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See-saw life of us Evertonians!

By Santosh Benjamin :  01/12/2007 :  Comments (5) :
I have been down with a terrible bout of the flu this entire week and was greatly relieved to have finally recovered. I was eagerly awaiting our match to help complete the recovery.

The match was live on the telly here in India and that added to my delight... but then the match started... From early on, it was obvious that we were on back foot. We seemed to give the ball away very easily and resorted to a lot more hoofball than usual. They peppered our goal throughout the game and, barring a few good chances in the second half for Ossie and Pienaar, all we did was hang on well against an inspired Pompey side. The ref was kind not to send Pienaar off but ignored quite a few fouls on AJ (what's new!).

The Pompey side was so full of African players who were stronger and quicker than us today. I wondered how they would get together a starting 11 when the African Cup of Nations (Portsmouth Cup of Nations?) starts in Jan!!!

This is what i thought of our team today:

  • Moyes:Made bold substitutions when we were sloppy.Dont think he did much wrong.
  • Howard:Steadily growing in stature and is close to becoming in my opinion one of the Premierships best keepers.Few good saves kept us in the game.
  • Neville:Was ok today other than the one time he came sliding in like he was coming down a water-slide and kicked the ball out for a corner after Howard had called for it already!
  • Yobo:Made a few more mistakes than usual,but with Stubbs away we have to stick with him.
  • Lescott:Was solid today.
  • Valente:Crosses were nowhere close to being accurate like they were in the last 2 games...was slow gettin back too!
  • Osman: Disappointed me today by wasting two golden chances... poor control on the 1st one when he woulda been one on one with James... and the 2nd when Lescott pulled on back for him on the right and he snatched at it.
  • Arteta: Invisible for large periods especially in the 1st half..woke up later in the 2nd half. Poor Free kick again from him...maybe he can give someone else one chance?
  • Carsley: Stood out for a pat on the back today in my opinion..lotta dirty work as usual with some great clearances too.
  • Pienaar: Lucky to have not been sent off... was not on his game today... still class though.. let's buy him.
  • Cahill: Typical gutsy display by him but was not too effective today mainly coz the passing wasnt what it shoulda been.
  • Yakubu: Had an ok game but without great service was ineffective.
  • Johnson: Great effort by AJ..ran his socks off and created all that he could after he came on.
  • Anichebe:Did fairly well after coming on but showed his immaturity when he smashed one close to the corner flag when he was teed up at the end at the top of the box.
So all in all I'll take the draw and wait for the midweek Uefa Cup game where I hope we will play better and get a win to ensure we stay group leaders. Maybe Baines and Vaughany will be back for us soon... let's keep the run going lads... COYB

Reader Comments

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Kevin Mitchell
1   Posted 02/12/2007 at 10:00:41

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Agree with most of your comments except for the first point re; David Moyes didn?t do much wrong.
The team generally played quite poorly. The passing and ball retention at times was well below what this group of players should be doing much better. Moyes prepares the team all week, sets the game plan and tactics. In my opinion he failed to deliver.
There?s a lot to be said about being hard to beat, and we can be thankful for some poor finishing from Portsmouth, but if we are to achieve any success we must play better than that.
Danny Mullally
2   Posted 02/12/2007 at 11:16:23

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The game itself was dire, but I wouldn’t begin to give Moyes down the banks over our performance. There wont be many teams who will be taking any points away from Pompey this year, and if I was being realistic I would have settled for a point before the match. The important thing flor me was that we kept a clean sheet and kept some sort of run going.
I am still optimistic about our season and I think that if we continue to keep it tight at the back like in 2004, we will win a lot more than we draw and hopefully win something this year.

I also have to agree about Carsley, at the moment there is no other player in a blue jersey playing better than him, he is vital to us.
Tony Williams
3   Posted 02/12/2007 at 12:33:46

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Kevin I feel you are being a bit harsh about Moyes. The game was awful and was not helped by the weather conditions and apart from a few long range efforts Pompey didn’t really look like scoring (the free kick was a close call though).

We were outmuscled in midfield and with Pienaar going on a kamikazi mission to get sent off we lost our second most creative player.

Pompey are unbeaten in 10 and are unbeaten at home, they have drew with the RedShite and ManUre, so all in all a point is not too bad, I would have been happy if that was offered before the game, even though I am greedy and wanted all three.

Joey and Lescott seem to be getting better together, one of then still needs to find his voice though and we have a clean sheet.

A bit disappointed with the attacking aspect yesterday but overall a battling point well won, a match in previous seasons we would have probably lost.

Onwards and upwards with this glass half full fan
Kevin Mitchell
4   Posted 02/12/2007 at 16:32:48

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Guys, maybe your right and I am being a bit harsh on Moyes. I watched the whole match live in a local pub and just felt we should be playing better with the squad of players we now have.
I too would have settled for a point before kick off but right from the off we didn’t seem to hurt them enough. I believe this team is a class midfielder short of actually winning something this season.
It’s progress that were talking like this now.
David Lysander
5   Posted 05/12/2007 at 10:03:10

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It must be Wednesday.

In any event, a satisfactory outcome last weekend.
Pre game I would have taken a point back north although its disappointing obviously not to take maximum rewards. With the russia game tonight (Wednesday) , albeit not on its usual berth, I will still be ready to tune in and get the point we need to cement qualification for the last thirty-two.

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