Villarreal win Duncan Ferguson Testimonial

, 2 August, 148comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton 1 - 2 Villarreal

Ferguson congratulates young defender Browning for his late headed goal
(Clive Brunskill, Getty Images)
A bumper crowd of 34,000 Evertonians turned out for the final warm-up game of the 2015 pre-season programme against Villarreal at Goodison Park to support Duncan Ferguson for his testimonial.

The Everton icon made his expected cameo wearing No.9 alongside his one-time team-mate Wayne Rooney (in his old No.18 jersey) and almost scored a fairytale goal but Tyias Browning was ahead of him to meet Leighton Baines's late corner to head home the Blues' only goal of the afternoon.

Browning's Ferguson-esque header halved the deficit for Roberto Martinez's men but the match ended 2-1 to Villarreal.

A number of senior players were unable to take part due to injury: Lukaku, Deulofeu, Gibson, McGeady, Pienaar, Besic, Hibbert.

After the presentations of Ferguson and Rooney in Everton shirts, to a tremendous reception from the very healthy Goodison crowd, the game against the Yellow Submarine kicked off with Martinez reverting to a typical last-season line-up with Tom Cleverley the only new face. (Kone also wearing Number 9)

It was a quiet start at Goodison as both sides cancelled each other out somewhat in the early exchanges.

Some very nice touches from Baines and Cleverley looked to get Everton up and running, a good corner from Baines spinning wide off Osman's head.

Article continues below video content

Tom Cleverly was putting in some very clever balls and almost set up Mirallas at the far post, winning a corner, from which Coleman fed the Belgian, who was playing very well, but fired this one wide. As Villarreal broke, John Stones was imperious in defence, carrying the ball out nicely.

Villarreal had a period of pressure after the half-hour to test the Everton defence but still no goals. Stones defended well but gave away a corner and the Spaniards stunned Goodison with a simple goal headed on by #10 and driven home by Gerard. Mirallas then went off, with a possible ankle knock, replaced by Naismith.

Wayne Rooney back in Royal Blue as a guest of friend Duncan Ferguson

After the break, Barkley replaced Kone, who had been dreadful. McAleny came on for Osman.

Everton went further behind when Matias scored easily following a free-kick.

Gerard got free and should have scored but Howard saved with an outstretched foot.

Naismith fired a good looking shot that curled past the post.

Barkley went on a scampering run up the field but overhit his pass to Naismith and any advantage was lost. Browning replaced Stones, and then Wayne Rooney replaced Tom Cleverly before a corner that hit the post and Villarreal broke at speed and almost scored again.

McAleny released Rooney for a run in on goal but the offside flag went up straight away. Rooney then fired a shot that was fractionally deflected wide. Rooney did his best to inspire something positive from Everton but it wasn't to be as Big Dunc came on for the last 5 minutes, replacing Naismith to a massive standing ovation.

A couple of corners and on the second, Tyias Browning headed home ahead of Ferguson to finally give the fans a goal to cheer.

After the match, Ferguson spoke to the crowd, and gave a nice thank you to Waynne Rooney and Chairman Bill Kenwright, the man who brought him back to Everton after his brief spell with Newcastle United.

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Stones (72' Browning), McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas (38' Naismith (84' Ferguson)), Osman (55' McAleny) , Cleverley (75' Rooney), Kone (46' Barkley).
Subs: Robles, Oviedo,Ledson, Galloway, Grant, Walsh.

Villarreal: Mario (46' Barbosa), Pina, Pantic, Castillejo, Gerard, Baptistao, Costa, Areola, Ruiz (80' Iniguez), Nahuel, Bruno.
Subs: (80' Jokic), Alejo, Trigueros, Acosta, (Espinosa) Aleix, Rukavina, Pereira, Bailly,


Attendance: 34,718.


Reader Comments (148)

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John Maddock
1 Posted 02/08/2015 at 15:48:16
Why does Martinez persist with Kone?? His movement is poor, his hold up play is poor, his passing is poor...see where I'm going with this. I reckon, Duncan could do a better job, even at his age. We need a 2nd recognised striker now. Or if not, I'm sure one of the young lads would do a better job...rant over!
Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 02/08/2015 at 15:51:46
I agree; it’s a real concern with the striker situation.
Jim Hourigan
3 Posted 02/08/2015 at 15:57:19
More Martinez football !!!, passing across the back to let the opposition get set up, balls played into midfield and back again with no threat at all. No crosses, no shots and no risk football. Kone is just not good enough and if he’s our back up for Lukaku then god help us. Osman is peripheral to the game and offers nothing and why has Naismith been put on? On the plus side Stones does not look as though all the transfer talk has affected him and Baines looks sharp again.

Very worrying that Martinez seems to believe this group plus Deulofeu will threaten anyone. No signings, no changes to our formation and no chance next season even in the cups. Get rid of Kone, Osman and Naismith and if he won’t buy then play McAleny plus a few of the other youngsters.

Neil Thomas
5 Posted 02/08/2015 at 15:59:12
I agree we seriously need a back up striker, or even a strike partner. Austin or Javier Henandez would be good additions and probably willing to come to us.
Daniel Kyles
6 Posted 02/08/2015 at 16:05:58
Farcical, what has Martinez done to this team...

We had the two most potent attacking full backs in the league before he arrived.
We had a regular England centre-back in Jagielka who had some of the best stats in the league before he arrived.
We had someone who was the biggest emerging talent in Ross before he arrived.
We had a world class goalkeeper who was lauded by everyone before he arrived.
He killed Distin who formed a formidable partnership with Jagielka.

We are now a mockery in a downward spiral who can’t attract players, who refuse to spend on anyone which in turn makes us unattractive. I am not looking good forward to this season; Watford will be interesting next week but at this rate we have relegation written all over us..

Jim Hourigan
7 Posted 02/08/2015 at 16:18:39
So now it's Naismith up front!!! How can this be acceptable? What are Martinez and Kenwright doing to our club!!!
Ian Price
8 Posted 02/08/2015 at 16:29:25
I’m afraid to say it but, unless we sell someone, ie, Stones, then we won’t be buying in another player. Sad thing is, Martinez seriously thinks the current squad is good enough
Andy Mack
9 Posted 02/08/2015 at 16:54:27
Martinez is still putting us in the Champions League, right?

I'm seriously worried. A repeat of last season but others have strengthened considerably.

Andrew Rockley
10 Posted 02/08/2015 at 16:58:54
Totally inept. Devoid of any flair and attacking instinct. Don’t know if it’s the team or Martinez I’m on about!

Villarreal were knocking the ball about with hardly a care in the world. Their players, when they were on the attack, were up quickly in support. By the time we had the ball in the final 3rd we’d lost the bloody thing by the time our lot had ambled up. Rooney must have been cringing with embarrassment having to witness that performance first hand.

I think I’d rather get the kids involved at the risk of relegation than give Martinez any more to spend. He could bring Rooney back and negate his play in 5 minutes. Maybe relegation would give the whole club the kick up the arse it so desperately needs. Doesn’t mean I want us to go down though.

Andy Peers
11 Posted 02/08/2015 at 16:59:44
Dunc really loves Everton.
James Stewart
12 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:01:45
It is going to be a hard watch again this season. Nothing has been learned tactically from last years embarrassment.

Glad Rooney got a good reception and great to see a real Number 9 for once. If only they both still played for us...

Jim Harrison
13 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:02:35
Can we have Rooney back please?
Charlie Burnett
14 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:03:08
Pay to watch Duncan and Rooney and ended up with Kone and Naismith for the majority of the game.

My thoughts would be Rooney would want that shirt framed with all his other great achievements. I would make him buy the shirt for money for the charity.

When Rooney got the ball, it was direct to goal or he turns and ya think yes, better stand up. We don’t get that at Everton no more... it was nice to see for 16 minutes.
Karl Jones
15 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:04:50
Terrible performance really. Nothing has changed from last season. Defensive errors at one end, toothless and devoid of ideas at the other. Lacking passion when we go behind. There will be a lot of 0-1s at home this season. A frustrating season ahead.
Ant Dwyer
16 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:05:07
Let’s have it right, we’re fucking awful.

Things need to change.

William Cartwright
17 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:06:43
ToffeeWeb recently issued a plea for less negativity on the site. Tough challenge that, negativity seems endemic to Evertonians. However I can only comment on the comments as I couldn’t break the code to watch the match live on my computer. I bought all the matches on offer but have not been able to see any game ’live’ and all after match viewings have been stalling. Anyway my comments are as follows.

Where did Sin Miedo go after 2014-15? Cleverly sounds a good deal. I’m looking forward to Stones and McCarthy staying. I’m looking forward to some late activity in the transfer market. Best wishes to the team and supporters, from a very worried Blue.

Jay Harris
19 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:14:49
Once again we have no threat up front and can't defend set pieces.

Why has this idiot been allowed to further degrade our club this season?

Our passing is pretty good, in fact it's too good such that we pass for the sake of it.

There is very little action in the opponent's box and we have got no finishers apart from Mirallas and Lukaku.

Christopher Nicholls
20 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:15:51
Watched the game with my 12 year old son (No 9 club player here in LA). Dunc is his hero and all he wanted to see was Dunc playing in blue.

This manager does not understand our team. We are proud of our history and proud of the players who have played with their hearts. I’m bringing the whole family to Goodison next weekend. Been wanting to do that for years now and the boy is going to lose his mind when he hears Z-Cars.

I’m excited by many of our young players, but way too many are past their best and should be patching up the squad at best. Kone, Naismith, McGeady, Gibson, Pienaar, Barry should all not be starting for the first team and most should be moved on.

As a youth coach over here, I’d rather be looking for our ’famous’ academy to start yielding some real talent and not selling them off. McAleny over Naismith any day of week. Browning has been a shining light of preseason, too.

Lastly, I know he’s injured, but Besic is a player who is criminally overlooked. His passion in midfield is glaringly absent. I’m done with the sick-notes and old-timers.


David Morgan
21 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:15:58
Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo = Kone, Naismith, Osman, oh dear.

I think Ferguson might have had more pace than Osman and Barry in that match... not joking. Mirallas looked sharp (playing for a move?) and hopefully we can get Lukaku and Deulofeu back with Barkley in behind to get a fast front four as soon as possible.

Best starting eleven imo:

Robles, Coleman, Baines, Stones, Jagielka, Cleverley, McCarthy, Mirallas, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lukaku.

Martinez will probably play Howard, Barry, Naismith and Osman though who I think should be substitutes. Lennon in by Southampton away would also help; hopefully we are still after him.

Karl Jones
22 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:16:37
Just in the interests of saying something positive, Tyias Browning looks fantastic. Best player on the pitch yesterday. Eyecatching when he came on today (not just the goal). Bringing the ball out of defence the way he does at his age is the sign of a very special player. The highlight of the pre-season in my opinion.
Ross Edwards
23 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:19:26
It turned out to be an average pre season really. Beat the two Scottish teams and Swindon, but struggled to beat Stoke, lost to Leeds, lost to Villarreal and got outclassed by Arsenal.

Seems like Martinez has learnt nothing tactically from last season.

Ralph Basnett
24 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:23:30
We are so fooked if that is what we are playing with next season.
Conor Skelly
25 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:24:08
Embarrassed to be a blue at the moment. Rooney coming on only serves to highlight more problems. How we need him, not just as a player but as a leader too. We are a ship without a Captain aimlessly sailing into mediocrity with a weak man at the helm, who’s only talent appears to be peddling hyper-bole and outright bullshit.

We have a Chairman that uses this political rubbish as a smoke screen for his own failings. Martinez got the job primarily as a "yes-man" to the board.

This is a dangerous combination of factors & I think its going to get worse before it gets better. And before anyone accuses me of over-reacting to a meaningless friendly, I say no wins in 4 games against decent opposition and one goal from open play in that time. Totally consistent with what we saw last season. He’s got to go.

If Rooney really is a Blue, he’ll have seen that today and said, "Right, give me that armband Jags. Martinez, Barry, Stones & McCarthy, fuck off... and that goes for any other player that doesn’t want to be here. Get the money and build around me for the next four years. We’re going to the Champions League."

Bring Moyes back with a point to prove too. You’d soon see high intensity blood-and-thunder games back at the Old Lady because quite frankly I can’t even watch this cardboard shite anymore. It’s actually becoming one big awkward silence at GP.

Darryl Ritchie
26 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:27:05
Do not want to lose Stones or MCarthy, but if someone was to offer a ton for Barkley...if it was me, I don’t think I would turn it down.
Christopher Nicholls
28 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:34:48
Darryl 18, that might be a solution for cash, but by rights we shouldn’t really be short of cash this summer. It’s a disgrace that the club has apparently been unable to bring in the No 10 and CB that were clearly identified as priorities at the end of last season.

There simply is no accountability for the guy who is running the club. Martinez is simply out of his depth. I think he has a fine conceptual model of the game, but has so far not developed the tactical nous of how to actually create it on the pitch.

I coach teems over here in the States and, from what I’ve seen of Ross over the last couple of years, he is a fine footballer. His development has been mishandled, especially last season when he was moved all over the park. Ross looks like he flourished when he was free to express himself. He has every physical advantage you'd want as a player, but he needs to play without the weight of expectation all over him. He’s also not going to do it on his own. All great players need foils to shine and despite tinkering incessantly with midfield, Martinez hasn’t gotten it right for a long time.

Cleverley looks like a very smart buy, but we need to lose Barry, Osman, Pienaar, Gibson from starting 11 as they simply don’t have the pace or drive to run a game anymore. The modern game is about transitions and that’s an area where we seriously struggle. Note the break away today after we hit the post from a corner.

Eddie Dunn
30 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:36:38
The crowd were roused by the presence of two men who play with passion. The whole laid-back mentality of our set-up is at fault. Goodison was like a morgue until the last 15 mins, and that is how it was for most of last term, and that is how it will stay this season, without Rom/Kev/Del to jazz it up.

This limp-wristed, tippy-tappy shit is going to see us drop into the relegation zone very quickly. Martinez can’t motivate, and the team are in a trance. It stinks, and they know it. Nais and Kone are made of teflon and our play is boring, at times pretty but no end product. We don’t just need new players, we need a new manager.
Alexander O'Brien
31 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:36:55
I’ve not watched the game but judging by the majority of the comments here it wasn’t great. It is a friendly so some perspective has to made with regard to performance. Some of the comments amaze me, however; it’s a friendly for god's sake!
Christopher Nicholls
32 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:39:36
I know we got a lot of money for Rooney and managed to build a team that almost made a mark, but imagine what might have been if we’d had the stones to build a team around that young man.

Believing in a player is more than burbling plaudits to the press. Nice to see him in blue today. If only!

And Fergie showed the whole team how to challenge for an aerial ball in the 5 mins he was on. I’d pick him over Kone.

Christopher Marston
33 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:40:19
I’m speechless that this man is doing this to my club and nothing is being done about it! Where are these new signings he talks about? Where damn it?!

I’m going crazy that this buffoon can get away with such lies over and over again! Who does he think he is?! Who does he think we are?! Well we are the life and soul of this grand beautiful club.

And I for one will not stand back until something happens! Every game I will be asking for answers. I will be there to do the dirty work!!!

Conor Skelly
34 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:44:54
Was it a friendly, Alexander, when we got knocked out of both cups last year?

Was it a friendly when, last season, we put together the worst run of form since HK Mk III with arguably our most gifted squad in a generation?

There’s nothing friendly about my feelings toward the current situation. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

Chris Wilson
35 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:45:15
Ha! Not to to go too off topic with the less than enthusiastic fan commentary (wink). But did anyone else see the Twitter feeds from other EPL fans freaking out that Wayne was playing for us? "Someone please explain to me why Rooney is playing for Everton" and stuff like that. Near panic with some folks.
Mark Tanton
36 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:45:34
This all so dispiriting, all so Everton. Why does every summer feel the same? Why is this once great club in a coma?
Clive Rogers
37 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:59:05
That seems to be his first choice team apart from the injured players. The injury list was very predictable. Today's team would get relegated and I don't believe the players returning from injury will help much.
Anthony Jones
38 Posted 02/08/2015 at 17:59:58
For all his talk of tactics, Martinez has shown himself to be highly inflexible a Everton. He does not know how to get shots on target without sacrificing defensive organisation. It will be a tough season again as we hear Martinez trot out lines about us being in a difficult moment, stifled by fear, and looking tired.

We shouldn’t be so reliant on the 1-v-1 situations he bangs on about. If we were to attack at speed in unison more often, we wouldn’t need Deulofeu and Mirallas to make something from nothing.

Good luck to the players anyway.

Mark Tanton
39 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:00:30
I think we're in for a long slog.
Brian Williams
41 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:01:47
I went to the game today and I have to admit it wasn’t very inspiring, but then I don’t know how inspiring friendlies are supposed to be.

Does anybody "actually" know the intensity the players play at in these games? It’s difficult to judge how "real" games are going to pan put, although today did answer some questions:

Is Kone any good? No, not at all.

Is Ross Barkley seriously suffering from lack of confidence? Yes.

Do we need any more signings? Yes, at least three, a centre back, a creative midfielder, No.10 if you like, and another striker.

Does Duncan Ferguson still love Everton? Oh yes.

Does Wayne Rooney still love Everton? I’d say yes to that too. Saw one of the Villarreal players ask him to swap shirts at the end of the game and he was having none of it. I’m not basing my opinion on just that, by the way, before the trolls get going.

Last question answered: Do Evertonians still love Wayne Rooney? Without a shadow of a doubt.

Mark Tanton
42 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:03:56
I think the starting eleven against Watford is desperately predictable. Barry and McCarthy in the middle, Cleverley played out wide or on the bench.
Christopher Marston
43 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:04:27
I'd welcome him back.
Oliver Molloy
44 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:06:19
We will know the situation when we play Watford.

If we don’t win, there can be no 'if’s or 'but’s!

Steve Jones
45 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:07:20
Transfers... we’ve been here before. Whining everywhere on here then, on deadline day, we pull in McCarthy, Lukaku and Barry.

Bleating about transfers needs to stop. It's just stupid until the window closes. Yeah, we’d like signings in earlier but they cost more earlier and players, of the quality we need, might hope for more noteworthy teams than us coming in for them before agreeing to come here.

That's just fact. No need for the old-woman wailing and handwringing.

What's wrong is the manager. Discipline... leadership... steel... man-management. Call it what you will... it's missing. So far it looks like season 1 Martinez the players still had Moyes concepts of order and effort. Last season, they twigged it wasn't there anymore and a team rife with quality... able to put Wolfsburg to the sword... couldnt be arsed and still isn't arsed. Once the discipline is gone and the mindset is Easy Street, it's very hard to get that back into a unit. Especially a unit that can walk out and find a payday anywhere with grubby agents all to happy to facilitate.

Martinez needs to get this turned around and done so at the rush.

Brian Williams
47 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:15:08
Not whining mate, just making observations.
Brent Stephens
48 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:17:16
Brian #29 "Do Evertonians still love Wayne Rooney?"

From where I was sat I would say 99.9% recurring applauded him on. I would say 100% but a guy in front of me farted and I wasn't sure if that was a statement of derision.

As for Kone - eee orr, eee orr, eee orr to be shot.

Mike Childs
49 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:19:01
Sad to say but it is only going to end when people refuse to go to games. The board has proven they're here just to glide along. It's going to take a real statement by the fans to shake them out of it.

I remember my Giants just simply skating by until the fans showed up at the game and instead of going inside burnt their tickets. After that it changed and since then they have 4 Super Bowl titles.

Tony Twist
50 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:20:02
Quickest solution would be is to remove the manager. He is not doing his job, he is useless. He can’t motivate the players, he can’t organise a team to carry out simple tasks like defending.

He hasn’t really got a Plan A... let alone a Plan B, and he solely believes that his style of football will win Premier League matches. Maybe the Spanish league but even that I doubt. it is going to be a Mike Walker moment again and wait and wait and wait until he is removed.

James Martin
51 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:21:07
Bunker down, this is going to be a painful one. Martinez has learnt nothing. Let’s hope the footballing gods are smiling and we get full seasons out of Gibson and Pienaar; otherwise, I can’t see where any creativity is coming from.
Brian Williams
52 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:21:37
Brent (#41),

I’d lend him my gun to do it himself but he’d probably miss!

Brent Stephens
53 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:23:28
Bet he has no kids, Brian - firing blanks.
Oliver Molloy
54 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:30:59

Everybody had something to prove in Martinez's first season. Martinez would have been a breath of fresh air to the players and our "loan" signings stepped up to the mark for many reasons.

Season 2 was a case of teams finding a way to stop us and basically Martinez going all out to win the Europa League, I am convinced of that.

I agree with you over the transfers and if we have no money then that is not the managers fault. What is the manager's responsibility is to find a way of making what he has better, and although I have said he deserves 10 games to prove that Season One was not a blip, I am beginning to doubt that Martinez has what it takes to make us better because, as you point out, there seems to be no leadership from him.

Four or five weeks ago, I was well up for this season, excited and optimistic, but I just can’t see us playing well enough to do anything. Collymore reckons we will will be around 10th or so; I hope he’s wrong but he probably won’t be.

Drew Shortis
55 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:32:59
Not the best display but OK for a warm-up. No injuries sustained and key players got a decent run-out. Does it fill me with confidence for the coming season? No. However we have had cracking pre-seasons under Moyes and then sucked in the League until Christmas.

The players do look fitter, if not sharper than this time last season. Mirallas looked up for it, but could it be that he sees himself in the shop window? I hope he stays as he is one of those players who can give us something special.

I think the two players we have got in so far will fit in well and offer us different options. Browning and Galloway both look like useful cover at the back but ideally we will still get in an experienced centre-back. I have a feeling that Martinez has a plan in the market. He has picked up Tom and Gerard for next to nothing and is saving his funds for deadline day when he can drive a hard bargain (Lennon for a few million cheaper?).

I really hope he has a solid plan for a Number 10 and manages to pull it off as Barkley is not the answer. I think he has a big role to play, but he needs to be used at the right time and in the right role. We need someone with creativity and vision in that position to link everything together.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if we got in a couple of wildcard loans on deadline day, like the Barca boys we have been linked with. I wouldn’t say I’m brimming with confidence, but I do think a few key signings late on could give the squad a big lift. The key for me has been keeping hold of the core of our squad (so far, touch wood).

On topic, it was great to see Big Dunc again and I was surprised how happy I was to see Rooney in blue again.

Alan Humphreys
57 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:40:44
Friendly or not, that was poor. Kone was abysmal but Cleverley and Baines looked like they had the start of a beautiful relationship.

Don’t get why Stones stayed on when they had their corner and he was down injured. Mirallas went off pretty soon after the challenge on him; Stones should have gone likewise.

Browning looked composed when he came on, scored a good goal, much to Dunc’s chagrin.

Rooney showed what a centre forward should do and hell, for his brief cameo Big Dunc offered more than Kone did in 45.

Have to say though, the No 6 for Villarreal looked very composed as did Nos 4 and 8.

Steven Twine
58 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:41:13
Had about a gut full of Kone, he is shit. When is Roberto going to see this!? I’m sorry but if no one else sees this then we are in deep shit. Another striker is a priority and quick because if Lukaku gets injured then I’d rather see Duncan up front.

Roberto, please swallow your pride take off the "I bought him he’ll come good cos he done it at Wigan" glasses and sort it out please!!
James Byrne
59 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:44:33
Lasted 60 minutes and walked out; I know it's only a friendly but all the signs are there. It's going to a long season based on that nonsense today.

Martinez might not last til Xmas IMO.

Rahman Talib
60 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:45:45
Good news: We don’t need to buy a CB cause we have Browning.

We only need to buy another Arteta and we are set. We have McAleny as backup striker and we can use Kone and Naismith as subs. So we should try to bring Lennon back on loan. And, use all the money we have to replace Arteta.

Oh and we should never start with Naismith or Kone anymore. Need to put down Osman, Kone, Naismith and Kone ASAP if you ask me.

Use the youngsters instead. They could not do any worse.

James Stewart
61 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:56:23
@51 I also think he will be gone by Christmas. But what can a successor realistically achieve? It's unlikely that Martinez doesn’t want to sign some players. More likely the club are not supporting him; exactly the same under Moyes.

Sunderland are adding M’Vila and Fer now, that's after they already signed Lens. Newcastle have added quality in every area of the pitch, Mbemba, Wijnaldum and Mitrovic. Most of those players would have improved our squad.

Yes, I think Martinez can improve tactically by being more pragmatic (unlikely, I know), but until we address our ageing and unbalanced squad with investment, it will be a constant battle to tread water. Championship clubs are spending more than us, for Christ’s sake!

Alastair Donaldson
62 Posted 02/08/2015 at 18:57:03
Martinez after today's match: "We know we need two to three new players and we are going to make sure we get the right ones.We are looking for that area [up front], the number 10 position, and I think we need a centre-half; the three areas are quite clear."

Very clear to all concerned!! He should have added the goalie too... so that’s just the whole spine of the team then...

Let’s hope he delivers.

Alan Humphreys
63 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:00:46
Drew, I’d hold that thought as Mirallas and Stones both went off injured or as precautions. Kone because he stank the place out.
Joe Foster
64 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:01:56
We will be in a relagation battle next season. RM is not a good manager but we are stuck with him.

We were lucky last season with slightly worse teams than us. What can we do? Nothing is the answer.

The board are massively to blame; they should not have hired him. But RM is not going anywhere he will be with us all next season, not just for 10 games. Let's see how he does.... ALL season!

Sam Hoare
65 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:04:11
Not making any judgements based on a friendly but I’m worried.

A good manager gets the best out of his players and I can’t help feeling that Roberto is closer to the opposite.

We have some decent players but something did not work last season and it hadn’t really been working in pre-season.

Hopefully it comes good next weekend.

Mike Anson
66 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:04:48
Does anyone think that the board are deliberately holding back funds/ transfers as there is a lack of trust in El Bob?
Alan Humphreys
67 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:06:56
Joe @55,

My 11-year-old lad said the same sat in the Park End...

I had to disown him when the row in front turned round glaring!

Joe Foster
68 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:10:20
Alan, we all wish your son had a better outlook on our future, but it hurts to say "out of the mouths of babes"...
Jamie Barlow
70 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:13:04
I don't think we can judge our whole season on a few friendlies but it is slightly worrying that nothing seems to have changed from last season. Still the same mistakes and unable to defend set pieces. Still doesn't seem to be any urgency in our play. Too slow and laboured and clueless in the last third.

Roll on 3 o'clock Saturday. Nothing but a win will do.

Jack Cross
71 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:15:43
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is and the most important thing is were the proceeds of the Testimonial went too the Lilly Centre (Breast Cancer) and what good the money will do. But maybe I’m bias, as I’m from Scottie and my mother died with breast cancer.

Priority, hey posters. Have a reality check. What really matters? How the Blues played today? Or the above?

Terence Tipler
72 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:18:57
Let's hope were all feeling better after next week’s game.
Joe Foster
73 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:20:12
Jack what matters to some people more than others is subjective. While I appreciate the money going to a great cause I also have concerns for the clubs future.
Ian Cowhig
74 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:21:13
Did we not receive the same amount of money as other teams in the Premier League? Every time other teams are linked with a player. They are having a medical, then are signed. Normally within 24hrs-48hrs max.

With our lot, there is no comment. Not even a "Yes, we have inquired about a player’s availability" as a statement of intent, to show we have ambition. Talk about playing cards close to the chest. But some advice to our leaders. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

And no news, is not good news. On TalkSport they had a debate on which team’s season is already over. First team mentioned, you guessed it Everton.

Barry Glendening said Everton’s season will be a pointless exercise. Pointless @ 5pm next Saturday I can see.
Trevor Peers
75 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:24:41
Agree Jack 60, that was the most important aspect of the game, wonderful turn out by our great supporters for a worthy charity.
Great to see Rooney back in the Royal Blue for Duncan's big day.
Dave Abrahams
76 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:26:59
Agree with most on here, but will wait until the end of the transfer window to see if there is any chance of progress on last season’s shambles. The match was very boring and was livened up when Ferguson and Rooney started warming up half way through the first half, that was the only time the crowd made any noise Who was the young player warming up with them? Was it Liam Walsh?

Much needs to happen before the end of the transfer window, will it ? If it doesn’t we are in very very serious trouble.

Barry Pearce
77 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:28:19
Surely even Martinez must know that Kone isn’t going to cut it.
Alan Humphreys
78 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:30:17
Jack, I think they're two separate entities.

Have no quibble paying £30 for a friendly game when the proceeds go to such a worthy cause and after all we are there to celebrate big Dunc, shame as one poster added above it wasn't longer though.

Now throw in the Everton FC aspect in respect to the game on offer and it is worrying. I appreciate your point but can differentiate between the two.

Jack Cross
79 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:39:47
Joe Foster. The problem is Joe, the concerns for the club, are the same argument on every thread and it doesn’t matter what the article is about. Lyndon, was talking about negative repetition and I can see were he is coming from and I’m finding the threads so boring lately, I just can’t be arsed.

Players that are coming in one minute and then they're not; the number 10 argument, the CM, that we need. Naismith’s shite. Osman’s shite, Ross is great, then he’s rubbish, Were going to get relegated. The fucking season hasn’t started yet. Martinez is this and Martinez is that, (I’m not a fan), but it’s so bloody boring.

Let’s get the season underway and then criticize the team and management. And not just go by a few pre-season matches that mean fuck all. Because the same people on here who are calling for blood, will be the same supposed fans, that will be cheering our success.

Sam Hoare
80 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:40:59
There is ZERO chance in us not adding to this squad before the window shuts. Irrespective of outgoings. I just hope we get the right people.
Andy Walker
81 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:43:52
It doesn’t take a football genius to see the problem at Everton, it’s clearly Martinez. A manager with a track record of relegation and one fluke cup win.

There is no way we will improve this season because we still have the same problem, HIM. He should have been sacked last Christmas, if he had we would now be in a much better position, new manager, players, tactics, optimism.

I don't think the Board are prepared to back him with funds, presumably because they think they may sack him soon. If that is the case we’ve already just blown next season.

This incompetent in charge is slowly destroying our club, many other teams are going forward and getting too far ahead for us to be able to catch up quickly. If the situation is allowed to continue for much longer we will be a lower level EPL team, year-in & year-out, just like Villa have become.

It took David Moyes years to get us back to being a top team and his work has now been mostly destroyed by an egotistical Spaniard who won’t listen. It’s sickening.

Ged Simpson
82 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:53:20
Really enjoyed my visit to Goodison. Cannot afford it often.

Unlike on here, most there saw it as just a friendly but loved the celebration of being a blue.

Next season... who knows, but after today I am even prouder to be a Blue.

Nice one, Dunc and Club.

Ian Smitham
83 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:55:39
Just got back from a very emotional afternoon. Lots of gulping and deep breaths and not looking anyone in the eye. That smoke does get in your eyes...

Got in the ground and the subs were warming up with Duncan Ferguson leading them. One touch in a circle, right in front of me. Wayne Roney taking part just like the others.

Names read out; game on... DF decides to warm up. Emotions difficult, the whole ground singing that song. Then WR gets up and wild applause all round and singing of his name which he modestly acknowledged.

Fast-forward to 75ish mins, Wayne on; if anyone has any doubts whatsoever, the noise was like when we were good, true theatre... and when Big Dunc came on, leading the applause in the pitch, Wayne Rooney.

Someone cleared a defensive header I think, the ball in the air to be won, DF, he cannot help himself, up he went elbows the lot, won it, glanced to WR. That smoke was in my eyes.

It was offside, but WR got put through, score please, alas. The corner, Browning scored, DF commented after.

We are moaning about Stones being unsettled by Chelsea tactics. Wayne has pretty well everything, untold amounts of money, won everything there is. He has Bill on the pitch with him before the game, love, just love from the whole crowd, I did not hear one single, not one single adverse comment. I honestly believe everyone in the ground applauded him, not just politely. The crowd echoed to the rafters "Rooney, Rooney" and at the end Duncan said some really well thought out words about him.

If I was that player today, I would be doing some serious thinking and if I was Man Utd, I would worry.

As for Duncan, well he looks as fit as when he played. He looked as aggressive too. I know it was 5 minutes, but he clearly has got "it" and I can recall not just the 10 top things he did on the video they showed, but also some of the less good days.

Lastly. If I were RM I would also worry. The team look to me to lack confidence, drive and enthusiasm, not really based on today.

How passionate was DF when he spoke to the crowd? I do not know if he is a good coach, but based on what I saw and the way he spoke, including a few words to "his Chairman" I would suggest after game 10, if it takes that long, that a certain person will be in prime position.

Today, the keeper kicked the ball six times, not once to an Everton player; Coleman gave them a goal; Jags thought he was Messi at the back; Jimmy Mac was OK; Barry even in a friendly had to concede fouls due to lack of pace; King Kev has a new contract, passing to Everton players is not a part of it; Naisy is, well Naisy; Barkley is just being ruined, and Kone, A... WTF? We might as well have a Player/Manager.

Thanks for reading.

Colin Williams
84 Posted 02/08/2015 at 19:55:57
Ross done more in the half hour he was on, than Osman, Naismith, Kone, Howard and Lukuka have done all pre-season! These guys are NOT GOOD ENOUGH! We will move forward when these players are moved out!!

Some people keep blaming Ross about situations that have feck all to do with him! (What game are you looking at?) Another point: Ossie, done absolute feck-all again today! (90mins of absolute feck-all!) Ossie lovers, silent today after game! (Wonder why, no smoke blowing up his arse) but they still moan about Ross!...

Like I said, Ross has done more in today's 30 mins, than their "great visionary who dictates/creates" so much within the final third has done all pre-season!... and for many seasons before that. (I fecking hate double standards.)

Neil Thomas
85 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:01:09
Makes me laugh with all this talk of Rooney coming back to EFC. Do any of you seriously think after him watching us play today he would come back?

We couldn’t get Mickey Rooney to play for us after some of our pre-season displays.

Joe Foster
86 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:03:16
Jack, I respect your opinion. I am also fed up with the negativity (although I am a main culprit from last season). The threads do go into the same dark waters more often than not. We are not miserable gits in the main but we all need to see a little bit of light to break this doom and gloom.

We have dedicated all of our lives in one aspect or another to the club. I won’t smile for the sake of it, I will smile when things look like they are getting better.

Ged Simpson
87 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:04:42
Bang on, Ian!
Jack Cross
89 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:12:15
Andy Walker, RM, won’t be going anywhere. This club is not a sacking club. What will they sack him for? For keeping us in the Premier League? Because that’s all Moyes did. We won nothing under him in 11 years.

Moyes got us back to a top team? We won nothing. All we were was the nearly team. But never quite achieved fuck all. If you call a regular top 8 plus position success, well it’s pitiful.

I think some fans on here should have a reality check: we are not the big club that we think we are anymore. We're in and around Crystal Palace and Stoke City, sad but true. They're the teams we're competing with. Not Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City or Arsenal. Were light years away from them. We need a tremendous input of money. But where is it coming from? Nowhere soon on the Arizona. So we have to just cope best we can, until something major happens.

John Keating
90 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:14:58
Jack Cross 65, I don’t think preseason games mean "fuck all". Last preseason was abysmal and we were abysmal all season! Preseason isn’t just about getting players up to speed, it’s also about tactics, formations etc.

So far this preseason we have played almost identical to last season, slow boring shit. Last Sunday at Tynecastle we showed no pace or drive, slow boring build up play, square balls all over the place against bloody Hearts! If that and today's showing is anything to go by then not a bloody thing has changed from last season.

I wanted Martinez out last Christmas. Even pro-Martinez supporters reckon he should be given 10 games this season. Unless something significantly changes in the next week we will come a cropper against Watford.
Trevor Peers
91 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:20:05
Cheer up Colin we might be signing a striker according to Roberto. Can it be true?
Jack Cross
92 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:38:51
John Keating.

I gave our defence last season some terrible stick, and it was justified in my view. I know where you're coming from with this slow tactic passing and it’s not for me, John.

But in your first sentence you say that pre-seasons games mean fuck all. So therefore let’s see if with maybe one or two additions John, whether RM changes his game plan if only slightly.

What I mean is criticize on what you see and not what you might see.

Martin Mason
93 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:44:41
Again it reinforces my belief that the board at EFC are absolutely the least of our problems. They are at worse just not perfect but doing their best but we have a manager who could take us down -- and please remember that "be careful what you wish" for is sometimes correct. I believe that Mr Martinez has no coaching or management skills to speak of and, after incompetently taking Wigan down, has turned us into Wigan or at best just a shadow of the team that he inherited from Moyes.

This could be a very difficult season for the club and could see us in very serious trouble and by this I don’t mean not winning trophies but continuing to exist. If we go down, it could be curtains for the club given its dire financial position means we’re dependent on us being in the EPL.

Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:53:03
Football without shots, it's terrifying.
Ian Smitham
95 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:55:20
Here is a piece tonight from a paper I have just read, I know it does not get some things right, but I hope the article helps others feel part of the day.

The only other thing I can think of is, just have a look a WR's face on one of the photos, honest to god, I have never seen him smile.

Tony Abrahams
96 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:56:41
Martin, going down should not be curtains for a very well ran club, especially considering it's dire financial position!
Trevor Peers
97 Posted 02/08/2015 at 20:58:44
Martin (#77),

I think we all hope the season goes well and that means winning matches. But if the worst happens and we hit a losing streak, much the same as last season, hopefully the board will act quickly and not put our EPL place in danger.

Dave Abrahams
98 Posted 02/08/2015 at 21:00:46
Martin, we have a board "at worst just not perfect but doing their best"? Say that out loud to yourself, it’s bound to make you laugh. Or if you really believe that, keep taking the pills, you will get better.
Eugene Ruane
99 Posted 02/08/2015 at 21:07:06
My problem with today’s performance is that, as an Evertonian, I’ve already (fairly calmly) ’accepted’ that so much is unachievable.

I’ve accepted (certainly under BK) that we’ll never win the title again and that we are basically competing in a league within a league - a league below the league that Chelsea, City, Utd and Arsenal compete in.

I’ve also accepted that Newcastle, Liverpool, Spurs (and whoever else) can/will/do outspend us so I try to be as realistic as I can.

I know we are run/owned by the shifty and inept and know that until they’re gone, very little will change.

But... Villarreal?

"Hey they’re a good side, don’t underestimate them"

Well yes they are, but do they have our resources?

Without knowing the ins and outs of Villarreal’s finances, my guess is they don’t get our gates or charge what we charge for tickets (and/or season tickets).

And they deffo don’t get the telly money we get.

So why (a week before kick-off) did we look like shite compared to them?

Why was their touch loads better?

And why was their movement, passing and and forward-play better?

And most annoying (for me today) was why was their closing down and pressing much more effective? (I can accept more skillful but not working harder.)

I genuinely don’t give a shite about pre-season results, losing every game wouldn’t worry me at all, but today’s performance, if I’m honest, made me nervous.

As for Kone, I would (genuinely) not be against us paying a team a million or two to take him off our hands.

A great turnout by the way.

(good luck to anyone who bought a season-ticket in Seat 274, Row C, Lower Bullens, fucking big pillar in front of you, even though, when I bought my ticket for today, the girl in Everton 2 who sold me this seat told me "No, duz not’un’ in yer way, yer fine like.")

Jack Cross
100 Posted 02/08/2015 at 21:21:21
Come off it, Martin. Martinez is not for me as our manager, but I couldn’t say he knows nothing about coaching or managing. He uses the wrong tactics and is headstrong in his beliefs. But he did take Swansea from the League One to the Championship. And I don’t believe that Wigan winning the FA Cup was a fluke because they knocked out good teams on the way.

And you could argue in RM's defence that he had no cash at Wigan to put into place the players he really wanted for his plan. But what I can’t make out of this man with vision, is, why he didn’t stay at Swansea and get them in to the Premier League like Rogers did (you could argue that they went up with RM's team).

And why didn’t he see or couldn’t he see, just how a well run club with money behind them Swansea were? They could have given him the successful team of his own making, unlike scraping the barrel each season with Wigan. So I have a question mark over his loyalty at Swansea and Wigan (I know he spent 7 years as a player at Swansea). But I think he will stop at nothing, even if it means running a club in to the ground. Because it’s all about RM and his vision and not us or ours.

As for our director’s doing their best for the club, well that’s arguable and they did employ RM after all.

Paul Tran
101 Posted 02/08/2015 at 21:27:01
Eugene, you hit lots of nails on the head there. I can't abide the lack of movement and intensity in this team. No excuse for not closing down, for not showing spark and desire. I don't think Martinez wants this; either he can't seem to get his ideas through to the players, or they just won't do it for him.

Whichever one it is, it isn't good enough.

Max Murphy
102 Posted 02/08/2015 at 21:34:53
Jack (#71);

"And not just go by a few pre-season matches that mean fuck all." So why bother having them? Why bother watching them?

Last season's pre-season games certainly gave an indication how the real season panned out,

Anyone for déjà vu?

Tony Williams
103 Posted 02/08/2015 at 21:43:54
I saw the Blues against Leeds and Villarreal... very worrying: nothing up front.
Anthony Lamb
104 Posted 02/08/2015 at 21:44:02
Sorry to rain on the Ferguson-fest but I think I lost the will to live, when after watching an utterly appalling performance in terms of application, commitment, technical ability etc from people such as Kone etc, I heard the Everton coach, in his pitched utterances refer to the current players as "the best in the world"!

Are we not in the deepest of deep trouble?

Dave Lynch
105 Posted 02/08/2015 at 21:47:43
Who was it who said?

"Football is a simple game, complicated by idiots".

Think it was Cloughie, well he's dead right and we have the biggest dunce in the class.

Jack Cross
106 Posted 02/08/2015 at 21:50:26
Anthony Lamb. We will soon see against Watford.
Phil Rodgers
107 Posted 02/08/2015 at 22:15:02
We have the 7th longest odds to get relegated by every bookie, which I guess would equate to us finishing there or there abouts. They must know something we don’t...

I honestly get no joy from Everton at all anymore, the only emotions I have are disappointment and occasional anger. I am not expecting us to win a thing but the board has shown no ambition for years and they are making mugs of the real supporters of this club.

I am not giving them another penny. In fact, I live in Rotherham and have just bought a season ticket at New York.

Stephen Brown
108 Posted 02/08/2015 at 22:19:45
Really enjoyed seeing Big Dunc and Rooney play today and all the crowd gave them a great reception.

However, the team that played the majority of the second half is a team in a relegation battle! There are no goals in the team without Lukaku and Mirallas! And no pace!

With a leaky defence to boot I am worried for the season... I pray Lukaku and Kevin M stay fit!!

Jeff Armstrong
109 Posted 02/08/2015 at 22:19:56
Dave Lynch, it was Shankly... and it was so accurate,
Peter Mills
110 Posted 02/08/2015 at 22:26:15
I dodged the game, because I felt Duncan was something of a fraud as a player, sensational on his day but those days were few and far between. Also, I did not agree with drafting in Rooney during an important, final, pre-season friendly.

Being who I am, I have wondered during the afternoon "what's going on?", and then tuned into Facebook to hear Rooney getting an excellent reception (well done, Goodison), and Ferguson speaking after the match. Maybe he is still being a fraud, maybe he was pandering to Kenwright's ego. But bloody hell, he didn't half sound like Shankly.

Steven Twine
112 Posted 02/08/2015 at 22:32:34
Ian (#75), thanks for that post, the best I’ve read on here about today.

Kone has to go; he is the worst forward since Brett Angell. Every game I see, he gets worse... surely a manager who’s job it is to look after a team can see this!!!

Why was Long sold? Why can’t McAleny get on the bench? Why no bid for Chichro? What does Duncan think of Kone?

Why after 2 seasons can’t Roberto find Barkley's best position? What’s happened to our defence? What’s happened to Coleman, the best right back in Europe? Why no incoming transfers?

These are just a few questions me and fellow supporters are asking, there’s many more I could list. I’m trying to be positive but, when I see the club I love going down shit creek, then I will be vocal about it.

Paul Tran
114 Posted 02/08/2015 at 22:40:47
Phil, I've just taken a look on Bet 365, who have us 50/1 to get relegated (14th highest odds), 1/750 to not be relegated (a disgrace that we're in that market, even at those odds) and 11/4 to finish in the bottom half. Better find yourself another bookie!

That suggests to me that they've got it right, though it's worth a second look at Skybet, who have Martinez a standout 20/1 to be next prem manager to lose his job (I got 33/1 a few weeks ago).

So, for those who keep saying we're certain to go down, fill yer boots at 50/1 - I think the odds on us not to go down are more realistic.

Andy Walker
116 Posted 02/08/2015 at 22:58:35
Jack, 79. It was regular competition for top 4 under Moyes and yes we were a nearly team as you say, but we were competing with the top clubs, just not quite good enough, but again as you say they have the advantage of much more money. That’s the thing, we significantly out performed our financial position. Now we seem to be just accepting mediocrity on the pitch as an inevitability of not having loads of money at the club.

We now compete with Stoke and Crystal Palace as you say, but this means we have dropped back to mid table and are no long a nearly club, just a "miles away from the top" club.

With any sport, to win anything, it’s typical to come close a few times and then maybe, with persistence you do eventually win. We aren’t even close to winning, though, now, with little hope of things changing any time soon.

I’d rather we finished 5th than 15th. Sure we win nothing for either place, but we ain’t going to jump into the top 4 from 15th in one season but we just might from 5th. That realistic sense of hope is a big difference, as is the level of entertainment fans now see watching the Blues, which frankly last season was generally pretty bad.

Craig Mills
117 Posted 02/08/2015 at 23:07:42
By my reckoning that 6 pre-season games played, and I’m posting no surprise comments here, but how poor do we look up front? Honestly, we look fucking dross. We have just about zero attacking threat, absolutely nothing... and that’s seriously worrying because it’s clearly a problem we’ve carried from last year too.

I have to say it -- I’m embarrassed for us, I feel we’re a joke club, with a joke manager who’s totally out of his depth. Give me back Moyes any day, at least he said it how it was.

Phil Rodgers
118 Posted 02/08/2015 at 23:37:41
I meant that according to the bookies we are the 7th least likely team to go down.

Ernie Baywood
119 Posted 03/08/2015 at 00:15:54
I'm struggling with ToffeeWeb at the moment. I mean I obviously get that last season was a disappointment and our failure to spend this summer is frustrating.

But the response to pre season has been, erm, phenomenal.

We had people on the live forum calling for Roberto's head on the back of a friendly. We had people claiming our only decent players were performing fitness tests for other clubs. Others were adamant that the Leeds game highlighted our problems while the Scotland tour demonstrated nothing. Some bloke reckoned he was listing his season ticket on stub hub. The same bloke who complained we had no pace to our attack during that good spell in the first half.

Funnily enough. When I asked the question of whether anyone else's stream was down I got silence until Michael K confirmed it was for him too. Was it down for a bit for everyone? I got a strong feeling that half these people weren't even watching... just seemed like rent a mob trolling.

Personally, I'm optimistic that out of this we find that JMac and Tom form a solid midfield partnership. Our back 5 show their ability. That Kev and, later, Del bring that cutting edge we lacked last year. And that Rom bangs them in for fun. Unfortunately even I can't feel too optimistic about Ross... something huge needs to change with him and it's too much to expect.

Start of the season is upon us. COYB!

Dean Adams
121 Posted 03/08/2015 at 00:30:12
Ernie. I watched the whole game. It is nothing new to see a wide variety of comments, some over the top in both positive and negative vibes. There is a more mature middle ground, but in this day and age, with the press being so much on the side of big money, we will inevitably get some who cannot grasp reality.

The club has not sold for the sake of selling but many take the media stance that we will and it just breeds more and more worry and stress from an element of the fanbase. I would guess that almost every club has a similar situation.

Bobby Thomas
122 Posted 03/08/2015 at 01:08:52
We've got big problems.
Ernie Baywood
123 Posted 03/08/2015 at 01:21:33
I'm all for a range of opinions Dean, and I've been known to be pretty critical of the blues and our current management and custodians. I'll accept reality but refuse to accept mediocrity within its confines. So, yes I'm also disappointed at the lack of incoming transfers. Bob's performance last year didn't exactly fill me with joy either.

I've just got a feeling recently that there are a few who are quite happy to just spout off with no real substance. Some strange absurdity contest. In the case of yesterday, I'm pretty certain there were many who weren't even watching!

Paul Ward
124 Posted 03/08/2015 at 05:56:18
Jim Hourigan (#3),

I can’t disagree with anything you have written. The only comments I will add to yours is Martinez has had over 50 games in charge and his formation and philosophy is still the same. It will never change, it is like a religion to him. I honestly believe if he had Chelsea’s players he would be trophy less.

Whatever happens in the window we have to grin and bear it until Kenwright can stand no more of him.

Paul Tran
125 Posted 03/08/2015 at 07:24:54
Fair enough, Phil. Odds of 50/1 suggest to me that they know something -- there’s more chance of us knitting fog than going down!
Trevor Peers
126 Posted 03/08/2015 at 07:31:05
Dean, the main source of stress amongst the fanbase is Roberto's brand of football doesn’t win matches. We could all put up with the manager’s tactics if it was a winning brand. It has little or nothing to do with being positive or negative.
Tony Abrahams
127 Posted 03/08/2015 at 08:25:48
Eugene, the club gave me a list on Saturday to pick my seats because I couldn't go and have a look due to building work. The list had five different areas of the upper Glwadys st, and every one of them was obstructed in some way.

It's never something I have ever really thought about, but you notice everything a bit more when you have got a bit of a downer on things.

We need a new goalie, a new centre half, a new forward, a playmaker, a new ground and a FUCKING NEW BOARD!

Like the tide at West Kirkby, it creeps up on you slowly, but we are not going to keep making it back to shore forever, under this present regime.

Tony Abrahams
128 Posted 03/08/2015 at 08:34:59
I forgot to add that we also need a new system. One that can generate a bit of passion in the stands, so as to help the players on the pitch.

Villarreal, like Young Boys and Kiev, scored from a corner with a near post flick on, we don't even have a player, ball side of the near post.

Ray Roche
129 Posted 03/08/2015 at 08:44:39
Tony, didn't Hearts score from a corner as well? Corners. Something Martinez doesn't think are worth spending time practising defending.
Tony Abrahams
130 Posted 03/08/2015 at 09:12:23
I was actually talking about us when we are taking a corner Ray. Why don't we put a man at the front post? It's that bad I feel like running on the pitch and putting myself there.

So not only do we not practice defending them, it just doesn't look like we practice taking them either. It's scandalous, even if we did take a decent short one in the first half, when Miralles should have done better!

David Smith
131 Posted 03/08/2015 at 10:14:38
A potential No 10, available for FREE, looking for a new challenge, potential new clubs are looking at a fixed salary plus pay-as-you-play (due to a recent spate of injuries), so we could find a system to pay him.

He’s a VERY good playmaker, French (ex-)international. Needs a good manager and a passionate support to get him running again. Yoann Gourcuff. Get him in.

Eric Myles
133 Posted 03/08/2015 at 10:43:00
Martin (#84), nice to see you finally admit we are in a "dire financial position"
Raymond Fox
134 Posted 03/08/2015 at 10:43:13
I purposely haven’t looked at the site for a couple of days because when we lose a game, any sort of game, it's the same negative shite every time. Manager rubbish, the owners are a waste of space, 3/4 of the players are rubbish. Total overreaction every time.

Okay, I agree the owners leave a lot to be desired, but we’ve known that for a long time. Every supporter is disappointed with the amount of money spent on players over the years and there lies the real problem.

I respect every ones opinion of the manager but why go over the top after games such as friendlies? We achieved good finishes in the League under Moyes management, but he was regarded within the game and in the media as someone who got the team to perform above their capabilities. Also don't forget we’ve not won a trophy for twenty years, even under Moyes, who fault is that?

The manager has said we need 3 more players, and so we do; what a difference a player like Rooney would make in the middle of the field for us. Problem is we know that we will not be buying top drawer players, £6m-10m and frees is our usual range.

Bill Farmer
135 Posted 03/08/2015 at 10:56:09
Given the vitriol appearing in these columns last week regarding Wayne Rooney, I determined to give TW a wide berth. I need not have been so sensitive because, in the event, the match-going Evertonians were delighted to see him 'in his true colours' and gave him a marvelous reception.

During 'our lad's' cameo, my neighbour turned to me to remark, 'We're only one player short of being a decent team. HIM!' Perhaps an over-simplification caught in the moment but I'm sure we all catch his drift!

What we were certainly lacking was 'inspiration' -- whether that be the rare talents of a Rooney or the on-field stimulation of a Big Dunc. Certainly we have neither 'characters' nor stand-out performers in the ranks at present -- and whilst young Stones is the focus of all that's Everton at the moment, it's hard to get too excited about central defenders!

We hear that Roberto's is a quiet, academic approach to the manager's role in which he treats the players with respect and expects them to know what they are about on the field. In all my years, I recall just two of his ilk, Ian Buchan (who was little more than a fitness coach) and Mike Walker -- both perfect gentlemen but, behind their backs, scoffed at by players with the inevitable result.

Perhaps, then, it's just that after years of 'drilling' by David Moyes, the ' light touch' approach just does not work -- although what excuse the more recent arrivals have for their apparent lethargy (heavy legs?), I have no idea.

Let's hope they are all saving 'a performance' for Saturday!

Tony Sullivan
136 Posted 03/08/2015 at 11:24:35
I have only read the last two posts on this thread, but I take a similar view to Raymond Fox and Bill Farmer.

When we lose a game the relentless and often vitriolic negativity towards, BK, RM and certain players is at the very least tiresome in its repetetive, and in my view harshly critical analysis. It means I give TW a wide birth until things calm down.

It is a sad situation because I enjoy the site and my daily dose of all things Everton.

Phil Sammon
137 Posted 03/08/2015 at 11:44:06
The 'negativity' towards Martinez is repetitive only because he keeps making the same mistakes.

Thank god that not every Evertonian buries his or her head in the sand after every loss. It's that sort of passionless crap that saw us drifting dangerously close to relegation last year.

I think Evertonians have been fairly even handed with RM. He got every bit of credit for the way we played in his first year and even last year against Man Utd saw many of us getting briefly back on his side. The stubborn git just will not accept and learn from his mistakes, sadly.

Eddie Dunn
138 Posted 03/08/2015 at 11:54:34
All those posters who think that these pre-season friendlies have no bearing on what is to come: Wake up and smell the coffee!

The Villarreal side had nothing to prove, no former legends to put on a show for, and none of their fans paying good money. Yet they effortlessly outplayed us in key areas, showing lovely touches here and there. They even had a centre forward who ran with the ball like a young Sharp.

How pedestrian we were. The problem is that we will be taking this lack of momentum into our first game.

This is one group of sloppy, unmotivated, disorganised players, lacking confidence, with no game plan. Already picking up injuries to key players, and already playing people in the wrong positions.

This is why many of us are fed-up and slagging off the manager. Wait until we have had 10 games including some tough ones and the writing will be on the wall.

When Dunc was thanking everyone, I thought of how he could get a team going in the dressing room. Can’t imagine Roberto doing it. Also Dunc thanked the fans, players and Chairman, but did he mention Martinez? I didn’t hear him mention him, did I miss it, or is it significant.

My guess is Dunc will take over at some point this season... the sooner the better.

Terry McLavey
140 Posted 03/08/2015 at 14:38:12
It was still great to see Wayne back in blue, I’ve always been in denial with his transfer and considered him on extended loan! We know he would have never won what he has had he stayed.

The game lifted as soon a he got the ball, there was fire in his belly, he was one of us again, perhaps the others should take note?

They say you can change your job, house, wife but never your team; I believe this is true in his case. (Although I know an Arsenal fan that now supports Spurs!! What’s that all about?)

It was a privilege to see Dunc again, really positive. I think sometimes we forget how good we were, we had two reminders today.

Steve Cotton
141 Posted 03/08/2015 at 15:55:58
I just watched the highlights of the testimonial as I couldn't make the game. It could have been 5-0 before we got one back to be fair and our back four were caught on the wrong side of the ball on every occasion.

The goal from the corner was a training ground special and he couldn’t miss from 4 yards out, completely unmarked.

Who is our defensive coach? Do we have one?

William Cartwright
142 Posted 03/08/2015 at 16:02:36
Again more negativity, anti-Martinez posts. Trouble is, its all of them! All the people can’t be all wrong all the time... can they? Will the real Martinez please stand up. The one who got us 5th. Where the bloody helll is he?

The idiot who dropped Robles, who was showing some real confidence, and replaced him with Howard without a second thought. Same approach with McAleny. Has a blinding 45 minutes against Swindon; 3 assists and a goal in 45 minutes, praised to hell then dropped.

The pre-season should be about identifying fresh new charges, but the poor guy has never had a chance. Rant over before I really get started. Duncan Ferguson as manager by Christmas. Please God...

James Stewart
143 Posted 03/08/2015 at 16:57:50
@121 Spot on Phil.
Jon Cox
144 Posted 03/08/2015 at 17:55:19
Ian (#75),

I was there; you’re spot on and your comment was a great read!

James Hughes
145 Posted 03/08/2015 at 18:12:54
I have just read Ian #75 comments and you can’t argue with it.

Did anyone watch the Brittas Empire? The comedy was based on a man being promoted above his ability to keep him out the way... Trouble is, RM is in the way and it’s not funny.

Phil Rodgers
146 Posted 03/08/2015 at 18:35:53
Anybody who claims it's only a friendly should remember how much pre season affected the side last season.

It's all very well saying there is too much negativity, what exactly are people supposed to be positive about?

Lee Gray
147 Posted 03/08/2015 at 18:46:30
You can fool some people sometimes but you can’t fool all the people all the time... we can’t ALL be wrong!
Andy Walker
148 Posted 03/08/2015 at 18:51:04
Absolutely Phil, and also people should remember the context of the criticism. To argue against being critical of Martinez because it's just a friendly completely misses the point. We are seeing in pre season exactly the same weaknesses as we saw last season in the league and most of us can see what this means.
Max Fine
150 Posted 02/08/2015 at 23:34:59
Let me get this straight. Martinez's first season success was a fluke, as was his cup win at Wigan. The board won't back him with funds because they don't trust him. All our players are shite and we're doomed. Yawn, yawn.

Are Chelsea going to get relegated too - after all they haven't bought anyone yet and haven't had a great pre-season either?

Some of you sound like that obnoxious reactionary lot across the park.

Max Levy
152 Posted 04/08/2015 at 07:32:53
Forty years I've had a season ticket, never ever have I felt so concerned about the new season. Never have I seen Goodison resemble a morgue week in week out like it does nowadays. The reason quite simply is Martinez.

A completely unbalanced squad, an inadequate squad, players out of position, sideways backwards football, no leaders, no character, no motivation, unrelenting refusal to acknowledge what we can all see. The greatest irony being the cheers for Rooney. Surreal??? The leaders of our club give the impression that a nice afternoon in the sun with all our old faded cheerleaders will keep us happy and paper over the cracks. WRONG.

For me the single bit of enjoyment and hope came after the game. The passion in Ferguson's voice. Correct me if I'm wrong but if/when Martinez gets the boot sometime before Christmas is it possible that Big Dunc as his number 2 would get his cards at the same time? Not likely after yesterday I'd say. The manager in waiting it seems to me. Why not do the right thing Bill and get it done sooner rather than later?

Ray Roche
153 Posted 04/08/2015 at 07:46:42
Max, it would appear that Martinez’s first season WAS a fluke, and a fluke based on the solid defence that he inherited from Moyes. Once Martinez managed to put his own stamp on that same defence we ended up with the rubbish backwards, sideways crap that bored the kecks off us last season.

Nothing that I’ve seen this pre-season has led me to believe that we’ll see any sort of improvement, and with the almost total lack of investment in the squad in addition to the plethora of hamstring injuries, I can see only one direction. Down. If not relegation, then a fight to prevent it.

Ray Roche
154 Posted 04/08/2015 at 07:48:16
My comments were to Max Fine, not Max Levy. Seems we're Max'd out on here....
John Steadman
155 Posted 04/08/2015 at 08:25:54
We should've got rid of this joker last season, if only he had the passion we have, if only he could instill it in the players.

I just checked his odds on being the first managerial casualty: 20/1, watch them odds drop after Saturday.

This season is going to be as pathetic and boring as last season. Why do we put up with this rubbish? Why do we put up with a board who have the lowest net spend season after season.


Eddie Dunn
156 Posted 04/08/2015 at 09:04:20
The great show-piece that the club planned for the big man was something of a damp squib. I’m sure that Bill’s script had Rom up top and Del-Boy on the wing. We would have had a goal or two, the crowd would have got going. and either at 2-2 or 2-1, or even 3-1, on would come the cavalry, and perhaps another goal before the elated Goodison disperses looking forward to the new season.

Of course this was not to be. A couple of the main actors were missing and their understudies were just lacking star quality. A box-office flop. Goodison is so quiet, as we all wait for signs of hope. It is just sad that it takes two of our stars of the past to get us all up out of our seats.

Even sadder is the fact that Rooney, who loves the club, is beyond our dreams, and worse still, big Dunc’s rallying call to one and all had all of the passion and commitment that we all want to see on the park. We have not been inspired for a long time.

Big Dunc thanked everyone, including our Dear Leader, but did not mention Roberto Martinez. Perhaps he simply forgot, but I think he has his own ideas of how things should be done, and we will see in due course... Martinez leaving by mutual consent, and Duncan Ferguson installed as our new manager. Could it be that the unforthcoming funds for players are being held back for January?

Darryl Ritchie
157 Posted 04/08/2015 at 09:07:37
Too slow and predictable at the back, and not enough imagination and touch up front. It takes forever to get the ball out of our half and when it does finally get into the opposition half, it's rarely a shot, much less a shot on target. If we sacrifice the offence to stiffen the defence, I could understand it, but we leak goals.

RM is stubbornly staying true to the tactics he believes will be successful. I don't think he could change, even if he actually tried. The tactics mirror Martinez. They're steady, predictable...boring. The squad has buckets of talent, they need to be allowed to show it.

This season is make or break. If we begin like we ended last season, there's hope. If we sputter out of the gate, then we will need a change.

Oliver Molloy
158 Posted 04/08/2015 at 09:23:12

Ferguson not including Martinez in his speech simply was an oversight... or was it? There is no doubt in my mind that he would want to manage the club, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, would he have all the attributes to do the job? -- No is my opinion. I reckon he would be a lot like Roy Keane; good intentions but no know-how.

On a different note, reports that Southampton are in for the Celtic centre half and Rio Ferdinand urges Stones to join Man Utd!

Tony Draper
159 Posted 04/08/2015 at 09:24:12
Watching our pre-season fixtures I sadly have to concede that what I have seen hasn’t had me drooling with anticipation. Add the alarming injury list (OK, I’m alarmed by it, maybe others aren’t so) to the dull performances and then my current hopes are resting on some inspiring new faces arriving before the window closes and no-one departing.

There was a moment during Big Dunc’s testimonial where the ball arrived in a good position wide left and we had players arriving in the middle. Then the clock kept tick tick ticking as we reshuffled the ball out on the wing.

I’m one of those who have requested less harping on the negatives in TW threads. So I’m ending my comments here, with crossed fingers.

Trevor Peers
160 Posted 04/08/2015 at 09:41:38
I keep reading Roberto can’t and won’t change his tactics. Looking back to last Xmas when we were in the midst of our awful run of games without a win, the crowd reacted to the manager’s tactics and displayed their anger. Roberto was visibly shaken, and DID indeed change his tactics, employing Lennon on the wing to give us more pace and width and provide an outlet to feed Lukaku.

It seem to work for the rest of season, although we weren’t in great shape it was much improved from what had gone on before the tactical change.

Fast forward to the pre-season friendlies, Roberto has reverted back to his old tactics of possession football and the result is we look inept and toothless going forward again. Proof though that Roberto will change his tactics if put under enough pressure from the supporters and the players.

It’s a situation that is unheard of to my knowledge, at any other football club, but one that is allowed to happen at Everton, it’s a ridiculous way to run a football club, and Kenwright should've sorted it by now.

Paul Cherrington
161 Posted 04/08/2015 at 10:15:11
That's a good point, Trevor but for me the worry is that he only changes when forced to by others and not of his own accord cos he’s seen it isn’t working. Also, he may change if forced to but soon goes back to the same old rubbish when the pressure is off.
AJ Doran
163 Posted 05/08/2015 at 08:51:39
Glad to see so many enjoyed seeing Rooney back in Blue. I wasn't and I'm not a matchgoing Everton supporter by any means, perhaps that lessens my views on the matter?

Regardless, I still stand by my assertions about letting Rooney play for Everton again while he is a Man Utd player, for whatever the circumstances, right before the start of a new season. Judging by the posts on here he was the one of the better players on the day, who would have guessed that eh?!

Shambolic doesn't come close to describing Everton FC at present; this pre-season this season is actually worse than last... not only do we have a manager who hasn't adapted his style of play, which is beyond obvious, we are also giving in to the nostalgia of "Once a Blue, Always a Blue" for a player that has zippo to do with the club.

Daniel O'Sullivan
165 Posted 05/08/2015 at 19:38:27
I agree with everything in post #78.

I also feel we need to take into consideration that the way things are going, Bobby will be sacked within 15 games of the season (probably) which I highly hope happens, although I obviously don’t want us to go losing games.

Bill Kenwright has taken too much blame this summer, after spending £28 Million on a player Martinez wanted last year and him being highly over-rated and flopping last season (imo), and also having in the corner of his mind that he will be sacking Bobby soon (probably, again) he won’t want to throw too much money at players for Bobby. He will give the money to Big Dunc when he is hired in November/December!

Until then though... COYB!

James Flynn
167 Posted 06/08/2015 at 00:52:13
Slow down Harvey.

We haven't looked good in pre-season. No doubt of that. But, let's wait until game 10 is over and see where we sit.

Derek Thomas
168 Posted 06/08/2015 at 01:17:36
Harvey, I'm picking 12-15, does that mean I'm no longer a negative poster?

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