Koeman: We need time to reach Tottenham's level

Sunday 5 March 2017  112 Comments  [Jump to last]
Ronald Koeman appeared to be in realistic mood following today's defeat at Tottenham, acknowledging the strength of Everton's opponents and his players' late rally that kept the scoreline close.

The Dutchman saw his side lose for the first time in 10 Premier League games but he betrayed little of the anger that might have been expected at poor defending that helped Spurs to what was their ninth successive win at White Hart Lane.

“I think we started well and made it really tough for Tottenham to create the space they like between the lines," Koeman said.

“Okay, the [first goal] made it more difficult and they punished our mistakes in the second half and that was really difficult.

“But at least we showed good character. We came back again and the third [goal], again, was not necessary.

“Overall Tottenham was the better team. They are strong but they've had three seasons in a row with the same players and they bought some better players.

“And that's all about time and that's what we need to have at Everton. If we get the time to improve, that's the next step.

“We need to stay calm and analyse the difference between Tottenham and Everton on the pitch. We showed great character and it's only 3-2.

“[Now we need to] prepare for the next two home games which will make our direction for the end of the season.”

 

Reader Comments (112)

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Mike Allen
1 Posted 05/03/2017 at 18:42:50
Why do keepers persist in rolling the ball out to players who only have the option of passing it back? It's a feature in most games – I just don't get it.
Brian Williams
2 Posted 05/03/2017 at 18:45:21
Can't argue with that.
Mike Gaynes
3 Posted 05/03/2017 at 18:49:28
He pretty much sums it up... stay calm and analyse. This was always going to be a tough game... they've now taken 34 from a possible 36 at home.

It was the first bad game from Joel, first poor performances from Schneiderlin and Coleman. And Spurs are a smart, well-prepared side, so their taking advantage of our centre-backs' poor passing was to be expected. Funes Mori in particular had trouble handling the pressure with the ball at his feet.

We needed a mistake-free performance today, and it didn't happen.

Tony Twist
4 Posted 05/03/2017 at 19:10:45
We don't know if Spurs are a better team as your dabble with team selection weakened us even before the game had begun!

Does Koeman learn from his mistakes? I doubt it. He probably thinks he has done nothing wrong.

It is embarrassing seeing Barry turning his back on Harry Kane's shot for their first goal. Lazy arse! Barry, you should be ashamed.

Clive Rogers
5 Posted 05/03/2017 at 19:13:36
The back five were all poor today. The two centre backs are just not good enough and need replacing in the summer. It's time to give Holgate and Pennington a chance before the end of the season.
Mike Dolan
6 Posted 05/03/2017 at 19:16:56
As much as I respect him as a player, I thought Barry's age really showed today and it affected the whole balance of the midfield. We conceded a lot of the pitch to a very good spurs side and had absolutely no pace anywhere on the field.

I thought the team selection was not the best. Having said that their second goal was from a howler by Joel and the third was pathetically sloppy marking. Both were easily avoidable but, in the end, the result was a fair one.

Not the end of the world but, from Everton's point of view, much to learn from this game as it really exposed all of our weaknesses.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 05/03/2017 at 19:26:12
Tony, I'm afraid we DO know that Spurs are a better team and we have known so for a good few seasons now – that's why they are in the top two and last season the top three and why they nearly always get the better of us.

I understand what Koeman is saying; I think he's done a good solid job so far and I like the fact that he's sorted the poor home record out this season but there's many things he can't afford to be negligible with in the summer.

We have had a pretty poor away record for three years now where we don't assert ourselves in matches enough early on; we play too defensive minded and today and at Middlesbrough, for example. Even at Stoke, we have had no width and no real incision at getting behind a team and giving the opponent worries. The two goals today we got when the game was beyond us, even at 2-1 with ten minutes left there were too many slumped shoulders in blue.

I do worry about this lack of midfield shape away from home, it's just packed with central midfielders, three of which are just stoppers and Barkley who is hit and miss and doesn't really look like getting a respectable goal tally up and Davies who is not going to be expected to win these type of matches yet, also it's questionable if he's going to be that type of attacking midfielder yet that can unlock doors.

The lack of width, Koeman doesn't appear to like wingers which baffles (Why spend so much on Bolasie?) seems more prevalent away from home.

He also needs to question the value of starting the likes of Barry against these energetic sides that simply kill you with high tempo pressing.
To play Barry at Anfield would be suicidal.

Williams and Funes Mori are very flat-footed and their distribution appalling. I'm surprised to be honest that Funes Mori is an Argentinian international, he's an okay defender but a very poor footballer.

We also need to start the search for a new left-back as Baines, great servant and player as he has been, is undoubtedly on his way down not up.

We do have a long way to go before we can compete with not just Tottenham but the other two clubs.

Kunal Desai
8 Posted 05/03/2017 at 19:38:20
Spurs are a better team than us; they have better players and also have benefitted from playing in the Champions League and Europe for the last couple of seasons which has meant they have upped their game, no matter who the opposition are.

We were poor but we're always going to get these kinds of results now and again. It's a transitional season.

What clearly is evident is that another clearout will be needed in the summer. We need to replace the spine of the team. Let's also get some creativity in. We have been crying out for this for about six seasons now ever since Mikel left.

Peter Laing
9 Posted 05/03/2017 at 19:42:10
Funes Mori is a liability, far too many mistakes and missed placed passes. Ashley Williams has also largely been disappointing – trading on good performances for Wales and a middling Swansea side. We need major investment in the back five, new keeper, young left-back and two centre-halves.
Chris Watts
10 Posted 05/03/2017 at 19:46:21
This doesn't explain the bizarre selection of Barry – following a 9 game unbeaten streak – which was a carbon copy of the last time he played against Liverpool. His lack of mobility seems to spread panic in the defence and he adds nothing now.

Koeman surely has to acknowledge he bottled it today against spurs and their energetic midfield. Lookman may have showed a dip in the last game but his quick feet and pace have been a bit part of the good run we've been on.

One thing: I don't think I've seen the fans on this site so united on the problems today; therefore, it's clearly something koeman must see.

Joe McMahon
11 Posted 05/03/2017 at 19:52:50
Baines (IMO) should have not been starting games for at least the last 2 seasons. Yes, a very-very good player in his time, but his time was awhile back now. He's responsible for us shipping way too many goals now.

He was once very good/superb with Pienaar, but that was years ago. I can still see him turning his back on the shot at Anfield in 2011, a derby we should have won. The old (over 30) Moyes players should not be still at Everton. We await the next transfer window.

Chris Watts
12 Posted 05/03/2017 at 19:54:11
ps: Agree with the posters above that the back 5 needs massive surgery in the summer. Baines indeed looks finished. Funes Mori was a total liability all day.
Stan Schofield
13 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:11:34
I had been looking forward to the Derby game, but now I can see Koeman just repeating tactical errors. There's a reason our away form is inferior to our home form, and the reason is not the quality of our players. The reason is the combination of tactics and team selection, which is baffling at times.
Danny Broderick
14 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:17:04
We can all be wise with hindsight, but I actually thought that starting Barry today was the right call. We were always going to be up against it, and Barry is effective at breaking things up in front of the back 4. I also think it was time to rest Lookman.

If I am honest though, we were too narrow, and I would have started Mirallas.

Koeman's comments are spot on about today's game. We are still trying to establish our first 11. Spurs are now an established club with a more settled (and better) squad than us. We are not a million miles away from them, but we'd probably need at least 3 first team players before we could be confident of beating them on their own patch.

We have a very interesting summer ahead. If we can get a top keeper, another striker and an attacking midfielder, we will have much more joy on the road next season.

Jim Bennings
15 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:18:49
The best years of Leighton Baines were between 2009 and 2014 when he was outstanding and had the Bainaar partnership in full throttle.

Sadly he just doesn't do what he used to do, he hasn't got the legs or energy to bomb up and down like in his pomp years, he doesn't even come close to scoring the trademark free-kicks he was once renowned for.

A great servant to this club, professional and person, a great player in his day but, as with every player, time slows them down.

Mike Allen
16 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:19:23
Even if he ended up MotM, what warranted the selection of Barry? Does not make any sense whatsoever, especially with the manager saying Spurs have the benefit of having a settled team for the last two years. Today was not the game to give him a run-out.
Mike Berry
17 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:19:48
Spot on, Ron!
Patrick Murphy
18 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:28:19
I sort of understand where Koeman is coming from and perhaps his team selection came about due to his nervousness of having a repeat of the Chelsea debacle which hung over the team for a little period of time. However, when are we going to have a man at the helm who truly believes in his players?

I'm all for a manager being pragmatic and cautious in certain circumstances but truthfully we didn't have too much to lose by being a tad more adventurous today and the team could have benefitted from a more attacking line-up.

Finishing seventh or eighth isn't going to make much of a difference and even the most optimistic blue would say that breaking into the top six this season would be too much to ask, but is it really too much to ask to see an Everton side who are willing to give it a good go at these more difficult away grounds?

Graham Mockford
19 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:30:27
As always, we get a bit of knee-jerk following a defeat but my view was Barry hasn't got the legs to play against top quality high tempo midfield opponents any longer.

Funes Mori although still probably the best option currently is not for the long-term.

Barkley was our best player by some distance although it wasn't a tough competition.

Spurs are a very decent side.

Roll on next week.

Iain Love
20 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:30:59
I was puzzled by our team selection today. As others have said Barry hasn't got the legs anymore and I would have preferred McCarthy instead.

Why we didn't go with 3 at the back allowing our fullbacks more freedom was my main gripe. Funes Mori and Williams look more comfortable with that system and at least Rom would have had a bit more support.

Ciarán McGlone
21 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:31:02
What Koeman means here is that he needs time to reach Pochetinos level. Apart from the centre halves there's not a great deal of difference between the playing staff.

Koeman showed HIS limitations today, not the players.

Jerome Shields
22 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:31:13
Same old chestnut. To challenge and overtake Man United we needed to win this game. The Management and team where not up to it. How many times have we been in this situation in this past 10 years, with the same result?

Until we are able to achieve the consistency of winning this type of game, we will achieve nothing. Nothing has changed under the present regime.

Ian Jones
23 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:42:36
I thought at times Baines was being ignored. There were a few occasions when he got himself in space and a pass out to him was on. He would have been in a position to get a decent cross in.

I found Koeman's comment "If we get the time to improve' interesting.

Alan McGuffog
24 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:44:17
We are what we are. We have taken a lot of points from "lesser teams" (something we haven't done regularly in recent seasons). We have been roundly beaten by better sides / clubs when we have met them: Spurs today; the Reds last year.

We are making progress... I'm not too unhappy – especially when you consider that Spurs could have gone in at half-time 3 or 4 nil up.

Top 4? Or even top 6? Behave!

Brian Harrison
25 Posted 05/03/2017 at 20:48:18
I think Koeman's plan was to play the extra defensive midfield player,try to nullify Spurs, and introduce some attacking options in the second half. But in truth it never looked like working and once they scored they could have had a least a couple more before half-time.

Without a natural wide player we were far to narrow; I also think that Spurs are likely to be in trouble against a team who have pace and move the ball quickly. They hold a very high line and you need runners from midfield to run into the space behind. But in playing 3 defensive midfield players, that wasn't going to happen.

No coincidence that, when we brought on two players with pace, the Spurs defence didn't look comfortable for the first time in the game.

Colin Glassar
26 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:01:04
Ian, a few times Bainsey was free to run into space and stopped dead on the halfway line and either passed sideways or backwards. I don't know what's wrong with him. Ross bawled him out for not passing quick, or accurately, enough a few times.
Damian Wilde
27 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:06:20
Tony, Spurs are 100% a better side.
Colin Metcalfe
28 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:09:22
This is the very same Spurs side that got blown away by the RS across the park inside 20mins only 2 weeks ago – did Koeman not watch that game? In the first half, Spurs looked like a frightened rabbit caught in the headlights, they were attacked right from the off and right down the middle and they folded.

Why Everton can not show that belief when they come against top sides, I don't know... but putting on three defensive midfielders from off is basically saying "Come and try and break us down" – therefore inviting pressure.

A poor performance by both players and manager today.

Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:15:54
Ciaran (#21), by the laws of nature and technology, I didn't think it was possible for a post to be more than 100% wrong.

I think you have breached a whole new dimension of wrongness. You have achieved Wrongaphoria. You have reached Wronghalla.

Ciarán McGlone
30 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:26:10
Feel free to explain yourself.
Ian Jones
31 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:27:28
Colin, yes, I should have added that Baines, when given the opportunity to get forward, didn't use the ball well.
Steavey Buckley
32 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:28:55
Spurs did not start the match with 3 players in their mid-30s – unlike Everton who did. Having younger legs makes all the difference in reaching higher footballing levels.
Gio Mero
33 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:32:22
A finished item would have gone to WHL and taken the game to Spurs.

A finished item we are not; had Koeman played Lookman and Holgate and got the same kind of performance from the team I suspect we would be less harsh with our comments.

I personally have the same level of confidence in our manager I had before this match. He absolutely 100% needs time to build the team up.

No single player should be judged on the basis of this match but it appears evident that either our scouts can find a gem of a playmaker somewhere or we'll have to spend silly money for two CBs able to kick a ball straight and possibly defend too.
Lewis Barclay
34 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:35:48
Don't we think we need a minimum of three new first team players to realistically challenge for a Champions League place (next season) without any of the existing first team leaving?

The game today felt like a good representation of where we are: not terrible; not consistent... and ultimately not good enough to challenge the top four.

No disaster losing to Spurs today.

Lots of work to be done before August.

Don Alexander
35 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:37:33
Today was another cold, hard dose of reality. Like most others I've long wondered just why we go year after year, and now decade after decade, with visible inadequacy whenever we play the top four, five or six, regardless of manager or squad, and now that physical contact is more or less banned I don't see the sort of Reidy character who by sheer force of personality and/or performance can galvanise the rest of the team. I mean I don't even see one we could sign on.

Steve Walsh has just said something about Tom Davies reminding him of Bryan Robson at the same age and it'd be lovely if he develops along those lines but in the meantime it's up to him and Koeman to identify talented, reliable, nasty winners pdq if the three year "project" is genuine, and then it's up to the board to sign them.

That said, the season's far from over because overhauling any of the current top six should be incentive enough for any of the current squad if they want to be confident of retaining their place in the team next season. They all have a lot to play for.

Mark Morrissey
36 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:40:16
Maguire from Hull, Pickford from Sunderland and Keane from Burnley. For starters.
Dave Lynch
37 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:45:46
FFS some of you on here are unbelievable.

We have lost 1 game since Xmass and you press the fucking panic button.

To question the manager after the shite we have put up with over the past couple of seasons is lunacy, give me a fucking break...

A few weeks ago we smashed Man City's great pretenders and all on here where wanking themselves stupid.

One bad, no... average performance and the wheels have fell off for some of you.

Ross by the way IMO was back to his usual, why take one touch when 3 or 4 will do?

This did more to slow down our passing game than an over-the-hill Baines.

Colin Glassar
38 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:51:30
Dave, you started so well then go and trash talk the only Everton player who showed any endeavour, skill and adventure. You must have watched a different game from me. Ross was excellent.
Ian Riley
39 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:51:33
My worry at present is: Will Mr Koeman be here next season? He talks so much sense it's hard to disagree with him. After playing two defensive midfielders today, to still let three goals in is very disappointing. We're still not ready for top four.
Trevor Powell
40 Posted 05/03/2017 at 21:58:21
Clear as a bell, Mr Koeman but will you take the Arsenal or Barcelona jobs if they are offered to you (according to The Mirror today)? In which case, there will be another shift in direction when we have only just seen the last of the Martinez era.

Please, why does Barry need to play when we have Schneiderlin and Gueye. It think that we need to go for jugular with these table-topping teams... Remember Corporal Jones said that thees teams at home, "Don't like it up 'em!"

Andy Meighan
41 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:05:47
Ian (#39), why would you worry if Koeman isn't here next season. You don't think Barca are going to come calling do you?

Be honest, we might finish 7th but nothing has changed. The football, apart from Man City and Bournemouth at home, has been fucking turgid. It wouldn't bother me if he went tonight. He's no better or worse than Moyes or Martinez.

His arse goes to bits at the so-called big sides' grounds. Ffs when are we going to get a manager who's not afraid to take these sides on instead of picking sides to nick a draw and thinking it's a great result?

Bob Parrington
42 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:14:24
Honest assessment is all very well but what about mentioning that just about the whole side looked dead from the ankles upwards from the get-go today? Team psyche was appalling.

Dave Lynch
43 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:23:21
Colin.

I never mentioned he didn't try or show some endeavour. But the lad frustrates the life out of me, watch the highlights and you may get an idea about what I'm on about.

He just doesn't release the ball quickly enough, takes to many touches and turns into trouble all to often.

I'm hoping a full off season training regime with Koeman may sort that out.

Ray Roche
44 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:30:47
Ciaràn McGlone (#21),

"Apart from the centre-halves there's not a great deal of difference between the playing staff."

Ciaràn, with the exception of Barkley, on today's showing, which Everton players would get in the Spurs side?

Alan Bodell
45 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:39:50
Both Funes Mori and Ashley Williams just don't do it, looks like they spent too much time in the hair salon pruning and not on the training pitch gelling.

Holgate should get in against either of these that can't put a decent pass out.

Ciarán McGlone
46 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:41:37
Ray,

Today's showing was shit. I think you've missed my point.

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:44:15
Ray, not even Barkley would crack their 11. Dele Alli plays his role for Spurs.

Can't wait to see what kind of an answer you get.

Ciarán McGlone
48 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:45:33
Bollocks, Mike. Put simply.
Ray Roche
49 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:49:02
Ciaràn, I must have. Because the centre halves were gash along with every one else bar Barkley and an isolated Lukaku.

Mike, for the last 20-25 minutes Barkley was as good as any Spurs player, including that odious little wretch Alli. Good player, but a little shit. And don't forget, he's playing in a better team.

Night all.

Ciarán McGlone
50 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:55:41
Let me explain my point Ray.

Today is not, by any stretch, a fair comparison of the two sides – because Koeman fucked us from the start. The inclusion of Barry led to us playing deep and other players being crow-barred into unfamiliar positions. I certainly didn't make any point regarding comparisons on today's performance... you added that to suit your argument.

At the top of their game, Gana, Coleman, Schneiderlin, Barkley and Lukaku would challenge to start in that Spurs side. They are not light years ahead of our playing staff. The difference between the two teams today was management. Ours stunk.

John Daley
51 Posted 05/03/2017 at 22:59:21
How could Barkley slow down a non-existent 'passing game'?

Why is one touch preferable to three or four when you're receiving the ball with only a solitary, well shackled, teammate in the same half as you? More often than not, Barkley had no other choice than to hold the ball, move with it in an attempt to manoeuvre some space and try to wait for support before releasing it.

To play quick one-touch stuff you need teammates in relatively close proximity and constantly running into space to offer themselves. We may have witnessed some such play on display during today's game, but those practicing it weren't wearing blue.

Mike Gaynes
52 Posted 05/03/2017 at 23:08:53
Ray, Barkley had a very good second half, yes. He is a very good player.

Overall, he is not as good as Alli. Not nearly as productive (Alli: 15 goals, 3 assists; Barkley: 5 goals, 6 assists), and certainly not as consistent.

Ciaran, if you truly believe "there's not a great deal of difference" between theirs and ours, I can only say that I hope the weather's nice on whatever planet you are currently orbiting.

Mike Gaynes
53 Posted 05/03/2017 at 23:14:24
John (#51), I actually saw a lot of that movement today by players wearing blue. But I also saw them well-covered, and the passer heavily pressured, by a hugely talented and tremendously hardworking defense. Vertonghen, Dembele and Wanyama in particular.

Ian Riley
54 Posted 05/03/2017 at 23:16:53
How far have we come in 12 months? A long way! We are competing for a top five or six finish.

Tottenham are playing with real confidence and have been for the past three years but still no trophies in the cabinet. My point is it's going to take time.

Barkley is getting better. Today the team were all poor. No real pace due to the defensive nature in our set up. When we don't win, Barkley gets the blame but in the past two months I see a different player. He is developing and with eighteen months on his contract may not be here for too long.

Let's remember last March. A little patience please!

Ciarán McGlone
55 Posted 05/03/2017 at 23:17:01
Great argument, Mike.
Don Alexander
56 Posted 05/03/2017 at 23:23:27
I don't know what we're going to do with so many defensive midfielders already on our books but the real need has been attacking and pressing from midfielders and forwards.

All the sides above us have at least three, minimum. They harry like fuck around our and everyone else's area. Witness the Spuds second goal today. Even if it wasn't all down to them they were on us like wolves right on the edge of our area. In possession there were generally two at least constantly with or even beyond Kane, dragging our attention away from him. With that he thrives, as do Dele Alli and Eriksen.

Ross did much better today but it's not all down to Ross. He and whoever else is at the top end of the team need at least two players right up there to either take a pass or create a space.

Today's set-up was what Pochettino would have chosen if Koeman had asked him. That said, just who was on the bench that'd get a glimmer of a place in any of the teams above us? That's why we need big-time transfer activity this summer. Incoming, that is, Bill.

Mohamad Haryan
57 Posted 05/03/2017 at 23:32:25
I totally agree with Don's (#35) post after decades of watching Everton. Although I would give Koeman time because he is only here now.. he does not know about decades of rubbish before. The summer transfer window will define Koeman's actual own team. Although the board will have to get the quality players that he wants.

And sorry, I agree with Dave Lynch. Barkley is a good player but his decision-making is frustrating. Pass when more touches is needed and do not pass when it's crucial to pass. And yes, he slows down the game and gets in trouble. But he is an Evertonian nonetheless.

Our defence??? Enough has been said.

We need better players. Oh well, I await Koeman's team next season.

John Pierce
58 Posted 05/03/2017 at 23:55:18
Koeman perhaps to hide his blushes neatly drew attention to a side further on in their development.

Would I say they're miles better, no not really; however, the way Koeman set us up made it look like a significant gulf. And that's the point, he has several times this year messed around with selection and formation, unnecessarily.

Had we set up in a more familiar way, with players playing in their preferred and natural positions, the chasm in the game would not have looked as great.

Whilst this felt similar to Chelsea, the season was relatively nascent, and the personnel that day included Jags and Ovideo, Gana absent.

Today he had his current first choice side, safe in the knowledge that we are unlikely to be bested to 7th, why so cautious? It was a free swing at a better opponent, he chose to be pragmatic and somewhat predictable.

If we lost 3-0 or more but went down swinging, in the context of our current placing, I'd have no complaints. t felt like he was protecting his reputation. I expect nothing more in the games at Anfield & Old Trafford.

Drew O'Neall
59 Posted 06/03/2017 at 00:41:05
Should have sold Baines to United when Moyes offered 㿊m or at least the following window. Same goes for Coleman. No fullback is worth more than 㿊m to Everton and certainly not one who is past it or one who defends like a Spaniel chasing a squirrel round the park. The centre halves aren't any better.

Midfield is fine but we need one additional winger (assuming Bolasie recovers) and a No 10 (if they turn out not to be the same player) and a centre forward and possibly a goalkeeper, Butland being my favourite.

That's 7-8 players required in the summer!!

Mark Wilson
60 Posted 06/03/2017 at 00:59:37
Knee-jerk reaction, Graham (#19) & Dave (#37), some of us are "unbelievable"? Why? Because we sensed an unlikely but far from impossible tilt at 4th place given our momentum and the mixed form of those above us? Or even a shot at 5th / 6th and an easier Euro qualification start than should we "battle" to a 7th placed finish.

This talk about the "gap" between us and Spurs. Yep, Martinez and his disgusting despairing "performance" in previous two seasons cost us ground on Spurs but on Sunday all I saw was a huge gap between the two managers. One who went for a win on the back of real momentum and yes a great home record. And one who changed a winning side, wrecked the midfield organisation, and left the side looking like a useless shambles which was duly explored, then ruthlessly exploited by the opposition.

We had to go for it. This was a pivotal game. Underdogs? Yes, I get that... but this shouldn't have been the "mission impossible" many now seem to be suggesting. Koeman made his choice and Barry, who has been very decent for us, let him down, but he should never have been picked. It was an ultra-defensive decision. It left Gueye looking out of place and seemed to move Morgan even deeper, Spurs quickly realised they could press him and bypass Barry, and that's what they did.

Williams is for me the biggest disappointment for some time at the club. He's cost ٧m or 㾶m and has mostly looked slow on the turn, poor in the air, and frankly his positional play is just nothing like his performance for Wales in the Euros. Funes Mori is going backwards. It was a mess in defence throughout the game I get that, but that's also got a lot to do with a simple fact, which is if you start out so deep, if you start out so defensive and give ground so easily, and if you start out with so little attacking intent, you will end up conceding under pressure and that's what we did.

Where's the ambition to take a measured risk? Where we scared off by Stoke's slaughter? Did we just start out saying we're second best so, let's hope for a draw when the win could have taken us to six points or less off four of those above us with 11 games left? Wasn't that worth the risk with two so called easier games coming?

I don't get it, it's so easy to talk up Spurs but we didn't give them a game, we let Vertonghen run around like Bobby Moore and even raid forward with little to concern him. There was no effective width and little pace because we were not set up to try and attack them with numbers.

Sorry, there's no knee-jerk here, just a gut wrenching feeling that again we are blowing a chance to really set ourselves up for a strong summer transfer window and surprise ourselves with a much higher finish than our form generally deserved .but the chance was there. Think it's long gone now and I'd have accepted that if we'd turned up. But we didn't and that is down to Koeman getting it badly wrong with a fair bit of defensive nightmare thrown in to maximise the impact of his misjudgment in playing Barry and not changing it around after half-an-hour when every bluenose could see the mess.


Lewis Pykett
61 Posted 06/03/2017 at 01:01:11
Not sure if some of you understand footy. Virtually every team struggles more away than at home. Spurs have the best home record so he plays Barry to tighten the defence. That's not bad management that's what I would've done (except it would've been McCarthy not Barry) he runs more and he's a better presser!

It didn't work out but losing against spurs away doesn't represent the vast improvement we have shown. Stability in your top squad players with a few new additions and its looking positive. One loss in 10 and all of a sudden you're all top managers and a man whose on Arsenal's and Barcelona's radar hasn't got a clue! Support, not slate – what's wrong with most of you!
Mark Andersson
62 Posted 06/03/2017 at 01:50:09
I have not watched the match, but I did watch Liverpool spank Spurs and thought to myself, if Liverpool on a bad run can make Spurs look shite, why not study how they did it and try to at least replicate something like it.

By the sounds of it Ron played safe, and as others have said he should have set up to take the game to them. The best form of defense is attack and all that.

I said in an earlier post we would get beat, due to the mentality of the players. Koeman needs to replace the looser mentality with winners. Those who say get nasty players in are wrong, you don't have to be nasty to have the desire to win.

When I read the score line I hoped it would have been a close game, no mention from anyone above about our goals, how strange. So onto the next game.

Saegaran Kana
63 Posted 06/03/2017 at 02:04:24
Yes, Spurs are a better team at the moment but I think we should've used 2 up as it showed when Valencia came on. Gana was attacking instead of defending and Macca was a lot better than Barry.

I hope Koeman learns from this mistake.

Craig Fletcher
64 Posted 06/03/2017 at 02:47:03
Patrick (#18);

"Finishing seventh or eighth isn't going to make much of a difference."
I'd argue that it makes a helluva difference this season, given that seventh this year appears likely to be a Europa League spot as long as one of Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Spurs or Arsenal lift the FA Cup.

Getting back to the Spurs game, I'm inclined to go along with the posters who say we were handicapped by Koeman's pragmatism from the start by including Barry. I still think there is a role for Gaz Baz at Everton, up to and including next season, if we have a European adventure as well and need a bigger squad – but he's better when we go into games where we can expect a bigger share of possession – ie versus the likes of a Sunderland at home.

Here, Barry is more influential, can move the ball around and he still has a great eye for a pass. Against a younger, hungrier midfield away from home where we have to chase and press the opposition, his age catches up with him.

Barkley was excellent against Spurs, and Ciaran is right - half our team would easily be on par, at least; with their counterparts in the Spurs side. Sadly, dodgy defence and a goalkeeper who has otherwise been excellent in 2017, let us down today.

Alan J Thompson
65 Posted 06/03/2017 at 04:43:17
John Daley (#51); I couldn't agree more.

A lot criticize the distribution, particularly out of defence, but it might help if more players got into a position to take a pass. The situation seemed to be addressed when Davies came into the side but it seems we have reverted to the "pass it and run away so you don't get it back" game, the "I didn't touch it so you can't blame me" option.

Most of the top four/five teams seem to have so many passes available to the player with the ball.

David Barks
66 Posted 06/03/2017 at 05:28:28
Alan,

The commentator did a great job of describing how stupid our pass it out of defense tactics were today against a side pressing with 4-5 men in our third. He pointed out how it did nothing but invite more Spurs players into our half and crowd us out of being able to move the ball. It was stupid.

The reason you see those other sides always having a man available is because so often they play against a side like us, who drops off their man and allows them that space, dropping further and further back toward our own goal. Kane's first goal was a perfect example of how we just let him have the ball in all the space he wanted, dropping off to defend space instead of the damn man with the ball.

We set up to try to crowd out the midfield and hope to catch them out with a counter attack. But they never gave us the chance to play those balls over the top or we just kept slowly passing among the back 4. Baines is one of the worst at that these days. Always being too slow to play the pass forward and having to pull up and play it backward. So many times there was a run being made that just needed Baines or Coleman to have their feet set and ready to play the ball into space but they wouldn't do it. So it went backward, Spurs flooded men into our half and eventually they would regain possession where it just so happens that they already had 5-6 men around our box by that time.

They didn't have to respect our attack, we didn't have one. They would put two defenders on Lukaku knowing that if he beat the first man the second would get the ball, or if the third defender wasn't in our box he would be able to break up play. Barkley was having to pick up the ball deep in our own half in order to make up the numbers as Spurs pressed our back line, leaving Rom all alone up top. If he did get a ball played to him there was nobody in support so no threat. We didn't offer a single attack until Mirallas was brought on to play up top.

It's not rocket science. If you set up to defend, a good side will see that and know they don't have to defend and will push more men forward. That's why Kane, Alli, and Eriksen could just camp in our half while Dembele and Wanyama kept pushing forward. Vertonghen could fly into our box at will and did so at least three times.

James Stewart
67 Posted 06/03/2017 at 06:41:29
@66 Nail on head. I thought the tactics were abysmal yesterday. First time I think Koeman has got it so drastically wrong. Even the Chelsea mauling made more sense in terms of matching their formation etc. You could see the logic it just didn't work in practice.

There was no logic against Spurs, we were lucky to make it to HT at 1-0 and badly needed subs. Instead, he waits til its 2-0 and game over.

Spurs are a good side but we made them look like worldbeater's which they are most definitely not. Our back 5 needs major surgery in my opinion as well if we harbour any top 4 aspirations.

Jon Withey
68 Posted 06/03/2017 at 07:32:14
Bringing on Mirallas and McCarthy made all the difference – it was kind of baffling he went for Barry against such an energetic side. Joel cost us two there but the whole team struggled until the last 30 mins.

That said, it was great to see the team against a real opposition and lots of lessons learned.I thought Barkley was a positive and holds onto the ball better than anyone in our team when under pressure – he's improving.

Valencia also made a difference and looked quite mobile – admittedly against a tiring Spurs. Less mistakes all round (including the manager) and it could have been a draw.

Dave Ganley
69 Posted 06/03/2017 at 08:18:09
The reason Spurs are better than us is that they approach most games different from us. Yes, they have a good home record, but they look to win games as opposed to not get beat.

I'm sick and tired of going to places like this with such a defensive formation. It very rarely pays dividends and we almost always lose. Why change the formation? We had been unbeaten in 9. Why mess with it? Why give the initiative to Spurs before a ball has been kicked?

I am a big fan of Koeman and think he's done a decent job since he's been here stabilising the mess that Martinez left but in the two away games in the capital against the Chavs and yesterday we have been well beat. He's got it horribly wrong.

As much as the Chavs was a humiliation, I can just about forgive that as it was early in the season and the team were getting used to his ways and we're still sloppy from the Martinez ways. Yesterday was unforgivable.

On a run of 9 unbeaten, they should have been full of confidence of going to WHL and giving them a game. Instead they went with a very defensive formation raising the white flag before a ball was kicked.

We need to be going to these places looking to win and being competitive from the off. That's the big difference between us and Spurs: attitude. Very disappointing. Need to show a reaction and go to the Red Shite and Man Utd looking to win as, if we go in like this again, we will get slaughtered.

Lance Keeley
70 Posted 06/03/2017 at 09:14:33
We won't break into the top 6 until we learn how to deal with being pressed or more often or not moving forward as a team rather than passing it sideways.

If you have been looking at the opposition tactics when playing Everton, you can see most teams play high up with regularly having 5 to 6 players in our half when our defence is trying to play out. Invariably you know the ball is going to played back to Robles who will kick it up the pitch. When they have the ball, there is no press from us but a retreat to our defensive lines.

I have seen us forcing other teams into mistakes so why we can not do this on a regular basis I don't know. Spurs showed us exactly what can happen when you do that and Boro the other week, if they had some finishers, could have been the same.

Mike Allen
71 Posted 06/03/2017 at 09:16:56
I don't have a problem with setting out a more defensive system for certain games. So okay, away at Spurs may be one of those games but, after being left out of the side and McCarthy in front of him when bringing on subs, how does Barry get selected???

I am not saying Barry cost us the game; I just don't understand how he got back in the side for this game.

Steavey Buckley
72 Posted 06/03/2017 at 09:34:57
Everton can never reach Spurs's level when the Everton manager prefers Barry to McCarthy. He must have been the only person at yesterday's match to agree with his selection.

Also, the defence is a car crash waiting always to happen. And how Everton missed out buying Gabbiadini for half the money they offered in the summer to Napoli is another mystery steeped in the tradition of an Agatha Christie mystery novel.

Yet, Everton gave Charlton 㾶 million for a young lad still learning his football trade, when Gabbiadini now scoring goals for fun just cost Southampton 㾹 million a little less than Everton paid for Niasse, who at 27 years of age is still learning his football trade. Most probably when Everton start their pre-season in July.

Stan Schofield
73 Posted 06/03/2017 at 09:54:46
There are 11 games left, which is 33 points up for grabs, which would put us on 76. If we don't go out to win each game, then we'll remain mediocre.

I thought Koeman would instil a discipline that includes a developing winning mentality where it becomes second nature to try to win each game. But apparently not. With negative tactics, you're likely to get a negative result. Tactics wise, crap in produces crap out.

There is not much difference in player quality between us and Spurs, but Koeman needs to get tactics and team selection better. Mind you, having said all that, I can just hear some voices saying "Ooh, 76 points, that's a lot, we'll never get anywhere near that, we're not that good", in the style of Mavis Rylie from Coronation Street.

Stan Schofield
74 Posted 06/03/2017 at 10:00:06
Just realised it's 77 points, not 76. No way can we get 77 points. 76, yes, but not 77.
Ray Roche
75 Posted 06/03/2017 at 10:18:20
Ciaràn McGlone (#50)

I've added nothing to "suit your (my) argument", indeed it may help YOUR argument if you read my post properly.

"On today's showing, which Everton players would get in the Spurs side" is what I wrote and I can't see the need for any further comment. On today's showing. We were poor with a couple of exceptions. Want to argue with any of that?

Mike (#52), Dele Alli IS a good player, but I'd like to see Barkley in that Spurs side in his position to see just how good he can be with players who haven't signed up for that ludicrous "Mannequin Challenge" but didn't realise that you didn't carry on with it ON the pitch.

Kevin Tully
76 Posted 06/03/2017 at 10:24:37
This game highlighted the fact we should all be very concerned about the upcoming derby on April Fools' Day! The lovables play precisely the same way Spurs do, high energy pressing in midfield with tricky players cutting in from the wings.

We never had a second for any of our midfield to settle on the ball, and you had to beat a player in your own half before you could even think about putting your foot on the ball. I can see why these opposition tactics can be stifling for a player without the skill of Barkley.

That's why I would be looking to play with a five at the back, to try and give some width to our play. Have you ever seen a more congested midfield as we witnessed yesterday? It was like a pinball machine at times – and we managed to give the ball away twice as much as they did. Worrying times, if only for the derby.

David Graves
77 Posted 06/03/2017 at 10:32:06
Lewis.

It's surprising how someone who criticises the opinions and knowledge of others can post something so fatuous.

You say that in your Football Manager World you would have played the same way but with McCarthy instead of Barry as the former "runs a lot more and is a better presser". But then state that to miss this obvious fact was not actually bad management.

So, based on your own insightful football knowledge, was it not in fact bad management or am I missing something here? Baffling.

Stan Schofield
78 Posted 06/03/2017 at 10:37:43
Kevin, I agree about five at the back, and couldn't understand why Holgate wasn't in but Barry was. And this isn't hindsight after the game, I said it as soon as the team sheet was announced.

It seems obvious that that's what we should have done, and obvious that that's what we should do in the derby, but I don't anticipate it will be done. Maybe the game is so subtle that what seems obvious won't work, but I find that hard to believe.

We are definitely the best of the rest, but the gap between us and the likes of Spurs isn't great. The thing with being in this position is that the big teams don't relax against us.

As such, I believe it's especially vital that we go out to win rather than to contain. I thought that's what a winning mentality was all about. I believe that if we did this, even with just the current squad, we'd maximise our points tally and increase the chances of qualifying for Europe.

David Graves
79 Posted 06/03/2017 at 10:44:27
Stan – An interesting thought process there .

"77 points? No way. Not a chance. Arsenal, Liverpool, United all away from Home? Completely ridiculous."

"76 points? Don't see why not."

James Marshall
80 Posted 06/03/2017 at 11:03:08
9 games unbeaten, then we lose to the only team unbeaten at home – I'll take that. Spurs are a very good side, and currently better than every team in the country apart from Chelsea.

No disgrace in losing to them, regardless of the manner of that defeat. Our record against them is shit anyway. Next.

Pat Waine
81 Posted 06/03/2017 at 11:17:11
The tactics were abysmal. We never tried to win the game. We lined up with 3 DMF players in the starting lineup and then brought a DMF on as a sub when the game was lost.

Koeman is talking shite when he gives the impression in his comments that we made it close to Spurs. After the first 15, it was all spurs and the final score flattered us. Even though we lined up negatively we defended in numbers but poorly.

Taking Barry off and replacing him with the most negative player have McCarthy was silly in the extreme. Was this an attempt to stop us getting hammered because it certainly was not a positive move to get us back in the game.

One more window and I think we will be hoping that Barca come in for Koeman.

Mike Campbell
82 Posted 06/03/2017 at 11:25:40
I agree with the majority on here – no reason to make changes. It was a strange decision by Koeman; hopefully he will learn from this.

Very impressed by the back three of Spurs and Chelsea this season; perhaps next season, Holgate and two summer recruits would be formidable.

Like most on this site, I'm still hoping for a top six place but it's a tall order. Arsenal are looking the most likely to slip. Let's be positive Ronald and keep with what has been working!

Mark Andrews
83 Posted 06/03/2017 at 12:03:28
I think what yesterday showed was that we are the best of the rest, a work in progress. This added a sense of reality and perspective to our recent run of good form but shows that our current league placing is very accurate.

We've certainly moved on from the shambolic Martinez era but are prone to making defensive howlers. Given time, funds, and the scouting skills we hopefully have in place with Steve Walsh, I believe we can progress.

Yesterday was a reality check.

Paul Conway
84 Posted 06/03/2017 at 12:29:11
At the moment, in our starting 11 plus bench, we have a top four striker (god forbid we don't lose him to injury!). We have a top 7 midfield. We have a lower-mid to bottom-table defence, with Coleman being the exception. This combination doesn't guarantee securing Europa League football.

This opinion was not formed merely on the Spurs result. Apart from Man City, this year we have beaten very ordinary teams, just like when we went on a roll at the start of the season, until we met the likes of Chelsea.

Various players were able to strut it against the weaker teams...until yesterday. Schneiderlin was seriously found out and looked all the player Mourhino thought he was.

Man Utd fans took to Twitter to guffaw at the £24 million they recouped for a dud. Although they probably fail to realise that it was part compensation for the purchase of Pogba!

Ciarán McGlone
85 Posted 06/03/2017 at 13:13:23
Ray,

No, I don't have any argument with that.

But why are you specifically calling me out on an argument I've never made?

Stan Schofield
86 Posted 06/03/2017 at 13:20:20
James@80: Yes, as you say, no disgrace. It was, however, a bit frustrating because, on the face of it, it seemed avoidable. That's the issue here.

If Koeman had made an isolated tactical error (and we all make mistakes) that's fine, but it wasn't isolated – it was almost predictable. I hope he doesn't do it again but, if he does, the accumulating evidence will have me concerned about his judgement.

Ray Roche
87 Posted 06/03/2017 at 13:24:57
Ciaràn, are we barking at the same cat?

When you said, "there's not a great deal of difference between the playing staff," all I did was ask which players would get into Spurs team on Sunday's performance. In my opinion, only Barkley. Hardly calling you out... I've accepted that we were poor, and that's an understatement.

Mike Gwyer
88 Posted 06/03/2017 at 13:47:34
James Marshall (#80).

Thanks for that mate, well said. No disgrace in losing to a far superior team. Yeah, I get it, all fucking day long.

So going forward can we just fuck off playing Spurs, just give them the 6 points and be done with it. Also, can I apply to get my ticket money back, coz it costs a few bob to watch us get totally arsed kicked. My coach money I'll handle myself as that was a good laugh, well going down was anyway.

Actually, whilst we are at it can we also fuckoff trips across the park, the Arse and our annual trip to Old Trafford. Yeah, this is saving me a fortune. Let's keep going to City though as we somehow seem to do quite well there.

Cheers, mate.

Dermot Byrne
89 Posted 06/03/2017 at 13:51:43
Jesus, Mike (#88). As the Scouse piss take said "calm down". Hope you have no dodgy coronary issues. Your reply to James is completely over the top.
Jim Knightley
90 Posted 06/03/2017 at 13:52:53
Spurs have got a better team than us – let's not argue over something that's demonstrably true. We've finished 11th, 11th, and are on course for 7th in the past three seasons. Spurs have finished 5th, 3rd, and are on course for another top four finish (probably 2nd or 3rd).

I'd rather have Alli or Eriksen than Barkley, even if he has performed well recently. Alli has an incredible goal threat, which none of our midfielders possess, and Eriksen is the creative force we miss. He leads the league in assists for a reason. Both of these would walk into our team, and there is no doubt about it.

Both their centre-backs are better than ours, Rose is better than an ageing Baines and Lloris wins everytime in goal. Coleman vs Walker is the only debate in the back four. Gueye, Coleman, and Lukaku would threaten their option – Barkley might too when they are playing a 4-3-3 instead of their far more successful 3-5-2, but no one else at this juncture.

I don't understand why anyone with the ability to look at a table, finishing positions, stats, and performances across an entire season would argue otherwise. But then I guess we are really fair, and prone to exaggeration in one way or another. There is little in between.

Koeman invited problems with Barry today - I thought he was too negative. Perhaps the Chelsea result scared him, especially against the league's second most effective wing back system. Yet, in trying to stop them we merely stopped ourselves, and were incapable of defending as we needed to.

These games are useful in exposing our weaknesses. There is no shame to this result – Spurs are impervious at home, as their defeat of Chelski demonstrated. Yet, it is clear that we have issues at the back, and I think we lack a creative midfielder.

We need to ideally buy a top CB, a left back, a creative mid and a back up striker in the summer. Realistically, it will be hard to manage all five, and near impossible to get five successes. But that is what we must aim for.

Spurs are easily better than us at the moment, but good work in the transfer market can close the gap. Their home form will be endangered by a stadium switch, and with weaknesses clear in Arsenal and Liverpool, maybe top four will not be a pipe dream in the next couple of seasons. We will need to buy perfectly, keep Coleman, Gueye and Lukaku, hope that Barkley continues to develop, and retain that home form fight.

Ciarán McGlone
91 Posted 06/03/2017 at 14:18:05
Ray,

I think we're in agreement on yesterday's poor showing. However, I happen to think that yesterday isn't a good yardstick for comparing the players of both teams. Neither do I think previous league position adds anything to that particular argument.

People may disagree with my analysis, but I'm not "more than 100% wrong".

If there'd have been some fundamental changes in formation and players yesterday, I think we'd have had a different game – and wouldn't be having this debate.

It's easy, and in my opinion flawed, to simply say they're a better team than us.

Ray Roche
92 Posted 06/03/2017 at 14:24:41
Ciaràn,

If you want a definitive post on the Everton v Spurs players debate, Jim Knightley pretty much nails it. I'd only argue with Barkley's inclusion.

Then again, I can't stand Alli... but that's as much to do with how he comes across as a person as much as his ability as a footballer. And I like Barkley and think that if he was available there'd be a queue of top clubs sniffing round.

The "more than 100% wrong" wasn't my comment either...

Ciarán McGlone
93 Posted 06/03/2017 at 14:40:57
I don't believe he nails it at all. That's why I added the bit into my post about previous league finishes being irrelevant. We are discussing a comparator of individual players... not previous results or league finishes. My main point is that the biggest differential on Sunday was the management.

But hey ho, we disagree. I can live with that.

Ciarán McGlone
94 Posted 06/03/2017 at 14:42:27
ps: I know the "100% wrong" wasn't yours; I was just having a side-swipe at Mike...
Jim Knightley
95 Posted 06/03/2017 at 15:28:41
Ciaran – you can't be serious? League finishes under different regimes are not indicative of individual player ability within a team? hahahahaha.

What about stats this season? I'll save you the stats of previous years as they are more embarrassing, and Martinez was a bit of fool.

Spurs goals scored: 53. Goals conceded: 20 (33 difference)
Everton goals scored: 44. Goals conceded: 30 (14 difference).

Eriksen has 10 assists this season – our best is Barkley, with 6. Eriksen has 5 goals too, more than any player bar Lukaku in our team. Alli has 13 goals and 3 assists from midfield. That is as many as all of our midfielders put together!

I don't understand why anyone with the ability to reason, and with eyes, would write such nonsense. Are you bringing a Trump-esque parody of alternative facts to the ToffeeWeb comment boards?

As I see it, a combined eleven, using the 4-2-3-1 for the benefit of Everton, would go:
Lloris, Walker/Coleman, Alder, Vertoghen, Rose,
Gueye, Dembele
Eriksen, Alli, Barkley,
Lukaku/Kane.

4 Everton's to 7 Spurs, and two of those Everton players are maybes. Who exactly do you disagree with here?

And where exactly have you been watching these extraordinary players? Because if league results, and therefore performances, are irrelevant, I'm wondering whether this belief in the ability of Everton players is coming from? Training?

One of the funniest things I've read on here – several seasons worth of league finishes and performances within those seasons are not relevant to a discussion of player ability!!

Ray Roche
96 Posted 06/03/2017 at 15:34:57
Ciaràn,

Whoaa, Tiger, I am right behind the opinion that the main factor for our poor performance was the inclusion of Barry in a team that had, prior to Sunday, played pretty well. And that is down to Koeman.

Barry was poor, bypassed far too much and shouldn't be given a start again in my opinion. He's been too good a player for us than to have the terraces turn on him. As they most surely will if he continues to start and perform like he did yesterday.

Ciarán McGlone
97 Posted 06/03/2017 at 15:36:34
Jim,

One simple question: Have our players played to their full ability during the periods you cite?

if the answer to that is 'no'... then your stats are irrelevant.

Ciarán McGlone
98 Posted 06/03/2017 at 15:38:13
ps: I see you've four of our players in your combined team. That seems pretty close to my analysis.
Lewis Pykett
99 Posted 06/03/2017 at 17:02:07
David (#77).

It's not baffling, it's what I would've done but I'm not saying my decision would have been the right choice. Working with them day in day out will make you decide what's right for that game, you may lose but hindsights a wonderful thing! Koeman adopted a containment tactic that didn't pay – that's not bad management that's just the way it is sometimes.

Spurs are a great team at home probably one of the hardest games of the season and you're all annoyed with Koeman and Barry??? This result doesn't make or break your season! Chill. Everton are progressing – that's all you can ask for after 9 months with a new manager!

Clive Lewis
100 Posted 06/03/2017 at 17:08:32
Well Ronald, you have had it; you cannot get the better players to sign contracts. Back to square one.
Darren Hind
101 Posted 06/03/2017 at 18:45:50
Ciaran is bang on the money here.

This bleating about Spurs being miles better doesn't wash. You couldn't get a rizzla between their players and ours if you put them head to head and marked them out of ten.

Spurs have a better manager, pure and simple. One who doesn't choke at the sight of a decent team, one who is prepared to let his midfield players get forward with purpose and intent. They have bought flair players.

Koeman, on the other hand, has abandoned flair and opted to sign tackling machines. Of course, Alli and Eriksen pose more of a goal threat; they are constantly looking to get in the opposition box. Ours have been purchased solely to defend their own box.

Those who are excusing this embarrassing lack of courage are simply encouraging more of the same every time we visit a top team. It will happen again and again if it's accepted... just as it did for years under Moyes.

Not sure what last season's finishing position has got to do with anything. We got rid of a duff manager and have spent £70m. Why shouldn't people expect a team to at least try to win? And does that mean we should expect to be hammered when Leicester come to Goodison Park? Of course not; it's inherent nonsense.

If previous league standings are to be the determining factor, let's just keep the same manager... forever – and lets save ourselves a fortune and abandon the transfer windows; according to some, they are not relevant – only previous results count

I find this "Spurs are above us, therefore we should go there and see if we can limit the damage" attitude staggering.

Koeman has demonstrated on more than one occasion that he lacks the courage of a Pochettino. He is Davey Moyes Mk II and, just like Moyes, he will get away with it. He will get away with it as long as we have fans who will accept and excuse the shameful lack of courage we saw yesterday,

Please don't tell me my reaction is knee-jerk, all season long I've been saying he doesn't have an adventurous bone in his body.


Andy Crooks
102 Posted 06/03/2017 at 19:38:44
I admire and support Koeman. I think he is the right man for the job. However, I agree with Ciaran McGlone. Man City have better players than us but we thumped them.

In my view, our abject showing was down to team selection, set up and attitude. All the responsibility of the coach. Everything was fearful, timid and negative. We went to get a draw; when that approach was shattered, there was nothing left.

We are much better than that but it seemed to me that the coach did not think so. I believe another lesson will be learned. Obviously I accept that Koeman knows the players and knows what he wants. As a supporter, though, I can only judge the end result and performance. It was shit. But we move on and hope that our inferiority complex is ditched before the derby.

Peter Mills
103 Posted 06/03/2017 at 20:16:37
We haven't played very well since our warm-weather team-bonding trip that was going to set us up for the rest of the season.
Peter Fearon
104 Posted 06/03/2017 at 21:09:37
I don't understand the hate for Baines and Funes Mori from some on here. The primary responsibility for this defeat rests squarely with Ashley Williams and Joel Robles.

Overall, I think Robles is still a better bet than Maarten Stekelenburg but Williams is a real liability. I would sooner see Jags back or Pennington blooded there than Ashley Williams.

Andy Meighan
105 Posted 06/03/2017 at 22:10:09
James (#80), "our record against them is shit anyway. Next."

So you're happy with that, are you? Will you be happy in a few weeks when the RedShite smack our arse as usual? What a fucking pathetic post.

David Graves
106 Posted 06/03/2017 at 22:20:18
Lewis – I don't think it's a case of hindsight being a "wonderful thing". He absolutely got it wrong with tactics and team selection. That's what is most frustrating.

Spurs are a good team, and there is no disputing that, but we were piss-poor – and he takes responsibility for that.
Paul Smith
107 Posted 06/03/2017 at 23:18:40
I have to admit I totally agree with Ciaran here. Its quite simple in my opinion and Koeman clearly ducked out of going for the win. As soon as I saw the line-up, I thought one player has rearranged the whole midfield now and all individual responsibilty will be less urgent.

What did we learn from starting Barry? For instance, if Lookman had started or Mirallas and we get beat, we then know a little bit more where we need to improve to beat a good team away. Starting Barry taught us we shouldnt have started him and that seemed obvious to most people before kick off.

Spurs have won the league twice in their history and we set up like their Barca. It was a hideous midfield and the players who have all played regular lately, looked jaded and unsure of their roles. I have got lots of love for Barry – it's not a witch hunt – but his time is up at that level and the one change certainly made us look way behind Spurs. Did they worry about our form before the kick-off? It didn't look like.

Peter McHugh
108 Posted 06/03/2017 at 23:34:43
Ciaran,

Robles, Williams, Fuens Moro and Baines would not get near Spurs' side. Your kidding yourself if you think they would. Personally, I think Coleman's a lot better than Walker but he's hardly a weak link.

In midfield, only Gana would have a chance but Wanyama may be preferred over him (not in my opinion but he does add aerial presence). Similarly Ali has shown for last 2 seasons he's far ahead of Barkley although I think Barkley could challenge Ericksen although Ericksen's work rate far superior and his xreativgh better. Kane is also an upgrade on Lukakua and constantly involved even when not scoring.

As such only Coleman I would definitely have in that Spurs starting 11 with possibly Gana over Wanyama.

Stan Schofield
109 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:20:27
Peter, I disagree about the difference between Spurs' players and ours. And in the case of Lukaku vs Kane, well, Kane has been playing in a consistently well-performing top side, whilst Lukaku has shown he can score goals in any team.

Overall, there appears to be a management problem. The tactics and team selection on Sunday were wrong, which was pointed out before the game started. But the concern is not this mistake in itself, but the fact that it's a repeat mistake. But when the tactics are wrong, with the consequence of a bad result, the players get criticised. The players could press until they're knackered, but all the pressing in the world will have limited effectiveness if the team is badly set-up.

Setting up the team to our best advantage, and particularly setting it up with the intention of winning, is the job of the manager. On Sunday, the manager didn't do his job well.

Mike Allen
110 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:29:52
The simple fact is, the defence is not good enough. We have been very lucky the unbeaten run lasted as long as it did.

Holgate should have kept his place at centre-half after he broke into the side, he is a far better player than any of the other three. As for bringing Barry in to protect the back four at Spurs, he was more concerned with protecting himself for the first goal by turning his back on the shot!

How many times have we seen defenders "chicken-out" this season – the same as the keeper rolling the ball out to marked defenders. It's not doom and gloom after Spurs – just don't go over the top when we get our next win.

John Wilson
111 Posted 09/03/2017 at 14:16:13
Everton were lucky to survive the end of the first half without more goals against them. Koeman, should have changed the squad during the break but obviously did not.

The form Kane was in indicated he was likely to score again and did. It shows Koeman's management is not effective in 'real time' decision-making'. Why was he waiting for another goal against us?

We were lucky we weren't subject to a master class from Spurs right up to the end of the first half. Koeman was asleep as he made no changes to stop the threat during the break. What was he thinking!

If Koeman had foreseen this (which should have been obvious), it could have been a different game given Valencia's and Lukaku's late contributions.

Pat Waine
112 Posted 10/03/2017 at 08:57:53
Darren (#101) – you are bang on there, mate. If we go out not to win the game, we will inevitably lose it.

Three defensive midfield players in the starting lineup and we bring another on... I can't even remember David Moyes doing that.

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