Barkley Seals Vital Win in Style

A win was vital in this 'must-win' game to give Everton added breathing space, and that was delivered, with much more positive intent than seen in far too many recent games

Michael Kenrick 15/03/2015 150comments  |  Jump to last

John Stones is only on the bench after failing to completely recover from a stomach virus. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Everton 3 - 0 Newcastle United

Leighton Baines returns but John Stones hasn't recovered been deemed fit enough to start so Antolin Alcaraz continues in defence. There are starts for Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Aaron Lennon and Arouna Kone as Roberto Martinez opts for two strikers.

Steven Naismith drops to the bench along with Ross Barkley but Kevin Mirallas is not in the squad after apparently picking up an injury on Thursday.

Newcastle kicked off in a drab grey strip but with little by way of any pattern established in some scrappy opening moves until Ameobi crossed in and Jagielka cleared but the visitors won their first corner on 2 mins. It was frightening as they had two pops on goal from that Howard saving a direct shot from Obertan, before McCarthy blocked with his arm on the line (no penalty given!). At the other end, Lukaku had a weak shot poked toward Krul.

Everton shaped to attack a little better but the cross from Lennon was pathetic straight at Krul. Lukaku went on something of a run and produced a good-looking strike, this time forcing Krul to save low to his left. A little shouting from the crowd saw Jagielka launch an aimless hoof to no-one in particular... Gibson's ball forward seemed to be aimed at Kone, but that didn't come off either.

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Lukaku looked to run at Newcastle again but his control was unconvincing and Colback snatched the ball off his toes. The Blues were definitely trying to get the ball forward earlier, but it wasn't really working all that effectively, allowing the visitors a period of pressure without coming close, Osman working hard in defence.

Some better movement on the left saw Kone and Jagielka combine nicely but Jagielka's cut back from the byeline was cleared. Lukaku then tried an ambitious cross in towards Kone. McCarthy was next to cross in low but it was telegraphed to Kriul with Kone again lurking where a No 9 should in the 6-yard box.

The forward intent was definitely there, with Gibson trying to play in Kone, who timed his run almost to perfection. On the next attack, an excellent ball up from Jagielka picked out Lukaku with back to goal and a great layoff for McCarthy who strode into space and somehow sent Krul the wrong way for a surprisingly easy early goal!

Gibson was the difference for Everton, always looking to play the forward pass, and inspiring better movement that saw him picking out players better. But Osman gave away a soft free-kick on the corner of the Everton area, and it saw a dangerous ball delivered to the far post. However, the crowd were responding with full encouragement for the positive intent being shown, Lennon drawing a foul form another excellent ball through the middle. But Lukaku wasted the set-piece firing over from some distance.

More direct play saw a good move involving Osman and Baines but nothing came from the corner that saw Newcastle counter, great defensive blocks form Alcaraz and Jagielka protecting the hapless Howard, who was handling high balls with better command of his 6-yard box. Each attack by Newcastle, however, looked a little too threatening, as if there was a certain nervousness when Everton were forced to defend, Sissoko bursting through a little too easily...

Newcastle were benefitting from less accurate forward passing as half-time approached, Alcaraz and then Gibson failing to find their man and giving Newcastle additional opportunity to drive forward, looking for an increasingly inevitable equalizer, as the Blues struggled to clear their lines.

However, they won a corner in added time, Baines sending a good ball deep that was headed goalward by Alcaraz and almost convert but for a desperate goal-line block by Taylor.

Pérez replaced Obertan at the start of the second half, with Gibson getting called for a nothing trip on Taylor, who curled his free-kick just over Howard's bar. McCarthy, Lukaku and Kone seemed to have a fantastic opportunity to break but Lukaku's reception of McCarthy's pass was simply horrible and any chance went begging.

Some better play ended horribly when Kone though he was playing in Lennon who was nowhere near where the pass was made. Lennon went in a little high on Taylor who complained bitterly, Everton being a little more tentative, Lennon having only Lukaku to aim at as he beat Gouffran. But in the follow-up, Gouffran contrived to give away a penalty with a desperate lunge on Lennon, and Lukaku drove in the second goal with aplomb, to finally give the Blues a cushion.

Kone and Lukaku looked to break again, Coloccini drawn into a ridiculous two-footed lunge on Lennon that earned a straight red from Martin Atkinson. Baines's free-kick was deflected but not enough to evade Krul.

Everton with the extra man and the two-goal lead, Everton resorted to possession football but they relaxed a little too much with dreadful passes from Gibson and Osman gifting the ball away, and Perez almost getting in a scoring position. Lennon, free to dribble, could not get round Jonas. They then resorted to silly-bugger tika-taka around the Newcastle area that went nowhere, when the crowd were baying for more intent toward a third goal.

Baines teed up Kone for a tremendous shot but he could not have driven it more directly at Krul, who could not fail to stop it, as Everton were in danger of sitting back a little too much against the 10 men they should be ripping apart.

Barkley replaced Lukaku, who had put in a decent shift. Barkley inspired a better move that saw a chance for Osman but Krul anticipated it well and saved down to his right. Then, a beautiful move put Lennon through and he pickjed out Barkley in acres of space and plenty of time to make it three but his lackadaisical attempt was maddeningly blocked by Taylor

Sissoko got sight of goal and Howard produced a vital one-handed save when he looked to have been beaten. A driven cross beat Howard but there were fortunately no takers in grey. Alcaraz then had to make a tremendous challenge to deny Perez, as the Blues seemed keen to cede a consolation goal to the visitors.

Barkley then scampered forward into space but he picked out Lennon instead of shooting himself, and the Spurs player made a complete mess of it, passing inside to a defender when he really should have taken the shot first time. Lennon, who was given generous applause for a rather mediocre performance, was replaced by Atsu.


Kone got past Williamson and had a great chance to score but totally messed it up, allowing Krul to come out and pick the ball off his toes. Finally, a great ball from Atsu to barkley, who rounded Krul and slotted home neatly with the last move of the game.

A win was vital in this 'must-win' game to give Everton added breathing space, and that was delivered, with much more positive intent than seen in far too many recent games. It didn't really come off to the extent that it should have done, given the moments of luck that finally went their way. But that goal right at the death from Barkley will give all Blues tremendous pleasure to remember.

Scorers: McCarthy (20'), Lukaku (pen:56'), Barkley (90+3')

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka (c), Alcaraz, Coleman, McCarthy (86' Besic), Gibson, Lennon [Y:79'] (84' Atsu), Osman, Kone, Lukaku (73' Barkley).
Subs not Used: Robles, Stones, Garbutt, Naismith.

Newcastle United: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini (c) [R:59'], Williamson, Taylor [Y:29'], Sissoko [Y:55'], Colback, Obertan (45' Pérez), Riviere (62' Gutierrez), Ameobi (58' Cabella), Gouffran.
Subs not Used: Elliot, Anita, Armstrong, Satka.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 38,806

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Reader Comments (150)

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Brian Burns
1 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:05:09
Bench better than the team. Strange selections...
Christopher Dover
2 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:11:41
Well he’s rung the changes so here’s hoping it will be a positive win..
Trevor Lynes
3 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:13:06
Alcaraz certainly seems to be favoured and I for one do not know why?
Richard Lyons
4 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:19:13
Strong attacking lineup – I like it in theory; however, it looks like Coleman and Baines have to provide all the width – so I hope Lukaku doesn’t end up playing right wing...
Victor Jones
5 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:07:51
Alcaraz keeps his place, so heres hoping he cuts out the mistakes. I think he can actually play, but no mistakes please. As expected , Garbutt is out. Baines is back in. Heres hoping that Baines has brushed up on his set piece play. I’ve been looking for a team similar to this set up (only with Stones instead of Alcaraz). And also a 4-4-2 line-up.

So here’s hoping that they cut out the stupid backwards and sideways passing game. Here’s hoping that they press high up the pitch, bring Lukaku and Kone into the game early. Play to their strengths. Here’s hoping that Gibson, Osman and McCarthy boss the midfield. Here’s hoping that Lennon gets on the ball and runs at defenders. Here’s hoping that Coleman and Baines bomb forward like we all know they can. Let’s hope that Martinez has loosened the shackles that is his nonsense of a "philosophy". The only philosophy should be to start winning football matches. So here’s hoping that we win this match. COYBs. Make this a good Sunday afternoon... for a change.

Colin Glassar
6 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:24:19
Hmmm, interesting selection. I see Garbutt has been dropped at the first opportunity.
Richard Lyons
7 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:27:57
Woops Forgot about Lennon as the right-winger – looks more balanced than I first thought
Tony Draper
8 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:35:17
FIVE changes ?

It might be an adventurous and positive lineup or it’s 4 changes too many (’cos that’s what I think). Hope that I’m made to look foolish and that we gallop away with this.

Colin Leckey
9 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:39:48
Is there a scarier phrase in the English language than "Antolin Alcaraz continues in defence"?
Victor Jones
10 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:25:29
I’m going to stick my neck out , and say that this could be one of Everton’s best performances of the season. The side looks attack minded. Newcastle are under strength, and don’t look (on paper) to be a good side. And yes I know that games are not won on paper. But we have to take this chance. We cannot keep dropping points in this type of game. We have to go for it. No more excuses. No more bullshit from our manager.

So I expect a clean sheet (hopefully). Lukaku and Kone to do the business. And Naismith and Barkley to be effective impact subs. Well that’s the theory anyway. And for the record, my lucky rabbits foot is in my pocket. COYBs.

Steven Telford
11 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:31:57
A win today would help us consolidate 14th, we’d be in breathing down the necks of West Brom and Palace, and just 10 places from a CL spot.

Ohhhhh doesn’t the anticipation just make your mouth water.
I wonder how the team talk is going, "just pass the ball to death lads"

Sorry, but the feeling before a game is just the absolute antithesis of what it was last season.

All the same, fingers crossed.

Tony Waring
12 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:45:17
We buried this lot last season and if I remember correctly Barkley scored a cracker.
David Harrison
13 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:43:58
Was feeling optimistic until I saw this line up. Lennon yet to do anything & I remain unconvinced about Kone. Not sure so many changes were needed. Any momentum from Thursday could well go up in a puff of smoke. Everything tightly crossed until about 6 pm
Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 15/03/2015 at 15:58:32
4537 topflight games!
Terry McLavey
15 Posted 15/03/2015 at 16:11:40
At least the tempo looks good, bit of a scare early on though!
Terry McLavey
16 Posted 15/03/2015 at 16:21:37
Jimmy Mac .......bloody Hell !
Vineet Sood
17 Posted 15/03/2015 at 16:22:07
Goallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll !!!!!!!!!!

So much better Everton.....:)

Vineet Sood
18 Posted 15/03/2015 at 16:30:37
I can’t believe how much quicker we are moving the ball forward...and Gibson – boy, have we missed his raking passes!
Michael Kenrick
20 Posted 15/03/2015 at 17:03:51
Much better with Gibson always looking for that forward ball. But what was Krul doing for the goal? He made Howard look like Peter Shilton!
Steven Telford
21 Posted 15/03/2015 at 16:49:23
Lennon is working his ass of, he is electric.
John Maddock
22 Posted 15/03/2015 at 17:45:31
I said a few weeks ago, Chris Long should stay at Brentford on loan for another season. I take that back, Kone has been really poor today and today would have been perfect for Long, plenty of pace, yes a little light weight but I’m sure would have offered more than Kone today.
Terry McLavey
23 Posted 15/03/2015 at 17:51:12
Apart from the few wobbly bits a good performance, hopefully onward and upwards.

Also good save Tim, although I have slagged you off in another thread!

Paul Jeronovich
24 Posted 15/03/2015 at 17:56:22
Must needed win. Relief more than anything, onwards and upwards............hopefully!!
Max Wilson
25 Posted 15/03/2015 at 17:56:58
Relief rather than joy after this season! GOOD TEAM SELECTION for once.
Amit Vithlani
26 Posted 15/03/2015 at 17:57:27
Delighted with the win. Don’t wish to pour over the performance too much, as my arse has cramp from all the clenching whilst we were defending. Lukaku looked up for it but Kone was really poor. Lennon was a plus, and thoughts Jags and Alcaraz battled well.

We looked leggy and changes will be needed on Thursday and next week against the R’s, but for now savouring what is left of the week-end!

John Gee
27 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:02:16
Fantastic win, 3 points in the bag, now we’re up to... er... 14th.
David Barks
28 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:00:32
Gibson and Osman’s always turning to at least look forward first, even if the ball didn’t always go forward. What an amazing difference that makes. Possession but with intent, that’s all we’ve asked for. Players getting and receiving the ball out wide. Starting with two strikers. Relieved but hopeful that something might click with the manager after this.
Phil Roberts
29 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:04:33
Osman back...

We win!

Milos Milenkovic
30 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:01:13
4-4-2 formation and bang. Not the perfect game but still very pleased with the set up and of course with the outcome. Atsu has a great potential and hopefully we will use him more frequently.
Denis Richardson
31 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:04:02
Three points finally, just another 4 points needed from the last nine. Even 4 draws and 5 losses would be enough and the law of averages means even we can’t fuck that up.

Safety within touching distance so we can relax a bit and look forward to Kiev.

Sue Brown
32 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:02:45
What a timely win and made up for Ross, just what he needed to get his confidence back. Great to see Gibson back to his best again too.
Patrick Murphy
33 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:03:18
Amit - It’s funny how different people see the game differently - I thought Lennon was awful and would have dragged him off at Half-Time but what do I know as he was involved in the major incidents of the second period. I thought Kone was pretty decent, admittedly he should have scored but his general hold up play was good.

But it was Gibson who was my Man of the Match by a mile – he did spoil his performance in the latter stages with a couple of loose passes but he bossed the game and was always looking for a forward pass. Baines was in the first half back to his best and let’s hope that the confidence returns to the whole squad – not out of the woods yet but a good basis to build our points tally.

Linda Morrison
34 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:07:25
Very pleased; I think we’ll be OK now. Credit to Martinez for taking off Big Rom and a few others to not risk any knocks with Thursday to come.

Played better as a group so I’d be pleased to finish mid point if we can get through to the knock out stages of the Europa

Well done to the team and that includes the fans at the match

Vineet Sood
35 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:11:12
Barry out - we win...
Bill Gall
36 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:10:01
Strange was still not confident after we went 2 up and was glad to see the third goal go in. With 2 good wins on the trot maybe this will give the team the confidence they needed as at times the defense still looked nervy. Jags I thought is starting to show his captaincy more by example, and hope he keeps it going .Not out of the woods yet but the finishing line is getting closer
Ralph Basnett
37 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:14:54
Phil (29), don’t get carried away with Osman. I appreciate the win. You could be leaving yourself open to a lot of flack if you think he was the difference; he was okay that’s all!!!!
Jay Harris
38 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:12:03
A strange game.

A very welcome 3-0 win but much to be disappointed in especially the erratic passing throughout the game.

Coleman had his worst game in a Blue shirt while Kone wasnt much better.

Good to see Lennon put a shift in and put pressure on their defence but he needs to work on his final ball.

Thought Jags and Alcaraz did ok too.

Patrick Murphy
39 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:17:18
Agreed Bill - it was always in the back of my mind that if they managed to grab one we might drop a couple of points but Howard made a very important save at a vital time. Hope Jags is ok because that looked a heavy blow he took to his ankle when the Geordie player fell on it late in the game. Today though we actually looked like a team, harrying for the ball making runs for each other and generally a proper attitude shown by all of them - why has it taken so long to get that focus which has been missing for most of the season.
Tommy Coleman
40 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:16:08
If you saw the game, I’ve been complaining about the midfield balance when Barkley and Naismith have been in the team together. Was the balance better today? How did Barkley play?
Sue Brown
41 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:12:35
Patrick, agree Gibson was MotM, but I thought Lennon did well, fast and finding the spaces. Also pleased with Alcaraz’s game today.
Teddy Bertin
44 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:17:40
Jags is looking much better in recent weeks and being a captain by example (because his communication skills aren’t great). Rom and Kone were a handful today but Kone never looked like scoring, no left foot at all and never looks up.

Really pleased for Ross, hopefully it’ll be a confidence boost and help him get back into the team. How does Gibson’s passing jump so easily between top class to pure shite?

Patrick Murphy
46 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:23:20
Sue - I suppose it was the final ball or decision that had me up in arms, a bit like Coleman has done lately great at making space but the end product doesn’t arrive as often as it should. Alcaraz made a very good tackle and he did far better in this game than he did in the first-half against Kiev.
Colin Glassar
47 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:25:58
Thank Christ for that. Now I can watch motd for the first time since December.
Michael Polley
48 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:25:40
2 wins in 4 days. Great stuff. Now let’s repeat the same from next Thursday. COYB
Plato Stavrinos
49 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:21:30
Patrick I totally agree with your post. For me Lennon is awful and I thought Kone gave us something different.
I hope all you Lukaku bashers are eating your humble pie.

Any news on why Mirralas was not even on the bench??

Trevor Peers
50 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:25:30
Barkley is a confidence player he’s so much better if we bring him on when were winning took his goal well !!!
Colin Glassar
51 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:29:58
Made up for Ross. I had suggested "resting" him for the rest of the season (confidence issue) but this just might kick start his season.
Get through against Kiev and beat QPR (everyone else does) and we can try and enjoy the rest of a very poor season.
Tony Hill
52 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:31:58
A sound enough performance but obviously the win is all that matters. Credit to Alcaraz. Gibson makes a big difference. There were some poor moments and performances but I really don’t care - that was a huge result for us.
Peter Bell
54 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:36:04
If he brings Barry back in place of Gibson in Kiev and we go out, then RM is toast for me
Leung Chi Ho
55 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:25:46
5 changes and different tactic showed us why we are underperform this season.

Gibson > Barry: finally we have a player can pass the ball forward directly, Gibson is far better than Barry in every aspects especially passing and vision.

Osman > Barkley: Osman is so consistent in every match he played, he can link up the midfield and forward well better than Barkley. Barkley sometimes too slow going forward (I mean the vision of play) and playing the ball backward too often.

Lennon > Mirallas: Lennon have involved a lot in the game and willing to win back the ball from difficult circumstance (the penalty)

Kone > Naismith: his hold up play, positioning and pace is far better than Naismith.

The only change that I think didn’t have any impact was Baines, cause Garbutt is a better version of Baines in the making, he need game time at this stage of career.

Andrew Laird
56 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:32:34
Great result, well played blues. Well done Tim Howard for a clean sheet as well!
Tony Draper
57 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:28:16
"FIVE changes ?
It might be an adventurous and positive lineup or it’s 4 changes too many (’cos that’s what I think). Hope that I’m made to look foolish and that we gallop away with this."

My own pre-match words.
Just making some custard to pour over my large portion of humble pie.

Gavin Johnson
58 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:35:28
So pleased for Ross in taking the third goal. I also liked the look of Atsu when he came on. The game was a bit stretched by then, but I’d like him to play some part on Thursday. Some have groaned about Kone, but I thought he had a good game on the whole and complements Rom well.

Lets get results from the nest 2 games and consolidate the league and then focus on winning some silver wear.

Patrick Murphy
59 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:40:41
Peter - I don’t think Gibson will play in Kiev as he played the whole game today and strictly speaking we need him fit and available for the QPR game. I can’t see Besic being involved in Kiev either he is too much of a liability with his tackling.

So, from that perspective, it will probably be Barry in Kiev, which isn’t ideal but it is understandable. If we can just do enough to get through, it might spark the season into life. Another nervy night in store on Thursday, methinks.

Tony Hill
60 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:44:31
Atsu has to be given a chance. That’s two good assists now and I don’t understand why he is so underused, especially after his African success.
Peter Bell
61 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:48:37
Patrick - I know your heart says we need premier league status, but for me, we can still achieve that and Euro sucess as well, roll on Thirsday and Kiev COYB
Kevin Rowlands
62 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:45:39
Sums up the season really that I was still bricking it when we were 2-0 up and they were down to ten men, made up with the result though. Thought Gibson was outstanding, Alcaraz had a good game as well, as much as I like Naismiths endeavor I think Kone is a better option playing alongside Lukaku, looking forward to Thursday now.
Paul Thompson
63 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:45:51
We didn’t dominate the game enough or finish them off when they had 10 men. But this was a very different kind of performance, with the kind of tempo and passion we have been calling for.

With Gibson and Ossie we have creativity and link-up play, though both will be used selectively. I’m with Kone-bashers I’m afraid. The lad tries hard and he may improve, but he wasted so much possession and chances today. Fortunately Lukaku is imperious at the moment - the prefect combination of aggression and intelligence and his touch has miraculously improved.

The final goal was a big boost, both to the team and to Ross. Onwards and upwards (I hope).

Eric Owen
64 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:33:08
Never thought I would be biting my nails with a two goal lead and 10 minutes of regular time to play. But I was.
Finally , a win.

Did Martinez introduced a new tactic that will really cause massive consternation among the other BPL teams?

What is it?
Newcastle have a man sent off. Their centre-half, Coloccini, the fulcrum of their defence goes and what does Martinez do?

Everton, with a two goal lead, drops back on defense leaving huge spaces in midfield, stops playing forward passes for slower sideways and backward passes and eventually substitutes Lukaku for a mid field player.

I kept asking myself who has the ten men? But it must have confused Newcastle as apart from the numerous chance they had and the saves Howard made, they lost.

I give up, most teams would have tried to get a bag full of goals to improve goal averages.
Must say in the first half the Blues played well and it seems Lukaku is finally starting to show his worth. All that training practice on how to control a ball is worthwhile.
Also it was great to see RB get a goal in the last minute. Must be fair and say the sliding tackle save Alcaraz made in the last few minutes was sensational.


Mike Childs
65 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:48:48
Jimmy Mac made the save of the game. Excellent report Michael must have made your day to write something positive. I’m sure the charlatan will take full credit.
Andy Meighan
66 Posted 15/03/2015 at 18:49:11
Micheal your report makes it sound like we struggled today. For me, far from it. I said on Friday we’d win and win comfortably and we did. You said Lennon was mediocre, not in my eyes: he grafted his arse off all game down the flank and his tracking back was commendable something the Belgian ponce would do well to learn from. Did we miss Super Kev? (ahem) ... No we didn’t. That was like the toffees of last season – sharp incisive passing and with a bit more luck could have had a few more goals. This season has been abysmal save the Europa but let’s give us some credit here – we were great today and I’m one effing pessimist. I’d actually say a big weight has been lifted tonight and I honestly think we’ll go on from here. Last 8 of the Europa League and up the Premier League, here we come
Mark Frere
67 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:12:35
Good performance and great win. I thought Lennon was poor today (quality wise) but he did put in shift and I applaud him for that at least.

Kone looked a bit rusty but not as bad as some people are making out.

Our 2 centre- backs along with Lukaku were by far the best players IMO.

Gibson and Osman provided a bit of craft that we have been badly lacking of late, but I can’t see Gibson or Ossie starting on Thursday. I don’t think Gibson’s fragile body can take 2 games in such a short space of time. And Osman is just returning from injury. I think Martinez will be cautious with both. Expect to see Barry, Mirallas and Naismith back in against Kiev.

Brian Denton
68 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:11:19
Colin Leckey (9) I hope you will admit that Alcaraz had a very good game today.
Jim Hillier
69 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:23:17
No negatives from me today. 3-0 every week, please. The fans at Kiev game have turned our season around. COYB
Jamie Crowley
70 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:18:43
We deserved the three points.

Thought we were ver lucky with that "red" card against Side Show Bob. Wasn’t a red - yellow all day but never a red.

Lady Luck smiled, and we played well.

Huge three points.

Colin Glassar
71 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:21:25
Patrick, I think Barry will start on Thursday as his experience in Europe will be a factor. Gibson will probably start against QPR. With most of our players getting back healthy we can now start using our squad.
I think we’ll get a score draw on Thursday, 1-1.
Colin Glassar
72 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:26:01
What’s the BPL Eric? Don’t you mean, EPL?
Matt Muzi
73 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:11:11
Much needed win, when we were taking the game to them we looked good, why we haven’t done that more this season I don’t know.

For me, while I don’t think Kone had a great game, him being on the pitch gave Rom, more space because their defenders had to mark them both, unlike a lot of games this season when Rom plays up front by himself and is man marked often by two defenders. Also having the two of them on, meant one could stay up when we were defending set pieces, which kept two of their players out of the set piece.

That said Rom’s movement & work rate today, especially off the ball was good today.

Defensively we looked better, Alcaraz my man of the match & Howard pulled off a cracking save. Be interesting to see who he picks to start on Thursday night.

Jamie Crowley
74 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:26:32
If there’s any goal scoring Thursday, we simply must score first.

3-1 on aggregate with the ever-important away goal will be massive.

Jim Lloyd
75 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:27:04
I thought that it was a battling team performance and Alcatraz was my man of the match.
Just shows what can happen when the crowd get behind the team rather than booing them.
Jim Hillier
76 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:26:41
You only shout when we’re losing, shout when we’re losing, shout when we’re looooooooooosing
Kevin Rowlands
77 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:28:21
Jamie I agree I thought a red was harsh although they seemed to play better with ten men, also during that red card incident why wasn’t that twat Williamson carded for deliberately kicking the ball at Lennon as he was laying there?
Andy Walker
78 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:23:20
Delighted and relieved with the 3 points, there seemed to be more urgency from minute 1 and Barkley scoring will hopefully help his confidence. Gibson makes a big difference as he plays forward passes and the absence of Barry needs to continue.

However a reality check, the first goal was down to luck/bad goalkeeping, the second was suicide from Newcastle. When they were down to 10 they could have easily scored and I wouldn’t have fancied us to hold on. We still look very fragile at the back.

But we won for the first time in 3 months at home and that’s the most important thing.

The sooner we get to safety and get rid of the feckless Spaniard the better though.

Jamie Crowley
79 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:34:38

I actually thought the red was given for whacking the ball at his head! Never a red in a million years but we will take it.

Colin Glassar
80 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:35:19
Steady on, Jim, too much optimism can be bad for your health.
Jim Lloyd
81 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:38:18
Heehee. True though.
Jim Hillier
82 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:39:39
Andy, luck only counts if it helps undermine our performance? When the opposition get lucky, it is Martinez's fault; when we get lucky, it does not count?
Phill Thompson
83 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:36:25
Is that the first time this season we have started without at least two from Jimmy Mac/Barry/Besic?

JM certainly seemed to get forward more today. I'm one of the few prepared to stick with Roberto a bit longer, there isn't a manager out there who hasn't had a bad patch and been "X games away from the sack" at sometime. He's still got a lot to learn..... and a lot to offer. Let's see if he's learnt anything from the fast few months and if he has the ability to adapt his tactics.

Clive Mitchell
84 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:35:26
Barry is a certainty to play in Kiev because he's suspended for QPR. Of course there are other reasons too...
Joe Foster
85 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:49:44
Great result, great performance and Barkley sealing the win was great. Happy as a SOB right now.
Mike Hughes
86 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:46:26
What a relief.
The 3 points was all that mattered.

Another couple of wins (Burnley, Sunderland, Villa, QPR) should see us safe.

We're now 33/1 for the drop.
Hull City - one place below us - are 3/1.

So, while it means nothing, the bookies have it between the bottom 6.

Phil Grayston
87 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:43:50
Interesting to see the differing views on Kone. Personally, I think he should be given credit for his hold-up play and his ability to lay off a ball with pace and precision. Sure, he could have been sharper in front of goal but a striker needs a run of games for that to come.

As for Lennon, he looks committed to our cause, puts in a real shift, and today had a major impact on the outcome in two key incidents.

One final point is that, although RM has deserved a lot of the stick he's taken this season, sometimes the criticism can be unwarranted. Saying, for example, he should have made more attack-minded substitutions when Newcastle were reduced to 10 men is a bit over the top – I was just praying we'd hang on for the win, and even my 7-year-old son asked me how long we had to hold out. Sad and symptomatic of this season, but true.

Overall, relieved to get the win and fingers crossed for Thursday in Kyiv.

Brent Stephens
88 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:37:05
Team performance head and shoulders above much of the dross we've witnessed this season – pace, directness, passion, variety.

Individual performances to relish. Jags and Alcaraz immense as CBs. Baines getting stuck in and visibly more committed. Gibson's passing. McCarthy's McCarthyism. Osman's vision. Lukaku Version 2 (control, power). Lennon chased and threatened.

A much more committed team performance. It felt so good.

Jeff Hughes
89 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:44:53
Was that performance fashioned by Martinez and a sign that he has finally understood what the 'Everton' way actually is or was that performance in spite of him?

Whichever way, I hope it spells the end of his slow, possession philosophy. We passed more quick, forward balls in that first half than the rest of the season put together and whilst there was some loose play at times we were able to put the opposition on the back foot. As a result, we got our just rewards.

Well played boys and good to see Gibson in particular and Osman in flashes showing some vision.

Andy Walker
90 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:59:40
Absolutely not Jim. If you check out my post following our loss at Stoke, I thought we were unlucky not to equalise in the second half before we went two down.

It was against the theme of that night's thread but was an honest opinion as it is to today's.

Graham Mockford
91 Posted 15/03/2015 at 19:55:41
The most balanced we have looked for a long time. There were some big differences for me.

Both Gibson and Ossie are naturally more progressive players than either Barry or Besic. Gibson always looks for the forward pass and Ossie just moves the ball quicker than anyone else.

Secondly two up top allowed us to play with more width. Both full backs got forward more today than I have seen in any home game this season since the Arsenal game.

Lukaku is starting to play with some confidence and was a real handful in the first half. That's 17 goals all competitions which is actually more than last season.

If we can take this into Thursday's second leg maybe the European dream carries on a little longer.

Brian Hennessy
92 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:05:14
Delighted with this result, what a difference Gibson makes although I fully expect Barry to be picked on Thursday unfortunately.

Great to see Barkley score he took it really well.

Looking forward to MotD for once and as others have said if we can get through against Kiev and beat QPR we could start to fully enjoy the Europa League.

By the way, has anyone else noticed how much Lukaku's touch has improved in the last 4 or 5 games, it's like watching a different player.

John Keating
94 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:01:02
Well, a few of us have been asking for 4-4-2 and a more attack-minded midfield and we finally got it.

Again, what is noticeable is our inability to complete for the full 90 minutes. We are NOT fit! If we keep 4-4-2 he will have to rotate the midfielders more during the game, maybe Gibson with Osman, McCarthy with Besic/Barry.

A good desperately needed 3 points. There were a few murmurings in the crowd when it looked like we thought of square passes but in the main we could see there was more forward intent so not as vociferous as Thursday.

Kevin Tully
95 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:30:15
"A very welcome 3-0 win but much to be disappointed in especially the erratic passing throughout the game."

That's just fucking strange. Are we Real Madrid?

Max Murphy
96 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:26:14
Big improvement – but not quite the finished article. Far too many misdirected passes – and better opposition would have punished us.

I think the players have decided to play how the real Everton should play and not how Roberto Martinez wants us to play. Today has shown that we will always score when we move the ball forwards with pace. The slow passing sideways and backwards game gives the opposition time to park their defence and wait for us.

Lukaku, Ossie and Gibson – good. Let's hope Gibson retains his place. Martinez is surplus to requirements.

Denis Richardson
97 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:28:14
For all the critcisms of Kone, think people have to factor in that he's hardly had any game time in the last few months so must be a bit rusty.

Remember Robles at the beginning and then how he looked after a few games? Kone is a decent player in my book and whilst Naismith puts a shift in every game I'd take Kone over him as he's a better player.

Andy Walker
100 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:38:02
Agree Max, it was a much more Everton like style of play. The sort of the display that gets the crowd behind the team.

We still looked far from the top side we used to be, though, as you say... way too many misplaced passes.

Wayne Smyth
101 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:27:37
I think any criticism of Kone needs to be balanced with the fact that he's barely played any competitive football for 2 years. Bound to be off the pace. I thought he did okay and will get better if he's used regularly and can stay fit.

I thought we went more 4-4-2 for a lot of the game... or at least we played with Kone and Lukaku closer than usual and I thought we looked more effective than with 1 up top.

It's clear to most of us that we really do play better with a clever passer in centre mid. But Gibson's injury record is awful, so we definitely need a new Arteta type for next season.

I also thought Lennon was good. Worked his arse off for the team, which is so important for a wide attacking player and gave us that pace which scare opponents. If he's available for £7m as I think I read, I reckon that would be good value for an English player in his mid-twenties.

Was pleased to see Lukaku step up for the pen. Although Baines is a top taker, I think it's important for confidence that your main striker takes them and gets the goals.

Pete Edwards
102 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:45:21
Jesus, we win 3-0 and still people complain of a few mis-placed passes! What team doesn’t during 90 mins.. I’ll tell you... none!!

We won we WON in case you didn’t realise, enjoy it it’s not happened much this season!

Phil Roberts
103 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:46:47
Good to see a few positive posts here about Leon Osman and what he brings to the team, not so much his own standing.

He has now started 6 games this year and we picked up 13 points from them. The other 22 games have brought us 18 points. And one of those was where he came on after 10 minutes when Pienaar got injured and we drew so it could be 14 from 7 v 17 from 21.

So does he tackle like McCarthy, score goals like Lukaku, excite like Barclay - No. But does he make the other 10 players play better as a team - Yes.

Dave Abrahams
104 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:32:20
Michael you are usually very fair with your assessments of players, Lennon had a mediocre game? Well I'm really looking forward to when he has a good game, thought he had a very good game at both ends of the pitch, but everyone sees the game differently.
Ian Riley
105 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:43:12
A win, three goals, and a clean sheet. Osman and two strikers in the team, must have blew the Newcastle plan out the bloody window. Fifteen goal attempts with nine on target. Now Mr Martinez, see what can happen with forward players.

Yes, a little luck but so what – we the fans deserved it! We have played better and got nothing!

Sleep a little better tonight!

Gavin Johnson
106 Posted 15/03/2015 at 20:55:15
Some people thought Lennon and a really good game. I thought he put a shift in, as he should. I think at this moment in time if we were to keep either him or Atsu, I think would opt for Atsu who seems have a little more vision with his passing.

Gavin Johnson
107 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:15:05
Lennon had a good game, sorry
Michael Kenrick
108 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:12:44
I think I was most disappointed in Lennon's decision-making.

Yes, he put in the effort. For me, that's a given. I'm never one to claim any player "has not made the effort" or "did not turn up" — some of the more idiotic assessments of professional players made by fans seeking to sound knowledgeable.

For me, it's more about what he does with the ball when his good work and effort gets him into good positions. And I think that's where I felt he could have done a lot better today.

But he's not alone in that. Time and time again, the players were either making horrible decisions or simply doing horrible things with the ball. Apparently we're meant to ignore this (sure, Pete @102) but when it happens so often that it comprises a significant portion of your memory of the game...

Yes, it was great that we won, that we played up the field in the direction of goal, that we finally scored THREE goals... But we all know that these players, this team, are capable of far far better play on a more consistent basis. Sorry, but I'm not lowering my standards.

Dave Ganley
109 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:12:55
First time I have enjoyed a game for ages. Having Gibson in the side allows for a more attacking game. Players played with tempo and never let Newcastle settle. McCarthy had a great game mopping everything up, allowing the rest of the midfield to concentrate on harassing the Newcastle defense.

Lennon, while not being great, never gave Newcastle a minute’s peace as did Ossie.. .amazing what happens when you defend from the front.

Pat on the back to the team for putting that kind of performance in whilst desperately short on confidence. It has given us a starting point to finish the season on a high so long as we keep this kind of attitude. Special mention to Rom for leading the attack so well again... just goes to show what happens when you play to players strengths.

Onwards and upwards to Kiev Thursday. COYB

Kevin Tully
110 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:22:35
Michael, I'm sure you're aware you or Lyndon's opinion carries more weight than most on here. But I feel we are all going a little bit 'QPR' here. What are the expectations exactly?
Dave Abrahams
111 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:23:31
Yes that's fair enough, Michael, I could also make the very same point concerning Gibson, a lot of his passes went astray and I don't think Gibson worked as hard as Lennon, I don't expect him to really because him to, he'll never be as fit as his injuries have taken their toll on his body.
Colin Glassar
112 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:25:31
I didn't watch the game so I can't give an opinion about who played well and who didn't. Fact is, we won and despite the misplaced passes or shaky defending we scored three goals and won three vital points.

I'd just like to put to bed this idea that it's the players and fans who have changed our style of play. If anyone really believes that the manager is not responsible for this then they are as mad as a hatter and living in cloud cuckoo land. Martinez is, for the time being, the manager and it is he alone who is making the calls, no one else.

Nick Page
113 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:28:48
Well I got no fuckin' sense out of the LF, so I ask, did RM change the formation? Did we do much sideways stuff? Is there a basis to move forward with this team and or manager IF he's willing to be "flexible"?
Roger Helm
114 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:22:41
Mark 67 I agree Alcaraz was outstanding today. I would say keep him in the side. When players play well, they should know that they won't be dropped.

Mike 86, it does not mean nothing that the bookies now have us at 33/1 for the drop. The bookies are almost always right. They have called correctly almost every General Election, for example, no matter what the polls said. I'm sure we are safe now, so we can enjoy (hopefully) the EL

I thought the selection was very positive, with two forwards and two midfielders able to pick a forward pass. Could this mean that RM has seen the light?

Ian Bennett
115 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:26:24
I thought Lukaku looked more of a threat with Kone, so I am pleased this was tried. The lad can't do it all on himself.

Osman and Gibson give us the necessary vision and guile that other combinations don't. Both have their limitations, but they'd be on my time sheet every week.

Michael Kenrick
116 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:27:17
Lyndon's for sure, Kevin. Me, less so as I am admittedly more critical and less easily satisfied, less inclined to turn off those critical faculties and simply enjoy the win, as Pete instructs, especially if it is still a rather nervy display, with the defence looking shakey and (I deliberately avoided saying this earlier), it was thanks to some rather hefty slices of luck:

1) Too many of those blocks where ball hits arm (McCarthy) have been given as penalties.

2) How did Krul NOT save that McCarthy effort? The most bizarre moment of the game.

3) Penalty for a 'coming together', Gouffran and Lennon on the edge of the area. Seen them all too often not given.

4) Straight red for Coloccino. A good decision... but again, that would have only been yellow from most referees.

As someone observed, it's a game of fine margins. As for expectations, I'll be happy when we play a full game to the level of which these players are capable.

Tim O'Connell
117 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:38:24
3 vital points and a more upfield performance – is it a coincidence that Osman was back and fit? Doesn't have to be the best player on the pitch to be the glue!
James Hughes
118 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:34:26
Colin so you think the home crowd on Thursday after 30 minutes of watching shite and giving massive ’down the banks’ didn’t influence a change in playing style???

Maybe the team just said to each other, "Come on, guys, we really need to earn our wages."

I think we have an above average squad that is massively under performing and, if you want to blame 2nd season syndrome, then just look at Moyes. Well he had 11 years and won what??? And got us into Europe how many times???

Peter Mills
119 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:17:43
We scored two goals in a Premier League game by passing swiftly and running quickly up the pitch. That seems like something we should try again.
Kevin Tully
120 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:50:33
The crucial phrase MK, is 'luck.' Quote that on any given match day, and you will will quite rightfully be slaughtered.

You make your own luck. And as Gary Player said : "The harder I practice, the luckier I get."

Trevor Peers
121 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:46:38
I think we were handed a few large slices of luck today. But the most striking thing was the change in tactics with two up top; it gave us a win and maybe some hope for vital games to come. Something that's been badly missing.
Joe Clitherow
123 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:41:36
I agree with you, Michael K. Delighted with the 3-0, of course, but I sat in the ground after the sending off very nervously and with a lot of trepidation. Had Newcastle scored at 2-0, anything could have happened and we sat back and gave them chances and opportunities.

The really annoying thing for me is the complacency that seems to permeate through which, for me, comes from RM's laissez faire attitude.

At 2-0 up and against 10 men, the obvious thing to do was kill them off and score as many goals as possible, especially given our negative goal difference. We didn't do that. We started playing those pointless boring triangles in front of a packed defence. I've said before that Martinez does not know how to close out a game and it was evidenced again today. Sometimes that is by defence and shutting up shop; today it clearly had to be by aggressive attack after the sending off. I never felt properly comfortable until the 93rd minute goal.

Lennon was a short McGeady today; Kone is just poor I think. Osman and Gibson made a big difference today in providing team balance – Gibson for his attempts to play the forward pass (what a refreshing change), Osman for actually drifting out left (unlike either Barkley or Naismith) to help Baines in the overlap which made a big difference. Lukaku and Jagielka the standouts.

Job not done by a good way; I really hope that complacency doesn't come drifting back in. Hopefully QPR will attack us like they have to next week, I think that suits us more away from home.

Colin Glassar
124 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:00:42
James, the crowd have been on the players backs (justifiably so) since before Xmas but no manager worth his salt would bow to the demands of the mob.

The senior players having a word in his ear, on the other hand, is quite feasible and is common in many teams who are going through a bad patch. Wenger, Rodgers even Mourinho are known to listen to the opinions of their key players.

Jamie Barlow
125 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:06:42
"For me, it's more about what he does with the ball when his good work and effort gets him into good positions. And I think that's where I felt he could have done a lot better today."

Probably sums up his whole career so far.

Andy Williams
126 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:59:20
We won and RM appears to have taken criticism of his approach on board. Okay, Newcastle where poor and we had some luck but we were much more direct and could have scored 2 or 3 more. Criticism of the quality of our play disregards the fact that we were playing in an unfamiliar formation and have been under immense pressure in the league at home.

Nobody had a poor game and most played above the standard that they have been. Kone's link-up play was generally very good and although he should have shot when going round Krul his play to get himself in that position was excellent.

Lennon gets better each game and although his passing is not always the greatest he caused havoc at times and certainly adds to the momentum of the team. Jags appears to have taken note of some of the criticisms against him. He was everywhere and leading by example. Even Howard was looking to get the ball out quickly. More of the same please.

Eddie Dunn
127 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:17:04
Credit to Martinez for trying something else. Good to see Kone taking some attention away from Rom. Alcaraz deserves to stay in the side in Kyiv, and we won a game in the league.

Tim made a good save at 2-0, and if they had scored, we would have been really nervous for the last 20 mins or so.

Lennon was poor first half, but got into the game and was the catalyst for us sealing the win. Lets hope we can continue to build on these last two performances. To win on Thursday is so important for our season to keep it's meaning.

Come on you blue boys.

John Malone
128 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:26:45
I thought Lennon did well in his work off the ball and glimpses of his play but was at times very poor when he had the chance to go past his man, take a strike or put in a decent cross. The most frustrating thing for me was when Coleman or Gibson had the ball instead of making the run into the space ahead to use his pace to hit the byline he checked inside and made Coleman overlap or play square.

For me, the main reason for the improved attacking performance was Darron Gibson. It is a breath of fresh air to have a midfielder who can see and play an accurate forward pass with pace. The fact we didn't play with two defensive-minded centre-midfielders gave us another attacking dimension and made us harder to defend against. I'd like to see Gibson play next to McCarthy in a 4-2-3-1 formation but with today's direct approach.

Special mention to Jagielka. I've slagged him for not being a vocal or strong enough captain but he's been leading by example lately with his performances. Also Lukaku has made a big improvement since Christmas; his hold-up and link-up play have definitely improved... I'm getting the feeling he's starting to realise his responsibilities to the team.

Mark Andersson
129 Posted 15/03/2015 at 21:53:32
Got up at 4am to watch the game. Once McCarthy scored the first lucky goal, I relaxed and saw a different game to some on here.

Kone had a good game, his hold-up play was the difference to Rom's confidence. Lennon was lively and worked hard, Alcaraz played well along with Jags. Coleman was not effective going forward.

Anyway 3 goals, 3 points and a clean sheet was a nice surprise. Going back to bed.

Patrick Murphy
130 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:14:44
The acid test will be at Loftus Road next week. We have all seen Everton pull a rabbit out of the hat – usually against the more fancied teams and then followed it up with a performance that faltered immediately afterwards; it has been a trait of the team for many seasons. So, while today’s result and application were welcome, we will see if the players can maintain that sort of effort in the coming weeks.

A lot of the misplaced passes and wrong decisions can be forgiven because the confidence levels must have been shot to pieces during the last few months – but we have to hope that today’s performance is a minimum requirement and when confidence returns we should seek to impose ourselves on most opponents.

I’m not sure that I saw much unnecessary passing at the back today at any period of the game. Yes, we did retreat a little deeper but that was understandable and we did still attempt to break forward when the opportunity arose although on a couple of occasions we were wasteful with those chances until Barkley put the game to bed, finally.

John Atkins
131 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:32:20
Eddie - Martinez hasn't tried anything different but us the fans with pressure have sorted it!!! He hasn't got a clue.
Mike Childs
132 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:19:44
Lennon needs to go back to the academy and learn how to cross a ball but he did more defensive work today than Kevin has done all year and he won a lot of 50/50 balls. I was pleased because when I first saw he was in the line-up I was worried. So a tip of the cap to him.

I don't know what has happened with Jags, Rom and Jimmy Mac but thank God it has.

Brent Stephens
133 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:29:45
In fairness, a team selection that paid off today. And decent substitutions, decently timed.
Kevin Tully
134 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:36:38
Anyway lads, whatever our opinions, let's be happy we are probably safe (a sin to be even be in this position, I know)

Peace and love and 3-0. Happy days.

Joe Clitherow
135 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:37:18
By the way, Alcaraz is still a disaster in waiting, whatever the comments on here. He has this horrible tendency to pass back without looking.

He did it against Kiev on Thursday and again today from the corner flag in the first 10 mins or so. Luckily he got away with both but again I think it is a symptom of passing back to the keeper too much in general. I really don't know why the team does it. Why pass behind to someone to whack it up the field when you can do that (and get it further) yourself? It's lack of taking responsibility again.

Gerard Carey
136 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:09:35
Great to get the win, I would not be too hard on Kone or Lennon. They need game time. I think Gibson and Ossie tired a bit but do make a difference. When we play with tempo, the team comes alive and fans too. I hope our manager can see this.
Tony Abrahams
137 Posted 15/03/2015 at 22:22:54
Newcastle were poor, Joe, so nerves or trepidation never really came into it for me. I agree that we should have killed them off, but surprised you were still worried on 92 minutes.

Heard it said off Spurs fans that Lennon works that hard on his defensive duties, it's affected his attacking play. Could be true, but you need hard workers in midfield if you're going to play 4-4-2. Also, I don't think it would be fair to judge Kone until he's played a lot more football, after him being out for so long.

I actually thought he might have brought Lennon off for Stones, and played 3-5-2 after the break, but the penalty, then the sending off, took what little fight that Newcastle had, out of them. Good to see Barkley score, and I hope the confidence gained from back-to-back victories stands us in good stead on Thursday night.

Brent Stephens
138 Posted 15/03/2015 at 23:21:22
Lennon on MotD said they'd worked all week on closing down the opposition high up the field. Well done, Roberto.
Col Noon
140 Posted 16/03/2015 at 00:24:23
John Atkins #131 "Eddie - Martinez hasn’t tried anything different but us the fans with pressure have sorted it !!! He hasn’t got a clue"

Jesus Christ. Lost for words. Time for bed.

Eric Myles
141 Posted 16/03/2015 at 00:44:20
I hope Martinez noticed 2 things from the game.

1. When we weren't playing tippy tappy possession for possession sake footy we were comfortable and Newcastle didn't look likely to score at all.

2. When they were down to 10 men and we tried the tippy tappy possession for possession sake footy we were under pressure at the back and making mistakes which gave them a way in to the game as well as not being able to complete forwad passes to feet.

Andy Crooks
142 Posted 16/03/2015 at 00:50:54
Michael Kenrick, I agree with you that putting in a shift should be a given. In fact in many years of watching our club I have often seen shite but very, very rarely lack of effort.

What I think about Lennon ’s show, and Naismith week after week, is that it is very noticeable effort. It might not bring an end result, the final ball might be poor, but, it lifts the crowd, which lifts the players, which does us all good.

Michael Kenrick
143 Posted 16/03/2015 at 01:02:40
Great post, Joe (#123) – you caught a few things I didn't. Great observations.

Andy also (#142) – there's definitely something that comes from being at the game that you miss when relying on the live TV feed. Yes, you can see and dissect all the on-field, on-the ball activity, and get a sense of the crowd mood (if vocal), but there's a bunch more stuff going on that you miss... so thanks for expressing that: A much appreciated perspective.

Bob Parrington
144 Posted 16/03/2015 at 10:40:36

Your postings and Joe's have been pdg. One difference I do have in mind comes from the fact that I was seated close to the pitch on our LHS during the second half. We seemed to not want to use the massive amounts of space on this side and time & time again Baines was screaming out (well, Bainesy style screaming out) for the ball but the midfield players, with no exception, ignored him when he was in miles of space. I even shouted to him that sending them a text message might work better!

This has been a pattern during this season, I believe. We have been too one-sided in our attacks, which was one of the differences last year... That we used both flanks in most games.

Good to have a positive result. I thought Kone did actually make a difference in freeing up Lukaku, too.

Ray Roche
145 Posted 16/03/2015 at 10:54:37
Bob, the lack of a Pienaar player in front of Baines has left our LH side exposed most of the season. Barkley or Nais have been tried there but neither are disciplined enough to stay there, understandable really as neither are wide players. Yesterday it was most notable when, as you say, Baines was being ignored, especially in one movement involving Kone. Kone did well, though, and Alcaraz was nothing like the player from last week, he was excellent.
Andrew Ellams
146 Posted 16/03/2015 at 10:56:25
Great result, we need to pick some momentum now. Too many false dawns this season.

Colin G @72, BPL is Barclays Premier League, the abbreviation annoys the hell out of me.

Oscar Huglin
147 Posted 16/03/2015 at 11:20:37
"He picked out Barkley in acres of space and plenty of time to make it three but his lackadaisical attempt was maddeningly blocked by Taylor".

I don't think Barkley did anything wrong with that chance - he put it in the far corner with pace, which was correct. It's very harsh to blame a player who beats the keeper with his shot but has it cleared off the line.

Anyway, a fine report as usual. I pick but I love reading these.

Bring on Kiev, and let's do the same to QPR next Sunday. COYB.

Colin Malone
148 Posted 16/03/2015 at 13:30:58
Wel, well, the man is for change. I do believe it was the crowd that made RM change formation, we were pissed off with that slow, square passing game. You could see the big improvement from Baines and Coleman. Then he took Lukaku off and it was back to the slow, square passing. Still made up with 3 points.
Kevin Tully
149 Posted 16/03/2015 at 13:40:30
Martinez has to realise he has to serve up winning football before he can stamp any particular ’style’ on this Everton side. I am sure Wigan supporters just shrugged their shoulders after a defeat, which never really put any meaningful pressure on the manager.

I think Martinez has been shocked by the response of the crowd at GP at times this season, which will make him think twice about how he approaches games from this point onwards.

Why hasn’t the effort we witnessed yesterday been there all season? Players were moving, looking for a pass, and we were closing down the opposition when we never had the ball.

I can only think they all finally realised we were in the shit, after the Burnley result on Saturday. Terrible that it’s taken this long to finally get themselves up for a game.

Colin Malone
150 Posted 16/03/2015 at 13:52:31
Kevin* 149.
I don't blame the players, you could see when they were interviewed, they did not like the style in which they were playing e.g. Baines and Jags. Baines was great yesterday.
John Keating
151 Posted 16/03/2015 at 13:53:21

I have to agree. I think that what Martinez experienced on Thursday was his wake-up call. The atmosphere on Thursday was surreal and you could feel the crowd's, anger, nonacceptance, whatever you can call it. Seeing the players visibly change the style of play must have left him gobsmacked!

It definitely made him think twice regarding Sunday. The main thing is we got the 3 points but, as you rightly say, why has it taken so long and that input from the crowd on Thursday before he has attempted to change things?

Dave Abrahams
152 Posted 16/03/2015 at 13:59:26
It is amazing how one victory against a very poor team can change so many peoples opinions about the manager, the team and certain players on here, still I hope the performances continue and every one stays positive.
Tom Bowers
153 Posted 16/03/2015 at 14:43:18
Newcastle are a poor side really and not beating them would have really put the Blues to shame. Whilst still out of sync somewhat, they had a convincing scoreline although better teams than the the Barcodes could have capitized on a period of slackness by the Blues after going down to 10 men whilst 0-2 down.

Lukaku had a fine game and shown a lot more endeavour although his first touch still need improving although Kone looks like he’s past his best. Still cannot figure out why Osman started as he contributed little apart from one shot and the usual array of missed tackles and three-yard passes. He clearly is another past his best and should only be a late substitute if that.

Alcaraz had his best game yet but the defence wasn’t really tested much by the Barcodes who probably missed Cisse.

Barry McNally
154 Posted 16/03/2015 at 14:58:44
Kyiv beat second from bottom 5-0 last night. Keeper from Thursday didn't play, hope they were resting him!
Darren Hind
155 Posted 16/03/2015 at 19:27:36
I get the impression that Martinez thought he'd cracked it last season, all that love and warmth. I don't blame him, I blame all those people who were lining up to tell him how wonderful he is. He was always in for a rude awakening and the faithful have served it up to him.

I'll bet he's behind his desk a few weeks earlier this summer. who knows he may even plot a decent pre-season.

I enjoyed yesterday's game; it wasn't perfect, but it was a big improvement. I'm more than happy to give RM his share of the credit.

Tony Abrahams
156 Posted 16/03/2015 at 20:20:58
Good post Darren. I think you fell out with quite a few people over Martinez, and his lack of preparation for this season. I don't always agree with you, but you don't browbeat, and I don't think you're the type that is happy to be proved right, were Everton are concerned. I think you care too much about our team for that. It looks like you're giving the manager next season as well, so let's hope you're right again and Martinez, learns from his mistakes!
Michael Polley
157 Posted 16/03/2015 at 20:55:54
Good to see a more direct attacking approach in the last 2 games. I can't remember the last time we had two forwards on the pitch. Good to see intent and an eagerness to push forward. It suits Lukaku. I thought he has been outstanding in the last 2 matches. His hold up play and strength on the ball is impressive.

Just a pity RM didn't adopt a more direct approach earlier in the season, and maybe we would contending for top 6, and not hoovering above the bottom 6. Anyway there is improvement. Roll on Thursday COYB

Paul Tran
158 Posted 16/03/2015 at 21:53:24
We've played many poor sides this season and failed to beat them, so a long-overdue good performance.

I think you're right about Martinez last summer, Darren. I still can't work out whether it was complacency, incompetence or both. We'll disagree about him being on the telly, but for me, the preseason was unplanned and done off the cuff. I thought he would have planned it well before going to Brazil.

It's his first big job and this season has been his first proper arse-kicking as a manager. How hard will he have to beg for his job, and once he's back behind his desk in the summer, how will he try and convince us that last season, rather than this season, is the norm?

Mike Childs
159 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:44:16
Excellent Joe C. #132. No surprise I always enjoy your posts. Also John K. #151 has it spot on BBS only changed his tune after the crowd forced the players to change their style and then took credit for it.

Even if I am totally wrong (which I doubt) and BBS was responsible for the change in play he still needs to go because of the Robles > Laughing Boy.

Bob Parrington
160 Posted 19/03/2015 at 00:20:20
Ray #145, I agree with you about Alcaraz. Other than the odd adventurous pass that didn't get through, I thought he had an excellent game.

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