Tricky Foxes bamboozle dominant Blues

The Blues dominated play but Funes Mori got caught out and Mahrez converted from the spot. Everton replied with a fine goal for Lukaku after Barkley's shot was cleared off the line. But another penalty came for the Foxes in the second half, despite Everton dominance, and a third goal by Okasaki sealed it, despite Mirallas's late consolation.

Michael Kenrick 19/12/2015 224comments  |  Jump to last

John Stones was declared to be in "perfect condition" by Roberto Martinez despite the knocks he sustained at Norwich
Everton 2 - 3 Leicester City

The Blues dominated play but Funes Mori got caught out by Okazaki and Mahrez converted from the spot. Everton replied with a fine goal for Lukaku after Barkley's shot was cleared off the line. But another penalty came for the Foxes in the second half, despite Everton dominance, and a third goal by Okazaki sealed it, despite Mirallas's late consolation.

Everton were unchanged as they took on Premier League leaders Leicester City at Goodison Park this afternoon. Mo Besic returned to the bench for the first time in a month, at the expense of the restless Naismith.

The Foxes kicked off in the driving rain and immediately showed close pressing as they sought to harry Everton players into making mistakes. Barkley's first pass was a nice one out to Deulofeu, and Everton started to probe forward.

Barkley put in an amazing tackle to win the ball back but his pass was off. However, Everton were trying to play their normal game, building from the back, Deulofeu eying an early cross, Wasilewski getting the interception to deny Kone at the price of a corner that was delivered well by Baines. A second corner followed, stupidly played short and wasted.

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Funes Mori was in the right place to halt Leicester's first attack and then deal with a difficult cross on the follow-up, heading behind for a corner that was delivered well and Barkley headed it away but Okazaki almost got in.

Everton were playing rather too many high balls down the middle to either Kone or Lukaku, more it seemed as a softening-up strategy as Deulofeu was being closely marked and not getting the space he wanted, and starting to throw tantrums. When he did cross, it was too random, and the Foxes were putting up some feisty resistance to prevent Everton getting a clean sight of goal.

Coleman battled Albrighton for another corner, swung in by Barry but cleared at the near post and Leicester broke, then winning a free-kick that was driven over everyone.

Foxes were too alert for the Blues in too many instances, and a ball falling perfectly for Kone demonstrated the contrast as, with a rare chance to shoot, he completely failed to pull the trigger before being closed out.

Vardy tackled Coleman poorly and drew plenty of derision from the Everton crowd, who were expecting a lot more goalmouth action. It came when Lukaku crossed to Barkley who made a terrible hash of his first-time volley.

Everton were clearly being harried out of their slick passing game in the final third, but worse was to come at the other end, Okasaki and Funes Mori tangling for a soft penalty that Howard almost got his hand to but Mahrez's spot-kick was too good.

But a little more determination, Deulofeu crossing to Lukaku and opportunities for Cleverly then Barkley whose shot beat Schmeichel at the second attempt but was headed off the line, straight to Lukaku who smashed it in with power to put Everton level.

Kone won another corner that Baines delivered very well, but it came off Lukaku's head with far too strong a contact. Everton looked to build again with some good passing but Schmeichel was off his line fast to punch away Cleverly's dangerous cross.

The bouncing ball was too much for Lukaku on a couple of occasions as he failed to impose himself on it, not mastering the ball in any way. At the other end, Funes Mori took the ball off Vardy's feet fro a corner that ALbrighton seemed to glance but it went over everyone in the end.

Stones was well positioned as Leicester came through the middle, denying a rare and well constructed attack from the visitors but at the other other end Kone hesitated again and another possible chance was gone.

It had not been an easy half for Everton, who had struggled for space against the close attention of the visitors, while crucially failing to create or follow through on a couple of developing opportunities.

Everton resumed proceedings, still swinging long balls forward, but not catching out the visitors, and a lovely ball to Deulofeu, he allowed it to run under his foot and out of play.

A sudden movement form Barkley and The Blues were attacking at pace, Coleman swinging in a cross to the far post that needed Schmeichel's touch to keep it out for a corner. Barkley was showing some excellent desire but the intricate passing into the Foxes box was not working today.

Deulofeu put in a piece of magic that won another corner, Baines putting this one deep and fans calling for handball but the second corner was taken short and again led to a Leicester break but Everton played their way out of it well ad Deulofeu again had a chance to run at the Foxes defence.

With a good Everton attack building, a poor pass by Cleverly saw Foxes break and Vardy drove his shot wide of Howard's left post as the tight game showed signs of opening up. Funes Mori was booked for fouling Vardy as Leicester broke and it needed a perfect interception from Baines to stop Okasaki from shooting.

Barry played a lovely forward pass to Lukaku who controlled it superbly but he was offside and the Foxes broke, Mahrez playing in Vardy; he appeared to be tripped by Howard as he tried to go around the Everton keeper, who was booked and sent the wrong way on Mahrez's second penalty.

Everton responded, Baines with a superb cross for Lukaku but too high. Well past the hour mark, and of course no sign of Mirallas to show something different as it looked like the game would go away form Everton, a chance coming from nothing for a massive third goal powered in by Okazaki as Everton stopped for a handball claim.

Lukaku got behind the defence on a superb ball but on his right side and he blazed it over. Finally, far too late, Kone was replaced by Mirallas. Lennon also replaced Deulofeu but the task looked impossible. Barkley did well to force a shot but it was deflected over the bar. Baines's corner was too close to Schmeichel at the near post.

Mirallas's first corner was far too high and strong: wasted. Barkley was fouled by their big Polish defender but Lukaku welled the spot-kick high and wide. Good work by Coleman and a nice cross for Lukaku but headed behind by a defender and Baines's corner collected again by Schmeichel.

The Blues were trying everything and eventually it paid off, a tremendous drive from Mirallasto pull one back after a fantastic instinctive first-time backheeled layoff by Barkley when Lukaku's strike was blocked.

Mirallas was lucky to win a free-kick on the corner of the box into 4 mins of added time, Baines playing across to Barry, his shot blocked to Barkley whose shot didn't quite come off as Ulloa had a crazy chance for a fourth that Howard saved well with his outstretched leg. It was a crazy final few minutes but all the points went to League leaders Leicester in the end, plundering their first win at Goodison Park in 30 years, and putting another massive dent in Everton's hopes for the season.

Scorers: Lukaku (32'), Mirallas (89'); Mahrez (pen:27', pen:65'), Okasaki (69')

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry, Cleverley, Barkley, Deulofeu (74' Lennon), Kone (74' Mirallas), Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Gibson, Besic, Osman, Galloway.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan (c), Wasilewski [Y:82'], Fuchs, Mahrez (83' De Laet), Kanté, King, Albrighton (71' Dyer), Okazaki, Vardy (87' Ulloa).
Subs not Used: Kramarić, Benalouane, Schwarzer, Inler.

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Attendance: 39,570

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Reader Comments (224)

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Peter Cummings
1 Posted 19/12/2015 at 14:34:45
Just sitting down to watch the game, it’s 9:30 am here, freezing cold outside with some snow flurries, so looking forward to a hot performance from the boys... COYB.
Brian Wilkinson
2 Posted 19/12/2015 at 14:34:56
No Naismith on bench, good luck at your new club. You deserve better than this, Stevie, you will be missed for workrate, goals, and never-give-up attitude.
Tom Roberts
3 Posted 19/12/2015 at 14:40:51
I fancy Rom to get a couple today. Could easily have had a hat-trick in his last 2 games. Kone due a good performance as there is plenty of quality on the bench to replace him as he's been poor for a couple of weeks. I fear for our left flank but fancy us to win. Really looking forward to this game.
Trevor Lynes
4 Posted 19/12/2015 at 14:43:33
I agree, Brian. Apart from Mirallas, I cannot see any goal threat at all from the bench.
Rob Hooton
5 Posted 19/12/2015 at 14:55:23
Got to watch out for that cheeky little Kante in midfield too... :-)
Tom Roberts
6 Posted 19/12/2015 at 15:29:32
OK. Please take Kone off at half-time. And for me, Jags can’t come back soon enough. Funes Mori gives me heart attacks every week.
Dennis Ng
7 Posted 19/12/2015 at 15:52:54
Come on, I thought Funes Mori did OK. Big mistake on that penalty but otherwise a decent game.

Kone is not doing well. I was thinking Mirallas or Naismith for Kone so will have to do with Mirallas.

Rob Hooton
8 Posted 19/12/2015 at 15:56:41
Mirallas for Kone please, Bob, he’s not at the races today.
Mads Kamp
9 Posted 19/12/2015 at 16:29:30
Tom Roberts
10 Posted 19/12/2015 at 16:33:38
Too late, Robbie lad.
Dennis Ng
12 Posted 19/12/2015 at 16:37:16
Ya, too late. Halftime was the only time to change.
Frank McGregor
14 Posted 19/12/2015 at 16:40:48
The aim now should be to get to 40 points and hopefully another year in the Premier League.

We definitely now have to question the manager's position, as we seem incapable of altering the style of play.

Gavin Johnson
15 Posted 19/12/2015 at 16:42:56
Fuck off, Howard!! You’re a disgrace!! Grow some balls, Roberto, and drop this clown!!
Chris Thomas
17 Posted 19/12/2015 at 16:49:52
Pretty football doesn’t win games. Loads of possession doesn't often win games. Playing a winning style wins games. Martinez will never learn.
Jamie Barlow
18 Posted 19/12/2015 at 16:57:49
I see Howard getting the usual shite. Uncalled for every time we concede and fuckin boring.

We can't keep having to score 3 to get something out of a game. Sort it out Bobby or fuck off!!!

Peter Gorman
19 Posted 19/12/2015 at 16:58:56
Does anybody honestly still believe Everton are going exciting places under this absolute fraud of a manager?
Andy Walker
20 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:00:48
No point asking Martinez to sort it out. He has demonstrated for years that he can't build teams that don't concede loads of goals. He relegated his last side as a consequence. This will not change as long as he is in charge.

Harsh reality may begin to dawn on some now.

Frank Crewe
21 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:01:15
What was it RM said about the next 12 games being crucial? Well that’s four of them. Three draws and one defeat. Looks like we have to win the next eight. No problem I’m sure.

No doubt we’ll knock Man City out of the League Cup as well. Phenomenal!!

Tony Twist
22 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:01:24
As usual, we stumble into games and are shocked when things go wrong. Martinez is just a joke, I don’t know how people can’t see that. He picks the side, he decides the tactics (what tactics?), he decides on what players to buy, he decides what the coaches should be concentrating on, he is our problem and given time will send us down.

Embarrassing today, Blues, I’m sure there is more to come.

Chris Thomas
23 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:01:44
Pretty football doesn’t win games. Perfection doesn’t win games. Possession doesn’t win games. When will he learn.

In my opinion, we are no further forward. Disgrace!

Ralph Basnett
24 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:02:22
Title should be ’Yet another team bamboozle dominant Everton’. We just cannot put teams to the sword and suffer.

Howard has to go and Galloway should be reinstated.

What happens at Everton if you do well – get dropped!!!!

Merry flookin Christmas.

James Byrne
25 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:02:33
Utter shite; we won’t win fuck all while we concede goals like this. We even started playing hoofball when we went down 1-3.

Complete phony of a manager.

Alex Carry
26 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:02:56
I thought we just looked lethargic in front of goal. No conviction and always trying to walk it into the net.
Patrick Carty
27 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:03:26
How many more chances does this clueless manager want?
I am sick to death of this dross by the manager and the players, things need to change and fast.

Mr Kenwright, if you really do love us, do the right thing and sack this muppet now. Also, the players he is picking may take a long hard look at themselves.

Andy Walker
28 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:05:12
Leicester remindered me of us under Moyes. Those were the days, you know when we could defend and guarantee winning over half our games at Goodison every season.

Now look at the state of us.

As usual we are now going to be looking towards the bottom 3. Will we get to 45 points?

Bryan Green
29 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:05:36
How on earth is this team, with so much quality, laying in mid-table? When will we all wake up and realise this manager is an absolute fraud, a clown who has got no balls to drop certain players, no matter what they do?

The last four games, the points we have dropped... and he plays the same team every week without fail. He seems like he is immune to getting sacked. If we had a half-decent manager, we would be in the top four with this set of players.


Thomas Surgenor
31 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:08:32
Those who think Martinez will be sacked are deluded. It’s not in Bill's nature.

However, mid-table with the talent at his disposal is totally unacceptable. Someone needs to hold their hands up and take the blame.

If this lack of direction persists, I can see a few of our younger players looking elsewhere.

Kone was the wrong choice for this match and those conditions.

Paul Jeronovich
32 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:08:56
Oh dear...
Christy Ring
33 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:08:56
Shambles, the sooner the Jag and McCarthy back, the better. Martinez doesn’t have a clue about tactics and team selection. He brings on Mirallas with 16mins left, an absolute joke, Kone should have been replaced at half-time.
Jared Tan
35 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:09:00
I don’t think we will get top 4... top 6 still achievable. Just go all the way and win the Capital One Cup and FA Cup. I feel we need silverware more than top 4.
Stewart Lowe
36 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:09:28
Yet again, another game where we played fancy football for large periods but lost again to another team that picks us off with their counter-attacks. It was from those counter-attacks when we gave away two penalties. What’s the point of almost 70% possession and then losing, again?

I have said it many times so far this season and I will say it again, Barkley is one hell of a liability. Giving cheap passes away and not doing a great deal supporting any attack. Terrible, and I am losing my patience.

Robert Elliott
37 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:10:18
17 wins from 55 Premier League games over the last season and a half.

Four of the best young players we’ve had in recent years undermined by fundamental flaws Martinez seems powerless to address.

Lack of killer instinct and winning mentality and players who should be dropped in Howard and Kone selected with better alternatives in Mirallas and Robles ignored.

Sounds like a case to start serious questioning of Martinez’s position at the very least.

Jamie Crowley
38 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:12:09

Why is Baines starting? Anyone notice we've won fuck all since he inexplicably came back into the lineup ahead of Galloway?

Why the fuck is Roberto waiting SO long to make a substitution?

When McCarthy is out, we miss him dearly. But Besic - who could fill in MUCH more admirably for James than Cleverley - sits the bench.

Why is Kone getting auto-picked before Super Kev?

Why is Geri being taken off the field just before the game is bound to open up where he can really work his magic? Why is Geri being taken off at all??!!

Roberto -

You're building a good squad. But you simply must, MUST, recognize some of these things and do something about it before all the groundwork you've laid is... laid to waste!

I've never seen a team with such talent under-produce in all my life. They are young. They will learn. I still believe the foundation for an amazing team is there.

But some of the above HAS to be addressed and Roberto needs to do some things differently of this amazing squad will be sold off before we could realize it's potential.

Roberto take note!!! There's things you're doing that must change - PRONTO!!!


Stewart Lowe
39 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:13:13
Andy Walker (#18),

You took the words out of my mouth. Leicester are very tough and balanced and hard to break down and very much in the mould of an Everton under Moyes. However, we didn't have the luxury that is Vardy and Mahrez back then and had to make do with Bilyaletdinov and Marcus Bent. Enough said! :)

James Stewart
40 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:13:41
Shambolic. Play like an under-11s side with Martinez in charge. Can’t even organise a basic defence, and it's becoming embarrassing. The sooner he is sacked, the better we will be. Top 6 squad of players with a bottom 6 manager.

Only positive was the Mirallas goal which just shows up Martinez as even more of an idiot for leaving him out.

Kunal Desai
41 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:14:48
Martinez time is up. The club must get rid of him end of the season. He should have gone last season in the midst of those four straight defeats around xmas. People said give him this season. A year later and this man has failed to address any of those frailties from last season. Got to go end of the season. I'd love to see Eddie Howe take over.
Anto Byrne
42 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:16:23
What we saw today was a well organised defence and a very good keeper and the reliance on two quick forwards who can score goals.

What we also saw was a team playing painfully slow possession football and not playing with any spirit. Yes all this nice passing back and forth but with a distinct lack of bite and some real quality final ball into the box. Without Pienaar, Baines is ordinary and lumps it to anyone and Coleman can't get a decent ball in to anyone in blue.

Cleverley was a disgrace especially with Gibson on the bench. Why wasn’t Howard sent off for the penalty? Vardy was clean thru and brought down by this hapless American.

Top four... you're having a laugh – I doubt they will make top ten playing this brand of football. Slow predictable and boring.

Paul Jeronovich
43 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:20:32
I don’t want to overreact but this now comes down to basics. Dropping a goalkeeper who is poor and teaching your team how to defend properly.

I sat in that ground today feeling as soon as they attack, we go to pieces and you could feel it in the crowd. One attack and poor judgement from Funes Mori. Back in the game then déjà vu, we go to pieces.

Sick of this... and I'm going to Newcastle; fucking depressed.

Jim Hardin
44 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:20:41
Can we all agree that Stones is and continues to be poor in the box? He continues to disappear and to get caught ball watching. Directly to blame for the second goal and possibly the third since he was nowhere to be found. Thinking it should be a Jags and Funes Mori pairing and Stones can sit and ponder his transfer options depending on where Jose ends up.

Well done to Leicester and I hope Everton watch the tape of this game to see how to defend.

Gavin, I know your well reasoned opinion should be self-explanatory but could you please tell me what did Howard do wrong on the goals? Was he not supposed to come out for the ball when Stones got turned completely around and lost his marker? What would you have said then if he had stayed on his line? Did you miss the late save to stop a fourth goal with Stones again involved in poor defending?

Craig Fletcher
45 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:20:44
Same story, different day.

Feel sorry actually for Lukaku, Barkley and Deulofeu, they must feel the pressure of having to score 3-4 goals each game for us to win. We just constantly seem to switch off in defence at crucial moments.

To blame Howard today is ridiculous. Vardy bought Leicester’s second penalty; Funes Mori entirely to blame for the first penalty, and from memory a poor pass by Coleman for their third?

Stewart Lowe
46 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:22:49
Jamie Crowley (#25), Very much agreed.

We have at least two very good players for each position and we sit struggling in mid-table. All this "giving it time and waiting to gel" and Martinez saying we are close to a really special team.

Did someone get the print in Martinez’s contract wrong by putting "Scout" in it rather than "Manager"? I ask because he has put together a very very good squad but has not got a system to go with it.

Craig Fletcher
47 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:23:09
Jamie Crowley, agree with your rant except for one thing - I thought Baines was much better today and closer to his old self.
Mike Hughes
49 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:24:03
Mid table mediocrity. Unfortunately that’s Everton from top to bottom. It’s even affecting some ToffeeWebers, a small portion of whom seem to think we’re making progress.

As Rafa might say, here are the FACTS:

We have our best squad in years with a record-breaking £28M striker.

We lie 10th in the league, having played a game more than some teams around us.

We have won 5 games this season, all against teams below us.

No win against a top 10 side.

To be balanced:

We’re in the semis of the League Cup, 3rd favourites to win it out of 4 sides.

How low is the bar if that is progress?

Robin Cannon
50 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:26:42
@Kunal (28) - I fear the end of the season will be too late. This league is still all over the place, but unless we push for top four now, under good management, all the best talent in this team will be gone come next August.
Clive Lewis
51 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:28:58
Are we Wigan yet, seems to look like it.
Steve Brown
52 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:31:42
We got taught a lesson in game management there.
Anthony Hughes
53 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:32:06
Forget any hopes of top 4. We're languishing in tenth spot in what is a very average season for all the sides above us, what does that say about us?
Colin Hughes
54 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:33:15
Three things I learned at Goodison today:

1. Lukaku won’t be here next season.

2. Martinez will never get us able to defend; and

3. Mirallas should be playing every week – we may well have won at Norwich and beat Palace if he had been.

Andy Meighan
55 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:33:24
Absolute disgrace. This clown hasn’t got a clue, bringing two subs on while 3-1 down when every man and woman in the ground could see Deulofeu and Kone were absolutely shite. The two of them should’ve been hooked at half-time... but no, once again that fucking moron stands there with his arms folded, watching doing nothing.

If Kone starts next game, I swear I’ll scream... How much time does he need on the ball before he gets a shot off???

I’ve got no argument with the penalties, they were nailed-on. But Howard didn’t have to make that challenge as the ball was going out anyway.

I’ve said all season we won’t finish in the top half of the table and I’ve seen nothing from that shite to make me change that view.

I keep hearing we’ve got the best squad of players since the 80s; I’ve got news for them – we haven’t. We can’t defend for toffee... the lack of clean sheets is alarming. In fact, it’s fucking laughable –that’s why we'll never do anything un der this clown.

And I suppose there’ll be people coming on still insisting we can get a European place given the nature of the season. It won’t happen; this cretin has got players in the side that are just undroppable – no matter how they perform – he’s weak and he’s a coward and I’d like to thank him for ruining my Saturday.

Patrick Murphy
56 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:34:53
Top four probably not and it's really pointless mentioning it, as at this moment in time the continuing poor results are going to take us into the bottom four, that should be laughed at by every reader on here, but where will the team be by the end of January? Thank god we've already beaten the likes of Villa and Sunderland.
Christopher Marston
57 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:34:57
We are relegation candidates – recently we have failed to beat: Crystal Palace, Norwich, Leicester, Swansea, Bournemouth and Watford. Truly appalling!!!!
Steve Brown
58 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:35:02
Imagine what wily old Ranieri could do with our squad? Imagine what a decent manager could do with our squad?
Mike Powell
59 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:35:39
I can’t do this anymore... sick of being depressed. Why oh why didn't that buffoon Martinez bring Mirallas on at half time? If every man and his dog can see that Kone was doing fuckall then why couldn't that buffoon?

We have the best squad of players we have had for years and this idiot in charge is ruining them. We will be in a relegation battle unless something changes very soon.

Kunal Desai
60 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:37:24
Robin, we are unlikely to get someone mid season. The only way would be to give the job to Ferguson or someone internally until the end of the season. With this inept board they haven't got the balls to make big calls.
Joe Foster
61 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:38:30
Worrying times indeed.
Steve Brown
62 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:39:50
If Howard or Kone make the team on Boxing Day, my head will explode.
Clive Lewis
63 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:40:22
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record P W D L Win %

Wigan Athletic 15 June 2009 5 June 2013 175 51 47 77 29.1
Everton 5 June 2013 Present 115 51 33 31 44.3

Yes seems we are heading towards Wiganisation. Drawing loads of games.

Ross Edwards
64 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:40:37
My patience with Martinez is wearing thin. 5 wins in 17 games, 2 wins in 10. Unacceptable. In the most open Premier League season, we're scraping the top half. The opportunity is there to achieve something and we are nowhere.

Now either, this 'best squad in years' is overrated or the finger should be pointed at the management. I'm leaning for option B. His decision making yet again was embarrassing.

It was blatantly obvious that Kone needed coming off, (time to drop him by the way) and what did he do? Nothing. Hesitation, hesitation, oh, it's too late. He waits until we go 3-1 down when the game was effectively over before changing it. Utterly clueless. He had the opportunity at 1-1 when the game was open and there for the taking, but no, it passes him by. Rabbit in headlights and out of his depth.

His continued loyalty to Howard has cost us dearly this season and simply doesn't see it. It's obvious that he's a liability yet he sticks with him. It's concerning how he doesn't see that.

His excuses are wearing out now. We aren't stupid. We are underachieving. 10th with the 'best squad in years', below Watford and Palace. And of course Leicester. 15 points behind them now. 15.

Now obviously, he won't get sacked, so I'm not saying that, but he should be getting questioned now. He lets the game drift and he looks like a rabbit in the headlights. His game management is awful.

He needs to stop talking about what we can 'achieve' and those delusional soundbites, and start to deliver.

Craig Fletcher
65 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:41:01
No need for the over-reaction. Top four not out of reach...... yet. But results will need to start changing over the next 2-3 games.
Paul Jeronovich
66 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:43:08
Let's see how the xmas games go. If we continue in the same vein then the board need to find their bollocks and get rid. No messing.
Paul Tran
67 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:47:31
To me, our 'Wiganisation' is that we can be anything from brilliant to shite, without having any idea what we'll be seeing. Oh, and we won't win enough games.
Andy Walker
68 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:49:27
Stewart 32, I’m glad it’s not just me who could see Moyes’s style is being replicated by Leicester. As you point out though, Moyesy never had the luxury of a couple of top quality strikers.

We have gone so far downhill over the years since Moyes left that we really are now in deep shit, relative to where we were – consistent top 6. Our leading youngsters will move on and then we are destined to be an also-ran. It was always my greatest fear when Moyes left and unfortunately it looks like it’s being realised.

It ain’t going to change anytime soon though, I know that, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch.

I never rated Martinez at Wigan, hated it when he joined us and have watched in dismay for most of the time ever since. Get Eddie Howe in.

Stewart Lowe
69 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:49:57
Sadly, I have a feeling that we are slowly becoming the Everton from last season who couldn’t buy a win. We have won 1 game from our last 6.

In the next 9 games we have to play Manchester City 3 times, a reviving Chelsea, a very good Stoke and Tottenham and I genuinely think we are now in for a long struggle. I know we have always stood by our Managers, which is a very rare thing, and I am proud that we are a club that will do this.

But Martinez had a stinker last season and with a much stronger team right now he is very close to struggling just as much as he did last season. We have to bring in someone like Eddie Howe, Diego Simeone, or even a Joachim Low.

Mike Hughes
70 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:50:22
Craig (#47),

Why describe it as an ’over-reaction’? What next?

'It’s still early days
RM’s only in his third season, give him a chance.’
With our resources, how can we compete with those top 6 sides?’
And other assorted gems from the Blue-bound Mediocrity Bible.

It’s a reaction – not an over-reaction – to another disappointing result and missed opportunity.
As someone else pointed out (above), 4 games ago RM described how important the next 12 games would be...

Eddie Dunn
71 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:50:52
Jim (#30), I agree, what is Howard supposed to do? Vardy left a trailing leg, and the decision could have been given the other way, and the shocking defending in front of him was the reason we lost. Stones and Funes Mori don’t seem to communicate, but the cover that McCarthy normally provides, was sorely missed.

We failed to bother the keeper until Kev’s goal. Leicester, like Andy (#18), says were set-up like we were under Moyes.

We were suckered in to opening the game up. Stones was getting too far forward, and his naivety is costing us. Leicester really didn’t have to do a lot to score. Howard stopped an almost definite fourth goal.

The manager has failed to set us up correctly for so many games, and again he brought on Kev too late. To take off Deulofeu as their defenders tired was also daft. Perhaps he should have started with Lennon, and brought Deulofeu on for the last 30 mins.

We are where deserve to be. The boss doesn’t seem to learn. Same old, same old...

Colin Hughes
72 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:51:11
Craig Fletcher, are you at a different party than me.we are more likely to be bottom 4 this season than top 4. We have kept one clean sheet at Goodison since March and that was against woeful Aston Villa. Even Bournemouth are showing us up with 3 wins on the bounce now.
Kunal Desai
74 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:54:09
2 points better off than last season. 5 wins up until Xmas last season and the same this season. Nothing ain’t changing people, a similar finish to last season awaits.
Brian Denton
75 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:55:14
Just got back. A good counter-attacking side against a slow defence which was turned far too easily. It looks like we are stuck with a Keegan-esque approach which will often be exciting but will win bugger all.

Joe Foster
76 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:56:38
Kunal, I would take that right now... but I think we are more likely to be in a lower position in the table.
Patrick Murphy
77 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:57:06
Craig (#47),

I don’t see how you think the comments on here are an over-reaction; two victories in the last 11 PL games, five victories in the PL all season.

Most of us want to see Everton win, most of us will give the benefit of the doubt to the manager and the team on most occasions but today was a game too far.

If the visitors had have come to Goodison and played us off the pitch and won, I would have been just as unhappy but could say we were beaten by the better team. That isn’t the case though, is it, Leicester are decent but not world-beaters and the only thing that they had that Everton quite obviously lacked, is hunger and desire, first not to lose and then to win the game.

I’ll accept most things from any Everton team but a failure to show hunger and desire is not one of them, no matter how talented or how sublime our players can be, if they don’t have the desire to go with it they are doomed to fail. The manager and coaching staff are there to ensure the team always shows that at a minimum requirement; our manager doesn’t seem able to communicate that to his players.

As for his comment somewhere in the last 24 hours that the next 8 weeks are not so important in terms of the points gained by his team as he is looking for game management etc, in my opinion, that is the utterance of a loser, and I want Everton and its players to be winners.

Stephen Brown
78 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:57:29
The posters who critique the need for a Shawcross type defender should reconsider after that show!

It's painful being an Evertonian! So frustrating – when was the last time a team who hasn’t won in four very winnable games remained unchanged?!

Stewart Lowe
79 Posted 19/12/2015 at 17:59:36
What scares me the most is how supportive our board will be towards Martinez? This looks like a 2nd consecutive woeful season but I just cant help thinking the Everton board will still allow him this season and next season with the same type of football before Martinez is gone.
Craig Fletcher
81 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:00:08
Mike, the over-reaction I’m referring to is some of the posts in this thread - it’s not levelled at everyone.

It’s not definitely not "early days" and I am not from the "Blue-bound mediocrity bible" as you call it. What I am saying is that our performances have been substantially better than last season’s dross, and I do feel that results will start to mirror performances.

It is frustrating to see the goals we are conceding, yes, but I think we are closer to being the team we can be than this time last year. In spite of the crap results over the past four games, we are still only 6 points off 4th. Call me deluded, but I still have hope. Once we get Jags and McCarthy back, that will improve us at the back, no doubt.

Paul Tran
82 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:01:33
Andy, you’re right about Leicester reminding us about Moyes’s teams at their best. They also reminded me of why I thought we’d never get better under him. The world class striker we have was paid for by the sale of Fellaini, who could have been sold by Moyes at any time. I’d loved to have seen Barry in that Moyes team.

When we replace Martinez, we have to decide whether to take another punt on another lower-league manager who could be good (Howe?), someone from abroad who would be a different kind of punt (Bielsa?), or someone more established.

I think he’s going to have to do something special against Man City to convince us now!

Andy Walker
83 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:02:53
Funes Mori. £10 million. To me this sums up Martinez’s priorities. Positives: he can look good on the ball coming out of defence. Negatives: always looks like he’s got a bad mistake in him, gives the ball away in dangerous places and is weak in the air. In other words he’s all style and no real substance.

They say people recruit in their own image, don’t they?

Joe Foster
84 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:04:44
Is anyone confident we can beat Newcastle next game?
Stewart Lowe
85 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:04:46
The reality is that, if Martinez was a couple of months into the job and playing the flowing football that we do play in large parts we would be licking our lips as we all did back then when we first saw this attractive brand of passing / possession keeping football. However, over two years further along this journey we have simply not progressed beyond that. The only thing that has changed is that more and more teams now know how to play against us and know if they put a decent shift in against us anyone can beat us.
Dave Brierley
86 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:05:02
Jamie Crowley. Calm down man.

The reason Leighton Baines is selected ahead of a rookie like young Galloway is that he is one of, if not the best left back in Europe. Simples. In a couple of games he will back to his best and frankly, is the least of our selection worries.

Oh and super Kev is not really that super. Prior to scoring, his contribution was shite.

Craig Fletcher
87 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:05:04
Patrick, what did you see from Everton that showed a lack of hunger and desire to win? I'm not trying to be antagonistic but I’m genuinely curious. After all, we at least fought back to 3-2 after conceding a poor third goal?
Clive Lewis
88 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:06:16
Eddie Howe will turn us round. Martinez out.
Tony Marsh
89 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:06:51
The problem is that all the players know it doesn't matter how shit they play – no fucker is getting dropped.

Today was disgraceful. The manager is a useless no-mark wimp. There is no steel in the side without Jags and he is hardly Tommy Gravesen.

The continuing blind faith in Kone and Howard is becoming a real concern. How fucking shite is shite enough to get bombed out? God help us over Xmas and in the semi-final v City.

I think a double-header drubbing in the League Cup might see the end of Bungling Bobby. Things will not get better with Roberto in charge. Goodbye Rom and Co... it was nice while it lasted.

Steavey Buckley
90 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:07:38
Can anyone explain how Howard and Kone get a game?
Andy Walker
92 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:08:55
Kone no Steavey. Howard because Robles is shit too.
Harold Matthews
95 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:12:04
I've always supported Kone but now admit that he is no longer up to PL standard. Poor decisions and telegraphs everything. Also needs too much time. Unfortunately, he is not on his own.
Patrick Murphy
96 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:12:45
Craig - We came out in the second-half the way we often do and slowly but surely the opponents were allowed to gain a foothold into the game. We didn’t create any fantastic opportunities until it all went badly wrong. The team, particularly at home, should be proactive and on the front foot as often as possible.

There is a lack of desire in the team and that’s why games that we should have won turn into draws and games we should have got a point from turn into losses. How long can we continue making the same errors at the back and thinking that 45 minutes hard-work is sufficient to win a Premier League game? If many of the fans could see we were beginning to wilt and labour, why didn’t the manager?

Having faith in your players is one thing; ignoring the stamina levels or loss of form of them is another. Our footballers overall are vastly superior to most teams in the league but they are unable to prove that where and when it matters out on the pitch.

Trevor Peers
97 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:12:48
Roberto’s win rate is appalling, nowhere near good enough for our great club. Surely he will be gone in the summer.

Bad teams play from side to side and backwards and that’s what we do.

David Connor
98 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:14:22
As I said in a previous post, if you can't defend, you will win fuck all... and that's been our problem for the last two seasons. You can have all the possession in the world but, when you concede as often as we do, you will drop points left right and centre – and thats whats happening.

Will someone remind that idiot of a manager we have that a game lasts for 90 mins and not 45. The last 4 games, we have bossed in the first 45 only to be absolute garbage in the second (although slightly unlucky against Palace). We are on a knife edge at the moment; our season can go either way.

Kone needs to be benched and Barkley needs a good kick up the arse because he is giving the team fuck all. Sooner McCarthy gets back, the better, because he seems to be the only player we have that has any bite in midfield.

Come on, Martinez, less of the bullshit interviews... grow a pair, mate, and start kicking some arse because that's what a few of the players need.

The skunks away next week... Fuck me!

Si Mar
100 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:19:34
All the stats showed us in front, sadly that doesn’t win games.

Tactically out-thought today again and simply not good enough to mount a charge for a top 4 place, if you had said to me after last season that we would have been 10th at Christmas I would've thought Martinez would've been out of a job.

We have lost to all the top 4 again. Under Moyes – and I know he has lots of haters – we couldn’t beat the top boys but beat everyone else. We seem incapable of doing that now despite a squad of talented players. That can only be down to one man... It's funny also how his name is no longer linked with the Barcelona job!!!!!!!

Mark Daley
101 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:19:44
After reading some idiotic optimism in the last few days on here (Everton to win 4-0 being just one ludicrous prediction) perhaps the scales have fallen off a few more pairs of eyes; although probably not Kenwright's, nor Our Phenomenal Manager's.

As that famous Evertonian poet T.S. Eliot said, "our only health is the disease... to be restored, our sickness must grow worse".

This squad could have gone somewhere if OPM had done a few obvious things that we all know. All we can hope for is a new owner and a new manager who can rebuild over the summer.

Don't bother hoping chaps, it will only make you bitter.

Paul Tran
102 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:20:00
Think you're right about Funes Mori, Andy. We now have two centre halves that would look good alongside a muscular motivator. Not sure how Lukaku and McCarthy fit into your analogy, though.

Big decision time. I think Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Pienaar, Osman, and Gibson all need replacing and an overhaul is required, whoever is in the dugout. Who do we trust out there who can do it?

Andy Meighan
103 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:23:14
Craig (#71) – you’re deluded.
David Greenwood
104 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:23:53
Patrick is right, we currently have very good players, not being used properly.

Same mistakes as last season. Favourites being played regardless of form. Failure to react to what is happening in a game. Subs too late, and not reflecting the actual the state of the game.

Too many players and management not under enough pressure.

And so on...

Craig Fletcher
105 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:24:24
Poor game management by RM, yes, completely agree. Along with everyone else, I was screaming for the subs to be made.

Lack of desire though, is a helluva accusation to make. I think it’s more of a case of lack of leadership on the field, or lack of direction off it. As a few people have mentioned, we seem to be missing "leaders" on the pitch.

Barry McNally
106 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:26:02
Shipped 8 goals in last 4 games, enough said.
David Hallwood
107 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:26:49
I drone on about this so much that I’m thinking of giving posting a rest... but one more time, we’ll win nothing cos clean sheets are everything and we just don’t know how to keep one.

Even Man Utd of old – who were known for attacking, swashbuckling football – always had a great defence and if the football wasn’t working we’ll grind out a 1-0 win.

RM doesn’t think like that or apparently place much importance on dead-ball situations, and judging by today’s pathetic efforts seems to be bear the rumour out.

We’re going nowhere fast unless we tighten up. Personally I’m effin sick of hearing that we were the better team and that the stats were amazing, give me a spawny 1-0... in fact, make that half a dozen.

Tony Hill
108 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:27:27
I think the real danger is that we start to slide. Lukaku and one or two others may lose heart because, make no mistake, this is a team with no courage and hardness either on the field or off it.

I would get rid of Martinez now or as soon as possible and I would try to get Howe in – he would want to come to us. This manager will ruin Everton if he is given long enough.

In the short term, Mirallas and Besic must start, however unfit they are – they cannot make things worse. Our defence requires a collective bollocking – but won’t get one, of course.

Dominic Adamson
109 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:28:55
Martinez out. Nobody is happy with him! It’s always the same story, nothing ever changes. If he came out and stated he got it wrong and demonstrated it with a tweak in player selection the following week, I'd think at least he’s giving it a go.

I have never been so frustrated as an Everton fan because this squad could really go places but not managed by Martinez. The worry is... we end up mid-table, the special players go elsewhere, then we’re scrapping in the bottom half of the table for years.

Now’s our time the board need to act before it’s too late!!

Tony Twist
110 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:29:55
We need to get rid of Martinez before our ’talent’ get pissed off and leave. Our ’talent’ is really the only draw the club has left. This is exactly the same as last season and we were damn fortunate with getting a win away at QPR to take the pressure off us a bit.

This manager is consistent, I’ll give him that. He had no answer last year to the slump in form and won’t change his ways now. Chelsea are now improving, let's follow their lead and change managers. Problem is the people in charge, the same people that put this charlie in charge. God help us!

Dennis Ng
111 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:32:53
Trevor, I don’t think the "RM gone" bunch is in the majority, at least not including BK. I don’t see BK being anywhere as gutsy as to let him go any time soon. I’m writing the season off now. 23 points from 17 games is not going to get us Europa, much less UCL. He failed because that’s not UCL form, that’s relegation form.

Harold, I’m not going to dump on Kone, he’s on a bad run since his hattrick so dropping him to change up the tactics for a few games is what I think the manager should do, if he’s worth anything near his salt. Which RM is being revealed to be not.

Unfortunately, we know the reins are in BK’s hands and nothing will change until we hit the bottom 5. We’re in relegation form. 11 points out of our last 10. Only reason we’re not there yet is that there is a shittier team called Aston Villa.

My gripe with this game is that, I don’t see us having any dominance or good possession for much of the game. Leicester sat back and we just play ourselves into their counter-attacking game. Our possession is only high because Leicester sat back.

David Holroyd
112 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:34:10
He is a fraud; we are going nowhere while he is in charge. Nearly all the best managers build from the back. Under Moyes we used to let in around a goal a game but we look like concealing two every game.

Funes Mori wasn’t worth the money we paid for him. We will never have a better chance to get in the top four, and it won’t happen this season. Martinez Out!

Dennis Ng
113 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:34:29
Let’s give Leicester credit, they did what they do well and got the result. RM clearly did not do enough homework.

BTW, prior 2 Leicester wins led to sackings. Chances are low for this one but would be funny if it does lead to that.
Andrew Clare
114 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:35:20
The game proved to me that Martinez is tactically wanting. His teams play good attacking football without any tactical nous. We have some excellent players but if they are not disciplined and savvy they will always be undone by a team like Leicester who have a top manager.
John Daley
115 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:37:54
"I see Howard getting the usual shite. Uncalled for every time we concede and fuckin boring"

It's more than boring. It's tear your hair out, put your boot through anything within reach, bang your head against the wall until it swells up horribly and leaves you looking like that inbred slaphead from The Hills Have Eyes, in-fucking-furiating. Yet, it is absolutely 'called for'. It's not like he's some innocent bystander being blamed for incidents he has no involvement in. He's there, slap-bang in the midst of it all and, on the basis of his displays, demands to be a big part of any discussion about why we've been so abysmal defensively.

He constantly gets shit because it seems he's almost incapable of getting through a game without hitting self-destruct. I'm sure there'll be cries of 'the forward left his leg trailing', 'he had no choice but to come out', 'he made a good stop near the end though'. Doesn't change anything. The turning point in the game was the second penalty and it could have been avoided if not for Howard haring out, without thinking, on a soaking wet pitch, when the pass was taking the forward away from goal and he had absolutely no chance of claiming the ball without clipping him. Just rank stupidity from a seasoned player who should have the common sense, composure and canniness to assess a situation rather than steaming in clumsily like Pepe Le Pew after he's caught the scent of some passing skunk pussy.

The fact Martinez is still persisting with him is bewildering at this point. He may think that, overall, Howard is a better bet than Robles but only one of the two is currently stuck in the sort of rotten, stomach churning form that would make the main cro magnon man faced munter from Prisoner Cell Block H look half-decent in the 'I wouldn't mind hanging out of that' stakes. How long do you give somebody to rouse themselves from a 'bad patch' before you recognise it isn't going to happen and they're quite happy to remain where they are?

Thinking it makes more sense to stick with a 'proven' keeper who continually shows rank bad judgement, behind a leaky defence lacking leadership and resolve, when there's another option on the bench who has done well enough when called upon, is like being concerned about possible cuts and nicks to your nutsack if you shave your plumbs with a razor and settling instead on soaking your scrote in a sink full of sulphuric acid, just to be on the safe side.

The goalkeeping situation isn't the only problem we have by any means, but it is the one that can be most eased with a simple, solitary, change. Robles may not be the answer in the long-term but, right here and now, giving him an overdue run in the side is the least harmful option we've got.

Tony Hill
118 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:40:09
Actually, Dennis (#96), I thought Leicester were very average. Vardy looked injured when he went off and I shall be surprised if they finish top 6.

We handed them the goals and the ordinariness of the league leaders makes our own incompetence all the more infuriating.

Andy Walker
119 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:41:10
Paul, or course you're right about Rom and McCarthy, I was really just looking at it from defensive perspective.

I think we can all see that Martinez has introduced some good attacking players, but it's the inability to defend both as individuals and as a team that's the obvious issue.

Kevin Rowlands
120 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:41:17
We’ve kept one clean sheet all season and that was against the bottom team. How Howard keeps his place is a disgrace. To think that Hart, De Gea, Mignolet, Cortois and Casillas have all been dropped to the bench by their clubs because of poor form but Howard has NEVER been dropped is astonishing.

It's no coincidence that our last clean sheet was against Boro in the League Cup where we looked solid defensively and Robles was in goal. FFS, Martinez, give the lad a run in goal, how could it possibly be worse than what we have now?

Andy Meighan
121 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:44:38
Tony (#93) – you’re totally right. I’ve been saying for months now that Martinez will only take us one way, and that’s down. But there’s not a prayer that he’ll get sacked... not a chance – he’s got the safest job in the game.

I never thought I’d hear myself saying (or typing) this but I’d have Moyes back tomorrow if it meant getting shut of this fraud. He really hasn’t got a clue... the squad is full of cowards and the manager is the biggest one.

I really wouldn’t worry about top sides cherry-picking our so-called best players, because (Lukaku apart, who’s having a terrific season) we haven’t got any. If anyone mentions Stones, they need to take a long hard look at themselves. He’s a shithouse who’s gone hiding on so many occasions this season. Yes, he’s great on the ball but his job primarily is to defend and I’m afraid he hasn’t done that. I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if he went and that goes for the rest of them.

I’m sick to the back teeth of the Spaniard and his tactics, his inability to see when every fan in the ground can see a substitution needs to be made... but most of all, I’m sick of the complete and utter shite he talks. He'll probably make out we’ve played well today, when nothing could be further than the truth.

If this board had anything about them, they’d seriously question this clown's position... but then, this board hasn’t got anything about them, have they?

Eddie Dunn
122 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:49:05
We had no idea how to open Leicester up. As soon as we went behind, we were chasing the game, and the scene was suiting them down to the ground.

We seem best designed to play on the break ourselves, but once the move breaks down, we don’t have enough pace on the left, or down the centre, to cover.

Barry is exposed, Baines is still lacking fitness, and the two young centre-halves are still learning their craft. Kone was a waste of space... he wasted virtually everything that he touched. Rom was left to do it alone, until Kev came on.

Dennis Ng
123 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:50:03
Tony, I think that’s where people underestimate Leicester (reminds me of how people say Man Utd were average when they won titles). They played to their strengths, sometimes needing the other team to make mistakes, but always on their terms.

Granted, they nearly let us back in. We were whipping long balls to Lukaku and Kone in the first half and I wondered which era we were playing in. Just seems that the players don’t think beyond their top 2-3 routes.

Patrick Carty
124 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:52:11
I am all for given managers a proper go but enough is enough. Martinez has now had a proper go at it and he is not up to the job pure and simple.

It feels like every week we are posting the same comments about having the best squad of players for years but what is happening?

Please, Mr Kenwright, do the right thing and bring in a new hungrier manager who is not afraid to change things around.

We are a soft touch and it's running through the hole club. No disrespect to Hibbert, Osman or Barry but no way should any of them got big contracts like they did.

It's time for the chairman and be ruthless and give us long-suffering fans something to be cheerful about.

Happy Christmas to all Toffees.

Andy Walker
125 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:53:22
A new goalkeeper, Mirallas for Kone, and Jags back for Funes Mori will improve the team. BUT the problem of Martinez’s far too open style of play will remain and he ain’t going to change.
Bill Gall
126 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:53:58
Again the same failings from previous games. Team selection good, lots of possession this time under difficult conditions producing a goal, sloppy defending, inability to read the game and make changes prior to the 70th minute, and the manager unable to understand how the game was lost.

It is no use dreaming about the future, hoping that things will turn around – we have to think of the present as, if things do not improve quickly, we will be in the same struggle as last season. This time we will lose a number of our better young players who after 3 seasons despite promises, will see that we are only a mid-table team with possibilities of the top 6.

The thing that makes me mad is that we are unable to beat teams above us, and with the results we are getting, there will soon be more teams above us than below.

Surely after reading the comments on here that range from "the good to the bad to the ugly" there must be some one at the club that sees what is happening and will do something about it, regardless if it is the manager who becomes more aware of what happens on the pitch and makes a genuine attempt to change it, even if it means dropping his favorites, or altering his style so the attack and defense work better together as a team, or the board become aware that when Mr Martinez commented that he would get us into the Championship he never meant the one below us, and take the necessary action.

Please don’t keep saying we are only x amount of points from the top 4 as that may be ok if we are playing good, the problem is we are not playing good, we are committing too many mistakes both on and off the pitch.

Keith Glazzard
127 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:54:03
Moyes left things too late. Martinez has become the same. Kone should have been off at half time. Mirallas was the obvious replacement, and guess what, he scored a goal!

Play without fear? He manages with fear. A point might have been right today (as opposed to other matches) but zero, in the way we conceded, is terrible.

I don’t want him replaced, I want him to buck his fucking ideas up.

Craig Fletcher
128 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:55:32
Watching Aston Villa at the moment against Newcastle. It’s galling that the bottom-placed team in the league can put every corner, every cross, seemingly on the money in the penalty area. Whereas, more often than not, we struggle to put crosses and corners beyond the first defender.
Jim Bennings
130 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:57:52
I can’t even be arsed wasting my time commenting on that dross again because I feel like I’m just saying the same things week in week out, it’s getting boring.

Christmas wishes Father Christmas can’t grant:

A new goalkeeper.

A couple of vocal leaders that actually look bothered; when it’s all going tits up, nobody finger points, nobody barks orders.

A book for Martinez on how to stop being a stubborn beaut and start understanding that possession and performances is not more important than results (can’t believe he actually said that)!!

A book for Martinez of learning the values of attacking and defending set-pieces.

And finally, did we get the right Funes Mori?

It's early days, well he’s been here three months in the first team, but the lad is meant to be big and physical and have played in cut-throat Argentinian matches but for me, it should take six months to show you're a tough hard lad; you either are or you're not, and so far he’s looked flimsy, plus he makes Distin look like Franz Beckenbauer on the ball.

It’s pointless arguing about it really though, this is Roberto Martinez’s Everton, it’s now his team that functions his way, perhaps in the first season, well it looks more likely now, that the fine tuned fitness side was down to the way Moyes left them.

We have won two matches since mid September, against Sunderland and Villa, we have failed to win back to back games all season and we know from past experience, we usually have a shite festive period so I’m expecting more crap from the next two matches, then January starts with the visit of serial bogey team, Spurs.

Could be a long hard winter once more for Martinez.

Jay Harris
131 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:58:03
I have said it before: we are too reliant on one man for goals. Mahrez has scored more than Deulofeu, Barkley, Barry, McCarthy and Cleverley put together.

Mirallas needs to start every game from now on and in January we need to find a goalscoring midfield player. Maybe we could tempt Fellaini back.

Harold Matthews
132 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:58:53
Tom Roberts (#3). You are definitely psychic. Bit scary really. 20 minutes before kick-off and you saw what lay ahead.
Brent Stephens
133 Posted 19/12/2015 at 18:58:53
Even before this game I’d come to the conclusion that as things stand we are a mid-table side. Going into games with that view means I feel less devastation coming out of games. Well done, Leicester – some skillful players, a quite fit side playing as a unit, with pace and passion, pressing the opposition when in possession.

I think we have enough quality players to match that. But for some reason, I know not what, we don’t consistent play with passion (but I’ve seen us do it) or consistently play with pace (but I’ve seen us do it).

Jay Harris
134 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:00:23
Sorry, I omitted to put Kone in that list. Kone
Ray Roche
135 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:01:23
"I think that the fatal flaw is in Martinez’s make-up. He sets his team up and sends them over the white line and, as far as he’s concerned, that’s it. He doesn’t appear to have it in him to identify and address any failures that his game plan may contain. His substitutions are invariably too late and are increasingly like for like; no attempt to change the game,"

I posted the above on the 13th of this month. You could reasonably have written the same passage at any time over the season, or last season, even. The sooner we either get rid of Martinez or have him tied to a chair to watch a defensive masterclass the better. He is a complete clown and a fraud and we will win nothing under his leadership.

And please, don’t anyone mention the League Cup Semi... Boro away was the only, on paper, difficult game we’ve played.

Jack Cross
136 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:01:40
I didn’t think we would win today. But I thought a draw was definitely within our reach.

This Leicester team are on top of the Premier League quite simply because they're the best team at present. So it’s no disgrace getting beat by them.

The worrying factor is, we simply seem to be a team who can play only for one half of a game. How many times this season have we seen us dominate the first half without the scoreline reflecting it?

Yes, the substitutions or lack of should I say, show a flaw in Martinez. He’s loyal to who he believes in even when on lots of occasions he is wrong and that is worrying. But can you see that changing? Because I can’t.

I think Lukaku’s body language after the final whistle said it all. He’ll be off.

And in my view I think Martinez, will be off in February. One good thing there won’t be any compensation going his way. 3-year contract, and he’s in his third year.

Who would replace him? I’d go for Martin O'Neil.

Ray Said
137 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:04:47
My view after watching the team all season is that there are at least 10 key principles the manager has forgotten or possibly never knew

1. This is fundamentally a running game and the players need to be able to run very hard for 90+ minutes. After 60 minutes, I see some players ’blowing for tugs’ as my old feller used to say.

2. Defenders are there to defend. Sometimes this means punting the ball into touch or 80 yards away from your goal.

3. Defenders are there to defend. This means picking up players at corners.

4.Defenders are there to defend. This means heading, tackling, blocking.

5. Goalkeepers are meant to own the penalty box. This means saving shots, challenging the opposition and coming for crosses. Coming for crosses DOES NOT mean doing star jumps like a Dallas cheerleader.

6. Passing it around at the back means YOU can't score but the opposition can take it off you and THEY can score.

7. Setting up with four defenders and two defensive midfielders is NOT attacking football. This is seven defending (including goalie) which leaves 4 to attack. Basic maths indicates this is not attacking football but leads to fannying around 50 yards from the other team's goal.

8. An accurate long pass towards your strikers is NOT lumping it. The ball is allowed to be passed long. The rules say you can do this.

9. Pretty football and winning football is not the same thing.

10. Philosophers work in universities. They do not prosper on the touchline.

I end with a Martinez joke that sums up today’s game:

RM is in a nightclub talking to a lovely women. They chat all night with the champagne flowing on his bar account. Things are going well and RM looks like he is on a winner. Ten minutes before the club closes the bouncer comes over, chats in the ladies ear and they head off to the toilets. Bobby’s mate says "What happened?" and Bobby says "I had 85% of the possession – phenomenal result!!"

Jos Rowland
138 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:05:21
As one optimistic poster said we are still only 6 points from the top four! Yeah, the only issue with that is in order to catch them two things need to happen:
  1. They have to drop points and
  2. We have to win games

Christ even if teams drop points above us and they will only be gaining points when they play us. Would you really fancy us to win? I haven’t a clue when the next win will come along and what happens when Lukaku stops scoring?

It’s grim reading the stats on Everton this season (and last) this is very much mediocre bordering on relegation fodder. FACT!

Andy Crooks
139 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:08:23
Tony Marsh, unfortunately there is absolutely no chance of relegation Roberto being sacked. His utter ineptitude relegated Wigan (some of his performances as their coach were mind-boggling in their utter naivety), yet he jumped ship and landed with us.

How he was appointed is beyond me, how he survived the performance against Southampton last season is beyond me. We have, in my view, the best group of players we have had in many years, coached by a man unfit to manage our club. What a fucking waste.

Eddie Dunn
140 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:08:49
Ranieri just said that " if players relax, they are out of the team, they know that".
If only such a philosophy was administered by Martinez.
Bryan Green
141 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:13:06
What a joke of a manager we have... same shit every week; same players... but the man is immune to getting sacked. How can we call ourselves a big club when we have small club mentality?

That clown of a manager should've been sacked a long time ago. But it will never happen, until we get a new owner who won’t accept being at an average football club... which we are with these two in charge.

Tony Hill
142 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:18:15
Jim (130), Funes Mori made a bad error today but he won a lot in the air. He is a sound buy in my opinion who is having a poor patch.

I think we have to acknowledge that young Stones is also struggling defensively at the moment and again that's to be expected as he continues to learn.

I cannot get beyond the stubborn passivity and lack of hard game-changing intelligence which characterise Martinez. Those things are not going to change, and while he's in charge nor will Everton.

For once, it would be wonderful to see this club do something unexpected and daring but those are not the adjectives you would ever apply to Messrs. Kenwright and Elstone.

Colin Hughes
143 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:23:15
We can’t win big important matches. Norwich are bad but win at old Trafford, Bournemouth have only just came up but win at Chelsea at the first attempt (1994 our last there) and Newcastle can go to Spurs and win totally against form.

We only win when the opposition is inept such as Sunderland and Villa. Whenever the opposition give it a good go it usually does for us, that’s why we never win a derby, as the redshite, no matter how average their team is, are always up for it.

Jim Hardin
144 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:27:26
John Daly,

Utter tripe. Odd how the non-English center back gets the blame on here when Stones was poor again today. You completely overlook the fact that Stones is poor in the box and continued to make the same mistakes. He is just short of being a coward in the air. The camera showed him getting ready to mark on a corner and he looked at their big center half and had fear on his face. He was looking around like he could ask someone else to mark him. He actually started moving backwards and away before the ball was struck and the man had even moved.

You are kidding about Howard not coming for the second ball right? He had to come because of, gasp, another Stones error. Stones got turned 360 FFS.and Vardy was through into the six. Howard doesn't have the luxury of replay in the split second that he had to react. It was a soft penalty though since the contact that I saw and the toppling over occurred after Howard had forced the ball away

BTW, how many goals were scored from corners today? I thought that was the gripe about Howard staying on his line. That was not an issue today and yet you and others continue to regurgitate the same things over and over, even when they do not apply. Now Howad is too blame for errors our cenerbacks commit when they are beaten or caught up the pitch too. That might be the basis for the comment about people jumping on Howard with the same over the top comments as always, don't you think?

Kieran Fitzgerald
145 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:27:27
There was a lot of talk today on sports programmes about the Chelsea squad having turned against Morinho, that they weren't prepared to listen to him or play for him.

You would wonder if something similar may happen to our squad. Martinez has an extremely talented squad but is badly mismanaging it. I don't mean that things will be as drastic as at Chelsea but how much longer could you expect these players to continue buying into his philosophy. How soon before our better players' heads get turned by their agents.

Somebody above said that Leicester are top of the table because they have been the best team so far. It's true they are there on their own merits but it does highlight how poor the league has been this season.

Steve Guy
146 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:28:22
If Lukaku thinks this team is top 4 material he’s deluded. That defence is costing us every week. We can’t keep relying on said Romelu to keep scoring without a support act pitching in with their share too.

Kone needs bench time and Mirallas should start; if only because he’s motivated by being able to demo his tekkers for the January window. I love Deulofeu but he needs to grow up and stop whinging when it’s not all going his way.

Ultimately it’s poor defending that’s costing us but I have no confidence in this manager getting it sorted. This season will go down as the biggest wasted opportunity in the last 25 years.

Graham Morris
147 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:30:06
This is becoming a farce. The myth that we play good football is a joke. The "brilliant" Deulofeu gave the ball away repeatedly and he is our only serious attacking option.

There is precious little movement in the team, how many times do our defenders turn back because no pass is on. Just look how quick Leicester moved forward at times.

The team is a sham. The manager is a sham and the owner is a sham. The best we can expect is to stumble along in mid-table but it could get much worse.

John Keating
148 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:31:11
Well that was another waste of time. Christmas shopping would have been more exciting.

Martinez really has to go or we’ll be dropping further down and it’ll be as bad as last season. I wanted him gone this time last year and if anyone can honestly say that we are substantially better off than this time last year then they’re deluded.

Naismith, had he been on the bench, would have ideal today. I’m fed up with excuses from Martinez and his supporters, seems it’s the same excuses every week.

The Wiganisation continues; if he remains, the end result will be the same...

Tony Hill
149 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:34:49
If Eddie Howe won’t come, let’s go for Glenn Hoddle – another one who would jump at it and who, if anyone can, would cause Barkley to fulfil his talent, and the same for many of our other talented players including the young ones coming through. In fact, I’m not sure I wouldn’t go for Hoddle first.

I actually thought Ross did okay today and there was that one wonderful run which showed what he can do when he loses those shackles in his head.

Dave Abrahams
150 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:37:33
These players and this team can make a very fine side but most definitely not under this manager.
Harold Matthews
151 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:43:37
Thanks Eddie. I like that Ranieri philosophy. They certainly didn't relax when we had the ball.
Julian Exshaw
152 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:44:07
My most humble opinion regarding Martinez was that his first season was a triumph – great football and a great season. Last season was pretty bleak apart from some good performances in the Europa League. On balance, then, my feeling was he deserved a third season.

I think our football this season has improved since last but the last few weeks we have witnessed a worrying pattern. We are not playing badly but we flatter to deceive. Many wasted chances, laziness, complacency and RM’s reluctance to make changes when necessary are all painfully evident.

The biggest frustration of all, however, is the fact that it is basically a poor league this season and it is/was there for the taking. We are losing ground now and the likes of Watford are passing us.

Where do we go from here? I am not sure but my initial optimism is seriously on the wane.

Ian Bennett
153 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:45:02
Relegation form. What did the muppet say about performance over points?

Ship goals in for fun, flatter to deceive, and tactically naive. The list goes on. The best set of players we've had in an age.... it is so frustrating.

Nigel Munford
154 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:50:24
Eddie at #140, I agree with your comments here and I believe RM is the polar opposite: if the players relax they are in the team – that seems to be the problem. They don’t seem to have that desire that Leicester have... or Norwich or Bournemouth for that matter.
Bill Gall
155 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:58:31
There is no other manager coming to Everton in the near future. This chairman and board seem to be happy with plucky Everton and it is not the Everton way to change manager... And how many other clubs – playing as poor as us over the season before, and this season, with the odd exiting game thrown in – manage to fill their ground?

What we have as a manager is here to stay, despite his critics who think he should be fired, and his supporters hoping he can turn it around and produce good performances constantly instead of glimpses of what the team the team is capable of.

For Martinez to lose his job, there will have to be a complete turnaround of this chairman's and board's way of running the club that has not been seen since Sir John Moores was chairman.

Andy Crooks
156 Posted 19/12/2015 at 19:58:38
Tony (#149), sadly no-one will be coming in. We will be stuck with him and a great chance will be missed.

I would ask any Evertonian this, do you think that this is the best coach we can get for the good money we pay?

Kieran Fitzgerald
157 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:00:39
Lukaku is definitely carrying us. I’ve just checked the stats on the BBC website. He’s scored sixteen goals in total so far this season. The rest of the squad combined have only managed twenty three in all competitions. Barkley is the closest other player to him with seven goals.

He will probably stay until the end of the season so that he can show how well he can lead the line when given the right service, even in a one-dimensional set up such as ours.

It’s all well and good by the way hoping Martinez walks or gets the sack. Unfortunately this will provide no guarantee that we will manage to keep our top players. Lukaku, Barkley and Stones are all under the age of 22 and are already established top quality players. It’s not like they’re 27 or 28 and hitting their prime. The wages and first team positions that all three players could command at such a young age means that it’s only a matter of time before they go. They could all have 10 years ahead of them at the very top.

We are not going to get a Pep Guardiola or Mourinho in to suddenly start winning things overnight. The Board doesn’t seem to have the brains to attract any type of proper ambitious manager.

David Barks
158 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:00:51
The trouble with Everton is us, the supporters, we accept it. The reds see their side not living up to expectations and they demand a change. In turn they get Klopp who has been much more positive.

But we fly a banner over the stadium thanking BK and we accept draw after draw and defeat after defeat.

There just isn’t the pressure coming from us, so nothing will change. In many ways Martinez is the perfect reflection of our fan base. "We should have won" "We played well" "Could have gone either way".

How many times has that been stated on these pages after disappointing draws or defeats. It’s basically the same thing the manager says every match.

Just as there are no consequences for the Board or the manager, there are no consequences for the players. Same starting 11 every match. Same keeper despite his terrible form. Kone starting every match despite not offering any threat of a goal. Mirallas rooted to the bench. Barry played every game eligible last season despite terrible form. Baines played every match despite being on one leg.

Honestly, what is the point of squad depth with this manager? It will always be the same players in the team. The subs are hardly used and only far too late in the match. We were down today and persisted with 2 defensive midfielders. No Naismith to try to rough house a goal? Mirallas on but not in partnership with Deulofeu?

But we’ll end up winning one match and everyone will start singing the manager’s praises, while we sit in the bottom half of the table.

Trevor Peers
159 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:01:26
That was probably our worst home performance of the season, I don’t think we had any instructions or intentions of winning that game.

Foxes prey on Everton’s managerial weakness should be the headline, because that’s exactly what happened today. I can’t see us coming back from this total embarrassment.

We just didn’t have a clue, and Leicester aren’t even that good, but neither are Norwich and Bournemouth. We’ve forgotten how to win under Roberto; very worrying.

Andy Walker
160 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:04:42
When you have a manager who comes out with the statement that beating Villa was a ’complete performance’ you know you’ve got problems. The glaring stupidity of this comment astounded me at the time. Since then we’ve not won in the league.

No surprise there then, the players with their egos massaged by their manager, thought they’d reached the pinnacle, complacency has set in ever since. A direct example of managerial naivety – and that’s putting it politely.

Max Murphy
161 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:07:00
Duncan Ferguson would do a better job. No surprise with the result. We’ve not beaten any of the 9 sides above us.

Martinez has to go. At best he’s a Championship manager. The Premier League is literally out of his league.

He hasn’t the balls to drop Howard – and he brings Mirallas on with 7 minutes to go. A side that’s not beaten us at Goodison in 30 years. Fair play to Leicester.

The board must sack Martinez immediately – or it’s another relegation dog-fight. 3 point from a possible 12. Embarrassing.

Colin Gee
162 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:08:49
Too many players are automatic picks they know, no matter how shite they perform, they will always be in the side for the next game. Howard and Kone as the two perfect candidates, for example; Martinez needs to get some cojones and drop them both for Newcastle, putting in Robles and Mirallas in in their place.

He also needs to make subs that will affect the game rather than making them after we go behind; he is actually worse than Moyes in this case!

The perfect example today, it was obvious that it wasn’t happening for Kone and Leicester were there for the taking when it was 1-1. Yet he waited until we were 3-1 down before doing anything!

Anyone know why Naismith wasn’t on the bench today? It would have been ideal for him today.

Mike McCarthy
163 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:08:51
The foreign signing we should have been talking about a couple of weeks back at Middlesborough was Karanka. Absolutely solid at the back and lots of continental nous. An improved David Moyes. Knows how not to lose football matches.
Derek Cowell
164 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:11:26
This is my first post on here but I've been following for ages and enjoy the posts. Finally posting as I've reached the frustrating end of my tether...

Chelsea are supposedly having a terrible season but they are now 6 points behind us and we have to go there soon. They will definitely finish higher than us! I have never been so frustrated and I’ve been an Evertonian since 1966.

To be starting games and, as a fan, knowing that we have to score 3 to even get a point, is ridiculous but true! The defence has become a joke and other teams know it! The players are largely the same as before so it has to be down to the coaching methods.

It is also obvious to anyone watching (except the manager, it seems) that the players are not fit enough and run out of steam well before the 90 minutes are up! This happens every week FFS!!

I will go against the trend here and say that I didn’t want Moyes to leave as I believed we were even then only a couple of signings away from a good side... but we could defend! Now we’ve got better players but we are a whole coaching system away from being a good side and we will again finish lower than most of Moyes’s teams ever did!

Given the way this season is going in the PL, this is a criminal waste of talent at EFC!!

Barry Johnson
165 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:14:06
Martinez is clueless. He is the opposite of Moyes: Arsenal's attack; Wigan's defence. I give up.

I expect nothing more than a loss from Everton every week and I’m rarely disappointed.

Terry White
166 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:16:49
You can blame the manager all you want but it is the players that make the mistakes that cost us.

Look at the 3rd goal. When I played right back at a reasonable level with a throw in from that position you threw it up the line and hope that you get another throw further up the pitch. You certainly do not throw it to a player three yards away with two of the opposition closing you down.

Stones is in the corner area in case Coleman throws it to him so he is out of the play and we are totally exposed when the ball bounces kindly for them. Throw it up the line. No problem.

Denver Daniels
167 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:19:34
I see the Moyes brigade have started to resurface. Is it really that bad?

We have a dreamer of a manager who plays football in his head, not on the pitch. But this fool didn’t appoint himself. He has shown himself to be reasonable for short periods of time but extremely mediocre for the most part. We are seemingly on another downward spiral, very similar to last season, and the handbrake is off. Once again, it will require teams to be worse than us to keep us anywhere near the top 10. This is not the man you want in charge of your club.

The biggest question is how he got the job in the first place?

Until the powers that be fuck off, we will be stuck with this kind of mediocrity. Be it Moyes, Martinez or whoever.

This is a club with no balls, from BK, to the manager and the players on the pitch.

We the fans deserve a helluva lot better.

Jose anyone?

Oliver Molloy
168 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:21:23
What an opportunity we had today for Martinez and his players to go into the Christmas fixture list with the place buzzing with confidence having beaten these "pretenders" called Leicester. Everyone is waiting for them to slip up or get hammered – I cannot see it happening.

This time last Christmas, Leicester were bottom of the league; how times have changed.... Leicester have appointed a canny manager who does his homework on the opposition; it’s not luck it is going to plan.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see Leicester stay at the top and win the Premier League? As well as having a few really decent players Leicester are a TEAM who work their bollocks off for 90+ mins and that’s why they have 15 points more than us.

Everton top 4? I keep saying it: No chance. The best we can hope for is a cup.

Lee Gorre
169 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:23:23
Terry, I would blame the manager for that, he's the one that endorses that approach and puts in on the players to do it.

Time all our problems lie with the manager.

Don Alexander
170 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:23:45
The ONLY thing that'd get BK to do the necessary is a major decrease in attendances and revenue. Only when the money starts drying up will he and the board get active. Until then Martinez knows he's there forever, and able to fanny about in whatever way he he does, whatever the cost to the fans.
Andy Walker
171 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:23:55
Denver, I’d love Jose as our manager but we obviously can’t afford him. Even if we could, he’s not nice enough for us.
John Daley
172 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:28:54
Jim @144,

Oh, fucking hell, here we go. Bucky Barnes riding in to help out Captain America. Then again, the Winter Soldier, with his one arm and brain washing from Nazi bastards, would probably be putting in better performances and remaining more clear headed than old cabbage patch gloves has for the last two years (and counting).

I don't know why you're trying to swing the discussion around to Mori taking heat for John Stones when I mentioned neither of them. Fair enough, they both look unsure at times but, really, what do you expect when they've got a keeper who is about as vocal as that little plasticine motherfucker (Morph) that Tony Hart used to play with?

They're also both relatively young and lack experience at this level. Where's the leadership on the field coming from? Who is settling them down and making sure they maintain focus? Certainly not the veteran keeper with a record number of International caps for a footballing powerhouse like the USA (no offence) and the guy pegged by his manager as being the footballing equivalent of fucking Fletch from Porridge when in the confines of the dressing room.

"You are kidding about Howard not coming for the second ball right?" I already stated why I thought he shouldn't have come careening out like a crash test dummy shot through a windshield. Here's the thing: he didn't have to come, as you claim. He chose to come. It was his decision. He made that call. Was it the wrong one? In my opinion, too right it was.

How can you state with any authority that it would have been worse for him to stay on his line, seek to make himself big and try to pull of a save? We already know for definite how coming out to try and take the ball turns out. That equals penalty (and it was a definite penalty, nothing 'soft' about it), goal.

How about you answer a couple of questions for me? Every time there's the slightest criticism of Howard you're on here like a shot to stick up for him and shift the blame onto other players ('it's all their fault') or posters ('lack of understanding of the goalkeeping arts'). You even took the underhand route of claiming a perfectly reasonable comment about him not commanding his box was a case of 'ill informed' people taking pot shots at someone with tourettes. Every goal conceded that is pinned on his doorstep, you claim is 'unfair' and not his fault. So, you're happy with the way he's been performing? You can say, in all honesty, that you don't think Howard is to blame for any of the goals he's let in this season? That he's not made even a couple of howlers? C'mon, the entire Everton fan base would call bullshit on that.

You've said in the past you were a goalkeeping coach for a kids team or something? Whilst that may make you more sympathetic toward Howard, more appreciative of the slings and arrows one might face playing that position, it doesn't by any means make you an authority. Nor does it mean others can't come to their own conclusions about a goalkeeper simply because they weren't picked last in the playground. I'd never portrayed a camp Pink hippo in a kids tv programme but that didn't stop my six year old self from figuring out that Bungle's mate from Rainbow was as fruity as fucking malt loaf.

People don't first need to put themselves in Howard's shoes (boots) before judging his form, or lack of. They just need to open their fucking eyes.

Brian Harrison
173 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:34:42
Hats off to Ranieri: he has by and large a journeymen group of players, bar two or three, but he gets the maximum out of each player. They play a simple style, they hit their front men early or knock it over the back 4 for his front players to run onto.

They are well organised at the back. Apart from when Deulofeu is on the ball, our build up is slow and deliberate. He has got this team so obsessed with possession that they would rather play a safe square or backward pass, than try and play a ball early to the forwards.

He plays Barkley in the holding role yet for most of the game he is closer to our defenders than our forwards.

As Mourinho found out, this is a results business, and our guy is not delivering, so if winning the Premier League last season didn't save Mourinho, then a couple more defeats and draws and the board will have no option but to act.

Some of our supporters claimed that we had a very difficult start to the season, and the last 6 games was where some thought we would turn things around. Well, it hasn't happened and top 6 looks like a pipe dream... It looks like we will struggle to make the top 10.

Chris Leyland
174 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:41:02
Is there seriously a single Everton fan who actually believes we will finish in the top 4? Are there any that think we will finish in the top 6?

We have won twice in the past 10 league games against the bottom 2 clubs in the league.

We have failed to beat a single team above us in the league.

We have a liability between the posts.

We have defenders who can't properly perform basic defensive duties.

We have an ageing, injury prone striker playing on the left wing.

We have a manager who sets up a team exactly the same way week in week out regardless of the opposition.

We have a manager seemingly incapable of making a positive substitution to change a game either by turning a draw into a win or consolidating and holding on to a winning lead.

We cannot defend set pieces.

We do not capitalise when we have set pieces of our own.

Denver Daniels
175 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:44:49
Andy, BK would be too shit scared of Jose anyway.

He needs to surround himself with buffoons and lackeys to preserve his own high opinion of himself.

I don't have a problem with Roberto trying a new approach but ultimately he is here to win points. Until he realizes or acknowledges this, we will never find any consistency.

Unfortunately we are stuck with Roberto for the foreseeable future.

Mike Hughes
176 Posted 19/12/2015 at 20:58:29
John #172

I'd never portrayed a camp Pink hippo in a kids tv programme but that didn't stop my six year old self from figuring out that Bungle's mate from Rainbow was as fruity as fucking malt loaf.

You're referring to George, I think.
Surely you don't mean ...?
Not George.

Ken Reece
177 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:01:53
This is the most talented group of players we have had at the club for a very long time and unfortunately we are going to watch the best four or five of them winning trophies at other clubs, and not with us, because Roberto Martinez hasn’t got the ability to get the best out of them as individuals or put them together as a solid unit.

It’s a shame as he comes across as a decent bloke but, along with a growing number of Evertonians, I think we need a change. There must be a list of managers out there that are more tactically aware than him. We’ve got the best full-backs in the country, the best young centre-back in Europe, Rom, Geri, McCarthy, Mirallas, Barkley...

Yet what he sees in Kone is a mystery! I cringe every time I see him on the pitch and what makes it worse is he has that number 9 on his back. He is not worthy.

Show us a good decision and resign; shame but reality.

Keith Monaghan
178 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:02:48
Very disappointed, like everyone. Top 4 theoretically on, but not realistic. As many have said, Howard should be dropped – but didn’t cost us the game in spite of being suspect on the second penalty – but he doesn’t help defence, eg, that corner well inside the 6-yard box in the first few minutes.

Kone shouldn’t have started. Barkley is very talented, but ineffective and a lazy liability game after game – he causes a lot of our build-up to be so slow; we’re seeing why Moyes was so reluctant to play him. Deulofeu is very talented, but lazy and very ineffective at times - his crossing was hopeless today; he should have been replaced by Lennon much earlier. Mirallas should be given a run of starts; he's our biggest threat apart from Rom, even when he is on the bench!

This is not our best squad for years – not enough strength in depth. Something is seriously wrong when a 34-year-old is our best midfielder by miles.

Kevin Rowlands
179 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:02:54
Well said, JD; Howard is a fucking liability and has cost us goals AND games for two seasons now.

Everton have been leading 12 times in games this season and the opposition have had 12 efforts on goal and guess what? – Yes, they’ve scored on all 12 – not one saved.

Jim (#144), I’m guessing you're a Yank and feel the need to stick up for him, but he’s 37 years old; he is only going to get even worse, is way past his sell-by date, and btw can’t even get into the US National Mens Team any more... he's getting kept out by Brad frigging Guzan! He needs to be dropped and then sold, end of. MartInez is making a fool of himself sticking with him.

Geoff Williams
180 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:03:28
250-mile round-trip to watch yet another poor performance. I thought Leicester were very average and I can’t see them sustaining this run of results. Recently we’ve been turning victories into draws – are we now turning draws into defeats?

I’m not one for abusing the players and some bile thrown at our players on this site is shameful but I can’t see Everton achieving any success with Martinez. He has at his disposal some incredible talent and he hasn’t a clue what to do. I would sack him tomorrow.

Mike Price
181 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:23:16
John Daley... good posts and bang on about Howard.

He did cost us the game, yet again, because he stupidly gave away a clear penalty to put us 2-1 down.

All our problems stem from him: his ridiculous selection no matter what; his inability to ever win us a game we don’t deserve; and continuous mistakes that gift opposition wins.

He’s never been much good and for years has been THE worst goalkeeper I’ve ever seen at Everton. Others have had bad games, but no-one has consistently been this bad for this long.

Martinez deserves the sack for his stubborn non-recognition of the glaringly obvious – Howard being the prime example of his incompetence.

Andy Walker
182 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:37:52
Yea Denver, sad but true.

The worst thing is the lack of hope. I cling on to the cup semi as the glimmer...

Roger Helm
183 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:47:00
Back from the game. I thought Leicester were a good team – good goalie, solid at the back, pressed well, quick accurate counter-attacking.

We are just going downhill. Martinez’s successful first season was built on the defensive unit Moyes made. Since then, we are just flimsy; physically weak defenders, a team without the stamina to play 90 minutes, no sign of any technical nous, no leadership, favouritism.

Anyone think we should send for Moyes??

Mike Berry
184 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:48:30
Martinez's indecision is final. Right subs but far far too late.
Andy Crooks
185 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:48:51
I agree, Mike, at his best Tim Howard was okay, right now he is, in my view, the worst goalkeeper, bar Wright, I have ever seen play on a regular basis for Everton.

Also, he is being picked by, bar Mike Walker, the worst coach I have ever seen at this club.

Christy Ring
186 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:50:43
We are 6pts above Newcastle, who are 17th. We need a reality check which way we’re heading with Martinez. His loyalty to certain players is a disgrace; every set-piece and corner we concede, our defenders are terrified, because Howard won’t move off his line.

Naismith scored a hat-trick against Chelsea, he was hauled off at half-time against Man Utd and hasn’t had a look in since (I’m not his biggest fan).

Kone scored a hat-trick against Sunderland, has been shite since, but still starts every game. Mirallas showed in 16 minutes what Everton are missing, and that Bob should be picking a team on merit, and change his game plan and tactics instead.

Peter Jansson
187 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:55:07
What can you say? Same old shit. Sorry to say but, with Martinez, we will never be better than this.... disappointing stuff.

1. Everton are way too predictable. They have one way to play and Martinez does not ever change that. That makes it too easy to read for the opponents who only have to sit back and play passive/aggressive and wait for mistakes.

2. Howard is not good enough.

3. Barry is too slow.

4. The way of playing is too slow. All the time we are banging set defenses... and clearly we are not good at that.

5. With this possession, Martinez-style, Everton will make mistakes all the time as our defensive line and midfield are not good enough for this style of play.

6. Very bad strategic management during games. Everton have one way to play and Martinez cannot change tactics during the game. That is way too predictable and makes it easy for the opponents. He only changes a left winger for another left winger etc.

Today, instead of taking Deulofeu out, he could have taken Kone and Barry off to put in Mirallas and Lennon or Naismith to make the game a little more exciting in the end. I mean when you are down 1-3 15 minutes to go.. what do you have to lose?

7. Everton are totally useless on corners. Do they ever practice corners?

I believe that these are some the main problems we (Everton) have today. They come back to haunt us all the time, game after game.

Brent Stephens
188 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:55:08
I feel sorry for Barry. Again, a very good performance by him, in a very good season for him.
Fraser Auld
189 Posted 19/12/2015 at 21:57:53
We’re so easy to score against, it's painful. How many times did Leicester have the ball in our box the entire game? 4,5, maybe 6 times and they scored three goals.

Those laying the blame squarely at Howard for our defensive woes this season are absolutely kidding themselves.

Neither of our centre-backs are commanding enough, that includes Jags when fit. They don’t win enough balls in the air, they’re not physical enough, they’re not aggressive enough, they’re not leaders, they’re too nice... you could go on.

Leicester’s keeper was really well protected today by defenders who, first and foremost, did their job – defending. Tackles, blocks, headers, body-on-the-line sort of stuff. None of them seemed too bothered about trying a Cruyff turn.

John Stones is great on the ball but frankly, he’s been weak defensively this season and teams are targeting him, rightly so. He’s far too nice. He might become more aggressive and commanding as he gets older but I’m not sure it's in his nature. At the moment, it's costing us badly.

We’d be a better team in my opinion, if we could get £40+ million for him and bring in a real defensive leader who organises and defends the edge of the box well. Whether Martinez would sign that sort of defender, however, is another matter.

I’m not absolving Howard of all blame here, by the way; I’m just saying that there are big issues with our defence that people are conveniently turning a blind eye to... he’s an easy scapegoat.

Take the second penalty, for instance: there are folk on here calling a loyal servant of our club every name under the sun for conceding that penalty. Get a fucking grip! Our entire central midfield posted missing, leaving the most in-form player in the league to run straight at Stones on the edge of the penalty area.

A simple ball in behind him and the keeper has to come for the ball, didn’t get there, and momentum plus a soaking wet pitch brings the man down. The defending in front of him was a goal you would see at schoolboy level: shambles.

Jay Harris
190 Posted 19/12/2015 at 22:14:06
Football is a simple game as shown by Leicester.

Defenders who can defend as if their life depended on it.

Attackers who can score goals.

And a TEAM who play for each other and the manager.

We are a collection of talented footballers who are pretty on the eye and very skillful but who have got no sense of purpose and very little ability to score goals.

I don't want to harp back to Moyes but under his regime Coleman regularly got into the box and scored goals. Leighton was the clear penalty and free kick taker and scored regularly.

What Moyes would have given to have a £28 million strikers and a mature Stones and Barkley.

What we have been witnessing over the last few years shouldn't surprise us. Wigan were regularly getting plaudits for the way they played while shipping shedloads of goals.

We have top-six players and a bottom-six manager who can't see the wood for the trees.

Peter Jansson
191 Posted 19/12/2015 at 22:17:58
#189 Fraser.

I am not blaming Howard, but he is still not good enough. He is one of several problems.

The defense (back 4) is also not good enough. And the style of play is definitely not good enough!!

The way Everton and the defense play the ball forward they constantly take too much risk. With some bad luck they could have lost another 2-3 balls in really dangerous situations today. Leicester never played with that risk.

If you look at how the Everton players are situated normally on the field, it makes us vulnerable. The back wingers are further up than the central defenders. When the defensive players lose the ball in the midfield, there are only two central defenders left to defend on the counter-attacks. You don't need to be Einstein to understand that that will lead to a lot of counter-attack goals or defensive errors, or whatever you want to call it.

Paul Hewitt
192 Posted 19/12/2015 at 22:19:45
We play with a back 4 and 2 defensive midfielders. And we still can't defend.
Don Alexander
193 Posted 19/12/2015 at 22:23:45
Chris Leyland at 174 sums Martinez up, apart from not mentioning that this season and last we've also generally run out of steam well before the 90 minutes are up.
Fraser Auld
194 Posted 19/12/2015 at 22:28:30
Hey Peter #191,

I wasn't specifically talking about you. I only read the first twenty odd posts and saw a similar theme developing to other threads this season.

For what its worth, I agree, we need a new keeper. Tim is getting to the end of his time.

I also agree, as I'm sure most (if not all do), the style of play leaves us very open when we lose the ball in certain situations, putting unnecessary pressure on our struggling defence/keeper and leaves them badly exposed.

Gary Heywood
195 Posted 19/12/2015 at 23:03:06
Completely pissed off with it now.

The last 4 games have been as exasperating as it can get. A frail defence and inability to convert a catalogue of match winning chances has drained away the teams confidence to compete for what should have been a top 6 position. We will drop further down an average league as teams with less potential than us but with more organisation and desire out-achieve us.

Martinez now has to go. It’s now to painful to watch. No Blue should have to endure this mediocrity any longer.

Ray Roche
197 Posted 19/12/2015 at 23:15:27
Mike Berry #184

"Right subs but far far too late."

Sorry Mike, don’t agree. Martinez is only capable of like for like substitutions, Lennon out wide for Deulofeu out wide, Mirallas for Kone. Nothing changes, just different personnel.

Martinez does not see that his team selection and tactics can be wrong from the off; consequently he can’t see another system or set-up, so makes his like-for-like changes. Other managers can improvise, they can see what’s going wrong on the pitch and make alterations to the side; he can’t.

Leicester are NOT a VERY good side. They are a decent team who play to their strengths and are currently performing at a maximum 100%. If they get injuries to their top players, they will start to slide. I’m not decrying them in any way but let’s not kid ourselves that we’ve lost to a great side. Any team in Britain can take points of us at the moment.

Christy Ring
200 Posted 19/12/2015 at 23:46:10
Since McCarthy got injured, we picked up 3 pts from 12...?? Does that not tell certain fans what he brings to the team?
Mark Wilson
201 Posted 19/12/2015 at 00:22:15
The hype surrounding John Stones is amazing. He looks a very good player at times, an exceptional player in fact, and every pundit for miles around lines up to suggest he’s pretty much the modern day Bobby Moore, or getting there.

Me? I see a talented lad who clearly has ability and composure who regularly fails to do the basics right. His defending in the air isn’t great because, bizarrely for Europe's best young CB, he often loses his man, and his concentration. He’s cost a few goals since his injury, and when combined with a staggeringly poor goalkeeper, our defense is struggling every game.

Yet we have a manager incapable of making the tough calls. His stubbornness is legend. The more you see him criticized for certain player selections, the more he digs in and keeps picking them. Robles is no Southall, obviously, but at present he cannot be worse than Howard and surely would command his area with more confidence? Kone works like stink but after today he cannot... just cannot... be selected for Newcastle – but he will be.

The frustration is now painful. We are barely better off than at the same point last season and well into all those "winnable" games that we haven’t won and here’s the thing: our manager has been given another season to prove that last season's pathetic showing was a one-off and he’s looking more and more like he’s slipping back into that helpless mode, stuttering along unable to change the pattern of play and making desperately needed subs far, far, too late.

This is a decent squad for a change but I’m thinking it’s been over-hyped. Rom is the real deal and forget the "he’s lazy" rubbish... he’s a £50M striker and someone will pay that for this 22-year-old in the summer. Stones needs a strong Euros and before that a much better second half of the season but I suspect his rep isn’t being helped by being part of a back line that every team in the league wants to have a crack at.

Geri? One game I think, bloody hell at last a class winger, and then in the 2nd half today he just looks like he is going to run into dead ends forever. Ross is working better despite in my view being asked to carry out this deeper role when he’s better behind the No 9, yet somehow he just doesn’t seem to be kicking on at the level his band of professional critics suggest he’s capable of....

It could all still come good, we could win the League Cup, we could improve to top six... but it doesn’t feel that way right now. I can’t escape the nagging doubt that the only way we will see this squad sustain an improvement is if see a change of approach from the manager... or change the manager. I’m not holding my breath either will happen.

Clive Lewis
202 Posted 20/12/2015 at 00:24:57
Talking to a Leicester fan, he is under the impression Martinez is a good manager. So I challenged him with evidence. He could not provide any, so therefore feeling confused where the delusions actually started.

Therefore, I conclude, after deliberation... Martinez out.

Gordon Crawford
203 Posted 20/12/2015 at 00:43:25
Best squad of players we have had since the '80s. Yet we have a manager who is clueless as to what to do with them.
And I’ll tell you another thing: this team doesn’t have a backbone. Not one leader in that team.

We will be saying goodbye to our best talent during the summer.

Tony Hill
204 Posted 20/12/2015 at 00:58:55
Mark (#201), the problem is that Barkley plays nowhere in particular. He sort of hovers around and then finds himself generally bemused as to where to go next.

My view, is that he should play deeper because I now don’t think he is a Number 10 and because he needs room to make his runs. I’d play him to link defence and attack. That would need re-arrangements once Macca is back (and I would very much like to find a place for Besic and Mirallas, though they can’t all fit together, I accept). I still think, despite very good efforts this year, that Barry should be a squad man.

Anyway, Ross needs to find himself first of all. If he doesn’t, then he’s a luxury we can’t afford. The uncertainty about his position is another thing to be laid at RM’s door in my opinion. He’s been full of windy nonsense about where Ross should play for as long as I can remember.

Terry White
205 Posted 20/12/2015 at 01:21:02
I agree, Lee (#169) but Coleman has played 200 games for us now and surely does not need to be told at this stage that throwing the ball up the line when deep in our half of the field is a better and safer option than throwing it short to one of our players when they are both going to be closed down quickly. Never mind that the rest of the defence was all over the place and the left side thinking we were going to be moving forward when we lost the ball...
Ernie Baywood
206 Posted 20/12/2015 at 02:33:07
All this hand wringing about Deulofeu being taken off ignores that the boy doesn’t play more than 45 minutes – regardless of whether he’s on the pitch or not. It’s a mystery to me whether his abandonment of the team is tactical or fitness related but it’s happening every week. If it’s fitness then he should be gone at half-time each week.

Basically this team has no character. Very good players but no backbone. The third goal was an absolute disgrace. It was our throw-in and we just went through the motions instead of thinking it through.

Basically the polar opposite to the 2004 team that had nowhere near the same talent.

David Barks
208 Posted 20/12/2015 at 02:43:58

Did you ever stop to think that maybe the reason Deulofeu is winded in the second half is because there isn’t another wide player on the pitch? Meaning, every single attack comes through him.

Do you think that maybe if the useless Kone was replaced with Mirallas, and we offered attacking options down both sides of the pitch, he might not be so exhausted?

Seriously, every single attack is up to Gerard down the right, where he either has to sprint onto a ball down the flank or take his man on. Nothing comes from the other side of the pitch.

Jamie Crowley
209 Posted 20/12/2015 at 03:14:16
I’m sitting in a hotel room, 10 pm, away with my wife on a "getaway", and she’s fast asleep... And I turn to TW, still pissed.

And what do I think??

Well done fucking Leicester!

Leicester are EVERYTHING we aspire to be. A team full of cheap no-names with real talent and a savvy manager, who WIN!!

We have an unbelievably talented team who need to learn from this game. It doesn’t matter what your pay package is, if you play for one another and work HARD, and have a solid gameplan and stick to it, you can shock the world.

Learn from Leicester, you young ones, and emulate their approach. Stop reading the hype and buckle down every game and play like it’s your last.

And that goes for our Manager. Anyone not recognizing what’s he’s putting together is blind and stupid.

And if Roberto doesn’t see that he too is making mistakes?... Then he’s blind and stupid as well.

I believe in Roberto. Let’s see if he can learn and adapt as well...

God, Everton are frustrating! They’ll kill you young if you let them!

Steve Brown
210 Posted 20/12/2015 at 05:48:50
Jamie, just head to the minibar and have a cheeky whisky. Then to paraphrase old red nose Fergie himself, just reflect and think 'Everton, bloody hell.'
Kim Vivian
211 Posted 20/12/2015 at 07:52:31
I had a thought... Jose doesn’t want a sabbatical. Get him in as interim manager for the rest of the season. He can’t need the money over the next few months after his Chelsea pay out so we won’t have to break the bank. No pressure compared to trying to maintain Champions form with that Chelsea team, or trying to maintain any high standards after RM.

He can keep his hand in working some magic with the undoubted talent we have at our disposal and then in the summer choose between Man Utd, Man City, Real Madrid, Bayern or deciding to stay in Blue Heaven. Or even wait for the England job when Roy gets the shove after another Euro debacle.

Just dreaming...

Tony Abrahams
212 Posted 20/12/2015 at 08:15:47
Jamie, Everton make most people drink just to forget!
Kim, if Mourinho wants Stones, then he can come and join him! IMAGINE KENWRIGHT?

Some excellent posts regarding our team and manager on this thread, BUT PLEASE REMEMBER BOYS, TIM HOWARD DOESN'T HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPLAY????

Jim, nothing wrong with defending the keeper, but he’s 37, and still doesn’t know how to use his experience. I wish he would have come out to Vardy, like he came for the corner at the end of the first half mate. He’s not alone though, the third goal, would see Sunday league players slaughtered, for being amateurish.

Steve Pugh
213 Posted 20/12/2015 at 09:22:13
I have read all of the comments above and feel the need to comment myself.

Howard was not to blame for the second goal. Yes, he gave away the penalty and maybe he made the wrong decision but that was going to be a goal from the moment Vardy was put through. Howard is, however, past it. I don’t buy into this "he has always been useless" rubbish. He was a good keeper, and if the defence was set up properly to play to his strengths we looked solid.

Now is the time to move on and we should be giving Robles the chance that his cup appearances deserve. If he isn’t good enough then buy a new keeper but we shouldn’t be spending without giving him some game time. Last season he proved that he improves the more he plays.

There is only one person to blame for the Howard problem and that is the manager. Firstly for still playing him and secondly, if he must play him, for not organising the defence to negate his weakness on crosses.

People calling for a Shawcross style defender are spot on. At the moment, we have two very good ball-playing centre-halves, but we don’t have a stopper. This is the fault of the manager and nobody else: his need to have passing players in every position has rendered our defence useless. We are better when we have Jags alongside one of these two because he is a stopper.

People questioning the hype about Stones need to remember that he is very inexperienced. Most centre-backs spend years in the reserves learning about positioning. They have hours of game time out of the spotlight working out how to anticipate what the attacking team are going to do before they are thrust into the limelight of the Premier League. John Stones is having to do all of that learning in the first team and he is making all of the mistakes that every young centre-back makes. For those old enough to remember, Ratcliffe made the same mistakes when he was young but, once he had it sussed, he was superb. I for one reckon Stones will be as good.

Up front we definitely need two wingers on the pitch. I feel really sorry for Kone, when he plays regularly in the middle he is actually a good player and links up well with Rom. But put him out wide with the limited freedom to drift in occasionally and his game falls apart along with his confidence. Kev, on the other hand, is a player with a game ideally suited to play out wide and occasionally drift into the middle. I don’t know why Martinez won’t play him, something must have happened off the pitch but the fact that Kev hasn’t put in a transfer request suggests to me that he wants to be at Everton and that it is a personal issue between him and the manager.

Similar to Mirallas, you have to wonder what is going on with Naismith, Lennon and Besic. I wouldn’t start with Naismith, he isn’t good enough on the ball. But he should be getting more time on the pitch than he does. He is a good finisher and he is a narky git who wouldn’t accept the lazy second-half performances that his teammates have been producing recently.

Lennon is similar. He got his contract because of his attitude last season and the fact that he dragged the rest of the team along. Well, we need that attitude in the second half of every game right now and not just for the last 17 minutes.

Besic is another nasty little player who will always get stuck in – yet again, something that we need. Personally I don’t understand why Martinez signed him if he doesn’t like that sort of player. A team needs to have a balance between nice flair players and nasty ball winners; every great team has had that. Think about Tommy Smith, Graeme Souness, Peter Reid. Real Madrid bought our very own Tommy Gravesen for that very reason. We have those players at the club but the manager will not play them.

To me, the evidence is overwhelming: Martinez must go now so that a new manager can change things before it’s too late. If anyone disagrees, I’d love to know why.

Kim Vivian
214 Posted 20/12/2015 at 09:27:30
So, John Daley -– you’re into Prisoner Cell Block H and shave your scrote as well.... Worriesome!

Cracking post tho. Good laff on a Sunday morning!

Steve Roomes
215 Posted 20/12/2015 at 09:28:17
He has to go now, his coaching methods are crap. We have given away so many sloppy goals through poor defending which boils down to poor coaching.

We have the best squad of players for a very long time; the we play and the results just aren’t good enough.

He came in supposedly as some tactical genius but many pub team managers would do a better job... no disrespect to pub team managers.

Bill, get shut now!

Gordon Crawford
216 Posted 20/12/2015 at 10:26:23
We need a new manager to get the best out of this talented bunch. But sadly Roberto won’t be getting sacked anytime soon.

I’m tired of him and his favourites. Week-in and week-out, he plays the same average players.

And the players themselves need to take responsibility for the defencive mess. Most of them need a kick up the ass.

Dave Ganley
217 Posted 20/12/2015 at 10:54:35
Ah, Sunday morning has come around and I still feel soul destroyed after yesterday's game. It's a hard business watching Everton these days. The stadium was like a morgue, again. The playing script went to plan, again. Leicester are not a great team, they are average but what they do well is maximise what they have.

I left Goodison yesterday, still shaking my head in wonder as to how we managed to pluck defeat out of the jaws of victory. We seem to be turning it into an art form. "See how many ways you can fuck up and gift the opposition goals" seems to be our motto now.

The left side of our attack is shambolic. It's no wonder Deulofeu fades out of games as it only takes the opposition a short time to realise everything is going through him. Shackle him and we are clueless. Doesn’t matter whether Baines or Galloway plays as they are both isolated due to poor players in front of them.

How Kone gets a game is beyond me. He has had a couple of half-decent games, scored a hattrick against one of the poorest teams to visit Goodison in an age and suddenly he’s Gullit, Van Basten and Kluivert all rolled into one. Wish people would stop making excuses as to why he is so poor. Having a bad injury is no excuse. He was/always has been a poor to average player who can never last 90 minutes but he is a Martinez favourite so must be played.

There is no natural width on the left and as others have said, it was crying out for Mirallas much much earlier. The balance of the side being wrong is exposed week after week. To a certain extent I feel sorry for Barry. He clearly has the ability but not the legs anymore. I wish we had him 5 to 10 years ago. He has played well this season but is just not quick enough I’m afraid.

No point going on about the defence as it's just going over very much covered old ground. We will never learn with this idiot in charge. Same excuses different day. We should never have lost yesterday. Any half-decent manager would have found a way for our team to have beaten them.

As I said earlier, they were not a great side, offered little going forward but we were so one-dimensional that our talent just goes to waste. A recurring theme throughout the league this season. Very poor league and we still can’t beat teams. The fact that we are now at Xmas and we have won only 5 games all season is enough for me.

To be honest I had had enough this time last year but the Martinez apologists repeatedly told us that all he needs is time to gel all these so-called talented players into his image and we will be a great team to rival our great 80s team. They tried to draw parallels between the situations... piss poor teams waiting for that "Oxford cup moment" to turn the tide. Well these kind of things don’t repeat themselves. That was a once in a lifetime turning point so stop deluding yourselves and the rest of us that that will happen again. It wont because that idiot in charge wont let it. Same mistakes different day and has been the same since he came in charge.

I am fed up with leaving the ground bewildered as to how we managed to fuck up yet another winnable game and fed up with being in a ground devoid of atmosphere. Was that plane that circled round the ground a Kenwright publicity stunt? Probably. Thanks, Mr Kenwright? Yeah thanks for winning fuck all for over 20 years, thanks for giving us a relegated manager and thanks for presiding over the death of the atmosphere at one of the great football grounds in England.

All-in-all, this last 18 months/2 years have been some of the worst match day going experiences I have ever been subjected to and that includes the piss poor teams we have had in the past. The reason being this team is not poor, this team has the potential to be very good but this idiot manager won't let it due to poor game management, poor game preparation, poor player fitness levels, poor defending and a refusal to drop his favourites. All-in-all, very poor and the sooner he fucks off and we can get someone in who knows what he is doing then the better.

Any fucking manager who says he would rather win 4-3 than 1-0 wants fucking. No wonder we can't win a fucking game with that attitude. The only reason Keegan got away with it for so long at Newcastle was because they had top top players who were head and shoulders above ours. Fucking stupid way to play the game and he rarely delivers on that stupid statement either. All in all it is a complete waste of the talent that he has at his disposal... So Thank You, Goodnight and Fuck Off, Señor Martinez.

George McKane
218 Posted 20/12/2015 at 10:55:38
What was really interesting (mmm...) for me was that, when we equalised in the 32nd minute – just 5 minutes after they took the lead – absolutely nothing happened until we went 3 -1 down in the 69th minute. No feeling of "OK, let's go on and win this" and nothing, absolutely nothing from the Manager to change things.

I have never slagged Martinez off on TW but I am totally fed up with the feelings of nothingness, mediocrity, apathy, laziness, indecisiveness and total lack of any serious thought-making emanating from Goodison.

I spoke in the pub after the game and almost everyone agreed that nothing will change for years and years and yet we also spoke about our fans and especially our away following which is second to none – WE DESERVE BETTER. Sick of this.

I asked the question last week and haven’t had a comment on it: Is there a BIG MAN anywhere inside Goodison – someone the size of Peter Reid or Alan Ball or Howard Kendall? If there is, please STAND UP and DO SOMETHING!!!!

Paul Nicholls
219 Posted 20/12/2015 at 11:12:19
Said it after the New Year’s Day embarrassment at Hull. And again after our no show away at Stoke. On and on. Martinez is clueless. Somebody please give me a reason to keep this clown in charge.

I like to think I know my footy. I've watched the Blues for over 40 years and been involved in the grass roots game for 30. Am I missing something chaps?

David Flanagan
220 Posted 20/12/2015 at 11:14:09
George (#218).

I couldn’t agree more. We have no leadership at board level, nothing from the manager, and no leaders on the pitch.There is no BIG MAN at the club and that’s why we just meander through each season and, when we have a chance to do something, we ALWAYS bottle it.

Too many people have bought into the bullshit spouted by our chairman and manager and accept mediocrity too easily.

Sean Kelly
221 Posted 20/12/2015 at 11:24:24
I’m 50 years supporting this once fantastic club and having experienced some great high and many fucking lows this current situation is the pits. I’ve witnessed Lee and Walker two depressing football managers but the present incumbent is worse. The only difference is that stupid smiling gob spoofing to us about fucking potential.

Any manager that has blind faith in keeping his failing favorites on the pitch is a stubborn sod. I’m fuming here with the shite being delivered by Martinez.

I’m not going down the road of others with the doom and gloom of the Wigan route but we have the players to be pushing for top four. We have the talent to be higher than mid table mediocrity but we have a stubborn clueless manager that thinks anything above 18th is phenomenal.

Mr Martinez I like many other true Evertonian are hurt by the dross you serve up, week-in & week-out. You are a bullshitter and a fraud. You are an insult to the memory of our former greats Kendall, Ball and Catterick.


Brent Stephens
223 Posted 20/12/2015 at 12:52:34
Do we feel that the players are all on board with Roberto’s philosophy? Will we see any signs of him losing the dressing room in the near future? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Last season there were signs of some rumblings among the lads and subsequent signs of more direct football, played with more pace. I suspect that we might not be far from dressing-room grumblings.

Brent Stephens
224 Posted 20/12/2015 at 13:07:08
We play some great stuff. We are the second best in the Prem in terms of goals scored.

Quite simply a problem defensively. Too much space given to the opposition when they have the ball in our final third, so too many balls getting into the area (compare how fast Leicester and other teams bite into our men we we get the ball – so Geri yesterday able to get few decent balls into the box).

The shape of our defence is DIRE at times – GOOD individual players with a COLLECTIVE appalling shape. And our defenders dwelling on the ball too much when they have it (pissed off with Stones bringing the ball and still bringing it towards, say, Geri, finally releasing it to Geri who by now has a man up his arse).

Danny O'Neill
225 Posted 20/12/2015 at 13:59:55
Definitely missing an old head at the back. One position that benefits from experience more than any is centre back. Our centre backs at the moment are 24 (getting used to a different culture) and 21. Jagielka back will make a difference. Also, I’d be interested in the stats / results since McCarthy has been out. Whilst Cleverley has done well, I think McCarthy would have countered them in the middle a bit better.

Two stupid penalties was the difference yesterday. Credit to Leicester; we didn’t do enough to win; had it not been for those naively given away penalties, I don’t think they did either.

Martinez should have gone with width over Kone; they wanted it compact and in the middle and we should have stretched the pitch more to open them up.

Kevin Tully
226 Posted 20/12/2015 at 14:27:25
Results just aren’t acceptable. 23 points from 17 games is the position we find ourselves in, and that is not far off relegation form. I want to see us play football on the floor, but you have put in the hard yards first of all in this League.

This team lacks one vital ingredient – balance. It’s no good throwing Barkley, Deulofeu and Kone into the side if they offer no protection whatsoever defensively, it’s like playing with half a midfield.

I think most fair-minded people decided to give Martinez another half a season after the shambles we witnessed last season, but he’s about two or three games away from losing any support he has.

You never know, the League Cup may save his skin, but we have to dramatically Improve before the majority turn on him. Weak management not replacing Howard, who was statistically the worst ’keeper in the League last season, and he’s going that way again this campaign.

We shouldn’t have to suffer mid-table again, not good enough.

Roger Helm
227 Posted 20/12/2015 at 14:48:02
We are not going to win much until the midfielders start contributing goals. But Martinez only seems to recruit DMs - and now he is turning Barkley into one.

Cleverley (0 from 8), McCarthy (3 from 86), Barry (3 from 97), Barkley (16 from 81), Gibson (2 from 47), Besic (0 from 22), are not going to get enough.

What will happen when our only goal scorer gets injured?

The only attacking midfielder who can score, Mirallas (29 from 86) doesn't even get picked!

What happens when Lukaku, who scores most of out goals, gets injured?

Mike Powell
229 Posted 20/12/2015 at 14:51:43
Please, Bill, do something positive for a change and get rid of this incompetent buffoon before we are relegated.
Brent Stephens
230 Posted 20/12/2015 at 15:32:00
Roger "We are not going to win much until the midfielders start contributing goals."

I think scoring isn't our problem - second highest scoring team in the Prem.

Chris James
231 Posted 20/12/2015 at 15:37:41
I agree with Brent, our problems are 100% at the back. I think Howard should get some flak (and boy does he), but the general defensive organisation, especially at set-pieces, is woeful. It’s doubly staggering considering we supposedly have two defensive midfielders in front of a back four.

It’s like they’ve forgotten everything Moyes taught them for 10 years. I don’t hate Martinez, but he’s shown a total inability to recognise and correct the core issues with the side (the set-pieces are just baffling) so, given the choice, I’d swap DM back in a heartbeat.

Don Alexander
232 Posted 20/12/2015 at 15:55:51
Brent Stephens (#223) makes a good point. Last season at Kiev, 4-0 down mind, it was obvious the players changed things. Ozzie and other players said "We got back to the old Everton way" more or less. They continued like that thru’ the next month and took nearly every point available before curling up again once relegation was avoided.

>It seems that the aging Eto’o and Buzz had said the same thing since the earliest part of the season and we all know what happened to them. But as said, there’s no leader in the dressing room, the board room or anywhere else. (But I apologise if the head groundsman feels insulted, the pitch looks great!)

Nigel Munford
233 Posted 20/12/2015 at 16:34:47
Just seen the results from earlier, Watford 3-0 Liverpool, it seems that there may be a new order starting in the Premier League!

All of these so-called small teams are steam-rollering the so-called bigger teams. What has happened to the league this year?

Patrick Murphy
234 Posted 20/12/2015 at 16:38:25
Nigel (233) Perhaps the FIFA investigations are turning up some less desirable aspects of the game and it has suddenly become a more level playing field but as usual our club fail to make hay whilst the sun is shining.
Dave Kelly
235 Posted 20/12/2015 at 16:39:49
Am I the only Blue who thinks Gibson should be given a run? He’s a natural ’ship steadier’ who would bring a bit more authority to our midfield.

Barry noticeably only lasts about an hour these days, Ross is frighteningly unpredictable when he plays deep and Cleverley looks ordinary to me.

Also time to bring in Joel Robles. It hurts me to say this but Tim has gone. Oh and John Stones, incredible talent... but hasn’t learned how to boss the defence yet.

Nigel Munford
236 Posted 20/12/2015 at 16:40:30
Very true Patrick, golden opportunity gone begging.
John Crawley
237 Posted 20/12/2015 at 16:42:35
Dave, I completely agree about Gibson – if he’s fit he must play.
Mark Rimmer
238 Posted 20/12/2015 at 17:59:15
It’s so frustrating that the solution is so simple and we can’t do anything about it! Change keeper and give Mirallas more game time, preferably in place of Kone. That’s it!

We still need to work on the defence, but that alone would have addressed a couple of glaring issues that guaranteed us more points. But the stubborn Spaniard won’t change it! It’s feckin’ painful!

Tom Bowers
239 Posted 20/12/2015 at 19:37:37
Not good enough despite some enterprising football much like RM's first season but those defensive frailties will kill us every time.
Need some more pace in the middle as I too agree about Cleverly and Barry not quite being up to snuff in the second half of games.
Leicester seem to have it made under Ranieri. He has got a great formula and the players are responding.
Everton need a classy general in the middle who also has speed.
Tony Twist
240 Posted 20/12/2015 at 19:44:43
Unfortunately the people in charge will bend over backwards before getting rid of this fool of a manager. The only chance of a quick change would be BK bringing Moyes back in again! God help us!
Jeff Armstrong
241 Posted 20/12/2015 at 19:54:46
Any ideas on a new manager? Best I could come up with due to my ignorance of the continental teams was the man who built the current leaders and possible champions elect,

Nigel "you looking at me"Pearson, apparently according to one of his exes he wasn’t the total prick he made himself out to be in those press conferences. He was quite good at that coaching lark apparently. Oh, and he was a brick shithouse of a defender, so he might know a thing or two about goalies and corners,oh and he’s cheap and available!
Les Netherwood
242 Posted 20/12/2015 at 20:24:32
Another great day!! Why does Kone always play? He is just not good enough for the Premier League... but idiot Martinez always puts him ahead of Mirallas,and Naismith.

Barry is and has been a really good player but I think now his legs are gone and he gives away lots of fouls and is booked too often, and I never feel right with Cleverley playing. We are slowly going down the league and I never feel confident no matter who we are playing.

Martinez is out of his depth; you only have to listen to the rubbish he comes out with at press conferences... the sooner he is gone the better. Let's have Koeman from Southampton as manager!!

Paul Tran
244 Posted 21/12/2015 at 08:41:46
Koeman? Another one season wonder, like Sherwood, Monk... and Martinez? Ernie Howe is the current flavour of the month, yet he’s had half a season in the top flight. Oh yeah, there’s that Watford bloke, he’s been around for, er, months hadn’t he? How many of us stuck a tenner on Leicester when Ranieri got the job? No, me neither.

Before installing one of this week’s winners as our next manager, maybe it’s better to think about what kind of manager we want and what kind of football we want to play.

I’d like the intensity of Moyes’s teams at their best, the ability to keep the ball and close out games, midfielders who run into the box and score goals and above all, a dogged spirit when things are going against us.

Who is he? Where is he?

Tony Abrahams
245 Posted 21/12/2015 at 09:26:56
Not sure about Gibson, Dave, but do think we need to get our midfield to play further up the pitch. Agree with Roger 227, about our midfielders not contributing enough goals, but we don't get enough bodies in the box to enable them to do this.

Dela got space to run at the fullback on Saturday. Alls we had to do was get it wide to him, let him run at them and get bodies into the box for his crosses. We never have more than 2/3 men breaking their necks, trying to get forward to score a goal.

Les Netherwood
246 Posted 22/12/2015 at 19:38:46
The problem we have is defending corners, and we have had it since Distin left us due to Martinez ignoring him.

Jagielka is hopeless in the penalty area, I can still see, Lampard (twice), Gerard, Giroud, Wright-Phillips and Surarez in the World Cup (twice) scoring with Phil Jagielka three or four yards away watching, or his attempted clearance going straight to an eventual scorer, yet he is never mentioned as being a weakness and is second on Martinez’s team sheet (after his beloved Tim Howard... the worst keeper in the league).

Kone is also a weakness and should never be ahead of Mirallas, but always is, and Barry always gets in no matter what. It will be interesting to see what the transfer window brings in or out... a new goalie I hope.

Merry Christmas everyone and here’s hoping 2016 will see us shooting up the league... cheers!!

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