Four more nice goals from open play

On 16 mins, a very fluid move from deep saw a shot from Deulofeu, parried by Guzan and tapped in at the far post by Barkley for a very nice opening goal. Lukaku casually nodded home Coleman's perfect pulled-back cross to make it 2-0 before the half-hour, and Barkley snapped up his second before the break. The best goal came on the hour mark, Lukaku finishing a superb passing move.

Michael Kenrick 21/11/2015 162comments  |  Jump to last

Another brilliant performance from the increasingly impressive Gerard Deulofeu
Everton 4 - 0 Aston Villla

For the return of Premier League football and the visit of Aston Villa, Roberto Martinez named an unchanged Everton side, with no Leighton Baines risked at this stage of his long recovery from double ankle surgery. Kevin Mirallas was left kicking his heels on the bench where he was joined by Tom Cleverley, who was being reintroduced to first-team football gradually as he comes back from two months on the sidelines with ligament damage.

Everton kicked off and played keep-ball until they could play longer forward balls to Lukaku and then Kone. But Villa set their stall out early on, making Everton work for openings. Deulofeu's first chance to run was stopped by Richardson whose next contribution was to stop the Spaniard with a forearm to the neck. Barkley's free-kick was wasted.

Deulofeu did get a cross in that was too high for Lukaku before Coleman forced a shot on Guzan but was deemed to have fouled Richardson. But a very fluid move from deep down the middle, involving excellent first-time passes from Stones, a brilliant flick from Barkley to Lukaku, plying in McCarthy saw a shot from Deulofeu, parried by Guzan and tapped in at the far post by Barkley for a very nice opening goal.

Villa won a corner and threatened briefly before Everton were surging forward again, but Blues possession was less assured as the Villains accepted they needed to play some football. Magic from Deulofeu set up Kone but Guzan saved his effort brilliantly as the game opened up considerably.

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Deulofeu did it again, driving in from the left and almost playing in Lukaku but it was Coleman who rescued the ball at the byeline and Lukaku casually nodded home his perfect pulled-back cross to make it 2-0 before the half-hour.

Everton were now showing great confidence and turning on the style with some beautiful passing moves in midfield. But Villa played a little football of their own after Coleman lost possession, although on the turnover, Deulofeu surged forward again but this time his cross to Lukaku was intercepted. Deulofeu then played in a great ball for Kone that Guzan smothered well.

Another forceful attack down the middle saw Kone with a lot of work to do to keep the ball away from Guzan and Barkley was there to slot the loose ball home. 3-0.

VIlla switched Gueye for Sanchez and drove at Everton with some verve after the break, Howard needing to be alert to danger from a poor pass-back by Funes Mori. The game was flat as Everton became decidedly unadventurous in response to Villa's increasing self-belief, Howard having to stop a fierce drive from Richard's.

But order was restored with another wonderful passing move through the middle with Deulofeu passing superbly to Barkley whose first-time layoff was in perfect stride for Lukaku to drive confidently into the Gwladys Street net. 4-0.

A clever flick by Ayew off a Villa corner did not faze Howard, who had stayed on his line, and Howard had to save from Ayew again, with another surging Everton move ending when Deulofeu stalled and then dived. Deulofeu had a better call for a penalty when he ran into Richards but Villa were still presenting a threat and Everton couldn't really relax, even at 4-0.

Deulofeu had run himself out on 70 mins, an ideal point to bring on Mirallas and go for a big win, but Martinez seem satisfied to watch keep-ball at the back as Everton allowed Villa to come at them. But it happened on 73 mins, with Osman also replacing Barkley.

Mirallas was relishing his chance, and got into the heart of a great move flicking the ball out to Galloway who lashed a vicious goal-bound volley that caught the foot of an acrobatic Mirallas, bizarrely flying through the air between him and Guzan, denying an almost certain goal.

Mirallas then fired in a tremendous free-kick that was just curling outside of the near post with help from Guzan. But the corner was taken short and came to nought. Gibson came on in place of McCarthy.

Lukaku and Guzan collided heavily after both went for a loose ball. A fantastic cross-ball from Gibson was worth a goal by Mirallas, who struck it almost perfectly on the volley, missing the goal by 6 inches.

Mirallas was desperate to score, lashing a powerful shot but too close to Guzan in added time as the Blues sealed an impressive if, in the end, somewhat restrained win against the team at rock bottom of the Premier League.

Everton: Howard, Galloway, Funes Mori, Stones, Coleman, McCarthy (84' Gibson), Barry, Deulofeu (73' Mirallas), Barkley (73' Osman), Kone, Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Cleverley, Lennon, Naismith.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Richards, Clark, Richardson, Gana (46' Sanchez [Y:84']), Westwood, Veretout, Gil (57' Gestede), Grealish (74' N'Zogbia), Ayew.
Subs not Used: Bunn, Bacuna, Sinclair, Lescott.

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 38,424

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Reader Comments (162)

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Chris Gould
1 Posted 21/11/2015 at 14:19:37
With the defence-splitting balls that Deulofeu is capable of, I’d like to see him interchange positions with Barkley and get hold of the ball behind Lukaku.

As good as he is on the wing, his step-overs aren’t fooling anyone and it’s his quick incisive passes that are doing the damage. What position does he play for Spain U21s?

I think we’ll win by a couple of goals today.

Phil Sammon
3 Posted 21/11/2015 at 14:33:35
We should always look to better the side. Barkley is a gifted lad but he should be dropped for Mirallas.
Steve Jenkins
4 Posted 21/11/2015 at 14:46:01
3 points here will hopefully will close the points gap and move us closer in contention for a top 4 place.
Barry McNally
5 Posted 21/11/2015 at 14:46:02
We can’t afford any injuries at the back.
Jay Harris
6 Posted 21/11/2015 at 14:50:07
Happy with the first 11 but concerned there isn't a defender on the bench.

Get Kone to run them ragged and bring Mirallas on second half.

I am hoping we see some intensity from the off rather than the tentative lethargic approach shown so far this season.

Mark Frere
7 Posted 21/11/2015 at 14:51:39
I agree, Phil. Barkley started off the season promising but his form of late doesn't warrant a place in the starting 11. I would have also liked Gibson to replace either McCarthy or Barry; there's no reason to have 2 such defence minded midfielders, when playing at home against a team like Villa.
Victor Jones
9 Posted 21/11/2015 at 14:54:55
So there you are. Seven defence minded players against the bottom team. And four attack minded players. That shows real positive intent. Such imagination and foresight in picking that team. Just hope rhat we are not chasing the game. Cause we dare not split up our two DMFs.

But as always, I expect Everton to turn up. Kone is fairly consistent this season, but the other three attack minded players need to be on their game. Open Villa up. Patience, guile, skill,speed. COYBs.

And as Barry and McCarthy are playing, lets hope the control the midfield. And play the odd forward pass. The defence looks ok ,to me. And as for Howard, well lets see. I still think that we could have found a place for another attack minded midfielder today. But what do us supporters know.

Still expect a win today. Front foot from the off. Three-nil to the Toffees.

Jay Harris
13 Posted 21/11/2015 at 15:59:51
Who said Barkley shouldn't play????
Mark Rimmer
14 Posted 21/11/2015 at 16:00:01
It’s so good to see us destroying bottom of the table clubs like top teams do. I didn't see us getting four but what I hope for most is a clean sheet.

I just noticed Leicester are top... and we’re better than them... that’s got me thinking.

Adrian Bowering
16 Posted 21/11/2015 at 16:01:37
Geri after his first half performance has to be considered for MotM. I hope Barcalona can see what a shit game he’s playing.
Adrian Bowering
17 Posted 21/11/2015 at 16:18:11
Michael Polley
18 Posted 21/11/2015 at 16:51:11
Good result. Another 3 points added to the kitty.
Ray Said
19 Posted 21/11/2015 at 16:52:31
Noting that there was no defensive cover at all on the bench. That needs addressing in January.
Peter Gorman
20 Posted 21/11/2015 at 16:57:54
Ray, not sure the need to address the defence is as great as you think; we have Baines and Browning who could have been on the bench plus Jags to return. Then there is Garbutt at Fulham and one or two good young uns.

4-0... lovely. Happy to see us take advantage of the teams we really, really should be beating.

Jamie Crowley
21 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:03:10
We were so perfect today I actually think I saw Jesus link up with Geri.

10 out of 10. Sublime. Fantastic.

Ernie Baywood
22 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:05:28
Thought that was a pretty complete performance. Rom is starting to look like a classic Everton forward... give him the 9 next year.

Deulofeu the catalyst. Barkley adding touches of class. Seamus back to his old self. Kone was brilliant in the first half. McCarthy seemed to have that intensity back in his game too.

When we can bring a player like Mirallas off the bench you just feel that we are so much stronger than we have been.

In truth probably the only player of the 14 not to come out with praise was Leon. I thought it was set up for him but he looked so far off the pace and nothing went right for him.

Ernie Baywood
23 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:06:57
By the way, Michael, I think you might have Gueye in your spellchecker!
Ray Said
24 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:07:22
Peter (#14), looking at your post you are probably right about cover. The pessimist in me comes out when we win – I start looking for pitfalls instead of enjoying the moment!
Phil Sammon
25 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:09:57
Jay 8

I did!

Hindsight is beautiful right!

I still don't think Barkley did much. Right place, right time...but still lacks guts

Mike Powell
26 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:14:23
We were outstanding today, everyone put in a shift. I can’t really pick a MotM.... take your pick from Barkley, Lukaku, Deulofeu, Barry, Stones...

What a fantastic performance; get in you Blue Boys!

Paul Tran
27 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:15:36
Four goals, good football, clean sheet, excellent performance all round.

I hope this win builds the confidence to put more 'lesser' teams to the sword and to have more of a go against those above us.

I've been critical of Lukaku; he was immense today. A much better player with Deufelou and Kone around him.

More, please!

Gavin Johnson
28 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:17:06
Fantastic performance. I think this team could be on the cusp of something special and actually win a trophy. We’ve been here many times before but I think this team's got a little more depth of squad and we have 4 players who are true stars in Lukaku, Barkley, Stones and Deulofeu.

Ajay Gopal
29 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:20:17
Our front 4 are playing sublime football - then we have Cleverly and Mirallas on the bench. Agreed we do not have great cover if Lukaku, Barkley or Kone were to be out for any length of time, but then which team (other than the likes of Man City, Barca) have like-for-like replacement for their really top stars?

In the space of 8 minutes, Gibson showed a divine range of passing. If only he could stay fit! I feel sorry for Villa – I wouldn’t want to see them going down; hope they can turn it around.

Steve Jenkins
30 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:26:04
Great performance today, really enjoyable to watch. Some of the football was outstanding, nobody played badly.

Real stand-outs were Deulofeu, Barkley, Lukaku and Kone. When those four are firing (like today), we’re a difficult prospect for anyone in the EPL.

Mark Frere
31 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:26:50
Come on, Phil, that is a tad harsh. He still has to be in the right place at the right time to score. And he did give Lukaku a lovely weighted first time pass for him to score his second.

Credit where credit's due. Barkley has rightly had some criticism of late... but today he deserves praise for his contribution.

Jason Murray
33 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:32:44
I can't believe neither Rom nor Ross could score a hatrick today. Sell them both as quickly as possible - what a rip off!
Paul Foster
34 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:33:00
Phil Sammon, you're joking right?

"I still don't think Barkley did much."

Yeah, just the 2 goals and 1 assist today. Ridiculous comment.

Joe Foster
35 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:36:52
Phil Salmon... Paul Foster is right, mate.
Gavin Johnson
37 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:40:06
Barkley and Lukaku do get some stick on here at times. But the truth of the matter is, we’ll miss them both hugely, if they choose to leave.

Andy Walker
38 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:40:06
That was entertaining, well done blues. Some great counter attacking play with lots of good performances.

Howard even got Funes Mori out of the shit to help keep the first clean sheet at home all season.

Villa were awful, but shit teams have to be beaten.

Gavin Johnson
39 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:43:28
Good post, Paul (#26). I don’t think anyone could argue when you put it like that.
Paul Kelly
40 Posted 21/11/2015 at 17:52:33
I spent all week slagging off El Bob, then a performance like that!

Happy to eat a huge slice of humble pie.

Credit all round, quality performance.

Christy Ring
41 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:07:44
Phil, let it go, you’re only digging a bigger hole by saying Barkley has no guts. He was superb today, scored two and laid on one for Lukaku... credit where credit's due.

I also thought McCarthy put in a big shift today; he's in my first 11 every time, I don’t understand the criticism he gets.
When we play a fast tempo game with Kone supporting Lukaku, we’re a different team.

Victor Jones
42 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:11:47
Well said, Paul Tran. Time that Everton did put teams below them to the sword. No more nonsense like last season; this is mainly the same team, bar one or two players. So has Martinez now changed tactics, and maybe also stopped chopping and changing?

Also, I agree with you that Lukaku plays better with Deulofeu and Kone. That was always evident. Let's hope Martinez does not start playing silly games and that he lets that threesome flourish. Add Barkley to that.

Let these players loose on opponents. I would also like to see another attack-minded player on the park but that won’t happen.

Great win today, and no scares, like going a goal behind. Baines on the mend, a good bench, and some very good youngsters. Some winnable games coming up and us climbing the league, with a shot at a cup semi-final... it's looking good. Compare that to the rubbish served up this time last season. Now just think what a top class midfield playmaker would bring to the party, and... hmm... a goalkeeper. The mind boggles.

Craig Fletcher
43 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:15:09
Very good performance, I think clinical is the word. Everyone looked sharp, and respect to Howard – he had to make a couple of good saves (one courtesy of Funes Mori) to protect his clean sheet.

That Lukaku lad ain’t bad is he? It would be fun now to dig through the "Jim Bennings" archives to read the old anti-Lukaku rants.

Mirallas too did very well when he came on – shame he couldn’t score a goal; that would have done his confidence the world of good.

Jim Bennings
44 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:17:01
Great performance, great win. Fucking hell, the league is there to be won for anyone who thinks they are good enough, in my opinion; that’s not being over-exaggerating, it’s plain fact.

Manchester City are being ass-bonked at the minute and to me seem characterless, the mere fact that Man Utd are top says it all.

Martin Mason
45 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:25:39
Great, great performance and good hard questions to answer, like:

How do you fit Gibson into the team?
How can Jags get back into a defence that is better without him?
How can Baines replace the exceptional Galloway?
Where can Cleverly fit in?

Whisper it gently but there is possibly a very good side in there.

Please, please stop this nonsensical criticism of Barkley, the lad has worked hard and eliminated most of his weaknesses and is improving every game he plays; he was exceptional today

Tony Hill
46 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:35:05
Great day and we played some really pleasing stuff. A word for two who often get criticised: I thought Barry was our best player today actually, calm and crisp in most of what he did and in fact he's been very good for much of the season; Tim Howard also looked a lot more assured and his save when Funes Mori sold him short was top notch.

Very promising all round.

Chris Leyland
47 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:42:07
Rom becomes the 5th player to score 50 Premier League goals before his 23rd birthday. The other 4 are Fowler, Owen, Rooney and Ronaldo. Not bad company seeing as though he is apparently an over-rated, lazy useless lump with no ball-control skills.
Jamie Crowley
48 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:42:14
Bennings @ 44:

Fucking hell, the league is there to be won for anyone who thinks they are good enough

I agree 100%. If we keep getting positive results in these fixtures through 2015 (all "winnable"), we will be right up there.

Dream big. This is a year, much like 2013, where the glass ceiling can be cracked.

One game at a time and whatnot, but the macro-picture is one that should be cause for enthusiasm.

Jim Bennings
49 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:49:26
Love it Crowley!!!

I just think the league this year, although exciting, is damn average so why not!

Great if us and Leicester finish in the top 2!

Graham Mockford
50 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:49:50
For the Lukaku detractors, let me just put his scoring record into perspective.

He has 47 goals in 97 games in all competitions. In comparison it took the following players to reach the same number.

Bob Latchford 105
Graeme Sharp 122
Tony Cottee 120
Duncan Ferguson 155

Not bad for a lazy player with no touch or control.

Darren Hind
51 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:54:47
You know what, we really are a good side with some fantastic players.

Okay, Villa are not exactly Barca, but they came with a very determined plan to frustrate us. We got that all important early break through and you just kinda knew we would entertain.

Made up here. We've been guilty of losing the plot when the breakthrough hasn't come, but we are a young side, we just need to be a bit more patient when we come up against more stubborn resistance which we surely will. That's where the boss has to earn his corn.

Paul Foster, Joe Foster and Gavin Johnson, all bang on. I think Phil Sammon has started celebrating Chrimbo a bit early this year.

Roberto Birquet
52 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:58:16
Villa were still presenting a threat and Everton couldn’t really relax, even at 4-0...

erm, I thought we were well relaxed, and had this one sewn up at half time. No need for injuries, and if they want to attack us, we can hit them on the counter. It was closer to 5-0 than 4-1. A stroll.

Colin Hughes
53 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:58:21
Consistency is the word for us because, as good as we were today against an awful Villa side, can we follow it up against an obvious inferior side than us in Bournemouth next week?

Also, I would like to see us do what the redshite do regularly and go to one of the so-called top grounds and win handsomely. We always seem to come up short at Chelsea, Arsenal, Anfield etc and that’s why the top 4 is always just out of reach.

Just for the record, though, the bookies currently rate us as 750/1 for the title and the redshite just 20/1 despite both being on 20 points (as I speak).

Dennis Ng
54 Posted 21/11/2015 at 18:59:15
Awesome result, (pinch of salt) against a weak side, but really amazed how we didn't get troubled at all from midfield up. Very good possession plays all around. COYB!

Jim 49, I hope Vardy scores a hattrick next week and break that goalscoring record in style. I wouldn't mind even if both of us are in Top 4, never mind 1-2.

Jim Bennings
55 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:11:54
How shite are Manchester City???

For the money they’ve splashed out, I tell you what: I’d be pretty peeved off being a City fan:

£32 million for Magala???
£49 million pound for that glorified Shaun Wright-Philipps, Raheem Sterling??

How much would you really take for John Stones?? £60 million surely!

Harvey Miller
56 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:24:39
This was a great performance by the Blues. I know this Villa team is pretty awful but you still have to score the the goals and this time we made it look easy. Some great attacking moves, like the first goal when we really destroyed them by sweet one-touch passes.

Everybody played well but for me Deulofeu was the best one. Luckily Barcelona won the Real game so they might not feel they want him right now.

Tony Hill
57 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:24:43
The atmosphere was pretty low key, to put it mildly, at Goodison again today and I think we've all got into the habit of dozing off a bit because most of what we've seen over the last 18 months has been tedious. The place will soon find its voice though if we carry on playing like we did today; that's what we want to see as Everton fans..

The summer will be interesting because I can see stratospheric bids arriving for a few of our players, especially Rom who, now he has discovered his touch, will be hunted by the "big clubs" and we all know what his agent's like. Let's hope we can build something that he (and Stones and Deulofeu) don't want to leave.

Brent Stephens
58 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:26:43
The quality of passing was sublime at times. Fast and crisp. And when we do that...
Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:31:04
Deulofeu... what a player, and what a player he is going to be; can we hold onto him? Doubtful if he continues in this form. The fourth goal was worth the entrance fee alone.

I could nit pick by saying Aston Villa were really poor but I've got to stay happy with that result.

Brent Stephens
60 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:33:38
Pleased for Ross today. I’m one who calls him for his lack of effort when we’re defending, but today he chased more and got some tackles in. Well done, lad.

Even before today, Lukaku had scored more than the leading scorers for Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and others – and consider the teams we’ve played so far.

Deulofeu – superb. Barry and McCarthy dominant. Back 4 all very good – we’re not missing Jags. Kone I love to see supporting Lukaku.

Ron Sear
61 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:34:45
Agree with Tony, the atmosphere at Goodison is terrible given the effort the players are putting in and the result that was achieved. It’s a pity that all of the fans who go to the away games don’t buy their tickets in just one part of the ground to get the singing started again.

Curious as well that from where I sit in the Bullens the Park Road end now seems a lot noisier than the Gwladys Street. I still can’t understand the critics of the players; eleven goals in three matches, we would have died for that last season.

Brent Stephens
64 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:36:53
...and Ross was getting into the box: just what a few on here have been saying he should be doing.
Danny Broderick
65 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:37:35
Having Geri in the team gives us some much needed injection of pace. If he carries on creating chances the way he has of late, he will be a world beater. He is really helping us to get the best out of Lukaku also.

Great result today, against a team that I thought would be far more stubborn than they were...

Dave Abrahams
66 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:39:38
Graham Mockford (#50) that was Lukaku’s 50th Premier League goal today... plus one later, making it 51; try and keep up.
Graham Mockford
67 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:51:59

I know you were one of his biggest critics. His 50 Premier League goals include those he scored at West Brom. I was talking solely about his Everton record. Would it be unkind to say "keep up"?

Out of interest, are you still of the opinion that Rom is "a very poor footballer, and a very, very lazy one at that"?

John Atkins
68 Posted 21/11/2015 at 19:54:17
Jim (#55),

Load of shite as Villa really are rubbish and that just shows you how bad Man City are, they struggled against Man Utd away too and lucky against Norwich at home – with Arsenal losing today this league is for the taking!!!

We have to believe we can do something special this season, on paper I think we have one of the most gifted talented teams in the league, not that the gutter press will give us any recognition – the wankers

They’re are salivating over Leicester, though...


Patrick Murphy
69 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:05:19
John (#68),

It has always been the case and, to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Let the other teams grab the headlines and hopefully Everton can capture a trophy or two.

We’re still a work in progress and there are an awful lot of things that can go wrong but there are very good signs within this squad; if the crowd get behind them at Goodison, we can have a good season but, as always, this is Everton FC, so you can’t take anything for granted.

Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:13:33
Graham (#67), you never mentioned his Everton record; read your first line again. I’ll keep watching Lukaku to see if he can keep it up.

As a matter of interest where was you sitting in the ground today?

Tom Bowers
71 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:19:45
The Blues are in a handy position now. Hopefully they can kick on over the next month with the competition for places heating up big style.

Leicester are on a roll, as are Man Utd, but both will have sticky patches and Man City rely too much on Aguerro who wasn’t ready today in my opinion.

I don’t want to speak to soon but this might be a surprising season for Everton.

Jay Harris
72 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:21:29
For the first time in many seasons, I am not wishing Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal (as the guaranteed top 3) to win all their games against everyone bar us. After watching Man City’s last few games, Arsenal's slip-ups and Man Utd flatter to deceive if we can get some consistency. I don't see why we can't be in the mix and you wouldn't have heard me say that until today.

Granted, Villa are a poor side, as identified by many before the game, but the manner of the victory was great to see today. Hopefully that will give us the confidence to do something meaningful this season.

Graham Mockford
73 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:23:18

I'd have thought it was obvious as I was comparing his record with other Everton goalscorers but at least you gave me the chance to clarify.

I assume your question about where I was sitting is to check my credentials. Today I am in Botswana, working, but I have had two season tickets in The People’s Club Lounge for the last eight years. GG 85 and 86 this year to be exact. When I’m away with work, my brothers use the tickets. Before that, I had a season ticket in the Main Stand for about 20 years.

And of course you skirted the question.

Out of interest, are you still of the opinion that Rom is "a very poor footballer, and a very, very lazy one at that"?

Denis Richardson
74 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:24:56
Top performance and a clean sheet to boot. Glad to see we started positively and went from there.

We won’t play a defense that bad often this season but we put them to bed properly. Nice confidence boost for Ross and Rom. Bring it on.

Top marks to the manager for not tinkering with the side; looks like we’re getting a bit of consistency as well.

Loving seeing Leicester at the top as well. Man City and the Arsenal losing... could we see Vardy and Co in the Champions League next season? Unbelievable from them so far.

Martin Berry
75 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:28:42
Just got back from the match. Have to agree with some of the comments about the atmosphere. A 4-0 win and I can't believe how quiet the crowd were for most of the game. I think the first chant from the Street End only came after the first goal. Don't get to many matches these days but really disappointed with the crowd but a great win.
Dave Abrahams
76 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:32:15
Graham, I asked because I saw you on the live forum when I came in from the match. I know you are an active Evertonian, I just thought you might have been ill.

As for your question on how good Lukaku is, I’ve answered you twice now with the same answer; let’s see him keep it up. When I critcsised him, he deserved every bit of it, he was stinking the place out and he’s still very capable of doing that, as at Arsenal the other week.

Roger Helm
77 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:36:45
I just got back from the match and I'm made up with the performance. Well done, lads. I think this is the best squad and potentially best team since the glory days of the 80s – well done BK and RM, on a relatively small budget. And most of them are youngsters. All we need now is consistency.

You will all no doubt remember me advising two years ago to lump the whole transfer budget on Lukaku – anyone now think he was over-priced?

The fly in the ointment is that several of the players and their agents will be angling for moves to "bigger" clubs, so let’s hope we win something before the team breaks up.

Graham Mockford
78 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:48:31

Thanks for your concern about my health, I’m touched. Unfortunately I’ve been away for the last two games and missed 10 goals!

You haven’t really answered the question though. You said he was a ’very very poor player.’ Now I agree he had some poor performances, I’d be the first to agree. But don’t all players have poor games?

But, in the end, 47 goals in 97 games is pretty fucking impressive. Go on, you know you can admit it. You were wrong; but, at least in being wrong, being a match-going Blue, you got to sing "Romelu, Romelu, Romelu Lukaku!"

Ian Bennett
79 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:52:52
That was a top performance.

I am sure Martinez would have been pleased with the possession and control. British fans will have gone mad over the opening tippy tippy stuff, and that really we could have got a cricket score today such was our class against a dreadful Villa. But Villa will be knackered, and our guys will be fresh for next week's battle. Does he see something we don’t –- have we missed this in all our moaning and cat-0calling?

Stones, Deulofeu, Lukaku, Barkley, Funes Mori, Galloway and McCarthy, just have so much energy. And are ready to go again.

Stones was a Rolls Royce of a centre half. Deulofeu just grows by the week. Lukaku is a goalscoring centre-=forward we haven’t seen for decades – his touch can be iffy, but his hold-up play in the last couple of games is so much better. And his goals, man he’s lethal at the moment. Sprinkle in the excellent Barry and Kone and we look decent.

C’mon, Blues let's puts this 20-year hoodoo to an end. #Do it for Howard.

Brian Harrison
80 Posted 21/11/2015 at 20:54:46
Yes, Villa are a very poor side but you can only beat what is in front of you.

Gareth Barry I think is back to his best, I don’t know if the extra Europa League games last season affected his form.

I just love watching Deulofeu, the boy is a special talent; every time he gets on the ball, he gets me off my seat.

I think Lukaku has improved his all-round game this season, especially his first touch; his goal scoring ability has never been in doubt.

John Stones is now the number 1 central defender in the Premier League.

I also think it is worth a mention for Kevin Mirallas who, from the minute he came on, showed what an important player he is for this team.

I think this is the best squad of players we have had for a very long time. I just hope we can keep hold of them for a couple of seasons. But I think only a Champions League place will help us keep Stones and Lukaku. Unfortunately we are not the ones who will decide where Deulofeu plays his football next season.

Tony Hill
81 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:10:58
I suppose it is possible for another club (including us presumably) to try and buy out Barca’s option on Deulofeu, or have I got that wrong? Anyway, let’s just relish the fact that we have him with us.
Graham Mockford
82 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:16:00

You make a great point. If I was Barca and Geri carries on with his current form, it would make commercial sense to exercise their option to buy back even if they don’t need him.

If he does stay, it will probably cost us.

Dave Abrahams
83 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:20:33
Graham (#78), you don’t give in, do you. what I’d call a browbeater. If I was was going to sing a song, it would be about the little Spaniard... what a player! He is making Lukaku and the whole team look a lot better than they’ve been for a long time.

Lukaku is playing a lot better and running more, but it was Geri who went off to a rousing reception after giving his all. He was knackered: I’d like your man to do that.

Rest assured, Graham, when Lukaku has a bad game, I won’t be on here letting you know about.

Graham Mockford
85 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:25:44

Fair doos... let's hope we are singing together. Geri looks a proper player btw.

Jim Knightley
86 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:27:38
The Lukaku critics are returning to their holes, or suffering from a holey memory. So much shit was spouted about him. He can’t control a ball, he has no fight, Mourinho let him go so he must be shit, he is a lump, he is a Championship player etc etc. I know I’ve fought his corner for the last 18 months, but I don’t care about relishing in him and Everton doing well.

9 goals and 4 assists in 13 league games. That’s phenomenal. At this rate, he will break the 20-goal club.

Deulofeu is brilliant, and I dread the day Barca take him back. I’m happy for Barkley, and everyone should be happy today. This team is young, talented and exciting. Our general defensiveness openness concerns me, but we’ve got a run of games where we could really gain momentum.

Joe Foster
88 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:39:30
Jeez some nobheads can’t wait to get the "I told you so"s in, can they. As if they had some insider knowledge.
Graham Mockford
89 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:44:52

Well, I think the point is when some posters were laying into Rom, others came on and defended him. And they just want to point out that maybe, just maybe, they had a point.

If that makes you a nobhead (sic) I’m a fully joined up member of the club.

Geoff Risebrow
90 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:51:29
Romelu Lukaku is a magnificent player in his own right and he is the most important player in the Everton team. You are only as good as your strikers and Super Rom is one of the best in the league and he is the type of striker we have been crying out for for years, one that can put the ball in the net consistently. He is only 22 as well!
Joe Foster
91 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:55:55
Look sometimes players play well some times they don’t. If people feel the need to be holier than others about their performances and plant a flag in the good/bad column it’s silly. Enjoy the wins and bemoan the losses.
Patrick Murphy
92 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:58:36
As one of those who openly criticised Lukaku for his poor touch and lack of fighting spirit at various times during his time at Goodison, I am absolutely delighted that he has proven me wrong in the last few games and his attitude is a million miles away from what it was during some games for the club. However, nobody can or should question his goalscoring ability he is a natural finisher and they are the hardest to come by.

Now Romelu looks like he is worth the money the club invested in him and the only way I or any other fan has to measure a player is by what we see out on the football pitch, we as fans aren’t interested in potential or what may happen twelve months hence although we do want the team to develop and progress, it’s always about the here and now.

Graeme Sharp went through a similar situation at the beginning of his Everton career and he turned out not too bad, hopefully Rom will carry on the great tradition of centre-forward play we have seen at the club in the past.

Del Boy is another player who I thought had ability but was lacking in focus and often there was no end product to his game; at the moment, he is on fire and enjoying his football which once again as an Evertonian I am delighted to see.

The manager – if he can keep the players focussed and at the top of their game in most games, this should reap the rewards and, if he does that, he should be applauded for having the foresight to purchase those type of players. His decisions have far more influence on the club than the views of fans, whether we are proven right or wrong.

Jay Harris
93 Posted 21/11/2015 at 21:58:40
Let's all be honest: until recently, Rom couldn't hold the ball up, his heading was poor, and he stood around a lot.

It is obvious someone has been working on him and with the developing relationship between Barkley, Kone, Deulofeu and himself, he has finally become the player we all hoped he was capable of.

Very few actually doubted his ability to score goals, it was only his football ability and input that was questioned.

But we shouldn't get hung up on a Rom discussion when we have scored 10 goals and played so well in the last two home games.

Contrast last season when we struggled to impose ourselves on these two teams. I am feeling so happy now I am convincing myself we could win the league. Let's hope the players feel the same way.

Graham Mockford
94 Posted 21/11/2015 at 22:00:58

That’s sort of the point. Rom has scored 47 goals in 97 games for us. So take the long-term view, not just a single game.

It’s not holier than thou to point out the fact he is a really good player.

Ian Riley
95 Posted 21/11/2015 at 22:01:22
I would have been very peed off if three points did not come today! Aston Villa are heading out of the Premier League. As a team and squad, we are miles ahead of them. It would take some turn around to save them.

This is the most exciting group of players in my time supporting Everton (23 years). If the manager can get us defending better (clean sheets) then who knows? The front three can score and create which means we are always a threat.

No Europa League is a big advantage and if we stay clear of injuries to key players then let’s aim high. The league is a lottery at present, I still would not rule out Chelsea in the mix come May. Look at Man City tonight, all that money and lost 4-1 to a team without an out-and-out striker. Look who is top of the Premier League at present, crazy!

Joe Foster
97 Posted 21/11/2015 at 22:08:23
I personally think if we keep him he will be one of our best forwards we have had in a long time. Something we have obviously missed for many years.
Colin Metcalfe
99 Posted 21/11/2015 at 22:11:49
It was a great performance against a Villa side who set their stall out early and put as many men behind the ball to frustrate us so they could hit us on the break but, as soon as we got that early goal, they were a bit of a mess defensively.

As for Lukaku, he is without doubt improving but I am certainly not going to apologize for my previous posts! His weaknesses as a professional footballer is all there to see: his first touch and close control are poor, his link-up play and his movement around the area could be a lot better and, as we saw late on today, his right peg is standing only.

Also, when he plays against two quality central defenders, he struggles; however, I do feel this is down to RM's tactics leaving him with little or no support... the game against Spurs comes to mind.

The most important thing about Lukaku: despite his faults, he knows where the onion bag is and he will always get you goals given the service. I think the boys around him know where his strengths lie.

Villa are a poor side and I hope they can turn it around but today it was really men against boys and as Bobby stated after the game ... "it was a complete performance" ... Can’t argue with that! Happy days and bring on Bournemouth!

Colin Glassar
100 Posted 21/11/2015 at 22:30:35
I'm sticking with a smug "no comment".
Graham Mockford
101 Posted 21/11/2015 at 22:50:19

Would his lack of heading ability be evidenced when he scored a header on his debut against West Ham or maybe when he scored against Liverpool from the corner or against Southampton this year or even that cracker against West Brom or even today when he managed to lean back from a difficult cross and head it in?

And I have to laugh at the ’we’re going to win the league’ posts. From some who have slated us. Get a grip we’ve beaten Sunderland and Villa. On each occasion we’ve met one of the top 4 sides,we have been beaten.

To quote a famous TW poster ’seventhish’ is most likely.

Tony Abrahams
102 Posted 21/11/2015 at 22:51:25
Why Colin? It’s patently obvious that Lukaku is playing much better because his work rate and touch have improved dramatically. This has helped him score more goals, which in turn has given him the greatest thing a human being can have... Confidence!

If this can spread through the team, and we can find ourselves a Gareth Barry type player with pace, who knows where we could end up?

At least everyone is happy after that performance, especially with the belief we can become a lot better. I don’t see another squad in England with as much great young talent than Everton at the minute, let’s just hope we can keep growing!

Raymond Fox
103 Posted 21/11/2015 at 23:00:52
Very good performance today, funny though when we get beat the manager gets loads of abuse and calls for him to be sacked, but after a decent result he hardly gets a mention, such is a manager's lot I guess! It's always slash wrists time or euphoria with little in between.

The big question is can we keep hold of Stones, Barkley, Lukaku, Deulofeu and Galloway. According to the media, the world wants to sign Stones. Galloway will be the next Stones unless I’m a bad judge... okay I know!
If we can keep them here, RM’s boast of making us a top 4 side might not seem so far-fetched after all.

Paul Hewitt
104 Posted 21/11/2015 at 23:03:25
Were gonna win the league, were gonna win the league.
Brent Stephens
105 Posted 21/11/2015 at 23:06:57
Colin (#99),

"His weaknesses as a professional footballer is all there to see".

Not today, methinks.

Ian Jones
106 Posted 21/11/2015 at 23:48:02
I was one who was critical of Lukaku’s general all-round play and especially his perceived lack of interest in some of the games. I don’t think I doubted his scoring ability.

However, he has really surprised me these last 2-3 months. He seems happier in himself. Last season he had problems with his toe in the early part of the season. I also think his father wasn’t well so that may have impacted on him.

More recently the team have started playing to more of Lukaku’s strengths so assume he is happier with his teammates and less frustrated. Scoring goals will breed confidence.

Long may it continue!

Ernie Baywood
107 Posted 21/11/2015 at 23:49:56
We all know the most likely outcomes here.

We either drop form at some point and struggle to break teams down again. Or we lose this exciting group of young players to the rich vultures.

But right now, it's great to watch a young team expressing themselves. It's great to see us banging in goals and playing with a swagger.

In plenty of sports you'd be looking at this team as one that will achieve great things within a few years. Maybe just maybe the other scenario plays out... the one where the TV money means we can resist the big offers, the players opt to be part of growing something special, and we have one of the great stories of a young team coming through to achieve greatness.

Don Alexander
108 Posted 21/11/2015 at 23:59:27
I’m delighted to have won, as I was re Sunderland. I’m delighted Ross scored twice, as did Rom, with the service he deserves. But forgive me as a 60-year-old Toffee in saying this, and saying it in a constructive way as far as I am concerned:

This season, it seems that there’s the prospect of football overtaking money in terms of how the table ends up. To us at Everton, that should resonate.

Today we walloped Villa before the half-time brew. The word "ruthless" now needs to be introduced to the squad and the coaches, and Martinez. I do not in any way mean to criticise but, when you’re head and shoulders above by half-time, you really ought to drive home the advantage, rather than go off the boil a little, as we did in the second half.

Andy Crooks
109 Posted 22/11/2015 at 00:32:33
We have some top young players. What we lacked was confidence and now we look to have it, it is absolutely vital. With that we will get consistency.

I think Roberto has at last found his best team, although I believe Baines will give us a bit extra. We are capable of having a special season.

Gary Russell
110 Posted 22/11/2015 at 00:59:02
How many times this season have we seen Barkley get the ball and run at people and scare the living daylights out of them?

Credit to him for being in the right place and all that but I agree with Phil and I’ve said it a few times on the live forum. He is too safe and looks like he’s more scared of making mistakes. Big improvement on last season but the reason I say this is because we have seen what he is capable of.

Lukaku has 9 goals, with Barkley and Kone 5 goals apiece. From zero to eight plus in goal difference, the last two games. Team is on the up for sure.

Jay Harris
111 Posted 22/11/2015 at 01:02:59
Graham, I stand by my opinion that Lukaku is the worst header of a bail I have seen at centre-forward for Everton although, as I mentioned, he has improved on all fronts recently.

As for my comment on winning the league, it was said tongue-in-cheek having beaten the two poorest sides in the Premier League.

I still have no faith in this manager to deliver Champions League despite the talent at his disposal and am one of the people who thought we would finish seventhish. I would hope to be proven wrong and we do much better than that but that is hope rather than belief. So wind your neck in and enjoy the day.

Darren Hind
112 Posted 22/11/2015 at 07:36:59
When Lukaku scored that late header at West Ham, he had to be incredibly brave. Yes, he got his reward, but he was knocked cold and lay motionless in front of the travelling, blues for what seemed an eternity. I distinctly remember the delirium turning to concern.

My theory (and it IS just a theory) is that the experience has made him think twice about going for such hospital balls. To say he can't head a ball is just plain silly; he has scored some bullet headers... but when you look at the headers he does score, most of them are when he has found a bit of space and are unchallenged.

Joe Foster plays a blinder in this thread and nails the desperate-to-be-right to the wall.

When Dave A (and others) were criticising Lukaku, everything they were saying was true, the fact that he has improved doesn't make it any less so. Those who backed Lukaku and were adamant, even when he was struggling, that he had the makings of a top class player, were also right... but what's with the 'I-told-you-so's?

What happens if he is poor next week? Does Dave A come back and say "Seeeeeeee... I told you".

This is footy, we all get to be right half of the time...ish

Amit Vithlani
113 Posted 22/11/2015 at 07:41:24
Lukaku is turning into a formidable CF. I watched Andy Gray’s assessment and he is no bad judge. He said Rom has everything.

His touch may not be the greatest, he might not be the best header but his off-the-ball movement is outstanding. He is always looking to play on the half-turn, which means with the right service he will face the goal. He can't score with his back to goal so being a target man reduces his goal threat.

I remember receiving plenty of scorn from the Lukaku bashers when I said last season he would become a £50M player in a couple of years. Now I would be livid if we sold him for less than that.

As for the notion that Barkley plays too safe, sometimes playing a square ball is no bad thing. Last season, he was guilty of poor decision-making but this season he seems to be on the mark when it comes to playing safe or having a go. He can't defend but who cares if he delivers at the top end?

Great performance overall by the team and a special mention for Mirallas. He looked very hungry and I fancy him to grab a few goals if he gets a run of games.

Amit Vithlani
114 Posted 22/11/2015 at 07:48:31
Darren. Its a forum. If Lukaku stinks the place out the bashers can rightly have a go. When he does well, the backers will hit back and crow.

Long may it continue.

Brent Stephens
115 Posted 22/11/2015 at 07:50:19
Lukaku has strengths (none reduced since he’s been with us, I’d say) and weaknesses (some improving, I’d say), as all players.

I’ll judge him against what we bought him for – to score goals. So far, highly satisfied. A great game doesn’t make him great, or a poor game make him poor. Medium-term view – this season, he’s scored 9 in the Premier League, well ahead of the leading scorers for Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool & Chelsea (all of whom, incidentally, we’ve had to play, early doors).

Darren Hind
116 Posted 22/11/2015 at 07:53:40
Fair point, Amit (#114)
Tony Abrahams
117 Posted 22/11/2015 at 07:57:24
Interesting point regarding Lukaku, Darren, because you can’t be a bad header of the ball and score such a wonderfully directed header like he scored yesterday.

Another good point by Ian (#106): Lukaku, seems a lot happier. Maybe it’s because of Gerry, or more likely Kone, is having a positive influence?

My own view is that the hard work is starting to pay off and, love him or loathe him, one thing that Lukaku has in spades, is a desperate will to score goals. That’s a great achievement to score 50 Premier League goals so young, long may it continue.

Paul Tran
118 Posted 22/11/2015 at 08:19:21
Lukaku will always score goals; he hasn’t always worked as hard as he did yesterday. The difference at the moment seems to me that he knows, with the team setup and playing this way, he will get plenty of chances. As a result, he’s working harder.

Looks to me like whatever happened last season has passed and everyone’s on board. I hope they all reflect on yesterday as an example of what they’re capable of – when they want to be positive and dominate.

Graham Mockford
119 Posted 22/11/2015 at 08:22:49
Darren Hind,

I think you are confusing form and ability. A player has a bad game and quite rightly he gets called for it.

Rom had a couple of shockers but the ability is still there. So I will continue to disagree with comments like ’he is the worst header of a ball I have seen at centre forward for Everton’. A patently ridiculous assertion. And I will quite firmly keep my neck unwound.

Tony Abrahams
120 Posted 22/11/2015 at 09:03:09
Someone should do a thread about the best and worst Everton centre forwards in the air. Stats obviously tell us a lot, but I honestly prefer the opinions of Evertonians.

Who would you say was the worst header of a ball you have seen lead the line for Everton, Graham? I would have to go with Beckford off the top of my own head!!

Graham Mockford
121 Posted 22/11/2015 at 09:11:57
Bakyoko, Madar, Max Moore, Saha, Radzinski, Spencer, Cottee... take your pick!
Paul Kelly
122 Posted 22/11/2015 at 09:36:58
Dean, Latchford, Sharp and Gray.

Joking aside and off topic I know, but I'm intrigued about what you do for a job Graham, noticed you spend your time on the African continent, sorry to pry, tell me to do one if you want.

Darren Hind
123 Posted 22/11/2015 at 10:13:36
Graham Mockford,

I'm not confusing anything of the sort, I'm a big Lukaku fan and have been since Day One, but I accept that a lot of the criticism that has been levelled at him has been accurate – even if you can pull out a few isolated posts to argue to the contrary.

We won, we played well, Lukaku played well. Barkley played well, Barry played well, Howard played well... everyone who has ever been criticised regularly played well... is it too much to ask that we just enjoy it?

This cheap point-scoring shite seems like a determined attempt to take the gloss off a fantastic performance for people you have disagreed with in the past... it's bollocks.

Jim Bennings
124 Posted 22/11/2015 at 10:15:40

You must have forgotten the amount of headers Saha scored for us, a lot better than given credit for, have a look at some of the goals he scored in his time and you'll be shocked by some of the headers he got.

Radzinski too, not ever going to be great in the air for obvious reasons but I recall a cracking header in the 2-1 over Southampton in 2003, the equaliser before he scored a injury-time winner which truly took the roof off.

Lukaku has greatly improved this season, he’s clearly done a lot of work on his weaknesses; goalscoring was never one of them.

Primarily though it’s because this season, unlike last, he’s being supported far more by blue shirts in and around him, coupled with Deulofeu’s return and most pivotal, having Arouna Kone in the team, a very underrated footballer as he showed during his year at Wigan.

Graham Mockford
125 Posted 22/11/2015 at 11:14:19

Happy as anyone we won. Are we only allowed to discuss the merits of players after a defeat? After all, it seems as good a time as any (ie 11 goals in 16) to point out that quite a few posters misjudged him. Not in terms of form, he had some poor games, but in terms of ability and attitude.


You are right about Saha, he scored 6 headers in his Everton career, Radzinski got 3. Rom btw the ’worst header blah blah’ has 8 already.

Victor Jones
126 Posted 22/11/2015 at 11:46:55
Notice that a few people have been saying Barry and McCarthy have been playing well of late. That's great... but have they been scoring goals? Answers on a postcard.

And there in a nutshell is my problem with two DMFs every bloody game. One would have done a job against Villa, and maybe then a place could have been found for a midfielder who could make a meaningful forward pass... or dare I say, take a shot on goal. Also, do two DMFs really assist and cover the defence? I’m not convinced.

On Lukaku, I was calling for him to be rested for a few games. This was around the end of September, and most of October as he was off the boil then; nothing was working. But since Del and Kone are in the team, the big man has found his game. He needs to be around good players. He is a confidence player, and confidence must be sky high around Everton just now. Lukaku is not the same player around Naismith or Lennon, I just hope Martinez sees that, because every Evertonian worth his salt does.

Lukaku at times does deserve to be criticised; every player not putting in a shift does. I don’t want to see Everton lay down and capitulate – nobody does – but we are now on a little roll... with winnable games coming up; play like yesterday, and who knows.

Can we win the league? Well, Leicester are top. Who would have believed that? It is all in Everton's hands (and feet). Let's keep this run going. COYBs

Jim Knightley
127 Posted 22/11/2015 at 11:59:54
Joe, I and others have had to put up with simply mind-numbing stuff about Lukaku on these forums. I made a post about it, when he was not playing well, with quotes from some people. (They were probably rightly edited out by Lyndon or Michael.)

I will relish in him and us doing well because, as I said when I wrote that post, people need more patience. Lukaku’s goal record at his age is phenomenal. He had one bad season in a team not set up to play for his ability, where he still managed 20 goals in all competitions. But numerous contributors claimed on these forums that he will never be a top striker, will never be worth his fee, and will never improve his touch and link up play because these abilities can’t be improved. (They are innate? I’d love to know the logic behind these claims because no-one could tell me when pressed.)

Why do I or others, who can see the ability and potential ability of Lukaku, have to listen to people whining and moaning like self-entitled children just because a young player has a poorer season? A striker who is better than any striker we’ve had in the Premier League era, and who has the capacity to take us to the next level?

This not about insider knowledge, this is about a pair of eyes, and an ability to read a games-played and goals-scored stats column. Before last season, it read 20 games started for West Brom, 17 league goals and 29 games started for us in the following season and 15 league goals.

Last season was an anomaly, and the kind that affects young players, especially in a team where selfish midfield play and impotent passing was not seeing Lukaku get the ball when he needed and where he needed it to be effective.

There are some certainties in this team. Stones has the ability to play for Barca, Real or Bayern, and is already a top class defender. If he goes through a bad period, as the very best sometimes do, it will not mean he has lost that ability. Lukaku has the ability to be one of the best strikers in world football. A bad period will not change that. Deulofeu can be one of the finest wingers in world football. Again, a bad period will not change that. The contributions-per-minute ratio will back that up for Deulofeu and Lukaku, as will a pair of eyes. Stones’s class is abundantly obvious and it’s a real shame that we will be unable to keep him at this club.

Just because this is a forum, it does not mean people have a right to throw out negative ill-informed opinions every time there is a bad period. I don’t want to read countless criticisms of Martinez every time he says something positive, because posters assume that positivism can’t be correct. I don’t want to read about how the most gifted striker of our Premier League era can’t improve his touch and link up play, and how we should sell him and buy Mitrovic or whichever other unproven player someone has watched play a half-dozen times.

I do not understand why we can’t be a little more patient? Especially when we have so many young players at this club. Maybe it is something produced by modern society, by the sensationalism of the media, and by instant gratification ideas spread by advertising and technological changes. I’ve no idea why it is this way, but I can tell you that I’ve read absurd things on here. Of stubborn posters unwilling to think they may be wrong, or unable to hold their opinions before they are proved wrong or right.

I guarantee you that if Lukaku went 4 or 5 games without scoring now, and had a few bad games, some posters would claim that the start of the season was just a fluke. That he scored goals because everyone we played was crap, and he can’t and will never learn how to control a ball.

When I have to put with these opinions, I will revel in them being wrong. This is part of my desire to encourage the cultivation of patience in the only fans forum I read and post in. In Stones, Lukaku and Deulofeu we have devastating potential and present ability. In Coleman and Baines we have possibly the finest full back pairing in the league. McCarthy is a very solid and effective DM, whilst Barkley clearly has much to offer. Galloway, Browning, Besic and Robles are also very promising, and the former 3 have performed superbly when thrust into the first team this year.

We don’t have much money, and should criticise the board and Kenwright for that. We have one chance for success, and that is through the careful selection and development of young talent. We have done that, and are doing that. These young players, because they are young, will have bad games and even bad seasons. But we need to stick with them, because they are exciting talents who could bring us the trophy/ies we need. And when I read some illogical post unnecessarily criticising a good player, or limiting their ability to improve, I will jump on that and give my opinion.

Kunal Desai
128 Posted 22/11/2015 at 12:19:49
The first and fourth goals were sublime. Pass and move at its finest.

A big factor in the positive results is playing another striker. Having Kone together with Lukaku ensures that opposition defenders have to handle two powerful strikers and not having an isolated Lukaku as the only one which gets snuffed out easily.

Geoff Risebrow
129 Posted 22/11/2015 at 12:22:08
Great post, Jim Knightley (#127).

Jay (#111), You think Lukaku is the worst Everton centre-forward you have seen at heading the ball? You are having a laugh surely? I would argue that he is one of the best I have seen! I can only think of Duncan Ferguson and Graeme Sharp off the top of my head who would possibly be better.

Ernie Baywood
130 Posted 22/11/2015 at 12:26:08
Jim,I honestly think you’re reading too much into this.

This is an Internet site, not a pub. Amongst mates you’d never hear such black-or-white opinions... on here it’s often a race to be the first to a conclusion.

So we get people putting themselves in one ’camp’. ’Camps’ that just don’t exist outside of the Internet.

The easiest camp to be in? It’s the negative one. When did anyone last achieve true greatness with Everton? Those who could, got moves elsewhere. The odds are in the negative pundit’s favour, regardless of whether their opinion could be considered informed.

Stephen Ashton
131 Posted 22/11/2015 at 12:32:57
Amen Jim.

No coincidence though that our upturn has been in conjunction with Deulofeu having an extended spell in the team, which has done his confidence the world of good and I suspect that his continued great form will be critical to our season. He makes things happen.

I suspect there are a couple of very worried Bournemouth full backs right now...

Tom Bowers
132 Posted 22/11/2015 at 12:39:29
Bottom line is that they beat a poor team as they were expected to do but sometimes that doesn’t happen so let’s lap it up.

A thrashing of Sunderland and a solid point at the new West Ham really make us feel optimistic about the rest of the season, especially with players getting back from injury.
A big bonus has been the play of Kone who really compliments Lukaku so let’s hope he stays fit.

Victor Jones
133 Posted 22/11/2015 at 12:43:09
So last season was just an anomaly? That explains everything... And there was me thinking it was utter shite; there was me thinking it was very poor management: not worrying about defending or set-pieces; very poor team selection; players like Lukaku and Barkley not turning up; Miralles not giving a shit; no real leadership on the field; a solid defender given the cold shoulder.

Oh, and let’s all blame the Thursday night Europa League games. Everton were unable to cope with two games a week. But it was all an anomaly.... thank you for pointing that out.

Lukaku is now scoring goals, d long may that last, but if we (at times) had had options, then he would have been dropped – no questions. I actually like Lukaku but I think we need options for when he goes off the boil; that’s why he plays every week – no options. Forget about Naismith or Mirallas or anybody else leading the line. Lukaku leads the line at all times, even when he is not playing well. In fact, almost by default... but that is Everton.

He (Lukaku) now has the right players around him: Kone is playing well; Deulofeu is flying; the defence is looking more solid; and everyone is doing the right things. Everton play well... Lukaku plays well; it’s not rocket science. His confidence has now to be sky high, and that is what makes strikers tick.

I don’t criticise Lukaku for having a bad game but Lukaku can have a bad 4 to 6 weeks. There again, the whole team can... in fact, they can have a bad season... but who cares? It has been all an anomaly.

Just my humble opinion. And opinions cost nought. And most definitely not £28 million.

Jamie Barlow
134 Posted 22/11/2015 at 12:55:01
It’s great to see, Kunal. Look at the ages of the players who took part in both goals:

For Barkley's first, it was Stones (21) to Barkley (21) to Rom (22) to McCarthy (25, old get) to Deulofeu (21) and then Barkley again to finish.

Fantastic goal and hopefully we can keep them and see many more like it. The future's looking bright.

Sam Hoare
135 Posted 22/11/2015 at 13:06:37
Jim (#127), sorry but think there a fair amount of self-righteous rubbish in there. Because it’s a forum, people DO have the right to put out whatever opinions they want (so long as it’s not offensive, racist etc). You don’t get to say what’s allowed or not.

It’s football, not science; one minute’s hero is the next minute’s villain... and Lukaku was as good yesterday as he was as bad last season. Your praise is justified now just as much as the criticism was last season.

If he plays like that 8 games out of 10 from now on, then perhaps he will be deserving of the top class tag – but he needs to do it consistently first.

Victor Jones
136 Posted 22/11/2015 at 13:19:25
I agree with your comments, Ernie, we do tend to divide into camps. It is all just about opinions and the only camp I am in is the Everton Football Club camp... as we all are... but players do deserve to be slated from time to time. It's no use saying young players need time (and yes they do) but only a certain amount of time. Soon these young players are senior players, and still no trophy. Grasp the moment now, not waffle about what might happen in future years.

I've seen it all with Latchford and Dobson: "Next year will be our year" ... but it never was. Grasp the moment; Howard Kendall did.... his players did. This current Everton could... but not if they go missing for weeks.

'Anomaly' means inconsistent but it is too simplistic to use that for last season. Why were we inconsistent? Well I think that we all know why. It's looking better this season and long may that continue.

As for Lukaku scoring 20 goals last season, that's good... but most struggling teams usually do have at least one player who manages to score a few goals. The game is littered with players scoring with poor teams: Charlie Austin is one, the Burnley lad last season is another; Suarez scored in another poor team. It does not mean that Lukaku played well, just coz he scored a few goals. But as long as Everton win... then everyone has played well.

We should not just be settling for this 4-0 win; we should still be looking to improve. I suppose that, because we kept a clean sheet, people will now be saying that we don’t need a goalkeeper.

Supporters and opinions. What would the game, and websites be without them... er... us?

Patrick Murphy
137 Posted 22/11/2015 at 13:20:37
If for some insane reason we stripped out the young talented players from the current squad, and had to pick a team from the remaining available players, we could pick the following squad for a Premier League fixture:

Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines
Barry, McCarthy
Kone, Naismith, Mirallas.

Subs: Robles, Besic, Gibson, Lennon, McGeady, Galloway, Osman/Pienaar.

Whilst that squad wouldn’t be world beaters, they would probably hold their own in most fixtures. I wouldn’t want that to happen, but it wasn’t all that long ago that a squad similar to the above would have been the one available for most fixtures.

It would seem that the TV revenue is having a positive effect on the club and the younger players such as Lukaku, Barkley, Stones and Deulofeu have added a quality to the team that has been largely missing in previous campaigns. Let’s hope that none of the young stars are seduced by money in the coming 12 months as, if they all stay and Roberto can replace some of the ageing campaigners with similar top quality players, we could be in for a treat.

I also wonder if some of the Goodison quietness is down to the fact that many of us have become cynical and don’t wish to become over-excited in case the club decide to cash-in on those young players.

Jay Wood
138 Posted 22/11/2015 at 13:22:59
It’s not often watching Everton is a stroll in the park, with a comfortable victory, never in doubt, harnessed to a good all-round performance.

Others in this thread talk of developing partnerships across the team, something I referenced after our second game this season, the 3-0 thumping of Southampton.

I particularly highlighted Kone’s contribution in not playing as an out-and-out striker alongside Lukaku, but how he links play from the midfield and penalty area which liberates such players as Romelu and Ross and now Gerry.

I understood why, after coming on against Chelsea and scoring a hat-trick, Steven Naismith was rewarded with a starting place for a few games ahead of Kone. However, I think Martinez sacrificed valuable points in doing so, because the Naismith - Lukaku partnership is nowhere near as effective and blunt as the attacking edge that the Kone - Lukaku duo offers.

Now I like Naismith and, in certain games, at certain times, he has his place. He is always likely to chip in with vital goals. But the way we are set up right now, his place is firmly on the bench.

Things are shaping up nicely, even with an extremely novice back four. Barry has excelled this season, but all the more so since Jagielka's injury, shepherding and marshalling the back 4 as he does from his deep-lying midfield position.

As for Deulofeu... well, what he can achieve in the game is without limit. This is a very, very special talent. I didn’t care for yet another dive in the area yesterday, but I did note another attribute he has added to his game.

There was one telling moment in the 2nd half when he chased back, deep into the corner flag territory around our own penalty area, to snuff out an attacking threat, then calmly pass the ball across our penalty area to a centre back to launch yet another counter attack.

Not the stuff of glamour, but an essential side to the game which he didn’t have in his first season with us nor, by all accounts, on loan at Seville last season.

Dave Pritchard
139 Posted 22/11/2015 at 13:43:28
Apologies if this has already been said (very long thread) but what was noticeable to me was that Barkley decided what to do with the ball much quicker than in recent games. It made a big difference to his game and I hope it continues.
Darren Hind
140 Posted 22/11/2015 at 13:44:16
The longer this thread goes on, the wiser post 88 becomes.

I love it when the desperate-to-be-right spend hours typing long-winded post quoting things that were said months/years back in an attempt to substantiate their "informed" opinion. Of course they will never bring up the times they have been wrong because: A) they are too far up their own arses to think nobody noticed, or B) they are too dumb to recognise when they were wrong.


Of course it's ok to discuss the merits of a player after we have won, no better time for it, but if you are going to persist with the 'I-told-you-so's you can expect to get it back in spades when the guy you are praising has a bad game. Gloating to the Redshite is almost compulsory, gloating to fellow Blues just takes the edge off a good day.

One more thing: in over 50 years of watching football, I have never seen a 23-year-old "learn" a good first touch. Lukaku is most definitely no exception. He is vastly improved when it comes to using his huge frame to protect the ball and that is giving the rest of the team confidence to get up and support him.

Despite all his obvious attributes, Big Rom can still 'control' a ball further than most of us can kick it.

Dave Pritchard
142 Posted 22/11/2015 at 13:57:51
Generally I agree with Darren at #140. The only point I would make is that, in the last 4 or 5 games, Rom hasn’t done (m)any clumsy trappings of the ball and I have been impressed with his close control and turns when receiving the ball with his back to goal. Whether he’s learnt this or not, I don’t know... and don’t really care as long as he keeps doing it.
Graham Mockford
143 Posted 22/11/2015 at 14:07:12

You do seem a little tense calling people who seem to disagree with you ’dumb’ and ’up their own arses’. It’s Sunday maybe a nice dinner and a good bottle of red may help.

I don’t think I’m ’right’ or ’wrong’, I just have my opinion based on my judgement of things. Others have a different opinion, that’s ok with me. It’s an Internet forum where opinions are exchanged. You seem to feel I should not express my opinion. For instance, it is my opinion you are wrong about Lukaku’s control. Whereas I know I am right in saying you are definitely wrong to say Lukaku is 23.

You still of course seem to be missing the point I made. If Lukaku has a bad game (almost certain to happen), I will still have the same view he is a very good centre forward regardless of ’expecting to get it back in spades’ and one who has the potential to be a world class one.

Gavin Johnson
144 Posted 22/11/2015 at 14:14:13
Jim #127, I agree that Stones could play for any club in the Europe. It's interesting you mentioned Barca. I was thinking about them being linked to Stones when I was walking home from the gym this morning. Particularly Pique raving about Stones and putting him in his world 11 team and what this might mean towards our chances of keeping Deulofeu, should Barca be one of the clubs that make a move for Stones after the Euros.

I wouldn't want Stones to leave. Hopefully we'll win the FA or League cup and this talk of American investment will come into fruition and we'll be able to keep our best players and buy more players at that level. Of course I'm a realist and I'm used to reading these stories that coincide with AGM's, but part of me buys into the lie every time. I guess you've got to have a certain amount of optimism to keep following Everton.

But going back to my point. I could stomach Stones signing for a club abroad and Barca and the conspiracist in me wonders if it was to happen whether we'd do a deal with them where they'd rip up the buyout clause for Deulofeu.

Dave Abrahams
145 Posted 22/11/2015 at 14:27:34
I think most of us on here when we criticise a player or manager it isn’t out of malice or trying to be smart, but to point out the players/managers faults in our opinion.

It is noticeable that Howard and Lukaku have improved in the last few weeks. It is just possible that they are improving because they are taking notice of these faults.

I think Sam Hoare (#135) gets it right: players form, ability and general demeanour change over games and likewise fans' opinions change too.

I always take note of Darren Hind because he tells it like he sees it. I don’t always agree with him but then don’t expect people to always agree with me. If people come on here expecting the truth, they won’t always get it but you will get honest opinions. If they want fiction, they should join the library.

Stephen Brown
146 Posted 22/11/2015 at 14:34:55
I've just watched the game again and the question I ask is: Have we had a more exciting player than Deulofeu since Kanchelskis?

Early days I know but he looks the real deal!

Paul Tran
148 Posted 22/11/2015 at 14:51:31
Cheer up, folks, apparently we won 4-0 yesterday and played some really good stuff for the second home game running.

I don't care who said what to who about what player. I don't care who the 'top four' are.

Our much - maligned manager and players are currently performing well. So why all the bickering?

Gavin Johnson
149 Posted 22/11/2015 at 14:54:11
Dave, I’ll second that. I don’t always agree with Darren’s posts and have been on the end of a couple of exchanges. But I do agree with everything in his post #140.

It’s probably the reason why I’ve been posting less this season. The whole thing about the need to be right and gloating takes the shine off a great day sometimes. I’ve been guilty of it myself on disagreements about certain players. But I’ve taken a step back this season.

For me, it was the epiphany of realising I shouldn’t be feeling drained reading a football forum after we’d beaten Man Utd 3-0 last season.

Dave Abrahams
150 Posted 22/11/2015 at 15:10:05
Gavin (#149),

Yes, I understand what you are saying, you shouldn’t let the forum drain you but take it as it comes. The match absolutely drains me, even at my age I kick every ball and want perfection from the team. I’ve watched Everton a very long time and I’ve never ever seen perfection.

Gavin, keep posting but don’t take it too seriously.

Graham Mockford
151 Posted 22/11/2015 at 15:13:27

I never thought I would say this.... But I agree

Gavin Johnson
152 Posted 22/11/2015 at 15:17:47
Yes, Graham, you should heed the advise. ;)
Darren Hind
153 Posted 22/11/2015 at 15:18:58
You are missing the point Graham.

You see its not the people who disagree with me I'm making this point to.

As I said earlier, I'm a huge fan of Lukaku, have been from day one... but I won't be coming on saying I told you so every time he scores:

1) I don't want to take the shine off a victory for fellow blues who may have disagreed with me;

2) I'm wrong at least as often as I'm right when I express my opinion on here – plenty on here will testify to that.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, like you say, and in my opinion, Joe Foster (#88) has still submitted the best post on this thread.

Graham Mockford
154 Posted 22/11/2015 at 15:29:28

1) if a little bit of debate takes the shine off a victory, my advice would be don't come on here

2) agreed

If as you say every one is entitled to their opinion, I'm not sure why you object to me stating my opinion that posters were wrong about Lukaku. Of course you are perfectly entitled to disagree with that opinion.

Paul Tran
155 Posted 22/11/2015 at 15:50:04
Interesting question, Stephen. Andrei was capable of great things, but tended to do it when he fancied it.

I've tended to put Deufelou and Lukaku in that bracket. Lately they've both worked hard and shown the consistent desire that any player needs to make the best of their talent.

So if they both keep applying themselves, it's no contest. People keep talking about tippy tappy Barca and forget how hard these gifted players work when they haven't got the ball.

We've got some talented young players who look so much better when they show the appetite to win the ball, move the ball and create space for others. If they keep up the current good work, who knows where they will take us?

Darren Hind
156 Posted 22/11/2015 at 16:06:46

Nothing you or anybody else can say will ever take the shine off an Everton victory for me personally. That doesn't make me blind to silly point-scoring posted by those who simply can't be satisfied by the victory alone.

Were you really so unfulfilled by yesterday's performance that you had to ask the same person the same question three times and then go on to tell us how long you have been a season ticket holder?

Graham Mockford
159 Posted 22/11/2015 at 17:01:12

I'm not sure why you are worried about my personal fulfilment, but thank you for the concern.

As it goes I'm happy as a sandboy especially now you have been reading my posts.

As it happens I asked him three times because the poster in question never answered the question I asked. So I was doing it for effect. You know debating opinions and trying to make a point.

As for my season tickets it was just an answer to a question I was asked.

Darren Hind
160 Posted 22/11/2015 at 19:02:35


Darren Hind
162 Posted 22/11/2015 at 19:40:23

Of course it was an answer to a question you were asked. Somebody came along and asked you how long you have held a season ticket.

Still, if that's what passes for opinion in your house...

Dave Abrahams
163 Posted 22/11/2015 at 19:41:21
Graham (#159), come on, I answered your question three times; you just never got the answer you wanted. Play the game.
Geoff Risebrow
164 Posted 22/11/2015 at 19:59:12
Having read Jim’s post at #127 again, I definitely jumped the gun! Not a great post by him at all because everybody on this site is entitled to their opinion, hence it being a forum for the public.

I go along with what others have said about people saying ’I told you so’.

Victor Jones
165 Posted 22/11/2015 at 20:18:24
Very interesting thread today. Some very good entertaining comments. Almost as entertaining as the game yesterday. Well ,not really. But all the same , some very good points have been made. And I don't mean my own nonsense. But I just don't get this "i told you so" attitude. Lets see how the season pans out. Kunai brings the ball out of defence.. he passes to Dave. Dave sprays the ball out to the wing. Darren picks up the ball. He beats two men. Crosses a beaut to Jim. Jim heads down to Graham. Graham volleys high into the net. Ten nil to the Blues. What great team work this team is showing. You see Graham.....i let you score. So be happy. This is all just opinions. And a load of nonsense. And a wee bit of fun. Goodnight people.
Brent Stephens
166 Posted 22/11/2015 at 21:02:44
I never gloat. So there.
Steven Jones
167 Posted 22/11/2015 at 22:16:09
Jim @ 127 - agree whole heartedly.

Positivity is the only way to transform mediocrity or poor sides into world beaters.

Cloughie, Howard and Shanks were all of that mold.

We have the foundation now and the model for Martinez to continually throw the dice with young talent and to praise them and build their confidence. More than not have younger individuals come in and show their worth.

Besic is another that has awesome potential and if we do have to release Stones to a top Champions League side – me thinks we will have Martinez shove Holgate into the void left by a ball-playing CB.

We have a conveyor belt of them right now and we will be able to attract the best young talent and Barca may even keep throwing gems our way if Deulofeu does go back into the first 11 at the Nou Camp.

We play the right way, we select the right way and nurture world class talent. It is the only way to move up to the next level. It transforms our finances, our balance sheet and the brand value of EFC – long may it continue!

Kase Chow
168 Posted 22/11/2015 at 00:02:51
Anyone who says Lukaku can’t head a ball is a fool. His readjustment for his headed goal v Villa was awesome. Same again vs Soton.

Let’s SUPPORT our players eh?!

Jim Knightley
169 Posted 23/11/2015 at 00:31:01
Read my post again - I'm not saying not to have an opinion, although I can see that it is easy arguing against a falsely constructed argument. I'm pleading for more patience and criticising illogical arguments which often do little more than incite reactions rather than discussion. There is a difference between criticising Lukaku with reason, compared to some of the examples I have seen on here. It is not logical to claim that a 22/23 year old cannot improve his touch and link up play, as many have claimed. It's not logical to claim that Lukaku, who scored more than 1 goal every 2 starts in the previous 2 years, is a useless player because of a bad season in which he still managed 20 goals in all comps.

And Victor - congratulations on your use of sarcasm, and on your failure to grasp what I am saying. I was not stating that our season was a mere anomaly, although it was statistically, I was talking about Lukaku. I also never endorsed the shit we witnessed last season. Did you think my representation of last season's impotent passing was supposed to be taken as a positive? Please tell me where I am applauding Martinez's tactics and football from last year? Your post is ridiculous. To repeat Victor, I criticised Martinez's pre-season preparations and offered my negative supposition about the upcoming season before a ball was kicked and at a time of optimism. I did it because I gave an opinion backed up on what I could see, and especially based on the clearly poor fitness levels of our personnel.

Again, I love opinions, but why give ridiculous ones? Do you think Lyndon's summer post about negativity was intended to restrict all opinion?

Again, these young players need patience.

Victor Jones
170 Posted 23/11/2015 at 01:46:36
Now Jim. Calm down. I know exactly what you meant. And if people disagree with you, then throw in a few insults. Not really much point debating football or Everton FC with you. And let's not criticise Lukaku (even when he is shit). And all these youngsters need patience. And everything will come good.

Yeah, yeah, yeah... heard it all before. Sorry you don’t like or understand my posts. How will I ever sleep tonight?

But take a little advice, try reading your own rubbish before you post. You come across as a tad patronising. Have your opinion, but don’t demand that everyone has the same opinion as you.

Steven Jones
171 Posted 23/11/2015 at 07:17:08
Victor you accuse someone of patronising whilst dedicating 90% of you post to patronising, trying to be intelligently sarcastic.

If you balanced that with acknowledgement of the positive point Jim is talking about then you would be taken more seriously.

Hope and positivity are infectious - so is negativity and polarised criticism. Someone somewhere defined that as bigotry, but who am I to say ..? :-)

Please get behind the blues and cheer us on!

Paul Cherrington
172 Posted 23/11/2015 at 09:00:07
A great result yesterday and a great performance. I have been critical of the manager in the past but we were spot on yesterday so no complaints.

Two things I would agree with – having Kone playing with Lukaku works so well. Also, Deulofeu must start every week where possible as him in there just makes us so dangerous & unpredictable. He makes things happen and also seems to lift the others into making things happen.

Jamie Barlow
173 Posted 23/11/2015 at 09:05:29
A 22-year-old lad can’t learn how to control a ball better? Now that is nonsense.
Laurie Hartley
174 Posted 23/11/2015 at 09:39:42
Jim (#169) - Having been a critic I would have to say that Lukaku's hold up play and first touch have improved dramatically over the past 4 or 5 weeks. Great!

I can also understand why many posters would doubt his ability to learn this at the age of 22/23 after all he has been playing at a high level since he was a 16 year old. My gut feeling was that these skills come from natural ability not training or coaching. Apparently this is not the case.

As the saying goes - "your never too old to learn" ;)

Geoff Evans
175 Posted 23/11/2015 at 09:43:11
Barkley's a different player when he decides to put a tackle in.
David Midgley
176 Posted 23/11/2015 at 10:03:28
How many on this site who post or just read served an apprenticeship? Then after 21, when they had moved on, improved their skills and confidence when they were out in the wide world with more experience? I’ll bet quite a few did.

Why should footballers be any different? It’s a trade. Reading this stream has been very draining!! Perhaps, Relate would be a better website.

Victor Jones
177 Posted 23/11/2015 at 12:54:12
Lukaku will always score goals, but at times, his control and all round effort was lacking. That's my opinion.

As for saying that we need to be patient with these young players, I get that. But please note that these young players have been to a World Cup. Deulofeu has been capped by Spain. A number of our squad will be playing in the Euros next year. We have internationals from all over the globe. It seems to me that our players (young and old) are now doing the business at a high level.

So why not push on at Everton? Why the need for patience? Why not now?

And the chances are that one or two of our talented youngsters (who we need to be patient with) will not be at Everton in a few years time. I hope that they are... but Lukaku IMO will jump ship as soon as a bigger club comes calling. Can we hold on to Stones, Deulofeu and Barkley? Galloway, Garbutt and Browning will all attract attention... even Coleman could move on. Our patience might just see other teams benefit.

The time is now for this bunch of players to flourish and not go missing for weeks on end, or even for full seasons.

Graham Mockford
179 Posted 23/11/2015 at 16:24:54
Victor Jones (#177),

"But Lukaku IMO will jump ship as soon as a bigger club comes calling."

And of course you may be right, but why do you single him out over John Stones for instance, considering he is the only one of the two who has actually already submitted a transfer request and tried to ’jump ship’?

Graham Mockford
180 Posted 23/11/2015 at 16:41:22

I would definitely add Latchford,Gray and the best header of a ball I’ve ever seen in blue Tim Cahill ( although not technically a centre forward off course).

As an aerial threat, the 80s team where the best I’ve seen, not only Sharpie and Gray but Mountfield as well. Add to that two wide midfield players who could pick out a cross in Steven and Sheedy; it would have been no fun playing centre-half against that team. I don’t have the stats but I’d be willing to bet the % of headed goals and assists from headers would have been very high.

Paul Cherrington
181 Posted 24/11/2015 at 11:18:02
To be fair to Victor, I can see what he's getting at. If we can be as good as we were against Villa at the weekend, why can't we do that every game?

And there does come a time you have to step up to the plate and turn potential into something concrete. Hopefully that's what we’ll do now after two good results (and a not bad draw away at the Hammers).

Geoff Risebrow
182 Posted 24/11/2015 at 20:01:23
Yes, Graham, Super Tim Cahill sprang to mind also but like you say he wasn’t a striker. Andy Gray was just before my time (I started supporting Everton in 1988) and so too Bob Latchford. I have seen both players on DVD and they scored some tremendous goals.

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