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

Attendance: 39,469

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Anto Byrne
004 Posted 01/02/2014 at 15:48:04
Fuck! What a shambles of a first half. Where the fuck was Baines?
Kevin Rowlands
005 Posted 01/02/2014 at 15:52:43
Lots of pretty passing, zero penetration; we don't look like scoring one goal never mind two. Getting outscored 5-0 in the last 3 halves... not feeling very positive at the moment.
Rob O'Brien
006 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:01:57
Two words......One begins with F, the second is Shite....
Tom Bowers
007 Posted 01/02/2014 at 15:59:35
Martinez has really goofed up here only playing one recognized striker. Why the hell is Osman playing again?

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.

Linda Morrison
008 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:06:24
I think Osman is playing as Pienaar is not fully fit; same applies to Jags, Coleman etc, etc.

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.

Gaz Lowe
009 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:09:52
I agree, I really think Roberto has messed up this transfer window. What happens in the summer when the four loanees go back?? With 3 players out for the season and Roberto happy to make every player into a utility player, god knows where we'll finish this season! I just hope that the second half something changes but I can't see it...
Ben Mackenzie
010 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:59:03
Get in there. Fair play to Nessy. Loads of people slagging him off. COYB.
David Finney
011 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:00:18
I despair at how many fans give up quicker than Audley Harrison.
Jack Collins
012 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:56:23
@ Tom Bowers (007) what has McGeady done wrong? By all accounts, he was the stand -out player in the first half.

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.

Michael Kenrick
013 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:59:22
NINE offsides
THIRTEEN corners....
and only FOUR fouls committed.

What a bizarre game!

Fantastic win though. Tremendous spirit, resolution, belie,f determination after the shocker on Tuesday.

Anto Byrne
014 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:54:20
Jeez Villa had this game in the bag and did a Moyes. Need to score from open play as much as I like free kicks from KM. KM was caught offside on seven occasions, with his pace he can give a defender half a yard.

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.

Max Wilson
015 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:55:42
I should'nt have to go thorough all this stress at my age!

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?

Jon Cox
016 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:56:35
Like I said,

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!

Darren Fellows
017 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:59:19
Great result!!!! Let's hope Liverpool have a hard time against West Brom. Even better, their next games is against Arsenal. If we can get a result against Tottenham, we'll be sitting pretty with a few more of the main squad back from injury... perhaps a Champions League spot is not such an impossibility. Well done, Stoke!!!!
Eugene Kearney
019 Posted 01/02/2014 at 16:58:12
With Man Utd stalled, Newcastle stalled, we are now in the top "breakaway-six", and comfortably so. Hope we get a few lads back during the week fully fit and change it up a gear from there....
Kieran Fitzgerald
020 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:03:39
What an important second half of football in terms of psychology and morale. Newcastle and Utd lost, Spurs dropped points and we won. A point clear in fifth with Spurs to come.

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.

Linda Morrison
021 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:01:51
Agree David, I thought that was a great comeback and the 2 best players also happen to be 2 of the players constantly slagged off on this site!

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.

John Audsley
022 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:02:36
Naismith has improved immensely since RM took over. He never stops running and clearly is desperate to play for the blues.

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

Mike Hughes
023 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:02:31
Great! Much needed win after a crap week.

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.

Tim Muzio
024 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:00:13
That second half performance was superb they did not give up at all - Tim Howard was freezing watching on.

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...
Phil Smith
025 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:06:09
Fantastic result today. Feel like I did after the West Ham game. Another game we totally dominated and deserved to win. Hate teams who park the bus against us. Thanks god we actually have at least one fit striker in our team. Naismith HAS to start next game. He's the only one who acts like a striker - makes those runs, get into this positions. Great winner from Mirallas, but he's no striker! Always offside and on his heals. Bring on Spurs.
Wayne Smyth
026 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:01:53
Villa came, put 11 behind the ball, had virtually nothing going forward for the entire game, got 1 goal on a breakaway and then parked the bus. They did defend well for most of the game, but I'm glad football won in the end.

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.

Phil Smith
027 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:13:28
Also meant to add that Baines was excellent today. Been slagged off a bit on here in recent months. Typified everything Everton today! Top marks.
Steve Cotton
028 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:13:53
Don't forget the Villa team took the Shite apart last week, so well done lads!!!
Gavin McGarvey
029 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:10:39
Great win. As Kieran says, so important psychologically especially as first half we looked a little out of sorts and maybe down after the derby. COYB
Mike Hughes
030 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:12:41
3 brief points:

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."

Darren Fellows
031 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:21:38
Great result! We have a cushion now hopefully Liverpool will get a bad result against WBA, plus they have to play Arsenal. If we can get a result against Tottenham, who looked average today, we will be in a shout for a Champions League spot. With the likelihood of the injured quality players coming back, it's looking brighter after that hiccup against Liverpool. I think it will be an important three weeks for us but well done for grinding a result out today.
Kevin Rowlands
032 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:20:15
Best win of the season given all things considered, and thank fuck for that, I was dreading a certain persons 'I told you so' posts on this thread, btw any news on Barkley, did he go off injured?
Tommy Coleman
033 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:14:27
Great result, a much needed win. Attack v Defense for 90 minutes.

Let's go on a run.

John Ford
034 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:20:06
True grit and complete control of the game today against a really well drilled defence. Some of the wholesale criticism on the live forum was beyond idiotic.

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.

Brian Waring
035 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:27:50
We look excellent when we raise the tempo of our game, got to do it from the off against Spurs.
Amit Vithlani
036 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:28:32
Absolutely relieved to have won. First half was poor and the team looked bereft of ideas. Second half totally the opposite. Some clever subs and neat, penetrative play and we turn it around.

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.

Steve Pugh
037 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:26:22
Barry Horne made a comment that I thought was interesting. He was talking about the Baines, Pienaar, Osman triangle and how Everton are so much better when those three are together on the left. Certainly looked that way today.
Kunal Desai
038 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:29:46
That was a huge 3 points and a massive 45 minutes. Now hopefully the baggies can do some damage tomorrow. With the likes of Deulofeu, Coleman and Traore all possibly back next week for Spurs, we will hopefully have more options to change it around. Still think we could have done with another striker in the window, no point in having Vellios as an unused sub if he's not going to get minutes on the pitch. There is still a worry if Barry/McCarthy get injured, no one to replace either of them, another loan signing here really would have been ideal.
Darryl Ritchie
039 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:29:21
Patience and perseverance. great match! Not counting the little hiccup in the 1st halve, they never had a sniff. RM had his tactics and his subs spot on.
Keith Glazzard
040 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:22:02
Pienaar was the game changer for us, that and Ossie going into the middle. Both of them take defenders out of the game with their ability to turn quickly. Pienaar's touch through for Naismith (well done lad!) was fantastic and Ossie got close to unlocking them a few times. Without this, the rest is all huff and puff.
Raymond Fox
041 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:35:38
Ditto Steve, 3 players who get a lot of unnecessary criticism on here, made the difference.Naismith, Ossie & Pienaar changed the game.
Ian Riley
042 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:26:22
This was always going to be a difficult game, Villa away from home are no mugs. Arsenal and Liverpool have failed to beat them at home. This result following that performance shows real guts and fight.

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!

Happy days!

Mike Gaynes
043 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:38:14
Mirallas the obvious MotM for me, but geez, how many times are we going to watch Martinez make just the right substitution at just the right moment before we realize this guy's genius? It's remarkable the way he looks at a changing game situation and plugs in just the right player. Today it was Pienaar and Naismith.
Kieran Fitzgerald
044 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:40:07
Huge game against Spurs next week. A win against what would seem to be an ordinary team would see us back in the driving seat for 5th place and European football. Spurs, Man Utd and Newcastle Utd are all very much average teams at present; as we have to play them all between now and the end of the season, we have it within our control to finish at least 5th.
Dan Durnin
045 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:44:34
We have it within our control to finish 5th, this is true of course, but we could still get 4th. I am optimistic as there's still 42 points up for grabs. COYB
Mike Corcoran
046 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:44:53
Yeah Mike Gaines, I was knee-jerking all over the place. Thankfully RM just soaked it up and made the smart moves, including bringing Hibbo on.
James Martin
048 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:46:13
Surprise surprise, Osman and Pienaar spark us into life, and Naismith playing upfront scores. It’s not rocket science. Play players in their proper position, and get your creative players all on at once.

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.

Jim Knightley
049 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:42:16
Fantastic comeback. Naismith did really well in particular after coming on, and Pienaar, as others have mentioned. Naismith may be limited in some areas...but he has a natural goal-scoring instinct and works his socks off.

Massive massive win today.

Ian Burns
050 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:48:25
I would be less than honest if I said I was happy with 20 mins left and I was fearing the worst but what a turnaround and I for one admit I was not expecting it as we looked toothless most of the game.

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.

Alex Winstanley
051 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:52:42
Well done, Roberto... The changes to personnel won the game...! Never rated Naismith but how well did he take that goal? Some tough away games coming up so home wins vital over the next couple of months!
James Martin
052 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:57:41
Still get a feeling that the Sunderland result will hurt us all season. But we’ve given ourselves a chance though now. Let’s hope WBA play as well tomorrow as they did against us and don’t concede in the first 2 minutes like most sides do against Liverpool.
Gerard Carey
053 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:47:18
The most important thing today was to get the three points, that's all that matters after last Tuesday.
David Holroyd
054 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:34:06
This is the way Villa play away from home... come to think of it, they do that at home. All they have is 30% possession home and away, hope to get a goal, and then defend. We haven't got that defence splitting midfielder cos they cost money.

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???

Jamie Barlow
055 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:51:11
I have to disagree Phil@027. Baines kept running all afternoon and gave his all but he had about 6/7 chances to find a man in the box with his usually good pull backs but found one of theirs every time. I love the bloke but I think he needs to up his game. I’m probably spoilt though.

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.

Brian Waring
056 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:01:17
Paul Lambert "We were excellent up until that first Everton goal, then the second it's a world-class free-kick but I'm not sure we deserved to lose the game."

What game what he fucking watching.

Also, supposedly Barkley coming off was a tactical decision.

Patrick Murphy
057 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:00:48
Sunderland really hurt Newcastle today James, but you're right them points dropped in that game have kept us slightly off the pace, but we just have to stay in contention for as long as possible and hope we get the points when we need them.

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.

Nev Renshaw
059 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:03:15
It's a hundred years this year since the start of World War One, and there's one or two on this site (and we can see who they are) that would've been bloody useless in the trenches. They would have raised the white flag as soon as they'd heard the sound of someone bursting a paper bag. Grow a pair. COYB.
Mike Oates
060 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:02:39
Good 3 pts today from a difficult situation. The problem we have is that Osman actually brings far more to the team in that 10 position against teams that just defend against us than Barkley does. Barkley's strength is when he has space in front of him to run into (but he will lose the ball at times like today for their goal).

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.

Tim Greeley
061 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:02:35
Take the points and move on. I only got to watch the last 25 minutes or so, so it was all good to me! Hibbo Lives. Good results elsewhere as well so lets pull for WBA to stuff the shitey shite shite
Raymond Fox
063 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:04:53
Barkley did have a quiet game, its a pity Pienaar isn't 22 he's a great little footballer, he plays well, we play well.
Simon Hermansen
064 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:09:48
Tom, your comment at HT, you used the word shortsightedness, how very apt (heavy irony!)

Some of our fans are fickle beyond belief sometimes

Patrick Murphy
065 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:12:21
I think Ossie always looks better when we are pushing for the win and he enjoys playing at Goodison. I don't think he has the engine for games away from Goodison so maybe Barkley should play in the away games where he might find a bit more space and Ossie play in the home games. But whatever Leon's faults and he has a few nobody can accuse him of hiding during a match.
Colin Glassar
066 Posted 01/02/2014 at 17:45:47
I think Spurs have never been the same since Harry left. AVB seems to have ripped the heart out of a very talented squad and with Sherwood and his 20th century tactics we have a great chance of knocking them out of the race for 4th place. I still think we are better than our neighbours and will put Tuesday down to a blip. So 4th place is definitely back on.
Craig Mills
067 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:11:46
Boy did we need that today, probably even better feeling for everyone coming from behind as we did, I think most on here, including me thought we would roll over and accept the 0-1 defeat, and possibly the rest of the season fading away.

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!!

Kris Boner
068 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:08:57
I thought Barkley was off the pace still so it looked like a tactical decision. Another few days to get back to fitness for Barkley, add in the players coming back from injury and Tottenham is looking a little more likely.

Not to mention that if Hull can walk away with some against Spurs...

Barry Rathbone
069 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:14:16
Nev Renshaw, spot on you wouldn't think we'd had a cracking season in what is a transitional year at the first sign of trouble it's the end of the world for some.

Hard to take them seriously to be honest.

Colin Glassar
070 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:18:14
Laughed at that Nev. There's a few on here who would switch sides at the first opportunity.
Trevor Whyte
071 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:00:46
Brilliant win! we know our style of football is based on open games. So when teams come and park the bus, it takes patience and usually a piece of magic! and we needed both today. At 2-1 we were still looking for a 3rd, that made me a little nervous. But Martinez got the substitutions spot on, even down to not hanging about getting a natural right back on.

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!!

Bobby Thomas
072 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:09:11
A superb win.

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.

Steve Brown
073 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:22:27
Why is this a transitional season rather than a CL qualification season? Let's try setting our sights a bit higher.
Iain Thomson
074 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:22:23
Good to see Naismith's work rewarded with a goal. Lot to be said in games where teams park the bus to have a forward making forward type off the ball runs in the box. Great finish too, shame about the header. Hopefully it lights a bit of a fire under Lukaku as he seems like of late he has played like someone who knows he's an automatic pick.
Brian Hennessy
075 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:20:12
Hopefull now all the Naismith-nnockers will give this guy the credit he deserves. He has been played out of position out on the wing for the most part of his Everton career to date, which began with him coming to us on the back of a serous injury.

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?

Peter Jones
076 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:28:16
I thought Osman had a good game today and we improved when he moved into centre and Pienaar came on. We play our most creative football through Osman, Pienaar, Baines and Barkley who are streets ahead in terms of creativity. He does need to be rested however but it will be a sad day for the club the day he retires.
Phil Walling
077 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:23:51
Delighted to see the lads spike my worst fears by coming back hard at Villa today.

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!

Paul Roberts
078 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:30:39
Nev. You're so right. The number of naysayers on this and other forums is incredible. We are doing incredibly well, and today was a massive win to get us back on track. Mirallas is proving to be a real matchwinner and Naismith is nowhere near as bad as many would have us believe. Our trajectory is clearly upward, in every respect. COYB.
Paul Ferry
079 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:25:44
I thought that Nuts was terrific when he came on today so credit where credit is due as he must have had a tough time after his dreary derby day. Well done nuts lad and today some of the unsung got us out of jail - ossie did well, nais, nuts who has gone off the boil of late. So nice to see with a big three or more due back next week.

The good ship Martinez still sailing along nicely

Graham Mockford
080 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:35:39
Peter #076

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.

Michael Kenrick
081 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:39:42
Got to agree with Paul, Colin and Nev — some people should be really ashamed of their posts on here.

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.

Colin Glassar
082 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:40:53
I think we could have a player in Naismith if he's played in his best position, in the hole behind the striker.
Linda Morrison
084 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:39:45
I thought Barkley went off because he was tiring?

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
COYB!

Trevor Thompson
085 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:30:25
I think Naismith is much better this season. I slagged him off last season but maybe the injury he had before that, getting used to playing a different position and adjusting to the Prem was a bit much for him. I know he gets it a lot but I do see him as a player that "does what it says on the tin." A good squad player.
Pat Waine
086 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:43:15
Tom Bowers — you were saying!!! Evertonians will have to realise how we play now. We keep the ball, we are patient, and work out openings. I know that's hard but I think all that is missing in the "lock picker". Geri could be that man and the big fella will cause problems. In the long term, we could do with a creative force in the middle — Cabaye would have been ideal. but there is not a lot wrong. Slowly, Moyes's kickers are being got rid of. JH was one of them.
Kris Boner
090 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:46:50
Problem Colin, with putting Naismith in the hole, is that we have Barkley who is undoubtable going to give you more in that position.

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.

Paul Ferry
091 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:53:22
Boner talking about putting Nais in the hole, love it ............
Chris Corn
092 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:51:20
Phil 77 , I'm glad we didn't go out and buy some journeyman players none of us have heard of just so people can say we've spent money. People were talking about Cattermole yesterday FFS !!!

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.

Colin Glassar
093 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:45:39
Some of the bile shown on here towards our lads is disgraceful. Ossie, Naismith, Pienaar and Lukaku seem to be the favourite targets nowadays.

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.

William Taylor
096 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:48:34
Still waiting for McCarthy to get a grip of a game & boss it. He again today, like most home games, just hid & never wanted the ball particularly offensively. He must be FANTASTIC away from home because at home he is a defensive luxury we can't afford against blanket defences.
Colin Glassar
097 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:58:34
Paul, Nessie in the hole with young Ross popping up behind him would be ideal for Mr Boner.
Amit Vithlani
098 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:00:30
One thing that I didn't know about is McCarthy's versatility. He looked dangerous at RWB and showed plenty of drive and pace.
Si Cooper
099 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:33:16
Ross Barkley needs to develop an alternate way of playing when his direct style is not getting results. That should come with experience.

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.

James Marshall
101 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:06:45
Barkley was knackered by half time - I think him coming off was more to keep him fresh and not injured again as it was tactical. Nothing to suggest he was injured. Looked like good management if anything.
James Martin
102 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:04:32
Barkley should move back to partner one of Barry or McCarthy in home games with Naismith taking his place behind the striker, or perhaps Osman behind Naismith. When you’re playing one the lower placed teams at home though you do not need two holding midfielders, there’s just not enough penetration with Barry and McCarthy. We miss Gibson’s passing range.
Amit Vithlani
103 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:06:38
Si - to be fair, Mirallas said afterwards that playing up top is not his natural position, so not a surprise that his positioning was abit off. Nais looked far more natural. May not be a PL striker but he can do a job against the also rans.
Tony Cheek
104 Posted 01/02/2014 at 18:54:01
After Tuesday's performance, I thought we might struggle, but I thought we were brilliant today. Really showed character and guts. Really amazes me the amount of crap that a lot of fans spew out during the game, so much negativity!

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!

Tony Page
107 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:14:24
091 Paul, the name Boner actually means, good and kind.
no idea how it got connected to dubious meanings.

Thank God we didn't cock up today.

Colin Glassar
108 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:17:19
I hope it was just tiredness for Barkley. It would be awful if he got injured again.
Patrick Murphy
109 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:10:59
What some describe as pointless passing does have a design to it. The way I see it, it makes the opposition move from one side of the pitch to the other, which has the effect of lowering their energy levels and eventually leads to tired minds which can then lead to them making mistakes – so it might seem pointless but I don't believe that it is.
Linda Morrison
110 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:18:23
Tony I agree with your comments let us see where we end up!
Tahir Abdullah
112 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:18:37
The tackle on Ross that led to Villa's goal was surely a foul; similar to that of Stones on Bertrand in the 1st half. Otherwise nail biting (though not edge of the seat) but pleased for Ossie, Nessie and Pienaar in particular. Onward and upwards! COYB
Tony Page
113 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:21:45
Well said, Tony, I actually had to log off from the site today as the venom was a bit too much.

I do hope you meant passing and not pissing.

David Greenwood
115 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:20:34
Great win after a tough week.

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!

Graham Mockford
119 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:27:24
I was impressed by Bertrand for them today, I thought he had McGeady in his pocket. Looks like England aren't going to be short of left backs for a while, shame we can't say the same about centre forwards.
Paul Ferry
120 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:33:37
And centre-backs, Graham, mate.
Graham Mockford
122 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:31:54
Tahir,

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.

Barry Hughes
124 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:29:37
Well done lads! Some 'fans' thought you were a 'disgrace' mid-week, but you've answered them, showing that when the manager makes the right choices then our team can do the business!

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'!

Dave Williams
125 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:19:52
James #102 couldn't agree more!

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!!!!

James Martin
126 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:33:24
Patrick I think it works if you do it quickly and you need two good full backs. The Coleman injury was massive. Liverpool gave Stones the freedom of the pitch because they knew he could do nothing with it. They overloaded on the left, ushered Stones forward then just waited for the mistake and played into the gaps. Had Coleman been fit and they tried that he would have murdered them. They probably wouldn’t have played that way to stop Coleman having space so our passing would have stretched them as they’d have to cover both full backs.

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.

Graham Mockford
128 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:40:32
Probably the most amazing thing about today is the title of the OP.

Maybe only 'Hibbert's brace secures Champions League football' would surprise me more.

Noel Early
129 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:34:30
Best 3 points of the season for me after that disaster at Anfield. How ironic it was led by Osman and Naismith.

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.

John Boon
131 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:38:18
I felt that McGeady really showed some excellent touches. I know that he didn't run rings round Bertrand, but I still saw some potential and he already looks fitter.

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.

Brent Stephens
132 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:41:37
That game wasn't so different from the away game at Villa this season. Villa played with very tight lines in defence and midfield, the two lines always closely linked; they gave us very little space to play, playing quite a high line.

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.

Linda Morrison
133 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:48:06
Peter you are so right!

We are doing very well much better than under OFM

Keep the faith

Paul Thompson
134 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:47:09
I was only able to see the last 25 mins today, so got a bit of a biased and overly-positive (?) view. We had clearly upped our game after the subs. Nais is a really good player inside the box and I would start with him against Spurs (assuming no returns from injury). Villa deserved nothing from this game given their 'park the bus' mentality - which was stupid as they could have stretched us more. With Coleman back and no other knocks, we can give Spurs a game (and it is a big one for us).
Chris Corn
135 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:47:00
Peter 130, couldn't agree more. It seems McCarthy is now a bit of a fans punch bag on this site. Lack of creativity etc. Barkley is creative, as is Delafou, Mirallas and we have two of the best attacking full backs in the business. We have plenty of pace and creativity when everyone is fit.

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.

Raymond Fox
136 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:34:16
Amit, someone playing up front can be made to look brilliant or rubbish by the quality of the though balls. Pienaar served it up on a plate for Naismith, but it needed scoring, which he did with aplomb & also did against Stevenage.

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!

Barry Hughes
137 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:48:07
Dave 125 WELL SAID! One or two on here seem to think it's okay to slag the players. Some of the bile one guy was coming out with after the Derby was unbelievable; he wanted the whole squad FINED! That type of self styled fan is a disgrace, but sadly something we're going to have to get used to as we get more successful, i.e. the fair-weather supporter who's supported us for a couple of seasons and knows nothing of what an Evertonian truly is. True Blues have class. We leave the booing and calling of players to the likes of Newcastle and RS.
Amit Vithlani
138 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:54:14
Raymond there is no doubt that quality of service is crucial to a forward, but movement is just as important. Mirallas did not display the natural instinct of a CF and his comments post game seem to back up that this is not his best position. I would prefer we avoid square pegs in round holes and play people in their natural position. Naismith is not a right midfielder or right winger, Mirallas conversely is not cut out to be a lone striker. Put both where they are most effective and we will look much more penetrative than that first half.
Peter Norris
142 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:09:57
Tom #007. After 45 mins how can you be so presumptive in a PL game, especially with Everton who we know will run too the final whistle. You don't suffer from premature ejaculation as well do you?
Raymond Fox
143 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:05:00
Amit your bob on mate, Naismith is much better at timing his runs.

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.

Albert Perkins
144 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:01:39
I think we were a bit lucky to win today. Roberto has not found the right tactics for the last two games. One example is that we played lots of 'defense -splitting' balls along the ground and they were repeatedly cut out by the mass of defenders. I would have liked to see some air given to the forward passes to give Kevin a chance to get to them. We might be afraid of the 'lump it up' criticism. And a little quicker, to help him keep on side. Kevin has to hone up on his front man skills.

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.


Jamie Crowley
145 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:58:28
Great 3 points and thank God.

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?

Maddening....

Not bitching, just sayin

Amit Vithlani
146 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:18:02
Agree re: Lukaku Raymond - far too often in recent games he received the ball too far away from goal to do any damage. That said, he is a good team player others benefitted from his strength and presence. Hope the rest does him good and he comes back refreshed.
Julian Exshaw
148 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:15:54
As others have mentioned, what surprised me today was how fast some ToffeeWebbers were to castigate RM . I mean, this guy has been a credit to our club so far. He is a most articulate, educated and knowledgeable coach and we are lucky to have him. Our football in November and December was sublime. Unfortunately the injuries have taken their toll on our comparatively small squad; a fact which is hardly RM's fault. We are still up there, challenging with the "big" boys. Let's get behind him, stay positive and get into that infamous top 4!! Nil Satis etc.....
Graham Mockford
149 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:25:44
I was lucky enough to be on an overnight flight on Tuesday and it took me a couple of days to watch my Sky+

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.

Eugene Ruane
150 Posted 01/02/2014 at 19:57:51
This win illustrated (to me) how RMs positive attitude/outlook tends to pay off.

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!

Micky Norman
151 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:28:43
We had 70% possession today because McCarthy kept winning the ball back after the attacking players had lost it. That's his job and that's what he did. When he lost it himself, just once, he was straight back in the mix and won it back. I can't understand how some of you guys can knock him. Wait till he's injured and we'll struggle to get the ball.
Ross Edwards
153 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:42:44
Great win, wonderful subs by Martinez. He changed the game.

Good way to recover from the derby. Lets hope WBA help us tomorrow.

Mikey Waterman
154 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:32:41
Great win – fantastic second half performance, great team spirit shown. I think Naismith should start up top against Spurs with Mirallas in the hole and Barkley to come off the bench as he still looks a little off the pace. From what I have seen so far, Mirallas's best position appears to be in behind the striker and I think he could do A LOT of damage there against Spurs because they play 4-4-2 with no recognised holding mid.
Kevin Rowlands
156 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:46:14
Micky #151, I think the reason that McCarthy gets slagged by some is quite simple actually, they have either never played the game or don't understand it properly, he was superb today as he has been most of the season.
David Flanagan
158 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:25:02
Three points to note for me are: (1) Osman is a far better link man and playmaker than Barkley and (2) McCarthy needs to add more responsibility to his game... Far too many times he passes the ball backwards when he has other options. (3) Ross needs to learn to find space and use it.
Colin Glassar
160 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:42:30
McCarthy lost the ball just once, Micky? That £13M BK worked so hard for seems like a waste now, doesn't it?

[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.]

Dean Adams
163 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:41:28
Just glad we won and are now firmly back in the mix.
Peter Jones
164 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:51:19
Kevin 156
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?
Graham Mockford
166 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:54:18
Eugene is right, some of the stuff on here over the last eighteen months about Naismith has been pretty despicable.

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.

Tahir Abdullah
167 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:53:31
Graham 122, Agreed the ball was won clearly, but by then Ross had already been bundled off the ball from behind similar to what happens between Stones & Bertrand. The main difference between the two incidents was that Ross did not go to ground à la Bertrand (under the challenge from Stones) but tried to stay on his feet. Check the response from Barry, who also looked to be expecting a foul to be awarded, and was the slow out of the blocks to defend the first pass of the counter. The crowd's response also said a lot.

Nevertheless 3 points in the bag and that without a world class striker.

Kevin Rowlands
168 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:00:44
Peter, I'm judging him on what I have seen all season, he's a Roy Keane type player and he plays that role perfectly, but hey, we bought him from Wigan, he doesn't score goals, he helped get them relegated so he must be shite, right?
Raymond Fox
169 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:39:08
I agree Julian, watched football focus today, it was from Goodison, worth watching if you've recorded it.

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.

Tim Keyes
170 Posted 01/02/2014 at 20:56:59
Peter & Kevin, the problem is when McCarthy and Barry play together without our better more creative players out wide, ie, Mirallas, Deulofeu, Coleman etc.

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.

James Martin
172 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:06:19
Kevin, Roy Keane could pass forward and score. Two thing McCarthy struggles with.... McCarthy is a good defensive mid, so is Barry... we just don’t need both of them in every game.
Graham Mockford
174 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:08:59
Tahir

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.

Kevin Rowlands
176 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:13:26
James, we don't need both in every game? obviously RM disagrees with that because he's played them in every game since the start of the season, except when both had 1 game suspensions, they are both extremely important in what were trying to do and one of the main reasons we lie in 5th place and the last 16 of the FA cup.
Colin Wainwright
179 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:20:46
Don't argue with the tactical genius that is JM, Kevin. He'll get very upset.
Paul Smith
181 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:06:49
All in all, a great result!

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!

COYB....aleez aleez.....Ohh

Peter Jones
182 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:23:03
Perhaps the reason we are in 5th is that we play two defensive midfielders. If we only played one or, heaven forfend, none then we might be second.. or better, or maybe worse.

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.

Dan Durnin
183 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:09:26
If you think about some of the games that Naismith has scored in this season, Chelsea, Stevenage and Villa, you would think he was a player that we would be very glad to have in the squad. Then there were important goals against the likes of Liverpool last season.

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!

Mike Oates
184 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:19:21
Jamie 145
I think the corners were all outswingers because Villa packed their 6 yd box with their tall guys, maybe zonal marking.
Mike Gaynes
185 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:26:28
Raymond Fox (143), spot on. Naismith may not impress anybody with size, speed or power, but he's a pure professional... never stops moving, gets into the right scoring positions better than anybody we've got, and looks absolutely confident when finishing. And that confidence is, at the moment, the difference between Nais and his old partner Jelavic (who did have a nice assist today on Long's goal). I know there was a lot of angst over losing Jela without bringing in a game-ready replacement, but it sure does look like Roberto kept the right guy.
Tahir Abdullah
188 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:32:35
What impressed me most about Nessie's contribution today was his movement off the ball when playing as a center forward/striker. He complimented the passing ability of Ossie and Pienaar really well.
Bobby Thomas
190 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:34:29
Peter

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.

Kevin Rowlands
193 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:39:34
Peter, the top four have also spent HUNDREDS of millions of pounds on players as well, don't you think that may have something to do with it? Also to just write off Barry and McCarthy as only defensive midfielders is absolute nonsense, both are very much involved in us going forward.

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.

John Hughes
195 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:37:51
I'm pleased Naismith is getting some credit here. Not the greatest, we all know that but always guaranteed that he will put a proper shift in. I wouldn't mind betting he will become more fondly remembered in retrospect as opposed to the present. Great win today and let's get behind these boys, RM and dare I say even our contentious Leader - we can get this 4th place if we all get behind the team. COYBB!!
Peter Jones
197 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:48:40
Bobby#190 you present a very cogent argument. Can you name these two players who are defensive for Arsenal? I have a feeling that they are Arteta and Ramsey, who are a world away from Barry and McCarthy and whom I would happily see in central midfield for Everton. And for Liverpool? Formerly Lucas and latterly Gerrard? Who else?
Patrick Murphy
199 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:37:19
Was it better in previous seasons then Peter #183 as we usually had a negative goal difference we have a plus 12 goal difference at the moment and that all-out attacking team from down the East Lancs are five points worse off than us.

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.

Si Cooper
200 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:44:37
Kevin Rowlands, I don't think McCarthy is shite and I have no problem with both him and Barry forming the core of our team, but we were definitely not getting everything he has to offer in the first half today.

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.

Peter Jones
201 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:55:53
Kevin #193

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?

Andy Crooks
203 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:51:15
Colin, McCarthy only lost the ball once but it has now happened at least twice this season!! A waste of money.
Kevin Rowlands
204 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:03:35
Peter, The reigning Champs got beaten by Stoke today, we got a point from them! What part of "There are no easy games in the Premier League" don't you understand? Yes we have a very good squad, but we have had injuries as well, Peter, is that Martinez's fault?

Patrick Murphy
205 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:08:36
I meant to add that its the number of points that a team collects that is the most important and whilst I would love the team to be scoring fours and fives it's more important to collect the point(s). I hope we clinch CL by a single point as that means one of those horrible draws just may have made the difference. I bet many would have settled for a draw last Tuesday, but no that dull, silly manager tried to go for all three what a complete barnpot.

Colin Grierson
206 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:43:26
Eugene 150 - bang on the money mate. There are far too many critics on here who jump the gun and start the blame game. We can’t complain so far this season be it about results or the style of play. our results are better than previously and our style of play (some call it tippy tippy) is streets ahead of before Martinez arrived.

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. I grew up thinking that fickle was a trait of the RS but it appears I am wrong. Kept the faith! COYB!!!

Jim Lloyd
207 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:01:59
I think there's been some unfair, critical posts on here. We are just about down to the bare bones and that fact must have an impact on our play.

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.

.

Jim Lloyd
208 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:20:37
Patrick. Spot on mate, well said!
Roman Sidey
209 Posted 01/02/2014 at 21:42:08
Missed the match to a wicked hangover, but caught a clip of Mirallas's goal. Cracker. Thanks Michael for pointing out in the report that it hit the side netting in the goal, which means it was bending something shocking. What was also great was how he ran straight to celebrate with Martinez. Something tells me these players enjoy working for him.
David Graves
210 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:22:34
Tim Keyes - Gibson does not pass the ball better than Barry. I though Barry was outstanding in the second half. I do agree though that we are set up with them to hold in the middle and they struggle without more creative player outside of them both. I could sense frustration in the ground today with McCarthy when we needed to play a higher tempo in the first half and he struggled to create anything ahead of him.
Shane Corcoran
211 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:15:10
I'm not sure what the negative and abusive comments were that people are referring to but I have to say I disagree with the Naismith back-slapping, at least to an extent.

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.

David Graves
212 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:32:53
Just read Tom Bowers at 007. Priceless. Next time you're sat at home with your laptop out just count to ten and remember just how wrong you can be.
Peter Warren
213 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:24:37
I want to like him and hope he's great but I just don't see it with McCarthy but everybody else does. A lot liken him to Roy Keane who I thought was one of the worlds best.

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.

Peter Jones
216 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:40:16
Patrick #199
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?
David Graves
218 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:39:35
Peter - I understand that McCarthy hardly dazzles at times but do you not think that he has had a significant influence on how difficult we have been to beat?
Tim Keyes
219 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:32:04
David I believe he has a better range of passing but of course it's only my opinion. The problem with Barry and McCarthy is they are very similar in what they are both thing to do and in ability.

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.

Peter Jones
220 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:46:31
McCarthy has been great against top sides other than Liverpool where he was distinctly ordinary. In terms of how difficult we are to beat he is a good influence but most credit must go to back four and goalkeeper. Midfielders are currently expected to be lot more than an extra full back or centre half.
David Graves
221 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:51:35
So if he has been great against top side what's the issue?
Colin Wainwright
222 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:46:31
TBH Shane, and it may not be a popular opinion, I thought Naismith, when he came on, provided more attacking threat than Lukaku has in the past six weeks.
Colin Wainwright
223 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:54:29
Just gonna say, I thought McCarthy was excellent again, in a number of positions. Really don't know what game some people are watching.
Peter Jones
227 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:53:45
The issue with McCarthy is how many people have come on here talking about how wonderful he is and how he is the best central midfielder in premier and how he must be worth many times the derisory figure Martinez has paid for him. They have sounded like the Kopites with their initial fervour for Joe Allen. He is a good midfielder with strengths and weakenesses and potential to improve greatly. He is not the finished article and he needs to be rotated out when occasion demands. Then he can be allowed to improve at his own pace and we can get back to a reasoned debate.
Gerry McGuirk
229 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:48:55
Just got in from work and saw today's result......and what a result! I seriously think our season hung on a thread at halftime and could have disintegrated with the wrong result. Fair play to the lads for digging out the win.

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.....

Si Cooper
233 Posted 01/02/2014 at 22:58:15
Colin, you should read the manager's observations on the game.

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.

David Graves
235 Posted 01/02/2014 at 23:01:56
Peter you said "I just don't see it with McCarthy". I don't read many saying he's the best midfielder in the premier league - but I have read some completely unnecessary criticism of him including a whole article that was a piss poor critique of him.
Colin Wainwright
236 Posted 01/02/2014 at 23:07:14
The whole team were playing within their comfort zone, in the first half, Si. Tuesday and today have proved, to me (ie. IMO) that the lad is a future Everton captain. So what game were you watching?
Si Cooper
240 Posted 01/02/2014 at 23:16:19
Like you Colin, I think the lad has a long and illustrious career ahead of him with us. Because he is one I think has that little bit extra, I was hoping to see a sign of it earlier today.

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.

Si Cooper
244 Posted 01/02/2014 at 23:39:59
Should be "....not taken a step...." in my previous post.
Paul Ferry
253 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:02:21
OOPS!

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 .........

Kevin Rowlands
254 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:03:42
Peter, your reasoned debate is to expect Everton to win every game, I haven't seen one single post on here saying that McCarthy is the best midfielder in the Premier League, just people saying that he has had a very good season and is an important part of what we've achieved.

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?

Kevin Tully
256 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:19:22
Hello my blue brothers. I'm a little Billy Cotton – hopefully no ban for drunken posting. I'm actually a nice drunk love all my blue brothers. MK & Lyndon are lovely fellas.

What a fucking free kick! Keep the faith

Raymond Fox
262 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:26:40
Roberto knew exactly what he was buying when he bought McCarthy he should have!

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!.

Gavin Ramejkis
264 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:35:13
Most definitely a game of two halves today. The first, after McGeady's shot that hit the post, was fairly non-descript with too many players flat-footed and not moving off the ball. Mirallas was tireless going out wide, coming back to collect it and try to get other players in the game. Barkley looked like he got his foot stamped on early on in the match and wondered if that was why he disappeared at half-time.

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.

James Martin
265 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:42:11
Naismith is the prime example of what a bit of effort can do for a footballer. He’s not the most naturally gifted but, because he actually makes runs, jumps for goal kicks, and shows for the ball, he’s already doing more than Lukaku is.

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.

Kevin Rowlands
266 Posted 02/02/2014 at 00:47:33
Ray, didn't you know he's the reason we haven't been able to put away the likes of WBA, Stoke and Palace, he SHOULD be able to do the PLUS part, we could then call him super(man)Mac.

I despair sometimes, I really do.

Steavey Buckley
282 Posted 02/02/2014 at 02:03:54
Both Barry and McCarthy kept brilliant control of the midfield that allowed Pienaar, Mirallas, McGeady, Osman, Baines and Naismith to go about their footballing business in the second half to keep pressure on Villa in and around the penalty area until they cracked.

Same team for next week with Coleman replacing Stones. That team should get a result at Spurs next week.

Rahman Talib
285 Posted 02/02/2014 at 02:38:07
Kwanyne jones scored on his debut.

We should've bought him...

Bobby Thomas
294 Posted 02/02/2014 at 02:59:51
Peter 197

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.

Ian Daniels
308 Posted 02/02/2014 at 06:21:04
Don't normally get involved but after wanting to boil some heads after reading 'Martinez fuck off back to Wigan' etc on the Live Forum when we were losing, I just gotta say the Little Man played all the right moves today.

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.

Brent Stephens
312 Posted 02/02/2014 at 07:19:53
Shane #211 "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."

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!

Paul Kelly
343 Posted 02/02/2014 at 10:46:17
To those who say people on here shouldn’t of criticized Naismith, really? Have you seen him play? No matter what position someone is played you have the right to ’ have a go’ if they can’t pass the ball ten yards to someones feet, or just play bad. As fans and paying customers we have a ’god’ given right to be fickle and expect the basics.

But well done to Naismith now, credit were credit is due. He’s played better.

Tahir Abdullah
391 Posted 02/02/2014 at 13:09:28
Shane 211 not sure how Vlaar's substitution became the turning point in this match (how do you define it as such?). Naismith's goal was scored in the 74th minute, Vlaar was substituted in the 80th minute; Clarke fouls Kev, who then proceeds to score an absolute peach of a free kick.
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.
David Finney
394 Posted 02/02/2014 at 14:08:51
Peter one of the reasons we play two DMs is because both full backs have license to bomb forward together whereas in other teams if one goes forward the other drops back and the DM provides cover. I don't think any other team in the league gives this amount I license to both full backs.
Paul Ferry
483 Posted 02/02/2014 at 18:27:04
Ian Daniels - 308 - 'after reading 'Martinez fuck off back to Wigan' etc on the Live Forum' - hold yer hand out stirrer so I can give you a massive wooden spoon. What bollocks you write and why write it? Exactly how many people posted this coz I sat all the way through the forum and don't remember those words being used. You want to go and find them for me there's a good chap. Why did you not mention the massive majority of forum posters who rounded on the one individual - one - who was a doubting Thomas - the Daniel Johnson fella who by the way slinked off the forum after the equalizer.

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.

Shane Corcoran
560 Posted 02/02/2014 at 22:43:36
Tahir, that's a fair point.

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.

Carl Peters
623 Posted 03/02/2014 at 11:58:31
Paul, I also sat through the forum on Saturday as you know, and although as disappointed as many were after the horror of Tuesday and disappointment of Friday, I was critical of Kenwright and his dire board, but I don’t think I felt any anger towards Martinez.

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 .

Neil Davies
024 Posted 05/02/2014 at 15:16:48
Paul Ferry 308, I saw the comment "Martinez fuck off back to Wigan" it was definitely on TW somewhere.

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