More questions than answers for Everton after the most miserable Christmas we have suffered in many a year.
Everton Seek Fortune Change After Going To Hull And Back
What a mess. Before I start, I’m not about to perform a postmortem on what was by far the most miserable Christmas we have suffered in many a year.
I don’t wish to depress us anymore by going over the goals in two more gut wrenching performances at home to Stoke City and away at Newcastle. One of the most flattering 3-2 reverses you will ever see.
This is not a structured piece in terms of clear thinking and I have no idea where we go from here, such is the chaos around us at the moment.
There is a lot of disharmony amongst the fan base particularly with people who like to be positive and then the doom mongers who have every right to feel this way. Currently there are no reassurances that we are turning this season around.
So why are we performing so abysmally?
There are so many factors, I could index an entire catalogue with potential reasons.
The team is stinking the joint out royally. Something almost poisonous is evident within this group of players and there is for me an unmistakable waft of disharmony in the group. A club with a strong link to team spirit seems to be falling down in an area previously taken for granted.
We have had a diabolical injury list which has clearly hampered. Missing players such as Stones, McCarthy and Mirallas for regular intervals has impacted us negatively as expected.
However, even with an injury list as long as Robert Elstone’s solarium bill, it doesn’t seem to come close to explaining just what the hell has gone wrong with this group of players.
The squad was not strengthened sufficiently in January. There was no acknowledgement from any of the coaches, who see these players daily, that some of our defenders who had done a great job last season had reached their expiry date by the time Lukaku had made it 2-0 at Hull City on the final
can’t just be waking up to this fact now surely?
The Lukaku deal took all the headlines but its the lack of adding to the squad in defensive areas that has grabbed all the headlines since. We have lost our collective hunger to keep teams out, we have midfielders jogging back as teams counter us, and it looks like we turn up each game fully expecting to concede.
It’s a disease that is now making us look unsightly.
The lack of intensity in our play and desire to press the opposition, so obvious last season, is scarcely evident this time around.
The blues actually started with fierce intent against Stoke.
It was a marked difference from what had gone before but due to the ever-present problems injury wise and Stoke’s – Stoke-like tactics – disrupting the play, we lost our belief and zest and reversed back into this dreadful one paced telegraphed attacking that has become an unwelcome swatter that we seem unable to get rid off.
This, along with our generous tendencies to gift goals to the opposition, see McGeady for Newcastle’s second, is only going to take us one way.
Whatever sulking is going on and we are giving the impression of a side feeling sorry for ourselves, simply has to be put right.
As hard as it feels right now, we do have to get behind the team as much as possible. The booing may seem appropriate at times but it’s not going to help us out of this.
Our faith is being tested and I don’t mind saying I’ve been venting my spleen on Twitter all week but I do recognise we have to give the 11 guys out on the pitch every inch of support as we enter the new year. It is of course a two-way street and the players have got to show more hunger when in the blue of Everton. It sounds ridiculous to even have to say it.
I do believe our current system has its merits, but I just think Roberto has grossly over estimated the talents and powers of the players in certain positions.
Gareth Barry being a classic case. To think the ink is still not dry on his contract is unbelievably depressing. Barry has been treading water since the start of the season. Age has caught up with him massively over the summer and its showing. It seems his legs have gone.
The emphasis has to be on Barkley, Besic and McCarthy developing an understanding. Roberto’s obsession with playing Barry, presumably to try to justify signing him back in the first place, is not benefiting the team whatsoever and its time Roberto faced up to the fact.
Baines and Coleman have either been injured or on the periphery but there were signs at Newcastle that Coleman was returning back to his best and I am excited about Baines being deployed in the middle. Especially as it can accommodate the hugely promising Garbutt in the side.
Baines has that drive and eye for a pass, as seen with the Mirallas consolation at St James.’ So there are small signs of hope but the squad collectively should be embarrassed by whats going on.
The bizarre situation regarding Sylvain Distin, also way past his sell by date, has disrupted the club massively. Roberto brought him back in and our veteran centre back arguably looks worse than ever.
A player such as Nastasic, hardly getting a sniff at city has to be worthy of Roberto’s attention. I’m not telling our manager who to buy but Nastasic is an example of a quality player doing nothing while we have migraine after migraine in defence.
Lack of quality
I find it incredibly difficult to remain balanced at times like these. It’s always been the same. We have been hit by injuries and had to deal with a lot more fixtures through the Europa League but we knew about this competition long before the season started.
The lack of quality in squad strengthening has hurt us particularly in defence. This ultimately boils down to lack of investment. A predictable rant from me but I’m yet to be convinced it’s an invalid point.
It just hasn’t happened for us this season. It really would benefit us Roberto if you played players in their correct positions. Heartening to hear our manager talk about a change in formation but the news that we probably wont be using the transfer market was outright depressing to hear.
Roberto must be bluffing.
Our problems are there for all to see, we can’t defend.
Let’s hope this is remedied in the window. It simply has to be.
I’m no conspiracy theorist but it’s clear something has gone on – watching Everton is like seeing your Mum and Dad ignoring each other after a row – we know something has gone on, were just not sure
sort it out guys. Be professional and remember what club you are playing for!
So with hope at an all time low we go to Hull who are not exactly pulling up roots in the Premier League this season. We have seemingly helped every other team out this season but this cannot continue on Thursday.
It is time to get behind Roberto Martinez and the team, not blindly – we are allowed to question the manager – but it’s increasingly difficult with a lot of blues unable to process the notion of negativity.
Negativity is bred from negativity and if the players had turned up as expected these last few months we would all be much more positive and much less angry and frustrated about our lot so far this season.
Quite simply the blues owe us a performance. Not just because we lost three games, but because of the manner of those defeats and how we have gone about our season in general.
The determination to be hard to beat and clinical in the right areas has to come out from theis Everton your playing for….. Time to act accordingly!
Arouna Kone deserves to start. For all his critics who ran out of patience with his existence as a paid employee at Goodison Park – and yes, I was one of them – he deserves credit where it’s due. I have got to give a lot of praise to our Ivorian striker.
Something of a shining light for us in recent weeks, he has shown great fight and desire to get back into the fold and to be fair he has played with great quality and looked a striker who can help us out upfront.
Kone showing the kind of determination to wear the shirt that a few players in the current first team would do well to take a lead from. A hunger has to return this New Years Day as many blues just can’t stomach anymore pathetic defeats.
I’d personally like to see Kone and Lukaku paired upfront. Lukaku is limited when it comes to creating his own chances and with Kone holding the ball up, and providing more of a physical presence to worry opponents, this could bring out the best of Lukaku who has shown a lethal tendency to score when presented with opportunities.
Let’s hope we register a Tim Cahill style Sunderland win that turned our season around on New Years Eve nine years ago. A source of inspiration is what’s needed now for us.
New year, new hope
January is almost upon us and we do have to strengthen. Roberto can’t be serious if he’s thinking of not improving us defensively. It would be suicide to leave us with two goalkeepers who have shown so far that they are not up to it, and a defence that needs some quality and composure brought in.
I don’t want to turn this into a witch hunt and I’m painfully aware of the importance of getting behind each and every player right now – something I will be doing of course – but we also need better quality bringing in than what’s on offer now.
Aiden McGeady has just not settled and this has to be an area where Roberto could do something. But who knows? His tone suggests he has already been told by our, let’s call them consistent, joke of a board that there is no money left to spend after the down-payment for Lukaku.
I hope this made sense. I’m aware this is no more than letting off steam, but I’ve felt like a slow cooker taking in one mediocre performance after another – the lid simply had to come off.
I’ve been highly critical but let’s get behind the team on Thursday. We have to turn our fortunes around and any kind of victory would at least stop a panic currently building up more momentum than a Bill Kenwright boys pen story on FA Cup Final Day.
Let’s end the frustration and the disharmony by getting behind the team and seeing us end this ridiculous slump. I truly want Roberto to turn this round, such was the quality and change of mentality he brought to the club last season.
“Our philosophy represents Everton. It goes back to the incredible figures that have been special people and custodians of the Club. Our style is what is going to make us successful in the future. Now we need to be good at it.” Roberto Martinez
The first day of a brand new year when the players run out at the KC Stadium, a new slate, new hope, dreams and renewed optimism.
If only we can now see the Everton of!!!!!!!!!