Well tonight was bloody brilliant! Anichebe continues to make a huge impression from the bench in Europe. We are sitting on top of Group A, with maximum points!
Not pretty at times tonight, but it was what I would consider a solid professional performance away from home in European competition (Light years ahead of the panicky crap that was played against Kharkiv in either leg!). We were rarely troubled (bar Lescott's error) and had quite a lot of dangerous attacks, without leaving ourselves open to counter attack.
I think we showed endevour and the will to win, but also an intelligence in our defence, covering for those attacking and chasing back when beaten on the ball. Something definitely missing during our more naive recent European ties. Also when we do get the ball down and pass we have the skill to play some nice football. As this continues I hope to see less of the hoofball.
This season, I have been very impressed throughout our European campaign at our fitness levels. I feel that it has been very important to our progress thus far. It is also starting to show in the league and domestic cups as we are scoring many goals at the end of games.
David Moyes should be given credit for the level of fitness and commitment he demands from the team. It is this desire that has helped us to our 5th win in a row. The criticism he recieved about trying to change the work ethic of Yakubu were strange. Moyes always asks commitment of his players, and why shouldn't he? Especially one that cost £11million (not to mention the wages!)
The return of Tim Cahill, a player that literally oozes passion and competitive edge has greatly highlighted how much this part of the game matters, especially against the, what I would consider, lesser opposition that we have faced recently. With his return we have seen balance to the team, and it is no co-incidence that players like Pienaar and Yakubu have begun to settle in better. Indeed, as Yakubu is finding his feet his work ethic, hold up play and general attitude are all improving.
I feel the challenge of Chelsea at the weekend is a different kettle of fish. However, Moyes can draw on some of the same strategies that were implemented tonight. If the same intelligence is used in how we plan our attacking play we could give them a good game. With fitness and desire a key after both teams playing in europe, I hope that our balance and new found confidence will help us raise our game once again.
Come on you blues! Let s keep this great run up!
Gareth Cooper, Posted 08/11/2007 at 23:37:02
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 09/11/2007 at 01:14:40
Pienaar is a fine acquisition and Cahill has proven once again to be the real heartbeat of the side.
It is grand to see such a confidence in the side. I only hope Lescott (who I admire) can cut out the silly errors that blighted Yobo’s second and third seasons at the club.
A top six finish, run in the cups! & most importantly a stylish pattern/system of play are all achievable for this side, I pray my hopes are fulfilled.
2 Posted 09/11/2007 at 01:28:57
Thought Yakubu was excellent tonight. Not enough can be said about his ability to run those defenders into the gorund over 70-75 minutes. He ran like we have not seen before and I hope many will have been pleasently surprised by his recent trasformation in style (transformation may be too strong a word!!!!).
A few good games doesnt make an everton legend, but a bit of effort goes a long way with the goodison faithful. Fair play Yak.
When Big vic came on I thought he was fantastic and made the most of the tired legs gained through Yaks earlier efforts.
There were a couple of uneasy moments, but on the whole a solid performance that deserved a win. Not sure what was wrong with Aretas dead ball deliverieis. He looked tidy down the flanks and was fabtstic as usual at drawing tackles for the dead ball situations, but other than the pen he did little else with those set play opportunities. WILL FORGIVE HIM THOUGH. "Best little spaniard we know"
We should be proud of the boys tonight and I have a funny feeling about a 1-0 win at the weekend. We fear no one!!!!!!!
Robbed by the RS!!!!! We can play this game you know!!!!!
3 Posted 09/11/2007 at 02:29:48
4 Posted 09/11/2007 at 03:18:43
I thought Valente had a great game tonight. It would have been great if we scored straight away but who cares? 2-0 and into knockout stages basically...
5 Posted 09/11/2007 at 07:56:09
He night not cost £11 million but what a player !!!! The German defence just could not cope with him.....incredible.
6 Posted 09/11/2007 at 08:26:03
7 Posted 09/11/2007 at 08:52:15
8 Posted 09/11/2007 at 09:21:16
I have no doubt that Moyes will be stressing the need to concentrate at all times-and don’t be surprised if he re-inforces that message by bringing in Stubbs for Joleon at the weekend!Paenaar is another one who needs reminding ’to get rid’on when on the edge of our box.
9 Posted 09/11/2007 at 09:55:08
10 Posted 09/11/2007 at 10:05:24
However, there are areas for improvement and better teams (Chelsea this Sunday, no doubt) might well highlight them. Lescott’s consistency has to improve (I’m worried these errors are becoming a regular occurence); Arteta’s dead-ball delivery is actually very poor at present (although he got the one that really counted right!); I still thought we didn’t penetrate into the box from midfield too much last night, despite some good midfield control/inter-play just over the half-way line. Piennar and Osman still look slightly lightweight at times, and even Tim faded in and out of the game at times (although as he’s still recovering from his long-term injury, this is a very minor observation). The Yak needed to come deeper to get the ball more times than he ought to have needed to (AJ, bless him, needed to earlier in the season as well), so I still think we were playing slightly deeper than we needed to.
But heck, it’s only because want perfection from our team! With just those minor areas for improvement, the future is definitely looking brighter, and with the team spirit at close to an all-time high for Moyes, that half-empty glass is starting to look half-full at last!
One last comment from someone who couldn’t make it over there. Our fans were superb! There in numbers, very vocal and if the reports are right, no trouble either. Shame on UEFA for labelling this one a high risk game. Proud to be a blue with you lot representing the grand old club so well!
11 Posted 09/11/2007 at 10:25:35
12 Posted 09/11/2007 at 10:46:36
13 Posted 09/11/2007 at 10:59:10
It wolud be criminal to over look Yak’s contribution last night. He softened the defence up to let Victor deliver the knock-out. He seems to have improved his first touch and his control in tight situations which will enable him to play that role even better.
I don’t think AJ could have played any better in that role. Sure, he might have chased down ’lost causes’ but surely we are a good enough team now that we shouldn’t have to run after every single ball that is mis-placed. Thats how players end up out of position and a team loses it shape.
With the options we have up front this year I am sure Moyes will mix things up this year and if we are winning I don’t care who plays up front.
14 Posted 09/11/2007 at 11:10:08
15 Posted 09/11/2007 at 11:43:26
16 Posted 09/11/2007 at 12:21:59
I agree with you mate . Yak is ok but you expect more for 11 million.
Mark I didn?t see Yak run anyone ragged , I did see Victor do it though , within about two minutes of being on the pitch.
17 Posted 09/11/2007 at 12:34:05
18 Posted 09/11/2007 at 12:32:27
It is naive to believe that Vic(who was brilliant) would have had the same impact starting.The Yak worked their defence brilliantly so that when Vic came on they were tiring and could not deal with another strong quick striker.
Keep it up boys and Manchester might not be a fantasy!
19 Posted 09/11/2007 at 14:04:02
20 Posted 09/11/2007 at 13:43:26
The reason we bought Yak is too score goals and finish chances, which is his biggest strength. Unlike Victor he is not brilliant at fashioning chances for himself. The reason why he didn’t get a meaningful shot in is because we didn’t create any clear-cut chances for him. If the truth be told we only really started to believe we could win the game halfway through the second half.
I am not knocking Victor in any way. I am just excited as the the rest of you about his potential but don’t expect him to do this every time he comes on the field. After last night he won’t be an unknown quantity anymore.