Kone comes up with a great hattrick

Deulofeu was the first to strike after being released by a great ball from Kone, who then finished with an excellent strike after a nice one-two with Lukaku. Defoe pulled one back on the stroke of half-time. Sunderland got level off a crossed header that Howard failed to move for, but Deulofeu forced an own-goal to restore the Everton lead, soon followed by Lukaku then two more from Kone to complete his hat-trick.

Michael Kenrick 01/11/2015 228comments  |  Jump to last

Tim Howard returns to the starting line-up at Joel Robles's expense
Everton 6 - 2 Sunderland

Everton thrashed Sunderland in the lunchtime televised kickoff at Goodison Park.

Deulofeu was the first to strike after being released by a great ball from Kone, who then finished with an excellent strike after a nice one-two with Lukaku. Defoe pulled one back on the stroke of half-time. Sunderland got level off a crossed header that Howard failed to move for, but Deulofeu forced an own-goal to restore the Everton lead, soon followed by Lukaku then two more from Kone to complete his hat-trick and a stunning 6-2 scoreline.

Everton started with Howard in goal, as promised by manager Roberto Martinez, despite his recent howlers on high crosses. It was his 400th appearance in his 10th season with Everton. Barry returned after a one-game ban for picking up a second yellow card at the end of the Arsenal game and took the captain's armband in place of the injured Jagielka, while Bryan Oviedo was given a rare (and as it turns out foolhardy) start in place of Brendan Galloway. Coleman was declared fit enough to start after illness.

Everton kicked off but it was Sunderland who were more inventive with Van Aanholt hitting the post in the 4th minute, applause then breaking out in the memory of Howard Kendall. A free kick lofted in high saw the rare sight of Howard venturing out of his goal area to claim the Sunderland set piece.

Lukaku had the first Everton shot on goal, if it can be called that as it was rather feeble. A promising move down the left ended with a poor touch from Lukaku and Sunderland attacked again. Barkley was then able to run at the Sunderland defence, who backed off but his shot flew wide.

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More slow build-up and a poor cross-ball by Barkley and Van Aanolt was off to the races, Howard making a good stop with his feet before Sunderland hit the post again through Johnson and the ball was finally cleared. The next Everton attack ended in a corner that was very poor from Barkley, leading to another Sunderland attack.

Defoe was booked for blocking a free-kick illegally after climbing all over Barry. Kone then released Deulofeu whose scuffed shot deflected off a Sunderland defender and then rolled in off Pantilimon's leg to give Everton a very welcome if rare first goal. /p>

Barry played an identical ball to Deulofeu but he had to cross this time and the move ended with a shot wide. Everton looked to have finally woken up but things proved too strenuous for Oviedo who pulled up with a hamstring injury and Galloway replaced him.

A dreadful spell of tippy-tappy saw Barkley repeated play pointless one-touch return balls rather than taking command and the ball eventually ended up back with Howard! But better passing and a great one-two with Lukaku saw a superb left-foot strike from Arouna Kone that flew over Pantilimon for a very classy second goal of the game.

Jack Rodwell replaced the injured Cattermole to a warm round of applause from a Goodison crowd now in generous mood, although Lukaku too generous with his passing, straight to a Sunderland player to breakdown a promising Everton move.

Kone was fouled wide left and Barkley badly overplayed the short pass to Deulofeu. Lukaku then got space to strike hard but straight at Pantilimon. Everton were comfortable and passing the ball quite well, trying to make the opening, with Sunderland defending manfully.

Before the break, Fletcher drove his shot at Howard who had been solid until Defoe got a bouncing ball ahead of Stones that he clipped across the Everton keeper and into the top corner of the Gwladys Street goal with the benefit of a slight defection off Stones to put Sunderland right back in the game.

Barkley tried to set things going forward after the break but his forward pass was too strong for Deulofeu. Barkley then got himself offside in a promising move down the left.

Then, the catastrophe that had been so widely predicted: A cross from Van Aanolt into the 6-yard box, Howard stayed planted on his line as Funes Mori challenged for the cross but Fletcher headed it down and inside corner of the net, Howard ball-watching, flat-footed and gobsmacked.

Deulofeu shamefully pulled another one of his dreadful late dives in a vain attempt to con Marriner and rightly saw the yellow card for it, a pathetic piece of play-acting. He made amends within minutes, a nice early ball in for Lukaku to head home but the ball actually went in off the boot of Coates to put Everton back in the lead.

Played out of defence, a lovely early ball from Deulofeu was finished off with aplomb by Lukaku who went around Pantilimon in style to slot home.

Another Sunderland attack broke down on the edge of Howard's area and Everton surged forward with pace and it was soon 5-2, an excellent finish from Kone after Barkley had picked out McCarthy who played him in nicely for another great left-footed strike from a sharp angle.

Mirallas replaced Deulofeu and it was Ole keep-ball then with a sequence of 45 paces that took the ball all around the pitch until Mirallas could not find anyone with his cutback from the byeline. Everton and the Goodison crowd were loving this, with 20 minutes left to play, as they tried numerous times to play in Kone for his hat-trick.

Mirallas was determined to get on the scoreline, and tried to round Pantilimon but failed to shoot as the defenders gathered to block his path. Everton were in swashbuckling form as Lukaku put in a fine cross with the outside of his left foot for Aruona Kone to power home a splendid header to complete a great hat-trick: 6-2.

Osman replaced Lukaku as the final Everton substitution. Stones was skinned by the impressive Watmore who almost set up a third for Sunderland before Stones returned the compliment with an excellent tackle to give Sunderland their first corner of the game.

Mirallas, desperate for a goal, did brilliantly to create space for a powerful shot that curled just beyond the far post. He looked all set to score from the same spot in the next move but was offside and Watmore got another chance but Howard patted away the chip.

Howard had to make two more good saves as the game entered added time. Watmore continued to cause havoc but could not penetrate the Everton defence and the Blues celebrated a massive win.

Scorers: Deulofeu (19'), Kone (31' 62', 76'), Coates (og:47'), Lukaku (60'); Defoe (45+4'), Fletcher (50').

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Oviedo (25' Galloway [Y:88']), Stones [Y:53'], Funes Mori, McCarthy, Barry (c), Kone, Barkley, Deulofeu [Y:54'] (65' Mirallas), Lukaku (78' Osman).
Subs not Used: Robles, Gibson, Lennon, Naismith.

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Yedlin (64' Larsson), Jones, Brown, Coates, Cattermole (38' Rodwell [Y]), M'Vila, Van Aanholt, Johnson, Fletcher (75' Watmore) , Defoe [Y].
Subs not Used: Gomez, Lens, Graham, Mannone.

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 38,617

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Reader Comments (228)

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Colin Hughes
1 Posted 01/11/2015 at 13:50:12
Not being funny but every side that visits Goodison these days look like they have got our number. We should be behind but are somehow winning.
Terry Underwood
2 Posted 01/11/2015 at 14:08:51
Must admit, I was a bit worried about this one, with Sunderland coming off the back of a derby win, but a lucky deflected winning goal? I’ll take it all day long.

Sometimes you have to win ugly in order to get the winning habit going. Onwards and upwards. COYB

Eugene Kearney
3 Posted 01/11/2015 at 14:12:34
40 minutes in – off to a good start... let’s make it 4 or 5 nil please... get the goal difference up.
Victor Jones
4 Posted 01/11/2015 at 14:16:05
Oviedo just cannot get a break. But we are well covered in defence. And great to see players other than Lukaku chip in with goals. But will Martinez start with Deulofeu and Kone in the next game. Or will he again chop and change. Who knows.

We need to now put this game to bed: no nonsense, no tippy tappy, no fuck-ups. Go for more goals, bury them. Surely even Martinez can see that.

Philip Yensen
7 Posted 01/11/2015 at 14:32:29
Absolute crap. No wonder the stadium is quiet. Slow, sloppy and fucking boring.

Why are we still building our hopes on Barkley he has fucked up every time he has the ball. When he loses it... nothing, no chase back, pulling out of challenges.

If players can’t do better after being gifted with 2 goals, then it's up to the manager to drag them off and sell the lazy shits.

Victor Jones
8 Posted 01/11/2015 at 14:33:09
Two up, and I was going to suggest that this was a game to take off a DMF, and give Miralles some much needed game time. Let him run at this Sunderland defence. But then we concede. Who would believe that? Never make anything easy, does this Everton team.

Let's see now what Martinez is made off. Cause this is now squeaky-bum time. We need to go for more goals, 'cause I don’t trust this team to not concede another goal. Come on Everton.

Jay Harris
9 Posted 01/11/2015 at 14:35:40
We leak like a sieve with this manager.

Nobody closing down or making tackles.

Colin Hughes
10 Posted 01/11/2015 at 14:49:05
Regardless of the result today, we need to get rid of this clown. His teams just cannot defend. Sunderland are not free scoring, hence their league position, yet they are opening us up at will.

A 2-0 lead blown again... even though we are back in front I am not optimistic of us keeping them out.

Will King
11 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:18:08
@ Jay Harris: We might leak a few but it looks like there’s still enough pressure in the tap to pour a few goals.
Eugene Kearney
12 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:26:56
Great result. Brings us up the table a bit.
Peter Gorman
13 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:27:09
Now, this might sound mad, but I can't help thinking that winger Kone might make a good striker.
Dave Rinehart
14 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:27:57
Announcer on NBCSports in the states mentioned that we look more like the team from two years ago (including Arsenal game last week) versus last year.

Trying not to get too excited though as Sunderland are really bad. Deulofeu looks great as does Kone. Still scratching my head over how poor Lukaku is with his touch and passing.

Let’s go on a run boys. Up the table.

Nick Entwistle
15 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:30:15
It's taken many a year to make up for that Villa mauling live on The Match.
Ian Riley
18 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:41:56
Bloody hell! Talk about the hard way!

Great goals! I had Lukaku to get a hattrick, never mind.. Kone will do! Up to 8th in the league! Happy days! I think supporting Everton should come with a severe health warning!

ps Spare a thought for Sunderland fans! Serious work needed there!

Steve Brown
19 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:44:16
Philip @ 4, ouch you must feel a bit silly! For information, Ross Barkley's successful pass rate was 94%... "he fucked up every time he had the ball."
Bill Gall
20 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:47:57
I still wish that Martinez would bring in a strong defensive coach, preferably Italian, they seem to be born defending.

The forwards played okay today but we are not always going to be playing teams as poor as Sunderland. As dominating as the score line suggests, we still gave them too many opportunities with the 2 goals and hitting the post twice before we scored.

Hopefully this is a start for us to move up the table and give the players more confidence, but we still seem to make the same defensive errors, that better teams will punish us for.

Phil Sammon
21 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:53:00
Steve 15

Did you watch the game or just look at the stats?

Barkley has so much talent but his decision-making and lack of thrust and desire is excruciating to watch at times. The decision not to pass to Lukaku for Kone’s second goal was absolutely shocking. Thank god it ended positively thanks to McCarthy and hat-trick hero, Kone.

I see Martinez is describing this one as ’A complete performance’. Absolute fucking joker. It was exciting and we attacked well, but that was a defensive horror show.

I just wish the man would look to address our frailties. We will not score 6 every game... but we probably will concede 2.

Phil Sammon
22 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:54:59
And two left footed strikes and a header is not a 'Perfect hat-trick'.

It was a bloody wonderful one though.

Deulofeu's throughball and Lukaku's cross...WOW.

Dean Peamum
23 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:55:10
Good result against a poor team missing it’s two main centre-backs. We need to get at teams quicker rather than this boring slow passing sideways rubbish that RM seems to prefer - not sure why as it gets us nowhere.

I hope he plays Kone and Lukaku as twin strikers from now on. On the bright side, we’re only six points behind Leicester now.

Colin Glassar
24 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:57:01
Have we had a settled defence for more than two consecutive games this season? I think not, as Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines and Oviedo have all been injured at some point and that doesn’t help our defensive performances, does it?

With Bainesy coming back and Funes Mori settling in, I hope our defensive woes will become a bad memory in the near future. Going forward, we are okay... but defensively, today, we were shambolic at times.

Not wanting to go OTT but Barry, Ross, Geri, Rom and Lukaku were brilliant today, even Tim had a good game.

Alan Bodell
25 Posted 01/11/2015 at 15:58:26
6-2, brilliant result... but let’s not get carried away here, they were unlucky twice with our woodwork so early then Geri Deulofeu squeezes one through 2 pairs of legs for our 1st and the then even match swung with Kone’s 1st (our 2nd).

At least when they pulled back even we showed character and to finish but oh, it could have been so different. Much work to be done still as we don’t play teams so open every week.

James Marshall
26 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:03:32
Moan moan moan! We just won 6-2 and you're all complaining. Where's the joy gone? I can't help but wonder why you lot bother when you can't seem to get any pleasure out of a thumping victory!

Talk about over analyse and take all the joy out of it!

Jay Harris
27 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:04:54
The reason Ross’s passing stats look so good is based on the number of times he passes it straight back to whichever player it came from. I was pulling my hair out today at the tippy-tappy shit he was playing with no intention of looking for a forward pass.

It seems pathetic to moan after we have just won 6-2 but there was so much to be concerned with. John Stones’s form has taken a dive at the wrong time and we concede another header from a cross. How many of this type of goal must we concede before RM brings in some defensive training.

Unfortunately we don’t play a Sunderland standard of team every week so we need to tighten up rapidly before this season goes the way of last season.

Steve Brown
28 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:08:11
Phil @ 17, watched the game and read the stats. Able to multi-task you see.
Jamie Barlow
29 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:08:43
I don’t like to moan after a result like today and some wonderful football but some of the weak play from Stones and Barkley were a disgrace. I’ve never seen a player pull out of so many tackles as Barkley did today. That was my biggest gripe today.

Anyway, I really like some of the link up play between Lukaku and Kone and I’m really pleased to see Kone enjoying his football again.

Barry was MotM again. Top player.

Ian Riley
30 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:09:31
100% agree, Bill. Our defending, set plays and sloppy passes are poor. A better team would have won but the manager can’t see it!

At 2-0, we played like it was 89 minutes. Closing down and tackles are fundamental to a successful team. We won 6-2 and that doesn't happen often, let’s enjoy it.

Next week we will make the same errors and defend with the same intensity, not! It’s how we play under the current manager. Unless he reflects and changes things, this is how it will be. This is what distinguishes the good and the great managers.

Steve Brown
31 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:12:16
Looking for balance in the comments on here is all. Doesnt matter if Barkely passed forward, backwards or sideways, 94% of the time it went to a blue shirt which is positive in my book. If he can add a backbone and better decision-making to his game, he will be really good player.
David Hallwood
32 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:13:54
BTW, Marriner had a good game.
David Ellis
33 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:14:26
Some crazy negative comments on here. OK it could have gone tits up... and Barkley was not at his best... but we outclassed what was in front of us and several players had a blinder – Kone (even without his goals was a master today), Lukaku, Deulofeu and McCarthy were all excellent going forward. We have talent all over the front line so are not so reliant on Barkley as sometimes made out, which is fortunate because he is still not as consistent as we would like.

But we are an attacking force and can play ticca-takka through them or hit them on the break clinically. We are a good team... slightly frail at the back still... but still a very good team nonetheless.

Colin Glassar
34 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:16:54
Spot on, Steve, but forget Ross becoming a tackler, it just won’t happen. I think some people would prefer us to have Cattermole rather than Ross.
Paul Jeronovich
37 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:22:06
Made up with that result, they came off a good win. Yep, the defence had me shitting myself a lot of the time but if we attack with pace and directness we will score a lot more goals. We’ve got pace to burn, just pass forward!

Just on Barkley, I might be talking crap but he had a horrible leg break a few years ago and he might not go into tackles if that is still in his head?

Steve Brown
38 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:24:00
Ross will never be a tackler, as you say, Colin, but he does jump out of tackles. Particularly last week v Arsenal they countered on the break a fair few times when he did this.

But hey, he was tidy today and combined play well I thought.

Tony Marsh
39 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:24:16
Scoreline flattered us today. Piss poor on many levels but Sunderland are abysmal and we won easy so it seems. Now watch Martinez revert to one up top with Lennon back in the side.

Barkley is so frustrating. I would sell for 50 Large if Man City want him.

Jamie Barlow
40 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:26:26
6 years ago Paul.
Jim Potter
41 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:28:41
Redknapp pre-game said we shouldn’t play McCarthy and Barry together when at home. Enough said...
Colin Glassar
42 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:30:32
Shithouse? Give me that shithouse any day of the week over some useless bone cruncher. We have Barry and Macca to do the dirty work in MF, the likes of Ross and Geri just need to do their thing. They are thoroughbreds not cart horses ffs.
Sam Barrett
43 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:32:23
What an absolutely ridiculous comment, Jamie. Ross isn’t a tackler mate, get it through your thick skull. He’s trying to be our defence opening No 10.

He’s young and sometimes he gets it wrong as he did a couple of times today. Calling our most promising homegrown youngster a shithouse is helpful to absolutely nobody.

Darryl Ritchie
44 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:33:29
8:30 in the morning here. Just woke up and checked the final score. Had to do a double take... 6-2...for us! Holy crap!!

Logged on to TW to see what everyone thought about the game. Didn’t read Michael’s original post, went straight to the comments. Without knowing the score, I’d swear we’d lost 6-2. A lot of moaning going on.

I’ll have to watch a replay of the game, and find out what really happened, but still, we won by 4 goals; it couldn’t have been that bad.

Paul Thompson
48 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:40:06
Result confirms what we already know - we are a good counter-attacking team with pace and players who can finish. We are also a team that can’t really defend. Could have been two down before our first goal and Watmore (who was brilliant) ran us ragged when he came on.

By the way, amongst the bonkers early comments, this takes the biscuit ’Still scratching my head over how poor Lukaku is with his touch and passing’ (Dave#10).

Rom had a very good game today, even with his back to goal. His movement, passing and presence were first rate. If anyone sees a better pass than for Kone’s third, they will have been lucky.

Martin Mason
49 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:40:40
Barkley was absolutely phenomenal today and he is getting better as the games go by. To criticise him is churlish, he totally bossed the show today.

Kone played as I always say he can although he won’t do as well against better defences.

Lukaku was unplayable but guilty of some lay-offs that were underhit and put the receiver in trouble.

Barry was majestic but still guilty of giving the ball away.

McCarthy was superb as he can be against poor opposition. Everton, as only they can, swung from sublime to ridiculous.

Deulofeu showed that he just has to be in the starting line-up because he can get the ball into the right places, he had a good game even his covering. Coleman I worry about for some reason, he seems a shadow of his former shadow.

A fantastic win regardless of them not being "perfect" enough for some and a very good 3 points. At times, we played magnificent football.

Christopher Timmins
50 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:41:25
Back in the top half and no reason why we should not stay there until the end of the season.
Phil Sammon
51 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:42:07
It's actually staggering to me that some people can't see the negatives!

There was some great attacking play against a bloody hopeless Sunderland side. But surely to god everyone could see how fragile we were defensively...in the same we have been for 18 months. That's what concerns me.

I enjoyed the win immensely...but I'm still really concerned that we refuse to address some pretty basic defensive problems.


Paul Jeronovich
52 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:45:32
I know it was years ago, Jamie, but you wouldn’t want to go in on some tackles if you’ve had your leg smashed in like his.

Still, great result and hopefully Martinez goes for it at West Ham, they looked dodgy at the back as well.

Colin Glassar
53 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:46:44
That’s the crux of the matter, Paul, isn’t it? Win, lose or draw, the manager and certain players will always come in for stick. I suppose we should win every game by 4-5 goals, keep a clean sheet, make 340 tackles, run an average 14 km per player, create 80 odd chances etc.... And even then there would probably be someone saying, "Well that was shite wasn’t it"?

I’m not saying today was great, it wasn’t. Defensively we are still very shaky but, like I said previously, we haven’t had a settled defence all season and today we lost Oviedo which doesn’t help.

It’s sad when you have sublimely skilled young players like Lukaku, Barkley and Deulofeu getting torn apart after every game because they don’t do tackling or defending. This is the 21st century ffs, football has changed, get used to it!

John Keating
54 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:47:05
Pluses: Barry, Kone, Lukaku.

Negatives: Stones, Deulofeu diving, general defending.

John Crook
55 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:48:40
I bet 'H' enjoyed watching that one from the Heavens with his pint! A performance for Howard!
Shane Corcoran
56 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:49:02
Phil #51, of course it’s fair but ToffeeWeb, post-match, is fast becoming a primary school playground; if we win you cannot find fault or you’ll get the "we won FFS" comments.

Some great attacking today. Kone was great and I’m delighted for him. Lukaku’s improvement in recent weeks continues. McCarthy actually contributed to the attack.

The bad. Stones was awful I thought and for the third game running. Barkley got on the ball but I don’t think he was great. Not bad but not great.

I’ll save my last "moan" for Deulofeu Great little player but, if he persists with this diving shite, he can fuck right off back to Barcelona. The game is on a par with wrestling and fans of other sports are laughing at it and it’s very difficult to defend it.

Brian Williams
57 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:52:32
I know the saying is actually "from the sublime to the ridiculous" but for today's game I think reversing the saying just about covers it.
William Cartwright
58 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:54:49
I watched the game and went through the whole gamut of emotions. Sunderland fans aplenty in the bar, all shaking their heads in disbelief at the lovely Lukaku outside-of-the-boot pinpoint cross, Gerry’s divine throughball to Lukaku, the tippy tappy ’nonsense’ that was making Sunderland look like stooges... Well that’s the price you pay for entertaining footy.

Well done, Roberto. I still think you are a numpty for playing Howard, but fair play to you. You did wonderfully well over the Stones affair, you persevered with Kone when less patient men would have written him off, you bagged Deulofeu for a price we could manage, you have Cleverley, Baines, Garbutt and Robles (who I really rate very highly) waiting in the wings, You have the Under-21s top of their league, you have the right mix of youth and experience – Barry today was simply superb.

I think you are building something, I just hope we give you the patience you deserve.

Victor Jones
59 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:55:07
I'm not going to complain today... well, not too much.

Kone needs to play (when fit), every week; we play better with two forwards. Go 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, no silly tactics, stick to what works for the time being. A great hat-trick from Kone, so he must start next game. I did not call for that after (squad man) Naismith scored his. Play Kone, forsake a winger. That in essence is either Mirallas or Lennon. We are unbalanced when these players are shoehorned into the team.

I still don’t like two DMFs, but that will never change under Martinez... will it? And Coleman was off the pace today. Has been now for a few months. Maybe Browning, or even Stones should go to RB, Galloway covering at CB for Stones, Baines coming back... or (if not seriously injured) Oviedo at LB.

Coleman at his best is our RB. But can anyone say he is playing well? Cleverley and Gibson also need to start featuring. We badly need a midfield general. Oh for another "holy trinity". Pity football is not a 15-man game. Then we could start with everyone. Yes, I know that that is silly.

Great win today. And yes we can beat West Ham. Why not? Howard was okay today. And on paper our defenders are sound. Why two DMFs, when we concede every game. So is the problem with our training? Why is Martinez getting away with stupid statements: "We don’t bother with defensive training"? And "free kicks and corners" are not important. Unbelieveable.

But enough of those old chestnuts; enjoy the win today. Still a few things to iron out: I live in hope of a perfect first Everton 11, and I live in hope of more silverware. But you cannot argue with a 6-2 win.

More of the same next week. Thank you.

Des Farren
60 Posted 01/11/2015 at 16:58:44
Martinez tends not to blame a player for an individual mistake — as in his recent defence of Howard. He does criticise the team collectively at times.

Their second goal was a case in point... Coleman was left with no support. Where was Deulofeu, McCarthy? And when the cross came in, Funes Mori could have won it and Howard did his usual.

Some on here would have you believe this is all the fault of the manager.

Jamie Barlow
61 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:01:17
So that’s it from Ross is it? Because he’s good when he has the ball, he can be excused for not putting in a tackle for the rest of his career? He will be excused for pulling out of countless tackles?

Fair enough if that’s good enough for you. It isn’t good enough for me. If he’s going to continue pulling out of tackles, I’m going to continue to give him shit for it.

That doesn’t mean I want a cart horse or bone cruncher or I moan when a pass goes astray. I’ll applaud anything Ross does that doesn’t come off. I’ll never have a dig at the lad for trying something that doesn’t come off. That’s the type of player he is and I want him to be.

He is a shithouse when it comes to tackling though.

Gavin Johnson
62 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:02:50
Sunderland are seriously poor. I couldn’t believe the acres of space we had in midfield. But anyway, a fantastic result. I’m glad Rom scored because he was due a goal and I’m very pleased for Kone. It might be worth giving him another season when his contract runs out next summer.

As for moaning, it wasn’t a perfect performance but we got the 3 points and we won convincingly. What more do people want after back-to-back defeats?! It was our biggest win in 8 years.. But I guess you can't please everyone.

Brent Stephens
63 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:04:44
I liked the way Roberto brought Barry further back in the second half, between Stones and Funes Mori. Solid. A back 5 when defending, a back 3 with the FBs pressing on when we had the ball. Good, flexible tactics.

Sam Barrett
64 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:05:17
Jamie what you drinking lad?
Jamie Barlow
65 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:06:52
Why Sam? What don't you like about my last post?
Philip Yensen
66 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:07:24
Better eventually. When we move the ball with pace, we are very good but... slow it down and we are crap again. We put a string of around 30 passes and got nowhere, alternatively two, three or four passes... back of the net.

We take Gerard and Romelu off and leave the one-dimensional Barkley on, why??? I watched him closely in the second half; once again, the odd good pass but so many good passes available but he mostly picks the wrong one. Time after time, he didn’t run back to help, just strolled back until he was given the ball.

Stones's head has gone, he was all over the place and so flat-footed.

All the slagging off Barry has received, he was great today and his work rate leaves Barkley standing.

Coleman looks a spent force; only a few strong runs... not the Coleman of two seasons ago.

Let's be honest: Sunderland are shite except for Defoe and he led us a merry dance. 6-2 sounds good but look at our game in general, Norwich took us apart the other night and they are an average side.

Don't get too excited. RM will probably leave Kone and Lukaku on the bench for the next game.

Paul Tran
67 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:07:35
Phil, I can see the negatives clearly. A poor back four with poor decision-making, not helped by the constant forced changes. Barkley looking peripheral. Deulofeu diving. We need a decent keeper, a genuine playmaker, and the mentality to go for the opposition straightaway. I can see all that.

What saddens me is, after watching an entertaining game where we won, scoring six goals, there are people on here desperate to criticise and give no credit to the players and manager.

I don’t think the manager and team are marvellous and faultless. I am not deliriously happy with us being 8th, playing inconsistently.

I can enjoy a good win without getting carried away. I am getting increasingly exasperated at people whose dislike of Martinez seems to stops them enjoying a good win, while sniping at people expressing enjoyment at a good performance and result.

You can like or dislike the manager, but there’s a huge space in between where many us can criticise or praise a performance as we see it.

It doesn’t have to be love or hate.

Ajay Gopal
68 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:12:45
Today, we saw the ugly, bad and the good from Everton (in that order).

The defending was ugly, especially from Stones and Coleman. The passing play especially in the 1st half when we repeatedly gave away the ball in dangerous positions (Barkley for their 2nd shot against the woodwork) was horrible to watch.

I am a big fan of Ross, but I thought today he was very very poor. He seemed to be playing scared after his initial giveaway nearly resulted in a goal, leading in the ridiculous 1-2s that he played with other team members.

The good for me was Kone (MotM – not only for the goals but also for his workrate and intelligence in using the ball); Lukaku (Messi-like assist for the last goal); Deulofeu (in spite of the dive); Mirallas (seemed to have his head screwed back on); McCarthy and Barry for their attacking intent and some sublime passing.

Funes Mori was quite solid but let Fletcher outmuscle him for the headed goal. Galloway inspired the most confidence among the back 5. Defence needs to be sorted out pronto – we won’t win many games conceding 2 goals.

Alan Bodell
69 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:13:00
Phil Sammon (#51), you nailed it right there mate, great win but much, much more work needed to progress.
David Hallwood
70 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:13:26
BTW, their 1st goal was scored by one of the most gifted natural goalscorers England has produced, and IMO his career has been blighted by most teams playing one up top, and he ain’t a target man.

Personally, I think the goal was down to his spark of brilliance rather than piss poor defending but Stones didn’t cover himself with glory and you can always take the view that all goals can be defended, but that doesn’t cancel out the fact that no clean sheets at home is worrying, and the goals against are piling up.

But 6 at home, some great attacking play, why are some of you moaning?

Chris Gould
71 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:15:49
I’m a big Barkley fan, and I don’t expect him to be charging around putting his foot in. However, when a player loses the ball, I find it incredibly infuriating to watch them simply stroll back slowly and wait for someone else to win it back. If you lose it, bust a gut to retrieve it.

Also, I was underwhelmed by his 5-yard passes back and forth, and his poor decision-making. When running with the ball he is making a habit of not releasing it quickly enough.

Personally, I am well chuffed with the result and believe that Ross will become a huge player for us. He is still learning, and under Martinez is getting the opportunity to become the player we all hope he can be. Other managers wouldn’t have the patience with him.

Colin Glassar
72 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:17:52
Fair do’s Jamie. I suppose it’s all about opinions and your football philosophy. My greatest football idols, eg, Pele, Cruyff, Best, Platini, Messi, Ronaldo (fat and thin), Scholes etc... couldn’t tackle to save their lives so didn’t even bother trying (except Scholesy and he was shit at it).

Every team, imo, has to have that balance of grafters and artists to be successful. Like I said earlier, we have the likes of Barry, Macca, Besic, Gibson etc to do the donkey work in MF while Ross, Rom and Geri get to do their stuff. I know he can be frustrating but when he gets it right...

Chris Gould
73 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:18:36
On another note, loved Deulofeu's positive contribution, but he must cut out the diving.
Julian Exshaw
74 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:27:26
Loved the game. Loved the camaraderie amongst our players. Delighted for Kone who is improving with every game.

Loved the applause for Howard and the fact that the Sunderland fans applauded with gusto. All credit to them, for that alone I hope they have a good season.

Felt enormous pity for Oviedo, the lad just can’t get going. Great entertainment. Not perfect of course but a great day. Well done, the boys.

Colin Glassar
75 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:27:31
I think it was John Terry who told Droghba to cut out the diving and play acting so I wonder if Captain Phil could have a word with Del. A brilliant talent but some of his diving is embarrassing.
Jon Withey
76 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:28:25
Very convincing attacking win – I haven’t seen that in a while.

Defensively, Stones had a mare on the 1st goal, and there was definite uncertainty with Jagielka missing.

I thought Barkley was decent second half – I’m amazed the lack of tackling has only just been acknowledged –that’s clearly not his game (maybe because of the broken leg ?).

Funny to see Osman come on the pitch and then get caught dwelling on the ball again – I’d almost forgotten him he’s played so little.

Kone, Lukaku, McCarthy, Galloway, Stones, Funes Mori, Barry, Deulofeu, Barkley – they’ve all been given their chance by Martinez and many of them have been his purchases too. And all of them look class on their day.

Those calling for his head at the moment are overreacting – we did have a poor season but he’s managed to turn it around.

Dave Williams
77 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:28:26
Not the perfect performance but, as others say, Stones has not regained his form since his injury and we were without Jags and Leighton – defence does need to improve.

However, Kone was superb and all posters who slagged him off as a bad buy just because he suffered a horrific injury should post their apologies now – he looked class even before the three goals. How anyone can criticise Lukaku after that today is mystifying – great link play, lovely goal and marvellous pass to Kone.

Ross was good – not perfect by any means but improving and why people bother posting here when they refer to one of our own young players as a "shithouse" is beyond me – to my mind, these people have no place on here.

When Galloway came on, we had 4 players aged 21 and one teenager plus a 24-year-old CB new to the country. All told, I thought we were good but with a young team now we will improve – this team is not the finished article by any means.

Colin Glassar is right about Ross – after his triple leg break, it is a miracle he has got back to this standard and I don’t think I would be going into crunching tackles had I suffered an injury like that. He has found a style where he can play and cover/intercept without crunching in and at 21 he has years yet before he reaches his peak so for heaven's sake give the lad a chance.

Abuse will make players go into their shell which obviously suits the opposition. Encouragement helps them try harder and play better. I remember how Colin Harvey was abused in his early days – he was 22/23 before we saw what a brilliant player he was, so please, guys, give our young lads a bit of encouragement.

Tony Hill
78 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:29:30
A great result and the important thing is that it builds confidence. Kone is lovely to watch, usually instant control and awareness of space. It's a real shame he was injured and we lost him for so long.

I think Lukaku's game is improving all the time. I suspect there'll be a huge bid for him in the summer but let's enjoy him while we have him.

Barry as captain today was really excellent too. Now, let's build the momentum.

Michael Kenrick
79 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:30:48
People are often calling for 'perspective', so let's have some here, please.

Yes, it's a fantastic scoreline, and a brilliant result for the first in our tranche of so-called 'easier' games. A superb hat-trick by Kone, excellent finish by Lukaku, along with two fine 'assists' from the big man. At least three 'Worldy' saves by Howard (at least on a par with his World Cup 16 in that he saved shots that should be saved...)

But... and it is a huge BUT, as many very justified comments show: there were some very questionable performances, particularly Barkley, who was in the main infuriating, and Stones, who seems to have lost a lot of his defensive wisdom.

Just coz we won 6-2, doesn't mean these flaws suddenly become invisible or must not be commented upon.

Michael Polley
80 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:32:04
Great result and some great performances, but we were guilty of complacency towards the end of the 1st half, and we allowed them back into it. When they equalised my head fell into my hands. Had a feeling of dread, but fortunately the players had other ideas, and we went on a goal run.

The West Ham game will be more testing. I would keep the same line up for that one. Consistency is now important.

Andrew James
81 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:32:53
A very appropriate way to pay tribute to HK. Made up for the pathetic performance against Man Utd.

We do have problems at the back but when you count the collective amount of Premier League appearances (Galloway, Funes Mori and Browning) or players in and out with injury (Stones, Coleman) combined with our keeper’s errors, things can only improve with a bit of time.

We are going to need plenty of goals from Lukaku, Kone, Barkley, Naismith, Mirallas and Deulofeu to keep us ahead of sides. They haven’t all fired at the same time yet but today showed when a few of them do we can put away sides.

Delighted to see Kone coming good. It would be great if he can get into double figures this season.

Andrew Presly
82 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:33:59
Any day we only let in 1 headed goal from 6 yards out is a good one!

We should keep an eye on that kid Watmore. I remember him impressing in that Kone comeback for the reserves last season and he looked good again when he came on for them today.

That Rom cross for the final goal, would’ve been more impressive if he used his right foot.

Can we play them every week?

Darren Hind
83 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:35:01
Give it a rest, guys. Football is an unrehearsed live entertainment and unless you have no soul you have been royally entertained.

The are times to moan and criticise. This ain't one of them.

Shane Corcoran
84 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:38:55
Michael (#79), that’s what I tried to say.

Darren (#83), I completely disagree. Football is rehearsed in training and so we don’t end up with eight goal "thrillers" every week.

An under-10 game that ends 12-12 is maybe what you’re looking for.

Paul Hewitt
85 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:42:05
I would happily concede 2 goals every match if we also scored 6.
Dean Rolstone
86 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:43:32
Don’t know what everyone expected today but we’ve won with a 4 goal margin scoring 6 in the process.

Reading comments yesterday, the majority expected us to lose today and yet we’ve won and some still complaining. I want to know what these fans are anticipating.

For me today, Barry was excellent and showed why he’s undroppable at the moment.

Darren Hind
87 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:47:50
Heard it all now, Shane. So, the less goals, the better?

Are you sure this footy lark is for you? We all crave lots of goals and the only way you get that is by having lots of fuck-ups... and if we make 3-4 and the opposition make 9-10 then we should be Happy Chappies.

Jamie Barlow
88 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:50:50
Good job you're not in charge then, Dave @77.

If I see it, I’ll say it.

Dave Williams
89 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:52:26
Ditto Jamie!!
Dean Rolstone
90 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:53:53
I forgot to add credit to the Sunderland fans for joining in with HK’s minute applause and chanting, what a decent bunch of fans they are. Good luck to them for the rest of the season.
Colin Glassar
92 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:56:29
I think we can at least all agree on one point today and that was our defensive frailty rearing its ugly head again. I believe there are mitigating circumstances for this.

Coleman – He’s been ill all week and he’s had a punishing schedule since returning from injury. He will get better.

Stones – Had a very disruptive summer with all the speculation surrounding him and he’s still trying to regain his form after returning from injury. He will get better.

Funes Mori – Still new to this league and will need to develop his partnership with JS. Despite what he says about playing in Argentina this is a different kettle of fish. I expect him to be knackered by Xmas so hopefully Jags will be back by then. He will also get better with games.

Oviedo – Poor sod. I think Roberto made a mistake by starting him. He’s only come back from a long-term injury and had played 120 minutes mid-week so maybe he should’ve been rested today. He might never get fit again.

Galloway – What a prospect this lad is. He was a bit cagey going forward but what a talent. He will definitely get better.

The defence has been wrecked by injuries this season (again) so, fingers crossed, we will have Bainesy back soon and be able to have some stability at the back.

We will, defensively, get better as a defensive unit.

Jamie Barlow
93 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:57:39
So I've no place on here because I don't agree with your view?
Mike Allison
95 Posted 01/11/2015 at 17:59:54
Today was bizarrely frustrating for a 6-2 win, but to come on here and focus on the negatives after that result does just make you look like a bit of a dick who can't wait to have a moan.

And I've got to agree that to come on here and call Barkley a shithouse makes you, well, a shithouse (seeing as calling people that is, apparently, fair enough).

Enjoy yourselves and a four goal win for today, then over analyse like whinging, er, shithouses tomorrow, that seems like a nice compromise.

Tony Hill
96 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:03:56
As Shane (56) points out, McCarthy showed significant signs of making an attacking contribution today. There have been hints of it this season and let's hope he develops it.

He's a superb athlete and if we could get him pushing us forward and making late runs then we would be adding something very important to our options.

Shane Corcoran
97 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:04:26
Darren (#87), I’m gonna say "I’ve heard it all now" cos that makes my point sound so much better.

If this was a game not involving Everton, then maybe the "more goals = good" view might have some relevance... but it’s not. If Everton are playing, I want zero goals conceded by them. I’d have thought that was a no-brainer.

If I watch a game between two teams I’m indifferent to, I’ll enjoy good attacking play and good defensive play. I’ll enjoy good goals and good saves.

I’ll probably not enjoy if the two of them decide not to defend at all and it finishes 12-12.

You don’t agree with this?

Colin Glassar
98 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:04:49
Wow, Mike, that even hurt me and I know it wasn’t me who made that shithouse comment!! I agree with you it was a bit of a let down the final score because, if they had really gone for it, we could’ve doubled the score.

We need to be ruthless when the oppo is so poor. I feel we are far too nice and we should’ve slaughtered them in the last 30 mins.

Jamie Barlow
99 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:06:23
Brave lad that Barkley fella.

That better?

Mike Green
100 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:06:24
A great result, and in part a great performance against a team who essentially allowed us to play exhibition stuff but still concede sloppy goals, which could’ve amounted to at least double those they achieved. If everyone allowed us to play with such freedom, we’d be world beaters.

A great day for Kone – he’s showing us his quality now, such a shame that the opportunity to do it from the off after signing for us was robbed from him, and we in turn were robbed of the performances like he turned in today today.

Kudos to Rom too for another great contribution today – with him, Barkley, Deulofeu etc all improving, we could have some bright days ahead. A trophy under our belts in the shape of the League Cup would do no harm to help develop them and us into a handy little unit.

Well done, boys – perform like that in the Premier League and Capital One Cup from now until the New Year and we won’t have much to complain about. Well, some might, but you know what I mean... :D

Gavin Johnson
101 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:07:50
I can see why people might be critical of Ross pulling out of tackles but we’ve been over this many times with Rom and his first touch. For me personally. I’m forgiving of this area in Rom’s game because a striker is paid to score goals at the end of the day.

Now I’m the same with Barkley. I don’t mind that he’s not like Roy Keane in the tackle because his primary goal is to be creative and chip in with the odd goal.

We don’t seem to have the mavericks in the game any more. And it probably has something to do with this natural instinct being coached out of players. IMO, there’s too many carbon copy midfielder’s in the England team. I’m thankful that we’ve got the one who looks like a throwback to the days of Gazza and Hoddle.

I can see why some other people see it differently but TW would be dull if we all had the same opinion.

Andy Meighan
102 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:11:11
A brilliant display of counter-attacking football and some people still aren’t happy. We could've scored 8 or 9, we were that good going forward. Yes, I admit when they equalised, I feared the worst... but those fears were soon put to bed.

I think Martinez now has seriously got to think about leaving Deulofeu in the side now. For all his frustrating play, at times the lad is a game changer, as a goal and two assists will testify. The ball through to Lukaku was sublime and that’s what he brings to the table.

Apart from Kone and Lukaku, who were brilliant today, I’d have to say Barry and McCarthy were excellent and it rather begs the question, especially with McCarthy, where has that type of performance been hiding?

I see someone earlier called Barklay a shithouse. What a ridiculous statement that is. He doesn’t need to go flying into tackles, that’s not his game. The lad is supremely talented with an eye for a pass. Yes, his decision-making at times could be better... but I’ll live with that.

My one and only gripe was the way the keeper was rooted for the equaliser but this manager is determined to stick with him. I’m not getting carried away with today’s result because I’ve learnt not to underestimate the Catalan. But it proves when we counter attack with pace like that, it’s a joy to watch and I’ll bet to the neutral watching that we looked one hell of a side.

James Stewart
103 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:12:36
Crazy game. We played poorly and went 2-0 up, then played even worsE and threw it away... but, from that point on, it was like watching Brazil.

Lukaku looks a different beast with support and his ball for Kone’s 3rd is as good as it gets, sublime. Deulofeu was a constant threat but needs to stay on his feet, the dive was embarrassing and not something you want to see an Everton player doing.

Also refreshing to see Mirallas on instead of Naismith. He was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet.

West Ham will be a more accurate measure of where we are; win there and things start to look promising. Most teams will beat Sunderland at home.

Brent Stephens
104 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:14:07
Rom's touch was actually good today. I think he's becoming a bit more consistent in the good touches.
Dave Williams
105 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:21:08
No Jamie - more than happy for you to disagree with me on anything as I am usually wrong as my wife always tells me!

My point is that there is a reason why Ross doesn’t tackle and to be afraid of another triple leg break doesn’t in my opinion mean the lad is a shithouse. If he reads this thread do you think it will help him play better to see his own fans say that about him?

Yes, criticise his decision-making, point out how his failure to tackle can cause problems, but abusive language directed at him will not help the lad do better.

Andy Crooks
106 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:22:11
Great result and a lot to like. However, I honestly think that there is nothing wrong with objective criticism. We look fragile defensively and improvement there could see us looking good.

We are not far away from being a really good side and surely on a forum like this people are entitled to give their view on how we can get there.

Chris Corn
107 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:39:41
We made short work of cannon fodder, which is all you can ask. It could have easily have gone pear-shaped after they pegged us back and the crowd started getting on their case but it was the exact opposite.

Unfortunately we will concede goals, everyone does... but just enjoy that win because, whether they were poor or not, scoring six in a Premier League game is no mean feat.

Mike Powell
108 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:41:38
"Shithouse" ... really? I thought Barkley had a great game. His job is to attack and take people on, just as he did today.

We should be enjoying watching Ross and Rom, I do. I'm glad they're playing for us and not against us.

I thought our defending was woeful today, that and Deulofeu diving are the only negatives from today's game. Yes, Sunderland are poor... but let's enjoy this 6-2 victory; we don't get them that often. COYB

Paul Mackie
110 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:48:29
I thought we were alright today. Once that 3rd goal went in you could see the confidence of the team grow.

Kone is looking fantastic lately, as is Lukaku. His goal and assist today were absolutely sublime. He really does excel at running on to through balls when he's facing goal. The commentators today picked up on the relationship that's being built between the two of them and the intricate passes they're starting to put together when attacking.

If we can tighten up at the back then I think we can do alright this season. We've had a pretty tough run of games but now we can hopefully begin to get some momentum going.

Dave Abrahams
111 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:54:28
Michael (#79) most sensible post of the day.

A very good result with some very good performances and some sub standard ones.

Re Barkley, he is six foot and around thirteen stone, played football all his life and doesn’t know how to tackle; I find that amazing. He doesn’t even offer nuisance value in this department; very, very disappointing that.

Des Farren
112 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:54:49
Perspective. Exactly Michael.

Could it possibly allude to a league race where teams who start slowly make up ground when the going gets easier?

What about the opening 10 games where we were back to the abusive Martinez posts of last season? Perspective? Where was it?

Yet because we have now won you ask for it. I would think Paul @67 gives that.

Oliver Molloy
113 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:55:48
Good win in the end!

Poor defending from both our centre backs for their goals. I reckon Howard could have come and taken all before him for their equalizer, but that would be a miracle. Sunderland were very poor which surprised me.

Some people on here being fairly nice to Deulofeu regards his diving, I won’t. Diving is pathetic, especially like he does and he is already a marked man and rightly so – because it’s cheating.

As someone else said, let’s see how we do at West Ham.

Alan Bodell
114 Posted 01/11/2015 at 18:57:25
I think that, whenever Kone plays, it seems to up Lukaku’s game. Let's hope it's a keepy uppie between the two and bodes well for our season.
Jamie Barlow
115 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:06:48
Well I apologise for the language Dave (and Ross if you're reading). I'll try and think of a better way of expressing myself in future.
Sam Hoare
116 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:09:48
Great result, even if the scoreline felt a tad flattering to say the least, and there were some worrying signs in the first half especially. Ultimately we won by 4 goals and some of them were very pretty indeed.

Hopefully today will give us some confidence and we have a run of ’winnable’ games coming up starting with West Ham who are overdue a slide down the table.

There are some things about the way we play which seem fundamentally wrong to me but it's a results business and so far this season, by hook or by crook, our results have been pretty good. I’ll take a fortuitous win every day over an unlucky loss.

Robert Workman
117 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:12:56
Like others I don’t normally let the negativity get to me, but today it is incredible.

So Sunderland hit the post twice – remember last season when they won with 2 crazily deflected goals? That game could also have ended up with us winning by a wide margin.

I read some Forum comments after the game. One guy said that he would rather we had won 2-0. Unbelievable! Our goal difference today was plus 4 – for him plus 2 would have been better?

Haven’t read all comments above yet, but so far no mention of the two penalties we were not given. People are quick to criticise Deulofeu for diving, but he was actually fouled – just inside the penalty area. Later on, Kone was hauled down off the ball also in the area, which was highlighted a few times on NBC coverage.

We scored some great goals today, including Deulofeu’s opener – which was not scuffed. In fact most of our goals this season have been good ones, including all of tuesday nights penalties.

I am sure that Howard Kendall would have enjoyed today’s attacking play. 6-2 is a great result and gave the vast majority of fans something to be cheerful about after a difficult few weeks.

Martin Mason
118 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:13:13
Phil@51, of course there were negatives and I’m sure that everybody can see them but surely there were positives? Whatever happened in the 90 minutes doesn’t affect the fact that we won 6-2 and walked away with 3 points and that can’t be more positive.

Negative people will see only the negatives and some only look for negatives, further up the positivity scale people see the negatives but only to see how these can be turned into positives.

Yes, Sunderland were poor today and yes, at times, we were pretty abysmal. There were also times when we were untouchable and we came back from a setback that at other times could have led to the type of defeat we have suffered in the past.

Shane Corcoran
119 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:25:35
Martin, I don't think anyone has come on here and pointed out only the negative parts of the game.
Paul Hewitt
120 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:25:49
Sunderland could have hit the bar ten times. They don’t count as goals.
Sam Barrett
121 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:26:30
Jamie, chill out, lad; calling him a shithouse is absolutely ridiculous, surely you can see this?

I do think that his double leg break has affected him to the extent that he probably is a bit frightened to fully commit himself into a tackle; does this make him a shithouse? I don’t think so.

As Colin says, there are other players who are much more expert at this side of the game. I, for one, think Barkley is our most exciting local prospect since Rooney and potentially as good or even better.

I also think he’s not the most naturally confident of players; that is why I will always give him my full support when he plays for us. You never know, with the full support of the fans, he may just fulfil this potential.

Keith Monaghan
122 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:40:45
I'm really delighted to get 3 points today – but the score did flatter us; the Gods & woodwork were on our side early doors.

Kone was excellent (not just ’cos of his goals), Barry my MotM ’cos of great personal display & displayed some leadership. Lukaku was very good too – his hold-up play is improving; he needs more of the right type of service to really flourish.

Funes Mori is doing well – he could easily spell problems for Jagielka's place?

I feel sick for Oviedo (he shouldn’t have played again so soon after 2 hours on Tuesday, as someone else said). Galloway did well once on. Howard? He was Howard. Stones looking shaky again (hope he soon gets back to normal).

Deulofeu – needs to stop show-boating and become a proper player. Coleman was poor again; regularly looks a £60k player these days – rarely a threat going forward and too often gets caught out defensively (drop him for Galloway once Baines is fit).

McCarthy had his best game for some time – he shocked me with a great ball for Kone’s 2nd; he's generally an average player for last season and this.

Finally! Jamie Barlow, you’re not alone – Ross also infuriates me: too many touches on ball, decision-making atrocious. I don’t expect him to tackle like Roy Keane but I do expect him to track back & challenge, not just stroll around and watch players run past him. And those ridiculous stats-boosting bouts of returning the ball straight back (usually backwards) to where it came from. He’s a hell of a long way to go to live up to much of the TV-hype.

I'm still prepared to support RM, but find myself asking more and more serious questions about him – we need to replace several players in the next two windows... is he up to it?

Paul Smith
123 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:42:20
Great game to watch although my dodgy stream gave up the ghost at 4 - 2.

Said on the MDT we were due a big win (score wise) and they duly delivered.

We play much better with King Kone helping Rom and Ross out. I’ll give RM this, he said Kone would be phenomenal when fully recovered, and true to his word, he has been. Could he be a No 10? Then where would Ross fit in? A good conundrum to have and a better talking point then how shit Howard is.

Well done today, Blues.

Oliver Molloy
124 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:48:33
Robert @ 117

Deulofeu barely got touched, took 3 more steps and fell theatrically to the ground - that is diving / cheating in my book.

He has now performed his diving antics in three consecutive matches if I’m right, and on two of those occasions he was through on goal had he stayed on his feet. He says he wants to be an Everton "great"; well, great players don’t dive.

Martinez needs to get a rocket up his arse and tell the player it is not acceptable, because ultimately it will cost the team in the end.

Martin Mason
126 Posted 01/11/2015 at 19:53:19
Fair comment Shane but the post I responded to was amazement that people couldn’t see the negatives. I think all fans can see the negatives, the difference is how we prioritise them.

I also accept that we all see things differently and form different opinions as long as these are reasonable. I sometimes get into a negative phase but when I see the excellent talent we have coming through, and I forgot to mention Galloway who is a centre-back learning attacking skills at LB, I can’t help but feel positive.

We spend little but at times we played like Barcelona today and it was obvious what team spirit we have. I love Kone who I believe is a front man who can play in the forward midfield positions too. I just wish he were younger so that we could enjoy more of him. What was the shoe polishing joke with Lukaku?

I love Lukaku too, he will go soon and we will miss him. He would be devastating in a good team and I reckon when he goes we will double our money. All I need to do is sort out this love/hate thing on Martinez. At the moment I think he is getting it but Lennon at wide left midfield?

I’m so sorry for Sunderland who have great fans who deserve better.

Aidy Dews
128 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:00:16
Made that game harder than we needed to for ourselves initially. Great result in the end, played some good stuff at times but at others I felt we did too much of that tippy-tappy play what was meaningless instead of just going for the kill and getting further more goals.

But our defending is still a massive issue. Sunderland are a poor team but at times during that game that got at us way too easy and through some slack defending they got their first and then for the second we didn’t do enough to stop the cross and again, Howard didn’t dominate his own 6-yard box and we concede an header.

We can’t keep on giving goals away like that every week cos we won’t come up against teams as poor as Sunderland were we can get through as easily as we were able to today and get enough goals to win games.

Great result in the end and some good performances as well, especially Kone! And even Barry had a good game today, got about the pitch, turned over possession and started attacks. Barkley did okay but it really annoys me when he starts doing that tippy tappy shit like he was doing at times in first half and also that time in second half like he did with Lukaku for that period, playing 5-yard passes to the same player over and over again in the same spot, going nowhere. It’s meaningless and has no purpose to it and I just don’t see the point.

I’d rather he got his head up and played the ball elsewhere, spread the play and make the pitch big, get some moves going. Hopefully he snaps out of that in time cos I think it’s a bad trait of his personally.

Eugene Ruane
129 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:00:18
Michael (79) - Absolutely, and I have to ask, do any of the children who, seemingly as a matter of course, sulkily post 'Tut, don't be negative!' after performances like today, ever consider what threads would look like if their advice was followed?

185. "Made up, great result." - Jimmy Cabbageface

186. Boss!! COYB!! - Ronnie Plumhead

187. "6-2!! NSNO!!" - Bill Cheeseknees.

188. "I'll enjoy me pint tonight" - Carl Mingenose.

Etc, etc.

Of course we're all made up with the result and some of the performances, but to simply ignore our shortcomings because of a great score would make us...Geordies.

One general problem that needs (by the coaching staff) addressing and working on is simple - concenfuckingtration.

Too many players switching off, too many players seemingly not..thinking.

When a player is caught in possession, he's not concentrating and neither are those close to him who don't shout "MANFUCKINON!!!!"

Giving possession away is, more often than not, down to not concentrating.

Imo, 'concentrate' is the last word they should hear before leaving the changies before a game (or training session).

The word, CONCENTRATE should be written big on all four sides of the ground, and/or on the ball (if that's what it takes).

The reality is, all the training exercises, skill and ability in the world count for very little if a player suddenly switches off.

On a positive note (and just to show it's not 'some people just love being negative'), great to see Kone enjoying his football and performing superbly. It is incredible (to me) to think this is a player who, not so long ago, was making us bury our heads in our hands and question everything about his game.

And seeing Deulofeu do his winger thing was genuinely thrilling today (at my age with my disposition, genuine thrills aren't easy to come but each time that lad gets the ball, I'm out of my seat).

By the way, agree with Ronnie (186)

Fraser Auld
130 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:04:11
I thought Barkley was good today. Playing in a slightly deeper role, everything went through him. He kept things ticking over, didn’t give the ball away. He’s developing and it's a pleasure to watch him play for us.

I also remember him signing his new contract after his first season when he was being linked to other clubs for big money; he said he remembered the feeling when Rooney left and wanted to sign the new contract for the fans.

He has flaws, he has areas to work on but he’s one of us. He won’t put in a transfer request, a la Stones; his agent won’t be out there in the press saying he wants to move to a big club, a la Lukaku. Frankly, he doesn’t deserve to be abused or called names.

John Stones on the other hand, you want to have a go at someone for not tackling... maybe start there. A strange and worrying performance from him, something looked wrong.

Colin Glassar
131 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:04:47
Has anyone thought that Ross might be under instructions not to tackle? Taking into account his horrific, career threatening injury, and Martinez's physio background, he might have been told to look after himself and not bother tackling. Just a thought.
Ben Dyke
132 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:04:53
It's amazing how many of us Blues feel obliged to point out the what ifs! If we win, we win. I'm all for discussing tactics and performances but saying after we won 6-2 that they could have had 5 is a completely mad perspective in my humble opinion!
Raymond Fox
133 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:05:58
When we lose, the players and especially the manager are torn apart. When we win, some can only see negatives, ffs of course there's negatives, if there wasn’t we would be Champions every season!

We support Everton for our sins, we don't have the best players because of our financial problems/situation that goes without saying.

There were far more positives out there today, so why not enjoy the 6 goals; after all, that won't happen very often. By all means, be critical but let's have some balance. I wouldn’t care if we were doing badly, considering the fixtures we have played for the start of our season, we have made an excellent start.

John Raftery
134 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:17:00
Well, I would have happily taken a four-goal winning margin before the game. After 50 minutes, I would not have put a penny on it. Our attacking play was very good today. Players moved the ball quickly, we broke out of defence with pace and skill and the finishing was good although there must be a question about Pantilimon’s performance.

Romelu’s cross for the sixth goal was something Alex Young would have been proud of. Apart from Kone the key man was Barry who benefitted from his rest in midweek and knitted our play together while assisting the defence.

Stones is going through a bad patch. I do wonder if he is carrying an injury or missing the voice of Jagielka in his left ear. He will of course come good again. Form is temporary. Class is permanent.

Colin Glassar
137 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:25:21
Any news on Oviedo? I hope it was just precautionary and it’s not serious.
Darren Hind
138 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:26:48

I don't think its a case of ignoring the shortcomings. more a call to overlook them – today at least.

We all know what the shortcomings are, most of us moan about them every day/week... but we scored six today. When was the last time that happened?

We've watched a lot of purposeless dross over the years so, on rare occasions like today when we attack with conviction, I'm prepared to overlook a few defensive howlers.

Ged Simpson
139 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:28:08
Ah it's just mindset. Some are "glass half-full"; others not. Some optimistic and see positives, others, who want the same greatness for the blues, see weaknesses or bad performances. Usually one type annoys the shit out of the other.

The pessimist ruins the optimist's fun and the optimist irritates and is seen as naively looking through rose-tinted glasses.

Most of us bob around between being mildly one or the other... but then there are the nutters who just cannot bear a view different to their own. Personally I think the nutters make this site but I’d hate to be married to, or work with them.

Today? Fantastically shite!

Brian Denton
141 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:29:27
Eugene, is Carl Mingenose in any way related to Karl Malden...?
Ian Bennett
142 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:33:49
Good result, but my god Sunderland were so square at the back it could have been any score today. The defending in the Premier League is a complete joke, no wonder we do nothing in Europe.

Special mention to Gareth Barry today, he stepped into the back line and organised the troops when we started to rock.

Peter Gorman
143 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:35:36
I think the problem is, Ray et al, that the negatives remain the negatives whether we win or lose. Namely, the shambles that is the defence and the mostly inept implementation of the passing game (which actively makes our lives difficult).

Yes, I am happier that the 6-2 result is in our favour. But I am also still concerned. Obviously Sunderland aren’t as good as Arsenal or Man Utd so Kone and Lukaku could do some real damage but in most respects covered by so many people already, the trend in our performance was largely the same, ie, not very good.

ps: Barkley did well to get 94% passing accuracy, a great looking, if relatively meaningless stat when it is fluffed up with tip-tap one-twos with McCarthy to sportingly allow the opposition defence time to reorganise. I like every player and the only shithouse I can think of recently was Alcaraz, but this Barkley kid is no Michael Ballack and perhaps it is time we all tempered our expectations with him.

Dean Adams
144 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:36:24
Brian Denton.

Showing your age there!!

Christy Ring
145 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:36:45
Ross is never going to change; he’s not a tackler, it’s not his game. He’s a phenomenal talent, and the reason the top clubs want him is his flair, class and attacking prowess. Layoff, and be glad he’s an Evertonian.

Defensively, we were poor, and I don’t know why Galloway didn’t start, but a great result.

Ian Riley
146 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:37:44
Why the hell are people on here giving Barkley a dressing down! The guy is young and learning his trade and will only get better! Whatever instructions are given by the manager he must follow.

Yes, I get frustrated with him at times but he will get better. The crowd at Goodison have to stay off his back and encourage him to develop.

Let’s be careful, as he may just take the first bus out of town at the first opportunity! Then the same people will be calling him all the names under the sun!

Oliver Molloy
148 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:45:23
Ged.....brilliant.....laughing my balls off!
Colin Glassar
149 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:46:41
Jim Lloyd, to be called a shithouse in Liverpool usually means someone ends up in Walton hospital.
Tony Hill
151 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:51:13
Barry is a real plus. He was terrible for most of last year and has had a couple of bad performances this season but he has rediscovered his stamina and is lasting through games. He’s justifying his contract which I, for one, thought was a mistake. I hope it continues.

Defensively, Stones is just having a bad patch to which he is entitled. I don’t blame Howard or Funes Mori for their second goal. Southampton scored a similar one today and the pundits were saying how tricky it is for the defender when the striker gets half a yard, as Fletcher managed to do, and he is strong in the air.

Brian Harrison
152 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:56:06
Well, I posted before the game that I wanted someone to run past Lukaku and Kone did that a lot. I hoped we would push one of our defensive midfielders further forward and McCarthy certainly did that. Offensively we were terrific today; at last RM let them off the lease.

Deulofeu really excites, especially when he comes inside and he played some sublime forward passes. But Gerard, stop diving – you are doing yourself no favours and if refs have you down as a diver, then where you should get a penalty, you won't. I would hope behind the scenes RM and his teamates let him know that behaviour is unacceptable.

Kone was brilliant today; when he is in the side he comes off the wing and we play a little narrower which helps Lukaku. A well deserved hattrick.

My Man of the Match was Gareth Barry; he did everything, broke up a lot of Sunderland attacks, and was the main contributor in starting our attacks.

I won't dwell on our defensive frailties other than to say, John Stones, take a leaf out of Ramiro’s book and defend first then worry about your footballing skills later.

Danny O'Neill
154 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:07:07
Agree Tony, it's English mentality to think every goal is avoidable and focus on how it could have been avoided. Sometimes you just have to give credit to the attacker or acknowledge good forward play.

We done it 6 times today. Love him or dislike him, credit where credit is due and under Martinez we’re going to have to accept we’ll concede... an inevitable outcome of probing to score.

Jim Lloyd
155 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:07:34
To call a man a shithouse in Liverpool, is like saying he is an absolute lowlife, scumbag... and worse! Is that what Ross Barkley deserves to be called then? I don’t see it as right for any Everton player to be called a shithouse unless he has done something so heinous, as to merit it and by that I would see it as recognised by all that he has gone way beyond the bounds of civilised behaviour... like deliberately break a feller’s leg in 3 places.

Not being able to tackle, in my view, is the side of Ross Barklay that I’ll hope that someday he’ll learn how to do. I don’t have great hopes though.

It’s frustrating to see but if he improves that side of his game, we wouldn’t be able to hold on to him, he’d be worth that much.

I thought today, that we were excellent. Yep, our defending around the right side was suspect at times and I’ll check it when it’s on the box but I thought Tim Howard should have got to the 2nd. However, he pulled off some great saves to keep it to nil-nil.

I wish Gerry didn’t do the diving but that’s something a kid will do. His passing is sublime though and his running at defences is great to watch. He’ll get better too.

I thought Barry was superb, his passing, intercepting, and helping organise defence was really good today and my view was that James McCarthy today, was the best I’ve seen him play for ages. He looked re-energised today. Brendan again put on an excellent display and almost got on the end of a cross to score what would have been a brilliantly worked goal.

Someone on T/W was last night calling for us to flog Lukaku, if we could get around £20 mill for him. I think that vastly underrates the lad's ability, his goalscoring achievements and his determination to improve other parts of his game, which I think he’s already showing.

I’m chuffed to bits for Kone, who got such a ragging from some on here. Well done, lad, for getting through a career threatening injury and coming out and showing us just what we’ve been missing.

All-in-all, we aren’t the finished article yet, we’ll stutter and start and I suppose, Martinez will never be good enough in some folks eyes.

In my view though, he’s getting his full squad back and I look at the young lads we’ve got: top quality with more to come.

I’d still like to have seen Joel Robles given his chance today though!

John Malone
157 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:18:18
Can’t see if anyone’s mentioned it above so I’m going to, hat’s off to Martinez for changing the shite 4-2-3-1 system and reverting to the 4-1-4-1 which worked well earlier on in the season allowing Kone to link up with Lukaku and Barkley to play in a deeper role, and also preventing Barry and McCarthy stifling one another.

Stones was poor today and looks as if he’s been told his Chelsea move is off, sometimes his play looks naive and blase rather than cool and controlled. He needs to remember his first job is to defend well and everything else comes after!

Special mention to Kone who had a great game; his movement, touches and finishing were spot on today. Also Lukaku, who I have slaughtered for being a clumsy donkey seems, to be a different player with Kone alongside him; his game seems to be improving so long may it continue!

Eugene Ruane
158 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:25:29
Brian (141) - No, I can see why you might think he's related to Karl Malden but he's not.

There is a famous family link though - his second cousin is Kenny Cockbeak who is Phil Thompson's uncle.

Peter Carpenter
159 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:25:45
Not bothered if Barkley doesn’t tackle. Does it matter? I can’t recall Mikel Arteta, Kevin Sheedy, Peter Beardsley, Trevor Steven, Duncan McKenzie, Vinny Samways (add your own suggestions) ever putting the kind of thumping tackle I assume some people want, but they all immeasurably improved the teams they played in.

The trick is to get in the right position, harry, intercept and nick the ball away, something Ross could still improve at, I think, but he is never going to put in the big tackles, so get over it. He does things the others will never do.

(ps: One of the above names was a joke, by the way!)

Tim O'Connell
160 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:34:11
Many good things, Barry, Kone and Lukaku, were excellent, Del Boy produces special moments and a few worrying things - Stones going through a poor patch - he needs to know when to boot it! But a 6-2 victory makes for a great evening!
Steven Jones
162 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:42:51
Something very different today ...
Sam had them well drilled and organised and we move them around so much - with a combination of short passing and early longer balls that they were spinning early on.

Their necks were bending and even their attempts to close down and ruffle barks were neutralised by his growing maturity.

The change of angles, the running off the ball by the likes of Coleman and Kone was very impressive.

Watch a re-run closely.

Now we did have frailties, however we fans cry out to put well organised back-10/park bus teams to the sword.

I knew and felt from about 20mins that Sunderland were going to have to do a lot of chasing, changing direction and re-positioning that their concentration and legs were not going to hold up.

We moved the ball far quicker from front to back and also held possession - this is the start of something special I hope!

Jim Lloyd
164 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:47:27
Well said Steven. A very accurate observation.
Jay Harris
165 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:53:09
Lets be honest The Lobster would have given us a tougher game.

That is why there is so much negativity after a 6-2 win.

To concede 2 goals and have the woodwork hit twice as well as allowing them more shots on goal than us is a real concern and took the gloss off the win for me.

I know we havent got our first choice back 4 out but it is our style of play that is most concerning.

WE do not close the opposition down or put any pressure on the ball in any part of the pitch.

We are far too relaxed and unfit IMO and that needs to change rapidly if we are to achieve anything this year.

Danny O'Neill
166 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:03:05
Jim, can't agree more. Ross is a talent we should embrace and nurture not criticise because he can't tackle. Paul Scholes couldn't tackle to save his life but was arguably the English midfielder of his generation. Let's focus on what he's good at not what he doesn't do well. Aside from the fact he's still young and will improve, there are others in the team to do those things we see as flaws in his games
Kevin Elliott
168 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:12:03
Apologies for not reading any of the above but "apart from the hat trick" Kone was the best player on the park today, and I am chuffed for him.

Well done Arouna.

Peter Gorman
169 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:18:10
Not sure why there is a sudden fixation with Barkley's tackling, the example of Scholes and the long list from Peter Carpenter show it is not the be all. I couldn't care if he never tackles, we have at least two DMs on the pitch.

What he needs to do though, is play his role better. His judgement (or lack of) can be so frustrating to watch. Talented player but I can't see why he is touted as the crown prince of English football. Or if he is, heaven help England.

Eugene McLoughlin
170 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:23:23
Having just watched MotD... yes we were a tad lucky not to be 2 down... but we showed character to take the game by the scruff of the neck at 2-2.
Brent Stephens
171 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:29:22
Peter #158 "[re Ross Barkley] The trick is to get in the right position, harry, intercept and nick the ball away, something Ross could still improve at, I think, but he is never going to put in the big tackles so get over it. He does things the others will never do."

I love Ross's creativity. The thing is he does nothing of the other things you list - in the right position [defensively, I assume you mean], harry, intercept and nick the ball away. Nothing at all. Nor can he win a header. I guess that's something else we'll have to get over. But the lad is a great talent going forward.

Laurie Hartley
172 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:31:50
Dave (105) & Jamie (115) - good posts.

Great result - Looking forward to watching the recording tonight and maybe having my two bobs worth.

Mike Hughes
173 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:47:12
I’m made up for Kone. He took those goals well. And for Lukaku. Let’s hope a Top 4-busting partnership can develop.

It’s great what a win does for your general outlook on life. It’s 22:39 and I’d head off into the fog for a quick jog around the block if I hadn’t already had a couple of beers. But, on balance, I won’t bother now.

Now is the time to celebrate. But let’s not kid ourselves that there weren’t cracks that were papered over today. The defending against a poor side as well as Deulofeu – hang your head in shame – despite the great pass and goal.

Jamie Barlow
174 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:48:04
Danny@165, Paul Scholes couldn’t tackle but he never shied away from a tackle. I don’t want Ross to be a Roy Keane or Viera type. I like him. I think he’s a great player when we have the ball. I just think he gets away with murder. I’ve never seen anyone get away with not tackling, challenging for headers, tracking back or just making a nuisance of himself when he loses the ball like Ross does. Breaking your leg 6 years ago doesn’t excuse you of 3 of those things. It’s not that he "can’t" tackle, he "won’t" tackle, or any of the above.

Jim Lloyd. Since I posted my first couple of posts, I have spoken to a few lads on the Offside Forum and read your post at 160 and realised that with me not being from your neck of the woods, the word 'shithouse' means something different to you than it does to me. I purely meant he shits out of tackles, bottles it, not that he is an absolute lowlife, a scumbag...and worse.

Jim Lloyd
176 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:56:44
Well, hopefully Jamie, you can now leave off calling him one and describe his inability/reluctance to tackle in the way you just have. No-one could have any problem with that, it’s only a matter of opinion on a lad’s ability, bottle or whatever else someone thinks is lacking.
Peter Gorman
177 Posted 01/11/2015 at 23:08:15
Jamie, if Scholes’s hatchet job on Kilbane (and subsequent red card) is any measure of his ability, I hope Ross never goes near a player with the ball.

And out of curiosity, where exactly are you from where 'shithouse' doesn’t constitute an insult? I’d love to move there.

Colin Hughes
178 Posted 01/11/2015 at 23:13:10
So even on MotD2 tonight, the presenter touched on the awful atmosphere at Goodison today by somewhat kindly referring to the "subdued atmosphere even at 6-2 up". The question is just what are we going to do about it as fans?

We are currently lying in 9th place and not too far off that sought-after top 4 place. Also, taking into account that one of the so-called year-on-year certainties for it look all at sea, surely it’s up for grabs more than ever this season. Maybe a little bit of vociferous support instead of sitting in silence week after week is what these trophyless players require to push on to the next level.

Let’s not be mistaken: Goodison is currently the quietest stadium in the country, even a handful of Norwich fans last Tuesday could be heard singing "Is this a library?"

Over to you, Blues... or do I need to send this comment in sign language?

Jim Lloyd
179 Posted 01/11/2015 at 23:27:09
Were you there, Colin? I always sit in the Upper Bullens and it is quiet there, at least not a lot of chanting goes on. But the Gwladys St seemed to be in good voice.

I think part of the trouble is that the commentary team are positioned right above the away support. So the telly gets the most vociferous away supporters and some of the quietest Blues.

Apologies to those Blues in the Bullens Road who do chant and sing, including meself. (I've got a good croak when I kick off!)

Si Cooper
180 Posted 01/11/2015 at 23:28:37
Thrilling at times, aggravating at others. A game we were never really going lose after their bold start, yet we never outright killed them off.

Someone harping on about Rom’s touch and passing in one of the earliest posts; personally I thought he had a very good game in that regard.

I was really annoyed about Stones’s mistake for their first, especially as the timing was such it was bound to give them a second wind at the start of the second half. He should have just hoofed it back from whence it came... but then again, if Defoe had missed the interception and he’d wheeled away imperiously then we’d all be rapturously applauding.

Since hitting a post is no better than missing (the target is inside those pieces of wood) I’m surprised that people get especially aerated about them.

Tony Hill
181 Posted 01/11/2015 at 23:48:35
Most home crowds are now comparatively silent. It's an effect of all-seated grounds. Additionally, we have got out of the habit of making noise because the football over the last year has been largely boring. You don't just turn it back on again.

Incidentally, a bit rich of Sunderland fans to be mocking people leaving early when their ground is usually half full at the start and those who are there end up throwing their season tickets into the dug out.

Jim Knightley
182 Posted 02/11/2015 at 00:45:27
Fantastic result. We were brilliant going forward. Lukaku scored again and set up two, including one of the passes of the season. In the process he demonstrated that he has some real technical ability when confident, and shows how absurd claims he can't improve in that respect are. Kone was brilliant, and it is wonderful to seeing him playing well and injury free. Deulofeu was great, and showed why so many of us were excited to see him back.

As I argued last week, we’ve had the hardest start in the league. We’ve played 8 of last season’s top 10, and are looking at a really favourable run of games now. There is no reason why we couldn’t, in view of the fixtures and form of our competitors, be in or very close to the top 4 come New Year’s Day. However, I do not think that we will manage that because of the defensive fragility on show today.

We were irrepressible going forward, but simply did not defend. We could have easily let in 4 or 5 goals today, and that’s not acceptable at home to a poor Sunderland team. Playing 3 out-and-out attacking players is fantastic fun, but those 3 leave us vulnerable at the back. That’s pronounced when 2 of our first choice back 4 are injured, and when our full backs are pressing on.

This has to be seen in context of course: Sunderland came at us time and time again, and that’s why they let in 6 goals and why we conceded a lot of chances. But it’s a real concern nonetheless.

But today was wonderful, and we’ve got real room for optimism. We have a very winnable League Cup quarter-final coming up, and we are 8th in the league. We now have West Ham (A), Villa (H), Bournemouth (A), Palace (H), Norwich (A), Leicester (H), Newcastle (A), Stoke (H) before the end of the year. If we can get going at home, we should be looking at a very healthy points total.

Eamonn Long
183 Posted 02/11/2015 at 04:20:04
We’re looking good! Excited to see where we are after the next 9+ games. All winnable and the team can only grow stronger.

Our 'makeshift' defense is coping. Funes Mori looks a good fit, Stones and Coleman will get back to form and Galloway has been a revelation.

Offensively, we’re starting to click and it's beginning to look like we’ve a lot of excellent options. Lukaku, Kone, Deulofeu, Barkley, Lennon and even Naismith have shown we can be good going forward and Mirallas is another with potential world class. Let's hope he can make the comeback he and we all want.


Harold Matthews
184 Posted 02/11/2015 at 04:36:54
Jim, You're right on the button with your man Lukaku mate. The increase in his technical ability when confident. My goodness, he went up two notches during the second half. His movement, vision and excecution were superb and how well he works with Kone and Deulofeu. Great stuff.
Paul Ward
185 Posted 02/11/2015 at 06:05:54
Each week match report comments are mostly diverse and entertaining. When we win anyone who is critical seems to be frowned upon by the mild mannered posters who are so glad to receive anything from this club. When we lose there are some over the top rants of negativity but TW has some consistent level headed posters like Dave Abrahams (#111) that have a knack of putting things into perspective without being offensive.

In the case of Barkley, I am amazed how many people have so much blind faith in the lad and condone his refusal to tackle, chase back, or learn to head a ball. He is not the only player to have had such a bad injury, he should look no farther than Oviedo whose horrific injury has not stopped him from getting stuck in.

Darryl Ritchie
186 Posted 02/11/2015 at 06:17:16
I’ve finally had a chance to watch a replay of the game, and having read the most of the comments beforehand, I’d like to make a few comments of my own.

Outside of the first 15 minutes or so, even with their goals either side of halftime, I never was worried about the outcome. We OWNED them.

Barkley was excellent. He was on the dribble, going forward, at pace more than I’d ever seen him do before. And for those who are fussed that he doesn’t tackle enough...or at all, for that matter, I think you are being a bit selective in your criticism. I didn’t see Lukaku, Kone or Deulofeu making many tackles, but they’ve seemed to have snuck under the radar.

The back line looked shaky at times, but you take into account their youth (Stones, Funes Mori and Galloway), add to that the fact that Coleman’s place was in doubt, right up to kickoff, because of a bad stomach, they played pretty well. We’ve transitioned from one of oldest back lines, to one of the youngest, almost overnight. There are bound to be a few hiccups.

Howard did alright, other than their second goal, when he was glued to the goal line... again.

If you pick apart the game, it’s easy to see the faults, but there were way more positives than negatives. It’s a result that makes me very excited to see what we can do against West Ham.

Sam Hoare
187 Posted 02/11/2015 at 06:25:48
I agree with Jamie. It’s not that Ross can’t tackle (a la Scholes) it’s that he won’t. The former implies a lack of technique and is forgivable; the latter a lack of heart which disappoints me. I know he had that bad injury but still, I snapped my ankle in two places when I was 16 and was out for 2 years but doesn’t stop me still going in for tackles with 110%. At the very least, he could put a bit more aggression into his jumping for headers.

Aggression is one thing I think we lack generally. Not enough bullies. At set-pieces, we don’t seem to do enough of that narky shirt-pulling that almost every other team does and, as has been bought up a few times, our keeper never goes through players to claim the ball. We seem a bit of a soft touch in general and somehow that doesn’t feel right to me. Galloway and Funes Mori seem to have some fire in their bellies but, apart from that, it’s all a bit nicey nicey!

Steven Jones
188 Posted 02/11/2015 at 06:29:31
I don’t think Barkley lacks heart, bottle or anything. I would suggest it is an instruction from Martinez not to get into needless clashes which could increase his injury list. We cannot afford him to be like Wilshere.

In fact I remember the match at Arse when he gave Wilshere an almighty crunch in a 50/50.

I also feel he is a big lump and it will take time for him to get agile to nick balls etc. I am happy with his tracking and his tackling and closing down at the moment.

James Marshall
190 Posted 02/11/2015 at 07:04:51
Everyone has the right to complain, and although above I moaned about people moaning I do agree our defence looks a bit iffy at times – again, this is nothing new and a Martinez trait we’re all very aware of.

One thing to note is that the average age of our midfield 10 yesterday was 24 – we have a very young team with a smattering of older, experienced heads and I think the manager should be given some credit for what he’s trying to do at Everton.

We will always look a bit leaky at the back, and sometimes we’ll batter teams – other times we’ll lose games, obviously. Yesterday our football was sparkling at times, with young players linking beautifully and at other times the more experienced players slowing things down, controlling the game and making Sunderland chase shadows for long periods.

If you moan about us giving away chances (and goals) against a so called shit team, you also have to take into account that even if Sunderland were playing Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern or anyone you care to mention they’d have a spell and create a few – that’s the way it goes. No game passes without both teams creating, yet people seem to go mental about it for some reason.

We scored 6, they scored 2. Next!

Sam Hoare
191 Posted 02/11/2015 at 07:31:27
James, I'm pretty sure if Sunderland had been playing Bayern or Barca, they would have created very little indeed. They certainly would not have scored 2, hit the post twice and have had as many shots as their opposition.

Yesterday was a fantastic result and attacking performance but there were some deficiencies that it would be either churlish or shortsighted to deny.

Kieran Fitzgerald
192 Posted 02/11/2015 at 07:40:32
Michael Kenrick @79, thanks for that post. After the Chelsea game, people who posted about our deficiencies were cut in two and told to shut up. While the Chelsea game was a more complete performance than yesterday’s, it has still been a one-off in terms of what we had produced up to then. Perspective is constantly called for on this website and then ignored.
Jim Lloyd
193 Posted 02/11/2015 at 07:41:23
How do you know he won’t tackle, Sam? He doesn’t tackle, that’s for sure. Whether it’s because he won’t and therefore is criticised for lack of heart, or he can’t and that is something for him to work on, who knows.

I just look at him and think what a player he would be, if he knew how to, could or would tackle. I saw him tackle once and he got booked, it didn’t look to me that he lacked heart, it looked to me that he didn’t have a clue.

At one point yesterday, he contested a headed ball with a Sunderland player, he looked uncomfortable doing it; but he did it.

Thye thing is, he seems top be doing something right. as her’s playing for England, as well as for us.

Some of the passes he makes are are hopeless and he runs into trouble on occasions by trying too much. It’s frustrating, as we all see what he can do. He may never improve his all round game ands we’ll be left with a player who, at the moment, frustrates and thrills his way through a match.


James Marshall
194 Posted 02/11/2015 at 07:55:13

That's simply not true - I've watched La Liga and the Bundesliga for years and every team creates chances against every other team in every game. Even the worst teams in either division.

Sorry, but I simply do not agree on any level. You can watch a team like Eibar play Barca (3-1 in October) and they'll make chances and score goals. Every team creates chances, and that's the point I'm making.

People on here lose their minds about it, and here we are discussing a great result as though it was a horrible beating!

Paul Tran
195 Posted 02/11/2015 at 08:00:32
Kieran, I don't think anyone has a problem with criticism of the the team. I endorse it; it's the only way we're going to improve enough to achieve anything. I wish the people who 'run' our club applied themselves in the same way.

Wouldn't it good if amongst the genuine and often accurate criticism, there was some acknowledgement of the skill, pace, movement and goals we've apparently been looking for and are apparently unable to achieve?

Sam Hoare
196 Posted 02/11/2015 at 08:10:18
James, I’m not saying they wouldn’t create anything but I’ve watched La liga and Bundesliga too and seen plenty of poor teams like Sunderland dispatched without much of a whimper. In fact I’ve seen quite good teams totally dominated and only get a shot or two on goal.

To say that every team has their moment does not justify our defensive frailties yesterday.

Sam Hoare
197 Posted 02/11/2015 at 08:15:09
Jim, the distinction is in effort. Scholes for example lacked timing and technique but went 100% into a lot of tackles. I’ve seen Barkley go 30% into a lot of tackles and aerial battles (2 of which led to goals recently).

I like him a lot as a player but it seems patently obvious to me that he lacks aggression and intensity, especially without the ball. But different people see different things happily, or else I would not spend so much time on ToffeeWeb.

Jim Lloyd
198 Posted 02/11/2015 at 08:24:57
I think there is a massive difference about pointing out deficiencies and continual slagging.

Constructive criticism is great, negativity is slighly different in my view. We played well yesterday and at times, had Sunderland running round like headless chickens.

Because we celebrate the wonderful passages of play and the excellent moves for the goals, it doesn’t mean that we’re oblivious to the weaknesses we showed.

I’ve read about how Sunderland were a shit team yet they still made chances and scored goals. That seems to imply that a "good" team would have murdered us. I don’t agree. That lad Watmore is an excellent player and would trouble any defence. Defoe is also a top class player as is M’Vila. I liked the look of Van Aanholt going forward, too. I think they’ll give a good few teams problems.

Their attacking football was fast and skilful. In my view, it was their defence that gave them problems. But my emphasis on the day would be to say that our play going forward, was the reason they had problems.

Michael, in his report, mentioned a dreadful passage of play that ended with the ball going back to Howard. Well, I watched that bit of play and, initially, thought " get it in the box" but looking at it, I thought Sunderland had the routes to goal covered. So in my view, the ball going back to the goalie, was fine . We kept the ball and started another attack.

I think that what winds me up is the immediate reaction of "our defence is shite and that’s Martinez for you". Or "this tippy-tappy is shite, and that’s Martinez for you", or "Barkley’s a coward", which seems to be the stock reaction of some, even when we’ve just seen us hammer a team 6-2.

That is, to me, the difference between constructive criticism and negativity.

Jim Lloyd
199 Posted 02/11/2015 at 08:27:10
Aye, true enough Sam.
Colin Glassar
200 Posted 02/11/2015 at 08:27:52
Paul Ward (#185), I don’t think Oviedo is the best example to use when talking about tackling and staying injury free.

For all you Barkley doubters, he’s in Garth Crooks's ’Team of the Week’. Nuff said.

Kieran Fitzgerald
201 Posted 02/11/2015 at 08:51:03
Paul Tran, agreed. I suppose I should have explained myself better. Jim @198 above explained things very well. We’re not teenagers anymore and we should be able to react beyond individual results, both good and bad. On here though, we can tend with match reports to either go all out to criticise or else it’s an absolute love in.

Yesterday’s performance at times was breathtaking. You’re right, it’s only fair that we do acknowledge it. If I’m honest , maybe my own reaction is a little petulant in that I can’t understand why we can’t play like that more often. We know it’s there, the squad knows it’s there and Martinez knows it’s there.

It’s gotten to the stage that, rightly or wrongly, an inbuilt sense of negativity or fear almost kicks in after a performance like yesterday. You look ahead to West Ham next Saturday and see us being rubbish.

Jim Lloyd
202 Posted 02/11/2015 at 09:06:46
Spot on Kieran! We half expect the bubble to burst and get tonked.

I liked your next to last paragraph and agree when you say "why can’t we play like this more often." and it is frustrating when we’re fuckin about and looking a bit lost.

I think yesterday sort of summed up what you were getting at. Gareth Barry remarked on it this morning. He said we were great going forward but the defence needs working on. (I thought he made a good Captain yesterday.)

So, it is difficult not to be negative at times, and it’s easy to go overboard when we play like we did yesterday.

What I would say, is I like where Martinez is going, but I wish we wouldn’t trip up quite as often! But he’s got his full squad almost now, so my expectations have risen a bit.

Max Murphy
203 Posted 02/11/2015 at 10:56:09
In the last 3 or 4 games, Everton have been guilty of dreadful misplaced passes. It happened again yesterday in the first half. A better team would've punished us.

Sunderland are probably one of the worst teams in the league and easily breached our defence twice, as well as hitting the woodwork twice. This is very worrying.

We scored some good goals, but sadly this is not a seismic shift in our form. We lack consistency, and I dread to think what will happen next weekend at West Ham.

Philip Yensen
204 Posted 02/11/2015 at 11:26:43
Barkley is not a kid any more and should not be wrapped in cotton wool. He is lazy without the ball, he doesn’t go into hard tackles, this I can accept. It’s the chasing back, harassing of opponents, work rate without the ball that gets me.

Any player that does not put that effort in leaves gaps and other players get dragged out of position. This gets my goat with him, walking back after the ball is lost.

A quick statistic: I had a 96% pass rate the other day with my grandson, admittedly we were in my garden which has a 15-metre radius and the radius for Barkley's passing accuracy... Will that get me into Garth Crooks's team?

Barkley needs to watch a few videos of himself learn how to pass and pick the correct one, when to release the ball. Wayne Rooney could do it all at 17-plus. If the way he plays is via RM then RM should go or Barkley needs to be with a better manager?

I notice there is a split opinion over him.

Peter Gorman
205 Posted 02/11/2015 at 11:46:50
I’ll be honest, I think we have some great players and young players who have the potential to be great. But I absolutely can’t stand Martinez and think he is holding them back. I believe the players have the ability to entertain every week but they never will under his management.

So, again, as happy as I am to see us win 6-2 as opposed to lose 6-2, I can’t escape the feeling that we are sliding backwards and have been since last season. I don’t call that negativity so much as realism. But we are all free to buy into Martinez's ’project’ or whatever the current buzzword is.

Steve Harris
206 Posted 02/11/2015 at 12:26:04
Well if an ’expert’ like Garth Crooks says it, it must be right!!

My take on it is that, despite being really clinical in our finishing for a change with some exciting and sublime breaks, it's still really worrying that every team we play seem to be able to open us up at will, whoever the opposition is. It could've easily been 8-8 yesterday and Norwich reserves ripped us apart for most of the League Cup game last week as well.

Wherever we are on the pitch, one misplaced pass seems to lead to us being totally exposed despite playing with two defensive midfielders every week. Our closing down is non-existent, the total opposite of what Klipperty Klopp has already instilled into the RedShite after only a few weeks.

Bobby Thomas
207 Posted 02/11/2015 at 12:38:55
For this game read Wolfsburg at home last season. False result that masks a multitude of faults.

We are a poor side and are going visibly backwards from the start of the season, when we actually had some shape and cohesion. However, that hasn’t lasted, the organisation has gone and we are so easy to play against it’s untrue.

We have no European games in midweek, it's not an overly busy schedule, so I’m wondering what he actually does with the players. We cannot defend the box. We flood forward and whenever anyone breaks they are straight into the back 4. Full backs don’t stop crosses and marking is generally non-existent. Seamus Coleman's defending for that second goal yesterday was atrocious.

This season is going to go the same way as last, nailed on.

Mike Galley
208 Posted 02/11/2015 at 12:47:50
Here’s a question if anyone is able to answer for me. Have we ever had three different players score a league hat trick in the same season? We’ve got Naismith and Kone each with a treble already, and hopefully Lukaku will get on the goal trail.
Gavin Johnson
209 Posted 02/11/2015 at 13:18:48
Shock news..Peter Gorman doesn’t like Roberto Martinez!

We know, Peter, you take every opportunity to share that on here.

In a time when clubs are spending more than ever I don’t think a quarter final and being 8th in the league after facing 8 of the top 10 sides from last season is too bad, all things considered.

Peter, you have an obvious dislike of Martinez and to say we’ve been on a continual slide since last season just doesn’t stand up. Even Darren Hind who has been one of Martinez’s most vocal critics is giving him some slack. Of course it’s not perfect... but when have things been perfect since the 1980s?

Dave Ganley
210 Posted 02/11/2015 at 13:49:05
Jim Lloyd (#198), I do tend to agree with your assessment of the difference between constructive criticism and negative comments. I think if you are going to argue against the team then it's no point just throwing a lot of abuse and no reason for your opinion.

It was a funny game on Saturday. I was delighted we got the win and as for the score, I would have bitten your hand off for it. However, the reaction of the crowd was very informative for me. Whilst cheering the goals, we very rarely sang and the atmosphere was as flat as a pancake apart from the Sunderland fans continually singing. They were right, Goodison is a library.

I don’t buy the argument that it was "only Sunderland" so not too excited. We have just put 6 past a Premier League team and sections of the crowd were streaming out with 5 to 10 minutes to go and the ground continually subdued. This seems a strange statement given that we had just thrashed a team, but the team just don’t give the fans a display that they can really get excited about.

Jim (#198), Michael was spot on about that passage of play being dreadful when the ball ended up back in Tim Howard's arms. If the players were actually probing Sunderland and there was no opening then I could understand your sentiment but they weren’t. They were playing short passes back and forth without looking what was in front of us, just playing keep ball, which I suppose they were entitled to do given the scoreline at the time, but it wasn’t because they were probing the Sunderland box.

Again, a bit of a bizarre statement from me, but, goals aside, it just wasn’t a dashing, exciting display. Hard to please I guess.

The old phrase of one swallow doesn’t make a summer; conversely, you can only beat whats in front of you. We really need to step up the game in my opinion. For the first 20 minutes we were not good. Other teams could definitely have taken the lead against us. We started slowly yet again but got away with it against a very poor team.

Regardless of the result yesterday, we still look unbalanced and probably always will do unless Martinez starts to play players in the correct positions. Kone and Lukaku would look much better if they played as a front 2 and not as a makeshift winger and a lone striker.

Again we are back to the 2 DM debate. Have just the one and we could play 2 proper wingers providing ammunition for the front 2. But that is not going to happen and we are what we are. We also need a proper defensive coach but again, that will probably not happening.

Tim Howard, as others have noted, has always had faults as well as pluses, but was always aided by a strong defensive unit. Now he isn’t having that protection anymore and he is slated most weeks for giving goals away. Get the defensive playing as a unit then he will have better protection and we will keep more clean sheets. Not rocket science.

I heard an interesting stat the other day also. We are one of the worst teams for covering ground in the league. I guess it shows what everyone knows in that we never harass the opposition and chase them down. We always used to and it creates opportunities for us in the opposition half. We really need to get back to that fast-paced style of play. I guess that is why we hardly ever seem to get excited at Goodison anymore. This slow pass-pass style of play is killing the atmosphere and that was highlighted on Saturday when we could hardly muster a song after hitting 6. As I originally said, I am delighted for the result. Just a bit of food for thought, that's all.

Mike Hughes
211 Posted 02/11/2015 at 14:02:47
Mike #208

'Here's a question if anyone is able to answer for me. Have we ever had three different players score a league hat trick in the same season?'

Cowl over head.
I stare into my crystal ball.
Filthy red mist descends.
What do I see?
Yes ... a Lukaku hat trick at Anfield in a 0-3 win for the Blues.
Many wailing and whining sounds in the background.
We're also last on MOTD that night ...

Andrew Clare
212 Posted 02/11/2015 at 14:26:29
I posted before the game that it would be a dire awful affair. How wrong could I be! Eight goals and end to end football rammed my words down my throat.

You just don’t know what you are going to get with this team.In midweek we looked terrible against a poor Norwich side and next match we hit six.

I did say that I couldn’t remember the last time we were in control of a game and even against Sunderland it wasn’t until we scored the fourth goal that we could feel a win was on the cards.

We just look too fragile to me. Too many misplaced passes in vulnerable positions and too many defensive errors that thankfully aren’t always capitalised on. A goalkeeper who has no command of his penalty area.

All of this makes the crowd very nervous. Which is why there is such a subdued atmosphere at Goodison. Next up are West Ham who apart from their last result have been doing well. I wonder which Everton will turn up there?

Craig Walker
213 Posted 02/11/2015 at 14:29:22
Can’t really add a lot to what has already been said. Sadly, I don’t think Ross will be the great player for us that we all hope. My dad used to have a saying "he wants a ball of his own" and that is how Ross plays. Too greedy at times and consistently picks the wrong options. He shoots over the bar an awful lot as well. We needed a player like Yarmolenko.

Also, worried about Seamus lately. I don’t think he’s been the player we all know he can be for a while now. I know he’s been injured and was ill during the week but what happened to the marauding full back? Howard has been a good servant but we need a better goalkeeper. I’m not sure Robles is the answer either (witness the howler against Barnsley).

I thought Barry had one of his better games in a blue shirt yesterday. I like Funes Mori. He got out-muscled for the 2nd goal but I think he will be a good defender for us. Deulofeu needs to stop hitting the first man with his crosses. He was frustrating me before his goal. His finish for the goal was a bit fortuitous and the diving is inexcusable. It made me embarrassed to be an Evertonian. It’s creeping into our play more: Barkley and McCarthy have done it.

Deulofeu’s pass for the Lukaku goal was excellent. At least he gets us on the edge of our seats. Kone was the best player on the pitch, even before he got his first goal. Really pleased for the lad. He holds the ball up and brings other players into the game far better than Rom.

We do need to get behind the team more though. You can see the atmosphere getting to the players and then one-by-one the mistakes start to creep in. I appreciate that it’s up to the players to lift the crowd but it is getting like a library sometimes. When Goodison is rocking, it is a ground like no other. All our good seasons are built on solid home form.

Peter Weaver
214 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:03:50
Mike @208: I don't recall 3 different players getting same season hat-tricks in our Premier history although early in the nineties Cottee got two and Rideout one in an Fa Cup-tie.

Lineker scored three hat-tricks in his 30 goals season late eighties.

Mike Galley
215 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:12:00
Mike @ 211: I’ll accept being last on MOTD if that’s the outcome!

Peter @ 214: Did Sharpy score a hat-trick that season? I recall that there wasn’t a great spread of goals that year. Unlike the previous season, and the one after.

John Hughes
216 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:22:23
Dave Ganley, you're right:it was quiet at Goodison on Saturday. It was a bit louder on Sunday when the match against Sunderland was actually played. I know; I was there on the Gwladys Street.
Peter Weaver
217 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:22:25
Just checked that Mike - it was earlier than I thought - 85/86. Sharpey got three doubles but no hat-trick in a season where he, Lineker and Inchy scored no less than 59 our 87 goals between them !
Michael Penley
218 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:31:22
I agree that it just wasn’t a great display from us. It is more accurate to say it was a very poor defensive display from Sunderland. They didn’t press us at all, which surprised me and clearly surprised Sam Allardyce. We’ve all seen what happens when teams don’t give us room to play - we can’t move forward with the ball and make lots of mistakes.

I’m thinking that what we saw on Sunday was what we do on the training ground. We pass and pass and pass until something happens. On the training ground this creates chances because we’re not being pressured, but against teams who know what they’re doing and because we’re afraid to make risky passes it only results in us passing sideways and backwards. The commentators remarked on this fact at time, so it’s not just me.

Ross Edwards
219 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:31:33
A fantastic display of fast, direct attacking play that worked to devastating effect. Absolutely brilliant to watch. If only we could play like that more often because we are capable of ripping teams to shreds like we did yesterday.

It was just the kind of win we needed, a feel good, convincing win that will do confidence a world of good, and I think we’re in a good place. We’re 5 points off 4th with a number of winnable games coming up. Chelsea are nowhere near and Man Utd are beginning to stutter. What an opportunity we have this season.

If we takes as many points as possible between now and Christmas, we’ll be well placed heading into the second half of the season.

Jay Harris
220 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:37:22
Here is my bit of constructive criticism.

We do not close teams down in any area of the pitch and allow teams too much space to put balls in that pressurize our back 4.

We lose far too many headed duels in our own box which suggests we do not address this issue properly in training and preparation of games.

One of those problems I see is that using Ross with Kone, Lukaku, Delofeu is that we are left a little short on ball winning when the opposition have the Ball.

Kone does chase back as does Delofeu occasionally but Ross needs to do a lot better when we don't have the ball or we should just rotate him and Kone for the number 10 role.

We are far too lightweight defensively in MF and that is our main weakness.

Yes it’s great to thrash a side like Sunderland who are probably the most woeful team we have played.

Quite a few of us predicted a hammering of these proportions during the week but what we couldn’t have predicted is that a team this poor would score 2, hit the woodwork twice and get more shots on target than us.

Peter Weaver
221 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:53:32
No strategist me, Jay, but I do think one of our central midfielders needs to be more of a terrier than any one of Barry, Macca and Ross. Lee Carsley would have done nicely!

I worry, too, about about Stones’s limited heading ability and concur with those who posted that his future may well be as Barry’s replacement in midfield.

None of this mattered yesterday but I fear we shall come up short if we have ambitions to beat more than the league’s also-rans anything more than occasionally.

James Flynn
222 Posted 02/11/2015 at 16:05:29
Probably fair to add that no-one expected Sunderland to come out swinging and keep swinging for 90 minutes.

Trevor Lynes
223 Posted 02/11/2015 at 16:08:12
Closing down when not in possession is required by EVERY outfield player and that does not mean tackling. Barkley and Deulofeu do not close down and that needs to be remedied otherwise we will continue to ship goals. The great Barcelona team including Messi closed down all over the pitch when not having the ball and that would definitely improve our goal against stats.

Unfortunately we have three players who do not do this basic job. The main culprits are Mirallas, Barkley and Deulofeu. Luckily this can be improved as they are still young enough to add this requirement to their all around game.

Many other sides have players who do not close down and Hazard is another one who has been dropped by Mourinho for exactly that fault. No one can dispute that Hazard is a wonderful player but all players need to work as a team.

If we can add that skill to our game we will be able to compete with any other side in the division. To be out worked by opponents is really bad!

Denis Richardson
224 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:32:27
Actually managed to read all the comments and I'm a bit surprised by the less than positive tone to the thread. We still have defensive issues and Sunderland are one of the worst sides in the league and played a strange formation that none of their defenders seemed to understand - however.......we won 6-2!

I still want RM gone as I think this game was a one off and we'll won't play a side as poor again this season (presume Villa will get a lift under their new manager), but I'm made up by the result - you can only beat what's in front of you after all.

All I can hope for (and it's just hope as opposed to expect) is that the manager and coaches watch the defensive mistakes and try to sort them out. A better side would not give us anywhere near as much space as Sunderland did.

Still, it's a thumping win and 3 points and for once the majority of the game was actually entertaining (all be it they had too many chances....). Onto West Ham and then we've got a couple of weeks for the walking wounded to recover. Although I'm not too sad Jagielka is in the team as I believe Mori will be better and needs to get used to the league.

Note to RM - see what can happen when Naismith and Lennon don't start! Kone has to partner Lukaku every game going forward if fully fit.

Peter Gorman
226 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:57:48
Gavin, the shock is you can't see it. He inherited a pretty decent side and set up and since then he certainly hasn't taken us forward (but one league place in the first season).

And please spare us your 'spending more than ever' homily, it doesn't wash, not when Leicester City are third.

If you don't think he is taking us backwards then the best you can say is he is taking us sideways.......a bit like his passing game.

Ray Roche
227 Posted 02/11/2015 at 18:06:25
Trevor (#223),

I think it was pretty obvious that Deulofeu has listened to comments about him not tracking back; he was tracking back throughout yesterday’s game.

Incidentally, there was a good article about Geri in yesterday’s Times in which it states that at Barca he was considered to become, eventually, a Number 10, and if you consider that superb pass for Lukaku’s goal you can see just how good his vision is.

It also says that Martinez doesn’t want him tracking back all the time; that’s not what he’s in the team for.

Paul Tran
228 Posted 02/11/2015 at 18:11:23
Cheers Kieran. I enjoyed yesterday's attacking and was disappointed with our lack of closing down and bite in our own half.

The only thing that concerns me for Saturday is our players' ability to perform bafflingly inconsistently. Just like under the previous manager. You cannot predict how they'll play. When we know they have a performance like that in them, it's more frustrating that they don't do it often enough.

Gavin Johnson
230 Posted 02/11/2015 at 19:52:13
Peter - Leicester are anomaly, the same as we were when we finished 4th. I’d also expect them to fall off before the end of the season.

I think 8th is very respectable given the games we’ve played. What more would you expect? If you went on our old managers record against the top sides I very much doubt he could have done any better.

The RS was a disappointing draw and the performance against Man Utd was gutless but I don’t think there’s much else to complain at otherwise. Unless you want to into caveats like why is Tim Howard is still playing.

You talk about Martinez inheriting a strong squad. Well isn’t the current squad better?! Moyes left an ageing squad. That’s being rectified. We had 6 players on the field who were under 24 yesterday. Even Kone looks worth the £5M now and is a definite improvement on Victor Anichebe.

I don’t ever remember having such a young first 11 in Moyes whole tenure unless you count dead rubber fixtures. I’ve said this before - I don’t think John Stones would have even been able to establish himself under Moyes. IMO he would have gone the same way as the young German (can’t remember his name) who is now highly regarded and coveted by many CL sides. Especially since we’ve now learnt Moyes didn’t particularly want to buy Stones. Whereas Martinez saw his potential straight away.

With the fixtures we’ve got coming up there’s no reason why we can’t be in the top 6 by Xmas. Of course we’d all want us to be doing better but I think it’s a huge exaggeration to say we’re still sliding from last season, Peter. It seems like you’re letting your dislike of Martinez make you focus on the negatives, instead of where we are now to those darkest days last season.

Michael Kenrick
236 Posted 02/11/2015 at 22:34:28
Jimmy Flynn: Probably fair to add that no-one expected Sunderland to come out swinging and keep swinging for 90 minutes.

Not sure I'd agree with that. Their main purpose for existence as a football club is to play the game, and that's certainly what I expected them to do, to give us a game. And that's what they did. That's what teams tend to do in this Premier League.

Not sure if that's the same as "coming out swinging" but let's assume that's what you meant. As to "keep swinging for 90 minutes" — again, why not? That's what they're paid to do, like our players. They're almost on the bottom of the league... Why would they not 'keep swinging', as you put it?

Jim Lloyd
237 Posted 02/11/2015 at 22:54:38
Dave, I’ll have to disagree with you and Michael about the passage of play with the ball going back to T/H as dreadful. I think they’d lost their way to be honest, and they decided to start again. There may have been a pass on but I didn’t see it and I’d rather see us keep the ball than lose it.

I’ve just been looking on what Gareth Barry has been saying and I hope they work on the aspect he’s talking about.

I want to see an attitude of "they shall not pass" from every member of our team, when the opposition have the ball and agree totally with Trevor (223) about every man having the job of harrying the opposition as part of their game and also agree with his observation about Mirallas Barkley and Gerry. Having said that, I did see Gerry tracking back yesterday, at full speed on one occasion, so there’s hope.

About Ross Barkley, I look at him and, in my eyes, he has no conception of attacking the ball if he loses it. I don’t know if he ever will either. I really hope he’ll do an Alan Ball and be terrier like whenever he went searching for the ball. He’ll be a great player if he learns to "defend from the front" He has some great attributes already, maybe he he needs time to see if he can develop those other attributes.

If he doesn’t have this part of the game, then can we play with Ross in the team? England seem to manage, and I think we can too.

Whether he can tackle or not, is an "interesting debate" but in my view, there is no reason he cannot add to his game the "defending from the front" and harry players when he loses, or doesn’t have the ball. If a tackle can't be made then at least closing on a player is valuable.

I think Steven Pienaar is a great example of a "winger" doing the work of defending from the front and coming back to help Bainsey out.

So, for me, we are by no means the finished article but I see the makings of a good side and at times, we’re unplayable. Getting that level consistently and in both attack and defence, I’m expecting to become more the norm, as Martinez now has almost everyone of his squad to choose from.

From now on in, I would like to see something like the performance levels of most of the 2013-14 season... and we’ll have to wait and see.

Peter Gorman
239 Posted 02/11/2015 at 23:18:00
Gavin, you may be right about a couple of things; results being all important and my disappointment with last season clouding my judgement. But my concerns are with the performances more than the results, specifically that they bear the hallmarks of Martinez and his philosophy which I don’t think will bear much fruit, as it didn’t last season.

You mention the RS and Man Utd, but I would go further and include the West Brom and Norwich games, despite the positive outcomes, as all the evidence one needs to spot a pattern. We can’t defend, we can’t cope with pressure and we don’t have much movement. We are flying by the seat of the pants of the talent of the players, thank God we have good ones. Defence is the platform on which you build, surely. It is no good bringing a gun to a knife fight if you forget your body armour.

I’ll credit Martinez for signing Galloway in particular; I also appreciate other signings. But the buck for all our woes stops with him and his empty philosophy.

Harold Matthews
240 Posted 03/11/2015 at 02:53:37
Can understand people being thrilled with the win but concerned about the defence in tougher games coming up. Martinez admitted that things needed sorting at the back in his post match conference.

For me, it’s always about details. Small details.

Coleman, who looked underweight and white as a sheet, was faced with two men for most of the match. The support of Stones and Deulofeu was totally absent when Defoe and Van Aanholt passed the ball around the Irishman before crossing for the equalizer. Defoe had run away from Stones who didn’t bother to go with him. Incidentally, Ref Mariner watched as Fletcher used both arms to lever himself upwards and push Funes Mori away from the ball at the same time. Clever centre forward play but a blatant foul.

Stones was the worst player on the pitch by some distance. Was he ill, is he still carrying the leg injury? Something was far from right that’s for sure. I’ve seen this lad accelerate and show speed. In this match he could do neither. Seldom in the right position, his mind seemed to be elsewhere and I suspect he’d been wheeled onto the pitch with a heavy dose of painkillers. With Jags out of action and Browning not trusted in the CB role, we’re probably more desperate than anyone will let on.

As for Barkley. He doesn’t tackle and, short on stamina, he doesn’t close down or run around too much. In fact, he has a pretty easy time every match. Not bad work if you can get it.

On the plus side, he makes himself available and tries to join up with his team-mates on both sides of the pitch. Unfortunately, unlike most good players in his position, he doesn’t pass and move. He’ll pass and stand still. He does it so many times. Pass and stand still. Pass and stand still.

When Lukaku hit that wonderful cross for the 6th goal, his position on the field was created for him by McCarthy who had accelerated past him during a brief one-two. "I wish Ross would do that", I thought to myself. The lad is a special talent with the ability to do anything but right now I’ll settle for pass and move.

Derek Thomas
241 Posted 03/11/2015 at 04:38:51
Harold; If Stones was barely able to start, surely Galloway should have been in at LB from the start. Then, if required, he would be up with the pace of the game with Oviedo as his backup. Not go with the guy who has hardly kicked a ball all season AND just done 120 mins a few days before.

That’s before we even mention ’hammies’.

Laurie Hartley
243 Posted 03/11/2015 at 07:36:25

That was a wonderful pass by Lukaku – I didn’t think he had that in his locker. I would go so far as to say it was superlative. :D

In fact his all-round play, including ball control and heading, has improved out of sight to what it was only a few weeks ago. Many were of the opinion that he was too old to improve in the ball-control area in particular. He has proved us wrong so there is hope for Ross.

The thing that I noticed about Barkley in this game is that his first touch is fantastic. If he can improve his work off the ball then we will have some player.

I would have to say Deulofeu’s pass to Lukaku was top class also – that lad has got vision.

Blimey – if they all reach their full potential, we will be dangerous.

I wish Barry was a couple of years younger – a leader, quiet achiever and top professional.

Paul Andrews
244 Posted 03/11/2015 at 09:25:05
Good points as always. I hope Stones was carrying an injury as an explanation to his display, rather that than his display being down to attitude.

I have watched him closely since the transfer window closed; I think he has changed his game recently. He invites the attacker to close him down so he can show off his undoubted footballing ability on the ball instead of concentrating on basic defensive priorities.

The second goal was a result of him dropping his shoulder attempting to dummy Defoe into letting the ball run past him. A great player in the making, potentially one of the best centre-halves in Europe. He needs to get the mix of defending and playing right.

Paul Cherrington
245 Posted 03/11/2015 at 09:40:55
It was a funny result at the weekend – that scoreline is great & a good win but it was not as amazing as it would look on paper.

Good points: Deulofeu, Kone, Barry, Lukaku and our attacking play.

Bad points: our defending (Stones in particular), our lack of closing down, too easy to create chances against, the probability it could have easily been 4-4 or 6-5 to them.

I know Barry has been talking about working on the defending and making it harder for teams to score against us so hopefully that will be sorted out. The trouble is, it has been like this since RM has been here, so will it really suddenly be different?

One last thing:- please, please, RM, leave the team as it is if possibe for the next game. We’ve won, don’t mess around with it.

Steve Pugh
246 Posted 03/11/2015 at 10:18:01
It was only Sunderland.

Yes it was. But who else has put six past Sunderland this year?

How many times have they scored 2 or more goals this season?

The answers, if you're interested are nobody and 5 times. That's five out of eleven games they have scored at least 2 goals which suggests that they are good at going forward.

Andrew Ellams
247 Posted 03/11/2015 at 10:24:48
Barkley’s doing fine, the only difference between him now and a few weeks ago is Del is now in the team and doing a lot of what Ross was doing earlier in the season.

Right now Barkley, Deulofeu, Kone and Lukaku look as threatening as any attack in the league. They will have off days but it’s going to be great fun to watch when they are on it.

Harold Matthews
248 Posted 03/11/2015 at 11:30:51
Derek. Don’t know what it’s got to do with Stones but I was also surprised to see Oviedo in the line-up after his 120 minute stint a few days previously. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but that was a definite bloomer. No doubt the eager Costa Rican said he was fit and raring to go.

As with Howard and Robles, the manager went with his beloved dressing room hierachy philosophy of peace and good spirit, where form and sensibility count for nothing. Even if Galloway was better than the great Paulo Maldini, he would still be bottom of the left-back pecking order.

Ben Jones
249 Posted 03/11/2015 at 12:08:58
Derek, Harold,

I think those views are a little harsh on Oviedo. I don’t think Martinez was misguided by the ’hierarchy philosophy of peace and good spirit’. Oviedo had a mixed game against Norwich but showed his worth offensively and can’t fault his effort. He’s a better attacking player than Galloway and we all thought Allardyce was going to park the bus (although didn’t happen in the end!!), I quite liked the selection. Of course it was the wrong decision to play him if the injury’s serious, but I can see why he started.

I agree with you about Stones though, Harold. But he’s young, and he’s been incredibly consistent for a player of his age, so he was bound to have a dip in form. He needs to step up against West Ham; their forward line is very good (Carroll, Sakho, Valencia, even Jelavic!). But I don’t think there’s any reason to fear them, they’re awful at home and Everton seem to be one of the best counter-attacking teams in the league at the minute, so I can see us having a good result there.

Andrew Ellams
250 Posted 03/11/2015 at 12:19:23
Re the Oviedo selection, there seems to be a thought amongst all top level managers in this day and age that, if you have a player like Galloway who is only 19 and is his first full season at top level, at some point they will need time out to avoid burn out.

Because of injuries to Baines and Oviedo, chances to rest Galloway have been few and far between, so Martinez grabbed his chance this week.

I don’t agree with the whole philosophy, but that’s how I read the decision.

Harold Matthews
251 Posted 03/11/2015 at 13:55:36
Wow Ben, there’s nothing wrong with Oviedo mate. I love the lad. Terrific player with great character and a fighting spirit. The moan was about him playing two top-level games so close together after his long layoff.
Harold Matthews
252 Posted 03/11/2015 at 14:00:17
Andrew. That's another way to look at it. Not sure I agree but I like it.
Andrew Ellams
253 Posted 03/11/2015 at 14:15:16
If that is the reason, Harold, then Martinez needs to take a look at himself. Galloway has just about every natural ability that can’t be taught in abundance, ie, he’s fit, fast, strong and his timing in the tackle is incredible for somebody who is still in his teens.

In a few weeks, he would likely have all three to choose from, right in time for the rush of games around Christmas. He should have held back until then.

Ben Jones
254 Posted 03/11/2015 at 14:45:05
Sorry Harold, I didn't mean to sound so aggressive! It was just before a job interview so maybe the adrenaline was going!
Peter Weaver
255 Posted 03/11/2015 at 15:25:01
I know we are all trying to be nice to each other but given his injury record Oviedo was a daft selection. I imagine Galloway felt pissed off at being dropped and deserved to be so.

It's not as though the defence only looked solid whilst the more experienced guy was on the field, is it? I put it down to Roberto trying to be loyal, perceptive or maybe clever. But it made no sense whatever.

Hey, we won 6-2!

Dave Pritchard
256 Posted 03/11/2015 at 15:27:34
I agree that Stones is a worry at the moment. He played well against Chelsea straight after all the transfer shenanigans but has been going downhill since then. The last two games in particular he has been poor.

We probably have to keep playing him though with Jags out and certainly not writing him off. Galloway could go in at centre-back but then we’re short at left-back until Baines returns.

Paul Cherrington
257 Posted 03/11/2015 at 15:57:37
I think he probably was giving Galloway a rest as he has played a lot lately. RM probably thought it would be a nice easy game with us attacking a lot so not too much for Oviedo to play in again. Obviously that's not what happened...
Steve Brown
258 Posted 03/11/2015 at 16:19:37
Barkley was good going forward, linked play well, was extremely accurate in his passing and he is a goal threat this but... Jamie Barlow took some stick for the language he chose in describing the tendency he had to jump out of tackles. I agree with Jamie.

It doesn't matter if Ross has psychological issues from the broken leg, or is getting misguided cotton-wool treatment from the manager. Whatever. This is the Premier League, it is physical and competitive and we cannot afford a midfielder ceding possession and allowing counter-attacks because of this. No-one thinks Ross is a natural tackler, will be harrying and closing down his opponents or diving in for tackles. But he cannot be avoiding challenges that are his to win and putting the team in trouble. Then to jog back as the rest of the team has to cover his error frankly annoys the hell out of me.

If Ross wants to look at courage at never letting physical play daunt him, then just watch Messi as he has cojones that’s for sure.

Harold Matthews
259 Posted 03/11/2015 at 16:58:13
Cheers Ben. You come across as very level headed and I suspect your interview went well.
Harold Matthews
260 Posted 03/11/2015 at 17:49:12
True Andrew. After seeing our left backs getting truly roasted for the last 12 months, it’s great to find a lad who can hold his own. Of course, in recent games he has benefited from the support of left footer Funes Mori but young Galloway is a great find.

Oviedo is also a good two-footed player with a real Costa Rican fighting attitude and what about Baines? Two-footed when forced into it, a fully-fit Leighton Baines is one of our diamonds.

I haven’t even mentioned Garbutt. A left peg like a cannon, he’ll have plenty of followers.

A big problem for Martinez. No doubt about it. Galloway is blooming but, if Oviedo and Baines are not playing top-level competitive football, they will not be selected to play for their country. No doubt about that either.

Paul Cherrington
261 Posted 04/11/2015 at 08:47:11
I think RM needs to sit down and make a proper decision re our left-back situation next summer. You can’t have four first team standard players in one squad vying for one position. It will just lead to unrest as you won’t keep them all happy.

To me, the future is Galloway and Garbutt – Baines is not getting any younger and Oviedo (while I really like him) is injury-prone.

Darren Hind
262 Posted 04/11/2015 at 19:16:29
"Stones was the worst player on the pitch by some distance."

Admittedly, Stones was again out of sorts, but Wez Brown made him look like Bobby Moore.

Harold Matthews
263 Posted 05/11/2015 at 01:34:09
Nice one Darren ha ha. Can't argue with 6.

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