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Handballs and Handbags!

By Santosh Benjamin :  29/12/2007 :  Comments (1) :

I sit down to write this article a shattered man. I was one of those who, when asked about the prospect of playing the Premier League's top 2 over the holiday season, said: "Bring it on because we have proved that we are good enough". I don't doubt that we have made an enormous deal of progress over the last few months but as we showed in the defeats to Manchester Utd and Arsenal, we obviously are not. Agreed, the second match of the two had more than a bit of controversy but the bottom line is we lost both games because of careless play.

We started the match with Neville in midfield as Gravesen was still injured. Hibbert in at right back looked good to start off and the Arse hardly looked like the team that's giving Man Utd a run for their money. Bendtner and Eduardo up front hardly made the back two of Everton work and Fabregas in midfield was almost invisible. We opened the scoring from a Cahill/Yakubu goal (I personally think it's Cahill's goal!) and we looked even more comfortable after that barring the last 5 mins of the first half.

We came out in the second half looking sluggish. (After the commentators showed us the league table as it would be if Everton were to go on hold on for the win... I thought that was a bit premature to be honest and feared a jinx!) Before we knew it Arteta had given away a free kick to Clichy which they hoofed down the park for Eduardo to control (with his hand!) and slot in past a hapless Howard. Jagielka looked like he made a mistake letting the ball bounce over him that led to it though. Suddenly, we were looking flustered and were giving away possession cheaply...and then after we pushed a bit Eduardo popped up (and so too did the bloody hand!) to knock home their second and throw a real spanner in the works.

We still played hard and AJ came on to help us push for at least a point. Then Bendtner was sent off with a second yellow for a terrible challenge on AJ which I thought merited a straight red. Just when I thought that we had a fighting chance Yobo and Howard decided to play dumb charades at the back and Adebayor nipped in to score and celebrate like he had won the league for them.

As if things could not get any worse, Arteta was sent off for an apparent elbow on Cesc Fabregas. I was shocked at how Arteta was condemned by the commentators since he apprently always uses his arms. Also I dont think there was an actual elbow in the face, rather a slight slap from the arm but as we know the Latin youngsters are as good at writhing on the floor clutching their sod-ugly faces as they are at football. So he fooled the ref into sending Arteta off. Handbags nearly resulted from the ensuing commotion which the bloody commentators called "Arsenal players coming to Fabregas' rescue" If that includes Flamini taunting Arteta, then im convinced!

Then as always happens with miserable situations they get worse and Rosicky came on and scored after some neat interplay up front for the Arse.

It's not the kind of article I would like to sign off the year with but unfortunately that's just the way it has to be for us.

This is my assessment of the players and Manager.

Moyes: Unless he told em at half time to go out and self destruct I can't see how he did much wrong today. Maybe could have thrown the kitchen sink at 'em (and maybe a few pounds of dog shit at Flamini and Fabregas) in the end with nothing to lose.

Howard Think he had an average game. The 3rd goal was stupid between him and Yobo. Not much he could have done about the other three, though!

Hibbert: Didn't think I would say this but was the best defender for us today.

Yobo: Was just saying how his mistakes have reduced and then he drops the stinker on us with the 3rd goal.

Jagielka: Was surely responsible at least in part for the goals, especially the 1st and 2nd.

Lescott: Was poor at the back today and some of his crosses at the end were bad.

Neville: Had an ok game actually if you forgive him for giving the ball away so often from midfield.

Carsley: Was OK. Shot from long range when a pass was needed a few times in the 2nd half.

Cahill: Scored the goal (so I think anyways!) and did well generally.

Pienaar: Was great going forward today, linked up well with Lescott, Arteta and Yakubu.

Arteta: Was looking good today, was getting fouled to kingdom come but wasn't getting all the calls. In fact once on the by-line, he tricked the defender and was fouled and got no free kick and the commentators said he was looking for a cheap foul. Will be sorely missed over the 3 games he will miss with the violent conduct direct red card. Hopefully it willl be Boro, the FA cup and Carling cup 1st leg away.

Yakubu: Good hold up play and distribution. Should have at least hit the target from the Lescott cross though.

Subs:
AJ: Worked hard but by the time he was on Handballs and Handbags had finished the game off for us.

Overall I was bitterly disappointed with the game as I felt they were there for the taking. We will need a real show of character to bounce back from this and march on but feel that we have that in us. Oonly time will tell though. I hope the New Year brings us some cheer.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL THOSE AT TOFFEEWEB AND ALL EVERTON FANS!

Reader Comments

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Kunal Desai
1   Posted 29/12/2007 at 23:40:40

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Well I sat watching the Toffees capitulate in the 2nd half surrounded by four other Gooners rubbing salt into wounds. I then drowned my sorrows downing another couple more jars.

It all went horribly wrong. Anyone think we might be possibly bigging up Jagielka at centre half a bit too early, he was clearly at fault for the first two conceded. A lesson to be learnt no doubt.

I hope we can eradicate this defeat with a win over Boro. Just out of interest goals conceded this year at the Gwladys street end is just five. Bent, Berbatov, Bocanegra, Yorke and Vidic, I wonder if this is a psycological factor? Let me know your views!

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