From My Seat: Bournemouth (H)

An end-of-season affair where neither team was much to write home about but Everton ended a run of seven Premier League games without a win.

Ken Buckley 30/04/2016 45comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 2 - 1 AFC Bournemouth

We arrive at the Room of Nonsense via Anfield and Wembley and still-shell shocked at the outcomes of the games at those venues. In both of those games I came away with the impression that our present manager employs scatter-gun instructions to his players as throughout the derby and first half at Wembley our players were all over the place, thus leaving gaps to be exploited – and they were.

Then in the second half at Wembley after about ten minutes the players seemed to rip up the script that had been given to them, played from memory of what is right and wrong and with better finishing from Lukaku could have won it. Still that’s water under the bridge now so it was Bournemouth to contend with today and the opinion in our room was that we hoped he didn’t play too many youngsters as the last thing we need was to shatter their confidence early doors. As it happened, only Pennington started in the left centre back role and I don’t think he did his chances any harm at all.

The talk turned to the Martinez conundrum and agreement was unanimous that his reign so far had gone demonstrably backwards. Most seemed to think that protest these days isn’t taken that seriously by owners unless the whole ground is fully involved so we hope for the board to come to a decision on the best course of action, basically either "in" or "out" and to communicate this to the fans as soon as possible. If it is "in" then most will not be happy but at least the uncertainty that his dogging all aspects of the club will be resolved. Also the board will have noted that even with all the fan outlets hinting at various types of action including boycotting the game the attendance today being 38,345 tells a story.

The walk up was pleasant in the L4 sun and we mingled with the visiting fans discussing all things football. At the fat van they went their way and we made our way among a heaving mass of fans and entered the ground in decent time. Z Cars rang out earlier today as we showed solidarity with the families of the 96 in celebrating ‘Justice and Truth' at last. As the families waved to all sides of the ground one gentleman with them raised an Everton scarf aloft. We may have right ding-dongs with them over football but when push comes to shove they are indeed our blood brothers and amid the mighty cheers, clapping and general raucous noise He Ain’t Heavy, He's My Brother played through the PA system. Was that a tear I wiped away?

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Our ref for today, Mr Swarbrick, got us under way. It was a strange first few minutes as there was quiet about the place as if we were weighing up what version of Everton was on display, especially as we had a new spine to the team with Howard in goal, Pennington at centre back, Gibson in the Barry role and our first real glimpse of Niasse. Our start was sharp enough and with just six mins gone we put a decent move together down the left and Barkley fed Cleverley with an astute ball. Cleverley controlled the ball with some aplomb and turned as he did so and placed a crisp shot across the keeper. One nil up. I thought players and fans were a little muted in celebration at that goal, probably the result of the hangover from previous games.

But right from the kick off, us being Everton, we got ourselves in a bit of a mess. It all started on our right with Besic trying to play keep ball too long and then hitting a left-footer across field without looking straight to a Bournemouth player. This allowed Bournemouth to attack up our left and it looked as though Pennington was pushed to the ground but the lino and ref saw no foul, much to the disgust of our fans. The ball was put across our box and the first shot was blocked, the second was saved by a Howard star jump but only out to a third attacker who netted. Our players remonstrated with the lino and ref but to no avail but in truth it was Besic who made an unforced error that allowed that attack to happen. Some things never seem to change.

The rest of the half tailed off in end of season fashion which was causing a bit of unrest from the faithful. Niasse was in and out of the game with some decent movement and pass one minute then diabolical stuff the next e.g. passing back direct to a Bournemouth attacker who luckily did no more than force a corner. Barkley was only noticeable in patches and in one of these Niasse made one of his good passes and Barkley was on to it but, alas, aimed at the top of the stand. But he was back again a few moments later in a foot race with keeper Boruc who just won it. Cleverley got some stick for not missing out the first man at a three corners before Baines eventually took over.

As the half wound down a plane appeared trailing a banner with the words ‘TIME TO GO ROBERTO NSNO’. It looked as though the pilot tried to drop the banner onto the pitch but he was well wide with the attempt. It was time for Roberto to go but only down the tunnel as the H/T whistle went

H/T 1-1 and the chat seemed to be anything but football.

Second half and Besic was jettisoned for the evergreen Tony Hibbert who received as loud of a welcome as I have heard for a long time. Tony was back and with his first touch he was urged to SHOOOOOT! Just think, this was Tony’s first game in 16 months. We seemed now to be getting on top a little but both teams suffered with the same thing – no cutting edge. Both teams playing this possession footy and neither really able to get at either defence. We did applaud one piece of joined up play that had pace to it when Gibson, Lennon, Niasse and McCarthy combined to find Barkley who was in looking for a shooting chance but overstayed his welcome and had the ball taken from him.

It did precede a good spell of play though that had the visitors under pressure but no matter how many balls we provided in the box a shooting hole could never be found and the pressure slowly dissipated with nothing to show for it. Up to the hour mark with us and them shooting either wide or high or tamely. So our present manager swopped Niasse for Lukaku. Niasse got a nice ovation but I got the impression that he has some way to go yet before he can be considered first-team ready. I wish him all the best.

Pennington had grown into the game second half and Tony Hibbert had improved our back line. Gibson often operated as the third centre back with his defensive know how and you could see him organising them and getting them into proper position. Could he be the defensive coach we so badly need? In fact it’s a pity he wasn’t fit sooner. Maybe he would not suit our present manager as defensive know how seems foreign to him. Stones was looking good today too and was not shy in coming forward with purpose in that second half safe in the knowledge that Hibbo had the defence and its duties boxed off.

Sixty fifth minute and Barkley fed in Lennon on the right, his cross was miscued by Cleverley but it fell for Baines who thundered the ball just under the bar and into the roof of the net. The crowd responded well to that goal, Baines's first from open play since January 2013.

This did liven us up quite a bit and Lukaku was looking to get more into the game but the ball up to him was never quite what it should have been. Barkley laid a ball back encouraging Hibbo to shoot which he did but not with enough rocket power. Eddie Howe sent on two subs to try to get back into the game but only the odd half chance occurred and none enough for heart in mouth time.

Stones was having a fine spell and looking like he was enjoying it and was applauded for forays forward and good passes. That should help his confidence. The lad Wilson was causing us a bit of bother from time to time and with us having a tendency to concede late it was comforting to see him subbed with about ten to go. Stanislas came on, got past Hibbo but before he could pull the trigger Hibbo had chased back and put in a terrific tackle blocking the ball away and got rapturous applause from all assembled.

Eighty minutes came up and I wondered if would ever see Dowell. Well we did but with just four minutes plus stoppage time to go. You could not expect to see much from the lad in that time but he did look lively and pacy as twice he chased back passes and had the keeper worried on both occasions. He put Lukaku to shame as his contribution was no more than a carry over from Wembley. He just seemed to stand and watch until a ball bounced off him or get caught offside for not coming back after an attack. Now that’s just idleness, nothing to do with form.

Four minutes added went up on the board. Right away we looked a touch wary and edgy, such is our propensity for letting in late ones. However, we survived those and booted the ball away a few times and didn’t try anything fancy. Eventually the ref blew and we breathed a sigh of relief and took in that we had actually won at home. Grand Old Team was played but much louder than normal and my guess was an attempt to drown out any dissent from fans. Some did stay and display banners and good on 'em. I hope, although small in number, their effort can resonate just a little with those that own our club,

M.O.T.M. – Stones with a special mention for Hibbo. A true defender.

The walk back was much better and the mood lighter. We met up with some Bournemouth fans and over a pint talked footy. We all want Leicester to win the league and we all agreed that we had just seen an end of season game and neither team had much to write home about. They were keen to ask about the Martinez and said they were surprised as they thought he was a top manager. I told them that today we got our sixth point out of 24 on offer and this would be our worst season in our history for a few things. They seemed surprised.

Two away now and then our last game of the season at home v Norwich which could turn out to be the game that seals their fate depending how results go. I wonder if the board will have had anything to tell us by then? We can but hope.

See you soon.


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Reader Comments (45)

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Christopher Dover
1 Posted 01/05/2016 at 06:21:58
Felt sorry for Dowell, he was called on then Everton scored, that was it the poor lad just stood waiting to go on while Martinez ignored him until about three or four minutes left. No doubt he will give his usual bit about giving youth its chance.

Had to laugh when Bournmouth had a free kick just out side our penalty area, RM retreated to back of tech area and Jones was shouting and jestering to the defenders how to set up, pity they did not know and they had not sorted this out last season.

Still will be big changes next home game, RM to wear Black shoes.

Dick Fearon
2 Posted 01/05/2016 at 07:18:41
Good report, Ken. Besic playing keep-ball was due to sheer laziness or lack of imagination from his team mates being available for a forward pass.

Both TV commentators mentioned that problem only minutes prior to Bournemouth's goal. That kind of lethargy has far too often but not always contributed to losing possession in dangerous areas. Had Martinez done his job properly that should have been sorted two years ago.

Leading up to Bournemouth's goal Pennington was gently pushed in the back. Had he not stopped to appeal to the Ref he could have recovered the situation.

A half decent manager would long ago have settled on the best takers of free kicks, corners and takers of penalties. Our players have no organisation when defending the same thing s and there does not appear to be anyone among them able to take charge. Yet another dereliction of managerial duty.

Alan J Thompson
3 Posted 01/05/2016 at 08:07:56
Ken; I did not see this game due to the flu' but you say Niasse has some way to go before being considered first team ready, fitness or skillwise?
Ian Hollingworth
4 Posted 01/05/2016 at 08:17:33
Thanks, Ken... just wondering why there was no report from the Derby or the semi? Or did I miss them?
Robert Elliott
5 Posted 01/05/2016 at 08:37:58
I've long since given up on understanding how Roberto's mind works but Besic at right back baffles me. Hibbert should have started, or even Connolly, ahead of him. And five minutes at the end for Dowell? It's like Roberto is paying lip service to giving youth a chance.

Thinking about it, who, apart from Stones and Barkley, who were ready to breakthrough no matter who got the job three years ago, has played a significant role under Martinez? Maybe Galloway I suppose, but even he disappeared as soon as Baines was fit.

Mike Hughes
6 Posted 01/05/2016 at 08:44:35
Christopher #1

"...and Jones was shouting and jestering..."

Congratulations for coming up with a new and very appropriate word for the actions of our 'management'.

''jestering' sums it up perfectly.

Ken Buckley
7 Posted 01/05/2016 at 09:38:14

His all round game.

He needs to be eased into the team rather than be ready to slot right in. Might take a bit of time.

Barry Pearce
8 Posted 01/05/2016 at 09:41:43
I also felt sorry for Dowell. He was ready to come on earlier, but we scored. To me, Martinez is a coward. What realistically could he expect of Dowell in four minutes plus stoppage time.

This win isn't going to stop him getting sacked. 🙏

John Croft
9 Posted 01/05/2016 at 10:02:13
Good read, Ken, but not sure about Stones for MotM – he got lucky when Afobe headed over after getting in front of him all too easily.

I pray we get a top manager in that can keep Stones and instill some defensive aggression into him – not indulge him like Bobby Brown Shoes does.

Dick Fearon
10 Posted 01/05/2016 at 11:25:09
I do not understand and how an experienced PL manager would pay our third highest ever transfer fee for someone who quite clearly is nowhere near PL standard.
Alan Bodell
11 Posted 01/05/2016 at 11:36:05
Good report as usual Ken from the Room of Nonsense and I totally agree what Dick #2 says about the lack of movement and availability to receive a pass; we just seem to not move but that is not from any training ground surely it's any footballers nature to see a future pass.

It's been the same every game this season, I'm baffled by the lack of movement.

Martin Nicholls
12 Posted 01/05/2016 at 12:08:25
Ken – your paragraph about the "Martinez conundrum" sums up my feelings exactly. In fact I have written to Kenwright et al reminding him that the most common complaint levelled by customers (don't you just hate that word in relation to football?) against businesses is not being kept informed.

I said that we do not expect to be told about any "sensitive" decisions but would in view of frenzied media speculation like to at least be told "Yes, there was a meeting but we can't divulge details" or "No, there has been no meeting". I've had no reply! For those wishing to do similar, try

Your assessment of Niasse's qualities is kinder, but probably more measured and fairer than mine!

Christopher (#1) – I also noticed the change of positions between Martinez and Jones. Looked like some bizarre game of musical chairs in which the winner was the one closest to the tunnel when the final whistle went! Certainly, like Kenwright, neither one of them has the courage to speak directly (even over tannoy) to protesting fans.

Tony Dove
13 Posted 01/05/2016 at 12:26:36
Much as I love Hibbo to have both him and Howard playing was a joke. I would have no particular problem if instead they just came on near the end of the Norwich game, at which we can hopefully also bid farewell to the manager.
John Raftery
14 Posted 01/05/2016 at 13:14:26
A very accurate report Ken reflecting the mood among the fans yesterday. Niasse must be the one of the strangest big signings we have ever made. He looked absolutely shattered after twenty minutes. I can think of Ernie Hunt who cost £80,000 in 1967 and Per Kroldrup who cost £5m in 2005 but no others for whom we paid such a huge fee for so little immediate return. Lack of ability is one thing but a lack of fitness is almost beyond explanation.
If you look across Russian sport I see that competitors in Ice Hockey, Gymnastics, Judo, Wrestling, Athletics, Volleyball, Speed Skating, Rugby Sevens, Cycling, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Figure Skating, Boxing, Cross Country Skiing and of course Tennis have all been tested positive for Meldonium which was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency from 1st January 2016. The introduction of the ban coincided with the Russian football closed season which might explain why no Russian footballers have been tested positive. One imagines the drug was probably as widely used in Russian football as it was in other sports. Meldonium was added to the list of banned substances because it counteracts the adverse effects of high intensity exercise including heart and muscle damage. Presumably anyone taking the drug would require a period of adjustment to cope with a training regime without the use of artificial substances. How else can we explain how a professional footballer with full time training facilities and fitness coaches cannot achieve anything like a decent level of fitness after three months?
Ian Bennett
15 Posted 01/05/2016 at 13:38:43
Turgid, directionless first half. The crowd was flat, with Operation Martinez turning GP from a bear pit to a morgue. The tactic of passing crab ways in our own half, punctuated by self inflicted errors is just awful football to watch. Copy and paste from any other match report.

Howard - a loyal servant, but long past his best.

Besic - lacks pace and is no right back.

Baines - clearly has never been the same player since that ankle problem. Hopefully a new manager will reinvigorate him, and a summer break will settle it.

Stones - a better game. Not great in the air again, he needs to play next to a giant, dominant centre half. Looked like he picked up a knock, but played through it.

Pennington - grew into the game. Has a future in football, just not sure it will be EPL.

Gibson - good range of passing. His fitness is always a problem, but underneath is a decent player.

McCarthy - I want to like him. He has more to offer I think/hope. Would like to see him close down more, pass with more purpose - but that goes for the whole team. Thought post Fellaini we would be onto a winner, but Mo's goals and aerial ability have been badly missed.

Barkley - the guy is a bulldozer, but disappears for large spells. Someone needs to get hold of him. His decision making and execution are holding him back.

Lennon - great work rate, but with his final ball being dreadful it needs to be. You can see why Spurs got rid.

Cleverly - scored, but not at home on the left, and in truth not sure that he's anything other than a decent bench backup.

Niasse - oh dear. I was expecting pace and skill. It looks like he is an expensive dud, that won't be the person to keep us in the Premier League post Lukaku.

Hibbert - might be 78 years old, but lifted the crowd. No one does a better slide challenge than Tony.
Other subs - no real impression.

Big changes at GP. We need a hybrid of Moyes and Martinez. A team that attacks and defends. A team that isn't afraid to play at the big away grounds, and someone to make Goodison Park a fortress. We need to use the crowd, it is a 12th man. We need leadership on the pitch and off it. We need a professional approach of fighters, and lose this softly softly approach. Big Nev is bang on.

I am pretty sure that Lukaku and Stones will be gone, and to be honest I can't blame them. Neither of them are the finished article, so they might have a problem with a big price tag at first, but their class will be a big asset in the years ahead. Other outs Howard, Hibbert, Gibson, Pienaar, Osman? That is 7 players in addition to anyone else that a new manger won't fancy. The squad clearly needs a lot of incoming players to deal with the above, plus dealing with long term problems of right back, centre back and left wing have been under nourished for too long.

Keep watching that yellow bar on SSN.

Andrew Cunningham
16 Posted 01/05/2016 at 13:57:08
John @14 I didn't realise or just forgot that Ernie Hunt played for us. But I do remember him scoring a cracker of a goal against us in around 1970. Coventry had a free kick and Willie Carr flicked the ball up behind him with both feet and Ernie Hunt volleyed it into the net. The goal stood but this practice was later banned because the player who flicked the ball with two feet was considered hand ball.
David Hallwood
17 Posted 01/05/2016 at 14:10:51
Great report which sums up the game perfectly; the goal conceded just about sums our season up. Mistake-poor decision by officials-followed by confusion and Sunday league defending at the back.

Just one point; did anyone notice Baines' body language when he scored?

Peter Mills
18 Posted 01/05/2016 at 14:38:03
Thanks for your report Ken.

A pal of mine who occasionally posts on here, Terry White, emailed me from the USA prior to the match asking me my preferred method of protest - tennis balls, banners, white hankies? I could only reply honestly that whilst those things had seemed very important early in the week, after the Hillsborough inquest verdicts the only important thing seemed to pay appropriate respects. This was done by club and fans, loud and long. I think it set the tone for the afternoon, and suspect many people felt uncomfortable about protests. It also seemed to me that fans did not want to pillory the players, having seen in the semi-final that, left to their own devices and ignoring the inept manager, they can play a bit.

Having demonstrated such support for people who refused to be kow-towed by authority, it was outrageous of Everton FC to take down banners of protest, and then to blast the fans who stayed behind with loud music, to drown them out and try to force them to leave. Who the hell gave those instructions? I was listening on Radio Merseyside on the way home and could barely hear what was being said because of the racket in the background, and felt ashamed.

The silence from the club since the derby, one of the most humiliating performances and results in our history, together with yesterday's totalitarian behaviour, is disgraceful. Protest really is required at the last game against Norwich, my favoured method would be the good old "What a load of rubbish" and prolonged bouts of the slow hand-clap - they can't stop that.

Peter Morris
19 Posted 01/05/2016 at 14:39:30
If there is one player in the starting line up who doesn't deserve his spot these days it's poor Ross Barkley. The lad looks totally lost, watching the game pass him by like a spectator who happens to be on the pitch. When he does have the ball, he frequently runs down blind alleys, or surrenders possession, or both. He is now petrified to shoot, having had the intuitive confidence driven out of him. He does little tacking back and when is the last time anyone can recall him making a clean tackle?

I don't think that the lad is the sharpest knife on the drawer, and I strongly suspect his head is completely scrambled by the Catalan's mystical guidance. Ross is the sort of player who needs firm, simple and clear instructions, which he won't get from Martinez. he's not that bright Roberto. Stop confusing the kid! I genuinely feel sorry for the lad. I hope he doesn't get selected for the Euros. He would benefit enormously from a summer off to rest his mind and his body.

Franny Porter
20 Posted 01/05/2016 at 14:47:47
I'm now at the point that Everton depress me so much, with this imbecile in the dugout that until he has gone and we can look to the future, I literally couldn't give two fucks about the players.

Lukaku, lazy deluded bastard, McCarthy headless Stuart McCall chicken, Stones over rated arrogant and weak, Barkley another allegedly stalling on a contract, well fuck off then and shut the door on your way out you lazy fucker.

Honestly not arsed if any of them fuck off in the Summer.

David Hallwood
22 Posted 01/05/2016 at 15:09:20
Just watching the Man U v Leicester game and I'm almost wiping a tear from my eye; talk about football being a simple game ruined by coaches. Leicester play 4-4-2 with a back 4 that defends simple and pure. Nothing complicated but they look composed and confident defending at OT against multi million pound players.

They look fit and look like they could run all day, which is just as well as the game is being played at 100mph.

So call me a neanderthal, a luddite, but give me defenders that defend, and bank of 4 midfield in front of them and 2 up top; no square pegs. in round holes, attackers playing left mid etc etc or 2 holders, or 3 at the back or any of the other shite that ends up with not scoring enough at one end and not stopping enough at the other.

John Raftery
23 Posted 01/05/2016 at 15:09:45
Andrew 16 - Yes he did, in October 1971. For us he always looked ponderous and out of his depth in a team with quick passers and movement. I think Catterick signed him on the basis of his performance against us at Molyneux in the 4th round of the FA Cup the previous season.
Alan Bodell
24 Posted 01/05/2016 at 15:12:16
Peter, you are so right and it just fits a trend with our youngsters, Jeffers and Rodwell spring immidately to mind so I think sadly Ross is the latest that never ever did it and I just hope we get bundles for him from whoever.
Tom Bowers
25 Posted 01/05/2016 at 15:22:35
It's difficult to say whether a new manager will promote an upsurge in form and/or attitude with these players.

Martinez certainly has proven he cannot and the change is necessary but nobody is a miracle worker except maybe Ranieri at Leicester who I suspect is relishing winning the title on home soil against hapless Everton.

Everton have had a bad record regarding youngsters coming through but it has to be said that in today's modern game very few top clubs give them much of a run, preferring instead to capitalize on the big money available to buy them almost as soon as they appear on the scene.

In hindsight some may say Barkley and Stones should have been sold when Everton had the chance but who would have thought that they would struggle this season.

Lukaku will always score goals as he has proved so calling him lazy is a no-brainer. (Would some have preferred Benteke?)

Still, I am sure he will move on soon for a big fee.

Franny Porter
26 Posted 01/05/2016 at 15:47:58
Tom, it's not a "no brainer" as you patronisingly put it.

Rom scores goals when he puts the effort in, this is fact, Chelsea in the cup for example. He would have at least ten more goals if he put this effort in every week, fact of the matter is, he is a sulking lazy c**t.

Colin Glassar
28 Posted 01/05/2016 at 16:19:33
Peter, when I read these type of comments made by the aforementioned Rhett Butler comes to mind with, "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!".

Everyone's entitled to their own opinions despite being wrong and deluded. I was going to say on another thread, if we can keep Lukaku, Ross and JS and bring in the likes of Courtois, Bonucci, Gundogan and Inaki Williams (a new spine) then we can challenge next season with a manager who knows his arse from his elbow.

Neil Quinn
29 Posted 01/05/2016 at 16:46:48
Ken - just a side note. The guy who raised the Everton scarf aloft, is actually an Evertonian. His name is John Traynor, an old schoolfriend of mine. He lost two brothers in the tragedy (Kevin & Chris).
Paul Tran
30 Posted 01/05/2016 at 16:48:13
I couldn't give a Donald if people describe Lukaku as lazy. We had a host of strikers under Moyes who ran like my whippets but were ordinary goalscorers. The only good one he got us was Yakubu......who was often described as lazy!

What I do know is that when we play to his strengths and give him service, Lukaku scores lots of goals. Had a poor game at Wembley, but I've seen better strikers than Lukaku have stinkers.

He is our only striker of note, yet we rarely give him any service. That's where the problem lies. He'll get goals for us next season if he's here, even more for a manager who plays to his strengths.

Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 01/05/2016 at 16:52:49
Great match report as usual Ken, I hope your final report of the Norwich game contains a line of our present manager, if it does I hope you are talking about a new manager, it is still OPM I hope the protest after the match increases massively over the the great and brilliant lads who stayed behind yesterday, well done lads, I hope I don't have to join you for obvious reasons, but if OPM is still here I will.
Dennis Ng
32 Posted 01/05/2016 at 16:53:24
Colin, agree. Player situations change day to day. A new manager might get the whole team excited again. Hopefully that day is near.
Derek Cowell
33 Posted 01/05/2016 at 17:15:38
Andrew at 16

The Ernie Hunt type of goal from the Willie Carr free kick was later banned because, as far as I am aware, the free kick taker played the ball with two feet. It was also said that the ball had to rotate a full circumference before another player could touch it but I'm not sure about that reason. How could it be 'handball' as it never went near a hand?

Bobby out, by the way!!

John Hall
34 Posted 01/05/2016 at 17:28:37
"Lukaku left during the International break"

It seems that Leighton was brought down to earth by RM for speaking the truth but Lukaku was given an arm around the shoulder. How on earth he was not benched and fined for showing the ultimate disrespect to the fans who pay his over inflated salary is beyond recognition.

His performances since he came back from international duty have shown that he has well and truly left us. Ambling around waving his arms is about the best we have seen these past 4 - 5 games and should have been left on the bench yesterday, in fact he should be left there for the last few games and let the kids have a go.

Leighton will have his days numbered if the drivel uttering idiot RM remains in charge as he did the same to Distan and the gift from the footballing gods; remember him !!

Both let it be known to him that he was a shite manager and paid the ultimate price. Just read a report where Distin claimed that Everton defended as a team when Martinez first arrived but did not elaborate on what went wrong afterwards. He shows great dignity in saying in the report that what happened between him and RM shall stay between them. I am sure that we all can guess what happened as we have now seen what was once one of the best defensive units in the premier league capitulate to one of the worst.

Autocratic management is obviously his style with a "don't challenge me approach". I once adopted that style of management but was quickly forced to change my approach as I quickly lost the respect and commitment of the team that I had inherited. It seems as if the same scenario has now developed at EFC with a blinkered approach and a failure to listen.

Seemingly talented players have lost their way and show little motivation or commitment which will not be restored until the system changes and teamwork based on sound ethics returns.

Leighton is a true Evertonian and showed what the club means to him when he stayed with us after Moyes tried to unsettle him and take him up the East Lancs Road.

Lukaku is a self centered egotistical money grabbing showboat who cares nothing for this club. Jose was spot on when he let him go as he is a thousand times the manager that RM will ever be.

We live in hope that the new investor and majority shareholder will not fall for the spin and utter disrespect shown to a very patient fan base. The regular crap uttered by RM has since left most Everton fans completely dumbfounded and personally I feel it is an attack on our intelligence as supporters.

Dick Advocat walked away from Sunderland earlier this season and showed his respect for the supporters and the club by refusing to take a pay off. Be a man Roberto and show some balls for once. Take a walk !!!!

We live in hope. NSNO.

Ken Buckley
35 Posted 01/05/2016 at 17:47:37
Neil @29

Thanks for your side note.
My heart goes out to all the families yet so glad they have got justice -- At last.

Tom Bowers
36 Posted 01/05/2016 at 17:49:40
I was at that game in Coventry and it was a one off goal and painful to watch.
The deal was that the ball had to travel ''forward'' it's circumference and of course it didn't and should have been disallowed.
Of course it had to be against Everton and they lost the game just like many other games were players make their debuts against Everton and score etc.etc.

Frank Thomas
38 Posted 01/05/2016 at 18:54:18
Barry (8) I think the reason Dowell was not brought on earlier was that it would have been highly embarrassing for Roberto if he had been brought on and then scored which I think was likely. When you consider the performance of Pennington who looked more like a £40M player more than Stones. Pennington should have been in that FA Cup team instead of a half fit Jags.
Darren Hind
39 Posted 01/05/2016 at 19:05:35
Neil Quinn @ 29

Thank you for putting us in the picture.

Dave Horne
40 Posted 01/05/2016 at 19:12:23
Frank No.38
Jagielka certainly didn't let us down in the semi !
It was the managers tactics in the first half that did that.

Phil Walling
41 Posted 01/05/2016 at 19:15:59
Frank, I have no doubt that Pennington will be replaced by FM at Leicester, probably never to be heard of again.

As for Dowell, he will kept firmly under wraps for fear of exposing Niassie's limitations by comparison.

It's a hard struggle if you are one of our own but they love you in Coventry........and Brentford !

John Raftery
42 Posted 02/05/2016 at 00:15:34
Phil – Funes Mori will be suspended for the Leicester game, the third of his three-match ban for a straight red.
Anto Byrne
43 Posted 02/05/2016 at 05:15:38
"Just look at what I've achieved in the last 3 seasons: Top 5, more points, lots of goals from open play, better quality players brought in, more attractive style of play, last 16 of the Europa League, two cup semi-finals.... Stones Barkley and Lukaku, even Besic coming through... and now looking at the likes of Pennington, Garbutt, Holgate, Galloway, Davies, and Connolly to come through. Moving from the Moyes era to the Martinez era will take at least six transfer windows."

These are the ramblings of a man that believes he has brought a level of success to Everton. "Judge me on the last 3 years," he asks. We should be close to being the finished article, however, we can see the players don't want to play for him and look unhappy. Now we will see an exodus of players this summer and I believe those players would be better off elsewhere.

This has been a season of missed opportunity, poor defending has been the Achilles heel and losing Fortress Goodison. Can the board really accept this as success?

Eddie Dunn
44 Posted 02/05/2016 at 08:22:42
On Lukaku, I heard that he may have been carrying a couple of niggles. Most players are, but I really can't understand how he fails to be motivated to put in a proper shift. He needs shaking up, as when he tries, he scares the shit out of defenders.
As for Niasse, I don't know why he is so lacking in fitness, and one has to question why we spent £13 Mil on him with him seemingly unfit. It was at a point in the season when we could have done with a ready made replacement for Lukaku, who could fit straight into the side, and allow us to give the big man a break.

I saw some good touches(and a bad one) from the new boy yesterday, as he was a willing runner, and quicker than Kone, and I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, and hope for more next season.

Dowel scores a superb hat-trick in midweek and he gets 3 minutes on Saturday. What do you have to do to get a proper run-out?
Besic again at right back! Where was Connolly? Or why didn't Hibbo start?
This manager is totally deluded.

Stephen Graham
45 Posted 03/05/2016 at 02:49:30
@Neil Quinn 29

I knew a John Traynor at school, Liverpool Institute, '65. The same or not?

Roger Helm
46 Posted 03/05/2016 at 20:34:14
If Hibbo, a specialist right back , or Connelly, had started at Wembley rather than the out-of-position Besic (who's not even that good in his real position), we would probably have a Cup Final to look forward to.
Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 03/05/2016 at 20:46:02
Maybe Roger, but I think only a change of manager, could have resulted in a change of tactics.

Our fullbacks play too wide, which leaves great big gaps down the sides.. A well drilled defence just wouldn't have left that much space, for Martial, to exploit

Anto Byrne
48 Posted 04/05/2016 at 09:18:22
I have to give credit to Martial for scoring in the last minute, he still had a bit of work to do and scored with aplomb; his goal against Leicester was typical of a quality striker. In that final passage of play at Wembley, we were still playing open football while Man Utd had shut up shop and only had 3-4 players going forward.

So where does the leadership come from on the pitch to get players back to provide cover for a right back who is a central defensive midfielder, to get the likes of Barkley to go with his man? This defensive naivety has been present all season.

We let Man City back in when we had a two-goal advantage when what was required was a down and dirty approach to win the game... Fellaini got away from six defenders to score... I can go on and on but we have to sacrifice this gung ho approach for a bit of pragmatism.

Didn't Leicester win 8 games or more by a single goal? Last time I looked, you only got 3 points for a win? We're forever Everton – the team that plays beautiful football but can't win an argument.

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