Joel Robles started in goal in place of Maarten Steklelenburg who has a dead leg.
Everton travel to Leicester with Robles, Holgate and Mirallas given starts, with Jagielka and Barkley on the bench.
Maarten Stekelenburg is injured after Leighton Baines crashed into him last week, so Joel Robles replaces him in the starting line-up and young 'keeper Mateusz Hewelt gets promoted to the bench as cover along with bright prospect Tom Davies from the Under-23s.
Everton kicked off with the now requisite hoof forward that then lost possession. The early exchanges saw the visitors controlling the play without really penetrating the Foxes defence. After some lame pass-the-parcel at the back, Colemans early cross was straight to Schmeichel.
After 10 mins, it was Leicester's turn to apply some pressure as Amartey fired in on Robles. For Everton, they were relying on forward balls through Coleman wide right and this ploy won the first corner, taken by Barry but looping in high to Schmeichel. From his release, Gray ran forward and fired wide.
Chilwell put in a good run that won Leicester a corner as the tempo increased a little. But Everton's play out of the back was painfully slow and ultimately wasteful. An attack down the left saw Baines put on a better-quality cross, but it was Baines who gave away a free-kick coming in late on Gray.
Barry tried to pick out Lukaku with a sharp forward ball but it ran away from the big man. Holgate tried the same thing from deep. When Baines did pick out Lukaku, Mirallas was well offside in front of him.
When Everton did play the ball forward at pace, there seemed to be a lot more space opening up, but still no end-product was forthcoming. Gueye played a great ball directly in to Lukaku's feet and it just bounced back off him.
It was laboured at best, albeit with Everton dominating possession but producing absolutely nothing in the way of a meaningful attack on goal. Mirallas did win another corner, that he took, Funes Mori almost connecting, follwed by abetter movement and a scuffed shot from Baines but still not testing Schmeichel as a dreadful 45 minutes of what now passes for Premier League football mercifully ended.
The laboured play continued until a long clearance from Robles bounced nicely fro Mirallas and he struggled to control the ball enough to deflect it off a defender past Schmeichel and into the Leicester net. Route one pays off!
The goal bought some much-needed life to proceedings, with Mirallas threatrening to get a second but for close attention from the Foxes defence. ALbrighton got a chance to threaten the Everton goal from a free-kick but it was played straight to Robles.
Williams overstretched to clear a ball and may have damaged his hamstring as the home side were willed on by their fans, Everton. Ulloa replaced Gray and almost cored off a free-header, Robles well-positioned to catch it as the Yellows had to batten down the hatches under repeated Leicester forays, with Davies replacing Gareth Barry as the pressure continued to mount, Baines picking up the armband.
Some real pressure now, the Everton defence tested but holding firm, with Barkley getting the call to replace goalscorer Mirallas for the last 15 minutes. Davies broke forward and tried a curler past the far post, and was a live wire in mdifield. Simpson booked for a foul on Barkley.
The quality of the football was still remarkably poor from both sides, but all that mattered to Everton was retaining a precious lead. Mahrez and Ulloa had other ideas, with another great ball in to the far post but this time under defensive pressure from Williams.
Everton finally got some decent passing and took the sting out of it, Lukaku getting forward off a superb ball from Barkley, but out wide he played the cross to Gueye, positions bizarrely swapped and the open goal predictably missed. Why oh why wasn't Lukaku in the box instead of making the cross?
Drinkwater drew a yellow for fouling Lennon, which led to a corner taken by Barkley, with Davies firing in the third ball at goal. Cleverley replaced Lennon to break up the play a little as the minutes ticked away towards a precious Everton win.
Into 4 minutes of added time and Everton trying their best to keep the ball away from Robles and Barkley did brilliantly to get the ball out to Lukaku who did the rest as only he can when running with the ball after batting away Wes Morgan.
Lukaku then played in Coleman who could not control his late shot, while the travelling Blues revelled in the moment with a fine retinue of songs as the KP Stadium rapidly emptied. An excellent result from a really poor display of football. That is apparently the best we can expect until the Koeman 'project' is complete... two years from now.
Reader Comments (180)
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1 Posted 26/12/2016 at 14:18:43
Why not attack from the start? Leicester are near the relegation zone and we are set up to defend for our lives. We are showing Leicester too much respect. Remember what happened with a similar line-up at Chelsea?
2 Posted 26/12/2016 at 14:23:36
3 Posted 26/12/2016 at 14:25:48
He clearly wants to hang in the game, hoping to win it late. Let's hope the plan ain't blown out of the water after 5 minutes.
4 Posted 26/12/2016 at 14:26:45
5 Posted 26/12/2016 at 14:31:02
6 Posted 26/12/2016 at 14:32:08
7 Posted 26/12/2016 at 14:32:33
Coleman and Baines can give us the width with the 3 at the back
8 Posted 26/12/2016 at 14:49:10
9 Posted 26/12/2016 at 14:55:15
10 Posted 26/12/2016 at 15:38:20
11 Posted 26/12/2016 at 15:51:42
Boring boring, just belt it up to right wing and hope, please change it and try and win a game, it is Christmas.
12 Posted 26/12/2016 at 15:58:39
13 Posted 26/12/2016 at 16:02:51
14 Posted 26/12/2016 at 16:11:00
15 Posted 26/12/2016 at 16:12:06
16 Posted 26/12/2016 at 16:18:13
17 Posted 26/12/2016 at 16:19:56
18 Posted 26/12/2016 at 16:31:47
19 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:00:42
Excellent from Davies when he came on, Barkley too and a big word for Robles who I thought looked absolutely solid.
20 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:02:18
Graceful on the eye it ain't but, for all "Koeman Out" people, we're 7th with an average and aging squad. Hope we can all now give the guy some time to sort out the mess Martinez left behind.
We're in no realistic danger of going down so let's see what he can do in this transitional season.
22 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:07:18
23 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:07:49
It was not a 'defensive' line up as some at the top of the thread claim. It was a compact, yet flexible one, enabling us to have at least parity or outnumber them in midfield, then switching to a tight back five across the whole width of the penalty area when necessary. So kudos to Koeman for that.
Williams the standout player for me today. A real rock who cleared everything. Robles was tidy in everything he did today, and you can't always say that about him. Nice cameo from Tom Davies. You can see he is still a tad lightweight for the hurly-burly of the PL, but I do like the way he plays a one-touch pass and how he constantly offers himself to the player on the ball. Ross also showed some visionary passing few if any at Everton possess.
Nice finishes by both Kev and Rom. Lots still to address, but inflicting only the 2nd home defeat of the season at the reigning champions definitely helps raise the spirits again.
Or, at least it does in this Blue...
24 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:08:23
Their debutant Ben Chilwell deserves a mention. Looked like a younger version of our own Leighton Baines.
25 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:11:57
The 1st half was so poor -â€“ couldn't believe that was 2 Premier League teams playing a football match. Everton looked very tentative â€“ Barry was slowing down the play big time. I am convinced that his time is up. He can come in to protect a lead (if he doesn't give away cheap free-kicks) â€“ but surely we need the energy of Gueye, Barkley, Davies, McCarthy, even Cleverly, to run our midfield.
We badly need cover for Lukaku â€“ if he is injured, we would be truly fucked.
26 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:12:59
Koeman made some good substitutions today. He brought on Tom Davies when Leicester were overrunning us and looked like they were going to score.
Ross Barkley also answered some of his critics this afternoon. He made the difference when he came on. I'd like to see Gana, Davies and Barkley playing together from the start.
Joel Robles also played well and commanded his area well. Both he, and Holgate need to be keeping their places for the next game.
A well deserved 3 points.
27 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:14:39
Where's the two Peter's â€“ Barry and Barks? Lukaku has scored 7 of our 11 Premier League away goals this season. So, let's see them post a congratulations to Rom on here in the festive spirit.
28 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:16:08
Your concluding remarks are unnecessarily grudging and miserable, Michael. Ditto the headline since Leicester hardly threatened.
29 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:16:27
Holgate is class, so is Davies.
Seriously though, Let's give credit where it is due, we won at the Champions and at no stage did we look like losing, The boss deserves the credit
Oh what fun it is to see Everton win away
Merry Christmas Guys. Enjoy this
31 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:18:33
We had 57% possession and 8 shots away from home to the champions. It was a controlled and clinical performance that should have ended 3-0. A good step in the right direction.
32 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:21:16
33 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:22:02
Barkley was outstanding when he came on, hope he keeps it up. Davies did well when he came on much more energy in the team.
Gana, besides his miss, was again outstanding. More of the same, please Blues!
34 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:25:30
35 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:33:01
36 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:34:16
37 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:35:11
Well done Lukaku, keep scoring lad and we might get that £80M. Will that do Steve(27) ?
38 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:42:15
Didn't think we would get anything today so well chuffed.
39 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:43:25
PS, he has just equalled Cantona's premier league total and entered the top 50 highest ever league scorers - all at the age of 23.
40 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:44:10
Rom active again in both the first half and second. As for the comment in the article about why Rom and Gana were switched, isn't that what some on here were screaming for? Rom to make a run? So he does (not the first he made this game) and a ball finally gets played to him, he controls it and fires in a great cross that should have been converted. He did the same in the Liverpool game, but Lennon failed to even make a sprint to get to the post, instead, loitering around the top of the box.
Can't wait for the first negative comment about him being lazy, etc. Thank goodness for the Belgians on the squad.
41 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:44:39
As I no longer attend games, it makes no difference how we get the points. There's positivity for you!
42 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:47:37
I do hope, however, that he learns from that second half that we have more mobility and intensity if Gueye, Barkley and Davies are on the pitch together. Holgate had a decent game and also deserves a run.
43 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:52:45
44 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:54:54
Much still to be learned, some muscle to be put on, certainly; they shape themselves, though, like proper Everton players â€“ or, at least, what I think of as proper Everton players.
45 Posted 26/12/2016 at 17:57:14
Oh and Robles is a far solider keeper than Stekelenburg.
Lukaku can infuriate but he can also score.
46 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:08:51
47 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:09:32
As for Rom, well he has scored the same number of Premier League goals as Eric Cantona according to Kristof Terreur, who tweeted "That was Romelu Lukaku's 70th Premier League goal. He equals Cantona's tally and he's entering the top 50 of all time goal scorers."
I don't know what that tells us exactly but obviously it's better to have a goalscorer than not. As some wag commented "Quite frankly if Lukaku keeps up this scoring nonsense in favour of RUNNING I am done with him and Everton."
Special mentions for Gueye, Davies and Holgate who all showed that young players can perform given the opportunity.
48 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:14:25
Robles should be given the jersey until he doesn't deserve it. Also Davies needs more playing time, the lads got what it takes.
For all his faults, Mirallas always has a goal in his locker and for me he has to start most matches.
What can you say about Lukaku? He scores goals.
49 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:14:52
We can all name them, past and present; these boys look the part
50 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:18:53
51 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:20:53
52 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:23:28
Big Jim, was happy with Joel, at Noel, so that will do for me!
Made up that Davies, and Holgate, got some action, and hope this is a sign of things to come, and also made up that Everton, won away from home. I need to start travelling again, but as John Charles says, I think I'll wait until the football improves a bit first!
53 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:25:19
54 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:25:38
55 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:26:18
56 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:28:07
After the derby last week a win was vital if only for confidence sake and we managed to get it. Up to 7th place now. Well done blues, a lot to work on but excellent win down there.
57 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:29:58
It's very steady progress this but at times it's hard to watch. I hope we get 2 or 3 more players in in January to improve the squad and then let's see if we can slowly become a team with a strong defensive base coupled with counter attacking flair.
58 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:39:28
Lukaku is a class act
59 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:58:44
Chuffed to bits we got a win today so only need 14 more points to be safe.
60 Posted 26/12/2016 at 18:59:39
Dull and lacking invention we offered little until the last bit of the first half. Barry played okay but slowed our tempo down when going forward.
Our obsession with the diagonal to Seamus was bordering pigheaded when the LB just swallowed most of them up.
Credit to Koeman, the subs affected the game in the right way. We got stronger but have to accept Leicester we're rotten.
We got a break both in the manner the goal was created and the deflection which ok it over the keeper. Hey ho!
Visibly buoyed and realized Leicester where shit we played better and the ball stayed on the deck the passing leading to Gana's chance was nice.
Ross did okay and played high up so didn't get bogged down with things.
Created little but scored with what we did make even if the were long passes a'hem.
A win gives Koeman a bit of space, especially after Liverpool.
No surprises that Davies and Holgate looked composed and not out of place. Both should get an opportunity v Hull. This should spell then end for Jmac and perhaps Barry can be used more economically
Stunned a bit we won.
61 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:02:53
Our full backs can give us the width we need and Davies and Barkley should give us the creativity in midfield we lack.
Please Ronald just one defensive midfielder.
As for the game today - well winning is what counts I suppose and we certainly need some points. As for the performance, abject, horrendous, piss poor, take your pick.
I think, for everyones sake and peace of mind we just have to accept that Lukaku is what he is, a goalscorer. We have to stop the wishful thinking that he will chase and pressurise defenders.
These days having someone who can get 20 a season is a godsend let the others do the donkey work, however, Koeman must give him some support.
62 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:14:41
63 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:16:53
Not exactly a stella performance but if Gueye had scored, it would have ended a lovely move.
Koeman has some big decisions to make, the youngsters look good, but often do at first, then need handling with care. As for the 'touted two from Manc U' the last reject we had from 'Jose the Twat' hasn't been bad even if he infuriates.
64 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:21:13
65 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:27:11
We were okay, with the odd piece of decent playing in the second half.
It's dour and horrible to watch. Even with better players this coach is defender at heart.
If we win the games up to and including the FA Cup game, Koeman might have handed himself a second chance at a job to date he's made a hash of.
66 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:35:16
67 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:38:21
We out Leicester'd Leicester, we have just done to them what they did in many games last season and no one complained about performance... I don't care if they play like that and win 25 games a season.
Patient, clinical, a commanding 'keeper and intelligent substitutions followed by 3 points...
That'll do for me.
68 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:46:49
Who is going OTT in praise of the team or individual players? No-one that I read. Just acknowledgement of some good individual performances, in an otherwise tepid performance with not much quality football played by either side.
As it is, I (and possibly others...) prefer to focus on the positives: two wins in three challenging games is a positive when compared to the 1 win in 10 before that.
It is also worth noting how the seriously monied clubs are back with avengence this year. As we are at the half way stage of the season, there is good solid data to work with.
Chelsea are averaging an astonishingly high 2.56 points a game which, if maintained, will see them win the league with 97 points, FIFTEEN points clear of City and the 'poo who are averaging 2.17 a game. The Arse are also averaging above 2 points a game - 2.06 - which translates to 78 points over the season.
Most seasons only a couple of teams average above 2 points a game. Last season, for example, Leicester was the only team to average above 2 points a game to claim the title with 81 points.
And what would Everton's current average of 1.44 points a game get you in recent seasons...? (a possible 55 points only by season's end). In the past 6 seasons, 3 x 9th-placed finishes, 2 x 8th-placed and 1 x 7th-placed.
This suggests this season the gap between the very top sides and the second tier group within the PL is as wide as it has ever been.
A lot for the new management to overhaul yet to even get close to the top, as is our ambition.
69 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:52:18
We have just beaten the Champions and earned a clean sheet. 3 points on Boxing Day is a good day for me, regardless of the performance. I am getting a bit sick of the nit-picking whingers on here. It is Christmas, we won, so be happy eh. NSNO.
70 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:53:59
I wouldn't read too much into the 57% possession though as for the opening 20 mins it was basically our defence passing it around and Leicester never came for the ball as they like to go long and hit you on the break.
Overall, a great win, onwards and upwards!
72 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:01:25
But yes, I need to give my head a wobble, no doubt. Best not be looking out for quality on the pitch â€“ under this bloke, it's totally subsumed by utter dross.
I used to be jazzed by the incredible privilege of being able to watch every single one of our games as they happened, in living colour. These days, the only moments worth watching are gonna be on MotD anyway...
73 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:08:38
With Holgate, he is older and looks confident, he will make mistakes, but did so did Stones... too many for me, but we got a great fee for him. Holgate can grow with Everton as, hopefully, we will improve, season on season, with Koeman.
A bit ambitious, I know, after one win, but I think Koeman will prove he knows what he is doing.
74 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:11:34
Rom's overall performance was absolutely shocking! I am a fan and I have backed him when other's have slagged him off but I watched him closely today and he absolutely stunk the place out!
He didn't win one header, make one good run, have one shot at goal and everytime he got involved with any build up play he gave it away he done literally nothing until he scored that goal!
Really happy with a good win against a poor Leicester but still way off were we need to be!
Would love the Rooney rumours to be true!
75 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:12:43
A lot of posters, me included, agree that Robles more than deserves his regular inclusion over Stek as does Mirallas along with Gerri, IMO, the question is can we do the same over the Champs in the cup next month against their full lineup, time will tell.
76 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:15:26
Ronald Koeman is a top manager, just look how he's trying to get some aggression into Barkley by getting on his case, pissing him off and seeking a reaction, a perfect way to manage him, rather than Martinez's bigging him up constantly each week, which failed.
77 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:18:32
We won away to the Champions on Boxing Day, a day when we normally get nothing. Try and show some festive cheer and be glad that we got 3 points instead of trying to get petty digs in aimed at Koeman. Sometimes the result is what matters and it mattered to me and lot of blues today.
78 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:23:36
Robles comes out and catches! Makes all the difference... onwards and upwards.
79 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:23:38
I'm all for digging our way out of a mess and getting those 40 points on the board as soon as possible but if what we saw today and on other occasions this season is the template for this team for the long-term I'm out!!
Had to laugh when I read that Koeman told Lukaku not to run round so much in the second-half, the manager meant for him to stay in and around the two centre-halves not to stop running at all.
80 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:36:38
One instance today resonated with me. It was bang on 65 mins. Holgate bollocked Gana big time. It went on for quite a while. Heated argument. Williams intervened twice to get them to focus. It struck me that Holgate was dead right, Gana cocked up twice and put him under pressure.
Great to see a kid say his piece regardless of status and then stick to his guns. Holgate and Davies can hopefully be part of a big building program.
Dire game. Happy for the points.
81 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:36:49
I have just watched a game, like many others, where we have most possession and then, where it matters, up front, we ain't got a Mark Hughes, an Andy Gray, or a Graeme Sharp, Andy Carroll, who can hold the ball up and take the pressure off the midfield and defence.
We have got a player who cannot trap a bag of cement or keep the ball in that position. Romelu Lukaku is not a centre forward, maybe a Number 10, never never an out-and-out centre-forward.
82 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:53:44
At 1-0 up, my Evertonian insecurities were readily on show. At 2-0, I couldn't help but let out party mode.
I love being an Everton fan for these moments, if nothing else.
84 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:09:51
85 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:15:21
They played well today but kudos to Barkley and the very impressive Tom Davies who both added class to a welcome and workmanlike performance by the whole team.
86 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:19:56
If Gana had have made it 2-0 we'd have talked about that 15-20 odd pass move (anyone get a count? ... Patrick?) as a contender for goal of the season.
Yes we were disjointed and lacked belief for long periods, but in that second half, Mirallas found his shooting boots, Lukaku rag-dolled a beast and we still put together the best move likely to be seen outside Catalonia this Christmas.
Comfort and Joy!!!
87 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:22:24
I agree with those who commend Robles's performance. He was a quite safe pair of hands, particularly in the air. I was disappointed with both Coleman and Baines, who failed to take any visible advantage from their more forward positions. Williams was back to his solid best and Barkley did very well when he came on.
And now to Kingston-upon-Hull!
88 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:29:21
I know a club of our history deserves to be at the top but get a fucking grip. There are a lot of other clubs trying to get to the top. It's been a long time, painful, too long, Ronald knows how to play win. Give him time and I hope it pays off
Local lads haven't always performed, we get annoyed because we think they're us and expect more but we might do better with a tad more support. Only and only if they put in a good shift, we should get right behind.
It's been a good day ðŸ‘ŒðŸ»
90 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:51:09
Let's be honest, despite them winning the title last season, we are still the bigger club.
91 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:57:45
After the 6 moths of Kloppy, the RS were shite but they weren't on his back and now sadly they are half-decent. Can we not give it some time?
92 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:58:52
93 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:04:59
The glass is half-full. At least for a few more weeks, so stop whinning and get behind the boys we are supposed to support. I've been quick to judge, but if a man changes, so will I.
94 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:06:57
95 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:08:02
I'd quite forgotten about that move it was so out of place in the run of the game. However, if the confidence returns to the players and they start to believe in themselves, that is the sort of footy we all want to see. Unfortunately the link doesn't show the complete move but enjoy those who haven't managed to see the game 'live':
96 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:12:22
This link shows a special glass is it half full or half empty or just downright spooky?
97 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:12:53
So it's not a case of 'shipping out' players, as is often a cry when we lose, but marshalling their skills consistently, and adding to them (not simply trying to replace them) in future transfer windows. That move leading to Gana's miss (he'll hit one home soon), was a joy to watch, and there's surely more where that came from.
98 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:16:02
I've probably had too many at Christmas but it does renew my faith in the players and their integrity and demonstrates the quality of Coleman, as if we didn't know. Worth a look if you've not already seen it. I don't know how to link things I'm afraid.
99 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:19:09
100 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:20:58
I enjoy a moan as well as anyone but I won't moan after a win, however shite and undeserved it was. I haven't seen the highlights yet but as bad as they might be, and I'm sure Lineker will have a good old moan, I promise I will not moan afterwards.
So stop moaning like a bunch of moaning bitches and enjoy the moment, at least until tomorrow.
101 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:24:16
102 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:26:00
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum! doesn't that motto mean that we should moan when the levels of performance are not quite up to it? If we start to accept any sort of win on a regular basis we'll never reach perfection will we?
BTW I linked some highlights earlier in the thread a few posts ago.
Merry Christmas, Colin:) Happy with the points not so much with that first-half performance, but we might see some much needed progress in the level of performance, if we win a few more games in the next few weeks.
103 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:34:42
"We won away to the Champions on Boxing Day, a day when we normally get nothing. "
I thought that, too, until I read on the BBC,
Everton are unbeaten in their last five Premier League away games on Boxing Day (W3 D2 L0)
104 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:35:13
Thanks for the highlights as well, Patrick, and I'm sure you never meant it when you said "I'M OUT" even if that's how Everton make us all feel at times!
105 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:35:28
My take on the game was that we weren't much better than many of our losses and draws. More resilient, but created very little. Both goals were 'created' by aimless punts and owed a huge amount to terrible defending.
Defence did nothing wrong.
Gana tackled everything that moved, but also seemed to want to pass to the blue shirts. Barry did his job as ever, it's just not the sort of job a team with any ambition needs anymore.
The same problem was there with isolating Lukaku again. He's not up to it. His touch was awful again and he then resorted to first time lay offs to players who weren't there. Support him or do something else. He still got a goal, though, and hard earned it was. Imagine what he could do with some help.
The bright point for me (besides the three points) was Davies. I thought he scrapped, pressed and harassed Leicester. He's desperately trying to earn a place in that midfield.
Yes, more negative than positive. But we were two lucky punts away from this thread being filled with negativity so it's probably fair.
106 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:39:41
You will notice in the first half Baines did very little past the midfield line until the ball was advanced on the right side to near the Leicester 18-yard box because of Slimani and Gray staying up. Everton effectively neutralised one side of the field. You saw the difference when Leicester had to chase a goal in the second half and left the back four more exposed.
Tony, Merry Christmas and Happy New Years then. I still do not trust Robles, or see him as a #1 keeper, but today he earned his place in the 11.
107 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:42:30
And thank you to Tony and Patrick @98 & 99 too. I've always rated Seamus. No academy bollocks in his development, just hard graft in a foreign country (language aside) as a very young man, a season on loan during which he was player-of-their-year as they won promotion to the fabled Premier League, and consistently excellent for us despite some of the psychologically flaky fuckers we need to be rid of as soon as possible playing in the same team.
Why he ain't our captain is a mystery.
108 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:51:40
By way of contrast, we started the derby match at a fast pace but could not maintain it. The RedShite sat back, let us burn ourselves out before winning the game with a late goal. Against Arsenal we started slowly, allowed the visitors an early goal before coming back to dominate the last hour and winning with a late goal.
It is important that if a team starts with all guns blazing as we did in the derby, it scores while on top. Equally, if a team starts slowly, it is important not to concede an early goal. We achieved that today, dominated possession in the first half without doing anything with it but got the goals from straightforward clearances from the back.
The first half was a cagey affair and it was interesting to see Ranieri trying to signal his team to move up the field. If his half-time instruction was for them to push up, it certainly backfired with their defence caught out so easily. So, although we dominated possession in the end, we won the game with two long balls. I'll take that every game.
109 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:52:15
110 Posted 26/12/2016 at 23:08:05
111 Posted 26/12/2016 at 23:19:28
Yes, moaning is definitely part of TW's DNA. I don't look at the site as much these days, and after having a break I logged in recently to see that there were calls for Koeman to be sacked after a couple of months when we were still 8th in the table.
I have to say, it wasn't that much of a surprise but, after a sabbatical away I can see how your average paying fan might see things differently to some of the more vocal TW'bbers.
There was a large contingent of contributors who were talking of relegation only week or 2 ago. Those claims look pretty fanciful and OTT. We're 7th in the league.
The football isn't a joy to watch under Koeman but I don't frankly care if we grind out results like the ones against Arsenal and Leicester. This season was always going to be a season of transition. I'm positive about the January window and look forward to seeing how the incoming players will integrate.
112 Posted 26/12/2016 at 23:51:05
113 Posted 26/12/2016 at 00:08:28
It's not the style of play, but rather it's the lack of creativity that is driving me nuts. Of course there are occasions when we have to dig in and take something from a game, it's one of Koeman's better attributes and how he appears to like his players to perform, but that on it's own isn't going to take us to where we want to be.
It does seem that the players have decided to do what the manager wants from them, by working harder for larger parts of the game, more regularly, but is it really too much to ask for this team to create chances or at least move quicker towards the opponents goal long punts aside?
None of us want gung-ho careless footy, but does it have to be so tortuous to watch? I see no good reason that we can't eke out positive results and play entertaining football simultaneously, but this is Everton and the two elements always seem to be mutually exclusive.
Constructive criticism of an individual or the team by a few posters doesn't necessarily constitute moaning, it just means that there is a gap between what some of us want to see and what we are witnessing at a particular point in time.
114 Posted 27/12/2016 at 00:18:59
If you can't manage that, just win.
No matter what the performance, there really can't be any grounds for complaining if the team wins. Never mind that it was away to the champions and with a clean sheet. Most of those complaining seem to already have an agenda against the manager and would complain regardless.
Personally I'm not bothered what the performance is like if we win. I'd much rather not play well and get three points than play well and lose.
Winning breeds confidence and teams play well when confident. We don't normally do well over the festive period so I'm well pleased with the win today.
Why can't people simply be happy we won? It's not like it happens every week.
115 Posted 27/12/2016 at 00:19:36
One question for those who were there or watched it, was Lukaku REALLY that bad today? BBC gave him Man of the Match and said his was an excellent display of a lone forward leading the line. Apparently he even held the ball up well...
Yet any comment I've seen on here not read all of them suggests he was poor and the ball wasn't sticking etc.
Is the reality somewhere in between, at least on this occasion...?
116 Posted 27/12/2016 at 00:23:27
117 Posted 27/12/2016 at 00:23:34
Hopefully we will have a good January with incoming's to the club. I think a 7th place finish would be a good season. Maybe an FA Cup Win!
118 Posted 27/12/2016 at 00:27:34
Funny old world, isn't it? I find myself agreeing with Darren more often too! COYB.
119 Posted 27/12/2016 at 00:37:30
Of course he did win headers, the commentators mentioned on numerous occasions that Lukaku was flicking on headers to himself because no other Everton player was up with him. Multiple times the commentator said that specifically, after seeing Lukaku win the header.
And of course Lukaku also sent Gana clean through on goal but he skied it over the bar. That happened, Lukaku making the run, getting the ball, playing Gana clear through on goal.
So it's funny, how could one claim to have watched him very closely and put down in writing such an ignorant post that is 100% not true?
120 Posted 27/12/2016 at 00:44:59
I only watched the highlights on MotD and I only saw the Barkley pass and the Lukaku goal so I'm not really in a position to judge their performances today.
It was great to see the togetherness in the team after Rom scored. Seems like the penny might have dropped...
121 Posted 26/12/2016 at 00:45:58
In fact, I'll follow your lead and use Lyndon as a benchmark:
In the meantime, however, it's not unreasonable to expect a little more subtlety and imagination from the team than has been served up in recent weeks. There have to be alternative routes to victory beyond constant pressing, particularly when the two most forward players merely pay the tactic lip-service.
It is amazing that we are seeing our highest crowds of the Premier League era, so it's perhaps hollow of me to claim that the football is not worth watching, but to me – and I suspect a few other Blues – it will always be about a little bit more than just the results.
122 Posted 27/12/2016 at 00:46:02
Don't drop a goal-keeper when he is doing well like Martinez did with Robles previously.
123 Posted 27/12/2016 at 01:20:00
Lukaku is a goalscorer, and before we signed him 3½ years ago, all anyone wanted Moyes to sign was a proven goal scorer how many 10+ season did anyone have for Everton in the decade before Rom came along? Cahill, Johnson, Beattie, Yakubu and Jelavic. Now we have a player who scores goals and creates chances and people still slag him off. I just don't understand.
Something that has always stood out to me about Rom is, despite the apparent chat of leaving for a bigger club, he is usually the first to celebrate a goal by a team mate and, today included, rallies the rest of the boys around whomever the goalscorer is. You don't get that level of decency with a lot of strikers these days.
As for Koeman, I'm not a fan of giving managers too much time, but if results are coming through and there are signs that the football could be good with a few tweaks, a full season (two transfer windows) is an absolute minimum.
124 Posted 27/12/2016 at 01:20:17
125 Posted 27/12/2016 at 01:25:25
"We can be happy with the points and little else."
Actually, I was happy with a great deal more than just the points today.
The football, in general, was poor from both sides. I've already said that. But we merited the win today. The shape and balance of the side was right, given the opposition who are strong at home. The subs were timely and good ones, with Davies and Barkley contributing well when they came on.
Robles claimed everything that came into the box. Williams tidied up everything else in possibly his best game to date in an Everton shirt. Together, they were a huge part in why we kept a clean sheet. Holgate continues to impress, although he was a wee bit culpable on their only serious chance in the 2nd half, both playing the sub onside and losing his man, jumping under the ball. The sub should have left Robles for dead with his header.
Mirallas took full advantage of the cock up by the Leicester centre backs. He most certainly did not struggle to control the ball as Michael reports before striking it home. His first touch ensured the centre backs couldn't get back to him, his 2nd touch both drew the keeper and gave him the angle to shoot across Schmeichel to score.
Similarly, Lukaku did superbly for his goal. This is where we want Romelu. Pressing a defender with the ball, facing his own goal. He brushed aside Morgan, who tried illegally to stop Rom, and bamboozled the other defender before finishing cleanly. We would get continued even better returns from Rom if we could consistently create more situations like today. I would also give Ross greater credit than the blind long punt out of defence some claim it was. He clearly looks up and picks out the area for Lukaku to attack.
So I don't agree with your assessment that "the team did the bare minimum to get that win" or that "both goals [were] a result of a 50/60 yard "pass," or further, that "in both instances the defenders made a hash of it."
If the defenders did so, it was because of the good anticipation, good pressing, good speed, control and finishing by our two fellahs.
And ... you do realise, John, just because I mention two disparate points in the same post (the fact we've won 2 in 3 from difficult fixtures, and a broader point about the points return for the clubs occupying the top spots at the half way stage), I am not trying to draw any correlation between the data at all.
Nor am I dismissing the large majority of games this season where we have been piss poor. Like many, just 3 games ago, I was questioning our identity, what style of football are we playing (or meant to be playing...) under Koeman, because I like many couldn't discern one.
Just 3 games ago I was also saying the manager cannot and should not be excused because he hasn't had enough transfer windows to shape the squad with the kind of player he wants. It is his duty to get results with the players and hand he has been dealt NOW! And neither he nor the players have been doing that.
So in conclusion, there are 1 or 2 points we concur on, but probably more we do not. And the principle one for me today is your opening line. There was a lot more positives to be taken from today's WIN than merely the 3 points, as I describe above.
And just one more thing ... just read that Everton has lost just two of their last 14 Premier League games against a reigning champion (W7 D5 L2). Nah bad!
126 Posted 27/12/2016 at 01:56:37
127 Posted 27/12/2016 at 02:08:59
Also, Koeman changes formation almost every game, he needs to look at Konte for a bit of education, a solid formation is what's needed.
Also what the fook was written on the Everton shirt today instead of the Chang logo? I couldn't quite make it out on TV. Still 3 points, get in there!
128 Posted 27/12/2016 at 02:15:02
Great gesture by the club.
129 Posted 27/12/2016 at 03:16:59
Kev and Rom did brilliantly for both goals but they were absolutely long punts that should have been dealt with.
Leicester committed the cardinal sin against us; the same one Man City committed against them a few weeks back. You just don't push up high against teams that rely almost entirely on space in behind. Really foolish. Eventually one of your isolated defenders will fuck up, like we regularly used to under Roberto.
131 Posted 27/12/2016 at 04:00:06
I know Barkley appeared to look what was on both times but actually, was probably intending a backwards or sideways pass to slow play down. Still, I'll take mistakes all day if they give us attacking advantage.
Lukaku too, yeah okay, he scored to consolidate our win. That type of goal though, involving running at, and battling/despatching strong defenders, then finishing past a quality goalkeeper, it's not all it's cracked up to be.
Mostly, it's just a result of the striker operating in a mild state of panic, a kind of default to a predictable program used many times, and getting lucky. The same concept was seen in the Man City game. He's obviously on a run of luck, been this way for three seasons at least. The stats bear out this luck, 'cos he has the highest on-target strike percentage of all the top scorers this season, despite being in a mediocre team. His bubble will burst.
So sell him I say, this donkey. Sell the donkey and the horse. What do they give us? With the money, we can buy some guys with legs & lungs, athletes/runners that can also play just enough football... we could probably buy five or six with the dough. After all, these are the type of players that fill every team above us in the table... aren't they? Quality who needs it.
132 Posted 27/12/2016 at 04:06:08
133 Posted 27/12/2016 at 04:42:31
However, he did put a wonderful cross in for Gueye, which should of been converted, and of course he scored the second goal... which brings me to my point.
His touch, passing, movement and his work rate leave a lot to be desired but, when faced with a high line and the ball is played in front of him and he gets running at defenders, I don't think there is anyone to live with him in that situation and it must be a defender's worst nightmare when he is in full flight bearing down on goal!
What did we use to say? "Feed the Yak and he will score"? Same with Lukaku; if we play to his strengths, he will get you goals; a lone target man he is not.
Also, a special mention for Joel Robles, I've been saying it for a couple of years now, there is no reason why he can't be a top keeper. I am sure many of you remember screaming at Howard a few seasons ago to come out and catch and command his six-yard area well that's exactly what Robles showed today and boy didn't it help the defense out!!!
134 Posted 27/12/2016 at 08:19:25
Williams was much better, possibly because he had pace around him. Holgate again staked his claim for a regular game, Robles was solid and Barkley looked good when he came on. Great pass for the second goal, that's more like it, Ross!
Davies played a good cameo; he's a must for any game when we're in front and can stretch the opposition. I loved his sense of purpose and the way he mucked in defensively.
Oh, and Lukaku was again isolated, yet laid on a sitter and scored from his one chance.
So far this season, with a couple of exceptions, we've been solid defensively. That's why we're 7th, despite not playing well. We're woefully short on creativity, because the players either aren't good enough or consistent enough.
I can put up watching a turgid team scrapping for the points, as long as there's some quality to be added very soon. Over to you, Messrs Koeman and Walsh.
135 Posted 27/12/2016 at 08:41:25
136 Posted 27/12/2016 at 08:47:22
137 Posted 27/12/2016 at 08:58:04
138 Posted 27/12/2016 at 09:48:50
Got to give it time though, because Koeman did take over the easiest team in the league to play against. Combining skill with a lot more workrate and aggression does take time. It's not very easy to achieve both of these things at the same time, and if you think about it for a minute, not many players very rarely master all of these things, never mind a team?
139 Posted 27/12/2016 at 09:48:51
I don't mind being sentimental, part of life, I've seen the film 'It's a wonderful life' umpteen times, never fails to move me, when it happens in real life, it's great to see and acknowledge.
140 Posted 27/12/2016 at 10:17:10
This fella is a proper coach of football and will make EFC competitive in this league. Straight talking,no nonsense and direct. Perfect for Everton at this transitional period.
Just remember, he is changing a complete culture of negativity and the "mid-table is good enough" ethos that has enveloped us for too long. Let the man do his job.
141 Posted 27/12/2016 at 10:19:03
142 Posted 27/12/2016 at 11:06:34
Roman, as far as I can find out, since 1999-2000 we've won 4, lost 4 and drawn 1 in home games on Boxing Day.
143 Posted 27/12/2016 at 11:12:52
144 Posted 27/12/2016 at 11:38:02
I hate five at the back and if there is to be a place for Holgate it should be at centre-back.
At least Koeman may now recognise Tom Davies.
145 Posted 27/12/2016 at 12:21:56
Read my post @ 125 again. I can't be more explicit or descriptive of the goals.
Both Mirallas and Lukaku still had a lot to do to score, regardless of whether your interpretation that they came from "mindless punts and terrible defending" is correct or not. And like me, others in this thread don't subscribe to your own (self-confessed) negative evaluation of the game and the goals.
Far more positives than negatives on the day for me.
146 Posted 27/12/2016 at 12:44:39
We have to start with Davies & a strike partner with Rom or our play will become more pedestrian.
147 Posted 27/12/2016 at 13:30:22
148 Posted 27/12/2016 at 13:32:46
149 Posted 27/12/2016 at 13:41:03
Don't blow Moshiri's millions on more dross, harness what we have, build a fucking team we can be proud of... Youth & experience is the way, recall our loan players, add the young guns... build a legacy from there.
Save our funds for the new ground... our brave new future, for our great club!
150 Posted 27/12/2016 at 13:41:59
It's funny how winning makes it all better even if we don't play so well. We just played a little bit better and maybe had a touch of luck this time.
151 Posted 27/12/2016 at 14:43:13
I'd say Koeman is delighted to get to the end of the year in 7th position with the side playing so poorly with low confidence. He sounds very confident of bringing in new faces and so I suppose we have to believe it will happen as there seems to be cash there to spend.
I can't believe we're back interested in Sissoko after what he did to us and he's been poor for Spurs. I'd like to see us go get Ben Foster but a regular scoring midfielder is a must
152 Posted 27/12/2016 at 15:57:35
I knew it...
153 Posted 27/12/2016 at 16:25:20
154 Posted 27/12/2016 at 16:34:11
So did I and I bet he is dead untidy and lazy round the house. I wouldn't be surprised if he is a 'brass hinge' as well, doesn't part with the ball much does he?
155 Posted 27/12/2016 at 17:11:34
156 Posted 27/12/2016 at 17:45:50
157 Posted 27/12/2016 at 18:58:00
I'd take Allen in midfield though.
158 Posted 27/12/2016 at 19:06:23
159 Posted 27/12/2016 at 19:12:29
We are not shite. Stoke are.
161 Posted 27/12/2016 at 19:17:35
Surely just throwing bodies forward into the opposition's box would help? Klopp has sussed that in less than 18 months across the park goals win games.
165 Posted 27/12/2016 at 19:46:07
Football's a game of opinions and everybody's allowed one and being "just" opinions means there's no right or wrong.
166 Posted 27/12/2016 at 19:52:52
Yes, they lost... but they gained the same number of points against the RS as we did. So it's not as simple or straightforward as shite or not shite. here are degrees of shite. Then there's the smell to consider.... Colour and consistency are also important.
167 Posted 27/12/2016 at 19:58:40
168 Posted 27/12/2016 at 19:59:29
To delve a bit technically, the style of football we play is the best points return we can expect with the players we have. Yes, we can play more expansive (Martinez) but our players are not good enough defensively without numbers and are left exposed (Martinez).
Once Koeman an Co have a couple of transfer windows, I trust this will change after all, Southampton weren't a long-ball team.
169 Posted 27/12/2016 at 20:01:52
170 Posted 27/12/2016 at 20:08:12
You intrigued me by suggesting that goals win prizes and I agree that it is in the main true, however, I had to go back to 1999-2000 to see an Everton side that had scored 4 or more goals in a greater number of games than the neighbours presently have (6).
Everton scored 4 or more in league games in 84-85 and 85-86 on eight occasions. The best during the Premier League era was in 1999-2000 when Walter Smith's (yes him that dour bloke!) team scored 4 or more on seven occasions.
Curiously the 1970 and 1987 title winning sides only managed three and four respectively whilst the 1963 side managed to score 4 or more on six occasions.
171 Posted 27/12/2016 at 20:09:19
172 Posted 27/12/2016 at 20:14:19
173 Posted 27/12/2016 at 20:27:14
174 Posted 27/12/2016 at 20:41:54
The closest sides to that tally were the 1980s team 84-85 (13), 85-86 (14) and 86-87 (14). The best Premier League tally came during last season when Roberto's team scored 3 or more league goals on a dozen occasions â€“ fat lot of good that did us... :)
175 Posted 27/12/2016 at 20:42:00
176 Posted 27/12/2016 at 20:47:22
But obviously the Belgian should he continue to take the field for Everton should easily beat Duncan's goals tally. I also believe that he is only 3 goals shy of Tim Cahill's league tally for Everton.
177 Posted 27/12/2016 at 21:01:45
Koeman's trying to build what a lot of us have wanted for ages; a physically strong team that presses at a high tempo. That gives your creative players a platform to play. Moyes gave us one half, Martinez gave us the other.
If people keep talking about Klopp, I'll keep talking about his first year, when we were laughing at his calls for patience and his certainty that his average players would get used to the pressing game.
178 Posted 27/12/2016 at 21:03:41
Top Five as of today:-
60 21 Nov 1994 07 May 2006
56 11 Sep 2004 28 Apr 2012
53 21 Sep 2013 26 Dec 2016
45 11 Apr 1999 15 May 2004
44 01 May 2004 16 May 2015
179 Posted 27/12/2016 at 21:12:55
In fact, aside from Gana, he is probably the most effective player in the team for performing the role that they are meant to perform.
180 Posted 27/12/2016 at 21:18:45
Klopp has been there for about one full season while Koeman has been here for about half a season, with Koeman having the benefit of enjoying a preseason before having to manage a single match. Klopp immediately changed the way they played and took them to two cup finals. We are playing atrocious football.
I'd have to say that Koeman is far behind, unless you expect us to be sitting second in the table come the end of the year. Remember that when Klopp took them over they were behind us in the table.
You say people were laughing at Klopp, well who is laughing now? I watch them play and every attack ends with at least 5 reds in the box. Meanwhile we are relying on assists from our own box to get goals.
I'm willing to be patient but what am I being patient for? The quality of football is just so poor, it's difficult to watch. I like the heart I'm starting to see in the players, but his ultra defensive methods are killing me.
181 Posted 27/12/2016 at 21:47:11
Better players are expensive and Everton's squad, aside from a couple of notable exceptions, have been bought in, relatively, on the cheap.
The other lot haven't had a sell-to-buy policy in place either, which means they have been able to build on the good bits of their squad over time.
According to the Transfer League information, every Premier League point won by Everton and Liverpool has cost circa 㿮k for the total of 1263 (Everton) points and 𧶛k for 1547 (Liverpool) points and transfer fees (net) up to, I think, the end of last season.
182 Posted 27/12/2016 at 21:47:36
The pressure previously on Rodgers and now Klopp must be tremendous in order for the big US investors to see a return and that will only come with the Champions League.
Everton and Koeman however will have some time to get the ''work in process'' operating and, although most of us are showing impatience (including myself), I think Moshiri will get things turned around.
Money talks and hopefully January and the not too distant future will produce dividends.
183 Posted 27/12/2016 at 22:00:13
184 Posted 27/12/2016 at 22:12:56
Duncan scored 61 Premier League goals in 239 games. Just under 1 in 4.
In his second spell he managed 24 in 123 over six seasons, or 4 goals per year.
Not quite as prolific as you suggest.
Of course some regard him a legend.
185 Posted 27/12/2016 at 22:19:17
Duncan according to TW
186 Posted 27/12/2016 at 22:31:07
187 Posted 27/12/2016 at 23:50:26
I think that we were ahead of schedule in the early run of games, behind when we had that barren patch where we couldn't buy a win, and now we're exactly where we should be.
I think most would have taken 7th at this stage in the season. We're above the teams who are nearest competitors, such as Southampton, West Ham and Stoke.
The football is awful to watch at the moment but I don't care if we continue to grind out the results until Koeman/Walsh get rid of the deadwood and bring in their own players.
Hopefully we can offload, Kone, Gibson, McGeady, Naisse and Oviedo by the end of next summer.
188 Posted 27/12/2016 at 23:57:49
"Forwards win games; defences win tournaments."
Clearly both are needed but building on a strong defence will generally allow more freedom for your forwards to express themselves. (Always providing they are good enough, of course!!!!???)
Probably the same rule for football, eh?
189 Posted 28/12/2016 at 05:12:12
That said, whilst our football is woeful right now, I will continue to give Koeman another 2 windows if not 3 to see what he can do. I hope your words "What am I waiting for?" don't come back to haunt me!
The other point I would make is that surely Rom is the worst 'footballer' to score 70 or more goals in the Premier League, his hold up play, passing, control, touch is truly tragic.
Most of the time, he's a goalscorer and no more that's for sure, and I'm disappointed that EFC have not managed to coach him to be better in his weak areas, but that all said, obviously we'd be utterly lost without him!
190 Posted 28/12/2016 at 22:56:46
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