Blues are too strong for beleaguered Villa

01/03/2016  214 Comments  [Jump to last]
Aston Villa 1 - 3 Everton

Funes Mori scored one and created another as the Blues overcame Villa

Everton earned their fifth away victory in the Premier League with a 3-1 win over relegation-haunted Aston Villa thanks to goals by Ramiro Funes Mori, Aaron Lennon and Romelu Lukaku.

The Blues barely got out of second gear after taking an early lead when Funes Mori rose to plant a free header past Brad Guzan but doubled their lead with a swift counter-attacking goal that was side-footed home by Lennon.

Lukaku made sure of the points with an hour gone and although Villa's efforts were rewarded with a goal from Rudy Gestede, Roberto Martinez's men were able to close out the game.

Martinez made one change from the starting XI at Bournemouth, with Kevin Mirallas coming in for Tom Cleverley who also wasn't among the substitutes, apparently due to illness.

The Blues got off the perfect start when Kevin Mirallas swung in a corner from the left and Ramiro Funes Mori powered home a free header.

Though they had the lead, Everton struggled to find any rhythm and Villa eventually found their feet midway through the second half.

Funes Mori's tackle on Gaby Agbonlahor saw the ball cannon towards Robles who made instinctive parry before the Spaniard had to be called into action again to push a 25-yard effort behind from a corner.

The first dead-ball delivery caught Robles flat-footed as it flew out to the other side off an Everton player and Micah Richards's acrobatic scissor-kick drifted narrowly past the post as the visitors struggled to clear their lines.

A minute or so later, another give-away in midfield allowed Bacuna to try his luck from outside the box but Robles made a decent stop with a diving catch.

Everton showed their quality on the half-hour mark, however, when they attacked at speed through Mirallas down the left and he picked out Lennon with a superb low cross that the winger tucked away with a first-time finish from a central position in front of goal.

2-0 was almost 3-0 when Barkley found Mirallas and his initial shot was spilled by Guzan and Lukaku almost snatched up the rebound. The ball fell to Oviedo from a tight angle but Lescott cleared it off the line.

The second half was a quiet affair for the first quarter of an hour but Everton suddenly caught fire again when Lennon crossed beautifully for Lukaku who looked certain to score but Guzan turned his header wide with a reaction save.

When the resulting corner came through to Funes Mori on the far side, however, he had oceans of space to pick out a driven cross that Lukaku converted from close range.

Villa responded with an attack of their own that saw Westwood smash a goalbound shot that ricocheted off Jagielka and behind, with the same player bouncing an effort wide from the resulting corner.

After John Stones came on for Seamus Coleman with a quarter of an hour to go, Oviedo went down with an ankle injury and was off the field when a deep cross from the Villa right was powered past Robles by Rudy Gestede.

After quelling more pressure from the Villains, Everton pushed forward in the closing stages and Mirallas volleyed Lukaku's clipped ball off a defender for a corner before being withdrawn in favour of Oumar Niasse.

Back at the other end, Gestede caused more grief with a knock-down that Ayew hammered goalwards and Robles parried away to safety.

There was time for another chance for Funes Mori when the ball dropped to him following another corner but Guzan foiled him with a point-blank stop.

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page

Reader Comments (214)

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Dave Ganley
1 Posted 01/03/2016 at 18:53:33
Happy with that line up, looks balanced for once. Lets hope it plays that way too.

4 0 to the blues


Mark Gardiner
2 Posted 01/03/2016 at 18:53:55
Fantastic, two wide players starting on ether flank. That gives us much more balance.

I just hope that Mirallas takes his opportunity and has a great game.

Anything less than a thumping good win tonight is bad. Can`t imagine how Martinez would spin it if god forbid we lost this one tonight.

Liam Wilson
3 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:05:32
Is Besic injured? Not even on the bench. Some of our best performances recently have been when he gets game time.
Darren Hind
4 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:06:42
I would have gone with Baines, but not too unhappy with that line-up.
Robin Cannon
5 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:10:08
@Liam - yes, as he has been since the Swansea game in January.
Jon Cox
6 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:10:57
Mirallas starts? A balanced starting line up? I wonder what's happened in the last week to make RM change his "Philosophy"....
Mark Frere
9 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:17:15
Not far off our best starting line-up. Deulofeu has much more craft than Lennon (which Lukaku thrives on) but Lennon has the superior work-rate and defensive qualities. Baines is the better LB going forward but Oviedo is a better defender.
Scott Williams
10 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:19:29
Happy with the line-up. I would probably start Baines but so happy to see Robles start in net in a league game when Howard is fit. A well deserved place!
Jamie Barlow
11 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:21:26
What makes you think he's changed his "philosophy" Jon?

Can't believe Oviedo is keeping Baines out of the side.

Brian Wilkinson
12 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:32:18
Cannot fault this line-up, team selection spot on.
Ray Smith
13 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:32:26
Martinez is under the spotlight at last.

If Moshiri has fallen in love with Everton over 18 months, and if he knows his football as has been reported, Martinez is on borrowed time.

This squad would be in top 6 minimum, not 12th, time for Martinez to deliver. By that I don't mean the FA Cup, which would be great, however, Moshiri will probably give him the rest of the season, and then look elsewhere. Not sure where, but there will be plenty of speculation!!!

Jon Cox
14 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:34:22
Jamie, we've been screaming for balance on either flank for eons.

All I'm saying is why the change in thinking now?

A bit coincidental wouldn't you say?

Jon Cox
15 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:37:41
Jamie, it looks like Ray and myself are singing from the same hymn sheet.
Mark Gardiner
16 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:37:49
@Jon (11) Yes. Amazing isn't it.

Basically what has happened is that RM has gone from a guaranteed job under BK to suddenly over the last couple of days having a new fella at the helm who knows his stuff and probably won't hesitate to pull the trigger if he feels that RM has this squad under achieving.

Brian Williams
18 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:45:10
Surprised Deulofeu hasn't had a look in lately! Something amiss there, or just no room at the moment due to recent performances from the starting eleven??
Colin Hughes
19 Posted 01/03/2016 at 19:58:47
Got to thrash these tonight, they are piss poor. It's a long time since won 4 or 5 away from home in the Premier League.
Les Martin
20 Posted 01/03/2016 at 20:02:54
At last, the line-up I have waited for all season with two pacy wide players Mirallas and Lennon (or Deulofeu) to get up and support Rom.

Long may it continue.

Paul Andrews
21 Posted 01/03/2016 at 20:39:30

Oviedo is playing well, part of a unit not conceding many goals. With us playing week to week, no need to rotate at the moment.

Rob Hooton
22 Posted 01/03/2016 at 20:49:17
2 assists from super Kev, apart from our goals we've been poor! If we have our usual excellent one half we should stuff em 2nd half.

Fair play to Villa, they are playing okay and showing some much needed fight.

Jamie Barlow
23 Posted 01/03/2016 at 21:19:22
I'm not saying it's a bad thing Paul. Just find it hard to believe.

Jon, I do believe it is just a coincidence.

Oliver Molloy
24 Posted 01/03/2016 at 21:19:25
All you who are saying Mr Moshiri will sack Martinez, how can he do that when he is not the man in charge? (For now at least...)
Paul Andrews
25 Posted 01/03/2016 at 21:45:21
Good 3 points for the boys.

Onwards and upwards, we go 8th I believe, with 3 home games to come.

Jamie Barlow
26 Posted 01/03/2016 at 21:45:29
3 points is 3 points but that was probably the worst I've seen us this season. Very sloppy all over the pitch.
Brian Williams
27 Posted 01/03/2016 at 21:47:50
Disappointed in that performance to be honest. Tempo should have been higher and we should have swept them aside and scored five or six.

When you start in second gear, it can be difficult to get out of it.... and that's how it looked.

Tony Hill
28 Posted 01/03/2016 at 21:50:20
Not pretty but playing Villa tonight was never going to be. Three goals away from home and we won without showing any real style; that'll do for now. It'll be a lot more entertaining on Saturday.

Funes Mori has been a major bonus this season. Credit to our scouts/Martinez for that one.

Jon Withey
29 Posted 01/03/2016 at 21:52:44
Not a very fluent performance but flashes of some good stuff.

Villa fought more but we had more quality.

Robles looking a decent keeper – Jags and Funes Mori very decent. Can't argue with Lennon or Mirallas either.

Mark Andrews
30 Posted 01/03/2016 at 21:53:15
Happy with the 3 points but boy, that was a poor performance. It was so sloppy and lacking any real rhythm or pace. A fair bit of toothless possession that didn't really go anywhere.

Still, a win's a win I suppose. I can't remember ever being so frustrated after a big away win!

Villa are gone.

Paul Andrews
31 Posted 01/03/2016 at 21:54:09
Funes Mori is developing into the best defender at the club. It looks like Martinez has found a gem here.
David Oldfield
33 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:02:13
A disappointing 3-1 win, to be honest, against a very poor Villa team. For a team that that is built on possession football, the amount of times we give the ball away was staggering. I would have liked to have seen an attacking sub sooner because we should have beaten these a lot more comfortably.

Still convinced we need a first choice keeper because Joel Robles for me isn't the answer... where was he for that corner? I doubt that he knows. But 3 points is 3 points.

Dave Lynch
34 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:02:34
Well happy with that result.

If we could just stop giving the ball away cheaply and needlessly we'd be a team to be reckoned with.

WHU will be a much bigger test.

Graham Morris
35 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:02:37
I just get so frustrated watching this team – we could and should be so much better. Also, does anybody else get bored watching us. Please get rid of Martinez.
Darren Hind
36 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:02:52
After listening to several players voice their dissatisfaction after the Man City Game. I predicted we would go on a decent run. That's five out of six. What a pity it took an injury to force our inept manager to finally leave out Howard.

Martinez must have been the only man in football who could not see the effect Howard was having on the team.

Thankfully the players have started to deliver on their word and we can enjoy these wins, but you can't help wondering how differently it would all have been if we'd had a semi-decent manager.

Michael Patison
37 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:03:00
I recorded the game and am about to get home to watch, so no thoughts on that front yet.

But on an unrelated note, I was just wondering who people think Moshiri should hire if/when he decides to pull the plug on Bobby?

James Marshall
38 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:06:21
Martinez isn't going to get fired – we're 10th, 6 points off 5th with the best goal difference outside the top 4. RM is viewed by many in the game as one of the best younger managers in the Premier League (despite what many Evertonians think) so I don't think anyone is going to see any reason to fire him...

Tony Hill
39 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:06:39
We could still easily end up the highest scorers in the league and we have the highest individual scorer from open play. Tells you all you need to know really.
Paul Andrews
40 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:06:39
Don't be picky lads, at the end of the night we got 3 points. And that is what it's all about, ra ra.

Jay Harris
41 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:08:04
When you consider how poor Villa are that was one of the worst performances I have seen this season. Only Oviedo, Funes Mori, Barry, Lennon and Mirallas showed up. The rest were still on the beach in Dubai.

10 corners to Villa. Does not inspire me for West Ham.

Jeff Armstrong
42 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:08:47
Barkley gives the ball away so often, he and McCarthy slow the play down when a more decisive pass when we break would result in more chances. Look what Barkley can do when he breaks and passes quickly as he did for Lennon's goal, yet he could have repeated the trick on two or three further occasion, but no, it's a touch and a swivel too many at times, so frustrating!!
Paul Andrews
43 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:10:27
James (#31),

Our boring, laboured, pedestrian football the manager advocates has seen us scoring more goals from open play than any other team in the Premier League.

James Marshall
44 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:10:44
I thought we controlled the game well for long periods, and we're extremely comfortable until we went 3-0 up. They brought on Gestede and we went to a back 3 which changed the game – shit happens. I don't think this performance means much for any upcoming games.

Villa dragged us down to their level in many ways – it was a bit like watching an England qualifier against a smaller European country.

James Marshall
45 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:11:24
Paul@35 - yeah I know. What's your point caller?
Danny Broderick
46 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:11:31

Your post is ridiculous. Did you think we were just going to turn up tonight and roll them over? We did a good, professional job away from home for 70 minutes. We took our foot off the pedal at the end, giving Baines, Stones and Niasse a run out. But for God's sake, keep things in perspective. We won 3-1 FFS!!

Charlie Burnett
47 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:11:33
He plays Lennon instead of Deulofeu because Lennon is more defensive winger. Does he know we're playing Aston Villa who are playing so badly, their fans are protesting?

Why do we have to think defensive? Also, does he know, the more you attack, the less defensive work you should do, due to the person marking you being forced to think defensive?

John Hammond
48 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:12:26
We didn't half play some sloppy stuff at times but at least we got the 3 points. Sad to see Villa in such a bad position. They gave it a go but not enough quality.
Peter Murray
49 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:12:54
James Marshall (#31).


Danny Broderick
50 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:15:44
Brian (#23),

We didn't start in 2nd gear! We were 1-0 up after 5 minutes!

Some very strange posts here tonight. We had a good team selection, looked a lot more balanced. A good, professional job carried out away from home. 3 points in the bag. And yet some people still want more.

That was never going to be easy tonight. Those Villa fans were baying for blood. Thankfully the first goal killed them tonight.

David Connor
51 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:16:52
A win is a win. Far too sloppy at times when they should stamp there authority. Too much ball lost and too many bad passes. We will need to be much better in the next 3 games as they are massive.

Lennon was Man of the Match. He never stops working. One or two could learn from him. Far too lethargic at times which is really frustrating. I am sure we will be more focused for the next few games. We will have to be. I think Europe will be out of reach for us, but you never know. Here's hoping...

Danny Broderick
52 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:18:59
Jamie (22),

The worst you've seen us this season?!

I despair!

Scott Williams
53 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:23:10
I see were some of the comments are coming from. Lucky we weren't playing a better team.

There were a few moments in the game where, if they got an early goal, it could have really changed the dynamics of the game. But that said, a good 3 points, getting the job done.

Up and up hopefully! COYB

Paul Andrews
54 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:28:27

I think Martinez has raised the expectations of the fans, to such an extent that we win 3-1 away from home and some are not happy. It was far from a classic performance, but it was a professional performance to gain a comfortable win.

Gavin Johnson
55 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:30:09
Danny #39

Don't stress about it. Some people are never satisfied. If they were at Jesus's last supper, they'd still be asking for ketchup.

John Keating
56 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:30:53
The only good thing about that performance is that it got us 3 points closer to the so called magical 40. Thankfully we don't go to Dubai every week...
Raymond Fox
57 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:32:09
Danny (#39),

'Some very strange posts here tonight'

Par for the course, Danny, they scream blue murder when we lose, and complain when we win.

Only one team has scored more than us, and we've stopped leaking goals lately, long may it last.

David Pearl
58 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:32:42
Weird match really. We didn't have much shape and control throughout the match but won it comfortably. I think that says more about Villa than us.

We probably should've worked out the shape by now... but in any case, we seem able to drop in and out a number of players and it doesn't make a lot of difference.

Another 3 points in the bag... who knows where we will finish?

James Marshall
59 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:32:50
I love it when we win;
I love it when we score 3 goals in a game;
I love it when Rom scores;
I love that we're moving up the table;
I love that we're above the RedShite.

If you're not happy after tonight, I actually feel a bit sorry for you.

Phillip Mark
60 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:35:38
We have played worse than that this season, but it's in that bracket. Still, in those games we lost and today we won (admittedly against a side that look beaten before kick off).

I expect there will be a considerable step up in tempo against a good West Ham side. Here's hoping for a run of good fortune and some ambitious play to get the crowd going again on Saturday. Tell you what, string a few wins together and 7th is not out of reach for Europe!

Colin Hughes
61 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:38:20
Why do we always take the foot off the gas? It was the same at Stoke, three-nil at half time and we can't add to it.

We haven't won an away game in the Premier League by four goals since West Ham in 2000. The RedShite had a cup final a week after they won 6-0 at Villa and they didn't take their foot off the gas in the second half.

All-in-all, I till think we are a poor side who only seem to beat fellow poor sides this season. Martinez can't motivate them for 90 minutes.

James Marshall
62 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:39:33
Colin – it was well noted by the commentators during the game, that RM spent much of the second half screaming at the players to play quicker, and close down Villa. He does appear to try – maybe he's speaking Spanish.
Anthony Dwyer
63 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:39:52
James at 46.

I love being above the reds, but let's face it, they are shite and their league position proves it.

Yes, I enjoyed us scoring 3 and winning a game but, fuck me, it's Villa and they are awful.

Yes, we are moving up the table, but unfortunately it's too late to matter.

I'm happy today, but we're papering cracks.

James Marshall
64 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:41:47
Yeah well, as someone on the live forum just said - terrible week.....taken over by a billionaire, the RS lose a cup final and we win 3-1. Gutted.
Eugene Ruane
65 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:44:22
Obviously pleased with the points, but can't remember many 3-1 away wins that have left me feeling unconvinced.

We continue to give teams (even shit, nervous teams like Villa) too much time (to collect the ball in the middle, turn, look up and move forward).

We continue to be out-muscled and panicked and at times, too be (seemingly) hypnotized back towards our own goal.

Often the 'plan' at the back seems to be no plan.

Thought Lennon did very well (again) and I like that Funes Mori wants to score and get involved.

Barry worked hard and there were a couple of good saves from Robles who, though not big Nev, hopefully will continue to grow in confidence with each appearance.

A bigger test on Saturday (I'm guessing).

Up the Toffees!

John Mckay
66 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:44:41
Strange game, quite boring to watch, but – if we pick up 3 points every game and I find it boring – then long may it continue. Just think we didn't play very well but was pretty much in control of the game. No wonder Aston Villa are where they are.

3 points in the bag tho away from home so can't complain.

David Pearl
67 Posted 01/03/2016 at 22:55:01
I've never really liked Villa much but must admit I feel sorry for them. However – that could've easily been us. How many times have we heard "why are we not taken over"?

Further evidence I think that (Kings Dock aside... oh, and dodging the DK disaster) old Bill hasn't done too badly in the end has he. Ahem.

Should I start to wonder if we can now afford Rooney's wages? And if we can... If we can add 2 or 3 'top' class players in the summer... who knows.

Danny Broderick
68 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:05:02
Gavin (42),

Thanks mate, I'm not stressed! I am just amazed at some of the comments on here. Like the guy who thought we started in 2nd gear? We were 1-0 after 5 minutes! 2-0 after 30 minutes!

I am honestly wondering if some people have ever played the game on this thread because, at any level of football, you never get a performance which is absolute perfection and one way traffic. It's very hard to be winning 3-0 after an hour and maintain that tempo and go on to score 5 or 6. It's just human nature to ease off.

Would anyone honestly burst a gut to keep a ball in play when we are 3-0 up, with as much effort as if we were 1-0 down? It simply doesn't happen. Yet some people on here bemoan the fact that we didn't win by 4, or 5 or 6. The subs start coming on and the game is as good as over when you are 3-0 up – just see the game out and that's it.

Paul Mackie
69 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:05:55
Wasn't the best performance but if you can win without really getting out of 2nd gear then what does it matter? As long as we raise our game against West Ham, who will remember anything other than the fact we got 3 points?
Gary Russell
70 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:16:46
What fucking good is it when you are the (as someone says on here) the second highest scores in the league WHEN you are leaking or have leaked far too many goals. Seriously, how is that a plus point? James Marshall, I feel sorry for you lad.
Jamie Barlow
71 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:23:18
I don't think anyone's said they're not happy with us winning.

For long periods tonight, we were shite. We couldn't string 3 passes together and it was Keystone cops at the back again on numerous occasions. As I said, sloppy all over the pitch.

Maybe not the worst this season but definitely the most boring. I'm fine with building from the back but the amount of fucking about was incredible.

I'm happy with our win and 3 more points but if it's okay, I'll be unhappy with our performance against easily the worst team in the league.

Victor Jones
72 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:23:53
First of all, tonight was hardly the worst performance of the season. Any of those stupid loses at home had to be worse. I'm one of those supporters that simply want Everton to win. I would take a jammy 1-0 win every time, over any brave Everton 4-3 defeat. Stuff the gallant unlucky in defeat crap. Give me a smash and grab. Take the three points. Thank you very much. That was tonight. Just get the three points.. Keep winning and good football will hopefully come.

Or better still.....let's get in a proper manager. Let's get in a real top name. Surely Everton should be at least thinking about that. Tonight was three points. Thats great...But can Martinez be trusted to do that against better teams? Can he get his tactics right against Chelsea in a few weeks time? Can he be trusted to not tinker too much? Can he get Lukaku into a game more? Play to the big mans strengths. (Yes ,it is good that Lukaku is scoring.....but I still think that he is not at full throttle). This Everton team has much ,much more to offer. Is Martinez really the best manager to fufil that potential? Not in my opinion. Not on the evidence of the last 18 months. I half Expect a defeat soon. Most likely at Goodison. I really hope that I am wrong. But.....let's see.

Three points tonight....good. I trust the majority of this bunch of players to do a job for problem there. But do I trust Martinez and his Wigan backroom staff???.......well frankly....No. Very stubborn tactically. Slow to recognise things are not working, and slow to change tactics. No plan B. There never was one. Will he start playing favourites again? Will our new man at the helm be as dopey as BK.(and watch Everton arse about in mid table). I doubt it. Interesting times ahead. Can Martinez up his game?

What's the wee fat waiter doing nowadays? Or how about throwing a tempting offer to Leicester or Spurs. Let's see how any of those two managers might fancy a chance to manage Everton. Why not? Money available soon for players. Why not a top manager? Martinez is not in their league. He never will be.

I am not really grumpy after a good away win. No way. But I do think that this season has been a wasted opportunity. Why was the first half of the season squandered? Why did Martinez keep playing TH. What's going on with Mirallas? Yes we have been unlucky at times. But the team and manager brought a lot of crap on themselves. But this has been a good week. Keep Martinez in check. And we might just finish strong.......I think.

Andrew James
73 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:25:17
I don't really get the negativity. Neutrals say that Villa battled more than normal and we just put them away. Our players have bigger, more difficult opponents coming up so why waste energy going all out to thrash them (which we nearly did anyway).

I have always liked Villa, I like their kit, their tradition which is linked up with us as the most played top flight match and their fans know their stuff. It's a dreadful state of affairs when their fans are leaving in the thousands when 3-0 down and they are relegated basically by Xmas. For many years they were a bogey team of ours (like Coventry and Sheffield Wednesday) but I really hope they come back much quicker. To think in 2009 we were battling it out with them in the League in the Top 6 and beating them in the FA Cup and now they are in this woeful position.

Onto us, our Argentinian centre half is becoming a revelation. Lennon is also having a great spell. Martinez has mostly signed well without his Wigan tinted spectacles on and McGeady.

I'm still in the Martinez In group but we seriously need to finish Top 8 and beat Chelsea next week to convince me. Otherwise, I am sure there is someone out there who can do better with these players because the amount of surrenders this season has been depressing.

Gary Russell
74 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:31:58
Andrew, you said you don't get the negativity and end with "... this season has been depressing."

That's exactly the point!!!

David Price
75 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:33:25
Great point, Andrew. Last six games: 14 scored, 2 conceded, at least can we credit the team for this. There is a definite change happening, not the finished article but not deserving some of the off the mark opinions dished out tonight.

I was at Old Trafford in 77 when Villa beat us in the League Cup Final, so I always get an extra buzz at beating them.

We'll up our game against West Ham, I'm expecting a brilliant game and a 4-2 win.

Jamie Sweet
76 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:34:36
Villa are shit, of that there is no doubt. But that shit team still managed to scrape draws against Leicester and Man City at Villa Park, conceding only one goal in those two games... Arsenal went there and were 2-0 up at half time... and it finished 2-0.

So in 90 minutes at Villa, we scored the same number of goals as Leicester, Man City and Arsenal did in 270 minutes combined.

So it's all very well being less than satisfied with certain elements of our performance, but to have a go simply because we didn't smash them for 5 or 6 does come across rather like complaining just for the sake of it.

Sometimes you just have to grind these games out.

We're not Barcelona (yet).

Kevin Tully
77 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:37:50
Mr Lukaku is now our highest goalscorer in the Premier League era, with 17 goals, beating the previous record set by Tony Cottee! Well done, Rom.

I suppose how we view this season now depends mainly on the FA Cup results. I'm not particularly bothered whether we finish 7th or 9th, both positions are mid-table really. If we want European football via the Premier League, then 6th may do it, but I can't see it.

Amazingly (if you want to look on the positive side) we have only lost the same amount of games as Man City, and scored a hatful. Draws and games thrown away by sloppy defending have cost us dearly. Our goal difference should have us right amongst the top four teams. As ever, a big game on Saturday.

Can Martinez fix the defence? Some are dead set against giving him another season, but his signings have generally been very good, so I am prepared to see what he can do with possibly a top 'keeper, and another experienced centre-half.

Ernie Baywood
78 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:42:10
I remember us winning at Villa by the same scoreline and I was elated. This time around; just very pleased with the result.

The performance, let's be honest, wasn't brilliant but more than good enough to beat that shocking side. If we had conceded those three goals we'd be absolutely livid at the lack of effort. That side is going down very, very deservedly and I feel for their supporters watching the lack of effort. It wasn't a professional performance facing a team who are fighting for their lives as they've got no fight in them.

With us, we got the dream start and then figured we'd just dominate possession but it was all too slow. Players were having to wait for the ball as it dribbled along the grass. Villa had little fight but we gave them a leg up. No surprise that our second came from a quick break - in possession we were so ponderous that even Villa's collection of pay packets could deal with it.

Some undoubted positives and a welcome three points. We can't get complacent thinking that's the level for us though.

Gary Russell
79 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:49:47
Jamie, what utter nonsense "So in 90 minutes at Villa, we scored the same number of goals as Leicester, Man City and Arsenal did in 270 minutes combined"?

"So it's all very well being less than satisfied with certain elements of our performance, but to have a go simply because we didn't smash them for 5 or 6 does come across rather like complaining just for the sake of it."

It is more about we were shite again and the man making mad substitutions.

Here is the point: to not complain about certain aspects, in my eyes, is to accept and be satisfied. Many of us are far from satisfied, so vent spleens are the order of the day/season.

Jim Knightley
80 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:50:24
Michael (30) I'd give the job to Eddie Howe. He has proven that he can adapt his philosophy (As necessitated by the Gradel and Wilson injuries and the absence of speed which derailed Bournemouth for a couple of months) and he has performed wonders with Bournemouth. He would fit in with the changing football philosophy too, but add a little more pragmatism. He also more than willing to give fringe players a chance.
Gary Russell
81 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:52:17
Jim, Eddie Howe is an Everton fan, right?
Jamie Sweet
82 Posted 01/03/2016 at 23:57:54
How can it be nonsense Gary Russell, when it was a factual piece of information?

As is the fact that we've won 5 in 6 scoring 14 and conceding 2.

I hope we carry on being this shite mate!

Andy Crooks
83 Posted 01/03/2016 at 00:03:11
Good post, Darren (#29). A season when all was possible but a good squad has been wasted by an utterly inept coach.

Raymond (#44), who are this "they" you refer to. Enemies of Everton? Perhaps supporters who saw us labour against one of the worst sides the Premier League has ever seen. Raymond, we all want the same thing.

Don Alexander
84 Posted 01/03/2016 at 00:09:35
Anything but a win against that Villa team would have been poisonous. I just can't get my head around why, after a week in the sun to "bond" and to train together, we still seem miles away from a "dynamic" performance even against shite opposition.

And I share the opinion of our Nev; this season 6th'll be the very best we can "achieve" and for us, this season in particular, and even before the acquisition of Mr Moshiri into our club, that is unacceptable.

That said, 6th'll have to do, minimum.

Gary Russell
85 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:12:51
Jamie, I apoligise for calling your factual bits nonsense.

I am so happy we played shite against the bottom team and scored more than the three teams you mentioned. Those same three teams occupy three of the top four places. We are mid table.

Sorry, Ill stop now, I am talking utter nonsense.

Brian Porter
86 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:13:56
IMO, Funes Mori has grown into his role within the the team and is now the best of our centre backs. He really WANTS the ball, is not afraid to stick his head in where he might get hurt unlike John Stones whose heading is very weak.

He has four goals to his name now and an assist as well tonight. There's just something about him that says he wants to be a winner and he was definitely my mom tonight. For me, his name should now be one of the first on the team sheet with Jags and Stones competing to play alongside him.

Let's not forget he is an Argentine international too and they tend to know what they're doing with their team selection too.
Gordon Crawford
87 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:13:58
3:1 away from home and some people aren't happy, I honestly despair sometimes.
Onwards and upwards. :)
Rob Hooton
88 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:19:03
Glad we got the win as it had the usual Everton muck up written all over it, especially when someone mentioned Westwood hadn't scored for 2 years!

We played like strangers for long periods but it was better than dominating and losing 1-0. The lads should hopefully have recovers from their extended holiday to be up for the Hammers...

Jamie Sweet
89 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:22:52
Only scorelines of 5-0 or better are acceptable against shite teams, Gordon.
Derek Thomas
90 Posted 01/03/2016 at 00:24:18
Villa fans walk out at 74mins, those who hadn't already left at 0-3. Any neutrals would've gone at HT such was the fare on offer.

There are some positives, e.g. 3pts and, despite plenty of stick on the live forum Lukaku's heading and touch has improved.

Most of our wins come away from home or against very poor (at the time) teams or the bottom 3. I was going to mention Stoke A as the exception, but on reflection they were on a bit of a mini slump.

If the new owners are 'results driven' then the manager must get a big tick for tonight.

But if they look beyond that they might see that for all our possession, many of our goals come on the quick break, most of our decent results come as a result of LESS possession.

Yeah, but Manager has us doing this 'Great Attacking Play'...look at the GD...all a bit cart before the horse. Bobby doesn't have us doing 'great attacking' - He has us playing 'The Philosophy.'

The great attacking comes as a result of that...but so does the poor defending ( look at the GA ffs). As the Philosophy won't / can't stand for more than the barest tinkering (Howard, Stones & Baines, strangely - conveniently 'injured') The defensive frailty will never go away, nor will the mid table finishes...One of many tough decisions the new boss must make.

Stones though, *holdsnose; we have to hope form is temporary and class is permanent.

So, all in all, we have found that it is possible for us to play badly and win...but only if the opposition are playing worse.

Michael Polley
91 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:24:23
Pleased with the 3 pts, but I think we switched off after our 3rd. Lost possession too easily and put undue pressure on ourselves. Need to be playing in top gear against the Hammers at the weekend. COYB
Mike Price
92 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:25:12
Darren #29

Totally agree on the keeper situation. The manager's appalling handling of that has totally sabotaged our season and just leaves an overwhelming feeling of, "what if"?

Ernie Baywood
93 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:26:12
There isn't a single person who isn't pleased with the win, but is it a sign of progress? After all, we're sitting right in mid table.

In my opinion, it's no guide. We've lost 4 of our last 6 at home. Our away form is good.

In our last 10 games we've lost 3 times. All at home, against Stoke, Swansea and West Brom.

It's like being happy on payday without thinking that it's all going on bills over the next few days.

I'm still always happy on payday, just like tonight.

Now if we were to put in a good performance against West Ham that would be like suddenly reducing your mortgage payment... is anyone confident that we will?

John Aldridge
94 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:32:55
Jesus we win by two clear goals against a team fighting for their survival.....and people still fucking moan?
Ernie Baywood
95 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:46:24
There's a flip side to that John.

A midtable side producing a half decent performance against the worst team in the league and people are pleased?

Result = good. Form = average. Season = poor.

I'll enjoy the result without getting even slightly carried away.

Gavin Johnson
96 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:53:24
I noticed that Jack Grealish is still out injured. I wonder if he'd be worth a punt on for next season. In this relegation Villa side we could probably pick him up for a fraction of the fee that was banded around last season. There's been some questions about his attitude but the kid looked an exceptional talent last season.
Brian Mahoney
97 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:53:48
Just getting back from the game. We were not at our best but still won. You can only beat what's in front of you.

I thought Lennon, Barry and Funes Mori were our stand-out players tonight.

Can anyone tell me why their fans chose the 74th minute to walk out?

Don Alexander
98 Posted 02/03/2016 at 01:33:45
It really makes me wonder when some of us (repeat, "us") get irate about comments that suggest we did less than pulverise a team as bad as Villa are.

I'm sixty. I was a lad in 1970, 30 in '85 and 40 when we last won anything. Despite all the disappointment apart from those brief interludes of success I am 100% certain that this squad has got everything it takes to have produced way more than it now can do this season. We have a talented pool of players but there's a turd in the pool and it needs to be removed before we can hit the heights.

It's as if Martinez as a chef was given top notch ingredients but still produced boring, tasteless meals. Why would anyone pay for that, let alone consume it and come back again and again?

Kieran Kinsella
99 Posted 02/03/2016 at 01:47:03

It's because their team was founded in 1874.

On another note, what's the deal with Geri? I realize Lennon is playing well but surprised he's not being used as a late sub.

Gavin Johnson
100 Posted 02/03/2016 at 02:29:31
I think the Martinez bating is a bit overboard tonight. Yes, many of us want him replaced but posts saying he's a complete idiot and he's wasting the talent at his disposal do irritate me. Yes, we should be doing better and I think his handling and apparent blind faith in Tim Howard have been his undoing this season.

We look like we've now turned that corner to some extent. It's however, too little, too late for this season unless we win the FA Cup and finish in the top half.

I'm not being a Martinez apologist in this post. I've had major misgivings since the Swansea home embarrassment, but he's the manager until the end of the season and I genuinely believe we're on the cusp of evolving from a talented inconsistent young side into a great side. So we should see where we are at the end of the season before talking about replacements.

Behind his idiosyncrasies, I still think there's a good manager in there who's building the club from the bottom up. He's also the manager who's buying the players like Lukaku, Deulofeu, Lennon, Funes Mori, Galloway, Besic and McCarthy.

Martinez's transfer acumen cannot be questioned on the basis of Kone, McGeady and Alcaraz (£7m combined fees); Martinez is up there with Moyes in transfer business. He's bought better than Walter Smith, Mike Walker, Howard Kendall Mk3, and even Joe Royle who IMO bought a few duffers (Earl Barrett, Marc Hottiger and Claus Thomsen who could all be contenders for an Everton worst 11.

Just on his ability to put this side together, Martinez has something about him. The question is still the defence. There's no problem scoring so let's hope that now that now we've seen the last of Tim Howard, and John Stones is now seen as a mere mortal who can be dropped, and players are playing more on the basis of form, it's now onwards and upwards.

John Daley
101 Posted 02/03/2016 at 02:38:29
So, people are pointing out 'nonsense' statements but somehow this one slips by without even a single bite?:

"I think Martinez has raised the expectations of the fans to such an extent that we win 3-1 away from home and some are not happy."

Really, Paul? Roberto has sent expectations soaring? Shit! I must be totally out of touch then, because for large parts of the last 18 months I've found myself going into games half expecting them to play out something like this:


...and when they don't (like tonight) I just feel... well, relieved... more than anything.

Dennis Ng
102 Posted 02/03/2016 at 02:59:10
First half good. Second half poor. Had Villa been a much better offence, we might have drawn or lost the game. While I'm happy with the win, I will file this win under the 'meh' category. Why do we always only play one half of the game?
Ernie Baywood
103 Posted 02/03/2016 at 03:50:07
Gavin #85, I think it's a shame you feel the need to point out you're not being a Martinez apologist just for holding the opinion that there's too much baiting.

That said, I don't think that much has been aimed at Martinez tonight? Of course there are some who would blame him for the sun setting but generally it's a contrast between being pleased with the result and questioning the season as the bigger picture.

I've criticised Roberto a lot. I still think he's focused far more on development than results with a team that is capable of getting results.

But tonight when the tempo dropped I'm not sure you can blame Roberto. He couldn't possibly tell them to play at such a ponderous pace. It still feels like we need that player who dictates the pace of the game, much as Arteta used to from his deeper midfield role.

Now you could argue it's his job to sign that player, but you would also have to acknowledge the signings that he has made and the players that he's brought through.

Jamie Crowley
104 Posted 02/03/2016 at 04:45:54
Three points. Thank you very much.

We put it in neutral as the game was clearly in hand. Our intensity levels and work rate dropped appallingly low.

We're not a good enough side to allow that mindset to creep in.

Again, after the game was completely under control. So I say three points away, good result, but lets fire up the engines next game please.

Alan Thompson
105 Posted 02/03/2016 at 05:01:21
Have not yet had a chance to see the game but someone on here mentioned that Villa had 10 corners and we actually scored from one. Was this because of any apparent change in tactics/organization or was it just serendipity?
Paul Ferry
106 Posted 02/03/2016 at 05:09:34

David Oldfield (#29). A disappointing 3-1 win, to be honest,

Words fail me.

Funes Mori – MotM – is our best defender since Dave Watson and possibly Rats/Mounty.

Lennon/Coleman has the feel I think of Baines/Pienaar but with more defensive savvy – see Aaron, I think it was around '91 – the last defender.

A thoroughly clinical and professional performance.

If this is a 'crisis' season – look at goal difference, goals scored, points behind 5th, away record, 7 defeats same as Man City and Man Utd – then I can't wait for a partly crisis season.

Ernie Baywood
107 Posted 02/03/2016 at 05:56:11
We actually scored from two... Lukaku's was after Guzan's diving clearance.

We did get a few into the middle of the box. You'd hope that represents just improved crossing rather than a tactic. If hitting the first man was a tactic previously then it deserved to be binned sooner given we clearly couldn't score from them.

Defensively I don't know if we were much better. I recall one clanger from a corner where Joel got caught in traffic. And we still conceded from a hopeful hanger into the box. Probably just a bit better than the norm with the Gods smiling on us.

Harold Matthews
108 Posted 02/03/2016 at 06:11:09
We have some very decent players who are tied down by a stupid system which slows everything to a standstill far too often.

When Unsy is instructed to tell an 18-year-old to up his pass possession stats, you know something is not quite right... but when this youngster is able to reel off the pass possession stats of senior players, it begins to sound like a deadly creeping virus.

Darren Hind
109 Posted 02/03/2016 at 06:45:23
John Daley

If your expectations were not raised by all those hard fought narrow home defeats against mighty teams like Stoke and West Brom then you are simply refusing to give the manager the credit he deserves.

I bet you're one of those 37,000 who regularly come out of Goodison Park feeling cheated because you didn't see the wisdom of sticking with Tim Howard.
The cunning plan of not balancing the team up.
The substitutions designed to confuse.
The half-arsed way in which some of our players react when they have given the ball away.
The clever isolation of our centre-forward which enables us to play 7 players who are secretly being coached to understand that, although they can't contribute to attack, they don't have to defend either. It's all about keeping the ball...

You, my friend, go the match too often. You are foolishly giving some thought to what you are witnessing.

I'm sorry, mate, but you don't deserve to have your expectations raised.

Paul Andrews
110 Posted 02/03/2016 at 07:18:42

My point being the last manager got us into an average 7/8th finishing position with the odd semi final where we shit ourselves. And he was our saviour.

This manager has us in the same position and he should be sacked?

The clever isolation of our centre-forward sees us as the top Premier League goal scorers from open play as well. That one is obviously not working.

That's great how you put YouTube on the post, so good I give it a go myself. This was the video I was dancing to last night on the final whistle:

Tony Draper
111 Posted 02/03/2016 at 07:28:17
The result was good; TBH, even the scoreline was good.

Were we convincing? Yep, we were... because Villa are dead men walking and 1-3 was a fuckin stroll, it really was.

What score were the whiners expecting? 0-7 (one better than "Bingo" and "The Banana Splits"? Link )

0-37 (one better than Arbroath put over Bon Accord?)

Overall, I like Martinez. He can sort out our defence, it won't take much, but if he doesn't bother this season then he can phone his own taxi. Shame, 'cos I far prefer him over the turgid, bottler, predecessor.

As RM rightly gestured at his press conference..... Everton have stepped it up..... ALL departments take note, with immediate effect.

Rob Hooton
112 Posted 02/03/2016 at 07:44:12
Don Alexander, that is a fine analogy! We do have the ingredients but not a Masterchef, though I still believe Martinez deserves more as he has created the nucleus of a cracking team – he just needs to add a bit of seasoning in the summer to push on perhaps?

I've slated RM a few times but still want him to do well, I think the sheer wave of frustration and criticism has made him have to tweak his approach a little, he now needs to develop 'Philosophy B' and 'Philosophy C'!

Paul Andrews
113 Posted 02/03/2016 at 08:03:53
Well said, Rob.

He is almost there, only right he is given the chance to complete the project.

Sean Lawton
114 Posted 02/03/2016 at 08:15:51
We won 3-1 away against a team fighting for survival and we didn't play for 10 days before it. All-in-all, it was a job well done.

As for some people slagging Martinez, I'm not his biggest fan and sometimes his subs and tactics piss me off. He is young and still learning. I believe with the right backing he can get us back to the top. Didn't it take Sir Alex 'WhiskeyNose' 4 years to win anything at Man Utd?

Paul Mackie
115 Posted 02/03/2016 at 08:25:22
I feel bad for all of you who want Martinez out so badly that you can't enjoy a win.
Steve Pugh
116 Posted 02/03/2016 at 08:34:13
Paul Andrews #106

"My point being the last manager got us into an average 7/8th finishing position with the odd semi final where we shit ourselves.And he was our saviour.

This manager has us in the same position and he should be sacked?"

What a load of crap, Moyes took us from relegation scrappers to an average of 7/8th and kept us there. Martinez has one fifth place, one 11th and we are currently in 10th. Hardly the same thing.

In his years with the club how many times did Moyes finish outside of the top 8 two years running? Martinez is in danger of doing it within his first three years.

With 11 games to go he has already lost more games in his three seasons than Moyes did in his last three seasons at the club.

People wanting him to get sacked might be looking at things a bit clearer than you are.

Phil Sammon
117 Posted 02/03/2016 at 08:34:43
Dennis 98

'First half good. Second half poor.'

Sufferin' succotash! If that first half was 'good', I daren't watch the second! I only caught the first 45 before work...sounds like it was for the best. Honestly, I thought we were dire. If it was a one-off, I'd take the result with no questions asked. Sadly, it was the same, mundane, halted stuff that has become the norm. Followed by 20 minutes at the end clinging on for dear life.

Barkley, Mirallas, Lennon, Lukaku...if that team doesn't scream COUNTER ATTACK then I don't know what does. We did it ONCE and scored.

Somebody please remove this idiot from the helm.

Dave Ganley
118 Posted 02/03/2016 at 08:37:27
First of all, I am very happy with the fact that we got the 3 points. It's always a positive getting a win.

As to the game, I can completely see why some posters are unhappy. The game was a slow tepid dull affair. I don't agree that we started in 2nd gear. I thought we started very brightly, chased down the ball and did look full of energy. However, as soon as we scored, we did what we almost always do, which is take the foot off the pedal and give the opposition a sniff of a way back into the game. Let's not forget that Villa had chances at 1-0 down and also 2-0 down. Robles made good saves and the defence fucked around getting caught in possession.

Now, if this was an isolated incident, then I don't think people wouldn't be too bothered, but it's not. We never kill a game off. We fuck around, slow the game down to a standstill and generally give the opposition a chance to get back into the game. See Bournemouth, Norwich, Chelsea etc.

We beat Villa last night, not Man City, RS or any half-decent team. Reading some people's comments, you would think we had beat the world's best. We did this when we beat Villa at home. We extolled how great we are, how good we were on the ball, and promptly fell flat on our face when we faced a half-decent team. Oh how quickly the West Brom game is forgotten.

For all those calling for Martinez's head, I totally agree. I do agree that he has brought decent players to the club, but has he moulded them into a team? No, absolutely not. Has he learned how to set up a team to score and not concede? No absolutely not. He still says as much that he is not interested in a clean sheet. That statement alone should see he does not remain in charge of any top flight club, let alone our club with our history and tradition.

If we ever wish to challenge for top 4, titles and trophies (not out of the question after this week's news) then you have to keep clean sheets and pay attention to defence. You can't just say "We shall score more than you". It never works. Even the great Dutch team that played so-called total football never won anything.

We should have steamrolled Villa last night but we just didn't have it in us. This is not a work in progress, as some would have us believe. We are a mid-table team who can beat the poor teams and struggle against the half-decent teams. Results over the last two seasons prove that. We can have the occasional decent result but, let's face it, so can anyone.

Consistently, we are average at best when we should be so much better, given the players we have at our disposal. Martinez's "work in progress" has seen us slip down the league, get us walloped in a semi-final when we were 3-1 up, seen fortress Goodison reduced to a whisper and seen us waste another Premier League season. (Anybody who thinks we will finish top 4/6 really does live in Martinez's world...)

People soon forget how poor we have been this season and last. This season alone I can probably count the games, full games, that we have played well. We have seen so much dross. The most frustrating thing is that we can see that this is a team bursting to come out of its shell and play well for a full 90 minutes but is being inhibited by Martinez and his god awful tactics. Get rid and get someone in who can finally realise the team's full potential.

Paul Andrews
119 Posted 02/03/2016 at 08:42:39
Steve Pugh,

5+11+10 = 26 divided by 3 = 8 .
Same position

Moyes finished 17th I believe in his 2nd season?

Keith Conchie
120 Posted 02/03/2016 at 08:49:26
Some harsh words about the manager and our display last night on here. Some I agree with, some I don't, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

Personally I think Martinez has put the best Everton squad together I have seen in many years. When was the last time we could put out such a strong starting 11 and have a really strong bench to back it up.

The performance wasn't our best, but it didn't have to be. We won without playing anywhere near our top gear, which is a good sign. You only get 3 points wether you win 3-1 or 6-0.

My only gripe is the subs, I would have liked to see Niasse given at least 20 minutes at the end.

Ray Robinson
121 Posted 02/03/2016 at 08:50:24
I realise that Martinez is in a difficult situation with John Stones in that, if he doesn't play, his potential transfer value falls (not that I want to see him gone) but I'm hoping that the substitution of Funes Mori does not imply that Stones will necessarily start on Saturday versus West Ham. Funes Mori has his faults but to me, right now, looks a very decent defender who knows when to clear his lines rather than take unnecessary risks.

As the Sky co-commentator said last night, Everton make problems for themselves defensively by holding onto the ball too long at the back, inviting the opposition onto them. I'm all for playing the ball out from the back where sensible but there's no doubt we overcook it sometimes.

On one occasion last night, Funes Mori realised that the pressure on the backline was intensifying and simply hoofed it diagonally 40-50 yards. It was agricultural but it relieved a potentially dangerous situation. It is his defending rather than Stones's cultured play that has improved the defence of late.

Somehow though, I think Martinez is thinking of a way of re-accommodating Stones (and possibly Baines too) in any way he can. It's a dilemma, I know... but I would leave things as they are right now. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Steve Pugh
122 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:13:10
Well done, Paul, I love the way you ignore all the points I made and reiterated that they both average the same league position, one over 11 years and one over less than three, and the 17th place finish, brilliant, with a squad worth less than Rom.

Oh... wait a minute – didn't he follow that up with a 4th place in his third season? Will Martinez achieve that do you think? His next four seasons got us a 6th place and two 5th-place finishes, again will Martinez manage 4 top 6 finishes in 6 years?

In my humble opinion, the only thing that he is likely to match from Moyes's first 6 years is two finishes outside of the top 8. But they were the only two finishes outside of the top 8 that Moyes had in 11 years at Everton.

You must be desperate to cling on to your belief that Martinez is doing well.

Paul Andrews
123 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:20:22

I didn't ignore them, I thought they were irrelevant to the point I was making.

Can I ask: Would you swap Moyes for Martinez?

Craig Walker
124 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:23:25
I really like ToffeeWeb but it's so depressing sometimes. There's been some shit weeks supporting Everton but we've experienced far worse weeks than a 3-1 away win, the RS losing a cup final on penalties, and us finally getting that much sought after billionaire investor.

I didn't follow the game last night as I was playing 5-a-side. We have a few Villa fans on our team and I genuinely feel sorry for them. A proper football club being run into the ground.

James Marshall
125 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:25:52

Second top scorers is meaningless. Best goal difference outside the top 4 is more meaningful and the point people on here are missing.

RM bashing has become a habit for many people. Leaking goals yes, a very healthy goal difference, yes.

Thanks for feeling sorry for me. It's the people who are always pissed off and whinging that I feel sorry for.

Trevor Peers
126 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:28:30
Paul, it's not about Roberto v Moyes, quite obviously given the fact we have new ownership, we can now look for a manager of a higher calibre than both managers, past and present.

Why shouldn't we? It's pretty obvious Bobby has too many shortcomings to take us to the next level; your undying loyalty should be to Everton, not Martinez... shouldn't it?

John Keating
127 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:36:23

The last 10 games: Won 5, 3 of which have been against the powerhouses that are Villa, Newcastle and Carlisle;
Drew 2, against Chelsea we were 2-up twice;
Lost 3, 2 at home against the mighty Swansea and West Brom.

Not exactly the recent form that will get us Champions League that your hero claimed he would get us into.

Most managers reckon it takes 3 years to get their team to a position where they can show their potential. Well, we are almost 3 years in to your hero's tenure and I personally still can't see a great improvement.

A lot of posters say this team are the best we've had for a generation – well, that's open to debate, I'd say, based on this season's form.

No point having a great goal difference if we are mid bloody table. It's all about opinions and you see Martinez as some sort of Messiah that has brought some sort of phenomenal football to Goodison. I see a charlatan who is totally out of his depth

Dave Ganley
128 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:38:30
James, don't feel sorry for any of us that's pissed off, thanks very much. We have a squad that is vastly underachieving and, if anything, I feel sorry for the poor suckers who keep defending Martinez and his insane gung ho tactics and who keep the faith with his "work in progress".

Personally, I feel we should be doing so much better and we should have much higher standards with this squad of players. Instead, excuses are constantly rolled out as to why we have not produced week after week, and why it will be so much better next week, next 12 games, next season, in 4 years time.

If you're happy with the dull tepid inane tippy-tappy shite we are forced to witness week after week, then fair enough. I'm not and won't be until we start to realise the vast potential of this team. Something Martinez doesn't appear to have a clue how to unlock. And no I also don't need to be patronised either, by you feeling sorry for us being pissed off.

Tony Abrahams
129 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:41:37
Harold, if that's true, I am fucking astounded. I'm not doubting you for one minute, by the way, but it's possibly the evidence I've been looking for, as to why James McCarthy, has not taken his game up to the next level.
Andrew Ellams
130 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:51:08
For the Moyes vs Martinez debate, Moyes was the right man for the job at the time but Martinez is not.
Chris Leyland
131 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:51:20
Paul Andrews. I don't think much of your maths.
"5+11+10 = 26 divided by 3 = 8 .Same position"

Actually 5+11+10 = 26 divided by 3 = 8.67.

By any standards of mathematics using rounding to the nearest whole number, this does not get rounded to 8 but should be rounded to 9.

Mike Green
132 Posted 02/03/2016 at 09:59:11
Maybe we should just make Martinez Chief Scout?
Sam Hoare
133 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:03:27
26 divided by 3= 8. Ha! Confirmation bias at its best!!

Even if Martinez was matching Moyes's league finishes (which he isn't so far) that would be a pretty poor achievement given the superiority of squad and resources that he inherited.

This squad is more than capable of finishing in the top 4 and the biggest problem I have with Martinez is that it's clear this season that he has not got the best out of them on a regular enough basis.

Andrew Ellams
134 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:04:47
Mike Green, what about director of football? Bring in a European manager who is used to working with that system and let Martinez look after recruitment.
Amit Vithlani
135 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:20:48
As far as last night's game is concerned, job done. There were some poor passages of play, but when it mattered, we got the goals and did a good enough job of preventing Villa from having too many clear cut-chances. Joel pulled off 3 saves if I recall.

Contrast this to the domination versus West Brom, where we were far from clinical and occasionally ponderous and hence failed to score. The opposition barely had any chances and we still lost.

So the team is getting better at taking chances and this is a good sign.

Regarding the Martinez debate, I hope the purchase by the new man goes through, if only because of Martinez' acknowledgement that the weight of expectation on him has increased. This is the clearest signal that we could have continued to lumber around in mid-table and Martinez job was safe for so long as BK was in charge. Clearly, the new shareholder is unlikely to take such a stance if investment in the playing squad materialises. Martinez will have to deliver or he will be replaced. At least I hope that is the case.

James Marshall
136 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:22:45

My 'feeling sorry for you all' was actually in response to an earlier post. I wasn't patronising you directly, merely responding to a ridiculous post from an earlier poster.

In reply to you, I would say that you raise certain points I agree with, and would also say that what your post says to me, is a lack of patience, nothing more.

Martinez isn't perfect, but he certainly isn't the idiot many people seem to think he is. I believe (and a few others on here) that he's trying to play football the right way – keeping the ball is a philosophy anyone who knows anything about football would agree is a good thing – but of course I also agree with people on here that we need to be better defensively.

Personally I'm not one for simply attacking the manager regardless of results (we won 3-1 and people are still moaning about the performance – this makes no sense to me) and I think his project is one to be admired in many ways – football isn't a quick-fix sport. You can't just build a team over one summer and hope for it to all be rosey – Leicester have been a one-off in my opinion.

Patience is what's required here – I've really enjoyed our attacking flair this season, and when you look at the table, you can see that we're not far off.

You'll probably counter that with something about 'we should be right up there' or similar, but we're not. So what do we do? Fire the manager? Then what? How does that affect players? Stability is important. I'd wager that if RM was fired we'd definitely lose our top young players as a direct result. Given the recent share-sale, this is a time for cohesion, togetherness, stability and positivity – a few values a lot of Evertonians appear to be currently overlooking.

Phil Sammon
137 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:23:44
Better yet, sack him and keep Kevin Reeves on.

What gems has Martinez unearthed?

Nigel Gregson
138 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:29:46
Sam Hoare: He's not got the "best" out of them this season? What do you mean by 'best'?

Lukaku's found the net more than ever as has; Ross has created many chances. Deulofeu, Lennon, Cleverley, and Barry have all played extremely well this season, as has Besic when fit.

This is a different squad to what Moyes had, but maybe it is one with potential and youth, and not so much the end product yet. One that makes naive mistakes. It's like saying "Let's sack Pep Guardiola since he's not getting the 'best' out of an 18-year-old Messi."

John Roberts
139 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:33:49
Agree totally with Victor at 68. Yes, a win but Martinez cannot mask a 2nd successive failed season with a few victories over weak opposition!

Great squad; no Euro commitments and no improvement = failure.
Andrew Clare
140 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:43:14
I have been in two minds about Martinez since he arrived. On the on hand, we are playing attractive attacking possession football; on the other, we seem to switch off and look vulnerable for long periods in games. If only we could maintain the high pressing game, we would win so many more games.

Undoubtedly we have progressed as far as the quality of the players are concerned, as well as the attacking side of our game, but we are 10th in the table and that just isn't good enough.

Hopefully two or three top class signings will have us challenging for honours next year. At the moment, we just don't look like a force, we look too lightweight as though we could crumble at any moment.

Gary Russell
141 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:46:32
James, it was your line "If you're not happy after tonight, I actually feel a bit sorry for you" in message 55. Do you mean happy for a 1-3 away victory? Or you mean happy cos Howard has hopefully gone and we new investment?

We were rubbish last night and we have been all season. People are still posting about if RM sorts out this and that takes on board a serious facet of winning games, which is paying attention to defending. What he has said and shown after nearly three seasons, makes many of us think he will not change/adapt/evolve.

He will be pleased about last night and enjoy the 'moment' and 'action' blah fucking blah that he keeps going on about but there have been way too many shite moments that some so easily forget.

Paul Andrews
142 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:51:34
What's all this "hero" business? Martinez is not my hero, he is the Everton manager; he has my backing, and in my opinion on the verge of building a very good side.

Shane Corcoran
143 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:57:17
I think the template for all post-match threads have been set.

If we win the game then please just come on and post only positive messages. If we win, that means everything is good. If we lose then it's bad. Simple. Hardly worth discussing then is it?

In fact, why would we even bother watch the game. Just check the result and react accordingly. 10/10 for everyone.

I note that my sarcasm is likely to be annoying, it's meant to be. It's probably just as annoying as the "some people will never be happy" or the "we won, ffs" comments.

We won, I'm happy we won, I'm happy we have three points but THE PERFORMANCE IS NOT BEYOND CRITICISM.

Mark Stone
144 Posted 02/03/2016 at 10:59:07
No-one said you can finish 8½. They said if the average league position is 8.67 then it's rounded to 9, not 8.


Harold Matthews
145 Posted 02/03/2016 at 11:08:27
Sorry, Tony (#124). Pass completion of course, not pass possession. A true horror story. I'm guessing Unsy was under orders. I'd put money on it. The lad in question was Joe Williams, who told this tale in a recent TW article.

"Training with the first team is normal now. I treat it as if I'm training with the U21s. They're all sound with me".

Williams describes the high standards required of him and his team-mates from U21 manager David Unsworth, again with progression to Roberto Martinez's first team in mind.

"Players like Barry, McCarthy, Gibson, Besic, everyone, they've all got high 80s and 90% for pass completion rates", he continues, "So Unsy has been telling me that he wants me to get 90s every single week. He even told me that he wanted me to get 100."

So yes, Tony. Now we know why McCarthy seldom risks a forward pass and why Coleman dithers instead of crossing. It might ruin their pass completion rates. Amazing stuff indeed.

Colin Malone
147 Posted 02/03/2016 at 11:11:42
Barkley and Lukaku are always crowded out when we attack through the middle, which is frustrating. Going down the flanks, we are fine. I would like to see Martinez play one holding midfielder, Gareth Barry and say Mirallas, Ossie, Niasse, Lennon or even Deulofeu, play just behind or alongside Ross Barkley or visa versa.
John Daley
148 Posted 02/03/2016 at 11:29:41

I would guess those who hailed Moyes as a 'saviour' probably did so on the back of the 'slumming it' position we were in when he took over and the far more respectable, less bum-clenching finishing places we found ourselves in thereafter. Now, I was never the biggest fan of the man, but there's absolutely no comparison at all between the hand Moyes was originally dealt and the one he later left on the table for someone else to pick up.

I know, generally, you always try to see the positive, Paul, but hailing every little victory as though it's some sort of vindication of the manager's methods is really pushing your luck. It's almost beginning to seem like you've resolutely stood behind Roberto for so long that you've begun to assimilate some of his attributes and they're now starting to show up in your posts.

How does highlighting the number of goals Lukaku has scored back up your claim that Martinez has caused expectations to soar amongst supporters? It may well sound impressive when taken in isolation but, like the manager, it seems you fail to realise that it means absolutely fuck all if improved results haven't followed on the back of it. We could score 'oooone meellion' goals and become the less picky neutral's most beloved source of entertainment since Shakin Stevens pissed off back through his green door, but if we only finish mid-table on the back of it then I'm still going to go 'meh, sounds like a load of old bollocks to me'.

How exactly is he "almost there" when he seemingly can't be arsed with half the job? You make it sound like Bobby set off on some thankless, daunting journey down a dead long deserted highway with the theme tune from First Blood tinkling away in the background. Well, maybe he should lift his fucking head up for a bit and he might realise he's actually been walking backwards and is now further away from his end goal than when he first set off?

Then there's your finding the simple integration of a YouTube link to be so impressive that you openly admit to trying to mimic it, only to then fail miserably to pull it off....which is a bit like Roberto buzzing his tits off over Barcelona's playing style and then....well, you know the rest.

David Price
149 Posted 02/03/2016 at 11:29:56
I think Besic will give us more drive than McCarthy after that, the team is fine. If that doesn't get us up the table then you have to look at why the manager can't motivate them or organise a winning method of play.

Farhad will be watching closely. Have no doubt about his expectations. This man will invest his own money to make us the best he can be and not use us as a cash cow to fund other businesses, such as Groenke does at Arsenal which caused him to come to us.

At Man City, Mark Hughes was given a season to be assessed his ability at the top table, I can see the same here. Martinez will be given cash to spend on players of his choice, if he succeeds then we'll rejoice as one I'm sure. If he fails then Mr Moshiri will seek out the best for our great club.

To argue over Martinez and Moyes seems strangely reticent. Our future is now being designed, once the fire is truly lit, watch us go for trophies our history deserves...

Denis Richardson
150 Posted 02/03/2016 at 11:48:12
A win is a win but before people start jumping for joy I'd just add the fact that of the 9 wins this season, 4 have been doubles over Villa and Newcastle, the two worst sides in the league who we should be beating – they've been woeful. So yes, thanks for the points but seriously, there would be rioting if we'd lost those games.

With two other wins over Swansea and Sunderland thrown in (16th and 17th respectively in the league) then it is clear we struggle against teams that are basically not shit - 6 from 9 wins have come against the bottom clubs.

I'm glad to get the 3 points against Villa which goes towards our inevitable mid table finish but I'm not going to be fooled by a win against the worst team in the league that we've somehow turned a corner and Martinez has changed.

Our next three league games are; West Ham (H), Arsenal (H), Man Utd (A). Let's start getting results against teams not near the bottom before we start putting party hats on. Given our home performance this season, this weekend will be interesting to say the least. (Nevermind the cup game against a rejuvenated Chelsea.)

Lucky for Martinez that the Villa game came when it did to buy him some time before the next three fixtures. I'll be nicely surprised if we manage just one win from those three!

Tony Abrahams
151 Posted 02/03/2016 at 11:52:54
Thanks Harold, it seems a bit different when you put it like that, but is it really?

We have all played in games, when you hear the shout, keep the fucking ball, and it's something I would always advocate, but possession for possessions sake, is different.

It's good to keep the ball,and sicken the opposition, when your team has a good lead, but the way Everton do it under Martinez just kills the game and sickens the crowd. It doesn't have to be this way.

I think Dave Ganley, says it best, with his "WE HAVE A TEAM WHICH IS BURSTING TO COME OUT OF ITS SHELL" comment at post 113.

Paul Andrews
152 Posted 02/03/2016 at 11:55:29

Can I take the opportunity to congratulate you on your psychoanalytical prowess. It comes across even better when presented with your biting wit.

I thought I was just giving an honest opinion.

Brent Stephens
153 Posted 02/03/2016 at 11:59:33
"I didn't realise a team could finish 8½."

That is the point of rounding up or down. There are 50,000 men in UK with only 1 leg. Divide the number of legs that men in the UK have by the number of men in the UK and you get 1.99. But we don't see many guys walking around with 1.99 of a leg (well, maybe at Stoke).

Tony Abrahams
154 Posted 02/03/2016 at 12:06:39
Maybe controversial to some, but how good really is Lukaku?

He has improved massively this season, in every part of his game, and I would also like to congratulate him on breaking the record for most goals scored in a Premier League season for Everton last night. But I still have my doubts.

He's still young, and offers loads more potential, but I do feel that the team, or maybe the teams system, has also been altered to bring more out of him this season.

Nothing wrong with that because it's obviously worked, but not always for the good of the team, I say. If Kone is not pushing up to help him, he just doesn't seem as effective; but, when Kone doesn't play, we seem so much more balanced.

Maybe it would be good business to sell him for the figures that are being quoted. Or would that be a backward step?

Dave Southword
155 Posted 02/03/2016 at 12:17:43
Comfortable win against a poor team. We got in a bit of a muddle with the switch to three at the back, which I think had more to do with the future than the Villa game.

Jags is a strong influence on the back line so that leaves Stones and Funes Mori fighting for the other spot. Our Argie is getting close to undroppable at the moment – a goal and an assist last night – so I wonder if the switch was to try to fit all three into our shape.

John Keating
156 Posted 02/03/2016 at 12:22:18
All this attractive attacking football we are apparently playing. When exactly was it? I mean, there have been times in a few games this season when we have played it for about 5 minutes, so have Villa, Newcastle, Sunderland etc.

People make it sound as if we play whole games playing attractive attacking football. In my humble opinion, we've spent much longer playing boring shite passing across the back 4 football going nowhere than attractive attacking football.

Martinez should not be lauded on the back of a result against Villa as being this phenomenal manager building a Club up from scratch and it being a work in progress. Martinez should be judged on where we are at the end of the season.

Only my opinion, of course, but he should have been binned last season. He's had this season to prove to me that he is unfit to manage my Club. Regardless of what happens for the remainder of the Premier League campaign he has royally fucked up this season for me – again!!!

Andrew Ellams
157 Posted 02/03/2016 at 12:22:34
Tony Abrahams, firstly you congratulate a player for becoming Everton's record scorer in the Premier League era, a feat which he has achieved with ten games to go and then you suggest we sell him. I'm not understanding your logic.

Surely what Martinez should be concentrating on is building the attacking part of our game around Lukaku and bringing in the sort of players that would provide even more ammunition for him.

Tony Abrahams
158 Posted 02/03/2016 at 12:49:25
Andrew, read my post again, especially the last question. I say question Andrew, because I have not said sell him.

You want to keep him; that's fine, he his a goal scorer after all, but when you say surely Martinez should be concentrating on building the attacking part of our game around Lukaku, I think he already has.

But it's not always been for the good of the team, as a whole, is what I'm saying, Andrew. And it is very much a team game.

Dave Abrahams
159 Posted 02/03/2016 at 13:13:49
I hope Mr Moshiri is fan of football and understands the game like he is reported to be. If he is, Martinez will not be here all that long.

If he listens to Kenwright and takes notice of him then we are in for a lot more of this poor inflexible manager.

Raymond Fox
160 Posted 02/03/2016 at 13:36:47
Gary (#66),

If attempting to win games it counts a lot does it not. Try winning games without scoring! If you look at my post, I said we've stopped leaking goals recently.

Andy (#79),

Then they are the ones who every post they make have to criticise Martinez whatever topic or whatever the result. It's boring, and have many have said it's over the top. Your passionate in your opinion of Martinez, but please stop ramming it down readers' throats at every opportunity.

Give the guy some credit, he's brought Stones and Barkley through, add to them Galloway (nailed on top player) and Browning. Lukaku and Deulofeu have developed in his charge. Funes Mori, Lennon, Cleverley look shrewd signings, Besic, McCarthy, Robles likewise.

Maybe I'm too pro-Martinez, I accept that criticism, but my take on his performance since he took over is: first season excellent, record club points in Premier League; second season, the League, performance affected 3-4 places by involvement in the Europa League; third season, how far off being bang up there in the League, results are very often decided by very small margins, there's still 11 games to play, a lot can change yet.

Okay, you could say I'm making excuses, but that's how I see it.

Let's have a recount at the end of the season.

Jamie Crowley
161 Posted 02/03/2016 at 13:43:47
A 3-1 away victory when we clearly weren't our best and took the foot off the pedal...

And that's all the fuel some of you need ramp up the Roberto out cry?

Is there a direct link to TW from a chemical imbalance website?

Dennis Ng
162 Posted 02/03/2016 at 14:02:46
Phil 112, you're lucky to have to miss the second half... I nearly fell asleep at work streaming it. I guess your version would be: first half bad, second half worse.
Dennis Ng
163 Posted 02/03/2016 at 14:24:37
Harold (#139), amazing post. Well that explains our style of play for the past 2 seasons. Even IF we splash money for a creative midfielder, he might get ruined by this ridiculous standard.

Passing accuracy is fine in practice but surely we should not limit our players' creativity with that metric on the field.

John Keating
164 Posted 02/03/2016 at 14:57:11

You may well be a bit pro-Martinez. The signs for Martinez's second season were there at the end of his first season. Your excuse for last season that we lost 3-4 places because of the Europa League... Do you mean like Spurs this season?

So far this season, well the table and our form doesn't lie. Our home form, tactics, subs have been quoted often enough. You are correct in that we should assess things at the end of the season and if the situation doesn't change much I suppose you'd give him yet another season?

More excuses and another season until he completes his job on us...

Steve Pugh
165 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:00:23
At this point in time, Paul, Yes I would.

As far as pass accuracy figures go, I think you have to be very careful and I agree with Harold and Dennis that it is appearing to get a bit OTT at Everton.

Pushing for high figures is a good thing as long as it doesn't come at the expense of players trying to hit that killer pass. Quite often, the margins in that pass are so fine that there is a small degree of luck involved whether it will get past the defender.

I seem to remember a lot of criticism of Ossie when people quoted his passing accuracy because it was all sideways and backwards; now apparently that is what we should be looking for.

Eric Myles
166 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:06:19
Harold, they should split those passing accuracy stats into areas of the field. Around our half of the pitch, they must be 90%+, and around the opponents box going backwards a similar number. But it's when we try to make a forward pass, the rare occasions we bother, that it drops down to 10%.
Paul Andrews
167 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:10:04
Thanks Steve,

We will have to agree to disagree. I gave my long held season ticket up because of the dire, frightened football Moyes had us playing.

Sam Hoare
168 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:17:11
Nigel Gregson @133

Saying he hasn't got the best out of them is surely pretty clear. No? Let me put it another way. This is a squad that should be finishing top 7 minimum. Anything else would be underachieving.

Yes the likes of Lukaku and Barkley have had good seasons but 'them' refers to the whole squad – not just the players benefiting from the "We'll score more than you" philosophy. Have a look at Ranieri, Pochettino and Howe if you want examples of managers who have been getting the best out of players. Hope that clarifies it.

Mike Green
169 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:18:13
Results are bread and performances are wine. You can't survive without the former, but life's pretty dull without the latter.
Richard Farrington
170 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:21:09
John Keating,

Spot on. The last two games, we have played Bournemouth reserves and the worst Villa team in living memory, we've done the job but but not particularly convincingly and quite frankly our playing style is boring and it won't be successful against anyone half-decent.

If we are to spend big bucks on new players in the Summer, I wouldn't give it to Martinez. Nothing will change; he's not the man take us forward.

Brian Harrison
171 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:21:19
Harold (139),

I am sure Joe Williams was being completely open about being told how he needs to get his pass completion to 100%, he didn't realize what an indictment it is of RMs whole philosophy.

RM talks about playing without fear but in reality his 'without fear' philosophy also means always hit a safe pass rather than risk a more adventurous pass. That's why we see long bouts of interpassing between the back 4 and the centre-midfield players.

Yes, it's important to look after the ball, but not at the detriment of trying to play attacking football. I can well imagine Monday mornings at Finch Farm were all the pass completion stats are trawled over by RM and his coaching team.

Football is also supposed to be entertaining and not just about boring possession football, sometimes you can see our defenders and central midfield players never even looking to play a forward pass.

Raymond Fox
172 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:24:28
John (#157),

It's a matter of opinion again, but I would argue that Spurs squads are usually stronger than ours. Every ex pro with the exception of one said that being in a European competition affected their teams performances in the League, I can't see how it can help when you're travelling long distances midweek etc.

I think our players are getting off lightly as far as the criticism is concerned; after all, it's their performances as well as the manager's that determine the results.

Dave Abrahams
173 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:34:42
Brian (#165), your last paragraph should be read by every Evertonian, especially the ones in charge of the club, and the manager and his coaches, entertainment. It should be put in capital letters; how I long for entertainment at Goodison Park, particularly from Everton.
James Marshall
174 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:50:52
If we're so boring to watch, how come only top of the table Leicester have scored more goals than us? If there's one thing I utterly disagree with when talking about this current Everton side, is that we're boring to watch.

We score loads, we concede loads, last minute winners, last minute controversy, last minute conceding of leads etc – how is any of that boring?

John Keating
175 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:51:35
Raymond, for years, Spurs and ourselves have generally been regarded as on par by most observers and supporters. Look at last season with us and this season with Spurs... We were absolutely abysmal last season in the league whereas you can't say that about Spurs this season.

In the league this season, their manager hasn't chopped and changed much and they appear to be getting stronger as the season progresses. In general, Spurs play at quite a high tempo for the full 90 minutes, we play in small patches.

Spurs don't appear to be suffering from their Europa League adventure. In fact, last season, Martinez continually said that the Europa League campaign had no bearing on our pathetic Premier League form, well not until the season ended.

This season, Martinez has been looking each week to explain why we have been getting the results we have been getting. Sometimes Raymond you just have to admit that we make mistakes at work and in life. You change things and get on with it. I think we just have to say Martinez hasn't come up with the goods.

He refuses to accept he needs to adjust or change and as such, he has to move on. He has not changed since the day he went into management so why would he change now ?

I reckon if Martinez stays next season, we will be having exactly the same conversation this time next year.

Alan Thompson
176 Posted 02/03/2016 at 15:57:48
Ernie (#103); Many thanks.
Alex Fox
177 Posted 02/03/2016 at 16:07:43
Are Everton boring? Really?

Neutrals love us. Practically every game this season has been packed with incident. There is not a second we're on the pitch when you can't see a goal coming – either for or against us. 3-3s. 4-3s. That's entertainment. In fact, given that we've failed to win those high-scoring games, it's probably entertainment to our detriment.

Some people seem to equate entertaining football to pumping the ball long, and swinging in crosses every two minutes. Funnily enough, they didn't find it particularly interesting when we did exactly that under David Moyes.

I find goals exciting. And here are the only teams that have scored more goals than us this season in Europe's major leagues:

Leicester City
Real Madrid
Bayern Munich

We're in pretty good company. By all means criticize the tactics or performance, but we're anything but boring.

Raymond Fox
178 Posted 02/03/2016 at 16:17:22
John I think ex pros have a better idea about the effect Euro comps have on League form then you or me.

The betting each year says that Spurs are rated better than us, but anyway were disagreeing on minor details.

If the quality of our players in 3-4 positions was improved I think you would see us right up there challenging for top 4.

John Daley
179 Posted 02/03/2016 at 16:27:09
Paul @147,

Not really sure what a 'physco' is, never mind how to analyse one, but if you think I was a bit harsh on you then imagine how that poor little bugger in full Liverpool kit felt when he booted his ball against my window before sheepishly asking for it back.

He had it coming though. Not like the wife hasn't already warned all the neighbours: "Do not touch the glass. Do not approach the glass. Pass him nothing but soft paper-no pencils or pens."

John Daley
181 Posted 02/03/2016 at 16:45:24
Who cares what the neutral thinks?

Blackpool were constantly talked up as entertaining and every neutral's Number One to watch when they were in the Premier League. Bet they'd swap such patronising plaudits for the chance to go back and plug their leaky back line now.

I can see how people with no investment in either side competing can get their non-caring kicks from Everton games, but if it was their own team persistently tossing away points like a badly twatted piñata the bloody enjoyment would soon wear off.

Same as the neutrals naming of Everton as one of their 'most favourite teams ever' would magically evaporate if we ever emerged as a realistic, consistent threat to their own teams trophy snatching chances.

Craig Walker
182 Posted 02/03/2016 at 16:50:23
This hasn't been a good season for Everton. I'd argue that it's the draws rather than defeats that has cost us. We've lost the same number of games as both Manchester clubs and only one more than Arsenal. A win against Chelsea in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup would give us a chance to achieve something. We could make our Premier League placing healthier with wins against West Ham at home, Arsenal at home and Man Utd away. Our home form suggests we'll struggle.

But what teams are having a good season though? Leicester are in dreamland. Spurs are doing better than expected. West Ham have done well and their fans are delighted with Bilic. Watford have been a big surprise this season. Southampton and Stoke have done okay. Bournemouth are probably pleased that they are just out of the relegation places at the start of March.

However, Arsenal fans are fearing they've bottled it again and a large percentage of them want rid of Wenger. Man Utd fans are far from happy with their boring football and their league position having spent over £200 million. Chelsea have certainly improved under Hiddink but have lost 9 games this season and are making one of the worst title defences ever.

Crystal Palace were having a great season at Christmas but then came down with the decorations. West Brom have improved but before they played us, their fans were far from pleased with Pulis's negativity. Liverpool have spent massively again and are on the same points as us and out of the FA Cup.

Then there's Swansea. We were reading how Gary Monk was an England manager in waiting at the start of the season. Newcastle and Sunderland are a joke and fighting for their Premier League lives. Some fans on here were advocating Steve McClaren as a suitable Everton boss not so long ago. Norwich are in serious trouble. It's hard to imagine how it could be worse for Villa whose fans are questioning whether they can even remain in the Championship next year.

Dennis Ng
183 Posted 02/03/2016 at 17:05:59
Craig, LOL on McClaren. I must have missed that one because when I saw him at Newcastle, they became my top pick to join Villa on the way down. Many of us are frustrated at the missed opportunity to take advantage of the slip-ups of the Sky 4. Spurs and Leicester will be in the Champions League, perhaps fighting for the title while we struggle to be within the top half.

John, I share the same opinion. Neutrals don't care about our club's success, and would love to have an entertaining game with us losing to their favorite teams. If you want to attract more fans, sure, entertaining games are a good draw, but no-one remember the teams that come second best. They only remember winners. Win and then entertain. The big clubs that you can throw out there. Are they big because they played nice football first or did they win titles first?

Paul Andrews
184 Posted 02/03/2016 at 17:07:19
Good analysis, Craig.

It seems fans are split at most clubs in the top half. All except Leicester who, as you say, are in dreamland, and Spurs.I hope Leicester go on to win the Premier League.

Martin Mason
185 Posted 02/03/2016 at 17:29:51
We've had a very good run of 6 games now and if we can continue to get results when playing badly then that is massively positive and think not of where we were but where we're going from now. If anybody believes that the 1970s or 1980s sides didn't have matches where they played wretchedly has no memory. The key thing isn't the performance, it is the result – although good performances are very nice to have. What is important for us now is winning and getting used to winning; if the goals are deflections or last minute, then all the better.

For me, the key is West Ham Saturday, if we can win this then I'll genuinely believe that we have turned the corner. I also believe that the key is keeping the unfashionable Lennon in the side and I don't believe that playing one of Mirallas or Deulofeu or Gibson and Cleverley will weaken us at all. With money to spend on quality, none of them will be good enough to see us to the next level anyway; none of them would get into any of the top sides now. We have to look beyond the £10M players to make that move.
Dave Abrahams
186 Posted 02/03/2016 at 17:41:18
Martin (#180), if you are talking about the 1970s and 1980s title-winning teams playing wretchedly, you are correct... but they didn't play that way anywhere near as consistently as this team.

Martin, have a good look at the quality of the teams we have beaten recently then reconsider your assessment of how good we are.

No matter how you look at it, this season's performances are poor and in my opinion would have been much better with a better man than Martinez in charge; mind you, I think you will agree with this last paragraph.

Jay Wood
187 Posted 02/03/2016 at 17:47:02
Is it all right to say ...

I'm delighted with the win and another 3 points...

I'm delighted with the 3 goals, particularly Lennon's goal ...

I'm delighted that Lukaku is now our top ever PL goal scorer (even if 17 sounds kinda ... middling) ...

I thought Funes Mori, Barry (yet again) and Lennon were our standouts on the night, with a special mention to Mirallas for laying on 2 goals ...

BUT! But ...

I was less enamoured by our quality of play. It was mostly sloppy and careless and low intensity. The Lennon goal and the rapid counter showed what could - and should, on the night - have been more consistently applied by the team against the worst side in the league.

I was pissed off to concede another soft goal, unpressurised cross into the box, big lump outjumps 2 centre backs ... goal!

I thought Robles looked dodgy on a couple of occasions and I remain unconvinced by him. Ross had one of his poorest games of recent times.

I continue to think this team, whilst talented, seriously lacks an Alpha Dog. The all-conquering mid-80s team was brimful of them. This team doesn't have a single yard dog, prepared to snarl and growl in the face of his fellow team mates to keep them on point and performing to a high level over the full 90 minutes.

Fair enough, people...?

NB (particular those inclined to cry 'Martinez bashing' when any mild criticism is passed on the team), I haven't referenced Roberto at all.

Martin Mason
188 Posted 02/03/2016 at 18:01:42
Dave, undisputed mate but I try to look where we're going not where we've been. I genuinely believe that we aren't good enough to be in the top 4 or 5 until we can buy quality players, we are a 6th-10th team that's underperformed this year and last.

To be fair, if we'd played most of RM's first season as we finished it, we'd probably have been where we are now. Maybe half of our team are just not top echelon players and that is part of the reason why we have oscillated between the sublime and the ridiculous, it's a genuine symptom of lack of real quality.

As always, how we play Saturday is the key.

John Keating
189 Posted 02/03/2016 at 18:02:18
Martin, why West Ham? What's so special about the West Ham game which will mean we have turned the corner?

I seem to have heard this so many times both this and last season. One game isn't going to turn a corner with this manager.

I can recall someone writing a thread after we beat Villa at home saying this mythical corner had been turned and I don't think we won again for about 5-6 games!
Martin Mason
190 Posted 02/03/2016 at 18:11:13
John, West Ham are our peers and are playing well. It is against West Ham that our progress must be measured but in reality it's whoever we play Saturday. Remember, we are on quite a good run; Saturday will see if we continue it and it's critical.

Good runs are carved out one game at a time, some of which may be almost unwatchable. I think at times we have massively high and irrational expectations of how we should play every game and the world ends if we don't. Kendall's best sides were years in coming.

John Keating
191 Posted 02/03/2016 at 18:30:01

I just don't understand this particular game. If you think West Ham are our peers then they were playing far better and were more consistent earlier in the season.

In November, we had a win against Sunderland 6-2 so in your words a good run carved out a game at a time. Next up we had a good draw AT West Ham 1-1. Then Villa at home 4-0. We were deffo on a roll!

After that... well, crap really – Bournemouth, Palace, Norwich, Leicester, Stoke.

So, as I said previously, we have never had a run this season and, in my opinion, West Ham at home could be anything: win, lose or draw. Under Martinez, the only thing that is consistent is our inconsistency.

Martin Mason
192 Posted 02/03/2016 at 18:46:14
John, the key thing isn't who we are playing although West Ham will be a much sterner test for us than some of the poor sides we've had to play recently.
Darren Hind
193 Posted 02/03/2016 at 18:53:42
Trevor Peers @122

Nail, Head

Paul Andrews
194 Posted 02/03/2016 at 19:15:39
Trevor 122.

Apologies for late reply, your post has only just been brought to my attention.

As an Evertonian of over 50 years my loyalty will always be to the club I love.

Hard decision though. Roberto is my hero. ;-)

Andy Crooks
195 Posted 02/03/2016 at 19:20:04
Raymond (#155), I think that is unfair. You admire Martinez and I respect that view. I believe that I am not so entrenched in my views that I cannot look at your posts and see your point. However, I honestly do not feel that I am ramming my opinions down people's throats.

No doubt the critical view can seem more abrasive but, as I said in my post, we want the same thing.

Darren Hind
196 Posted 02/03/2016 at 19:52:02
In recent ToffeeWeb poll asking if Martinez should be sacked, the overwhelming majority said Yes.

Would be interesting to see how such a vote would go now that we can attract a better calibre of coach.

Jon Cox
197 Posted 02/03/2016 at 20:02:08
At the end of the day Roberto's football is SHITE.

If we want the level of European football then get a European level football manager.

Seems quite simple really.

Raymond Fox
198 Posted 02/03/2016 at 20:09:06
Andy, sorry if I offended you, maybe 'rammed down peoples throats' is a bit severe. We both want the best for the club, but we beg to differ on why we are perceived to be underachieving. Whether we are is purely subjective also.

It's not that I admire Martinez as such, but I do think he is copping for too much criticism, the players are as much or indeed more to blame for some/most of the poor displays, that's my take on it.

Moyes for his faults, was a very hard act to follow for his finishing positions in the League, it wasn't always pretty but it was effective. He was lauded for his achievements at Goodison by the media and pros within the game considering the transfer budget he was given.

As far as the League goes, I think we now believe we should always finish 6th-8th or better, there again that's open to debate!

James Marshall
201 Posted 02/03/2016 at 21:01:53
Nearly 200 comments on whether we were any good last night - and we won 3-1. Onward Evertonians!
Gavin Johnson
202 Posted 02/03/2016 at 21:04:11
I think people who knock Martinez have good reason to - The games play out like Groundhog Day. We have a good first half where we often score and then we sit back in the second half and usually concede to draw fixtures we should be winning.

The criticisms I don't like are the calls for Martinez to get the sack after we win 3-1 away, and the other one being that the new investor shouldn't trust him with a transfer kitty. Martinez has had a great record signing players. He excels at this – two more players who look a snip now are Aaron Lennon and Funes Mori.

Now Tim Howard's out and we've tightened up at the back, I think we can still have the strong finish Martinez is talking about if we can now do something about the home form in the remaining games.

Don Alexander
203 Posted 02/03/2016 at 21:26:40
I wish Martinez was gone but even I admit he's made some good signings, but they only add to the let-down he delivers again and again.

He seems to be a Barca fan and wants to mimic their "philosophy" BUT, as well as some brilliant imports, they have players who have been drilled together , since childhood in the fine art of keep-ball. It's at its most effective where they play it too, and that's on the edge of the opposition's penalty area, rarely for long in their own half.

Barca also fight like rats to immediately recover possession when they lose it, and Messi, Suarez and Neymar do it too. There are no shirkers. The ex-Arse lad Mertesacker was in the papers last week talking about the big differences he was finding now he's at Nou Camp. He said, "Fitness, their fitness is way better than anything I've experienced anywhere else, and it's this that enables their awesome, high-pressing ball recovery." (I paraphrase it for brevity).

So, Martinez has thus far managed to "up" our possession stats with his numbingly boring keep-ball in areas that the opposition may as well have chosen for us to play in, but the really hard bit is yet to come as he approaches his fourth season as our manager.

It may also interest his fans to know that he's been with us for longer than all but four other Premier League managers have had with their clubs, Pellegrini and Hughes pipping him by a only a month or so, Eddie Howe by about seven months with old father time at the Arse winning hands down.

That's why I have no faith at all in him and his version of "philosophy". On any measure he is worse than average at best, and to my mind fundamentally incompetent.

Andy Crooks
204 Posted 02/03/2016 at 21:46:06
Raymond (#193), you absolutely didn't offend me. This site is about, in my view, robust debate and you have your point, mad as it is (just joking), and it is never personal.
James Marshall
205 Posted 02/03/2016 at 21:50:01

Per Mertesacker plays for Arsenal.

I think you mean Thomas Vermaelan.

Darren Hind
206 Posted 02/03/2016 at 21:53:00
"Now Tim Howard is out and we've tightened up at the back, I think we can have a strong finish."

I wonder who was responsible for the shambles in the first place? ... and let's not pretend he actually saw the light; this change did not come about through choice.

The stronger we finish, the more Martinez's half-witted decisions will be exposed. He has destroyed our season, we can never get back the points he cost us.

I get people like him (love him in some cases) but does anybody seriously doubt the club can do better with the funds now at it's disposal?

Those who say they want him to stay are either saying he is the better than all the managers we could attract (throughout the world) or they are demonstrating they support him rather than the team. Which is it for you?

Don Alexander
207 Posted 02/03/2016 at 21:53:59
Cheers James, you're right.
Gavin Johnson
212 Posted 02/03/2016 at 22:10:32

As you've quoted me, are you addressing me with that question??

If you are it's clearly a rhetorical question. I'm an Everton fan above all else and I'm a bit too old for hero worship.

You've already been called out for being a big child on this thread for accusing people who have a different viewpoint as Martinez worshippers, Darren. It's as childish as me asking you if any manager in world football will do for you, after your hero Moyesie left.

Martinez is our manager until the summer. If we're still mid-table I'd be shocked if Moshiri gave him another season.

Darren Hind
213 Posted 02/03/2016 at 22:17:29

You criticised people for calling for Martinez to be sacked. I've given reasons for him to go, you've offered none for him to stay. Even I don't want him sacked until the end of the season.

BTW; I rated Moyes lower than I rated Martinez.

Oliver Molloy
214 Posted 02/03/2016 at 22:21:14
If we look at our season like this..... Chelsea are now above us in the league after giving us a a head start.

Martinez is a clone of Wenger – so stubborn in his beliefs that it costs (in Wenger's case) his club the title; in our case, a real chance to challenge for the Champions League.

Is he the man to get us Champions League football? Judging by his performances this season, I don't think so. I think it will be more of the same next season: you score 2, we will score 3... and that just will not cut it.

Gavin Johnson
215 Posted 02/03/2016 at 22:33:08

I'm not criticising folk for having a go at Martinez. I share many of the concerns and the performance last night is up for scrutiny. I just think the 'Martinez Out' bandwagon should leave it until another day after a 3-1 win away.

Also, I did give a reason why we should lay off a re-evaluate in the summer. Martinez has assembled this talented side. He's a manager who has the long term vision to make us a force in English football again. There's signs there that we could be turning the tide if we put some results together at home.

If we move up the league and get to the cup final I'd give him another season. Otherwise I'd let him go and bring in Eddie Howe.

Oliver Molloy
216 Posted 02/03/2016 at 22:42:54
The key word you use "if"
If we move up the table
If we get to a cup final

Eddie Howe....not good enough to take us to the next level.
I want Mourinho...

Darren Hind
217 Posted 02/03/2016 at 22:55:43

You speak about being irritated by "Martinez bating"

The question I asked is a valid and logical one.

If a guy thinks Martinez is the best manager we can get, then fair enough, let him say so... but if he doesn't believe he is the best we can do and still insists he should not be sacked, what does that tell you?

Regardless of opinion, we should all put the interest of the club above the desire to be right.

Gavin Johnson
218 Posted 02/03/2016 at 22:56:29

I said on previous thread after the Swansea defeat that Mourinho would be my 1st choice if we could have anyone but I'd have to say Howe because I think he's a realistic choice who would genuinely want the job. He's also an Evertonian which is bonus in that he immediately gets the club and knows how big we are.

Mourinho looks nailed on for the United job and I think we're getting carried away with how much backing any manager will get for new players. Moshiri is rich, but he's still behind the perceived big boys in personal wealth. He has similar wealth to the Leicester and Stoke owners.

Oliver Molloy
221 Posted 02/03/2016 at 23:15:32
I know Eddie Howe is a fan, but we would need a manager of significant standing IF we are to believe there will be big money available to improve the squad. To appoint a rookie manager and expect him to spend a load of money wisely is a big ask.

Of course it may not come to that, as I have said before I like Martinez but I have gone from calling him "the incredible one" to "the incredible incapable one".

Gavin Johnson
222 Posted 02/03/2016 at 23:28:13
I also like Koeman. Not yet at the level of a Mourinho but he's proven himself as a good manager in the Prem and he's got champions league experience.

As you say, Oliver, it depends on how big the money is available that will dictate the profile of the manager, if we see a new man coming in next season.

Don Alexander
223 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:18:18
I recognise that there's a danger of fall-out between the many on this site re Martinez. Hopefully it'll never get too personal between us. We all want the same things after all; success for our club and entertainment in achieving it.

But quite seriously, Mike Walker aside (and he deserved what he got), I don't think there's many clubs that have been as loyal to their managers to the extent we have for decades. I just wonder if us fans' acceptance of the board's loyalty, for whatever reason the board had it, has led to us inadvertently contributing, with the board, to so little relative success.

Football these days is way different to decades ago as we all know. Managers are now made millionaires in a season but good managers can impose winning ways after two seasons. We can all see this is true this season in particular, but with our guy there is absolutely nothing but his words to give anyone cause to be optimistic (and bear in mind that of the 49 league goals we've scored, in three matches 9 goals resulted in winning only two whole points and 19 more were against teams always below us in the league so, I'm sorry, that means very little to me).

What I resent as I approach OAP status is Bobby Baldrick's relentless squandering of the opportunity to deliver something that would make me incredibly happy; an entertaining, winning Everton.

He has all the ingredients/players but has clearly no idea what the recipe might be.

Peter Larkin
224 Posted 02/03/2016 at 00:44:33
Its pathetic the stick the gaffer gets after a win. Some of you really need to give it a rest!!

Was it great footie lastnight? No. Most of it was shite but we won end of.

I've seen us batter palace hit posts etc playing great attacking football then get beat 1-0. That's football. The funny thing is when we have played shite this year we tend to WIN.

As for the Moyes v Martinez debate. This is a complete different league to the Moyes years. Back then we had the top 4, now with all the money its the Top 10. Just look at the results tonight. And for the record Moyes was sacked TWICE in his last 2 jobs! For me Everton was better for Moyes and not the other way round.

Anto Byrne
225 Posted 03/03/2016 at 06:08:51
The goal we conceded against a very poor team in Aston Villa summed up our defensive frailties, Stones was beaten in the air and how many times have we seen free headers resulting in goals? We should have had another clean sheet.

I doubt West Ham are going to be as charitable as Villa and they just beat Spurs. This is a good test and nothing less than a win is acceptable. In fact we should be winning all our remaining games and booking a spot at Wembley for a repeat of the 95 cup final.
James Marshall
228 Posted 03/03/2016 at 10:47:48
Can I just say (again) that the issue of us having scored 49 goals doesn't mean shit - what does matter is our goal difference, which is bettered only by the top 4. Yes, if we were defensively better, we'd be in a better position.

Now please stop whipping the manager with a point that's meaningless.

Tim Wardrop
229 Posted 03/03/2016 at 12:48:43
I thought it was a good win the other night. Professional, not sparkling performance. Sometimes you can't play well every game – the players aren't machines.

Some people on this forum must never get any action. Could win 6-0 and there'd still be a moan. Enjoy life.

Michael Polley
230 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:36:04
Pleased with the win, but I have to agree with other posts in that once we went 3-0 up we totally switched off. Lost possession too much and invited pressure.

Fortunately Villa are shite. The Hammers game will be a more sterner test, but we can beat them. COYB

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