A trip down to South Wales to play Cardiff and the place is unrecognisable from the days of Ninian Park but Blues on an awayday never changes much and make what you will of a banner-cum-flag proclaiming ‘Rolf Harris is a kopite’.

A couple of ‘Brains Bitter’ went down well as we discussed last Wednesdays match with the shrug of shoulders and the comment of ‘Just win in cup-ties and move on’. The Manc big-team, little-team assault on our club for players it believed should be delivered for peanuts just because – well, "I am a big time Charlie now and know what’s best for your little team."

Our considered opinion was that, if our Chairman and CEO get top dollar and reinvest enough to ensure we have a fighting chance this season, then so be it... at least until the next time a so-called big-time Charlie comes calling. "We can’t stop 'em but make 'em pay" was the considered way forward.

Time to check the teams and it was good to see that Baines and Fellaini were still available to us and helping to form what many would call our first eleven.

The game started in bright sunshine with the home fans singing something about ‘Hymns and Arias’ (They must all live in Swansea) also they informed us that they had inside information on who was being sold in the morning.

It was to be a game dominated by the Blues yet left very little meaty stuff to report on. The first ten minutes were no more than ‘show us what you have got’ from both sides. Then Pienaar played a forward ball and found Barkley who moved forward with power and hit a shot that was not timed and also deflected that left the keeper without palpitations.

The next bit of action saw Cardiff get a corner and after doing Man City from set pieces last week, I wondered... Whittingham’s pacy in-swinger caused havoc but Howard pawed and flapped and knocked it down and the ball was hacked clear I think by Ossie. The action took place by our near post and we had no one stationed there, Howard Kendall would have been mortified.

Beyond the 20-minute mark when, from a Baines free kick, Mirallas got his head to it without much conviction and the ball went over. Five minutes later he had a better chance when some superb joined-up stuff ended with the ball out left with Jelavic who sent in a delightful cross that presented Mirallas with a free header.... alas, he reminded me of a kid in the schoolyard who did not want to hurt his head so let the ball just hit him on the head and a golden chance was lost from just six yards, and the ball? – Over the bar.

The five minutes or so before the break, we went into overdrive and had Cardiff on the ropes. Another spell of joined-up stuff saw Baines career into the box courtesy of a Pienaar pass only to be hacked down by the Rottweiler Medel. The ref Mr Taylor inexplicably waved play on. A big call in the game went against us but we should not be surprised as this very ref was last week demoted to the lower leagues for some other nonsense yet at the same time he has just been added to the Fifa list.

You don’t have to go far to get the idea that the patients have taken over the asylum. I know refs have a hard job but when he can’t recognise a trip from a clear viewpoint then someone is wrong about him. But hey, with a minute left we still hadn’t finished when Jelavic finally got a header on target that was deflected, the word ‘Goal’ was in the throat when the keeper Marshall changed direction in a trice and made a superb save. Drat.

The half-time chat was of ‘Deadline Day’ in the main with most philosophical with a touch of the ‘Que-Sera’. I have to report though that many are very sceptical regarding the Martinez way. We don’t score goals after great but laboured build up with many saying you can’t play the Barca way without having Barca quality players... which begs the question: Is giving the team all the time in the world to adapt going to make it work?

Second half began as the first ended, Blues on top but no goal threat until 10 minutes in when the impressive Barkley played in Jelavic good style, clear on goal, but he stabbed the ball well over the bar. "Hit the target, lad!" went through the mind while at the same time recalling a stat I picked up somewhere that the Croat has scored just once in 25 Prem games.

A little later, things got tasty when Fellaini tangled with the ex-Manc Campbell and seemed to try to crush him and as he arose a scuffle broke out between the two. Our less than competent ref took no action!!

The hour mark passed and not a note made until Cardiff had their best chance of the game when Bellamy was put through on goal but luckily his touch was heavy and he took the ball well wide of the advancing Howard and we managed to clear. Cardiff then had a little spell which exposed Jags quite a bit, he was not having one of his better ones today and was glad of having Distin clear up after him on more than a few occasions.

With ten to go, our transfer headliners combined well as Fellaini gave Baines a clear sight of goal but his right foot shot was hard but wide, if only Fellaini had angled the pass to his left foot! Does that cameo contribute to players playing for away? Nah don’t think so.

In my view, I thought Mirallas was having a poor day along with Coleman who carried on from the cup tie in making a mess of most of his crosses, a temporary blip I hope. Anyhow Martinez agreed with me on Mirallas who was hooked and left the field in petulant manner to be replaced by our loanee wonder kid Deulofeu who was if nothing else a bundle of energy but it was as if the players had learned nothing about him from Wednesday.

Although he is a bit of a loose cannon and more than a touch of the Drenthe about him and prone to hitting the by-line and powering daisy cutter crosses across goal. Within minutes of coming on, he did it again and not one Everton player had remembered his pet move as the ball flashed across goal inviting a mere tap-in as they all stood and watched some even took paces away from goal. I would have expected better from a professional body. Three mins of added with us on top and attacking went by in a flash. Final whistle and disappointment, the chance was there but the means of winning matches, Goals, was missing.

MotM – Distin. Overall nothing to write home about. Our fourth draw on the trot, if you take into account the score at 90 mins on Wednesday, and you do wonder where goals are going to come from.

The transfer window closes soon and it’s the two-week break for internationals so virtually no time to work further toward the Martinez way and then straight into a hectic Premier League schedule starting with the little matter of Super Cup runners-up Chelsea. Patience is fine but it’s hard when the Premier League is relentless and the here and now is paramount.

I think we should give it until at least end of November, beginning of December... or even January, and see where we are then; but, if we are not looking much different to now, then fans' patience may well be shot at — leaving the board with a decision to make.

I like what the new manager is trying to do but, at a club like Everton and given the nature of the Premier League, time isn’t kind to managers... so I wish Roberto the very best of luck and hope that he pulls it off; but it is Results, Results, Results I am afraid. He needs to find a way to win with the hand he is dealt.

This next couple of weeks will feel like being in no-man’s land but still it will soon be time for a chippy, tea and a brown over in L4 whilst chatting about the squad as it looks after the transfer window has closed. Hopefully improved — well, I can dream.

See you there;
UP THE BLUES

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Kieran Kinsella
578 Posted 01/09/2013 at 01:42:08
So Ken, you reckon we should give Martinez three months then? How about the fact that Kendall (mark 1) and Moyes took us perilously close to relegation in their third year at the helm? Sorry Ken but I have lost respect for your views. You always go easy on BK.

OK I thought you were a softie. Guess not, you are just another mug who will throw a powerless manager under the bus while the BK disaster rolls on. Last time I read your reviews, mate.

Andrew Cutler
579 Posted 01/09/2013 at 01:47:13
Good report ...no 'Ken Crowley-isms' (ie shite) which is welcomed
Andrew Cutler
583 Posted 01/09/2013 at 01:50:23
It is quite probable that after this weekends matches, the EPL is headed by teams on 7 points. We are on 3.
Andrew Cutler
584 Posted 01/09/2013 at 01:58:02
....meaning it's not all doom and gloom
Ross Kerry
586 Posted 01/09/2013 at 02:02:29
Lighten up, we're unbeaten.
Jim Knightley
587 Posted 01/09/2013 at 02:02:33
3 points from Norwich, West Brom and Cardiff is a very poor show indeed, especially considering the amount of possession we've had in all three matches. I thought we were better today, but Jelavic is an issue, as is our lack of a cutting edge. How many big chances did we make today?
Ross Kerry
588 Posted 01/09/2013 at 02:07:31
3 points from 3 games is not enough, doesn't matter who you've played. But have we been bossed by anyone?

Teething troubles, the manager has to be given time.

Barry Rathbone
600 Posted 01/09/2013 at 02:34:46
Dreadful if this sword of Damacles attitude re Martinez really is prevalent among regular match goers as alluded to here.

Something desperately wrong if Kopites are making us look like completely tits with more patience and support of their new manager.

Remember they actually won a trophy the season pre BR, he actually had something to be beaten over the head with!

Present day Evertonians really are a different breed from what they used to be..... if this is true.

Patrick Murphy
602 Posted 01/09/2013 at 03:02:06
Odds on RM being Everton Manager at the end of this season must be tumbling as each post is written. Funny old game isn't it I think our neighbours who had yet again spent a fortune this time last season only had 2 points to show from their first five PL games, mind you they were on their third manager in as many seasons.

If Chelsea come to Goodison and beat us out of sight, then RM may become the shortest serving manager in the history of the club. I don't remember us winning the PL and the CL last season but we are beginning to sound and act like fans of a big four club, it's very very strange.

Ross Kerry
603 Posted 01/09/2013 at 03:14:56
Hang fire Patrick, I don't think anyone on this thread is talking about sacking RM. Inevitable knee jerk reactions from the more nervous amongst us but I don't think we need to be learning any lessons from the shite just yet.
Harold Matthews
610 Posted 01/09/2013 at 03:47:49
How can Mirallis expect to nod the ball into the net with a dead hamster stuck on his head?
Derek Knox
612 Posted 01/09/2013 at 04:06:59
Harold (#610)
If it had been a live hamster,he may have scored. What's with these Adolfesque haircuts? Oviedo had one the other night against Stevenage, or am I missing something?
Peter Barry
613 Posted 01/09/2013 at 04:19:21
Virtually the identically same bunch of players who gave us 16 draws last season because they could not score are giving us draws again this season because they cannot score. Where's the mystery.
Peter Barry
614 Posted 01/09/2013 at 04:27:11
The match stats tell the sorry story 61% possession 13 shots on goal and ONLY 3 on target. Until we get someone who knows were the goal is we are going to struggle no matter who is in charge and if the Felliani/Baines money is wasted on more midfielders and defenders and not an out and out striker then the struggle will continue all season.
Michael Winstanley
618 Posted 01/09/2013 at 04:37:27
Three games in Ken and you're questioning the philosophy of the new manager?

Why is obvious, we haven't taken our chances when we've bossed the games. Our build up play is sometimes too slow, at other times we're just as creative as last season but our goal drought continues.

I'm watching the highlights and it's all us, how Mirallas missed those headers is beyond me, haircut or not I expect a forward to bury those chances.

Dick Fearon
629 Posted 01/09/2013 at 02:40:30
I agree with Ken, In three months we will be at the half way point of the season. Time enough to cast judgement on our progress or lack of. At our present rate we would have 19 points and needing another 21 to reach the magical 40.
Anything close to that kind of scenario should set the alarm bells ringing.

Including pre season plus our recent dismal run I reckon that another three months is time enough to see if RMs methods are suitable.
To start the new year in the bottom half would bring a demand for wholesale change and its no use closing our eyes to it.

Reg Gates
632 Posted 01/09/2013 at 05:50:04
Thanks for the report Ken.You are entitled to your opinion same as everyone else but let's give the guy a fair go. I saw the three games and I think we are doing good except taking chances.
Jackie Barry
639 Posted 01/09/2013 at 06:39:09
Crikey we should have been questioning Moyes at the beginning of most seasons then, most of the time we were simply awful, hence the perennial late starters nickname we got. Give it a break.
Harold Matthews
640 Posted 01/09/2013 at 06:48:26
Yes Derek. You could be right. The hamster might have nodded it in.
Keith Young
655 Posted 01/09/2013 at 08:00:54
Thank you Ken Buckley for yet another report which gets the mood of the game across to someone like myself unable to attend the game. Pity this was another miserable mood ( not your fault). I wonder if Player's contracts require them to maintain fitness ( if they take full pay) and whether Manager's contracts require to help players to get match fitness by playing them? Take the Kone saga, " he's not yet fully fit" Why not? He has just passed a medical when he was recently bought. Surely the manager should be furious?
Again, is Kone saying " how can I get match fit if you don't play me"?
What's going on with RM's team selection and substitution policy?
Ajay Gopal
658 Posted 01/09/2013 at 05:45:31
Ken, I think you and other Blues fans are being a bit premature if you are moaning about 3 draws. Fine, if we are Chelsea or Manchester City or Spurs having spent loads of money, we can moan when the results are not coming our way. But we are not - we are bloody Everton, for God's sake ! The new manager has had no money to strengthen and all the talk has been on his best players leaving on the last day of the window. What can you expect RM to do? Yes, I understand this is a results business at the end of the day, but there are fine margins between victory and defeat - the RS and Spurs are incredibly lucky to be on 6 points, and as Man City found out last week, you could have the most expensively assembled team, but if on the day, your strikers miss glorious chances, or the referee doesn't give you stone dead penalties or if you don't get the rub of the green, then what can RM do?
Ian Bennett
663 Posted 01/09/2013 at 08:41:34
Ajay - we have laboured in the 4 games. We have drawn far too many games over the last couple of years. Our main striker has scored one goal in 25 games. The loss column looks great, but we continue to squander 2 points by having no balls and going for it.

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see that 4-5-1 fails to win games, particularly against lower ranking opposition. Can we please finish a game with at least more than one striker on the pitch. Can we please bloody train on hitting the ball on target.

Wayne Smyth
672 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:02:29
I'm more annoyed with the attitude of some evertonians than I am with either our results or performances.

Everyone's a genius after the event. "Why is Fellaini playing as a midfielder when he's so much better up front?" Can you imagine the gasps from the assembled journo's if Martinez had announced he was going to play Fellaini as a midfielder.

"Why are we taking shite from wigan, like kone". Again can you imagine the horror from the everton fans if Martinez announced that he was going to spend £6M on a striker who'd scored more goals than any everton player last season? People been lambasting Kone, yet the guy has barely had any pitch time and has looked better than Jelavic(whom DM spent £5M on) when he has played.

People have short fucking memories, too. Remember the last time a rich team came sniffing around one of our players for an extended period? We lost our first home game 6-1 and were then beaten by the mighty fucking burnley and fulham.

Well guess what. Now everyones favourite "Moyesiah" has spent the last 2 months solidly undermining RM and our club by making derisory bids not for 1 good player like in 2009, but for our two standout best players. Our top scorer and main midfield lynchpin AND our main creator. But yes, the complete reason why our team is failing to fire on all cylinders is obviously due to the incompetent manager who's had all of 2 months to get the team up to speed with his systems, while fighting off speculation around our two best players from OFM and having the mighty sum total of £8M to strengthen. Not to mention the fact that he's blooding our younger players.

We were told by the same seers that we'd be shipping goals due to Martinez wish to pass from the back. Well you were all fucking spot on there. Not sure how I'm gonna forget the 4-1 loss to WBA and the 5-0 drubbing by norwich.

Go take some fucking prozac or get a grip and get behind our manager and whichever players remain ours on tuesday.

3 draws one win and zero losses and its the end of the world....

Paul Gladwell
673 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:18:39
Shocking the stick our manager is getting already, three points is not good enough but I honestly feel we played well, you cannot say we haven't had the chances, Mirralas has been piss poor for the hype and as for Jelavic, he has had more backing than I have seen anyone receive in my 38years of match going and he cannot hit a cows arse with a banjo, the chance he had when he should have used his left foot was shocking, you cannot go to away games, control possession and miss four or five easy chances like we do and expect to win, we need a quality striker and we will have the money to buy one now, if he doesn't address that issue then he is looking for trouble, but at the moment I have been happy with our play aside from our forwards.
Ray Robinson
674 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:20:23
Ken, good report as ever but remember that this is basically the same team as last season, so although Martinez has undoubtedly encouraged the passing game, it still feels like the Everton that I have watched for several seasons now. Remember the 0-1 reversal away to Villa, the two 0-0's at Wolves, the 1-2 at Reading etc? We lack a clinical goal-scorer and pace on the counter-attack. That was evident under Moyes as well.

Possibly the only change significant change under Martinez has been the removal of the direct ball up to Fellaini, who has played a much more withdrawn role. Come to think of it, I'm not sure exactly what position Fellaini is playing these days! So if he's not going to make much of a contribution, I'd let him go to United. Can't see how he's going to play there either!

John Ford
675 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:18:53
Barry R and Ajay are spot on. Surely we can be patient here. The bloke needs two seasons to do what he needs to. Provided we don't end up in danger of relegation we should grow a pair and give RM our support.

That said I do worry about the players named as replacements for our best two. Surely a striker?

Paul Gladwell
677 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:28:42
Wayne spot on that every single word, people moaning at Fellaini playing in the role he cries to play in, the same people probably said he only plays good once in a while up top and when he does it means Jelavic is starved, no one knows his best position as he has never played extremely great in one position over a period of time, hence the only fella wanting to buy him is his ex manager, I'm not saying he is not a good player, but is he as good as people think?
Dick Brady
679 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:35:22
Roberto paid £6 million for a striker already. Kone looks shite to me but I feel Roberto should be forced to make use of him.

If I made a £6 million mistake at work I would be held accountable not just given more funds to try again.

Nick Waters
680 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:10:19
The appointment of Martinez has to be seen as long term. What else can it be?
He's inherited an ageing squad, and the only variations are a semi-fit new striker and a 19 year old on loan. What was he expected to do before August is over and with all the transfer speculation hanging over him and the club?
The redneck rush to judgement I saw yesterday on this site made me embarrassed to be an Evertonian. What do peple want - a Moyes clone or a new manager with the ambition and talent to carry the club forward along the lines of his plans from the selection process he went through?
His team selection may be open to question, but how else is he supposed to assess the players other than in competitive games, and in the style and manner that he wants to impose?
We can see it has taken Rodgers a year to ship out what he doesn't want and replace them with his own players, yet Ken Buckley would give RM 3 months!!
As others have said we have controlled all 3 league games so far but strikers have failed to put the ball in the net once.
Sell Jelavic tomorrow, BUY a striker, and give Velios and Anichebe the chance to see if they can raise their game under the new manager.
The bottom line is that we are in a period of change and we have to give it time, or we have another period of change, followed by another, which we haven't got the money to cover.
Meanwhile if LB and MF go, then we'll have to be philosophical about it on the pitch and save our ire for teary Bill.
Dick Brady
684 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:38:09
Martinez inherited a Top 6 side.

Make all the excuses you want, its a Top 6 side with only Phil Neville missing from last year.

Martinez has already added 4 players to the Top 6 side so in theory it should be better.

These draws against the likes of Norwich, West Brom and Cardiff are very poor results for a Top 6 side.

Martinez needs to understand that at a Top 6 tippy tappy football should play second to results. Results are all that matter.

Paul Gladwell
687 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:42:05
Dick, we haven't had a chance to see and judge Kone enough yet but £6m is buttons, you get what you pay for so don't expect 25 goals a season, teams in the lower leagues pay them prices and more for strikers (Blackburn for Rhodes £8m).
Brent Stephens
695 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:49:47
Dick, one could also add that Barks is now in the side, as many implored DM to do.
Dick Brady
698 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:50:28
Paul, Norwich paid just a couple of extra million for Ricky van Wolfswinkel. Lets see who gets more goals Kone or Wolfswinkel.

£6 million is a lot of money to spend on a striker if the manager knows what he's doing.

Paul Lambert found Christian Benteke for just £7 million.

Paul Gladwell
701 Posted 01/09/2013 at 09:57:09
As I said mate its three games, but to you we should win them because we got in the top six, well Mr Moyes had a top four team and the following season he won one game I think in the first thirteen and lost nine, did he get sacked? No and he ended up getting a stupid guard of honour, that's patience for you, how about some of that now eh.
Joe Bibb
707 Posted 01/09/2013 at 10:01:04
Moyes was here 11 seasons, most of them started badly and we were struggling until Christmas.

Martinez hasn't been in charge 11 weeks. We are unbeaten and in the next round of the Cup.

Strange how some fans had so much patience with Moyes but Roberto must get things sorted soon. Double standards?

Christopher Timmins
712 Posted 01/09/2013 at 10:06:21
The same team as last year minus Pip and plus Ross!
Nick Waters
722 Posted 01/09/2013 at 10:21:12
Martinez didn't come to Everton to copy Moyes, no-one would, or could. The Moyes era is over and things have to be different - on the pitch, in the personnel, in philosophy. How it will turn ou we can't predict but what fucking good does it do anybody to say that Moyes would have won that game?? Which Moyes - the 4th place the 17th place ? Last season, the season of the new contract?
Simplistic, useless unhelpful crap being spouted here. After 11 years some people can't accept that Nanny has gone and isn't coming back.
Jim Lloyd
734 Posted 01/09/2013 at 10:00:00
It's hard to say who else we could have got for the funds available to Martinez. We needed cover for GK, we needed cover in defence as I don't think Heitinger is an answer and we needed a center forward/striker and all this with a lot less than £10 mill.Kone had 13 goals last season, our manager probably expects him to score at least as many this season and he also know how Kone plays to a pattern he wants to set.

If we are going to sell Jelavic, then someone has to buy him. Anyone with any money come in for him? No! Not that we know of anyway.The ony "bid", if indeed it was a bid, came form a club who admitted they had no money.

As for "we came 6th last season, so we should do so again" I believe is stupid argument. We did rerasonably well in the1st half of last season and rather less well inthe 2nd half. Jelavic had foundit difficult to score last season, yet opm did not think it necessary to get a striker during the January window, or the club had no money, yet again! I think we were lucky to come 6th and we achieved it mainy because Liverpool made such a poor showing untl late in the season.

We have an ageing set of players, tied into contracts by Moyes presumably because he knew there was no money to replace them. During the 18 months that Brendon Rogers has been manager, he has been able to buy in god knows how many international players and more coming Southampton and Norwich have bought players who I'd have been pleased as punch if we'd have got them and othr clubshave als spent much more than us, so far.

One of the last acts Moyes did as our manager was to tie in Osman io another contract Personally, although I admire the service he has given, I think he needs replacing but, until we sell someone, it doesn't look like the funds are available. Whether I think he's good enough or not, is not the point. The point is that the funds available to Martinez were that much less.

Martinez has a set of players who he's stuckwith, except for a couple who I guess he'd dearly want to keep but may well be sold today. Then we might have funds ailable to buy replacements.

I thought when we we got Martinez as manager, wewould do well to finish around 8th and I still believe this. For those who say hoof it up field, we are still stuck with the same forward who patenty couldn't score with that tactic and we are not likely to have Fellaini to hit it to.

I went to the friendy against Real Betis and the West Brom games and I agree that we seemed to take ages to come forward with the passing game. But I looked at Osman and Jagielka. One doesn't know how to bring the ball out and the other doesn't have the engine to do so. So I think we are bound to be slow. We might get quicker as the less able players get accustomed to the passing game but to criticise (I think unfairly) Martinez for trying to bring in a more expansive game, without seeing who he is able to bring in, is a bit premature.

He is going to need time to get Everton playing and as long as he gets us to mid table or above, I think that will be a reasonable first year. If we are in the bottom 3 at the end of the year, then yes, that is time to fundamentally review what is happening and for the Chairman to make a decision.

It used to be a regular view that a manager would need three years in a job to get a squad together that would be relatively succesful. There are some who appear to expect him to do it in three games

Phil Walling
760 Posted 01/09/2013 at 11:12:42
Didn't it take Martinez four seasons to get Wigan relegated? Come on lads,show a little patience !
Andrew Cutler
765 Posted 01/09/2013 at 11:13:18
Roberto is not the person toward whom opprobrium should be directed. None of us on this forum are even acquainted with all the facts/info. Can we at least ascertain these before, in half-cocked manner, the whinging, accusing, blaming and 'woe is me'-ing.
crowds out rational thought process.?
Kev Johnson
766 Posted 01/09/2013 at 11:25:57
Two questions: (1) what are the odds on us drawing ALL of our matches this season, and (2) will 38 points be enough to stay up?

Phil Walling
767 Posted 01/09/2013 at 11:33:00
Reminder to all . Kenwright is not the man who picks the team or determines how they play. We have enough good players here to do better than gain 38 points.Even Moyes proved that !
Jim Lloyd
771 Posted 01/09/2013 at 11:35:56
Kenwright chose the manager
Phil Walling
773 Posted 01/09/2013 at 11:38:12
But who chose bloody Kenwright is what I want to know!
Jon Beck
797 Posted 01/09/2013 at 12:08:50
I for one really enjoy your reports Ken and it's good to hear what match goers are thinking. Some of the reaction on this thread is over the top and I hope it doesn't put you off publishing your excellent reports.
Ged Simpson
804 Posted 01/09/2013 at 12:14:26
Bang on Jim 734

This is a team that is Moyes's and one that was his when he knew he was probably about to leave. So was he making great decisions on contracts etc ? Seems not.

Mid table at best this year and then let's see what new boss can do.

But I am also inclined to think we have a poor, unimaginative Board and there lies the problem long term.

Brian Denton
821 Posted 01/09/2013 at 13:02:04
If Spurs beat Arsenal today, we go above Arsenal. So what? Too early to make any predictions, other than that one of Chelsea, City or Man U will be Champions. The rest is noise, as they say.
Jim Lloyd
824 Posted 01/09/2013 at 12:51:10
Too right Ged. You're absolutely right about the Board. Martinez will only get funds once Fellaini and possibly Baines, have been sold. So yet again we will only be replacing players who have gone. Not adding to what is already a perilously small squad.

How we can damn a manager after 3 games (and some have done damned him before he managed one) is unfair. Let's seewhathe get's in te way of funds and who he brings in. Then at least we'll have some idea where he believes we are weakest.

Dick Brady
859 Posted 01/09/2013 at 14:20:32
I think sometimes when it comes to strikers it would be better to pay a little over the odds and get genuine quality.

Strikers have been Everton's problem for years now with millions wasted on Beattie, Johnson, Yakubu (1 good season), Jelavic and now Kone.

Think of it this way Jelavic and Kone cost a combined £12 million. And £12 million is what Liverpool paid for Daniel Sturridge.

Who would you rather have Jelavic/Kone or Sturridge? I'd gladly swap both Jelavic and Kone for Sturridge.

Jim Lloyd
890 Posted 01/09/2013 at 15:08:20
Go along with that Dick 100% but it's probably got something to do with what our managers are given to spend. And also wages would probably be a big factor in a player's choice.

I think also we're at a disadvantage when a player decides where he wants to go. Unfortunately, we haven't got the magic that a lot of players think Liverpool have; we don't have the money to pay over the odds. While we're on the outside looking in, we aren't a top attraction.

Mark Taylor
924 Posted 01/09/2013 at 15:44:15
On strikers, we have definitely done poor business there for many years. The reason some still put up with Jelly is that he built a huge reserve of goodwill in his first 6 months, precisely because at last, he looked like he would be the exception. Someone who scored with one touch and converted most of his chances.

As for RM, of course he should be given some time. The showing so far has been poor but not disastrous. That is especially so given some previously dependable players (Mirallas, Osman, Pienaar, arguably Coleman) are playing pretty crap. The two obvious pluses are Barkley and Delboy. When all is said and done, I'd have been surprised if RM (or anyone else) beat Moyes' record here. I appreciate he is now a figure of hate and many disliked his playing style and team selection, but we over achieved results wise, given the absurd lack of investment. I think we'll discover that in the coming years.

As for the new signings, I'd be willing to give Kone a chance. He has shown some promise. The Ramadan/fitness bit was absurd but he has more pace than Jelly and a lot more technical abilicity than Vic (not hard).

The key now is how much of the Fella/Baines money gets spend and on who. RM has got some credit in the banks for signing up Delboy, but that will be lost if we end up with another Wigan player for a grossly inflated fee.

In my view, Kenwright has most to lose over this transfer window. If we raise £40m, but again end up shopping at Lidl rather than Harrods, there are going to be a lot of angry people out there.

Bill Gall
928 Posted 01/09/2013 at 15:48:47
Usual good assessment of the game .The negative point is expecting the board to make a decision.

This board with Kenright in charge cant decide what socks to put on in the morning.

Ive said it before a majority of the supporters are willing to support the manager .The people who do not seem to be aware of the teams problems (The Board) do not seem willing to follow up on their promises to fully support the manager with funds available to improve the team.

The major problem at this time is Kenwright is not going to refuse an offer for our 2 better players and with just 2 days left there will be no time to replace them plus a midfielder and a striker.

As most supporters have seen what we have in our reserve squad do not seem good enough even though they may have to be given a chance through lack of investment.

Barry Stevens
957 Posted 01/09/2013 at 17:02:20
For the amount of stick the managers getting on here, you would think last season we were league challengers. Other than 2 seasons with the ginger knob, we were slow starters. Anyone with any decent knowledge of the game would know the new system's not going to gel just like that.

The facts are we are unbeaten in 3 games, 2 of which were away. We've kept 2 clean sheets as opposed to the views expressed on here we would let in shitloads.

The problem with our great club lies with our dud of a chairman and the board.

Jimmy Kelly
142 Posted 01/09/2013 at 20:45:30
Clearly Martinez needs to be given time and support, I don't think anybody is seriously suggesting anything else.

Many people on here need to remember the bold predictions they have been making over the summer, though. There were going to be loads more goals, less draws, different players being used, strikers were going to thrive, youth players would be in the team, we'd have tons of excitement etc etc. Fact is, none of that has happened yet and so it's no wonder many people are disappointed. Personally I wasn't expecting all those things so i'm not too concerned, but we all know that was many people's expectation.

For what it's worth, I don't think we've been playing well and unlucky not to win. I think Norwich was a decent performance but the last 3 have been poor. It's not like we've missed bucket loads of sitters, a lot of the shots that are counted would be from outside the box or poor angles. I can't recall any of the keepers in the last 3 games having to make a save that you wouldn't expect them to.

I also don't know why some people seem surprised that some of the players mentioned aren't playing well as it seems quite clear that they're struggling with their role/style of play. Mirallas, for example, is a very a direct player, not really suited to quick passing. He's much better picking the ball up when we're attacking quickly and he has space to run. The slow build up is meaning he is often getting the ball with a man to beat from a standing start rather than being able to use his pace and skill to drive at people. The same applies to Coleman, obviously from deeper. Fellaini too, is much better when he's driving forward from that deeper role, rather than just passing the ball 5 yards constantly.

Those are observations rather than criticisms though, and Martinez has my support for as long as he is the Everton manager, I hope that's a very long time.

Jamie Sweet
216 Posted 01/09/2013 at 21:50:15
I would much rather be bossing games with 60%+ posession and drawing them, than our old style of hanging onto draws or one goal leads for dear life resulting in a point.

We are just the width of a post or a stone-wall penalty decision away from turning one point into three.

If we can get a striker hitting form or a few decisions going our way things would start looking pretty good for us.

This posession-based football should, in theory, make us a much stronger unit and much more difficult to play against than we used to be.

I too am surprised by Ken's suggestion that RM only gets a few months to get this right.

We are unbeaten and dominating games. Hardly at crisis point yet surely ffs?!

Ken Buckley
233 Posted 01/09/2013 at 22:24:02
Jamie 216.
The point I was trying to make was that the vibes I am hearing now indicate there is a fair bit of dissatisfaction with the new way of playing and fans should at least give it until Jan before coming to any conclusion but if things stay much as they are then a larger fan backlash could give the board reason for thought. I hope, and indeed don't think this will come about but results can lead to many emotions. Sorry for any confusion.
Mike Hughes
257 Posted 01/09/2013 at 22:51:44
Ken - to quote (Ted Rodgers?) - say what you see.

I think your articles give a fair reflection of the game. I enjoy reading them and feel exactly as you do.

Current emotions are that optimism is turning to a degree of concern. Didn't expect miracles but thought the transition would be more gradual and in line with incoming personnel changes (hence VERY gradual at EFC). The obsession with raiding former club is also a bit alarming as I'd hoped he'd have a decent European network and could unearth a few bargain gems.

Still, let's give the man a chance as you say......

Jamie Sweet
280 Posted 01/09/2013 at 23:12:42
Fair enough Ken. It was only your line about the board having a decision to make in January, which I took as suggesting that is when Martinez could face the sack if we haven't won enough games.

The real decision the board should be making in January (if not today), is to throw more than pathetic sums of loose change at the squad that this fine young manager is trying to build.

No surprise that we are finding it hard to score goals when the last major investment in our forward line was The Yak more than 6 years ago!

If the fans turn on Martinez before we turn on his employers then I would see that as a sign that collectively, we are an unbelievably mis-guided bunch!

David Ellis
390 Posted 02/09/2013 at 02:55:56
Great report Ken.

As long as we don't get relegated (we won't) RM will be our manager for at least 3 years.

I am a bit frustrated by the inability to beat teams we are outplaying - but at least we are outplaying them. I have seen us nick wins when we were pretty awful. In the long run I prefer watching games where we have over 60% of possession and I think results will follow.

I can say with 90% certainty we will finish somewhere between 10th and 6th this year. My money is on 8th.

Rahman Talib
395 Posted 02/09/2013 at 04:32:27
If we were going to play this slow, we should play Anichebe up front. At least the dude can hold the ball long enough for our forwards to move. Jelavic is more of a one-touch type of finisher and he sucks at holding the ball.
Dave Arrow
530 Posted 02/09/2013 at 12:32:13
It’s clear some made their mind up about Martinez before a ball was kicked this season and our slow start has been grist to the mill.

I’ve seen all 3 draws and what we have lacked in those 3 games was a cutting edge and a bit of luck.

I’m prepared to give Martinez time to instil his ethos in to those players who have been drilled in a different style for many years previously. I agree that we have been ponderous in possession and playing one up front hasn’t helped things but I’m staggered that match going Evertonians are so quick to judge.

Consider what he’s had to deal with: An 11 year legacy of a despot manager and an impotent Chairman who has done nothing to support and protect him during the bedding in period particularly from the sniping of our former manager. If you believe what is said, Kenwright and Moyes have continued to talk over the summer and in to the new season so the least I’d have expected from the Chairman was a put up or shut regarding Baines and Fellaini. Constantly defending something that’s out of your control is massively distracting and disruptive.

It’s clear that this transition will take time and the closure of the transfer window can’t come quickly enough, it’s not helped by the international break or the calibre of our next opponents but Martinez needs to find a win quickly to settle everyone down.

Over the next half dozen games I expect to see the players grow in to the new style and inject more pace in to their build up play. It would also certainly help if a few other players took Ross Barkley’s lead and started to take a bit of responsibility in front of goal. I lost count the amount of times we could have got a shot away on Saturday and instead passed the buck. Oh and if I could see us grind out a scruffy 1-0 that would also tell us a lot about Martinez and the players.

The pressing of the premature panic button by some on this thread does us no credit whatsoever.

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