Manchester United vs Everton

by | 02/04/2016  68 Comments  [Jump to last]
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After what has felt like an interminable international break, one dominated from the Everton perspective by Romelu Lukaku and the very public expression of his Champions League ambitions, the Toffees are back in action with a trip to Manchester United tomorrow.

It's a fixture that has, historically in the Premier League era, been a routinely painful one but, with Everton boasting their strongest squad in a generation and United struggling post-Ferguson to match the feats of their long-serving manager, this should have been a game between two sides battling for a place in the top four.

Instead, the Blues are floundering once more in the wrong half of the table and the Red Devils, despite looking entirely unconvincing for most of the campaign, are still in the hunt for Champions League qualification and can move back onto the shoulders of neighbours Manchester City with a win this weekend. For Roberto Martinez, with 10th place six points away, a victory would be huge if he is to avoid a second successive bottom-half finish.

That Old Trafford history coupled with Everton's record against the teams above them this season means that Evertonians won't be travelling along the M62 with unbridled confidence. Chelsea's ascent into the top half of the Premier League has inflated by one the number of teams that Martinez's side have beaten this season but, like their general under-performance this season, the Blues' record against the division's top teams has been pretty dismal so far.

Just four wins against the teams above them paints its own picture for Everton; any improvement on that score over the final nine games would be too little, too late but it would at least provide some consolation for the manager as he seeks to relieve some of the pressure on his shoulders and prepare for the FA Cup semi-final — possibly against Louis van Gaal's men — in three weeks' time.

Martinez's shift in rhetoric following the horror show against Arsenal last time out where he hinted that players could be playing for their futures over the rest of the campaign suggests that he could make changes for this one. Poor defensive showings in the three home defeats to West Brom, West Ham and the Gunners make centre half an obvious starting point and given the Catalan has been trying to shoe-horn John Stones back into the defence since he recovered from injury, it would not be surprising to see him start. Whether that's in a back three or at the expense of one of Phil Jagielka or Ramiro Funes Mori remains to be seen but you'd imagine it wouldn't be the skipper who makes way.

In midfield, Gareth Barry is suspended but Muhamed Besic's personal struggles in the last game may give Martinez pause over selecting the Bosnian from the start even though he has since had the opportunity to work that personal nadir out of his system with two full games for his country. Tom Cleverley would be a natural alternative but that would leave a hole in left midfield, one that the manager prefers to fill with a more defensively-minded player against the presumed better teams.

Kevin Mirallas is fit again but may have irrevocably blotted his copy book with his sending off against West Ham, Oumar Niasse doesn't look ready to start, and Martinez hasn't shown much appetite for playing Gerard Deulofeu on the opposite flank — or two wingers, for that matter. Bryan Oviedo, the hero of this fixture two seasons ago, could be an option pushed forward into midfield from left back, however. Steven Pienaar played in the recent behind-closed-doors friendly against Östersund but his fitness status isn't clear while Leon Osman is another option.

Whomever Martinez selects, his team will face a stern challenge against a United team that, their Europa League failings aside, have been showing signs of finding some rhythm on their own turf in recent weeks following mounting criticism over their mind-numbing football. Since losing at home to Southampton in January, they've have won all three of their League games and prevailed in the Manchester derby last time out to keep their hopes of sneaking into the top four alive.

Again, with the all-important cup semi-final in mind and the question marks over Martinez's ability to take this team forward, this is fixture is about more than just playing for pride and the boost in Premier League merit payments that can be clawed back with every place higher Everton this season.

With eyes on the future, every performance will likely be scrutinized between now and May so both players and manager have plenty to prove and much still to play for, even in what has become a fruitless league campaign.

Kick-off: 4pm
Referee: Andre Marriner
Predicted line-up: Robles, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines, McCarthy, Cleverley, Oviedo, Lennon, Barkley, Lukaku

Full coverage: ToffeeWeb match page

Reader Comments (68)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:14:49
Seems like an age since the Arsenal game and we didn't turn up that day so you could argue it's our first game for three weeks.

I get the feeling our solid away record will come under scrutiny tomorrow, the way we generally play at places like Old Trafford is usually with a nervous defensive trepidation and uncertainty even at the best of times.

I know we have only lost the one away game this season but we haven't really won anywhere of any real note, we have been to Arsenal, Spurs, Man City, Chelsea and it's been a bit predictable that Everton don't win at places like this usually, the Oviedo winner in 2013 being real exception to the rule.

We need to show up tomorrow though because a quick glance at the league table will tell you we are now just a single solitary point ahead of 15th place Swansea.

Pretty disgraceful really.

David Hallwood
2 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:36:00
Good piece Lyndon, as ever. Just finished watching Liverpool vs Spurs, and given at the early part of the season we were considered to be on a par with Spurs, a couple of points.

Spurs have two holders in Dier & Dembele who are a lot more expansive than our two. Aside from that, what impressed me was their fitness levels as the game was played at 100 miles an hour. Oh and I'd swap Lukaku for Kane in a heartbeat, his first touch is sublime.

Onto Liverpool, apart from the little genius Courtinho they look a very ordinary side. Like Lyndon, I'm not expecting much from tomorrow, and I'd be happy with a spawny draw. We've struggled badly against the top 6 this season and haven't notched up a single win against the top 6, with only Man Utd & Leicester City left to play.

As we've got no fear of relegation, maybe Booby may realise that we've no chance of defending or keeping a clean sheet and go for it with Lennon & Deulofeu, or Mirallas, and putting Cleverley as a holder, but he will probably put the same team out that did so well against The Arse.

Geoff Freeman
3 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:38:29
Jim, a quick glance at the league table also shows we have played three games less.
Gareth Clark
4 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:38:42

Surely it isn't that much of a change for a professional to make, especially with his form with Spain U21s.

Either that, or play Lennon down the left. I don't understand how most wingers can play both sides, but at Everton it's not possible to play down the other side of the pitch. FFS!

Deulofeu cutting in from the left would be deadly.

Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines;
Stones, Cleverley;
Lennon, Barkley, Deulofeu;

Howard, Galloway, Oviedo, McCarthy, Besic, Mirallas, Niasse.

That would be my team for the day.

Colin Glassar
6 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:47:03
I'd like to see Deulofeu down the middle, Gareth, I think his trickery could destroy the Man Utd defenders. My team would be:


Steve Bingham
7 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:43:35
I would not be in the least bit surprised if Tim Howard was brought back into the team... I really hope not but right now you can't rule out any whacko decision from Management.
Neil Lawson
8 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:57:37
The sad and shameful fact is that after 55 years of faithful support, I really don't mind if they get beaten, but if (or more likely 'when'), I do hope that it's because of another indifferent performance with no bad luck.

I do however hope that Stones is restored and has a decent game. It is time for Bobby to Foxtrot Oscar and the spotlight of a Sunday kick-off and MotD2 scrutiny may serve to publicly highlight his consistent and recurring failures.

He will pick a cautious team. They will play sideways and backwards and Deulofeu will probably get 10 mins at the end when it's far too late. I have watched some rubbish (amongst brilliant times) over 5 decades but never before have been so dispirited.

I read the recent Echo article about Derek Temple and the 1966 FA Cup campaign and had tears rolling down my cheeks. I watched the YouTube video of the demolition of Sunderland in 1985 and sent it to my sons who were not then born. We will never have those days again but oh for something positive to restore the emotional attachment. Perhaps the next time I jump out of my seat and punch the air will be on the news of Martinez's departure.

Come on Leicester. Really rub in the pain for us and show how it can and should be done.

Trevor Peers
9 Posted 02/04/2016 at 21:16:51
Our away record has been the only cause for optimism this season. I don't see this game as being any more difficult than the rest.

So I expect to see us give a good account of ourselves; usually we are at our most dangerous when being written off. Let's face it, there has to be an improvement after that awful Arsenal performance.

Eddie Dunn
10 Posted 02/04/2016 at 22:10:10
Man Utd are pedestrian and my only worry is that we will miss Barry – our Player of the Season. Surely we can beat this side, if our manager gives Lukaku some real support.
Darryl Ritchie
11 Posted 02/04/2016 at 22:13:31
I am tired of all the talk! The manager talks! The players talk! We talk about what they said!

It's been a very long two weeks. It's time for them to do the talking on the field.

Don't talk the talk, if you can't walk the walk.

Peter Cummings
12 Posted 02/04/2016 at 22:22:52
Neil (#8),

Your post echoes my own feelings about our situation. In my case, I have supported the Blues for over 65 years and have never felt as low as I do lately. Like you, I don't have the same enthusiasm or belief as in years gone by with this poor excuse for a manager and his nauseating comments. After every lousy result, he's still in the job.

I've just finished watching Liverpool v Spurs and earlier Gunners v Watford and both were classic typical English battles with fantastic football and 100% effort, a credit to the game. COYB

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 02/04/2016 at 22:24:16
Neil (#8), I think 'dispirited' is the way quite a lot of us feel if we are being honest, it's just watching the same formation most weeks making the same mistakes. The man never tries anything new, to relieve the boredom.

Like Colin @(6) says, put Deulofeu in the No 10 spot, even if it is for the first half; his pace at least would give us more options. Maybe he will surprise us... then again, he most probably will be his boring predictable self.

Kevin Bennett
14 Posted 02/04/2016 at 22:29:25
Oh my god, Neil, I bet you're a barrel of laughs to go out with!!

Talk about support your team!!

Things ain't that bad – your mention of those good times (I share your many years experiences), at least we have memories and maybe more to come!! I bet you still moaned after the Sunderland game – the pie wasn't warm enough maybe.

How many fans around the country would like to have shared those experiences?? We are better off than maybe at least 82 of the other professional clubs in this country...

How can you want us to get beat?! You should be ashamed of yourself.

Paul Holmes
15 Posted 02/04/2016 at 23:05:08
Just watched Liverpool v Spurs. Miles better football than we play. If only we had a German manager like Klopp. The football is fast, direct and the players look fit, unlike our slow and pedestrian Spanish game.

That Klopp shows that it is the MANAGER which is the most important position at a club. We have better players at Everton but Liverpool on that showing are a better team. Mr Moshiri, get us a Bundesliga manager for next season please!
Phil Walling
16 Posted 02/04/2016 at 23:15:02
Just taken 3s against an Everton win. Faith springs eternal!
Rob Hooton
17 Posted 02/04/2016 at 23:26:18
Work like a surprise change in formation but don't expect it. Like I've said before what is the point in having two defensive midfielders when we still leak goals?

I still have a sneaking suspicion we will win against this poor Man Utd team though.

Jay Harris
18 Posted 02/04/2016 at 23:30:05
Let's hope you win, Phil.

Width is going to be very important against this lot particularly to keep their wide players pinned back. I would therefore start with Lennon on the right and Oviedo on the left in front of Baines.

We all know Martinez won't go for that so Deulofeu it is then with Cleverley covering for Barry.

Chris Gould
19 Posted 03/04/2016 at 00:06:06
Sadly, we have nothing left to play for in the Premier League apart from pride, and I don't think that will be enough against a Man Utd team trying to overhaul their local rivals for a Champions League spot.

With one eye on the semi-final, I'll be surprised if we match Man Utd's intensity tomorrow but hope to be proved wrong.

Don Alexander
21 Posted 03/04/2016 at 03:45:06
Neil above speaks for me too. Yes, he and I are old in the tooth but football is still pretty basic, but exciting when it's played well, and not being played well is what's so fucking depressing under Martinez.

Brian Porter
23 Posted 03/04/2016 at 06:23:11
Neil and Peter, like you gentlemen I'm a supporter of long standing, 57 years in my case, and share your view that we are going nowhere fast under Martinez, except downwards perhaps.

One point, though: I wouldn't drop Funes Mori for Stones. Jags maybe but not Funes Mori. Anyone who's bothered to watch the Argentina v Chile match will have seen how good he really is in a proper defence.

Against Man Utd's young guns like Martial and Rashford, we need young, faster legs and Jagielka, sadly doesn't have the pace any more. I'd be tempted to stick with the defence that has established itself in recent games. They only really came unstuck in two of those matches, again more due to lack of satisfactory defensive coaching.

Martinez really must go, sooner rather than later, before he totally destroys our wonderful club and takes us the same way as Wigan. I hate to say it, but it is becoming a standing joke among my friends when they see me coming and they start making jokes at Everton's expense. I never thought I'd see days like it, when people are actually laughing at us. Thanks a lot, Martinez!

Stephen O'Donnell
24 Posted 03/04/2016 at 08:28:48
So Lukaku wants to play for Man Utd, does he, if press reports are true and his dad spouting his mouth off. I for one would not play him now til season ends. We are bigger than you, Lukaku not the other way round. I'm sick to death of these foreigners. Oh for a world class team of British players.
Richard Lyons
25 Posted 03/04/2016 at 09:09:51
Fully expect a routine win for Man Utd today, with us struggling to get any creativity and totally devoid of fresh ideas when our one-dimensional game is clearly taking us nowhere. 2-0 to them...

There, if that doesn't trigger a famous Toffees victory, nothing will!

Laurie Hartley
26 Posted 03/04/2016 at 09:39:35
I could be misreading the current feeling on ToffeeWeb but I have noticed that a lot of the "older" supporters are taking things particularly badly at the moment.

I understand Neil's # 8 dejection and have also been suffering from what he describes as brain numbness, however as Phil W # 16 says, faith springs eternal.

I have just finished watching the John Stones interview on Episode 28 of Toffee TV. I haven't given up on us keeping this lad yet and I want to see him back in the team.

Mo Besic was on the same show answering the junior supporters questions. Another very impressive young man.

Listening to them both, particularly John Stones lifted my spirits so take heart chaps. There is still a lot to be proud of about Everton Football Club.

Given that there is not much to play for in the league perhaps now is the time for the manager to roll the dice and start all of our 6 young guns and see what they can do collectively.

This is the team I would like to see start at Old Trafford.

Jagielka, Stones, Funes Mori
Coleman, Barkley, Besic, Baines
Deulofeu, Lukaku, Lennon

I think Jay # 18 is correct about the need for width in this game, however if Deulofeu and Lennon are to occupy the wings then I would put Lennon on the left. My logic is that out of the two Lennon is the more able to go down the line or cut in on the left. Similarly Deulofeu's passing from deep inside the right wing is devasting when he is on blob.

I am a big fan of Ross Barkley but of all of that group of young players he is the one who most capable of lifting the performance of the team. He has to start leading the group by example. He is the life long Evertonian. If his team mates see him pressing the ball and pressing the space with the same energy that Wayne Rooney still does for United he will lift the whole team. Come on Ross.

I can hear the rustle of notes as Phil counts his winnings.

Ged Simpson
27 Posted 03/04/2016 at 09:48:56
55 years for me... and that's just on this thread!
John Keating
28 Posted 03/04/2016 at 09:56:22

I think it's because a lot of us were going during the Catterick period, then through the Kendall days, so we can compare different teams, methods, tactics etc.

So when we see this shit being played every week we are on a downer.

The younger lads have only known times of famine and when they see the odd spell, and it is odd, of decent football they get overly excited.

This clown will have us out this league if we persist with him and every day he remains will be harder to take.

Rob Hooton
29 Posted 03/04/2016 at 10:05:19
Laurie, I would love to see that team, but would bet every penny I own that Martinez will not play 2 wingers as that would make far too much sense!!
John Hughes
30 Posted 03/04/2016 at 10:06:14
67 years for me ... The last 2 years first name terms with the Samaritans after a match....

Thanks Uncle Jack, l have passed the family curse on to my sons & daughter and grandkids COYB

Dennis Stevens
31 Posted 03/04/2016 at 10:39:20
Nice one, Laurie!

I was thinking much the same. BBS really needs to shake things up a bit. So 3 at the back with the wing-backs pushed on, although I'd probably go for Oviedo. Barkley with McCarthy, Besic & Cleverley in midfield, with Barkley encouraged to really impose himself.

Lennon & Deulofeu given a bit of freedom to run wide, cut in & swap wings at will. It might be a disaster, but at least there's the potential to play some good football & ask questions of the opposition.

Paul Kennedy
32 Posted 03/04/2016 at 10:40:16
Funny the way our players seem to get earmarked for the opposition when we are going to play them. Barkley to Man Utd £45 million – who will be going to our neighbours, I wonder?
Paul Conway
33 Posted 03/04/2016 at 12:07:54
47 years for me. I can honestly say this is my most frustrating period, as we have so much 'potential' ... but now I fear, we just have 'potential' to have 'potential!.
David Hallwood
34 Posted 03/04/2016 at 12:16:17
Since 1958 when I was a mere sprog, but I didn't have any choice in the matter because my dad and granddad were blues-so I blame my parents. I make that 58 years, even though it feels like 100.
Eric Holland
35 Posted 03/04/2016 at 13:10:18
55 years for me same here no choice, My Mum was born at the top of Andrew Street, 20 yards from the ground. All Blues.
Colin Glassar
36 Posted 03/04/2016 at 13:24:04
Some of you old-timers seem to be suffering from selective amnesia if you think this is the worst you've seen, have you forgotten the latter days of Catterick? The crap served up by Bingham? The destruction of a great team by Lee? The utter shite from Walker? The Smith years? The good, the bad and the ugly from OFM?

Give it a rest will yez? You've seen far worst shite than this.

John Keating
37 Posted 03/04/2016 at 13:32:50
No Colin wrong, very wrong.

Not selective memories at all.

The older guys can see the different eras and managers and look at the opposition during those times.

You and others are continually telling us we have this fantastic young squad built by Martinez who has had oodles of money to spend.

Bingham and Lee never had that. Lee was not far off challenging.

Smith inherited shit and really only got players who were on the downward stretch of their careers and on the cheap – apart from drunken Duncan.

Not only have we seen shite – especially now but we are also reading it.

John Hughes
38 Posted 03/04/2016 at 13:37:37
I saw us go down to the then 2nd Division, so I have seen some sad teams, but I'm still Blue in more ways than one. COYB.
Kevin Judge
39 Posted 03/04/2016 at 13:39:11
Considering it has been all doom and gloom at home in the Premier League, we have only lost one away.

As for the worst feeling in the blues history for those who are hurt. I take it some of you lot are going to Wembley this month!! two semifinals this season! Name another Everton manager that has achieved that within 3 years?

I also remember Coventry at home 0-0 in the '80s game finished and it rained down with cushions.They were the worst ever. But as you know by our history, Howard Kendall, turned it around. So come on and be supportive of the manager and the team.

Patrick Murphy
40 Posted 03/04/2016 at 13:44:58
Colin (36) I do tend to agree with you relating to the players available to those managers for a variety of reasons, however, this current group are nowhere near to being a 'team'. I seem to remember very early in Martinez's tenure at Goodison that I wrote about his tendency to concentrate on individuals and separate departments rather than the overall team.

That's really the only difference between the current league leaders and ourselves, they have a team ethic and their 'star' players buy into that, whereas our so called 'star' players seem to play for themselves rather than each other and our 'lesser' players are asked to do the donkey work for those with the better skill-set.

It will be interesting to see how we play today, regardless of the result, will they be focussed as a team or will they continue to play as eleven individuals.

Darren Hind
41 Posted 03/04/2016 at 13:46:37
Getting nervous. For me this game is every bit as important as the one against the Shite. My dislike for the Mancs is only equalled by my dislike for the RS

I think 3/1 represents a decent bet if we can put our best foot forward.

Ged Simpson
42 Posted 03/04/2016 at 13:58:22
Agree with you Colin. I can remember some crap teams when we were called the Millionaires.
Tony Twist
43 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:00:11
Can't lose today. We beat Man Utd, excellent; we lose... it's more ammunition to get rid of Martinez. Expect a 2-0 win for us. COYB.
Colin Glassar
44 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:09:07
John Keating, I've seen the different eras, managers and teams as well. I remember the calls for Catterick's head, the cushions raining down on GP, the utter dross served up over the decades a lot of it far, far worse than some of the stuff we see today.

Oodles of money? Bingham and Lee never had that? I think the signings of players like Rioch, Mckenzie, Todd, Latchford etc....weren't exactly cheap at the time.

John, I have some great memories from watching Everton over the years but I also remember watching Everton on cold, wintery nights in front of a half-empty stadium where the boos always outnumbered the cheers. Some of the best moments were standing on Gwladys St and taking the Micky out of the opposing goalies as the football on show was usually dire.

Terence Tyler
45 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:13:01
Leicester one-up; no tippy-tappy crap. Top

Spurs, no tippy-tappy crap. Second top.

John Keating
46 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:14:06

You mentioned every manager from Catterick onwards. You have NEVER seen two seasons of dire shit football with the odd good game thrown in... TWO seasons, Colin.

Also, I bet you anything you want you have never been in the pub before a match and talked about getting beat! Come out of the ground after home games and just accepted the crap just witnessed.

Not the odd game or two, Colin, TWO seasons.Yes we've all seen shit but not as continuous as this.

Colin Glassar
47 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:16:47
Leicester obviously work as a unit and are very well drilled but I've had my suspicions about them this season, eg, abnormal energy levels, and now it seems about to be exposed.
Chris Maylor
48 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:21:47
John and Terence,

You are dead right, watching this Leicester game and it is with any shadow of a doubt that twat Martinez is single handedly destroying any pleasure I get from watching Everton.

It is heartbreaking.

Phil Walling
49 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:23:54
To what do you refer, Colin, re LCFC?
Colin Glassar
50 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:24:03
John, the Bingham years were terrible, true or false? Lee started well then was bloody awful. Walker wasn't give enough time to be consistently shite. Smith was the worst of the lot, season after season. I won't even go into some of the god damn awful football played under OFM.

John, don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Martinez (as far as I'm concerned he can go now) what I'm saying is that some people on here are conveniently forgetting some of the worst football ever seen at Goodison under different managers. And, btw, I've not included Howard Kendall Mk II and III, and poor old Colin Harvey.

Ray Roche
51 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:25:34
Colin, under Lee we finished 3rd, 4th and 19th, after which Lee was sacked. For two of his three seasons we were challenging for the top for much of the season. Don't try and kid us that today's rubbish is better than that.

Under Bingham, 7th, 4th, 11th and 9th. I'd take any of those today, wouldn't you?

Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:25:51
Colin (36) there is a big difference between the poor teams over the years, this rubbish is in slow motion.
Kim Vivian
54 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:28:46
Let's see what we've all got to say in 3½ hours time. I'm looking forward to the game as usual. High hopes – low expectations.

As usual.

Mark Frere
55 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:30:10
I will be watching the game just as a keen observer. I won't cheer if we score. A part of me would like us to finish on 40 points with a humiliating 6-0 defeat in the FA Cup semi-final; if that's what it takes to remove Martinez then so be it! There's no future to look forward to while this cretin is in charge.
John Keating
56 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:34:26

Ray got in before I could respond regarding Lee. Sorry, mate, the past 2 seasons don't lie position wise and playing wise.

This team can play half decent for 45 minutes but not 90 and I can't recall a team in the past I can say that about.

The football is anti-Everton. Even under Walker it never took 50 passes to get over the half-way line.

Maybe we do look at the past through rose tinted specs but over a two-year period this guy has to be in a class of his own.

Ged Simpson
58 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:36:44
71-72 and 72-73. Ugh

79-80 and 80-81... They were joyous

Colin Glassar
59 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:40:27
I'm not denying the last two seasons have been rubbish, I'm just saying that in the past (distant and more recent) I've seen worse than this. Knock the possession football all you want but at least we can keep the ball, something we've struggled to do under other managers.

Possession for possessions sake is meaningless but surely we can all remember Everton teams that couldn't string more than three passes together? I can.

Chris Gould
60 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:43:07
Colin 47: a little harsh to suggest Leicester's high energy levels are down to doping.

One doctor has said he has given steroids to footballers, including those in the top 4. His claim has not been corroborated and it doesn't mean any of their current players are doping now.

I don't for one second believe their squad is doping. Maybe 1 or 2 have done so to recover from injuries, but it would be wrong to taint their achievement by suggesting they're cheating.

John Keating
61 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:47:20
Yes, Colin.

Everton, 2 weeks ago, against Arsenal.

Colin Glassar
62 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:51:20
Chris, how else can you explain how a team of journeymen go from almost relegation certs to Championship contenders in one season? I know it's a fairy tale story but there are precedents, eg, Germany vs Hungary 1954 and Argentina vs Holland 1978.

If this is proven to be true, and the FA are going to investigate apparently, then all three teams should face automatic relegation plus massive fines and points reductions.

I never wanted to believe in the Lance Armstrong accusations but after so much wrongdoing, enough is enough. If these allegations are true than all concerned need to get an absolute hammering.

Jay Harris
64 Posted 03/04/2016 at 15:04:04

I also have over 55 years invested in the club and I think you flying solo on the absolutely dire shite under this clown.

The reason most of us think this is the worst manager is because he inherited a top six club with maturing excellent young players and has been backed to the hilt yet he has still managed to achieve some of the worst performances in history.

As for Leicester they are only talking about one player and the source is very suspect.

Michael Ward
65 Posted 03/04/2016 at 15:06:37
No complaints on team selection, COYB!
Brian Porter
66 Posted 03/04/2016 at 15:09:54
My only disagreement is bringing Stones in and dropping Funes Mori.
John Crawley
68 Posted 03/04/2016 at 15:13:53
Colin 62, they won 7 of last nine games, drew one and lost the other to the champions. That's an impressive run of form. They've had a new manager who's made a few key signings and the development of Vardy/Mahrez.

Plus you've had the big drop off of form in Man City and Chelsea. They'll most probably win it with a low points total, so it's not that unbelievable.

Chris Thornton
71 Posted 03/04/2016 at 15:30:51
This Everton team is miles better than the mediocre bunch I started watching in the 1950s (anybody else remember the likes of Bramwell, Sanders, Tansey etc?); it's vastly superior to the awful 1971-73 teams (Bernie Wright, Rod Belfitt); and there's no comparison with the dismal 1990s sides (aside from a couple of seasons under Joe Royle).

I know different people have different opinions, but I'm astonished that my 50/60 year-old peers have such selective memories.

Colin Glassar
72 Posted 03/04/2016 at 15:31:33
Two Johns', this doping claim would make for a good thread as we are digressing. I think drug use/abuse is far worse in football than many of us think.

Jay, not defending this manager, just saying I've seen worse Everton managers and teams than this one.

Colin Glassar
73 Posted 03/04/2016 at 15:40:08
Thank you Chris, some context at last.
James Stewart
74 Posted 03/04/2016 at 15:45:00
@55 It pains me greatly to feel the same way as you, but I do. All talk of incoming and outgoing players and next season just bores me to death. Unless Martinez is removed we are in limbo indefinitely.
Jim Lloyd
75 Posted 03/04/2016 at 15:56:05
True enough Colin. I've seen some real awful excuses for a football team since watching Everton from the late 50's.

Memory and what means things to you, is individual but I think that what we are all saying (or most of us on this thread) is, not so much of our memories of the past but that we can't see much of an exciting future with Roberto as Manager.

Now that we are a club with a billionaire major shareholder. I'm hoping/expecting major changes, with the ground, with our marketing and retailing; but most imprtantly, On The Pitch.

I was a firm believer in Roberto and the Brand of Football he was trying to bring to Everton but I don't think he can make the full transformation.

What we see on the pitch today could swerve from the Chelsea Cup game, to the Arsenal league game, we'll not have long to find out whichg Everton will turn up.

I'd love to see Delly and Aaron on the wings and a Midfield that will snarl and fight and get right in the noses of the Mancs. I don't see it though.

Hope I'm wrong but lets just see the game (or listen for me) and chat after.

Come on Blues

Nicholas Ryan
76 Posted 03/04/2016 at 16:38:27
Everton v Coventry City 1982 Goodison; Saturday 3.00 pm 1st Division league game.

0-0 draw; zero attempts on goal; Crowd 12,000 ....yes, 12,000!

The same fixture in 1983 got better.... the crowd was 13,000 !!

Now THAT is hard times!

Ray Roche
77 Posted 03/04/2016 at 18:18:36
Chris Thornton #71

"But I'm astonished that my 50-/60-year-old peers have such selective memories."

So why be selective yourself then, Chris? The rubbish we are witnessing now is as bad as the periods which you mention and which I also witnessed, although the Tansey era was just finishing as I was starting to attend the match in '59.

The difference is, today's team is full of current Internationals playing to a fraction of their potential and that is down to the managers tactics, fitness levels and formation. We will do nothing but flirt with relegation under this clown.

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