I hoped I'd regret driving

It says something when you get home and you're actually relieved you didn't lose by more than four. I genuinely expected to find we'd lost by five or six.

Paul Traill 20/04/2016 22comments  |  Jump to last

All day I refused to even contemplate the Merseyside derby. I didn't give us a cat in hell's chance of getting a result and hoped only that we'd pick our best team and give it a good go. Having darted out of work and straight towards Goodison Park, met Gary in The Brick and seen the team news, I allowed myself to get somewhat sucked in to some sort of belief that we could get something from the game. The team was pretty much our best one (yes, that was our best team!). We walked across Stanley Park a little buoyant and once at the other end some sort of scuffle broke out between a few supporters amidst a haze of blue smoke.

The crush to get into the ground was ridiculous and one I've experience at no other place than Anfield. It's something they really need to fix. This obviously took us a while to get in and the only saving grace was that I missed You'll Never Walk Alone and they were already a couple of minutes into the game by the time I arrived.

We started OK. We were catching them on the counter-attack and had the game been a few months back we might have done a bit better with our opportunities. Unfortunately instead, we played them when our confidence was flat and when we did get first half opening, presentable ones at that, we didn't take them.

It would be laughable to suggest we were hard done to of course. Even at that point in the game Liverpool had missed a couple of presentable opportunities. As the half progressed we were having to get more and more last ditch and dig in. "Just get to half time" I thought, though of course, we didn't. What disappointed me most with both goals was that we switched off. They were both from set pieces and both times we cleared the initial ball. The first one Kevin Mirallas made an excellent brave block but we didn't follow the play and it resulted in a routine ball in, easily headed in and we were a goal behind.

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Even the one goal down left us at least in the game at half time but the second killed us. Again, we cleared the corner. I thought the referee could have blown then. It was a reasonable distance from goal and I've seen referees blow up against us at time in more presentable positions. Anyway, we failed to mark up and after a reasonable effort in the first half, we unforgivably switched off twice and it was game over.

The thought crossed my mind to leave at the break as even then I couldn't see a way back but I stayed on. A nightmare was unfolding, but I didn't realise THAT much of a nightmare was unfolding. For starters Gareth Barry failed to return for the second half and is now doubtful for Wembley. Ain't that a kicker. Next up Funes Mori got himself sent off. It looked a nothing challenge at the time and I thought he was getting booked for kicking the ball away. As it turns out – and I still haven't seen it and probably never will – he was red carded for an apparent nasty stamp on Divock Origi. It's sad to see players stretchered off in pain but if it was as bad as everyone says it is, - what on earth was Funes Mori doing? Another absentee headache we cannot afford.

The disaster continued to unfold. Besic dropped into centre back and Barkley, our only player with intent to attack at this point, was hooked. We were basically settling for a 0-2 defeat...or trying to at least. Any "hopes" of a 0-2 loss were bowled over when Stones gave away position and quick as a flash Liverpool were onto it and before you knew it Daniel Sturridge had made it 0-3. Oh, and then John Stones left the field... apparently with stomach cramps! So we were 0-3 down, with 10 men and no centre backs.

I watched for a couple more minutes but it was futile. We couldn't even get out of our half and when you're getting taunted by the Kopites (and we were stood very near them!) it becomes unbearable. We left on 64 minutes and got across the park, hearing another cheer as we neared base.

I hoped I'd regret driving to the game and that the only thing I'd be gutted about after the game would be that I couldn't stick around to celebrate with a few beers. As it transpired I was relieved to have the car so I could get the hell out of there as quick as I could. It says something when you get home and you're actually relieved you didn't lose by more than four. I genuinely expected to find we'd lost by five or six.

If I had to give a man of the match based on what I saw I would give it to Joel Robles. Other than to give Bryan Oviedo a zero, I wouldn't even know where to start with player ratings.

Over to Roberto then to somehow pick up the pieces from this mess without a defence and probably without Gareth Barry for our trip to Wembley. I don't know what we will do at the back, I really haven't a clue. Regardless – and it goes without saying – this is a real mess Roberto has found himself in and the only way out is surely the door.

It can't get any worse... can it?

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Reader Comments (22)

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Jay Harris
1 Posted 21/04/2016 at 04:25:42
It sums up Martinez lack of ability as manager when the majority of Evertonians did not want Oviedo at RB and questioned having Niasse on the bench and no defenders especially when the kids did so well last time out.

And so it came to pass Oviedo had a nghtmare, no defenders were available to come on and Niasse did not get a game.

And this idiot still claims many Evertonians understand and support what he is doing.

Well I would love to know who they are because I don't know any Blue that still wants this embarrassing cretin at our club.

To the best of my knowledge for the first time in history the RS were singing the name of our manager.

Paul Ferry
3 Posted 21/04/2016 at 05:15:50
Paul thanks for your support - in lieu of yours can I give my ratings:

Robles 7, MotM
Oviedo 2
Stones 3
Funes Mori 3
Baines 3
McCarthy 4
Barry 5
Lennon 3
Ross 5
Mirallas 4
Lukaku 2
Besic 5
2 others not enough time

Besic, God bless him never stopped trying...

Stones is embarrassing, causes a goal, sits down, waves, trots off straight down the tunnel without any acknowledgment to the greatest away fans in the world who pay this arrogant self-obsessed head-in-own-ass bastard who is not fit to wear the blue shirt.

IF we lose Saturday put Sheeds in charge Monday who will play the young lads that he knows better than anyone to at least end this season on a brighter note.

Summer - new gaffer - money - and I will not be unhappy to see the back of Stones - Lukaku - McCarthy - Pienaar - Osman - McGeady - Hibbert - Gibson - Niasse - Kone - and can't believe I'm saying this, Baines

The future is bright for three reasons - and probably more.

1. Moshiri - and Woods storming out after the 3rd goal - and new gaffer and new signings

2. Dowell - Ledson - Connolly - Garbutt - Browning - Galloway - Holgate - Davies etc.

3. Players like Ross, Del, Seamus, Mo, Bryan, are not under performing recently because they are not committed or sub-standard but because of the general malaise, stupor, low morale, lack of spirit, and low collective trust in the fella in the hot seat.

The root cause will be gone in 5 days or 5 weeks.

I for one am very very optimistic about next season.

Mike Price
4 Posted 21/04/2016 at 06:01:12
Thanks for that Paul Ferry it actually cheered me up slightly.

I agree with all the players you'd be happy to wave bye to and I'm just praying you're right about Moshiri and Woods thinking enough is enough.

George Stuart
5 Posted 21/04/2016 at 06:50:10
I'm glad to hear Moshiri left. Enraged I hope. For he is really the only one who can do anything about this debacle.
Christopher Timmins
7 Posted 21/04/2016 at 07:22:27
Last night was no major surprise given the performances recently and upturn in form shown by Liverpool.

To be honest losing Rom and Stones in the summer will not be the end of the world if it comes to pass.

Of our so called stars only Ross gets a pass mark at the moment for at least wanting to try. Stones is a nightmare who never learns and Rom wants to play for a champions league team next year. If we pocket 110 million for both of them let them go.

The Kenwright era at Everton is coming to a sad end. Remember, he has presided over the longest period in the clubs history during which we have failed to win silverware. He should have moved on three or four years ago. The banner which flew over Saint Mary's earlier in the season get it spot on!

Our manager is like master Stones, he never learns from his mistakes. The new owner will surely take the necessary course of action either next Monday, if we lose the Semi final or at the end of the season. I would like to think that the supporters will behave in a dignified manner this side of his removal, it's a matter of when not if at this stage. We don't need supporters entering the pitch and confronting the manager!

We need to stick together, now more than ever. We have a Cup Semi Final on Saturday and we cannot allow ourselves to be humiliated.

Forget the manager, we now need the leaders in the dressing room to stand up and get a grip of the situation. Next Saturday evening at 5.15 is our Alamo, who among the present squad is going to stand and deliver when things appear to be at their lowest ebb?

Steve Hogan
8 Posted 21/04/2016 at 08:20:07
The saddest part for me was the sight of a 'barely fit' Pienaar hopping about the pitch in vain trying to chase back against Lallana, a very very sad night playing against a team,who six months ago, I would not have swopped for ANY of our current team.

The writing was on the wall over three months ago with this manager, yet the incompetent board members lacked the ruthlessness and business acumen to deal with it.

It actually hurt me to see Klopp and his coaching staff on the bench having a good laugh between themselves at what they were witnessing before their eyes.

Shame on you Kenwright, and shame on all those blues who backed the Chairman and hapless manager in the last 12 months.

Ian Jones
9 Posted 21/04/2016 at 09:41:36
Nothing much more to add to what's been said on this thread and other threads other than:

1) It seemed John Stones came back on the pitch for the second half later than the rest of the players, so it's possible he did have a problem.

2) Putting all our feelings about Martinez to one side, I assume the reason we had no defenders on the bench was because we started the game with 3 players that are thought to be able to play in defence in some formation or other if required Barry, Lennon and McCarthy, with Besic on the bench.

Not saying it's the right policy.

Ray Roche
10 Posted 21/04/2016 at 09:55:51
After their third I switched off and read a book. Did Moshiri really storm out? Hope so, it won't look good for Martinez if he did.
Dean Peamum
11 Posted 21/04/2016 at 10:06:37
It really beggars belief that 11% of TW's don't want this fraud sacked before the semi-final.

Why? Will it upset the rythym, well-drilled organisation and balance of this finely tuned side? (Can't really call them a team anymore).

Might it mean someone coming in and playing players out of position?

Maybe someone else might do something stupid like having a defender on the bench or playing a kid who is itching to get into the first eleven and has no fear of the occasion?

Don't know if these 11% have a bible in the house but they should look up Matthew 15:14.

Paul Olsen
12 Posted 21/04/2016 at 10:14:33
Read that Moshiri was not at the stadium according to the Echo. He had a Russian guy stand-in for him.

That guy sat through it all alongside Elstone. Woods did as reports say leave after the third goal.

Jim Lloyd
13 Posted 21/04/2016 at 10:21:30
Dean, that poll has been running for weeks and I think that a fair number of pollsters (including me) have been thinking about how any action that is taken, would affect the team and took the view of leaving him there. I thought that was the least destructive way for the team and the club.

I will bet that a number of pollsters changed their minds maybe even a few times, as it's the team most people are thinking about, not Martinez.

My view changed radically,once Leighton Baines let the cat out of the bag and the response that Martinez took. That to me was the "defining moment." to coin a phrase. From then on, my belief has been he should step down or be sacked.

So, I don'tthink you need to quote the bible. I think most pollsters have had enough of Martinez the question is when, not if.

John Raftery
14 Posted 21/04/2016 at 10:21:46
I hoped we wouldn't pick our best available team. Instead we did exactly that and suffered the outcome some of us feared: fresh injuries, a suspension and a humiliating scoreline.

As regards entry to Anfield, I entered 45 minutes before kick off when the place was virtually deserted. To avoid the late crush the answer is simple. Don't get there late.

Martin Nicholls
15 Posted 21/04/2016 at 10:27:19
Jim Lloyd - 11. It's a new poll !
Martin Nicholls
16 Posted 21/04/2016 at 10:28:20
Sorry - meant Jim Lloyd - 13
Rick Tarleton
17 Posted 21/04/2016 at 11:51:30
Bingham was sacked just before a semi-final and Martinez must go, even the 1982 defeat (Glenn Keely) or the 1965 5-0 at Anfield, both of which I had the misfortune to witness, were better than last night's abject performance. What kind of manager picks a left-footed right back to face a top class opponent? What kind of manager has no defenders amongst his substitutes? What kind of imbecile pays £13.5 million for a man he is unable or unwilling to use?

I felt, being old, that to me this game was more important than Saturday's. The derby game rightly or wrongly defines Everton's status. The players obviously felt differently. Wembley gives them a chance to show what they can do to prospective future employers.

I've not felt so bad about a derby defeat since when as an eight year old I witnessed the 4-0 cup defeat to second division Liverpool when I naively thought we couldn't lose. I cried that day. I wanted to weep last night as I watched the shambles at Anfield.

Anthony Hawkins
18 Posted 21/04/2016 at 13:23:47
The difficulty is guessing the level a play can achieve at this point in proceedings. Most of the players' confidence will be dented. They'll probably be wondering what they can do to buy a winning game. Trouble is they're not being set up to succeed, they're being unwittingly setup to fail by the manager.

With a new manager and some cash being thrown in for better quality players we should have a nucleus that fits around:

GK ?
RB - Coleman
CB - Stones or Funes Mori
CB - ?
LB - ?
RM -
CM -
CM - Barkley
LM - Del
F -
ST - Lukaku

GK - Robles
CB - Funes Mori / Stones
CB - Jagielka (if not sold)
LB - Galloway
RB - ?
M - Besic
M - Lennon
M - Cleverley
S - ?

Baines should be sold in the summer as, I'm sorry to say, he's now on his way down. Whilst Jagielka is very vocal and a solid defender he too needs to be reducing his appearances and someone else brought in to support Mori or Stones.

The biggest gaps in the team is midfield. Left midfield has been missing for a while. The team needs a midfield player who can boss the midfield. Man Utd missed Keane when he went. Arsenal missed Viera when he went.

Dave Williams
19 Posted 21/04/2016 at 13:58:00
Paul Ferry – great post.

Clear the dead wood, add a couple of experienced class players and blood the kids with a proven manager and for heavens sake give Ross someone with skill to help him in the centre. Wingers are too far away and not schemers and our DMs haven't got the skill. Walsh and Dowell perhaps?

Andrew Ellams
20 Posted 21/04/2016 at 14:10:10
Rick Tarleton @ 17, the kind of manager who picks a left footed right back is the kind of manager who doesn't feel the need to have two right footed right backs in his squad in case one picks up injuries.
Steavey Buckley
21 Posted 21/04/2016 at 14:27:06
To be fair, most of the Everton team are poor. The goal-keeper like Tim Howard does not inspire confidence when he does not catch dangerous crosses or even gets a fist on them.

Both full-backs, Baines and Coleman are shadows of their former attacking selves.

The centre-halves don't dominate their attacking opponents.

The midfield, even, now, including Barkley, do not score goals or get into dangerous attacking areas - Everton are really missing Fellaini, who would dominate both penalty areas and score goals.

Upfront, that particular area has come to a full stop with regards to creating and scoring goals - thank heavens, Everton have got enough points on the board to see Everton through to next season.

Liam Reilly
22 Posted 21/04/2016 at 17:26:01
I didn't think it could get any worse after last nights performance; but then I came into the office to what I suspected would be the usual torrid of abuse from RS supporters; but I was wrong.

What I got was sympathy; fucking SYMPATHY, that we are in decline and on route to the Championship whilst they confer with the United supporters on who is going to make the top 4.

Cracking day!

Barry Pearce
24 Posted 21/04/2016 at 20:28:30
Walsh, and dowell for sure, also if they hadn't extended jonjoe kennys Loan to Oxford he would have done a better job than Oviedo at right back.
Paul Kennedy
25 Posted 22/04/2016 at 22:46:57
I think it is fairly obvious to all now that, contrary to the belief at the beginning and early on in the season, we are not a really good team that are a bit unlucky!! We are a very poor team with some good individuals, a couple of mediocre players, and some that are not acceptable. I would not try to identify which are which because, as with taste, opinions are individual.

What I feel I can say is no-one can argue that we have got a real problem with moral playing tactics and the public face as portrayed to the media – otherwise known as Martinez.

The only really sad thing now is, if we win the FA Cup, which I would love, would he get another chance next season? I could not take that. I would never stop supporting the club which I have for over 50 years but my god they do make it difficult for us.

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