From My Seat: Bournemouth (5th Rnd)

Overall, we did what we had to do and I thought we had some decent performances on show. Barkley seems to be growing game by game, if he could get a bit more confident in himself and have that edge that says ‘I am the go to man’ then what a player we will have.

Ken Buckley 21/02/2016 25comments  |  Jump to last
Bournemouth 0 - 2 Everton

On arrival the whole place seemed full of Blues and all in Up for the Cup mood. On seeing the team most were delighted that our present manager had not followed this new day tradition of resting the so called best players for domestic cup games or was it that manager and players had so upset the Goodison faithful last week that the same personnel were charged with winning back their support. Those gathered were right up for it pre match with songs and chants or was that because there was no ale on sale?

The teams emerged and we were in the white kit, considering Bournemouths kit I wondered why we had to change. Still change we did and off we went. It was soon apparent that the strong swirling wind would play a part and some longer passes were blown off target but non the less we had started with a bit of tempo and were soon pegging the hosts back with approach play that was pleasing but only until the final third when we seemed to run out of ideas or get a bit excited and produce one pass or touch too many. The first half went along like this with us attacking and Bournemouth looking to break when they could. The longer this pattern went on the quieter our end became.

We seemed to have altered our approach play as Lukaku was forever on the flanks and Barkley a bit deeper than usual leaving Lennon to come inside and take up the ground that Lukaku normally patrols also it felt and looked like the players were trying out some different approach work as some passes were to no one in particular which could not be blamed on the wind and saw players gesticulating and shouting to each other as to where they thought the ball should have gone and who was to be making the runs needed. Perhaps the warm weather training spell can allow them some practice time to perfect whatever it was they wanted to do.

Not a lot to report in excitement terms first half except to say we dominated but fell at the last and Bournemouth countered without much conviction and if they did get in range their efforts were high, wide and handsome. For us it seemed Barkley was getting all our shots in but always from distance but we did get one chance to really stand and roar as Lukaku set off at a pace akin to a jigger rabbit that was startled by a Pit Bull. He left his marker in his wake along the by-line, turned right near the corner flag and hared into the box, drew the keeper and tried to prod it past him but the keeper got a foot to it and after a melee the ball was cleared. Hell I knew he was quick but that was turbo charged.

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We were well on top but without a goal to show for it; many wondered if this was to be yet again another of those days... Then, with less than 10 minutes to go in the half, the hosts got a corner and as the ball got into the scrum in the box we heard a whistle and the Ref had awarded them a penalty. Seeing replays later only McCarthy will have a clue as to why he did that hand ball.

Silence in the ranks and you could feel tension and the thought of complete domination again ending in a 1-0 loss. Their captain was to take, Joel prowled the box then settled, the kicker shot, Joel dived to his left, the homework or guess was right and he parried away, three Bournemouth players reacted quickest and reached the ball together and contrived to put each other off and sky the ball out for a goal-kick. Oh the relief for fans and players alike. The way the players hugged and kissed the keeper could have been misconstrued, such was their outpouring of physical congratulation.

Half-time: 0-0

The chat was almost exclusively Thank god for Joel or along those lines.

Second half, I noticed early a slight twist of plans had taken place with Lukaku now taking the middle ground with a system that went back to our usual 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3- or 4-4-1-1 to suit each phase of moves and our tempo of passing was improved. The winds had abated none so a bit of extra care would be needed as we sprayed the ball about. Barkley was taking a lot of responsibility in the final third with Barry orchestrating both defensive ploys and build up through mid-field.

Just 10 minutes into the half it paid off when Barkley was coming across the eighteen yard line desperately looking for a gap to shoot through but none were appearing so he passed to Cleverley wide who saw he could make no forward progress and fed it back to Barkley who took two paces hit one that looped up over the fast retreating keeper and into the net. Oh joy. Celebrations took place and complete joy was mixed with a good dollop of relief.

Just a couple of minutes later, we thought we had put the tie to bed when Lukaku swept home a cross only for the linesmans flag to rule offside. Replay later suggested another lino should have gone to Specsavers.

We have been here before and know only too well that we can lose leads so the faithful sang out every song they ever knew including the good old cup song "We shall not be moved" plus "And we'll hang the kopites one by one, on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey." Ah the memories that brought back of cup ties long past.

The faithful were behind the players and for 20 minutes Bournemouth gave it a good go but we played with grit, determination and sweat along with a great dollop of no nonsense hoofing if it was required and the ball retention bit kept to sensible areas of the pitch. We were attacking when we could and we did look the quality team but, as the hosts had made many changes in unashamed pursuit of Premier League survival, I suppose we should have.

Barry was a colossus in the middle of the park making simple passes along with some longer ones to turn their defence and still finding time to push forward. With 15 minutes to go, he started a delightful move that saw Barkley fed on 18-yard line who hit a powerful shot that hit a defender on the arm and he yelled for a pen but only got a corner... but what a corner!

We sort of copied WBAs winning corner from last week but with a twist, where theirs was high to the front post, flicked on and netted at far post ours was taken low by Oviedo to the near post where Barry was stationed and he took the ball with expertise and turned and sent the ball at an angle that took it just out of the six-yard box for Lukaku to rush in and smash home. If there had been a roof it would have come off such were the celebrations but only from the fans the players were a touch muted, could that be because of goals past scored by us on that ground.

Clock ticking down and from my seat I worried only about giving away set pieces near our goal as we were on top and keeping Bournemouth at arms length in open play. Before the final whistle we had two scares, first was a free kick given away centrally just outside the box which when took deflected off our wall leaving Joel stranded but thankfully a gnats wide then from a corner Gosling, (how can we forget him for that night in that cup tie and ITV going to commercials as the ball was on its way in) headed goal wards but some great positioning by our keeper ensured it was an easy gather, others thought he had missed a sitter tut tut. Final whistle and we had reached the next round. A cup tie, a win, mission completed.

MotM Barry

Overall, we did what we had to do and I thought we had some decent performances on show. Lennon played the modern day winger superbly and was racing back and helping out Coleman right to the end. Barkley seems to be growing game by game, if he could get a bit more confident in himself and have that edge that says I am the go to man then what a player we will have.

There is always talk about our manager at games and he has both detractors and supporters how many of each is hard to gauge I think a lot depends on the result. For my part I cant see him being sacked anytime soon as he has just been handed 13.5 million to bring in Niasse who had a ten minute run out today but in that time no one could make any sort of prediction of how he may fare with us. I hope he turns out to be remarkable.

I also think that unrest at home games or indeed fan polls on websites or newspapers will have any impact on the board but I do wonder what the reaction might be if match ticket sales go down and the uptake on season tickets renewal is below expectations. I say this because on coming off the ground after home matches the number of fans vowing to jack it in seems to be growing. Still make a good fist of our remaining games and things will look better and brighter.

Tonights draw sees us drawn at home to Chelsea who are hitting some rich form but no need for despondency as they wont come to park the bus and as most fans have said With our squad we can beat anyone on our day Let us hope it is our day. See you after the break.


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Reader Comments (25)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 22/02/2016 at 15:43:12
I like your piece on Barkley, I think it is all about confidence with the lad. You can see little signs that he is growing into his game, one of his little dribbles in the second half when he took three on and had to be tripped to stop him, showed his ability and also his confidence.

He still frustrates and chooses the wrong pass, not to mention his non-tackling roll but he will get there and be a great player, hope it is for us.

Charles Brewer
2 Posted 22/02/2016 at 15:48:44
On balance, I think the award of MotM to Barry was reasonable. But the man who won the match for us was Joel Robles!

If he hadn't saved the penalty, we'd have seen a repetition of last week's parked bus, a lack of any method of unlocking a solid defence and, odds on, we'd have lost 1-0.

Brian Harrison
3 Posted 22/02/2016 at 16:07:27
Ken, I agree with your comments about Barkley. I do think he should start to believe in himself a bit more. I am glad that RM has abandoned the idea of trying to make him into a central midfield player. He can go past people and has a great shot in both feet, play him up alongside the striker where he can do most damage.

I don’t go to away games now so it is interesting to hear you say it's hard to guage the popularity of RM from the match going away fans. The away fans have seen better performances and results than the home fans, that's for sure.

I don’t think the buying of Niasse has meant his job is safe, there is no doubt after selling Naismith we needed another striker.

Jamie Barlow
4 Posted 22/02/2016 at 16:40:07
Barry was brilliant again. Wish he was 10 years younger.
Danny O'Neill
5 Posted 22/02/2016 at 17:09:15
Interesting that many continue to air concerns over the defensive aspects of Barkley’s game. BBC singled it out as a big improvement in his game and showed examples of him tracking back to win the ball back.

I personally don’t think it will ever be his strong point but he’s improving. He’s not in the team for that and is definitely better supporting the striker.

Steve Hogan
6 Posted 22/02/2016 at 17:40:05
Good realistic report as ever Ken. On the Barkley saga, I wish the home fans at Goodison would cut the lad some slack.

At 22, he’s not the complete midfield player yet, but when he goes on a run forward, opposing defenders shit themselves, he simply does things not many of his like in the Premier League would even attempt, sure he frustrates at times, but the lad will end up with around 12 goals this season, a good return for one so young.

I agree with your Gareth Barry remarks, he’s clearly lost a yard of pace, but I dread to think of an Everton team without him in at the present time, he has great technical ability and is under rated by so many.

Wonder what his price would be if he was 10 years younger?

Finally, any chance of when you attend an away game, you could add a little bit of ’background’? ie did you travel down by train, car, coach? Did you find a pub near the ground, what did you think of the Bournemouth stadium?

It would just add to the ’whole match’ experience for many of us.


John Raftery
7 Posted 22/02/2016 at 18:55:34
I also made Barry my Man of the Match. One moment he is making the essential disruptive challenges in midfield, the next he is making a clearing header in his own penalty area, and the next he is providing a near post assist for our clinching second goal. He is player of the season so far and vital player in our team.

Talking to one or two City fans, they reckon they let him go too early.

Dick Fearon
8 Posted 22/02/2016 at 19:29:33
I also wonder why we did not use our regular strip. It must be damn annoying for those fans who choose to wear the wrong replica shirt.
As for McCarthy's penalty I guess he was too anxious after last week when he allowed his WBA opponent to give him the slip to bundle in their winning goal.

I thought it strange that this vital mistake did not raise a mention on any match reports.

Danny O'Neill
9 Posted 22/02/2016 at 20:56:16
Think it was more instinct, Dick. And the players’ reaction took away any debate as they just (rightfully) accepted it so there was nothing to debate. In post-match hindsight, he was actually lucky; some officials could have interpreted it as leaning on the side of slightly deliberate and awarded what would have been a second yellow card.
Steavey Buckley
10 Posted 22/02/2016 at 20:57:21
The problem with Martinez’s selections, he won’t have a proper winger like Lennon on the left. This causes Lukaku to go wide thus leaving no striker in the middle, or pushing Oviedo further up the pitch leaving gaps behind him.

If Everton have a forward three of Lennon on the right, Lukaku in the centre and Deulofeu on the left, Everton would have a more balanced and a more exciting attack without sacrificing the middle of McCarthy, Barry & Barkley.

Don Alexander
11 Posted 22/02/2016 at 21:07:09
My take on Ross is that he must have been hellishly traumatised by the awful injury he suffered. I still think it inhibits him, especially in defending.

He’s got fabulous ability with the ball at his feet but his decision-making is still frail at the point where real damage could happen, and the body language of desperate defenders tells me they’re expecting it to happen too. He just needs to be more confident/arrogant.

I’ve lost count of the number of times his shots hit the opposition due to a nano-second delay by him, and numerous of this season’s goals have come via deflections. Give yourself a break Ross, you could be the dog’s, but don’t die wondering lad.

Tony Hill
12 Posted 22/02/2016 at 21:16:53
That last line sums it up, Don. I think he's going to come though but you can still see the devil sitting on his shoulder and whispering in his ear: "This is going to go wrong". If he can shut out that voice, he will be a true great in my opinion.
Martin Mason
13 Posted 22/02/2016 at 21:26:26

Deulofeu and Lennon only have one foot and can’t play on the left. It would be like playing with 10 men.

Danny O'Neill
14 Posted 22/02/2016 at 21:35:59
He's still relatively young for a midfielder notwithstanding that lost year or two with the awful injury he sustained. Couple that with the general trend that a central midfielder won't peak until 26-28 and Ross has plenty of time to lose the fragility, grow in confidence, gain the arrogance, shake the devil from his shoulder and become the dogs'!!

On deflections, surely that is a result of taking chances and making your own luck.....hesitating further and the chance is gone. Level 2 coaching; take the chance when it comes and get the ball towards the goal, don't wait for the perfect moment. A scuffed goal....its still a goal.

Paul Andrews
15 Posted 22/02/2016 at 21:50:40

I can see where you are going with Lennon playing on the left, but I think Deulofeu could play there. A lot of examples of predominately one-sided players doing a great job on the opposite wing.

I think Deulofeu would be a threat coming inside onto his right foot.

Laurie Hartley
16 Posted 22/02/2016 at 22:00:10
Thanks for your report Ken. I have only seen the highlights of this game but I noticed you have given Gareth Barry MotM again.

Every game I have seen this season (all the Premier League matches on the box in Oz) he has been outstanding. What a footballer!

Steavey Buckley
17 Posted 22/02/2016 at 22:23:23
Martin: The alternative to Deulofeu on the left has been Cleverley, who has to go inside on to his right foot.

I prefer to see Deulofeu who is more direct, who will take the opponents defence with him, providing Lukaku with more space.

At the moment, Lukaku is being well-marked.

Harold Matthews
18 Posted 23/02/2016 at 04:55:29
Leave Cleverley where he is. He fills the hole in front of Oviedo and enables Barry to stay central and conduct the play. Often difficult to notice, the ex-United lad was outstanding in the 2nd half, showing bursts of speed and skill while the commentator was yapping about something else.

Let's get this left wing business sorted. It really gets my back up.

We have a traditional winger on the right because we have McCarthy and Coleman behind him. That's THREE players in line.

On the left we have Oviedo and Cleverley. That's TWO players in line.

Martinez obviously wants Barry and Barkley to stay pretty central which leaves us with a gap in either the left midfield or left wing position. Oviedo and Cleverley, supported by Barkley, will try to fill it but they have to work twice as hard as their mates on the other side who have the extra man.

Over the last few games we've had our best balanced line-up with eleven players. Martinez is not about to drop Barry to accommodate a traditional left winger and we can't field twelve men.

Harold Matthews
19 Posted 23/02/2016 at 05:01:03
Sorry Ken. Good report mate. Even a bit of Stanley Unwin's "Oh joy" , "Complete joy" and "dollop of relief".
Danny Broderick
20 Posted 23/02/2016 at 05:07:24

Steavey is right. We’d be better balanced with another winger on the left instead of Cleverley. We play with three men in centre mid, so we should be able to shuffle one of them across on either side of the pitch if one of the wingers has gone running up the wing. I’d go with Mirallas personally, but I also think Deulofeu could do a job there.

I think Cleverley is doing okay, but he’s simply not a left winger. He’s a centre mid who keeps things tidy and covers a lot of ground.

Tony Sullivan
21 Posted 23/02/2016 at 11:00:25
’Lukaku set off at a pace akin to a jigger rabbit that was startled by a Pit Bull’....... I love it.

Great report, Ken; I agree on Barry as MotM.

Andrew Ellams
22 Posted 23/02/2016 at 11:16:40
Bit difficult to contradict Harold's opinion when you see 4 wins out of 5 and only 1 goal conceded with Cleverley playing on the left.
Martin Mason
23 Posted 23/02/2016 at 11:47:22
All fair comments but Deulofeu is poor defensively, he is maddeningly inconsistent, going from world's best to totally ineffective in successive games, and he isn’t proven on the left. His only strength I’ve seen so far is getting crosses in from wide right with his right foot.

Cleverly has played exceptionally well in recent games and this has corresponded with us playing a much better and tighter game. He’s a compromise of course but for me the best compromise we have on our books for that position.

If you ignore the WBA game, we have been very impressive in recent games but WBA was like an earthquake. RM is unlikely to change between now and the rest of the season and he’s not leaving so I live in hope that WBA was just a bad day at the office and that the good run is the norm.

I’ll always remember that I rated Kendall as the worst manager I’d ever seen at Everton and he was a defeat at Oxford away from the boot. Now I rate RM as the worst but like Kendall, all of a sudden he has put together a squad that just might gel.

Mark Murphy
24 Posted 23/02/2016 at 12:08:44
Andrew & Harold,

Or as I see it, only 1 goal conceded with Joel in goal and Stones on the bench! Shame but we are much more solid without Stones.

And I disagree with Cleverly on the left – on current form, I’d replace McCarthy with him and put Mirallas left mid with Baines behind him.

Or, if I may be a bit radical, Baines left mid and Oviedo behind him.

Andrew Ellams
25 Posted 23/02/2016 at 12:08:51
The difference between Kendall and Martinez is arrogance. Martinez just doesn't seem to get what is wrong with our defensive play and is just as likely to suddenly bring back Howard and Stones just when things do look more settled.

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