Cleverley lauds 'magnificent' Everton fans

by | 24/04/2016  27 Comments  [Jump to last]
Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Tom Cleverley has credited Everton's fans for lifting the team to a second-half fightback in yesterday's ultimately disappointing FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Though there were audible boos from among the Blues fans as the players left the field after a dismal showing in the first-half, where they fell behind to a goal by Marouane Fellaini, the Evertonians responded raucously to the increased tempo from Everton after half time.

Ross Barkley won a penalty in the 56th minute, one that David de Gea saved from Romelu Lukaku but substitute Gerard Deulofeu forced Chris Smalling into slicing past his own goalkeeper with 15 minutes to go, at which point it seemed like the tide was turning in the Blues' favour.

Unfortunately, with the game heading for extra time, the ball broke for Anthony Martial to collect Ander Herrera's nudge forward and the young Frenchman buried the winner in the third minute of stoppage time.

It was a heartbreaking end to the semi-final and, effectively, the season for Everton's players who have fallen short of two cup finals this season.

“As a club, everyone was fighting. The fans were magnificent even though we haven't been playing for them as well recently,” Cleverley told evertontv. “They really sucked the ball down towards that end in the second half and, on any other day, that's an Everton win but things just haven't been going for us this season.

“Our fans created a fantastic atmosphere. It really gives you such a lift as a player when you have more than 30,000 Toffees sucking the ball down that end, it definitely gave us an extra bit of belief, that extra yard and we're just devastated we couldn't reward them with a fantastic day. It really hurts, this one.

“All morning I thought it was going to be our day. Obviously we had bad luck in the Capital One Cup semi final with the ref and you think these things even but it's just not our day and we'd have the luck today.

“Things just haven't been going for us this season. It's going to be a tough couple of days for us now but we can't feel too sorry for ourselves because we have to finish strongly in the league and then look towards next season.”


Reader Comments (27)

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Anthony Dwyer
2 Posted 24/04/2016 at 23:36:44
Harsh Rick, although I agree he was poor at Wembley.

The players can't really win, and neither can we. If the players come out and speak, we want them to shut up. If no one said a tap, then we would want to know why.

Same in regards to players under-performing. If a player is continually stinking the place out, then what is he to do, drop himself? Kone and Howard have been two of the biggest culprits this season, Barry was the same last season.

As fans we can't change the team sheet, it's all down to the manager. Same for Roberto too; he's guilty of under performing, but what is he to do, quit!

It's not going to happen, Bill is his boss, Bill is telling him he's doing a good job, and Roberto believes him.

We all have issues with Roberto and many of the players' performances, but either Bill or Moshiri have to step up and do the inevitable.

Sack Roberto now.

Andrew Presly
3 Posted 24/04/2016 at 23:40:29
Aka we blew it again. Boring.

"Tough couple of days" grates. At least he's being honest.

Jamie Crowley
4 Posted 24/04/2016 at 23:46:43
Without dissecting the kid's words too much, I agree with him.

The fans created that effort in the second half. And if that's a bit over the top I'd probably not argue but would at least maintain the fans absolutely pushed the team on and the effort was, in no small part, a result of the incredible support created.

The fans were simply marvelous yesterday. It was a wonderful thing to see and hear over the television.

I couldn't even imagine being there and being a part of that. It seemed as honest, robust, and raw an emotional plea to the players to just give it everything they had.

I thought the players most definitely responded to the supporters. And it was awesome.

Jim Hardin
9 Posted 25/04/2016 at 00:29:54

How in the hell are you still blaming Howard for what has happened? Did I miss something or are we still conceding goals from crosses? Is Stones still getting one assist a game for the other team? Do we still not know how to mark or play defense?

Funny, I watched the Crystal Palace show on NBC and they played part of Pardew's speech before the game to the players. He was telling them to press the Spurs players everywhere whenever they had the ball. He also actually assigned specific players to man-mark specific individuals.

No, you are right, it was Howard. Bollocks.

Anthony Dwyer
12 Posted 25/04/2016 at 00:40:38
Jim Harding, am I missing something, or are you?

I'm hoping you've got crossed wires.

I'm clearly blaming Bill Kenwright as he is the man who employs the man, capiche!!

Phil Sammon
13 Posted 25/04/2016 at 00:41:01

I don't know where that came from, as all Ant was saying is that Martinez lets players sit in the team when they are quite clearly under-performing.

You didn't seem bothered by the mention of Kone or Barry but lost your head over Howard? Strange reaction.

Peter Roberts
14 Posted 25/04/2016 at 01:28:33
A good lad with a footballers heart. I like a lot about this player.
Alan J Thompson
17 Posted 25/04/2016 at 03:11:37
Well, it looks like we've gone full circle without mentioning the elephant in the room.
David Barks
18 Posted 25/04/2016 at 03:43:18
Jim, your crush on Howard is really blinding you. Seriously, get over it.

Howard was poor all season, yet Martinez persisted with him. The defense is also poor. Martinez is terrible. But Howard is washed up.

Nobody was blaming the last matches on Howard, they were pointing to the fact that Martinez stuck with Howard the past 2 seasons despite countless errors and poor performances – similar to how he sticks with other under-performing players to the team's detriment.

Anto Byrne
19 Posted 25/04/2016 at 05:00:03
I suppose not playing a right back was the cause of their goal as Besic got skinned and we just saw Connolly do the business against Southampton; pity he didn't get a run against the RedShite. Oh here's an idea – let's bring in Tony Hibbert, injured for the last 14 months and with 45 minutes with the Under-21s, and have him on the bench. You couldn't dream this shit up, could you?

Let's look at the penalty and clearly Baines was up to take it but no, total indiscipline in the team allowing Lukaku to take it. Had he scored it would have gone under the carpet but his record of taking penalties is atrocious. Had Baines missed I would have said okay but I just knew that Lukaku would miss as his whole technique telegraphs exactly what he is going to do.

In the last few minutes both teams were looking for a winner but Man Utd had taken out insurance by putting players back behind the ball while we were still open not doing the defensive work, typically not playing to the final whistle.

So who do we blame, its not bad luck because it's been the same all season, perhaps its the players or maybe it the manager. I reckon it's a combination of all three we are just unlucky to have a team so disjointed run by a madman who sees the game in such away he could have been watching a game of ladies netball.

Can Everton afford to let Martinez stay? Well, that's a decision for the owners. The only way supporters can effect change is to stay away and not waste their time and money until we see a real plan for the future and to take this club to the top again.

Paper talk has Moyes coming back but I would rather keep Martinez. Maybe Moyes back in as a director of football might work – then you get pragmatism with adventure something akin to Martinez first season. Mix and match with long balls and possession but clearly an emphasis on defending at all costs. Just a change in philosophy – take what works and fix what does not.

Darren Hind
20 Posted 25/04/2016 at 06:47:12
"Its going to be a tough couple of days for us now."

Me heart bleeds for you, Tom, lad. We – the unpaid – will be suffering for much longer wondering how you and Lukaku managed to miss so many clear cut chances between you.

"Couple of days"??? ... It's 21 fucking years, son.

Jay Griffiths
21 Posted 25/04/2016 at 08:01:46
He credited the fans for the 2nd half upturn not his gaffer. All we need to know. Baron Von Munchausen.
John Keating
22 Posted 25/04/2016 at 08:17:51
Jim (#9),

I think you have totally misread what Anthony said in his post.

Steve Alderson
23 Posted 25/04/2016 at 10:26:59
He had two very good chances to score but fluffed both of them. He's a nice bloke and a good professional but we don't need any more of those.

Mike Moore
24 Posted 25/04/2016 at 10:37:07
I thought Cleverley played great second half, ok he missed a couple of chances but at least he didn't go missing. Good on him to see our support for what it is, the noise emanating from our end was immense, standing in the middle of it made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Just up to the board now to do the right thing now and fuck Martinez off pronto.
Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 25/04/2016 at 10:47:24
Tom, if you're lucky enough to stay at Everton, once a new manager comes in, and you can bring us some success, you will come to realise that Saturday's support would only be the calm before the storm.

I've been to Wembley, many times to watch the blues, and although I thought the colour was beautiful, and "Wembley way", definitely belonged to Evertonians, most turned up simply because it's what we do.

We have no real hope at the minute, but even then, we was good enough to suck the ball down to our end of the pitch? You don't know us yet lad!

Saturday just didn't feel right, on or off the pitch though, because although we turned up, this manager has SUCKED too much life out of Everton Football Club, and it's fantastically loyal supporters. The time for real change, is upon us. Please!

Iain Latchford
26 Posted 25/04/2016 at 11:22:59
One of my most emotional days in over 35 years supporting Everton. I took my 8 year old son to the game. The shear look of excitement on his face throughout the whole day is something I will never forget. From getting on the train, walking out of the station to a wall of noise, walking up Wembley way, into the ground, getting to the seat, and the game itself .

Celebrating when we scored celebrating was one of the best moments of my life. When Martial scored, then the game ended seconds later it was one of the worst. He was in floods of tears, and I have to say I nearly was too. It was heartbreaking.

I have to say a massive thank you to the fans who came over to him and gave him a hug, and told him it would be ok in the end. One guy even gave him a £1. Our fans our truly the best and deserve so much more.

I wish a could have gone down to the dressing room and dragged Lukaku up to see my lad (and no doubt many others). Maybe he should concentrate on learning how to control a ball when he's clean in on goal, or leaving penalties to the best man for the job before spouting off about how good he is, and how he wants to play at "the top level".

We were here before and we'll all be here long after he and Martinez have gone.

Everton forever !!

Paul Thompson
27 Posted 25/04/2016 at 11:25:25
The essential point from Tom's comments is that when the team ups the tempo the fans will get behind them and that can make a big difference. Toff often they haven't so they don't. I agree with posters who say that Tom had a good game second half. He's an intelligent, versatile lad who will do well in a squad managed by someone better.
Iain Latchford
28 Posted 25/04/2016 at 11:44:03
*I wish I...
Charles Barrow
29 Posted 25/04/2016 at 12:51:05
On the penalty – as a contributor has said – Baines claimed the ball and was striding to the penalty spot when Lukaku intercepted him and took it off him.

This little incident explains how Martinez has lost control and doesn't plan – surely there should be an instruction that the 'best' penalty taker (Baines) takes it unless he's off the field.

Lukaku relies on power; Baines on placement. De Gea is a good keeper – only accurate placement would beat him – it's not bloody rocket science!!

Terry Underwood
30 Posted 25/04/2016 at 13:35:39
Yeah, I thought Baines was the penalty taker till he got injured.

We seriously need to let Rom go to play at his "higher level" Maybe the new boy will be the breath of fresh air we need. 25 goals from open play, tackles back, 20 assists, goes the whole season uninjured and unsuspended, PFA players player of the year, makes lame beggars walk and blind men see and... and... and. oh well, I can dream.

And on the support, fantastic, well done, you certainly did your bit.... onwards and upwards COYB

Colin Gee
31 Posted 25/04/2016 at 14:12:12
Charles #29
Baines grabbed the ball and walked over towards the penalty spot where Lukaku was stood, there was a brief discussion between the two of them and Baines gave Lukaku the ball. He didn't grab it off him as such.

I was expecting Baines to take the pen, after Lukaku missed the last one, never been confident with Lukaku taking them.

As for the fans, once we got behind the team in the second half they started to play as we know they can. It's that slow tippy-tappy side to side backwards forwards back to where you started that bores the fans to death, we can hardly get exited about that.

The missed pen seemed to be the catalyst for them to abandon the 'Martinez way' and they started to play, helped by us the fans pushing them on. We were great and didn't stop singing from then on, if there was an FA Cup for fans we would be in the Final every year!

I see our Leicester allocation has sold out today, despite us playing shite and it being live on TV.

Dennis Ng
32 Posted 25/04/2016 at 14:14:29
Colin 31, that match has title presentation written all over so tickets are now sold at prices.
Mike Green
33 Posted 25/04/2016 at 14:38:42
Well Tom, that's very nice of you to say so but there was nothing magnificent about the team's play in the first hour, the majority of our home performances this season or how our 'magnificent' fans have inadvertently been blamed for that.

As for luck evening itself out; missing penalties in cup semi-finals (and a fair few chances yourself Tom), conceding four without a shot on goal and getting a man sent off in the derby, posting the worst home record in the club's history and throwing away numerous games (including this one) in injury time has nothing to do with luck it's to do with being any good.

If you want to talk about luck we're lucky we're not going down.

They're damned if they don't say things like this, but they need to do their talking on the pitch if they really want to thank us. Gets right under my skin, patronising twaddle.

Ken Williams
34 Posted 25/04/2016 at 17:48:21
Rumours are doing the rounds of a massive bust in the dressing room at halftime, basically the players told Roberto to shove it and they would play their way. This is a pure rumour and people speculating why the sudden change in play second half. It's one of those things we will never know until a players kiss and tell story.
Anthony Dwyer
36 Posted 25/04/2016 at 23:25:41
Phil 13, David 18 and John 22.

Cheers men, I'm glad someone read my post correctly, I was starting to doubt myself!!!

Alan Bodell
37 Posted 26/04/2016 at 10:18:44
Ken #34, there might be some truth in that because the first half we just let them play and they ran the show with no resistance from us at all, the space we gave them to enjoy was unbelievable and the second half was a relief in that at least we used up all that energy saved before.

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