Koeman Feel the Noize: Everton 2016-17

OCST

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At home today to a shit West Brom side.

THIRTY FOUR shots.

Hit the woodwork a couple of times.

Couple of headers juuuust over the bar.

Lose 1-0.

Sweet jumping Christ has this team been frustrating this season. So many leads blown late. So many easy chances Wondo'd.

Obviously no one coverts 100% of the time, or holds every lead, but you almost have to try to play that well for 80+ minutes and then figure out a way to piss away points.

Should be within striking distance of top four. Are not.

Arrrrrrrrrgghhhhh.
 

ninjacornelius

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Up until now, I haven't been in the "Martinez out" camp, but his in-game management today was absurd. I can kind of understand bringing in Deulofeu for Lennon, since Geri D. is creative enough to make something out of nothing (even though Lennon has been boss the last few weeks), but Kone has been useless since the first Chelsea match and Osman is Osman. Is Kevin Mirallas dead? And why didn't Oumar Niasse even make the bench?

I know that it's odd to complain about attacking options when the team puts up 34 shots, but only 6 of them were on target and Foster wasn't really challenged at all. As soon as West Brom got a lead, they played Pulis-ball and put 11 men into their back third at all times. At that point, it was up to Martinez to change tactics. Everton needed to pick up the pace, be more decisive on the ball, and make quicker passes into the box. Instead, he stood pat, completely whiffed on 2 second half subs, and lost to a team that had previously scored exactly one league goal in a month. Ridiculous.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Yeah, the 34-shot number is misleading. Very little quality in the second half.
 

fletcherpost

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it was an interesting match. We all knew Pulis was happy to park the bus, his team did a grand job. I was, as a neutral, screaming for Everton to go with morepace and skill and take players on and put the shitters up West Brom, draw a mistake, create more clear openings. That said, Barkley could have had one, but at home the Toffees are bed shitters in front of goal. Another thing is they get down the flanks and get quick balls in, but time and again the players making the runs in are two steps behind and a good ball goes fizzing across the box, begging for a boot to get on the end. Players need to commit, if you're playing that way.

As for the pretty stuff on the fringes of the box. Decent defensive outfits soak that shit up all day.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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There was a 10 minute period though where they did everything but score and where a pinballing ball could have dropped another couple of feet away for an easy goal. There were at least four or five plays that looked like plays where goals are often scored, so while I can't dispute much of what's been written here, today was one of those shit luck games where they were clearly better and should have won or at least drawn.
 

fletcherpost

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There was a 10 minute period though where they did everything but score and where a pinballing ball could have dropped another couple of feet away for an easy goal. There were at least four or five plays that looked like plays where goals are often scored, so while I can't dispute much of what's been written here, today was one of those shit luck games where they were clearly better and should have won or at least drawn.
Yeah but this is happening a lot. I've watched a few Everton matches where they have loadso f ifnal third posession loads of shots on goal and they just fluff the last pass or final shot. Or worse where they don't really carve out a clear cut opening.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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You think it's tactics or just lack of commitment or bravery in the box? Lukaku certainly seems like he could be more forceful at times.
 

fletcherpost

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Hard to say mate. It does seem though like Everton struggle when they need to get a goal. Good teams have the ability to adapt and formations become fluid. At times, Everton lool like Wigan with better players. Wigan played pretty football but leaked goals and struggled to score, or go direct when they needed to. Everton do pass the ball a lot without getting any real penetration. I dunno. If Everton could set up a training match where the first team had to score a goal in half an hour versus a Tony Pulis-like side, they'd figure something out.

One of the reasons Leicester are doing so well is when they get in attacking positions they have lots of space, willing runners and a defense on the back foot. They don't have to get through a brick wall. Everton's somewhat laboured build ups allow teams to park the bus. And when they go down the flanks and get balls in the runners are often a yard or two off the pace. I think they could use a quality number 10 to link up play between midfield and Lukaku. Kone isn't the player they need in the last 15 minutes, he's not a game changer.

Everton have good wide players, but aren't making the most of them. So both strategies, down the flanks and through the middle are not being utilized as best they can and they tend not to go over the top. I like Martinez, but he needs to grow as a manager himself. I really do think the best managers have the ability to see a situation/problem and adapt quickest and comit to it (the solution) fully.

All that said, Barkley needs some shooting practice. More goals from him would help.
 
Do you think Leicester's success, and to a lesser extent Tottenham's, this season means managers like Martinez are more likely to get put under the microscope than they might have previously? As OCST noted in his opening post, Everton has the talent to push for the top four; if Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and Arsenal were occupying those four places in the table, it'd be easy to excuse Martinez for not being able to overcome their built in advantages and resources. (The difference between finishing 5th and 11th is also pretty minimal in practical terms.) But when you've got the retread Ranieri and the upwardly mobile Pocchetino so far ahead of you, those excuses aren't credible.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Yeah, that's interesting Fletch. Getting the box isn't so great if what you need to do to get there gives the other side a chance to close down space. When I think of teams parking the bus, I tend to think of teams that are committing to defensive positions to the point where it really impacts their ability to get it going the other way, except in quick-catch counters. But I think what I'm hearing you say is that Everton play in a style where the transition from the wings to the middle of the field is so laboring that the other side has a chance to close it down, without having to play a full park the bus style and to still give themselves a chance to score and possess the ball.
 

OCST

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Yeah, that's interesting Fletch. Getting the box isn't so great if what you need to do to get there gives the other side a chance to close down space. When I think of teams parking the bus, I tend to think of teams that are committing to defensive positions to the point where it really impacts their ability to get it going the other way, except in quick-catch counters. But I think what I'm hearing you say is that Everton play in a style where the transition from the wings to the middle of the field is so laboring that the other side has a chance to close it down, without having to play a full park the bus style and to still give themselves a chance to score and possess the ball.
This is what I see too.

So many other issues though:

-Spectacular defensive breakdowns late in games, to turn 3 points into 1 or 1 into 0. This happens to all teams, but the Toffees have been downright Cubsian in pissing away games. Some of this can be attributed to injuries on defense earlier in the year, but as much as I hate to see it, Howard shares much of the blame. I'm worried he has begun his decline.

-Even when the attack has been fluid, they have hit the woodwork or Wondo'd easy chances far too often. Again, no side is immune from this, but they have elevated it to an art form.

The shame is that, as someone said in a game thread a few weeks ago, the energy is not lacking. They get after it. The sum is just less than the whole of the parts. I've always liked Martinez too, but he's not pushing the right buttons this year.

The crowd at Goodison is riding them pretty hard this year. They seem super tight at home.
 

fletcherpost

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A wee point to clear up. When going through the middle, Everton can be a bit laboured, kind of playing like Arsenal used to, trying to walk the ball in, but Everton don't have the players Arsenal had and Arsenal themselves struggled when the tried to walk the ball in. Barca can walk the ball in, as well as a whole host of other ways they can hurt you.

But when Everton attack down the flanks, like every other team, they use pace. That's the point of going down the flanks - you stretch the opposing defense, you get to the bye line and cross or play a cut back, but you must have willing runners who 'bomb' on as the pundits like to say. Everton have great wide players. Gerard Deulofeu, Aaron Lennon and Leighton Baines are all more than capable of beating a player and playing a great ball in to the middle or to a man running the channels. A couple of weeks ago, i watched Deulofeu play ball after ball into the middle, great balls, and no one got on the end of a single one. That's unforgivable. And the player was getting pissed off as fuck by the end of it. He's thinking, I'm doing my job, why is no one in the six yard box?

Leicester are great at getting the ball on the half way line or the edge of their own box and just going with pace, runners and they create clear cut chances and play to their strengths. they make the most use of the space available to them. They work within their limits. Everton don't. When a team parks the bus, you have to draw them out a little, you have to try or it's training session football. Everton play a lot of training session football.
 

coremiller

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This is what I see too.

So many other issues though:

-Spectacular defensive breakdowns late in games, to turn 3 points into 1 or 1 into 0. This happens to all teams, but the Toffees have been downright Cubsian in pissing away games. Some of this can be attributed to injuries on defense earlier in the year, but as much as I hate to see it, Howard shares much of the blame. I'm worried he has begun his decline.

-Even when the attack has been fluid, they have hit the woodwork or Wondo'd easy chances far too often. Again, no side is immune from this, but they have elevated it to an art form.

The shame is that, as someone said in a game thread a few weeks ago, the energy is not lacking. They get after it. The sum is just less than the whole of the parts. I've always liked Martinez too, but he's not pushing the right buttons this year.

The crowd at Goodison is riding them pretty hard this year. They seem super tight at home.
The crowd is probably riding them because their home form has been dreadful. Only 4 wins from 14 home matches, and the 23 goals conceded at home is the most in the league. Their away from has actually been pretty good (+7 GD and they've lost only once on their travels all season). It's the home record that's doing them in right now.
 

mgoblue2

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It doesn't help that Martinez will consistently play one winger. They have Mirallas, Deulofeu, and Lennon - all easily PL starter quality. Instead Cleverley (who is good) will play on the left wing. How they continue to leak goals astounds me.
 

OCST

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On phone so no link, but saw story that Howard has lost his starting job.

No denying that Robles has been better. Still sad. Became an Everton fan because of Howard.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Everton was fantastic today. As good a goal as you'll ever see from Lukaku against his old club. With current reffing trends, going down easily still seems to pay off enough to be worth it, but that goal was the poster for the magic that can happen when good players stay up.

Everton's back four looked better today, except maybe once or twice when Costa carved them up a little. Chelsea having the mid-week game probably didn't hurt.
 

OCST

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Everton was fantastic today. As good a goal as you'll ever see from Lukaku against his old club. With current reffing trends, going down easily still seems to pay off enough to be worth it, but that goal was the poster for the magic that can happen when good players stay up.

Everton's back four looked better today, except maybe once or twice when Costa carved them up a little. Chelsea having the mid-week game probably didn't hurt.
Agreed that Everton looked great. Very physical, chippy game - Costa got sent off late. Defense was solid. Both of Lukaku's goals were beautiful.
 

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This team has quit.
That's what amazed me. Liverpool have beaten Everton plenty of times, and occasionally by pretty good margins, but I don't think I've ever seen an Everton side look so lifeless in a Derby before. Even prior to the red card, they looked tuned out. I mean, Alberto Moreno had more shots in the game than the entire Everton team. The left back!
 

OCST

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That's what amazed me. Liverpool have beaten Everton plenty of times, and occasionally by pretty good margins, but I don't think I've ever seen an Everton side look so lifeless in a Derby before. Even prior to the red card, they looked tuned out. I mean, Alberto Moreno had more shots in the game than the entire Everton team. The left back!
Disgusting. No excuse for such a piss poor effort.

And screw Funes Mori.
 

wonderland

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What a bunch of sad sacks. That was humiliating.

This team has quit.
What happens if they win the FA cup? Does that mean they unquit?

I think the bigger problem is the team looks better on paper than on the field. Robles isn't a starting keeper on a top six team. Stones needs Jagielka and his veteran leadership in the back. Unfortunately he's not getting any younger. Baines is a shell of himself. In the midfield, they have no strong DM. Barry looks ok against weaker competition but is a liability against better, faster teams. I can see why he was subbed off at half today. Barkley is an interesting player but every time I watch I come away thinking he should do more. Maybe he grows into the role but right now I think he's hurting the team as the team can't get the ball to Lukaku enough.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Probably deserved better today. Fuck. Nipped in Fergie time. Lukaku couldn't hit the ocean from the beach today.
 

fletcherpost

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They really ought to have converted more chances. Lukaku's first touch when he was through on goal was awful and Cleverley had a couple of good chances. But to get the equalizer then lose in injury time is so Everton.
 

OCST

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They really ought to have converted more chances. Lukaku's first touch when he was through on goal was awful and Cleverley had a couple of good chances. But to get the equalizer then lose in injury time is so Everton.
Yes.

It's a blessing in disguise in that Martinez is now certain to get the ax. I was a fan before this year, but He dug his own grave.

Not that I'm optimistic about the future even with Roberto gone. The defense is a shambles, the midfield lacks quality. The new regime seems ready to open their wallets. I hope so. In the first half of the season, Everton looked like they were a goal here or there from contending for Europe. Now, if they can't keep Lukaku and/or fill in the gaps, a struggle to stay up is more likely.

Everton disappointed me as much as any team I've ever followed, and I was a Whalers fan.
 

fletcherpost

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Yes.

It's a blessing in disguise in that Martinez is now certain to get the ax. I was a fan before this year, but He dug his own grave.

Not that I'm optimistic about the future even with Roberto gone. The defense is a shambles, the midfield lacks quality. The new regime seems ready to open their wallets. I hope so. In the first half of the season, Everton looked like they were a goal here or there from contending for Europe. Now, if they can't keep Lukaku and/or fill in the gaps, a struggle to stay up is more likely.

Everton disappointed me as much as any team I've ever followed, and I was a Whalers fan.
They have players who will fetch good prices if sold and they have TV money and investment. They're a well run club...any team can flirt with relagation, but to go full Toon or Villa is another level of incompetence. Everton like Chelsea (in respect of their early season form) have good individuals, but are less than the some of their parts as a team. Everyone knows Martinez is weak in terms of defensive coaching. I think some of us hoped, or thought he'd have improved, figured it out or got someone to figure it out...it's primarily this that's to be his undoing - but, Stones and Coleman are good players, still learning their craft. Someone will get the best out of them, if it's not in a blue shirt, then hopefully esp with Stones, they get a good price.

Pundits are saying Everton miss Barry, it might be true, but Barry is slow and not for the future. Everton won't get him, but Kante would be a great player for Everton. Everton could get a couple of decent seasons out of YaYa, he's not as quick as he was, not quick enough for City, but he could do a job for Everton. That's just a couple of english based players off the top of my head but Everton can afford to pay for quality players and are not that far from having a really good team, Martinez just hasn't been able to make the most of the talent around him.
 

Dummy Hoy

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I think this is right...I understand being negative after this season if you're an everton supporter, but there is talent all over that club (even on the much maligned back line), and as Fletch points out, they'll fetch a pretty sum even if they don't stay.

I'm bummed the Martinez thing didn't end up working though. It was fun for a while.
 
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Above the game today is an airplane circling, carrying a sign saying "Time to go Roberto - NSNO". As the commentators suggest, that's not cheap to do, requires a lot of organizing, certainly suggests a depth of feeling.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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What's NSNO?

Great, so Everton will become just another mid-table counterattacking side trying to eek out exciting results in the Merseyside Derby and maybe flirting with the Europa League. And with a decrepit park.

Martinez coaches exciting football, and I really don't see them as a serious relegation risk with him there. I just don't get it. I think he's good for the PL and good for Everton and shouldn't be sacked for this year.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Quietly second in the table. They have played a relatively soft schedule but Koeman seems to have them much better organized and Bolasie seems to be giving them a wing threat that they lacked in the pas. If they stay healthy and get a little luck, they could be interesting this year.
 

OCST

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Was coming here to start a 2016-17 thread, which I will do. Yes, the schedule hasn't been tough, but they are much improved re: holding their shape and sticking to their plan. The problem so far has been feeding Lukaku, but he went off for a hat trick today and I agree that Bolaise wide gives the opposition more to worry about. I love this 19 year old defender Holgate too. Very poised, always in the right place- doesn't have a starting spot in the back four yet but is star in the making.

Things are looking up.
 

ninjacornelius

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Was coming here to start a 2016-17 thread, which I will do. Yes, the schedule hasn't been tough, but they are much improved re: holding their shape and sticking to their plan. The problem so far has been feeding Lukaku, but he went off for a hat trick today and I agree that Bolaise wide gives the opposition more to worry about. I love this 19 year old defender Holgate too. Very poised, always in the right place- doesn't have a starting spot in the back four yet but is star in the making.

Things are looking up.
No, the schedule hasn't been that hard (Spurs, Stoke, West Brom, Sunderland), but 10 points from 12 is still a vast improvement over the last two years, where it was guaranteed that Everton would drop inexcusable points against this level of competition. I also love that Koeman didn't hesitate to sub Barkley off for Deulofeu after 45 minutes when he saw that things weren't working.

And dollar for dollar, Idrissa Gueye could be one of the best signings of the summer. He had something like 120 touches tonight, completed over 100 passes, and so far this season is leading the EPL in tackles. I never rated him at Aston Villa (mostly because, well, he played for Villa), but he's like the poor man's N'Golo Kante, which is exactly the kind of player that Everton should target. Things are looking up indeed.
 

OCST

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The biggest differences so far this year:

-Koeman has not hesitated to make changes early when things are not working. Down a goal away to West Brom, with the team lethargic, he pulled McCarthy and inserted Lukaku at about the 30' mark IIRC. Even though Lukaku was not yet match-fit, his presence energized the attack and Everton went on to win 2-1. Similarly yesterday: after a scoreless first half where the team had played listlessly, Koeman benched the frustratingly inconsistent Barkley (rumor has it he was in a funk over being passed over for England, but given the hole of suck that is England, maybe they did him a favor) and put in Deulofeu. With Deulofeu and Bolasie providing lots of pace and wide threats, and Gueye and Barry staying poised and controlled in midfield, the attack shifted into high gear, and we saw what Lukaku can do with when the midfield sets him up well.

Koeman maanges like Playoff Tito. It's fun to watch.

-The offseason looks like it was fruitful. Gone is Stones, but he didn't want to be there, and they got tons of cash for him. Keeping Lukaku was a coup, and although he is always a threat to leave, he seems to have a soft spot for Everton after he came into his own there while on loan from Chelsea. Losing out on Sissoko, even though fans were pissed off on the Merseyside blogs, was a blessing - he was way overpriced, and based on what we have seen so far, the Everton midfield is potent without him. Gueye has a lot to do with that: this guy is a gem, and may be the steal of the transfer window. As per ninja, he can do it all and carries himself like a 15-year veteran. Another great addition has been Stecklenburg; although Robles was good enough to run Timmeh! out of town last year (I had a sadz; I am a fanboy), he was not/is not the answer, and Stecklenburg has excelled both as a shot-stopper and as the general of the defense.

-They keep their shape. It's such a basic thing, but for the second half of last year, everyone more or less wandered around aimlessly, and the attack was predictable and ineffective: passes back and forth around the perimeter between the midfielders, Lukaku with his back to the goal and no one feeding him, and finally a shot from Mirallas or Barkley from 25 yards out that went into the tenth row. It's nice to see actual football this year.

We'll see what happens when they start playing heavyweights, but so far, they seem to have the tools to compete.
 

OCST

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Albeit not against the strongest of foes, Everton dominated 3-1 on Saturday to rise to second in the table, two points shy of City.

The only Boro goal was an oddity. Early on, ball was headed into the box in the air and Stecklenburg had it lined up for a leaping catch. The Boro striker tried to head the ball, and in the process got 0% ball, 100% Stecklenburg's arms. The clear foul was not called, and the ball was jarred loose and dribbled into the goal behind Stecklenburg at a snail's pace.

That woke the Toffees up, and they looked bright and composed for the rest of the game. Gueye is blossoming into a star- he was everywhere and his own passing was impeccable. He was thrust further forward, with Barkley lying a little deeper. That seemed to open up the congestion in the midfield I've complained about before, where Mirallas, Barkley, etc. play patty-cake with each other at 30 yards and fail to get the ball to Lukaku. No such problems on Saturday; with better separation between them, both Barkley and Gueye looked dangerous and played well.

Out on the wing, Bolasie continues to cause problems with his pace and deft passing. His "assist" on Lukaku's goal was the stuff of comedy; Bolasie sent a terrific ball to the far post and Lukaku maybe got the slightest of touches on it before it went in - but of course celebrated like he had nailed a golazo from forty yards.

Other goals were by Barry off a corner - nice moment for him in his 600th PL appearance, he got a nice ovation; and by Seamus Coleman on a nice piece of work shaking a defender in front of the goal.

The team seems all in on Koeman's no-bullshit approach and the fans of course love it.

Another softer fixture this week at Bournemouth, and it's not until their October 15 visit to Man City when they play a contender (other than their opening week draw at home against Spurs). No doubt that the easy schedule has helped. Also no doubt that this team is for real and is finally starting to exceed the sum of their parts. They are fun to watch.
 

OCST

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Toffees start the B team at home and get knocked out of the League Cup, 0-2 to Norwich.

Good.
 

coremiller

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Toffees start the B team at home and get knocked out of the League Cup, 0-2 to Norwich.

Good.
Why is this good? It makes sense for teams with European commitments or that are threatened by relegation to deemphasize the competition, but neither of those apply to Everton. Nobody cares a whole lot about the League Cup but it's still a chance to win silverware and Everton haven't had a lot of those lately.
 

OCST

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Does anyone in the PL really care? It's a good chance for clubs in lower-tier leagues to have their David slays Goliath moment, and it's always fun for the locals when United or Arsenal come to their 6,000-seat ground.

Everton have a shot at Europe this year - it may be a long shot, but they were within striking distance last year before they fell apart, and both the players and the coaching are better this year. These midweek fixtures for lesser cups are a drain on depth and a chance for someone to get hurt.

I'm all for trying to win the FA Cup.
 

ninjacornelius

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Everton have a shot at Europe this year - it may be a long shot, but they were within striking distance last year before they fell apart, and both the players and the coaching are better this year. These midweek fixtures for lesser cups are a drain on depth and a chance for someone to get hurt.

I'm all for trying to win the FA Cup.
My sentiments exactly. Everton looks poised to fight for the top 7 this year, but it's a very thin squad that is going to rely on the success and health of a lot of over-30 players (Barry, Williams, Jagielka, Baines) and players who cannot be easily replaced (Lukaku, Gueye). The fewer minutes spent in the least important competition, the better. Plus, I think that yesterday's game can be a teachable moment for Koeman, serving as a reminder that there's still a lot of work to do for them to get where they want to be this season. Much better now than later, I'd say.
 

OCST

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Back down to earth with a loss at Bournemouth.

Not much good to say about this on. Lukaku did have one great chance- a header that would have been a very pretty goal, had Boruc not made an even prettier save. Otherwise meh. Baines was out with a hammy, and Oveido was overmatched. No flow or cohesion. Depth is a real problem. Barkley resembled the Bradley complained of in the USMNT game threads- indecision on the ball, errant and ill conceived passes.

The Cherries bossed them in the first half and kept their shape and absorbed pressure in the second.

Maybe a useful corrective.
 

OCST

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1-1, Palace at home.

Everton were by far the better side in the first half. Defending was excellent and the back four were actually the most effective attackers for Everton. Coleman (who had a very nice goal against Middlesboro) made several dangerous forays up the right flank, and Jagielka drew the penalty that led to Lukaku's goal off a free kick.

Still, ineffective midfield play continues to be a problem. Not enough creativity in breaking down the defense in the last third; inability to get it to Lukaku anywhere other than 20 yards out with his back to goal. Cleverley started tonight in place of Mirallas and was decent but didn't have any really good moments. Again, Barkley was erratic and unfocused, blowing one promising situation with one of his patented strikes into the 30th row. Gueye and Bolasie didn't do much.

Koeman has done a good job tightening up the defense after last year's disasters, but the fluidity of the attack is still a concern, despite signs of progress.

Palace had the better of the second half. Betenke's goal was a gorgeous header, not much to be done about it. Another Palace goal was waved off. Everton had a good chance off a corner that was defended by Puncheon on the far post, and Gueye had a point-blank chance blocked, but otherwise Everton didn't do much.

Palace look like a good side this year and had come in winners of three in a row in PL play, so a point is not terrible and was the proper outcome. Still, it's clear that Everton have some issues. Depth is desperately needed and they will have to be active in the next transfer window. I hope they can bank enough points until then to stay within striking distance.
 

candylandriots

unkempt
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 30, 2004
9,589
Berlin
I agree that a draw was the fair outcome though I was really cranky after Delaney's goal was waved off. It was the right call, but you could see it not being made. And I'm not a rules expert, but sounded kind Lukaku's absolutely gorgeous free kick should have been an indirect kick.

This game was typical Palace this season where they absolutely suck for one half (usually the first) and look like a completely different team in the other.

It was definitely a very entertaining game though. Made me a little sad rooting against Bolasie, but I guess between Tim Howard and now Bolasie, Everton have solidified their place as my second favorite side.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
For the record, kempa, I thought Delaney's goal should have been allowed. It's at 2'24" in this highlight clip, and he was pretty clearly level with Ashley Williams. Crank away. It was definitely a tale of two halves though.