The last set of games before the International break starts with Leicester failing to stop Liverpool's dominance of the fledgling Premier League table in the early match.


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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 02/09/2018 at 16:59:45
I'm curious to see an analysis of Lukaku's first goal for Man Utd at Burnley today.

Zonal or man-to-man — were Burnley really at fault for that? Or was it simply a case of a pinpoint cross onto the head of the Big Galloot?

To my eyes, there were two defenders pretty close to him, both watching the ball come in and watching the man, but not close enough to put in an effective challenge, simply because of their positions when the ball was clipped in. Had they been closer, however, I suspect that it would have been hard to effectively prevent Lukaku from scoring without fouling him, and the risk of giving up a penalty.

Just curious if zonal or man-to-man is always the issue, or if some goals are basically unstoppable?

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 02/09/2018 at 17:05:54
Despite the money we raked in for Lukaku we still have not replaced him, have we?
Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 02/09/2018 at 17:35:18
Ditto, Watford's second...

Ball on head – goal!

Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 02/09/2018 at 17:37:02
Good also to see some consistency with the macho head-butt madness, this time from a "Sky Darling".

What is it with these idiots?

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 02/09/2018 at 17:39:18
Watford going for four on the bounce, now that would be what you call a good start!
Paul Tran
6 Posted 02/09/2018 at 17:57:32
My, my. Is that Spurs conceding two from set pieces? Will there be an inquest about their marking 'system', or will people use their eyes and talk about defenders' loss of concentration, or being out-manouvred?
John G Davies
7 Posted 02/09/2018 at 18:03:34
Spot on, Paul.

Whatever system is used, if the defenders switch off or don't compete physically, you will concede.

David Barks
8 Posted 02/09/2018 at 18:13:20
No no no, it is only Silva's team that gives up goals from set-pieces. I'm simply not having it. Nobody else scores from set-pieces unless they are playing against us.
Steve Ferns
9 Posted 04/09/2018 at 15:00:50
Here's one to wind up the lovable Red Shite. Their start to the season is in fact a poor one. They are one place worse off than last season:

Tommy Carter
10 Posted 04/09/2018 at 15:10:27
I'm optimistic about this season. Burnley will toil this season as they will find it hard to juggle Premier League with European commitments.

Southampton look poor.

West Ham have spent but look poor.

Palace will have an ok season.

Watford are the only side who look to have made some improvements based on their start.

I think Spurs will drop slightly.

Arsenal are not top 4 material.

Lverpool and Man City will battle for the title. And who knows if Chelsea can challenge too.

Basically, those around us have failed to improve. I would even put Leicester in that category. Wolves on paper look decent but we showed them up with ten men in their own back yard.

Fulham may do well.

What I'm trying to say is that, when the players settle and the likes of Gomes, Mina and Bernard force their way into the starting XI, then we have a shout of having a really good season. The big thing we need is for these players to settle and make their mark. I expect Mina and Zouma to be our first-choice centre-back pairing by Christmas.

The next big thing is mentality. Can we go to the big clubs and beat them? I hope Silva has the ability to inspire his team to do so as we can definitely beat all of the rest.

Brian Williams
11 Posted 04/09/2018 at 15:20:59
Tommy, I think you'll find that Burnley's only European commitment is watching the Champions League or Europa League games on telly... lol.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
12 Posted 04/09/2018 at 15:28:47
Steve

That is a table I have been doing for 15 years, including this one, and I usually get slated for it.

But yes, my conclusion as well. Easy fixtures. Have to acknowledge that mine only does goal difference. Takes all of 3 minutes a week to update and 15 minutes to get the new one in place.

Steve Ferns
13 Posted 04/09/2018 at 15:29:01
No matter, Brian. As you can see from my table, Europe has cost them 8 points in just four games. The damage is done. Sadly though, the two points we just dropped means we're now only 4 points above them in that projected table.
Steve Ferns
14 Posted 04/09/2018 at 15:30:34
Phil, was it you who used to do it on ToffeeWeb? I used to always check it, and I missed it which is why I started doing one for my own pleasure this season.

Wasn't it a thing Everton had in their programme from years ago?

Brian Harrison
15 Posted 04/09/2018 at 15:46:09
I think that Burnley have highlighted yet again how playing in the Europa League, has a definite negative effect on Premier League form. The Premier League is the toughest league in Europe, where to get results you have to play your best players.

So I know people will quote Fulham getting to the final of the Europa League a few years back, but only the top 6 in the Premier League have a big enough squad to cope with playing Europa League and competing in the Premier League.

I think a team like Burnley with a small first team squad was always going to struggle; it will be interesting to see how their results in the Premier League go now they are out of Europe. I know some fans are delighted when we qualify for the Europa League but, for me, there is hardly any upside unless you win it and now go into the following season's Champions League.

I really think Uefa need to have a real re-think with this competition, but we all know they won't. They are only really interested in promoting the Champions League and also looking after clubs by having a seeding system which is a cartel for the big boys.

Jim Bennings
16 Posted 04/09/2018 at 16:12:11
Brian

I don't know myself about the Europa League.

On one hand surely a club like Burnley should be embracing a European campaign as something that most Burnley fans have never witnessed and may never witness again?

We have heard talk of they were right to throw it, but how can it be troubling their Premier League form so early in the season anyway? They can't be tired and, if they are poorly prepared, then, as a professional top-flight club, the question wants asking: Why were they poorly prepared?

For me, the Europa League would be miles better with straight two-legged knockout rounds no disputing that (like the old Uefa Cup format) none of the messing around with these stupid groups.

But I do believe it's too often used as a bad excuse for poor League form and when things are going right it's funny people don't use it as an excuse then.

I recall the fantastic 12-match unbeaten run under Moyes in 2007-08 season when we had a run to the League Cup Semi's as well as the Europa League last 16, it didn't seem to both anyone then because confidence was so high.

It needs changing the format but, if I was a Burnley fan, I'd be a little pissed off at missing out on seeing potentially once in a lifetime European nights against some of the continents stellar names like an AC Milan or someone of that ilk.

It's Burnley, for Christ sake, people forget that.
At some point in the next four years, they probably will be relegated again, just like other run-of-the-mill clubs with no consistent top-flight history, like West Brom, Wigan and Portsmouth. That's what they do, a few seasons punching above their weight then relegation is eventually inevitable.

Burnley had a chance to see something a bit different but what will they do the rest of this season? Challenge Man City and Liverpool for the title? Challenge the top 5?

Nahhh I don't think so.

Brian Harrison
17 Posted 04/09/2018 at 16:32:56
Jim,

The problem with the early stages of the Europa League is you end up flying to places thousands of miles away to play teams nobody in this country has ever heard of. I think you have to play 6 more games to get to the final of the Europa League than you do to get to the final of the Champions League, that's why most clubs from this country tend to have poor seasons the further they go in this competition.

Even when you get to the league format you don't play the real superstars of Europe, as they are all in the Champions League. So I think if you asked most Burnley fans which do you prefer, a good run in the Europa or to have a decent season in the Premier League, I think I can guess what the answer would be. But if it was a one-off in the Champions League playing the very best teams in Europe, against a decent league run even Evertonians would take that and accept a poor Premier League performance.

Jim Bennings
18 Posted 04/09/2018 at 17:51:03
Maybe, Brian, maybe.

Although last season in the groups we had Lyon there which was a good chance for a short trip to a fantastic venue, may it be said, so they aren't always obscure teams and countries that you get shipped off to. We have had Benfica in the past also, another famous name.

I wouldn't mind seeing Everton in the Europa League drawn against say one of the Milan's or a Battle of Britain against say Celtic for example, that would draw the crowds.

I'm all for Champions League football, I just don't think we'll ever be good enough or consistent enough to see it at this club as, even when teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, or Man Utd have seasons of floundering transition, we never manage to get a side capable of pinching a slot they occupy.

Tommy Carter
19 Posted 04/09/2018 at 20:16:42
Jim @16,

You make a great point. That squad of players absolutely embraced the challenge. This was the best Everton team since 1987.

I remember us playing West Ham twice in quick succession and beating them twice. It was unbelievable and not a typical Everton thing to do. The Yak was brilliant for us that season. Cahill was injured for large parts which was unlucky. But all these players were arguably all in their peak for us in the following team:

Howard
Neville Jagielka Lescott Baines
Carsley
Arteta Pienaar Osman
Cahill
Yakubu

Good players don't get tired.... Let me correct that: Good players don't use tiredness as an excuse.

This was a team full of good players. They knew it. They knew they could beat teams and the more teams that came their way to beat, the better.

Fair play to Moyes and the staff at the club responsible for assembling that group of players. But at that point, another manager may have got more out of them.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
20 Posted 04/09/2018 at 20:28:34
Let me be cynical.

UEFA like the Europa League as it is now.

The top teams get into the Champions League. Clubs starting to challenge the top clubs get into the Europa League – play too many games, get nothing – can't move on to the Champions League the following season. Maybe don't qualify for the Europa league the next season, and then it starts all over again the next season. And playing in Europe one season in two means the coefficient is not good so they do not get good seeding.

Cynical view? Yes... True? I will leave you to decide.

Best trick is finish 8th one year and then 4th the next and have a rich owner to buy the players to make sure there is good progress in the Champions League and you make 4th or better the next season. Seem like a plan?

Steve Ferns
21 Posted 04/09/2018 at 21:37:47
Can someone have a good look at the performances of English clubs in the Europa League and their League Position that season.

I believe that no team, other than the Sky 6, have done well in this competition for at least 10 years. We have reached the quarters twice in that period but, if I recall correctly, our league form suffered greatly. I think we did recover to 7th or 8th under Moyes.

Not just us though. Like Burnley others have had a nightmare start. The early games ruin your pre-season and momentum is against you from the start and you struggle to get going.

I'm pretty sure you will find that no-one (except for the sky 6) maintained or improved their league position after qualifying for this competition.

Jim Bennings
22 Posted 05/09/2018 at 08:47:43
We all know the Europa League needs to change the format and with it, change it back to the naming of the UEFA Cup or even the Europa Cup.

But using it so early in the season as an excuse is a joke.

Many years we have failed to get in Europe and still had dismal pre-seasons followed by a very unfulfilling season with 7th or 8th finishes being all Evertonians can shout about these days.

I want us to get in the Champions League and I want to see Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich under the floodlights at Goodison Park; I want to see our players walk out at the Nou Camp.

But the fact is we are nowhere near it, we failed to move forward like Tottenham (who were on a level footing with us in 2014 by the way) have done when selling Bale and getting a team good enough within two or three years to be regulars in Europe's elite tournament.

We will have had three summers and two January windows of massive spending and considerable team investment but likely won't finish higher than 7th or 8th again this season, even when the top sides had a bad season, it was Leicester City that gate crashed the party and won the Premier League; while now it's reverted back to type with the top 4 being picked from the top 6 and the top 6 still look more experienced at winning games than us despite them changing their teams and managers as often as Everton now do.

The Europa League is about all we can realistically hope for in terms of European adventures.

Jim Bennings
23 Posted 05/09/2018 at 09:01:32
It doesn't help that we are a selling club either.

Every time we get a team that looks seriously promising and has true potential to challenge the top 5 or 6, we then succumb to selling our better performers when the pound signs are in front of our eyes.

Just say Richarlison has a tremendous season and bags 20 Premier League goals, are we going to say to him “we will get you Champions League football at this club, you are going nowhere mate” or will we do what we did with Lukaku and let our top scorer leave?

The only way you get Champions League football is make certain that the best players at your club stay.

James Marshall
24 Posted 05/09/2018 at 09:56:08
It's a Catch-22 situation though. You do well, players do well, you get into Europa League, the players get offers from clubs in the Champions League because of their form; they don't want to be at a 2nd tier club (Everton) so they agitate to leave (and so do their agents).

Making the leap from Europa League to Champions League is key but, as above, you don't get there without good players... so we're, in some ways, snookered.

I'm not sure in this day and age that Everton have just 'let players leave'; it's more down to player power, agent influence, and having an unhappy player is counter-productive – and so goes round the Catch-22 ad infinitum until you make the above leap from Europa League to Champions League in one season.

It has to happen that way — otherwise, the perpetual loop exists.

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