Now for a PhD student being payed pitance, watching football these days is a scrimp and save effort. So it was nice that the night cost me only £15 (in retrospect this was probably a fair price but only for the 2nd half/result). Whatever the price, I think the commitment of the Everton fans was great. Our support tonight was frankly outstanding. An absolutely crammed away end really put to shame the scattered home stands, as on most occasions we drowned out the home chants.
Everton first half, however, did not deserve the commited support and did little to inspire us. The performance was abysmal. Tony Hibbert was garbage down the right, both defensively and going forward. Wade Small, their nippy winger embarrassed him twice, with little skill, and 'Tone' was lucky not to be sent off. Thankfully at half time Neville replaced him, and quite remarkably changed the game. Yes that is not a typing error, at right back I really believe Phil Neville can be a force in our team. With the addition of Baines second half we looked like a team with purpose down the flanks.
The second half was much better almost instantly. Neville involved the useless and disinterested looking Pienaar and then expertly overlapped to provide crosses. When Baines was on he improved the involvement of Osman and we looked a much more balanced team. We were by no means the finished article and continued to be frustrating, but for a team low on confidence after a poor week, an improvement was definitely apparent.
There were no great shakes in the middle where I feel Gravesen along side Jags will be better than anything including Neville or Carsley.
Up top, Yakubu was strong and had a better game, holding up the ball well at times (and the finish of an £11M striker when he got the chance!). McFadden tried to overcompensate for frustrations further down the park, and ended up losing the ball a lot first half. He, however, is a special player at times and did enough here to warrant Moyes seriously considering his inclusion in the 'First Team' in the league. The big question is whether his cocky swagger and brimming confidence is better than the tirelessly selfless, misfiring Johnson? Can they both be included as well as Yak?
We eventually turned in 3 good quality goals. It would be nice to see a bit of confidence come from this and see us take on teams with the ball on the floor. We are so much better with full backs who are willing to get down the line, overlap and link well with midfielders. I plead Mr Moyes to play Neville at right back and Baines at left back. This will rid us of a lot of the crap hoofball that we've seen too often in the last couple of games. I'll hope to see further steps forward from this on Sunday at Goodison!
Oh yeah, it was bloody freezing for most of the game. But the result and the hope of things to come have warmed this blue heart (slightly). Good luck in Kharkiv too boys... Now that will be a cold one!!
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1 Posted 27/09/2007 at 12:33:58
2 Posted 27/09/2007 at 14:00:08
He’s not even a footballer.
3 Posted 27/09/2007 at 14:20:41
4 Posted 27/09/2007 at 14:44:26
5 Posted 27/09/2007 at 15:03:36
6 Posted 27/09/2007 at 15:28:42
Its come to something when you look to fate to force Moyes to make a change for the better. I’d love to know what he sees in some of his players as it mystifies the hell out of me.
7 Posted 27/09/2007 at 15:35:30
8 Posted 27/09/2007 at 15:49:03
9 Posted 27/09/2007 at 15:46:55
Phil Neville is not a CM he is a poor passer cant beat a man and creates nothing
Neville at RB is a must he gets forward and puts a decent ball in
10 Posted 27/09/2007 at 16:04:25
The worry is Hibbert could be fit and were made to sit through another 90 minutes of him
11 Posted 27/09/2007 at 15:50:43
When we play this way, unless we have players willing to link up between defence & attack then the strikers just become more and more isolated and we end up playing hoofball all the time. Dare I suggest that we actually look at something resembling a 5-3-2 or a 3-5-2.
This way we can drop hibbo, play nev at right wing back, and baines at left wing back. And can afford to play 3 "creative players" in the middle rather than the 2 defence mids we seem to constantly play at the moment. Surely a midfield 3 of Gravesen, Arteta, cahill would link up and provide creativity for the forwards. And even with the injuries we’ve got at the moment, maybe playing 3 from Pienaar, Osman, McFadden, carsley, & jags would improve the way we are playing, as 2 of the 3 would be more attack minded at least.
I know a lot of people would suggest this is a rubbish idea, but surely you need to pick the tactics to suit the players you’ve got and not pick players to shoe horn into positions because you want to stick to 4-4-2.
Anyway - just a thought.
12 Posted 27/09/2007 at 16:17:54
sorry that came out...
letd get off tony’s back ok... the last thing i want is to play a shit game and have fans talking abt it on possibly the number 1 unofficial everton site...
so tony, just wanna say thanks for saving us for those numerous clearances off the line, wonderful hard accurate tacklings, and for giving me endless hope on my 1 for 10,000 quid bet in u scoring ur 1st everton goal... And still betting on...
COYB. 3 0 this weekend. yak, faddy and johnson to score... mayb 4, tony to score the final one...
13 Posted 27/09/2007 at 16:34:21
14 Posted 27/09/2007 at 16:42:33
anyone who thinks that hibbo shouldn’t be criticised is a fucking idiot. He is the new Unsworth and we know what happened at goodison with him.
15 Posted 27/09/2007 at 17:03:53
you sir are clueless.....
Tony Hibbert is a championship full back at best.... i said the same about Gary Naysmith, and surprise surprise look where the yard dog is now....
16 Posted 27/09/2007 at 17:14:37
but all i am saying is cut him some slack.... the abuse he is getting on tw is way out of line... its becoming personal and u guys know h doesnt deserve this... ok, so he’s not playing well, so put him in the reserves for a while.. but let moyes be the one who decides... he meets the players everyday... he talks to them, watch them during training, so let him do his job.. hes the one with the coach licence... Aint us...
... on second thoughts, 5 0 to us on sunday... yak, faddy, johnson, tony to score 2 from the pen spot.. :P COYB.
17 Posted 27/09/2007 at 18:12:44
18 Posted 27/09/2007 at 18:21:13
19 Posted 27/09/2007 at 18:14:36
Hibbo did play badly last night and has not been on form recently. He is substandard for the first team in my opinion, but I feel a few have gone too far with this. He does have blue blood, which doesn’t mean we should cut him all the slack, but we can at least give him some respect.
Andrew Bentley: 5-3-2 or 3-5-2 is food for thought. Including Cahill, Arteta and Gravesen like that whilst retaining attacking wings and a solid backline would be great (personally i’d have Jags at the back with yobo and Lescott in this formation)
Cheers to the editing boys for including my ’fan artcle’ btw. Much appreciated
20 Posted 27/09/2007 at 18:27:36
21 Posted 27/09/2007 at 18:26:36
22 Posted 27/09/2007 at 18:47:15
I have stated ever since McFadden scored his wonder goal for Scotland to play him. He is the form player of the moment and hopefully will start Sunday.
Phil Neville is a decent right back and hopefully he will be left in that position.
Stubbs should keep Yobo on the bench Sunday
23 Posted 27/09/2007 at 18:40:17
But even though Wednesday are a poor side, I was pleased to see the Blues knocking it down and passing it, regardless of the opposition, after the break.
McFadden is a real confidence player and looked great after his first.
I think Pienaar has been unfairly slagged. He was not superb first half, fine, but looked handy in the second and has only been here five minutes.
As for Phil Neville, I never thought I’d say this but he was inspirational, a real attacking force down the right, and as ever led the applause for the (excellent and massive) away support.
Hibbert looked undone by pace and skill as he often does but we’ve known about that weakness for years. In a backs to the wall situation he is useful to have around but he’s never going to be an attacking wing-back.
All in all, it could’ve been much worse. Keep it down and pass it and once Arteta, Cahill and Gravesen come back we might have a team.
24 Posted 27/09/2007 at 18:57:00
Hiddink, is far too expensive.
Dowie, is a good man to man manager but tactically flaud,
Dario, is far to old and the only club he has managed went up and down the divisions like a yoyo.
Anyway last night game showed once and for all Neville is a Right Back and Hibbert is a reserve (for some other team) player and Tony if we see Phil in the centre of the midfield i will be shouting dowies name myself.
25 Posted 27/09/2007 at 19:01:52
In my humble opinon I think DM (who has my backing to take us forward) needs to take TM to one side and ask TH what, and why his initial instinct is to send the ball 40/50 yards when the easier, and more constructive method is to find feet 4/5 yards away.
I agree that time in the reserves will generate TM confidence, and where he can develop his attacking game, as I feel he is very good defensively.
With regards to the result last night I think this is the steping stone for a great run.
Not an easy tie, and most would of seen this as an upset, but it wasn’t.
3-5-2 is a really interesting proposition with Cahill, Arteta, and Graveson in the middle AJ and Yak...or Mcfadden up top...!
26 Posted 27/09/2007 at 19:46:26
27 Posted 27/09/2007 at 21:14:26
28 Posted 27/09/2007 at 21:43:45
yes the squad is too small and this means we have to pick the team from who is available,
the defence has been made to look bad because of the midfield crisis, everton’s midfield were poor against bolton till gravesen came on and could not keep or pass the ball at villa, fingers crossed that we have some midfield quality back soon ,
and buy a quality creative player in january .
29 Posted 27/09/2007 at 22:17:53
Speaking of wastes... Hibbert. I have nowt against the guy personally, but his form is SHOCKING. He’s really being found out this season. At fault for several goals, no positional sense, no passing ability (just boots it) and doesn’t get forward. This is Neville’s best position - as evidenced last night. Stick him there.
Formation thing is interesting. While we do have guys who can play on the wings - Arteta, Ossie, Faddy, Pienaar, even Shandy Meyde - we don’t actually use the wings much. I’ve thought a 4-3-1-2 formation might work - with our best 11:
Problem is, you’d then have Ossie, Pienaar and Faddy all on the bench - way too similar in nature. And ideally, you’d want to attack the flanks or bit, or risk things getting bogged down in the middle. Just a thought, though.
30 Posted 28/09/2007 at 11:31:38
31 Posted 28/09/2007 at 13:02:23
32 Posted 28/09/2007 at 13:26:56
But I really do think we should stand by Hibbert, I’ve had a lot of stick for saying this stuff to me mates but 2 seasons ago before he went out injured he was a great player to have and was the best physical defender in the premiership who saved us from a sly goal so many times. At least give him a few more months to get himself back to speed because I don’t think he’s ever recovered from his long time out.
Just look at Osman, last season all I heard was how rubbish he was and people questioning his place in the squad. Well he’s improved alot since summer and I think we can expect alot more from him.
But I was also one of the very few who stood by Simon Davies, and that didn’t really work out for him did it.
33 Posted 28/09/2007 at 14:42:21
His passing, heading and far-post marking are all poor, however, he is as blue as any of us and he is an excellent tackler/harrier and his head never drops.
That said for my money his best move would be to use the January window to escape to a leading Championship club where he can rediscover his form. In the circumstance described he would go with our best wishes in the same way Beattie and Unsworth have donbe in recent times.
34 Posted 28/09/2007 at 16:00:38
It’s very sad - the lad is such a committed Evertonian, but then again, so am I and it’s not enough to get a game!
35 Posted 28/09/2007 at 17:04:44
However the reactions of supporters to both is quite different.The attitude to Andrew Johnson is supportive and understanding even the second penalty miss which was one of the worst ever seen at Goodison results in an ourpouring of understanding rather than condemnation.
Tony Hibbert however has a totally different reaction.I know he’s not playing well and I agree Phil Neville should be at right back - but lets give Hibbert the same backing AJ gets.
36 Posted 28/09/2007 at 18:24:37
2.neville 3.yobo 4.lescott 5.baines
6.arteta 7.graverson 8.osman 9.mcfadden 10.yakubu 11.johnson note: hibbert is a clown and shud never set foot in the changin rooms.
37 Posted 28/09/2007 at 23:26:13
you may be rewarded,
every one THINKS THEY ARE an expert now a days, pick on the players who cant be bothered
not the ones who lack what YOU want.they do try to please
SUPPORT THE BLUES.
38 Posted 28/09/2007 at 23:58:18
as the FA are now sponsored by TESCO and not nationwide
39 Posted 01/10/2007 at 11:19:29
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