Martinez's alchemy produces another golden display

The Goodison faithful were left toasting another sumptuous exhibition of attacking football and three important points to kick off what the manager has identified as a dozen crucial games in Everton's season.

Lyndon Lloyd 22/11/2015 57comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 4 - 0 Aston Villa

They say there are no easy games in the Premier League these days and to a large extent that's true. Even in Everton's previous home fixture against Sunderand there was a brief spell where a sense of deja vu descended over Goodison Park as the Black Cats completed a comeback from 2-0 down to equalise and briefly ratcheted up the angst in the Grand Old Lady. What Roberto Martinez's Toffees demonstrated in the final 35 minutes of that match, where they scored four without reply, and for much of today's thumping of Aston Villa is that when they are in the mood, they can make things look very easy indeed.

In the 86 Premier League games under Martinez prior to the beginning of November, Everton had beaten a side by a four-goal margin on only one occasion the 4-0 drubbing of Stoke City almost two years ago. In their last two home matches, they've now done it twice, revealing an increasingly lethal edge to a side that has so often struggled to break down teams that have come to Merseyside intent on digging in and frustrating the Blues by shutting down their passing game.

The result was that rather lamenting another turtuous game of slow, directionless football and points dropped against a struggling side, the like of which was a plague on last season, the Goodison faithful were toasting another sumptuous exhibition of attacking football and three important points to kick off what the manager has identified as a dozen crucial games in Everton's season.

The key, as it was in the four previous victories the Blues have earned in the League this season, was to score the first goal. Coming off a morale-boosting goalless draw with Manchester City before the international break, Aston Villa, under new manager Remi Garde, appeared to have been instructed to keep things as tight as possible by dropping deep, compress the space and force Everton to break them down.

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Indeed, the first quarter of an hour bore familiar hallmarks of some of the Blues' more patience-sapping home displays over the past year or so with plenty of sideways passing along the back four and a number of ill-advised cross-field balls trying to bypass a congested middle third and release the likes of Brendan Galloway down the left flank or Gerard Deulofeu and Seamus Coleman down the right. With Villa's attacking intent conspicous by its absence. the onus was very much on Everton to create the tempo, which they did to brilliant effect with 16 minutes gone.

John Stones's quick forward pass was heel-flicked neatly on to James McCarthy by Ross Barkley who would end up at the end of the move a few seconds later to tuck a shot inside the far post after Deulofeu's low ball had been pushed into his path by Brad Guzan in the Villa goal. The breakthrough made, the floodgates then opened and the match was effectively won by half time.

Guzan would foil Arouna Kone brilliantly 10 minutes later when Deulofeu ghosted past Ciaran Clark to the byline and cut the ball back for the Ivorian to fire goalwards from close range but the American was powerless to prevent the second a couple of minutes later. Deulofeu had played Lukaku in where his initial shot was blocked but he sprang to his feet in time to leap and meet Coleman's inch-perfect, clipped cross and steer a header into the far corner.

Lukaku and Kone were instrumental in the third goal, too, as the Belgian flicked the ball over the top of the visitors' defence and Kone brought it down, dug the ball out of a tangle of legs for Barkley to strike the loose ball into the empty net from a central position to further increase what is already a personal-best goals return.

Forced to abandon their gameplan and venture forward more, the hapless Villains were now exposed to their hosts' threat on the counter attack and only a poor final ball by Deulofeu at the end of a quick-fire attack prevented Garde's side from going into the interval 4-0 down. The visitors were poor, outlining just how tough an assignment the Frenchman has undertaken, but they were also at the mercy of an Everton side that, benefitting from an unchanged line-up from the one that had, arguably, under-performed at West Ham a fortnight ago, is developing a wonderful and at times irresistable chemistry.

The Blues' fourth goal was a poetic illustration of just that. Villa had come out from the half-time interval in search of pride and some retribution for a wretched first half and Jordan Veretout almost had them on the scoresheet when he nipped onto Ramiro Funes Mori's under-hit backpass but Tim Howard was out quickly to charge down his shot. Kieran Richardson, freed momentarily from the torment of trying to keep tabs on Deulofeu as the Spaniard flitted from the touchline to the channels, then forced an excellent one-handed save from the American with a wickedly swerving shot from the edge of the box.

But, aided by a period of complacency from the home side, the Midlanders' rally was brief and Lukaku scored his second a minute before the break, finishing off a rapier-like move that, like the first, began a superb Stones pass that released Deulofeu into space. His pass to Barkley was steered on first time into the perfect area for Lukaku playing off the shoulder of the last man and he swept the ball over Guzan and into the Gwladys Street net with aplomb to notch his seventh goal in as many games.

It could easily have been more and a more padded scoreline wouldn't have flattered Everton a bit. Kevin Mirallas, a 74th-minute introduction in a double change that saw Deulofeu and Barkley depart and Leon Osman also enter the fray, inadvertantly denied Galloway an almost certain first goal when he got in the way of the teenager's shot. He almost made amends, though, with a free kick that was helped wide by the goalkeeper's fingertips and a superb side-foot volley that flashed must over from another late sub, Darron Gibson's cross.

Lukaku, meanwhile, almost stole in to grab a hat-trick but, not for the first time on the afternoon, he lost his footing as he went to dink an effort over the advancing Guzan and the pair collided heavily as the ball deflected off the 'keeper and been hacked away by a defender.

If there were fears nagging at the back of Evertonian minds as the team embarked on this comparatively benign phase of the fixture list that the Blues would either come up against a succession of sides determined to sit in and frustrate them or they would simply just fail to take all three points from supposedly "winnable games" then they will surely have been lessened by successive routs on home soil against two poor, struggling clubs.

After a mixed opening quarter of the League campaign in which the highs of handily beating Southampton and Chelsea were tempered by the comprehensive nature of the defeats to Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal, the hope is that Martinez's side might finally be settling into gear and finding the kind of form that will allow them to really kick on towards a challenge for the top four.

What is certain is that very few teams will be able to live with this Everton side if they perform like this week in, week out. With Lukaku looking to be at his deadly best and revelling in his partnership with Kone, Barkley growing in influence and stature with every game, and Deulofeu becoming a reliable source of assists and creativity all in front of an impressive rearguard into which Funes Mori has seamlessly stepped the ingredients are there for the Blues to become a very dangerous outfit. The key, as ever, will be consistency and curtailing complacency, starting at Bournemouth next week.

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 22/11/2015 at 07:52:06
Amen to that, Lyndon.

Consistency generally comes with experience. We are kinda in a race against time; can we find the consistency to get a Champions League spot, thus increasing the chances of the current crop of youngsters wanting to stay? Or will they be prized from our grasp, just as we are about to develop into a top team in our own right?

The more of a threat we become to the rich clubs, the greater their determination will be to stop us.
Martinez has put up fierce resistance so far. Let's hope the board will back him even when the offers get silly.

Bob Parrington
2 Posted 22/11/2015 at 09:27:30
This team has some magic developing that has not been seen since the days of Young, Vernon, Scott, Gabriel days IMO. Not that we haven’t had some great teams in-between times but there are link-ups occurring now that blow one’s mind.

Three scintillating goals and one hard yakka goal today, 10 goals in the last 2 home games! Shit, it's hard to be 13,000 km away but thank god for modern technology.

We must keep Deulofeu because he ignites the flame.

COYB

Paul Jeronovich
6 Posted 22/11/2015 at 11:52:00
A joy to watch. I can only hope we can keep this going. Well done, Everton, brilliant to a man. Restores pride when you see games like that!!!!!
Linda Morrison
7 Posted 22/11/2015 at 12:52:47
We seem to be having some luck at long last!

Being able to keep hold of our players now the finances are so much healthier, I fully expect our young stars to be given enhanced contracts this summer, even if we don’t make it into the top 4 this season.

A manager who has the backing of the board, hence we kept Stones. I think Stones should thank Martinez for keeping him out of the mess that is Chelsea at the moment.

A manager who likes to develop young players and accepts they will make mistakes. How must Old Big Head regret selling the Big Lad now?

Keep it going lads.

Plato Stavrinos
8 Posted 22/11/2015 at 13:13:50
Watching it on the Telly in South Africa, I was just puzzled by how quiet Goodison Park sounded considering the performance.

Was it just me who picked that up?

Ray Roche
9 Posted 22/11/2015 at 13:44:54
No, Plato, it was quiet for long periods yesterday. It’s difficult to get excited when the first 15 minutes involve the tippy-tappy crap that we’ve come to expect early on in games. It almost sets the stall out for a quiet afternoon. I’m sure that, if we came shooting out of the blocks and really went at sides, the atmosphere would pick up and the lethargy stay at home.

Add to that the woeful Villa side and we didn’t so much hope to win as expect to win and it was only when we started to play some great football that people started to get excited.

Plato Stavrinos
11 Posted 22/11/2015 at 16:29:38
But even at 2-0 it seemed very quiet. I must say it doesn’t come across well on TV. Surely the tactics are working now with 10 goals in 2 games and a bit of tippy-tappy can be tolerated?

After the last home game, you would have expected the place to be buzzing, irrespective of the tactics.

Michael Ward
12 Posted 22/11/2015 at 16:40:14
I was at the game yesterday sitting in the main stand and it was solemnly quiet. The only noise was the cheers when we scored and the odd wince at nearly moments. I found myself wanting to sing by myself but ultimately I didn’t.
Plato Stavrinos
13 Posted 22/11/2015 at 16:45:13
Michael, why?

Never heard Goodison so quiet and have been supporting and watching them since the 80s.

Mark Andersson
14 Posted 22/11/2015 at 16:50:09
Plato, I can assure you that the Goodison faithful only come to life when they are agitated.

Just look at Deulofeu's reaction after the 4th goal, he was trying to work the crowd up after a quite an exhilarating goal.

Deulofeu will go back to Barca if they come calling because Goodison park has all the atmosphere of a morgue these days. Shame really because, if ya know your history, it was like that even in the 80s after our first title winning season. Until the we lost to the RedShite, got shut of Linker, and the crowd got behind the team again, and we claimed the title again.

I have more respect for the Everton fans who travel away; they are the real supporters and I’m not alone in saying I wish those same very fans had their own part of Goodison as a focal and vocal point

Saturday's performance from the team was an average of 7 to 8 or even more for some players. However, I would say that the crowd was no more than a 4.

Bobby Thomas
15 Posted 22/11/2015 at 17:03:23
Plenty of people going overboard, as per usual. I’m going to wait for something of more substance than twatting the worst 2 teams in the division. There were many aspects of the Sunderland performance that weren’t good enough.

We’ve improved. However, inconsistency and defensive issues are the norm. These need resolving long term.

Mike Allison
16 Posted 22/11/2015 at 17:32:48
I agree with Ray, our style of play (the pointless passing bit) kills passion.
Mark Griffiths
17 Posted 22/11/2015 at 17:38:07
Just enjoying us scoring for fun for the moment and hope injuries don’t spoil any momentum.

Just looking at the BBC Tottenham vs West Ham game and some of the comments are pathetic! "Is it possible that we are seeing the evolution of a new order in the Premier League? Liverpool and Spurs"...deluded!

Plato Stavrinos
18 Posted 22/11/2015 at 18:09:31
Mike you kidding right??

10 goals in 2 games and you say the style is killing passion... Maybe we should go back to Moyes's tactics to have passion.

Us overseas fans would "kill" to watch Everton at Goodison and watch this team play.

Tony Hill
19 Posted 22/11/2015 at 18:19:04
You’re quite right, Mark (17), I saw a headline yesterday about Klopp firing a title warning after their result. You still have to use an electron microscope to find anything about us.

Suits me, though – let’s keep under the radar.

Brian Harrison
20 Posted 22/11/2015 at 18:52:12
I think the most intriguing part of our last two home games, is why when you score 10 goals are the crowd so quiet?

Now this isn’t new as most of the games last season were played in the same atmosphere. So the question is: Why is this the norm now at Goodison? It seems like the result doesn’t significantly alter the atmosphere.

For me, I think because we inevitably start with passing around the back 4 then into midfield then back to the back 4, without making progress, it seems to dampen the fans passion.

I have to say I have been going to Goodison for over 60 years and can't remember it being so quiet on so many occasions. Now I can assure you that, in that time, as well as seeing some brilliant football teams, there has also been a lot of dross to watch.

Patrick Murphy
21 Posted 22/11/2015 at 18:55:54
The points we won against Sunderland and Aston Villa at home appear to be less than the points that our neighbours won in their last two away games, or so the media would have us all believe. Let’s see how many points we can get between now and the season’s end and whether that will be enough to get us where we want to be.

If that happens to be above our neighbours, then so be it, but I’m not going to let what occurs across the park spoil what Everton do unless they are in direct opposition to Everton on the field of play.


Rick Tarleton
22 Posted 22/11/2015 at 19:01:57
My first trip up to Goodison this season; age, heart problems, and economics make these trips rarer. Everton were magnificent, but Villa were woeful; until Sanchez came on, they didn’t even make a tackle.

The key to the future is keeping hold of Lukaku who is becoming a very good striker. I hope we can hold on to him for two or three seasons, but I’m worried.

Patrick Murphy
23 Posted 22/11/2015 at 19:04:18
Brian (#20),

I suppose you make a valid point, as there is little point in the crowd shouting "get rid" or "get it into the box" at the players as RM has made it abundantly clear how he wants his teams to play.

It is also taking the Old Trafford faithful a little while to get used to a new less-gung-ho style of play. If only we could get the crowd involved in another way to help the team along... Mind you, I wouldn’t advocate a Leicester City or Crystal Palace type of manufactured atmosphere.

Perhaps, quieter crowds will be a feature of the Premier League as a whole during the next decade as the new breed of managers set up their teams in a more continental way of playing?

Don Alexander
26 Posted 22/11/2015 at 20:38:19
Bobby Thomas at "15" is spot on. The tippy-tappy crap is boring and we're just not good at it either. That's reflected in the quietness of the crowd.

I've read all sorts of bollocks on here about players being too young to be criticised, about simple ball control being uncoachable, about lack of tackling being acceptable. The fact is these players are fabulously well paid and they have a duty to work their bollocks off every day to improve. Take a look at Jamie Vardy. He's been at Leicester for years and epitomises what sheer graft, day-in day-out on a training ground, can achieve.

I'm delighted that we've just stuffed the two worst teams in the league. I'll be more delighted when we consistently show we can beat those around and above us. Hard work and practice are the keys.

Martin Mason
27 Posted 22/11/2015 at 20:51:03
We must remember that we won’t play like this against good sides that will close us down like Villa did better in the second half. Spurs looked good today and of course Liverpool yesterday.

I believe that we’ll hit a glass ceiling as we come up against the very best, especially away from home, where our weaknesses may be found. I hope not but I’m keeping my aspirations lowish rather than being disappointed when we can’t reproduce football like we played yesterday.

Patrick Murphy
28 Posted 22/11/2015 at 21:01:03
Martin (#27),

Looking at it that way, at least we have the 20 points towards safety in the bag, are our neighbours so much better than us? I wouldn’t know because I refuse to watch them but, according to all the media experts, they could have a tilt at the title... If they can be tipped to achieve such a thing, why shouldn’t Everton?

Jackie Barry
29 Posted 22/11/2015 at 21:17:10
The quiet thing baffles me a little bit. While I have not been to Goodison for while, on the TV the crowd sounds as loud as ever. Ah well... maybe the Goodison faithful are missing Moyes.
Michael Williams
30 Posted 22/11/2015 at 21:23:13
The "quiet crowd" syndrome is not just happening at Goodison. It is across the league. Reasons put forward are higher ticket prices which bring in wealthier less boisterous crowds (I know this happened here in America).

Others are eliminating the "standing" sections and older crowds.

Here's a great article:
http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/nov/16/premier-league-fans-atmosphere-concern

Patrick Murphy
31 Posted 22/11/2015 at 21:59:41
Michael (#30),

An interesting article, and from 2 years ago, which shows it isn’t just a recent development or as you said, particular to Goodison Park.

Ernie Baywood
32 Posted 22/11/2015 at 22:03:06
I just think it’s the style of football, Michael. You don’t need to go back too far to see the incidents that got the fans roaring. Watch a game from just 10 years ago and see the tackles fly. Watch one from 20-30 years and you wince! Further back and it’s almost a different game.

The evolution of football has been very quick. It was far more exciting back then but we all longed for more joined-up football. Now we’re getting it right across the league and it’s just a bit dull. Technically superior, but dull.

To be honest, I pretty much only watch Everton these days where in the past I watched any game I could.

Martin Mason
33 Posted 22/11/2015 at 22:27:05
Patrick@28

I like your attitude and why not?

Helen Mallon
34 Posted 22/11/2015 at 22:35:49
The reason we are not tackling more and playing stand offish football is because tackling is being slowly knocked out of the game. Just look at Arsenal; I think either Cazorla or Arteta made a top tackle yesterday, and were given a yellow card and West Brom scored from the resulting free kick. The sliding tackle and any standing tackle from behind will be banned in 10 years.
Ray Roche
35 Posted 22/11/2015 at 22:52:03
Helen, it was a perfectly good Arteta tackle that resulted in a yellow card and a goal for West Brom. Clowns running football are also ruining it by making it a non-contact sport.
Willy Russell
36 Posted 23/11/2015 at 00:19:44
Delighted that we won, but am surprised that some people are surprised at the lack of noise/excitement in the ground. It was a boring one-sided game – simple as.

We were technically superior and played some neat football but, with a bit more pressing and passion, we could have scored loads and the crowd would have been ecstatic.

Michael Williams
37 Posted 23/11/2015 at 00:42:48
I agree with Ernie and others that tackling brings excitement and tackling is being legislated away.

However, a couple weeks ago the German coach from the team that shall not be mentioned was shocked that home fans left early even though his team was only trailing by one. That does not happen in Germany and other Euro nations and I don’t think it’s lack of tackling.

Goodison should have been rocking... although, being from the States, I temper my opinion.

Michael Williams
38 Posted 23/11/2015 at 00:51:42
Willy #36 - "but with a bit more pressing and passion we could have scored loads and the crowd would have been ecstatic."

Football must be different in England. By the time our team is up by four, our crowds are rocking. We are not looking for more than that to get excited. How many goals does your team have to be up to get going?

Perhaps the fan groups can organize something to get the cheering going? Is that something that is possible? American here so I ask gently.

Lee Brownlie
39 Posted 23/11/2015 at 05:09:06
Why am I getting this feeling of an undercurrent of "Let's find something to be concerned about" from too many on here?

Yes, okay, it was only Aston Villa and Sunderland we ABSOLUTELY WHOOPED(!!) but too often in recent times we haven’t broken these kind of sides down at all, even at home. (I’ve actually been pissed off with RM’s regular pre-game statements of how wary we should be of such visiting teams, and felt this has got through to the players, à la Moyes!).

As for the fans being ’too quiet’ because of our sometimes ’boring, tippy-tappy’ football, I’ve always thought we had a build-up in atmosphere that came from our supporters' deep and passionate understanding of the game. There are still loads of individuals calling for this or that, while many of us sway and groan edgily with every ball (the way Big Joe headed the FA Cup winning goal in at Wembley before Rideout did in ’95!).

Then, of course, we cheer and go seriously nutty, as with any partisan supporters, given more definitive and blatant reasons to do so: goals etc... And, moreover, I’m pretty sure the players know when they’ve got the crowd fully behind them. What better way than great moves and goals, as has been happening despite some patient earlier probing, to sustain this back-forth crowd/players-on -the-pitch positivity?

As for how ’good’ teams like Liverpool and Spurs are, are they really so much better than us? Liverpool are below us, and lost to Palace last time out!! We know they’ve both now stuffed Man City, but I’m damn sure had City been still playing like the apparent ’juggernaut’ who rolled us over at Goodison early season, they’d quite possibly have dealt with these teams, similarly Liverpool, I feel, for sure, despite the arrival of their new grinning ’Messiah’!!

We have a lot to be happy about is all I’m saying... a very good squad, positivity, trying to play in a more progressive style...

Yeah, okay, always good we ALL stay grounded, but let's not just misguidedly pick things apart in this pursuit, (some) lads...

Darren Hind
40 Posted 23/11/2015 at 05:23:58
I've only ever attended three Spanish games (none of them involving the big two) and my impression of the fans there, was that they tended to observe rather than participate.

I think we are playing a Spanish game and were are getting a Spanish atmosphere. Many of the grounds in the Premier League are quieter these days. IMO it's down to the continental coaches gradually ditching the traditional crash bang wallop stuff

Go to the Britannia and it's still deafening.

Rick Tarleton
42 Posted 23/11/2015 at 10:01:17
The demography of the modern football crowd is so different to the crowds off the fifties and sixties when I first attended Goodison, as Michael Williams points out , it’s richer and less boisterous, it’s also older. It observes and appreciates, but rarely roars.

The terraces of the old days created a collective will and a collective voice, those roars of "We Shall Not Be Moved" and "Attack, Attack, Attack" when Goodison seemed to shake, and there were often 60,000 plus in Goodison then.

Everton’s new style is not geared towards exciting, and Everton are alone in the obsession with possession and pressing.

West and Southall, in far better teams than the present one, were far busier than Howard, because football then was far less precise, and accordingly more exciting, far more shots and crosses. On Saturday how often 30 passes went across and back, even back to Howard, rather than risk a 50/50 forward pass, or trying to go past a man. Even Deulofeu, doesn’t actually go past a man in the way of Best or Matthews. It’s the modern way and I’m sure it’s right, but not so exciting.

Mads Kamp
43 Posted 23/11/2015 at 10:39:50
Glad that many of you guys aren't managing our great club. Tippy-tappy crab!!! What the hell are you talking about? We need diversity, you cannot attack direct style for 90 minutes!

Tippy-tappy crab... Christ. We play great football. It hasn't been better for ages. We're smashing our opponents! I think Martinez is doing absolutely fantastic.

COYB.

Nigel Gregson
44 Posted 23/11/2015 at 10:46:51
Agree totally Mads. When was the last time we smashed 10 goals in two consecutive home games? Anybody know?
Patrick Murphy
45 Posted 23/11/2015 at 10:59:33
Nigel (#44)

From a cursory glance at the results Everton scored 10 goals in two consecutive fixtures in November 2007 when they put seven past Sunderland and in the next game scored three against Birmingham City.

Prior to that occurrence, Everton scored 10 goals in the final two home fixtures of the 1998-99 season, putting six past West Ham and four past Charlton Athletic.

Paul Thompson
46 Posted 23/11/2015 at 11:19:18
It wasn’t so long ago that the common theme was that ’we never manage to stuff the shit teams’. Well we’ve just stuffed two on the trot.

This season has shown that we can and will score a decent amount of goals, particularly with Deulofeu starting regularly and Lukaku getting some support.

Yes, it’s true that better teams, with tighter defences, will limit our opportunities. I’m more worried about our wobbly defence – wholly untested by woeful Villa. That, I suspect, will be where our problems come against the better sides.

Ernie Baywood
47 Posted 23/11/2015 at 11:22:49
You're missing the point Mads. No-one is suggesting that we regress to all out direct football. They're just suggesting that the style of football nowadays doesn't always get the ground shaking.

On the singing stuff, I never really associated singing with a great Goodison atmosphere. At our best we were just loud. Vocal, angry, elated, defiant. The singing kind of sprung out of those.

I read that article linked earlier on here and ideas like the Tottenham one just sound a bit Soccer AM to me.

Gerald Foo
48 Posted 23/11/2015 at 11:43:45
I’m definitely in the minority here judging on the above comments, but I actually like our new "tippy-tappy style". :)

Over the years, I’ve always admired how the top teams could control possession and probe for openings, while waiting for the more defensive team (used to be us!) to make that crucial mistake.

In the last two home games, we’ve used the first 10-15 mins to probe, assess, and drag the defensive line out of shape before we capitalise on a mistake and take the lead. Once this happens, space opens up and we start running riot.

It then comes down to how the other team reacts, and whether we can continue with our dominance. Sunderland reacted better than Villa, and we weren’t focused enough to keep them out.

Against the ’better’ teams, we tend to adopt a more counter attacking approach and allow them possession. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and we get overwhelmed (Man City and Arsenal).

All this while, our young stars (Stones, Barkley, Lukaku, Deulofeu, etc) are learning how to do it better and better each time.

Not sure about you, but I’m FASCINATED! Keep it coming!

COYB

Kevin Tully
49 Posted 23/11/2015 at 12:12:15
The style we play definitely has an effect on the reactions and emotions of the Goodison crowd. As soon as Martinez rolled up, we could all see how he wanted his sides to play football.

"Tippy-tappy shite" has been the general consensus. I have to agree, when you are behind, and you see the two full backs giving the old "me to you" routine, it can make you go wild with frustration. But, when it works, boy it it satisfying to watch. Like our 4th goal on Saturday, there is no finer sight as far as I’m concerned.

It’s unbelievable that every goal we have scored so far this season has been from open play, especially when we hear the screams of many to practice set pieces more. Maybe Bobby has a point when he says you are relying on a bit of luck to score from corners and crosses?

I certainly don’t want to keep bringing Moyes into the conversation about styles, as some fans clearly like to see us play "win the second ball & get rid when under pressure" type of football. It certainly has it’s place when you are trailing with five minutes left. Do I want to see balls floated down the line hoping for possession in the opponent's half from the first minute? Definitely a no from me.

The style of any team has a huge effect on the crowd and their reactions. The Emirates is known as ’the library’ for good reason: they are the kings of possession football, but I want to see that type of skill on offer from a team that costs £100s of millions. For me personally, a Phil Neville floater down the line for a lone striker to chase was my football hell. We all have our preferences.

Ernie Baywood
50 Posted 23/11/2015 at 12:44:59
But for all it limited us, how good was a David Unsworth diagonal ball towards Big Dunc? The Street End were on their feet in anticipation the second it left Rhino’s boot.

I never again want to see the days where we rely on that kind of percentage football but, as a match experience, it was good.

It’s the same kind of logic as asking someone if they’d swap a safe upper mid-table position for a relegation scrap. Of course you wouldn’t... but no-one who was at the Wimbledon game will ever forget it.

Derek Thomas
51 Posted 23/11/2015 at 12:56:46
Gerald and Kevin; points to like in both posts. Yes Bobby might be right about a bit of luck on corners and set pieces...the taking of and scoring from.

Defend and relying on 'luck'. Well it seems EVERYBODY gets lucky Vs us.

Why not misquote the Golfer thing ( some say player some say palmer ) 'The more I practice ( defending crosses ) the luckier I seem to get.'

Tippy tappy Vs Intensity ( for want of a better word ). I did notice that from the start we passed it about in our half, but as the game went on we were passing it about in their half and then in front of their box. So from that point of view we're getting better at it.

Yes I know you can only beat what's put in front of you. But seeing off 19th and 20th...and next week 18th is all well and good. The confidence will do us no harm.

A few weeks ago the sky scribes were touting WHU, now they're saying, It's such a poor / open race Spurs can win the title, yet forgetting that we drew with both...Away.

Alchemy; turning dross into gold. We weren't exactly dross, but we're no gold yet.

Truly great teams are an Alloy, not pure one thing or another. Neither all tippy-tappy, nor all Intensity.

Mix that alloy Bobby, do what you did on Saturday, not to 19th and 20th...or 18th but to 3rd 2nd and 1st.

Then I will believe in magic...upto now you're just tinkerbelling about

Oh and keep winning how ever you do it.

Long may we continue to slip under the radar

Jim Potter
52 Posted 23/11/2015 at 13:05:57
Put all our amazing away supporters in the Gladwys Street. Atmosphere problem solved.

The rest can then safely tuck into their prawn sarnies ...

Dave Pritchard
53 Posted 23/11/2015 at 13:29:32
Don't travel to away games myself but would guess that most of our away fans watch home games from the Gwladys anyway. I think it is more a case of a different attitude when fans go away with them being in the minority.
Nigel Gregson
54 Posted 23/11/2015 at 13:40:50
Patrick (#45) – thank you.
Kevin Tully
55 Posted 23/11/2015 at 16:35:09
Here are the highlights from Moyes’s last season in charge.

Everton 2012-13 Season Goals + Highlights

Apart from some great individual goals, there is definitely a distinct playing style. That is, plenty of high and low crosses into the box. Even now, it looks a little dated to me.

Barry Jones
56 Posted 23/11/2015 at 17:10:29
I don’t understand all the negativity, I think we are playing exceptionally well. I was quite critical of RM and the team last season, but so far I think we have performed well and entertained.

The difference this season is that we are moving the ball A LOT quicker, hitting Lukaku a lot earlier, and not afraid to play the longer pass when it is on. Deulofeu has been very good at this in the last few games.

Also, RM has got McCarthy pushing a lot further forward when we are in possession. We now get a lot more more up the field quicker, as well as moving the ball quicker.

Yes, the tippy-tappy is still there, but it has to be. We need to strike a balance. At the beginning of a game, or when we are in the lead, keeping hold of the ball is the priority and we don’t need to move it as quick or to take risks.

I for one am thoroughly enjoying watching the Everton of this season. I believe that RM has largely corrected the faults. On our day, we are up there with the best in this league. Our main problem going forward will be the same old same old: retaining all of our playing staff.

Michael Williams
57 Posted 23/11/2015 at 18:09:43
Agree with everything paragraph you wrote Barry (56).
David Ellis
59 Posted 24/11/2015 at 02:37:13
I have lived overseas for 25 years. I have been to Goodison three times – once in 1995, 2007 and 2014.

I was shocked in 1995 about how quiet the crowd was compared to the 80s – but the terraces had gone and that was the key difference. But it was even quieter in 2014 (a 3-0 win against Villa).

Having said that, the team and the style of play at the last two home games looks FANTASTIC on TV. Just a joy to watch.

ps: Great report, Lyndon

Paul Kelly
60 Posted 24/11/2015 at 09:47:34
First game this season I've genuinely been impressed. Great result.
Harold Matthews
61 Posted 25/11/2015 at 21:30:37
True, Barry. We moved it forward quickly and accurately all afternoon and what a difference it made. Of course, scoring the first goal was the key that opened things up. Once that went in, our task was much easier.
Dave Abrahams
62 Posted 25/11/2015 at 22:02:37
Patrick (#45), sorry to go back to all our yesterday's but how about 20 goals in three games, in our promotion year 1953-54 beating Plymouth at home 8-4 Brentford 6-1 and Derby County 6-2?

I’m not sure if both the Brentford and Derby games were away, but one of them was. Happy days.

Patrick Murphy
63 Posted 25/11/2015 at 23:12:00
Dave (#62),

Going back even further in time, to perhaps what was the Golden Age of Everton FC. Between September 1931 and January 1932, Everton scored 54 goals in ten consecutive league games at Goodison Park, the minimum Everton scored in a single match was 2 and the maximum was 9 which Everton managed to do twice during that run. The sequence was as follows: 2, 3, 9, 8, 7, 9, 5, 5, 4 & 2. What a fantastic time that must have been to be an Evertonian.

Mind you, on the Ye Olde ToffeeWebby there were concerns that the defence looked a little shaky as they had conceded 15 times in that period.

EFC 1931-32

Harold Matthews
64 Posted 26/11/2015 at 15:06:41
I remember being at Anfield in 1946 when Jackie Balmer completed the first hat-trick of hat-tricks since Dixie in the 30s.

He actually scored 10 in three consecutive games and everyone thought it was funny because he wasn’t a great marksman. In fact, he had to wait 6 years for his next hat-trick. In those days many fans visited both grounds.

Dave Abrahams
65 Posted 26/11/2015 at 15:45:05
Yes, great Patrick (#63) the fans' hands must have been red-raw with clapping. I wish I had a time machine, I’d go right back to that period.

Harold (#64), I remember Jackie Balmer, with his baldy and moustache. When we played in the street, if you kicked the ball over the bar, the other kids would call you "Jackie Balmer". Did his brother play for Everton at one time?


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