Young Everton side outplayed at Elland Road

, 1 August, 95comments  |  Jump to most recent
Leeds United 2 - 0 Everton
Barely half of Roberto Martinez's first-choice squad was involved at Elland Road this afternoon for Everton's penultimate pre-season friendly of the summer.

The manager was looking to get his players "up to speed" by giving all of his senior team 90 minutes between this match and Duncan Ferguson's testimonial against Villarreal tomorrow.

"The reason that we put the two games together was ... we want to make sure every player gets 90 minutes under their belts before the start of the season," he told "To be able to do it with two games, it will be perfect in terms of getting the full squad up to speed.

"We've got really strong opposition, which we are looking forward to, and having the other game 24 hours before will allow other players the chance to get 90 minutes before the start of the season, so we can complete what has been a very successful period to get the physical levels up to speed."

Match Updates

Roberto Martinez chose a young sides that included a number of names new to the first-team squad, suggesting the like of Robinson, Pennington, Jones, and Dowell, who all started, might play a role as fringe players this season if injuries strike.

The game started brightly, Dowell picking up a nice pass from McCarthy but firing straight at Silvestri in the Leeds goal. At the other end Robles had to deny a thumping effort from range by Chris Wood.

After a reasonable period of play from both sides in front of a pretty good crowd, Leeds started to up their game after the quarter-hour and put some real pressure on the Everton youngsters (and Kone), winning a couple of corners, but not really testing Robles, Mowatt firing a good shot just wide.

Oviedo was linking well with the forwards and looking to interchange passes with Naismith and Kone who were struggling to get much change off their Championship hosts, who were up for the game. Oviedo had an effort from 25 yards comfortably dealt with by Marco Silvestri. Leeds pressed again and Wood scored but was clearly offside.

Article continues below video content

Everton pressed before the break and Barkley powered the ball home from an excellent Dowell corner but the goal was ruled out by the referee who had seen an elbow. There was some good build-up play with Barkley and Robinson, who put in a nice cross fro McAleny to attack, forcing a good save from Silvestri.At the other end, Mowatt and Byram combined rather easily to slot past Robles and a rather Howard-esque attempt to save, giving the home side the lead.

Cleverly and McAleny were swapped in for the second half, McCarthy and Kone making way. The competitive tempo continued with both sides getting stuck in.

Cleverley whipped in a good free-kick to the far post after Oviedo was fouled, but Pennington, pulled to the ground for a penalty was ignored by referee Atkinson. Cleverley was getting into his midfield role well, commanding the play from deep and spraying passes around very competently, rather showing up a lacklustre display from Barkley, who should have been running the game. Naismith was played in nicely but chose to pass poorly to McAleny instead of shooting on goal.

Gethin Jones had a couple of rough moments in the first half but appeared to be coming into his own with some excellent defending as well as great overlapping and crossing further forward. Ledson replaced Barkley and Mirallas replaced Naismith, Barkely miss-hitting a dreadful cross-field pass before he departed.

Chris Wood, with plenty of time, took a shot from distance that clipped off Pennington's foot and curled over Robles into the top corner for a second goal to the host side, and it must be said, deserved on the balance of play, as they had shown more desire and purpose in front of their own fans.

Everton's youngsters had struggled overall, and had not really been guided or given that much inspiration by the handful of seniors in the squad, who had sadly not really impressed themselves on the Championship side.

Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Bellusci, Taylor, Adeyemi (81' Wootton), Cook (70' Phillips), Mowatt, Byram, Doukara (73' Erwin), Wood (81' Antenucci) .
Subs not Used: Turnbull, Coyle, Cooper, Sloth,Morison, Horton.

Everton: Robles; Robinson, Pennington, Browning, Jones; McCarthy (46' Cleverley), Barkley (76' Ledson), Oviedo; Dowell, Naismith (c) (76' Mirallas), Kone (46' McAleny).
Subs not Used: Stanek, Osman, Grant, Walsh.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Watch the full match online at Everton Preseason on evertontv.


Reader Comments (95)

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Paul Ellam
1 Posted 01/08/2015 at 07:22:09
Hoping to see some first teamers today. And a win.

I'm going to this game and tomorrow’s... so it’s a very Everton weekend -- just how I like it!

Craig Mills
2 Posted 01/08/2015 at 08:01:40
We've not heard anything on the Lukaku injury all week, so hopefully he will get a 90-minute run out this weekend.
Kelvin Thomas
3 Posted 01/08/2015 at 08:03:24
Good on ya, Paul!
Kelvin Thomas
4 Posted 01/08/2015 at 08:13:12
I'd be suprised if Lukaku played in either games. RM put it down to heavy legs, he was clearly holding his hamstring.
Kieran Fitzgerald
7 Posted 01/08/2015 at 08:42:07
I'm hoping that Galloway, Browning and McAleny get plenty of action in both games. I don't want to see the three of them just hanging around the fringe of the squad for the season getting nowhere. Either play them, or give them a decent loan spell somewhere.
Craig Mills
8 Posted 01/08/2015 at 09:11:03
Kieran, with the lack of transfer activity I would expect to see a lot more of them, especially Galloway.
Denis Richardson
9 Posted 01/08/2015 at 09:16:22
Keiran -- I think you will likely get your wish given we’ve currently got no less than SEVEN senior players out injured!

I have got a horrible feeling that Lukaku won’t be 100% come next Saturday. Even if the injury heals in time, he won’t have been able to train at full capacity for a few days. I hope they don’t rush him back too soon like with other players in the past.

Starting line-up for Watford will look pretty much the same as what we had last season, just Cleverley as the new face and potentially Kone up front. At least we’re at home.

August is going to be a long month...

Dominic Tonge
10 Posted 01/08/2015 at 10:53:17
I am off to Leeds today, booked my tickets fairly early, and was hoping to see at least two new signings. Instead we have a hamstrung squad and I am seriously worried. If we don’t get three or four in, we could be in real danger this season.
Sam Hoare
11 Posted 01/08/2015 at 11:18:12
Shows how thin we are when Lukaku's only replacements are Kone, Naismith and maybe some of the kids or Mirallas at a stretch. Not even Chris Long anymore.

Meanwhile those across the park have Benteke, Sturridge, Origi, Ings and Firmino.

We seem to have a very unbalanced squad with loads of centre midfielders and left backs and very few centre backs and strikers!

I've no doubt there will be more players coming in but at the moment it's a bit alarming especially alongside the hamstring epidemic!

Neil Wood
12 Posted 01/08/2015 at 11:19:12
Can’t go as I am working!!! Hoping to see players like McAleny and Dowell shine over the next two days and continue to be given a chance.

If your looking at players like this coming in over the next year or two you have to start playing them and giving them a chance in competitive games. They could be the nucleus of our side over the next few years with other younger players...Barkley, Stones, Besic etc....

But giving them 30 minutes in a friendly then nothing isn’t going to help their development... For players like McAleny especially, it’s now or never for him really, as he’s 22 and should be fighting for a first team role. Look at Kane.

Brian Wilkinson
13 Posted 01/08/2015 at 11:53:22
Lets have a little sweepstake, Total Everton goals in both games and hamstring injuries.

I will start the ball rolling with 4 goals and one hamstring injury.

David Hallwood
14 Posted 01/08/2015 at 11:54:44
I’ll be at Dunc’s testimonial and like everyone I’d like to see some of the fringe players. Let’s hope it’s a celebration of a great Evertonian when we needed something to hold onto in some dark, dark days, and not an anti-Rooney rant, which to be honest, has been boring and a bit classless since he left -- a bit like your mate still giving it the "that girl was my world" routine, and she’s been married with kids for the last 10 years.

On the transfer front, I’d rather see quality than bodies, the likes of Lampard and Kevin Sheedy are thin on the ground and cost a bleedin’ fortune. Interesting season ahead; it needs the Belgians to step up and instead of telling the world that they’re world class and deserve to be in a ’big’ team, and start to play with world class consistency.

Who knows? If that happens, they may get CL football with Everton.

Tom Bowers
15 Posted 01/08/2015 at 12:10:17
Most of us seem to agree on what’s needed to further improve this squad and maybe RM knows that to but hasn’t been able to swing any more deals just yet.

On the other hand, he may feel deep down that he has enough quality to have a so-so season which wouldn’t be acceptable after last season.

It’s a cast iron certainty Everton won’t be challenging for top six places come next March/April unless there is new blood whether it comes from quality signings or the emergence of several youngsters.

Starting off the season with several injuries is a bad sign already. For the time being, we had better hope Kone, McAleny and/or Mirallas start getting amongst the goals if Romelu is an absentee for a few games.

Barry Pearce
16 Posted 01/08/2015 at 12:41:32
It’s looking more likely that it’s sell before we can buy. Really hope I’m wrong. What a bunch of charlatans our board really are.
Ciaran Duff
17 Posted 01/08/2015 at 12:57:56
I'm betting that transfers will go down to the wire as RM and Everton try to get the best deal.
Chris Hooson
18 Posted 01/08/2015 at 13:46:57
Yep I am off to the game in about half an hour, up for this one.....time to banish the memory of my last trip there under Moyes in the cup. I was sat in their end too with my mate who is a Leeds supporter...not pleasant.

Hope to see Dowell and McAleny.

Mike Childs
19 Posted 01/08/2015 at 14:39:49
Rooney probably gets a hat-trick tomorrow just to further break the faithful’s hearts. I wasn’t around to see him in a blue shirt but have always understood the tee-shirts "We hate him so much because we love him so much" sentiment.

Our lack of movement, our manager’s tactics and our continuing hamstring issues have me a bit uneasy about the season to come. I so desperately wish to stay positive....

Mike Oates
20 Posted 01/08/2015 at 14:41:04
Whilst it’s good to see youth be given a chance, it really does show how little back up we have. To have 6 academy lads in the team is either due to

- Martinez is giving the impression that we to can do a Man Utd when they brought in the Nevilles, Giggs, Butt, Beckham and Co in mid-90s

- Or we are desperately short of Premier League players

I think it’s the second and I suspect we have more injuries than Bob is alluding to. We know already we are missing Gibson, McGeady, Deulofeu, Lukaku, Besic, but where are Barry, Howard, Baines who all need far more game time than they’ve been given.

I can only hope that tomorrow’s team is something from the likes of Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines, McCarthy, Cleverley, Barry, Barkley, Lukaku, Mirallas.

Sam Hoare
21 Posted 01/08/2015 at 14:45:48
Interesting that this seems to be very much our second XI. The noticeable exception being perhaps McCarthy (unless Martinez has decided that he’s lost his place alongside the undroppable Barry to Cleverley?)

I see that Liam Walsh is on the bench. I hope he gets 45 mins to show what he can do.

Patrick Murphy
23 Posted 01/08/2015 at 14:51:45
RM did say he wanted all the squad to get 90 minutes so perhaps some players chosen today will only play 45 and will also turn out tomorrow?
Al Reddish
24 Posted 01/08/2015 at 14:58:02
It's a shame we haven’t really got any new signings to get the crowd going and give us all something to look forward too. People moan about the quietness of Goodison but when you are stuck with Barry in the middle of the park every game, it tends to put a downer on things.
Eddie Dunn
25 Posted 01/08/2015 at 14:59:00
I see that one of the Leeds subs today is called "Sloth", - I presume he isn't a midfield dynamo.
Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 01/08/2015 at 15:02:18
I don’t think Martinez is doing the young lads any favours here. Six young lads, all in at the same time... dodgy that; this game will be harder than the Hearts and Dundee matches.
Gary Russell
28 Posted 01/08/2015 at 15:03:34
In Brazilian Sam....
Jimmy Daly
31 Posted 01/08/2015 at 15:12:12
Watching on EFC website, great picture/streaming, no commentary as yet.
Mike Oates
32 Posted 01/08/2015 at 15:28:32
Tough test for Browning today, vs Chris Wood.
Terry Davies
33 Posted 01/08/2015 at 16:02:25
Is it Everton TV policy not to go with commentary or is it something to do with my system?
Brent Stephens
34 Posted 01/08/2015 at 16:12:05
Gremlins, Terry.
Jim Hourigan
35 Posted 01/08/2015 at 16:44:31
On this showing, Naismith, Kone and Barkley are all playing for the bench -- at best. None of them has shown any quality either with their passing or touch.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if there are interested clubs then sell Barkley before he goes even further backwards towards oblivion.

Philip Bunting
36 Posted 01/08/2015 at 16:54:15
Browning for me looks like he has the ability to make it and gets better every game.

As for the so-called first-teamers, dear help us. Barkley, Kone, Oviedo, McCarthy and Naismith look totally devoid of any idea in the final 3rd. Very disappointing for me.
Danny Halsall
37 Posted 01/08/2015 at 16:54:57
I will be honest, not worth the money I paid to watch it. Kept possession well in small sections of the game but we were outplayed all over the park. Ross Barkley was absolutely shocking and has been for a large majority of pre-season. He should definitely be on the bench, at best, next weekend.

Leeds looked like a half decent side, but the fact that we weren’t able to fashion out any real opportunities was disappointing. Still it was most definitely a 2nd choice starting 11; however, it does point out the real lack of depth we have in the squad. Kone and Oviedo still don’t look like they are at the races after long lay-offs.

I was also disappointed with Naismith. Some individuals need to seriously improve if we want to start strongly this season.

Kevin Rowlands
38 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:04:26
I agree Danny, there's a reason why other clubs are offering huge sums of money for Stones and we don't here a peep about them sniffing around Barkley anymore, one is going to be world class, the other one isn't.
James Stewart
39 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:06:34
Browning looked great and needs first team games now. The rest a long way off. The 'first team' were embarrassing.
David Flanagan
41 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:14:20
Personally I’d take mid table obscurity now. Any Injury to Lukaku or Mirallas and that’s our goals gone. Naismith and Kone are second-rate plodders and does anyone have any faith in the Manager to sort it out, or in the board to give him the funds?

Once again, we are entering the season with a poorly balanced squad lacking quality or depth. Outspent by everyone in the league and some Championship clubs. The club's in a mess and we are going to suffer.

Bill Gall
43 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:19:56
After this display today, and previous pre-season games, can anyone, with 1 week to go, honestly stand up and say Everton have made a solid attempt to improve the squad from last season, and are looking forward to this season?

I realize that the transfer window does not close for another 4 weeks, and it is BK who likes to wait until the last day, hoping to get a bargain from the players who had hoped for a move, but this strategy of not having your recognized first team ready at the start, with the difficult fixtures we have, could be disastrous to the club that will reflect on our season.

I doubt if there are any Everton supporters who are not aware and understand what positions in the team require strengthening, so why is it so difficult for management, do they honestly believe that, after years of watching Everton, these supporters do not have any understanding of the game, or the quality of the players in the team?

Is it any wonder that the frustration of the supporters have to be addressed by the use of TW and other forums?

Tony Twist
44 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:21:22
Very poor, Everton; we should be winning these matches. Winning becomes a habit.... as losing did last season. At this rate, this manager will only take us in one direction and that is bottom of the league and fighting relegation.
Andy Mack
45 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:26:04
Browning and Galloway (and Lukaku hitting the net a fair few times) have been the only highlights of preseason. Other than that, I think it’s proved that we are as far away from doing anything as we were last season. Naismith and Kone are worse than Jelly and Victor, up front. We’re playing just as we were re-Lennon loan last year when we were flirting with the drop.

Why the hell don’t we ever sting the oppo’s keepers gloves now and then?

Chris Hooson
47 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:35:51
Yep, shite. Just back from the game. Leeds made us look very poor and that is fucking dire.

Browning the stand out for me, classy on the ball, won everything... otherwise... you’d have thought a few would sense an opportunity to claim a place, but other than Browning, and Cleverley when he came on, we looked not to have any options or pace; movement poor off the ball... shite essentially.

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:36:04
Today was our U-21 with some first teamers thrown in. The aim wasn't about winning but about bringing the youngsters on. Remember, there's a game tomorrow, with thousands paying good money, so Roberto is saving the best team for then. In that context, today was all about opportunity and development for the young lads. Success.
Sam Hoare
49 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:42:23
Kids looked okay in patches but the most disappointing thing was how our worst players were quite possibly the senior ones with Naismith, Kone and in particular Barkley looking hugely ineffectual.

Sad to say but I think more and more that Barkley is going to be lucky to become any sort of Premier League player, let alone a top class one. He does the occasional fantastic thing but just misplaces so many simple passes.

Let's hope the 1st XI can look better and whet our appetite for the coming season.

Chris Wilson
50 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:53:31
For those of you with their hand hovering over the panic button, please take some advise from the late George Carlin:

"Calm down, have some dip."

David Sheen
51 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:54:03
Everton probably have about £10M to spend on players. So people wondering if Kenwright is going to invest in players with money other than player sales, then forget about it.

That is why we will sell Stones for the right price. We have only spent more than we earned from players sales in 8 of the 16 transfer windows since Kenwright took charge of the club.

Kenwright’s investment in players is lower than 5 Championship clubs, and 15 Premier League clubs. We never have any investment in players.

And before anyone says that we invest every penny back into the squad. So does 30 other clubs. Just that they also invest extra money that we don’t.

Mick Howard
52 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:55:05
McCarthy was a big miss in the second half. Loads of gaps after he had gone off. FFS, I hope he doesn’t leave.
David Sheen
53 Posted 01/08/2015 at 17:56:02
Let's also not get too carried away, We have had an average pre-season. The team that Martinez put out would have lost 5/10 v Leeds, maybe more.

We have no depth.

Conor Skelly
54 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:00:51
Barkley, Barkley, Barkley. Doesn't have the footballing intelligence required to make it at the top level. What a shame it is. On the bright side at least he's staying with us and will always be a useful player to bring off the bench but our Gerrard or Lampard he will never be.
Colin Malone
55 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:02:00
Outplayed?? What I saw, we had a lot more possession but nothing up top, Leeds had few chances and scored two.

I was impressed with Browning, good positional play, another Des Walker if he has the pace. Major worries where the goals are going to come from.

We are too static when Barkley gets possession, but saying that, Ross needs to be a lot more bizzy and get a lot more tackles in to finally prove that bad injury he had is behind him.

To have a broken leg as a youngster must take a long long time to get over it physiologically... maybe that's what bothering Ross.

Eddie Dunn
56 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:03:22
Unfortunately as the season nears, it is becoming apparent that nothing much has changed, and experimental games aside, we will be lucky to get to mid-table.

I don’t think we will see much happen in terms of new faces in the remainder of the transfer window, and I certainly can’t see anyone of any great value being unveiled in that time.

The close season helps to heal the wounds of frustration from last season, but once we started against the Potters in Singapore, the realisation sinks in that our first eleven are good players, but we have little else to offer. Once a couple of injuries are picked up, we fail.

Lukaku, despite his short-comings, and Mirallas are our only goal threat. If the big man is missing, the whole team know that once they concede; it is going to be very hard to equalise.

The defence looks great on paper, full of internationals, but even with two defensive mid-fielders in front of them, they still get opened-up too easily.

The game at Leeds was a stupid error of planning, despite the Martinez bluster. Also confusing is to choose a testimonial for Dunc as our last, and most important warm-up game, where our first team should play as meaningful a game as is possible. Combining it with the pantomime of Dunc and Wayne is just daft.

The only good to come out of it all, is that at least the players are fitter than last season. This game with Leeds was just like the one with Krasnodar – we lost momentum, from a good run, and too many kids were played, which was tough on them, so we learned little.

It is typical of Martinez, and it just deflates all of the hope built up on the previous wins.

David Sheen
57 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:06:06
If Martinez plays the 4-3-3 against Hearts, at Goodison, then we will be fine.

However if he keeps going back to the failed 4-2-3-1, where we have nothing up top, then it’s midtable or lower again.

Christopher Marston
58 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:08:57
Barkley -- big disappointment! He’s not going to make it, is he?!
Charles Cook
59 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:12:01
All very proportionate .. an Everton X1 loses to Leeds first team in a fairly even game and away we go.

The panning of Barkley is incessant. He was okay, 2nd gear, generally fine with some nice moments and some loose ones. No wonder Liverpudlians laugh at us about our constant criticism of him.

Browning got better but was schooled by a very average forward first half. I shudder to think of him as a centre back in the Premier League just now but he is a bit of a flavour of the month so let’s ignore the errors.

I did like Robinson though and he offers hope. Conor looks a player to me too, and one I could see looking better with better players.

Conor Skelly
60 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:15:32
No, Christopher. I think he's looking more like becoming Adel Taarapt than Zinadine Zidane.
Colin Prendergast
61 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:16:35
Eddie 47 spot on especially around planning of games and Rooney pantomime in what should be a serious final pre-season game.

As with last season, we don’t look prepared, have a paper-thin, under-strength squad with injuries whilst all around are strengthening. It’s going to be a long, tough season.

Craig Mills
62 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:17:27
Well said Eddie at 47, usual shambles and piss poor planning by Everton. This should have been our final run out before next Saturday's season opener, a chance to see the 1st team squad gell together in a competitive game before the action starts and what do we get..............basically a load of bollocks.

If today was the best our senior squad can offer, we have major issues, Kone, Naismith, Barkley, Oviedo and McCarthy were simply awful and looked nowhere near ready. The only positives on a disappointing afternoon were a solid and mature display from Browning at centre half and half time sub Cleverly looked sharp.
Jay Harris
65 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:27:35
What worries me is the kids are being subjected to the same tippy tappy "pass the ball anywhere but forward" tactics.

We play far too deep and are therefore attracting pressure on the ball and affording the opposition the chance to reorganize time and time again which is why we cant open teams up and have nobody forward.

We hardly troubled a very average Leeds side.

Trevor Peers
67 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:38:11
At the end of last season, it was well documented that Roberto would be given at least 10 games to put things right. Whilst I agree with most of the comments above, let’s see were we are after 10 games; it’s probably the most sensible way to go.
Dick Brady
68 Posted 01/08/2015 at 18:50:32
I find it hard to believe that Barkley is somehow going to turn things around and become Everton’s Gerard or Lampard. More likely Barkley will eventually become a useful player and have a career similar to Leon Osman.

To be fair that’s no bad thing as I think Osman has been very good for Everton but, considering all the hype surrounding Barkley just a few years ago, it feels anticlimactic.

David Cooper
71 Posted 01/08/2015 at 19:00:42
I am wondering why Browning has played most minutes in the pre-season? I honestly get the feeling that Stones will leave for £30+ million and RM is having a really close look at if Browning can step up and replace Stones.

Browning is better in the air and physically stronger than Stones. If Stones had played like Browning has done it pre-season, I think we would all be feeling really confident. So given our track record of cashing in on the Crown Jewels, I have a feeling that Stones will be gone before August 31st deadline. He may even play in the first 6 PL games but don’t expect to see him in a blue shirt on September 1st and we will be £30+ million better off and no new players. Money will go to pay off the Lukaku transfer and all the rest of our debts.

Hopefully I am wrong!

Dickie Langley
72 Posted 01/08/2015 at 19:04:18
Well I hope Dowell is a forward, because he showed no interest in defending today. And Robinson was clearly not trusted by his teammates (a couple of loose backheels in the second half maybe showing why).

On the plus side, we put a couple of decent crosses in (seemed like more than last season). I also thought that Browning looked good -- not quite a Stones yet, but pretty decent and looking to lead the line as well. Naismith kept trying, and kept winning freekicks, but he would be much better if he had some pace. I thought McCarthy, Barkley, and Cleverley played as you would expect -- decent, but lacking that cutting edge going forward.

And if you’re looking for where we are after 10 games this season, you’d better check the fixture list. The first 10 include Southampton, Man City, Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd, and Arsenal. We won’t be top half of the table after that lot.

Brent Stephens
73 Posted 01/08/2015 at 19:11:27
David #57 "don't expect to see him in a blue shirt on September 1st."

I think it's odds-on it will be a blue shirt he'll be wearing...!

Kunal Desai
75 Posted 01/08/2015 at 19:19:58
Trevor - have you seen our first 10 fixtures. Watford next week is already a six pointer. I don't see more than 6-7 points from the opening 10 games.
Mike Childs
76 Posted 01/08/2015 at 19:21:36
I see it the same way David Cooper. Only been here 6 years but one thing I've noticed how the board convientily waits till the last moment so the profits disappear before they can be reinvested.
Pete Gunby
77 Posted 01/08/2015 at 19:26:54
Agree with Craig #51. However, Craig #52, not very original.
Andy Crooks
78 Posted 01/08/2015 at 19:56:50
Trevor (#54), Martinez will be given more than 10 games. He will be with us at Christmas even if we are in danger of relegation. Our best investment this summer would have been compensating and sacking him. I am trying to be positive, I think we have a decent squad.

However, nothing about the close season has been remotely inspiring. The friendly against Arsenal suggested that the coach is incapable of change. Does anyone see him as passionate, inspirational, wily, tactically astute, powerful, pragmatic, gifted, or indeed anything other than nice?

Paul Graney
79 Posted 01/08/2015 at 20:00:03
Just got back from Elland Road and have to say from what I saw of the players hoping to be in the team for next week:

Kone’s not good enough. I thought he would have been champing at the bit to make an impression but his movement was non-existent. Admittedly we were poor in the final third but surely it’s part of his job to move and create space.

I thought our central midfield pairing of Barkley and McCarthy would have dominated but McCarthy played like a player we have been led to believe is disillusioned at the club. Can’t remember him crossing the halfway line and Barkley hogging the ball until being crowded out by 2 or 3 of there players and who’s passing was dire trying to showboat when 1-0 down don’t go down to well.

Naismith instead of challenging for numerous headers was too busy complaining to the ref wanting a foul all the time. Overall I think their keeper had 2 shots to save at best.

On the plus side, Browning looked quite assured, a good work out for Oviedo, and Cleverley looked busy. A bit that same as the 1st team of last season: plenty of possession at times but nothing in the final third, no creativity and looked vulnerable at corners and when they were on the break.

Very disappointing and I fear we are gonna be in a relegation battle unless 3 or 4 players are signed in our problem positions.
Jim Knightley
80 Posted 01/08/2015 at 20:33:38
I've got little confidence in Martinez, but is this reaction really justified? We played a much changed youth (and squad players) heavy side away to a Championship team. The team have next to no experience of playing together as a unit, and some of them have next to no top flight experience. I would have been surprised if we hadn't lost.

Comments like 'If today was the best our senior squad can offer' seem to ignore the team that played. This is not the best our senior team can offer. It's pretty the much the worse it can offer. Barring injury, I expect that Howard, Coleman, Jags, Stones, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Cleverley (I hope it does not happen, but I fear we will see 3cms/dms), Barkley, Mirallas and Lukaku will start against Watford. Osman and Deulofeu will likely come off the bench. How many of those played today? 4 of them. One for 76mins, 2 for 45mins and 1 for 14.

Jack Cross
82 Posted 01/08/2015 at 20:55:17
For god's sake, these pre-season games mean absolutely nothing. A warm-up, nothing else, and a run-out for the youngsters.

I’m not a Martinez fan I wasn’t when he came and he hasn’t done anything so far to change my mind. But he as a 3 season contract and that’s all he as in my eyes. But as this board only seem to want us kept in the Premier League and are not the slightest bit interested in cups or Europe, I don’t think there is any possible chance of us going down under him, so he won’t be sacked. However, he could shock us all and resign.

Who really thought we would get relegated last season? No chance.

I predict us winning Watford 2-0. I even think you will see a totally different side performance to last season.

So let’s get rid of the doom and gloom for once, you get pissed off with it on here. Let’s think win, win, win. Instead of loose, loose, loose.

Chris Gould
83 Posted 01/08/2015 at 21:00:33
Chelsea play 4-2-3-1 but they have Fabregas in the middle of the park. Without a player like that the system will never work.

We can’t afford a player of that quality so need to adapt the system. Surely RM can see that?

I want to be positive, but I don’t believe any of our pre-season performances suggest that we have improved.

We needed to bring in 5-6 players to refresh the squad, and bringing a couple in on the last day of the window is not good enough. By that time we may already have lost ground on teams we should be competing with, and any new players will not have had time to bed in. It’s so bloody frustrating!
Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 01/08/2015 at 21:06:25
Jim Knightley (61), thanks for bringing some realistic thoughts into today’s match. It was patch up team; if the real team plays as badly next week against Watford then fair enough, rant away to your heart's content.
Jack Cross
85 Posted 01/08/2015 at 21:14:20
Jim Knightley. Yes well done. Good post that.
Andy Walker
86 Posted 01/08/2015 at 21:34:24
Andy 60, I agree with a lot of what you say. I do think though it's very likely we will have less than 10 points after 10 games and he will be sacked.
Patrick Murphy
88 Posted 01/08/2015 at 22:15:11
Del Boy won't be fit until the end of August plus he will have to be able to get used to training with the first team or whatever term RM uses; so we might see him in October.

If people honestly believe that BK is holding back valuable resources due to his lack of faith in the manager then BK should be pro-active and do the honourable thing for both the club and his manager and act swiftly. Waiting to see what may happen whilst not giving your manager the necessary funds to improve the squad is the coward's way out and BK would be as responsible as the manager in that particular situation.

David Cooper
89 Posted 01/08/2015 at 22:18:33
Oops (#57), Wrong blue shirt! RM obviously has his own view of pre-season matches that does not include winning them but seeing which of his youngsters can step up if asked. Also maybe he is looking at who can and cannot cut it as this level. Only a visually challenged person would note that Ross cannot but Cleverley, McCarthy, Osman and Barry can, which leaves no place for Ross.

In North America, pre-season or "exhibition" games seem to go on forever and no-one really cares unless you lose everyone of them.
Next Saturday will be a complete shock to the system when we return to the hustle and bustle of a Watford team of 6-foot-plus giants. Hopefully we have enough talent to secure the points and then see how things develop match by match.

Maybe we will all feel better after tomorrow and wondering could a 40-year-old Big Dunc be the answer!

Trevor Peers
90 Posted 01/08/2015 at 22:50:18
Patrick (#69)

A good indication of BK's intentions is exactly when he sells young Stones. If it is indeed on Sept 1st and none of the proceeds are available for Roberto, that would be a signal that he’s playing a wait-and-see game; time will tell.

Harold Matthews
91 Posted 01/08/2015 at 00:03:16
I've always been a big Barkley fan but I can no longer have him in the starting XI. Wayne Rooney once labelled him an impact player and I'm afraid he was right.
Callum Lapsley
92 Posted 02/08/2015 at 00:09:32
Lads, can I turn up at the testimonial tomorrow and just pay in with my son? Irish fan!

ps: Barkley has it all, he just needs a good manager to unleash the beast.
Craig Mills
93 Posted 02/08/2015 at 00:28:55
Harold, I’d love it if he made an impact of any sorts, Barkley is meant to be the cream of young English football, yet he cannot even shine against a middle of the road Championship club.

He again seemed poor today, misplaced passes, running instead of passing and all the usual poor decision-making we are accustomed to with him. I don’t know where the lad has gone wrong, the fearless, dynamic Ross of 2 seasons ago has gone I’m afraid!
Brian Miao
94 Posted 02/08/2015 at 00:31:18
On a different tack: Assuming Lukaku does not have a hamstring injury and plays next week then the fact that the dark side have signed a Belgian striker hopefully will give him the impetus to put it about a bit and show who is the top Belgian striker on Merseyside.
Phil Davies
95 Posted 02/08/2015 at 00:38:58
Barkley needs a lot of support and to be allowed to just play. His problem is he’s English; he’s been over-hyped for a few years, thrown into the England squad, and been told by Martinez that he’s spectacular and the future of English football. When that doesn’t happen, everyone jumps on his back.

Barkley’s an unknown in football. He needs to be given an actual position whether that’s centre midfield, number 10 or up front, he needs to settle and be allowed to grow and be taken out of the team if it’s needed.

Andy Crooks
96 Posted 02/08/2015 at 01:07:52
Phil, I think you have it spot on. It is hard to know what his best position is but he needs a run in a regular spot. I have faith that he is hugely talented and must start every game.
David Cooper
97 Posted 02/08/2015 at 01:09:05
Anyone know how to watch the game online?
Ant Dwyer
98 Posted 02/08/2015 at 02:19:39
Not far off an Under-21 side so I won’t read too much into this. It would have been nice to have seen Walsh get another little run out. Great to see Ledson is still around.
Colin Williams
99 Posted 02/08/2015 at 02:47:27
The only players who let themselves down today... Like many blues have already said are, the "senior players" (Naismith was an absolute joke, again!) I thought the back 4 (esp Robinson and Browning) were top class... Also, Robinson reminded me of a young Ashley Cole...

The "young boy" Dowell was "different class" (some of his crosses were superb!... Passing and support play!. Top draw!! (age 17!) fecking hell!!...

People keep talking about how shit we are defending... (what a load of bollocks) I think today, it shows how blessed we are in this area! I, like many others have spoke about our offensive play within the last third of pitch. Today, again it shows how crap we are around the opposition’s 18yd box every game!

Also, many supporters get really "pissed off" with so many of Robbie’s decisions around player selection... Also, keeping hold of so many older players. But there are a couple of areas where I think we are definitely moving forward in.

IMO, we are only a couple of offensive players (plus GK) away from being very close to the top table teams. I hope Robbie can see the obvious, take off his "blinkers", stop "stroking" senior players' egos and get rid of the hangers on. And get rid of the Management team! (except for Duncan). Then, maybe, just maybe the guy could become a top manager.

Sam Hoare
101 Posted 02/08/2015 at 07:23:00
What Barkley needs is to not be played. Too often he's played on reputation alone and that puts pressure on him. He looks pretty cack at the moment and should not be anywhere near the first team until he earns it on the pitch.

He needs to be treated just like any other youngster rather than as some sort of saviour.

I fear this won't happen and that this season we will see lots of Ross losing the ball on the middle of the park and trying to do too much.

Christopher Marston
102 Posted 02/08/2015 at 07:56:31
I believe you have to hit the ground running in pre-season. If you start lethargically then it’s going to take longer to get to your confident best. Mix that with our squad being paper thin and Robbie has failed on two counts: motivation and improving the squad. For that reason alone, I have no confidence in him.
Brian Hill
103 Posted 02/08/2015 at 08:21:56
David Cooper:

Steve Brown
105 Posted 02/08/2015 at 08:46:18
It was good to see the youngsters take on a mid-table Championship team away from home. Sure the performance wasnt great, but a number of them gave a good account of themselves. I think the emergence of Galloway and Browning is making RM think about whether we need another CB (we do), while Dowell is excellent.

Barkley demonstrates why you are never sure how good a young player is going to be until he reaches 24-25 years old. As an individual his technique and talent is undeniable, but his big challenge his chanelling it as part of a team with discipline and good decision-making. That's why tactically it is so hard to know where he plays. But we should NOT be writing him off as some are here.

Where I agree with the comments of many on here is the poor displays of the seniors (I don't include Ross as a senior). McCarthy was poor, Naimsith was awful and Kone will never score again judging by the way he plays. Too much dross in the senior squad and we need 2-3 signings before the end of the transfer window urgently.

Steavey Buckley
106 Posted 02/08/2015 at 09:27:41
The pre-season is underwhelming and it's the many injuries which are grabbing the news stories. Are Everton in for another awful season?
Brian Porter
107 Posted 02/08/2015 at 09:37:48
As today’s game is presumably going to be a sort of fun occasion I really think yesterday should have seen Martinez playing his best eleven (injuries excepted), in readiness for next week.

Pre-season games like this are ideal for trying your team out before the serious business begins, but no way has Martinez given us a glimpse of anything like a first team selection yet, and today’s testimonial is hardly likely to provide it either. A sad waste of a pre-season schedule if you ask me.

Eddie Dunn
108 Posted 02/08/2015 at 10:28:26
The two games in Singapore were against good class Prem teams. We failed to score against the Potters, and Arse out played us.
Since then , the two games in Scotland were like training ground run-outs, slow paced, with sides using lots of subs.

Playing so many kids together at Leeds was similar to the decision to plat them against Krasnodar. This is unfair to the young lads who should be introduced in twos or threes with experienced guys alongside.
You end up learning nothing about them, and if anything dent their confidence.
To follow up within 24 hours with a game v European quality is just daft. To use this as Dunc's testimonial is also silly.
This should not be a panto, it should be the most important test of our best team, so that it is ready to fire-up against Watford.
Instead we have had all of the messing about with playing time to try and accommodate everyone and hid dog.
Bad planning , typical of this management.

James Martin
109 Posted 02/08/2015 at 10:44:47
A good manager would get the best out of Barkley; Martinez has absolutely no clue what to do with him. Half of the game he spends wandering around upfront looking completely lost.

I refuse to believe he’s lost the talent he first showed when he broke into the team. The issue is he’s had two seasons playing at Number 10 which isn’t his position, receiving the ball in the wrong places and feeling a massive pressure to create for a team that has no other creative outlets.

If he was allowed to play the box-to-box role we all know he should be playing, then there’d be no debate about his class. Instead, we have to watch the likes of Barry getting a run-out every match.

Brian Harrison
110 Posted 02/08/2015 at 11:09:35
I know pre-season games are to get players fit and back up to speed for the new season, and maybe the results aren’t critical. But what is concerning is our lack of a cutting edge, Kone,Naismith both played yesterday and if they are the back up to Lukaku then we may be in a bit of bother if Lukaku's injury is worse than expected.

Barkley again was largely anonymous, which is sadly becoming his norm these days. I don't know whether its all down to the player or has the manager filled his head with so much nonsense that the lad doesn't know what his role is anymore.

RM has continually said that each transfer window is to be used to improve the squad overall, well not much sign of improvement on that score. Also still no sign of the number 10 he promised, but he still has 3 weeks to fulfill this promise. I would have thought seeing as he said before pre-season that a new number 10 was a priority he would have looked to have tied up that position first.

I have never been a fan of RM and the longer he is here the less I like him. He has consistently over-praised average performances both as a team and also with individuals. These are professionals and I am sure they know when the manager is bullshitting them.

Trevor Peers
111 Posted 02/08/2015 at 11:14:00
I think you're right James (#91), worryingly Roberto doesn’t seem to have a set way of playing, a system where the players know their job and we can see what the team is trying to achieve. All too often, the tactics are changed from game to game to suit the opposition. Whatever the reason, it leads to confusion and a lack of cohesion.

That certainly doesn’t help a player like Ross, who needs to be told clearly his role and then carry it out in a disciplined manner.

Daniel Lawrence
112 Posted 02/08/2015 at 12:21:57
I wouldn’t get too excited about signing the 10 and centre-back we were told we’d get. He also said we’d sign a keeper last January and then changed his mind despite the shambolic performances from Howard, week-in & week-out.
Colin Malone
113 Posted 02/08/2015 at 12:58:51
Ross Barkley has no stamina and is not a ball winner; these are two major skills you need, if you want to be a midfielder.

Look at the likes of Robbie Savage, fucking shite... Barkley has more skill in his little toe but Savage will run and tackle all day. This is where Ross has got to improve his game, if he cannot, he can only play up top in a 4-4-2 along side the centre forward in my opinion. He has got to work on he’s stamina.

So come on, Roberto, let big Joe take Ross under his wing and bring out the dogs of war in him, plus a couple of marathon runs.

Barry Jones
114 Posted 04/08/2015 at 14:40:19
I can’t see where goals will come from. Kone is woeful in every aspect (what a waste of money -- that we don’t have). Everyone thinks Lukaku is our salvation in this area. Firstly, he has to have service and that is something we lack from the midfield. We are not capable or willing to play penetrating forward passes and we are not capable or willing to get lots of bodies forward at pace. Secondly, if Lukaku wasn’t taking penalties, his name wouldn’t be seen on the score sheet too often either.

The signings we have made are mediocre at best, and we may also loose Stones. The injuries that we have are a nightmare. The run in that we have at the start of the season is ferocious. The manager we have is...

If our form and style of play carries on the same as last season and through the friendlies, then there is every possibility that we could be in the bottom three at Christmas. I agree that now is not the time to panic, but...

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