Martinez has had an annoying habit in his press conferences recently of only taking the positives out of poor results and performances and sometimes even finding positives that weren’t even there. This has irked a fair few Evertonians who would prefer a more honest approach if the situation requires it.
The positives from Thursday night are obvious, it was a good night for Everton. I think everyone was fairly content with the draw, and coupled with a draw at Wolfsburg then I think it’d be fair to say our chances of qualification increased after the nights results.
We are also however looking for a performance. Individual results are all well and good but if the performances aren’t there then eventually you will get caught out. We nearly did against Krasnodar, we got lucky.
Again it was another shaky night for the defensive unit and another for Phil Jagielka. After the derby I wrote a piece in hope that his performance and goal would be the catalyst for him the give the type of performances we have become accustomed to. However it was a poor night for the captain who had to be saved by Stones on a few occasions. His attempt at defending when Wanderson wandered through on goal was embarrassing. Many people are writing off Krasnodar as a difficult night in a difficult place which is a fair point to an extent. However, basic defending shouldn’t be effected and this has left people questioning the captain once more.
I mention the defensive unit as the defensive midfielders we’re very poor as well. Apart from the occasional decent pass Barry looked lethargic and was easily bypassed at times. Maybe James McCarthy’s running makes him look good? As for Gibson, he just looks unfit. Obviously the way to rectify that is by game time but I think we may be rushing it by starting him and Besic would of been a much better option for this match.
Elsewhere on the pitch, Atsu failed to impress once more. We desperately need him to get with the pace as soon as possible as he is only one of two fit wingers at the moment. Lukaku, for the second this season, had to be introduced at half-time when he was attempted to be rested.
Large improvements need to be made. Sunday allows us to play against a team that is also trying to find their feet and after that is a well needed international break. My main frustration here is about performance, at the moment we are nowhere near last years levels and we shouldn’t sugarcoat that by just looking at the positives. There was a point in the second half where we were giving the ball away for fun and getting relentlessly attacked and cut open. If we are like that at Old Trafford on Sunday it will be a lot more than one goal we concede against Falcao, Van Persie, Mata and Di Maria.
I’ll end on a positive though, and that is Ross Barkley. He could well be available soon after the break and his return will not only allow us to play a more balanced formation but it will give the club (fans included) a lift. A lift that the club desperately needs at the moment.