Everton took on Aston Villa at Goodison Park after the disaster at Anfield, bringing out Lacina Traore ahead of the kick-off to be introduced to the somewhat subdued home crowd in freezing and windy conditions. Martinez gave Aiden McGeady, his Premier League debut.
An early free-kick wide left let Baines swing in a a good one and in the follow-up, McGeady smacked it against the far post, with an excellent opening gambit.
Baines was fouled again in a similar location, this time it was defended away despite a very good delivery. Everton continued to work the ball but were hitting something of a brick wall in midfield as the similar styles of each side promised a lively passing game but with the defences both on top.
Everton's first corner came on 23 mins but was not effective, although the follow-up saw some excellent passing and moving around the Villa area, but they could not get near enough to the Villa goal. Everton then created a somewhat faster attack but McGeady's shot was poor.
Villa got forward and swung in a great cross that was headed away from the danger area by Jagielka but there was precious little goalmouth action, as another Everton attack saw Osman bizarrely pass back to no-one on the half-way line. Osman was then meat in the sandwich on a hospital ball from Baines, who was remarkably getting caught offside by the disciplined high line Villa were playing at the back.
Villa got a turnaround unfairly off Barkley in the middle, Benteke strong, feeding Bacuna in plenty of space, he drove the ball very easily through Howard to give the visitors a shock lead against the run of play after 34 mins. Everton got forward well in response as the game finally threatened to come to life but and acrobatic Mirallas attempt was blocked by close Villa marking.
Everton kept pushing and pressing, dominating possession in midfield, but the quality and invention was lacking, with no answer to the solid backline Villa defence that was stalling each Blues attack, with Martinez bereft of options on the bench to change the seemingly inevitable.
Martinez did make a change at the break, but more likely enforced, with Barkley going off early as he continues to recover from a fractured metatarsal; Pienaar replaced as Eveton started the second half in similar vein, unable to get past the Villa backline who played the offside trap to perfection.
Better was to come form Mirallas who finally got ahead but no-one showed for his low centre. McCarthy then drove into the area but again the Villa defence was in quickly to snuff out the danger. A good cross from Osman was just too high for Mirallas as Everton tried to raise the tempo and force an equalizer. Osman did run through but scuffed his shot horribly off a defender.
A stream of Everton corners but they were not really executed effectively, the third a shocking short corner played back to Baines called offside... although he did not actually play the ball! Stones did well to feed the ball in to Osman who turned well but scuffed the ball horribly again with those 'clever feet'.
Some more great pressure and more corners, Pienaar finally getting a sight of goal and hitting it cleanly but straight at Guzan. Later, a great free-kick swung in by Baines, but it came off Benteke's face, just wide.... the ensuing corner again poor as Baines tried to vary the pattern, with Naismith coming on to replace Stones.
Everton seemed to be seeing an inch more space and it was some wonderful neat play, a great ball clipped forward by Pienaar and Naismith poaching the goal superbly to level the score finally after immense Everton pressure and determination,
Finally, Everton had something to show for their Herculean efforts, spoiled by a horribly overhit corner from Mirallas. Tiredness seemed to creep in as the relief of avoiding defeat seemed to see the intensity drop a little.... but it did not need too much effort for the go-ahead goal from Mirallas, won won a free-kick that he and Baines lined up tovtake. It was absolutely perfectly executed by Mirallas from a very long way out, curled perfectly over the wall, Guzan watching it all the way, past his flailing arm and inside the post, hitting the side netting. Just superb stuff to finally reward a very large Goodison Park crowd with something to really cheer about, and just 5 minutes left of the game.
Hibbert replaced McGeady as Everton kept pushing up, Naismith with a wonderful chance to plant a header either side of Guzan but sending it straight at the very fortunate Villa keeper. Albrighton almost got something at the other end with a shot defected just over Howard's bar but Everton saw out a tremendous comeback victory in the end.
Under extremely difficult circumstances, with a massive and extremely debilitating injury list to a whole team of players. on the back of a massively deflating derby defeat earlier in the week, Everton pulled out a massive, massive win in front of a massive Goodison crowd.
Scorers: Naismith (74') Mirallas (84'); Bacuna (34')
Everton: Howard; Baines Y:88', Jagielka, Distin, Stones (70' Naismith); McGeady (87' Hibbert), McCarthy, Barry, Barkley (46' Pienaar), Osman; Mirallas.
Subs not Used: Robles, Garbutt, Coleman, Vellios.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar (80' Albrighton), Clark, Baker, Bertrand, Westwood, Delph, Weimann (87' Tonev), Benteke, Holt (61' El Hamadhi).
Subs not Used: Helenius, Steer, Sylla, Lowton.
Referee: Robert Madley
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004 Posted 01/02/2014 at 15:48:04
005 Posted 01/02/2014 at 15:52:43
006 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:01:57
007 Posted 01/02/2014 at 15:59:35
With Kone injured, Vellios not rated, he let's Jelavic go and now Lukaku is injured. How does he think Mirallas will cope? Certainly not with Osman or McGeady.
Villa have this game in the bag thanks to the shortsightedness of Martinez.
008 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:06:24
I don't see how you can blame Martinez, he didn't know Lukaku was going to get injured before the giant was ready for a game.
I thought we would be lucky for a draw here and still do.
009 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:09:52
010 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:59:03
011 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:00:18
012 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:56:23
Personally, I think Osman gets a lot of stick (some of it justified mind) but at least he gives it a go; he probably wouldn't be in the team if everyone we're fit.
We need to start turning our possession into more chances and being a bit more skillful and creative, but I'm not moaning. We play some fantastic football and I'm a huge fan of our new style of play.
013 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:59:22
and only FOUR fouls committed.
What a bizarre game!
Fantastic win though. Tremendous spirit, resolution, belie,f determination after the shocker on Tuesday.
014 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:54:20
Naismith as an out and out striker who would have thought and took that chance so well. Better finishing he could have had three. Hope he keeps it up and they play him more central in games to come. Barkley crocked again.
015 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:55:42
We need A DEFENCE SPLITTER. I thought it was Barkley but I don't know now.
We showed determination. Had 70% of the ball but it's what you do with it that counts. I feel we were fortunate to win in the end. I should'nt should I?
016 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:56:35
It’s all about attitude. Get that right and it’s like having an extra man. Would you say today looked like we had an extra man?
I thought so. Villa looked like they only touched the ball about three times. I also thought our new Irishman played well and wait till he’s fully fit, what a gem!
017 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:59:19
019 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:58:12
020 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:03:39
I caught bits of the second half and Naismith seemed to do well. I delighted for him. Three goals in two games now. Hopefully a sign of more to come.
We now have a full week before our next game, hopefully this will give the walking wounded more time to come back to ease selection worries.
021 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:01:51
I like especially the fact that Mirrallis pushed Bainsey off to take the free kick and scored a cracker.
I can't remember which season it was ,there have been too many, but we had no recognised striker then and we still carried on winning games with Tim Cahill.
Maybe Mirallis is becoming the player we all hoped he would be
Well done to the team and some lovely tweets from Lukaka to the team on the BBC sports page
Of course I wasn't going to mention MU losing but I can't resist it.
022 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:02:36
Villa defended well but thank god we broke them down after the derby disaster.
McGeady played well and McCarthy started to regain the form he has lost recently in the 2nd half.
Great result and very proud of Roberto and the boys
023 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:02:31
I didn't go the game due to illness but it shows character to come back particularly in our situation (injuries, thin squad, low morale etc.)
We're right back in it now and - sod it - we can make top 4.
The Anfield debacle illustrated the differences in respective squad depth as well as their class finishing. We had a massive off night and were poor. But with first team players coming back, we've got to show more and more character and grit.
David #011 - I agree completely.
024 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:00:13
We have been decimated injury wise and relying on a patchwork team to deliver and today they played for that shirt. Naismith was superb when he came on (I accept he should of scored a simple header) Mirallas, baines, barry and mccarthy were solid. In a nutshell we are 5 points ahead of Utd, 1 ahead of spurs and 1 behind the reds**te and the cup coming up with Lukaku back in 2 weeks, Lacina ready in 10 days,
Dela back on Tuesday, Coleman back any day soon, Barkley nearly 100%. We are in good shape. Come on be happy - great result today COYB! Allez Allez Allez oh...
025 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:06:09
026 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:01:53
Its always difficult when you don't have real quality, match fit players who can break down sides who play like that, especially when they get a goal to cling to, with their only foray forwards. We don't have a Hazard, Mata or Cazorla which is the quality of player it would take to have a decent chance of getting through that kind of defence, so I think the criticism of Martinez is mis-placed. How exactly is he meant to significantly shake things up? Play long balls up for Mirallas to battle with 3 centre backs?
Martinez didn't have a lot of options today, but changed it around as best he could. I was really impressed with Naismith and Osman who both played really well - can't believe I'd ever say that. Mirallas was on a hiding to nothing playing against a side who put so many bodies up there. Barkley looks off the pace and hopefully not injured, McGeady shows quality in glimpses and I suspect it will be a while before we see the best of him.
The player I was most disappointed with was Distin. He continually gave the ball away with really rubbish passes.
027 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:13:28
028 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:13:53
029 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:10:39
030 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:12:41
This result edges us ahead in the most played fixture in English football.
I'm made up for Naismith. When he first came along with Jelavic, he was virtually forgotten as Jelavic appeared prolific. Who'd have guessed that his Everton career would last the longer of the two?
One nice "bonus" following our infrequent defeats this season is not having to listen to Phil Neville's post match "motivational" soundbites. "We need to do better etc. etc."
031 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:21:38
032 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:20:15
033 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:14:27
Let's go on a run.
034 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:20:06
Keep the ball moving and in possession and we'll always have a good chance of a result. Well done Bob re the changes and well played boys, particularly in midfield. Interesting how we looked more dangerous when Barkley went off.
035 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:27:50
036 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:28:32
The gods were smiling as the teams around us all dropped points, so all in all a thoroughly satisfying day.
The derby defeat still hurts badly but RM deserves credit today for turning that around.
037 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:26:22
038 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:29:46
039 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:29:21
040 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:22:02
041 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:35:38
042 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:26:22
Good to see the manager making changes when needed during the game. It's amazing what a win like that does; it's cold, windy and wet but I couldn't care less!
043 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:38:14
044 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:40:07
045 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:44:34
046 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:44:53
048 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:46:13
Everyone knew what Villa were going to do, sit back and hit us on the break. Yet we started the game at home with two holding midfielders and three centrebacks on the pitch.
As ever we rely too much on the fitness of Pienaar. When him and Osman are fit and in form we play well. When they’re not we don’t have enough to break these defensive sides down. We need more play markers in the side not defensive mids or wingers.
Naismith has always scored when he plays up front. Criminally underused by two managers in a row. What he lacks in touch he makes up for in good finishing, intelligent runs, and proper centre-forward play.
049 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:42:16
Massive massive win today.
050 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:48:25
As far as a confidence booster after Tuesday's debacle was concerned, those two goals couldn't have come at a better time.
Well done guys, well done RM - take a bow!
Now back to me gin.
051 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:52:42
052 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:57:41
053 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:47:18
054 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:34:06
Too many people start moaning and groaning when it's not going well. The game is 90 minutes, the players keep going, let's give them a chance. How many times have we scored in the last 5 minutes over the last 5 year???
055 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:51:11
A very frustrating game to watch. First half was shocking with a lot of clueless football being played. The amount of offsides was ridiculous.
Good three points in the end. I hope this new striker can bang a few in and inject a bit of pace up front. We can’t rely on Naismith although he’ll always score his fair share when played in his right position.
056 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:01:17
What game what he fucking watching.
Also, supposedly Barkley coming off was a tactical decision.
057 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:00:48
Today, as Gerrard says, was all about the result and the 3 points for many reasons not least the confidence of the players. Baines was more like his old self today and his drive and determination helped to spur the team on at an important stage of the game. Villa are no mugs, and their record at Goodison in the last few years proves that, but we just had enough quality to make the difference and, in my opinion, Everton fully deserved the win and were not fortunate to win in the least.
059 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:03:15
060 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:02:39
Ossie cannot influence game from the half-way line as he doesn't have the pace or strength. Also, Naismith is a much better player in the centre, either as lone forward or as a No 2 off a big lad.
It's a dilemma that Martinez has to sort out quickly; Barkley is a huge potential but Ossie does actually link players in better than Barkley does at the moment.
061 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:02:35
063 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:04:53
064 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:09:48
Some of our fans are fickle beyond belief sometimes
065 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:12:21
066 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:45:47
067 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:11:46
However, how wrong we were, right back in the fold with Spurs and Man U both dropping points and Liverpool facing a tough test tomorrow.......
The weekend could yet prove to be vital in the run in..........
COYB - we are with you all the way!!
068 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:08:57
Not to mention that if Hull can walk away with some against Spurs...
069 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:14:16
Hard to take them seriously to be honest.
070 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:18:14
071 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:00:46
Hopefully Barkley coming off was tactical. Next week that team plus Coleman and Pienaar in for Stones and Osman, should get a lot more chances versus Spurs, with Deulofeu as impact sub!
Happy Days!! Come on you Toffees!!
072 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:09:11
Under the circumstances, all things considered, that is one of the most important results of the season. We HAD to respond to midweek. A negative result would have been a roadblock on any momentum.
The home form is vital and must be maintained. Away wins are hard to come by in this league and in reality a draw at Spurs would represent a very good result, it would cancel them out as well. But there is more emphasis on it now, especially after not picking up the three at West Brom. Its in games like that we have to capitalise.
We left ourselves huge tasks at the back end of last season, needing wins at Spurs and Arsenal, and the draws were tinged with disappointment, when in reality we were excellent in both games.
But anyway.... made up today, made up for the players. I would love to see us stay in the mix till the end of the season. That would represent genuine progress.
We ain't perfect, we can't be with our squad size, and Martinez is having to bob and weave at the minute, but we showed we're not ready to fade out just yet.
073 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:22:27
074 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:22:23
075 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:20:12
While he will never set the world alight, he always gives 100%, is excellent in the air for his size and most importtantly knows how to put the ball in the net. I wouldn't have him in our starting eleven with a fully fit squad but he is an excellent squad player.
I wouldn't mind knowing what his stats are like for goals scored per minutes played?
076 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:28:16
077 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:23:51
If only the Board gave a modicum of support to managers who get us into a good position by New Year, I would have some optimism. I'd even be glad to see a further influx of Wigan players!
078 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:30:39
079 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:25:44
The good ship Martinez still sailing along nicely
080 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:35:39
I think you are spot on. We had the usual pro / anti Ossie debate before the game, even though I'd promised myself I'd stop getting involved.
The funny thing the anti brigade still won't see it, claiming he can't last 90 mins, he goes missing etc etc. Personally, I thought he showed leadership today and along with Pienaar and Baines were the standout performers.
081 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:39:42
Tom Bowers @ 007 particularly gormless: "How does he think Mirallas will cope? — Fucking brilliantly — that's how. He's really stepped up in the last couple of games and that free-kick was right out of the top drawer.
082 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:40:53
084 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:39:45
Great win today fantastic team effort. As a previous poster stated it is a shame Pinnear isn't 22, but as he isn't we need to find a replacement.
I think we will do better than expected this season especially with all the injured coming back over the horizon.
Looking forward to seeing how the giant links in with the team
085 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:30:25
086 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:43:15
090 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:46:50
I reckon though, when the games get tight and you go for two up top, Naismith comes into his own, with a natural predatory instinct, similar to Cahill. He doesn't just 'Pop' up, he knows where to be, and we have been given a little bit of evidence to show he knows how to finish. My best bet is the bench for him, and second striker when he comes on, because given how go at teams, he will score goals as part of a two-man strike force.
It was noticeable to me when McCarthy moved to right-back, but more like a right-winger, that due to our dominance we could afford two strikers with Osman right behind and it worked. It won't always but it did today.
091 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:53:22
092 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:51:20
Next week we will have more players back and will be stronger still. Great result today and full credit to the manager and the players.
093 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:45:39
If you want to see players who brought shame upon the shirt then you should check out some of the yard dogs who played for us in the early 70s or 90. And what about some of old uncle Walter's boys? Nyarko, Linderoth? Alexandersson and OAP's Gazza and Ginola, and Nev playing on his last legs etc...?
At least these lads have skill and passion for the team.
096 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:48:34
097 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:58:34
098 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:00:30
099 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:33:16
The second half re-organisation paid dividends with more sustained pressure in the areas that count. Still too much pointless passing at the back against a team who were happy to retreat and try to protect their one goal lead (if Lambert considers that to be excellent, rather than merely very disciplined, then he has very limited ambition).
McCarthy was simply spectating at times in the first half, but he wasn't the only one who seemed satisfied as the game passed them by. He really woke up in the second half and made an important difference, especially when supporting McGeady when Stones went off.
Mirallas worked hard and scored a fantastic goal but he got caught offside far too often. With his pace he could have kept a yard off the offside line until the ball was played and still been favourite to make it his. Needs more work if he is going to lead the line more often.
101 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:06:45
102 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:04:32
103 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:06:38
104 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:54:01
I mean it wasn't as if we were playing bad. We were pissing round them and it was only a matter of time before the first goal came.
Maybe I am getting old, but some of the comments here and on the live forum today were really over the top. Martinez is not God, he will make mistakes! He has been at our club just over half a season. He is doing good. Today again, he showed he can turn a game around.
Pienaar and Osman were great today, and Mirallas is getting better every game, but must play wide. Have a nice weekend!
107 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:14:24
no idea how it got connected to dubious meanings.
Thank God we didn't cock up today.
108 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:17:19
109 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:10:59
110 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:18:23
112 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:18:37
113 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:21:45
I do hope you meant passing and not pissing.
115 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:20:34
Made up for Naisy. He's a forward not a right or left winger. Great to see him get a chance through the middle and show what he can do.
Works hard, has an eye for goal and clearly loves being at Everton.
Bang on Nev, some people need to get a grip.
Onwards and upwards!
119 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:27:24
120 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:33:37
122 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:31:54
It was not a foul, it was a good tackle. For all his ability, he still has to learn about where to play and where not to play, no problem for me as long as he develops.
I think he got a more sympathetic reaction than if some others had made the same mistake... no names, no pack drill.
124 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:29:37
Onwards and upwards, Coleman back next week with Del Boy and maybe Traore, plus a fitter Barkley... maybe the storm that others wanted our lads 'fined a months wages' for is coming to an end!
COME ON, WEST BROM'!
125 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:19:52
Ross is an attacking midfielder, not one to play off the striker and he is playing there for now whilst he gains experience and when he loses the ball it is not too dangerous (that's the theory I think).
At home against most teams we could put him CM and a more natural attacker up front – not a problem against the bigger teams as they will try to come out and play which leaves the space which Ross can exploit.
I followed the live forum for a while today and was disgusted by both the negativity and appalling language. We all get worked up during a game but true supporters do not direct such bile at their own players — everyone does better if they feel supported but I can't ever recall a player improving because his "supporters" direct abuse at him.
Made up for Nais and Ossie!!!!
126 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:33:24
We’ve seen the passing work (at the Emirates) but it involves the other team wanting to get on the ball which neither Villa nor Liverpool wanted to. In those circumstances players like McCarthy are not much use as he doesn’t have the craft to break down a stubborn defense. We missed Gibson for this game but ultimately we are permanently missing Arteta. Had we gone to Anfield and been allowed that much poossession with Arteta in the middle there’d be no question we’d have created more. As it was we were completely blunt due to the McCarthy Barry axis.
128 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:40:32
Maybe only 'Hibbert's brace secures Champions League football' would surprise me more.
129 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:34:30
Ossie looked like the only player capable of doing something for long periods of that game and Naismith scores again when he gets to play his favourite position. I've seen loads of him for Rangers and he always looked sharp when played up the top. People forget that he had a horrendous couple of injuries. Hopefully the boo boys can lay off them for a few weeks.
Things are beginning to look up again, if West Brom can manage a draw tomorrow we can look forward to Traore, Coleman and Deulofeu coming back into the side.
131 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:38:18
What a complete difference from last week. When we play RS we seem to develop an inferiority complex. We also seem to go out of our way to make stupid mistakes. We handled Villa far better than they did a few weeks ago.
132 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:41:37
Mirallas caught offside far too much first half but what a goal!
Well done Nais, Showed fight and running everywhere.
Jags and Stones very dodgy at times.
Barry off the boil.
133 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:48:06
We are doing very well much better than under OFM
Keep the faith
134 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:47:09
135 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:47:00
James Martin pines for Arteta who for the last two years of his tenure passed it sideways and backwards and hardly went forward, plus always got by passed
In the derby.
136 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:34:16
No reason at all why he can't do the same against the top teams if he's given that quality of ball. That's the main reason we got killed on Tuesday, the quality of RS through balls that led to two of their goals were unplayable; if the forward's run is timed perfectly — they're gone!
137 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:48:07
138 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:54:14
142 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:09:57
143 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:05:00
Naismith is not your RVP type player, who is! But he'll score against any quality of team if he's given the passes to run onto.
Lukaku either hasn't the ability yet, to time his runs well enough, or he's not getting the quality of ball to do it, that's the main reason for me why his goals have dried up.
144 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:01:39
Yes, we have a small squad, but Roberto wants to bring in the right players, and there were non available in this window. It's a difficult balance between getting in numbers and getting the right long-term players who will significantly improve the squad. This situation has been exacerbated by the unusually long list of injuries. This is also an opportunity for the youngsters to step up and make an impact.
Still, onward and upwards. I still love you, Roberto.
145 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:58:28
One criticism - and someone else had the footballing intelligence that I do not to point this out on another thread:
Is there any reason why every corner is an outswinger?
Not bitching, just sayin
146 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:18:02
148 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:15:54
149 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:25:44
It was pretty painful to be honest and I think we got out thought by Rodgers. However at least we tried to have a go, we went out believing we could beat them. As it happened they played well, shit happens.
Today the team showed character, probably our most important win so far this season.
150 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:57:51
Recently, we've had some rotten luck re injuries and it was obvious from the selection that certain players (on the bench) almost certainly weren't ready for a full 90.
However he didn't moan or curse his luck, he made what he thought was his best selection under the circumstances and got on with it.
And...it didn't work.
Well, certainly not in the first half - the first half looked really odd, like he'd picked a defence and a midfield and..forgotten about an attack.
Plus with no Coleman runs on the right, Stones 'not entirely comfortable' at right back and no Pienaar on the left, it just looked a bit..um..toothless.
(plus some of them REALLY need to work on their concentration re passing - a lot of it was incredibly sloppy)
So second half he brought on Naismithm a player who has his limitations and his (imo far too critical) critics, yet he immediately gave their defence something (different) to contend with.
Worked his nuts off (as he always does) aided by Pienaar's introduction, which gave them even more to contend with.
We weren't great today but we didn't give up, we kept going and we absolutely deserved the points.
Plus is there anything more satisfying than a keeper who has been wasting time, suddenly rushing to get the ball up the park?
Up the toffees!
151 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:28:43
153 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:42:44
Good way to recover from the derby. Lets hope WBA help us tomorrow.
154 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:32:41
156 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:46:14
158 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:25:02
160 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:42:30
[Some of you might think I've lost my marbles or been trampled by an elephant, but those of you in the know will understand me.]
163 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:41:28
164 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:51:19
You must be right - people who do not agree with you must never have played the game or understnd football. Or is it that they have but don't concur. McCarthy was peripheral for the whole of the first half, better in the second half but was moved to the right wing to accommodate more creative players in the centre. Perhaps Martinez doesn't understand football or agree with you?
166 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:54:18
I don't think he's ever been played in his best position which is as a No 10 playing off a striker. He is not a midfield player, his ball retention is not good enough.
However he has good movement and he finishes well. Is he good enough in the long run? I'm not sure... but he's certainly not as bad a player as some have portrayed.
167 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:53:31
Nevertheless 3 points in the bag and that without a world class striker.
168 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:00:44
169 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:39:08
They covered the history of the club along with Aston Villa & said that the match today was the most played fixture since the pro game began. Also talked about all the good work the club does in the community, free school etc.
Then they interviewed Roberto, what a charmer he is, you can see the regard the guy is held in by interviewers & ex players who were working for the BBC. As per usual, he answered every inquiry with perfect sense & ease.
My only concern is that we're not the only ones who can see what a quality manager & person he is. Just hope he stays for a long time.
170 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:56:59
Barry has been poor the last three games and McCarthy was very poor 1st half because they are having to try to do more with the ball as we are not creating from out wide.
Both of their strengths lie in winning ball and short passes. Gibson is not as strong defensively but offers another dimension as he passes the ball much better and I feel (if he can ever get and stay fit) he is the future alongside McCarthy.
172 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:06:19
174 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:08:59
I still disagree, I've watched it a few times, it was a good tackle.
Ross played in the wrong place, it happens with young players, especially those that have the balls he does. He will learn from it.
176 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:13:26
179 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:20:46
181 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:06:49
However, I do get frustrated with the slow build up play and the messing about with it at the back (all high class problems, when we win).
I think nuts for me is pivotal, its no coincidence that when he's rubbish we are! - thing is, he's so inconsistent - would of been a world beater if he could find some consistency.
As for super Kev - always rated him - world class without a doubt. Not sure he's a forward though.
I must apologise as well for my negativity on the match thread - been having a bad day!
182 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:23:03
What is true and nobody can deny is that we do not score enough goals to be in the champions league challenging places. The top four score far more than us. Everyone reads Martinez as a progressive, attacking manager. But we are the only team in top seven places who plays two defensive midfielders. I do not like it.
183 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:09:26
He never moans, lets his head go down or cheats and seems very happy to do a job for the squad throughout the season as and when required. I think some people are deluded or expect ten Ronaldos on the pitch every week. I like to think of him a kind of Alan Harper type or- maybe at a push if given the chance - a Graham Stuart type of player. Either way he tries, he plays for Everton...get behind him!
184 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:19:21
I think the corners were all outswingers because Villa packed their 6 yd box with their tall guys, maybe zonal marking.
185 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:26:28
188 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:32:35
190 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:34:29
Arsenal and Liverpool play 4-2-3-1, both play 2 deep midfielders.
Its the reason, along with a tight, experienced back 4, that we are very sold and give little away. Its a cracking system that promotes flexibility and solidity and means you can get a lot of attack minded players on the pitch.
These days those players tend to be attacking midfielders/wide players.
Firstly, our attacking mids/wide players don't score enough goals. Although we looked a lot more potent early on this season.
Secondly, we have no depth up top and Lukaku has 9 goals. We have had no option on giving him a break and no legitimate cover.
Put it like this. If Thierry Henry from back in the day played for us, we'd win the league.
193 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:39:34
Over half the season is gone, we've kept hold of our best players through 2 transfer windows, Baines is signed up for 4 more years, playing some of our best footy since the 80's, 1pt out of a champions league spot, last 16 of the FA cup with a home draw coming, but you aren't satisfied because we're playing 2 'defensive' midfielders and should be doing better.
195 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:37:51
197 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:48:40
199 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:37:19
I think some people expect a little too much of Everton and think because we're not winning three or four nil every week we have somehow once again cheated the football purists.
Why do you think teams come to Goodison and park the bus? Did Chelsea not slip-up at home to West Ham in midweek? Given time and a better understanding of our method of play the players will become more adept with this style and we may well hand out a couple of hidings to teams in the coming months.
But the fact that the whole of the bottom half of the division could be relegated calls for patience from supporters as many games will be similar to today's. It's unfair to judge Everton against the free-spending clubs but it doesn't mean we are a poor team or that we don't deserve to be up there challenging.
200 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:44:37
With the way Villa approached the game today it was tailor made for someone like McCarthy to say to himself "I am going to go looking to get on the ball as much as possible and help make something happen." At times he was very static when it looked like the defenders were hoping for someone to make themselves available. He wasn't playing badly, just not as brightly as I would have hoped, and was as much at fault as any other for the generally slow tempo we were playing.
Second half he was miles better in terms of using his energy and strong running ability, especially when tasked with slotting in behind McGeady after Stones went off. I understand that in some ways he may have been operating to instructions but I would still expect a professional player to act on their own initiative when the opportunities arise to move things up a gear.
201 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:55:53
What is unbelievable about thinking we could be doing better with what I think is a very good squad of players? Are you saying that 4-0 to the shite or draws with West Brom home and away or draws with Stoke and Palace are the best we can aspire to?
Why are we not beating these teams, teams which in my estimate at least we are far better than regardless of whether we spend £100 million. Are you satisfied to have 70% possession and no goals?
203 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:51:15
204 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:03:35
205 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:08:36
206 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:43:26
Although we didn’t play particularly well today I was impressed with the discipline shown by Martinez in his selection and his game plan. Some were bemoaning the lack of a plan B even with the injury list we have. Others bemoaned the lack of spending in January. Naismith did well today and while he is not the perfect striker he works hard and gets in goal scoring situations. Osman did a good job for us today and again he is not the perfect midfield playmaker but his performance was a positive one today.
207 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:01:59
We were also playing a team who gave Liverpool a right bloody scare and should have whupped them, so this was never going to be an easy game. Considering just what few options we had, I thought we were excellent today.
Sure, there were misplaced passes and we seemed scared in the first half, of letting go of the ball and I think that was an after-effect of what happened on Tuesday. Even so, our players pulled their tripes out, never gave up, and it must have been gutting for them to see the opposition score the way they did.
Still, they came out in the second half and tore into Villa who, whenever we attacked, had seven, eight or nine men back and they were quite disciplined with it. I thought they played well.
I was chuffed to bits for Naisy. What bottle the lad has and what a work ethic. It seems to me that he had a real torrid time under Moyes and I felt for him. I think he's a decent player and in and around the box, he's dangerous.
I also thought the introduction of Pienaar made a big difference as well. He gave an outlet for Bainesy and the both of them began to tear into Villa. The first goal was a good move and a great ball from Pienaar and well finished by Naisy.
It was good to see Kevin not giving up. Some say he was ineffective but he always had three, four or more players on him whenever he had a chance of getting the ball. I also thought Aiden McGeady showed some good touches and plenty of skill.
All in all, we did really well to win this game. Villa were very disciplined and I think the spirit our players showed was top notch. Perhaps, with more of our players returning to some form of fitness, it will give Roberto much more in the way of options in the coming months.
208 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:20:37
209 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:42:08
210 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:22:34
211 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:15:10
Yes, his movement changed the game and he's a good trier but there's no way I'd start him up front against Spurs. I thought he was way out of his depth having to play up top against Liverpool for a longer period. Coming on like today against weaker opposition is the best way to use him I think.
Nobody has mentioned what I thought was the turning point today, namely Vlaar coming off. Villa defended brilliantly and I don't think it was a coincidence that gaps started to open up when he was subbed.
I thought McGeady was very well handled by Bertrand although he could've done with Seamus behind him. It's not Stones's game.
I think it was a great result considering the squad we have available but I'd be hoping that Traore is fit for next week although maybe Mirallas up front away from home might work if we can get Barkley and him playing on the counter-attack.
212 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:32:53
213 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:24:37
My honest appraisal is he has some energy and keeps the ball moving but only ever sideways or back and even then only 5 yards. If he was as good at winning it back like a Makale or Mascherono I'd get it a bit more but I don't see it.
216 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:40:16
We have very rarely had negative goal difference other than season we finished fourth when 7-0 thrashing by Arsenal skewed it on last game. Are there other seasons over last five years?
218 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:39:35
219 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:32:04
Someone earlier was debating who else out of the top teams plays with two defensive midfielders and I would argue none of them. They may match our formation but the central midfielders at all of the top teams are either better creatively or score goals. For instance arsenal use Arteta and Ramsey, the RS use Lucas and Gerrard and so on.
I am not criticising them and in general I am very happy with the way we play but if we don't have quality out wide then nothing comes through the middle and that was obvious during the first half today. I think Barkley will eventually add regular goals to his game like Lampard and Gerrard have done consistently over the years and that will help take pressure off our number 9 whoever it may be long term.
220 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:46:31
221 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:51:35
222 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:46:31
223 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:54:29
227 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:53:45
229 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:48:55
I had Mirallas down as a bit of a fancy dan....good when things were going our way but not one for trench warfare and a bit of a selfer. After his gutsy performance on Tuesday and pulling out the winner after a middling game today I take my hat off to him.
Keep it up Kev....our walking wounded will be back soon to help you! One negative though.....looked at our run in to the season....very tough. The Cup might be our best bet.....
233 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:58:15
For some of us McCarthy was definitely one of those who was playing well within his comfort zone in the first half. If you think he was all guns blazing (as he could / should have been given the limited ambitions of the opposition) then I don't know what you were watching.
As on Tuesday, his second half performance was much more in line with what some of us think he can consistently produce.
235 Posted 01/02/2014 at 23:01:56
236 Posted 01/02/2014 at 23:07:14
240 Posted 01/02/2014 at 23:16:19
Since others have already likened him to Roy Keane, do you think that even at the age of 23 Keane would have been satisfied to be cruising or do you think he would have been the first to rouse himself, start demanding the ball and try to rouse everyone out of their apparent daze?
I wouldn't hope for great things from the lad if I hadn't already seen an awful lot I like, but that shouldn't prevent me from pointing out when he has slipped from his own high standards or taken a step up to the next level when an opportunity comes his way, such as when the RS are suffocating our defence or when Villa are happy to vacate the midfield.
244 Posted 01/02/2014 at 23:39:59
253 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:02:21
Tom Bowers - 007 - 'Martinez has really goofed up here ... Villa have this game in the bag thanks to the shortsightedness of Martinez'
007! Not exactly a special agent. My name is Bowers, Tom Bowers, and I say dumb things about the Everton Football Club gaffer Roberto Martinez, a sprite, diet sprite, lemon twist, on the rocks .........
254 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:03:42
Also, the team that we put out had 70% possession again today and only scored two goals against we should've been hammering them out of sight. They went to Anfield a couple of weeks ago and played them off the park, getting a draw in a game they should've won, who'd have thunk, eh?
256 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:19:22
What a fucking free kick! Keep the faith
262 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:26:40
Blood hell, if he could run all over the field & tackle then lay the ball off to a more creative midfield partner (that's his role) PLUS be creating all are openings as well he'd be worth £130m not the £13m we paid for him.
It's a team game, each player plays to their strongest attributes!.
264 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:35:13
Some piss-poor ref decisions on show again with Bacuna deserving a card for his studs up slide that luckily missed Baines and that fucking Ikea reject, the wardrobe with feet, Holt who should have seen multiple yellows. I counted over a dozen fouls for Villa and no yellows, less than half a dozen for Everton and we get a card?
Second half a much better display if not more of the same laboured build-ups. I was ecstatic with the result and two very well taken goals; we needed that result after Tuesday... bring on Spurs.
265 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:42:11
Lukaku has all the tools to be a top striker but, if he carries on in this lethargic manner, he’s never going to make it. He’s a completely different player now to the one who changed the game against West Ham or ran Newcastle ragged.
I was more confident with Naismith bearing down on goal today than I would have been if it had been Lukaku. I keep hearing about how he’s a 20-goal-a-season striker but despite playing most games for us with a host of creative players behind him he doesn’t look like he’s going to get to 20.
266 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:47:33
I despair sometimes, I really do.
282 Posted 02/02/2014 at 02:03:54
Same team for next week with Coleman replacing Stones. That team should get a result at Spurs next week.
285 Posted 02/02/2014 at 02:38:07
We should've bought him...
294 Posted 02/02/2014 at 02:59:51
I know what your saying, yeah Wenger does tend to play a genuine holder and another, but Arsenal sometimes play Atreta and Flamini together.
Liverpool play a holder and Gerrard, who plays much deeper these days and certainly cant do anything like he used to. The three ahead can be Sturridge/Coutinho/Sterling. Those 3 contain much more goal threat. Well, 2 of them do. Sterling not so much but he is very creative.
We have no real options in front of the back 4 in there. Im not saying we shouldnt, im all for having options. Ossie is I suppose, didnt he play with Barry againt Chelsea at home? Possibly Pienaar. I think Barkley has played it.
UItimately though, I think there are other reasons why we are more grinding the results at the minute.
For example, the striker issues and a lack of goals from the off the striker position. Barkley, young, developing and talented, needs to add more goals. That will come, as hes too good not to be able to. Losing Duelofeo didnt help.
The little Spanish wizard is back soon and im hoping that will help. McGeady has a goal in him as well and is another option. Mirallas needs to add more goals from open play and a lad with his talent should be netting more.
308 Posted 02/02/2014 at 06:21:04
We started off slow and it was frustrating but we totally dominated a team who I think were on a pretty good run this year. And to all the screamers and shouters and haters who expect it to always smell of roses, we are Everton, this is how we roll.
312 Posted 02/02/2014 at 07:19:53
Agree. And that was my view in the away game at Villa.
He not only defends brilliantly but organises the back four so well. In both games they've had a very tightly-knit back four, playing a high line, with a midfield 3/4 playing so close to the back four, compressing the space and the game into the middle third of the pitch. In both cases that left us with absolutely no space to play an expansive, passing game.
In the away game, the big change was Osman coming on second half and absolutely bossing the game. Yesterday the big change for me was clearing Mirallas out from striker position (I've only ever seen Jelavic caught offside so much), putting him wider and getting Nais up front, his best position.
Love the comment from (who was it above?) comparing Holt to a wardrobe with wheels, or some such!
343 Posted 02/02/2014 at 10:46:17
But well done to Naismith now, credit were credit is due. He’s played better.
391 Posted 02/02/2014 at 13:09:28
Agreed Vlaar is solid defensively and no doubt important for Villa but in the context of yesterday's match (29% possession and 1/4 shots on target for Villa) it is no wonder that no one else on this thread has mentioned the Vlaar substitution as critical to the outcome of this match.
394 Posted 02/02/2014 at 14:08:51
483 Posted 02/02/2014 at 18:27:04
You write bollocks here Ian and if you want to give a true flavour of the forum then have the due decency to all the posters there to try and make an attempt however small to give accurate pictures.
560 Posted 02/02/2014 at 22:43:36
I suppose I was wrong to say it was the turning point as far as the result goes.
I just felt that we got through them easier after he'd gone off I suppose.
Not as important as I made out obviously.
623 Posted 03/02/2014 at 11:58:31
I am however more than angry with Kenwright. Year after year, he plays the same stroke. Here we have a dynamic young manager in Martinez, who has absolutely transformed this team who are now most of the time a joy to watch, and could be on the verge of Champions League football; at the time we could do with a bit of support with another body or two, Kenwright does another moonlight flit with his tart, as he does every year when he is asked to open his wallet.
As far as I’m concerned, if we do not make Europe this year, any anger should directed to him and his board — not Martinez .
024 Posted 05/02/2014 at 15:16:48
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