Arsenal 1 - 1 Everton

Roberto Martinez had pegged the New Year as a vague target for when Gerard Deulofeu would start making his mark on the English Premier League but the impatient teenager is on an accelerated timeline of his own making. It seems as though the narrative of every Everton game is heavily influenced in some way by the Barcelona prodigy these days and he delivered a nasty plot twist for Arsenal to digest, earning the Blues a richly-deserved point in the process.

The Spaniard came off the bench to deliver the kind of incision that Martinez's increasingly composed side had generally lacked in the final third up to that point despite an astonishingly accomplished performance over the rest of the pitch, rifling home an 84th-minute equaliser just when the league leaders looked to have cruelly won it through a Mezut Özil strike with 10 minutes left.

That would have been rough justice on Everton who would end the game with a share of possession clocked by the statisticians at 56%, having out-passed and often out-played a team who have been utterly dominant on their own patch in the League since their shock opening-day defeat to Aston Villa. Coming on the heels of a midweek win at Manchester United, it was a performance that firmly establishes the Blues as contenders for the top four and wholly vindicates their new manager's rapidly-instituted evolution in playing style.

Martinez kept faith with the side that started at Old Trafford last Wednesday and his team immediately established a vice-like grip on possession, one they wouldn't relinquish until more than 40 minutes had expired and Arsenal suddenly found some room to breathe under a suffocatingly determined and tenacious Everton display. The Blues dictated the game with a self-assured arrogance at times – this against the most consistent team in the top flight so far this season and one that can, itself, pass its opposition into a spell – and the only thing missing was the killer final ball or the right decision made in a split second to open the Gunners defence up.

It meant that while Everton would go into half time having controlled two thirds of the possession – at The Emirates, of all places! – they were no doubt ruing their failure to test Wojciech Szczesny in the Arsenal goal during the first period.

They had a couple of nearly moments amid some wonderfully precise and confident passing. Seamus Coleman ended a break sparked by the effervescent Ross Barkley by skidding a tempting ball across the penalty area and, after the youngster had won a corner, Sylvain Distin lashed a half-volley from the edge of the box wide.

Coleman and Mirallas then both missed with more speculative efforts from the edge of the box and Romelu Lukaku, for whom chances would be like gold dust, saw a drive blocked by the defender in front of him before it could trouble the 'keeper. On the whole, though, having so much of the ball and so much say in the tempo of the game kept Howard's goal untroubled and it led to increasing restlessness among the home fans.

Arsenal, for their part, didn't manage an attack of note until the 27th minute when Santi Cazorla rolled the ball dangerously across Tim Howard's six-yard box but there were no red shirts there to convert. And it was until the last five minutes of the half that Arsene Wenger's side started to put together the kinds of penetrating passing exchanges that Martinez must have been fearing more of before the game.

Twice Arsenal sliced through the Blues defence before the break but Howard, sans beard, was alive to both situations and denied first Olivier Giroud and then Aaron Ramsey with excellent saves with his legs.

The home side carried that quicker tempo and elevated level of performance into the early stages of the second half and Cazorla had a chance when Jack Wilshere cushioned a volley across goal to set the winger up right in front of goal but he headed straight at Howard from six yards out.

But Everton remained a threat on the break and when Phil Jagielka, of all players, led one counter in the 53rd minute by scampering forward on the overlap and laying it inside, Barkley flicked it on with a beautiful backheel to meet Steven Pienaar's run but the South African probably hit his drive too true and Szczesny beat his effort away with both hands.

Back at the other end, Howard did well to push Ramsey's volley at the back post behind before James McCarthy, putting in another enormously effective, high-octane performance in the Everton midfield, somewhat harshly picked up his fifth booking of the campaign for a high-footed challenge. It means he will miss the home game with Fulham but will be available for the festive programme.

Confusion between Ramsey and Mikel Arteta just inside their own area then created a great chance for Barkley who seized on their indecision and unleashed a vicious shot from 18 yards but, again, it was too close to Szczesny, although it took an awkward double-handed parry for the 'keeper to deal with it and Coleman's centre from the rebound was disappointing in that he couldn't pick out Mirallas who would have had a clear shot on goal.

Wenger's frustration with the pattern of the game was illustrated perfectly with a rare treble substitution in the 67th minute that saw Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini all introduced to try and turn the game in the Gunners' favour. It almost worked to perfection when Flamini popped up in space inside the box but, thankfully, he pinged his shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Martinez had delayed the substitution of Pienaar for Osman for a few minutes to see how Arsenal's changes affected the pattern of the game but the veteran midfielder was introduced with 20 minutes left and he was involved in what was perhaps Everton's best move of the match, a delightful interchange of passes that ended with Osman releasing Mirallas behind the defence and Szczesny tipping the Belgian's shot behind. Everton kept the ball after the resulting corner was cleared and Distin headed over at the back post.

Mirallas was substituted a minute later and Deulofeu was introduced but he'd barely had time to get into the game before Arsenal scored. Rosicky flighted a ball over Bryan Oviedo to Walcott who headed back across goal with a first-time header and though Giroud completely missed the ball right in front of goal, Özil was on hand at the back post to bang it into the roof of the net.

How the Emirates burst into premature victory song, accustomed as they are to having things their own way here. But Everton are no wilting flower these days and Deulofeu had other ideas than an Arsenal win that would have put them seven points clear at the top of the table.

The move was created by another precocious surging run by Barkley who fed the ball to Oviedo and he delivered a rare early cross from the left into the heart of the defence. Lukaku missed with an overhead kick attempt and the ball dropped to Deulofeu about 15 yards from goal and with three defenders between him and the goalkeeper. A couple of neat touches with the outside of his right foot were all the Spaniard needed to engineer the space he needed to smash home an audacious, stunning shot that was past Szczesny before he'd had time to extend his arms.

There were a few subsequent minutes where it looked as though the momentum had shifted decisively in Everton's favour and a typically rampaging run from the halfway line by Lukaku in stoppage time carved open the chance for a clear shot on goal from 20-plus yards but powered it narrowly over.

That was almost that but Giroud almost produced a winner out of nothing when Jagielka's clearing header from Jenkinson's cross fell to him 25 yards from goal. The Frenchman took the ball down neatly and despatched an Exocet on the half-volley that cannoned off the outside of the angle of crossbar and post.

So, another terrific Everton performance earned a draw that was probably a fair result on the day and brings the Blues a return of four points from a possible six where, in recent history, they have often collected nothing. It keeps them fifth, just two points off second place and preserves their excellent recoerd of just one League defeat all season.

The manner in which they consistently passed their way around and through Arsenal was a joy to behold and marks an incredible transformation from the hesitant, profligate passing that was so often the Blues' undoing in the centre of the park in recent years.

Having established an ability to control games through possession against even the very best teams, the key for Martinez now is to find more consistent end product from his players in the final third. Some would argue that he doesn't have the players to could achieve what teams like Arsenal can the way they slice their way through opposition defences with mesmerising passing, but there were occasions today when the Blues were the Gunners' equal on that score, albeit in deeper positions.

A closer partnership between Lukaku and Mirallas would help – the latter Belgian was disappointing today – as will more experience for Barkley, something he is gaining every week, in fine-tuning his radar as to when to release the ball and to whom.

Overall, though, the way this team is developing under Martinez is hugely encouraging and his immediate challenge is to ensure that this level of performance continues now in upcoming matches which is side is expected to win. The Blues are certainly well positioned going into the Christmas programme with easier points in the offing; now they just have to take them and see how things are shaping up vis-a-vis the chase for Europe in the New Year. Onward and upward!

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Harold Matthews
932 Posted 09/12/2013 at 07:43:26
Great report Lyndon but I don't know about "easier points in the offing". Of all the sides we've met this season, Arsenal were the slowest at closing down. Southampton and Sunderland will be all over us like a rash and judging by some of the recent Premier League results, nothing can be taken for granted. Like everyone else , we're in for a very tough time between now and the window and will need to be at our best in every game.
Saegaran Kana
933 Posted 09/12/2013 at 08:19:36
Well written sir and I share your enthusiasm. If we get the 12 points in the next 4 matches then we've reached 40 points at halfway point in the season. Keep it up and we're looking at 80 points by the end of it. Exciting times indeed.
Raymond Fox
935 Posted 09/12/2013 at 08:26:53
Like Harold, I think 'the lesser teams' are banana skins.
We are suited better to playing the top teams because their playing to win making the games open affairs.

In the 'easy' games we'll be running into a massed defence most of the time!

Paul Gladwell
936 Posted 09/12/2013 at 08:36:56
The thing with running into massed defences these days is we have lads like the Spanish kid and Barkley, who will always open teams up no matter how many defenders are in front of them, what a feeling to be able to even think that after years of centre mids and full backs like Gary Naismith being played wide in midfield.
Mark Palmer
937 Posted 09/12/2013 at 08:35:43
Very, very proud Evertonian right now. We were amazing - up to a point - yesterday. We're getting much more comfortable playing from the back and RM has clearly instilled a no fear attitude. And, that includes no fear of making mistakes. So nobody puts their head down if they muck up. What we need to realise is that Lukaku may get marked out of games now so others need to step up and hurt opposition defences. What's great is that now, nobody's gunna fancy playing us home or away. That hasn't happened for a long time. Well done Roberto!
Raymond Fox
940 Posted 09/12/2013 at 08:51:55
Good point Paul 936, but its dangerous to think we will perform at the same level every match, not as easy for the players to lift themselves all the time.

Were in a very good position right now,
but in the next 7 matches there's bound to be ups & downs, that's football.

Mike Green
941 Posted 09/12/2013 at 08:58:27
I thought we were fantastic yesterday, went toe to toe with the league leaders and came away with nothing to choose between us - if not a shade above them.

Every weekend from here to the New Year has a match with the top four facing each other, and Spurs / Southampton etc are dragged into it too.

Crucial we carry on as we are, get our heads down, get Goodison rocking and be totally ruthless over the next few games. If we do I think we'll be sitting in the Champions League places and then it's all in our hands.

Immensely proud of our team and manager - well done boys.

Mike Green
942 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:05:26
I'm not sure many people have done it but special mention also for Tim Howard, he's kept us in the last two games, top man.
Ray Roche
943 Posted 09/12/2013 at 08:48:59
Well, I've just watched MOTD which I recorded last night. I'm struggling to think of which word best suits my current feelings. Furious? Angry? Seething? Incandescent? Yes, all of those, and more. Anyone who watched the match live or listened to a gracious Arteta admitting Arsenal were dominated for the first 35 mins (I thought it was more like 40 myself but there you go) or heard the Sky commentators "awesome" comments describing our performance, would be bemused at the few moments of real possession that we had in the first half, according to MOTD coverage.

In fact, Arsenal appeared to be the better, more adventurous side. Only if you noted the little "22mins" in the top corner and then "35mins" which appeared in the first two passages of play which were shown, which were both Arsenal attacks, would possibly explain why EFC appeared to be second best. As a public broadcasting service and one which has, historically, been a byword for honesty and accuracy, one would expect the BBC to give an accurate flavour of a the game, or indeed, anything on which it reports.

Anyone watching would think that Arsenal shaded the first half and were the better second half side. This is not the case. The usually woeful analysis bit with Hansen and a.n other were more accurate in their comments but this is yet another example of media bias in favour of the so-called big 4, or big/Sky 6, now that the Shite and City have slewed the common perception of the Big Clubs in the Prem.

Is it just me, or did any other Blues feel more than a little short changed at our coverage ?
Barry Roberts
949 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:11:44
Ray, T'was ever thus.
Mike Green
951 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:11:13
Ray - the did exactly the same in their coverage of the Man Utd game I thought, there's still clear bias across the media. If Liverpool had put in the performance we'd put in yesterday they'd be turning themselves inside out.
Benn Chambers
953 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:11:14
I'm 30 years old and I've never seen 'My' Everton play like this. Under Roberto Martinez, we are simply outstanding. Coached to perfection, every player knows their role inside and out and the tactics and decisions are always spot on. It's no accident that all of Roberto's substitutions yield rewards.

When we played Stoke and he dropped Ross and Mirallas, I had a go... What do I know? I'll never EVER doubt Roberto Martinez.

I defended his appointment to the hilt at the time of his arrival, as did I with Barry's and McCarthy's signings, and now a lot of people are eating humble pie and asking for afters!

I can't remember being this proud of our team, ever. The swagger and arrogance just makes my jaw drop and I search Martinez press conferences just to listen to him. A total footballing gent with class, dignity and above all else, immense knowledge of the game. No wonder the media have always loved him, how can you not?

Onwards and upwards, Blues.

Sam Morrison
954 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:12:27
Ray, I agree with you in principle but in practice producing 'highlights' is a tricky job. Possession in and of itself does not a highlight make, and it's pretty accurate to say the chances on goal were what they concentrated on.

That said, looking at the whole media I do think our season is being glossed over. But like I posted on the forum yesterday there's a lot going on for the media to get excited by. Arsenal are resurgent. Man Utd are on a downward spiral. Man City can't win away and Chelsea aren't the unstoppable force many thought Jose would instantly make them. I actually thought the analysis post-highlights on MotD was pretty good.

In one sense it's disappointing that we're not given much attention - but in another it might suit us. Less pressure on players and manager... although tbh I think Martinez could handle it.

James Lauwervine
955 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:14:01
Totally agree Mike 942, Howard has been brilliant recently.

Ray 943 MotD shows highlights of goal chances so will never reflect the overall play, it was a similar story in the Man Utd highlights. They made it pretty clear in the ’analysis’ that we had played extremely well and deserved at least a draw. Not that I’m a fan of MotD.

The way we passed the ball yesterday was just awesome, we totally outplayed them in the first half, yet it was a bit frustrating that we didn’t create any clearcut chances when we were so on top. It would have been incredibly harsh if we had come away with nothing.

I have no worries about the upcoming 7 matches, Martinez has them fired up and full of confidence. I can see us getting around 15 points from those seven games which will put us in a nice position for when we go to Anfield and give them a long overdue battering.

Benn Chambers
956 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:18:58
Oh, and on a separate note... How good would it be if Wednesday's episode of 'Gogglebox' was all of us, watching David Moyes watching us out-gun the gunners in their own back yard?

I have my images of him sitting in his arm chair with empty cabs of Tennants Super, all crushed amongst his feet whilst he Eff's and Jeff's "Fuck off you lot, you's didn't play like this for me!" And has a right go at his Mrs about class we look.

Haha the thought just makes me smile. The 6th of June this year was a turning point for Everton, one that was long overdue. The arrival of Martinez has woke up a sleeping giant of British footy!

John Shepherd
957 Posted 09/12/2013 at 08:47:00
I tried to get a point across on another post last night that after 15 games we are performing at that level with a new style of football, my only concern at the moment is over using our 20-year-old loan striker. Although I disagree with a few on the other post about him having a bad game, I think it's more to do with the opposition fearing what damage he can do. He is heavily shackled at times and we need to find a way round that.

With a bit more fine tuning in the final third (remember how dodgy we were when we were getting used to playing it from the back) then we will be scoring for fun. But, when it's all said and done, it's great being Blue; any neutral watching the game yesterday would have to sit up an take note that Everton are playing beautiful football and have a great manager.

More of the same, please, Everton, because my half-season ticket is on its way back and I'm really looking forward to the New Year.

Trevor Lynes
962 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:33:54
No games are easy nowadays and any team seems able to beat almost any other side on their day. We need to use the fixtures coming up to keep the foot on the pedal and push for as many points as possible. In the past we have struggled to beat the so called lesser sides and drawn too many games. Now we need to take our chances and really challenge for the top.

We could do with some other players chipping in with goals as Lukaku is getting marked really tightly. The best way to loosen the marking is for Barkley and Osman to score a few. Its great to have fine build up play but we need to finish better. Its no wonder Liverpool held on to Suarez, if we had him we would be top of the league !!

Incidently, the media has always shown bias for Manchester and London clubs.

Ray Roche
963 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:25:52
Mike, Sam, James, I can agree with you that goal scoring chances are important, I can also agree that "possession" stats can be very misleading, as are goal scoring chances. A team can have 3 goal scoring chances and appear, with clever editing, to have battered the opposition. However, to see Arsenal completely outplayed and unable for long periods to get out of their own half by a team playing superb attacking football was worth showing and thus would have accurately reflected the game as a whole.

Sam, as you say, there is a lot for the media to get excited about, especially the way we have been playing ourselves, but I still don't think that we are getting as much attention as the likes of Spurs or that other lot do. Do you think "Arsenal held to a draw" would be the headline if it were LFC or the Spurs? I think it should have been "Arsenal escape with a point" myself.
Derek Thomas
966 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:28:16
Here in Oz both the local free tv and foxtel (sky) get their news bites from uk sky, this is what the ABC local radio ( equiv Radio Merseyside ) came out with...

Premier League Giants Arsenal ( wait for it ) LEAP! to 5pts clear at the top of the table, now in days of yore this would mean they ( or who ever ) had thrashed somebody and gone from 2 pts clear to 5pts, in one, well yeah Leap.

The punchline that came after this 5pts clear Leap was not quite mumbled in a low voice, but it was a bit of a throw away...In 1-1 draw with Everton.

No wonder we get bitter, well some of us anyway

David Ellis
968 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:38:07
Harold @932 - I am sure we won't win all those games against "lesser" teams. Its really hard to maintain the level of performance. However I think it is more about how we perform than how much "pressing" the other teams do. As Stoke found out if they press too hard too high up the pitch the create more space for us behind.

Earlier on the season we struggled to deal with high pressing from the likes of Palace and WBA. But I feel our defenders are more comfortable on the ball now and the midfielders move the ball more quickly. As a result the high pressing game may just play into our hands.

I watched the Fulham Villa game yesterday and the commentators noted that Fulham did not press high up the pitch and this made life difficult for Villa who are quick (and therefore good on the counter attack), but lack the guile to break down a massed defence.

Everton on the other hand can counter attack quickly against a high pressing team - and also have the guile to get round any parked bus (Barkley, Pienaar and Deulofeu)/ and/or a battering ram in Lukaku.

If we play as we have done the last 4 matches I don't think the lesser teams can live with us. Southampton will be an interesting one but they have now picked up a few injuries and they have not dealt with the so called big guns as well as we have.

Sam Morrison
969 Posted 09/12/2013 at 09:59:46
Yes Ray. I should qualify that I expect the media to get excited by those teams going on (the media's) past form; I don't agree that that is the only angle to take. It's just what has become the norm.

There are exceptions - the Guardian is usually pretty balanced at Phil McNulty at the beeb seems not to be sky-four obsessed.

But I still think the lack of attention might be a good thing right now.

Ray Roche
974 Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:13:55
Sam, the lack of attention thing might, on reflection , be useful. Martinez is already apparently Utd's, Arsenal's whoever, next manager.
On the BBC integrity issue I really should know better. 30years ago I was involved, in a very small way, in one of a series of BBC documentaries about the service providers, in my case the old GPO Telephones/BT, and when the programme was televised I was astonished at the way the facts were manipulated and twisted to suit their itinerary. I began to question the BBC values from then on.
Eugene Ruane
982 Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:02:23
A few random thoughts.

Something I'm loving right now and actually think is important, is knowing that there is a whole army of young/younger blues getting a taste of what it's like to support a confident/cocky/fearles Everton side who are playing Everton-style football.

Another thing that really encouraged me recently.

After the excitement/adrenalin of the derby, I thought there was a good chance the Stoke game could be a let down.

Why?

Conditioning I suppose (it's my Pavlov's blue response).

What I mean is in the past, after getting us all worked up by a great performance, we have often (immediately after) been let down by a performance (against a load of cack) lacking ideas/clue/effort etc.

Not so against Stoke, we did exactly what most of us would expect us to do to Stoke at home - paste them.

Some of our football yesterday was truly fantastic and our attitude even better.

Ok, we're not going to with the Champions League but we shouldn't underestimate ourselves either.

We've beaten The Champions on their own ground, drawn away at the league leaders away, beaten Chelsea and got draws against other sides who have outspent us massively.

(nb: and after some of these draws, we've been gutted knowing would could/should have won).

RM and the players have set (themselves) a high standard but seem really up for it rather than scared of it.

I think most blues appreciate that with our (lack of) finances, the chances of a PL title are virtually non-existent, but (as we now see) there's nothing preventing the team/club/manager buying into the idea of 'fortune favours the brave' and giving us a few thrills along the way.

As for being ignored by 'the meeja', I actually like us being under the radar at the moment - the less distraction the better imo.

All we need to concern ourselves with right now is...Fulham.

Kevin Tully
984 Posted 09/12/2013 at 11:19:28
All the Arsenal fans saying we are the best side to come to their place this season, that tells you something. What really gets on my tits was when we had to listen to the likes of Graeme Sharp, or Ronnie Goodlass giving Martinez pelters for trying to change the way we play. Kendall had a pop in the Echo a few weeks back as well.

These 'experts' didn't seem to understand what the man was trying to achieve, when it was clear to many ordinary fans on here what the problem was for years - we couldn't keep the fecking ball, and we invited pressure at these bigger grounds.

Now they are all singing his praises a few weeks later for keeping the ball, and passing out of defence instead twatting it.

They probably think nobody remembers the drivel they were spouting a month ago.

Sharp was Martinez's biggest critic by the way, clearly the old Jocks club looking out for each other there - Prick.


Sam Morrison
987 Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:07:10
That does't surprise me Ray. It's not by any stretch just the BBC though - all television is edited to maximize drama/friction/conflict. It's a double-edged sword - to those not involved it makes more compelling programming. To those with a vested interest they're inevitably either misrepresented or the complex issues get reduced to idiotic levels.

The worst culprits are the ones where dysfunctioning families are dragged onto tv to have shouting matches. Er... but getting slightly off topic here...

Ray Roche
989 Posted 09/12/2013 at 11:40:07
Eugene Ruane , some good and interesting points there. It is really good that the younger fans can have a taster of what we have gorged on in days past and the ,almost inevitable, comedown after a good performance in previous years. Oh, how true that is.
Your line "Some of our football yesterday was truly fantastic" was the reason I posted my earlier comments about the accuracy and fairness of MOTD. Our football WAS fantastic and I feel the highlights should have show that rather than listen to The One And Only Phenomenal Mogadon himself for once heaping praise on us. We could do with less of that bollocks and more accurate highlights.
Patrick Murphy
990 Posted 09/12/2013 at 11:48:03
Kevin #984 as JFK observed "Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan."
Ray Roche
992 Posted 09/12/2013 at 11:49:41
You're right, Sam, getting a bit off topic but I've had a chance to justify my Mr Grumpy birthday mug.
Sam Morrison
995 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:01:22
Many happy returns!
Paul Gladwell
997 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:11:03
Bollocks to MOTD, just been reading a few Arsenal sites and the things they are saying really made me smile, "know one has done that to us this season, not even Dortmond" etc
just loving this new Everton at the moment, there was a time not too long ago when the only smile I got was Howards own goal when going the game at home was horrible, now we have fans creaming at the thought of going a home game v Fulham and Stoke!!!
Tony J Williams
002 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:21:07
"After the excitement/adrenalin of the derby, I thought there was a good chance the Stoke game could be a let down.

Why?

Conditioning I suppose (it's my Pavlov's blue response)"

You have been reading my mind again Mr Ruane.

It's nice now that I no longer fear going into games against anyone.

That is the first time for an extremely long time that II have ever seen us outArsenal Arsenal...

Eric Myles
006 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:05:37
Sam #969 "Phil McNulty at the beeb seems not to be sky-four obsessed"

Funny but for many seasons I thought McNulty was a redshite the way he wrote about hem but the other week someone told me he's one of us?

Tony Marsh
007 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:05:57
This current Everton team is the best I have ever seen. It plays a better style of football than the 1984-87 side and it has more flair and skill than the 1970 Championship winners, I think. Feel free to correct me on that.

Martinez has shown us all what I have said for years: Moyes was holding us back. Moyes had brainwashed many of the younger generation of fans into thinking we were a small-time outfit lucky to be in the Premier League and lucky to have him. I am of the belief that Everton are one of the biggest clubs in the country and always have been. We were led up the the garden path by Moyes, he corrupted our way of thinking. Everything Moyes was at Everton he took to Manchester with him. Only trouble now is he is under intense pressure to perform and win every game.

Roberto Martinez, with very little fuss, has restored EFC back to were we belong. I used to scream at Everton fans who accepted mediocrity as the norm... What we have now is what it should be like. No matter how Moyes tried to put it across, we are not a Stoke City, a WBA, or a Bolton; we are not a Newcastle, a Sunderland, or a Man City. We never yo-yoed through the leagues. It's over 50 years since a relegation. Historically, we are a giant of English football and Martinez acknowledges this and embraces it.

Things are on the up at the club. We are a joy to watch and other clubs will now fear us instead of the other way around. Moyes is a distant memory and Sin Miedo reigns supreme.

Mike Green
010 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:39:44
What was odd for me yesterday was when they went 1-0 up I was disappointed but genuinely thought if we went on to lose it was neither here nor there, we'd shown what we were made of and deserved something whether we got it or not. No sour grapes, no persecution complex, just an overriding feeling that the odd result will inevitable go against us but if we play like that week in week out there'll be no complaints from me. When we equalised I hit the roof, and in the end we took a point away that no one could begrudge us. To compare what we did yesterday against Man Utd playing 4-5-1 defensive football at home was light and shade and long may it continue..

They're a Grand Old Team.....

Mike Green
013 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:50:05
And don't get me started on the Barry / McCarthy axis! Upon that rock our success will be built - awesome. :)
Colin Wainwright
014 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:47:27
What a whingeing bastard Wenger is! I know it shouldn't surprise me, but I was shocked at the "dirty Everton/goal should have been disallowed" cack, and the amount of papers that led with it. Makes me fuckin' sick.

Great performance by the Blues. Proud of the football we're playing at the minute. Fuck them all Everton, just keep on proving them wrong.

Mike Doyle
016 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:02:24
Eric 006

I was at De La Salle with Phil McNulty. As I recall he was a blue (and wanted to be a journalist from a young age).

On a separate point, has anyone noticed that Roberto's football philsophy is very similar to Sir Dave Bailsford's approach to cycling, i.e. a focus on preparation and performance as the long term route to success, while accepting that in sport the occasionally glitch (e.g. dodgy penalty, wicked deflection, puncture, collision) will cause you to lose occasionally. Will the January transfer window produce some more 'incremental gains'? - lets hope so.

Ray Roche
019 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:17:16
Thanks Sam (although, Just like a Suarez tackle, it's few days late! )
Brent Stephens
020 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:09:55
Mike #016, yes, I did post a week or so ago about the similarities with Brailsford. In my mind, similarities in terms of the cumulative impact of small gains...

...Oviedo now seems a defender as well as good going forward. Jags and Distin seem more comfortable on the ball, and Jags playing it on the ground; Howard throwing ball to feet etc, etc.

Si Cooper
021 Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:14:14
My take on the MotD coverage was that they showed the best goal-scoring opportunities in the initial package but then went on to show multiple examples of the good play exhibited by Coleman, Oviedo and Barkley in the discussion piece which addressed the earlier disparity.

They seem to like this format and I can understand why they don't want to show the same clips repeatedly, especially if there is no actual end product or controversy about them.

The comments also made it clear how well we had performed, so I am surprised that people are seeing an extreme bias in what was shown on the BBC last night. Maybe it is because I do not generally set much store on information gathered from only one source that I can't really see what the furore is about.

For the record, I much prefer what Sky used to call 'Football First' as 50 minutes of highlights from any game can pretty much be relied on to give a true account.

Mike Doyle
029 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:25:50
Brent 020. Sorry I must have missed your earlier post. Judging by the comments on TW, the last 3-4 performances have gone a long way to convincing many doubters that what you and I have shrewdly identified as 'The Martinez/Brailsford philosophy' is the way forward. It's all very scientific too ... so maybe we should be referred to with an appropriate phrase. How about 'The School of Science'?

Irrespective of MoTD, Sky etc, our manager's approach as no gone unnoticed by other discerning footie fans. Neither has the progress of young Ross (I work with a couple of Chelsea fans who would like their club to buy him now).

Brent Stephens
031 Posted 09/12/2013 at 13:42:55
Mike, Ha! School of Science. A nice ring to it. Give it a go, it might catch on! Much better than The People's Club - meant nothing to me.
James Lauwervine
039 Posted 09/12/2013 at 14:00:46
Had to post this that I just received in an email from a mate who went to the game yesterday: "I like Gareth Barry.. not just because he’s immense and made Jack Wilshire look like a stupid little kid but mainly because he wears traditional looking black football boots (no fluorescent greens or pinks)… even his footwear symbolises steadiness."
And Ray, for what it's worth he also said "The only bad part was the appalling edit that MOTD stuck on telly last night… unbelievable how a match (particularly the first half) can be so ridiculously misrepresented. For long periods Arsenal genuinely couldn’t get out of their own half… I don’t even remember a home match that we’ve so completely dominated".
And finally, the most amusing part: "I was right by the divide just a few feet away from the arsenal fans and there are no words that can adequately describe the elation of when that equalising goal went in just a few minutes after they’d all gone insane thinking they’d scored an undeserved winner. They were still singing “one nil to the arsenal” as the cross came in and Lukaku tried his overhead kick… a moment later I was literally buried under a sea of scallys leaping towards the arsenal fans with middle fingers generously extended. A little way along from me a large man rang his hand in the air to simulate masturbation in the face of a disappointed chap in a red scarf."
Stuart O'Malley
048 Posted 09/12/2013 at 14:35:51
I think
Stuart O'Malley
050 Posted 09/12/2013 at 14:44:33
sorry dog jumped on my lap and hit submit!.....what I was trying to say was I noticed how howard only kicked the ball long maybe once, always looking to roll it out short. Rarely done that in previous seasons. Moyes on sky sports now, looks pissed.
James Lauwervine
051 Posted 09/12/2013 at 14:50:01
Apologies for the rogue characters, comes from pasting text in no doubt.
Ray Roche
055 Posted 09/12/2013 at 14:55:59
James, that's brilliant, and I feel somewhat justified in my Grumpy Old Man missives earlier, seeing as I'm not the only one slightly pissed off with the Beebs editing.. Cheers!
Phil Friedman
058 Posted 09/12/2013 at 14:53:38
Let the media blather on about others, inflate the others' self-importance, we let the results speak for themselves and don't rely on talking heads for validation. We're confident, well-coached and hungry. People will find out for themselves.
Brian Harrison
061 Posted 09/12/2013 at 15:00:19
I think if 12 months ago we had been without Baines,Gibson and Jelavic going to a top of the table Arsenal we would probably have feared the worst. We have played 3 of the so called Sky 4 away from home so only Chelsea left away, so just proves that apart from City our only defeat the rest hold no fears for this resurgent Blues. I genuinely believe that first half performance made a massive statement to the rest of the teams that Everton can go to Arsenal and pass them off the park, then the rest better start worrying. Sometimes in football its the perception of what you can do that scares teams and makes them play in a slightly different way.

So I think in our next 5/6 games we will see sides coming to Goodison with a view of 1 up and 10 behind the ball, which makes it a little harder and may require a fair bit of patience from the fans.

Raymond Fox
071 Posted 09/12/2013 at 15:11:08
As far as MOTD coverage is concerned, I too was disappointed with what was shown in the first half but as a few posters have already said, they do tend to concentrate on goalmouth incidents, & have time restrictions to deal with.

To be fair to them, they were lavish in their praise of our performance, and also gave the possession figures.
I think we have to appreciate that ManU, ManC, Chelsea, Arsenal and dare I say RS have more neutral supporters than we have at this time, their main focus is on viewing figures.
With our new manager at the helm, all we need now is some substantial backing from the clubs hierarchy & we can scale the heights once more.

PS. It does show though how misleading highlights programmes can be & that applies to every game we watch.

Patrick Murphy
078 Posted 09/12/2013 at 16:13:49
Brian on the subject of teams coming to Goodison and 'parking the bus' it will be a test of the fans patience as you say. But given how the team has performed in the past month, it would be only right and proper if the supporters reciprocate and get right behind the team and try and push the team to victory in what will prove to be tricky fixtures - because the more points we can accumulate in the next month will probably determine whether we have a good campaign or a great one. What we don't want is a quiet Goodison as the Emirates home crowd was for the majority of yesterday's game. Let's roar the team on and give them the encouragement they have earned and who knows where we may end up this season.


Brian Denton
092 Posted 09/12/2013 at 17:02:38
Tony Marsh #007. What a fantastic post - the third paragraph especially should be cut and pasted by all Everton fans and e-mailed to MOTD, 606, newspaper 'Comments' and anywhere else it needs to be seen. It's only by banging on like this that the Sky generation will maybe get it through their heads. And maybe the Entwistles.....?

Don't necessarily agree - yet - that this is better than 1970 or 1985. But Christ isn't it great to even be thinking in such terms again?

James Hughes
098 Posted 09/12/2013 at 17:08:51
Tony #007 & Brian #092

Third agreement here, for me amazing football on display yesterday, a truly wonderful sight,

Tony, spot on about Moyes's 'small club' mentality and 'we are lucky to be here'... It was true when he first took over, but I believe he held us back and was too negative in his approach.

Thankfully he's taken his small club mentality to Manure.

Darren Hind
130 Posted 09/12/2013 at 18:41:57
Excellent report Lyndon

I was in agreement with you when you called for Mirallas to be played closer to Lukaku in your match report a couple of weeks ago, but I’m having my doubts, I just don’t feel he is doing enough.

Lukaku didnt have his best game last night but his movement was relentless, every time we gained possession he was off, across ths back four, coming short, offering the run for one over the top . . .he got through a prodigious amount of work. Mirallas on the other hand didn’t.

It seems harsh to complain after such a fine team performance, but it seemed ( to me at least ) that Mirallas was either unable or not prepared to match the energy levels of everyone else. everyone around me was screaming for Del boy to replace him.

I’m a big fan of KM’s but I have this feeling that he may think he has already "made it", Would love him to prove me wrong over the next few weeks

Kiern Moran
211 Posted 09/12/2013 at 22:59:38
A Moyes apologist writes...

And with that opening can I bury our former manager and praise our current one? I know that it's early days. But really, as a 30-something Evertonian I think this we are playing the best football I have ever seen Everton play.

I do not know what Martinez has done on the training ground but he has taken a basically sound defensively side and added an elite attacking element From front to back we just look better and we pass it through back to front quickly and with purpose.. We keep possession unlike a British side, if anything we look Brazilian at times and is testament to this is how attacking our fullbacks are and Baines has not played the last three games!

If we lose the ball we win it back quickly and then we just look so composed on the ball. We use the ball very intelligently as a unit and one where the players clearly have confidence and belief in each other. Whilst equally defending as a unit, Mirallas and Deulofeu do this as well as any other player.

Howard who I have been critical of in the past, has been outstanding, seems in his prime and release the ball quickly and well. Jags and Distan are unquestionably the back two. Strong defensively and at times operating as auxiliary midfielders. Whenever Coleman picks up the ball I am excited he will make something happen and seems the equal of Baines on the right and all over fullbacks just keep running. We have a group of midfielders anchored by Barry & McCarthy that lets us think of squad rotation with Lukaku upfront, a handful for any side.

And I don't want to say any of this for fear of cursing it! Plus I apologise for not mentioning Pinaar, Barkley or Osman by name because Martinez seems to have every player playing on full gear. The first forty minutes against Arsenal I wondered why we were playing in red. I just hope we can keep the energy up and find the funds to give to Martinez in January. The king is dead long live the king.
Christopher Timmins
421 Posted 10/12/2013 at 17:29:11
It's a revolution in the manner in which the team plays and in the mental approach. We have now played every team in top 10 with the exception of Southampton and to date we have accumulated 15 points


Arsenal 1
Chelsea 3
City 0
Liverpool 1, Tottenham 1, Man Utd 3, Newcastle 3 and Aston Villa 3. Champions League form without a doubt!

Paul Holden
514 Posted 10/12/2013 at 22:25:08
Went to both manure and the Arse - what a great week - and met Martinez and team at Manc hotel before Old Trafford - magic!

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