I definitely don't want to be overly critical of the team given our depleted squad and Brann's tactics, but just a few things to raise that might need addressing if we start to meet the challenges of the next few months of what has been a very good season so far.
a) We really missed Our 'Tater and Peanuts tonight - pretty obvious, but we need to consider how we can overcome their absence in future.
b) Fernandes doesn't look at all on the money at present - very poor passing and vision tonight - despite some endeavour. He'll need to step up a few steps before we even consider him as an option for next season.
c) I've often gone with Nev's over Hibby in these forums on the basis that his attacking potential and delivery are better - Oops - after Phil's inability to get any significant ball past the first defender or get it lofted (new boots please!), I might just be thawing to giving Tony a bit more of a run.
d) Cahill - hmm...unlucky with the post and a few good touches, but in a 4-man midfield it just isn't working. Is he tired? Have overestimated his skill and creatively as a result of his obvious poaching skills? Any views?
e) Jags was awesome - you've won me over completely by your recent central defence performances (Yobo not bad either)
f) The Yak worked very hard. A bit deep at times, but I thought he answered Moyes's call well - Let's hope the recent troubles can be put to rest now, as he definitely adds something to us.
g) AJ continues to do his hard-working and running role, but increasingly is it quite enough these days with the young guns breathing down his neck (such as Vic)
h) Cars was reasonable, but I'm a bit worried about some touches in recent games (besides his wide shots tonight). Better in a game where we don't have to force the play too much (i.e. next week and when we go 4-5-1), but against better opposition, I wonder...
i) Lescott and Osman did their bit - great goal by Lee and I thought Roger enjoyed his wing-back role tonight!
Definitely a 'glass more than half full' night, but I still think we need to step up another level...which might be when we get our full 1st team back shortly!
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1 Posted 13/02/2008 at 20:49:01
2 Posted 13/02/2008 at 21:39:05
3 Posted 14/02/2008 at 06:05:34
4 Posted 14/02/2008 at 06:16:21
5 Posted 14/02/2008 at 06:53:28
It also seems that Cahill is the newest target, can’t play in a four man midfield..looks tired etc Well I think he was largely responsible for the win. His cracking shot against the post gave us belief which allowed us to up the tempo and his great tackle and pass to Yakubu started the move for Ossie’s goal.
6 Posted 14/02/2008 at 07:36:55
I thought that Neville had a great game going forward. Yes, a few passes went amiss, but he wasn’t the only one. I counted about 4 bad passes.
I thought that he played with a lot of confidence.
With Manny, I thought that in the first half, it was the same half dead Manny. Come the second half, it seems that he was told to move further up the pitch. What a change!!!
He got his foot on the ball, became more involved, did some really nice shimmiys, and game on.
Finally, Jags is immense. I really can’t see why we would want to drop him, baring suspension and injuries. So our best CB may have to play left back for sometime.
Was it me, or did anyone else see Vaughan moaning and Moyes telling him off?
7 Posted 14/02/2008 at 08:21:33
But as fans its important you look at the bigger picture. That is a 2-0 win away from home in Europe, them type of results should never be taken for granted.....EVER.
The amount of teams that would of slipped up there is unbelievable!!! Yet we kept our heads & composure & took our chances when they arrived which is a must in European football.
Also in thier defence Manny looked lost on the sides, I know he has played there before but a right/left midfielder he isnt and I think that didnt half show. And the pitch was diabolical, absoutly awful.
As I say its not an excuse as both these players need to up thier game in return leg, especially Fernandes, who is trying to earn a permanent move. But overall lads, remember 2 goals away from home, clean sheet, club record for european wins on the trot. Try to remember that before we slaughter all the players, its very rare in football that all 11 players are amazing in any team!
8 Posted 14/02/2008 at 08:52:06
Papers slated the perfomance - I wonder if they would have given the same treatment to one of the Big 3 (yes 3, not 4).
Should see us into the last 16 ... from where I am sure things are going to get a lot tougher. COYB
9 Posted 14/02/2008 at 09:22:41
Cahill is our most passionate player by far and even when his touch may be off he still has a large impact on his team mates with his attitude and heart. Well said Jay, Cahill did ignite the team.
10 Posted 14/02/2008 at 09:27:33
Manny alternates from the sublime to the ridiculous at present, some of his passing is awesome some is just appalling.
Don’t think he was helped by having to play wide - particularly 2nd half when he stayed wide - 1st half he was on the right and drifted inside a bit more.
Yak was awesome though - for all those people who questioned his work rate & accused him of being lazy watch last night!
11 Posted 14/02/2008 at 09:28:11
12 Posted 14/02/2008 at 09:46:42
Neville’s passing was very bad, good runs forward but no end product. How about we try Jags at right back, think he would do a far better job than our current 2! Love Cahill but he totally went missing for most of the game, best and only position is attacking midfield player in 5 man midfield. Glad to see the Yak can now run, redeemed him self with great performance. Well done to Anichebe, onlt hope he can go on to bigger and better things, teams will be well aware of his threat next sesaon. Poor performance overall but the boys did well! Only hope we raise our game for the next round. We won’t get through playing like that against better teams.
13 Posted 14/02/2008 at 10:25:31
I didn’t see Cahill igniting the team last night.
Yes we won, but and I’m sure MK and TM would sort of agree, there are issues that need ironing out.
I’m all about given credit where its due, but I’m not about backing a player just because he happens to play for Everton.
Yes Neville was part of the defence, but Jags was immense and pretty much did all the defending. However, Neville like Lescott is a full back, and they go forward and support the front men. Lescott did that well and had an assist. Neville was shit doing that, and if we can say Jags was great in defence, we surely have the right to say Neville was garbage going forward.
14 Posted 14/02/2008 at 10:41:39
15 Posted 14/02/2008 at 10:55:17
16 Posted 14/02/2008 at 11:34:36
The sooner we can get him playing with footballers of his own ability like Arteta, Pienaar the better and more dangerous the side will become.
17 Posted 14/02/2008 at 11:59:08
Cahill is not a CM.
Yak worked hard and tried to link midfield with attack, much to his credit
Jags is getting much better, from the first few games I was thinking what a waste, but over the last few games has really improved and is looking a very astute purchase.
Howard still dithers too much for me, he seems slow at coming to meet crosses and some decision making is poor.
All in all a good result - away from home in Europe - 6 wins on the bounce - what more can we really ask for?
18 Posted 14/02/2008 at 12:21:49
Solid performance last night. I agree that Cahill and Fernandes didn’t have their greatest performance but i’m confident that as we hit the last 16 and the quality of opposition gets better Moyes will sort it out.
What a defensive dilemma Davies got now though eh? Yobo, Lescott and Jagielka. Thought they played excellent last night but would prefer to see Lescott in the middle ....... but at who’s expense!!!
19 Posted 14/02/2008 at 12:34:20
He might have hit the post and started the move that led to the goal, but Cahill by and large was anonymous last night. Neville was poor but he wasn?t the only one - Fernandes is being shipped back to Valencia in the summer if this form carries on.
Postives were the Yak and Jagielka. Lescott and Jagielka - the new Ratters and Degsy?
20 Posted 14/02/2008 at 12:36:10
I don’t really appreciate your comments about Osman. You say ’poor winger’. Well unless you noticed, our two wide men (MA and SP) were both out and so Osman who is a central midfielder, has to play right or left. Since SP went to Ghana this has happened. Osman when he played in central midfield (when we went on that run), was superb. He has got a great touch, can take people on, can pass and can score good goals. As well as this season, I remember him being oustanding when we finished 4th. He also chipped in with some cracking goals last year. Last night (playing out of position), I think he played okay and scored a great goal, which put us in command. What more do you want from a player playing out of position? The lad is a gem, leave him alone! He would always start for me. Good thought about Jags too. He’s playing superb at CB, ye, play him RB! He’s played there before and didn’t do that well. CB is his position.
I think the main article was well thought out. Ye, we did well, great win; but things to think about.
As for Lescott, I would not put him in the middle, as he is the best LB at the club. We’re fine with JY and PJ as CB’s. I have to say I agree about Manny and Neville, they gave away a lot of posession. Bring back Hibbo!!
Well done Blues, keep it up!!
21 Posted 14/02/2008 at 13:10:56
Yes we have got to admire Timmy for his late runs into the box and his eye for a goal but last night he showed another side to his game. And lets face it had his shot went in he’d be earning all the plaudits today.
22 Posted 14/02/2008 at 13:57:10
23 Posted 14/02/2008 at 14:10:19
The lad was all over the pitch last night linking up play looking for the ball AND scoring THE GOAL.
Also Manny is carrying a groin strain - the same as Arteta.The only difference is Arteta pissed off to Spain to see a specialist.Neville has to be the worst passer of a ball in the Premier League but again was up and down the pitch supporting the play.
I feel our most overrated player is Howard - poor in the air and poor distribution.
But hey we won 2-0 may our luck continue long into the future.
24 Posted 14/02/2008 at 15:03:30
25 Posted 14/02/2008 at 15:46:51
A better team would have scored at least a couple against us last night.... but we weren’t playing a better team and when arteta and pienaar are back for the next round (assuming the goodison leg against Brann causes no problems) there’s no reason we can’t crack on to the later rounds.
On a different note, I wouldn’t be surprised if our league form suffers due to european games but the cup has surely got to take priority.
26 Posted 14/02/2008 at 16:12:49
27 Posted 14/02/2008 at 16:31:24
But, by the same token, the last ten minutes left a lot to be desired, backs against the wall as i watched the closing moments unfold in norway from the comfort of my lounge last night. It could so easily have been a draw long before anichebe made sure of the outcome. Not so different to reading on saturday.
but the fact of the matter being that we now have assured ourseleves of a place in the last sixteen and im not saying that we can win it, but on recent events we can hold our own against the best both foriegn and domestic and i think moyes is treating the competition with the respect it deserves. If we can really do well this year then we can establish ourselves as one of the most dangerous and unpredictable teams in this country. No matches at the weekend for us so a bit of a respite before next weeks encounter at goodison, which in will enjoy even more safe in the knowledge that the outcome is already a done deal.
28 Posted 14/02/2008 at 16:59:57
29 Posted 14/02/2008 at 17:23:50
I think Manny is unjured more than we think and he still has to the end of the season to impress!!
30 Posted 14/02/2008 at 17:31:51
1 min: They’re off! Everton’s two baldies, Carsley and Johnson kick off.
No sponsors’ logo on Everton’s shirts tonight. Perhaps Chang means something rude in Norwegian.
1 min: Chance for Yakubu, running on to Neville’s long ball. His shot is saved by the keeper. Decent chance that. Had a bit more time than he thought.
3 min: Brann do look a bit rusty. Everton have plenty of time on the ball right now. Another chance, this time for Johnson and easily saved again.
5 min: Apparently you can’t have booze sponsors on your shirt in Norway
31 Posted 14/02/2008 at 17:22:58
1. Did we really miss Pienaar and Arteta as much as people are making out? We beat the Norwegian champions on there own patch comfortably, we kept the ball well and we created enough chances to win three or four well. Pienaar and Arteta would obviously be missed because they are two of our first choice wide men but yesterday we coped well.
2. Was Fernandes really that bad? I thought he as one of our better performers on the night and bar Osman and Yakubu one of our most comfortable players on the ball. He looked sloppy at times in the first half but thats only because he was trying to open them up and his passing in the second was alot better bar one cross field pass. He also had a hand in the goal with some excellent link up play with Lescott. People seem to forget that most of the problems we caused Brann where from the right hand side which Fernandes was was roaming.
I guess thats just the way Evertonians are in general though. A lot of us would rather see Carsley pass sideways all game and say he was the pick of the midfielders. Certainly not me. I appreciate good footballers and Fernandes is a very good footballer and had a more than decent game yesterday.
3. Neville all in all had an average game. He was sound defensively and had some excellent support play but his final ball and end product where lacking. And even though Neville was poor he’s certainly the best option we have in that position and the stats prove this. We keep more clean sheets when he is at right back and he creates more goals than Hibbert.
4. Its also becoming a habit of slagging off Cahill every time he plays in a four man midfield. What does he have to do to prove people he can play in a four? Everyone knows he’s not going to create but he does compete very well, he’s probably the only midfielder with genuine athleticism and he nearly scored a cracking left footer. He was better than Carsley for me yesterday, he kept it neat and tidy and he had a part in making Ossie’s goal.
People say he doesn’t contribute enough but he does more in a four than he does in a five. There are times when he plays the second striker role that he’s nowhere. You just can’t see him in the game at all yet if he scores a goal he’s contributed. In my opinion, he can play both as a centre midfielder or as a second striker.
AJ put in a good shift yesterday but he needs to improve still and I wish he’d play more to his strengths. He should play off the shoulder a but more so he can use his pace to his advantage and let Yakubu come deep. Hopefully he can build on his partnership with Yakubu and get some goals between them.
Just my opinions really. People may disagree but I’m just writing what I thought I saw from the game.
32 Posted 14/02/2008 at 18:58:01
And who would have put Yakubu down as a fighter? - until now. This player has got much more to show us yet, and he might have found the club to bring out his talent. I’ll say that for Fernandes too.
Far from perfect, but just look at how our players adjust, adapt and finally stride across European grounds. Brann started off like they were playing for a draw last night. Respect, or possibly a bit of fear? And notice how they took their man-mountain bruisers off as our so-called lightweight team outplayed them.
Get through this one and we could be going to Italy in the next round. Now that would be very interesting.
33 Posted 15/02/2008 at 00:08:30
I watched the whole game again tonight partly to address this question. He was superb. A class performer, hardly surrendered the ball, won it often, created forward movement with vision, skill and strength. Came very close to scoring with his snap shot. If this is a player who is supposed to be short of match fitness I can’t wait to see him at the top of his game - which on this evidence can be on either side of midfield, or even better, in the centre.
note - 87th minute, wins tackle, gets up off the floor, sees lescott’s run, hits perfect pass. As does Lescott. Anichebe scores. 2 nil. Not a bad night’s work.
Whatever it costs, he will be a bargain.
34 Posted 15/02/2008 at 00:54:28
We’ve just beaten a squad that was upper Championship standard and no better. yes they have a couple of decent players - their left mid had something about him and their strike force wasn’t so shabby that you’d laugh...but...theyre going into the Champs League next season and what do you think the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Barca, Real etc etc are going to do to them?.
We had limited options with Arteta, Pienaar and Gravs out and Manny was playing with an injury I hear. The pitch was heavy and the ball, along the ground, looked like it was rolling through custard. Added together wide, snappy, skillful passing play was going to be hard to come by and so it was.
We had little opportunity to shine here, the midfield needs further investment if we are to be able to lose so many of our ’flair’ players and do more than grind out a result the ugly way. That said how many squads could lose 2 or 3 flair players and produce displays of no-lesser quality than normal?. Arsenal, Chelsea...perhaps ManU?.
We did it ugly....again...but it still counts. If the lads have the opportunity to give of their best and fail then we should criticise. For last nights performance though its hard to see how they could’ve done all that much better?!
35 Posted 15/02/2008 at 01:52:16
He kept the ball well, he had a few decent runs, linked up well with Neville and worked alot harder than previous games. People where saying he kept losing the ball but I counted only three times throughout the match. Bar probably Yakubu, Jagielka and Osman I’d say he was our best player and looked one of the most likely to create.
Watching the game live is completely different to watching it after its finished and I couldn’t believe the criticism he got. He actually didn’t look uncomfortable out wide. Obviously he’s a central midfielder and it showed and times but he looked perfectly capable of playing there.
Either people are expecting world beating performances or they just don’t want the lad to succeed I don’t know but it is unfair. I’ve seen players like Pienaar and Arteta put performances in similar to what Fernandes put in yesterday and they where getting 7/10 whereas Manny gets 5/10. Seems very unfair to me.
I would pay the 8 million. The talent is there for everyone to see and at 21 he can only get better. More all round performances are expected but I expect him to deliver once he gets into the swing of things.
36 Posted 15/02/2008 at 01:04:46
Arteta needs no further comment.
Osman is under-rated. His technical ability is as good as anyone’s and hiis performances in CM when Arteta and Pienaar occupied the wide positions were outstanding. I also think he is one of the most natural and instinctive goal-scorers we have.
Pienaar has helped to raise the standard of our play, simply because he, Osman and Arteta are like-minded in their creativity and technique. His physique was questioned by some when he first arrived but there cannot be many, if any, who would deny him a place in our first XI.
Fernandes should be cut some slack. He is oustanding when in possession and is one of the few we have who can pass decisively. Arsene Wenger said it takes time, usually 6 months for a player to adapt to the Premier League. David Moyes said Manny needs to be loved. Lets given him both.
Yakubu has shown to us all what he brings to the team. He is a natural finisher and scores goals whereever he has been.
I don’t know why his loyalty, work ethic or fighting spirit has been called into question. The late arrival from Africa has been dealt with (or ought to have been), and just because he doesn’t run around like a madman does not mean he is lazy or disinterested. He is one of our most perceptive players and can also ’play’ with our midfielders.
I really dislike the perception that Everton Football Club are simply ’honest’, ’hard-working’, and ’difficult to break down’. We should aspire to all those and much more, and while we have some way to go, some of our play this season has been outstanding.
Credit to Moyes for bringing in Yakubu and Pienaar, and going back for Fernandes when it would have been easier to forget about him. For my part I hope we continue to acquire players who can only add quality as the squad is rather thin in this respect.
37 Posted 15/02/2008 at 13:17:31
Why? Is it not true?
The constant moaners have been using the Oldham thing for weeks now, so why shouldn’t we cheekily keep on mentioning that they were the Norweigan Champs
38 Posted 15/02/2008 at 16:53:33
39 Posted 15/02/2008 at 16:54:48
We?ve beaten the Russian and Norwegian champions, we?ve ended the longest home run without defeat EVER in european football history (AZ), and we set our club record for wins in Europe.. What is it that you actually want from the team/club... What more can they actually do?!
40 Posted 15/02/2008 at 20:55:23
That?s it! Results are brilliant... I just wanna watch better football. Is that really so wrong?
41 Posted 15/02/2008 at 22:05:30
So would we all Michael, however, we are costantly having to trawl through posts and articles about how poor certain players are and this is after a professional, albeit ugly, 2-0 win FFS
I am all for analytical criticism but most posts are going beyond that.
42 Posted 15/02/2008 at 22:18:59
If Tony and Tommy want to read my post again you?ll see the bit where I said that the Brann match gave us limited options to shine as a team because of absentees and the state of their pitch. I SAID it was an ugly win because there is is little more that could be achieved on the night!.
Read the friggin text before you whinge about it ok lads?!!!!.
What I was saying is accurate...we dont need to be patting ourselves on the back for beating a team who were qualitatively a division below us whatever that team happens to be in its own league. Had we NOT been able to turn Brann over on their patch it would?ve made a mockery of our Champs League aspirations and our current league position.
Zenit was a different case as they are at least a Prem standard team. Beating them had bragging rights, but, Brann FFS!.
43 Posted 15/02/2008 at 23:08:30
My first post was a light hearted dig at your quote, hence the word "cheekily", my second post was not directed at you at all but in general posters who like to moan no matter what, do you count yourself as one of them?
We had a poor game and unbelivably Pip on EvertonTV was having a go at the passes in the final 3rd, I hope he meant his own passing.
We won ugly but have you been reading some of the posts, not just on this article about how we should sell Johnson, Howard isn’t up to much and Cahill can’t play in a 4 man midfield etc etc, it’s just a bit much when we have put in a professinally ugly 2-0 win over a team who are about to play in the Champions League next season.
44 Posted 16/02/2008 at 00:51:20
My apologies sir.
45 Posted 16/02/2008 at 01:11:39
The squad we have emerging from all this is very talented and capable of football to dream about. But almost every game from now until they hand the prizes out at the end of the season is going to be a scrap, not a beauty contest. I think we are well prepared in both departments, but clean sheets to the end of the season will do me.
46 Posted 16/02/2008 at 03:57:32
I know you’ve heard me say this before but we are all just sharing our own opinions with each other on this website. If that’s something you want to be a part of then please can you instead try to appreciate, cherish and nurture it?
If not, and you can’t counter with something of your own (other than moaning!)then please just walk away. Coz people are going to continue to post their opinions and as Editor it really pisses me off to see these opinions continually classified as "moaning" by those who disagree with them.
47 Posted 16/02/2008 at 15:42:41
What about the other moaners, who are really moaning, are they to get moaned at by you or encouraged like the lovely (non moning) Tim article, in which he is moaned about.
Sorry if this post seems like a moan, i will try to be more pessim......sorry optimistic in future
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