The next big test for Roberto Martinez, after the fantastic performance and result at Old Trafford, was up against the current Premier League leaders, Arsenal. With Leighton Baines still out injured, the manager made no changes to the side that started against Man Utd.

Everton put in a superb display for the first 40 mins, but lacked the killer final touch. Martinez dallied with his second half subs while Wenger made three and finally went ahead through Ozil. But Deulofeu finally figured out how to score one-on-on, scooping a brilliant strike over Szczesny. A well-deserved draw rescued from a commanding but unfilled position of dominance? Or two more points dropped...


Some really excellent football from Everton at the start, moving the ball around brilliantly and a nice forward run by Coleman, but a couple of lazy giveaways spoiled the flow of some really smart forward moves, with Arsenal trying to be equally inventive in a very open and flowing game.

Some great play by Oviedo, but Pienaar taken out, no foul says Webb, rather disappointingly. Barkley tried to unload but won a corner that Mirallas curled in and, as the ball bobbled, Distin poked it wide.

Everton won a free-kick wide left and tried to work it into the Arsenal area again but Pienaar's probing throughball was intercepted. It was significant that it was 15 mins before Arsenal got the ball into the Everton area! And it was great to see Howard throwing the ball out to Coleman and more Everton attacking until Barkley inexplicably passed to an Arsenal player 3 feet form him.

Another good break, with Barkley running through the middle, played out to Mirallas who should have crossed for Lukaku but he chose to selfishly lash one high and wide. Everton producing some really scintillating approach play but trying to be too clever at the edge of the Arsenal area.

Coleman was nest to do brilliantly beating two defenders but shooting wildly rather than picking out a cross. A swarming break by Arsenal looked frightening, a great cross that would normally be an easy tap-in, but it was shepherded out for an Everton goal-kick. Barkley was then fouled in a good central position, but Mirallas poorly scooped it to Szczesny.

Another absolutely gorgeous move, great running down the middle, Pienaar played in Lukaku whose cross was just too far ahead of Mirallas. Another nice break, Lukaku this time tried to do it all himself. Meanwhile it seemed Arsenal would really get going... but each of their attacks would fizzle out, while Everton were looking really really good (68% possession!)... just needing a little more care with the telling pass and a fraction more inventiveness in the final third.

Coleman caught Wilshere's heel and that upset Wenger. Arsenal always seemed capable of penetrating and they did much better in the last few minutes before the break, finally putting Everton under some real pressure Giroud getting behind and forcing Howard to come out and block him very well when it could so easily have been 1-0 to the Arsenal, with Barry picking up a yellow card for a late challenge on Ozil. Then Ramsey got through in almost identical circumstances, and again, Howard was out to block brilliantly.

Arsenal appeared chastened after the break and came at Everton with guns blazing, penning Everton back for the first 3 mins without getting really close to beating Howard. It seemed though that Arsenal could score when Wilshere pulled back a good cross for Corzola but Howard was there to grasp his header. Everton finally started running with the ball again,and some neat interplay, a really cool flick form Barkley, set Pienaar for a nice shot on goal. but a little too close to Schhezny.

Another frightening move by Arsenal looked really threatening but again Howard was there to block the shot away. McCarthy came in a little high on Ramsey, and picked up his 5th yellow card of the season. Everton could not get the same fluid movements going and Martinez got Osman off the bench as the hour mark passed, although the game was again really screaming out for Deulofeu.

It was disappointing to see Barkley turn around and play the ball back for some slow midfield play instead of going forward... but eventually the ball was played up and it fell oddly for Barkley who lashed it straight at Szczesny's head, as Wenger made a triple-substitution, getting in ahead of Martinez, who looked a little too much like Moyes, giving Osman a physics lecture off his iPad... Finally, Osman replaced Pienaar on 71 mins.

More Arsenal attacking, Flamani dragging his shot inches wide. From a foul by Coleman, it was pinball on the Everton penalty spot, 8 players trying to wrap their foot around the ball, until Jagielka hoofed it away. Howard picked up yellow for time-wasting on his goal-kick. A great throughball for Mirallas, and he forced a vital save, and on the afters, Distin came around the back but could not keep the deep deflected ball down.

Finally, with only 10 mins to do his business, Deulofeu was introduced for Mirallas, who had not been effective enough.

But Arsenal finally got the breakthrough off an offside header from ____ went through to Ozil at the far post after Giroud totally missed it. A hugely disappointing outcome.

But Everton pushed , with excellent work by Barkley, the ball coming to Deulofeu and an absolutely brilliant finish over Szczesny. Why oh why had he not been brought on a lot earlier???

Everton now had a real urgency about them, trying to get the ball through a packed Arsenal defence but they then broke and Delboy had to foul and draw a card. Howard punched yje free-kick away but it needed more defending by Osman for a corner. Pressure relieved only until a really poor pass by Deulofeu, that caused a moment of crazinness at the back,

Three minutes of added time and both sides desperate to win it, Lukaku now the selfish one, trying to do it all himself and firing high, as Naismith replaced Barkley with less than a minute left, to get Everton an extra 30 seconds? But Arsenal had all the possession and an incredible strike by Giroud smacked into the Everton angle, Howard well beaten... an amazing shot.

In the end, a draw, and perhaps a fair result... although it really was a game Everton could have won if they had done more to take the initiative in a disappointing second half.

Scorers: Ozil (80'), Deulofeu (84')

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere (68' Rosicky), Ramsey (68' Flamini), Ozil, Cazorla (68' Walcott), Giroud
Subs not Used: Vermaelen, Monreal, Fabianski, Bendtner.

Everton: Howard Y:77'; Coleman, Distin, Jagielka, Oviedo; Barry Y:43', Barkley (93' Naismith), Pienaar (71' Osman), McCarthy Y:60', Mirallas (76' Deulofeu); Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Heitinga, Jelavic, Stones.

Referee: Howard Webb

Attendance: 60,001

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Jon Ferguson
612 Posted 08/12/2013 at 15:27:31
They have got incredible creativity in their team, but there are weaknesses at the back. I hope we take it to them.

COYB

Charles Brewer
619 Posted 08/12/2013 at 15:50:58
One thing that is really good this year is that we have no idea who will be starting in midfield. It could be a conservative Osman, a defence terrifying Deulofeu, a dazzling Barklay, mixed up with Pienaar, Mirallas.

What's so good is that no only does the opposition have little idea what Everton's midfield will be like, but that Martinez can switch it about at any time.

If you are playing the RS all you have to do is keep Ratboy and Sturridge - incidentally, why do the TV stations think Skrtl's initials are "OG"? - and you are probably home and dry, with ManU shut up Rooney and RvP and the rest are demoralised over the hill rubbish. With Arsenal, I think it's pretty much the Ozil and Giraud show. Wilshire is another fast running player with no other notable skills.

But with Everton there are a dozen combinations each of which offers different threats.

Time to start stream hunting!

Albert Crocker
620 Posted 08/12/2013 at 15:52:58
Couple of minutes to kick off and, as usual, I am thinking about reasons for disliking the opposition.

Let's start with 9 August 1969, the opening game of the season that that would get us the title. I was there at Highbury. Saw Howard Kendall stretchered of and the lovable cockney Charlie George make his debut.

We won 1-0 and were pelted by old style penny coins right through the match.

Secondly when the arse played the RS in the FA Cup Final in 1971, by which time terrace singing had become something of a cult, they were so lacking in original talent that they had to employ TV pundit Jimmy Hill to think up a song for them.

Sung (sic) to the tune of Rule Britannia it had stirring lyrics like - Good old Arsenal, we're proud to play the game - cue puke and more puke.

Horrible supporters. Ever noticed how they leave their seats early whenever they're not winning?

Michael Kenrick
623 Posted 08/12/2013 at 17:53:16
A great display, but I was screaming for Deulofeu at half-time.

Second half a lost opportunity for me. We should have won this game I'm afraid. We could have done with a bit more confidence from Martinez.

Okay, I really really wanted a win today... I was hugely impressed with the first half, but I think Martinez allowed Wenger to outwit him in the second half, and that is a huge pity.

Hopefully a lesson learned. Great attitude from the team, though, and an exquisite goal from Deulofeu.

Ross Edwards
624 Posted 08/12/2013 at 17:56:38
Excellent display. To run Arsenal around the pitch like we did in the first half is something I've not seen done since Bayern Munich last season.

We are playing such brilliant football, the best I've ever seen as a Blue and its nice to take it to the big guns in the way we did against Manure and now Arsenal tonight.

In a true testament to our performance, Arsenal fans tweeting that they were happy with a draw because we were the best team they've faced all season.

Sensational strike by Del Boy. In Martinez we Trust. To get 56% possession at Arsenal is a true testament to Martinez and his methods.

The School of Science is officially open and its here to stay!

Raymond Fox
626 Posted 08/12/2013 at 17:58:25
My,my that's a bit harsh isn't Michael, talk about some people never being satisfied!

Roberto is in possession of more info than us, Del Boy might be under the weather with a cold etc, same applies to other players, carrying slight injuries, we don't know these things.

Andy Osborne
627 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:06:00
This is fucking great. We stood toe to toe with the league leaders. There was very little to separate the two teams. I haven't seen a better Everton team since the mid-eighties. I'm loving this.
Jamie Crowley
630 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:12:50
We just thoroughly outplayed the league leaders. We look sublime and Top 4 surely is now a realistic target.

Mr. Kenwright - Please, please, please back Martinez and our Club in January!

Brian Waring
631 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:13:58
Agree Raymond, think your a bit harsh there Michael, 56% possession to us at the Emirates, same shots on target, more passes completed than them, most of the stats were in our favour, also, we had Arsenal playing hoof football.
Ross Edwards
632 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:16:44
The most important thing we can do in the summer is keeping Martinez. There may be some pursuing his signature if we finish in the top 4.
Robin Cannon
633 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:14:26
Yeah, little harsh there. All round an excellent and positive performance, both in the first half and similarly in the second after Arsenal (an excellent side, let's not forget) raised their game.

Don't really see the need to nitpick. On the Osman sub Graeme Me Saux correctly identified in commentary that delaying the sub made sense to see how Arsenal rejigged with their triple sub. And, while Delboy is incredibly exciting, I have no problem with him coming off the bench at the point when Martinez feels the opposition is getting tired enough for him to really attack. Mirallas was playing pretty well, so it's not like it was the sub solved some huge gap.

Ross Edwards
635 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:17:49
I agree too, Michael that was a tad harsh. To force Arsenal into hoofball at the end, running them around the park in the first half is down to Martinez. He brought Deulofeu on at the right time in my opinion as well.
Steve Brown
636 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:16:57
I thought that was our most complete performance of the season, against the form team of the league who had won their last six without conceding a goal.

Now is the time to invest big in this squad if we are serious about the CL - the talent is there, but the depth isn't. Really proud of that.

Paul Ferry
637 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:18:57
So we all know who they are so come on then you said lets judge Martinez's Everton after the Arsenal game - too hasty and all that - so what do you think now the Arsenal game is done and dusted.

MK harsh on Bobby in the 2nd half I think.

Ross MOM - special shout for Barry/Macca

Barry Rathbone
639 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:14:17
Delighted again, the 2 best teams in the division toe to toe without a smidgeon between in a proper football match.

Arguably we shaded it but we are simply a joy to watch and I could not be happier.

Paul Ferry
640 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:21:08
MK all our shots on goal came in the 2nd half
Anto Byrne
641 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:14:07
Arsenal are the benchmark and we do have a fair way to go to regain our status as a powerhouse club. We need to push on and we need to bolster the squad with a couple of players in the next window.
Paul Ferry
642 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:24:43
Wenger being very nice to us post-match
Mark Johnson
643 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:19:15
I think Lukaku played terrible in that game his first touch is awful and for a big fella he hardly win’s a header. But other than that I think we played quite well, some great football by the blues. McCarthy and Barry played really well. I think either Barkley or McCarthy for man of the match. Martinez is like a breath of fresh air I am looking forward to every game now bring on Fulham.
Brian Waring
644 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:23:43
Is John Collins an Everton fan? just listening to him doing the post match and talking about Everton, he kept saying "We"
Tommy Meehan
645 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:26:15
What is French for 'lucky to get out of here alive'?
Richard Tarleton
647 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:27:08
John Collins, while not as good as Bobby, did play for us, so the "we" is valid not a royal pronoun.
Mark Johnson
648 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:26:06
I thought he should’ve brought Deulofeu on a bit earlier. With 30 mins to go, the game was crying out for him.
Ian Burns
649 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:25:33
Michael - 623 - I have always respected your articles/comments but this post is out of order.

RM was never outwitted at any part of this game. Remember Arsenal win possession in all games at the Emirates and they have a wonderful side. You have to put your comments in context.

For me RM showed his class; his belief; his ability and showed teams how sin miedo taken to the top teams, played with sensible tactics can work and he is building a REAL team in the EFC great teams of the distant past.

Sorry Michael, always respect what you say but you have got this one wrong.

Barry Rathbone
650 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:25:49
Fair play to Wenger, mind you he walked off the pitch looking like he'd seen a ghost ..... a younger spanish version of himself methinks.
Tom Bowers
651 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:22:49
Okay it was only a draw but the way Everton played was great and to hold the possession stats over this Arsenal team at the Emirates was outstanding.

I think we are all now convinced that we have arrived on the big stage with a brand of football we haven't seen from an Everton team for many years. Barklay has arrived and is proving what a great player he is even though he still has things to learn and Howard is just terrific.

Pity McCarthy will miss the next game.

Paul Ferry
653 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:29:10
Class player, Collins – great hair!

Look what's coming up, lads and lasses:

Fulham - H
Swansea - A
Sunderland - H
Saints - H
Stoke - A
Norwich - H
Baggies - A
Shite - H - by which time we will be in FA Cup Rnd 5...

Steve Brown
654 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:29:45
Someone has to give a shout to Coleman, ran himself into the ground down the left flank. Would love to know how many metres he covered!
Ross Edwards
655 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:30:51
Roberto is going to be one of, if not the best managers in the world in a few years time.
Paul Ferry
656 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:32:34
shite A sorry - I make that 20/24 points
Paul Ferry
657 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:33:29
Anyone else seeing Arse lining up Bobby to fill Wengers boots
Michael Kenrick
659 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:30:46
Sorry, I understand where you are all coming from after years of watching that shithead have us cower at places like Arsenal, but that game tonight was there to win, and we failed to push through our clear advantage.

I can't help but find that maddening.

Two more points dropped!!!

Thomas Newton
660 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:32:05
More like Joan Collins when he played for us.

I never forgave his awful display in the quarter final against Villa, he was a total shithouse in that game, pulling out of tackles that they scored both goals from.....

Paul Ferry
663 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:37:57
Anyone else laughing at this arse twat on 606 - 'We controlled the midfield', stop sides, stop .....
Karl Parsons
664 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:31:36
Spot on Ian that's how I see it too.

To a man we were magnificent. Tactically unreal in my mind. Something we have not seen in a long time.

Not worried a jot about Lukaku we just played two massive away games in 4 days. Give the boy a couple of days off. Next 7 games all look winnable - If we can keep that momentum against them the unthinkable is achievable.

Great to hear Jags also say we want to win it. When did you last hear our player say that...

Dave White
666 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:34:04
'Toe to toe' is the key expression here. After watching so many games where as a team we appeared to never really believe we were capable of anything more than a draw at best at the 'big' teams, the Everton side I watched today started, played and finished that game as equals with the clear leaders of the Prem on their turf. It's a long time since I've been so proud to be a blue.

Before the last two fixtures I was hoping for a point, maybe even thinking of two, but 4 is simply fantastic. Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka were superb today (amongst many others of course). That Roberto has got a lumper and a runner to play such sublime 'build from the back' football in such a short time is nothing short of incredible. Howard was awesome too, so quick off his line and made himself big to smother anything that came through.

Only slight criticism is the lack of service to Lukaku, he looked to be frustrated with the lack of the quick ball. Personally I think he was a little off colour today but I'd like to see us poke a through more balls through the back line for him to run on to.

But a very minor point in a superb week for the Toffees!

Tommy Meehan
668 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:38:57
In fairness, Michael, Martinez seemed well aware of that in the post-match interview. He mentioned that the lack of cutting edge was disappointing. More time and a minimum of board support and he will become an Everton legend. . .
Brent Stephens
669 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:34:57
Roberto out-thought Wenger today. The MU result was fantastic but they're a poor side at the moment. A point away against Arsenal today, and the manner of our play, was just as good.

4 points from those 2 games! Great stuff, Roberto. But the jury is out - too early to pass judgement on him (as I keep saying!)!!!

Patrick Murphy
670 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:37:17
Paul, RM is made for Everton and Everton is made for RM if he did go to a Big 4 club he wouldn't have the freedom he enjoys at Goodison, besides which he has a mission to complete with Everton and results permitting should stay at least 3 full seasons before leaving us.
I also think that if Wenger left Arsenal, Laudrup would be a natural successor at the Emirates.

I haven't seen the game so I can't comment on it, but if you're a goal down late in the match at the home of the would be champions then regardless, you should be happy with a point. Let's hope Arsenal - given that we don't have a realistic chance of becoming Champions - take points off all our rivals in the coming months.


Paul Ferry
672 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:44:52
Hope you're right Pat - 670 - although I think Bobby is a much better gaffer and that will be even more apparent by the end of this season. You'll enjoy our possession game 1st half Pat when you see it and all our shots on goal came in the 2nd '45
Tony Marsh
674 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:37:06
It’s testament to how far we have come under Bobby that we are no longer content with a draw at Arsenal. We are amazing to watch now and we play in a style I never thought I would see the Blues doing ever again.

Champions League is no longer a joke for this team. Let’s hope Bayern or Madrid come in for Ken Dodd in January window and the Shite fall away. We are miles ahead of Spurs as a football unit and if we can keep injuries at bay we can push for 4th or even 3rd spot....

I fucking love this new Everton and Roberto Martinez is officially an Everton legend.

Amit Vithlani
676 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:44:43
Pleased as a plate of chips drenched in curry sauce. Great game, quality goal, and some fantastic stuff played on the deck. Delboy is going to be a top player, and a good team man – he took a yellow for the team bringing down Rosicky. Interesting what will happen to him when he goes back to Barca – can we have him for another season please? Barkley MotM but there were many contenders.

Anthony Flack
677 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:47:30
Congratulated by Wenger that sums it up. Contrast if to what our French friend has said on previous encounters when all we did was frustrate and make it difficult. Great progress RM deserved rich praise and support.
Anthony Flack
680 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:51:17
Arteta now says we are the best side the Gunners have faced this year.....high praise from an old Toffee
Brian Waring
684 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:44:53
Patrick, 56% possession to us, we actually out passed them.
Anthony Flack
685 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:53:35
Fuck me Brent 669 would hate to face one of your jury's
Brian Waring
688 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:55:56
Played Man City, Chelsea, Spurs, the shite, Arsenal and Man U, and only one defeat.
Brent Stephens
691 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:57:12
Anthony, it's ok. I'm just being flippant (partly). We all said at the start of the season and have said since then that he needs time. In all fairness, if it's been too early to judge, it's been too early to judge. Gotta be consistent / honest. But by Jeez if we can keep playing like this!!! I just don't want to tempt providence yet.
Paul Ferry
693 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:02:56
Spot on Brian we have more than proved our worth and given those fixtures our point tally looks even better with - lick your lips mate - eight games coming up where we ought to pick up 20 points.

High praise, Arsene says he was 'satisfied' with the point.

Gary Creaney
695 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:55:40
ITN news "Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton" followed by showing the Arsenal goal then cutting away as Deulofeu was about to hit his shot. Not just sky or the BBC then.

Anyway, no McCarthy against Fulham at Goodison but it's a decent time to lose him. Deulofeu should be unleashed from the start in his place with Barkley dropping a little deeper, ie, Martinez should not go for the safe option of Ossie in this fixture.

Pleased with 4 points from these 2 fixtures, storm weathered and 7 very favourable fixtures coming up. Pleased with 56% possession at the Emirates and very pleased with Roberto, jury still out my bollix.

Anthony Flack
696 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:02:42
"Tempt providence yet" great line, great fans, great week and I guess your point is maybe great manager but let's wait and see

Cheers Brent....

Graham McCann
699 Posted 08/12/2013 at 18:53:53
The Premier League and the pundits are waking up to the fact that Everton are a force to be reckoned with. We totally outpassed the pass masters in their own back yard. We made the pundits eat their own words (credit to Merson for acknowledging he under estimated us). Last year we would of settled for keeping the score down, not now though.

We took our 'arsenal' to the Champions in mid week and won the gun fight against our former manager. Today we took our arsenal of weapons to the Arsenal and made them realise that we are the best team they have faced this season ( Their own captain said that). It is so great to be an Evertonian today. The School Of science is reborn.

Tony Dove
703 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:09:09
Just proud to be an Evertonian tonight. That has to be or best display for years.
Colin Glassar
707 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:11:51
Is it just a coincidence that Tim Howard has improved drastically since Chris Woods left?
Kieran Fitzgerald
709 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:12:55
I would agree with MK about dropping points. Yes, we played very well, yes we are no longer timid and fearful, but if you play that well and don't score, you leave yourself open to criticism.

A goal scorer next month is a must. We have enough in midfield to make do until the summer but we need extra goals to complete what we have started this season.

Graham McCann
710 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:14:14
In the words of Martin Tyler in the first half, "awesome".
Brin Williams
712 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:07:48
No need to apologies MK - after all we are all entitled to our opinions. You are the moderator and as such probably entitled to the last word ...however.......
David Hallwood
713 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:11:47
Michael, Michael, Michael!!(659) yes is was disappointing, but can you imagine OFM bringing on Del Boy at 0-0, with 25 mins to go? It would've been Heitinger or Hibbert to see the game out and backs to the wall.

Even when we scored, we were still going for it, and it was only in the dying minutes did RM settle for the draw, but he still put Naismith as opposed to a defender. Yes like everyone else I'm a touch pissed off but I would've took 4 pts from the 2 games, and I suspect so would every other Evertonain.

Paul Ferry
716 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:23:01
Tony - 703 - how about one of our best weeks for years, i'm still drooling over the Stoke display never mind manure or arse!
Ross Edwards
719 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:23:11
David, if Gollum was still in charge we wouldn't have Deulofeu.

We would have had Jelavic marooned upfront on his own with the nearest player 30 yards away, with 10 men behind the ball at all times.

Michael Kenrick
720 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:20:18
David... he's gone (Thank the gods of football!) — That is not and never would be my basis for judgement... I'm only looking forward at what we can achieve...

In fact, you know what? Even thinking like that is totally anathema to Evertonians who can open their eyes to what Roberto Martinez could be doing for us this season.

But we're clearly still fighting this subliminal "Everton OVER achieving" bullshit mentality that also drives me raging mad!!!

Like Roberto says, there's still more yet to come!

Forward, Onward, Upward... can we PLEASE stop looking back?!?!

Mark Tanton
721 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:33:12
I was so impressed today - Barkley was superb and infuriating; he's still learning and what he did well was wonderful, but he still makes the wrong decisions occassionally. Still, he'll learn and he's thriving on being trusted. In Brazil I truly think he'll have the same impact as Gascoigne on Italia '90.

McCarthy and Barry were immense, as were Jagielka and Distin. We fear no-one and who knows what we can achieve this season... It's gonna be interesting.

Denis Richardson
722 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:31:54
My my, what a change 5 months makes! We go to the league leaders and HOLD OUR OWN, even looking like the better side for long periods.

Amazing change in the way we play - with confidence, conviction and determination (Palace aside). Great display and result at the end of the day, especially added to the midweek adventure. Watched the game with a mate who's an arsenal fan and HE was screaming for the ref to blow the whistle at the end - was happy to get a point off us at home!

Fulham next and hopefully 3 points (despite the new manager). Onwards and upwards - also good to see we got a home draw in the FA cup.

Merci again Mr Roberto - its still a blue world out there.

Patrick Murphy
723 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:28:27
We have to continue this run of form for as long as is possible - good results though they have been in the last 4 matches and with performances to match - it is these banana skin games which are coming up where the players have to show their true mettle - if we can average 2 points a game in the next 6 weeks then we will really be in with a shout at the the end of the season.

With a bit more care in the last third in some of our matches we could quite easily have been sharing top-spot with Arsenal, but Everton have given themselves a good chance to make-up for those lost points, let's hope they do so in the coming months.

It's starting to get quite exciting and with the crowd right behind them at Goodison anything is possible.

Mike Price
725 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:24:17
Just fantastic to behold. Skill, pace, control and no fear, plus an eloquent top quality manager to be the new face of Everton. Absolutely loving it, but we can't slip up in the next few games.
On another note can anyone tell me what that lilting chant is, that our supporters have been singing? I've noticed it a lot in the last two games but can't make out the words.
Matthew Roache
726 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:39:18
Very surprised at your assessment michael. A point away at the leaders who had previously been beating everyone? Brilliant result! Some absolutely immense performances too. I understand why Del didn't come on earlier - Mirallas was having a good game and doing well defensively!
John Ford
730 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:40:31
RM has just said today was 'a turning point.'

It can't be any clearer than that.

Denis Richardson
733 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:43:16
Forgot to mention - I cannot believe anyone is disappointed with the result. We were playing away at the leaders ffs, who haven't lost since the opening day of the season.

Turn the clock back 7 days and EVERY single Evertonian would have bitten your arm off if you'd offered them 4 points from Manu and Arsenal away, back to back - immense week for the team and the manager, off the back of that 4-0 stuffing of Stoke. Simply great at the moment.

I'm just glad Roberto didn't get the manager of the month curse. Quite happy to stay under the radar for now. Win against Fulham and we're into top 4 with relatively easier games coming up compared to the week gone by.

How much can we dare to dream?

Mark Tanton
734 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:46:31
Colin (707) in my opinion Howard has improved since he has some serious competition over the summer friendlies - it seemed to focus him.
Colin Glassar
736 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:49:36
Personally I'm not too bothered about all the speculation surrounding the future of Bainsey, Barkley, Del-boy, Lukaku etc..... My main concern now is keeping hold of Roberto Martinez. He would be the perfect candidate to replace Wenger at Arsenal.
Colin Glassar
741 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:53:39
Could be that Mark# 737, I prefer to believe the new Spanish GK has had an influence as well. Tim Howard's reactions, decision-making and all-round coolness have improved 100% this season.
Michael Winstanley
745 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:55:05
As fantastic as a performance as that was, we were the better team, we knew it and yet we didn't capitalise on it. After they scored we up'd it which implies it was there in the first place. When we dominate a game like that we really should be winning.

It's got nothing to do with it being against Arsenal, it's the fact we're playing breath-taking football and attacking all the time. It's amazing to be a blue right now.

Mark Frere
754 Posted 08/12/2013 at 19:49:59
Quality display today, that's the 4th game in a row where we've played outstanding. It all seems to be clicking into place now.

The game itself could've gone either way, there were points in the game where we were hanging on for dear life but just when it looked like we were getting over run, we got a second wind and came back at them again. A draw was a fair result in my opinion.

The most pleasing thing is, we had a real go and never stopped trying to go about things in the right manner. The inferior mindset seems to have gone and Bobby in a short amount of time has taught the players not to embrace fear.

Andy Meighan
755 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:01:13
My god, Michael... bit strong there, wasn't it? That was brilliant and we are really unfortunate not to be 2pts better off tonight. We dominated that game and be honest no other team is going there this season and running the game the way we did. I'm proud to be an Evertonian at any time but my god I feel 10 feet tall tonight (I wish).

I've a lot a time for your views, mate, but don't run us down because we were special today. Stopping a passing side as good as that takes some nous and we showed it. Brilliant blues, absolutely brilliant.

Stu Smith
764 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:14:07
I think that ends our chance of winning the league.
Phil Walling
765 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:01:35
As one who took a lot of convincing that Martinez was the right fit for Everton, I have to say that the derby and this week's games have given me the greatest pleasure since 69/70. ( Sorry Howard!).

The football has been nothing less than scintillating and the speed of the passing game has removed my major concern about 'Roberto's Way'. Lumpers and hoofers have learned new tricks in record time!

Of course, some people will never be satisfied, believing that our team has a God given right to WIN every game and mere draws at places like Arsenal should be viewed as failure and points lost.

Well, they are entitled to that opinion and whilst I retain reservations about our resources stretching to a Top Four finish, if we keep putting in performances like today, this season will, at least, go down as our return to the School of Science. Let's all enjoy.

Joe McMahon
766 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:15:51
I was laughed off this site 2 years ago when I was suggesting Roberto would be good for Everton. Isn't it great to have the shackles removed (they've gone down the M62).

We could have a genuine chance with this manager. Please, please Bill don't let us down this time and give him some cash in January!

Mark Frere
769 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:21:05
Enjoy your humble pie Phil.
Jim Hourigan
770 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:14:24
The biggest change is our attitude, players and supporters. Confidence has returned alongside good football, sure we'll lose a game or two before the end of the season but we go into games thinking we can win. I look forward to fixtures irrespective of the opposition, letting us pit ourselves against the opposition, going toe to toe. What we need now is to develop the clinical winning attitude, that ruthless streak that really good sides have. Scoring when on top and burying sides when in front. I think Roberto understands that when he talks about the next steps.

The players are allowed to express themselves and show their ability, as today, but to seriously challenge for the top 4 we need the ruthless streak and that step 2. Step 1 gloriously achieved good, positive attractive football, the next 6/7 games need to show the next step. Not critical at all just wanting us to keep going forward and then who knows !!!

Karl Masters
771 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:22:34
’ disappointing second half’ ??? Fugg me!! No pleasing some people.

That was a better performance than Wednesday night, we outplayed them completely in the first half and matched them in the second. Away to the leaders who had win their last six home league games with ease.

Couldn’t be prouder!

Matt Traynor
772 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:27:53
Phil #765,
I must admit you were so staunch earlier I started to skip past your posts. Then you softened, and now this.

Glad you're enjoying it. I also watched an Arsenal away game for the first time in a long time enjoying it.

Oh, and there was that amazing banner at OT midweek about the return of the School of Science... someone remind me, what did it say? Anyone got a photo?

Andy Doran
776 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:24:10
Another outstanding performance by the blues ... some world class players in the making in our squad. RM is making us look like a proper top 4 side. If we can keep this up, the sky's the limit for us.

COYB... EFC Forever!

Jimmy Sørheim
779 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:34:21
How on earth are we going to cope with this small squad in CL?
We will need heavy investment to get anywhere even if we reach CL.

We deserved a win today, Arsenal are in for a tough time now in winter time with the games coming fast, plus the CL.

Tony Fearns
781 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:28:40
A last minute substitution from Martinez sums up Everton.

"Fuck you, we are are here to win."
Paul Johnson
784 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:28:23
MK talking shite mate. Look at the posts here. No one thinks we were lucky to get out of here alive today.

Everyone is buzzing of the fact that we thought we could win today, and then we should of. Put that in to context of our OFM and our board. I work in Africa 90% and the South Africans have it spot on – you cannot eat eat an elephant in one bite.

I watched the game in Nigeria were 70% of the population think the world revolves around Arsenal, guess what mate the 100% sat with me in a bar in Lagos walked out like they had escaped.

Let's give credit were credit is due MK it's is a fuckin joy to go toe to toe with these big time gobshites and I am telling you now in my 45 years of watching Everton we are as good as anyone at the moment and I am not a defeatist look at my mails over the years.

Brian Harrison
791 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:39:04
Well done Blues passed Arsenal off the pitch in the first half, just a pity the final ball was lacking otherwise could have come off at halftime a couple of goals up. I have to say I wasn't sure about RMs appointment in the summer, but boy has he proved all the doubters wrong. Yes I know there is a long way to go in the season but the style that we play with will not disappear between now and the end of the season. For me his signings have been spot on again I wasnt sure about Mcarthy and Barry but both have excelled this season, not to mention Lukaku or the sublime Delboy.

I think you would have to go back to the 80s team that won the league, since Evertonians have felt this good about their team.

Mark Taylor
798 Posted 08/12/2013 at 20:00:28
I'm with those who say 'the jury is out' and it being too early to reach any meaningful judgement on outcomes. We are only just over a third through the first season of RM's Everton so I don't think that is even arguable.

But clearly, it's an incredible start, way beyond my expectations. I'm honest enough to admit I wasn't as enthusiastic as some about RM, but I did expect to have to give him some time, since he was clearly wanting to change the way we play and that isn't an overnight accomplishment. It is quite extraordinary that so soon, we can actually play this type of football with some alacrity and match the so called big teams.

If my bucket is still half empty, it is just because I have been waiting several decades to see another great Everton team and you're only great if you win consistently over a sustained period. We all know the barriers that have been in our way in recent years stopping that. Hopefully the board will, for once in their collective life, take a risk and see if we can speculate to accumulate, in other words, give RM a cannon in the Jan window, not a peashooter.

Colin Glassar
800 Posted 08/12/2013 at 21:04:08
Welcome aboard Phil. He's changed our mentality in a few short months. Now the lads don't fear anyone. Moyes built the team, Roberto has just taken it to a new level.
Patrick Murphy
804 Posted 08/12/2013 at 21:06:01
Jimmy #779, Arsenal are sitting pretty with their last game in the CL, until March, coming up in midweek and they could be in an even better position by Christmas if they get the results against their rivals in the next month. I would be made up if the top 2 was to be Everton and Arsenal in that order at the end of the season as they both play the game in the right manner, but if you're right and Arsenal do start slipping up in the coming weeks it will make a tight top eight even tighter - we just have to hope we win as many games as is possible whether Arsenal fade or not.

Kieran Fitzgerald
806 Posted 08/12/2013 at 21:08:58
Never worry about your glass being half full or half empty. Worry about what is in it to begin with. Right now, we have champagne instead of water.

Seven points from three games in eight games. Stoke (h), Utd (a) and Arsenal (a). A cause for celebration in any context.

Mike Hughes
811 Posted 08/12/2013 at 21:27:50
If there's a song I should be playing tonight it's got to be, "I'm a Believer". I was always open-minded and prepared to give Roberto a chance. I had my doubts,though, in all honesty.

However, there's a real feeling that something's happening here. In short it's totally refreshing. From the players he's brought in to the positive attitude and substitutions. When did we last go to Arsenal with confidence and belief like this?

Even neutrals on the 606 programme were singing our praises - even the totally dull and vacuous Ian Wright. Alan "where's my fifth pie?" Green was complimentary.(On that subject, who's Tim Hard?)

Steve #636 - totally agree re : investment - let's go large. (Mind you Kone still irritates a bit).

Albert # 620 - I can't stand Cockneys. Had a bad experience with 3 of them (Chelsea fans) while in Basingstoke on Wednesday night. Do they all listen to Talk Sport and drive white vans?

Hope we can keep this going. It's great.

Jackie Barry
817 Posted 08/12/2013 at 21:36:55
Disappointing 2nd half? Crikey, I must have been watching a different game. RM has put Everton FC back on the map.
Raymond Fox
818 Posted 08/12/2013 at 21:42:10
I know one thing, we need to tie Roberto to this club for 5 to 10 years, anyone have any idea's how to do it?
Mike Hughes
824 Posted 08/12/2013 at 21:45:52
Raymond #818 - hard cash, used notes, briefcase.
Andy Crooks
834 Posted 08/12/2013 at 22:04:17
It appears that all the glowing comments and reports of our performance today are an exaggeration. I listened to Alan Green's report on radio 2 at 9 pm and we have got it badly wrong.

According to Green it was a dull uneventful game without much from either side. Certainly there was no mention of our goal being anything out of the ordinary.Green was obviously unimpressed. I fear that Roberto still has much to do.

David Price
844 Posted 08/12/2013 at 22:15:14
Clinical in the last third and yes MK we would've won today. However, we can all see this side getting better and better. Patience please, it's coming...
Anthony Lamb
845 Posted 08/12/2013 at 22:20:49
One of the most rewarding aspects of todays game, the Man Utd game, the Stoke game, even some of the disappointing drawn games, is the obvious evidence that these players are actually working at their game in their training and that there seems to be real communication between players and manager, together, one feels, with a lot of mutual respect.

Jagielka has always been an outstanding defender but with a dreadful inability to play the ball creatively out of defence. It is terrific to see him fighting this tendency to want to hoof the ball (straining with the effort at times!) and to actually play it – one can almost hear Martinez speaking through an earpiece to him "Phil, remember, no more than ten yards or you are off!"

The manager so far has been a credit to himself, the club and indeed the profession. Where it ends up, no-one knows but the evidence so far suggests that here is a man who believes in the creative aspects of the game and actually allowing it to do what it is designed to do and that is to entertain. The fact that the entertainment, particularly in the last four matches, has been excellent is a credit to him and the response of his players. he deserves every credit and every support from a fan-base who have certainly been starved of the enthralling aspects of the game for a little too long. Let us wish him every success.

Lee Courtliff
855 Posted 08/12/2013 at 22:45:41
Mark Tanton - I'm just sat watching MOTD and I thought EXACTLY the same.

Next summer Ross Barkley could be become a superstar. Just like Gazza after Italia '90.

So, so similar.

Jimmy Sørheim
864 Posted 08/12/2013 at 23:37:16
Overall, a draw is a decent result, but in truth to get into CL we needed to win since we played so well in the first half.

Lukaku was at fault for not passing and may have cost us the extra 2 points in the end.

Avoiding a loss against Arsenal was a must, and we did that thankfully.

Tony Rice
877 Posted 09/12/2013 at 01:15:00
Great results....but anything less than 7 / 9 pts. in the next 3 matches wastes these performances.....this is the real test for RM ! Can he get the blue boys up to take 3 pts from Fulham ? Hope so....
Jim Harrison
879 Posted 09/12/2013 at 00:58:19
I know its all moot now, but actually in the past few seasons Everton have actually given The Arse a good run for their money and last season was an away draw too where we matched them in nearly every aspect. Not as an impressive style of play but we are somewhat over doing the degeneration of seasons past conveniently ignoring a lot of what actually happened. Great performance, same result.

Thats not a criticism of Martinez in relation to Moyes or a defence of OFM. This guy has got the team playing a far more entertaining and often dazzling brand of football that if it is maintained will bring a greater chance of success (in many ways it already has) . I just think many are going over the top.

Another great overall performance. 8 points from the last 4 games is a great return. A few concerns though. Del Boy is an amazing talent, but you can see why he isn't in Spain at the moment. He gives the ball away very cheaply at times. A little more composure and he will be a fantastic player. Same goes for Barkley. The twists and turns are great when they come off, but I wish he would limit them to the oppositions half!! Giving the ball away to a team like Arsenal 40 yards from goal isn't clever, especially when your team is in the ascendancy. On the other hand, I suppose you have to try these things, when it comes off its great to watch. Only minor concerns though as their overall contribution speaks for itself, just hoping they can both make that move to true top level performers.

The only real issue I thought was Lukaku, I had the feeling he was getting a bit above himself. He looked very frustrated and made some very poor decisions in and around their area. Another player with fantastic potential, but I feel another striking option to not only put pressure on him but also to allow a different style upfront is essential in the transfer window. Looking at the bench and seeing Jelavic didnt inspire. The way Giroud held up the ball for them and made unselfish decisions was a good example for the lad.

Why do I sound so negative? Ha! Two great away results and just getting greedy. The Bobby Effect taking over, Nothing But The Best......

Patrick Murphy
881 Posted 09/12/2013 at 01:50:15
Jim #879, you make some salient points, especially about Lukaku, he's a cross between Drogba and Adebayor, he needs to be more of the former and less like the latter to really be a top striker. As for the likes of Barkley and Del Boy giving the ball away - well at least they have the ball to give it away in the first place, many of our squad have been guilty of giving the ball away cheaply, but the two youngsters can produce moments of magic and are well worth persevering with.

Fortunately Mr Martnez is also a perfectionist and I don't think he's the type to sit back and smoke a cigar before he and the team have achieved something tangible and I think that is the main reason most Evertonians are properly excited - even some of those fans from across the way have admiration for the way we are playing and that doesn't come easy for them.

Let's hope the players realise that the season is only just over a third gone and that they have to continue to produce the goods against the teams that they should have the better of, but it will still take hard-work and ability to achieve the desired results. COYB keep it going - it's been very enjoyable so far.

Lloyd Brodrick
884 Posted 09/12/2013 at 01:15:04
Awesome!, what a match and what a team we have on our hands. I was smiling all over my face at half time and it was interesting to see the neutrals in the pub start watching and praising Everton.
I can understand the few in the threads above being disappointed. I was convinced we would beat Utd on Wednesday and a little disappointed, on reflection, that we didn't score more.
I want Bobby to address some of the vision issues where the pass wins over the shot. There were a couple of opportunities against Utd where we swarmed in to the box unmarked and the pass was on, this again today were a cooler head will give us goals.
Still, I'm delighted, over the moon and thirsty for the next instalment...
Chris James
886 Posted 09/12/2013 at 01:21:49
I understand Michael's frustration and indeed this, like the Liverpool match, is one that could've been won with a little more luck/composure on the final ball.
Ultimately, though 8 points and undefeated from our encounters so far with Chelsea, Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool is something I think we'd all have grabbed with both hands at the start of the season.
Likewise, I think the point against Spurs was far from disastrous and our result against City, though disappointing at the time (as OFM seemed to have found a way to beat them previously), has been put in context by other teams' trips to the Etihad.
Overall our record against our realistic CL challengers then is pretty good (P6 W2 D3 L1 means we've taken 9 points and our opponents collectively just 6).
The thing that we should be frustrated about are the draws against the weaker sides, taking just 4 points from match ups with Norwich, West Brom, Cardiff and Palace would have been less acceptable pre-season. Three of these (if not all) are literally 4th tier EPL sides (i.e. not in the CL race, the European mix, or the mid-table mix, but actively battling relegation from day 1) and whilst some initial skittishness was to be expected at the start of the season, plus we did endure a little bit of bad luck, the Palace draw is the sort of performance and result we simply can't afford if we want to be genuinely in the top 4 hunt.

We have a run of 7 games now that all look eminently winnable (indeed we'll go in to all as favourites), the target has to be to win at least 5 of them and ideally not lose the other 2 (i.e. 17/21) to keep us ahead of the curve for RM's 70pt target and set us up for a genuine CL challenge.

If we can keep playing anywhere near the level we have in the last 3 games I think that's totally achievable, but we'll need to keep the intensity from the off and not start slow as we did at Palace.

Tim Jones
887 Posted 09/12/2013 at 01:32:36
The exquisite form being shown by Barkley just exemplifies the difference between Martinez and Moyes. Martinez says if you are 'good enough you are old enough', Daft Dire Dour Dithering Depressing Deceitful Disrespectful Davey Moyes on the other hand was reluctant to give Barkley a game even as a substitute last season.
Which is why Everton are now going from strength to strength under the positive thinking Martinez and Man U are languishing in mid table under a typically hesitant tactically inept Moyes. Dire Davey reached his ceiling at Everton and its abundantly clear that it was HE who held US back not vice versa, as all the deluded 'meejah' pundits wanted you to think. But which the more perceptive of us here on TW knew for years.
Mike Prendergast
889 Posted 09/12/2013 at 02:19:02
Is it just me??
Or do the player's play better when the manager is not shouting at them, the most basic instructions?

Such a refreshing difference from the old regime.
I did not want Martinez.
Boy I have never been so glad I was WRONG.

John Maxwell
891 Posted 09/12/2013 at 02:17:59
Great performance, feeling very proud of the way Everton are playing at the moment.

I was a Moyes fan but Martinez has us playing some great football and Everton are back !

My only concern is 3 of our best players are on loan, where would we be with Lukaku, Barry and Deulofeu ? Jelavic, Osman and Naigood would be on the pitch.

Patrick Murphy
892 Posted 09/12/2013 at 02:23:02
It made me laugh last night watching Man U and DM was barking out instructions to the young player, telling the lad where to run, and it was obvious the player couldn't hear him or chose to ignore him. Last week against Stoke RM was shouting at a player as he had failed to do something as instructed and RM cupped his hand to his ear and shouted something akin to did you listen to the instructions I gave you in the dressing room?

Paul Ferry
893 Posted 09/12/2013 at 02:32:19
You're a bit on the young side to be listening to Radio-2 Andy mate - 834.
Jim Harrison
895 Posted 09/12/2013 at 02:29:51
Patrick, Youre right. Thats why it is great that Bobby has stuck with Barkley where Moyes didnt. A few misplaced passes is the price for the sparks of genius I guess, and as he said last night Ross needs 50+ more games to get the amount of experience he needs. Less so with Del, as I think he is still a bit too mercurial to start at the likes of Utd, Arse etc. Great impact sub, though I think he should start against Fulham.

I had the same thoughts about Lukaku and Drogba. He has so many natural attributes in common, but not yet there. His steam rollering of Vidic on Wednesday was a great example of his pace and strength, but still a bit rash or indecisive running into the area with the ball. That composure will most likely come with more experience, and its great to have a player with a goal scoring record like his when he isn't even playing at his best!! Perhaps if he was looking over his shoulder at the bench and worrying that he may get replaced he would focus a bit more. As it stands at the moment there is no real option with any substance other than sticking Kev up front and he isn't a out and out striker. Then again, Spain won the European Championship without playing strikers every match!!

On a separate note, Pienaar was great again last night. Covered so much ground and created some good chances. A different player to a few weeks back. since the Palace game there seems to be a lot more emphasis on getting the ball forwards (on the ground mind) and players going on more runs with the ball. That pretty much addressed what most people were moaning about with the PAATB and has brought about some great football.

Harold Matthews
901 Posted 09/12/2013 at 04:05:10
I said the other day that, with so much stacked against us, a draw would have me believing in fairies. Sorry. Got to go. Tinkerbell wants another drink.
Andy Osborne
903 Posted 09/12/2013 at 04:08:01
I agree that it is too soon to judge RM, but what a start! I agree the we could/should have taken all three points in the Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal games. I agree that we have taken points off some of the top 4 teams in the last few years, so we were not as bad as some seem to be suggesting.......

BUT What excites me is that we are not grinding out results and then sitting back, we are playing an exciting brand of football, it has me on the edge of my seat, a part of my furniture that hasn't been used in far too long. We have confidence, style, teams fear us and we are not the finished article yet, nowhere near it. That's what excites me, we are going to get better.

I didn't expect anything this season, I hoped. I am starting to expect. I've been watching Everton since my first game at Goodison park in 1975 against Newcastle. I was lucky enough to have a season ticket in the eighties, my dad told me tales of the "School of Science" in the sixties.

RM, you weren't brought up with the Everton tradition, but, by god, you understand it. Thank you.

John Shepherd
908 Posted 09/12/2013 at 05:30:35
Great to watch Everton playing football again. I thought the performance today was outstanding. Yes, there's still a lot of work to be done on the training ground an a bit more fine tuning in the final third but, if we are playing to this standard now, then I'm really looking forward to the second half of the season when I reckon we will be opening teams up for fun. My only gripe at the moment is a lack of another centre-forward to give Lukaku a deserved break with games coming thick an fast soon he's gunna need a rest or he'll end up injured. Well done, Everton, an well done, Bobby.
Ajay Gopal
912 Posted 09/12/2013 at 04:29:29
With you, Jim (879), about Lukaku. He seems to have started believing his own hype – a classic reason for a player/manager's downfall. Frankly, he has been playing poorly as a team man for the past 3 or 4 games. If he wants to look for a player that he should emulate, he should look no further than (wait, let me put on my tin hat) — Suarez.

Yes, he is a vile creature, but what a player! Fantastic footballing ability – he is already the highest goal-scorer in spite of missing the first 5 games of the season. I hope he gets pulled in by Real Madrid in January – but I don't see that happening until the summer and the downside is that surely the RS will get mega bucks for him - almost Gareth Bale-esque.

But, what a great performance yesterday! As others have mentioned, can we translate the good performances to victories over the lower placed teams? That will be the acid test for Martinez over the coming 6-7 games.

Mark Wilson
920 Posted 09/12/2013 at 05:37:00
MK taking a bit of stick here yet I really get his frustration because I felt the same way... it's about raised expectations. What happened to all the screams about "ambition"? To the rallying behind Neville Southall's attack on the club for not reaching for the top? Well, here we are and it's happening before our very eyes. Gone almost in an instant are the days of "We are always broke but punch above our weight". Back are the days of "We are still broke but WE ARE EVERTON!"

That means we can be "disappointed" not to have pushed on that little bit further with two magnificent wins in five days. That means we can marvel at the progress, the delicious tantalising School of Science football and the sudden arrival of genuine enjoyment when going to the game, rather than dour "parking the bus" because we think we have to be inferior due to our "financial circumstances". That means it's okay to think that, if Roberto had brought on Deulofeu earlier, we could indeed have won this massive challenge.

However, it was a joy to watch us boss Arsenal for long periods, to see the style and swagger back in our players, with a confidence level that has much to do with attitude and sheer belief. Ross Barkley is now improving every week. He needs an injury-free run and lots more games but he's clearly on the way, no longer a question mark in terms of "if", just "when" and already a top player... if he can learn to release the ball earlier, to add a wee bit more poise and less excitement at vital moments, he surely is a Gazza at his best? But let's not forget that what is helping Ross to shine is the stunning acquisition of McCarthy for a bargain £13m and Barry for bugger all. They are making a huge difference and we will miss McCarthy next week.

Strangely games like this make me feel a bit less worried about life after Lukaku. His goals are brilliant of course and will help decide if we can make the top four this time around. But his overall play is surprisingly low-key at times, he barely wins headers and isn't that great at hold-up play, though his strength and sheer will makes him a massive handful for any defence. But I have some sense that the manager understands how he can replace him next season and that will start in January with an additional striker, probably at the expense of selling Jelavic but also another forward-looking midfielder who can augment our attacking options.

Now we have seven winnable games, seven chances to consolidate a massive improvement and frankly what happens during these games will decide the season just as much as this cracking week has delighted every Blue.

Steve Pugh
921 Posted 09/12/2013 at 06:29:32
Even after a week like that some people are trying to turn this into a "I told you Moyes was shit" rant. Do you guys keep telling your girlfriends/wives how much prettier she is than your ex, that she is better in bed etc, do you even have wives/girlfriends?

Point 1: Barkley. Had Moyes played him more at a younger age he could have turned out like Rodwell. It could be that keeping him back allowed his talent to peak and maybe Moyes would have played him this season as much as Roberto has. You just don't know.

Point 2: Roberto barks orders too, lots off them, and the amount of instructions given to Ossie when he came on...it is just a football manager thing, they all do it.

Point 3: David Moyes has gone. His only relevance is that he turned the club from perennial relegation fighters into a team capable of challenging for European places. Hit the proverbial glass ceiling. Then cheated on us with a richer club left us and said some nasty things.

Well I for one don't feel the need to sink to his level, we have a new manager, he is doing very well and I think we should all put our energy into supporting him and the players instead of all this small minded bitching about the past.

Rob Nunn
922 Posted 09/12/2013 at 06:22:50
Excellent. The only team to stop Arsenal playing let alone beating the Mancs.

We are on a role and we may have some bad results going forward but on the evidence of this and the last two displays all I can say is Roberto you are a manager.

To get them to play so well so quickly makes a mockery of Moyes Tenure. I was a Moyes supporter.

David Cornmell
924 Posted 09/12/2013 at 07:00:51
I don't understand anyone being disappointed with not winning against Arsenal. The first thirty five minutes were ours, but we didnt create enough chances. Ramsey forced a terrific save, Giroud was an inch or two from a thunderous winner, and Howard had to come and smother on a number of occasions. We're lucky Cazorla was playing; his final product was tosh.
I found the performance pleasing - we were confident on the ball, retained posession well and were certainly not in awe of our opponents. We went there to win. But by no means did we deserve to, and in all honesty, Arsenal probably shaved it.
There's good points and bad points - that was a good point.
Matt Traynor
930 Posted 09/12/2013 at 06:45:26
Andy Crooks #834, Alan Green has bugged the shit out of me for years. Colin Murray was sacked from the BBC for being too opinionated - too much pundit, not enough presenter, and yet Alan Green has been as biased as they come for a couple of decades.

We could win the league playing sublime football and that twat wouldn't acknowledge it. He's no longer on 606 but he still pollutes the commentary on 5live. I wish the BBC would pension him off altogether or relegate him back to Northern Ireland.

Harold Matthews
945 Posted 09/12/2013 at 08:58:22
Never listen to 5live. BBC Radio Merseyside is terrific. Maybe it's only for locals. I don't know. Alan Green is not even liked by his workmates.
Tony Dove
970 Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:06:49
Nice to see Tim Howard back. That Amla fellow should stick to cricket.
Brian Harrison
998 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:06:28
Tony when I saw Howard come on the pitch I thought oh no Tim the beard was a lucky omen, now you have shaved it off it might all go wrong. But the beard was just a fashion thing and Tim proved with or without his beard he is in terrific form.
Brian Denton
017 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:06:21
Here's a comment from some little shit on the Telegraph website:

"Why is there even an Everton? These kind of teams are a pain in the neck. they never actually challenge for the top but they present a tiring trip out to pummel them back into their mediocrity. It was clear that the strategy was to deliberately foul every time they were getting beat. I agree that the referee has to impose himself early when the game is being deliberately played this way."

I hate the way the financial structure of the Premier League gives free rein to calling us a small club. At least in 1985 (those of you old enough will remember the picture of Everton with all the faces whited out to show our 'anonymity' which appeared in the southern press) we could stuff it back up them by cruising the Title. Now if we even get near to it, our players will be tapped, 'decisions' will go against us etc etc.

Brent Stephens
022 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:23:02
Steve #921 - can't say fairer than that, mate.
Brent Stephens
024 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:26:25
A number of posts are having a go at Lukaku's performance (yesterday and of late).

I think there's a different view. He's actually doing a hell of a lot of running and getting into some great positions - the ball just isn't being released to him quickly enough. Barks was immense yesterday but I suspect the reason Ossie was brought on was to see if we could get the quick ball to Lukaku - I noticed Ossie had a word with Lukaku as soon a she came on.

Brent Stephens
025 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:29:34
* "he" came on!!!

Sorry Mrs Osman (both of you).

Jonny Flynn
032 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:41:23
You can’t possibly criticise Lulaku. His workrate is savage and defenders are so scared of him they are leaving space for our other attackers. If he got injured, I dread to think what may happen. He’s vital to us. Look how West Brom are struggling since he left.

Keep it up, lads... never as proud to be Blue.

Charles Brewer
195 Posted 09/12/2013 at 21:32:26
Of the "loanees" ( which has suddenly become worse than being mafia funded in the PR wars), I think Lukaku would be the most readily replaced. While an intelligent, powerful player, I don't think he has the sheer instinct of Barklay or Deulofeu, maybe he could convert his physical skills to turn into a Drogba,

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