Everton held to a point by gritty Palace

, 30 September, 334comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton 1 - 1 Crystal Palace

Lukaku started despite his toe injury looking and added to his tally of three goals from his last four games against Palace

Everton had to settle for a point in a tight affair under the Goodison lights as Christian Benteke's header cancelled out Romelu Lukaku's terrific free kick.

Tom Cleverley started with Kevin Mirallas making way as Ronald Koeman tweaked the side from the defeat at Bournemouth with a nod towards energy in midfield to combat that of the visitors who came to Merseyside on the back of a three-match winning streak.

Chances were at a premium in the first half but Everton took the lead after a free kick was awarded in a dangerous area just outside the box. The Belgian swept a well-placed shot that Steve Mandanda barely moved to reach to make it 1-0 at half time.

Palace came out from the interval the more purposeful side, however, and they were level within minutes when Benteke peeled off Seamus Coleman to meet a deep cross from the right and looped a header over Maarten Stekelenburg into the opposite corner of the net.

Article continues below video content

And the visitors appeared to have taken the lead shortly afterwards from another aerial delivery and a header from Damien Delaney but the goal was chalked off for offside by referee Jon Moss after consultation with his linesman.

Even though they failed to really work Mandanda and James Tomkins forced a diving catch from Stekelenburg, the better chances to win it fell Everton's way.

Idrissa Gueye was denied his first goal for the Blues by an excellent blocking tackle that diverted the ball behind. Palace then cleared the ball off the line when Gareth Barry flicked a corner on towards the far post.

Yannick Bolasie's overhead kick dropped just wide before Coleman snatched at a great chance and sliced a shot off target.

Koeman threw Kevin Mirallas on for Ross Barkley who could count himself unfortunate to come off after putting in a very good, more physical shift in midfield and then Ramiro Funes Mori for Bryan Oviedo in the closing stages but there would be no further clear-cut opportunities for either side.

Quotes sourced from ToffeeWeb match page

Reader Comments (334)

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Mike Allison
1 Posted 30/09/2016 at 19:22:57
I like Cleverley, certainly more than most seem to.
Craig Fletcher
2 Posted 30/09/2016 at 19:28:19
No Deulofeu on the bench?
Ronan Walsh
3 Posted 30/09/2016 at 19:37:29
I'm hoping Cleverley proves me wrong... I'm not convinced by him on the pitch. Shame Funes Mori hasn't started at left back. Hopefully Bolaise will just cross the ball at every opportunity and Ross actually shoots! COYB
Simon Bates
4 Posted 30/09/2016 at 19:47:00
Simply fuming with comments by Henry on Sky, saying "Wait until Lukaku plays with better players"... What like with Belgium, you mean, Thierry? Is this a Martinez agenda now, to exact his revenge, get Rom to leave.

As for tonight, I can see why he's dropping Kev, but Cleverley? Lennon would have been the better option, with Deulofeu on the bench.

Tony Kost
5 Posted 30/09/2016 at 19:54:43
My thoughts too – Deulofeu hasn't done his cause any good of late.

Palace look very strong up front. I've always liked Townsend – very unlucky not to make the Euros.

Peter Cummings
6 Posted 30/09/2016 at 20:00:34
Not at all impressed with this lineup, no Deulofeu, Mirallas benched, Barkley playing and Cleverley???
Craig Fletcher
7 Posted 30/09/2016 at 20:25:41
Oviedo has been poor so far.
Mike Allison
8 Posted 30/09/2016 at 20:39:52
Sky need to start employing people who actually understand football.
Will Jones
9 Posted 30/09/2016 at 20:48:07
Bolasie is doing to Palace what normally others do to us (Les Ferdinand & Co) – happy times!
George Cumiskey
10 Posted 30/09/2016 at 20:52:49
Barkley and Cleverley in midfield is like playing with nine men! Gueye brilliant again.
Mike Bell
11 Posted 30/09/2016 at 20:53:36
I saw Deulofeu by his broken down Audi R8 on the hard shoulder of the M62 on the way home late this afternoon. Maybe he didn't make team get together in time and Koeman dropped him from team squad?
Ciarán McGlone
12 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:04:39

Oviedo is having a great game. Put your preformed prejudices to one side.

David Greenwood
13 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:06:39
As is Ross. One shit free kick aside, every pass has gone to a blue.

And there's been plenty of them.

Mark Rimmer
14 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:09:23
Don't like the team he's picked, don't like the way we're playing, we're going to lose this.
Daniel Joseph
15 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:31:50
Changes needed Ronny lad. Mirallas for Cleverley.
Craig Fletcher
16 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:32:36
Ciaran, nothing prejudiced against Oviedo. Though to be fair he has, oddly, been much better since he got his yellow card. As I type this, Palace are really turning the screw on us.
David Greenwood
17 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:41:07
Anonymous second half from Ross. Like most to be fair. Still time though.
Michael Polley
18 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:52:34
Absolute shite 2nd half performance. So disappointing and frustrating to watch.
Ernie Baywood
19 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:54:31
Frustrating ending. You see the limitations of some players when the pressure is on. Cleverley in particular helped Palace enormously.
Paul Conway
20 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:57:16
The worrying thing about EFC is we don't have any good players on the bench, to substitute players who are having a mare.

In most cases a like-for-like substitution, is usually... Shite for shite!

Craig Fletcher
21 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:58:09
Agreed Ernie. Hunting a goal, thought maybe Mirallas for Cleverley instead of Mirallas for Barkley would have been the better sub.
Dave Speed
22 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:58:55
Apart from disallowing the goal, the ref has been shite. Time after time he has given free kicks for them when they have thrown themselves down and he can't see the fouls they are doing. We should ban this ref from any more of our games.
Ray Jacques
23 Posted 30/09/2016 at 21:59:49
Awful. Gueye and Barry are the defensive midfielders, so can someone explain what Cleverley and Barkely are supposed to do as they are both fuckin useless?

We are light years away from the top teams. Only the ref saved us from defeat, our goal shouldn't have been a free kick and their goal disallowed should have stood. Disheartened yet again.

Ciarán McGlone
24 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:02:56
Not really the quality of football we want to see but at least it was better than last week.

Baffled by the substitutions. I thought Ross was having a good game then Koeman whips him off and shortly after goes to a three man back line and pushes a full back into midfield. Bizarre stuff.

Bolasie is much better on the left... why can't Koeman see this!

Colin Glassar
25 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:03:42
We continue to be a 45-minute team. Ronald has a lot of work to do. The ref, as predicted, was awful. They were, overall, the better team on the night.
Colin Glassar
26 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:05:30
Agree Ciaran, once Ross went off there was no creativity just balls hoofed aimlessly upfield.
Jay Woods
27 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:05:34
Okay, it's now official: Barkley will never be the player we want him to be. The search for our homegrown Great White Hope goes on.
Gordon Crawford
28 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:08:37
Ross 5; tried but wasn't at the races.
Cleverly 4;was rubbish
Bolasie 5; tried but his final ball was atrocious.
Gueye 7; was good in spells as was Barry 7.
Oviedo 7; was good in the first half but faded second half.
Coleman 6; was Coleman, honest to a fault, but crap final ball.
Lukaku 7; scored a cracking free kick, but done nothing apart from that. Williams 7; and Jagielka 7; were good, but nothing more than that. Stekelenburg 6; was fine, couldn't do nothing for the goal.

Ronald 5; team that started was a weird choice. Also his subs should have been brought on earlier. Clearly he has no faith in his subs.

We got lucky tonight. Should have lost that game. Long few months until January. Not looking great at this minute in time.

Jay Wood
29 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:09:46
Jay @ 27

And you come to that conclusion following his performance tonight? Yes, he's been off-colour in recent games, but he had a good game tonight.

Craig Fletcher
30 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:09:56
The goal Palace scored was disappointing in its bloody predictability - header from Benteke. Could Steks have done better with the goal?

Agree, Colin, somehow we just can't string together a sustained 90-minute game. Barkley I thought was much better today, Barry class as usual, Coleman was a bit hit-and-miss, Oviedo grew into the game before he was subbed, Lukaku I thought ,in spite of the goal, wasn't at his best.

Andy Crooks
31 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:10:01
I was holding out hope for Barkley but Jay, your word is final. It is official.

Another disappointing show but better than last time.

Si Cooper
32 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:11:26
I thought it was an improved performance, compared to the previous two, against a Palace team who are no mugs these days. Admittedly there were some hairy moments and a lack of attacking momentum in the second half, but the general sense of purpose and effort through the team was there again.

Not everything went Ross's way, and he definitely picked the wrong ball when he battled his way into the box second half, but I don't think his effort tonight could be faulted.

Tommy Coleman
33 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:11:29
We can't do the basics. First touch is poor, decision making bad again, no instinctive first-time passes. The team doesn't gel.

How many of their players would get in our side – yet we were lucky tonight.

Ray Jacques
34 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:12:48
How can anyone think Barkley was having a good game FFS. His biggest contribution was flattening the grass on his way off.

Tonight was the type of game he should take by the scruff of the neck and show something, instead he did nothing to influence the game. He continually gives the ball away or slows the play down.

Having said that he is still better than Cleverley, what does he contribute?

Andrew Presly
35 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:12:53
We lack fitness, toughness and quality. Ron will need a while to move some of these on and bring in better. That's from the starting team never mind the bench and the dross lurking further back than that.

However boring and frustrating that was to experience, it's probably an okay point against a bunch of strong organised long-ball punting yard dogs. Which is just sad.

Craig Walker
36 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:12:57
Lucky to get a draw tonight. Fed up of Ross. Wrong option every time. I knew Benteke would score. He could have been a good signing for us.

Cleverley offers nothing. I'd have kept Osman over him! I don't think a point against Palace is a disaster given that a lot of our players under performed. It's going to be difficult against Man City.

Anto Byrne
37 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:14:00
Cleverley did well for 65 minutes and ran out of steam. I think I prefer Holgate at full back. Barkley was serviceable but lets do something different with corner kicks and let some one else take them.

Still a lot of work to do and defensively was very shaky. WTF is Friday football all about? We bought Bolasie they got Benteke know who I would have bought.

Farrell Iveagh
38 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:19:39
Let's be honest nothing has changed. Apart from the fact that Martinez would've had more of the ball. Same old shit, different pile.
Jamie Crowley
39 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:19:50
Very good first half. Second half Palace turned it on.

I was bemoaning Oviedo's inclusion - he played well.

We weren't bad at all. The effort was there which was a refreshing change to the utter and complete pile of steaming dung we witnessed last week. Overall I'm not disappointed.

But as my English friend said after the game:

"If you don't beat Bournemouth and you tie to Palace at home, you're not getting top four, buddy."

Too true...

Tony Twist
40 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:20:14
It really is about time that the manager and players just shut up and do their talking through their performance on the pitch or talk after the match. Koeman saying the team is well prepared for this match... what a joke.
John Parker
41 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:20:26
We've gone from over passing us to death under Martinez, to long ball tactics under Koeman. What looked a promising start now looks very average and we've got to start playing some good teams soon.
George Cumiskey
42 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:20:41
Absolute crap again, Barkley and Cleverley were second best all over the park. And if Koeman can't see it, we are in trouble. How he kept Cleverly on for the whole match and only used two subs is mind boggling. That performance was right back to the dark days of Martinez!
Raymond Fox
43 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:21:56
Same old story, players not good enough.

Unless we buy big and well in next window, don't hold your breath. 11th-ish likely once more!

Tony Kost
44 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:24:06
Agree with quite a few – Ross was pretty decent tonight – and that was reflected by the performance after he went off – the team were the poorer for it. Oviedo played well after a poor start.

Everton played decent enough – rub of the green was lacking etc. Palace are not a bad team by any stretch.

Palace deserved the draw; even so, the ref was utter crap – many of the yellow cards were laughable – and he was so easily fooled by some Palace theatricals for some of their free kicks.

Ray Jacques
45 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:24:44
Andrew (#35), spot on.

Koeman will need at least a year to sort out the shite he has inherited. It's taken Klopp 12 months to sort the RS and look how well they are playing now. He has got rid of who he didn't fancy and improved those he wanted (Lallana, Henderson etc).

Hopefully Koeman can do the same, but we are going to need patience and put up with the dross we saw tonight before we see a consistent improvement

Paul Holmes
47 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:26:17
We look too pedestrian in midfield, not fluid enough. Barry, Barkley and Cleverley would not get in any top 6 sides. Lukaku is isolated and needs help in attack, imagine the service he would get playing for teams like Liverpool and Arsenal. We are miles behind them teams at the minute...
Jamie Crowley
48 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:27:38
People coming on here saying it was crap, dross, et al... just no.

LAST WEEK was utter and complete shit.

Tonight was not. There was plenty of industry and effort. The line-up made sense. The subs made sense. We didn't play poorly.

This is a much improved Palace side in my opinion.

Do I aspire for more? Of course.

But we weren't crap – not even close.

We need to be more clinical and creative in the final third. Sort that, and we'll be fine.

Bjoern Haall
49 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:28:30
I'm disappointed in Koeman. Too stubborn to change formation or anything tactical to nullify Palace's one-dimensional but effective play. Blues only managed to create (according to me) one chance (Gana's).
Clive Lewis
50 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:29:07
We don't have the quality to break down these tough sides. More of the same as last year. However not inspired by Koeman or his signings. I think someone suggested Koeman was a good manager and it has been believed, the jury is out on that.

I think we are looking at ping-pong football: win one, lose one, draw. A bit like Southampton in preference to Wigan last year. However. Koeman is paid a lot more; not convinced.

George Cumiskey
51 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:30:17
Ray @34, spot on.

But why can't Koeman see it?

And why only use two subs?

Ernie Baywood
52 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:32:46
I thought Ross did well. More important was that he was there in the right position. The second he went off, we had no-one to take a pass from the midfield. Either we lumped it long or Lukaku found himself dropping deeper.

At one point, we had the ball wide and not a single player in the box... with minutes to go at home to Crystal Palace!!!

Like him or not, Ross is the only player we have in that position.

Don Alexander
54 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:34:13
The goal from memory was our one attempt on goal, from a free kick we were fortunate to get. That's woeful.

Their keeper may as well have had a chair to sit on for most of the game cos ours was the busier. That's embarrassing.

We were lucky their second goal was disallowed.

Julian Exshaw
55 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:34:39
Jamie, fair enough, but what did we create? How many times did we trouble their goalkeeper– and we were the home team! Palace out-muscled us, as they will many teams, but not the top 4 or 5.

I think this is an average at best start by Koeman. He needs time, of course. What worries me most of all is our squad. Not enough quality cover.

Yes, we are in the top 6... great, but as much as I hate myself for saying it, I can't see us staying there, not playing like this. I hope I am proved wrong.

Chris Gould
57 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:34:49
We don't have a divine right to beat Palace. They are a team set up to take advantage of our frailties. They are big and strong and must have put 20-30 crosses over.

We have some weak links, but we are still in a decent position and will compete with most teams. Koeman has already suggested that he will be spending in January.

4 wins 2 draws and 1 loss is a decent start. I actually think we will do okay against the top teams. We haven't allowed many shots on goal. We will be tough to beat, but we rely way too much on Lukaku to score.

People need to lay off Barkley. He had a good time. Mirallas was useless when he came on. Cleverley was poor. I don't think they have a future under Koeman.

John Malone
58 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:36:06
Jamie (#48), I agree with a lot of that as Palace were on the back of winning three games and have a lot of ammo going forward!

My main concern if I'm being honest is Koeman's tactics! We don't play enough football to create chances – it is all kick and rush into the forwards and the reason we end up under pressure is because we don't keep the ball!

I honestly thought Koeman would come in and do as he has in tightening up the defence and upped the work rate and tenacity but keep the Barca style football!

Our style of play is bottom-half team at best!

Ray Jacques
59 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:38:11
Jamie (#48), I agree, Palace are much improved. However, I believe you have been Kenwrightised and we should aspire to be winning against said opponents at home. I want more than industry and effort, I want quality and skill.

I do agree that it was better than last week; however, that's not really a compliment, is it!

Ian Riley
60 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:40:20
I think reality has set in. Look, we would have lost that last season. There is more energy up to the 90th minute. The style Koeman wants doesn't fit our players. Still a good start. Next two transfer windows will tell us more. A season of patience is required.
George Cumiskey
61 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:44:22
I can't believe the people who are saying Barkley had a good game, an attacking midfielder who never had a shot at goal or laid on a goal. If that's a good game, God help us.

Then again, compared to Cleverley, he played like Messi .

Paul Smith
62 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:46:24
Absolute shite that, how many shots on goal? It's clear Koeman has sorted our set-pieces out and loves a cross from both wings into the box. Fuck all going through the middle though, unless you count a chest-high floated ball into Rom with 3 men round him from Cleverley.

We have a few good players – the rest are fair to middling. My expectations were too high early doors... more realistic now – mid table just trying to accept it is the hard part, not sure what Big Ron is thinking now.

Ray Jacques
63 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:48:37
George, spot on. Sorry to say this but he is useless.
Dean Barton
64 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:50:11
Some of the comments are laughable. The team deserve constructive criticism but that was much better than last week. We weren't poor by any stretch, but weren't great either. Our problem at the moment is that our so-called creative players aren't creating anything. We haven't scored from open play in 3 games against teams we should be.

Barkley needs to be doing a lot more. He's playing safe football and it's doing the team no favours. Without him on fire we lack any form of guile. Who finds the cutting pass?

Next game will be tough but we may have more luck in an attacking sense as Man City will leave more gaps. We will have to wait and see. Onwards and upwards!!

George Cumiskey
65 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:54:38
Why do people keep going on about the next two transfer windows? Why can't the players we have now take on board his ideas and put in a shift? All they have to do is train every day – surely something must sink in, or are they all too thick!
Kunal Desai
66 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:56:17
Until you get in someone like Arteta and Pienaar (his first spell), we will struggle to create and breakdown defences in the final third. It's almost criminal that we have never replaced both these players. Arteta left over 6 years ago!

Absolutely astounding this club has never addressed bringing in a long-term successor for that role. It pains me to say that I'd happilly see these two positions filled in midfield if it meant Barkley was moved on.

Gordon Crawford
67 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:58:34
Slightly worried by Koeman's quote: "The team performance was outstanding, although we'd like to create more opportunities."

If that was outstanding, then we are in trouble. I agree with the last part though.

George Cumiskey
68 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:58:42
Ray, you are right but, because he's one of us, nobody likes to say it.
Eddie Dunn
69 Posted 30/09/2016 at 22:58:59
This was a gritty performance but we were up against a tough team who competed in all areas. They wouldn't roll over and let us do our thing.

We will find that there is more to come as we meet tougher opposition in the coming weeks with some hard away days ahead. We lack creativity. We failed to trouble their keeper apart from the free kick.

I thought that Barkley was busy in a Rooney manner (2016 vintage unfortunately) and Cleverley did well. I thought our play deteriorated when these two departed.

Lukaku is so dependent on service from the wings, and fails to do anything on his own. The other midfielders fail continually to get into the box- only Coleman or Bolasie seem to have the remit to get in there.

Oh for a Pienaar / Baines combo, or twinkle toes Ossie. There is a total lack of quality in the final third and we have little else apart from Deulofeu to try out. A mid-table destination awaits us.

Ciarán McGlone
70 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:03:40
Jesus, this is bad... people have started reinventing Pienaar and Osman as great players and the answer to our current malaise.

Behave yourselves.

George Cumiskey
71 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:03:40
Eddie it was a gritty performance but surely we should expect a lot more than just grit... like a bit more quality?
Jeff Armstrong
72 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:08:12
Why does Koeman insist on having everyone back for corners and free kicks? It's infuriating. The number of times we had no outball was so frustrating. Leave Bolasie up front, FFS – it's just basic tactics, ties up more defenders etc, gives our new "high ball" tactics something to aim at... might even lead to some attacking play.
By pulling EVERYBODY back, none of the above applies.
Mark Andrews
73 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:10:36
We have no-one who can run our midfield. Barry and Gana are class but they are defensive midfield players. Barkley has no footballing brain so can't run the show and looking at the squad, no-one else can either. We need a clever Arteta-type player who can pull all the strings.
Anthony Hughes
74 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:10:57
They had a coherent game plan and came here positive with two wingers to feed their centre forward. We were the home side and started with Cleverley in the wide-left position. I'm sorry, Ronnie boy, but that was a fuck-up... surely Lennon would have been a better option. Square pegs for square holes and all that.
Paul Thompson
75 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:15:32
Palace are a decent side who have a lot of threat going forward. Despite the goal (why the hell was Coleman marking Benteke?) and the disallowed effort, we are looking stronger at the back than under Martinez.

But as Kunai (#67) says, we continue to lack creativity going forward. You can criticise Lukaku all you like but he will score if given the service. Where was it?

Brian Denton
76 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:16:01
Well, that was pretty average, but probably a fairer indication of where we are. I don't think we'll be seeing 2nd place again this season. I thought Ross was slightly better than of late, but his ability to spot a pass quickly seems to have gone completely at the moment. Bolasie was dull tonight.

On a more parochial point, why have the City Council extended the Residents Parking Only restriction so far down Netherfield Road? Completely over the top – it's almost as though they don't want motorists to come. You can't do that in this day and age.

Jack Convery
77 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:16:04
Loan Ross to Rangers / Celtic and he can get his confidence back. If he can't do it in Scotland, then he never will.
Brian Mahoney
78 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:16:57
I find this hard to believe, but the lad sitting next to me said that Deulofeu had broken down on the M62 – that's why he wasn't even on the bench.
George Cumiskey
79 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:18:37
Paul, if you play Barkley and Cleverley, he won't get the service!
Chris Gould
80 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:19:21
Some of you had expectations that were way too high. Koeman has only been in the job for 7 league games!! He doesn't have a magic formula that will kick in after a few weeks of coaching. He has made us more solid at the back. Palace didn't have a kick at goal. We are much fitter and we have players putting in more effort.

But we still have players who just aren't good enough, players who Koeman can't make better. Koeman recognised this and said that he needed more players. It didn't happen so we keep solid and keep working hard.

Koeman has a system in mind and it doesn't suit certain players. He will get rid of Deulofeu, Mirallas, Cleverley, Kone and bring in players that can play his way.

A manager can only do so much. Once they have the players fit and organised, it's all about giving the players the opportunity to work hard and express themselves. That's the players' responsibility. Koeman will reshuffle in January. We just need to try and stay in the top 8 until then.

Colin Hughes
81 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:19:31
Maybe we were too quick to destroy Martinez. It may be that we just have a shite team. Norwich, Bournemouth and Palace are not top sides yet all have looked as good as us at the very least.

I can't see any improvement on 11th with this team.

Jamie Crowley
82 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:20:08
Julian ,Ray, John, et al...

I'm guilty of always looking for the bright side of any cluster-fuck. Guilty as charged. But...

What puts me over the line – and it did with Martinez eventually – is a lack of effort.

I'm not Kenwrightized, I'm not being overly optimistic. We need to improve, of that there's no doubt. But the players tonight put in a real shift. I can't say any of them weren't committed to the cause.

I think it's very simple: Koeman has focused, eight games in mind you, on the defensive end of the equation. As soon as we sort out the final third and create more chances (Julian), we'll be fine.

Seriously, to that end, how many times did Bolasie go streaking down the field on a counter, and fucking turn the ball back and stop all the pace and threat? Maddening!

We'll get this sorted. I'm willing to exercise patience and, until I see a string of games of shite effort, à la Bournemouth, I'm going to be patient.

Gary Willock
83 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:24:52
Positives – Barkley ran and tackled more than I've seen in a long time; Jags and Williams coped (reasonably... or 'better than last year') with aerial stuff; Oviedo a great understudy; Seamus 'having a go'; Barry was... Barry.

Negatives – Stekelenburg looked a bit rooted and unsure; Cleverley is NOT a left midfielder – why keep trying it? We do not look as 'athletic' as many other teams; where are the kids?

Hoping that we've been working so hard on fitness and attitude that we'll simply 'get back round' to basic ball control and passing at some stage, because it was awful.

We've had a good start, and we're hard to beat. The board had best step the fuck up in January and the summer.

Denver Daniels
84 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:26:48
Normal service resumed. No creativity. No decent back-up for Rom. A manager who's not as great as he's been made out to be. Mid-table beckons.
Ray Jacques
85 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:28:03
Jamie, fair enough. I agree we need to be patient (for another year). We just don't have the quality unfortunately.

I do agree that we are stronger defensively, it's just sooooo frustrating.

Anthony Hughes
86 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:29:06
It doesn't look like Valencia is rated too highly by Koeman. When you're at home and pushing for a win and you don't bring the only striker on the bench on, then it doesn't smell too good.
Jack Cross
88 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:32:41
Well, I said last week I would be happy with a draw, and I am. it was certainly an improvement on the two defeats.

First half, we played some good football and maybe should have taken that possession to them and won the game. But we fell back into our old laboured ways in the 2nd half and were lucky that their second goal wasn't allowed. So a draw is fine by me.

I'm not a fan of Barkley, but thought he had a pretty good game. His passing seemed much improved. How Cleverly gets in the team is beyond me.

As for ToffeeWebers constant going on about a top 4 place, well a top 8 would be more realistic. Were in transition. I've no doubt we will improve. But rather than buy panic-buys in January, I'd rather see the season out, and see were we finish and then rebuild in the Summer.

14 points out of 7 games, I think we would have all taken that. So lets give Koeman, a chance. There will be times when he gets it wrong as he is human. But I think we will have more good games under him than bad. So give him a chance.

Remember, we're 3rd from top and not from the bottom. And Palace are no push-overs.

Yes, I'm happy with a draw.

George Cumiskey
89 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:34:08
The trouble with a lot of Everton fans is we are too cap in hand touching forelocks saying mustn't grumble. If we don't fucking grumble nothing at the club will ever change !
Steavey Buckley
90 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:34:57
Sadly, tonight's performance reminds me of a team picked and coached by Martinez, as Everton played far too deeply in their own half as though Everton were the away team. No width on one side forced Lukaku to go wide and provide his own service.
John Malone
92 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:37:17
It is plain to me to see that Barkley is not and never will be a Number 10!

His best position for me would be a Frank Lampard style deep-lying centre-mid who carries the ball out of defence and switches the play then keeps running to arrive late!

Martinez recognised it and dropped him deeper; I wonder how long it will take Koeman to see it!

The only problem is – Does he have the footballing brain to be a top player? I don't think you can teach it. It's got to be an instinct you have!

Anthony Hughes
93 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:38:27
What got me was the amount of fans saying we had a good transfer window and they were happy with it. Quite simply... we had a fairly average window.
John Malone
94 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:40:03
On another point, if memory serves me right, it was Deulofeu who set up the majority of Lukaku's goals. For me, he would do a lot better playing up with Rom than Bolasie, who is one lazy enigma of a player!
Anthony Hughes
95 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:43:32
I like Bolasie but sometimes he just needs to do the simple things.
Ciarán McGlone
96 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:44:12
I think that's a fair point about Bolasie. He doesn't seem bothered to close down. At one stage tonight, Ross was chasing the ball down and gesturing for. Bolasie to cover the free player... He didn't bother.

I really think Bolasie is the ultimate curate's egg. I despise those types of frustrating players.

George Cumiskey
98 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:44:57
Palace had two solid workmanlike midfielders; we had two England internationals. Let's not kid ourselves who came off best.
Tony Hill
99 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:46:48
Palace are a good side and I thought we were heavily outplayed in the second half. A point, on that basis, was not bad.

What worries me about us is that there is still a sort of emptiness at our core. I don't know what it is but it's like a sort of rising damp that you can feel setting in during most games. We continue to lack leadership and game management on the pitch, and there are some deep-seated mental blocks there. Above all, we lack real pace and incisiveness (I'm afraid Bolasie was very poor tonight).

A long, long road ahead and tonight was another milepost.

Karl Parsons
100 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:52:09
If you thought all would be rosy and light within two months are deluded. It's gonna take a little time for the manager to set the foundations we need to get into a challenging shape.

Pisses me off all the continual slagging that is written here. We would have lost this game under the old regime without question. Get a grip and grow up.

Kieran Kinsella
101 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:54:51
It's not a terrible result. Obviously we've a midfield issue where Koeman has some players who are all industry and no flair and others who are all flair and no industry. Gueye and Barry arguably have a foot in both camps.

If you play Barkley, Bolasie, Deulofeu or Mirallas they ponce about waiting to showboat. With McCarthy & Cleverley you get work but no-one comfortable on the ball. This might sound nuts but maybe Gibson could help out at least temporarily until the next window.

Tony Hill
102 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:55:47
That would be the grip we've been getting for 30-odd years, Karl.
Jeff Armstrong
103 Posted 30/09/2016 at 00:00:08
Karl, you're right, in fact, we did lose this game in 2 out of the last 3 seasons and only drew the other one. This manager, has not got anything like his preferred team.

What worries me, though, is this will be like a Graham Taylor hoof-ball type football with 11 men back for corners. Come on, Ronald, with pace like Bolasie, you leave no-one up top???

Trevor Peers
104 Posted 30/09/2016 at 00:01:06
Just shows after tonight's game, how much more we have to go to before we improve. Let's not kid ourselves though, because I'm sure Koeman won't, he will need those next two windows to get the Blues back where we belong.

We all love Ross and who knows, with the right players around him, he may yet be a success. But, in the short term, we need real quality in midfield, players with a real thirst for the battle, totally astute and mentally equipped to win at all costs. I think we're moving closer with Koeman.

George Cumiskey
106 Posted 30/09/2016 at 00:01:16
Karl @101, nobody thought it was going to be all rosey and light, but after three dire performances on the trot and we shouldn't complain! Well that's a good night from me, up early tomorrow.
Karl Parsons
107 Posted 30/09/2016 at 00:02:16
That's got nothing to do with Moshiri and Koeman, Tony. Yeah the past has not been great but it's gone. Tomorrow hasn't. I see the macro view of what's happening at my beloved Club and it fucking excites me.
Jack Convery
108 Posted 30/09/2016 at 00:03:38
We cannot beat Bog Standard Premier League teams because we are Bog Standard too and have been for too many years. As we are born Evertonians, and if reincarnation is the truth, then we were really really bad in our past lives!
Damian Wilde
109 Posted 01/10/2016 at 00:08:11
We were poor tonight. Barkley has been crap for over a year. I just can't understand why anyone thinks he'll make it. He's finished. I actually can't stand him.

I won't forget Koeman's terrible League Cup line-up, started the rot. We now look like a side that will finish 10th, 5th round of the cup. Season's finished, we're average at best. We desperately need a lot of players.

And Jags – is there a worse passer of the ball anywhere in the world?

I love Coleman, but he is stinking at the mo.

Earn your money, Ronald, you sure get paid enough. This is rubbish and depressing.

James Marshall
110 Posted 01/10/2016 at 00:10:25
A decent point against a good side in form – it's a cliche, but there are no easy games in the Premier League and Crystal Palace are on a roll.

We're a work in progress, and 14 points from our first 7 games is a decent return.

I still think we'll be competitive against everyone in the division this year, and that is all we can expect given the shit we've come from with OFM. Koeman isn't going to change the fortunes of this side overnight, and patience is going to be key.

Palace are a good side.

Hannes Eerola
112 Posted 01/10/2016 at 00:31:46
Cleverley is not good enough for a team with top-6-aspirations. Late sub at best for us.
Tony Hill
113 Posted 01/10/2016 at 00:51:21
I agree about patience but the recent games have been very sobering. Part of me wants to share the idea that this will be a steady progress over the next two seasons and that we are going to get the stadium and so on. But the other part of me looks at tonight and thinks we're a million miles away and that the flicker of promise 3 years ago was indeed just a flicker.

Perhaps those on here who say we're just not good enough and are a mid-table side are right, and that we just have to get used to it. I'm beginning, very reluctantly, to think so and I find that very difficult to accept. I think Koeman also looks and sounds flat actually.

Brent Stephens
114 Posted 01/10/2016 at 00:55:56
Just got back from the game, as they say. Disappointed. But we're still only a few games in with a new manager, and only one transfer window with him. I'll bide my time.
Dominic Tonge
115 Posted 01/10/2016 at 01:05:59
Our performance really wasn't that bad tonight, I thought Ross started well, He initially had support from one of Cleverley, Gana or Barry. This allowed him an easy ball if pressed. Noticeably after Oviedo got booked and Gana and Barry seemed to drop off a bit to cover; this took away the easy outlet stopping us creating one or more lines of passing.

I thought we might have gone to 3 at the back with Bolasie and Coleman wide, or even brought on Lennon for his energy to play wide right rather than Mirallas. We would have lost this game last season, so it's not all bad. Also if you look at that palace team, it's a fairly good side – and Jason Puncheon.

Ian Riley
116 Posted 01/10/2016 at 01:13:41
Jack (#109),
Made my night.
Thank you!
David Booth
117 Posted 01/10/2016 at 01:23:44
Something that has always mystified me ever since I started following Everton is why don't our managers ever learn? Apart from the second half against Sunderland, every other individual half has been borderline average at best.

What was the difference at Sunderland, when we scored three goals in 45 minutes? Barkley replaced by Deulofeu. Instant pace, directness and width that pulled their defence all over the place. A huge, obvious, game-changing tactic.

Fast forward and what do we see? Barkley straight back in the team; that epitome of mediocrity, Cleverley, somehow flavour of the month and Deulofeu nowhere to be seen. Net result: one point and two clueless performances against Bournemouth and Palace. Oh, and unceremoniously dumped out of the cup by Norwich reserves.

We've already started going backwards. No difference to watching a Martinez team go through the motions, devoid of energy, enthusiasm, strategy and inspiration. I think it would be unwise to raise our hopes too high on the evidence seen so far.

Mark Wilson
118 Posted 01/10/2016 at 01:49:53
Way to go, Everton, combining with Sky and Friday Night Football to ruin the weekend before it's even got started.

Koeman, you need to up your game. You may go on about wanting three transfer windows and a couple or three seasons but your now one of the highest paid managers in Europe, or the world, ffs, so yep, don't expect to win the league in the next three years but a basic return on that investment is something that doesn't in any way resemble the Martinez approach, okay?

Picking Cleverley to protect Oviedo rubbish meant we were way too heavy on essentially defensive midfielders and creativity suffered.

Post match interview, claiming the defence was great really? I must have glanced away as in true Martinesque style we failed to stop one of quite a few crosses and a right back was defending against a monster centre forward whose known to be decent in the air. Meanwhile, having lost said Centre Forward, both our central defenders stood around looking bemused as an easily won header looped gently over a stranded keeper. Rest of second half, we could have conceded more and there was even a couple of classic Roberto moments as we nearly got caught playing tippy-tappy from the keeper to both centre backs etc .

Bolasie? Even in the inflated market that £28m feels a very iffy investment .time to be wrong of course but frankly he's looked very average. Jags: dire distribution pretty much throughout the game.

Okay, Palace are solid and tough to breakdown. They have a number of folk who can and do dominate in the air, something I've not seen for a long time in our defence. But if we can't beat Bournemouth and Palace and insist on throwing away a league cup effort, all in ten days .this isn't even going to be "reasonable" improvement is it.

Koeman, get back to the straight talking please. Mr Walsh, get into top gear, now, and ensure we aren't hanging around beyond January 1st for three, maybe four, new players and that hopefully not mythical £100m spent. It's going to be desperately needed if current indicators are anything to go by. Sigh.

Lyndon Lloyd
119 Posted 01/10/2016 at 02:04:29
We weren't poor and I think it's an exaggeration to say we were clueless.

We lacked guile in midfield for he most part and I agree with the sentiment that while Ross put a really good shift in on the physical side, it appeared to be to the detriment of his creativity.

What the last three results have confirmed is that we got a bit ahead of ourselves with the first five games and that we're a work in progress that will require some very targeted additions if we're to rise above simply being a fitter, stronger team physically, which we unquestionably now are under Koeman.

Steve Brown
120 Posted 01/10/2016 at 03:26:46
We are a work in progress, playing, as Lyndon says, with the more structure and discipline but lacking consistency over 90 minutes, quality and creativity in attack and sufficient squad cover. I am not sure why anyone is surprised by that, given 3 years of folly under Martinez.

We got excited in the first 5 games as the schedule gave us a very lenient start. With careful acquisitions in January, I am confident we can reach top 7, which given where we finished in the last 2 seasons IS an improvement. I hate the word 'project' as used by plonkers like Martinez and Rodgers, but this genuinely is a 2-3 year process in my mind.

What I like is Koeman's decisiveness – there are consequences now for playing poorly, as Deulofeu found out last night.

Patrick Murphy
121 Posted 01/10/2016 at 03:28:34
If we take the points tally as a reflection of where we are, 14 points from 7 games, it is an average of 2 points per game, which is not a bad tally. However, the problem is that the team and general play has gone downhill rapidly.

Yesterday's game saw a team which cracked at the first sign of pressure. Palace are a very ordinary team and to be fair to them they should have left Goodison with maximum points.

Something isn't quite right in the camp and we won't know until a month or two's time what it is that is troubling the team, but thankfully we have enough points on the board to keep us hoping that we can win more points in the coming matches. Something is not quite right and we have to hope the International break has come at a good time. It's fantastic being an Evertonian but it's also very trying.

Daniel Lim
122 Posted 01/10/2016 at 04:30:35
Just watched a five-minute highlight of last night game. I don't think Bolasie was rubbish, as some other posters here said. I don't think Stekelenburg is the answer to our goalkeeping problem. He conceded 2 goals which most of the decent keepers would have saved.

Yes, Crystal Palace did score a second goal. That goal would have been allowed in many other matches. And back to Stek, no way a good keeper would let in these goals!

Michael Penley
123 Posted 01/10/2016 at 04:45:21
No Daniel, the second Palace "goal" was offside. Although I'm sure many incompetent referees would have allowed it, there was a player in an active position clearly interfering with play.
Jack Farrell
124 Posted 01/10/2016 at 05:47:41
I don't rate Cleverley at all, but, he did okay last night. Ross Barkley clearly has a huge confidence issue at the moment, but at least he worked hard last night and also won a few tackles; I thought based on last season that he had been excused making tackles.

My biggest worry is our lack of height at the back, it was 'panic stations' each time a cross was played into our area simply because our centre backs were just not tall enough or strong enough to deal with Benteke in the air.

The game was a very entertaining one, but, if I was a Palace fan, I would be looking at this one as two points dropped rather than one gained.

Ian Linn
125 Posted 01/10/2016 at 05:49:53
On the whole I thought we were decent but unispired – and lucky to get a point.

I'm not a football tactician but didn't see any of our midfielders get the ball, take it 20 yards up the pitch, and lay it off for Lukaku or whoever else was up front.

Bolasie looked lively in spells but no-one else in the middle of the park seemed to have much of a clue.

However, Koeman needs time... and he'll get it from me.

Brian Porter
127 Posted 01/10/2016 at 06:17:10
Anthony (#75), I agree with your point re Lennon. He's a far more direct and attacking option than Cleverley and as he proved last season, he gets in the box and scores goals! Surely, when we were lucky looking for a winner, Lennon for Cleverley would have made sense?

Funes Mori for Oviedo was an okay sub but could have been made earlier as again, Funes Mori added his weight to the attack, supporting the forward players. But why take Ross off? Forget previous games, he was our best creative option last night.

I'd have pulled Bolasie off and sent Deulofeu on for the last 20 minutes. Maybe he could have provided the type of crosses Rom needs to feed off. All in all, a good first half followed by a toothless, Martinez-style second half, lacking in confidence and the will-to-win attitude needed to beat teams like Palace.

William Cartwright
130 Posted 01/10/2016 at 06:35:22
We can't win them all, it's always 11 v's 11, Palace are a good team etc... Truth of the matter is, we are work in progress. Koeman is in the midst of group analysis and the players know this.

I am surprised that there has been less emphasis on bringing in the youngsters, Davies, Dowell, Kenny and Holgate etc

Dave Ganley
131 Posted 01/10/2016 at 06:38:04
On the plus side we would have lost that game last season. To an extent, we did dig in during that 2nd half although the amount of crosses we let in is a little worrying. Even though it was a disappointing game, it was a marked improvement on the dross Martinez served up.

Now for the negatives. It again is another reality check. The team Martinez left us with cannot be understated. When you compare the mental strength of the team when Martinez arrived to how it is now, well it's shocking that Martinez was allowed to let it rot so much. When Palace equalised, we just shrunk into our shell. We had wave after wave of Palace attacks that we just couldn't stem.

The players looked like rabbits in the headlights. Only Gueye and Barry had any kind of control. The rest of the midfield just disappeared. Bolasie was bullied out of the game by the Palace defence, he really needs to man up.

Barkley was, well Barkley. Run around studiously just keeping out of the way. To compare Barkley to the likes of Scholes, Lampard or Gerrard is quite frankly laughable. Use all the stats you want but by this age, those players were starting to take games by the scruff of the neck and running them. Ross doesn't look as though he could control a hot dinner let alone a Premier League game. I really do want him to succeed but fear his fragile mental state means he will only ever be an average player.

As for Cleverley supposedly protecting Oviedo .well it was most apparent that all of the decent Palace attacks came down that wing.

Problem Everton have got is that we have no alternative on the bench when things don't go well. The squad is weak. Although I do have to say that I'm surprised that Tom Davis isn't being given a chance.

Bit of a strange game all round really. If we had taken our chances then it could have been 3 or 4 goals. But we didn't and Palace could easily have won it and we couldn't have complained about it.

As I said earlier, we would have lost that last season so that's an improvement for me. We have to be patient really. Koeman has a big job on his hands sorting through the dross, having to make do with what he's got and trying to improve the fragile nature of the squad. He's improved us from last season which is a plus point but it's going to take time to be a miracle worker. Rome wasn't built in a day etc. Onwards and upwards.

Kieran Fitzgerald
132 Posted 01/10/2016 at 07:00:19
I think it is very noticeable that Koeman is trying out all of his squad to see what he has. It means that the starting eleven isn't as settled at it could be and his subs have been varied. While it may seem like his selection process isn't always perfect it means that he will have a better idea from competitive games what quality he has.

We have had an easy opening run of games. This has allowed Koeman the chance to:
1. Know his players.
2. Improve fitness through competitive games for a lot of them.
3. Ease injured players like Coleman and Oveido back into the team.
4. Improve the defence.
5. See what creativity he has and where he is currently lacking in this area.

All of this means that Koeman now also knows what he needs come January and who will be allowed to leave. In the meantime, we have picked up two points a game.

Jay Woods
133 Posted 01/10/2016 at 07:23:47
@ Jay Wood: Sort of, yes. This performance is not being viewed in isolation, but it made me accept that he has plateaued (or to use a linguistic term, "fossilised").

When Barkley was younger, many of us thought he would go on to be a Gerrard-like midfielder but he clearly isn't now. I'm not saying he's hopeless either; I'm just saying his position on the field is probably the one that needs most urgent attention come the next transfer window if we want to challenge for higher things.

Darren Hind
134 Posted 01/10/2016 at 07:28:22
Frustrated but not despondent. This Palace side were a breath of fresh air: hard, committed and determined to get forward at every opportunity. They are playing to Benteke's strengths and I can easily see them finishing top half.

I thought we worked hard, we kept a decent shape, defended well, but we just lacked that little bit of guile when it mattered.

I agree with Lyndon. Ross passed the ball well but his much improved workrate off the ball, was probably to the detriment of his threat going forward. I still think there is a top player in there.

Lukaku was in and out, but when he was in, he was superb. Thought our Goalie was a bit rooted for their goal making any save out of the question.

All-in-all, a decent end-to-ender which could have been so much better with a decent referee. I generally make a point of not blaming refs, but this fella was fucking awful – for both sides, I might add.

Mark Tanton
135 Posted 01/10/2016 at 07:34:00
I'd like to know what the issue is with so many stray and mishit passes last night. Confidence, form or lack of quality. Coleman was very frustrating, painfully giving the ball away in the second half from some very promising positions. So so incredibly frustrating.
Mark Tanton
136 Posted 01/10/2016 at 07:36:28
On another note, who the Hell was Forum Dazz last night and where did they find him?
David Barks
137 Posted 01/10/2016 at 07:39:10

How can you say we weren't poor? We were by far the lesser team the entire second half, at home, to Crystal Palace. Palace being the club we spent nearly £330 million to purchase one of their best players.

We were garbage the entire second half, and for the most part pedestrian in the first half. We offered Lukaku no service. Barkley looks slow and clueless when he gets the back. Bolasie just flicks the ball around until a defender either just takes it or the defense settles and he has nowhere to go with it.

Defensively we were vulnerable every time they sent a ball into the box. I just don't know how anyone can look at that match and say we were not poor. And this is at the end of an incredibly easy start to our season. Now we have to start playing the quality teams.

Paul Smith
138 Posted 01/10/2016 at 08:02:01
David Barks, you must have seen the game through my eyes because I echo your sentiments exactly.

We were poor again, I actually thought Ross was at fault for their goal, he lost possession in typical Ross style and gave up trying to retrieve the ball almost straight away, allowing the Palace player to cross.

I said earlier we looked like conceding at any time, and the 2nd half we were like the away team. We have lots of mediocre players and in Koeman's defence, I'm hoping it's no coincidence that the players he's brought in stand out as better performers, it gives me some hope that we can kick on.

Ian Jones
139 Posted 01/10/2016 at 08:07:45
Apologies in advance if this has been mentioned before.

If Palace were penalised for dangerous play for the free kick leading to Lukaku' s goal, then the free kick should have been indirect. I think. If that's the case we were lucky and can thank the ref.

Paul Tran
140 Posted 01/10/2016 at 08:08:47
Completely agree, Darren. We need to find someone with guile who wants to come here.

We know this team can press, they need to show that they can wrest back the initiative when the other team gets it off us.

I'm beginning to think Barkley is like one of those tripless racehorses. Not quite box to box, not quite a playmaker, not a goalscorer, etc.

Peter Barry
141 Posted 01/10/2016 at 08:20:39
Bad, card-happy Ref, lucky free kick awarded and well taken by Lukaku but Crystal Palace players at fault for not jumping. Then it was back to the MEDIOCRE same old same old which allowed Palace back in to the game; if there was any justice in the world, they would have won having a perfectly legal goal ruled "Offside".

We need to accept it we are not good enough we have had our 'New Manager' bounce against MEDIOCRE opposition and now we are back in the real world where we are still only MARGINALLY better than we were last year. It's going to be a long hard season especially for all those who had their heads in the clouds and were living in cloud cuckoo land.

Kim Vivian
142 Posted 01/10/2016 at 08:47:31
I do not think we were total crap last night – far from it. The first half held great expectations for the second half but Pardew got them up and at us in the second half and we wilted under the pressure when we were no longer bossing it.

We have been lucky this season...

Win against Stoke was a pen in off the GK via the post, that high foot on Jags was no worse that AshW on Valdes or whoever it was, (okay we went on to score two more but who knows?), the free-kick last night should have been indirect, Palace's second goal would have stood 9 times out of 10 and a lucky goal for Ross against Spurs have all contributed to our points tally. We are (as it stands for half a day at least) 3rd in the Premier League.

I'll take that all day, everyday.

However we need to be putting the goals away from open play with far more profligacy. Valencia is shite from what I've seen and all my W Ham mates tell me, Niasse (God knows), Kone is championship quality, Rom cannot do it all on his own and as a whole we seem to be afraid to have a pop when the opportunity arises – laying it off, taking a second touch or simply not seeing the chance.

Priority now, as many have said, must be a quality goalscorer/creator in the mold of Sanchez, Suarez, Vardy, Aguero et al.

If we can get somebody in like that, keep with the rub of the green and keep the back tight (I remain unconvinced about Stekelenburg, however), then the puzzle will be complete.

3rd in the table with what we have done this season and only 5 minutes in for RonKom is pretty respectable in my opinion and the signs are good.

Bring on Man City – you see... at least a point there for us (and I do think Spurs will get a win on Sunday)...

James Peter
143 Posted 01/10/2016 at 08:48:40
No knee-jerks here but I think last night sums up pretty much where we are as a squad. Average. I don't think we'll be push overs in (m)any games this season, which is an improvement defensively but it's clear we're lacking quality in our midfield.

I think Barkley has gone down the pan this season for one reason or another, maybe he's the type of player that needs an arm around the shoulder, which isn't Koeman's style. One injury / knock to our first eleven and we really suffer.

Mirallas, Deulofeu, Barkley and Bolassie are too inconsistent and it was hard to hear the truth from Henry last night that, in a team with better creative midfielders, Lukaku would score more. We are a work in progress, have a decent defense, we have a threadbare squad and have an inconsistent forward line.

Colin Glassar
144 Posted 01/10/2016 at 08:49:28
Good post, Darren. For those who wanted instant success under Koeman, forget it. This team is going to need a lot of work over the next few seasons, both recruiting wise and mentally.

Last night we faced a typical Alan Pardew early-season team and got bullied. I bet you when we play them again they will be, in typical Pardewesque style, struggling in the lower half of the league and the fans will be calling for his head. That's just the way his teams are.

Mark Daley
145 Posted 01/10/2016 at 08:52:05
My Aunty has a maharishi and he said the only hope was to do good works in this life and hope that in the next one we come back as something higher up the scale than a Blue; maybe a frog or even a small pig. If we keep it up, in a couple of regenerations we might be reborn as supporters of a proper football team.
Allan Board
146 Posted 01/10/2016 at 08:58:42
I have read through all the comments with my morning cuppa and have some observations.
So Palace are a great team and Everton shit? Considering we have played exactly the same fixtures after 7 games, how come we are 3 points better off than them then?

Poor goal to concede, definitely. However, lumped balls into opposition's areas is the only tactic Palace use. Why do you think it's like Land of the Giants in their dressing room? The solution is to stop the supply out to the wide players – it's called PRESSING.

Koeman has already identified this as the massive problem at Everton and is working at changing it, but he has to have fit players to do it – which he has not got at present. The fitness issues at the club have been ingrained over 3 years of totally inept coaching and a dismissive attitude towards hard work. Most of these players will not recover from this and be sold over the next 12 months as they are not what's required.

To coach shape and the system into a group of players takes time, which Koeman has plenty of, but he will not take silly risks on unproven youngsters until he has in place his own requirement of player. Then he will introduce the 4 or 5 young ones at the right time into the team when he has the working system in place.

Considering the lack of quality he has at his disposal at present, he is already coaching beyond expectation. He will not put the team's place in the top league in jeopardy by making hasty, risky decisions for a short-term fix. That's what the idiot before used to do.

There is no point in slating the players we have at present; most of them are stop-gaps until Koeman gets in what he wants. He will use them to serve a purpose, Walsh will identify the required replacements and, over the next 2 to 3 transfer windows, the playing staff will be transformed.

Keep the faith, be patient, and let the man do his job.

Jon Withey
147 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:11:49
Lucky we have Lukaku.

I guess creative midfielders aren't in ready supply but that's been missing for a few seasons now.

A bit surprised to hear our defense getting bullied, Jags and Williams should be no push-overs.

Anyway, it seems we are going to be competitive enough for mid-table or better so perhaps Koeman has arrested the slide.

Oliver Molloy
148 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:20:00
Norwich, Bournemouth, and Palace are sides we should be beating if we are to push on.

We have had no midfield creativity for as long as I can remember and I was really surprised that Koeman did not address this the minute he came in. I can't see Ross being the answer; he just doesn't see things.

I keep saying it: Moshiri is going to have to put his money on the table – it's very clear we need around 6 players to make us better.

So, then... Man City next!

Clive Rogers
149 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:20:15
Koeman's problem is the lack of a striker to play alongside Rom. Bolasie was pushed further forward last night, but he is just not a goal scorer. He got four last season and doesn't look like scoring for us.

Neither does Mirallas for the last five games. He has developed the habit of bringing the ball away from goal and playing it back.

Valencia needs to be given a run after being coached to play the way Koeman wants him to.

Joseph Mullarkey
150 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:28:24
It isn't a massive price to pay to expose the weaknesses we have at the moment.

Koeman has to play a very poor hand as far as the squad is concerned, He tried to change a few things after last weeks debacle, unfortunately it didn't pan out.

Players need to be replaced by better quality signings we all know this, but the last few results are part of the ebb and flow of a mediocre squad playing in a very competitive league.

What we saw last night is where Everton are at.

Don't loose faith in RK yet it will take time to turn this massive ship around.

Paul Conway
151 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:35:30
We really can't expect to reach the top six this season. For the present, we are the same level as Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.

Certain players don't look solid and commanding in their roles. Right now, I would hate to see what we could offer, if Gana and Lukaku were out injured at the same time.

Koeman's plan is in motion. IMO, we need a lot of patience and to drop the idea that certain players are going to attain a higher points ranking on FIFA 2016-17.

Eddie Dunn
152 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:38:29
Everyone has an opinion of which players performed well and which did not. The overall picture is that we are fitter and harder to beat than last term. We lack quality in midfield and need another striker. This is still progress, but the early results have raised our expectations.

I think it is imperative that we bring in some quality in January. If we do, there is a chance of European football, but if not, I think 10th will be our placing. This squad is very average, and needs radical surgery. Next season we will surely lose Lukaku and there will be even more work to be done in the transfer market.

One thing that struck me about last night was Jagielka's awful passing, he was knocking his hopeless passes to no-one at Bournemouth too. The defence still lacks real height – a Scott Dann or a Van Dijk would do much to lower our collective blood pressure.

Ian Riley
153 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:45:50
This team is not good enough to meet the standard Koeman wants. The board must step up in January or next summer with the cheque book. Sadly the summer transfer activity has proven already it's going to take time.

Koeman has put the foundations down with fitness and work rate. With both in place, I am willing to be patient until more players are brought in. Pep and Klopp walked in to squads with better players to adapt to their styles and adding players.

The board will decide how far we go not Koeman. His salary is irrelevant if not given the tools to work with. We have come along way already. I don't have fear of relegation under Koeman as I did under Martinez.

John Raftery
154 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:46:39
Last time I looked Palace were sitting 7th in the table on the back of three consecutive wins. We had lost badly at Bournemouth so the selection of Cleverley was designed to prevent another defeat against a team in form.

We started the game very well with a good tempo, looked solid in midfield and grabbed the opening goal from a superb free kick. It was disappointing the way we allowed Palace to seize the initiative after the break. They battered us for 20 minutes after the equaliser but the defence held firm and we regained control in the final 15 minutes. By that stage, Palace were happy to sit deep and take the draw.

I thought Stekelenburg might have moved his feet quicker for both the goal and the disallowed effort but otherwise he had no saves of any note. That was a tribute to our defending. Under that sort of pressure, last season we would very likely have conceded more goals.

In midfield, Gueye was less influential than in the earlier games, looked slightly jaded and was guilty of some misplaced passes. He was not the only one culpable in that regard in a game which was played at a furious pace but with a distinct lack of quality in the final third.

Koeman has yet to find a way of balancing the need to provide decent service and support to Lukaku while making us hard to beat. Until he achieves the right balance we will just have to be content to eke out the points where we can get them.

Peter Mills
155 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:47:17
It's Saturday morning, and I still can't make up my mind about the match last night.

Glass half-full: Stekelenburg has brought some calm authority to the goal-keeping position. The two centre-backs are strong. Gueye is good. Barry is playing well. This may have been the first game where Ross stripped back his game to the basics, with a view to re-shaping it. Bolasie has pace and can whip in an early cross. Lukaku can score goals.

Glass half-empty: From where I was sitting, Stekelenburg seemed to make no effort for either of the Palace headed 'goals'. Our defence should be strong when we field 8 men whose main role is to stop the opposition. Ross slows the game down and frustrates. Bolasie may well drive us nuts. Lukaku doesn't do much else when he doesn't score goals. The squad is thin, we badly lack guile. Apart from the extra graft and resilience I can't see a discernible, consistent new pattern of play yet.

I think I'm going with the "work in progress" conclusion, I'm so pleased the previous manager has gone and we have brought in someone who really does know football that I am prepared to be patient. He is putting down foundations, and he strikes me as a guy who will quickly want to get building above ground and will expect to be fully backed in doing that.

Barry Pearce
156 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:47:41
We are lacking real quality in attacking midfield. Also I still think we're vulnerable at the back, with our lack of height in central defence.
Alan McGuffog
157 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:48:35
Wait till big Sam leads us out at the Gillmoss Arena. It'll all be worthwhile!
Tony Hill
158 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:56:08
I would like to see Davies given a go, he has energy and cockiness which we painfully lack. Dowell, Holgate and a few others may yet come through, but we have no Rooneys waiting in the wings and we absolutely must recruit (while, of course, continuing to develop from the academy).

We have to hope that our sell-to-buy transfer policy is indeed a thing of the past in the Moshiri age – and that the summer's arithmetic around Stones's transfer was a fluke. If not, then we have no chance at all of challenging higher up the Premier League. We do not have time on our side, despite the reasonable calls for patience, and there can be no excuses over the next couple of windows.

Make or break in my view. The stadium, while obviously important, is secondary.

Mark Wilson
159 Posted 01/10/2016 at 09:58:17
David Barks (#138), spot on, absolutely spot on.
Damian Wilde
160 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:08:40
I agree with the posters who said we were 'poor' last night, we were woeful at times. You could argue Palace deserved the win. The true Everton is showing itself 'bang average'. Season's finished.

How on earth anyone thinks Ross is good enough, I'll never know. Do you still have two Newcastle and Man City goals on your mind? Is it 'cause he's one of our own? (If he was from London signed two years ago, would your view be the same? No.) How bad does he have to get before he's dropped? Poor player.

Our starting 11 is average, beyond that... oh dear. Wallet open big-style, please, Moshiri!!

Peter Lee
161 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:09:26
I agree that we are still a work in progress but I do find the manager's choices puzzling as he explores his options. His preferred back seven is sound enough and, with greater support for the full-backs, we can close down the crosses. That has to come more from the wide players.

Currently it is coming from Barry and Gueye which gives them too much running to do, Gueye shouldn't have played against Norwich, was obviously slower last Saturday and looked less effective last night.

The next two week's rest should sort that temporary problem out. Not moaning, just saying, that Barry let Ledley go past him in the build up to their goal. That happens when you have to make too many judgements about when to go and when not with too much to do.

I never fancied Bolasie but now that he is here we should play him left where he is more effective. Whenever he has started right, he has been moved so why not start him there?

We need a right winger/ midfielder therefore. I can't for the life of me see why Koeman can't start Lennon right and Bolasie left.

Lennon works like a Trojan and will give cover, Bolasie will do that too and both have the pace to get up and support on the break. We are still too slow to push out though.

I thought Lukaku had one of his better games at holding the ball up but too often no pass on other than back so we didn't move forward.

Number 10 remains problematic. For all the criticism of Cleverley, and his willingness to play anywhere doesn't help him, he must get a start there surely. For different reasons, he seems to me to drift in there and want to play there anyway, Mirallas should be given a start there. I say start in both cases because coming into a tired and already-changed team with 20 minutes to go tells the manager little.

Overall, the experimentation isn't doing us much good going forward. There was no shape in the front four and I'd love to see us start against City with Lennon and Bolasie right and left of Lukaku with Mirallas in the Number 10. (Last chance for him; if he doesn't show he goes.)

Mike Powell
162 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:14:51
Barkley was one of the better players last night. Cleverley brings absolutely nothing to the team. We were doing okay untill Barkley went off; after that, we had nothing in midfield. The keeper had a stinker.

Oviedo is not up to it although he got a bit better as the game went on. We need to get more players in January. Deulofeu, Oviedo & Cleverley are not good enough. Oh and there was nothing wrong with their second goal, so we got lucky.

Barry Williams
163 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:17:34
I didn't get too excited when we were 2nd and I am not going to get too disappointed now we are 3rd (albeit with one more game played than the majority of the league).

We have the 2nd best defence in the league as of last night, which will still be the 2nd best defence in the league when the weekend fixtures are over. No matter what your opinions are, that speaks volumes in terms of how things have changed in a short space of time. Rome wasn't built in a day, 7 league games in, 4 new regulars to bed in and a new management team – how quickly did people expect things to change?

We have also been slightly unfortunate with injuries to 3 central midfielders in McCarthy, Besic and Gibson (yes, I know Gibson's injury record). So far, I'm satisfied with the overall picture and shift in attitude at the club as a whole. Koeman is not infallible and will make mistakes as he finds out about what his squad are made of.

I also don't think Everton played too badly last night and Barkley certainly seems to have taken things on board and Oviedo looked more like the player that we know he can be. The injuries mentioned mean that Barry & Gueye haven't had much respite, and let's face it, central midfielders need more breaks than any other positions on the pitch as far as I can see.

So, we ain't gonna set the world alight straight away, but we are still on track, indeed ahead of where we can expect to be!

Bobby Mallon
164 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:18:58
David Barks and all the rest of the doom merchants: Please stop moaning! This is a work in progress that will hopefully get us a European place. We are 3rd for god's sake.

I do agree about Barkley, he's bloody annoying but he has created more chances than any other player this season. Our problem is giving stupid bloody free-kicks away and not using our defence properly.

Williams or Jags should be marking Benteke all night long. Holgate and Davies should be given their chances and start using Coleman as a wide midfielder – this will work wonders.

Paul Tran
165 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:27:58
He's done the simple stuff by buying a solid centre half, a proper centre mid and a winger with presence and physicality (unlike Mirallas & Deulofeu). And he's getting them properly fit.

Now it's the hard bit of finding a balance with the forward players he's inherited. Tough task, methinks. I suspect he's already thinking of who he can buy in January, while hoping the low goals-against tally will keep us close to a European spot.

Bobby Thomas
166 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:33:36
Our midfield is poor. Worse than that. Complete lack of options.

Want to play 4-4-2? Diamond? Forget it as there's no-one to play left or right. Mirallas at a push but Koeman tried to make us more compact last night and didn't think he fitted the bill. Koeman seems to see him more of an attacking wide option in a 4-3-3. Bolasie wide in a 4-4-2? No way! There is nothing.

Any midfielder that can get beyond the striker with runs from midfield? No.

Apart from Ross Barkley, is there an established pro that can get on the ball, bring tempo and link it up? No.

I've come to the conclusion Ross is part of the problem. He doesn't do enough going either way for me, Lukaku is isolated and leaves us too open in midfield. But the midfield has no options and it's all on him.

The midfield is an unbalanced mess. Thankfully we signed Gueye. Not just saying this on last night but we have overpaid bigtime for Bolasie by the way. Inconsistent and doesn't score goals.

Bobby Mallon
167 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:38:24
This would be my team for Man City. Coleman Holgate to double up on Stirling. We also need pace to chase down in midfield:

Jagielka, Williams,
Holgate, Oviedo
Coleman, Davies, Gana, Barry, Bolasie

Chris Williams
168 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:40:14
Reality in abundance all over the place. This is a major job that Koeman, Walsh and Co have to do to wake up the sleeping giant that has been in suspended animation for the entire Premier League period.

This club has been fucked over for decades by a succession of mediocre custodians and hopefully we now have some people in charge who are professional and have a vision for the future.

I suppose my expectation at the start of the season was top eight and that hasn't changed. The team is fitter and better organised, and plays with more pace. It was clear last night that they were still running hard at the end of the game. But there are real deficiencies in the depth of the squad and it is not an overstatement to say we need six players at least to even compete in the top five.

The Crystal Palace tactics from last night are as old as football itself. Good teams deal with it, mainly by keeping them on the back foot with pacy creative attacking play, and preventing the crosses, neither of which are we currently capable of on a consistent basis.

There is still improvement to come from this squad as Koeman's message gets through. Maybe some of the younger players may be introduced. (Everton have 8 players selected for England young squa ds!)

But the real progress will come via the the transfer market, and we will need to be patient as we upgrade again along the lines of the last window. Top players may not want to come to us YET but, given improvement over this season and next, they may well arrive to play at our new stadium on the waterfront supported by superb commercial and sponsorship deals.

I can dream...

Dave Williams
169 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:40:47
Barry (#164), what a sensible and well reasoned post which sums it up nicely for me.

Ron inherited a team with no structure, no spirit, no defence and no work rate... and no-one can change it overnight. He has made a good start, not conceding many goals. He will only sort the midfield when either a young player or two are ready or he can operate in a less frenzied transfer window as he doesn't have natural work rate with the current players apart from Gana.

This is the most difficult area to address but once it is sorted then the goals will flow because Rom will score if we create.

It will come but it will take more than just one season to get there.

Alec Smith
170 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:50:39
We got off to a good start, which is a blessing to have those points in the bag. But no one seriously got carried away with that start did they? Like Ron said it will take a couple of seasons to shape this side. For now, if he steadies the ship and puts us in contention for a European spot, then great. Job done for this season.

But, if he can keep us up in the top 6 spots come the transfer window, we may be an easier sell to some of the better quality players. Grab one or two of those and the run in to the end of the season could be interesting.

Tony Marsh
171 Posted 01/10/2016 at 10:56:01
I thought that we had joined the elite clubs and we're now a big-spending big thinking outfit with a big new ground on the way?

Well, the Moshiri revolution looks to have run its course. Which other top Premier League team would entertain Cleverley or continue to play Barkley and Coleman on current form? It's embarrassing. Why Holgate was ever dropped, I don't know. The back four has been shakey ever since.

January can't come soon enough. Let's see then if we really do have power to compete in the transfer market.

Anyone noticed the diggers going in on Trafalgar Dock yet? Because I haven't... Surely not again, Bill?

Shane Corcoran
172 Posted 01/10/2016 at 11:02:59
Great to see so much reason on ToffeeWeb.

My worry is that we have been unbelievably lucky this season. A fluke goal against Spurs, soft penalty and resulting own goal against Stoke, and then a free-kick that should have been indirect, and a dodgy offside goal disallowed against us.

There'd be untold cries if luck was the other way around so let us bask in the positivity now.

Max Murphy
173 Posted 01/10/2016 at 11:25:06
Absolute Crud!

Deulofeu should be given more playing time. He is the only creative player in the team. I know he has been shaky in a few appearances this season, but so have the rest of the squad. When he was playing regularly last season, we saw the best of Lukaku.

Stekelenburg is past his sell-by date.

Richard Lyons
174 Posted 01/10/2016 at 11:27:28
Over the last two seasons, lots of people here claimed that we were underachieving due to Martinez's poor management. The sentiment was that the squad was perhaps just one or two players short of being good enough to compete for a Champions League place.

I think that sentiment has surely died now. It's true that Martinez was crap, and Koeman is a definite improvement, but I think what we've seen so far this season proves the squad is really not good enough. I am realising that mid-table mediocrity is the best we can hope for unless we get £100m worth of new players. Silk purse... sow's ear etc...

Ray Roche
175 Posted 01/10/2016 at 11:33:29
Shane, the thing is, the Doomsters on ToffeeWeb just don't know how they're supposed to react when luck actually goes OUR way.

When we get a lucky break or a ref for just an instant loses his sight or reason or becomes momentarily colour blind and confuses blue with red, us ToffeeWebbers are thrown into confusion, running around with our hands in the air screaming "Foul"... er... sorry, NOT a foul".

In short, we're fucked when things go our way. "Sorry! Sorry old bean, we shouldn't have to suffer good luck like this, nothing to moan about you see." FFS, take it on the odd occasion that we get it...

Clive Lewis
176 Posted 01/10/2016 at 11:41:54
Palace were okay, our midfield is the issue... What has happened to our passing? It seems that the players did not express themselves. I am talking triangles of passing, this was non-existent.

We have a problem at the back because neither of our centre backs can pass the ball into the midfield.

Then there is the issue with midfield and Lukaku holding up the ball. We need a player just behind Romelu to drive the passing. Ross looked disinterested and anonymous. Someone like Gibson but without the problem injuries.

Rick Tarleton
177 Posted 01/10/2016 at 11:50:24
It was an important game for Everton after Norwich and Bournemouth, against a team who were on a good run. I felt in the end we were less threatening when we attacked than they were. Lukaku scored a good free kick and did little else. Incidentally, Moss got that decision wrong and the offside over their disallowed goal.

Bolasie doesn't do it for me, I prefer Deulofeu, Mirallas or even Lennon. Barkley was reasonable, as was Gueye, but the service and attacking qualities in the last third were missing.

I thought Oviedo had a good game, but Williams and Jagielka, weren't quite sure who wanted to handle Benteke.

In the end, we were lucky to get a point; for once, the referee was a help to us, but I'd have been upset with his incompetence if I had been a Palace fan. Possession still 57%, but it didn't feel like we were the controlling team. A lot of work needed.

Paul Conway
185 Posted 01/10/2016 at 11:59:12
There are certain people who think the sun shines out of Barkley's arse and it's going to get sunnier. He didn't have a good game last night and for the two previous games, that's why he was substituted.

The only reason the tempo dropped when he went is because he was replaced by 'Super Kev', who was worse and is equally never going to be a consistent threat. This trio of Barkley, Mirallas and Deulofeu are forever subbing each other. They have more splinters in their arses than combined goals and assists.

We are carrying these passengers and Gana is consistently showing them how to put in a shift. A big clear out is on the horizon and imo it can't come soon enough.

Dale Rose
186 Posted 01/10/2016 at 12:00:26
I missed last night's game due to moving house. However, from what I've read, it seems an okay performance.

The comments about the Red Shite were interesting. It has taken him a long time to get them into order. Koeman is a manager who did not make ridiculous claims and said things would take time.

This is the essence; we are only seven games in so let's wait until the end of the season. I still fancy a top-seven finish.

Advice to Ross: don't read ToffeeWeb and be your own man.

James Marshall
187 Posted 01/10/2016 at 12:02:47
I really don't understand all the people who come on here after we've lost or drawn a game and openly blame the manager for things like Coleman being up against Benteke for the Palace goal – have you ever played football?

You do realise that our manager doesn't control Christian Benteke by remote control,m don't you? And that Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams and the rest of them are all sentient beings who have free reign over their movement and thoughts?

Seriously, I cannot get my head around supporters who blame managers for the actions of players on the pitch. A manager can only do so much – Benteke's movement to the far post where he was (obviously) going to be up against Coleman, and then the header, was out of this world, and if that is Ronald Koeman's fault, well then we might as well all give up and go home.

You win some, you lose some, you draw some, and you can rake over the bones of it until the cows come home, but if you actually think every event in a game is somehow down to the managers, then we might as well stick Koeman and Pardew on the park on their own and see what happens.

Tony Abrahams
188 Posted 01/10/2016 at 12:13:30
I thought Palace got a soft free kick, in the middle of the park, just before they scored last night, though, Shane.

I agreed with Darren's assessment, and thought Palace were very organised and also came to play. They looked like a team were every player knew his job, whereas I thought we looked like a team, which wasn't quite sure of ours.

A lot of work to be done, but after agreeing with everything Koeman said about the players finding it difficult to acclimatise to a pressing game, I was very surprised that Lennon never started.

Darren said last night that he thought there must be a problem somewhere because he thought Lennon would be tailor-made for Koeman and, after last night's omission, I think he must be right again.

Colin Glassar
189 Posted 01/10/2016 at 12:30:00
Because the blame game is an easy game, James. I hate losing, and drawing, but some people just can't accept defeat. Not only that, they can't handle a bad pass, a poor decision, a mistimed tackle etc... Very demanding bunch, our lot.
Mike Oates
190 Posted 01/10/2016 at 12:30:40
Koeman had inherited a squad which defensively was a shambles, which was woefully weak in midfield creativity, had only one striker, a couple of flair players who can't tackle or even defend, and a number of permanent crocks .

The start we made has given rise to almost super optimism amongst the fan base but, in reality, all he has done has fixed a poor defence and brought a couple of lads with energy and pace to bolster the midfield. His attempt to press, play quicker, change the style from slow patient build up, has started, but you just can't mould unfit round-peg players into fit square-shaped players. There will be some serious incomings and outgoings in the next few transfer windows. I cant see Mirallas, Deulofeu, Gibson, Besic, Kone, Robles, Barry, and maybe even McCarthy and Barkley being around for the 2017-18 season. This means Koeman and Walsh need to find, develop from within at least 10 players or more over the next two windows.

I do hope he does give some youngsters a go, but I have a feeling that Koeman will be reluctant to give the likes of Davies, Dowell, Walsh, Kenny, and the new double-barrelled name centre-forward we just acquired, the necessary 10 games they'll need to bed in. Holgate might be given that chance but at the expense of Jagielka or Coleman!

It's a quandary, as to encourage decent quality players to join, they'll want to see European football of some sort asap, but will he take risks to bed in youngsters. As a number of you have stated Koeman has at least 3 if not 5 years of mismanagement to change and its not going to be quick or necessarily good to watch. Koeman has mentioned work in progress and has also stated that its taken Klopp, 18-24 months to develop that lot over the park. I'm not going to be popular saying this, but at least Klopp had some real quality to start with, particularly Coutinho; Barkley is nowhere near him!!!

Andy Meighan
192 Posted 01/10/2016 at 12:38:42
I never got carried away by the first few results and was always of the opinion that the squad would struggle. The big bug bear for me is we are still conceding from crosses; I honestly thought this would have been eradicated by now under this fella. But no, another one last night... and we were lucky not to concede a second with the disallowed goal.

And can someone please tell me what Cleverley has done to claim a starting place? The talented youngsters we've got and he's getting game time before them; it's fucking criminal.

And I see the Barkley-baiters have been on . I don't know what game they were at because I honestly thought he was one of our better players alongside Oviedo in a poor performance.

At least Barkley was pressing them high up the pitch and looking to probe all the time but 4 or 5 could be having worst games, yet Barkley gets all the grief. I don't know what some of our fans want at times. He wasn't exactly helped by Zippy or Barry who didn't look fit and was poor.

A poor effort to go alongside the two previous and, unless he addresses the problems in January by making signings, which is doubtful, I'll go out on a limb here and say we won't finish top half of the table again. In fact, I'd go as far as to say our season is over.

Just out of September and it's looking grim. I know its only early days but nothing has changed; it's the same as it was under Martinez.

Frank Crewe
193 Posted 01/10/2016 at 12:42:10
If it was up to me, Barkley would be out. I doubt he'll ever get any better than he is now and he's not all that good now.

Lukaku needs support. Put Deulofeu behind him and it gives us someone who will go past Rom with pace and can spot a pass. Look what Coutinho is doing for the Red Shite. What Silva does for Man City. Deulofeu could be doing that for us yet we persist with the always possession losing Barkley.

We also need a replacement for Jags. Can't pass to save his life. No threat from set pieces, continually out jumped by the opposition's forwards. He's our longest serving player and it shows. I'd give Funes Mori some game time. At least he scores the odd goal.

And why was Cleverley picked? He adds nothing. Another player who never reached his potential. He's what Barkley will be five years from now.

James Marshall
194 Posted 01/10/2016 at 13:10:33
I thought Cleverley played well – added plenty of energy and ran his socks off. Funny how we all see the game so differently.

He added some stability to the midfield, which was missing last week. Mirallas doesn't get up & down the field like Cleverley does, and although he's limited in other ways, he does offer more than Mirallas defensively, and in giving us better shape in the middle of the park.

Matthew Williams
195 Posted 01/10/2016 at 13:13:28
We are still a very poor side, our passing is shocking, our crossing is even worse, we never trouble the opposition goalie from range, we still start every fucking game slower than a snail, we're also so one-dimensional, it's almost laughable.

When was the last time we hammered ANY team 6-0?

When was the last time we scored in the 1st minute in a Premier League game?

When was the last time we played really well for the full 90 minutes?

Worse is to come, I fear!

Colin Malone
196 Posted 01/10/2016 at 13:16:05
As for Ross and Rom, they have been playing together, is it three seasons? They don't compliment each other as they should. It's time to break them up.

Rom has got to stop being a one-man band and up his work rate. Bolasie, get your head out of your arse and get serious.

Tony Kost
197 Posted 01/10/2016 at 13:17:03
Hmmmmm. I think (on last night's showing) Ross is well worth persevering with. As for Deulofeu, his ability is without question – but his commitment during the game is.

After a poor start, Oviedo played well – I like him. Is Holgate versatile enough to be tried as a left back?

Stekelenburg should definitely have made a better effort to save Benteke's goal. It was a very accurate but slow-paced header. I think Stekelenburg thought it was going wide and didn't make much of a move towards it – he paid a high price for that error.

We are so much better defense wise now – both centre backs did well overall against a strong front line. Stekelenburg is good with the defence and he made some good punches to clear the ball out.

The ref was conned into giving Crystal Palace so many dubious free kicks. And as for the number of yellow cards – diabolical!

I'd have liked to have seen Lennon come on for the last half hour. The substitutions that were made did not improve the team performance at all. I wonder what he is doing wrong?

Colin Glassar
198 Posted 01/10/2016 at 13:24:42
I also thought Cleverley and Oviedo played well until they ran out of gas. Players need games to get match sharp so sitting on the bench is helping them. Ross was fine, tackling, heading, running with the ball etc... I still don't know why he was pulled tbh.
Ian Hollingworth
199 Posted 01/10/2016 at 13:37:59
For me, last night's game just emphasises that we are a long way from where we want to be. We lack quality in depth and, to be honest, we lack that top quality in the first eleven. We have too many players who are just not good enough and we have too many lazy players. I do fear that they can go missing at any time and against certain teams this could be disastrous.

I hope Walsh and Koeman are plotting replacements as this team / squad will not compete for Champions League places. We need to have targets identified and lined up ready in the next couple of transfer windows if we are to show real ambition for once.

Mike Green
200 Posted 01/10/2016 at 13:50:44
Very average; we played as individuals – not as a team. The only players who looked serious about winning it to me were Bolasie and Williams.

Barkley produced one flash of inspiration, otherwise lost in the supermarket. Lukaku strolling around... pedestrian stuff. We were lucky not to lose. 5/10.

Nicholas Ryan
201 Posted 01/10/2016 at 13:58:15
Ronald has said to the BBC, 'that was a good point'. Now, I know what to buy Koeman for Christmas: a copy of the famous textbook 'Martinez on Self-Delusion'.

We didn't play badly, and Palace played well; but, if it was a 'good point', why was the ground half-empty at 85 mins?

Daniel Lim
202 Posted 01/10/2016 at 14:02:32
Rick, I think that is some record here.
Ciaran O'Brien
203 Posted 01/10/2016 at 14:05:35
I'm sick and tired of Jags and Barry kicking long balls up to Lukaku, we always give away possession from this; the main reason for it is our attacking midfield trio are lazy and don't make decent runs. Barkley needs to be dropped cos his confidence is shot; play Davies or Deulofeu there.

January needs to come quick and we better get a tall imposing centre-half who has good distribution, a deep-lying midfield playmaker, a proper Number 10, a left-sided winger who can score goals and a fox-in-the-box type poacher who scores the many half-chances we get and waste. Goalkeeper can wait till the summer.

Kim Vivian
204 Posted 01/10/2016 at 14:23:22
See the fucking Redshite have fucking done it again... 2-1 from 1-0 down. Puts them 2nd (for now). Just to screw my Saturday. Fuck.


Eddie Dunn
205 Posted 01/10/2016 at 14:26:35
Ciaran, we were booting the ball straight back to Palace when they had us under the cosh in the second half.

Gueye and Barry were flagging after having too much to do. Poor Cleverly tried his best, and some of the stick he has been getting on here is uncalled for. He was a square peg out on the left wing – I remember Osman being shoved out there, and even Rooney.

The side needs a couple more key players. A clever midfielder and a proper back-up striker.

Someone mentioned a league game we played at Chelsea in 1984, because it was on a Friday night. I watched the highlights on YouTube. We nicked it one-nil, but it was worse than last night's fare. Dreadful hoofing of the ball into the sky; Chelsea with Speedie, Nevin and Dixon were tearing us apart at times... and this was our League winning season. We had a team sheet including Nev, Rat, Sharp , Steven, Heath and Reid, and still looked crap!

Therefore we shouldn't write the team off too soon, as just a couple of tweaks can make a big difference.

Mike Green
206 Posted 01/10/2016 at 14:26:36
Haven't seen it yet but another penalty too, Kim. They must get one every other game.
Tony Hill
207 Posted 01/10/2016 at 14:27:17
Did you ever doubt it, Kim? Penalty and opposition miss a sitter in last minute.
Paul Conway
208 Posted 01/10/2016 at 14:42:43
We were lucky to come away with a point!

Plus the referee was kind to us. He didn't have to award us a free kick, although it would have been harsh not to. He didn't have to disallow a perfectly good header, which the player himself was not off side.

So, an element of luck coupled with some shite performances gives us a very nice point indeed.

Ciaran OBrien
209 Posted 01/10/2016 at 14:52:15
I agree, Eddie, about putting square pegs in round holes with Cleverley who could be given a go in the Number 10 position.

Jags and Barry have been hoofing the ball up to Lukaku for ages now. It started about 18 months ago, in fact Martinez's style changed from wannabe Barca tiki-taka to a more Route One style.

Colin Glassar
211 Posted 01/10/2016 at 15:04:00
Ciaran 204, isn't that what the 'Row Z' crowd wanted? No nonsense defending? No trying to bring the ball out, no looking for team mates, just boot the effing ball as far away as possible? Our two CBs are are decent defenders but they aren't footballers. We had one but most were happy to get rid of him.
Dave Ganley
213 Posted 01/10/2016 at 15:16:31
Guess football is all about opinions and mine certainly differs from yours, Colin (#199). Oviedo and Cleverley got skinned down that left-hand side, especially in the 2nd half. No wonder Barry and Gana were shattered having to cover for those two.

Cleverly offers nothing going forward and not a lot in defence either. Oviedo I'm afraid just isn't the same player since he's had those injuries. You only really appreciate Baines when he's not there.

As for Ross, well again... just about opinions. He may well have been marginally better than previous games but that doesn't mean he was good. No outlet, wrong options taken, and again he was anonymous when we were under the cosh in the 2nd half.

To be fair to Ross he wasn't the only one. If it wasn't for Barry and Gana constantly stopping Palace breaks, then it could have been a rout. Bolasie, Barkley, Cleverley and Lukaku offered little in the way of defending from the front or holding the ball up or creating. Too often the midfield just doesn't do it when the going gets tough. Heads just drop when things don't go their way.

Ross got pulled because he was labourinmg and offering nothing in attack or defence but it could easily have been Cleverley or Bolasie. That area of the pitch is a serious concern and one that needs addressing before anything else in January.

Mark Morrissey
214 Posted 01/10/2016 at 15:25:55
I was shocked at how poor we were. I thought we were second best to Palace all over the park.

Having Cleverley in your team shows how paper-thin your squad is. He is like a poor man's answer to a footballing midfielder. He is woeful.

Why oh why do we have Seamus the Leprechaun Coleman trying to out jump Benteke for his goal?

Then it finally happened. Koeman has done a Martinez. He is already fed up slagging his players in post match interviews cos he thinks it's getting him nowhere, so he resorts to using the term "fantastic" to describe our effort last night.

So it's official: my love affair with Ronald Koeman has lasted about as long as my first marriage. His team picking was wrong. The substitutions were wrong, and his post match interview was bordering on being Martinezesque. I honestly think he was lying and is now trying to massage their frail egos. He was wrong, it was not fantastic. Use whatever word you want, Ronald, but it was not fantastic.

My hopes have been dashed. You're simply not quite as Godlike this morning as I had you down for. To be outwitted by Pardew, who is a crook by the way, is an insult but he'll be getting his shortly when The Telegraph catch up with him, Pulis and Neil Warnock... fact

Colin Glassar
215 Posted 01/10/2016 at 15:34:13
Dave, I thought (1st half) they played well and kept Zaha quiet. Second half they tired and Palace took advantage. Our failure to buy a number 10 and a left sided player (plus a striker) will hurt us unless we strengthen in January.

MM... already?

Dave Ganley
216 Posted 01/10/2016 at 15:47:57
They were better in the first half but I don't think they were especially good. Ross had a great run in the first half and ruined it by trying to score from 40 yards when Lukaku was the better option. His decision-making is patchy at best.

Oviedo seems to have lost a yard of pace and is just not strong enough whereas Cleverly is a squad player at best. It just sums up our threadbare squad when Mirallas, who I accept hasn't been playing well, is dropped and we have no other options than to bring in Cleverley. Hardly someone chomping at the bit to tear down that left wing. As for Lennon, well all industry and little end product. Norwich was the perfect game for him to put his hand up for selection and he was pretty ineffective.

Yes I agree with your assessment of the transfers or lack of it's something we desperately need in January. I'm not too despondent as I was fully aware of the limitations of our squad when Koeman took over. It will take time but it's concerning how mentally fragile some players are when they are at the top of their professional.

I understand that they are just human but you'd think to get to this stage they would have to be mentally tough to cope with the demands of top level football obviously not.

Tony Abrahams
217 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:02:48
Cleverley, whilst not the answer, especially out wide, does work very hard for the team, and is not a bad footballer either. His pass to Oviedo, which could have got us a penalty, shows me the lad has a good football brain, but of course we want better.

Barkley, just doesn't play like a Number 10, he rarely receives the ball on the half-turn, or looks to commit defenders, by moving into clever little areas. I would move him deeper, but I'm not sure if he has enough desire to do much dirty work. He can pass the ball though, and will also be better running from deep, if that means having more attacking players in front of him.

Jagielka, spoke about little tweaks, but I think we have got to go a lot further to get us playing like a proper TEAM again. Good teams have little partnerships all over the park, but only Barry and Gana played with real understanding and trust in each other.

Hopefully it will come, because I thought we finished the game quite strong, and were definitely pushing for a winner at the end.

Ciaran O'Brien
219 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:09:44
Colin (#212), we have been doing it even when our defense haven't been under pressure. It's awful football and I thought Koeman would have stopped it, coming from his Ajax and Barca connections.
Alan McGuffog
220 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:11:32
Need another striker... there's a guy at Forest called Vellios who knocked another one in today. We should be looking at him in January...
Stale Haverstadlokken
221 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:15:12
Crystal Palace are a well organised team, deadly on set-pieces. Remember how Everton struggled under Martinez on set-pieces? Well, Koeman has fixed it!

I thought a draw was fair enough, we had a very good start but Crystal Palace raised their game. After a tough start, Oviedo got a grip on his winger with help from Cleverley who also had a good game.

Palace's goal is all about how good Benteke is as a striker. He moves away from Jagielka and Williams and picks out Coleman. World class header.

What pleases me is how Everton are pressing from the strikers and back to the defender. A huge difference from last season. Looks promising.

Steavey Buckley
222 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:22:18
Are Everton morphing back into a Martinez Everton team? It does appear to me after 3 previous games that leave little to cheer about, because Everton have now abandoned width on one with another midfielder instead, because the other 3 have become less effective.

And just like last season, Everton are totally reliant on Lukaku to score goals. If they carry on playing like the last 3 games, roll on next season.

Jay Wood
223 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:37:47
Strewth! I'm glad I tuned into the golf last night, rather than hang about here. There really are some beauts in this thread, re-affirming personal prejudices.

"Barkley has been crap for over a year. I just can't understand why anyone thinks he'll make it. He's finished. I actually can't stand him." (Seriously? Just how infantile can an adult be?)

"Jags - is there a worse passer of the ball anywhere in the world?" (Heavy sigh and eye roll).

"I love Coleman, but he is stinking at the mo." (One of our most consistent performers to date under Koeman, getting back to his best levels after injury.)

"Ross's biggest contribution was flattening the grass on his way off." (Of course it was ... NOT!)

Filter through this thread and just about every player is criticized. If the comments and observations had any base in reality, how the hell did we chisel a point out of that game and 14 points to date in 7 matches?

Yes, the 2nd half was poorer than the 1st. Yes, Oviedo had a difficult opening up against Zaha, but he eventually bettered him and had a fine game. Yes, Bryan hasn't looked as dynamic following his leg break as when he first broke into the side, but I remain hopeful that player still exists.

Yes, the manner of Crystal Palace's equaliser irked, but credit them for deliberately creating the situation of pairing the towering Benteke against Coleman in an aerial duel. The opposition have a say and vested interest in how the game is played!

Yes, we were fortunate a 2nd Palace goal was disallowed as they had a good spell, but once again the defence held firm and there was little or no direct threat on our goal. We actually had the better chances to score in the 2nd half.

In midfield, Barry was a wee bit off his high standards and we need to manage Gueye better, or risk burning out our fire fighter.

Contrary to how many thought, Ross had a good game. Not a great one, but a solid one. He would not have been my choice to sub out. He is out on his own THIS SEASON as the player who has created the most scoring chances.

Bolasie possibly fell into the trap of trying too hard against his former club and wasn't the threat or provider to Lukaku we need.

On that score, Deulofeu's continued absence and non-selection is a cause for concern. There was a spell last season when he and Rom combined beautifully every week which resulted in goals. Schooled at Barcelona, his technical ability and eye for an opening offers something Bolasie can't – an incisive through-ball or curling cross in behind a defence – often from deep – which set Rom free to do what he does best. Score.

That dried up last season when Martinez dropped him. It appears Koeman does not yet fully trust him, possibly with good reason, because the Spaniard has yet to ignite this season. We need him to return to those levels. I just hope he is not one of those players who shine brightly in early years, only to fade and disappear rapidly.

Put the razor blades away. No need to self-harm just yet.

Ciaran O'Brien
225 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:38:44
I wonder will we have money to spend in January or will it be more of the same with money only coming from player sales?

Martinez, for all his faults, had the right idea of playing football but he never brought in the players for it; he mainly seemed to want inconsistent wingers who couldn't score.

I don't know why he never brought in a ball-playing centre-half, apart from the birdman or a controlling deep-lying playmaker.

Mark Morrissey
226 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:41:54
Colin at 216..you've made me laugh because I'm assuming you are referring to me when you say "MM... already?"

Seriously, I am normally the eternal optimist. I thought the transfer window was good business, I wanted Koeman, I think Walsh was a good appointment and I felt Moshiri was sent from heaven but when I watched the game last night, I felt we were poor. I wanted Koeman to come out and say "not good enough" but to hear the word "fantastic" left me staggered because we simply weren't at the races.

I felt Oviedo stood out as someone who was really trying his very best but your post, Colin, is short and sweet and 100% correct. I'm just saddened to see Koeman turning Martinezesque. Fantastic? Not a word I would have been thinking about when trying to describe last night. As for Pardew and him being linked with England... Jesus H Christ!

Ray Roche
227 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:51:04
Dave Ganley (#214),

Your opinion definitely differs from mine, too. Oviedo was up against Zaha who is a handful at the best of times yet he stuck to his task with some success. We, in the Lower Gwladys Street, were quite impressed with his attitude and tackling and he was not afraid to push forward when required either.

I watched Cleverley quite closely and he made very few unforced errors, unlike some players, yet he's once again taken a verbal battering on here.

I've said before on here that Deulofeu's eventual position at Barcelona was thought to be the Number 10 role so maybe a couple of games to see what he can become might be worth a try. Nothing ventured etc.

Eugene Ruane
228 Posted 01/10/2016 at 16:59:28
Just a couple of observations.

Firstly, anyone expecting real change after 7 games is a child.

Secondly, whatever attributes our present side may have (subjective) we simply don't have (for want of a better word) the brains to be damaging (enough) in forward positions.

I muttered the same thing under my breath 100 times last night – 'dumb'.

(I don't blame Koeman for this, I've had the same experience many times under Martinez and Moyes.)

Last night, I think we were lucky to get a point and (re attack and defence) my 'FFS!' count was at Martinez levels.

Ball should obviously be squared or cut back? Shoot.... Player should shoot? Hesitates or pauses, passes, attack over. 4 mins left, any chance of a winner, we need to keep possession and work an opening. So... ball bladdered 50 yards over Bolasie's head, throw-in to them. Etc etc.

I think we have found a great little player in Gueye, we need (absolutely need) two things in the next window imho. A really big physical 6'-5" heading-machine grock in that defence. And a brain in the middle. (I'm not saying play Lennon, but his football brain imo is tactically smarter and quicker than Barkley, Mirallas and Deulofeu combined.)

Mark Morrissey
229 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:17:51
Eugene, your post and what we need next window, spot on. I agree and I am being childish expecting too much too soon, I even agree with that.

We need a Scott Dann, Robert Huth or Shawcross type defender and Juan Mata or Alan Ball ... I'm still being childish.

Steavey Buckley
230 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:25:17
Eugene: It's not the first 7 games that are bothering me, but the next. Everton are playing more like the team under Martinez: playing too deep in the Everton half, goalkeeper looking more suspect, relying on Lukaku to score goals and abandoning width on one side because Barkley has to be in the team. That is not a good prognosis or position to be in, especially, as there are NO new personnel on the horizon to change things around until next season at best.
Raymond Fox
231 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:30:36
I'm starting to bore myself and I'm sure you, with repeating 'how many of our players would be first choice in a Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and, dare I say, Liverpool side. Very, very few, I would hazard a guess. Until we can match their quality of player, we are on a wing and a prayer each season.

It's early doors in the manager's and Moshiri's time at the club, so it will be a couple of years or more before we can judge them fairly; they have both made a decent start.

Colin Glassar
232 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:30:58
MM, yes you (just too lazy to write your full name, apologies). I'm disappointed as well as our form has dipped a bit and results have mirrored that.

I'm prepared to give RK a bit of slack with his "fantastic" comment as maybe it's a bit of reverse psychology. He has stated that some of our players are mentally weak so he might have decided to give them a bollicking in private and not in public this time.

We have two weeks to regroup and work on tactics and, more importantly, shape. I don't know how many of our lads will be away, I expect not too many, so he will have time to work on drills and fitness.

It's imperative that we stay at the top end of the league until January so we can attract a better standard of player. But this is going to take a few transfer windows to get the type of player who fits into his system.

Looking at the teams around us I'm going for a Wallingesque seventh(ish) finish this season, unless we buy some serious talent in the window. I only hope we can get a European spot so Lukaku stays. I watched his interview with Henry yesterday and what an educated, polite and ambitious young man he is.

Not losing hope but boy, we have a lot of work to do.

Steavey Buckley
233 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:38:27
Colin: You will find that Koeman will find it hard to work on tactics, because most of the players will be away on the international break. What's left can play 5-a-side with the tea ladies.
Colin Glassar
234 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:43:38
I was hoping most of them would be staying home, Steavey.

Oh well, at least 5-a-side game between; Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Baines, Barry, Barkley vs Robles, McCarthy, Gana, Cleverley, Kone?

Dermot Byrne
235 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:49:34
I think the wild optimism we all felt (and enjoyed) up to the Norwich game was probably as unfounded as some of the pessimism folk feel after the last 3 games.

In the end, I agree with Eugene about 7 games not being enough. As for childishness... well, fine but most kids when petulant tend to an unfavourable response when adults have had enough of the bleating!

Neil Sagar
236 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:50:11
Well, to repeat myself on the Merson 13 thread, at the time of which was prior to the Norwich defeat, we need better quality in the starting 11. I said Barkley, Mirallas and Barry need replacing which some on here couldn't get their head around due to the Barry inclusion.

I refrained... as the results would do the talking – which they have. For all those wearing tinted glasses, we do not have enough attacking quality; you can't change the entire team but you can target the obvious weak links.

Brian Harrison
237 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:53:26
I think a big part of the problem is that if you list all our forward players, apart from Lukaku, the rest just don't have enough goals in them. Last night, our final pass just didn't reach its target and our shooting was not very good either.

Koeman will need this season to change the mentality of his present squad and, over the next couple of seasons, bring in the quality we need. I thought Bolaise was awful last night; apart from the pull-back, which Gana should have scored, he contributed nothing to the game. I know some Palace fans reckon he does blow hot and cold; well, I think Koeman will have to erase that from his game.

I thought Barkley was unlucky to be the first to be withdrawn, I thought he put himself about more than he has in any other game I have seen him play.

But I think we have to be pleased with our start and we all know getting us back up to the top won't be a quick fix. There are things that we can see are starting to improve, but much more work still has to be done.

Steavey Buckley
238 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:55:10
Colin: "Oh well, at least 5-a-side game between; Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Baines, Barry, Barkley vs Robles, McCarthy, Gana, Cleverley, Kone?"

Stekelenburg, Jagielka, McCarthy and Gana if fit will be away on international duty... as for Baines, will he be fit for the next away game in 2 weeks time?

I don't believe Koeman rates Mirallas, Kone, Valencia, Lennon or Deulofeu because he is reluctant play them from the beginning or even give them a part in last night's match... and he probably has deep reservations about Cleverley, Oviedo and Barkley, whatever tactics Koeman has in mind to pass on to the players.

Andrew Clare
239 Posted 01/10/2016 at 17:56:26
It's obvious that Koeman is trying to get the players used to a new style of playing and that it's going to take time to work.

I'm sure this is what Howard Kendal was doing in the early eighties and that was painful to watch at times. Remember the 0-0 v Coventry at Goodison in front of 13,000 fans? Then, within a year or two, that team won the league.

We have to be patient. I'm sure we have the right man in charge. It's just going to take time.

Colin Glassar
240 Posted 01/10/2016 at 18:00:35
Steavey, is Stek in the Dutch squad? Same goes for Gana (which country does he represent?) Jags might make the England squad (he's better than those two stiffs – Smalling and Cahill). I'm not sure Koeman will want McCarthy playing for Ireland just yet.
Steavey Buckley
241 Posted 01/10/2016 at 18:11:57
Colin: Stek is substitute goal keeper for Holland in their last match and Gueye plays for Senegal. And to make matters worse, both Bolasie and Gueye will be off to Africa for the African Nations Cup, and the Everton squad will consist mainly of Martinez players for about 6 weeks. That's if the 1 or 2 players are not injured while away in Africa. Mosquitoes are a huge problem in Africa.
Brent Stephens
242 Posted 01/10/2016 at 18:14:46
Eugene (#228) – echoes my sentiments.
Ray Roche
243 Posted 01/10/2016 at 18:17:57
Colin, Gana is Senegal international.

Steavey, I think, following the excitement of a new owner... (okay, for the pedants, majority shareholder) and the prospect of a new ground, people are expecting too much too soon.

Koeman has stated that it's a two-year plan and seven games is, well, a bit soon to go all anxious and gloomy. There are enough Private Frazers from Dad's Army on here as it is... Aye, we're all doooomed, I tell yer.

Lenny Kingman
244 Posted 01/10/2016 at 18:22:03
Entering a rut? Hopefully not. But probably.

One point against Bournemouth and Palace tells you things have to improve. Quickly.

Benteke, that useless lump discarded by the red filth, pretending he's Pele in the 1970 World Cup Final. It could only happen here.

Colin Glassar
245 Posted 01/10/2016 at 18:26:29
Oh well, Bainsey and Barry in a one-on-one then.
Dave Abrahams
246 Posted 01/10/2016 at 18:41:32
I was frustrated coming out of the game; it was a game we could have lost especially on the second half performance. Koeman has only been here for a short while, he's not going to turn us into Real Madrid or even a top four team in that time.

We have improved, you can see that with a more solid defence; you can spot that corners have been improved on, every corner taken by Barkley was well delivered and there was lots of movement for them, I thought Williams had a couple of good chances from them.

Yes there is still plenty of misplaced passes. Koeman wanted the front men to press and defend from the front; he didn't get much of that last night, but it will come or the forwards will be changed.

Not wanting to criticise individual players (I've done that often enough on here) but the same players are still playing the same way. Finally, but not for the last time, Lennon deserved 20 minutes or more; the lad, like Cleverley, doesn't hide, he has a good go for every minute he is on the pitch. Others flatter to deceive more often than not.

I am prepared to wait and see what the team is like after longer than seven games, I can see an improvement and we will get better, I am confident of that. Until then, I, like Eugene, will continue to swear under my breath with an occasional scream at the usual suspects.

George Cumiskey
247 Posted 01/10/2016 at 19:10:54
How anyone can say Cleverly played well is beyond me; someone said he was all over the place. Ye, he was but he never actually did anything. I work with Man Utd fans and they said he was exactly the same for them – and that's why they got rid of him!
Jonathon Laws
248 Posted 01/10/2016 at 19:23:54
While I am concerned about our creativity going forward, I am very very pleased with what the team has shown over 7 games.

Remember, the team is still getting to know each other. We can't expect the kind of relationship Baines had with Pienaar materialising over night between Bolasie et al. There's four new players in the team.

Also, we shouldn't underestimate the quality and composure Baines brings to the team when he plays. No team is easy to beat, and no-one will be excited to play against us.

Have some patience. The football will get better but these points are key.

Damian Wilde
249 Posted 01/10/2016 at 19:26:16
The main person who deserves stick (Barkley aside) is Koeman. To make six changes for a cup game for a side who haven't won a trophy for 21 years is not only a disgrace, but stupid.

Not only did it put us out of the cup we could have won (most realistic chance of a trophy), but we lost momentum and confidence. Then we get beaten by Bournemouth and just about draw with Palace at home, knock on effect.

I'm still angry with Koeman over this, he has a lot to do to make up for this.

How often are we knocked out of the League Cup by lower league opposition? We NEVER learn!

And for the Barkley fans, please enlighten me to what he brings...

Mike Gwyer
250 Posted 01/10/2016 at 19:40:46
Lenny Kingman (#244).

"Benteke, that useless lump discarded by the red filth, pretending he's Pele in the 1970 World Cup Final. It could only happen here."

Really. Well that lump gave us enough grief when he was at Villa so thank fuck Liverpool didn't have the need to use him against us.

For me, you get what you ask for when you pair up Coleman and the lump from any dead ball kick, as the lump will win that battle all day long.

Cleverley, he's fantastic at running about like a yard dog and doing absolutely fuck-all squared. If he plays against Man City, it will certainly make Pep giggle.

Mike Gwyer
251 Posted 01/10/2016 at 20:11:49

Steavey Buckley #241.

"I don't believe Koeman rates Mirallas, Kone, Valencia, Lennon and Deulofeu because he is reluctant play them from the beginning or even a part in last night's match."

I truly hope so because they are all total shite. Valencia?? If that was our final attempt at trying to buy a backup for Lukaku, then we can safely assume that our DoF, a certain Mr Walsh, is absolutely shit at spotting strikers.

Now no-one loves Mirallas more than Mirallas, so he's oh so lucky to have Barkley currently taking around 95 percent of the blame – otherwise he'd be taking a lot more than he currently is.

Lennon, I don't think I've seen him smile since he's moved up here and for me he really just wants to go home, which could be anywhere but it's absolutely nowhere near Goodison. Kone and Deulofeu really are just total dog poo and do a disservice to any professional footballer.

Michael Burke
252 Posted 01/10/2016 at 20:15:36
An early post stated 'ping-pong football, win one, draw one, lose one'. If we finish the season with an average of 2 points per game, which we are currently on = 76 points. I'd be moderately happy with that. Why all the doom and gloom?
Paul Conway
253 Posted 01/10/2016 at 20:17:56
Mike Gwyer (#241)

One of the best posts I have read on TW in recent weeks.

Crystal clear!

Michael Burke
254 Posted 01/10/2016 at 20:29:26
Damian (#249), less than you'd think in the League Cup: beaten by Chelsea (twice) Spurs, Arsenal (twice) and Man City in recent years. Leeds sticks in throat though!
Jay Harris
255 Posted 01/10/2016 at 20:41:31
I said before the game I would have played Holgate in a back 3 with Coleman or Holgate on the right and Bolasie or Mirallas on the left with Lukaku & Deulofeu up front. Palace are strong up front but weak as piss at the back and we needed to attack them left, right and middle.

As it was, we were forced back, especially second half, and they were allowed to play to their strengths while we were restricted to booting it out from the back.

The last few games we seemed to have regressed; I just wonder if Koeman has had it with certain players and has decided there is no point in working on them.

I also couldn't understand why he hauled Ross off last night who was certainly not amongst our worst performers.

Dermot Byrne
256 Posted 01/10/2016 at 20:46:01
I will be fascinated to see how we are against a "big" team like Man City. Some teams play their best in such games. The event, a perceived shop window, or just the headlines can stimulate. Or a good manager convinces them this is an opportunity to show we are good.

It would be a result that could have a huge effect on the season as players who some write off as shit can get a new lease of life. Let's hope so.

Dave Abrahams
257 Posted 01/10/2016 at 21:05:01
Mike (#251) – you've never seen Lennon smile, so you think he doesn't want to be here?

Now I'm not putting him alongside Steven Gerrard but he is not famous for his smile either. If you want to see people smile, go the pictures (cinema).

[Showing my age there!!!!]

Steavey Buckley
258 Posted 01/10/2016 at 21:23:11
Mike Gwyer: The idea that this season can be written off as part of a Koeman master plan is a disgraceful idea, and an insult to hard working Evertonians who saved their money to buy season tickets.

The reason why new faces are missing from the Everton side is due to finances. Everton first had to sell before buying. That is why final transfers were delayed to see how much money could be received for John Stones. That is why Everton missed out on at least 2 exceptional players.

Because no one can tell me, that no manager does not have a wish list of players he wants, whatever club he manages the next season. And if Everton are wondering why there is an alarming dip in form, it's not entirely due to the form of players, but opposing managers doing their homework. Pardew, last night's opposing manager, would have second-guessed how Everton were going to play, and planned his team-talk accordingly. Not too difficult to figure out. Pardew to players: "Just mark Lukaku, no other forward can score."

Raymond Fox
259 Posted 01/10/2016 at 21:39:02
If we are discussing Koeman, The Telegraph have named the 10 highest paid managers in the world!

1. Guardiola £15.3m per year
2. Ancelotti £12.6m
3. Mourinho £12.3m
4. Wenger £8.9m
5. Enrique £7.2m
6. Klopp 7m
7. Conte £6.5m
8. Koeman £6m
9. Simone £5.1m
10. Zidane £4.6m.

In rarified company is our Ron.

Andy Crooks
260 Posted 01/10/2016 at 21:47:20
God almighty, Mike, #251, you've never seen Lennon smile?

Well, I'll tell you something. My missus hasn't smiled in years and it means absolutely ...err, maybe you have something there.

Martin Mason
261 Posted 01/10/2016 at 21:47:53
Steavy@258. That Everton had to wait for sales money to buy is unsubstantiated opinion and in my opinion is absolute nonsense. Please don't quote it as fact without references.
Steavey Buckley
262 Posted 01/10/2016 at 21:57:44
Martin Mason: Facts speak for themselves. Everton were in the market supposedly to buy quality players, but Everton only bought players for the less sum, that Everton received for John Stones. Valencia was a last minute signing on loan.

That tells me Everton were not in the market to buy an expensive forward of quality up until the final minute of the transfer deadline. And so far, Valencia has been extremely disappointing, as West Ham fans have made Evertonians aware of beforehand.

Ray Roche
265 Posted 01/10/2016 at 22:42:38
Steavey, to be fair, some of the players Everton were reported to be "in for" would NEVER have come to Everton, a club many European or African players know very little, if anything, about when a club they also are ignorant about can at least offer them Champions League or Europa League football. Leicester for one.

We have to wake up and realise that we're a giant of a club in our eyes only. Koeman has had 7 competitive league games and 1 cup game in charge and people are moaning already. Christ on a bike!

Steavey Buckley
266 Posted 01/10/2016 at 23:15:01
Ray: Most Everton fans knew from last season, for Everton to push on for the next, Everton needed quality players, irrespective whoever was the manager. They certainly did not expect the achievement of a top 4 finish put on hold for another season. Such quality players in numbers were denied to previous managers due to finances.

This season, the Everton chairman, Mr Farhad Moshiri, was quoted in the media such as the Liverpool Echo, saying that £100 million was available irrespective of having to sell. With that money made available, any top Premier Lleague manager would have had a wish list of players to make any team better and stronger. Ronald Koeman is no different from any top manager in Europe, who has a wish list.

The true reality was that Everton only bought one marquee signing, and that was Bolasie. At a time when Koeman was desperate to keep Lukaku, when there was supposedly another £100 million burning a hole in Koeman's pockets.

Ray Roche
267 Posted 01/10/2016 at 23:35:47
Steavey, Koeman may well have had money to spend, but so have all the Premier League clubs, so a club needs something more to offer, the "something more" being European football. Which is why at least two of our targets ended up at Arsenal and Leicester.

Just having the same amount of money as every other club doesn't make it any easier. We now have a manager who can attract more players due to his reputation so maybe we'll be able to judge better after his two-year project.

Maybe Bolasie was the only big tent we bought but Gana is the star buy and he cost a quarter of Bolasie's fee, so I hope Walsh and Koeman can improve our squad in January or next summer when they've had enough time to scrutinise our existing squad and also scout the rest of Europe for emerging talent. Time will tell.

Good night all.

Martin Mason
268 Posted 01/10/2016 at 23:37:11
Steavey @262. It isn't a fact that Everton had to sell to buy, it is your baseless opinion. There are many, many reasons why they weren't able to buy even with money available which have been stated on here ad nauseum. That you can't think of or understand them doesn't mean that we had to sell to buy. You add 1 and 1 and get 3.
Damian Wilde
269 Posted 02/10/2016 at 00:21:16
Whatever the true is, we can all agree it was an epic failure to not sign more players, particularly a striker, a disgrace.
Eugene Ruane
270 Posted 02/10/2016 at 00:44:16
Steavey (266) - 'This season, the Everton chairman, Mr Farhad Moshiri, was quoted in the media such as the Liverpool Echo, saying that £100 million was available irrespective of having to sell.'

Ffs, this shite again?

Okay, let's have a link to an actual quote from Moshiri that says '£100 million is available irrespective of us having to sell.'

Not 'a source close to' or ' an insider suggested..' and not 'Moshiri hopes to..' or 'Moshiri is believed to...' - 'Moshiri said..'

Eugene Ruane
271 Posted 02/10/2016 at 01:01:38
Damian (269) - 'we can all agree it was an epic failure to not sign more players, particularly a striker, a disgrace.'

Er...no, I don't agree it was 'an epic failure' or 'a disgrace.'

My opinion is that your 'surely we can all agree with my opinion' stance is nonsense and imo, venting and adding nothing to any debate.

Colin Malone
272 Posted 02/10/2016 at 01:26:33

To mark Lukaku, all you need is a deck chair. He is not a centre-forward. A centre-forward wins aerial balls, a centre-forward does not get the ball and be greedy by trying to beat defenders around him, instead of bringing other players into play.

Rom's a player who attacks from outside the penalty box, from left or right. He is no way a centre-forward. Rom has been hyped so much by the media, he's worth £50 mill. Most Evertonians would take £5mill.

Joe Clitherow
273 Posted 02/10/2016 at 03:52:13

"the Everton chairman, Mr Farhad Moshiri"

Mr Farhad Moshiri is not the Everton chairman, nor was he "quoted" as saying he had £100M to invest at all despite all of the references you posted to back up your claims, which actually did exactly the opposite.

Your 'chairman' statement is, however, as factually correct as the other "facts" you have persistently posted long after it has been demonstrated by several different posters that they are not facts at all, so you are at least consistent.

Anto Byrne
274 Posted 02/10/2016 at 05:18:39
Seven games in, 14 points on the board, there are a number of changes to the way we play that is pretty evident. The first 10-12 games should bed in the new style of play and hopefully we will see some new players being lined up for January and perhaps a few moving on.

I thought Cleverley played quite well given he has not had a run in the side, he tired towards the end but battled thru. Bryan Oviedo got better as the game went on. I have to ask why Beneteke was not being picked up by a taller defender or why we didn't go three at the back with Funes Mori and, for that matter, close the game down when at one-nil and play on the counter – god knows we have the pace.

I watched the Swansea game and, as ever, they get a very iffy penalty with minutes to go. Having said that, the Swans should have been 3 up at half-time. Watching Swansea was like watching Everton – they carved out clear-cut chances and failed to capitalise and of course got punished for this, losing 2-1.

We have a long way to go but first things first: build a strong defense and start playing to our strengths, the pace on the flanks and whipping in first-time crosses. We tend to stop and wait for the opposition to catch up, then go sideways... it's so frustrating.

Ernie Baywood
276 Posted 02/10/2016 at 07:26:39
Does anyone ever have "£100M burning a hole in their pockets"? Has it ever happened? Will it ever happen?

I'll back anyone's right to have an opinion but invented bollocks deserves to be called what it is. No-one ever said it, no-one will ever say it, it doesn't happen, and no business in the world works like that.

The idea of a "warchest" is a media invention to sucker in suckers.

Colin Glassar
277 Posted 02/10/2016 at 08:05:03
"Most Evertonians" Colin #272? That's a bit presumptive isn't it? Apart from being completely false.
Ernie Baywood
278 Posted 02/10/2016 at 08:51:17
This exchange reminds me of... http://www.qedcat.com/moviemath/holy_grail.html

We have to sell to buy!
How do you know?
They said they were going to spend £100M.
No they didn't. You just made it up.
Well it looks like they have to sell to buy.
So, logicallly, if the cost of transfers in is similar to the proceeds of transfers out then...

Paul Conway
279 Posted 02/10/2016 at 10:08:38
Ray Roche (#265),

I have to agree with you 100% on the 'our eyes only' theory. Between our last dominant period in the mid eighties, and present day, there have been generations of football supporters throughout the world, born and raised with the view that Everton are an also-ran team. Their dads will remember our glory day, but the younger ones are in for more glamorous and successful clubs.

The Clubs themselves don't give a monkeys what planet they come from. And if it is far off Asia or whatever, then so much the better. As they are the supporters who are numerous in their millions which creates colossal spending power and a demand which the likes of Sky can happily feed. At the same time Sky can feed the Clubs that can feed the players.

The Skylarks don't give a toss about EFC as, to them, our Club is unproductive. But, they are very grateful to us that we exist, to make up the numbers of their Premier League golden goose... Hence, also fans.

Steavey Buckley
280 Posted 02/10/2016 at 10:19:16
Everton spent less money on transfers than Everton received for John Stones, when fans had expectations of further transfers of players of quality. Even now, the fans know there is a lack of quality all over the pitch, which will prevent Everton from challenging for a top 4 position. And the idea the transfer market will be easier next year than this, is pure folly if the club is not going to spend the money in the first place because the ridiculous demands from other clubs and agents for players will still remain.

"Everton set to confirm Ronald Koeman as manager after agreeing ...

Jun 8, 2016 - Everton are set to confirm the appointment of Ronald Koeman as their new ... Talks have been taking place away from Goodison Park involving... got a very good squad and we've got £100 million to spend on new players."

Ciarán McGlone
281 Posted 02/10/2016 at 10:22:46
Haha.. loving Steavey's persistance.
Ernie Baywood
282 Posted 02/10/2016 at 10:35:09
Just to be clear Steavey, that's a joke right?
Patrick Murphy
283 Posted 02/10/2016 at 10:38:57
Steavey (#280), Everton FC are likely to be using as much money as possible to make the single biggest purchase in its entire history, namely a new ground, and if it meant struggling this season in order to guarantee a new stadium, I would say that would be right and proper.

If it materialises that the club don't have that sort of money and that no new ground is in the pipeline, then I, like you will be pretty angry. Whatever, happens, I or you can't change the situation as it stands and therefore it is pointless to get angry about it.

If you manage to find a categorical statement from anybody in power at the club that says "we are going to spend £100m" or words to that effect, by all means post again about the mythical war-chest, but until then perhaps you would be kind enough to give the matter a rest?

Denis Richardson
284 Posted 02/10/2016 at 11:14:56
W4 D2 L1.

I don't think anyone on this thread would have turned their nose up at those results if offered that for the first 7 league games of the season.

14 points from 7 games (okay probably 8) is still a decent start to the season. Work in progress after all. Let's keep the faith.

Tony Hill
285 Posted 02/10/2016 at 11:18:16
That's an interesting calculation, Patrick, that a struggle this season (and perhaps next?) would be worth it if we were guaranteed a new stadium. If it's either/or, then I am concerned because we are far from good enough, but I hope and expect that we will have funds for transfers from some source.

Perhaps, after all, it will need to be from sales unless, of course, Mr Moshiri is indeed wealthy enough to pay for both players and a stadium?

Steavey Buckley
286 Posted 02/10/2016 at 11:21:45
Denis: you must be living in parallel universe to mine, where you are immune to promises that are not fulfilled, that you shrug off as not important. One minute there is a £100 million banded about for transfers never denied by the club, then there was not. As if I am making it all up, because I I never had good Christmas presents of my own?

Moshiri – nothing has changed - ToffeeWeb
Sep 5, 2016 - Looking at the recent past, I didn't believe the £100m transfer kitty story... He's sold the shares, made his money, and has done nothing illegal in the ... I believe from what he's said that Moshiri wanted continuity at the club as he... at the very least £100 million in the transfer market, nothing has changed.

How billionaire Farhad Moshiri can change Everton's fortunes ...
www.theguardian.com › Soccer › Everton
Feb 29, 2016 – Farhad Moshiri sold 15% of Arsenal on Friday, confirmed a deal for ... Everton's manager does not have a figure for this summer's transfer ... Roberto Martínez said Everton's new investor Farhad Moshiri can take the club to a different level .. Is this guy wealthy enough to fund say £100 million players and ...

Everton transfer rumours: Farhad Moshiri set for multi-million pound ...
www.liverpoolecho.co.uk › ... › Football News › Everton FC rumour mill
Feb 29, 2016 - Everton transfer rumours: Farhad Moshiri set for multi-million pound spending spree ... it's reported that Moshiri is going to pledge £100m for Roberto Martinez ... Moshiri is said to be keen on expanding Everton's stadium and ...

Everton Shareholder Farhad Moshiri to Make £100m Available to ...
Feb 29, 2016 - Everton Shareholder Farhad Moshiri to Make £100m Available to Spend on Players This Summer ... The report from the Mirror says that Moshiri plans to plough some of his ... Transfer News ... to a rapidly growing audience of over 45 million monthly users in ten languages across web, mobile and social.

Everton: Koeman will be handed a £100 million transfer war chest by ...
Remember when an owner giving a manager £100 million was a crazy amount of money. Now you get . edit: Villa just sold for £60m. 1 He is the most unlikely but it's not like I said Busquets who would be impossible. Everton could ... Well this is already BS because Moshiri owns 49% and Kenwright owns 51%. -3 ...

Meet Farhad Moshiri: The Iranian billionaire who shuns the limelight ...
Jul 22, 2016 - ... sold his shares in Arsenal to friend Alisher Usmanov; Moshiri has big ambitions, ... Everton unveil Leicester City's unsung transfer mastermind. ... Moshiri may not have said much since his investment was officially approved ... the case for much longer, with upwards of £100million set aside for new players ...

Former Arsenal shareholder invests in Everton, promises 100 million ...
Mar 1, 2016 - Moshiri has pledged 100 million pounds on transfers to ensure that they ... Moshiri sold off his 200 million pound stake in Arsenal FC last week and is ... in the future,” Moshiri was quoted as saying by Everton's official website.

New Everton stakeholder Farhad Moshiri 'planning £100 million ...

Peter Gorman
287 Posted 02/10/2016 at 11:48:45
Steavey, you've already posted those links on another thread and they were quite respectfully debunked as the tabloid trash that they are.

The solution to finding out whether or not your claim is truth; that the majority of season-ticket holders renewed on the promise of 100 million pounds worth of investment, would probably be a TW poll.

As it stands, you are simply stating why you (and maybe your mates) renewed your tickets.

Martin Mason
288 Posted 02/10/2016 at 12:06:01
Steavey, could we have a look at the promise that was made by the club to you that isn't tabloid gossip? You must be on a parallel universe to me believing that tat.
Eugene Ruane
289 Posted 02/10/2016 at 12:09:19
Steavey, it is crystal clear that you have (no way to sugar coat it) invented shite because it suits your (angry/unhinged) agenda.

"I'm very disappointed with our transfers and/or transfer window" would have been fine, but not for you.

You had to invent a bit – 'because we were promised..' etc, waffle, bluff...

You have been pulled up on it several times and instead of taking the sensible option – "Well, okay, it wasn't actually stated by Moshiri but I believe it was implied* by the club." – you (once again) find yourself flapping about, deflecting and trying to murky the waters.

But here's the truly fucking odd bit, the newspaper tripe that you (continue to) post actually makes your 'argument' look even flimsier (no easy task).

I repeat, provide the link with the quote from Moshiri or Everton saying (promising according to you on another thread) '£100 million was available irrespective of having to sell'.

If you can't provide this quote, do yourself a favour, knock it on the head (I'll give you a promise – I promise each time you post on this, you're convincing nobody and look dafter each time).

[* and even that wouldn't be true.]

Colin Malone
290 Posted 02/10/2016 at 12:10:06
Colin (%277).

Okay, All Evertonians.

He ain"t a centre forward.

Tony Kost
291 Posted 02/10/2016 at 13:09:29
Anto Byrne @274. I agree with everything you say.

Crystal Palace only had 3 shots on target – 2 went in and one of those was (correctly) disallowed. The much improved Everton defence should have had a centre-back on Benteke. (Stekelenbvurg should have moved a bit more too!) We paid the price for one error of judgement and dropped 2 points.

For all of Palace's improvement in the second half, we still had clear-cut chances ourselves.

Ross had a much better game – he should have stayed on – and Lennon brought on in the last 20 mins (or earlier).

Apart from the first 15 minutes, Oviedo played well enough to dispel any future worries on the left side of defence.

And it's a shame the RS won the way they did – Swans were so good first half but they didn't make the most of it. A bit of a double whammy.

But we are still in the lead group – plenty to be positive about – and I think the likes of Davies and Holgate are more than good enough to be thrown into the mix.

John Daley
292 Posted 02/10/2016 at 13:25:13
"You must be living in parallel universe to mine"

How I wish I could visit this other universe:

"Oy you. I came here today after overhearing a couple of four-year-olds saying that an old woman was going to make herself really, really little and go head-to-head with a pack of ravenous rodents. Not just Ronnie Corbett little, or Warwick Davis wee, but really, really Lilliputian little. I came here expecting to see some new but elderly superhero, with shrinking powers, perhaps calling herself Ant-Nan or something and, instead, you pull this shit?"


"You broke your promise Ant-Nan. It doesn't matter that we've never met or that you can't even open your mouth or formulate thoughts anymore because you're so fucking ancient, or that I got it second hand from a couple of scrotes. You subliminally promised me a spectacle for the ages. You've cheated me you duplicitous, deceitful cow!!"

Kevin Hudson
293 Posted 02/10/2016 at 13:45:37
Actually, Steavey's got a point.

Because back in April, the 'Daily Star,' promised us we were getting Jose Mourinho in as our new manager - AND the club didn't refute this, so I too feel a little let down!!

For the record Steavey, I was 12 years old when the 'Sun' printed "The Truth".

I've NEVER fully trusted any media source since...

Jay Wood
294 Posted 02/10/2016 at 14:02:35
I tell you what, Steavey Buckley, not since the heady days of Martin Mason at his most manic when defending the Everton board down the years have I seen a TW poster argue by repeated assertion as much as you have in recent days, across different threads.

I'll give you your due, Steavey, unlike Martin who frequently asserted something, but never offered supporting evidence when challenged or contradicted by others who DID link to legitimate counter proof, you have at least tried to demonstrate what you say is true.


The very links you post that you claim is proof positive of your assertion – namely, that "the Everton chairman Mr Farhad Moshiri (errr... he ain't our chairman, Steavey), was quoted in the media saying that £100 million was available irrespective of having to sell" – affirms nothing of the sort.

As others have painstakingly pointed out, if anything, they are powerful counters to your assertion. Not one of them has a direct quote from a named high-ranking official at the club. Not one.

Indeed, the very links you post in a bizarre attempt to support your evidently mistaken assertion, only serve to further discredit your claims as they are taken from the notoriously invented stories of tabloid gossip and rumour columns.

Not content with only continuing to pedal this mythical media-invented assertion, you go further and claim "many season-ticket holders renewed on the promise of £100 million worth of investment in transfers."

Another self-invented assertion by you, unsupported by any hard proof or evidence.

Keep on keeping on if it floats your boat, Steavey, but ... I fancy it will be at the cost of your credibility here on TW. Because repeated argument by assertion only doesn't place you in very good company.

Lenin said ”A lie told often enough becomes the truth," whilst another luminary of social reform (Herr Goebbels) also asserted ”If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth."

Don't delude yourself for one millisecond that tediously repeating your evidently false assertions until people stop engaging with you as a hapless basket case constitutes a 'victory' and affirmation you were right all along.

Colin Glassar
295 Posted 02/10/2016 at 14:05:03
Colin 290, what is he then? Please enlighten me, I was always under the impression he was (for better or worse) a centre-forward.
Colin Malone
296 Posted 02/10/2016 at 14:18:38
Colin (#295).

He"s better running at defenders, give him a go at the Merson, Beardsley position. He never got his place as a centre-forward at West Brom, he got used on the right, so he could run at defenders, which he is very good at.

Harry Wallace
297 Posted 02/10/2016 at 14:21:56
If we use money, which is very likely, on a new stadium then I'd be delighted with purchases over last 12 months. Also, i'd rather we spent money on top talent then spend £100m for sake of it.
Steavey Buckley
298 Posted 02/10/2016 at 14:40:41
Jay Wood: So all the reports of 100 million pound investment were total lies, all made up by reporters to grab the attention of the footballing public? There is one flaw in the argument it was a bagful of lies, Everton FC never came publicly to deny such speculation in case people bought season tickets expecting such money being spent on players, because that may violate consumer laws that protects the public from being sold a pup. And after watching the last 2 Everton premier league games, could certainly have done with that extra100 million to buy players who can compete with the very best.
Michael Kenrick
299 Posted 02/10/2016 at 15:02:44
"Everton FC never came publicly to deny such speculation in case people bought season tickets expecting such money being spent on players, because that may violate consumer laws that protects the public from being sold a pup."

Steavey, you're talking absolute garbage and not listening to what anyone is telling you. I've had enough of reading your repeated nonsense. You're out.

Patrick Murphy
300 Posted 02/10/2016 at 15:03:55
29th February 2016 The Liverpool Echo in its rumours section wrote the following.

Farhad Moshiri's investment into Everton hasn't yet been rubber-stamped by the Premier League, but the Iranian businessman is already being tipped to get his chequebook out to splash the cash in the transfer market.

Echo Rumours

and added - And in the Daily Mirror it's reported that Moshiri is going to pledge £100m for Roberto Martinez to invest in his playing squad - and to offer Barkley, Stones and Lukaku brand new contracts.

Moshiri is said to be keen on expanding Everton's stadium and getting the Toffees into the top four of the Premier League - and to do that, it means investment in the playing squad.

Surprisingly, no names are yet to be mentioned - but Evertonians are allowing themselves to dream for a change!

Moshiri made a false promise to Evertonians before he had even been confirmed as the new majority shareholder?

Moshiri pledges £100m?
extract from the Mirror article from 28th February 2016:-
And Moshiri has pledged “major investment” to not only help build a stadium, but also significantly strengthen the squad, with up to £100million made available to buy – and importantly, keep – players in the summer.

Top of the hit list for the new board, which will see Kenwright continue the impressive work he has done in steering the club he loves, is to keep some of the biggest names such as John Stones, Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman and Gerard Deulofeu.

There you have it concrete proof? No it's not is it? It just says that he pledges UPTO £100m not soley for transfers but for keeping players at the club - which includes wages etc.

Brent Stephens
301 Posted 02/10/2016 at 15:06:10
"Everton FC never came publicly to deny such speculation in case people bought season tickets expecting such money being spent on players, because that may violate consumer laws that protects the public from being sold a pup."

What a total load of fucking garbage. No logic at all in that.

Brent Stephens
302 Posted 02/10/2016 at 15:10:50
Ah, Michael. Don't ban him, please. All entitled to our opinions and false logic (guilty myself at times) and he provides so much fun!
Mick Davies
303 Posted 02/10/2016 at 15:20:41
I thought Oviedo coped well on his own, even after being booked. The room Palace had over there was ridiculous and we need to strengthen there, or maybe when McCarthy is fit, get Barry over there when playing strong physical sides.

Barkley seems to offer very little and with so many lazy flair players; it's no wonder our backline and midfield are having to work so hard. What's happened to that pressing from the front we witnessed in the first few games?

John Daley
305 Posted 02/10/2016 at 15:31:47

When has any club ever come out and stated a 'to-the-penny' figure they were planning to splash out in a particular transfer window? Furthermore, why would they and why should they? There's no benefit in it at all.

State that you're planning to go all Brewster's Millions and blow as much as you can, as fast as you can, and you're likely to find you're going to get a lot less for your money than you might have if you just kept your mouth shut. If it's common knowledge that a particular club has cash to burn then asking prices will be adjusted accordingly.

At the other end of the scale, if they publicly turn out their arse pocket and admit to being absolutely brassic, then other clubs are going to be alerted to the possibility of prising away their best players on the cheap.

"Everton FC never came publicly to deny such speculation in case people bought season tickets expecting such money being spent on players, because that may violate consumer laws that protects the public from being sold a pup."

Simple question. What is a customer actually buying when they purchase a season ticket? They're paying to watch Everton play a specified number of games. That is it. That Everton might fare better, will win more games, have some new and superior players on display, will entertain more than they infuriate etc, are nothing more than hopes on the part of the person handing their money over, not a guarantee from the seller. It's like buying yourself some Molten Brown and a mad shirt for a night out and then moaning to trading standards that they failed to make you into a muff magnet.

John Daley
306 Posted 02/10/2016 at 15:41:02

Seeing as though you're on and clearly feeling strong (" big fella"?), care to explain how the "season's finished"? At the start of October, after seven league games, with one defeat and an exit from one of two cup competitions?

"Season's finished". What sort of short-sighted puss king shout is that?

Steve Brown
307 Posted 02/10/2016 at 16:33:41
Just rechecked the table and we remain fourth; reading some of the posts you'd think we were in Sunderland's position.

ps: Think it's a bit harsh of the Editor to ban Steavey, though. He might be writing nonsense – neither Moshiri or the club ever stated the investment pot was £100 – but he definitely believes it!

Damian Wilde
308 Posted 02/10/2016 at 16:37:29
John, we're out of the League Cup, our most likely chance of a trophy (Koeman's fault, imo). League-wise, we look like a side who'll finish 8th/9th. FA Cup, is a possibility, granted, but we look like an 'average' side.

My comment was of course catastrophising a little, but I just don't see us winning anything (I could be wrong and so hope I am), which is what it's all about imo. Of course, enjoying a match day with family & friends is great, but we all desperately want a trophy. The lack of striker signings has frustrated me.

Clive Rogers
309 Posted 02/10/2016 at 16:43:26
Just looked up Bolasie's stats and they make grim reading. In the PL 96 games, 9 goals and 15 assists. They are almost as grim for the lower divisions.

So he's a forward who doesn't score many goals or make many assists. We definitely paid far too much.

Dave Abrahams
310 Posted 02/10/2016 at 16:46:52
Michael, just to add to a couple asking for a bit of leniency, can you just make the ban for a day or two, acting as a warning, he was replying to quite a few people on here. Please, Michael?
Tony Abrahams
311 Posted 02/10/2016 at 16:50:17
Clive, I'm not sure about Bolassie, but stats are absolute bollocks sometimes mate.

Valencia, should have scored against Bournemouth, and Guye, should have scored on Friday night. Both these chances were created off very good wing play by Bolassie.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
312 Posted 02/10/2016 at 16:54:25
I haven't actually banned him, lads... just set to monitoring as the record seems to be stuck. If Steavey could come up with what's being asked of him – a definitive quote or a new tack to his arguement, then we'll see... but of course he can't as he's miles off-base.

I guess what tipped me (apart from the boring repetition) was the implicit deceit of his post #280, where he conflates a direct quote from the Sky Sports story ("Talks have been taking place away from Goodison Park involving...") with a snippet that was from a punter's comment to that story ("got a very good squad and we've got £100 million to spend on new players") and therefore is total bullshit.

That crossed a line in my book, sorry.

Paul Tran
313 Posted 02/10/2016 at 17:13:19
Clive, I think assist stats can be misleading. Bolassie has created chances and gone close himself in every game. At Bournemouth along, he put one on a plate for Barkley, who watched it go past him, and for Valencia, who thighed it wide.

Lyndon hit the nail on the head with him recently. When he pings the ball quickly into the box, he's very effective. When he does that exaggerated step-over, he isn't.

Fast, strong, bit of edge, I can see why Koeman bought him and why he's getting a game ahead of Deulofeu and Mirallas. I agree, we paid over the odds for him, but I think we'll be doing plenty of that in the next couple of years.

Clive Rogers
314 Posted 02/10/2016 at 17:15:22

Bolasie doesn't look like scoring to me, and Valencia and Gueye have bad stats for scoring goals. The stats for goals scored don't lie.

Tony Kost
315 Posted 02/10/2016 at 17:31:22
In my opinion, it looks like there will be an "elite" group of teams – probably Man City, Spurs, The RS, Arsenal and Chelsea.

I think EFC are the best of the rest – and who knows... we might sneak in that group if the team maintains a "hard to beat" ethic and is able to put away some of the guilt-edged chances that they have produced in most games this season.

I say – Let's think positive!

Oliver Molloy
316 Posted 02/10/2016 at 17:38:11
Well, I don't think it is unreasonable for anyone to think that Koeman took the Everton job because:

1/ He would be paid more money than at Southampton.

2/ He would have been guaranteed a load of transfer cash (whatever figure you wish to pick) on top of any player sales.

Tony Abrahams
317 Posted 02/10/2016 at 17:45:46
So Bolassie's problem was he picked out the wrong players, when he made great chances for the team Clive? I agree that the one stat you can't argue with is goals scored, though, mate.

Watching Burnley play Arsenal, and I feel that the game has changed a lot. Football used to be about dominating the middle of the park, but with so many players in there now, I sometimes think that teams (especially Everton) no longer get enough men forward because of this.

Burnley sometimes have 9 or 10 men back in their own area, so the attacking team (Arsenal today) have got to start committing more men forward, especially once they get the ball out wide in decent areas.

John Daley
318 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:00:24
Oliver @316,

People can think what they want, provided they don't then try to pass off their own assumptions as public promises or assurances from the club to the paying punter.

Brent Stephens
319 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:00:34
Paul #313 "When he does that exaggerated step-over, he isn't [effective]".

Paul, I'm not sure I can recall one of those ball-dragging step-overs against Crystal Palace. Has Koeman had a word with him ("step-over here, Yannick, I want a word with you").

Tony Hill
320 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:14:11
Oliver (316), yes indeed. I doubt that he took the job merely because he was told that there was "real momentum" (Elstone) behind a new stadium; nor, I suspect, would he have been persuaded by our youth development policy, admirable though it is.

I assume he was told of an ambitious club capable of buying very good players without selling very good players, as you say. Like us all, I'm sure he will be expecting delivery, to include purchases in areas that have been glaring weaknesses for a long time. We shall find out.

Hugh Jenkins
321 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:18:35
It is going to take time for Koeman to mould the team's style of play in the manner he wants. It is also going to take time to gather the playing staff to achieve this to the standard required. Meanwhile, there are going to be ups and downs.

As someone quoted in another thread, last season we went to Southampton early in the season and beat them 3-0.

We then seemed to go into decline for the rest of the season, but Koeman's team after, his third effective season-end re-build, recovered and did well enough to qualify for Europe this season!

Koeman's time here is in its infancy, yet, with almost one-fifth of the current season over, we are joint fourth in the Premier League table. Admittedly, we are out of the League Cup and might have hoped to do better in that competition. However, we are at the beginning of a new era, new regime and at the start of a first team squad overhaul / re-build.

Let's try to get a little perspective and also exercise some patience. Fourth after seven games is not too shoddy. Okay, we may not have played a lot of top teams... but who is to say that our style of play nowadays will not make it easier for us against such sides?

Only time will tell, so let's not write off, Mr Moshri, Koeman, Walsh, the team, or the season, just yet.

Tony Hill
322 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:28:07
5th after Arsenal's last-minute win and ahead of Man Utd. Excellent, let's hope we can nick something at the Emptyhad.
Clive Rogers
323 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:34:16
Paul, Tony,

I agree, assist stats can be misleading, but I am not sure Bolasie was the right signing for us. There are no goals in the team apart from Lukaku.

Bolasie will not score many goals for us. Neither will Mirallas or any of our midfield players who are incredibly low on goals. Its all down to Rom.

Martin Mason
324 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:34:52
Jay@294, I very rarely state that something is "true" because truth, like fact, is a very subjective entity that can rarely or never be "proven" by a link to anything. I prefer to ask the purveyors of gossip to substantiate a little on what they are claiming, that is different but correct. It's absolutely up to the person making the statement to provide some reasoning on why it's true or qualify it as opinion.

You recognise Steavey's error in quoting his opinion as fact which is to be commended; as one of the most guilty here for doing this though I'd recommend that you take the same lesson on board.

I appreciate your obsequiousness and that you see me as a bit of a celeb but I don't mind if you don't fawn on every post. :-)

John Daley
325 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:36:54

You thinking we look like a side who will finish 8th or 9th isn't the same as us actually finishing 8th or 9th seven months from now.

Is it beyond all realms of possibility that a new manager might gradually get more out of his team the longer he works with them and that we might see improvements as the season wears on? A couple of crap performances, consecutive or not, isn't cause to predict, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a boring arse dismal slog ahead.

You giving up on the season at the first blow and the season being officially over for others aren't one and the same. It's like blowing your guff all over the wash basin whilst getting your 'gentleman's scrub' and then shouting out "Game over, love!" to the girl in her scanties spread-eagled on your bed still waiting to get started.

Colin Glassar
326 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:38:49
With the help of the ref, Tony. Arsenal always seem to score goals after added time has finished.
Tony Abrahams
327 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:45:12
I agree, Clive, especially since it's very rare that we get many players running forward ahead of Lukaku.

Six draws in the Premier League this weekend, and a couple of teams scoring very late winners. All the money has made most teams competitive; I wonder if football has ever been so tight?

Peter Gorman
328 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:45:34
John, you continue to amaze me with the sheer creativity of your analogies. Please keep them up!
Tony Abrahams
329 Posted 02/10/2016 at 18:51:13
I was wondering if he was going to elaborate, to be honest, Peter!
Paul Tran
330 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:00:28
Fair point on Bolassie and goals, Clive. That's where Koeman's going to earn his money with him. You're right, not enough goals in this team and I think we'll need to buy to get them, unless at least a couple of current players step up.
Stephen Brown
331 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:07:12
Lack of goals in the team is clearly a problem as many have mentioned! As much as I like and rate Barry and Gana, do we always need 2 defensive midfielders at home vs lower-half sides?

How about 4-1-4-1 formation at home? That way, more potential goals scorers on the pitch?

Coleman Jagielka Williams Baines
Deulofeu Barkley Mirallas Bolasie

Joe Clitherow
332 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:10:06
Brent 302

It isn't all fun. I think I was the first to pull him up on the other thread and the reason I did was that his twisted logic had a nasty sting in the tail which was "promise of £100M + season ticket holders duped by said promise = dishonesty by EFC".

I found that pretty dishonest itself and quite offensive before his posts became a total parody.

Brent Stephens
333 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:14:19
Joe, I know. I don't disagree at all with that. The fun for me is seeing that somebody can actually post (and keep posting) such laughable stuff. Hope you know what I mean.
Tony Abrahams
334 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:17:57
I wonder how many people did buy season tickets because of what the press reported though?

I ask because 32.000 is a Premier League record for Everton, and the way quite a few people booed at the end, tells me that they couldn't have been the same ones who suffered in so much silence during Martinez last two seasons?

Andy Crooks
335 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:18:32
John D and Eugene, how can you afford to throw away such gold on a fan site? Also, I think Steavey is talking nonsense but why stop him. I have my own experience on this site of being totally amazed that certain views I held were not endorsed by all. I think Steavey may well reflect and think differently. No censorship unless it is vile stuff.
Clive Rogers
336 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:19:16
Stephen (#331),

There's no goals in that team either. Deulofeu can't hit the side of a barn this season and Mirallas has gone right off.

Darren Hind
337 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:26:43
Bolasie was massively overpriced.

Palace spent £13m on Andros Townsend – about half of what we paid them for Bolasie.

Who will score the most? ... Exactly!

Gordon Crawford
338 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:32:04
Clive, I agree with Stephen Brown (#331). If you're saying there are no goals in that team, then Everton have no goals in them, period.

I would rather try to be positive than play two defensive midfielders against every team we play. It might just catch them on the hop and our players might just perform and surprise us all.

Stephen Brown
340 Posted 02/10/2016 at 19:51:43
Clive (#336) you have a point; however, there's a lot more goal potential in that team when on form!

I feel lots of teams are likely to sit back at Goodison so the need for 2 defensive midfielders isn't there despite Barry being one of our best players!

Inflexibility was one of the biggest criticisms of Martinez so I think we should give it a go!

Andy Meighan
341 Posted 02/10/2016 at 20:25:42
John (#325), that last paragraph was pure gold, lad. Absolute quality. I'd love to know what's going on in that head of yours. Superb!
Clive Rogers
342 Posted 02/10/2016 at 20:33:57
I just don't think we have any goals in the squad, whichever team we pick, apart from Rom.
Raymond Fox
343 Posted 02/10/2016 at 20:44:35
As far as Steavey's £100m promise to spend is concerned, even without that promise, I do think we expected a good deal more than the amount that was actually spent, when Moshiri, with fanfares blaring, bought half the club!
Damian Wilde
344 Posted 02/10/2016 at 23:11:22
John, how can I refuse that! Fair points. Let's see how we get on. A good FA Cup run and I'll be loving that.

Tough game, next up. I'll be on my annual US tour. The weekend of the City game, I'll be in Las Vegas and every time previously I have woken up in Vegas, I have read a text telling me we've won! Always happens. I love a repeating pattern!

Agree about Arsenal, lucky gits.

Nigel Munford
345 Posted 02/10/2016 at 23:13:57
Why were fans booing at full-time on Saturday, when we are 5th after 7 games, averaging 2 points a game and a + 6 goal difference??? How many would have wished for that after the last two seasons? I'm happy with where we are right now.
Eugene Ruane
346 Posted 02/10/2016 at 23:31:44
Andy (335) - 'John D and Eugene, how can you afford to throw away such gold on a fan site? Also, I think Steavey is talking nonsense but why stop him. I have my own experience on this site of being totally amazed that certain views I held were not endorsed by all. I think Steavey may well reflect and think differently. No censorship unless it is vile stuff.'

You appear to be 'crediting' me with influence I don't have.

I can't speak for John (so won't), all I can tell you is I'm 'throwing away' nothing as I have no say in the workings of TW or site policy.

My involvement with TW is simple, I respond to the views of others and/or post opinions of my own – that's it (if the views of others contain obvious fabrications, yes, these will be pointed out).

Oh and to be clear, I have never called for any poster to be censored/banned.

Jay Wood
347 Posted 02/10/2016 at 23:43:47
Martin @ 324

"I very rarely state that something is 'true' etc" followed by "I prefer to ask the purveyors of gossip to substantiate a little on what they are claiming."

Alas for you, there are volumes of posts in your name in the TW archives (and scarred into the memory banks of many a subscriber) that disprove absolutely such self-proclamations.

Equally, there are near countless examples of you fleeing the scene, or contriving a position of morale superiority, playing your diva card and refusing to engage with posters who offer reasoned and reasonable response to many of your extravagant claims to which you have no plausible answer.

You frequently fail to observe the demand you make of others: to provide some reasoning on why opinions and claims you make are true.

As for your attempt to label me as "one of the most guilty on here for (presenting my) opinion as fact" I look forward to you fulfilling the same demand you make of others: prove it.

Unlike you (and others) I'm not an 'absolutist' on any subject. Yes, I like a good debate, and yes, I can be brusque and forthright. I have a low tolerance level of the bluster, blather and contradiction posters such as yourself are given to. It grates with some folk on here, I know. Folk like yourself resent that they have no response to my reasoning that challenges their/your opinion.

But unlike you and others, I have never offered my opinion as indisputable fact.

PS: Just as well you put a cute smiley at the end of your final paragraph to highlight the absurdity of your closing words. Obsequious and fawning? ME? In particular to YOU of all people?

Martin Mason, the celeb? Deary me, what vanity. I await with tingling anticipation who will win the bidding war, OK or Hello magazine, to secure the photo story rights of featuring 'la maison du Mason.'

Colin Gee
348 Posted 03/10/2016 at 00:50:04
Nigel (#345), I noticed it as well, few fans by me were booing, never seen them before.

Yes, it was a frustrating game, but no need to boo; everyone of the regulars who've sat there for years by us gave the players a clap for their efforts. But, with these other lads, everyone was shit, every missed placed pass was met with a "Fuck off [player's name]; you're shit". Strange...

Ernie Baywood
349 Posted 03/10/2016 at 01:21:10
I wonder to what extent raising expectations affects that, Colin. Seems to me that the more entitled we feel, the more let down we are.

Maybe Mr Moyes's plan was to keep the crowd noise through dampened ambition, rather than just doing it to save him actually having to achieve something.

Michael Kenrick
350 Posted 03/10/2016 at 02:54:03
Okay, Jay, I've done my duties for today and, while sipping down a nice Cab Sav, thought I'd take up the challenge of debating you. But, looking through your posts, I can't really find much to disagree with.

I did find this on one recent thread: "IMO we have too many indulged players in the squad who, tantalizingly talented as they sometimes appear, are not mentally strong enough to take us where we want to go." It's hard to offer a counterpoint but my feeling is that's exactly what The Brothers Koeman (see what I did there, any Dostoyevsky lovers...) are trying to do in reprogramming their charges.

It's that kind of possibility that I believe offers hope, not just in January as many cling to... but well before the impending watershed that may (or may not) usher in a whole slew of replacements in that far off transfer window. Okay, you say they are not mentally strong enough... you state it as fact (Martin Mason! Help me here!) but hopefully what we are witnessing now is transition, whereby they do in fact have the capacity, but are struggling with the implementation.

This leads to a far better outcome, where the existing shirt-wearers fully take on board what is required of them, and make adjustments to their game, sometime between now and January. I think it can be argued that this is what happened for portions of the earlier games this season, where there have been definite signs of improvement from the darkest days of Martinez. Perhaps the Koemans, seeing a degree of success in their methods, with Everton sitting 2nd in the Premier League, decided to up the pace of change... only to find it was a step too far for these shrinking violets.

Yes, that's what I'm going to cling to during the intolerable deprivation that is the International Break.

Jay Wood
351 Posted 03/10/2016 at 04:22:54
So Michael, having taken up the 'challenge' (I presume, of finding a post where I offer my opinion as 'fact') you conclude there's not much you can disagree with me... and yet, the one direct quote you offer you say that I "state it as fact."

Really? Did you miss those big 3 capital letters at the start of your lifted quote? IMO ... aka, 'In My Opinion.'

It is an opinion I stand by. We can all quote RM's utterances in which he overhyped players and was eternally forgiving of them.

Whether it was different behind closed doors, we don't know. The recent John Stones' interview suggests corrective and instructive action by OFM did not happen. That equates to having indulged players in the squad, in my eyes.

Equally, we do have some tantalizingly talented players who, as I wrote, sometimes appear, to lack mental strength and, as such, maybe can't take us where we want to go.

We are, in fact (I write that with deliberate irony Michael...) in agreement. This is obviously a transition period the club, the team and individual players are going through under a new regime, on both the management and playing side.

As I've said on more than one occasion since he joined us, Ronnie has made it very clear: he is not for changing. If they want to play for Everton under his tutelage, it is the players who will have to change.

It is a clear, professional, and winning mentality I embrace. I believe he is a very good fit for the club, even more so under the new ownership.

Some players, as you rightly say, will adapt and stay. Others will not and will be gone under RK.

Whilst I was disappointed with the meek exit from the LC and the ineptness of our performance at Bournemouth (as opposed to some taking a totally laissez faire attitude to the former, in particular), mine was not a knee jerk, dummy spitting, wrist slitting reaction to those defeats.

I expect and accept there will be bumps in the road, but my faith remains most firmly in the motorist behind the wheel.

Tony Abrahams
353 Posted 03/10/2016 at 08:14:30
Read what Colin says again, Ernie. Raised expectations is fine for every Evertonian, I'm sure, but how people could boo at the end of the match the other night just didn't make sense, even if people were frustrated.
Ernie Baywood
354 Posted 03/10/2016 at 08:46:04
I've read it again and not sure what you're getting at, Tony.

I don't agree with booing either, and the first-half performance certainly didn't deserve it. I'm just offering a reason for it – Evertonians are expecting (as opposed to just hoping for) far more than what was delivered.

Tony Abrahams
355 Posted 03/10/2016 at 09:38:09
Sorry, Ernie, Colin was just saying that the regulars, although frustrated, still clapped the team off. He said the people who booed didn't look familiar, which maybe suggests to me a few "Johnny Come Latelys" who are possibly expecting too much too soon.

It's all about opinions of course, but surely proper Evertonians, or indeed just football fans in general, would know it's going to take time?

I saw loads of empty spaces in the ground with minutes to go, which surprised me because, although I thought Palace bossed a big part of the second half, I always thought it was Everton who looked more likely to nick the win if any team was going to score another goal.

Ciarán McGlone
356 Posted 03/10/2016 at 11:30:50
Not sure what 'real change' is... but I expected the manager & players to be able to produce a coherent performance – the opposite to the Bournemouth and Norwich games. Retain possession, closing down, good decision-making.

The players went someway towards providing that... I think it was much better than the 2 previous games.

The teams in this league are closer than ever... that is probably where the frustration comes from.

If we'd consistently played the football we are capable of, we'd be sitting top with Man City.

Paul Kossoff
357 Posted 03/10/2016 at 17:30:47
I've watched the first half against Palace and I thought Everton, to a man, were excellent. Attacking, defending, pressing and passing – all good, but oh for a second striker, an Austin or Defoe type, constantly looking for the space away from a marker.

Rom seems static compared to some forwards, raising his arms when the pass doesn't come, but he's usually well marked in the box, doesn't move off the defender to give the angle for a pass, that's a fault he hasn't fixed.

Not seen the second half so I can't comment on it, but first half was great.

Andy Crooks
358 Posted 03/10/2016 at 18:55:57
Eugene (#346), I've looked at my post again and I can see what I have done. Somehow contrived to make two separate points look like one.

My reference to throwing gold was in response to another laugh-out-loud post from John Daley and my ongoing wonder that both you and he can afford to let comic gems (the Moyes family holiday) disappear into the void of ToffeeWeb.

My second point was supposed to be entirely unrelated and was a general comment on censorship on the site. Absolutely not aimed at you or John.

As I said on another thread, it would be nice to have a "Best of ToffeeWeb" to preserve some of the stuff that appears here.

Brent Stephens
359 Posted 03/10/2016 at 18:59:49
I like Andy's idea of collating the best of Eugene and John somehow – turn it into a ToffeeWeb calendar, maybe – one classic for each month. Must be people on TW who are good at graphic design etc.
Paul Conway
360 Posted 03/10/2016 at 19:03:29
I can't understand how players with tantalizing talent can't deliver on a regular basis. Whether they have to adapt to a different style, from a different coach, or whatever, should not be a problem for talented players who, obviously, have more instinct than the, let's say, less talented players. Yet they fail.

There are talented musicians who can slip seamlessly into different orchestras, or backing sessions and play their musical instrument faultlessly and with great aplomb. These are talented players who can play anywhere at anytime and are all reading from the required music sheet.

Before anyone steps in with the view that music is different from football... I know. I only used music as an example. I could have used ice skating, gymnastics, or, whatever. I simply want to state that you either have talent, that you can use instinctively on a regular basis, or, you have not.
Alan J Thompson
361 Posted 04/10/2016 at 05:58:04
Brent (#359); How could we possibly leave Steavey's contributions out?

I still remember his marathon efforts on reasons for a new ground to resemble the Coliseum or something the Romans built, the Empire or St George's Hall, somewhere near the road to London, that continuously ran for a couple of days.

Jim Hardin
362 Posted 04/10/2016 at 16:44:33

Do you think musicians, gymnasts, etc would be able to do that with someone, who is also talented and trying to do their best, actively opposing their efforts? Wonder how well a violinist will do with someone kicking at their ankles and shins?

Plus, the routine for a gymnast will be the same each time he or she does it. The same for a musician who can reproduce the same music. The defensive midfielder or centre-half one faces one week will not be the same the next week and neither will the style of play, formation, tactics, etc.

I understand the point about maintaining a consistent level of performance for a professional. However, the results cannot be taken as the proof in a sport like soccer.

Brent Stephens
363 Posted 04/10/2016 at 18:06:52
Alan (#361) – now there's a calendar in it's own right. Not sure I could get past January, though. Mind you, most TWebbers probably wouldn't read to the end of January in a calendar of my "best" posts! I suppose there's fame and there's infamy (no, please, no Carry On rehashes!).

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