Oh the joys of being an Evertonian, they build you up to break your heart right at the end. You’re an Everton fan though, it would be boring if it was easy.
Everton travelled to Southampton in high spirits after a captivating win against United the week before. I stood at the bar in the away end before the game with my old man, enjoying a nice cold pint, discussing who we would want in the Champions League group stages. A certain sense of belief was flowing around the away support as we filtered into the ground. The whistle for the start of the match was greeted by a loud chorus of our favourite chant this season, it was not long before that chant reached an abrupt end. “Roberto had a dream, to build our foo—ohhhh f*ck off Everton”
Tim Howard – 7
Perhaps the only player on the pitch that believed Everton could still turn it around after two early goals. Credit to our keeper this season who has been consistent right from the beginning. Howard was helpless for both goals as our back four decided to start showing of their heading ability. In terms of shots from Southampton players there wasn´t much that really tested Tim. However a good save right at the last from a Ward-Prowse effort stopped the deficit from becoming flattering for the Home team.
Seamus Coleman – 4
Football is a mad game at times, Seamus Coleman will know that better than anyone after perhaps having the game of his career last weekend to one of his worst this weekend. Coleman’s statistics don’t make for good reading; defensively he didn’t turn up with 0 tackles, 0 interceptions, 2 clearances. Granted the best part of Seamus’ game this year has come when he goes forward; 2 accurate crosses out of 8 attempted, 1 accurate long ball out of 5, 83% pass accuracy. He was also dispossessed twice and had an own goal to top it all off. To be fair to Coleman, I didn’t think the own goal was his fault. When the cross came in neither of the two centre backs attacked the ball or made any attempt to clear their lines, instead they decided to leave it for Coleman who was always going to find it awkward. The lack of experience and leadership in the back four was quite clearly missing on Saturday.
John Stones – 6
I have just slated John for potentially causing an own goal, but aside from that I thought he had a good game. John accumulated 2 tackles, 1 interception, 3 blocked shots, 2 effective clearances. Even after the two early goals the 19 year old didn´t seem to lose his head like most of the team, dribbling out of defence and outpacing Lambert with ease. Stones also added an impressive 90% pass accuracy and four accurate long balls to his name, we may have been better off having him in midfield.
Antolin Alcaraz – 5
“What a finish son” were the shouts from the away end, some Evertonians obviously saw the humour in Alcaraz’ own goal. I believe his goal was actually harder to score than miss, and it was reminiscent of Duncan Ferguson against Man United in 2005. The centre back didn’t look that comfortable for most of the game as you could see the own goal was playing on his mind, however his defensive statistics were impressive: 5 tackles, 4 interceptions and a record 14 effective clearances. He also won 8 aerial duels which is a positive, would be nice to see him score a diving header at the other end.
Leighton Baines – 5
Leighton had a mix bag in terms of statistics on Saturday; 2 key passes, 2 dribbles, 2 interceptions, 3 tackles and 2 effective clearances. He also managed to touch the ball more than any player on the pitch(85). On the other hand, 8 of his 10 crosses were way off, frustrating most Everton fans as he constantly under hit his crosses. Baines was also offside twice (most on the pitch), it seemed like a lack of discipline and that shouldn’t be happening for a left back.
Gareth Barry – 6
Barry had a pretty non existent game on Saturday with not having that much to do as Southampton coasted to a victory that they’d had in the bag by the 32nd minute. 2 tackles, 1 interception, 3 clearences, 89% pass accuracy and 10 of his 13 long balls were accurate.
James McCarthy – 7 (Man of the Match)
A beacon of hope in a horrible Everton side, James looked up for it right till the last whistle. He showed his attacking prowess on Saturday as well with 2 dribbles, 1 key pass, 1 shot and should have had a penalty for his efforts as he quite clearly was pulled down in the box by Dejan Lovren. The referee/assistant referees I should mention were horrendous on the day and should of given at least 1, probably two penalties. McCarthy finished the game with an amazing 98% pass accuracy (best on the pitch for players on for 90mins).
Steven Naismith – 5
Was Naismith even on the pitch for this game? 0 shots on target, 0 key passes, 0 dribbles, 3 turnovers, 36 passes (least of all outfield players that played 90 mins) and an embarrassing 72% pass accuracy. What did save him however, was the fact that he showed desire to win headers, something Lukaku couldn´t be bothered to do. Winning 4 aerial duels standing at 5ft8 compared to the 6ft3 of Lukaku.
Ross Barkley – 4
I said before the game Barkley needed to be played in his preferred position for him to thrive, Martinez took my advice and it didn’t pay off. Barkley looked lost from the first whistle until he came off at half time. 0 shots, 0 key passes, 0 dribbles, 2 turnovers, 85% pass accuracy. As much as i hate to say it, Barkley should possibly see some time on the sideline, he doesn’t look fit enough and doesn’t seem to be enjoying his football at the moment.
Gerard Deulofeu – 3
Without meaning to sound too harsh, Deulofeu managed to put in one of the worst 60 minutes of football from a winger I have seen in quite some time. He was dispossessed 5 times, offside once(although it wasn´t actually offside), 74% pass accuracy, only managed 1 accurate cross and decided he wouldn’t pass all game with just 19 passes in an hour of football. I can’t take it out on Gerard though because his mind might of been somewhere else with the horrible news of Tito Vilanova coming out this week.
Romelu Lukaku – 4
1 aeriel duel won in 90 minutes. That is the stat that causes me more distress than any other in this report, Lukaku has looked lazy and uninterested the last few weeks. It is very apparent now that Martinez has no other options upfront, the bench was made up of mostly kids and no strikers. Lukaku missed 2 glaring opportunities and saw 3 of the 4 shots he managed go astray. 73% pass accuracy and 4 turnovers left the Striker moving faster off the pitch when the final whistle came then he did all game.
Leon Osman – 6
Another defensive display from Osman who seemed to be making sure our goal difference didn’t take a battering. He managed 2 tackles and 1 effective clearance. Osman also should have had a penalty when he was booked for diving, which in my unbiased opinion was a foul inside the box every day of the week.
Aiden McGeady – 7
Aiden must start the next game. McGeady came on and added fresh legs to the team, he was the only real attacking threat when he came on in the 60th minute. The amount of skills he has in his locker is ridiculous, and unlike Deulofeu he uses them when they are actually needed. He had 100% pass accuracy and 1 very good cross to Lukaku. The irishman also had 2 key passes and 2 successful dribbles.
Luke Garbutt – 5
The youngster came on with 2 minutes to play and only touched the ball 3 times, I have heard he is a very good talent and we know Martinez is capable of getting the best out of our youth team. I can see him being a quality cover for that left back position next year weather it be behind Oviedo or Baines.
Overall team rating – 5.09
A disappointing performance from the lads against a team who didn’t even look like they really wanted 3 points. Every match is vital from now on, a lot of people are saying the Champions League dream is over now. I disagree, Arsenal are still very capable of slipping up and its not over till its over. Keep the faith and brush this one under the rug, lets go beat City at home and hand Liverpool the title. Jesus.
1) This is the first loss to Southampton since September 11th 2002
2) Everton have not won four league away games in a row since December 1985
3) Everton are now 1 point away from being guaranteed European football at Goodison Park next year.