What we DIDN’T Learn From Crystal Palace

1) John Stones is not a right back.

Stones didn’t have a terrible game but, despite playing here in his earlier years, clearly looks out of position at right back. He doesn’t have the same sense of positioning there and going forward is not in the same continent as Seamus Coleman. It’s games like this which remind us of how much we miss Coleman when he’s out of the team as the right-back position is the one place on the field where we don’t have a suitable replacement.

2) Goodison can be far too negative.

Goodison can be at it’s best when it’s angry at the referee/opposition. Goodison can be at it’s worst when it’s angry at our players. On Sunday the later was a lot more dominant than the former with Jagielka, Osman and Lukaku being singled out for most of the abuse. None of which can help the team. I’d put a fair amount of money on the fact that the people who shouted abuse at Lukaku were the same people who were singing his name after the first goal.

3) Our players are stupid (and too nice).

This has long been a problem for the team and was evident across all areas of the pitch. Making poor decisions, being caught in possession, playing the wrong passes, giving away needless fouls etc etc. Crystal Palace again out smarted us. Howard’s decision making is one of his two worst attributes (the other is going too early and low when trying to save shots) it was evident today with the penalty and second goal. Leon Osman seems to never be aware that opposition players behind him might want to get the ball. For a central midfielder, the amount of times he gets caught in possession is laughable. Steven Naismith gave away a few needless fouls which gave Palace the perfect opportunity to time waste and take the heat out of the game, and invited pressure back on us. Keeping calm after conceding is another huge negative as well. We need a leader on the pitch. As for being too nice? Eto’o running into the opposition half then kicking it out as Frazier Campbell pretended he was injured? Yeah, that.

4 ) We’ve had a bad start

Whichever way you look at the result, 5 points from 5 games is a terrible return. Regardless of how other teams have done, that is not good enough. Our next Premier League game is against Liverpool and then Man Utd. It is possible we’ll have a very David Moyes-esque start to the season…

As for Martinez? I think he has had a terrible start to the season. Players were undercooked coming into it, his substitutions have been baffling, we’ve had poor results and the change in team for the Palace match didn’t work at all. I still have complete faith in his style of football and where he is taking the club but he needs to improve his form just as much as the defence do.


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