Lennon and Barkley lead Blues to vital home win

, 3 February, 174comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton 3 - 0 Newcastle United

Aaron Lennon put in another man-of-the-match display, scoring the opener and then earning the first of two late Ross Barkley penalties

Everton won at home in the Premier League for the first time since November with a 3-0 victory thanks to a brace of penalties by Ross Barkley and Aaron Lennon's second goal in four days.

The Blues led through Lennon's first-half opener and could have put the game to bed a lot earlier but were looking nervy going into the final quarter of an hour after Aleksander Mitrovic had missed a sitter for Newcastle.

Roberto Martinez's side were finally able to kill the game and put a deserved gloss on the scoreline in the final few minutes, though, when Lennon was hauled down by Rolando Aarons in the box and Barkley slammed home confidently from the spot on his 100th appearance for the club.

Barkley was then sent tumbling by Jamaal Lascelles in stoppage time as he was about to shoot earning the defender a red card and another spot kick for the midfielder who chipped the unlucky Rob Eliott with an audacious Panenka-style shot.

Everton were full value for the victory, having dominated the game and came close to put the relegation-threatened Magpies to the sword well before the Blues' first two penalties of the season arrived late on.

Only heroics from stand-in goalkeeper Rob Elliot kept the scoreline down in the second half as he tipped Barkley's impressive shot onto the crossbar, turned Tom Cleverley's free kick past his near post and may have helped Jonjo Shelvey's looping back-header onto the woodwork with a touch as the Blues pressed hard for a second goal.

And when Elliot should have been beaten, Arouna Kone sliced two very good chances into the Park End before defensive blunders handed Barkley the responsibility of killing the game from the spot.

With minor injuries to John Stones and Tim Howard, Martinez was forced into two changes from his usual first XI so Ramiro Funes Mori and Phil Jagielka partnered each other in central defence and Joel Robles continued in goal.

Perhaps with an eye on Saturday's trip to Stoke, Leighton Baines was named among the substitutes while Lennon kept his place and Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku returned to the side after sitting out against Carlisle in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The Magpies set their stall out early, harrying Everton from the off but it was the home side who started the brighter of the two sides going forward, with Cleverley forcing the first save of the game from Elliot with a side-foot shot from Lukaku's layoff.

A knee to the back from Fabricio Collicini forced the Belgian striker off for treatment shortly afterwards but he was able to continue and he went close with a free kick after he himself was fouled by Chancel Mbemba after 20 minutes.

Everton took the lead a minute later though when Lennon rewarded his manager's faith in him with a goal, his scuffed shot rolling past the wrong-footed Elliot.

Much of the half was about Everton probing at the Magpies' defences and there were long spells without much in the way of chances but Barkley had a half chance when Elliot's headed clearance dropped to him 40 yards out but after taking the ball down, he dropped an attempted lob of the scrambling 'keeper well over the crossbar.

And the 21-year-old tried a bouncing free kick effort from distance that missed to the left of the visitors' goal six minutes before half time.

The first half was winding down when Lennon almost scored after Barkley's appetising low cross had been passed up by Lukaku and Coleman cut the ball back from the other flank towards the penalty spot. Mbemba made a crucial block on Lennon's goalbound shot, however, and the ball was cleared.

Everton suffered a blow at the interval, though, when Lukaku didn't come back out for the second period and he was replaced by Arouna Kone.

And the Ivorian should have doubled the lead just 6 minutes after coming on when Elliot denied Lennon with his foot and Kone took one touch and sliced a poor shot high and wide of goal.

Lacking support a minute later, Kone fired a low shot-cum-cross across the Newcastle box and out to the other side before laying on a great chance for Barkley but the midfielder tried to be too clever with a flick and the chance went begging.

Barkley did much better moments later, though, when he lined up a terrific shot from 20 yards that Elliot saved brilliantly with a tip onto the bar. Funes Mori headed narrowly wide from the resulting corner as Everton continued to threaten.

And the ball would come off the woodwork again when Jonjo Shelvey's back header looped over the 'keeper from a free kick.

Elliot was busy again with 61 minutes gone when had to make another good one-handed save to turn Cleverley's shot onto his post.

Having survived that onslaught, Newcastle really should have equalised with 25 minutes to go. A cross from the left caught Funes Mori napping and Aleksander Mitrovic beat the offside trap but steered the ball inches wide.

Robles then had to fist away Daryl Janmaat's whipped cross as the Blues started to look more and more nervy at the back under mounting Newcastle pressure.

The game was belatedly made safe three minutes from time, though, when Lennon, impressive throughout, was hauled down in the box by Aarons and Barkley stepped up to slam home Everton's first penalty kick of the season.

2-0 was almost three as Barkley rampaged forward but saw his deflected shot bounce just wide and then played Kone in for what looked to be a certain goal but the striker made a mess of the finish, putting it harmlessly into the Park End.

Another foul in the box, this time by Lascelles on Barkley earned the former a red card and the latter a chance to double his tally for the evening which he did in impressive fashion with a dinked chip down the middle.

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page

Reader Comments (174)

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Gerard Carey
2 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:07:14
Good team, what most people were saying. Deulofeu for second half. Any sort of win will do. A poxy goal, just get the three points please.
John Beesley
3 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:09:12
Looks like a good solid team, let's hope it is a good solid result!
Dean Williams
4 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:17:43
No Stones... hope he hasn’t spat his dummy out. This season's pretty much over anyway; if he has, let him rot in the reserves and Martinez can take him with him at the end of the season.
Scott Phelps
5 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:25:10
Cleverley should be on the bench.
John Malone
6 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:26:05
Looks like he's doing the same thing he did when we played Tottenham and couldn't afford to get beat, a defensively solid team but surprised at Baines being left out he's been quality lately he must have a knock!
Kevin Collis
7 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:29:59
Agree... a solid team; I'm happy for Robles.
Peter Roberts
8 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:32:53
Stones dropped, Lennon in. Anyone have any problems with that? I don’t. Proper management. Performances earn selection not reputation.

I’m sure many will find issue with Roberto over that still...

Paul Kossoff
11 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:38:26
Stones dropped, deserves it. Baines and Coleman have to go back to basics and defend, close the wingers down, don’t give them time to measure the cross, and stop doing the little ballet half turn that seems to have crept into the premier league recently. You can’t see what your opponent is doing if you take your eye off him, STOP IT!!!
Peter Laing
12 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:40:36
Baines on bench-warming duties?
Anthony Millington
13 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:43:28
Hate to sound negative already but is anyone else fed up of having no balance to the midfield. Martinez is in his 3rd season an nothing has been done to sort the left side of midfield.

We have seen Barkley an Naismith there last season and now Kone Osman and Cleverley. And people wonder why Baines’s impact has halted. I'd also give Galloway another run. We were doing better with him in defence but he’s not in the squad tonight?

Tony Draper
14 Posted 03/02/2016 at 19:54:46
Regarding Stones, please forgive this paranoid supposition. OK, here goes:

He wants the money move. So, he exaggerates (make that OVER-exaggerates) the "play from the back" philosophy and ensures that the home crowd berate him, whilst seemingly conforming to Roberto’s style.

Result is that the crowd begin to hassle him, then he can say that he was harried out of God’s Acre by disgruntled fans..... possibly lowering his transfer fee.

I’ll honestly state that I hope this isn’t true, but this kind of thinking does keep running around my head. I don’t trust modern day football professionals........

Geoff Evans
15 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:10:40
Hopefully Stones will learn a little humility, extract his head from up his own backside and stop pretending he's Bobby Moore, if he doesn't get rid and take the over inflated price people are talking about.

Potential is fine as long as it's fulfilled.

Christy Ring
16 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:15:13
Still not happy with shape, playing Cleverly on the left. What’s wrong with a balanced 4-4-2 formation? Lukaku is a lot more effective with a partner.

It’s very coincidental that Howard and Stones are both missing.

Trevor Powell
17 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:20:00
Anthony (#3) regarding Baines and no natural leftie in midfield. What about the Philip Lamn talk for Baines a couple of years ago? Remember, he knows how to defend and his assist ratio is up there with the best!
Colin Hughes
18 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:22:05
Atmosphere is awful again even though we are winning, not a roar of encouragement or chant all night. So much for Goodison under the lights, I have heard sedated patients make more noise under lights. Sad days in the stands.
Charlie Burnett
19 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:25:49
Anyone else agree, it’s like watching a Moyes sort of defence.

Jags playing safe using the long ball, not so much playing it out all the time. Keeping it tight.

Geoff Evans
20 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:30:56
Colin: It' s called anxiety mate.
Si Cooper
21 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:35:16
Tony Draper – can you honestly not see how agitated the lad has become? To consider he is somehow going out into a high-pressure situation and somehow conning his team-mates as he engineers his move away is utter lunacy.

He has obviously been told by his manager AND team-mates to keep on trusting his instincts. No-one is happy when it backfires and the suggestion that he is persevering simply out of arrogance and needs knocking down a peg or two is equally as nonsensical.

What Everton and the player both need is for him to rediscover his confidence so he doesn’t fluff his attempts to play himself out of tricky situations.

Dave Williams
22 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:38:37
Si, best post of the lot about Stones. He is a young lad who has had an awful lot to cope with and needs to be given time to recover his form.

Nice one!

Colin Hughes
23 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:38:54
A good sing song or banter with the aways lifts anxiety rather than all the murmurings and muttering. Something has to change with the mentality of our support to try and lift the players to the next level.
Si Cooper
24 Posted 03/02/2016 at 20:39:37
Geoff, there was a time when supporters would counter that anxiety by becoming boisterous and perversely positive. It seems we have gone soft if all we do now is whinge and moan about our entitlement to be entertained.
Andrew Presly
27 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:03:16
Let’s let Stones develop with us for a few more years. Hodgson is old school enough to not involve him too much this summer, for once we don’t really need the money, so let’s allow him this bad patch, maybe upgrade his contract and then sell him for about £60M in 2 or 3 years.
Anto Byrne
28 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:25:59
Can we have Deulofeu for the last 10 mins please?
James E Evans
29 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:33:15
2-0 baby!
Christy Ring
30 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:38:23
Barkley has been superb tonight, take a bow Ross, MotM.
Gerard Carey
31 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:42:52
Barkley very good tonight. More of the same against Stoke please.
Joe Duffin
33 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:44:40
Aaron Lennon was standout player tonight – worked his socks off. He definitely is a better proposition in right midfield than Deulofeu – he works harder and doesn't fall down as easy.

You've seen everything from Barkley today: amazing play, frustrating hold ups and an eye for a shot and goal; we've got to take the good with the bad... but it's mainly great.

Barry and McCarthy covered well. And credit to Martinez – he obviously told Barkley to sit on Shelvey, to stop the long passes, and it worked.

I’ll be honest, neither Jagielka nor Funes Mori were under any pressure at the back, to any great degree. But there were was on instance, nearly 75 mins in, when they got in behind Funes Mori, but Jagielka's positional play got him in to cover – I'm not sure John Stones has learnt that yet. Great result against a poor Magpies.

ps: I Ioved the cheeky penalty at end!

Gavin Johnson
34 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:45:40
Ross bossed everything tonight. Man of the Match with Aaron Lennon not far behind. I bet Lennon changed a few peoples minds who were previously slating him with that performance.

It was a good win and solid performance with a clean sheet to boot. There’s not been enough of them this season. Hopefully this will give us the momentum to kick on.

Al Reddish
36 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:47:58
Cleverly Barry and McCarthy were fantastic. Closed everything down, protected the back four and provided the platform for Barkley and Lennon to run riot.

Two points of note... why hasn’t Lennon featured more? And that is the FOURTH Premier League clean sheet in a row for Robles.

Joe O'Brien
37 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:49:16
A much needed win. Barkley sounded like he was class again, as well as Lenon. Two clean sheets in a row. I know they were against lesser teams but clean sheets nonetheless.

Hope Rom’s injury isn’t too bad. Roll on Stoke

Tony Draper
38 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:49:38
Si Cooper @14

Read ALL of what I posted
ALL of it

"Utter lunacy" does apply to some TW postings mate, but especially to the cretins who selectively quote others, try the hat on.

Steve Guy
40 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:54:36
Another clean sheet for Robles.......
Jay Harris
41 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:54:54
I agree with others: Barkley and Lennon were superb tonight. Difficult to separate them for MotM.

I've never seen so many Row Z balls in a game but the defence looked much sounder than it has in a long time. I hope it continues on Saturday.

Once again, Gareth Barry bossed midfield.... Robles looked pretty solid. For once, things went to plan but we were getting edgy at 1-0.

Paul Kernot
42 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:55:06
We won. That's all I can say about that game. Newcastle were woeful. Yes we scored 3 - eventually, but there was plenty of the usual keystone cops defending, Mori being the worst offender tonight. A better team I think would probably have kicked our arse tonight. Happy with the three points of course.

On another note; the premier league pass coverage of the game was pathetic. They're usually good but it kept cutting out and, the most frustrating thing was that the commentary was three seconds behind the action. Amazing how frustrating that is.

Tom Roberts
43 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:55:07
Same team for Saturday apart from Niasse in for Rom if Rom is out injured. Greater intensity from all tonight. I thought Oviedo was impressive both in defence and going forward tonight. Lennon also very good. Same again for the rest of the season, please...
Rob Hooton
44 Posted 03/02/2016 at 21:59:16
Great win, should have been 5 or 6 really! Also thought Oviedo was great tonight.
Al Reddish
45 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:01:28
Agree with Oviedo Rob. It was refreshing to see a defender cutting crosses out. That is Baines weak link, he allows too many balls into the box.
Neil Lawson
46 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:02:09
Relieved at the improvement. What stood out for me was how much better the distribution was from the back and especially Joel Robles. So much more positive.

He may possibly drop a few clangers in the future but he has the look of a real goalkeeper and those in front of him appear to play with more confidence and were more progressive... He must remain.

Shame Kone is so consistently hopeless. Don’t think Taskers supply a barn door large enough for him to hit at any distance!!

Ivan Varghese
47 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:04:13
Yep, Funes Mori zoned out and caught ball watching. If Jags did not intercept, it would have been 1-1 and Everton would have crumbled. 3-0 looks impressive but Newcastle shot themselves in the foot.

Lennon and ’Beowulf’ Barkley were the Men of the Match.

Oliver Molloy
48 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:04:35
Decent performance against a team that is struggling. Funes Mori goes to sleep on occasions and we got away with it tonight.

I said on another thread a few days back we wouldn’t beat Newcastle; very happy to eat humble pie... a big 3 points tonight.

Paul Jeronovich
49 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:05:11
Great win, still nerve shattering til the end but left the ground on a high. Can’t go in to Martinez as I want to enjoy this rare feeling!!!!
Tom Brown
50 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:07:33
Much more controlled and measured. More of this please. No reverting to gung-ho. Entertaining is great but if it is not effective... it is nothing.

I voted Martinez out. If he can play more like this, then I might change my mind. Sure, there was plenty of room for improvement and Newcastle are relatively easy pickings but... good signs.

Colin Hughes
51 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:08:43
Need to build on that now on Saturday as we have yet to win back-to-back Premier League games this season.

We are also due one over that crowd Stoke as they have won the last three against us – not to mention they are a point ahead of us in the table... big game now.

Dennis Ng
52 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:12:13
I would say Lennon is the MotM tonight, Barkley was good but was given more limelight because of finishing up Lennon’s good work. Magpies played like a team in their league position, toothless and leaky. Good 3 points but we need a good streak, not just 1 win.

I’m switching off now since I can’t bear to hear RM’s flowery speech for a rather difficult effort to put a poor team to bed until the final minutes. Definitely got away there with Mitrovic’s horrific miss. Overall, the team played OK; hope they can improve on this.

Joe Foster
53 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:12:23
Great relief. 3 points. Played some decent stuff. Love the cheeky chip.
Si Cooper
54 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:14:45
"I'll honestly state that I hope this isn't true, but this kind of thinking does keep running around my head. I don't trust modern day football professionals........"

Tony Draper, there is no need to simply hope. I am putting it to you straight, your 'paranoid supposition' is utter lunacy.

The lad has many ways to engineer an exit so the idea that he would choose to do it by subjecting himself to ridicule / venom from the crowd and disappointment from his team-mates being the most convoluted and plain daft suggestion I have yet seen for his recent misadventures on the pitch.

Brian Abbott
55 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:15:10
Never seen a team lose possession as easily as the Geordies. They were woeful. We were up for it with a team of fighters, especially Lennon and Barry. All put a shift in which was great to see.

Barkley is a rough diamond but if he trims off the edges he will be an absolute treasure. His penalties were perfect, especially the second. Robles looked especially assured.

Let's crack on, FFS. COYB!!

Andrew McLean
56 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:15:44
Joe. Agreed that Aaron Lennon worked his socks off.

As for being a definite better proposition in right mid than Gerard – yes, if you want a speed merchant with the small ability to cross the ball, let alone cross it well regularly, quickly and under pressure of advancing opposition. Different tactics tonight, different pick and it worked for Lennon.

Paul Kelly
57 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:16:26
Relief. Three points. Happy.
Gavin Johnson
59 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:21:39
Agreed, Brian, a special mention should go out to Gareth Barry. He really grafted tonight. Always looking to close players down. We wanted it tonight and fully deserved the win.

Conor Skelly
60 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:26:45
Very important win. Equally pleasing was the team selection which I thought was Spot on even as far as dropping Baines. Bit of a conundrum with Stones. I'd never play him again he's a luxury we can't afford but he'll depreciate sitting on the bench.
Fran Mitchell
61 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:29:55
Barkley on 11 goals this season.

He's gonna be some player.

Brian Denton
62 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:31:05
Hmm, difficult to know what to make of that game. I thought Lennon was excellent tonight, and Ross although frustrating gave lots of proof that there is a great player in there somewhere. But Newcastle were truly, incredibly bad.

I seemed to notice a lot more 'Row Z' clearances, including one by Jagielka which certainly went far enough to hit Row Z, only it went straight upwards.

As I say, untypical game but a welcome three points. Some of our approach play was very slow, so it is understandable that the crowd doesn't get excited much of the time!

Gavin Johnson
63 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:35:48
Yes, John Stones is a £50M luxury. If he needs to be dropped to get more results like tonight.. then, so be it! But If we win more games in his absence are we going to receive the top fee estimation??
Colin Battison
64 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:36:04
I honestly thought the way things were going tonight they would pinch a draw. The first half was awful but Newcastle had 11 men behind the ball and were difficult to break down, obviously the wally with the brolley wanted to park the bus and try and hit us with the counter attack.

Umpteen chances later and we are still only 1-0 after 88 mins... I feared the worst. It would've been a travesty after the chances we created. The three best players for me were Barkley, Lennon and Oviedo. Lennon was tireless and his defensive duties were fantastic; Deulofeu does not have that in his locker.

Barkley to me was frustrating tonight; he showed some pure class at times but he has a habit in most games to not pick the final pass. He seems like he wants to do it alone, but he was still class tonight.

Newcastle were poor but Mitrovic should have equalised. We got away with it. I feel the team is much more at ease with Robles between the posts and I cannot see him losing his place from here on in.

Let's hope we can go all the way in the FA Cup and with Niasse to come in we can finish the season strongly. I really think we can challenge next season for one of the top four places. We really do have a great squad at present.

Steve Cotton
65 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:36:45
I thought their keeper looked pretty good too..
Philip Yensen
66 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:37:29
Great result. Still guilty of shit negative passing. Kone needs to learn and lay a first time ball off. McCarthy headless chicken. Lennon spot on.Jags and Funes Mori need a holiday together and talk. Oviedo was okay. Barkley still picking the wrong pass and indecisive and not chasing back. Cleverley? Barry a bit frantic tonight. Still too sloppy in attitude and too many pointless passes.

My main problem tonight is Coleman. He has lost the ability to cross a ball, fly down the flank at full pace, use both feet, think off attacking. He is an average full back offensively and defensively. Unload if this is not the managers fault, if it’s Martinez's instruction then as usual unload the manager.

Oh I forgot Robles, done his job, well. Newcastle are shit and will be relegated, but it's a win and that will keep the sit-on-the-fence sycophantic blue noses happy. Stoke next... let's see!

Paul Thompson
67 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:38:26
I expected more from Newcastle tonight, with some decent new signings, but they were very poor.

We were decent – had a better shape. Lennon and Deufoleu are very different players and each will suit different games. We are lucky to have both.

Barkley was again frustrating at times trying to dribble his way through five men, but he did boss the game and deserved is goals. His confidence is high and long may it continue.

Paul Hamlett
68 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:39:44
Great night. Barkley brill, clean sheet, well done, Blues!
Dennis Ng
69 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:39:49
Gavin, we’re not gonna get anywhere near £30m at this rate. No club would be that silly to give top dollar for underachievers. Also, I can’t fathom any player wanting to be abject just to leave. I hope he recovers soon and puts in better defending because he is definitely a great talent. Just needs better coaching and the occasional kick up the rear end.
Sean Lawton
70 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:42:43
Some of the players looked nervous and there was a few nail biting moments but overall it was a good team performance. Barkley tonight was the boss. He didn't stop and looked our most dangerous player. Aaron Lennon should start ahead of Deulofeu. He's more likely to find a pass and is like a Jack Russell, doesn’t stop and works his socks off.

The defence held it together. Joel looks confident and I think can become a good goalkeeper if kept in the squad. Oviedo has started showing his class aswell, cutting out crosses, throwing Townsend out wide and linking up play well (although every challenge against him I fear the worst).

Let’s crack on with this win now. Go into the stoke game full of confidence and throw Naisse on second half to shake things up.


Dave Ganley
71 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:44:13
Colin (#12), Si (#17), the atmosphere is awful because generally over the last 2 years the football has been shocking.

Evertonians aren’t stupid, they are prepared to support their team but when it has been consistently bad for so long we are entitled to be anxious and pretty pissed off with what has been on offer. If you both have regularly been to watch us in that period then you would understand why we are why we are. 35,000 plus cant all be wrong!!

As for tonight, finally got 3 points against a very very poor Geordie team so I'm pleased but let's not get carried away by beating a team of that calibre. Good hardworking performance and let's leave it at that. It goes to show how far we have fallen when some think that was an amazing game/performance.

Tony Hill
72 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:44:59
An important win. Lennon and Barkley played very well but McCarthy makes a massive difference to us. He is so easy to overlook but his absence has coincided with our worst spell. A crucial player.
Bob Heyward
73 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:45:43
Sincerely, El Clown's BS hits new levels in post-match comments reported by the BBC tonight:

'The second goal was decisive. Scoring the second goal made it a different game and allowed us to control things. We showed a mature way of playing'

The second goal went in on 88 minutes. Arrrgggggh!

David Booth
74 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:49:15

But god, they were poor weren't they.

Relegation writ large all over their performance tonight.

Ernie Baywood
75 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:51:18
3-0 was strangely deserved and flattering.

We dominated the game but, on the other hand, with 20 minutes to go and 1-0 ahead it felt like the same problems... We were pushed up high with huge gaps behind us. Only the fact that Newcastle are woeful saved us there. Mitrovic, just as in the away game, let us off the hook.

But of course we're all happier. And the second penalty was something to enjoy.

Dave Abrahams
76 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:51:33
Good result; Lennon MotM with Oviedo not far behind, great performances from Barry and Cleverley who worked their socks off all over the field.

Newcastle were very poor and we couldn’t put the game out of reach until the last five minutes. Passing again was pitiful, a shambles of a game to watch.

James Marshall
78 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:55:37
I don’t think Stones not playing made any difference – I could have played centre-half tonight and kept a clean sheet against Newcastle. They were shite, and we finally started to defend from the front, which meant we spent less time chasing back when we lost the ball.
John Malone
80 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:57:22
Stones, Deulofeu and Howard out and we win! No place for complacency in the Premier League!
John Daley
81 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:57:53

A £50m player isn't "a luxury". It's a rarity. Only a player with the potential to be very special indeed would attract such interest.

I really dislike the apparant eagerness of some to suddenly cast Stones as this overrated, accident waiting to happen, and cast aspersions about his character and 'arrogance'. He's a young player who, in the wake of constant spotlight, speculation and hype, has suffered a downturn in form for the first time in his fledgling career and instead of patience and an understanding that such peaks and troughs are par for the course with those still learning the game, we're hearing 'let's fuck him off'. Totally uncalled for and shortsighted in the extreme.

The fact that people are bigging up the views of a balloon like Paul Merson as being 'bang on' about the boy is bad enough. A guy whose own displays of 'defensive positioning' when a player consisted of slumping over slightly whilst cradling his pint to stop it being sloshed about by people squeezing past him in a nightclub bog and raising one arm above his head to rest against a wall while he barfed his guts up in a back street.

Gavin Johnson
82 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:58:09
Dennis, with the scrutiny Stones has been under lately I agree we’re unlikely to get £50m. If we chose to sell I think there would still be a host of clubs willing to pay £40m+ taking into account the last offer of £37m from Chelsea last summer.

If this American takeover happens and we show a bit more ambition than at present, we don’t have to sell and we can help John Stones fulfil his potential in an Everton team where it’s not a given he plays every week. Maybe sitting there watching us win tonight might make him re-evaluate when it’s appropriate to do a Cruyff turn and when to kick it into Row Z.

Jay Wood
83 Posted 03/02/2016 at 22:59:35
Phtt! That Ross Barkley, eh..?

Second youngest player in EFC's history to make 100 appearances for the Blues (behind Michael Ball, of all people...)

11 goals for the season ... 8 assists ...

But - hey! - what does he bring to the team?

I bet the Barkley Diamond song is being belted out in the ale houses of Liverpool tonight.

John Daley
84 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:01:21
As for tonight’s game, the three points were all that really mattered but a clean sheet was something we desperately needed to inject a little confidence that it is, in fact, something we’re still capable of.

Hopefully Robles will be given a run of games now, with Howard having to win his place back on merit, rather than seniority.

Mark Pringle
85 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:03:52
Regardless of the frustrating parts of his play that so many are keen to point out, it is an absolute joy to watch a product of our academy develop into a top class player. Does Ross Barkley have flaws? Of course he does, as do all players. Ultimately though he is one of us, an Evertonian through and through and we should treasure him.

Stones and Lukaku may go, although I hope not, and for big money but Ross, for me, is the one we need to keep. Selling one of our own turns us into a Man City or Chelsea, teams with no soul. We are better than that. And as for those posts saying we should have bid for Shelvey, words fail me!!

John Daley
86 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:04:26

That Michael Ball stat came as something of a surprise. for some reason, I didn't recall him making anywhere near as many appearances for us.

Ray Robinson
87 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:04:57
Apart from Villa, the Barcodes were the worst team that I have seen at Goodison this season. So read absolutely nothing into the absence of Howard and Stones contributing to a clean sheet.

Nothing has been proved either way after tonight. Great to win though. And we got two penalties in one game – you wait 23 league games for one and then 2 come along in 5 minutes!

Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:05:15
Stones not playing will not lessen his value, he’ll have his pick of a few top class clubs here and in Europe. He will go in the summer and good luck to the lad. I hope he has a great career wherever he goes.

The same with Lukaku, he will be off as well for a huge fee. It’s nothing new; it’s something we’ve known for a while. Nothing will keep them here next season, they will both go even if they have to ask for a transfer.

Brian Wilkinson
89 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:07:57
Each game Robles has played, our defence has looked more comfortable. Yes, Newcastle were shite, but whether it's down to having Robles in or not, I will say again, we don't look like headless chickens in defence.

Surely he has to stick with Robles and give the guy more game time.

Gavin Johnson
90 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:12:22

I agree with your point. It's just one of them situations where if we have a run of results in his absence with the scrutiny of his value in the media of late. Is that scrutiny going to increase?!

I don’t think John Stones is overrated but I do think Stones is a luxury player in this current Everton team. He style and age means he’s going to make mistakes, and with the current tactics deployed by the manager are those mistakes being accentuated unnecessarily?!

Eugene Ruane
91 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:15:24
On the plus side, Barkley, Lennon, Oviedo all played very well.

And three points, three goals and a clean sheet are VERY welcome.

Not so clever was that (once again!) we did that ’let’s all switch off’ thing for about ten minutes in the second half.

What IS that all about?

It’s like someone tripping over an extension wire that leads to a plug connected to a life-support machine that’s connected to all of them (this MUST be addressed).

Consequently, as bad as they were, at 1-0 up, I was just imagining the kick in the guts I felt was almost certainly on it’s way.

The relief when the first pen hit the back of the net was incredible – like me and everyone around me was finally able to breathe out and...relaaaaaaaax.

My feeling is that if we really concentrate on getting a few (more) clean sheets and defending ’á la Lennon’ (defending from the front – closing down and panicking opposing defenders) we could still pick up a few decent wins.

Anyway, this isn’t a moan, just a few observations – up the Toffees!

Mike Corcoran
92 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:17:30
John Daley, you have a novel in you fella, your prose is funny, consistent and instantly recognisable. You got jazz!
Svein-Roger Jensen
93 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:19:50
It was about time!

"We’ve waited a long time and I’m really happy. I really enjoyed that. It was a good win for us. We played well in the first half, kept them out in the second and got the clean sheet and the win. Hopefully there are many more to come!"

For me, Lennon was MotM!

Jay Wood
94 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:28:07
Can't understand the questioning of the performance or the result by some in this thread.

Was it a top drawer performance? No.

Were Newcastle sturdy opponents? No.

But for some to claim the scoreline was flattering and only boosted by the 2 late pens, they are being unjust.

We've kept a clean sheet. Won our first pens in the league this season, which were tucked away with aplomb by our Diamond Geezer.

The Barcodes were poor, of that there is no question. But their clear MOTM was the keeper Elliot. But for him we could have been 3-4 to the good before the pens went in.

Ross was Boss. Lennon brings an energy and defensive cover to the team that Del Boy and Mirallas cannot match. The midfield had a more solid and together look about it that has been absent for some weeks. The defence didn't fart-arse around. Oviedo is a very cute defender, how he leans on players and checks their runs.

And for those sticking it to John Stones, presuming him to be arrogant ta-boot, haven't, I suggest, ever seen his down to earth interviews or know of his charity work in the city.

Not only is he a very fine footballer, he is a very sound and well-grounded lad.

He hasn't been in the best of form of late, but anyone suggesting Funes Mori is a sounder defender than Stones maybe need a reality check after tonight's game. Don't get me wrong. I like Funes Mori a lot also, but he was possibly the poorest player on the park for us tonight.

John Stones is IMO in a different league to him. I hope he will be a mainstay of the team for many years, rather than cash him in this summer as many are advocating.

Of more concern is Romelu. I think he is clearly playing through the pain with some injury. That's why the Niase signing is timely. Because without Lukaku at the sharp end of the pitch, Kone is never ever going to take up the slack.

Steavey Buckley
95 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:32:20
Kone's approach play is excellent, but his finishing is something else.
Jamie Crowley
96 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:38:10
Al @ 23 -

Cleverly Barry and McCarthy were fantastic. Closed everything down, protected the back four and provided the platform for Barkley and Lennon to run riot.

Couldn't agree more. I see no coincidence in McCarthy on the pitch for 30 minutes and Everton taking 3 points.

I've said this before... we've missed him terribly!

McCarthy is a gem. I honestly do not understand how anyone can't see it. He closes everything down. He wins possession for us constantly. He single-handedly stops attacks.

I understand no one, not even James McCarthy's own mother, would claim he's Ronaldo. Admittedly nothing he does is pretty. Nothing he does is "beautiful".

But my word is he one hell of a player and so valuable to the team.

Colin Glassar
97 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:38:16
I've just watched the game on the telly and I was really pleased to see a battling performance by the lads. Special mention to Joel 'safe hands' Robles, Oviedo, McCarthy, Ross and Lennon.

I haven't read any of the above comments but I can imagine the usual negative Minnie's bemoaning our win against another poor side. Lads, a wins a win. Give me 14 more wins like that until the end of the season and I'll be made up.

Jay Wood
98 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:40:20
John Daley, the Michael Ball stat surprised me as well.

But then, he did get into Walter's teams and became a fixture at 18, at an age when Ross of course missed a couple of seasons with his triple leg break, so he clocked up a lot of appearances at a young age.

I seem to recall a story that Walter and the Medics (great band name!) regularly pumped pain killers into MB to get him through games when he should have been rested. A surgeon in his later years at Rangers later discovered he was one bad tackle away from a career ending injury because of this poor practice during his time at Everton.

Adam McCulloch
99 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:40:22
A good win, Lennon pressed well and looked hungry, great to see Barkley with some swagger at the end.

This talk of Goodison atmosphere 1) most of the time we are shite and shifting it sideways, been that way since last season, crowd recognise that 2) rightly so, I'm on tenterhooks when I watch us half the time 3) streams/TV coverage seem to dampen things. I respect that there are blues all over the shop but TV rarely gets it across 4) we won 3-0 tonight. If it was convincing, confident, whistles and bells the old lady would shake. Alas we played a poor side. A Geordie mate of mine text me and said "you've won 2 of the last 11 in the league, both against us" and he's right.

We needed three points tonight. I'll take em however they come.

Nigel Munford
100 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:40:30
Couldn't agree more Colin, just watched highlights and they didn't let Newcastle into the game at all, let's have some more of that.
Jamie Crowley
101 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:40:38
90 minutes...

Half-hour would have been a crime!

Dennis Ahlgrim
102 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:41:56
Even with our current position, the endless string of shocking results and how they've come about, and the fact that Newcastle were, and are not very good, it’s still difficult to be too pissy at the moment. We need the 3 points regardless of opposition or their form. Too many deflected goals, horrific referee calls, and playing-to-the-level-of-competion have left all sour. Who here wasn't just waiting for a deflection to go in anytime after the 70th minute? We need points. Done. I don't care if they're hard earned or a gift — we’ve given enough of those gifts. So with quality players out, Lukaku going off, and around the 80th minute just waiting for a repeat of previous debacles, I will remain pleased until Stoke. Truth is, we win that match and there's a chance we could move to 7th. How nutty is that?

On a different note, as a person who reads ToffeeWeb but has never ventured a comment until today — the bias and bitterness as far as keepers is so blatantly unfair as to be ridiculous. Howard has struggled and will likely be gone this summer to the MLS, much to the applause of most all here. It is time, and if he's asking me, he should go. But he has served the club well for a decade and doesn't deserve the tar-and-feathering he gets daily. Robles was in the net when we conceded 3 to City. No clamor for his banishment with goals that Howard has been subject to all season — deflections as well as bad calls, and as everyone knows, pourous defense. Today he records a clean sheet. Good that, but who here — if they’re being honest — wouldn’t say Howard would do the same today? I’m excited to see Robles get more games so we can all at least see what we have, but perhaps he should hope not, because it wouldn’t be long before this lot is calling for his head.

As far as Stones and Barkley — you that trash them regularly will be so damn miserable when they up and leave.

Take the points, use it to salve wounds, and root for more of the same come Saturday. CYOB.

Si Cooper
103 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:46:04
Dave Ganley, I don’t go to the game much these days (though I watch every bit of televised coverage that I can, so see at least 50 minutes highlights of each game) but I remember what it was like when I started to go in 1984 (even before things really got going for HK). Getting to the ground an hour / hour-and-a-half before the start at times to queue for the Gwladys Street and meeting up with some schoolmates on the terraces. Even the queuing was fun, with the chat and the banter with the mounted police.

It always felt then that we were the 12th player. There were boring games and poor performances but the crowd seemed then just to divert their nervous energy into chanting / calling for greater efforts.

I haven’t changed, even though I am as bitterly disappointed with our drop out of the ’Big 5’ and the reduction of our status to perennial mid-table mediocrity. When I do go to the game, I never shout anything at a player other than ’Man on’ or ’Concentrate’ in a variety of terms. Sure, I get annoyed and utter a fair few expletives but I have honestly never felt the need to single out one of our players and hurl abuse at him at the top of my voice.

I get more annoyed at the way the attempts to get a chant going normally peter out after about 10 seconds, and very shortly after some decent play everyone dutifully settles into their chair to quietly wait for the next bit of entertainment. I’d happily sing myself hoarse each week no matter what is served up on the pitch, because that to me is what a supporter is there to do; to be actively involved and to make your own entertainment if the players aren’t delivering. P>It’s a sporting occasion, and shouldn’t be confused with going to the pictures or to see a play where getting your money’s worth can be viewed as what is contracted for with the establishment.

Middle-aged as I am I would still be happy to see the return of the terraces if safety can be reasonably assured (after all I still head for the mosh pit at gigs even though I know my knees will be agony for days afterwards). Even sat down, I’ll happily chant, clap in time, and stomp my feet throughout the game as long as I am not the only one (I’m too self-conscious for that).

I don’t get the idea of going to the game and adding to the pressure on the players; what is wrong with ’if you can’t say anything constructive don’t say anything at all’. I am not trying to tell those who are fortunate / dedicated to go regularly how they SHOULD behave, just that I believe the negativity heaped on individuals is pointless or even counter-productive.

Christy Ring
104 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:48:31
A huge win, and we played as a team, with Lennon and Cleverly helping our full backs on both wings. I was delighted to see Oviedo starting, as I believe he's a tighter and better defender than Baines, and he never gave Sissoko an inch. Also having McCarthy back in the middle of the park is so important.
Mike Keating
105 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:56:12
Skunks stunk but we made them look poor. Oviedo and Lennon had great games tonight and their goalie kept them in it but I thought Coleman was bloody awful and Kone pretty bad too – thank fuck we bought the new guy.

Hate to admit it but after the second goal we left (no bloody taxis as usual) and only discovered the final result in the pub on Sky highlights.

Stoke on a stutter at the moment and we owe them one.

Colin Malone
106 Posted 03/02/2016 at 23:57:43
Sorry folks, with 15 minutes to go, I was shouting for Delboy to replace Barkley. It was only after the first penalty that we started to relax and see Ross running at them. Before that he was frustrating.

Nice to see our goal keeper verbally organising throughout the game.
John Francis
107 Posted 03/02/2016 at 00:09:33
Thank heaven for that Mitrovic fella. Once at their place and tonight at ours, he's had two nailed-on certainties and missed the target both times. 1hat a guy, lol!

Two chances to completely change the games and possibly the outcomes and twice he blew it, God bless him.

Si Cooper
108 Posted 04/02/2016 at 00:16:19
Any chance Coloccini will get a retrospective punishment for his sneaky assault on Rom, on the basis that he ref can’t have seen it because he didn’t even give a free kick?

Funny how a flailing elbow gets everyone up in arms but a deliberate knee to the small of the back passes by with hardly a comment.

David Pearl
109 Posted 03/02/2016 at 00:18:41
The home crowd were actually so quiet, with Geordies singing about it being 1-0 at the library in the first half!! Five minutes before the game kicked off I witnessed one of the most embarrassing things to happen at Goodison in a while.

Our new £13.5M signing, Niasse ran around the centre circle having been introduced to the home fans... and he drew polite applause. Maybe 3 or 4 people cheered. Maybe 2. In any case I felt sorry for the guy.

We didn’t play particularly well but we didn’t need to. I think Newcastle wanted to keep the score line credible and just tried to hold us just inside the half way line. For the most part it worked.

Second half we got closer and hit the bar a couple of times. However once again... as soon as Newcastle tried to press, the crowd got agitated when we should all of learned by now that at 85 minutes gone you stop screaming for a 2nd goal and control the game.

Luckily for us Lennon, who was excellent all night won us a penalty and Barkley thankfully converted (happy that Bainsey wasn’t on the pitch for him to snatch the ball off). The confidence that penalty gave him though was evident in his 2nd penalty and our 3rd.

PHEW. Deep exhale out... but really we had no competition... Newcastle had no fight, just appalling. On another plus note Robles looked really sound. I think he has a system of whistles going to his back four. One whistle (if you need me), Two whistles (come on then), and Three (hurry the feck up). He commanded his area when he needed to and looked big and strong. I hope RM sticks with him now. We shall see.

Dave Hall
110 Posted 04/02/2016 at 00:26:00
3 points – happy day.

Watching Mitrovic miss that sitter and blow another 2-3 half-chances with poor touches brings into focus the relative quality of the transfer dealings RM has done. Newcastle splash out herds of unproven players from Ligue 1 and the like, and all save 1 or 2 are SHITE. Wijnaldum is excellent, Sissoko good, but just about the rest of their team massively underachieves/were just not good enough from the start.

Les Martin
111 Posted 04/02/2016 at 00:29:39
I thought that Cleverley had his best game in an Everton shirt so far and the same could be said of Lennon. Oviedo played well, Barry and McCarthy closed down everything, but Ross... well he is just developing into a world class talent.

Some of his touches were sublime, there was a moment at the Gwladys St end in the first half where he duped and danced around two defenders as if they were not there, and made Shelvey look like a mug in midfield .

If Ross ever leaves Everton it will be for someone like Barca, he can be that good, as he has all the tools and they are getting sharper with every game he plays. I just hope he doesn't burn out as he will have an amazing Euro tournament, then the whole of Europe will know just how good he is.
Liam Reilly
112 Posted 04/02/2016 at 00:31:35
Think we were due some luck with their miss. Ross MotM by far for me followed by McCarthy (great to have him back).

Karma for their defender also as he tried to put Ross off for the first penalty only to be sent off for the second.

Victor Jones
113 Posted 03/02/2016 at 00:41:44
Cannot knock a 3-0 win. That’s a few more points away from the bottom teams. I’m giving up on any top 6 aspirations for this season, but a decent FA cup run is most definately on . Get to a certain safe amount of points in the League, and then play with no fear in the cup. That’s what this season is now all about. It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

I know that this is only one game, only one win, but done without Howard(trumpet fanfare plays in the back ground). Well played Joel Robles, funny how our clean sheets revolve around JR. Same thing happened around the same time last season. Until Martinez reinstalled TH. Let’s hope that someone now has the good sense to give Robles a proper run of games. Let’s see if we have a proper keeper on our hands. And again, no Stones. And again a more solid defensive performance. And yes , I know what Stones can do, and what he brings to the team. But 40 to 50 million IMO would bring more. Invested wisely,

Well played everybody. Congrats to Martinez for getting things right tonight. And good to see a few players having a shot from distance. And good to see players running at defenders. Lennon looked sharp. (Again, he was sharp, this time last season). And special mention to Barkley. What was that penalty about. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Has Barkley woken up to the fact that his EURO place could be under threat? Hence his better performances... Can only be good for Everton, the fact that he is now bossing games(albeit only the last 3 or 4). Let’s hope that he keeps this run going.I hope that Lukaku is not to badly injured. But the new man, going by his presence in the ground, looks to be getting into Everton , judging by his reaction to the goals, and the win. Nothing dour about that guy. First impressions from me, is that I like him. Heres hoping that he can step in and do a job for Everton.

As mentioned by many, a win is a win, is a win. Three points more. A clean sheet. A few goals. A cheeky penalty. I would have taken a lucky 1-0 win. But that win tonight was a good bit more than that. So for tonight , this old idiot of a supporter is happy. Its all about winning football matches. That is entertaining enough for me. Please pass that fact on to Martinez. It is all about winning football matches. Get your nose in front. Then close the game out. Simple. Now bring on Stoke. COYBs

Gerry Quinn
114 Posted 04/02/2016 at 00:57:24

I picked up on that sneaky knee in the back on the Live Forum – I too was amazed that no-one reacted.

He should be warned, nay punished, when committing that kind of disgusting assault – it was deliberate

Gordon Crawford
115 Posted 04/02/2016 at 01:07:58
Very disjointed performance tonight. Defenders still not defending first. Instead trying to be fancy and walk the ball out.

But at least we got three points.

Ernie Baywood
116 Posted 04/02/2016 at 01:42:07
Jay Wood (#69) "But for some to claim the scoreline was flattering and only boosted by the 2 late pens, they are being unjust."

I’ll agree that, taking this game in isolation, we looked very comfortable. We were three goals better. Just one would have been a travesty.

But in the context of our season, how many times have we been that dominant and then been caught by a sucker punch or two?

In the context of our season, the first 85 minutes weren’t dissimilar to a lot of our games.

So I’m pleased we got what we deserved tonight, pleased with 3 points, happy with the clean sheet, but remain concerned with why we usually don’t get these things despite largely out playing our opponents. We do know the reasons and those problems were still there tonight.

Ernie Baywood
117 Posted 04/02/2016 at 01:53:06
Usually I'd expect to wait for Mark O'Brien's report for a chuckle but the Telegraph has done a pretty good job of laughing at Newcastle.


Derek Thomas
118 Posted 04/02/2016 at 02:07:41
Potential banana skin avoided, 3 pts. Their keeper was in with a good shout of their MotM... I will take these wins all day long. But the worry remains. We mostly only beat piss poor teams below us... and not very often.

Last night has shown me that only one (maybe 2 if Niasse turns out to be OK) of the many of the questions that beset us most of the weeks and months previously, has been addressed. e.g. The keeper. I feel that his conveniently timely, maybe diplomatic Injury, will prove more serious as the weeks go on.

2013-14 W21; 2014-15 W12 - 2015-16 W 7. 40/100

Taken as a whole 40% is not too bad. It might be better though if the overall trend was going the other way.

Thin Ice Roberto, very thin ice.

Jack Mason
119 Posted 04/02/2016 at 02:13:43
A deserved win against a team below us in the table. So hardly unexpected. You can only beat the team in front of you after all. Besides the result, personally I found encouraging signs in the defensive solidity of the back four. Even though needless defensive errors still occurred too often for my liking, it was, by and large competent if not exactly assured.

Barkley does appear to hold onto the ball too long, but when there is little movement ahead or around him that is to be expected. He then seems to put his head down to concentrate on keeping the ball, just as a player makes a run. That composure and awareness will come in time however. In my opinion he will be world class. Movement at times can be described as static and that would be generous. Pressing again, seemed minimal. I don’t mean to damn with faint praise, but things could be so much better. In summary, I would say a good result and for the supporters, a large sigh of relief. Well done Roberto and the team. I expect the improvement to continue.

One more thing, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that, not only journalists but also employees and dare I say it, players visit this site. Because in my estimation, many of the points raised by fellow contributors, have been there to see, both in tonights game and in reports in the media. ToffeeWeb get’s it’s fair share of stick, but when it comes to reflecting the zeitgeist of the supporters, more often than not, it’s first. And that’s why, it is always the first site I visit every day, Michael and Lyndon do an excellent job but the reason I come here, besides the craic is the informed, hilarious, astute, reasoned, passionate contributions from the community. Sláinte.

James Carroll
120 Posted 04/02/2016 at 03:03:18
We've got a diamond called Ross Barkley
A Toffee who comes from Wavertree
He plays alongside James McCarthy
Together at Everton FC
When you’re in the Blue
We’ll sing this song for you
Ross Barkley is a Toffee through and through
Mark Andersson
121 Posted 04/02/2016 at 03:41:31
Jack Mason says it all for me. Ditto Jack
Anto Byrne
122 Posted 04/02/2016 at 04:27:29
Blast home penalties – never be cute; it smacks of smartarse and Elliot their keeper didn’t deserve that, he made some brilliant stops and his keeping was pretty sound.

Robles looked at home and was alert. I think he has earned the right to be Number 1. I don’t see a future for Tim Howard. I was happy not to see Osman or Pienaar although Deulofeu could have been unleashed for the last 15 mins... but who to take off?

I've set the team 21 points from the next 24 but it won't happen unless we play the form players and forget about favourites. If Stones and Lukaku go in the summer, well, so be it. I read Man Utd are thinking around £65mil and another £35mil for Stones. If Martinez is still around, I hope he has identified who he wants. Barkley must be worth £70mil if it's correct Man City want him but I would be hanging out for a lot more from them.

On to Stoke who are on a bit of a downer. I hope we haven’t used up our penalty quota?

Jim Hardin
123 Posted 04/02/2016 at 04:31:36
Good three points but Newcastle were horrible. Maybe too many new parts at once. Townsend kept running down the side but looked isolated and couldn't get a cross off to the danger area. Our team held the lead but except for Mitrovich missing the sitter, they didn't much pressure us.

Robles kept a clean sheet but really had nothing to do. Still, no major screw-ups, although some minor ones, so good for him. still nothing to show a number one keeper. Newcastle was so poor and our team defense was actually better so I am not sure he actually had a save to make. I would like more games tlike that no matter who is in goal please.

Excellent defense by the entire team in front of him. Hope DelBoy took note. Not much to tell from the performance except that the back four looked good without Stones. Not sure where the Mori was shaky comments come from. I think he picked Jags up a couple of times.

Everton just won a must-win game and after this weekend, who knows, one point above Liverpool if all goes well. Stoke, with the giraffe up front, and no Shawcross or Cameron, have looked average and Butland has leaked goals like a sieve so now is the time to hit Stoke when they are not in form.

Darryl Ritchie
124 Posted 04/02/2016 at 06:01:38
Lennon's goal was nice. We finally got a penalty call, hell, we had two. We were the only club in league play, with a goose egg in that department.

We coulda, shoulda scored a few more. The Barcodes were never really in it. They are mess! I feel for they're fans.

A good, professional three points.

Brian Porter
125 Posted 04/02/2016 at 06:46:40
A good all round team performance. Some have sais Robles didn’t have much to do but was anyone else watching his off-the-ball performance? Unlike Howard, he was busy shouting, directing and encouraging his defenders, in short, keeping his defence organised. Maybe that’s why the defence looks and feels more solid and calmer with him in goal.

Funes Mori had a couple of iffy moments, but has been one of our better defenders recently so can be forgiven an off-night. And who noticed his pass through the defence that led to the first goal?

Lennon was great and needs more starts. With Del Boy’s suspect fitness maybe he should be used as an impact sub in the last 30 minutes for a while and let Lennon show us more of what he can do. In the last two games he’s been mightily impressive. Ross was great, yes, a few misplaced passes and still a question or two about his final ball but then we’re not out there in the heat of the moment with a spilt second to think.

All-in-all, one of his best games for us. I just hope Rom is fit for Stoke, if not, let Niasse start because the only downside to tonight was that Kone again showed his total unsuitability for PL football, slow, ponderous and fluffing a chance he coup and should have at least hit the target from.

Hopefully with Niasse on board, we might have seen the last of Kone in the first team. Transfer list him and I’m sure some lower league club will buy him for a couple of mil in the summer. Something to build on tonight, well done lads, now more of the same next time out please!

Ralph Basnett
126 Posted 04/02/2016 at 07:19:49
Leaving Baines out was a good move, now have a defender who defends (and can take a corner), Cleverley also has a corner in him.

Still not won a midfield battle! Has to be 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2.

Robles with another clean sheet – Howard will play against Stoke.

No subs used except for the injury, but they did not need to be made; well done, RM.

A group of middle aged men with young pretty ladies in the Academy Box at the corner of Main Stand and Park End who did not seem interested in or understand the game and all drinking out of paper cups (being PC for watching fans) – new American owners?

And wait for it – a ref that had a good game (and not just because of the penalties).

All-in-all, a good evening at Goodison, a long time since we have been able to say that.

Abhishek Saha
127 Posted 04/02/2016 at 07:40:41
Galloway is a genuine a left side winger, many footballing websites and apps actually list him as a mid-fielder in the Everton squad.

I remember in Martinez's first season when Oviedo scored in our away win against Manure; in the next game (when Baines returned) Martinez deployed Oviedo as the left winger.

I would be happy to see Oviedo or Galloway play on the left, they understand their defensive responsibilities as well.


Colin Glassar
128 Posted 04/02/2016 at 07:58:52
Last night we finally saw Ross Barkley grow up and realise that he can be our leader on the pitch, that he can be our talisman, that he really is a special player.

Maybe the emergence of (new media darling) Dele Alli as a threat to his starting place in the England team has awoken the dragon in him.

Paul Andrews
129 Posted 04/02/2016 at 08:24:49
The diamond is starting to sparkle. He will develop into a world class player.
Eric Myles
130 Posted 04/02/2016 at 08:37:11
Colin #101, one of the commentators on last nights game echoed my own thoughts on Barkley, that he doesn't have to try the fancy stuff every time and try to take on all the opposition players himself.

Until he realizes that then he hasn't yet grown up enough.

Ray Robinson
131 Posted 04/02/2016 at 09:21:18
Three slightly negative observations on last night's performance, which was patchy to say the least, but far too good nonetheless for an awful Newcastle side.

1. Barkley really is quite infuriating. Yes, he played well but there were a number of times when he was up one on one against Cudicini (in my opinion the worst defender in the Premier League) and elected to pass instead of driving on, some occasions when he should have passed but didn't and several instances where he could have got a shot off but delayed. His decision making is where he needs to improve drastically.

2. Funes Mori is a very good defender but seems to have difficulty with clearing with his feet any ball that is off the ground. He should be given volley practice. Quite extraordinary how he manages to miss-kick so many clearances.

3. Kone is very good when involved in build-up play but hopeless at finishing. He should have had a hat trick!

But a win is a win - so not grumbling too much.

Ray Robinson
132 Posted 04/02/2016 at 09:26:38
Jim (#97),"Butland has leaked goals like a sieve"!!

Really? I’d quite like that particular sieve at Everton!

Liam Reilly
133 Posted 04/02/2016 at 09:38:33
Incredible comments on Barkley, I hope he doesn't read this. He played a stormer and still get shit over decision making.

The game is played at 100 miles an hour and he receives some tough treatment. It will take time to hone his skills and at 22 to be able to play that role shows a real talent; so just enjoy the class of the boy and get off his back.

Thomas Sharp
134 Posted 04/02/2016 at 09:40:00
A much much better performance. Martinez chose a very hard working unit with Cleverley and Lennon on the flanks and it paid off!

Oviedo had a good little game; I would like to see him improve his upper body strength though, he gets knocked off the ball far too easily.

Barry and McCarthy were impregnable last night. Mr Martinez is going to have a serious headache when Besic is fit because he really does have something special about him.

Another clean sheet for Robles; he must now stay in the team (doubtful though).

Overall, a good performance. Let's take it too Stoke and get another massive 3 points.

Geoff Evans
135 Posted 04/02/2016 at 09:46:49
A good performance built on a foundation of hard work by a midfield who closed down and protected the defence well.

Hopefully same team again, where possible, for Stoke.

Ste Byn
136 Posted 04/02/2016 at 09:47:52
We were that good because they were so poor!

Yes, I was there; yes, I watched all the game... they offered nothing.

The score didn’t flatter to deceive, because they didn’t even earn their wages last night, Newcastle’s version of ToffeeWeb will be in melt down.

Lots of changed opinions on here... let’s see what happens in the coming weeks. In my heart, I hope we move onwards and upwards.... mind says something different though.

Sam Hoare
137 Posted 04/02/2016 at 09:57:56
A much improved performance against an admittedly woeful Newcastle team.

It seems like the work ethic was better and that had much to do with Aaron Lennon and Cleverley, who whilst both lacking the skill of say Deulofeu and Mirallas make up for it with endless running and commitment to the cause. Better teams may require a bit more artistry to break down and Del Boy was possibly our best player against City last week but I think Lennon and Cleverley showed the way. From what I hear Niasse is a work horse too which will stand him in good stead.

Barkley also had his best game in a while and Oviedo looked very useful in both attack and defence with little coming down his side.

Robles seemed to instill a calm into the defence that has been lacking and I think we can be sure that Jagielka and Funes Mori is our best defensive CB pairing and should probably be given a run as much as Stones is my favourite player.

Shame about Lukaku as Kone is decent player but much poorer alternative. I doubt Niasse will start vs Newcastle so hopefully Traffic can find his shooting boots this week as should really have had a hat-trick last night.

Chris Gould
138 Posted 04/02/2016 at 09:57:59
Agree completely, Geoff. It’s infuriating to read such comments. He has the courage to collect the ball in dangerous areas and try and make things happen. If it doesn’t come off, he doesn’t go missing, he tries again. It’s only got to work a couple of times in the match and he’ll have a goal or assist.

People on here want him to get it right every time. That’s not possible. You can’t always know what the right decision is until you drive forward and see how things open up in front of you. You have a split second to make the decision. And even if you make the right decision it may not always work out.

How many goals and assists has he got this season? And people still aren’t happy. He is growing into a superstar right in front of you! Take your negative blinkers off and enjoy him.

Laurie Hartley
139 Posted 04/02/2016 at 10:08:19
For the second game in a row, I have been impressed with Robles's distribution.
Ray Roche
140 Posted 04/02/2016 at 10:18:21
Colin (#101),

It’ll be interesting to see how Delli Belly is performing when he’s played 100 first team games. Getting your first cap after 3 Premier League starts can bring expectations that are hard to fulfill.

People should also remember that, although Barkley is just 22, he missed at least a year of development following that horrific injury. Laaaandan press are a bit more sympathetic with Ramsey after his broken leg, a gift from Stoke, recognising his lengthy spell out of the game, pity they can’t view Barkley in the same way.

Brian Harrison
141 Posted 04/02/2016 at 10:20:31
I think that was Barkleys best game this season, and maybe because he was played in his best position up alongside the striker. With his ability you want him getting the ball deep in the opponents half were he can really hurt them. Not inter passing with the back 4, I hope RM lets him play there all the time and not try to make him into a central midfield player.

I thought that there were a lot of good performances last night, again Barry ran the show both in breaking up their attacks and heavily involved in starting a lot of ours. The back 4 looked steady and McCarthy and Cleverley had good games in midfield, very industrious the pair of them.

Lennon played well and did a lot of defensive covering, as well as scoring and getting the opener, so well done to him.

How good this performance was, has to in some way be judged by how poor Newcastle were, but as the saying goes you can only beat whats put in front of you. Just wish we could have killed the game off a lot earlier.

Dave Ganley
142 Posted 04/02/2016 at 10:29:07
Si #78 to be honest I agree with you about the negative comments about a player at the game, nobody really wants to hear that while there and to be fair it doesnt happen often and when it does its a very small minority who do it.

So far as the crowd being quiet, its all to do with the slow ponderous build up. Even the so called dour Moyes years had a much better atmosphere than we are seeing now and that is purely down to the football we witness. The crowd have been patient and when Martinez first came the atmosphere was fine. But slowly over the last couple of years it had totally died due to the fact that the crowd know its not going to be an exciting experience and also the crowd temper their enthusiasm due to the probability that we are always likely to concede stupid goals.

I also came from an era where the terraces created an atmosphere regardless. Unfortunately not having the terraces does, to an extent, put the onus onto the players to perform to make the crowd more boisterous. Long gone are the days whereby the crowd would sing and sway all game regardless of whether the game was good, bad or indifferent.

Which brings us back to present day. Whether you agree or not as to who should gee up who, the fact remains that in general the fare served up by the players for the last 2 years has been, by and large, very poor and you cant blame the crowd for getting frustrated and anxious. You do get to the stage where the players/manager have to take responsibility for creating the negative/quiet atmosphere we are seeing due to their negative awful style of play.

Evertonians may not have been the most vociferous bunch of fans in the past for also-ran games but when it mattered the team could always count on us. These days we struggle to even make a noise in the so called bigger fixtures let alone any others. We show our support year after year by turning up regardless of whatever rubbish we are being served up, but this is also a two way street, if we want to create an atmosphere then the players have to do their bit too.

Kevin Tully
143 Posted 04/02/2016 at 11:23:17
I thought Newcastle started off by wanting to basically mark us so tight, we had no room to get going. It’s to be expected if you are a team fighting for your survival, but it didn’t make for pretty football.

Watching Ross moving the ball around our midfield like an overgrown ballet dancer is a thing of beauty! His balance & touch are not something you can coach – the boy is a natural born footballer, same as Rooney. He’s also a confidence player, what about that second penalty? Superb.

A clean sheet was most welcome, let’s hope Joel now gets a run, as I would bet Howard has already made plans to go back to the US.

Amit Vithlani
144 Posted 04/02/2016 at 11:31:05
Pleasing win, and should inject confidence back into the team.

Stoke are not exactly flying although they have the indian sign over us right now – 3 consecutive wins.

I like Robles. He was vocal, gave a pep talk to Lukaku before the start of the game and anticipated danger early when the Bar Codes tried a couple of long balls over our defence.

Lennon has an infectious work rate, and Tom Cleverly is a little under-rated. He has moments of good quality and puts a shift in.

Barkley is absolute class and in good form, long may it continue. Why should he not try and hold the ball up? It is he who creates space for the others. He had a man marker which meant we could work the flanks as they had one less covering midfielder. For the first goal, we over loaded on the left thanks to Oviedo and Cleverly finding space, as Barks had drawn his marker.

Martinez deserves some credit for last night’s performance, after all the brickbats that have been thrown at him (me included). However, the nagging feeling remains that he had changed Howard for Robles earlier in the season, we might have been a lot more confident in our defending and may have produced better results.

Mike Corcoran
145 Posted 04/02/2016 at 12:12:17
Please stop calling him Traffic, he’s Ice Cream (cos he melts in front of goal) or Iscream (cos I do at him) in our house.
Geoff Evans
146 Posted 04/02/2016 at 12:44:39
I’m a big critic of RM but credit to his team selection last night.

I am a big believer that any sport relies on 90% hard work and 10% talent. Players like Barry, Lennon and CleverlEy are needed to do the ugly work so that the likes of Barkley, Deulofeu and Miracles can have a base to work from.

Think back to the Holy Trinity and the part John Hurst played in that.

Brent Stephens
147 Posted 04/02/2016 at 12:48:30
Well played Lennon, Ross, Bryan (did I hear Seamus shout "fecking hell, Bryan" at one point?).

And defence looked confident without Tim Scissorhands Howard behind them.

Fran Mitchell
148 Posted 04/02/2016 at 13:02:42
Good result, but lota of revisionism going on.

Newcastles attack was woeful, the entire team in fact. However, Mori looked shaky on a few occasions, as did Jags. Also, in the brief spell of Newcastle pressure, a few times our defenders ’got rid’ and each time it fell straight to the opposition, and we remained on the back foot. I distinctly remember it happening on 2 occasions within 30 seconds, first by Funes Mori and second by Coleman. Luckily, Newcastle were crap so it amounted to nought. Yet it goes to show the importance of having a defender who is comfortable on the ball, who won’t panic under pressure and will aim to defend through keeping possession. A rare thing.

Roubles looked OK, but again, little to judge on.

Barry was a bit wobbly, but improved in the final 30 mins. McCarthy is difficult to judge. What does he do? I like him, but he has no discernible talents. But, Maybe a midfield version of Muller. Not good any anything in particular, but effective.

Lennon has something to offer.

Coleman is way off the pace.

Kone is woeful, but has decent movement.

Barkley is brilliant, and getting better. Give him a new contract, captains arm band and whatever else we need to keep him.

Jason Thomas
149 Posted 04/02/2016 at 13:12:57
It’s a big difference when you have midfielders closing down and not standing off waiting for the opposition to make their move.

Cleverley, Barry & especially McCarthy were superb at it last night. That allowed Ross to concentrate on what he does best. Kone again not up to scratch in all areas of his game. Let’s hope Niasse is the answer.

Now... Please, please, please, let’s have two wins in a row!

Brent Stephens
150 Posted 04/02/2016 at 13:18:07
Yes, Jason, McCarthy closes down so much space (even pinning their man into the square yard or so by their corner flag). Some of us can see what he does and like it. A foil to Barry's more creative use of the ball. And Cleverley is settling in nicely.
Pete Edwards
151 Posted 04/02/2016 at 13:18:52
We WON! Doesn’t matter who it was against I repeat we WON!

Maybe we made Newcastle look worse than they are – although they seem to be in a bad place currently – by actually playing pretty well ourselves and doing the basic closing down job for the entire 90 mins.

Also, people saying we got away with one with Mitrovic miss... yes we did, but we also hit the bar/post 3 times and made their keeper make a couple of decent stops, so we could have already been 4 up at least by then.

Shane Corcoran
152 Posted 04/02/2016 at 13:26:33
Brent, it's rare that I disagree with you, and I suppose I'm not actually doing that here but the problem with McCarthy isn't what he does, it's what he doesn't do.

I think most can see to different extents what he brings when we're out of possession. It's the other side of his game which is lacking and frankly I don't think he's ever going to develop at this stage.

Brent Stephens
153 Posted 04/02/2016 at 13:33:41
Shane, I'd agree with that as well, if I understand what you're saying i.e. his tendency to turn back to our defence when in possession and play it backwards. I wish he'd just look to play the ball forward more - it doesn't have to be a defence-splitting pass but it maintains momentum.
Derek Cowell
154 Posted 04/02/2016 at 13:51:08
A very poor game I thought, against woeful opposition! After being so far on top but having only scored 1 goal we then retreated into our half for about 15 minutes and invited them on late in the game, as we’ve been doing most games. It was once again a nervous time for us long suffering fans after about 70 minutes.

Thankfully Mitrovic missed that sitter or we could have been on here highlighting the usual tale of woes. Small margins, I think! Don’t get me wrong we should have been out of sight by then and the 2 pens in no way gave us a flattering scoreline but some of the same lack of concentration was evident in that late period.

After 70 mins I was shouting for Deulofeu to replace the excellent Lennon just so that Newcastle would have to worry more about us counterattacking them and forcing them to retreat a bit . If we’d have drawn 1-1 there would have been many on here criticising the manager for not making that change. Again, small margins.

I have to eat humble pie myself today, I’m happy to say, as I proclaimed that we were never going to get a clean sheet due to our recent form. I thought it would be about 3-3. However I do think that the woeful opposition had more to do with that than our play on the night. I’m more relieved than ecstatic after that game but delighted to get the 3 points and a much needed, and hopefully confidence boosting, win.

I haven’t heard the manager’s comments but I hope he hasn’t included any ’incredibles’ or ’phenominals’ in his description of the game. It was simply a workmanlike performance by a team who got done what was required. Negative? I prefer realistic!

Mike Berry
155 Posted 04/02/2016 at 13:52:09
MOM all day long Lennon. Gave Coleman support when defending and was devastating in their penalty area.
Shane Corcoran
156 Posted 04/02/2016 at 13:56:01
I knew we were in agreement Brent.
Steve Brown
157 Posted 04/02/2016 at 14:20:55
Stones may be in a different league as a player to Funes Mori as one poster says, but he is not in a different league as a defender.

Perhaps the "minor knocks" that kept Howard and Stones out were a convenient excuse for RM to drop two off-form players without admitting he screwed up for weeks by keeping them in the side.

We look like an organised defence (mainly) last night, but I do still worry about Coleman’s positional awareness. He gets caught out a lot.

Don Alexander
158 Posted 04/02/2016 at 14:35:25
Ray (#103) and Jack (#94) make good points about Ross.

The lad has exceptional skills and physique. His movement with the ball at his feet is really exciting... BUT he has a tendency to lose the moment just at the point where everyone else, including desperate defenders like Coloccini last night, expect a goal or a goal creating pass. That’s why he’s so frustrating.

But how lucky are we to be able to witness his development? I hope his development continues. He’s about the same size and shape as Zidane. He could go on to the heights that guy went to.

No pressure there then, Ross, but be assured that as you work hard on your game the fans will love you!

Jay Harris
159 Posted 04/02/2016 at 15:02:53
Even though we invited pressure in the second half I thought the defence looked a bit more secure and determined last night.

That may be due to the fact Newcastle were so poor but I only felt anxiety once when Mori lost his man completely and Mitrovic had the miss of the season.

I saw more Row Z balls than the whole of the season put together although some of the punts upfield left a bit to be desired.

Overall a very workmanlike performance with some skilfull play thrown in and top notch displays by Barkley and Lennon.

Jim Scales
160 Posted 04/02/2016 at 15:15:19
As Laurie stated at #111, Robles’s distribution in the last two games has been impressive. For me, if we want to play out from the back, a keeper who can play a bit of footie is imperative.

Great win that showed that little bit of tenacity that's been missing. Onwards and more importantly upwards we go!

Kim Vivian
161 Posted 04/02/2016 at 15:24:11
Bit of a paradox with Stones. At £40M you think he’s got to be moved on. But if it’s Guardiola who would pay that – he's got to be worth keeping.
Martin Mason
162 Posted 04/02/2016 at 18:15:54
Many times a manager finds his best team by accident because of enforced changes due to injuries. Last night's team is possibly Everton's best and they were good. Most managers learn frommit though, will RM? Why do I doubt it? If Robles is dropped for Martinez RM should be fired immediately for incompetence.

I'm worried again about last night as the opposition was poor and we are good against this type of team. Stoke will be much more meaningful. Barry has been superb this year but I feel that against a certain level of team he becomes a weakness.

Colin Glassar
163 Posted 04/02/2016 at 18:23:17
Kim, I’ve been saying this for ages. Yes, John Stones is in a slump; yes, he’s lost a bit of focus and confidence but ALL the top managers recognise his immense talent and potential. £40M would be a steal for any top club. I’d start the bidding at £50M and let’s see where it ends up. It will be a world record.

Saying all that I’d love him to stay but we aren’t where we would like to be to keep a player like John Stones, sadly.

Brin Williams
164 Posted 04/02/2016 at 19:26:53
McCarthy. When he came to us he was being touted as someone who had goals in his game. That hasn’t happened and although he is an excellent harrier and spoiler he ain’t what I expected.

I like the lad but prefer Besic, he will keep his place and in time make a half decent pairing with Besic when Barry is moved to the bench – but that may take time.

Darren Hind
165 Posted 04/02/2016 at 19:38:13
I think all arguments about who keeps goal were settled last night. Robles was barking instructions all night and our back four were clearly happier than they are when Spoonfeet's behind them.

No harm to Howard, but he has been championship standard for some time now. He needs to get himself back to the states pronto otherwise he'll struggle to get a game even there.

Gary Mortimer
166 Posted 04/02/2016 at 20:08:15
Stones has been bigged up by RM – which is fair enough as he looks like a real player, albeit with a few mistakes and lapses of concentration in him. The main issue, in my opinion, is that RM is allowing him to express himself and in doing so, Jon is not really learning from the mistakes and will probably continue to make them.

He’s got to learn when to play and when to launch it!

As for last night... a job done with a lot less stress. Joel has to play Saturday.

I hope Coleman get’s his crossing boots on though and his charge down of Jag’s clearance was sublime!

Frank Crewe
167 Posted 04/02/2016 at 20:11:17
Everton fans want what every football fan wants. Players who want to make a go of it at the clubs they are playing for. What we don't want are players who are coasting while dreaming of Barca, Madrid, Citeh, etc etc.

We have good players who want to make a go of it at Everton. Lennon, Besic, Barkley, Funes Mori, Galloway, Robles, Coleman, Cleverley, Mirallas. These are the players RM should be picking.

Howard is clapped out and the likes of Stones, Lukaku, Deulofeu do not see their futures at Everton. Lukaku is going to do a Benteke/Bony for some rich club. He'll sign and hardly score. But that is not our concern. Just get as much as we can for him. Stones isn't the love child of Moore and Beckenbauer. Remember he'd be gone already if it had been up to him and he will be gone in the summer. Again just get as much as we can for him. I couldn't stand another season of him telling us to calm down just before he makes some suicidal back pass. Deulofeu is still yearning for Barca. but it's not going to happen because he not tough enough, fit enough, or consistent enough.

If RM wants to win games, move up the league, regain the support of the fans and keep his job he needs to start picking real teams not dream teams.

He picked a real team last night and we won 3-0. Those players did what needed to be done and deserve to be picked again. Stones and Howard can stew on the bench and wait to get picked because they deserve to be and not because they think they should be.

Kim Vivian
168 Posted 04/02/2016 at 20:13:54
Colin - let’s see at the end of the season.
I’ve got a feeling we might finish this season really strong. Last night I was as nervy as anyone but it could have been 3 or 4 nil without the penalties if it had not been for their man in goal.

I agree he would be a sad loss and as it stands he would probably be one of a major hemorrhaging of players, but if we send out the right signals between now and May we may be the club to remain at.

I have said before and will say again – I simply cannot believe that our weaknesses are not being addressed. We are NOT Wigan and we are NOT Wigan fans who, with the greatest respect, have not enjoyed and learned from our top flight experience that as a club and supporters alike have benefited from.

We are Everton, and make no bones our voices are being heard, and if RM by whatever means necessary can start getting the same out of the defence as he is getting out of the men in front we could have real prospects to look forward to.

Gary Mortimer
169 Posted 04/02/2016 at 20:34:35
Frank – I think you’re being a bit harsh on Deulofeu. He may be yearning for Barca, but I think his problem is lack of fitness/stamina – which is also noticeable for some of the other players (Lukaku, Cleverley) – maybe due to injuries or may be due to lack of application in training.

RM has to realise what his best team is and pick on form and not experience/seniority.

Max Murphy
170 Posted 04/02/2016 at 20:43:48
Kim. I admire your optimism, and many Evertonians raise their hopes after a rare victory, only to see them dashed after the following game. We have played 24 Premier League games and won 7. Opposition: 2 x Newcastle, Sunderland, Southampton, Chelsea and West Brom, Villa. 4 of those wins were against 3 teams currently in the relegation zone. Only 1 team in the 7 games is above us in the league.

In all walks of life, there are people who are bad at their jobs. Martinez is one of those people. He has a track record of a poor percentage of wins, and a very bad defence. So it is no surprise we are where we are. If we are to progress as a club, Martinez must be sacked immediately.

Raymond Fox
171 Posted 04/02/2016 at 21:47:05
Max, very small margins make a very big difference!

We are 2pts short of being 7th on our own, we got lucky with the City penalty that wasn't given, but have been on the wrong end of a number of decisions that have cost us points, the Chelsea game for instance!

You failed to mention that we have only lost 6 games, we have the most draws in the Prem. with 11, if's a big word granted, but!

Ian Riley
172 Posted 04/02/2016 at 22:05:13
A clean sheet and three goals. Newcastle were at best poor but we are not on a great run. I will take it! Stones and Howard are playing poor. The team appeared hungry for a win last night, may it continue. Taking stones out of the firing line may give him a kick up the arse.

I even think Reberto has reflected on previous team selections. On to the next game.

Danny O'Neill
173 Posted 04/02/2016 at 22:26:33
Max / Raymond,

Exactly, depends on how you look at it or interpret it. We're most definitely a team that has only won 7 from 24 but equally a team that is only 2 points off 7th place.

As I've said before, the season finishes in May and with a bit of momentum and a decent run (lets face it every team has one and we're due one), who knows?

Season finishes in May, not December, not January and not February, although not is the time for momentum.

Danny O'Neill
174 Posted 04/02/2016 at 22:36:15
now....now is the time!
Andy Crooks
175 Posted 04/02/2016 at 00:06:41
Martin # 138, I agree.Sometimes good players need to be left out to get a better balance and I think it dropped right, accidentally I suspect, for Martinez. I am not sure, though, what you mean about Barry.If you believe that was our best team, why would he not start if fit?
Darren Hind
176 Posted 05/02/2016 at 01:24:38
Some bollocks being written about John Stones.

He was right to tell the park end to calm down, he was well in control of the situation when they were screaming for him to launch it. NOW, all of a sudden people are dreaming up a load of points he has cost us . .what bollocks.

I'd really be interested to see a list of points he has cost us through through fucking about. Maybe one of his habitual critics will supply it. . .and please don't give me the Stoke game, we'd have been talking about a brilliant tackle if the referee wasnt such a useless twat.

Stones made a mistake in the cup, his fellow defenders have all made them. That's what having no faith in the guy behind you does. The game before he went home, only to find the dopey fucker in goal was concentrating on his next excuse . .it was only a few weeks ago that "money cant buy you Stones" was booming out.

These experts who keep slagging him off need to have a fucking good chat with themselves and ask why he is the most sort after young defender in world football.

I don't care what Paul Merson says, he spent a lot of his youth walking around pissed looking for his bessie - Charlie. Who the fuck is he to criticise a kid who is filling the papers for his footballing ability alone ?

Darren Hind
177 Posted 05/02/2016 at 01:35:01
The Everton defenders are still looking nervous and unsure, but a few weeks without Howard will see their confidence gradually return.

If he is reinstated this time Martinez should be shot. His indecision hasnt just destroyed the confidence of Stones, our other defenders, who are generally regarded as top draw, are all nervous wrecks

Fran Mitchell
178 Posted 05/02/2016 at 02:40:26
Every mistake Stones makes has been highlighted a million times over. Every mistake Jagielka or Mori make is ignored.

Miopia. It's a terrible disease, and seems to spread amongst ToffeeWebbers like Zica is spreading in Brazil.

Ray Jacques
180 Posted 05/02/2016 at 10:10:56
We will not be relegated and based on performances this season to date I don’t think we will make top 6, therefore besides the FA Cup we have 14 league games to play in which although we are involved in the present, we need to utilise as a look ahead to next season. With this in mind I would suggest the following:-

Despite the disappointment of this season we need to be realistic and ’accept’ that the manager is going nowhere and will be in his current post for next season. There has been no vote of confidence/communication or comment from the owners or board, so we can only summise they are satisfied with the current situation. Unless we are sold, I don’t see any changes afoot.

Robles should remain in goal for the remainder of the season. It is likely that Tim Howard will leave in the summer as his age and performances this season make his situation untenable. God only knows why RM hasn’t sorted this ages ago. Therefore stick with Robles and give him a decent run in the team, build his confidence and allow trust and a solid relationship to develop with the defence in front of him. Both have been sadly lacking all season and manifest themselves in the individual mistakes that arise from hesitation and poor decision making by both the GK and the defenders in front of him.. At seasons end the manager will /should know if he is good enough to be our goalkeeper for next season or whether we need to buy a new first choice.

Keep Jags and Funes Mori as first choice centre backs so the latter can learn further about playing in the premier league and playing alongside an experienced centre-back. We have spent large parts of this season with two inexperienced centre backs (I know they are international footballers) in front of a hesitant and mistake strewn goalkeeper who doesn’t command his area so its no surprise our defensive record is chronic. On current form they are our two best central defenders.

Stones needs to earn a place on merit or if either of the above play poorly or are injured , not reputation or valuation. If someone wants to make a bid for him in the summer, then so be it, if not then he stays and plays for a place. I don’t want him in the team purely because it may add to his value ( his recent performances suggest if he is in the team his value will reduce). For every couple of million on his valuation, his mistakes may cost us the same financially in league position or a cup run. His summer valuation (if there is an offer) will likely be influenced by his performances in the Euros rather than how he plays for Everton. Imagine the media backlash if he cocks up for England or the clamour for him to join a so called ’big’ club (terrible expression, it should say rich club) if he plays well !! The lad is only young and clearly needs a break to think about his game and come back stronger when the opportunity arrives.

I was happy he stayed in the summer , not only because of his potential but also because it stuck two fingers up to Chelsea/Mourinho and the press putting out stories each day. In fact our stance on Stones last summer has probably been the highlight of the season!

Give the new man up front Naisse as much game time as possible by playing 4-4-2 in all home games. Whether we like it or not Lukaku will not be in an Everton shirt next year. The lads goalscoring record has been fantastic over the past 3 years and one of the rich European clubs will take a punt on him. No Champions League = No Lukaku,. I don’t see how we can criticise a player for wanting to play at the highest possible standard so we need to be making plans for a life without him. You can say he’s lazy and doesn’t defend from the front, but his record proves he can put the ball in the back of the net when the opportunity arrives.

Simon Jones
181 Posted 05/02/2016 at 10:32:25
Been a bit busy so I’m adding my comments a bit late after the game. I thought Aaron Lennon was outstanding against Newcastle, that is what a squad is, strength in depth and competition for places. Deulofeu needs to improve his all round game otherwise he may see Lennon picked more often. I was frustrated and overjoyed with Barkley – often all at the same time.

I think Robles should play for the rest of the season as occasionally he catches the ball instead of punching it out and his distribution is better. I’m not sure Oviedo is a defender and Gareth Barry should sell his soul to the devil to retain eternal youth (or 34) as he is constantly dependable and makes very few errors. As I’m trying to be mostly positive, I’ll keep my thoughts to myself about Kone.
Roman Sidey
182 Posted 04/02/2016 at 11:48:05
For those saying they would have liked to have seen Gerry involved toward the end but are unsure of who he could have replaced - Lennon was outstanding, Barks was playing well, and Cleverley was just doing everything correctly - here's the answer: Kone.

I know it's somewhat risky subbing a sub as the other players may be more fatigued, but giving Gerry a game up the middle could have proven fruitful; give the lad two ways to swerve defenders. Shit em right up.

Kone was playing like he knew another striker had just been bought, and, save for a few passes to the wingbacks coming around, he certainly did nothing to impress anyone. He's had a handful of matches since joining that suggest he is a good player, but every single other match aside from that handful suggests he is absolute garbage.

Ian Riley
183 Posted 05/02/2016 at 00:05:27
Darren, some good points made. Stones is young and learning his trade. He will become world class. Leave Everton for a bigger club and win many trophies. However, he is a professional and paid very well. I live in the here and now and his casual approach to defending and telling fans whom have watched great defenders grace goodison to calm down is a lack of respect. Who the hell does he think he is?

I agree with you our defenders are nervous. Our back five or seven look so open and vulnerable at times. It's down to the coaching and nothing else. It's how important Martinez makes defending a priority! Looking at our win ratio and goals conceded, not much. Our midfield is to exposed, we get out numbered.

John Daley
184 Posted 06/02/2016 at 00:23:19
"....his casual approach to defending and telling fans whom have watched great defenders grace goodison to calm down is a lack of respect. Who the hell does he think he is?"

He'd probably say he was the person out on the pitch who had the situation under control? To call an instinctive gesture saying as much 'disrespectful' and a sure indicator of him having a swollen opinion of himself is overly sensitive speculation mixed with a soupçon of shite. From the way people have gone on about it you would think there were legions of Everton fans unable to sleep that night through pure unadulterated fume at a player having the temerity to say 'keep your fucking hair on'. If he'd have turned round with a big shit kicking grin, and give it a big Jimmy Krankie style two thumbs up instead, would everyone be saying "Cor, he's a cracking lad that Stonesy. Right wee cheeky chappie and modest as they come"?

Colin Glassar
185 Posted 06/02/2016 at 21:56:24
I haven't read any of the above comments but I did read all of the comments on the other thread re this game and to be quite honest, I'm getting fed up hearing about how we only beat crap teams and, how we only draw or lose against equally crap teams we should be beating!!

If this is true then we should be unbeaten this season with a 100% record. A win is a win be it against poor, average or brilliant opposition. When it happens, enjoy it. When it doesn't, mope, kick, scream all you want but don't belittle every hard earned victory for gods sake.

Dave Roberts
186 Posted 07/02/2016 at 12:56:43
Colin (173) I agree entirely, but there is even more to be said. I honestly believe that even though we have to admit the defence has often let us down this season, nevertheless we have been pretty hard done by this campaign in terms of luck. Some refereeing decisions have cost us a few points and the number of deflected goals against us has been remarkable as have the number of times we have hit the woodwork. There have been many games where the performance level has deserved a victory that we didn't get.

Now, they say that luck evens itself out over the season and if that is the case then I can see us finishing in a reasonable position in the league. Even though we don't score from enough of the chances we make (yesterday was a perfect example!) without checking the league again I think there are only two sides that have scored more then us. An extra 10% on the conversion rate could have seen us in the top four. We have also had more than our fair share of injuries to key players, especially defensive players.

Going forward I really do think we are one of the best teams to watch (my Manure supporting brother-in-law also thinks so) and this augurs well for the future. The situation now reminds me very much of the 67/68 and 68/69 seasons when it was clear that something exciting was happening and that all that was holding us back was ironing out a few difficulties. One was Royle emerging as a great striker and the other was the gelling of Howard Kendall with Ball and Harvey.

While we are too inconsistent and at present unreliable at the back, this is still some of the best stuff I've seen from the team in years.

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