Howard beaten by simple headers

Everton were better than last week but they still had Howard in goal and two unclaimed crosses meant two goals in two minutes before the break. A deflected goal off a determined strike from Barkley kept the Blues in with a chance but they couldn't do it despite a somewhat better second-half display.

Michael Kenrick 24/10/2015 187comments  |  Jump to last

Mirallas hadn't started a League game since the opening day against Watford and had to be content with a place on the bench
Arsenal 2 - 0 Everton

Roberto Martinez predictably stuck with his two defensive midfielders against in-form Arsenal for the late afternoon televised kick-off game, with Cleverley on the bench. Gerard Deulofeu gets a start, however, with Mirallas and Naismith also on the bench.

Everton kicked off in increasingly wet conditions and had good possession; Deulofeu put in his first cross, straight to an Arsenal defender. He soon had another chance, taking the ball to the bye-line: goal-kick. But early passing by both sides was poor, with plenty of turnovers. Coquelin overhit his first cross and Everton showed much better pace, building through middle.

Everton were looking already far better than last week in the early exchanges, but needed to take more care in possession, Jags putting Galloway in trouble and gifting Arsenal their first corner that Giroud got his head on, but wide (off a defender. McCarthy was deemed to be overly aggressive when he won the ball back as Arsenal advanced down their left

The turnovers continued, and another corner to Arsenal, off a block, Cazorla's delivery headed over by Gabriel this time. Arsenal were ominously mounting more of the attacks, Galloway tacking superbly but another forward play from defense ending at Arsenal feet, and they were attacking again, Bellerin's greta cross cleared by Stones for another corner, the pressure relieved only through a foul by Ozil.

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Lukaku did well on the long ball but Coleman was easily outpaced by Sanchez and a long switch ball had Stones and Jags in knots, Howard's legs saving a certain goal in the chaotic afters. A rare spell of Everton possession in the Arsenal half stalled hopelessly in midfield, then Deulofeu could not get past Monreal.

The pendulum was swinging increasingly Arsenal's way despite gifted balls, such as to Barkley, being wasted by backward passing as the Blues looked increasingly awestruck with The Gunners increasingly slick passing and movement. And it needed an excellent challenge from Jagielka to stop Koscielny, at the expense of yet another corner that Gabriel again headed wide.

Barry's long ball to Lukaku was delayed and left the big man isolated. Coquelin slid in too hard on Galloway and was booked. From a throw-in, Galloway surrounded by four Arsenal players but it led to a slightly better attack, Galloway wining the first Everton corner and an awkward chance came too quickly for Stones who could not direct it goalwards.

Everton's old problem though, shown again with pointless passing at the back, Barry looking up and floating a ball straight to a red shirt. Lennon blocked Alexis and gave away a free-kick that Koscielny almost got his head to. Alexis then fired a snapshot well beyond the Everton goal

Barkley and Lukaku were too often facing the Everton goal and playing the ball backward, but eventually it got to Deulofeu who tried to dribble in through the middle but found his path blocked. AT the other end, Ozil dodged inside and floated in a nice cross for Howard to come for and pluck out of the air but Giroud was better placed to glance the ball over him for the dreaded opening goal.

Seconds later, it was 2-0, almost identical in reflection from the other side and a free-kick, this cross even closer for Howard but it went in off Koscielny's head. Two flaps from Howard: two goals down... sad.

Everton responded a little, Galloway and then Deulofeu getting into the Arsenal area but no end result, Everton hardly even having a shot at goal in the first half until a good quick break by Deulofeu and an excellent pass to Barkley who drove on and shot, picking up a nice deflection off Gabriel's leg to beat Cech.

Deulofeu looked to be getting free and making space but felt the restraint of an outstretched Arsenal arm and collapsed a little too easily in a heap, but nothing from referee Lee Mason, who ended the half.

Arsenal resumed and Alexis almost threatened coming around the blind side. Everton looked to break with Deulofeu down the left this time but the ball hit him on the back of the legs. Galloway did well to defend but Jagielka, following through, got his foot kicked and it opened up his knee joint, down and screaming for attention. Funes Mori eventually replaced him.

An excellent play by Deulofeu was utterly spoilt by Barkley and Arsenal were off to the races, Howard saving with his feet for a corner. Everton repeatedly won turnovers but repeatedly failed to retain possession as the game built for the crucial fourth goal, Howard stopping a smart shot from Giroud for another corner.Giroud was then inches from converting off a great cross.

Past the hour and still no sign of Mirallas with Deulofeu still running at Arsenal with no end product, Barkley getting stymied. Lennon had been poor but remained on the field; Ozil got off a shot that Howard held. Barry picked up his customary booking; still no Mirallas to turn the game. Barkley had a snapshot at Petr Cech. At the other end Giroud smacked the crossbar. and at least 10 minutes late, Lennon finally got the hook for Mirallas.

Lukaku put in a meaty cross that seemed set for Barkley but it was intercepted. Cech came out confidently to catch the corner, with Lukaku limping a little. Everton were having their best spell of possession ending with a great McCarthy cross to the far post where Galloway misjudged his header with Lukaku in front of him.

Deulofeu was finally awarded free-kick that ended up with a corner. It led eventually to Barry's cross perfect for Lukaku, his header bouncing off the top of the bar. Arsenal suddenly upped the tempo noticeably, Mirallas not yet able to get into the game.

More determined effort from Everton but they could not dig out from the corner where Coleman and Deulofeu were blocked off, and the Arsenal were soon forcing separate measures in the Everton rearguard, Flamini firing wide. Flamini then had a free header, straight at Howard. Straight up the other end, and Lukaku getting in a ball that saw Deulofeu take an extra touch that prevented him from beating Cech with a wonderful chance.

It was an excellent end-to-end finish to the game, Everton finally playing as they should have been all game long. Kone replaced Coleman with barely a minute left. Ozil lashed a shot that skinned the foot of Howard's left post.

Everton had a fantastic chance for a breaking goal but Lukaku was not strong enough at the end of the move. At the other end, Barry upended Walcott with a dangerous challenge and saw his second yellow to end the game. Everton were better in the second half, but all too little, too late to change the all-too-predictable script.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin [Y:25'], Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain (80' Flamini), Özil, Sanchez (89' Gibbs), Giroud [Y:69'].
Subs not Used: Macey, Debuchy, Chambers, Campbell, Walcott.

Everton: Howard; Coleman, (89' Kone), Jagielka (52' Funes Mori), Stones, Galloway; Barry [Y:67', YR:90+4'], McCarthy; Lennon (69' Mirallas), Barkley, Deulofeu; Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Cleverley, Osman, Naismith.

Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 59,985

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Reader Comments (187)

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Denis Richardson
1 Posted 24/10/2015 at 17:01:16
Still no Mirallas.....odd
David Booth
2 Posted 24/10/2015 at 17:13:30
Why on earth did Martinez re-sign him again, just to ignore him ever since?

Something obviously gone off behind the scenes to leave our one, true match-winner constantly out of the team?

Whatever it is Roberto, it's not doing us any good. This man deserves to be in the team every week.

Extremely annoying and frustrating in equal measure.

Victor Jones
3 Posted 24/10/2015 at 17:38:10
Again two DMFs. One would be enough. In fact, do we even need any? Solid central midfielders would do for me (Gibson. Cleverley).

Lennon and Deulofeu need to put in a shift today, as does Barkley. Coleman needs to sharpen up his defensive game. Lukaku needs to be on his game. This set-up (to me) does not look balanced. Why is Kone not up front with Lukaku? And what is wrong with Mirallas? So many questions...

And I have a feeling that we will get no answers today. But... and there is always a but.. I just hope that we do not leave our playing until it is all to late. As we usually do. COYBs.

Gary Carter
4 Posted 24/10/2015 at 18:17:09
So the usual then. Martinez picking Lennon for no apparent reason; Deulofeu despite the fact he’s absolutely stunk the place out every time he’s played.

We concede two goals yet again through Howard’s lack of ability to dominate his 6-yard box never mind his area, but he doesn’t have to worry about that because the back up keeper Martinez signed can barely be classed as a professional footballer, never mind a keeper.

Lukaku continues to walk around up front, presumably to match the pace and commitment of Deulofeu, but again, he doesn’t have to worry as Martinez hasn’t signed back-up strikers unless you count two youngsters that don’t even make the bench.

Then we have something we used to be awesome at and feared for: set-pieces. I’ve never seen an Everton side that look so confused, scared and like they generally don’t know what to do when it comes to defending a corner!!! Throw-ins, are they instructed in training to all just stand still and watch the throw-taker!?!?!

We look amateurish, scared and out of our depth; the least I expect is we go out with a little fire in our belly, a gameplan, organisation and that we play to our potential

Matthew Melia
5 Posted 24/10/2015 at 18:22:30
We have a major problem with a manager who has too much faith in old hands and holds grudges against players who don’t agree with his style of play, selection etc.

Howard is a has-been, a total flapper. Guaranteed to give the opposition a goal. Doesn’t command his 6-yard box, let alone the penalty area. Gives no confidence to the fans let alone his defence, but Roberto thinks the sun shines out of his proverbial.

And why on earth did he give Mirallas a contract, to get splinters in his arse on the bench?

I still believe Martinez is full of crap, bluffer, just like Brenda, who’s already departed. Hopefully another Swansea bluff merchant is right behind him.

Christy Ring
6 Posted 24/10/2015 at 18:35:18
Still in this game, but another week and same old problem: ’Tim Howard’. He’s like Dracula, he hates crosses.

How can our defence play with confidence, with the worst keeper in the Premier League behind them? The only person who ’can’t ’ see this is Martinez.

Andy Crooks
7 Posted 24/10/2015 at 18:43:19
Surely Martinez must realise that Tim Howard, whatever he was like in the past, is now utterly useless. A confidence-sapping embarrassment who would not get into a League One side.

Steve Roomes
8 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:01:56
Sorry but Martinez, your time is up. This is probably the best squad we have had for a long time and the 4th Champions League spot is up for grabs, but we play too slow too predictable same old tactics... no passion, no fight, no heart.....

Oh, and Howard is crap.

Tony Hill
10 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:28:16
Did anyone think we were really going to get back into that? I'm afraid I didn't. We started defensively and paid the price. We look poor and it won't wash to say that we rallied and played better because by then it was all too late and half-baked.

Kone on at 88 minutes? That's the sort of nonsense that really worries me about Martinez.

Ray Roche
11 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:31:06
If we had Cech and they had Howard, we’d have won.

Howard has become a real liability, his distribution is piss poor, he stays stuck to his line, he can’t command his 6-yard box, never mind his area.

On about 70 minutes we played a ball into their box and Cech came 12 yards out to collect it, Howard has never come 12 yards out in his life!

We persist in playing the ball back to Howard who waits until the forward has closed him down before hoofing it into the stands. The central defenders are partly to blame, playing it back to him as often as they do, but if we can see it, why can’t they?

Funes Mori looks a good player and we look better with him at the back.

Keith Glazzard
12 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:32:19
Two inexcusable goals, and we have a good back 4. So, Howard and crosses. But also the midfield problem. Something is very badly wrong with the shape that allows too much room to the opposition.

Deulofeu terrorised Arsenal today, and they’re top of the league tonight.

Andy Finigan
13 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:32:34
Poor poor goalkeeping; we need a commanding keeper. It must be a priority next season.

Jags is also a liability. So many chances to make something happen only to lose it.

On the plus side, our new defender looks class.

Mike Price
15 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:33:16
I've been saying it for years but Howard is shockingly bad and far and away, the worst keeper in the league.

Again he’s cost us points, unlike their goalie who saved them 2 points. He is clearly an overwhelming liability... WTF is Martinez thinking?!

Tim Greeley
16 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:33:30
Here we go again. Gonna be in 13th place before you know it...
Clive Rogers
17 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:39:29
And he has a contract to 2019.
Alex Bennett
18 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:43:23
Howard to blame yet again, but can anyone honestly feel confident if you see Robles name on the team sheet? Stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Steve Guy
19 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:43:24
It’s simple, Howard cost us the game. If Cech is worth 10 points, Howard costs us 10. Robles should get his chance now.

I thought we did well in the second half. 100% better than last week.

Winnable games now and we need to take the positives from today and push on.

John Keating
20 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:43:25
We had a couple of posters making excuses for Howard with Ings's goal. No doubt they’ll be on making excuses for the two Arsenal goals. And no doubt they’ll be on another half a dozen times during the rest of the season with the same excuses.

Okay, Stones lost Giroud but for fuck's sake, Howard could see everything happening and should have been out. The second goal was a total flap. We have to make a goalie a priority next window.

Chris Gould
21 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:46:43
It isn’t simply Howard who is the problem. Stones and Jags are great at blocking and tackling, but worryingly poor in the air. Our entire backline and midfield constantly lose their men when corners and crosses come in.

It’s shocking to watch, and it was no wonder Giroud started. It’s a weakness that needs to be addressed immediately. Our boys don’t mark well in the box and get dominated. They actually look terrified when the opposition put corners in. Maybe Funes Mori will fair better.

Howard could do much better, but he isn’t the only one at fault.

Alex Bennett
22 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:46:58
And Barry is banned for a game he probably wouldn't have played in anyway.
Jim Lloyd
23 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:49:37
I think you’re right, Steve. Although he can make some outstanding saves from shots, I think his major weakness is headline news in the Premier League.

He can’t command his 6-yard box, and never could. I think the problem is, like in some other areas, we need a lot of money to get the top class players we need.

All-in-all, though, I think we did fairly well today. Mirallas was a lucky man today. He could have been sent off yet again... daft!

The rest of the lads, Brendan especially. Well done

David Connor
24 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:50:29
No ambition from top to bottom. Swansea and Southampton go to the likes of Emirates, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford and have a real good go at em. We lie down and fucking die...

We have suffered long enough under the directorship of Blue Bill. We are slowly sinking without a doubt. Massive changes needed or the likes of Galloway, Stones and Barkley will be off. I for one wouldn't fucking blame them. Mid-table beckons. Bring it on.

Look's like another shite season in store for us. I will support them through thick and thin but I expect to see something in return. The majority of our players just aren't good enough. Simple as....

Jay Harris
25 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:50:49
Tim Howard was quite a good goalkeeper until the last World Cup. I don’t know if all the hero worship went to his head or whether it did him in but he has been at about 60% since then. He has never been great with crosses but now he is a total liability.

Jags didn’t help today either. I thought he hasn’t looked the same since the England captaincy.

For me Gareth Barry was outstanding and kept us together tonight. I don’t know who is going to provide any leadership if him and Jags are out next game.

Charles McCann
26 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:53:01
Howard and Barry both dreadful. And Martinez should have made some changes earlier. Five minutes for Kone to make an impact is a joke.

So disappointed with Martinez. He never seems to learn and should have addressed the goalkeeping situation a long time ago.

Amit Vithlani
27 Posted 24/10/2015 at 19:59:09
Any news on Jags?

The backline looks worryingly inexperienced if he is out. With Barry suspended, Howard flapping and Jags and Baines out too, clean sheets might be hard to come by.

Martinez is still struggling to organise the defence. We left too much space behind the full backs and were opened up many times from wide areas.

Going forward, at least, we appear to have real drive back in the team. There was some good sharp interplay today. I just hope we maintain that as otherwise we are in for embarrassment against relegation fodder.

Up next: Sunderland, our bogey team.

Nick West
28 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:08:08
I thought we looked much better with Funes Mori in the team. He’s got good positional sense and complements Stones because he’s left-footed. Jags keeps getting caught out in the air and by passing the ball away.

Arsenal are a good team so you need to be on it – and we weren’t – either at the back or the front. But you can see there’s a good team in there somewhere... just a couple of tweaks and a run of wins...

Tony Hill
29 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:09:56
Blaming Howard is a distraction. Stones and Jagielka were poor today and the real problem is that we have just not been sent out in the right way in the last few games and we are getting the basics wrong, our ball retention and decision making in attack remain serious issues in particular.

It's no good starting to take the game to the opposition when we're two behind. We look disorganised and anything good that happens seems to happen by accident. We lack coherence and precision and while we should stay calm and look at the wider perspective, there are some concerning signs of a return to the directionless stuff of last season.

The next run of "easier" games needs to produce some proper points.

William Cartwright
30 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:11:04
What else can you say about the goalkeeping situation that has not been said already? You could take a megaphone, an amplifier, a stethoscope, and scream at full volume to Roberto the reality of Howard’s weaknesses and their cost to the team and he would still refuse to acknowledge the reality of the situation.

Everton effectively play without a goalkeeper and that is unforgivably defective management. Roberto should be dismissed for that alone. Enough is enough, it is just an embarrassment and every opposition manager seeks to exploit the situation.

Impressed with Funes Mori tonight and the all round effort. Barry had a really good game but perhaps he will benefit from the enforced rest. Perhaps we will see more of Gibson in the next couple of weeks? COYB

Tony J Williams
31 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:12:37
Two words...... Tim Howard.
Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:14:37
Look at Funes Mori when corners and centres come in, he watches the ball all the time and attacks it, the other defenders are busy looking at their opponents and standing still. Howard closes his eyes and prays.
Peter Morris
33 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:15:33
Woeful retention of the ball, particularly in the first half. Repeatedly giving possession back to Arsenal, which is suicidal given the players they have.

Ozil and Cazorla ran the show and were given a free run by the heavy-legged Barry and McCarthy. Arsenal cleverly exploited Jags lack of height with the crosses for the two goals, but with a keeper like that, who plays like a frightened rabbit when the ball comes at him above head height, we are sunk.

It’s clear that Howard played most of his football on artificial surfaces in his youth, and in five-a-side type games, because he plays like that now. Relatively strong on the one-on-one confrontations, saving with his legs etc, but simply appalling when commanding his 6-yard box in the air.

I’ve always said that a keeper who has allegedly played for 10 years at the top should be really battle scarred if he had been doing his job properly. Tim Howard is too much of a pretty boy. Urgent replacement needed.

Alex Bennett
34 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:16:01
If the unthinkable happens and we lose at home to Norwich on Tuesday, this season will start to look very similar to the previous one.
Gordon Crawford
35 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:16:56
Howard is a complete liability and needs to be replaced.
Sam Hoare
36 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:21:07
Maybe coincidence or timing but I thought we looked more solid with Funes Mori. He certainly wins more headers than Jags.

Howard is not good enough on crosses though he made some decent saves with his feet. He is certainly not a top 4 keeper.

Generally I was quite depressed at half-time but much happier after the second 45. We showed a bit more fight and hunger and in the end were perhaps unfortunate not to get a point. We certainly didn’t crumple as we have before against Arsenal.

Most would've expected 1 or 0 points tonight. The real crunch is moving forwards. We now have a run of winnable games to get back up the table and, though I’m not feeling much love for RM presently, I’m gonna wait another few games at least before shooting my mouth off.

Bill Gall
37 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:23:18
Well at least the manager tried to balance the side by playing two wingers, the problem was they were both right-sided wingers, and once again he screwed up his use of subs by leaving it with just a couple of minutes to go to bring on Kone, and screwed that up by moving a striker, who had had a couple of shots on goal, to fullback. It is starting to look like Martinez earned his coaching and managerial skills from the University of Trial and Error.

Yes, we are supposed to have had 10 tough games but we have dropped 17 points from them games and this is supposed to be our strongest squad for years.

The problem remains... that, if you have a strong squad that will not perform to their supposed potential, then there is only one person to blame... and that is the Manager.

Martinez is starting to show his poor tactical abilities, that – without a really strong improvement – will result in loosing a number of our better young players and we'll be left with the deadwood, that should have been let go a long time ago.

Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:23:28
Agree Michael; why does it take us 70 minutes to start attacking, like we should from the start? I thought we were absolutely terrible in the first half, so I cannot just blame the goalkeeper for that result, even though he was a disgrace.

Deulofeu, impressed me with some of his passing, and I would like to see him play inside. Take away some of the defensive responsibility from him until he matures, and let the kid just play on the offensive.

I can’t agree with you about Barry, Jay, he’s a good player but the game is just too fast for him, and has been for a long time against the better teams.

We only need one defensive midfielder, and McCarthy is the best in the business at this role. Play Barkley next to him, because he can get forward, and let McCarthy, do what he’s best at, which is breaking things up, and giving it simple so the better players, can play.

'If' is a very big word... but if we could pick the right team, and play without fear, we could be a match for anyone. IF ONLY!

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:24:43
Was Coleman injured when he went off?
Jim Lloyd
40 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:25:45
Early days but I’d be happy to see Funes Mori in the team in place of Jagielka, if Jags has taken a ligament injury.

Dave has just said it. He is a good solid defender who goes for the ball, no matter who’s in the way. Him and Stonesy will do us alright and with Brendan playing so well on the left, and Seamus not back to his best but doing okay, the defence looks fairly solid.

I’m hoping that Robles will come on for the Norwich game, as I think the defence is okay.

In the midfield, when Barry has to miss his match, it’ll be interesting, as there’s Tom and Darren, ready to come in. I think we need to have someone more creative in the midfield, and either of them can set attacks going with their passing.

Don Alexander
41 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:28:45
What is it with RM and "management"?

Why can’t he manage to see that the entire defence is shite every time a cross comes in, this season and last?

Why can’t he manage to see that faffing about with the ball in our own half is manna from heaven to our opponents, who are thereby able to stroll back to defend in depth, in every game we play?

Why can’t he manage to see that at the core of every team aspiring to win you need pace and goal scorers, on the field, not on the bench?

Why does he manage to squander a minute or so, right at the death, giving Kone endless instructions for the four minutes remaining?

And lastly, when are any of these pennies gonna drop in his not so phenomenal mind?

Brent Stephens
42 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:29:35
Apart from Howard, Ross is no use trying to close down play and strolling around in midfield when they have the ball merely means they can get one more man in midfield. Leave him alongside Rom, feed off each other, and require one more of the opposition to stay deep.

Not an easy game for Brendan but again he didn’t disgrace himself. A big plus. Some suspicion about Stones’s positioning for one of the goals but otherwise imposing. Funes Mori again looking good. A good shift by Lennon in a defensive role and going forward. Deulofeu again disappointing – if he can’t get to the byline, he’s stuffed.

Sam Hoare
43 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:30:06
For me Barry did infinitely more than McCarthy tonight in terms of breaking it up and also playing the odd useful ball forward. I feel like McCarthy is a bit of a passenger so far this season.
Trevor Peers
44 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:31:42
Very few positives to take out of that game. They didn’t really get out of 2nd gear, that was the difference, we we’re trying awfully hard, but tactically we were never at the races.

That probably sums up how far behind the top clubs we are. Money is the problem and always will be, hence the big gulf in class.

Wish I could see a way out it but there isn’t one, is there?

Alex Bennett
46 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:35:12
I’m fed up watching us start games so slowly. We need to take the game to the opposition and not wait to go behind before we start some half hearted come back. I wouldn’t mind if we were getting played off the pitch but slow or little attacking threat just plays straight into the other teams hands.
Tony Hill
47 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:35:16
I'm a great fan of Barkley but, his deflected goal aside, I thought he was generally limp again today. I thought he'd turned a corner after the internationals and in some of his earlier performances this season for us, but he has gone back to being a shadow of himself.

He was responsible today for messing up several promising positions and he needs to get his head sorted out asap. Incredibly frustrating.

Meanwhile, Coleman was one of our better players today but still needs to lose a stone. Kev has put a bit on as well sitting on the bench. Details like that say a lot about the backroom focus, or the lack of it.

Ged Simpson
48 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:40:51
I think we lack leadership. I have never thought Jags to have the character to be captain of a team like ours. Far far too nice. Barry too quiet. Don't know Cleverley. Still would like to see Gibson back.

As for the goalie... he needs to practice with his defenders. Their goals were caused by Howard and the 2 centre halves.

I do like Funes Mori though.

Sid Logan
50 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:42:12
Can anyone suggest how we can start a game against anyone – regardless of their position in the league – with an appropriate intent and determination to take the game to the opponent?

That would involve not waiting until we have conceded one or two goals. Nor would it involve having to make substitutes in order to play with the team that many of us believe we should have started with.

This approach may, of course, require a rousing ’go and get them’ team talk from the manager rather than a ’be in a good moment; enjoy your football and keep possession and the goals will come’ team talk.

On second thoughts let’s not rock the boat. We have some incredible players, many of whom are in incredible moments and are ready to help the team.

Cynicism - not from me mate. I’m just a season ticket holder who has to watch the same lacklustre performance week after week where shots on goal can be counted – if your lucky – on one hand.

Joe Green
51 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:43:18
I’ve said it before ... we give away soft goals, but work hard for ours. I see that is the way with RM.

Arsenal’s first goal was similar to one Kane scored at Goodison last season. A cross from deep should not be a one-touch header for a CF to score a goal – the two CBs and the GK should be able and organised to easily deal with it. EASILY I say. I am only a fan, but I know this.

Their 2nd stemmed from a lack of composure after conceding the 1st and classic "fannying around at the back" leading to the free-kick.

RM, please get a defensive coach in.

Ged Simpson
52 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:46:22
Leadership on the pitch is lacking, Sid.
David Hallwood
53 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:50:24
Pretty much in agreement with all the other posters; we were comfortable and giving a good away performance and got done by two crosses. admittedly excellent deliveries, but I thing Cech or De Gea would've saved them.

I said this on the forum but come January we have got to scour the earth for a top class keeper and break the bank to get him. When was the last team to win anything with a liability of a goalie, and think about who we had between the sticks in our glory years-if that would've been Big Nev today Giroud would've been seeing stars somewhere aroud the penalty spot.

But on the plus points we didn't fold and finished the stronger team, plus if we're going to play with 2 DM we need Kev & Del to give us attacking threat.

Christopher Kelly
54 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:51:32
Alex Bennett is right. This season could easily slip back into last one. Make-or-break time to see if we’re gonna be top 8 or another mid table ho-hum season.
Ian Bennett
55 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:53:38
1. Howard is a liability.
2. McCarthy is off the boil. And I am not sure if he just an average player who flatters to deceive, or is being inhibited by immobile Barry. It would be nice to see what someone with legs and passing ability would look like next to him. For the record I thought Barry was better today.
3. Our centre back pairing didn't have their finest hour.
4. Ross has to do more in closing down and tackling. Nothing new here...
5. Del was my motm by a mile. Inventive, bright, you just need to get him on the ball as much as you can.
6. Lukaku was fed on scraps. For me this was a game to play him wide left and go for a miss match with their fullbacks. He struggles against top class centre backs on the service he gets.
7. Seamus looks rusty, but it's another 90 minutes so hopefully he can kick on.
8. Watching the cup might be mildly more entertaining watching Lennon, Howard, and Barry labour.
9. Set pieces are our Achilles heel post Fellaini/Moyes.
10. Where the hell is the lesser spotted Gibson. 5 mins against WBA and not seen since.
David Hallwood
57 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:56:56
BTW The Independent gave Barry & McCarthy 3/10 & 4/10 respectively. One of them needs to go and bring Cleverley or Gibson in.
Brian Harrison
58 Posted 24/10/2015 at 20:58:55
Another poor display from Howard, but he wasn't alone. I thought Barkley gave another poor performance, reminiscent of many this season. Again McCarthy was anonymous for most of the game.

But the real problem is the man in charge, he isn't good enough by a long way. We are chasing a game yet his reluctance to bring on Kone or Mirallas says it all. Lennon looks busy but produces very little, never did it during his Spurs career and he is at an age that improvement is unlikely. Seems no matter how ineffectual Lukaku or Barkley are he refuses to admit that they can have a bad game so are rarely replaced.

RMs style is so negative, I believe we have some decent players and if we had a manager with a more attacking style we could actually challenge for a top 6 place. Every game starts the same way slow passing in and around the back four and midfield. We make more sideways and backward passes than any other Everton team I have ever watched and that stretches back to when Johnny Carey was our manager.

Mike Oates
59 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:00:31
Giroud has always caused panic in our defence. Last year, he tore Stones to bits; today, all three of Howard, Stones and Jags. Jags to me looked scared today, his passing was woeful; I'm sure the mistake he made against Man Utd last week was playing on his mind.

If anyone thinks Funes Mori will be able to shore that defence up, they are totally mistaken, Robles or Howard against Norwich will be a disaster and our other three bright sparks, Coleman, Stones and even young Galloway had bad nights.

Midfield, Barry at 42 whatever he is, was still the pick of the bunch. Deulofeu flatters to deceive, Barkley is drifting back to his form from last season and Lukaku must wonder where his next chance is coming from.

I don’t see anything other than a slide to 13-16th place, how the hell we’ve let the likes of Palace, West Ham and Leicester overtake us needs to be looked at by Bill and his board.

£8M on Deulofeu and Lennon is a crime.

Sam Hoare
60 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:00:39
I’d like to see Cleverley and Besic given a go in central DMC. Both are quick and comfortable on the ball. Besic has real bite and hunger and Cleverley is very quick thinking and likely to get forward and bag a few goals.
Ian Riley
61 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:01:41
Our defending overall is poor! Our set plays are a disgrace! Today was no different to the previous three games and still no change. To put two up front after 88.5 minutes, what is the point? Lose three or four goals but have a go from the start.

Perhaps I expect too much, but I do think we should be doing better. We are predictable from the back to the front and teams have worked us out. Unless the manager changes this, we will be mid table at best! The manager is trying to play from the back with a slow tempo. It’s not working. Change it!

Nick Waters
62 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:02:15
Martinez is under little pressure at the moment, and we always thought the first 10 games would be a massive hurdle.

Meanwhile, I do believe he is building for the long-term future in the absence of proper investment for the here and now. However, he has to realize that Howard could cost him his job if he doesn’t take control of the goalkeeping problem sooner rather than later. Howard is the worst keeper in the league by a country mile, and no team in the country could win a trophy playing him.

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:03:10
I don't think McCarthy is playing well either, Sam, but when I watched him play for Ireland, against Germany, he knew his role. Do you really think Barry could be the defensive anchorman, with such a distinct lack of pace?

Just think the system needs changing, right away, and we don’t need two players sitting so deep. Barry plays there because, the games to fast for him higher up the pitch, and McCarthy plays next to him, so his lack of pace doesn’t get so exposed.

That’s the way I see it anyway, but I forgot about Cleverley. Either way, I just want to see my team, play in a much more positive manner, higher up the pitch. Instead of sitting deep, isolating our only forward, and waiting for things to happen. They are a very good team, Arsenal... but who knows how the game would have panned out if Everton would have had a proper go from the start?

That first half was disgusting from an attacking point of view, yet we looked like we could create from the 70-minute mark onwards. I don’t understand the caution myself, and always thought it was better to go down with a real fight, instead of only opening up because we were losing.

The Tactics Are Just Not Helping Us At All.

Jim Lloyd
64 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:06:30
I don’t see a reason for us to slip back to last eason. We’re now almost a full squad again. (Jags, maybe not for a few weeks...)

I think that Tim is an excellent goalie in some situations and makes some world class saves. The bread and butter stuff though, I think that leaves him with a lot to be desired.

Even in Moysie’s day, with all eleven in the box, it was heart-in-the-mouth time at free kicks and corners with Tim Howard. Whether we can afford a top class replacement though, is another matter. If he decides to go over to the MLS.

Maybe I’m being unfair to Robles, as he gave a decent account of himself when he came into the team for some matches (6?)

It, isn’t so much that we have a poor defence, I think we have a good one. And with no reflection on Jagielka, I hope he has a few weeks to rest his knee. I think Ramiro is a top class defender, but he also has that "presence" in and around the box and takes no prisoners.

Midfield/Forwards? Well, we’ve got a lot to choose from but to get the best and most effective six is a debate all on it’s own I think.

Christy Ring
65 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:08:50
The biggest positive: Galloway, who was superb today.

I guarantee Martinez will blame the defence for the two goals, he won’t single out Howard who has to be dropped, and long overdue (if not)???

Martinez has to change it for the Norwich match, and with Barry suspended, play McCarthy in his proper position (defensive midfielder), and play Cleverley or Gibson further forward. It’s time to get rid of his rigid and unbalanced formation, once and for all. Playing two right-wingers is never going to work.

Colin Glassar
66 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:09:21
Brian, last season I defended Martinez to the hilt hoping that he would learn from his mistakes. I really can’t add anything to your post.

I have just finished watching the (recorded) game, as I got home late, and after doing a Likely Lads I sat down, without much hope, to watch it. We are so totally fucking reactive!! Shouldn’t we just start off two goals down so we might actually start a game with some urgency? And as for Tim Howard, what a fucking embarrassment he’s become. He’s absolutely useless and should hang up his boots. As for our "defenders" I think they won their 1st header in the 2nd half!!!

Brilliant performances by Geri and Ross but the rest were poor to shite. Sorry boss, you might get out of jail with the next three opponents but this slow, uninterested, lackadaisical approach to games is killing us. Good team, good players but no fucking spirit.

Jason Murray
67 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:09:55
Despite The Arse having the better of the first half, if it wasn’t for our "minute of madness", I couldn’t really envisage them breaking the deadlock before half-time.

More goals conceded with Tim Howard refusing to attack the ball and claim it in HIS area. However, Jags was equally culpable for the opening goal. The recent Captain of England should not allow the opposition striker to sneak in behind him so easily.

We got lucky with Barkley’s deflected goal but it’s about time we had a sniff of good fortune. We couldn’t make it count though with Galloway, Gerry and Rom all wasting golden opportunities to equalise.

Mirallas and Kone should’ve come on MUCH earlier. Kev in particular is one of our only players with a real "winning mentality", I feel.

Also, when Kone’s on the pitch, it takes a lot of pressure off Rom who becomes too isolated playing as a lone striker.

I thought that, despite having a magnificent start to the season, young Brendan’s inexperience has really shown in the last two games. Funes Mori once again was very impressive when he came on. We can take positives from our second half performance but unfortunately, as Michael states, on this occasion it was too little, too late.

Mike Connolly
68 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:11:55
Some comments were saying it wasn’t just Howard's fault today. I agree with them, it’s not just today; he has been a liability for years. And when you think you have seen it all, he ends up with the captain's arm band. With the late subs, I think Martinez is morphing into Moyes. God help us.
Sid Logan
69 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:12:30

You're right lack of leaders on the pitch is one of our problems. I believe this is another deficiency displayed Martinez where he fails to understand the importance of the single minded combative drive on the pitch. He has failed to buy a player who displays this quality.

However more than anything I beieve we need a manager who is less intent on keeping possession or whatever it is he believes in and develops the ability to convince his team that wins at pretty much any cost are what matters.

Mike Green
70 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:12:50
After watching that Allardyce will be licking his lips – just bang it into the box and take our static keeper into the net with you if he gets in the way. Howard’s reluctance to do bread and butter dominant goalkeeping has cost us four points or more.

We can play pretty football but have next to no dynamism which makes much of our possession redundant. After their midweek exertions Arsenal should’ve been dreading our arrival but instead got their annual warm down, back home by 8pm unruffled and coiffured, cosying up with their poodles in the heart of Primrose Hill, just in time for X-Factor.

Very, very average.

Colin Glassar
73 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:19:51
How long is Barry out for? (And jags for that matter) Barry was ok today but only an injury or suspension will see Martinez looking for alternatives. Maybe this is an opportunity for cleverly to state a claim in CM? The same goes for Jags. He has been awful in the last two games so maybe, just maybe, FM will nail down that CB position. At least he can head he ball!!
Doug Harris
74 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:20:28
An absolute liability... cost us at least 10 points last season, sure on his way to beating that after today. Is that at least 5 points in only 10 games?

Every other team in the Premier League know to dink the ball into the 6-yard box and the likelihood of them scoring far outweighs Howard getting the ball.

He needs to be dropped now. What a joke for him to be given the captain's armband. Un(fuckin)believable.

Joseph Terrence
75 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:22:45
The first half was awful, but there are some positives to take away from today. The first thing that comes to mind is Bobby actually criticized Howard in his post-match interview, albeit in a restrained, typical RM manner. Will we see a bid for a keeper who can control his area in January?

Romelu worked his socks off today although I feel he should have buried that header. Geri was class, if a bit fickle at times – love his passion. Funes Mori looks a player as well, and Galloway did v well.

Overall, I don’t feel that Arsenal outplayed the Everton boys; it just came down to Howard being Howard.

Chris Butler
76 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:25:27
Just fuck off, Martinez, and take that useless twat Howard with you. It was a pathetic gutless performance, we could've quite easily come away with a point if we’d wanted to. Lukaku and Deulofeu both missed sitters.

At least under DM there was some urgency when a goal down. Our season is over really already yet again; we won’t do anything this season as the players just simply don’t want to succeed.

I’ve seen us outclassed over the years, I’ve seen us play pathetically and I’ve seen us with lots of injuries. But nothing was worse than today's defeat, never have I seen a Everton team so happy to lose.

We just took the piss in the first half and second half. I’m not paying another penny towards Everton, when they put such little effort in. Howard needs to just fuck off back to America.

Mike Green
78 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:25:59
Colin #66 - 'Good team, good players but no fucking spirit.'

Spot on. It's all stroke, stroke, stroke. How about some punch for once? A bit of kick and run maybe? So frustrating.

Having said that after Howard's non-heroics no wonder no-ones willing to put thier neck on the line.


Tony Abrahams
79 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:26:03
Jim (#640, agree with your assessment of Howard. I always judge a goalkeeper on the saves he doesn’t have to make, if that makes sense. And Howard’s only strong point is, he can make a great save, now and again.

I thought Robles was a really poor keeper, but he was rapidly improving when Martinez dropped him last season, after three clean sheets on the bounce!?!

A good goalie should be able to command his penalty area, but Howard can’t even command his six-yard box.

In our last four Premier League games, we have conceded four headers from 4 yards out.

Christopher Kelly
80 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:31:51
Unfortunately no-one on the team has much to worry about. It’s been the same way for over a decade and now the malaise is really coming to the surface in the form of lower league placement.

Martinez won’t get fired, Howard won’t get dropped, Lukaku won’t get dropped, Barry won’t get dropped etc.

When there’s no competition or fear of getting dropped, one naturally doesn’t stay sharp and perform to their best. We shouldn’t be surprised at this point. In football, competition is EVERYTHING so expect another mid-table hum-drum season.

Colin Glassar
81 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:31:55
Howard was shite under OFM and he's declined even further under this one. Both of them obviously have a blind spot when it comes to this clown. Butland was the one I wanted but he chose the warmer climes of Stoke, didn't he?
Tony Hill
82 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:31:59
The irony is that people talk about Martinez prioritising possession but we are dreadful at doing that very thing. We give the ball away with scandalous frequency and have done for the last 18 months or so.
Richard Reeves
83 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:35:08
Howard was terrible; he’s got old man's legs... and Lukaku might as well have the same for his piss poor jumping and heading ability. His slouchy walking and pointing winds me up... and Lennon, for all his running back to defend, is useless at tackling so what’s the point in him because he doesn’t offer much in attack (a headless chicken)?

But it is Martinez who signed and picked him to start ahead of Mirallas and it is the manager who picks two defensive midfielders and particularly Barry which leaves us deep for far too long. I bet the majority of us would pick the same front four (or five if going with one defensive midfielder) but the manager can’t see it.

I want to see Besic or Cleverley playing alongside McCarthy to help move the play forward and get an extra man further upfield. I don’t really rate Cleverley but at least he has the ability to move forward quicker and either of these two would help prevent the team from being so defensive and provide an outlet.

One thing I have to admit that I have been wrong about is saying Funes Mori, although a good player, is an unnecessary signing; we do need him until the younger defenders are ready to move into those positions.Today, he was class and to be honest I was glad to see Jags go off as he couldn’t stop passing to an Arsenal player.

Two thing’s that did seem obvious today were that in tight situations they were a lot better at passing amongst each other and getting out of trouble, almost like they didn’t have to think about it, and that all their passes, long or short, reached their players.

Although, in the second half, we did apply pressure, and at times it was quite exciting, it was typical Everton and the same old scenario, bringing on the players that should've started far to late, trying to nick a win or draw in this case.

Mike Green
85 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:40:16
I’m only watching MotD tonight for Mourinho.
Ross Edwards
86 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:43:46
Howard is finished. He’s an absolute liability who is costing us week in week out. Yet, he keeps his place. Absolutely baffling. Get rid of him ASAP.

What the fuck was he doing for the first goal? Just laughable. OK, the defending was dreadful as well but his performances can no longer be defended or tolerated. He costs us 10-12 points a season and on form over the last year is probably the worst GK in the league. Easily.

We seem to have this habit of giving teams 2-goal head starts these days, I have no idea why, and we always start games so sluggishly and we only ever play our best football either when the game is lost or in the last half an hour or so. It’s not good enough.

We can’t continue to gift teams like Arsenal soft goals and expect to get away with it every week. It’s not a one off either, it’s been in 7 or 8 games in all competitions where we have conceded first. Watford, Barnsley, Man City, Reading, Liverpool, Arsenal, West Brom, Man Utd.

What if anything does Martinez say to them before they go out there? And while on the subject of Martinez, he left it far too late again with substitutions. Why put Kone on with 1 minute to go when we all knew that Arsenal would play keep ball? The game was already lost. Had he brought him on 20 minutes earlier or whatever, he could have had time to make some sort of impact at least.

Deulofeu is still as frustrating as ever. The number of times a pass was on or a chance to whip it in was there and he wasted it by either throwing himself to the floor or running into the defender trying to do it all himself was really infuriating.

Lennon, why did we sign him? He did nothing of any note whatsoever. A complete waste of money. He’s average, wasn’t spectacular when we had him on loan and doesn’t offer anything we don’t already have in the squad. Panic buy.

On the positive side, we have got the big games out of the way with a reasonably decent start (the same number of points as this time last season incidentally) so the opportunity is there to put a run together in the next 9 games or so to put ourselves in a decent position.

I think we should be a lot higher personally. We should have beaten Watford, they were definitely 2 dropped points, we absolutely battered Swansea, we should have won that comfortably, Tottenham and Liverpool were there for the taking, especially Liverpool, against one of their worst squads of recent times. We should in my view be on at least 18 points now, maybe more, which would put us in the top 4.

I’m still not at all convinced by Martinez. He is still making the same mistakes as last season and is still amazingly sticking by Howard, too sentimental. Would Ferguson or any top manager persevere week in week out with his GK after a string of poor performances and blunders? Of course not.

I guess we have to see where we are by Christmas before saying anything conclusive about RM. With the run of games we have between now and New Year, if we’re not in the top 8 by then, Martinez should be coming under more scrutiny.

Clive Mitchell
87 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:44:05
You can't defend Martinez because he's responsible for Tim Howard being in the team. The first Everton keeper I remember was Dunlop and I can't think of a worse one than the Tim Howard of the last 18 months. Could we be worse off if we stuck a pin in the Championship table and offered them £3m for their keeper?
Jim Lloyd
88 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:48:16
Yep, Tony. I think when Moyes was manager, he flooded the box (our box) with the whole team on any occasion there was any danger from set pieces or corners.

I think now, Tim Howard is more under the spotlight because we don't have 10 men back as often as Moyes used to. I thought Moyes was a negative manager and maybe he was right to be, (knife to gunfight, thankful to get out alive etc) and some may wish for his style back, but he decided to go and I'm not sorry he did. In fact I stopped going the season before he left because I found our football like groundhog day.

I came back and got my season ticket the season he left.

I really would like to see us get a top, top class goalkeeper, or even a good steady one, but it comes down to cash.When he comes out and lauds T/H as his first choice, etc, I can understand it. He's hardly going to out and say he's like a big girls blouse at corners and crosses.

Roberto is reputedly trying to bring Yarmelenko in, and if he does, the he's got the C/F, M/F and Defender of his choice and he's brought some good young players into the club and into the team. That to me, is looking positive for the future.

I'm not so sure Martinez is destroying our club, I don't think our Board need any help in that direction.

Tony Abrahams
89 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:49:35
I agree, Tony (#82). This all points to a manager not utilising his players, properly.

We have a lot of British players in our squad, and to us, the game has never really been about possession. It’s about trying to get forward, and score goals, or soaking up pressure and playing on the counter.

I honestly feel McCarthy is the only one who understands the Martinez, philosophy and he’s hardly what you would call a creative player, to me.

Barry Pearce
90 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:50:07
The back four,and Howard were poor today. Funes Mori was the only player to jump and win a ball in the air In the second half, and we looked a bit better when he came on, still not solid though.

Also Mirallas is a petulant twat.

Jim Lloyd
91 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:51:03
Clive, can't you remember that goalie we brought in from Tranmere for £3 million?
Rick Tarleton
92 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:54:42
Other teams have goalkeepers who deal with crosses, we have Tim Howard. It's quite simple really. Gordon West or Neville Southall would have cleared both crosses today. Howard didn't, yet we've played this clown as our keeper for basically the last three hundred games. please explain.
Sid Logan
93 Posted 24/10/2015 at 21:57:11
Tony (#82),

The same thought has been bothering me. We don’t keep possession that well so – what exactly is it the style that Martinez attempts to inculcate into his teams?

It looks to me that it’s changed over his time with us. I think above anything it is a cautious approach which involves not overly committing until we see what the opposition are going to do.

Whatever it is he believes in, I can tell you what it isn’t. He doesn’t believe in going out for the oppositions throat so that we might from the outset get a grip on the game. He regards a steady approach which by its nature encourages a slow build-up to our attacks.

Put another way, he will not commit to the rapid support in numbers of our attacks. This is probably why, more often than not, they come to nothing. I believe he has a team capable of doing this.

The bottom line is that he is more cautious than Moyes ever was but is lucky enough to enjoy from media backing a belief that he is an attacking manager. Where it comes from I have no idea – but it persists and it works in his favour.

Steavey Buckley
94 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:05:34
I am so used to Everton leaking goals in a rain-soaked Emirates stadium, I have no idea what a good Everton defence looks like.
Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:07:27
Ten league games, plus two in the cup. How many games have we scored in the first 30 minutes?

Peter Weaver
97 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:09:21
Jim, Clive,

Steve Simonsen is still 'plying his trade' after a tour of English and Scottish clubs – including Rangers. He is currently playing for Pune City in the Indian Super League!

Si Cooper
98 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:16:44
Galloway superb, Geri and Ross likewise?

I must have watched a different game because the only players I thought maintained their standards were Seamus and Funes Mori. Okay, Galloway and Barkley tried throughout and were let down at times by the quality of the pass to them and the options they had once they had the ball, but Geri was patchy at best and embarrassing at times.

Stones defended well on the floor but was far too happy for Jags to take the primary responsibility for passing the ball out of defence and that was utter dross at times. McCarthy and Barry didn’t show enough for the ball either, which wouldn’t have been so bad if they had been exhausting themselves disrupting the Arsenal playmakers.

Howard didn’t do well for either goal but Ozil was allowed time and space to pick his cross for the first and the free kick for their second should never have been conceded.

Martinez has obviously ditched ’Sin miedo’ and seems to have run out of ideas. Maybe we will get lucky with some enforced changes; I am hopeful that Cleverly and Funes Mori can step in and improve our distribution from the back and revitalise our midfield.

Clive Rogers
99 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:16:44
Lennon looked like he was just going through the motions to me. Not as interested now he has his 3-year contract.
Oliver Molloy
102 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:20:09
Brendan Galloway said during the week "We can go to the Emirates and win, nothing to fear."

Unfortunately, Brendan you have a goalkeeper behind you that has plenty of fear. He let’s you down.

When is Martinez going to grow a pair of balls and drop this coward, because that is what Howard is. He’s more interested tweeting photos of his expensive luggage and first class seats.

It is time for Martinez to show Howard that his place in the team is not guaranteed.

Jim Lloyd
103 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:20:56
Thanks Peter.
Tony Dove
104 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:21:41
Another reality check. Playing teams before or after big Champions League games should be a big advantage. Today we were woeful.

Forget individuals, however bad Howard Lukaku, Stones and Lennon, to name a few, were. More bad team selections and Martinez is deservedly right back in the firing line.

Bottom half, here we come.

Andy Crooks
105 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:21:59
Well said, Colin. I believe we have good players and players with huge potential, however, I believe that our coach is not getting the .best from this squad.

His team selection is often baffling and negative. He appears, in my view,to be unclear what his best lineup and formation is. His loyalty to some players has long passed the point of being remotely commendable. At times we appear devoid of passion and inspiration and too often look ponderous and fearful.His job is safe unless there is a monumental collapse in the next two months.

I believe there is a chance that this squad can move the club forward and hope Martinez can do it. I wish it was someone else.

Sharabi Singh
107 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:22:07
Howard is definitely costing us points. Martinez must see it but he’s got to play him over Robles as he has better experience overall. New keeper in the summer please.

A bit of luck and we could have least got a draw. I don’t think we deserved victory today though.

The next 2 months will define our season

Colin Metcalfe
109 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:24:46
Just got back from the game, my first time at The Emirates... great stadium and my seat was directly in line with the 6-yard box so I had good view of the first two goals which were so so soft!

Yes, the marking left a lot to be desired but Tim Howard has got to come out and meet a floated cross into the 6-yard area! That should be bread and butter for a keeper. I dread to think what Big Nev thinks of our present No 1. Should be dropped asap!

As for our play, I just don’t understand why we start so slow? Surely it’s RM's responsibility to get them firing on all cylinders from the off? We should be at them right from the start but instead we sit back and admire Arsenal.

What surprised me is the general indecision within the team; no real conviction, confidence and yes, as others have posted, a lack of a leader with a nasty streak!

I thought Lennon had another poor game and Macca was again average at best! I thought we looked a lot more controlled and dangerous when Mirallas came on. For me, he must start every game and Lukaku must learn to work the channels. Too often today it was hoofed up to him and and with no support their CB had a pretty easy time today.

All-in-all, a disappointing day; the Blues need to get their shit together and quickly!

Frank Thomas
110 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:36:46
Tony (#79), made a good point about Howard coming straight back into the team when he was fit, replacing a player who performed really well, and Howard has been poor since.

Same thing last week: Stones and Coleman are fit again and straight in the team. That would be okay if the defence had been performing badly but the defence was playing very well and again he changed the team in fact most of the right wing was changed. 3 players in one game. Result could have been 5-0.

The difference in Martinez’s first season was that players had to play good to be in the team. Last season, you played well and you were rested next game???

Players come in form and then they go out of form and when out of form, drop them. Remember Man City’s goalie? When Hart, came back he was really good.

Kevin Tully
111 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:37:29
Howard’s trying a new tactic this season – slide tackles in the box. He does know he can use his hands, doesn’t he?

Time for Martinez to earn his salary and make the hard decisions. Howard may be a ’big character’ in the dressing room, but the guy is clearly coming to the end of his career in the top flight. I’ve never been one to single out individuals, but it’s clear he will continue to decline at this stage in his career.

It doesn’t have to end nastily, we can all thank him for his service to the club and see him on his way. I wonder if anyone still wants to see him continue?

Richard Reeves
112 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:37:40
I did forget to mention Barkley, Stones and Galloway were the best players on the field for us and Deulofeu did okay, although didn’t have one of his better games.

Kone didn’t get enough time today but his time is up in my opinion along with the other deadwood: Howard, Gibson, Barry, Osman, Hibbert, McGeady and Lennon. I would put Cleverley in that list but first a clearout of the old guard.

Tony Marsh
113 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:38:46
I said on here on Friday it would be over by half time and it was. I also mentioned that Howard and Lennon would be crap and they were. Why is it that our manager can’t or won’t see what we all can? It was the same under Moyes who also failed to see the bleeding obvious.

What can we expect for the rest of the season? Not much is the answer. Martinez is a busted flush. The more I see and hear from him, the more I grow to despise him. I never thought I would say this of Roberto but the guy is a coward. A coward in the Moyes mould and he has become this recently. Why I just can’t figure it out?

Mike Price
115 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:47:00
Some on here still think he’s a decent goalie and occasionally makes ’world class saves’. A fucking statue would occasionally make a world class save, it’s law of averages. He’s a complete joke, it must be a nightmare playing in our defence with him stealing a living, behind you.

People saying we can’t afford a world class goalie... maybe not, but any old, average, has been, like Schwarzer or Friedel even, would be a massive improvement, that’s how bad he is.

Apart from him, it’s clear that we lack drive, aggression and leadership. Too many nice, quiet boys in this squad and an overwhelming sense of ’going through the motions’. Footballers and management, happy to be paid professionals, but not a winner amongst them.

Oliver Molloy
116 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:47:38

Howard comes out with his feet (sliding tackles, as you put it) because he is a coward...

He needs to be dropped now.

Jim Lloyd
117 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:49:04
Well said Sid, and Carry on Colin! Your contributions are well considered...except, like most of us, when frustration bites our arses.

It'll be interesting now, as Roberto has almost a full squad to pick from. Which is the firat time, is it not, since early last season. That is not me making excuses, I am just trying to be factual.

From now on, except for Pienaar and Bainsey and Besic, He has a great deal of choice. He has seasoned premiership players, good quality young players and even more waiting in the wings.He is now coming into the stage of the game where he doesn't have to cobble together teams in a formation he'd perhaps rather not do.

If he can begin to replicate the football that he orchestrated in the first year, then I think it is looking quite promising for us. He did however, make a point of saying that he was searching for a No 10; and I guess that is the postition he is looking for to knit this team together.

I think from now on in, certainly from the January window, I think it would be fair to judge him and his team on their performance.

Then if he fails to progress, I would say there is no real reason other than he just can't bring us any further...and there's always Brendan Rogers!

I thought on Saturday, that United had got their tactics spot on but I don't think Martinez did. But the team looked flatter than just being out tacticalised (new word!)

Colin Hughes
118 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:56:38
In the last four seasons, we have scored more than three goals in just ONE Premier League match, a 4-0 win over Stoke 2 years ago.

That should tell us something about the way we don’t attack in numbers as you simply ain’t going to score a bagful from outside the box every week. Even shite like Newcastle scored six last week.

Callum McNab
119 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:56:42
Well, my two girls are still stuck by the Emirates (coach broke down again) they have been on the go since 5am this morning. It has cost them both nearly £200 for today all in and today’s game has been the last straw for them.

No more, they are staying away till things change. I think the more that do it will finally make this shower do something.

They don’t deserve the support the fans give are club, they don’t give a crap about its supporters as far as I’m concerned. It’s the same drivel, same mistakes every game, and then the same tripe spouted from the manager at the end.

Big changes are needed on and off the pitch.

Brent Stephens
120 Posted 24/10/2015 at 22:59:28
Interesting how we often see things differently from each other. Contrary to some other views, I thought Lennon had a decent game. Not because he posed an attacking threat but because I thought Roberto set things up to protect the full back on through Lennon tracking back – which he did tirelessly and with pace, as well as hen getting forward to do what he could.

Some saw Geri as being superb but, while I admired his tracking back as well, I felt he did little to either beat his man or get a good pass in (apart from the build up to our goal).

Jim #117 "But the team looked flatter than just being out tacticalised (new word!)". And if the word was italicised?!

John Raftery
121 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:03:14
There was little to choose between the two teams in the first half-hour but this was the time when we should have been firing on all cylinders and looking to score the opening goal. We are not good enough to sit back and allow teams to come at us.

Those who think we have a run of winnable fixtures should note that our next away game is at West Ham, currently a top four team.

We need to adopt a more positive approach from the first minute of every game, starting on Tuesday night against Norwich. Mirallas and Cleverley should be in the team but whoever plays, nothing less than a convincing win will do.

Jim Lloyd
122 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:21:01
Haha Brent. I couldn’t think of another word so, hence, the new entry into the Oxford English Dictionary.

I only listened to the match on Radio Merseyside and Ronnie Goodlass thought he’d put a decent shift in. He also made the point that Gerry was not beating his man often enough, nor getting decent crosses in, plus he was falling over a bit to easily.

I’d like to see Darron Gibson get a game as well, on Tuesday night.

Good grief Callum, your girls won’t be getting home for hours then. I hope they’re being well looked after by the coach company. Your point about the club, especially the board in my view is right.

What I heard today though, might well, if true, mean that change will come anyway quite soon.. Hopefully for the better, if that’s the case.

John Keating
123 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:22:44
If we put a cardboard cut-out of Howard in the middle of the 6-yard box, it would make more saves than Howard himself, certainly from crosses.
Ian Smitham
124 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:26:58
Heard a stat on MotD re number of goals scored by Watford. Was it 7 in 9 games? Looks like the teams that play against them know how to defend.
Tom Bowers
125 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:30:05
It has to be said that the Gunners will win the Premier League this season as long as key players like Cazorla and Sanchez stay fit. These guys on form are amazing. Everton certainly don’t have the players to match them although they could have snatched a point in the end but that may have clouded the inadequacies of this team.

I didn’t want RM to sign Lennon once he had gotten Deulofeu and though he tries hard he is not up to snuff as a midfielder. Mirallas seems to be out of favour due to his early Summer statements about leaving an may not be a viable option supporting Lukaku. Cleverley would be a welcome return but I doubt it would drastically improve things offensively against the better clubs.

Everton have now lost to Man City and Man Utd at home, dropped 2 points to RS also at Goodson and now lost to Arsenal. They beat Chelski but Mourinho’s mob appear to be out of sorts this season so far.

Now, with Jags likely to be out for a while the defence may lack real leadership specially as Howard (the senior guy) is in decline. Hopefully they can stay up the table until January when it is hoped RM can strengthen the offence as clearly what they have is just not good enough.

Ian Smitham
126 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:30:12
Is it the unthinkable? Going forward, what is the best Centre back pairing? No Jags??
Jim Lloyd
128 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:36:20
If we can keep him, the Stonesy and Ramiro.
Ernie Baywood
129 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:38:26
Don't agree with everything written here but on the key points I think most are generally in agreement.

I thought we did OK. Fairly compact defensively and looked capable of springing into attack through Rom and our pacy trio.

Defensively we saw a bit of a difference with Mori. Giroud did brilliantly against Stones and Jags as neither of them really attack the ball; all contact was initiated by Giroud and he's strong enough to hold a man off once he's earned his position. Without knowing how good Mori can be, it's clear he is the one who will attack the ball and man... Giroud didn't have it hits own way when he came on.

I don't believe either goal was a flap from Howard. He didn't get close enough to flap. The only defence for him is to say that he wouldn't have got to either from where he was... but it's his job to be ready to attack the ball. It would be like defending a no goal striker who never makes a run.

The first ball into Giroud, in particular, was exceptional but to lose to a side as good as Arsenal on aerial balls is gutting - we matched them on the deck.

No particular criticism of Roberto's selection. Playing Del was good and introducing Mirallas was a bold move. We have attacking threats - nice to see them.

Eddie Dunn
130 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:38:48
Colin, I always read your posts, whether I agree with you on a subject or not... keep on contributing.

Tonight was a missed opportunity. If only we could go for the jugular from the start!

Ian Smitham
131 Posted 24/10/2015 at 23:52:06
Anyone else noticed something that I have been watching? At home games (I do not manage aways anymore), every time the opposition get a corner, RM steps aside and the Assistant directs the players as to how to defend the position.

First, it makes me think that the Manager has no idea on how to defend; and secondly, he relies on someone who has even less idea.

Ben Lawrenson
132 Posted 25/10/2015 at 00:06:40
We all knew we needed a new keeper during the January transfer window. Martinez himself alluded to that. Then suddenly the man says how privileged we are to have someone of the quality of Howard.

He’s the worst keeper by some distance in the Premier League. I don’t expect him to make any saves. If I were an opposition manager, I would insist my team should shoot on sight of goal and toss any old ball into the area. A keeper was a priority, Howard is a chump.

Jim Lloyd
133 Posted 24/10/2015 at 00:07:47
I’m not normally one for picking a team but, as I’ve no exciting alternative, I was sitting here thinking about the possibilty of Jags being out for some weeks.

I was looking at our formation with a flat back four and, not really anything wrong with it, but there does seem to be a bit of overkill to have two defensive midfielders in front of the defence.

I thought about Tyias Browning and what a good player he looks; he certainly hasn’t let us down when he’s played. What I’d be interested to see is a back five, with Seamus, Tyias, John, Ramiro and Brendan as our defence (worry about Bainsey when he’s back).

They would be one hard bunch of lads who don’t take any messing from any opposition forward, or anyone else for that matter. They would certainly be a handful for any forward who tried to throw his weight about. They are all fast and hard and skilful and can get an attack going, or support the attack by getting into an attacking position themselves, extremely quickly.

I think we could then have three midfielders who woulds be expected to be more creative than we have at present and two forwards to do the business.

I am now going to have a nice cup of Horlicks and read a book!

Trevor Peers
134 Posted 24/10/2015 at 00:14:31
Blame Howard all you like, it goes much deeper than that. Roberto’s position is safe, as we all know, but I’m not looking forward to his solution to replacing the keeper; it’s a vital position, but he’s never signed a decent keeper in his managerial career as far as I can see.

Tactically, always playing two defensive mid-fielders is bafflingly negative... Why does he swap the wingers most weeks? For no apparent reason... The team suffers as a result, as there is no clear structure or stability in our play. With BK seemingly so ill, until something changes, we’re stuck with this awful system.

Mike Corcoran
135 Posted 25/10/2015 at 00:25:54
Just watching this, ffs that was a team. Bobby, look and learn:

Bill Gall
136 Posted 25/10/2015 at 00:26:19
Just watched the second half again and I may be in the minority but I did not see a great deal of improvement from the first half. The first shot on goal was by Barkley and that was in the 67th min and shortly after that Ozil had a shot on goal and the centre-forward hit the crossbar; at the time, Arsenal had over 60% of possession..

I was not sure whether Coleman was injured, but bringing on Kone on in the 88th minute and moving Mirallas to right back was baffling as Mirallas seemed to bring some life into the forward line and Kone did not seem to do anything when he came on.

No, this was not a good performance overall and Arsenal may be in the top 4, but they were there to be beaten, and once again Everton failed to take advantage. Okay, we had a tough 10-game start, but this was no excuse not to have earned more points as we have failed to gain more points by poor selection, poor substitutions and lack of effort.

Shame that all we have to look forward to is we should do well against supposedly poorer teams to gain a respectable position in the league.

Let's not forget that the 10 teams we have just played that earned us 13 points, we have to play them again in the second half of the season.

Barry Lambert
137 Posted 25/10/2015 at 01:02:09
Who the fuck is the goalkeeping coach, Stevie Wonder? Whoever he is, he should be sent down the road fuckin sharpish.
Anthony Lamb
138 Posted 25/10/2015 at 01:17:45
I really do wonder just how much longer the sheer incompetence of Tim Howard can be tolerated. In the sixty years I have been watching Everton I have seen certainly one truly great goalkeeper, some very good ones and a fair few poor ones. However, I do think that Howard may be the only one who has shown such an incredible inability to in any way dominate the area directly in front of him, namely the six yard box. The two examples in this game sum up what must be one of the most glaring weaknesses imaginable in a goalkeeper and one which has been allowed to go on unrectified.

It is not to simply castigate an individual for an error/mistake etc as this can happen to anybody and of which there is far to much in this media dominated rush to judgement. Nor is it to highlight a goalkeeping error, because their errors are always too easy to focus on for all the obvious reasons. No. This is a fundamental flaw in an aspect of the position that makes it criminal that it has been tolerated for so long. Is this man singularly incapable of attacking a flighted ball into the box? He is not a novice in terms of years and experience which raises the issue of the so called "goalkeeping coaches"! Now there is a joke! Just what do these characters do with their time at their palatial,training ground?

It is a good job that so much so called coaching claptrap pervades the modern game, personified by Mr Martinez, because if any of them had the common sense of the average manager of a schoolboy team, pub team, amateur team etc then Everton would be on the end of some pretty bleak results. For would any coach with a modicum of sense not simply set out to relentlessly pump as many balls into the six-yard as they could knowing how incompetent this keeper is? I am amazed that so few do this. Even the so called ex-pro pundits seem blind to the obvious, as they see these two errors as aberrations rather than further examples of dreadful professional incompetence. And to think that this guy is paid obscene amounts of money to go out and carry on continuing to fail in one of the most crucial aspects of his responsibility.

It is not that he himself is the only problem or flaw in the current Everton set up but he is certainly one of the most crucial and the most obvious. As such it brings the issue of standards across many areas of responsibility into disrepute, not least the manager and his so called staff. Then to hear about Callum’s children’s fate, together with the dreadful train company treatment of those loyal fans it just makes one despair.

Sean Patton
139 Posted 25/10/2015 at 01:32:35
That keeper has to go now, not in January or at the end of the season but immediately. I don't care if we have to play one of the youth team in his place this groundhog day situation of him costing the team goals every game must stop.
Andy Codling
140 Posted 25/10/2015 at 01:55:58
The fact that this idiot Howard was made Captain when Jags left the park shows how much Martinez rates Howard. Oh for a Southall or Nigel Martyn.
Thomas Newton
141 Posted 25/10/2015 at 01:06:09
Just got back from the game, thankfully didn’t have to buy a ticket as I was given a corporate.

Driving down we discussed the liability Howard has become so not in the least bit surprised how bad he was, besides being by varying degrees at fault for both goals he also palmed a shot going 2 yards wide round the post then parried away a powder puff shot with more power than it had.

Don’t think one of his many kicked clearances reached a blue shirt, not helped by Lukaku or Barkley seemingly unwilling to challenge.

I take no pleasure in slating any player but his problem with balls into the box is now endemic in his game, thought the Benteke headed goal at Villa last season was bad, seems like that it could get worse.

James Kirrane
142 Posted 25/10/2015 at 01:38:50
Howard does not have the balls to be a top class keeper. He is scared shitless when the ball is put into the zone. He has the advantage of being able to use his fists and also the protection of the ref. He's a complete pussy. Big Nev would have steam rolled those guys.
Bob Parrington
143 Posted 25/10/2015 at 01:39:19
Only needs a few words
Shit goalkeeping by Howard
Crap passing all round but mostly Jags
One-eyed disgraceful refereeing
Peter Barry
144 Posted 25/10/2015 at 02:40:14
Tim Howard 2 - Everton 0
Michael Penley
145 Posted 25/10/2015 at 02:58:29
It wasn't just the goals. Did anyone see the two occasions when Howard almost hit one of his long kicks into a charging Arsenal attacker? I think one of them clipped Giroud. Something's not working in Howard's brain, hasn't been for a few years now.
Paul Ward
146 Posted 25/10/2015 at 03:01:48
Anthony Lamb (#138),

A very well written piece that sums up this pitiful excuse for a goalkeeper we have. If Martinez had had any idea of goalkeeping talent he would have replaced Howard the day he arrived at this club. It would have saved Howard the embarrassment he is suffering now.

It just staggers me that fans have taken so long to see his glaring faults. There are many faults in this team, Howard is just one of them. Unfortunately the manager is the main problem, so we are stuck him until the results are so bad they sack him.

James Marshall
147 Posted 25/10/2015 at 03:28:20
A few things: in the space of 3 consecutive posts on this thread, you have one person saying Barry was outstanding, the next saying he was dreadful, and the next person talking about our bogey team being Sunderland.

This pretty much sums up the confusion our manager and players currently create.

First of all, our bogey team is Arsenal, not Sunderland – go and have a look at the record books, it’s not news.

Secondly, I agree that Gareth Barry is the glue that binds us together, but he’s also something of a thorn in our side when we lose the ball because he has absolutely no pace – this is the reason he is the most yellow-carded player in the history of evolution. Pretty much every card he gets is for either pulling someone back when they break on us, or tripping someone up in a spectacularly late tackle like last night.

On the plus side, he plays it simple, moves the ball around nicely and is to, our Didier Deschamps – as a certain Monsieur Cantona put it so bluntly, a water carrier. Every team has one, or should have one. The problem with our one is his ability off the ball, not with it.

A few people have mentioned our defence, which is seemingly a bit shambolic, and I agree though I would also say that the way we set up our midfield offers very little protection, and we’re literally wide open in midfield. The players leave so much space it’s unreal and Arsenal played all around us exactly as Man Utd did a week ago – why does the manager not learn?

Also, yet again another game goes by and I struggle to notice/understand the tactics being employed – especially in the first half. Arsenal are always going to have the ball, so why weren’t we trying to counter-attack? At all. Slow in possession, dithering about backwards and sideways against a team which is always going to pass you to death. What have they been practicing all week? Baffling again.

I’m not too irked at losing away to Arsenal – we’ve all come to expect it these days, but the manner in which we went about it was the worst thing. Second half we broke on them at pace, but why not the first half?

Howard looked like an ageing figure last night, as did Jags. I’ve been a staunch supporter of Howard (goalkeepers union & all that) but last night I couldn’t not agree with the dissenters on here about his performance. Aimless kicking, flapping at crosses, or simply not trying to command his area at all left him looking like an amateur.

Jagielka's distribution was equally woeful and often put young team mates under pressure. Defenders need to be cool, and calm things down, not hype them up and make midfielders stressed. Stones may not be the best in the air, but the kid is still a Rolls Royce on the ground. Immensely calm and collected moving the ball forward at times, and a joy to watch.

As another poster mentioned, we’re not far short of being a very good side – we just need to cut out a few mistakes, and learn to be tighter without the ball, and hustle a bit more. We have all the makings of a good side, but all the hallmarks of a Martinez side – open, and prone to glaring mistakes.

By the time we get to Christmas we should have an idea of where we are – we’ve played last season's top half already, now we play last season's bottom half so we’ll see.

Derek Thomas
148 Posted 25/10/2015 at 03:31:42
As this League campaign seems to be going nowhere, we have to:

a) Put all our eggs in the League Cup basket;

b) Drop Howard.

So that’s 2 very hard or 2 very easy decisions for Roberto.

My tip: he will only make one decision, buggered if I can guess which one it will be though.

Mike Price
149 Posted 25/10/2015 at 04:46:26
Finally the penny seems to be dropping. He’s always been substandard, he’s not ever been a good keeper for us; everything we ever did was despite him not because of him. The Emperor's clothes moment, surely, please God.

Trouble is the ridiculous contract he was given on the basis of one decent save in a losing World Cup game, and the massive overreaction of a country that understands the game like most in Engalnd understand baseball.

Well said, Anthony Lamb (#138).

Nitesh Kanchan
150 Posted 25/10/2015 at 05:38:54
Difficult matches are over. Hoping for a winning streak now. Kone has to start all the games. Lukaku loves his partnership. Barry’s red card was a blessing in disguise and even Jagielka's injury.

Jags was just losing it. He messed it up against Man Utd last week and Arsenal now, seriously how he could not win a single header against Giroud was baffling.

Robles should start and will have better communication (Spanish) with Funes Mori. Gibson or Mirallas will get to play now with a more attacking line up. Really excited about upcoming games. Not giving up hope yet on top 4. Don’t mess it up Martinez.
Steve Brown
151 Posted 25/10/2015 at 05:55:00
Some interesting points in the posts. Here is my takeaway from another self-inflicted defeat:

1) Barry had been one of our star performers all season. I know he polarises opinion but he has broken up attacks and initiated counters all season. Our best best midfielder by a mile in an area where we are lacking.

2) I agree with everyone in here – Howard is shot and cannot command his box. He gives his defence no confidence on crosses and must be dropped... permanently.

3) Our defensive cohesion has deteriorated over the season and a major part of that has been the drop off in Jagielka’s performance. He has been losing his man regularly and his passing out of defence has been woeful. Sounds terrible but when he went off I thought ’good’, now we will have better defensive balance with Funes Mori alongside Stones.

4) Barkley is beginning to match his individual talent with team play, but he is COWARDLY in the tackle and I am sick of it. He constantly jumps out of 50:50 challenges, losing possession and allowing teams to counter attack. He makes it worse by jogging back after he has been the one to lose the ball.

5) Lukaku worked his backside off but was completely isolated. We badly need an advanced Number 10 to feed him.

6) Brendan Galloway is going to be a fantastic player. Enough said!

Darren Hind
152 Posted 25/10/2015 at 06:14:50
I'm trying to lay off Roberto this season, but he really painted himself into a corner when he insisted Howard was his Number 1 goalie. He has to accept he got that one wrong. All great managers do.

Howard clearly isn't the man, but to point the finger solely at him is wrong; any goalkeeper would struggle with crosses with Jagielka, Stones, Barkley, Barry et al in front of him. We haven't got a single player who can bully a defender or attack a ball in a way a player like Dave Watson would.

I haven't seen enough of Funes Mori to saddle him with comparisons to the likes of Watson, but he at least knows how to compete in the air and he may be just the player to set the example for our talented young defenders – Jagielka certainly isn't.

I think Mike Green is right. Big Sam would have been licking his lips at the way we defended crosses and I expect them to be fizzing in next week. When Wenger and Arsenal abandon their philosophy to repeatedly put balls "into the mixer", You have to recognise that the rest of the league have identified a big chink in your armour.

Keith Knowles
154 Posted 25/10/2015 at 06:50:07
Spot on, Steve (#151).
Alex Bennett
155 Posted 25/10/2015 at 07:24:18
We are weak in the keeper department. We all know that. It could be Howard or Robles and I wouldn't have too much confidence in either of them. What really annoys me though is how can Lennon start before Mirallas.
Dave Pritchard
156 Posted 25/10/2015 at 07:53:10
Better performance than against Man Utd. However, the centre-back pairing of Jags and Stones has looked poor in both of the last 2 games. Likely that Jags will be out for a few games now so hopefully some improvement with Funes Mori in. Stones needs to up his game as well though as he should have followed Giroud instead of just watching his run. Howard has already been criticised and rightly so. Do we bring Robles in? I would say yes.

Centre-midfield still relies on Barkley for creativity and he was decent yesterday but don’t expect him to tackle as he can’t. Barry was good apart from his silly 2nd booking and it is McCarthy who needs a rest. Cleverley centre-mid instead of him against Sunderland for me.

Tony Smith
157 Posted 25/10/2015 at 07:54:04
Agree with the comments re Howard, Jagielka's poor performance, and Barkley jumping over tackles, but the other big issue for me is our total lack of interest in getting anything from corner kicks. Seriously, how many times have we scored from corners in the last two seasons?

I don’t get excited now when we get a corner and just wait for the opposing team to pick up possession. There is obviously no preparation on the training ground on attacking corners and no one apart from Jags sometimes with a flailing attempt to connect, makes any effort to attack the ball.

At places like the Emirates, some of your best opportunities to score will come from corners and set pieces. This and the general lack of aerial threat from the team is unacceptable.

Laurie Hartley
158 Posted 25/10/2015 at 09:00:45
The next three games will be like The Battle of Britain.

On current form alone, Howard should be dropped. If West or Southall had been defending those two crosses, Giroud and Kosceilny would have woken up in the second half with cauliflower ears.

Surely Robles will start against Norwich – Lafferty is 6’4". I hope young Robles rises to the challenge because if he doesn’t I am am going to get seriously worried about the Sunderland and West Ham games.

Big Sam will have, since he got the job, been drumming into his charges the finer points of scoring from corners and set pieces.

And then there is Carroll to contend with.

I really hope Gibson and Besic are available for these games because they are going to be tough physical contests.

Ernie Baywood
159 Posted 25/10/2015 at 09:08:30
What is realistically the best and worst case this season? It’s pretty much 7th to 14th right?

So what benefit is there in picking Howard? Joel Robles might make mistakes but might also turn into a keeper for future years. He showed a few signs last season. I’d rather know that answer by January when the transfer window opens.

Sam Barrett
160 Posted 25/10/2015 at 09:14:51
Sorry, chaps, I haven’t read any comments yet so forgive me if this has already been said. If Funes Mori had started, I don’t think we would have conceded them 2 goals. Howard was at fault but so was Jags. His injury may be a blessing in disguise as Funes Mori may get a run of games now.
Colin Glassar
161 Posted 25/10/2015 at 09:20:08
Sam, I wrote something very similar. When Naismith was injured, that opened the door for Bainesy. I’m not writing Jags off but he has been poor recently and Funes Mori wasn’t bullied by Giroud like Phil was.
Patrick Murphy
162 Posted 25/10/2015 at 09:37:26
The first 10 fixtures from hell are out of the way and we begin a less demanding run, but is that really true? Many are licking their lips at the prospect of facing Sunderland, West Ham, Aston Villa et al in the next few months, based on what evidence? We still have a team that concedes daft goals, mostly due to giving the ball away under no pressure and we still have a team that creates very few chances or fails to take many of those chances when they do arrive.

Throw into the mix the high placings of West Ham, Palace and Leicester who are full of verve and confidence and suddenly the next half of the season starts to look a bit more daunting than it may have at the start of the season. Two sides who Everton have already beaten Southampton and West Brom have moved above the Blues in the table and hopefully not too many others will do the same in the coming months.

The Manager, the players and not least the fans have to realise that nothing is won on paper as football is played on grass and every player has to win their individual battles before the team start to win matches more regularly.

A perceived easier run of fixtures won't automatically lead to an increased points tally, hard work, concentration and a determination to outscore the opponents by the players might. We'll see where we are at the turn of the year but I don't expect it to be any easier to watch than it has been in the first few months of the season.

Stephen Stott
163 Posted 25/10/2015 at 09:49:34
Why the negativity? We lost a close game to a team who in their previous 3 games had scored 8 goals, conceded none, beaten one of the top 3 teams in Europe, and beating us went top of the PL. Wenger and Cech both said we were a very good team and they were hanging on at the end.

As for singling out players for criticism, the same players get hammered each time. Most on here have levelled criticism at Howard. If you think there is a goalie out there who dominates his area and comes and collects crosses by wiping out everything I front of him, then think again: there isn’t. Those goalies don’t exist anymore. Just look at Neuer, reckoned to be best in world, even he flapped at a cross which cost them the first goal against Arsenal.

I’m very calm about our situation and thoroughly enjoying the Rugby World Cup – now that is entertaining!

Derek Knox
164 Posted 25/10/2015 at 09:51:41
Having watched the highlights of the game on Match of the Day, and loking at fellow TW'ers comments, I have to agree that Tim Howard's days should be coming to an end.

He is costing us too many points. He is a lovely guy and has served us fairly well over the years, but is still suspect in many situations, that can' just be chalked down to a bad day at the office!

I fail to understand the logic, or should I say the lack of it, with many Football Managers, in they will willingly pay astronomical fees and wages for strikers and outfield players. Many of whom fail to deliver or live up to their expectations. Yet when it comes to a Goalkeeper they reluctantly pay small beer, okay there have been some exceptions, but generally GKs don't seem to command decent fees. They are more valuable than a misfiring outfielder any day.

I don't think El Teflon in the reserves is the answer either, so come on Everton get the ball rolling next window and get a good reliable replacement, whatever the cost!

David Holroyd
165 Posted 25/10/2015 at 10:00:37
Did we expect anything more than a win for Arsenal? We are beaten before even get there. Even with a change of personnel, there is something in the club's makeup that says "Arsenal away? No chance."

If Chelsea come in for John Stones again, should we sell? And if we do, would you trust Martinez to spend wisely? A big NO.

How many games have we won since the end of his first season? Not many.

He has to go... come on, Kenwright, have the guts to say you made yet another mistake; please sack him.

We are going nowhere except downwards with Martinez. Look at the way West Ham are playing and they have had a harder fixture list than we have: Arsenal and Liverpool both away which they won. Seems to me they have recruited well. Martinez out.

Dave Pritchard
166 Posted 25/10/2015 at 10:14:02
Anybody think that Stones has to take some blame as well.

Howard poor? Yes.
Jags poor? Yes
Stones poor? Interested to hear views...

Trevor Peers
167 Posted 25/10/2015 at 10:19:07
Looking at our first 10 EPL games, the record this season, reflects exactly last seasons results i.e. won 3, lost 3 and drawn 4. Last seasons first 10 EPL games were pretty difficult as well.

What worries a lot of blues fans is history has a habit of repeating itself, the system Roberto employs hasn’t really altered and we only avoided a relegation fight, by winning 5 out 6 games between March and April last season.

The pressure is on the manager once again therefore, to find a winning formula, and although the fixtures look relatively easy, I don’t think there are any easy games in the EPL the Sky money has seen to that. So starting with the Sunderland home game, we need to start picking up 3 points on a regular basis. Or we could be in trouble again.

Nitesh Kanchan
169 Posted 25/10/2015 at 10:32:04
The first goal is always crucial in big games and Howard has found a knack of gifting them. Against Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal...
Max Murphy
170 Posted 25/10/2015 at 10:32:55
No complaints. These are performances we've come to expect, and they'll continue under our present manager.
Brent Stephens
171 Posted 25/10/2015 at 10:40:47
Dave (#166), "Anybody think that Stones has to take some blame as well?"

I did post elsewhere that Stones might in part be culpable for the first goal. He left Jags to go for it when he could see all I front of him.

Love the guy’s abilities but there are times of indecision or poor decision. But still love the guy – the way he controlled one high ball with his chest, I just drooled – shades of Bobby Moore.

Barry Lambert
172 Posted 25/10/2015 at 10:46:13
Anybody need a good laugh?

The Sunday Mirror's players ratings: Howard 7/10 Good saves, commanded his penalty box well.

Dave Pritchard
173 Posted 25/10/2015 at 11:29:19
Cheers, Brent, long thread so I must have missed it. I agree he was the centre-back who could see Giroud. It is often the case that, just like Martinez seemingly has his favourites, then the same is true of fans who pile all the blame on some when maybe others are culpable as well.
Jamie Barlow
174 Posted 25/10/2015 at 11:43:53
I can't agree with those having a pop at Barry. For me, he has been one of our better and most consistent players this season and is most definitely needed when you play an absolute shithouse along side him in midfield.

It's alright playing with 11 when we have the ball but to play with 10 when we don't is too much in this league. You need every player fighting for the ball and Barkley is a massive letdown in this area. I don't know how he's getting away with it to be honest.

Tony Twist
175 Posted 25/10/2015 at 14:41:38
Let’s face, we are very poor. I put most of that down to the manager who is too stuck in his ways... and his ways are just flawed. We are embarrassing at even doing the basics like defending and keeping possession.

With regards the manager motivating the players, well all the slow starts says it all. Totally second rate. We are screwed until Martinez either goes or changes the way we play.

It’s been a tough first 10 games, one would expect wins for the next few games but what history has shown, with Martinez in charge, I wouldn’t put money on us winning many. Please prove me wrong, Everton.

Mike Powell
176 Posted 25/10/2015 at 15:31:34
I have stuck up for Howard but he cost us against Arsenal. The difference between him and Cech: their keeper came out to collect almost every ball in the air whereas Howard's feet never left the floor.

I thought we played well, could’ve won and would’ve if we’d had their keeper. Barkley, Galloway, Lukaku and Stones were our stand-out performers. Why oh why doesn’t Mirallas start? And Deulofeu was poor again.

James Marshall
177 Posted 25/10/2015 at 15:51:42
Can anyone tell me what McCarthy does with the ball? He runs about a lot without it, and makes the odd tackle, but when he’s got it, what’s his role?

Answers on a postcard.

Barkley couldn’t tackle his way out of a paper bag.

Laurence Evans
179 Posted 25/10/2015 at 16:12:55
Why are Everton playing that useless twat Lennon? Is he going to be another Alcaraz?

He is not good enough to play for Everton... Realise it now, Martinez, before you ruin this season.

Bring back Leon Osman for god's sake at least for home games. Lennon is fucking useless and does not fit in with our style of play. Be brave this time, Mr Manager, and get rid soon.

Chris Butler
180 Posted 25/10/2015 at 16:49:41
The simple truth is that our season is over yet again. The reason why is Roberto’s insistence on playing underperforming players. With the exception of Lukaku all our players are replaceable, with other players.

The problem is that Martinez is very similar to Benitez, in that rather than trying to get points out of every game he just focuses on certain games. We didn’t really go out for a victory against a very poor Liverpool side. Martinez then continued to play players who had had a poor game against Liverpool v United.

Steven Naismith is useless on the wings, we saw that under Moyes however Martinez has started to play him on the wings. Funes Mori played well against Liverpool, there was no reason to drop him for the United match and then not play him from the start against Arsenal. Same with Browning, yes he’s not very good going forward but he is a quality defender.

Lennon played very well last season on loan, however after signing del he shouldn’t of been brought back. A lot of people had a go at Mirallas when he got sent off at Swansea; I thought he was right to be annoyed. There was huge amounts of space on the left that could of been exploited by him, however Martinez brought him on after 90 minutes.

My view is Martinez was the wrong man to bring in to Everton in 2013; we should of brought in Billic. He has proven that he can do very well with very little resources. He has beaten Liverpool, Arsenal and Man City away from home and beaten Chelsea at home. He is a manager who accepts no nonsense from his players, he did very well at Besiktas beating our neighbours from the park in the Europa League.

He nearly knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League in the qualifiers; my view is we made a serious mistake not bringing him in when we had the chance.

Paul Jeronovich
181 Posted 25/10/2015 at 17:03:38
Slight overreaction me thinks. We just needed to shake the inferiority complex and actually get amongst these so-called bigger clubs.

Did anyone watch the Manc derby? Complete shite. If we had of gone for it rather than shitting our pants, we would have got more out of these games. Second half yesterday we were the more dangerous team cutting through their flanks.

The season is far from over, we just need to cut out the respect to the opposition. COYB, keep the faith.

Jay Harris
182 Posted 25/10/2015 at 17:17:01
Paul, the problem is we don't have players with a winning mentality and we don't have the calibre of manager to instil that in them.

We have the best quality squad we have had since the start of the Premier League but unfortunately not the management to make them successful.

Colin Glassar
183 Posted 25/10/2015 at 17:17:28
Nah, it's al over Paul, can't you read? If you can't win your first ten games then you should sack the manager, players, tea lady and the mangy moggy which keeps BK's sarnies warm.
Dave Lynch
184 Posted 25/10/2015 at 17:17:30
A few things from yesterday’s game.

Barkley is an average footballer, I don’t care what anyone says, he’s bog standard average.

Lukaku’s is fucking useless on his own upfront, he needs a supporting striker.

We have no midfield, we do not impose ourselves on games; win the middle and you control the game.

Martinez is way out of his depth. We are in more trouble than I think a lot of fans realise... our football is pedestrian and predictable, the teams he picks are unbalanced with players in wrong positions or better options on the bench.

Sam Barrett
185 Posted 25/10/2015 at 17:26:40
Dave (#166), Stones was equally at fault definitely for the second goal. He passed the man on when he should have stayed with him.

I really think Funes Mori should play with either Jagielka or Stones as he is so much more commanding in the air.

Bobby Thomas
187 Posted 25/10/2015 at 17:30:08
We looked better early doors this season but I think the organisation is beginning to go already. They could have had 5 yesterday. It is hard work up front for Lukaku at the moment as well. Isolated and gets no help. The usual problems basically.

I'm going to lay my cards on the table and say I think the first 6 months were a break in convention for this manager, mainly due to the structure and shape Moyes left from a defensive aspect. The last half dozen or so games of his first season, we shipped a lot of goals... and last season was a joke.

We will improve on last season a bit, but there's nothing to get excited about; we are a very average side.

The Lennon signing is a joke, by the way.

Steve Harris
188 Posted 25/10/2015 at 17:30:26
Spot on Chris, I said 5 years ago that Billic was the man but got castigated on here for it, a man that show’s passion which is reflected in his team. They've already won away at the Shite and Arsenal, something we haven’t managed, or even looked like doing, for the best part of 20 years. Instead, we have to endure the same lethargic, clueless, Groundhog Day football from Martinez!
Jay Harris
189 Posted 25/10/2015 at 18:26:21
Colin, I admire your support for the manager but surely you can't be happy with so many aspects of our game?

He inherited a top 4 back 4 and a bunch of top class young players. In addition, he has been backed extensively in the transfer market.

For me personally he was never good enough for a club of Everton’s size but as always we have backed the manager. However, I feel we have seen enough of his tactics, team selection and motivation to be dissatisfied by what we see.

Colin Glassar
190 Posted 25/10/2015 at 18:38:14
I’m not happy Jay, on the contrary I see a lot of worrying signs and I said this last night. If he has to go then he should go, simple as. What I will say, and this goes against your premise of him being backed in the transfer market, is that whoever replaces him will be faced with the same problems, ie, a board who has no ambition whatsoever and a stadium that is falling down around us.

As long as this club remains in its semi-catatonic state, we can forget about ever winning the league, finishing in the top four or, in fact, winning a cup. The whole structure stinks of complacency and mediocrity — you can have the manager of your dreams and we will still struggle to get to 6th to 8th. We might play a bit better (whatever that means) but we are stuck where we are thanks to the incompetent clowns who run the club.

John Keating
191 Posted 25/10/2015 at 18:41:32
Colin, your blind faith in Martinez is admirable; however, can you really see anything different from last season?

It’s not a case of not winning the first 10 games... it should be whether we can see any light at the end of the tunnel. In my opinion, there isn’t.

Phil Smith
192 Posted 25/10/2015 at 19:06:37
I love Jags but I’m glad he’s injured. Funes Mori is top drawer in the air and I think our defense will be better balanced without him. Maybe a back 3 could work with Jags & Stones?

Deulofeu also has to be given the time that Ross has and he’ll be a top player.

We’ve got those 10 games out of the way now. Let's see where we are after the next 10. I think we’ll be top 8 at worst...

Stephen Stott
193 Posted 25/10/2015 at 19:23:12
Phil... You are glad one of our players is injured!
Jay Harris
194 Posted 25/10/2015 at 19:23:23
Totally agree with you on that score, Col.

We had an opportunity, when Moyes went, to get a top class manager and, as usual, Bill took the lazy and easy option.

Dave Ganley
195 Posted 25/10/2015 at 22:02:57
To be honest, the lack of ambition from the club and fans alike is baffling me. All these nonsensical excuses of getting the first 10 "hard" games out of the way and we play some games that are winnable... is this how far we have fallen?

Say what you like about Moyes but, for the last 5 or 6 seasons he was there, we always had expectation we would challenge for the top 6 and if we didn't meet those expectations then we would be bitterly disappointed to say the least.

We haven’t had loads of money for years now but we still expected to compete. Now the excuses coming out are, "Well, we had a hard first 10 games, we don't have loads of cash and the top teams have so many good players." Pitiful excuses.

Martinez, regardless of his inane positivity, has subtly managed to lower everyone's expectations. After he took over a healthy top 6 club he had managed to destroy a good team by playing so much negative football that he makes Moyes look like a Dutch master coach. We are now happy if we are mid table and hope, yes hope we can do something against the smaller clubs.

For pity's sake, we are heading back into mediocrity which is only a small step back to the Walter Smith years. In fact there could be an argument that Walter's teams played with a bit more passion but they were just shit players.

I am sick and tired of the team only coming to life when we are a goal or two down. I have no idea what they do in training but it’s not practising football given what they do on the field. Goodison's crowd are so bored, the place really has taken over from Highbury and become a library. The team don't Inspire and neither does Martinez. For me he really needs to go before he drags us further into the mire.

Once-good players are a shadow of their former selves and there is no sign that they are ever going to return to great form. Every now and again, a player shines then it’s back to same old, same old the next game.

I want us to be competitive every game and I don't want to hear daft excuses like we have hard games... they are all supposed to be hard and if you don't put the effort in then you don't get reward. Ffs, even the lower league clubs in the Capital One Cup gave us a hard time before we started playing.

Of all the games played this season, only Man City were a cut above. Every other game we could have taken something from if Martinez had any clue how to get the best out of his players. Enough is enough for me, he has to go before much more damage is done.

Terry McLavey
196 Posted 25/10/2015 at 23:58:27
Dave (#195), Brilliant thread!

I have just watched MotD2. I don’t see ANY easy games from the also-rans. In fact, I see more skill and imagination than we could ever conjure up from our coming up fixtures.

Seeing Howard’s performance re the goals infuriates me; it looks as though he was bribed to do nothing! Attack the ball!!! You are paid more than most of us will ever see; your arrogance astounds me! When you let one in, and I mean LET, you look around as if it’s someone else’s fault!!

You have cost us so many goals this season, you are a great "stopper" (if that involves getting in the way!) but you don’t command the box as all of our previous goalkeepers have.

We now have a keeper and manager who is not worthy of us. How could you possibly leave Naismith on for 45 minutes against Man Utd when he was obviously having a bad day? You bring players on for 5 minutes at the end expecting change!!! WE DESERVE BETTER!

Every fucking match looks improvised, we get through with damage limitation. I have been a Blue for 57 years... I DESERVE BETTER!

Paul Ward
197 Posted 26/10/2015 at 01:16:19
Dave Ganley (#195), Superb piece; that should be a compulsory read by everyone connected to this club.

I also think this first 10 games is joke, as recent history has shown we have no idea of beating poor teams who just park the bus anyway. Get ready for drab draws, shit goalkeeping and above all, poor management.

Tahir Abdullah
198 Posted 26/10/2015 at 01:49:54
Dave @95 well said. Interesting also that some of RM’s staunchest supporters are seemingly having doubts about their man without explicitly implicating the man himself.

Note that despite the board’s lack of ambition in appointing RM, he has received significantly greater backing in the transfer market than his predecessor (comparing 10-11 - 12-13 vs 13-14 - 15-16).

As for the assertion that another manager would struggle to get this team to 7th-ish... isn’t this where EFC consistently finished in the 3 seasons pre-RM?

Peter Barry
199 Posted 26/10/2015 at 03:40:17
86% of respondents to a Liverpool Echo question say Howard should be dropped... and they are not wrong; it's the 14% that are.
Matt Traynor
200 Posted 26/10/2015 at 03:59:14
Tahir #198 I wish people would stop the insinuation that RM has been backed more than Moyes was. With the new TV money coming in, it was inevitable that the manager would be working with a greater budget than his predecessor. If Moyes had stayed, he'd have had the same level of support as Martinez from the board.

Also, you (and others) cite a lack of ambition from the board when they appointed Martinez. Remind me, just who was a realistic alternative who was in the frame? I genuinely can't recall. The only names bandied around where Ralf Rangnick and Marcelo Biesla was also touted. The former would've been a riskier appointment, and I doubt the latter was ever a contender.

Tahir Abdullah
201 Posted 26/10/2015 at 04:54:16
Matt @200, apologies I was not clear enough in my post so in clarification here goes:

- Regarding budget availed by the board to RM vs Moyes, of course the Sky money determines the size of the budgets RM vs OFM. However look at Moyes's budget dealings vs his achievement of league position....and then refute my point around the 6th - 8th (see CG @ 190) as being a struggle for EFC to achieve.

- Regarding who was available, 2 words this time i.e. Slaven Bilic; my point being, that here is a guy who was bought out of a contract by the mighty West Ham (ambitious that ain’t it?). If you look hard enough and are bold and determined enough....

- Lastly the question to you (and I assume you’re an RM supporter) and others who haul out the "who else would’ve come here/who else was available" line is this: which EPL club today would have RM as their preferred manager?

ps: I was also sold on RM in 2013-14 but have long since realized that was achieved in that season was a fluke. Happy to be proved wrong of course...

Matt Traynor
202 Posted 26/10/2015 at 07:21:46
Tahir #201, I’m a supporter of the club, not the board, or the manager. Not that it really makes a difference, but Moyes's tenure went on maybe 3 years too long for me, and I always got the feeling he was waiting for the job he eventually got to become available. Fair enough, even the most ardent Toffee would struggle to say that he should’ve stayed with us. I began to tire of Moyes toeing the party line about us punching above our weight etc – reinforcing the "plucky little Everton" label bandied around.

Martinez frustrates the shite out of me. I couldn’t listen to his inane pressers during his first season (when by most people’s standards we did quite well). His blind spot re Howard, and accumulation of wingers that never play also somewhat vexes me.

However, even though we eventually finished 7 points off 4th place, I believe that our Board’s failure to somehow find the funds to back the manager in January meant we, once again, fell short.

The problem we will always have as long as we have a board of carpetbaggers is we will only ever be in the market for a manager who will toe the line, and try to outperform based on the available budget. Great when it works, but ultimately likely to leave us just short.

Moyes largely out-performed, and was well rewarded for it. But he was also given plenty of time to ultimately fall short.

Jim Lloyd
203 Posted 26/10/2015 at 08:57:39
I think this club is likely to have change very soon. Whether that will be for the better or not, who knows. I hope that, if this is the case, we get some positive change and someone with a plan to be put in place that will see us progress.

As for Roberto Martinez, Liverpool went after him so there were other clubs looking at him. As Matt says, who else was around that would have been as good/ better. Slaven Bilic? Possible but had he any experience in league management? That doesn’t mean he would not make it of course, but we chose Roberto.

So far, I think he had a good first season a poor second season and a mixed set of results and performances this season. I think he now has his squad almost all fit and from now on, or certainly from January when he hopefully gets Yarmalenko, then he should be able to produce the football he is aiming for.

The games were hard for the first ten or so but, it’s right now to say, there are no easy games, so the up and coming ones will be battles that we will have to win.

As for the goalkeeping question. Tim Howard has kept us in games on occasions but he has always had a weakness for crosses /corners and he’s lost us as many, if not more (I think it’s more) games regularly giving the opposition easy headers that should have been his ball.

I think it would be reasonable to give Robles a run; if he does anything like his last run, then it didn't look bad at all. Getting another goalie, though, costs a lot of cash and have we got it?

Someone said the fans don’t have ambition. Don’t we? If we look at the club and the Board that runs it, it isn’t being unrealistic, after the tripe we’ve had for donkey's years, to foresee that we are not going to mix it with the top four on a regular basis, if at all.

And as other clubs now have equal buying power, it is likely, but not certain, that this club, as it stands now, will only be able to see our team get around the 8th - 6th mark.

If we think another manager will raise us higher... Who?

We’ve known for years that the club were content for Moyes to keep us in and around the top six or seven but "knife to a gunfight" was his view; and that might well be all this club is capable of.

Terry McLavey
204 Posted 26/10/2015 at 09:07:11
I still think it’s incredible that although we had a good first season our manager still had the previous team which he was in charge of relegated. If any of us were sacked from where we work, would we walk into another similar job with the new employer knowing your history?

The world of football beggars belief: fuck up and there’s another job for you! Maybe we expect too much from him? But, as I said in my previous thread, we deserve better!

Brian Wilkinson
205 Posted 26/10/2015 at 14:23:40
I did say last season, our Achilles heel is our goalkeepers; most were adamant we needed to strengthen midfield, attack etc.

Neither keeper we have is good enough: we should have made signing a goalkeeper our top priority last summer. I know that; most Evertonians know it as well... shame our manager does not see it.

Robles is not a keeper for me; that will be our downfall in a cup run, Robles playing in goal.

Let's hope and pray we sign a keeper in January.

Tim Wardrop
206 Posted 26/10/2015 at 15:57:09
I'm not a big fan of Howard, but just to play devil's advocate, he was class against Spurs and single-handedly won us a point. I've got no doubt he will do so again at some point in the future.....but I do agree that he's not good enough and needs to be replaced long term
Brian Wilkinson
207 Posted 27/10/2015 at 06:59:59
I am certain we would be in the top four, had we signed David Marshall from Cardiff City when we had the chance last summer.

Let's hope Martinez goes all out to sign the guy in January.

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