40+ points despite Barkley's penalty miss

Mirallas's goal earned a win that finally takes Everton above the 40-point mark in a season that continues to frustrate long-suffering Blues.

Michael Kenrick 18/04/2015 251comments  |  Jump to last

Mirallas scored his 10th of the season but did little else of note in another less-than-impressive Everton performance

Everton 1 - 0 Burnley

Romelu Lukaku was only fit enough to make the bench for the visit of Burnley while Mirallas started for the first time in seven weeks, with Arouna Kone leading the line as Osman and Pienaar were out injured.

Burnley kicked off but immediately gave the ball to the home side, and possession football took over for a while until Barkley gave away a foul that came to nothing for the visitors. Barkley them went on a nice run but drove well wide. At the other end, Trippier was getting some good crosses in.

Lennon was looking lively and drove forward, making a shot, but getting fouled in the process, albeit right on the 18-yard line... Penalty, said Mike Jones, a little fortuitously. For some unknown reason, Barkley put the ball on the spot but Heaton guessed the right way and saved his spot-kick, with questions being asked why Leighton Baines did not take it, but the miss will do Barkley's faltering confidence no good at all.

Coleman put in a decent cross that came out to Baines who struck it really well but it was too easy for Heaton to save from a narrow angle. A good move, Barkley forward to Lennon in acres of space, saw the Spurs loan player surge forward and lash his shot just wide, as Everton seemed to be more determined to get the ball forward with a lot more pace. McCarthy was next to gallop forward but his run became stalled.

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While Lennon was the spark enlivening Everton, that could not be said for the other winger, Mirallas, who was struggling to get into the game. On the other side, Coleman got in a great cross that Kone went for but Heaton plucked the ball off his head. Barnes then saw yellow, fouling McCarthy from behind.

A determined attack developed after Barkley hounded Arfield and Mirallas got the ball forward through the middle again, but they could not fashion good shot at goal after Kone fired in and the ball pinged around the perimeter of the penalty area.

Another speedy break, involving Lennon again, finally brought a goal, and a nicely worked one it was, Coleman and Kone combining for the ball that went out wide to McCarthy before coming through the crowd to Mirallas who fluffed his first-time shot but had enough about him to drive his second into the corner of the goal.

Jones got free behind the Everton defence and had only Howard to beat but fired over, perhaps a slight touch from the Everton keeper helping it over the bar. Jagielka ran into Ings and the Burnley man went down injured.

Ings and Barnes looked to get in behind the Everton defence but Barry did well to stop Barnes shooting, at the expense of a corner that was headed over by Burnley.

An annoying sequence saw Barkley backtrack and make three backward passes when all the impetus should have been forward, and Howard was almost in trouble with the final backpass, Burnley then having a good spell of attacking as a result.

Kone broke down the left but could only shoot at Heaton as Everton played out added time before the break, but Barnes took down Coleman and got a rather harsh second yellow card.

Against ten men, Everton started the second half brightly, Baines getting down to the byeline and crossing for Kone to clip the ball onto the post, Heaton saving the follow-up. Mirllas got a card for a stupid challenge that caught Boyd's foot. Arfield was next booked after a cynical foul on Barkley.

Baines produced a lovely clip over the top for Mirallas to pull back for Kone, and then Baines set Kone up again but the striker lashed his shot over. Then an excellent move, Lennon around the area to Baines, Mirallas, Lennon cut baack perfectly for McCarthy to sidefoot, surely a goal! No, driven inches wide!!

Everton were getting plenty of opportunity to get forward, Barkley playing a great ball to Mirallas but what he contrived to do with the ball at that point is a mystery to everyone watching. Lucas Jutkiewicz, back at Goodison, came on for Vokes, while Lukaku replaced Mirallas.

Everton got a good free-kick when Barkley was fouled but Baines drove the ball into the Burnley wall. Kone was giving the wall away at will, but Coleman won a corner that was cycled round before Baines himself lashed a fearsome shot at Heaton.

Lukaku tried to set up Kone but the ball went out to Lennon whose shot was partially blocked and Heaton saved once again. Coleman was next to shoot but his effort was always curling away.

A fantastic ball over the top but Lukaku's bizarre first touch saw a brilliant chance for the second goal evaporate instantly in the bright sunshine. Baines was then blocked by Duff and swung in the kick from wide left, to the far post where Barry was all alone and he calmly passed it back to Heaton rather than burst the roof of the net. It seemed as if no-one wanted to score that second goal...

Naismith replaced the hugely disappointing Kone, who had seen yet another game pass him by without producing the magic of two seasons ago. McCarthy lashed another shot inches wide of the far post with Heaton beaten.

Another good forward passing move down the middle ended abruptly when this time Nasmith spooned the ball to nowhere. Burnley went straight up the other end and Ings got in a free header but powered it well over as Everton looked to be doing their utmost to squander yet another winning position as the minutes ticked away.

Burnley kept pushing, forcing a corner, as McCarthy gave way for a brief cameo from Mo Besic. But Burnley continued to press. Everton finally moved the ball to the other end and won a corner into four minutes of added time but the ball just would not run for the Everton attackers, although Barkley did run and shoot, Heaton batting down another effort on target but just too close to his body.

Everton had huffed and puffed with no real end product in the second half, which saw a win secured that finally took them above the 40-point mark with another less-than impressive performance in a season that continues to frustrate long-suffering Blues fans.

Scorer: Mirallas (29')

Everton: Howard; Baines, Jagielka, Stones, Coleman; Barry, McCarthy (88' Besic), Mirallas (61' Lukaku), Barkley, Lennon, Kone (80' Naismith).
Subs not Used: Robles, Garbutt, Alcaraz, McGeady.

Burnley: Heaton, Arfield [Y:53'], Shackell [Y:61'], Jones (84' Taylor), Barnes [Y:23'; YR:45'], Mee, Arfield, Duff, Boyd (84' Wallace), Trippier, Ings, Vokes (59' Jutkiewicz).
Subs not Used: Gilks, Kightly, Ward, Keane.

Kick off: 3pm
Referee: Mike Jones

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Reader Comments (251)

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Jamie Barlow
1 Posted 18/04/2015 at 14:13:44
Two wingers!! Woohoo!!
Mark Pierpoint
2 Posted 18/04/2015 at 14:15:49
No Lukaku though...
Jay Harris
3 Posted 18/04/2015 at 14:33:15
I wouldn’t have named Kone amongst the subs based on his performances to date let alone leading the line again.

I would much sooner give Nais a run. At leat we would get 90 minutes out of him and his ability to finish is much better than Kone.

Still, it's only Burnley. LOL.

Brian Porter
4 Posted 18/04/2015 at 14:46:22
Just seen the line-up. Why no Pienaar? And what the hell is Kone starting for? If Lukaku is fit enough to be on the bench he should be fit to start. Or, put Naismith (7 goals) in there instead of the useless lump Kone (1 goal). Barry is knackered. Besic needs game time. Martinez hasn’t got a clue.
Jim Knightley
5 Posted 18/04/2015 at 15:06:51
Two wingers...fantastic. Save for Lukaku, and maybe one of Osman or Pienaar for passing balancing, this is as close as it gets to my favourite team.
Robin Cannon
6 Posted 18/04/2015 at 15:14:06
Really taking the opportunities to blood some youngsters towards the end of the season, I see.
Trevor Lynes
7 Posted 18/04/2015 at 15:37:18
Blooding youngsters could cost us positions in the league. The only one who is ready is sitting on the bench. The rest are a pretty mediocre lot.

Why is Baines not taking the penalties? This question must be asked as we should be two up by now. Baines has a fantastic record from the spot and the fans deserve to see the best man for the job.

Brian Porter
8 Posted 18/04/2015 at 16:34:12
Why isn’t Baines taking penalties? Barkley’s effort was very poor. Kone should not be on the pitch. Agree with Jay #3. Naismith (7 goals) would give us more chance of goals than Kone (1 goal). What is Martinez thinking of?

We are without leading scorer Lukaku in the starting line-up so surely we need proven scorers in the team. I despair of this manager. And all the chances we’ve had today, and no one with the ability to hit the target. Pathetic really at this level, McCarthy guilty again.

Max Wilson
9 Posted 18/04/2015 at 16:54:46
That missed penalty will earn some comment! Why not Leighton?
Sometimes you have to win ugly. COYB!
Ross Edwards
10 Posted 18/04/2015 at 16:56:55
The main thing is we got the win but we’re just drifting through games. We should have won by more so I’m disappointed in that regard.

As for the penalty, Barkley clearly felt he was confident enough to take it, judging by the end result he wasn’t. Baines should be our designated taker, so either he was willing to let Ross take it or it’s poor management.

Surely Martinez should’ve sorted this after the Mirallas incident? Clearly he hasn’t.

Ross Edwards
11 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:01:11
One last thing. It’s taken 33 games to get to 40 points. I mean credit to RM for ’turning it around’ with the last 5 results but with that squad we shouldn’t have been in this situation in the first place.

We need to sort ourselves out in the summer. We’re far from fixed yet.

Mike Childs
12 Posted 18/04/2015 at 16:55:26
Not even going to venture to figure out what Martinez is thinking of. A lot of wasted chances as the game should have been over early. Thought Kone looked better than last week but still isn’t up to finding a finish. Barry another good games those two weeks obviously shows that he was playing hurt imo.

Baines again way to nice. He should have listen to Coleman who told him to take it away from Barkley. Hopefully Jimmy Mac isn’t lost as he has been developing his offensive side of the ball. Just missed a brace today which if he had been shooting all year he may have got.

Colin Glassar
13 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:08:32
At this stage of the season, I will gladly have us win all our remaining games while playing poorly. Lots of work needs to be done this summer so, no hols for anyone.
Patrick Murphy
14 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:05:44
I was very disappointed with that performance overall. How often do you get to play a likely relegated team who are down to ten men and only manage to come away with a single-goal victory? The result perhaps was always going to be a home victory but here was a chance for the team to reward the faithful with a sackful of goals. Yes, we had chances but so much of our play was half-hearted and lacked verve and enthusiasm.

Good and bad habits are very important for any sport and we are becoming a team with really bad habits. The penalty issue – has Baines decided he doesn’t want to take them any longer?

Slack passing, tame tackling and no desire to show how good we can be. Lennon, Jags, Barry and a couple more showed their ability but too many are going through the motions. Understandable I suppose with so little to play for, but those who pay to watch deserve to be entertained, but the players don’t seem to have grasped that fact this season.

Eric Myles
15 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:10:50
Has Barkley got a phobia about shooting from inside the box that he wanted to exorcise with that penalty?

I wondered why he never makes runs into the box to shoot and now I know why.

Ross Edwards
16 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:13:05
Surely, Colin, now we’re safe, we can try and finish with a flourish and try and show us fans that we can play better than we have? I’m all for winning the last 5 games 1-0, great if it gets us 8th, that’s the Moyes way of doing it, I guess.

But I’d rather win all 5 remaining games being entertained being reminded of how great our football is when we’re at our best. Remember last season at this point? Ripping Arsenal and Man Utd apart? This season, we’re just about meandering to a win against the bottom side in the league.

Tony Hill
17 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:15:06
A humdrum game when, once again, we were sloppy and half-hearted but there you go – that’s what our season is about now. Nothing really to say beyond that... though Mirallas was very fortunate to stay on. Lennon was creditable.
Joe Clitherow
18 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:15:23
Just walking back from the game. I don’t think I’ve ever been so depressed or apathetic after an Everton win. Just a shocking, complacent attitude against the League’s worst team who were down to 10 men for half of it.

Desperate defending from us for the last 15 mins and it would have been no surprise for Burnley to equalise. With 5 games to go and Lennon in attack, I expected him to take it to the corner flag.

Shocking the way Martinez is choking the life out of Everton.

Alex Jones
19 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:15:40
We played very well in the first half and were unlucky to only be a goal up. The second was miserable watching though. I thought Barkley, Lennon, Barry, Baines and our two centre-backs all played well.

I’m like a broken record but I was again disappointed with McCarthy. Anonymous with the ball and missed a sitter. Add that to last week's sitter and I just wonder if he’s ever going to be the more dynamic player we need. When he had no license to roam, that was his excuse for not being creative or being a goal threat, but now he is being given that license and he just doesn’t look the part.

Paul Hewitt
20 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:21:56
We won and are now safe – that’s all that matters.
James Marshall
21 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:23:38
More misery, even when we win!? TW Evertonians are an amazing bunch of people! 4 wins out of 5, the other game draw and you’re still not happy? I feel for you, I really do.
Colin Glassar
23 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:28:55
Ross, I said somewhere that I hope after the Man Utd game we start giving the kids a go. Top 10 is a must now but so is some exciting football.
Mike Price
24 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:17:53
That penalty makes us look like amateurs and shows a lack of clarity and authority from the manager.

Comfortable win but poor performance and we have a lot of very poor players and really lack character.

Worst and most depressing season I’ve ever known; unless something major changes, you can’t see next season being much different.

Joe Clitherow
25 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:26:41

Keep your sympathy, thank you. I could return the heartfelt sympathy for you if you’re satisfied with that shite.

I and 39,000 others shelled out a lot of hard earned money to watch that and all the other turgid crap served up this season to effectively be told by you and some others that my best bet was to watch the result in teletext because that’s "all that matters". Frankly I find that quite disrespectful to fans who regularly make the effort. I expect more, much more than that.

Brian Porter
26 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:23:09
It should be made clear to ALL our players that Leighton Baines is our designated penalty taker, unless he’s injured. It’s becoming bloody ridiculous that players with no record of scoring them are stepping up to take them and MISSING.

Baines has proved himself to be probably the best penalty taker in Premier League history and that ability is being bloody wasted and we are consequently failing to add to our goal tally. We got lucky today but another day that miss could have cost us valuable points, and it does impact on our goal difference.

BAINES SCORES PENALTIES. Are you listening Martinez? Get it sorted, and quickly!

Ross Edwards
27 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:34:12
Absolutely agree there, Colin. 8th is still on. If we can win the last 5 in style, playing much better football and putting in much better performances I’d be happy.

I’d rather head into the summer on the back of 5 good wins with good football on show than off 5 scrappy meandering wins. Winning well brings confidence.

Brian Porter
28 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:34:42
By the way, if Leicester or Hull were to win all their remaining games, (unlikely I know), we could still lose all our games and go down, so we are not yet mathematically safe. Yes, I agree we are safe as no one is going to overhaul us in reality but the mathematical possibility still exists so I still say, to allow us to be in this position at this stage of the season, Martinez has failed dismally.
Andy Sommer
29 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:43:32
On the bright side, if the Premier League get the extra fair play position for Europa League and Arsenal or RS win the cup, we’re only 6 points off 8th and European football...
Paul Tran
30 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:43:48
Maybe the simple explanation is that Baines actually missed one against Man Utd earlier this season and just doesn’t fancy them? Would be good if we could be told this stuff – if he doesn’t want to take them, that’s fine by me. I just wish that someone other than Lukaku could actually score one!
Joe Clitherow
31 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:41:15
I’m pretty sure – Phil Walling can confirm, I’m sure - that the way this season has panned out is absolutely classic Martinez at Wigan in that he would flirt with relegation and pulled out a spurt of 4-5 wins at the end of the season to get safe. That is, until his luck eventually and inevitably ran out one season. Coincidence? I don’t think so...
Anto Byrne
32 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:40:15
It could have been 4 or 5 but that keeper had a great game making some great stops and has to be given credit for the penalty save it was good keeping. Overall a very average game and we missed Osman for his playmaking.

Their centre-back wasn’t half bad, a big tall strong lad played well. Two players that Martinez could consider: the keeper and the centre half. We could offload some of the chaff to Burnley in part-ex.

James Marshall
33 Posted 18/04/2015 at 17:59:15
Joe Clitherow, it’s a results business, end of story. I’ll take 1-0 every week but you’re entitled to your opinion.
James Marshall
34 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:03:54
And Joe, at no point did I mention anything about watching on teletext so I’m not sure where you got that from mate!
Gavin Johnson
35 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:04:15
Another win that should have been more convincing with all the chances, but the tempo has increased and nobody could say that it’s passing for passing sake now. We’re starting to look more like the team from last season. The reason.. We no longer have Thursday night Europa league games! It’s no coincidence.
Joe Clitherow
37 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:03:56
Wrong, James, but likewise. But a couple of points on the results issue:

1. Play like that consistently and you drop consistently because you start losing more than you win and you lose your better players and long term your luck runs out (short-term scrappy wins notwithstanding);

2. I’m glad you’re so happy with our results that have put a 5th-8th finishing team in the bottom half of the table and losing around £12M of revenue so far; give Martinez a medal and a new improved 5-year contract.

Those results overall wouldn’t have anything to do with piss-poor play, would they?

Jim Bennings
38 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:07:46
A win but fuck me, we are as dull as dish-water, the entertainment value is as bad as anything at all witnessed under Moyes – and that’s not just me having a short memory.

We are crap, we don’t deserve a top-half finish ahead of the likes of Stoke, in all honesty, and I can only see more of the same next season under this manager.

The frightening thing is Martinez actually believes we only need three players!!!

The squad is crap, no quality on the bench, Kone horrendous even as a stopgap, Naismith loads of effort but not top drawer, midfield bereft of attacking guile.

Barkley, don’t even get me started on another underwhelming display and a "Kevin Mirallas moment" on the pen.

James Marshall
39 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:17:07
Joe, neither of us are right or wrong, football is all about opinions, nothing more.

I don’t see a great deal of logic in Point 1, and I’m not sure how you can predict the future on such logic either? Confusing at best!

As for Point 2 – I’m not happy with results over the season, far from it, but I am happier with results right now and that’s the point I’m making. We’ve gone from being a team that loses every week to a team that wins every week.

You can’t turn it around instantly and suddenly go from playing terribly each week, to being brilliant to watch each week, but you can build on positive results. I for one see us as having progressed from being losers to winners and that’s my original and overriding point.

Brent Stephens
40 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:20:04
A good first half to watch, given the pace of the game. A turgid second half, especially as we were a man up.

I’ll take the positives. A win. Good displays again from Jags, Stones, Barry. Good shift from Lennon. I like McCarthy being pushed further forward and Ross breaking forward from a deeper role..

But not a performance to get excited about. I guess the fact that there’s not much to play for at this stage in the season has taken the edge off things.

Jamie Barlow
41 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:07:01
I’m happy with a 1-0 win. A win's a win. It’s all a bit boring though. Same slow, boring, lifeless plodding about most of the time.

There were quite a few decent link-ups and the odd fast build-up but it’s not good enough.

Martinez has a lot of work to do in the summer. Starting with getting the lads properly fit and ending with telling them that BAINES TAKES THE FUCKIN PENALTIES!!!!!

MotM – Barry or Lennon. Easily our two best players In this little run we’ve had.

Colin Glassar
42 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:17:34
I agree, Ross, it’s important to go into the summer on the back of a string of confidence boosting wins/performances.

After the Man Utd game, I’d like us to experiment with some of the youngsters and formations. Roberto insists he's flexible; well, he has a great opportunity to show it now.

James Marshall
43 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:20:50
A quick note on Barkley as mentioned above - the kid is overrated at best. Too much hype but he’ll never hold a candle to the likes of Gazza or Rooney. He has zero vision, never knows where or when to pass and shoots in a panicky fashion all the time when defenders are on his toes. I really don’t rate him highly at all.
Gavin Johnson
44 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:18:19
I know this is a forum and there is going to be varying opinion, but what’s the point in more moaning after 4 wins in 5 games. The Wigan analogies are tedious. We’re looking set to finish in the top half... Get a grip, lads.
Joe Clitherow
45 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:21:52
OK, James, we’ll agree to differ. My point is that you set low expectations you get low delivery. I don’t know if you were at the game but you get a good view of what goes on off the ball and seeing half-hearted lack of effort from players when fans have paid a substantial percentage of their wage will never be an acceptable situation for me. It is the general complacency of the playing staff that has increased which is so unforgivable to me.
Colin Glassar
46 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:28:10
James, I think you’ll see a different Barkley next season. The lad needs a break (two years without one) and he needs to sit down and analyse his game.

I’m really hopeful we will see last seasons Barkley next season and not this seasons Barkley, if you know what I mean.

Eddie Dunn
47 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:28:06
This is what the manager has just said on the OS:

"If Romelu had been on the pitch, he would have taken it," said the boss. "He’s taken the last two and we don’t want to change that. To be a successful taker of penalties, you carry on doing that.

"But then we have Leighton Baines who is a specialist and Gareth Barry who has an incredible record in the way that he takes penalties.

"And then we have people who can control the big moments like Ross Barkley. It depends how you feel at that moment. Sometimes you are feeling good and want to take it and I think Ross showed incredible responsibility in wanting to take it and Leighton was happy for him to do so."

So is he saying that Baines is no longer the pen taker?

James Marshall
48 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:34:08
Joe, across the season, I agree with you – my point is that results have improved and therefore I’m happiER than I was. Not happy with the season, but happier in recent terms.

I don’t set low expectations and I agree, we should be doing better. So in essence I agree with you.

Colin – time will tell, I just don’t think the kid is really as good as the hype.

Joe Clitherow
49 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:37:22
Eddie, I think he is talking shite as usual. Don’t try working him out.
Jason Murray
50 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:29:19
An easy victory but I feel we should’ve scored a goal or two more once they went down to ten men. There were times in the second half when I forgot we had the extra man, although we were always comfortable. I was happy to see that, despite the penalty miss, Ross’s confidence didn’t seem too affected but he seriously needs to start affecting our attacking play more than he currently is.

Nice to hear Mirallas after the game saying he sees his future with us at Goodison. Whether that’s genuine is another question entirely!

John Keating
51 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:29:41
Patrick Hart wrote an excellent article, The Lost Tribe of Everton.

One of the points he infers too is the support accepting the shite we have had to put up with over the years. He is so so right and a few of the posters on this thread are contributing to the malaise that permeates this football club.

The whole season, including our recent "wins" have been nothing short of a disgrace; how anyone can take any positives out of it is unfathomable. Some people are very easily pleased. God help us!

Colin Glassar
52 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:39:55
Yeah, it’s official, Lukaku is our penalty taker. When he’s not on the pitch it’s a free-for-all who takes the pens. Obviously our resident peacenik, and former penalty taker, doesn’t have the balls to stand up to his younger team mates.
Garry Corgan
53 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:43:20
Nothing on Mirallas’s goal celebration and what exactly it meant?
Jay Harris
54 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:29:15
Any Blue who is happy with a 1-0 win against a ten-man bottom of the table side deserves this dire manager.

I am totally with Joe Clitherow on this issue. The fans should not have to endure this torrid shit from a club like EFC.

FFS, Man Utd got rid of Moyes for not getting CL with an ailing squad that needed rebuilding while we meekly say "It is second season syndrome" – whatever that is. We used to be as big a club as Man Utd; now, even our supporters are putting up with second rate.

I am totally underwhelmed by our tactics, team selection and poor preparation.

Paul Jeronovich
55 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:41:30
Lennon looks like a player trying to get a permanent move. For the mooted fee of £6mil in this market, he looks well worth the money. He and Coleman with a solid pre-season behind them could be a good combo next season.

As for today... a win's a win. COYB!

Trevor Lynes
56 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:31:29
Again it is a Belgian who scores for us. What on earth would we do without Rom and Mirallas? Some fans on here say let Mirallas go and seem to think we will still score goals with one of the most toothless outfield players in the league.

When are our midfielders going to chip in with a few goals? The game is about scoring and we are once again being carried by our back four. Our fullbacks and Jagielka are outscoring the collective bunch we have. I include McCarthy, Barry, Barkley and everyone else apart from Naismith who has scored a few.

Baines must take our penalties or at least a reason must be given as to why he is not. We should have been two up at half-time and I am sure that if Baines took the kick he would have scored. He is the cleanest striker of the ball we have and for some reason his penalty goals have dried up this season. Lukaku has at least scored his but why on earth did Barkley take today’s?

We are on a fine run at the moment with 13 points from the last 15 and I want to see us beat Man Utd. If we get a penalty and Baines does not take it then God help the player who takes it if he misses. Please ask the question as to why Leighton is no longer taking our penalties.

James Marshall
57 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:48:13
I think the Mirallas celebration might have been a hint to supporters doing all the talking, and him doing the talking on the pitch as requested.

He can celebrate how the hell he likes if he keeps scoring winning goals.

Tony Bourbon
58 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:49:25
Are we saving Pienaar for Man Utd next week?
Alan Bodell
61 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:50:25
WTF is it with Leighton not on penalties?

Absolute shite today with a very underserved 3 points. Mirallas should have been red carded for a nasty and only a finger from Taliban Tim immediately after we scored stopped a certain Burnley goal.

I can’t wait to hear what the bumbling Bob has to say after this.

Ross Edwards
62 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:58:22
Jay, I think you’re spot on. One of the main criticisms of Moyes was the poor football we played for most if his tenure, and even if we won under him you’d get some, myself included of course, criticising the way we performed that day.

Now we have some happy to win ugly. If we want to win 1-0 every week, clinging on nervously, Big Sam does a great job at that. I think to only win 1-0 against Burnley is disappointing to say the least, even though we got the 3 points.

It was just poor to watch again. For the majority of this terrible season the football has been turgid, dull and just shite to watch. If we were a newly promoted team, happy to be here, on a jolly, it would be acceptable. But it’s not. We’re Everton. And we deserve better.

Gavin Johnson
63 Posted 18/04/2015 at 18:45:42
Jay - "we used to be as big as Man United"

Yes, but the fact we aren’t isn’t Roberto Martinez’s fault. It’s the board’s fault for not having the foresight of how big the Premier League would become when we were on top, and then doing stupid things like only redeveloping the Park End as one tier because Philip Carter/David Marsh said we wouldn’t fill it. I could go on and on with the Board’s inadequacies but we all know them.

David Greenwood
64 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:13:39
Gavin and Ajay, great posts.
Craig Mills
65 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:00:33
Guys, 13 points from 15 and we’re still moaning!! Performances have improved, we look like scoring goals again, we are keeping clean sheets again, let’s be positive and see if the season end on a higher note that what could have been!!!

Don’t forget, this Burnley team have just taken points of Man City and Spurs, teams and the bottom are fighting so hard to stay up. FFS give the boys some credit.

Nigel Gregson
66 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:16:25
Agree completely Ajay and Gavin. ’Used to be as big’ counts for fuck all in the real world, I’m afraid. We have no god-given right to win every game either. 40,000 Evertonians who pay to watch games have the same right to win football games as 50,000 Newcastle fans or 20,000 Burnley fans who come out to pay and support their teams.

If it weren’t for their keeper and some sloppy finishing, we’d have easily won 4-0. Not sure if I was watching the same game as some others out here.

Jay Harris
67 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:19:35

As you only watched the second half maybe you didn’t notice that we were only playing against 10 1st Division standard players.

The fact that we didn’t score a hatful of goals is down to the tactics in the main and that we don’t have many players who can score goals. For the last 10 or 15 minutes, we were nervously hanging on and it wouldn’t have surprised many had Burnley equalised.

I am not sure about the stats but to my mind Jags has had more touches than any other Everton player this season and that is scary.

Gavin, I totally agree with you about the Board’s non-contribution to our development and status and choosing Martinez was down to them but this manager will only take us in one direction and it is not back to the elite.

Patrick Murphy
68 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:23:09
The fact that it wasn’t four- or five-nil illustrates the point, doesn’t it? How often does any team get to play against a bottom of the table team when they are down to ten men for a complete half of the game? The reason it wasn’t a bigger scoreline is because the Everton players were pretty casual for most of the time and you can’t turn form on and off like a tap.

Yes, we have gained 13 points from the last 15 points available but wouldn’t we have expected that sort of haul as a given in seasons gone by, from the same fixtures?

Jim Hardin
69 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:25:08
Well, I guess that shuts the anti-Mirallas fans up for at least a couple of days. Howard with another clean sheet too! Keep the same squad this week for the next game with the exception of Lukaku up front for Kone.
Sam Hoare
70 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:35:14
I didn’t watch the game but sounds like we were particularly disappointing in the second half.

Sometimes it can be much harder to score against 10 men than 11 as they take less risks, get compact and fight twice as hard. Not sure if that’s the case? Either way, it’s a win and 13 points from 15 which is title-winning form!

Man Utd will obviously be a sterner test and perhaps a better indication of what this current team is capable of.

As said earlier, I didn’t watch, but am beginning to feel hope again. Dangerous.

Des Farren
71 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:38:54
"..in a season that continues to frustrate long suffering Blues fans"

Are they the same fans who some weeks ago Michael were praying for points and to hell with performance?

I would suggest any frustration should be tempered by reality.

Mike Childs
72 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:24:13
If you can’t enjoy a victory why do you go to the games? I’m speechless over the negativity on this site. Yes it’s been a sucky season so you would think winning despite the ineptitude of the manager would be acceptable; I guess not.

Still, I wouldn’t want to be a fan of any other club.

Chris Feeley
73 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:44:18

Clearly your expectations are lower than mine. That performance was woefully boring and uncomfortable to watch. From my seat, I saw one player put a performance in, namely Lennon. The rest might’ve had their flip flops on. Lazy and sloppy, simply not good enough.

Martin Mason
74 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:42:33
At this stage, a 1-0 win is perfect but every game shows our limitations. Having said that, Burnley drew at Chelsea and this was beyond a very good Man Utd side today.

We’re not going to get much better until we can get the right quality of player and at the moment we have not a lot more quality than the relegation teams and significantly less than the top 4. There is no silver bullet for Everton, we either get the required investment, and the chances of this are close to zero, or we carry on season after season struggling for top ten finishes.

Brilliant move to loan Lennon from Spurs, what a great, skillful, hard working lad he is. He should be our first summer target as possibly our player of the season with Jags and Stones. It isn’t all gloom but I doubt we will see a repeat of last season for many years now.

A great run of results though even though it’s been hard work for the fans.

John Malone
75 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:24:42
The more I see and hear of Martinez, the more I think he is an absolute joker!

He talks utter shite and he is not bringing good practices to the team, the organisation work rate and application is nowhere near the level Moyes had it: every game the passing and defending goes slack and instead of coming out the dugout and having a word and letting the players know it’s not good enough, he just watches it happen. Too many games this season and last we’ve let leads slip and it nearly happened today again!

Also the penalty taker situation is embarrassing. Fair enough, put your club record striker on pens but, surely if he’s not on the pitch, it goes straight back to your tried and tested left back whose record is up there with the best.

What good things is Martinez bringing to the club? I don’t see us attacking any better, and I now see us defending a lot worse, wasting set pieces and making a lot more mistakes!

Next season is make or break in my eyes for the Spaniard.

Patrick Murphy
76 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:47:31
If the team get criticised when they are losing, we get claims that the supporters should do just that and support them when they need it most; if the team are winning, then some believe that the criticisms aren’t deserved – in other words, fans shouldn’t criticise performances at any point in the season.

The points may well have been won in the last five games but are we seeing a transformation in our style, admittedly today there was better stuff going forwards but there is still something lacking in the team as a whole. Don’t forget, Burnley didn’t sit back and dig in as much as many teams have this season, which gave us plenty of space to exploit but we still didn’t manage to put them to the sword.

If we are happy just to win then fair enough we’ll have to accept the points regardless of how they are won. We had eleven years of that, but I was hoping that we could have evolved from that situation but obviously I was wrong in believing that we could do so.

James Marshall
77 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:01:06
We’ve gone from what you were all calling relegation form, with fuck all points from however many games, to 13 from 15 which as someone says above, is title winning form yet still you’re all pissed off.

You all wanted to see results improve - results have improved, yet still you’re not happy. I don’t get it. You have to accept the improvement in results before you see a wholesale improvement in the way we play. It’s a two-step process.

Dave Abrahams
78 Posted 18/04/2015 at 19:40:59
Another boring, entertainment free game.This type of football will drive people away from watching the game. There has to be more energy and I wonder about fans who say we are on a winning streak as if that is all that matters; no, it’s not for me. I could never be so easily pleased watching drivel like that, but if some are happy with it, fair enough.
Jim Bennings
79 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:03:58
One real stat that I just found out is in the 1999-00 season under the guidance of the notorious defence-minded Walter Smith, we scored a tally of 36 goals at HOME!!

Yet we have just a meagre total so far of 41, it’s nowhere near good enough. To challenge for a top 5 or 6 slot you need to be targeting 60 goals and we have fallen way short in attack this season.

Des Farren
80 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:00:26
You make many good points, Patrick, but your statement that "we would have expected that haul as a given" is not one of them.

Why should we "expect" points as a given? Because we were 5th last season, we expect the same level of performance this year? Why?

Teams lose form, players do also and it becomes a habit over time. It is turning around, results wise, for us but we have to accept that entitlement to win is not a given even to inferior teams.

Duncan McDine
81 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:06:09
I agree with you, James. If we can carry this run on for another five games then we’ll hopefully have some confidence going into next season.

In fairness, it’s been a fairly crappy Premier League season in general, not just for us. Chelsea have won it without playing all that good (typical Jose, I know), and the lot of us have been dicked in European competition.

Patrick Murphy
82 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:10:07
Title-winning form at a point in time when finishing in the top 10 is our target – typical Everton. The club motto is "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum" – I wonder where that fits into the new landscape of victory is everything?
Eddie Dunn
83 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:03:07
We played better than last week... but, against 10 men who still had to go forward, we really should have been able to put that game to bed.

It is all very well claiming that the result is all important, but it is the way we play that gives an indication of whether we are on the right track long term. We just couldn’t find the killer pass or finish. Kone tried his best, but he often just made the wrong choice or took a touch too many, same can be said of Ross.

Good to see Macca having a pop at goal and, considering how important that game was to Burnley, we deserve praise for controlling most of the game.

Puzzling on the penalty and our manager’s baffling quote. Why oh why can’t he just speak plain English and say "I decided that Rom is the new penalty taker"? Instead he comes out with such tosh, really annoying.

Also, what was Mirallas meaning with his "Celebration"? It looked to me like he had been reading ToffeeWeb! Bring it on, Kev, keep scoring and you might see some nice comments.

Ross Edwards
84 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:17:40
Hardly title-winning form. Let’s not exaggerate. 3 of the wins were against a terrible Newcastle side, a 10-man Burnley who we should be beating easily, and a terrible performance against Southampton where we somehow scraped a win.

If we were playing Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool, we would have lost all of them playing like we did.

Stephen Brown
85 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:24:36
Some credit where it’s due! 4 wins out of 5 and finding ways to get results what many posters were crying out for 5/6 weeks ago.

Hardly inspiring but it was what was needed! Still waiting for the season to end though!

Bill Gall
87 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:43:47
3 points is good even if you play below expectations. The thing that bothers me is the penalty. There are a lot of supporters like myself who have played in the game at different levels from amateur to pro and coached teams at different levels and with all the teams I have been with the penalty taker is known before you go on the pitch,

Martinez is saying that Lukaku would have taken the penalty if he had been on the pitch as he has scored the last 2 yet Baines was on the pitch and he has scored 15 out of the last 16.... baffling.

Goal difference may determine another place higher and as that will pay extra money every chance to score must be treated seriously by using the best penalty taker on the pitch.

Darren Hind
88 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:35:33
Is right, Stephen. When you’re looking disjointed and ugly, you still have to find a way and he’s done that.

We can complain about the lack entertainment – as Dave Abrahams quite rightly does – but these points have been much needed and should be welcomed.

I don’t know how you describe this place we are in. These wins would normally have me out celebrating, but I’m sitting in the house on me Jack watching Leicester and Swansea.

What’s that song D Ream did?

Lev Vellene
89 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:48:17
Results are good (great, even, points-wise) lately. But, as I was listening to the live match commentary via the club site, one thing that struck me was that the commentators half-way through the first half claimed that if this was a boxing match, someone would have broken it off by that time (!), as we were so dominant.

Strangely, that just filled me with dread...

Our trusty commentators were waxing all lyrical about Kone later on, about ’how well he’d done, but he’d have such a long way back from injury that probably/likely next season he would be at his top...’ There hasn’t been ONE match where I ever was hopeful of him scoring, sadly. To me it’s like giving up putting him up front... He’ll do lots of good outside the box, even inside, EXCEPT putting the ball where it should end up!

Injury prone IS injury prone. If you get crocked again and again, then again? Even mangers should pick up on what a ’simple’ computer game managed to include very early on as a ’stat’...

Kunal Desai
90 Posted 18/04/2015 at 20:37:01
The Stones and Jagielka partnership looks solid and appears to be a major contributor to our recent performance. If we had half a decent centre-back brought in last summer, more points surely would have been picked up. Distin and Alcaraz were never the answer to start games and this season and we ultimately paid the price.

Martinez will be judged on where we are next season around the 10-12 game mark, if we are languishing in the bottom half playing shite like he has served up this season, then there is no other option than for him to be sacked.

Mark Frere
91 Posted 18/04/2015 at 21:50:30
John (75) – you are spot on, the organisation, application, fitness levels and work-rate is far inferior to the Moyes days. All Martinez has done in the last 5 games is gone back to basics and let the players play more direct. As a result, all we look like is a poor version of a Moyes team.

We’ve been utterly unconvincing and lucky in some cases in the last 5 games. People have every right to moan because our season ended in Kiev and only after today, late into April, have we managed to secure our Premier League status.

The performances at this stage of the season are just as important as the results because we need some evidence that this team under the guidance of Roberto are capable of getting back to where we’ve been for the past decade... and that is, in and around the top 6.

Sadly, at the moment, we look a million miles away from where we need to be. This team looks leaderless, devoid of spirit and direction.

Martinez was supposed to come in and improve on what Moyes had built. Last season, he did that by taking the shackles off a well-drilled, hard-to-beat and organised unit. He encouraged a more attacking approach to games and added more quality to the squad.

This season, he appears to have taken the shackles off the strict fitness regime the players once had and the players have been allowed to become complacent. Baines said as much when commenting about Lennon coming in and setting an example to the rest of players. It just all leads you to believe Martinez is ’a soft touch’ and neglects basic (but very important) things like fitness and a proper game plan.

We just have to hope Martinez has learned some very hard lessons this season, and prepares the players properly in pre-season by getting them fit and match-ready. He needs a good transfer window and needs to add some creativity in midfield as priority. The lacking of cutting edge in the final third of the pitch is painful to watch. We waste so many good opportunities in games.

Andy Crooks
92 Posted 18/04/2015 at 21:56:33
If Moyes was manager, he’d be getting stick for that show, and rightly. We have been lucky not to be relegated this season and, in my opinion, Martinez deserves no praise whatsoever for turgidly clearing up a mess he created.
Ross Edwards
93 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:01:53
Spot on, Andy. He got a top 6 squad into this situation. That’s what he’s done. He’s kept a top 6 side up. Brilliant. He got us into this mess remember. Now he’s got us out of it suddenly it’s a blip.

I suppose we’ve experienced the Wigan cycle. Start poorly – Slight upturn in form – Terrible run – Start Winning/safety – Faith restored – Start poorly etc.

If we start next season poorly surely he has to be sacked, there’s no doubting that. Although the upturn in results is his stay of execution among the majority of the fans and the board.

Phil Rodgers
94 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:21:29
Couldn’t agree more, Ross. There is no re-writing history, that wasn’t a blip. For the majority of this season, we have been absolutely atrocious. If we manage to finish in the top half, it will say more about our competitors than us, in my opinion.
Ross Edwards
95 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:38:14
Would you look at this? West Ham being linked with anyone that breathes right now... Load of bollocks this.


Ross Edwards
96 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:42:45
Ah, that link didn’t work.
Guy Hastings
97 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:41:35
I’ve said this before but reiterate the point – I think Baines is being ’punished’ by RM for some Finch Farm/dressing room disagreement. It’s just a hunch so no ’Where’s your evidence?’ posts please. If this is the case, then I think it’s pathetic on the part of RM. If it’s not, then what the fuck is RM doing?
Ross Edwards
98 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:43:35
It’s been one of the worst PL seasons for a long time, I reckon, Phil.
Patrick Murphy
99 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:43:31
Ross, It might be the case – I’m still not convinced that RM has the full backing of all of his players at Goodison, but then again I’m not sure that RM is wanted by any club at the moment.
Ross Edwards
100 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:57:58
I don’t think RM is going anywhere any time soon but I think he’s the kind of person West Ham fans would tolerate for half a season then gradually get bored of after a while.
John Malone
101 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:34:18
The thing what stands out to me under Martinez is the lack of the really important fundamental ingredients of any top team: organisation, hard work, team spirit.

The above three things are what Moyes instilled in the squad and are what took us from a relegation-battling team to a regular top-six contender. As Mark (#91) mentioned above, under Martinez, the standards look to have definitely dropped and we have become ’soft’ and ’sloppy’.

The thing what annoys me the most is, when things aren’t going well or someone makes a mistake, like taking a pen away from the regular taker and missing it, instead of chastising them and showing he’s upset and making sure it doesn’t happen again, he comes out with the statement it’s up to whoever’s feeling confident! What a load of bollox! He should be sacked just for saying that!

Like Gary Neville said, it’s all about accountability; everyone has their roles on the pitch which they are given because of their own qualities, it’s not a free-for-all where on a certain day anyone can do anything they fancy!!! What message is that sending out? I only hope Martinez is a quick learner and get’s it right asap!

Jamie Barlow
102 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:49:31
Where’s your evidence, Guy?

Alan @61. 21 shots to Burnley’s 10. 8 on target to Burnley’s 1.... Yes, 1. How was it undeserved?

The table doesn’t lie. If you finish in the bottom 3, you deserve to go down. We could still finish in the top half and our league form is good since being knocked out of Europe. To say we’re lucky not to have been relegated is nonsense.

One more thing that pissed me off about the penalty. When the ball came back off their goalkeeper, Burnley had 8 players in the box running back to clear the ball. We had 2, including Ross.

Phil Rodgers
103 Posted 18/04/2015 at 23:08:37
God, that was an awful challenge from Mirallas...
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
104 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:58:18
Des (#71), I think I wrote that in a hurry as the game ended. I needed to get the match summary up and admit I had a feeling that a fair few of the faithful may not be dancing in the streets after witnessing that game.

Yes, of course the reality is that it was wonderful that we won (did I really need to type that?) ... but here’s the thing: if the game left you with a feeling of less-than massive euphoria, then no amount of posts you read on here, telling you that your reaction to what you saw should not be frustration but something more effusive, will not make a blind bit of difference.

Have you not noticed the posts from members of the "Lost Tribe" who tell us each week that they have been going to Goodison for countless years and use these match-going credentials to back-up their higher expectations, based on fleeting moments of glory dimly remembered?

Yes, I’m conflating different threads now... but I will always struggle with posts telling others how we should react, rather than posters just telling us what their reaction to the football was.

Patrick Murphy
105 Posted 18/04/2015 at 23:16:48

I hadn’t realised how bad that Mirallas challenge was; he was a very lucky boy to remain on the park. Mind you, I could do without Savage’s outrage even though merited, I wonder what he thought of Ratboy’s challenge last season on Distin – or was that the season before?

Ernie Baywood
106 Posted 18/04/2015 at 23:15:23
Firstly, I thought we played okay and another goal wouldn’t have flattered us. It wasn’t exciting, but when you come up against teams fighting against relegation that’s probably a good outcome.

Secondly, there was no row over the penalty. Coleman went over to Baines, who had stayed well away. There’s no confusion and using a missed penalty to have a crack at whatever agenda (RM’s leadership, Jags captaincy, Baines being too nice) you have is ridiculous.

Thirdly, the difference between a good and bad penalty isn’t just whether it goes in. Barkley did nothing wrong with the strike. Hard low and in the corner – their keeper put in a very good performance and that was another very good save.

Lastly, I’ve freeze framed the penalty and Ross’s left foot was pointing at the opposite corner to where he played it. So I’m going to slate their keeper for going the ’wrong’ way.

Ernie Baywood
107 Posted 18/04/2015 at 23:30:33
Actually a new "lastly". I suspect if you reversed the teams then we would have been livid at that refereeing performance. We seemed to get a bit more than the rub of the green.
Neil Pickering
108 Posted 18/04/2015 at 23:30:15
Don’t know if it’s already been said on this thread but why have we changed our penalty taker again? There is only one man who should be taking them and that’s Leighton Baines. Okay, so he missed vs Man Utd, but he has been our ’go to’ man for years now, and unless he has said he didn’t want them anymore, then he should be reinstated. End of.
Patrick Murphy
109 Posted 18/04/2015 at 23:42:40
I don’t understand why either Neil, people keep going on about him missing at OT but Leighton scored at the Stadium of Light - I can’t remember if it was the equaliser or not but he did score from the spot. It wasn’t until Mirallas at home to WBA that there was any issue with who took the penalties at Everton. Now it seems that Lukaku has assumed responsibility why just to boost his goal tally, that’s not the sign of a team working in unison and that isn’t meant to be a sly or cheap dig at anyone.
John Raftery
110 Posted 18/04/2015 at 23:20:08
Yes, we are certainly not dancing in the streets, Michael, just grateful that we are not in the middle of a relegation fight.

The performances generally have been dire this season. In the past few weeks, we have seen an improvement in results mainly due to the efforts of Jagielka, a much improved Barry and Lennon whose work rate is markedly superior to the rest of our squad. Too many of the squad have had mediocre seasons while our attacking play lacks incisiveness and penetration. It is hardly surprising therefore we are unable to kill teams off.

As for the penalties, Baines clearly does not want to take them at the moment. Did anyone really feel confident Barkley would score from the spot this afternoon? He did not look confident before he took it. That is three missed penalties in the league this season.

Roger Helm
111 Posted 18/04/2015 at 23:47:10
Are we really thrilled at a narrow win over the worst team in the league, reduced to ten men? We were hanging on at the end. We should be battering Burnley by three or four goals.

I thought only Lennon of our attackers played well - all the others seemed to jog around dreaming of their summer holidays. How on earth can people say Kone played well? He didn’t win a single header or manage a shot on goal and only occasionally completed a pass. He has to be the worst number nine I ever saw.

What’s going on with the penalties? We used to be good with them. There seems to be a complete lack of leadership on and off the pitch.

We have the second-oldest squad in the league and it shows. We need a clear out in the summer - but can Martinez be trusted in the transfer market?

I’m not going to apologise for complaining. I drove 300 miles to watch a poor game by highly-paid professionals who could have done much better.

Patrick Murphy
112 Posted 19/04/2015 at 00:17:30
The Sunday People are saying that PSG, Dortmund and Wolfsburg are all considering bids for Lukaku whilst the Mirror are saying that McCarthy is unhappy with the club failing to offer him an improved contract and Man City and Spurs may be interested in taking him.

I know these stories are purely speculative, however, I do get the feeling that at the end of this season we are going to see a lot of activity for all the wrong reasons. It’s been bubbling under all season and, despite the positive results in the last few weeks, all does not appear to be well behind the scenes.

Gavin Johnson
113 Posted 19/04/2015 at 00:12:23
I don’t think anyone would ever criticise someone for giving their analysis of the game, even if it differs from their own. While I thought that the game should have been put to bed with a 2nd goal, it was played at high energy and we had lots of chances. Others didn’t see it that way, which is fine.

I think the problem for myself and maybe others is when posts critique the game but it becomes a thinly veiled ’Martinez Out’ rant when that boat has already sailed. It just starts sounding silly when we’ve won 4 games and are unbeaten in 5 and the manager won’t be going any time soon.

Kase Chow
114 Posted 19/04/2015 at 00:18:00
What’s the score with penalties??
Patrick Murphy
115 Posted 19/04/2015 at 01:14:47
Kase - Here is a list of our PL penalties this season.

Burnley (H) Barkley - Missed
Newcastle (H) Lukaku - Scored
WBA (H) Mirallas - Missed
Sunderland (A) Baines - Scored
Man United (A) Baines - Missed
Palace (H) Baines - Scored

Scored 3 missed 3

I think Baines and Lukaku have also scored in the EL.

Patrick Murphy
116 Posted 19/04/2015 at 01:15:59
Just as an addition to those details I wonder how long it has been since we had three different players missing Premier League penalties in the same season.
Ernie Baywood
117 Posted 19/04/2015 at 01:18:05
The answer seems to be that it has never happened. Because we’ve never missed 3 in a PL season before.
Gavin Johnson
118 Posted 19/04/2015 at 01:23:03
Shame we can’t bring David Unsworth on to take them. I’m sure he never missed one in his career.
Ernie Baywood
119 Posted 19/04/2015 at 01:30:15
I guess what those stats do tell you is that, historically, 85% of penalties are scored.

For us to be sitting at 50% suggest an issue, even if it is a small sample of data.

Could it be coincidence that it happens when we don’t appear to have a regular taker?

Was Unsworth a great penalty taker, or was he just a regular penalty taker?

Gavin Johnson
120 Posted 19/04/2015 at 01:28:14
Maybe McCarthy should be flogged at a profit. we’ve got Besic who can move into that role, as can Cleverley who we look odds on to sign. Ledson is also emerging into the first team squad. Like Left-back we are overloaded with workhorse midfielder’s. A fee of about £25M would buy 2-3 players and fill other areas where we’re not so blessed with talent – like another top striker for one.
Patrick Murphy
121 Posted 19/04/2015 at 01:42:31
The top 6 by success rate, not including Leighton Baines is as follows:
Roy Vernon S=19 M=1;
Unsworth S=23 M=3;
Sharp S=18 M=4
Arteta S=13 M=3;
Steven S=23 M=6;
Royle S=14 M=5
Peter Barry
122 Posted 19/04/2015 at 01:27:19
I was totally against Moyes because of the way he had the team playing, his turgid boring, all track back, safety-first football philosophy was as exciting as watching paint dry. I thought we had finally turned the corner with Roberto’s first season but he has just turned out to be a less successful but equally boring Moyes.
Eric Myles
123 Posted 19/04/2015 at 04:33:56
Gavin #35, then how do you explain that we played our worse football and had our longest losing streak in the 2 months when we had no EL footy?
Paul Ward
124 Posted 19/04/2015 at 04:36:35
Peter 122. I’m in complete agreement. I would like to add, this present regime offers no organisation, style, fitness or consistency. Points are points we all agree but I have no confidence for success in the future with Martinez at the helm.

I was a strong advocate to end Moyes’s tenure and welcomed RM, but I was mistaken. I think the only hope of recovery is with another manager.

Steve Brown
125 Posted 19/04/2015 at 05:35:22
The whole penalty situation showed two things:

1) The almost farcical lack of clarity, preparation and organisation we have shown this season on the basics, penalties, free-kicks, corners, the basics of defending as a team and knowing who you are marking. RM’s "explanation" of this at the press conference was rambling nonsense.

2) The complete lack of leadership we have among the senior players on the pitch. Jagielka, Barry and BAINES should have stepped in and taken the ball off Ross at that moment. We simply do not have enough strong personalites in this team, people who give it hell when things aren’t quite right. What I would give for a Rats, Reidy or Andy Gray in this team.

Ernie Baywood
127 Posted 19/04/2015 at 05:43:32
You can’t have it both ways Steve. One minute Barkley is shot of confidence, the next he’s demanding penalties?

Martinez has given no indication of whether Ross, Baines our anyone else SHOULD have taken it because, as you point out, his comments were rambling nonsense (The Guardian reported him as "defying credibility again" so it’s no longer just us who think it).

My view is that Ross was either the penalty taker today or no-one was and he got it by default. Baines didn’t step forward. No-one else stepped forward. How can Barry or Jags shoulder any blame for Ross having a decent strike saved? He didn’t rip it out of Baines’ hands.

My issue is that we should be deciding who our first, second, and third choice penalty takers are. The amateur and semi pro clubs always do it in my experience... I can’t believe the same doesn’t happen in the pros.

It’s a season long issue rather than an issue today.

Harold Matthews
128 Posted 19/04/2015 at 05:51:43
We should have scored 3 or 4 but 1-0 will do me every week.

Why do people highlight the errors of certain players but leave out all the good bits? It suggests that their minds are fixed solidly in a fault- finding position even before a ball is kicked. Yes, you know who you are. So do I.

Plato Stavrinos
129 Posted 19/04/2015 at 07:10:36
Once again this season we were without a creative midfielder. Like them or hate them Pienaar and Osman make us tick and to be fair to Martinez he has identified that we need a number10 next season. Till we get that position filled we will lack something going forward.
Jay Wood
130 Posted 19/04/2015 at 07:11:42
Harold @ 128

"Why do people highlight the errors of certain players but leave out all the good bits? It suggests that their minds are fixed solidly in a fault- finding position even before a ball is kicked. Yes, you know who you are. So do I."

Hmmm... reminds me of a certain Harold Matthews who last season constantly found fault in John Stones, was called on it by others, and as a result had a strop and ’retired’ from TW.

Indeed, some of us do know who you are...

Darryl Ritchie
131 Posted 19/04/2015 at 06:35:16
We beat a desperate team 1-0. We’re unbeaten in five. I’ve no doubt that we will finish higher in the table, than our current position. It’s all good...well, a hell of lot better than it used to be, anyway.

But wait a minute. There were stretches in the match when we didn’t play like Barca...the football just wasn’t " exciting ". Are you kidding me? I just finish watching a replay of the Chelsea/ManU game. It wasn’t exciting but it was interesting, all the same. "Jose’s a genius". The commentators words not mine. Sometimes you have to be boring to win.

We are finally showing a bit of spark and showing a flash or two of confidence. Everton are reinventing themselves a little more each week. The tatics have definately changed. We weren’t world beaters today, but we were good enough to beat Burnley. That’ll do.

I’ll sleep sound tonight and smile easier tomorrow. Bring on ManUnited.

Ajay Gopal
132 Posted 19/04/2015 at 07:38:58
Well said, Daryl (131). I am amazed at the Moyes love-in fest that some posters are indulging in. Admittedly Moyes did a good job in his first 5 years, and his transfer dealings were largely good, but ’safe’. For example, he would never have signed Lukaku for £28 million – he would have got in 3-4 work-horses for that amount (one centre-back, a right winger, another goal-keeper, and a jack-of-all kind of player).

What Moyes was brilliant in was in dumbing down everybody’s expectations (the media, the management, and the fans) and make himself look like a genius when we reached 40 points. But he was found out at the first big test in his career and was unceremoniously booted out. He has never won any silverware in his career and I am willing to wager that he will never win anything (other than if he goes back to Scotland).

Martinez’s problem is that he has (naïvely) brought pressure on himself by building up expectations, and at the 1st bump in the road, the fans have turned on him. Martinez has won the FA Cup (I repeat, the FA CUP) against star-studded Man City with a club that soon seems headed for the 3rd tier of English football. That was a near miracle and it is only something as miraculous as that that will see Everton ever win anything in the near future assuming things at the top don’t change.

So, I continue to put my faith in Martinez and Everton would be foolish not to give him time to try and take the club back again to the glory days.

Paul Gladwell
133 Posted 19/04/2015 at 08:13:26
"We do not have a designated penalty taker" he said, then why not? I’m sure if we’d continued our slump and needed a penalty to stay up we would, or if we’d continued in the Europa league and got to the final.

The man is an absolute clown, I’ve gone from hanging off his every word to cringing and keeping away from his interviews; this penalty lark just smacks of player unrest or something that has certainly happened. Maybe Baines had said he’d had enough after the last debacle, who knows?

Either way, it seems the players have taken over a large share of running what happens on the pitch, including tactics when you see how we have changed over the past few months.

Colin Glassar
134 Posted 19/04/2015 at 08:18:18
I hope you’ve got your tin hat on Ajay, a lot of flak is coming your way. Excellent post btw.
Ed Smith
135 Posted 19/04/2015 at 08:16:37
Now we are safe, Barry should be sent off on an extended holiday. He was rushed back after he picked up the injury before Christmas. He needs a complete break and to come back and put in a full pre-season and hit the ground running and become the player he was last season again. I don’t think he’s finished yet, he’s just not fit.

We need to buy a CB and GK. I would go for Begovic and Shawcross, one of whom is out of contract, the other surely after a big move at this stage of his career (Shawcross), plus the lure of playing with our two England CBs. It would add stability in the middle as they know each other and also give us the nasty bastard at the back that we’ve missing.

Alternatively Petr Cech and Gary Cahill if we find a fortune down the back of the Bullens.

Paul Gladwell
136 Posted 19/04/2015 at 08:24:04
Ed, Barry has been knocked from pillar to post by supporters and yet has been possibly our best player in the past few games and yet he gets hardly any praise for this.

It just seems certain players get away with things whilst others cannot. McCarthy will forever be the best thing since sliced bread with many supporters when in my opinion he is vastly overrated.

Barry can still be a good asset for us if, as you say, he is sent off for a good rest and used sensibly next season.

Dave Abrahams
137 Posted 19/04/2015 at 08:41:08
Ajay (132) hope you are right about Martinez, I just can’t see it myself, but your loyalty stands out, I really hope it is not misplaced.
Eddie Dunn
139 Posted 19/04/2015 at 09:08:24
On the Baines penalty issue.

I am speculating, but it could be, as someone said above, that he has had enough after the Mirallas incident v West Brom. I think that his relationship with Martinez has deteriorated, as we have seen him give some interesting comments when on TV duty and after match interviews.
I think that he has now fallen out of the inner sanctum of players bought in by Martinez (Kone, Barry, Lennon, McCarthay, Alcaraz, Lukaku, Robles) and the in-house Martinez men (Howard, Jagielka).

It is a changing of the guard, and we will see Moyes’s old retainers pushed out as time goes on. It is the start of Goodison’s Night of the Long Knives. Garbutt will be our left back next season.

Graham Mockford
140 Posted 19/04/2015 at 09:29:40
Eddie (#139),

Correct speculation and wrong. My seat in the Park End gave me the perfect view. As the penalty was given, Baines was in the left back position (not surprisingly). He immediately started jogging towards the incident but Barkley had already grabbed the ball and had already spotted it by the time he got to the edge of the box. There was a brief discussion between him and Barry I think but once again he was placed in an impossible position. Does he march up to Barkley and have a public row thus increasing pressure all around?

This is so simple and is a clear reflection on the lack of direction provided by the manager. This is not the first time but the third time in four months the same situation has arisen.

You simply agree in the week who takes penalties and that’s the decision. Not this fucking schoolboy first to the ball takes the pen. Quite simply amateurish.

Ray Roche
141 Posted 19/04/2015 at 10:00:24

Ajay, a couple of points, if I may. Wigan may be heading for the third tier of English football, but I think that there are only one or two members of Martinez’s first team still there.

"Admittedly Moyes did a good job in his first 5 years, and his transfer dealings were largely good, but ’safe’."

Whether you like it or not, Moyes left this club in a far better state than the relegation mire in which he found it. He stabilised the club and made us, in general, a competitive outfit. And please, don’t all line up to spout "knife to a gunfight" and other such shite. I was happy for Moyes to go but grateful for what he’d done with the club.

As for the transfer dealings, Arteta, Cahill, Jagielka, Coleman, Baines, Oviedo, Mirallas, Distin, Yakubu, Fellaini. Compare those with Alcaraz, Kone, McCarthy, Atsu and McGeady. And Garbutt was brought in by him too. Barry has done well, and Lukaku has done OK, too, but I would trust Moyes with the budget before Martinez any day of the week

As for "he was found out at the 1st big test in his career and was unceremoniously booted out." I talk to Man Utd fans, (there are loads of them where I live!) and they have been a bit more reflective on Moyes just lately. Fellaini and Mata have been, in their words, Man Utd’s best players and have performed far better than Di Maria and Falcao, the two big signings made by Beavis and Butthead who is playing no more attractive football despite a bigger spend. I think that, given time, Moyes would have been a success at Man Utd.

Paul Andrews
142 Posted 19/04/2015 at 10:17:30
Ajay @ 132.

Excellent post,very well put. If we get a top half finish, even though we were all hoping for better after the manager’s record points total last season, it would be a similar finish to Moyes’s average league position over his time here.

Give Roberto time to bring his own players in to implement his style of football. Nothing wrong with the football he likes to play except it needs to be played at a higher tempo. It will have been bred into the players who stay with us next season and hopefully it will be enhanced by the new recruits.

It may take another season, three more transfer windows, to fully integrate the players into his system. I believe if we stick by him, we will be rewarded.

James Marshall
143 Posted 19/04/2015 at 10:15:40
Harold #128. Well said. I agree with that sentiment entirely. Far too many people on here are too quick to criticise even when the team is trying to turn things around.

We have improved. We play some good stuff. We make mistakes. That’s football.

Joe Green
144 Posted 19/04/2015 at 10:46:10
Some posters have said Everton don’t practise set pieces these days. Well penalties are the set piece from which you are most likely to score!

I’d like to think that there is a designated taker (and a back-up) in every match and that they have been practising them every week. Perhaps even researching which way, if any, the opposition goalie likes to dive.

Gavin Johnson
145 Posted 19/04/2015 at 10:38:33
Eric (#123), I don’t know why we had that barren spell when there was the Europa break. I could speculate and say there was disharmony amongst the ranks with Eto’o and Distin causing trouble and they’re both now out of the picture. I could also speculate that Martinez has developed as a manager and is mixing his tactics more. Aaron Lennon joining us on loan could be another reason. I think there are a myriad of factors why we now seem to be turning things around.

What I will say though, is that the Europa Thursdays were a distraction, not just for the players but for the supporters too. Maybe we were all hanging our hats on that competition and the exit in Kiev was the reality check the players needed to break a level of complacency because we’ve been unbeaten since then.

Patrick Murphy
146 Posted 19/04/2015 at 10:48:36
I must admit that I find myself still torn between feeling that Roberto should be removed from his position at the club and persevering with him. As always with Everton, it’s never easy to assess what is happening at the club apart from what we witness out on the turf, and I’m a big believer that it is the small details that make the difference between good teams and not so good teams.

The penalty situation in the context of a match can be a critical detail, as witnessed by the WBA game, and therefore it can be the difference in winning the game or not. Therefore it is imperative that decisions are taken prior to kick-off as to who has responsibility for taking them as it means the designated player can fully focus on his task in hand without the unnecessary added stress of whether they should or shouldn’t be taking the penalty.

Most circumstances can be catered for when it comes to penalty kicks and it doesn’t take too much effort to have a plan in place as to who takes them even when substitutions have taken place due to the regular taker not being on the pitch.

The fact that Roberto seems to give a myriad of instructions to his substitutes prior to their taking the field suggests that the manager has plenty to say about what a player should and shouldn’t do when he becomes an active part of the action. Surely then, something as important as a penalty kick requires the manager to do more than say to his team, if we get a pen, whoever feels like it can take it.

Perhaps, all of this was discussed prior to the kick-off and Barkley had been asked or he himself requested to take the penalties but the likelihood is that it wasn’t and perhaps Barks was making sure that Mirallas didn’t have the opportunity to pull a West Brom.

A simple penalty kick and so much conjecture arising from it could be an exemplar of what has been happening at Finch Farm all season or it may mean absolutely nothing, but footballers are like children and if there wasn’t a clear plan in place before the game, then today and all of this week, we might have three senior players upset with each other’s actions for a variety of reasons due to a single penalty kick. Small details can make a difference on and off the pitch and that is why I’m struggling to decide if Roberto is the right man for the Goodison hot-seat.

Ross Edwards
147 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:28:34
Ajay, when Wigan won the Cup it was with a team that had spent 8 years as a Premier League side, not a side heading for Division 3.

Other than that, I admire your faith and optimism.

Nigel Gregson
148 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:35:22
Ajay, Good stuff – agree wholeheartedly.

Ross – without Martinez they are heading to division 3, with Martinez they scrapped and survived where they had no business surviving.

Ray – Moyes was a good manager, simply not a winning one. For winning involves taking risks and more chances of losing, but it seems that most over here would rather take steady upper mid-table rather than a slightly more volatile period that rebuilding and changing styles would require.

Even so, Martinez has proved that he can be adaptable – the team has been more pragmatic, even ’boring’, but results focused recently (but then anti-Martinez folks attribute that to the ’team’ and not the manager).

For me, he is still the best man for the job.

Ray Roche
149 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:49:50
Nigel, true; Wigan ARE heading for the (old) Div 3, but they were left in their current Division as a result of Martinez’s tenure before he jumped ship.

As for Martinez proving that he is adaptable, I’m sure that one day the reason for the change in tactics of late will emerge in someone’s biography but there would appear to be an element of "player power" in the change of style, something Lukaku touched on by saying that he needs the ball played up to him more quickly.

James Marshall
150 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:52:26
I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt as well, Nigel. We were always going to go through a period of transition after Moyes’s lengthy tenure – the biggest surprise is that it happened second season, rather than first. You only have to look to Old Trafford to see what can happen.

Ross – regarding title form: we have the same record as Chelsea over the last 5 games. When teams don’t play brilliantly but still win, isn’t the old adage that it’s a mark of a good team? We have the same players as last season, give or take Deulofeu and the big gangly striker who never played (I don’t even remember his name) so I still think RM should carry on in charge (starring Sid James et al).

No club is going to sack a manager of a team that’s 13 points (14 if you count our goal difference over the bottom teams) off the drop zone, so all those calling for him to be sacked really are pissing in the wind.

The fact is that we all wanted better results, and we’ve got them. Now the next step is better performances – that said, many people on here (as Harold mentions) are all too quick to concentrate on the negatives given our shitty season, but the reality is that, first of all, a team and a manager has to steady the ship with results (done) and then move on to playing more attractively, scoring more goals and providing more entertainment. Patience is required at this point, patience and support, not constant negativity.

Paul Tran
151 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:17:14
Judged in isolation, yesterday felt like last season. Solid at the back, created lots of chances, Barry in fine form, running the show, nice bit of added pace (Lennon rather than Deulofeu) and all the big decisions went for us.

While I’m happy with 13 points from 15 and that we’ve regained the habit of winning games, there’s plenty missing. There’s a lack of responsibility at the heart of this team, which preceded Martinez, but has been enhanced by him.

Maybe I’m just an ’arl arse looking for a type of player that doesn’t exist anymore. Maybe I mistakenly believed Martinez could use his non-UK contacts to unearth one.

What yesterday proved was that Kone will not be the answer and needs moving on; Barry is twice the player when he’s fit and has movement around him; and that Barkley is a talented player unable to impose himself on a game. I’d take the first bid bid for him.

Whoever is in charge, we need a quality keeper, a centre-back, at least one midfield playmaker with an eye for goal, and at least one more striker.

We also need a manager who gets and keeps the players fit, organises them and gives them clear responsibilities, because this season has shown they can’t do that on their own. Martinez must do this if he stays and equally, the players must either leave or knuckle down next season.

James Marshall
152 Posted 19/04/2015 at 12:02:52
David Moyes’s managerial win ratio:

Preston: 48.29%
Everton: 42.08%
Man Utd: 52.94%
Sociedad: 36.00%

Roberto Martinez’s managerial win ratio:

Swansea: 50.00%
Wigan: 28.98%
Everton: 45.56%

I fail to see what any of the above proves or disproves, given the nature of discussion about RM’s record with Wigan vs what’s going on at Everton.

Phil Sammon
153 Posted 19/04/2015 at 11:57:31
Patrick (#146) – You put forward my feelings entirely.

To not have a clear list of who takes penalties is absolutely laughable. For something like the Mirallas incident to happen and then, a few weeks later, STILL not have a designated penalty taker is unforgivable.

As ever this season, what goes on on the pitch has frustrated and depressed me... but it’s what Martinez says in his press conferences that really has me shaking my head in disbelief. His latest gibberish about who should and shouldn’t be taking penalties is, frankly, ridiculous.

I know it’s not allowed to be said after this stunning run of results... but I’m very reluctant to follow the crowd and just accept this clueless buffoon for another season.

Poor results, dire performances, just about every single player enduring months of bad form, no progression from home grown youngsters, no leadership... I don’t know what BK judges his managers on but, as far as I can tell, Martinez has failed in every area this season.

And the worst thing about it all... Martinez seems entirely satisfied.

Ross Edwards
154 Posted 19/04/2015 at 12:59:26
Correct, Phil. Just because we’re unbeaten in 5 it doesn’t mean that the season is a fluke and everything is fine again. RM has got us out of this situation but let’s remember that he is the one who has presided over this decline.

I too am still unconvinced, even though he will be here next season. I think he should have gone months ago but there we are. He’s got his stay of execution even though we’ve been absolutely terrible all season. 4 wins doesn’t mask that.

Any club in our situation falling from 5th to mid-table in 1 year would have sacked their manager months ago. Yet here, oh no, he gets to stay and the majority of the fans now think he’s great because he’s kept a top 6 squad up in the Premier League.

Ross Edwards
155 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:17:22
Written during RM’s tenure at Wigan.


Note this section:

’With that business model in mind, assessing results alone can be slightly misleading. That said: they still matter. If a manager is improving his players then they will generally succeed more often and results will improve. This has not proved the case. Furthermore, it is not just bad results that have alarm bells ringing but also the general incompetence that has become a hallmark of Marti­nez’s Wigan. It is one thing to play well and lose but something altogether different to fail whilst playing terribly.’

That sums up most of our performances earlier this season.

Ross Edwards
156 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:23:16
This can be applied to our session as well:

’When looking at each individual performer, one must wonder whether the reasons for their stagnation relate to their training.’ Similar to our lack of goals and impotency in attack:

’For example, one of the reasons Di Santo does not score many goals is that he does not take many shots, averaging a paltry two per game. Somehow, only two Wigan players take more. A man as well-versed in sports psychology as Marti­nez would surely be familiar with Wayne Gretzky’s maxim "you miss one-hundred-per-cent of the shots you don’t take", yet he appears to ignore it.’

This definitely sums up our problems for the majority of this season:

’Simply put, Wigan are fine at controlling the midfield but do not do enough at either end of the pitch, be it in terms of quantity or quality.’

Interesting article. Written a few months before Wigan won the FA Cup, but it certainly draws several comparisons to our season.

Jay Wood
157 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:19:24
Gavin Johnson @ 35
"We’re starting to look more like the team from last season. The reason... We no longer have Thursday night Europa league games! It’s no coincidence."

As Eddie asks @ 123, based on that reasoning, how do you explain Everton’s form between 27 November to 26 February – 3 months! – without the distraction of EL games, which reads:

P 16 W 2 D 5 L 9, the only 2 victories being the ’gimme’ 3-1 home win over QPR and a scrappy 1-0 win at Palace.

Your response to Eddie @ 145 shows ... you can’t explain it so the conclusion is, YES! It IS a coincidence and that other factors are responsible for our recent upturn in fortunes.

And IMO that is more due to the manager finally tweaking the system, taking a more pragmatic approach in our desperation to put much needed points on the board, rather than stubbornly persist with a system that resulted in the disgraceful sequence of results detailed above.

Michael Winstanley
158 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:33:42
True, Ross, but it does little to explain last season’s highest points score or was that in spite of the manager? Winning home and away in Europe, shit manager yeah?

The cost of the Europa League on the form in the Premier League has always been highlighted as a reason not to be in it.

What were you expecting Ross? For us to buck the trend, to win in Europe and the League on a Sunday like the top teams do with a Champions League squad? We’re not at that level.

Ross Edwards
159 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:41:03
It took him nearly 6 months to ’change his tactics’, Jay. He’s still stubborn. He’s hardly changed anything.
Steve Brown
160 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:35:17
Ernie 127, I think we are actually saying pretty much the same thing with one exception. It is evident that we took to the pitch without an agreed penalty-taker yesterday. Pure amateurism from Martinez.

I am not blaming Ross for having the guts to take it. Rather that the senior leaders on the pitch didn’t step in and take control. In the WBA game, this resulted in one point rather than three and that could easily have been the case again.

That may sound like asking the players to compensate for the deficiencies of the management team, but is where we are at the moment.

James Marshall
161 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:36:19
Ross, if you’re alluding to me (and others), I certainly DO NOT think RM is great at all. I was one of the loudest voices against his appointment when he joined the club, and I’m still not convinced about his ability.

That said, I do feel he deserves some credit lately for the upturn in our results, and on that note I feel he deserves a little more backing than your (and others) vociferous voice of continued dissent and wish for him to be fired.

No chairman is going to fire a manager (I’ve already said this above) who’s team is 13 points (14 inc goal difference) above the bottom 3, and unbeaten in 5 games. It’s madness to think otherwise, and RM will not be fired in the summer – I’m pretty sure you know this in truth.

We are not Wigan, we do not have Wigan’s playing staff (well, some of them!) and we are not flirting with relegation every season – remember, Moyes’s second season was a disaster and things changed dramatically later on and we became extremely stable in the higher echelons of the league, so why not RM?

Continued comparisons with Wigan are meaningless, given the nature of football. I find it staggering that people even bet on individual games, predicting scores every games let alone how an entire season is going to pan out. You might as well buy a lottery ticket and cross your fingers.

The season has been awful, the manager at times has made some shocking decisions, and non-decisions at times (Southampton away springs to mind) but you cannot deny the last 5 games have been an upturn, and the thing we all prayed for yet still many people are upset – even upset about winning 1-0 yesterday.

I’m not trying to change your mind because I know I can’t – it is frustrating however, to speak to people who completely deny what I see as facts.

Ross Edwards
162 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:54:24
Michael, of course I didn’t expect us to win the league or get top 4. What I certainly didn’t forsee was such a disastrous season full of shocking performances and a terrible run of results.
Jay Wood
163 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:37:02
No complaints from me about this much needed sequence of 4 wins in 5 with no defeats. Roberto is finally showing some pragmatism, tweaked the system and moved away from a stubborn persistence with a style of play that DID have us flirting with relegation, no matter what revisionists may now claim.

The apparent triumphalism being expressed by some – that we were never in danger of going down – conveniently overlooks the fact that we have just won 10 games in the PL all season... and 40% of those wins have come in the last month alone, between games 29-33.

This squad, this manager, clearly showed just last season they are capable of so much more than the dross served up for the overwhelming majority of this season.

Why has it taken until now, so late in the season, to turn it around?

Eddie Dunn
164 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:53:32
Graham (#140); Thanks for the insight. It is odd though, that if Rom is now the taker, and not on the pitch, that all the players would know that Baines is the go-to man. So if we believe Martinez, it is a free-for-all depending on who fancies it. Not professional, and as you say, it puts pressure on Baines if he insists on taking it himself.

It would not be a big deal if we were 4-0 up and Barkley needed one for his hat-trick, but yesterday’s could have been decisive, so it is baffling.

Michael Winstanley
165 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:14:26
Ross. No-one saw it or expected it. Even after the 6-3 against Chelsea on game three, I thought we’d do alright as we showed great attacking intent, just a shame defensively we were shocking individually.

Martinez clearly has been climbing a mountain this season and it looks like he’s survived. We’re not privy to the dressing room but the shit certainly hit the fan, hopefully we (players, manager and fans) have learnt from it and move on to be stronger.

Paul Tran
166 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:13:17
No ’triumphalism’ or ’revisionism’ here, Jay.

I’m just pleased we’ve finally remembered how to win matches and I’m just as happy to credit players and manager when they get things right as I am to criticise when they get them wrong.

I said all along we wouldn’t be near relegated. I got slated for it by some who weren’t prepared to look beyond their view of Martinez. Nothing to do with the manager in my book; this squad was bound to hit form at some point, just as much as the worse teams below us in this poor league would continue losing.

So please don’t confuse happiness with EFC winning with unaldulterated love for Martinez. I’m bitterly disappointed in his performance this season, but when some people came on here wanting the likes of Pulis to come in a make us ’solid’ and produce ’winning’ football and then fail to credit the current manager for doing the same, well it’s just a bit much for me.

Harold Matthews
167 Posted 19/04/2015 at 13:31:12
Jay Wood. Quite right. John Daley and Helen drew my attention to what I was doing and I thanked for pointing it out. I actually liked Stones but because team-mates were being blamed for his errors I reached the stage when I was determinedf to find fault even before a ball was kicked. I no longer do it but many do exactly the same thing with other players and the manager.

My strop came about because certain people wouldn’t let it go and I’m far too old for arguments. Retiring from TW was not easy and missing the fun of the summer window and the World Cup proved to be too much. I’m very happy even though I’ve lived alone for many years but, like you and the rest of the lads, I love chatting about Everton.

Mike Powell
168 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:15:17
I have said so many times now on here that Martinez is a fraud he needs to go before the end off the season. We need to bring someone else in who we can trust to spend what little money we have on strengthening the squad. Would you trust the buffoon with bringing better players in or will you be happy with another Kone, Alcaraz.

As for the game, yes we won but it was another dreadful performance – how can anyone be happy with that performance?

Harold Matthews
169 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:26:42
James. Cheers mate.
Ross Edwards
170 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:26:33
We’ll see in the summer, pre season and the start of next season Michael whether we have learned anything from this season.
Gavin Johnson
171 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:22:47
Jay, it was actually me on post #145 who revised my original post #35 from a question by Eric.

While the other factors mentioned are relevant, I still think the Europa exit was the catalyst and wake-up call everyone needed. Probably most in terms of complacency, and I aim that at the manager as well as the players.

Joe Clitherow
172 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:07:40
Not picking on you James but - sigh - not this crappy old chestnut again "remember, Moyes second season was a disaster and things changed dramatically later on and we became extremely stable in the higher echelons of the league, so why not RM?"

So, yet again, despite the fact that you seem to think that how seasons pan out is not predictable (I confidently predict that Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal will be in the top four next season by the way), yet again here is the major difference that puts the lie to your cherry picking, simplistic pattern matching question:

David Moyes inherited a perennially relegation haunted, aging squad of players and a club near bankruptcy. In his second season he was safe long before the end of the season, and, IMO, this relegation team thought it was job done and took the foot of the gas losing all their last games. Roberto Martinez inherited Moyes’ legacy of a well drilled, physically fit, disciplined regular Top 6 side who, despite the exuberance of "last season, have increasingly looked like a bottom 6 side since at least March last year, possibly as early as January as his ridiculously and boring "philosophies" have been comprehensively dismantled by much lesser teams. His spending, by the way, has been unprecedented in recent Everton history.

If it really IS pattern matching you want, then far more evidence is readily available in the pattern of seasons with Wigan before he finally did get them relegated, right down to the sudden flurry of results which got them safe right about now in the season.

So why not RM? Simply because, in my opinion, he is a terrible manager without a grasp of the most basic managerial skills and concepts.

Michael Winstanley
173 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:29:30
Don’t worry Ross, next season will be different without Europa.

With the right additions I expect us to be a top 6 side again, whether we can break into the top four will depend on the form of others.

What shocked me last season was the relentless pressure to win every week just to stay in touch. Unfortunately we fell short despite playing our best football for years.

Given what we spend and who we can attract I would be happy(ish) just to be in and around the top 6 next season.

Paul Tran
174 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:40:54
Rather than droning on about selective statistics and interpretations of what Moyes did and what Martinez did at Wigan, why don’t we just concentrate on what Martinez does at Everton? Isn’t that what really matters?
Jay Wood
175 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:05:55
Ross @ 159

I clearly question why it has taken Roberto and the team that did so well last season so long - 3/4 of the season! - to finally hobble together a winning and unbeaten streak.

It hasn’t taken much, or a drastic change of personel to achieve this. There is a great app - 442’s Stats Zone, based on Opta figures - which enables you to look at and analise all the action from any given PL game (amongst others). For those of you familiar with the author of the excellent Executioner’s Bong blog, he uses this app to analise in depth Everton’s games. It’s an app I strongly recommend Blues interested in such data to download.

Why do I mention this? One feature on the app is the ’influence’ tab. This graphically shows 2 things:

1) each player’s default ’mean’ position on the pitch over the duration of the game.

2) a player’s contribution and involvement in the game. This is shown by different font size. The larger the font, the more meaningful action the player has made.

Right up until this good run, this player map was hugely predictable for the majority of the season... centre backs where you’d expect them, full backs slightly in advance of them reflecting their overlapping intent, and the 2 holding central midfielders - for the most part, Barry and McCarthy - kind of occupying the space defined in our half of the centre circle, very much on the same parallel as each other.

In recent games that configuration has changed slightly. Barry has moved 5-10 metres back to sit closer to the centre backs and McCarthy has moved 5-10 metres forward, but NOT in advance of Ross as another poster wrongly believes.

Whereas for the majority of the season this central midfield pairing were constantly being pressured and having their pockets picked, leaving an unprotected backline exposed, now McCarthy’s forward move is occupying the opposition midfield in more advanced positions, which is why we are seeing him creating more chances for himself and others at the business end of the park, and why we are seeing improved displays from Barry, both in his distribution and defensive covering, with more time on the ball.

A further analysis can be made about our full backs. Sadly, for the overwhelming majority of the season they have had little or no support for their rampaging raids they are renowned for. Since Lennon’s arrival, however, the influence feature on the app shows a closer liason between Coleman and Lennon which is clearly benefiting the team.

Sadly for Baines, he continues to be largely isolated on the left without a foil to his rapier like raids.

Sam Hoare
176 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:44:35
Half-way into next season, we should have a pretty good idea if this or last season is most indicative of where Martinez has got the club. If it’s the latter, then I think it will be time to get rid. Till then, let’s be charitable and write this season off as struggling to cope with injuries and European distraction and get behind them because I’d say there’s next to no chance that BK will be firing him this Summer... unless any insiders know any different?
Joe Clitherow
177 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:47:05
Agreed completely, Paul, and he has fallen well, well short of the bar. This second season pattern-matching rubbish constantly comes up though and it bears no comparison.
Ross Edwards
178 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:52:56
It’s not been good enough at all, to wait until the last 8 games to get almost half of our PL win total.

I hope you’re right, Michael, about getting top 6 next season. We definitely need a very good transfer window and a strong start to the season to do that.

Paul Tran
179 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:52:12
Thanks Jay, really interesting stuff. I’ll be checking out that app.

Other than Martinez’s intransigence, the big difference has been Lennon, running with pace at the opposition, which frees up space for everyone.

Barry has taken a lot of stick this season, but I’m wondering whether our crack ’physio’ brought him back too early from injury. Barry needs movement around him. He constantly got caught in possession while he looked up at the static men in blue around him.

McCarthy is looking more effective further forward. We still need a proper playmaker in midfield – we looked great going forward with Gibson in the team, but he can’t stay fit.

Jay Wood
180 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:48:23
Gavin @ 171 ... No confusion on my part. I wrote:

Your response to Eddie @ 145 shows ... you can’t explain it so the conclusion is, YES! It IS a coincidence.

Your latest response continues to completely ignore our worst form of the season came in the 3 months and 16 games when we had no EL games to distract us, which rather makes a fallacy of your original (alluded to) claim that exit from the EL has resulted in an upturn in league form.

Michael Winstanley
181 Posted 19/04/2015 at 15:12:52
To stick my beak in, the drop in form during the winter wasn’t necessarily down to the Europa League but because of dressing room unrest.

The poor form in the Premier League generally has been due to playing Thursday and Sundays, changing players each game, trying to rotate the squad. Our league form suffered as a result which clearly had an adverse effect on the squad.

That’s in the past as is last season’s record points total. We’re now winning games again, we’re keeping more clean sheets but we’re still all unsure of where we actually are. If we keep winning we’ll do okay.

Chris Feeley
182 Posted 19/04/2015 at 14:44:29
As much as I’m prepared to consider the positivity of certain posters after 13 points from 15, I’m left with two questions:e

1. Is a similar type of performance going to achieve the same result against Manchester United?
2. If we are going to blame the Europa League for the woes of this season, does that mean that we should be rejecting any future invitations to compete in Europe unless it is the Champions League?

I’d love to be as positive as some on here, but I can’t see how performances from this run should be lauded. Like it or not, last season showed what this squad of players was/is capable of. However, even in a sequence of good results, performances have been uninspiring and turgid.

In an attempt to understand the positivity, I watched the extended highlights on SNF match choice when I got back from the game. To be fair, the highlights made Everton look comfortable. What it didn’t show was the considerable amount of aimless, misplaced passes and obvious lack of impetus and tempo when attacking. This is no doubt because remotes would’ve been clicking en mass and SKY’s viewing figures would plummet. I was also interested to find out if the cameras had picked up the fella in front of me having a sly forty winks during the second half. Somewhat predictably I assume that was left on the cutting room floor.

Paul Tran
183 Posted 19/04/2015 at 15:22:50
For me, the dip in form during that time was due to an unbalanced team, square pegs in round holes, players being brought back from injury too quickly and a general lack of pace/zip in the team. There may have been ’unrest’, there often is when a team isn’t doing well. Those brave warrior players tend to turn on their manager when things turn for the worse.

Martinez’s future at Everton will depend on whether he will get the players with him again.

Chris Feeley
184 Posted 19/04/2015 at 15:27:56
....Or be able to bring in more placid ’yes’ men.
Michael Winstanley
185 Posted 19/04/2015 at 15:36:08
Chris. I think we’ll beat Man Utd but I think we’ll win every game.

I think the Man Utd game will tell us where we are, not in terms of silky tippy tappy but in terms of grinding out a result. Wins are all we should be concerned about right now given this season.

The fact we are winning again should signal a turn around in form, credit the manager and the players.

Steve Brown
186 Posted 19/04/2015 at 15:45:26
Joe (#177), Season 2005-06 Champions League and Europa League season. Finishing place 11th with 50 points and 14 wins.

Simplistic pattern matching with what happened this season or a pattern?

Colin Glassar
187 Posted 19/04/2015 at 15:50:47
Michael, ever since the Southampton game I’ve been saying we will remain unbeaten until the end of the season and finish on 50-ish points. I think we will draw with Man Utd (1-1) but I’m not ruling out a win as they are definitely beatable despite what their Sky cheerleaders say.
Mark Frere
188 Posted 19/04/2015 at 15:59:17
As seen as we’re comparing Moyes’s second season here with Martinez’s second second season, why don’t we do the same with the Europa League.

In 2008 we reached the last 16 of Uefa Cup and finished 5th in the league with Moyes recording his record points total of 65 points.

How do you all (who blame Europa League for the demise this season) explain that one?

Tony Hill
189 Posted 19/04/2015 at 15:52:48
Chris (182), you’re right that the telly made us look better than we were live but, in fairness, I do acknowledge that we showed crisper play especially in the first half than I, for one, was prepared to give them credit for yesterday coming away from the game.

I think everyone’s pleased with the run we’re on but I find it very difficult to muster much enthusiasm I’m afraid, hard though I’m trying to do so.

Jay Harris
190 Posted 19/04/2015 at 15:44:39
Despite the recent "magnificent" form we sit below the mighty Stoke, West Ham and Crystal Palace and one place above West Brom.

"Incredible" and "Phenomenal".

Joe Clitherow
191 Posted 19/04/2015 at 16:50:31
On a different topic – I think we have a new hero. Step forward Mr John Brooks, Assistant Linesman who just disallowed a clearly onside Balotelli equaliser in the FA Cup Semi-Finl. Hahahaaa!!
Mike Childs
192 Posted 19/04/2015 at 16:55:08
Haha, Joe, you’re right. We win, they loose – great weekend.
Mike Hughes
193 Posted 19/04/2015 at 16:53:57
Anyone else, like me, just shed a tear for Stevie G?
Like the BBC commentator said, it’s a "tragedy".
I can’t bring myself to listen any more ......
Happy Birthday for FA Cup day, Stevie.

Like the rest of the BBC and media, I’m gutted.

Karl Jones
194 Posted 19/04/2015 at 16:58:36
Stevie Gs birthday has just been ruined and Sky Sports have gone into mourning...How sad!
Paul Tran
195 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:00:18
What a day - Lochalsh romps in, Caley Thistle beat Celtic to get to the final, now the Shite lose amid media mourning. Is this the only thing that can unite everyone on ToffeeWeb?
Paul Tran
196 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:02:41
It’s all relative, Jay. A couple of months ago, the ToffeeWeb soothsayers were telling me that Pulis and Sherwood were going to steam ahead of us and we were certain to be relegated.

Not phenomenal at all, but it goes to show that Martinez isn’t the only one talking out of his rear end!

Mike Hughes
197 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:04:14
(I’m waiting on Los Barbados in the 5:20pm.)
But apart from that, given the desperately mediocre season, little crumbs of comfort like Stevie G’s anti-climax are welcomed with open arms by me. If EFC don’t win, the next best thing is the RS getting stuffed – and in a semi-final as well.

Brenda, the first RS manager not to win anything in his first 3 seasons since the 1950s (though this last point illustrates the gulf between us and them in another respect sadly). Could this open the door to a John Barnes return to management? (Let’s hope so!)

Eddie Dunn
198 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:08:14
Wonderful to see those red wankers leaving with 5 mins to go – it was only 2-1 (not 4-0).
Sums up the glory-hunters that follow them.

I watched the end on BT after listening on the radio, just to see Stevie Me’s creased-up face.


Gavin Johnson
199 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:01:12
Jay (#180),

There’s one big difference between now and the Xmas period when there was no Europa football – we were still in the Europa and it was therefore a distraction; just because you’re not playing games doesn’t mean that it’s not a distraction. Once we were knocked out, our form suddenly improved.

So, I can answer the question, Jay. If you choose to have a different opinion, then that’s entirely up to you.

Patrick Murphy
200 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:10:43
I wasn’t even sure what time the other lot kicked off and was watching Spurs at Newcastle. I went on to the Villa website to see how it was going and there it was in all of its glory!!!

I can now watch the FA Cup Final in peace without having to worry about the ’special’ send-off for their glorious captain... and Man City won too, so not a bad Sunday at all.

Chris James
201 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:16:03
Well I never felt more like singing the blues, when Everton win and Liverpool lose, oh Everton, you got me singing the blues!!!!

Obviously we shouldn’t be satisfied with schadenfreude at the end of the season, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Nevermind, Stevie, you’ve still got a chance to win your team a Europa slot next season!

Let’s see if we can finish strong now and nip into the top 10 to salvage some pride and a little more cash. Alongside this, I would like to see one or two of the kids given a proper chance.

Colin Glassar
202 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:32:25
I know it’s a bit off topic but, OMG, I’m outraged!!! This was supposed to be Captain Creasehead’s crowning moment. We were going to be treated to documentaries, 16page pull-outs, visiting dignitaries, parades, bunting, cake, fine weather etc.....

I hope the FA, Sky and the Beeb insist on a replay as Saint Stephen just can’t slip off into the sunset without his birthday trophy. Terrible, terrible news.

John Otway
203 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:38:28
Can I ask everyone to make a diary note that May 30th is little Stevie G’s birthday. It’s not going to be an easy 35th so can everybody help the chap by sending him a card.
Paul Andrews
204 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:31:46
If Stevie Me is in town on Cup Final day, the Wine Lodge is giving free sarnies out and doing two-for-one bottles.

A great way for him to celebrate his birthday.

Michael Kenrick
205 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:34:46
James (#161) – "many people are upset – even upset about winning 1-0 yesterday." I don’t believe there is a single post on here saying such a ridiculous thing. People are upset – about a myriad of issues during the match (see above!) – but no-one has said they are upset about winning.

Is it any wonder people’s perception of facts differs from yours when you need to make shit up?

Paul Tran
206 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:44:06
Haha, Joe, you’re right. We win, they loose – great weekend.
Ross Edwards
207 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:46:51
Oh dear. Poor Gerrard. The media will be devastated because they can no longer go on about his birthday finale.
Brin Williams
208 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:50:35
Arsenal V Villa – what a great season we are having... no shite!!
James Marshall
209 Posted 19/04/2015 at 18:10:46
"Rather than droning on about selective statistics and interpretations of what Moyes did and what Martinez did at Wigan, why don’t we just concentrate on what Martinez does at Everton? Isn’t that what really matters?"

Couldn’t agree more, however a lot of people on here have double standards when it comes to debate as they continue to harp on about Martinez’ record at Wigan.

Paul Tran
210 Posted 19/04/2015 at 18:14:53
Let’s leave em to it James, they can compare apples to pears and the rest of us can talk about now. Even in Martinez’s short reign there’s enough potential for selective info!
Joe Clitherow
211 Posted 19/04/2015 at 18:20:24
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history
Eugene Ruane
212 Posted 19/04/2015 at 18:29:53

Love the comments - Link

Patrick Murphy
213 Posted 19/04/2015 at 18:38:43
I thought you had linked back to TW, Eugene, I thought their boss was a tactical genius. The best comment was the one complaining about Rafa being unsuitable as he only won cups and not leagues in which case you would think he was a perfect fit. I wonder if you did a survey of their fans how many are under the illusion that they have won the title at least once since the beginning of the PL era?
Paul Tran
214 Posted 19/04/2015 at 18:34:03
And man knoweth there is more to learn from history than to simply sayeth, ’He did it there so he’ll do it here, definitely, end of’. Verily, men maketh poor selective decisions by seeing only what suiteth their arguments.
Mike Hughes
215 Posted 19/04/2015 at 18:35:14
As this is a bit of an off-topic thread (it kind of feels end of season already to me), did anyone see Van Gaal’s narky interview yesterday?


By the way, this time last season I was extremely anxious about the rs winning the league. They’d just beaten City 3-2 and looked to have an easy run-in to win the league. It lead to one of the best TW threads for ages - "Saturday’s Dilemma" - when we were debating which way we wanted the EFC - City match to go.

Anyway, Stevie G’s slip-up was priceless as well as this season’s 36 second dismissal against Utd and today’s (heart-rending) failure.

Back to the Mighty Blues and I’m still hoping for a changing of the guard in the summer. Don’t think it will happen but I really can’t see any glory under RM. Nice to be out of the bottom few though.

John Malone
216 Posted 19/04/2015 at 18:42:54
Hahahahahahahahahaha... bye bye, Stevie G – what a great finale season to your illustrious career!

A slip against Chelsea to give the league away, a red card against Man Utd at Anfield to give up the Champions League position, and a dead rubber performance in your last Wembley appearance!

All’s well that end’s well, enjoy your hot dogs and cheese burgers in LA. Goodbye and good riddance!

I love ToffeeWeb!

Colin Glassar
218 Posted 19/04/2015 at 18:59:22
I didn’t know you had a lisp, Paul. It’s treatable nowadays.
Paul Tran
219 Posted 19/04/2015 at 19:01:51
As Martinez might say, ’pothitivity begets pothitivity’
Eugene Ruane
220 Posted 19/04/2015 at 19:14:20
Wow, Louis ’Spongebob Squarehead’ Van Gaal is one miserable twat.

Bet Mrs Van Gaal had a wonderful evening, looking at him seething silently.

Mrs: "You kick off your clogsh Louis dear and I’ll make your favourite - a bik hot-dok sausage, wid fries covered in mayonnaise."

LVG: "Leeff.....me.....alone!"

Patrick Murphy
221 Posted 19/04/2015 at 19:34:23
Next week on Sky Sports from Goodison Park, the meeting of two managers "Plunge Bob Square Pass" versus "Sponge Bob Square Head".... Liiiiiivvvveeee!!!!!

James Marshall
222 Posted 19/04/2015 at 19:48:36
Love the comments on Eugene’s link -– I’d never thought to call him Bodgers. :)

Loved watching Villa beat them today, and a happier goodbye gift for Captain Fantastic I couldn’t have dreamed of... especially as they’re on course for 5th place and a spot in the Europa League next year. Brilliant stuff.

Brian Harrison
223 Posted 19/04/2015 at 19:36:51
Another win which we are happy with, the downside is it secures the charlatan to start in charge next season.

Not only can he not get the fitness levels right, he can’t even make a decision as to who should take the penalties. I think Barkley thought "My goalscoring record is dreadful, so I am going to take this chance to increase my total of goals."

I have to say we did start brightly but as the game wore on we went back to our early season style of slow pedantic passing at the back. I don’t think I have witnessed how few people are left in the ground at the final whistle as has happened many times this season.

So I’ve just got over 2 weeks to renew my season ticket to guarantee my seat, the amount of times that message was flagged on the screen tells me that not many are in a hurry to renew. Also tells me the club maybe a tad concerned about how many will renew.

There is no doubt that this season has produced the most boring football I have seen at Goodison for over 60 years take a bow RM. No wonder people are not falling over themselves to renew and the sad thing is I don’t think things will improve next season under RM.

Patrick Murphy
224 Posted 19/04/2015 at 19:53:01
Is it really six years to the day since this team:

Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines; Osman; Neville, Fellaini (Vaughan), Pienaar; Cahill, Saha (Rodwell)

beat Manchester Untied on penalties in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley?

How time flies when you’re having fun.

Brian Harrison
225 Posted 19/04/2015 at 20:02:18
And man knoweth there is more to learn from history than to simply sayeth, ’He did it there so he’ll do it here, definitely, end of’. Verily, men maketh poor selective decisions by seeing only what suiteth their arguments.’
Patrick Murphy
226 Posted 19/04/2015 at 20:12:24
As this is a bit of an off-topic thread (it kind of feels end of season already to me), did anyone see Van Gaal’s narky interview yesterday?


By the way, this time last season I was extremely anxious about the Redshite winning the league. They’d just beaten Man City 3-2 and looked to have an easy run-in to win the league. It lead to one of the best TW threads for ages: "Saturday’s Dilemma" – when we were debating which way we wanted the Everton - Man City match to go.

Anyway, Stevie G’s slip-up was priceless as well as this season’s 36-second dismissal against Man Utd and today’s (heart-rending) failure.

Back to the Mighty Blues and I’m still hoping for a changing of the guard in the summer. Don’t think it will happen but I really can’t see any glory under RM. Nice to be out of the bottom few though.

Trevor Peers
227 Posted 19/04/2015 at 20:01:37
We’ll see who Roberto buys in the summer before deciding if it’s going to be another boring season. As there’s no chance of getting rid of him, the optimist in me hopes Martinez can make at least two crucial signings and at least we can look forward to a more entertaining season.

Wins breed confidence, let’s hope the manager has learned from his mistakes. Look at the money RS have spent and their still trophyless... hahahahahaha!

Andy Walker
228 Posted 19/04/2015 at 20:28:17
I don’t agree with any of the sentiment that Martinez is here for the long term or not at risk of being sacked.

Bearing in mind the debacle of this season, if the team starts poorly next season, I think he’s used up his extra lives and there’s every chance he will be shown the door, early on in the new season.

Similarly the ’ample’ transfer funds will reflect the risk that we start poorly, ie, do the lenders want to back Martinez with as much cash next season, having seen this year’s performance, as they would have done had we performed as expected this season? I very much doubt it.

Martinez is now at much more insecure, a reflection of his underperformance this season.

Joe Foster
229 Posted 19/04/2015 at 20:39:38
I agree, Andy, people are saying he will definitely be here next season as if they have some sort of inside line to what goes on behind closed doors and want to be seen as if they do. None of it is certain; we don’t know who will be manager, who we will sell or buy.
Ian Riley
230 Posted 19/04/2015 at 20:45:53
Amen to 41 points!

Never thought we would get there with the tripe served up this season. Yes we support our club through thick and thin but my goodness the manager is a lucky man. He has a chairman that will give him another chance. Come October with no Europa football, if we are in the bottom four, he will be gone.

The manager and players have a summer to get their fitness and energy levels up. Players in and out, the squad needs new energy. Please remember all we renew our season tickets out of hope – not the football!

Trevor Peers
231 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:00:11
True their are no certainties in football management, but given BK’s usual unconditional backing of previous managers, I think the odds are heavily in favour of the present manager staying for a few more seasons. Unless of course we drop into the relegation zone.

I expect Roberto to keep us in the top half of the table next season, given the fact he has changed tack tactically, and will probably add a few useful additions to the squad in the summer.

The only chance of any real change would be a change of ownership, can anyone one realistically see that happening?

Gavin Johnson
232 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:01:48
I would imagine after BK improved Martinez’s contract and extended it after the team over performed last season, If he was going to be sacked it would have been after Kiev when morale seemed to be at an all time low and many were calling for his head.

Where we are now (safe and mid-table) it would probably take something extraordinary like heavily losing the remaining games. They’d be more chance of Martinez leaving himself for another job - West Ham?!?

So I don’t think it has anything to do with being in the know. It’s just that we know from history that Everton like to give managers a chance. Martinez has had 1 bad season, and 1 that was exceptional, so next season will decide whether he’s a charlatan or genius.

Dave Abrahams
233 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:10:33
Patrick (226), I think Dagliesh was manager when Liverpool beat Cardiff, I don’t think Hodgson lasted a full season.

Not many people recall that Shankly never won an English honour, league or cup, in seven years, from 1966 to1974, although he did win a European trophy in that time, and Peter Robinson, the Liverpool secretary said plenty of Liverpool fans were writing into the club asking for Shankly to be sacked.

Gavin Johnson
234 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:38:05
You should joke about Van Gaal, Eugene. The guy looks like an advert for spousal abuse. I read that one night he was shouting so much at Mrs Van Gaal his false teeth fell into his dinner.
James Flynn
235 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:53:01
Well, Jimmy Lidell was crushed by today’s results at Wembley:


Patrick Murphy
236 Posted 19/04/2015 at 21:57:23
James - Had me in stitches mate!
Fran Hawkhead
237 Posted 19/04/2015 at 22:57:47
To now expect wonderful football after getting turned over every week all winter is not realistic, No matter how impatient we are to see some exciting sign that this team’s got potential.

To play with confidence you have to start with a platform – build a momentum. Then after several games of good results, confidence builds; the players feels better; the football is quicker; players feel confident and sure of where to run and be and James McCarthy smacks that chance in the roof of the Street End net.

To go from black to white you have to go through a grey period first.

Additionally, those who say play the kids; we played the kids in 97-98. Oster, Ball, Dunne, Cadamateri, McCann. Add Farrelly, Thomas and Williamson – all relatively young too. Kids are rarely good enough.

Once every three years you get a young player good enough to be a first team regular. I’m not talking Rooney standard, I mean your Osman, Gibbs, Flannagan standard.

Only once every 10-15 years you’ll get a Rooney, a Billy Kenny, a Ratcliffe, a Harvey. A very special player.

Of the 6 or seven kids on the fringes now, hopefully one will be good enough for the first team. Those in the latter bracket would be in by now standing head and shoulders above his group.

Jay Wood
238 Posted 20/04/2015 at 00:02:28
Harold @ 167

Good on you Harold for holding your hands up and acknowledging that last season you were guilty of the very thing you accused others of in this thread.

I respect that kind of honesty.

Jay Wood
239 Posted 20/04/2015 at 00:05:47
Paul @ 166

I think we’ve been here before Paul, you wrongly presuming I’m addressing you when I speak of ’triumphalism.’ You did the same on another occassion when you again wrongly presumed I included you in a particular clique that exists here on TW who, even more so at the time, prioritised their blind support and defence of Roberto over the welfare and well-being of the club.

You and I actually share many similar views. I know you are not enamoured of how the team or Martinez has performed this season. I also recall you early doors backed Everton with hard cash NOT to be relegated.

Like you, I’m pleased - perhaps relieved would be a more appropriate word - that we’ve finally strung some wins together to completely eliminate the threat of relegation.

Unlike many others, I never stated we WOULD be relegated, that surely we had enough quality to avoid the drop, but also like many I was full of angst for 4 months either side of the New Year as neither the manager nor the players were doing anything to change the alarming fall down the table.

Not once have I resorted to personal, gratuitous abuse of either the manager or players. Indeed, my contrarian defence of the likes of Lukaku, Mirallas and Howard in different witch hunting threads drew much derision.

I’m not given to popular, short term, knee jerk reactions. I prefer to reflect, analise and try to take a balanced view supported by hard data, rather than fabricate emotional arguments, unsupported by logic, rationale or tangible evidence.

That’s why I like such apps as the Stas Zone I flagged up.

I hope you downloaded it and enjoy it...

James Flynn
240 Posted 20/04/2015 at 00:24:22
Patrick (236) - Yeah, Liddell’s the best.

An Evertonian, Andrew Gage, puts them up on Facebook whenever Liddell makes them.

Jay Wood
241 Posted 20/04/2015 at 00:32:00
Gavin @ 199

"There’s one big difference between now and the Xmas period when there was no Europa football – we were still in the Europa and it was therefore a distraction, just because you’re not playing games doesn’t mean that it’s not a distraction. Once we were knocked out, our form suddenly improved."

What is the well worn chestnut from managers and players alike? "Let’s take one game at a time ... we are only focusing on the next game."

Added to your earlier claims, if you seriously believe your latest offering, as nonsensical as it is, no harm done. You only damage your own credibility here on TW.

If the players and the manager subscribed to your bizarre view and expressed the same in public, they would be rightly held up to ridicule ... and the whole lot deservedly sacked!

Ross Edwards
242 Posted 20/04/2015 at 00:54:09
It’s the easiest cop out and excuse to use and I hate it when it’s used. ’The Europa League distracted us’.

If as Gavin claims, once we were out our form suddenly improved, why then between 12th December and 19th February, when there were no Europa games, did we only win 2 in 12, not even scoring in 6 of them?

Gavin Johnson
243 Posted 20/04/2015 at 01:22:06
Jay Wood

I said in an earlier post there may well be other variable factors we were not privy too, like disharmony in the dressing room around time we were flat-lining in the league when there was no Europa football.

It’s hardly breaking news that our manager has focussed his attention on the Europa this season. Once we exited the competition I BELIEVE there was a realisation that things were getting serious and the ’Europa dream’ could no longer be used to placate fans. So our exit was a catalyst for Martinez to set the team out to get results over his preferred style of play.

So why would that be such a nonsensical claim?? If we were still in the competition I’m not convinced we would be unbeaten in 5.. So I don’t think it’s a coincidence there’s been an upturn! There’s no coincidence about it!

Would Martinez have looked at tactics to the same extent if we were set to play in the quarter finals. I don’t believe so, and while I still think we’d have picked up points, I don’t think we’d have won 4 and drawn 1.

I’m not sure what other nonsensical claims I’ve made to ruin my credibility, Jay, but I’m sure that you’ll bring them up mate ;)

Jay Wood
244 Posted 20/04/2015 at 02:42:23
No Gavin - no need to expose other nonsensical claims by you to undermine your credibility. This one alone suffices.
Tony Rotheram
245 Posted 20/04/2015 at 03:19:38
What’s going on with penalties with Everton? The captain should be sorting this out on the field. And the manager well he is just one boring joke.
Gavin Johnson
246 Posted 20/04/2015 at 03:16:06
Well the fact we suddenly went into the first game after the Europa exit playing what was essentially a 4-4-2 (the antithesis of a Martinez formation) illustrates my point completely.

Paul Tran
247 Posted 20/04/2015 at 07:42:19
Fair enough Jay, apologies for getting the wrong end of the stick. Again. Let’s hope the winning habit turns into a footballing and winning habit.
Jay Wood
248 Posted 20/04/2015 at 10:07:02
When you’re in a hole Gavin stop digging. Your latest post illustrates nothing other than compounding the stupidity of the nonsensical position you have taken.

Even if your disputable claim is true (which it isn’t) that only after the EL exit we changed to a 4-4-2 formation that I presume you believe has led to the recent winning form, the question continues to be begged:

Why wait 3/4 of the season to apply such a (claimed) result changing strategy, rather than in the bleak winter sequence when we had no distraction from EL football and won 2 games and lost 9 in an appalling 16 game sequence over 3 months?

Gavin Johnson
249 Posted 20/04/2015 at 12:00:19

There’s no digging. If you read #243 properly the reasons for my argument are there.

If you want to keep picking the bones out of this point then go ahead, but it’s getting a little boring now. You are not the voice of TW, even though you seem to think you are. You just have an opinion Jay, the same as me and everyone else on this forum.

Although to be fair, I’d be rather interested to know some of your opinions because I’ve only ever noticed your posts when you try to pick holes in other peoples views rather than giving one yourself.

Roger Helm
250 Posted 20/04/2015 at 12:13:47
The last few games have shown I think that RM can be capable of change - two wingers on Saturday and McCarthy playing up the field. Perhaps next season we will see more pragmatic winning football rather than his boring sub-Barca tiki-taka rubbish.

If he can just try to give sensible interviews (it was good that Barkley missed the penalty as it made him stronger -WTF??), and get two or three good signings and a decent pre-season in the summer, we may have grounds for optimism next season. With no European distractions, we should make the top six.

Jay Wood
251 Posted 20/04/2015 at 12:50:11
Gavin @ 249

1) unlike some, I’m not all over TW like a rash every day

2) in this particular exchange between us you have failed to see the clear contradiction in your stated opinion, as others besides me have pointed out: that our non-involvement in the EL is the reason for our improved PL form, offering just airy-fairy reasons, that somehow the EL STILL acted as a distraction over the 3 months and 16 games played with NO EL games at all. Again, I’ll call it what it is. NONSENSE!

3) never once have I laid claims to be the voice of TW, unlike some who are inclined to believe they are. I represent my own voice and opinion, which is often contrarian to the popular.

4) if you believe I only post to pick holes in other people’s opinion, rather than post my own, you can’t be a very close reader of TW

Ross Edwards
252 Posted 20/04/2015 at 13:18:26
Surely Roger with the formation he plays, 4-2-3-1, he should be playing two wingers anyway?

That’s not some ingenious tactical masterstroke, that’s just his inability to pick his best team in their preferred positions.

Jimmy Kelly
253 Posted 20/04/2015 at 13:49:19
Ross, you’re right that is exactly why I find the idea that we should all be happy with recent developments so bizarre.

Of course I’m happy that we’ve started winning, but I can still see all the same issues which have plagued us for so long. This makes me believe that this is simply a ’blip’ in our results, rather than the start of a new direction.

We caused Burnley a lot of problems at times on saturday but then Roberto made one of his trademark strange substitutions and we lost all impetus again. Having had 2 wingers all game, he once again decided to unblance the side by moving Kone out wide. While Mirallas hadn’t been great, he’d stayed wide and created space for Baines and also for Barkley, when Kone (who isn’t that great in his own position, nevermind someone elses) moved out there, he started to get in the way hardly linked up with the full back at all. He started playing with his back to goal, meaning we found it difficult to break down our left hand side.

The fact that he’s still making the same tactical errors as he was at the start of the season is genuinely concerning.

Gavin Johnson
254 Posted 20/04/2015 at 13:53:15
Okay Jay, lets just agree to disagree.

I do regularly read TW and have done for many years before I started posting last year. I’m sorry if I’ve not noticed posts where you put forward your own views. You mustn’t have posted anything that stood out on any particular thread.

To be honest, the only time I’ve noticed your posts are when you begin by quoting people and then start telling them why they are wrong. But, I stand corrected and will start to pay attention to what you have to say in future mate.

Ross Edwards
255 Posted 20/04/2015 at 14:13:09
And let’s be honest here, he hasn’t changed much in the last few weeks. We’re still laboriously passing around, we give the ball away far too much, players scared to take a shot, corners you might as well write off completely.

I really want to see big improvements against United because if we play like we have we will definitely not win.

Eddie Dunn
256 Posted 20/04/2015 at 14:10:17
James Flynn 240; just watched it, I nearly fell off my swivel chair! Thanks mate!
James Marshall
257 Posted 20/04/2015 at 18:02:51
OK so everyone is now arguing over whether we should be ’happy’ with the 1-0 at the weekend, and whether we should be ’happy’ with recent results.

I said it earlier in the thread and I’ll say it again - we (the ’happy’ ones) aren’t happy with results over the season, but we are happier with recent results, and performances (winning games). That’s not to say us ’happy’ people are suddenly delighted with our manager, the team or our league position but things are looking a little rosier than they were 5 games ago. Even those of you still filled with negativity must concede that small crumb.

I think I can speak for the ’happy’ people when I say that we’re all in the same boat regarding the season as a whole - the difference now is that some of us see a recent improvement in results as a positive, whereas some of us see it as Everton still playing the same shit football we’ve all suffered all season.

From a personal perspective, I think we’ve been better of late (results included, clearly) and have actually played some lovely football at times. Yes, we can still be laborious in build-up at times as well, but we’ve broken with pace on teams, scored a few nice goals, and won 4 from 5. With the above in mind, I would continue to suggest that both RM and the team have improved from earlier in the season, and that sometimes passing the ball about at the back is a good thing – especially 1-0 up against 10 men at the weekend.

We all want to see the team play sparkling football, but you can’t expect them to go from shit football, and losing games every week to suddenly setting the world alight – it’s a two-step process. First you steady the decline and get some results which they’ve now done, then you can move on to playing more attractive football and scoring more goals.

Nobody has a magic wand, and I personally still harbour my original doubts about the manager and his ability, but we have improved because our results have improved and I don’t see that as a negative thing unlike many people who want instant gratification and a team that is suddenly amazing to watch as well as a team that wins games.

Jimmy Kelly
259 Posted 21/04/2015 at 10:08:54
James, I don’t think it’s a case of people wanting instant gratification.

Something that has really annoyed me this year is that every time I criticise Martinez, people come back with "I bet you weren’t saying that last year." The thing is, I was. Winning individual games is great, and overall he did well last year to get us to 5th, no arguments there. It was clear to me (and many others) though, that he had serious flaws which needed ironing out.

Unfortunately, some others only saw the results and were convinced that we were on the verge of a major breakthrough under a tactical genius. They’ve then been absolutely amazed that this hasn’t happened this season. If people just look at recent results and assume that everything’s rosy again, I think they’ll be shocked again next year, because the same underlying issues are still there and a few tight wins against relegation fodder doesn’t change that.

As Patrick (68) said above, the points we’ve picked up recently are very welcome, but, in all honesty, we’d have been foaming at the mouth if we hadn’t taken at least 9 points from those games. There are no gimmes in the Premier League, but a home game against a side which sits bottom of the league, hasn’t scored for 5 games, and is reduced to 10 men in the first half is probably as close as you’ll get.

Barry Jones
260 Posted 21/04/2015 at 17:02:59
I would agree with Jimmy (259) that there are major underlying flaws in the way we play under Martinez and also in the way the team is constructed tactically. It looks like we have turned the corner if we only look at results in the last five games, but in all of those four wins, the football played was quite dire, and also against 10 men in two games (Newcastle and Burnley). The rhetoric of the manager does not convince the Everton supporters at all, in fact, it is an insult to the intelligence of most.

Kone and Alcaraz have been two of the worst signings in Everton’s history. He continues to play Kone because he is trying to justify his decisions in the transfer market, sadly at the expense of the rest of the team and the fans. He has this sadly misguided belief that Kone will prove him right at some point. How? One piece of genius or luck will not make up for the utter dross that he exhibits for 99% of each game. The man has teflon boots. He wins absolutely nothing and when he actually does get the ball, squanders it to the opposition with amazing generosity.

If Martinez thinks that Alacaraz and Kone are football players, then this does not bode well for the future construction of Everton FC. Bill, can you not see this?

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