Everton 2 Palace 3 – Another Back-Five Nightmare

Well what a strange old season this is turning out to be. I’m used to Everton being solid at the back and nicking the odd goal up front. We appear to have now turned into the equivalent of Blackpool a few years back, trying desperately to score more than the opposition due to the fact our defence have more holes in it than Oscar Pistorius’ next girlfriend.

Palace rolled up as one of the few teams left that had won no games this season. Neil Warnock was now their manager, not Pulis who did so well for them last year. Everton were seemingly on a roll after the good performances against West Brom and Wolfsburg. There seemed only one outcome.

I’m sure people will have read other articles, seen the highlights or been to the game, so I’ll not dwell too much on what happened. I think everyone saw that we had massive amounts of possession and should have scored a few goals before their equalizer, when all the confidence seemed to drain away from Everton.

So what I’d like to know is:

  • Why drop so many players that were in good form when the game midweek is in a competition that Martinez has already said was going to be the least of his priorities? Has he changed his mind and the league no longer matters? Naismith had to start with either Lukaku or Eto’o whilst Catsu should have come on for Miralles after the work had been done, and then been given a full game midweek.
  • What has happened to Tony Hibbert? We are still paying him good wages and gave him an extension recently, so why are we playing Stones at right back whenever Coleman gets injured? Stones is great but should be at centre back with either Distin or Jags. Or preferably someone else. I’d play Duffy ahead of them both at the moment!
  • Tim Howard – oh dear. Makes some great saves one game and drops a clanger or two in the next. Seems that teams have worked out that if you actually try and kick the ball either side of him that it’s likely to go in. He is going to be our keeper long-term so hopefully this will be just a blip. Saw a stat that said that he’s let in more goals than he’d made saves this season. That’s not good.
  • Martinez’s substitutions. That was a bit strange wasn’t it? Bringing off Stones and putting McCarthy right-back? Bringing Eto’o into right midfield? Unbelievable that they scored down that flank the next time they attacked really isn’t it?

Anyway, lets look on the positive side shall we? Everyone is losing games around us and there is a long way to go. The back 5 (apart from Baines and Stones when he is played CB) is playing poorly and will get better. Our attacking play is still a joy to watch sometimes and we are bound to give someone a good spanking at some point.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what the line-up is for Everton against Swansea away in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night – just 48 hours after the Palace game. Will Martinez now decide to play the first team or go ahead and play the reserves/regular subs? I’d say a win was needed again to get the confidence back and fans on side.

Right, who is next up for us in the next couple of league matches. Liverpool and Man United, both away? Oh.

Anyone want my ticket for the Derby?…

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