Divisions in the camp?

It was quite a turgid encounter from the start really. I guess you can accept a little rustiness when that many changes are made to the team but we really struggled to put anything meaningful together throughout, whilst Southampton passed up a plethora of chances.

Paul Traill 17/04/2016 26comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 1 Southampton
I was looking forward to going the game yesterday. Despite the very tangible gloom amongst the supporters, I somehow convinced myself we were in for a bit of a performance simply because we need one with the tough task ahead of us next week.

Sadly, and expectedly I suppose, I was wrong. The game was a non-event from Everton with Martinez deciding to rest a number of players ahead of the two huge games next week. None of us really knew what to think when we saw the team news in the pub as Oviedo, Gibson, Osman, Besic, Mirallas, Deulofeu and Kone were given opportunities. There was also space on the substitutes bench, and ultimately on the pitch, for two products of our excellent academy in Callum Connolly and Tom Davies. Despite our current plight, we were in good form in the pub with Wembley high on the agenda. I also caught up with some close family friends whom I haven't seen in some time. All good fun.

With the sun shining on we walked to the Gwladys Street and we were in our seats well in time for kick off. It was quite a turgid encounter from the start really. I guess you can accept a little rustiness when that many changes are made to the team but we really struggled to put anything meaningful together throughout, whilst Southampton passed up a plethora of chances even before the break.

Having players out of form, out of match practice and out of confidence is one thing and all this contributed towards another poor performance. However, something which startled me at the match was the quite palpable discontent between the players. Leon Osman and Ramiro Funes Mori had a row. John Stones several times sent daggers to Joel Robles. Seamus Coleman really had a go at Robles at one point and also had to have a word with Gerard Deulofeu. And, Darron Gibson also waded in at Joel Robles, the brunt of the message seemingly asking for the players to talk more.

The scenario prompted my thought process to wonder if there are divisions amongst the camp, perhaps between the senior players who worked with Moyes and the newer ones who have been brought in by Martinez. Remembering David Moyes's meticulousness when it came to not wanting to give anything away cheaply, I couldn't help but wonder if those players who were complaining (all players brought by Moyes, by the way) have a higher level of standard required when it comes to defending and communicating than that integrated by Martinez. Our number of goals conceded would suggest as much. Pure conjecture of course, but that was my trail of thought. Either way, when players are visibly arguing amongst themselves on the pitch, it really isn't a good sign of how things are.

This was all in the first half at the Gwladys Street end so may have continued into the second half at the Park End but I'll never know. We were a little relieved to get into the break at 0-0 as our backs were against the wall defending a succession of Southampton corners. The biggest cheer of the half perhaps came when Leon Osman berated the referee Craig Pawson at half time for his failure to spot two rather obvious Southampton handballs whilst Everton were on the ropes.

The second half was just as bad, so bad in fact that one young lad decided to take matters in to his own hands, running onto the pitch from just a few rows in front of me in the Gwladys Street and making a bee-line directly for Roberto Martinez. When he was pounced on by four stewards he attempted to punch one of them, before squaring up to Leon Osman. Whilst there is no place for that at all, it symbolises another sign of discontent amongst the supporters. When things like this are happening, you know things are bad and when I think back to other times this sort of thing has happened - a fan running on the pitch to confront referee Paul Danson in a fixture at home to Arsenal, as our once promising season under Joe Royle petered out woefully amidst the disillusion and discontent of the supporters; and, more infamously, whilst we wasted away under Walter Smith and an outraged supporter ran onto the pitch, also against Arsenal, this time at Highbury and asked Alex Nyarko if he would like to swap shirts given his lack of effort. This reflected the bad mood amongst the fans at the time and yesterday's incident does highlight the frustration amongst Evertonians.

Whilst Southampton continued to miss chance after chance (they hit the woodwork twice), I felt we might just nick this game if the right opportunity came our way and so it proved when a Kevin Mirallas corner was weakly headed goalwards by Funes Mori only to be weakly half-cleared back to him. This invited our Argentine centre-back to have another crack and his drive back at goal deflected in off Bertrand to give Everton an unlikely, and undeserved, lead.

We didn't hold onto it of course, this time lasting only eight minutes before Tadic waltzed into the box with Everton fast asleep and Mane eventually bundling home in yet another sloppy goal conceded by Everton.

Southampton continued to go for the win and will feel unlucky not to have collected three points. One, or two, positives were the introduction of a couple of debutants from our Academy. Callum Connolly was introduced sooner than Everton would have liked when he had to replace the stricken Seamus Coleman on 54 minutes. Losing Coleman, who's had a season to forget, is a headache we could do well without given the week ahead; however, Connolly coped fantastically well and it was pleasing to see. Ditto Tom Davies who was introduced later in the game. He looks a promising player, very busy and technically good. Let's hope for big futures for both of them.

Whilst I remain somewhat optimistic for our FA Cup semi-final as given it's a one off game, I am petrified of Wednesday's trip to Anfield. I hope that getting our scrappers on the pitch in Lennon, Barry, McCarthy and Besic might, just might stifle them a little bit and we can put up a fight but it's really difficult to approach the Merseyside derby with any realistic optimism.

Who believes in miracles?

Player Ratings

Robles: It may be because some of them are closer to Tim Howard than they are Joel Robles, or it might just be because they don't think he's very good, but I get the impression the defenders don't like Joel all that much. Personally, I think he's got some way to go before he's our number one, but I have to say that these last three games he has impressed me. He made an error for the goal at Watford yes but did make some amazing saves that day, and also made a couple of good saves at Crystal Palace and also contributed towards preserving a point in this game against Southampton. Hopefully he's hitting form just at the crucial time. Probably more so with a lack of contenders than anything else but he's my man of the match. 8

Oviedo: Had a shocker. 4

Funes Mori: Generally defended sensibly but made a few mistakes and seemed to be ball-watching a bit for Southampton's equalising goal. Nice to see him get on the scoresheet. 6

Stones: I think he's played pretty well these last couple of games. He, like the rest of them, needs two huge performances in these next two games. 7

Coleman: Was doing OK until he had to withdraw. Has had an injury-plagued season and he'll surely now have to miss the derby and the FA Cup semi-final. 5

Besic: Not really involved in the game as much as he should have been. 5

Gibson: Had a fantastic first half before tiring in the second half. It's a shame it hasn't quite worked out for Darron Gibson at Everton. If we could have kept him fit we could have had one talented player in the middle for a good few years. His first-half performance hints that he might, just might, have something to say about the season yet. 6

Osman: Worked hard but struggled to impose himself on the game. At his age it's got to be difficult to come into games that irregularly and be expected to be match sharp. 5

Deulofeu: Poor. Looks a shadow of the player who exploded onto the scene earlier this campaign. 4

Mirallas: Played a bit more central for the most part and didn't offer much. His burst forward near the beginning of the game which should have heralded a red card for Fonte was impressive but we didn't see near enough of that throughout the game. He was starved of service in his defence. 5

Kone: I didn't understand why the whole stadium thought it was so funny that he attempted that overhead kick in the first half. I thought it was a great effort to manufacture something out of nothing. Otherwise, it was tough for him. I don't think the opportunities Kone gets are really fair on Kone. We all know he's not the answer, but you can't play him on the wing and expect results as he's not a winger. Similarly, if you want results from Kone as a striker, you need to play a striker up with him as he can't carry the attacking burden on his own. He battled gamely but was let down by unaccommodating tactics. 6

Connolly (for Coleman): Fantastic to see the young lad come on and acquit himself so well. Is there a chance he will now be plunged into the Merseyside derby? 7

Barkley (for Deulofeu): Really poor. Contributed very little. 5

Davies (for Gibson): It's come to something when a young debutant makes a seven minute cameo and is a serious man of the match contender. Joking aside, he looked right at home out there and showed calmness and class on the ball. Hopefully we've unearthed a diamond there though important not to get too carried away too quickly. 7

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Reader Comments (26)

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Don Alexander
1 Posted 17/04/2016 at 21:37:50
I take zero pleasure in once again pointing out the glaringly obvious fact that last April Messrs Coleman, Baines, Lukaku all openly stated to the Press that the three wins and a draw the squad achieved that month had been won by playing the "old Everton way".

Winning those ten points resulted in us finishing in a very poor position by the season's end.

My eyes told me that they'd binned Martinez's fantasy in favour of exciting, winning football. I was disappointed with the players for reverting to Martinez-type and seeing the winning ways end.

So in my estimation he'd well lost the dressing room this time last year and as far as "Divisions In The Camp" go the only people who seem to have ANY faith in the Catalonian clown are his own, err, "coaching" staff, and that bullshitting Boys-Pen-Old-Boy who signed him up of course.

Danny Broderick
2 Posted 17/04/2016 at 22:01:58
I've thought there are divisions I the camp for a while now. Lukaku has started throwing his arms about when he doesn't get the ball. McCarthy has mouthed off towards the defenders once or twice. Jags went mad at Lukaku for not following in behind him at a corner a few weeks ago.

None of these players were doing this previously, and to be honest, it's good to see players demanding more off each other sometimes. But it seems a little out of type to me, which makes me think that something is not right.

We've also had rumours coming out about Baines, Osman, Big Dunc etc. Something doesn't seem right...

Jay Harris
3 Posted 17/04/2016 at 22:14:22
Interesting point you make about the players, Paul.

I noticed a couple of weeks ago Jags absolutely ripping into Lukaku for his lack of movement.

I think one of the problems of trying to integrate young players with older pros is the lack of respect shown by some of the big time charlies. This may have been behind Mourhino's decision to cut Lukaku loose at the time because his ego certainly outweighs his ability. Similarly with Stones, the younger players at one time would never have dared to tell the crowd to calm down.

Under Moyes, there was no arrogance – just team spirit and a willingness to work hard for each other. Some of that camaraderie would not go amiss in our current plight.

Paul Tran
4 Posted 17/04/2016 at 22:19:26
Danny, what are the rumours about Baines, Osman and Ferguson?
Eugene Ruane
5 Posted 17/04/2016 at 22:45:10
I wasn't buying any of what I saw as Osman's 'old pro' sleight-of-hand yesterday.

Pointing here and there while raging at Funes Mori, then theatrically raging at the ref as the half-time whistle blew.

"Look at Ozzie, 'ee's fuckin fumin'!"

"Well you want them to show a bit of passion don't you lad!"

Sorry, wasn't buying it.

He contributed next to nothing yesterday and so, imo, decided to 'come the old soldier' as it were.

The expression 'If you can't fight, wear a big hat' exists to describe such fol-de-rol.

Ian Riley
6 Posted 17/04/2016 at 22:53:34
I think Moyes may be asked to come back and sort this mess out. Too many players are coming out and speaking to the press. A cry for help may be?

A new manager is required just to get the players and fans motivated again. Mr Kenwright, something is wrong. Please end it.

James Flynn
7 Posted 17/04/2016 at 22:54:20
Paul - Good stuff again.

Yes, too bad about Gibson. He looked in-charge out there. Looked the same when he first came in and had a run of games. During Europa too. Oh well.

On this Wednesday, normally don't read about the RS, but it looks like Klopp, too, sat regulars today. So it appears the game against us won't be taken lightly.

Most times, I get fired-up for an opponent the day before (at most). Then as the hour approaches become excited. On the hour, "Fuck these bastards! They should have stayed on the bus". That's me supporting my Club. Every sport. But here, the way them and us are playing, this next game has disaster written all over it.

So I'm typing away three days prior to the game, to say I'm wishing and praying with everything I have, that the boys drive across the park and whip them. Not for or against Roberto, or "Kenright Out". The three points are long meaningless. "Get us ready for the Semi." Not that either.

But we need something positive, SOMETHING, we can hang our hats on for this disaster of a season. A great result on April 20, 2016 will do the trick.

Jamie Sweet
8 Posted 17/04/2016 at 23:56:18
What on earth has happened to Geri?

Is he loving it here so much he's just making sure Barcelona don't try and buy him back in the summer?

He's gone from sublime to "has this lad ever kicked a ball before in his life" in a few months.

Same can be said about a few others too.

It's a bad day when Kone is nowhere near the worst player on the park (even though he'll probably still be the most moaned about).

James Flynn
9 Posted 18/04/2016 at 00:18:07
Delboy is Delboy. Don't think there's a manager to get the best out of him.

He's spent his youth as Barca's next big thing. Yet here he is, two season's running, managers in two different leagues sitting him down after a hot start.

That's on him, not the managers. Send him back. He looks like the real deal. He isn't.

Phil Gardner
10 Posted 18/04/2016 at 02:06:41
Sick of it. Just pig sick... I've had e-fuckin-nough frankly. Gutted.
Saegaran Kana
11 Posted 18/04/2016 at 03:08:25
The young lads brought a smile to my face on an otherwise horrible patched-up play. Connolly was seamless at RB and looked more composed than Ty. And Davies IS something else. I truly believe we have 2 new top youngsters waiting for a run in the 1st team.

God bless Everton FC.

Darren Hind
12 Posted 18/04/2016 at 05:00:52
The players were bollocking Robles over his starting position, Paul.

Funes Mori and Stones wanted to play a high line. You need your goalkeeper to be ready to sweep anything played through or over the top. Unfortunately Robles seemed to be content to stay at home and bark out orders of his own which meant they were continually being turned around.

Oviedo's performance didn't help. Their right winger (is it Tadic?) was going past him at will and Funes Mori was having to try to do two jobs.

I don't mind seeing players having a go at each other, I'd be more concerned if they weren't.

Conceding only one goal made it look like we defended okay, but we didn't; we were all over the shop. Robles has to realise that the two younger centre-backs will want to play a higher line than Jagielka normally does. In order to do that, they need to know he on his toes and is ready to sweep.

Poor old Oviedo is nowhere near ready to go to Anfield. He's miles away from the player we know he can be. With Coleman out and Jagielka and Baines doubtful, there's plenty to worry about on Wednesday

Ernie Baywood
13 Posted 18/04/2016 at 05:56:42
Don (#1), I take no pleasure in pointing out once again that there's no evidence or credibility in the theory that the players rebelled and played "winning football", then reverted to playing "Martinez fantasy".

Even earlier this season, it was suggested that the players had rebelled again after they finally put in a decent performance. Yet no-one suggested it after we suddenly played more direct football against Man Utd... because it didn't work and therefore didn't fit the theory.

I'm open to almost any opinion. I don't even mind the odd conspiracy. But the idea that the players occasionally rebel and win a game, only to fall back into line and struggle for long spells, is absolute fantasy.

Guy Hastings
15 Posted 18/04/2016 at 10:47:38
I don't think it's that they're getting a bit more 'ballsy' about things, I simply reckon they've forgotten the basics. Their marking a corners is simply hopeless. If they got got to winning 'the old Everton way' why the fuck didn't they all stick with it? What's RM going to do, bench the lot of them?
Don Alexander
16 Posted 18/04/2016 at 11:31:09
Ernie, I just saw a team transformed that's all. It truly began in the second half of that loss away at Kiev and went on through April. By May, safe in mid-table, it ended and the aimless tippy-tappy resumed. Defeats ensued again.

I have seen next to nothing this season that resembles last April's performances but I do see the demeanour and expressions of the players and I do hear what the likes of Bainesy says to the Press.

And then there's the endless "We know we need to do much better" mantra from all and sundry. So to whatever extent, something very serious has been lost in my opinion.

Martinez can change my mind anytime he wants to by sending out a team that entertains me and scares the shit out of the opposition from start to finish, ending with a win.

Craig Walker
17 Posted 18/04/2016 at 13:15:08
Deulofeu showed me what he's all about in the League Cup game at Fulham in his first season. First half he was scintillating. Picking the ball up, running at players. They couldn't cope with him. Quick, skilful and offered us an attacking threat.

In the second half, he couldn't make 3-yard passes. He looked like he'd been swapped for a different player.

Brent Stephens
18 Posted 18/04/2016 at 13:18:37
Kone 6?!
James Stewart
19 Posted 18/04/2016 at 14:43:29
Posted similar comments on here before about the toxic atmosphere between the players. Who would want to play in this team with everyone at each other's throats?

Time for BK or Moshiri to wake up and end this misery.

Paul Olsen
20 Posted 18/04/2016 at 14:59:38
A 6 for Konè is simply just to spite his haters I believe. To say he was one of our top performers is just plain silly. 8 for Robles also seems to have been given out of pity. I mean, he did fine but 8?

Apart from that I agree. Oviedo, Besic, Ossie and Gibson all had stinkers imo, but the most disappointing one had to be Deulofeu. Sure he has great accelleration, but he has lost the ability to actually control a ball.

Alan Bodell
21 Posted 18/04/2016 at 16:41:24
Saegaran (#11), both the young lads did well but Tom Davies is nailed on for the full England team in the next 5 years, energy to burn with a quick brain and I see a young Alan Ball here.

I saw Alan Ball at the game many times late '60s, early '70s and my memory is still bristling with those days.

Dave Williams
22 Posted 18/04/2016 at 17:49:03
Alan, I hope you are right. Bally was the best Everton player I saw in 53 years of support and if Tom is anything like him... I dare not hope!!

He has the pedigree - I believe he is Alan Whittles grandson - the Geri of his day with huge ability but no consistency apart from the run-in in 1970.

Here's hoping!!

Paul Andrews
23 Posted 18/04/2016 at 17:56:33
There only is, was, and ever will be one Alan Ball.

The young lad looks a good prospect though.

Alan Bodell
24 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:42:45
Dave, I hope I haven't over egged the lad but he runs around just in just the same way for 90 mins. (Lukaku – are you hearing this?) and if the backroom can strengthen him up then this lad has it all.

Stronger physique and this lad can be as good as there is.

Andrew James
25 Posted 18/04/2016 at 21:56:57
But the back room won't make him fitter will they?

How many players have really developed physically under this regime? Barkley and Lukaku were already great specimens – growing boys and all that. Everyone else has gone downhill. McGeady, Gibson, Coleman, Baines, Pienaar, Besic, Deulofeu, Kone... the new lad...

What are they doing back there? Too much ball work I suspect.

So we have established his tactics suck, he cannot defend, do anything at set pieces, the players are not fit enough and now they argue amongst themselves.


This is actually sadder to watch than when we were rubbish under Smith because you knew we had poor players. We certainly didn't have a striker who could score over 20 goals.

Jon Cox
26 Posted 19/04/2016 at 18:17:07
Paul Olsen,

"Gibson had a stinker?" Really?

He was the only player for Everton who knew what to do with that spheroid shaped object.

At least he knows how to pass a ball forward. In Alan ball's day everyone could pass a ball forward.

So, to Mordor Wednesday.

God help us...

Danny Broderick
27 Posted 20/04/2016 at 23:38:14
Paul Tran,

Sorry, I've only just seen your message.

Baines was taken out the team for apparently having a pop at RM in training a while back. We all know about him having to apologise for a comment in the press some time after that.

Osman also had a pop a while back apparently, and wasn't getting a look in for a while after that either.

I then heard that Duncan got a telling off for giving an impromptu team talk at half time in the Arsenal game. RM felt that Duncan was undermining him by letting rip at the players at half time...

These incidents are all 3rd hand stories, but from training ground staff initially (apparently). Make of it what you will...

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