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Is it me or did David Moyes do the worst possible thing he could have done in putting Johnson on for Hibbert?

Although I agree that it's good that we think we can go forward and keep attacking against such teams as Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea, I do not feel that we can afford to do so. At 1-1 we would have had a hard-earned point and maybe in the closing stages (as we have done so many times this season) nicked a goal?

However, Moyes decides that with Arsenal having probably had a rollocking at half-time and having just scored to take a defender off? Bad judgement if you ask me.

Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of Moysey and what he has achieved with this football club, however maybe it's not players we will need in January, maybe its an assistant manager?
Paul Sherlock, Chester     Posted 29/12/2007 at 19:34:26

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Lyndon Lloyd
Paul, we were 2-1 down when he brought on AJ and I thought it was the right move as we clearly needed more threat up front. The problem was that nothing really changed after he came on either, even when Arsenal were down to 10 men.

Maybe Ken Buckley is right when he says that someone like Vaughan as well in place of Yakubu would have given Arsenal more to think about but who knows?

Carl Grifiths
1   Posted 30/12/2007 at 08:24:04

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the game started to turn when after the equalizer the midfield started to give the ball away, meaning Cahill has to drop to make it a midfield 5. If we then win it back, Yak is completely isolated up on his own. Can’t reatin possession so it starts again. As a rule I hate 1 up front but it seems to suit at the moment. A good, box to box, dominant midfilder could see a change but they are not that readily available!
Gaz Greenie
2   Posted 30/12/2007 at 09:32:42

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Like all Evertonians, I’m absolutely gutted. From being so convincing we end up losing so convincingly. I have been reading all the post and comments posted on ToffeeWeb and I agree that we do need a couple of quality midfielders, ideally a wide man with pace and skill (this obviously rules out Downing!) and a box to box player with good distribution - personally I would like to see Steve Sidwell but not too sure Chelsea would want to let him go. The other point I would like to make is that we are desperately missing a good quality centre back to provide competition for Yobo & Lescott. Stubbs is perhaps on his ’last legs’ and Jags had a bit of a shocker against Arsenal, apart from that we don’t have much in reserve. Over all tho, I have been impressed with our football during our 13 game unbeaten run & I feel with a couple of quality additions we can kick on, fingers crossed!
Stephen Jacobsen
3   Posted 30/12/2007 at 09:40:20

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Give Moyes a break. I can imagine if Moyes hadn’t have brought AJ on, people would have been slating him on here for being so negative. Substituting a defender for a striker was indeed very bold and and a welcome move by 99% of the poeple i was sitting with.

It’s a case of he’s damned if he does and he’s damned if he doesn’t. Moyes, like most others, thought Arsenal were there for the taking of their poor first half. Bringing AJ on was an indication we wanted the 3 points more than Arsenal. Unfortunately, their class came through which their is no substitute for.

Yesterday was indeed a reality check and it couldn’t have come at a better time just before the transfer window. But come on, lets no jump on Moyes back for acting positively.
Peter Seward
4   Posted 30/12/2007 at 11:23:18

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Let?s face it, the dream is over. With the defence leaking like a sieve ? Jagielka is an embarrassment wherever he plays-and no midfield to speak of during January, we are in for a rough time, believe me. I knew the bubble would burst but not quite as comprehensively as this. Moyes will pay the price for failing to add support in central defence and midfield!
Ray Robinson
5   Posted 30/12/2007 at 11:45:05

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Johnson on for Hibbert when 2-1 down is exactly the substitution that I would have criticised Moyes for NOT making several months ago. Give the guy a break, we might as well go down fighting as play cautiously when losing. That’s why I booed Moyes (for the only time ever) at the Spurs match earlier this year. He has learnt and we’re all the more adventurous and watchable for it.
Tony Williams
6   Posted 30/12/2007 at 11:59:21

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Peter, you wouldn’t happen to be a journalist would you?

The old, "The Bubble will burst", speach just rings true for the red tops!!!

The defence is leaking like a sieve!!!!!!!!

Knee jerk reactionist anyone?
John Martin
7   Posted 30/12/2007 at 13:38:49

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All through the week i have read posts quite rightly pointing out how well Jagielka has been playing, now after 1 below par performance its back to he is crap postings. He had a poor second half although 1 of the incidents a clear handball was used.
It was a terrible 2nd half that highlighted that we arnt near being a top four side however i still beleive we will be 5th at the end of the season
Anthony Potter
8   Posted 30/12/2007 at 13:48:54

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I agree with John, Jags has filled in really well while Joloen has played left back due to injuries. if baines was fit i think joloen would have cut out the first goal but needs must at the moment.

As for AJ coming on he played well at united as he utilised his pace and held the ball up well, but with the arsenal defence playing deep, there was not any space so why Anichebe did not come on baffles me as his power and aerial ability would have caused more problems.

lets hope Moyes brings in a couple of midfielders and the form player recently Osman comes back soon.

We can’t compete with the money the Big Four has but in Moyes we trust !!!

Simon Birdsey
9   Posted 30/12/2007 at 15:32:30

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The story of the game was that we pegged Arsenal back territorially without penetrating their back four. I can’t remember a save that Almunia had to make and both Yakubu and Johnson were anonymous in the second half. With us pushed so far up the pitch a simple long ’pass’ (rather than a hoof) was able to find an Arsenal striker two on one with our centrebacks...who were all too easily beaten.

Moyes was correct in bringing on a striker. The problem being that they had no service from the midfield. It might have been a better idea to leave Cahill tucked in behind Yakubu and have Johnson patrolling the right flank, trying to get in behind Clichy. That would also have allowed Arteta to roam. As it was, Johnson was up top, unable to use his pace because Arsenal sat on the edge of their own box and negated any space for him to run into.

My other criticism is that Moyes should have made the change on 60 minutes rather than waiting until 70 mins.

I would also have considered switching Lescott and Jagielka as the poor guy had ’mare at centreback. With Arsenal only having one up top after their sending off, he could even have gone 3-4-3 and brought Jagielka off to be replaced by an extra striker to give us some width.

With a congested midfield of Carsley, Neville, Cahill, Flamini and Fabregas, with Diaby and Hleb playing narrow for the gunners and Arteta tucked in on our right hand side and precious little space behind the Arsenal rearguard to run into our options were: pot shots from distance; trying to dominate them aerially or doubling up in the full back positions.

With Arteta moving further inside he would have been our best chance with distance shots. I would like to have seen us make more of set pieces with Jagielka, Lescott and Yobo and I would have liked to have seen more of either strikers patrolling the flanks or Lescott and Hibbert overlapping the wide midfielders.

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