From My Seat: Man Utd (H)

A lousy day all round with the news of Howard then that display that makes me think that after such performances fans should have the ticket price repaid!

Ken Buckley 17/10/2015 82comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 0 - 3 Manchester United

It was a dark sombre atmosphere in the Room of Nonsense as we took in the news of Howard Kendalls passing. Stories abounded from those that either knew him or had met him at charity bashes. The upshot was he was regarded by all as the manager that took us to the heights and but for a bit of trouble at a game involving our cousins from across the park would suerly have sealed our BIG club status to this very day. Also everyone regarded him as great bloke who always had time to talk to fans.

It was only yesterday I was reading his column in the Echo making todays news harder to take also it emerged that as late as last night he was with Snods at a charity do and at the end was heard to tell Snods he would see him for the game today. R.I.P Howard.

The teams were beamed through and with Coleman and Stones deemed fit plus Lennon and Naismith getting starts some of us wondered if too many changes were being made to face a side smarting after a bit of a mauling at the Emirates. We were to get our answer. The walk up was one of being slightly quiet but wall to wall fans snaking along Spellow Lane and Goodison Road a sure sign of a full house as the official attendance of 39,553 confirmed. I walked passed floral tributes that had been left in memory of Howard and into the ground in time to welcome the teams. There was to be a minutes applause in memory of the great man which stretched to about two minutes as it started well before the ref blew his whistle for the official single minute. The man was well liked around these parts you see.

The game started and a stat came to mind that Rooney hadnt scored an away goal for some eleven months. You just know some things dont you!! For fifteen minutes mainly sparring took place with United looking the more likely as Everton played almost stuff with things like Barry playing McCarthy forward but he ran it out of play, Naismith gave Lukaku a sniff but De Gea was fast out and took the ball from the toes of Lukaku, Naismith fouled on the edge but Lukakus free kick hit the wall and deflected for a corner which Barkley swung in but the ref spotted a foul and United cleared via the free kick.

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I thought now that we were starting to play too much across the back line looking for a break but United had closed all roads so too often the outcome was a punt up to Lukaku and to be fair the big man really fought for them and held them up but all too often support was never near enough for us to get excited. United were attacking more now seemingly sensing we had little to offer going forward and Herrera hit one with power that Howard did well to tip over. From the resultant corner just before the 20min mark we could only muster a half clearance with no one rushing to close down Schniederlin seemed just to stroll onto the ball and arrow one passed Howard. We were getting very sloppy in our play now and some four minutes later it was no real surprise when from an attacking foray United won the ball and played down their left with one pass to their player who was criminally in acres of space and put in a first time cross to the beckoning Herrera who met it and had little difficulty in heading beyond Howard leaving us 2-0 down and many of us forecasting game over.

We didnt have to be too bright to forecast that as the rest of the half would show. United were now in containing mode and happy to sit back and wait for the chance of a break which at times was agony to watch as we passed and passed across the back then when a break was made United seemed to have little difficulty in mopping up and coming at us. Coleman was being given a going over by Martial who was dangerous on their left wing but the Irishman did manage a run and cross that Lukaku beat De Gea to the ball but only red shirts were near enough to the incident and the ball was cleared. It was funny watching De Gea falling in a heap on the ground after Lukaku had beaten him. The ref told him to get up.

To round off the half we did attack a little more but could not muster any meaningful shot on target. We did have less than competent defending before the end of the half when defenders stopped to claim Rooney offside, he wasnt and the Croxteth lad but Martial in on goal but he wasted a bit too much time and Stones and Howard between them managed to bundle the ball from him. Barkley finally had a good shot on target but De Gea pushed it away and that was that with most Blues glad of some respite.

H/T and the chat was all about how poor that first half was with Lukaku looking the only player up for the game. No matter what plaudits had been aired in the week this was dire. What Howard would have thought I dont know?

Second half and Kone had replaced the out of sorts Naismith. I did wonder considering our woeful first half and United looking streets ahead of us in all aspects if a triple change and go for it might have been the better option. For a short while we did look more up for it as Lukaku almost profited with a header at the near post then Kone went on a powerful mazy one and exchanged passes with Lukaku but miss-hit his shot to accompanying groans. We had upped the tempo and Coleman got down the right and put a very good cross across goal that had Barkley racing onto it but it just evaded him. Many thought he should have thrown himself at it or tried the diving header.

The half was looking better as we gained a couple of free kicks the second of which saw a pile-driver from Lukaku stopped on the line by the leg of De Gea. At last Barkley got a free kick right as he arced it in and just a glance would have scored but no one was rushing in and the keeper palmed away and two follow up shots were both blocked by well-placed defenders. Less than twenty minutes of the second half gone and we are at last looking more interested but a goal was desperately needed so in true Everton fashion we contrive to put the game out of reach ourselves when after another period of keep-ball across the back Jags at last strides out of defence but plants his measured pass right to an opponent who put Rooney in and his eleven month wait for an away goal is served up on a plate as he strides toward Howard sits him down and nets.

That really was game over with still half an hour to play. Fair play the Blues tried to peg away but with only Lukaku looking like a man who was performing like you expect all our players to perform in these circumstances we were always ending up short. About a quarter of an hour to go and the manager subs off Lennon and sends on Deulofeu but United were comfortable now and managing the game to its conclusion. Fans were now leaving in droves with the Park End leading the way and by the time Barkley had struck a wicked free kick dipping toward goal the confident De Gea merely waved it over. At the other end Martial was still giving Coleman the run around outpaced him and came in along the goal line but it was Howard to the rescue who won a foot tackle to avert another goal.

Fellaini came on for a cameo and immediately Jags went through him with a strong tackle, looked like our skipper was a frustrated soul. The board went up with 3 extra minutes and there was quite a groan from those who were actually left in the ground to witness it. Final whistle and we all shuffled away in bemusement at such a luke-warm effort and the thought of a trip to the Emirates next week to face a team that beat United good style seems the stuff of nightmares at the moment.

MotM: Lukaku

A lousy day all round with the news of Howard then that display that makes me think that after such performances fans should have the ticket price repaid!

Still, no two games are the same so heres hoping.


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Reader Comments (82)

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Andrew Presly
1 Posted 18/10/2015 at 02:30:30
Ken, I love you... but Lukaku MOTM?

It’s a day to give thanks but it wasn’t a fitting tribute.

Mark Andersson
2 Posted 18/10/2015 at 04:08:05
Great read as always. We had more than a bad day, worrying is that was last season’s form.

Lukaku played well... like he was on a mission to get a big money move.

Jim Hardin
3 Posted 18/10/2015 at 04:21:09
Great report as always. I agree that Lukaku was MotM. He held the ball up and seemed the only field player until Kone came on that looked up for it.

I wonder if Roberto had too much time to think about this game? I think that if this game were last weekend while the film of what Arsenal did to them was fresh that the lineup and game would have been radically different.

Somehow it seems Roberto convinced himself with all the time off that yes tika taka can work and possession and slow build-up will work. I wonder if he drinks when he makes his decisions because at least that would be an excuse.

Dave Pritchard
4 Posted 18/10/2015 at 08:03:43
Andrew (#1) Lukaku was far and away our MotM. He was lacking support all afternoon but continued to work hard and it was good to see him using his physical strength in the same way he did against Liverpool.
Jim Bennings
5 Posted 18/10/2015 at 08:56:43
Lukaku is too often left isolated, we offer little support to whoever is the loan striker, compared to other sides who get forward in cohesion, we look a pale imitation.

Sadly I expect more of the same next week.

Andy Codling
6 Posted 18/10/2015 at 09:10:38
Naismith was like a Sunday League player and should be embarrassed by that performance as should Seamus Coleman. Again we reverted to tippy tippy pass pass pass pass pass along the back four as there is little movement off the ball up the park.

Hopefully just a bad day all round!

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 18/10/2015 at 09:11:10
It hasn’t been mentioned too often but our home form over the last 18 months has rapidly deteriorated.

We have won just 5 league games at Goodison Park since last December, that’s an appalling return considering our home form was always the bedrock of our stability.

It's something Martinez needs to quickly sort out because we now have home games on the horizon that we need to be winning but too often last season we failed in.

Our last 7 games at Goodison reads won 1, drew 2 and lost 4. That needs sorting out very very quickly.

Matt Traynor
8 Posted 18/10/2015 at 09:51:34
Jim (#5)

"we offer little support to whoever is the loan striker"

You’ve been an Everton fan too long sir!

Peter Weaver
9 Posted 18/10/2015 at 10:18:49
Well spotted, Jim @ 7 above. The irony is that during that time, home attendances have been at a continual high!

Even when there were signs of disquiet in the crowd last season, the folks kept turning up and, at one point, got credit for influencing the manager to water down the 'tippy tappy' stuff.

But it's said that those who travel away make more noise than those of us whose viewing is restricted to Goodison Park. So are we the ones to blame? Or is the abysmal home record due to the manager's failure to inspire or just his players' incompetence?

Jim Bennings
10 Posted 18/10/2015 at 10:21:39
True Matt!!

Very observant for Sunday morning..

Well let's be honest we may have a loan striker in January so I could be right eh?

Laurie Hartley
11 Posted 18/10/2015 at 10:25:12
Thanks for your report, Ken. It must have taken a lot of grit and determination to get on the keyboard after that performance.

Lukaku’s improved form and commitment was the only real plus I could take out of the game.

Brent Stephens
12 Posted 18/10/2015 at 10:42:16
Lukaku superb for us. Unfortunately very little support.

Man Utd so often overloaded the wide spaces and moved the ball fast to those areas. Effectively bypassing Barry and McCarthy, and with Naismith also drawn inside to try to do two men’s jobs by covering for Barkley. By the time our DMs are moving wide to chase the game there, Man Utd’s fast and accurate passing had brought the game back into the middle with Barry and Macca now in no-man’s land.

Barkley is a great talent when on song but a defensive liability. When off-song he’s a total liability as he was giving nothing going forward yesterday as well as nothing defensively. Why not just leave him further forward closer to Rom and feeding to / off Rom, and occupying the attention of one of their men instead of Ross trying (hopelessly) to chase down one of their men?

Alan Thompson
13 Posted 18/10/2015 at 10:47:07
I sometimes think Martinez bottles it against some clubs by thinking he’ll get more defensively out of Naismith and Lennon rather than the more attacking Deulofeu and Mirallas. Give the opposition something more to think about and creative outlets other than Barkley.

He should also look at how Man Utd, who were not overly impressive, move more off the ball than we do when in possession. We seem to stagnate passing from one stationary player to another. And for the life of me, I cannot see what McCarthy (what were his possession stats?) brings to the team. And the number of times players left the opposition players they had been marking only to see them run into space and take a pass. Oh for a Colin Harvey or Peter Reid in that midfield.

And Lukaku most certainly was our MotM.

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 18/10/2015 at 11:00:59
I don’t actually think we had a Man of the Match yesterday; Lukaku battled more than others but performances as bad as yesterday’s deserve no credit at all. We need to become more critical – it’s the only way the team can get better. They can be in too much of a comfort zone and brush bad seasons or individual displays under the carpet.

It was a collective shambles yesterday with no work ethic, no attacking cohesion, defensive instability and a pure lack of voices and leadership.

With Arsenal away next weekend followed by a very important League Cup match at what is becoming a new bogey ground, our own Goodison Park, then we must be working immensely over the next week on our apparent weaknesses and make certain that we are near faultless by next Saturday in North London.

Trevor Peers
15 Posted 18/10/2015 at 11:18:51
Our home record could be Roberto's undoing unless he manages to lift some silverware this season.

Every now and then we do batter someone at home e.g. the Chelsea game, but overall we are slow and predictable and totally uninspiring. I feel for the supporters we deserve a lot better.

Eddie Dunn
16 Posted 18/10/2015 at 11:49:57
Generally a very sad day for all of us. I would have expected the team to want to really put on a show in the circumstances, and the lack of fight (Lukaku and Kone excepted) was unforgivable. I put this down to the manager, who once again picked a team to stay in the game, rather than win it.

We have found ourselves behind so many times already this season, despite this defensive strategy, that you would think that Martinez would have learnt his lesson by now.

The selection of Coleman was a mistake, and it is not just because of his poor play yesterday, but his poor play before his injury. The lad is not just rusty, he is defensively poor and has gone backwards under the current set-up.

I have never seen Naismith quite that bad, and Barkley should be told to pass the ball early, instead of waiting... running... waiting... and passing backwards having run out of options.

I could go on, but it is too depressing... except to say that watching Leicester, with the wonderful Vardy, and West Ham with Payet, reminds me that teams can play with verve, accuracy and pace.

Arsenal away is the perfect place to play on the counter. Will we go there to hit them on the break with Geri and Kev on the wings?No; we will go there with Kone in for Naismith (perhaps) and start with Lennon. We will go two down by the break, bring on Naismith for Kone (or vice-versa), wait until we are 3 down to bring on Geri/Kev for Lennon.

Dick Fearon
17 Posted 18/10/2015 at 12:16:16
A bit surprised little has been mentioned about Rooney’s ’celebration’ of his goal. In the midst of joyful team mates he was quite sombre while gazing toward the heavens with his hands forming a triangle. That is an old religious symbol that signifies the Holy Trinity.

Bless you, Wayne, for that sign of respect to an earlier great Evertonian.

Brian Harrison
18 Posted 18/10/2015 at 12:18:03
I find watching Everton these days is really hard work, the football is so unexciting no wonder most home games are watched in silence. I have never been a fan of RM and find our style more akin to watching a chess match than watching something that I can get excited about.

If the press are to be believed, we have some of the most sought-after players, so why are we playing such awful football with an array of talented players?

Yesterday, United were quicker, passed the ball better, and more importantly seemed to know what style they were playing.To often when we eventually get in and around our opponents box, we seem to have little or no idea what to do next.

We don't seem to encourage too many players to make runs into the box and for most of the game yesterday Lukaku was isolated. We didn't have anybody within 15 yards of him when he got the ball.
I think we could have dropped out of the top 10 when we next play at Goodison then the pressure will really be on RM.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 18/10/2015 at 12:21:42
Another good report, Ken, on such a sad day, made even sadder with such a pitiful performance.

Martinez will be the author of his own misfortune with these team selections and insipid meek attacking plans, just not good enough and if he isn’t told by someone in the club that if he doesn’t change his tactics then he will have to be changed himself.

Personally I think he is incapable of change, and we, the supporters, are the ones who are suffering. There are decent players in the squad, they are just not being utilised in the proper way.

John Hughes
21 Posted 18/10/2015 at 12:33:29
I too, like Dick Fearon (17), noticed the Wayne Rooney reaction after his goal.
Andrew Presly
22 Posted 18/10/2015 at 13:03:23
The Rooney celebration is something to do with his wife's ill or dead cousin. There was no tribute to HK or the Holy Trinity, he was an opposition player scoring against us, that's it.

Respect everyone's opinions on here but all I saw from Rom was him getting shackled by Chris Smalling and diving around once realising that was the case. Galloway the only one who showed anything from that lot yesterday. Depressing.

Steve Brown
23 Posted 18/10/2015 at 13:08:09
Andrew, Rooney was very respectful of Howard's passing away and sent condolences from himself and his family. So fair play to him whatever the context for his goal celebration.

On the great man himself, there is a great video of Howard singing My Way on the Echo live stream. Brought a tear to my eye I'm happy to admit. What a man, a true legend.

John Raftery
24 Posted 18/10/2015 at 13:15:56
Our team played as individuals while United’s players played as a genuine team. Frequently there were three or four red shirts within a short passing range of the player in possession while those in blue were often left isolated with no option other than to pass sideways or backwards.

United worked far harder throughout the game. Too many of our players were strolling around and looked to be suffering from swollen heads following their international appearances.

One of the hallmarks of Howard Kendall’s great team of the eighties was their ability to get hold of the game from the very first minute. Our current squad too often allow the early minutes to drift by. Little wonder we are subsequently having to chase games. These slow starts contribute to the generally subdued atmosphere at home games.

After that truly abysmal performance, if Mirallas does not get a start at The Emirates, I think it is safe to assume he has no future at our club and will be sold in January. Given our lack of attacking flair yesterday and in the previous game, his continued exclusion is inexplicable.

Kunal Desai
25 Posted 18/10/2015 at 13:23:49
Goodison once used to be a fortress now it’s a soft touch and no opposition fears coming here and playing for a draw. How many games have the fans left in droves? It really just isn’t acceptable and the flaws of last season are still there.

A similar finish to last season is on the cards and at the end of the season Martinez should also be relieved of his duties.

Andrew Presly
26 Posted 18/10/2015 at 13:27:33
Appreciate that, Steve. Rooney is one of us, EFC born and bred, but it does boggle my mind how he can live with scoring against us for that bunch of tossers and yesterday of all days. I’m not looking to revisit any of it but it will never sit right or make sense to me.
Dave Pritchard
27 Posted 18/10/2015 at 13:41:51
Van Gaal out-thought Martinez. His team changes worked perfectly whereas our tactics were totally ineffective. The slight improvement after half-time was not enough and more subs should have been made at half-time to take them (Man Utd) by surprise.
Tony Hill
29 Posted 18/10/2015 at 13:52:46
Galloway had a fairly weak game yesterday, as we can expect of a young player from time to time. Even yesterday, though, he showed his wonderful promise when he brushed aside Mata and then put in a fast, dangerous cross.

He's a fantastic prospect and we need to find a way of getting him forward much more, rather than leaving him exposed in acres of space and constantly worrying about the threat behind him.

Jay Harris
30 Posted 18/10/2015 at 13:53:24
Great report as always, Ken.

What I can't understand is why we have such poor first halves in every game which the manager is aware of and yet seems unwilling or incapable of doing something about it.

With hindsight we can criticise the team selection but the starting 11 was what many of us would have picked.

I think it is unfair to critcise Barkley as everyone around him was poor and he had no outlet.

He does seem to play better with Kone and Deulofeu and like others I can't understand how Mirallas is left out of this team.

Clive Rogers
31 Posted 18/10/2015 at 13:57:07
That was a truly worrying performance devoid of inspiration and ideas.

What is most concerning is that, when we do get on top and push forward, we rarely create chances. We seem to pressurise the opposition and hope something will give. The second half against Liverpool, when we were well on top, is an example. We actually created better chances in the first half when they were in the ascendancy.

Other areas of concern: Howard is giving up the ghost in some situations, like Rooney's goal where he went to ground before he shot. Also Ings’s header. Barry seems to go slower every week and his passing game is deteriorating. None of our wingers seems to be the right fit. Lennon wants to concentrate on covering and Deulofeu gives the ball away far too easily. Mirallas is out of favour.

We are more desperate than ever for the No 10 we were promised in the summer.

Eugene Ruane
32 Posted 18/10/2015 at 14:14:27
Just a couple of general observations.

One ’pattern’ that appears to be emerging is the total lack of any pattern.

And the lack of any consistent form (pattern) means before each game (no matter who the opposition) my thoughts are ’well fuck knows how this is going to go’.

Last season we did so much wrong that you had an idea how games/results would go, the season before we got a lot right and again it gave you an idea of what to expect.

This season, it’s like watching a side that has it’s collective memory wiped after each game (same with the manager).

One thing I believe (maybe because I remember football before Sky) is that you only drop players if they are playing badly.

This policy of ’yeah he’s played well but the senior pro is fit again so..’ is a flawed model (imo) for two reasons.

1) If you drop players who are playing well, there’s a very good chance they’ll think ’fuck this!’ and become (quickly) disillusioned.

2) Where is the incentive for players to work hard and impress if they’re going to get back into the side no matter what?

Paul Tran
33 Posted 18/10/2015 at 14:31:43
Jay, there's a few reasons why Mirallas doesn't get a game. He's frequently injured, rarely lasts a game, plays only when he wants to, frequently tells the world he is 'unhappy', or 'looking for a Champions League club', has a propensity for spiteful, nasty challenges and flouted the manager/team rules regarding a penalty that he missed.

It's quite ironic that some people on here (not you, Jay) keep going on about Martinez being a weak manager, then criticise him for not playing one that does all the above. Before anyone starts, I think the Stones and Lukaku situations are different as they both consistently perform.

I'm pretty sure that Martinez would like to see the back of Mirallas, as soon as a 'suitable' club for his talents comes in.

If we could find a way of getting rid of deadwood like Mirallas, McGeady, Pienaar, and Gibson, perhaps we could buy some attacking players who are fit, willing and consistent.

One of the things that frustrated me about the previous manager was his fondness for players who could fit in many roles without excelling in any of them. Martinez is little different up to now. This must change.

Jim Bennings
34 Posted 18/10/2015 at 14:38:20
Time and time again I’ve said this before and I’ll doubtlessly say it again.

If Martinez truly wants to create a new "Barcelona mini-me" with all this tippy tappy stuff then he should focus on the one main strength that is often overlooked on what made that fantastic Barcelona team so successful..

It’s relentless work ethic when the team did NOT have possession. They worked so so hard and pressed really high up the pitch, not just one man but they hunted down the opponents defence in packs like hungry wolves as if to say "How dare you have our ball, we are taking it back".

Guardiola made his Barcelona team super fit men that could play 90 minutes of endless tempo, and as much as I hate to admit, Jurgen Klopp was a master of it at Dortmund.

Can we, hand on heart say Martinez has worked effortlessly on getting this team super fit?

Do we look as fit as clubs like Leicester, who always seem to play the game so pumped up at 100 mph?

Denis Richardson
35 Posted 18/10/2015 at 14:43:34
Jay 30 – I have to say the starting 11 is not what I would have chosen. I would have neither Naismith or Lennon in the starting 11, especially not at home. (I would never have signed Lennon in the first place.)

Mirallas, despite what some may think of him, is still our most attack-minded midfielder next to Barkley. He’s proven himself every season that he’ll create and score goals if given a chance and his omission from the side is very odd. If there’s been a falling-out with the manager, why offer him a new (improved) contract and then keep him?

We can go on about players and team selections but as long as Martinez is in charge, nothing is really going to change. Players are not picked on merit but on seniority and/or favouritism. As soon as Baines is fit, he’ll walk into the team regardless how good Galloway is playing. Just like Coleman and Stones. Howard, Barry, McCarthy etc seem to be undroppable.

Fact is an attacking midfield three of Naismith, Barkley and Lennon puts far too much responsibility on Barkley to create something. Then we have the usual issues with the Barry/McCarthy axis and then half the defence walking back into the team fresh from injuries. Schoolboy errors and tactics pretty much all over the park from our esteemed manager.

The Southampton and Chelsea results are beginning to look more like freak results. Granted people will point to the tough start and the fact we’ve only lost 2 out of the first 9 (likely to be 3 out of the first 10). But we’ll plod along and finish somewhere between 8th and 12th, playing turgid stuff most of the time. I can’t see us getting anywhere near 6th this season tbh. We’re just not good enough at home and only seem to be able to play when we can play on the break – ie, won’t be good at home.

Before people come out with the usual money issues, explain to me how the likes of West Ham, Palace and Leicester manage to play the game with pace and crisp passing?

Clive Rogers
37 Posted 18/10/2015 at 14:53:24

Good post.
Although I think we will be lower than you estimate. There's a tough time coming up imo.

Jay Harris
38 Posted 18/10/2015 at 15:03:43

I understand and agree with what you say about Mirallas but if you have someone with his talent and penchant for scoring you manage it rather than take the easy option and get rid. If I was Mirallas I would be pissed off.

The manager persuades you to sign a new contract telling you you are one of his most important players then totally ignores you.

As we saw yesterday with Stones and Coleman who were both off the pace, players need regular game time to stay at their best

Paul Tran
39 Posted 18/10/2015 at 15:13:46
Fair point, Jay. I’ve just got the impression Martinez is finished with Mirallas and is saying the nice stuff to maintain his sale value.

He’s some player on his day; just doesn’t have his day very often. Martinez prefers Lennon, who tracks back better and I’m afraid that sums our manager up for me.

James Stewart
40 Posted 18/10/2015 at 15:16:19
Good report and spot on with thinking we should have made a triple change at half time. That would have given the place a lift and who knows what might have happened.

Mirallas should have started. We are so weak down the left side now it is untrue. Whenever Galloway got it there was literally no-one in front of him. Shocking. As soon as I saw the line-up yesterday I feared the worst. Reeked of fear, similar to Moyes at his worst.

Comparisons to the likes of Leicester and even West Ham are wide of the mark, they have some exceptionally quick players and don’t continually faff about with the ball. Quick, direct and exciting, hardly often on display at Goodison. I made a point of watching Lukaku closely yesterday and he looked furious for the most part and I don’t blame him.

John Raftery
41 Posted 18/10/2015 at 15:21:43
If Martinez really has written off Mirallas, it mystifies me why he still picks him for the bench.
Tony Marsh
42 Posted 18/10/2015 at 15:34:03
From the moment the Spanish Moyes gave us his team selection, we were doomed. Lennon and Naismith in the same side is a joke. I don't know why we signed Lennon and kept Naismith? We could've bought a decent £12M player with those funds. I used to think Martinez was a breath of fresh air but he is as stale as Davey Moyes and twice as annoying.

Why must Roberto tamper and tinker with a winning side when rotation isn't required? Say goodbye to Stones and Ross in January and who can blame them with this clown in charge. Naismith and Lennon ahead of Mirallas and Deulofeu??? Do me a favour.

Ian Riley
43 Posted 18/10/2015 at 15:44:44
Our work rate when we don’t have the ball has always been a problem. Successful teams put in a shift and win the battle. We as a team do neither. At home, away teams have a chance because we play one up front. Away from home, it can work because we can counter attack but at home we must take the game to the away side.

At times the manager talks about settling into the game. No, this gives the opposition confidence and a chance to take the lead. Everton are near the top of the league for coming from behind. If we started as we finished games we might go in at half time leading!

I fear that the manager does not believe in winning the battle in football games. Successful teams, Man Utd, Bayern, Barcelona, and Juventus fight for the ball and play their own game. No team wins with pure football!

After watching the game yesterday, Man Utd were far better in every department but we've got to work harder to stop that. Unless the manager starts reflecting on this aspect and selecting players that aid this then mid table is all we can expect.

Trevor Peers
44 Posted 18/10/2015 at 16:05:35
When you look at last seasons fixtures in the Premier League, the results are remarkably similar over the first 9 games, with 3 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses, compared to this season’s 3 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses.

The big worry is that the rot will set in around November and December as it did last season, when we went on a disastrous run of 3 wins, 7 draws and 9 losses, against largely inferior opposition, very similar to the situation in this season’s fixtures.

We only managed to pull out of the downtrend in March and April when we won 5 out of 6 games, and avoid a relegation scrap.... Hopefully history isn’t about to repeat itself?

Peter Cummings
45 Posted 18/10/2015 at 16:27:19
This performance was an insult to the memory, not only of our greatest manager but of all our past ’Greats’.

While the fans packed Goodison to the rafters in their thousands in Howard's memory, expecting our players to show their own respect, they instead got a repeat of last season's dire events, which we hoped were over.

Far from the return of Stones and Coleman reinforcing a hitherto impregnable defence, the opposite was the case with Barkley being a main culprit showing why he was criticised by a certain ex-coach last week. However he was far from alone, with most of the team having nightmare games, including ’Mr Reliabilty’ Jagielka.

United they were; united we weren’t... awful passing, criminal defending, little communication and even less effort, except when it was too late after gifting United all three goals.

A really sad day all round, even for us Evertonian Expats who won’t be able see off our beloved Howie, God Bless Him.

Andy Mack
46 Posted 18/10/2015 at 16:27:26
Good wrap-up of the game. A game after finding about Kendall just before kick off I stopped giving a hoot about, but watched anyway. It was obvious as soon as the quick one, then two up from Man Utd, we were stuffed and we were not up for a fight.

I’m not sure where we go now, as we’ve got mid-table painted all over us. Despite having some of the best players we’ve ever had for years and a great result every now and then, we never go on a great run under Martinez. Is fitness an issue and the amount of players we have who are only able to put in 50 mins or so per game?

Sometimes there seems to be an unassailable gulf between us and the top four, sometimes it seems we are a hair’s width away. Very frustrating.

As a side note, I was also under the impression Rooney was looking to the sky in appreciation and respect to of Howard Kendall. Didn’t he convince Wayne not to pack the whole football thing in back when he was still in our youth teams?

Jim Bennings
47 Posted 18/10/2015 at 16:30:04
In other words Trevor we only play when the expectations and pressure is off, as you say April onwards thus luring many gullible fans into a false sense of security and optimism for the next season.

We have known for years that Everton don't cope great when expectations are high.

Peter Weaver
50 Posted 18/10/2015 at 17:19:52
I can see Chelsea and Them overtaking us fairly quickly and Leicester probably imploding by Christmas. Thus setting up a battle in the New Year to remain in the top half.

Whilst that should be good enough to secure RM's job, it falls a long way short of what this group of players should achieve. But no doubt we will be told that's the best we can expect 'given the circumstances'.

Jim Bennings
51 Posted 18/10/2015 at 17:28:27
Watching Norwich today I’d be hugely disappointed if we fail to capitalize on their woeful defence a week on Tuesday then I truly do give up.

To give that Wijnaldum his due, he looks a better player than being stuck at Newcastle and he would have been a good signing, he’s scored the type of goals today that I want to see Barkley score more.

Geoff Evans
52 Posted 18/10/2015 at 18:19:03
No intensity.
Martin Mason
53 Posted 18/10/2015 at 18:37:46
It was quite a disappointment for me because I feel it showed us more what we can’t yet achieve rather than what we thought we could; it put us firmly in our place as a side who won’t be able to make the step up to the top tier. Manchester United were effectively a league above us and the exceptional Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger and the underrated Herrera totally dominated us.

What I saw on our side was a defensive midfield pairing that can’t and never will be able to compete against this class of opposition. Either Barry or McCarthy could probably manage with a far better partner but, as a pairing, their limitations were exposed as they always are against the best in the Premier League.

Lennon is a great lad but not a top-tier player and very limited in what he has to offer. Seamus Coleman is totally out of his depth at Premier League level at the moment. Naismith on his day is exceptional but he doesn’t have many days now and seems to offer poor value as a starting player. Stones and Coleman should have been blooded in gradually and Funes Mori and Browning given at least a bit of respect for their excellent work in their absence.

Lukaku was magnificent in massive adversity and I can see him being of massive interest to Man Utd for whom his genuine talent could give 25 goals a season. I agree that he was our MotM yesterday.

I’m very sorry to see that Kone, who had made a great comeback from injury and who was adding real value as a link between a weak midfield and Lukaku seems to have been dropped and that our one quality midfielder, Gibson, wasn’t even in the squad (injured?); both would add some much needed class to the journeymen we have in place.

There’s the chance that it was just a bad day at the office and, once 2-0 down, we did start to play well but only because they eased off; we can’t just go down 2-0 before we start playing and I believe that it shows an inherent weakness in the team and tactics. So, perhaps another false dawn and a display of what is an unbalanced side with defensive frailty even with 2 unashamedly defensive MFs. I won’t jump on the "Kick Howard" nor the "Martinez Out" bandwagons; these are early days yet and we have done reasonably well out of the start from hell.

What I’ll say is that my positivity pendulum has swung back into more realistic territory and I see at best 7th or 8th. Liverpool under Klopp are likely to improve, Chelsea will stabilise and we’ll have a lot of competition for the 6th, 7th and 8th positions by end of season. We can’t take finishing ahead of even Palace or Stoke for granted now and our club motto can’t change that when faced with reality.

I’m serious about Lukaku btw, he was exceptional yesterday... and if I was a top 4 manager, I’d pay whatever it took to get him. £28M was a snip. He needs Kone to play though to get the best from him in an otherwise fairly brittle Everton side.

Tony Marsh
55 Posted 18/10/2015 at 19:27:04
Martin. @ 53

Man Utd at present are only an average side as was shown at Arsenal last weekend. Martinez handed this game on a plate with his ultra lame team selection. Our manager thinks we can go toe to toe with Man Utd playing with both Lennon and Naismith in the side thus rendering us to 9 men. Both these players are truly woeful.

Don’t look at how good Man Utd were, rather than how shit our manager is. Martinez is slowly becoming a turnip of coarse coach just like Moyes was. Once Roberto feared no sides we played; now, he shits himself. The derby game was a carbon copy of yesterday.

Peter Weaver
56 Posted 18/10/2015 at 19:27:11
Martin, I have yet to meet any matchgoing Evertonians who EXPECT to see us finish better than your '6th, 7th or 8th' by the end of the season. Indeed, I think most of us would see it as a godsend.

Of course, it's OK to want for more but I, for one, will consider RM as doing a good job if he gets us back to 'Moyes Level'.

Jay Harris
57 Posted 18/10/2015 at 19:34:30

Given the amount of financial backing Martinez has had, we should be far more ambitious than to get to "Moyes" level and I for one will only be happy when we get into the top 4 on a regular basis.

I honestly cannot see this happening under Martinez because of the manager’s tactical limitations and philosophy on fitness.

Peter Weaver
58 Posted 18/10/2015 at 19:48:48
That's HOPE, Jay, and no one can deny us that. But EXPECTING it from ANY manager of our club at this time is just not realistic.

Maybe, just maybe, RM will surprise us!

Martin Mason
59 Posted 18/10/2015 at 20:03:14
Peter, I think that is realistic but some fans expect more as of right.
Steavey Buckley
60 Posted 18/10/2015 at 20:16:07
Do Everton players really believe they can just turn up without putting in a performance against the likes of Manchester United? If they do believe that, they should thank their lucky stars Alex Ferguson is not the manager of Everton FC, because there would be no second time for them, which happened too often last season for some of them to be still playing for the blue half of Liverpool.
Patrick Murphy
61 Posted 18/10/2015 at 20:18:59
Yesterday’s coverage on one of the channels opened the show with:

Everton Aspirations 2016 - CL football
United Aspirations 2016 - Title winners.

Let there be no doubt that a CL place is the highest we can aim for, or should be aiming for, but what the performances against Liverpool and Manchester United have showed us, is that even European football could be out of our reach – unless we happen to lift the FA or League Cup.

That is not what I expected this season, because we at least on paper have a decent squad of players and some would argue the best squad of players Everton have had since the Premier League began.

The problem is, we don’t seem to be able to mould a team of eleven players out of that squad, that can perform consistently well; we can’t even seem to find a pattern of play that is recognisable from one game to the next. I don’t know what RM thinks but it frustrates the life out of me, and possibly the manager should take responsibility for some of that with his own search for the best fit and finding the players to fit that pattern.

If someone who hadn’t seen us play, were to ask me what style do Everton play, I would struggle to answer; sometimes it’s passing for passing's sake; sometimes it’s a big lump up to an isolated forward; and generally it’s becoming bogged down in a forest of defenders with experienced players looking lost and confused on too many occasions.

Yesterday was the first time we have been punished this season, for the way we play, but it wasn’t the first time we have played that way, and unfortunately I suspect it won’t be the last time either. Over to you, Roberto, it's time to find a solution to Everton’s identity crisis.

Andy Crooks
62 Posted 18/10/2015 at 20:35:28
I agree, Martin # 59. The selection of the two holding midfielders is negative, slows the tempo of our play and limits creativity. It also, it seems to me, indicates a total lack of faith in our defence.

Our financial limitations are irrelevant unless we are achieving the best with what we've got. If our coach is innovative with a discernible plan, if there is urgency and belief about our play, then, we can lament our financial situation. In my view, what we have is a coach intent on safety. A coach with the ulimate brief to retain our status.

United were at their best yesterday, we were nowhere near it. We cannot be on top form every game but there should never be any drop in attitude and effort. There seems to me to be a lack of motivation and that is unacceptable. We now fail to turn up too often.

Sean McCarthy
63 Posted 18/10/2015 at 20:37:46
Dick (#17) and John (#21), sorry to disappoint but while it was respectful of Rooney not to overdo his goal celebration, I think this was more to do with the reaction he got at Duncan’s testimonial rather than anything else.

As for the hand gesture towards the skies, he’s been doing that since his nan died and not for any other "holy trinity".

Dick Fearon
64 Posted 18/10/2015 at 21:00:08
Thank you, Ken, and for his willingness to make a solo battle against one of the toughest back lines in the League I agree with your MotM.

Coleman abdicated his defensive duties for their first goal, as did Galloway for the second. Both of those players barely received a jot of criticism while Naismith, who was one of the few to match United in spirit, was castigated.

Jags was due one shocker; let's hope that was his. McCarthy and Barry were miles off the pace and in total that was a game to forget.
Tony Abrahams
65 Posted 18/10/2015 at 21:44:48
It was strange, Dick, but I thought Naismith’s endeavour worked against himself yesterday. He was having a shocker with the ball, but he never hid once.

Have to agree with Tony Marsh, regarding our manager. Tactics, and formations have got to change quickly; why don’t we go for it anymore?

Why have wingers if you don’t want to play them? And why isolate your centre-forward if you are going to keep playing it long?

You have got the players, Roberto, so it’s time you got them playing. Otherwise, it’s no use you remaining in charge.

Ray Robinson
66 Posted 18/10/2015 at 21:55:41
How bad were Barkley's dead ball efforts yesterday? I was so proud of him playing for England but as frustrated as hell with him yesterday! Do I have to just accept this because occasionally he will do something extra special or should I expect more?
Sam Hoare
67 Posted 18/10/2015 at 22:08:46
I don't particularly dislike Martinez but I'm not sure how much faith I have in him. I really believe we have a really strong group of players and would really like to see what another manager, who is truly committed to pressing, pace and movement, could get out of them.

Happy to give RM to Xmas but if he cannot get us playing with more spirit, togetherness and dynamism then I'd be quite up for discussing some new candidates.

Ross Edwards
68 Posted 18/10/2015 at 22:38:53
We have a top 6 team, no doubt about that. We are certainly better than Southampton, I definitely think we’re a better side at the moment than Spurs and Liverpool, which will probably change once Klopp’s ideas are fully implemented, so in my view at least, top 6 is a minimum requirement this season.

We have no European football, whereas the Red Shite and Spurs do and like Sam says, we have a strong team with a lot of talent, so anything less than top 6 is a failure for Martinez this season. I’d also love us to win a trophy, the League Cup being our best chance, so I will be extremely disappointed if we bottle it against Norwich next week.

Top 6 minimum. Anything below is a failure and a sign that Martinez isn’t taking us any further forward than Moyes. 

Ian Bennett
69 Posted 18/10/2015 at 22:39:04
"Not at the races" should have been the headline, as Roberto plays it safe (again).

Lennon has never convinced in the big games, and anyone else from Gerry, Kone, or Mirallas had to be a better option. Lennon offers endeavour, but his final ball is poor and you can see why Spurs were happy to let him go.

Naismith is a willing runner who deserved his chance after that hat-trick, but he has been poor in games since. Martinez got this one wrong for me by playing it too conservative – again. Both would have been hooked at half-time by me, as the second half wasn’t much better than the first. The only highlight being that the United Number 1 is a keeper of top class. Little to do, but keeps them out when it matters.

Individual errors cost us again, which followed a lot of last season. Howard beaten very easily for the third, following Jags giving the ball away. Failure to clear the lines for the first, whilst the second was caused by Stones covering a clearly under pressure/not fully fit Coleman – with Galloway failing to offer the cover.

Another big concern was Ross. He’s a tank of a player, but is so reluctant to get stuck in, it is costing us a lot of goals. He’s a special player, but we can’t carry him with his refusal to engage on anything physical – be it attacking crosses, or giving Naismith a hand for the first, ditto WBA. Keeping him away from our penalty box seems the only option.

Jim Bennings
70 Posted 18/10/2015 at 23:14:06

To answer your question over Barkley.

Yes mate you are entitled to expect more. He’s got the skills has Ross but I just feel he has too many matches on the peripheral.

I said earlier in this thread that the goals Wijnaldum scored today are the type I would love to see Barkley get more of, or at least get in the positions to score... but he never does. He had the chance yesterday at 0-2 early in the second half to go in with his head but he just doesn’t seem to enjoy the physical side enough. He goes in to every challenge both in the air and on the ground at only 10 percent in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong here, he’ll score some gorgeous strikes all the way but for me there’s so much more that we could get from this guy if only he had a tad more aggression and fire in his belly, much in the Tim Cahill mould.

Jim Hardin
71 Posted 19/10/2015 at 01:18:52

I know you don’t like Mirallas but haven’t you twisted some of your facts? Mirallas said once he wanted to play CL football in the future. How is that frequently? He signed a new contract and said he was happy.

Also, if your are right that he has said he wants to leave frequently, why are you not slagging off Naismith, who said he might have to leave to keep his place for the Scotland team?. Same for Stones who actually put in a transfer request? Just curious why Martinez should be rightfully upset at Mirallas but not bench the other two also?

Harold Matthews
72 Posted 19/10/2015 at 01:44:06
Yes, Ken, thanks to the Stones / Jags tippy tappy stuff at the back, all roads were well and truly blocked. We gave them the time. We even gave them the ball.

True, Eddie. Barkley, one of my favourite players, is slowly starting to get on my nerves. Too many times he brings everything to a dead stop by hovering and trying to dribble instead of moving things quickly.

Usually I’m quite happy with our security force of Barry and McCarthy but Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin made them look stagnant and out of date. Schweinsteiger especially impressed. His number 31 seemed to be everywhere. Heading, tackling, creative passing, leadership. The type of player we are missing.

Finally, as pointed out by Eugene. We have no pattern of play. Never mind a Plan B. Where’s the Plan A? Passing the ball endlessly across the back as if to say, "What do we do next?"

Arsenal on the horizon and they’ll hit us for six if we give them the ball. We can also hit them if we close down quick and go full blast. Scoring the first goal will be vital.

Andrew Clare
73 Posted 19/10/2015 at 08:21:14
Harold, Schweinstieger is one of the great players of the modern era and in a totally different class to the other 21 players on the pitch. I’m afraid Barry and Mccarthy are just journeyman players in comparison.

I didn’t see the game but it sounds like we weren’t prepared properly. Standards have to be set higher if we are to go anywhere.

Jim Bennings
74 Posted 19/10/2015 at 10:23:04
Agreed, it was an absolute pleasure to watch Schweinstieger on Saturday, the guy is everything that we could only dare to dream about in our static midfield.

Barry and McCarthy have faded from the force they were during Martinez’s first season here, they are no longer good at protecting the defence nor controlling matches like they did two years ago.

In front of them it’s a toss up between Naismith or Barkley as to who plays behind Lukaku but yet again, neither of these two offer enough in the way of creation, or consistently getting close to the striker. If you asked me, I’d say Naismith is the better goal getter; even though Barkley is smoother, he doesn’t do enough to regularly hurt opponents in various ways.

The wide players can only be of use if they are crossing the ball to some blue shirts in the box, if there’s nobody willing to commit then it’s pointless having wide players putting crosses over anyway!

All-in-all, we look like a team that will frequently frustrate this season due to an overall lack of cohesion going forward coupled with a disjointed lack of unity and leadership when defending as a team.

Tom Bowers
75 Posted 19/10/2015 at 13:25:27
No doubt about the poor performance... it is scary considering the fact that Manure were demolished by the Gunners, that Everton lost this one 3-0 thanks to bad defence.

Everton looked off right from the start and some sloppy passing by Barkley seemed to be indicative of what was to come. Everton do not pass the ball well and will be vulnerable in the next game against the resurgent Gunners so Martinez needs to change things fast if they want something out of that game.

This spell of games against Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal was always going to be a big test and so far, with two of them home games, they have been a big disappointment.

One hopes the Man Utd game was a blip but winning at Goodison seems to be a big problem these days.

Rob Hooton
76 Posted 19/10/2015 at 13:37:08
There was just not enough energy or effort, compounded by the fact that most of the team also played really badly... FFS, part of your job is to ’run around a lot’ and if you can’t do that then piss off somewhere else!

Where were the goals supposed to come from? I did not want Lennon to return and his display on Saturday showed how poor he is against any half-decent opposition. He’s never had any end product and his best days in an Everton shirt are already behind him; waste of money.

I didn’t really care about the match on Saturday that much anyway; I was just so sad that HK had gone. Back in the mix next week please, COYB!

Martin Mason
77 Posted 19/10/2015 at 19:59:44

I share your opinion of Martinez, I rate him as an incompetent chancer but live in hope of him showing me up which, every now and again, happens, such as Chelsea and Southampton.

I agree completely that his selection and tactics against United were incompetent and naive. As you say, Lennon and Naismith have no place in a team to compete against United and I believe that we will always be limited as long as we play the two we do in defensive midfield. One is a great player but tragically too slow and one has energy and little else and that isn’t enough to get into a Champions League position.

Arsenal have a great midfield/defence and are held back by not having a world class striker who could see them win the Champions League. I cannot understand why they don’t test us with a bid for Lukaku but my bet is that one will come soon.

I see Man Utd as possibly slightly better than you do. Even allowing for the Arsenal result, they are improving and are only a defender and a good striker away from being a top side again. Their midfield on Saturday was very good; Smalling has become a very good player and it may be that a resurgent Jones will be the defender that they need whereas Danny Blind will never be. On another day, we would have been closer and we may do better than them at Arsenal (whilst going down).

I despair after Saturday as my hometown, Northwich, is almost South Manchester now and Man United territory. Our result against them is more important for me than against Liverpool. That performance on Saturday was not good enough, even allowing for the £150 million-a-year gap in spending power, they humiliated us.

Jim Bennings
78 Posted 19/10/2015 at 22:17:06
A lot of unnecessary slating of Aaron Lennon here in my opinion. He didn’t have a great game, not helped by the erratic Seamus Coleman mind you, but he did forge our best chance with a fine cut back that resulted in Lukaku forcing a decent save from De Gea.
Dave Abrahams
79 Posted 19/10/2015 at 22:54:26
Jim (#78), I’d go further than that, Jim; I thought Lennon had a good game. He did as much as anyone except Lukaku to get Everton going and did not deserve to be substituted. There were at least four or five players who could have been replaced before him.
Ciaran Duff
80 Posted 19/10/2015 at 23:57:11
My view is that RM expected that Man Utd would come and attack us a bit more (as you would expect from the top 4 teams). However, LVG decided to play a far more defensive game and basically did to us what we did to Chelsea and Soton (sit back, keep compact and hit on the counter).

We lacked the creativity to break them down in the first half and the task in the second half was too big. In retrospect, starting Naismith and Lennon was a mistake as it gave us little flexibility.

I think Kone was a better option (than either one) as he can provide more attacking options while still helping out defensively. Later on, we can bring on Deulofeu (Mirallas in the future).

Jim Bennings
81 Posted 20/10/2015 at 08:03:23
Agreed Dave!

The way we blatantly refuse to commit men into the penalty area means our style just doesn’t help wingers anyway, so you cross the ball well, well who’s on the end of them?

We generally have Lukaku and maybe if we are lucky one other, either Kone or Naismith in there, but you always have Barkley 20-25 yards too far out and, well, McCarthy and Barry barely see past the halfway line.

Paul Cherrington
82 Posted 20/10/2015 at 09:03:08
You’re right, Jim, we don’t get enough in the box when we are attacking. With our formation, we should have the main striker, two of the three behind him (cos the other one is crossing it), and maybe if you’re feeling brave, one of the DMs too (leaving the other to mind the shop).
Sam Morrison
83 Posted 20/10/2015 at 10:08:53
Well, having made it to Goodison for the first time in 8 years, and only the second time ever, I was hoping the lads would put on a bit more of a show, especially as my 7-year-old was with me.

I’d told him to watch Naismith’s constant movement (he wanted a Naismith shirt after the Chelsea hat-trick) but unfortunately it wasn’t one of Steven’s better days. Or Barkley’s. Or Barry’s. And so on. Kind of gutting really!

And next time we’ll do the family enclosure — I’ll say no more except 99.99% of the crowd didn’t freak my son out the way one particular dickhead did.

Dave Pritchard
84 Posted 20/10/2015 at 10:17:47
Sam, it is an unfortunate situation that taking a young child to a game can lead to awkwardness when in close proximity to a moron. I suppose that is why they have the family enclosure. It is a shame though.

My lads are older now and on a different issue I was disappointed at paying out £94 for me and one of them to watch that dire display.

Steavey Buckley
85 Posted 20/10/2015 at 11:18:32
There are players who go away on international duty who just don’t get it,: playing for Everton is far more important than playing for an international team from time to time. That is the main reason why Everton lost to Manchester United.

Players gave their all for their countries, but forget about playing one of the most important games of the season against United. And this was not the first time this has happened when players came back to Goodison from playing for their countries, but forget how important the next Premier League match is.

And the results always prove that players were not at their best. Martinez has to speak to these players, especially, to McCarthy, Coleman, Gibson and Besic, who will be shortly playing in two legged play-offs for a place in next year’s European finals.

Sam Morrison
86 Posted 20/10/2015 at 12:22:14
Dave @84 yep it is a shame. I knew we weren't going into a coffee-house but I think the fact the performance was so flat led to the majority in glum silence which amplified a certain foamy-mouthed person. At least it led to chat about managing your frustrations!

I was doubly disappointed as I thought the sad news about Kendall might have inspired the players to put in a performance to remember.

At no time was I thinking "this United side are pretty tasty" either. We were just so flat, and made silly errors.

Paul Tran
87 Posted 20/10/2015 at 18:20:25
Jim, this season Stones has played well, Lukaku has scored goals. Neither of them are playing like players who want to leave. Naismith always puts in a shift, even though he isn't good enough. Can't speak for Martinez, but that's why I'm fine with those three players.

I think the relationship between Martinez and Mirallas has gone. On that basis I don't think he has a future with us. So I'd rather the budget went on someone who has one.

Like Deufelou, Mirallas gets more popular on here when he doesn't play. When he does, we remember why he frustrates us.

Harold Matthews
89 Posted 21/10/2015 at 11:08:30
Jim / Dave. Spot on. Lennon had a decent game. Worked his socks off, won the ball with sheer pace and was one of our better players. Some people just don't like the lad. Can't understand why. Their complaints sound like an old gramaphone record with the needle stuck. Headless chicken, no end product etc. They didn't want him here in the first place and will always criticize his performances. Luckily, Martinez knows more about football than they do.

I see they didn't have a go at Deulofeu who came on and did the vanishing trick.

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