Errors by Howard gift key goals to Palace

Roberto Martinez rotated some of his squad but it ended in another shocking home defeat.

Michael Kenrick 21/09/2014 217comments  |  Jump to last

Samuel Eto'o, and Christian Atsu get to make their first starts for Everton as Roberto Martinez rotates some of his squad for the game with Crystal Palace. Osman and Distin also start, with Mirallas, McGeady and Naismith rotated to the bench in what turned out to be a very bold 4-2-1-3 formation against the team sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table.

Seamus Coleman is rested after suffering a blow to the head at the end of Thursday's game, so John Stones switches to right back while Steven Pienaar is apparently available again after a groin injury but did not make the squad.

The visitors kicked off in brilliant sunshine, with the Goodison crowd in a fine mood after the Wolfsburg win. The game quickly settled into a pattern with Everton holding possession, passing across the back and probing, while Palace played deep but ready to advance with pace whenever they managed to get a turnover.

A great move on 8 mins saw Osman place a beautiful ball for Eto'o to run onto but he had to take an extra touch and could only fire into the side netting. In the next move, Osman again cleverly played in Lukaku for a great ball to attack and the big Belgian made no mistake.

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McCarthy won Everton's first corner, played in low to an out-running Eto'o in a very clever routine that almost created a chance for Lukaku, as the team continued to play some excellent football, denying Palace the ball. When Palace did advance, Howard was alert to deal with their long balls, both in the air and on the ground.

Palace came into it more in the second quarter of the game, as they started to get the bounce of the ball. Another beautiful move this time had Osman on the end of it,

Then a moment of defensive madness at the other end, Stones and Distin both giving Howard room to gather a bobbling ball, and McAthur nipping in to win a soft penalty as Howard tripped him; Jedinak smashed home from the spot. So, from a position of complete dominance, Everton were back to square one.

Stones was doing his part in breaking up the visitor's attacks but when Everton got the ball, they could no longer keep it for more than a few passes as moves broke down in the middle of the park, Osman now less effective playing mostly down the left.

Bolasie threatened to embarrass when he bamboozled Stones, as the contest looked much more even, but the Blues gameplan of passing across the back continued, only for lose passes to concede possession. From one Atsu mistake, a deflected Bolasie shot hit the Everton crossbar as Howard could only ball-watch.

Atsu got forward well and crossed but Lukaku was miles behind the play. Everton's football was a lot more ragged, but Eto'o won a free-kick on a Jedinak foul right on half-time that Baines clipped into the top of the wall and the ensuing corner was rather overhit beyond the far post to end a very mixed first half.

With everything to do again after the break, Everton seemed more interested in going backward, with needless passes to Howard. They won a dangerous free-kick wide left but Baines drove it in too low and it was easily cleared. Stones then surged forward and played in Eto'o but his shot was poor.A lose ball from Barry saw Bolasie scamper forward nd it needed work from Jagielka to stop a goal that would come in next move, a high ball in that Howard had surely fully covered but it hit Frasier Campbell and bounced painfully into the Park End net. An unbelievable error.

Good work by Atsu appeared to set up Lukaku for a tap-in but his shot hit Dan and Barry could only blast over the rebound. Time for a change, said Martinez, despite some much more determined play by Everton, although Bolasie again went galloping away, a great Stones tackled needed to concede a corner. At the other end, the Blues momentum was building, so Martinez waited until Puncheon fired over before bringing on Mirallas and Naismith for Stones and Atsu... three across the back? Or McCarthy playing right back?

Everton went further behind, Howard with his trademark falling backward routine as he failed to trouble Bolaise's well-taken shot as Puncheon galloped across the Everton defence after brushing aside Leon Osman to play him in for Palace's third goal, stunning the Goodison faithful who will no doubt be citing a Europa League hangover as the only explanation for a shocking scoreline.

With five attacking players on the field Everton pressed forward to try and rescue the game. McCarthy feeding a great cross fro Lukaku that was blocked behind, then Osman firing in a hard shot that forced a good Speroini save.

McCarthy did win a penalty as Dan upended him, Baines driving it in from the spot, sending the pink-clad Speroni the wrong way to give Everton hope in the last 10 minutes. Martinez throwing caution to the winds with Goodison on in place of Distin.

Everton surged at Palace, a clever corner setting up Jagielka (with so many forwards, why him?) who drove his shot wide. Lukaku came close with a clip across Speroni's goal, and the keeper's name went in the book for time-wasting. A very frustrating period ensued, where Palace thwarted everything the Blues could muster as 6 mins of added time ticked away, Guedioura skipping forward but thankfully firing wide before Palace celebrated their fourth win out of their last six visits to 'Fortress Goodison'.

Let the post mortem and blood-letting begin!

Scorers: Lukaku (9'), Baines (pen:82'); Jedinak (pen:29'); Campbell (54'), Bolaise (69').

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka (c), Distin (84' Gibson), Stones (62' Mirallas); Barry, McCarthy; Osman, Atsu (62' Naismith), Eto'o; Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Alcaraz, Besic, McGeady.

Crystal Palace: Speroni [Y:88'], Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Puncheon [Y:76'], McArthur (83' Guedioura), Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie (86' Fryers), Campbell (85' Doyle).
Subs not Used: Mariappa, Zaha, Hennessey, Gayle.

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 37,574

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Reader Comments (217)

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David Cornmell
1 Posted 21/09/2014 at 16:36:19
It’s got that feeling doesn’t it. COYB!
Jermaine Jennings
2 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:32:14
Pathetic, Pathetic, the sooner RM realises that against these teams we pass too slow and never press, the sooner we will win these type of games.

As a manager, he has fundamental flaws in thinking football is purely possession-based... well RM, you are mistaken!!! As soon as the opposition team get the ball, we don’t know what to do!!!

It’s becoming a joke and we will now be a mid-table team who entertain.

John Malone
3 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:34:17
I’ve just walked out after third goal. Roberto Martinez is a joke, he totally ignores the opposition’s threat and doesn’t learn from his past mistakes. He’s a fool!
Gary Carter
4 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:45:58
Martinez has managed to transform a tight defensive unit into proffessional players uncomfortable in what they are being asked to do or even worse, unsure.

Last season was a transition from the Moyes unit and, now the transition is complete, we have Wigan Mk II. I watched the Europa League game and thought that, if we had been playing a Premier League side and given them that much space and that many chances, we would draw at best.

For me, Martinez is an incredibly naïve and stubborn manager and just a very poor version of Arsene Wenger.The number of goals we are conceding will see us finish in the bottom 6 NOT the top 6!! The pre-season was poor and appeared I lack any effort or thought, maybe he was too busy in Brazil?

The players look unfit and as a defensive unit we look totally clueless, the back four and in particular the centre backs look hesitant and don’t know what to do because we don’t close down in the centre of the park and they get dragged out I podium as a consequence, and that’s despite playing with two very good holding midfielders!!!!

I’m sorry but a Sunday league manager would be able to identify our problems and rectify them, and I don’t think Martinez can’t, he just insists on continuing to do it "his way" despite already getting one team relegated from the premiership doing this.

David Cornmell
5 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:54:56
It had that feel!
Peter Gorman
6 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:56:32
Simply not good enough and I for one am getting a bit sick of it.

We have Ossie Ardiles for a manager. Fucking Phenomenal.

Anthony Jones
7 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:56:45
Oh dear.
Jamie Barlow
8 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:57:38
Martinez doesn’t do defence. Awful.

Two week break for me. I won’t be watching next Saturday.

Max Wilson
9 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:56:32
Our defence’s record this season is appalling.
Mark Andersson
10 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:55:26
To give Palace some credit, they defended well. Once again, individual mistakes cost us.

So pissed off, what is the point having a so-called best squad if you can’t beat the likes of Palace.

James Martin
11 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:58:22
Disgrace of a performance by the bottle artists. We should be sitting up there at the top of the league but instead the clowns at the back have thrown away lead after lead. The defensive record this season is an absolute disgrace. In the league Howard has made consistent errors yet Robles doesnt get a look in. Stones and Jags at the back and we concede one worldy in two games. Jags and Distin concede 6 at home, first game back they concede three at home. This is not rocket science.

We should have realised from the second Leicester scored that equaliser that once again this group of players does not have the stones to achieve anything of note. They only ever win when the pressure is off.

Phil Rodgers
12 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:03:48
Bad team selection. Terrible substituions. Horrific goalkeeping.
Dennis Ng
13 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:01:20
At one point, I was thinking the whole team looks lethargic. Why some of the older legs play so much more than the refresher legs is really weird to me. Howard’s off night gave them the advantage and they muscled us out of the points. Squad rotation coming up.
Gavin Johnson
14 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:56:17
Crystal Palace... I must be experiencing a deja vu, surely we wouldn’t fuck up against these again?! Oh, but we have by two moments of Tim Howard Buffoonery!!! We know he’s got in his locker to make the odd fuck-up here and there but today was unacceptable.

Bobby, if you rate Robles, please give him his chance against Swansea; if he keeps a clean sheet, play him in the next game. Otherwise, loan him out or get rid and buy a keeper in January, cos we need some proper competition for the goalkeeping jersey.

Kelvin Thomas
15 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:00:28
Its easy to blame RM.

RM’s selection and game plan was spot on. 1-0 up and in total control. Then Tim Howard today decides to hand them 2 goals.

Because of Tim’s errors we had to chase the game hence being wide open at the back. Exactly the same v Chelsea.

Individual shit errors have let us down badly in the opening games, not RM!

Ste Blundell
16 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:07:09
Do you think Lukaku actually practices playing football?
Mike Anson
17 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:58:27

I just don’t get this Europe hangover thing. We had a great opportunity against a, let’s be honest, very average Palace side yet we blew it. We gifted them 2 goals – when is Roberto going to coach them to stop giving away these type of goals?
John Stones isn’t a right back, gets caught out of position too much for me when he plays there.

The stats said we had 76% possession yet we went in at half time 2-1 down. Again, unbelievable.

Si Mar
18 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:06:54
What about our record signing!!! A goal, okay, but, being diplomatic, he’s fucking awful!!!!

I’m a Howard fan but that was as bad as it gets.

Totally gutted.

Steavey Buckley
19 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:02:09
Some teams in the lower parts of the leagues still have goal keepers who will keep them in games as they struggle, but not at Everton. Everton have both keepers who are not up to standard. It’s not good spending £28 million pounds on Lukaku who will score goals only to be made irrelevant by poor goalkeeping.
Tony J Williams
20 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:06:56
Same team, same tactics, same result = dozy twat. Trying to be clever again and looking like a soft bellend.
Brian Waring
21 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:07:02
Spot on Kelvin. Whilst Martinez takes some of the blame, you can’t blame him for 2 fuck-ups by Howard and Osman losing the ball.
Drew Shortis
22 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:03:40
No doubt the daggers will be out for Martinez – and I can fully understand and share the frustration – but how can the manager be blamed for two defensive howlers? There is a difference between bad tactics and bad individual play.

After the first 20 minutes, I though this would be a stroll in the park, perhaps the players did too. Was Warnock’s plan to lull us into a false sense of security? Intentional or not, it worked!

Anto Byrne
23 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:55:28
Our keeper is over-rated, over the hill, and over to you Roberto.

On a more positive note, good to see Gibson back and Atsu needs a few more games. Ossie was okay for 20 minutes then disappeared.

Let’s get this defence sorted and leave Stones in the middle. I would have preferred Hibbo in for Coleman but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Michael Kenrick
24 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:10:17
Er... I thought he changed the team, Tony.
Phil Head
25 Posted 21/09/2014 at 17:59:12
Well we’ve managed to hand a season’s worth of individual mistakes leading to goals in 5 games. It’s really simple to eradicate: don’t pay the players responsible. They sure wouldn’t make the same mistakes again.

Tim Howard should be ashamed of himself, his decision-making is comical, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an outfield player out-jump a goalkeeper in my life?!? — especially a looping cross like that.

As for Osman? he set’s up the first goal with a brilliant pass, then proceeds to give the ball away the next 15 times he touches the ball. He’s in his 30s now and still hasn’t learned how to shield the ball from the opposition using his body, embarrassing!

James Carlisle
26 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:04:39
If RM pairs Jags and Distin again next week, it’ll be another hammering. Those two should be shelved as a CB partnership.

As for Howard, he does have these days where he looks like an absolute clown.

Terry McLavey
27 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:04:43
Howard became the hero of Thursday to the villain today. Why do we keep shooting ourselves in the foot?!

At one point we had 85% of possession and did nothing with it!

Lukaku blew hot and cold, I’m sure McGeady could have caused them problems, unless he’s injured? These are must win games, three points lost again to a mediocre side that took their chances.

Tony J Williams
28 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:11:49
Same team as last season... same result. It’s quite clear what I was saying, Michael.
James Martin
29 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:08:04
Kevin, but who keeps picking the muppets who keep making the errors? Any idiot can see that a defense that concedes 9 goals at home in two games needs to change. Martinez is a good manager but like Moyes he is putting too much faith in his favourites. Howard and Distin need to be dropped. Gibson needs to play. Stones is not a rightback.

Players in their prime like Naismith and Mirallas are getting rested whilst Jags and Howard are playing every game. Liverpool and Manchester United away next. Wonder which side in disarray will be up for it more next week? I’ll put my mortgage on it not being us. Could very easily be 5 points after 7 games. Relegation form with ¾ of England’s back four and Lukaku and Eto’o in your squad.


Jamie Barlow
30 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:11:17
Brian, Drew, I remember Moyes getting loads after Distins back pass against the shite. And countless other times after other individual fuck ups.

Ossie keeps getting picked. He’s not going to refuse to play. Blame the man who keeps picking him.

Ajay Gopal
31 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:06:42
Tim Howard is a great shot stopper - one of the best, but let the ball loop in or drop in the box, and he panics big time. We have seen it time and time again.

Liverpool must be licking their lips in anticipation. Having said that, Crystal Palace got lucky on the 2nd goal, the ball just hits Campbell’s head and rolls over the line. And we had 3-4 good attempts on goal – either the ball was hit straight at Speroni (Osman twice, Mirallas in the dying moments) or straight at their defender (Mirallas).

With today’s results, we are 2 points off relegation. Having said that, results have been all over the place – you would expect things to ’settle down’ once the initial flurry of games is over.

Paul Holden
32 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:16:33
The defence needs a kick up the ass!
Dennis Ng
33 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:08:46
Kelvin, while that is true, the substitutions aren’t too logical to me either. Mirallas and Naismith on, sure. Stones and Atsu off? It’s a coin toss between Gibson and Besic sure so not gonna complain about that one. I think the errors opened us up for a beating but RM did not help himself by playing into CP’s strengths.

After the heights of Wolfsburg, I’m inclined to call this an off night. There’s not a lot of positive movement in the second half. Tired legs or off night? Rotation is needed regardless.

Gary Carter
34 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:14:02
I can’t understand why so many people let Martinez get away with a complete lack of any defensive unit nouse by blaming it on "individual errors"! Some of those individual errors are down to the idiotic way he sets our team up!! We’ve conceded 16 goals in just 6 games!!! Now that’s fucking phenomenal!!!
Michael Polley
35 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:14:33
Absolutely shite, and a disgrace. I’m typing this with rage inside me. Two fuck ups by Howard cost us the game. Our performances have been pure shit.

Forget about the Carling Cup game on Tuesday. Field a bunch of reserves – if we win so be it; if we lose, who gives a fuck!! We need to concentrate on the Premier League, and if that means not progressing in Europe so be it. We don’t have the squad to do both.

Dennis Ng
36 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:18:56
Ajay, Howler Howard. Yes, that’s him today. After Hail Howard against Wolfsburg, we drew the short one today.
Tony Cheek
37 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:11:09
What the.....! why is everyone slagging Martinez and nobody slagging Howard. What a pitiful performance that was by him, so amateur, so arrogantly half-hearted. Agree Phil, he should be ashamed of himself tonight.

He went up for that ball to get a free kick against him, not to win it with any authority. He was great Thursday and a joke today.

I always used to say there was two reasons we would never win anything. One was Moyes, the other Howard, We got rid of one!

Kevin Naylor
38 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:11:00
The only way Martinez can be blamed is he is picking the same players, week-in & week-out, who are responsible for the errors. If their replacements are no better, then get someone in who is.
Jay Harris
39 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:07:10
IMO, It was team selection. We had no MF to speak of and playing Eto’o and Lukaku as wingers is idiotic. Palace hit us on the break because we cant hold the ball up front and we’ve got no beef in MF.

I didn’t think the first was a pen even though the defence messed up and Howard gifted them the second but, after Thursday, I would cut him some slack.

My main concern is the players are all gung ho with no discipline which comes back to Barcelona’s future manager!!

James Richard
40 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:15:40
Oh Roberto, what was you playing at? That front 3 behind Rom of Osman Eto’o and Atsu offered nothing going forward and even less defensively.

John Stones is not a right back. Then McCarthy is moved to right back and Osman miraculously stays on the pitch. We eventually end up with a back 3 consisting of two midfielders and a center half in jags, McCarthy and Barry. There was no balance or cohesion at all.

Far far too naïve Roberto. I wait in vain to see Tuesday’s set-up, if you had to prioritise today or Tuesday, surely it was today?

Angry and gutted!

Bill Gall
41 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:16:23
I still believe in a defensive specialist should be brought in. Also Tim Howard will soon be getting the same nickname as Everton’s former keeper Gordon West – Dracula, as he is frightened of high crosses.
Tony Twist
42 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:17:08
What more can you say but Roberto Martinez. And someone suggested this bloke was going to manage Barça or Real Madrid one day... well more fool them! At least he is consistent, a true Wigan performance, the man never learns.

Yes, you could blame the players but I think the fundamental flaw is the manager and his system of play. Get ready for a hiding; it’s coming, get back to the basics ...again... Martinez.

Embarrassing Everton.

Andy Meighan
43 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:11:37
Time for Martinez to come out and apologise for this abysmal defending. We are not Wigan... but he seems desperate for us to become them. But no – he’ll probably try and put some positive spin on that fuck-up. The goals we are conceding are criminal.

What possessed him to pay £28 million for that clown? Yes, he scored but his overall game is shocking. You don’t need a crystal ball to know, if we keep defending like that, we are in for a season of struggle. Thanks, Roberto, for nothing!

Michael Kenrick
44 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:22:42
Tony, you mean we lost to the ’same team’ in Palace?

I guess "same tactics" made me think you were talking about Everton and Martinez — I didn’t think Warnock was their manager back then, was he? But I guess their tactics could have been the same...

Same result — no ambiguity there, unfortunately!

Steve Jenkins
45 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:02:26
I’m going to have my first Martinez rant here and this is as a big fan of his.

We and Martinez were unlucky in the sense that we started brilliantly and an individual error gave Palace a gift to equalise. Likewise Howard’s gift - that was shocking their second goal.

However, I’m sick of us playing two pedestrian midfielders that offer little creatively.

I’m told its because they give the side balance and protect th back four but they don’t as the 3rd goal showed - the gap between our difference between the defence and our midfield was massive with nobody there.

One of them should constantly be sat there to sweep anything up.

He also starts with Osman another slow player who doesn’t have the legs for 90 anymore yet he plays the full 90.

Then he brings on Gibson another pedestrian slow CM. I despair.

When Martinez came in I expected us to be signing the kind of players that Palace had today that are so threatening, like Boliase with real pace and skill.

He’s that kind of manager, so how come 5 mins at Goodison has turned him into a manger that loves slow pedestrian midfielders, and more than that, ones don’t defend or protect the back four.

I’ve said it all pre-season we don’t have enough genuine scary pace - players like Bolaise, Nathan Redmond others that terrify opposition with their pace like Palace did today on the break.

One of the pedestrian midfielders should be enough if the buggers do their job properly and sit in front of the back 4.

We have 2 of these players and not between them can they do it.

By the end of the game we had 4 pedestrian, slow CM’s while Palace were breaking with real skill and pace.

All four are good players, one, two maximum at the same time, but you never play them all together.

The way he’s blooding Besic is Moyes esc and makes me wonder why he bothered buying him if he see’s Osman and Gibson starting before him.

We are also still missing a no:10 type with real creativity, skill, vision - to sit in the whole and play through Lukaku and others through, we saw the damage he can do when played through like that for the first goal and how much we struggled to break palace down. Someone like Nolito would be ideal.

Am I being harsh - yes, probably because two goals were down to individual mistakes and without those I think we would have strolled the game.

However, they happened and these things have bothered me for a while, its difficult to vent when you’re winning or doing ok , but today has got to me and its exactly the reason I don’t see us taking anything from the derby.

Squad/team still isn’t good enough to get a result there (with so many pedestrian players that can’t protect the back four) no matter how shit they are now.

I just don’t know where these dynamic, pacy & skilful players I expected to see when Martinez became manager are, the finishing team was like watching a side that Moyes had picked.

Tahir Abdullah
47 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:30:59
Wiganesque....definitely worrying.
Colin Glassar
48 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:32:48
We have only won three out of our last ten games. We’ve been on the slide since last April.
Dennis Ng
49 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:33:09
Is it too late to make Pulis assistant manager? LOL

Yep, worryingly Wiganesque. I think it’s what RM does during this period of bad form that will define his tenure. Can he turn it around, especially given that he didn’t shore up his defence after the Chelsea game? I hope so because playing Europa is going to be a big distraction if we’re struggling to challenge for Europe, forget UCL.

Dennis Ng
50 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:37:14
Colin, I’ve been thinking the same. Who did we lose right before that slide? Oviedo?
Brian Waring
51 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:32:17
The biggest criticism for me, Martinez not starting with the same 11 that started against Wolfsburg, he could have rested players on Tuesday.
Mark Andersson
52 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:20:10
Why oh fucking why do we bother? The Redshite loose, we were cruising and then... Oh yes, as always, if a team or player ain’t won or scored, then worry not – you will break your duck against Everton.
Mark Dunford
53 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:29:27
Individual errors cost us dearly. Three points lost and we keep conceding stupid goals. Something is really awry with the defence and Martinez either needs to sort this himself or get a coach who can organise them more effectively. It certainly isn’t working now.

Tuesday is a chance to blood some youngsters and let’s hope they win. It is always a gamble. No doubt Joel will play which at one level is good as he needs games, but he should be out on loan to get them.

We should really be getting worried with this sequence. It is the ease with which we throw away points that really concerns me. If we ignore the Chelski game as we could easily have lost that on a good day, the other draws and this defeat have all been gutting. We should have at least double the number of points and I have started to look down rather than up the table. We could easily be looking at a relegation type struggle after the next three games and I don’t think the squad is cut out for that.

At least Lukaku scored again.

Colin Glassar
54 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:38:02
Oviedo has been a massive lost IMO Dennis. His enthusiasm and skill have been sorely missed. We need players like Oviedo and Barkley who are brilliant in the transition between defence and attack. I have to agree with Steve Jenkins that we are far too pedestrian with two holding MF players in every game.
Bill Gall
55 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:35:41
Steve (#45), the type of Number 10 you are crying out about both myself and numerous other supporters have been saying this ever since Everton sold Arteta.

I can not understand the manager if he is aware of our defensive problems why something is not done about it, nor his reluctance to play players for 90 min whose performance drops after 30-40 mins.

Jack Cross
56 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:08:28
I don’t really think any of you are giving Palace any credit. They’re a good side. But it’s the goals against that’s worrying me, 13 in 5 games. Everyone is saying what a fantastic match Howard had, but to make 13 saves there has got to be a question mark over the defence once again surely.

I’m at a loss of how to put a stop to our defensive problems, other than bring new players in. But that won’t be until January and who knows where we will be by then.

What get’s me is Roberto doesn’t seem to learn from past mistakes. The plus in today’s game I could see was how much of a class act Eto is. As for the other shower, well we’re used to them letting us down... what’s new there?

Yair Kaye
57 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:39:24
I said last year playing in the Europa League is a waste of time, and will cost us dearly in the premier league. Our chances of winning and claiming a CL place through Europe are next to nothing. Instead, we could have gone all out this year for a top 4 position, given the relative weakness of the Mancs, RS & Spurs. We just don’t have the squad & the mentality to win twice within 3 days. Should have been league first.
Gary Carter
58 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:40:33
To be fair, Steve Jenkins, I thought McCarthy has pace to burn. But like you I find it amazing that we set up with two holding midfielders and manage to give our defence no cover whatsoever, that is the real reason our centre backs look so poor and have been making errors, it’s the naive and inept way we are set up.

I hate to say this as it feels wrong but I don’t see Martinez changing his style of management and so for me the quicker we get rid of him the better. I know this won’t happen and I know Kenwright won’t do it. We have an excellent team and decent squad and even that is despite Martinez (Kone, Alcaraz and Robles have been terrible signings and we payed £14 million for McCarthy who is a £6-8 million player)

I know I’m gonna get a hammering now :-)

Keith Glazzard
59 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:46:42
If there is a Thursday night hangover, it was Tim who suffered it - most - today.

But Roberto’s decisions - made in a very difficult 6 days- didn’t look convincing. For example, and I’m a long term Ossie fan, there is no way he should be on for more than an hour given the squad we have.

A waste of three points, which we were capable of taking.

Drew Shortis
60 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:23:01
How was the way we set up idiotic? (Real question). He picked a back four with two defensive midfielders to cover them with an attacking four in front. I was happy to see two strikers on the pitch as well as Atsu. Individual errors cost us this game, not the tactics which were working perfectly until the penalty which came out of the blue. Then a ridiculous goal from a goalkeeping error.
Days like this hurt, but I’m not willing to throw in the towel after every setback.

I’m far from happy with the result but I would rather lose the odd game trying to play good football than grind out boring results just to end up 7th every season. This is still a work in progress! We have made great strides but there is still a lot of work to do. Come the end of the season we will once again be in or around the European spots after we hit some solid form and hopefully we can have a proper go at one or two of the cups.

Jagielka, Osman, Distin and Howard are all coming to the end of their top flight careers and need to be replaced over the next few windows. Unfortunately we don’t have the cash to just go out and buy a top quality centre-back pairing and goalkeeper in one window, Our priority this time around was getting in a goalscorer and we did. In the next window we need to find a partner for Stones who is the future despite his occasional nievety.

Paul Ferry
62 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:17:18
Jamie (Barlow) I bet you’ll be watching next week and Gold help us one and all!

That was stomach-churning horrible horrible sickening.

Was I the only one who thought that the team selection was somewhat odd? Anyway it worked well for one-ninth of the game and then....

Odd selection and then three subs that I am still trying to get my head round! He kept Osman on the pitch! I’m gonna say that again because I still don’t believe it: he kept Osman on the pitch!!!

I’m not going to scream Blobby Bobby blue murder here. He is still the right one for us, I believe. But he needs to take a long and hard look at himself as well as individual players.

At its highest we had 81% possession and what exactly did we get out of the match at the end of the day? We pass it around to ourselves; the other lot read us like a book and get all the time in the world to change shape and formation accordingly from one minute to the next.

The substitutions were simply baffling today. Atsu is taken off! Gibson comes on and gives the ball away three times in front of their box in how many minutes! Osman, Osman, Osman! Every blue lad and lass in the world knows he has at most 56 minutes and 35 seconds in him except for the gaffer. For the 147th time, it is utterly incomprehensible to me that he starts a Premier League match for us, utterly incomprehensible.

Bobby must know that today revealed a score of weakspots in his play and philosophy and I hope and trust that he has the guts – not to admit it publicly, that’s not something to expect and it’s unsettling – but chat about it with the gang at Finch Farm. He has to think and rethink his approach(es) but at this point in time I don’t think he will change a great deal – and others will point out that it worked so well in 2013-14, fair enough.

There are some cherished essential elements in that team who/that ironically were more than effective last season but this one! I have in mind Barry/McCarthy, possession footie, the clowns in central defence, the liability lump between the sticks.

Luckily there are blue skies over the horizon. But Bobby needs to have the strength if he can to change things. Some things do look sorted to me: Coleman, Stones in the middle, Baines, Mirallas, Barkley, Lukaku (although he has so much more work to do). I’m sorry to say this but, although I recognize that Naismith has had a great season so far, I am not as convinced as others but will be very happy to be proved wrong in the long run.

We have thankfully some options: Besic, Atsu, a couple of young defenders who might come on leaps and bounds with a couple of games under their belts. Robles must start on Tuesday and we have to see if there is any chance at all – a big ask, I know – that he can build up some confidence. If Robles is world-beating on Tuesday Howard will still start at the shite. But inmost other teams Howard would be dropped for conceding 14 goals in 5 matches.

Refocus, Bobby, please. Don’t be so narrowly focused; think outside the possession box, PLEASE!

Howard (God help us! I pray for the day when we get a replacement), Coleman, Stones, ?, Baines, Besic, McCarthy, Atsu, Mirallas, Eto’o, Lukaku.

We can still have one hell of a season but Bobby has to have the humility, integrity, self-awareness to change a few things and one or two of them – the possession obsession – are so in his DNA I wonder if he will be able to.

Dennis Ng
63 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:42:28
Coleman missing today for me is surprising, didn’t see pre-game news so don’t know if he’s still injured. I am starting to think RM is a bit too rigid in his tactics. Not sure if I term it as pedestrian but I do agree he hasn’t altered it much and the lack of a creative player has made that a problem when things don’t go well.

Hopefully he will play the youngsters (Besic, Atsu) and maybe tinker a bit with his formation for the next game against Swansea. Cup games are now proving a distraction IMO. And if they play well, play them next weekend. We got young players in and we’re not really blooding them in.

Michael Coville
64 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:35:37
Martinez got away with a poor defense at Wigan because they expected it, he won’t at Everton. This back passing is getting extremely boring, nobody seems willing or able to take on a player anymore and move the ball forward. Possession football is fine if you have the capability to quickly take advantage and move the ball forward. Every time one of our players received the ball, even the forwards, we passed it backwards.

The reason Ferguson got rid of Howard is because he has always been prone to these mistakes, a great goalkeeper on his day but always likely to have a day like today.

Martinez made a big mistake in taking off Stones and replacing him with McCarthy who was way out of position for their third goal, and why was Osman playing for so long? Easily pushed off the ball, like for the third goal and ineffective for 70 minutes of the game. Osman, Distin and Hibbert have been great servants of the club but time to move on and don’t get me started about Alcaraz.

Martinez has to start addressing out defensive frailties otherwise his dream of both getting us silverware and longer term managing Barcelona are going down the drain.

Dave Lynch
65 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:44:45
I said 2 weeks ago he didn’t know how to defend and I got slaughtered for it.

I stand by that comment and I’ll say it again.

" that’s why Wigan where relegated "

Steve Jenkins
66 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:48:18
Colin 54

That’s the problem we are two pedestrian with two holding midfielders.

You could forgive it if they were sitting in front of the back four protecting, supporting and sweeping up.

They’re not so what is the benefit - they’re all over the place on the pitch and in the midfield meaning there’s always a gap to be exposed and they offer v little creatively.

One maybe two is fine if they sit in front of the back four protecting it and let the other players do the attacking, however they just seem to operate all over the place with no structure.

Bill 55

I’m hoping he addresses the no:10 and another CB either in Jan or summer window.

Agreed - re defensive problems has to be looked at as it keeps reoccurring.

Gary Carter
69 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:53:32
Drew Shortis, it’s idiotic because despite playing two holding midfielders they do not close down or offer any cover to our centre backs. Even in games we win we concede so much territory and do many chances it’s untrue. Teams walk through the middle of us at will, and where we play so deeply out of the back if anything goes wrong they only have 40 yards or so to get to our goal.

Our goals conceded is horrendous this season but it would probably be even more eye opening to see chances conceded. Howard had a stinker today, but how many saves did he make and how many has he made this season, I don’t have the stats but I would be surprised if it wasn’t very high !

Tommy Coleman
70 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:57:29
Infuriating game losing to a crap team.
Nothing wrong with the line up, the team was good enough to beat Palace.
Howard, hero to villain, costing us.
I’m guessing we’ll be seeing inconsistent performances post Euro games.
Bobby Thomas
71 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:29:10
I was unconvinced by midweek and thought it was a false scoreline and poor performance. We were gifted goals and I thought we were woeful 2nd half.

We have problems.

We are way to easy to play against. There players look unsure and the defensive cohesion has gone.

There is no discipline and a lack of emphasis on being tight, in shape and organised.

If this carries on we are going to be in trouble.

Kunal Desai
72 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:00:30
How many will the RS put past us next weekend? 3? thankfully I won’t be around to witness another routine loss.
Brian Waring
74 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:01:17
"I was unconvinced by midweek and thought it was a false score line and poor performance"

You are joking, right Bobby? We battered Wolfsburg 1st half, and the only reason why they started getting more of the ball 2nd half was because we sat deeper hoping to catch them on the break, at the end of the day we didn’t have to chase the game, Wolfsburg did. Also, if our final ball had been better on the few occasions we did break away the score line would have been more.

Ian McDowell
75 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:05:22
Well here goes. I am not convinced by these management team at all. 3 home games 11 conceded is absolute relegation form.

Spending 28 million on Lukaku? Can he control the ball?

Jags, Distin and Howard? How many perm games between them? Woefully inept. That today is the sort of performance that makes me think are we really in the right hands?

John Audsley
76 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:57:03
Howard’s woeful performance cost us the game

The 2nd goal was humiliating for a goalkeeper of his ability and surely a a player of Etoo’s standing need to be up front rather than on the wing/midfield as he seems to be playing

Martinez tactics were woeful today and i’m hating this season

We will be lucky to finish in the top 8 if this carry’s on

John Pickles
77 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:46:29
From hero to zero, considering how little he had to do, I think that was the worst goalkeeping performance I have ever seen in 40 years at GP by an Everton Goalie. It’s great being a terrific shot stopper but his aerial ability and speed off his line cost us three points today.

When is Roberto going to learn to show some respect to the opposition’s attacking threat? Bolaise was a menace all game yet we sub the only player who is qualified to mark him and sure enough he pops up in acres of space to score their third. Moyes based his game around a strong defence, you can weaken that when you are chasing a game, you can’t when it is paper thin in the first place.

Those people knocking Rom today seem to miss what he brings us, he was put through once and he scored once, 100% completion. I don’t remember many knocking Lineker when that was the basis of his game.

Atsu was interesting, poor first touch and a bit lost infield but looked dangerous when he came running in from the byline. Reminds me of Deulofeu when he first arrived.

Raymond Fox
78 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:41:57
Dummy’s flying out left, right and centre again!

Yes, I would have played an unchanged side, I said that before the game, but the defeat is down to Howard, we should never have been behind in the game but for 2 bad errors from him.
Their 3rd is down to us having to chase the game and pressing too high at 2-1.
We’ve lost by 1 goal and have given them 3.

It is galling because shite, Utd and Spurs have all got beat, so it could have been a good step forward in the League.

As for as Besic is concerned, it seems to me, that there’s things off the field gone on by him that Martinez has took exception to, and that is the reason he’s not been getting playing time, that’s the likeliest explanation I can come up with!

Dave Duggan
79 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:28:05
Good teams who are successful don’t have average goalkeepers, it’s as simple as that.

Two centre backs who concede 10 goals should not play together for a very very long time, yet today we got to see them in action again. Stones at right back, Eto’o on the wing? Sorry Roberto I’m one of your biggest fans but what the fucking hell was that?

Guaranteed Howard plays next week... as will Distin... as will Jags. Different manager and style, same old boring favourites. Two of those favourites made the mistakes today and I guess it won’t be the last they make In an Everton shirt! How many times does Osman lose possession and get knocked off the ball?

I thought Roberto’s philosophy was to keep the white round thing? How many points does Howard cost us a season?

Typical Everton, fucking disgusted by that!

Tommy Coleman
80 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:03:56
People crack me up with the "Wigan, Martinez " rubbish.
3rd best defence last year, yeah, doesn’t know how to defend.
Howard makes 2 mistakes, "Wigan, Martinez " ZZZZzzz.
Stop putting 1 + 1 together and coming up with bollocks.
Brian Waring
81 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:07:31
As my lad just said, hope he wasn’t resting Mirallas, Nais and Coleman for Tuesday.
Brian Waring
82 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:12:04
Agree Tommy, the Martinez Wiganesque shite is getting boring now.
Peter Laing
83 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:58:28
This Everton team has the capacity for howler after howler and at this level, even against the likes of Palace you will get punished. Top of the list for the perfect howler - Howard, Distin and Osman. Time and time again the three aforementioned players have cost Everton dearly. Until we rectify this problem little if any progress will be made.

My head is burnt out by Everton, cut out the errors and we would be up near the top but lack of concentration, communication bad decision making has us listing.

Kelvin Thomas
84 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:29:34
Dennis, I agree. Eyebrows were raised over substitutions.

James, Howard was a world beater on Thursday and you want to replace him today with Robles...come on!

3 individual errors today cost us a game that was a walk in the park early on due to RM’s spot on game plant.
Howard cost us 3 points today end of!

Dave Abrahams
85 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:01:10
Gibson and Osman offer no energy in the centre of the park there is more life in a nit nurses comb. It’s time for Bescic to be given a game there.

Most of us know Howard is a good shot stopper and that is all he has. He was the main reason we lost the game.

Colin Glassar
86 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:10:59
I also think something is going on with Besic behind the scenes. The lad has a history of fighting with managers but if that’s the case, what’s he even doing on the bench? I think it’s got more to do with his "assist" during the Chelsea game.
Kelvin Thomas
87 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:15:20
Yes Peter, its been happening for too long. Unfortunately we can’t go out and spend millions to replace them.
Carl Sanderson
88 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:06:44
Dave 65:

And that is exactly why people like myself were excoriated on here for suggesting that appointing Martinez might be a gamble on account of Wigan’s defensive record. I was absolutely fucking slaughtered on here for that. I still hope to be proven wrong but the writing is on the wall, in my opinion. The derby is going to be like the seventh circle of hell.

Brian Waring
89 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:17:29
Think as someone mentioned Colin, if Besic doesn’t start Tuesday, something must be going on. Saying that though, Martinez may put out his first 11 against Swansea.
Harold Matthews
90 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:49:20
We needed someone to open things up and he took off Atsu who was getting round people and brought on Naismith who was terrible. No excuses. Martinez got it all wrong.

Gavin Johnson
91 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:08:06
Palace are fast becoming a bogey side for us. They’ve turned us over a number of times over the years. Losing 4-1 to them in the full-members cup was one notable occasion. They’re a team I expect us to beat when we play, but the results say otherwise.

The game just felt like a deja vu of the game in April, but it seems to be a bigger symptom of how we give away stupid goals then spend the rest of the game trying chasing the game. It’s either that or we can’t hold a lead. The 4-1 against Wolfsburg flattered us. I don’t buy it that it was part of some master plan to sit back and let the other team have 24 shots at goal.

The other grumble apart from Howard’s horror show was to take Stones off and keep Distin on..what was all that about?! As well as letting Osman play a whole 90 minutes. As others have said we need to really look at the defence because no one on here can deny it’s not a problem now

Brian Waring
92 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:19:46
So why did we have the third best defensive record last season Carl, surely that wasn’t down to ’Wiganesque defending???’
Peter Gorman
93 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:19:29
If the Wigan comparisons are getting boring perhaps you can come up with another explanation as to how utterly shocking our defence has been this season?

Personally I don’t blame the system, I blame the personnel. But who has the job of making these dozy fuckers get over whatever is making them ovulate? Phenomenal Roberto.

Denis Richardson
94 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:18:17
Missed the game (thankfully) so can’t comment on any performances but sounds like we went back to old routine of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Saw we scored early then assumed we’d kick on - guess I was wrong!

Shite result but can at least take some comfort that all of spurs, manu and lpool lost, missed out on gaining points on them but at least we didn’t lose any ground.. Bit desperate to get anything positive I know....

These errors are happening all too regularly now, RM needs to take a long hard look at the back 4 and if needs make some tough decisions.

Andrew Rimmer
95 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:22:55
If Howard was brilliant on Thursday that means Wolfsburg troubled us. Howard was blamed for two goals today because Palace were threatening us. Put 2 and 2 together and you get tactical suicide. Throwing people further up front to break down a defence that was allowed to get everyone back time after time does not work. Good teams have several keys in their pockets to unlock defences and usually that involve a long ball every now and then. I do not find possession football enjoyable to watch. And it is proving rather dangerous too.
Dennis Ng
96 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:16:15
Jack, CP definitely played well. It’s further helped by us trying to play through the middle. Our goals came from the flanks when they got stretched, so why take off Atsu? Why not Osman?

Even if we drop the whole Wigan debate, what happened since April, or even over the summer that now, we’re conceding a whooping 13 goals over 5 games? Did Distin and Jags just lose so much form over the course of a few months?

We can’t move forward if we improve well in one area (offense) and digress hugely in another (defense). As it is right now, we’re letting in more than 2x we did the whole of last year. We’re in a run of bad form defense wise, and like I said, RM needs to turn this around to make this season meaningful.

Tony Hill
97 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:18:31
I worry about Stones, I am afraid. He presently lacks positional awareness and has too many frozen moments. He has the right style and looks calm but I certainly don’t want him at right back again. As others have said, our glaring problem is lack of midfield drive and creativity.

Of course, we are without Barkley but it is very concerning that we are so short in that area when Ross won’t be back match fit much before November/December. Very, very disappointing but a win next weekend will help a great deal.

Kunal Desai
98 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:05:23
I just wonder if the players and Martinez have had there confidence severely knocked back as a result of not getting that 4th spot last season. They must have genuinely thought that with 5 games to go they were destined for that spot.
John Raftery
99 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:20:28
This match was there to be won in the first half hour. Start the game fast, score early and then work even harder to get the game done and dusted. Adopt that approach and you can then stroll through the rest of the game. Instead we started strolling at 1-0 with no sense of urgency and complacency evident among players and crowd. That is when individual errors creep into the play as we saw with three sloppy goals. We have now lost 4 of our last 6 home league games.

None of this excuses the booing of Osman after his mistake. Only a minority of the crowd were responsible but it was a significant minority and does not help the team one jot. Absolutely disgraceful.

Carl Sanderson
100 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:26:15
Brian 92:

That was then and this is now. Opposition coaches are sussing us out. Cast your mind back to the away game against Palace. We were bloody lucky to get away with 0-0 in that game. That happened quite a few times. There were games last season in which the opposition should have buried us, but poor finishing saved us.

This season the defence has been utter shite from first to last and we are geing pubished in almost every game. Even in our one clean sheet against West Brom it was panic stations during the first half, as evinced by the ToffeeWeb live forum.

Dennis Ng
101 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:30:20
Colin, I concur. I like to see Besic on but this waiting game is dragging on a bit too much. He’s a full international and play in a team that qualified for the World Cup, surely, stepping up to a few 45 mins of game time shouldn’t be a tough ask. Is there something off the field that’s keeping him out?
Rob Halligan
102 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:18:23
Just in from the match so haven’t read any of above posts. Utterly pissed off. This game has taught me two things, above all else: that John Stones can’t play right back, and Osman should never start a game again. Three basic errors have cost us today. One thing a manager should never do is tinker with a back four, unless somebody is injured. So why the fuck move stones to right back just so we can accommodate Distin? Keep stones at CB along Jags and play Hibbert at RB. What’s the point in giving Hibbert a new contract if he won’t be given a chance through injury? No way would they have got that penalty if hibbo was RB, he would have put his boot right through it and cleared it. As for Osman, what the fuck was he doing for the third? Taking a gentle stroll across his own penalty area only to be easily dispossessed. Only thing I will say for him is he never got a shout "man on" from a team mate. Then again the crowd did it for him and he still fucked up. Unusual for Howard to miss a cross as easy as that. One thing I think Howard is good at is catching under pressure, although there was no pressure at all in that incident.
Was saying before the match how shite the shites defence was. Think ours matches it. Can see next week being either 0-0 or 6-6!!
Brian Denton
103 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:33:56
Well, that was very disappointing. Virtually a carbon-copy of the same fixture last season. Difficult to know where to begin.
Howard is a great shot-stopper but there are few Premier League keepers who dominate their area as pitifully. Osman cannot play a full game any more and I don’t think it’s doing him any favours to make the attempt. Lukaku and Eto’o didn’t work (Lukaku’s hold-up play is wretched) and McCarthy is a shadow of the player he was last season.

Apart from that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs Lincoln.....?

Michael Polley
104 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:27:09
We need to eradicate these individual mistakes. Every game we’ve lost this season has been done to these mistakes. Howard was to blame today, but let’s not crucify the guy. After all, we’ve got no replacement. (Robles? – Don’t think so!!!)

The Wolfsburg game didn’t have any bearing today, but poor individual decisions did. However, the Europa League could be an unwelcome distraction that could cost us more points in the Premier League in the future. Considering the points we have dropped so far, I’m concerned. Let’s hope Barkley & Oviedo come back soon – I need some hope.

Second-season syndrome for RM? Most definitely!! I’m not concerned about the derby game. The RS are even worse than us.

Tom Flower
105 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:28:52
Very disappointing result. For the first 20 minutes we looked fantastic. Palace didn’t get a kick and had Osman converted a gilt edged opportunity we would have been two up and cruising.

It is difficult to legislate for individual errors but Howard and Ossie will need to hold their hands up. (Perhaps if Howard had lifted his up a bit more, we wouldn’t have conceded the 3rd!!)

I don’t see, however, how Martinez’s system of play can be responsible for these individual errors nor why some people would want to take us back in time to the sterile play of old.

Kevin Tully
106 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:34:12
Fucking comedy football. What was Howard thinking? The whole side thought they were Barca after 20 minutes and we got punished again - just like the previous League games.

Blame the manager for Howard all you want. The buck always stops with the man in charge, I agree. Southampton have made the best signing of the summer, Fraser Forster. He should have the plums to get rid ASAP. If he doesn’t bring someone in to replace Howard - that’s his fault, and he lives or dies by his choices.

Address the weaknesses, and we’ll be fine. Show too much loyalty, and he’ll be out of a job.

Raymond Fox
107 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:24:58
Trouble is Dennis how’s he going to change the defence, we’ve not that much to choose from. Today’s defeat was down to 2 Howard howlers its as simple as that, you cant legislate for that.

The other matches we’ve played this season, take a look at their form, Leicester, beat Man Utd- drawn with Arsenal, Chelsea 4 from 4 top of Prem, Arsenal unbeaten and in 4th place, WBA just beat Spurs at White Hart Lane, so our form is there to be seen, there’s nothing wrong with it.

James Stewart
108 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:41:26
Martinez is a hard guy not to like but he is seriously worrying me. I was certainly no fan of Moyes but at least he knew how to set up a defence. Letting in 13 in 5 is relegation form – no ifs or buts. Even 80% possession stats won’t save you if a team can score 3 at your ground with 24% possession.

Martinez’s tactics seem to consist of "can’t defend, won’t defend"...

Dennis Ng
109 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:44:16
Tom, I too subscribe to the possession game style but a good plan needs to be able to handle a few individual mistakes. And we conceded 2 from it. I don’t think anyone wants us to go back to the style before RM but it’s definitely nowhere near the level of defense we had last year.

If all the bulk of our goals conceded comes from 1 game like the Chelsea game, we’ll be fine. We have been conceding at least 2 goals a game bar WBA. I’m not accounting Wolfsburg because they did force Howard into 12 saves and they did get one in because of a good free kick and what I see as a Howard mistake.

Even the passing is off today. I was like "Holy cow, did we move the ball like that last year?" Dominating 20 mins won’t get us anywhere if we don’t have a plan for the rest of the game...Arsenal got 3 in 5 mins but they did well enough to not concede for 85.

Chris Sillett
110 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:38:40
Today was a combination of errors from the manager and players. When I saw the team sheet I thought WTF? – too many changes there, and it turned out to be a big mistake. He was forced in to putting Stones at RB but why put Mirallas, Naismith and McGeady on the bench? Surely they cant be ’tired’ as this was only the sixth game of the season! We should’ve played our full strength team today then rested everyone against Swansea on Tuesday.

That’s twice against Palace we have taken them lightly and paid for it. Bad mistakes from Howard and Osman gifted them goals but it just wasn’t our day.

Some scary fixtures coming up, although four straight away games may take some of the pressure off the team. The positives are that Spurs and Liverpool are only one point ahead of us and we are level on points with Man Utd! We would’ve taken that at the start of the season, wouldn’t we?!

Peter Z Jones
111 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:10:56
First off, Howard screwed us. That’s clear. He was as crap today as a goalkeeper can be. He’s had as many or maybe more howlers than Jagielka has now. He didn’t have but one shot to stop all damn day and somehow we conceded three goals. He’s poor at everything but shot stopping.

The back 4 selection made no sense. Stones has played two games at center back. We conceded one goal in those games, and that was a free kick on the last kick of the second game. He’s played right back or sat on the bench in the 4 other games. We’ve conceded TWELVE in those. What. The. Fuck. Why tinker with that, given how fragile our confidence is defensively? The team was finally getting its swagger back because Stones was in there handling business and then Martinez decides to throw in the pair that fucked everything up? Not to mention that Stones is crap at right back! He doesn’t have the pace to recover against the counter. It’s not his fault. He’s a center half. Besic played right back in the past and there is also Browning to fill in if Coleman is hurt. But no, let’s give our opposition a lifeline and play people out of position for entertainment’s sake!

As for Howard and Jagielka, they have to be dropped temporarily. If we truly are a top team, then we need to start acting like one and drop underperforming players! Jags has been the poorest defender by a mile and Howard has made at least 4 schoolboy errors that have cost us goals. So drop them. They’ll get another chance. But you have to be firm and let them know this shit is unacceptable.

Leon Osman giveth and Leon Osman taketh away. He still can’t protect the ball in his own half? Really? Still? But I thought he had so much "experience?" Fuck your experience. If you still make errors like that at this age, it’s never gonna change. Yet we persist. Loyal servant, academy product, blah blah blah blah….

Can we stop running Barry into the ground? If he’s gonna be here another 2 years, how is he going to make it if he has to play 90 mins every damn game at 34? We’ve got all these options supposedly, but Martinez is afraid to use them, and that will take a toll on all the old men we’ve got running this team into the ground.

Goddamnit. We are the most infuriating team in the free world. This squad is more than good enough for top 4 and we just keep on fucking it up. Stop toying with our emotions and get your shit together!

Ian Tunstead
112 Posted 21/09/2014 at 18:56:36
Martinez out!

The man doesnt know what he is doing, he doesn’t know the basic rules of football management!

Number 1 Golden Rule: do not change a winning team, unless absolutely necessary.

Number 2 Golden Rule: do not change a defense that is not conceding goals, unless absolutely necessary.

Number 3 Golden Rule: play your best players in their best positions, ie, avoid square pegs in round holes or trying to accommodate players, unless absolutely necessary.

Anyone who has watched Everton on a regular basis over the last 2 years knows that Osman can no longer start games or play for more than 30 minutes. And Stones cannot play at right back. Virtually every time he plays there, he is directly involved in us conceding goals. It was almost guaranteed that those two decisions alone were going to cost us 2 goals.

Did Martinez not learn lessons last season when playing the likes of Sunderland and Crystal Palace? Why play Stones at right back where he is clearly uncomfortable and inexperienced? And why also play Atsu, a player that is new to the league and the squad, who has never started before? Surely there needs to be some continuity or experience in there?

I cannot believe the game ended with Gibson at centre-back who has only just come back from a long-term injury and McCarthy at right back. The team was completely unbalanced with 4 or 5 strikers playing and only 2 defenders. This is Sunday league management.

The blame cannot go completely to Martinez though. I have said it before and I will say it again: Is Tim Howard throwing games for illegal betting? One day he will put in a MotM performance and the next make errors that you would not see in an amateur pub league. I would get rid... only for the fact that Martinez has somehow managed to bring in an even worse keeper as back up!

Dave Abrahams
113 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:55:19
Seventeen goals conceded in the last five home league games.

Something is most definitely wrong.

Joseph Clarke
114 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:41:11
Poor midfield, poor defence, not for the first time this season. Poor tactics. Everything is too slow, ponderous. Players who find it difficult to pass to their teammates, even over a short distance.

Naismith is the only forward who consistently moves intelligently up front, offering himself for a pass, but even he went down to the level of the rest. None of them, including the manager, earned even the pay Jimmy Gabriel would have been paid in his day, never mind what they get today.

Chris Sillett
115 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:58:18
People who are saying why did he play Stones at RB, well Coleman was injured and Stones was a RB at Barnsley and also plays at RB for England. Its not as if Stones has never played there!
Carl Sanderson
116 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:00:04
Peter Z J (#111):

Your post should branded on Martinez’s soul in letters of fire.

Lee Courtliff
117 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:52:53
The problems started at about 9:15 pm on Thursday. As soon as we scored the third against Wolfsburg, we should have subbed Lukaku, Mirallas and Naismith. That would have allowed us to play them today and keep our shape. We had no shape today. Being three-nil up was a wonderful and unexpected position to be in and we didn’t take advantage of it.

Playing Eto’o and Osman off the front from the off was never going to be a good idea. We could have played Atsu, Naisy and Kev off Lukaku today and things would have been pretty straight forward. Then let Osman, Eto’o, etc play on Tuesday. We tried altering our line up against them last season and that back fired too. I know that hindsight is faultless but I was asking myself at the time why we were not making subs much earlier on Thursday.

Regardless, we were pretty comfortable until Howard made TWO Sunday league style howlers. I’ve never been his biggest fan.

Darryl Ritchie
118 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:00:21
My brother jokingly said to me, " We’re going to get relegated this year". At least I’m pretty sure he was joking....yeah...he was joking.

Jim Bennings
119 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:56:48
We looked for a wide player all summer.

Why did we not go after Yannick Bolasie??
Twice now he has totally banged our asses, looks big strong and has an eye for goal.

Who takes any responsibility in our midfield to actually do something, anything with the ball??

Don’t even start me on that keeper and defence..being a good shot stopper is not enough, Howard makes way way too many judgemental errors that prove costly.

I won’t be listening or watching next week’s derby, what’s the point?
It will only be same old same old, we will make an average Liverpool team look great again and restore their lost confidence.

I said at the start of the season this year was Martinez’s first big test.

So far he’s failing it.

Rob Halligan
120 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:03:15
Chris #115. We all know Coleman was injured, so put in an experienced right back in Hibbert. Stones has played much better at CB so don’t change that pairing. One enforced change led to one unnecessary change in my opinion.
Andy Crooks
121 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:58:08
Many goals are conceded as a result of errors. So, in such cases is the coach absolved of responsibility?
Jim Bennings
122 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:07:32
Why did we give Tony Hibbert a new 1 year deal if he is never going to play him even preferring to play Stones who is clearly not and never will be a right back ahead of him?
Andrew Rimmer
123 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:04:03
Stop blaming defenders for goals. It’s a team game. Lukaku losing possession up front has cost us goals. It’s a team game. Even our last corner was a short one to keep possession. I’ve always said that the best way to score goals is againts the fewest defenders so why allow the opposition to get 10 men behind the ball? Possession is not 9/10ths of the score!
James Martin
124 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:05:10
Bit of an overreaction. Same manager who got us our record points total is now suddenly taking us to relegation? Unlikely.

His mistake as with Moyes is trusting experience over petformance. If Distin and Jags start together at Anfield it will be my angriest moment as an Evertonian. They are a tried and tested failure as a partnership. Martinez has to make Stones first choice.

Dennis Ng
125 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:04:22
Raymond, agree with the lack of choices and that we probably are in a better run of form than what the results look, still, conceding 13 in 5 games, at least 2 in 4 of them, we’re not looking good.

I guess my perception of RM is a more gutsy, try the youngsters type. If we’re to tinker because Coleman was injured, throw in Besic or some youngster we’ve so much high hopes of.

Distin and Jags played in those games we conceded lots in. Stones didn’t and Besic, well, we didn’t see much at all. And valid mentions of Hibbert or whoever else we left out from the teamsheet. Howard defined our loss today but we can’t have a problem of the moment and lose/draw the game every week.

I think the move to play Stones more in the CB role is a good one, looks good so far at least. That should not open us up to have to depend on Howard as much as we did over the past 2 games. Then shore up the defense on the right with Hibbert (or the untried youth) and Besic alongside McCarthy and Barry in the middle of the park. Then build from the left with our only known foraging fullback in Baines. I present Italy England as exhibit A. England was awful sure, and Italy got knocked out by the surprising Costa Rica, but during the game, Italy’s formation was one sided. And they attacked from it. And won.

Again, speculative. I don’t know what RM sees during training but I think we’re way too lenient in saying "we lost due to individual errors". At this stage, they are professionals that should always be pouncing on individual errors and while we should allow youngsters to make some, we should have a plan to reduce the errors to non-lethal ones.

Steven Higgott
126 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:29:11
It goes to show we didn’t have Coleman today which made the back 4 unstable. I hope Martinez didn’t bottle it to leave Distin out and use an excuse and say he didn’t want to risk Coleman.

It’s still early in the season but if we were to lose our next 2 games we will be in the bottom 3 and when your down there is so hard to get out so today’s game was 3 point a must even if it was ugly to watch.

Palace we never going to be a threat going forward unless the caught us on the break so why go with Lusaka and Eto’o up front stick to what we know best the defence has had a shaky start but last 2 games would be giving them some confidence now after today that’s been shattered. We go to Anfield on Saturday and after last seasons display defensively am really worried it could be deja vu.

Kevin Tully
127 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:12:13
It’s no use asking why we didn’t play X,Y or Z as no-one has any idea how that would have worked out. Jim B - "Why did we not go after Yannick Bolasie??" Yeah, you have been on here shouting for us to sign him all summer...stop talking rubbish.

Martinez and the team fucked up big time, they have to stand up and take the blame, but please stop the hindsight team selection - it does my head in!!

Tony Marsh
128 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:11:25
For those of you who crave three games a week which will include the boring Europa League, then there you have it. Domestic League suffers and a shite team like Palace batter us again.

We cannot sustain playing in 5 competitions with a tiny squad and a Gobshite potless chairman and expect to do any good.

Then again, some might say a piss-up in France and Germany is worth the sacrifice. Let’s go out of the Carling Cup at Swansea on Tuesday, FFS. Last thing we need before we get smashed at Anfield is extra time and pens in South Wales.

Small squad and too many games equals what we saw today... I wish our fans would learn what’s important. Fuck the Europa League and fuck the League Cup... Time to realise what we are and what we have, which isn’t 3 players in every position. Thanks to the Europa League no Coleman for the Derby.

Tom Flower
129 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:13:25
In short the coach should be absolved of responsibility when players make individual errors. How can be blamed -simply because he picked them? If so, Is anyone seriously suggesting that rm should not have selected tim howard after his performance on thursday when he was outstanding throughout? You cant legislate for it unless someone is so hopelessly out of form they s houldnt even be on the bus.
Jim Bennings
130 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:16:32
I do agree with Andrew.

Defending needs to start from the front and for me, when I see the very best sides play, what impresses me most is their high pressing up front and their sheer work ethic, Borussia Dortmund are the masters of it.

We are too slow and lethargic, always look like we’re playing a pre-season friendly.

That is why Liverpool will beat us again next week.

They will pressure us and suffocate us and that’s how every opponent now knows what is needed to stop us.

Will we go to Anfield and do the same to them??
Very much doubt it.

Gavin Johnson
131 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:53:20
I really hope we bring a centre back and goalkeeper in the January window.

The Jags/Distin partnership is dead and either should only be played alongside Stones now.

I said earlier in the thread Robles should be given his chance at Swansea and if he keeps a clean sheet play him in the league. If not, sell or loan him out and get someone else in. A lot of T’webbers have mentioned Cech, It seemed kinda unrealistic to me because I wouldn’t envisage Roberto buying an established keeper who would likely only sign for us, if he was first choice. After today’s game and say it would be a bold and positive decision to buy a ready for the first team keeper. Before I’d have said go for a young up and coming keeper (that Robles was mean’t to be) like Butland, but someone like Cech would be a signing I’d welcome now. Howard is a great shot stopper but is inconsistent in other areas of his game. We’ve always known this but it seems to becoming more pronounced since the WC.

This brings me to certain players being favourites and not being dropped when warranted. What would a manager like Fergie do when a keeper made a number of howlers, he’d make a bold decision! I cant see Roberto having this ruthless side to him

Rob Halligan
132 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:15:05
Something else that’s got right on my nerves as well is hearing people blame it on playing in Europa League on Thursday. Bollocks!! We played Thursday, then Sunday. A period of three days rest as good as.

What’s the point in trying to qualify for Europe if all people are going to do is moan about it? You might as well tell a player don’t play for your country midweek because it might affect your league performance the following weekend. These are young super fit (well most are) athletes who should be able to easily play 2 games each week.

Dave Lynch
133 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:07:55
Why couldn’t Mirralas and Naismith be played?

They are fucking pro footballers who earn more in a week than I do in a year, they train for it for christ sake.

Poor little souls would have had to work 180 minutes in a week bless them, with a 3 day rest in between games.

I fucking hate football tonight...

John Beesley
134 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:02:35
Couldn’t agree more with Kelvin Thomas 15, individual errors cost us the game after good selection from Roberto – don’t blame the manager.

Tim Howard is a great Evertonian, nice man and all that but I’ve always said it he just isn’t good enough, he’s a pudding head. He’s just like Bruce Grobbelaar – a good shot stopper (making that look spectacular as well) but is shit at everything else. I know I’m comparing him to the best but I never saw Southall make two mistakes in nearly 20 years like Howard made today.

I thought Roberto was doing what needed to be done when he first came in replacing Howard with a good keeper. Give Robles the rest of the season and, if he does not cut the mustard, replace them both as you will never win sweet FA with a dodgy keeper who undoes all the hard work of his team mates and makes the defence in front of him feel shaky when they are trying to play out from back in the first place.

Unfortunately he is the 6 point difference between 5th place and that elusive Champions League spot.

Andrew Rimmer
135 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:25:37
Stop blaming defenders. Teams like Palace shouldn’t be anywhere near our goal, end of! Our possession game is killing us. We give away possession when most of our team is in the opposition half. The only time we should give away possession is when we have shot and scored or missed. Therefore allowing us time to set up defensively again.
Dennis Ng
136 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:28:14
Rob, don’t think we wouldn’t want to play in Europa, but it’s funny how we want to play in it but we’re probably not ready to handle injuries or a run of bad form from key players. It’s more of the here and now that makes it look like a distraction. If we’re playing well, I don’t think we’ll be complaining as much.

Kevin, while I have my version of what should have happened, agree with not double guessing RM’s decision. I guess we’ll learn more at Swansea. Hopefully he do much better than this one over the next 2 games.

Jim Bennings
137 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:27:33
Europe is not to blame!

For Christ’s sake it’s only September how can they even claim to be tired??

We played in the Europa League in 2007-08 and had a wonderful run just before Christmas that year which included a 13 match unbeaten run, half of them were in Europe and we also had a run to the Carling Cup semi-finals.

No we are losing games because we are playing shite and conceding shite schoolboy goals.

Phil Smith
138 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:23:13
I was in the gods today and I don’t blame Tim for that 1st goal at all! If Stones would have dealt with the ball (something he constantly failed at today) instead of leaving it for Tim to deal with there wouldn’t have been a penno! He was at fault for the 2nd and Leon was to blame for the 3rd! That was the worst performance by him ever in an Everton shirt. He should feel ashamed after that performance, as should most of the team. Lukaku was useless with his link-up play. Atsu gave the ball away all game. Stones and Distin made too many errors. Only Jags, Barry and Bainsy can hold their heads up after that. Pathetic!!!
Nicky Styles
139 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:34:11
I’d like to point out that, although the result is disappointing and we were guilty of some very inept defending, this is not the first time we have had early season defensive issues in the last 10 years. There were indeed periods under Moyes where we looked especially shaky at the back. I genuinely feel this will be rectified shortly. It’s still early days and, with the exception of Chelsea, every team is still finding their feet.
James Hill
140 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:37:34
Two bad goal keeping errors, that’s all. Nothing to do with tactics or team selection. Howard has one a season; let’s hope it out of the way.
Rob Halligan
141 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:38:41
Dennis #136. I’m sure the players love playing in Europe, be it CL or EL. It’s fans who piss me off blaming the defeat on the fact we played Thursday.
Jim #137, spot on mate!!
Chris Davies
142 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:39:46
I really don’t understand the love-in with Tim Howard after Thursday, nor did I after THAT World Cup game. All of those shots were straight at him and any keeper worth their salt would have kept those shots out.

Howard is a shit keeper and always has been. That pile of garbage today was simply unacceptable. He needs to be dropped ASAP!

John Raftery
144 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:30:45
Rob (132) I agree. Today I honestly thought on the way to the match he would go with an unchanged line-up, try and see Palace off early on and then take the opportunity to rest the front players. Making the changes he did contributed to some disjointed play up front on the back of some painfully slow sideways passing which is one of the hallmarks of our game when we play opponents who sit deep. Once we were 3-1 down we finally showed some of the urgency which was required in the opening stages.

Rob Halligan
145 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:46:29
Trouble is Chris, we only have Robles, AKA Teflon. Most T/webbers wouldn’t trust him on WHP on a Sunday morning!!
Chris Davies
146 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:49:19
Agreed Rob. Problems, problems.
Rob Halligan
147 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:49:34
Cheers John. See you on the coach Tuesday.
Paul Hewitt
148 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:49:37
You can blame Martinez all you want but it’s the players making stupid mistakes to blame — not Roberto.
Mike Gwyer
149 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:51:02

Raymond #107.

You can take figures and make form look as good as you want but for me our defensive form has been shite every game this season and I mean every game.

Distin may have been good last season but this season he’s playing somewhere between fucking shite and a total liability. For me this will be his last season at GP. Osman. How the fuck Osman gets in the starting 11 baffles me and I don’t understand people who say "Osman can’t play for 90 minutes" - for fuck sake he can’t play at all.

So, when you have Distin & Osman on the field and Howard playing in "turrets" mode then it’s only a matter of time before a howler is unleashed. Fuck me, today it was like "you’ve been framed" doing a live show at Goodison Park.

Form can be lost as quick as it’s found and really, what was good last season can be totally fucking gob shite this season. Everton have a major, major problem and that is with their defensive unit - we are conceding goals for fun and it has got to be stopped.

Dennis Ng
150 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:47:58
Well, we’ll always have that problem Rob. We are outside looking into the team and can only guess that much. Certainly, RM made a few changes that raised many eyebrows today and it didn’t pay off. I’m sure if it did, he would be a genius.

John, I for one is for rotation, especially when it comes to handling injuries. Coleman is out, so we definitely can’t play the exact same lineup. And as we’ve seen the past few games, we might be more willing to rest defensive personnel than offense. At least, that’s my thought given we’re thin on defense right now. Something I couldn’t believe will happen a few years back...

Paul Hewitt
151 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:55:02
Ian @112 — what a stupid post: ’Martinez out’ for god sake. I hope you were joking.
Rob Halligan
152 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:55:31
Today was an all round fuck up really. Jeez, even the big screens were flashing up scores from games played 2 or 3 weeks ago!!
Brent Stephens
153 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:23:12
Roberto’s game, the whole game, come what may, is possession and safe passes which must not lose possession. I think thats why people like Jags panic, scared to give it away. I also think that safety first game provides them all with a cop-out - look for the easy pass because Roberto will bollock me if I give it away. Sin miedo my sweet fanny. So almost complete absence of attempts at creativity (ok that be exaggeration but...).
Tom Evans
154 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:59:25
I am massively disappointed by todays result, and by the apparent way in which we gifted them their goals. Coupled with some puzzling substitutions from RM and I am left with an uneasy feeling for the next few weeks. Having said that, I had a feeling in my water that the shitbag that is Warnock, would do what he does best and piss on our chips today.
Bobby Thomas
155 Posted 21/09/2014 at 19:31:53
Brian #74

No im not joking. The keeper was possibly man of the match, we couldn’t keep the ball, managed the game poorly and the scoreline was extremely flattering.

If you were pleased with that performance, fair enough. I wasn’t convinced and I saw no reason today to be anything other than increasingly concerned. At the moment we are all show no tell and flatter to deceive.

We’re great on the eye but we have a soft centre and the emphasis is wrong. We are conceding goals all over the show.

We clearly have problems, we’ve shipped something like 17 in the last 6 home league matches. I would suggest everything is not rosey and felt no reason to join in the wankfest that followed midweek as I didnt think we were that good. At times in the second half I thought we were abysmal.

I saw nothing today which made me think I was wrong.

Anthony Lamb
156 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:29:28
I fully sympathise with Dave Lynch’s frustration! I did not see the game today (thankfully) but prior to the game I felt drawn to make some comments rejecting this growing "swallowing" of the professional establishment’s mantra about the need for "rotation" etc.

In addition, just who do we think we are? Do we seriously think that we are anywhere near a position to treat opponents with degrees of disrespect as to consider leaving out so-and-so because they "need a rest"? Well let’s get real - we are not.

Everton need to play their strongest eleven against every opponent they wish to defeat unless they are forced to by injuries/loss of form etc and not to "rest" players -especially after 5 games of a season! Are we seriously going to accept this nonesense? After 5 games of a season? It is nonesense and should be condemned as such. Why on earth should Miralles, Naismith etc need to be "rested" with the consequent disruption to the cohesion of a settled XI?

I feel sorry for young Stones who seemingly is given little chance by his club manager or the ludicrous England manager to bed into the role of a central defender before he is moved at a whim to the completely different perspective of a full-back when he is at the earliest stages of learning the game at the higher levels. What on earth is the experienced Hibbert doing? Or is he too nursing a hamstring tweak from not having actually played for what seems to be ten years or so now? It is a farce.
Amongst the usual banal claptrap emanating from the likes of Reid and Strachan after the Europa game last week they did at least have one sensible point to make which most common-sense viewpoints would agree with, namely "that what most players want above all else is to be playing" so do not use European games as excuses to be "resting" players. I am just saddened that Mr Martinez seems to have succumbed to this mindset that is perpetuated by self-indulgent "professional-speak".

Peter Cummings
157 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:38:09
I posted before the game about Howard being mom v Wolfsburg but how our passing and possession needed urgent attention, so what happens? The hero turns villain but the rest remained exactly the same old samo.

We treated Palace with contempt after we scored, became complacent and arrogant and deservedly paid the price,

Lukaku cannot control the ball and was constantly dispossessed and the new boys fared little better against big defenders which has been another major problem when the visitors park the bus,we rarely raided down the wings until we were two behind but too little and too late.

I’m afraid Howard has to be ’rested’,one blunder is bad enough but to balls up a simple catch is unforgiveable at this level,

It is vital we get our act together v Swansea, and if,as expected, we come away from Anfield empty handed, our season could be on the rocks big time.

Sam Higgins
158 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:56:44
...of course David Moyes is available for work...
Mike Oates
159 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:09:44
Just a quick couple of points, too many of you sinking into the abyss too easily!
We are relying far, far too much on Coleman for our creativity, we are only half the team when he’s missing, and it seems ludicrous that its all ready been announced he’s not available vs Swansea
Second point, goalies make mistakes, always have always will and unfortunately they cost goals, but Howard is head and shoulders above Robles, don’t wish Robles on us that will ruin the season,
Mike Hughes
160 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:14:50
Mike # 159 - I’m not sure if that was meant to be reassuring but it didn’t work.
Chris James
161 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:08:31
Coleman aside, I don’t understand rotating a winning team. I doubly don’t understand Osman playing in the Premier League.

Sounds like other mistakes let us down but really this isn’t good enough we’ve thrown away 7 points now in the first 5 games, so if we rally but end up the same distance off Arsenal we’ll know why.

We don’t have the excuses that Man Utd, Liverpool and even Spurs had of rebuilding – it’s the same team but playing worse. We need to defend leads sometimes... Moyes back as No 2?

Dennis Ng
162 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:19:46
Mike 160, I think he meant more of "less of a doomsday" rather than "all smiles and sunshine".
Damian Braithwaite
163 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:13:19
Went the game today and what struck me was all our defenders pissed about with the ball in our own half. Stupid sideways passes that kept putting us under pressure. It’s quite simple how to steady the ship we need to pass the ball forward not sideways.

But I agree with most of the comments on here and that is Martinez should not change a winning side to rest the important players, they get paid to play football, for god’s sake, and they should be fit enough to play every week.

Rob Halligan
164 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:21:33
Victor Valdes is available on a free. Why don’t we try and get him from Barcelona? The shite are after him so lets put a spanner in their works and snap him up.
Kieran Fitzgerald
165 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:15:56
Palace wanted it more, could actually pass the ball to their own players, could trap a ball when it was played to one of their players, could defend properly and took their chances.

Everton were lethargic, couldn’t pass or control the ball, passed up several glorious chances to score and just never got going.

Dennis Ng
166 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:24:55
Chris, as much as I don’t mind OFM back as #2 or #3, I prefer Pulis. Might even be able to temp Shawcross over. LOL
Allan Board
167 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:56:45
Not sure where to begin after the latest episode of "Let’s take liberties with the opposition because we are this stellar passing side – and promptly get stuffed!"

I would remind our manager and players: you earn the fucking right to play this game with a swagger/arrogance after you have put your balls on the line every minute of every game for years — not for 10 minutes here and there!

Beaten again by decent, not great opposition who thought "Let’s get into these fuckers now,they reckon they’ve won this after 20 minutes!" Play the fucking game like you mean it and stop poncing around Everton!

Yeh ,we are moaning at you , but you now have the chance to shut us all up by putting it right on Tuesday and Saturday – I include the manager in that too. Aarrgghh!

Kieran Fitzgerald
168 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:32:10
While Pulis may actually be a good idea, (I’m being serious) I think Martinez would spontaneously catch fire at the mention of the idea.
Raymond Fox
169 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:44:52
My impression watching the game was that Howard gifted Palace 2 goals, I’ve not seen replays so I could be wrong. One or two are blaming Stones for 1 goal so we’ll see later.

You can blame the manager for changing the team, yes I agree with that, keeping an unchanged side would have been the safe option. But we lost the game in the end because of Howard’s blunders, we can’t give any team 2 goals start and hope to do well.

We were 1 up and had them where we wanted them, they then had to come out and attempt to score which should have suited us. Then what happens, our keeper presents them with 2 gifts, there’s no way we would have lost this game otherwise.

To start blaming the manager for the defeat is harsh for me, Howard and Stones have been doing okay recently so I’ve no complaints selection wise there, to make.

Raymond Fox
170 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:33:36
Kieran we did actually score 2 goals you know.
Rob Halligan
171 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:33:04
Blimey, we think our defence is bad!! Anyone watching Levantes defence against Barcelona???
Brian Harrison
172 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:22:19
Why would you want to change a side who had won back to back games? He starts Eto’o and Atsu – how much game time have these guys had? Naismith has been our best player yet is left on the bench.

Yes, there will come a time when rotation is needed but not 6 games into a new season, and not before two tough away games. The old adage of "always play your best team" is still as valid today as it has always been, but too many managers outsmart themselves with their changes.

After we scored the first goal, we seemed to lack any interest of going for the jugular and putting the game to bed; instead, we stuck with the tried and trusted style of pass and pass with nobody wanting to make runs into the box, no desire at all.

So is this second season syndrome? Time for RM to not be so predictable, and the leaky defence is becoming the norm; even in the 4-1 win against Wolfsburg, they had a number of opportunities to score.

Tony Abrahams
173 Posted 21/09/2014 at 20:57:20
I’ve been saying for ages that Barry is not a defensive midfield player. He’s there to get on the ball and make us play, but because he plays In front of the back four, people assume he’s there to defend. I like him as a player but we need more mobility in the centre of the park.

When McCarthy went to fullback (has Martinez got a sub right yet this season) it left us with the two slowest players at the club in the engine room?

Modern football is more pace than skill, I think Palace proved that today. We was cruising but never really went for the jugular and individual mistakes cost us so badly again.

We were very disjointed second half and, as much as I think Eto’o has a lot to offer, I don’t think it’s as a winger. I think that’s a position players go and play in training when they’re shattered, so I was surprised he played the full 90 minutes to be honest.

I’ve got to disagree with anyone who says the League is the most important this year, because I personally would prefer to see Everton win a trophy. If the long term plan is Champions Lge football, then surely it’s only right we learn our trade for Europe in the Europa League?

I still think we can fuck Liverpool next week, but I would think it a lot more if we could just find ourselves a real leader out on the pitch

Sean Patton
174 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:43:25
It is a good job the next game is only two days away so we can move on quick because thinking about that shambles today will make me furious.

Make no mistake this is not the well drilled Palace of last year under Pulis who notched up several impressive results this team were bottom of the league today before they were gifted 3 goals and 3 points.

Simply put Jagielka and Distin must not play together for Everton again, it has to be Stones in the centre plus one as James Martin points out those two together have let in 9 goals in just 2 games and that is utterly diabolical!

Paul Joy
175 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:42:58
We created all 5 goals today - pity only 2 were for us.
John Daley
176 Posted 21/09/2014 at 22:06:48
"If Howard was brilliant on Thursday that means Wolfsburg troubled us. Howard was blamed for two goals today because Palace were threatening us. Put 2 and 2 together and you get tactical suicide"

No, you don’t. You get the message that Howard is marvellous at certain things during a match, and an absolute fucking meff of astounding merit at other times.

That defeat can’t really be laid at the door of the manager.

Team selection, or methodical ’back passing’, had fuck all to do with any of the goals conceded. They were all down to individual errors, pure and simple. We were well on top and coasting to a win until Tim decided to don his calamity cap.

Howard has always possessed the cock up chromosome that costs you points.

Yeah, he might be a good shot stopper but, Jesus Christ, you can never bank on him being the type of keeper to command his area, claim crosses, clear his lines swiftly and decisively, or provide the sort of calming presence capable of telling a defence to settle the fuck down.

He switches off at crucial moments and inspires panic in the players in front of him when he himself acts perturbed. Always has done. an arbitrary byproduct of his Tourette’s, it’s a particularly persistent turtle headed turd that pokes it’s head out of his bald-but bearded-bumhole way too often for a top team to persist with, without it costing them points at crucial stages of the season.

Shit happens, but with Howard it seems to stick stubbornly to the pan and refuse to flush just when you’re wanting to keep things sparkling clean and fresh.

--> He fucks up on occasion, and today he was on overtime.

Bobby Thomas
177 Posted 21/09/2014 at 22:15:52
John Daley #176

There was a section of your post that made me mildly ill.

I think you may know which!

Milos Milenkovic
180 Posted 21/09/2014 at 22:42:08
Tim Howard is one of the best keepers in the world. He lost the game today but he saved us zillion times and it is normal to have bad game at some point. It is incredible that people want him to be droped but I haven’t seen a single post how should be in our goal instead of him. You can call for Robles only if you never saw him play or you never saw game of football.
Dennis Ng
182 Posted 21/09/2014 at 22:52:32
Kieran, I can see that happen too. Hm, dilemma dilemma.
Clive Rogers
183 Posted 21/09/2014 at 21:40:30
We are so amateurish. The club is a joke from top to bottom. Today we have brought in two 33 year olds and a 37 year old. We signed Alcaraz when the only way to keep him fit is not to play him. Hibbert is given a two year contract when he could barely run in a pre season game. Barry was finished at the top level after the 2010 world cup so we give him a 3 year contract at 33. Eto’o gets 2 years at 100 grand per week at 33.
Dont mention Osman to me.
We are becoming a rest home for geriatric footballers
The management of our club is a joke from the chairman down.
Anthony Hughes
185 Posted 21/09/2014 at 23:08:23
Howard is a zillion miles from being one of the best goal keepers in the world
Clive Lewis
186 Posted 21/09/2014 at 22:20:05
This is the same team as last year. However what has changed is the instruction from management. I remember Roberto saying I am not going to change what Moyes created defensively. Now this year he has put his own management style in place. I remember the quotes from Swansea before. Martinez is style is ataack only, he has no idea of defence management.
Dave Williams
187 Posted 21/09/2014 at 23:21:09
Tim messed up today and Roberto cannot be responsible for a goalie making basic errors 3 days after playing so well against Wolfsburg. I think it was wrong to disturb the Stones-Jagielka partnership and either Browning or Hibbert should have come in. Besic must have upset someone as the continued refusal to play him appears bizarre.

I followed the live forum today and was dismayed at the abuse some posters were levelling at players and in particular some nasty, snide references to Tim’s medical condition from people who have previously come across as reasonable and intelligent. This is out of order in my opinion and it should be possible to get a point across without resorting to these depths. I wonder whether the same comments would be made if the poster was face-to-face with Tim?

All threads are to encourage healthy debate but surely the stuff today was not becoming of the supporters of our club.

Tony Hill
188 Posted 21/09/2014 at 23:16:47
There is a strange lethargy about us this season, a physical manifestation of what I think is Everton’s endless problem: we never, deep down believe we’re going to win, not on a consistent, killer basis. There is dread in our souls at the prospect of real, enduring, emphatic success.

Apart from the 80s teams at their very best, and one or two flarings since, we have never had what Martinez now calls, too readily and inaccurately, "arrogance". I don’t know why, maybe it’s because our whole culture has been affected by the historic triumphs of the RS but it’s there always, you can feel it in the fans and in the players, in the very fabric as it were.

I think RM may yet do it for us but today was very sobering indeed because it was a typical Everton collapse. My first suggestion would be to replace Jagielka as captain, he is too bland and has no nastiness, a quality many have said we lack. I would choose Coleman as the best option we have. We need some bastards who are dying to win; there wasn’t a single one out there today and the man on the touchline needs to become a nasty bastard too before it’s too late.

Geoff Harrison
189 Posted 21/09/2014 at 23:25:14
Have to agree with Clive(186) If you don’t practise enough, you’re prone to more individual errors. I’ve no idea what is emphasised in our training and tactics, but RM has to acknowledge that this volume of goals conceded is not just bad luck. We’re scoring at 2 plus a game.
And also get shut of Osman!
Clive Rogers
190 Posted 21/09/2014 at 23:50:31
Osman has never been good enough. As an attacking mid, he has scored 44 PL goals and is now in his twelveth season. No other club would have allowed such a poor return.
Mike Green
191 Posted 21/09/2014 at 23:56:01
THIS is what happens when you don’t wear WHITE SOCKS!

It’s not rocket science...

Ernie Baywood
192 Posted 22/09/2014 at 00:01:40
What a shite game. Even at 1-0 up we were pretty dull.

All three goals were absolute clangers - where the fk are these coming from? You expect a few but this is ridiculous.

So take those goals away and we don’t lose... but it still doesn’t disguise the fact that we were pretty disfunctional.

It did cross my mind after the joy of Wolfsburg that you can’t laud a man for playing his strongest team in Europe and then criticise him for subsequently making changes. It has to work both ways and you can’t expect everyone to play 7 in 3 weeks or whatever our schedule is. The disappointment is that we don’t have the depth to our squad that we thought we did. Atsu had a great opportunity to show his ability but ended up looking like a kid. Clearly got pace and had a couple of exciting breaks but he’s not yet a footballer. At the other end of the age spectrum, Osman is well and truly gone now - good servant, clever little footballer, but so far off the pace it’s unreal. The ball picked off his foot for the third goal wasn’t the first time in that game.

Still can’t fathom JMcC to right back.

Si Cooper
193 Posted 21/09/2014 at 23:57:33
’If you don’t practise enough, you’re prone to more individual errors. I’ve no idea what is emphasised in our training and tactics, ....’

I would expect the emphasis to be on ball retention through passing and movement, until there is a clear chance to play the ball purposefully in an attacking move.

That doesn’t mean a defender can’t at any time opt to do the safe thing and clear it from the danger area as quickly as possible (no matter who may have called for it), or that they are being trained to allow attackers get their shots off by not closing them down quickly enough, or that the keepers aren’t practising catching balls crossed into the box, or that defenders are encouraged to step up when the opposition player has had ample time to select a measured ball through.

To not expect teams like Palace to offer any attacking threat at all against us is ludicrous and insulting, to expect professional footballers to deal with situations they have prepared for ever since they signed schoolboy forms is perfectly reasonable.

John Daley
194 Posted 22/09/2014 at 01:03:46
"This is the same team as last year. However what has changed is the instruction from management"

So, Martinez instructed Howard that, instead of simply coming and catching the ball, he should instead concentrate on shouting ’eeeeeyyyyy!’ whilst doing an insane, thumbs up, mid-air impersonation of the Fonz above Frazier Cambell’s fucking head?

He ordered Osman to suffer a frenzied twenty minute spell spent sending the ball spiralling to anyone in a different coloured shirt with his shitty first touch?

Gary Edwards
195 Posted 22/09/2014 at 02:08:54
wrong tactics, poor player selection and some players so woefully off form yet still playing each week are the source of our problems.

McCarthy - It wasn’t until we scored that I realised he was playing. Thereafter the only time I noticed him was whe he moved to RB and his part in our penalty. In his role is he not expected to pick the ball up from the defence and move it quickly into attack ? what is he actually doing at the moment, he’s not even a reliable first line of defence or midfield enforcer (which is the least we should be expecting from him). His problem is a lot more than chronic blisters.

Osman - if selected shouldn’t start. He’s got 20 minutes in him at best after which he becomes a liability. I thought he’d been substituted until his part in their 3rd. goal. If we have to use him then he should be no more than a late sub.

Martinez is certainly guilty of poor management of resources. For example current form players should have been substituted after 60 minutes against Wolfsburg and started against Palace. We started this match without our 2 form goalscorers, where is the sense in that ? why not play them until they tire then bring in Osman, Atsu, Etoo etc.

Because Palace sat so deep, Barry and McCarthy sat higher up the pitch which meant Jagielka and Distin had to carry (and pass) the ball out of defence. They are not very good at this, they look embarrassingly uncomfortable doing this. Wise up Roberto and resolve these problems.

FOr me the situation screams out for the introduction of Besic

Michael Penley
196 Posted 22/09/2014 at 02:29:02
-BBC interviewer: "Do you think Howard needs to step up and take responsibility for his errors?"
-Martinez: "He doesn’t need to, he’s an incredibly professional player... (continues with superlatives for 35 seconds)"

Enough said. Maybe if he did take responsibility he’d be more inclined to work on his inclination to make the same kind of fuck-ups on a regular basis. Last season it was Sunderland.

And Goodison Park should be renamed to Goodison Retirement Home. Roberto’s simply too much of a nice guy to tell players they are finished. Will he ever ask himself whether Distin, Barry, Osman and Howard are past it, not to mention perpetual bench-warmer Hibbert?

Tahir Abdullah
197 Posted 22/09/2014 at 02:47:02
Phil @138, thanks for putting on record the most probable culprits for the 3 goals. Howard was clearly responsible for conceding the 2nd goal only. Herd mentality on TW is unsurprising and the sleights at TH’s Tourette’s by at least one poster here and by another on the live forum yesterday, are disgusting.
Ian Jones
198 Posted 22/09/2014 at 07:21:23
It’s not all bad. Positive news. Third highest scorers in Prem League so far!
Seb Niemand
199 Posted 22/09/2014 at 09:35:19
Well, it has taken a while, but he finally has us playing like Wigan!
Frank Crewe
200 Posted 22/09/2014 at 08:53:40
The definition of stupidity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Does anyone remember when OFM put a weakened side out against Leeds in the League Cup? Or Shrewsbury in the FA Cup? We lost both games badly.

It appears to have become a feature of the modern game for managers to make wholesale changes against allegedly "weaker" sides and still expect to get results. They are almost always wrong and almost always lose.

Warnock is an experienced manager. I’ll bet as soon as he saw our team he told his players we think they are rubbish because we showed them no respect and picked a much weakened side against them. Not to mention he no doubt looked at a video of their victory here last season and seen how much trouble Bolassie gave us.

We have two tough away games coming up so this was a game we needed to win and a side with four changes including three, what I would call luxury players in Osman, Eto’o, and Atsu, was not what was needed, especially with no Coleman and a dicey defense against their quick forwards. What was needed was the strongest side we could put out arranged in a sensible formation and not these weird formations they tend to go for today.

Now of course it could be that Martinez doesn’t really think we can finish in the top four, or even the top six, so he has decided to pick his strongest sides in the cups in the hope of winning some silverware. If he does this against Swansea on Tuesday it could well be an indicator of his thinking. If this does turn out to be the case then fine. I would sooner win a cup than get knocked out of all of them and still end up nowhere in the league. After all, winning cups gets you into Europe just as much as high finishes in the PL and you don’t have to win as many games to do it so it could be a sensible tactic.

Milos Milenkovic
201 Posted 22/09/2014 at 09:17:06
Tony Hill #188, you are the only one hitting the problem here. We don’t have a winning mentality. That is the biggest problem of our club and by reading most of the posts, you can see that it is deep down in Everton fans too.

We are pretty average in the league for past 25 years, yet, every year we are reading how we should go out from the League Cup, or rare European adventures because "the League is our priority". Nobody knows why is being 6th, 7th, 15th or 17th more important than to win Cup competition, but we are always singing the same song.

If we want to be at the top, we must go out and compete in all competitions and believe that we can win every game, just like big clubs do.

MIke McLean
202 Posted 22/09/2014 at 10:26:44
If we want to be at the top, we must go out and compete in all competitions and believe that we can win every game, just like big clubs do.

Super. And we can do that because we have a large, fit squad of blokes physically capable of playing multiple matches in a short space of time.

Oh, that’s right. We don’t. And because we don’t, we prioritise. Our status derives from our league position where the truest test is. Not from cup competitions nice though it would be to win one.

Many of our players are of an age where Horlicks is more suitable than champagne. They don’t have the oomph to do it across the piece.

Frank Crewe
203 Posted 22/09/2014 at 10:42:33
Just an off topic observation. What is the point of having five different threads about the same game? Seems to me it just scatters the comments around the site instead of focusing on one thread.
Derek Thomas
204 Posted 22/09/2014 at 10:50:40

When Martinez joined us there was a lot of talk around...’I’m not sure I like this 3 at the back thing’, not that we’ve seen a lot of it ( maybe it’s what we need??)

I said then, I hope we haven’t swapped one set if inflexible principles for another and not to throw the defensive baby out with the Moyes bathwater ( or gist thereof )...For me, this still applies

The only way we will qualify for the CL is ( assuming Roberto won’t/can’t change ) if he is able to bring in players better equipped to play his system, this takes either time or money, and then we will only (IMO) scrape in at 4th, 3rd if we are lucky... yes we may win a Cup, which is not the end of the world, but it won’t be the Europa, we don’t defend well enough for the later rounds

Yes, for any finish around the 5th, 6th or 7th place trophy, the wins may be a bit more high scoring, but the losses will still give us 0 pts, just like a 5-0 win or a 5-4 win only gets you 3 pts and again all this is not the end of the world... the point that does my crust in is that for a bit of defensive tweaking we can do better.

This tweaking won’t take years of baby steps, or cost millions, just admitting that the tweak is required and the emphasis shifted

Patrick Murphy
205 Posted 22/09/2014 at 11:43:47
If the Blues don’t take Swansea seriously on Tuesday and exit the League Cup and are then subjected to their usual tortuous performance and result on Saturday and follow that up with a defeat at OT to a free-scoring but defensively frail United, the season may turn into a mirror image of 2005-06, not the all-conquering season we were all hoping for. On the other hand progress in the League Cup followed by wins in our next two league games would set us up nicely for the rest of the campaign.

This next fortnight is going to be pivotal to the future of Roberto Martinez’s experiment – which, judging by the last 10 league games, is going terribly wrong – a team that has conceded an average of 2.1 goals a game in that period is not going to be winning or challenging at the top end of the table unless of course they are scoring four or five every week. Admittedly the Blues have scored 19 times in those games but the evidence is clear to see and this is not now a blip but a run which exposes those defensive deficiencies which have in all truth pre-dated Roberto’s tenure, however, he is the man who is currently in charge and so far he has failed to address the elephant in the room.

Optimism is fine, denial of evidence is intolerable and if Sylvain Distin honestly believes this is just a run of bad luck then the stats say otherwise, forget about formations, tactics and all the rest of the peripheral stuff which occupies the minds of many. It is the attitude of the players and their desire to be hard to beat which is what in the main is wrong – it is something that previous Everton managers would have nipped in the bud pretty sharpish and the foundations relaid but Roberto and his team seem incapable of doing so and also appear to believe that they are on the right track. I’m not too sure they are because as confidence slips away more mistakes will be made and more goals will be conceded which creates the very cycle which we are currently in.

So for me it is important that the team is sent to Swansea to get a result and the away games at the other place and OT are going to need people who will run their socks off to get a result and most importantly to refuse to be beaten. Now I understand that some will see this as surrendering to the old style Everton but, if that is what is needed to get our season back, on track so be it... because while the new style offers a lot of rewards if it succeeds it also risks everything that has been built within the squad over the past few years. Hold on tight: it’s going to be an interesting few weeks.

Martinez once again tried to be too clever yesterday by making changes to a side who had played some blistering football on Thursday but also succumbed to a second-half meltdown which on another day could have been very embarrassing.

MIke McLean
207 Posted 22/09/2014 at 12:26:57
Patrick, you’ve written so much admirable common sense but may I take issue with one thing? I believe virtually all professionals have desire but there comes a point when their bodies can’t do what their brains and emotions want them to.

The makers of Viagra have made a fortune from this sad fact of existence.

Tony J Williams
208 Posted 22/09/2014 at 12:38:28
Right, I have had a day to calm down and think I am now thinking straight again.

Roberto dropped a big one by making too many changes to the team. No need to rest players when we can rest them on Tuesday. If they needed a rest after 5 games, then they are not fecking sportsmen.

Also why not start them then bring them off?

Howard, Baines, Stones, McCarthy, Barry, Jags and Lukaku didn’t need a rest and Lukaku looks goosed, so why did the others?

Why change formation so drastically? Did he learn absolutely nothing from trying to be clever last season with the same team?

As soon as we saw the team sheet it was like Deja Vu...... have I said that before?

Ossie can’t last more than 60 mins so why did he stay on the pitch.

Stones struggles at right back and did not put in one cross all game and was just as to blame as Howard for the first. He is not strong enough to hold off the man and the exact same thing happened again just near to half time, tried to hold off his man and lost.

Howard had a stinker, why was he going for the ball for the penalty? There were 3 Everton players around the ball, which was going away from goal, so why did he choose this occasion to remember that he isn’t glued to the line to come out and play silly beggars?

Stones should have put it into Row Z, you can’t score when the ball is whizzing to the top tier.

Trying to be too clever mixed with the Howard Horror Show was excruciatingly painful to watch, particularly when the defence is playing tippy tappy keep ball at a snail’s pace for about 20 minutes, boring, ineffective ball retention, the same as the first half against Wolfsburg but we were fortunate enough to get two goals then.

Atsu was gash and McCarthy wasn’t much better. I can imagine that he will be off in January and looks like he is already thinking this himself.

Criminal tactics, daft substitutions and fecking awful goalkeeping......but it’s okay though, apparently it was "just one of those days", even though these "days" are occurring with scary frequency at the moment.

Tony J Williams
209 Posted 22/09/2014 at 12:58:37
Oh, congratulations John 176, the first person to make me laugh since yesterday...."meff", love it!
Milos Milenkovic
210 Posted 22/09/2014 at 12:52:17
Mike, our status created by league success for past 25 years is average - poor. We should try to win something and that would improve our status plus most importantly, generations of fans will be happy and proud. By finishing 5th, 6th ... we are not improving our status and after few months even we don’t remember in which place we finished previous season. If we win any cup competition, that will bring confidence within the club much more than league position (apart from first 4 places) and could move from there. If we haven’t tried this pattern, than I would say yes lets try this, but it is unsuccessful route and I don’t want to go there again. Concentrate on the league is motto of clubs fighting against relegation and I want to believe that we are not in that mood.
Trevor Thompson
211 Posted 22/09/2014 at 13:01:52
Michael Penley #196 - Martinez: "He doesn’t need to, he’s an incredibly professional player." I read that as in Howard knows he fucked up. There’s no need to compound the matter with going on at him. It doesn’t help no matter what you think. On the other hand, if he doesn’t know he fucked up then there’s a problem and he needs to know.

To be fair, I think the whole team needs a kick up the arse and told that our performances are not acceptable and will not be tolerated; if certain players don’t perform then they’ll be dropped.

We’re too soft and looking through the team I don’t see any winners – no-one that will not take any prisoners. When we were 1-0 up we played as if we were 5-0 up with five mins left. No urgency and no determination. Then we lost concentration and conceded shit goals.

Craig Walker
212 Posted 22/09/2014 at 12:41:27
For all those saying Moyes knew how to set up a defence, I seem to remember being on the end of a lot of defensive tonkings under his management. One on the opening game of the season at home to Arsenal springs to mind. Or what about when he got us to 4th and we got thrashed 7-0 at Arsenal?
Chris Leyland
213 Posted 22/09/2014 at 13:34:12
Craig Walker, I think the difference is that these defeats were one-off thrashings but most weeks we weren’t conceding at least 2 or 3 goals as we have done this season. Whilst we are now also scoring more than under the previous regime, this seems to becoming at a price.

In our last 6 home league games, we have won one, drawn one and lost four. We have scored 13 goals which is pretty good going but we have also conceded 17. Sometimes I long for a dull 1-0 win.

Chris Leyland
214 Posted 22/09/2014 at 13:42:57
Just catching up on this thread and two quotes stand out:

Raymond Fox #107 : "so our form is there to be seen, there’s nothing wrong with it."

Paul Hewitt ~148: "You can blame Martinez all you want but it’s the players making stupid mistakes to blame — not Roberto.

Where to start on these two snippets...

Raymond, quite how you can say that there’s nothing wrong with our form is staggering. We have won once in the league this season from five games. That there is poor form. We have won once out the last six home league games. That there is poor form. We have conceded more goals than anyone else in the league this season. That there is something wrong with our form.

Paul, when those mistakes are happening week-in and week-out then, quite rightly, the manager has to take a share of the blame. If he can’t influence the players to eradicate stupid mistakes then what on earth is the point of having a manager?

The system he is playing is partly responsible for some of the mistakes. Our short passing game means that teams who press us will force mistakes. If they do this higher up the pitch towards our goal then those mistakes will lead to goals. That is happening but the manager has instructed the players to look for short passes and not to hoof it clear.

Tony J Williams
215 Posted 22/09/2014 at 13:46:04
Craig, the big hammerings under Moyes seem to stand out because they were not that often.

The 7-0 game was an anomaly, simply because most of the players were still hung over from the Sunday night after Arsenal beat Liverpool and were guaranteed 4th.

The 6-1 game was when Lescott was moping about and left soon after.

The 7-0 game was almost excusable simply because they were probably still pissed.

Craig Walker
216 Posted 22/09/2014 at 13:57:52
Tony/Chris. You make good points but in 2005-06 I remember us getting hammered at home to Big Sam’s Bolton 4-0 and then going to Aston Villa (with that great defender Per Krøldrup) and losing 4-0. We then played the RS and lost 3-1. We had more hammerings than you think under Moyes. It’s just that he was good at grinding out 1-0 wins.

Admittedly in that season we then went on our typical 2nd half of the season run. Interestingly that same season was also when we got tonked 5-1 by Dynamo Bucharest in Europe.

I agree that we need to sort it out.

Tony J Williams
217 Posted 22/09/2014 at 14:31:40
Don’t want to turn this into a Moyes thread but that was one season in ten Craig.

Let’s focus on the now. We are shipping goals at an alarming rate every game.

We change the Jags/Distin axis (forced due to dead leg) and we keep a clean sheet and concede with the last kick of the game.

Lose Coleman and place Stones in the position he has looked the least comfortable and bring back the Jags/Distin axis..... and what do you know? we ship 3 goals again.

Surely we have another competent right back, as he cannot put in a lesser performance than Stones.

Anthony Hughes
218 Posted 22/09/2014 at 15:07:26
Our squad is neither big enough or has enough quality in reserve to compete on all fronts. When 7 or 8 players were mentioned to be required in the transfer window then is what should have been brought in to improve the squad. When you get past the first 13-14 players the rest of the squad is made up of crocks, past it players and completely unproven youngsters who can’t be relied on at the moment to be expected to come and perform at a consistent level.
MIke McLean
219 Posted 22/09/2014 at 15:28:36
Milos, we’ll have to agree to differ. Very few people in the top flght of the EPL could give a flying one about either the Europa or the Capital One.

If I win the Over 60’s Open Invitation Huyton Sack Race, I might be very pleased with myself and so might a couple of very close relatives. Noone else would give a toss.

Milos Milenkovic
220 Posted 22/09/2014 at 15:28:15
Our squad is big enough. To many quality players would be unhappy without regular first team football and atmosphere would be bad. We have Eto’o, Besic, Barkly, Gibson, Kone, Oviedo, Pienaar, Atsu... all very quality players how are not in the first team at the moment. Also, they need games to be at their best which is not easy if they are not playing regularly.
Milos Milenkovic
221 Posted 22/09/2014 at 15:42:20
Absolutely Mike. I would be over the moon if we win any of those Cups. For you it’s totally irrelevant, for me playing European football is great and that shows that we are worth something, our image is growing and after all, more games for fans to watch and enjoy supporting their club. I see them as a chance for success, joy and improvement to regular league football.
Chris Leyland
222 Posted 22/09/2014 at 14:06:11
Craig, I think the difference between then and now was is that Martinez raised the bar last season and largely seemed to show that it was possible to play attractive attacking football whilst keeping it solid at the back. (6th top scorers in the league, 3rd best defence). We conceded 39 league goals in 38 games last season. We have already conceded 17 after 5 games this year.
Anthony Hughes
223 Posted 22/09/2014 at 15:51:00
Got to disagree Milos,
Eto’o yes still has quality but past his best.
Gibson- crock.
Kone- wrong side of thirty and may never be the same after this injury.
Pienaar, Osman, Distin and Hibbert way past their best.
Brian Harrison
224 Posted 22/09/2014 at 15:41:38
They play some really attractive football but they just concede too many goals, now I wonder what team that was said about??.
Anthony Hughes
225 Posted 22/09/2014 at 16:00:38
If you add in no quality goalkeeping cover to Howard, an ageing Jags and Barry, then the squad does look to be lacking.
Ian Jones
226 Posted 22/09/2014 at 17:13:21
Chris at 222:

Think we have only conceded 13 in 5 league games. Not 17. But still not good. Plenty to improve on. As said earlier we have scored the third most goals so if we can find a way of scoring more than we let in then it wouldn’t be too bad.

Paul Hewitt
227 Posted 22/09/2014 at 21:42:16
Chris @214 — If you make a mistake at work, is it your bosses fault?
Raymond Fox
228 Posted 22/09/2014 at 22:14:15
Chris 214, you’ve read my post.

What I am alluding to is we have with the exception of Palace we have played teams that have since proved that their good sides Chelsea and Arsenal obviously, Leicester, WBA turned over Spurs as I have already said.

You might agree that results can be influenced by who you play, is that correct, that’s my point. The first 3 teams above are very much in form, we beat WBA and lost against Palace due to cock ups by our keeper ably abetted by Stones for their 1st.

It was a tough start to the season on paper and that’s how its turning out. Hardly panic stations yet.

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