Tony Cascarino's talking points


Raheem Sterling was lucky to be allowed the assist for Manchester City's second goal, having carried the ball over the bye-line, but that was exactly the tactic he needs to pursue.

He is a quick winger and should be looking to regularly get behind defenders and cut the ball back. That's what City bought him to do. He must remember that he is no David Silva, the Spain magician, who is the heartbeat of the team in the centre of the park.


It was almost half-time and I had still barely noticed that Tom Cleverley was playing for Everton. The midfielder seems to be on the fringes every time I watch him - he doesn't influence matches.

Cleverley is 26 and has played 13 times for England, yet he has not made more than 55 league appearances for any club - he did that for Manchester United. He just cannot establish himself anywhere.


Ross Barkley is one of the few players capable of a Steven Gerrard goal, where he picks up the ball in midfield, drives through the heart of the defence and crashes a shot home from 20 metres or so - as he showed (on Wednesday) when opening the scoring for Everton. He is a great athlete with excellent technique. To get to the next level he needs to learn to make the best decision every time, to pick out the right pass.


No one questions the ability of Roberto Martinez, the Everton manager, to set up teams to attack with adventure. But I have never felt that he has won by being tactically astute and defending a lead doggedly.

This was a big test, after Everton went 1-0 ahead, but it became the latest case of one of his teams collapsing in the second half. Chelsea, Bournemouth and Stoke have all denied Everton victory with late goals in the league this season.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 29, 2016, with the headline 'Tony Cascarino's talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe