From my seat: West Bromwich Albion (H)

Although it is not nice to hear boos at your home ground you have to concede that match-going fans paying out for season tickets and others matchday tickets but only seeing draws and losses after being told by many that this is our best squad since we last won the league can be forgiven for showing their discontent.

Ken Buckley 13/02/2016 96comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 0 - 1 West Bromwich Albion
We meet up in the Room of Nonsense after gaining back-to-back wins in the league to face West Brom, who are going through a torrid time and in danger of being dragged into the relegation fight. As long as Roberto does not change a winning team, then most were more than confident of a sound victory. Bets of 4-0 and 3-0 wins were common so what could go wrong considering the teams beamed through on 2:00 pm showed us to be same again.

Unanimous decision was that this was the correct thing to do; however, there was many a disappointed fan on noting that our new man Niasse was not on the bench as his debut was eagerly awaited. It also put paid to those who had us winning by enough goals to introduce the new man with 15 mins to go, so he could show us what he may bring to our table. Aah... the best laid plans of Evertonians, eh.

The walk up was completed in the teeth of a cold wind swirling up from the Mersey and those who had the foresight to have about five layers of gear on were already winners. The queue at the Fat Van was as big as I have seen for a long time and dwarfing the one at the Blue Dragon and blocking most of Goodison Road. Good old red hot baps with various fillings were the order of the day.

Into the ground in good time for Z-Cars and we lost the toss (was it an omen?) and kicked toward the Gwladys Street end into the sunshine that had now graced our stadium. I think all assembled knew what to expect from a Pulis team that needs points so we spent a couple of minutes passing back and forth across the back and a couple of forward passes to try to gauge how far they may venture forward and how many may break on us. My estimation was was: not far... and about three.

We then went forward and in no time Lennon had us cheering and clapping with some good mazy runs, one link-up with Coleman forced a corner which the keeper grabbed. Oviedo joined in by firstly catching one of their players and giving a free kick away which Barry cleared; then, at the other end, Oviedo took a good pass from Barkley and forced the keeper to be down quickly and save at the foot of his post. Lennon was ever prominent and often cutting to the by-line and pulling the ball back; many thought a goal was getting close. Well they were right... when, with 15 minutes gone, WBA got a corner and scored. br />
It seemed from my seat to go into slow motion as the corner was flicked on by that man mountain Olsson and with Everton players seeming transfixed and Joel looking like he was in deep mud, the ball dropped to the back post and Rondon sort of headed and shouldered the ball over the line. It took a moment to register what had happened and then it dawned that yet again we had gone behind at home. The goal also reminded me of one of my pet hates namely not having a man on the post at a corner.

As usual the goal knocked the stuffing out of us and we allowed WBA to press on us until we got some semblance of order. Once again, it was Barry who got us through that spell with some well-judged interceptions and cute passes. We got it together again and Barrys superb through-ball to Lukaku who turned his man and hit one in but alas Colemans glancing header did not have the right contact. We were now on top again with Lukaku having mixed luck with his control, their keeper blatantly wasting time and winding up the crowd, the ref did eventually warn him.

A Lennon run and cross was half-cleared but Jags following up had his 50p boots on. Barkley swapped passes and hit one that deflected the wrong side of goal and then Funes Mori got his head to the resultant corner and had his effort cleared off the line. Oviedo was taking corners and good ones mostly. From one of these, Lennon got a shot in with power that looped off a defender and almost looped the keeper.

We kept the pressure going; Barkley got the ball and moved along the 18-yard line a little then curled a beaut that hit the post with keeper stranded, what a downer. We were soon with great expectation again when Cleverley cut in from the right and hit a vicious curler that hit angle of bar and post. I was now thinking this just might not be our day.

Its all us now and Lukaku caused havoc in their box but just could not get a shot off as he was surrounded by men in red. We had a bizarre moment when the ball was fired to Lukakus feet and he inexplicably played the ball back from goal to a WBA attacker who set up Berahino but we scrambled clear. Lennon, who was having a great game, again got to the bye-line and crossed for the excellent Barry to head goalward but the best he got was a corner which was taken by Oviedo. He was in fine corner taking mode but the opposition defenders did their job well and again we were thwarted.

H/T 0-1

The chat was of missed chances, bad luck and a goal must come.

Second half and could our luck change, attacking the Park End? The answer was to be No but we did attack, yet always seemed to falter at the last. We pressed and shots were blocked or hit our own man but no luck in troubling the net. Loud cheers when at last our ref booked a WBA player for time-wasting. It was Fletcher in the book but nothing changed he just passed time-wasting duties to another outfield player. Their keeper had been at it all match and was on a final warning; eventually he was booked again to raucous cheers.

Near the hour mark, we made a sub: Kone replaced Cleverley and a few disgruntled voices were heard as the Ivorian went to play up with Lukaku but his ball control did him no favours as he seemed unable to gather a ball in and lay it off although to be fair he did play one peach of a pass to Barry that he flashed just over. Lennon looked the most likely to fashion something with twisting runs and hard low crosses to go with regulation ones.

We pressed and pressed but floundered regularly as we met a determined and well set-up defence. We knew what to expect from WBA pre-game and boy we were getting it in spades. Then, with 15 minutes to go and the board went up to indicate the change of personnel, with Deulofeu replacing Lennon. This incensed the faithful and boos were heard from all four corners of the ground. Most thought that Deulofeu should have replaced someone else and for us to play with two out-and-out wingers. Still its the managers call and you have to hope he gets these things right. I havent heard all four sides of the ground react like that since that sub by Moyes v Spurs...

It definitely wasnt our day when a great cross from Deulofeu was played back to Barry who was picking his spot from just 5 yds when a WBA defender got a block on his effort. Would you believe it?

We seemed to be getting nowhere so our manager had one last throw of the dice when he replaced McCarthy with Osman with 8 minutes to go. The crowd were urging more balls into the box and more shots but we stuck to our guns and kept looking for that elusive opening. Barkley at last got a gilt-edged chance when with the ball at his feet and a clear sight of goal he seemed to hurry things and hit it high over the bar; he should have done better.

Deulofeu hit a hard, fast and low corner that caused panic stations in the box boy somehow WBA smuggled it away. The officials gave us an extra 5 minutes to try to score but, with the ground emptying fast, we attacked but were repulsed each time. Barkley had our last two chances, the first of which he fell on his face racing into the box but no penalty and then put a header over when better could have been expected. Final whistle and another home defeat left the faithful to file away muttering dark mutterings.

MotM Barry/Lennon

Although it is not nice to hear boos at your home ground you have to concede that match-going fans paying out for season tickets and others matchday tickets but only seeing draws and losses after being told by many that this is our best squad since we last won the league can be forgiven for showing their discontent.

I was a bit disappointed with our approach today considering every fan and his dog knew how WBA would perform. I thought our attacks lacked variation and we had far too few shots actually on target therefor lessening our chance of deflections in such a highly populated box. Still maybe we are still learning but this game has gone and with it three points that we wont get back. In a nutshell, Pulis came to hold on for a point and took three.


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Christopher Dover
1 Posted 14/02/2016 at 07:49:52
Another great report that I always look for.
I do think you are very kind the way you report in a mild and not very critical way when most agree with I think the main point that they came for a draw and got a win.

RM would, should know this but altered nothing in our style of play, again.

Of the teams I have seen this season, West Brom to me deserve to be relegated for the way they play: slow, time wasting, fouling... if I had to watch that each week, I would give up.

Yes, they did a job on us but, when we have a manager who will not alter his way of playing, then I suppose, with my Everton blinkers off, we got what the manager deserved.

Chris Williams
2 Posted 14/02/2016 at 08:25:23
A fair and objective report as always, Ken.

Having sat and seethed in that pit of frustration yesterday, I was discussing (arguing about) this whole Everton set up with my son on the way home, and I’ve been trying to make sense of it (impossible probably).

There are a couple of myths that need challenging.

The first is that we have a squad that should be challenging for the top 4 (or 5 or 6). How many of these teams would have had Kone, Osman or Pienaar on the bench yesterday, let alone brought two of them on? How many of the rest of the top 10 in fact?

The second is that this squad is the best since the 1980s. It may well be... but we have fallen so low since then, the comparison is almost meaningless. If you think about the players man for man (and this is subjective) only Baines, possibly Coleman, and perhaps Lukaku would get into that team.

This team is not as good as we think – otherwise we would be winning more than 4 games at home this season. We would be closing games down better because the players would be taking responsibility to do so on the pitch (Southall, Watson, Ratcliffe, Reid, Bracewell etc would not need telling).

Oh and would this current team perform better with Howard as manager?

What do you think?

Bob Parrington
3 Posted 14/02/2016 at 08:26:10
Predictable result, I think. Pulls out-thought RM. First half we did transition with some pace but second half we were pedestrian in the transition. We have the players to beat the massed Pulis defence system but the substitutions were way off key. We should have introduced the pace of Mirallas on the left as they looked weaker on their right side of defence but we were far to slow in building our attacks on our left.

If RM has a beef about Mirallas then he should get his finger out of his backside and do the right thing for the team – put the best players on the field to do the job!!

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 14/02/2016 at 08:43:51
Thanks for another great and accurate report of an Everton game. How you keep your patience with this team and very stubborn manager amazes me but inspires me to try and do likewise. It is very trying and tiring being an Evertonian at the present time, especially with the present manager. To use one of your terms of reference, I am actually getting bored stiff, instead of angry, with this man.

For the first time in my long life of watching The Blues, I am finding it hard to make the effort to go and watch them. I have missed very few games at Goodison Park since 1948 but I am getting little enjoyment from going to the match at present.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 14/02/2016 at 08:54:06
Weird thing about it is Mirallas had just started to find form; as soon as he finds form, he gets ditched.

Martinez has proved, time after time during the last 2 years, he’s incapable of making game-changing substitutions when he’s chasing a game. He’s fine when in the lead (which is a rare event) but, when he needs to be brave, he consistently fails.

Yesterday he did nothing but simply go like for like. Lennon didn’t deserve to be subbed, why not bring Deulofeu on in place of a holding midfielder and put him in the middle to try and create? That really would have bamboozled West Brom, they wouldn’t have expected that, and well it should have been Mirallas for Cleverley, a simple straightforward move. Instead, he brings Kone on, a striker who just hangs around the left wing!!

The second half became a simple training session for a drilled West Brom defence. This is Martinez in a nutshell though, sure we’ll play some dazzling football now and again but there’s too many dreadful results thrown in on too regular basis.

That was a fantastic opportunity yesterday to really pressure the sides above us but we screwed up yet again. So the winning run has ended after two league games. When you look at the bigger picture, it’s 3 wins from the last 13... Looks just as dreary really as it did after the Swansea loss a few weeks ago.

George McKane
6 Posted 14/02/2016 at 08:58:10
Thank you for the report, Ken. Honest, open and fair as always.

I love Saturday 3:00pm KOs. I get to the pub, The Dark House (see Facebook page, 'The Dark House Blues') around 12:00pm and normally go home around 9:30-ish. It's a great football pub. No distractions, a good pint, good management who know what their customers want. It's always packed tight. Everyone talking football. I love it.

We talk football, teams, selection, tactics before the game and then after we discuss the match and around 8:00pm we have an Everton quiz. All good Blues. Big Irish contingent, some Blues from Bedford (every game) and Harrogate – a great mix of Evertonians.

So yesterday, the general consensus was: Before the match – Martinez was right to stick with the same team; some disappointment that Niasse was not on the bench; feeling of confidence and that we were more than capable of beating WBA (I did a £1 bet for 4-0); good feeling around TDH and about being a Blue.

After the game: Why was Cleverley taken off? And then why did Kone come on? No bitterness about Kone but most just don’t think he is good enough and cannot score. Absolute bewilderment with Lennon substitution – most felt he was Man of the Match. Did Osman coming on make any difference whatsoever? And where does that leave Mirallas?Why don’t we shoot more often?

The main opinion around the pub was that, while nobody talked about "hating" Martinez and indeed talked about wanting him to succeed... BUT he seems incapable of changing games and getting tactics correct against certain teams. Pullis out-thought him easily today. The general opinion was it's time to go, Roberto – certainly in the summer.

It's in the mind – the players seem unable to react and change games... where are the big players and leaders?

A very cold day indeed at Goodison Park. When will Blue Skies return?

Tony Cheek
8 Posted 14/02/2016 at 09:20:28
Great report as usual, Ken. I cannot understand why Niasse wasn't on the bench. What point is Martinez making by not putting him in the squad? We DID pay over £13 million for him. Why not put him in, just in case we desperately need a goal scored?

If he is not fully fit, then he must be able to play 20 mins surely? Martinez seems so determined to show us all that it is he alone that makes the decisions! Just be more bleeding gung-ho I say. Just win games, FFS!

Ian Bennett
9 Posted 14/02/2016 at 09:25:57
It was one of those games against Pullis, who is just the antichrist of football. I would rather watch us lose than play football of that brand.

He got the side right, but the subs were again slow, and I’d question with many why one of the defenders or defensive mids were not sacrificed earlier. They were defending against no one.

I didn’t mind Osman coming on for McCarthy either. McCarthy is a good player, but every time he checks back rather than going forward. Him and Barkley do this a lot.

Kone ahead of Mirallas proved to be a bad decision. He could play until next year and still not threaten with a goal against Premier League defences. Mirallas is selfish, but we needed some of that yesterday. Mirallas throwing his gloves at the floor of Roberto will see him leave in the summer. And I suspect with the new lad, he won’t even get to the bench of Premier League games with favourite Kone preserved.

Typical Everton, set the expectations of 3 points and then choke.

Jim Bennings
10 Posted 14/02/2016 at 09:41:46
I also can't get my head around the Niasse exclusion.

Surely you don't need to be super match fit to come on and throw yourself about for the last 10 minutes when your team is in desperate search for a goal.?

Apparently he's supposed to be a naturally fit lad with an athletic build anyway.

Even a semi fit, eager hungry Niasse is likely to be far more of a threat than a useless Kone stuck out on the left wing for half an hour!

Sue Brown
11 Posted 14/02/2016 at 09:50:03
Good report as always Ken and a fair view.
OFM on "goals on Sunday" on now...lets see what he says about our defense and those subs!
Trevor Peers
12 Posted 14/02/2016 at 10:15:11
Kone is Roberto's mate though Jim, to him that means he must play.
Anton Garvey
14 Posted 14/02/2016 at 10:30:32
Niasse not on the bench says it all abut Martinez – he can't see the wood for trees. Talking of wood... get rid of the deadwood!

Young team, my arse! Osman, Kone McGeady, Gibson, Pienaar, Hibbert, Howard.... And you go with them, Mr Bullshit – I've seen a better squad in Dad's Army.

Christopher Dover
15 Posted 14/02/2016 at 10:49:24
Want to pass more comments, but words fail me, l just feel like giving up as nothing changes.
Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 14/02/2016 at 10:52:20
George 6, I enjoyed reading your post about what a pub full of Evertonians thought, but like Bob@3, I can't agree with you on one thing. Tony Pulis, never out thought Martinez, he didn't have to!

Let's have it right, if Pulis could have made Everton's subs yesterday, he would have also took off Lennon, and put on Kone, and Osman.

Phil Walling
17 Posted 14/02/2016 at 10:53:50
Having removed myself from the arena of Everton discussion - seems nobody else in Cyprus has ever heard of us - I do so rely on the likes of Ken to provide a true, fair and balanced view from a fan's perspective.

And he does it so well because I swear my blood pressure is ten points lower when I've seen how we lost 'from his seat' !

Having 'served time' away from this site for my repeated ranting and raving about 'our present manager' as Ken is prone to describe Martinez, I have come to accept he's almost certainly here for the full term of his contract and, as the Catalan recently remarked, 'we're only half-way through the project.' And I suspect BK has already 'sold' that project to the likely new owners.

Having always believed that the budget is based on a tenth place finish, this year's likely 8/9th (based on garnering c50 points) will see our man still in credit over his first three seasons although next season may prove a difficult one if star players move on.

So the only strategy for frustrated Evertonians I can think of is to 'be more like Ken' and continue to believe that some level of success is just around the corner !

PS. On a personal level I shall expect to be disappointed !

Barry Pearce
18 Posted 14/02/2016 at 10:59:41
Great report as always.
I hope niasse not being on the bench, wasn't due to the fact that he was awful in training. Surely he could have managed 15 minutes fitness wise. He has been training since he arrived.
Brian Mahoney
19 Posted 14/02/2016 at 11:05:29
I think if we’d had played all day we wouldn’t have scored. I am just going to put it down as one of those games.

West Brom should have been beaten out of sight given their midweek exploits and their nosedive towards the relegation places. It’s soul-destroying football that they play and their time-wasting tactics were a disgrace. Foster was doing it from the very first minute.

John Raftery
20 Posted 14/02/2016 at 11:21:34
Chris (2) You are spot on about this squad. We are stuck in mid table for a reason.

For those arguing Mirallas should have been brought on he did nothing in this fixture in each of the past two seasons, both games ending 0-0. If he had appeared yesterday he would simply have been blocked off with two or three Albion players in front of him. The front three of Lukaku, Kone and Deulofeu won the game for us at the Hawthorns from 2-0 down. So I could see why the manager chose to go with those three again in the last twenty minutes. Ultimately I suspect with the playing style we have adopted we would never have scored whichever personnel we used yesterday.

Tony Dove
21 Posted 14/02/2016 at 11:58:07
Nothing more to add about Everton's performance save that Lukaku
had a poor game and we wouldn't have scored if the game had lasted another 90 minutes. I do however think it is diabolical how referees fail to clamp down on time wasting by goalkeepers. It happens game after game but it was particularly bad yesterday. Oliver should be in the Championship next week.
I don't exonerate us from the practise either as Howard is a serial time waster even when we are losing.
George McKane
22 Posted 14/02/2016 at 12:03:40
Tony - - yes I agree - - not much thought needed by anyone to outdo us yesterday - - on our FB Page The Dark House Blues one of our regular visitors and a guy who travels everywhere to see Everton - - he is a Dubliner - called Gerry and I joke with him about his travels in Ukraine a year ago - - I say he is on the run from the KGB - - we have a green wig on standby in TDH so he can quickly disguise himself - - anyway as Gerry said this morning on FB "Trust Everton to ruin a good day out" - - sad but that's how its getting - - we say "great day in TDH but the match got in the way" - - been watching Everton since 1959 - - getting a bit lost lately but of course keep going - - God Bless Evertonians" Tiny Tim said in Christmas Carol.
Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 14/02/2016 at 12:52:20
Good George, I haven't been traveling away as much this last year and a half, but when I do, I must say I enjoy the game a lot more. I did have a period of about ten years were the game did get in the way though!

Watching Leicester, who are so pragmatic, and I must give their previous manager Nigel Pearson, a lot of the credit for that. Maybe if we could add steel, organization and a real will to win, we could be up there ourselves, even if I don't think Atkinson would have given Everton a penalty for that!

Martinez, has done some good things, but if he's not capable of thought and change, we have the nucleus of a very good side, for someone else to come and have a go with. It's what's so frustrating about us at the minute.

George McKane
24 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:01:32
Totally agree Tony - my thoughts have been not to sack him because I believe that there is something here,as you say the nucleus of something special but sadly I think he just cannot adept quickly enough. Indeed he seems incapable of adapting even with time. We all saiid in the pub that we knew how WBA would play but only Roberto didn't.

I make theatre and films with young people - - I know my theory of film-makers and theatre practitioners but I have to make that work for the young people. That's my job.

I think Martinez is a thinker but we need a doer.

Anton Garvey
25 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:05:13
Martinez, you're clueless; you're full of bullshit, your sub decisions are useless... go back to Wigan.

We're not a young team; Dad's Army have a younger squad... Why do you put up with McGeady and Gibson taking the piss?

Oh, I forgot you said you tried to sign McGeady for five years! Give Osman a new five-year contract – he's only 35.

David Hallwood
26 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:11:04
Great report as ever Ken. What can be said that hasn't already been picked over; well looking at the highlights got to say that 34-1 attempts,and MOTD produced a 3D heat map and the action was in their 18yd box, so even the most anti-Martinez blue must concede that we were unlucky.

That being said, this was Marinez at his most gormless; on another thread somebody put a stat up that Everton we've only won one game when we concede first, if that's the case, well yesterday is evidence why.

Martinez either doesn't see how the opposition is set up, or is so confident about his footballing genius that his methods will eventually succeed. For instance everyone's having a pop at Kone, OK not the best but FFS he's a CF NOT a LM, even Sharpie would look like a lemon if he was asked to play LM. And if he's got Kone on, go 4-4-2, take one of the holders off and put a wide mid on, it's not like the Moyes era where he had nothing on the bench..

Why did he persist with 2 DMs when I was apparent from the 16th minute that WBA and that horrible bastard Pulis had no intention of playing football, why can't he go 3-4-3, or 4-3-3 ; Lennon had the FB for toast all game long, just put more blue bodies in the box to counter their massed ranks. And yet he persists with 2 DMs who have scored a handful of goals between them in 2 1/2 seasons-Madness.

I'm watching the Arse v Leicester and can't help stating that we should be up there with them; Leicester play simply with every player doing their jobs-and they play with 2 up top. Who was it that said football is a simple game complicated by coaches.

Danny O'Neill
27 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:18:01
Good read as always Ken. Overseas at the moment and didn't see the match so I'm commenting blind. I don't like to get involved in the sack the manager / don't sack the manager debate as I don't believe we're in that territory yet, however as an observer of stats; 76% possession, 34 shots to their 5. 6 shots on target to their 1 (goal) and 14 corners to their 1 (from which they scored)....ridiculous we didn't get something!!

On the critical side, the tactician in me is frustrated with our manager's seemingly infatuation with Kone. Again, not slating the individual; he had a rough ride and has at times this season put in some good performances however bringing on a player of his style surely played into West Brom's and Pulis' hands. Against a team that was camped between their own 18 yard box and the centre circle, the last thing we needed was to bring a player on that naturally drifts into the middle and therefore encourages play through the centre....we surely should have been looking to stretch the pitch and entice them out of their comfort zone?

Jim Bennings
28 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:27:36
Football has been complicated slowly but surely over the last 15 year's or so by coaches wanting to play a certain way rather than just play the game the way it was intended.

Martinez has this philosophy, he has his beliefs and his stubborn ways but it's obvious he can't get this team, this squad into the position which it should be.

Leicester and Ranieri in particular have been a revelation on how to get the very best out of what's available to you.

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:28:06
David 26, I have got one eye on Arsenal's game to, and they remind me of us yesterday. When you are playing against eight and nine defenders, when you get the ball wide, midfielders have got to get in the box. If you don't it's easy to defend against. Look at that goal as an example
George McKane
30 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:38:05
The other noticeable thing about Arsenal is no matter how much Wenger goes on about protection for his players and how he wants his team to play football they are and have been for a long time a gang of terrible moaners, I never saw another team waving imaginary cards around so much - -asking for everything and not in the least bit frightened themselves of putting the boot in.

Modern football hey?

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:43:19
Sorry David, I was just re-iterating what you was saying, and Arsenal got players running into the box and scored whilst I was writing. We finished the game with Osman, and Barry in midfield, it's not as if they could have prevented a counter attack with their pace if West Brom had shown any adventure, is it?
Ian Smitham
32 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:51:55
Ken, as others have said, excellent and well balanced report. We must sit near each other as I had a similar view of the game. As another poster on here says "it's the hope that kills you" Year after year I bowl up to the "easy" games against the likes of West Brom and certainly under the "present manager" we are disappointed that once again we do not have the wit to break down a team who have come for one point and Nick three.

The present Manager spent ages yesterday berating the liner and the 4th man about time keeping instead of issuing instructions on how to adapt a game plan. I can not understand how anyone could be surprised with what we were faced with, full credit to Mr Pulis for what he achieved. I don't say I like it, but they set off with a plan and executed it.

Our new guy was sat virtually next to me, one old bloke said to him " we are not always as miserable as this" as he left ten mins early. The new guy smiled pretending he understood. Anyway, before the game it was announced he was not playing as he is not yet fit enough.

Thinking of tactics and preparation for the game, did anyone else notice that on their first 4 forays forward they put a giant right next to Oviedo for crosses. Only 20 mins in did we have the wit to bolster things by moving McArthy? What preparation, what did they imagine West Brom would do?

Lastly, as my blood pressure boils up, did anyone else notice what King Kev did with his gloves when he realised Osman and not he were coming on?

Ken, again, terrific report, and this is none critical, but I hope you have saved it on your laptop as I fear/feel you save your self a bit of time by resending it for future games with a few opponents personnel details cut and copied.


Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:52:23
Agree George, they are a very cynical team, but they are well coached though, and do attack with width down both flanks!!
John Hughes
34 Posted 14/02/2016 at 13:58:36
Tony did you noticed how many minutes twatkinson added for the Arsenal celebration or did not add on.?
Rob Halligan
35 Posted 14/02/2016 at 14:00:33
Think about half a dozen Arsenal players could have been booked there, for diving into the crowd.
Colin Gee
37 Posted 14/02/2016 at 14:02:46
John 34 and Rob 35, that was the first thing I thought of as well, couple of bookings and about 90 seconds to add on....
Rob Halligan
38 Posted 14/02/2016 at 14:05:02
Don’t think Leicester's penalty was a penalty. Atkinson bought the dive from Vardy. Then he missed a stonewall penalty on Mahrez. Terrible referee.
Ray Robinson
39 Posted 14/02/2016 at 14:14:38
At half time someone said to me that the good teams with good managers turn such matches around. Well we didn't, but Arsenal just did. Says it all about Martinez in my opinion.
Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 14/02/2016 at 14:17:35
John, don’t get me started on Twatkinson. The only consolation was he looked like a corpse, near the end, so hopefully the cheating cunt hasn’t got long left in the game.

I said on a different thread, I would love to see an independent panel (it would have to be), follow referees for a season. I would bet my life that some refs, would give, an opposite decision, for the same incident, depending on which teams they were refereeing.

Paranoid? Maybe, but you only had to look at Michael Oliver’s performance yesterday. How could he not give a free kick for the tackle from behind, on Barry, right on the edge of West Brom’s box, when he was standing five yards away? Only one of at least half a dozen, awful decisions, that went against us again yesterday.

David Hallwood
41 Posted 14/02/2016 at 14:43:40
Funnily enough great minds think alike-Arsenal do an Everton celebration and-well nothing, maybe we should've had Twatkinson reffin at Bournemouth & Chelsea-ha ha ha ha ha
Tom Bowers
42 Posted 14/02/2016 at 14:48:03
It is so true that Everton don't have a manager who can change things especially when he has no clue about substitutions.
What the hell did he think would happen when he brought Osman on?
He can't be that stupid but it appears he is.
The home record this season is as bad as it's ever been.
Losing at home to the big clubs is one thing but losing to Albion and Swansea is just plain unforgiveable and I don't want to hear any excuses about how well they played, bad luck or poor refereeing.
It's all about winning and RM has had every opportunity to fashion a team capable of that with the talent he has here but he just doesn't have that influence.
Tony Abrahams
43 Posted 14/02/2016 at 14:55:33
David, if Atkinson would have been ref, in either of those games, it would have gone a long way in showing that my theory on referees might just be right!!!
Dave Ganley
44 Posted 14/02/2016 at 15:01:57
Thanks for the report Ken, balanced as ever. Over this last season, I have tried to not comment on games till the day after, until I have had time to reflect over the wreckage that has now become the match day experience, but it was hard to bite my tongue after yesterdays 2nd half performance.

To be honest, aside from the ridiculously easy goal we gift wrapped the opposition, again, we actually played pretty well in the first half, regularly getting in behind West Brom and created chances. You just felt that it was only a matter of time before we scored. Maybe it was the trio of 3 0 wins (yes I know the opposition was not very good) that clouded my judgement, but when I saw the unchanged line up I said to my mate we would win easily today (kiss of death). What I saw in the first half, whilst experience should have taught me better, I saw no reason to change that opinion. I think its called blind optimism, something every Evertonian seem to possess in abundance!! Well, that all came crashing down to earth in a tiresome, plodding, thoughtless, all too predictable way, in the second 45 minutes. The passing returned to the snails pace we have come to know and despise. The Barry shot and the awful effort from Ross aside, we never troubled Foster at all. Yet another chalk and cheese effort from Everton in both halves. Martinez can talk until he is blue in the face about luck, possession, shots etc but the only stat that matters at the end of the day is the goals for and against stat and that says we lost, at home, again!!

I'm getting tired of the argument that this is the best squad since the 80s. It clearly isn't. It may have potential, but don't a lot of squads? Moyes's teams had potential, but that didn't make them the best squad in a generation. Chris #2, I think you are being very generous to suggest that Lukaku and Coleman would get in that 80s team. Baines maybe, but give me Gary Stevens and Sharpie/Gray any day of the week. Rom is good but he doesn't half half the heart that those two forwards had. I think the more apt comparison would be how many of the current squad would get into the Moyes squad of the late 2000s with Pienaar, Baines, Coleman, Arteta, Cahill, Mirallas, Lescott, Jags etc. I know some players cross over but probably only Lukaku and maybe Barry would get into that team. That should be the comparison, not the assertion that this current squad should even be mentioned in the same breath of that great team of the 80s.

The lack of heart and guile was most depressing yesterday. I have despised the 2DM since Martinez first started playing it. I was drowned out in his first season as it seemed to suit us and we were winning (for a while at any rate). It just deprives us of an extra attacking place. If you have an organised defence then why oh why should you ever need and extra DM? Even our so called dour former manager never resorted to 2DM. Thats because he knew how to organise a defence. We still have no balance to the side. We still play players out of position. Cleverley out on the left? To be fair to Cleverley, he has impressed me since he has been here but that is not his position. We have wingers to do that job and before anybody starts to say Mirallas/Del boy etc don't track back and cover the full back, well isn't that the managers job to make sure the players can do that job, to make sure they are fit enough to do that job, to make sure they are attuned to do that job? If Martinez can't make the players do that then surely that is a damning indictment on his ability do do his job. Moyes managed to get Mirallas to track back and help Coleman out when he was marauding forward, why can't Martinez? Truth is, from what I see on the pitch, Martinez seems to let the players just get on with it as they see fit. There seems to be little coaching on the players faults a they seem to make the same mistakes time and again with little or no recourse from the sidelines. It was blatantly obvious to all, apart from our manager, that we needed something different in that 2nd half to get behind West Brom. What did he do? Nothing, just more of the same but with different players. As others have pointed out, its his ability to not see what others see, or whats worse, its his ability to totally disregard everything he sees and continue on the path he is travelling that is enraging all the fans. I guess he lives or dies by his decisions, but its us who turn up week after week to watch these awful errors of judgement. Its no wonder the players keep making the same mistakes week after week when the manager does too.

I will still go to the game, the same as many thousands of others, still buy my season ticket for next year. I have had it for many years and the one thing that is keeping me going at the moment is the laugh I have with everybody around me. Martinez will not drive me away. However, he has genuinely, sucked all the joy out of going to the game. I just cannot get excited about going to the game now because I know it is just more of the same garbage, by and large. The result will be disappointing by and large, as will the performance. I don't get even get angry (for most part) with the result because its all so inevitable. I don't have any sense of anticipation on match day, I don't wear my normal match going shirt anymore, I am getting to the point where I just don't care anymore because thats too hard. The manager and players seemingly don't give a rats ass so why should I? When posters say that this is some of the worst football seen in years I know exactly what they mean. For me its 10 times worse than the Mike Walker and Walter years for one simple reason. They didn't have very good teams. You knew what to expect and so long as the players tried then you could accept that. This team is vastly under achieving on an all too regular basis and that is what you can't forgive. They never learn. Martinez never learns. He took over a top 6 team and has turned them into an alsoran side. He has lowered expectation level to a time 20 years ago and tries to make it seem like thats ok. He makes the same excuses for every game. I am sick and tired of listening to his pitiful and often inane excuses about how unlucky we are. Well you make your own luck in this league and that comes with hard work on the training ground, preparation and actually learning your lessons. Something we fail to do on all counts with monotonous regularity. He promised us we would be competetive, we would make the CL, we would compete with the so called big clubs. All he has achieved is taking us down the league, broke the stranglehold we had on fortress Goodison, turned the ground into a morgue, turned the fans to despair with the depth of woeful performances and sucked all the joy out of going to the game. Nice one Roberto, now fuck off before you do terminal damage.

Kim Vivian
45 Posted 14/02/2016 at 15:27:44
John Hughes - added time. If a team scores and there are 5 seconds left on the clock, if the scoring team spends say 5 minutes celebrating, when the game restarts there are 5 seconds to play.

During normal game time the ref will generally allow 30 seconds for a goal (or substitution) and that gets added to the 90 minutes. If a team over-eggs the celebrations after scoring (IN NORMAL TIME) he might well add longer. The ref will not, or should not, 'add' time to the actual playing time. Just pretend the clock has been stopped when the goal is scored until it kicks off again.

Arsenal scored at the absolute death (unfortunately) so there was only time to kick off before blowing for full time.

John Hughes
46 Posted 14/02/2016 at 15:48:04
Ok Kim, that's me told!
Bill Gall
47 Posted 14/02/2016 at 16:06:30
When will Martinez realize that it is the attack that can get you points but it is the defense that keeps them and wins the game. Why is it taking nearly 2 seasons of poor defending without nothing being done to improve it.?

I doubt if there was anyone in the ground or watching through the media that did not be aware that any free kicks were going to be sent to the head of Olsson to head back across the goal so why was there not at least 2 players marking him or pushing and shoving him that is normal at corners.? Martinez's obsession with possession football is just not working, and if he is unable to except this ,we are going to have to put up with this until someone at boardroom level steps up ,admits they were wrong in hiring him and let him go.

John Hughes
48 Posted 14/02/2016 at 16:40:10
Ken, good report once again, but as you say it not nice booing I don't boo my own team but I can understand when people who pay money get frustrated, but the the boos yesterday were at our Managers decision regarding his substitutions which l think we're not the answer to our needs to win the game, not at the actual players. COYB
William Cartwright
49 Posted 14/02/2016 at 16:48:03
Dave Ganley (44) . . . . . . .

Agree, totally.

Steve Davies
50 Posted 14/02/2016 at 17:02:03
Good article Ken as always.

He is no tactical genius is he, RM? I lost patience with this man last season. The problem is that I have no confidence in him. He may string along a few wins but his record is appalling and he does not seem to get the basics right. He seems to have no common sense. It took him half a season to dump Howard. Then his tactics and substitutions yesterday absolutely baffle me. He comes out with complete inane nonsense about bad luck blah, blah

I coach kids and I know you need a defender on both posts.

We all knew how WBA would play. Bobby didn't know what to do. He cannot change his tactics. I listened to a few Martinez apologists on Radio Merseyside on the way home but I think everyone knows deep down in their hearts that this guy will end up like Rogers. Like all spoofers people see through them in the end.

I genuinely believe that he can spot talent and would make an excellent academy coach or talent scout. However, he is not a competent manager and his tactical nous is suspect. He needs to be ruthless and play people in form. He is probably too nice a guy to be a top manager. You have to get the key decisions right consistently and he does not. Examples being playing Alcarez for the full game against Kiev and moving an out of form John Stones to right back against City with Coleman sat on the bench

His record, and football is a results business, is suspect.

He has lost much of the crowd around me in the Lower Gwladys. He can blame the ref, bad luck, anything he wants but he has been found out. I have never known the Gwladys so quiet.

I genuinely thought looking at the line up yesterday we would beat WBA. I thought he had actually picked the right side. Then when he substituted Lennon, I thought, this guy hasn't clue how to change this game.

He will go eventually but it will get worse before it gets better. Thanks Bobby for ruining my weekend again. I didn't hear his press conference as I always turn him off anyway, the lad talks bollocks....

John Hughes
51 Posted 14/02/2016 at 17:07:17
Steve (50) Hear! Hear!
Paul Thompson
52 Posted 14/02/2016 at 17:14:38
Chris#2 - 'This team is not as good as we think'. Got to agree. We are a decent side, but are best when counter-attacking. We haven't got the guile and inventiveness to break teams down and too often, the players who can do so (Barkley, Lukaku) don't. he one player who did look like doing o - Lennon, because of his low crosses) was taken off. Duh.
David Hallwood
53 Posted 14/02/2016 at 17:55:27
Paul (#52 via Chris#2) This team isn't as good as we think.....mmmmmm I always think in terms of replaceability and desirablity, which players would make a fundamental improvement to the team, and how many players in the side are wanted by other teams.

First replaceability; outside of the top 4 teams and players that cost an absolute fortune who would you swap like for like (GK apart)?

And desireability; how many of the squad are or have been linked with top teams?

I'm looking at the Citteh v Spuds at the minute. and am I thinking that we can only dream of reaching this standard, and Aguero and Silva apart, I can't see a player that would make a significant improvement.

What I am seeing is two talented teams that defend as a team and close down really well, with great energy levels.

This is a great, squad and its not just looking through royal blue glasses, listen to Merson's rant who asked why aren't we above Leicester. I think everyone associated with Everton should be asking that.

Jim Bennings
54 Posted 14/02/2016 at 18:22:09
Strange how the Europa League is not damaging Tottenham’s season and title surge, yet the very same competition was used as an almost weekly excuse as to why we weren’t winning league games.

I said last season it was exactly that, an excuse and a lame one at that!

Being in the Europa League didn’t stop us finishing 5th in 2007-08.

Last season like this has seen poor results and underachievement because the manager is poor at making big decisions and fails to get his team set-up in the correct manner to win enough football matches.

I do agree that the squad may not be as good as we first thought, but it’s certainly better than this paltry win return of the last two seasons.

Tony Abrahams
55 Posted 14/02/2016 at 18:30:36
A team with great energy, is one of our biggest deficiencies. Olsen was getting interviewed after the match and said it was a hard game, ESPECIALLY JUST BEFORE HALF TIME, which is when Everton really stepped up the pace.

Clattenberg, has got the whistle, and so therefore the power, but was there any difference today, than when he refused Southampton a penalty on his return to Goodison two years ago?

He was never going to give anything contentious against Everton that day, even if he's got us back since. These refs need to be put under more pressure, so as to give Every Team, the same consistency.

Brian Denton
56 Posted 14/02/2016 at 18:59:44
What's amazing is how our goal difference is better than any team outside the top four. Goal difference is normally a reasonable indicator of a team's strength because it reflects both goals scored and conceded.

We have provided some statistical flukes this season!

Dave Ganley
57 Posted 14/02/2016 at 20:03:59
Just seen an interesting stat in the Echo. Pulis has a higher win rate in all games played as a manager than Martinez.

Played 254
Won 70
Drawn 74
Lost 101

Played 272
Won 87
Drawn 79
Lost 106

Thats a 31% win rate for Martinez and a 32% win rate for Pulis

Now, nobody would be silly enough to want Pulis as manager for our great club so how the fuck we managed to end up with Martinez with his record is anyones guess.

Never has been and never will be good enough.

Jim Bennings
58 Posted 14/02/2016 at 20:23:11

There will always be a divided opinion on Martinez just as there was when he initially got the very first interview for the Everton job.

We were all uncertain at the time why we were going for a manager who had just been relegated but we overlooked that and saw his Cup win with little old Wigan as being a fairytale, maybe given Martinez age, a young manager from a small North West club we saw a touch of the early years of a hungry eager to impress David Moyes about him.

But now the fans who were sceptical when he was appointed are starting to look correct, the ones who were happy to give him a fair chance and see how it went (myself included) are quickly turning against him and his philosophy too.

Once you lose the vast majority of the crowd, it is very very difficult to win them back, I think the only thing that saved Moyes after that horrendous 2003-04 season was the fact we finished 4th in 2004-05, it immediately rectified a broken relationship with the fans.

It seems after last season’s tedium and underachieving that this season has followed suit with Martinez failing to learn unlike Moyes after his second season.

The problem for Martinez though is with this takeover imminent, it’s hard to see the new American owners really putting up with mediocrity for too long.

Patrick Murphy
59 Posted 14/02/2016 at 20:34:17
Jim (58) Every time it looks as if the manager has at long last got in touch with the emotions and feelings of the Goodison faithful, he quickly reverts to type and sub-consciously gives us the bird.

The Daily Mail reports that Everton will be the latest Premier League club to have a mid-winter break in the sun when they jet off to Qatar for a four-day trip after next weekend's FA Cup tie at Bournemouth.

Manager Roberto Martinez is taking advantage of a rare 10-day break in the fixture list to allow his players some warm-weather training and relaxation.

Let's hope that when they arrive back in the UK they are still in the FA Cup and looking forward to playing in the next round.

Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 14/02/2016 at 20:44:10
I think they took one last season Patrick and they were worse when they came back than they were before they went.
Phil Walling
61 Posted 14/02/2016 at 20:49:21
Brian, the goal difference is as a result of the thumpings we handed out to Sunderland and Villa. The RS went one better on the latter today so establishing there's not much between the 'Merseyside Giants' at the moment.

Roll on the derby!

Brian Harrison
62 Posted 14/02/2016 at 21:04:00
I really think that its time that the match going fans vented their feelings about RM. We have been patient enough waiting for this style to bear results, and quite clearly like his previous clubs it never will.
How far down the league have we got to drop before we say enough is enough. Last week most of the pundits were saying that West Brom might get dragged into the relegation fight, we are 3 points above them.
I notice of late a couple of the pundits notably Collymore and Savage saying he was failing both the younger players, and the team overall were under performing.
Yet we turn up in great numbers every week to see the same slow laborious football, masterminded by our nutty professor. Telling all who would listen that success is very near, He also isn't slow to tell us how wonderful our players are, some he reckons are the best our club has ever produced his words not mine.
So the simple question is you have had these players for nearly 3 seasons and your first season you finished 5th and since then we have dropped further and further down the league. So with these wonderful players why are we struggling.
Dave Ganley
63 Posted 14/02/2016 at 21:14:53
To be honest Jim it gives me absolutely no satisfaction to see Martinez in this position. We all want Everton to be successful and while I didn't think he was good enough in the first place, have always maintained that I would be happy to eat a large slice of humble pie if it meant we were winning. A small price to pay.

Last season drove me to distraction but when it was apparent that he was going to be manager for this season then I was prepared to be patient to see if he could turn it around. However, as you correctly point out, no lessons have been learned and we are subjected to disappointment after disappointment. I am so fed up now. Match day has become a chore rather than joy and excitement. I really hope when the takeover does happen, that the new owners don't settle for the mediocre to awful we are witnessing now. If I thought that there was genuine progress then I wouldnt be so harsh but all I see is a team on the slide, armed with a manager who is incapable of arresting that slide on a regular basis.

Jim Bennings
64 Posted 14/02/2016 at 21:39:48

I'm the same now mate!

I take no pleasure in seeing Martinez in this position with the fans totally against him now but I can see why the majority are against him.

The match going fans fail to see Everton win at Goodison too often, this is not some short term blip it's gone on for 2 year's, we have been awful at home, not average even but awful, in front of your own fans that's suicidal for any manager.

It started well for Martinez after early reservations, the songs in his honour were there in full force, people bought into his thoughts, his philosophy, all was good and we were all smiling.

Sadly two years on it just shows how quickly things can change, the patience is wearing thinner with each failure.

Ian Smitham
65 Posted 14/02/2016 at 21:45:15
Tony Abrahams#40 you refer to Twatkinson, and "cheating c**t" (the latter I would sue you for, the former word not the latter) , at 55 you make reference to Clattenburg which I assume is not meant to be complimentary. At 40 you have a dig at Oliver.

So that's 3 of the elite referees, who are very highly qualified, assessed at every game and whose fitness training regime and results are evaluated on a daily basis, who you make comments about that are less than complimentary. Sure there will be others too.

Can you help me understand a few points, first, are there any good refs? Who are they? What makes a good ref? And lastly, how do you feel qualified to make the judgements about these professionals?

Just to help you out, I wondered if our players made as many bad decisions as said refs, and don't lets get into the amounts people earn please, the players get oodles more, and instead of taking the easy way out of blaming everyone else for the results not going our way, take a deep, deep breath and reflect on what the issues are. It's an easy way out to blame everyone else but maybe we should be a little more objective.

Ian Riley
66 Posted 14/02/2016 at 22:13:09
I look at Martinez and think have we gone forward as a team. Well yes the players he has brought in are more exciting to watch but the results are well behind what is expected. There appears to be a laid back approach since his tenure amongst the players and his management.

Martinez is a relatively young manager with a assistant manager whom lacks experience. An older coach with years experience at a higher level than Wigan may have helped Reberto. A glen hoddle in a advisory capacity to observe games and give a critical analysis of matches with recommendations may have helped.

My fears of Martinez have come true. His charm is not fooling anyone at goodison. If the club are about to welcome new owners. Then they will listen to the fans! Why? Money! A big question for many renewing season tickets. Is what will change? Can I spend thousands of pounds a year differently?

Three years of Martinez is a fair crack at judging we are going backwards based on results. Let's hope the potential new board will base there decision on statistical data. The decision will be far more easier that way.

Dave Williams
67 Posted 14/02/2016 at 22:19:52
Jim #58 that is what will put an end to this if Roberto doesn't sort it out now. The new owners will not put up with such pathetic home form .They are not fans but are after a profit and I would think they are already seeking advice on suitable replacements assuming the rumours of them going ahead are true.

Like you I have always advocated giving Roberto time,it is a youngish team in development stage,etc but his subs yesterday were his most bizarre yet. I am not a Kone bashed as I think he has something to offer and Leon has ability but when chasing a game you surely don't put on two elderly slow players one of whom would likely get flattened by the giant defenders he was up against. This was quite astonishing and I think that the only way we will now keep MIrallas is if Roberto leaves - their relationship must be in bits.

Ian Smitham
68 Posted 14/02/2016 at 22:31:11
Just wondering, getting forgetful, when Bill introduced Martinez as the new Manager, I thought he said something like RM had promised Champions league football within 3 years.

If I have got this wrong, what was promised, by when and when were the start and end dates of any promise ?

Ian Smitham
69 Posted 14/02/2016 at 22:31:11
Just wondering, getting forgetful, when Bill introduced Martinez as the new Manager, I thought he said something like RM had promised Champions league football within 3 years.

If I have got this wrong, what was promised, by when and when were the start and end dates of any promise ?

Patrick Murphy
70 Posted 14/02/2016 at 22:43:21
Ian (69) I don't believe that RM promised BK anything, it was a cheap off the cuff remark from the chairman, however, isn't it down to the chairman and the board to set the objectives of its employees or are the Everton board happy as long as we remain in the top-flight and attract 35K+ supporters into the stadium. There are few jobs in any industry where targets are not the norm, but it would seem that football is indeed a world unto itself.
Peter Laing
71 Posted 14/02/2016 at 22:51:07
Ian, codswallop. Did Danny Simpson deserve to be sent off today ? Atkinson was in charge today as an elite referee, he was appointed because this was after all an elite game. The result was that one of the elite teams (sky teams) came out on top due to a refereeing decision that cost poor Leicester dearly. The same thing I might add happened to Everton at Manchester City with the Sterling incident.

Two big decisions in two big games today, Atkinson and Clattenburg, maybe not bent, but they certainly revel in the spotlight of their 'fame' and celebrity.

Frank McGregor
72 Posted 14/02/2016 at 23:01:28
Good report, Ken. The concern I have is that we are struggling to get to the 40-point mark which in the past has been the safety point for remaining in the Premier League. I had previously figured we would achieve 56 points this season but now we will be very lucky to get 50 points. A finish between 12th and 17th is more like our finishing placing.

Quite frankly the FA Cup is a pipe dream. Instead of flying out to warmer climates over the 10 days after the Bournemouth game, time would be better spent going through a rigorous stamina-building period to ensure a decent finish in the league. The quicker this season finishes, the better – to enable the obvious changes to be made.

Ian Smitham
73 Posted 14/02/2016 at 23:04:49
Peter, #71, did not see that game as I do not afford Sky. However, you have identified a,crucial issue, there is a difference between being bent and whatever else, fame and errors.

God knows how many errors the players make and they drive me mad, I do believe they do not make them deliberately, same with the refs.

Patrick Murphy
74 Posted 14/02/2016 at 23:07:40
Peter (71) Although both referees awarded dubious penalties to both Leicester and Spurs, Atkinson in particular seems to revel in controversy and can be so inconsistent during any given match it is difficult to know what he will allow or fail to allow, for instance why didn't he book Sanchez for a blatant hand-ball or is that not an automatic booking any more?

I too thought sending off Simpson was a harsh decision, surely a referee who understands the stakes of such a game could have given the free-kick and told the player that was his last chance. It would have been interesting to see if he would have been quite so quick to brandish the second-yellow card if it had have been an Arsenal player who had transgressed in similar fashion. It spoilt what up to that point had been an intriguing contest and it helped out Arsenal enormously.

I've started to dislike Arsenal as much as I dislike our neighbours and Chelski all those theatrics and blatantly trying to get opponents booked or sent-off is not pretty and I never want to see any Everton team behave in that manner on a regular basis.

I was hoping that Leicester could have hung on to at least a point but fear they may implode if they dwell on what might have been and we'll have to witness another Southern money bags team celebrate come the end of the season.

Rob Halligan
75 Posted 14/02/2016 at 23:39:58
Atkinson gave a dubious penalty to Leicester, which, in my opinion, wasn't a penalty. He then contrived to not award a second stonewalled penalty to Leicester in the second half which, if converted, would have killed the game. Atkinson is bent as fuck.
Andy Crooks
76 Posted 14/02/2016 at 23:40:33
Ian, #65, I have seen some poor refereeing decisions but usually take the view that they have a tough job. However, after Terry's offside equaliser against us last month I was dismayed to read of the referee's input.

Terry quoted him as saying, after Everon went ahead in injury time."They've overegged the celebrations, John, you have seven and a half minutes,"
That seems very close to cheating to me.At best it shows bias, collusion and a totally inappropriate friendliness to someone he seems mates with.

Jay Wood
77 Posted 14/02/2016 at 23:40:58
Like many, I'm sure, I particular enjoy reading Ken's reports for their balance, fairness and insight as to how match going blues view a game.

His reporting of the growing discontent rumbling on the terraces suggests RM is on shakey ground and his continued referring to Roberto as 'our present manager', rather than calling him by his name, is a possible clue as to his own feelings about RM.

Similarly, I enjoyed George McKane's summary of match goers and TDH regulars to give us a pulse of current public opinion.

Like many, I had renewed hope following our 1st 2 consecutive league wins of the season which, together with the poor consistency of many clus above us, that the WBA game could extend our winning run and add momentum to a gathering strong finish to the season.

More fool me.

The recent mini-run of wins had me clinging to the windowsill of hope that we could rapidy climb up the league.

Again, more fool me. Saturday's defeat slammed that window shut on my finger tips.

I am pushed to recall an Everton team that promises so much and yet frustrates and disappoints so consistently as this present team.

Rob Hooton
78 Posted 15/02/2016 at 01:28:43
Wonderful well balanced report as always Ken.

Dave Ganley, 44, if Carlsberg posted on ToffeeWeb then they could never beat that post of yours, sums it up perfectly unfortunately.

Douglas McClenaghan
79 Posted 15/02/2016 at 06:13:31
RM has done well to assemble a fine squad. Where would Lukaku, Stones, Deulofeu or Barkley be without his support? That said, the other dimensions to his managerial skill set are being shown as seriously limited.

Realistically, how long has he got? I can’t imagine new owners giving him extra time. The search for his replacement could already be under way.

Michael Penley
80 Posted 15/02/2016 at 07:08:33
What does it mean when people say we have a "good squad"? Isn't a good squad a winning one? How can we say our individual players are better than Leicester's when they can't score more than they concede? Don't understand.
Gavin Fennessy
81 Posted 15/02/2016 at 08:52:33
Good report Ken. I traveled to the match with family and "Operation - brainwash the Kids" didn’t go that well all things considered!

The match was as frustrating as I’ve seen in recent times. WBA under Pulis are a neat reflection of the man and his philosophy. Coleman made a poor error judgement that led up to their corner and Robles took a few steps off his line into no man's land as the ball reached Olsson for his flick-on. Poor goal to concede but with guts of 80 minutes left to play there should have been no problem.

Professional time-wasting spoiling combined with weak refereeing made the task more difficult. Lack of invention and application in the final third, combined with utterly inexplicable substitutions made it a real uphill struggle. I saw nothing to suggest RM has the nous or motivational skills to take us forward.

WBA a poor team with little ambition to contribute, managed to defeat us at home. It was either the best, or worst, introduction for my kids into life as Blues!

Anto Byrne
82 Posted 15/02/2016 at 09:52:25
Why would professional footballers disregard the basics of football when it comes to defending?

Under Moyes it wasn’t pretty but it was effective. Everyone back for a corner and hoof it out, push out for offside as high as we could. They used to double-team and Phil Neville was the master craftsman until his legs went. We had Distin giving the required height and Jags for speed. Even Howard looked the business.

Not much to report up front as Saha or Cahill didn’t get a lot of service although Yakubu knocked them in for fun with Arteta providing. So we have dismantled the defense somewhat for a certain John Stones, still a pretty rough diamond, and our ageing keeper... well, enough said.

With Barry and McCarthy playing deep defensive midfield, we have a back six and the wingers are expected to track back and cover effectively a back 8 that should be ample cover for the keeper. So what is the problem?

Well we get so far forward, we leave ourselves exposed to the break and invariably teams tend to score and at this level good players punish you. We have good players but they are not punishing the opposition with clinical finishing. For all the good foreplay, there is no end product, no climax... nothing. In reality, we ain’t as good as we think we is.

Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 15/02/2016 at 10:28:59
Ian Smitham, I don’t think there are many good refs, no. I think a good ref is someone you don’t notice very much, so although I slagged him for yesterday’s game, Michael Oliver, is probably the best for this.

Evertonians hate Clattenberg with good reason Ian, but I think they all have their own agenda, and only Chris Foy, as ever been honest enough to tell everyone he supported a football team.

Going out now but will debate all day with you anytime, how poor refereeing is in the Premier League, another time.

Paul Gallagher
84 Posted 15/02/2016 at 13:08:57
I didn’t see the match on Saturday against West Brom. The general consensus appears on here that RM was yet again culpable for yet another defeat.

Another incident that appears to have dominated general discussion from friends of mine in Ireland was that apparently James McClean was singled out by some of our fans. Friends of mine were asking me why were some Everton fans booing McClean?

Jim Bennings
85 Posted 15/02/2016 at 15:11:28

You could ask the same question at 19 other Premier League grounds plus a big section of the Hawthorns regarding McClean, and I’d vouch you’d get a similar answer from all.

He’s hardly the nicest character.

Shane Corcoran
86 Posted 15/02/2016 at 15:20:05
Paul and Jim. I can’t be 100% sure why all fans boo McClean but a quick history lesson for you:

McClean comes from a Republican area and background in Derry. This fact came to the attention of the football family when he asked that his jersey would not have a poppy embossed at it when he was at Sunderland. He explained his reasons which were largely accepted. He repeated this every year including when he went on to Wigan and WBA.

However, he has been involved in other controversial incidents. He didn’t turn to face the union jack when the British National Anthem was played during a pre-season game between WBA and a US team.

In my opinion it’s a mixed bag. The poppy thing I fully support, the anthem bit I don’t (although why national anthems are being played ahead of a game before two clubs, I don’t know.)

There were obviously a few people miffed in the crowd on Saturday.

I’m not sure where your slur comes from Jim?

Thomas Surgenor
87 Posted 15/02/2016 at 15:39:05
Shane (#86)

Perhaps Jim’s ’slur’ is a reaction to James McClean's tweets before he took the sensible approach and deleted his account.

Not the most educated of men in my opinion!

Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 15/02/2016 at 15:40:02
Paul (#84)

It could have been as Shane explained or it might have been James was involved in a couple of poor tackles, he had just been booked so was taken off to possibly save him from a potential Red Card. Plus the fact if he gets a bit of stick, James is not slow to defend himself.

Shane Corcoran
89 Posted 15/02/2016 at 15:59:08
Thomas, which tweets are you referring to? I do remember some but don't recall the details of ones that might have upset football fans.

Dave, you're right. On reading your post I do recall he had put in a few hard tackles alright.

John Hughes
90 Posted 15/02/2016 at 18:15:36
The "poppy thing" rankles a lot to people who think it insults the memory of the thousands of Irishmen and women who lost their lives in the 1st and 2nd World Wars.
Tony Abrahams
91 Posted 15/02/2016 at 20:33:40
Ian, I have took a deep breath, and would never go on about how much anyone earns. If someone is stupid enough to pay ridiculous wages, not many people would refuse.

I have a theory Ian, that I think that some refs, favor certain teams or players, and call me crazy, but I’m certain that Clattenberg is one of these refs.

Players should or could be dropped for making bad errors, but this rarely happens to a poor referee. Atkinson made an almighty blunder in a semi final two weeks ago, then missed a double handball at Anfield 3 days later. His reward? Top v second, live on TV.

He gave a debatable penalty, (but the way players cheat, it’s not easy), and couldn’t wait to even it up with a really soft sending off.

Clattenberg, gave an absolutely appalling decision, in a game of such magnitude, but will he get dropped?

You call them elite, so god help us then, and who exactly are these people who access these refs? Ex refs, who all look out for each other, or people who are obviously not doing their job properly?

So there you go Ian, no mention of wages, but do you think the standard of refereeing has really improved, since they went professional?

Tony Abrahams
92 Posted 15/02/2016 at 21:07:49
By the way, Ian, read my post at 65, and think about the point I’m making about a certain Mark Clattenberg. I have gave a good example, and rather than looking to blame anyone mate, I’m actually asking for the same consistency for every team.

I don’t think it’s possible, for every team or player to be treated the same Ian, but rather than looking for excuses, I would just prefer someone in power, to highlight something, that most of us know exists.

Andy Crooks
93 Posted 15/02/2016 at 22:35:13
Shane, I don't care for James McLean much and to be absolutely honest he just looks unlikeable. I accept that is the most shallow of reasons but I think it is more acceptable than detesting him for his political views.

I think he has balls of steel and if he had any footballing ability I'd love to have him at Everton. I agree with you about the anthems. Also, I think if James had opted to play for Northern Ireland he could have achieved something very, very special.

I have a good deal of admiration for Neil Lennon and I think James has the character to have followed him.

Harold Matthews
94 Posted 16/02/2016 at 05:44:00
It appears that going off topic with Atkinson and James McClean has all but killed the thread. My thoughts on Saturday's game now seem irrelevant.
Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 16/02/2016 at 07:56:27
Sorry, Harold, but, as Coleman says on the headlines for a new thread, words mean nothing without actions!
Michael Polley
98 Posted 17/02/2016 at 03:54:31
Martinez lives on a different planet judging by his decisions in games.

I hope he buggers off to that planet before long.

Shane Corcoran
99 Posted 17/02/2016 at 16:22:22
Andy #93, Lennon quit playing for NI as their own "fans" threatened to kill him if he played. This was no doubt due to his nationalist background. Lennon also received bullets in the post, sent from NI, as did Neil McGinn who still plays for NI.

Why on earth would someone like McClean want to play for such fans, even if it's only a minority?

Andy Crooks
100 Posted 17/02/2016 at 19:34:59
Shane, I wouldn’t expect any player to put up with the bile that the admirable Lennon did. But times are changing and it needs one player with unbelievable courage to make a difference.

By the way, Shane, if I was a player it wouldn’t be me! The minority you refer to are getting smaller but, fair enough, there are some basket cases among them.

Sorry, Harold for hijacking this thread, I accept your point, but sometimes things take an odd turn and I hope you can see that it is not unimportant.

Shane Corcoran
101 Posted 18/02/2016 at 10:00:23
Fair enough, Andy, but you need to add in that given McClean’s background that he probably grew up wanting to play for RoI.

They’d need to get rid of GSTQ or better still just merge the two like they do in the rugby (without Ireland’s Call, awful song).

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