From My Seat: Chelsea (A)

We are playing some of the best joined-up footy I have seen for many a year and have some of the most coveted young players in the league, which is a complement to our present manager. But on the flip side we are unable to handle high pressure moments to see games out.

Ken Buckley 17/01/2016 48comments  |  Jump to last
Chelsea 3-3 Everton

I knew it would be a strange day when I considered how it was possible to to reach Fulham Broadway quicker than the Emirates metro stop for an away game considering our same starting point. Later I would have more considering to do after a bizarre ending to a game.

The teams came through and changes were expected after Wednesday and most were satisfied with those made with perhaps the Oviedo inclusion at right back causing most comment.

Kick off and in the first ten minutes we saw a Barkley burst to within shooting distance but alas he produced a poor shot. Mirallas showed his pace but was tackled and we gained a corner. The half then settled down into a contest where both teams were respecting each other and was a bit of a stalemate.

Up to the 20th minute it went like this: Baines marauding toward the area was chopped down but the ref saw no foul. Strange, it looked nailed on. Chelsea got a quick break and the impressive Willian got in the box and shot but Howard had narrowed the angle and the ball hit him and flew over for a corner. Barkley had another surge and his run culminated in him putting Mirallas in who netted but he was ruled offside. The lino saw that one eh?

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Lennon then skipped inside from out and fed Barkley who shot but not well and the ball rebounded to Oviedo on his right foot and his shot was wide. A good chance that. Chelsea had a move broken up but Stones had our hearts in mouths as he dribbled and dribbled in a very dangerous area but he got away with it. All in a days work to him I reckon.

The half continued in this vein with the Blues of Everton looking the better bet for a goal yet not really carving much out. The best of the rest of the half was another powerful run by Barkley and he did produce a killer ball but it caught Mirallas on his heels and ran out for a goal kick. Mirallas almost made up for that with a superb turn that left Zouma out of the game but alas a corner was his only reward. Chelsea were finishing the half the stronger but they had to be wary of Barkley with his surges as he was our best bet for setting something up but on the whistle it was still 0-0

I thought we played well enough without creating any clear cut chances as indeed did our opponent. I was pleased to see Baines looking like he is back to his best

No changes at the break so off we go again. We start on the front foot and look to attack with Baines marauding and well involved and as five minutes comes up he is definitely involved as Lukaku charges in from the right like a bull, he goes past three players and finds Barkley. He moves it on to Baines who puts in a super cross across the six yard box and the ball enters the net. The Everton fans in the corner go ballistic as it is confirmed a Terry own goal. We dont care who scores them as long as they count.

One up and tails up. Our next foray forward of note sees Barry pick out Barkley with a peach of a pass and he is in on goal, beats the keeper with a rasper but hits the post. Oh the groans. Hiddink had seen enough and promptly took off Matic in favour of Oscar to make a more attacking formation.

But only minutes passed when Barkley ran at their defence and played in the overlapping Baines he looked up and put in a perfect cross to Mirallas who seemed to be surrounded but the Belgian put in the most exquisite of turns leaving defenders out of the game and with one sublime movement found the corner of the net with a left footed shot that was met with delight from the players and travelling faithful. 2-0 and his own song was ringing out along with all the songs you have ever heard. 2-0 up away at Chelsea has to be celebrated.

Just over half hour left and for some reason we went deeper while Chelsea, with nothing to lose, threw everything at us. The hour mark was soon reached and we were under the cosh but last-second blocks, tackles and luck thwart Chelsea with Jags, Barry, Besic and Baines in the thick of things which rubbed off on others, especially Barkley who realised he had to come back and help out.

Just as I was thinking we may have drawn their sting disaster happened. Less than ten minutes after we went 2-0 up a long ball over the top saw Jags race back with Costa. Our skipper let the ball bounce and give Costa a slight advantage but there was Howard racing out to meet the incoming players and ball. He went to ground and slid taking Jags completely out and both of them in a tangle on the ground as Costa merely moved to the side and walked the ball home. Talk about Keystone cops this was 10-year-old playground footy.

It is taken as fact that a two goal lead is a precarious one and needs looking after but when the deficit is cut to one within ten minutes then the impetus shifts and that is exactly what happened today because just two minutes later Chelsea, with tails up and Costa playing like the man they thought they had bought, were level. They just poured forward and filled our box. We seemed all at sea and from a loose ball Fabregas shot with the ball hitting Besic and Howard picked it out of the net. Very little sound from the away end was emanating except for descriptive expletives. So much good work thrown away in ten minutes.

Chelsea attacked again and we repelled that one but at great cost as Oviedo was seen laying on the turf. Medics came on and gave lengthy treatment and then called for a stretcher and the lad was lifted aboard and strapped in with tubes and bottles and other paraphernalia visible. All feared the worst for a man who has already suffered so much. He had a good round of applause. Later we heard he was okay and it was just a precaution what a hell of a precaution that was! Funes Mori came on with Stones to right back as per Etihad.

Injury then struck Chelsea with Costa going down and having treatment. He returned but went down again and had lengthy treatment but was taken off and replaced by Remy. These long breaks seemed to have re-set the game and it was now an end-to-end humdinger with both teams flat out for a winner. Our present manager swapped Barkley and Lennon for Deulofeu and Pienaar with the clock ticking down and emotions rising and falling, such was the state of the game.

Mikel had a power drive just wide then Stones got down the right wing and crossed and just out of reach of Lukaku. Drat, hissed the faithful. We are just on 90 mins when we attacked and get a corner, Deulofeu took it but a Chelsea head was there first but only back to the Spaniard. He put in a delightful high dipping cross to the back post evading the keeper and there were Funes Mori and Lukaku it was a case of if the first one doesnt get you the second one will and it was the first one who from a mid-air position rifled home causing Bournemouth-like scenes to take place, without the pitch invasion.

Such was the celebration that only later did someone say 7 minutes added. The game was going again and we seemed to be at panic stations around our own box rather than trying to see the game out with some order and plan. Chelsea were throwing everything at us now and we were just heading and kicking to nowhere in particular so the ball kept coming straight back. The time must be up I thought as another ball is pumped into our box but only half clearances seem to be taking place and from one scramble a mighty roar goes up and Chelsea players are in the crowd. I didnt need telling what had happened and then to here later the scorer was a yard offside was crippling.

Final score in quite a match 3-3. Normally that score away to Chelsea would have been celebrated but today I heard some liken it to a death in the family!
Baines

MotM: Baines

The after-game reactions from manager, players and fans was of a case of robbery. Everyone was to blame, the ref, the linesman, the manager, the players, El Nino and that Cat but really from my seat it was all about a problem we have had all season. We are playing some of the best joined-up footy I have seen for many a year and have some of the most coveted young players in the league, which is a complement to our present manager.

But on the flip side we are unable to handle high pressure moments to see games out. Our rich promise and cultured football goes out of the window to be replaced by uncoordinated uncertainty. We badly need a plan that everyone knows how to handle these situations and if it is we have got one it needs changing. It's heartbreaking for fans to witness such fine football that puts us in front being usurped by panic stricken defending when we know we have the class and strength to look after this side of things. I hope manager and players take this serious matter on board and dont just talk about it do something about it.

A week to work on things and Swansea at home. Roberto, the eyes of the faithful will be on proceedings.

UP THE BLUES

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Reader Comments (48)

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Don Alexander
1 Posted 18/01/2016 at 00:35:43
Thanks again, Ken, for this and every report you do. They’re a good, accurate read except for the fact that, under (our "present") Roberto, we’re going nowhere but downwards.

He’s proved himself to be what he is well before we had him inflicted on us... and that’s an incompetent bullshitter!

Can we give our "present" back?

Dick Fearon
2 Posted 18/01/2016 at 01:16:26
Ken, we are fortunate to get your reports plus those from Paul T, Michael and Lyndon. Being 12,000 miles from my spiritual home those reports add greatly to my TV viewing of games. However. I have noticed each of you is reluctant to offer more than the merest of gentle criticism where it is due.

For instance, England centre-back Jagielka's failure to deal with an innocuous lob plus the lack of communication between himself and Howard was disgraceful. As he is usually glued to his goal line, Howard's rush to involve himself in that particular episode was lunacy.

When Hiddink made a few simple tactical changes the game swung in Chelseas favour. He moved Fabregas from supporting Costa to centre-midfield and brought on Oscar to play that role. Martinez could find no answer to Hiddink's change of tactics and that has been a weakness that will be to our cost as more managers cotton on.

Andy Peers
3 Posted 18/01/2016 at 03:00:20
The Keystone Cops goal was all Howard's fault. When you are rushing out for the ball like that, then all you should see is the ball.

Tim Howard saw two people coming towards him and how was he going to not get hurt. He is not brave enough to be an Everton Goalkeeper and he has cost us at least 10 points this season.

Andy McNabb
4 Posted 18/01/2016 at 03:04:54
Thanks Ken. Rather than me waffling on - I will just quote you.

"It's heartbreaking for fans to witness such fine football that puts us in front being usurped by panic stricken defending when we know we have the class and strength to look after this side of things."

Michael Penley
5 Posted 18/01/2016 at 06:38:48
I notice that when the ball goes out of play Howard talks and shouts his mouth off, but where is the communication when it's needed? He's at the ideal viewpoint, he should be talking with his central defenders. Jags is to blame too for this, by the way, for not sorting him out as captain.
Rob Hooton
6 Posted 18/01/2016 at 08:04:00
Thanks, Ken, I thought Mirallas was great and chased and harried really well, looked our most potent weapon for a while and is hopefully a sign of things to come.

My feelings have dissipated somewhat this morning and it is just one of those decisions that the clubs with money to burn seem to get so often, think we will climb the table but not sure at what rate.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 18/01/2016 at 08:05:05
Both Jagielka and Tim Howard, long term servants but also two of the most culpable player’s that tend to go missing when we have needed them the most, and the amount of lapses, error’s in concentration both men have at times, and I’m going back year’s here too, is alarming.

That said it’s not solely down to those two.

Once Martinez has looked back he might reach the same verdict as Leighton Baines in knowing the game should have been managed better at 2-0. The shrewd move at 2-0 would have been to get Funes Mori on for Oviedo in my opinion and bolster the defence but Martinez just cannot grasp how you see a win out with 20-30 minutes remaining.

It’s been like this all season, last season was the same. Remember being 2-0 up at home to Arsenal with 83 minutes on the clock only to throw it away and drop the two points! And Martinez wants us to believe we have learned lessons regarding this! Who’s he trying to fool?

We have a shambolic win ratio, we have won once since November and that was with the last touch of the ball, we have endlessly frittered away winning positions and teams now know that Everton, whilst they play good attacking football, are a very very easy team to play against, as Peter Reid points out, we are "a soft touch ".

I’ll say it again, Roberto Martinez wants us to continue playing this gung-ho football but exactly how many teams are we really outscoring? We are not exactly winning that many matches 3-2 or 4-3 now.

I’m not convinced this manager will ever truly learn to get the balance correct no matter what player’s he has. Sure we will score goals, there will be lots more 3-3 draws that feel like defeats because we can’t see out a lead but the few clean sheets we keep will only be in 0-0 draws when we totally neglect attack as we did at The Etihad.

I expect nothing to change under Martinez any time soon.

Ray Jacques
8 Posted 18/01/2016 at 08:21:20
I have the solution to our problem of draws and/ or defeats from the verge of victory.
Keep Roberto as manager for the first hour of the game to play our attacking football and build a lead. Once we are ahead, remove him from the stadium and bring in Moyes to shut up shop and hang on for the win!!!!!!

Jim Bennings
10 Posted 18/01/2016 at 09:07:55
You hit the nail on the head with... "we are unable to handle high pressure moments ".

It has always been this way at Everton, whether it’s gimme Cup Quarter Finals at home to Wigan or Semi Finals when the spotlight is on us, we just implode and push the self destruct button time and time again.

For this reason I have no faith going to Manchester City next week, that will be the game that truly defines not only this season but if we have the stomach, the bottle and mentality to succeed.

It’s getting close to being the last hope of achieving something for the likes of Phil Jagielka, even Leighton Baines, guys who have been here years but in their careers won nothing.

Next Wednesday night for me will tell me everything I need to know once and for all about the strength of character.

Much like last year’s abomination in Kiev, when we went there with a 2-1 first leg advantage, it will always tell me if we really are learning the lessons that Roberto Martinez wants us to believe.

Mark Palmer
11 Posted 18/01/2016 at 09:09:31
As far as I can see, Roberto’s defensive failings can be attributed only to selection (Jags has always been an accident waiting to happen for Everton & England) – and even that is harsh. The teams he puts out are more than capable of beating any team in the Premier League. Chelsea’s first goal was a complete cock-up by Jags and Tim, the second a deflection and the third offside after our defence had failed to win a succession of headers.

If he actually NEEDS to tell his players to park the bus when we’re up with minutes remaining then it’s a pity. The players on the pitch need to manage their own decisions – they’re not children.

Michael Winstanley
12 Posted 18/01/2016 at 09:51:45
Tim Howard is a buffoon. How Martinez can continue to start this flappy handed, big girl's blouse is beyond me. Chelsea didn’t look like scoring and we were cruising at 2-0 and then Howard does what he does best, misses the ball completely and manages to take out Jags leaving Costa with an empty net.

Game changed all thanks to Tim’s decision making and execution. Tim Howard is not good enough, he has cost us again and will continue to do so.

Has Martinez got the bottle to drop him?


Kevin Gillen
13 Posted 18/01/2016 at 09:54:03
Great report, Ken. Heartbreaking season so far. We should be celebrating our first win in 20 years at Chelsea and talking about European Qualification, being above Liverpool and celebrating the manager for the free flowing and attractive football he has brought back to Goodison.

To my mind he and we were all let down by two of our most experienced players and principally by the officials. The fault for their first goal to me lies squarely with Jagielka, not Howard, although if you are going to dash out like that you should be sure to take something.

Last year it was the senior players who underperformed in crucial games. I feel we are so close to something special but don’t quite have the necessary cynicism or savoir faire to take the points when they are on offer.

I still think this season can be a success with a visit to Wembley or two and a top six finish and I don’t think Martinez should be judged until the end of the season or possibly next season as I see the best football we have seen for a long time, without admittedly the results, at Goodison this season

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:01:48
Michael,

Howard chickened out when he saw it was Diego Costa, if you watch it again Howard is actually leaning away from making impact with potentially the ball and Costa at the same time, most likely due to fear of injury, the man always does this, he gave away a penalty at home to Sunderland a few years ago again going in with his legs instead of standing his ground.

The man is what he is, but it’s Martinez who is at fault for endlessly selecting him.

Jagielka too must shoulder some blame though, for a man that experienced to commit the sin of allowing the ball to bounce was frankly a disgraceful error of judgment, secondly getting outpaced by that lightening quick fleet footed Diego Costa (haha not).

That’s us in a nutshell though, individual errors, failure on a collective scale, all letting down such great attacking play.

Christopher Dover
15 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:09:18
Brilliant report, Ken, and summed up how I felt watching the match, gutted made worse by assistant ref not giving offside.

Jags seemed to loose the flight of the ball, it can happen, but should Howard charge out to edge of area and miss the ball?

Perhaps the fault is being to high up the field, we also defend to close to our goal, it needs sorting and down to manager to get it right.

I have very mixed feelings reading the ToffeeWeb comments; RM is not going anywhere soon, he, the team the coaches have to talk and sort the system out now. I do agree we panic, if we go ahead the team seem to be like me, waiting for the opposition to score; a solution has to be found and soon. The good times cannot be allowed to be around the corner, to find another corner and then another.

Michael Winstanley
16 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:09:42
Totally agree with you Jim.

I think last season with our player unrest Howard must have been one of the senior pros who stood by his manager and in doing so earned himself a mega contract.

RM: 'when I see Tim Howard in our changing room I feel safe'.
Sweet as Roberto, now have the plums to leave him in there when the game starts.

Jamie Barlow
17 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:21:40
I put no blame on Tim Howard for coming out of his goal for our first conceded. He has from the moment Jags doesn’t deal with the header to make a decision. For me, he made the right one.

Where he fucked up is when he did come out, he should have smashed everyone and everything 70 yards up the field. He didn’t though, his arse went, he bottled it like he so often does.

Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:31:28
Haven’t read the report, Ken, I’m in a hurry now, but what you wrote after giving Baines MotM was 100% correct.

It was that good, I think it should be sent to Finch Farm, and put on the changing room walls for everyone connected with our first team squad to read. It’s how we all feel

Jason Murray
19 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:57:22
Ironic how desperate the linesman was to put his flag up for our first from Mirallas. Shame he didn't feel the same need when it truly mattered! Despite the obvious injustice of conceding a blatantly offside equaliser we have only ourselves to blame for being in that position in the first place.

How many times have we seen a two goal lead blown through sheer panic stricken incompetency? Not only that, but to once again go in front in the 90th minute and still allow a 98th minute leveller FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON is SO infuriating!

We cannot expect to grant teams such an easy way back into games and still come away with a victory.

Two draws away to Chavski and Manc Shitty are positive results in that we didn't get beat but as far as points on the board go we're still languishing in the bottom half of the table which simply isn't good enough.

John Raftery
20 Posted 18/01/2016 at 11:05:10
The main culpability for the first goal lies with Jags for failing to deal with a routine ball down the middle. He was similarly caught out several years ago against Arsenal at Goodison when we lost 4-1 after leading 1-0. As on Saturday it was Fabregas who launched the ball for Eduardo to chase. Jags has always been slow on the turn and like most defenders prefers to have the play in front of him.

For the final goal with only about fifteen seconds left we had cleared the ball up to the halfway line where Deulofeu had the chance to hoof it towards the corner flag and give chase. Chelsea would not have been able to retrieve possession in time to mount another attack. I would have expected an eleven year old to understand that. The way he cheaply lost the ball was criminal. No wonder Jags and Lukaku expressed their frustration to him.

Baines was excellent as was Mirallas. This was a game we deserved to win by at least two clear goals. Instead it felt like a defeat.

Brian Harrison
21 Posted 18/01/2016 at 11:20:11
Yes, their equalising goal was offside even Hiddink agreed, but the problem is all RM's teams have had the same problem. Good going forward and woeful at the back, whether it was Wigan or now Everton. Yet I still see posters saying when he sorts out our defensive problem we will be a match for anyone. But the point is he will never sort it out because has he has said on many occasions he doesn’t want us to be a team that plays defensively to protect a lead.

By the way for the good football we have played this year as I said yesterday we have won more league game than Sunderland and Newcastle. Surely that tells you everything you need to know about RM.

Geoff Williams
22 Posted 18/01/2016 at 11:27:09
Contrary to the interpretation of others I cannot see how Jags could have headed the ball. It was a long ball over his left shoulder, he had to allow it to bounce. Had Howard held back a few yards he would have been in position to clear the ball.

Howard is good at instinctive saves but when he has time he invariably makes the wrong decision.

Geoff Williams
23 Posted 18/01/2016 at 11:35:30
A good goalkeeper can save a team anything up to 12 points a season unfortunately ours will cost us 12 points. We'd win the league easily with 24 more points. Sorry for the dodgy logic.
Paul Goodchild
24 Posted 18/01/2016 at 12:36:32
Jagielka was having a good game. I think he and one of Stones or Funes Mori makes us a bit more stable at the back.

It was a very difficult ball for him to deal with and I think Howard coming towards him may have caught him in two minds. Howard was way too far off his line. Howard made a couple of great saves and I have always liked him but I believe his time is most definitely up.

Robles needs the half season to try and establish himself, before a concrete decision is made about a new keeper in the Summer. How many extra points would we have this season if Petr Cech was our keeper?

Peter Roberts
25 Posted 18/01/2016 at 12:39:43
Following the similar Martinez getting slated for things the players need to take account for and ignoring the stuff that he has clearly made good. Is Vitor Pereira still in the minds of many?

We need stronger characters on the pitch, simple as that.

Derek Thomas
26 Posted 18/01/2016 at 13:16:41
The old MOB suit is now out of the wardrobe and airing as we speak... it may even still fit.. more or less
Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 18/01/2016 at 13:29:05
I don’t get to away games so I always look forward to your reports of these games, I again admire your patience and ability not to go over the top in your criticism of the performances players and manager but our frustrations with both are getting harder to hide.

Things cannot continue to be allowed to carry on like this, the whole group of players coaches and manager have to get together and sort this mess, because that is what it is, out, scream at each other and point out who is making these weekly cock ups and start being the professionals you are well paid to be.

This defeat was very, very hard to take for me, and I’m sure for every Evertonian who really cares about OUR club... yes our club, Mr Martinez, we are the ones who suffer for your philosophy, it’s definitely NOT our philosophy.

Terence Tyler
28 Posted 18/01/2016 at 13:54:44
Time for a bit of perspective, now that I have calmed down. Take away the deflected goal, and the offside goal. We would all be still buzzing today.
Michael Penley
29 Posted 18/01/2016 at 14:12:55
That's the right attitude Terence. It's interesting people are viewing this game as a draw or even a defeat! (#27) After all, we won the game. Not theoretically, we actually won it. For the first time since 1994. That's not a bad achievement. And if it weren't for a deflection and a silly error by Howard, we would have won it 3-0. So I can't really understand what people are getting upset about.
Patrick Murphy
30 Posted 18/01/2016 at 14:33:51
How long would we laugh if the manager or fans of the other lot across the park actually stated that they had won 3-2 because the last gasp goal was offside but not ruled that way.

Come on Blues and more importantly Mr Martinez the scoreline is whatever it is at the end of the match and we celebrate or moan accordingly but we have never before had a manager who claims that we won when we actually didn’t and I don’t remember anybody claiming we had beaten Liverpool in 1977 after Hamilton’s disallowed goal.

If it says in the papers the day after the game that it is a draw, a victory or a loss that is what matters, all the rest is so much hot-air and the manager's job is to try and ensure it doesn’t happen too often if at all.

Jamie Barlow
31 Posted 18/01/2016 at 14:34:25
I'm pretty upset we didn't get 3 points from our phantom win.
Jim Hardin
32 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:00:12
Another nice report. Not to again question the undroppable Stones, but if you have a two goal lead and are trying to absorb pressure, why is John Stones so far up the pitch? Why haven’t Jags, Besic, and/or Barry called him back. Oh yeah I forgot, that is Howard’s job to yell at someone in a noisy stadium 35 yards up the pitch.

We don’t defend well as a line or as a team because we don’t practice it. Watch Man Utd defend versus Liverpool, two lines, organized. Anything in the box, Fellaini and freaking Rooney are in there helping out. We are not organized and rely upon individual plays. This means we often are having to lunge or slide to block the ball, rather than being in a position to deny the opportunity for a shot altogether.

Until we practice team defending, and everyone knows what to do and how to stay connected, it is questionable tactics to even try to hold a lead by absorbing pressure, and parking the bus. It won’t work without individual standout performances and luck (The Man City game even though it was scoreless). One note, on the third goal, our backs were holding a straight line and put Terry offside, so does Howard get credit for organizing the defense? No, probably not, so then who was organizing them and why didn’t he do it all game long?

Watch how long it takes to set a wall on a free kick and there the ball is stopped until ready. You expect any one player to be able to continually organize the back during live action? idiotic or naive, take your pick. There needs to be a leader in the back four and there isn’t. Goalkeepers are not the captains on the field generally, since they are too far removed from the largest part of the play and players. How is a goalkeeper supposed to communicate with Stones when he is freaking at midfield all the time?

Mark Dunford
33 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:00:51
I’d add a few observations. I agree completely on Baines who does look back to his best and is a real class act. McCarthy may struggle to reclaim his place ahead of Besic. We all now know the officials were wrong about the Terry goal for Chelsea but Funes Mori was stupid to dive into the crowd, get booked and add further time to the game. More discipline needed from him and the others.

It was notable from where I was in the ground that some of the Everton players just wanted to get back to the half way line to finish the game – including Deulofeu whose exquisite cross made the goal (it spun down like a tennis player’s lob – a really fantastic piece of skill).

My main gripe is now with the goalkeeping position – I think Howard has been a good servant to the club and attracts a lot of unfair criticism. However, he also seems to be on his way out at the end of the season, isn’t as good as he was and isn’t a long time bet. Given that we’re not going to get relegated and have no more than an outside chance of finishing in the top six, I think it is time to give Robles serious game time to (a) provide him with experience needed to see if he is good enough to succeed Howard and (b) bed the defence so we avoid conceding critical goals in cup ties where we may actually win something – noting that he plays in these games anyway.

Mark Dunford
34 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:01:40
Sorry, crowd not crow!!!
Michael Penley
35 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:09:25
Patrick and Jamie (#30 and #31) - then I would assume you are more concerned with bragging rights than our team's superiority over the opposition.
Derek Cowell
36 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:36:53
I watched in the pub and as soon as we scored the 3rd goal, I told the guy next to me that it would be 3-3. As soon as their equaliser went in, he just gave me a knowing fellow-Evertonian look coz he knew it would happen too!

We are so predictable, it is untrue... except that El Bob is the only person who doesn’t seem to see that! I’m just glad the ref didn’t add on any more time for the Terry celebration as we would probably have conceded again! People have said that the dodgy decisions are ’swings and roundabouts’ but we would be better off points-wise if the City ’penalty’ and Chelsea ’offside’ had both been given correctly!

Someone mentioned us losing another 2-0 lead v Arsenal at home last season, well to go back a further season we lost a 3-2 home lead slip to the RS in the last minute too. This has been a longstanding malaise which is just getting worse and stems from Martinez’s teams having no backbone.

At least Stones and Lukaku will be off in the summer and then I fully expect Martinez to take us down over the next 2 seasons, a la Wigan. We are like Wigan now only with better players but, once we lose a couple of players and continue playing kamikaze defence, we will become exactly like them. SORT IT OUT for the sake of all our blood pressures FFS!!!!

Will Firstbrook
37 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:48:46
The dog considers it safe to finally come out from under the bed. While the end result was infuriating, it certainly was not surprising given how the season has been unfolding (like a deck chair on the Titanic).

Such a talented group meandering along in the lower half of the table. Unacceptable! Where is the plan to address the obvious weaknesses? Where is the accountability?? Week-in and week-out, the same. I often have to check whether I am watching a DVRd match. Maddening!

Notwithstanding the cock-up between Jags and Howard leading to their first goal and the horrendous officiating enabling their final one, the match seemed to take a change for the worse with Barkley’s substitution. Now our Ross is at times guilty of making bad decisions and tends to fade out of matches later on but he was physically bossing the midfield on Saturday. His penetrating runs and strength on the ball was causing them real issues and keeping their midfield at bay.

Ross will never provide much in the way of defensive support (not his game really) but opponents must respect and account for his attacking intent/threat, pace and strength. To my eyes (admittedly through a near blinding red mist) it appeared that following his withdrawal, the field tipped significantly towards our goal.

Patrick Murphy
38 Posted 18/01/2016 at 16:00:24
I don’t care about bragging rights, Michael (35), I only care about how Everton FC. The players and the fans behave, we are quick to point out the silliness of our neighbours and others at times but in this case to say we won a game when we clearly didn’t is absurd.

A fan saying such a thing is sort of understandable; our manager saying it is not acceptable on any level. Superiority over the opposition is worthless if the team don’t clock up three points for whatever reason, be it ill-fortune or bad decisions from the officials.

Mark Dunford
39 Posted 18/01/2016 at 16:14:50
Agree with Will about the Barkley substitution. Pienaar has been a great player over the years for Everton but he has never had the strength that was needed on Saturday. Lennon had played well and it was the correct move to replace him with Deulofeu. We needed someone in the middle with a more defensive approach to replace Barkley and we were pressed back easily because we lacked this.

This has been the most frustrating season that I can recall. We’ve thrown away at least 9 points – Bournemouth, Norwich, Stoke and Chelski. No doubt there are more – too depressing to scour the results!

Jon Withey
40 Posted 18/01/2016 at 17:25:08
Great report, says it all really.
Joe Clitherow
41 Posted 18/01/2016 at 17:39:01
Jamie 17

Having watched the first goal in real time my initial assessment was that Jagielka made a mistake which Howard made into a calamity when he did not have to run out. He would have a good chance of jockeying Costa wide and letting other players come back on the goal line.

Having watched the replay since I have changed my view and I think there are only two problems with the two points you make.

The first is that when the ball bounced Howard was already committed to flying out and and was past the penalty spot. Christ alone knows why he made such a poor decision but nevertheless that leads to two likely consequences for Jagielka as he must have seen Howard’s commitment to this.

Firstly, he can’t head it back to him as the first best course of action as it is more likely to go past him and be an OG or certainly cause what actually transpired in any case, i.e. the ball past Howard with Costa running on.

Secondly, it must have spoiled Jagielka’s concentration as he now has to wonder what Howard is doing rather than simply dealing with the ball as a defender..

On the second point, if Howard does a Neville Southall and takes all with him then he is red carded for sure with a possible penalty which would have surely been a worse scenario for us. He ended up yards outside of his area and gone to ground which is totally inexcusable for any keeper of any standard. Unbelievably bad decision making to come for that ball at that time.

From thinking it was a mix up and mistakes by both Jagielka and Howard in real time, the first goal is now entirely Howard’s fault in my opinion.

Des Farren
42 Posted 18/01/2016 at 18:42:43
A few points Ken.

"...and for some reason we went deeper." – This is the crux of your report. Why? Did the players do so,the manager decide so, or did Chelsea, as all home teams do, with nothing to lose, push up the field and deny us the space to play out of defence?

"...we are unable to handle high pressure moments." – We are talking here, Ken, of three current English Internationals in a back four and Funes Mori who was head and shoulders above any of them despite his short stint in the Premier League. Who is unable to handle pressure moments?

Finally, Ken, your continued usage of "our present manager" is unworthy of some excellent factual reports and indeed denigrating to Roberto Martinez but which is probably in line with a certain strain of opinion on this site.

Jamie Barlow
43 Posted 18/01/2016 at 18:54:56
Joe, Jagielka isn’t even in the picture when Howard gets there. He’s on his arse. It doesn't really matter now anyway. A fuck-up is a fuck-up, whoever fucks up.

Michael, I never mentioned the RedShite. I was just wondering why we only got 1 point.

Chris Williams
44 Posted 18/01/2016 at 19:15:28
Why wasn't Cleverley brought on with Deulofeu? A balanced substitution .
Max Murphy
45 Posted 18/01/2016 at 20:22:24
Why do people keep saying "Howard has been a good servant to the club ..." ? Just because he’s been at Goodison a long time doesn’t been he’s been any good.

I’m sure we could collect a litany of errors from each season over the last ten years in which Howard has lost us valuable points. If I had a servant who keep dropping the breakfast tray I’d sack him.
Andy Crooks
46 Posted 18/01/2016 at 21:05:57
I see that John Terry has quoted the referee as telling him, "You have seven and a half minutes, they’ve over-egged the celebrations." If accurate, this suggests to me a matieness and a bias that is unacceptable and worthy of the FA having a look at.
William Colman
47 Posted 18/01/2016 at 22:50:01
Why didn’t Jags confront the linesman over his decision not to give offside? I am sure Terry would have.
Sid Logan
50 Posted 19/01/2016 at 13:58:46
Ken, great report and the right conclusions drawn.

There ref, the linesman would, if this was a problem in isolation, probaly rightly take full criticism for this result. But it isn’t.

Martinez needs to accept the need to play the clock down when we need to. When we are 3-2 up and there’s 7 minutes of extra time to play is one of those occasions.

To see the ball be pumped back out to the opposition time after time is disgraceful panic by professional footballers. We need to have a plan as to what we do when we are in this situation again.

Some simple rules, if in doubt put the ball in the stands and regroup; carry the ball and draw a foul; know where your outlet(s) are going to be

Paul Cherrington
51 Posted 20/01/2016 at 17:38:04
Good point re running the clock down and drawing fouls to do it. We miss players like Arteta and Pienaar there who were masters at it.

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