Determined defending earns a point

by | 29/08/2015  160 Comments  [Jump to last]
Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 0 Everton

Seamus Coleman went straight back into the team after sitting out the win at Barnsley in midweek (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Everton started strongly but seemed to lose confidence visibly and failed to threaten, with Cleverley getting crunched and stretchered off just before the break. Second half was a rare old tussle that Spurs edged but Everton held fast to claim a point.

As expected, Roberto Martinez named a strong line-up for this evening's televised game at White Hart Lane, with Bryan Oviedo starting in the left-back position after his midweek exertions at Barnsley. Kone and Lukaku form the attacking pair up-front.

Everton kicked off and retained possession until Kone was fouled and Barkley surged forward on a hopeful run. Some clever crossfield balls looked to open up the Spurs defence early on as the Royal Blues looked supremely confident in their early play... perhaps too confident, with Lukaku playing a wasted hoof from deep.

Spurs finally got on the ball after 5 mins but Kone forced the turnover. Everton held the ball well, but the thoughtful build-up still gave Spurs too much time to sit in. Oviedo looked to have jinked inside smartly but got double-teamed and lost the ball, allowing Spurs to surge down the Everton left and cross in. This allowed Spurs to take the initiative, Kane drive low and wide.

Mason tried to get behind the Everton defence but Coleman was more than equal to him. Spurs were getting more play and swinging some crosses in, while Everton had relaxed their early grip on the game. But Everton did try to break through McCarthy, although Cleverly's ball to the far post with Spurs wide open was very poor under the circumstances. Bentaleb fired one curling wide on the turnover.

Again, Cleverley in an advanced position, played a poor ball backward but he then got a good sight of goal and fired in a tremendous shot that stung the gloves of Lloris; a poor header by Oviedo from the corner allowed Spurs to surge again and threaten the Everton goal as Spurs saw opportunities to advance as the Blues failed to press. But Kane was forced to fire over from a long way out. At the other end, Barkley did worse with his first wayward effort.

Everton resorted to sideways possession football, Oviedo eventually losing it and Kane was off to the races (offside?) but failed marvelously against a well-positioned Howard who stuck out a crucial foot to stop a certain goal. Almost classic punishment for Blues' slow pace in attack, the sideways and backwards passing getting nowhere near the Spurs area for long periods.

While at the other end, a defence-splitting pass plays in Mason again, and it was Howard again, with an extended leg, that once more saved Everton as they seemed intent on conceding, with Stones and Jagielka both looking below par.

Everton did finally get forward again on the half-hour but the lack of penetration from their play was increasingly painful to watch and, in seconds, Spurs were forward, winning a corner. Howard tipped a good header from Alderweireld over the bar. Barry tried to release Cleverley with a clever ball but he was just far too slow to take advantage.

Lukaku went wide to get some possession but was so easily dispossessed. Mason fouled Barkley, providing a chance for a cross into the box. Barry gave the ball away and had to foul Kane for a yellow card. Some ridiculous ball-play of the lowest standard saw Everton needlessly lose the ball again in an advanced position and Spurs were attacking again.

Barkley say the goalposts again but could only fire in a low shot straight at Lloris. Barkley then picked out Cleverley who was crunched by Dier, with a scissors chop that took both ball and man, Cleverley screaming over his twisted and heavily jarred right knee. It required an air-cast and a stretcher for yet another seriously injured Everton player. Mirallas came on in his place, with 4 mins now added to the break.

Chadli almost got through after the break, needing the attention of three defenders, Spurs winning an early corner off Jagielka, headed away strongly by Stones. Spurs attacked again but Kane was well offside. Another Spurs attack and the turnover immediately handed back to Spurs with a poor pass out of defence. Pressure immediately reapplied by Spurs and all hands to the pumps in a chaotic Everton penalty area until Stones cleared decisively as Demebele needed treatment on the sidelines.

More moribund forward, sideways and backwards movement from Everton was probably preferred to defending but if ever a game was screaming out for the magic feet of Gerard Deulofeu...

Everton looked an increasingly sad and sorry outfit, getting overrun in midfield, Lukaku back to his worst as a useless hold-up player coming deep for a sight of the ball. Mason almost through but again Howard was there to save Everton blushes.

Oviedo conjured a fantastic cross from nothing and there was Lukaku to leap like a salmon and completely miss the ball... astounding! At the other end, Alli almost got in at the near post. Bentaleb was next to be carded, for pulling back Kone's shirt. It was a rare chance for a ball in but there was a lot of silliness between Dier and Lukaku before Barkley swung it straight to a defender.

Barkley went in on a run, drawing the foul from Dier, and a card for the former Everton loanee. Everton wasted the free-kick, Barry unforgivably offside at the end of the line. Still no sign of Gerard Deulofeu, despite vocal suggestions from the travelling Blues contingent as the moribund minutes ticked away...

A spell of play in which it seemed easier for Spurs to score saw efforts from Kane and Chadli blocked away desperately. Another crazy scene of Keystone Cops saw Rose cause chaos around the back and Kane stumble over a leg for a great penalty shout... not. Barkley seemed to have a glint of goal, but Dier had the measure of him, as the stunning substitution from Martinez was not Deulofeu but Naismith, on in place of Lukaku.

He was welcomed by a great run from Vertongen, finished with a rasping shot that flew over Howard and the Everton bar as Spurs came a step closer and Everton looked three steps slower and more disorganised, if that was at all possible...

A rare and fantastic attack down the left, a brilliant cross in from Oviedo and a superb glancing header from Kone flew just inches the wrong side of the far post. Everton pushed with Naismith showing some strength, admittedly playing a lot better since the switch, Blues fans demanding a penalty as the Scotsman seems to be dragged down in the area.

Everton had finally started playing some football, the catalyst being Naismith, who forced Dier into another foul and it should have been a second yellow, Barkley wasting a poor free-kick, too low, and direct to a defender. But Everton were fighting tooth and nail now; unfortunately that caused Spurs to up the tempo in response

10 minutes left... one sub left... when would the Blues see Gerard Deulofeu? Barkley won another free-kick skillfully against Dier yet again. Mirallas curled it too high over the bar. Finally, after 82 minutes, the ex-Barcelona man seemed ready to come... but Spurs won a throw-in then a corner, as he and Martinez dithered.

Barkley tried to dig out a shot but it was too much and finally, Kone trotted off on 84 minutes... barely 6 minutes of normal time for Deulofeu. His first cross caught a defender's head. Oviedo did well to block Alli's cross as Spurs made a final push.

A fantastic break looked to have released Deulofeu for a step-over slalom but Vertongen had the complete measure of him as Pritchard took out Mirallas needlessly from behind. Barkley was really suffering, his ball skills having largely deserted him, but the Everton defence were there again to stay solid.

Another needless foul by Spurs and another free-kick wasted, the header glanced in to Lloris by Mirallas. It finished rather surprisingly goalless despite something of an onslaught from Spurs, although only a couple of really clear chances. A good point in the end for Everton but, play like that, and they will suffer more defeats than draws.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb [Y:59'], Dier [Y:61']; Chadli, Mason (85' Pritchard), Dembele (53' Alli [Y:56']); Kane.
Subs: Vorm, Davies, Trippier, Carroll, Lamela.

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Oviedo; Barry [Y:38'], McCarthy; Cleverley (45+1' Mirallas), Barkley; Kone (84' Deulofeu), Lukaku (66' Naismith).
Subs not Used: Robles, Pennington, Browning, Besic.

Referee: Mike Jones

Attendance: 35,865

Full details in: ToffeeWeb Match Report

Reader Comments (160)

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Victor Jones
1 Posted 29/08/2015 at 17:04:17
That team will do for me. Of course we cannot predict how Everton will play or how a match will pan out. But I think that Lukaku plays better when partnered with Kone. The two of them should trouble this Spurs defence.

Deulofeu and Mirallas are luxuries to have on the bench. Our midfield looks solid. Just hope that Barkley supports the strikers. And that Barry provides cover to Oviedo. He could be a weak link.

I would also like to see Kane man-marked. But Martinez does not seem to play that game. But all-in-all, I have a good feeling about this game. Can we do a Southampton on Spurs? Why not.

One-nil or two-nil to Everton. Lukaku to score anytime. COYBs

Clive Rogers
2 Posted 29/08/2015 at 17:05:32
I would have thought Mirallas had done enough to be in front of Kone.
Oliver Molloy
4 Posted 29/08/2015 at 18:59:59
Gareth Barth is missing some tackles today!
Michael O'Brien
6 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:26:11
We are just not a very good football team at the moment...
Peter Morris
7 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:26:44
The commentator said at one point "This is Dier"...I thought "you're dead right there, mate!"
Tony Hill
8 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:29:19
Excellent from Howard to whom we owe the point, very good from Kone. For the rest, oh dear. Let us hope this reflects the exertions against Barnsley and what has been a difficult week.

Barry must be dropped for Besic. Deulofeu should have been on with 20 minutes to go.

Bad news about Cleverley, I thought the tackle was nasty though the cowards on Sky wouldn't say so.

Gavin Johnson
9 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:29:21
Good result all things considered. I think we missed Cleverley in the 2nd half. He looks a very good signing and we'll miss him. I hope he won't be out for too long. We definitely need to bring in 2 new players now.

Credit where credits due. Tim Howard also had a good game today. With the saves he made and the chances they squandered. I fancied us to sneak a goal and a win.

Craig Fletcher
10 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:29:22
Decent point. We were poor, but fortunately Spurs were almost as bad. On the bright side, we've been to Southampton and Spurs so far this season, two places where historically we rarely get a result, and we haven't conceded a goal.

Get well soon, Tom.

Mark Riding
12 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:31:34
Wow, the Ref gave us EVERYTHING today.

Solid display that.

Jack Collins
13 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:34:07
That was very difficult to watch! Kone was actually the best outfield player today! All credit must go to Howard though. Had a cracking game and undoubtedly saved us in that game!

Passing was poor, resorted to far too many long, hopeful and aimless punts upfield. How Barry was playing is beyond me. I think Kone has deserved his place in the team, but for crying out loud if he's gonna play, play him up front for fuck sake! This was all very reminiscent of a Moyes performance, including the cameo of Naismith on the right wing.

Shame about Cleverley, who was beginning to win me over a little with his 'decent' performances. I would rather him or Besic in the Barry role! It will most likely set him back some way depending on the severity of his injury, which hopefully isn't too bad.

Overall, we were shocking!!! It was a mismatch to play a centre-mid and a stringer in the wing positions. We were fortunate to get a point in truth. Passing and movement needs to be crisper, with a higher tempo.

We didn't close down all day either which suggests we were set up for the counter attack... but, if that is the case, team selection was wrong as we had no pace. Lukaku CANNOT play as a hold-up striker with such a poor touch and passing. Always at his most effective facing goal. Naismith on before Deulofeu was ridiculous as well!

Alan Bodell
14 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:35:56
Mark, #9. couldn't believe for once a ref. gave us equality away from home, about fucking time.
Kone played a blinder, Barry got his usual and a decent point - oh and Tim plays so much better without that beard.
Alan Humphreys
15 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:36:18
Takes off Lukaku and brings on little Naismith and then Deulofeu to put the crosses in. Admittedly Lukaku played 2hrs on Wednesday but surely we cant say he exerted himself too much in the first 45mins of the Barnsley game.

Think he'd have buried the Kone header chance.

Craig Fletcher
16 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:37:42
Mark (9) haha yes..... I liked this ref.
Roger Sunde
17 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:41:02
Lucky draw... but wow! Stones was impressive considering the insane pressure. This kid is something special.
Craig Fletcher
18 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:43:16
On another note, that had to be one of Gareth Barry's worst performances in an Everton shirt. Howard and Kone were excellent, and Barkley always seemed lively too. Jags, Stones and Coleman were defensively sound, while Oviedo was very ring-rusty still. Cleverly good until his injury, Miralles and Lukaku were hardly in the game.
Peter Lee
19 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:46:15
Can someone tell me what a Number 10 should do?? Frame it around Silva's performance last week if you like, and then explain how Ross Barkley fits the bill?

Then can someone tell me where Ross should play, preferably by completing the following sentence: "Ross Barkley should play behind the main striker because he has... [name attributes]."

He gave us no control in the central areas today and in the last 20 minutes, when both sides were struggling, Leon Osman would have been a great sub who could have done that 10 metres further up and have been untacklable given their bookings. Ossie wasn't on the bench, I know, but Steven Naismith could have done similar.

Fair play to John Stones who did a thoroughly professional job at the end of a tough week for a young man away from his family in difficult circumstances.

Ged Simpson
20 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:46:38
I think we looked more dangerous when Naismith came on
Dave Lynch
21 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:46:55
I thought that was piss poor.

Desperate defending, no creativity going forward, gave the ball away constantly and hardly a shot on target all game.

Thank god for Howard and the ref. jagielka's distribution is absolutely shite and he has no leadership skills whatsoever.

MOM for me was Kone followed by Oviedo.

Al Reddish
22 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:56:00
For a team that plays with two DM's, we are very open in midfield and offer our defenders little protection. I thought Lukaku was awful today and despite my reservations, swapping him for Naismith was a good sub and we certainly rattled Spurs after that. We should have made that sub earlier maybe? Overall a point away at Spurs is a very good point and a well earned clean sheet will give us some confidence at the back.
Trevor Peers
23 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:57:13
Mid-table performance by a mid-table team, Kone did play well but he runs out of gas after 45 mins. The tactics never change always the possession mantra, awful even with good players unbearable with average ones.

Howard won us a precious point he was outstanding, Robles will never even come close to having his ability, only in his dreams. Sad to see Cleverley get hacked down by that thug Dier, he should of been sent off for sure at some point in the game.

Drew Shortis
24 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:58:37
I'll settle for the point after that performance. For me Martinez should have given Deulofeu at least half an hour. We were crying out for someone who could whip in a few crosses for Kone and Naismith to attack. I don't know why he left it so late (fitness?). Howard was brilliant today but it was Spurs poor finishing and anxious attacking, plus some assistance from the ref that saved us.
Peter Morris
25 Posted 29/08/2015 at 19:59:56
Kone's touch was much better than it has been(that said Lukaku was back to his brooding worst), but Kone lacks both pace and stamina, so fades badly, and using him to protect the full backs gets really undermined and exposed particularly as the game wears on. It happened against Man City, and a couple of time today too.
Offensively, very unambitious, after a good 10 minutes when we stroked the ball around tidily.
Not a bad day all round though, what fun at Anfield, and those rats in West London got rolled as well.
John Raftery
26 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:00:02
Solid, professional display from the Blues. Tim Howard definitely man of the match but they all put in a shift in a fixture we often lose. That's four points from two away games which were both lost last season. Very happy with that especially after playing 120 minutes in midweek. Great support for John Stones from the away section.
John Daley
27 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:00:14
"Takes off Lukaku....Think he'd have buried the Kone header chance."

The choice to leave Kone on over Lukaku was the right decision on the basis of their contrasting performances today. Lukaku was at his infuriating, disinterested, been dunked in 'slip and slide lube' laziest. Kone, on the other hand, provided the work rate and hold up play his team mate was either incapable of or couldn't be arsed providing.

Naismith, for all his limitations, at least gave the Spurs defence something to think about and was more of a physical nuisance than his bigger, stronger, faster, younger teammate.

As for Lukaku converting the headed chance Kone sent narrowly wide? If the rest of the game was anything to go by, then I doubt Lukaku would have shown a similar level of desire to even make the run in the first place.

Mark Riding
28 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:01:26
Mark Tanton
29 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:01:28
So according to Roberto... One in before Tuesday. One. Unbelievable.
Dave Pritchard
30 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:01:29
Happy with a point but not the display. Only Howard, and to a lesser extent Kone, can be happy with their performance.
Tony Twist
31 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:02:23
Poor today. We really need a midfield general to boss not only the opposition but also this Everton team of poor footballers. Someone like a Peter Reid or, dare I say it, Steve McMahon. Well done to Slaven Bilic today, made my day unlike Everton.
Al Reddish
32 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:02:42
One.......what happened to the 2 attackers?
John Jones
33 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:03:57
I will take a point at White Heart Lane; not many teams this season will go there and come away with anything, So a point gained; we nearly nicked it at the end. Martinez had a game plan and it sort of worked.

I agree with the other comments on here: Barry had a shocker and, for me, Oveido is not good enough. They had some great chances and Howard more than made up for last week. I wondered why Besic didn't come on for Barry.

I hope Cleverley is OK, he really got us going in the first half when we were right under the cosh. He was chasing everything.

Jim Hardin
34 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:05:41
Howard MOM? Three points saved against us and one earned for us.
A few of our key players looked like they were feeling the effects of the Barnsley game with having to fight back and then extra time. A point is better than nothing and the effort was good if not consistent.
Phil Walling
35 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:05:47
Watched the game with a group of Spurs fans who seemed to hold me responsible for the ref's apparent bias in our favour!

I thought we did okay today at a ground where we rarely get a sniff. Tim was brilliant, Kone had his best game, and Stones handled the occasion well. It was also encouraging to see Oviedo playing himself back into action after all his misfortunes.

I still think we are crying out for someone with Osman's creativity and perhaps, that will be 'the one more' Roberto referred to after the game.

Mark Tanton
36 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:05:50
And what happened to the six he talked about this time last year? I embarrassed that I put my faith in them every time. Did anyone else clock how sheepish he was? Because he knows he's gone back on his word.

I wonder what else he might go back on before Tuesday?

Dominic Tonge
37 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:09:30
I was very underwhelmed there, I thought Oviedo was a mile off , before I get ripped to bits I get he has been injured but he is not up to scratch. Rom for Naismith seemed an odd change, Gareth Barry looked exposed and I thought that Mo Besic might have done a better job. On reflection a clean sheet and a point is ok but one more example where a number 10 to get on the ball and vary the dynamic and tempo of the transition into the final third being sadly lacking. Hope TC's injury is not as bad as it looked.
Chris Wilson
38 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:10:53
From the Daily Mirror's "Five Things We Learned" From The Everton-Tottenham match -

"1. Stones will benefit from staying and playing

The Chelsea target wanted away this week but he will learn more in another season with Everton captain Phil Jagielka. The latter is the best centre-back in their team. Stones had a quiet game – probably welcome after the last few days."

"5. Everton's away fans are the best in the league

There was a party atmosphere in a corner of White Hart Lane with the travelling support belting out: "Money can't buy me Stones” to the Beatles tune for most of the first half. Accompanied by the less poetic“**** off Mourinho!”

Mark Riding
39 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:12:11
Your joking right ? Moaning for moanings sake.

Cracking point.

Your agenda for Martnez out, is miles off.

Sam Hoare
40 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:15:53
Match ratings from my perspective:

Howard: 9- Top drawer and almost singlehandedly got us a point.

Coleman: 8- Probably the best of our back 4. Want to see him take on his man a bit more but did well.

Stones: 7- Looked considerably less perky than usual and was brushed off once or twice but did OK for the most part.

Jagielka: 5- Worst i've seen him for a long while. Beaten in the air and ground and terrible distribution. Won't be getting back into England team on that form.

Oviedo: 7- Despite looking knackered after 10 mins actually got better as it went on. Defended reasonably solidly, blocked a few crosses and put in the one that was probably our best chance of the match.

Barry: 5- Poor from Gareth. Bad touches gave them a couple of chances and his passing was less reliable than usual. Should surely not be playing 2 matches in a week. Will he get dropped? No.

McCarthy: 6- Not much better than his partner. Covered ground and did put in some good tackles but somehow the defense is always left exposed and he doesn't create much either.

Kone: 8- Thought he did very wll for the most part. Good movement and able to hold onto the ball in tight spots pretty well. Not as quick or sharp as he used to be but still offers something and had our best chance with a good run behind defence and a header just wide.

Barkley: 8- Very tidy tonight and showed much better awareness and decision making. Wasn't quite able to make the breakthrough against a tough defence with his main striker failing to hold onto it but always looked bright and a definite cause for optimism. Is Barkley back?

Cleverley: 7- Looked quietly effective untill taken off. Fingers crossed Tom but not sure we will see you for a while. Good luck.

Lukaku: 5- Pretty woeful. Did not get alot of service but we were mainly unable to build because he lost the ball so much with poor first touches or headers to no-one. Must do a lot better if we are to challenge top 6.


Mirallas: 6- Barely remember a significant contribution. Tracked back a fair bit at least.

Naismith: 7- Injected some much needed urgency and spikiness that rattled Spurs and had us playing better. Not my favourite player but has an infectious energy.

Del Boy: n/a

Martinez: 6- Not quite right tonight. Things needed changing sooner and the whole organisation seemed off. Perhaps the lads were tired but they did not seem well motivated. A decent if somewhat fortuitous point.

David Greenwood
41 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:17:12
Well said Mark.

Dominic, did we improve after Naismith came on for Rom? Yes we did. Oviedo was good, don't know what you are getting at. Jeezus.

You are spot on about Barry though.

Chris Wilson
43 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:19:22
I get what you're saying Dominic (29) about Oviedo, but I honestly think he was the very last and only option we had so he had to play him. I tip my hat to him; two games in a week after missing so many before, and one of those a full 2 hours. I thought he was struggling after 20 minutes. Speed wasn't there, but maybe it will get there as he keeps getting those legs muscles to strengthen. The international break comes at a very good time for him. But it could be almost a full season before we see him really resemble his form from two years ago.

Besic, was cramping up the other night and played the full match. He might have needed extra recovery time and was on the bench to fill the numbers. No idea where Osman is. But, you'll probably get more Besic with Cleverley's injury.

Paul Andrews
44 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:20:12
We got bullied all over the pitch. Besic should have been on to give a bit back. Lukaku deserved to be taken off; one of his less aggressive performances. He allowed Danny Rose to knock him around.

Kone was the MotM for me.

Bill Gall
45 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:20:46
Back to the keeping possession that allows the opposition to get back and stop forward movements. If the one more player coming in is not a quality #10 that can open up defenses, then all the praise that B.K. and Martinez received for the handling of the Stones fiasco, it can go out the window.

I am not saying it will be easy, but how many more seasons do we have to endure, until some one at Everton realize that this area needs, and has needed for a couple of seasons, to be resolved. Surely considering the miserly amount of money we have spent so far ,there must be enough money available to purchase someone that will be able to fit in this position.

Jimmy Sørheim
46 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:21:50
I have been pleased with RM with the Stones saga, but his transfer activity is really below par in my view. I was no huge fan of Moyes in the end, but he at least got quality most of the time.

If Mori is our big defender to replace Distin, then we are in trouble. One can always stay positive, but with Martinez it is clear that he is average at best with transfer dealings.

Howard saved us today, and if we had taken Barnsley seriously from the start, then we would not have the tired legs out there today.

Raymond Fox
47 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:23:06
I would have taken a point before the game.
They were evens to win it.

Cleverly injury is a big loss for us though.
We badly need a replacement for him if the injury is as bad as it sounds.

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:23:23
Good assessment of the two forwards today John.

Tony, I've been saying for ages that Everton, lack a leader, a fetch and carry midfielder could turn us into a top team.

Could Ross Barkley, be that player. someone to speed us up from deep, instead of the constant slowing us down, of both Barry and McCarthy.

I think Darren Hind called the summer right when he said we wouldn't bring in a number ten, unless it was on loan. so on that basis I would still like Janazi, to give us a bit more balance, through the middle.

Good point from a poor performance, we have to thank the goalkeeper for that today.

Stephen Brown
49 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:29:25
The 'money cant buy you Stones'chant at the game is genius! Should be good against Chelsea! It's on Twitter if you haven't seen it!
Paul Thompson
50 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:30:27
3 of the frequent whipping boys on this site saved our bacon today - Howard, Kone and Naismith. Barkley also did ok. But some much of our play was predictable and sloppy. And if it's now down to 'one in', I can't see it changing much.
Mark Riding
51 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:30:42
stephen, I posted the link above..
Mark Riding
52 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:31:26
Mark Riding
54 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:31:59
Again, if you missed it..
Mike Oates
56 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:36:52
Naismith came on and stirred things up as he always does and things went our way for a while. Both Lukaku and Kone are too nice, Lukaku today was poor, first touch absolutely terrible , but again starved of service. Barkley is either huge or poor, too many poor passes today, too slow.

Thought Jags looked scared of Kane , his pace and movement was too much for Jags.

We desperately need another goalscorer and this elusive No 10, but I suspect we won't get either

Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:36:53
If it's down to one in, then the money must have deffo been there all summer Phil!

My money would be on Lennon, especially now that old Beatles Classic, is gonna start getting belted out.

Chris Wilson
58 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:37:58
Chelsea fans reacting to "Money Can't Buy John Stones" chant. Typical responses are "LOL, he wanted to leave." "Money can't buy you a win apparently" (that guy didn't think that one through), and my personal favorite, "Classless classless Everton".

There were so many more. God, I wish somebody would freeze Ambramovich's assets for some reason, and cut off their money. London would flood with Chelsea tears.

Mark Riding
60 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:40:40
Chris, they have still been relagated from the top division, more times than they have won it. Won't last long that stat, but I love it.
Stephen Brown
61 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:48:55
Sorry Mark I missed that earlier!
Colin Glassar
63 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:52:01
Just watched the (recorded) game, I shouldn't have bothered. They were there for the taking but we lacked adventure, creativity and desire (tired legs?). Bit of a non event really but a point at WHL is always a decent point.

I expect Chelsea will try once more for Stonesy (cool as a cucumber) but will be told to sod off again, despite what his media lackeys think. We desperately need that MF general who can control the tempo and organise things. Roberto said one more player to come in. I hope he's that MF general we need.

Peter Morris
64 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:54:39
London wouldn't flood with tears mate because there aren't enough of them there. I lived in what should be their catchment area of Surrey,NE Hants, Berks and West London for 11 years and more people followed rugby at The Stoop, Twickers etc than Chelsea. Their hard core support was mostly shaven headed, bejewelled yobs who got off beating up away supporters. The money has changed all that. The fan base has become very 'Surrey' and gentrified, a bit like Old Trafford minus the tourists.
David Greenwood
65 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:56:13
Any clues on who that number 10 might be Colin? I think Yarmalenko will rock up soon, where is that at the moment? Sergio Roberto?
Mark Tanton
66 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:57:03
Colin what did you think about this "one more player" disclosure? Why has he yet again downgraded his plans? Genuinely what is the point of keeping Stones if this is the level of investment and building going on?

On the game today, I think Everton are toughening up a bit. This is most welcome.

Trevor Peers
67 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:57:06
Not a Jose hater myself, he often worked it right up the red shite on many a big occasion and I thank him for it. Stones is still a blues player after all.

Much more interested in our problems which are legion and never seen to be addressed. Starting with our alarming lack of creativity which makes watching Everton about as interesting as paint drying.

David Hallwood
68 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:59:08
It wasn't like that in the 80's Peter(#49) they were one of the nastiest crews around. Horrible bastards
David K Shaw
69 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:59:57
Anyone else see Mori on the bench? Looks like that's a done deal and just waiting on the admin?
Al Reddish
70 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:03:40
Maybe the 'one more in' has been slipped in there as the board will be convinced keeping Stones will make us all so happy we won't notice their usual lack of ambition.
John Paul McGurk
71 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:04:14
Barry needs sold if we can get some money. Lost count of the mistakes he made. Why did Gerry only get 6 mins after his 3 assists on Wed. Roberto should go to specsavers
Mark Tanton
72 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:06:25
It struck me as a very sheepish, guilty Roberto who squirmed and shuffled and looked off to the side as he issued his rather grubby sneaky "one more" statement. My blood boils over this club, it really does.
Andrew Clare
73 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:06:54
A very good hard fought point. I thought Spurs were very physical to the point of being 'dirty'. We really held our own out there.
I can sense a definite change in the mental attitude of the team. Very encouraging.
We do need that creative player though. Not sure if it's going to happen .
Chris Wilson
74 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:08:50
The way our luck has been going with getting Gerry subbed on, Roberto neds to learn that if you want 10 minutes of GD, then get up with at least 15 min to go. Might consider doing it earlier though.
Stephen Brown
75 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:15:29
Decent point at Spurs. If we can get 4 points from next two games we can then say we have had a good start.
Barry has been a good player and is handy to keep in the squad but he can't now be considered first choice and almost undropable. He really looked his age today and I can see him getting sent off a few times this season. I'm not sure Besic and Mccarthey could play together ? Or is it time to give Ross more responsibility in the middle, particularly if we sign a new no 10?!
Special mention to Tim Howard - looking a lot more solid this year!
Al Reddish
76 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:16:15
If the 'one more' is a fantastic marquee signing then all well and good. It'll probably be Lennon on loan though.
Dave Abrahams
77 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:19:14
Good result, poor performance, Lukaku and Mirralis, were they on a work to rule, terrible the pair of them, is McCarthy fit, he's done nothing all season.

Howard man of the match, it looks like my waiting for the end of the transfer window has been a wait in vain if only one man is coming in,Kenwright I hope this is wrong, because there should be some money somewhere, is it worth waiting until Tuesday or is there really nothing to look forward to.

Colin Glassar
78 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:20:51
We've spent less than £10m this window. Surely even BK can scrape together £10-15m to find a upcoming Serb or Croat MF player in the Modric mode? I read during the summer that there are about three shit hot young Balkan players who are relatively cheap.

If, after this window closes, all we've bought are Del, Mori, Henen and Leandro then the 'Sack the board' protests need to start in earnest. Absolutely disgraceful this state of affairs.

Jamie Barlow
79 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:22:28
Barry had a bad game but has played well this season. Calls to bin him are out of order. Same for Naismith. Give me the Naismith of today over the Lukaku of today any day of the week.

Howard or Kone Motm for me.

Chris Wilson
80 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:23:44
Well, we don't know the behind the scenes situation. Maybe somebody looked like a potential target, and then the other club or player changed the price, or changed their mind.

A lot of things shake up on deadline day. Remember Roberto's first season; Chelsea decided on that day, I think, to let Rom go on loan. And he almost went back to WBA until we stepped in. Barry wasn't made available until the last moment, we sold Fellani on deadline day, then quickly grabbed McCarthy.

Let's just see what happens. I have a feeling we might grab somebody that was completely off the rumors grid.

Let's just make sure everyone brings their blue dildo for the Sky cameras on Tuesday.

Jay Wood
81 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:23:57
I pretty much concur with your ratings and evaluations Sam#32

Tim and Kone were the pick of our players and Ross had another good game, albeit with 1-2 (non-critical) errors. He has started the season very well and is looking an exciting talent again.

We started the game well, Spurs gained ascendency by half time and continued on top in the 2nd half, but we finished the stronger. Another positive in comparison to last season's lethargic start. We look fitter and far more able to endure the full 90 minutes, rather than only 70 minutes.

I was concerned with how Stones would play given recent events and the stamina of Oviedo, but John was sound and Bryan ok, but clearly still working himself back to full fitness. He still doesn't display the speedy high octane performance we know he had before the leg break.

Jags was very poor, with Barry not much better - 2 players you can usually rely on to perform better. McCarthy again contributed little, even in his primary defensive role. Naismith was brilliant as the nark, ruffling feathers and winning free kicks all over the park.

Sad for Tom. He's played well since arriving. I hope it's not as bad as it first appears.

Not a pretty performance, but for all the time spent under the cosh, away from home against a serious opponent, a clean sheet and a point is a decent return.

Everton's last 6 away games in the PL now reads W3 D2 L1.


Mark Tanton
82 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:25:50
I agree Colin, the fan base was being taken for granted. Now it's treated with nothing but contempt.
Tony Hill
83 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:29:23
Yes it is a disgraceful state of affairs, Colin, if we do not spend more than this paltry sum. It will show that there is indeed something badly amiss with our finances, for reasons which remain opaque.

Let's see though what happens by 6pm Tuesday.

Jim Bennings
84 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:30:47
Good character to get a good result at White Hart Lane!

There seems to be a bit more steel there this season, if only we had a Yarmolenko!

Dave Pritchard
85 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:31:39
I think we should have brought Mirallas on.
Craig Mills
86 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:43:19
Poor show today, happy with a point away at Spurs but I feel an opportunity missed. If we had the energy to go at them I think the 3 points were there for the taking. A few points of note...

Howard definitely earned us that point
2 very poor displays from Jags in a week - needs to improve
Kone is getting better
We must support Lukaku up top, he was lost today

Still, 5 points from 4 pretty tough games, I'd be really happy with another 5 from the next 4

Matt Muzi
87 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:44:16
Happy with a point, but disappointed, because if we had been on our game we could of got something there I feel today.

They really aren't the same team without Eriksson, which brings me to my point in chief. We need a someone in midfield to take charge & who can pass the ball/create.

Barry for me is a spent force he is too slow, he's becoming the same type of player as Gerrard was for the Kopites last season.

Yarmolenko would of been the sort of player we needed, but I wonder whether the entire saga was all smoke and mirrors from the club, was there ever a possibility of him coming?

Our current spending this window is pitiful, I'd like to think we could bring in a couple of players in, not one & one needs to be a marquee signing for me.

Milos Milenkovic
88 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:45:12
Sorry Michael, but I don't think that determined defending earn us a point, actually our defending was very, very poor. It was fantastic performance by Tim Howard that brought us point and if it wasn't for him it would be probably heavy defeat. It was another bad game Everton and another bad game for Roberto Martinez. I will never understand his obsession to play with two defensive midfielders and people out of position. We should have go on and attack Spurs, but same again, like against City we almost didn't create a chance for 90 minutes. Team with Lukaku, Mirallas, Deulofeu, Barkley, Coleman etc. to be so ineffective suggests that they are wrongly organized.
Barry-McCarthy in the same team is like playing with 10 men. With them in the team plus Cleverley and Kone in their unusual positions it really doesn't matter if we keep Stones and Coleman. We can sell them both, because with this tactic we don't have any chance to do something big.
Martin Mason
89 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:49:39
A very poor visual performance but we're grinding out results and that is maybe how we'll get better bit by bit. The major disappointments were Barry (how does he get into our team on any other basis than he was once good), Lukaku who should have been taken off at half time and McCarthy who I think with Barry is an anchor around the neck of the team due to their total lack of constructive impact. Howard saved our asses and shame on those who constantly criticise the guy, he is superb.

Overall I'd say a real disappointment compared with expectations because these are the games we must expect to win especially when Spurs are on a downer, today we made them at times look great and at times as awful as we were. I have never seen two teams give the ball away so often in one game although that is one area where we outclassed them. There was one period where we had 65% of the possession, if there is a more meaningless metric I don't know what it is.

I used to blame Martinez for his mind numbingly awful tactics but I realise that even he can't make them so poor that they constantly turn the ball over under no pressure. The worst thing? Despite the excitement of both teams giving the ball away at will it was a pretty awful game.

What about our defence? My opinion is that the weakness in our defence is the incompetence of our defensive midfielders not the back four.

Clive Rogers
90 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:52:41
Dave, we did.
John Brennan
91 Posted 29/08/2015 at 21:58:31
Havent read all the comments, but I disagree we were poor.
I thought we were decent, but Lukaku let us down with his dreadful control.
Martinez was right to sub him because if he hadnt, we could well have gone at least one down.
Thought Barkley could have produced more, and maybe Kone could have not given the ball away as much as he did, but all in all, not too bad a performance.
Onwards to a victory over Chelsea.
John Daley
92 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:00:35
"Moaning for moanings sake...Cracking point...Your agenda for Martnez out, is miles off."


It was obviously a point and a welcome one. To proclaim it a 'cracking point' is probably going a bit far though. Spurs haven't really got going so far this season and, yet for the goalkeeper coming over all 'go, go gadget legs' and giving his best performance for some time, they could have been out of sight early in the second half without ever really breaking sweat.

We didn't offer any concerted attacking threat, as the vast majority of our approach play was undertaken at a meandering walking pace, and our defenders were once again too easily put under pressure by meat and drink balls directly down the middle.

We stuck at it, were always in the game right up until the final whistle and could've even sneaked it, but the same old problems and deficiencies that plagued this side last season were still very much in evidence again today. The fact Spurs proved incapable of profiting on them had as much to do with the point gained as did the performances of our own players.

I certainly don't have an anti-Martinez agenda and have defended him on these pages numerous times, but it's long overdue for him to remove the scales from his eyes when it comes to the strengths and weaknesses of certain players and their suitability to play a particular style of football.

The only time we ever look a threat capable of worrying any team is when we go forward with urgency or break at pace. It's the only time Lukaku (our £28m record signing let's not forget) looks comfortable leading the line. It's the only time we witness any movement into space from our attacking players and the resulting creation of room for Ross to drive forward without being instantly crowded out. We don't have anyone with the nous or 'through the eye of the needle' passing ability to create chances when we're operating at a crawling pace.

The first step towards eradicating our dreary, dawdling, dancing about in front of ten defenders before losing it and having to leg it back default mode, has got to be the long overdue ditching of the double defensive midfield roles. What exactly does it offer us at this moment in time? It's not like it makes us any more solid or difficult to break down. It merely encourages pointless possession deep in our own half, delays any forward movement until the entire opposition team is dug in and back in their defined defensive positions, and it also leaves a huge swathe of space slap bang in the middle of the pitch that has caused us to be exposed numerous times by a bit of direct running or early closing down.

Despite it's inherent deficincies, we're destined to watch it being deployed for the duration of the season and, for me at least, that's a depressing prospect.

Nicholas Ryan
93 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:07:09
No matter whether we were good, bad or indifferent; a point away at Spurs can never be a bad result.
Paul Smith
94 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:07:53
John Daley has nailed it.

Only difference for me so far this season is the improvement of Ross and Aruna.

Same tactics and shortcomings and deluded after match ramblings. I approve of Martinez's building from a young base but what's the point when his tactics are shit?

Tommy Hesketh
95 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:09:22
Just came across this and it's definitely worth a watch, for those who may never have seen a successful Everton side....

Colin Glassar
96 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:11:13
At least we can enjoy watching motd can't we? We will be on last but we can watch the rs and chavs squirm a bit.

I wonder if they will have an update about creasehead's latest activities in the states? I saw yesterday, on the BBC website, that creasehead took his kids to a concert and had "a smashing time". Really? I'm mean, really? Pathetic.

Dave Pritchard
97 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:13:43
John (77) I agree with your comments entirely.

Clive (75) Irony is lost on you

Andy Crooks
98 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:17:05
Good post, John. After the Barnsley game, Naismith said we started to play well when we wete more direct. Now, no one suggests Martinez should turn into Howard Wilkinson but his guileless adherence to a worn out philosophy, totally unsuited to his players is utterly bewildering and depressing.

Martin # 74, I agree with your post apart from your comments about Tim Howard. He was superb today. Last week I believe he cost us the match. I feel no shame in that. I have never berated a player at a game, ever. However, I believe it is fair enough on a forum like this.Why should our views as supporters be so entrenched that we cannot moan at the crap( our coaches outdated tactics) and praise the good( his dignified dismissal of Chelsea).

Oliver Molloy
99 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:18:48
Disappointed with the way we played but we got a point thanks to Howard.
For me, I would had Barry off at half time and Besic on.
It was no surprise that we started to show up when Naismith came on. If the rest of the side showed this man's determination and got stuck in like him we would be a feared and better side.
I don't agree pith those they say Big Rom is isolated on his own,it's up to him to at least make something happen. He looked disinterested and once again lost the battle against a quality centre half, let's all hope he is storing up any aggression for the visit of his former employers when they visit Goodison on the 12th.
Deulofeu needs more than 10 mins to make the desired impact on a game in my opinion.
Oviedo second full game in a week will stand him in good stead.
If I being very harsh I reckon Kone should have scored with his header chance.
Phil Malone Jnr
100 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:23:34
Denis Praet
Saido Berahino
Yarmolenko (not going anywhere)
Ivan Persic (looks like Inter)
Max Meyer
Lucas Ocampos
Carlos Vela (Better player since leaving arse)
Marco Reus

Aaron Lennon
Adnan Januzaj
De Guzman
Nolito (Average)
Anyone that Martinez says is "world class and one for the future"

John Raftery
101 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:46:21
People tend to underestimate the effort put in by the front players in pulling us out of the soup on Wednesday. With only two days rest and against a Spurs side who were desperate to record their first win of the season this was a game when we just had to dig in for any kind of result. In the previous 46 league games against Spurs we have had only 8 victories, 7 of those coming during the Moyes era. Spurs always fancy their chances against us so this was a point gained especially after losing Cleverley in the first half. We needed to be pragmatic today and I for one am pleased that Roberto adopted the tactics required for what is always a difficult fixture.
Milos Milenkovic
103 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:50:03
Andy #83, Howard didn't cost us point last week. He saved us equally as he did today with several great saves and finally he conceded the goal after another one on one situation. Our defense and players in front of them are not protecting Howard well. I am afraid that this point and "good defeat" against City are giving false impression that we are doing well.
Steve Barr
104 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:51:58
Tommy @#80, watching that is going to depress our younger fans given what we have seen so far this season and the whole of last season.

I remember that season and the previous league winning and European Cup Winners Cup Winners season so well.

I've given up trying to fathom this current state of affairs. Can't be down to just the money. Other teams are unearthing some excellent players and young and exciting managers.

Palace today is a good example, and look at Bournemouth and Swansea's rise through the ranks. The lack of money was not allowed to be an excuse for defeatism by these clubs, and compared to our progress over a similar period of time we have stagnated against what they have achieved.

Something stinks, and I think we know what it is.

Jay Harris
105 Posted 29/08/2015 at 22:55:43
Thought we started off well and gradually faded.

The real concern for me which seems to be a hallmark of this manager is the way we stand off particularly in MF and we never trouble the opposing GK.

Another point of concern for me was Roerto's statement of "We hope to get one more in" before the deadline.

I hope he is talking about a "marquee" signing and not Mori.

Zac Farbrother
106 Posted 29/08/2015 at 23:04:51
🎶Martinez says he's not for sale, they're not satisfied, Chelsea want those kind of things, that money just can't buy! I don't care toooo, much for money, cos money can't buy you Stones, can't buy you Stonessss!🎶

Fans showed great support tonight, we made it throughly enjoyable despite the boring football!

Peter Laing
107 Posted 29/08/2015 at 23:05:53
I don't care too much for can't buy you stones......can't buy you stones ..,...can't buy you can't buy you stones
Joe Edwards
108 Posted 29/08/2015 at 23:31:12
Was I watching a different game to your reporter? Resolute defending? It was a total fucking shambles with a clean sheet solely down to Howard having one of his best games for many a year.

Kane allowed to run in on a one on one, Howard tipping over the bar on three occasions and making point blank saves on many more. Martinez got his tactics (does he even have any?) wrong again. Who replaces two strikers with two wingers? Believe me this is going to be another season of frustration and mediocrity coupled with more sound bites from Martinez.
Ciaran Duff
109 Posted 29/08/2015 at 23:53:47
Before the game I would certainly have taken a point especially with the Stones saga and before the International break. RS and Chelski losing a bonus too.
Barry Morrison
110 Posted 30/08/2015 at 00:12:21
Ssssh Ciaran, you're ruining the music...
Si Cooper
113 Posted 29/08/2015 at 00:49:48
Contrast between what happened when our defenders received the ball from the keeper and theirs was striking.
We were harried and pressed into poor passes, whilst they strolled upfield virtually unopposed. That isn't just down to the attackers though. Everyone in front of our back four needed to work harder to disrupt their build-up play.
The possession play wasn't a problem, but the way it too often petered out without them having to stretch themselves was hugely annoying. Some of the players need to be more adventurous more of the time (they obviously aren't forbidden from doing it otherwise we would never attack).
We had good possession deep into added on time in first half and the players didn't even try to play it into the box. When the player's are out of sorts they seem to resort to being too safety first and that can't be all down to following manager's orders.
Eric Myles
114 Posted 30/08/2015 at 01:23:55
Colin #81, what annoys me is the beeb have his picture for the Team of the Week link.

Are they deliberately trying to wind people up or just morons?

Jim Hardin
115 Posted 30/08/2015 at 02:45:24
Thank you Milos. I still do not understand how any sane person can claim that any GK (To appease Gavin, I won't mention a certain USA GK) can cost his team the match when his team doesn't score a goal. Maybe our soccer over here is different but even MLS doesn't award three points for a zero score.

Don't care if it was Howard or the defense or the mids or the entire team, I am not too upset over taking only a point from Spurs. Now my Everton son and I are meeting my other son, the Spurs fan, to listen to the excuses that he will make. He was predicting a 3-1 victory to Spurs before the match. Petty maybe, but fun certainly.

Ernie Baywood
116 Posted 30/08/2015 at 03:31:34
Point away at Spurs is decent. People need to get past this view that only Everton influence a game. When we're good - our efforts. When we're bad - our fault. There are two teams out there and today was an example of them being closely matched.

Rom's off day wasn't really an off day. It was pretty much par for when he comes up against two decent centre backs. Move someone alongside him, move him wide, or simply move him off the pitch. He toiled away and ultimately got wound up before being subbed. Not the actions of a man not trying - it's a bloke being played to his weaknesses.

Other than that we were ok. Set up to contain but Spurs didn't particularly over commit. Could have gone more attacking but who knows whether that would have played into their hands.

As I said, decent point. You have to acknowledge Spurs aren't a bad side.

Paul Ward
117 Posted 30/08/2015 at 04:55:01
(Milos Millenkovic 73) Correct call, stating defence did not save us, it was Tim Howard's flawless display. For once Howard's all round game was very good. We still play the same Martinez drab tippy tappy tactics with the same unbalanced line up. The softness and lack of determination of our players make our opponents look very physical. You would swear at this early stage of the season we were preparing to get the fair play spot in Europe. As important as points are, to be satisfied with that performance is kidding yourself that things have changed from last season.
Michael Penley
118 Posted 30/08/2015 at 05:24:28
Full credit to Howard for his performance (how often can you say that?), but I didn't really appreciate his triumphant clenched fist at the full-time whistle. No one should be happy with a draw, even a 'good' one.
James Marshall
119 Posted 30/08/2015 at 06:20:27
Lots of humping the ball up top and giving it back to Spurs over & over again.

We still lack a cutting edge in possession.

I'm still a big fan of Tim Howard (in a minority it seems).

Lukaku looked knackered after 120 minutes midweek.

A good point away at a filthy dirty team of thugs - Dier in particular should have walked.

The RS got thumped 3-0 at Mordor.

Mourinho looking glum after getting pumped at home by Palace.

All in all a decent afternoon really.

Eddie Dunn
120 Posted 30/08/2015 at 08:36:30
A wide range of opinions on here, and that is what this site is all about. I thought it was a very poor show.

Lukaku is so inconsistent, I know they crowded him, but he seems to have no idea how to drag opponents to make space for team-mates to exploit. His first touch was made of plutonium.

Kone, however showed intelligence, and his lay-offs were nicely weighted, and as for a comment above claiming that if Rom had got the headed chance it would have been in, well that is way out of order. It was an instinctive glance that was a gnat's whisker away from the far corner.

Coleman was repeatedly turned on his inside by Chadli. He allowed himself to be done 3 times by the same guy.

Jags couldn't cope either and although Oviedo improved as the game slowed, he showed why Martinez has been using a young centre-half instead.

Thank God for Tim Howard. He kept us in the game at St Mary's before we scored, he made a string of good stops against Man City, and he more than anyone earned us a point yesterday. He has upped his game after his slump of last season.

The biggest disappointment has to be our over-cautious manager. If we has got some width on earlier, we may have won the game. I saw a bit of the hammers charging down the right wing at Anfield, and saw a bit of Palace running the channels at pace and terrorising Chelsea. They won away counter-attacking with real pace. Most of our pace was kept on the bench for far too long. We can't defend properly with the two screening centre-mids, we might as well sacrifice one of them and play with some width.

The Stones issue has masked the fact that we are not playing well. The win at St Mary's will be put into perspective when they get relegated, watch Norwich win there today.

We are just like last season. The only difference is that Barkley, Howard and Kone have started well. The transfer window has been a big let-down. We should have lost by 3 or 4 yesterday, and by 3 or 4 against City. We were 2 goals down to a League One team in midweek, so there is much to moan about, and keeping JS may well be a feather in Roberto's cap, but he needs to up his game if we are to compete with even West Ham and Palace.

John Jones
121 Posted 30/08/2015 at 08:54:42
My main viewpoint of the game now is that Lukaku has been well and truly managed out of the game by quality centre backs in the last to games. Both City and Spurs now have had him in there back pocket.

In games like this, he needs somebody close to him as it is apparent that he cannot hold the ball up. Kone was too far away from him. When he is running on to the ball the kid is unstoppable.

But Martinez went with a plan; when Naismith came on, I really thought we might nick it. I'm happy with a point as not many teams will pick up points there this season.

I was going to have a pop at Oviedo but I didn't watch the game midweek and didn't realize he played 120 minutes then so no wonder he looked knackered. I bet he is sore this morning.

Sam Hoare
122 Posted 30/08/2015 at 09:02:16
4 goals in 4 games and hardly any chances created in 3 of them.

We look at sea defensively and uncreative in final 3rd. The results have been decent but somehow it feels like the blueprints haven't changed. We definitely need a Yarmolenko type to inject some cutting edge and we have to see our forward players making better runs behind the defence (like Kone's for his header). Otherwise mid table awaits I fear...

James Marshall
123 Posted 30/08/2015 at 09:20:08
Well said Eddie - Martinez buys loads of wingers and then we play too narrow all the time. It makes no sense to me either!

Mirallas, Deulofeu, McGeady even, all full of pace yet not used enough. Yesterday Spurs were crying out to be countered for long periods but we just kept humping the ball forward, or playing sideways.

It was an odd game I thought. We seemed to be setup to counter like e did at Saints, but oddly didn't counter them at all. Strange.

Michael Ward
124 Posted 30/08/2015 at 09:21:40
Sam (#103), We have scored 10 goals in 5 games. 5 in 4 in the league, the only teams we haven't scored against are City (who haven't conceded yet his season) and Spurs away. We have also kept 2 clean sheets.

Given we have had a number of injuries both during and before the season and the fact out first choice CB has clearly been unsettled I am happy with the season so far. Let's make sure we get the No 10 and Funes Mori before the end of the window and get Mourinho the sack in our next game. Definitely "glass half-full" for me.

I also think in the main we have played well, although I agree with Lyndon's article in that Spurs were there for the taking yesterday and our counter attacking was poor. I am willing to put hay down to tiredness from the cup game on Wednesday.

Derek Knox
125 Posted 30/08/2015 at 09:28:01
Got to agree Sam@ 103, I thought that although Spurs woke up as the game progressed, and we weren't too bad, we could still have won the game.

Maybe only by a single goal (still 3 points), but again I feel that the substitutions and the timing of them, were a factor.

Why bring Delboy on with 7 mins plus injury, in the hope of him swinging the game. He should have had at least 30mins, when the game was increasingly looking like stalemate then.

Brian Harrison
126 Posted 30/08/2015 at 11:06:47
I have to agree that it was Howard who saved us and not any great defensive display. Had Spurs won 2 or 3 nil I don't think we could have complained.

My mate has started playing walking football and he tried explaining how it works but watching Lukaku yesterday I now understand what walking football is. Yet another very very ordinary display from McCarthy still waiting for him to have a good game this season.

I think if RM is going to persist in Lukaku and Kone playing then I suggest he swaps them over and plays Kone down the middle and Lazy Lukaku out wide. The only problem with that is I would hate to be the fullback playing behind Lukaku, as you would get no help defensively from him.

I am afraid possession football without penetration is useless and thats what RM is turning us into. A team more interested in possession than getting into the opponents penalty area.

Ian Cowhig
127 Posted 30/08/2015 at 11:30:00
Lot of Ifs, Buts and Maybes today. There were a number of times that I thought we looked dangerous on the attack. Only for it to lose momentum with a poor pass, control, or being out muscled.

Not sure about the substitutions and impact. Was going mad when Naismith came on, but then he had a positive impact. Kone was our best outfield player, and I am not sure who else Delboy would come on for. Don't believe Mirallas made any impact. But he was always going to replace Cleverley.

Delboy does need more time on the pitch. But Martinez needs to consider Cleverley for Barry in midfield for this to happen. Cleverley is doing well for us. But Villa fans have said he was better for them last year at CM.

I thought Barry was poor today. But can't see Martinez making the change soon. Howard was MotM today. How good would he be if his hands were as good as his legs when stopping the ball.

Harold Matthews
128 Posted 30/08/2015 at 11:39:21
I'm with John D #21 & 77. Top posts from an unbiassed thinker who watched the match and didn't miss much.
Raymond Fox
129 Posted 30/08/2015 at 12:18:09
We can attack at pace, the Southampton game proved that.

What we lack is a Silva type player with the ability and skill to make things happen in the middle of the field. When teams stay in front of us we struggle, we simply lack creativity.

Nobody's telling me that Martinez is going out of his way not to sign players, any manager would be crazy in that instance because they live or die by results. The reasons that seem most likely to me are that we are no longer attractive enough to players, or the manager has a limited budget once more!

If we only knew what Martinez has to spend things would be a lot clearer.

Mark Evans
130 Posted 30/08/2015 at 12:53:50
Why is it that we play with two defensive holding midfield players and our defence always seems under pressure? If not for Tim Howard, Spurs would have been out of sight by half time. Lukaku was too isolated and too deep and received no service. The build up was painfully slow again, lots of possession but no creativity or cutting edge.

There's no point bring on Deulofeu for the last ten minutes, he hardly had any time to make a difference. Apart from Cleverley's shot and Kone's header we hardly threatened. The Southampton game showed we've got it within us to take teams apart but yesterday just seemed like a blueprint of last season's style. Baffling I'm afraid, just can't get my head around RM's tactics.

Peter Morris
131 Posted 30/08/2015 at 12:59:30

You've played a blinder this week, but don't spoil the good work by referring tour our beloved club as a 'project'. Leave that horrible word to the greedy bastards who justify it to join one of the moneyed elite. Everton are much more than a project.

Amit Vithlani
132 Posted 30/08/2015 at 13:04:25
The root cause for me of our inability to play consistently well in successive games over the last 18 months has been the lack of confidence.

I attribute this to poor defensive organisation which means we have a tendency to drop deep when the oppo raise their tempo and come at us. We then try to retain possession in deep areas and are afraid to push up.

Sort out the back line and give the team a platform. McCarthy and Barry could become more confident and push up, breaking up play further up the field.

Mike Childs
133 Posted 30/08/2015 at 13:43:45
I got to watch the match this morning as I'm now working Saturday. Nothing much to add other than an apology to Howard who has obviously stepped up this year so far.

Until Martinez is gone we will be a boring team to watch most weekends. Maybe he should study Pardew's tactics?

James Marshall
134 Posted 30/08/2015 at 13:51:32
I still sometimes get the impression our players are a bit confused and do wonder if the manager overthinks things, and then passes this overthinking on to the players.

At times we defend way too deep, and other times we defend way too high - that pass yesterday to Kane a case in point. Jags & Stones were the last men and they were both standing in Spurs' half when the ball was played!

Sorry, but what the hell are they doing leave half the pitch wide open to run into? Again, it was only good goalkeeping that saved us.

There are times when we just seem to lack a gameplan, or we shift from one gameplan to another in the blink of an eye which is as confusing to watch as it must be to play in. Hungary '54 we ain't.

Harold Matthews
135 Posted 30/08/2015 at 13:54:16
Must say something about the first Harry Kane chance. How it came about. One word, "Jags".

He's done it at Goodison, he's done it at Anfield, He's done it at Old Trafford. He's even done it in Brazil.

He plays too high. Sometimes almost to the halfway line. The tremendous pace of Distin saved us on many occasions. Without him we have to be more careful but I'll be surprised if Jags alters his ways.

David Donnellan
136 Posted 30/08/2015 at 14:04:50
I would normally be happy with a point away at Spurs and, to a degree, I still am a little bit! But I can't help feeling that we could have nicked something yesterday. I didn't think Spurs were amazing yesterday, as we were definitely not either.

As mentioned numerous times on this thread, Howard was different class yesterday & definitely kept us in the game, his one save in particular, down low to his right & he got down and got a hand to it at point blank range was an amazing save. However, if Kane wasn't going through a goal drought as he is at present & short on confidence, I am sure he would have been clinical with at least one of his chances!

Our defence were cut open quite easily at times yesterday, it was embarrassing, still to defend that poorly & still get a clean sheet, I'll take that! I think Barry gave their forwards more chances than their own players did, he was definitely out of sorts yesterday!

I do think you can't ignore the fact that we played 120 mins away at Barnsley only a few days prior & then played away at Spurs yesterday, fatigue showed in a few of them, Jags, Lukaku & Oviedo (although I think he did okay yesterday). I don't know what Barry's or Coleman's excuses were though!

I totally agree with everyone on Deulofeu. I find that when coming on as a sub, it takes him a little time to get into the pace of the game & to find his touch & range. Bringing him on with 5-10 mins to go is totally pointless to me, he needs at least 20 mins if you are to get anything out of him, look what he did to Barnsley, albeit a lower calibre of opponent! Its a shame really, because Danny Rose is a converted winger playing at full back & not a very good one in my opinion, I think if we had got Deulofeu on earlier, he would have had Danny Rose on toast & I believe he could have been the difference to us nicking the game yesterday.

I will reluctantly settle for a point & we aren't in bad situation in the league table, but there needs to be a vast improvement, we have got quality players so it is within us, let's hope we do get a decent addition to the squad by Tuesday.

Sam Hoare
137 Posted 30/08/2015 at 14:34:45
Interesting to see that Barry covered almost a mile more than McCarthy yesterday and has in fact out run him in every game so far. He actually covered more than anyone else on that pitch yesterday.

Perhaps it's McCarthy who should be dropped instead of Gareth? Something seems a bit off with the midfield duo. Or is it that the organisation is not quite right?

Peter Morris
138 Posted 30/08/2015 at 14:44:24
I don't think McCarthy has got up to speed yet. He looks off the pace and his customary stamina seems to be missing. Don't know why, but we need him at his best after the break, as his first test is against Cesc Fabregas.
James Marshall
139 Posted 30/08/2015 at 14:47:33
Sam, I pulled a few people up on that very fact a couple of weeks ago, yet Barry is always the scapegoat. He did give the ball away a few times yesterday, which McCarthy does less of, but then McCarthy does a lot less with the ball anyway. I don't know the numbers but I'd guess Barry makes more passes than McCarthy as well.

I also think Barry takes a lot of flack because he's not the quickest and people focus on him chasing back, or rather struggling to chase back, but I see him do a lot of good/dirty work as a footballer which often doesn't get noticed.

When I've watched him in the flesh he looks like a player with a very good football-brain, way way more so than McCarthy or any of our midfield players in fact.

His positional sense is excellent, he reads the game very well and often does things that as I say go unnoticed. He's our Deschamps, and I think a vital cog.

Our organisation is our problem - midfield rotation is difficult, and we have players changing positions continuously which is really hard to do over 90 minutes without leaving gaps and getting caught out. How often do you see our midfield all bar one player caught the wrong side of the ball/play when we lose it? Often I'd say, and that's an organisational issue which lies with the manager as much as the players.

You can drill them as much as you like in trainig, but if the players can't match the system you want them to play, it ain't gonna work 100% of the time. I believe Martinez himself believes in a 'total football' philosophy, and I believe we simply do not have the players to carry it out over 90 minutes.

It works in flashes, but that isn't going to cut it game in, game out.

Matthew Williams
140 Posted 30/08/2015 at 15:00:57
We should have a midfield three of Coleman, Besic & Barkley, with Deulofeu & Mirallas further up and out wide, Lukaku up-top down the middle.
Oliver Molloy
141 Posted 30/08/2015 at 15:09:05
Eddie @ 102,

"The win at St Mary's will be put into perspective, when they get relegated- watch Norwich win there today."

Hope you didn't have any money at that Eddie!

David Donnellan
142 Posted 30/08/2015 at 15:19:18
Sam & James, I would agree that Barry is a better footballer & passer than McCarthy. I like him as a player & don't agree with all of the stick he gets on here, but he did have a 'mare yesterday. (And he wasn't the only one!)

He got caught in possession several times & his touch was terrible in & around our box, leading to two chances that I can recall. It was a bad day at the office for him, I think he will have better games than this one.

I certainly wouldn't make him a scapegoat because, as I said, he wasn't the only one, but I can only call it as I see it!

Hugh Jenkins
143 Posted 30/08/2015 at 15:21:43
Oliver (121) - The "relegation" candidates are winning 3 nil and are immediately behind us in the table just now.
Dave Ganley
144 Posted 30/08/2015 at 15:22:29
5 games into a season and people citing tiredness as an excuse to a poor defensive performance? Do me a favour!!

Tim Howard was quite awesome yesterday and if it wasn't for him then we would have taken a good hiding quite frankly. The 2nd half in particular was poor and we did our damnedest to give a goal away with pissing around at the back yet again. Please get a defensive coach in who knows what they're doing as soon as.

A draw with Spurs away on the face of it is a good result but the fact that we could have taken a hiding and created very few chances against a team low on confidence themselves is worrying. I do hope the Southampton result wasn't an exception to the rule rather than the norm. The Chavs at home is an important game now. We need to start making a statement of intent rather than drift through games as is normal these days.

Eddie Dunn
145 Posted 30/08/2015 at 15:30:53
Oliver I didn't! My excuse is that the Canaries were down to 10 men from half an hour, but I am letting the dog lick the egg off my face.
Ian Cowhig
147 Posted 30/08/2015 at 15:42:38
I watched the match again and we did break a number of times at pace. But poor passing and control let us down. At Soton, both were spot on.

Also, other than the throughball to Kane and Chadli walking between Coleman and Stones, Spurs' main other chances were due to poor defending and communication from Everton. With Barry twice and Oviedo again twice not clearing the ball properly.

Graham Mockford
148 Posted 30/08/2015 at 15:44:50
Harold (#116),

I thought it was the other way around, Stones stepped up and if Jags had done the same instead of hesitating, Kane would have been a yard offside.

Either way, poor defending.

Paul Andrews
149 Posted 30/08/2015 at 16:54:02
If Spurs offered £20 million for McCarthy we missed a trick. I would piggy back him to London for that type of money.
Oliver Molloy
150 Posted 30/08/2015 at 17:01:08
Happy for you that you didn't have a few bob on them Eddie.

I can't agree with you regards Southampton, they will definitely NOT be relegated.

I predict any two of the promoted sides + Sunderland.

Bill Gall
151 Posted 30/08/2015 at 17:15:04
When you look at Everton's team as individuals, their skills, and attitude levels, most of them appear as good as the majority of players in the Premier League. The problem seems to be when they play together they do not seem to play as a team. So whose fault is that?

The definition of team work in the dictionary is: "Concerted action or effort by the members of a group to achieve some common end, as the "coordinated" play of an athletic team. Going on this statement, the one thing Everton's team lack is coordinated play and the fault must lay with the manager.

Last, season the TW site was inundated with comments about the Tippy-Tappy football that was ineffective and it took till March and only after comments and action from players to change to a more direct style. We also had players playing out of position and unable to adapt to a system that the manager wanted played.

This season, with the expectancy of new players and with the manager being more experienced the supporters were expecting a better season but, since the start, we have played I good game and the team was more direct on the break, while the other games reflected the same as last seasons games. I have not asked for the manger to be replaced, that is the board's job. As Martinez has previously stated, we have practically the same players we had when he was so successful in his first season, so what has happened?

Injuries have caused a problem at left back but 2 players who were effective in his first season were Pienaar and Osman who, though still at the club, can no longer be good for 90 mins and there has been no attempt to bring in the type of player they are. We seem to be obsessed with wingers and defensive midfielders, and seem to be going back to the tippy-tappy from last season that proved to be ineffective.

Surely we must have enough video evidence from his first season that can be studied to find out what has changed that is not successful and use it for improvements. Other clubs with less skillful players are still able to adapt and build them into a team.

Peter Mills
152 Posted 30/08/2015 at 17:32:42
Excellent post, Bill (#133). Any manager has to get the best out of the resources available. Use their strengths, and if there are weaknesses replace with something better. Too often our manager seems to be asking the players to do things that don't suit them.
Freddy Maldonado
153 Posted 30/08/2015 at 18:04:33
How important was that point? It was a huge point on the road. The only club that looks like they have a clear cut plan is City. The table is an early mess right now and that bodes well for us.

We need some reinforcements to quickly slot in. Surely there is a hidden plan to surprise us on Tuesday? A playmaker who distributes well would turn this team into a top 5 club real quick.

Tom Bowers
154 Posted 30/08/2015 at 18:17:59
Everton can improve without any doubt but will still be a class below Man City and a few others... if only because of the financial shortcomings. City should win the league now that the have De Bruyne.

Normally I would say a point at Spurs is good but this Spurs team are crap and any kind of sharpness in the final third could have taken care of them in the first half.

Deulofeu should have started but RM is sold on his own ideas and it's costing points. The procrastination in the transfer window is amazing and happens every year.

Everton have a bunch of players on the books who are no longer good enough and yet there is no sign of them being moved out which would make some room in the wages department to attract better players.

Tony Dove
155 Posted 30/08/2015 at 18:26:51
I don't understand the abuse given to Gareth Barry. He is near the end of his career and is not getting any quicker. However, he always gives 100% usually to good effect.

As for McCarthy, he is either unfit or disinterested as I believe he has the ability and engine to be something much better. I agree with the comments made by Eamon Dunphy who has similar concerns over his performances for Ireland.

As for a No 10, there is no-one else about with the potential of Ross Barkley. I am not a Take That fan but try a little patience.

Raymond Fox
156 Posted 30/08/2015 at 18:28:26
What's the big deal!?!

We've had a cracking win at Southampton, a draw at Spurs, a loss to City, who are on top form at the moment,, and a not-too-great a draw when we were at home to Watford. Just look how unpredictable the league has been so far!

Unless we spend big money, the truth is, we are short of a couple of quality playmakers, one in midfield and one upfront. Just look what the usual top 4 clubs have spent, they are not spending fortunes for the fun of it!

You can argue it's the manager's fault because he favours a possession game; fair enough, it's not overly exciting a lot the time... but, at the end of the day, it's the quality of our players that really decides our fate.

Paul Kossoff
157 Posted 30/08/2015 at 18:35:21
Peter (#16),

"Fair play to John Stones who did a thoroughly professional job at the end of a tough week for a young man away from his family in difficult circumstances."

A 21-year-old pro footballer in the Premier League... Poor lad, I do feel sorry for him. Perhaps he shouldn't have handed a transfer request in then.

Oliver Molloy
158 Posted 30/08/2015 at 19:16:56

McCarthy is our midfield enforcer and when all this "broken promises" nonsense was going on, I would have been happy to see him go for any of the rumoured £15-20 million being spoken about.

He has got a good engine but is very limited otherwise. He should be driving the team forward at every opportunity but it's always nearly always sideways or backwards.

We have a player in Besic that in another year will be a proper midfield destroyer with a bit of skill. Besic hasn't quite got the engine but has more bottle, is a better passer (both short and long) and is also a better footballer technically.

He needs to learn to hold back his enthusiasm to win the ball at times, and not get involved in silly stuff but I am convinced this kid is going to really break through.

Bill Gall
159 Posted 30/08/2015 at 19:18:52
Raymond (#144);

Why play a style of game if we do not have the players that have the quality to play it?

And why do we insist in the purchase of wingers and defensive midfielders and try to play down the middle and use the forwards to do it?

And why have we not got in a quality midfielder when a majority of supporters are aware we have needed one for a number of seasons?

David Chait
160 Posted 30/08/2015 at 19:34:22
I'm with you, Oliver. When we bought Cleverley, back then in my article about our best 11, my call was to sell McCarthy and use that to invest.

The odd pundit had him being worth 㿀M is crazy and I think that belongs to players who can do it all, not just chase shadows all day long. He chases shadows very well but beyond that is limited.

I'm happy we have him, he's a good player... but the love fest he was getting was overdone in my opinion.

Dave Abrahams
162 Posted 30/08/2015 at 20:06:39
I saw a better player in McCarthy in the first season he was here than I've seen this season and quite a lot of last season.

Since his injury, apart from a few games, he doesn't seem to have the energy or drive that came natural to him; he seems to be holding back or is frightened to go all out in case his hamstrings go again.

Maybe it is me, making excuses for him, but there is definitely something missing in his game, especially this season. I hope he sorts it out; there is a much better player in there than he is showing.

Eddie Dunn
163 Posted 30/08/2015 at 21:02:12
I thought that his side-kick at Wigan, James McCarthur, was a better player, as he is proving at Palace. Our James scored a lovely goal towards the end of last season at Goodison and I hoped he was going to do it a bit more often.

I really don't know if he has been told to stay back, or if he is another, like Baines, carrying a long-term niggle, but he is very one-dimensional, and really needs to improve other aspects of his game.

Oliver Molloy
164 Posted 30/08/2015 at 21:45:16

Martinez said some time ago that they have to hold McCarthy back some in training in order for him to be ready for match days, whatever that means.

Peter Morris
165 Posted 30/08/2015 at 22:07:21
Anyway, on a lighter note, a lad playing for Malaga last night against Barcelona called Juan Carlos had his name abbreviated on the back of his shirt.

It said "JUAN CAR".

I found that amusing.

Harold Matthews
166 Posted 30/08/2015 at 22:45:48
Graham. Yes, sometimes one steps up; sometimes the other steps up. So what? That's a different topic altogether.

This particular topic is about a line which was too high and there's only one person responsible for that: the captain. The experienced leader. All ten outfield players in the opponents half is asking for trouble, especially when you don't have Usain Bolt playing centre back.

Paul Kelly
167 Posted 30/08/2015 at 23:04:44
Seems like we had still have the hangover from last season. Very few chances, very little attacking threat, slow mind numbing football and what is with giving them all that space in midfield, no closing down. Bringing on Deulofeu with a few mins to go? Will he never learn? Spurs were there for the taking today, they were shit. We were worse.

To early for a "Bob out" shout? Well if I could see a difference in our play, something that would give me a bit of hope that this "philosophy" of his will ever work, I'd say no... but, seeing as we are playing exactly how we finished last season, there is no hope at all.

Jay Harris
168 Posted 30/08/2015 at 00:00:55
I'm not bothered about McCarthy.

I am bothered about the "special one" and I don't mean Mourhino.

There is no doubt with Ossie and Pienaar fading and Gibbo, well, just being Gibbo, we definitely need a quality MF player who can create and score goals.

As someone said earlier, we need quality now not quantity.

Thankfully Ross has progressed and Galloway, Browning and Pennington are making progress.

If I had my way, we would have a "Jack Butland/Joe Hart" type in our sights together with a quality goalscorer and Creator. (Yes, make that divine.)

The Stones situation apart, this has been the biggest letdown of all the windows so far because we had so much time to plan and execute and once again have let the supporters down.

Graham Mockford
170 Posted 31/08/2015 at 07:06:50
Sorry Harold I still disagree in that particular instance.

The ball was lost halfway in to Tottenham's half. You would expect Everton's back line to be pushed up otherwise they are leaving more space for the opposition to play in should as is the case here position is given away.

Kane is not exactly Thierry Henry, both Jags and Stones should be quick enough to cope with that. Jags just made a mistake of hesitating before trying to step out.

I'm also struggling to think of a goal we have conceded by trying to play to high with a ball over the top of the defence this season, most have come from wider positions.

Gary Reeves
171 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:31:27
I really can't believe there's not more discussion on here about Ross Barkley's performances. I could only see Peter Lee's comments back at #16. I'm amazed. He's a real "elephant in the room" for me.

I've seen enough. We indulge him game after game. Hopeless off the ball, and erratic on it. I don't see any improvement (admittedly he's scored a couple... but given the freedom he gets he should be grabbing 18 a season).

The one at Barnsley where he gets a second chance, after a block, and blazes it to Row Q finished him off for me.

David Johnson
172 Posted 31/08/2015 at 18:43:50
The problems are plain to see. Lukaku is being ruined... by Barkley and Mirallas, who have bags of skill but are a bit on the selfish side, and a lack of creativity and pace in the two defensive midfield positions. Although we have some great individuals, we are effectively playing 6-3-1.
Tommy Webber
173 Posted 31/08/2015 at 21:17:28
We still have a long way to go and sadly I have to agree with Gary#157 also. Ross had a stinker last season with this season not looking much better for him.
Paul Andrews
174 Posted 01/09/2015 at 11:23:32
Ross Barkley will develop into a top class player given time and more importantly patience from the fans. He needs to learn to let go of the ball more quickly when we are in the attacking third of the pitch, more of the one, two or three touches required.

There are times he can drive at the heart of the defence, he automatically draws two sometimes three players towards him; when he learns to use the spaces that leaves, he will be there.

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