From My Seat: Bournemouth (A)

A big disappointment today for me as it wasn’t so much the score as the lack of nous from players and manager for being unable to respond to the game plan of the home team in the second half. This also suggests we are not yet ready for Champions League

Ken Buckley 29/11/2015 33comments  |  Jump to last
Bournemouth 3 - 3 Everton

A trip to a very windy seaside resort to see the Blues take on a bottom three side and on receiving news of the team confidence abounded amongst fans. Apart from being able to buy a crystal ball on the seafront nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to receive.

From the off there was no doubt the strong gusts of wind would make it difficult for both sets of players. The hosts had the first shot on target which was gathered by Howard. The first 15 minutes was a settling-in period as both teams attacked but in most cases half-heartedly. King did find himself unmarked and hit one on target for our keeper to block away and Stones to complete the clearance then on the fifteen minute mark we did put some football together and forced our first corner which came to nought but from that moment until the twenty fifth we battered them.

We had goal line blocks, keepers spectacular saves and quite a few corners. From one of these the keeper got injured and needed treatment but recovered to limp on as we took another corner but instead of testing that limp we played it short and away from goal but we did recycle things via the half way line and attack and force yet another corner on our left. This time the ball was delivered in true corner kick fashion and there leaping above other defenders was our man Mori to meet it and score. The breakthrough at last and the fans celebrated. Did I hear a Mori song or chant?

Anyway, I wondered did scoring from a set piece resonate with our present manager. One up and going well with McCarthy covering every blade of grass. Deulofeu was overplaying a bit and consequently not as dangerous as in previous games as he lost the ball carelessly on a few occasions causing groans from the faithful but then with ten minutes to go to the break he took the ball in his stride and looked up and sent a trade mark laser guided passes that allows Lukaku to run across his man one touch, one stride and, hey-ho, 2-0 up and Rom's song fills the air. That move and the finish was worth the admission money.

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Teams are always venerable just after scoring and we almost proved the point as the hosts came at us and the move ended in a cross that Howard charged into a ruck of players with no chance of getting near to it and the ball was propelled toward to empty goal but Stones had sensed this and had got back to hook away. Perhaps after scoring from a set piece at last our present manager can pay some attention to defending them. From then until the break we knocked the ball about a lot at the back as we definitely playing on the break by inviting them on and looking for that quick counter and but for the gusty wind we could well have been in on two occasions. As it was we easily passed out the three minutes of added time and went in two to the good.

H/T chat suggested that most were in good spirits but concerns were raised regarding Barkley and Kones contribution as both seemed sluggish and guilty of giving the ball away to easily, still I said we have enough on the bench for manoeuvre. Famous last words and all that as the second half started with no changes and almost immediately we were under the cosh as the hosts went for it as a team with little to lose does and they were causing some consternation. I thought we need to be concentrating and get some order in the ranks as we were being bombed from all quarters. McCarthy was putting fires out across our back line and a good job too.

The hour mark passed and still we seemed happy to draw them on which might have been OK if we had been breaking at a fast pace and all out for that killer third but, as it was, we didnt seem that bothered about such things. To a spectator's eye, though, one slip and the lead would be halved and the opponent on the front foot.

Barkley was either anonymous or holding onto the ball too long and losing it thus setting our hosts on another attack, Kone had faded from the scene and I thought sure we may see Mirallas and Naismith but no-one appeared. We did pick up a bit after the hour mark and Coleman raided and his cross looked a certain tap in for Lukaku but the ball just eluded him. Was it the wind? Anyhow we should have been doing more of that sort of stuff. This second half was turning into the displays of last season.

Just before 70 minutes we suffered a cruel blow as the hosts got a corner which was cleared but as the players streamed out a Blue shirt was left lying on the turf. McCarthy got up after treatment and resumed without looking like he wanted to. He had been our outstanding player and to lose him was in my opinion a disaster as it was his work rate and effort in breaking up moves that was keeping us in front. He only lasted long enough for Cleverly to be readied and off he went. Hell, I hope that isnt too bad of an injury.

They then had their man Arter go off holding his hammy and no wonder really as this game was a great fitness test howling gale and break-neck pace started me wondering if our present manager might consider Osman for Barkley as Ossie can get his foot on the ball and pass to the same colour of shirt that he is wearing. But, no, that idea was down the pan.

As time ticked on you just sense that Bournemouth were up for one last hurrah and with no McCarthy hunting them down our back five was being tested more than is healthy. Coleman saved our bacon with one last ditch tackle with McCarthy gone and our defence tested no one seemed to take charge and stop the playing about at the back and inviting them on and looking for a quick pass to counter attack as it plainly wasnt working.

Still we were two nil up with just ten to go and the faithful bellying out songs and chants to spur them on but in that moment, wouldnt you know, we finally concede. From a half-cleared corner the ball went to the unmarked Smith who let fly and the ball hit the net via a post. Cue Silence of the Fans with nerves in shreds, memories of those games where we have surrendered two goals come from somewhere deep in the brain with unnerving clarity.

Then with five minutes to go we got a sub on but it was Lennon for Deulofeu and it coincided with Kone giving the ball away yet again. You just have to wonder, dont you?. Then with two minutes to go they get a free kick, take it quickly, we are switched off as King beats Galloway down the right and the pull back is well converted by Stanislas.

It wasnt all silence after that there were some well-chosen words and then a mighty ROAR of EVERTON-EVERTON-EVERTON for one last go for it push. We got it with about two minutes to play when probably our two most disappointing players combined Kone won the ball in a melee and Barkley hit home. The scenes were of the winning goal in a cup final as some entered the pitch in pure joy, relief, and any other euphoric sense you care to think of. Eventually order was restored and I noted Gibson had replaced Kone with one minute plus crowd invasion to go so easy isnt it.

Get the ball pronto from the kick off keep it, go down injured, take a yellow for the team and there you are on the bus home beaming. Simples. Well it is in the mind but on the pitch this is Everton. We allow them to come on and from my seat I was horrified to see at least three players unmarked. One of these, Daniels, had all the time he needed to put a cross across goal and Stanislas had all the time he needed to powerfully head home. After the euphoria came the depression all in the space of a minute. It left me with a deep ache in the pit of the stomach plus a fried brain as I tried to make any sense of it all.

If I hear anyone else say It was a great game for the neutral I will not be accountable for my actions. I am an Evertonian and they want their backsides kicked along with the manager for allowing that second half to progress without correcting the personnel to the change in the game.

MotM McCarthy

A big disappointment today for me as it wasnt so much the score as the lack of nous from players and manager for being unable to respond to the game plan of the home team in the second half. This also suggests we are not yet ready for Champions League. Its the hope that kills...

Cup action next and a time to meet quite a few of our players we have not seen for a whileORwill he go full wellie. That is quickly followed by MNF when we entertain our bogey team. Lets hope we are quick learners and McCarthy is fit.

Still its a funny old game maybe it will turn out to be a good point away from home today. Well no good giving in, eh?

UP THE BLUES

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Paul Commons
1 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:03:01
The failure of Martinez to react to the bloody obvious was again the reason why we surrendered two points to a very limited side.

His failure to make 'in game' substitutions (for fear of offending personnel?) bit us in the bum and demonstrated that even with the most capable squad in years we will again be also rans.

Tony Hill
2 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:09:19
It’s the draws that kill. There’s only one side (interestingly, Tottenham) who have drawn more. If we are to have any chance of top 4 – and I do not think we should aim lower despite yesterday – then I think we need to win our next 6 games, including Leicester and Tottenham.

If we manage that by January, before we go to Man City and Chelsea away, then we will be in the mix. Today’s results show again (the RS penalty win being horribly predictable) that it’s up for grabs and we just have to seize the opportunity if we are to advance as a club. I still think we can do it but we must use the bitter disappointment of yesterday to drive us on.

Thanks for your report as always.

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:30:25
Tony,

It’s been the Achilles Heel of Everton for years now, going right back to the Moyes years; we were always hard to beat but we drew too many matches, hence why we never could quite push on in our top 4 challenge.

It's a poor quality league this season and it’s WINS that will get you to the business end of the table. Only time will tell if games like yesterday will eventually prove the downfall of another assault on the top 4, but we need to go on a winning run soon; forget being hard to beat, it’s back-to-back wins that we need badly.

All we can do for now though is prepare for a huge potentially season-defining game on Tuesday night at Middlesbrough and try to get the win that will get that "20 minutes from the twilight zone" yesterday out of our system.

Paul Commons
5 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:31:10
I admire your optimism, Tony, but six straight wins (virtually unheard of !) will still see us short of the two points a game average required to crack Top Four. And then that average will have to be maintained for another four months.

Let's get real. Around seventh is the best we can hope for.

Bill Gall
6 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:38:34
If, after nearly 7 seasons in the Premier League the manager is still failing to manage the team during the game time by changing tactics or players, and the Bournemouth game is not the first time he has not changed players or tactics when the opposition has changed theirs, how long is it going to be before he learns?

The players on the bench are not just there to cover if someone is injured; they are also there to change the game plan, or cover for players who are struggling. If after Bournemouth started to get on top in the second half, and either of these options were used, the game was there for 3 points.

Tony Hill
7 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:38:57
I understand your scepticism, Paul, but I think what makes this year different is that there are other teams around us making a similar dog's dinner of accumulating points. Hope springs eternal.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 29/11/2015 at 19:41:42
Thanks for your usual bang on report. I didn’t see the game but my anger is much greater than yours, although I can sense your frustration at the manager's inability to see what most of us can regarding substitutions.

Great that you say James McCarthy was back to his best, he was a great favourite of mine after his first season but I don’t think Martinez has been getting the best out of him since that first year.

Tony Hill is a poster I always take notice of as, to my mind, he speaks a lot of sense concerning the Blues; however, Tony I would stop looking at the league table if I was you; just let things come or go, I feel you will also be frustrated by Martinez and his strange stubborn tactics.

Dick Fearon
10 Posted 29/11/2015 at 21:52:23
Martinez should note that second on the ladder, Leicester City, are also second on the amount of goals scored.

Not only that, but they have the second lowest amount of possession.

Those facts illustrate, if any were needed, that our multiples of passes are worth no more than farting in the wind.

Peter Mills
11 Posted 29/11/2015 at 22:08:46
Thanks Ken, I've been waiting for your report. I was a bit taken aback by just how angry I felt at the final whistle yesterday, but reading that you want some backsides kicking makes me feel I may not have been over-reacting.

There is much talk of learning from this experience. Some of that talk is fair, we have quite a young team. What worries me is that the guy in charge seems to have an aversion to taking lessons on board.

Jay Wood
12 Posted 29/11/2015 at 22:21:48
Bill @ 6

"If, after nearly 7 seasons in the Premier League the manager is still failing to manage the team during the game time by changing tactics or players, and the Bournemouth game is not the first time he has not changed players or tactics when the opposition has changed theirs, how long is it going to be before he learns?"

The thing is though, Bill, in his first season RM frequently had a Midas touch with his substitutions which were pivotal in changing the game. Many a time the introduced player would create a goal or score himself.

Nor were they like-for-like subs, with no change in formation or tactics.

Take the 3-3 derby match at GP. Baines was injured late 1st half, lasted 5 minutes of the 2nd half. Did RM go like-for-like and bring on a defender? NO! He went for bold and brought on Deulofeu, who almost immediately scored, but then terrorized and occupied the Liverpool defence the rest of the game.

Certainly last season, and mostly this, I don’t see the same boldness in either his substitutions, the timing of them, or a change of tactics, in response to what is happening in game.

If anything, as opposed to your question ’How long before he learns..?’ It’s almost as if he has ’unlearnt’ what he showed us and filled us with such hope and promise for the future in his first season.

Tom Bowers
13 Posted 29/11/2015 at 22:37:24
Forget the Boro game. Changes will be made but that won’t get the result. RM won’t risk a few of the players who played yesterday and of course losing McCarthy will be a big loss.

Sure he will play Gibson, Besic, Osman and Mirallas but somehow I see the defence struggling again.

Paul Hewitt
14 Posted 29/11/2015 at 22:46:18
Jim @4. It's a crap league this season. If we could just finish teams off, top 4 could be possible. But I doubt it.
John Raftery
15 Posted 29/11/2015 at 22:56:16
I also thought McCarthy was Man of the Match for us. After he went off, our back line was definitely left exposed. With the wind strengthening during the second half, the tactic of sitting deep and playing on the break looked increasingly risky.

Also Howard’s kicks against the wind were hardly reaching the centre circle so the tactic of passing the ball back for him to hoof it upfield meant we then faced a battle to regain possession inside our own half. More sensible surely for defenders to launch the ball themselves from more advanced positions.

It was obvious with 20 minutes to go that we needed to push the play into the Bournemouth’s half. If they had been introduced at that point, Mirallas and Naismith, both with something to prove, might have given us the energy and fight to renew the pressure on the home defence which had looked vulnerable in the first half.

Instead, the substitute goalie hardly had a thing to do until picking the ball out of the net in the 95th minute. This was a game in which we could have scored a hatful if our players had put their minds to it. All the more annoying therefore to drop two points against a team which will more than likely be back in The Championship next season.

Do we have a team of winners or a bunch of losers? Tuesday night at Middlesbrough may go some way to answering that question.

Danny Broderick
16 Posted 29/11/2015 at 23:23:33
Massive, massive game on Tuesday. I have no idea what team he will pick. I have a feeling we are still too nice as a team. I still haven’t worked out how a team can score a 94th minute goal and not see the game out.

I am hoping Naismith will start getting some game time soon. He may only be a squad man, so will be limited to coming off the bench, but he wins niggly freekicks to take the pressure off. He also works his socks off. He may not be the best player in the team, but his spirit is infectious, and I think our young team needs a bit more of this. It seems things went downhill when McCarthy went off. We should have had Besic on the pitch, as he is another one with a bit of devil in him.

The ability of a lot of our players is not in question – Lukaku, Barkley, Deulofeu to name 3. But do they have the nouse to pick up points when conditions are not perfect? Apart from Barry and Coleman, it looked like a very quiet 11 that finished the game...

Jay Harris
17 Posted 29/11/2015 at 23:31:55
Great report as always, Ken.

Seems to me the players had it in them to win this as evidenced when we stepped it up to score Barkley’s goal but are prepared to cruise too much when it appears we have the game in the bag.

This lethargy has been too evident this season and is the reason why we won't win things or finish near the top.

We need a leader that wants to win things and does not allow the rest of the team to go into slumber mode.

1 win in 6 away games is not good enough for a team of our quality and ambition.

Sort it out Blues hopefully before Middlesbrough.

Don Alexander
18 Posted 29/11/2015 at 00:04:14
"We have to learn to concentrate for the whole game."

Is this a pub team de-brief? Professional footballers have no right to spout this shite. Our team has nowhere near earned the right to be swanning around in the second half, 2-0 up, assuming that they’re above all that nasty "hard work" thing (McCarthy excepted).

Take a look at the way Palace spent their WHOLE match trying to crucify Newcastle if you want to see what ambition and ruthlessness means, Roberto. For some weird reason, they and every other professional seem to believe that RESULTS matter, at the cost of "performance" if necessary.

What the fuck did you tell them at half-time? Not only that, everyone but us seem to believe that goal difference matters. Watching Lukaku and Kone do their childish little dance, presumably perfected at Finch Farm, celebrating a goal against the truly dire Villa, with more than 30 minutes to go, pissed me off, 4-0 or not.

That said, under the muppet Martinez, seven years on as he is in his Premier League "career", I expect I’ll see Cameron having a whip-round for the homeless before Roberto even starts to get to grips with what being a winner is.

Anto Byrne
19 Posted 30/11/2015 at 08:00:24
To say I was totally pissed off with the second half performance is a total understatement. Barkley swanning around with half-hearted tackles and making no effort to get back and cover once he lost the ball. He has to become the complete footballer collecting deep and orchestrating the attacks.

I was screaming for Gibson to come on at 60 minutes with the in-form Mirallas. Martinez did a Moyes bringing on the defensive Lennon and invited the Cherries to take the initiative.

Under Moyes, it would have been "All hands to the pumps, let's keep what we have, 2-0 and ride the game out" but to concede 3 goals as we did is Sunday League footy after a skinful on Saturday night! Totally embarrassing to say the least.

I dunno what the answer is but I would start with the keeper who can't dominate his 6-yard box and has no idea how to organise the defence. Coleman is so off the pace, it's not funny, and Galloway is looking tired and needs some rotation with Baines.

Deulofeu is much better coming on for the last half hour with fresh legs. Gibson can pass the ball and when we play to Lukaku strengths he is worth his £28 mil pricetag.

Now the dust has settled somewhat, it may be a BLESSING in disguise this result as we really need to tear Boro apart on Tuesday night. Perhaps a few will be up for it. Baines, Cleverly, Osman and Mirallas should start but that would be it.

Laurie Hartley
20 Posted 30/11/2015 at 08:48:05
Thanks for the report, Ken. It takes a lot to get a mild mannered man wound up.

Your gem for the week: "Apart from being able to buy a crystal ball on the seafront, nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to receive." You always get a smile out of me no matter what.

Jay (#17) spot on about the leader. I’d actually take it a bit further. There is plenty of talent in the squad – but this group needs someone on the pitch who they are more afraid of than the opposition – a sergeant major type.

Link

Brent Stephens
21 Posted 30/11/2015 at 09:26:34
Jay (#17): "Seems to me the players had it in them to win this as evidenced when we stepped it up to score Barkley’s goal but are prepared to cruise too much when it appears we have the game in the bag."

Sums it up, Jay. Little else to say. Except why we didn’t keep stepping on it through the second half. And that’s got to be down to the manager. If the lads step off the gas, their fault initially; if they continue to step off the gas, entirely the manager’s fault.

Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 30/11/2015 at 09:43:19
Tom (#13), if he makes wholesale changes and Everton go out the cup then God help him. Some people had the audacity to blame the fans who ran on the pitch for Everton losing two points yesterday. If Martinez tinkers and we lose then, I’m sure most fans will turn on him.

The only worry is, with him and "Sideshow Bob" running the AGM, the other night, we will be left with a talented man who isn’t learning nowhere nearly quick enough for us.

Ken, I hope you're right with your last sentence, and the fact that you don’t have to come out with a load of bollocks to be the eternal optimist makes you a lot easier to understand than Roberto. Thanks, mate!

David Hallwood
23 Posted 30/11/2015 at 10:35:30
Slightly off piste. Just been reading the match report in today’s Guardian and they gave the MotM to Barkley. Just shows you it’s a game of opinions. I thought the MotM was Smith who changed the game.

Ah well. Onwards and upwards

Jim Bennings
24 Posted 30/11/2015 at 10:58:42
He CANNOT make any serious changes to the team for what is our biggest game since the FA Cup Quarter-Final last year.

This is a Quarter Final of a cup competition we have never won, we are 20 years without a trophy; if we get past Middlesbrough, we have a two-legged Semi-Final to look forward to, that will really generate interest amongst the fans for the New Year and could kick-start our season more.

Middlesbrough have conceded just 2 goals at home all season; make no mistake, this is a very hard tie for us... they knocked out Manchester United in the last round whilst we have scraped through our matches.

Any messing about with the team tomorrow night or any slack performances will, I’m sure, see us eliminated.

It's a big game tomorrow; we need to bloody well rise to it!

Colin Glassar
25 Posted 30/11/2015 at 11:24:47
Bigger than the Kiev game, Jim? We have a horrible habit of bottling these games so hopefully tomorrow everyone will be focussed and there will be no blinking.
Peter Roberts
26 Posted 30/11/2015 at 12:39:18
As long as this is part of a learning process for a young manager and side then I will bare it. If this thing keeps happening, then I will not accept it.

We need a big personality on the pitch who doesn’t happen to be our goalkeeper. Rooney (if available at the right wages) would be a quality addition. I feel he has lost his hunger for Man United – if he gets the 12 goals required to catch Bobby Charlton, then I think he will be off to us in the summer. It may take Man Utd to pay off a chunk of his remaining contract if he can accept the £100k we could probably offer at a maximum.

Jim Bennings
27 Posted 30/11/2015 at 12:50:27
Colin,

Definitely bigger than the Kiev game for me.

We are one win away from a Semi-Final; even if we had beaten Kiev, we still had a two-legged Quarter and Semi to play against clever European opposition like Sevilla or Fiorentina... we had no hope!

We could play Stoke or Sheffield Wednesday in a Semi-Final here! We may not; it could be Man City or Liverpool... but wouldn’t we like another two cracks at the redshite? And Manchester City have shown this season that they are far from formidable; they have clear apparent weaknesses.

We probably won’t win it, no... but I at least want the chance to have another crack at it, and defeat tomorrow will be hugely deflating!

Terry White
28 Posted 30/11/2015 at 15:16:34
A "venerable" team after we scored, Ken? May be. Bede was "venerable", I believe, we were just "vulnerable".

Some points. Why did Deulofeu run straight past their man on the edge of our area to give him a free shot for their first? Kone was near also but I can offer some excuse as surely he expected GD to hold up their player. That is what brought them back into the game. Notwithstanding our awful 2nd half performance we were holding them without too much difficulty until then.

After our 3rd there was no excuse for us to have any of our players ahead of the ball. So, what did we get? A player running across our midfield with no challenge. A man wide completely unmarked. (Coleman was running inside with one of their players, where was Lennon?) And a cross into an unmarked player in the box as we marked space.

After we scored we should have had all 10 outfield players back. We could have played with 2 banks of 5 to stop the midfield run. We could have pulled 10 back into our box and made it more difficult for them to get space. We could have put all of our players on our goal line to stop the ball going in. Anything except what we did.

Like my good friend Peter Mills, my son and I watching were equally angry and frustrated at 2 points being wasted in such a typical Everton fashion.

Ken Buckley
29 Posted 30/11/2015 at 15:44:48
Terry @28

Venerable? I certainly didn't type that.

Could it be a sign?

Paul Commons
30 Posted 30/11/2015 at 18:04:28
Peter @ 26. 'Learning process for a young manager' implies that Everton is a training ground for coaches who aspire to higher duty.

I would have thought that Roberto was recruited on the basis that he had learned his trade after three Premier League seasons with his previous club. Certainly he was introduced as a manager who was well versed in basic tactics and was ready for a bigger challenge.

Just how long does the man's defensive naivety continue to let him off the hook?

Bill Gall
31 Posted 30/11/2015 at 18:48:37
Peter (#26). I think that after nearly 9 years as a manager of a professional football club, the learning process should be over, and now Martinez should be at the stage of improving what hopefully has been learned.

Was he not at Wigan for 4 seasons and at Swansea for 2 seasons? Styles and tactics may change but management of touchline decisions during a game remain an integral part of the game, and that comes with experience that he has both as a manager, coach and player.

Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 30/11/2015 at 21:16:13
Jim, I will wager he makes at least five changes tomorrow. Hope I’m wrong but I expect Mirallas, Baines, Robles, Cleverley, and maybe Besic or Lennon to play.

I think it will be utter madness to do this, because it’s too many players coming back at once, without enough recent game time. Even if a couple of these changes are forced upon us, it makes a mockery of his recent use of the subs.

Hope I’m very wrong Jim, because like yourself, I happen to believe this is a massive game for us tomorrow, and Boro have got a good pedigree against the big boys lately, in the cups.

Helen Mallon
33 Posted 30/11/2015 at 21:24:09
Jim Bennings (#4). I would suggest it's not a poor league; it's a better league than ever before. I would say that the smaller teams have bought better players, that at one time would have signed for bigger teams with better wages and sat on their bums.

But now they want to play and to play they sign for (so-called smaller teams) with less wages but getting playing time. They have also recruited better managers with better ideas and training methods.

Everton just had one of those games on Saturday. This league is wide open and I promise the same old faces won’t be in the top four at the end.

Helen Mallon
34 Posted 30/11/2015 at 21:44:20
Oh and I just hope he does not mess with player positions. I don’t want to see Lennon at right back and so on. Team tomorrow:

Robles
Coleman
Stones
Funes Mori
Baines (I just think Galloway needs a rest)
Deulofeu
Cleverley
Gibson
Besic
Mirallas
Lukaku.

COYB.

Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 30/11/2015 at 22:10:56
Helen, if he plays that team, I think we will get beat. Five outfield players with very little football played between them in the last few months. It wouldn’t be my team, but Who knows?

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