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Colm's Corner
Columnist: Colm Kavanagh


The Beauty of Winning Ugly!
23 August 2005

 

Oh what a difference three points makes.  Had we departed Boltons lifeless Reebok Stadium empty-handed, I am certain thered be much keyboard bashing confirming our forthcoming demise.  Alan Green wouldve become multi-orgasmic!  Shit, perish the thought

As it was, we stole three points, thank you very much.  Better teams than us will go to Bolton and come away with nothing.  Fact.

Its a quirk, so often thrown up in the wacky unstable world of football a win, no matter how secured, lifting instantly the spirits of many, erasing all immediate fears for the health and general well-being of the team.  Ignoring for the moment the slight distraction of a 24-hour piss-up in Spain this week (interrupted by 90-odd minutes on a pitch in Castillon), we can now travel down to Fulham next week with confidence renewed.  A win there, follow it up with three more points when Portsmouth visit, and youll be looking at crisis-torn Everton sitting somewhere high in the League with nine points from a maximum twelve!  Crisis?  What crisis?! 

Ah yes, all easier said than done but thats footy these days.  Up and down, like a whores knickers, a rollercoaster of emotions guaranteed over the next nine months shite one weekend; world-beaters the next.  Its hard to put on a wise hat and attempt to forecast what lies ahead.  Its all so typically bloody Evertonian that the minute you say one thing, the opposite will no doubt happen.  Well, it is like that with most things Blues related, although Im not leading the clamour proclaiming Sandro Pistone as a world class left back just yet! 

Even my eldest kid has already fallen foul of the great unwritten rule amongst Evertonians!  He had one eye on the screen in the corner of the Reebok: the clock ticking nervously towards the 90th minute and he pipes up, Daddy Im gonna see my first ever Everton win away from home!  Christ almighty, I nearly had a cardiac of my own before hed even finished his sentence.  Cue Kevin Kilbane, at that very second; with a mistimed lunge on the edge of our box, to hand Bolton a potential lifeline!  The kid will learn, more through the many mistakes hell no doubt make as an over-confident Evertonian. 

Actually, speaking of which, if we do see three wins from four games, be very wary of any comments from the Chairman!  Remember last seasons start?  A late Tim Cahill winner at Portsmouth elevated us to third in the League and had the Chairman telling the whole world on BBC 5Live that we were quids in the Fortress Sports Fund soon to arrive, swelling Evertonian coffers beyond our wildest dreams.  One year on and   ???

The thing with being an Evertonian is that well always nitpick, find something to mull over.  Lose and its Apocalypse Now.  Draw and its a tale of what might have been.  Win?  Well, of course, its the performance thats under scrutiny.  Which is precisely the case after Sundays game at Bolton.

I dont think Ive witnessed an uglier game than Sundays in quite a while.  It was appalling fare, a sad reflection of the paucity in quality throughout the Premiership today.  I felt sorry for the ball.  Boltons aerial and overly physical bombardment weighed heavily on Moyess mind pre-game.  A hard-fought 1-0 victory suggests Moyes was spot on to sacrifice any notion of flair or expression of our newly acquired total football (ahem!) for a more abrasive style. 

Knowing Boltons strength lies with set pieces (Okocha now more renowned for long throw-ins than his ball skills), Moyes chose to drop both Leon Osman and Simon Davies to the bench.  Opting for a front triumvirate of Ferguson, Bent and Kilbane gave Everton some added height.  How often throughout the game did we see those players assisting the massed ranks in our penalty area?  Not pretty but effective.  The downside of course being that, as continuous Everton players lumped the poor unfortunate ball anywhere away from danger, there were no Everton players in a position to receive!  Park football tactics remain alive and well in the Premiership, live and exclusive on Sky Sports 1!

There was a moment late in the game when our own James McFadden made an absolute pigs ear of things (again!).  I thought to myself, is he really a professional footballer?  Do we pay him a wage to ponce about there on the pitch like the clueless one-footed player we all think he is?  Have we not all had a moment to ourselves thinking what exactly does David Moyes see in McFadden that we dont?  Id wager we could find better in local Sunday League football!  School of Science football we most certainly aint but are we truly complaining just now about our lack of style?  Deep down I dont really think so, its not yet a major issue amongst Evertonians; most seem to be more than aware of the job facing Moyes and Irvine they can only do their best with the players at their disposal (and havent we disposed of enough over recent times?!). 

We had glimpses in the two defeats against Villarreal and Manchester United that were well equipped to play a prettier passing game.  Ultimately, where did it get us?  Whats the saying all frills no knickers?  If playing a more robust style of football shunts us right into the middle of the so-called big boys then so be it, Ill take it.  The icing on the cake will be the many pissed-off hacks, fearful of seeing Everton upsetting the status quo for a second successive season.

Now, theres a thought!  No one loves us, we dont care?  A bit like dear old Alan Green

 

Colm Kavanagh


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