I was telling my family that I was hoping for a good number of goals from us to boost our confidence and get a better goal difference. I was happy when the team news was announced and I saw AJ starting with Vic on the bench. Hibbert out too... only sad thing was Pienaar was out replaced by Manny.
We started brightly (as did the weather!) but Derby soon showed that they were ready to play positive football. Hossam Ghaly in midfield was all over the place and was taking good shots on goal too. Arteta's dead ball deliveries were woeful as they have been recently... most often not even clearing the first man. Yakubu had an easy chance (to put it mildly!) from a Baines cross but somehow contrived to send it over the bar. AJ was looking lively too but as the first half drew to a close, I was worried that we weren't up by a few goals and the game was there for the taking.
The second half started much better for us(not in terms of weather coz the sun disappeared and gave way to hail... this is April, mind you!). With better distribution. Manny was getting much more involved too. Just before the hour mark, Manny made a sublime pass to Ossie on the edge of the box which Ossie controlled well before driving it powerfully past Carroll to finally put us ahead. I thought that we would press on from there but we seemed to go into a shell after that, although Ossie did come close with another effort.
Yakubu came off (smiling, unlike Pip last week!) with Vic coming on. I was shocked to see Manny come off and Jags come into midfield... was Manny hurt/tired? No other reason for that change otheriwse I think. Valente came on for Arteta at the end and did well defensively and with a good cross too at the other end. Derby had a great chance to equalise when Villa was in on goal with just Howard to beat and failed to make it count.(lucky for us!).
All in all I was very relieved to hear the final whistle blow. Lacklustre football from us again today and we were lucky it was only Derby we were playing. Hope to have Pienaar back for the Birmingham game next week coz that will be a tough game. We should start with the same squad if he isn't available... can we at least see a young striker on the bench instead of the never to be used again Gravesen?!
Only 3 points behind the RS still though and although it looks unlikely with our recent form. Hope keeps us going as Everton fans!
The team assessment is as follows:
Howard: Dont like his long punts down the field...he should pass to one of his defenders from time to time...good save at the end though.
Neville: Was not terrible today although his passing still leaves me disgusted at times..defended pretty well.
Lescott: Prefer him at centre back...did well
Yobo: Solid at the back...wish he wouldnt dribble around so much in the middle of the field.
Baines: My Man of the Match..defended well but more importantly was a constant threat ont he left wing..put in some great crosses..like the one that Yakubu bumbled!
Carsley: Pretty solid but passing wasnt as good as he is capable of.
Arteta: What's happening to his damn groin coz he can't cross for his life these days.
Ossie: Great goal..has great technique with shots from that range...
Fernandes: Did well in the 2nd half but was sadly taken off. Great pass to send Ossie through on goal..also stung Carroll's hands with a couple of good shots from range.
Yakubu: Feed the Yak and he will score(most of the time)..shoulda had atleast one goal today.
Johnson: Great to have him back... did well i feel.
Subs: Vic: Looked knackered... lost some weight hasn't he with his stomach bug!
Jags: Not good in midfield...
Valente: Actually was on for a short time but did well at both ends.
Hoping that Arsenal can finally step up and put Liverpool out of the CL this week... but if they let them through Ii can see the bloody bastards going all the way again this year!!! Hope we can keep up our winning ways. Idont mind if we win ugly... as long as we keep winning... COYB
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1 Posted 06/04/2008 at 19:51:24
2 Posted 06/04/2008 at 21:12:41
1) The 2 biggest positives of today was Baines and Fernandes... THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLAYING LAST WEEK MOYES
2) Arteta's dead ball ability. Someone take them off him please.
3) The lads didnt look as though they were chasing 4th. They look like they are thinking of their hols already to me.
3 Posted 07/04/2008 at 01:56:17
4 Posted 07/04/2008 at 02:37:46
Good pass by Manny, we need AJ on the end of those too.
5 Posted 07/04/2008 at 04:42:51
6 Posted 07/04/2008 at 10:40:55
We give the ball away too easily, avoid passing it and generally capitulate to teams we should be hammering.
After the fiorentina home game I was hoping that we would show that kind of committment in the remaining league games....it?s now clear that that game was the exception rather than the rule...
7 Posted 07/04/2008 at 12:08:30
8 Posted 07/04/2008 at 12:38:32
Moyes needs to look into a steroid program if he seeks to build a midfield around him ;)
9 Posted 07/04/2008 at 12:48:47
10 Posted 07/04/2008 at 13:09:09
11 Posted 07/04/2008 at 13:14:08
There seems to be a few comments on posts today saying that it’s Moyes’ fault that we are playing so poorly of late, give me strength!!
I notice Oh My Rants hasn’t posted yet, maybe he will later saying how Moyes disgraced us with his "cowardly" display by having 7 defenders on at the end.....of a win, ugly but a win all the same.
I hate it when we play relegated teams, as they having nothing to play for but more importantly nothing to fear. They seem to try little flicks that they wouldn’t do if they were still fighting for their lives and they play more relaxed,
These types of games are always hard and they fact that we are playing awful didn’t help, however 3 points are 3 points, so at this moment in time, that’ll do for me.
12 Posted 07/04/2008 at 20:22:00
Manny will come good, he must be bought straight away and with a good pre season will be a brilliant player for us..
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