Besic: Substitution against Arsenal the right decision

by | 05/04/2016  58 Comments  [Jump to last]

Muhamed Besic says that he has no arguments with Roberto Martinez hauling him off at half time in the 2-0 defeat against Arsenal last month, admitting it was his worst performance for many years.

The Bosnian could barely put a foot right in a match that Everton lost in awful fashion to goals by Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi and he was withdrawn by his manager at half time in favour of John Stones.

A fan favourite for whom fans have been clamouring to play more games, Besic had come in for the suspended Gareth Barry ready to stake his claim for a regular first-team berth but it all went wrong for him.

"It was the worst game I have played in the last five years, Besic admitted to the Liverpool Echo. "Normally, I am always one of the best on the pitch and I can't remember when I wasn't.

"I don't know if this game was in my head, it was just a bad game to be fair.

"Maybe it was the injuries, I have never had it before. I went into the game, I looked slow, every second ball I was not there. The gaffer changed me at half-time and it was the right decision."

With Everton struggling for form, Besic could get an opportunity atone for that performance against the Gunners sooner rather than later. He was an unused substitute against Manchester United on Sunday but his view of that display, also a limp defeat, was that it was little better than the Arsenal game.

He says that the players know the fans are behind the team but that they have to show them more than they have in recent weeks.

"Arsenal and United... I don't remember us playing two games as bad," the midfielder continued. "[Against] United, to be fair, on the day were not good either and we had so much space but the Arsenal game was the same.

"When we are ourselves we can beat them easy because we are strong team but we have not shown it in the last two games.

"The supporters are always right and when they are not right they are right because they are our supporters and we have to win them back and win games.

"They are always behind us and I am not worried about that."  

Reader Comments (58)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Andrew James
1 Posted 05/04/2016 at 21:25:07
Oh no, they're all at it now...

This is either the players trying to endear themselves to the fans and get support or the party line at work again. Sadly this looks like players holding their hands up to stuff to give a certain someone breathing space.

He was poor, granted. But there are only so many times players can say they were bad, we were unlucky, refs made mistakes...

Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 05/04/2016 at 21:27:51
Respect to Mo for holding his hand up and not blaming anybody else. I wouldn't mind seeing him in Macca's place this weekend.
Ian McDowell
3 Posted 05/04/2016 at 21:30:36
The only player I have heard talk any sense for months.
Tony Hill
4 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:02:28
He was indeed appalling and looked grossly unfit but this man has the right attitude and all the attributes to be a major player for us over a long period. I don't think this is mealy-mouthed at all, he's telling it as it was.

James Flynn
5 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:05:30
Haha. Good boy. I like him.

If only his body would stop failing him.

Neil Steele
6 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:11:20
Great lad... pity more of his colleagues can't look at themselves in this way rather than sulking and looking to blame the manager.

With our new-found wealth, I would be looking to acquire more players of Eastern European origin – I find that they generally have more 'substance' and grit about their characters. We need some of that.

Paul Conway
7 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:23:21
Besic, up until now, has had ample time to prove his worth at EFC. Injuries aside, he has had a kind of a hit and miss season... as well as McCarthy, Howard, Mirallas, Barkley, Stones and everybody else that anyone can add!

Apart from the manager, who is altogether a complete enigma, all these hit and miss performances are due to a lack of consistency and consistency is what sorts out great players from good, bad or indifferent players.
Without consistency, rhythm and regularity, we are just not good enough, to be anywhere near the team we want to be.

This, my fellow EFC supporters is the failings of both players and manager alike. Yes, I might get a backlash for blaming some of the players as well, but if the players can be mercenary and change clubs willy nilly, then the fans have every right to criticise the players and manager alike, in a likewise ruthless fashion.

There is a simple solution; once we have reached the magical 40 points, if we lose the FA Cup Semi-Final that gives us time to get rid of Martinez. Bring in Sheedy and Unsy, or either, and start to turn the end of the (miserable) season into a pre-season by blooding the youth we have in the rest of the games. They will be champing at the bit!

Robert Duncombe
8 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:27:37
He'll be wanting Champions League football next! I am the best on the pitch!

Not short on confidence is he? Future captain?!
Kelvin Thomas
9 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:37:55
Pure honesty. Nothing wrong with that. Many more of the first team squad could do with being honest about their performances.

Not many players about with Mo's tenacity. A year or two of conistent performances with lomited injuries and yes he most definately has the making of an Everton captain.

High 5 Paul Conway.

Ray Smith
10 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:43:07
Neil 6#

Are you saying it's not the managers fault?

Most dressing rooms don't wash their dirty linen in public!

However, the players have kept quiet up to now. Enough is enough.

Leighton has done what is required.

Maybe, just maybe Bill will realise the fans have had enough.

Jay Harris
11 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:51:19
How any player can achieve consistency when the tactics, preparation, fitness and the team selection are not consistent is beyond me.

Get a decent manager in, get some team spirit back and we will soon see how good some of these players are.

Jim Jennings
12 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:59:46
"How any player can achieve consistency when the tactics, preparation,fitness and the team selection are not consistent is beyond me."

But wait, I thought the tactics (possession obsession), preparation (none) and team selection (favourites and undroppables playing every week) were TOO consistent?

Only on these pages could Besic admitting he played shite translate to Martinez being to blame for him having an off-day.

Jay Harris
13 Posted 05/04/2016 at 23:10:56

As usual, you miss the whole point of my post which was a general point about all the players who have not shown consistency the last 2 seasons and that in order for us to judge the real ability and consistency we need a new manager.

Sorry you missed the point but surely you can't be advocating keeping Martinez?

Tony Kost
14 Posted 05/04/2016 at 23:11:44
I like Besic – he is an honest pro and he has not made any excuses for his performance – even though he could have done.

Just over a week before that game he had been hospitalised for a couple of days with a serious chest infection. Assuming it was a viral infection (or bacterial) he would have not fully recovered. He may have felt better but it would have been nigh on impossible to have operated at the level required.

He should not have been in the match squad for that game. It made him look bad through no fault of his his.

Paul Smith
15 Posted 05/04/2016 at 23:12:50
Don't rate him. I think sometimes we're so desperate for a good 'un we make out he's a future star, how?

Have to do much more to convince; he's been here awhile now and done very little.

Jim Jennings
16 Posted 06/04/2016 at 00:42:23

If I'm missing the point then your "surely you can't be advocating keeping Martinez" is not so much you missing my point but jumping to an entirely different conclusion by putting two and two together to make five.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 06/04/2016 at 02:16:10
Paul Conway, I'll name you two guys who haven't been hit-and-miss... Aaron Lennon and (except for one rush of blood) Gareth Barry. Remarkable consistency from both.

And I will readily forgive any lapses Rom may have had for the brilliance of what will likely be a 30-goal season – and the pure joy of that mind-blowing screamer against Chelsea.

Mark Andersson
18 Posted 06/04/2016 at 02:47:07
Mo has passion, a rare commodity in today's game.
Kieran Kinsella
19 Posted 06/04/2016 at 03:18:21
"The supporters are always right and when they are not right they are right."

Thank you, Mo. That's what we've been trying to explain for years.

Darren Hind
20 Posted 06/04/2016 at 03:38:16
He's a good lad, Besic, but how can you achieve consistency when you only ever get a game when poorer players are injured?

He needs two of the three other defensive midfielders to be injured before the fella who went to South America to sign him will give him a sniff.

Karl Parsons
21 Posted 06/04/2016 at 06:24:28
Sorry but, for me, Mo's comments are a failed attempt from the Club's propaganda machine, that churns this kind of rhetoric out, to deflect attention from the main fucking issues.

Is anyone naive enough to think Mo suddenly thought to himself, "I know; I will go to the press this morning and tell them how shit I played against Arsenal but remind the fans how great they actually are." You're kidding me right? The boy's just a pawn in a chess game the Club are patently losing.

For the record, I'm a big fan of Besic and truly believe he was pissed off with the way he played and wants to put it right. That's how a good pro should react. But to air his thoughts at this juncture doesn't sit well with me because the cynic inside me thinks it's more strategic rather than straight talking.

Eddie Dunn
23 Posted 06/04/2016 at 07:33:55
Karl, spot on. The club know how highly the fans rate Mo, and Leighton, and hey presto! These two are wheeled out to give an honest appraisal of the recent form.

Mo, is right about the fans. The customer is always right.

Phil Walling
24 Posted 06/04/2016 at 08:25:49
This guy has been over-hyped from the start. He was a Martinez signing so the manager will want him to succeed. Something of a sicknote, I always think he's a better player when he isn't playing.

But It's good to see he a sense of reality - perhaps more than those who regard him as yey another Wonderboy !

Dave Pritchard
25 Posted 06/04/2016 at 08:35:13
Hmmm. You could say well done Besic for admitting you were crap, and let's be honest he was probably the worst out of many. Why though has it taken so long to come out?

International break? As has been said before, too much talking off the pitch from players. It can only be put right by actually looking bothered during a game.

Sam Hoare
26 Posted 06/04/2016 at 08:48:18
Besic hasn't really had the chance to stamp his mark on the pitch as injury has often curtailed him when getting a run of games but when he has played his attitude has always seemed commendable to those fans who want to see a bit of fire and brimstone from their players (especially given how much we lack fight recently).

His words off the pitch seem to back up a no-nonsense, honest approach and I think that's why fans like this lad. Ultimately he needs to really show what he can do on the turf but the approach seems to be spot on.

Darren Bailey
27 Posted 06/04/2016 at 08:49:57
Love this bloke. Not only does he wear his heart on his sleeve and give 100% every time he steps out on the pitch, he's as honest as they come. His attitude over the course of this season has been spot on and when asked about his own ability will tell you how it is.

He knows it's been a stop start season and also knows he's not got a given right to be in the side. If he hadn't have got the injury at the start of the season he'd have been a big part of this team this year, probably in place of McCarthy who's form has been very iffy.

While away he talked positively about the club, unlike some players (Rom/Mirallas), when he signed his contract extension you could tell how proud he was and now a honest assessment of his poorest performance so far and a genuine determination to get back in the side and perform better. What more can ask of a professional?

Okay, he said he's normally the best player on the pitch but that's belief in himself and doesn't come across in the same arrogant manner as when others say similar things.

I get what people are saying about the timing of these comments but at least we're hearing good things come out of the club at last. Trying to look on the positive side. I like Besic, he should play more often but like everybody else on here, I've kind of got to the point where I'm feeling so deflated about the performances that it really doesn't matter who's on the pitch, it's all just the same old shit under this manager.

Helen Mallon
30 Posted 06/04/2016 at 09:26:18
Phil Walling, I like most of your comments but to say Mo Besic is a bad player is ridiculous. He totally smashed Toure and Man City in the first cup game and, if injury free, will one day be our captain.
Minik Hansen
32 Posted 06/04/2016 at 10:17:03
Tony K – Maybe, just maybe, Besic was desperate and convinced Roberto to let him play against Arsenal. If that's the case, I hope Besic will learn to have some patience.
Paul Kennedy
33 Posted 06/04/2016 at 10:22:09
How do we substitute the Manager? He should have been hauled off in 90% of our games...
Matt Williams
34 Posted 06/04/2016 at 10:34:43
McCarthy and Cleverley aside, the rest of the squad are all decent footballers. As everyone on here knows, the problems lie with what goes on at Finch Farm.

Or, to be more precise, what doesn't go on. Lack of fitness and preparation is the root cause of the on-pitch problems and there is only one person to blame for that.

Anthony Dwyer
35 Posted 06/04/2016 at 10:50:57
I'd love to see Besic up to scratch with 10+ games in a row under his belt.

I'd love to see him performing in an Everton team playing well, with the Goodison faithful fully behind an entertaining side.

I think he would be a cm that could add more goals and assists to our team (more than Barry and McCarthy put together).

He's shown bottle to admit his performance stunk Goodison Park out last week, but I do feel it's more Martinez fault than Besics.

Let's face it, admittedly I blame Martinez for just about everything, but come on, Besic was clearly unfit for the Arsenal game. He looked slow and out of sorts, Martinez trains the players all week, surly he could see how Besic had performed the week leading up to the game.

Even during the game, Martinez replaces a right decision with a down right stupid decision. Besic off at 0-2 down to be replaced by Stones, a center half!!


Please get shut of this man so our talented squad can entertain us, if not we will lose all our potential world class players.

Trevor Peers
36 Posted 06/04/2016 at 10:51:27
We won't find out how good Besic is untill we get a decent manager in charge, that goes for most of the squad.

Maybe only 3 or 4 players would find themselves automatic choices under a new manager. The rest would either have to man up, or ship out, that's for sure.

Barry Pearce
37 Posted 06/04/2016 at 11:06:24
We just need to get rid of Martinez ASAP. He's just not good enough to manage our great club.
Peter Roberts
38 Posted 06/04/2016 at 11:07:16
Honesty, brutal self appraisal, high expectations - make him a player manager.
Tony J Williams
39 Posted 06/04/2016 at 12:32:40
He has already won me over.

I turned to my mate at the Swansea game when he went down injured saying that was the semi-final lost then!!

The only player who can get others around them playing to near the top of their game.

The same with Lennon last season, Besic must embarrass others when they see his workrate and passion for the game.

Make his captain when Jags and Barry retire.

Niggly little bastard too, we need more players of his ilk.

Steve Carse
40 Posted 06/04/2016 at 13:26:28
We were crying out for Besic at Man Utd, if only to stop us hitting the long ball. In Barry's absence, there was no-one creating space to receive the ball from the two centre-backs who were being put under continual pressure by the opposition forwards whenever in possession.

Their only options were to launch it upfield or else lay it back for Robles to do likewise. As happens so often, McCarthy and Barkley had gone into hiding, and Cleverley was playing too far wide to perform this job.

James Marshall
41 Posted 06/04/2016 at 13:45:59
I don't understand the clamour for Besic – he always seems decidedly average when I see him play.

Everyone goes on about his attitude, and him being so 'driven' but what has he actually done on the pitch to have garnered so much support from our fanbase?

Giving 100%? What does that mean when you look at him playing the odd-game? He's always injured, and when he isn't I always think he looks lost, and doesn't really do any one thing that brilliantly.

Yeah he might appear to be a heart-on-the-sleeve type player, but can anyone actually give any proof of him changing games? Making a difference? Doing anything spectacular? One, twice, consistently? I can't.

Kim Vivian
42 Posted 06/04/2016 at 13:47:25
Hey people – off topic but get on the BBC site and vote for Lukaku. May not be an honest vote but we have to support our boys...

He's only got 1% at the mo and I think that might be me.

Tony Hill
43 Posted 06/04/2016 at 13:52:22
James, the first leg against City in the Capital Cup comes immediately to mind.
Jay Wood
44 Posted 06/04/2016 at 13:54:02
A link to what you are talking about would be helpful Kim...
Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 06/04/2016 at 13:58:13
Peter 38, I would give that job to Gareth Barry.
Steve Carse
46 Posted 06/04/2016 at 14:02:21
We've not seen anything like enough of Besic to make a proper judgement but the one thing I do find refreshing about him is that when he lays a square or backward pass off he invariably will then move forward to receive. So often our midfield will lay the simple pass off and then stay on the spot!

What was peculiar about his performance against Arsenal was that, maybe under instruction since forward movement is not the sort of thing that Barry whose role he was taking does, he was static throughout.

Kim Vivian
47 Posted 06/04/2016 at 14:15:43
Vote for best forward - rhs of the page, Jay

Dave Pritchard
48 Posted 06/04/2016 at 14:21:53
Besic has looked good on a few occasions but what people base their view on that he is a future Everton captain is beyond me. Not writing him off for a moment but surely we need to have more evidence before predicting too much.
Nicholas Ryan
49 Posted 06/04/2016 at 14:35:27
Besic has the potential to be an exceptional player. For various reasons, he hasn't yet fulfilled that potential; but I have no doubt that he will.

'I'm sorry, I was crap!' = deep-rooted conspiracy ... only in a John Le Carre novel!

As someone else has said earlier: the 'The fans are right, even when they're wrong...' comment is both spot-on, and surprisingly mature.

Jay Wood
50 Posted 06/04/2016 at 14:35:56
Got it! Thanks Kim...
Jay Wood
51 Posted 06/04/2016 at 15:20:24
Also on the Beeb, I see in tribute to the Swedes officially adding to their lexicon the verb "to Zlatan" (to dominate), they have invited suggestions from folks.

"To Martinez" is getting a few offerings:

"to frustrate immensely by talking only in soundbites (i.e. 'Phenomenal', 'Unique', 'Character')"

"to watch a completely different game to everyone else."

"to under-perform whilst having the potential to achieve much more."


Kim Vivian
52 Posted 06/04/2016 at 15:41:54
Looks like Rom's finishing position corresponds to our eventual finishing position in the league. Spooky.
Alan J Thompson
53 Posted 06/04/2016 at 16:00:08
And who said the manager was vindictive to those who don't toe the line?
Anto Byrne
54 Posted 06/04/2016 at 17:51:14
A decent manager might have left him on but swapped roles with Barkley or Lennon as both were ineffective. It was a poor first half but a different role to get into the game may have helped his confidence. Then he does not get to play against Utd and a now fit Oviedo is not brought back.

This lad stops crosses – something Baines has stopped doing. Fullbacks used to take the winger out; now, he gives him space and time to pick his pass or cross. Just shit defending, marking space.... Fuck me, we wouldn't do that in Sunday League!

Stewart Lowe
55 Posted 06/04/2016 at 18:49:24
I don't believe that any of our players can be judged fairly until another Manager comes in and does their own thing. Players like Besic, McCarthy and Funes Mori could prove to be stunning players in a team managed by a genuine manager. So let's not pre judge them too early as they are currently being told to play a certain way.
Ian Brandes
56 Posted 06/04/2016 at 19:14:28
The only puzzle is why he was wheeled out to say this, because he was total shite on the day.

I like him a lot, but, for a young player, he is injury prone, and that does not augur well for him, or us.

Michael Polley
57 Posted 06/04/2016 at 19:15:36
Like his honesty. Injuries have held back his true potential.
Colin Gee
58 Posted 06/04/2016 at 20:07:02
I am a Besic fan, he's young and if if he can stay injury free he has the potential to be another Peter Reid.

Very good of him to come out and say he was crap against Arsenal, as he was, probably his worst performance in a blue shirt, not many players come out and say that, but the cynic in me, just wondering why it has taken so long for him to say it....

In a way, he is defending Martinez's decision to sub him. Although I think any Manager would probably have taken him off that day.

Martin Mason
59 Posted 06/04/2016 at 20:34:53
If the players were playing to their potential and were with the manager there would be a spirit around that is totally absent now. For me the queues of players crying Mea Culpa indicates what a bad state the playing side of the club is.

I don't mind them grovelling about winning 3-0 when it should have been 4-0 but about being in the bottom half of the table? They are completely demotivated by dreadful management.

Dan Dorrington
60 Posted 06/04/2016 at 20:44:10
A technically talented and mobile and passionate player with a knack for a tackle proven over a run of high level games – moreover he has a football brain. People harp about Lukaku but without Barry, who for me 9.5 times out ten retains possession sensibly and most of the time with an incisive pass FORWARD that is often to usually with a first touch.... That is top quality we are going to severely miss.

McCarthy and Cleverly are bit-part at best. Mo is the future. He needs to be playing and he needs to be setting a similar standard. He needs to be played every game that it is POSSIBLE to play him and get over this injury affliction.

What are we gonna do instead ... Go out and pick up two midfield players of a similar quality to Barry in the off – season? Sure we've now got £60 million lying around due to new owner.

Barry is gonna go over the hill one day soon and if we aren't ready and prepared it is gonna hit hard. Very hard. Mo needs to play in every game possible for him to play.

John Roberts
61 Posted 06/04/2016 at 21:06:10
Seen glimpses of Besic and he looks like a very good player in the middle. Likes a tackle but has the technique too... just needs to stay fit.

I like it that he is self critical when he has one bad game, it means he cares. Players like Barry are very hard to replace, so comfortable on the ball.

Jim Hardin
63 Posted 07/04/2016 at 17:55:56
Hmmm, timing is everything and did it really take Besic that long to realize that he was crap that game? Pretty sure if we could all tell it as the game was happening, he should have been able to also. Why is he now saying he should have been subbed?

Sorry to the Besic supporters but I think his "honest assessment" is a little less honest than you do and he will probably be rewarded by his manager for supporting his decision publicly by playing next game.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads

© ToffeeWeb