It's all about the Nais!

An amazing performance from Everton and a richly deserved win. This was surely Roberto Martinez’ finest hour as Everton manager.

Paul Traill 12/09/2015 64comments  |  Jump to last

Missing a game for a wedding is always a bitter pill to swallow, especially so when its for the visit of the champions. Even more so when you trounce them. Ste had to suffer this fate, Gaz the lucky beneficiary of his ticket for the game.

Gaz and I arrived at the pub in plenty of time, Sue and Gary just making it in time for a swift drink before kick off.. We were pretty surprised by the team news in the pub with Martinez electing to play without any out-and-out wingers much to our bemusement. Lets see how they line up before we completely slag them off I whimpered amongst much scorn.

Onto Goodison Park and we all knew the atmosphere would be rocking for this one given the summer goings on with Chelsea and Jose Mourinho. He certainly came in for some stick from the crowd throughout the afternoon.

We attacked towards the Park End in the first half with both teams busy from the off, albeit without any real openings. Besic made a great surge forward before he was eventually tackled inside the Chelsea penalty area. Unfortunately, for Besic at least, he got himself injured in doing so and was replaced by Naismith. None of us were convinced this was the best idea though took great delight in being wrong. Nobody could have foreseen the impact he was to make on the game. He helped set the tone almost straight away by putting in a good tackle on Pedro as Everton, backed by our vociferous crowd, got about Chelsea. The first of his three goals was a delight when he headed in superbly from Brendan Galloways cross. I was just as made up for Galloway that he was able to make such an important contribution. It was well deserved given his performance.

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Everton were unfortunate not to go further ahead when first Kone and then McCarthy were thwarted by terrific Begovic saves, however we were not to wait long for our second goal when Naismith took range from distance with his left foot, the ball cutting across Begovic and into the corner of the net. Cue hysterics throughout the ground. What a feeling. What a noise.

You knew Chelsea were going to retaliate strongly and once Matic struck his wonder goal they really had us pinned back pretty much in just our own penalty area as we defended a seemingly endless succession of corners. Only John Terry will know how he missed his free header, though thankfully we survived, making it to the break 2-1 ahead after quite a breathtaking first half.

The preceding second period was no less intense. The crowd immense and the players performing pretty much to perfection and they could have added the third goal long before Naismith completed his perfect hat-trick. Lukaku was thwarted on a couple of occasions as was Kone. How Andre Marriner failed to award us an indirect free kick following a quite blatant John Terry back pass to Begovic I will never know, but that mattered not when Naismith finished smartly to wrap the game up.

An amazing performance from Everton and a richly deserved win. This was surely Roberto Martinez finest hour as Everton manager. The key now is to sustain it of course. We need to come back with points from our next two away games in the league and make progress in the Capital One Cup at Reading. Following that we need to beat Liverpool. Its as simple as that. Its been far too long since we enjoyed derby success and if we play anything like as well as we did today, and Liverpool play anything like as badly as Ive just seen them play at Manchester United, victory is very attainable in that fixture.

Should all that come to fruition, then who knows what the limit could be with this squad. A glance at the quality available from the substitutes bench and the injured list suggests that we might just be able to stick around nearer the top summit of the Premier League.

Well done Everton. That was just fantastic.

Player ratings:
Howard: Jose Mourinho will feel he was criminally under-worked as two shots on target, one of which powderpuff, all game is poor for the champions. Regardless, I feel there were times when he could have shown more, or at least some, command of his penalty area. 6
Galloway: For a young lad learning his game, he was quite fantastic, particularly given that left back isnt quite his position. He put in a great ball for Naismiths first goal, and was solid and dependable throughout. Excellent. 8
Stones: Also excellent. His composure on the ball and ability to play a forward pass is quite exceptional. Hes really coming of age now. 8
Jagielka: Skippered us superbly and took no stick from Diego Costa. A brilliant effort. 9
Coleman: Has started the season very positively and had another stormer of a game today. Hopefully his injury isnt too serious as he will be missed. 8
Barry: Outstanding. Always available for a pass and marshalled the midfield superbly. One of the best players out there today. 9
McCarthy: Busy if not always effective. 7
Besic: Not on long enough to judge.
Barkley: I thought that at times in the game he was a luxury we could scarcely afford in a fixture like this, though once we had made all our substitutions he seemed to pick his game up and take more responsibility. Regardless, the Ross Barkley of this season is practically unrecognisable from the confidence-shot player of the last campaign. Long may it continue. 6
Kone: Maddening at times but can be effective. I still feel Mirallas offers a better option than he, though Lukaku appears to be benefiting from the added support in attack so lets hope this continues. 7
Lukaku: Had a very impressive game and its only a shame that he didnt cap it off with a goal. He got the better of Zouma and Terry on several occasions throughout. An excellent effort. 8

Naismith (for Besic): What a performance from Naismith. Not just his goals but his team effort was infectious and rubbed off on some of the others. A perfect hat-trick as a substitute. It doesnt get better than that. 10
Lennon (for Kone): His pace and work rate will often unsettle teams and he was quite the nuisance from when he got on the pitch. Nice little return pass which ultimately led to Naismiths third goal also. 7
Funes Mori (for Coleman): I was a little worried when he took to the field as it seemed a very difficult circumstance to throw a debutant into a game like that. He seemed unnerved however and I enjoyed his charge forward towards the end before he was taken down by Costa. Wasnt on long and its impossible to tell if hell be a good player or not at this stage, but he does look composed which is a good trait to have. We might find out more soon if Colemans injury is a serious one. 7

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Reader Comments (64)

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Chris James
1 Posted 12/09/2015 at 22:01:50
Very harsh on both Barkley and Kone I feel who were the orchestrators of most of our attacking play. Barkley made a few mis-steps, but he’s cutting out errors much more this year and I’d give him 7 at least.

To give Kone less than Lukaku would be churlish in the extreme, for me he looked like a viable No 10 option today. Picking up the ball in the middle, controlling well and slipping incisive passes. 8

James Peter
2 Posted 12/09/2015 at 22:14:20
Agree with most of that Paul but personally, viewed on TV right enough, I would have given Ross an 8 and Lukaku a 5 or 6.

I thought Ross always showed for the ball and as you said showed so much more confidence than last year. Lukaku however was fairly anonymous and wasn’t following up his shots? A few times he could have got something if he’d have followed up. Had a few good opportunities to score when we needed to put the game to bed and never took them.

Steve Hogan
3 Posted 12/09/2015 at 22:16:03
Enjoyed your match report Paul as usual, until I saw the mark you gave Ross Barkley... a miserly 6!!

No mention of the pass for Naismith's third goal, or the posse of Chelsea players constantly trailing in his wake as he ran at their defence, or the amazing solo dribble that nearly brought an incredible goal.

I know it's all about opinions, but it might benefit you a little if you waited a little longer before you posted your report?

Purely time for you to reflect a little longer on some of the marks you give our 'better' performers.

Just a thought.

Charles Cook
4 Posted 12/09/2015 at 22:46:04
Paul, your Barkley rating is strange to be honest. He made some mistakes but linked the play throughout, did most things well or very well, including being involved in all 3 (very good) goals. Not having that one Paul.

I agree with you though about Jagielka - immense, especially satisfying given the torrid time he and the other defenders had against Costa in the corresponding fixture last season.

That said, Stones didn’t play then but boy did he play today. Was thinking earlier, in a great team performance, in which Naismith got a wonderful hat-trick, it will be Stones who sticks in my mind most today. Very good throughout but also another level at times.

Helen Mallon
5 Posted 12/09/2015 at 23:09:46
What a joke Match of the Day are eh. Not a single bit of praise for Naismith, TOSSERS!
Jamie Barlow
6 Posted 12/09/2015 at 23:12:02
Three strikers on MotD as well, Helen. Not a mention. I don’t know why I let it wind me up so much but it does.
Mike Childs
7 Posted 12/09/2015 at 23:18:55
While we don’t get MotD here in the States, the more they diss us the better, I say. Jose did wonders with his Us Against Them attitude last year.
Liam Reilly
8 Posted 12/09/2015 at 23:26:32
Ross 6?

Paul, I enjoy your reports but I seriously hope you get to watch that game again. I thought Barkley was awesome today; always showing for the ball and some of his vision (reversed to Naismith) outstanding.

Stones was fantastic but Ross is the player I don’t want to lose?

Helen Mallon
9 Posted 12/09/2015 at 23:27:42
I feel your pain, Jamie. It's the same old story, we battered Chelsea today but, as they are a Sky 5 team, let's just focus on how bad they played. Not how good Everton were.
James Peter
10 Posted 12/09/2015 at 23:44:10
As per usual, MotD giving us the bare minimum. They only focused on how poor Chelsea were followed by John Stones after his performance following Chelsea’s interest over Summer. To not feature Naisy after a perfect hattrick, in open play, against Chelsea, together with his graft, shows how bent this Premier League is. No less than I expected.
Tony Draper
11 Posted 12/09/2015 at 23:52:33
Sorry, Paul but you have got two of those player ratings a bit off for me.

I was really disappointed when the unselfish Kone was subbed off. He'd worked so well with Lukaku again and their dialogue was continual and a delight to see (he controls the ball impressively with his back to opponents, uses it well, moves into space and has pace). The partnership (for me) benefits Lukaku plenty and consequently we seem to pose more threat. He worked his socks off and deserved to score, that he did not was down to Begovic's best save.
Kone: 8

This season Ross Barkley is not the fractious lad he was. Admittedly he can take too long looking for the perfect outlet and sometimes misses the plainly obvious. But as has been said about truly gifted players in any decade "The rest aren't always on his wavelength". This season, I see a more carefree approach in him; he's really enjoying playing and not worrying about when it doesn't happen, good. He terrified Chelsea at times today, yes he frustrated me at times, but he was happier and overall so am I.
Barkley: 8

Trevor Lynes
12 Posted 13/09/2015 at 00:35:05
I really cannot understand the criticism of Lukaku. He plays really well with Kone who stays far closer to him and this benefits the lad. Not many strikers can play well without a partner and it is obvious to me if not Lukaku’s critic that our striker is much happier when he faces the opposition goal. His link up play and strength contributed a lot and helped Naismith get the space he thrived on. I was very apprehensive about the game when I saw our line up as I thought we would be destroyed down the flanks. Luckily I was totally wrong and saw a truly team effort today. I do not think that any other team in the division have a better centre back pairing, Jags and Stones were immense and both backs played well too. Barry had his best game for us today and broke up a lot of Chelsea’s play in midfield. No one had a poor game and each player supported the team as a whole. I just hope that Coleman is not injured as I hate seeing players played out of position to cover. The bench looked a bit stronger than of late and it was good to think that each sub made did not weaken the team. Chelsea did give us plenty of space in midfield and other visiting sides will not be so accommodating. All in all it was a great result and Roberto’s tactics proved correct.
Andy Crooks
13 Posted 13/09/2015 at 00:54:58
Everton defending a 2-1 lead against any team would have me sick with nerves but today as our confidence grew I almost enjoyed the second half. We never looked like not winning.

We haven’t the squad to sustain that level of performance but if the coach can come up with a few variations and tactical guile we have some better days ahead. Today was just great. By the way, good stuff, Paul, as usual.

Derek Thomas
14 Posted 13/09/2015 at 01:41:28
Slightly harsh on Barkley with a 6, nobody had a poor game, so I'd go with 7.5.

You, Lyndon and others mention the crowd, but on my Aussie sky feed, they seemed to have the crowd mics turned right down, the place sounded like a reading room...mustn't upset the fans of the sky darlings, or am I just bitter and paranoid.

Did they play 'Can't buy me love'? if yes how did it go down and was Bill there.

Momentum is the key...You're only as good as your next game. It's all very well using Chelsea / Maureen's antics to get yourself 'Up' for it, but if you can't bring the same Intensity to Swansea???

Hammys though, something not right there. Bring back the old fitness regime. It could be that Martinez threw the baby out with the bathwater there.

Danny Halsall
15 Posted 13/09/2015 at 01:52:32
Thought Lukaku was outstanding today and was very unlucky not to get a goal. Seems to have a lot more desire this season
Paul Ferry
16 Posted 13/09/2015 at 01:56:41
Sorry had to go straight to submit and haven’t read the above posts. Barkley a SIX - a SIX!!!!!!!! Utterly gobsmacked by that. I’ll check to make sure that it was today’s match I was watching this morning!

Barkley was absolutely outstanding today! Not MotM, I agree, but this is the Barkley I want to see. Six!!!!! Involvement in the goals alone was worth more than that.

Strange too to give the lowest mark to someone recovering from ’shot’ confidence! Barkley is class, a star, and one of us!

Andy McNabb
17 Posted 13/09/2015 at 02:37:12
Thanks Paul. I needed to read this as the BBC 'report' on the website told little of the game and was simply interested in reporting Chelsea woes.

Chelsea are certainly all at sea but we played well and I was particularly encouraged by the probing of Barkley and Barry. Great to see Galloway growing in confidence but bit concerned we have lost both first choice full backs. This is where the much needed consistency will fall away.

Well done, Nais. Much has been written about him not being the quality we need but his attitude, both when he is picked and maybe more importantly, when he isn't, is exactly what any squad needs.

We are only 9 hours ahead at the moment and I always enjoy the early match from that point of view but must admit to watching some of it from behind the sofa, hence the need for the report. Then I woke up later and watched the other lot get hammered! " Never felt more like ..."

Jim Harrison
18 Posted 13/09/2015 at 06:29:20
Have to say I agree regarding Howard, he never seems to come off his line or take high balls more than 3 feet away from his goal

I have mixed feelings on Rom though. When the ball was being played into his feet with his back to goal he looked shite. Heavy touch, miss hit passes, he can be a liability who gives away possession needlessly. When they started to get the ball ahead of him and he could run on to balls he looked class. His finishing wasn't great, but given those sort of chances more often I think he will bang a decent amount in

Robert Workman
19 Posted 13/09/2015 at 09:10:25
Steven Naismith is a striker. He was signed as a striker. He played previously as a striker. He scored a hat trick in a pre-season friendly shortly after joining Everton - as a striker.

He is not a midfielder, nor a wide player.

His first and third goals bore all the hallmarks of a striker, through his movement in the area and his clinical finishing. A high percentage of his shots end up on target.

His first touch for the third goal was not great, taking him wide of the goal, but he compensated for it by shooting low behind the keeper from what was by then a fairly acute angle.

He does, however, have one other great attribute (not found amongst most strikers) in his ability to harry defenders and get stuck in - particularly in the final third.

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 13/09/2015 at 09:40:33
Robert #19, excellent point about Nais as striker. He's often accused of technical deficiencies. "Technical" is a relative term, relative to the job in hand. As you rightly say, he's a striker not a mid or wide player, and his technical ability as a striker / finisher is very good.
Tony George
21 Posted 13/09/2015 at 10:09:55
I have to admit that I would have 'taken the money' for Naisy, so have to accept both Norwich and Roberto are far better judges than me!

Until he came here, he was always seen as a striker, playing 'support' at Rangers to Jelavic who was said to have recommended him to Moyes (and we got him for nowt!).

He suffered a bit through being asked to play wide and became a 'go to' player for Roberto at the 70 mins mark.

Perhaps now, he will merit more respect from the manager and fans like me who – as with Ossie – concentrated on his shortcomings rather than his undoubted value to the team.

Well done, lad!

Brian Denton
22 Posted 13/09/2015 at 11:14:01
Robert 19, from where I was sitting I thought his first touch on the third goal was excellent - the ball in from Ross was just a little strong and just a fraction wide of ideal. Steven managed to adjust enough to kill it dead and find exactly the right shot. I thought it was a masterclass in finishing.

Just shows how different folks see the same thing differently!

Eddie Dunn
23 Posted 13/09/2015 at 11:30:32
Paul, how could you give Lukaku an 8? He was just not on his game and out of the whole team he was the only one who under-performed.

Ross was guilty of holding on to the ball too long at times, and was jogging gently alongside Matic as the big man hit his rocket, but his speed on the counter and good passing made up for it.

Galloway was inspired and his pace is a real asset. He has an instinct to get the ball forward and must be a terrifying sight for defenders.

Ray Roche
24 Posted 13/09/2015 at 11:32:08
A couple of observations:

On MotD, you could see a glimpse of a very unhappy Mirallas sulking when we scored one of the goals and, from my spec in the Gwladys Street, Stones's ecstatic celebration after the third goal was great to see. He clearly loved it.

Tom Bowers
25 Posted 13/09/2015 at 11:48:58
Some were rightfully pensive about this game and the starting eleven but RM somehow got lucky when the unfortunate injury to Besic proved to be fortunate for Everton. Whilst nobody could foretell what the result would have been anyway we couldn’t have imagined a hat-trick from Nessie but kudos to the lad who always has an eye for goal and has worked his socks off since coming to the Blues.

I was relieved to hear Cahill wasn’t playing and RM’s choice of Kone to start was good if only for the extra height at both ends of the pitch. Mirallas will just have to play his part for the time being and if he is sulking then move him out in January.

Brian Harrison
26 Posted 13/09/2015 at 12:04:45
When I got to the ground and heard the team I feared the worst, bad enough starting with 2 defensive midfield players , but selecting Besic meant we were starting with 3. Then when Besic got injured I think most of us would have thought that one of our wingers would be brought on. But no RM brought on Naismith, so we had a forward line of 3 centre forwards, really strange.

Naismith certainly took his chances well, and it was great to beat Chelsea. Yes they were below par, but Everton did everything right on the day and nobody can say the win wasn’t a fair result.

I thought Lukaku was way below par, he contributed nothing to our game today. All he did was moan at the players around him who were all putting in a shift unlike him. But under RM Lukaku seems no matter how bad he plays he will always start. I wonder what happens in our next league game is the hattrick hero left on the bench.

Our manager clearly loves a winger as he know has 5 to choose from, strange that he is reluctant to use any of them. I did hear that somebody told him that Jeremy Corbyn was a left winger, and RM said we will have to keep an eye on him.

John Daley
27 Posted 13/09/2015 at 12:05:31
"Perhaps now, he will merit more respect from the manager and fans"

I think it's all too easy sometimes to conflate the fans perceptions of a player with that of the manager. Truth is, Martinez has always rated Naismith and valued his contribution a lot more than many Evertonians do, or have done (myself included).

He tried to sign the player prior to his move to Everton, remember, and Naismith himself was taken aback to learn how much Martinez knew about his game and career up to that point. The fact he has been asked to fill in out wide on occasion, or sat biding his time on the bench, doesn't mean the manager is oblivious to his best position or feels he isn't up to the task. He's publicly praised his ability and attitude a number of times in the past, as well as acknowledging his more natural role:

"He is a gem of a boy, an incredible footballer, and I am just pleased he is enjoying his football. He has played in different positions but when he is central he is at his best, instinctive, a real threat".

He also just turned down an £8m offer for the guy, so he clearly respects what Naismith brings to the table.

Mark Andersson
28 Posted 13/09/2015 at 12:43:21
Just for the record, I really like Naismith but have a loathing for Lukaku, he’s lazy and arrogant and not a team player. He looked pissed off when Naismith scored his 3rd goal. Spent most of the match moaning at team mates when they passed to him or didn’t pass to him.

He needs to be on the bench, not Naismith.

Colin Grierson
29 Posted 13/09/2015 at 12:58:04
Ray (#24),

I noticed the lack of reaction from Mirallas when they were showing Martinez’s reaction to one of the goals. He didn’t even flinch. It’s good that he is not happy about being on the bench, but Nessi came off the bench to stake his claim for a start next game. I can’t imagine that Nessi wouldn’t celebrate a team goal.

I also noticed the delight Kone showed when Nessi got his third.

I’m not too worried about ’Super Kev’. He’s a great player but an arrogant bellend to boot. He has to learn to suck it up!

Steve Harris
30 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:42:38
Not sure I could get through the day without knowing what "Ste, Gaz and Sue" were up to on a matchday!
Terence Tipler
31 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:45:14
Ray (#24), I also noticed Mirallas sat glum-faced when we scored the second goal, while everyone around him celebrated. His problem to me seems to be attitude something others have questioned in the past.

I know we have just extended his contract, but I would sell in the next window; we should get a good price, and put the money towards the Yarmolenko guy we tried to sign in the last window.

Jon Cox
32 Posted 13/09/2015 at 15:08:20
Derek (14)

I know what you mean about the mics. They always do it.

Here's a link to the highlights where you can get more of a "feel" of being there via the sound.

Eddie Dunn
33 Posted 13/09/2015 at 15:51:57
Good points Brian 26. With the three defensive midfielders on, I was worried about our set-up, and when Nais came on rather than a winger, I groaned (although I have been a backer of his).

The saving grace was the ability of Coleman and Galloway to get down the flanks, meaning that in the blink of an eye we would see three strikers running into the box, along with Barkley.

Martinez has to get credit for this, but it does beg the question, of what are we doing with Kev, Del, and Aaron, not to mention McGeady and even Brian, who must be slipping out of contention at left back, as Galloway looks so good.

Gerard Carey
34 Posted 13/09/2015 at 16:04:47
Agree with Brian 22, thought Naismith's first touch for the third goal was super. It allowed him a better angle for a shot and if anything seemed to fool the chelski keeper.
Philip Yensen
35 Posted 13/09/2015 at 17:30:37
Naismith was a hero by default. He has had or has got that ability to perform like that if played properly. Kone put in a great shift helping out at set pieces in our area, covering a hell of a lot yardage; sorry to see him go off. Barkley had two good touches; fortunately Naismith's movement was was brilliant. So many moves broke down because of Barkley's lack of vision and drive.

Too many times he stopped chasing, for example, their goal, he just trotted watching the player tee himself up for his shot. A brilliant pass from him to set Naismith for his hat-trick. For me, two good passes isn’t enough, Lennon covered more purposeful ground when he came on that Barkley did the whole of the game. I am sorry to say he was the worst player for us. If we could put Stones's brain into Barkley's body, wow, there would be a player.
Mike Powell
36 Posted 13/09/2015 at 17:55:00
I thought Barkley was outstanding, close to being MotM, him along with Stones and Naismith were excellent. The whole team played well.
Andy Crooks
37 Posted 13/09/2015 at 20:24:16
Steve (#30), Paul offers a different perspective, a match-going supporter's view.

For me, who can rarely go these days, it's good reading. Why would he not mention his mates?

Graham Mockford
38 Posted 13/09/2015 at 21:00:11
Steve #30

Completely agree with Andy Crooks. Paul takes the time to contribute to this site on a regular basis for which most of us are grateful.

You on the other hand wish to snipe with your mealy mouthed comments.

I'm guessing I know which most ToffeeWebbers value most.

Eugene Ruane
39 Posted 13/09/2015 at 21:27:19
I’m not against friends being included in match reports, but just names (’Ste, Gaz, Sue’ - whoever) tell us nothing. If they’re to be included, surely we should know more about them - eg: " was unusual to say the least.

Sue, at 6 foot 2 was one of Europe’s top super-models and usually a stickler about her diet. Yet here she was outside the Supper bar shoving a curried sausage into her grid and washing it down with a can of what she still cutely referred to as ’lemmo.’

Ste told me he found the whole scene ’arousing’, but as Gaz pointed out to me later (a bit like that bit in Spartacus in the bath with Tony Curtis and Laurence Oliver) ’You know he loves.... sausage don’t you? Some people like sausages others prefer onion rings.’

Jackie Barry
40 Posted 13/09/2015 at 21:38:52
Sorry but if people truly knew what they were on about they would not be trying to stick the dagger in Lukaku. I thought he had a good game, gave the Chelsea players a lot to worry about which in part enabled Naismith to score his hattrick.

I agree: 7 or 8 for me and 10 for Nais.

Paul Graney
41 Posted 13/09/2015 at 21:55:46
Shows how people see things different because for me Naismith’s first touch for the 3rd was excellent and allowed him to get off a shot at goal.

A few people have been arguing over ratings; not a problem for me, it’s all about opinions. But having read The Sun today, Galloway (who I thought was excellent) got 5, the same as Ivanovic who was shocking while Fabregas and Hazard got 7. Go figure.
Steve Hogan
42 Posted 13/09/2015 at 21:57:07
Guys, think you all need to chill a little bit..thought Steve Harris (30) made an innocent enough comment about Paul’s match going friends. Apart from Paul’s match reports, I’m fascinated that someone should also choose to tell us about their work mates, friends, school chums or whatever?

I’m always curious as to the actual age of the TW posters, if I was to hazard a guess, I would say Paul is in his late twenties, early thirties, only by his style of writing.

Again, this isn’t a criticism of Paul’s match reports, only an observation.

Long live Ste, Gaz, Gary and Sue...and Paul too.

Eugene Ruane
43 Posted 13/09/2015 at 22:14:11
Steve (42). But we don't find out anything 'about' them. As I say, if they're to be part of the story (and fine with me if they are) let's flesh them out a bit.
Steve Hogan
44 Posted 13/09/2015 at 22:35:44
Eugene (43), this one could run and run... long after Paul’s report is last week’s fish and chip paper, or McDonalds wrappers.

A more furtive imagination than mine, could possibly hint at a possible match going love tryst along the lines of Rita, Bob... no don’t go there, I’m showing my age.

We’ll have to wait to hear from Paul to dampen our expectations, over to you Paul.

Pete Owen
45 Posted 14/09/2015 at 02:14:58
Yes Steve @44, Rita, Sue and Bob too was my first thought, personally I want to know more of their (Gaz, Sue and Ste too) exploits on matchday, matchday night too ;)
Steve Harris
47 Posted 14/09/2015 at 12:58:15
Brilliant, Eugene, it's made me see Sue in a whole new light! Can’t wait for the next installment now! Will have to find out what pub they they have a pre-match drink in so me and my mates Hughsie, Jenko, Del and Clem can join them!

Perhaps they drink in Ken’s Room of Nonsense and join the queue for the ’fat van’!

Steve Hogan
48 Posted 14/09/2015 at 13:37:37
Aye aye, there's a pattern developing here, and a dangerous one at that...Hughsie, Jenko, Del, and Clem too.

I'm getting straight on the phone to Alan Bennett, there's a play in there somewhere.

Laurie Hartley
49 Posted 14/09/2015 at 13:41:34
Eugene @ 39, I'd be careful about taking the mickey out of Paul's mate Sue. Link
Jamie Barlow
50 Posted 14/09/2015 at 14:24:16
All those saying Lukaku was shite and played no part yesterday should watch Naisy's second goal. Lukaku was brilliant.

No keeper would have saved Matic's goal either.

Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 14/09/2015 at 14:29:10
Jamie (#50), the game lasts for 90-odd minutes, not 30 seconds. He did a few good things but he is a very frustrating player with his constant moaning at other players when he is mostly to blame himself.There is an awful lot of his game that needs working on.
Jamie Barlow
52 Posted 14/09/2015 at 14:43:28
So he did play a part then?

I do agree he has a lot to learn though, but young lads usually do.

Colin Williams
53 Posted 14/09/2015 at 14:50:35
Ross...6? Fecking joke score! What's going on there?
Dave Pritchard
54 Posted 14/09/2015 at 14:51:04
Somebody ’loathes’ Lukaku in an earlier comment. They’re entitled to their opinion but it is a ridiculous one for me.

I thought Rom contributed a lot on Saturday and I will continue to support him. Of course he has room for improvement but who doesn’t?

Jay Harris
55 Posted 14/09/2015 at 15:02:16
I agree with you Dave.

Every player has strengths and weaknesses but for me the amount of stick Naisy gets is far greater than Lukaku who has got inferior ball control and half his workrate.

If only we could get Barkley and Lukaku (both big heavy men) to put themselves about as much as Naismith does we would have 3 top performing players.

David Barks
56 Posted 14/09/2015 at 15:27:01
Just remember, the only reason he had an opportunity to even score a goal was because Besic was injured. I wonder what the result and thus the reaction would have been had Besic remained on the pitch. Just saying.
Jim Knightley
57 Posted 14/09/2015 at 15:28:24
Some typically absurd criticisms of Lukaku. I just can't fathom the following: 'I really like Naismith but have a loathing for Lukaku, he’s lazy and arrogant and not a team player. He looked pissed off when Naismith scored his 3rd goal. Spent most of the match moaning at team mates when they passed to him or didn’t pass to him.
He needs to be on the bench, not Naismith.'

Exactly why is he arrogant? He didn't have the best of games, but constantly troubled Chelsea's CB and was alot more dangerous than Costa. His build up was also pivotal to the second goal. His got 4 goals and 1 assist from 6 competitions this season. That run might have included Barnsley, but it also included Chelsea, Spurs and Southampton away and City. I think he can make 20 in all competitions this season, and he is the best striker at the club by far. If we get the right service to him, like we did during the Southampton game, then he will score alot of goals. He is not a finished article, but if he was he would not be playing for us. He is a player capable of 15-20 league goals in a season, with room to improve.

It's ironic that some of the criticisms previously directed towards Naismith relating to his control and touch, are also thrown at Lukaku. They disappear when players play well, but reappear when they don't. I've read people say that Jags was finished, after the opening games last season. Is he? I've read people criticise Baines, and state that we should have accepted United's offer for him. Mirallas? him too. Osman? of course. He is not fit to wear the shirt. Kone? Kone was finished a few weeks ago. A dreadful player. A horrible buy. These fans come out of the woodwork to have a go, and then disappear when things change.

We need a little patience, especially with the younger players and the bit-part players.

Brent Stephens
58 Posted 14/09/2015 at 15:45:23
Jim #57 well said about some of our reactions to players having poor games (or not even having a poor game).

In relation to suggestions somebody is e.g. arrogant, there was a recent comment that Ross "is not as good as he thinks he is". I've never once seen the lad praise his own skills.

Eugene Ruane
59 Posted 14/09/2015 at 16:08:50
Brent (58) another loony accusation is 'he's vastly overrated' which is always stated as if this is the player's fault. Nob-head hacks and pundits say 'player X is the best player ever... ever, ever, EVER!' And somehow player X gets it in the neck. As the duke of Kent might say, get a grip innit though blood.
Brent Stephens
60 Posted 14/09/2015 at 16:27:50
Aye, Eugene.

One bollock fell off laughing at the Duke quip. Is there a YouTube clip of the aformentioned Duke?! Or could you "find" one for us?!

Brian Harrison
61 Posted 14/09/2015 at 16:57:24
Jim (#57),

My criticism of Lukaku is that his movement is poor, his heading for a big man is distinctly average and I wont mention his first touch. Added to the fact that is workrate is poor as well, but given the ball on his let foot in the box and he is a good finisher. Now whether that is enough in today's game I am not sure. Now you might disagree with my comments, and that is what makes football so interesting is the differing opinions.

I would also like to ask the manager why have we got 5 wingers on the books, costing how much in wages if you don’t want to play with wingers. After all he signed 3 of them and got Mirallas to agree a new contract only a month ago.

Tony Draper
62 Posted 18/09/2015 at 18:53:56
Jim @57, bloody good post that mate. Likewise Brent & Eugene.

This need for some people to assign character traits to players based upon sod all real evidence, when what they truly mean is "This player frustrates me !", is tiresome.

These people calling Lukaku "Arrogant", utterly bewilder me. The recent articles and video evidence shows a very likeable (my opinion) young man who seems intelligent and keen to develop with Everton.

Romelu plays far better when he can spin off a defender and chase a ball; in fact, when given that opportunity, he is absolutely thrilling, because he has that strength in abundance.

To criticise his shortcomings with his back to goal isn’t exactly fair. Do we lambast Tim Howard for his crap attempts at throw-ins?

With Arouna Kone now able to function, having finally shaken off his terrible injury and regained full strength, has offered some enticing glimpses of a Lukaku & Kone partnership; one which can only benefit the youngster as an Everton striker in the longer term.

The more that I have read about just how serious Kone’s knee injury was, the more surprised that I am that he ever made it back on a football pitch. What I’ve seen this season from Arouna has me tipping my hat to Roberto Martinez. How different might things have been if the injury hadn’t happened or had been considerably less serious?

Neither Martinez nor Kone had any control or influence over the knee injury, it was just the way the cookie/ligament crumbled.

Kone impresses me more each week, and I like that.

Paul Jeronovich
63 Posted 18/09/2015 at 19:06:28
I don’t think fans who comment on the consistently poor performances of certain players go missing when they have a few good games. Kone has been shit since we signed him but fair play has come out scrapping this year.

Hats offs to Naismith as well, £8M was a damn good offer but he’s proved people wrong. People can change their opinion if the players deserve the praise.

Tony Draper
64 Posted 18/09/2015 at 19:17:45
Paul @68, Kone has been bloody well injured virtually all the time he’s been with us, different lad now that he’s back at full strength.

Oviedo is also still regaining full fitness, his knee still blows up like a balloon after a game, because he isn’t absolutely 100% yet.

These things aren’t measureable with a thermometer, a ruler or a set of scales, only by observation. Thank heavens that Kone is begining to get back to his best. Given the surgeon's view of the damage, Arouna must be bloody delighted to be able to play football at all again, let alone in the EPL!

Dennis Ng
65 Posted 18/09/2015 at 19:27:53
Tony, what I find weird is that people can say that players are ’arrogant’ or ’lazy’ just watching the lads from afar. I mean, what did Rom do that makes him arrogant or lazy? Less goals? Bad first touch? (Which I concur but that’s not lazy or arrogant.)

We can change our opinion of a player based on his form, but personal attacks are in a very different league of criticism. Naismith has not shown the silky skills like Messi or Ronaldo but he plays to his strength and works his butt off to the perfect game he had last week.

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