Every week, the ECHO gets the views of an Everton fan to gauge the feeling among supporters of the week that’s been and the week ahead.
Today we speak to Mark Ellis of Everton Viral about the Blues’ defeat to City, the upcoming Europa League tie and what Roberto Martinez needs to change before 2015.
Just how frustrating was Andre Marriner during the Blues’ defeat to City?
Mark Ellis: I thought he was disgraceful, it was such a blatant display of favouritism for Man City that it looked like he had been told how to referee beforehand. Let’s not escape the fact Everton didn’t play well, we deserved very little from the game – but as long as Marriner was in charge we were getting nothing. Missing blatant red card offences for City and awarding them a ridiculous penalty meant we had a refereeing display which harked back to Clive Thomas, Mark Clattenburg and Pierluigi Collina all rolled into one. I genuinely feel sorry for the League One teams who have to put up with this joke of an official this weekend.
Which player are you most looking forward to seeing against Krasnodar?
ME: Sounds strange as he is a regular for us – and while I’m eager to see Kone, Oviedo, McAleny, Browning and Atsu do well and stake a claim for the first team – it’s truly Ross Barkley I want to see. We badly need Ross to get his groove back, he’s vital to us as an attacking threat and brings the best out of Lukaku. I would like to see him get some game time and score or set up a goal or two to really get his confidence flying ahead of a must win game against QPR next Monday.
What is the one thing you want Martinez to change between now and the new year?
ME: I want him to change the way we are playing to be honest – this dull, crab-like passing and pedestrian attacking is getting us nowhere fast. We’re boring at times and predictable – try to accommodate more pace in the side because the lack of it is hurting us badly. We need to move the ball better and quicker, the focus has to be on providing Lukaku with as much ammunition as possible; he has shown frequently this season if he gets a chance he will more than likely score but our midfield and indifferent form of Coleman and Baines is not helping Lukaku at all. He’s a goalscorer, he needs service.
Do the Blues need to strengthen in January, and if so, where?
ME: Absolutely and there should be money from the summer. No question, we need a new goalkeeper. Howard is just costing us far too many points, we need to strengthen so we can replace the equally poor Distin. I’d love Begovic and Nastasic to be brought in and give confidence to the team that we can keep clean sheets as I believe our inability to keep teams out is making us a more cautious unit going forward, our fearless approach has been replaced by fear.
I’d also like some much-needed pace brought in, like a Bolasie (of Crystal Palace) type – Deulofeu had his faults but we’ve missed the outlet he used to provide us, he had teams on the back foot and got us in the right areas off the pitch, we badly need to replicate his pace in our attack.
So, Liverpool are in the Europa League. Do you want to take them on in Warsaw?
ME: Frankly, no. Our record and mentality against them is awful and inferior. I hate the fact that it is this way but no matter what Liverpool side is out, we always seem to struggle – although the opportunity to beat the media darlings that is Liverpool Football Club in a major cup final and upset Andy Townsend might just be worth all the years of misery that have gone before!
Any other business?
ME: I think it’s clear now that the honeymoon period is now over for Roberto, he needs to show the innovation and bravery of last season which has not been carried over into this season. We are still paying for a diabolical pre-season and a lack of strengthening in the squad – we can’t hide behind the Lukaku deal. We didn’t do enough to strengthen the team defensively and it seems to have cost us every week since.
Roberto has to get the energy back in the team and get us attacking teams with much more purpose and intent, a lot of Blues are now beginning to question Roberto for the first time and he needs to come up with the answers. A desperately mediocre start to the season badly needs turning around, hopefully the 2013/14 Everton will be back on the pitch against QPR this Monday.
Want something else to read? How about ‘Grievous Censorship’ By The Guardian: Israel, Gaza And The Termination Of Nafeez Ahmed’s Blog
All the latest breaking news and football stories, brought to you here in one handy view. For more stories like this please subscribe to our RSS feed.