything to encourage the penalty taker – not do something that might put him off and cause a miss. This sore will be there every time Baines steps up to take a penalty.

Disgraceful and Lukaku must go. Enough is enough!

Stan Schofield
76 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:04:05
Ironically, the posts on TW criticising Lukaku have made me appreciate him more. I think this is because, when I read such posts, they lower my expectations of what Lukaku is capable of, and of his attitude.

Then, when I see him play, I think, fuck me, this guy is good. I am of course then looking at the good stuff he does, rather than focusing on the stuff he doesn't do. So, Peter, keep up the posts, they'll help me appreciate Lukaku's skills even more.

Dave Abrahams
77 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:04:33
Craig (#74),

I absolutely can tell you that nobody on here would complain about Messi if he played for Everton.

Thousands and I mean thousands, would complain in Spain if Lukaku played for Barcelona... in fact, they would complain if Lukaku even dreamed he played for Barcelona.

Paul Tran
78 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:07:51
'Even you Paul, must recognise that'. –Do you have to love Lukaku or dislike him? Is there room for those of us who think he's a good goalscorer who would get more goals if he had a partner and got better service? I'd love to see that, wouldn't you?

Dave, I'd take those three strikers to replace Lukaku in a heartbeat. I'm not suggesting he's better than them.

I think if he had a decent partner, the pair of them would score more goals and if he had a hissy fit, Koeman would sort him.

My two points are;

1. Lukaku and our next striker(s) will do better as a partnership with better service.

2. I want to keep our goalscorer till we get at least another.

If you want to debate those points, great. I could do without this love/hate fanboy nonsense.

Steve Jones
79 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:08:07
Lukaku seemed to be sulking before the penalty, he didn't celebrate the first goal either.
Steve Hogan
80 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:14:16
The fact of the matter is, some people have an 'agenda' when it comes to Lukaku; he can and will, play for a much better team than Everton, a team who will play to his strength's much more than his current one does.

I've watched Everton for around 45 years now, and the only guy who comes close to him in terms of natural ability was Lineker, and he was only with us a short space of time.

It doesn't matter how many goals he scores this season, it will never be enough to satisfy the snipers.

This will probably be his last full season with us, which is a pity, because we should be building a team around one of the best young strikers in Europe.

Dave Abrahams
81 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:19:42
Paul (#78),

I have loved some Everton players, never hated ANY of them. If Lukaku shaped up and played for the team and put the effort in that he should in most games, I would appreciate him a lot more; he can be a better player if does this.

He scores goals, no one is questioning this, it's his attitude and application that needs improving, but it will be some other club and their supporters who will be having these same debates in the future.

Ciarán McGlone
82 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:21:24
In the second half, Lukaku received the ball on the left, had plenty of space to run into and preceded to kick the ball into touch...

This was bad enough, but he then began throwing his arms about at the other players as if it was somehow their fault.

He can score goals, but he's hard to warm to.

Brian Williams
83 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:28:56
My two-pennneth, for what it's worth.

Lukaku is, as the stats show, up there with the best of them for goals scored by his age. You can't argue about that.

The reasons he's not "loved" by a lot of supporters are: on the footballing side, there are times, even during games where he scores (yesterday's a good example) where he appears unwilling to put in that effort supporters want to see, to win the ball. Times where the supporters believe he could have won that challenge, or that header but just didn't appear to bother. I'm not going to attempt to analyze the pros and cons of that but we all know that that's the case from the perspective of a lot of Evertonians.

The second factor that affects Evertonians' feelings towards him is his propensity for talking too bluntly about his personal aspirations without giving a thought to how Everton supporters may take it. Champions League etc etc...

I suppose the perfect solution is to get a 20 goal plus striker who's ball control and distribution is top notch, and is proud as fuck of his Everton tattoo. In the meantime I personally will settle for 20 goals+ a year and just keep my love for Seamus!!!!

One last point. I think a lot of Evertonians get frustrated with him because they believe that, with that extra effort from him, he could be absolutely outstanding.

Brent Stephens
84 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:38:22
1. I like Lukaku's goal-scoring record.
2. I would like him to have better technical skills (ball control, passing, heading etc) and a better attitude.
3. I would like us to play more to his strengths than his weaknesses.

I can't see 2 and 3 happening soon and / or consistently. I feel I have to settle for 1 until we sign somebody better.

Ray Roche
85 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:40:26
If a "Top Club" wanted a striker and looked at Lukaku's "stats", they'd identify him as the man they wanted. However, if they looked at his performances, his sulky countenance, his potentially divisive dressing room attitude, his lack of mobility and traffic cop arm waving they'd probably look elsewhere.

Let's not kid ourselves, there were no queues for his talents last Summer despite his attempts to sell himself to all and sundry. If a "Top Club " comes in he'll be off. But, if we were to play to his strengths, a point I've made no end of times, he'd be happier and so would we.

When Valencia came on, it seemed to lift the crowd as much as anything and it also sparked Barkley into life. Why? There was finally some movement from Valencia and Lukaku, which allowed Barkley to do what he does best, see a pass and hit a pass without looking for the movement which is usually lacking.

Barkley is an "instinct" player and is at his best when he has little time to dwell on the ball, he also lightens the game up when he can run at teams where there is plenty of movement ahead of him. After Valencia came on, indeed, for much of the second half, Barkley was exceptional.

Brent Stephens
86 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:44:53
Ray (#85), an excellent point, I think.
Dave Abrahams
87 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:45:37
Brent (#84) – just put 'more effort alongside No 1 and I'll go with that.

Cheers. I think you have sorted the problem out.

Brent Stephens
88 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:50:36
Dave, my reference to 'attitude' was meant to capture that.

I've sorted the problem out? You're having a laugh at my expense!

Paul Tran
89 Posted 03/01/2017 at 17:53:21
I'm not sure, Dave At the moment I'm not convinced he's going to get a better club than us, unless as you say, he applies himself better and he has better players around him.

Having Valencia alongside him gave Lukaku space, which in turn made space for Barkley, Davies, etc. Imagine if we got a decent striker alongside him? We'd get more goals and I also think we'll have concrete evidence on which to judge Lukaku.

By the way, Dave, I wasn't suggesting you hate Lukaku, it just seems to be the way this debate is heading and I don't think it helps the issue or discussion.

Roger Helm
90 Posted 03/01/2017 at 18:05:03
Thanks, Steve @67 for the stats. It amazes me that people don't want Rom in the team. God knows where we would be without his goals. Would anybody good at arithmetic like to estimate how many Premier League goals he will end up with if he continues another ten years until he is 33?

But I agree he is not a good penalty taker. CFs usually aren't. Bob Latchford only took them to get to his tally of 30. Unlike Rom, he used to wallop the ball on the basis that if he didn't know where the ball was going, neither would the keeper (his words)!

Dave Abrahams
91 Posted 03/01/2017 at 18:26:45
Paul (89) yes I go along with most that you say in your post, especially the second paragraph, maybe he will become a better player with a partner to help him out. If so, it's to Everton's advantage and might help Lukaku to get the move he wants.

By the way I don't blame him for being ambitious and wanting to move to a bigger club; I just honestly don't think he is as good as other fans think he is.

Ray Robinson
92 Posted 03/01/2017 at 18:27:17
Amazing how this thread has by and large moved away from the main topic – which was that Baines should remain our designated penalty taker – to a discussion about Lukaku's general capabilities as a striker.

They are two separate topics! It is possible to rate him as a striker but cringe when he takes a penalty – or sulks when he doesn't get his way!

Peter Mills
93 Posted 03/01/2017 at 18:39:05
Ray (#92), just to try and pull the two things together, I was delighted when Baines took the ball (leadership from Seamus?); he is our best penalty taker by far. I was annoyed by Lukaku wanting to take it, and not going to congratulate Leighton. What I missed, but noted on MotD, was Romelu applauding Leighton's strike, so maybe we are all reading too much into things.

As far as Lukaku the striker goes, he is a fantastic goalscorer, his record speaks for itself. We would miss him dreadfully if he left. Let's not forget he is the same age as Graeme Sharp was when he started to become a real centre-forward, being taught the dark arts by Andy Gray.

Dave Abrahams
94 Posted 03/01/2017 at 18:42:47
Ray Robinson (#92), Yes you are right, back to the mail topic, taking penalties, Roy Vernon was one of the best for me.

I think I am right in saying he took three penalties against Man Utd in a Charity Shield game at Goodison Park in 1963, scored the three of them. Only one counted – he had to take the same penalty three times for various reasons, but kept his nerve and slotted the three of them; we won 4-0.

Peter Roberts
95 Posted 03/01/2017 at 18:42:53
Graham (#72) swinger is a great description of his right peg isn't it? Absolutely swung through it and nearly took the net off with his size 12 boot. 15 minutes earlier, swung at it with the same boot and threatened the corner flag.

That's the point 'its his swinger' for every one he scores with it you can be sure he drags a good 5 or 6 of them.

He never sulked before the first goal. He gave a fist pump as Valencia netted.

Lets be honest though – he doesn't get excited when team mates score. Hes more animated in his frustrations when they don't pass to him.

Peter Roberts
96 Posted 03/01/2017 at 18:45:09
BTW, here's something to consider:

Imagine Kane, Aguero, Costa being announced as 'wanting to leave' in the summer... Imagine a club not bidding serious money for them. Not gonna happen, is it?

It did for Romelu.

Stan Schofield
97 Posted 03/01/2017 at 18:52:37
Peter, I seem to recall Chelsea being reported as offering around £60M (serious money, surely?) or thereabouts for him, but Everton keeping the price at £75M, therefore effectively not for sale.

Our 'new era', no need to sell? At the time, TW had a lot of posts saying 'piss off Chelsea, he's not for sale'.

Ray Robinson
99 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:00:43
Dave (#94) – being an oId git, I remember that incident with Roy Vernon. He was indeed a very good penalty taker but, for me, the best one I've seen at Everton was David Unsworth.
Brian Williams
100 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:05:02
Chelsea didn't move for Lukaku in the summer. More journo shite trying to actually create a bid!
Graham Mockford
101 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:08:03
Peter (#95),

I know of your disdain for official stats mainly because you like to make your own up but the official Premier League site says

Lukaku, Goals: 71

Headers: 16, 23%
Right: 19, 27%
Left: 35, 50%

That's a pretty good swinging return.

And as for '5 or 6' being dragged, his shot accuracy is 44%.

More bollocks from you but I guess it's what we've come to expect.

Chris Williams
102 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:12:04
Dear God, Dave, your memory is impressive. I do recall the Vernon incident now you mention it.

Vernon was the man for me but not just for penalties. We have been blessed by having a few good penalty takers, Unsworth and Baines are up there in their own eras.

But no-one was as cool as Royston. Pointing out to the keeper where he was going to put the ball.

Baines must take the penalties in this team.

Peter Mills
103 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:16:50
Dave (#94), Ray (#99), that's the first match I can remember attending at Goodison Park.

I can remember the sun glinting off the Charity Shield as it was held aloft, can remember being bollocked by my Granddad for missing a goal because I was more interested in my sweets than the game, but can't remember the thrice-taken penalty!

Peter Roberts
104 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:21:18
Stan (#97). Chelsea never bid for him. No-one did.

I mean it would be difficult to not know if they did, wouldn't it? You know his agent, Rom, his dad – they would kinda have a meltdown... wouldn't they?

Graham Mockford
105 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:25:42
Good site here for all Everton stuff. Would bear out that Vernon was our best penalty taker who took more than 10 penalties.

Everton Results – Penalty Takers

Graham Mockford
106 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:28:54
Surprisingly it shows Alan Ball as the player who missed more penalties than anyone.

My favourite was Sandy Brown with the winner in the shoot-out against BMG.

Stan Schofield
107 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:34:13
Peter, I actually rarely believe media reports. But many do, and what I said is what the media reported. That's why I wrote 'it was reported' rather than 'Chelsea bid '.

All that said, I am of course equally sceptical about other news reports, including the ones on the basis of which people have concluded that Lukaku is arrogant and desperate to leave Everton.

Fact is, we know very little about Lukaku beyond what we see on the pitch with our own eyes, and we know very little about potential interest in him from other clubs. There might be interest, there might not. We simply do not know.

Peter Roberts
108 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:36:17
Graham (#101), you think his right peg is good, do you? That it's not a swinger?

Pull all the stats you like mate. The amount of times he drags it or clears the cross bar with his right is a joke. 44% on target you say? Like that's good?

I'm not saying all strikers are two-footed but he has a tendency to lash or drag/scuff with his right peg; of course, you are out to prove that he's in some way good with it – he's not. Just like his control – hit and miss.

It's fine – he's a goalscorer and that's it. Accept him for what he is – don't dress him up as more... It's embarrassing.

David Barks
109 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:38:54
Lukaku never celebrates his team mate's goals.

http://i3.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article6936560.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Middlesbrough-v-Everton.jpg

http://i1.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article5193245.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/BSC-Young-Boys-v-Everton.jpg

http://talksport.com/sites/default/files/styles/just_scale/public/field/image/201604/barkleylukaku.jpg?itok=Kel03ZQf

http://sport360.com/wp-content/uploads/articles7/media-42904.JPG

http://video.skysports.com/RzdzJreDqfR4Pl_bxyDqalwbEbiW730c/promo270673107

Peter Roberts
110 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:39:45
Stan... lets not kid ourselves eh. The lad and his cronies create news when there is none to be made if it concerns moving clubs.

His agent would have been in the press immediately. You don't think Chelsea would have done what they did with John Stones and announced it? Of course they would.

Stan Schofield
111 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:43:57
Peter, I'll leave the self-kidding to you mate, you're doing enough of it for both of us.
Graham Mockford
112 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:47:52
Peter (#108),

Of course he's got a decent right foot. He's scored 1 in 4 of his goals with it. I would say he is more two footed than any forward in the League.

As for 44% shooting accuracy it's actually quite good.

Comparisons Kane (45%), Aguero (43%), Sanchez (39%), Costa (44%), Ibra (41%), Sturridge (41%).

But again don't let facts get in the way.

Brent Stephens
113 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:50:53
Peter (#95) "He doesn't get excited when teammates score".

Now see David (#109) – links to just a few of celebrations at others scoring.

Jeez, Peter, it's so easy to score against you (with or without swingers!) that I almost feel sorry for you. You just keep on walking right into them, don't you!

Brent Stephens
114 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:52:45
Haha, and now Graham scores against Peter! Two in a minute or so. Hoist by your own petard, old son.
Ray Robinson
115 Posted 03/01/2017 at 20:01:04
Graham (#106), do you remember Alan Ball hitting the post against Ipswich in a 2-2 home draw in the sixties? He netted the rebound but it was rightly disallowed because nobody else had touched the ball in between.

I remember being as sick as the proverbial parrot because we'd battered them and it cost us a point (only two points for a win in those days).

It was doubly annoying because an Ipswich forward (Crawford??) had punched the ball in the net for one of Ipswich's goals.

Alan Ball was in fact a very mediocre penalty taker – but a genius in every other respect.

Graham Mockford
116 Posted 03/01/2017 at 20:03:40
Ray,

Just before my time, I'm afraid. He was of course a great player but penalties were not his forte. He actually missed the two he took against us for Arsenal and Soton.

Colin Glassar
117 Posted 03/01/2017 at 20:15:41
Peter, I haven't read all your posts but do you have nightmares with Lukaku? Your posts on him are bordering on the obsessive now.
Tom Bowers
118 Posted 03/01/2017 at 20:42:38
Firstly, this is a managerial problem. Was this not decided before the game? If so, why was Lukaku acting like a child?

Any other criticism of him is unjust. He is a top striker; whilst he cannot be compared to some like Ronaldo, Messi and Lewandoswki, as long as he scores regularly for Everton, he's doing his job.

He will do better with a decent partner.

John Hughes
119 Posted 03/01/2017 at 20:48:26
Graham, I was at the Arsenal match when Alan Ball missed the penalty for the Arsenal against us in the '70s. The Everton supporters we started to sing: "Whose the greatest of them all! Little tiny Alan Ball." Alan obliged by missing the target. COYB
Stan Schofield
120 Posted 03/01/2017 at 20:51:34
Ray@115: Yes, it was Crawford. He jumped up to the ball, had to visibly raise his fist to reach it and hit it into the goal at the Gladwys St end, blatantly clear.

I couldn't believe it when the goal was awarded. It was clearer than Maradonna's 'hand of God' incident.

Stan Schofield
121 Posted 03/01/2017 at 20:57:13
John@119: That reminds me: we used to sing "Obla Di, Obla Da, Alan Ba-a-all, Is the greatest of them all" to the tune of the Beatles song.
Chris Williams
122 Posted 03/01/2017 at 21:19:28
Tom,

It is clear that Baines is the penalty taker and has been all this season and since the the Norwich game at the end of last season. No misunderstanding. He is also by some way the better penalty taker.

Why Rom made an issue of it I don't understand, especially since Baines was the captain last night. It was a throwback to the chaos of Martinez.

I agree that much of the other criticism of Rom is a bit peculiar. Some odd people knocking around.

Tony Abrahams
123 Posted 03/01/2017 at 21:25:36
Patrick (#66), I'm sure David is right and this was the game I was on about. I had just turned 8 and would bet a few quid, because my memory was better in those days.

Even at such a young age, I remember thinking to myself, "Fuckin hell, Bob" and then had to listen to Dave calling him a selfish lazy bastard!

Dave Abrahams
124 Posted 03/01/2017 at 21:37:36
Graham (#106),

I think that was the first European Cup match to use penalty shoot outs. It was strange then and a lot of football fans didn't like it; a lot still don't although most have got used to it.

Anyway in that particular game versus the German team, I know it but can't spell it, I bet that's why you used initials. Anyway (again) Joe Royle had a tremendous game, the goalie saved three or four great headers from Joe, but when Joe took his penalty, might have been the first, he missed it.

Andy Rankin, I think saved a couple of their penalties and we eventually won the shoot-out. I didn't know Sandy had scored the winning penalty, a great night though.

Peter Roberts
125 Posted 03/01/2017 at 21:45:08
Sorry boys... I know its been soooo long since you had a striker to get giddy about and, although a few of you are obviously old enough not to act like teenage boys who buy football magazines, you generally act like you do.

Grouping up to shout down posters who dare question your golden boy? Why the need to be so touchy? You think he honestly gives a toss about Everton? Yeah right... he only cares about Romelu and you buy into his crap.

He is and remains a good finisher. That is it.

Tell me he is a good footballer and I will just accept the fact you wouldn't know one if he shinned a 30-yard pass into your face.

Tell me he is committed and is ambitious and I'll tell you that, if he ran as much as he ran his mouth off about leaving, then he would probably look like he was energetic.

In all honesty, your fawning and protection of a player who clearly sees us as nothing more than a stop-gap is indicative of how low you value our club – this is Everton.

I don't care if he has the best record since Lineker – he has disrespected our club time after time and is not a team player hes not a good footballer - he concedes possession at an alarming rate. Imagine his team mates doing his arm flapping tantrum every time he lost the ball eh? Its ok for him to complain that a ball doesnt find its way through the marker hes standing behind though isn't it?

I can't wait to sell him. Cant wait. There is a toxicity about him that I can't stomach. I see more to a team than an individual who scores goals; if you can see further than your own nose then maybe you could too.

People don't dislike him as a player for nothing; he hardly helps himself. Even if he was as good as he thinks he is, I would struggle with his self importance. As it is, he carries a shed load of it, a pissy attitude and a goal scoring ability that means his team mates have to tolerate his inability to keep hold of the thing.

I look forward to having an expensive striker who gets Everton – who understands team work and how to link up with team mates. Maybe then we will see other team mates get on the score sheet.

Dave Abrahams
126 Posted 03/01/2017 at 21:46:45
Tony (#123),

I remember the game but didn't think Bob had scored a penalty, but when he scored, he ran to the crowd in the Street End, saluting his goal. I thought "What the fuck are are you doing celebrating the goal – we are getting hammered 5-0!"

You are right, though, I would have called him a lazy bastard because he was, but I never thought he was selfish for some reason and he was a nice and easy going fella... maybe too nice at times.

Graham Mockford
127 Posted 03/01/2017 at 21:51:30
Dave,

I never went to the game as I was only 7 years old. It was the first year I had a season ticket and used to take my wooden fold-up stool to stand on in the Gwladys Street. But it was a night game so I wasn't allowed to go.

My dad got me up the following morning before he went to work and talked me through the game. A couple of months later, he brought me a commemorative programme which had all the penalties in colour in them which I still have to this day.

I've since watched on YouTube but, to be honest, the programme was all I needed.

Alan McGuffog
128 Posted 03/01/2017 at 21:51:46
Peter... for God's sake, would ye ever get down off the fence! Do you like him or not?
Brent Stephens
129 Posted 03/01/2017 at 21:54:14
Stan (#121) – I'd forgotten the Obla Di one!

Whose the fairest of them all...?

Dave Abrahams
131 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:00:54
Graham (#127) – you've got me thinking now; I was at the game but maybe I'm wrong about Andy Rankin being in goal... was it him or Gordon West? Get that programme out!
Laurie Hartley
132 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:03:16
I have to say the way Lukaku scored his goal against Leicester was top class. Beat Wes Morgan for the ball in a physical tussle – no mean feat. Took off for goal like a scalded cat - Morgan was never going to catch him. Body swerved pass the other Leicester centre half – completely wrong footed him. Finished it off with a well placed powerful left footed shot.

You have to be impressed with that.

My concern with Lukaku is his apparent "its all about me" attitude and the effect it has on the rest of the team.

He took his goal against Southampton really well but there were at least two occasions in the game when Valencia was wide open to his left on the edge of the box when a simple pass to him would have left him only the goalkeeper to beat. Why didn't he pass it?

Baines's penalty conversion rate is also far superior to Lukaku's so why did he want to take it?

For me he is an enigma. He just baffles me at times. He clapped when Baines scored? I just don't get him but will welcome his goals while he is with us.

Ray Atherton
133 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:03:36
Dave (#94)

I think United's goalie was David Gaskell. Roy pointed to the corner he was going to aim at. The penalties were taken at the Stanley Park end.

Went to Old Trafford a few weeks later, Man Utd were on fire, beat us 5-1 in the early league match.

Roy scored the 1st goal of the game at the Stretford End, where the blues fans had congregated.

Alastair Donaldson
134 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:05:17
Baines has the right technique and mentality for penalty taking. I think his confidence and form dipped round about the time he was undeservedly replaced. Glad he has been restored.

Full backs have very often been good penalty takers... they tend to revert to nature and wallop it. There is nothing worse than a half-baked attempt to score – smash it & keep it high – the goalie has little or no hope.

Anyone remember Ray Stewart? WHU Andy Hinchcliffe, Rhino, Stuart Pearce, to name but a few.

Dave Abrahams
135 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:08:47
Ray (#133), yes, it was David Gaskell in goal. By the way the second half was on TV, strange the way television showed parts of live games years ago.
Jim Murphy
137 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:12:51
Talking about Bob Latchford, I have a photo taken by me as a kid at Bellefield with Bill Shankly and Bob having a chat.

We used to go to Bellefield daily when off school and if you could get past Sid McGuiness on the gate (groundsman and security rolled into one) then you could go all around the place unchallenged.

I remember watching Martin Dobson taking shots at Georgie Wood in goal and thinking how can anybody hit a ball that hard. Great times...

ps: Bob Latchford scored his 30th goal of the season from the spot against Chelsea and won £10,000.

Graham Mockford
138 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:13:20
Dave,

You are right, it was Andy Rankin. Here's the best YouTube clip.

Link

Ray Roche
140 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:34:56
Graham, thanks for that link, great memories. I was in the Paddock with my mate, lost my voice for a week after all the singing and cheering.
Dave Abrahams
141 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:36:21
Graham (138), thanks for that and the link, great watching that again. I remember some of the game, Morrissey's goal in the first couple of minutes, some of the penalties, didn't remember the sequence of them and Andy Rankin only saved one penalty... still, not bad after 46 years
Mark Daley
142 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:40:28
I didn't see the game but in the programme for our next home game there was a big picture of Andy Rankin's save, and the caption was "the £100,000 save", which was what they reckoned it was worth to get through to the next round; and that was in 1970...

And the next home game was, from memory, 0-0 against someone. Happy days. Great to see Ball again in those stupid white boots!

Ernie Baywood
143 Posted 03/01/2017 at 23:21:38
So all we want is a striker with a top goal rate, who presses and tracks back all day, while winning headers, and bringing others into the game with his impressive first touch and range of passing. Strength, height, explosive pace endless stamina and poise.

Couldn't be that hard could it? I'll bet they're littered throughout the leagues.

Graham Mockford
144 Posted 03/01/2017 at 23:28:39
Mark,

The best bit of that clip is Ball's reaction to Royle missing his penalty. He goes over to him, consoles him and tells him to keep his head up.

That's just before he's about to take the next pen which he slots.

Some players are just a bit special.

Jon Cox
145 Posted 03/01/2017 at 23:48:35
Sorry but that disgraceful behavior with Bainsey made Rom look like Naomi Campbell doing one of her airport stunts.

No wonder our midfielders play like they're nervous. Especially when playing with a pain in the arse diva.

Stan Schofield
147 Posted 04/01/2017 at 00:14:56
Peter, regarding your zeal to be rid of Lukaku, be careful what you wish for. Some folks don't know what they've got 'til it's gone.
Damian Wilde
149 Posted 04/01/2017 at 00:20:23
Graham - brilliant, thanks for sharing. Standard of penalties was fantastic! No messing about, boom! Cracking save from Rankin as well.

Loving the fans going nuts at the end. 😀 Why did the players rush down the tunnel?! Should have stayed and milked it.

Back to the original post. I think Rom is a poor penalty taker, made up Bainesy took it and Koeman has ensured there should be no future ambiguity.

Here's to a good cup run. COYB.

Peter Roberts
150 Posted 04/01/2017 at 01:20:36
Stan, the lad can finish. Hes very very good at it. I'm not blind to that fact.

I also see a potentially divisive character – a strong one at that, who should be doing simple things much better. I just think that for the supposed money we could get in a player who may not be as prolific but more rounded – and this will improve us overall.

Plus he really does get on my nerves with his inconsistencies, brief flashes of athletic excellence and general malaise.

Colin Gee
151 Posted 04/01/2017 at 02:23:02
I did wonder if anyone would notice what went on yesterday with regards to the penalty.

From memory Seamus picked the ball up and gave it to Ross, Rom took it off Ross and looked like he was going to take it until Leighton walked up, pointed to his armband and took the ball off Rom.

When Bainesy takes the pens I am like, no problem: this is in. When Rom takes them, I am like: you better fucking score.

Jim Hardin
152 Posted 04/01/2017 at 02:30:01
Peter,

I have tried to stay out of it since posts to another thread about you and Kevin were moderated.

Could you please, even though you wouldn't know a fact or stat if it hit you in the head, point to even one article or fact of the "toxicity" of Rom. Surely seems one of the former or current players or coaches from his old teams, or this team, would have said something by now, eh? I am tired of you making up this, and other equally outlandish slanderous claims, to mask the fact you just don't like the player.

But the hits keep coming don't they Peter? You, in a post on this thread, indicated Rom did not have to beat defenders. to score. What games was Rom permitted to head a cross with no one else other than the goalkeeper in the 18? Quite sporting of the other team, I must say. I don't want to miss it so I will go back and watch it (game and minute please).

Then, incredibly, you now explain away his well-taken goal last game by claiming he missed one earlier. Huh? Finally, you indicate a footballing centre forward doesn't score goals but must do other things instead? What the bloody hell is he up there closest to goal for then?

I marvel at the contortions your mind goes to in order to slag off Lukaku, who is simply one of the best goal scorers in EPL history at this stage in his career. I rely upon his goals total for that, a fact, Peter – a cold, hard, indisputable fact.

Now go and please help Kevin reset the games-without-goals counter as it seems to be stuck at zero. Odd that, isn't it?

Gerry Morrison
154 Posted 04/01/2017 at 02:49:47
Graham 138. What a great link. I can't get over the quality of the clip. It looks like a film rather than the television. Brought back great memories.

I can't remember if Bill was there, but I was actually in the Boys Pen that night. I had a season ticket at that point, but not for that game of course. Great memories, thanks again.

Joe Rooney
155 Posted 04/01/2017 at 02:52:47
I think what my frustration and other Everton fans frustration stems from is that he has achieved his excellent goal record with the bare minimum of effort! (Statistically the laziest player in PL!) I just wonder what he could be if he tried his best every game which I think we are entitled to expect from him!

It's up to Rom to get in positions where it's possible to create chances for him. It's what Costa and Kane do.

For fans to think chances on a plate are solely the responsibility of the player delivering the ball is just crazy!

Brian Porter
156 Posted 04/01/2017 at 06:52:54
Well done, Koeman, for publicly clarifying something Martinez should have done but failed to do, to the detriment of results.

Lukaku may be a hot shot striker when running at the goal with the ball at his feet but his penalties are abysmal. As others have said, he generally scuffs them and his conversion rate is very poor.

Baines on the other hand is the premier league's best penalty taker with a conversion rate of around 95% unless I'm mistaken. Should be no dispute, Baines inspires confidence and opposition goalkeepers probably are at a psychological disadvantage as soon as they see him place the ball. They know his record and must feel they have little to no chance against him.

Kim Vivian
157 Posted 04/01/2017 at 08:34:19
Perhaps we should wind Rom up a bit more on the pitch, get him angry, and he might hit a few more like that goal which nearly went through the net into the Gwladys Street, instead of scuffing so many shots.
Tony Abrahams
158 Posted 04/01/2017 at 08:53:42
Keep it going, Peter, you've even wound up Big Jim, now!

I would have lost money on Latchford scoring a penalty, Dave, can't tell you why my memory is so bad, but it's the only time I've ever seen a player run to the crowd, when they have just scored a goal when their team was getting beat 5-0.

I actually agree with a lot of what Peter says but, watching Lukaku closely in the last two games, I do think his touch definitely improves, the closer to the opponents goal that he gets. His first time return pass to Baines in the last minute at Hull, maybe highlights Peter's points better than anything, but he has started backing into defenders in and around the box, and should be definitely getting coached more to receive the ball the exact same way on the half-way line.

The only difference to the player is that he knows defenders are not going to be so aggressive around the area, in case they give away a dangerous free-kick or a penalty, so he seems to back in and concentrate more, when receiving the ball. I keep going on about the coaching but it really is that simple if the lad isn't doing the same things in the middle of the pitch.

Paul Tran
160 Posted 04/01/2017 at 09:23:06
Thanks for that Moenchengladbach link. Fabulous night, I was there with me Dad at 6 years old. Felt like the Old Lady had exploded!
Stan Schofield
161 Posted 04/01/2017 at 09:48:09
Peter @150:

This is the trouble mate, you have a perception that he's a divisive character, but there's no evidence that he is. Even the penalty incident on Monday isn't evidence of that, since it's open to interpretation without inside knowledge of what happens behind the scenes. Which we don't have, of course.

Your last sentence may be the telling one. He gets on your nerves. I'm afraid that's not a good reason to get rid of him. The interests of EFC surely take priority over protecting your nerves, however sympathetic we are to your plight.

Tony Abrahams
162 Posted 04/01/2017 at 10:11:52
Thanks for the link, Graham, and I'm genuinely gutted for you, that you weren't allowed to go to night matches, and can't believe Paul threw his age in there mate!

No finer place to be in the world than Goodison Park under the floodlights when it's a really big game, and takes me back to watching the excitement on my son's face, when he was a little kid, and used to run into the house with his fists clenched shouting "Night match!"

Will we ever get another Bayern Munich, I wonder?

Terence Beresford
163 Posted 04/01/2017 at 10:20:26
Thanks Graham. Wonderful memories. Loved those semi circles behind the goals al la World Cup. Bally's boots and big Joe giving everything.

Talking of Paul Bracewell. I was there when John Clinkard (physio) if memory serves me, and Sir John told him him they where sending him to America to try and sort that leg out, sadly I don't think he was ever the same.

All the best to blues everywhere.

Peter Roberts
164 Posted 04/01/2017 at 10:35:51
Stan (#161), very little ever comes out from players until long after they play together. Let's be honest – has anything come from Distin around the Martinez - Eto'o - Mirallas fiasco? Maybe it will one day.

All I know is that, back when I played, anyone attempting to take a penno away from the designated taker would get some serious stick. You just don't do it.

This is the second time it's happened to Baines now and Lukaku has seen first hand what happened last time round when Mirallas did it, so why would he do that? It caused serious issues in the team and with the manager.

As it happens, it was fortunate that Coleman has real leadership and Baines has proper bottle. You cannot underestimate the pressure on Baines with that penalty... pennos are difficult enough without having a teammate publically try and challenge your right to take it.

He shouldn't have done it. Absolutely no excuse. It looks bloody awful.

Peter Roberts
165 Posted 04/01/2017 at 10:37:58
I also missed the Bayern game. Gutted. I was too young for night games, was in my pyjamas listening to it in bed.

Made the QPR game which I believe was one of the highest attendances in modern years.

Stan Schofield
166 Posted 04/01/2017 at 10:51:59
Peter, agreed, he shouldn't have done it.
Tony Abrahams
167 Posted 04/01/2017 at 11:04:37
Peter, Bayern Munich was really special and it's been documented enough for every Evertonian to know it.

But that QPR game, mate... well, to be stood on the bar in the Street End, listening to 50,000 Toffees singing "CHAMPIONS!!!" was truly fucking beautiful, and I've just got all emotional just thinking about it!

Ray Roche
168 Posted 04/01/2017 at 11:24:47
Peter Roberts (#164),

There was an item on the BBC webpage recently by Pat Nevin on why so many penalties seem to have been saved/missed recently. He went on to say that in his day the average keeper was 6ft-1in. Now, Stekelenberg is 6ft-6in and Forster, here last week, is 6ft-7in which is pretty much par for the course these days.

They are also more athletic than in previous years and are allowed to move along the goal line, making that target area appear even smaller so a penalty must be very accurate. Takers often wait for the keeper to move first but if he doesn't and all under enormous pressure.

I've taken penalties in my youth, even missing a penalty in a semi-final which we lost, and it's not as easy as some think. The taker should always hit the target though. No excuses.

Peter Roberts
169 Posted 04/01/2017 at 12:06:11
Tony (#167)...

I had the pleasure of having a couple of pints with Graeme Sharp not so long ago. I told him that I had a perfect view of his header against QPR – it was breathtaking the way he soared for it. I was on a bar in the Lower Paddock – remember it as clear as you like. From a different angle, it may have looked different.

I've been lucky like that – I was behind the right-hand post for Osman's goal against Idrissa – watched the curve.

Ray Roache. I agree. I seen footage of the penalty behind Forsters goal – he's enormous. A lesser composed penalty taker would be intimidated at the size of him. He fills the goal. I would have Barkley on penalties before Rom, if I'm honest. But Baines is without question the best from 12 yards... precision and power.

Terry Underwood
170 Posted 04/01/2017 at 12:14:37
Once again, a topic seems to have turned into a discussion about Rom's work rate.

I look at it this way... Let us assume that Rom has 100 energy "points" at the start of each game, each burst of speed takes 40 points, these are replenished at a rate of, say 10 per minute; each tackle takes 20.

Would it be better for our striker to use 40 points running back and 20 for a tackle, or just wander around the edge of the area waiting for a sniff at a chance,THEN use his speed and strength?

Over-simplified, I know, but then again, I'm not very bright.

Brian Furey
171 Posted 04/01/2017 at 12:21:55
I came on here to read about why was Rom so unhappy on Monday but I've got to post 100 and it's an interesting read to see the opinions of those who like Rom to stay and those who can't wait until he leaves.

I have a theory that those who attend matches regularly tend to see him first hand and get more frustrated with his play. Any time I went over to a game I felt a bit like that and thought he was very lazy and didn't care about the working hard for the team. Whereas there was a lot more love for a player like Naismith, who would always struggle to score 10 goals a season but we appreciated his hard work a lot more.

Maybe we are lucky we have found such a player as we can benefit from his goals but if he improved the other aspects of his game he would have been off to one of the top Champions League teams.

The big question for me is: Does Rom's style of play have a negative impact on the rest of the team? Like @85, Ray's point about how Valencia's runs gave Barkley more to play with and made him look better in turn.

I'm of the opinion that it's very hard to find a striker who will regularly score 20+ goals a season and if usually they don't play for a team who is not regularly in the top 4. It's easy to say "Take the money and send him on his way", but it will prove almost impossible to buy in someone who will score you as many goals. Gabbiandi struggling in Italy; Slimani, Perez, Bony all have not done well at their new clubs.

Thankfully Koeman realised he had a top striker when he came to us and he made sure he welcomed him with open arms. When I look back at Everton over the past 30 years, we have really struggled to score goals for most of the time; when Rom finally moves on, I fear we will only then realise the importance of having a top striker.

Re the penalty, I think Rom was well out of order asking to take it as it then put pressure on Baines to score. Looking at it from Rom's point of view, he probably sees Harry Kane taking them for Spurs and knows it could mean being the top scorer but I'm glad Koeman has spoken out and put them straight.
Colin Glassar
172 Posted 04/01/2017 at 12:28:31
Peter, did you tell Sharpey what you thought of Lukaku?
Ste Traverse
173 Posted 04/01/2017 at 12:33:07
Some of the comments on here regarding Lukaku are totally ridiculous. Okay, he did spit his dummy out a bit when Baines took the ball off him on Monday but goalscorers are generally greedy so it's expected.

Rom is best goalscorer we've had since Lineker. Fair enough, he doesn't run around like a lunatic but has limited end product like an Andy Johnson for instance... But can you imagine this side with Kone leading the line instead??

Dave Abrahams
174 Posted 04/01/2017 at 12:41:30
Gerry (#154),

I don't think Bill was in the Boys Pen that night, he'd have been around 25 years of age at the time!!!!

Brian Denton
175 Posted 04/01/2017 at 14:29:04
Brilliant to see that Moenchengladbach footage, in such good quality too (even though the commentary is in German). I think that's the first time I've seen any of that game since it actually took place!

If I recall correctly, Rankin was in goal because Gordon West had been punished by the club for 'making a gesture' to the Street End in the previous European Cup game against Keflafik, when he'd taken some stick for conceding a couple of soft goals against the Icelanders.

Seems funny, talking of Everton and the European Cup in the same breath. Especially since back then you had to win your League to qualify for it, not finish 4th.

Peter Roberts (#165), again I'm relying on memory here but I have a feeling that the QPR attendance in 1985 was actually less than that of the midweek derby at Goodison a couple of weeks after. I know a few Blues who were to their horror locked out of the QPR game, which made it all the more galling to be able to walk up into a bigger attendance with no problems a couple of weeks later.

Tony Heron
176 Posted 04/01/2017 at 14:43:04
Only just caught up with this thread. Glad to hear some posters with a shout for Roy Vernon, who was one of the best penalty takers I ever saw. I remember one against Ron Springett who played for Sheff Wed, and was the current England keeper. As Royston hit the ball, Springett, in keeping with his name, leapt to one side with incredible agility. Unfortunately, for him, the ball sped into the opposite bottom corner! I saw Vernon do this to many keepers but that was the best.

I only ever seen him miss one and if memory serves ( no promises here), it was in a reserve game against Burnley. I do remember that the Goalies name was Thomson and he was a cousin of Alex Young!

The other memory I have of Roy Vernon was in the days before the pre-match training routines, when the teams would come out 10 mins before kick off and have shots in against their own keeper. Roy came onto the pitch late still smoking a ciggie, which he carried on with while taking a few shots before tossing it away just before kick off!!

Joe Rooney
177 Posted 04/01/2017 at 15:39:56
I feel like I have been bashing Rom a lot recently. You can't deny his goal scoring record is excellent! It looks almost like a 1 goal every 2 games record.

The other names mentioned are all excellent all round footballers with undeniable work ethic. I would put Kane and Costa in the category too. People say Lukaku doesn't get the same service as the others but the amount of goals he scores suggest it's not so bad!

Fact is he goes on long runs without scoring and giving a meaningful contribution to the side. All the while, Barkley gets blamed... or it's the service that's shite.

For me, it's his attitude and it affects our teams performance because he has been the focal point of the team for so long. When we watch a rare great Lukaku performance what do you notice the most? He works the channels! He out-muscles defenders! He drops deeper and turns at defences running at goal! He finds his players with passes! He makes things happen!

He does this maybe 2-3 games then 4-5 games we don't see it. What we often see is... His first touch let's him down! He gets beat easily in the air! He is often central, tightly marked by centre-backs. His lay offs don't find a man! Now with him being the main focal point and an inconsistent one at that is the reason our team performs inconsistently.

So the reason I bash him? If he flipped his performance the other way round and gave us 4-5 games of what he is capable of and was off the boil 2-3 games.. I'd imagine we would be pushing top 4!

I went on a bit there but he frustrates! Nobody can deny he can be great... but we can complain when a lot of the time he can't be arsed!

Tony Abrahams
178 Posted 04/01/2017 at 16:12:45
Colin, if you want to gauge an opinion of a player, then I think the best thing you can ask an ex-footballer, is if they would have liked to have played with him.

What was his answer, Peter!?

Jon Cox
179 Posted 04/01/2017 at 18:07:05
Terry (#170),

No.

Peter Roberts
181 Posted 04/01/2017 at 21:12:57
Never spoke about Lukaku funny enough. Talking about Big Nev mainly and how he was better than Schmichel without question.

He said Big Dunc was one of the most gifted players he had seen – could have played for anyone but never got all from his talent.

Paul Tran
182 Posted 04/01/2017 at 21:58:15
Tony (#162), nowt wrong with being 52. From an Everton perspective, I'm glad I'm old enough to have so many wonderful memories.

Me and a pal got a night bus from Oxford (long story) and back for that QPR game. Outside the Street End, there were rumours it was full and people were throwing themselves over the wall to get in. Another great day!

Joe Rooney
183 Posted 05/01/2017 at 01:54:45
Anybody see Harry Kane's performance? You could look at it and say a lot of the things we say about Rom. Had no service, touch wasn't always there.. technically wasn't his best performance.

The difference for me though... you always knew he was there.. never went missing. Worked tirelessly against the back 3 of Chelsea.

His work and movement is what separate him and Lukaku. And that is a huge boost to Spurs, especially to Alli.

Alli knows he can 80% of the time, knock a ball up to Kane... he holds and and he will get it back. He knows he can hit the channel... and Kane will work his arse off to get there.

People talk about Rom not getting service etc... but he sulks, moans and goes missing!

Kane – not his best game... but he fucking battled!

David Barks
184 Posted 05/01/2017 at 03:01:02
Joe,

Yeah I watched that game. Funny that you didn't notice that Spurs actually went at Chelsea whereas we went ultra defensive. Kane had Dele up ahead of him so often, that's why Dele was the one getting on the end of those crosses for those headers and not Kane.

Rose and Eriksen were always up in support with Kane and Dele. Spurs didn't just lump long balls up top, they attacked. Kane wasn't having to battle 2-3 defenders with no support. The defense was having to worry about 4-5 Spurs players and not just one man up top on his own.

Or are you saying Kane was responsible for Spurs getting a clean sheet while Lukaku was to blame for us shipping five goals to Chelsea? Alli dominated that match and was the attacking threat along with Eriksen, not Kane. If you want to post about a comparison, compare Alli's positioning and attacking quality to Barkley's. Alli attacking those headers is what Barkley needs to be doing. But where was your post about Kane missing his penalty the other day?

Peter Roberts
185 Posted 05/01/2017 at 12:55:47
Joe (#177 & #183) – excellent posts.

On here I get embroiled in too many battles with extreme supporters of Rom so the equal measure is to be maybe extremely critical I guess. There is absolutely no question that:

1. He is a natural finisher;
2. An extremely gifted specimen and athlete.

Combine those 2 attributes with "a good work ethic and positive attitude" – which should be a given for every footballer and he would be a top top striker – despite having one of the poorest touches and football brains I have seen at this level.

The difference between Rom and Harry Kane is all down to mentality and attitude. Harry Kane is like the Jordan Henderson of strikers – he has got where he is due to pure graft. There are stories that he was too slow and got some spikes and actually did proper sprint training, his left foot was awful so he worked hour after hour on it. Now he can almost look two-footed.

You can tell by his movement that he has studied and studied where he needs to be – he is very very clever. They say you can't teach it, but either that's true and he is natural - or its wrong and he has worked at it.

No striker plays well every game but they can do the basic things every game and that is what we seen Kane do last night. No tantrums – no sulking, he absolutely ran his legs off and pressed, worked the channels, created space and went off having done an okay job. He doesn't hide and he is a credit.

Lukaku isn't a natural footballer, neither was Ian Rush, both can score goals but only one understood the importance of leading the line "properly".

As you say – if Rom left it out there on the pitch more often than he does then the likes of myself would get off his back. The fact that he takes "shortcuts" – goes through the motions and looks like he's only on the pitch cos he has been told to rather than wants to gets to me something rotten. Combine that with people making excuses for him and that infuriates me.

There is no real issue with the service he gets – the real issue is how available he makes himself. I have seen him play a brilliant game of football against Liverpool when heavily marked in a frantic game – not because he could control it like Berbatov or dribble like a young Wayne Rooney but because he applied himself properly.

That's what Kane does – he applies himself properly even when things are not going right for him – that's why Kane scores so many goals late on he never stops.

Its all very well looking at his goals and leaving it there. The reality is that he is short changing the fans far too often.

Peter Roberts
186 Posted 05/01/2017 at 13:05:56
David (#184)

Dele Alli has Kane moving all the time – Lukaku's movement compared to Kane is not even worth mentioning. When Alli plays the ball to Kane is sticks more often than not – Kane can play one two's and bring the attacking midfielders into the game.

Unfortunately Rom just can't do this. The number of times I have seen Ross play a ball to him and run for the return only to see it go to a defender is not funny.

It doesn't help Ross that he has had Barry as an immobile footballer behind him – with Gana as a non-footballing midfielder – very good in a Lee Carsley way but not in a Mikel Arteta way.

Tom Davies will help Ross plot his way through the pitch. The lad has intelligence and a forward thinking mind that we haven't seen since a fit Darron Gibson from a natural centre mid.

Let's stop looking at Ross as the reason for Lukaku's "lack of service" – football is as much about losing your marker to receive a pass as it is for the player with the ball to make a pass.


Paul Tran
187 Posted 05/01/2017 at 13:21:35
Peter Roberts (#185), you're bang on the money there. I do think there are too many occasions where Lukaku makes good runs that aren't seen. We need a midfielder with that vision who can pick that pass regularly.
Peter Roberts
188 Posted 05/01/2017 at 14:15:31
Paul... I think Lukaku's movement is pretty poor if I'm honest mate.

For a bloke who is hungry for goals, he would be far better if he moved more aggressively. Far too often, he allows the defender to get across him rather than the other way around.

He lacks in the art of deception... something that Aguero and Suarez are masters at. Making false runs and dropping back – committing defenders to a place where he wants them to go – not where he wants the ball to go. All very very basic, his movement.

He can get better at it if he really wants to but it takes effort in running – something that he doesn't really do.

Barry Jones
189 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:53:57
Peter, your comments are constructed through the eyes of a footballer, which you obviously were at one time, and probably a reasonably good one. I concur with virtually everything that you have said. They are rationale statements.

On the issue of penalties, Martinez handed the job to Rom when his goals had dried up, either to make his return on investment look better or to give him more confidence, or both. Either way, it was a mistake. Baines is the best at the job by a distance.

Jim Hardin
190 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:22:46
Peter, give it a rest.

First, scratch Costa and Sanchez off of your list of "team players" after their meltdowns.

Second, you have now classified Gana and Rom as non-footballing players out of 11 starters for Everton. Odd that Koeman would do that isn't it, play non-footballing players? Idiot Koeman, he should be consulting you of course.

Finally, "On here I get embroiled in too many battles with extreme supporters of Rom... blah, blah, blah " There are few "extreme" supporters of Rom, just people who recognize the truth from the garbage that you put forth. That people are pointing out facts that you ignore is not extreme support, it is likely reasonable responses. Try it sometime, you might like it.

In short, you make things up, Peter. That is what people criticise you for. That and your inability to just admit that you do not personally like Rom, instead of trying to cut him down.

Do you really think that if we had Dele Alli instead of Ross, and played the rest of the players and formations that Tottenham play, that Rom wouldn't get more balls that are playable instead of hoofed prayers? Rom sees space and points to it (for which you and others rip him) but our midfield is either too poor to see it or cannot play the pass to him.

You are like the blind man who swears it is sunny out when it is actually nighttime.

Jim Knightley
191 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:50:55
Haha, great stuff! I do love reading misinformed critiques of the league's fourth highest scorer (without scoring a penalty too notably).

I wrote a post recently demonstrating Lukaku's creativity - to sum up, his chance creation statistics are among the highest for strikers in the league. Hence his impressive assist statistics from the last two years.

Peter Roberts – You might want to look into the chance creation statistics for strikers in the league. Some of what you saying simply doesn't hold up and nears absurdity. Harry Kane, whose movement you over-rate (you clearly haven't watched some Spurs home games lately), has set up 3 premier league goals in the last 2 seasons.

Lukaku? Well Lukaku has set up 10. Look up the other top strikers in the league, and see where Lukaku sits. Again your comment stinks of someone who watches Everton, a lot like many on here, but doesn't actually watch other teams. You've seen the recent Spurs performance against Chelsea, but how many other Spurs games have you actually watched this season?

You might want to consider those games, and compare the Spurs game with and without Dembele. The recent couple of seasons have highlighted a surprising statistic – When Dembele doesnt play, Kane's goal-scoring record drops off considerably. Bar one recent double, the story is similar: When Dembele doesnt play, Harry rarely scores. Why? Because when Dembele doesn't play Spurs lose his considerable energy in the middle of the park and Alli plays deeper. It is obvious from watching the games, and from checking Alli's average positioning in those games. Harry, lauded by you, needs Alli near him.

Essentially, he needs someone to play up top with him and near him, a luxury Lukaku has rarely benefited from in an Everton shirt. That is because of some of Harry's weaknesses, and because he isn't as intelligent as some would claim. He, like so many English footballers, needs a certain set up to flourish in.

Lukaku is not as bad as so many make out, and if more of you watched other teams that would be obvious. There is a reason he has scored and set up so many goals. It is not just because he is lucky. He has 11 goals and 4 assists in 18 league starts – he is the best striker we've had for a very long time.

He might be an arsehole, he might want a move, but we will not find someone who can do what he does at our current level. He is one of the few players we have capable of playing for a top four side. I remember so many on here desperate for Bony – the same Bony who was apparently a better footballer and better technically. The same Bony who has been displaced by Crouch in Stoke's team currently.

I saw a wonderful Diego Costa do nothing for large chunks of last season – fail to make runs into the box, to score as he can score, and even to try as he can try. Even this season, as wonderful as he has been, he plays in bursts and his touch and creativity goes missing at points.

Lukaku is not Suarez or Messi and he never will be. But he is up there with some of the best strikers in this league, and his chance creation is woefully under-appreciated by so many fans.

But go on – respond by telling me that statistics tell us nothing. That Lukaku has been lucky with his assists. That his high chance creation statistics mean nothing. That his goals are not the product of good movement but a half decent finisher who could be replaced with many average Premier League players.

I often wonder how many goals Lukaku would score with an actual creative midfield behind him?

Joe Rooney
192 Posted 06/01/2017 at 03:14:17
Jim Hardin (#190),

Costa and Sanchez have every right to have a melt down!!

What a stupid comment! They are the hardest working players in their respective teams and they get pissed off at their teams not giving it their all in every game!

I wouldn't have a problem Lukaku lambasting our players if he puts his best efforts in game in game out... Fact is he is statistically the laziest player in the League!!! That is unacceptable!!! It should be to you!!!

David (#184)

I'm not saying Kane is responsible for Spurs keeping clean sheets... but he helps them to do that! When Lukaku FAILS to hold the ball up 8 out of 10 we are put straight back under pressure with midfielder runners out of position making us easy to counter! (I do feel our midfielders are conscious of this and don't gamble as much because of this!)

When Kane harasses defences and presses early it stops defenders finding good passes and often forces mistakes so they can't set up immediate attacks. Which means less chance of scoring!

I'm not going to try teach you the game... you know we don't defend from the front and it affects our performance!

Joe Rooney
193 Posted 06/01/2017 at 03:25:56
Jim Knightley (#191),

Nobody here is saying he isn't our best goal scorer... but it amazes me how people don't link his lack of effort to him getting no service.

How come, when he does turn it o,n he gets chances and goals? Are you suggesting he does it all on his own?

I have never seen him do what Giroud did for his great goal against palace! Start a move edge of our own box... bust a gut to then get in the oppositions box to get on the end of a cross.

Are you saying in the last 15 games of the season he had absolutely no chances created for him and why he didn't score any goals? He has scored in 7 different matches this season.. meaning 11 he didn't.

Now scoring in almost every other game seems like quite the record... and it is for a goal scorer. But it doesn't tell you that the majority of those games he didn't even show up or have any influence in the games.

A lot of matches he scores in even he does little else or they are meaningless goals. I would absolutely love Rom if he just gave it everything for at least 45 mins every game... we don't even get that!

Joe Rooney
194 Posted 06/01/2017 at 03:33:00
David Barks (#184),

And if you saw Ali dominating that game mate what were you watching?

He had two free headers in that match. Brilliant that he scored the chances... but that was his whole involvement in the game! He didn't dominate anything. His all Round play was quite poor. He was basically David Platt! Haha He had Kane taking defenders away from him creating space for him.

I love Rom when he is on fire.. just come on... admit it... he can do so much more in every game! He plays well and the team does! Maybe that's what Koeman needs to do.. not have him as the focal point! But with his amazing stats.. why didn't anyone splash the cash for him?

David Barks
195 Posted 06/01/2017 at 03:54:31
Joe Rooney,

Alli was the star of that match and they were not free headers, especially the second. Jesus, watch the replay of that second goal. Also, maybe try calming down with the exclamations at the end of every sentence.

Kane was poor in that match. Watching the match, you would see that, and every post-match write up agreed. As they all agreed that Alli was the driving force in that match along with Eriksen. Kane hardly saw the ball and was mostly invisible in attack.

Jim Knightley
196 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:54:45
Again, Joe Rooney – your comments repeat exactly my issue – you judge other players in isolated games, and then judge Lukaku against a fictional construction of what other strikers achieve. Watch some more football and look into the stats!

Firstly, Giroud is not Lukaku – I've seen Giroud do things Lukaku hasnt, and I've seen Lukaku do things Giroud never has. Although look into Lukaku's goals against Southampton last year – there is an example of exactly what you describe, which I assume you've forgotten. Have you ever seen Giroud score the goal Lukaku scored against Chelsea, incidentally? Why must Lukaku have the qualities he possesses and those of a different player like Giroud? Do you think we are Barcelona?

And next – Lukaku has scored 11 goals and he has scored them in 8 not 7 games (check your numbers) – what is your point? Are strikers supposed to score all their goals individually? Why is that a reason to detract from his abilities?

Let's look into what you state, by doing something you fail to do properly – compare Lukaku to others. Costa is the best example of a consistent goalscorer who does not score in batches in the league (He only has one double). But the other strikers tell a different story. Zlatan, who does very little for large stretches of matches – if you've watched him over time you will see this – his impact is wonderful but not a 90min impact, like most strikers. He has scored his 13 goals in 10 games (1 pen). Sanchez has scored his 13 goals in 8 games – so he has scored in as many separate games as Lukaku has. Aguero's 11 goals have arrived in only 7 games, and include 3 penalties. Defoe's 11 goals have admirably come in 9 games, but include 5 penalties. Alli's 10 goals have come in 7 games as have Kane's, 3 of which were penalties.

Lukaku holds up pretty well doesn't he? And notably, every player in that list bar Defoe plays for a higher placed team.

Next V Lukaku's 4 assists are equalled and bettered by only Costa and Sanchez, who have been the league's most effective performers this season.

Now Joe – I don't know if you read my comments properly, or previous comments, but here is some homework for you and others: look into Lukaku's chance creation – look at how many chances he has created for others and compare it with the other big strikers in the league. Over the next few weeks watch Harry Kane, Costa, Ibra, Giroud, Kane, Benteke, Sturridge etc and judge them like you judge Lukaku. Look at how much they work in a game. Look at how much they create. Not on MotD but in 90 mins.

As I also demonstrated recently, Lukaku's aeriel duels won, and even the tackles he makes, compare favourably with others. This was not a surprise to me, because I watch a lot of football because of my profession. I see what others do and what they do not do.

Lukaku does not work for 90 mins but guess what? Not one player in the list does. Not even Costa. Sanchez comes close but even he dies off and goes in bursts, as we saw in games against Man City and Man Utd in particularly lately.

There are better strikers than Lukaku in this league, but relatively speaking, no one we could get near. We can't attract Sanchez or a Costa – We are Everton, not a title winning team. Lukaku is one of the few players we have who is good enough for a top 4 team.

His stats are superb. He has backed up 18 league goals and 6 assists last season (and 7 more in the cups) with 11 league goals and 4 assists this season already. I cannot believe that someone who has scored and assisted so effectively, gets so much criticism. And I cant believe that so much of the criticism absurd and at times stupid.

Look at the stats. Look at his goals. Look at his assists. Look at his lack of penalties. Look at those same stats for other players. Look at what they do in 90 minutes and not on Match of the Day. Look at the quality of the players providing them with chances. Look at where they are in the league.

Graham Mockford
197 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:22:47
Jim (#196)

Stop using relevant facts to support you arguments. That's so last decade. We are in a post-truth world, don't you know?

Brent Stephens
198 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:56:18
Jim is also using stats, which isn't allowed. You can only make broad generalisations like "such and such a player makes few assists, wins few headers" (much better to keep things vague).
Jim Hardin
199 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:21:59
Joe Rooney,

Don't let the prior posts get in the way of your responses. Peter indicated that Costa was a shining example of a team player (Factual content to the contrary) and Lukaku wasn't. Examples used were his arm waving, pointing, and gesturing at his teammates as proof of his toxicity and selfishness. I was merely pointing out to Peter that Costa did the same thing so how is he a "team player" using the same criteria?

I wonder if you are not Peter using an alter ego so he has someone to agree with him?

Darren Hind
200 Posted 06/01/2017 at 16:48:16
Stats without circumstances are absolutely meaningless.

Show me a stat that tells you how many times Lukaku has contributed absolutely nothing to a game and then I will stop taking them with a pinch of salt.

I've seen an awful lot of games where Lukaku has contributed nothing, I've seen many games where his can't-be-arsedness has been as obvious to all in attendance. The stats don't mention them, but anyone who watches regularly will have seen them.

Lukaku can be a beast, no two ways about it. He can be terrifying on his day. But let's not get carried away with the idea that a few carefully selected the stats which he has racked up on his good days can disguise the absolute stinkers he often serves up. Centre-halves must wonder which one they will face... Beast or Lump.

We are Evertonians and as such should be above using foolish stats as the definitive argument. Its alright putting Lukaku's stats up against the likes of Aguero and Kane, but if you are going to do that, you have to also take into account that those two have suffered injuries, have played 4-5 games less than Lukaku and therefore will not have scored in more games than him. The stats may look favourable for Lukaku (if that's all you know) but if you consider the bigger picture, they merely demonstrate that the others score more goals in more games.

Let's please keep stats where they belong (in your anorak pocket). When a player misses a glorious chance and another player knocks in the rebound, it may go down as an assist... but if the other player wasn't there to put it in, it would go down as a sitter.

Stats merely offer a guide, they will never offer a definitive argument. The game is a simple one, but its not that simple. It's ridiculous to put the stats of Zlatan, Aguero, Sanchez and Kane in an attempt to make a lukaku look better. Everyone knows, they are all light years ahead of him and will not only score more, they will contribute a lot more to the team. The stats may not show the likes of Kane, Vardy, Aguerro, Costa, defending from the front, but we have all seen them do it... a lot more than we have seen Lukaku do it.

If the forwards mentioned above were put on the transfer market, everyone of them would attract the attention of top clubs and coaches who understand the game far to well to be swayed by selected stats. Lukaku on the other hand, spent the entire summer lifting his skirt and did not attract a single offer... that says just about everything.

We have a guy who is as likely to put us into a coma as he is to get us on the edge of our seats. We don't really need stats to tell us that... do we?

He is what he is; let's hope we see the beast more often, but let's stop pretending he is a better player than he is by telling only half of the story.

Graham Mockford
201 Posted 06/01/2017 at 22:45:00
Darren,

'I've seen many games where his cant-be-arsedness has been as obvious to all.'

Well I suspect I've been at most of those games and it wasn't obvious to me. I have seen an inconsistent player but I don't buy the whole 'can't be arsed / lazy' argument.

I don't think anyone would claim Lukaku couldn't get better, it's 'obvious to all', but the nonsense and negativity that some (and let me be honest, I mostly mean Peter Roberts) is ridiculous in the extreme. We have actually had claims on this thread that part of Ross Barkley's form is Lukaku's fault.

I'm with you that the beast turns up more often. I know you hate statistics and I do get your point that they don't tell the whole story. But Lukaku has been involved in 15 goals this season which is 10 more than the next best (Baines). It's hard to spin that any other way.

Jim Knightley
202 Posted 07/01/2017 at 02:23:21
Well there is a surprise, Darren – you'd be the one to ignore stats and completely miss the argument. Did you even read my whole post?

Why do you continue to criticise Lukaku for no-shows whilst ignoring that other strikers do it too? Read my post! And I never claimed some of those players were not better than Lukaku. This gave a pretty big clue:

'There are better strikers than Lukaku in this league, but relatively speaking, no one we could get near. We can't attract Sanchez or a Costa – We are Everton not a title winning team'

Although claiming Kane is light years ahead of Lukaku is far off the mark, and the kind of ridiculous hyperbole that suggests you havent watched many Spurs games this year.

And Kane has started 3 less games than Lukaku. He has scored 10 goals from 15 starts and assisted two. Lukaku has scored 11 from 18 starts and assisted 4. Kane has scored 3 pens and Lukaku none. And the assist stats relate actual assists – using ESPN. Not rebounds.

And how do you know we didn't receive an offer for Lukaku? and he wasn't on the market was he? were there offers for Kane too? Please tell me where you've got this information from?

Honestly, Darren – respond properly or do not reply at all. You jump from completely missing the point to making half baked assumptions un-supported by anything.

And just to check – You are saying goals and assists are stats we should ignore because sometimes you perceive that Lukaku doesn't do anything, and by implication, that the other strikers you mention always do?

Believe it or not, football is about stats. Teams score, and let goals in, and get points for how successful they are in these areas. These are statistics. The dinosaur days of ignoring stats are thankfully disappearing into the past. Our successful signing of Gueye is proof of that.

Darren Hind
203 Posted 07/01/2017 at 08:18:18
At no time have I suggested Stats should be ignored. What I do say is that, if you understand them as opposed to simply spouting them, you will be fully aware of how misleading they are.

The minute you start to put carefully selected stats of other strikers up against Lukaku's, you are, absolutely comparing the them to him. Adding a caveat like "There are better strikers in this league" doesn't alter that. Its merely stating the obvious.

Of course there are better strikers in this league; about half-a-dozen of them have been named on this thread alone.

Lukaku, his agent and his arl fella expended a lot of hot air letting the world know about the fictitious interest from other clubs. (I say 'fictitious' because Milan and PSG both stated clearly that there was no bids planned by them. If there was a genuine offer, there is not a hope in the world they would have kept quiet about it.)

I find it funny that the statto's who can tell you last time Lukaku took a shit, seem to go very quiet when asked to name a top club who have shown the remotest interest in him in all the time he has unashamedly batting his eyelids at them.

Mockers

I'm in that camp too. I believe Ross's poor performances have often been attributable to Lukaku's lack of effort and poor movement, but I also believe this is a two way street, I have often seen Barkley failed to find him when he HAS made the right run.

Neither has reached his peak. There's much more to come from the pair of them. Ironically the big clubs WILL come knocking when they mature and become more consistent.

I'll make a little prediction for today; I predict that on at least two occasions Barks will have to hold on to the ball because he will see Lukaku is ambling back from an offside position. Look out for it.

When recently asked if he would have liked to have played with Lukaku, Graham Sharp simply smiled and said "I would have to work a lot harder" – That from somebody who knows.

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