Fireworks are all Chelsea's as Everton are destroyed at Stamford Bridge

In a painful illustration of the Blues' short-comings, Ronald Koeman's side were dismantled by an irresistible Chelsea side.

Lyndon Lloyd 06/11/2016 62comments  |  Jump to last
Chelsea 5 - 0 Everton

“Remember, remember the 5th of November…” but after watching a horror show almost as bad as anything served up last season — the margin of defeat may not have been as big at Anfield in April but nothing could be worse than Everton’s utter capitulation in the last Merseyside derby — every Evertonian will want to forget this match as quickly possible. You’re left hoping though that it will come to represent a painful but important marker in the story of this season that we’ll look back on in the future as some sort of turning point.

You’ve got to believe that our heaviest defeat since the 6-1 humiliation at home to Arsenal in 2009 marks an early nadir for Ronald Koeman’s tenure; an evening when the Toffees came up against a Chelsea team at the very top of its game, and in full flow following four successive victories won with 11 unanswered goals; an occasion where both teams got exactly what they deserved and Koeman will have learned an awful lot about what he’s got and what he still needs.

Make no mistake, Chelsea were excellent — genuine-title-contenders excellent — to the point where you found yourself wondering which was more frightening: just how much better Chelsea were in every department or just how badly Everton played. For as good as the home side were, Everton were atrocious in the context of the strong start they made under Koeman, the money he has spent and his European aspirations.

A solitary effort on goal in the entire 90 minutes was the sum total of Everton’s attacking efforts which, even allowing for Chelsea’s superiority and dominance, is fairly damning. Ross Barkley, seemingly rejuvenated by his performance against West Ham, was occasionally involved but largely ineffective; a couple of early forays apart Yannick Bolasie, the Blues’ chief supplier in recent weeks, was anonymous until he was substituted for Aaron Lennon who wasn’t much better; Tom Cleverley was mobile and willing but offered a pale imitation of the suspended Idrissa Gueye; and Kevin Mirallas, a 36th-minute introduction in place of Bryan Oviedo as Koeman ditched his three-man defence, showed brief promise before lapsing into an all-too familiar lack of end product.

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And then there was Romelu Lukaku who shared the pre-match limelight with Diego Costa as the press billed a clash between two of the Premier League’s star strikers but was ultimately and completely eclipsed by the Spanish international. The contrast between the two in terms of style, role in the team and effectiveness was stark in a game in which the Belgian’s touch, when he wasn’t vainly chasing shadows, largely deserted him and he looked clumsy and isolated.

Costa, on the other hand, recovered from a heavy Seamus Coleman tackle that drew blood through his sock to lead Chelsea’s line with purpose and drive, setting up the first goal, scoring the third, forcing a decent save from Maarten Stekelenburg, driving another effort into the side netting, and nearly making it 6-0 before Ashley Williams denied him with a terrific last-ditch tackle.

That last moment was indicative of what was a chequered outing for Williams who, like Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori, looked all at sea trying to adjust to the 3-5-2 formation Koeman seemed to have deployed. The Welsh skipper looked consummate cart-horse centre-half (with all the speed and grace of one) for spells but was in others the only defender who really seemed to be carrying out his duties. Jagielka, sadly, followed up on his faltering displays at the Etihad and Turf Moor with more worrying evidence that he has "gone", in the Osman, Pienaar and Howard sense of the word.

That confusion over positioning was certainly evident for Chelsea’s first goal though as Eden Hazard picked up Costa’s pass into the left channel just as the retreating Coleman tried to switch places with Williams and cut the Belgian midfielder off at the byline. It was all the invitation Hazard needed to cut inside onto his right foot and aim a shot at the far corner. Stekelenburg should have saved it but was slow to get his arms down, the ball flew under them and inside the upright.

Unforgivably, Everton lost the ball at the restart and 24 seconds later, the ball was in the back of Stekelenburg’s net again. Hazard was the beneficiary, picking it up in the centre circle, sliding a pass between Funes Mori and Oviedo to Pedro who centred it first time where Marco Alonso arrived to side-foot through the goalkeeper’s legs.

That double-blow made it 2-0 with just 20 minutes gone and there was no way back for Everton with Antonio Conte’s men in this kind of mood. It was almost 3-0 11 minutes before the break when Alonso’s chipped cross picked out Victor Moses but the reborn Nigerian slammed a first-time shot off the outside of the post. The inevitable arrived eight minutes later, however, when all of the practice defending set-pieces that Koeman said had been a focus this week at Finch Farm was unravelled by a near-post flick-on by Nemanja Matic that ended at the feet of Costa, unmarked at the back of the area. Slow to react, Lukaku just waved his foot meekly in front of the Brazilian-born striker as he buried a first-time shot into the vacant net behind him.

If there’s one thing that seems to have been lost in the transition between the Martinez and Koeman eras it’s Everton’s ability to pass and move the ball consistently. While the Catalan’s modus operandi was overkill possession, the Dutchman appears to have built the current team to counter-attack which means it’s no longer adept at keeping the ball for any sustained period.

Nonetheless, they made a pretty good fist of trying to settle things down in the first few minutes of the second half with some confidence-inspiring ball-retention, even if it didn’t get them close to the opposition goal. Then, as if to further illustrate the differences between the two teams, as soon as Chelsea got it back and mounted their first attack they almost scored, Williams snuffing out an opportunity for Costa after he had driven straight through the heart of the visitors’ midfield.

Where Everton searched in vain for space and willing runners, Conte’s team were all pace, movement and guile and they always seemed to have a man over. However grudgingly Evertonians admit it, their fourth goal was a thing of beauty. Hazard played a one-two with Pedro who back-heeled the ball back to him brilliantly and with Williams back on his heels, the diminutive Belgian cut across him and drilled a low shot inside the near post with Stekelenburg rooted to the spot.

By that stage it was merely a question of how many Chelsea would score. Lennon replaced Bolasie on the hour mark but little changed and more trickery from Hazard almost served up goal no.5 for Costa but though the striker connected with his chipped cross with a volley, Stekelenburg parried it over the bar.

Two minutes later it was 5-0. Lukaku was unable to bring in a return ball from Barry in the Chelsea half and when it was turned over back to the hosts, Costa hared off again towards the Toffees’ area and laid a pass off to Hazard once more. His shot was saved by Stekelenburg but the ball dropped straight to Pedro who had the simple task of tapping in from close range.

Surprisingly, that ended the scoring for Conte’s side but there would be nothing in the way of a consolation goal for the away fans to take back to Merseyside. Tom Davies came on for Barry following the latter’s booking a few minutes earlier for a frustrated late tackle on Pedro and came off the pitch at the final whistle as arguably Everton’s man of the match, doing his chances of replacing the suspended Barry against Swansea no harm at all.

He won the corner from which Mirallas narrowly missed with a glancing header that drifted inches over the angle of crossbar and post but asking more of an 18-year-old defensive midfielder was probably too much. Instead it was Chelsea who almost added to the scoreline, Luiz forcing an acrobatic finger-tip save from Stekelenburg and Moses then being denied by the Dutch ‘keeper in stoppage time.

International breaks have become painfully inconvenient and unwanted disruptions to the flow of the Premier League season but Everton will surely welcome this one as an opportunity to reset and refocus after an awful result. If Koeman does anything, he and his staff should study the tapes from Everton’s visits to Manchester City and Chelsea and analyse firstly, the difference between today’s porous calamity of a defence and the tenacious, space-defying back line that contained City so effectively last month; and, secondly, how those two opposition teams move the ball so effectively with speed and precision.

A home game against struggling Swansea will offer another chance to return to winning ways and regain some momentum but it’s days like today that underline in no uncertain terms just how far Everton have to go to match the likes of Chelsea in terms of quality. In that respect, Koeman has a long road ahead on what he has openly admitted has a two-year time horizon but in the meantime he has to do better at getting the most out of what he already has at his disposal. On this evidence, there is far more room for improvement than we realised.

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John McGimpsey
1 Posted 06/11/2016 at 07:29:13
Massive questions to be asked about the whole set-up after this. We have been desperate for another striker for three years and this was not addressed. Since Pienaar went on the decline, the left-wing side has always been a problem... so what did we do? We brought in a right winger and switched Mirallas who had been effective in front of Coleman for 2 seasons. Then we brought in another right winger and then another and are now rumoured to be looking at another.

Sell-to-buy is still our method and we must as a collective question why. Kenwright in the front row still pulls the strings from where I sit. Is Mr Moshiri bedding himself in or does he really expect this phoney to run the show for him?

Yesterday showed how weak this squad is and how the new ones for this season are either not good enough or over the hill. Fans should be asking where is the money and why did we not spend it?

When the Red Shite did work on the Centenary Stand, we got a tent; they build a new Main Stand and we get some cladding and some posters. Fur coat, no knickers comes to mind. I will never be confident about our future while Kenwright and his sidekick sit next to each other at the front.
Darren Hind
2 Posted 06/11/2016 at 08:00:42
I'm sorry, Lyndon, I don't share your belief that we were much better at Man City, but for several wonder saves and two poorly taken penalties the result at the Etihad would have been a similar one to last nights.

Koeman is really starting to piss me off. I have been biting my lip so far because I'm aware that I upset a lot of people by heavily criticising Martinez, without "giving him a chance", but how long have we got?

There's more than a hint of Davey Moyes about him. He seems to think he is doing us a favour by gracing us with is presence. Like Moyes, he won't admit he got it wrong. Like Moyes, he isn't shy about blaming the players... and like Moyes, he is a proper Frankie Howard.

Look, I know more measured posters like Patrick Murphy are putting up intelligent, well thought-out reasons as to why we are where we are and they are right, of course, but Koeman needs to do a lot more to convince me he isn't just here for the £20m quid Moshiri enticed him with.

I felt slightly insulted when Koeman first arrived telling the world he knew we as a crowd like to see our team get the ball forward early, it was as if he was coming to some sort of footballing back water where the locals didn't quite understand the game's finer points. It was as if he had just signed for Stoke.

I get the arguments blaming the board and years of stagnation; I get the argument about attracting top players, I even get the argument that some of our so-called stars are simply not good enough... but at what point does the manager have to start earning the ridiculous staggering amount of money he is being paid?

When the team was announced and we were informed Oviedo was being asked to play wing back, my mate's 12-year-old grandson looked up from his phone and said "How can he possibly cope?" Everyone agreed.

Oviedo has improved recently against easier opposition, but he no longer has the athleticism to cope with such a demanding role. He looked as if he was standing between railway lines and high speed trains were screaming past him... he had to come off – Koeman's fault.

Williams and Jagielka have been playing as two for weeks then, all of a sudden, they have Funes Mori thrown into their space and all three spent the evening wondering whether to stick or twist... they were run ragged – Koeman's fault.

Holgate was a revelation earlier in the season and was looking the part... but we haven't seen him since, despite some really ropey performances by everyone of the back four – Koeman's fault.

I don't buy this bollocks about "the system not being the problem" – it was certainly one of them, especially when we did not use the correct players to make it work. He may have a whole list of ready-made excuses, but he still gets a big fat Zero from me; he whines about the difference in quality on the pitch and there was, but he needs to think about the difference in quality in the dugout too.

No team should ever be so comprehensively outplayed for the entire match by a team in the same league.

Unacceptable, totally unacceptable.

Dick Fearon
3 Posted 06/11/2016 at 08:08:20
I watched a 30-minute preview of the match by 4 Chelsea ex-players. Unable to view the game, I had to settle for a live radio commentary by a different group of ex-Chelsea players.

Each of these 7 commentators raved on about the enormous amount of hard work Chelsea have lately been doing at training.

Judging by all reports, including this excellent version by your good self, Lyndon, it seems our mob of incompetents were badly lacking not only in individual skill but also physically.

We must grudgingly accept the former but there is absolutely no excuse on lack of fitness or fight, nor indeed absurd and totally negative tactics.

For more than a decade, we have created millionaires out of mediocre managers. I sincerely hope we are not seeing another of that type.

Paul Smith
5 Posted 06/11/2016 at 08:33:10
Succinct and clear piece, Lyndon. I was there and walked out after the fourth, soul-destroying and heart-breaking in equal measure. Ashley Williams's head went down after the first went in and I got team feeling they were beat before they stepped on to the pitch, huge problem of attitude, belief and approach.

One thing: suggesting "Koeman will have learnt" from this calamity is letting him off the hook slightly, with all his experience, it shouldn't be happening in the first place.

Ian Bennett
6 Posted 06/11/2016 at 08:34:41
The result told us what we already know, we need to gut that squad. Some faithful servants are coming to the end, whilst we have a long list of players that need to be moved on that just aren't good enough.

The summer told us we needed a lot of new players, and this result proves it again. If you want a realistic tilt at top 4 and winning at these away grounds, then 4 or 5 of those played just don't feature at all. Hope Moyes sticks around to buy some of them...

Duncan McDine
7 Posted 06/11/2016 at 09:02:17
Morning Paul (#5), good to see you yesterday... We lasted until the 80th minute somehow. It was so bad, I had to see the funny side in the end. We were second-best in every challenge, too slow in body and mind. See you at Southampton.
Conor McGregor
8 Posted 06/11/2016 at 09:05:03
Another very disappointing result last night for Everton. But the blame should be shared between Mr Koeman's management team and the players.

First of all, why go with three at the back when the three are big stiff centre-halves? We don't have a ball-playing centre-back anymore so why play the three? Pure stupid, Mr Koeman.

And then changing keepers cause his friend Mr Stekelenburg is Dutch. He deserved a rest after the Burnley game. I know we need a new keeper but Joel Robles is better than Stekelenburg, if not by much.

Everton's best displays over the last 10 or more years have been with the 4-5-1, with Cahill and Bent at the front line working their bollocks off, unlike Ross (the diamond, my foot), and lazy Lukaku (hate his attitude, only like him for his goals – he would be kicked out years ago, his he attitude stinks).

I'd like to see a few of the kids get a chance over the next few months. Dowell, Browning, Holgate, Davies. My team for Swansea would be 4-5-1:

Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori, Ovideo
Coleman, Davies, Gueye, Barkley, Bolasie
Geoff Williams
9 Posted 06/11/2016 at 09:06:08
Humiliated... and it has been coming for a few weeks.
Steve Brown
10 Posted 06/11/2016 at 09:29:20
Darren @2 – after that humiliation, mate, get your gloves off and start swinging. It was an absolute disgrace in every aspect – team selection, tactics, individual technique but most unforgivably attitude and work rate.

This squad is not fit for purpose and we need to exit 8 or more over the next 2 windows to change the squad. I posted a few weeks ago that we were bottom 5 for work rate in the Premier League which is shameful.

It is actually easier to list who I would definitely retain: Holgate, Williams, Gana, Galloway, Bolasie (yesterday's horror show excepted), Davies, Galloway, Dowell, Barkely (maybe) and Lukaku (fat chance). The rest honestly I don't think are fit for the future. With the emphasis on FIT!

As for Mr Moshiri and Mr Koeman, the honeymoon's over.

Peter Murray
11 Posted 06/11/2016 at 09:36:01
1st team stuffed. Under 23s stuffed. What's going on? Have all the players at the club just stopped playing?
Paul Smith
12 Posted 06/11/2016 at 09:42:16
Indeed Duncan like you said "my abstinence was tested". Shocking display!

Still, we will keep turning up.

See you at St Mary's.

Phil Flannery
13 Posted 06/11/2016 at 10:46:14
Spot on, Darren@2

Did he really say Chelsea were too good for Everton? What happened to us, Ron!

£20mil stepping stone...

Jimmy Salt
14 Posted 06/11/2016 at 11:06:52
Something niggles me about Koeman. He seems to refer to us in the third party, detached if you will. And this quote from the post-match interview only reinforces my fears:–

"It is a difficult system to play against, the big difference with Chelsea is they have that winning mentality and, of course, the quality on the ball. They were too strong for Everton."

Notice the "for Everton"? It might just be a slip of the tongue, a 'Lost in Translation' moment but I can't help but feel like there is no emotional buy-in from our new manager.

I know some people will say he is a professional and is there to do a job and... blah blah. But you NEED emotional buy-in, it's infectious, it will cascade into the players' mentality.

Sorry to swear but look at Klopp – he is literally one of them; look at Conte – he lives every moment on the pitch. You need this from your leader and I'm not feeling it.

Clive Lewis
15 Posted 06/11/2016 at 11:18:37
Koeman will change things; he will bring in Bastian Sweinsteiger. This will fix the midfield, they desperately need someone to accompany Gibson to the physio every day...

I'm losing confidence that this was just not a bad day at the office. I don't really see any improvement over last season in this game; sadly, defensively we seem to be going backwards.

I'm not sure I am hearing the right noises coming from our leaders. We should have given the job to Unsworth. The last game of last season against Norwich was a breath of fresh air. Baffles me that Koeman gives Davies his first appearance after 10 games.

Rick Tarleton
16 Posted 06/11/2016 at 11:20:01
At Southampton, Koeman had a young team who were willing and able to play his high-energy pressing game. At Goodison, Barry, Jagielka, Williams, Baines are beyond that game, whatever their strengths may be. Similarly, Lukaku, Barkley, Mirallas and even Bolasie are not ideally suited to this style either. The manager has to find a way of working with the players he has, there's no other choice.

I'm not sure he's that flexible. Klopp, Pochettino, Guardiola, it's their way, Koeman is or would be such a manager, but those teams are full of strong, hard-runnning athletes. We aren't.

Andrew Presly
17 Posted 06/11/2016 at 11:24:28
Koeman is obviously just 13 games into his tenure (including the usual dismal League Cup exit) so very early to start asking serious questions about his longer term potential.

My attention is drawn to the missing first-choice goalie, striking alternative and playmaker every single person connected to the club knew we needed this summer.

I will give them (Koeman, Walsh and whoever holds the purse strings now, it's beginning to seem unclear) until January to rectify this – after which point, I'll personally lower my expectations and accept we're just here to make up the numbers and maybe finish "best of the rest" in good years.

Pretty concerning that some or all of the above thought that Sissoko at any price – never mind £30m – was good business. Doesn't bode well for future transfer dealings at all.

No team serious about competing at the top would go another window without dealing with these glaring inadequacies. I don't care if it's hard to buy players in January, just do it.

Ben Dyke
18 Posted 06/11/2016 at 12:18:17
We can only hope for a successful first full transfer window for Walsh et al.

The players themselves will have had their confidence hammered after that game and will hopefully stop thinking they're God's gift to football and start working their asses off the rest of the season.

Paul Tran
19 Posted 06/11/2016 at 12:21:37
There's something about this club, momentum and poor decision making. We finish fifth, all positive, then neglect the chance to beef up the squad. We hire a 'big name' manager, make a few noises about new stadium and players and then we don't strengthen the areas we need to.

The curious thing for me is that we started the season full of energy, pressing the ball, tight defensively and hard to beat. All of that disappeared yesterday, which highlighted the fact that we've offered little going forward all season.

The glass half full side of me is hoping this is a wake up call for Koeman to decide once and for all how to use these players and for those running the club to bring some new faces and momentum.

The "glass half-empty" side of me is thinking that, like Martinez after his first season, Koeman isn't happy with what he's got and is shuffling them around, desperate to land on a winning formula.

Yesterday, and to a lesser extent in recent games, I've noticed a return to the lethargy and lack of responsibility from last season. It's as if the new manager novelty has worn off and they've gone back to their traditional lack of guts, nous and character.

I've learned not to rely on these players. I'm looking to Koeman to justify the salary and hype to get more out of them.

Dennis Stevens
20 Posted 06/11/2016 at 13:33:44
I suspect Koeman may have to progress from his reliance on the established professionals in the squad and liven things up a bit by judicious use of some of the youngsters knocking on the door of the first team.

Whether that would be enough to re-invigorate the team somewhat is probably still doubtful without additional signings asap. New blood required from both internal & external sources.
Richard Dodd
21 Posted 06/11/2016 at 13:42:10
In short, Paul, the players have reverted to type!

The manager will earn his corn only if he can organise – and energise – this very average group of players to play above themselves.

Signing Man Utd's ageing casts-off should no longer be part of the script.

Charles Barrow
22 Posted 06/11/2016 at 14:09:53
I was at the game – Koeman's tactics were hopeless. Clearly from the first minute, the instructions were – hoof it up to Lukaku and see what happens. Well, we know what happens... the ball comes straight back but Chelsea use it intelligently and score.

The amount of possession Chelsea got from our misplaced passes and hoofball was depressing. Barry had a shocker and the rest of the midfield were anonymous because the ball was over their head for most of the game.

Yes probably, even if he got the team to play football, we would still have lost... but I don't think we would have made it quite as easy for Chelsea and we would have made a game of it.

George McKane
23 Posted 06/11/2016 at 14:15:35
Our needs have been both obvious and desperate for a long long time. This is a Club in serial decline and has been since the late 1990s, both on the pitch and most importantly off the pitch. Dreadful mis-management at player level and at senior (if indeed there is any such thing at Goodison) management. Bad Directors, poor managers inside the Club, poor publicity and decision-making at almost all levels.

We are faced with an ancient ground, an aged Management at Senior Level, with old-fashioned thinking, a get-by-today attitude, and just hope things get better; no strategy and all of this has been reflected for a few decades in our players and our buying. Buy an old star now, today to get us through. Most of our current so-called senior players are deadwood, ancient regime, slow-/no-thinking. Clear-out needed.

I am a Season Ticket Holder, been going since 1958-59. I still go every home game and many away games. I've seen it all before... but I am feeling more despondent than I can ever recall. Maybe it's age.

I would welcome a clear-out this week and young players given until January to give it a go. And I would tell both them and the older players exactly why. 4 or 5 regular players every week just not good enough but know they will play next game.

Sort it out NOW and I am sure, like me, most fans will be behind the Manager.

But I sense that floating around 'do nothing' feeling that was around at the Club for 4 or 5 if not more years of the end of Moyes's tenure. Just do nothing and see what happens.

God Bless Evertonians, everyone of them, said Tiny Tim.

Max Murphy
24 Posted 06/11/2016 at 14:22:32
Humiliating, embarrassing, soul-destroying, pathetic, spiritless, gutless performance.

I then watched Ireland destroy New Zealand, and marvelled at their committment, skill, endeavour and work-rate. Truly brilliant!

I'm giving up on Everton. Wake me up in 20 years and the nightmare may be over by then.
Mike Gaynes
25 Posted 06/11/2016 at 15:31:57
This one's down to Koeman, first and foremost. No, it's not his fault that we don't remotely have the player quality of the teams ahead of us, but the idea of going with three at the back and two wingbacks – Chelsea's own system – instead of what we do best was just ridiculous. It was painfully obvious that Williams and Funes Mori lacked the necessary speed and would be roasted alive by Chelsea's movement, and that's exactly what happened.

And it's obvious the players weren't ready for the commitment required. Barry and Coleman were totally unfocused – Barry's first, routine pass of the game was four yards off target and went straight to a Chelsea player – and Barkley and Rom couldn't keep the ball for more than a few seconds.

Losing to a team in rampant form is tolerable. Being utterly humiliated is not. Without a true #10 and some new speed at the back, this team is going nowhere. And having the manager mirror the opponent isn't going to help.

Thomas James
26 Posted 06/11/2016 at 15:42:45
Could probably die in ditch going over it all too much. But my observations about all things Everton are:

1. We could have used Big Vic yesterday.

2. We have no 'warchest' of money, £100m+ from BT and Sky, is the 'warchest' – not Moshiri.

3. Playing five at the back was never going to win us the game.

4. I'd rather get hammered utilising our youth team more than we are doing.

5. Stekelenburg has had a few bad games now, perhaps we can change – although I do like him.

6. Koeman has not made us a better team at all.

7. Why is Barkley looking to be bang average these days? – The lad could win us a game on his own.

8. Lukaku is a lauded inconsistent show pony.

Paul Tran
27 Posted 06/11/2016 at 15:43:15
Yes Richard, they've reverted to type. Just like they did under Moyes and Martinez.

Hard to see this squad finishing higher than where it is now. I've been comforting myself with the fact that we're 6th without playing well. I'm now starting to wonder when we're actually going to start playing well! And I'm an optimist!

I think we're justified in expecting more in terms of forward play and entertainment from the team, decision-making and man-management from the manager and some genuine necessary investment from the 'major shareholder'.

Not holding my breath.

David Hallwood
28 Posted 06/11/2016 at 16:00:33
We've had almost 24 hours to stew in our own misery, so maybe a bit of perspective is needed. A couple of points: firstly as someone pointed out on another thread that this is almost the same group of players, that beat almost the same group of players twice last season (and we all know that it should've been three).

Secondly, as another poster pointed out, that at this level a team doesn't get thrashed by another unless one team turns up and the other one doesn't, and that's proved to be true time and time again. How many times have you seen a team doomed to be relegated packed full of journeyman players respond to a Pulis or a big Sam and roll their collective sleeves up and battle and scrap for every ball? Okay, they may lose more than they win, and when they win, it's ugly, but what you rarely see is the tonking we witnessed yesterday of a team packed with internationals.

The one thing that Koeman commented on in his post match was the work rate of Chelsea, and our work rate, or lack of, needs to be addressed ASAP. Because I haven't seen any successful side in any era that didn't have it in spade loads – even all the 'Fancy Dan' sides... Barca, Man Utd in the '90s. And the way Chelsea tore into us even with 10 minutes to go, closing down, harrying.... Just watch the work the 'luxury' players like Pedro, Hazard and Moses got through.

That's why I worry about Ross; his work rate is zero and he wanders around with that infuriating, 5 steps, check, lay-off a 5-yard pass. Where is his professional pride, when he sees his counterparts Hazard and Pedro turning and weaving and taking defenders on and closing players down to get the ball back; where is his anger? Okay, he's not playing well but close the ball down, leave a foot in, grapple for the ball using his body strength; in short, the basics of football.

I don't want to single out Ross, because everyone was equally as shite: I think we've got the players but, as it used to say in your school report; more effort needed.

David Barks
29 Posted 06/11/2016 at 16:07:21
By the way, everyone saying that this isn't Koeman's team and he needs a couple of years, you realize that Conte is in his first season with Chelsea, right?

Funny how he's somehow managed the apparently daunting task of getting that set of players to play in his style in his first year. Same players as last year with a couple of exceptions, yet those same players that looked lost last season are now thriving.

Colin Hughes
30 Posted 06/11/2016 at 16:09:07
Worst 24 hours we have had for years, the redshite hit 5 to go top for at least two weeks a day after we get tonked by 5. If ever a film title is dedicated to us, surely it will have to be "Misery".
Kunal Desai
31 Posted 06/11/2016 at 16:09:38
A weekend to forget. We lose by 5; those lot win by 5. Two club minutes apart geographically, miles apart on the pitch.
Mark Andrews
32 Posted 06/11/2016 at 16:29:11
I think we've just got to accept we're a perpetual mid-table team. We have been for decades and I can't see it changing any time soon.

Perpetual mediocrity, the Everton way.
Patrick Murphy
33 Posted 06/11/2016 at 16:44:14
Kunai (#31),

It's not the fact that we are miles apart on the pitch which has hurt us, it's the fact that we are and have been miles apart off it which is the cause of the difference in expectations of both sets of fans.

They have a net spend since the Premier League started in excess of £351m compared to Everton's net spend of circa £83m that is a difference of some £267m which equates to about £10m higher spend for each and every year of the Premier League. I don't have the data to hand in relation to wages but we can assume that their wage bill over the years dwarves ours.

On the pitch they have amassed 1627 points compared to Everton's 1281. Their average finishing position is circa 5th place Everton's is 10th. The average difference in points is minus 13 per season. Only 3 times since the Premier League began have Everton finished higher than the neighbours and only by a few points difference and only a place higher than them.

It could be argued that Everton have had a bigger bang for their buck, but it sure doesn't feel like it, does it? Also we have one FA Cup win and they have had numerous successes in the cups both domestically and in Europe.

I pray to god that we have already played the Champions this season as the idea that they might just run away with it is vomit-inducing. Never mind... Swansea up next – and a fortnight to forget all about this horrible, horrible bonfire weekend.

Dave Williams
34 Posted 06/11/2016 at 16:50:54
Rick (#16), spot on.

I have been saying the same for a while now. He is trying to implement a system which is unsuited to the players because they were selected by Martinez to play a possession game not a pressing game.

We probably have only Gana and McCarthy suited to pressing and the latter is permanently injured. The only personnel who can do this are youngsters who Ron seems unwilling to play so we are in limbo unless he gets a huge warchest in January.

Paul Tran
35 Posted 06/11/2016 at 17:54:11
Comparing the Chelsea of last season to this one is off the mark. Last season, they were a Championship winning team that mutinied under a manager who lost the plot. They're now under a manager who has got them at the top of their game, even though it's just three weeks since the odds for him to be sacked tumbled.

Unfortunately, our players also mutinied under a manager who had lost the plot last season. I'm wondering whether the same thing is happening right now.

I hope things change for Koeman as quickly as they did for Conte.

Darren Hind
36 Posted 06/11/2016 at 19:28:01
That's just unfair, Paul.

Conte inherited a group of players who had lost their way completely. Some of them looked finished; some on their way. They even looked dodgy at the start of this season, but he has galvanised them, changed the formation and the attitude. He has them playing dazzling football. He should be given credit for that.

Koeman hasn't earned any credit yet. When he does, I'll be the first in line.

I'm proper worried by what I've seen so far...

Andy Crooks
37 Posted 06/11/2016 at 19:31:03
Darren (#2), I absolutely agree with that post. I am wary of short-term judgement but yesterday's tactics, performance and attitude has unnerved me badly. It was a 'knife to a gunfight' attitude; fearful, negative and gutless.
Jack Convery
39 Posted 06/11/2016 at 19:42:36
Conte took over class players who had underperformed. Koeman got players who usually over performed, until the past two seasons.

This season, too many are finished as regards getting into the top 6 and possibly the top 10.
Russ Quinlan
40 Posted 06/11/2016 at 19:55:21
From what I saw, we have far too many players who have had it easy over the last couple of years and just drift through games... so that, when we then face a team who can actually play, they don't have the bottle to up their game – the Martinez mentality is still in their heads.

If Koeman is going to make a difference, he has to bring in some of the youth and replace the has-beens like Jags, Barry, Cleverley, etc who haven't got a clue what to do when faced with pace and accuracy.

Tom Davies looked more up for a fight than the rest of the team put together and I'm sure some of the other youngsters would relish the chance to show their 'mentors' up on the park.

If Koeman does not make changes for the Swansea game, I'll be worried. I am hoping that the Chelsea result will be a wake-up call to Koeman that massive changes need to be made; we will see if he has the balls to do it.

Jack Convery
42 Posted 06/11/2016 at 19:57:47
When we are safe, then expect to see the kids given the nod.
Rick Tarleton
43 Posted 06/11/2016 at 19:59:01
At the moment, the Premier League reflects the power and the money. The seven top clubs are two each from Liverpool and Manchester and three from London. However, we are very much number seven and, with our squad and our manager's belief in a style that doesn't suit our ageing squad, we may struggle to hold on to 7th place.

We have a manager who needs to reflect on what style might suit his playing squad, as distinct from the style that he wants to play which our squad can't manage to achieve.

A conundrum, but one a good manager would solve; a bad manager would continue to repeat... Einstein's dictum of insanity and repeat the process, but expect a different outcome.

Phil Walling
44 Posted 06/11/2016 at 20:23:09
But Rick, how can you be confident that we will FINISH 7th-ish? Seems to me we are on the slide and will do well to sustain last season's 11th spot!

Koeman is beginning to look like a muddler.

Darren Hind
45 Posted 06/11/2016 at 20:25:15
This bleating about money is doing my head in.

We played this group of players three times last season. We twatted them twice and only a desperately poor last minute decision robbed us of victory in the other game.

Its got nothing to do with money. Any team worth its salt will run riot if they are afforded the sort of time, space and deference we meekly surrendered to Chelsea yesterday.

Please. Enough of the money excuses. Leicester have unceremoniously buried that forever

Rick Tarleton
46 Posted 06/11/2016 at 20:25:30
I'm not, Phil, but the clubs below have smaller budgets and as many problems regarding consistency. Seventh would be a good result given our problems.
Ian McDowell
47 Posted 06/11/2016 at 20:35:05
I agree, Darren. Sick of hearing about money and what we will do in January.

I didn't expect a win yesterday, I'd've been delighted with a point. I knew it was a tough ask to get a win... but to get beat 5-0 which could have been worse.

To have one shot and none on target. To do none of the basics of football, like close down, work hard, defend from the front, defend set-pieces well, mark your man, Well words fail me. It was completely unacceptable.

Paul Tran
48 Posted 06/11/2016 at 20:41:10
Darren, I'm not disparaging Conte at all. He's doing a great job. Those players downed tools for Mourinho last season, but they didn't stop being good players.

What Conte has done that Koeman hasn't done yet, is get them organised and motivated with a style of play they are easily able to understand. While it's easy to say Conte has better players, it's just as easy to say that our players look confused and that Koeman hasn't shown us any coherent pattern of play.

My jury's out so far. The last few weeks have worried me. The players have gone from organised to a shambles and yesterday's attitude took me back to last season.

Patrick Murphy
49 Posted 06/11/2016 at 20:59:50
This group of players haven't put in a decent performance worthy of the name for nearly 3 years. We did beat Chelsea in the FA Cup last season and in the league, but their players were away with the fairies trying to rid themselves of Maureen.

I don't know whether our players are as bad as they looked yesterday or if they are trying the same trick as the Chelsea team last season. "You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink" – would seem to be apt for this group of lads.

We'll see how they react in a couple of weeks time but I suspect nothing much will change and, even if it does, they'll probably revert to type very quickly. The money element of the game can't be totally ignored but you get the feeling that our lads think they are doing us all a favour by representing the club for comparatively lower wages than those who represent the monied clubs.

If the fans at Goodison show their displeasure at an individual or team performance, they are portrayed as being too aggressive or expecting too much, so mostly the fans sit passively waiting for their team to start playing – which usually happens at some point in the second-half... or if (or when) they fall behind.

Perhaps Everton FC should implement a recruitment policy that restricts the squad to players and management from within the Merseyside region and forget all about trying to compete with the other Premier League teams for foreign-based mercenaries. That would probably end up with us relegated at some point but would we all be happier? What we have witnessed yesterday and on too many other occasions in the recent past hasn't made us very happy either and, if truth be told, probably for 70% of the Premier League era, we haven't been very happy with the results or the performances of the team or the manager(s).

I must admit I was shocked when I calculated that in order for one season ticket holder to pay Kevin Mirallas's wage for one week, it would mean they would have to renew their ticket for 73 years on the trot at £750 a pop – is it time for us all to start watching pub teams on a Sunday morning? That would seem far more fun than watching these overpaid, lazy, mercenaries who forget what it is they are being paid to do – that includes the management staff too, btw.

Rick Tarleton
50 Posted 06/11/2016 at 21:03:49
We, the fans, are almost an irrelevance, as you imply, Patrick, in the economic scheme of things. The money comes from us in our Sky subscriptions and in what we spend on the Everton paraphenalia.

I'll be up there with son and grandson for the Swansea game and we usually spend at least a three-figure sum in the Everton shop. As attenders, we are almost totally irrelevant.

Raymond Fox
51 Posted 06/11/2016 at 21:38:52
Before yesterday's game, we have fixture-wise had an easy start with the exception of Man City away and Spurs at Goodison.

After the Chelsea game, it shows what a parlous state the club is in; it's very difficult not to become despondent.

Koeman is the same manager that took Southampton to two top 6 finishes in the last two seasons, so he presumably has some grasp of the game. Granted he has ballsed-up a few times since the season started, but if Jesus was our manager, he couldn't get our 'wonder boys' to win anything.

The League is reverting to type after last season's Leicester 'miracle'; unless we can sign players of the quality that the usual suspects have, we are never going to get out of this 6th-to-11th rut.

It's not going to happen, though, is it, chaps!

Anthony Hughes
52 Posted 06/11/2016 at 22:09:08
Most definitely isn't going to happen without hundreds of millions being spent. But then we should be rolling in cash shouldn't we? We spent the Stones transfer money and we haven't even touched the Sky/BT TV cash or Moshiri's millions.
Mark Daley
53 Posted 06/11/2016 at 22:11:03
So meanwhile, the RS bag 6. Monday 19th December: the day our club dies? I just have to stay detached now, I can't cope any other way. Good luck to those of you who still cling on to hope.
Paul Holmes
54 Posted 06/11/2016 at 22:31:39
In a funny sort of way, that result has probably helped Koeman make his decisions on who is out the door and who he wants to keep. He has basically only been here four months and we sit 7th with the same points as world record signing Man Utd.

His Southampton side last season had plenty of pace and energy, so he knows what we need, but it will take loads of money to sort it out. Over to you, Steve Walsh.

Colin Gee
55 Posted 06/11/2016 at 22:42:52
Back home after a weekend in London. Still fuming.

As for that 'performance' yesterday... It was almost 'Martinezque' in its ineptitude.

Once that first goal went in, you knew it was game over. No passion, no idea, totally clueless, we couldn't put two passes together, couldn't put a tackle in. Heads down, no-one looking arsed at all.

Jags has been great for us, but this season he has been all over the place. Bolasie offered nothing, as my mate says, he's a 'Match of the Day' player, looks great in the 5 minutes highlights on a Saturday night. Lukaku just didn't look interested at all, you would think he above all would be up for it against his old club.

What goes on at Finch Farm during the week? It looks like not a lot on that 'performance'. Why was Lukaku marking Costa at corners? Surely that should be the job of Ashley Williams?

Shameful. Chelsea could have had double figures. It was like watching the Under-10s try and play against Chelsea! In fact the Under-10s would have probably shown more passion.

The only player who could say he did 'okay' was young Tom Davies; no blame attached to him at all. All the others should be ashamed to pick up their wages this week. I would pick the kids for the next game against Swansea.

Heading back into Central London on the tube, I was listening to the Chelsea fans talking and they couldn't believe how poor we were, everyone of them was expecting a tough game.

Bob Parrington
56 Posted 06/11/2016 at 23:32:57
As some of us stated before the season started – Koeman needs to make a thorough clean out, getting rid of the bad eggs and starting over. We were found out by Chelsea, having got away with lots of lazy play in previous games.

The January window can't come too soon! But, will the board and management have the balls to go the extra mile?

Andy Crooks
57 Posted 07/11/2016 at 00:13:02

Who dreads playing Everton? No-one, I would guess. Nice bunch of lads, easy to referee, handshakes all round. Was there an angry man on the pitch yesterday in a blue yellow shirt? Not a petulant, hands-on-hips sulking brat, but an embarrassed, ready to vomit, fucking fuming man?

This week, one of the usual suspects will be wheeled out to deliver the usual sad, inept, toe-curling platitudes. Who will tell the truth?

We might well need a playmaker but we need someone more important, not a cheat or a diver but a player who scares not just the opposition but his teammates. There are not many players like Roy Keane around but surely our management can find someone who is not a frightened rabbit?

Rick Tarleton
58 Posted 07/11/2016 at 11:15:50
"A thorough clear-out", a nice idea, but very hard to achieve. It's the players Koeman bought who worry me.

Williams, three years ago, was a good central defender whose lack of pace was hidden by his clever reading of the game... but that was three years ago. I'm sure the left-sided Ben Mee would have been a better acquisition.

Similarly Bolasie, is he better than Mirallas, Lennon or the now despised Deulofeu? I'm not sure.

Gueye looks better than McCarthy certainly, but Koeman is trying to play a style of football that doesn't suit the age-profile or style of our players and that is the heart of the problem.

In theory, we could clear out, but it'll cost a bomb with modern contracts and where are the better players who are queuing up to come to Everton? Koeman has to evolve his pressing game as it doesn't and won't work with our squad.

Rob Dolby
59 Posted 07/11/2016 at 11:20:26
We got done by a very good Chelsea team. The big difference for them this season is that they have brought in Kante who is the best in the business at what he does.

Gueye is our Player of the Season so far and was really missed. Replacing him with a lighweight midfielder in Cleverley surrenders the battle in the middle of the park which invariably means the loss of the game.

We need our DoF to bring in players with hunger and desire in January. I am fed up of watching players who can't be arsed putting any effort in defensively. The following are a liability in our own half: Deulofeu, Mirallas, Barkley, Bolasie & Cleverley.

Jim Wilson
60 Posted 07/11/2016 at 17:42:25

Playing 3 at the back (or 5 at the back as some say) never works. Changing the team's formation before playing a big game is usually disastrous. Our forward line is stagnant. There is no movement, no closing defenders down, no effort.

We need to press the opposition hard when they have the ball, but we don't have forwards who are prepared to do that, apart from Barkley. The manager from across the park knew this, got rid of their costly centre forward, now has nippy forwards who are prepared to work to gain possession and hasn't looked back.

So we need a manager who will play 4-4-2, keep a settled team and use players who are willing to run and work hard for 90 minutes. Quite simple really.

Thomas Rigby
61 Posted 07/11/2016 at 19:13:18
I was devastated and ashamed after Saturday's performance. I will have been supporting Everton for 60 years by next September and it certainly does not get any easier.

They say it is the hope that kills you, supporting the Blues, but I am beginning to despair because we do not seem to be making any real progress. here are so many questions and I must admit I am not sure of the answers to any of them.

Some fans are beginning to question Koeman already. Have Everton made a mistake in appointing him? I don't think so but it worries me that fans are not expecting him to be staying beyond three years. It doesn't send out positive vibes, does it? It will take. the full three years to begin to turn the club into serious contenders for a top four place.

At present, we are very ordinary. A mid-table sort of club. How many of the present squad can contribute to successfully achieving a top four finish? I would suggest Funes Mori (if surrounded by top class defenders), Lukaku (who will not stay beyond this season), and Gueye.

Coleman? I don't think is reliable enough at the top level. Baines? Possibly... but seems increasingly injury prone. Williams? He could help over next two seasons but age is catching up with him as it as done with Jagielka and Barry.

That leaves Bolasie and Barkley. Bolasie can be a threat with his pace and skill but he has a lot to learn as a team player and at 28 should be learning pretty quickly. Barkley? No doubt about his basic skills but it seems to be taking an age for him to harness his ability for the benefit of the team. We need to be patient with him. I fear him leaving and then flourishing at another club. Remember McNaught, McMahon, Johnson... ? They all went on to win titles elsewhere after being allowed to leave when still maturing.

As for Deulofeu, Mirallas, Cleverley, Stekelenburg, Kone, Lennon, Oviedo... I am afraid they are not capable of contributing enough at the highest level. I would give Besic and McCarthy more time because both have suffered from injuries.

That leaves the youngsters... at the moment, Holgate, Davies and Kenny look very promising. Perhaps we should give them more responsibility in the near future.

Another worry after being annihilated by Chelsea. That is three disgraceful abject performances this year ... Liverpool, Sunderland, and now Chelsea. Koeman has been saying all season about the need to play with commitment and intensity. But so many don't do that. That means we are talking about attitude or, in our case, poor attitude.

Let us be clear about this. After Martinez had been sacked, comments from player after player revealed that they had lost faith in him and the result was they literally stopped playing for him. My question... same players, same attitude, same performances, same disgraceful results? Even though the manager has been changed.

Barry Jones
62 Posted 07/11/2016 at 19:19:49
We were definitely out-thought and out-fought at Chelsea. Chelsea are indeed a class act, but we looked sluggish and lost out on virtually every second ball.

Is it just a coincidence that we looked dreadful defensively in midfield and Gueye was missing for this game? I think the scoreline may have been more respectable had he played. How many Ganas can we buy at Christmas time?

Andy Crooks
63 Posted 07/11/2016 at 20:11:30
Ravinelli and Vialli at Juventus showed pressing that will never be surpassed. Two world class players with a work ethic. We have no world class players but a work ethic costs nothing. Passion costs nothing.

I couldn't bear to read the Cleverley shite. I suspect it is the same hands up, utter shite, that this embarrassing bunch of spineless soft boys have spouted for years.

Jim Wilson
64 Posted 07/11/2016 at 21:26:45
'Lukaku didn't look interested' - means in a hard game he can't hack it, his control is woeful so he gives up. We need a striker who will give 100% whatever the situation who will influence team mates to dig deep and not give in.

We need to defend from the front and not let the opposition settle. This will help the midfield and defence no end. The flair players have been getting away with murder for 4 years. If they won't put a shift in get rid.

Geoff Evans
65 Posted 08/11/2016 at 20:51:39
Gutless bunch with no pride or love for this club whatsoever.

This club has stagnated since the mid-eighties and there are no signs that anything is about to change. Saturday's performance was worse than anything even Martinez presided over.

Let's face it, this club has not even threatened to compete as a Premier League force since its inception; we're there to make up the numbers. The top teams count on the likes of us (with the exception of an odd surprise) to provide them with the usual six points they've come to rely on to mount their title bids.

We're paying out huge amounts of money on players who are past their best or whose best would never be good enough for the top teams.

Everton are looked upon as nothing more than a mid-table team who, when the stakes are raised, just roll over and die. The sad truth is even clubs like Bournemouth, Burnley, Palace and the ilk are confident of picking up much-needed points to help with their relegation fights.

Still, not to worry, just wait 'till the January transfer window and all these top players who can't wait to sign for us will come flooding in and all will be well.

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