Deflated Blues cannot raise their game

Everton were boosted by the return from injury of Seamus Coleman and John Stones but gave up the first goal all too easily off a poorly defended corner inside 20 minutes. It got a lot worse 4 mins later, Herrera heading easily past Howard. Everton responded well after the break until a Jags gift was pounced on and Rooney fired in United's third.

Michael Kenrick 17/10/2015 151comments  |  Jump to last

Seamus Coleman returned to the line-up after recovering from a hamstring strain and playing for Ireland last Sunday.
Everton 0 - 3 Manchester United

Everton resume their Premier League programme by hosting Manchester United at Goodison Park for a rare 3pm Saturday kick-off not since 2004 have the two clubs played each other in the traditional time slot. The game will be overshadowed by the sad news of Howard Kendall's passing, with tributes pouring in from all quarters for the great man.

Roberto Martinez was able to select both Seamus Coleman and John Stones, after both have been sidelined with injuries. Supporting Lukaku, it's something of a surprise to see Naismith and Lennon flanking Ross Barkley, with Deulofeu and Mirallas both left on the bench.

Man Utd kicked off and had most of the early play, although Lennon showed some spirit and then Galloway tried to get Naismith running in. Herrera won a soft free-kick on the right corner of the Everton area off Galloway but the danger was dealt with by Jagielka.

Everton were understandably a little subdued as United played the ball around with little effect. Barry secured a turnover but McCarthy ran it out of play. Naismith almost played in Lukaku but De Gea snatched it off his toes.

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Everton tried to settle with some passing acorss the back and a ball lofted up to Lukaku who did well to hold off Jones but there was no-one there for the layoff. At the other end, Rooney had a shot well wide.

Jagielka again picked out Lukaku and his chest-back to Naismith was perfect, but he was floored and the free-kick in a good position was smacked into the wall by Lukaku, Barkley taking the corner and Everton maintaining some pressure until Smalling was fouled.

A tremendous shot from Herrera needed to be tipped over by Howard but from the corner, Schniederlin smacked it home after Everton failed to clear effectively. Everton had not taken any real grip on the game and had paid the price for a far to tentative and sloppy first 20 minutes.

Everton, confidence shot by the goal, then gave up another with consummate ease, allowing a cross from the Everton right when Herrera met a perfect cross with no-one to prevent him heading an easy finish past Howard.

Everton were relying again on the lofted ball to Lukaku and it almost worked with Naismith coming in but Smalling was there to defend and Everton struggled to make much impact, having largely abandoned constructive forward passing moves on the ground.

Coleman got in a good cross that Lukaku seemed to get to ahead of De Gea but the ball dropped harmlessly and was cleared as De Gea collapsed in a heap. With a nice two-goal cushion, United sat back into a sold defensive structure whenever they lost possession that the Blues had no idea how to penetrate.

Galloway did well to overpower Mata but Smalling got ahead of Naismith on the cross. De Gea wafted at Barkley's corner but Naismith was called for a push. Everton forced a good spell of pressure but could not come close to having a decent shot on goal, Jagielka's effort looking more like a cross to the far post.

Crazy defending as Everton tried to play Rooney offside and Martial somehow failed to profit as Howard and Stones scrambled back.

Off a corner at the other end, Barkley finally got a shot on target but the angle was narrow and De Gea batted it away. It was a dreadful half from Everton, lacking any real inspiration, playing with really heavy hearts on such a sad day when the memory of Kendall's heroic exploits should have been all the inspiration they needed.

Martinez decided to replace Naismith but brought on Kone instead of Mirallas or Deulofeu. An early free-kick looked promising but Lukaku was quite determined enough to get in front of Smalling at the far post.

Kone worked a lovely one-two with Lukaku but messed up his shot that Coleman then crossed and it seemed to set up nicely for Barkley at the far post but a defender intervened. Everton, however. were playing with much better tempo, and won a couple of good free-kick, the second of which saw some determined buildup that ended with Lukaku's fierce drive stopped on the line by De Gea's outstretched leg.

A fantastic free-kick in from Barkley needed only a glance as Ge Gea blocked it away and no-one could get a clean shot on the follow-up. But a horrible give-away in the middle by Jagielka and United were away, Rooney shooting easily past the falling starman impression in the Everton goal. Game over.

To their credit, the boys kept playing despite the demoralizing scoreline, Barkley having a good slighlty deflected shot, and Jagielka making amends after Rooney was away to the races. Lukaku getting a card for uncharacteristic petulance.

With the horses well off down the Lane, Martinez thought it was the right time to finally play one of his potential game-changers in Gerard Deulofeu, with barely 17 minutes remaining. Stones had to defend superbly as United threatened a fourth. Martial almost walked it in along the byeline, Howard's feet to the rescue.

Another glorious free-kick opportunity for Barkley, lashed in and dipping viciously but only hitting the stanchion. The game petered out with no more damage to a sad and thoroughly deflated Goodison Park, not by any means a fitting way to remember the great Everton Legend.

Everton: Howard, Coleman [Y:22'], Jagielka, Stones, Galloway, McCarthy, Barry, Lennon(73' Deulofeu), Naismith (46' Kone), Barkley, Lukaku [Y:70'].
Subs not Used: Robles, Browning, Funes Mori, Osman, Mirallas.

Manchester United: De Gea, Dar50'mian, Smalling, Jones, Rojo [Y:52'], Schweinsteiger [Y:](74' Carrick), Schneiderlin, Mata (46' Lingard), Herrera (81' Fellaini), Rooney, Martial.
Subs not Used: Johnstone, Blind, Pereira, Memphis.

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Attendance: 39,553

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Reader Comments (151)

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Royson Reja Sagah
1 Posted 17/10/2015 at 15:25:36
Piss poor defending so far
Victor Jones
3 Posted 17/10/2015 at 16:08:08
We all know that Coleman supported Man Utd as a youngster. And that would be his dream move. But FFS I didn't think that he would start playing for them today. Somebody needs to point out that he is playing for Everton. He needs to get into this game. Barring that, then get Browning on. Don't care about what he has done before. This is now. We can still get back into this game. COYBs

And once again, Martinez tinkers. And Everton struggle.

Tony Twist
4 Posted 17/10/2015 at 16:24:32
3-0 down. Disgraceful. Enough said.
Christy Ring
5 Posted 17/10/2015 at 16:40:58
Sad day, and sad performance. What does Mirallas have to do to get a game?
Jamie Barlow
6 Posted 17/10/2015 at 16:53:40
Awful day.
Frank Crewe
7 Posted 17/10/2015 at 16:58:23
Same old same old. As usual before a big match we believed our own hype. Barkley the greatest player ever! Brickwall Stones the super centre half! Goal machine Lukaku! etc etc. How can we lose?

As usual a slow start and before you know it 2 down game over. Arsenal next week. We're doomed I tells ya. DOOMED!!!

Peter Gorman
8 Posted 17/10/2015 at 16:59:24
After the sad news about Kendall's passing, we could have done with some tonic but it wasn't to be. Utd are the biggest frauds in the league at the moment, nowhere near as good as they are placed, yet we made them look unbeatable.

There are serious issues with the team that need addressing. We can barely string passes together, the number of times we either run the ball into the opposition or simply pass it to them without pressure is embarrassing. Been going on for a while now. Barry the chief culprit today but Jags the most eye-catching with their 3rd goal. So, so bad.

The buck stops with Martinez who doesn't inspire confidence in team selections. Sure Naismith scored 3 against Chelsea but what has he done recently except play badly? Barry too. They won't be dropped and it is not good enough.

Clive Rogers
9 Posted 17/10/2015 at 16:59:35
Some performances today not PL standard.
Ian Riley
10 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:06:26
Just when we start to dream. The bloody nightmare starts! Many thanks to the players on this sad day for lifting the fans!
Barry McNally
11 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:12:17
Only subbed two off, joke.
Liam Reilly
12 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:13:26
There was some poor performances out there today but show some perspective, Frank (#6).

I thought Barkley did everything he could in that game; there wasn’t enough movement around him out wide to stretch Man Utd, because Lennon and Naismith didn’t show for the ball.

Deulofeu looks like he needs some games to improve his confidence and super Kev must’ve shagged Roberto's wife, because I just don't get why he is not in a game where pace is everything.

Bill Gall
13 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:18:42
Sadly we were exploited by a better team and manager. Yes this is the first defeat in about 8 games but it was the manner of the defeat that was hard to take. Watching today's performance, there did not seem to be any desire or effort, allowing Man Utd to find their teammates with ease even when they were under pressure.

I think that the manager should have a better idea of how his team should be set up and playing now he is into his 4th season. And going over the games this season, good games against the Saints and Chelsea are just masking over the other poor performances we have had to endure.

Chris Owens
14 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:20:17
Why has it become common practice for players to go straight back into the starting line-up after a long injury layoff? This is madness, especially against opponents with the quality of Manchester United.
Mike Price
15 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:21:24
Naismith and Howard are massive liabilities and until they're moved on, nothing will change.

Lots of poor performances today, but I just feel numb from the Howard Kendall news.

Horrible day to be a blue.

Andrew Presly
16 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:21:52
Write this day off for the sake of our sanity.
Paul Jeronovich
17 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:22:04
I can take a defeat so long as passion and effort is still there. I can't accept that today, horrible performance. Martinez needs to blast the whole team today in his press conference, no excuses. Also, Barkley needs to be taken off set pieces.
Dave Abrahams
18 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:27:04
Out-thought, out-fought, out-played and finally a meek and embarrassing surrender.

Another cautious team selection and cautious approach, with no idea how to play against a team that sits back and plays on the break.

Five home games, one victory with today’s game resembling many from last season, Martinez definitely had no Plan B today. Very, very poor.

Mike Powell
19 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:27:39
We were taught a lesson today in how to defend piss poor today. We have to hold our hands up and say best team won. It hurts me to say it but it’s a fact.

We can blame the ref for a poor performance but the truth is that we were poor today.
Jay Harris
20 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:42:20
Typical Everton. Raise your expectations then dash them.

I can’t understand why we start every game so lethargically. I also can’t understand taking Lennon off at 3-0 down.

I would have hoped to see Mirallas get a chance too but it wasn’t really about individuals today. We were badly prepared and organized.

Colin Glassar
21 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:59:04
We are always rubbish after international breaks. Plus, rushing back players like Stonesy and Seamus after their replacements have been solid is never a good idea IMO.

I'm grabbing at straws here; Howard's death, Macca being knackered, choosing Nessie to start etc.... Just a shite day to forget.

Jamie Barlow
22 Posted 17/10/2015 at 17:59:13
Naismith and Howard being "massive liabilities" aren't why we lost today.
Max Murphy
23 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:03:20
Very sad news about the great Howard Kendall.
On the field, normal service resumed.
Martin Mason
24 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:06:41
I think the lesson to be learned today is not to rush back players recovering from injury straight into a side that is doing well. We were two down in no time due to weakness from Coleman and amazingly from Stones and the game was lost.

United are a good side though and like City were just above that level at which we are able to compete but is that surprising given the relative level of spending on the sides?

I believe that against a certain level of class in midfield, Barry and McCarthy can't compete in terms of skill and pace and the team doesn't function. I also believe that the manager doesn't know what his strongest team is and is biased by favouritism. Saddest of course is that there is a limit to how high a level we can compete when we start with players like Lennon who can't get into the squad at one of our peer Clubs.

I'd lose no sleep if we sold Seamus, he seems to be a shadow of the player he was a couple of seasons back

Dara Vaughan
25 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:11:43
Bang on, Martin, about the two lads in midfield. You saw the amount of quality Man Utd could call on today. It’s the strongest area in their team by a country mile. Coleman and Stones both looked stoned.

I’m really more concerned about the shots to saves ratio on our own end at this stage though.

Colin Hughes
26 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:12:54
Martinez Out! Can't motivate the team. Should have been chomping at the bit as soon as the whistle went there after a shite derby performance and the opportunity to go above the Mancs with a win.

What do we get instead? A spineless "couldn't be arsed" performance with no leader on or off the pitch. We will be trailing the likes of West Ham and Leicester this season if we stick with what we have got.

Brian Williams
27 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:12:56
That was a poor, lacklustre performance today but it was already a very bad day. I don’t even think a win would have cheered me up to be honest.

Felt numb from the moment I heard the awful news. Probably worse for those of us of a certain age and those of us lucky to have met the great man.

R I P, Howard Kendall.

James Stewart
28 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:13:16
Not the defeat that bothers me, more the manner of it. Pathetic performance from most involved. It was a mistake to restore Stones and Coleman but most would have agreed with it before the game.

Of bigger concern to me was the Mirallas omission. Naismith had an absolute stinker and was rightly hooked but not using Mirallas when 3 down at home is unforgivable.

I have been really trying to warm to Martinez recently but I just can’t seem to do it.

Tony Hill
29 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:14:00
United played well but the atmosphere in the ground was very odd and flat even before they scored. The selection of Lennon and Naismith was always a worry and so it proved.

The continuing and obvious problem is lack of guile and penetration and the Barry/McCarthy axis is not going to provide that. When, as today, Barkley is largely ineffective further forward then we pretty much give up the midfield and the amount of space available to United at times was alarming.

Much to ponder and we could do with something next week.

Ray Said
30 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:23:03
There is a lot to be said for the old way of having to earn your way back into the team and Stones and Coleman should have been on the bench. The lads in possession of the shirts taken by Stones and Coleman had played well and deserved to stay in the team.

Wrong move... as was the selection of Lennon and Naismith. This is the sort of game that wakes you up and you see just how far we are off the top four.

Jim Bennings
31 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:28:47
We lost 3-0 and shamed Howard’s passing.

What really concerns me however is why the hell are we starting so many games so bloody slowly!?

Watford, Barnsley and Reading in the Cups, West Brom away and even the derby game we sat off a Liverpool team in crisis and it has been compounded by this rubbish today.

Its obvious we have no self motivatiors in this team, so it’s down to the manager or Big Duncan to gee them up before kick-off and it seems obvious someone isn’t doing their job well.

Certain teams over the year’s who haven’t needed managerial team talk and they’ve been able to motivate themselves such as Wimbledon’s crazy gang or even Everton teams with big characters in. This current dressing room strikes me as too timid.

Until we learn to motivate ourselves, from the BEGINNING of the match then we look destined for some hard toils and struggles, you can’t keep coming from behind to save games or turn them into wins.

Also for God’s sake, the set-pieces, both defending them and offensively, can we please please work on them? I believe we are the only Premier League team not to score from a set-piece thus far.

We need to get a result at Arsenal next weekend and then get past Norwich in the Cup, failure to do either and you can imagine an air of inevitability and despondency similar to last winter could begin to creep in.

At the end of the day, for all the talk of great starts it has in my opinion only amounted to two good wins versus Southampton and Chelsea and a good last half hour at the Hawthorns, either side of it has been rather frustratingly average.

Steavey Buckley
32 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:29:49
Everton did not get out of the starting blocks and were half a yard off the pace. And Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, and Herrera were making sure Manchester United did not lose a grip of midfield.

Yet, when Manchester United opened the scoring, Rooney had fouled Naismith in the penalty area before the ball fell to Schneiderlin who scored.

Their second came about when Jags was out of position when Herrera scored with a down-warded headed goal.

Their third and the last goal of the match came about when Jags, having a ’mare of a game, gave the ball away and a passed found Rooney who ran on and scored at Howard’s near post. A cardinal sin to be beaten there, which is not the first time Howard that has happened and won’t be the last either.

If players are going to come back tired from international matches they should not play, especially, as Manchester United looked fresher and eager with less players away on international duty.

Ross Edwards
33 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:32:44
Extremely disappointing performance which compounds a very sad day for the club today. We were sloppy in possession, and defensively we were simply shambolic.

You can blame Howard all you like but I think Jagielka had a shocker, one of his worst performances in a long time. The defending was awful.

Why in recent weeks have we started games so sluggishly? Martinez said it's 'uncharacteristic' but it isn't. We fell behind against Watford, Barnsley, WBA, Reading, City, Liverpool and now today.

We got out of jail against the smaller teams, but you simply can't gift sloppy goals against a top 4 side and expect to get away with it. If we start against Arsenal like we did today I dread to think what the score will be.

Deulofeu should be starting every week, Naismith simply isn't good enough, hat trick against Chelsea or not, he's too slow and nearly every attack breaks down whenever it gets to him.

I also don't know why we signed Lennon. He's little better than average, his crossing is poor and offers nothing that we don't already have in the squad. We signed 2 wingers this summer yet he doesn't know how to use them or just leaves them out altogether.

Jim Bennings
34 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:37:11
For real and genuine good starts and done so on limited budgets look no further than the goal machine that is friggin Leicester City, they have been my outstanding team throughout the calender year of 2015.

Then of course West Ham, winning four out of the first five away games at Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Crystal Palace!!

It does kind of put our own so called "great start" into a more realistic category of steady but unspectacular.

Martin Mason
35 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:39:18
The reason I like to see players having to fight their way back into the team after being out is that it maintains the competitive spirit even if sometimes it is unfair. What message does it send to Funes Mori and Browning that however well they play they will lose their place when the fixed members are fit? Liverpool's massive strength when they were successful was that nobody walked into the first team and they never changed a winning side.

We lost today in part because we had two defenders who weren't match ready and this transmitted a weakness to the rest of the team that had actually played very well without the two absent players.

Craig Fletcher
36 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:41:36
Jim Bennings,

"Shamed Howard's passing" is a bit much isn't it?

One football league match somehow doesn't really matter on days like this; so can you please give your usual shite a rest. If we'd have won today I would still have that same opinion.

RIP Howard, thanks for giving us all some wonderful memories.

Jamie Crowley
37 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:41:48
Shit day. Write-off.

I expect one hell of an effort and performance after that crap against Arsenal.

If we can get points against Arsenal we will still have had an awfully decent (ish) start to a season with a horrifically difficult schedule.

Hell of a lot of winnable games in November and December .

Keep the faith.

Tony Hill
38 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:42:39
I think we should acknowledge that days like this can be very difficult for a team because of the emotional stakes. I recall United flopping on a major Munich anniversary and LIverpool struggled last year on the 25th Hillsborough anniversary.

I'm not saying that's an excuse but it will have played some part, along with other factors. I remain broadly positive about where we're heading and the squad development. We all know where we need to strengthen and I think that will happen.

Colin Glassar
39 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:45:08
Have we seen the last of Mirallas in an Everton shirt? Has he and Martinez had a 'Distin moment'? I was expecting him to get a few minutes, at least, today.
Jamie Crowley
40 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:48:27
I expect Super Kev to be off in January Colin. Something tells me all’s not right with him and Bobby.

I hope whatever is going on is resolved. He’s one hell of a player on his day and I’d hate to see him go. My 6-year-old son would be crushed...

But I trust Roberto will do what is right for the collective.

Tony Marsh
41 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:52:47
Howard, Lennon, Naismith. all must be bombed out. Shocking team selection.

Lennon every bit as poor a player I knew he was. Absolutely awful buy. Naismith tries but lacks vision and the touch to play number 10 Role. Howard, now 3 years past his sell-by date, still playing? Martinez needs to wake up and stop with the favourite first shite.

If Kevin Mirallas isn’t better than either Lennon or Naismith then we are in big trouble. Absolutely diabolical team selection and performance. Roberto is turning in to Moyes with each passing week.

Martin Mason
42 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:55:06
I think that Roberto is not the nice guy that he gives the image of and that anybody who crosses him has to go. This isn’t a strength but a massive weakness for a so-called manager.
Jamie Crowley
43 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:58:54
Martin -

If he's not living up to the manager's expectations, then the manager has a right to off-load him.

And the manager therefore does good by the player if he gives him a fresh start where he'll get playing time.

Not a weakness.

Inmates can't run asylums.

Derek Leary
44 Posted 17/10/2015 at 18:59:26
The game was effectively over after 20 minutes and once again highlighted Roberto’s tactical deficiencies.

Our shape was awful when we didn’t have the ball whereas United were slick in possession in the first half and very well organised when not in possession. The manager was unable to change the formation and just went for like for like substitutions.

Watching the usual Duncan drills at half-time with the subs, with a little bit of keep-ball and a few sprints, compared to the United staff with their notebooks out, giving extensive instruction to their on-coming sub, highlights a gulf in management class.

Whilst a fair number of our players had an off day today and can be forgiven for that, the one-dimensional management approach can't.

Colin Glassar
45 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:00:30
Martin, so Fergie, for example, was weak for getting rid of the likes of Beckham, Keane, Van Nistlerooy, Stam, Rooney (almost) etc.....? They were all players who challenged his authority and were given the boot. Any manager who's worth his salt won't take crap from any of his players
Jim Hardin
46 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:02:59
Getting beaten near post is a sin? Yes, if you are on your goal line near the post. Please. please, please tell me how a keeper, left one v one, who did everything right in coming out, and then stopping and staying big until he had to guess, did anything wrong other than guess Rooney would, as most players would do, try to go to the back post where there is more room for error.

Seriously, you anti-Howard people are bordering on sheer delusion. Guess he is also to blame for Everton not scoring too?

Jay Woods
47 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:09:30
3-0 at home to anybody is utterly unacceptable; this is Everton, what the Germans call a "tradition club", not some generations-long institutionally hopeless side like Sunderland.

If I were in the manager, I would have found it hard not to literally slap some of the players after that... Bug Dunc would have been restraining me. Then again, I would not have made that team selection either, starting the game with some guys who are only really any use as impact subs (i.e. Naismith and Lennon).

And as everyone else on the planet knows - except for Martinez - Tim Howard is liability that needs to be replaced at the earliest.

Sam Fitzsimmons
48 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:20:06
Travelled over to the game from Belfast today and to be honest the atmosphere in Goodison was pretty grim. I know the sadness of Howard Kendall’s passing would’ve been felt by everyone associated with the club but instead of galvanizing the fans it felt more like apathy than grief around the ground today.

As for the game, it was a benchmark to see how far we’ve progressed since last season and I have to agree with pretty much all the criticism levelled in regards of team selection, tactics and the level of performance and the quality of some players. It seems we’re nowhere near a club that will be challenging for a top four place. In reality, United didn’t need to get out of third gear for their win today.

Peter Weaver
49 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:20:46
Whilst today's game was literally overshadowed by the sad news of Howard's passing from us, two aspects of our team's performance cannot be ignored.

First, the apparent lack of any plan/drill to deal with set pieces. Whilst the team have developed a wide range of attacking options in open play, there appears to be a totally laissez faire attitude adopted for corners and free kicks. Attacking-wise, we seem to waste more opportunities than any Everton team in memory whilst in defence we seem dilatory and undrilled.

The other outstanding weakness is the continuing evidence of our goalkeeper's declining ability. Failure to effectively handle crosses, a propensity to use feet instead of hands as his major defensive mechanism and his starfish approach in 'one on ones' (as with today's Rooney goal) now makes him a serious handicap to our team attaining any level of consistent success.

Now well into Roberto's third season in office, we have seen much that has been pleasing to the eye as well as great progress of our younger players. It is odd, therefore, that such basics as 'set-piece' drills and the recruitment of a capable goalkeeper have not been addressed.

Craig Fletcher
50 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:21:57

Just a very bad day at the office. As Jamie said, we just need to forget this day quickly and turn up next week.

Not sure what Tim Howard could have done re the goals?..... it was the defending at fault, not the goalkeeper.

Victor Jones
51 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:22:39
Normally after a defeat like that, I would tear into Martinez, because Everton defeats are (in my eyes) usually down to him. His useless team selection (seen it all before); his useless tactics (seen all that before); poor defending (seen that before); useless set-pieces. Headless-chicken performances from a number of players. Poor goalkeeping. Players playing out of position. Just a complete and utter crap Everton performance. And yes you have all , like me, seen it all before.

Now normally I would rant and rave about how useless Martinez is. But today he gets a free pardon. But repeat this nonsense next week, and I will be after him. His management has been poor in recent weeks. One point. Not good enough. It will not take much for this season to turn sour.

This game has gone. And at the end of the day it is just a lost football match. But some how I really expected more from Martinez and Everton today. I guess it was not meant to be.

Mike Price
52 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:28:27
Howard is a total embarrassment to this football club. Massive blind spot for Martinez, or maybe just compelled to play him due to his ludicrous wage, yet still people on here defend the clown.
Clive Rogers
53 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:36:21
Tony (#41),

You are spot on. Lennon should never have been signed. He’s got his last big contract and is not bothered and past his best anyway. A winger who can’t even cross the ball. He can’t lift the ball off the ground.

Naismith is getting pulled every game and dropped for both Everton and Scotland so stop picking him, he’s just not good enough.

Jamie Crowley
54 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:36:57
Tim Howard, no matter how much you believe his skills have declined, is not nor ever has been, an "embarrassment to this football club".

He's been the model professional, has always been up for the fight, and dare I say made some incredible saves through the years.

He's been nothing short of a player that we should be proud of - the way he's conducted himself as an Evertonian.

Oh, and despite the non-stop, over-the-top criticism lately, he's been a pretty good keeper too.

Not everyone in this world has the last name Southall.

File under "you gotta be fuckin kidding me!".

Dave Pritchard
55 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:38:06
For me only Lukaku had a decent game and had so little support. They bossed the midfield where none of our players performed. Very disappointing.
Nicholas Ryan
56 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:42:30
I’m not sure what the question is ..... but the answer is Jack Butland!!!
Colin Glassar
57 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:43:36
I will watch the extended highlights on SNF and make my own mind up. It's sounds dreadful tbh so, can we expect a reaction next week?

Like I said previously, I'm clutching at straws now. We are almost out of our difficult first 10 fixtures, the clubs above us have European football coming, the lads coming back from injury will improve after a few games under their belts, there are still a few more players to come back, no disruptive internationals etc....

We are all down right now but that can't last, can it?

Chris Gould
58 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:44:06
We played poorly today. It happens. It sucks, but it doesn’t mean that Martinez is shit or that Naismith, Lennon are Championship players, blah, blah, blah!!

Every bloody time we lose, a section of fans go into meltdown about how Martinez got it wrong! If he plays the same 11 and stuffs Arsenal next week, with a Naismith brace and a goal from Lennon... what are you going to say?

It’s disappointing of course, but it happens. Sometimes you get out-played, out-thought, and sometimes a usually reliable defender has a stinker (the England match away wouldn’t have helped). Doesn’t mean that everything has gone to shit.

Brent Stephens
59 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:50:51
Nais was on a hiding to nothing. When we have territory and possession, Ross comes into his own. When we’re under the cosh, as today from the start, Ross struggles to add anything going forward and as we know has absolute zilch in defensive contribution. Leaving Nais to cover his own space and that of Ross. People say that Nais and Ross can’t be played in the same team as Nais strays into Ross’s area – I can see why, as he needs to cover for Ross. I felt sorry for Nais when hooked today.

If Ross had been hooked late-on, it would have been a travesty, but not to have been hooked at all was criminal. To replace Lennon with Deulofeu added only marginally to the team overall. Ross should have been hooked for Delboy, and much sooner.

Brent Stephens
60 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:52:58
Very impressed with Rom today. Immense. Always at least two on his back but his strength, ball control and distribution stood out.
Eric Owen
61 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:59:00
I thought I had seen most games Everton played this season and last season but obviously I missed some. What games did I miss seeing when Barkley and McCarthy played well?

Who told Barkley he can take corner kicks? We sure miss Baines.

Is it RM who tells the team not to run very fast as they might get tired? No pace whatsoever in this team!

When I long to see Kone replace Naismith, there must be something wrong?

I thought they were great RM tactics when he subbed Delboy and then told the rest of the team not to pass the ball to him.

Re: Coleman and Stones. I must agree with most contributors on this site... you earn your place; you don’t own it.

My friend’s grandson, a fanatical Evertonian, travelled over this week from Austin, Texas, to see his first live game. ’Nuff said....

Tony Hill
62 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:59:07
I agree, Brent, I thought Lukaku was our best player. Also, our defeat today had nothing to do with Tim Howard.
Colin Williams
63 Posted 17/10/2015 at 19:59:58
We will not have any sort of success with Howard in goal and Naismith in the team... Also, a few more need to be shown the door.

Plus a manager who makes the most idiotic team selections and piss-poor game management decisions. He never learns from them and keep’s making them! I’m fecking sick of saying the same things nearly every week. Unless the chairman grows a pair, we will carry on making the same mistakes..

The guy in charge is not ready or suitable to take this great club forward again. You only have to look at the absolute potential we have within our squad this season!.

How many games have we won at home? Or even away! He keeps making the same excuses and playing the same fecking useless players who are having no effect on our performances.

So many of our games are being played with maybe eight effective players... someone needs to tell the manager this league is very demanding and you need all your players up to speed performing to have any chance of winning a trophy!!!! So we have no fecking chance with this dreamer in charge!!

Unless the guy starts learning from his management and philosophy, get used to being frustrated, pissed-off nearly every week. Until even the chairman can see the guy talks a great game   until Saturday afternoon, when he needs to show his game / team / individual player management.

And the guy looks completely lost in the dug-out and can’t affect a game that needs changing quickly!!

Victor Jones
64 Posted 17/10/2015 at 20:04:03
What the hell... I’ve started, so I’ll just have a little mini rant.

We never seem to play well when Naismith starts. He is always played out of position. Lennon starting seems to unbalance the team. Martinez does not seem to know how to accomdate wingers.

Maybe the answer is not to play two DMFs as well. We need a real midfield general, to spray passes all over the park. Maybe we should cash in on Coleman. He had never been the greatest defender. I think that Browning will become a better defender.

A fit Kone needs to start alongside Lukaku, every game. We need to bring in another forward to provide options. Howard has not been an embarrassment but we need to start looking at other keepers. We are not all wrong about him.

And Martinez needs to get back to winning football matches. When he tinkers, Everton tend to lose. He needs to sort out his best eleven. And stick with them. But we all know that he won’t do that. He has to find places for his favourites.

And we play Arsenal next week. God help us.

Freddy Maldonado
65 Posted 17/10/2015 at 20:11:17
Not sure why people are blaming Tim Howard for this. The ref didn’t hurt us either. Our defense was very poor but we are prone to these games – most defenses are, regardless of the league. I’m not going to throw rocks yet. We need to recoup and win the next one. It is must win now to keep any hope alive for a European spot.

It’s not like I am not upset about losing. But, we were going to lose again this season – the unbeaten streak wasn’t going to last. Rock-up, man-up and get us three points next match.

Christy Ring
66 Posted 17/10/2015 at 20:11:31
We usually play crap after an international break, and today was no different. We made Man Utd look a lot better than they are. We were flat all over the field.

I’m not making excuses, but McCarthy played 2 tough games in 4 days, and looked knackered, Barkley played 2 games, the Jag played on Tuesday and Coleman played his 2nd game in 6 days, after being out for a month.

Having said that, I still think Martinez is too complacent in his team selection. Naismith will never be a No 10, and I don’t know why he won’t play Mirallas in that position beside Lukaku. Gibson came on against WBA, passed the ball well, but wasn’t even on the bench today (unless he’s injured again).

John Aldridge
67 Posted 17/10/2015 at 20:16:33
I’ve never left Goodison before the final whistle......until today.

That was a rotten festering turd of a performance from the players - not one of them put in the effort or showed the talent required to wear the shirt. It was abysmal.

Also I’ve never experienced such a subdued Goodison before, the atmosphere was very strange - even the Gladwys Street was very quiet. Yes it was a sombre day after the sad loss of the legend Howard Kendall, but the two courses of shite served up by the blues did little to lift the spirits.

I can’t put my finger on what went wrong today, it just seemed like 10 strangers on the pitch who have never played together before. I’m hoping for a big improvement as the Arse will tear us a new one if we play like that again.

Bill Gall
68 Posted 17/10/2015 at 20:16:54
What a triple whammy to ruin a weekend.

First, false rumors of a takeover; second, the painful announcement of Howard Kendall's death, and then, to top it off, the performance against Man Utd.

Sometimes it's hard to be an Evertonian.

Sid Logan
69 Posted 17/10/2015 at 20:18:58
Sad day for us all especially for those who remember him as a player who was a joy to watch and as Everton's best ever manager.

I don't however believe for one minute that this affected the performance. What probaly affects the players more Is the team talk from Martinez where he continues, no doubt, to tell them that if they retain possession the goals will come.

If only he had the ability to put some fire in their bellies so that we go at teams right from the start particularly when at home. Instead we seem to play without intent or determination to score an early goal. Goals seem not to be the end product.

We seem to have to be a goal or two down before we get some determination to actually win the game.

A team talk from Martinez must be similar to a self help 'Get a Good Nights Sleep' tape.

Why doesn't he just tell the forward and midfield players (on top of whatever other words he soothes them with) that if they don't have at least three shots on target they won't be picked for the next game.

I still have little faith in Martinez. We beat Chelsea with a hat trick from a player who wasn't even in the starting line up. Against West Brom we had to go 2 goals down before we showed some real purpose and against Liverpool we failed to go for the jugular when they were there for the taking.

Victor Jones
70 Posted 17/10/2015 at 20:22:13
Chris Gould. The fact is, we were stuffed today. And why where Naismith and Lennon playing? Are they really the best we have? Mirallas and Kone on the bench.

And remember that we also failed to beat a poor Liverpool team a few weeks back. And Swansea before that. And we scraped through against Reading. Two great results does not make a season. This was rubbish today. But it was on the cards. Sorry.

As for Naismith and Lennon both scoring against Arsenal. I hope that happens. But not if we play like we have been doing recently. The team and Martinez deserve to be slated. That's football.

Dave Abrahams
71 Posted 17/10/2015 at 20:29:58
Very hard to disagree with John(67) and Sid (69), just so disappointing and again, like last season in so many games; no energy or movement.

I gave Martinez another go this season but up to now, not very impressed. And it is not just because of today’s game; there is a lot more... it’s not looking right to me.

Martinez, despite what some say on here, is too easy-going and doesn't get the team going from the first minute.

He will have to do much better to convince me he will turn things round.

Jim Bennings
73 Posted 17/10/2015 at 20:51:00
It may seem a bit severe for me to say that performance "shamed Howard’s passing" but the performance or rather non-performance did just that.

I can take losing 3-0, I don’t like it but I can take it so long as I see a team of players working their socks off but that today, I’m sorry but it’s not a performance I want to see again, saw too many last season..

I don’t understand too many of Martinez decisions. He hypes up Kone but, after the guy has his best spell of form ,he gets relegated to the bench. Then there is the crazy decision to keep playing Naismith out of position; he has to play just behind Lukaku or nowhere at all.

You can’t play both Barkley and Naismith in the same team on a regular basis. We had enough of square pegs in round holes under Moyes.

Barkley continues to frustrate me. Why does this guy never ever jump for headers? Why does he always seem to challenge or go for tackles at only a half-hearted 10%?

Also, I never ever feel we can score or even threaten at set-pieces... Oh for the Tim Cahill or Fellaini days of guys actually winning headers from the odd time one of our free-kicks or corners actually beats the first man.

All-in-all, a sad bad day.

Sid Logan
74 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:08:08
Jim (#73),

You’ve touched on another point about Martinez’s management: set-pieces. For someone with apparently so much tactical acumen, why are our set pieces so abysmal? No imagination; never anything to surprise; and never a sign that something was rehearsed on the training ground.

My own long-held opinion is that this failure to take advantage of set-pieces and, for that matter, corners, stems from Martinez’s often expressed belief that only goals scored from open play have any true worth. Goals from other avenues are not to be elevated in importance which would presumably exclude any practice of them.

Any manager worth his salt will play as best he can but will also encourage and take goals from whatever opportunity providence offers!

Eric Paul
75 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:11:00
What "great start" are you talking about 1 home win ?
Keith Monaghan
76 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:18:10
The result was bad but it was the performance that was hard to take – effort, passion & urgency were missing from many of ours.

Howard was not the cause of the result – the biggest single factor was the all-too-common lazy and woeful performances in midfield by Barkley & McCarthy. They don’t help the defence at all and give virtually nothing going forwards. McCarthy was great in his 1st season with us, but has been coasting ever since and Ross is a total liability; he must be so frustrating to play with. He has very good skills, but is mainly very ineffective.

MU are not a great side; we made it so easy for them – they won’t have an easier game all season.

Amit Vithlani
77 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:19:52
Martial tore Coleman apart in a worrying repeat of Coleman’s torrid spell last season. Lennon was there to provide cover and once Del boy came on, Martial had a field day vs Seamus. I have no clue what Martinez will do versus the gunners as Sanchez is in the form of his life.

Tactically, Martinez was royally done today by Van Gaal in a role reversal of last season’s game. Man Utd were compact and broke with pace on the wings. They hustled and closed down.

No idea what next for Martinez but this was the most gutless performance against Man Utd for years. Lurking underneath is the laissez faire attitude to big games which was cruelly exposed today.

Liverpool 0-4, Chelsea 3-6, Arsenal 1-4, 4 defeats in 5 against Citteh. 3 wins in 5 against Man Utd but 2 defeats in 3 to Van Gaal. Not a good record developing.

Jim Bennings
78 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:22:16

I believe we are the only Premier League team that’s hadn’t yet scored from a set-piece this season. Does that surprise us?

Well if we were offered the chance of a free bet on which side would be the last one to score from a set-piece, I guess most sane minded Everton fan’s would have bet on it being us.

It's a major part of the game and yet still, just like last season defending set-pieces such as corners is costing us so many goals again.

Down at the other end, we are as useless as ever at trying to eek out a goal from them, it’s either a shocking delivery or, when it is a good delivery, there’s rarely a big Blue head on the end of it.

Martinez is still clearly ignorant towards learning the art of set-pieces at both ends of the pitch.

Ian Riley
79 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:23:45
After a few hours to reflect and being really pissed off... this result was coming.

Against West Brom we were crap for 70 minutes and there defending allowed us to win. Against a poor Liverpool side, we were no better. Our defending this season has been poor and our wins have come against sides out of form: Southampton and Chelsea.

I agree with people saying that walking straight back into the team from injury must affect team morale. Against West Brom and Liverpool, the manager had to change the personnel to get us back into the match. Today, injured players straight in but no Kone who came on in both games and made an impact.

How the hell is Kevin Mirallas on the bench? The club gave him a new contract and he can’t get a game. As a team we struggle to keep clean sheets. As a team, we give soft goals away and today... well, you give a team like Man Utd a 2-0 start, it's good night. I struggle to understand the managers thoughts on players and tactics and I am in no position to question him, but I am confused.

Anyway, let’s put this down to a bad day at the office. Oh crap, Arsenal away next Saturday!

Paul Tran
80 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:24:40
This season we have been difficult to beat. Today we gifted them all three goals. That was the difference.

Coleman and Stones were very rusty, especially with their concentration. Jagielka and Galloway were both poor. Lennon tracked back and was useless going forward. Naismith was just Naismith without goals. Kone has looked good this season; who knows why he didn't start? Barkley had one of those days where he either took two touches too many or ran into blind alleys.

Good to hear Martinez being critical, but I've always noted his views on 'settling into the game' and can't help thinking this rubs off on the players.

I'd like to see Funes Mori and Kone in the team next week And I'd like us to start playing with purpose from kick off.

Jim Bennings
81 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:33:09

Barkley is what was known in the late 80's or early 90's as a fanny merchant.

He has great skills sure but he just doesn't posses the hunger for doing the dirty work nor getting his head in where it hurts, he had a chance early in the second half to attack a good floated cross from Coleman with what seemed set up for a header but tried taking it on his left foot, United defender snuffed it out.

I just wish he'd watch Tim Cahill on old dvds and see the positions he took up and the fact that Cahill put himself about in the defences faces, in other word's he wasn't scared of doing the dirty work if it meant getting an ugly but crucial goal.

I just don't see that in Barkley.
He is our only real attacking central midfielder and should be a hell of a lot closer to the striker but he's too deep and doesn't break sweat enough in attempting to run up beyond the lone striker.

Harold Matthews
82 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:33:14
Don't know how Howard got into this one. We had no idea of how to retain possession and were completely outclassed by a better set of players.

Mata, Herrera, Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, Carrick, Rooney, Martial. Give the ball away to that lot and you're likely to be picking it out of the net.

Eugene Ruane
83 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:43:00
Harold (82) - A simple summing up and one I agree with 100%. Our concentration levels (passing, marking and just... bleeding concentrating) are appalling.
Colin Glassar
84 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:50:30
After watching the game (it’s still on) on SNF, a few things I want to mention;

A) The first goal was a foul by Rooney on Nessie.

B) The second goal was brilliant. Nothing to be ashamed of.

C) Nessie was poor.

D) Lennon put in a defensive shift so I don’t get the criticism.

E) They were quicker, stronger and better than us on the day.

F) De Gea and Smalling were immense and stopped at least three certain goals.

G) Our season isn’t over ffs!! There’s like 90 points still to play for so drop the drama please.

H) Ross is an excellent free-kick taker so leave him alone.

I ) We will get better.

Keith Monaghan
85 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:50:52
Jim – know exactly what you mean. Remember the "missed" header very well. There were luxury players back then & before who had great ability and had a positive impact for their teams even though they wouldn’t do the dirty work - Rodney Marsh, Stan Bowles, Tony Currie, even earlier the Golden Vision.

I sincerely hope Ross proves me wrong, but this season and last he’s put in far too many performances like today’s and he didn’t play as well against Lithuania as the media told us he did.

I wanted him & McCarthy subbed at half-time, but there were no better options on the bench – poor Ossie's time-expired and Pienaar finished(?) by injury. Gibbo a total waste of a pay-packet too (yes, I know he wasn’t on the bench). Have we no hungry young midfielders coming up?

Jon Cox
86 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:55:00
Jamie, (43)

"Inmates can’t run asylums."

They can if they’re inmates at Stonehearst Asylum and Ben Kingsley is the warden. ;-)

Richard Reeves
87 Posted 17/10/2015 at 21:56:02
I wanted Stones back for this game if he was ready but he obviously wasn’t. In hindsight, the only change from the derby game should’ve been Mirallas for Naismith.

The £4 mill for Lennon is well and truly spunked up the wall and no doubt at that price he’ll be here for a good few years preventing someone else from getting into the team.

Today was not a lightbulb moment for me... a bad signing and lack of vision from the manager which we’ll see more of if he gives Kone and Gibson a contract extension.

Roll on the Arsenal game; I’m more confident we’ll do well in that game but I want to see Mirallas and Deulofeu start and I want the team to have real intent from the off.

Roger Helm
88 Posted 17/10/2015 at 22:05:26
I agree Keith, midfield is our big weak area. Barkley forever coughs up possession, McCarthy can run but can't pass, Barrie can pass but can't run, and Pienaar, Osman and Gibson are well past their expiry date. This has to be looked at in the January window.

On the bright side, Stones continues to improve, Kone has returned from his two year absence and Galloway looks a good replacement for Baines.

Colin Hughes
89 Posted 17/10/2015 at 22:10:30
Martinez can’t organise a defence the way Moyes could – for all his failings. How often do we keep a clean sheet? More often than not we concede at least two in a game and never win many 1-0, which was a Moyes’s team strength.

Teams that leak goals will inevitably be looking over their shoulder, especially when you look at how competitive the Premier League is these days. Gone are the days of the so called three mini leagues of top four / European contenders, mid-table safety teams, and then relegation candidates.

We defend as bad as any in this league.

Mike Berry
90 Posted 17/10/2015 at 22:14:18
Tactics at fault. We attacked far too narrow. Naismith had his worst game; McCarthy too was poor. We should not have brought two players back from injury into back 4.

All-in-all, a horrible day. Most important thing is that we have lost one of our legends. Only White Pele left of the Trinity.

Sid Logan
91 Posted 17/10/2015 at 22:14:48
If I could be granted one wish for the way we currently play and will no doubt continue play this season under Martinez would be that we play in all home games from the start with intent and purpose.

Not an intent to retain possession, although the I’ve no problem with that, per se, providing it leads to a result. That result is to score a goal and to score a goal as early as possible in the game.

I know that sounds simplistic but so often last season and this I felt we never actually knew what we were intending to do on the pitch. We pass the ball, then we pass some more but finding someone who believes it’s his job to score is becoming harder each time.

Our purpose of retaining possession seems to lead to a trance like effect where no one thinks it’s time to shoot. I’m sure if we checked the stats we would find Everton have amongst the least shots in goals of any team in the Premier League.

Again, it seems to be down to the Martinez philosophy that possession is king but that goals and winning at all cost is a somewhat primitive aim that should not be allowed to interfere with ’controlling the game’ though possession.

A complete myth, of course, unless you are Barcelona. He just needs to get real this season or say goodbye.

Tony Hill
92 Posted 17/10/2015 at 22:26:47
United were excellent today defensively, as Colin (84) says, and indeed I was impressed by them all round. I don't agree with those who say that we made them look good. They made us look bad to a large extent. Schweinsteiger was top notch and so was Herrera.

That is not to say that we could not have done better, much better, but let's give proper credit to the opposition.

Colin Glassar
94 Posted 17/10/2015 at 22:39:50
Tony, spot on. The Man Utd midfield was superb and totally bossed ours. Like I said, De Gea and Smalling were outstanding and we could still be playing and still not score.

Some days you just have to hold your hands up and admit to be outclassed by a better team. I’m sure we will see a better Everton next week, at least I hope so.

Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 17/10/2015 at 22:49:11
Haven’t read any posts, but feel that the tactics were just not good enough.

If you have no real creativity from the middle of the park, then you must use width. Otherwise play for second balls off the striker, instead of isolating our most effective player.

Not since Ferguson partnered Campbell, have I seen Everton play so many long passes. Where was our identity, Martinez? So poor, I just hope it was part of a very sad day, for everyone connected to Everton FC.

Clive Rogers
96 Posted 17/10/2015 at 23:06:32
Colin (#84),

Lennon is a winger playing at home, so we want to see him going past the fullback and getting crosses in, which is what he can’t do.

David Hallwood
97 Posted 17/10/2015 at 23:08:19
Just finished watching the whole game on Sky and I must admit I don’t know what to make of the performance. The 1st goal fell nicely for Schneiderlin and he said than you very much, the 2nd was a great counter-attacking goal and there’s not a lot you can do about it. We didn’t play well, but we didn’t get hammered; there wasn’t shots raining in on Howard.

The 2nd half we played really well with De Gea and Smalling keeping us out and an awful mistake by Jags done us. But Barry/Macca needs to be broken up. Not enough coming from midfield. Bad(ish) day at the office with, once again a slow pensive start. Can’t do that v the Arse.

Patrick Murphy
98 Posted 17/10/2015 at 23:22:05
I think that Roberto has to look at breaking up the McCarthy/Barry axis and perhaps employ Stones in front of the back four with Jags and Funes Mori taking up the Central defensive roles. I’d much prefer Stones to bring the ball out from the back, for the first time today Galloway looked a little out of his depth, but that is to be expected given his age and hopefully he will bounce back.

Next week is not the sort of game we needed following two disappointing home performances and results, but perhaps there will be more scope for the team to express themselves, given that Arsenal are unlikely to sit back and defend for long periods. Naismith and Lennon cannot possibly be better options than Mirallas or Deulofeu but that’s up to the manager and he’ll have to live or die by such decisions.

There is something lacking in the general make-up of the team and it’s difficult to define what it is. Maybe just a lack of a streetwise player or a talisman but we need something to galvanise the players into action from the first whistle and stop giving the opponents the initiative in almost every game we’ve played this season. It’s time for the team to impose themselves on games rather than being reactive but perhaps that’s asking for too much.

Paul Smith
99 Posted 17/10/2015 at 23:36:32
Outclassed today and the early goals killed it for us.

I understand why Naismith was in there, he’s a grafter; thing is, it was never a dig-in-and-mix-it-up type of game.

Man Utd were ruthless, at one point it looked like they outnumbered us 2:1 with their harrying and work rate.

One thing, I thought Lennon, apart from Rom, was our best player. Barry & Macca were shown up and Ross was busy, but ineffectual by himself.

Colin Malone
100 Posted 17/10/2015 at 23:39:42
Jimmy has got to learn: it's not all about retrieving the ball and passing it square and back. Creativity, Jimmy... you were fucking shit today.
Tony Hill
101 Posted 17/10/2015 at 23:56:21
Patrick (98), you are right that we lack a motivating figure. Apart from his clanger for the third goal, I actually thought Jagielka did well enough today and showed some passion in his play. The problem though is that we lack a figure with real edge and my own hope for that role is Besic who is greatly underrated by too many on here. He could become the heart of our team.

I would play him regularly, once he's fit, instead of Barry or Macca. I am a great fan of the latter but he's not doing it for us at the moment by a long way and that's a concern.

Stones in front of the back four is interesting but he's a central defender in truth. He'll be off either in January or the summer anyway. Funes Mori will have to be patient but he's another one, like Besic, who has serious presence and who I can see driving us forward with confidence over the next few years. Too many lightweights and quiet men at the moment.

Colin Glassar
102 Posted 17/10/2015 at 23:56:26
I think Roberto should be reported to the RSPCEMFP for playing Barry in every game. I like the idea of pushing Stonesy into MF, on occasion, to partner McCarthy or Besic and give Barry a rest.
Jerome Shields
103 Posted 18/10/2015 at 00:15:01
During Moyes's tenure when we had a good result, I would think that the next game was vital to launch any challenge to advance up the table. We repeatedly failed.

Today was a similar vital game and we failed. Everton aren’t going anywhere with this manager.

Victor Jones
104 Posted 17/10/2015 at 00:20:15
Colin (#84). Just as well that Lennon put in a defensive shift. Because Coleman sure as hell did not. Would Browning have been any worse? The trick now for Lennon is to put in a shift going forward.

Naismith should not be starting. I like him, but as an impact sub. Martinez does not know how to accommodate our wingers into the team. Moyes had the right idea with his little pairings all over the pitch. Baines and Pienaar. Coleman and Mirallas. Carsley and Gravesen. I liked Cahill linking up with AJ. And then the Yak. Arteta and everyone ahead of him.

Martinez only has Kone and Lukaku. And only when it suits him. Other combinations are never given time to flourish. Cause our manager cannot resist a tinker.

Sometimes his selections and tactics are just plain daft. Today was one of those days. Outplayed. Yes. But could we have done better? Also yes.

I know that the Barry/McCarthy partnership will not be changed. Martinez would need a crowbar to split those two. But I would love to see Cleverley and Besic (when fit) play in central midfield. Maybe with Gibson. And Barkley just in front of them. Kone and Lukaku up front. No wingers. And those midfielders actually playing in midfield. Not played in an alien position. Just a thought. But nothing will change.

We never seem to get things right. And when we do, Martinez changes everything. I just don’t get what he was trying to do today.

Dick Fearon
105 Posted 17/10/2015 at 00:22:21
Brent @ 59. I agree that criticism of Nais is uncalled for.
His contribution to the cause far outstripped any of the entire backline or McCarthy and Barry.
Victor Jones
106 Posted 18/10/2015 at 00:59:01
Stones won’t be played in midfield. Barry won’t be dropped. And also Baines could maybe slot into a left sided midfield role. He has the talent. But that won’t happen.

Besic could become a midfield general. But that won’t happen. Why? Because our manager has not got enough vision to try anything different.

Those players could adapt to new positions. But Martinez is only interested in shoving everyone out on the wing.

Will we ever see a new holy trinity? No chance under Martinez. That would require vision.

Garry Corgan
108 Posted 18/10/2015 at 03:11:00
Almost every player has come in for criticism at some point in this thread.

As I see it, Man Utd basically mirrored our formation today with a 4-2-3-1 formation; with the three advanced midfielders playing narrow.

Given how poor we were in the first half, going head to head with their world-class midfield, I have no idea why Martinez didn’t attempt to exploit their lack of width by adding some of our own.

A second half midfield of Barry behind Deulofeu, Barkley, McCarthy and Mirallas should have been more effective, especially with Coleman and Galloway on the overlap. Obviously that wouldn’t be McCarthy’s natural position but neither Besic nor Gibson were available.

You can’t always have the better team, so you have to exploit the shortcomings of the opposition. Today we didn’t, and we looked like the away side given Man Utd’s total domination of midfield.

Derek Thomas
109 Posted 18/10/2015 at 03:35:35
It’s tempting to just say "It was a bad news day that got worse, write it off," or in my case shut the laptop, go and do something useful.

But the on-going mistakes / problems / cock-ups etc will still be there on Monday morning and more than likely still be there next week vs Arsenal.

Could be we’ve just gone full circle: all the problems Moyes had to deal with are still here. The Manager may have changed, but in essence we haven’t, we’re just churning out a different flavour of mediocrity 7th-ishness

We still have a nearly manager, albeit with a refusal to see a different set of blind spots, trying to make nearly players, nearly beat the big boys and sometimes he nearly does it.

Jim Hardin
110 Posted 18/10/2015 at 05:19:56
thank you for reinforcing my earlier comment on delusional (idiotic) posts made by people such as yourselves.

Howard an embarrassment really? How? What exactly should he have done to get Naismith to head a freaking ball forward, to get Barry, Stones, and McCarthy to figure out who should be tracking a man, and to stop Jags from passing the ball straight to a Man Utd player when the Everton backline is too far forward to get back? Your comment is either due to intoxication or some long standing malingering mental issue or a deep seated hatred or jealousy of Howard. Either way, stop drinking and go see a shrink.

You, through your comment, are an embarrassment. Perhaps you could replay and watch again the game while sober, or in a straight jacket, and try to assess the blame for the goals where and with whom it should rightly rest even if one or two of them might be your favorite player.

Jamie Crowley
112 Posted 18/10/2015 at 05:28:18
This nonsense about playing Stones at CDM... no, no, no, no!

He’s a Class-A center back.

I realize when we lose it’s natural to think, "what can we do to change this?"

But stop it with the Stones at CDM. He’s a lynch-pin for us in defense.

Maybe he should have been introduced a week from now after he got his sea legs back from an injury...

But stop it with the square pegs in round holes.

He’s our CB. Not a CDM or RB.... a CB.

Thank you, end of.

Paul Ward
113 Posted 18/10/2015 at 06:12:26
The cold hard facts are, we posters should just relax and accept the crap we are seeing most weeks. There will not be any change in players attitudes, team selection, or tactics until Martinez leaves. It is the manager who picks the team and chooses how to play. So after more than 2 years, has anything changed?

If we had a squad of 2nd rate players we could say poor old Martinez, but there are some good footballers here. If he was given an open cheque book he would still persist in playing new guys out of position, so all we can do is moan every week until he has gone.

Mike Price
114 Posted 18/10/2015 at 06:59:11
Jim (#110)

The vast majority of Evertonians think that Howard is a total liability, check other sites as well as this one if you don’t believe me... or the Guardian match report after the 6-3 Chelsea mauling that highlighted how bad and overrated he was, referring to years previous to even that game.

Clearly he wasn’t the main reason we lost today but he didn’t help matters, and he has cost us a ridiculous number of points over his career here and it’s getting worse... He was visibly and statistically THE worst keeper in the Premier League last season. Most are seeing him for the clown he is, only recently, but I have thought him a terrible keeper his entire career. Everything this team has ’achieved’ is despite of him, not because of him.

You clearly have feelings for him, that is your prerogative, but the truth is, he’s a shockingly bad keeper that affects the way our defence plays and the confidence of the entire team.

Les Martin
116 Posted 18/10/2015 at 08:53:33
We did not play our best, we got punished for two mistakes; their defence was excellent, we made their midfield look good too.

But the reason we are not winning games is because we have two deep-lying midfielders in Barry and McCarthy; it's like having four centre halves of which two cannot get up the field quick enough and support our isolated striker.

Joe Foster
117 Posted 18/10/2015 at 08:59:01
Arsenal are probably going to make us look like fools in front of the whole world, live and in HD next week.
James Marshall
118 Posted 18/10/2015 at 10:32:48
Sometimes Martinez gets his tactics wrong, sometimes he gets them right. Yesterday he got them wrong and we were punished.

I also think the players were heavily affected by Howard Kendall passing away hours before kick off, and I for one don't blame them.

It was just a game of football, and I've pretty much forgotten it even happened to be honest.

Clive Lewis
119 Posted 18/10/2015 at 10:48:16
Hopefully it won’t go as far to stop watching Everton, last season was just too much and I started to not bother watching anymore. I turned off late into the second half yesterday.

I feel sorry for the fans who pay so much money and don’t get the entertainment they expect. Now with the new rules regarding digital quality rights we should ask for money back because we just did not turn up.

Ian Jones
120 Posted 18/10/2015 at 11:06:08
I haven’t seen the game yet so cannot comment on the game. Although disappointed by the loss, my main thoughts this weekend are for Howard Kendall’s family and their loss. Although the loss of a match and a much loved person cannot be compared, in relative terms, their loss is much greater than the loss of 3 points yesterday.

Not a great season so far... This year we have already lost Sir Philip Carter, so with the passing of Howard, we surely have two stands we could rename.

James Marshall
121 Posted 18/10/2015 at 11:07:54
I'm a little bit surprised at the reaction on here. The game was secondary yesterday, and although while watching it at times I was screaming at the TV like everyone else (presumably in the ground as well), once it was over I just put it to one side and thought about Howard Kendall.

Some things in life transcend results, and losing one of our most important figures of all time, to me is way more important than any one result.

Apologies if this sounds as though I'm trying to dictate to people what they should talk about, or find important - it's just my feeling on this weekend.

Ian McDowell
122 Posted 18/10/2015 at 11:50:54
I've just seen the goals from yesterday. The first goal is vital and the defence was very sloppy all round. I think we are much better at playing on the break rather than trying to break down a solid defence, hence our best performances this season coming at Saints and Swansea.
David Connor
123 Posted 18/10/2015 at 12:20:17
As I suspect, until we get a major injection of cash, we are a consistent top 10 club, nothing more, nothing less. The board members that we have may be satisfied with that but how can anyone with any ambition be satisfied with mediocrity? Us abused and shit-on fans will never be satisfied with the situation our great club is in.

If BK is serious about selling the club to the right bidder, drop the price, sell up and fucking do one before the likes of West Ham, Southamton and Leicester think they are bigger and better than us.

I dread to think what will happen if we start to lose all our bright young talent which will surely happen with this board in charge of EFC.

Yesterday was a really bad day all round. Start again next Saturday. Show some ambition, Blues, take the game to Arsenal but, above all, show some pride... sadly lacking yesterday.

Bill Gall
125 Posted 18/10/2015 at 14:19:27
Paul (#113). As long as our average gate is around the 38,000 mark, Martinez is here to stay. Personally I do not see any improvement from last season when he had poor performances with the odd couple of good games thrown in to keep the support happy.

A lot of the comments at the start of the season were to give Martinez till Xmas to see how we are playing, and unless things turn around in the marking from corners and free kicks, plus playing formations that only seem successful in one out of every three games, I can't see things getting any better.

We have 13 points from the first 9 games, and while on paper, with some of the teams we had to play, that may look okay, unfortunately we play on grass and out of the 9 games only 2 are games that deserve any praise.

Yesterday was a sad occasion for older supporters like myself who'd seen Howard Kendall both as a player and manager, but the performance from the players representing Everton yesterday was completely unacceptable and it is a reflection on the manager who picks the team to play to his tactics.

Martin Mason
126 Posted 18/10/2015 at 16:57:48
Sorry, my point about crossing the manager and being finished is that Ferguson himself admitted that he had been wrong in most cases to get rid of players just for the transgression of crossing him. Managers should manage these situations not make them personal to the point of players leaving.
Paul Hewitt
127 Posted 18/10/2015 at 18:04:18
We hadn’t lost for 6 games before yesterday. Yes, we where poor.... but let's not go OTT.
Jay Harris
128 Posted 18/10/2015 at 19:29:43
It is very easy to blame individuals but when the whole team play poorly you have to look at the manager.

In the majority of games, we start the first half like a Division 3 side and only come alive when either the players or the manager have worked out how to play the opposition.

This suggests to me that we are either being poorly prepared, or freeze in the headlights, or a combination of the two.

We have won 1 of our last 7 home games. This is totally unacceptable for a squad with our quality.

We stand off the opposition giving them the space to play around us and give the ball away too easily.

We must address our fitness and tactics quickly if we are to remain ambitious for a top 6 place.

Paul Kelly
129 Posted 18/10/2015 at 22:57:26
Let’s face facts, we’ve been poor most of the season but results have glossed over the form.

For every Southampton there’s a Man Utd, for every Swansea there’s a Spurs. I don’t see much difference to last season's performances, we were second best all over that pitch.

I’ll stick with what I said at the beginning of the season, we need a better manger.

Michael Kenrick
130 Posted 19/10/2015 at 03:32:04
Bill (#125), the surprising thing to me is that the average attendance at Goodison Park so far this season, five games in, is an astounding 39,010.

Kudos to the incredibly faithful Blue & White Army.

Charles Cook
131 Posted 19/10/2015 at 06:04:48
Paul Kelly – ’we’ve been poor all season’ isn’t a fact – it’s an opinion.

It’s a highly competitive league in which we’ve been highly competitive, which is what made this particularly shocking to many observers.

On another point, there have been criticisms of Barkley’s set pieces, some of which I accept weren’t good, but there were 4 or 5 beautifully struck and in dangerous areas, and weren’t converted. I really think we need to look at this.

Paul Kelly
132 Posted 19/10/2015 at 07:08:46
Charles Cook, I didn't say "we've been poor all season", fact.

"It’s a highly competitive league in which we ’ve been highly competitive," what?

Charles Cook
133 Posted 19/10/2015 at 07:18:52
In fairness, Paul, you didn’t say that, now I’ve looked again – you said ’most of the season’. What you did do though is state your opinion as though it is fact, as though it is something the rest of us are too stupid or naive to see.

Your second paragraph makes no sense to me at all, Paul.

Chris Gould
134 Posted 19/10/2015 at 07:37:49
Paul (#132), Charles’s comment makes perfect sense. The Premier League is incredibly competitive. On their day, anyone can and will beat anyone. We have been competing well up until this last match.

I do think the internationals took it out of some of our boys. In particular, the Republic of Ireland had a couple of tough matches.

Stones and Coleman have just come back from injury. I said at the time that I wished Jags wasn’t playing for England. I don’t care if he was Captain or not. Cahill was at home recovering.

I expect a better performance against Arsenal.

Dave Pritchard
135 Posted 19/10/2015 at 08:08:28
Jay (#128) has it spot on about us giving them too much space and time on the ball. Something that has been evident in other games this season as well. United did the exact opposite and were in our faces as soon as we got some possession which usually resulted in them regaining the ball.
Trevor Peers
136 Posted 19/10/2015 at 08:21:31
United had players on international duty last week as well, so that can’t be used as an excuse for such a flat performance. Also, they were well beaten by Arsenal 3-0 in their last outing.

They were there for the taking, if we were all fired up and motivated. Sadly, Roberto couldn’t manage to do either.

Ian Jones
137 Posted 19/10/2015 at 09:02:39
I still haven’t seen the match highlights so still can’t make a meaningful comment. However, a few suggest that we gave them far too much space and time on the ball. Is that not what we did last season when we allowed them time up to our penalty area before closing ranks and breaking away to score?

It’s a tactic employed by Martinez in the past to reasonable effect against some of the better teams. This time Man Utd had perhaps sussed it out. But I'm not sure why only the use of 2 subs...

Paul Cherrington
138 Posted 19/10/2015 at 09:12:13
Obviously very sad news about Howard Kendall passing. So the best thing to do in his memory would have been put on a stellar performance and win. I'm not sure he would have been too impressed looking down from above at what the team turned in yesterday.

As already noted, Naismith should not be starting – he is a squad player and a sub at best. When him and Ross play in that three behind Rom, it just doesn’t work out.

I don’t think breaking up what had been a solid defence for the last few weeks was right either. Funes Mori and Browning might not have the reputation or skill of the people who came back but they do seem to have more presence and will to win.

Chris Gould
139 Posted 19/10/2015 at 09:19:19
Trevor, just because they lost 3-0 in their last match does not mean that they were there for the taking. If anything it gave them the opportunity to address some problems. They are a very good side with real quality, and they were always going to bounce back from that loss. Hopefully we can do the same next week.

Yes, every team had players on international break. However, the RoI and Scotland were fighting for their lives. Nobody had to put in the shifts McCarthy did. Naismith also played in both international matches, as did Ross, and they all struggled yesterday. We’ll be better next week. No reason to be too negative.

Paul Kelly
140 Posted 19/10/2015 at 09:51:57
Jesus, get up the wrong side of the bed or something Charles? I think people on here are stupid or naive? No sir, that’s what you think I think, but why stop there, let’s go through some other posts on this thread and and see what some people have stated,

Jay @ 128 says, "We have won 1 of our last 7 home games."

Colin @ 94 says, "The Man Utd midfield was superb and totally bossed ours."

Do I think these people are stupid or naive for pointing this out? No, but you might, could it be they’re just commenting on the game in a discussion forum just the way I have?

Don’t look for something that ain’t there, it could be just something simple like "let’s face facts" is more a common saying than say "let’s face opinions", or maybe I think all ToffeeWebbers are stupid or naive? Maybe it’s both, I’m too stupid or naive to figure it out to be honest and as for my second paragraph I was quoting what you wrote, so if you don’t understand it, what chance have the rest of us got?

Dave Ganley
141 Posted 19/10/2015 at 09:59:57
That was an awful performance, probably as bad as I have seen for a while. Sorry Chris (#139), United are not a very good side, they are average at best. How they are up there near the top of the league is indicative of the poor quality of the Premier League in my opinion.

As for Everton, we haven’t really progressed much from last season. We have had a couple of decent performances against Southampton and Chelsea but not backed that up with anything else. For most other games we have been poor, with the only saving grace that we, at times, have been able to show some fighting qualities and redeem a deficit. However, chasing a game shouldn’t become the norm.

We created next to nothing on Saturday, only finally turning up to play a bit for 20 minutes in the 2nd half and, even then, it was half-hearted. If you can't get yourself up for United at home then when can you show an interest?

That performance probably mirrored the Spurs game at the back end of last season. Players who don't look interested, no game plan, and just humping long balls up to Lukaku who, to be fair did very well but there was absolutely no-one to play off him. Our most creative players are stuck on the bench in Mirallas and Deulofeu, going for workhorses instead of talent.

The team still looks unbalanced in the midfield, although the midfield may as well have not turned up on Saturday for all the good they did. At times there was just a mass of red shirts in the midfield and the blue shirts all hiding.

For all the hype and talk of Ross before the game, he fell flat on his face again. I am not just picking on Ross because most of the team were awful, but while you can forgive the fact that he doesn’t tackle much, you can’t ignore the fact that on several occasions he just shit out of 50/50 balls. No desire to get the ball and help the team get on the attack.

How anyone can go into the Arsenal game next week with any kind of confidence is beyond me. Arsenal destroyed United and United destroyed us.

I’d like to be able to see positives but all I see are negatives. Martinez talks a good game but rarely delivers and he needs to start turning those words into consistent performances. Two good games in the season to date isn’t good enough and if he doesn’t get the boys playing some winning football then he is soon going to encounter the ire of the crowd. Our play was boring and turgid, little difference from last season

Dave Abrahams
142 Posted 19/10/2015 at 10:11:19
Dave (#141), I saw the game and Barkley’s performance the same as yourself.

The biggest disappointment for me was McCarthy’s game, not just Saturday but most of the season. I was one of many who raved on him when he first came in his initial season, and I’m positive he ran with the ball more than he does now.

I think Martinez should let him off his reins and let us see him running at teams and drawing men out rather than standing in an area of a few yards and passing the ball to other players.

If he can’t do better than he has done this season, then I’m sorry, but get rid, he’s neither use nor ornament at the moment and I was one of his biggest fans.

Jim Hardin
144 Posted 19/10/2015 at 17:09:34
Mike, "the vast majority of Everton fans" — They are not represented on this or any other blog site. You have a marked talent for overstating things. That was the whole problem with stating a professional is an embarrassment when the stats for his career show otherwise.

You do know that, using statistics, Howard was in the top five keepers the season before last. In the years before he has been in the top 1/3rd of the keepers in the league. How is that making him a terrible keeper? You point to one year, last year, to generalize his career instead of looking at the years individually.

Did you not see the GKs for Aston Villa, Sunderland, Newcastle, and Norwich this weekend? I could, using your analysis, say any of them are the worst goal keepers ever based upon one game but would it be fair, accurate, or just a gross overstatement?

You claim Howard costs the team points (too many to count apparently) because you believe he is to blame for every goal. I bet you agreed with those who claimed he should have stopped a penalty shot last season despite the odds favoring the kick taker. I won’t call your hatred of Howard obsessive just an embarrassment and leave it at that.

Jay Wood
146 Posted 19/10/2015 at 17:37:05
Jim Bennings (#31 & #73),

Two days on and still numb with grief at the loss of Howard Kendall, I admit to not being too attentive as I skim read through recent posts.

So when I read your opening line at #31: "We lost 3-0 and shamed Howard’s passing", I naively but honestly thought it was a badly constructed sentence, alluding to Tim Howard’s poor distribution in the game.

But then when you followed up at #73 with "It may seem a bit severe for me to say that performance "shamed Howard’s passing" but the performance or rather non-performance did just that" it clicked with me:

"OMG! He’s making some perverse juxtaposition of a bad performance with HK’s death!!!"

So Jim, your repeated comment is not merely "a bit severe," IMHO it is crass ... puerile ... contemptible. It is the view of a very pinched heart and mind. It’s a comment that shames you.

I suggest you read the David France thread that embraces a wider more generous view on HK’s passing than the trite, objectionable one you offer.

Or am I being too ... what’s the word..? Ah, yes.


Mark Riding
148 Posted 19/10/2015 at 17:53:00
Jay, no idea what juxtaposition means, but the rest of your post is bang on.
Raymond Fox
149 Posted 19/10/2015 at 19:57:37
Typical and expected reaction to a defeat by some. We are ahead of the number of points after 9 games that I had estimated, 8 or 9 was my conclusion!

Some are still sniping at the manager, even after a decent start. Yes we have a good team with some young players who should become even better as time goes on, but how many of our team at this time would start for a top 4 side?

We are 3-4+ players costing £100 to £150m short of a top side yet, and we still have the same old problem of hanging on to our best young players.

Robert Elliott
150 Posted 19/10/2015 at 20:04:51
On a totally unrelated subject, I am bringing my 5-year-old son up to Goodison for the Norwich League Cup game. It's his first ever football match and he’s very much looking forward to it, although he was a little disappointed when I told him he wouldn’t actually get a game himself!

I haven’t driven to Goodison myself for years, I’ve always got the train up. Just wondering where the best places to park the car are? I’m told there is matchday parking in Stanley Park but not sure if that is the case for evening matches? Any help would be much appreciated!

Ian McDowell
151 Posted 19/10/2015 at 20:18:40
Played 22 Won 8 Drawn 7 Lost 7 Points 31 is our record from the last 22 games at Goodison which is bang average. We have to improve on this or we can forget hopes of finishing in the top 8 even.
George McKane
152 Posted 19/10/2015 at 20:36:53
Robert, drive onto Westminster Road. There is a big pub car park called The Elm Tree. £5, then cross the road to The Barlow Arms and have a soft drink and walk up to the game.

Safe journey.

Robert Elliott
153 Posted 19/10/2015 at 20:44:16
Thanks George, much appreciated.
Tony Abrahams
154 Posted 19/10/2015 at 22:10:37
Where are you travelling from, Robert?
Sean Kelly
155 Posted 19/10/2015 at 22:56:01
Dave (#142), I like you am very disappointed with Macca this season. I think it’s down to instructions from Martinez though.

When he played for the RoI recently against Germany, he had a blinder. Whelan was missing and Macca was the main holding midfielder. He couldn’t hide.

I reckon he hides behind more senior players like Barry. He needs to be given the main role as I think there is a proper player in there.

Trapattoni may be right; he’s very quiet and shy for a midfielder. If Martinez lets him off his leash, he may shine. He did against Germany.

Dave Abrahams
156 Posted 19/10/2015 at 23:03:35
Sean (156) I hope you are right about McCarthy and I also think he is playing under Martinez’s instructions. He is certainly not playing the way he was when he first came.
Robert Elliott
157 Posted 19/10/2015 at 23:08:17
Up from the Midlands, Tony.
Bill Gall
158 Posted 19/10/2015 at 23:09:12
Michael (#130) I believe we had the same reaction to the average gate figures after such a poor performance last season.

As you say, Kudos to the faithful blue and white army. Complain? Yes; support? Definitely.

Jack Woods
159 Posted 20/10/2015 at 03:54:28
Criminal "effort" from Barry gifted them that second goal, he’s barely able to manage a casual, slow jog while Herrera makes a forward run and gets on the end of it.
Paul Cherrington
160 Posted 20/10/2015 at 08:48:12
I think starting McCarthy as the one and only holding midfielder in the team is a great idea. Go back to the good old 4-1-4-1 like we used to have with Carsley holding. If the player is good enough (and I think Macca is), it doesn’t need two people to do the job.

We could then have Barkley and someone like Cleverley in the middle of the four in front of him and two proper wingers (Mirallas and Deulofeu for me) either side with Rom up top.

Dave Ganley
161 Posted 20/10/2015 at 09:45:58
I see where you're coming from, Raymond (#149); however, the style of play (barring the Chelsea and Southampton games) has been pretty dull. I appreciate we haven't got the best squad in the league but Saturday was woeful. No heart or passion and the midfield just disappeared.

We have managed to accumulate more points than expected but for most games we just don't seem to put in any kind of effort till we are behind and there are only so many times we will come back from a deficit. So long as we see progress on the field in how we play then most fans will be happy but alas, there isn't much improvement on last season and that's concerning.

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