Michael Ball: Everton have become too predictable

21/12/2015  20 Comments  [Jump to last]
The ex-Everton defender doesn't mince words in nailing the current Blues' problems in his latest column.

From questioning the team's collective mentality, to its defensive frailties and anaemia from offensive set-pieces, Ball succinctly outlines where Roberto Martinez's team need to improve if they are to stop under-achieving after the defeat to Leicester.

Its getting frustrating, disappointing and embarrassing really.


Not for the first time this season weve played into the oppositions hands.

They know our plan, how we set up and how dangerous we are so they just let us have the ball and when we get into the danger areas they pounce and counter attack.

Leicester made a few changes to suit whereas we just stuck to the same side.

Weve done that for the last three games despite no wins which I find a bit strange really.

Everybody knows what theyre going to be up against every time theyre up against Everton.

They calm the storm, cancel out our danger players and we get punished. Its not good enough. I know we havent lost many but weve hardly won any either.

» Read the full article at Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (20)

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Stephen Brown
1 Posted 21/12/2015 at 22:30:37
Nail on the head I'm afraid!

Ciaran Duff
2 Posted 21/12/2015 at 22:33:09
Agreed, Stephen, and good to see articles with constructive criticism in the Echo.
Craig Mills
3 Posted 21/12/2015 at 22:47:49
Try saying something 99% of Evertonions don't already know.

It's not the squad, players or luck – the problem is clearly the manager and his tactics. Last season we were predictably crap in the league, we were easy to beat, not fit, we had a semi-fit striker for half the season and our league form suffered an obvious fate.

This season, we are far more gung-ho, we attack with numbers, purpose and pace, but we clearly commit too much, making it far too easy for teams to pick us off at will. Add to that our complete inability to defend a cross into the box – ahhh so frustrating......

Anthony Dwyer
4 Posted 22/12/2015 at 01:45:27
Spot on Bally, spot on Craig at 3 .

Most Blues see what's going wrong at our club, its clear as can be.

How can our brain dead manager change a game by making like for like changes ever time he makes a sub?

3-1 down to top of the league, there defence is a little bit jaded, Martinez has two attacking wide men stripped, so what does he do?

He takes off his other two wide men and carries on regardless.

The man is clueless and needs to get out of our club soon, before our young talented squad is broken up.

Come on Bill, ffs, enough is enough.

William Cartwright
5 Posted 22/12/2015 at 02:42:39
Michael Ball talks a lot of sense, and yes it is good to see the Echo providing an outlet for constructive criticism.
Jay Harris
6 Posted 22/12/2015 at 04:09:37
I think the vast majority of people are now cottoning on to Martinez and his 'jam tomorrow' statements.

Let's hope the board are also taking note and take appropriate action.

Harold Matthews
7 Posted 22/12/2015 at 04:18:23
In my opinion, dropping striker Ulloa to the bench and starting with Okazaki won Ranieri the game. MotM by a mile, this Japanese bundle of enthusiatic energy was everywhere, flattening all our players in the process. We had no-one to match him. The joy on his face after he scored the 3rd goal illustrated how much he was up for it. Ranieri picked him to rattle our kids at the back and he did just that. Indeed, he rattled everyone.

The spirit of our squad is disappearing at a rate of knots and our general tempo is disappearing with it. Get Besic, Lennon and McCarthy and Mirallas on the pitch, tell Stones to show a bit of urgency and let's start doing the business. Anyone who can't go the pace, get them off. We're not a rest home for old folk.

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 22/12/2015 at 09:07:06
Makes a change hearing someone actually say it like it is, that's now Michael Ball and Martin Keown who have basically said the picture is not all as rosy as so many pundits would have you believe.

We are not winning enough games:

5 wins from 18 this season.

12 wins from 38 last season.

We have kept just 1 clean sheet at Goodison all season.

It's just not been good enough and I'd suggest if this kind of form and erratic defending goes on into January, with the run of fixtures we have then we could easily be firmly entrenched in the bottom 5.

It's all well and good saying we are scoring goals but how many are we actually outscoring the opposition in?

We couldn't outscore Bournemouth, Norwich, Palace, Leicester and when the goals run out (Rom ain't going to score every game), then what?

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 22/12/2015 at 09:13:25
The fact that in the last 3 month's the only teams we have dispatched are Sunderland and the worst Aston Villa team I've seen.

Even the Sunderland game, they could have scored 6 on another day, they had the same amount of chances as us.

Do we look really capable of winning a game that looks more than a bit tricky at present?

Does anyone think our defence looks capable of holding on to any slim lead we have?

Do I really fancy us to beat Newcastle or Stoke or Spurs?

Not really at the minute no, certainly not with any confidence.

Dean Adams
10 Posted 22/12/2015 at 09:31:41
I would imagine that our board of directors will be more than happy to cash in on our best players should they leave. Problem is, the way it is going their respective values will be falling and we will be no better off.

Bobby needs to make the big decisions now. Trouble is he listens to himself and is the only one buying it.

Anthony Dwyer
11 Posted 22/12/2015 at 09:49:04
All the daft fans who claimed we started the season well or had to give Martinez time need to wake up and smell the coffee.

He is not good enough, end of story.

Matt Thomas
12 Posted 22/12/2015 at 10:43:09
Time for wholesale changes at the top. The coaches are two former strikers who know bugger all about defensive structure. The manager needs to be strong now and make the changes before the players get fed up with no progress.
John Raftery
13 Posted 22/12/2015 at 12:15:24
We definitely cannot be confident about our prospects for the next three games. Judging by his comments on Lennon and Mirallas, it seems as though both will start at Newcastle. Presumably they will be trying to prove a point to our present manager. Hopefully the team as a whole will benefit.

In each of our league victories this season we have scored 3 or more goals. The team needs to learn quickly how to pick up the single goal wins which ultimately determine league positions.

In 1969-70 although we scored plenty of goals and played great football at times we also picked up plenty of scruffy 1-0 and 2-1 wins without playing great football.

We need more winners in our team along the lines of an Alan Ball or even a Tim Cahill who will dig in when games are on a knife edge. Too many of our current players are passive when the going gets tough failing to impose themselves on the opposition. In short they are a soft touch leaving opposing teams to believe that if they dig in they will ultimately get a result against us.

The same applies to our present manager whose lack of proactivity in using substitutes is in marked contrast to how he performed in his first season. Last season it could be argued that he did not have credible replacements available but that is not the case this season when the bench has been filled with international players.

Tony J Williams
14 Posted 22/12/2015 at 12:35:52
He's not wrong is he?

"Teams need to be fearing giving away set pieces against us but they're not. They're doing it because they know we can't score from them"

Very, very telling!

Ian Hollingworth
15 Posted 22/12/2015 at 12:45:27

Interesting though how this "Everton are too predictable" theme makes a complete mockery of our manager's comments a few weeks ago where he claimed opposition managers do not know who will be playing or how we will be set up.

I am really at a loss as to how this clown from a relegated club came to be the manager of Everton FC?

Eddie Dunn
16 Posted 22/12/2015 at 13:12:27
Don't bank on Lennon or Mirallas starting at Newcastle, it hasn't been a meritocracy so far, so why will it change now?

I notice the Beeb are saying Steve Sidwell is fed-up at Stoke, could he be the narky so-and-so to add some much-needed spite to our nice midfield?

Christy Ring
17 Posted 22/12/2015 at 14:28:00
Great article from Bally; we haven't won a league game since 21st November, and conceded 8 goals, and the only change is Baines for Galloway, who has been one of our best defenders.

Howard and Kone should be dropped; Barry's legs are gone after 60 mins; we're being roasted on the break because Coleman and Baines have no-one tracking back to help... and we have Mirallas, Besic and Lennon left on the bench – and what does Martinez do?? Fuck all.

Danny O'Neill
19 Posted 22/12/2015 at 17:49:14
Steve Sidwell. Really? Can just see all of the other top 4 hopefuls queuing up for him. Depends where your ambitions lie.
Jack Cross
21 Posted 23/12/2015 at 19:49:25
RM... pretty basic manager really; he doesn't go the with the best player, he goes with his favourite player. Moyes was very similar, but at least we had a top notch defence under him. A mixture of the two and we would be flying. So why can't RM, see what we can see? It's so bewildering isn't it?

I mean does his backroom staff not say or think what we are saying and seeing? And if not, maybe there should be an even bigger clear out than just RM.

Does anybody think if he (RM), was to come in to a bundle of cash that we would see success under him?

Tim Greeley
22 Posted 23/12/2015 at 21:17:50
Roberto flies hot and cold with me, but honestly I am quite easy to please!

I do hate to go THERE with the comparisons but if the RS can sack Rodgers less than two full years after he had them, literally, a SLIP away from their first EPL title, then we should seriously be getting to the point of chopping block time for Bobby. We've had some good times, but man have we had some BAD times too, Roberto. And the worst of it is that he just does not seem to get it.

Oy vey, Merry Christmas!

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