Everton 1 – 3 Celta Vigo
Celta Too Hot For Underdone Everton – By @Markthablue
First of all its pre-season so there is no over-reaction here. Nothing more than a training exercise and the fact that we have not yet won any of our pre-season games holds no relevance at all to me.
I swing from positive to negative supporting Everton so I’m happy to stay neutral on this. Practice I’m confident, will make perfect come Leicester on August 16th.
These games are aimed at gaining fitness, to iron out the creases, and, judging by the first half performance, it’s fair to say the ironing board will be getting some stern punishment as Everton enter their final dress rehearsal against Paderborn before a potentially memorable season gets underway in just Nine days time.
After a disappointing first half the second half was better from Everton. This despite a positive start from Everton as the Blues took the lead through McGeady’s tidy finish. A Baines whipped cross, a mis-control from Naismith and McGeady, who scored his first goal in Everton colours, albeit unofficially, was on hand to neatly tuck the ball in at the far post.
Celta weren’t laying down though and there intense pressing on a sloppy Everton back line soon started to tell. Beginning with a penetrating move resulting in Nolito converting with a low drilled effort.
John Stones then continued his indifferent pre-season form, over-playing it and getting caught out by the impressive Nolito who put Celta in front with a subtle finish.
And Nolito rounded of an impressive display with his hat-trick, making it 3-1 from a deflected shot on the edge of the area. Not just his goals, Nolito looked the part, even with the Everton defence handing out gifts left right and centre.
I recall Real Betis doing the same thing to us at Goodison last season. Betis were relegated and we smashed our Premier League pointsimportance summed up.
The only angst should be around squad strengthening and not the team’s performance here.
Martinez will have us ready, I have full faith. Although we are still short of where we need to be, if it takes until the last minute of the window then – not ideal in the slightest – so be it. A team with Coleman (if fit), Barry, Mirallas and Lukaku will be back to put Leicester on the imodium. I have no doubt.
The second half was better from Everton’s point of view. Still room for a few comical defensive moments and some inexplicable sloppy passing but that aside, we looked much more compact with the mouth-watering Muhamed Besic looking every inch a £24m pound player, let alone £4m.
Besic has shown he can mix it – lovely touches, a mean streak, squaring up to a Celta player – Besic looks like a hybrid of Joe Parkinson and Olivier Dacourt for me, but greater in quality. We have found a gem no question.
His presence lifted the Blues’ performance. And with Barkley showing glimpses of his best, smashing the crossbar with a venomous strike and some lovely touches in and around the box that left me in a drool like state – possibly over the top but my love for Ross Barkley’s talent is overflowing – the positive signs were there.
The game soon went into classic pre-season mode – flatter than a County Road pizza – with the optimism still flowing from the Lukaku signing, this was a game were I hope the last of the creases were ironed out. Hardly fine tuning but I’m feeling confident that a very different Everton will take to the field at the King Power Stadium.
Martinez will get what he wants. Every man and his dog knows it’s a winger and a striker of high quality required to elevate our side for the long grueling season ahead and truth be told, we need a few more players. Probably on loan to give us the security I think the squad needs with the likes of Gibson, Kone and Oviedo yet to prove their fitness.
Sounding like a stuck record here but let’s hope for some more movement in the transfer window. Exciting to think where we could end up if we add quality in the forward areas so don’t stop now Board. Keep pushing on and spend the money I think we should still have. Give this squad the boost it needs ahead of a massive season.
A few more signings in the forward areas can provide us with an invite to the top table of English football.
Martinez will have the players ready and tactically clued up, I’m not the slightest bit concerned on that score. However, lets hope we see a more re-assuring Everton performance against newly promoted Bundesliga side SC Paderborn on Saturday.
Roberto will surely start to look towards his starting line up against Leicester.
The season is nearly upon us and we can’t switch off supporting Everton just because it’s pre-season. As Blues we still moan far too much about other blues frustrations it’s simple for me; we support Everton passionately hence we get frustrated intensely. Even at the slightest thing the passion pours out but pre-season is wasted on this.
Save it for the 2014-15 season and make Goodison Park a cauldron of passion and let’s enjoy the ride.