However you look at it and whatever the hard luck stories, Everton have failed to score in their last three games. Indeed,they have found the net only four times in the last seven outings.
Probably the most disappointing feature of this lack of penetration has been the failure of Andrew Johnson to capitalise on the absence of Yakubu. Similarly, the "young bucks", Vaughan and Anichebe, have looked a world away from the finished article and Nigeria`s elimination from The Cup of Nations has not come a moment too soon.
Fans of Portsmouth and Middlesbrough are fond of telling us that The Yak gets tired and disillusioned after Christmas and they are just waiting to see his Everton goals dry up. Personally, I feel that Moyes may be capable of getting a "better second half" out of the Big Fella than did his predecessors but I am still mightily concerned about where the goals will come from.
Eighteen months down the line, I now see AJ as very much the hardworking support player — more a grafter than a finisher — good to have available but by no means a trophy winner.
Cahill's goals make all the difference to Everton's penetration but he's now way off the boil, increasingly unavailable through injury suspension or International preference whist, at this stage, we can view the youngsters as mere impact contributors.
So the likelihood is that we shall again see our team relying on sound defence and "picking up the scraps" from now until the end of the season.
This is how we claimed the coveted fourth spot three years ago but can we do it again? Somehow I think not but, all in all, it's been a good season and one that has generally made us feel pretty good.Just a pity we had to go off the boil though!
Martin MacDonald, Posted 06/02/2008 at 09:50:56
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