From My Seat: Burnley (H)

By Ken Buckley 01/10/2017  23 Comments  [Jump to last]
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After the debacle that was Thursday night, we licked our wounds and girded our loins and trouped back to the Grand Old Lady via the Room of Nonsense to sort out team and tactics before heading off to sample the real thing.

We considered what the line-up should be and the formation that would suit and when the team came through we were not far off at all. All were agreed that this was a must win game even this early in the season as apart from wanting the points we needed to build our confidence going into another nauseating international break. Although happy with our line up most of us were more than wary and doubt was never far from the mind. We seem, on paper, to have excellent players but we have yet to see them put in a performance that suggested we were actually ready to play with one another and form a coherent team.

Still we set off toward the ground with some confidence from seeing the line-up. Big Phil called at the far van for a burger as usual but he reckoned they had gone up to over four quid, he was not happy. Next door at the Hat, scarf and badge stand Alan Ball scarfs were on sale. Goodison Road was chocca yet somehow the usual buzz was at best muted and I also noticed armed police at the junction with Spellow lane. A sad sign of the times. To our seats in time for Z-Cars and the first omen of doom showed its head: Burnley won the toss and had us attacking the Gwladys Street first half. The cheek of it!

The game kicked off and we made a bright start and looked like they wanted to get Thursdays game out of their system and show they were better than that and with a two up front we went at them. In the first 15 mins we had the chances to put the game to bed but shocking finishing was to prove disastrous. First Calvert–Lewin showed his promise by controlling well and getting a ball through to our Bournemouth ‘Dead eye dick’ Niasse just yards out but alas he shot straight at the keeper when anything a yard either side would have counted.

The same player then challenged for a bouncing ball and got it over the keeper but a Burnley defender booted the ball to safety. Then our big money by Sigurdsson contrived to miss TWO gilt edge chances. Again Calvert–Lewin made a good direct run and set up the chance which from my seat he seemed to scuff and lose power and the ball merely rolled to the keeper then Niasse played him in just yards from goal and somehow he contrived not to get a shot away.

I said to my mate ‘These misses could cost us’ and on 20 mins Burnley set off on a passing movement that we seemed content to keep in front of us and await our chance to win the ball. Snag was we let them keep coming and full back Ward made an overlap and crossed low across the box to an unmarked Hendrick, Schneiderlin charged at him to intervene but Hendrick just moved the ball from him and continued at speed without the ball. Hendrick then unchallenged picked his spot and that was how we came to be 0-1 down.

Now we were playing like a team who had lost a fifty pound note and found a five pence piece. Passing backwards and sideways. Taking outrageous shots from distance that were I have to say embarrassing and it was no wonder there were Boos all around the ground on the half-time whistle.

Half-time: 0-1

The atmosphere in bogs and bars was of an uncharitable nature with one fan shouting ‘There is something rotten in this club’ and he got little or no reaction to that outburst.

We thought a change or two at the break might help galvanise us but, as the players emerged, it was as we were.

That second half was a mess; we struggled to put two passes together and Burnley didn’t deviate from their game-plan of tight defence a joined up midfield with runners willing to chase their keeper’s giant kicks. May not be pleasing to the eye but hey, what did they or their fans care as they chanted about being in a library as many a Bluenose suffered in silence or sporadic yelling advice to any player who might be listening.

The hour mark reached and the manager introduces subs. First Niasse heads wide from in front of goal from a Baines cross then Schneiderlin hooked in favour of Rooney. Rooney did at least look more composed and started to spray passes but all to no avail. In fact it was Burnley looking more composed than some others but it was Burnley calling the main shots and Pickford got to his near post in time to parry a Brady cross to safety. How Brady had been left to get that far is mind-boggling.

Twenty to go and the peripheral Vlasic was subbed in favour of Tom Davies who immediately woke up the crowd with some direct running at their defence but with little support on offer things just petered out. We then went back to shooting from distance for shooting’s sake variously Gana, Sigurdsson and Rooney fired high wide and not so handsome. Tom Davies showed them how it was done and hit one goal-bound only for the ball to hit a defender and a goal was lost. Calvert-Lewin was put in on goal but his effort lacked power and the keeper gathered in.

Four mins was added and Burnley went into snail mode with time wasting antics. We threw Ashley Williams up as makeshift centre forward and fair play our much maligned centre back had a good header which alas hit a defender and fell behind. Chance gone and not that many of us left to see it; on Mr Moss’s final whistle, the boos rang out once more.

MotM: ---- ------

Coming out of the ground, the mood was sombre. With many new signings, some for big money, the start we have had is not the one anticipated. Koeman said it was not all doom and gloom, well he should have sat by me today.

Among our crowd at the inquest in the Room of Nonsense the vote was virtually split on whether the manager should go or not.

I have to say that I am not one for knee jerk reactions but given the fact we had very tough fixtures it doesn’t hide the fact we are playing really poorly no matter the opposition and watching the game it is hard for this fan to see much improvement around the corner. I just hope our board, in this international break, have a good look at where we are and what action if any is needed. The fan base would be most interested in the outcome of such a meeting.

UP THE BLUES


Reader Comments (23)

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Jason Wilkinson
1 Posted 01/10/2017 at 22:59:30
Absolutely shite. Never seen such a clueless bunch. We need players who hurt when they lose!!! None out there vs Burnley.

Koeman: pick the 11 players who are desperate to start and sack the rest. Sack yourself otherwise.

Steve Hogan
2 Posted 01/10/2017 at 23:14:10
The two early misses by Sigurdsson, basically changed the course of the game. Instead of being 2-0 ahead, we allowed Burnley to regain their footing, and after the poorly defended goal (take a long hard look at yourself Schneiderlin), the confidence slowly drained out of Everton.

Our 'big name' player's are simply not performing, in fact a couple are visibly hiding. Rooney's introduction should have been made at half-time, he was the only one of our (many) no 10's who was prepared to lift his head up and wasn't scared to try a killer pass.

Baines was also poor today, and great club man that he's been, we need to take a hard decision about replacing him with a more aggressive dominating full back. Far too many crosses are coming in from his side of the pitch almost every game now..

Unless Ronald prepares to ditch his 'safety first' policy, with two defensive midfielders for every home game, I simply can't see a radical change in performance or results.

Kevin Molloy
3 Posted 01/10/2017 at 23:26:58
Thank for the report Ken, I like the rest of you was born a blue but I feel so detached from the club at this moment in time. The "School of Silence" comment sums us up at the moment. It's time for someone with the club in his heart to take charge, it's Unsworth all the way for me.
Jason Wilkinson
4 Posted 01/10/2017 at 23:49:45
Here is my starting 11 (if fit):

Pickford. Playing OK.
Kenny. Needs to be given a chance.
Holgate alongside Keane. Need to give two promising young defenders a chance to make a partnership at centre half.
Left back??? Not sure but I would still give Galloway a go he did okay under Martinez. (Not sure if we can end his Sunderland nightmare)
Davies and Gana as centre mid partnership.
Lookman and Calvert-Lewin as wide midfielders / wingers. We need some pace!!!
Sandro playing off a converted big guy up front.
Who? Williams. He can win a ball in the air. He's strong and can't give the ball away leading to opposition goals.

If you have any better ideas for a target man post it.

Tom Edwards
5 Posted 02/10/2017 at 00:34:18
Grateful as always for your post Ken. Like Kevin above, I am a lifelong blue of more than 50 years, as was my late father before me. I too feel a detachment from the club that I never felt during the worst of Walter Smith or even Mike Walker.

I wasn't even surprised we lost today. We need a change at the helm now or I fear this season could become a long struggle against relegation.

Peter Barry
6 Posted 02/10/2017 at 02:29:16
Although I suffered many attacks on TW was one of the first to say Deceitful Dire Dour Davey's time was up – and the same with Old Brown Shoes too – so I make no apologies for saying I knew Koeman was not the right man last season.
Steven Frixou
8 Posted 02/10/2017 at 02:30:14
If Koeman is sacked it will be one of the greatest missed opportunities for our club to Evolve. Sure it's painful to watch at the moment, but many of our supporters wanting him out are too busy becoming the worst type of fan.

We've spent £100 mill so we demand instant gratification. The vile abuse I heard from so called supporters behind me at the Bournemouth match was too much.

Sure the 12th man can help you win games, but equally when that turns on you, it has just as powerful a negative effect. Everton beat Stoke and drew with potential Champions City and all was wonderful. Since then Thursday Euro games followed with 2 horrible away Sunday Games -a patch of circumstances That have knocked the team. Sure a good manager would get it back on track, but he is trying to rebuild the team.

Everton is a family. The players are like our sons on the pitch, so should we scream profanities at them and boo them off at the whistle? - No !!

If You made a video of your kid playing football and edited some footage of many screaming profanities from recent Everton fans - You would call these fans arse-holes.

Don't justify the difference with the overused "overpaid salaries- they know what they are getting into" excuse. They are only human ! - the media nowadays is so intense no matter what money they are paid - they will still be afraid to be who they really can be. Koeman, Mourinho or Pep are not going to fight the weight of the world on their shoulders. Give them support - help the manager give them swagger back into their play.

David Moyes the negative - Martinez tip tap passing and no Defence . Ronald Koeman given time will get Everton playing right and progress. I'm not asking for clapping when they play poorly, just to figuratively get on the pitch with them and give a stern "come on lads were better than this - let's get at em"

Even Vlasic who is playing the best at the moment will eventually feel the crowds displeasure and media abuse and drop in tempo too.


Will Mabon
9 Posted 02/10/2017 at 05:54:06
Steven, you're right that we ideally should support the players through thick and thin, but to imagine this could be the difference between success or not, is rather hopeful. Equally the crowd is not to blame for the dire offerings on the pitch; it's a response to it.

I'd like to hear of one solid indicator you have that to dismiss Koeman would be a missed opportunity. He has shown nothing constructive at all. He is more destructive. We're in a far worse position than can be fixed by a polite and happy home crowd.

Brian Porter
10 Posted 02/10/2017 at 06:40:42
Well said, Will. Steven, your rather sweeping statement that anyone wanting rid of Koeman is 'the worst kind of fan' is in very poor taste. Like Tom #5, I've been a fan for over 50 years, in fact next year will be my 60th anniversary of being an Everton supporter and guess what? I want Koeman gone ASAP.

The one who has missed an opportunity is Koeman himself who has done nothing to endear himself to either the fans or the players. There is a great chasm of disconnect between the fans and the manager who just doesn't seem to 'get' Everton at all.

A good manager is a proactive manager who sees what is wrong and does his best to put things right. Koeman is hardly even reactive, because although he makes substitutions when his original plan goes awry he quickly reverts to his original plan for the next game, even though he has seen for himself that it's not working.

Koeman has had a season and a half, almost, to forge a team according to his own managerial style and beliefs and this is what we are now seeing. This is his team!

One of the commentators on Sky yesterday made the point that Everton have much better and technically superior players than Burnley, but Dyche has his players operating as a team whereas Koeman's Everton look as if they don't know what they are doing out there, and the responsibility for that has to lie with Koeman himself.

So basically we now have the worst kind of fans, the worst kind of commentators, the worst kind of pundits and the worst kind of media reporters, (see today's papers), who can all see that Koeman is failing to make the most of HIS opportunity, at least by the way you see things.

I do not want to see Everton relegated for the first time since I was born in 1953, but fear that is where we are likely headed under Koeman's so called 'leadership'. I am and always have been a passionate lover of all things Everton and I want the best for them, airways. As Lyndon pointed out in another recent article, Koeman is far from the best and his reign is now very much 'a busted flush'.

You and those defending him him might be happy to see us slide further into mediocrity and may even enjoy the stress-inducing circumstances a relegation dogfight would bring, with success being seen as surviving by the skin of our teeth, as has happened once in my lifetime. I have no wish to go down that route again.

We have some damn good players in our squad now, but they are being made to look utterly useless and less than Premier League quality by the way Koeman is asking them to play, in a system that is outdated and clearly alien to them, and by trying to play people out of position regularly, as opposed to occasionally asking a player to do so due to injuries or suspension to the true players in said positions.

He is a poor communicator and after having spent many years working with people from different countries, including Holland, even I often find it difficult to actually make sense of some of his pronouncements which I feel are perhaps deliberately delivered in less than perfect English in order to make sure that his answers to questions are never really giving away the truth; a clever ploy, but one I've seen in the past and it only works for so long before being found out.

I'm afraid under Koeman, the only way we are going, in the words of a Status Quo song, is, 'Down, down, deeper and down.'

Christopher Dover
11 Posted 02/10/2017 at 07:39:01
Agree again Ken and also with your comments Brian. It's hard work watching Everton who seem to only play together on match day.

The sad part is I now expect to get beat when going to the match, and for those who say show more support then I say let the team show me a reason to feel confident about a result.

A lighter suggestion, make Koeman sew up all his pockets so he does not stand looking at the dross being played with his hands stuck in them.

Kevin Molloy
12 Posted 02/10/2017 at 07:48:17
If this season turns in to a relegation fight, all the signs are there, I don't feel Koeman would be hurting like we would. I just can't connect to the fella, his interview after the game with a smirk on his face summed him up.

From what I've seen from the players that disconnect carries to the pitch. No fight no aggression no width no man management, it's going to be a long season with little joy with him in charge.

John McGimpsey
13 Posted 02/10/2017 at 07:59:36
I can imagine Ross is waiting in the shadows with pen in hand waiting for the axe to fall. This of course if he is allowed to, as he maybe January's money to bring in another Number 10! If this buffoon as he has been called is allowed to remain in charge then I fear for us.

My first game was in 1962 and I have seen some shite in that time and watched us demolish everything in our path also.

A Catterick or a Kendall is required, someone who lives and breathes the Toffees. It's staring us in the face – and it's not that big lump next but one to Koeman on the bench. Begins with a U...

Franny Porter
15 Posted 02/10/2017 at 13:52:06
Steven #8. I must also be the worst type of fan as the following points mean I want Koeman gone yesterday.

1. Signing Martina.
2. Consistently playing two crabs together in Gana and Schneid.
3. Signing Klassen.
4. Paying 45, yes 45 million pounds for Sigurdson.
5. Changing his team every game allowing no consistency.
6. Desperately shoehorning his players into the team at the expense of our young prospects.
7. Telling Lukaku he could do better than us.
8. Talking himself up for the Barcelona job.
9. Legging it down the tunnel at the final whistle yesterday like a rat.
10. Alienating a succession of players.
11. The derby team selection at Anfield.
12. His general air of not giving a fuck.
13. Allegedly wanting to sign Andy Carroll FFS.

Simon Dalzell
16 Posted 02/10/2017 at 15:02:08
Steven (#8).

I'm definitely the worst type of supporter. Home and away for the best part of 50 years.

I wanted him gone at the end of last season. Boy, I'm so fickle.

Phil Bellis
17 Posted 02/10/2017 at 15:20:39
I've not seen so many players in possession, holding their hands, palms upwards.. "who's looking lads? who's moving?"
Painful and sad to watch
The clock's ticking
Geoff Williams
18 Posted 02/10/2017 at 17:49:31
Koeman has created a team in his own image : dull, boring, lacking imagination and devoid of ideas.
David Currie
19 Posted 02/10/2017 at 19:35:12
Brian 10 great post, Steven 8, you are wrong, the performances have been shocking as well as the team selections. Koeman has no love for our club and shows no passion on the sideline, shows a lack of respect by talking about wanting to manage Barca. I have been a youth coach for over 21 years and know I could pick better balanced teams and get a style of play where every player knows there job. Koeman has failed to pick the right players and there is zero style of play that I can see.
Ray Jacques
20 Posted 02/10/2017 at 21:06:31
When we lost games when Martinez was manager to last minute goals and threw away leads(stoke, Chelsea, Bournemouth, 3-3 afar Liverpool) I was annoyed, upset , frustrated amongst other feelings. Now, by the mid point of each game I am so lethargic that when we lose I just shrug my shoulders and go home.
I am not advocating Martinez but even with him there was hope that we may surprise, now it's just mind nummingly boring and predictable. Nothing happens in the 90 minutes to make me think I can see what we are trying to achieve and that it will be better next game.
We regress by the weeks and the indifference and disconnect between the fans and the club is increasing. Change is needed and I am more disappointed with Everton this season than in the past45 years
Christy Ring
21 Posted 02/10/2017 at 21:42:57
Brian @ 10
Great post, it's only going to get worse unless we sack him now. I've never seen us so poor,totally unbalanced and painful to watch. He's falling out with players, I believe he's lost the dressing room.
Iain Love
22 Posted 02/10/2017 at 22:17:58
Dyche has made Burnley hard to beat, well organised, well drilled, with a clear game plan. They won't win the league or make the top 8, but also they won't get battered by anyone . He's bought (on a budget) players that fit that system. Imagine what he could do if he had a bit of money to spend.

A bit fucking better than Koeman, I'd wager.

Mike Allen
23 Posted 03/10/2017 at 10:45:50
To say we are going through a rough time is an understatement, so little things are starting to be annoying. Koeman tells us we have no creative players...

So okay then, why when we get a free kick in their half, do we take it short and several passes later the ball ends up with our keeper, who kicks it long back to them? Not once but all the time, game after game.

Alan Bodell
24 Posted 03/10/2017 at 18:20:02
Ken's last paragraph sums it up in a nutshell, we have very good players but where is the fucking movement? Not one shows or breaks sweat with their 'movement'. The defences we have played this season have never had it so easy.
Hywel Owen
25 Posted 03/10/2017 at 22:30:52
It doesn't really matter what team, what formation, what game plan Koeman decides upon the players for whatever reason, do not want to play for him. Maybe the manager is clueless but the squad, with a couple of exceptions, are also blatantly unprofessional and dishonest.

If only it were possible to get rid of quite a few of them!!! The manager will no doubt become a victim of this bunch of shysters who call themselves footballers.

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