Solid if uninspiring win sends Baggies packing

Everton finally took the lead through Mirallas after two chances missed by Lukaku, Schneiderlin scoring just 6 minutes later. Lukaku scored his 19th goal in the last 10 mins.

Michael Kenrick 11/03/2017 231comments  |  Jump to last

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit again and named among the substitutes
Everton 3 - 0 West Bromwich Albion

For the visit of West Brom, Phil Jagielka returns to captain Everton, with Kevin Mirallas starting up front while Funes Mori and Gana Gueye are dropped to the bench where Calvert-Lewin returns from injury.

Gareth Barry retains his starting place, meanwhile, for West Brom, Morrison and Brunt are rested by Tony Pulis, with Robson-Kanu coming in to be their front runner. Rondon is on the bench.

Mirallas gave away an early free-kick but he was quick to pick up Lukaku's pass and dance down the left wing but his cross was poor. A good run by Lukaku won a corner and that saw some probing plays, Coleman circling around to the left and powering in a great low cross that fooled everyone.

With ground balls stymied, a ball up to Lukaku was nodded down for Barkley to stab at from distance, well wide. But Everton's build-up was painfully slow and easily stifled. Lukaku eventually got a sight of goal but his shot across Foster bobbled past the far post.

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West Brom put in their own attack, a header from Fletcher collected easily by Robles, but the pace of the game was pedestrian at best and the guile needed against the packed defence was somewhat lacking, any space in the West Brom box being immediately closed down.

Everton defending did not look too confident with some scrappy play stopping a shot from Robson-Kanu. At the other end, long sequences of passing were not getting very far, Lukaku eventually letting Davies get in behind and from the corner, Baines crossed well to the far post where a towering Romelu Lukaku failed badly to make proper contact with his head: second chance gone begging.

Another corner, played short, ended in a lame shot from Barkley. Some more energetic tight passing looked to break through but a black shirt inevitably snuffed out the promising play, allowing The Baggies to advance and cross, winning a corner off a Robles flap.

McClean was next to swing in a great cross that needed the defensive header from Williams with Robson-Kanu right behind him. Barkley tried a better shot but could not get it to drop. Chadli was given space and time to line up a shot that Robles had to turn behind the post.

Davies in space released Barkley but Lukaku was surrounded by four defenders, however, he pulled away and crossed, the ball coming to Barkley who shot again and there was Mirallas to fire in the rebound off Foster.

Off a free-kick it looked like Coleman was fouled but he lost his footing. But a driving determined move by Lukaku saw him clip the ball forward to Schneiderlin running in and he clipped the balls cleverly past Foster for a fine second goal.

It was a great finish to what had at times been an arduous, slow and difficult first half for the Blues, but the 2-0 scoreline gave them great confidence for the second half.

The half began with Ramirez Funes Mori replacing Leighton Baines, who had picked up an injury. Lukaku drove forward off a ball from Tom Davies and fired in a cross-cum-shot that went over everyone. But Everton were looking a little more inventive than they had for much of the first half.

But they were giving up space in defence, allowing Chadli a sight of Robles, then giving the Baggies a corner, Referee Scott this time denying Everton a quick counter by failing to play the advantage.

More lengthy intricate passing moves, some circling all the way back to Robles, tried to draw an opening in the solid Baggies defence but it would often end with a mistake; patience was needed in spades.

Mirallas drove in well down the left channel and fed Barkley who tried to create space for the shot, but could only fire into the side netting. After that, the game became very flat for an extended period.

Idrissa Gana Gueye was brought on to replace Kevin Mirallas for the last 20 minutes, something of a negative move from the manager who had both Lookman and Calvert-Lewin in need of more top-level exposure, with a solid two-goal lead.

Yacob pulled down Lukaku in the Dee, earning a yellow card and giving the big man another chance but he drove the free-kick into the wall. More substitutions broke up any tempo there was as the game became if anything even more pedestrian than it had been in the first half.

Davies was required to defend and tackled the attacker, giving up a corner that went all the way through for a throw-in. Barkley tried to clip the ball over for a lurking Lukaku before Barry earned his obligatory yellow card for upending Rondon.

Out of very little, a lovely chipped cross from Barkley placed right on Lukaku's head and this one he could not miss, to make it 3-0. Finally time to bring on Dominic Calvert-Lewin in place of Gareth Barry.

A couple of tricky Baggies corners needed defending before Lukaku drove forward and Barkely got some space to shoot, the ball hitting a defender's arm. Calvert-Lewin was cynically blocked by Dawson on the break: yellow card.

Idrissa Gueye saw a nice opening near the end, firing onto the post with Foster stranded, to wrap up a solid if uninspiring win that puts Everton within 2 points of Man Utd in 6th place... but having played two more games.

Everton: Robles, Coleman, Ashley Williams, Jagielka, Baines (46' Funes Mori), Davies, Schneiderlin, Barry [Y:81'] (84' Calvert-Lewin), Barkley, Lukaku, Mirallas (71' Gana).
Subs not Used: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Valencia, Lookman.

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Dawson [Y:88'], McAuley, Evans, Nyom, Livermore, Chadli, Fletcher, Yacob [Y:73'] (79' Morrison), McClean (75' Brunt), Robson-Kanu (75' Rondon).
Subs not Used: Olsson, M Wilson, Myhill, Field.

Referee: Graham Scott

Attendance: 39,592

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Reader Comments (231)

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Chris Williams
1 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:16:39
Starting Jags, Williams and Barry together is a risk. Too slow. I remember the last time they started which was a while ago, it was obvious then it should never happen again.

Is Gueye injured?

Mike Allen
2 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:18:01
Just don't get it at all...Barry and Jags??? Other than a shedload of injuries, what have either of these players done to warrant selection?
Paul Kossoff
3 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:21:29
I can't understand the line-up, nothing more to say other than I can't see WBA not scoring, baffled.
Paul Holmes
4 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:22:44
How is OAP Gareth Barry in the team again, ffs?!? what is going on?

We need energy and pace that Spurs showed last week, not statues that can't run!

James Lee
5 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:29:35
Barry?????!!!!!!!! I must be watching different game last week.
John Pierce
6 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:30:29
Ever had that sinking feeling, that line up has me worried.

Technically the talent in that team should be enough. But in most games, more so against West Brom, you have too earn the right to play.

The formation is a worry, no way the front three will stay that way.

Pragmatic, defensive, uninspired. Here's to hoping.

Brian Porter
7 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:31:45
Awful line up. What is Koeman thinking of? Barry starts again and Gueye benched. Jags instead of Funes Mori. Like it or not almost all our clean sheets have come with the Funes Mori - Williams partnership at the back. I can see Jags giving away a needless penalty in this one.

A much too defensive look about the team. We should be going for the jugular in games like this but this selection looks more set up to slow the game down and contain West Brom. Respect your opponent by all means, but I think he's gone too far with this team.

Seamus McCrudden
9 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:33:42
Barry? For fecks sake
John Pierce
10 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:37:48
If Koeman wants a stick to be beaten with then that line up is sheer sado masochism

David Morgan
11 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:39:00
Is Gueye injured? what's going on with this team selection?
Ciarán McGlone
12 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:42:37
Utterly unexplainable.
Charles McCann
13 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:53:41
Agree Ciaran. Dreadful decision to play Barry again. Not sure about jags in there either.
Minik Hansen
14 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:55:09
Let's see is Koeman doing the right thing, COYB
Colin Glassar
15 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:56:41
Ronald said Barry will have a lot more time on the ball today hence his starting over Gana. We shall see.
Frank Crewe
16 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:01:10
This idea that Gana and Schneiderlin are some kind of world beating impenetrable wall is patently ridiculous as last week's Spurs result showed. Both these players cannot be in the same 11. They just spend the afternoon getting in each other way.

At this moment, Everton have too many defensive midfielders on the books. At least six at the last count. Three of them are going to have to go. That would be Barry, Besic, and because of his lack of action I suspect McCarthy.

Of the three that are left, only ONE should play in any game. We need to be more creative, with forward looking players so room has to be made to fit them in and stripping out some of the defensive midfielders is the way to go.

As for today, people have been agitating for Funes Mori to be dropped for weeks. Well he has. Now the fact that he's chosen Jagielka over Holgate is disappointing but Holgate is very young and time is on his side. Hopefully with Davies, Berkley, Mirallas and Lukaku we have enough attacking options to win this match.

Ciarán McGlone
17 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:01:28
Whether he has more time or not, choosing Barry over Gana is insane.
Chris Gould
18 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:06:13
I have no problem with Jags and Barry starting. WBA are a totally different proposition to Spurs. Let's wait and see how it goes before all the moaning.

Ciarán, Gueye is fantastic at regaining possession, but I think Koeman feels that we will have loads of possession and need a player to distribute it. Barry is a decent passer.

Peter Cummings
19 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:09:42
Puzzling to say the very least. It's Williams who should be dropped – not Funes Mori – and the least said about Barry's inclusion the better.
Terry Underwood
20 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:12:56
Gana benched???? WTF
Tony Twist
21 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:14:10
Moyes Mk 2! Prove me wrong, Koeman.
Dean Cooper
22 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:14:50
Barry is probably chosen to combat West Brom's threat from set pieces. Calm down people
Ciarán McGlone
23 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:28:16
He may be a decent passer, he's also fantastic at letting people go past him with ease.

Not a great asset for a defensive midfielder.

Ciarán McGlone
24 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:51:28
To be fair on Barry, he's had a decent half.

John Pierce
25 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:53:11
Like most Evertonians, I'd best tuck into that humble pie Koeman's dishing out at half time. Yum.
Paul Mackie
26 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:55:28
As usual, Koeman proving that he knows more than us ToffeeWebbers about managing a football team.
Dean Cooper
27 Posted 11/03/2017 at 15:57:36
Ugly first half against a defensive WBA who never looked like wanting to win. But I thought Rom, Kev, Barry and our two centre backs have been very good today.

Davies has been poor, and so was Schneiderlin before his goal.. does anyone have a stat on how long it's been since an Everton #2 has scored a league goal??

Mark Hughes
28 Posted 11/03/2017 at 16:54:55
First 13 comments look silly now!
Oscar Huglin
29 Posted 11/03/2017 at 16:56:02
Uninspiring? Which game was I watching? That was assured, comfortable, class.
Jim Scales
30 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:01:51
I second that Oscar.
Colin Glassar
31 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:02:20
We are only 19 point behind Chelsea with 30 points to play for. Like Abba sang, "I believe in angels".
Oscar Huglin
32 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:04:04
Also, thought Barry was fantastic today. Didn't put a foot wrong. Thought pre-match criticism of him was beyond unfair.
John Pierce
33 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:04:20
We won, my pulse never go up beyond 65. Solid and uninspired is right.

Barkley ace, Mirallas decent. Rom scored, no biggie.

WBA choked just like we did at Spurs last week.

Barry did no more that Gana or JMac would have done, at least they'd have had more minutes in the team.

The back four give me shits, no giggles though. Truly ropey, thankfully not really tested.

In other news we might get our money back on Niasse!!! Two excellent finishes.

Paul Holmes
34 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:08:03
I complained about Barry starting today, and to be fair he played very well, but he must not start against the top teams who have energy and pace in midfield, like Spurs, otherwise we will be found out!
Scott Hamilton
35 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:08:23
Uninspiring?! FFS!

Dominant, controlled and with the potential for lots more goals, especially in the 2nd half.

We just twatted the team directly behind us in the league!

Denis Richardson
36 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:12:52
3 points and a clean sheet - job done. Still not sure about Barry and Jags starting but I guess both will be gone next season. We should begin the long goodbye - only 10 games in an Everton shirt left for each of them. Will be odd when Jags leaves as he's been such a big part of the team for a decade.

Seven points clear of 8th so 7th should almost be wrapped up and with it European football again next season. Hopefully some of the sides above slip up a bit.

Ciarán McGlone
37 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:19:11
Strange and dull win. It's like West Brom didn't want to be there. Barry had a decent game, but we should play our best eleven every week. He's not in it.

Quite worrying that Gana came on in an advanced position again. That's both him and Davies potentially being shoe-horned into a Number 10 role. Davies is suffering with the demands of a role he cannot fulfill. Give the kid a break and some time off. We have naturals for that role.

Colin Glassar
39 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:20:34
When was the last time we called a 3-0 win uninspiring? Against QPR a few seasons ago? I'll take ten more uninspiring results like this, thank you very much.
Craig Fletcher
40 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:21:22
Uninspiring? Michael, the cynicism in your reporting knows no bounds.

We led 2-0 at halftime, we didn't have to, or need to, get out of second gear in the second half against a poor WBA side.

Very good professional performance. Barkley was excellent again, controlled the game and was my man of the match. Lukaku was very good too and deserved his goal towards the end.

Huge last ten games of the season. If we can tip over either one of the red teams away from home, we still have a healthy shot at top six.

James Marshall
41 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:21:23
Uninspired? I thought that was a thoroughly professional performance all round.

West Brom made it the game it was, and we turned them over. Job done in all departments.

You can't ask for more.

Chris Gould
42 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:22:27
I'll take an 'uninspiring' 3-0 win against a top half of the table team. More of the same next match please.
Zack Yusof
43 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:22:50
Uninspiring??!!! Must be some sort of joke I'm not getting. Plus, some of the pre-match comments on here are just totally ridiculous, bodeline offensive, especially after a controlled performance like the one today. Thank fuck the boss knows the real deal unlike some of the "experts" on here.

I've been watching Everton for over three decades and counting now and for this lifelong fan, this current team is one of the best I've seen in blue in a very long time. If today's performance is meant to be shit, I'll settle for that level of incompetence every time.

It's a weird feeling really, winning like the way we did and then coming on here and reading some of the comments. I actually feel angry and I shouldn't, not after that performance.

Colin Glassar
44 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:23:58
I get the impression Michael doesn't like Ronald.
Michael Lynch
45 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:25:16
I thought Barry and Jags were good today, so fair play to Koeman. The key was the first goal, it wrecked the bus that the Baggies had parked. After that it was plain sailing. I agree with those who are confused by Gueye last week and Davies today being given some kind of number 10 role that doesn't really suit them. I'd hate to see Davies in particular lose his shine by being asked to do a job that isn't necessarily his strong point.
Craig Fletcher
46 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:25:25
A footnote, too, on the selection of Barry today. I think if Barry starts, these are the ideal games for him (at home, against an opponent we're likely to dominate possession-wise, who do not play at speed).

Which, of course, is the complete opposite of Spurs away, hence why Barry struggled badly last week.

Michael Kenrick
48 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:33:53
Sorry folks, I can only call it as I see it, and that was, er... "Solid but uninspiring". In fact, at times before we scored, it was so flat, dull and utterly boring, with the constant passing backwards and lack of forward movement, I feared the worst, especially as our defence looked horrific at times.

But yes, 3-0 win... fantastic stuff! 47 points is all Roberto managed in both of his last two dreadful seasons and that's where we are under Ronald Koeman with 10 games to play. It's not that I don't like him, Colin, but, as Darren so aggressively puts it game after game, the football is not inspiring,

I'm sorry but it's not. Ironic that so many should attack my using this term as we remember a player whose football was sublime beyond inspiring. This was turgid at best. You know it's true...

Tony Abrahams
49 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:34:31
Colin 40, against Southampton around the Xmas period this season?

I think that QPR game, was a real turning point in the Martinez reign, because Everton, stopped trying to score more goals that night, whereas today we had much more forward movement during the second half?

It wasn't great today, and I'm sure most of us would have preferred more attacking players on the pitch, but until we can get better players into the club, then I think this is the style of play that we are going to have to watch?

Phil Walling
50 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:39:47
I can see us garnering another 18 points to put us on 65 at season's end. Enough to claim sixth spot most seasons but not this one I fear !

Colin, a lot of us don't 'like' Ronald but what does that matter. Think what a miserable bugger was Catterick. I detested him but loved his teams!

James Marshall
52 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:41:40
As I've already said, West Brom dictated the way the game was, and they stifled as expected. If you only see the game from one side, then I'm afraid you're not understanding the game of football in its entirety.
Ed Fitzgerald
53 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:42:01
Koeman thought it was outstanding according to he BBC. I don't care how many points WBA have they are absolute shite to watch. Mr Kenrick's analysis is spot on, Ross Barkley was the principal reason I managed to stay awake, he is a pleasure to watch and on a day when we honoured Alex Young it's maybe time that a few on here recognised the mercurial talent Barkley possess.

The key issue will be to go to Anfield and OT and not shit ourselves before a ball is kicked and try and win rather than secure a 0-0 draw.

Colin Glassar
55 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:43:02
I understand where you are coming from Michael, but I'll take 10 more uninspiring victories like that. We'd finish on 77 points!
Jay Harris
56 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:46:36
Very poor team selection. We looked chaotic at times but hey, we won comfortably against a better West Brom team than the one we struggled against last season.

I thought Barkley and Mirallas were terrific. A bit worried about the left-back position. Let's hope Bainesy isn't too serious.

Also thought Rom worked very hard today but I do wish he would work on his heading.

Alan McGuffog
57 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:46:52
Dunno one way or t'other. What I do know is that in both 1969-70 and 1984-85 we won the league. And we ground out some bloody ugly wins! Rather win ugly than lose ineptly.
John Pierce
58 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:47:20
So what was the reflection of the game if its not to be 'uninspired'?

Line up, left me and I think most people flat? Looking at Twitter and TW.

The first 40 minutes, that's almost half a game, were dull. I'd like to here the counter arguement to that.

The second half was sedate, we created little until just before we scored the third. Gana coming on just felt like settling.

Bright spots: Barkley was very good. Rom involved in all three goals.

Maybe regulation or comfortable. But stretching things to say it got exciting?!

I will wholeheartedly give Koeman credit for picking that side and winning 3-0 in the same way he got the blame last week for defeat at Spurs.

Pressure is well off us now. I expect to see Everton just go for it, who cares if we get twonked along the way? Cos if we don't we might be very close to 'inspired!'

But Koeman won't just not in his nature right?

Sam Hoare
59 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:51:29
Turgid at best! A 3-0 win. Shows how the bar has been raised I guess...
Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:52:54
The manager is trying to build something, so I also can't see us changing just yet John.
Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:53:30
I have heard that McCarthy is out for a few weeks, don't know what the injury is.

I thought the game was another dull drab victory, some people are happy with that, but it is still a very boring uninspiring game to watch, you could hear a pin drop through large periods of the game.

Brian Denton
62 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:54:10
Bit harsh. It was a competent win, and pro footballers will often take the foot off the gas in that situation. I thought Ross played really well, Barry showed he still has a part to play in this kind of game, and the game completely passed Tom by. He'll learn from it.
Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:54:52
I thought you'd been deaf for years, Dave?
Colin Glassar
64 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:57:11
I don't think anyone is happy with the performance, Dave, but the result is a good one not to be sniffed at.

We will have European football again next season.

Jim Bennings
65 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:57:35
Excellent home record and I'm enjoying these "turgid home wins" far more than I was enjoying those goal feast thrillers of last season that we lost.

Were the 6-3 and 4-0 wins over Bournemouth and Manchester City turgid??

Just a thought.

Chris Williams
66 Posted 11/03/2017 at 17:58:16
I thought the team selection was wrong. Ronald got it spot on to do the job against a team playing 10 behind the ball. They would never allow a team to play with flair and freedom.

In previous seasons we would never have broken them down but we did with that team selection and Barry, Jags and Williams all did fine.

Stan Schofield
67 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:03:41
On the day we pay tribute to Alex Young, I'm reminded of my first match that my dad took me to, 1961, against Aston Villa, in which Young scored. One of the first pieces of 'footie wisdom' my dad gave me was that when a team plays below what it's capable of, and still wins, then that's a sign of a good team. Today also reminded me of that piece of wisdom.

Koeman got his tactics and team selection spot on this week.

Jamie Barlow
68 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:08:07
3-0 and people are still moaning. Ffs.
David Johnson
69 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:08:10
I found the starting line up uninspiring, but it was a good professional job, completed against the spoilers of the Premier League.

To be fair to Koeman he inherited a squad with fitness and attitude issues, many of whom downed tools last season. A squad of individuals playing for themselves with no spirit or cohesion.

Koeman has done well. He's ruthless and not afraid of upsetting people. All the best managers lack misplaced sentimentality and I doubt sentimentality had anything to do with his inclusion of Jagielka and Barry. He's not perfect and clearly got it wrong last week but, more often than not, he's spot on.

Sam Fitzsimmons
70 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:08:18
I'm beginning to question what football universe I inhabit when a 3-0 win is criticized. I guess I better stop taking the happy pills.
Paul Mackie
71 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:09:38
It was a 'boring' game but I don't really care as we won 3-0. We're looking very consistent at home and that's what we need to be if we're going to push on next season.
Steavey Buckley
72 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:16:28
A solid but uninspring win. Lukaku is worth all the money he gets in his new contract. As a target man and goal scorer he is superb, as it does not matter how many are marking him, he just laps it all up as a challenge.

Ross Barkley is another who is in sparkling form and should sign his new contract asap, as not to let the fans down. Tom Davies ran his heart out again. No matter where he plays he gives his 'all.'

WBA in spite of all the Everton heroics must be the worst team in the Premier League to watch away from home, even when 2-0 down they stuck to their defensive shape while parking the bus.

Simon Harris
73 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:16:42
The oldies, Barry and Jags, both immense, sprinkled with a bit of guile from Barkley, against a yard dog team who even at 2-0 had no intention of trying to overturn the deficit.

Solid, professional win.

Dan Parker
74 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:19:28
Thought we played very well today, professional job, 3 goals, clean sheet in a six pointer for Europe.
Andy Walker
75 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:21:55
We totally controlled that game, it wasn't really a contest. That gives the impression perhaps that it was a dull game. If we are so in control and the opposition isn't threatening, what do we expect? Nail-biting end-to-end stuff, no, just total domination from the Blues.

Imagine if you were a WBA fan, they must be going berserk because their team wasn't ever in the game. But that's down to Everton. The Koeman influence is having a bigger and bigger effect with each month. I just hope he doesn't bugger off in the summer.

Jon Withey
76 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:22:15
We are in our own league table, clearly better than the teams below but clearly not up with those ahead of us. Still - if one them falters..

I thought West Brom would be more difficult than a pedestrian 3-0 win, so fair play to the team and manager.

Barkley genuinely hitting some form now, once he is consistent like this for half a season then I reckon he'll be able to express himself even more.

Mark Wilson
77 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:22:35
Other than the "fascinating" debate over Michael's choice of language I found this bunch of comments strange because I was sure some wise sage would explain Barry's selection?

Genuinely I'm at a loss. He had a decent game with just one bad error before he was subbed after which we had three defensive midfielders on the park, two-nil up at home against a really uninspiring (see what I did there) Tony Pulis team who frankly were so not interested in being involved and wanted it all over asap.

It's not churlish to react to a 3-0 win like this. At times we must have made 20 passes to go 20 yards. Sometimes it was watchable but in the second half it was so Finch-Farm-training-session it was just, well, weird.

Ross did well. Morgan was solid and the Albion forwards, or at least people pretending to be forwards, seemed to get so sick of him picking up loose balls or stealing possession off them that they just stopped bothering to try and win anything. Rom showed us he can trap a ball and create for others. Davies ran like a he was worried he'd be fined if he was spotted standing still.

Hull will be harder next week but maybe Lookman will get a game unless Gareth plays just behind Rom which we shouldn't rule out.

Jolly good stuff by the standards one usually associated with tepid stale and uninspiring.

Damian Wilde
78 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:23:02
After seeing the headline, I didn't even need to look at who wrote the article.

The game was boring in patches, but West Brom are so dull. They were out to stifle us so to win 3-0 is great stuff, not uninspiring as many others have said.

Good to see Jags back, I thought he did okay.

The goals were all very well taken. Thought Barkley had a good game.

Think we need more width though.

Beat Hull next week and see what happens against the RS.


Mike Dolan
79 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:24:30
Uninspiring? Good Lord, that is perhaps the harshest headline ever written. West Brom are a well disciplined team of cloggers who are never easy to play against. They set up for a point and were sent packing in a 6 point game with SFA. Very professional performance rather than a brilliant spectacle but I found it very inspiring actually.

Ross was brilliant today he is so improved all around and inspiring. Inspiring to see Lukaku tracking back and making space for himself that bodes well for the future. Lets give a big pat on the back to Jags and Barry who in the twilight of their careers gave a solid display that inspired the entire team.

Dave Abrahams
80 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:28:22
Tony (63), yes, my left ear is on the blink, but my eyesight is not too bad and I know what I saw today. People who saw it differently to me, I have no problem with that; we are all happy with the win, we just saw the game in a different way.
Gordon Crawford
81 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:30:05
No pleasing some people. 3-0 is a great result. :)
Trevor Lynes
82 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:31:18
I still ask the question about Barkley.When is he going to score ?Three foreign players scored the goals.

I will not be completely happy with Barkley until he scores a few goals.

Jay Wood
83 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:31:47
Comfy win against the team must likely to challenge us for - at worst - 7th place. Three goals scored. Clean sheet kept. Five straight home wins in the PL for the first time in 3 seasons. Already equaled our points tally for the last 2 seasons with 10 games still to play.

What's not to like?

By calling it 'uninspiring' Michael, perhaps you mean the game was not brimming with fast-flowing, fluent and slick passing football. In that case, you are correct.

However, Tony Pullis and how he set up his side to play rather ensured it wouldn't be. It wasn't a failing of Everton's making. WBA continued to play exactly the same way deep into the 2nd half, even when trailing 2-0. It wasn't Everton's game to chase. As it was, we did what we needed to do. A 3rd goal was added and there could have been 1 or 2 more.

As for performances, Barkley continues to shine. Lukaku had a hand in all 3 goals. Mirallas worked tirelessly for the team and merited his goal. Barry again showed - against the right opposition - he still merits a game. Jags, after a wobbly start, settled down well. Williams - who wasn't at his best last week at Spurs - continued his own recent good form with another solid display. People are too quick to condemn and call for a player to be dropped on the back of a single below par performance. Robles back to looking solid also.

Not quite on it today, Coleman again neither solid in defence nor particularly effective in attack. Davies had some good moments, but was also a wee bit off-colour.

Very telling, IMO, that Koeman chose to sub in Calvert-Lewin rather than last week's scorer, Valencia. He evidently sees something in the boy (and he had a nice cameo today) to get him back on the pitch with the 1st team so soon after recovering from injury.

Plenty still to play for. I for one have not given up hope on reeling in 1 or 2 above us.

Jeff Armstrong
85 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:33:11
West Brom's season ended 2 weeks ago when they reached 40 points. I thought they were awful, they should reimburse their away supporters.

For us a regulation home win, rather like the Sunderland win; I'll take these anytime, mixed in with the Bournemouth and Man City wins, what's not to like?

Just need to get a couple of unexpected away wins under our belt – then, and only then, can we start to really look forward and dream.

Andrew Presly
86 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:35:44
No need for clickbait headlines on ToffeeWeb!

We all know WBA are a pain at the best of times so a 3-0 swipe aside is magnificent and that result has surely secured European football for the Old Lady / Toffees on Tour which is Everton's Divine Right.

John Raftery
87 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:36:30
Having failed to score at Goodison against the Albion since 2013, an uninspiring 3-0 win is more than welcome. Bearing in mind we also hit the post, had a 'seen 'em given' penalty appeal for the foul on Coleman and restricted Albion to one worthwhile shot in the whole game, I will be more than happy if we maintain such uninspiring form.

Seriously I thought our players delivered a professional, no-nonsense performance. Barry was superb alongside Schneiderlin in a midfield which controlled the game from start to finish. Up front Lukaku, Barkley and Mirallas linked up well against a packed defence. We have generally struggled to break down teams defending in depth so to win as comfortably as we did is an indication of the progress the team has made in the last couple of months.

According to a stat on the radio we have not lost a match in which we have held a 2-0 lead at halftime since April 1975 when we lost 3-2 to Sheffield United – a match which ended our hopes of winning the league.

Peter Laing
88 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:37:37
Everton had 63% possession and restricted WBA to 2 shots on target but I can't actually recall Robles being tested other than a parried shot. West Brom under Pulis are the archetypical masters of anti-football, even at 2 down they failed to commit any other than one man forward.

'Uninspiring' is a bit harsh, we played much of the game in 3rd gear and won with complete and utter ease. Moving forward we are 3-4 players away from being able to challenge for a top four place but it's steady improvement under Ronald.

Phil Walling
89 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:39:47
Pragmatic to the the level of Moyesism (Mirallas off for Gueye, I ask you?), my bet is that Koeman will face Them and the Mancs with Barry, Gueye and Schneiderlin all covering our defence.

And, to put it mildly, who will give a flying feck as long as we don't get tonked by both of them?

Graham Mockford
90 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:41:10
I understand the headline but much of that is down to the way West Brom set up. Hugely unambitious even at two down. Foster was wasting time after 15 minutes.

If you found today uninspiring then you would have to feel sorry for West Brom supporters watching that anti-football every week.

Anyway job done, five home wins on the spin. Unfortunately my last home game of the season as I'm off Down Under with work for a bit.

Grant Rorrison
91 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:48:59

The people that claim using the term 'uninspiring' is harsh do realise that the word refers to excitement or rather the lack of it, right? I defy anyone to list 5 moments of excitement during those 90 minutes.

Professional performance against anti-football. Job done.

Liam Reilly
92 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:49:33
Professional job against the next 'best of the rest'.

Don't understand the complaining; perhaps folk would prefer the arse clenching end to games at 2-nil up under the previous regime.

Ray Robinson
93 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:50:03
Maybe not when 2-0 up at half-time but we've certainly been 2-0 after half time and lost - as recently as last season when we lost 3-2 to West Ham.
Chris Leyland
94 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:57:17
Grant - here you go...

3 goals were 3 moments of excitement.
Gana hitting the post late on was a moment of excitement
Coleman crossing the ball from the left wing in the first half with his left foot and it going across the box was a moment of excitement
Lukaku nearly scoring first half put drilling it wide after a great move was a moment of excitement.

Sorry – that's 6.

Brian Denton
95 Posted 11/03/2017 at 18:58:18
John Raftery, I still have nightmares about that Sheff Utd game. We also lost a 2-0 lead at home to Carlisle to lose 3-2. We really did throw away the Championship that season.
Colin Glassar
96 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:01:40
Yes John R, thanks for reminding (some of) us about that Sheffield Utd game. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion. It still hurts to think about it tbh.
Mick Davies
97 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:02:55
Only read a few comments before deciding to add a bit of sense to the 'Koeman cannot do any wrong' brigade and their smug retorts: Why play a DF who is coming to the end of his career, if you're building for the future, and have 2 young and more effective MF's on the bench? All Barry adds is yellow cards due to his lack of mobility.

That could have been a more comfortable win and a boost to our goal difference, but instead it was laboured and at times sluggish. I just hope Koeman isn't returning to his earlier reliance on the old guard; makes a mockery of his alleged 'pressing, intensity and energetic' philosophy.

Graham Mockford
98 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:04:55

This guy was inspired though

Ed Wallis
99 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:07:04
Graham... Epic!!!
Terry Farrell
100 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:12:15
Mick, The Ronald has not even finished the season yet and your point is what?

Of course managers make mistakes but he will make less than others as time progresses. The guy's stature in the game is massive and he will take us to a level higher than the lightweight previous manager.

Let's all pull in the same direction as positivity breeds success, negativity is a self fulfilling prophecy!

Scott Hamilton
101 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:12:15
Grant (91) - No, "uninspiring" means that the match wasn't inspiring.

Personally I did find it inspiring. Not the greatest match in the world but the perfect antidote to the Spurs game and a great way to get us back on our winning ways.

Uninspiring really is a mean-spirited headline.

Chris Leyland
102 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:17:51
Mick (#98), after reading your post, I thought I'd respond to the 'criticise Koeman no matter what the result brigade' and their relentlessly negative posts.

We had to win today to ensure that West Brom didn't catch us up. We won and won comfortably. Job done. I'll take his pragmatism in ensuring the result over the idealist naivety of the previous regime.

Your view of Barry in that 'all he adds is yellow cards' is a little unfair too. He had an excellent game today breaking up West Brom whenever they ventured forward. His booking was 'taking one for team' and showed his experience.

Barry McNally
103 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:22:02
Great to see DCL back on the bench – hope he gets a goal soon.

Everton have already equalled their Premier League points tally from each of the last two full seasons.

Grant Rorrison
104 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:22:40
Scott (#102). No, 'uninspiring' means 'lacking excitement or interest'. That the game was considered by some to be 'uninspiring' means that they thought it 'lacked excitement or interest'. Others, like yourself, believe that it was inspiring. Fair enough.

Chris (#95), has even gone as far as to compile a little list, including such unforgettable moments as 'Coleman crossing the ball from the left wing in the first half with his left foot'. Hope that one makes Match of the Day tonight, myself. I'll feel cheated if it doesn't. :P

Gordon Roberts
105 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:26:34

Good article by Greg Okefe re today's match in the above link

Paul Kossoff
106 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:29:13
"Uninspiring?" Beat a good WBA side three-nil, should have been four or five. If it was the RedShite winning one-nil, they would call it an excellent performance. What will you call it if we get nil-nil draws against Man Utd and them across the park, poor?

Damned if you do damned if you don't.

Bobby Mallon
107 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:35:58
Paul Kossoff @107 spot on, don't know what Micheal Kenrick and the likes want. Is it a Barcelona performance? We won three-bloody-nil. I fucking give up with some of the posts.
Steve Ferns
108 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:40:09
Good win. I was surprised with the team selection, but Koeman got it spot on. They have a team of big Grocks and all they wanted to do was kick the shit out of us, waste time, and try and nick a goal free a set piece.

Every time we got the ball they were quickly back with 11 behind the ball. They were very well organised and we just couldn't get the ball through their lines fast enough. Some of the crowd got a bit tetchy, but I thought we were doing well and as WBA tired their Grocks would get exposed. It happened sooner than I thought.

After 1-0, it was game over. We could have played for a year and they wouldn't have scored. They offered nothing in attack.Barkley had a very good game. He was easily man of the match. However, Lukaku was fantastic as well. He didn't touch the ball as much as he would like, but he was clearly up for it, and made things happen. He thoroughly deserved his goal. Davies wasn't at his best. I was surprised that he was central and Ross was left. We were better when Ross came central after Mirallas went off, but then again, that was probably just because the Grocks were beaten and tired and had stopped getting back into position.

Bottom line is 7th is ours now. £6m a year, this is the minimum Ron should deliver, but the signs are good. Hopefully we can produce some good results and get close to 72 points tally Martinez got in his first season.

The key thing is how we can go into next season. My main worry is Barkley's deal nearing it's end (in June 2018) so he needs to sign or leave this summer, and Lukaku's contract, what on earth is taking so long to get that extra 0.000001%? I suspect a dodgy clause allowing him to leave if a champions league club bats their eyes at him.

Chris Leyland
109 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:42:27
Grant - You then say that "I've gone as far as to compile a little list" Erm because you suggested it when you posted "I defy anyone to list 5 monents if excitement during those 90 minutes"

Anyway, where you actually at the game? Because when Coleman crossed it with his left foot most people got out of their seats and clapped as it was a great move. Still, as you are the clearly the official arbiter of excitement, you can remove it, leaving five other moments on the list. Please feel free to discount any of the 3 goals if they didn't officiallly meet the ' Everton FC Grant Excitement Threshold' .

Scott Hamilton
110 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:44:48
Grant - If you check the same dictionary definition that you Googled you'll see that the opposite of "uninspiring" is listed as "inspiring". I would repeat that I find it hard to see how that game was the opposite of inspiring.

Anyway, tiresome semantics to one side, clearly we disagree.

After being thoroughly outplayed last week I'm pleased to see:

(1) A win
(2) Us keep a clean sheet
(3) Our top goalscorer become joint top scorer in the Premier League (4) Two other players score
(5) Us beat the team nearest to us (it's a 6-pointer)
(6) Our manager happy because the team clearly played to plan
(7) Pulis's negative football punished etc etc.

The negativity of some blues is astounding!

Jeff Armstrong
111 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:44:55
Barry MotM – that's confused us all, hasn't it? Last week he was gone, this week he was excellent..
Barry Jones
112 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:45:43
I have been critical of both Lukaku and Barkley under previous management, but the improvement of both players under Ronald Koeman is really significant. Lukaku has always been a great finisher, but his all round game is now considerably better. Similar with Barkley, he always had tons of ability but now his movement and decision making are far better.

Both players were fabulous today and were a pleasure to watch. Koeman must take a lot of credit for this. I still cannot understand the negativity from some TW'ers about Koeman. We need to hold onto him as he will take us places that we have not been for some time.

John G Davies
113 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:51:07
Not the best of games, but 3 scored clean sheet and 3 points will do me.

Minimum 7th place secured today, a European spot is ours

Onwards and upwards Mr Koeman. Mission accomplished for your first season.
Paul Hughes
114 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:51:46
West Brom, who lest we forget, are one place below us in the league, came in the image of their manager to KITAHTN1. In stark contrast to the last two seasons, we had the wit and guile to play through them and create the chances to win the game.

So, no it wasn't a repeat of the thrill-a-minute Man City game, but it was a highly efficient performance. The sort we'll have to get used to as teams come to Goodison hoping to get away with not getting hammered.

David Price
115 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:52:26
The team did everything we would've wanted before the game. We were patient, kept calm after missing a couple of chances. Waited for West Brom to come at us; they didn't, so we killed it and nailed it with a third.

Excellent performance today and they should only receive credit for this. Think people are still frustrated from last week and unwilling to forgive just yet.

Mike Green
116 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:52:40
Damn right, Barry Jones (#113) – I think it's 5 clean sheets in 9 League games since New Year. We are on the move and Koeman is behind the wheel.
John Malone
117 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:53:17
Great win today – really pleased with it; that for me was more important than the Tottenham game!

Also, I heard from a good source today that the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium is a done deal!!! Just waiting for the red tape to clear before it's announcment!!! Now that will be some moment!!

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum!

Ian Bennett
118 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:53:51
A regulation win against a side with zero ambition. Pleased with the form of Lukaku and Barkley, but losing Baines could be an issue on the left hand side.
Tim Rydings
119 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:57:01
We're moaning because we beat this crowd 3-0! Remember what the Shite did for 2-2!!
Colin Glassar
120 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:58:36
Ian, can we get Galloway back in an emergency? I don't think he's played since September for the Baggies which is a shame.
Simon Smith
121 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:05:22
Only on ToffeeWeb could we win 3-0 and then spend the evening arguing about the definition of the word 'uninspiring'... Ha ha.

I didn't see the game today so unfortunately couldn't fairly add to the debate...

Was Bellew being there not slightly inspiring?

Raymond Fox
122 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:06:56
If you want cheering up, don't come on this site!

If we lose, the manager the players the club cat, uncle Tom Cobley and all, are shite. Now if we win, we have to dazzle like Barcelona, or its not good enough!

Talk about there's no pleasing some folk.

Rob Halligan
123 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:08:08
John Malone (#118). I've also heard that Bramley-Moore Dock is a done deal, with the club set to announce the deal next Friday. Apparently Joe Anderson wanted to announce it the week after, but the club want to announce it on St Patrick's Day... why, I don't know?
Mike Berry
124 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:10:53
A good professional performance without getting out of 2nd gear.

Ross, I thought was superb!

Ray Robinson
125 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:14:10
Colin (#116), as I understand it, loan players can only be recalled during transfer windows, so Galloway is stuck at WBA until the end of the season.
Carl Taylor
126 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:18:19
Disappointed on the way to the ground seeing Barry on the teamsheet. Ate humble pie all game as he was outstanding and MotM.

Professional job done against a team who didn't try to win, even when 2-0 down at half-time. Barkley, Lukaku and Williams impressed as well.

Chris Williams
127 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:20:32
I don't think we can get him back, but it's unsurprising he's getting no game time. The bloke who Pulis is picking in his stead is a right big grock, massive, huge.

That's Pulis, a crap big 'un will always be better than pretty well anything else with two legs, a brain, sentient.

Skill and pace, that's optional.

Eddie Dunn
128 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:26:16
I thought we were excellent today. In the past we would have huffed and puffed and been done on the break.

Onwards and upwards.

Darren Hind
129 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:38:09
What do you guys want to read... that it was edge-of-the-seat stuff? Do you want your intelligence insulted, or do you want somebody to give an honest report?

The headline is spot on. The game was without any shadow uninspiring. In fact, 88 of those 92 minutes fell some way short of being uninspiring – it was predictable, tedious and totally devoid of imagination. The crowd were close to being asleep.

Be pleased with the result, be pleased about the performances of Barkley and Lukaku, be pleased that we got a clean sheet... but be bleedin' honest: this was dull as ditch water... again.

Koeman should be down on his hands and knees offering up thanks for Lukaku (the striker he inherited). Once again, his irresistible power has masked another insipid performance. Ask yourself where Koeman and his defensive midfield and gormless centre-backs would be without him?

Ask yourselves how a defence that wasn't even attacked managed to look so fucking ropey... despite having most of our midfield protecting them.

Yeah, we won... but how long do we put up with this unadventurous crap? How long do we suffer KITAHLPO?

Celebrate the win, but have the good grace to acknowledge that, once again, the Goodison faithful had very good reason to fall into almost total silence for the vast majority of this game.


That's not aggression. It's frustration. Twenty odd times this season we have been disjointed, laboured and completely devoid of imagination and still we have people pointing to a freak match against Bournemouth in an attempt to deny the truth.

Anto Meehan
130 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:39:36
So if Spurs win tomorrow, 7th guarantees Europa League? Looking forward to a few European away days again. :-)
Martin Mason
131 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:45:08
Exceptional win, exactly the type of game we would have slipped up in previously.

Ross Barkley was very good again and he is now the player we all hoped he could become. We mustn't allow him to leave for any money. Like Lukaku he'd be very difficult to replace.

My prediction is that he will go right to the top. His problem has been slow development and a terrible injury but he has become a gem and could be as significant as Ball and Harvey were.

Stan Schofield
132 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:47:29
From the league table it looks like the phrase 'top-7' is very apt (apart from it being factually correct, of course) rather than the 'top-6' we're accustomed to. The goal difference is particularly noticeable, us being on 17 now, equal with Utd. All the teams below us are on negative goal difference.

Although some say we're 'best of the rest', I believe it's better than that, and it would be unsurprising if we displaced the likes of Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal, the way things are currently going.

Martin Mason
133 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:48:11
Darren @130

Because it is how modern football is and has to be played.

Danny Broderick
134 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:52:13
Rubbish headline.

That was a good professional performance against our closest challengers in the league. We won 3-0 and were never in trouble. Uninspiring? Well that result has inspired me, as it pretty much guarantees a top 7 finish. We are also right on the tails of Man Utd, so we may yet end up in the top 6.

Lots to be positive about tonight...

Jeff Armstrong
135 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:00:59
Like I said further up, we need to keep the regulation wins coming, and throw in a win at Old Trafford, and our old ground to finish 4th... seriously, it's actually in our hands!!
Graham Mockford
136 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:01:08

I guess you think we should have scored more than 18 goals in the last five home games.

Based on your maths that's 432 dull minutes in the last 450.

Seriously you need to get over this thing.

Tony Abrahams
137 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:02:24
I thought the role that young Tom Davies, was asked to play was a bit un-inspiring for the kid, and although it wasn't his best game for Everton today, he was definitely my Man of the Match.

I thought the best player on the pitch was Barkley, but for sheer willingness to run, willingness to keep doing the dirty work, and willingness to keep on trying to get involved when he really wasn't doing much with the ball, then the 18-year-old stood out for me.

Football's easy when everything is going your way but it becomes hard when things aren't going quite like you want them to, so for me today, this side of the kid's character stood out because he never once stopped trying, and I think you can learn a lot about a player when you watch them playing far away from there best level. This kid will definitely do for me!

Kunal Desai
138 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:03:52
People have short memories. Koeman has been at the club for 9 months. It's his first season and he is still looking to rebuild the squad in then summer with more of his own players. He is identifying a way of playing which is effective and yields maximum points yet some of these players are still from past regimes. Give the man a break!

Be a little more greatful that Koeman is managing Everton unless you want him to move on to manage either Barcelona or Arsenal next season and be reduced to someone managing the club like those who bring a knife to a gun fight or are 'phenonmenal' and not focussed on the defensive side of the game.

John Pierce
139 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:15:12
I'm going to change tack and dwell on the brightest spot in the game, for me at least, Lukaku.

I thought Rom was very good, I took a little to watch because it was not the greatest feast, was it?

He played off centre on the right, was not isolated and actually surprised me with the result.

His feet were moving today, less cumbersome more foxtrot. Showed for the ball often and kept it. Major improvements there. Created both first-half goals by sucking players out of the centre towards him and deserves credit for the through-ball on the second.

Quieter in the second half but mobile, which is not always the case. Did his case for goalscorer supreme and gobbled up the only chance presented to him with a run-of-the-mill finish.

For good measure, Rom, even said thank you to Ross as normally he's a moody spiritual shit when he scores.

Good day for Rom, means a solid and uninspired day for the Toffees.

Gavin Johnson
140 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:22:12
The same people will aggressively moan whatever the result on TW. Compared to the slow side ways tika taka passing of the final two seasons under Martinez, the games since Xmas have been thoroughly exciting.

I'll happily take these performances until the end of the season if we can break into the top 6. My worry is that Koeman will be gone at the end of the season. We need at least another season out of him.

Jim Scales
141 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:24:20
Tony 137, excellent comments on Tom, he never gave up trying to break up play and continually made himself available to receive the ball. As you say, it didn't really go for him today with the ball at his feet, but his head never went down.
Ste Traverse
142 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:25:07
'Uninspiring' or not, I want to see us get results, and we got one today.

Barkley was Man of the Match for me and West Brom's tactics were just bizzare. I expected them to make changes at half-time and have a right go at us in the second half but they continued to sit-in.

Perhaps a compliment to us that they feared a battering had they come out?

We should at least finish 7th now and that will be good enough for Europe.

Dermot Byrne
143 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:25:08
I don't have a problem with Michael's assessment but do have a problem with folk on here who have made a decision about our manager, won't or cannot move from it and then search every game to back up their opinion, even 3-0 wins.
Ian McDowell
144 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:25:55
Fantastic win today. We don't want end-to-end football when we are 2-0 up. It's about keeping control of the game. We just need to do it now in a big game and I'll really start to get excited.
Andrew Clare
146 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:30:16
It takes two to tango and Albion didn't want to dance. The result – an uninspiring game. I'm pleased, though; we should be winning games like this without getting out of second gear.

Albion were awful. They barely tried to get back into the game.Hull we be a different proposition but I still expect us to win comfortably.

John G Davies
147 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:33:32
Dermot (#143),

I know where you are coming from, don't worry about it mate. If they are right in their judgement of where we stand as a team, disjointed, boring, devoid of imagination etc and have got European football playing to that standard, imagine how good we will be when Koeman has his own squad in place.

Ray Robinson
148 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:40:48
Dermot (#143), my thoughts exactly. It's getting tedious.
Chris Williams
149 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:47:50
It might be best to focus less on semantics and more on the result. This was a result we could (and did) not achieve last season, or indeed a few before that.

Apart from our resident anti-Koeman fundamentalist, anyone who has been to Goodison on a fairly regular basis in the last several decades and can see such workmanlike winning performances, must be quite happy to see the result and 3 points in the bag, as we secure seventh position and a crack at sixth.

Transition, consolidation first. Then the next step next season, with a better squad.

Happened in the sixties a couple of time and in the eighties too. Success takes time and building.

Some proper whoppers on here.

Jim Lloyd
150 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:53:24
I think anyone who is going to a game against West Brom and expecting an inspiring performance is likely to be disappointed.

Before the match, my mate looked on in disbelief when Barry's name was read out by his son. I wasn't that bothered as I thought that Pulis would have a very strict, solid defensively minded side, that was going to be difficult to breach.

I had no illusion that this would be anything other than a hard, grinding, battle that we could easily lose, as we have in the past, by falling for the Baggies' sucker punch tactic.

I at no time felt we were in danger of that and today we disposed of a very gritty side in a professional, solid and remorseless performance.

That in itself inspired me of better things undoubtedly coming our way.

Paul Birmingham
151 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:55:28
Great result and that's what counted today after last Sunday. Good show of character against possibly the most awkward team in the EPL to play against.

TGV will be happy this day. Now for the same again next week.

Andy Crooks
153 Posted 11/03/2017 at 22:08:09
Darren Hind, I tend to agree. It was a solid enough win but... it was flat. After Martinez, I am easily pleased but I think the coach and the players are better than that.

The derby game is vital. I expect to see Koeman's plan come to fruition. Valencia supporting Lukaku, intent, attack, passion.

Also, the team selection today was, in my view, jaw-dropping. Utterly bewildering. We must pick our best eleven every time. That wasn't it.

Geoff Williams
154 Posted 11/03/2017 at 22:17:08
Barkley was excellent today as was Barry. Lukaku's value must be in excess of £80 million. Thought Jagielka had a good game. Despite his limitations he is a far better footballer than either Williams or Fumes Mori.
Brent Stephens
155 Posted 11/03/2017 at 22:21:48
Thanks to Pulis for setting out to make a boring game. Time-wasting by keeper from the start.

Thanks to Koeman and our lads for trying to get a win. Pity we didn't get more than a single goal and a single point! What's that you say?

Lukaku joint leading scorer again. Barkley impressed (back in the England squad, perhaps?). How Davies has settled in. Jags back to something like his best. Mirallas putting a shift in. Barry effective.

Sorry, I'm meant to be pissed off.

Ray Robinson
156 Posted 11/03/2017 at 22:24:03
Andy, it was flat and "uninspiring" simply because it was too easy. Pulis behaved like Moyes at his worst ("knives to a gunfight") and never tried to win the game. Considering how relatively important it was for them, WBA were so negative throughout that any criticism should be launched in Pulis's direction, not Koeman's.

Yes, the starting eleven for Everton did appear a little odd but I'm not going to castigate Koeman for it when his side cantered to a 3-0 win against a team that habitually makes it hard for the opposition.

I simply cannot take statements seriously from fundamentalists (someone else's term, not mine - but a particularly apt one) who use every opportunity to reinforce their pre-conceived and unbendable opinion of a manager. I will make my own mind up on Koeman and, while he does seem quite a difficult man to take to, he's doing a very good job, in my opinion.

Gary Radley
157 Posted 11/03/2017 at 22:25:26
I thought it was a brilliant win against a team that was on our coat tails. 3-0 and they were never even in the match and that's not inspiring? OMG... I don't know what people expect.

If Moyes was manager, we'd have grafted a 1-0 victory and everyone would've lauded Moyes as a great manager. Ha, what a joke!

Well done, Koeman and Everton. I'll take a 3-0 win all day long...

Paul Tran
158 Posted 11/03/2017 at 22:27:59
It was dull, flat, yet a 3-0 win is still apparently a good thing.

I'm pleased we beat a park the bus team that played for 0-0,
0-1, 0-2 and 0-3 throughout the game.

I'm hoping and longing for the next stage where we win games and excite and entertain.

In the meantime, it's a results business and he's getting them.

Chris Gould
160 Posted 11/03/2017 at 22:41:52
So what is our best eleven, Andy? The team selection will be dependent on the opposition. You will never get universal agreement.

If your team wins 3-0 then you have got it right. West Brom are dead-ball specialists and didn't once threaten from a corner or free-kick. The team selection and tactics were spot on.

What are some people on here looking for? Some of the criticism is getting beyond daft.

Jay Harris
161 Posted 11/03/2017 at 23:12:42
Totally agree and endorse what you say, Ray.

It shows the progress that we have made under Koeman that we got an easy 3-0 win against a West Brom side that are much better than the one we laboured against last season.

I was shocked at the team sheet and concerned about the lack of cover for Bainesy but you can't argue with the results Koeman's team are delivering up and the improvement in individual performances that he is engendering.

Bill Gienapp
162 Posted 11/03/2017 at 23:35:01
I'd suggest anyone who found that performance "uninspiring" should venture onto any West Brom message board for a bit of a reality check - the majority of their fans were gushing about how we were class and bemoaning how Pulis's negative tactics have sucked any potential joy or excitement out of what has, on paper, been a very solid season for them... to the point that they're seeing more and more empty seats at the Hawthorns. Now *that's* uninspiring.

People demanded an emphatic response after the Spurs defeat. They got it. If the match was dull for long stretches, it's because West Brom barely showed any fight. Should we have gifted them an own-goal for the sake of a nervier finish?

Tony Dove
163 Posted 11/03/2017 at 23:38:16
Barkley was Man of the Match by a distance. That long ball to Coleman near the end was out of this world.

On the negative side, the number of potentially attacking situations that ended up with a back pass to Robles drove me insane.

Patrick Murphy
164 Posted 11/03/2017 at 23:40:58
Routine and Professional is what today's game was – the sort of display that wins things if a team can produce it more often than not. Not fun... not marvelous... but a solid performance that leads to better things. I'll take that every day of the week if it leads to Everton FC being successful. Besides which, only one team wanted to play football – and it wasn't West Brom.
John Pierce
165 Posted 11/03/2017 at 23:54:42
Koeman gets credit for picking a side that most of us would not, if pre match threads are to be taken seriously, a'hem!

WBA were not the usual nasty, limpet one-shot one goal wonders they normally are. They were supine, in much the same we were at Spurs last week.

I for one expect to win this type game and, as a minimum given most modern indicators such as wage bill, stadium size etc, I also expect to be 7th or higher. Anything else is failure.

Koeman has returned Everton to base camp, with the promise of European football again a staple if we expect to to climb higher next season.

I cast doubt on the opinion that it's progress; I guess it depends from were you measure?

A leopard cannot change its spots, they say, whilst the quality of player may improve under Koeman (an undoubted plus), will his tactics? So far, it's enough to see off teams below us with less resources, as expected... but yet to yield anything other than the win over Man City as a portent we can cut it with the big cats?

I hope Koeman is cutting his 'tactical' cloth accordingly to the playing staff he has available to him. I expect to see a more attacking, inspired way of playing next season.

Today was the first number 2 to score for EFC since Steve Watson .

Patrick Murphy
166 Posted 11/03/2017 at 00:01:54
It's far better to return to base camp than fall off the mountain! Man Utd are doing exactly what Everton have done in 2017, but with a vastly superior wage bill and transfer budget.

Koeman isn't perfect but he's done a pretty good job so far and I would wager is more likely to take Everton FC back to where we want it to be than any manager we've had in nearly 20 years.

Ciarán McGlone
167 Posted 12/03/2017 at 00:11:53
I'd say he's done a fairly uninspiring job so far.

The proverbial curate's egg.

Patrick Murphy
168 Posted 12/03/2017 at 00:14:57
Yeah Ciarán that's your view, but what exactly were you expecting? Whatever foundations Koeman has put in place will be longer lasting than his predecessors as far as I'm concerned but obviously it's all a matter of opinion.
Ian Riley
169 Posted 12/03/2017 at 00:37:15
Have I missed something or did we win 3-0 today? A comfortable performance against a side who are safe from relagation and looking up. Anyone remember one year ago? How many would have taken five points off top four last March?

Let's get a grip on here. Koeman is a top manager and yes I thought, "Oh crap, Barry is playing "pre match. Actually Barry was Man of the Match for me. What do I know?

All I know is our home form is great, youngsters coming through, Lukaku on fire and hopefully more to come. Another three or four players in the summer and we push on again. Keep going lads!!

Derek Thomas
170 Posted 12/03/2017 at 01:21:59
I had a raised eyebrow at Barry's selection but later news of McCarthy's hamstring made that make some sort of sense.

Koeman called it wrong last week and right this.

Yes it was a dull, uninspiring game, which I didn't stay up to watch – good job, as It would've sent me to sleep, thus missing what little excitement there was – but it takes 2 to tango –- even on a replay I was sorely tempted to FFW it.

WBA came with their Plan A, but our new-found solidity was enough to contain that. In fact, we made their Plan A, which worked before, look distinctly average. We've lost the last 3 against them.

Next week, Hull, complete with a potential Niasse-shaped banana skin, turn up, They haven't got 40 points; will they play Pulis's Plan A?... I think their version might be a little bit more flexible and could cause us problems – but only if we let them.

Anto Byrne
171 Posted 12/03/2017 at 01:22:21
It was a solid win, drop the 'uninspiring'. It could so easily have been 5-0 or 6-0. I'd like to see us get points from those above us. At home, we can beat any one. We need to improve away from home.
Clive Mitchell
172 Posted 12/03/2017 at 01:35:39
Trevor, 82 - if you were a Barcelona supporter I'd love to hear your comments about Iniesta and Neymar.
Gordon Crawford
173 Posted 12/03/2017 at 02:16:11
Rob (123) The reason is simples. We are going to call it "The Guinness Stadium." You heard it here first 😂
Paul Ferry
174 Posted 12/03/2017 at 02:16:44
Ciarán McGlone (#167): I'd say he's done a fairly uninspiring job so far. The proverbial curate's egg.

And I would say that you are dug deep in a tiny minority.

Ten games to go and we have hit our points tally from last season.

I can't see any progress or development anywhere. I blame Koeman for selecting more players aged under 20 than any other gaffer in the league to date. Shame on, you Koeman. How dare you let Davies and Bookman develop? The temerity of bringing Dominic on today!

Shocking. Uninspiring (sorry MK). Curate's egg is right. As much bad as good this season so far.

Can I ask you a question, Ciaran, please? You always get on the matchday thread early doors, barking and criticizing predicting doom and gloom. You pop on at half-time if we are not ahead. You then disappear in the main. Why?

Daniel Lim
175 Posted 12/03/2017 at 02:23:56
Reading the pre-match comments after the match just shows how much we know about football compared to Ronald Koeman, to the extent it's quite hilarious. To be fair, I was also guilty of criticising the line-up.

By the way, it looks like 7th is enough for Europe; it will be confirmed if Spurs beat Milwall in the FA Cup.

Clive Mitchell
176 Posted 12/03/2017 at 02:36:33
Got back from the game in time for MotD and then read this!

The Goodison tribute and farewell to Alex Young were inspiring, as was the iconic commemorative matchday programme. It was magnificent to see two local lads trying their hearts out for the blues, including one who – while much more physically robust than the Golden Vision – carries a reminder of Alex's grace and balance in the effortless way he moves with a football at his feet. Well done Everton!

Freddy Maldonado
177 Posted 12/03/2017 at 02:43:11
Not sure what more some posters wanted out of this match. We slowly beat a tortoise to death with our bare hands – the job was done professionally and we didn't concede. The Baggies are a tough nut to crack so beating them 3-0 is a result I will take every weekend. I'd rather play Chelsea and Spurs than them. Not the glamorous football that the paid-off media shows on the highlight reels but it's a good win.

There were opportunities though. The transition and passing game had to be quicker in order to inflict more damage. We dribbled into a defender too many times and this would have been prevented with a quick pass going forward. The problem was that nobody but Lukaku was making the runs. Lookman or Valencia instead of Barry would have been a better choice as we didn't need to be so conservative.

You can't really nitpick though. We are playing very well since January. With that said, we need to beat Hull without a doubt next weekend. A few slip ups by Man Utd, who will be tired from Cups and Europa League, and further struggles from Arsenal could open the door for us to quietly creep in. I'm not ready to settle for 7th.

Barry Williams
178 Posted 12/03/2017 at 05:31:25
3-0 against rivals looking to close the gap to 1 point and apparently we are uninspiring. I guess if it was 6-0 then we would have been inspiring!!?? Like many on here I was surprised at the line-up and thought that it looked too negative, however it shows what I know. I was disappointed by last week's line-up and the result as I thought Koeman got it wrong and it seemed that the 20 year or so curse of not going for a win against top teams away from home was a still lingering even with this version of Everton.

Credit where credit is due, that was a good performance yesterday against a big strong team that are difficult to break down. Lukaku was excellent, often taking 3-4 players with him, and the rest of the team played really well too. Make no mistake, this was a hard game, we just made it look comfortable, and despite my reservations and expert opinion, Koeman got it spot on today!

Thomas Lennon
179 Posted 12/03/2017 at 08:24:13
I too am inspired. Under Moyes, we often struggled to score. We were all cheered up under Martinez with the goal-scoring rate but the back line was a major issue. "If only we could have both" was debated on here more than once.

3 goals a game and a slew of clean sheets is a damn good indication that that is what we now have. Moytinez. Or Martoyes. In Dutch, it is spelt Koeman. We are in safe hands.

Trevor Peers
180 Posted 12/03/2017 at 08:40:51
If that was dull and uninspiring, I'll take it every week over what was served up last season. Great to see goals coming from our midfield players. Every team can improve, however, and providing Koeman remains in the job, I think he will add more quality at each transfer window.

Personally I'd love to see Sigurdsson added in the summer, he's a class act and would combine well with Barkley. The Burnley centre-half, Keane, would be an excellent addition as well, to our ageing back four.

Ciarán McGlone
181 Posted 12/03/2017 at 09:02:11
Paul Ferry,

Are you suggesting I do not stand over what I say? Other than that, I'm struggling to see a real question.

You've been on here long enough to know I'll defend my position.

And your implication that I'm saying there's been no progress from last year's shambles, is entirely fabricated.

Dave Abrahams
182 Posted 12/03/2017 at 09:11:19
Darren (#129),

You are taking a lot of stick here mate, I know you are strong enough to stick to your guns, I agree with almost all of your post, you described the game as I saw it, people reading your post, if they left out the paragraph concerning Koeman, might agree with it as well.

I think Koeman will eventually get us into The Champions League but I understand your concerns about him, you are still entitled to your opinion.

Going back to the game today, it was better than Horlicks, and again I understand that a lot of fans are happy with the result; so am I. But I expect to see a more adventurous plan that, the noise of the crowd showed what they thought of it – it was quiet for long periods of the game, I was bored stiff with it.

Jon Withey
183 Posted 12/03/2017 at 09:26:49
He's been an excellent choice as manager, turning a bunch of losers into grafters and now regular winners. It's a shame it has taken half a season, it would be great to start a cup run now.

Teams are now wary of Barkley and Lukaku again, Schneiderlin, Gana and Davies can make a dynamic midfield. It's a shame that Bolasie got injured because then we'd also have some width – but he's found a way to win without it.

It's defence where we can be pretty ordinary – but even then we've had plenty of clean sheets to go with the collapses. It's going to take more to get us into the top six, but he acknowledges that and definitely gets another season from me.

Andrew Clare
184 Posted 12/03/2017 at 09:35:20
Dave (#182),

The crowd only get excited if they see a competition; yesterday, there wasn't any competition. Our boys put in a very competent performance, West Brom didn't bother to. That's all there is to it.

Mike Green
185 Posted 12/03/2017 at 09:41:19
The difference between Koeman and Martinez for me is one is focused on substance, the other was focused on style.

Koeman knows the bottom line, whether it be good, bad or ugly – the priority is winning matches. He's going about that the best way he can with what he's got and making a pretty good fist of it.

He is two thirds of the way through his first season with us and looks like he's secured European football having swatted away our main threat on that front yesterday with a comfortable 3-0 win.

On the whole, I'd say he's improved most positions where he's made a signing and in Bolasie has missed someone who must have been a major part of his plans.

He's made some hard decisions quickly (dropping Barkley, sending Deulofeu on loan, getting rid of the deadwood etc.) and I think has now built a platform to build on. That platform might not be setting the world alight but it is getting results.

Our home form is right up there, we just need to develop a similar standard away from home now. He's got some important away games coming up which will hopefully help him decide what we need to achieve that for next season.

Keep hold of Rom, fill in some of the blanks with quality in the window and I expect us to have a really strong season next year.

Give the bloke a chance and some time before we start moaning about results all of the teams below us would give their eye teeth for and wouldn't be sniffed at by most of those above – most notably that the oppositions tally is now more often than not '0'.

Grant Rorrison
186 Posted 12/03/2017 at 09:44:07
Chris (#109).

That a cross produced such a response from the crowd says more about the general quality of the game than it does about the cross itself. For 'moments of excitement' read moments that punctuated the prevailing sleep-inducing mediocrity that constituted the vast majority of the contest.

Glad some people found it 'exciting'. I just saw it as a professional if far from exhilarating display.

Paul Conway
187 Posted 12/03/2017 at 09:46:17
IMO, this fixture had 'dour' written all over it. It was anything but.

I am sure that a lot of us would not have bet on the outcome, a comfortable 3-0. I would say even Koeman was surprised.

However, I still feel we are a long way off the top six and there is still a lot of work to do in progress... It's not a 'beam me up, Ronald' affair, as many people would like.

Oscar Huglin
189 Posted 12/03/2017 at 10:06:23
The official match report title is much more suited to the display. "Uninspiring" very harsh.
Tony Abrahams
190 Posted 12/03/2017 at 10:14:09
Andrew (#182),

I agree that our boys put up a competent performance, but totally disagree with people only getting excited when they see a competition.

Football is in our blood, but it is also an entertainment business, and although Everton, were competent they were never really exciting, and although most of this was down to "The Baggies", and I can also see a lot of progress with much more solidity, it's just not very exciting to watch, because of a distinct lack of fluidity at the minute.

I think Patrick's posts make a lot of sense to me, and Paul Tran, also usually makes a lot of sense, so I'm with Paul (#158), because I think this post is on the mark.

Laura Round
191 Posted 12/03/2017 at 10:19:46
Derek (#170),

Niasse isn't eligible to play against us. Hull are no threat. Onwards and upwards... 😀

Christopher Timmins
192 Posted 12/03/2017 at 10:22:44
Folks, if Spurs win their Cup tie today, does that guarantee the 7th placed team European football assuming that the teams currently occupying the top 6 positions remain in place between now and the end of the season?
Bob Parrington
193 Posted 12/03/2017 at 10:53:13
Travelling, so just joining the thread. OMG! So many negative comments with others trying to lie the mood on this thread today.

I think I go along with Jay Wood (#83). Before the game, heaps were sorting off about losing or maybe a draw and here we are with a 3 -0 win and dozens on here are complaining.

FFS, we won. The team played well. Koeman picked the team that executed the job. WTF is up with everybody? Is it too much time under Moyes and Martinez?

Let's get on with it and push on to a place in Europe 2017-18 FFS.

Dave Williams
194 Posted 12/03/2017 at 10:56:21
Reminds me of HK 1 pre 1984 when we couldn't score a goal and bored the pants off us all. Then in came Reid and Gray and we had the best team in the country.

Ron is building and it won't happen overnight but we are making progress. He doesn't inspire me, to be honest, but I can see the progress he is making and am happy with that.

Better we win 3-0 in that manner than play exciting football and lose because the exciting stuff will come once he gets the team he wants (hopefully).

Dave Abrahams
195 Posted 12/03/2017 at 11:19:56
Andrew (#182), a bit like Everton last week at Spurs, we went there on an unbeaten run of nine games, but went for a draw with the team defending from the start. It didn't stop Spurs from their usual attacking game, especially being at home.

They tried to entertain the crowd and succeeded by playing open football. That's all I 'm asking for... I don't think it is too much – and I stress I understand that Koeman has one eye on the future...

Sam Barrett
196 Posted 12/03/2017 at 11:21:13
Michael, why did you have to use the word 'uninspiring'? Look at the trouble you've caused!

We beat our nearest rivals 3-0 and all we do is argue about performance. Our last home game we were arguing about whether Davies's through ball for the first goal was lucky or not! Give me 3-0 uninspired performances and "lucky" assists every time we play, please?

On another note, how is Baines? May be a blessing in disguise as he been poor defensively recently (was targeted last week at Spurs). Anyone for the young Sessegnon at Fulham?

Dave Abrahams
197 Posted 12/03/2017 at 11:34:24
Sam (#196), according to the Liverpool Echo, we are more interested in Sessegnon's twin brother who plays right back and centre half, but we have also been watching the lad you refer to; he scored two yesterday versus Newcastle.
Sam Barrett
198 Posted 12/03/2017 at 11:39:46
I'll take both then, Dave... 😀
Graham Mockford
199 Posted 12/03/2017 at 11:41:28
Dave (#195),

I would agree with you about Spurs. I think Koeman got it wrong in both selection and tactics. Barry hasn't got the legs to play against high-quality high-tempo midfields any longer. Playing against the likes of Darren Fletcher and Livermore he can still do a job. However, the biggest thing we got wrong was isolating Rom, who is undoubtedly our biggest weapon.

Having been to all the home games, I don't find our football this year to be unentertaining or uninspiring. We have won five on the bounce scoring 18 goals, that's top 4 form. I guess we all see it differently but I will certainly miss matchdays.

Colin Glassar
200 Posted 12/03/2017 at 11:41:49
Sam, we might be the only group of supporters (in the universe) who complain when we win on a regular basis.

When we lose, we are shite (which is understandable). When we draw, we are shite (whatever the circumstances). When we win, unless it's by a 5 goal margin and playing samba football, it is still disappointing, uninspiring, turgid shit etc .

Now I know I will be shot down but show me, please, where else on gods earth is a win met with such derision and disappointment?

Kevin Tully
201 Posted 12/03/2017 at 11:43:23
One thing to note, the gulf in class between teams like West Brom & Spurs is incredible. They may as well be in different divisions.

We are currently somewhere in-between these two sides, and we will need at least one huge transfer window this summer if we are to have any hope of mounting a challenge for the Champions League places. We are at least 5 class players short.

As far as yesterday's performance, it was professional, workmanlike and job done. Same as the Sunderland game, who were set up exactly the same as West Brom. It's extremely difficult to break these sides down.

Stan Schofield
202 Posted 12/03/2017 at 11:59:59
Colin, it's well known that all Evertonians are handsome, articulate, knowledgeable, and narky.
Alex Mullan
203 Posted 12/03/2017 at 12:05:03
Solid win against a team that is renowned for dulling down matches.
Alasdair Mackay
204 Posted 12/03/2017 at 12:23:36
I thought we were good in the first half. West Brom parked the bus and we created a few decent chances before we scored, then kept going and got a second before half-time.

Second half was more diappointing – we never got out of 2nd gear. Luckily West Brom were very flat throughout.

I think 7th is the least we can expect now, with their fixture list. I don't see anyone else catching us.

In terms of catching 6th – it comes down to how we do in the tough away games – we were poor at Chelsea and Tottenham, so we have to compete more at Anfield and Old Trafford.

Brian Harrison
205 Posted 12/03/2017 at 12:26:02
I said at the game yesterday that what has happened to football when a team going for its best place in the league show absolutely no ambition. West Brom, starting the second half 2 down, you would think they would have given it a go, but no changes in personal or system. Nowadays its the norm any team playing a club in the top 5 then it's 10 men behind the ball and lets hope we can frustrate and nick a goal. Yesterday, they decided to play that way not against on of the top 4 but a club one place ahead of them in the league.

I would hope that in our next 2 away games, we show a lot more ambition than West Brom did yesterday and that we showed against Spurs. The only way we will know if we can challenge for a top 4 place next year is to play like a team who believe they are as good as any of the top 4. So no sitting back, no extra defensive midfield players, lets have a real go lets see if we can compete. Yes of course there will be times when we have to defend but I want to see us throwing men into their box when we are attacking, not just Lukaku stuck up there on his own.

Yesterday, a very workmanlike performance and didnt have to get out of second gear. I thought Jagielka did okay considering he hasnt played for weeks. I think Barkley has now understood what Koeman wants from him and is starting to deliver on a regular basis.

Kevin Dyer
206 Posted 12/03/2017 at 12:29:51
As many have said, strangely negative headline. There were two teams out there and WBA stubbornly refused to come out and play for almost 80 minutes. When they did, we banged a third in!

Anybody who watches boxing has seen this kind of thing: where one fighter is totally defensive and acts as a "spoiler". Could be up against the most attacking fighter going, chances are the match will be not be an inspiring spectacle.

We scored 3 and in reality had some other good chances (Rom alone had 2 gilt-edged ones) in addition to Gueye hitting the post. They had a couple of half-chances. Koeman read the game right – they were standing off so control the ball with a low-tempo passing game and go one-touch in attacking areas. Worked a treat and they looked demoralised after the second went in.

Tom Bowers
207 Posted 12/03/2017 at 12:57:57
Koeman must get the plaudits on this one. He knew what it took to win against an Albion team that could have proved troublesome but is looking more like a clone of Pulis's Stoke with the physical side of things ramped up. Everton controlled them and showed patience before killing them off.

More impressive stuff from Rom and Ross.

Mike Powell
208 Posted 12/03/2017 at 13:33:06
Very professional performance against a team who came and parked the bus. We did very well to break them down, and were unlucky not to score more.

'Uninspiring' is bit harsh when only one team came to play football. Koeman got his tactics spot on.

Dave Abrahams
209 Posted 12/03/2017 at 13:47:11
Graham (#199), yes, like you, I never miss the home games and agree we have a very good home record. I have enjoyed a lot of them in terms of entertainment, but there has been a few that left me wanting a bit more, attacking wise... I'm sure that will come in the next few seasons.

Yesterday, though Graham, I thought it was a very slow and tedious game to watch. Yes, I know WBA didn't make a game of it but I honestly thought we could have upped our game a bit more.

Anyway, good luck and good health to you on your travels, make sure you take your blue and white scarf to Brisbane and I'm sure you will still be posting your thoughts on ToffeeWeb, and I might agree with one or two of them. Adious for now.

Barry Jones
210 Posted 12/03/2017 at 13:54:10
Trevor Peers (#180), I agree with your comments, including your suggested purchases.

Mike Green (#185), you said, "The difference between Koeman and Martinez for me is one is focused on substance, the other was focused on style".

I would substitute bullshit for style. The guy is vacuous.

Barry Jones
211 Posted 12/03/2017 at 14:00:26
Colin (#200), I totally agree with you. We are not raelistic at times. That does not mean I am demanding anything less than 100% effort from players and management every time they show up. Somedays we will excell and other days we will grind. That is just the nature of things in every sport.

TWers, lets try to be a happier, more positive bunch.

Darren Hind
212 Posted 12/03/2017 at 14:20:04
Dave A

Water off a ducks back, mate. I'm staggered that sensitivity of some on here.

The editor didn't complain about the result (he was happy with that). He did not say the performances was poor or unacceptable. He didn't call for anybody's head.

What he did was told what is a clearly (for some) an unpalatable truth – the performance WAS uninspiring. The three young lads in front of me missed the first goal, they were all fucking about on their phones because they had been bored shitless for 40 minutes – as had the dozens of people who disappeared for a half-time pint.

This is Martinez's first season all over again... It's like you can't say anything against the manager. Even the mildest of criticism is met with outrage – hardly ever challenged, just met with outrage... By calling the performances "uninspiring", he was hardly lambasting them.

I can understand the views of people who say "Who gives a fuck? We won, didn't we?" I get that. What I don't get is why people would get so angry about what was, let's face it, a perfect description of the game.

The report couldn't have been THAT far wide of the mark. 200+ posts and I don't see many claims to the contrary: people claiming that it WAS exciting and entertaining... and inspirational.

Claims that some people are "never satisfied" neither counter nor refute the point. They certainly don't make it untrue.

John Pierce
213 Posted 12/03/2017 at 14:28:56
Interestingly lots of comparisons back to Moyes and Martinez, because yesterday's game was quite dull and therefore must be better, because we won 3-0 against some cloggers.

Surely it should be what Koeman has already served up to date? Compare like with like, no? It's a reflection on him not between previous managers.

I will say Everton have served up better under Koeman against better opponents, Man City & Arsenal perhaps? Played more wholeheartedly against Liverpool, Spurs home, Man City away, despite not winning.

Everton played a poor poor team yesterday and were not much better. Why? Because they didn't need to be? That's not cool if that's the case. Sometimes it'smore important to take away shortcomings when you win, rather than be distracted by the scoreline and the comfort in which we prevailed.

Alan J Thompson
214 Posted 12/03/2017 at 14:34:33
Like most on here, I was surprised at the line-up but the game was played at a lot slower pace than the week before at Tottenham. Against those teams presently above us in the League, we may have to significantly up the pace.
Barry Williams
215 Posted 12/03/2017 at 16:28:56
Just a wee note to those who think that we are nothing more than a pragmatic team!

5 premier league home wins on the trot, 18 goals scored!

The league's top scorer.

Plus 17 in goal difference

A long way from what we were at the end of the last 2 seasons!

If that is pragmatism, sign me up!

Barry Williams
216 Posted 12/03/2017 at 16:36:55
I just don't understand the negativity this week (last week, yes), or what people expected of Koeman and his staff after just a short time managing a club that was in a rapid decline and in need of major changes and a clear out!

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
217 Posted 12/03/2017 at 17:14:49
Long form: "I thought it was a very slow and tedious game to watch. Yes, I know WBA didn't make a game of it but I honestly thought we could have upped our game a bit more." – Dave Abrahams at 209.

Short form: Solid if uninspiring – headline... bang on!!!

Chris Williams
218 Posted 12/03/2017 at 17:17:26
After 19 games I think we had 27 points and not much of a goal difference. After a further 9 games we have 47 points and a GD of 17. That's 20 points in 9 games with 1 defeat.

That's not too shabby.

Trevor Lynes
219 Posted 12/03/2017 at 18:31:39
Lots of praise for Barkley on here but when is he going to score ?

If he scores against Liverpool I will apologise but the lad does not score near enough goals for an attacking player.

He does lots of good things but mainly in midfield.I really would love to see Ross hit double figures.That is the difference between us and Spurs.They have four or five players who have scored more goals.Kane gets lots more space than Lukaku as Rom is seen as our only real goal threat.

If Ross is going to hit the heights then he must add goals to his game.

Tony Hill
220 Posted 12/03/2017 at 18:40:46
I agree with Kevin Tully (#201), the Premier league is heading ever more clearly towards the other main European Leagues - 3 or 4 sides at most dominating. That's why it's so urgent that we try to bridge the gap and why we have to start performing consistently against the better sides, as we have not done for so long now.

This is our chance now, over the next couple of seasons at most, and if we blow it then I think it will be too late because the ladder is getting pulled up, notwithstanding Leicester last year.

Kevin Tully is also correct that we are 5 players short. Yesterday was a good result against a surprisingly weedy WBA, but it was very much a mid-table contest in terms of quality.

Colin Glassar
221 Posted 12/03/2017 at 18:54:05
Tony, the prem is still the most competitive league in the world, a good example being little Burnley pushing the rs all the the way today.

Our league used to be a two-horse race (Everton - Liverpool), then it was Liverpool - Man Utd, then Man Utd - Arsenal. Then it included Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. Now you can include Man City and Spurs.

So if anything, the upper echelons of the league has been steadily growing over the last 15-20 years. We can make it a top 7.

Mike Green
222 Posted 12/03/2017 at 19:02:37
Tony (#220) – I agree but it's been like that for years (decades?) now. If anything, I think it's encouraging that five teams have had a shout at having the potential to win the league this year and now Man Utd have got their act together they could well gate-crash the Top 4 and be contenders next season.

We've invested in a good manager, brought some decent players in, got rid of some deadwood, and were nipping at their heels... so, for the first time in years, I think it's probably more open than it has been in years. And as Leicester proved last season, even now, you can still do it, no matter who you are.

Tony Hill
224 Posted 12/03/2017 at 19:16:20
Colin/Mike, I see that and hope you're right that the league can stay competitive especially for us, but I think there is a growing gulf based on money/glamour and that breaking through is going to become harder and harder.
Brian Denton
225 Posted 12/03/2017 at 19:20:07
Colin, I think it's pushing it a bit to say the league 'used to be a two-horse race (Everton - Liverpool)'. Admittedly in the eighties it was won by either us or them for 8 seasons on the trot. But it was mainly them, and in the early eighties we we weren't at the races.

While I admire your Everton patriotism (or whatever word you use!) I have to say that is taking it a tad too far.

Tony Hill
226 Posted 12/03/2017 at 19:30:06
Where I do think we can aim is towards the Atletico Madrid/ Sevilla/Dortmund model of a hard-minded, tightly organised and utterly resolute team with similar back up in management, coaching and development, combined with a very shrewd transfer policy.

In other words, seeking success through intelligence and force of will rather than simple buying power. No evidence of that for a long period with Everton which is why I sometimes despair to see us flop so predictably when there is something more than a win against mediocre (or worse) opposition at stake.

Dave Ganley
227 Posted 12/03/2017 at 20:04:03
To be honest, I have to agree with Michael in his assessment of the game. It was dull and uninspiring. I say this as a big fan of Koeman and what he has done to turn us around after the debacle of Martinez. We are on an upward curve and results and performances have proved that to date.

However, over the last couple of weeks I have been a little surprised at some of the team selections. Last week was the first time I was really disappointed in Koeman. The Chavs away was, I suppose a reflection of where we were at the time. A 5-0 thrashing just showed us how much deadwood we had and how much attitudes had to change. We have learnt and showed much better attitudes as a 9-game unbeaten run showed. But going to Spurds and just looking to avoid defeat was a real step backwards. There is no need to go gung-ho but at least we could have given them a game.

Fast forward to yesterday, whether there as a bit of a hangover from last week or not, we were slow and ponderous. As Darren Hind stated, the first 40 minutes were as dull as dishwater. The guy next to me missed the first goal as he went to the tea bar as did dozens like him. This is not to criticise the team in general as we won 3-0 and deservedly so. But the team had little or no spark.

I personally thought Barry was okay, no more than that. Gana and Schneiderlin had been playing well together, why change that? Barry has had his day for most part. Not his fault, just that he is no spring chicken anymore. That so called "taking one for the team" booking was just because he was too slow, end of, like a lot of his bookings now.

Koeman needs to start trusting his players more. Going for the safe option in Barry at the expense of Gana, who is far more dynamic now, just doesn't work for most part. If he adopts the same kind of move at the khazi across the park and at the Mancs a few days later, we will get stuffed.

Lack of dynamism was a key factor in yesterday's tedious game. Jags was okay, but Holgate would have done just as good a job if not better. We nend to start looking to the future. It's a nice place to be though when we are arguing over the merits and pitfalls of a 3-0 win.

David Chait
228 Posted 12/03/2017 at 20:25:50
Eventually took the time to read through all he comments. I'm on the side that is happy for 3 points, of course – who isn't? if not happy at the selection.

It is hypocritical of anyone to deride WBA this week for being negative a week after we found new heights in negative team selection just a week ago ourselves. The fact that we kept effectively 3 defensive midfield players into this week against a team not intent to "play" I didn't understand. Davies played further forward I admit but did not look nearly as comfortable and wasn't nearly as effective as running from deep.

Arguing they won is not the point. Who says we wouldnt win with a more offensive side? The key issue is we have seen this slip to negativity before. Moyes (there, I've said it) would play outstanding footie but for some reason or other always slid back to a defensive pattern and the results eventually dried up along with the style.

Conservative football might work for Mourinho with megastar players but it has never led to sustainable success for Everton. At the beginning of the season, we were winning all those games without appearing to play well. It dried up until Koeman set up the 3-5-2 and we saw a more joined cohesive unit with some attacking intent.

What we put out today might well beat WBA but I fear it wouldn't work against a team with pace and ambition to score. Why have we gone backwards? Is Koeman trying to fit Morgan, Davies plus 1 into the side when it should be only 2.

Barry Jones
229 Posted 12/03/2017 at 20:58:47
In trying to explain the choice of Barry over Gana, Koeman, in his pre-match interview said that the team selection was based upon the fact that he expected us to have the lion share of possession. This would suggest that he thinks that Barry is better on the ball and Gana is better off the ball. Makes sense to me.
Hywel Owen
230 Posted 12/03/2017 at 21:13:00
Good result against a team set up to kill the game. Barkley might not have scored but the team managed three which I always thought that's what is important in this game.

Dave Ganley
231 Posted 12/03/2017 at 21:22:04
I saw the reasoning from Koeman, Barry, just didn't necessarily agree with it. In previous games, Schneiderlin has been doing the playmaking from deep with Gana alongside him and has been doing it very well.

I just thought there was no need to break up that partnership last week and this to accommodate Gareth Barry. Nothing against Barry as he has been a stellar player but time waits for no man etc. IMO, Schneiderlin and Gana are the future and we're playing well up until last week when Gana was played out of position.

But I guess Koeman lives or dies by his decisions and we won I guess so he has been proved right ultimately. I just didn't think it was necessary to upset the partnership in the first place that's all.

Barry Jones
232 Posted 12/03/2017 at 21:31:08
Dave, like you I believe that the best selection for a holding midfield pair, week-in & week-out, for now and the future is Gana paired with Schneiderlin.

We also have McCarthy and Besic as defensive midfield options and I believe that with the limitations of the current squad, Koeman will use one of them alongside Gana and push Schneiderlin further forward from time to time (Koeman has hinted at this already).

Colin Glassar
233 Posted 12/03/2017 at 21:58:04
Brian, I was just trying to say that since the '80s the league became a two club affair and over the years this has grown to a four, and now, top six mini-league. We are on the edge of making it a top 7.

If this is good for the game I'm not sure but we have to stay in touch with them before they break away completely.

Thomas Lennon
234 Posted 12/03/2017 at 22:15:52
If we maintain this form it might be that we could just claim to be the worst of the top 7 rather than the best of bottom 14. Subtle difference but important.

I remember Spurs starting to improve 4-5 years ago and it's taken them this long to reach top 4. There is no reason to suppose it will be a shorter wait for us.

The top 4 were a world apart at home and in Europe for many years. More recently, the power has shifted and the premium is more competitive for it, arguably Champions League less so. We are improving at the right time to take advantage.

Laurie Hartley
235 Posted 12/03/2017 at 04:11:02
Everton 3 - Opposition 0 is one of my favourite score lines.

I have to agree with Michael though, that the game, from an entertainment perspective, was uninspiring.

In my opinion that was largely down to the way Tony Pulis set his team up and instructed them to play. For example, when our right back put a beautiful cross into the box from the left wing position? West Brom had 7 men in the box.

I'm not complaining about West Brom's approach, just pointing out that they are a well organised defensive unit and therefore very difficult to break down.

Last season, the opposition, after soaking up everything we could throw at them, would in all probability have nicked a goal on 39 minutes and sent us into the break with our heads down.

The difference this season is we nicked the goal on 39 minutes and ruined their game plan. This was was because we kept plugging away.

I reckon Pulis thought that even at 2-0 down he could still nick one and get his team up for a draw. Last season, that was always a possibility but it's not going to happen too often with our current outfit.

The Spurs game was a big disappointment but I can even find some consolation in the fact that we put two more goals past them than Chelsea.

Koeman has got Barkley playing and also Mirallas but I have to say the biggest difference I see in a player is Lukaku.

I have been one of his most vocal critics but the lad is playing really well. His ground work and work rate has improved out of sight – if I was a centre-half I wouldn't fancy playing against him.

So, for me, all-in-all a good day at the office, and signs of progress in the team's mentality.

David Ellis
236 Posted 13/03/2017 at 04:15:25
The Premier League is clearly more competitive now than it's ever been. For example a few years ago top 5 was considered "best of the rest" – and several times we played that role. Now it's the 7th placed club that wins that award. It used to be easy to predict the top 4... now it's not.

The gap between the top and 7th has narrowed not widened. (Why do so many people always think things are getting worse despite evidence to the contrary!! – a general peeve I have with the English).

Clubs like Everton can now hang on to players like Lukaku and Barkley – this was not the case 10 years ago. The reason is we are now in the top 20 in the world money-wise so we can buy "good enough" players (like Lukaku and Barkley) which makes us competitive against the top sides, even though the top clubs still have a multiple of our revenue.

John Ronnie
237 Posted 13/03/2017 at 08:45:53
Sky won't like it if we beat Hull next Saturday as we'll be above Man Utd, albeit they'll have 3 games in hand!

They won't want anything upsetting their separate League of Six.

Rob Halligan
238 Posted 13/03/2017 at 08:55:41
For one day only, John (#237), the Sky Top Six will become the Sky Top Seven. It will be great if Boro can get a point off manure as it will remain the Sky Top Seven for at least two weeks, and, as you say, Sky won't like that.

All assuming we beat Hull, of course.

Matthew Williams
239 Posted 13/03/2017 at 09:23:40
Unless our away form improves, we will never be contenders. Home form has been pretty good of late.

We just look bang average at best on the road, we couldn't even beat Boro (who were worse than West Brom) a few weeks back.

Brent Stephens
240 Posted 13/03/2017 at 09:51:49
I wasn't inspired by the first half hour. But I was inspired by all three goals in their making and execution. I was inspired by the fact that we moved around the parked bus.

I was inspired by several individual performances: Ross, back to form (and praised by all and sundry in the medja); Schneiderlin, continuing his impressive start with us; Davies's energy, versatility and quick touch; Lukaku with (yawn) yet another goal; Koeman confounding the pre-match scepticism about selection with Barry and Jags selected for what was needed against this particular opposition.

Dave Wilson
241 Posted 13/03/2017 at 11:28:53
I don't understand why so many think comparing the current boss to Davey Moyes is in some way derogatory. For years Davey had us where Koeman aspires to be.

The football under Moyes was often pragmatic, but there were mitigating circumstances such as having to manage on zero net spend. He did however produce teams which played far better football than today's current team. Players like Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, Baines and Osman all inspired.

Anyone who was inspired by Saturday's performance would have been besides themselves watching those players

Still, this is Koeman's first season and, like Davey, he has been drafted in to stop the rot; he is trying to lay solid foundations, let's give him time to finish the job.

Jim Burns
242 Posted 13/03/2017 at 13:21:22
Michael is getting a degree of stick for his use of the word 'uninspired', and others seem to be saying a three nil win under any circumstances is inspired.

I'd say both views have genuine validity – we all know West Brom are a difficult side to beat, are very solid and well organised, therefore, playing freeflowing, expansive or 'inspired' football is always difficult – whoever you are.

I thought the way Everton were set up, and then patiently worked through the few spaces that were left to us, was in one sense inspiring. Not many teams this season will have the patience and dexterity to unlock this team's defence and put three good goals past them unanswered.

The maturity and patience on display on Saturday was inspiring – it just wasn't pacy. This, in many ways, was our most important game of the season – cementing 7th etc – and we were not found wanting. I'm tempted to be inspired into thinking we are on the verge of something here. Ross, for me, had an inspired game – patient and intelligent use of the ball – more or less controlling most of what happened that was good.

Ours was, in my humble opinion, a very significant performance on several levels... inspiring? There are very few of those games around week on week from anyone these days. I'll take it all day long... for now.

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