If injuries (the lack thereof) was our secret bonus last season, it
will be injuries (an abundance of) that will sink us this season...
David Moyes goes into this massive match struggling to name a full
complement of 18 payers to fill out the required slots on the Uefa
Teamsheet. Names like Laurence Wilson and Christian Seargeant are
elevated to dizzy heights from the depths of Everton's Youth Academy,
while Bent and Davies are both declared fit. As expected. James
Beattie didn't really stand a chance of playing in this one, so Bent and
Ferguson formed the front pairing required to frighten the life out of
Everton started well and looked to control the came again fro the first
twenty minutes or so, with Tim Cahill getting a golden chance to set them
on their way with a trademark header but it was not to be: too close to
the goalie again, with all the blessed thing to aim at. Then on 22
mins, cruel luck saw a hopeful Siron shot deflect wildly off David Weir's
backside and away to Martyn's right. He lunged a foot at the ball
but could not stop it squirming into the back of the Everton net. No
real change overall: still two goals required.
Deflated, Everton struggled to play up, but Villarreal just tightened
their grip and slowed the game down to their pace, frustrating the Blues
for the rest of the half, and limiting their much-needed attacks on goal,
with Ferguson getting heavilly peanized.
Martyn saved directly from Forlán. But Everton went down the
other end with Arteta treeing up Ferguson perfectly at the far post but he
totally fluffed it. Second golden chance spurned. Martyn then
had to be alert to control a fearsome shot from Riquelme. Martyn
from the corner again pulled off another superb rescuing save from
Figuaroa to prevent more Everton blushes.
Kilbane was replaced by Osman after a dreadful display, and to save a
probable red card.
With half an hour to go , it looked increasingly clear that Everton had
no real idea what to do, but Neville picked up a foul on the edge of the
area, and Mikel Arteta fired in a perfect free kick to level the
scores on the night. One more needed!!!
A cross from Cahill hit the top of the bar minutes later as Everton
started to believe that something could be taken from this game.
McFadden then came on for Davies, who again was ineffective, and played a great part in a superb
Everton move down the right that finished with a fantastic save from Barbosa to deny Ferguson a trade-mark header.
From the corner, Ferguson scored the aggregate equalizer but Perluigi
amazingly disallowed it, apparently for some argie-bargie by Bent,
underlining the phenomenal impossibility of Everton's task. Against
all odds... Replays showed that it was Bent who was actually getting
his shirt pulled, and so Pierluigi Collina joined Clive Thomas in the
Everton Hall of Hate for referees....
Everton continued to push the yellow submarine deeper and deeper into
defence as the clock ticked away, in a clear strategy to grab the golden
goal Everton so desperately needed, and couple of corners at least gave
them a chance. But all that came of that was Osman's name going in the
book as the game entered the final minute.
A huge melee in the Villarreal area ensued but Barabosa finally grabbed
the ball as bodies flew everywhere while Bent failed to capitalize.
But then Sorin got free down the left, dancing away from everyone, and his
clean cross-ball was hammered home gleefully by a very relieved Diego
Forlán. Game over.
After so much jubilation last May when we secured qualification to the Champions League qualifiers by virtue of finishing fourth in the Premiership, Everton's hopes of making it to the competition proper — the lucrative group stages — hang by a thread going into the second leg against Villarreal on Wednesday.
Trailing 2-1 from the home leg, and having given up two crucial away goals, the Blues know they will have to win by a two-goal margin if they are to make it through to join the big boys in the draw for the next phase.
The arguments over whether the club did enough to ready itself for this golden opportunity with the small number of summer transfers have intensified following potentially catastrophic injuries to James Beattie, Marcus Bent, Alessandro Pistone, Per Kroldrup and Lee Carsley, coupled with
nagging doubts over the fitness of Simon Davies.
The continuing lack of squad depth has David Moyes sweating on the availability of Bent and Beattie, hopeful that one or both will be able to play through the pain barrier and supply his team with more goal threat than the aerial posturing of the ageing Scottish lamp-post.
Certainly, Everton are going to need buckets more guile and attacking imagination than was displayed at Bolton this past weekend — indeed, they'll have to double their efforts on target just to have a hope of winning the tie! — as well as maintaining the physical aspect of their game that troubled the Villarreal defence so much at Goodison earlier this month.
If neither Bent, Beattie nor Davies make it, Moyes will struggle to name an experienced squad for this one. With Pistone
and Krøldrup definitely ruled out, there is zero cover in central defence and Phil Neville will move to left back. In midfield, Li Tie isn't fit, which means that by fielding Leon Osman, Mikel Arteta, Kevin Kilbane and Tim Cahill, the manager will have used up his quota of midfielders as well (if you discount James McFadden who is really only effective in his chosen position up front). And still Moyes's public rhetoric is that he is no hurry to sign new players...
Up front is really the only place where Everton have options, but none of them inspire much confidence... other than letting loose James Vaughan and his youthful exuberance. If it were up to me, that's exactly what I would do. Some will question the wisdom of pinning all our Champions League hopes on a 17-year-old kid who hasn't started a game in the Premiership, but you have to wonder if our prospects are any better if we rely on Duncan Ferguson and/or McFadden.
At the end of the day, this will be all about throwing caution to the wind and having a bloody good go and trying to force the ball over the line two more times than the opposition. Not exactly what we had in mind four months ago when we were first gripped by dreams of mixing it up in the Champions League, but that's where we are.
That sort of attitude typified Everton when Moyes first arrived but the boss is a little more cautious these days. He can't
afford to be for this one; he has to go out with the most attacking formation he can muster and go for it.
Can we do it? Of course; it's football and anything can happen, but against a team of the calibre of Villarreal, it's going to be a Herculean task.
During the first leg, the performance of Everton showed the character that got them through the season past. They displayed the sheer determination and grunt that exposed and opened up so many teams in the 04/05 domestic season.
Unfortunately, they enter the second leg of this tie with a 2-1 deficit, meaning that the odds are stacked against them and yet again the blue half of Merseyside are seeing themselves as ‘the underdog’. But little expectation suits the blues and they always aim to raise their game to prove all doubters wrong. The first leg desperately showed Everton’s inexperience on the European stage, they struggled to play the free flowing game and as seems to be necessary in the champion’s league; they struggled to play the referee.
The game at Goodison saw a bright start from the home team and they looked like an outfit that were going to take the competition by the horns – but it wasn’t to be. A guttering first goal by the visitors, against the run of play, hurt the blue boys. Some time after, the tempo was picked up again as James Beattie scored a very typical ‘British strikers goal’ – when he toe-poked from 6/7 yards out.
To their dismay, Everton were immediately pinned back with a superb diving header that kept Villarreal out in front. Later in the game, Moyes’ boys simply paid the Spaniards far too much respect and allowed the on-touch passages of play to prevail. Everton, in the second half of that game, really struggled to cope with the swift movement of a good European outfit and rarely had chance on the visitor’s goal.
Something tells us that it will be different during the return leg. The first game showed that Everton settled in front of the European referee as Villareal drew four yellow cards to Everton’s one. This match will be officiated by Collina – Italy’s and arguably the World’s best referee (certainly the most famous).
The game looks set to be a battle of wits and courage, not skill. This game may well produce the latest in a line of Everton legends – and its there for the taking. The blues have come under heavy criticism recently from various media sources, for being over-rated and nothing more than a side that occasionally ‘gets lucky’.
Even after finishing 4th in the premiership, the doubters still seem to cast a dark cloud over Goodison park and are relentless in their bombardment of negative columns, articles and broadcasts suggesting that the Blues are still surrounded by the ‘bubble of good fortune’ and that it will, one day, burst.
The Villareal game will be the toughest challenge that the team has had to face yet, especially when trying to fight the deficit and ‘away’ goal rule. A 2-0 win is a must but is easier said than done. This tournament is a bonus and reward to the players and fans that endured the past season. It is nothing more but should not be wasted by a few lapse moments that lead to two stunning goals.
To go out of the competition now would be gut wrenching but the fans and players have to remember that…. it is only a bonus competition for finishing fourth in the domestic league. It is the domestic achievement that the players, staff and fans of Everton have to proud of –finishing fourth is no easy task in what is deemed the hardest league in Europe.
Having little playing experience myself, it is difficult to comment upon the ‘way the match may turn out’, or to comment on head to head battles. I simply do not have enough expertise. But I can comment that Villareal (and possibly the rest of Europe) were over-estimated by Everton in the first leg and surely the respect and opinion of the players will die down in preparation of the second game.
My opinion is that we will witness a more physical encounter in Spain that will allow for big Dunc’s aerial presence and Cahill’s occasional late midfield challenge. Yobo and Weir will be able to play the British game far more in Spain than they did at Goodison Park – Collina enjoys the physical battles and the scraps for the 50/50 balls. This game has all the hallmarks of a classic – lets hope that it goes in our favour and a few legends are born…
COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!
Heartbreak at El Madrigal
Apart from penalties, there can't be a more sickening way to be eliminated from a competition than being shafted by an abysmal, utterly incomprehensible refereeing decision. It doesn't particularly matter that over the two legs Villarreal showed they were the better side and deserved their aggregate victory because football is rarely that fair — indeed, ask Bolton Wanderers! David Moyes's Everton deserved the extra chance that would have been provided by extra time had a 79th minute trademark header by Duncan Ferguson not been ruled out by Pierluigi Collina.
The slick-pated Italian with the unnerving stare is — or, possibly, was — the most respected match official in the world game — which, given the general standard among his peers is not actually such a great achievement — and the Blues had welcomed his appointment as match referee for this crucial second leg. The irony of it all is the real kick in the nuts.
Far from uphold the laws of the game for the benefit of both teams, Collina's performance was littered with poor decisions before he made one cataclysmic error of judgement to deny Everton a 2-1 lead on the night and a shot at winning the tie in extra time.
The lengthy injury list that threatened to severely undermine Moyes's ability to field any kind of effective attacking unit for this second leg abated somewhat before the game with the news that Marcus Bent and Sean Davies were passed fit to play. Bent played up front with Duncan Ferguson, with Davies slotting into right midfield alongside Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta. Phil Neville tucked into the holding role in front of a back four which consisted of Kevin Kilbane in an unfamiliar left-back role.
And the Irishman caught the uwanted attention of the villain of the evening when he lunged in on Javier Venta after only two minutes to earn himself an early yellow card. He nearly paid dearly for that rash challenge a couple of minutes of the second half but the referee actually called correctly in only awarding a free kick for a collision that looked worse than it actually was.
Everton actually had the better of the opening exchanges but it was clear that Collina wasn't giving Ferguson an inch in the aerial battles up front to put it mildly. Nevertheless, the towering Scot managed to free himself from his marker to nod on a perfect ball for Cahill but the Australian, who was off-key for much of the evening, could only head tamely straight at goalkeeper Barbosa.
The Blues paid for his miss in the cruelest way three minutes later when Juan Pablo Sorin was given far too much room in midfield to advance towards the area and fire off a shot that deflected off David Weir's backside and past the despairing dive of Nigel Martyn who couldn't prevent the ball going into the net. 1-0 to Villarreal, but Everton's task remained the same; they still needed to score twice to have any hope of progressing to the next phase of the competition.
The goal seemed to energise the home side, though. First Diego Forlan's neat footwork created a shot from the angle that Martyn did well to block for a corner. The Uruguayan then advanced past Neville before unleashing a powerful drive from 25 yards out but again Martyn was on hand to palm the ball wide. And the 39 year-old's duties didn't end there; six minutes before half time, Villarreal's midfield maestro Riquelme curled a free kick around the wall only for Martyn to dive to his left to put the ball behind once more and the Brazilian was denied again a minute later when his stinging, angled drive was beaten away by the on-form 'keeper.
By the half-way point, Everton had shown little of the urgency required to force the two goals they needed and had just two clear chances to show for their first 45 minutes' work. Three minutes after the interval, though, Bent trained his sites on goal from 25 yards out but hooked his shot wide of Barbosa's right-hand post. And two minutes after that came the Blues' best chance yet from their first decent cross of the evening; Davies swung a cross to the back post and picked out Ferguson perfectly but he could only glance his header wide as equally uncharacteristically as Cahill had fluffed his chance in the first half.
In between, Forlan gave the visitors a timely reminder of the threat Villarreal posed on the break when he beat the defence for pace but, again, Martyn wa equal to the task and parried his effort to safety. And the Everton 'keeper was hero again soon afterwards when he miraculously clawed Figueroa's close-range effort around the post to keep the score at 1-0. Riquelme then had a lovely dipping effort from outside the area that dropped not too far over the bar.
Around the hour mark and with the tie drifting out of their control, however, Everton began to step up their game and with 21 minutes to go they got their reward when Neville was fouled on the edge of the area and Mikel Arteta, who had looked in his element back on his native soil and against familiar opponents, stroked home a delicious free kick from just outside the box..1-1, and suddenly the Blues had hope which they translated into regular sorties into the last third of the pitch.
First Cahill tested Barbosa with a deflected cross that the 'keeper could only palm onto the top of the crossbar and back into play, and while Senna and Sorin both went close for the home side, it was Everton who now had the upper hand, first creating another chance for Ferguson whose header was blocked by the 'keeper and then putting the ball in the net a second time with 11 minutes left on the clock.
Mikel Arteta curled in a dangerous corner from the right and Ferguson rose majestically to head past Barbosa. The massive traveling Everton contingent rose as one but Collina had other ideas, blowing the whistle for an apparent foul by Marcus Bent on his marker at the back post. Television replays show that the infringement was actually on Bent not by him, but it was too late.
The decision rocked the Blues back on their heels and despite some late probing they didn't manage to create another serious chance apart from a frenetic goalmouth scramble during which the ball eventually ping-ponged it's way into the 'keeper's grateful arms. After a couple of minutes more injury time and with Everton desperately chasing an aggregate equaliser, Villarreal caught them cold with a lightening break and Forlan was presented with an easy tap-in to seal the game.
The focus will, of course, be on the dreadful decision made by Pierluigi Collina and he will, rightfully, join the likes of Clive Thomas and Graham Poll in the Everton hall of refereeing infamy but in many ways you make your own luck and Everton simply didn't do enough over the two ties to win. For large parts of this second leg they were dominated by a clearly superior opposition but, by the same token, showed there could be nothing betweeen the two sides when they pushed forward and put the Spaniards' questionable defence of crosses to the test.
Unlike at Goodison three weeks ago, the pace of the game was dictated largely by Villarreal but it had the by-product of producing some nice football from the Blues which although often sloppy at least proved that they have it in them to stroke the ball around on the deck.
History may make us question whether by not improving his attack in any way before entering the Champions League qualifiers, Moyes didn't condemn his side to struggle before a ball had been kicked, but those are if-onlys that can't affect what was a desperately disappointing result, but one which has the silver lining of entry in the UEFA Cup 1st round, the draw for which takes place on Friday, 26th August.
Martyn 9 — Outstanding and he had to be given the number of accurate shots that rained down on his goal during the course of the game. Could do nothing about either goal.
Hibbert 7 — Good defensively and, finally, showed some nice touches going forward, including a few good crosses late on
Yobo 8 — For the most part he looked European class
Weir 6 — Not an easy one for him given his lack of pace but made up for it with aerial superiority
Kilbane 5 — Very poor. One dimensional and probably lucky not to receive his marching orders in the second half
Neville 6 — Seemed to be playing in front of the back four and had a difficult evening, especially as it was that area where gaps opened up in the first half
Davies 6 — Involved in most of the Blues' forward movement but a lot of what he tried didn't come off and he mis-placed his fair share of passes before being removed after 70 minutes, presumably because of concerns over his fitness
Cahill 6 — Had a disappointing evening. His instructions appeared to be to hold back and allow Arteta to do most of the forward running and his game suffered as a result
Arteta 8 — Looked very comfortable against Spanish opposition and scored an absolute peach of a goal
Bent 6 — Suffered from poor service and wasn't able to make his trademark runs against a disciplined and pacey defence
Ferguson 6 — At the right place at the right time on three occasions and the one time he got it spot on, he was robbed of a goal
Osman 6 — Came on just as the Blues were starting to get going and contributed to the cause without doing much spectacular
McFadden 6 — Didn't have much opportunity to show what he can do, but he did seem more at home with the increased space compared to the Premiership where he is closed down immediately. May have even won the corner that spawned the goal-that-wasn't
Another bad injustice
Liverpool John Lennon airport will never have been so full of blue. At
7 am on Wednesday morning the check in desks to any destination remotely
in the direction of Spain had snakes of Evertonians armed with no more
than shorts, trainees, sunnys, and twenty years of pent-up waiting. Taking
off in a plane packed to the rafters with only blues all nah-nahing to
Z-cars was almost worth the journey in itself. Never mind the couple of
hours delay that had us all sweating a bit. We were on our way. It didn’t
even matter that the pilot was a YTS lad – it was so shaky at one point
the chant ‘going down’ put in an unwelcome cameo - and we didn’t really
land; it was more crashing on the runway just lightly enough for the
suspension to hold. We got there. That’s what mattered.
Those on specially chartered match planes had none of the passport and
customs nonsense on arrival. The plane lands, you step off, smile at the
small army of police greeting you and step straight onto the coach for the
short ride to Valencia town. For one day only Everton Owned Valencia. I
pretty sure the scene was probably mirrored in other towns around
Villarreal. Around the main square, by the main church, and more
importantly the main drinking holes, anything possible to stick a flag on,
had a flag on. Some brave soul even got to the top of the spire on the
Cathedral and had a flag down from that. You didn’t need a map to find
this square, you just followed the noise. The sun was out. The beer was
cold. The songs were loud. The faces were happy. Everton were finally on
the long awaited European tour. And by god we were going to enjoy it.
After our pre-game warm-up the hour coach-ride to the Stadium was too
much for some. After an afternoon of hard drinking and with no loo’s on
board our ‘luxury’ transport one woman on our coach was reduced to tears
(it was the only way she could get the driver to stop). Digital cameras
will ensure that bus loads of Evertonians will forever record her
undignified moment of roadside relief. Further on, tickets were handed out
(though I was stuck without one for a scary while, the club has stupidly
put more people on the coach than they had tickets). Eventually, amongst
the light industrial sprawl that seems to be Villarreal Town we got our
first glimpse of the El Madrigal stadium. And who’s standing outside
chatting to the fans? –Why, it was ticket-master Keith Wyness. Credit to
him at least for putting himself out there when he was bound to get stick.
Got into the ground, and to be fair the stadium itself wasn’t as bad as
I had been expecting. Yes, the away fans area was a makeshift uncovered
corner, not too different to where Man City used to put us before the
death of Maine Road. But the view wasn’t as obstructed as I’d been
expecting. Generally the Stadium was quite tidy and modern with perhaps
too many corporate boxes given its capacity. Inside it was great to bump
into so many familiar faces. They know who they are. Seating arrangements
were anarchy. Sit where you like. When we arrived the gate to the home
supporters was open, they had better refreshment stands so through we
went. Then half and hour before kick-off without warning they locked the
gate, and ignored any ticket waving to let folk back through. This was how
me, Steve Kirkwood and several hundred others ended up locked in the home
end. In the event it wasn’t too bad. The view was better, we sat next to
the cage separating us from our fans so probably had the best of all
worlds. The Spanish were a generally placid lot who had gone to appreciate
a football game, not to bait the English. It was a good job as there were
blues in every single section of the Stadium. And they made sure their
flags went all around with them!
Even though we knew the team was light there had been some debate
before about whether to start with Ferguson. Debates are well and good but
the only opinion that counts is that of Moyes, and his answer was we
When the teams came out led by Collina as ref, I got goose-pimples, it
was almost symbolic of the magnitude of being in the Champions league
seeing him there. Oh how my opinion of that man would change over the next
couple of hours.
So we kicked off and after a five minute burst at the start things
started to look not quite right. Difficult to put a finger on it, but
nobody seemed to be ‘having a good game’ in fact virtually everyone bar
Artetta looked a wee bit below par. We were punished cruelly for our poor
period. A wicked deflected shot left Martyn flapping hopelessly and gave
the mountain to climb another peak. From the angle I was sitting it looked
like Nigel had made a howler. The TV replay I saw later was a lot kinder,
but I bet he’s still kicking himself now.
On top of our woes we were not helped that Collina had decided to do
that thing some refs do which is penalise Ferguson for his height and
demand that he fight physics and biology by keeping his elbows stuck to
his torso when he jumps. It’s impossible. Human beings jump with their
elbows up. It is not Ferguson’s fault when he elbows go up slightly they
align with noses on most normally sized people. IT’S HIS HEIGHT. I’ve seen
it many times over the years. When any ref latches onto this like a dog on
a bone the big man just can’t play. Collina effectively man marked Duncan
out for the first half.
At half time Steve put things in perspective for me. We new we needed
two goals when we arrived, and nothing had changed. We still needed those
two goals. I shifted my head back into positive mode.
The second half will live with me for a long time for good and bad.
Finally, the players started to find their way a bit and put together some
moves. As we started to press you could see some jitters from the
Spaniards. Real chances came our way. The clock ticked.
The goal when it came was stunning. We were discussing who might take
the free kick on the edge of the box, and I remembered that Artetta has
showed us he can do this kind of thing before. More than any other
outfield player he was making us tick. Cahill was having the quietest game
I can remember for us, but thankfully our own Spaniard was rising to the
occasion. There are two types of great free kicks. Those with power, and
those with precision. This was in the latter category. There was only one
place you could stick a ball at that pace that would beat the wall and
keeper and the lad hit it to the inch. Bottle those celebrations. Utter
bedlam. The noise was immense.
The game then opened up as we pressed and you could feel that we had
the momentum. Yes, our pressing led to some quick smart counterattacks
that Martyn was needed to deal with superbly but we dared to start to
And then it came. He had missed one earlier but at the second time of
asking Ferguson met the cross in his trade mark way. When it hit the net I
thought my throat came out with my roar. Is there any feeling in the world
quite as jolting as the realisation in mid celebration that a crucial,
crucial goal is disallowed?
At this point the atmosphere turned a little for the worse – here’s two
no-news headlines; “Smoking causes cancer” and “Everton have at least a
few knob-head fans”. The baiting through the cage was bad, and left those
of us in the wrong end suddenly feeling vulnerable. Sporadic fists were
flying in various corners of the ground and police had to wade in. That
said, for the size of the Everton contingent who managed to get into the
home areas it was nowhere near as bad as it might have been had the
Spaniards not been so mature.
We threw caution to the wind in the final minutes so for me their final
nail in the coffin goal at the death had no bearing on my feeling that we
had suffered another bad injustice. Why is it that if you are born a red
you grow up on a diet of jammy wins, but if you’re a blue you get heroic
defeats tinged with injustice instead? I know it is part and parcel of
being an Evertonian, but yesterday I picked up yet another bit of history
that will always just be there nagging at me with what might have or
should have been. Just for once can I not have a jammy win in a major
Finding the coach (in between bumping into a dejected Bill Kenright),
the journey back to the airport, and the weary flight home are a blur now.
There is only the cold light of day and that gut wrenching disappointment.
Still, it’s done now. I was proud to be there and I was proud of our team
and I remembered as you do even more at those ‘heroic defeats’ that I will
always be proud of being an Evertonian.
Martyn 8 Didn’t look comfortable at first. Thought he’d
buttered his gloves and was parrying rather than holding on to everything.
TV was far kinder to his first goal contribution than the angle I saw it
at. However, in the second half when we pressed and they had those counter
attacks his series of good saves kept us in the game.
Hibbert 7 — Before
you try to shine as a defender – it’s first more important you make no
mistakes. Tony didn’t shine. But he at least met the test of not making
Yobo 7 — More composed. Clearly the Bolton game (where he had a
blinder) has levelled his confidence again.
Weir 8 — Again – just doesn’t
come across on telly how well he reads the game. You don’t notice him in
one on ones because he deals with the situation before they get the ball
to have a one on one. Class.
Kilbane 5 — Enthusiasm and effort. But looked
out of his depth.
Davies 6 — Dipped in and out the game. When he was ‘in’
he looked great! But needs to be ‘in’ for more than he managed.
Cahill 5 —
The greatest disappointment of the evening. Just wasn’t on his game. This
score is a reflection of the high standards he has set for himself.
Usually, he’s our engine and makes us tick. Just didn’t happen for him on
the night. Still love him dearly though
Arteta 9 — My Man of the match for
us even without the goal (for which I’ve given him an extra mark!). With
Cahill so quiet that he was able to step up made a game of it.
Bent 6 —
Couple of runs, showed his ability to hold up the ball, suffered from
service, but also didn’t seem to make the killer runs he sometimes does.
Below the level I’ve seen him play at.
Ferguson 7 — In the first half his
contribution was stifled by Collina and you could feel his frustration.
Managed to get back into it in the second half. Missed an easier chance
than the one he put in. He knows he was robbed of the equaliser. I’ve
given him a bonus mark for that anyway!
Subs: Osman 7 — No accident that when he came on we picked up. Came
onto be a playmaker and the support he gave showed.
McFadden 6 — Not as
woeful as he has been but he persists in showing far too much of the ball
when trying to skip past people and, as you would expect at this level,
they just take it off him! One day he will beat 20 mean and then bury it.
But that will probably be in a league cup game not the Champions league.
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