So we’ve been let down by our beloved club again.
After all the pre-match talk of Southampton being without most of their best players and being on a 5 game losing streak I allowed myself some hope that we would be able to build on the QPR win with victory on the south coast.
Southampton 3 Everton 0: The Final Rant
By Eoin Leeson
It wasn’t to be though, as a clumsy Romelu Lukaku own goal gave Southampton the lead before Graziano Pellé and Maya Yoshida of all people added further goals.
All three of the goals came from deliveries into the box and this is just one of many things that is wrong with the team at the moment.
It was disappointing to see our two usually brilliant full backs struggle to impact the game offensively and then fail to track back and carry out their defensive duties.
Tim Howard is probably in the worst form of his Everton career and his pathetic flapping at the ball is excruciating to watch.
I still feel Sylvain Distin is a good player and when he first came back into the team after John Stones’ and Antolin Alcaraz’s injuries he did well; but he is too old to play a consistent run of games and that is why he’s been playing poorly recently.
Gareth Barry has been simply shocking since he returned from injury and the partnership he forms with Muhamed Besic isn’t good. Young Besic however, fights for everything and is a real talent.
Phil Jagielka is the only defender who can claim to have been playing half decent recently. It’s astonishing how much we miss John Stones and James McCarthy. The latter’s partnership with Barry and his ability to fill in for the marauding full backs, break up attacks, tackle and pass is something we really miss. We haven’t picked up a clean sheet in our last seven games.
While I’m at it I have a few more stats: Saturday’s defeat was our third away loss in a row and we’ve only won 2 of 9 games on our travels. The one killer stat for me though is this; we are 13 points worse off than we were last season. With surprise packages like Southampton, Swansea and West Ham up in the top 8 and half the season already gone, that stat makes for grim reading.
One word I mentioned earlier was consistent, a word that doesn’t describe Everton well. We’ve won 8, drawn 8 and lost 8 in all competitions and have only won back-to-back games once in the league this campaign.
And then there’s Roberto Martinez. Anyone who says he should be sacked uses the hashtag #MartinezOut or creates a Twitter page about getting Martinez sacked really needs to go home and rethink their life.
His tactics have admittedly been poor and baffling at times this season. A clear example of this was on Saturday when he made no substitutions at all.
Aiden McGeady and Arouna Kone would have brought something different to the game and would have had time to make an impact even if he’d brought them on after we went 2-0 down.
His post match interviews are something that has really got on my nerves this season too. On Saturday, to say we were never outplayed or tactically inferior was astonishing. Also, saying there was nothing between the sides except defending the six-yard box? Defending that area is just a tad important in football. Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade.
The team’s positioning is all wrong too. Lukaku, Eto’o, Naismith and Barkley are not all going to fit in the same team. They all have to play centrally or won’t be effective. We need wingers to play – even if it means pushing Coleman forward until Mirallas is back – or we won’t have any shape.
I found it disappointing that Barry got straight back into the team and Barkley was pushed out wide even though the latter played so well on Monday. There was a point on Saturday where Coleman and Baines were up playing as attacking midfielders and Naismith was back playing a defensive midfield role. Madness.
Even with all those four central players on the pitch there was a lack of creativity. Our corners are so awful that they are actually becoming a hindrance.
Pretty depressing isn’t it?
With all that said, we’re in a great position in the Europa League and still have the opportunity of an FA Cup run. I do think we’ll come good in the league and have a successful second half of the season.
I don’t know how many times I’ve said this now this season but hopefully we can bounce back in our next game, which is at home to Stoke on Friday.
Y’all have a good Christmas now.