Another draw as chances squandered

Everton made only one change, with Leighton Baines returning at the expense of Brendan Galloway. A brilliant cross from Deulofeu saw Lukaku head in superbly at the far post on 15 mins but there should have been at least five more before the break, and Norwich predictably drew level immediately after the break, denying The Blues another two points.

Michael Kenrick 12/12/2015 174comments  |  Jump to last

James McCarthy underwent another fitness test to determine if he is over his hip problem but did not play
Norwich City 1-1 Everton

Everton made only one change, with Leighton Baines returning at the expense of Brendan Galloway. A brilliant cross from Deulofeu saw Lukaku head in superbly at the far post on 15 mins but there should have been at least five more before the break, and Norwich predictably drew level immediately after the break, denying The Blues another two points.

Everton return to Carrow Road this weekend, the scene of Roberto Martinez's first game in charge, to face Norwich City looking to erase the frustration of Monday evening's draw with a victory over Alex Neil's men. Everton made only one change, with Leighton Baines returning at the expense of Brendan Galloway but Stones worryingly rolled his ankle in the warm-up and needed treatment before kick-off.

Everton started with a long spell of possession from a throw-in and it ended with a great run forward by Deulofeu, who was deemed to have fouled his defender before he could get his shot off.

After a Norwich corner, Everton advanced and Deulofeu tried an early long pass to Lukaku that did not come off. Norwich got to the byeline but Howard, in Black stretched upp to catch the cross with ease.

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Redmond found a lot of space outside of Baines who could not track him but his shot was way over. But Everton were moving the ball with confidence, crisp and accurate passing, without too much pressing from the home side.

Kone got a lucky break on the ball that bounced to Lukaku whose first-time strike rolled wide. Baines took his first corner, straight to Kone, Everton winning back two clearances, the second to Deulofeu who crossed superbly to the far post where Lukaku was hanging, to power home the fist goal, outmuscling Bassong to head across Rudd into the other side of the goal. Sublime... his seventh in seven straight.

Deulofeu got free but failed to pass to Lukaku and ran the ball out instead. Kone then got behind the Norwich defence and should have scored but Rudd was out quickly to save. Another open ball to Deulofeu but his marker Olson tripped and was deemed wrongly to have been fouled. Deulofeu was livid.

Norwich had a little spell without really threatening as the game went into something of a lull before the half-hour. Everton were passing the ball around confidently Cleverly with a peace of a cross that deflects slightly off Martin and that was enough to faze the Big Man who missed an absolute sitter at the far post.

Norwich had another corner but direct threat came from it and Everton had plenty of space to move the ball forward, Deulofeu getting double-teamed into the corner flag. Everton had assumed complete control but Lukaku was far to casual on a superb ball from Cleverley, completely missing a simple ball to feet with his non-existent first touch.

Everton worked it again down the right through Deulofeu but Coleman strayed offside. The next attack down the right fizzled out but the rampant Blue shirts surged again, Lukaku completely missing a perfectly set-up volley (perhaps the defender coming in touched it away from him?) and behind him Baines lashed the ball goalward but hit the post!

Kone got free again, and Rudd again was out very fast to deny him but Lukaku was next to run forward, lashing the ball wide this time. Everton should have a cricket score but they were not finishing the slew of chances against a crumbling home side.

Baines delivered a superb corner to Stones at the near post but he got pushed and did his knee as he stumbled off the pitch past the camera pit, and needed a lot of attention before jogging along the touchline.

Another fantastic break, Barkley playing in Lukaku perfectly again and the Big Man this time drove a tremendous low shot inches wide of the far post. Everton went in at the break with a slim one-goal lead but there should have been at least five more.

From Everton restarting, somehow Norwich forced the pace and a corner, Headed goalward by sub Bennett parried by Howard, but Houlahan forced it against Barkley who blocked it but could not keep out the follow-up. Price paid for first-half profligacy!

Everton recovered with Deulofeu doing a brilliant Messi impression, dancing in from the right but Cleverly shanked the cutback. Deulofeu then collapsed as Bradley caught him in the face. Another attack, great position, but Lukaku's set-up for Deulofeu was poor.

Everton were no longer getting the run of the ball and Norwich were playing with a lot more confidence, surging forward to win another corner but Everton broke from it and almost created a chance for Barkley, but Norwich again bounded forward, a shot deflected over and another Norwich corner. Lots of pushing and shoving, two Norwich strikers got in each other's way at the far post and squandered a golden opportunity to go ahead.

Everton gave the ball away again and Norwich were scampering through them again in a total reverse of the first half, but the ball came through to Howard. Baines did well to get to the byeline but Cleverley appeared to be impeded and could not get onto his superb cross. Norwich bounded away on a break but played the ball nicely for Howard rather than setting up Redmond.

Everton tried to regain control with some extended forward possession but it was a lot harder to make chances, Kone's shot blocked; Coleman's driven wide. With Deulofeu fading, Mirallas came on but Norwich attacked against a clever backheel and Jerome, with the goal at his mercy, skied it over the bar.

Everton were really struggling to contain the home side as Gibson came on to replace Barkley, who had not been his normal self. But Kone did play in Barry who turned well and fired, Rudd saving well.

Without Deulofeu, Cleverly's crosses were not as good, but did win a corner, headed behind by Jerome, Martin and Funes Mori being spoken to for wrestling. The next corner from Baines came to nothing, Funes Mori trying an ambitious volley that flew wide.

As time ticked away, the quality of the game deteriorated, neither side capable of asserting themselves, Funes Mori needed to be sharp with a key interception. Stones and Barry contrived to give the ball away and a shot came in over Howard's bar as they played out 3 mins of added time, Gibson trying one from long range.

Everton pushed forward one last time but the ball wouldn't fall for Mirallas. The whistle blew to end a ridiculous 'game of two halves' as the cliche goes, with so many chances squandered by Everton in the first half.

Scorers: Hoolahan (47'); Lukaku (15')

Norwich City: Rudd; Wisdom (46' Bennett), Martin, Bassong, Olsson; ONeil, Tettey; Redmond, Hoolahan (84' Howson), Brady; Jerome.
Subs: Ruddy, Grabban, Mbokani, Dorrans, Mulumbu.

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines; Cleverley, Barry; Deulofeu (65' Mirallas), Barkley (76' Gibson), Kone; Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, Galloway, Osman, Lennon, Naismith.

Kick-off: 12:45pm
Referee: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 27,027

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Reader Comments (174)

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Mike Hughes
1 Posted 12/12/2015 at 13:01:52
We should win this today. A draw won’t be good enough for me here if we have serious intentions of progress this season.

Get in! Lukaku just scored.

Listening to this via R5L. I’ve got my list of irritating radio voices / personalities documented - John Barnes, Stevie Me, Edwina Curry, Craig Charles (R6). Add to that - Stuart Pearce.

Just about to switch to Radio Merseyside.

1-3 to us today.

Colin Hughes
2 Posted 12/12/2015 at 13:52:17
Same old damn problem... concede from a corner, don’t we ever learn? He needs to break the bank to sign a carthorse centre-half who can meet crosses.
Steve Davies
3 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:05:05
Roberto never learns....Tim Howard should not be on the pitch. He never comes off his line on at corners and gives his centre halves no support whatsoever. He is a liability. Robbles should be in the team but while Roberto persists with Howard we will continue to struggle at corners etc....
Michael Polley
4 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:28:17
Can’t believe this. We should of being 4-0 up at half time. Don’t take your chances you get punished. FFS!!
Steve Davies
5 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:37:28
More points dropped again. He must drop Howard if we are ever going to improve defensively... but he will NOT do it. Expect this all season, points dropped left right and centre.
Phil Sammon
6 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:39:56
I hate Howard as a keeper...and even as a person, but those blaming him for the goal are off their heads.

Pathetic performance all round.

When are we going to sort out the defending of corners. Talk about not learning your lessons. Pathetic.

Tony Hill
7 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:42:23
In its way that was a disgraceful performance. The turning point was Lukaku's miss but we simply have no courage as we've remarked so often, no killer instinct. I will no longer torment myself with hope.

I was saying on a thread this week how great it was to see an Everton side playing with flair. After that, it is all meaningless. We deserve nothing in the premier league and it is now horribly clear that we will get nothing.

Was Deulofeu injured? If not, his substitution was bizarre.

Michael Polley
8 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:44:31
Fucking disgusted with that result. Frustration doesn’t sum it up. I’m raging, and totally pissed off.

I won’t post any more comments for a while because my temper is boiling over, and I might say some things that could get me banned from TW.

Anto Byrne
9 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:45:28
They don’t know how to keep a clean sheet, another free header and a defender (Barkley) failing to clear. Fuck, what do they teach these players about defending?

Of course, their 24-year-old keeper has an absolute blinder. We need six points from Leicester and Newcastle – don’t hold your breath.

Andy Meighan
10 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:46:28
Disgraceful. To carve that many chances out in one half and only take one is shocking.

I said after the Palace game, we are draw specialists. We could've easily lost that game with the Jerome miss; we got lucky there.

I suppose Martinez will put his usual positive spin on things: first-half performance was phenomenal etc. Well I’m sorry but games last 90 minutes and we are just not good enough to kill teams off.

I suppose the usual Howard bashers will be on. And while they may have a point. A Norwich goal should’ve been merely a consolation... but no, once again we’ve shot ourselves in the foot.

I said the start of the season, we’ll be lucky to finish in the top half of the table with Martinez in charge, and I’m sticking by that. Absolutely gutted.

Sam Hoare
11 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:47:18
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are managing to throw away a fantastic opportunity to achieve something in the league that might keep this team together and allow us to build a new legacy!!!!

Instead we are on course for 10th. Lukaku and Stones leaving and continued mediocrity!

Fragile mentality or what?!

James Brand
12 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:47:25
Why was Galloway dropped for Baines? Baines looks knackered and I lost count of how many times he gave the ball away...

We have no presence on the pitch – a decent commanding captain wouldn’t have allowed all that sloppy leader...

Not sure why Howard is getting a coating – surely Lukaku wastefulness is predominantly to blame? If he wants to move on to Champs league no one will want him on this performance...

Deulofeu's head went down when he was getting booed – correct substitution.

Robin Cannon
13 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:50:08
At half-time, I was purring, we were totally dominant and I was confident that we’d rack up at least another couple of goals in the second half.

Should have remembered that I support Everton. So a minute to capitulate to another set piece, and then a disgraceful 45 minutes.

If we’re not going to turn these draws into wins, then I’d almost prefer we turn them into defeats. At least if we start losing then some pressure might start building on Martinez.

As it is, we’ll potter along, finish mid table with a team that has the talent to push much higher. And then we’ll lose the best of that talent in the close season to clubs that will offer them better opportunity.

A good manager might get us top 4. A good manager might get us into a position where Lukaku, Stones etc might be confident they can fulfil some ambitions at Everton. We don’t have a good manager.

Sean Patton
14 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:50:09
That was the worst one of the lot; the Bournemouth game was bad enough and there was no luck on Monday but to not score more than one in the first half is criminal. How many chances do you need?

Kone was awful; it's another Naismith situation of a player scoring a hat-trick and staying in the team for the duration regardless of how bad his form is... but Mirallas was non-existent so I don't think he is the answer either.

Tony Hill
15 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:50:36
if Deulofeu was subbed because he was getting booed then I'm afraid that sums up why we are so weak and have no chance of progressing.
Michael Polley
16 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:51:46
Sorry, one comment before I go and smash something.

Sam (#9) who’ve made a big point, if we continue like this we will lose our young talented players, and the potential of this team will be lost forever, and we will be destined to rot in mid-table.

Andy Walker
17 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:51:55
We were lucky to get a point out of that, I haven’t seen a worse miss than Jerome’s.

Sure we should have scored at least a couple in the first have, but you know what, if we had we would have conceded 2 in the second half.

Martinez football, good with the ball, terrible without it. And yet again, Funes Mori looked very dodgy.

Stewart Lowe
18 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:51:58
As complete a performance in the first half and then diabolical the next and I watched the whole game.

Whichever half you were watching, you will have noticed Barkley showing his usual unassured self who didn’t do a great deal. I just don’t think he is good enough to improve us and takes too long to think which player he needs to pass the ball to. I’m just not convinced about him at all and if I was Martinez I would offload him in the summer and get Yarmolenko for that position who’s technical ability, goals ratio and assists ratio is formidable.

I think the first half was as good as we could have ever hoped for but by changing just Barkley for Yarmolenko would be the difference between all these draws and the winds we need to take us forward.

Ray Roche
19 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:53:03

We are always likely to concede from a corner.
So, why don’t we practice defending them?

We always look to tire second half.
So why aren’t we fit enough?

We have a keeper incapable of commanding his area.
So why don’t we either change him for one who can or coach him to do it?

We have a manager who’s man management is, in my opinion, questionable.
Ah, but he’s the MANAGER, so he can do what he likes.

So why doesn’t he address the problems above?

Because he’s a one trick pony, capable of going forward but incapable of sorting the back four out, and that’s why we’re not top today, which is where we would be if we had won the games we should have won instead of drawing them.

Our easy run of games isn’t so fecking easy after all, is it?

Mike Hughes
21 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:53:21
Calm down, CALM DOWN.

This result means we’ll now get those reassuring soundbites from the manager and players in various media formats:

"We must take our chances";
"We must learn to see games out";
"It’s just not good enough"
...... and other insipid no-shit-Sherlock bollocks.

The strongest squad we’ve had in years and we’re still destined for mid table mediocrity. All this in a season there for the taking.

Anthony Jones
22 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:53:30
This fashion for having possession oriented, "progressive" managers in the Premier League is running its course. Brenda sacked, Monk sacked... if you look at why the fans were frustrated with them, you’d think they were talking about Martinez. Even Van Gaal is under pressure for his uninspiring style of play.

No doubt Roberto will survive the cull: A memento from the old days when keeping the ball for the sake of it was seen as a valid football strategy in the Premier League. Plucky old Everton.

Nick Waters
23 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:54:19
Nothing will happen this season, with mid-table mediocrity our destiny. Draws that we ought to have won, Swansea, Liverpool, Bournemouth and today will mean our opponents will always have belief that we are are easy to ruffle.

Maybe some cup success for us this season, but not without more of a killer instinct.

Next season could be better because our young players will be more commanding, but only if they’re still here. Oh to be an Evertonian.

Jay Wood
24 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:58:01
Steve Davies, look at the whole game rather than lazily attributing the (further) loss of 2 points to a favoured scapegoat.

Howard is blameless for the goal. The deeper problem is how we defend as a team from corners and set pieces.

As for the game and result, I recall under Howard Kendall before we clicked as a team and started sweeping all before us, we played two consecutive away games. The first, a cup tie at Old Trafford where we battered them all game ... then lost in the final minute to a Frank Stapleton goal. The following weekend we went to Anfield and again, battered them but only came away with a draw.

Shortly afterwards, everything clicked and the trophies started rolling in.

This team has the quality to make that kind of break through. But – and it’s a big but – we have to start twatting teams, scoring goals and securing a winning position when as dominant as we were in the first half.

One goal is never a secure enough lead, especially with the vulnerabilities we display in defending.

This team is on the cusp of achieving that, but I fear it lacks a vital ingredient of the all-conquering 80s side. Sheer cussedness. Without in-your-face winners like that great side had – Southall, Ratcliffe, Reid, Gray, etc – we lack the characters to pull us over the winning line when the going gets tough.

I don’t see their equivalents in this current day Everton side.

Andy Walker
25 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:58:48
Ah Stewart I had to smile when you used the expression 'complete performance'. This was exactly that used by Martinez after we had beaten the worst team I have seen in a league match for many a year at Goodison.

I said at the time this was complacent, how on earth could we deliver a complete performance against a Villa side that couldnt string 2 passes together?

Since then, well we have played the mighty Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, and Norwich, not won any of them, failed to keep a clean sheet and conceded 5.

Tony Heron
26 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:58:54
I thought Cleverley had a good game and that the midfield worked hard particularly in the first half. The forwards though were very wasteful, I get the impression that they’re a bit arrogant at times. We need someone on the pitch to give them a kick up the backside no and then.

As much as I don't rate Howard, I don't blame him as much as Barkley for their goal. He should’ve thought he was taking a shot and skied it over the halfway line instead of the feeble attempt to clear it he actually made. I’ve always believed 2 fullbacks on the posts to defend corners.

Christy Ring
27 Posted 12/12/2015 at 14:59:28
Absolutely livid. Three games... 3 points, when we should have had 9.

Our defending from corners is SHOCKING. When is Martinez going to see that Howard is a liability. Why the fuck won’t he come off his line.

Having said that, we should have been 5-up at half-time. How did Kone stay on for the full game? Bob should pick players on merit, not favouritism.

Disgusted. Need a striker and keeper in January, if we have any hope of top 4.

Graham Morris
28 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:02:18
Obviously angry but not at all surprised by that display or result. This team lacks leadership on and off the pitch. When a team stands off us, we look good... but, as soon as they pressurise us, we literally fall apart.

Oh for a Reid or Ratcliffe to get a grip. Hopeless defending at corners means we lose points and our confidence goes and then it becomes a 50/50 game which we could just as easily lose as win – just like this one.

Also, I don’t get Barkley – he strolls around with no fight and rarely plays a killer ball which is disgraceful considering his talent.

Peter Barry
29 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:04:40
Same old, same old...

Roberto never learns; time to get rid.

Tony Hill
30 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:05:09
Jay (#21), sadly, that is the key factor. We have no hard core, end of story.

I am also sorry to say that this reflects the management style and fatal weakness of Martinez. We are going nowhere; that performance and result tell us so in very clear terms.

I suspect we will beat Leicester and maybe even Newcastle and Stoke, but it won’t matter any more.

Ernie Baywood
31 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:06:09
Frustrating game in both halves. First half because we played well but couldn’t finish. Second half because it matched all the other second halves.

Deulofeu can’t play more than an hour. We need to get past that problem. Leaving him on cost us against Bournemouth – he just stops any defensive workrate. In any case, his head had gone to pot.

On the other wing, I thought Kone was one of our best, along with Cleverley. Seemed like the only one who could control the ball on a wet pitch and the only player to turn up in the second half.

The goal will gloss over Lukaku’s performance (and Deulofeu's). Generally a bad day for the big man.

Mark Frere
32 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:08:11
There's no doubt we are playing some outstanding football at times; we are not million miles away from where we need to be. Such basic shit like defending corners/crosses are seriously holding us back!

Until this is addressed, we are destined for mid-table mediocrity. Such a shame because we have such a talented bunch of players.

I also think Martinez has to drop the likes Barkley as his form doesn't warrant a place in the starting 11. We have a strong squad and Martinez should use it more.

Ray Roche
33 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:08:48

Yes, Jay, I remember that period, but the difference is that we will not be able to hold onto our better players these days so we will be unlikely to be able to progress.

Jay Wood
34 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:10:07
Hmmm... for those of you posting our better players will be off at the end of this season if we merely stumble to mid-table mediocrity, consider this:

Martinez has his faults and failings. There was absolutely nothing you could fault him for in the first half display. Who failed BIG TIME to put the game to bed in the opening 45 minutes were the 11 players out on the pitch.

The same 'Big Time Johnnies' who some suggest will be off to pastures new should we fail to improve our league position are the very players who failed to put the game out of Norwich's reach by half time.

And it's not the only game this has been the case in this season, is it?

I repeat the point I made in my earlier post: who is the snarling, growling winner in our team who, through sheer cussedness, drives the team over the winning line every week...?

IMO, we ain't got one.

Everton. Pretty to watch. Easy touch to get a result against.

Peter Barry
35 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:11:52
We are a potentially good team with a woeful Keeper and a worse Manager and until we change both of them our problems will continue.
Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:13:19
Michael I’d keep that headline "Another draw as chances wasted" I think you can use it quite a few times again this season.

Nothing further to add as nothing will change, for the better under this manager and we are stuck with him for the foreseeable future.

Sean Patton
37 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:16:08
And to those fretting about the young bright stars leaving, so what? Here is a newsflash: some of them aren't that good, Stones in particular was poor in the second half and was saved by Funes Mori on more than one occasion – although this might be down to the injury he looked like he got at the end of the first half.
Derek Knox
39 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:22:06

Totally agree with your comments regarding Ross. he consistently disappears out of games, and then has an outstanding one. This seems to make him an automatic shoe-in, when Bobby draws up his team-sheet!

Don't get me wrong, I think he is a very talented lad, but equally think (like a few other squad members) that they should not be made to think, that they are 'certs' when the team sheet is getting pondered. That is making the assumption, that it is!

Not a happy bunny at all today, as could be said for the last three games, where we have turned domination into a nail-biting finish!

Steavey Buckley
40 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:23:19
That’s another Premier League season already over. If Everton can’t beat the top and bottom teams, then, who can Everton beat? All there is left this season of any excitement is a relegation battle.

Kone and Lukaku managed between them in the first half against Norwich, the most awful finishing possible. It was quite dreadful to watch.

The substitutions by Martinez were also quite dreadful. Although he took off a disappointing Barkley with Gibson, Everton needed someone with pace upfront such as Lennon or Naismith.

Mirallas was also disappointing after he was brought on as a second-half substitute, who contrived to give little or nothing wide on the left or up front.

Steve Brown
41 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:23:21
This squad is too talented to be wasted on a manager who can't organise a defence and wilfully declines to work on set-pieces and corners.

Martinez has been given ample time to develop this squad into a winning team, and he has done a good job – up to a point in terms of recruiting young talent. But who really thinks now that he is the man to take this forward?

Ian Hollingworth
42 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:23:44
We keep saying what a talented young squad we have – and we do. However, I will keep saying the problem is the manager and a general lack of ambition that is steeped deep in the walls of Goodison Park.

The manager represents everything that is bad for our progression in my opinion. We need ambition we need a manager who can get the best out of this squad before it is too late.

I will say it again Roberto Martinez will not take us to the top nor will he take any other club. Nice man, means well but has not got what it takes to be an absolute winner. Shut the door on your way out, Bobby.

Mike Oates
43 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:26:36
Don’t blame the manager or Howard. The players are the ones who let us down. We just can rely on Lukaku being the only scorer. Yes, he missed 3 goals but created panic in their defence in the first half. What about Kone? He missed two real great chances... and when is our midfield going to chip in with the goals?

Their goal was never Howard’s fault – we had 3 lads with their centre-half who won the initial header , Stones, Kone and Funes Mori, and not one of them jumped to head the ball away.

Anyway no more talk about Top 6 , we aren’t up for it, no killer extinct and can’t defend, simple as that. Bye bye, Lukaku, and Stones, our other two "glorious" youngsters Barkley and Deulofeu will stay as one loves Martinez and the other Everton.

Peter Barry
44 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:26:50
We are already back down to ninth which seems will be our 'natural' position under Roberto.
David Harrison
45 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:27:17
So what is the point of all that good football if the other team just has to force the odd corner to score? I shouldn’t be so frustrated after watching us for 48 years and promise not to be again as I have very little confidence that this manager will get us into serious contention.
Ray Roche
46 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:27:18
Jay (#30),

"Big Time Johnnies" are the players every big club are coveting. They are the players others want. No-one will form a queue for Kone, Gibson,etc. And they are wanted for a reason. They are very, very good players. In a team that can play like we did in the first half and then carry on just as well in the second half and a team that will have Ageuro, Silva etc., or Cazorla and Sanchez, Lukaku for instance would look even more of a player than he does with us.

Having said that, the sooner Stones takes his head out of his arse and stops pissing about too much, the better for us. We were lucky Funes Mori got him out of the shit on occasions in the second half.

As for Martinez not being at fault for missing first-half chances, he’s certainly at fault for poor defensive set-ups at set-pieces.

Roy Steel
47 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:31:44
Another 2 points thrown away, we can't defend corners and free kicks and can't take them. The amount of possession and pressure we had – especially in the first half – was enough to win three games.

I'm beginning to think Barkley won't improve much more; he should have by now... he just doesn't do or can't do enough for the team. No vision or killer passing. If the manager can't see these things, then I am afraid this team will always be just above mid-table.

Give Gibson a run in Barkley's place, play Deulofeu up front with Lukaku and play Mirallas and Lennon on the wings... maybe a place for Naismith – at least you get 120%.

Patrick Murphy
49 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:34:51
What is to be done? Should the manager be culled and replaced, will it help? If we keep the manager, will those draws eventually turn into wins or – if the Zeitgeist is to be believed – turned into defeats?

Does the club bite the bullet and draw the conclusion that, although playing some good stuff on the park the results aren’t really acceptable. Do they wait until the cups have come and gone before making changes?

I wish I knew what any of the correct answers to the above questions were... but I do know that, once a crowd has decided that the bloke in charge hasn’t got what it takes, it’s very difficult to turn it around and get the crowd to be in tune with the manager.

Like everybody else, I want Everton to play good football and win matches as often as possible, but in truth we haven’t won enough games this season given the talent available. There are two scenarios: the Howard Kendall Mk 1 where things start to click and we never looked back; or the Joe Royle scenario where a new man with a different philosophy got the best of the talent that was available.

Over to the Board of Directors – wherever they may be – because it is they who decide these things, we can only hope that they know what it is they want from the manager and the team.

Patrick Carty
50 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:36:00
I knew we would not win this game after the first half. We should've been five up at half-time! I said to my son one-all is written all over it.

We are not good enough simple as.

I don't like Martinez as manager and honestly think he should be sacked.No wins in our last three games against average opposition says it all. The manager will come on and say his usual bullshit, and to be honest it's boring the shit out of me.

We have the best squad of players for years and the manager obviously cannot get the best out of them. Kone is keeping his place over a hat-trick against a brutal Sunderland team, and the less I say about Howard, the better.

The manager has no balls and will never change. Martinez Out!

Mike Keating
51 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:37:02
Another game of two halves, another lesson in how to take a corner and another 2 points dropped. So much for RMs insistence of ’performances over results’. We end up with crap results because our performances are inconsistent.

We should be level on points with Man Utd but have squandered 6 points over the last 3 games.

Champions League? We’re having a laugh... and if we still have Stones, Deulofeu, Lukaku and Barkley next season, I’ll be astounded.

Gavin Johnson
52 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:38:37
Another wasted opportunity. A top 4 finish is there for the taking but it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be anywhere near 4th come May. A 7th-9th finish looks more likely on how we’re dropping points.

I’ve got no problem with the play. Our style of play has moved on a lot since last season. We look like we’ll score going into games. I’ll even go as far to say that I’m happy with our defensive play generally. I think we look comfortable at the back up to a point.

We’re just a complete shambles from defending corners. We’ve conceded so many from corners and free kicks from around the corner area. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that we need a GK who will attack corners and crosses and we’ve not one in the shape of Tim Howard.

So, I ask again... Why isn’t Joel Robles playing?!

Stewart Lowe
53 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:40:08
Only lost 3 of 16 games, yippppeeeee. oh hang on, but we have only won 5 of 16. :(

Go get Yarmolenko as he would have made the difference in those drawn games sat behind Lukaku and Kone. Barkley is just not good enough.

Jim Knightley
55 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:42:24
Unbelievably frustrating. We should have 9 points from our last 3, and we have 3 points. That is the difference between a run at the CL and the Europa League places, and mid-table. It's absurd, because we were so dominant in that first half. Better luck would have seen Baines goal go in, or Lukaku's one late in the first half, but we have no one to blame but ourselves.

But, this happens with young players, and it happens to the best attacking teams. Sometimes we will not take our chances, and sometimes we will take all of them (Sunderland). But, any chance of success will be ruined if we can't defend. Martinez came in with doubt hanging over his ability to set up teams defensively, and it has not disappeared. We always look vulnerable at set pieces. We look fragile too often and give away too many big chances. We let Bournemouth score 3 against us, all coming in the last 15 minutes. We let Palace and Norwich score soft goals. We will not do anything if we keep giving up soft goals. Maybe a cup, but under performance will see the best players leave.

The plus side is the exciting younger players in our team and squad. Lukaku and Deulofeu are extremely special, and Stones obviously is. We have superb full backs. We have a squad capable of great things, but it means nothing if we cannot kill teams off, and if we cannot protect a lead.

Jay Wood
56 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:42:31
Disagree Ray on your definition of ’Big Time Johnnies.’

For me, it describes players/people in life who, in their own minds, are better and superior to ’lesser mortals’ when, in truth, they have no grounds to make such presumptions.

We have some very good players, Ray. Players good enough to attract the interest of the very top clubs. But, as yet, it is still unfulfilled potential.

Sometimes they have a good game, or have a good 20-30 minutes in a game. To date, all our promising young talent has won the grand sum of... nada!

To play for the truly top sides in the world, you need to be a winner with more than a touch of a street fighter edge to your game.

It remains something seriously lacking and absent within the current Everton team.

Colin Glassar
57 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:44:11
Jay Wood, we’ve had our differences in the past but spot on with your comments. Until the players start taking responsability for their decision-making (jumping for corners would be a nice start), either in defence or in attack then not even a Guardiola or a Mourinho will turn them into winners.

Trying to score the perfect goal with unnecessary flicks and step overs, or trying to dribble past three attackers on the edge of your 18-yard box, or passing to an opponent when under no pressure is something these players are going to have to sort out. Like Cloughie used to say, "You can talk to them until you are blue in the face but, once they cross that white line, it’s up to them".

I’m not trying to exonerate Martinez but does anyone really think he sends out his teams to collapse in the 2nd half? Where are the leaders? The veteran players? Howard, Barry, Baines, Kone even Coleman are all experienced players but seem to disappear when the going gets tough.

This could still turn out to be an exciting season but only if the players cut out the crap and go for the throat. If not, then it will be another frustrating season and some of these lads might think it's not worth sticking around to see what happens in the future. Time to stand up and be men, boys... errm, men, I mean.

Dennis Ng
58 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:47:36
Defensive specialist coach. Enough said.
Ray Roche
59 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:49:29
Agree with much of your post, Jay, but in Lukaku’s case I think he is now justified in thinking that he is better and more superior than anyone else in his position at Goodison. OK, he might have scored more today, but he managed one...

Kone, for example, never looked like scoring. Not saying he was rank, just didn’t give me sufficient confidence in front of goal. Stones was, in my opinion, quite poor in the second half, but he is still a class player.
Stones and Lukaku do have the ability to play for the best sides in Europe, don’t forget, they’ll have far better players around them to help bring out their obvious talents.

Tony Twist
60 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:51:43
On dear, another draw. How surprising was that?

This is the level of Martinez. It’s unbelievable that some people still defend him. It is total incompetence that he has allowed these defensive frailties to continue for so long.

He seems to think that other teams don’t prepare before playing us, oh that goal we conceded was just a fluke it won’t happen to us again... next match, it happens again.

I agree, we almost have a team to challenge for Champions League places – but not with this head-in-the-sand manager.

Phil Rodgers
61 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:52:22
We are underachieving again this season in my opinion. Dropping so many points against inferior opposition. We look so shaky at the back particularly on set pieces.

This squad of players is capable of much more but I think we are missing that winning mentality. Maybe the manager isn't hard enough on the defence when we concede.

Clive Rogers
62 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:52:45
Whether the goal was Howard’s fault or not doesn’t really matter. The point is he doesn’t dominate his area, hardly ever comes off his line and defenders are nervous on every cross that comes over. No-one is scoring regularly, leaving it all to Lukaku.
Ross Edwards
63 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:52:52
That feels like a defeat. Yet again we drop points in a winnable game. Only 3 taken from Bournemouth, Palace and Norwich. 6 dropped. Those points plus the ones dropped against Swansea, West Ham and Watford are costing us. We should be comfortably in the top 4 but we aren't because the same old mistakes are being made every week and we aren't learning from them.

We clearly don't practice set pieces and we ae regularly punished. We can't attack them and we are inept at defending them. Martinez should realise that set pieces are a vital part of football and should be practiced regardless of what his 'principles' are.

The first half was a one sided massacre. We should have been 8-0 up, no exaggeration. But the second half was atrocious. What does RM say at half time if anything?

I'm not blaming RM totally because it's down to the players. We should be more clinical. Also, when the chips are down, we wilt. We lack a winning mentality.

We're playing very good football but not getting the results to merit that. Martinez constantly says that we need to 'learn', and we never do. We have to because otherwise top 6 will be a battle, let alone top 4.

As for talking about a change of manager, he'll never ever get sacked because he's got the safest position in football. He is here until he chooses to resign or another team takes him. Plus we have a rudderless board with Suntan Bob effectively in control. Would you trust him to sack and appoint a manager? I wouldn't trust him to buy a bag of chips.

Leicester and the games to come are crucial. We can't afford to drop any more points. In one of the most open seasons we can remember, where all of the top sides are inconsistent, we aren't able to capitalise. I hope come May we won't be looking back with regret at what might have been. We can't let an exciting and promising generation become a missed opportunity.

Mark Tanton
64 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:53:02
It's hard to retain much optimism this season now. We are underachieving. I'm not sure we can blame Martinez for the fact that we miss up to ten solid chances a game before fading. Only the players on the pitch can put the other team to bed, and we lack the character and concentration to do it. I am feeling pretty miserable about it.
Brent Stephens
65 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:54:11
I see us as a 7/8/9th place team. I've come to terms with that and the pain ain't so great. Frustrating but not painful.
Trevor Peers
66 Posted 12/12/2015 at 15:55:18
There is no way BK will get rid of Roberto for at least another two seasons, so it's pointless even talking about a replacement.

Under him, we are always likely to draw unless we are winning by 3 clear goals, which ensures mid table mediocrity. It's a depressing thought and we can only hope he can win one of the domestic trophies.

Roberto is fatally flawed because he can’t organize the defence – it’s a fact. He has been the same at every club he has managed. Such a shame as we play some marvellous football at times.

Raymond Fox
67 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:02:37
Exactly Mike (#38), we played very good football first half, Lukaku was both hero and villian, he could maybe should have had 3 more goals, at least another. Baines had a glorious chance to score and chose to hit the woodwork! The game should have been out of sight.

Howard wasn’t to blame for the Norwich goal, in my opinion, there was 3 or 4 defenders around their goalscorer but they never got off the ground again! The marking is there, but they never seem to be able to get their heads to it.

I thought Barkley wasn’t positive enough again, I don’t think he had a shot at goal. He continues to disappoint for me he needs to be more of a goal threat and shoot on sight.

Why some are calling the manager out I don’t know, Howard wasn’t at fault, I thought Funes Mori looked excellent apart for 1 or 2 slack passes near the end, Cleverley had a good game.

I think we're all angry because the match should have been over.

Colin Hughes
68 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:02:40
We had actually won as many games this time last season and that was meant to be an awful campaign. The only difference this time is we have turned bad defeats in to bad draws.

Can’t help but feel we have failed to go through an open door this season as Chelsea have had a woeful one but will spend big either with or without Mourinho, Liverpool are in transition under a newer boss, but again will spend big when needed, and Man Utd are at best mediocre this term.

Well done, Leicester, for seizing the moment but surely after nearly 3 seasons in charge you have to ask if Martinez can cut the mustard when it matters.

Brent Stephens
69 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:03:05
Their header was made just outside the 6 yard box. That's not anything Howard should be expected to take when we have 3 men right on that spot.
Colin Glassar
70 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:04:22
So true Trevor, we just can’t put these games to bed. I said at half-time (on the live forum) that I hoped we wouldn’t become negative in the 2nd half and hey presto, what happens? They fold just like they did against Bournemouth.

Everyone from the manager and the players need to grow a pair of balls and start thinking, "If this lot aren’t up for a fight well I am".

Where’s our Roy Keane? Patrick Viera? Even Captain Creasehead? We need a leader to lead our talented wimps to glory.

Jay Harris
71 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:06:32
I posted an article during the week called "A case for defense".

It was treated as apathetically by ToffeeWebbers as much as Martinez is apathetic to our defending from corners.

Why Lukaku can't come back to help from corners leaving Deulofeu up and why we apparently do not do defensive drills at defending crosses I really don't know but if this continues the players will lose heart and we will end up in the lower half of the league.

We continue to omit Mirallas and Naismith for the non-goalscoring Kone and Barkley.

Although he should have had a comfortable hat-trick we are too reliant on Lukaku.

We need a goalscoring midfield player even if we sacrifice some of the pretty stuff.

Alan Bodell
72 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:11:04
Fucking seething... that 2nd. half was putrid with Barkley and Cleverley contributing fucking nothing.

I’m bored now with hearing just how good Barkley is and would snap off any bid of £15M+.

I hope I’m proved wrong but I’ve posted on here before about how average Cleverley is and he certainly did nothing to make me change my mind today.

Kunal Desai
73 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:11:46
Get shut of Martinez end of the season. He ain't turning anything around. It's more of the shite from last season.
Chris Smith
74 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:13:22
The last three results haven’t been bad in isolation (Bournemouth beat Chelsea, Palace won at Liverpool, Norwich held Arsenal) but we just can’t beat anybody. We are all frustrated as it is only fine margins that are keeping us from making a challenge for the top 4. As it is, we won’t do this.

We can’t defend corners and only Lukaku is scoring right now. We need to freshen up the team but I’m not sure how; Mirallas was terrible today when he came on.

Dave Pritchard
75 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:16:11
Not one of our three players on the back post for the corner from which they scored even bothered to jump. Many say that players like Shawcross and Dann are not Everton players. We need one of these types of player in January to try to stop conceding the goals that we are. It would also give us a chance of scoring from one of our own set pieces.

Yet another insipid second half display. We learn nothing from previous games which is a big worry. Three straight league wins now needed to keep the interest in the league into 2016

Ray Roche
76 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:20:15
Chris, to be fair to Mirallas, he came on with 19 minutes remaining when we were on the back foot. He got little service and, to be honest, he looks as if he’s already got one foot out of the door.

He is a terrific player on his day but he’s unlikely to get a sniff off Martinez now, which is piss-poor management in my book.

Phil Rodgers
77 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:22:02
Missing an opportunity, Everton this season. Only a matter of time before some of these promising players get their heads turned.

Martinez has built a really good squad of players but I think he lacks the discipline to take them to the next level.

Stewart Lowe
78 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:23:00
I’m not going to start here by listing all the positives that I have seen in the last 3 games as there are plenty of those too, but like any fan I really do have my concerns about the negatives, and certainly negatives that never seem to go away and remain a consistent thorn in our side.

1: I said Ross Barkley wasn’t worth the £50M the media was stating 2-3 years ago and I upset one person on here only last week by saying so. For me, he runs out of ideas in his head. His only real attribute is running at defenders, but a tight back 4 stops him doing this and that’s Barkley marked out of the game. He isn’t too bad at basic 2-3 yard passes but we expected so much more.

2: Martinez just seems far too nice and I just don’t see him in the dressing room or touchline bawling and snarling at players like I think sometimes you really have to. The nasty has to come with the nice and someone needed to rough the team up at half time and make them aware that Norwich will come out a different team knowing its only 1-0.

3: The team always have an arrogant look about them from the 1st minute as though all they need to do is turn up and spray nice pretty passes around the pitch. Teams will happily sit back and allow us to do that because as long as they hold a tight back line we cant break through and that was obvious today in the 2nd half and in the last 2 games also. We need to come out after half time as though its 0-0.

4: Does anyone remember when Baines and Coleman were a force and being priced at £30M each? We had the best penetrative full / wing backs in the country. When Martinez came in I thought we would see them pushing further forward even more so in a more offensive team than were left behind by Moyes. It’s as though their potential has been nullified in favour of potentially a dozen or so wingers Martinez has tried on either flank since becoming Manager in instead of capitalising on what we already had and one of Everton’s best attributes.

5: We have to stop playing two defensive midfielder’s in Barry and McCarthy as I think its one too many and a waste of one player. McCarthy should have progressed enough to hold down that one place and the team supporting him when necessary.

6: Martinez has to change the way he speaks and addresses interviews as I just don’t buy it any more. I cannot count the amount of times he has addressed players and the squad as being "phenomenal" "unique" "extraordinary" "really special" "really talented" "exceptional individual" Christ, he has had me believing that we are better than Barcelona at times. We just want honesty and not these politician answers. If we were all the above we wouldn’t have only won 5 games in 16 and we certainly wouldn’t be dropping points left right and centre.

That’s me done, sorry for the rant.

Tony Hill
79 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:23:57
I think we have to accept that the lack of conviction and steel in the team is consistent with the overall ethos of the club.

There is little point in calling out the Board once again but if you have an inert and unambitious management at the top, then it will inevitably filter down throughout the structure.

Martinez is a symptom, not a cause. The same applies to the players who know that, in the end, they play for a nice and patient club who won't do anything radical or ruthless if it can possibly be avoided.

It's in our DNA, as Roberto says.

Tahir Abdullah
80 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:25:02
No sense in wishing for RM to be shown the door; no sense in trying to defend him either... What’s quite clear is that, apart from changing us into Wigan super, he will take EFC no further than his predecessor could.

Biggest frustration is that he has a vastly superior pool of talent at his disposal than that which he inherited; oh, what might have been....

Mike Powell
81 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:35:19
So all these winnable games we had coming up... guess what: we have not won one. So all you people who are happy with the way we're playing, draws win you nothing.

I'm sick of all the excuses: "We were unlucky, we should've won..." well, we never. We can forget about a Champions League spot or even a Europa League spot; we will be lucky to finish in the top 10. These draws will come back to haunt us.

Sid Logan
82 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:48:54
Same old same old. No killer instinct and that comes from the Manager.

Every corner is a scary time. No confidence that we will defend it properly.

After every draw Martinez says we must learn for the next game but we never do.

I would be happy if we could deliver good performances in both halves. I’ve not seen a game all season where we performed to a good level in both halves.

We either play well in the first half and then think we can relax and stroke it around in the second half – we can’t.

Or we go behind in the first half and show the fight in the second half that we should have shown in the first half just to get level.

Until Martinez starts talking about wins instead of performances we will remain also rans. It’s about determination, desire, mental strength and the truth is we don’t show any of them sufficiently and consistently and under Martinez I don’t think we ever will.

Bill Gall
83 Posted 12/12/2015 at 16:54:10
Are we missing something that other managers are picking up on? This is the second away game that the opposition manager has substituted their right back for the second half and changed the game around. This is also another time that our manager has stood and watched what is happening and waited until after the 70-minute mark to make changes.

We have the squad, we have goalscorers, but we do not have a manager who can read the changes during the game and sticks to a system, even if the opposing manager makes changes and starts to change the game around.

We were of the opinion that, if we got through the first 10 games okay, the next group of fixtures should see an improvement. We done okay the first 10 games but it is the next set of fixtures that is starting to be a problem.


Paul Nicholls
84 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:03:24
We can’t defend for, erm, toffee.

As Sid #71 says, I’m shitting myself every time we concede a corner. We remind me of Wigan, but with some better players. In fact, with some Wigan players.

Come tomorrow, we will be in 10th place. Leicester, Palace, Watford and West Ham above us. An average, mid-table outfit. The truth hurts.

Raymond Fox
85 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:11:59
Does anybody really know the truth about ’we don’t practice set pieces’? I’m willing to bet it's complete tosh. It's not like the defenders are not there! They just never seem to get off the ground to get their head on the ball.

Jay mentions we need a Shawcross and I think we do because practically every corner seems to cost us.

Martinez was seething after the match when BT interviewed him, and no wonder. Lukaku was for the most part poor after his goal, he made some embarrassing attempts, along with, to be fair, openings made by himself that he narrowly missed. Where’s Barkley the goal scorer, he’s disappeared.

We need a clear out of the dead wood and buy a goalkeeper, a skilful big lump of a centre half, a number 10, and a Silva type midfielder. If that means selling Stones, Barkley, Mirallas, Baines, Oviedo... so be it.

Frank Crewe
86 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:12:09
Next season, when Stones is at Man Utd, Deulofeu is back at Barca, and Lukaku is knocking them in for Chelsea, we will look back on these games and cry.

It’s beginning to look like we need at least a three-goal lead in the first half to be sure of the win. Anything less and the opposing manager just has to tell his side at half-time to up the pace, press higher up the pitch and we’ll just cave in and inevitably we do.

We’re really missing McCarthy. I wasn’t impressed with Baines today either. Galloway is younger, fitter and quicker. Baines is the past Galloway is the future.

Andy Walker
87 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:15:01
Why does Martinez keep thinking that playing well and dominating the opposition for the first 45 minutes should mean that you win the game?

Arrogance breeds complacency and Martinez has passed this onto his players. Show some respect to the opposition and we might just stop giving away games. Although we dominated again today for 45 minutes, we were only 1-0 up at half-time, away from home... in other words, it was a tight game. The fact we had been dominant was totally irrelevant, only the scoreline matters Martinez. You need to get that so you can make sure your players do.

Don Alexander
88 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:15:32
Martinez, three years in, is still unable to prove consistency in anything but bullshit, inept coaching and a constant failure to get close to maximising the talent available to him within our squad. The fact that he shares his ineptitude with other managers at wealthier clubs is irrelevant to me.

THIS season WE need goals, wins and a trophy because, unless we get them, most of the best of our talent will be off to pastures new next season at the latest, long contracts or not.

Raymond Fox
89 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:16:15
Does Baines ever put in a decent corner? Okay, he may be rusty but I don’t remember any from before his injury.
Ray Roche
90 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:20:00
Raymond (#75),

The lack of practising set-pieces was brought up on here some time ago following, I think, the debates that followed the publication of the Osman book.

It was, as I remember, a direct quote from Osman or another player (can’t remember which) and was also accompanied by the revelation that the training was of a much easier regime to what was in place under Moyes, with little attention paid to set-pieces and corners because "it’s not needed". It is definitely not a figment of people's imagination.

If I can be arsed, I might have a trawl through the internet but the way I feel right now I might just put my hoof through the screen.

"Buy a goalkeeper, a skilful big lump of a centre half, a number 10, and a Silva type midfielder."

Nail. Head. Hit.

And a defensive coach.

Henrik Lyngsie
91 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:23:52
A few people already stated. Where is our leader? Either one mean bastard as Roy Keane or even better one world class playmaker our young stars would look up to.

It seems like the poor decision making by our young stars are accepted. And off course your decision making should improve by age. But I think sometimes Barkley, Deulofeu and Stones sometimes plays like they are still 18 years and very inexperienced. But they have several seasons under their belt, they are full internationals (Deulofeu not yet) and they have played probably more than 100 games each (again, Deulofeu slightly less).

Watching Deulofeu loosing the ball easily on his own half, or Barkley dribbling the wrong place or time or Stones selling Barry with a poor pass is so frustrating because it was all poor decisions. And there seems to be no leader on the pitch to tell them off. On purpose I did not put Lukaku in the same category. He seems much more mature and makes much better decisions.

I like these youngsters arrogance the way they play. But it is quite fundamental as a top footballer to know when to play simple and when to go for the golden moment. I thought cabaye would have been a realistic target as an on field leader Maybe Rooney could be the perfect leader for these youngsters!!

And our poor defensive record on corners is strange. Unbelievable to watch no one jumping for the ball. I don’t get that you would need a manager to instruct you in that.

I like Barry he is important for our play but he needs to be replaced with a hard man and a leader. Alternatively it is jags replacement who should be a strong lad. For god's sake the tall strong no nonsense defender is invented in England. A tall mean brutal smelly bastard like shawcross. He might even smell better in a blue shirt. I admit it will be difficult to like him but if that is what we need I would take that.

Look at it from the positive side. We all have a feeling that we are really close to have a really great team.

Andrew Clare
92 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:25:58
We are looking stronger and better than ever. We have some terrific players and with the addition of two or three more we will be a formidable side.

In the last three matches, we created stacks of chances and we were very unlucky not to win. If we can keep these players together, we are going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Keep the faith; Roberto is gradually getting it right.

Stewart Lowe
93 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:27:02
That’s a very good point.

To say we have Deulofeu, Baines, Barry, Mirallas who are all capable of great crosses, injuries aside we have been woeful at not only taking corners but defending them too.

We all wrote last season off as a non-starter only a quarter of the way into the season and put it down to new players coming in, lots of injuries, Europa League distraction, World cup tiredness and anything else Martinez could come up with as a reason why we were plain old rubbish. We have none of that this season and are a lot stronger too yet we are no better off. What on earth could Martinez possibly come up with now?

The stark reality is that David Moyes created a first team of hard workers that papered over the fact we didn’t have star players or a bench that you could pick any player from to change what was already out there, and we still managed 5th-9th on a consistent basis. We have since bought a squad full of internationals and paid £28M for a single player only 2.5 years later. Yet Martinez can't get us any higher than his predecessor. There is nothing wrong with the recruitment at Everton as you can look at almost every player Martinez has brought in and think, yes I get it, I understand what that player brings. Its the way we play and the way we are being Managed that is the difference.

If we do end up mid-table then I can almost imagine players like Deulofeu, Lukaku, Mirallas, Stones, Coleman and McCarthy looking elsewhere. I just get the feeling Deulofeu, Lukaku and Stones have only stayed on this season because Martinez is a talker and he would have sold these young players the dream. But when this doesn’t materialise I think some or all will move on.

William Cartwright
94 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:27:05
Sublime to the ridiculous.

Now here is the thing. Forget the woodwork and forget lady luck. You make your own luck in this game, so how is it we have gone 3 games taking the lead, being in control, and then finding we let the other team back in it? Rank bad management. Failure to keep players focused, and failure to maintain emotional discipline.

The virtues of Roberto’s management, and there are many, will be wiped out by his inability to instill real professionalism on the pitch. Perhaps we are missing Jags more than we realize? Good leadership isn’t always about shouting and waving the arms about.

That was really the hardest result to swallow since I have been watching the Blues for over 50 years. I mean seriously, there is no way on earth Catterick, Kendall or even Moyes at his worst could have conjoured that 2nd-half fiasco.
Andy Walker
95 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:30:04
I'd like to think Martinez gave his team a bollocking at half time today for failing to score at least 3 after 45. But although I'll never know, I just can't imagine he did, as every interview, statement, or what I've seen of him talking to his players on the sideline, just doesn't point to him being a hard man who's prepared to shock players by having a go at them when they are 1-0 up away from home.

The shock might have knocked out the complacency they have displayed, particularly of late in the second half.

Instead Martinez always appears to me to be the master of positivity, which must be very nice for his players, bless them. Fuck all use at times though.

Mike Hughes
96 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:30:37
Andrew (#88),

Really? Two away draws from winning positions against strong relegation candidates and a home draw against Palace. I’ve heard of positivity but a return of 3 points from a possible 9 hardly comprises evidence of "gradually getting it right".

Oh, sorry... I’m forgetting that RM focuses on performances NOT results.

Brian Wilkinson
97 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:31:49
Next match, I would start Gibson in place of Barkley, play Lennon on the left and Deulofeu on the right, with Naismith and Lukaku in attack. It won't happen but nice to dream.
Eddie Dunn
98 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:32:31
Here is a reality check for us all. We have now played a series of winnable fixtures that could have seen us climb up the table with points in the bag before we play some of the bigger fish. We have consistently failed to either take our chances, or to hold on to winning positions.

We have played some good attacking football, but the end product has not been good enough. We lack nous, and guts. Deulofeu got a bit of a buffeting and started throwing himself to the ground, Stones tried to give us all palpitations with his fall in the warm-up and his trip to the running track, and Lukaku seemed to get pissed-off with his team when we couldn’t defend a corner.

To boot, Martinez leaves a knackered Kone on and replaces Deulofeu with Mirallas. Barkley gets swapped with Gibson, and we lost two potential weapons in the last 20 minutes.

Lukaku is taking the plaudits for the goals but he was miskicking, pushing balls too far ahead of himself, and trying to go along instead of being a team player.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Stones must have been listening to the BTSport pundits drooling over his ability to bring it out from the back. His tendency to overplay is causing regular fuck-ups. He has no idea when to pass, and has to use his skill and speed to get out of trouble when he simply should not have got himself in it in the first place.

There was a growing gap between defence and attack and we lack an intelligent, quick-footed play-maker that can knit it all up. Barkley is not that man, and Barry, for all of his experience, seems dumbstruck! Has anyone ever heard him speak?

Roberto spouts on about us being a young team, and that we need to learn from these games. Howard, Barry, Coleman, Baines, Mirallas, Kone, Gibson... How many games have we got to do the same things wrong?

Lukaku and Stones will not be with us next season. These are two players who will learn their trade, but we won’t see them at their best.

We are on course to finish 8th, and this will not be good enough for these two. This period of under-achievement has most likely screwed-up our chance of keeping hold of these assets. I don’t think even a League Cup win will be enough.

Oh I forgot, we have no chance of beating Man City over two legs, and No chance of beating those Stoke City animals in the final! Because we have no balls.

George McKane
99 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:34:05
Is there a BIG MAN anywhere in this Club?
Darren Hind
100 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:38:22
It doesn't matter who plays or has played.

Hibbert, Coleman, Browning, Distin, Stones, Jagielka, Barry, McCarthy, Funes Mori, Baines, Galloway, Oviedo, Howard, Robles... we have systematically conceded goals from dead ball situations, Just as Wigan always did.

I'm at a complete loss as to why some are still blaming the players for the goals that are destroying all hope of success. What is it going to take for X to mark the spot? Conceding a corner is beginning to feel like conceding a penalty... How many thought "Here we fucking go" as soon as they were awarded that corner?

We have no set plan. We defend every corner differently from the one before; it's so patently fucking obvious that none of our defenders know their particular role.

We don't man mark, our players have no collective experience of zonal, we don't have spare players to attack the ball, and we don't focus. We are a complete and utter shambles. These goals completely alter the course of a game: one minute we're coasting, the next we are in a dog fight.

Defend him all you want, but players come and go and the overwhelming majority have long since recognised the common denominator.

Peter Cummings
101 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:38:38
Wrote yesterday on the subject of Barkley and Kone for the seventh time and they didn’t fail me again today, in fact Kone was the better of two wastes of space.

I said long before half-time that they should both be pulled but, with RM, no chance, another set piece balls up. Another game of two halves, we should have been at least 4 up at half-time and, predictably, we blew it after the break.

If we qualify for the top four, I will believe in Santa Claus but if we continue to lavish early Xmas gifts to the opposition it won’t be a Happy New Year.

Mike Hughes
102 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:38:44
Just seen RM’s post match interview. He thought the first half performance was good enough to win the game.

When has that ever been the case?

Henrik Lyngsie
103 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:46:10
I like the number 4 from Bournemouth. Fantastic player.
Martin Mason
104 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:47:12
The sad thing about today’s result wasn’t the dropping of 2 points; in isolation, it was a good result that matched Arsenal’s there in their last televised game. No, the sad thing is that – while we played briliantly at times and should have won – the comments here are all suicidally and irationally negative.

We’re a club in transition that could end up being very good but it isn’t going to happen overnight. Does nobody remember the crap that Kendall’s team turned out before slowly turning the corner? Or that Ferguson was a game away from the sack before his youngsters swept the world?

It’s unlikely that we will make the breakthrough because of our lack of spending power but we’re almost there and playing some amazing football... but we are going nowhere and deserve to go nowhere with the backing of our great fans.

Yes, constructive criticism is healthy but this grinding avalanche of negativity when very little has gone wrong and very much has gone right is little short of amazing.

Gavin Johnson
105 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:53:06

I think Robles would make a significant difference in the place of Howard. This was demonstrated last season when he covered for the injured Howard and if I remember correctly, made 4 clean sheets before he was unceremoniously dropped just as he was growing into a confident No. 1.

I agree with you though, that a corner is starting to feel like conceding a penalty these days.

Ray Roche
106 Posted 12/12/2015 at 17:55:55
Martin. How long does this transition period take? Long enough for the better players to think "We’re going nowhere" and leave for an ambitious club?

This is the third season of transition. We are just playing a bit prettier, that’s all.

Patrick Murphy
107 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:01:39
William – We were a goal down at home to Palace in case you’d forgotten. Aside from that, there’s not much to argue with.
Stewart Lowe
108 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:05:40
What next? See it out until the summer... Then move on these players. Now I know you will all point out the obvious and that some / all of them are not worth what I have quoted but I am going on what the press has stated:

Barkley £25m
Stones £50m
Naismith £7m
Mirallas £12m
McGeady £5m
Oviedo £6m
Kone £6m

Move on Pienaar for free and retain Osman as a bit part squad player / coach.

So we the potential to bring in £111m according to these figures and not to mention £40m from the double TV money. So we could be looking at £150m to invest in the squad and build on what we have on players such as:

Yarmolenko (Dinamo Kiev) £20m Aged 25
Mahrez (Leicester) £20m Aged 24
Zaha (Palace) £25m Aged 23
Javier Hernandez (Leverkusen) £15m Aged 27
Jack Butland £20m (Stoke) Aged 22
Stefan De Vrij £20m (Lazio) Aged 22

Totalling £120m and remaining £30m offsetting wages.

We then need a great young Manager with fight to take this on and that in my eyes has to be Eddie Howe. A stunning job he is doing at Bournemouth and a devout Evertonian too.

Now I know this is pie in the sky and will never happen but we are all here to dream.

Andrew Clare
109 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:07:41
Mike (#92),

I am speaking about the way we are playing. We are creating countless chances.I remember under Moyes we would be lucky to create two or three chances in some games. I know the results are disappointing but surely people can see that the play is developing and improving.

I remember seeing the 1970 Championship winning team developing from after the 1966 FA Cup win. Drawing games we should have won and losing games we should have drawn or won through the late sixties until it all came together in the 69-70 season.

Roberto is an attack-minded manager, let’s bear with him.

Tony Hill
110 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:08:12
Martin, the clue is in the league table and in our repeated failure to seize opportunities. I think that today's performance told us a great deal about the team under Martinez and indeed the last several fixtures have done so too.

This all follows the shambles of last season. I do not agree that the manager has earned our patience nor do I see that "very much has gone right". Yes, we are playing attractive football at times and that has been heartening but supporters are entitled to be dismayed by capitulations of the type we routinely serve up. There is nothing irrational about that.

Trevor Peers
112 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:17:59
Martin, when a team is fatally flawed with a manager and backroom staff who just haven’t got the nouse of how to get the team to defend properly, there’s only one conclusion to be drawn.

We’re going nowhere fast, because no matter who we play, or how well we are playing, there’s always that nagging feeling, just around the corner there is a disaster waiting to happen.

That feeling has nothing to do with negativity, it’s a fact borne out by the number of games this season and last, were from a winning position we have just collapsed and conceded sloppy goals.

Barry Pearce
114 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:25:52
All the time Martinez is our manager we will never improve defensively.
You have to be proficient at all aspects of the game not just offensively.
Frank Sheppard
115 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:27:19
Why so complacent when chances are coming thick and fast? Why can’t we get the killer goal? Why did we let Norwich make it into a cup-tie? Why were we so very poor second half??

VERY disappointing..... but sadly NOT surprising.

Nick Armitage
116 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:30:29
Roberto Martinez teams defend like children. They can turn it on against anyone once in a while but they simply cannot do the basics. A top 4 side would have scored 5 in that second half. Until he himself wakes up to this inconvenient truth he will forever be talking the talk and not walking the walk.

If he worked for me he'd get one hell of a bollocking after that shite today. The last 3 draws are all due to giving away sloppy goals that you'd bollock schoolboys for. His top 4 aspirations are utterly laughable. Blaming today on bad luck is frankly pathetic and amateurish.

Patrick Murphy
117 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:32:50
I'm afraid the way we are dropping points and the low number of League victories are beginning to count against the Manager and the team, five wins out of sixteen was about par for our lesser performances during the previous managers reign.

Yes the football is far more attractive and yes we are scoring goals for fun in most games but unless we come away with all the points more often it will result in the usual way, missing out and crying into our beer about what might have been.

Sometimes events conspire against a team, sometimes a team falls victim to bad luck, but in the current situation Everton are Everton's biggest problem. No team should be conceding so many goals from so few chances, it's criminal and at the other end we have to create two or three or sometimes five or six before we trouble the scoreboard.

God forbid Lukaku's scoring streak comes to an abrupt end because without him at the moment we look bereft of goals from any other area of the team and with the defence seemingly intent on conceding at least once a game, we might find ourselves looking over our shoulders in the New Year, which is a scandalous situation for this team to be in.

Our Premier League victories so far, have come against the teams who currently lie in 12th, 13th, 14th, 19th and 20th respectively, which doesn't say much for this team which contains so much talent does it?

Colin Malone
120 Posted 12/12/2015 at 18:58:56
Bad decision bringing Geri off when he was our major threat. Koni tries but he’s that slow, his tackles are bookable. Koni hinders Barkley’s movement.

Where’s Barkley’s best position? Fuck knows, it's certainly not deep. I would've taken Koni off and moved Ross up to his best position in my opinion.

Tony Kelly
121 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:02:04
The defending from set pieces is diabolical, we need to buy a no nonsense centre back. It's alright Stones bringing the ball out like Beckenbauer, skipping past tackles and looking easy on the eye but, first and foremost, centre-backs are there to defend set pieces but unfortunately Stones can’t.

I think it's very likely that Stones will leave Everton shortly and his likely destination will be Old Trafford. I would trade him in for Rooney plus cash and buy a top-class centre-half who can defend.

Dave Williams
124 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:10:10
Someone says above that HK’s great team struggled to seal wins until Reid and Gary got a grip of them. Catterick's second great team played wonderful stuff in 67-68 and 68-69 without winning anything but came of age in 69-70 when the youngsters became more battle-hardened.

I think we have the same situation here with the youngsters going off the boil when faced with resistance by the opposition and no-one in the team to get a grip of them and rally the troupes.

We are not yet the finished article – the youngsters are learning but the blend is not yet right. Kone is doing a decent job but must be replaced if this team is to truly challenge for honours. Robles must be given a decent run to see if he can be the answer in goal and we need to find a Dave Watson type at CB.

Someone above suggested Rooney – he would solve the Number 10 problem and would provide the fight and leadership we need. Any deal with Man Utd for Stones should involve Wayne coming home as I think he would be revitalised and has a few years left yet.

Roberto will not and should not be sacked – this team is a work-in-progress and we must roll with the punches whilst it develops and matures.

Mike Hughes
125 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:20:40
Andrew (#109);

The play has been improving against who? Sunderland, Villa, Bournemouth, Palace and Norwich (first half). My point is: how does that constitute progress or ’stronger and better than ever’ as you suggest?

I think the quality of the opposition has to be taken into account. Being attack-minded is all well and good but, if we can’t shore up games when we’re in commanding positions, where is the progress?

Best squad in years... yet it’s highly likely that, once the weekend fixtures are out of the way, we’ll be in the lofty position of ...... 10th. Flattering to deceive at the moment, I’m afraid.

Bill Gall
126 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:22:50
Martin, do you honestly believe that, if we finish mid-table, the likes of Lukaku, Stones, Barkley or even Deulofeu will stick around for another season if the bigger clubs, who are in Europe, come in with offers that may be hard to refuse? This would put us back to square one where we have to rebuild again.

Ferguson got lucky with the young players he had at that time, as there was not the huge amounts of cash being thrown around for players, and that gave him the chance to build with youth.

Players today want success as soon as they become internationals and clubs start taking notice of them and start putting in bids that disrupts any team-building that the manager may have. The squad Martinez has at this time is one of the strongest Everton have had, but the problem seems he does not have the game management skills to utilize them.

As someone else wrote on here before, Everton are too big a club to have a manager who is still on a learning curve, and that is why he brings so much criticism on himself. It would be great if we can build a winning team over the next 5 years but the problem is, if you do not have success while you are building, you lose your better young players.

At the moment, Everton have a good young squad with potential, but have a manager who does not appear to have the experience to bring that potential out.

Gavin Johnson
127 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:24:37
I’d be interested know how many seasons John Ruddy has left on his current deal. He might be available at a reasonable price now he’s lost his place to Rudd.

I’d like us to buy a goalkeeper who’s ready for the 1st team. Someone who can fight it out with Robles for the No 1 shirt on form rather than reputation. Which isn’t the situation; we’ve not offloaded Tim Howard.

I’d love to see Rooney back at the end of this season rather than when his contract expires in 18 months. If Man Utd are willing to pay £50M for John Stones (which I’d accept incidentally) we could sort a deal out where we receive cash and Rooney.

But would Rooney be willing to take a £150k pay cut (isn’t he on about £250k a week?) for the final year of his contract?! Probably not!

Colin Glassar
128 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:30:50
#108, play a lot of fantasy league do you?
Colin Glassar
129 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:32:11
Or is it fantasy football? I can never remember.
Tony Hill
130 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:37:29
I understand the case made by Dave Williams, Martin Mason and Andrew Clare, I really do, and I hope they're right and most of the rest of us are wrong.

But I just don't think Martinez has what it takes and we are still a club fundamentally hampered by mediocre expectations among those who hold the money.

I have desperately tried to persuade myself to the contrary because I, too, dislike default pessimism; but do we really think that this present set-up can deliver what the club needs to flourish? Not in my opinion, not when it really counts.

Jay Harris
131 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:42:44
Watching Bournemouth destroy Man Utd with desire, intention, motivation, organisation and ingenuity from corners reminds me of all the things we are missing. The manager and backroom staff are not up to the standard our players need and deserve..

It has always been stated that football is a results business. Well, I am sorry, Roberto, but – no matter which way you try to paint it – 5 wins in 16 games with the quality of players we have is not good enough.

Raymond Fox
132 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:54:06
Darren, there was 3 or 4 defenders around their scorer, what’s the manager got to do with it? It's not like nobody's marking him; they're all bloody Internationals, for god's sake! Defending is what they're paid for.

Don’t blame Howard for the goal; where’s wonderboy Stones when the ball's in the air?

Martin's right: we drew a game that should have been out of Norwich’s reach; we are all disappointed and want to kick the cat.

If we are looking for a scapegoat, what about Lukaku? He’s not converted 3 or 4 other golden chances, and Baines hit the post when it would have been easier to score.

Craig Fletcher
133 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:54:20
Bournemouth scored twice from corners to defeat Man Utd. Can someone please post a DVD of the game and send it to Goodison Park, Attn: R Martinez?

Chris Butler
134 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:55:22
Personally I don’t understand where we are going as a club.

In the 2008-09 season, we finished 5th and got to the FA Cup Final: this was with Arteta, Yakubu, Jagielka and a few others injured. We also had a striker who couldn’t play 90 minutes, because he was so unfit. Are we in any better position now?

The simple answer is No. So therefore I don’t understand where all this positivity is coming from.

I don’t know how Everton can continue to put ticket prices up despite the fact they don’t need to and we’re not getting any better. People can talk all they want about promising young players; however, it’s unlikely they will be at Everton next season. Lukaku will probably leave in the summer along with Stones, so therefore I really don’t understand why a lot of our fans are so positive.

We’ve dropped 6 points in 3 games. We failed to beat Swansea after dominating the game, we failed to beat the worst Liverpool side most Everton fans can remember, and we’ve dropped points against teams like Watford as well. In many ways, I prefer Moyes to Martinez, like a lot of fans I’ve spoken to do.

Gavin Johnson
135 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:57:31
It’s still sickening how we managed to give away the 2 points at Bournemouth. This being said, they’ve got back-to-back wins against Chelsea and Man Utd. A draw isn’t quite as bad as it seemed... at least on paper. It’s just the manner in which it happened that isn’t acceptable.

Their results do show how open the league is... and barring Sunderland and Villa. It looks like any of the lower sides can pick up points against the supposedly bigger sides.

Craig Fletcher
136 Posted 12/12/2015 at 19:59:14
Sorry, that should be addressed to Finch Farm. Together with a "How to defend set pieces for dummies" handbook.

Martin Mason (#104), I’m inclined to agree with you; but the frustrating thing is we just never seem to learn. Two minutes into the second half, when we conceded, there was almost an air of inevitability about the final result – that we would be frustrated yet again.

From our perspective as fans, it’s like watching the same B-grade movie: knowing how the movie is going to finish, but yet insanely praying for a different ending. No bloody wonder the comments on this thread are irrationally negative.

Mike Hughes
137 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:01:09
Jay (#131),
Those 5 wins in 16 games have come against:

Southampton (12th)
Chelsea (15th)
WBA (13th)
Sunderland (19th)
Villa (20th)

Not exactly impressive for our best squad in years combined with our latest 3 draws – with a £28m in-form striker – against Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Norwich.

Mid-table mediocrity.

Julian Exshaw
142 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:20:29
A very frustrating result. We were coasting it in the first half but the old adage is always true ’you have to take your chances’. Norwich were awful, crowd was dead. Then, 2 minutes after half-time, and it was ’Here we go again' time.

What disappointed me the most was the drop in quality from the first half to the second. I really like RM but this inconsistency needs sorting out.

The league, or at least the top 4, is there for the taking, the football at times is worthy of a top 4 finish but the consistency is lacking. Sort this out and we could still be in business. Nil Satis etc...

Andy Walker
143 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:21:26
I don't blame any of the players. The style they are being asked to play and the complacency repeatedly demonstrated by their manager, which will be influencing them, is the problem.

We used to be seen as 'well organised' and hard to beat, a pragmatic team that finished top 6 season after season. Now we are disorganised, open at the back and look like conceding every time the opposition attack, so we always psychologically give our opponents a chance.

Sure we are currently more entertaining to watch, but we will be less successful. So take your pick, better results, or better on the eye. I'd prefer the former but I know it won't happen under Martinez.

The team style of play and success, or lack of, is a reflection of the guy who manages them.

Mike Hughes
144 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:24:05
Amazing how we never seize the opportunity to get ahead of the Redshite. Inferiority complex. So many chances thrown away this season. Typical Everton.

As for Christmas football fixtures, well the stuffing was knocked out of us last year when we got a right roasting. Any Carol Singers knocking at the door with festive cheer this year can well and truly...

Raymond Fox
145 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:25:15
It's no use saying we have the best squad for years – we had the run of the park in the 1st half and how many did we score??? Just 1 from Lukaku, who should have scored 3.

How many did Barkley score? 0. Deulofeu, 0. Kone, 0. Coleman, 0. Baines, 0. Cleverley, 0. Barry, 0... not good enough saying we totally dominated the first half.

We had a few chances in the second half to score, but Norwich also missed a sitter themselves to win the game.

Andy Walker
146 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:26:01
Mike (#137), brilliant post, we don’t beat top teams because they can attack us and we can’t defend. Martinez is such a naive manager who’s too stubborn to reign it in.
Tony Doran
147 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:27:20
No threat from midfield, too many defensive-minded midfielders.
Andy Crooks
148 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:27:25
Roberto Martinez has assembled a good squad what we need,in my view, is good coach to get the best from them. I do not believe it is negative to lament his utterly inept performances that see us get draws against teams we are better than.

I expect we pay the coach a lot of money and I cannot accept that Roberto Martinez is the best we can get.

Brent Stephens
149 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:27:59
I don’t believe the top 4 is there for the taking (by us). It might be there for the taking – but it could be taken by a number of clubs apart from us.

We might say such and such a game we should have won; but when we say that about a whole series of games, then it tells us that we ain’t up to much, for whatever reason.

I’m reconciled to the "fact" that we’re a side in the mid-third of the table. I’ll be less suicidal that way.

John Beesley
150 Posted 12/12/2015 at 20:36:18
I'm absolutely gutted, I've never seen such a one-sided first half in a long time. I was made up with the first half and thought that one or two more in the second and that will be a good day's work and a nice weekend.

But no... this is Everton, isn't it? They always always build you up just to let you down... I mean, this is starting to take the piss now.

The last three games: first one, two-nil up after 80 mins and then draw 3-3; the second, batter Palace, hit the INSIDE of the woodwork three times, they go down the other end, get a corner and score with virtually their only attack of the game; and then today...

All (apart from the first of Bournemouth's) goals could've been closed down better but it was a lucky screamer to be fair; all could've been prevented.

I just cannot believe that, for all the hard work they must put into training to play the nice football that we are playing, they cannot get the easy bits right that all the shit managers seem to make a living off. Come on, Everton – it cannot be that hard to defend shitty arse Wimbledon-like corners. If the likes of Pulis and Big Sam can do it, it can't be that hard.

Now that we can play, just spend a couple of weeks practicing set-pieces because – if we can eradicate these silly little errors that are costing us games in a league that is wide open – then we will be laughing. COYB

David Hallwood
151 Posted 12/12/2015 at 21:06:39
To state the bleedin’ obvious, our defence is poor in that I, or probably anyone else is expecting a clean sheet anytime soon, and that defensive lapses have cost us over 10 points which would’ve put us in the top 3.

Mitigating circumstances is that we’ve haven’t had a settled back 4 BUT even allowing for that our back four plus Jags are top class defenders and none if them would look out of place in any team in Europe. In fact they’ve all been linked with ’bigger’ teams.

In addition we’ve got a back six with the two DMs so it shouldn’t be as easy as it is to score against us.

Personally I’d like to see a Shawcross or Dann as opposed to Stones – yes, I know it’s heresy but call me old fashioned but defenders should defend. Yes, it’s easy on the eye to see Stones bringing the ball out the defence and he’s a class player, but FFS cross after cross after cross being scored with the scorer not having to work that hard to score.

It’s isn’t rocket science: tighten up the defence and we may even win the Premier League because no team is setting the world alight. But we’re running out of games and it’s looking mid-table and that’s a crying shame because this is a great 45-minute team. And that’s the terminal problem.

Andy Walker
152 Posted 12/12/2015 at 21:13:18
The reason it’s easy to score against us is not down to the individual players, but rather the style of play imposed by Martinez.

It looks great when we have the ball and are going forward, but when we lose the ball we have way too many players ahead of the ball. Consequently we are wide open and concede goals, or corners that lead to goals because, on top of leaving ourselves open, we are weak in the air defensively.

Tony Marsh
153 Posted 12/12/2015 at 21:21:23
Like many on here, I am not one bit happy... but too many of you are blaming Martinez without exception. The thing is, we are creating more chances than any Everton team in living memory but the chances are not being taken. Okay, we concede in almost every game but so what? We should be outscoring the opposition.

Check out Bayern's and Barca's results each week. They both nearly always concede in games but go on and score three or four themselves. This is what we should we should be doing... and, if we did, then none of us would be moaning. I don’t mind 4-2 wins every week. Do you?

Paul Hewitt
155 Posted 12/12/2015 at 21:31:31
You can blame Martinez all you want. But, if the players ain't scoring with the chances we create, what’s he supposed to do?
Roger Helm
156 Posted 12/12/2015 at 21:41:16
It is maddening and frustrating; he has done the difficult bit – recruiting talent in Lukaku, McCarthy and Deulofeu, bringing on Stones, Barkley and Galloway, playing good football – but can’t or won’t do the "easy" bit of physical fitness and strength, defensive organisation, mental resilience, practising set-pieces etc, because he seems to think it is beneath him.

As a result, we are stuck in mid-table because of leads surrendered, set-piece goals conceded, and poor second-half performances.

Imagine what Mourinho could do with our attacking talent and a proper defence! Or a hybrid of OFM and RM.

Dennis Ng
157 Posted 12/12/2015 at 21:45:41
When you let in goals with more than half your team in the box (barring some brilliant play or awful goalkeeping), it is a systemic issue. I don’t believe they ignored set pieces in practice, because it would be nuts. They are just not drilled very well defending and that shows by the number of men we have defending when we concede.

I don’t see us getting rid of RM, so best thing I can hope for is a defense coach. Does that break the shape RM wants to use? Let’s hope not but, either way, we’re not moving towards UCL like he promised so he needs to take a haircut somewhere.

Those numbers for selling the players are ridiculous imo. If we go to market with that mentality, we’re moving back to the dark ages because no-one will sell their players to us that cheaply. We’ll always be the one to get ripped off for our best and given peanuts for our money.

Ray Roche
158 Posted 12/12/2015 at 22:23:14
Mike (139)
Best post on this thread.

Actually made me smile.

Tony Dove
159 Posted 12/12/2015 at 22:29:29
Lots of negatives today which are fully justified. Ross was really good against Palace but was poor this afternoon. I am a big fan but it would do him a favour to be dropped for the next game. Lukaku had a poor game but he is not going to be dropped is he?
On the plus side Coleman and Barry are superb at the moment.
Sean McCarthy
160 Posted 12/12/2015 at 22:43:07
"I hate Howard as a keeper... and even as a person,"

Phil Sammon #6 are you serious??? "Hate" seems a bit strong!!!! I’ll have it that you don’t rate Howard but hate??? Can I respectfully suggest you grow the fuck up??

Andy Finigan
161 Posted 12/12/2015 at 22:56:39
I agree, Andy (#152) but, thinking about it afterwards, these young players at the back have no confidence in Tim Howard.

Until we get a goalkeeper who commands his box, nothing will change. .

Don Alexander
163 Posted 13/12/2015 at 01:02:34
Way back in this post, someone mentioned the 69-70 and 84-85 teams as having eventually "come good".

The difference to now is that in 69-70 we had Alan Ball and Brian Labone, leaders if ever one was needed on the pitch, and in 84-85 we had Reidy and Andy Gray who were of the same ilk.

The fact that we now have nonentity personalities throughout the team in terms of what they are able to inspire on the pitch is wholly down to the manger and his hangers-on/staff.

Michael Kenrick
164 Posted 13/12/2015 at 01:19:00

"Very little has gone wrong and very much has gone right"

I'd like to engage in didactic intercourse to rebut your contention but (with the benefit of a rather excellent Barbera) I can proclaim: You're an idiot.

Harold Matthews
165 Posted 13/12/2015 at 01:32:36
We conceded one goal away from home. Big deal. It even happens to Real Madrid and Barcelona. The difference lies at the other end of the pitch. The Spanish giants would have gobbled up the chances which fell to Lukaku and Kone.

Poor finishing cost us today. Not the manager. Not the defence. We should have been at least four up by half-time.

Paul Ward
166 Posted 13/12/2015 at 02:05:15
Some very good opinions as usual and too many to name that I agree with. I do believe, like many, we do have a better squad than results portray. Saying that, you need them to mould into a unit that work together.

This team look very good at times going forward but misplace so many passes. The defence is a shambles, and not just Howard is to blame. They can’t defend corners but above all they are unaware of who should be where. There should be a big strong defender who marshals the line with authority.

It is interesting to compare the Catterick and Kendall era’s in their infancy. I see two very big differences: they being discipline and commitment. Somehow in those days you could feel success was around the corner. Today, that is not the case because we know this manager is unable to change his way of thinking.

Gavin Johnson
167 Posted 13/12/2015 at 02:19:25
While I can see the argument that we’re lacking strong leaders on the field like Andy Gray and Peter Reid. I’m struggling to see where we could buy one. There seems to be a shortage of this kind of player as a whole. Maybe this is why the leagues is so open.

I can’t think of many other teams in the league who have players who will grab the game by the scruff of it’s neck. The likes of Vincent Kompany, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Joey Barton and Wayne Rooney seem to be the last of a dying breed.

There’s still centre backs like Ryan Shawcross who are leaders.
I’ll also include Scott Dann in that category, who I’ll admit I was wrong about. I now think he would have been an excellent signing if he’d have been available at a realistic price. I scoffed at 8m at the time but that would have actually been reasonable. It got a bit silly when Palace placed a 16m price on his head, but looking at where Palace are and how he is strong both defending and attacking set pieces, he could have been a good signing at £8M.

I think the problem lies with finding a player who is a leader type..but also decent. We have Steven Naismith who is the vocal, passionate player who can lead y example but he isn’t quite at the level to be in the first 11 for a team wanting to go to the next level.

So who would we buy?!

We have some very good technical ball playing defenders like Stones, Galloway and Funes Mori but they’re young and there’s areas of their game they need to improve. I think Funes Mori looks a very good signing but I’m not sure he’s what we need right now. Stones has prodigious talent but he often goes missing on corners and its probably the only area he needs to work on.

So buy another British no-messing CB like Ryan Shawcross. Lets be honest we’re highly likely to cash-in on Stones next summer if we get a £50M offer. So Shawcross would be perfect and could either partner Jags, Funes Mori or Galloway.

Jamie Crowley
168 Posted 13/12/2015 at 02:20:35
This result is just crushing.

I’ve watched so much Premier League this year... I honestly – honestly – feel as if we are the best team in the league. We play some absolutely beautiful stuff at times and the recent results SO do not do us justice.

But these kids simply have to learn to win. The bottom line is the bottom line. And until we start turning these single point results into three points we’ll just be another mid-table team.

Which is sad because there’s so much talent and I honestly believe we’re that good...

Just pissed.

Derek Thomas
169 Posted 13/12/2015 at 02:33:37
We’re not a top team in waiting. We have a defence that isn’t going to fix itself, yet we play with two defensive midfielders.

We’re a mid table team that’s frightening to watch going forward and frightening to watch defending.

Given that there are no easy games in the Premier League we have just squandered, criminally wasted, butchered, bottled 3 of the most easiest wins we are likely to get all season...given the HT positions.

But goals feasts can and usually do over a season, for various reasons, become famines. The stats, the goals, the hat-tricks even themselves out. The odd time they don’t, you win the League or, in the RS case, let it slip at the death.

Martinez can and will bullshit all he likes... he knows he’s not going anywhere, but we will do well to win the 7th-ish trophy as for top 4 forget it.

Jamie Crowley
170 Posted 13/12/2015 at 02:41:47
Derek -

I understand completely what you are saying.

But in the near decade I've been watching this is, by far, our best team.

There's something special brewing. We just have to be patient and realize days like this (and the two fucking previous!) will rear their ugly heads. But as these "stars", these kids, grow and develop and learn to win we will see very bright days.

Assuming we keep the squad together if we do in fact fail to qualify for Europe.

<< gulp >>

I think you may be right. But I'm putting my blinders on and plodding forward with hope and enthusiasm for what's to come.

Nicholas Ryan
171 Posted 13/12/2015 at 02:49:11
Looking at results over the last 3 or 4 weeks ..... That point at Bournemouth is beginning to look like a good one .... the one against Palace looks not so bad ... although the one against Norwich, is admittedly crap, and always will be!
Peter Barry
172 Posted 13/12/2015 at 02:59:03
Unless we get a 'keeper who can dominate his six-yard box and a manager who can manage, we are doomed to eternal mid-table mediocrity or even worse.
Andrew Presly
173 Posted 13/12/2015 at 03:07:11
Lukaku and Stones shouldn’t have to play alongside the likes of Howard and Kone, should they? Baines played like he was 100 too.

Poor management bringing him back too soon, poor management persisting with this goalie and Kone is Kone. Hard times. I don’t have high hopes of this team anymore, which is massively depressing.

Clive Lewis
174 Posted 13/12/2015 at 03:21:40
Garbage again second half, what really annoys me is the arm waving and plans during substitutions, I furiously shouted ""tick it up your arse," expecting subs to save us after they have been frozen out for ages.

What was said at half time is obviously confusing the players, what happened to "just enjoy yourself and do the same as the first half"?.

You can bet that the clipboard, tablet, passing charts, what you're having for lunch, don’t do this, make sure you go left before you go right, pass it back then forward then back again, don’t lose the ball... and more ocd stuff was probably drummed into them at half-time. Roberto needs to stop confusing them.

Paul Ward
175 Posted 13/12/2015 at 03:33:29
Jamie, I admire your optimism and concur with your view of some of the players we have. Unfortunately, what talent we have and how it is used is determined by the manager.

Over my 62 years of watching Everton, I have come to realise how important the manager and coaching staff are. Some managers shine through prematurely before they achieve success even if their early results are inconsistent or they lack the personnel. Sir Alex Ferguson is a classic case.

In my humble opinion, Martinez will never be a successful manager here or anywhere else because of his deep seated conceit and belief he knows it all.

Bob Parrington
176 Posted 13/12/2015 at 04:02:16
OMG. What a talented but frustrating team to watch! Please pass the Valium?

It is one thing playing so well that the team should have gone in at HT with a 6-0 lead but ..... not learning from mistakes week after week and so conceding from dreadful defending of a corner ....... unforgivable!

Harold Matthews
178 Posted 13/12/2015 at 09:05:38
Disappointed with the result but certainly not complaining about the general play. It’s a long time since I’ve seen us pass the ball with so much intelligence and accuracy.

Young Barkley was a bit flat but right from the start you could tell he was under strict orders to cover and support Baines and his natural game went out of the window. Martinez was taking a risk with Leighton and anticipated him being a bit rusty. Ross was the left side of a Vee comprising Cleverley, Barry and himself. It didn’t suit him. The lad is not a half back. Nothing wrong with the Vee, however. It gave us a better balance and helped fill the usual hole in front of the LB.

The Norwich performance gave this game a very lopsided look. For the first 45 minutes they did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Didn’t challenge for anything, up front or at the back. They allowed us to play like a top 4 side and we should have scored plenty.

After the break they brought on Bennett, a big strong young ex England U21 centre back who completely out-jumped Stones at the fatal corner and proceeded to mark Lukaku very tightly. Not a bad buy for £3mil.

Anyway, Norwich woke from their slumber and closed us down quickly all over the pitch. We were still playing good football but so were they. No surprise when we brought on subs to help suppress their dangerous right wing attacks but it weakened our own attack and the game fizzled to a draw.

For me, the one angry spot was seeing Baines nonchalantly boot the ball out for the fatal corner when he could have easily cleared it upfield with his right foot. Even with his famous left foot, he didn’t even attempt to kick it into touch.

That said, this match should have been over at half-time. Lukaku scored a really good goal but he and Kone were guilty of missing far too many chances.

David Hallwood
179 Posted 13/12/2015 at 10:45:53
Harold (#178), I’m thinking you’ve been watching Everton for some years and up to a point I agree. But any team that’s been successful win. Win pretty, win ugly, rescue a point or 2 in the 93rd minute (we use to Fergie time when he was still playing).

The problem is how long are our young players prepared to accept no CL or not being even been considered contenders and them we’ll have to start all over again albeit with a healthy wad of cash, but we them become the Burnley of the 21st Century.

If you can remember back that long, on the 70s Burnley were a ’big’ in decline but had a great youth policy but a s soon as they produced a great player, the vultures (which at the time included us) would pinch their players. Until they ran out of luck and players.

The old cliche, success breeds success with the converse failure breeds failure, and mid table for a club like this is failure no matter how pretty the football.

Ray Roche
180 Posted 13/12/2015 at 10:54:38
Another good post Harold. I’ve just watched the MOTD programme again, you can’t blame Howard for the goal, Stones should have prevented the cross coming in, Baines could and should have done better than give the corner away, but if Norwich HADN’T scored so early I think we’d have gone on to win. That gave them just the fillip they needed and, boy, did they make the best of it. We simply must do better at stopping crosses, corners etc.

OK, Baines will be rusty and as Harold says, using a "V" formation, but with someone else, Besic, for instance, to cover that left part and allow Barkley to revert to his best position, we can hopefully improve. Kone is not the answer there. Mirallas had little opportunity to change the game, coming on when we were on the back foot.

Incidentally, Grant scored again for Doncaster yesterday. Seems to be doing well and enjoying his loan spell.

Danny O'Neill
181 Posted 13/12/2015 at 14:19:48
Harold, Ray,

Having now let the clouds of annoyance pass by and give way to a relatively calm front which allows me to attempt a more reasoned assessment, looking at the highlights, I too can’t fault Howard completely for the goal. There were a number of factors; if I am going to be critical of the keeper, he could have got a stronger hand to it to move it away from its direction of travel towards the goal. Did you see Hart’s save from the Swansea free kick that swerved as in-bound? He knew he couldn’t get hold of it but adjusted to get a good strong hand and gave Man City a second chance to deal with the problem, which they did.

To be honest, based on the first half, that goal should have been an irrelevant consolation and we shouldn’t even be debating it. Poor finishing (Kone & Lukaku in particular) cost us and once again the woodwork weighed in. Seems strange to point the finger at a forward who has scored in 7 games on the bounce and another who has put in some solid performances to go some way to have some of his doubters acknowledge his worth but that’s how I see yesterday. More consistent quality in our finishing and we are out of sight by the time they score that. Statement of the obvious, but it's that simple.

Kevin Tully
182 Posted 13/12/2015 at 14:44:34
Maybe Jagielka is a better organiser of our defence than we have given him credit for? Our two central defenders are still trying to forge a partnership, and I can't see any of our midfielders coming back to sort this mess out when defending set pieces.

In the past, Fellaini would have made any many defensive clearances with his head as any of our defenders, but it's clear we have sacrificed defensive solidity for the inclusion of Barkley and Deulofeu.

Now, that's fine with me if we are winning games, after all, we all want to see us scoring plenty of goals. Not many of us pay money to see a great defensive display, do we?

That's where the manager needs to find the right balance, it's no use having 2 defensive midfielders in the side if they can't defend set pieces.

I haven't seen any Argentinian League football, so I can't comment on whether Funes Mori is used to defending high balls into the box, maybe that's something he needs to work on if he's going to be a success in English football.

As some have commented, a good old fashioned centre-half is required sometimes, without Jagielka, we are struggling.

Harold Matthews
183 Posted 13/12/2015 at 15:52:22

Yes, the Burnley 70s description would appear to be our future with Martinez and Bill with one big difference, as described by our Spanish maestro himself. Every two or three years we will keep everyone and go for it. This is one of those years.

Ray. Quite right. Besic says he is being coached for the left midfield role.

Brent. The lad who leapt like a salmon for the free header was sub Ryan Bennett, just under 6’-3", built like a tank, ex England U21 and signed for £3mil. The kind of lad we need.

Gary Heywood
184 Posted 13/12/2015 at 17:44:34
Any confidence is just going to drain away from this team if it can't protect its own penalty box. You need Goliaths at the heart of your defence. Barry is now too old. Stones and Funes Mori do not have enough physical presence and Howard has no command of the ball in the box.
Danny O'Neill
185 Posted 13/12/2015 at 18:07:21
Well, yesterday was touted as a "must win" game yesterday. One punter emphasised this because Tottenham and Liverpool were "going to win". Well that hasn’t happened... and to reiterate my point, despite my disappointment of yesterday; we’re still in touch with the chasing pack. Within 6 points (2 games) of 4th place and only 3 (1 game) from a Europa League spot with 22 games and 66 points up for grabs. That doesn’t even consider the Cup competitions.

Frustrated with yesterday; yes, but everyone will drop points in supposedly winnable games and take points when they shouldn’t have or didn’t expect to – that’s football.

With it still being so relatively early in the season and points naturally tight, a good indicator is goal difference; ours is the best outside the current top 5. My glass has just half-filled again. Lots to play for and we’re still right in the mix.

Gavin Johnson
186 Posted 13/12/2015 at 19:07:25
Danny – I totally agree with your post. With Man Utd, the RS and Spurs dropping points this weekend, it shows that the league is still open and we’re still in the running for a top 4 finish... at least on paper.

But whether Roberto takes heed by doing obvious things like playing Robles who is much better on crosses. Or buys a player in January who can lead us on the pitch, remains to be seen.

Danny O'Neill
187 Posted 13/12/2015 at 19:23:55
Yes Gavin, the Keeper situation is one that is now more of a priority that it has been in previous years and a leader is needed to guide this young exciting team.

Having Jags and Baines back will help but not sure I’ve ever seen either as leaders in the true mould. Nevertheless, their experience will be welcome back.

Jamie Crowley
188 Posted 13/12/2015 at 20:15:13
With Spurs and the RS dropping points, as others have pointed out, our position isn’t quite as precarious as some make it out to be.

That does not discount the fact that we simply must start to win the games we should. But we can still climb the table and we should not say top 4 is out of reach.

At the very top, the league is weak. Other top teams in Europe are just frankly better than the top teams in England at the moment. But... from top to bottom the Premier League is exceedingly difficult. As we witnessed ourselves with Bournemouth, Palace, and Norwich; and as Spurs and the RS witnessed today.

Three games left until the watermark of "halfway through the season". At that point, everyone will have played everyone else once. Let’s see where we are at after 19 games, and if we can begin to make some of these 3 pointers more than just a single point.

Onwards and upwards. We’re playing so well. Ratchet down on the defending of set pieces and for my money we’re one hell of a team.

Terry White
189 Posted 13/12/2015 at 20:53:04
A few thoughts.

1. Let’s not be critical of Baines. He has been out a long time and cannot be expected to be fully up to speed. He needs game time. AND, he needs a Pienaar in front of him to be effective, not a Barkely, not a Mirallas.....

2. May I suggest Howard should stand 3 yards in front of his goal line for corners. This may keep opposition players standing directly in front of him and encourage him more to come for the cross. Let a couple of our other players worry about the near post ball.

3. We clearly do not have ANY players who can compete for high balls at opposition corners. That, sadly, includes our central defenders. No amount of training can compensate for that.

4. I am one who believes Rooney could do a job for us. He has the experience and he is the ideal person to guide and coach Barkley at this crucial time in his career.

5. Yarmolenko? Last time I saw him play he was on the right touchline where our current blue-eyed boy, GD, was standing. Anyone suggesting we spend a lot of money to sign a world-class player and then play him out of position? Last time I remember us doing that was Colin Todd in the 70s. To think we signed him and then played him out of position to accommodate Billy Wright!

Max Murphy
190 Posted 13/12/2015 at 21:03:22
3 points from a possible 9 is relegation form.

Howard is the reason we are shaky in defence. He instills no confidence in the back 4, which creates indecision and instability. He is afraid to come out for crosses and is frightened of the physical challenge. Howard is basically a coward. When Robles is playing we have a more composed and confident defence, and clean sheets!

Martinez continues with his ridiculous subsitutions. Why in God’s name did he leave Kone on? Why can he not see the obvious? I actually think the man is an idiot. We’ve beaten nobody of note this season and now we can’t even beat the poor sides. Mid-table at best.
Harold Matthews
191 Posted 14/12/2015 at 16:19:39
Gary H (#184). Spot-on, mate. A powder-puff back line protected by an old-age pensioner.

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